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

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    May 21

    383: As the emperor struggles to make Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire he promulgates a law that denies anybody who converts from Christianity to another religion the right to make a will.  This law may have had some impact on the Jews but the real target were the Romans who sought to become pagans or Manichaens, followers of the Persian prophet Mani.  (Sometimes Jews are just “collateral damage” in other people’s struggles for power)

    878: Syracuse is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily. This change from Christian to Muslim rulers seems to have had little effect on the Jews of Syracuse. Israelite traders who visited the ancient colony when was ruled by the Greeks were probably the first Jews to settle in Syracuse.

    The Jewish population grew after the destruction of the Second Temple when the Romans brought Jewish slaves to Sicily.  Life for the Jews of Syracuse would take a negative turn in 1492 when Sicily came under Spanish domination.

    996: Otto III begins his reign as Holy Roman Emperor which included modern day Germany.  Records exist that show Jews had been living in Cologne during the reign of Otto’s predecessor, Otto II and the community grew enough so that a synagogue was constructed in the first decade of the 11th century.

    1529: Thirty Jews were burned in Bosnia, Hungary

    1577: Portuguese Marranos were granted permission to settle in Brazil

    1671: Frederick William the Hohenzollern the Margrave of Brandenburg readmitted the Jews to his domain including the capital at Berlin. Although they were permitted to live and trade where they wished they had to pay a protection tax of 8 Thalers, and a gold florin for every wedding and funeral. In addition, Jews were not allowed to sell their houses to other Jews and were only permitted to have prayer rooms but no Synagogues

    1674: John Sobieski was elected by the nobility to be the King of Poland. The Jews of the Polish town of Przemysl had suffered economic reverses and had been forced to borrow from nobles prior to John Sobieski’s coming to the throne.  In 1678, there was a major fire in the Jewish section of Premysl and the King John granted them special dispensation from their debt re-payment so that they could rebuild their portion of the town. King John would make further extensions for his Jewish subjects because he was concerned that they would leave the kingdom and take their mercantile and managerial skills with them.

    1760(6th of Sivan, 5520): As England and France clash during the Seven Years War, British Jews observe the First Day of Shavuot.  The Jews had been expelled from France so there was nobody in Paris to observe the festival.

    1779(6thof Sivan, 5539): Shavuot

    1798(6thof Sivan, 5558): Two days before the Society of United Irishman, a group including Protestants and Catholics start a rebellion against British rule, Jews observe the First Day of Shavuot

    1799: French troops under Napoleon retreated from Acre thus ending a two months siege of the Ottoman held city.  The retreat marked the end of Napoleon’s dream of an eastern empire which included a promise to the local Jews that Palestine would become their home.

    1809(6thof Sivan): As the Napoleon faces the Austrians on the first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Jews observe the first day of Shavuot

    1814(2nd of Sivan): Rabbi Aryeh Leib Berlin passed away

    1817(6thof Sivan, 5577): For the first time during the Presidency of the newly inaugurated James Monroe, Jews in the United States observe Shavuot

    1820 (NS): Birthdate of Nikolaus von Giers, who served as Foreign Minister while Alexander III promulgated the infamous May Laws. 

    1827: Birthdate of Hermann Byk, the son of Alexander Mendel Byk.

    1829: In Frankfurt-on-Main Solomon Michael Geiger, the eldest brother of Abraham Geiger and his wife gave birth to philosopher and philologist Lazarus Geiger

    1832: In Charleston, SC, Abraham Moise and Caroline Moses gave birth to Edwin Warren Moise. A Sephardic Jew whose family had made its way from Alsace to the French Caribbean before settling in South Carolina’s major seaport, pursued a career as a lawyer, soldier in the CSA and adjutant general in the post-Civil War Palmetto State. (As reported by Robert N. Rosen)

    1847(6thof Sivan, 5607): Shavuot

    1850: Birthdate of Hermann Frenkel, the Danzig born banker who also a noted art collector.

    1852: The New York Times reported that in Germany “the citizens of ‘Luboc’ have referred to a committee a decree of the Senate” that would place Jews on an equal footing with other citizens.”

    1853:It as was reported today that the Trieste Gazette had published a letter from Jerusalem dated March 27 in which it described the outbreak of violence between English missionaries and a group of Jews on March 24.  The missionaries had gathered in front of the Great Synagogue and while the Jews were praying inside they began giving “speeches against the Jews and the Talmud.  A Jew threw a cat at one of the missionaries which sparked a fight between the two groups.  Eventually, the English retreated and the Chief Rabbi went to the European consular officials to protest the offensive behavior.

    1854: The Washington Sentinel printed an editorial entitled “The Jews as Citizens” which said that the “the absence of applications for relief was…not an index of Jewish affluence” but a result of the Jewish community providing for the financial needs of their co-religionist. After noting that Jews were absent from the jails and poorhouses, the editorialist concluded that Jews “are among the best, most orderly well disposed of our citizens.”

    1863: Fifty-eighty year old Culling Eardley whose support of the Jaffa to Jerusalem railway was based on his belief that “the railway would serve Christen missionary activity” caused Moses Montefiore to back away from the project, passed away today.

    1866: In Baltimore, MD, Max White and Annie Lewin gave birth to Henry “Harry” White a labor leader in the garment industry who has served as general secretary of the United Garment Workers of America (AFL) which he help to found since 1896 and is the Editor of The Garment Worker and The Weekly Bulletin of the Clothing Trade.

    1866: A review of “Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church Part II” by Arthur P. Stanley in which the author traces the history of the Jews from Samuel to the Captivity was published today.

    1868: Birthdate of Heinrich Brody (German) or Bródy Henrik (Hungarian) “a Hungarian (after 1918 Czechoslovakian) rabbi. He was born in Ungvár, a town historically part of Hungary, now of the Ukraine. He was a descendant of Abraham Broda. Educated in the public schools of his native town and at the rabbinical colleges of Tolcsva and Pressburg, Hungary, Brody also studied at the Hildesheimer Theological Seminary and at the University of Berlin, being an enthusiastic scholar of the Hebrew language and literature. He was for some time secretary of the literary society Mekiẓe Nirdamim, and in 1896 founded the "Zeitschrift für Hebräische Bibliographie", of which he was coeditor with A. Freiman. Brody was the rabbi of the congregation of Náchod, Bohemia and chief rabbi of Prague (both cities then part of Austria-Hungary), before moving to Palestine. In Czechoslovakia, he was the leader of the Mizrachi movement. He passed away in 1942.

    1870: Birthdate of Sarah Vasen, the first Jewish woman doctor in Los Angeles and first superintendent and resident physician of Kaspare Cohn Hospital (later Cedars-Sinai Hospital) (As reported by Julie Beardsley)

    1871: Reverend Howard Crosby delivered an address to group interested in the exploration of the Holy Land.  During his speech he described plans for an upcoming expedition that hoped to find “the actual tombs of the Kings, the ark of the covenant and the tables of stone written on by the fingers of God…”

    1872: It was reported today that the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a motion by Mr. Cox, requesting the President to join with the Italian government in its protest against the intolerance and cruelty practiced towards the Jews of Romania.

    1872: Mr. Benjamin J. Hart presided over tonight’s annual meeting of the Convention of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which was held at the Forty-fourth-street Synagogue in New York City. The deteriorating condition of the Jews of Romania dominated most of the evening’s discussion.  A letter that Secretary of State Hamilton Fish had sent to the United States Consul at Bucharest instructing him to intercede with Romanian government was read to the convention.  The delegates outlined a plan of action to help bring pressure on the Romanians and created a Committee on Immigration to help those who had been forced to flee to the United States due to the persecution in Eastern Europe.  The delegates voted to hold the next annual convention in Washington, D.C.

    1872: The Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin reported that General Henry C. Wayne who had served the Confederacy as the Adjutant-General of Georgia during the Civil War, was supporting Grant over Horace Greely in the upcoming Presidential election. In explaining Southern support for the General who defeated them he wrote, “We cannot stand being carried in the pockets of a foreign Jew banker though Tammany finds it a profitable investment.”  [The “foreign Jew banker may have been a reference to August Belmont, who was Chairman of the Democratic Party after the Civil War.  He resigned the post following the Presidential election of 1872.]

    1872: Charles Netter wrote a letter today describing how pupils from Mikveh Israel who had spent Passover with their parents in Jerusalem “were subject to persecutions and publicly vilified.”  According to Netter, the parents were urged to withdraw their children by Rabbis who did not object to Jewish children being sent to schools run by Protestant missionaries. The rabbinic objection to attendance at Mikveh Israel, was based on a fear that they would get less in the way of Halukkah funds. Halukkah refers to funds collected in the galut to support Jews living in Palestine; a collection that dated back to the Middle Ages.  Founded in 1870, Mikveh Israel was the first agricultural school operated by the Alliance Israelite Universelle.

    1876: According to an article entitled “The Temple At Jerusalem,” more has been written about The Temple in Jerusalem than any other building in history and that most of it has been totally inaccurate.  The article included references to modern efforts to map the Temple Mount including Frederick Catherwood’s survey in 1833 and the even more accurate work done by Captain Charles Wilson in 1864 and 1865.

    1876: Judge P.J. Joachimsen of New York presided over today’s annual convention of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites in Philadelphia, PA.  The report of the executive committee dealt primarily with the conditions of the Jews of Palestine and Roumania. During the afternoon, the delegates visited a Jewish hospital and in the evening elected officers to serve during the coming year. 

    1878(18th of Iyar, 5638): Lag B'Omer

    1881: The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton.Washington business man Adolphus Simeon Solomons, a member of a prominent Sephardic family, played a key role in the founding of the humanitarian organization.  In fact Clara Barton called him her "good vice president and kind counselor."

    1885(7thof Sivan, 5645): 2nd day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1886: Construction was begun today for a new Sephardic synagogue to be used by the Moses Montefiore Congregation.

    1886(16th of Iyar): David Gordon passed away.  Born in Vilna in 1831 he was a supporter of Hibbat Zion and was an editor for HaMaggid, the first Hebrew newspaper.

    1889: Rabbi David Levy officiated at the wedding of Walter Irving Harby of Sumter, SC and Jacqueline Ellen Levy the daughter of Charles F. Levy at the Hasell Street Synagogue.

    1889: The Moses Montefiore Congregation was dedicated in Bloomington, Illinois at a ceremony which began at four o’clock this this afternoon, erev Shabbat.

    1890: The Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorized the transfer of $30,000 from last year’s balances to be used for the furnishing of the new school to be opened in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Building on 77th Street near 3rdAvenue.

    1891: The manager of a “‘Shelter,’ an institution established for the reception” of Russian Jews arriving in England disputed claims that a large number destitute refugees are arriving in his country.  According to him, on average, only 20 destitute Jews arrive each week and nine-tenths of them move on to the United States “or the English colonies.” The Shelter provides them with enough funds so that they can show they are capable of earning a living once they arrive at their final destinations.

    1892: Among the bills that the Governor Flowers of New York allowed to die today was one introduced by Assemblyman Stein that would have provided a tax exemption for the Hebrew Children’s Sanitarium at Rockaway Beach.

    1892: Max Cohen has just released by the annual report of the Maimonides Library.

    1893(6thof Sivan, 5653): Shavuot

    1893: There were a number of Polish and Russian Jews among the three hundred steerage passengers aboard the SS Amalfi which had sailed from Hamburg and arrived at Ellis Island today.

    1895: It was reported today that a congregation that has been worshipping at 116 Seigel Street in Brookly for several years has been ordered to pay its back rent to the landlord.

    1898: The will of Aaron Hershfield, which contained bequests to numerous Jewish charities was executed today naming his son-in-law Daniel P. Hays and his sons Levi N. and Mitchell Hershfield as executors.

    1898: In New York City, Julius and Rose (Lipshitz) Hammer gave birth to businessman Armand Hammer the owner of Occidental Petroleum who was also an art collector and philanthropist.

    1899(12thof Sivan, 5659): Forty-nine year old Leopold S. Levy, a salesman who lived with his wife on West 26th Street  passed away today in the New York Hospital  after having had his skull fractured “at his home by a crowd of boisterous young men who struck him with a lobster and a tin can.”

    1899: Mrs. Leopold S. Levy, the wife of the late Leopold S. Levy is in critical condition at New York Hospital after having been brought there by a janitress at her tenement who thwarted her attempt to commit suicide by taking laudanum..

    1899: Dr. Felix Adler is scheduled to officiate at the funeral of Julius Hirsch, a native of Germany who was a partner in the tobacco firm of Hirsch, Victorious & Co.

    1899: The Hebrew Technical Institute was among the many organizations that endorsed the Women’s Memorial presented to the just completed Peace Conference held in New York City.

    1899: The Hebrew Free School Associated hosted the confirmation exercises today for the 118 boys and girls who had completed the six year course of study.

    1900: Herzl turns to Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber to intervene for the Rumanian Jews who have no permission to cross the border to Austria.

    1900: Anti-Semitic riots broke out in Stolp and Bütow

    1901: Herzl dictates the résumé "for the special benefit of the weak understanding of His Imperial Majesty of the Khalifate."

    1901: Birthdate of producer and agent Sam Jaffe.

    1903: During a conversation on this date, Dr. Cyrus Adler of the Smithsonian Institution, Secretary of the International Jewish Association, and editor of the Jewish Year Book, discussed the massacre of Jews in Russia, including the official utterances on the subject by Count Cassinf, the Russian Ambassador.

    1904(7thof Sivan, 5664): Second day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1904: Herzl returns to Vienna after an unsuccessful therapy in Franzensbad.

    1907: The proprietors of the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel in Atlantic City apologized to Bertha Rayner Frank for her experience with anti-Jewish discrimination at their hotel.

    1907: In Amsterdam, Alexander Polak, violin builder and concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Janet Kiek, who founded the first Home Economics Budget Bureau gave birth to Fred Polak “one of the founding fathers of future studies…best known  for theorizing the central role of imagined alternative futures in his classic work The Image of the Future.”

    1909: Birthdate of Guy Édouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild the Parisian who was the son of Baron Édouard de Rothschild, who had headed the bank before Baron Guy, and the great-grandson of James, who founded the French branch of the Rothschild empire in 1812 (As reported by Paul Lewis)

    1910: Birthdate of Luisa Kramer who became Luisa Abrahams when she married Sir Charles Myer Abrahams.

    1911(23rdof Iyar, 5671): Eighty-five year old Solomon Belais, the son of Rabbi Abraham Belais and Naomi Belais and the husband of Jael Belais passed away in New York.

    1912: David Defilipov, a chemist who was born in the Ukraine, immigrated to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century and Sonia née Gerdstein, gave birth to “singer, director, producer and impresario Edis De Philippe, who founded the Israel National Opera Company in 1947 and ran it with an iron hand until her death.” (Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1913: “While the Fulton County Grand Jury was considering evidence of the murder of 14 year old Mary Phagan today, disclosures showed that the case had become entangled in a local political fight involing the war that has been waged against Chief of Police Beavers.”

    1914: In Vilna Mina Owczyńska,a Litvak actress from Švenčionys and Arieh-Leib Kacew a businessman from Trakai gave birth to Roman Kacew who gained fame a novelist Romain Gary.

    1915: Rabbi Leventhal is scheduled to deliver a talk at the semi-annual examinations of the Hebrew Free School in Camden, NJ. 

    1915: “Judge Arthur G. Powell, a former member of the State Court of Appeals” wrote to Govern Slaton and the Prison Commission declaring his conviction that Leo M. Frank did not murder Mary Phagan” and “as an intimate friend of the late Judge Roan who presided at Frank’s Trial” asserted “that Judge Roan did not believe Frank was guilty.”

    1915: Samuel Sonnenschein who has been locked up in Ludlow Street Jail “because he could not pay a judgment for $169” was still a prisoner tonight despite “efforts” being “made by the United Hebrew Charities to get a surety bond for him.”

    1915: As of today, “there are said to be several hundred petitions in circulation in Atlanta” and hundreds of others” in the rest of the state asking Governor Slaton to commute Leo Frank’s death sentence

    1916: Birthdate of Joseph Janni, the native of Milan who emigrated to England in 1939 and after a brief internment on the Isle of Man began decades long career as a British movie producer.

    1916: Birthdate of novelist Harold Robbins author of a series of bestsellers including Moneychangers, Carpetbaggers and Betsy.

    1916: The Hebrew Sheltering Home was dedicated in Chicago, Illinois.

    1916: The Jewish Home for the Aged was dedicated in New Haven, CT.

    1916: The Central Jewish Institute was dedicated in New York City.

    1917: The Great Atlanta Fire destroyed over 300 acres and 2,000 homes in Georgia and the South’s leading metropolis. The fire was confined primarily to the city’s Fourth Ward, which had a significant Jewish population on its north side. Following the fire Rich’s, the Jewish owned department store “assisted bereaved customers financially, even providing burial clothes for many of the victims” without regard to whom they were.

    1921(11thof Iyar): Author Akiva Fleischman passed away

    1921: Birthdate of Harold Lane David, the son of Jewish immigrant who owned a Brooklyn delicatessen owner, later known as Hal David the award winning lyricist who created such musical questions as What’s it all about?,” “What’s new, pussycat?,” “Do you know the way to San Jose?” and “What do you get when you fall in love?,” (As reported by Rob Hoerburger)

    1921: Birthdate of Eugene Harold Ehrlich, a self-educated lexicographer who wrote 40 dictionaries, thesauruses and phrase books for the “extraordinarily literate,” not to mention people just hoping to sound that way. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1922: Birthdate of lexicographer Eugene Ehrlich.

    1923: For the first time (but not the last) Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain following the resignation of Arthur Bonar Law.  Baldwin will serve in this capacity, off and one throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s.  He is viewed as one of those politicians who turned a blind eye to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini and thus helped to bring on World War II with all that that would mean for the Jewish people.  On the other hand, in 1938, a year after he left office, Baldwin “led a major appeal to provide financial assistance for Jewish refugees from Nazi brutality.”

    1923: Seventy-five year old Ferdinand Esterhazy, the French officer who was the traitor selling secrets to the Prussians – a crime for which Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted – died today.

    1924: University of Chicago students Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old BobbyFranks in a "thrill killing."  The two killers and their victim are all Jewish.

    1925: Lord Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer is named High Commissioner in Palestine. Born in 1857, Plumer had a long, distinguished career in the British Army.  He actually was one of the few competent commanding officers on the Western Front during World War I and was promoted to the rank of Field Marshall after the Armistice.  The appointment to Palestine came when he was 68 and lasted until 1928.  He proved to be a capable administrator who resisted Arab attempts to undermine the terms of the Mandate.  The economic down turn that occurred during his tenure was not of his making. He returned to England where he served in the House of Lords until his death in 1932.

    1927: National Jewish Book is scheduled to begin today.

    1927: On the day that Charles Lindbergh completed his trans-Atlantic flight, Jewish businessman and airplane enthusiast Charles Levin announced that his airplane would fly farther on a $15,000 transatlantic flight challenge from America to Germany and carry a passenger.”  Levine’s plane had been sitting the hanger, grounded because of a court battle, when Lindbergh had taken off for Paris.  Levine would accomplish his goal the following when he flew aboard the Columbia, as a passenger while Clarence Chamberlin was at the controls.

    1928: A dinner honoring Dr. H. Peretra Mendes was to have been held this evening.  The dinner was postponed until October.

    1928: The House of Representatives is schedule to consider the Jenkins Bill which is designed to grant enlarged preference within the quota to the wives and children of aliens

    1930:Racecar driver Woolf Barnato, the son of Fanny Bees and Barney Barnato took delivery on “a streamlined fastback” known as the “Sportsman Coup” which “became known as the Blue Train Bentley.

    1932: U.S. premiere of “Attorney for the Defense” produced by Harry Cohn with a script co-authored by Jo Swerling.

    1934(7thof Sivan, 5694): Second Day of Shavuot

    1934: The New York Council of Mizrachi Youth of America is scheduled to hold a Shavuot celebration tonight at 224 Henry Street with proceeds going toward the Hachshara farm, a Mizrachi training camp for Palestinian pioneers.

    1934: U.S. premiere of “Murder at the Vanities” co-starring Kitty Carlisle.

    1934: Dr. I. Mortimer Bloom is scheduled to deliver a sermons today entitled "Pilgrims of Eternity" at Temple Oheb Sholom on West 93rd Street.

    1934: Rabbi Milton Steinberg is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Time and Religion" at the Park Avenue Synagogue.

    1934: Dr. Samuel Benjamin is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Jews Without Memory;" at Congregation Hope of Israel in the Bronx.

    1934: Rabbi Solomon Reichman is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Sinai-a Symbol of Israel" at the Bronx Y. M. and Y. W. H. A.

    1934: Rabbi Robert Gordis is scheduled to officiate at Yizkor services today at Temple Beth-El, Rockaway Park.

    1934: Rabbi Henry Fisher is schedule to deliver a sermon entitled “Belief and Practice” at Congregation Derech Emunoh.

    1936: A crowd of Arabs fired from the hilltops on a Jewish-operated bus coming from Tel Aviv seriously wounding a Jewish man and girl.  According to officials at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, dum-dum bullets had been used by the Arab attackers.

    1938:  In Poland, the ruling party adopted "13 articles pertaining to Jewish affairs," stating that the Jews are 'an element which hinders the normal development of the forces of the Polish nation and state."

    1939: In a column published in Davar the pro-labor Hebrew language newspaper, David Ben Gurion said of the White Paper, “This document is not the final word of the British people.  This document meanwhile is only a proposal of their government.  The conscience of Britain and the whole world still can be awakened.” [Ed. Note: This time B-G got it wrong]

    1939:The British arrest the Irgun leadership, including Commander David Raziel. In February, 1938 the Revisionists under Jabotinsky had held a Zionist Congress in Prague.  They rejected the notion that Jews could not settle on either side of the Jordan.  More importantly, after two years of Arab violence they decided that the Jewish Agency’s policy of restraint was not working.  The Irgun was to respond to each act of Arab violence with force and alacrity.   The increased tempo of attacks against the British and Arabs must be viewed against the backdrop of the times: the worsening situation of the Jews in Europe, the issuance of the White Paper that would close Palestine to the Jews and guarantee a permanent Arab majority and the unabated violence of the Arabs.  The Irgun and the Revisionists did not reflect the majority view of the Jewish population.  Finally, in 1948, Ben Gurion took military action to bring the Irgun under control.  Ironically, Menachem Begin, the leader of Irgun, would be the right wing politician who broke the hold of the Labor Zionists on the Israeli government.

    1940: Chairman Willem Vogt fired all Jewish employees at AVRO, the Dutch broadcasting company

    1941: Dutch Singer and Nazi collaborator Johan Heesters visited Dachau concentration camp.

    1941: A collaborationist group, Nederlandse Arbeids Dienst (Dutch Labor Service), is established in Holland.

    1942(5th of Sivan, 5702): Erev Shavuot

    1942(5th of Sivan, 5702): In Koritz, on the eve of Shavuot, 2,200 Jews were taken to the edge of town and shot into pre-dug pits. The dead included the wife and 13 year old daughter of Moshe Gildenman who was soon to become famous as the partisan “Uncle (Dyadya) Misha”. Gildenman succeeded in escaping with his son, Simcha, and a few others with one pistol and five rounds of ammunition. His groups slowly grew in strength and were eventually absorbed into Saburov’s brigade group. They were always known as Uncle Misha’s Jewish groups. During the war, Gildenman received the Order of the Red Star and finished the war with his son in Berlin. After the war, his son returned to Koretz and upon meeting the Ukrainian who killed his mother and sister - shot him.

    1942: Release date for “Tortilla Flat co-starring Hedy Lammar and John Garfield, featuring Sheldon Leonard, with a script co-authored by Benjamin Glazer and music by Frank Loesser and Franz Waxman.

    1943(16th of Iyar, 5703):  Three thousand Jews driven from Brody, Ukraine, to a waiting transport train revolt, killing four Ukrainians and a few Germans. Many of the Jews break free after being put on the train, only to be machine-gunned. The remainder is killed upon arrival at the Majdanek death camp.

    1943(16th of Iyar, 5703):  Members of the Jewish community at Drogobych, Ukraine, are exterminated in the Bronica Forest

    1944: The SS President Warfield, a packet steamer built in the 1920’s to carry passengers and cargo between Norfolk and Baltimore (sheltered waters), was returned by the British so she could serve in the U.S. Navy.  The Warfield would become famous as the SS Exodus.

    1944: The Gestapo imprisons all 260 Jews of Canea, Crete, at Rethymnon, Crete

    1945: Members of the Jewish Brigade posed for a photo with trucks from the Beriha Movement.

    1945: Today, many liberated survivors continue to live at the Dachau concentration camp two weeks after the end of the war.

    1945: German war criminal Heinrich Himmler was captured

    1945: Lauren Bacall (born Betty Pinsker) and Humphrey Bogart were married. (She was Jewish; Bogy was not.)

    1946: One of several post-war Hungarian pogroms took place today at Kunadaras where peasants murdered two Jews and wounded eighteen others.

    1948: For the second time in two days, the 53rd and 54th battalions attacked the Egyptian-held fort of Iraq Suwayden which the British had handed over to Muslim Brotherhood as they departed Palestine.  The irony is that the British had built the fort in the 1930’s to help quell the infamous Arab Revolt.

    1948: Today, “at dawn the Golani staff reported that the enemy was repelled but that they were expecting another attack. The full report read:

    ‘Our forces repelled yesterday a heavy attack of tanks, armored vehicles and infantry that lasted about 8 hours. The attack was repelled by the brave stand of our men, who used Molotov cocktails and their hands against the tanks. 3" mortars and heavy machinery took their toll on the enemy. Field cannons caused a panicked retreat of the enemy, who yesterday left Tzemah. This morning our forces entered Tzemah and took a large amount of booty of French ammunition and light artillery ammunition. We have captured 2 tanks and an armored vehicle of the enemy. The enemy is amassing large reinforcements. We are expecting a renewal of the attack.’”

    1948: Haganah troops returned to Tzemah today “and set up fortifications, the damaged tanks and armored cars were gathered and taken to the rear. The settlers returned that night to identify the bodies of their comrades in the fields and buried them in a common grave in Degania”

    1948: Abba Eban names Arthur Louie, Jacob Robinson, Moshe Tov, Michael Comay and Gideon Rafael as his alternates and advisers at the United Nations and names I.L. Kene as the delegation’s spokesman.

    1948: The former American icebreaker USCGC Northland became “the first warship of the Israeli Sea Corps” when it was commissioned as the INS Eilat.  The ship would be renamed INS Matspen in 1957 when it began serving as a barracks.

    1949(22ndof Iyar, 5709): Forty-two year old Klaus Mann, the son of Thomas and Katia Mann (who was Jewish) passed away today.

    1950: As a sign that Israel was taking its place among the family of nations, the government announced that Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett will meet with South African Prime Minister Daniel F. Malan during his upcoming trip to the African state.

    1951: Birthdate of comedian turned U.S. Senator, Al Franken

    1952(26th of Iyar, 5712):  Actor and film star John Garfield passed away at the age of 39. Born Jacob Julius Garfinkle in New York City, he was sent to a school for problem children after the early death of his mother. It was there that he was introduced to boxing and acting. He won a scholarship to an acting school hosted by Maria Ouspenskaya, and made his Broadway debut in 1932. The play Golden Boy that featured a young prize fighter was written for him, but he was passed over for the role. He decided to leave Broadway and try his success in Hollywood. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1938 film Four Daughters. He gained further fame as the handyman drifter in the Postman Rings Twice. He appeared in several war movies during WW II, usually playing the part of the wisecracking enlisted man (once as the gunner on a B-17 and once as a seaman aboard a sub) who sees the light and comes to understand why America was in the war.  Garfield’s liberal politics brought him to the attention the McCarthyites during the Red Scare of the late 1940’s and 1950’s.  He was forced to appear before the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee; an appearance which proved detrimental to his career

    1952: During a meeting of HUAC a letter from Lillian Hellman was read that stated "I cannot and will not cute my conscience to fit this year's fashions..."

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that upon his return to the U.S., Mr. John Foster Dulles, the U.S. Secretary of State, expressed satisfaction from his first, recent visit to Israel, and recommended to his government a sizeable aid for the country's quick development.

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that two marauders who shot at an Israeli patrol in Jerusalem's "Corridor" were killed in an exchange of fire.

    1953(7th of Sivan, 5713: Second Day of Shavuot

    1954(18th of Iyar, 5714): Lag B'Omer

    1959: Gypsy a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents opened at the Broadway Theatre for the first of 702 performances.

    1961(6thof Sivan, 5721): Yiddish comedian Israel Shumacher who worked with Shimon Dzigan passed away today.

    1963: Birthdate of Richard Appel who tried to follow in the footsteps of his parents, Nina Appel the Dean of Loyola Law School and Alfred Appel  who was a professor of literature at Northwestern.  Appel graduated from law school before turning to a life of writing and producing comedy.

    1966: In Boston, MA, Dr. Alvin Edelstein and his wife Bonnie gave birth to actress and playwright Lisa Edelstein.

    1969: Israeli planes shot down three Egyptian Mig 21s in the Suez Canal zone during what would become known as the War of Attrition.

    1969: A group of about 10 saboteurs was intercepted today near Nahal Argaman in the Jordan Valley. One saboteur was killed in a clash with an Israeli unit. Another was wounded and a third escaped and joined other members of the gang hiding in caves. After the area was surrounded, the saboteurs were ordered to surrender. Six gave themselves up and two who resisted were killed

    1969: Robert Kennedy's murderer Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death.  At the time, the Jordanian youth said Kennedy had to die because of his support of Israel.

    1974: Elizabeth Holtzman, the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, castigated the government for laxness in allowing Nazi war criminals into the U.S.

    1975: While casting parts for “Network” Paddy Chayefsky wrote a “letter to Paul Newman offering him ‘any part in this picture you want’”  -- an offer Newman turned down.

    1977: "Fiddler on the Roof" closed at the Winter Garden Theatre in NYC after 167 performances

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli security men and French policemen killed three gunmen who attacked the El Al desk at the Paris Orly airport. One French policeman was killed in this Arab terror attack and three French passengers were wounded. Most El Al passengers were employees of a French insurance company, who later left to tour Israel.

    1979: "Iran: A National Still in Torment" published today described the execution of Habib Elghanian, a plastics manufacturer and the first Jew to be condemned who was convicted of spying for Israel, was said to have made huge investments in Israel and to have solicited funds for the Israeli army, which the prosecution claimed made him an accomplice "in murderous air raids against innocent Palestinians."“The conviction of Elghanian caused concern among some Jewish businessmen in Iran, who feared that they too could be charged with contributing money to Israel.,33009,920359,00.html

    1980(6thof Sivan, 5740: Shavuot

    1980: Release date of “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” directed by Irvin Kershner.

    1981: ABC broadcast the final episode for season three of “Taxi” a series created by James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels and Ed. Weinberger.

    1982: In “Housing Surge Alters Borough Park,” Alan Oser described the five year growth in the Brooklyn neighborhood which he attributed to a steady expansion of Borough Park's population of Orthodox Jews, about half of them Hasidim. They require large apartments for large families, and accommodations near synagogues and denominational schools.”  The article provides an interesting snapshot of the needs of this unique community.

    1982: Delia Ephron married Jerome Kass.

    1982(28thof Iyar, 5742): Yom Yerushalayim

    1987: James Levine is scheduled to conduct the IPO as part of the orchestra’s 50thanniversary celebrations.

    1988(5th of Sivan, 5748) Erev Shavuot

    1988: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to address a dinner tonight hosted by a group calling itself "Concerned Citizens for New York," an alliance of black businesspeople. The dinner is being held at Terrace in the Park, a kosher catering facility owned by Allen Sherel and Stanley Lewin.  The owners agreed to rent the facility before they found out that Farrakhan was the speaker.  The two Jewish owners promised to donate every penny they make from the dinner to Jewish charities.

    1994: Israeli commandos captured Shiite guerrilla leader Mustafa Dirani

    1998: Jack Lew began serving his as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton.

    1999(6thof Sivan, 5759): Shavuot

    1999: NBC broadcast the final episode of seven season of “Homicide: Life on the Street:” which was based on David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

    1999: U.S. premiere of “The Love Letter” featuring Sasha Spielberg as the “Girl with Sparkler.”

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Advent of the Algorithm: The Idea That Rules the World” by David Berlinski.

    2000(16thof Iyar, 5760): Ninety-six year old George Marshall, civil rights advocate and conservationist and son of Lewis Marshall passed away today. (Wiki erroneously reported this as having happened on May 15)

    2001(28thof Iyar, 5761): Yom Yerushalayim

    2001: Radio broadcast of the annual Alfred Deakin Lecture; this year entitled "My Country – A Personal Journey"in which Robert Mamre describes what it is like for the son of Jewish immigrants to grow up in an Australia that is considered Anglo-Celtic. Author and historian Robert Manne is the Associate Professor of Politics at La Trobe University, a columnist for The Age, The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, and a regular commentator on ABC Radio and Television

    2001: The Houston Post reports that American Jewish Congress v. Bost would be heard in federal district court. American Jewish Congress v. Bost was an establishment clause lawsuit concerning the separation of church and state based on events that took place in Brenham, Texas. The case was the first constitutional challenge to a charitable choice contract. In the community of Brenham, Texas, the American Jewish Congress and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit against a social services program that they believed used a tax-funded jobs program to support religious practices that violated the separation of church and state. Other accusations include use of funds to proselytize, purchase bibles, and coerce participants to "accept Jesus."  The lawsuit went back and forth between state and federal courts and was twice appealed. In January of 2003, the lawsuit that is believed to be the first constitutional challenge to a "charitable choice" contract, came to a conclusion. The case was finally dismissed "on the ground that there was no live controversy."

    2005: In an article entitled “BioHazards,” New York Books reviews “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss.  Krauss willingly talks about her second novel but refuses to talk about her husband, the Jewish writer Jonathan Safran Foer.

    2005(12 of Iyar, 5765): Eighty-six year old actor Stephen Elliot passed away.

    2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of “Any Place I Hang My Hat” by Susan Isaacs, “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss and “Indecision” by Benjamin Kunkel.

    2006: Haaretz reported that author A.B. Yehoshua predicted that Diaspora Jews would move to China if it were to become a world power.  Dr. Avrum Ehrlich, a professor at the Center for Judaic and Inter-Religious Studies at the University of Shandong (China) says that this process is actually already under way. ‘The Jewish community in Hong Kong is thriving,’ he explains, ‘and there are at least 300 Jews now living permanently in Beijing alone.’”

    2006: The first Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival comes to an end.

    2006: After 109 performances, the curtain came down on a revival of Neil Simon’s Theatre at the Cort Theatre.

    2006: The United Jewish Community/Jewish Federation of Las Vegas hosts its biggest and best Yom Ha’Azma’ut festival at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Jewish Agency arranged a variety of day-long activities to celebrate Israel Independence Day in downtown Budapest. 

    2007: The JCC in Manhattan presents a program entitled “Bernstein & Robbins: Dybbuk in Music & Dance.” Jean-Pierre Frohlich, ballet master and former soloist with the New York City, discusses his work with Robbins in staging the ballets and presents several dancers performing excerpts from Dybbuk. Ellen Sorrin, director of The George Balanchine Trust and advisory council member of The Jerome Robbins Trust, serves as moderator.

    2007(4 Sivan 5767): Shir-El Friedman is killed when a Hamas rocket struck vehicle near a bakery next to shopping mall in Sderot. The35 year old woman was struck by shrapnel and succumbed to her injuries as she was being rushed to the hospital.

    2007: Mark Helprin “was said to be shocked” by the negative response reported in today’s New York Times to his op-ed piece “in which he argued that intellectual property rights should be assigned to an author or artist as far as Congress could practically extend them.”

    2008:AJHS hosts the 2008 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Dinner, commemorating the Jewish Chaplains who led survivors of the Holocaust from DP camps to Israel and the US. Sid Lapidus will be honored for his deep commitment to the American Jewish Historical Society.

    2008: The finals of the European Champions League, soccer’s most prized club competition, will have a decidedly Jewish flavor. Not on the field of the Loujniki stadium in Moscow, where none of the 22 players of English teams Manchester United and Chelsea will be Jewish — but on the sidelines. To wit, in the VIP lounge, Chelsea’s owner, Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, will square off against American billionaire Malcolm Glazer, who bought Manchester United three years ago. In addition, Chelsea’s coach is an unheralded 52-year-old Israeli by the name of Avram Grant. A discreet man with no reputation in the soccer world, he has incurred a constant flow of criticism for his lack of knowledge and for the defensive style of his team. But the mood has changed drastically. Grant managed to bring his club to the finals for the first time since Abramovich began spending millions in 2003 to build a contender, igniting a buying spree of top soccer clubs in England by such likeminded moguls as Glazer, who also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team. Grant wears his Judaism on his sleeve — literally. In the semifinals game, he wore a yellow armband bearing the Star of David to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. After the victory, he took a day off to travel to Auschwitz with his two teenage children to honor the memory of his father’s family. His father, Meir, now 80, lost his parents and five of his six siblings while they were hiding in a Russian forest to escape the Nazis. Now Grant is going back to Russia to become the first Israeli coach to win on the big European stage.

    2008:  In Jaffa, System Ali plays on the roof of Mishkenot Ruth Daniel. Over the past year, System Ali has been performing in different venues throughout Jaffa, Tel Aviv and beyond, drawing impressive crowds whose diversity reflects that of the individuals on stage.”

    2008: The 92ndStreet Y presents “The Psychology of the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis.”Moises Salinas explores the way psychological factors impede the peace process. 

    2008; Jewish Braille International dinner was held at the Harmonie Club. “Founded in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute by Leopold Dubov, the blind son of a rabbi, and Rabbi Michael Aaronson, who had been blinded in World War I, today the JBI library serves 35,000 individuals in 30 countries in eight languages — all at no charge.”

    2009: Michael Sandel delivered the 2009 Reith Lectures on “A New Citizenship” today at Oxford, UK.

     2009:The Center for Jewish History and the Leo Baeck Institute presentedHappy Birthday, Felix: Music of Felix Mendelssohn and His Contemporaries” withPhoenix Chamber Ensemble performing rare arrangements of Felix Mendelssohn's Hebriden, op.26 and Ruy Blas, Op.95 Overtures and Symphony No.1 in C minor for 1 piano-4 hands, violin and cello and Robert Schumann's 12 Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children, Op.85

    2009: Writer and essayist Phillip Lopate discusses “Notes On Sontag,” his reflections on the late Susan Sontag and her role as essayist, novelist and playwright, at Politics and Prose Bookstore, in Washington, D.C.

    2009: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech at Ammunition Hill in memory of soldiers who fell in the Six-Day War in 1967 in which he said, “Jerusalem was always ours, will always be ours, and will never again be divided.”

    2009: The four men arrested last night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y. were petty criminals who appeared to be acting alone, not in concert with any terrorist organization, the New York City police commissioner said today.

    2010: The 92ndSt Y schedules two events to celebrate Shabbat: in the morning a Shabbat Bakery where participants can bake their own Challah and a Shabbat Rooftop Dinner, an intergenerational family Shabbat dinner experience in a meaningful and welcoming environment.

    2010: Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, “was honored at Wagner College during the 123rd Graduation Ceremony today with an Honorary Doctorate.”

    2010: As part of her Bat Mitzvah weekend at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Shannon Williams and her family will be participating in Friday night services.

    2011: “The Source” directed by Radu Mihăileanu  premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival

    2011: The AJMF Festival is scheduled to host its Closing Night Party at Center Stage.

    2011: Korin Alal and Eran Zur are scheduled present a joint concert at the JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ.

    2011: Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today that the differences between Israel and the United States on the peace process are smaller than they seem.

    2011: In “Harold Bloom: An Uncommon Reader,” Sam Tanenhaus reviewed The Anatomy as a Way of Life, the latest literary effort by 80 year Jewish man of letters Harold Bloom.

    2012: In recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month, the DC Public Library  presented a lecture entitled “Jewish Civil Life at a Time of Civil War: American Jewry in the Mid-19th Century” during which Dr. Lauren Strauss, assistant professor of History and Judaic Studies at the George Washington University, will discuss the Jewish-American experience before 1870, with a focus on the status of the Jewish community in the decades surrounding the Civil War.

    2012: In a great example of “acts of loving kindness”, The Derfner Judaica Museum located at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Bronx, NY is scheduled to offer private group tours for individuals with dementia and their family members or care partners that will focus on select highlights of this fascinating institution. 

    2012: Tefillat HaShlah - the Shlah's Prayer should be recited today before sunset.  The prayers was composed Isaiah Horowoitz, a noted 17th century rabbi who moved to Palestine in the 1620’s, living there until his death ten years later. “Rabbi Horwitz wrote that the eve of the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan is the most auspicious time to pray for the physical and spiritual welfare of one's children and grandchildren, since Sivan was the month that the Torah was given to the Jewish people. He composed a special prayer to be said on this day, known as the Tefillat HaShlah - the Shlah's Prayer”

    2012: The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Zeev Dorman is scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall

    2012: Aaron Swartz delivered the keynote address at the F2C: Freedom to Connect 2012 event in Washington, D.C. following the defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

    2012: Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman is among those scheduled to perform at the Good Shepherd Church in New York.

    2012: The Yellow Ticket with Alicia Svigals is scheduled to be the final performance at the 13th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival.

    2013: The 7thindependent conference for the Hannah Arendt Circle sponsored by The Institute of Jewish Studies and the Centre for Philosophy of Culture at the University of Antwerp in Belgium is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: The IPO annual Young Leadership concert is scheduled to take place in Manhattan

    2013: Dudu Fisher is scheduled to perform at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ.

    2013(12thof Sivan, 5773): Eighty-year old Leonard Marsh the founder of the Snapple Beverage Corporation passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2013: Eric Garcetti was elected Mayor of Los Angeles making him the first Jewish person to hold this position.

    2013: Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and the IDF said today that Israel has destroyed an unspecified Syrian target after fire from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights border damaged an IDF vehicle

    2013: As the debate over the operating hours of the capital’s largest and newest (yet-toopen) movie complex Cinema City continues, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat – who launched his reelection campaign last week – said today he supports its forced Shabbat closure.

    2014: Today, at the 4th International Writers’ Festival, S.Y. Agnon is scheduled to be honored with “a series of events, including a visit to his home and library in the neighborhood of Talpiot. The day’s events also include a writing jam with Eshkol Nevo and Orit Gidali, and one of the Writing Here, Writing There conversations, this time between A. B. Yehoshua and Nicole Krauss.” (As reported by Jessica Steinberg)

    2014: The opening reception for “The Hidden Passengers” organized by Avi Lubin is scheduled to begin this evening.

    2014: “Pope Francis will adhere to a policy of “total balance” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his close friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka said today in Jerusalem, though he noted that Francis’s scheduled laying of a wreath at the grave of Theodor Herzl would be “a meaningful act.”  (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

    2014: “Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum pulled out of the massive Leviathan gas joint venture off the coast of Israel — one of the largest deposits found in the world.”

    2014: Today, “the commander of the Israeli Air Force described a top-to-bottom change that has led to a 400 percent increase in the IAF’s firepower over the past two years, drastically shortening the time it would take Israel to win a future war.” (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

    2014: A court hearing is scheduled today for Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago whose failure to disclose her conviction for killing two people with a bomb in Jerusalem in 1969 should lead to her deportation under U.S. Immigration law.

    2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to host a lecture on Do Jews Believe in Saints? A Medieval Rabbi and his Posthumous Travels by Lucia Raspe.

    2015: Professor David Rechter is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Trauma on the Eastern Front: European Jews and the First World War: at the University of London.


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    May 22

    334 BCE:  The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus. This was the first step of a “journey” that would lead to the turning Egypt and Asia Minor (a territory that included Jerusalem and Judea) into bastions of Hellenistic culture.  This would create a collision course with Jewish values that would lead to the Maccabee Revolt followed by decades of internecine fighting that would really not come to an end until the Second Temple was destroyed.

    124 BCE (23rd of Iyar, 3618):  Simon the Hasmonean, drove the “Greeks” – the Syrians and their Hellenized Jewish allies – out of the citadel which was their last stronghold in Jerusalem. While Jews celebrate Chanukah, it is this victory, 40 years later, under Judah’s youngest brother that marks the defeat of the Syrians that led to an independent Jewish state under the Hasmonean dynasty.

    337:  Constantine, known as the first Christian Emperor of the Roman Emperor for legalizing the practice of Christianity in the Roman Empire passed away. As the following entry shows, Constantine not only promoted Christianity, he was instrumental in the creation of hostile environment for the Jewish people. “Constantine instituted several legislative measures regarding the Jews: they were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. Conversion of Christians to Judaism was outlawed. Congregations for religious services were restricted, but Jews were allowed to enter Jerusalem on Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple. Constantine also supported the separation of the date of Easter from the Jewish Passover stating in his letter after the First Council of Nicaea: "... it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. ... Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way." Theodoret's Ecclesiastical History 1.9 records the Epistle of the Emperor Constantine addressed to those Bishops who were not present at the Council: "It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. ... Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. ... avoiding all contact with that evil way. ... who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them. ... a people so utterly depraved. ... Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. ... no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews."

    1176:  Murder attempt by the Hashshashin (Assassins) on Saladin near Aleppo. This attempt on the Muslim Warrior-King was part of the on-going clash between sects of Islam.  From the Jewish point of view, Saladin’s survival is good news.  After capturing Jerusalem from the Crusaders, Saladin allowed the Jews to return to the City of David during a century long ban imposed by the Christians.  The event was eloquently described by the Jewish poet Al-harizi in 1190.  Saladin reportedly hired Moses Maimonides to serve as his personal physician.

    1370: After killing a rich Jew in Brussels, Belgium, the perpetrators tried to cover their tracks by accusing the Jews of host desecration. The perpetrators escaped in the ensuing confusion. A few hundred Jews were killed and the rest banished from the country. A holiday was declared by the local churches.

    1377: Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe. Wycliffe’s doctrines were part of the heresies threatening Papal authority through out northern Europe. This is the same Pope Gregory who had ordered the burning of Jewish books a year earlier in 1376, an act that might be seen more as a way of enforcing Papal authority and the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church.

    1760(7th of Sivan, 5520): Second Day of Shavuot

    1760(7th of Sivan, 5520): Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) ben Eliezer (רבי ישראל בן אליעזר better known as the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chasidic Judaism, passed away. [Hopefully this brief entry will spur readers to find out more about a person who had such an impact on the Jewish people.]

    1793(17th of Iyar 5553): Rabbi Ezekeil Landau passed away. Born in 1713, in Prague, he was a brilliant Talmudist and Halachic authority. Landau was also unusual in that he endorsed the idea of leaning math and science, and supported the traditionalist element within the Maskilim (Enlightenment) movement. Landau helped to establish the first Jewish school in Prague. His magnum opus is called the Nodeh B'Yehuda which is still very popular today. It contains eight hundred and fifty-five Responsa divided into two volumes.

    1799: In Paris, Le Moniteur Universal published a short statement sent from the French forces besieging Acre that: "Buonaparte a fait publier une proclamation, dans laquelle il invite les juifs de l'Asie et de l'Afrique à venir se ranger sous ses drapeaux, pour rétablir l'ancienne Jérusalem; il en a déjà armé un grand nombre, et leurs bataillons menacent Alep." This has been translated in English as: "Bonaparte has published a proclamation in which he invites all the Jews of Asia and Africa to gather under his flag in order to re-establish the ancient Jerusalem. He has already given arms to a great number, and their battalions threaten Aleppo.”  Unbeknownst to the newspaper, Napoleon had already abandoned the siege of the Acre, leaving it in the hands of the Ottomans and surrendering his designs to create a French empire in the Orient.

    1802: Birthdate Bavarian poet Leopold Feldmann.

    1804: Birthdate of Pharmacologist Jonathan Perieira, the native of London whose “book on Materia Medica was the first great English work on Pharmacology.”

    1809(7th of Sivan, 5569): Second Day of Shavuot

    1811: Birthdate of Leopold Löw, Hungarian rabbi and theologian.

    1813: Birthdate of composer Richard Wagner.

    1814: Birthdate of Joshua Heschel Schoor, “Galician Hebrew scholar, critic, and communal worker.”

    1817(7thof Sivan, 5577): Second day of Shavuot; Yizkor

    1820: Birthdate of Isidor Binswanger, a leader of the Philadelphia Jewish community who served as President of Maimonides College, the first Jewish institution of higher learning in the United States and the father of Fanny Binswanger Hoffman.

    1836(6thof Sivan, 5596): Shavuot is celebrated for the last time under the Presidency of Andrew Jackson.

    1838: In Manchester, England, Phillip Solomon and Catherine Hart gave birth to Jacob P. Solomon, who studied at Notre Dame and earned a law degree from Columbia before marrying Frances Stitch and becoming the editor of several publications including the Jewish Record and the Hebrew Leader while also writing “Chronicles of the Rabbis” “Chips from Masonic Quarries” and “The Modern Wandering Jew.”

    1843: “The first major wagon train” heading for that part of the Northwest Territory now known as Oregon…”departs from Elm Grove, Missouri traveling along the Oregon Trail.  According to Scott Cline, author of Community Structure on the Urban Frontier: The Jews of Portland, Oregon Jacob Goldsmith and Lewis May who arrived in Portland, Oregon in 1849. They were the first Jewish settlers in Portland and possibly in all of Oregon.

    1843: Birthdate of Adolf Aron Baginsky, a leading German physician who was a staunch defender of his people against the growing anti-Semitism in his homeland. “He is also the author of an essay entitled, "Die Hygienische Bedeutung der Mosäischen Gesetzgebung," in which he comes forward as a stanch defender and enthusiastic admirer of the hygienic laws of Moses” and as a leader of the Berlin Jewish community opposed moving Sabbath services to Sunday.

    1846: A wagon train owned by Albert Speyer left Independence, MO today headed for Santa Fe New Mexico.  A native of Prussia, Speyer had been operating wagon trains since 1843.  Two of the 25 wagons making this trip were reportedly filled with Yager rifles and ammunition that had been ordered by Angel Trias, the governor of Chihuahua, Mexico.  At this time, Santa Fe was still a part of Mexico and Speyer had no way of knowing the United States was about to go to war with its neighbor to the south. 

    1847(7thof Sivan, 5607): 2nd Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1850: The following article published today entitled “Paris—Foundation of a Jewish Hospital” described work being done to establish a Jewish hospital in Paris and provided a snapshot of the French Jewish community.

    The editor of the “Archives Israelites,” in his May number, says: “Among the establishments, the most imperiously demanded is a Jewish hospital. Let the individual opinions of each of us concerning our ceremonies, especially those which concern dietetic laws, be more or less rigid, it is nevertheless the duty of an Israelitish administration to take care of those under their charge, who would sooner die than enter an hospital, where the observance of their religious rules is impossible. Moreover, when we think of the interference of the clergy, who seek to fish for souls, and who often find auxiliaries against the tolerant wishes of the directors of hospitals, in the sisters (of charity) who attend on the sick, no one can deny that a Jewish hospital is necessary.”—After some farther remarks he continues: “Thanks to Mr. James Rothschild, Paris will have a Jewish hospital. He has just purchased a piece of ground in Rue Picpus, Nos. 62, 64, and 66, measuring 7,500 metres, of which 800 are occupied by buildings, and the other 6,700 are laid out in gardens, walks, &c. The buildings consist of three houses contiguous to each other. The price of the purchase, with the expenses and building, will reach nearly 120,000 francs, about $22,800. A large portion of the land can be taken, independently of the hospital, for the use of the poor class.” The consistory of Paris very properly called on Mr. Rothschild, on the 22d of May, to thank him for his generosity. Dr. Cahen, in a few, well-chosen words, expressed the gratitude felt by the whole community, and used this remarkable phrase: “God has given you wealth, but He has also given you a heart to make, so charitable a use of it as this is.” Mr. R. was greatly moved by the act, and the words addressed to him; and made a suitable reply. His wife was present, and active as she is in all that is charitable, she took part in the conversation which afterwards sprang up between them and the deputation, and Mr. R. made particular inquiries after many matters of interest to the congregation, and showed himself ready to continue them his kindness.—It is not often, our readers will confess, that we praise the rich; but such an act of true benevolence as this just exhibited by Mr. Rothschild of Paris richly deserves to be recorded in our magazine; and we hope to hear that he has found imitators in this country; for though we have none who control such ample resources, there is no lack of means among us, if their possessors could once be persuaded that they could devote a considerable portion of their wealth to worthy objects of charity without robbing their families, the usual

    1851(20th of Iyar, 5611): Mordecai Manuel Noah, author, diplomat and one of the most influential Jewish leaders in the first half of the 19th century passed away. Born in 1785, he was a diplomatic representative for the North Africa when the new nation was making its foray into the Moslem world.  In a later episode he gained the support of Adams, Jefferson and Madison (all founding fathers and U.S. Presidents) in reiterating the American belief in the separation of church and state.  He may best be remembered for his attempt to create a utopian refuge for displaced European Jewry on an island on the Niagara River called Ararat.  [Editor’s note: this blog does not have a enough space to do justify to the life of this fascinating Jewish American leader who set the tone for American Jewry – proud to be both Jewish and a citizen of the United States.]

    1851: In Luxembourg, Rabbi Samuel Hirsch and his wife gave birth to Emil Gustav Hirsch, the American Rabbi was a major leader of Reform Judaism.

    1852: Birthdate of Emil Gustav Hirsch the son of Rabbi Samuel Hirsh and the son-in-law of Rabbi David Einhorn who was a major leader in the Reform movement in the United States.

    1856: Astronomer Hermann Goldschmidt discovered asteroid 41 Daphne.

    1858(9thof Sivan, 5618): Maimonides scholar David Ottensosser passed away today.

    1859(18th of Iyar, 5619): Lag B’Omer

    1860: Today, “in the United States Senate” Louisiana Senator “Judah P. Benjamin spoke in scathing terms of Stephen A. Douglas and lauded Lincoln, the question under consideration being measures introduced by Jefferson Davis on the subject of States Rights and Slavery.” (Benjamin was Jewish – the rest were not.)

    1864: During the Civil War, the Red River Campaign in which Colonel H. Newbold of the 14thIowa was killed came to an end.

    1866: Daniel DeLeon arrived in Hamburg from Curacao.

    1869: Ferdinand Esterhazy, the real villain in the Dreyfus Affair began his military career by joining the Roman Legion today having failed the entrance exams for Saint-Cyr.

    1871: Reverend Howard Crosby chaired a meeting at New York’s Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church where plans were discussed to explore the area along the Jordan River this October.  The explorers hoped to find tombs of the Israelite Kings, the Ark of the Covenant and/or the tablets of stone.  Crosby pointed out that a previous expedition had found a large Moabite stone with letters that were more like English than ancient Hebrew.

    1872: “Another Influential Southerner Declares For Grant” published today described the decision of Georgia General Henry C. Wayne to support the man who defeated the Confederacy because he did not want to support a party “being carried in the pockets of a foreign Jew banker” referring to August Belmont.

    1874(6thof Sivan, 5634): Shavuot

    1875: Henrietta Held joined the people of Israel in conversion ceremony held following afternoon services at a the synagogue located on Sixth Street near Second avenue in New York City

    1878: The funeral of Rabbi Samuel M. Isaacs took place this morning at Shaari Tephila on West 44th Street in New York City.  Rabbis A.S. Solomon, Menes and Morais of Philadelphia participated in the service.  Burial took place at Cypress Hill Cemetery

    1880(12thof Sivan, 5640): Controversial reforming Rabbi Joseph Aub passed away in Berlin.

    1883: One hundred thirty houses belonging to Jews were destroyed during a riot tonight at Rostoff.  The riot began after it was reported that an unnamed Jew had murder a Russian.

    1885: French author Victor Hugo passed away. His works included “Cromwell,” a play about the English leader that included a portrayal of Manasseh Ben Israel that was “a grotesque travesty, ”  “Marie Tudor” a play that includes a “despicable Jewish ursuer” and “Toquemada,” a play about the Spanish Inquisition that was really “a protest against the Pogroms in Russia” that were occurring at the time of the play’s production.

    1889: In Dombrad, Hungary, Chana Moskovitz and her shoemaker husband Vilmos Maltz gave birth to Herman Maltz, the founder Maltz Furniture Company in Los Angeles, CA.

    1889: Newspaper coverage published today described the new building of the Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington, Illinois “as, not only the handsomest and most unique in design of any building in the city, but comparable to the best of any Jewish synagogue in the West” and went on to say that the construction “was accomplished by a group of 24 members.”

    1891(11thof Sivan, 5762): Louis Raphael who had shot his fiancée Rachel Weinberg before turning the gun on himself died today from the self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    1891: Sir Robert Fowler passed.  In 1883 while serving as Lord Mayor of London refused to allow Adolf Stocker, the German “Jew-baiter” to lecture at the Mansion House.

    1891: “Dr. Henry M Leipziger” published today described the career of the newly elected Assistant Superintendent of the New York Public Schools who had become the Director of the Hebrew Technical Institute in 1884 where he transformed the school in “a model institution of this kind.”

    1892: It was reported today that in 1891 The Maimonides Library circulations amounted to 47,471, an increase of 20 per cent over that of 1890 and 30 per cent over that of 1888.

    1893: A number of the Polish and Russian Jews who arrived yesterday aboard the SS Amalfi are being held at Ellis Island because they are destitute which means they may not be able to enter the United States.

    1893: In an interview with a reporter from the New York Times, Rabbi Adolph Rabin denied accusations that he had not provided solace and comfort to convicted murders Isaac Rosenwig and Harris Blank before their execution in Pennsylvania.  He claimed that the difficulty in meeting with them arose from the fact that the killers wanted him to help them commit suicide.

    1894: The first conference of Hebrew and Christian Workers Israel in the United States and Canada was held today at Park Street Church in Boston, MA.

    1894: The first American Congress of Liberal Religious Societies met at Temple Sinai in Chicago, Illinois.

    1895: The Monte Relief Society, which was founded by Mrs. Sofia Monte Loebinger, is scheduled to host a fund raising festival today at the Grand Central Palace.

    1898: In Vienna, 30 year old Siegfried Reginald Wolf married Ida Wolf.

    1898: In Philadelphia, “Mayer Sulzberger delivered the decennial address” today at the annual meeting of the Jewish Public Society of America at Keneseth Israel.

    1898: Dr. Stephen Wise is scheduled to officiate at the funeral services for 62 old year Herman Phillips “a teacher connected with the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society” who previously served as a rabbi at synagogues in Boston and Toronto, Canada.

    1898: The Grand Lodge No. 1 of the Independent Order Free Sons of Israel hosted a patriotic service tonight at Temple Rodolph Sholom.

    1898: “In Foreign Lands” published today described the “about-face” taken by French journalist Henri Rochefort, a leading anti-Dreyfus leader.  At first he accused Dreyfus and his family of being responsible for the Spanish-American War.  Now he claims that the Dreyfus family and the Rothschilds are responsible for the support shown by the French press for the cause of Spain.

    1899: The Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls opened its doors on New York's East 63rd Street.

    1899: The widow of Leopold S. Levy who died when ruffians fractured his skills is still hospitalized in New York Hospital following a failed attempt to take her own life.  According to a note that was found, she was despondent and depressed by the death of her husband.

    1900: Anti-Semitic riots came to an end at Stolp and Butow

    1906: Birthdate of comic Harry Ritz of the Ritz Brothers. Born Harry Joachim, Harry was the 'middleman' of the Ritz Brothers, and was an inspiration for Danny Kaye and Sid Caesar. In 1934, The Ritz Brothers appeared in their first film, "Hotel Anchovy". The team worked for Fox and later Universal. He died of cancer in 1986

    1907: Birthdate of Harry Ritz, the youngest of the “Ritz Brothers.”

    1912(6thof Sivan, 5672): Shavuot

    1912:  Birthdate of Herbert C. Brown.  Born in England, this son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine moved to the United States where he earned both his B.S. and PhD in Chemistry at the University of Chicago.  Brown won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1979, sharing it with Georg Witttig.  He passed away in 2004.

    1914: The Becker-Rosenthal trial in which Charles Becker and members of the Lenox Avenue Gang faced charges for having murdered bookmaker Herman Rosenthal came to a close.

    1914: Birthdate of Lipman “Lipa” Bers, the native of Riga who became an award-winning American mathematician and human rights activist.

    1915: President harry Hersh was the toastmaster at “the fourth annual Banquet of the Wisconsin Menorah Society” which “was held today in the Women’s Building of the University.”

    1915:  It was reported today that Judge Arthur G. Powell, a former member of the State Court of Appeals in Georgia who has already written to the governor expressing his belief in the innocence of Leo Frank has “said he understand other prominent lawyers would write letters asserting their belief that Frank was not guilty, or at least that his guilt had not been sufficiently established.”

    1915: According to reports published today, the Atlanta Journal is scheduled to publish “an editorial demanding clemency for Leo M Frank.”

    1915: “The final effort to save the life of Leo M. Frank is in the hands of William W. Howard of Augusta, an ex-Congressman, who has been selected by friends of Frank to present the case to the State Prison Commission.”

    1915: In Macon, GA, “Governor-elect Nat E. Harris announced this afternoon that if it should fall to his lot to render the final decision in the case of Leo M. Frank, he would deal with the matter from a purely Georgian standpoint.”

    1915: “The petition for the life of Leo M. Frank to which a million names are to be signed before it is sent to the Governor of Georgia and the Pardoning Commission of that state, is nearing completion according to an announcement made” tonight “by the members of the Woman’s Peace Society who are procuring the signatures at Booth 3 in the Cosmopolitan Garden

    1916: The Senate Committee on the Judiciary today distributed a letter from Dr. Charles W. Eliot, President Emeritus of Harvard University, endorsing Louis D. Brandeis of Boston for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Dr. Lowell, President of Harvard, has signed a memorial opposing Mr. Brandeis's confirmation on the ground that he was unfit for the Supreme bench. The confirmation process for Brandeis was a bruising affair laced with anti-Semitism.

    1917: In Brooklyn, Yiddish comedian Isidor Meltzer, the brother of screenwriter Lewis Meltzer and his wife gave birth to Sidney Meltzer who gained fame character actor Sid Melton – a name you might not know but a face you will not forget.

    1917: In Chicago, funeral services are scheduled to be held for Adolph J. Meyers, the brother of Mrs. Abe Adler and Mrs. H. J. Marks.

    1917: In Chicago, funeral services are scheduled to be held for Caroline Newman, “the wife of the late Adolph Newman” with internment at Graceland cemetery.

    1917: The Annual meeting of the Chicago-Winfield Tuberculosis Sanatorium is scheduled to be held this evening at the Standard Club at Michigan Avenue and 24thStreet.

    1919: The Rumanian government granted citizenship to all native-born Jews.

    1920: The Dearborn Independent, owned by Henry Ford, began publishing the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

    1920:  Birthdate of astrophysicist Thomas Gold. Gold was bron in Austria and educated in Switzerland and Great Britain, In early 1959, when Cornell University offered him the opportunity to set up an interdisciplinary unit for radio-physics and space research, and take charge of the Department of Astronomy, he accepted the appointment. He remained at Cornell until his death.

    1922:  Birthdate of Quinn Martin, head of Quinn Martin Productions

    1922: U.S. premiere of “Silver Wings” photographed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg.

    1922: In Manhattan, Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Klein gave birth to Judith Klein whom the world would come to know as film critic Judith Crist.

    1924: Cornerstone laying ceremony for the construction of the building housing the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva began today.

    1924: In Romania students hired a servant girl to run through the street screaming, "My Jewish employers dragged me down into the cellar and wanted my blood for ritual purposes."  This had the result of causing attacks on Jews in the country. Several months later in Aleppo, Syria, the same charges of "blood ritual" surfaced against the Jews.

    1924: In Chicago, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and killed Robert Franks. All of the parties in this "Crime of the Century" were Jewish except for the lawyer who would defend Leopold Loeb - Clarence Darrow.  The story provided the basis for the novel (and film by the same name) called Compulsion.

    1925: With the approach of summer Beth-El Congregation in Camden, NJ held the last of its “late services on Friday evening.

    1926: It was announced today that Mrs. Bertha V. Guggenheimer of Lynchburg, Va., has a established a $50,000 trust fund that will build playgrounds in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv, as well as other cities and farming settlements in Palestine. The playgrounds will operate on a non-sectarian basis meaning they are open to Christian, Moslem and Jewish children.

    1927(20thof Iyar, 5687): Sixty-one year old Louis Bandes, the journalist who wrote under the name of Louis Miller passed away today.

    1930: The Jewish community in Palestine begins a general strike to protest the blocking of immigration

    1930: Birthdate of Harvey Milk, San Francisco’s first openly homosexual member of the City Council.  Milk and the Mayor of San Francisco were brutally gunned down in 1978 by a political rival who would get off on the Twinkie Defense. 

    1931(6thof Sivan, 5691): Shavuot

    1931: In Camden, NJ, Ruth Kaplan offered the “Opening Prayer” to start Confirmation Services at Congregation Beth-El

    1932: The Hakoah All-Stars rallied in the second half to gain a tie with the German All-Stars in what was billed as goodwill soccer game at the Polo Grounds. The contest was sponsored by leading Jewish and German citizens as a means of promoting interracial understanding. Mayor Walker, honorary chairman of the sponsoring committee kicked off the ball at the start of play. At half time, Carol Sherman, former Attorney General of New York Stated presented medal to the Americans who had competed in the International Jewish Olympics recently held in Tel Aviv.

    1932: Birthdate of Yosef Haim Yerushalmi, a groundbreaking and wide-ranging scholar of Jewish history whose meditation on the tension between collective memory of a people and the more prosaic factual record of the past influenced a generation of thinkers.

    1933(22ndof Iyar, 5693): Fifty-nine year old Sandor Ferenczi, the noted Hungarian psychoanalyst and friend of Sigmund Freud passed away today.

    1934: Birthdate of Ya'acov Ra'anan, the native of Vienna who made Aliyah in 1939, who served as the commander of the INS Dakar on its last voyage.

    1934: Photo of Dr. George Gordon, the Director of the Minneapolis Talmud Torah who “began his career as a Jewish education at the first Hebrew Free School on Minneapolis’s north side, where as a twenty-year old he helped to the teach the Hebrew alphabet to young students.”

    1935(19th of Iyar, 5695): Max Hans Kohn, a Jewish student died in Dachau. Reportedly he was the first Jew to die there in 10 months.

    1936(1stof Sivan, 5696): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1936(1stof Sivan, 5696): Seventy-three year old Richard Gottheil the son of Rabbi Gustav Gottheil, passed away. Dr. Gottheil was a noted scholar, Zionist leader and the founder of Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT).

    1936: Jewish-operated buses were again fired at today on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, but there were no casualties and the curfew in Jerusalem was extended starting a half hour earlier (6:30 p.m.) in response to escalating Arab violence.

    1938: Birthdate of actor/ director Richard Benjamin whose work includes Goodbye Columbus and He& She.

    1938: As Arab terrorism escalated, The Palestine Post reported that the Government forces practically occupied Arab villages in Galilee in an effort to check the increasing terror and lawlessness. Jewish settlements of Ein Hazorea and Mishmar Haemek came under a concentrated Arab terrorist fire. The Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline was cut once more and set on fire near Nazareth.

    1938: The Palestine Post published a special, 20-page Palestine-British supplement to mark the Empire Day.

    1938: In New York City drama Coach Lee Strasberg and actress Paula Strasberg gave birth to Susan Strasberg who was the original Anne Frank.

    1938(21st of Iyar, 5698): Rabbi Simon Glazer passed away.  Born in 1878 at Kovno Russia, Glazer the Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogues in Montreal (1907-1918); Chief Rabbi of Kansas City (1920-1923); Rabbi of Beth Hamidrash Hagadol in NYC (1923-1927); Temple Beth-El in Brooklyn (1927-1930); Maimonides Synagogue of NYC starting in 1930.  Glazer had also served as President of the Central Council of Rabbis of America and Chairman of its Executive Committee.  He wrote or translated 26 books including a “History of Israel” and translations of the works of Maimonides and the High Holiday prayer books.

    1939: Germany signs a "Pact of Steel" with Italy.  This is one more step on the road to World War II.

    1939(4th of Sivan, 5699): Ernst Toller, a German-Jewish playwright and active anti-fascist, who had fought for the Kaiser in World War I and whose sister and brother had been taken to a concentration camp, hung himself at the Mayflower Hotel.  W.H. Auden memorialized him with a poem entitled “In Memory of Ernst Toller” published in 1940 in an anthology called Another Time.

    1941: Jews in Croatia are forced to wear yellow badges.

    1941: Germans stole a 16th century Torah scroll from the Sephardic community at Salonica.   This Torah was said to have come from Spain. The Germans then burned all the books and three Sefer Torahs. When the chief rabbi returned, he found all of the libraries and Jewish manuscripts destroyed.

    1942(6th of Sivan, 5702): First Day of Shavuot

    1942: Herbert Baum and his wife Marianne were arrested today for their part in “an arson attack on an anticommunist and anti-Semitic propaganda exhibition prepared by Joseph Goebbels at the Berliner Lustgarten.”

    1942(6th of Sivan, 5702): In an exercise conducted in a forest outside Mielec, Poland, Gestapo agents "cast" Jews as partisans, beat and mutilate them, and then kill them.

    1942(6th of Sivan, 5702): Three hundred children are taken away and sent to Chelmno where they were gassed to death.

    1944: George Mandel-Mantello, a Jewish diplomat who, while working for the Salvadoran consulate in Geneva, Switzerland, saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by providing fictive Salvadoran citizenship papers and by publicizing the deportation of Jews from Hungary to the death camps” left Switzerland for Bucharest .

    1944(29th of Iyar, 5704): For five days Jews readied for rail transport from Munkács, Ukraine, and from the Hungarian town of Sátoraljaújhely resist being loaded. Some are shot.  Resistance began on May 22 and ended on May 27.

    1945(10th of Sivan, 5705): Polish freebooters stop a train in the Bialystok region of Poland and beat and abduct a Jew named Mejer Sznajder. This took place after V.E. Day and the end of Holocaust.

    1946: Karl Frank, Nazi protector of Bohemia-Moravia, was executed in Prague.

    1946(21st of Iyar, 5706): Two Jews were killed and another fifteen were injured in pogrom begun because a crowd of Hungarians in Kunmadras believed the Jews had made sausage out of Christian children.

    1948: David Ben-Gurion ordered Yigal Yadin, the Chief of Staff, to launch an attack on the police fort at Laturun “without delay.”  Ben-Gurion wanted Yadin to use the Seventh Brigade for the attack.  Yadin was opposed to the attack.  The brigade was composed of 2,000 troops several hundred of whom were Holocaust survivors who had just gotten off the boat from the Cyprus detention camps.  They had little or no training.  Many of them did not speak Hebrew.  In other words, the Seventh Brigade was a brigade in name only.  Yadin knew they were not a fighting force and sending them to attack a hilltop fortress manned by the Jordanian Arab Legion was a recipe for disaster.  To make matters worse, the Seventh lacked basic equipment, including water bottles or canteens.  Considering the heat, a lack of water would hamper even veteran troops.  Ben-Gurion’s stubborn insistence must be seen against the backdrop of the times.  Despite a great deal of criticism, Ben-Gurion had accepted the partition plan even though it meant Jerusalem would not be part of the Jewish state,  Instead it was to governed by an international body.  The Arabs rejected this concept and turned Jerusalem into a battleground.  They laid siege to the city and sought to cut it off from the rest of the Jewish state.  Ben-Gurion was determined to do whatever it took to ensure that Jerusalem would be Jewish.  The hilltop fortress of Latrun was the main obstacle to opening the road to from the coast to Jerusalem.  Hence his insistence on the attack even if it flew in the face of the best advice from is commanders

    1948: Troops from the Carmeli Brigade took up positions at Masada and Sha'ar HaGolan in expectation of a counter-attack from the Arabs that did not come.  After a week, despite their edge in armor and artillery, apparently, they had had enough.

    1948: The fighting that had begun on May 15 known collectively as the Battles of the Kinarot Valley came to an end. The most memorable fighting took place between the Israelis and the Syrians at Dagania Alef and Degania Bet. Words cannot describe the heroism of the Jewish fighters who stood their ground against overwhelming odds. 

    1948: It was reported today that Thomas C. Wasson, the U.S. Consul General for the United States in Jerusalem had attempted to stop the Arab Legion shelling of the Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University on Mount Scopus: "The American Consul is reported to have contacted the Legion requesting it to stop firing on Jewish positions in and around the buildings. The Legion Commander replied that the buildings were being used by Jewish forces to mortar and machine-gun the Arab-occupied Sheikh Jarrah quarter and handed the Consul surrender terms to convey to the Jews. The Commander asked that all fighting Jews in the hospital and University surrender as prisoners of war and that all doctors, nurses, professors, and scientists be handed over to the Red Cross.”

    1948: “Just after 2.00pm, Consul General Thomas C Wasson was shot while returning to the US Consulate from a meeting of the UN Truce Commission at the French Consulate in Jerusalem. While crossing Wauchope Street (now Abraham Lincoln/Hess) to enter the alley leading to the Consulate, he was shot by a .30 caliber rifle. The bullet entered his chest via his right upper arm and left level to his second costal cartilage

    1950(6th of Sivan, 5710): First Day of Shavuot

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to the Jordanian complaint, Israel occupied three Arab villages in the Jordanian-occupied Latrun area and two in the Tulkarm District. Israel denied all such allegations, but claimed frequent Jordanian marauders' infiltration.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Mr. Shimon Peres, the Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, claimed at an exhibition of the locally-manufactured products, that few countries in the world produced as wide a variety of armaments as Israel.

    1954: Bar Mitzvah of Robert Zimmerman who gained famed as Bob Dylan.

    1955: “The television play ‘A Catered Affair,’ written by Paddy Chayefsky, was first shown on television as part of the Philco Television Playhouse.”

    1955: Final broadcast of the “Jack Benny Program” on CBS radio. Benny, whose real name was Benjamin Kubelsky, would continue to broadcast on television until 1965.

    1959: Birthdate of David Blatt, the Princeton graduate who played for and coached several Israeli basketball teams.

    1959: Final performance of “Tall Story” “based on the 1957 novel The Homecoming Game by Howard Nemerov featuring Marian Winters as “Myra Solomon.”

    1965: Birthdate of Shlomo Lahiani, the Israeli political leader who has served as mayor of Bat Yam.

    1967: In violation of international agreements, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran, blocking all Israeli shipping from the south, thereby raising tension in the Middle East. In Israel, a broad based coalition was formed under Levi Eshkol with Menachem Begin and Yoseph Sapir and Moshe Dayan who became the Minister of Defense. Under international law, blockade is an act of war and this action by Egypt actually gave Israel the legal right to go to war, a fact conveniently ignored at that time and by the current generation of revisionist historians.

    1969(5th of Sivan, 5729): Erev of Shavuot

    1969: Female Palestinian artist Mona Saudi, Iraqi Suheir Razzak and Swede Rolf Svensson were imprisoned in Copenhagen on suspicion of plotting to murder David Ben-Gurion.

    1969: U.S. premiere of “Winning” starring Paul Newman.

    1969: Mayor John V. Lindsay greeted his Jewish constituency today on the eve of Shavuot, which begins tomorrow. Speaking of the Jewish people's receiving of the Torah, which the holiday celebrates, the Mayor said: "From that hallowed event on Mount Sinai, through the ages, from the days of ancient Palestine, and up to our times and the rebirth of the State of Israel, the Torah has been at the very heart of the Jewish experience. Moses...stands as a towering figure not only in the life of the Jewish people but in the life of our civilization."

    1970(16th of Iyar, 5730): Arab terrorists killed 9 children and 3 adults on a school bus

    1972: Time published “Israel: Battle of Flight 517”

    Sabena Flight 517 from Brussels to Tel Aviv was 20 minutes out of Vienna last week when two Arabs waving pistols rushed the cockpit. "As you can see," Captain Reginald Levy calmly informed his 90 passengers, "we have friends aboard." The friends—the men and two women, who produced explosives from under their skirts—were members of a Palestinian guerrilla organization called Black September.* Their audacious plan: to land the Boeing 707 at Tel Aviv and embarrass Israel by threatening to blow up the plane on a Lod Airport runway unless 317 imprisoned fedayeen were released.  Levy's radioed alert that his plane had been commandeered rang top-level alarms in Israel. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Chief of Staff General David Elazar hurried to the airport to supervise the troops mustered to meet the jet. As soon as Levy touched down in the Tel Aviv dusk and rolled to an isolated runway, mechanics at Dayan's orders immobilized the plane by deflating its tires and draining the hydraulic system.  After presenting their demands for the prisoners' release to Lod's control tower, the skyjackers were alarmed to discover that they could not take off again. Emotionally, they kissed one another goodbye and prepared to detonate the explosives. Levy started a conversation to calm them down, and kept on chatting through the night. "I talked about everything under the sun," he said later, "from navigation to sex."  Next morning, in response to Levy's plea, Dayan promised to prepare the plane for takeoff and produce the fedayeen. A group of bogus prisoners were shown to the skyjackers from a distance and Dayan had an airplane taken out to a runway, supposedly to fly the released fedayeen to Cairo. From the control tower, one of the "prisoners"—actually an Arabic-speaking Israeli soldier—lulled the skyjackers: "They tell me I'm being sent to Cairo. Is that true? Praised be Allah." Meanwhile, out of sight, commandos were practicing assault tactics on a 707. When they were able to force the doors, swing aboard and start shooting in 90 seconds, Elazar deemed them ready. His "ground crew" approached the jet, allowed themselves to be frisked by Red Cross negotiators who had been called in at Arab request. No pistols turned up in the search; they had been hidden in boots or tool boxes. Suddenly the "mechanics" burst into the plane with guns blazing. The two male skyjackers died from bullets in the head and one of the two women was wounded. In all, the action took precisely 90 seconds.  Israelis hailed the jet's recapture as a military victory—and as an example of how other nations ought to handle skyjacking. Dayan himself was host at a dinner for Levy, a British citizen with a Jewish father and a Christian mother who was celebrating his 50th birthday. Prime Minister Golda Meir later threw a second dinner for all the participants. She kissed Levy and cried, "We love you." Publicly, Mrs. Meir justified the recapture, citing "the terrible significance of submission" to terrorism.  Elsewhere the response was less enthusiastic. The International Air Line Pilots Association protested the danger to passengers in such go-for-broke shootouts. As it happened, three aboard Flight 517 had been wounded. One 22-year-old Israeli was in critical condition; she had leaped up in panic when the firing started and was shot in the head by a commando who mistook her for one of the Arabs. The International Red Cross angrily cried that it had been duped by the Israelis. Arabs nevertheless accused the agency of complicity. In Beirut, where Red Cross week was in progress, volunteers soliciting donations were attacked on the street by Black September supporters. The leader of the group, who called himself Captain Rafat, was later identified as Ali Tasha, 34, a onetime Jerusalem tour guide and seasoned skyjacker.  In 1968 he helped divert an El Al jet to Algeria.

    1973: Avner Shaki left the National Religious Party and continued to sit as an Independent in the Knesset until the election in 1974

    1975: Seventy-four year old historian George W. F. Hallgarten the grandson of Charles Hallgarten an the great-grandson of Lazarus Hallgarten passed away today.

    1977(5th of Sivan, 5737): Erev of Shavuot

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel empowered the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff to discuss with U.N. and UNIFIL the arrangements aimed to prevent the terrorists in South Lebanon from attacking Israel and harming local inhabitants. The UNIFIL assured the Christian leader, Major Saad Haddad, that it is prepared to recognize his 600-men strong force and that the humanitarian "Good Fence", which allowed Lebanese villagers to receive aid and work in Israel, will continue even after the complete Israeli withdrawal.

    1978: ABC began broadcasting “The Bastard” a mini-series co-starring Lorne Greene as “Bishop Francis” William Shatner as “Paul Revere” and Tom Bosley as “Benjamin Franklin.”

    1980(7thof Shavuot, 5740): 2nd day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1981(18th of Iyar, 5741): Lag B’Omer

    1981(18thof Iyar, 5741): Fifty-eight year old movie director Boris Segal passed away today. (As reported by Shawn G. Kennedy)

    1981: Jack Lang began serving as Culture Minister of France for the first time.

    1981: Release date for “The Four Seasons,” a romantic comedy produced by Martin Bregman.

    1981: Antatole Boyard reviewed Where the Jackals Howl and Other Stories by Israeli author Amos Oz.

    1983: The New York Times featured a review of Art & Ardor by Cynthia Ozick.

    1986: In Redwood City, California, Angie and Francis Edelman gave birth to Boston Patriots wide-receiver Julian Edelman

    1986(13thof Iyar, 5746) Seventy-three year old Martin Gabel the Philadelphia born Jew known both for his film career and being the husband of Arlene Francis with whom he appeared on “What’s My Line?” passed away today.

    1988(6th of Sivan, 5748): First Day of Shavuot

    1990: In The Los Angeles Times, Sheldon Teitelbuam reviewed A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts With Torturersby Lawrence Weschler, the grandson of Viennese-Jewish émigré composer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Ernst Toch.

    1990: For the first time CBS broadcast “A Killing in a Small Town” starring Barbara Hershey who “won a 1990 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries or a Movie” for her performance

    1993: For the first time ABC broadcast “Deadly Relations” the made for television movie co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow as “Carol Ann Fagot Applegarth Holland”

    1998: The Times of London included a review ofIsrael by Martin Gilbert which like all of his work is historically accurate while having the flow of a well written novel.  If you read no other book about the history of the Jewish state, this is the one you must read.

    1998: The Baltimore Jewish Times described the New Yorker who is the first rabbi to win honor from pope

    As another in a series of recent Roman Catholic overtures toward the Jewish community, Baltimore's Cardinal William H. Keeler last week presented a papal honor to a New York rabbi long active in Catholic-Jewish relations. In an afternoon ceremony at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Rabbi Mordecai Waxman of Great Neck, N.Y., became the fifth Jew, and the first rabbi ever, named a Knight Commander of Saint Gregory the Great. Pope John Paul II bestowed the award on Waxman "in recognition of his extraordinary leadership over the past several decades in fostering improved relations between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church," Keeler said. Waxman, 81, is chairman of the National Council of Synagogues and a past chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, where he did much of his work toward healing Catholic-Jewish relations, according to Keeler. In 1987, when Waxman was president of the Synagogue Council of America, the predecessor to the National Council, he and then-Bishop Keeler began a tradition of regular meetings between rabbis and Catholic bishops that continues today, Keeler said. Waxman helped prepare the pope's visits with American Jewish leaders in 1987, and he addressed the pontiff on behalf of the Jewish community in Miami that year. "Over the years, Rabbi Waxman has been a consistent peacemaker and worked for reconciliation between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church," Keeler said. Waxman praised the pontiff for his interest in Catholic-Jewish enterprises, including the Vatican's recent statement of repentance for the Holocaust. "That he has undertaken to honor Jews for such activities and has bestowed such recognition upon several of my co-religionists for their notable contributions is typical of the innovative thinking which he has brought to world affairs," Waxman told an audience of more than 100, including scores of his congregants who traveled from Temple Israel, where the rabbi has presided for 50 years. The Order of St. Gregory the Great was created by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831 in honor of his predecessor, Pope St. Gregory. It has several classes, the highest being the Grand Cross. Previous Jewish recipients include Sir Sigmund Sternberg of London, a recent Templeton Prize winner; the late Joseph Lichten, who was European director of the Anti-Defamation League; Gerhardt Riegner, a former general secretary of the World Jewish Congress; and, most recently, conductor Gilbert Levine, one of Waxman's congregants. For his part, the rabbi acknowledged and tried to assuage the continuing suspicion many Jews hold toward the Catholic Church, despite 30 years of papal teachings against anti-Semitism. But he said future generations will see the fruits of the current efforts. "That perhaps is what the Talmud means when it says, `There are things that take fruit of which a man enjoys in this world...but the capital endures for all time. And among these is the effectings of peace between man and his fellows.'"

    1998(26th of Iyar, 5758): Seventy-two year old Yitzhak Moda’I passed away. Born in Tel Aviv in 1926, he became an Israeli political leader who served in the Knesset and who held several cabinet positions including Minister of Justice and Minister of Economics which is fitting for a man who studied both at the London School of Economics.

    1998: U.S. premiere of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” featuring Ellen Barkin and Jeanette Goldstein

    1999(7thof Sivan, 5758): Shavuot is observed for the last time in the 20thcentury.

    2002(11thof Sivan, 5762): Sixteen year old Elmar Deshabrielov and 65 year old Gary Tauzniaski were killed and forty people were wounded “when a suicide bomber detonated himself in the Rothschild Street downtown pedestrian mall of Rishon Lezion.” (Jewish Virtual Library)

    2002: Final broadcast of “Felicity” a television series created by J.J. Abrams.

    2002: David Blaine began another of his highly publicized “feats” when a crane lifted him “onto a 100-foot (30 m) high and 22-inch (0.56 m) wide pillar in Bryant Park, New York City.”

    2005: The Wolf Prizes were awarded by the President of the State of Israel Mr. Moshe Katzav at the Chagall Hall at the Knesset, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Chairperson of the Wolf Foundation Council, Mrs. Limor Livnat, the Speaker of the Knesset MK Reuven Rivlin and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Zeev Schleisner

    2005: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Good, The Bad, And Me In My Anecdotage by Eli Wallach and The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman, an appealing and inventive novel about Peter van Daan, one of Anne Frank’s companions in the secret annex that imagines what his life might have been like if he'd survived to take on a new identity as a gentile in postwar America.

    2006: Haaretz reported that the Dan David Prizes went to cellist Yo-Yo Ma, four journalist and two medical researchers.  The Dan David Prizes are distributed annually to people who embody realms of human achievement related to the past, present and future.  They are endowed by the Dan David Foundation headquartered at Tel Aviv University.

    2007: Nineteen tombstones were toppled in the Jewish cemetery in Chernigov, an eastern Ukraine city.

    2007: As part of Jewish Heritage Month, the National Archives presents a lecture entitled “Einstein: His Life and Universe” during which Walter Isaacson will discuss his latest work, Einstein: His Life and Universe. Albert Einstein was the most influential scientist of the 20th century, and Isaacson’s book is the first full biography of this great icon of our age since all of his papers have become available. Isaacson looks at Einstein’s science, personal life, and politics and explains how his mind worked, what he was really like, and the mysteries of the universe that he discovered. Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and managing editor of Time magazine.

    2007(5th of Sivan, 5767): Erev of Shavuot – Confirmation Ceremony at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Those reaching this milestone are Zach Burstain, son of Jennifer and Todd Burstain; Nathan Cooper, son of Mary and Bob Cooper; Kelsey Fisher, daughter of Ann Hagie; Joel Gasway, son of Julie and Scott Gasway; Cassy Novick, daughter of Denise Novick and Don Novick of blessed memory; Josh Siegel, son of Kris and Ken Siegel.  This is an impressive number for a “small community” on the banks of the Cedar River.  Am Yisroail Chai – The Jewish People Lives!

    2007: A rare Torah scroll fragment from the Book of Exodus dating back to the 7th century that includes the famous “Song of the Sea” is put on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The manuscript, which is a fragment of a Torah scroll from the Book of Exodus (13:19-16:1), comes from the six-hundred year period from the 3rd through 8th centuries known as the "silent era," from which almost no Hebrew manuscripts have survived.

    2008: The JCC Manhattan and The Museum of Biblical Art in New York presents “The History and Legacy of Greek Jews” during which Steve Bowman, Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Cincinnati Professor Bowman looks at the history of Jews in Greece - their ancient origins, their contribution to Jewish culture, and fate within the larger Christian community.

    2008: As part of the celebrations of Israel at 60, The Quad Cities Jewish Federation sponsors a recital by Carmel Harel, Israeli Shlicha of New Hampshire. A graduate of Israel Art and Science Academy in Jerusalem, she will play the piano and sing Israeli songs from the last 60 years.

    2008: In Israel's answer to the Woodstock Festival, nearly half a million people gather on a Galilee mountaintop, where they pitch tents and engage in 24 hours of feasting, singing and ecstatic dancing. They are taking part in the annual celebrations held on the Yahrzeit of second-century sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai at his burial place on Mount Meron, near the northern Israeli city of Safed. The Yahrzeit coincides with the minor festival of Lag B’Omer. The celebrations are widely viewed as a resounding display of Jewish unity. "All shades of the rainbow come. There are Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Hasidim and knitted kippah-wearers, religious and secular," said Shlomo Shalvash, head of the Sephardic trust for the upkeep of the site. What makes bar Yohai such a crowd pleaser is the fact that he did not merely rule on matters of Jewish law. He is believed to have left the answers to life, the universe and everything, making him a figure of fascination for all these people. Bar Yohai is the purported author of the “Zohar,” the central text of Kabbalah.

    2008: The Cedar Rapids Jewish community watches with pride as Ben Handler and Vanezzia Levi take part in the graduation ceremonies at Washington High School.

    2009(28th of Iyar, 5769): Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Reunification Day

    2009: Opening of Conference 2009 hosted by The Philadelphia Kehila for Secular Jews

    2009(28th of Iyar, 5769: Funeral services are held at Temple B’nai Israel in Little Rock, AR, for Mrs. Joyce Ehrenberg, “dear and loving wife of Mr. Harry L. Ehrenberg, Sr. of blessed memory, and deeply proud mother of Harry L. Jr., and his sisters Linda and Terry. A consummate promoter in helping those that were less fortunate, Mrs. Ehrenberg lived a richly meaningful life.”

    2009: IDF forces killed two armed terrorists who approached a security fence in southern Gaza before dawn today.

    2010(9th of Sivan, 5770): At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Shannon Williams is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.

    2010: “Jacob’s House” August Schulenburg’s play based on the life of the Biblical character is scheduled to have its final performance the Access Theater in New York.

    2011: To avoid desecration of Shabbat, the traditional Sephardi bonfire in Meron marking Lag B’Omer will be lit tonight instead of last night.

    2011: The AIPAC Policy Conference is scheduled to open today in Washington, D.C.

    2011; The Jewish community of metropolitan Washington, DC, is scheduled to celebrate Israel’s birthday at Israel@63.

    2011: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Rabbi David Ellenson, president of HUC-JIR, is scheduled to speak about the important place of the Jewish seminary in American life and scholarship in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month and the 100th anniversary of the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

    2011: Chabad Lubavitch of Iowa City is scheduled to hold the grand opening of Iowa City’s Kosher Co-op, the first such emporium in the Iowa City – Cedar Rapids Corridor.

    2011(18th of Iyar, 5771): Lag B’Omer

    2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life” by Harold Bloom, “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America” by Albert Brooks and “The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism” by Deborah Baker which tells the story of “how a Jewish girl from Larchmont became an Islamic polemicist.”

    2011: President Obama addressed American Israel Public Affairs Committee this morning.

    2012: The annual meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan featuring a speech by Arthur Horwitz, President of Renaissance Media and former publisher of the Detroit Jewish News and presentation of the Leonard N. Simons History Award is scheduled to take place this evening at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, MI.

    2012: In recognition of the contributions of Jewish Americans to literature, poet Jody Bolz, editor of Poet Lore, America's oldest poetry magazine, is scheduled to read her work in Washington, DC.

    2012(1st of Sivan, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    2012: “The Bad Guys” featuring Raviv “Ricky” Ullman opened at a theatre on the Upper West Side in New York City.

    2012(1stof Sivan, 5772): Fifty-three year old Aharon Zandi a mechanic from Sarna and “a pillar of Yemen’s dwindling Jewish community” was murdered today. (As reported by Elhanan Miller)

    2012: Israeli radio reported today that 24 year old Nadav Ben Yehuda went to the aid of a stranded climber which put an end to attempt to become the youngest Israel to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

    2012: Israel responded with immediate skepticism to reports that the UN had concluded an agreement with Iran to probe that country’s suspected nuclear site

    2013: The American Jewish Historical Society and Beta Israel of North America are scheduled to present a screening of “Leah,” a documentary that depicts the experiences of Ethiopian Jews trying to adjust to life in Israel.

    2013: In Denver, CO, the Mizel Institute is scheduled to present Pat Bowlen, the owner of the Denver Broncos with its 2013 Community Enrichment Award.

    2013: The Matlz Museum of Jewish Heritage is scheduled to host a panel discussion entitled “How We Survive.”

    2013: “Juadica,” the first ever Jewish film festival to be held in Lisbon is scheduled to open today.

    2013: Rashad Hussain, the United States Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will join newly appointed Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Ira Forman will leave for Poland today “to visit Jewish communities, the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and other Holocaust historical sites.” JPost)

    2013: Anthony Weiner announced today that he was running for Mayor of New York City

    2013: City Councilman Eric Garcetti defeated Controller Wendy Greuel to become next mayor of Los Angeles after a campaign in which he depicted his rival a pawn of powerful labor bosses. With all precincts reporting today, the city councilman grabbed 54 percent of the votes against his fellow Democrat. Greuel had 46 percent.

    2014: The final full day of the 4th International Writers’ Festival is scheduled to open with dancer Ohad Naharin and Nicole Krauss discussing the language of writing and of movement followed by encounters and conversations with Marilynne Robinson, Jake Wallis Simons, and Jan-Philip Sendker, and a final one between Krauss and David Grossman. (As reported by Jessica Steinberg)

    2014: The 92ndStreet Y is scheduled to host “an intimate evening” with Israeli cantor and stage performer Dudu Fisher.

    2014: In Germany, the Federal Court of Justice ruled today “that 95-year-old Michael Karkoc’s service as a commander in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion made him the “holder of a German office” which means that “Germany the legal right to prosecute him even though he is not German, his alleged crimes were against non-Germans and they were not committed on German soil.” (Times of Israel)

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “War Children Just the Same.”

    2014: Forty-eight year old Rainer Hoess, the grandson of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hosess, “tweet a picture of himself standing about Tel Aviv’s marina today and described the location as ‘very nice.’”

    2014(22ndof Iyar, 5774):  Eighty-six year old Don Levine, the developer of the G.I. Joe action figure passed away today.

    2015: The Eden Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a concert at noon as part of the Israel Festival.

    2015: Rabbi Susan Grossman is scheduled to lead a discussion on the “Jewish View - To the Huppah and Beyond: Egalitarian Marriage and Divorce in Jewish Law” at Beth Shalom in Columbia, MD.



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    May 23

    142 BCE (23rd of Iyar): Simon the Hasmonean drove the Syrians and their allies out the citadel which was their last stronghold in Jerusalem

    1052: Birthdate of Philip I, King of France who passed away in 1108.   Philip’s life overlapped that of Rashi (1040-1105).  In his day, Philip certainly was more powerful than the wine merchant of Troyes. But how many people study Philip today and how many Rashi read.  Philip was the king during the First Crusade.  However, he was not allowed to participate because Pope Urban II had excommunicated him. This may account, to some extent, why the Jews of France did not suffer in the same as did their Germanic co-religionist during what turned out to be the start of one of the deadliest periods of Jewish history.

    1275: King Edward I of England ordered the cessation of persecution of Jews of Bordeaux, France.  This was at a time when English kings still had holdings in France and dreams of sitting on the French throne. This is the same Edward who will eventually banish the Jews from England after draining them of all of their wealth.

    1420: Albert V (Austria) accused a rich Jew, Israel of Enns, of purchasing a wafer in order to desecrate it. All the Jews in the territory were jailed, dispossessed of their property, separated from their families and then subjected to attempts at forced conversion.

    1420: At the behest of the Church, Duke Albrecht ordered the forcible conversion of the Jews of Austria. Those that had not converted or escaped or been sent off in the boats were burned at the stake on March 12, 1421, and their beautiful synagogue destroyed.

    1421: Those Jews still remaining in Austria were imprisoned and/or expelled.

    1423:Benedict XIII, the Avignon-based "antipope" known for his relentless persecution of the Jews died today.

    1498: Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican monk who was a violent opponent of the comparatively philo-Semitic Pope Alexander VI was convicted as a heretic and burned at the stake on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.

    1510: Emperor Maximilian of Germanyrescinded a previously issued order to burn all Hebrew books.

    1524:Ismail I, Shah of Persia and founder of the Safavid dynasty passed away. Conditions for the Jews of Persia declined under the Safavids when they adopted Shia Islam as the state religion.Shi'ism assigns importance to the issues of ritual purity ― tahara. Non-Muslims, including Jews, are deemed to be ritually unclean ― najis. Any physical contact would require Shi'as to undertake ritual purification before doing regular prayers. Thus, Persian rulers, and the general populace, sought to limit physical contact between Muslims and Jews. Jews were excluded from public baths used by Muslims. They were forbidden to go outside during rain or snow, as an "impurity" could be washed from them upon a Muslim.”

    1533: The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void. As a condition to their marriage, Henry’s father promised Catherine’s Spanish parents that Jews would never be allowed to settle in England.  When Henry decided to divorce Catherine he claimed that the marriage had taken place in violation of biblical law.  He sought the support of Italian rabbis in making this claim.  The Rabbis did not support the English monarch, probably figuring that there was no reason to antagonize the Pope (who was a lot closer) than a distant English monarch.

    1536: In Portugal, Pope Paul III acting upon the petition of King John III, issued a Bull providing for the establishment of the inquisition based on the Spanish archetype. It lasted until September 1774 with the last auto da fe held in October 1765.

    1552: Sebastian Munster, the first Christian to publish a complete edition of the Bible in Hebrew passed away.

    1555: Paul IV began his Papacy during which he issued Dudum postquam, the papal bull that expanded a 10-ducat tax on Jewish synagogues to help finance catechumen houses in Rome

    1568: Netherlands declared independence from Spain. Protestant Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeat Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years' War. The conflict combined politics and religion as Protestant Dutchmen rebelled against Catholic Spain.  Holland had provided a haven for Sepharidic Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition.  A community of Portuguese merchants had settled in Amsterdam prior to the outbreak of hostilities.  The Protestant clergy were not exactly thrilled about the Jews settling in the country and it took several decades for the Jews of Holland to gain full acceptance.

    1572 (18 Iyar 5332): On Lag B’Omer Moses Isserles, also known as the Rama passed away  Born sometime between 1520 and 1525, he was the son of Israel Isserles, “ a wealthy leader of the Cracow community who, in 1553, received royal dispensation to build a synagogue in memory of his wife which is known as the Ream Synagogue.”  Moses Isserles served as Rosh (Head of the) Yeshiva in Krakow. His main work was called Mappah Hashulchan ("The Tablecloth") which adapted Caro’sShulchan Aruch to the needs and customs of Ashkenazi Jewry, It was called the “The Tablecloth” because it “covered” the Shulchan Aruch which is translated as “the prepared table.” In other words he covered Caro’s Sephardic Table with an Ashkenazic Tablecloth.  An earlier work, Darke Moshe Hakatzar (The Ways of Moses Abridged) was written in response to Caro’s comprehensive book on Jewish law called Beit Yoseph.He was known as well for the almost 100 Responsa he published. Isserles tried to strengthen the stature of many customs, elevating them almost to the level of Halachah (Jewish Law). On the other hand he was very lenient when it came to cases of stress or financial loss.

    1578: The Ottoman Sultan rescinded the order to deport the wealthy Jews of Safed to the island of Cyprus. He did this because the Jews of Safed were said to be paying taxes which were used to help maintain the Dome of the Rock.

    1618: In Prague, an assembly of Protestants threw three Catholic officials out of the window after they had found them guilty of violating a law concerning religious expression.  This event precipitated the Thirty Years War, so called because it lasted from 1618 to 1648.  Much of the war was fought in the Germanic principalities.  During the war Jews suffered at the hands of both sides with pogroms taking place in Frankfort, Worms and Jena.

    1633: The French government issues an edict allowing only Catholics to settle in Canada.  The target of the ban was the Huguenots but it applied to the Jews as well.  Jews would not be able to settle in Canada until after the British were victorious in what Americans call the French-Indian War

    1637(28th of Iyar): Seven Jews, including Rabbi Abraham ben Isaac, were murdered today in Cracow.

    1708(4th of Sivan): Rabbi Solomon ben David de Oliveria, author of “Ez Hayyim” passed away today.

    1749(7th of Sivan, 5509): Second Day of Shavuot

    1749(7th of Sivan, 5509): Abraham ben Abraham, who had been a Polish noble named Count Valentine Potocki  before he converted to Judaism, was burned at the stake because he had renounced Catholicism and becoming a practicing Jew.

    1773: Distinctions between Old Christians and New Christians were banned in Portugal. It was said this was because of a huge bribe from the Jews, but either way, this ban became law.

    1788: South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Thanks to John Locke who wrote South Carolina’s original constitution Jews, along with heathens and dissenters were guaranteed “freedom of conscience.” Jews began voting in the colony’s elections in 1702.  By 1750, there were enough Jews in the colony to warrant the building of the first synagogue in Charleston “which called itself “Beth Elohim” (House of God).  Francis Salvador was the most prominent Jewish leader when the Revolution began in 1775.  In 1790, South Carolina enacted legislation that was intended to abolish religious discrimination.

    1794: Birthdate of Isaac Moscheles the native of Prague who gained fame as composer and pianist Ignaz Moscheles, one of many of his era who found a trip to the baptismal font to be a stepping stone on the ladder of upward social mobility.

    1806(6thof Sivan, 5566): Shavuot

    1825(6thof Sivan, 5585): First Day of Shavuot

    1838: In Moravia, during what appeared to be an internal conflict in the Jewish community, the government issued a decree canceling the chief rabbi’s “privilege of proposing candidates’ to serve as rabbis at local congregations.

    1846: In Fürth, Bavaria, Joel and Babette (Elsasser) Krakauer gave birth to Adolph Krakauer who came to New  York in 1865 and then to Texas where became a successful merchant and leading businessman in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas before his death in 1914. 

    1848:  Birthdate of Otto Lilienthal German born aviation pioneer.  He died in 1896 after one of his gliders failed to work properly.

    1849: In London, Betsey Philips married 27 year old Montague “Myer” Gluckstein and became Betsey Gluckstein.

    1851:Richard Lalor Sheil an Irish writer, orator, and Member of Parliament passed away. Jews should remember Sheil as a supporter of measures to allow Jews to sit as members of Parliament in the United Kingdom. Following the Rothschild’s election to the House of Commons Sheil delivered a speech entitled “On Disabilities of the Jews” that began included these words in the opening paragraph, “A British subject ought in every regard to be considered a British citizen; and inasmuch as the professors of the most ancient religion in the world, which, as far as it goes, we not only admit to be true, but hold to be the foundation of our own, are bound to the performance of every duty which attaches to a British subject, to a full fruition of every right which belongs to a British citizen, they have, I think, an irrefragable title. A Jew born in England cannot transfer his allegiance from his sovereign and his country; if he were to enter the service of a foreign power engaged in hostilities with England and were taken in arms he would be accounted a traitor. Is a Jew an Englishman for no other purposes than those of condemnation? I am not aware of a single obligation to which other Englishmen are liable from which a Jew is exempt; and if his religion confers on him no sort of immunity it ought not to affect him with any kind of disqualification.”

    1856: Birthdate of Congressman Henry Mayer Goldfogle.

    1859: Two Polish Jews, Philip Moses and Samuel Preiss filed a complaint today claiming that a tailor name William Meyer had attacked Preiss and stolen his watch while Preiss was in his store. The two plaintiffs gave such contradictory stories that it led the Judge to believe that Meyer was actually the victim of blackmail attempt.  He charged Moses and Preiss with attempted blackmail and filing a false police report.  The two complaining witnesses are now defendants and since they could make bail they are awaiting trial in the city jail. [So all of our ancestors weren’t Kohanim or psalmists, so what?]

    1863: Ferdinand Lasalle formed the General German Workers ’Association (ADAV), Germany’s first labor party today.  He also began serving as its President, a position he would hold until his death in August of 1863.

    1870: The annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites was held this evening at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. The report of the Executive Committee included a comprehensive look at conditions of Jews in a various communities. The committee reported that the Governor of Syria had agreed to allow the purchase of land for a Jewish agricultural school.  Construction will begin as soon as the government at Constantinople gives its approval.  Romanian Jews, including those living in Bucharest, Vacco and Salatz have been the victims of violent attacks.  Jews continued to suffer in Russia and they continue to subject to laws prohibiting them from living near the frontier. Halevy has not begun his trip to China where he is to gain information on the condition of the Jews living there. At its recent meeting in Paris, the Universal Alliance reported that it had 12,000 members around the world. The committee urged that other states adopt laws similar to the one in New York that allows Jews who observe the Sabbath to work on Sunday, despite the existence of “Blue Laws.” The committee urged the Jewish population to support Maimonides College.  The committee credited “the good sense of the American public” that organizations attempting to Christianitize the U.S. Constitution had meant with little success. 

    1871: An Imperial Ukase (proclamation) has been issued order the Jews of Poland to change their appearance by doing away with their long black coats and trimming their beards and side-curls.

    1873: Birthdate of Rabbi Leo Baeck. His most famous work was The Essence of Judaism. He believed in ethical monotheism as part of the core of Judaism. Unlike contemporary rationalists, he also acknowledged that the mystery of God was also essential to Jewish belief. He saw the need for the experiencing God at the emotional level. This experience would lead to the ethical behavior. Also, Baeck saw the need for ritual as an affirmation of the concept of people hood. Baeck chose not to leave Germany. He was imprisoned at Terezienstadt. His faith survived the experience. He passed away in 1956.

    1874(7th of Sivan, 5634): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1875: “An Interesting Jewish Ceremony” published today described the conversion ceremony of Henrietta Held at which Rabbi Marx Cohn officiated.

    1875:  “Michel Levy: The Life of a Great French Publisher” published today described the shock in Paris at the death of this 54 year old literary leader and provided a detailed account of his life and accomplishments.

    1877: In Paterson, NJ, Judge Barkalow will begin to hear evidence in divorce case involving Moses Fananholz (or Tananholz) originally from Chicago and his wife the former Rachel Blumenthal from Montreal.  The wife claims that her husband only married her for her money; that she that the ceremony was only for a betrothal under Jewish custom and not a marriage ceremony; and that since she was under the age of 18 (the age of consent) when the ceremony was performed the marriage was illegal.

    1879: An article published today entitled “Proposed Hebrew Convention” described the preparations that are being made for the upcoming meeting in New York of delegates representing the “various branches of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.  Agenda items will include a report on charitable activities and a report on the activities at the college the Union controls which trains young men to serve as rabbis.  One major topic of discussion will be the proposed to change Jewish Sabbath services from Saturday to Sunday.

    1879(1st of Sivan, 5639): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1884: As the May Laws took effect “Jews who had served in the army encountered difficulties, at the expiration of their terms of service, in resettling in the villages in which they had dwelt.”

    1886: Birthdate of Moshe David Drabkin known as David Remez the native of Belarus who made Aliyah in 1913 with his wife Liba. At the end of his long, rich career he was one of those who signed  the Declaration of Independence in 1948 and served as cabinet minister in Ben-Gurion’s first two governments.

    1886: Ninety-year old German historian Leopold von Ranke who described Mosaic monotheism and “its revolt against nature worship” as the “principle on which is built a civil society which is alien to every abuse of power” in his Universal History, passed away today.

    1887: Oscar S. Straus, the new United States Minister to Turkey and his family arrived in Constantinople today.  They had been expected ten days earlier but were delayed when their daughter became ill in Vienna.

    1890: It was reported today Mrs. Charles Peterson claims an unnamed Jewish peddler had pitched her nine month old daughter into a tub of water.  The mother claims she “was absent at the time” and has not offered a basis for the claim.

    1890: All of the children of the late Herman Frohman “applied for and secured from the Court of Common Please a writ de lunatic” which will force their mother, Mary Frohman, to answer charges that she is “a lunatic.”  This is part of a dispute over the estate of the deceased Jewish butcher.

    1891: A fire broke early today at tenement house at 38 Ludlow Street which is home to 18 Jewish families.

    1892: “A resolution of sympathy for the Jews of Russia was introduced and passed” at today’s session of a conference of Methodist leaders being held in Omaha, Nebraska. “The resolution declared that it was the sense of the conference that the Jews in Russia were being unmercifully persecuted” and that “it was the hope of the conference that Russian Jews would soon enjoy the same rights as other people.”

    1893: It was reported today there are only two Jewish murderers imprisoned at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Sixty year old Adolph Reich is serving a life sentence for having killed his wife.  He had been sentenced to death, but the Governor commuted his sentence. Charles Lovitz was found guilty of murder in the second degree after having shot his wife.

    1894: On the second day of the First American Conference of Hebrew and Christian Workers for Israel, Reverend James Adler delivered a talk on “Dry Bones” which included a recitation of his problems in trying to convert Jews.

    1894: “Congress of Liberal Religionists” published today described meetings being held at Temple Sinai in Chicago, Illinois that include representatives of Reform Movement and other denominations such as the Unitarians and the Ethical Cultural Movement with the hope “of securing closer cooperation between the denominations of liberal religious societies.”  The congress is an outgrowth of the Parliament of Religions which was held in Chicago during the World’s Fair.

    1895: It was reported today that Max Casten, alias “Jew Sam” has been arrested in St. Louis, MO, on charges of stealing $2,500 worth of diamonds

    1898: Martin Beir, the Rochester fire insurance agent, was in New York on business today

    1898: “Patriotism of the Jews” published today included a declaration by Rabbi Rudolph Grossman that the United States war with Spain “was of Divine ordering” and that Spain’s kingdom in the western hemisphere is “finished

    1898: It was reported today that there one thousand Jewish officers in the Austro-Hungary Army, that one further of the officers in the French Army are Jews and that there were 10,000 Jews in the Union Army.

    1899: Charles Latimer who has been accused of being one of the men who attacked Leopold Levy is being held by police.  Levy has died of from the wounds that Latimer and his unknown compatriots inflicted on the 49 year old salesman.

    1900: Birthdate of Franz Leopold Neumann “a German-Jewish left-wing political activist and labor lawyer, who …is considered to be among the founders of modern political science in the Federal Republic of Germany.”

    1900: Herzl seeks support at a meeting with Ernest von Koerber, Austrian political leader who served as Prime Minister from 1900 to 1904.

    1903: In Buffalo, NY, a special committee submitted a resolution to the American Baptist Missionary Union condemning “the recent massacre of the Jews in Russia.”

    1903: Following the Kishinev Pogrom Wenzel von Plehve, Russian Minister of the Interior “rebuffed a Jewish delegation that asked for a condemnation of the massacre and relaxation of anti-Jewish rules.”

    1903: Herzl writes to Wenzel von Plehve, Russian Minister of the Interior and to Konstantin Pobiedonostzev asking them to arrange an audience with the Czar. Herzl also turned to Bertha von Suttner and asks for her assistance in this matter. Von Sutter was an Austrian writer, pacifist and the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace.

    1907: In Albany, NY, State Senator Martin Saxe introduced a bill “which provides for important amendments to the Civil Rights Act” which was prompted by the refusal of the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel in Atlantic City to  rent rooms Mrs. Bertha Rayner-Frank and her nieces because they were Jewish.

    1907: “Apology to Mrs. Frank” published today described events surrounding the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel’s refusal of service to Mrs. Bertha Rayner Franks and her two nieces because they were Jewish and the subsequent apology by Josiah White & Sons, the Atlantic City hotel’s owner.

    1908: Birthdate of architect Max Abramovitz. Two of his most famous designs were LincolnCenterand the UN building.

    1909(3rd of Sivan, 5669):Elias Solomon, an Australian politician, passed away. Born in 1839, in London, England, he migrated to Australia as a child. He had no formal education, but in 1868 became a clerk and auctioneer in Fremantle in Western Australia. In 1877 he was elected to the Fremantle City Council. In 1892, he was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly as the member for South Fremantle, where he remained until 1901. In that year, he transferred to federal politics, winning the Australian House of Representatives seat of Fremantle for the Free Trade Party. He was defeated by Labor's William Carpenter in 1903.

    1910: Celebration of the Geiger Centenary.

    1910: Birthdate of bandleader Artie Shaw. Born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky in New York, he became a popular "big band" bandleader whose hits included "Come'on my House".

    1911: Dedication ceremony of the New York Public Library.  Over the next century, the library would provide countless generations of Jews a variety of cultural and educational opportunities.  The library’s “Dorot Jewish Division is one of the great collections of Judaica in the world and the most accessible for both scholarly and personal use. While the collection offers commentary on all aspects of Jewish life it also includes Hebrew and Yiddish-language texts on general subjects.”

    1912(7th of Sivan, 5672): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1912:Tonight,at a meeting of the American Immigration and Distribution League at the Hotel Manhattan, Montefiore G. Kahn, Acting Secretary of the organization, announced that he would give the league 13,000 acres of farming and clay lands in New Jersey, valued by the donor at more than $2,600,000. The land was to be parceled out free to deserving immigrants who desire to become farmers.

    1914: Birthdate of actor and critic Leo Lerman, author and editor for style setting magazines including Mademoiselle, Vogue and Vanity Fair.

    1915: “The Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, Political Equality League and Women’s Club” are among the organizations supporting the gathering of “Chicago women…in the big banquet hall of the Auditorium Hall” scheduled to take place this afternoon to protest the execution of Leo M. Frank.

    1915: In response to questions about clemency for Leo Frank, the Governor-elect’s views published today state that “You can just say for Nat Harris that if the matter of dealing executive clemency to the condemned man is to be considered by him, the entire outside world will not be taken into consideration one it.  It is entirely a Georgia matter.”

    1915: “A report telling of the relief work for the benefit of war sufferers in Palestine was issued today by the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs” chaired by Louis D. Brandeis.

    1915: In New York, “the local Kehillah, or Jewish community meeting in the Concert Hall of Madison Square Garden today, endorsed the idea of holding a conference of delegates from Jewish organizations throughout the country to consider the plight of European Jews and to determine what could be done for the amelioration of their condition after the war.”

    1915: “In remarks preceding his sermon this morning,” Dr. Madison C. Peters of the North Baptist Church on West Eleventh Street said, “I know the people of Georgia and it is unfair to judge all by those who are clamoring for the life of a man who by common consent I not innocent, has never had a fair trial.  The outcries of the mob against the defendant were not against Leo Frank – it was a cry against the Jew.”

    1915: “A letter from Leo Frank was received today by Harry A. Lipsky of the Daily Jewish Courier” in which the condemned man expresses his appreciation for the support of the Chicago community and stating “I am well and putting up as good a fight as I know how.”

    1915: It was reported today that ex-Congressman William W. Howard of Augusta has been chosen to argue the case to grant clemency in the case of Leo M. Frank before Governor Slaton should the appeal to the State Prison Commission fail.

    1916: The last in a series of notes were exchanged between the Russians, French and British which finalized the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement which effectively “divided” the Ottoman Empire among the Allies while the outcome of WW I was still in doubt.

    1917: Funeral services are scheduled to be held this afternoon at Temple Jehosuah for fifty-eight year old Fannie Schwager, the wife of Morris Schwager

    1917: Funeral services are scheduled to held this afternoon for Mrs. Abe Siegel the mother of Lawrence Siegel at Free Son’s Cemetery in Chicago.

    1920(6th of Sivan, 5680): Shavuot

    1922: Premier of "Abie's Irish Rose."  This was the first of over 2,500 performances seen by an estimated fifty million attendees.

    1925: Birthdate of photographer Henry Wolf, owner of Henry Wolf Productions and the 1976 recipient of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

    1925: Esther Goldenbaum Schulman Lederberg and Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Lederberg gave birth to Dr. Joshua Lederberg “an American molecular biologist who is known for his work in genetics, artificial intelligence, and space exploration. He was awarded half of the Nobel Prize in 1958 for his research in genetic structure and function in microorganisms. The other half of that year's prize was shared by Edward Lawrie Tatum and George Wells Beadle. In addition to his contributions to biology, Lederberg did extensive research in artificial intelligence. This included work in the NASA experimental programs seeking life on Mars and the chemistry expert system Dendral. Lederberg’s parents had moved to the United States from Palestine in 1924.  His father was an Orthodox Rabbi. Fortunately for the world of science when Lederberg was Bar Mitzvahed in 1938 he received a copy of Bodansky's” Introduction to Physiological Chemistry,” a book that he said had a tremendous impact on his scientific development.

    1926: Birthdate of Amos Degani, the Tel Aviv native whose political career included serving as an MK from 1957 to 1969.

    1926: Birthdate of Yossel Mashel Slovo,the native of Lithuania who as Joe Slovo became a leader in the anti-Apartheid movement while serving as a leader of the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress.

    1926: In Wilno Max Weinreich and Regina Szabad gave birth to linguist Uriel Weinreich.

    1926: The United Jewish Campaign in New York is scheduled to come to an end today.

    1927: Birthdate of Dieter Hildebrandt, the German non-Jew who directed the Academy Award nominated documentary “The Yellow Star – The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933-45.”

    1929: Birthdate of Marvin J. Chomsky who won Emmy Awards for his direction “Holocaust” in `978 and “Inside the Third Reich” in 1982.

    1929: “The Crown,” a play by David Calderon premiere in Tel Aviv in a production directed by Alesksei Dikiy.

    1929: In Palestine, the leaders ofAhdut HaAvoda and Hapoel HaTzair, the two major labor parties sign an agreement that will merge the two parties into one.  The merger is slated to take place on July 25.

    1932(17thof Iyar, 5692): Eighty-year old textile manufacturer and philanthropist James Simon who provided funding for several archaeological digs passed away today.

    1934:The Palestine Jewish National Assembly orchestrated a general strike against the immigration ban that was scheduled to last from noon until 7 p.m. this evening. During the strike, fifty Jewish strikers in Tel Aviv were wounded in clashes with the police. Twenty of the wounded were described as being in serious condition.  
    1933: The all-Jewish Platoon of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps was expanded to an all-Jewish company under the command of Captain Noel S. Jacobs. While the unit’s chaplain was Rabbi Mendel Brown, the leader of the Sephardic community, most of the members were Russian Jews

    1935:Joseph "Yosky" Toblinsky participated in the hijacking of a truck while driving through Sullivan County today escaping with $8,000 worth of pharmaceutical drugs.  He also kidnapped the driver and his assistant.  Born in 1879, Toblinsky “was a New York City racketeer who, as head of an independent gang on East Side Manhattan, was involved in extortion and poisoning horses with the Yiddish Black Hand during the early 1900s. He was… sent to Sing Sing Prison for cruelty to animals in 1902.”

    1937: Birthdate of Jerome Rosenberg who would hold the dubious distinction of being the longest serving prisoner in New York State when he died.

    1937: Ninety-seven year old John D. Rockefeller passed away.  To the world at large, he was the founder of Standard Oil, one of the robber barons, etc.  But he was also the founder of the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum

    1938: As Arab violence continued unabated, The Palestine Post reported that Yitzhak Yitzhaki, 55, was attacked and stabbed to death by two Arabs near the Beit Vegan quarter of Jerusalem. Ezekiel Muncik, 25, a supernumerary constable from Kfar Yona was shot and killed during one of the Arab attacks on Hanita. Another young settler, Abraham Katz was severely wounded only one hour later and it was impossible to Ctake him to hospital. A police sergeant, injured in an earlier attack, died of his wounds in the Haifa hospital. Two Arabs were injured by a bomb explosion in Tiberias.

    1939: Following the adoption of the infamous MacDonald White Paper which all but put an end to Jewish immigration in Palestine, Winston Churchill, who was still a political outcast, spoke in favor of Jewish immigration telling the House of Commons, "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population.  Now are being asked to decree that all this is to come to an end.  We are now asked to submit, and this is what rankles most with me, to an agitation which fed with foreign money and ceaselessly inflamed by Nazi and by Fascist propaganda."  (According to Martin Gilbert, Churchill was right. "Between 1922 and 1939 more Arabs had entered Palestine than Jews."  Many of these immigrants were drawn to Palestine by the improving economic conditions which were often a product of Jewish settlement.  Ironically, these Moslems who came from a variety of North African and Middle Eastern countries would be counted among the "Palestinian refugees" that are with us to this date.)

    1939: During a debate on the Peel Commission’s White Paper, Winston Churchill defends the Balfour Declaration and criticizes Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for betraying the Zionists and turning his back on a document he had so ardently supported twenty years before.  “They (the Jewish settlers) have fulfilled his (Chamberlain) hopes.  How can he find it in his heart to strike them this mortal blow?” Upon hearing of the speech, Weizmann telegraphed Churchill” “Your magnificent speech may yet destroy this policy.  Words fail me to express thanks.”

    1939: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Long, criticized the McDonald White Paper in a speech in the House of Lords.

    1939: In Palestine, on the eve of the Shavuot holiday, seven new settlements are established simultaneously. In all, twelve new settlements are established in May, expressing the faith that even in the grim new circumstances of the White Paper, settlement was one of the essential means of fighting for the Zionist aim.

    1939: Isaac Nachman Steinberg a Russian born Zionist who was a leader of the “Territorialist Movement” arrived in Perth, Australia and began trying to gain support for the “Kimberly Scheme” – a plan in which “75,000” Jews fleeing Europe would be settled in the western part of Australia.

    1940: Archibald Henry Maule Ramsay the anti-Semitic, pro-fascist Member of Parliament was arrested and lodged in Brixton Prison on an order under Defence Regulation 18B

    1940: As French forces flee from the attacking German Army, Margaret and Hans Rey returned to Paris from Normandy.

    1940:  Frustrated by "illegal" immigration into Palestine, British High Commissioner for Palestine Sir Harold MacMichael insists that Hungary accept the return of two Jews who had left Hungaryand settled in Palestinein 1934 on tourist visas. The Hungarian government replies that there are an "excessive" number of Jews in their country and the government's aim is "that as many as possible should be encouraged to emigrate."

    1940: Lord Lloyd, the Secretary of State for Colonies express his opposition to Prime Minister Churchill’s plan to arm the Jews of Palestine so that he could bring the 20,000 British troops stationed in Palestine home to defend against a possible German invasion.  Lloyd feared the reaction of the Arabs to what Churchill saw as a way of providing for self-defense while meeting the Nazi menace.

    1941: Birthdate of Zalman King Lefkowitz  who as Zalman King gained fame as “a filmmaker who mixed artistic aspiration, a professed empathy for female sexuality and gauzy photography to bring soft-core pornography to cable television — particularly with his Showtime series “Red Shoe Diaries” in the 1990s…´(As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1942(7th of Sivan, 5702): Second Day of Shavuot

    1942(7thof Sivan, 5702): After having been tortured by the Nazis for at least two months, George Politzer was murdered by a firing squad.

    1942: The Nazis deported the Jews from Stopkov, Slovakia, including the Findling family today and sent them to Auschwitz

    1943: Nazi Aktionen kill thousands of Ukrainian Jews at Przemyslany and Lvov.

    1943: U.S. premiere of “Mission to Moscow” a film treatment of the memoir of the former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union directed by Michael Curitz, with a script by Howard Koch and a musical score by Max Steiner.

    1944(1st of Sivan, 5704): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1944: In New York, Rabbi Samuel Belkin was inaugurated as President of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Yeshiva College. An honorary degree of Doctor of Law was conferred upon Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on Rabbi Isaac Rubinstein, former Chief Rabi of Vilna and a twenty six year member of the Sejm (the Polish Senate.) 

    1944: In Peekskill, NY, June and David Polis gave birth to Susan Polis who gained fame as Susan Polis Schultz an American poet, producer of greeting cards and the mother of Colorado Congressman Jared Polis.

    1945: Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler committed suicide.

    1945: “Acting on SHAEF's orders and with the approval of the Soviets, American Major General Rooks summoned Dönitz aboard the Patria and communicated to him that he and all the members of his Government were under arrest, and that their Government was dissolved.”

    1945: Two weeks after the German surrender, Chaim Weizmann writes to Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealing for an end to the White Paper and restrictions on Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel.  The appeal would fall on deaf ears.

    1946: U.S premiere of “The Devil’s Mask” directed by Henry Levin with music by Irving Getz.

    1946: James Work was elected president of the National Farm School, after having served “as Acting President for many months during the illness of President Louis Nusbaum. The school was the creation Joseph Krauskoph, a leading American Reform Rabbi.

    1946:A mob of rioting Poles attacked Zypora Frank and her family today which was Zypora’s birthday. According to Mrs. Frank, ''They threw stones, they were yelling, 'You take our coal and give us the Jews,' and somebody threw a grenade.'' Two people were killed, one right next to the 11-year-old girl, spattering her birthday dress with blood.  Following another pogrom in July, Mrs. Frank’s parents would decide to send their children to Palestine. They were sure that the Poles would finish what the Germans had begun.

    1947: The British intercepted a three-masted Italian schooner today off the shore of Palestine containing 1,457 Jews who were trying to enter the country.  The Jews, most of whom were Polish, Russian or Hungarian, had been on the ship for over two weeks.  They had named the vessel Mordei Hagetaoth (Ghetto Fighters) and placed a sign on the deck, written in English proclaiming “From the ruins of the ghetto to our own country – our only refuge – Open the gates.

    1948: Thomas C. Wasson, the Consul General for the United States in Jerusalem, died today after having been shot in an alley “by a .30 caliber rifle.”

    1948: Today “New York Times reported that Wasson "on his death bed stated that Arabs had shot him," but two weeks later retracted this statement.’

    1948: The only advance of the Arab Legion beyond the OldCity walls into "Jewish Jerusalem" was halted in front of Notre Dame. The commander of the Arab Legion, Sir John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha), considered that battle to be the worst defeat suffered by the legion throughout the war.

    1948: Israeli forces take control of Ramat Rahel

    1948(14th of Iyar, 5708): “An Air Transport Command C-46 Curtiss Commando aircraft which flew from Czechoslovakia to Israel with the fuselage and engine of the first S-199 to be assembled in Israel, crashed as a result of heavy fog which covered Tel Nof and Sde Dov airfields. The navigator Moshe (Moses Aaron) Rosenbaum was killed. Ed Styrack the radio operator was badly injured, and both the aircraft and its cargo were destroyed.”

    1948: The settlement of Allonei Abba was established by Holocaust survivors from Czechoslovakia, Romania and Germany. Even as the war with the Arabs was heating up, Jewish settlements were being started.  When you consider the conditions in Israelat the time, this hast to make the Jews “the eternal optimists” in the truest sense of the term.  The name of the settlement came from two Hebrew words.  Allonei is a form of the Hebrew word Allon, meaning Oak which served as a reminder of the Tabor Oaks that grew nearby.  Abba was the first name of Abba Berdichev.  Berdichev had parachuted into Czechoslovakiain 1943 with orders to assist British clandestine forces and aid Jews trapped in Hitler’s death trap.  Like so many of the others sent on such missions, Abba Berdichev was captured and killed.

    1948: Egyptian forces began its attack on the Jewish settlement of Negba with an artillery barrage. The Egyptian force consisted of 2,000 well-armed troops as well as support from the Egyptians Air Force.  The Jewish force at Negba consisted of 70 soldiers from the Haganah and 75 members of the settlement.  They lacked artillery, air cover and pretty much anything else that a modern might need.  Negba had to be held to keep the Egyptians from reaching Tel Aviv.  The fight would last for nine days.

    1949: The Federal Republic of Germany (also known as West Germany) is established.  There was a great deal of apprehension among Jews around the world to see an independent German nation rise four years after Hitler’s defeat.  During the 1950’s West Germany would pay reparations to the Jews and the state of Israel.  Additionally, Germany would provide military and economic support to the Jewish state despite pressure from a wide array of Arab states. 

    1949: In the UK, release date for “The Perfect Woman,” featuring David Hurst in his first film role as “Wolfgang Winkel.

    1950(7th of Sivan, 5710): Second Day of Shavuot

    1958: Birthdate of Mitch Albom

    1960(26th of Iyar): Rabbi Joshua Chaim Kasovsky, editor of “Mishnah Concordance” passed away.

    1960:  Prime Minister David Ben Gurion announces in the Knesset that Adolf Eichmann, an Nazi SS officer, was abducted from Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Israeli agents and flown to Israel to stand trial for crimes against the Jewish people.

    1960: In an article published in Life magazine, cartoonist Al Capp wrote "The secret of how to live without resentment or embarrassment in a world in which I was different from everyone else was to be indifferent to that difference.

    1965: In New York, filmmaker Hava Kohav Beller gave birth to author and editor Thomas Beller.

    1967:  Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran and blockades the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.  A blockade like this is an act of war under international law.  In addition to which, it was a violation of the U.N. agreements that had ended the Suez Crisis in 1956-57.  After the Six Day War, there was a lot of nit-picking about whose planes attacked first i.e. who fired the first shot.  The fact of the matter is that this blockade was an act of war and anything the Israelis did afterwards was an act of self-defense.

    1969(6th of Sivan, 5729): First Day of Shavuot

    1969: As Israelis were celebrating Shavuot, Israeli security forces arrested numerous terrorists as they foiled attacks in on both sides of what had been the Green Line.

    1970: Birthdate of Yigal Amir, the coward who murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    1971(28th of Iyar, 5731): Yom Yerushalayim

    1972: Thomas Paul Malone began serving as Canadian Ambassador to Israel.

    1977(6th of Sivan, 5737): First Day of Shavuot

    1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Army Ombudsman, Rav-Aluf (Res.) Haim Laskov, complained that the cruel harassment of recruits by their non-commissioned officers and officers was still a recurrent phenomenon in Israel Defense Forces.

    1979(26th of Iyar, 5739): Three people were killed and thirteen more were injured when a bomb was detonated at a bus stop in Petach Tikva.

    1979:Joseph BrodskyRussian born Jewish poet and essayist who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and would be chosen Poet Laureate of the United States (1991-1992) was inducted as a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

    1981(19th of Iyar, 5741): Entertainer George Jessel passed away.

    1981(19th of Iyar, 5741): Russian-born Canadian lawyer and political leader David Lewis passed away. His son is an official with the UN dealing with AIDS in Africaand his grandson Avi Lewis is a broadcast journalist.

    1981: Syria claimed that it had shot two Israeli drones while Israel admitted the loss of only one pilotless plane.  The aircraft which were flying a recon mission over eastern Lebanon fell victim to Syrian missile batteries stationed in the Syrian occupied portion of that country.

    1981: U.S. Presidential envoy Philip Habib arrived in Beirut on a mission designed to keep the situation on the Syrian-Lebanon –Israel border from exploding into war.

    1981:Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El officiated at the wedding of Sheryl E. Israel and Barry J. Spiegel. The bride’s father is Kenneth M. Israel, president of Cinema Shares International Television Ltd., and chairman and chief executive officer of the Excel Video International Corporation,

    1982(1st of Sivan, 5742): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1982:  The New York Times featured a review ofBronxPrimitive: Portraits in a Childhood by Kate Simon who “grew up Jewish in the
    Tremont Avenue
    section of the Bronx, having been brought there by her young immigrant parents direct from the Warsaw Ghetto, with only a brief stopover on the Lower East Side.”

    1983: “One Day At A Time” starring Bonnie Franklin completed its 8thseason.

    1985: Ronald Reagan awarded Sydney Hook the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    1987: As part of the IPO’s 50th anniversary celebration, James Levine conducts the orchestra for a second time.

    1988(7th of Sivan, 5748): Second Day of Shavuot; Yizkor

    1990(28th of Iyar, 5750): Yom Yerushalayim

    1996(5th of Sivan, 5756): Erev Shavuot

    1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingAnother Life: A Memoir of Other Peopleby Michael Korda.
    2001(1stof Sivan, 5761): Rosh Chodesh

    2001(1stof Sivan, 5761):“Asher Iluz, 33, of Modi'in was killed outside Ariel en route to supervise a road paving in the area, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire in an ambush.” (Jewish Virtual Library)

    2001: Broadcast of the final show of series three of “Felicity” created by J.J. Abrams, starring Greg Grunberg as ‘Sean Blumberg.”

    2002: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon replaced Eli Yishai as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    2002: David Azulai completed his services as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.

    2002: An Hamas detonated bomb at the Pi Glilot gas depot north of Tel Aviv failed to set off a catastrophic explosion.

    2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including ''Still Life With Bombers: Israel in the Age of Terrorism'' by David Horovitz and ''How Israel Lost: The Four Questions” by Richard Ben Cramer.

    2004: “Regarding the Torture of Others” by Susan Sontag was published today in the New York Times Magazine.

    2004(3rd of Sivan, 5764): Eighty-nine year old historian, sociologist and orientalist Maxime Rodinson, whose parents were murdered at Auschwitz, passed away today.

    2006: “In Israel, New Reflections on Holocaust” published today described the  evolving Jewish methods of remembering the Shoah.

    2006: Release date of “Blue Alert,” an album co-written by Leonard Cohen.

    2007(6th of Sivan, 5767): First Day of Shavuot.

    2007: The two day Tel Aviv Poetry Festival comes to an end.

    2007: Amy Barrett and novelist Jonathan Lethem whose mother was Jewish gave birth to Everett Barrett Latham.

    2008:Norman Finkelstein was denied entry to Israel today “because, according to unnamed Israeli security officials, of suspicions that ‘he had contact with elements 'hostile' to Israel" including’ a top Hezbollah commander in Lebanon.” Finkelstein “visited south Lebanon and met with Lebanese families during the 2006 Lebanon War.” While ther he said: “Hizbullah represents the hope. They are fighting to defend their homeland, they are fighting to defend the independence of their country, they are defending themselves against foreign marauders, vandals and murderers and I consider it to be genuinely to be an honor to be in their presence.”

    2008(18th of Iyar, 5768): Lag B’Omer.

    2008: Bradlee Birchansky leads Friday Night Services at TempleJudah in Cedar Rapids, Iowaas part of his Bar Mitzvah weekend.

    2008: In Plymouth (UK), police detained two men linked to the bombing of a Giraffe’s restaurant that had taken police yesterday. According to authorities, 22-year-old Nicky Reilly, a recent convert to Islam who police said had a history of mental illness, was wounded when a bomb went off in the Giraffe restaurant at a shopping center in Exeter, Devon.Giraffe, which has 25 restaurants around the UK, is owned by Jewish partners.

    2008: In a story entitled “Public allowed rare chance to view Dead Scrolls,” The Columbia Dispatch reports on the public display of the 2,100 year old 24 foot scroll with the text of the bible’s book of Isaiah at the Israel Museum.Israel put the Dead Sea scroll containing the Book of Isaiah on display for the first time since 1967. The calfskin parchment was locked away because of deterioration. It will be available to the public for three months as part of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state.

    2009(29th of Iyar, 5769): On Shabbat, start reading the Bamidbar, Book of Numbers.

    2009: Day 2 of “Conference 2009” hosted by the Philadelphia Kehilla For Jews at Aracadia University in Glenside, PA.

    2009:A 24-year-old man was diagnosed with the swine flu on today, becoming the eighth person in the Jewish State to come down with the virus. He had recently returned from the United States and was presumed to have contracted the illness there. A second man had also been hospitalized due to concerns that he may have the virus as well.

    2009:Franklin H. Littell, a father of Holocaust studies who traced his engagement with the subject to the revulsion he felt as a young Methodist minister while witnessing a big Nazi rally in Nuremberg in 1939, died today at his home in Merion Station, Pa., outside Philadelphia today at the age of 91. Dr. Littell also became an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, in part because he believed that its very existence refuted theologies that foresaw or favored the withering away of the Jewish people. He rejected the theology of some Christian backers of Israel that Jews must ultimately become Christian…” (NYT)

    2010: “Dancing Alfonso” and “Ida’s Dance Club” are scheduled to be shown at the Israeli Film Night sponsored by Magen David Sephardic Congregation in Rockville, MD.

    2010(10thof Sivan, 5770):Irwin Rosten, an award-winning documentary filmmaker perhaps best known for "The Incredible Machine," which took PBS viewers on a revolutionary voyage inside the human body in 1975, passed away today at the age of 85.,
    2010(10thof Sivan, 5770):David Ginsburg, a liberal lawyer and longtime Washington insider who helped found the Americans for Democratic Action and led the presidential commission on race relations whose report, in 1968, warned that the United States was “moving toward two societies — one black, one white, separate and unequal,” died today at his home in Alexandria, VA at the age of 98
    2010:Despite gray skies that threatened rain, tens of thousands of people turned out for a massive celebration of Israel today, at the annual Salute to Israel Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. Marching bands, groups hoisting colorful signs and costumed marchers converged along the parade route, running up Fifth Avenue between 57th Street and 74th Street. Celebrities, elected officials and dignitaries were on hand, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been the parade’s grand marshal in the past. This year, parade organizers made a concerted effort to mobilize the Israeli community living in New York, said Michael Miller, executive vice president and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, which oversees the event.
    2011:The Ellis Island Old World Folk Band is scheduled to perform at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville, CA

    2011:Phyllis Newman, who was married to Adolph Green for over four decades is scheduled to take part in program entitled “Carried Away: Being Comden and Green” that highlights the work of the team of Adloph Green and Betty Comden that created such hits as “On the Town,” “ Wonderful Town,” “ Bells are Ringing” and “Singin' in the Rain.”

    2011:El Al flight 027 carrying 279 passengers landed safely at Ben Gurion Airport this morning after it was forced to make an emergency landing when a technical fault was found in one of its left wheels. The plane took off en route to New York late last night but was forced to turn back and perform an emergency landing when the pilots noticed that one of the left wheels had become jammed.  

    2012: Dr. Leo Hershkowitz, Adjunct Professor of History at New York University and CUNY Queens College (ret.) is scheduled to deliver a lecture about the early history of Jews in New York City at the NYC Department of Small Business Services

    2012: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to host a screening of “SS-3: The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich,” a film about the British inspired plan to kill the ruthless ruler of Bohemia, person favorite of Hitler and a key planner of the Final Solution

    2012: Film critic Aviva Kempner who was the founder of the Washington DC Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to deliver a lecture on a documentary film on which she is working that traces the life of Jules Rosenwald, the man who led Sears, Robebuck & Co during its glory days and was one of the nation’s leading philanthropists.

    2012: Filming began for “Iron Man 3” a film based on characters created by Stan Lee and co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

    2012: Nancy Margulies, the daughter of Joan Thaler – the doyen of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community- is scheduled to perform her one-woman show “Deaf Poets Society” at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Her most recent book, a spook entitled Klassic Koalas: The Koala Museum of Modern Art Catalogue is on sale at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

    2013: Nineteen year old Corporal Roi Alphi was killed when a landmine exploded in the Golan Heights laid to rest tonight in the military section of the cemetery of his hometown, Gan Yavne.

    2013: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present 'Jews, You Should Fight to the Bitter End:' Bogoraz's Literary Response to the Gomel' Pogrom

    2013: The Israel Festival, an annual showing drama, theatre, dance and music is scheduled to open in Jerusalem.

    2013(14th of Sivan, 5773): Seventy nine year old singer/songwriter Giuseppe Mustacchi the son of Sephardic Jews from Corfu, passed away today

    2013:A sketched map of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s land-for-peace offer to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 — hurriedly drawn up by Abbas after a meeting with Olmert that December, and made public for the first time today — suggests that Israel was prepared to withdraw to borders very similar to the pre-1967 lines and swap areas of northern and southern Israel in return for maintaining the larger settlement blocs.

    2013: The Louvre museum in Paris opened its first-ever Israeli exhibit today, displaying a 1,700-year-old mosaic floor that was recovered from a garbage dump near Lod in central Israel.

    2014: “Jewtopia” is scheduled to be shown at noon-time in Mason, Ohio, as part of Jewish American Heritage Month.

    2014: “Donald Sterling has agreed to surrender his stake in the Los Angeles Clippers to his estranged wife, and she is moving ahead with selling the team, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press today.

    2014: A revised version of Assi Dayan’s “The 92 Minutes of Mr. Baum” is scheduled to open today in the United States.

    2014: On the final morning of the 4thInternational Writers’ Festival, Etgar Keret and musician Shlomi Saban are scheduled to sing, read and chat in a one-off event. (As reported by Jessica Steinberg)

    2014: “With the words of the Kaddish and a sprinkle of earth over his remains, Avner Less, the Israeli official who interrogated Adolf Eichmann was reburied today in Berlin’s Wannsee neighborhood, not far from the house where the senior Nazi who helped organize the Holocaust outlined his genocidal plans in 1942.” (As reported by David Rising)

    2015: Parsha Bamidbar

    2015(5th of Sivan, 5775):  In the evening, Erev Shavuot

    2015: The JCC Manhattan is scheduled to host “The Paul Fieg Tikkun Leil Shavuot.”

    2015: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Temple Judah is scheduled to celebrate Shavuot and the Confirmation of Jessica Heeren, Ben Sarasin and Gabrielle Thalblum


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    May 24

    1218:  The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt. The driving forces behind the crusade were two Popes who broke new ground in the mistreatment of the Jews – Innocent III and his successor, Honorius III.   One of their most infamous innovations was the creation of “the Jew Badge,” which usually took the form of circle or square of saffron yellow cloth.  The Crusade itself was a debacle and the forces of Islam continued to hold onto Jerusalem.  Given a choice, at this time, for the Jews this outcome was the lesser of two evils.

    1241(6th of Sivan, 5001): Shavuot

    1241(6th of Sivan, 5001): The community of Frankfort-on-Main was attacked after Jews tried to prevent a child from being baptized. As a result, a number of townspeople were killed. Seeing no option the Jews set fire to their houses. The fire spread to the rest of the community destroying nearly half the city. One hundred and eighty Jews died while twenty-four agreed to be baptized.

    1293 (5053): Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg passed away. Born circa 1225, he was the last of the Tosophists and 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 Bas. 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 financial loss. He refused to be ransomed, saying that it would serve as an impetus for further extortion. He died in a prison near Colmar, and his body was held there until it was ransomed some years later.

    1588(14th of Sivan): 24 Jews lost their lives in an auto-da-fe in Barcelona

    1738: On a day now celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day, John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement. According to Building New Bridges in Hope  the official statement of the United Methodist Church on Christian-Jewish relations, “Christians and Jews are bound to God though biblical covenants that are eternally valid that God has continued, and continues today, to work through Judaism and the Jewish people

    1749(7th of Sivan): Abraham Valentine Potocki was burned at the stake

    1776(6th of Sivan, 5536): As the Founding Fathers debate the question of declaring independence from Great Britain, Jews observe the first day of Shavuot.

    1795(6th of Sivan, 5555): Shavuot

    1804: In Cologne, Salomon Oppenheim, Jr. and his wife Therese Stein gave birth to their second son Abraham Oppenheim.

    1810: Birthdate of Rabbi Abraham Geiger.  Born in Germany, Geiger became an early leader of the movement that became Reform Judaism. He passed away in 1874.

    1814(5th of Sivan, 5574): S.Wilhelm Königswarter’s mother Elisabeth passed away today.

    1818: In Charleston, SC, Mr. Moses Joseph of Amsterdam married Miss Abigail Audler.1825(7th of Sivan, 5585): Second Day of Shavuot

    1837: In Antwerp, Meyer Joseph Cahen d'Anvers and Clara Bischoffsheim gave birth to future French banker Louis Raphaël Cahen d'Anvers.

    1842: In Balaton-Kojár, Hungary, Gabriel L. Dessauer and his wife gave birth Moritz Dessauer, the German rabbi whose works included a book about Hobbes and Spinoza.

    1850: The Jewish Chronicle reported that Rabbi Jacobs delivered a sermon on Shavuot based on Deuteronomy, Chapter 16, verse 9.

    1852(6th of Sivan, 5612): Shavuot

    1855: In London, “Lucy (née Daines) and John Daniel Pinero, a solicitor” gave birth to actor Sir Arthur Wing Pinero whose paternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews and his maternal grandparents were English Christians.

    1856: Abolitionist John Brown and his men killed five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas. Three of his followers - August Bondi, Jacob Benjamin and Theodore Weinter – have been identified as Jews according to the historian Rufus Learsi.

    1861: Major Mordecai and his family left the arsenal at Watervliet, NY.  For reasons of personal safety they left in the evening without any fanfare since there were those who felt that Mordecai had betrayed his country. Mordecai was one of the most prominent Jewish officers serving with the U.S. Army prior to the Civil War.  A Southerner by birth, he had tried to arrange a transfer to a post in the West that would enable him to serve his country without having to actually fight family and friends.  When this attempt failed, Mordecai resigned.  But unlike other Southerners, he refused all of the offers to join the Confederate Army.  He entered civilian life and never wore a uniform again.

    1863(6th of Sivan, 5623): Shavuot

    1864(18th of Iyar, 5624): As Grant perused Lee across northern Virginia in a series of battles called the Wilderness Campaign, Jews observed Lag B’Omer.

    1868:A public meeting of Hebrew Christians was held at Room No. 24, Cooper Institute, this evening, for the purpose of presenting the claims of the Messiah to their inquiring brethren.[Editor’s Note – this is a 19th century version of the Jews for Jesus]

    1870:  Birthdate of Benjamin Cardozo.  A legal scholar and jurist, Cardozo was the second Jew appointed as an American Supreme Court Justice.  He served from 1932 until 1938.  He passed away in July of that year.

    1870:A house at No. 215 West Seventeenth in Manhattan was dedicated today as a Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews. It is the first such institution in New York State.  The home is for those over the age of 60 who, for reasons beyond their control, are not able to receive care and treatment anywhere else. When the Home opened, it cared for only three people. (By 1876 that number would grow to 57)

    1876: Delegates from fifteen congregations representing New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Baltimore and Brooklyn met in New York today to plan for the establishment of Jewish theological seminary or college.  Mr. Lewis May was chosen to preside over the group and M.S. Isaacs served as secretary.  Mr. May informed the group that Temple Emanuel had already voted to spend $2,000 a year to support any Jewish school that was established as a result of these meetings.

    1876: Today, at the sixth session of Presbyterian General Conference being held in Brooklyn, the delegates adopted the recommendation that the “mission to English speaking Jews” should be discontinued. This unique action came amidst a flurry of other motions to continue or expand missionary efforts a wide group of people including Native Americans and citizens of China.

    1876: Rabbi Rubin officiated at the wedding of Kaufman Marks to Miss Jennie Baum of Charleston, SC at the Synagogue on St. Philip Street.

    1876: Rabbi David Levy of Charleston, SC, officiated at the wedding of Robert Caccavajo to Lena Levy in Kingstree, SC, the hometown of both the bride and groom.

    1877: In Patterson, NJ, Judge Barkalow heard further testimony regarding an application for the annulment of the marriage of Moses Tanneholz and Rachel Blumenthal.  Tanneholz is a cigar dealer living in Patterson.  Miss Blumenthal, who is seeking the annulment, is the eighteen year old daughter of well to-do resident of Montreal, Canada.  Blumenthal claims that she had not wanted to marry Tanneholz; that she thought the marriage ceremony was only a betrothal ceremony; and that she was only 17 at the time of the “marriage” which meant that she was under-age according to New Jersey Law. Furthermore, she had gone to New York right after the ceremony and the couple had never consummated the marriage.  The Justice who performed the ceremony testified today that the bridge seemed to be fully cognizant of the fact that it was a marriage ceremony.  The matter of her age only became important when he had been told after the ceremony that this was a “runaway marriage” and he told the groom that he would need affidavit signed by the bride saying that she was at least 18 years of age.  Because of the prominence of the families involved, this case has generated interested among the Jewish communities in the both New Jersey and Montreal.

    1878:The curtain came down on the final performance of “The Sorcerer” in which Giulia Warwick (born Julia Ehrenberg) had been performing “in the leading soprano role of Aline”

    1882(6th of Sivan, 5642): Shavuot

    1882: A Pogrom began in Rostov, Russia

    1890: The summaries of affidavits from two of the daughters of Mary Frohman – Lena Frohman Vollman and Bertha Frohman – and the family physician Thomas Courtney were published today which purport to show that “Mrs. Frohman is insane” and should be prevented from disposing of her late husband’s estate and returning to Germany.

    1891: Birthdate of archeologist and Bible scholar William F Albright.  Albright was not Jewish.  But much of what we know about the history of ancient Israelwas a result of his archeological studies or the studies of those whom he inspired.

    1891:The Jaffa–Ramla section of the Jaffa-Jeruslaum was fully opened for use today.

    1891: It was reported that Joseph Roth was responsible for preventing a major fire at a tenement house on Ludlow Street.  Roth discovered a bundle of smoldering rags under the staircase which he stomped on to keep them from breaking into flames, thus saving the building that is home to 18 Jewish families  including Max Rudolf, a tailor who lived in the building with his family.

    1892(27th of Iyar, 5652): This morning in Budapest a wealthy Jewish land owner named Karsay was mortally wounded in a duel.

    1892: “A special train left Long Island City carrying over 100 people left Long Island City bound for Rockaway Park where they would attend the formal opening of the new sanitarium that has been built for Jewish children.

    1892: It was reported today that Reverend Johnson of Sweden expressed his opposition to a resolution adopted by a conference of Methodist ministers that called upon the Czar to end the persecution of the Jews in Russia.  He contended that the resolution would “tend to aggravate the Russian Government against the Methodist Church” and jeopardize the Methodist missions in that country.

    1894: “For the third time in the last two days Register Ferdinand Levy” today “secured a summons from Justice Feltner of the Yorkville Police Court for Florian Sicher…who is charged with annoying respectable people of all nationalities and especially Hebrews” as can be seen from the signs in his sausage store in which he advertises “Anti-Semitic Sausages”  “Do Not Buy From the Jews” and “No Sale Made to Jews.”

    1894: Moses and Julia Levy, who used to own a millinery store on Broadway are being held in the Tombs Police Court having been charged with “secreting goods with intent to defraud.”

    1894: “Theodore Seligman, an executor and trustee under the will of his father, Jesse Seligman filed a petition with the Surrogate’s Court” that was one of the preliminary actions necessary to presenting the will for probate.

    1894: It was reported that the American Conference of Hebrew and Christian Workers for Israel has formed a committee “to discuss the proper methods of teaching Christianity to the Jews.”

    1895: Birthdate of Marcel Janco “a Romanian-born Israeli painter and architect” who was “one of the founders of the Dada movement.”

    1895: A written request for a meeting from Theodor Herzl is received by French railroad tycoon and philanthropist Baron Moritz de Hirsch.

    1895: A Jew named Samuel Samuelson who lives with his wife and family in Miles Alley was shot this afternoon by an unknown assailant.

    1895: Birthdate of Samuel Irving Newhouse, American publisher and philanthropist.  Some of his publications included Parade Magazine, Vogue and Glamour.

    1896: The New York Times describes the various provisions of the last will and testament of the late Baron Hirsch.  The big winner is his wife who is named as “universal heiress.”  In one sense, the biggest loser is the Jewish Colonization Association which would have come into possession of the inheritance had the Baroness predeceased the Baron.

    1897: Colonel Nicolas Jean Robert Conrad Auguste Sandherr the first person to accuse Dreyfus of treason passed away.

    1898: It was reported today that an insurance agent named Martin Beir has been elected Governor for the New York State chapter of B’nai B’rith

    1899: Herman Lichtner, a Hungarian tailor who has lived in the United States for the last 15 years set sail on the White Star Liner Cymric with his daughter as they made their way back to Europe.

    1901(6th of Sivan, 5661): Shavuot

    1903: A copy of the memorandum adopted by the American Baptist Missionary Union in Buffalo, NY, condemning the massacre of the Jews at Kishinev was published today being with the opening declaration, “The recent massacre of Jews in Russia calls for our sympathy, our prayers and our protests.”

    1904(10th of Sivan, 5664):Eighty year oldKalonymus Wissotzky, “the largest tea manufacturer in Russia, noted philanthropist and leading member of Choveve Zion” passed away today in Moscow.

    1904(10th of Sivan, 5664):Myer S. Isaacs, for years President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and leader in many other charitable and philanthropic movements of the Jewish people, died in the Equitable Building, 120 Broadway, this afternoon from heart disease, a condition that had afflicted him for an extended period of time.  Born in 1841 at New York City, he was the oldest son of Rabbi Samuel M. Isaacs.  He graduated from University of the City of New York in 1859 and graduated from its law school in 1862.  He passed the bar exam on May 8, 1862. His successful business and legal career included serving as vice President of the Real Estate Exchange (1867), serving as Justice of the Marine Court (1880), Justice of the Superior Court (1891) and State Supreme Court Justice (1895). He was active in Jewish affairs.  In 1857, he and his father founded the Jewish Messenger. He served as President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites and the Hebrews Free School Association.  He also played a key role in establishing the United Hebrew Charities, the Montefiore Home, the Hebrew Technical Institution and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. He was preceded in death by his wife the former Marie Solomon and is survived by 6 children including I.S. Isaacs and Louis Isaacs

    1905: Sixteen year old Herman Maltz, the future owner of a furniture store in Los Angeles arrived at Ellis Island.

    1907: “Bill To Protect Jews In Hotels” described legislation that has been introduced by New York State Martin Saxe to see to it that nobody is banned from a hotel because of their religion as happened to Mrs. Berth Rayner-Frank of Baltimore.  She and her nieces were turned away from a hotel in Atlantic City because they were Jewish.  Legislators in the Empire State who were unmoved by what happened to the Seligman family at Saratoga Springs in the 1870’s now want to take action.

    1911: The New York Public Library opened. Abraham Solomon Freidus was the first head of the library’s Jewish Division.

    1912:Montefiore G. Kahn's mother publicly addresses her concern that the reports her son has given 13,000 to the American Immigration and Distribution Leagueare not accurate.  She fears that her son misspoke himself orwas misunderstood.

    1912(8thof Sivan, 5672): Less than a month before his 56th birthday, Sir Edward Albert Sassoon, the eldest surviving son of Sir Albert Sassoon, who was a successful British businessman and political leader passed away today.

    1913: A murder indictment was returned against Leon Frank by a grand jury in the death of Mary Phagan.

    1913: As the police continue to look for the person who had strangled Mary Phagan, Jim Conley, the pencil factory's janitor, who was a suspect in the case, continued to give conflicting testimony as to what had happened. By now, he was attempting to implicate Leo Frank in the murder

    1914: In Posen, “Dr. Alfred Peiser, a German Jewish surgeon and Rose Lissman, an Austrian Jewish stage actress gave birth Lili Marie Peiser who gained fame as award winning actress Lilli Palmer.

    1914: Birthdate of Budapest native George Tabori playwright and director.  Tabori would flee to Englandin 1936.  Like so many other Hungarian Jews, his parents died at Auschwitz.  He died in 2007 at the age of 93. His film credits include Alfred Hitchcock’s “I Confess” and the 1955 BFTA award winning “The Young Lovers.”

    1915: “Calls Frank Victim of Cry Against Jews” published today provides a summary of Dr. Madison C. Peters, a Baptist minister, views on the Leo Frank case including his belief that “The American believes in a square deal, a fair trial should be given to Frank.  To commute his sentence only adds to the outrage. Nothing less than a fair trial is just. What has happened to Frank may happen equally as well to any citizen of the Republic.  If you believe that Frank has not gotten a fair deal, say so.” (Editor’s note – Peters was an unusual figure when you consider that among the many books he wrote you would find Justice to the Jew and The Jew as a Patriot.)

    1915: It was reported today that “the jurors who found Leo Frank guilty will meet this week to decide whether to ask the Prison Commission to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment.

    1915: “A resolution appealing for” the commutation of Leo Frank’s death sentence is scheduled to “be submitted to the Governor” by a “body of ministers” who include Dr. John E. White, pastor of the Second Baptist Church and Reverend C.B. Wilmer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

    1915: The list of the newly elected officers of the American branch of the Alliance Israelite Universelle published today included Justice Leon Sanders, President and Major Kaufman Mandel, U.S.A. (ret) Treasurer.

    1915: In remarks published today Justice Leon Sanders “said the Jews in the eastern theatre of the European War were the worst sufferers and express the hope that when the time came for peace treaties provision would be made for the advancement of the Zionist movement for a home for Jews in Palestine.”

    1915: Louis H. Levin, Superintendent of the Federation of Jewish Charities in Baltimore, MD, who went to Palestine aboard the Vulcan which was carrying $100,000 in relief funds from the United States via Alexandria to Jaffa is now in charge of the relief work in Palestine.

    1915: At Atlantic City, NJ, “Resolutions lauding President Wilson for his stand in relation to the Lusitania disaster were adopted and telegraphed to Washington today at the convention of the United States Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Sons Israel” which stated “that the President in his note to Germany had expressed the sentiments of every loyal member of the Jewish race in America…”

    1915: Over 4,000 letters asking for clemency for Leo M. Frank were received by Governor Slaton today including epistles from Senator Lawrence Y. Sherman of Illinois, Governor James E. Ferguson of Texas, Judge Glendy B. Arnold of the Circuit Court of St. Louis and Judge Ben B. Lindsey of the Juvenile Court in Denver, Colorado.

    1915: A resolution adopted by the Alliance Israelite Universelle in New York protesting” in the name of the Jews of the United States against the execution of Leo Frank” based on the belief “that the Frank verdict was the result of race prejudice” was reportedly being sent to the Governor of Georgia.

    1915: Birthdate of opera singer Rena Galibova the daughter of Bukharan Jewish parents “who was named the People’s Artist of Tajikistan.

    1915: Today, on the day “known as Frank Day”  approximately 400 members of fifty women’s organizations are scheduled to canvass the streets of Chicago seeking signatures on petitions asking for clemency for Leo Frank.

    1917: The Turkish minister at The Hague, Netherlands, issued a statement regarding deportation of the Jews in Palestine and denied reports that they were being slaughtered.

    1917: David Lindo Alexander and Claude Montefiore, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association signed a letter published in today’s Times of London which declared "grave objections" to two claims in the "published statements of the  Zionist leaders": "The first is a claim that the Jewish settlements in Palestine shall be recognized as possessing a national character in the political sense... the second... is the proposal to invest the Jewish settlers in Palestine with certain special rights in excess of those enjoyed by the rest of the population".

    1917: Funeral services are scheduled to be held this morning for Amalie Freudenberg, the wife of Charles A. Freudenberg at a chapel on 4649 Prairie Avenue in Chicago.

    1917: Following a funeral service, Sol Bloom, the husband of Carrie Hartz Bloom is scheduled to be interred at the Waldheim Cemetery in Chicago.

    1917: Funeral services for Julia Frieler Stein, the wife of Bernhard Stein, are scheduled to be held today at the Zion Temple on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Ogden Avenue.

    1917:The Times of London published an anti-Zionist manifesto issued by the Conjoint Foreign Committee of British Jews.Lucien Wolf, historian, author and advocate for Jewish rights was a leading member of the Conjoint Foreign Committee of British Jews. He had already written to James de Rothschild, arguing against Zionism which he believes sees "Jews as aliens in foreign lands" thus making it similar to anti-Semitism in insisting that Jews will never be integrated into other cultures. David Lindo Alexander and Claude Montefiore, the president of the Anglo Jewish Association were co-signatories of this document.

    1917: Birthdate of sculptor Milton Elting Hebald.

    1918: Birthdate of Samuel M. Rubinwho was known as "Sam the Popcorn Man" for making popcorn almost as popular in New York City movie theaters as jokes and kisses. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1919: In Ellenville, NY, Samuel and Sarah Leventhal gave birth to music manager and song plugger Harold Leventhal. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1921: Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti began.  Harvard law professor and future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter would play an active role in what would ultimately be their futile defense.

    1923: Birthdate of Stanley H. Biber, the Des Moines, Iowa, native and graduate of the U of I Medical School  who became the internationally renowned  dean of sex-change surgery. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1923: In New York City, Albert Israel Becker and Miriam Rosner Becker gave birth to “David V. Becker, a pioneer in using radioactive materials to diagnose and treat thyroid disease and an expert on the thyroid damage caused by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in 1986.”  He passed away in 2010 at the age of 86.

    1925: A law was put into force in Salonica demanding Sunday as a day of rest. The Jewish community formally disputed this, and in the end the Council of the Jewish Community at Salonica resigned to the governor general of Salonica.

    1926: In an article in its Religion Section entitled “Jew and Jew”, Time Magazine describes the philanthropic activities of some of the America’s leading civic and business leaders.

    Greek wars with Greek; Jew helps Jew ..." a procurator wrote to his Emperor, Trajan. He was not the first to observe what he expressed so pithily: the racial loyalty of the Jewish people, a loyalty that has kept them together, like a colossal freemasonry, while other nations light the world for a while, then crumble down. For some weeks past the Jews in various U.S. cities, animated by this tradition, have been working to raise money for the relief of the Jews in Eastern Europe. Felix Warburg, Louis Marshall, William Fox and other rich Jews are on the committee which, with headquarters in Biltmore Hotel, Manhattan, has sent its representatives and its publicity up and down the country — the most intense activity being in Greater New York. "There is one hope for the Jews in Eastern Europe," great posters state; "that hope is in the drive for fifteen million dollars. . . ." Speakers have outlined the purposes, the causes of the campaign: "Women and children are dropping dead of hunger on the streets in Bessarabia. Many others are found dead in their homes in Poland. A horrible scourge of typhus is sweeping over the Jews in both lands. . . Children eat what they can find in garbage cans . . . sleep in alleys, in cellars. . . . Hundreds are killing themselves . . . the Jews of America must respond. . . ." To emphasize this appeal, posters in streetcars, on the pillars of subway stations, the billboards of vacant lots, present the picture of a woman in a shawl. Her chin is pressed to the pivot of her wrist; her eyes are smeared with black. She might be any age, this sad, sharpened Jewess; the thing that has pointed her bones and thinned her flesh is not age but weariness; she is the incarnation of the most desolate of physical woes, fatigue. "Are You Tired of Giving?" asks the caption. "You Don't Know What It Is to Be Tired. . . ." Money came in fast. Felix Warburg gave $400,000, Herbert Lehman, Mrs. S. W. Straus, Mortimer Schiff gave $50,000 each; Louis Marshall, William Fox, Benjamin Winter made big contributions, and a disabled veteran sent $28 (government allowance for war wounds). Advertisers, art-goods makers, bag-makers, bankers, butter, egg, and dairy firms; chain stores, crockery companies, cloak and suit houses; the dental, the funeral, the grocery, the hosiery, the laundry, millinery, musical and neckwear trades; opticians, pawnbrokers, petticoat cutters, physicians, rubber-goods makers, rabbis, underwear and umbrella manufacturers — all were appraised for definite amounts, all came near to filling their quotas. Adolph S. Ochs, genius of the New York Times, by many revered as the greatest U. S. newspaper proprietor and the greatest U. S. Jew, swung into the campaign handsomely. His paper advocated the fund far more than any other Manhattan journal, exhorted, reported extensively, published stimulating daily lists of contributors. Nor were Jews the only people to help Jews. Onetime Ambassador James Gerard spoke at a meeting, and a bellboy contributed $5 that he had won on a baseball game. Senator James W. Wadsworth composed a plea, Governor Alfred Smith of New York sent a check by messenger, a Negro elevator man gave two dollars, and Thomas Burke, editor of the official organ of the Irish Temperance Society, wrote "I'm an Irishman . . . but I've advised my race to imitate the good qualities of yours." Meanwhile, reflective Jews and Gentiles asked: "What is the matter with the Jews in Eastern Europe? Are they any worse off than the Christians there? Do they really need 15 million dollars?" They do need their $15,000,000 and untold millions more.* Indeed, when the leaders of the Fund Campaign and of the cooperating organizations† realized that the sum fixed would be oversubscribed in the two weeks allotted (April 25 -May 9), they raised the goal to $25,000,000 and extended the formal collection period another week, well knowing that the donation momentum would continue. The whole country and Canada besides have contributed — not only the cities of close Jewish concentration — New York City, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia — but also the hamlets where a stray Jewish family persists in traditional pioneering. The whole $25,000,000 more than the original goal was not reached, yet was approximated. There will be no cessation of ingathering or of giving. Fertile lands, of high Jewish concentration appropriated after the War from Tsarist Russia by Romania. In the past $60,000,000 have been donated and spent for East European Jews.

    1928: The resumption of State Attorney General Albert Ottinger's investigation into the conduct of certain Jewish cemeteries brought out testimony in support of charges that the Baron Hirsch Cemetery of Port Richmond, S.I. charged unjust fees, barred cars from the burial ground forcing mourners to walk to gravesites and fees for grass cutting had been raised from fifty cents to two dollars a lot.

    1929: The Marx Brothers made cinematic history with the opening of their first film, The Cocoanuts

    1932: In London, Leah and Joseph Wesker gave birth to British dramatist Sir Arnold Wesker. Dr. Samuel Sacks, the father of Oliver Sacks delivered the youngster.

    1933(28th of Iyar, 5693): Dr. Alfred Strauss was murdered at Dachau today.

    1933: Birthdate of Aharon Lichtenstein the Paris born American Orthodox rabbi and rosh yeshiva.

    1935: Birthdate of acclaimed screenwriter and director Joan Micklin Silver.Born in Omaha, Nebraska, on to Russian Jewish parents Maurice David and Doris (Shoshone) Micklin, she graduated from Omaha Central High School in 1952 and Sarah Lawrence College in 1956. Fresh out of college, she married Raphael D. Silver, son of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland. The Silvers lived in Cleveland from 1956 to 1967 and raised three daughters there: Dina, Marisa, and Claudia. Two of the three daughters now work in film, Marisa as a director and Dina as a producer.

    1938: Robert Hollitscher, the son-in-law of Sigmund Freud, and his daughter Mathilde left Vienna for London.

    1939: After reading about Churchill’s speech opposing the White Paper, Nathan Laski wrote to him from Manchester: “May I congratulate you upon the great and statesmanlike speech you made on the Palestine questions last night.  I think it is not exaggerating to say that you will get the blessings of millions of Jews all over the world.”

    1940: Birthdate of the Russian born, American poet Joseph Brodsky.  Brodsky won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and was U.S. Poet Laureate in 1991.

    1941:  Birthdate of Bob Dylan.  Born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth MN, Dylan has enjoyed a successful career as a singer and songwriter while bouncing back and forth between Judaism and other religions.

    1941: U.S. premiere of “Crook’s Tour” featuring the Burmese-Jew Abraham Sofaer as “Ali.”

    1942: Birthdate of Aron "Ali" Bacher, the native of Johannesburg who “is an administrator of the United Cricket Board of South Africa. He was born to Lithuanian-Jewish parents who emigrated to South Africa and got his nickname "Ali" at the age of seven from Ali Baba. Ali married Shira Teeger, and they have two daughters and one son. His nephew Adam Bacher played for South Africa in the 1990s. Ali started playing cricket while at school and represented Transvaal at the age of 17. He played in 12 Tests for South Africa, three against England and nine against Australia; he was captain in the last four. In a first-class match for Transvaal against the visiting Australian cricket team in 1966/67, he made a high score of 235 in the second innings. He captained the national team in only one series: in 1969/70 against Australia at home in which the South Africans won all the Tests in the four match series. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and became a general practitioner. In 1981 he had heart bypass surgery.”

    1943:  Birthdate of British conductor James Levine

    1943: While training at an Army boot camp in South Carolina, future Mayor Ed Koch wrote in his diary “Had an argument with several of the boys over anti-Negro prejudice, this led to arguments over Jews and the usual line. It’s a pity that there are so few liberals in the land and so many ignorant people.”Read more:

    1943: Dr. Josef Mengele arrived at Auschwitz shortly after celebrating his thirty-second birthday. He began conducting horrific medical experiments on the Jews. Aside from his ‘experiments' he would also personally inject his victims with phenol, gasoline, chloroform or air. With a wave of his hand, Mengele dispatched the old, injured, crippled, children, and pregnant women to their death in the gas chambers because they were not fit for work.

    1943:  A Jewish partisan group organized by Judith Nowogrodzka escapes from the Bialystok (Poland) Ghetto. The escape is led by Szymon Datner.

    1944: Violette Szabo who was in reality an agent for Special Operations Executive (Britain’s fabled SOE) who would eventually be murdered at Ravensbruck  was promoted to Ensign in the FANY (The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps) which had to be one of the more bizarre cover stories in the history of spycraft.

    1944(11th of Sivan, 5770):  At Auschwitz, Hungarian Jews being led to the gas chamber scatter but are shot down by the SS

    1944: The deportations from Hungary to Birkenau are now averaging 13,000 Jews per day.

    1947:Jewish underground fighters, believed to be Stern Gang members, raided two bridge clubs in the all-Jewish city of Tel Aviv early today and escaped with $3,200 in cash from one of them.

    1947: The British loaded 1,457 Jewish refugees onto a ship that would take them to detention camps on Cyprus.  According to the British, some of the Jews used crowbars in an attempt to break down the barbed-wire enclosures in the hold of the vessel but the Tommies were able to subdue them with water hoses and the firing of weapons in the air. The Jews had been caught the day before trying to enter Palestine in violation of the British blockade.

    1948: South Africa recognized Israel.

    1948: The Egyptian army captured Yad Mordecai. Yad Mordecai was one of the kibbutzim blocking the road to Tel Aviv. The Egyptian army and air force had attacked Yad Mordecai on May 19. The Jewish force was the size of a company composed of farmers and handful of Haganah troops.  For five days the Jews fought off the Egyptians.  Before dawn, on May 24 the final Egyptian assault began with two infantry battalions, one armored battalion and one artillery regiment. That night, having used all of their ammunition, the defenders snuck through the Egyptian lines carrying their wounded with them.  Four hundred Egyptian soldiers lay dead.  More importantly the defenders of Yad Mordecai had bought the Israelis five precious days to strengthen their position at Ashdodand Tel Aviv.  According to at least one expert, those five days saved Tel Aviv. 

    1948: Yitzhak Rabin, commander of the Jewish forces in Jerusalem sends Ben Gurion a desperate plea for help.  While the Israelis had been able to thwart an attack by Jordanian armored forces at the New Gate, Rabin feared they could not beat back an additional attack.  Also, the city was faced with Egyptian forces to the south which had attacked Ramat Rahel.

    1948:  In the evening, the Seventh Brigade begins its attack on the fortress at Latrun that is blocking the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  One of the first companies into the fray was led by a sabra named Ariel Sheinermann.  Sheinermann would survive the wounds he suffered that day and as Ariel Sharon, would become one of Israel’s most daring and controversial generals.

    1948: Ariel Sharon, the future IDF General and Prime Minister leads a platoon during the IDF’s attempt to capture the Latrun Police Compound

    1950: “An authoritative source said today that Israel would pay an indemnity of $54,000 to the family of Count Folke Bernadotte, United Nations Mediator who was assassinated in Jerusalem in September, 1948.”  Israel “was also expected to pay $3,000 to the United Nations as a special premium on war risk insurance carried by the Swedish mediator and other United Nations in personnel in Israel.”

    1950: Foreign Minister Moshe Sharret leaves Israel today on a “good-will” mission to South African Jewry.

    1950: According to Health Minister Moshe Shapiro the Polio outbreak continues to spread with 191 cases reported in May as opposed to 83 cases in April.  The outbreak in Israel follows the pattern seen in nations in Western Europe and the United States.

    1950: Sixty-seven year old 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” passed away today.

    1951: Fanny Brice suffered a stroke which would prove fatal.

    1952: In the fight against Apartheid, Emil “Solly” Sachs addressed 15 000 people on the steps of the Johannesburg City Hall at a meeting arranged by the Garment Workers’ Union in defiance of the decrees issued by the Minister of Justice.

    1954: In Helsinki, Finland, Abram Zyskowicz who had survived Sachsenhausen and his wife Ester gave birth to Ben Zyskowicz the first Jew elected to the Finnish parliament

    1961: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion left Israel for a visit to the United States that would include his first meeting with President John Kennedy who had assumed office in January of 1961.

    1963(1stof Sivan, 5723): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1966: “Mame” a musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a “book” co-authored by Jerome Lawrence premiered on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre.

    1967: CIA Director Richard Helms reports that there are no nuclear weapons in the eastern Mediterranean or the adjacent territory.  The report was in error since the Soviets had ships in the area armed with nuclear weapons and instruction to use them against Israel if need be to support the Arabs. 1969(7th of Sivan, 5729): Second Day of Shavuot

    1970: During the “War of Attrition” Abba Eban and Yitzchak Rabin meet with Nixon and Kissinger to discuss ways of ending the violence between Egypt and Israel.

    1975: Larry Blyden videotaped a pilot for “Showoffs,” a game show created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.

    1977(7th of Sivan, 5737): Second Day of Shavuot

    1981: It was reported today that Ukrainian Jewish activist Kim Friedman was sentenced to year in prison for “parasitism.” He would be released in 1982 but would have to wait another six years before he could make Aliyah.

    1981: In “By Train Through A Sandstorm From Aswan to Cairo” David K. Shipler, the New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem described how Arie Kandel, an Israeli travel agent in Egypt “saved his trip to the land of the Pharaohs.

    1982: Psychologist Carol Gilligan published In a Different Voice, the first book to argue that women's psychological development could not be understood by studying men.

    1986: Final broadcast “Krovim Krovim” “an Israeli sitcom created by Ephraim Sidon.

    1987: In an article entitled “An English Rainbow,” Annasue McCleave Wilson portrays the history of Exbury, the estate originally created by Lionel de Rothschild and describes the postwar rejuvenation undertaken by Major Edmund de Rothschild, which has turned the estate into one of the ten most visited properties in England.

    1991:Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel. “Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel. In 1991, the sitting Ethiopian government, the Mariam regime, was close to being toppled with the recent military successes of Eritrean and Tigrean rebels, threatening Ethiopia with dangerous political destabilization. Several Jewish organizations, including the state of Israel were concerned about the well-being of the sizable population of Ethiopian Jews, properly referred to as Beta Israel, residing in Ethiopia. Also, the Mariam regime had made mass emigration difficult for Beta Israel residing in Ethiopia, and the regime's dwindling power presented a promising opportunity for those Beta Israel who had been wanting to emigrate to Israel. In the previous year, 1990, the Israeli government and Israeli Defense Forces, aware of Mariam's worsening political situation, made covert plans to airlift the Beta Israel population in Ethiopia to Israel. This became the largest emigration of Beta Israel to date. In 36 hours, non-stop flights of 34 El Al C-130s, filled to absolute capacity with seats transported 14,325 Beta Israel émigrés from Ethiopia to Israel, where they were given food and shelter. After it was over, Operation Solomon took twice as many Beta Israel émigrés to their spiritual homeland as Operation Moses and Operation Joshua combined.”

    1991:During Operation Solomon a world record was set for single-flight passenger load when an El Al 747 carried 1,122 passengers to Israel(1,087 passengers were registered, but dozens of children hid in their mothers' robes). "Planners expected to fill the aircraft with 760 passengers. Because the passengers were so slight, many more were squeezed in. Two babies were born during the flight. Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

    1994(14th of Sivan, 5754): Yehuda Mor-Mirkovsky Israeli kibbutz-founder passed away at the age of 96.

    1994: The INS Eilat, a Sa’ar 5 class corvette was commissioned today.

    1996(6th of Sivan, 5756): Shavuot

    1996:Jews praying in an egalitarian minyan at the Western Wall in the early hours of Shavuot morning were verbally and physically attacked by Orthodox men and boys, according to participants in the prayer group. The group of about 50 men and women, some of whom were from the Conservative and Reform movement's rabbinical seminaries in Jerusalem, had studied throughout the night, as is customary on Shavuot. Before dawn, they, along with thousands of other Jews, walked from other parts of Jerusalem to the Wall. Members of the egalitarian minyan began praying shortly after 5 a.m. in the rear right-hand corner of the plaza that fronts the wall, near the flagpoles that stand at the back.A few guys in tallitot stood in the front so that others could not see the women wearing tallitot and kipot and to prevent any possible problems. As they finished the morning prayer on Shavuot, the minyan swelled to about 125 people, and as they continued by reading the Book of Ruth, most of the minyan sat down. It was at that time that the trouble began as Haredi men soon walked up and began to curse and shout at members of the egalitarian minyan. An Orthodox woman who had been part of a prayer group next to the egalitarian minyan approached the haredi men to ask them to be quiet, because they were disturbing other prayers besides those of the mixed group. They spit on her and threw rocks at the man chanting haftarah.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Soldier of Peace: The Life of Yitzhak Rabin, 1922-1995 by Dan Kurzman and Crossing the Jordan: Israel's Hard Road to Peaceby Sameul Segev.

    1998(28th of Iyar, 5758): Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day

    1998: In New London, CT, an op/ed article in The Day reminder readers of the courage of Hiram Bingham when it wrote, “Collectively Bingham and 10 righteous diplomats from other countries "clandestinely saved 200,000 lives from the Holocaust, by writing visas and affidavits of eligibility for passage, and planning escapes from Europe, circumventing their superiors' orders. There are an estimated 1 million descendants of these survivors."

    1999: Congressman Paul Ryan identifies Ayn Rand as one of the two authors who has the most influence on him.  The other is the “author” of the Bible.

    1999: A joint U.S.–Israeli team which was searching for the remains of the INS Dakar used information received from U.S. intelligence sources that led to the detection a large body on the seabed between Crete and Cyprus, at a depth of some 3000 meters (9800 ft). The team was led by subcontractor Thomas Kent Dettweiler of the American Nauticos Corporation,

    2000:  Israeli troops leave southern Lebanon after 18 years.

    2000: The final episode of the second season of “Felicity” created by J.J. Abrams was broadcast today.

    2002: In Tel Aviv, a security guard at Studio 49 Disco killed a Palestinian terrorist who “was attempting to detonate a car bomb.”  Despite his quick action, five people were seriously injured.”

    2002(13thof Sivan, 5762): Twenty-three year old Sergeant First Class Oren Tzelnik of Bat Yam was killed by terrorists and two of his comrades were seriously wounded. (Jewish Virtual Library)

    2005: IDF soldier Majde Halabi was reported missing. He was assumed to have been taken hostage or killed by Arab terrorist.

    2005: Opening session of Biotech-Israel 2005

    2006: An exhibit entitled “Dear Dr. Janzow” opened at the Sydney (Australia) Jewish Museum. “
    Dear Dr.
    Janzow is an exhibition of original letters from the Lutheran Archives in Adelaide, curated by Dr Peter Monteath, Senior Lecturer in History at FlindersUniversity. In 1938 the Lutheran Churches in Australia announced they would help European Jews escape the clutches of Nazi Germany. The announcement appeared in the London Times November 18 edition. Such was the intensity of their despair at that time that many Jews responded to the offer by writing to the General President of the Australian Lutheran Synod, Dr. William Janzow. Altogether 73 letters were received, extraordinary moving testimonies to those bleak times.”

    2006: The U.S. Postal Service began selling “Distinguished American Diplomats’ stamps and first day covers today. The six diplomats honored included Hiram Bingham IV who risked his career and his life to issue “live-saving visas” to Jews and non-Jews fleeing Hitler’s Europe.

    2007(7th of Sivan, 5767): Second Day of Shavuot – Yizkor

    2007: The Hekhal Haness Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Geneva was severely damaged by a fire today. Nessim Gaon, the Sudanese born Swiss financier who created the Noga Company, and has served as President of the World Sephardi Federation is one of the congregation’s most prominent members.

    2007: The three day Metula Poetry Festival comes to an end.

    2007(7th of Sivan, 5767): Ninety-three year old Philip M. Kaiser, a retired diplomat and high-ranking Labor Department official who served as an ambassador to four nations passed away today.

    2007: At Cannes, first showing of “Ocean’s Thirteen” co-starring Elliot Gould and Carl Reiner, featuring Ellen Barkin, Bob Einstein, Jerry Weintraub and Scott L. Schwartz, with a script by Brian Koppelman and produced by Jerry Weintraub.

    2007: In Ireland, Alan Joseph Shatter began serving his second term as a member of Teachata Dala.

    2008: Bradlee Birchansky celebrates his Bar Mitzvah at Shabbat Morning Services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2008 (5768): Finish Vayikra, Book of Leviticus

    2008: The Cedar RapidsJewish community watches with pride as Dan Abramson takes part in the graduation ceremonies at KennedyHigh School.

    2009(1st of Sivan, 5769): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    2009: Seventh season of “A Star is Born” begins on Israeli television.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict” by Benny Morris, “The American Future: A History” by Simon Schama, “Rhyming Life and Death” by Amos Oz; translated by Nicholas de Lange and “The Amos Oz Reader”selected and edited y Nitza Ben-Dov; translated by Nicholas de Lange and others.

    2009: As he ended a four-day trip to Israel today, Canada's minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism warned against a "new anti-Semitism" that emanates from an alliance of Western leftists and Islamic extremists is more dangerous than the "old European" form of Jew-hatred

    2010: Fifth anniversary of Majdi Halabi, the druse IDF soldier who disappeared while hitchhiking from his home at Daliyat al-Karmel to the military base where he was serving on active duty.

    2010: Shami Leibowitz, the grandson of Yeshayahu Leibowitz, was sentenced to 20 months in prison today after having “pleaded guilty…to knowingly and willfully disclosing five Secret level FBI documents to a blogger who then published information derived from those documents on the blog.”

    2010: In New York, the YIVO is scheduled to present a lecture entitled “Coming to America?  Max Weinreich and the Making of YIVO in New York, 1939-41.”

    2011:The AIPAC Policy Conference is scheduled to come to a close in Washington, DC.

    2011:In celebration of Jewish-American Heritage Month, the Frequency String Quartet is scheduled to perform a program entitled “Different Trains: Stories From the Holocaust Told Through Music” at   the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH.

    2011:YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a lecture by Lecture Natan M. Meir, Lorry I. Lokey Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies, Portland State University entitled "A ‘Russian Zion,’ or a Jewish Nightmare?:  Jewish Life in Tsarist Kiev.”

    2011: "Jews, Slavery, and the Civil War" a program sponsored by The Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, The Center for Southern Jewish History at the College of Charleston and The Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina is scheduled to open this evening with a screening of “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray.”

    2011:"Marseille Port", “a work by Romanian born artist Marcel Janco, one of the founders of Dadaism who later in life moved here and established the Ein Hod artist village, is the top lot in Bonhams Israeli Art & Judaica auction in London which is scheduled to take place today

    2011: “Jerusalem, City Center” a work painted by Israel Hershberg in 1989-1990 is scheduled to go on sale at Bonham’s in London. It is expected to sell for anywhere from £100,000 to £150,000.

    2011(20th of Iyar, 5771): Eighty-two year old Arthur Goldreich, a native of South Africa who was an ally of Nelson Mandela in the fight to end apartheid, passed away today in Tel Aviv. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress this morning.

    2012: Israeli composer Guy Barash’s musical series “Eavesdropping” is scheduled to return to The Tank in NYC.

    2012: As his mother Debbie looked on with pride, Josh Rosenbloom graduated from medical school today.

    2012: NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced that man was in custody who had implicated himself in the disappearance of Etan Patz.

    2012: Anouk Markovits, the author of I Am Forbidden, is scheduled to do a reading at Corner Bookstore in New York.

    2012(3rdof Sivan, 5772): Sixty-three year old Kathi Kamen Goldmark passed away today.

    2013: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to host a presentation by Dr. Helen Roche entitled “Why we knew nothing about Auschwitz”  in which she will explore the diverse reactions to the trouble legacy of the Holocaust demonstrated by those who had attended an elite Nazi school.

    2013: The IPO Patron Trip to Israel is scheduled to begin today.

    2013: In Portugal, the Lisbon Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end

    2013: Opening of “No Place On Earth” in Coral Gables, FL and Tulsa, OK

    2013: A Carlebach-inspired service honoring the Jewish Fallen Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan is scheduled to be held at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2013: The landmine of the type that exploded in the Golan Heights killing Cpl. Roi Alphi, was known to be faulty and susceptible to heat, Hebrew media reports said today.

    2013: The time has come for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take difficult steps in pursuit of peace, US Secretary of State John Kerry said as he spoke with reporters in Ben-Gurion International Airport today at the end of a two-day visit.

    2014: Zohar Hodis is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Lubavitch of Iowa City under the leadership of Rabbi Avrohom Blesofsky.

    2014: Pope Francis is scheduled to begin his trip to “the holy land”

    2014: “Pope Francis sent his good wishes to President Shimon Peres and to the Israeli people via his pilot as he flew to neighboring Jordan to kick off his regional “pilgrimage of prayer” tour.Peres reciprocated with a message of his own, telling the pope that Israel will receive him “with love and appreciation, as a pope who builds bridges of peace between religions.”

    2014:Belgium stands “united” against the “abhorrent” attack today at the Brussels Jewish Museum that killed three people and critically injured one, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said hours after the shooting

    2015(6th of Sivan, 5775): Shavuot

    2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including another Holocaust novel, The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard andThe Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime by Harold Bloom.


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    May 25

    1085: Pope Gregory VI passed away.  Gregory opposed Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor who saw himself as a protector of the Jews.  Henry contended that the Jews, regardless of where they lived, were his subjects.  He granted them special dispensations and exemptions in matters of trade and taxes.

    1085: Alfonso VI of Castile took Toledo back from the Moors. As Moslem Spain came under the control of increasingly intolerant religious leaders, Jews and liberal Moslems found refuge in the tolerant world of Christian Toledo.  As many as 40,000 Jews are reported to have fought in the armies of Alfonso against the Almoravides.  Ironically, there were thousands of Jews fighting with the Almoravides as well.

    1096: Massacre of the Jews of Worms who took refuge in the city's castle during the First Crusade. Simcha Bar Isaac haKohen was "torn to bits" by Crusaders in a church for stabbing the bishop's nephew while pretending to submit to compulsory baptism.  (Editorial comment: I’ll bet that scene is in not in any of the blockbuster hits about the noble Crusaders and their noble Moslem opponents.)

    1241: First attack on Jewish community of Frankfort-on-the-Main Germany.

    1261: The Papacy of Alexander IV, who brought the Inquisition to France, ended today.

    1648: Chmielnicki's pogroms, which resulted in the massacre of more than 300,000 Jews, broke out.  This slaughter took place in the Ukraine.  This was the worst slaughter of Jews until the Holocaust.

    1710(5th of Iyar): Rabbi Benjamin Ozer of Zolkiev, author of “Even ha-Ozer” passed away

    1717: Johann Christian George Bodenschatz, the native of Hof, Germany who “devoted his life to Jewish antiquities, and is said to have made elaborate models of the Ark of Noah and of the Tabernacle in the wilderness.”

    1741(10th of Sivan): Daniel Christian Jabolonski, who printed the Talmud passed away in Berlin today.

    1757(6th of Sivan, 5517): Shavuot

    1757(6th of Sivan, 5517): Italian Rabbi and Poet Jacob Daniel Olmo Ben Abraham passed away today.

    1759: Judah Lob Ben Nathan Krysa, an 18thcentury Frankist leader from Galacia “declared that the cross symbolized the "holy trinity" spoken of in the Zohar, and the seal of the Messiah.”  Krysa also “asserted before the ecclesiastical dignitaries that the Talmud prescribes the use of Christian blood. Like his master Jacob Frank and most of the Frankists, Krysa” would later embrace Christianity.

    1772(22nd of Iyar): Rabbi Aaaron ben Solomon Amarillo, author of “Penie Aharon” passed away.

    1776(7th of Sivan, 5536): Second Day of Shavuot

    1784: Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek

    1787: Opening session of the Philadelphia Convention which would become known as the Constitutional Convention because its fifty-five delegates would write the U.S. Convention. While there were no Jewish delegates at the Convention, the framers took action that had a profound effect on the Jewish people that has lasted to the 21st century. Article VI of the document states: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  In other words, from the beginning of Jews, at least at the federal level, were eligible to hold office.  Lewis Charles Levin would be the first Jew elected to Congress, winning election to the House of Representatives in 1844.

    1800: Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5560

    1817: Birthdate of Saul Solomon the native of St. Helena, the leader of South Africa’s Liberal Party who is called the “Cape Disraeli” because, like Benjamin Disraeli, he converted to Christianity.  And like Disraeli, he retained a sense of pride in his ethnic origins.  He passed away in 1892.

    1821:Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich began serving as 1st State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire. Metternich was an extremely complex character whose treatment of Jews depended on the needs of the Austrian Empire.  Thus he could favor rights for Jews in Germany while opposing them for Jews in Austria. Henry Kissinger, the first Jewish Secretary of State wrote his thesis on Metternich and eventually published A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812-22

    1831: In Philadelphia, PA, Mary Levy Moss and Eleazer (Eugene) Moss gave birth to Lucien Moss.

    1832(25th of Iyar): Rabbi Jacob Lorberbaum of Lissa, author of “Netivot ha-Mishpat” passed away.

    1839: "The British Vice-Counsel in Jerusalem, William Tanner Young, wrote a report comparing the conditions of the Jews in Palestine to that of their counterparts in Egypt.  Young wrote that the Governor of Egypt, Ibrahim Pasha, showed 'more consideration' for the Jews than the Christians did.  Young also wrote that he had heard several Egyptian Jews acknowledge that 'they enjoy more peace and tranquility under this Government, than they have ever enjoyed here before.' But he then observed that, in contrast, 'the Jew in Jerusalem is not estimated in value much above a dog - and scarcely a day passes that I do not hear of some act of tyranny and oppression against a Jew.'" (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)

    1844: Today, during the reign of Louis Philippe, major changes were made in the way members were chosen for the Jewish consistory which Napoleon convened first as the Assembly of Jewish Notables and later as a “Grand Sanhedrin.”

    1845: Birthdate of Lipman Emanuel "Lip" Pike who reportedly was the first Jewish baseball player and the first baseball player to play the game for cash meaning he was the first professional baseball.

    1846: Birthdate of Theodore Minis Etting, the native of Philadelphia, PA who served in the U.S. Navy from 1862 until 1877 when he resigned to pursue a career as a lawyer a civic leader that culminated in his election “

    1852: In Chicago, fourteen Jews organized B’nai Sholom, the second oldest congregation in the city.

    1852: “Jewish Disabilities” published today begins with the sentence “No more accurate gauge for advancing civilization could probably be chosen, than the political condition of the Jews” is worth reading in its entirety for anybody seeking to understand the unique nature of the American Jewish experience. 1854: Today during the second reading of the Jewish Disabilities Bill sponsored by Lord Russell, Benjamin Disraeli voiced his opposition to the measure.  In part, Disraeli’s opposition was based on a desire to divorce the bill, which is designed to allow Jewish MP’s to sit in Parliament, from a move to provide full rights of citizenship to British Roman Catholics.

    1854: German author Paul Heyse arrived in Munich where he had been appointed professor of Romance philology at the city’s university.  Heyse, who father was not Jewish and whose mother Julie was the daughter of the Prussian court jeweler Jakob Salomon, is considered by some to be the first Jew to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    1863: Birthdate of Parisian born opera composer Camille Erlanger

    1863(7th of Sivan, 5623): Second Day of Shavuot

    1863: In Kovno, Jehuda Zwie Finkelstein and his wife gave birth to Simon I. Finelstein who served as rabbi at a several American congregations including Congregation Bikur Cholim, Baltimore, Md., 1886-1890; Beth T'flla, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1890-1897; and Poale Zedek, Syracuse, N. Y., 1897-1902 and Congregation Ohave Sholom, Brooklyn NY

    1867: In Odessa, Nathan Sanders and his wife gave birth to Leon Sanders who was admitted to the New York bar in 1895, Married Bertha Fisher in 1896 and served as Tammany Hall leader in a series of legislative capacities before being elected “as justice of the Thirteenth District of the Municipal Court of the City of New York.”

    1868: The New York Times reviewed “The Book of Genesis,” translated from the original Hebrew by Dr. T. J. Conant.  The translation is accompanied “with copious notes and an introduction.”

    1870: At 3 o'clock this afternoon the corner-stone of the Mount Sinai Hospital was laid at the corner of Sixty-sixth-street and Lexington-avenue. The ceremony included addresses by New York Mayor Abraham Hall and Judge Cardozo.

    1871(5th of Sivan, 5631): 49th Day of the Omer; Erev Shavuot

    1873: “A Jewish Ceremony” published today described “a very curious ceremony called ‘The Burying of the Law.’”  Such a ceremony which takes place once every eight or ten years recently took place “in the Spanish Synagogue in Jerusalem”  which has a “subterranean cave” in which “every old leaf torn out from any holy book, every old worn-out Bible, Gemara and phylactery” has been deposited “by all the Jewish residents of Jerusalem” regardless of their Minhag. Every 8 to 10 years, these materials are made into bales and then, after following the applicable rituals, the bales are carried out of the Zion Gate by a procession of Jews who descend “into the valley of Jehoshaphat where a very deep well is located.  The bales are then drop into the well “amid the singing of the joyous crowd.

    1875:This evening Professor Felix Adler, of Cornell University, addressed the American Geographical Society at Association Hall in New York City. His topic was "The Influence of the Physical Geography of Palestine on Hebrew Thought." The opening of this address was devoted to the statement and citation of the effects of climate on the character and thoughts of people born in it.

    1876: A meeting of delegates representing Hebrew congregations from various U.S. cities which was being held at The Harvard Rooms in New York City came to an end.  The delegates discussed the possibility of establishing a seminary that would teach Jewish theology and the Hebrew language while preparing students to become Rabbis.

    1877: “A Romance in Paterson: The Marriage of a Pretty Jewess Under Peculiar Circumstances” published today described the suit for an annulment that Miss Rachel Blumenthal, the daughter of wealthy Montreal Jew, is bringing against Moses Tannenhoz a cigar dealer from Patterson, NJ. The 18 year old Miss Blumenthal claimed that she was tricked into marrying Tannenhoz and that she was not of the age of consent when the ceremony took place. 

    1879:The yearly meeting of the United Hebrew Charities was held this morning at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, in East Seventy-seventh-street.

    1880: In Amsterdam, a merchant named Jacob Samuel Hillesum and his wife Esther Hillesum-Loeza gave birth to their 4th and youngest child Levie (Louis) Hillesum, the father of Esther "Etty" Hillesum.  Years later, Etty would keep a diary of life under Nazi occupation that would not surface until after her death at the age of 29 in Auschwitz.

    1882(7th of Sivan, 5642): Second Day of Shavuot

    1882(7th of Sivan, 5642): English publisher and convert to Judaism Thomas Jones passed away

    1890(6th of Sivan, 5650): First Day of Shavuot

    1890: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Gottheil will officiate at Confirmation Services.

    1890: At Temple Beth-El, Rabbi Kohler will officiate at Confirmation Services.

    1890: At Temple Ahawatch Chesed, Rabbi Kohut will officiate at Confirmation Services.

    1890: At the Temple on East 15th Street, Rabbi Raphael Benjamin will officiate at Confirmation Services.

    1890: Rabbi H.S. Jacobs will lead Shavuot Services today at B’nai Jeshurun.

    1890: Rabbi De Sola Mendes will lead Shavuot Services today at Shaarai-Tephilla.

    1890: The body of Samuel Hotz, a Jewish peddler, was found in an old mining shaft at Wurtsborough, NY.

    1890: “Republican Origins” published today described the reaction to The Origins of the Republican Form of Government in the United States by Oscar Straus which has now been translated into French by Madame Jessie Catherine  Couvreur

    1890: It was reported today that President Carnot’s meeting with the Chief Rabbi of France has “called forth a host of letters on the ‘second Babylonish captivity’ and the freedom of the Jews in modern times.”

    1890: It was reported today that the Republican Club in New York City continues to refuse to admit Jews with several members publicly committed to using the blackball to accomplish this end.

    1890: It was reported today that the Internal Revenue Collector and “boss of one-half of the Republicans of Kings County,” Ernst Nathan began his career as a cigar maker. Today he owns several rows of houses, “has made many thousands of dollars in real estate” and is worth a half-million dollars. His political power stems from his ability to name those who will occupy important elected positions including two state Assembly districts as well as the party candidates for Senator and Third District Congressman.

    1891: It was reported today that resolutions passed six months under the leadership of the Duke of Westminster beseeching the Czar to show some pity for his Jewish subjects have been met with “unseemly contempt” and no let-up in the expulsion of the Jews.  In response, the Hebrew Lovers of Zion has been formed in London with the aim of finding a home for the Jewish refugees in Palestine.  Their attempts have been met approval in England and the United States where anti-immigrant sentiment is growing.

    1891: It was reported today that the flood of refugees is gaining, not losing “headway.” During April 7,501 Russian and Polish immigrants arrived in the United States “an increase over 1890 of 3,291. While German immigrants are described as “sturdy” and Scandinavians are described as “honest, lusty workers” these immigrants are described as being poor, degraded and in “pitiable condition” who would be better settled in the lands of the Sultan (Palestine).

    1892: “Mortally Wounded In A Duel” published today described the circumstances around a duel fought in Hungary Baron Aczel, a member of the Diet and a rich Jewish landowner named Karsay who was denied a chance to participate in the celebration of the jubilee of the coronation of the King because of his religion.

    1892: The building of the new sanitarium for Jewish children located at Rockaway Park which cost $20, 975 was overseen by the Board of Managers whose officers include Nathan Lewis, President; Dr. Horatio Gomez, Vice President; Hezekiah Kohn, Treasurer; Joseph Davis, Secretary.

    1893: According to Israel Schwartz who has been living at the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery for nine years, today, “in school I talked to other boys against” following which “my teach Byron Reilly wrote to Superintendent Engel of the nursery about me.”

    1894: “Annoyed by a Sausage Dealer” published today described the store owned by Florian Sicher, the Yorkville butcher which includes signage advertising “Anti-Semitic Sausages” as well as banners on the awning reading “Do Not Buy From Jews” and “No Sales Made to Jews.”

    1894: The Longman publishing company will publish Christopher Columbus and the Participation of the Jews in the Spanish and Portuguese Discoveries by Rabbi Meyer Kayserling today.

    1894(19th of Iyar, 5654): Alexander Kohut, the Hungarian born Rabbi who was elected rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Chesed in New York in 1885 and helped to found the Jewish Theological Seminary passed away. He was the father of the scholar and author George Alexander Kouth.

    1895: Andrew McCran, the next door neighbor of Samuel Samuelson, has been arrested on suspicion of shooting the Jew living in Miles Alley.

    1896: The New York Timesreported that Baron Hirsch had left “only” thirty million pounds to his heirs and beneficiaries, the primary one of which is his widow.  While there are rumors floating around London that the Baron had destroyed the IOU’s of a prominent royal personage (possibly the Crown Prince) those in the know do not believe that the Baron was of such a forgiving nature.

    1898: Birthdate of French writer Robert Aron

    1898: Birthdate of publisher Bennett Cerf.  While his real claim to fame was his work at Random House, he was known to most Americans as a panelist on the Sunday night television show, “What’s My Line?”

    1898: Birthdate of Russian-born American composer and concert pianist Mischa Levitzki.

    1899: Dr. Henry M. Leipziger was re-elected as President of the Judeans who held their annual meeting this evening at the Tuxedo. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise spoke of the political progress being made by the Jews as can be seen by the appointment of Oscar S. Straus as U.S. Minister to Turkey and the election of Joseph Simon as U.S. Senator from Oregon, making him the fourth Jew to serve in Upper House of Congress. He compared the Jewish condition in the United States to Russia which is in the grips of the “outrage of anti-Semitism and France where Dreyfus is still not free.

    1899(16th of Sivan, 5659): Rosa Bonheur French realist painter and sculptor passed away. Born in Bordeaux in 1822, she was one of four children all of whom were artists.  According to some reports, as a child she was known as Rosa Mazeltov.

    1900: The four daylong meeting of the Actions Committee and Trust began today. During the meeting a new Bank Commission was appointed and a decision was reached to hold the next Zionist Congress in London.

    1901(7th of Sivan, 5661): Second day of Shavuot

    1901(7th of Sivan, 5661): Samuel Joseph Rubinstein passed away.  Born in Mitau in 1817, his father sent him to the U.K. when he reached the age of 12 – the age at which he would have been forced to join the Russian Army. He traveled with his aunt who was joining her husband in Glasgow.  When Rubinstein reached the Scottish city, he was befriended by the Davis family who members of the local Jewish congregation.  They took him in, gave him work to do so that he could earn some money and treated him as if he were a member of the family.

    1902: In Lisbon, a foundation stone is laid for the first synagogue built in Portugal since the expulsion of the Jews in 1497.

    1902: At Temple Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, Joseph J. Corn presided over the first public meeting of the Israelite Alliance of America where resolutions were adopted “approving the passage of the resolution of Congressman Henry M. Goldfogle urging the government of the United States to insist that Russia end its discrimination against American Jews and observe the treaty of 1832.”

    1903: In Islington, Rosa Enoyce and George Barnes, a Jewish policeman gave birth to English actress Gertrude Maude “Binnie” Barnes.

    1904: “Myer S. Isaacs Dead” published today recounted the life of the recently deceased Judge Myer S. Isaacs who had served as President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites and of the Hebrew Free School Association.  A lifelong Republican, Governor Cornell had appointed him to the Marine Court in 1880.  He was nominated to the Superior Court in 1891 and the Supreme Court in 1895.

    1906(1st of Sivan, 5666): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1910: The Chief Rabbi of Salonica protests that despite assurances to the contrary, during his departure, Jews were enrolled in the Army on Saturday. The Minister of Interior telegraphs the Governor General, and instructs him to not let this be repeated. Of 1,908 Jews enrolled at Salonica, 1,719 entered active service; the remaining 189 went into the reserves.

    1913: Birthdate of film and television screenwriter Sidney Carroll

    1913: Dedication of the Sarah Morris Hospital for Children of Michael Reese Hospital

    1913: Dedication of B’nai Jacob synagogue in New Haven, CT.

    1913: Dedication of Beth David Hospital in New York City.

    1913 Dedication of Tifereth Israel in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    1915: The conclusion of Judge Ben B. Lindsey asking for clemency for Leo Frank which read “I was born and raised in the South and I haven’t any doubt of the sincerity and certainty of the people of Georgia as well as your Excellency and the honorable Board of Pardons, doing anything but justice in this matter.  That is why I join the appeal in behalf of the commutation of the sentence of Frank with perfect confidence that your action will be in accord with what seems to me to be the universal opinion throughout the country and that the sentence of Frank should at least be commuted to life imprisonment.”

    1915: The list of candidates published today those of who might replace M.S. Stern as the Grand Master of the United States Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Sons of Israel  who has held the office for thirteen years includes Solon J. Liebeskind, Louis Hess and Emil Tausig of New York City.

    1915: One of the last acts of the Michigan Legislature which “formally concluded its 1915 session today” “was the adoption of resolutions urging the Governor of Georgia to commute the death sentence of Leo M. Frank to life imprisonment.”

    1915: In Springfield, Illinois, Governor Edward F. Dunne addressed a mass meeting at the State Arsenal tonight in behalf of Leo M. Frank during which he “declared capital punishment to be ‘barbarism’ and asking that the Governor of Georgia to commute his sentence to life imprisonment.”

    1916: Dedication of the Grace Aguilar Home in Philadelphia, PA.

    1916: “As Chairman of the Board of Delegates of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and as resident member of the Executive Committee of the International Order B’nai B’rith” Simon Wolf wrote to President Woodrow Wilson asking him to express himself “as far as is consistent and proper at this juncture” as supporting the “securing of equal rights for” the Jews throughout the world, “especially those in Russia and Romania” when the terms of peace ending the World War are agreed upon.

    1916(22nd of Iyar, 5676): Fifty-five year old Morris Weslosky, the native or Riddleville, GA, who was the husband of Julia Weslosky passed away today in New York City.

    1917: In Minsk, Russia, Yiddish was recognized as a second official language.

    1917: Funeral services are scheduled to be held for Minnie Weil, the widow of the Benjamin Weil at the home of her son Isaac Weil followed by burial at Free Sons’ Cemetery in Chicago.

    1917: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for 47 year old Dwight S. Hirsch, the husband of Mae Hirsch followed by interment at Mount Maariv.

    1918:The Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs announced tonight that an uncensored letter from a correspondent with the British Army in Palestine, reported that General Allenby’s army had renewed its offensive in Palestine and that the campaign will carry these forces beyond the borders of “the Holy Land.”  This marked the end of three month halt in the campaign during which the British troops had plenty of time to establish good relations with the Jewish population including the people of Tel Aviv, the site of a major English encampment.

    1921:  Birthdate of Jack Steinberger, German-born American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988. In talking about his escape from Germany, Steinberger said, “In 1934, the American Jewish charities offered to find homes for 300 German refugee children. We were on the SS Washington, bound for New York by Christmas 1934.”

    1921: Birthdate of lyricist and song writer, Hal David. He is a prolific producer of tunes, many of which were written in collaboration with Burt Bacharach.  "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" won an Academy Award as the score for the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Don't Make Me Over", "Close to You", and "Walk on By" are all in the Grammy Hall of Fame. "What's New Pussycat,” “Alfie” and "The Look of Love" received Oscar nominations. He also wrote many country music hits, including Willie Nelson's "To All The Girls I've Loved Before".

    1921 The Hurwitz Educational League sponsored a lecture and recital featuring Dr. A.A. Roback of Harvard University and his wife on “Folk Music Among Jews and Other Nations” in the auditorium of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association on 31 West 110 Street in New York City.

    1922(27th of Iyar, 5682): In Chicago, political economist Joseph Pedott passed away today.

    1923: Britain recognized Transjordan with Abdullah as its leader. In this illegal action, Britainpaid off part of its debt to one Arab family for its part in fighting the Turks during World War I.  There are those who contend that by this act Britaineffectively portioned Palestineand created an Arab state out of it

    1926:"No attempt toward the economic reconstruction of European Jewries will succeed unless we stem the anti-Semitic wave," declared Dr. William Filderman, president of the Union of Rumanian Jews, on the eve of his departure for Europe on the Berengaria today. "There is no use educating Jewish artisans if anti-Semitic prejudice deprives them of any market for their products," he explained.

    1926: Sholom Schwartzbard assassinated Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of Ukrainian People's Republic.  Schwartzbard had lost both of his parents in pogroms and he held Petliura accountable for the anti-Semitic violence that had been part of the war in the Ukraine.  Anti-Semitic violence was part and parcel of life in the Ukraine, as can be seen in the Chmielnicki's pogroms of 1648, the pogroms in Kiev at the start of the 20th century and the slaughter at Babi Yar during World War II.  Schwartzbard’s case was taken up by the French Jewish community and he was acquitted of the charges.

    1926: Molecular biologist Alfred Ezra Mirsky married children’s author Reba Paeff

    1927: The United Palestine Appeal in Philadelphia, PA is scheduled to come to an end today.

    1927: First screening of “7thHeaven” a movie that produced at least one Oscar with a screenplay written by Benjamin Glazer.

    1928(6th of Sivan, 5688): Shavuot

    1928: Birthdate of Henry Baron, the first Jew to sit on the Irish Supreme Court

    1929: Birthdate of Beverly Sills. Born Belle "Bubbles" Miriam Silverman in BrooklynNY, Sills gained fame as operatic soprano and patroness of the arts.

    1929: According to reports published today “industrial establishments in Palestine have increased to 513, employing 5,000 workers” with a total of $7,500,000 in invested capital.  The actual figures could have been higher but the Ruttenberg Works which has 700 employees was not included in the survey.

    1930: Birthdate of John Strugnell who would become editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1984.  Strungell was not Jewish but he spent a major portion of his academic life working with these texts and his comments about Judaism in Haaretz turned into a major cause célèbre.

    1930: The Peter J. Schweitzer Memorial Hospital, a modern health institution operated at level comparable to those found in an American hospital, opened today in Tiberius in the Valley of the Galilee.

    1931: Birthdate of Herbert Eser Gray, “Canada's first Jewish federal cabinet minister, and  one of only a few Canadians ever granted the title The Right Honourable who was not so entitled by virtue of a position held.

    1931: In Palestinevoting began to select the representatives tothe 17th Zionist Congress to be held in June. When the voting ends, the Yishuv delegation of 36 consists of 24 Mapai and HaShomer HaTzair, 7 Revisionists, 2 Mizrachi, 2 Hapoel HaMizrachi and 1 Yemenite.

    1933(29th of Iyar, 5693): Louis Schloss, a Jewish lawyer was murdered in Dachau.

    1934: Ernest Peixotto of the Fontainebleau School arrived in New York after having crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the same liner that carried the chairman of the board of the French Line.  Peixotto reported that he had offered American student of the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts the honor of decorating one of the cabins on the Normandie,the largest ship in the world which is now under construction.

    1936: The Jewish Auxiliary Police, "Ghaffirs", is established to guard Jewish settlements and rural roads.

    1937: Release date for “The League of Frightened Men” co-starring Lionel Stander the Bronx born son Russian Jewish immigrants.

    1938: In Brooklyn Jack and Rose Israel gave birth to “living theatre performance artist” Steven Ben Israel (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1938: As Arab violence continued unabated The Palestine Post reported that inJerusalem 30 year old Moshe Proper was killed and there wereother casualties including 12 Arab victims and seven Jewish victims. A curfew was imposed to stop stoning and shooting incidents. A number of Jewish youths were arrested and a 120 pounds fine was imposed on the Jewish quarter of Montefiore. A number of Revisionists, just released from the Acre prison, were rearrested. Nahum Bibi, a Jewish laborer was fatally shot at Safed and a Bedouin sheikh was murdered by an Arab gang roaming Galilee.

    1939(7th of Sivan, 5699): Second Day of Shavuot

    1939(7th of Sivan, 5699): Sir Joseph Duveen passed away. The son of Sir Joseph Joel Duveen who had 13 children, he followed in the footsteps of his father and his uncle Henry J. Duveen, and became one of the leading art dealers of his time.

    1940: As the Allied position in Western Europe crumbles before Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, Churchill’s War Cabinet meets to decide if Britain should continue to the fight against Germany.  The ‘peace party’ is led by Foreign Minister Lord Halifax who will make a strong case for a deal with Germany as the debate rages for three days.

    1940: U.S. premiere of “Torrid Zone” featuring George Tobias as “Rosario La Mata.”

    1940: Hans Biebow today issued orders for factories to be set up in the ghetto (called Arbeitsressorte, or work sections). Provided with very cheap labor, these factories were to serve the Nazis as a source of easy profits and exploitation. The Jews in the ghetto, cut off as they were from all other possible sources of livelihood, were prepared to work for no more than a loaf of bread and some soup. The exploitation of the Jews imprisoned in the ghetto yielded a profit to the ghetto administration estimated at 350 million reichsmarks ($14 million). (As reported by Yad Vashem)

    1941: Koestler’s anti-­Soviet novel “Darkness at Noon” received a rave cover review in the New York Times Book Review Section: “A splendid novel,” Harold Strauss declared, “written with such dramatic power, with such warmth of feeling and with such persuasive simplicity that it is as absorbing as melodrama. It is a far cry from the bleak topical commentaries that sometimes pass as novels.”

    1942: Birthdate of Barry K. Schwartz, the Bronx native who joined with his boyhood friend Calvin Klein to form Calvin Klein, Inc. in which he enjoyed so much success that he could indulge his passion for thoroughbred horse racing.

    1943: Four deportations of Jews from Holland to the death camps at Auschwitz and Sobibór total 8000 people.

    1943: The expulsion of the Jews from Sofia, Bulgaria, began today. 

    1944: Birthdate of Actor Frank Oz

    1944: Release date of “Mr. Skeffington,” a film about Job Skeiffington, a Jew living in high society directed by Vincent Sherman with a script by Julius and Philip Epstein who produced it along with Jack L. Warner.

    1944: In Budapest, the German representative, General Edmund Veesnmayer reported that 138,870 Jews had been deported in the past 10 days.

    1944: Hundreds of fleeing Hungarian Jews are killed during a revolt at Auschwitz.

    1944: Pioneer television station WPTZ (now KYW-TV) in Philadelphia presented a special, all-star telecast which was also seen in New York over WNBT (now WNBC) and featured cut-ins from their Rockefeller Center studios. Cantor, one of the first major stars to agree to appear on television, was to sing "We're Havin' a Baby, My Baby and Me". Arriving shortly before airtime at the New York studios, Cantor was reportedly told to cut the song because the NBC New York censors considered some of the lyrics too risqué. Cantor refused, claiming no time to prepare an alternative number. NBC relented, but the sound was cut and the picture blurred on certain lines in the song. This is considered the first instance of television censorship

    1945: Just three weeks after the surrender of the German capital, pharmacist Erich Zwilsky became the Berlin Jewish Hospital’s managing director, assuming responsibility for the only Jewish institution that had remained in operation throughout World War II.

    1945: “Investigating Team 6822, part of the U.S. War Crimes Program to create legal standards and judicial systems to prosecute Nazi crimes” completed its investigation into the murder of prisoners being moved from Rottleberode subcamp to Neuengamme concentration and sent a report to General William Hood Simpson, the Supreme Commander of the United States 9th Army.

    1946:  Abdullah I becomes King of the Kingdom of Transjordan. From 1921 until 1946 Abdullah had been Emir of the Emirate of Transjordan. On the eve of the creation of state of Israel in 1948, Abdullah met secretly with Golda Meir.  Meir sought to keep the Jordanians from attacking the soon to be created Jewish state when the British withdrew.  Abdullah offered to let the Jews peacefully as subjects of JordanianKingdom that would include all the land of the Palestinemandate.  Abdullah’s army invaded Israel, seized what is called the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem.  In 1951, Abdullah would be assassinated by an Arab fanatic at the Al Aqsa Mosque. He thought Abdullah was involved in secret peace talks with the Israelis

    1947: Perry Belmont, the former Congressman and diplomat who was the son of August Belmont passed away.  The Belmonts had passed out of the Jewish world when August married Caroline Slidell, the daughter of a Confederate diplomat and descendant of American naval hero Matthew C. Perry, the man who “opened up Japan.”

    1946: Switzerland signs the Washington Agreement, under which the Swiss government will voluntarily contribute $58.1 million in gold to an Allied commission established to help rebuild Europe. The Allies are aware that this payment will come from Swiss stores of looted gold taken from Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution. Regardless, the Allies agree not to press the Swiss for additional claims. At this time, Switzerland holds between $300 and $400 million in looted gold;

    1948: The Old City of Jerusalem falls. Defended by local residents, Etzel members and about 80 Haganah soldiers, they were outnumbered and out-gunned by the Arab legionaries. After weeks of desperate fighting it was decided to surrender and save the almost 2000 mostly elderly Jews who were still living in the OldCity.

    1948: British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin says that the Negev should not be included in a Jewish state because no Jews lived there and that Jaffa and Acre “should be given back to the Arabs” because they were “purely Arab towns.

    1948:  The attack on Latrun, begun the night before continues.  The forces of the Arab Legion are able to fire down on the attacking Jews.  As the Jews fall victim to the barrage of bullets, they are forced to confront a second enemy, the searing heat which many of these recent refugees from Europe are not used to.  To make matters worse, many of them went into battle without canteens.  Their pleas for water are met by sniper fire from the Arabs.  Realizing that the attack has failed, the Israelis withdraw with eighty dead and uncounted others wounded.  Among the dead is Reuven Oppenheim who had survived the Holocaust.  He fought with partisan forces in that part of the Soviet Union known as White Russia.  Miraculously, Oppenheim’s immediate family (mother, father and sister) survived with him and came to Palestinein 1947.  The price for a Jewish state was high indeed.

    1948: The government of Egypt "issued a proclamation stipulating that no Jew could leave Egypt with a special visa from the Ministry of the Interior.  This...applied to the many thousands of Jews who held foreign passports."  (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)

    1948: The Scotsman, a newspaper published in Edinburgh, “quoted an Israeli government statement that Thomas C. Wasson,” the Counsel General for the United States in Jerusalem who days before “had attempted to stop the Arab Legion shelling of the Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University on Mount Scopus”  "was killed by Arab bullets."

    1949: Chaim Weizmann went to the White House as President of Israel at the invitation of President Harry Truman.

    1950: “Israel's mounting immigration troubles became more apparent today with the interim report of Malben, which handles the country's hard core cases. This organization has discovered that its six month-old budget of $17,500,000 is about half what it needs to handle the handicapped immigrants under its care.”

    1950: Tonight, “The decision of the United States, Britain and France to include Israel in their over-all plan for supplying the countries in the Middle East with arms for defense purposes was greeted” in Israel “with satisfaction by a Foreign Ministry spokesman.”

    1951: In a handwritten letter proposes, Abba Eban proposed periodic meetings between himself and the leaders of major American Jewish organizations “to exchange views and impressions about the American-Israeli relationship.”

    1952: King Features launched the Sunday version of the comic strip “Big Ben Bolt” written by Elliot Caplin, the brother of Al Capp.

    1953: In New York City, Arthur Ensler, a Jewish food industry executive and his non-Jewish wife Christ gave birth to award winning playwright Eve Ensler, “best known for her play The Vagina Monologues.”

     1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Cabinet was discussing the deteriorating security situation in border areas.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Thomas Harlan, son of Veit Harlan, a notorious Nazi film producer, was in Israel working on a film which would "atone" for the sins of his father.

     1954(22nd of Iyar, 5714): Robert Capa, possibly the most famous photo journalist of the 20th century was killed while on assignment cover the French- Indochina War.  The Jewish native of Hungary waded ashore with the first wave of troops at OmahaBeach, providing the first photographic record of the assault.,_Death_of_a_Loyalist_Soldier.jpg

    1957: After 49 performances at the Broadway Theatre, the curtain came down on “Shinbone Alley,” a musical with a book by Mel Brooks orchestrated by Irwin Kostal.

    1958(6th of Sivan, 5718): Shavuot

    1963: During his Shabbat Sermon, at Tremont Temple in the Bronx, Rabbi Maurice J. Bloom declared that because of his divorce and recent remarriage Governor Rockefeller is morally obligated to press for an easing of New York State's divorce laws.  If New York State had a proper marriage and divorce code neither the Governor nor his first wife, nor his current wife would be forced to participate in actions that are variance with the laws that the Governor is sworn to uphold as the state’s chief executive.  Furthermore, the Rabbi contended that it is not fair that divorce is only open to the wealthy who can afford to take up temporary residence in other states with more lenient laws related to terminating a marriage.  Tying the contemporary issue to Jewish tradition, Rabbi Bloom said, “Judaism believes in making strict marriage laws to safeguard marriage and easy divorce laws to make it possible to repair mistakes made by the application of those strict laws. Judaism stresses the sanctity of marriage, and for that reason it does not condemn people to live together where strife and incompatibility would mar good family life.”

    1965: Shimon Peres completed his term as Deputy Minister of Defense.

    1966(6th of Sivan, 5726): Shavuot

    1966: U.S. premiere of “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” co-starring Carl Reiner, Alan Arkin and Theodore Bikel with music by Johnny Mandel.

    1966: Helen Reddy, who had converted to Judaism before the ceremony married Jeff Wald today.

    1967: U.S. premiere of “Barefoot in the Park” the movie adaption of the play by Neil Simon, directed by Gene Saks, produced by Hal B. Wallis, featuring Herb Edeleman as “Harry Pepper”, Mabel Albertson as “Harriet” and Fritz Feld.

    1969: Release date of “Midnight Cowboy” directed by John Schlesinger and starring Dustin Hoffman.

    1969:An Israeli vehicle was damaged Sunday night after hitting a mine near Maoz Chaim in the valley. There were no casualties

    1976(25th of Iyar, 5736): A guard at Ben Gurion Airport was killed and nine others were injured when a bomb planted in a suitcase by a terrorist went off prematurely.

    1977: Samuel W. Lewis, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel presented his credentials today.

    1977: Star Wars opened.  This would be the first in a whole series of films that would include the villain Darth Vader. According to Adams Walls, “Even though it's too small to see on screen, part of Darth Vader's chestplate features three lines of Hebrew, one of which appears to be upside down. What the lines say is a matter of much online debate among Jewish "Star Wars" fans. On, which features photos of the Hebrew script in question, one blogger believes it's a play on a section from Exodus 16 about repentance, while another thinks the lines read: "His actions/deeds will not be forgiven until he is proven innocent" and "One shall be regarded innocent until he is proven guilty."

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported the official denial of reports that Israel sought control over the West Bank's absentee property owned by Arabs residing abroad, and that there were plans to establish a Jewish urban quarter near Nablus. Officials of the Land Administration were instructed to lift a ban on transactions affecting property owned by local Arab residents, residing abroad.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Knesset Speaker, Mr. Yitzhak Shamir, accepted an invitation to visit Germany at the head of the Knesset delegation.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that a six-lane divided highway, which would cut through the Sacher Park and expand the Kirya, was approved in Jerusalem.

    1978(18th of Iyar, 5738): Lag B’Omer

    1979(28th of Iyar, 5739 :) Yom Yerushalayim

    1979: Israel begins to return the Sinai to Egypt as part of the Camp David Peace Accords.

    1979: Six year old Etan Kalil Patz disappeared in Lower Manhattan, New York City as he walked to catch the school bus. .  He would be the first missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.

    1981: “News Summary” published today included charges by Prime Minister Menachem Begin made for the first time that “Soviet advisers are entering Lebanon accompanying large Syrian Army Units.”

    1983:Release date for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi with a script by Lawrence E. Kasdan and Frank Oz performing as “Yoda.”

     was released to the public.  The script was co-authored by a Jew from Miami, FL, Lawrence E. Kasdan.

    1985(5th of Sivan, 5745): Erev of Shavuot

    1985(5th of Sivan, 5745):Robert Gruntal Nathan “an American novelist and poet” passed away. “Nathan was born into a prominent New York family. He was educated in the United States and Switzerland and attended Harvard University for several years beginning in 1912. It was there that he began writing short fiction and poetry. However, he never graduated, choosing instead to drop out and take a job at an advertising firm to support his family (he married while a junior at Harvard). It was while working in 1919 that he wrote his first novel—the semi-autobiographical work Peter Kindred—which was a critical failure. But his luck soon changed during the 1920s, when he wrote seven more novels, including The Bishop's Wife, which was later made into a successful film starring Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young. During the 1930s, his success continued with more works, including fictional pieces and poetry. In 1940, he wrote his most successful book, Portrait of Jennie, about a Depression-era artist and the woman he is painting, who is slipping through time. Portrait of Jennie is considered a modern masterpiece of fantasy fiction and was made into a film, starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. In January 1956 the author wrote, as well as narrated, an episode of the CBS Radio Workshop, called "A Pride of Carrots or Venus Well-Served." Nathan's seventh wife was the British actress Anna Lee, to whom he was married from 1970 until his death. He came from a talented family — the activist Maud Nathan and author Annie Nathan Meyer were his aunts, and the poet Emma Lazarus and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo his cousins.”

    1987: James Levine is scheduled to conduct the IPO tonight in a performance that will include Mahler’s Third Symphony.

    1990(1st of Sivan, 5750): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1991: Israel began the evacuation 14,000 Ethiopian Jews. This was done as a secret operation and served as a reminder of the role of Israelas a haven for all Jews.

    1993(5th of Sivan, 5753):Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Friedman, the founder and former spiritual leader of the Garment Center Synagogue in Manhattan, passed away today at the age of 95. He was a rabbinical graduate of Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1921 and, a decade later, founded the Garment Center Synagogue. The synagogue, at 205 West 40th Street, was established primarily to serve the many Jews who worked in the garment trade. Born on Nov. 13, 1897, in Jerusalem, Rabbi Friedman came to the United States with his mother and brother in 1918 to escape famine in his homeland. His father had arrived a year earlier. Trained as a scribe, Rabbi Friedman began his rabbinical studies in 1919. After his ordination, he was appointed rabbi of Congregation Ezrath Israel in Ellenville, N.Y., a position he held for four years before moving to Brooklyn. In 1931, after serving at several synagogues in New York City, Rabbi Friedman founded the Garment Center Synagogue. In the mid-1950's, he was named rabbi emeritus. Rabbi Friedman's wife, Charlotte, died in 1980.

    1996(7th of Sivan, 5756): Second Day of Shavuot

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Actual by Saul Bellow and the Wisdom of the Body by Sherwin B. Nuland

    1999: Final broadcast of season one of “Felicity” created by J.J. Abrams staring Greg Grunberg as “Sean Blumberg.

    2000: Israel withdraws the last of its forces from Lebanon.

    2002:  An exhibition opens at the Tate in London entitled “Ori Gersht: Afterglow” which features the work of Israeli artist Ori Gersht.

    2003:The New York Timesfeatured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Last Good Season by Michael Shapiro.

    2004(5th of Sivan, 5764): Roger Williams Straus, Jr. passed away. Born in 1917, “Strauss was co-founder of Farrar, StrausandGiroux a NewYork book publishing company. Straus, along with John Farrar, began the influential firm of Farrar and Straus in 1945. In 1955, the company hired editor Robert Giroux away from rival Harcourt, Brace, who brought along authors such as T. S. Eliot and Flannery O'Connor, among others. Ultimately, in 1994, twenty years after his partner Farrar had died, Straus determined he could no longer run the company, retired, and sold the business to a German publishing conglomerate, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, the type of company he had long disdained and spoke out against. Straus was regarded as one of the last, old-fashioned publishers, faithful to his company and tight with his money, but emphasizing quality over commercial success. His dedication to the publishing business earned him several Nobel Prize-winning authors, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky, Nadine Gordime, Czeslaw Milosz and T. S. Eliot, and Pulitzer Prize authors such as Robert Lowell, John McPhee, Philip Roth, and Bernard Malamud. Straus grew up in a wealthy and influential family. His mother was Gladys Guggenheim, heir to one of the largest fortunes in America. His father, Roger W. Straus, was chairman of the American Smelting and Refining Co., which was owned by his wife's family. Straus' paternal grandfather, Oscar S. Straus, served as Secretary of Commerce and Labor under President Theodore Roosevelt.”

    2004:In Israel, striking lifeguard returned to work today as part of what they called “a goodwill gesture” for Shavuot which begins this evening.

    2005: At U.C Santa Cruz, The Jewish Studies Program is scheduled to present a lecture by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, titled “Seduced into Eden: The Beginning of Desire.” Zornberg's first book, Genesis: The Beginning of Desire won the National Jewish Book Award for nonfiction in 1995.

    2006(27th of Iyar, 5766):Rabanit Yocheved 'Jackie' Wein z"l, the first wife of Rabbi Berel Wein passed away toay.

    2006: During the Sydney Writers’ Festival at the Sydney (Australia) Jewish Museum Professor Konrad Kwiet leads a discussion with editors and journalists from major Sydney newspapers where they examine the role of free press in a democratic society including the need, if ever, for limits on freedom of the press and the need for the media to demonstrate a sense social responsibility.

     Books can be entertaining, insightful and at their best, life changing. But are there some books that just should not be read? Are they indeed dangerous? Books like Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, have spawned some of the most evil Books can be entertaining, insightful and at their best, life changing. But are there some regimes the world has known. Yet should we limit our access to these ideas? The intrinsic virtues of free speech are often touted throughout the West, however in countries such as Australia Anti Racial Vilification Legislation limits what can and cannot be said in public forums. What can or should be the role of the media in these kinds of debates? A free press is one of the basic tenets of a democratic society, but are there times when this freedom is taken too far? Does the press have a social responsibility and if so, what is it?

    2007:In Israel,Avner Itai the lead Israel Chamber Orchestra oboist, one of the greatest conductors in Israel and a professor for choir conducting  joins Ora Seitner and guitarist Oded Schub in performing folk songs and works from Catalonia and France at the Abu Gosh Festival.  He will play an oboe d'amore that he bought this year. Itai will conduct instrumentalists from the Philharmonic and his choir, Collegium Tel Aviv, in Bach's "Mass in B Minor."

    2007: Ryan Joseph Braun made his major league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers.

    2008: The Wolf Prizes were awarded today at the Chagall Hall by the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Chairperson of the Wolf Foundation Council, Prof. Yuli Tamir, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Zeev Schleisner.

    2008: Barry Levinson's tale of an embattled Hollywood producer entitled “What Just Happened?” closes this year's Festival de Cannes. The movie isbased on his memoir about his experiences as a producer.

    2008: The winner of the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award is announced in New Orleans at the 62nd Reuben Awards Ceremony. Mad Magazine Veteran Al Jaffee is one nominees for this year's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. The Reuben Award (a statuette designed by and named after the NCS' first president, Rube Goldberg is presented to the "Cartoonist of the Year." This is one more example of Jewish involvement with the comic and cartoon industry.

    2008: The Cedar RapidsJewish community watches with pride as Daniel DeClue takes part in the graduation ceremonies at PrairieHigh School.  A dedicated student of Judaica, a regular at Saturday morning services and an all-around great guy, he will be truly missed while he is away at college.

    2009: As Americans gather to observe Memorial Day, the following we are remineded of the role that Jews have played in defense of this country from Asher Levy in New Amsterdam to Corporal Mark Evnin, the first Jewish casualty in Iraq.

    2009:Israel is likely to face simultaneous missile strikes and terror attacks across the country in the event of a war breaking out, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said today

    2009(2nd of Sivan, 5769): Amos Elon, author of “The Israelis: Founders and Sons,” passed away at the age of 82.

    2010:"The Adventures of Hershele Ostropolyer," a new musical adaptation of the classic Yiddish play by Moyshe Gershenson, is scheduled to premiere tonight at The Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.

    2009: Conference 2009 hosted by The Philadelphia Kehilla For Secular Jews came to an end.

    2010: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., officially reopened the Etan Patz case today.

    2010: American Olympic figure skating champion Sarah Hughes “graduated from Yale and received a bachelor's degree in American studies with a concentration in U.S. politics and communities.”

    2010: Elizabeth Holtzman announced that she had decided not to run for New York State Attorney General.

    2010: The 49th Israel Festival, arguably one of Israel's most important cultural and artistic events, will commence with performances by Nuevo Tango, Ahavat Olamim, a tribute to Charlie Parker by Anchipolosvky, the King's Singers, and a dance performance entitled Vertigo, Birth of the Phoenix. 

    2011: Jonathan D. Sarna is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “That Obnoxious Order”: Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC.

    2011: Joan Nathan is scheduled to sign copies of Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous” at the National Archives following a presentation that “explores the rich tapestry of more than three centuries of Jewish cooking in America.

    2011:The New England Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present a lecture, “Among Mishpocha: At Home in the Boston Jewish Community” by Dr. Michael Feldberg in the Education Center of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.

    2011:Ken Spiro is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the accomplishments of the Jews throughout history entitled “What Would the World be Like without the Jews?” in Greenwich, CT.

    2011:Six Israeli women from Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda are scheduled be at the JCCNV to cook foods from different origins (Moroccan, Kurdish -Iraqi, Persian, Russian

    and Yemenite) as part of “Taste of Israel: Ethnic Cooking at its Best.”

    2011: Opening of “Jews, Slavery and the Civil War” a conference hosted by the College of Charleston.

    2011:US President Barack Obama said today that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "more urgent than ever." And while expressing confidence that a two-state solution was achievable, the US president made it clear that seeking Palestinian statehood in the United Nations would be "a mistake." Speaking alongside UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a press conference in London after the two met privately, Obama stated that the Palestinians must understand "they have obligations as well."

    2012: Gil Shohat is scheduled to conduct a Brahms Marathon at the Henry Crown Concert Hall as part of the Israel Festival.

    2012: The Centre Daily Times reported that Graham Spanier “is suing” Penn State University in order to force them the school to turn over some e-mails related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.  The paper also reported that Spanier “was listed as one of four officials at the center of the school’s faiure to respond to Sandusky’s predatory behavior.”  Spanier had been President of Penn State until he was forced to resign for his failure to act to react to reports of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys. (Spanier is Jewish, Sandusky is not)

    2012: As Americans begin their Memorial Day Weekend  Cantor Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner are scheduled to lead a special Shabbat Eve service at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue honoring the memory of the Jewish Fallen Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan. National Museum of American Jewish Military History President, Norman Rosenshein, is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks. During the service, the names of the more than 40 fallen heroes will be read as a sign of solemn remembrance

    2012: The confirmands and their families attended Shabbat evening services at Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    2013: Zubin Mehta is scheduled to conduct the IPO at a gala concert in Israel featuring Itzhak Perlman.

    2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform at the Potomac Overlook Regional Park in Arlington, VA.

     2013:Syrian web activists loyal to the regime of Basher Assad launched a failed cyber-attack on Haifa's water supply system, a senior scientist and web expert revealed today.

    2013: Dozens of protesters demonstrated tonight in Ramat Gan around Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom's residence over the government's intention to approve the export of natural gas from Israel, Army Radio reported

    2014: Forty-six year old Carla Brui, the Italian born former first lady of France is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv.

    2014: The funeral for Don Levine, the creator of “GI Joe” is scheduled to be held at Temple Beth-El in Providence, RI

    2014: French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve “condemened” yesterday’s atrack in front a synagogue in Créteil, a Paris suburb on what he describe as members of “the Jewish faith.” (Tmes of Israel)

    2014: “Prosecutors today said they are looking for a lone suspect in the lethal weekend shooting spree at the Brussels Jewish Museum that left three people dead and one in critical condition. “ Two of the victims have been identified as an Israeli couple Mira and Emmanuel Riva. The other victims have only been identified as a murdered French woman and an injured Belgian.

    2014; “AOL Inc said today it is starting a program in Israel to assist start-ups, and that it will invest at least $100,000 in as many as 10 projects at a time.”

    2014: At Ben Gurion Airport President Shimon Peres “welcomed Pope Francis, saying "On behalf of the Jewish people and in the name of all the people of Israel, I welcome you with the age old words from the Book of Psalms: 'Welcome in the name of the Lord.' Welcome at the gates of Jerusalem." (As reported by Attila Somfalvi)

    2014: In Durham, NC, Hundreds of people are scheduled “to witness the internment of a cake of ashes given to an American soldier by a Dachau survivor in 1945” at the Durham Hebrew Cemetery. (As reported by Rene Ghert-Zand)

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman (reviewed by Nicholas Lemann) and in-depth interview of Leah Hager Cohen author of No Book but the World.

    2014: In a front-page ad in today’s edition of Haaretz, “the New Association For a Better Future”  “called on MKs” to support 88 year old former Defense Minister Moshe Arens for the Presidency of Israel.

    2014: In Spain, residents of the town of Castrillo Matajudos (Castrillo Kill Jews) will vote on changing the town’s name to Mota Judios or Mota Judious, both of which means Mound of the Jews.

    2015(7thof Sivan, 5775): Second Day Shavuot – Yizkor

    2015: This evening the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC is scheduled to host Café Nite, an exploration of several learning options with MesorahDC.

    2015: Memorial Day observed as Americans remember those who made the supreme sacrifice for the United States and her citizens.



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    May 26

    1096(1st of Sivan): The Crusaders massacred the Jews of Neuss, Germany

    1135:  Alfonso VII of León and Castile was crowned in the Cathedral of Leon as Imperator totius Hispaniae, "Emperor of all of Spain". At the start of his reign he curtailed “the rights and liberties which his father had granted the Jews. He ordered that neither a Jew nor a convert might exercise legal authority over Christians, and he held the Jews responsible for the collection of the royal taxes.” After a few years, he adopted a more positive policy towards his Jewish subject.  He restored the rights granted by his father and then granted new ones including the granting of a special fuero (charter) in 1136 that permitted the Jews of Guadalajara to outfit themselves like the Christian Knights of his kingdom. Judah ben Joseph ibn Ezra (Nasi) was one of the King’s most influential advisors.  After the conquest of Calatrava in 1147, the king placed Judah in command of the fortress, later making him his court chamberlain. The king held Judah ben Joseph stood in such high esteem that he granted Judah’s request to let the Jews who had fled from the Almohades to settle in Toledo.  The reigns of Alfonso and his father are proof that Jews prospered, and suffered, under both Catholic and Moslem rule, depending upon the ruler and the time period.

    1171: The first ritual murder accusation in Europe occurred in Blois, France. Fifty-one Jews were burned, seventeen of them women. As they were burning, they chanted the hymn 'Aleinu' (composed in Talmudic times). Rabbenu Tam declared a day of fasting and prayer in England, France and the Rhineland. One of those killed was Pulcinella (Puncelina), a favorite of Count Theobald, who tried to use her position to convince the count to release the Jews. The count decided to expel all the Jews left in his county but "allowed" himself to be persuaded to change his mind by a payment of 2000 pounds.

    1232: Pope Gregory IX began the Inquisition in Aragon

    1352: After Jewish leaders promised the City Council in Nuremberg that if they were allowed to return to the city as citizens, “they would remit all debts the citizens owed them, would sell all houses held in pawn; agreed to settle only where the citizens permitted, asking merely to be protected against the nobility” an imperial edict was issued permitting the Jews to settle in the city.

    1512: Bayezid II, the Ottoman Sultan who welcomed the Jews to his realm after the expulsion from Spain passed away. He not only sent a fleet under the command of Admiral Kemal Reis to evacuate the Jews, he sent a firman to all provinces telling the leaders to welcome the Jews.  When you consider the large swath of territory he controlled (including much of southeastern Europe) this was quite gift. His Jewish subjects included Mordecai Comtino, Solomon ben Elijah Sharbit ha-Zahab, Shabbbethai ben Malkiel Cohen and poet Menahem Tamar.

    1566: Birthdate of Sultan Mehmed III. During the reign of Sultan Mehmed III, Gabriel Buonaventura was appointed ambassador and established contacts with Spain. Solomon Eskenazi, Doctor Benveniste and Doctor Moshe Korina held positions at the palace. In 1597 Solomon Abenyaes (Marrano Name: Alvaro Mendez) prepared a treaty that was intended to ally the Ottoman Empire with England in the fight against king Philip of Spain.

    1615(27thof Iyar): Abraham Samuel Bacharach, a leading Rabbi in Worms, passed away. Born in the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1575, he had married Eva Bacharach, the daughter of Isaac ben Simson ha-Kohen and the granddaughter of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel.  She was the mother of Rabbi Moses Samson Bacharach and the grandmother of Rabbi Yair Bacharach, author of “Hawwot Yair.”

    1648: As the Cossack uprising continued to gain momentum a force of Cossacks and Crimean Tatars attacked and defeated Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces at the Battle of Korsun. The defeat of the Polish-Lithuanian forces followed the pattern seen at the battle at Zhovti Vody. The Poles retreated and the Cossacks continued moving westward gaining support as they went The slaughter of the Jews was about to begin in earnest.

    1697: The British colony of South Carolina issued naturalization papers to Simon Valentine.

    1712: The leaders of the Dutch Jewish community decided to dismiss Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi as the Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazi congregation of Amsterdam at the end of the three year term described in the letter of appointment he had been given in January of 1710. Ashkenazi vowed to fight the dismissal which apparently had been orchestrated by Aaron Polak Gokkes.

    1724: Beginning of the papacy of Benedict XIII, the pope who issued “Emanavit nuper,” a Papal Bull, dealing with “the necessary conditions for imposing Baptism on a Jew.”

    1751(2ndof Sivan, 5511): Lob Minden ben Moses the chazzan at Minden-on-the Weser who was the author of Shire Yehuda, a collection of “Hebrew songs with Germans translations” passed away today.

    1753: In Zhitomir, the castle court under the influence of Bishop Solik of Kiev sentenced 33 Jews to death for the "ritual murder" of a Christian child. The entire evidence was based on the "confessions" of the innkeeper and his wife which had been made after being tortured, although they later retracted their statements. Thirteen of them were released upon converting. Many others, including the local Rabbi, were quartered alive. One couple converted on the spot and was granted a beheading.

    1757(7th of Sivan): Rabbi Jacob Daniel of Ferrara author of “Eden Arukh” passed away.

    1775(26th of Iyar, 5535): Veitel-Heine Ephraim, the husband of Elke Fraenkel who had passed away in 1769, the “Jeweler to the Prussian Court and Mint Master under the Prussian Kings Frederick William I and Frederick the Great” passed away today in Berlin

    1820: Birthdate of Dr. Samuel Kristeller, the native of Posen who graduated from the University of Berlin in 1844.

    1848: As part of its policy to force the Jews to assimilate, the Russian government issued a decree providing for the establishment of a rabbinical committee to be attached to the Ministry of Interior who “was one of the founders of the Medical and Gynecological Society of Berlin.”

    1841(6thof Sivan, 5601): Shavuot

    1854: Birthdate of Samuel Morais Hyneman a Philadelphia born lawyer who “was a member of the board of managers of Mikve Israel congregation, a member of the board of trustees the  Jewish Theological Seminary at New York, and of the board of trustees of Gratz College, Philadelphia. He also served as president of the Young Men's Hebrew Association in Philadelphia, and served as an officer of The Hebrew Education Society in Philadelphia

    1865(1st of Sivan, 5625): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1869: Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. BU was founded by three Methodist businessmen who had been active in the abolitionist movement. “From the day of its opening, Boston University has admitted students of both sexes and every race and religion.”  According to one source, BU has the second largest enrollment (by percentage) of any private university in the United States.  According to the Hillel Foundation, which has a chapter on campus, three thousand of the school’s twenty thousand undergrads are Jewish and five hundred of the ten thousand grad students are Jewish. The school offers approximately thirty Jewish studies courses.  The school offers both a major and a minor in Jewish Studies.

    1871(6th of Sivan, 5631): First Day of Shavuot

    1871: An article entitled “The Pentecost Festival” gives an amazingly detailed description of the Jewish festival of Shavuot.

    1871: The New York Times reported that “the feast of Pentecost, in Jewish parlance,” Shavuot, “or, as the German Jews call it” Shavuos, “began last evening and will be observed in all Jewish houses of prayer today.

    1874: Judge P.J. Joachimsen presided over the annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which was being held tonight at New York’s Temple Shaaray Tefillah. The Executive Committee recommended sending funds to aid the Jews of Romania and to support an agricultural school in Jaffa. (The funds for Romania reflected the concern of western Jewry for the worsening conditions of their co-religionists in that newly independent eastern European country.  Funding for the school in Jaffa is one of the earliest examples of American Jewish support for what became the Zionist movement).

    1876: It was reported today that at a recently adjourned meeting of delegates representing Hebrew congregations from various U.S. cities the possibility was discussed of establishing a seminary that would teach Jewish theology and the Hebrew language while preparing students to become Rabbis.

    1878(23rdof Iyar, 5638): One day before his 67th birthday Dutch jurist Abraham de Pinto who had been president of the Sephardic congregation passed away at the Hauge

    1881(27th of Iyar, 5641): Jakob Bernays a German philologist and philosophical writer passed away. The native of Hamburg German was born in 1824. His father, Isaac Bernays the first orthodox German rabbi to preach in the vernacular (German) his brother, Michael Bernays, was also a distinguished scholar. “Jakob studied from 1844 to 1848 at the University of Bonn, whose philological school, under Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker and Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl was the best in Germany. In 1853 he accepted the chair of classical philology at the newly founded Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, where he formed a close friendship with Theodor Mommsen. In 1866, when Ritschl left Bonn for Leipzig, Bernays returned to his old university as extraordinary professor and chief librarian. He remained at Bonn until his death.”

    1881: Birthdate of Sophie Munk, who gained fame as Austrian-American therapist and write Sophie Lazarsfeld, the wife of attorney Robert Lazarsfeld and the mother of Paul Lazarsfeld.

    1886: Birthdate of Asa Yoelson, better known as Al Jolson.  Jolson's father was a cantor at B'nai Israel Synagogue at Fifth and Eye Street in Washington, D.C.  Instead of following in his father's footsteps, Jolson ran away to New York where he began his career in show business.  His greatest claim to fame was his starring role in The Jazz Singer, the first talking motion picture.  Although Jolson never served in the Army (he was turned down when he tried to enlist during the Spanish American War for being too young) Jolson was an active participant in Bond Drives during subsequent wars.  He also entertained the troops during World War I and Korea.  In fact, he died after a trip to Korea in 1950. 

    1890(7thof Sivan, 5650): Second Day of Shavuot

    1890: Founding of the Samuel Kristeller Fund which aimed “to assist young Jews who wish to learn a traide and to help Jewish mechanics” trying to establish themselves. It was named for the Berlin physician who “was a member of the executive committee also of the Society for Propagation of Handicrafts Among the Jews

    1890(7thof Sivan, 5650): Hirschel Eliazer Kann, one of the co-founders of  the Dutch banking house Lissa & Kann passed away today.

    1890: “New Publications” published today included a detailed review of Jeremiah and His Times by Dr. T.K. Chenye a Professor at Oxford.  He divided his work into two parts: “Judah’s Tragedy Down to the Death of Josiah” and “The Close of Judah’s Tragedy”

    1890: It was reported today that Rabbi Kaufman Kohler will be officiating at the upcoming confirmation services for the students at the Hebrew Free School.

    1890: At a dinner held this evening by the Grand Army of the Republic in Lowell, MA, General Benjamin Butler delivered a speech in which he claimed that during the Civil War the soldiers had been paid “in depreciated currency while Jew bankers were paid in gold with interest.” During the Civil War, Lincoln had tolerated Butler as a general because he needed his political support.  He was a politician, not a general as could be seen by his inept performance in the field.

    1891: “Russia Home Policy” published today described the various aspects of the Czar’s anti-Semitic policies.  Police are being sent throughout St. Petersburg with orders to arrest an Jews they find and ship them back to the Pale. Conditions are so bad in Kiev that even Jews who have a legal right to live there are allowing themselves to be expelled.  The governor of Kiev has said “I will make Kiev too hot for the whole brood of rascals, rights or no rights.”

    1892: Opposition was expressed today in the House of Representatives to an appropriation for the upcoming World’s Fair since exhibits would be open on Sunday in violation of the Christian Sabbath.  No such concern was expressed for being open on Saturday.

    1892: “Rome and the Hebrews” published today described the recent meeting that Jesse Seligman and Dr. O’Connell rector of the American College had with Cardinal Rampolla, Papal Secretary of State.  In response to a request for protection of the Jews by the Catholic Church, Rampolla said that “the Popes…had always been the protectors of the Jews.”  (Considering the behavior of the Popes following the revolts of 1848, this statement can best be described as, at best, “disingenuous”

    1893: According to Israel Schwartz, a 13 year old boy who has been living at the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery for the last 9 years, he made up his mind to run away after having been called into Superintendent Engel’s office where he was beaten after having refused to write to his father and tell him about his “bad conduct” which ad consisted of talking to other boys in class which is against the rules.

    1893: “Paulus Meyer Arrested” published today described the arrest of Paulus Meyer a Jewish convert and ex-Russian Talmudist “who asserted that he was an eye witness to a terrible massacre of Jews in Russia.  He was arrested at the request of the German Supreme Tribunal at Leipzig.

    1894: Emanuel Lasker became a World Champion chess player.  Born in Germany, Lasker’s father was a cantor who feared that his son’s love of chess would take him away from his studies.  Lasker won the championship when he was 26 which made him the youngest champion of his time.

    1894: Theodore Seligman who is one of the executors of the will of his father, the late Jesse Seligman, filed “a statement of the condition of the estate” and “an itemized list of the bequests to the family and charitable societies in the Surrogate’s Office.

    1895: Esther Walenstein delivered the opening remarks at the dedication of Hebrew Infant Asylum on Mott Avenue and 149th Street in the Bronx after which the board presented with a portrait of herself which she could see every day for the next 8 years during which ran the institution.

    1895: “In The World Of Art” published today acknowledgement is made of the generosity of the men who arranged the East Side Art Exhibition in the auditorium of the Hebrew Institute which attracted a large throng of the less fortunate for whom this was the first opportunity to see such works.

    1895: Birthdate of Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron, the author of a sweeping multivolume history of the Jews who “was undoubtedly the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century…” (As reported by Peter Steinfels)

    1895: Rabbi Joseph Silverman will deliver the opening prayer at today’s ceremony dedicating the new Hebrew Infant Asylum. Following remarks by New York City Mayor Strong, Rabbi Kaufman Kohler and N.S. Rosenau will address the attendees. Cecilia Goldsmith is among those responsible for providing refreshments at the end of the event.

    1896: Eben Israel Cemetery, the Jewish Cemetery in Cedar Rapids that served both the Orthodox Beth Jacob and Reform Temple Judah congregations opened.  Max Oshman was one of the founders of the cemetery which is still in use at the start of the 21st century.

    1896: Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia.  Nicholas was the last of the Tsars.  He was a weak man who lacked the skill to rule.  He was also totally out of touch with what was going on in his country.  The fact that he had three rabbis at his coronation did not mean that his views about Jews were any different from those of his predecessors.  There were Pogroms both before and after the first uprising against the Tsar in 1905.  The Tsar spent a great deal of money on anti-Semitic literature including mass distribution of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  He also supported the trumped up charges in the Bellis Case, the scandalous trumped charges in one of the last “Ritual Murder” of the 20th century.  During his reign, the Tsar declared,” During my reign Jews in Russia will not enjoy equal rights.” 

    1898: The Chicago Jewish Courier opened a drive to help defray the expenses of a newly formed Jewish military organization that is volunteering to serve in an Illinois Regiment that will probably join the fight against Spain.

    1899: The Hebrew Union Veterans’ Association held its annual memorial service tonight at Temple Emanu-El.  The event, which was well attended, began with the veterans marching en masse to house of worship by a drum and bugle corps.

    1899: A list published today of the institutions receiving aid from the state of New York and the amount they are getting included: Sanitarium for Hebrew Children - $5,080; Hebrew Benevolent Society - $100,000; Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society - $99,500;

    1899: Isaac Wallach, the President of the Mt. Sinai Hospital Association said today that “the land on which the hospital will be built consists of thirty city lots situated between one Hundred and One Hundred and First Streets and Madison and Fifth Avenues” which cost about $400,000 and that buildings will cost one million dollars of which $750,000 “has already been subscribed.”

    1899: As of today the officers of the Judaens are Dr. Henry M. Leipziger, President; Professor Gottheil, Vice President; Philip Cowen, Secretary; Albert Ulmann, Treasurer; and Samuel Greenbaum, Samson Lachman and Cyrus L. Sulzberger, Directors.

    1901(8thof Sivan, 5661): Eighty year old Ludwig Lewysohn, the native of Posen who served as the rabbi Frankfort-on-Oder, Worms and Stockholm passed away today in the Swedish city.

    1902: “Russia’s Treatment of American Jews” published today described a speech Unitarian minister Thomas R. Slicer  in which he declared that he “would not have been a Christian but for the teachings of the Hebrews” and that while “the Russians are nominally Christians with a strong prejudice against the Jews and it is impossible to reason against prejudice.”

    1903: Herzl meets the Portuguese ambassador in Vienna to ask for a territory habitable and cultivable by Europeans.

    1905(21st of Iyar, 5665): French banker Mayer Alphonse de Rothschild passed away.  Born in 1827, Alphonse was the son of James, the founder of the French branch of the House of Rothschild.  He succeeded his father just before the Franco-Prussian War.  After the French were defeated, Alphonse arranged the financing to pay for the indemnity the Germans extracted from the French as part of the peace settlement.  The loan was a key to the re-emergence of France as a major European power.  Rothschild also served as head of the French Jewish Community and was famed for his generous philanthropy.  As a patron of the arts, he donated major works of art to over two hundred museums and galleries throughout France.

    1905: A pogrom broke out in Minsk, Russia.

    1908: At Masjid-al-Salaman in southwest Persia (Iran), the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the United Kingdom.  The connection between the oil strike the quest to establish a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel is too obvious to have to explain.

    1909(6thof Sivan, 5669): Shavuot

    1910: Political trailblazer Belle Moskowitz wins passage of bill regulating New York dance halls

    1911: In the Bronx, Gittle “Gussie” Weinstein and Yithak Asher “Isaac” Ephron gave birth to Henry Ephron.  While he was a noted playwright , screenwriter and producer, his greatest claim to may be that he was the father of four daughter – Nora, Dilia, Hallie and Amy – who became famous writers in their own right.

    1911: In Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jacob and Bessie Kushner gave birth to Aid Kushner, the Oak Park, Michigan, resident “who for many years…constructed models of famous synagogues from around the world including the state of Michigan as well as a model of President Truman’s home in Independence and an early British fort built at Detroit before it became part of the United States.

    1912: The annual meeting of the Jewish Publication Society of America was held this evening at Keneseth Israel Temple in Philadelphia, PA.  Edwin Wolfe, the president of the society, called the meeting to order.  Oscar Solomon was the only member from Cedar Rapids, IA.

    1914: Anglo-Jewish art dealer said today “that dispatches from New York were his first intimation that a syndicate of dealers heady by Duveens would hold a sale of the Morgan art treasures in London.”  He said that in his opinion, “the story is false.”

    1915: Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel, began serving as Postmaster-General under Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith.

    1915: It was reported today that former Governor Richard Yates was among the thousands of people who had attended a mass meeting in Springfield, Illinois where speeches were delivered calling for clemency for Leo M. Frank.

    1915: Former Congressman W. M. Howard who is in charge of Leo Frank’s appeal to the State Prison Commission announced today that Leo Frank’s wife, who was not allowed to testify at his trial under Georgia law, will submit an affidavit at the hearing and that Frank himself appear in person.

    1915: In Boston, Mayor James M. Curley, ex-Governor Eugene N. Foss, Dr. John W. Coughlin, a member of the Democratic National Committee and Dr. Samuel Goodman of Atlanta were among the speakers at tonight’s meeting in Faneuil Hall protesting against the execution of Leo M. Frank.

    1915: The text of a letter from “the Board of Governors, the Georgia Society of the State of New York, Inc., an association in New York City whose membership is composed exclusively of Georgians, the descendants of Georgians and person who have been educated in Georgia or have married a Georgian” to the Prison Commission of Georgia calling for the commutation to Leo M. Frank’s sentence, was published today.

    1915: “Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee received a letter from the State Department in regard to the numerous inquiries from men in this country as to the unfortunate condition of their wives and children who were caught in Galicia when the war broke out and have been unable to come to this country.”

    1916: The Zion Mule Corps was disbanded after the end of the Gallipoli Campaign.  The disbanding of this Jewish group did not represent a failure.  The British were impressed with the bravery and diligence of the Jews and this led to the formation of a Jewish combat force in the British Army later in World War I.  This was one more of the halting steps that would lead to the creation of the modern IDF.

    1916(Iyar 23): Judah Leib Kantor, editor of Ha-Yom, passed away.

    1917: “A Word About Our Schools” published today provides a sketch of various  Jewish institutions of higher education including Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary, The Rabbinical College of America, The Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning and The Gratz College

    1917: It was reported today that Tulane University has a total enrollment of 2,708 students of whom 54 or 2% are Jewish.

    1918: The Georgian Republic declared its independence. With independence came freedom of speech, press, and organization, which improved the economic situation of the Jews of Georgia.

    1920: Dr. H. Pereira Mendes resigns as Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York after 43 years.

    1920: Birthdate of Jan Wiener, a Czech Jew who fought in the British air force during World War II after fleeing Nazis in Germany and Czechoslovakia.

    1920(9thof Sivan, 5680): Julius J. Lyons, the son of the late Rabbi Jacques J Lyons, who had served as Director and legal counsel to the State Bank passed away at San Diego, CA.  He was born in New York in 1843 and was active in several Jewish institutions including the Montefiore Home, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Technical Institute.  He had gone to California a year ago to stay at the ranch of his son Edwin where he had hoped to regain his health.

    1921(18th of Iyar, 5681): Lag B'Omer

    1921: Birthdate of Walter Ze'ev Laqueur the American historian who escaped his native Prussia for Palestine but whose parents were trapped and died in the Holocaust.

    1923(11thof Sivan, 5683): Dr. Hugh L. Wintner, the native of Kortvelyek, Hungary who came to the United States in 1863 and “officiated at various congregations in the western and southern United States” before coming to “Brooklyn in 1878 to serve as the Rabbi at Temple Beth Ehlohim,” “the oldest synagogue in Brooklyn which celebrated its golden jubilee in 1901,” passed away today.

    1924: The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act which was “vigorously opposed” by Congressman Emanuel Cellar and severely limited the number of Jews who could enter the United States was enacted today.

    1925: In Bayonne, NJ, Isaac and Lillian Goodman Cohen gave birth to Robert B. Cohen whose chain of Hudson News shops at airports, bus terminals and railroad stations across the country offered untold numbers of people a respite from the tedium of travel…(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1926: “Ten students received their degrees tonight at the first graduation exercises of the Jewish Institute of Religion founded four years ago by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise as the only liberal Jewish theological seminary in New York.”  Honorary degrees were conferred on Calude G. Montefiore, nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore and Chaim Nachman Bialik.

    1926: Shalom Schwarzbard traveled from the Ukraine to Paris to avenge his parents' death at the hands of S. V. Petlura.  He was responsible for the Ukrainian anti-Jewish riots of 1919-1920. After days of stalking, Shalom confronted Petlura, shot him and surrendered to the police. He was acquitted by the court of Assizes on all charges. The court may have been influenced by the fact that S.V. Petlura, and his followers were responsible for 493 pogroms in which 50,000 Jews lost their lives.

    1928(7thof Sivan, 5688): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1931: Elections began today in forty-five countries in Europe to selected delegates for the World Zionist Congress to be held in June.

    1932(20thof Iyar, 5692): Five days after celebrating his 82nd birthday German-Jewish  banker Hermann Frankel passed away.  Ironically he owned the Wannsee Villa, which ten years later would be the site of the conference that would establish the metrics for the final act of the Final Solution. 

    1933(1st of Sivan, 5693): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1934: In Tel Aviv, the third biennial Levant Fair comes to an end.

    1935: Egyptian Chief Rabbi Haim Nahum officiated at services in the Ashkenazi Synagogue of Cairo. He was there to lead a memorial service for the Polish Jews of Egypt, who were honoring Marshal Josef Piludski. The respected Russian revolutionist and Polish nationalistic military leader had died May 12, 1935, and was buried in Lithuania.

    1935: In Tel Aviv a group of Yiddish authors sponsored a lecture in observance of the 70thbirthday of Dr. Chaim Zhitlowski, social critic, political activist and author who was a “Yiddishist.” Members of Betarim, “a young military Revisionist-Zionist group” were responded violently to the fact that the lecture was conducted in Yiddish instead of Hebrew.  They cut off the electricity, pelted members of the audience with stones and were so disorderly that police had to break up the meeting.

    1936: For the first time ever, the Mandatory government in Palestine today mobilized Jewish settlers for self-defense as an open Arab revolt swept the country. Settlers at Rehoboth were armed and prepared to repel further assaults by Arabs after two days' of their marauding had resulted in the destruction of various “agricultural enterprises.”

    1936: After a lumber yard was set on fire and nine bombs were tossed by Arab attackers in Nevei Shalom, Jewish settlers fled to Tel Aviv.

    1936(5th of Sivan, 5696): Erev Shavuot; in Jerusalem, the British relaxed the curfew in the Jewish section of the city delaying its start from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. so that the Jews could gather to observe the start of the festival.

    1936: British women and children were evacuated tonight from the troubled town of Nablus in an atmosphere made increasingly tense by bold Arab terrorists. They were sent to Jerusalem where it was thought they would be safe from Arab attacks.

    1937: Birthdate of composer Yehuda Yannay

    1938:  The House Un-American Activities Committee met for the first time.  HUAC would become the tool of right-wing political leaders who would use it attack “the Communist Conspiracy,” something that many of them equated with a Jewish conspiracy.

    1939(8th of Sivan, 5699): Rabbi Ya'akov Meir, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, passed away. Jacob Meir was born in Jerusalem in 1856 when it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Born to a notable merchant of the community, Mercad Meir, young Jacob grew to be a merchant who worked in Yaffa. He worked as a merchant for over ten years, then in his thirties wealthy Jew he knew talked him into going into the rabbinate. After becoming a rav he traveled to countries raising funds for those in Jerusalem. From the mountains of Bokhara to the deserts of Tunis and Algeria he collected charity funds, and in Jerusalem acted as civil assessor to the Bet Din. On the death in 1906 of his friend and advisor Chief Rabbi Saul Eliasher, Rav Jacob Meir, age 50, was unanimously chosen to fill his place. Soon after a dispute arose, and resigned to accept a "call" to the large Jewish community at Salonica. In years later when the Sultan of Turkey visited Salonica, he presented Meir with a gold watch emblazoned with the royal arms as a mark of esteem. In 1920 Meir was appointed by Sir Herbert (later Lord) Samuel to be head of the Spanish Jewish Community of Palestine and soon after received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire award for service to the British. Herbert Samuel was appointed as the first British High Commissioner of Palestine in 1920. He was Jewish and also a Zionist. Under his direction, thousands of Jewish immigrants settled in the land. In each of the years between 1920 and 1923, about 8,000 Jews entered Palestine. In 1924 the number jumped to 13,000 and the following year to more than 33,000. Sadly, many Jewish people came to Palestine because they could go nowhere else. America closed its doors to mass immigration in 1924. After he died, over 10,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem, representing all sections of the population took part in his funeral. The Blue and white colors hung from half-mast from the offices of all Sephardic associations and other Jewish public institutions. His body was brought to the large synagogue at the Sephardic orphanage on Yaffa Road. Around his coffin which stood on the stage gathered members of the Chief Rabbinical Council, other rabbis, and groups of youths in the uniforms of their organizations, acting as honor guards.

    1942: Belgian Jews were required by Nazis to wear a Jewish star.

    1943: Jews rioted against Germany in Amsterdam.

    1944: In Bogota, Columbia, Polish refugees Rifka and Israel Joseph Lederman gave birth to David Mordechai Lederman, the doctor “who led the team of scientists that developed the first fully implantable artificial heart.”  (As reported by David Hevesi)

    1944: Mordechai and Yehuda Eldar arrived at Auschwitz.  Mordechai Adler was slated to die in October but through a fluke received a reprieve when he was one of 50 prisoners chosen to work in “Canada,” the warehouse operation where the Nazis greedily stored the belongings of their Jewish victims. In 1947, Eldar and two of his sisters (the only surviving members of his extended family) sailed to Palestine on the SS Exodus.  Sent back to Hamburg by the British, he returned to Tel Aviv in June of 1948.  He joined the IDF and served for 30 years before retiring as a colonel in 1978.

    1944: Birthdate of Jan Schakowsky, Congresswoman representing the 9thDistrict of Illinois.

    1948: At the United Nations, the Arabs “indicated a willingness to stop the fighting on condition that the Jews would regard the proclamation of statehood as null and void and that no further Jewish immigration would be accepted.  Abba Eban responds publicly; “If the Arab states want peace with Israel, they can have it.  If they want war, they have that, too.  But whether they want peace or war, they could have only with the sovereign independent state of Israel.”

    1948: The position of Jewish forces in the Old City was beyond desperate.  "There was nothing to eat; nothing to shoot with..."  One hundred Haganah troopers had been killed with even more wounded as the Arab Legion pressed its attack on all sides.

    1950: The United States, Great Britain and France announced a plan to regulate arms sales in the Middle East which would equalize sales between the Arab states and Israel. The three western powers also promised to see to it that the frontiers or armistice lines dividing the states would not be violated.

    1950: The Israeli government announced that Aubrey S. Eban has been appointed as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. [Yes, Aubrey Eban is the man whom we know as Abba Eban.]

    1952: President Harry S. Truman addressed a dinner sponsored by the Jewish National fund.

    1952: Emil Sachs, the Secretary of the Garment Workers’ Union of South Africa, and opponent of Apartheid appeared in court today following his arrest at mass meeting “on the steps of the Johannesburg City Hall.”

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Dr. Dov Joseph, the Acting Minister of Finance, introduced in the Knesset a Bill on "Income Tax Advances for Relief Works" and described the scheme which was expected to provide 2,650,000 work days for the country's unemployed for the next six months.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the rationing of potatoes came to an end and potatoes were put on the free market sale for the first time in four years. Over 250 immigrants were expected to arrive from Iran.

    1954: Meir Har-Zion was part of ten-man squad “from the newly formed 890thParatroop Battalion led by Ariel Sharon which carried out a raid near Khirbet Jinba” today.

    1955: New York City premiere “Love Me or Leave Me” directed by Charles Vidor, Produced by Joe Pasternak with a script by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart.

    1958(7thof Sivan, 5718): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1958(7thof Sivan, 5718): “Four Israeli police officers were killed in a Jordanian attack on Mount Scopus, in Jerusalem.”

    1958: “At 1654 Local time Lieutenant-Colonel Flint of the Mixed Armistice Commission was killed apparently by a single sniper round while trying to evacuate the dead and wounded Israelis from an Israeli police patrol.”

    1959(18th of Iyar, 5719): Lag B’Omer

    1964 The third AFC Asian Cup football (what Americans call soccer) tournament opened in Israel today.

    1964: Birthdate of musician Lenny Kravitz

    1964: Sylvia Rothschild’s novel “Sunshine and Salt” was released today

    1965(24thof Iyar, 5725): Eighty-three year old Dr. Solomon Ullman, the native of Hungary who became the Belgian Chief Rabbi and Chief Jewish Chaplain of the Belgian Army passed away today in Brussels. (As reported by JTA)

    1967: As the crisis that would result in the Six Day War intensified, President Nasser of Egypt declared, “the battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.”  While President Johnson worked to develop an international response that would open the Straits of Tiran, the Soviet Union let the members of the Security Council know that Moscow would veto any proposal that was not in accord with the wishes of Syria and Egypt.

    1967: As the crisis that will lead to the Six Days War worsens, Military intelligence chief Aharon Yariv tells the Israeli cabinet that “the roots of the current situation are connected to the active Soviet regional initiative” that began “over a year ago.”

    1968(28th of Iyar, 5728): Yom Yerushalayim

    1968: Eighty-two year old “Austrian ethnologist, ancient historian, and archaeologist, and a grandnephew of poet Heinrich Heine” Robert von Heine-Geldern passed away today

    1969: Abdel el Rahman el Latifi, a 65-year-old Jerusalem Arab who stabbed a soldier outside the Damascus gate last year, was sentenced today to 10 years' imprisonment by the district court here. There was no apparent reason for the act, but the court rejected the defense plea of insanity.

    1970: In Manhattan, Joan and Morton I. Hamburg gave birth to screenwriter and director John Hamburg

    1971: Birthdate of cartoonist Matt Stone co-creator of South Park

    1971: “Man From La Mancha” with music by Mitch Leigh moved to the Mark Hellinger Theater (named in honor of the Jewish theatre critic) for the last month of its original Broadway run of 2,329 performances.

    1973: The IDF announced a state of emergency today “and reserve troops were called up in response to a movement of Egyptian troops. The state of emergency was cancelled when it became clear that this was only an exercise. This event had a major impact on the General Staff, as it led them to believe that the Egyptian forces were not preparing for war, later that year, on Yom Kippur. After the war however, it became apparent that these frequent maneuvers carried out by the Egyptians were part of an elaborate ruse meant to induce complacency in the Israelis regarding the true intentions of Egyptian troop movements at the time the actual attack took place.”

    1976: German philosopher Martin Heidegger passed away.  Although considered a major force in the world of philosophy by some, Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party and remained in Germany during the war.  Strangely enough, Heidegger had several extramarital affairs, including two very important ones with Jewish women who were his students, Hannah Arendt and Elisabeth Blochmann. Apparently Arendt knew more about Nazis than she let on when she was writing about “the banality of evil.”

    1977: The fourth of the Nixon Interviews which were arranged by Swifty Lazar and produced by Bob Zelnick was broadcast today.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported how John Henry Weidner, 65, a Dutchman now living in U.S. led so many groups of Jews, allied pilots and other victims of the Nazi persecution across the border of the German-occupied France into Switzerland that he knew the way "blindfolded." He was awarded the Righteous Gentile Medal by the Yad Va'shem Chairman, Gideon Hausner, who told him: "You are a soldier of humanity in the world's darkest years."

    1980: An Israeli police officer was injured in a stabbing attack at Hebron.

    1980: In Monaco, Gary and Peggy Selesner gave birth to Lisa Selesner, the international model known as “Lsa S.”  Her mother was Jewish, her father was not.

    1983: Amnon Rubenstein completed his term as Communications Minister in Israel.

    1985(6th of Sivan, 5745); Shavuot

    1987(27th of Iyar, 5747): Seventy-three year old psychiatrist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Arthur Sackler passed away. (As reported by Grace Glueck)

    1990: After three years, Fox network broadcast the last episode of “The Tracey Ullman Show” whose creators included James L. Brooks, Jerry Belson and Heide Perlman.

    1991: In “Fund Guides Jobless Soviet Immigrants,” published today Kathleen Teltsch describes the challenges facing the Baron de Hirsch Fund in helping the latest wave of Jewish immigrants from Russia “make new lives in America.”  The fund was created in 1891 by Baron Maurice De Hirsch, a prosperous German Jewish financier who wanted to help Jewish families fleeing Czarist Russia make a fresh start by becoming farmers. Thousands came to the United States at the turn of the century and became poultry farmers, mainly in southern New Jersey.” This latest influx of refugees from the Soviet Union will be looking for help in fitting into the urban environment including jobs in the health care and construction industries.

    1993(6th of Sivan, 5753): First Day of Shavuot

    1995(26th of Iyar, 5755): Eighty seven year old Mordechai Surkis, the veterans of the Haganah and the Jewish Brigade who was the first mayor of Kfar Saba.

    1996(8th of Sivan, 5756):  Resistance fighter and politician Halka Grossman passed away at the age of 76.

    1998(1st of Sivan, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    2001:In “Latest Disaster Tests Resiliency of Jerusalem's Residents,” published today Deborah Sontag describes how the residents of Israel’s capital city are coping with the latest wave of Arab terror.

    2002: 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 “O’Neill: Life With Monte Cristo”by Arthur and Barbara Gelb.

    2002: An exhibition of the work of 18th century New York silversmith Myer Myers came to a close at the Skirball Cultural Center.

    2003: According to “Battle of Brooklyn”  article published today Ari Taub has received the  Best New Director award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival for his new film “Letter from the Dead” which “focuses on a doomed unit of German and Italian soldiers” fighting in Italy in 1944.

    2004(6th of Sivan, 5764): First Day of Shavuot

    2004: What is believed to be the largest cheesecake in the world has been baked in Haifa for Shavuot. The cake measured more than three yards in diameter and was more than one yard high.

    2004: As the controversy surrounding Judith Miller’s coverage of the Iraq war continues to grow “a New York Times editorial acknowledged that some of the paper's coverage in the run-up to the war had relied too heavily on Ahmed Chalabi and other Iraqi exiles, who were bent on regime change” and “expressed "regret" that "information that was controversial [was] allowed to stand unchallenged."

    2005: Closing session of Biotech-Israel 2005

    2005(17thof Iyar, 5765): Ninety year old journalist and political activist Israel Epstein passed away in Beijing, China (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2005: Percussionist, composer and Grammy nominee Roberto Rodriguez, brings his signature blend of Latin rhythms and Jewish melodies to the Skirball Cultural Center’s World Mosaic series.  In 2002 Rodriguez recorded his first album “El Danzon de Moies” or “The Dances of Moses.”  The cover of the album combines Latin and Jewish images.  It is the red, white and blue of Cuba but the Star of David replaces the star usually found on the Cuban flag.

    2006(28th of Iyyar, 5766):  Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Reunification Day

    2006:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Holocaust victims' names may remain in Mormon database. Jewish leaders in a dispute with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over its practice of posthumous baptisms say there is new evidence that the names of Jewish Holocaust victims continue to show up in the church's vast genealogical database. "

     2007: Ryan Braun hit his first major league home run with the Milwaukee Brewers.

    2007: As part of an escalating wave of violence, a Border Policeman and an Israeli security guard were moderately to seriously wounded this evening when two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli roadblock near the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Saad The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

    2007(9th of Sivan, 5767):British foreign correspondent Edward Behr, the Parisian native who was the son of Russian Jewish refugees passed away at the age of 81. His wide travels and reporting experiences inspired a number of books, including The Algerian Problem(1961), The Last Emperor (1987), Hirohito: Behind the Myth (1989) and Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite (1991) about the now-fallen Romanian dictator and his wife .He provided a telling look at his own trade with Anyone Here Been Raped and Speaks English? (1981), a query reportedly called out by a British reporter looking for sources during a crisis in Congo.

    2008:Today, Texas Rangers All Star second baseman Ian Kinsler knocked one out of the ballpark in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, in the process slugging the 2,500th home run by a Jewish player in the game’s history, according to Jewish Major Leaguers, Inc. Hank Greenberg is the Jewish home run king, with 331 dingers. Shawn Green comes in a close second, hitting 328 in his career. It was unclear if Kinsler, who hit the 2,499th Jewish home run a day earlier, was aware of his achievement.

    2008(21stof  Iyar, 5768):Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like "The Way We Were,""Tootsie" and "Out of Africa" were among the most successful of the 1970s and '80s, passed away today at the age of 73.

    2008: Tensions rose between Egypt and Israel when 45 elderly Jews, most of whom were born in Egypt, were forced to cancel their four-day trip to Egypt

    2008:Memorial Day observed. The National Museum of American Jewish Military featured a Memorial Day tribute to those Jewish servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    2009: The 92nd Street Y presents “Women’s Prominence, Women’s Femininity: From Biblical Times to Today” during which Israeli novelist Eva Etzioni-Halevy, the author of the novels “The Song of Hannah,” “The Garden of Ruth” and “The Triumph of Deborah,” and Maggie Anton, the author of the Rashi’s Daughters series, engage in a spirited conversation about Biblical women who broke through the glass ceiling and the lessons we can learn from them today.

    2009:For the first time since its founding, the Knesset is officially marking today as Yiddish Language and Culture Day. A Yiddish-Hebrew Knesset lexicon was released for the occasion. The date for the parliamentary nod to Yiddish, a language once spoken by more than 12 million Jews, was selected to mark 150 years since the birth of the Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem. Ahead of the unique Knesset session, a lexicon of the Yiddish translations of several key phrases often used by Israeli parliamentarians was distributed to all Knesset members. A few key phrases from the lexicon that veteran MKs may find useful include:

    Ich hob eich nisht geshtert, toshter nisht mir! - "I didn't interrupt you, don't interrupt me!"

    Ich ruf eich tzum seder dus ershte mol.... - "I am calling you to order for the first time...."

    Ordners, derveitert im fun zal! - "Ushers, remove him from the hall!"

    Vehr siz far, zol veilen 'far'. Vehr siz keigen, zol veilen 'keigen'. - "Whoever is in favor, vote 'in

    favor'. Whoever is opposed, vote 'opposed'."

    2010: Zemer Chai, Washington, DC’s premier Jewish Choir is scheduled to present a concert entitled “Psalm Enchanted Evening” at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland. 

    2011: “The Great Kugel Throwdown” is scheduled to take placed at the Washington State Historical Society in Seattle, Washington.

    2011:Congress decided tonight that a memorial commemorating US Jewish chaplains who died in battle will be erected at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia,. “This memorial will be a fitting commemoration of 13 chaplains who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation,” bill sponsor Sen. Charles Schumer said.

    2011: "Jews, Slavery, and the Civil War" is scheduled to have its final sessions in Charleston, South Carolina. 

    2011: The JCC in Manhattan is scheduled to present an evening with Eran Zur& Korin Alal, two of the freshest musical voices in Israeli culture.

    2011:Gail Barnum, daughter of Joel and Amy Barnum,Natalee Birchansky, daughter of Lee and Cyndie Birchansky and Marissa Carson, daughter of Bill and Laura Carson, each of whom is part the Temple Judah “family” are scheduled to graduate from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, IA this evening.

    2011: Benjamin Levin, son of David R. Levin graduated from Harvard Law School making him the third generation of Levin Lawyers!

    2011(22ndof Iyar, 5771): Eighty-nine year old dental expert Irwin D. Mandel passed away. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2011: The New York Mets announced that David Einhorn had agreed to buy a minority share of the baseball team for $200 million

    2011: David Einhorn called for Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, to step down after Microsoft had been passed by both IBM and Apple in market value

    2011: Elaine’s the restaurant that the late Elaine Kaufman turned into a New York icon will close tonight.

    2011: Vermont Governor Peter Elliot Shumlin “signed a bill to establish a state health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act and to develop future universal insurance coverage for all residents, making Vermont the first state to initiate a plan for single-payer health care.”

    2012(5thof Sivan): Erev of Shavuot

    2012: The Chabad Center of Rechavia, 8 Ramban Street is scheduled to host a traditional all-night learning session as part of the Shavuot celebration. 

    2012: The Carlebach Minyan of the Old City is scheduled to offer an all-night Shavout learning session.

    2012(5thof Sivan): Tessa Cohen, Curtis Litow and Sarah Maikon were confirmed tonight at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2012(5thof Sivan, 5772): Eighty-six year old educator Irving I. Lipskind passed away today.

    2013:Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue” is scheduled to come to an end at the Walters Museum in Baltimore, MD.

    2013: The final performance of “Sherlock Holmes” by the late Greg Kramer is scheduled to come to an at The Segal Centre for the Performing Arts.

    2013: The IPO is scheduled to perform a special concert with violinist Itshak Perlman

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Hollywood and Hitler: 1933-1939 by Thomas Doherty, The Guns At Last Light” The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson and ‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America by Naomi Schaefer Riley 

    2013:Hundreds gathered at Ammunition Hill in the capital this evening to witness the swearing-in of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, the only haredi (ultra-Orthodox) unit in the IDF. The battalion, currently numbering close to 1,000, is responsible for military operations in and around Jenin

    2013: A rocket was fired from south Lebanon towards Israel today, Lebanese residents and security sources said, but it was not clear where the rocket landed and there were no immediate reports of damage inside Israel.

    2014: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 12 days of performance at the Joyce Theatre, which included two programs that feature Three to Max, a work by Ohad Naharin, the Artistic Director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, and Too Beaucoup by choreographer Sharon Eyal, a former company dancer” is scheduled to come to an end.

    2014(26thof Iyar, 5774): Ninety-one year old actress Anna Berger passed away today. (As reported by Daniel E. Slotnik)

    2014: A “500-page report authored by historians Martin Kukowski and Rudolf Boch and published today, revealed that German car giant Audi’s predecessor company used slave labourers from concentration camps during World War II on a massive scale, a new report has found.”
    2014: Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Grand Mufti, the Dome of the rock, the Western Wall, Mount Herzl Cemetery, Yad Vashem, Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several priests and Christian leaders before departing for Rome this evening.

    2014: “The Palestinians will demand that Israel be suspended from soccer’s international association unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognizes the status of the Palestinian Football Association, PFA Chairman Jibril Rajoub threatened today.” (As reported by Avi Isaacharoff)

    2014:Pope Francis spent today in Israel visiting the Temple Mount, Yad Vashem, a terror victims’ memorial and other sites, as well as holding meetings with Israeli leaders and others. Throughout the day the pontiff prayed and urged for peace in the region.

    2015: “The world premiere of the 30 minute musical history of Jews in Rock and Roll by Ben Sidran, musician and author of There was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream” is scheduled to take place at City Winery in New York

    2015: “Journeys” is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum in London.

    2015: Ruth Porat, the former chief financial officer of Morgan Stanely is scheduled to begin serving as Google’s CFO today.



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    May 27

    1096 (3rd of Sivan): Count Emicho and the Crusaders entered Mayence, Germany. The Jews took refuge in the Episcopal Palace and committed mass suicide rather than convert. One Jew by the name of Isaac, his two daughters and a friend called Uriah allowed themselves to be baptized. Within a few weeks Isaac, who was remorseful of his act killed his daughters burned his own house. He and Uriah went to the local synagogue locked themselves in and burned it down. A large part of the city was destroyed.

    1199: Coronation of John as King of England. The conditions of the Jews worsened under the hapless rule of Richard’s younger brother.  He squeezed the Jewish community for funds, including the dowry for his daughter.  He also signed the Magna Carta which dealt specifically with the issue of borrowing from Jews and debts owed to Jews by the survivors of deceased Englishmen.

    1679: The Pope suspended the Portuguese Inquisition due to its severe treatment of Marranos.

    1328: Philip VI is crowned King of France.Phillip’s attempts to take back territory that Englandheld in Francein 1337 is marked as the start of the Hundred Years War. This period would mark the further impoverishment of the kingdom’s Jews who had only been recently re-admitted to the realm.  The Black Plague would also arrive in Europe in the middle of the 14th century, so it is difficult to say how much of the suffering of the Jews of Europe was the result of the ravages of the war and how much was the result of the plague and the anti-Semitic behavior that rose with it. 

    1462: Coronation of Louis XII who “ordered the final expulsion of the Jews from Provence in 1501” and who levied a special tax on all the Jews who converted to compensate for the loss of revenue.

    1529: Thirty Jews of Posing, Hungary, charged with blood-ritual, were burned at the stake.

    1564: John Calvin, the religious reformer whose doctrine came to be called Calvinism passed away today. Among his writings was “Response to Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew.”

    1647: Peter Stuyvesant was inaugurated as Director-General of New Netherland. It was while serving in this position, that Stuyvesant would greet the first group of Jews to settle in what would become New York City.  After failing to force them out, he did what he could to treat them like second class citizens.  While Stuyvesant had a somewhat distinguished career as soldier and political leader, the irony is that the group that has the strongest memory of him is the one whom he sought to harm – the Jewish people. 

    1703:  Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg. Given Peter’s stated views in 1698 that no Jew should live in Russia, one would assume that no Jews would live in his new capital.  It is possible that two Jews named Meyer and Lups who “assisted the Tsar in his financial operations” may have at least visited Peter’s new city.  By 1714, at least one Jew was known to be living in St. Petersburg.  Jan da Costa “a versatile linguist descended from Portuguese Marranos” who had previously lived in Hamburg, arrived in St. Petersburg where he was appointed court Jester by Peter in 1714.  Of course, by then Peter’s realm was no longer free Jews since his annexation of the Baltic territories and conquests in the Ukraine had had the unintended consequence of bring him untold number of Jewish subjects.

    1724: Beginning of the papacy of Benedict XIII, the pope who issued Emanavit nuper, a Papal Bull, dealing with “the necessary conditions for imposing Baptism on a Jew.”

    1730: The leaders of the Berlin community paid 4,500 marks to replace Moses Aaron of Lemberg with another rabbi which resulted in Aron being “forced” to become the rabbi at Frankfort-on-the Oder

    1759: Birthdate of Isaac Franks, the New York native who fought with the Continental Army from the 1776 until he was forced to resign due to ill health in 1782.

    1790: Joachim Edler von Popper, the “Court Jew” of the Habsburgs “was ennobled as the first ‘Elder von Popper’ making him the second Jew to be ennobled proving that you did not convert to attain this honor.

    1799: In Paris, Cantor Élie Halfon Halévy and his wife gave birth to Fromental Halévy the French composer whose most famous work maybe the opera La Juive (The Jewess)

    1804: In South Carolina, Rabbi Solomon Hart officiated at the marriage of Solomon Levy, a Charleston merchant and Mrs. Hannah Levy, the widow of the late Samuel Levy.

    1808: The Polonies Talmud Torah of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York became the first Jewish day school in the United States when it modified its curriculum to include both religious and secular studies.1811: Birthdate of Abraham de Pinto, the native of the Hague who was awarded a gold medal when he earned his LL.D. in 1835, the same year in which he became editor in chief of the  “Weekblad voor het Recht.”

    1811: Birthdate of Abraham de Pinto, the native of The Hague who became a leading Dutch jurist.

    1814: Today the Emperor of Austria “wrote to one of his ministers” complaining about reports that “Viennese Jews” had circumvented the law by buying “homes in the name of Christians” and stating that this “would not be tolerated.

    1823: Birthdate of David Rosin, the German born theologian and teacher who became a professor at the Rabbinical Seminary in Breslau. He was a contemporary and friend of Rabbi Michael Sachs.

    1841(7thof Sivan, 5601) 2nd day of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1842: The Voice of Jacob in Sidney, Australia reported on the conflagration at Smyrna: There was an additional series of offerings to the fund in aid of the sufferers on the Day of Atonement in the Great Synagogue..."

    1849(6thof Sivan, 5609): Shavuot

    1849: Birthdate of Adolph Lewisohn, a German-Jewish immigrant born in Hamburg who became a New York City investment banker, mining magnate, and philanthropist.

    1849: Birthdate of Moriz Benedikt, the native of Krasice, who was the editor of Neue Freie Presse.

    1852: Lionel de Rothschild issued an address to the “independent electors of London” in which he thanked them for their support and for twice electing him to the House of Commons, even though he has been denied the right to assume his position.  He went to thank them for supporting the effort to make it possible him to serve in Parliament and asking for their support in his third bid to be elcted to the House of Commons.

    1853: The author of an article entitled “The Word ‘Selah’” which was published today sought to provide a meaning for the Hebrew word “Selah”  which is used in its untranslated form throughout the Bible especially  in the Book of Psalms.  In searching for the meaning, he states that “the Targums and most of the Jewish commentators give the word, meaning eternally forever. Rabbi Kinchi regards it as a sign to elevate the voice.”  He concludes by saying that “selah” may be an abridged version of Higgaion Selah.  [Editor’s Note – what makes this amazing is that this learned article with all of these Jewish references appeared in the New York Times.]

    1855: Reverend Joseph P. Thompson who has just returned from the Holy Land is scheduled to give a talk this afternoon based on his visit to Jerusalem.

    1857: Hermann Goldschmidt discovered Asteroid 44 Nysa.

    1860(6thof Sivan, 5620): In the United States, Jews on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line celebrate Shavuot for the last time as “brethren.”

    1868(6thof Sivan, 5628): Shavuot

    1864: The 79th Indiana under the command of Colonel Frederick Knefler took part in the Battle of Pickett’s Mill, one of the Union victories that marked General Sherman’s campaign that led to the capture of Atlanta, GA.  The campaign was a daring military action that was a key to Union victory over the Confederacy.  Knefler, who would rise to the rank of General before the end of the war, was one of the highest ranking Jews to serve in the Union Army.

    1866:It wasreported today that one of the ancient aqueducts which supplies Jerusalem with water is formed of blocks of stone so keyed together as to form a perfect syphon.

    1870: It was reported today that Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum has been designated by a recent act of the state legislature as one of the recipients of a pro rata share of $150,000

    1877: A review of The Life, Work and Opinions of Henrich Heinea two volume work written by William Stigand was published today.

    1878: It was reported today that John Bright, who ranks with Disraeli and Gladstone as a leading English statesman is reported to have Jewish ancestry. According to several publications including The Examiner, one of Bright’s Quaker forbearers married “a very pretty Jewess named Martha Jacobs…Mr. Bright’s brother, what has a seat in the House of Commons is called ‘Jacob’ after the ‘pretty Jewess.’” This report should not be construed as being informational or complimentary since it also includes the information that Jacob Bright “has a nose duly fitted to the Anglo-Jewish role.”  (The hooked nose Jew was a classic staple of 19th century anti-Semitism.

    1879: In New York, Judge Gildersleeve has ordered the sons of Fanny Solomon to pay $4.50 per week for her support. “Mrs. Fanny Solomon an aged and infirm Hebrew lady” had “instituted proceedings to compel her sons Leopold, Felix and Alfred to support her.”  The Solomon brothers own a factory that manufactures paper-boxes.  Mrs. Solomon contended that she destitute and that her sons had refused to provide with “the necessities of life” even though they were wealthy enough to have done so.  The sons claimed that she was not destitute since she had savings of her own.  They also said that she had refused their offers to come and live with them. Based on the decision, the Judge was not impressed by the brothers’ claims.

    1879: In Montreal, Canada, Rabbis De Sola and Levy officiated at the weeding of Joseph H. Loryea of Charleston, SC and Rosabel L. Hyman, the “third daughter of William Hyman of Montreal.”

    1880: Moses Bruhl set sail from New York aboard the steamship Gallia bound for Liverpool. Bruhl was a New York businessman and philanthropist who created The Betty Bruhl Prizes, awards for outstanding students at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum named in honor of his late wife.

    1883:  Alexander III crowned Czar of Russia.  Alexander pursued some of the most anti-Semitic policies of all the Romanovs, which is saying something given their miserable track record.

    1884: Birthdate of novelist Max Brod who is best known for his friendship with Franz Kafka.

    1884: Josephine Sykes and Henry Morgenthau Sr. gave birth to their daughter Helen Fox.

    1890: Mary Frohman, the widow of Herman Frohman, is scheduled to appear in court today to respond to a claim brought by her children that she is a “lunatic.”  Frohman died without a will and since most of his property was in his wife’s name she is now in control of it; a situation that her four children seem determine to change.

    1890: “The inquest by Coroner Joseph Rosesh and a jury into the murder of Samuel Hutch a Jewish peddler who is a member of the congregation at Roundout is still in progress tonight at Middletown, NY.

    1890: It was reported today that Temple Beth-El will host the upcoming confirmation exercises for students enrolled by the Hebrew Free School Association.

    1891: While being interviewed in Paris today Baron Hirsch said “The measures now enforced against the Hebrews in Russia are equivalent to a wholesale expulsion of the race from the Russian Empire.”

    1892: “ ‘Cranks’ And The World’s Fair” an editorial published today takes issue with attempts in the U.S. House of Representatives to tie funding for the World’s Fair to a promise to close the exhibitions on Sunday so as not to violate the “Sabbath.”  “It is only a very small proportion of Christians who are so rigid Sabbatarians as the Jews.  The orthodox Jews in every country make considerable sacrifices, eager as for money as they are supposed to be, in order to observe the Sabbath.  Yet no Jewish exhibitor at a World’s Fair that we know of has refused to allow his exhibit to be shown along with the rest on Saturdays.”

    1893: While on his way to the synagogue this morning thirteen year old Israel Schwartz ran away from the a Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and went to the Gerry Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children where he was examined by Dr. Travis Gibb who found “the boy had been brutally beaten.”

    1894: “Columbus and the Jews” published today provides a detailed review of Christopher Columbus and the Participation of the Jews in the Spanish and Portuguese Discoveries by Dr. Meyer Kayserling and translated by Charles Gross.

    1894: “The Capital of Bosnia” published today described the “bewildering sights and sounds” of Sarajevo including the presence of “hoary Spanish Jews, any one of whom might sit as a model for a portrait of King Solomon.”

    1894: It was reported today that Samuel Montagu, “the well-known banker and philanthropist” and almost the only important Jew who did not desert Prime Minister Gladstone “on the Irish Question”  has been made a Baronet by Queen Victoria.

    1894: “Bequests of Jesse Seligman” published today included a lengthy list of those institutions benefiting from the largesse of the late millionaire some of which were the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, $5,000; Mount Sinai Hospital, $2,500; United Hebrew Charities the City of New York, $1,000 and the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, $1,000. (And that was only the tip of the iceberg of his generosity)

    1898(6th of Sivan, 5658): As the Spanish-American War enters into its second month, celebration of Shavuot

    1898: “Montefiore Country Home” published today described plans for the upcoming “formal opening of the country sanitarium of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids.”

    1898: The members of the Hebrew Union Veterans’ Association assembled at Yorkville Court on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 57th Street and marched to Temple Emanu-El where the Civil War veterans held their annual memorial service.

    1898: “Chicago’s Jewish Guardsman” published today described the formation of the “Guards of Zion” which is made up of approximately 190 of the younger members of the Zion Association of Chicago.  The unit will be designated as Companies I and M of an Illinois Volunteer Regiment under the command of Colonel McGrath. (Editor’s Note – this was part of the patriotic response that was sweeping the country during the Spanish-American War)

    1899(18thof Sivan, 5759): Ninety-five year old Jonas Hecht passed away in Norfolk. He moved there in 1863 after having served as a rabbi in New York for 22 years.  He was one of the original ten men who found B’nai B’rith.

    1899: David Wolffsohn reports that the minimum funding for the Jewish Colonial Bank has been finally assured.

    1899: “New Mount Sinai Hospital” published today descried plans for the new building for which the Jews of New York have provided all of the funding even though “the institution is non-sectarian…and the appointments on the house staff, medical staff and the admission of patients are made without regard to religious faith.”

    1899: Birthdate of Bernard Joseph the Montreal, Canada native who became known as Dov Yosef, the Israeli political leader who served as military governor of Jerusalem during the War for Independence in 1948.

    1899: “From Russia to America” published today described the decision of Israel Zangwill to write a foreword to From Plotzk to Boston by Mary Antin. Mr. Zangwill sees this collection of letters written in Yiddish by an eleven year old Russian immigrant provides a view of the little known “inner feelings of the people themselves” and helps us understand “what magic vision of free America lures them on to face the great journey to other side of the world.

    1899: W.B. Clarke Company has announced that it will print “a second and much larger edition of Mary Antin’s From Plotzk to Boston which was first produced by a printer in New York.  An error was made in creating the title.  Antin was from Polotsk, but in the process of translation and printing it was changed to Plotzk.

    1900: Pianist Leopold Godowsky and his wife gave birth to violinist Leopold Godowsky who helped to created Kodachrome.

    1903: At Carnegie Hall, New York May Seth Low presided over a mass meeting protesting the Kishinev Pogrom which was addressed by former President Grover Cleveland.

    1904(13th of Sivan, 5664): Forty-four year old “Henry M. Hendricks, a junior member of the firm of Hendricks Brothers, the oldest metal house in the United States (dating back to 1764) dropped dead in the waiting room of the Christopher Street Ferry this morning” while on his way to Hoboken, NJ to meet his 19 year old daughter Aimia.

    1908: Birthdate of Reform Rabbi Elmer Berger, the Cleveland, Ohio native who used the American Council for Judaism as a platform to promote his anti-Zionist beliefs.

    1909(7th of Sivan, 5669) 2ndday of Shavuot, Yizkor

    1911: Birthdate of Hubert Humphrey, reform mayor of Minneapolis, U.S. Senator from Minn. and Vice President of the United States.  Humphrey was a courageous supporter of civil rights including banning religious discrimination.  Humphrey supported the state of Israel in the difficult days of the 1950’s.  A visitor to his Washington, D.C. office would find a JNF Tree Certificate displayed proudly on the wall for all to see.

    1911:  Birthdate of Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 till 1993. Born Theodor Kollek to a Jewish family in Nagyvaszony near Budapest, Austria-Hungary, and named after Theodor Herzl, Kollek shared his father Alfred's enthusiasm for Zionist ideas. He grew up in Vienna. In 1935, three years before the Nazis seized power in Austria, the Kollek family immigrated to Palestine -- this was still the time of the British Mandate. Kollek was eager to help build a new society and, in 1937, was one of the co-founders of Kibbutz Ein Gev near Lake Galilee. In the same year he married Tamar Schwarz, who gave birth to two children, Amos (born 1947) and Osnat. During the Second World War, Kollek tried to represent Jewish interests in Europe on behalf of the Haganah At the outbreak of the war he succeeded in persuading Adolf Eichmann to release 3,000 young Jewish concentration camp inmates and transfer them to England. Kollek became a close ally of David Ben-Gurion; working for the latter's government from 1952 till 1965. n 1965 Teddy Kollek succeeded Mordechai Ish Shalom as Mayor of Jerusalem. He served six terms of office -- a total of 28 years, being re-elected in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1989. It has generally been agreed that during his tenure Jerusalem was turned into a modern city, especially after its reunification in 1967. In 1993 Kollek, aged 82, again ran for Mayor but was defeated by Likud candidate Ehud Olmert who went on to become Prime Minister in 2006

    1915:  Birthdate of Herman Wouk.  The famed novelist won a Pulitzer Prize for the Caine Mutiny.  He has written several books using Jewish themes.  The Language God Talks was released just before his 90th birthday.

    1915: Birthdate of Arieh Handler who was one of the founders of the Religious Zionist movement in the United Kingdom

    1915: “A number of women made speeches to a crowd on behalf of Leo M. Frank on the corner of 126th Street and Seventh Avenue tonight” and “obtained many signatures on a petition” asking the Governor of Georgia to show clemency in the case.

    1915: Today “additional Georgia jurists” including Spencer R. Atkinson, ex-Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court and Judge E.C. Konitz of Atlanta “joined in the plea to the Prison Commission to commute the sentence” of Leo M. Frank.

    1915: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Louis Marshall are among the speakers scheduled to speak at a mass meeting sponsored by the League of Foreign Born Citizens at P.S. 91 where appeals for justice for Leo M. Frank who is sentenced to die next month will be made.

    1915: It was reported today that Eugene N. Foss, the former Governor of Massachusetts, who had employed Leo Frank in 1906 “said it was very evident that the unfortunate man has not had a fair trial” and that “every gentile, as well as every Jew…was interested in this case, because it be his turn next to be the victim of ‘public sentiment.’”

    1915: The partial text of a letter urging clemency for Leo Frank from Reverend Alfred K. Glover, the rector of St. James Episcopal Church and “a recognized authority on the laws and customs of the Jews” being sent to the Governor of Georgia published today said that “Neither man nor beast has ever been known to have been strangled by a Jews.”

    1915: A copy of a letter from the Grand Rabbi of Turkey to the American Jewish Relief Committee in New York published today said that “nearly 5,000 individuals are without any support and this number is increasing daily.  My least resource is to implore you to intervene on behalf of our community with Jews in America.”  (Editor’s note:  While many Jews know about the suffering of the Shoah, they are unaware of the suffering of their co-religionist during WW I especially in the Ottoman Empire and on the Eastern Front including Russia and the Autro-Hungarian Empire.)

    1917(6thof Sivan, 5677): American Jews observe Shavuot for the first time as combatants in World War I.

    1917: In New York, “at Temple Beth-El Dr. Samuel Schulman preached a sermon on the Russian Revolution.

    1917: In New York, “at the Free Synagogue Dr. Stephen S. Wise spoke on ‘Israel’s Youth and the Youth of Israel.’”

    1917: On Shavuot, in New York, “at Temple Emanu-El, Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered a patriotic” sermon.

    1919: Dorothy Engel and Herman Maltz were married in New York after which they lived at the Hotel Cumberland before moving to California in 1920 where Herman went into the wholesale shoe business which led to his opening West Coast Furniture in partnership with William Weiss.

    1923: Birthdate of Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Is Henry Kissinger really Jewish?  Some contend that since he does not practice Judaism and since he got married on Shabbat, he is not really Jewish.  The fact of the matter is that his family left Germanybecause they were Jews.  When some of his colleagues at Harvard converted to further his career, Kissinger did not follow suit.  And his son did have a Bar Mitzvah.  Regardless of how you feel about his politics, nobody has the right to judge his pedigree.

    1923: Birthdate of Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEOof Viacom, Inc.

    1924: Jules Stein founds Music Corporation of America in Chicago, Illinois.  MCA began as a booking agency for bands.  Over time it grew and eventually morphed in Universal Studios in 1996.

    1927: National Jewish Book Week, which had the unanimous endorsement of the Chicago Rabbinical Association, is scheduled to come a close.

    1928: In retaliation, for a vote of no confidence by Hadassah in its President, the Zionist National Executive Committee, threatened to discipline the women's organization

    1928(8thof Sivan, 5688): Seventy-five year old German mathematician Arthur Moritz Schoenflies “known for his contributions to the application of group theory to crystallography” passed away today. (I won’t even pretend to try and explain what he worked on)

    1930: Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Otto Meyerhoff is one of the department chairmen at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Medicine, a facility modeled after the Rockefeller Institute, which is opening today in Heidelberg, Germany.

    1932: Birthdate of Linda Pastan who was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995.

    1933(2nd of Sivan, 5693): Karl Lehburger, a Jewish businessman, was murdered in Dachau.

    1933(2nd of Sivan, 5693):James Loeb, a Jewish-German-American banker and philanthropist, passed away.  Born in New York in 1867, he “was the second born son of Solomon Loeb and Betty Loeb.James Loeb joined his father at Kuhn, Loeb & Co. in 1888 and was made partner in 1894, but he retired from the bank in 1901 due to severe illnesses. In memory of his former lecturer and friend Charles Eliot Norton, in 1907 Loeb created The Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lectureship. In 1911 he founded and endowed the Loeb Classical Library, and founded the Institute of Musical Art, which later became part of the Juilliard School of Music.”

    1934: In Reisterstown, Mr. and Mrs. A. Ray Katz and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Lansburgh, the daughters and sons-in-law of philanthropist Jacob Epstein will present a memorial bust of their father to the Mount Pleasant Jewish Tubercular Sanatorium at ceremony where Dr. Edward L. Israel, the rabbi of Temple Har Sinai will deliver the invocation “and lead in the recitation of the prayer for the dead at the close of services.” (JTA)

    1935: New York City women led by activist Clara Shavelson, picketed Manhattan butcher shops to demand a reduction in the price of meat.

    1935: In a land mark case, The Supreme Court of the United States declares the National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional in the case A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, (295 U.S. 495).The challenge to the National Industrial Recovery Act came from the most unlikely source, a Jewish chicken producer. Joseph Schechter operated Schechter Poultry Company, and Martin, Alex and Alan Schechter operated A.L.A. Schechter Company, both of which were slaughterhouses selling chickens to kosher markets in New York City.  Brandies and Cardozo, the two Jewish justices joined the majority in this opinion proving that for these men of principle the law trumped political beliefs.

    1936(6th of Sivan, 5696): First Day of Shavuot

    1936(6th of Sivan, 5696):  On Shavuot, the British would not allow Jews to hold services at the Western Wall because of the on-going attacks by Arabs.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that a British constable was murdered near Ramat Hakovesh (formerly Juara) in the vicinity of the spot where two American pioneers, Ephraim Tiktin, 24, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, and Eliezer Korngold, formerly of Toronto (Ontario) were murdered on April 8, 1938. Supernumerary policemen successfully defended the Arab attack on Tel Adashim and wounded several attackers. Ze'ev Alianevsky, the driver of a Hamekasher bus in Jerusalemwho was stoned and injured by Arabs in Romema, defended himself with his licensed revolver, hit and wounded an Arab woman. He was taken out of Hadassah hospital to the Central Jerusalem Prison for investigation.

    1939: Two weeks after 19 year old George Jellinek and the family of Peter Gay arrived in Cuba aboard the SS Iberia the SS St. Louis arrived in Havana, Cuba and was denied use of the docking areas because the Cuban government “had retroactively invalidated the land permits” of most of the Jewish passengers – a fact of which they were not aware.

    1942: Three Jewish families living in the remote Ukrainian village of Chaplinka are killed.

    1942: General Reinhard Heydrich was fatally shot in Prague by two Czech patriots. The man responsible for the formal initiation of Hitler's Final Solution, a man synonymous with terror, would die within the next eight days. The Holocaust still had three more years of death ahead of it. SS General Globocnik begins preparation for ‘Operation Rienhard', in honor of the slain general. Operation Reienhard was the deportation of Jews to meet immediate death at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor. Goebbels wanted to make the Jews pay for Heydrich's death. According to at least one account, the attack on Heydrich was orchestrated by the British and had nothing to do with his role in the Final Solution

    1943: The Jews of Sokal, Ukraine, are deported to the Belzec death camp.

    1943:  Three thousand Jews are killed at Tolstoye, Ukraine.

    1943:  Birthdate of actor Bruce Weitz who played Sgt. Mick Belker on the NBC television police drama Hillstreet Blues.

    1944: Two Jews escaped from Birkenau. Arnost Rosin of Czechoslovakia and Czeslaw Mordowicz of Polandhad witnessed the first ten days of the Hungarian arrivals. They were able to tell the West the truth about the tragedies they survived through.

    1944: Joel Brand “sent his wife a telegram” telling her about interim agreement that had been reached to swap $4,000 for each Jewish emigrants to Palestine and one million Swiss francs for each 1,000 Jewish emigrants to Spain, “hoping she would tell Eichmann and that this might delay the deportations” of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.

    1944: Rudolf Kastner was taken into custody by the Hungarian Arrow Cross in Budapest.

    1946: Concentration Camp survivor Gerda Weissmann was reunited with her “liberator” Kurt Klein whom she married and gained fame as author Gerda Weissmann Klein

    1947: Ben Gurion drew up his first summary of the Yishuv’s military position. He wrote in his diary, “There is not sufficient training even in the brigade (Palmach).  There is a shortage of commanders, and those we have are not adequate [in standard].  There is no attempt at action, the planning defective; the structure of the budget is not directed at the target.  The most serious fault is that the experience and human military material [those demobilized from the British army] have not been utilized.  The equipment has not been adapted. For many years, a central idea has been missing: What is the duty [of the Haganah organization]?

    1948: The Israel Defense Army (Zahal) was established. Prior to the creation of the state there had been several armed groups including Haganah, Palmach, Irgun and the Stern Gang.  Ben Gurion understood that there could only be one army and that that army had to be under the control of the national government. He acted decisively and overcame considerable opposition to achieve this goal.

    1948: In Jerusalem, troops of the Arab Legion “raised their flag on the roof of the Huvra Synagogue, the main synagogue of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City and then set it on fire.  The Hebrew word Huvra means ruin and the synagogue was so named because the Moslems had destroyed it twice since it was first built in 1705.  The dome of Huvra had been a major landmark for almost one hundred years.  The Huvra was in the same category for Jews as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was for Christians.  Of course the Church remained unharmed and nobody in the international community then or since expressed any dismay over the destruction of a Jewish house of worship that was also a civic treasure.  

    1948:Vitka Kempner and Abba Kovner gave birth to their first son Michael.  At the time of the boy’s birth, his father was fighting with the IDF during the War of Independence. Kempner had proven her martial mettle as a resistance fighter serving alongside her famous husband during WW II.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jordanian marauders carried out three simultaneous attacks on three new immigrant villages of Beit Naballa, Beit Arif and Beit Arif Bet, all of them near Beit Shemen. At Beit Naballa they threw a grenade into the house of David Namdar, killed his wife, Tamar, 30, and wounded two of his seven children. They also looted whatever was possible. At Beit Arif they detonated three kg. of TNTunder the house which was completely destroyed, and at Beit Arif Bet they did the same to three houses. Seven people were injured in both explosions.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the General Zionists had resigned from the Cabinet coalition. They resigned because the Labor majority turned down their request for the exclusive use of a National Flag and anthem in schools, to the exclusion of red flags, traditional to the Labor movement.

    1955(6thof Sivan, 5715): Shavuot

    1957: Thirty-seventh and final broadcast of “Producers’ Showcase” a television anthology series that featured the music of Sammy Cahn and Moose Charlap and included shows produced by Sol Hurok and Anatole Litvak.

    1964: Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru dies in office.  Nehru opposed the creation of the state of Israel.  Given India’s large Moslem population and the conflict with Pakistan at the time of India’s re-birth, this is not surprising.  What was disappointing was the lengths that Nehru went to isolate the Jewish state after its creation.  In recent years, India has turned its back on Nehru’s view of Israel.

    1967: “The Israeli Cabinet met to decide whether or not to take military action against Egypt” based on the continued blockade of the Straits of Tiran. The Cabinet appeared to be evenly divided between those who were ready to take action and those who were willing to wait and see if the international community would end the crisis.  During the Cabinet session, Abba Eban arrived from Washington and his meetings with President Johnson. Eban reported that Johnson was working to assemble an international flotilla of warships that would open the Straits.  The Cabinet decided to hold off on military action in an effort to give Johnson a chance to bring his plan to fruition.  A significant segment of the Israeli populace did not understand the reason for waiting. The country had been on alert for some time and the strain was taking its toll.  The fear was that waiting would only strengthen the Arabs militarily and led to defeat for the Jewish state.  Furthermore, they mistrusted the United Statesbecause of its support of Nasser in 1956 and 1957.  The Cabinet’s decision to wait was based, in part, on a political calculation.  If they waited and Johnson succeeded, then the crisis would be ended without war.  If they waited and Johnson failed, then the Israelis would have the support of the United Statesin the upcoming conflict.  If they did not give a Johnson to avert a war, the Israelis would end up fighting the Arabs without any international support.  Based on the experience of 1956, they knew that in the long run, this was not where they wanted to be. 

    1967: The US production “Eh?” starring Dustin Hoffman as “Valentine Brose” which “was the first major critical success in his career, garnering him a Theatre World Award and Drama Desk Award for his performance” closed today after 233 performances.

    1969:Terrorist fired a bazooka this morning at an Israeli patrol in the Beisan Valley near Kfar Ruppin,

    1971: In Detroit, final performance of an “updated” version of La Périchole an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach with a libretto co-authored by Ludovic Halévy

    1973: The IDF announced a state of emergency and reserve troops were called up in response to a movement of Egyptian troops. The state of emergency was cancelled when it became clear that this was only an exercise

    1974: Simon Veil began her first term as French Minister of Health.

    1981: The premiere performance of “Halil” took place today at the Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem with Jean-Pierre Rampal as the soloist and Leonard Bernstein conducting the Israel Philharmonic. “Halil is a work for flute and chamber orchestra composed by Leonard Bernstein composed in 1981. The work is sixteen minutes in length. Bernstein composed Halil in honor of a young Israeli flutist Yadin Tanenbaum who was killed at the Suez Canal in during the 1973 Yom Kippur war.”

    1984: Seth Mydans reviewed “The Revolt of Job,” a film that tells the story of “one Jewish couple's attempt to defeat their family's extinction in the Holocaust by adopting a non-Jewish boy, a child who would survive to carry on their line.”

    1985(7th of Sivan, 5745): Second Day of Shavuot

    1987(28th of Iyar, 5747): Yom Yerushalayim

    1987: Daniel Barenboim is scheduled to serve as conductor for the IPO at a concert which is part of its 50th anniversary celebration.

    1993(7th of Sivan, 5753): Second Day of Shavuot

    1993: The official opening of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Jill Sackler Sculpture Court and Garden at Peking University is scheduled to take place today.

    1995: In Japan, premiere of “A Walk in the Clouds” produced by David Zucker and Jerry Zucker filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

    1999(12thof Sivan, 5759): Eighty-two year old Big Band vocalist Leah Ray Werblin, the wife of Sonny Werblin passed away today.

    2000: At Brown University noted scholar and feminist Alice Shalvi speaks on the effects of feminism on Judaic life in Israel and the world beyond as part of the Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lectureship.

    2001:The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Dying Animal by Philip Roth.

    2001: The PFLP claimed responsibility for today’s Jerusalem Center bombing

    2001: Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for today’s Jaffa Road bombing in which 30 people were injured.

    2002: The Al-Aqsa Martyrs, Brigades claimed credit for today’s bombing in a mall at Petah Tivka

    2003: The parents of Chandra Levy hold a private graveside for their daughter.

    2004(7th of Sivan, 5764): Second Day of Shavuot

    2004: On the day after the New York Times “mea culpa editorial” related to the reporting about he Iraq war by Judith Miller, an article in Salon quoted her as saying "You know what ... I was proved fucking right. That's what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, 'There she goes again.' But I was proved fucking right.”

    2005:  The Washington Post reported that meetings had been held over the weekend at Yifat, Israel in which Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres announced that he would seek the top spot in Israel’s government. 

    2005:  The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared from Jerusalem, “that her meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders convinced her that both sides share a commitment to ensuring Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza takes place smoothly and peacefully.”  At the end of the same article the Post reported that “Coinciding with Rice’s visit, Palestinians…attacked Israelis…in the southern Gaza Strip killing one Israeli and wounding two others…The attack was the second major assault on Israeli targets in recent days.”  Islamic Jihad and a group affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement took credit for the attack.  As head of the PLA, Abbas is one of those Palestinian leaders whom Secretary Rice said was committed to a smooth and peaceful Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

    2005(18th of Iyar, 5765):  Ninety-three year old Morris Cohen, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped to transform the field of metallurgy into the modern discipline of materials science and engineering, passed away at his home in Swampscott, Mass. 2005(18th of Iyar, 5765):  Celebration of Lag B’Omer, Thirty-Third Day of the Omer. 

    2005(18th of Iyar, 5765):  Observance of the Yahrzeit Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Born in 100 C.E., Shimon studied with the great Rabbi Akiva and was one of only two scholars ordained by Akiva. Shimon is quoted in the Palestinian Talmud as saying “To honor one’s parents is more important than honoring God.”  This belief did keep him from openly disagreeing with his considering the Rebellion against Rome.  Shimon was an outspoken supporter of Akivah and Bar Kochba while his father believed in appeasing the Romans.  According to legend, Shimon hid from the Romans with his son in a cave for thirteen years livings on dates and carob. Shimon was a great scholar who is quoted in the Talmud frequently both on matters of Halakah and ethics.  Judah the Prince, the compiler of the Mishnah was one of his students.  His greatest claim to fame among some is based on the mythical belief that he wrote the Zohar (The Book of Splendor).  Although he was a mystic, there is no proof that he was the author of the text.  Regardless, starting in the 16ththe Chasidim who are his followers gather at his grave in Meron which is located near Safed on the 33rd day of the Omer and commemorate his passing by lighting bonfires and dancing by torchlight as they express their joy in his teachings.

    2006(29thof Iyar, 5766): Ninety-five year old actress Thelma Bernstein and mother of comedy writer Albert Brooks passed away.  (As reported by Dennis McLellan)

    2007: Tony Eprile, novelist and faculty member at the University of Iowa’s Writer's Workshop, discusses his prize winning novel, The Persistence of Memorythat describes apartheid in South Africa through the eyes of a shy, overweight Jewish boy from Johannesburg's wealthy northern suburbs

    2007: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories by Primo Levi, translated by Ann Goldstein and Alessandra Bastagli, City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa, by Adam LeBor, My Holocaust by Tova Reich and The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. by William D. Cohan. 

    2007 (10 Sivan 5767):Oshri Oz a 35-year-old, resident of Hod Hasharon, was killed when a Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the car in which he was driving in the western Negev town of Sderot.

    2008: In Chicago, as a prelude to the CSO's production of Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater, Spertus is proud to host Chicago music critic Andrew Patner in a discussion with Michael Tilson Thomas, who will vividly illustrate through projected images his grandparent's fascinating history, their starring roles in the American Yiddish Theater, and its enormous contribution to the American cultural life.

    2008: Public sales of Chasing Harry, the third novel by Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada began today.

    2009:Center for Jewish History and Untitled Theater Company #61 present: Golem Stories, A staged reading retelling the legend of a clay man in 16th century Prague created by Rabbi Loew to defend the Jews.

    2009 (4th of Sivan): On the Jewish calendar, 2nd Yahrzeit for Shir-El Friedman the thirty five year old woman who was killed by a Hamas rocket fired into Sderot.

    2009:William Lanouette, the author of Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb (written with Bela Silard) and Martin J. Sherwin, the author (with Kai Bird) of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer take part in a discussion entitled, Building the Bomb, Fearing Its Use: Nuclear Scientists, Social Responsibility and Arms Control,1946-1996, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

    2009: As part of the Tel Aviv Centennial Celebrationa statue ofMeir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv, riding his horse will be placed in front of his home at 16 Rothschild Boulevard. The address has become one of the most important landmarks in Israeli history: in his will, Dizengoff designated his house to be the home of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (the museum later moved to its current address on Shaul Hamelech Boulevard). On May 14th 1948, it was the site in which David Ben Gurion and the Provisional National Council declared Israel's independence.

    2009:Thousands of Israelis from far and wide flocked to Rothschild Boulevard in central Tel Aviv as the city held its annual "White Night" event, with parties, music and street theater lasting until the wee hours..

    2010: In Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a ceremony marking Israel’s official joining the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

    2010:Professor Menahem Milson a professor of Arabic Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a co-founder of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Arabic and Islamic Anti-Semitism Today” at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2010: The first-ever Jewish America Heritage Month celebration was held today at the White House which underscored the Obama administration's determination not to be locked into Washington's conventional notions of Jewish leadership

    2011: The National Museum of American Jewish Military History, the Jewish War Veterans, and the Sixth & I Synagogue are scheduled to host the first annual national service honoring the Jewish fallen heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan. The service, which is scheduled to be conducted by Cantor Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner, will open with remarks by NMAJH President David Magidson and will feature the reading of the names of the more than 40 Fallen Heroes in solemn remembrance and prayer.

    2011: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Rockdale Temple is scheduled honor Jewish American Heritage Month with a Rock Shabbat service highlighting American-composed liturgical music.

    2011: The annual conference of the Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations (CSJO) is scheduled to open at Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

    2011: Limmud Colorado’s Fourth Annual Conference is scheduled to begin at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, CO.

    2011:Group of Eight leaders had to soften a statement urging Israel and the Palestinians to return to negotiations because Canada objected to a specific mention of 1967 borders, diplomats said today

    Canada's Conservative government has adopted a staunchly pro-Israel position in international negotiations since coming to power in 2006, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying Canada will back Israel whatever the cost

    2011:US President Barack Obama today travelled to Poland where he honored the memories of those killed in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during the Holocaust. He was heard telling a Holocaust survivor that the US would be there for Israel. During a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw Obama told one elderly man that the memorial was a "reminder of the nightmare" of the Holocaust in which millions of Jews were killed, The Associated Press reported.

    2012(6th of Sivan, 5772): First Day of Shavuot

    2012(6th of Sivan, 5772): Seventy-five year old Dr. David L. Rimoin, the medical geneticist who did research into Tay-Sachs disease passed away today. (As reported by Denise Grady)

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, From Cairo to Brooklyn by Lucette Lagnado and Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman.

    2012:The Paul Feig Tikkun Leil Shavuot at The JCC in Manhattan which began last night is scheduled to end at 5 am.

    2012: The Cedar Lake Ballet’s two week engagement at the Venue which has included the New York premiere of “Violet Kid,” by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter is scheduled to come to a close

    2013: During “The Patron Trip to Israel” the IPO is scheduled to perform a concert featuring conductor and violinist Pinchas Zuckerman.

    2013:Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely married Or Alon an Israeli attorney.

    2013:Egyptian-French singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki :was buried today according to Jewish rites in a family vault at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris a few meters from the grave of his former amour Édith Piaf.”

    2013:US Secretary of State John Kerry held separate surprise meetings in Jordan today with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as he intensified his efforts to revive the peace process.

    2013: Amos Oz won the Franz Kafka Prize today in the Czech Republic.

    2013: Memorial Day observed in the United States.  Jews have fought in every war since the American Revolution and served in all branches of the military. They have served as generals and warriors who have earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Ironically, one of the Jews who had the most effect on America’s defense was one who did not see combat – Admiral Hyman Rickover.  As the “father of the nuclear navy” (and more specifically nuclear powered submarines) he provided the United States with its primary deterrent in dealing with the Soviets which kept the Cold War from turning into the hot war of World War III

    2014: Father Francis Wahle, the Kindertansportee, whose father had converted but whose mother had not is scheduled to tell his story at the Weiner Library in the UK.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled a lecture by Meki Tate entitled “Warriors in Blue: Soldiers, Seders and Solidarity” which “explores the experiences and contributions of the 7,000 Jewish servicemen who fought in the Union Army during the Civil War.”

    2014: European Parliament Speaker Martin Schultz, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi joined Belgium’s Elio Durpo in a “paying home to the victims of last weekend’s attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels  when they met Jewish leaders outside the museum and bowed their heads in tribute to a rabbi’s prayer.

    2014: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Zvi (Herschel) Schachter, Rabbi Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth (deceased) and Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg – the receipients of the Katz Awared which is , bestowed upon individuals and enterprises engaged in the application of Halacha, or Jewish law, to modern life  -- were honored at a ceremony in Jersualem today. (Times of Israel

    2014: “A rare monastic lead seal dating from the Crusader era has been positively identified, over a year after it was discovered at an archaeological site in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Vegan, the Israel Antiquities Authority said today. “ (As reported by Gavriel Fisk)

    2015: The First Division Museum at Cantigny is scheduled to host “Liberation: Looking Back 70 Years” that includes a conversation between Holocaust survivor and George Brent and Arthur Sheridan who was one of the first infantrymen to enter Dachau.

    2015: Following yesterday's rocket attack from Gaza on southern Israel the Gan Yavne Council order bomb shelters to be opened and “unprotected schools in Ashdod are to remain closed today.”

    2015: Pulitzer Prize winning author Herman Wouk who is living proof that you can be a success in America while still being an practicing Jew and a mensch of the first order turns one hundred today.



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    May 28

    408: Emperor Theodosius issued a decree restricting Jewish activities related to Purim.  Specifically he banned the burning of Haman’s effigy because early Christians felt the Jews were mocking the Crucifixion of Jesus

    1247: “Pope Innocent IV wrote to the archbishop of the French province of Vienne to protest Christian excesses in dealing with Jews accused of the blood libel.”  Innocent share the anti-Semitic views of his contemporaries but had reservations about the severity of the physical assaults on the Jews. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

    1291: Crusader control over the Holy Land appeared to come to an end when Henry II “the last ruling King of Jerusalem” fled to Cyprus after Acre fell to Al-Ashraf Khalil “the 8thMamluk sultan of Egypt.”

    1349: Sixty Jews were murdered in Breslau, Silesia in riots which followed a disastrous fire which had destroyed part of the city.

    1357: King Alfonso IV whose subjects included more than 200,000 Jews and whose reign was part of “Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery” in which Jews paid a major role passed away today.

    1501: In Pilsen,the councilors together with the aldermen decided on matters concerning those Jews living in the city. These matters included: interest rates, the loan of clothes, not loaning money on yarn and bed linen, not selling certain types of clothing, overdue pledges, stolen items, not to wash themselves in gentiles' baths, not to buy clerical items, not to house foreign Jews without the permission of the city mayor, that foreign Jews can stay in the city for a maximum of three days, and not to melt coins. The following interest rates were agreed: two deniers per schock per week, one denier per half schock, and 20 coppers or less for one heller (As reported by Rabbi Professor Dr. Max HOch

    1524: Birthdate of Selim II, the Ottoman Sultan who named Joseph Nassi as Duke of Naxos. Nassi negotiated the treaty signed by Selim and Charles IX of France.  Selim settled several hundred of Jewish families on the Cyprus after the Ottomans took control of the island.  He saw the Jews as being loyal subjects who had the necessary business skills to develop this newly acquired possession.

    1588: The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel. The Armada has a two-fold purpose – the defeat of the Dutch and the conquest of England.  A Spanish victory would doom the Jews who had taken refuge in Holland.  The critical question for the English was when the Armada was leaving and when it was to reach the Channel.  Marranos or Conversos reportedly supplied this desperately needed information which helped secure the ultimate English victory.

    1731: All Hebrew books in the Papal States were confiscated.

    1764: Jews of Frankfort on the Main, Germany, were permitted for the first time to appear in public at the coronation of Joseph II.

    1765: Benjamin D’Israeli, married his second wife Sarah Siprut de Gabay Villareal. They were the parents of Issac Di’Israeli and the grandparents of the British Prime Minister Benjamin D’Israeli, the future Earl of Beasconsfield.

    1759: Today’s consecration of Pope Clement XIV was viewed as positive moment by Jewish people since prior to his elevation to the Papacy he had decried the notion of the blood libel.

    1773(6th of Sivan, 5633): Shavuot

    1773: The first Jewish sermon preached and published in Americawas delivered by Rabbi Hayyim Isaac Carigal in the Newport Synagogue.

    1788:Sarah Mendes da Costa married Jacob da Fonseca Brandon

    1818: Former president Thomas Jefferson set forth in a letter to a Jewish journalist his opinion of religious intolerance: 'Your sect by its sufferings has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal point of religious insolence, inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all while feeble and practiced by all when in power. Our laws have applied the only antidote to this vice, protecting our religions, as they do our civil rights, by putting all on equal footing. But more remains to be done.'

    1820: Sixty-eight year old Christian Wilhelm von Dohn, the Christian friend of Moses Mendelssohn, who was a supporter of Jewish emancipation and author of On the Civil Improvement of the Jews passed away today.

    1827: Birthdate of Gustav Gottheil, the Prussian born Rabbi, who come to New York City where he become one of the leaders of the Reform Movement.  Gottheil was a bit of a maverick since he attended the First Zionist Congress and supported Herzl.  

    1831: Jesuit Priest and social reformer Henri Grégoire “who was considered a friend of the Jews” passed away today. “He argued that in his anti-Semitic society the supposed degeneracy of Jews was not inherent, but rather a result of their circumstances. He blamed the way the Jews had been treated, persecution by Christians, and the "ridiculous" teachings of their rabbis, for their condition, and believed they could be brought into mainstream society and made citizens.”

    1844: Adam Bernard Mickiewicz, the Polish nationalist who would later try and form a Jewish military unit called the Hussars of Israel to fight against the Czar, gave his last lecture as a professor of Slavic languages and literature at the Collège de France.

    1855: Selig Cassel who was the brother of Rabbi David Cassel, was baptized as a member of Evangelical Church in Prussia today in the St. Peter's Church receiving the name "Paulus Stephanus" became known as Paulus Stephanus Cassel.

    1858: Birthdate of Lizzie Black Kander, author of “The Settlement Cookbook.” “Like many middle-class Jewish women of her time, she was deeply involved in Progressive Era reform movements that sought to aid and Americanize immigrants. Kander first became involved in local reform efforts in 1878, when she joined Milwaukee's Ladies Relief Sewing Society. Under Kander's leadership, the Society evolved into the Milwaukee Jewish Mission. It was as president of "the Settlement," Milwaukee's first settlement house, a multi-purpose reform organization modeled on Jane Adams’s Hull House, that Kander made her most lasting contribution. Among the Settlement's programs was a series of cooking classes for immigrants. In 1901, Kander asked the Settlement's board for $18 to print a small booklet of recipes for her students. When the board refused, she raised money from the local business community and produced the first edition of The Settlement Cookbook, which combined her recipes with instructions on cleanliness and food storage and general housekeeping tips. The first edition of the Cookbook was published on April 30, 1901. By 2004, “The Settlement Cookbook,” still in print, had gone through 40 editions and sold over 1.5 million copies, making it the most successful American Jewish charity cookbook of all time. The royalties from the cookbook, which reached $50,000 by 1925, were used to support the activities of the Settlement, including hygiene classes, free baths, and sewing and English instruction. These activities reflected the dual aims of many progressive-era reform projects: to help immigrants integrate into American culture both through practical instruction in English and by introducing them to American norms of cleanliness and nutrition that were considered superior to immigrant culture. While sometimes patronizing and ethnocentric, these efforts helped many immigrant families to survive their first years in a new country when jobs and money were often in short supply. Cookbook sales paid for the construction of the Abraham Lincoln Settlement House in 1910 and the Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee in 1931. Kander's community involvement stretched beyond the Settlement. During World War I, she headed Milwaukee's Food Conservation Council, teaching immigrants how to conserve food. During the Great Depression, she established one of the first food exchanges in the country, employing women to cook large quantities of food that were then sold at a low price. She also wrote a regular cooking column for the Milwaukee Journal. From 1909 to 1919, she served on the Milwaukee school board, helping to establish the GirlsTechnicalHigh Schoolto provide vocational training to young women. In 1939, Wisconsin honored her as one of the state's outstanding women. Kander died on July 24, 1940

    1862:The Will of Commodore Uriah P. Levy was presented to the Surrogate today for probate. It includes the following provisions:

    Mrs. Levy receives only her right of dower and all the household furniture, plate, &c., so long as she shall remain unmarried, excepting what is otherwise bequeathed to revert upon her death or marriage. Capt. Levy's nephew, Ashel S. Levy, receives the Washington farm, in Albemarle, Va., with all the negro slaves, &c., and $5,000 in cash; also, his gold box with the freedom of the City of New-York. He leaves to his brother, Joseph M. Levy, $1,000 in cash, and mortgage on his house in Baltimore; to his brother, Isaac Levy, $1,000, and all debts due him on notes; to Mitchell M. Levy, son of his brother, Joseph P. Levy, $1,000 in cash; to Eliza Hendricks, of Cincinnati, Ohio, the income of $1,000; to his nephew, Morton Phillips, of New-Orleans, his gold hunting-watch and $500; to Col. T. Moses, of South Carolina, a large silver urn, formerly belonging to Dr. Phillips, on which is to be engraved, "From Capt. Uriah P. Levy, United States Navy, to his kinsman, Col. Franklin Moses, State Senator of the State of South Carolina, as a testimony of my affection." There are also legacies of $100 each to Capt. John B. Montgomery, Capt. Lawrence Kearney and Capt. Francis Gregory, United States Navy, and Benjamin F. Butler, to purchase mourning rings. To Lieuts. Peter Turner and John Moffatt United States Navy, and Dr. J. Cohen and Jacob J. Cohen, Jr., Col. M. Cohen. United States Navy: Lieut. Lanier, Capt. William Mervine and Commodore Thomas Ap C. Jones, each $25, to purchase mourning rings. The will directs the executors to erect a monument at Cypress Hills, to consist of a full length statue of Capt. Levy, in iron or bronze, in the full uniform of a Captain of the United States Navy, and holding in his hand a scroll on which shall be inscribed: "Under this Monument," or, "In Memory of Uriah P. Levy, Captain in the United States Navy, Father of the Law for the Abolition of the Barbarous Practice of Corporeal Punishment in the Navy of the United States." The monument is to cost $6,000, and the body is to be buried under it. To the Historical Society are bequeathed three paintings -- "The Wreck of the Medusa Frigate," by Gericault; "The Descent of the Infant Jesus," and "Virgin Confessing the Bishop of Rouen," and a Rural Scene, by Carl Bonner. He then bequeaths his farm and estate at Monticello, Virginia, formerly belonging to President Thomas Jefferson, with all the residue of his estate, "to the people of the United States," or such persons as Congress shall appoint to receive it; and especially all his real estate in the City of New-York, in trust, for the sole and only purpose of establishing and maintaining at the farm in Monticello, Virginia, an agricultural school for the purpose of educating as practical farmers children of the Warrant-office of the United States navy whose fathers are dead. "The children to be supported by this fund from the ages of 12 to 16." For fuel and fencing said farm-school the will bequeaths two hundred acres of woodland of his Washington farm, Virginia. The will especially requires that no professorships be established in said school, and no professors employed, the school being intended for charity, and not for pomp. In case Congress refuses to carry out the intention of this bequest, the property is bequeathed to the people of Virginia for the same purpose; and in case the Legislature of Virginia declines to receive the trust, the property is to go to the Portuguese Hebrew congregation in this City, and the old Portuguese Hebrew congregation in Cherry-street, Philadelphia, and the Portuguese Hebrew congregation of Richmond, Va., for the establishment of the said school at Monticello, for the children of all denominations, Hebrew and Christian. Should this fund be more than sufficient for the support of children of warrant officers of the navy, the children of sergeant-majors of the United States army are to be included in the benefit -- the balance to be for the benefit of children of seamen. He further bequeaths $1,000 to the Portuguese Hebrew Hospital of this City.

    1861: The 11th Regiment of the New York State Militia commanded by Colonel Joachim Maidhof left New York on its way to be mustered into the Union Army.

    1863: Birthdate of Leo Paul Oppenheim, the native of Berlin who became a leading German naturalist.

    1866: Birthdate of Sidney Peixotto.  Born in New York, this son Raphael Peixotto has spent almost his entire life in San Francisco, where he has served as a major in the California National Guard and the founder and leader of The Columbia Park Boys' Club.

    1876(5th of Sivan, 5636): Erev Shavuot

    1877: According to the Gossip From London Column published today "All London flocked to sit spellbound at the feet of the Russian Jew Rubenstein while he played his own works on the piano at the Crystal Palace."

    1877: “The Gossip from London” column published today reported on the success of a twenty year old English Jewish composer named Solomon. Earlier in the month, he was greeted with a round of applause when he entered the Orchestra at the Folly Theatre based in part on his work "The Contempt of Court".  According to the critic, "if Solomon had been a German Jew instead of an English child of Israel the critics would have gushed over the promise exhibited by so young a man.” [Editor’s note – “Solomon” probably refers to Edward “Teddy” Solomon whose first work was “A Will With a Vengeance,” a musical comedy that appeared in 1876.  His highly successful career came to a sudden end when he died at the age of 39.]

    1877: The Board of Delegates of the American Israelites met in New York City today. One of the topics was the upcoming meeting of the International Conference of Israelites which is going to be held in December at Paris where they will be seeking ways to improve the conditions the Jews living in the European provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

    1877: A critique published today of the June edition of The Catholic World  reported that the magazine continues to demonstrate Catholicism’s fascination with Judaism, or more properly the passionate desire to convert Jews to the Church of Rome as can be seen from a feature article entitled “The Present State of Judaism in America.”  According to the article “The number of conversions from Protestantism to the holy Roman Catholic Church, here and in Great Britain is continually on the increase.  But nothing is more rare than the conversion of a Jew. They are rapidly parting with their own faith, but very seldom do they embrace any form of Christianity in its stead. In a few years the great majority of Jews in the United States will probably have ceased to be Jews save in name only.  But all how many of them will become Catholic?  All roads lead to Rome but very few Jews have made the journey.”  The article concludes that eventually all of the Jews will “come into the fold.”  In order to help those who want to convert Jews, the magazine provides an estimate of the number of Jews in the United States, their wealth and “relative distribution throughout” the country.

    1878:The annual meeting of the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New-York was held this evening at their head-quarters, in St. Mark's-place. The various charitable institutions were fully represented by male and female delegates. During his report, Henry Rice, the President, laid special stress on the evils of slum life. 

    1879:  A jury in the Union County Court at Elizabeth, NJ, had failed to reach a verdict in the case brought against Henry M. Levy.  Levy had been charged with selling cigars on Sunday.  Levy admitted that he sold the cigars on Sunday but said that since he was Jewish he did not feel bound to observe Sunday as the Sabbath.  Furthermore, as a Jew, he did not sell goods on Saturday and kept his store closed.  The Prosecution contended that Levy had to obey the Sunday closing law because he had sworn to obey all laws when he took the oath of citizenship.

    1879(6thof Sivan, 5639): Shavuot

    1880:The Jewish Messenger reported that Congregation Orach Chaim " quietly extending its influence and securing the objective for which it was organized - not the formation of a large congregation and the building of a handsome synagogue, but the daily study and practice of the Law."  Officials of the Congregation include Lazarus Herzberg, first spiritual leader; Seligman Dannenberg, chazzan; Abraham Nussbaum, first president.

    1880(18thof Sivan, 5640): Seventy-two year old Mortiz Rappaport who earned his medical degree in 1832 and wrote “Moses” an epic poem that appeared in 1842 passed away today.

    1886: One of two possible birthdates for Solomon Zeitlin, the Russian born American history who taught at Dropsie College and who works included The Rise and Fall of the Judean State.

    1890: A representative of the Jewish congregation of Rondout is at Wurtsborough, NY waiting to take possession of the body of Samuel Hutch the Jewish peddler whose cause of death is being determined at inquest being conducted by Coroner Joseph Rosesh

    1892: It was reported today that the prohibition against the entry of Russian Jews into Germany has been withdrawn.

    1893: Professor Felix Adler delivered a speech to the Russian American Hebrew Association in front of a packed house at the Hebrew Institute on East Broadway and Jefferson.

    1893: “New Parties In German” published today described the rise of new political formations as the Centerists fracture. Among them is the German Reform Party, led Herr Simmerman the anti-Semite who used to sit in the Reichtsag. Zimmerman has been “wildly cheered”  “at mass meetings held in Dresden” and other population centers.

    1898(7thof Sivan, 5658): Second day of Shavuot

    1898: Volume one of A Dictionary of the Bible edited by James Hastings with the assistance of Professors of Hebrew at Oxford and Cambridge has just been issued by Scribners and Sons.

    1898: Approximately 500 people attended the confirmation services at the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum this afternoon.

    1898: Birthdate of Saul Lieberman the native of Motal, the Israeli Talmudist “known as Rabbi Shaul Lieberman or, among some of his students, The Gra"sh (Gaon Rabbeinu Shaul.”

    1899:Anti-Semitic riots began in Jassy, Romania

    1899(19thof Sivan, 5659): Hungarian tailor and immigrant to America Herman Lichtner became despondent today while returning to Europe on the SS Cymric and jumped overboard leaving behind his little daughter to fend for herself.

    1899: The exercises marking the closing of the religious school at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun took on a patriotic air when they were combined with a reception for the Hebrew Union Veteran’s Association which was part of the upcoming observance of Decoration Day.

    1899: As American’s prepare to celebrate Decoration Day, Assistant District Attorney Maurice B. Blumenthal was the main speakers at the memorial services held tonight by the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel at Congregation Rodoph Sholom.

    1899: “Harsh Treatment of Jews” published today described the renewed complaints made by Germany concerning the unreasonable treatment of German Jews who need to go to Russia for business or cultural reasons. For example, “the well-known Berlin impresario Wolff, who is a German-Jew” organized the current tour of the Berlin Philharmonic in Russia.  Wolff found the impediments place in his path by the Russian government to be so onerous that he did not accompany the orchestra, but sent one of his Christian assistants in his place.

    1904: Funeral arrangements have not been made for 44 year old Henry Hendricks who dropped dead yesterday.

    1909: Hahambashi Haim Nahoum of Turkey meets with Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Turkey to discuss the practice of limiting the residence of foreign Jews to three months.

    1912: Agudath Israel was formed as the world organization of Orthodox Jewry at Katowitz. Jacob Rosenheim was its first president.

    1913:The Georgian reported that E.F. Holloway, the plant day watchman, believed Jim Conley had strangled Mary Phagan when he was drunk. This should have gone a long way towards exonerating Leo Frank.

    1913: In Pennsylvania, dedication ceremonies begin for the Philmont Country Club.

    1915: Joseph “Joe, the Greaser” Rosenzweig, the first of the east side gang leaders known as “starkers’ “to furnish hired thugs to the unions” “appeared before Justice Shearn in the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree.

    1915: A “telegram directed to the State Prison Commission was received in the Governor’s office late this afternoon from United States Senator John W. Kearn of Indiana, which began “I have followed proceedings in the Leo Frank case step by step with great and increasing interest and as a lawyer with forty years of experience I beg you to spare this man’s life.”

    1915: Joseph S. Schwab, the Chairman of a New York committee supporting the commutation of the sentence of Leo M. Franks sent a telegram to President Wilson today which read “Will you add another laurel wreath to your fame as a broad-mined man by requesting the authorities of Georgia in your individual capacity to commute the sentence of Leo Frank, who it universally conceded, has not had a fair trial.”

    1915:  Birthdate of linguist Joseph Harold Greenberg.

    1917(7thof Sivan, 5677): Second Day of Shavuot

    1917: In Brooklyn, Goldie Yarmolinsky and Isidore Commoner, Jewish immigrants from Russia, gave birth to Barry Commoner, one of the founders of the ecology movement. (As reported by Daniel Lewis)

    1917: In Manhattan Mark and Mariam Villchur gave birth to “Edgar M. Villchur, whose invention of a small loudspeaker that could produce deep, rich bass tones opened the high-fidelity music market in the 1950s to millions of everyday listeners…”  (As reported to Dennis Hevesi)

    1917: In London, The Times published the responses of Lord Rothschild, Rabbi Joseph Hertz and Chaim Weizmann to a letter that had appeared in the Times on May 24 signed by Claude Montefiore and David Lindo Alexander in which they express their opposition to Zionism and the concepts that will be embodied in the Balfour Declaration. 

    1917: In London, the Palestine Wine and Trading Co. received from its representative in Switzerland a “telegram from the Rishon-le-Zion colony that that reports of persecution of Jews are completely false” and that the government “gives every protection to our vine growers and has not molested any of the laborers engaged in the industry.” (Editor’s note: During WW I there was great concern about the well-being of the Jewish community in Palestine but this telegram seems to run counter the general picture painted of ill treatment at the hands of the Ottoman)

    1920: The Jewish community in Constantinople publishes a letter to the former Hahambashi, Haim Nahoum Effendi who had stepped down from his post a few weeks prior. They declared his departure a calamity. They expressed regret at his departure and their gratitude for his past services, attributing to him the prestige which the community has acquired in the eyes of the Turkish government.

    1922(1st of Sivan, 5682): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1922: The Bnei Akiva youth movement was founded. The youth branch of the Mizrachi was originally established to train its members in agriculture and crafts. Its goal was the synthesis of Torah and Avodah (Torah and labor). Soon, the movement formed its own kibbutzim within the structure of "Kibbutz Hadati," the religious kibbutz movement.

    1923: In Brooklyn, whole produce worker Meyer Schneiderman and his wife Bess gave birth to Irwin Schneiderman, “a self-described ‘kid from the Jewish Ghetto’” who became a highly successful attorney and philanthropist whose passions included the New York City Opera. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1924: The cornerstone laying ceremonies for the new building to house the Chachmel Lublin Yeshiva came to an end.

    1925(5thof Sivan, 5685): In Camden, NJ, Beth El Congregation is scheduled to hold a Shavuot “Service at Sunset.”

    1925: Birthdate of Lydia Csato Gasman, the native of Foccsani Romania who gained fame as a painter and scholar.

    1926: The Burnside Bridge, a bridge that “spans the Willamette River in Portland, OR,” which incorporated a bascule lift mechanism designed by Joseph Strauss opened today.

    1928: U.S. premiere of the German Film “Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis” with a script by Carl Mayer and Karl Freund.

    1928: Birthdate of Alfred Gilbert Aronowitz, an American rock journalist best known for introducing Bob Dylan and The Beatles in 1964.

    1930: Premiere of “À propos de Nice” a silent documentary depicting daily in the French city of Nice filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman.

    1931: Birthdate of actress Carroll Baker who converted to Judaism when she married Holocaust survivor Jack Garfein with whom she had two children – Blanche Baker and Herschel Garfein

    1935: The Italian newspaper Popolo di Romapublished a report describing the funeral held aboard Italian ship Domenico for a Jewish cadet who had drowned while training at the Betar Naval Academy. The academy had been established at Civitavecchia, Italy in 1934 in an agreement worked out between Benito Mussolini and Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the leader of the Revisionist Zionist Movement.

    1935(25th of Iyar, 5695): Sixty-eight year old Bella Mehrbach passed away in White Plains, NY.

    1936(7th of Sivan, 5696): Second Day of Shavuot

    1936(7th of Sivan, 5696):Bertha Pappenheim “an Austrian-Jewish feminist, a social pioneer, and the founder of the Jüdischer Frauenbund (League of Jewish Women) passed away.

    1936: Striking Arabs said they would send “a protest to the British Administration demanding its withdrawal from the Levant Fair” now being held in Tel Aviv.  The Palcor (news) Agency) reported that at least 48 people had died to date since the Arab uprising began in April.

    1937(18th of Sivan, 5697):Alfred Adler an Austrian medical doctor, psychologist and founder of the school of individual psychology passed away (As reported by Kendra Cherry)

    1937: Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister. Chamberlain is remembered for Munich Agreement which immediately imperiled those Czech Jews who now came under Hitler’s sway and helped lead to World War II and the Shoah.  In the best tradition of “realistic British leaders” he was pro-Arab as can be seen when told a meeting of the Cabinet’s Palestine Committee that it was “of immense importance to have the Muslim world with us. If we must offend one side, let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs.  This led to the adoption of policy designed to “ensure a permanent Arab majority and a permanent Jewish minority in Palestine.”

    1938: In Frankfurt, caricatures of Jews drawn with insulting inscriptions on Jewish shop windows. Gangs threatened Jews to move out of Frankfurt.

    1938: Foundation for Tel Aviv harbor was `laid

    1938: Jewish businesses in Frankfurt, Germany, are boycotted.

    1939: In reaction to the White Paper the Jewish Agency declares: "The need of the Jewish People for a Home was never more acute and its denial at this time is particularly sharp." The White Paper is denounced as illegal as it contradicts the terms of the Mandate, which can only be changed with the agreement of the Council of the League of Nations.

    1939: The "Atrato", a ship under the command of the Haganah, is captured by the British navy, after having completed seven voyages during six months and bringing more than 2,400 illegal immigrants to Palestine.

    1940: Birthdate of Steven Riskin, who as Shlomo Riskin founded the Lincoln Square Synagogue in 1964 and became the first chief rabbi of Erfat. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan had her bat mitzvah at the Lincoln Square Synagogue.

    1940: Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase" premiered in New York City.

    1940: After three days of debate, Churchill’s War Cabinet decides to continue the war against Germany.  Churchill prevailed over formidable forces led by Foreign Minister Lord Halifax that sought to reach an accommodation with the Nazi regime.  Eventually Halifax would see the logic of   Churchill’s position and become a strong advocate of the war against Hitler.  If the debate had gone otherwise, for the Jews, there would have been even more finality to the Final Solution than was suffered with the loss of the Six Million.

    1940: Realizing that the Lord Lloyd will not end his opposition to arming the Jews of Palestine so they can defend themselves, Churchill writes his Colonial Secretary urging him to meet with Weizmann to see what can be done to end the impasse. Churchill wanted to bring most of the British troops in Palestineback to Englandto face the expected cross-Channel invasion by the Nazis.  He realized that these British troops were often all that stood between the Jews and the forces of the Grand Mufti and Arab marauders who had a history of attacking the Jewish settlers. Churchill ends the letter by reminding Lord Lloyd of his continued opposition to the White Paper.

    1942: Birthdate of Dr. Stanley B. Prusiner.  A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Prusiner won the Nobel Prize Physiology and Medicine in 1997;

    1944(6th of Sivan, 5704): Last Shavuot of WW II

    1944: At Berkenau, some Jews tried to revolt as they were marched to the gas chambers. They were machine-gunned to death.

    1946(27th of Iyar, 5706): Sixty-eight year old Benjamin Joseph Altheimer, Sr. who enjoyed successful legal career in his native Pine Bluff, AR and Chicago , Illinois and established “the Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, which has provided funding for civic, legal, and agricultural endeavors” in Arkansas passed away today.

    1948: Israeli forces captured the Arab village of Zar'in on Mt.Gilboa.

    1948: (19th of Iyar, 5708) The commander of the Jewish defense of Jerusalem, “Yitzhak Rabin went up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem, where he later wrote, ‘I witnessed a shattering scene.  A delegation was emerging from the Jewish Quarter bearing white flags.  I was horrified to learn that consisted of rabbis and other residents on their way to hear the Legion’s terms for their capitulation.  That same night, the Jewish Quarter surrendered to the Arab Legion.’”  The loss of the Jewish Quarter in the OldCity meant that the spiritual heart of Jerusalemwith the Western Walls and its many synagogues was now under Jordanian control.  This was the Arab Legion’s first victory in Jerusalem.  It would prove to be its last as the Jewish forces were able to strengthen their defenses around the rest of the city.  Esther Cailingold, a 22 year old English woman was one of the defenders who lost her life in the fight for the OldCity. In a letter to her parents she wrote, “’We had a difficult fight.  I have tasted hell, but it has been worthwhile because I am convinced that in the end we will have a Jewish state…I have lived my life fully, and very sweet it has been to be in our land.’”. Under the U.N. Partition Resolution, Jerusalem was supposed to be under international control.  Instead the Jordanians invaded the city and held the eastern section for 19 years.  During that time they defaced the Jewish quarter and denied the Jews access to the area under their control.  The world community did nothing to remedy the situation.  Only with the Six Day War in 1967 were Jews able to have access to the entire City of David.

    1948: With Jewish Quarter completely cut off, Mordechai Weingarten led a delegation that met with Abdulla el Tell, the commander of the Arab Legion that had illegally attacked Jerusalem to discuss surrender terms.  Under the terms of the surrender which Weingarten had no choice but accept “all men capable of bearing arms were made prisoners of war. When El-Tell saw how few Jewish fighters he had been confronting he told Moshe Russnak, the Haganah commander that “If I had known you were so few would have come after with sticks, not guns.”

    1948: The Jewish Quarter suffered a scourge of looting after the departure of its Jewish residence.

    1948: Israeli forces captured Zar’in on Mt. Gilboa

    1848: Iraqi troops captured Ge’ulim

    1948: At the U.N. Security Council, following the third or fourth Arab rejection of a cease fire, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Arthur Austin rejected the Arab position in most undiplomatic language.  He accused the Arabs of having only one goal – overwhelming the government of Israel by armed power.  “An existing government cannot be blotted out this way…We know this is a violation of the Charter…This is equivalent in its absurdity to a legend that these five armies are there to maintain peace and at the same time are conducting a bloody war.”

    1949: Birthdate of television performer Sandy Helberg, the father of actor Simon Helberg

    1950: In an attempt to promote peace in the region, the government of Israel proposes that certain religious sites in Jerusalem be placed under international control.  Everybody from the Arabs to the Catholic Church rejects the proposal.

    1950: The plan of the three major western powers to tie shipment of arms to Israel and surrounding Arab states to pledges of non-aggression has met with mixed, mostly negative reactions from various Arab nations.  While the Egyptians have gone along with this tripartite declaration, the Iraqis, Lebanese and Syrians have all condemned the western-backed policy.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that one Israeli soldier was killed and another wounded when Israeli units clashed with, and inflicted considerable losses on an armed Jordanian unit near Hebron. The Jordanians had previously crossed the armistice lines, but were forced to flee in the ensuing exchange of fire.

    1954: Ninety-eight year old Poultney Bigelow, the American journalist who in the 1890’a described the persecution of non-Orthodox Russians but who portrayed “the Czar as a kindly man overruled by fierce and venal bureaucrats.”

    1955(7th of Sivan, 5715): Second Day of Shavuot

    1959: Birthdate of Meg Wolitzer, author of The Wife. She followed in the footsteps of her mother Hilma Wolitzer “whose novels include Ending,In the Flesh, The Doctor's Daughter and Hearts

    1962: Israel Bar-Yehuda replaced Yitzhak Ben-Aharon as Minister of Ransportation

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles, claimed that the Egyptian Prime Minister, Naguib, was ready to "make a deal with Israel." (Ed note: Not for the first time and certainly not for the last time, Secretary Dulles "got it wrong, big time.")

    1960: Birthdate of Gail Sheryl Asper, OC, OM “a director and corporate secretary of CanWest Global Communications Corp, president of the CanWest Global Foundation, and managing director and secretary of The Asper Foundation, the private charitable foundation spearheading the establishment of the $310 million Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the daughter of entrepreneur and philanthropist Izzy Asper, she attended Kelvin High School before receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981 and a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1984 from the University of Manitoba. She was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1985 and is a member of the Law Society of Manitoba. She articled with Halifax, Nova Scotia law firm of Cox Downie & Goodfellow in 1984 and was an Associate Lawyer in Halifax with Goldberg McDonald from 1985 to 1989. In 1989, she joined her father's firm, CanWest, as a corporate secretary and director. She has long been associated with arts and culture as a volunteer, performer, and fund-raiser. She is associated with the Liberal Party of Canada and endorsed Scott Brison's bid to become leader in 2006. Ms. Asper has received numerous community service and humanitarian awards and was the 2005 recipient of the Governor-General Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts. In 2007, she was awarded the Order of Manitoba. In 2008, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.”

    1962: Arthur Julian Andrew began serving as Canada’s ambassador to Israel.

    1963: U.S. premiere of “Hud” co-starring Paul Newman and Melvyn Douglas, co-produced by Irving Ravetch who also wrote the screenplay with music by Elmer Bernstein.

    1964: Palestine National Congress formed the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) in the eastern section Jerusalem.  The PLO charter called for the destruction of the state of Israel.  At the time of its founding, Arab countries controlled the West Bankand Gaza.  Yet no attempt was made to create a Palestinian state in these two areas.

    1965: “Funeral services” are scheduled to “be held” in Brussels today for “former Belgian Chief Rabbi and former Chief Jewish Chaplain of the Belgian army Dr. Solomon Ullman.” (As reported by JTA)

    1966:  Birthdate of journalist Luke Ford

    1968(1st of Sivan, 5728): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1969: Katyusha rockets fired from Jordan bombard Jericho twice.

    1969: U.S. premiere of “April’s Fools,” a romantic comedy directed by Stuart Rosenberg with a score by Marvin Hamlisch.

    1972: An apparent terrorist attack was foiled today when a Lebanese women in possession of weapons was apprehended in Rome.

    1973: At the Broadway Theatre, final performance of “Henry IV” with David Hurst in the role of ”Dr. Dionysius Genoni”

    1974: Yitzhak Rabin announced the formation of a three party coalition government that will replace the government led by fellow Laborite, Golda Meir.  The new government represents a bit of a generational change in the Israeli power structure.  The new leaders are all younger than those they are replacing.  Rabin is 52.  Yigal  Allon, the new Foreign Minister is 55 and the new Defense Minister, Shimon Peres is 52.  Among the marquee names missing from the new collation are Moshe Dayan and Abbe Eban.

    1976(28th of Iyar, 5736): Yom Yersushalayim

    1976(28th of Iyar, 5736): Two police officers were killed today while attempting to defuse a terrorist bomb.

    1976:On Friday night, an historic event happened in Madrid, Spain. Her Majesty, Queen Sofia, attended Friday Night Services at Madrid's only synagogue. It was a highly emotional event for many of the congregation that night since it was another Spanish monarch who expelled their ancestors some 500 years ago.

    1977: Five people were injured when a bomb went off while they were riding on a bus in Jerusalem.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Cabinet embarked on a major political debate on the future of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. There were indications that unless Israel addresses itself to the question of the sovereignty of these territories, the U.S. will step in with its own ideas to get the negotiations for a Middle Eastern settlement moving again. In New York, the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrants Aid Society) rejected the Israeli request to stop helping the Soviet drop-outs in Viennafrom going to other countries, instead of going, as they stated in the Soviet Union, that they intended to leave for Israel.

    1980: Menachem Begin replaced Ezer Weizman as Minister of Defense

    1982(6th of Sivan, 5742): Shavuot

    1984: “One Day at a Time,” a unique sit-com starring Bonnie Franklin aired for the last time in prime t.v.

    1984: George “Soros signed a contract between the Soros Foundation (New York) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the founding document of the Soros Foundation Budapest.”

    1987:Daniel Barenboim is scheduled to conduct the IPO during one of several concerts celebrating the orchestra’s 50th anniversary.

    1988: For the first time HBO broadcast “Blood Money” co-starring Ellen Barkin as “Nadine Powers.”

    1995(28th of Iyar, 5755): Yom Yershualayim

    1997(21st of Iyar, 5757): Ninety-two year old Dr. Kurt Adler, the son of Alfred Adler, passed away today. (As reported by Ford Burkhart)

    1998: According to “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship,” which won the George Polk Award, prepared by Amy Goodman, “that documented Chevron Corporation's role in a confrontation between the Nigerian Army and villagers who had seized oil rigs and other equipment belonging to oil corporations” “the company provided helicopter transport to the Nigerian Navy and Mobile Police (MOPOL) to their Parabe oil platform, which had been occupied by villagers who accused the company of contaminating their land.”

    1999: Today the REMORA II, a remote operated vehicle, took the first picture of the INS Dakar after the wreck was found four days ago. The submarine “rests on her keel, bow to the northwest. Her conning tower was snapped off and fallen over the side. The stern of the submarine, with the propellers and dive planes, broke off aft of the engine room and rests beside the main hull. Some small artifacts were recovered, including the boat's gyrocompass.”  But the pictures did not reveal the cause of the sinking.

     2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Hitler
    1889-1936: Hubris” by Ian Kershaw and Village of a Million Spirits: A Novel of the Treblinka Uprising by Ian MacMillan harrowing account of the daily operations of the infamous Treblinka concentration camp in Poland, and the 1943 revolt by hundreds of Jewish prisoners.

    2001(6th of Sivan, 5761): First Day Shavuot, 5761

    2002: Mariane Pearl gave birth to Adam Daniel Pearl almost four months after his father and her husband Daniel Pearl was murdered by terrorist in Pakistan.

    2003: The 19th Israel Film Festival opens at the Academy of Motion Picture Artsand Sciences in Beverly Hills. 

    2003: “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz”  “a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz” was performed for the first time at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco “as the start of SHN pre-Broadway tryouts.”

    2004: Jewish businessman and community leader, Earle I. Mack was sworn-in as Ambassador to Finland

    2005(19thof Iyar, 5765): Seventy-nine year old Avner-Hair Shaki, a native of Safed who became a governmental leader in Israel passed away today.

    2006(1st of Sivan, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Sivan                                                                          

    2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building by Noah Feldman and 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era by Gary M. Pomeranz

    2006: Pope Benedict XVI visited Auschwitz-Birkenau where he delivered a speech in Italian to Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish community in Poland.

    2006:Haaretz reports haredim rioted outside the Ashdod cemetery and stole the body of a baby girl from the cemetery’s tahara room to prevent DNA testing that would most likely implicate the baby’s parents in the baby’s death. DNA testing on a corpse is generally held to be permissible according to Jewish law. The baby’s parents brought the baby to a medical clinic seeking treatment for an infectious disease. The doctor prescribed antibiotics, but the parents apparently opted for homeopathic treatment instead. The baby died as a direct result of the infection.

    2007: The last Monday in May is celebrated as Memorial Day. The federal holiday began in 1868 as a way to honor the Union Soldiers who had died in the Civil War. According to at least one source, over 7,000 soldiers served on both sides during the Civil War, with the bulk of them fighting on the side of the United States. (Rabbi Fred Davidow, who has a great deal more expertise on the subject than I do, can vividly describe the role of Jews in the Confederacy.)

    2007: At New Haven, Benjamin Levin, son of David Levin, graduates from Yale!

    2008: The Walter Reade Theatre in New York features a screening of “Late Marriage,” “ribald, dark and subversive comedy that pits tradition against modernity ribald, dark and subversive comedy that pits tradition against modernity ribald, dark and subversive comedy that pits tradition against modernity ribald, dark and subversive comedy that pits tradition against modernity ribald, dark and subversive comedy that pits tradition against modernity a ribald dark and subversive comedy that pits tradition against modernity” in a film featuring Zasa, a Tel Aviv bachelor and his Georgian born mother  and “Three Sisters,” a film that tells the tale of three Sephardic sisters born into an affluent Egyptian family in the 1940’s and who end their lives sharing a cramped apartment in Israel half a century later.

    2008: Shachiv Shnaan, an Israeli-Druse political leader enter the Knesset today “following the resignation of Efraim Sneth.

    2008: Laura Ellen Ziskin was among those who joined in today’s announcement of the creation of “Stand Up To Cancer.”

    2008: Following further revelations about cash payments by a U.S. businessman to Ehud Olmert, coalition partner Ehud Barak called on the Prime Minister to resign or face the collapse of his government.

    2008: During a goodwill visit to Israel that included a visit to the Western Wall, Dr J, Julius Erving, met with Shimon Peres at the presidential mansion.

    2008: Associate Press writer Reem Khalifa reports Bahrain has named a Jewish woman as ambassador to US

    Bahrain's king has appointed a woman believed to be the Arab world's first Jewish ambassador as the country's envoy to Washington.Lawmaker Houda Nonoo said she was proud to serve her country "first of all as a Bahraini," adding she was not chosen for the post because of her religion."It is a great honor to have been appointed as the first female ambassador to the United States of America and I am looking forward to meeting this new challenge," Nonoo told The Associated Press by telephone.The Wednesday decree issued by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and reported by the official Bahrain News Agency had not specified where Nonoo, a 43-year-old mother of two boys, would be posted. But her appointment to the U.S. ambassadorship was rumored for months.Bahrain — a pro-Western island nation with Sunni rulers and a Shiite majority — is a close U.S. ally and hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. It has about 50 Jewish citizens among a population of roughly half a million people.Nonoo has served as legislator in Bahrain's all-appointed 40-member Shura Council for three years.Nonoo replaced her cousin, who held the Shura Council seat for four years. A businesswoman who lives both in Bahrain and London, Nonoo also is the first Jewish woman to head a local rights organization, the Bahrain Human Rights Watch.Jews migrated to Bahrain in the 19th century, mostly from Iran and Iraq. Their numbers increased early in the 20th century but decreased after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, when many left for Israel, the U.S. and Europe.Jews keep a low profile in Bahrain, working mostly in banks, commercial and trade companies and retail.There is also a synagogue and a private Jewish cemetery here. At the height of the Arab-Israeli war, the synagogue was attacked and torched by angry Muslims. The structure was later refurbished.Bahrain has no diplomatic relations with Israel. In 1969, an official Israeli delegation visited Bahrain but protesters burned the Israeli flag in a large street demonstration at the time. In 2006, after Bahrain signed the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., Manama closed down a government office that endorsed a boycott of Israeli goods.

    2009(5th of Sivan, 5769): Erev Shavuot


    2009:As part of the Tel Aviv Centennial Celebrations many of the “Tikun” (learning sessions) that are held as part of the observance of Shavuotwill explore the Jewish facets of Tel Aviv, and the spiritual heritage of the First Hebrew City.

    2009:IDF gunfire wounded four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip today, medics said, in an incident that ruptured the calm of a shaky truce achieve after a spasm of cross-border violence earlier this month.

    The IDF spokesperson said that forces operating along the Gaza border fired on a terrorist unit that appeared to be attempting to place an explosive device along the fence.

    2010: In Cedar Rapids, IA, on Friday night, Dr. Bob Silber, a mensch in the truest sense of the word is scheduled to lead services as Temple Judah hosts it last Musical Shabbat for 5770. 

    2010:Joshua Joel Siegel, son of Kris and Kenny Siegel and a fourth generation Temple Judah member, will be giving the Valedictorian speech at the Commencement Ceremonies at Kennedy High School today. He is the brother of David Siegel; the grandson of the late Oscar and Lillian Siegel and the grandson of Jerolyn Selkirk. Josh will be attending Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.

    2010: The Israeli Air Force bombed weapons manufacturing site and a terror tunnel tonight following further Hamas rocket attacks on the Western Negev, despite announcements by the terrorist organization and its allies they would cease the rocket attacks

    2011: The Amerigo Trio- Inbal Segev, cellist; Glenn Dicterow, violinist; Karen Dreyfus, violist -with Pianist Alon Goldstein    is scheduled to perform in New Lebanon, NY.

    2011:For the first time in the Israel Festival, Yasmin Levy is scheduled to “offer a special performance including a selection of Ladino songs, well-loved classics, and original compositions, together with songs from the repertoire of Yiannis Kotsiras, one of the leading Greek singers.

    2011: Egypt opens the border with Gaza to Palestinians after four years of closure.

    2011: In “The Secret Life of Cairo’s Jews,” Anthony Julius reviewed the marvelous new work by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole entitled Sacred Trash.

    2011(24th of Iyar, 5771): Ninety-seven year old, Leo Rangell, a dominant force in the field of psychiatry during the second half of the 20th century passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    2011(24th of Iyar, 5771): Sixty four year old Milt Avruskin, “the voice of Superstars of Wrestling in the 1970s and International Wrestling in the 1980s, as well as the key player behind Pro Wrestling Canada, died suddenly” today. (As reported by Greg Oliver)

    2011(24th of Iyar, 5771): Seventy-year old award winning, controversial painter Uri Lifschitz, passed away.

    2012(7thof Sivan, 5772): Second Day of Shavuot

    2012: As part of the Israel Festival, Les Deux Mondes is scheduled to perform “Living Memory” at the Rebecca Crown Auditorium.

    2012: Sports Illustrated reported that the International Olympic Committee has rejected requests for a moment of silence at the London Olympics “in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the 1972  terrorist attacks that killed 11 Israeli coaches and athletes.  The IOC is “reluctant to alienate other members of the Olympic community with any specific references to the attacks.”

    2012: The HBO biopic “Hemingway & Gellhorn” directed by Philip Kaufman with a script co-authored by Jerry Stahl aired for the first time tonight.

    2012: “An uncertain and uncomfortable calm descended on Tel Aviv today, as Israel's paramilitary police unit Magav ("Border Guard") deployed throughout the city's southern neighbourhoods and tensions between residents and a large population of African migrants simmered just below boiling point.

    2012: The Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, VA, celebrated Jewish American Heritage Month by unveiling a Jewish-American Hall of Fame plaque honouring Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine Dr. Gertrude Elion.

    2013:The 4th International Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism is scheduled to open in Jerusalem.

    2013: Today a top Israeli minister condemned Russia’s declared intention to deliver advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and another senior minister said Israel would “know what to do” if the weapons were delivered.. (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

    2013(19thof Sivan, 5773): Seventy-year old photographer Abigail Heyman passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    2013(19thof Sivan, 5773): Ninety year old Holocaust survivor and physician Henry Morgentaler passed away today. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2013: Archaeologists expressed deep concern over construction and renovation works at the Western Wall enclosure in Jerusalem’s Old City, Maariv reported today. The work, they said, would greatly damage artifacts under the plaza floor, which would be lost forever. The Israel Antiquities Authority said in response that extensive preservation work was being conducted at the site. (As reported by Aaron Kalman)

    2014: Professor Marat Grinberg is scheduled to discuss his biography of Wood Allen, Woody on Rye at the Oregon Jewish Museum.

    2014: “Zemer Chai, DC’s Premier Jewish Choir” is scheduled to perform “In Every Age!” at Ohr Kodesh in Chevy Chase Maryland.

    2014: The Kaufman Music Centre is scheduled to present The Israeli Chamber Project.

    2014(27thof Iyar, 5774): One hundred one year old published Oscar Dystel passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2014(27thof Iyar, 5774): Eighty-five year old Malcolm Glazer the American business executive who owned both Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passed away today.

    2014(27thof Iyar, 5774): Yom Yerushalayim

    2014: In honor of Jerusalem Day, University of Iowa Professor Robert Cargill speaks on “The Water System of Ancient Jerusalem” this evening.

    2014: “The Foreign Ministry blamed the Jewish Agency today for endangering eastern Ukraine’s Jewish community and provoking accusations of dual loyalty. “

    2014: “Over a thousand people attended a state ceremony honoring Ethiopian Jews who died en route to Israel during two major waves of immigration in 1984 and 1991.”

    2014(28th of Iyar, 5774): Eighty –five year old Malcolm Glazerthe president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation, a holding company for his varied business interests, and owner of both Manchester United of the Premier League and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL passed away today.

    2015: “An Evening of Exploration” featuring a performance by Itamar Borochov, a member of Yemen Blues and the New Jerusalem Orchestra and a discussion by Rabbi Marc Angel and Rabbi Yamin Levy about The David Berg Rare Books Room's latest exhibit, “Sephardic Journeys” is scheduled to take place at the Center for Jewish History.

    2015: “The Israel Festival” which “is subsidized by the government and Jerusalem municipality” is scheduled to open today.


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    May 29

    363: A good day for the Romans and bad day for the Jews. Roman Emperor Julian defeats the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but is impossible to conquer it. But Julian is killed at the end of the battle, some claiming that he was assassinated by a Christian Arab.  Julian was the nephew and successor of Constantine.  Julian repealed his Uncle’s pro-Christian promulgations allowing the old pagan cults to reappear.  This earned him the title Julian the Apostate.  Julian also repealed the special taxes that had been levied on the Jews.  He announced that the Jews would be allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.  Jews actually built a synagogue near the Temple Mount in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Temple.  Unfortunately, the favorable treatment of the Jews died with Julian’s demise.  Rome returned to path of Constantine and the Jews returned to the road of exile and expulsion.

    1096: The Jews of Bacharach, Germany, were massacred by the Crusaders.

    1108:The forces of the Muslim Almoravids under Tamim ibn-Yusuf defeated the Christian forces of Castile and León under Alfonso VI at the Battle of Uclésv.  The battle was a disaster for the Christians who lost 30,000 men including seven high-ranking nobles and the heir-apparent, Sancho Alfónsez. The Muslims were not able to capitalize on the victory and conquer the city of Toledo.  The Christians of Toledo “celebrated” their deliverance by murderously attacking the Jews and burning their homes and synagogues.  Alfonso died before he could punish the murderers. Following his death, the people of Carrion followed the example of their co-religionists in Toledo and attacked the Jews in an orgy of murderous pillaging.

    1167:  A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III is defeated at the Battle of Monte Porzio by the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the local princes of Tusculum and Albano. Jehiel Anav reportedly “supervised the finances of Pope Alexander.” Jeheil Anva would appear to be one in the same with Jehiel ben Jekutheil Anav who is believed to be the author of Tanya Rabbati which discusses Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays. He was related to the Italian born scholar and linguist Nathan ben Jehiel. Frederick Barbarossa would be one of the three kings to lead the Third Crusades.  Unlike other Crusaders, the German Barbarossa was protective of his Jewish subjects causing “a Jewish chronicler, Ephraim be-Jacob of Bonna to write ‘Frederickdefended us with all his might and enabled us to live among our enemies, so that no harmed the Jews.’”

    1453: The Ottomans under Sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople marking the end of Byzantine (or the Eastern Roman) Empire.  (The shift from Christian to Moslem control reverberates into the 21st century)(According to at least one source, the Jews were spared when the Moslems slaughtered the inhabitants – Jewish Virtual Library)

    1453: Sultan Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire. The oppressed Jews were relieved to see him occupy the city. He allowed Jews from today's GreekIslands and Crete to settle in Istanbul. The Sultan’s declaration contained the following words: "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".

    1554: Pope Paul IV issued a bull ordering Jews to surrender all books containing alleged anti-Christian blasphemies.  The sweeping terms of the bull covered all rabbinic work relating to the Talmud.  In effect, Paul IV nullified a bull issued by Pope X in 1518 which permitted the publication of codes of Jewish law upon the approval of church censors.

    1686: Jews of New Amsterdam were allowed to openly practice their religion.

    1724: Beginning of the Papacy Benedict XIII, a papal leader who issued a series of anti-Semitic bulls and writings that reached a level of literary or theological compulsion. In 1727, Benedict wrote Emanavit numer, which stated the conditions under which Jews could be forcibly baptized. In Alias emanarunt, “Benedict forbade selling of goods by Jews.  In 1749 he issued Singulari noblis consoldtioni  which dealt with the issue of Christians and Jews getting married.  In 1751, he issued Elapso proxime anno which dealt with Jewish heresy and Probe te meinisse which laid down the rules for baptizing Jewish children.  Finally, in 1755, he issued Beatus Andres which beatified Andreas von Ronn who had alledgedly been by Jews in 1462 as part of their religious ritual.  “The pope declared that such ritual murders were fact and were part of Jewish practice, not exceptions.”

    1790: Rhode Island becomes the last of the original United States colonies to ratify the Constitution and is admitted as the 13th U.S. state.According to Rufus Learsi, at the outbreak of the American Revolution Rhode Island was one of only five the original thirteen colonies to have had an organized Jewish community. Newportreportedly had 1,200 Jewish habits, half the Jews living in all of the thirteen colonies at that time. Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Salvation of Israel) had erected its own synagogue and Rabbi Isaac Touro was so well known that he was visited by rabbis from Europe and Eretz Israelincluding Raphael Cahim Isaac Corregal from Hebron who formed a lasting friendship with Pastor Ezra Stiles, President of Yale.  Newport may be best remembered for the famous letter that President Washington wrote to the Jews of Newport in 1790 in which he endorsed the full participation of the Jewish people in all aspects of American life.  Unfortunately, the NewportJewish community had already lost its dominant role.  The British occupation during the American Revolution had marked the beginning of the end of the commercial primacy of Newport and many of the Jews who had fled during the occupation simply did not return.  The loss of prominence of the Jewish community is highlighted by the fact that the state of Rhode Island did not get around to removing religious tests for office until 1842.  For more about this see

    1805(1st of Sivan, 5565): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1810: In London, Hanna Barnet Cohen and Anthony de Rothschild gave birth to Sir Anthony de Rothschild

    1815(19th of Iyar, 5575): Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, the native of Neustadat who was “one of the five principal disciples of Elimelech of Lizhensk” who was a major Polish Chasidic Rebbe passed away today.

    1825: Coronation of French King Charles X whose consul in Algiers was Jacob Cohen Bakri,

    1826(22nd of Iyar): Rabbi Judah Leib, author of “Likkutei Maharil” passed away.

    1836: Birthdate of Emil Breslaur or Breslauer, the native of Cottbus who studied at the Julius Stern Conservatory which led him to a career as a musician and writer.

    1848:  Wisconsin admitted to the Union.  According to Rufus Learsi, “there was no Jewish community in Wisconsin when it became a state, but not long afterwards the Forty-eighters began to arrive and a congregation was organized in Milwaukee.”  The forty-eighters were Jews who left Germany and Bohemia after losing faith in the possibility meaningful emancipation and democratic reformfollowing the unsuccessful revolutions of 1848.

    1854:Solomon Nunes Carvalho  “wrote in his log that he and his party had ‘camped on a narrow stream of deliciously cool water, which distrubtes itself about half a mile further down in a verdant meadow bott, covered with good grass.  This camp ground is called by the Mexicans, Las Vegas.’” This meant that Carvalho was the first Jews to visit what is now Las Vegas, Neveda.  A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Carvalho was a Sephard who had had joined the expedition led by John C. Fremont as a photographer and artist. Reportedly, Carvalho refused to eat porcupine because “it looked like pork” even though this meant he went hungry.  It would take a century for Las Vegas to open an establishment that sold kosher food.

    1855: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise of Cincinnati was reported today to have begun a tour of the United States to gain support for the creation of for the establishment of “a Collegiate Institute for the education of Jewish theologians and other scholastic attainments.

    1857(6th of Sivan, 5617): Shavuot

    1861:  Rabbi David Einhorn, a leading abolitionist, rejected the request of his former Congregation, Har Sinai, to return to Baltimore because he would have been required to remain silent on the subjects of slavery and preserving the union.

    1867:Following the defeat of the Austrian Empire by the Prussians, Emperor Franz Josef authorizes an agreement called Ausgleich ("the Compromise"), which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The document extended the rights of full citizenship to all those living in the Hapsburg Empire including the Jews.  With the stroke of a pen, 350,000 Jews were freed to live wherever they please and follow whatever occupation or trade they so desired.  The Empire would benefit from a burst of Jewish creativity from its Hungarian and Austrian Jewish subjects as well as loyalty and devotion beyond compare.

    1870: In the Turkish province of Rumania, thousands of Jews were killed and injured when they were attacked by Christians in cities throughout this section of Southern Europe.

    1872:The inauguration services of the new Mount Sinai Hospital building were held this afternoon. The hospital is located on Lexington Avenue between 66th and 67th Avenues. Appropriate prayers were offered by the Jewish clergy and E.B. Hart delivered an address during which he traced the history of Mount Sinai which goes back to January, 1852.  Governor Hoffman also addressed the throng.

    1876:A can-can dancer named Katie Forrest sued a Jew named Solomon Care in the Marine Court over jewelry which she said he stole from her.  Care claimed that he had given her the jewelry and had pawned some of it to pay for her hotel bills. Both sides rested today but no decision was rendered by the end of the day.

    1876: The New York Timesreported that “the Jewish feast of ‘Shevuoth,’ or the Pentecost, the Spring-tide festival of the Hebraic calendar was inaugurated last evening with the joyous ceremonies incident to the occasion.  This festival also called the Feast of Weeks because it occurs seven weeks after the Passover, under the Mosaic dispensation was one of the three imporantant festivals on which it was customary for the Jews in Palestine to assemble at Jerusalem and bring up to the Temple as offerings the first fruits of the seasons.”

    1876(6th of Sivan, 5636): Shavuot

    1876: On Shavuot, Confirmation Services were held at Temple Emanu-El conducted by Rabbi Gottheil, at Temple Beth-El conducted by Rabbi Einhorn at Temple Ahavat Chesed by Rabbi Huebsch and at Bnai Jeshurun by Rabbi Jacobs.

    1877: The New York Times published a report from its London correspondent describing “the influence of the Jewish race in European politics” especially as it pertains to the clash between the Turks and the Russians.  Regardless of his nationality, “the Jew is…pro-Turkish” “for perfectly intelligible reasons.” The Jews feel that they are less oppressed in Moslem lands than they are in Christian countries.  Furthermore, the Serbian and Rumanian “Christians have in very recent times, persecuted the Jew with a fanatical fury worthy of the Middle Ages.”  Finally, any advance of “Holy Russia” means an enlargement of the area where the Jews will suffer from the government’s “intolerance.” 

    1877: It was reported today that a Jew named Solomons who owned the general store at Union Bridges, SC testified that he had listed the names of the various armed people he had seen and that he had written their names phonetically in Hebrew because he did not know how to spell them in English. The trial was racially charged as it involved gangs of whites and African-Americans.

    1877: At Temple Emanuel, in New York City Myer S. Isaacs presided over the annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites which came to a close this evening.

    1877:”The Jews and the War in Europe,” a column published today described the contentions of famed historian Edward A. Freeman that the Jews are responsible for the British support being given to the Ottomans in their war with Russia.  Freeman sees this as a failure to support Christian values (Russia) in the war against Islam. “He is under the impression that the policy of England and the welfare of Europe may be sacrificed to Hebrew sentiment. “If money is the key that opens all locks, the Jew is the master of Europe for he is our principal banker.”  “Mr. Freeman points out that the union of the Jew and the Turk against the Christian” was strengthened “when Sultan Mahmoud gave the body of the martyred Patriarch to be by the Jews through the streets of Constantinople.” Freeman blames the Jews for the outbreak of the war.  He contends that throughout Europe, the part of the press that is pro-Turkish is controlled by Jews.  He does differentiate between “the degraded Jews of the East and the cultivated and honorable Jews of the East” but in the hand “blood is stronger than water” and “Hebrew rule is sure to lead to Hebrew policy.”

    1878: The annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites which was being held in New York at Temple Emanuel with William B. Hockenberg of Philadelphia presiding came to a close today. The Executive Committee recommended that “immediate action” be taken to alleviate the suffering of the Jews living in Jerusalem and that steps should be taken to develop “a system of higher education among the Hebrews” living in the United States. The Committee on Statistics reported that “there were 223 Hebrews congregations in this country, with 12,030 members, having property valued at $4,607,110. A proposal was put forward to hold a conference in Paris that would completed “the work of the International Jewish Conference of 1876.  The officers elected to serve in the upcoming year included: Myer S. Isaacs, President; Simon Wolf of Washington, Vice President; William B. Hockenburg of Philadelphia

    1879(7thof Sivan, 5639): Second Day of Shavuot

    1879: Benjamin Mayer, a member of the firm of Hirsch and Mayer, who had been found guilty of swindling numerous New York merchants, was sentenced today to serve two years and six months of hard labor in the State Penitentiary.  He was also fined $6,000, a sum which must be paid before he can be released.

    1881(1st of Sivan, 5641): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1882: In New York, Bernhard and Gertrude Ulamann gave birth to American photographer Doris Ulmann

    1882:Thomas Timayenis a professor of languages at the University of Athens passed away. He was the father of Telemachus Timayenis, the founder of Minerva Publishing Company in New York City, “the first company in America to published books critical of Jews.” These included The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé, ‎The American Jew: An Expose of His Career‎, and Judas Iscariot: An Old Type in a New Form.  The works were intended to expose “the real Jew.”  There is no evidence to show that the father was responsible for the son’s anti-Semitism.

    1883: Based on certification of two doctors 20 year old Pauline (Moses) Holz, the wife of David Holz  was committed to an asylum “as a suffer from chronic mania.”  Only after his wife had been committed did Holz find out that her father, whom he had been told had passed away, had been in an asylum since 1872.

    1883: As an example of his communal good works, Dr. Wolfgang Strassman joined the Society of Friends, a Jewish organization founded in 1792 to help the less fortunate members of the community that would survived until the Nazis shut it down in 1935

    1887(6thof Sivan, 5647): Shavuot

    1888: In New York the General Term of the Supreme Court delivered a decision that meant the North American Relief Society for Indigent Jews In Jerusalem, Palestine, will receive $50,000 and the interest thereon for 30 years as directed by the will of the last Samson Sampson.

    1890: Twenty-nine year old Jacob Epstein, a Russian Jew shot his wife Flora today and then turned the gun on himself.

    1890: Mayor Grant appointed Isidor Straus “a member of the firm of R.H. Macy & Co” who is a anti-Tammany Hall Democrat and the brother of Oscar Straus to serve as “an additional commission to locate the proposed bridged across the North River, somewhere between Tenth and One Hundred and Eighty-first Street.”

    1892: It was reported today that the Honorary Staff of the Veteran Zouaves’ Association have made plans to present a flag to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1892: Eva Cohen and Theodore Keppler each delivered a prayer during this afternoon’s confirmation exercises of the Hebrew Free Schools. Augusta Cohen and Sarah Rabinowitch sang “I Will Praise Thee, O Lord” and Miss Lilie Levy won the fifty dollar Schiff Prize which went to the student who was most distinguished in “all studies and deportment.”

    1894: At a meeting of the Temple Emanu-El’s council of women, Mrs. Esther Ruskay read a paper who is an “an Orthodox Jewess” read a paper that declared “that among the Jews of America there was no family life because parents had allowed themselves to drift away from the time-honored observances of their faith…Jewish young people were become indifferent to teachings of the Hebrew faith and that Christmas and Easter had practically taken the place of the Hebrew Festivals.”  She concluded her remarks which Rabbi Gottheil contested but which were greeted by applause with a stated desire to see a reawakening of the old spirit of Judaism.

    1894:  Birthdate of Austrian born, American film writer and director Josef Von Sternberg. Von Sternberg’s most famous work was actually two versions of the same movie, The Blue Angel. One was in German, the other in English. Von Sternberg made his way to the United States where he lived and worked until his death at the age of 75.

    1894: At today’s session of the New York State Constitutional Convention Mr. Jacobs from Brooklyn submitted a proposal that would provide for a State Senate of 19 that would be elected at large by all New Yorkers.

    1895(6th of Sivan, 5655): Shavuot

    1895: Dr. Joseph Silverman, the junior rabbi at Temple Emuanu-El, purported to America’s oldest reform congregation, gave today’s holiday sermon. Among those attending today’s services were the members of the confirmation class.

    1897(27th of Iyar, 5657): Sixty-four year old German botanist Julius von Sachs passed away today.,_Julius_von

    1898: At today’s opening session of the League of Zionist Societies of the United States, Dr. Michael Singer delivered an address on “What Zionism Means” and Davis Trietsch delivered an address on “The First Congress At Basle.”

    1898: Mrs. M.D. Louis, President of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls presided over the institutions graduation ceremonies that were held today at Temple Emanu-El

    1898: Rabbi De Sola Mendes presided over the first annual confirmation ceremonies held at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum.

    1898: As the patriotic fervor the Spanish-American grips the United States, the Benjamin Harrison Lodge of the Order Birth Abraham will waive the membership dues for any of its members serving in the military.  Families of members serving as soldiers will be given $5 a week and the beneficiaries of any members who die in battle will be given an endowment of $500.

    1898: It was reported today that Oscar S. Straus has agreed to accept reappointment as the United States Minister to Turkey.  Straus had been appointed to the position in 1887 by President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat.  Straus’s success and the high esteem in which he has held can be seen the fact this time he is being appointed by President McKinley, a Republican.

    1898: It was reported today that the demands on the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children of the City of New York have been so great that the institution has purchased additional land at Rockaway, Long Island.  It is an ocean front piece of real estate which should help provide meaningful summer excursions for underprivileged children and their mothers.

    1899: Seattle (Washington’s “liberal Jews” formed Temple de Hirsch, a Reform congregation founded when Ohaveth Shaolum disbanded due to financial hardships.

    1899: “The Semitic Question of Algiers In The French Chamber” published today described the debate that has taken place on the treatment of Jews in the North African colony.  The Algerian anti-Semites claim they attack the Jews because they are wealthy, but their attacks strike at the many poor Jews living there.  The “battle cry” of the anti-Semites is “La France aux Francais” (France for the French) which is odd since most of the Algerian anti-Semites are Spaniards.

    1899: At this morning’s session of the “13th convention o