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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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    January 31

    314: Sylvester I whose name is “the Israeli term for New Year’s night celebrations” began his papacy

    “The Israeli term for New Year’s night celebrations, “Sylvester,” was the name of the “Saint” and Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.). The year before the Council of Nicaea convened, Sylvester convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem. At the Council of Nicaea, Sylvester arranged for the passage of a host of viciously anti-Semitic legislation. All Catholic “Saints” are awarded a day on which Christians celebrate and pay tribute to that Saint’s memory. December 31 is Saint Sylvester Day – hence celebrations on the night of December 31 are dedicated to Sylvester’s memory. (As reported by Jewlicious)

    439: Promulgation of the Code of Theodosius II in the Byzantine Empire. This was the first imperial compilation of anti- Jewish laws since Constantine. Jews were prohibited from holding important positions involving money including judicial and executive offices and the ban against building new synagogues was reinstated. Theodosius was the Roman emperor of the East (408–450) The Code was readily accepted as well by Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III (425-455).

    579: The reign of Khosrow I (or Chosroes I)  who “protected the rights of Christian and Jewish minoirites” when he “destroyed Antioch” in 540 came to an end today.

    1253: Henry III of England ordered that Jewish worship in Synagogues must be held quietly so that Christians should not have to hear it when passing by. In addition Jews were not to employ Christian nurses or maids, nor was any Jew allowed to prevent another Jew from converting to Christianity.

    1419: Pope Martin V issued a Bull that abolished the oppressive laws promulgated by antipope Benedict XIII and granted the Jews those privileges which had been accorded them under previous popes.

    1493: Jews fleeing Spain were no longer allowed to enter to enter Genoa. During the previous year Jews fleeing Spain were allowed to land in Genoa for three days. As of this date the special consideration was cancelled due to the “fear” that the Jews may introduce the Plague.

    1504: France ceded Naples to Aragon. Jews had lived in Naples in comparative freedom but began to suffer persecution when the French conquered the kingdom in 1495.  Conditions worsened when the Spanish began to rule the southern Italian land and by 1541 the Jewish community ceased to exist.

    1674(24th of Shevat): Rabbi Abraham Auerbach of Coesfeld, Germany instituted an annual fast in commemoration of his expulsion on this date.

    1684(Shevat, 5444): Benedict (Baruch) Nehamias de Castro, who was so successful in practicing medicine in his hometown of Hamburg “that in 1645 he was appointed physician in ordinary to Queen Christina of Sweden” passed away today.

    1796: In Kingston, Jacob Bueno Henriques and Sarah Henriques gave birth to Joseph Gutteres Henriques who settled in London where he married Eliza Henriques with whom he had two children.

    1812: Birthdate of Frederick David Goldsmid, the MP for Honiton.

    1813: Birthdate of Dutch physician, pharmacist and philanthropist, Samuel Sarphati. “One of the great Amsterdammers of the 19th century,” Sarphati, was a promoter of public housing, an organizer of municipal services such as garbage collecting, and the builder of a bread factory that provided better and cheaper bread for the city. He also built the Amstel hotel. Sarphati is seen by Dutch history as a great philanthropist. Nobody ever knew he was Jewish—until the Germans authorities changed the name Sarphati Street into “Muiderschans”.

    1820(15thof Shevat, 5580): Tu B’Shevat is observed for the last time during the Presidency of James Madison.

    1828: Abraham Joseph married Eliza Wolf in the United Kingdom

    1830: Birthdate of James G. Blaine, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for U.S. President who while serving as Secretary of State was presented with “a petition signed by 413 Jewish and Christian leaders including John and William Rockefeller, calling for an international conference on the Jews and Palestine.”

    1830: In South Moravia Löbl Strakosch and Julia Schwarz gave birth their daughter Josefina Strakosch.

    1838: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Poznanski officiated at the marriage of Samuel Sampson to Catherine Goldsmith, “the only daughter of the late Isaac Goldsmith.”

    1842(20thof Shevat, 5602): Seventy-seven year old Emanuel Deutz who had been serving as Chief Rabbi of France since 1810 passed away today.

    1842: In St. Mary’s, Camden Country, GA, Lieutenant Levi Charles Harby married Leonora R. D’Lyon the daughter of Levi S. D’Lyon of Savannah, GA at the residence of Dr. Francis O. Curtis.

    1845: The government Rabbi Nathan Marcus Adler permission to leave Hanover so that he could move to London and assume the position of Chief Rabbi.

    1846: After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown were incorporated to form the modern city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Four years prior to this, the families of Solomon Adler, Isaac Neustadt, and Moses Weil settled in the city.  As proof of the vibrancy of the young community, during the 1840’s the first Rosh Hashanah services were held at the home of Henry Newhouse and the first Yom Kippur Services were held in a building containing Pereles grocery store.  For more about the history of the Jews of Milwaukee consider a visit to the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee or reading "One People, Many Paths: A History of Jewish Milwaukee," by John Gurda.

    1841(9thof Shevat, 5601): German Jewish music teacher Moses Budinger who “edited the Jewish ritual for festivals with a grammatical commentary in Hebrew and the penitential prayers with a commentary” passed away in Cassel today.

    1848: Birthdate of Nathan Straus who the wealthy American businessman and philanthropist who owned R.H. Macy & Company and Abraham and Straus. Born in Otterberg, Germany, Strauss moved to the United States with his family in 1854 where they first settled in Georgia before moving to New York City after the Civil War where young Nathan worked in his father’s firms L Straus & Sons.  In the 1880’s he began a life of philanthropy and public service that included leading the fight against tuberculosis and a major effort to improve the public libraries.  His philanthropy extended to developing a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel following his first visit to the area in 1912.  His support is memorialized by the fact that a street in the Jerusalem is called “Rehov Straus” and that the modern Israeli city of Netanya, founded in 1927, was named in his honor

    1851(28th of Shevat, 5611): David Spangler Kaufman passed away. Born in 1813,Kaufman was the first Jewish United States Congressman from Texas. No other Jewish Texan served in Congress until Martin Frost in 1979. He was born in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. After graduating with high honors from Princeton College in 1830, he studied law under John A. Quitman in Natchez, Mississippi, and was admitted to the bar. He began his legal career in Natchitoches, Louisiana, five years later. In 1837 Kaufman settled in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he practiced law and participated in military campaigns against the Cherokee Indians. He was wounded in an encounter in 1839. Between 1838 and 1845 he was a member of the Republic of Texas's congress. He served in the Republic's House of Representatives from 1838 to 1842, and was Speaker of the House in the last two years. He was a member of the Texas Senate from 1843 to 1845, when president of Texas Anson Jones named him chargé d'affaires to the United States in February 1845. After the Texas Annexation,Kaufman represented the Eastern District (District 1 of Texas in the United States House of Representatives from 1845 to 1851. While in Congress, Kaufman argued unsuccessfully that Texas owned lands that are now parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. He encouraged Governor of Texas Peter Hansborough Bell to have Texas troops seize Santa Fe, New Mexico, which never occurred. He also played a role in the Compromise of 1850, as one result of which the national government assumed the debts of the former republic. Kaufman was a Freemason and a charter member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. He died in Washington, D.C. while attending the Congress, and was originally buried in the Congressional Cemetery there. In 1932 his remains were moved to the State Cemetery in Austin, Texas. Kaufman County, Texas and the city of Kaufman, Texas are named for him.

    1856: F.W. Evans delivered a lecture tonight entitled "Shakerism" during which he described numerous similarities in the beliefs and/or practices of the Shakers and those of the Jews. This positive view Jews may be one of the reasons that systemic European style anti-Semitism never took firm root in the United States.

    1860: In Prague, Simon Heller and Mathilde Kassanowitz gave birth to Maximilian Heller, the Rabbi at Temple Sinai in New Orleans who was the husband of Ida Annie Heller.

    1864(23rdof Shevat, 5624): Fifty-one year old Bavarian lawyer Fischel Arnheim whose legal reputation led to his election four times to the Bavarian Legislature from the cities of Hof and Munchberg.

    1864(23rdof Shevat, 5624): Fifty-five year old Rabbi Michael Sachs who was enlightened enough to be “one of the first Jewish graduates from the modern universities” but who “so strongly opposed the introduction of the organ into the Synagogue that he retired from the Rabbinate rather than acquiesce” which led him to a literary life that included a new translation of the Bible passed away today.

    1865: The House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment today paving the way for it to be sent to the States for ratification. 

    1866(15thof Shevat, 5626): Tu B’Shevat

    1876: In the village of Longdowns, Cornwall, Thomas and Jane Hocking Spargo gave birth to John Spargo, the non-Jewish author of The Jews and American Ideals in which he “attacked the problem of anti-Semitism, and exposed the un-American nature and its positive danger to American ideals and institutions.”

    1871: It was reported today that the Russian government has issued an imperial decree exempting Jews from military service once they reach the age of 32.  Christians are exempt once they reach the age of 23. Any Jew who converts will not have to serve in the military – another example of “proselytism by main force.”

    1874: In the United Kingdom, start of the general election in which Benjamin Disraeli’s Conservatives would win a majority of the seats in the House of Commons.

    1881: As of today, the books of the Board of Endowment of the Grand Lodge of the order Kesher Shel Barzel, District No.1 showed a deficiency of $2,996.36 which would later be attributed to embezzlement by President Oettinger.

    1884(4thof Shevat, 5644): Thirty-nine year old German orientalist Siegfried Goldschmidt who fought in the Franco-Prussian War and died today of spinal consumption before he could assume his duties as a professor at the University of Strasburg.

    1885: Twenty-one year old pianist Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler made “her New York debut came today with a performance of Anton Buinstein’s Concerto in D Minor

    1886: Birthdate of Lev Shestov.Lev Isaakovich Shestov, born Yehuda Leyb Schwarzmann was a Russian - Jewish existentialist philosopher. The Kiev native fled to France in 1921 seeking to escape the society created by the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution.  He lived in Paris until his death in 1938.

    1890: Henry A. Jackson, the Secretary of the Emigration Commission received a letter from Charles Frank, the Superintendent of the United Hebrew Charities attesting to the ability of Moses Gershonfeldt to be able to provide for his wife and four children who were being held at Ward’s Island because Commissioner Stephenson had arbitrarily denied them admission even though Moses, a butcher who earned $12 a week and his son Joseph who earned $9 a week had come to his office, described their financial condition and sought to leave with his wife and remaining children whose passage he had paid so that the family could be reunited.

    1891: Twenty-nine year old “Edward Lawrence Levy” won “the first British amateur weight lifting championship today.

    1891: During the Congressional Investigation of the management of the Barge Office, Colonel John B. Weber the former Superintendent Weber testified as to how the United Hebrew Charities had offered to care for a poor Englishwoman that Dr. Drum and the “powerful and wealthy Episcopal church” had to turned its back on leading Weber to say that he “prayed if he was to be born again he should be born a Jews for then he would have somebody to care of him if he should ever be in need.”

    1892: In New York City, Meta and Mechel Iskowitz gave birth to Edward Israel Iskowitz the orphan who was raised by his grandmother Esther Kantrowtiz and gained fame as Eddie Cantor.

    1892: It was reported today that six members of the senior class at Rutgers are studying Hebrew, “the study of which is increasing in” the United States.

    1892: Birthdate of Moritz Guttman the native Kleinsteinach who fought in the German Army during WW I.

    1892: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs of B’nai Jeshrun officiated at the funeral of Benjamin Russak which was held at his home and followed by burial at Cypress Hills. The police were on hand to deal with the large number of carriages that brought a throng of the city’s leading business leaders and prominent members of the Jewish community.

    1892: Charles Spurgeon, the English Reformed Baptist Minister who expressed his disgust for the Czar’s treatment of his Jewish subjects, passed away. “If I had all the health and strength that could fall to the lot of man, I should be quite unable to express my feelings on reading of Russia’s intolerance of the Jews…The Czar is greatly injuring his own country by driving out God’s ancient people.  No country can trample with impunity.”

    1892: “The Russian Exiles” published today described efforts by the Jewish community to meet the needs of the swelling tide of immigrants that is arriving from Europe.  According to the United Hebrew Charities 62,574 Jews arrived in New York last with five-sixths or 54,194 of them coming from Russia.  The total included 26,891 men, 16,393 women and 19,290 children.  Only 195 of the immigrants were sent back to Europe by the U.S. government while 46,029 have remained in the city with the rest having been provided transportation to other cities.

    1893: The Jewish community of Philadelphia is scheduled to host a charity ball today to which President-elect Grover Cleveland was invited by A.E. Greenwald and Chapman Raphael.

    1893: “L’Amico Fritz” Mascagni’s second opera is scheduled to be performed at the Music Hall tonight under the direction of Walter Damrosch with the proceeds going to the Hebrew Educational Institute.

    1893: Charles Frohman “signed a contract” today” under which his comedians will open at the Garden Theatre” in September.

    1894: Birthdate of Otto Gunstling who was transported from Prague to Ujazdow to Majdanek where he was murder in 1942.

    1895: Isaac Spectosky of the Hebrew Institute was among those who attended today’s meeting of the Federation of East Side Workers.

    1896: In Philadelphia PA, the American Jewish Historical Society held the final day of it fourth annual conference during which Dr. Cyrus Adler present a paper on “Notes on the Inquisition in Mexico and the Jews”; Max Kohler presented a paper on “The Jews and the American Anti-Slavery Movement” and Professor Morris Jastrow presented a paper on “Documents Relating to the Career of Colonel Isaac Franks.”

    1897: Dr. Emil G. Hirsch was among those who attended a conference of South Side Charities in Chicago, Illinois.

    1897: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil preached a sermon entitled “Rights and Wrongs of Rich and Poor” at Temple Emanu-El this morning.

    1897: The Jewish Socialists’ Convention continued its meeting for another day at the Walhalla Hall on Orchard Street.

    1897: Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil “delivered the fifth and last course of his on ‘The Geography of Palestine’ at Temple Emanu-El” this evening.  Gottheil is the son of the congregation’s rabbi and the college professor who helped found Zeta Beta Tau.

    1897: Twenty-four year old Montgomery, Alabama native I.O. Schiff, the son of Rabbi Abraham J. Schiff and a member of the New York firm of Schiff Bros. married Stella Newmark with whom he had three children – Ruth, Stanley T. and Roslyn Schiff.

    1898: It was reported today that Mrs. Esther Wallenstein has been elected President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum Association and that Maurice Untermyer has been elected Vice President

    1898: It was reported today that arrangements are being completed for a debated between representatives of the Jewish Technical School, the Hebrew Institute and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1898: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil views newspapers “as the recorders and distributors of the world’s daily history” which provide information that will break down prejudice.

    1898: It was reported today that the committee that is trying to building the first Jewish hospital in Brooklyn has selected four potential sites. The committee’s officers are: President – Robert Strahl; Vice President – Sigmund Wechsler; Secretary – Charles Levy

    1899: The seventh annual meeting of the Hebrew Free Loan Association was held this evening at the Educational Alliance on East Broadway

    1899: It was reported today that the officers of the Union of Jewish Religious Schools are: President-Richard Gottheil; Vice Presidents – Miss Julia Rachman and Dr. Kaufmann Kohler; Honorary Treasurer – A.F. Hochstader; Honorary Secretary – Rabbi Stephen O. Wise

    1899: Daniel P. Hays presided over a dinner given by the Judeans to honor Dr. Cyrus Adler who is the newly elected President of the American Jewish Historical Society.

    1904: In Germany, Samuel and Malchen Jeselsohn gave birth to Albert Jeselsohn

    1906: Birthdate of Benjamin Frankel, the London born composer who was “the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants.”

    1906: “School Principal’s Answer” published today described the hearing held today by District School Board No. 39 to determine if Principal Frank Harding’s references to Christ last December at an assembly at Public School 144 were an attempt to proselytize students at the school in a neighborhood “inhabited almost entirely by Jews” as first alleged by a student Augusta Herbert.

    1906: “Cossacks Massacre Jews” published today described the attacks on the Jews of Gomel by Cossacks whose efforts “to obtain evidence of revolutionary activity” degenerated into an orgy of drunken looting and murder.

    1906: Maurice Arnoff and Adolf Spiegel of Temple El Chaim officiated at the wedding of Solomon Levin who manufacturers wax images and Mollie Mogilewsky, the daughter of east side banker Rubin Mogilewsky which was held at the Attorney Street Synagogue.

    1906: The engagement of Benjamin Mogilwesky, the son of east side banker Rubin Mogilewsky to Rebecca Thomas as announced today.

    1907: “Miss Hook of Holland” a two act musical comedy “with music and lyrics by Paul Rubens” who co-authored the book “opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre” today where it would run for 462 performances.

    1909: Birthdate Yosef Burg, “a seminal Israeli political figure who was a Cabinet Minister for 35 years as a head of the religious Zionist movement…” (As reported by Deborah Sontag)

    1910: Birthdate of Giorgio Perlasca, an Italian who, with the collaboration of official diplomats, posed as the Spanish consul-general to Hungary in the winter of 1944, and saved 5218 Jews from deportation to Nazi Germany death camps in eastern Europe.

    1911(2ndof Shevat, 5671): Sixty-seven year old Paul Singer, a leading German Marxist and a co-chairman of the Social Democratic Party passed away.

    1913(23rdof Shevat, 5673): Sixty-year old Alfred Cohen, a “Councillor at the Supreme Court of Justice, passed away today in Munich.

    1915: Birthdate of Altoona, PA native Maurice Howard “Babe” Patt  the Carnegie Tech tight end who played professionally the NFL Detroit Lions and Cleveland Rams before spending WW II in the U.S. Navy.

    1915: “New Jewish Magazine” published today described the publication by the Intercollegiate Menorah Association of the first issue of The Menorah Journal a bi-monthly under the guidance of editor in chief Henry Hurwitz which includes the following articles: “A Call to the Educated Jew” by Louis Brandeis; “Jewish Students in European Universities” by Harry Wolfson; “The Jews in War” by Dr. Joseph Jacobs and “Days of Disillusionment” by Samuel Strauss.

    1915: In Atlanta, GA, “the jury in the case of Dan S. Lehon, C.C. Tedder and Arthur Forman charge with subornation of a perjury in an effort to obtain a new trial for Leo M. Frank, convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan, brought in a verdict of not guilty at 1:50 this afternoon.”

    1915: “If Leo Frank obtains his freedom from the United States Supreme Court, it was announced today that Solicitor Dorsey would make an effort to have him indicted by the Grand Jury on one of two other charges” and that “Solicitor Dorsey said he intended to fight the case to the bitter end.”

    1915: “Another batch” of refugees from Palestine have arrived at Alexandria aboard “the United States warship Tennessee which has been fitted up as transport” and have provided information that shows “the inability of the Turks to anything that is effective against Egypt

    1915: It was reported today that “the Russian Government is now seeking to re-establish the autocracy as it existed before granting of the constitution” and has returned to its practice of organizing demonstrations against the Jews.

    1915: “Refugees who have arrived in Egypt from Palestine report that conditions go from bad to worse” with “relations between the German and Turkish officers have reached a stage of acute tension.”

    1916: While developments today with respect to the nomination of Louis D. Brandeis to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court did not change the rather general opinion among Senators that the nomination would be confirmed, it became more apparent that confirmation would not be accomplished without a struggle.

    1916: It was reported today that New York Assemblymen Nathan Perlman and Myer Levy were among those who attended the dance held “by the Madison Republican of the Twenty-Sixth Assembly District for the benefit of war sufferers.”

    1916: In a sign of the non-sectarian nature of the fund raising efforts on behalf of the Jews of Europe, it was reported that Senator Boise Penrose and Congressman William S. Vare were among those who spoke at the Philadelphia Mass Meeting organized by the American Jewish Relief Committee.

    1916: Sendel and Riva Grynszpan, the parents of Herschel Grynsapan (the alleged assassin of Ernst von Rath) gave birth to their third child and second daughter, Esther.

    1916: As a measure of the worsening conditions in Russia, “many commercial and technical associations have adopted resolutions declaring the restrictions placed up the Jews are the reason for Russia’s commercial backwardness.”

    1916: Among those who paid tribute to Dr. Joseph Jacobs “the noted Jewish scholar and editor of the American Hebrew” who passed away yesterday were Cyrus L. Sulzberger, “Dr. Frank H. Vizitelly, the scholar and author associated with Dr. Jacobs in many of the publications issued by Funk and Wagnalls” and Louis Marshall.”

    1916: “The National Jewish Workmen’s Committee on Jewish Rights announced” today “that it will submitted to Congress document expositing atrocities practice on the Jews in the warring countries of Europe.”

    1917: In a move that will bring the United States into World War I, Germany announces it will resume its policy of allowing U-Boats “attack any and all ships, including civilian passenger carriers, said to be sighted in war-zone waters” – a practice popularly referred to as “unrestricted submarine warfare.”

    1917: As the debate over immigration continued to rage across the American political spectrum, Max J. Kohler, the son of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler wrote today that “No doubt a very large portion of the thoughtful and patriotic citizens of our country hope that Congress will sustain the President’s veto of the Immigration bill and particularly is that true of those who, like the Jewish citizens of the United States, love our hallowed American precedent of right of asylum for the persecuted…

    1918(18th of Shevat, 5678): Dr. Jechiel Tchlenow, the Moscow physician who was a major leader of the Zionist movement passed away. In 1917, Tchlenow had come to London “where he took an active part in the diplomatic negotiations that have resulted in official declarations by Great Britain” favoring the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    1919: Birthdate of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in major league baseball when he played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. . Robinson was befriended by Hank Greenberg, the Jewish slugger who had had to deal with bigotry during his career.  According to Jonathan Eig, the only friends that Robinson had in Brooklyn during his first year “were Jewish people.” “The Jewish community clearly recognized a kindred spirit here, someone who had to prove himself. The war had just ended, [and] anti-Semitism was running high. Blacks and Jews both, after the war, felt they had some work to do to establish more respect."

    1921: The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Victor Berger. Berger had been convicted of violating the Espionage Act and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. In overturning the conviction the Supreme Court found that the presiding Judge, Kennesaw Landis (the future Baseball Commissioner) had improperly presided over the case after the filing of an affidavit of prejudice.

    1923: In Long Branch, NJ, “Isaac Barnett Mailer, an accountant born in South Africa” and the former Fanny Schneider gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winning author Norman Mailer.

    1924: Birthdate of Marion Ruth Abitz, the wife of Irving Abitz

    1924: In Pontiac, Michigan, Fannie Ester Blustin and Philip Taubman gave birth to mall developer Adolph Alfred Taubman.

    1925: Birthdate of Charles Eliot Silberman, the native of Des Moines, Iowa, who gained fame as “a journalist whose books addressed vast, turbulent social subjects including race, education, crime and the state of American Jewry.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1928: Nathan Straus, prominent philanthropist, celebrated the eightieth anniversary of his birthday today at his home, 580 West End Avenue.  He will spend the day quietly with members of his immediate family. Among those sending congratulatory communications are President Calvin Coolidge and New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker. While Straus has gained great honor for his humanitarian efforts, he was proud of his business acumen and some of his unique accomplishments which, according to him, included the introduction of rest rooms and medical care employees.  His philanthropic contributions in Palestine were made with the understanding that they would be available to all regardless of race, religion, creed or nationality.  Everybody knows about his support of Jewish settlers, but how many people are aware of the fact that he gave funds that were to be used by Arabs so that they buy modern agricultural equipment?  How many people known that when Palestine was struck by an earthquake, and Arabs were the chief victims, he sent a substantial sum earmarked for their use?  

    1928: Mrs. Hertha Fuerth Lasker, a Viennese artist who was married last August to Edward Lasker, one of the leading chess players in the United States and a cousin of Albert Lasker, former Chairman of the United States Shipping Board, was a passenger on the Hamburg-American liner which arrived in New York tonight.

    1929:Stalin expelled Leon Trotsky Russia.  Trotsky took refuge in Turkey.

    1930: The Golden Ring, a romantic operetta, set in Tel Aviv, premiered at the National Theatre on Second Avenue in New York City.

    1930: The trial of Simcha Hinkas, the Jewish policeman charged with leading a Jewish crowd which killed a family of Arabs in Jaffa on Aug. 25, 1929 continued today in Jaffa with the prosecution presenting what it consider to be its strongest witnesses.  

    1931: Dr. William H. Hechler, a Protestant clergyman and teacher who was an early supporter of Theodore Herzl and his Zionist program passed away today at the age of 86.  Among other things, Hechler arranged for Herzl to meet Kaiser Wilhelm in those pre-war days when it was thought that the German monarch could persuade the Ottomans to support a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    1932: The New York Times reported that Miss Freda Berson of Warsaw who is one of the best discus throwers in Poland and Miss Heda Bienenfeld of the Vienna Hokah, an outstanding Austrian swimmer will be competing in the upcoming Maccabiah.

    1933(4thof Shevat, 5693): Heinrich Oppenheimer, the German born physician who moved to Britain where he pursued a medical career and, after obtaining an LL.B combined his two areas of interest to produce “The Criminal Reasonability of “Lunatics: A Study in Comparative Law” and “The Rational for Punishment” passed away today in Nice.

    1933: On the day after they had dined together in Washington Friedrich Wilhelm von Prittwitz und Gaffron resigned the German Ambassador to the United States resigned and called German-Jewish Lin Feuchtwanger not to return to Germany.

    1934: Birthdate of “Alfred Appel Jr., a scholarly expert on Vladimir Nabokov, whose lecture course he attended at Cornell and the author of wide-ranging interpretive books on modern art and jazz.” (As reported by William Grimes)

    1934(15th of Shevat, 5694): Tu B'Shevat

    1935 (27th of Shevat, 5695); David Trietsch, an expert on the agriculture and economy of Palestine, as well as “one of the founders of the Zionist movement” passed away today.  The 65 year old native of Germany died of heart failure at Rmat Ayim, near Tel Aviv.  Trietsch believed that a Jewish homeland would be created through “practical colonization” as opposed to political negotiations.  When the Ottomans sought to halt Jewish settlement in Palestine, Trietsch supported the settlement of Jews in Cyprus so that they would be poised to move to Palestine quickly as soon as there was a change in the political climate.

    1935: “The Good Fairy” a romantic comedy directed by William Wyler and produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr. premiered in New York Ctiy.

    1935: In Croatia, Mane and Helen Hochwald gave birth to Branko Hochwald, who would come to United States in 1944 where he gained fame as Raymond B. Harding, the leader of New York State’s Liberal Party. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1936: “The suffering of the Jews in Germany has brought into focus the necessity for an all-inclusive brothe hood of Jews and Gentiles in the city and nation,” according to the 1935 Report of the Greater New York Federation of Churches which was made public today.

    1937: In Baltimore, MD Ida (née Gouline) and Benjamin Charles Glass, a record store owner, gave birth to composer Philip Morris Glass

    1937: Ben-Zion Mossinson of Tel Aviv delivered an address at New York’s Rodeph Sholom entitled “Is There A Solution for the Jewish Problem?”

    1938:Muriel Rukeyser established herself as a poet of enduring impact with the publication of U.S. 1, her second book of poems.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that three large Arab bands abducted nine Arab supernumerary policemen from their police post near Acre, and shot their corporal dead in cold blood. The Arab policemen were disarmed and beaten, warned to leave the force and released. At another police post in the South arms and ammunition were stolen.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Romania officially denounced the Minorities Treaty into which it had entered upon gaining independence at the Peace Conference at Versailles, and claimed that the Jewish question was now "a purely internal matter" over which the League of Nations had no more jurisdiction. This meant that Romania now felt free to implement still more severe anti-Semitic discriminatory measures. 

    1938: The Palestine Post reported on the rise of anti-Jewish feelings and vandalism in Yugoslavia including the fact that "local Nazis" had smashed the windows out of the Sephardic synagogue of Belgrade.

    1940: In New York, Dr. Eugene Hevesi, a Hungarian-born leader in the American Jewish community who served as foreign affairs secretary for the American Jewish Committee and as representative to the United Nations for several Jewish NGOs and his wife gave birth to Alan Hevesi, the New York Democrat who served as Comptroller of New York City and State Comptroller for the state of New York. He is also the brother of New York Timesman Dennis Hevesi who creates literary gems for the obituary page.

    1939: “During the parliamentary debate” today in Budapest “on the anti-Jewish bill, the president of the Association of Hungarian Industrialists, Alexander Knob, said Hungarian economic life would be gravely endangered by ‘proletarization’ of 6,000 to 7,000 Jews.”

    1940: Birthdate of Alan G. Hevesi “a Democratic politician who served as a New York State Assemblyman from 1971 to 1993, as Comptroller of the City of New York from 1994 to 2001, and as State Comptroller for the State of New York from 2003 to 2006”

    1941(3rdof Shevat, 5701): Twenty-four year old Bulla (Bubbles) Blumenson was killed by enemy action today after which she was interred at the Rainham Jewish Cemetery.

    1941: Three thousand Jews were taken from their villages and moved into the Warsaw Ghetto. Another 70,000 Jews would be uprooted and moved into the Warsaw Ghetto by the end of March.

    1941: U.S. premiere of “Come Live With Me” starring Hedy Lamar.

    1941: Birthdate of Leningrad native Lev M. Bergman, the Israeli mathematician “most known for the Bregman divergence named after him.”

    1942 (13th of Shevat, 5702): Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah passed away in New York. Wife of the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneerson, and mother of the sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah lived through the upheavals of the first half of the 20th century. She fled the advancing front of World War I from Lubavitch to Rostov, where her husband passed away in 1920 at age 59. In 1927, she witnessed the arrest of her son by Stalin's henchmen the night he was taken away and sentenced to death, G-d forbid, for his efforts to keep Judaism alive throughout the Soviet empire. After Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's release, the family resettled in Latvia and later, Poland; in 1940, they survived the bombing of Warsaw, were rescued from Nazi-occupied city, and immigrated to the United States.

    1942: Einsatzgruppe A commanding officer, Franz W. Stahlecker, sent a detailed report about activities in the Baltic and White Russian countries. It stated that between July 23 and October 15, 1941, 135,567 Jews were killed. Eichmann sent out a letter making official the conclusions of the Wannsee Conference, "The evacuation of the Jews . . . is the beginning of the final solution of the Jewish problem."

    1942: By the end of January, at least 160,000 Jews were living in the Lodz ghetto.

    1945 (17th of Shevat, 5705): Fritz Freund, husband of Mathilde Freund, died at Buchenwald just three months before the camp was liberated.  In the first decade of the 21st century Mathilde Freund would sue France’s government owned railroad, Societe National des Chemins de Fer Francais over its role in the deportation of her husband and thousands of other French Jews to the death camps.

    1946: Having resigned from the RAF Mordechai "Modi" Alon returned to Palestine and enrolled as an architecture student at the Technion. Allon would gain fame as one of the first fighter pilots in the IAf and the first one to shoot down an enemy aircraft.

    1946: “The citation for Captain Isidore’s MBE that concluded ‘For his courage and devotion to duty during his two clandestine missions in Occupied France, it is recommened that Captain Newman be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Military Division)’ was gazetted today.”

    1947: In the House of Commons, during a debate about Britain marinating the Mandate in Palestine, Churchill, leading the Opposition, calls for the Government to end the Mandate.  Two weeks later, the Labor Government will adopt this as policy. 

    1948: Birthdate of poet Albert Goldbarth.

    1948:J D Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Banana Fish" appears in New York City.

    1949: After hearing Churchill’s speech in Parliament denouncing the logic of the Labor Government’s policy towards Israel and calling for recognition of the new Jewish state, Sir Simon Marks, a leading Jewish businessman and philanthropist, wrote to the former PM assuring him that Chaim Weizmann would find great comfort in his words.

    1949: The U.S. which had recognized Israel on a de factor basis on May 15 recognized Israel on a de jure basis today.

    1950: In Larchmont, drama critic Walter Kerr and author Jean Collins Kerr gave birth to John Kerr, “an editor, literary muse and confidant for a generation of Freudian scholars and the author of A Most Dangerous Method, the book that became the basis for a play and a movie directed by David Conenberg about the famous feud between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

    1950: President Truman revealed that he had ordered the Atomic Energy Commission to develop the hydrogen bomb.  This decision might have been called Dueling Jewish Physicists.  On one side was Dr. Oppenheimer father of the A-Bomb who opposed building the hydrogen bomb.  On the other side was Dr. Teller who had worked on the A-Bomb and favored building the H-Bomb.  Teller won out.  Oppenheimer’s opposition was one of the causes of him losing his security clearance during the 1950’s. This was an injustice that Teller did not support and that President Kennedy would rectify.

    1951: Birthdate of Dr. Harold Alan Pincus, the Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and father of Zachary Pincus-Roth the Princeton educated writer and journalist.

    1954: Birthdate of Rabbi Michael Melchior, the native of Copenhagen who made Aliyah in 1986.

    1955: Egyptian authorities hanged two Jews in Cairo – Dr. Moshe Marzouk and Samuel (Shmeul) Azar – who had been found guilty of spying for Israel.  Eight other Jews had been given long prison sentences for the same reason.

    1957: Martin Landau married Barbara Bain today.

    1958: Lieutenant General Haim Laskov is serving as IDF Chief of Staff as the Egyptians and Syrians prepare to form the United Arab Republic which will increase the threat faced by the Jewish state.

    1960: World Sephardi Federation meets in Madrid, Spain. Some members complain they did not want Spain to be the site of the meeting, as they did not want to return to Spain for any reason.

    1960:Songwriter Adolph Green marries actress/singer Phyllis Newman in New York City.

    1961: David Ben-Gurion resigned as premier of Israel.

    1961: A 3.5 kilometer tract of land southwest of Mount Kidod was chosen today as the site for the city of Arad.

    1961: Joseph Rosenstock returned to the Met today to conduct Tristan und Isolde.

    1965: CBS broadcast the first episode of “For the People” a “legal drama” created by Stuart Rosenberg, produced by Herbert Rodkin and starring William Shatner and Howard Da Silva.

    1967(20thof Shevat, 5727): Seventy-year old sculptor, Virginia Morris Pollak, the wife of Leo Pollak passed away today.

    1968: At sunset, all non-Israeli military units gave up the search for the INS Dakar, an Israeli submarine that had been first been reported missing on January 26.

    1970(24thof Shevat, 5730): Seventy-six year old Samuel Feldman, the husband of Stella Feldman of Long Beach, NY, passed away today in Miami Beach.

    1970: In Washington, DC, “Judith Plotz, an English professor at The George Washington University, and Dr. Paul Plotz, researcher at the National Institutes of Health” gave birth to “David Plotz, an American journalist and is currently the CEO of Atlas Obscura, an online magazine devoted to discovery and exploration” who is married to Hanna Rosin, “a co-founder of Slate magazine’s DoubleX.

    1973: U.S. premiere of “Steel Yard Blues” produced by Julia Phillips

    1974: Linda McCartney and her husband “appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone today, making her the only person to have taken a photograph, and to have been photographed, for the front cover of the magazine.”

    1974(8th of Shevat, 5734): Hilda Winifred Lewis (nee Maizels), the Whitechapel born historical novelist who was the wife of Dr. M.M. Lewis, the Director of the Institute of Education at the University of Nottingham, the sister of Montague Maizels and Miriam Wright and sister-in-law of Professor Samson Wright passed away today.

    1974 (8th of Shevat, 5734):  Samuel Goldwyn, a major force in the creation of the motion picture industry, passed away at the age of 91. The evolution of Goldwyn’s name is microcosm of the experience of European Jews who came to America.  Born Schmuel Gelbfisz, he changed his name to Samuel Goldfish when he moved to Great Britain because that sounded more English.  After he moved to America he went into partnership with two Broadway producers whose names were Selwyn.  In naming their partnership they combined their two last names to create Goldwyn.  Sam liked the American sound of it so much that he changed his name for the third and last time.  What is amazing is the role that this Jewish immigrant from Poland played in creating modern American culture.  Among other things, he discovered that quintessential American hero, Gary Cooper and won the Oscar for best picture with his production “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Goldwyn may have been.  When Louis B Mayer a former partner turned commented on Goldwyn’s death he said, “The reason so many people turned up at his funeral is that they wanted to make sure he was dead."  However Goldwyn’s last production marked him as a man of moral fiber. In his final film made in 1959, Samuel Goldwyn brought together African-American actors Sidney Poitier Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr. and singer Pearl Bailey in a film rendition of the George Gershwin Opera, Porgy and Bess. The film won three Oscars. Samuel Goldwyn's lack of English language skills led to many of his malapropisms being frequently quoted such as:

    • "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."

    • "Include me out."

    • "What we need now is some new, fresh clichés."

    • "Anyone who would go to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined!"

    • "Every director bites the hand that lays the golden egg."

    • "Flashbacks are a thing of the past."

    • "A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad."

    1978: Israel turned 3 military outposts in the West Bank into civilian settlements

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann left for Cairo for the second round of the interrupted military discussions. One of his specific aims was reported to be to influence the Egyptians so that they would modify their position of "not giving up even one inch of Sinai."

    1979(3rd of Shevat, 5739): Celia Adler passed away today at the age of 89.  Known as the “First Lady of the Yiddish Theatre” she was part of Jewish theatrical dynasty that included her parents, Jacob and Dinah Shtettin, her half-sister Stella Adler and her half-brother Luther Adler.

    1980: The New York City Ballet premiere of “Fancy Free,” a ballet by Jerome Robbins “took place today.”

    1980: Seventy-three year old Irving Loeb Goldberg “assumed senior status” on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

    1981: Jean-Marie Lustiger was enthroned as Archbishop of Paris.  He had been born Aaron Lustiger and converted at the age of 13 in 1940.  His mother died at Auschwitz.

    1986: “Youngblood” a dramatic film edited by Stephen E. Rivkin who would later gain fame for his “work on the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’” was released in the United States today.

    1986: “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” a comedy directed and co-produced by Paul Mazursky and co-starring Bette Midler and Richard Dreyfus was release today.

    1987: In “Poignant Look-back At Holocaust In 'Beloved'” published today Kevin Thomas reviewed Manfred Kirchheimer’s “We Were So Beloved.”

    1987: As more information came out about what would be known as The Iran-Contra Affair, Yaacov Nimrodi, said today that Israel's Defense Ministry had approved the sale of $50 million worth of Israeli-made weapons to Iran almost two months before the first reported American request for Israel's help in approaching Teheran.

    1988: A Jewish settler was severely burned today when his car was firebombed in an area near the Ofra settlement north of Jerusalem.

    1988: ABC broadcast the first episode of “The Wonder Years” a comedy-drama co-created by Neal Marlens and narrated by Daniel Stern.

    1989: Birthdate of Israel Bar-On “an Israeli singer, who won Israel's Kokhav Nolad (A Star is Born) song contest in 2008.”

    1990: Yuval Ne'eman resigned from the Knesset today and was replaced by Gershon Shafat.

    1992: Tonight’ performance of the Gershwin musical "Crazy for You" at the Shubert Theater is a benefit designed to raised funds for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

    1993: Broadcast of the first episode of Barry Levinson’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” co-starring Yaphet Kotto and Richard Belzer.

    1993: The Dallas Cowboys, who had counted on the play of Alan Veingard during the regular won Super Bowl XXVII even though he had been “declared inactive for the game.”

    1995(30THof Shevat, 5755) Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1996: Alan Binder completed his service as the 15th Vice Chairperson of the Federal Reserve.

    1996 (10th of Shevat, 5756): Mathematician Gustave Solomon passed away at the age of 65.

    1997: “Meet Wally Sparks” a comedy written by and starring Rodney Dangerfield was released in the United States today.

    1997: “Waiting for Guffman” with a screenplay co-authored by Eugene Levy who also co-starred in the comedy along with Bob Balaban was released in the United States today.

    1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or topics of special interest to Jewish readers including Playing For Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made
    by David Halbestram and The Burden of Responsibility:Blum, Camus, Aron and the French Twentieth Century by Tony Judt. 

    2002: For the second time in a year Tayibe was the target of a terrorist attack which this time Hamas claimed credit.

    2004: “Talmud: in the Art of Ben-Zion and Marc Chagall,” an exhibit at the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College that brings together the Biblical work of two of the most important Jewish artists of the 20th Century that features 18 intaglio prints by Ben-Zion and 25 color lithographs by Marc Chagall comes to an end.

    2004: Joelle Fishman, the daughter of Jewish immigrants who was born in 1946, “addressed the Communist Party’s conference on the 2004 elections in New York.

    2007: Haim Ramon was convicted of “indecent assault” and sentenced to community service.

    2007: The Times of London reported that Lord Levy (Michael Levy) the Prime Minister's personal friend and fundraiser, is the second person close to No 10 Downing Street to be questioned by police under suspicion of perverting the course of justice in the ongoing cash-for-honors investigation.

    2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that the recently launched Yad Vashem Farsi site has been well received by the target audience. Since the Persian site went on-line last week, some 11,000 hits have been recorded, including 2,242 visits from Iran. That figure is just 1,000 hits short of the total number of visits the Yad Vashem Web site received from Iranians in the whole of 2006

    2008: June Muriel Brown “made history by being the first and so far only actress to carry an entire episode single handed in the history of British soap, with a monologue looking back over her past life, dictated to a cassette machine for her husband Jim to listen to in hospital following a stroke.”

    2008: Avi Geffen performed at Bush Hall in London.

    2008: In Manhattan, the 92nd St Y presents “Praise, Grumble, Schmooze, Lament: The Voices of 21st Century Jewish Poetry.” The program features readings by established and emerging Jewish poets, including Alicia Ostriker, Rodger Kamenetz, Robin Becker, Jacqueline Osherow, Dan Bellm, Patty Seyburn, Philip Terman, Scott Cairns, Jay Michaelson and Richard Chess. 

    2008: The Washington Post featured a review of Sacha Baron Cohen the Unauthorized Biography: from Cambridge to Kazakhstan by Kathleen Tracy

    2008: It was announced that Neil Diamond will appear at the upcoming Glastonbury Festival in the UK.

    2009: The 92ndSt Y presents a musical evening featuring the Tokyo String Quartet and Jerusalem born pianist Benjamin Hochman.

    2009: The Jewish Federation of Howard County (MD) presents Yom Hadash Community Concert.

    2010: Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said today that Israel would allow the ultra-Orthodox community to continue to run their private bus lines segregated by gender, but could not officially recognize the practice on public bus lines. The minister was responding to a petition sent by the Israel Religious Action Center and a women's rights group to the government and to the Egged and Dan transportation companies. Katz declared in his response that Israel does not disapprove of buses which separate between men and women to accommodate the Hardi community, but that segregation could not become institutionalized.

    2010: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain by Matthew Carr and 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fictionby Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

    2010: The Tenth Herzliya Conference is scheduled to open this afternoon on the Campus of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel.

    2010: The Israel Center of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Museum Milwaukee invite the Jewish community to attend “Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: A Jewish Night at the Museum” which will include a tour of the “Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible” exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum and recitation by Museum President and CEO Daniel Finley of the real story of how the exhibit came to the Museum.

    2010: Opening session of The Tenth Herzliya Conference, “Israel‘s primary global policy annual gathering, drawing together Israeli and international participants from the highest levels of government, business, and academia to address pressing national, regional and world strategic issues.”

    2010: An exhibition at the Krasdale Gallery in White Plains, NY, entitled “Pages de Guerre” featuring the works of Avigdor Arikha comes to an end.

    2010(16th of Sh'vat, 5770): 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, passed away  at his home in Manhattan. (As reported by Mathew Wald)

    2011: Dr. Ron Taffel is scheduled to present a program entitled “Childhood Unbound: Confident Parenting in a World of Change” at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

    2011: “A cornerstone laying ceremony was held for four apartment buildings with a total of 24 homes that are the beginning of the new Jerusalem community of Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives Ridge.”

    2011: Rami Feinstein is scheduled to presents a concert featuring songs from his two albums—a combination of rock, folk, and funk- in Jerusalem.

    2011: NYC based Israeli choreographers Deganit Shemy and Netta Yerushalmy, are scheduled to perform this evening in an event intended to raise funds for the 1st Contemporary Israeli Dance Festival in New York, coming in June 2011.

    2011: Last day for submitting recipes for the 2011 Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off.

    2011: The Jerusalem Post reported today that “The Sundance independent film festival over the weekend followed the Oscars and Golden Globes in recognizing the Jewish and Israeli contribution to world cinema by handing out awards to two Israeli filmmakers. The world cinema dramatic screenwriting award went to Erez Kav-El for his film, Restoration. Talya Lavie received an Inaugural Sundance Institute Mahindra Global Film-making award which recognizes and supports emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.

    2011: Right-wing activists have exploited Facebook's protocol that prohibits organizations from opening personal profiles to report and block the profiles of several leftist groups, Haaretz learned on today. The move, initiated by activists linked to the far-right leader Baruch Marzel, has thus far led to the blocking of the profile pages of left-wing groups including Machsom Watch, Yesh Gvul, and Anarchists against the Wall.

    2011: Grad rockets landed near the cities of Netivot and Ofakim in the western Negev today, causing damage to a car and leading to four people being treated for shock. One rocket hit Netivot, which is 9 miles east of Gaza, and the second exploded in Ofakim, 15 miles from Gaza.

    2011:American Sephardi Federation presents an evening with Edwin Black author of “The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust.”

    2011: Thanks to the efforts of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation and the British Christian Zionist Movement an appropriate tombstone was placed what had been the unmarked gravesite of Reverend William Henry Hechler, a Protestant clergyman who was an early ally of Herzl and a supporter of the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine.

    2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Southwest Florida Jewish Film Festival in Fort Meyers, FL.

    2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto, Canada.

    2012: Alan Zweibel will be signing copies of Lunatics, a novel, he co-authored with Dave Barry, following his scheduled interview with Mo Rocca at Buttenwieser Hall at the 92nd Street Y.

    2012:Iran's "evil" leaders cannot be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons, President Shimon Peres said today, calling the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions the world's single most important issue

    2012:Turnout for the Likud party's primary elections was unusually low today. By mid-afternoon, only 14 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballot to elect a new party leader and central committee.

    2013(20th of Shevat, 5773): Seventy year old children’s author Diane Wolkstein passed away.(As reported by Paul Vitello)

    2013: PBS is scheduled to broadcast a documentary entitled “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope” which ”tells the remarkable true story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, and the miniature Torah scroll he carried from the depths of Hell to the heights of Space.”

    2013: “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art in the Service of Humanity” is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2013: Award-winning, bestselling author Edwin Black is scheduled to chronicle the centuries of intersection between Islam and Jewry that led to the Farhud pogrom in Baghdad in 1941 and the ensuing Arab-Nazi alliance in the Holocaust in a major address at Fordham University this evening.  ”Black's presentation is based on his recent bestselling and critically acclaimed book, The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust

    2013: Rabbi Gil Marks, “noted chef and cookbook author” is scheduled to deliver a lecture “From Schmear To Eternity” at Agudas Achim in Iowa City.

     2013: Composer Phillip Glass turns 75.

    2013: The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was once again the beneficiary of a winter storm today as rain poured down upon the Land of Israel, causing power outages around the country.

    2013: Mt Hermon will be closed to the public today as well. Hermon Administration has announced another 20 cm of snow at the bottom of the ski lift. 40 cm have piled up at the bottom of the ski lift since the beginning of the current storm

    2014(30tth of Shevat, 5774): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    2014(30thof Shevat, 5774): Fifty-two year old humanitarian Anne Heyman passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2014: Eighty-five year old Mike Flanagan who had an Irishman serving with the British army who participated in the liberation of Bergen-Belson and who “smuggled two Cromwell tanks to the Haganah in 1948” passed away today.

    2014: After 20 years, David Stern stepped down as Commissioner of the NBA.

    2014: It was reported by Israel’s Channel 2 News tonight that the Israeli government secretly channeled 148 million shekels (over $42 million) to the local city councils that administer settlements across the West Bank in recent years, to “compensate” them for city taxes they did not receive because of a government-imposed settlement-building freeze in 2009-2010.

    2014: The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down at least one of two Grad rockets fired at Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula this evening.

    2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present “Chamber Music for Flute, Bassoon and Piano featuring Esti Rofe, Mauricio Paez and Ana Kaiserman.

    2015: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila is scheduled to host its Fourth Annual Comedy Night of “Sweet Laughter.

    2015(11thof Shevat, 5775): Shabbat Shirah

    2015(11thof Shevat, 5775): Eighty-six year old CBS news producer Sandy Socolow passed away today.

    2016: Radio Kol Hamusica is scheduled to broadcast “one piece by Israeli composer Emanuel Vahl” this afternoon.

    2016: Laura Apelbaum is scheduled to host a panel discussion on “Soviet Jewry: The Movement that United Our Jewish World” in Rockville, MD.

    2016(21stof Shevat, 5776): Ninety-two year old historian Elizabeth Eisenstein the author of The Printing Press as an Agent of Change passed away today.

    2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai edited by Robert Alter, Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary by Richard A. Posner and Thomas Murphyby Roger Rosenblatt.

    2017(4thof Tevet, 5777): On the Jewish calendar, yahrzeit of the Moroccan born Sephardic Rabbi, Yisrael Abuchatzeira, known as the “Baba Sali” who is buried in Netivot.

    2017: Israeli singer/songwriter Noa Fort is scheduled to perform at the Cornelia Street Café.

    2017: In the UK, “Denial” is scheduled to be shown for the last time at JW3.

    2017: Today, “at least 17 Jewish community centers across the United States were targeted with bomb threats in the third wave of such mass disruption this month.” (JTA)

    2018(15thof Shevat, 5778):  Tu B’Shevat; for more see

    2018: “A Walk With Mr.Heifetz,” a play based on violinist Yashac Heifetz’s concert in Palestine in 1926 is scheduled to open at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

    2018: The University of Iowa Hillel and Congregation Agudas Achim are scheduled to Tu B’Shevat Seder at Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar.

    2018: At Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, NY, architect and art historian, Bruce Levy is scheduled to deliver a lecture on Jewish Architects including “Kahn, Eisenman and Liebeskind.”

    2018: Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea Football Club which “has launched a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of anti-Semitism to it players, fans and staff” is scheduled to play a Premier League against Bournemouth today,





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    February 1

    682:  Visigoth King Erwig pressed for the "utter extirpation of the pest of the Jews," and made it illegal to practice any Jewish rites in an area that corresponds to much of modern day Spain. This put further pressure on the Jews to convert or emigrate

    1119: Callixtus II began his papacy. In 1120, Calixtus II issued the first of the bulls called “Sicut Judaeis” (As the Jews) which in his case was intended to protect Jews from the consequences of the First Crusade “during which over five thousand Jews were slaughtered in Europe.”

    1225: Today “a papal order was issued granting certain commercial privileges to a Jewish merchant named Sabbatinus Museus Salaman, who is mentioned as the business associate of several Romans in the Papal States and in Sicily.”

    1327: Coronation of English King Edward III who borrowed 140,000 florins “on the eve of the Hundred Years’ War” from a consortium led by Vivelin of Strasbourg, “an Alsatian Jewish financier” who was thought to be “one of the richest people living in the Holy Roman Empire.”

    1593: For the 17th time since 1592, Lord Strange’s Men performed “The Jew of Malta.”

    1605: Birthdate of Aboab de Fonseca, the Portuguese born Dutch Rabbi and Mystic.  In 1642, when Brazil was under Dutch control the 600 Jews of Recife established a synagogue where they could worship in public.  They recruited de Fonseca, who was living in Amsterdam, to come to Brazil and serve as their Hocham or spiritual leader.  This means that Aboab de Fonseca was the first congregational rabbi in the New World. In 1654, when the Portuguese defeated the Dutch and seized Recife, he joined a group of Jews returning to the Netherlands and successfully said back to Amsterdam. Aboab was held in high esteem by his former Amsterdam congregants, that he was reappointed as hocham in the synagogue and made teacher in the city’s Talmud Torah, principal of its yeshiva and member of the city’s bet din, or rabbinic court. He died in 1693 at the age of 88, having served the Jewish community of Amsterdam for 50 years after his return from Recife. While Aboab spent his final years as a man of letters, engaged in teaching and spiritual contemplation, “the adventuresome Isaac Aboab de Fonseca had been, from 1642 to 1654, America’s first rabbi, first Hebrew poet and a man who risked his life for Jewish religious freedom.” (One can only wonder what would have happened if Aboab had joined the group of Jews who left Recife in 1654 and ended up in New Amsterdam.  Would he have been the first rabbi in New York/)

    1627: Rodrigo de Castro, the Lisbon born physician who escaped the Inquisition by moving to Antwerp with his family and the moving on to Hamburg when the Spanish re-took the Netherlands passed away today after which he was “buried in the cemetery of the Jewish-Portuguese congregation of Altona.”

    1682(5442):  Asser Levy, the "founding father" of North American Jewry passed away.. He was survived by his wife Miriam (aka Maria). Though Levy and the "Levy" family of New York are thought of as Sephardic with roots in Holland and even further roots in Spain, he might have been the son of Benjamin Levy, an Ashkenazi shochet from Recife, Brazil.

    1733: King Augustus II of Poland passed away.  Born in 1670, Augustus II was the Elector of Saxony (Germany) before gaining Augustus gained the Polish throne.  His rise to power was facilitated by his “court Jew” and financier Issachar Berend Lehmann. August II was a contemporary of the Besht who was making his public personna known at about the same time as the Polish King passed away.

    1765(10thof Shevat, 5525): Rebecca Mendez Furtado, the first wife of Benjamin D’Israeli, the grandfather of his more famous namesake, passed away today.

    1790: The U.S. Supreme Court, which would not have its first Jewish Justice until 1916 when Woodrow Wilson appointed Louis Brandeis, “convened for the first time today.

    1779(15thof Shevat, 5539): Tu B’Shevat

    1796: The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York. Jews did not settle in Canada until the British defeated the French in 1760, at which time the French ban on Jewish settlement in the area became null and void.  By the time of this move, the Jews had already built their first synagogue, The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal also known as Shearith Israel which was established in 1768.

    1798(15thof Shevat, 5558): Tu B’Shevat

    1799: In Denmark, Isaac Levy and his wife gave birth to Zacharias Levy, the husband of Bolette Salomonsen with whom he had three children – Isaac, Arnold and Herman.

    1799: The French army under Napoleon left for Palestine to forestall a Turco-British invasion through the Palestinian land-bridge.

    1809: Moshe ben Michael Kopf married Sarah bat Yehuda Leib HaLevi at the Great Synagogue.

    1809: This evening, in Charleston, SC, Mary Joseph married Levi Moses.

    1810(27 Shevat 5570): Rabbi Mechel Scheuer passed away. He was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1739.  His father was Rabbi David Tebele Scheuer and he led his father's Yeshiva in Mainz as its Rosh Yeshiva during the years 1776 and 1777. In 1778 he became rabbi of Worms and in 1782 was appointed rabbi of Manheim. At the time of his death, he was the rabbi of Coblence.

    1813The Common Council of New York City passed an ordinance restricting the right to sell kosher meat to butchers licenses by Congregation Shearith Israel.

    1823: Birthdate date of Simon Bacher, a descendant of Jair Hayyim Bacharach the 17thcentury rabbi at worms and the Maharal of Prague, the “Hungarian Neo-Hebraic Poet” who served as treasurer of the Jewish community of Budapest from 1876 until his death in 1891.

    1826: Philadelphian Joseph Cohen began serving as a Midshipman today.

    1827: In Paris James Mayer de Rothschild and Betty de Rothschild, the daughter of Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (Austrian Branch) gave birth to Alphonse de Rothschild, French banker, philanthropist and member of the French branch of the fabled Rothschild family whose wife Leonora was from the English House of Rothschild.

    1828: Birthdate of Meyer Guggenheim the Swiss born patriarch of the Guggenheim family who came to the United States in 1847.

    1832: David Haes married Sarah Samuel at the Hambro Synagogue today.

    1836: Birthdate of Francis Lewis Cardozo, the Charleston, SC native who was the son of Lydia Weston, a free black woman and Isaac a Sephardic (Portuguese) Jews.

    1839: Birthdate of James A. Herne who staged the first American production of Israel Zangwill’s “The Children of the Ghetto.

    1840: In what would be the opening of the Damascus Blood Libel, “Father Thomas, a Roman Catholic priest and a” long-time resident of Damascus “suddenly disappeared today.

    1842: In Bavaria, Rav Yitzchak Dov Halevi Bamberger ZT"L the Würzburger Rav and Kela Bamberger gave birth to Rabbi Nathan Bamberger of Würzburg

    1844: Birthdate of Ernst Immanuel Cohen Brandes, the Danish economist.

    1848: Birthdate of British author Arnold Henry White who went from blaming the Jews for the problems in East End from a “virulent anti-Semite” who opposed Jewish immigration to the United Kingdom.

    1854: In Posen, Prussia, Dr. Marcus Mosse, a German born physician and his wife Ulrike Mosse gave birth to Emil Mosse

    1856: Auburn University is chartered as the East Alabama Male College. Today Auburn has 60 Jewish students out of an undergraduate population of 19,000 students.  Auburn does not offer Jewish studies classes but does have a Hillel Chapter.  

    1860: Rabbi Morris Raphall becomes the first Jewish clergyman to opena session of the House of Representatives. Raphall’s son-in-law would serve in the Union Army and after he had committed some unspecified infraction, Lincoln pardoned him. Raphall’s letter thanking Lincoln is still in existence today.

    1861: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise published an article in The Israelite entitled “No Political Preaching” in which he explained why he had refrained from preaching a sermon on January 4, 1861.  President James Buchanan had designated that date “‘as a day of feasting and prayer, that God might have mercy upon us and save this Union.’” [This was just about the only action that Buchanan took to preserve the Union!]

    1862(1st of Adar I, 5622): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1862: The will of Samuel Samuels was admitted to probate today.  According to the terms of the will, Samuels left $100 to the Jewish congregation, "Bnai Jeshurun," on Greene-street, and $100 for the benefit of the Orphan Asylum under the charge of the Hebrew Benevolent Society.

    1864: Quartermaster Sergeant Alan Weinbach began his service with Company A of the 113th Regiment that served as the 12th Cavalry.

    1864: Philadelphian Aaron de Hann who had been born in February of 1844 began a two year enlistment with the 112 Regiment – 2nd Artillery.

    1865: “A new law abolished the compulsion for Jews to enroll with one of Hamburg's two statutory Jewish congregations, so the members of the New Israelite Temple Society were free to found their own Jewish congregation.

    1865: In Newark, NJ, founding of Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society whose members included Bernard Strauss, Reuben Trier, Joseph Goetz and G. J. Kempe which held its meetings on the first Thursday of each month.

    1868(8th of Shevat, 5628): Isaac Leeser passed away. Born in 1806, he “was an American Jewish minister of religion, author, translator, editor, and publisher; pioneer of the Jewish pulpit in the United States, and founder of the Jewish press of America. He produced the first Jewish translation of the Bible into English to be published in the United States. He is considered one of the most important American Jewish personalities of the nineteenth century America.”

    1872(22ndof Shevat, 5632): Fifty-three year old Polish born German actor Bogumil Dawison whose signature roles included Mark Antony, Hamlet, Richard III and King Lear, passed away in Dresden.

    1873: Birthdate of historian Israel Zinberg “best known for his nine-volume History of the Literature of the Jews which was published in Vilnus starting in 1929.

    1874: In Vienna Anna Maria Josefa Fohleutner and an Austrian–Italian bank manager, Hugo August Peter Hofmann, Edler von Hofmannsthal gave birth to Austrian “man of letters” Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann von Hofmannsthal, the great-grandson of Isaak Löw Hofmann, Edler von Hofmannsthal, “a Jewish merchant ennobled by the Austrian emperor.”

    1878: George Cruikshank the British illustrator who created “Fagan” in his cell passed away.

    1879: It was reported today that the Purim Association of New York will resume hosting a masked ball after a hiatus of 10 years.   The ball is scheduled to be held on Purim night.

    1879: Wilhelm Marr, the man who popularized the term “anti-Semitism” published his pamphlet “Der Weg zum Siege des Germanenthums über das Judenthum” (The Way to Victory of Germanicism over Judaism. Toward the end of his life he would publish “Testament of an Antisemite” in which he would renounce the view that the Jews were the corrupters of German and European civilization.

    1880: In St. Louis, the Young Men's Hebrew Association was organized.

    1882: “The French Catholic newspaper La Croix publishes an article by Father Francois Picard, head of the Assumptionist order behind the journal, declaring that Jewish bankers and that they are behind all of Europe’s problems,”

    1882: “Early in the course of the Russian persecutions a mass-meeting of New York's most representative citizens was held at Chickering Hall” today.

    1882: In London a meeting was held at Mansion House which resulted in the creation of a fund of more than “£108,000 for the relief of Russo-Jewish refugees” in the United Kingdom

    1883: Theodore Hoffman was arrested this evening and charged with the murder of Zife Marks, a Jewish peddler whose body had been on the road outside of Port Chester, NY.  (Hoffman would eventually be found guilty and executed for the murder.)

    1885(16thof Shevat, 5645): Peretz Smolenskin, the Russian born Jewish novelist whose works in Hebrew including A Wander on the Path of Life (Ha-toeh be-darkhe ha-Hayyim, התועה בדרכי החיים) passed away today.

    1886: Dr. Solomon Eppinger retired from Hebrew Union College and was succeeded by David Davidson.

    1886: H.U.C. conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity on Aaron Hahn.

    1887: Birthdate of Harry Scherman, American economist, author and co-founder of the Book of the Month Club.

    1887: Claude Marks married Caroline “Carrie) Hoffnung today at the West London Synagogue.

    1890: Birthdate of Sadie Plutzik, the wife of Samuel Plutzik, both of whom are buried under a common headstoe at the Old Montefiore Cemetry

    1890: Mrs. Moses Gersohnfeldt and her four young children ranging in age from two to eleven continue to languish in the custody of the immigration authorities because the Immigration Commissioner has decided that they might become pubic charges despite the fact that her husband and oldest son have come forth and shown that they are employed and earning enough money to see to it that they are properly cared for.

    1890: “Castle Garden’s Autocrat” published today described Commissioner Edmund Stephenson’s capricious and semi-dictatorial control over the lives of immigrants, including Jews escaping the Czar’s tyranny, to whom he showed distinct hostility.

    1891: Jacob A. Brenner, the son of an Orthodox Rabbi and William J.G. Bearns “opened their own law offices on Court Street under the name of Bearns & Brenner, specializing in civil and real estate law” today.

    1891: In Brooklyn, Philip Schmalheiser and the former Rose Lewin gave birth to Edward Schmalheiser who as Edward Small carved out a fifty year career producing movies and television shows that ranged in quality from such classics as “The Count of Monte Cristo” to the highly forgettable “Ramar of the Jungle.”

    1891: It was reported today that Mr. Rheinherz an agent of the United Hebrew Charities was among those who testified before the Congressional Committee investigating the operation of the Barge Office which was the main immigrant processing center in New York City.

    1891: In Brooklyn, “Austrian-born Philip Schmalheiser and Prussian-born Rose Lewin” gave birth to Edward Schmalheiser who gained fame as movie producer Edward Small.

    1892: It was reported today that Moritz Cohn, Morris Hertz, Max Jacob, Ignatz Boskowitz, Henry Rice and Simon L. Duetsch had served as pall bearers at the funeral of Benjamin Russak.

    1893(15thof Shevat, 5653): Tu B’Shevat

    1893: “Theatrical Gossip” published today described the success of “The Girl I Left Behind Me” which is being produced by Charles Frohman at the Standard Theatre.

    1895: It was reported today that the Federation of East Side Workers “consisting of the pastors, priests and rabbis of the churches and congregations in New York south of 14th Street and east of Broadax…expresses its grateful appreciation to the chairman and members of the Tenement House Committee…” (Compare the active, positive role played by Rabbis in the United States with the anti-Semitism found at the same time in Russia, Germany and France).

    1897: “The Future of Palestine” published today provided the views of Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil’s views on the Jewish settlement in this part of the Ottoman Empire.  Gottheil contended the Jews could again become “agriculturists” and that Palestine could “support a large agricultural and industrial population.”

    1897: As of this date, the officers of the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York say they will no long be able to respond to all of the demands of the needy without additional funds.  They received 250 applications a day, many of which come from people who have never applied before and they need at least $15,000 just to provide minimal aid.

    1897: “Harm Done By Alarmists” published today includes the views of Rabbi Gustav Gottheil who expressed his sympathy for the working man, opposition to Socialism and defense of the expendiures of the wealthy as exemplified by the upcoming Bradley Martin-Ball

    1897: It was reported today that Dr. Emil G. Hirsch said the work of the Jewish charities in Chicago has been complicated by the problems created by the influx of Jews flee the Czar who have taken “refuge in the larger cities of America.”

    1897: It was reported today the delegates attending the Jewish Socialists Convention had voted to start a newspaper of their own after the managers of the Abendblatt, a Jewish socialist paper that had been founded in 1894, had made known their decision not relinquish control of the paper.

    1899: The USS Bennington commanded by Edward Tausig fired a 21 gun salute as the United States flag was raised over Guam marking the end of almost 300 years of Spanish rule and Commander Tausig becoming the first American to control the islands “governmental and administrative affairs.”

    1899: It was reported today that Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil of Columbia University read a “paper by Albert Ulmann on the Jews in New York during the Dutch colonial period. Mr. Ulmann gave as the earliest date when Jews this city as 1652, when some Jewish farmers were sent over from Holland to serve a year’s time a soldiers…”  He also “described the fight the Jews had to make against the religious bigotry of Stuyvesant.”  

    1899: “Dr. Gottheil’s Successor” published today relied on information that first appeared in the New York Tribune to report that Dr. Gustav Gottheil is preparing to retire after serving as Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El for the past 25 years and that went to provide a brief history of the Reform movement in the United States.

    1901: A Memorial Service for Queen Victoria was held at the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Samuel Salant officiated at the service which was so well attended that local police were called to control the crowd. 

    1902: Birthdate of Polish native Benjamin Zemach, the graduate of Moscow’s Institute of Engineering who came to the United States in 1927 where he blazed new trails in choreography and modern dance.

    1902(24thof Shevat, 5662): Seventy-year old Salomon Jadassohn, the German pianist and composer whose career suffered because he would not convert which meant he could not get many church related commissions and because of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the second half of the 19th century passed away[ML1] today.

    1904(15thof Shevat, 5664): Tu B’Shevat

    1904:  Birthdate of Sidney Joseph Perelman. Better known as S. J. Perelman, he was a humorist, author, and screenwriter. He is primarily known for his humorous short pieces written over many years for The New Yorker magazine. His most famous cinematic venture was writing the script for the Academy Award-winning screenplay Around the World in Eighty Days starring David Niven.

    1905: In Tivoli, Italy, Giuseppe Segrè, a businessman who owned a paper mill, and Amelia Susanna Treves, Emilio Segre, the Italian born physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1959.

    1906: It was reported today that five persons have been executed in the Citadel at Warsaw, “bringing the number shot in the past fortnight to sixteen” fifteen of whom “were Jews.”

    1910(22ndof Shevat, 5670): Schlome Katz passed away today after which he was buried in the Liepaja Jewish Cemetery.

    1910: Birthdate of Michael Kanin, the native of Rochester, NY who shared an Oscar with Ring Lardner Jr for writing the script for Woman of the Year” and was nominated along with his wife Fay for an Oscar for the script for “Teacher’s Pet.”

    1912: Peter H. James of Jersey City, NJ, was “promoted to the staff of the Quartermaster General of the State of New Jersey with the rank of Major.”

    1913(24thof Shevat, 5673): Parashat Mishpatim

    1913(24thof Shevat, 5673): Sixty-two year old newspaper correspondent Leon Strauss passed away at Turin, Italy.

    1913: It was reported today the “two trained nurse who have been to Palestine by” New York “women Zionists” are “the vanguard of an entire corps of nurses” who “will work among the women and children of the Holy Land.

    1913: This evening, Armand J. Lande and Miss Jessie Plotke are scheduled to lead the grand march at the Informal Dancing Party sponsored by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Temple Sholom in the Lincoln Park Casino

    1913: “According to information received by the Federation of American Zionist, Nachum Sokolow should have arrived today to begin a two month tour of the United States

    1915: British soldiers braced for an attack from an Ottoman force that was determined to seize the Suez Canal – a seizure that would have short-circuited the later British campaign that led them to Jerusalem with all that that would mean for the Jewish people.

    1915: A dispatch from the London Daily News datelined Cairo, based, in part on reports from “Vladimir Jabotinsky, a well-known Moscow journalist” describes the deteriorating conditions faced by the Jews living under Ottoman rule in Eretz Israel.  Mr. Jabotinksy “entertains the graves fears for the safety of the 15,000 colonists in Galilee, Judea and Samaria should the Turkish army in Syria” suffer a defeat since the Turkish government will blame it on the Jews.  The government “is doing its utmost to stir up feelings against the Zionists.  The Turks have declared Zionism to be a revolutionary, anti-Turkish movement “which must be stamped out.”  The Anglo-Palestine bank has been liquidated which will lead to ruin for many of the Jewish settlers.  A large number of Jewish refugees have fled to Alexandria among them “1,000 young men who have have declared their eagerness to join the British army.”  The report closes with expression of concern for the 5,000 Jews and 12,000 Christians living in Jerusalem who are trying to survive on American relief supplies described as “insufficient to maintain life.”

    1915: William Fox (born Wilhelm Fuchs) found the Fox Film Corporation today.

    1915: In response to a petition from the counsel of Leo M Frank who is under sentence of death for the murder of a factory girl in Atlanta, in 1913, The United States Supreme Court advanced the on his case to February 23; an action  to which the state of Georgia has assented.

    1915: “Plan to Pursue Frank” published today described the plans of the prosecution to indict Leo Frank on one or two other unspecified charges if he his appeal to the Supreme Court overturn the murder conviction thus granting him his freedom.”

    1916: “Dr. Joseph Jacobs” published today bemoaned the fact that New York “city and the world of letters as a whole has lost a brilliant and versatile writer” who found “few subjects…with which his mind and his pend di not busy themselves…with an even uniformity of erudite scope and depth.”

    1916: As of today, the American Jewish Relief” is reported to nearing its goal of two million dollars having collected $1,815,737.33 in cash and pledges.

    1916: Dotty Hammer who had “volunteered her services for Jewish Relief Day” wrote from Newark, NJ today to express her “heartfelt respect as well as admiration for all those who gave because they felt that in a time of grief and dire need religion was no barrier.”

    1917: Supreme Court Justice Cohalan granted the “right of incorporation” “o the Association for the Promotion of Sabbath Observance which works “to develop among its members and others a clear conception and understanding of Orthodox Jewry” including observing the Sabbath on Saturday. (Editor’s Note: This came at a time when the Reform movement was trying to shift observance of Shabbat to Sunday)

    1917: Today “Karl Klein, a Jewish accountant from Vienna was recruited to serve in the Austro-Hungarian Army.

    1917: In the wake of Germany’s announcement of unrestricted submarine Felix Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee expressed the concern that worsening relations with Germany would impede the war relief work in eastern Europe which is under the control of Germany and that contributions to aid those suffering from the war would fall off just when the need was greatest.

    1917: “At Warren Street, in the Portobello area of Dublin, Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe Henry Levitas and Leah Rick who had been married in the Camden Street Synagogue gave birth to Maurice “Morry” Leviatis the political activist who took part in the “Battle of Cable Street” and who “became a senior lecturer in the sociology of education at Durham University.

    1918: The Jewish Congress decided to “raise money to repatriate Galician Jews stranded in or around the city” of Berdichev.

    1918: Russia adopted the Gregorian Calendar. Russia’s comparatively late adoption of the calendar used by most of the western world makes precise dating of certain events all the more difficult.

    1918: “The Jewish National Fund received a check for 250,000 crowns from an anonymous woman” which was “to be cashed after peace” ended the World War.

    1918: “As a result of a series of conferences, Dutch Jewish leaders formulate” a list of demands “to be presented at the peace conference including emancipation of the Jews; recognition of national rights in nation states; national concentration of Jewish people in Palestine; the cessation of contemptuous and oppressive treatment of Jews.”

    1918: Today, French Foreign Minister Pichon is a statement to the press in which the government “gave its endorsement to the British declaration” on Palestine.

    1918: In Edinburgh, Sarah Elizabeth Maud (née Uezzell) and Bernard Camberg, an engineer gave birth to Muriel Sarah Camberg who gained as award-winning Scottish novelist Dame Muriel Spark.

    1918(19thof Shevat, 5678): Gaston Lelouch, the recipient of the War Cross died today.

    1918(19thof Shevat, 5678)

    1918: In Berdichev, “the Jewish Congress decided to raise money to repatriate Galician Jews stranded in or around the city.

    1919: Harvey E. Wessel completed a seven month assignment with the Jewish Welfare Board during which time he performed the services usually done by a Jewish chaplain and a social worker while being stationed at the Naval Training Camp at Pelham Bay Park in New York City.

    1919: The First Congress of the Muslim-Christian Association began its deliberations in Jerusalem.

    1920: Thirty-nine “Turkish elders of the Sephardi Community formed the Sephardic Community of Los Angeles” today which became known as the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel.

    1921: Felix M. Warburg, the President of the Federation for Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies is scheduled to deliver a report describing the “critical conditions that face organized Jewish philanthropy in the coming year” this evening at annual meeting of the Federation being held at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

    1921 First German translation of The International Jew

    1922: Westmorland Davis, who in 1919 had urged “citizens, irrespective of race or creed, to contribute liberally” to the Jewish relief campaign” completed his four year term of service as Governor of Virginia today.

    1923: Birthdate of Canadian businessman Benjamin Weider who “was the co-founder of the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness (IFBB).”

    1923: “A Glass of Water,” a “German silent historical film” with a script co-authored by Adolf Lantz was released today.

    1924: Automobile magnet Henry Ford who bankrolled the anti-Semitic Dearborn Independent which published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion entertained Nazi Kurt Ludecke at his Michigan home.

    1924: Frederick Salomon van Nierop, the son of A.S. Nierop and Rachel Salvador, who was a director of the Amsterdam Bank and was a member of both the Amsterdam City Council and the Provincial Council of North Holland was buried today in the Jewish cemetery in Muiderberg.

    1925: Today, Sophie Udin and six other women who had been active in the labor Zionist organization Poale Zion, created the Pioneer Women’s Organization of America which was renamed Pioneer Women in 1947 and Na'amat (a Hebrew acronym for "Movement of Working Women and Volunteers") USA in 1981.

    1925: WMCA which Peter Straus took over in the late 1950’s began regular transmissions today.

    1926: In New York City, Maria Jaussaud Justin, and Charles Maier gave birth to photographer Vivian Maier.

    1927(29th of Shevat, 5687): Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (Nathan Zevi Finkel) the native of Lithuania known as the Alter of Slabodka passed away in Jerusalem

    1928: Birthdate of Representative Tom Lantos, the California Democrat who took his seat in Congress in 1981 and is the only survivor of the Holocaust serving in Congress.

    1928: “The Prince of Rogues,” a silent film directed by Curtis Bernhardt who co-authored the script was released today in Germany.

    1928: Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Mitchell May, a Jewish Democratic Party leader and friend of movie mogul Harry Cohn officiated at the wedding of movie director Frank Capra and Lucille Warner, the daughter of Myron Warner.

    1929: “The Broadway Melody,” “the first sound film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture produced by Irving Thalberg and Lawrence Weingarten premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

    1930: Birthdate of Ping Pong or Table Tennis Champion, Marty Reisman.

    1932: Birthdate of Batsheva Esther Eliashiv, the Jerusalem native who was the daughter of Rabbi Shalom Elisahiv and who became Rebbetzin Batsheva Esther Kanievskey when she married Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.

    1934: Hyman G. Enelow became rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El on New York.

    1935: At the annual convention of the Palestine Jewish Farmers Federation, Moshe Smilansky, veteran farmer economist, poet, writer and journalist, shocked the assembled gathering when in his opening address as president he announced that in the present circumstances in Palestine Jewish farmers and colonists should employ only Jewish labor.

    1936(8thof Shevat, 5695): Parashat Bo

    1936: Rabbi Jacob Tarshish is scheduled to deliver a sermon “How Can We Find Happieness?” at Temple B’nai Jeshurun

    1936: English historian Dr. Cecil Roth is scheduled to lecture on “Will Hitlerism Spread?” this morning at Temple Rodeph Sholom.

    1936: Rabbi Milton Sternberg is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Does Morality Require Religion?” at Park Avenue Synagogue.

    1936: “Rudolf Saudek, a well-known Leipzig Jewish sculptor and a Czechoslovak citizen protested through the Czechoslovak Legation in Berlin against a ruling by the Reich Chamber of Culture forbidding him to make tombstone for Jewish graves” – a business he went into after the Reich government had ended his career sculpting busts, many of which had been placed in the local university and libraries.

    1937: In Washington, DC Secretary of State Cordell Hull met with a delegation representing the Arab National League which expressed the hope that the United States “will turn a sympathetic ear to the voice of the Arabs of Palestine.”

    1937: It was reported that the junior division of the United Palestine Appeal has adopted a resolution urging Great Britain to permit Jews from Germany, Poland and other parts to Europe to immigrate to Palestine without any interruption.

    1938: U.S. premiere of “Mad About Music” directed by Norman Rae Taurog and produced by Joe Pasternak.

    1938: In Rumania, the Finance Ministry’s Alcohol Department has demanded that the licenses of Jewish innkeepers be restored following an investigation into the unfounded claims of Prime Minster Goga that the Jewish innkeepers were “poisoning the nation.”

    1938: In Berlin, the Ministry of the Interior published a new law today empowering “German courts to revoke previous rulings permitting Jews to changes their names” which means that “a Jew who changed his name years ago can be compelled to resume his original names.

    1938: The German government published a decree officially notifying banks “that any company that has one Jewish director” or in which Jews have a 25 per cent ownership stake “must be classified as a Jewish concern.”

    1938: A court in Westphalia issued a decision “denying a license to sell intoxicating liquor to a café proprietor whose family had social relations with a Jewish family.”

    1938: The funeral for “Eugene H. Paul who was for forty-eight years connected with Kuhn, Loeb” and “a leader in Jewish philanthropic circles” in New York City is scheduled to “be held at Temple Home” this morning followed by burial in Mount Neboh City.

    1939: In Hamilton, Bermuda tonight, the Governor, General Sir Reginald Hildyard told the English Speaking Union that Hitler “has drawn America and Great Britain even closer than they were before” in part because “our hatred of what he has done our hatred of the way he has treated the Jews, has made us very close.”

    1941: Prime Minister Churchill instructed his Foreign Minister, Anthony Eden, to send a warning to Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu telling him “that we will hold him and immediate circle personally responsible in life and limb” if the Iron Cross did not stop their murderous attacks on the Jews.

    1943: Most of the 1,500 Jews remaining in Buczacz who had not been sent to Belzac were murdered. One survivor, Netka Goldberg, lost three sisters, two brothers and her mother. Her father would be killed seven months later.

    1946: Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations. Lie was head of the U.N. when Israel was created and was supportive of creating the Jewish state.

    1947(11thof Shevat, 5707): Parashat Beshalach

    1947(11thof Shevat, 5707): Sixty-two year old Russian born American attorney David Louis Podell who drafted major New Deal legislation passed away today.

    1947:  In Kennett Square, PA, “Florence Goldberger, a navy nurse and David Savitch , who ran a clothing store gave birth to  American television journalist Jessica Savitch.

    1947: In Nicosia, Cyprus Bronia Rosenberg, originally from Łódź, and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and Fishel Brand, from Biłgoraj, who had been a resistance fighter during World War II gave birth to Moshé Michaël Brand who gained fame as Israeli “pop star” Mike Brant.

    1948: The Arabs bombed the Palestine Post (a.k.a. Jerusalem Post) building in Jerusalem

    1950(14th of Shevat, 5710): French sociologist. Marcel Mauss passed away.

    1951: During the Presidency of Harry Truman, Monnett B. Davis was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1951(25thof Shevat, 5711): Seventy four year old Annie Morris, the wife of Hyman Morris, the first Jewis Lord May of Leeds, passed away today.

    1952: Three years after being released in the United Kingdom, “The Small Room” which Emeric Pressburger co-directed, co-produced and co-wrote opened in New York City today.

    1952: “Invitation” based on “the short story ‘R.S.V.P.’ by Jerome Weidman, directed by Gottfried Reinhardt, produced by Lawrence Weingarten and featuring Ruth Roman and Michael Checkhov was released in the United States today.

    1952: SN (Samuel Nathaniel) Behrman's "Jane" premiered in New York City.  Behrman,was a popular and prolific dramatist who tackled a number of topics in his works including what it was like to grow up Jewish in a small town as the 19thgave way to the 20th century.

    1953: CBS broadcast the first television episode of “You Are There” which had originally been created for radio by Goodman Ace and whose directors included Sidney Lumet.

    1955: Lord Rothschild wrote to Churchill “thanking him for the fact that in Jerusalem in 1921 ‘you laid the foundation of the Jewish State by separating Abdullah’s Kingdom from the rest of Palestine.  Without this much-opposed prophetic foresight there would not have been an Israel today.’”

    1956: In the UK, ITV broadcast the first episode of “Colonel March of Scotland Yard” produced by Hannah Weinstein.

    1958: Egypt and Syria announced plans to merge into United Arab Republic.  This was one of those failed attempts at pan-Arabism that was really a military alliance designed to destroy Israel.  The U.A.R. was neither united or a real republic.  The Syrians pulled out in 1961, but the name lingered on for many years after.

    1959(23rd of Shevat, 5719): Rabbi Jonah Bondi Wise passed away. He “was an American Rabbi and leader of the Reform Judaism movement, who served for over thirty years as rabbi of the Central Synagogue in Manhattan and was a founder of the United Jewish Appeal, serving as its chairman from its creation in 1939 until 1958.”

    1959(23rdof Shevat, 5719): “Three civilians were killed by a landmine near Moshav Zavdiel”

    1961(15thof Shevat, 5721): Tu B’Shevat observed for the first time during the Presidency of John Kennedy.

    1963: Publication of the first issue of The New York Review which Barbara Epstein helped to found with the encouragement of her husband, “Jason Epstein, a vice president at Random House.”

    1964: Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics won his “800th game as an NBA coach” today. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)

    1965: “Kelly” a musical with songs by Mark Charlap “began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre today.

    1966: In “The Trefa Banquet” published today John J. Appel described the 19thcentury Cincinnati affair where shellfish were part of the menu.

    1968: In Hollywood, CA, Mitzi Shore (née Saidel), who founded The Comedy Store, and Sammy Shore, a comedian gave birth to Paul Montgomery Shore who gained fame as comedic actor Pauly Shore best known for his role in “Encino Man.”

    1969:  Birthdate of jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman son of a legendary jazz musician and Jewish dancer from Russia.

    1969: Birthdate of publisher Andrew Breitbart, the adopted “of son of Gerald and Arlene Breitbart, a restaurant owner and banker respectively” whose Jewish upbringing included a Bar Mitzvah and a life-long identity with the Jewish people.

    1967: In New York, as part of their confrontation with the unionized bagel bakers, owners shut the doors to their bakeries claiming “that they did not have enough work.”

    1970(25thof Shevat, 5730): Dorothy Horowitz Germber, the wife of the late Newcomb Gerber passed away today in Clifton, NJ.

    1970: Oil was pumped for the first time in the newly completed 42 inch Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline

    1970: The New York Times includes a review of Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow.

    1974: For the third time “University College, Oxford, elected Professor Venyamin Levich, the eminent Soviet Jewish scientist, as a visiting fellow

    1976: "Rich Man, Poor Man" mini-series based on the work of Irwin Shaw, premieres on ABC TV.

    1977(13thof Shevat, 5737): Seventy-four year old Warsaw native Samuel Arthur “Sammy” Weiss the first Jew to be named captain of the Duquesne University football team who went on “to represent Pennsylvania's 30th, 31st, and 33rd Districts in the United States House of Representatives” before serving as a Common Pleas Court Judge passed away today after which he was buried at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

    1978: Director Roman Polanski skipped bail and fled to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.  The father of the Polish born director was Jewish.  His mother died in a concentration camp.  Polanski avoided being trapped in the ghetto and spent the war wandering the woods of Poland.

    1979: The first staging of “Fugue in a Nursery” by Harvey Fierstein opened at LaMama today.

    1979: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile.  This marked a major turning point in the Islamic world as religious fundamentalists began coming to power.  There are those who would say that there is a direct line between the success of Khomeini and the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections in 2006. After 28 years, Iran boasts a leader who denies the Holocaust happened and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.

    1980: “Fatso” a comedy featuring Estelle Reiner as “Mrs. Goodman” was released in the United States today.

    1980: The last public interview given by Sir Cecil Beaton, who had been fired by Conde Nast in the 1930’s for slipping an anti-Semitic message into one of his drawings, was broadcast by the BBC today.

    1984: Daniel Stern became NBA commissioner. Jews seem to gravitate to the position since at one point the commissioners of most major sports were Jewish: Commissioner of Major League Baseball: Bud Selig, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association: David Stern and Commissioner of the National Hockey League: Gary Bettman. According to one Urban Legend, there was a move to get Commissioner of the National Football League: Paul Tagliabue to convert to Judaism so that it would be four for four! 

    1985: Morton I. Abramowitz began serving as President Reagan’s Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

    1985: In Leadville, CO, The Harvey/Martin Construction Company convey the Temple Israel property to William H. Copper whose family trust would convey it to the Temple Israel Foundation

    1988: Two Palestinians were shot dead today near Anabta in a confrontation on the Nablus road north of Jerusalem that involved demonstrators and settlers. Military authorities said settlers were trapped at roadblocks by stone throwers and drew their guns and opened fire. Soldiers also shot at the demonstrators. Another account said a convoy of 75 settlers returned when the trouble subsided and vandalized a score of Arab cars.

    1989(26thof Shevat,5749): Eighty-nine year old Marie Syrkin, an author, editor and teacher who was active in the Zionist cause for many decades, died of cancer today at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. (As reported by Glenn Fowler)

    1991(17thof Shevat, 5751): Eighty-two year old Herzl Rosenblum who served as editor of Yedioth Ahronoth for 35 years and who signed Israel’s declaration of independence as Herzl Vardi passed away today.

    1991: “Vandals attacked the Lomita, CA home of Dr. Shlomo Elspas, the executive governor of Chabad South Bay today “spray-painting a swastika and the slogan ‘white power’ on it.”

    1992(27thof Shevat, 5752):U.S. District Court Judge Irving R Kaufman, who presided at the Rosenberg Spy Case, passed away at the age of 81.

    1993: Gary Bettman becomes the NHL's first commissioner.

    1996: “A Fair County” written by Jon Robin Baitz “premiered Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater” today.

    1998: “A Daughter Seeks Her Olympian Father” published today described the tortured relationship between clinical psychologist Julie Jaffe Nagel and her father Irving Jaffee, the Gold Medal Olympian speed-skating champion.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including On the Possibility of Jewish Mysticism in Our Time by Gershom Scholem and Selected Poems by Harvey Shapiro

    1999(15thof Shevat, 5759): Last celebration of Tu B’Shevat in the 20thcentury.

    1999(15thof Shevat, 5759): Eight-four year old Benjamin Elazari Volcani the native of Ben-Shamen, who discovered life in the Dead Sea and pioneered biological silicon research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego” passed away today.

    2002(19thof Shevat, 5762): Daniel Pearl, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal was beheaded today.,8599,212284,00.html

    2003(25th of Tevet, 5771): The Space Shuttle Columbia burned up on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere killing the crew of six including Israel’s first man in space, Ilan Ramon. Ilan Ramon was born in 1954.  He was a combat pilot in the Israeli Air Force. He was a graduate of Tel Aviv University and held the rank of Colonel at the time of his death. Ramon was a veteran of the Yom Kippur War, one of the first Israeli pilots to fly the then new F-16 jet and was part of the group that destroyed the Iraqi nueclar reactor before it could go on line.

    2004: Jonathan Andrew Kaye won the FBR Open

    2004: The New England Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, the Jewish philanthropist defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII

    2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Liberated Bride by A.B. Yehoshua; translated by Hillel Halkin and The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill by Ron Suskind.

    2005: At Madison Square Garden this evening, “a handful of the 25,000 people there taking part in the 11th Siyum HaShas Daf Yomi celebration recalled some of the more unusual settings in which they have demonstrated their commitment to the daily study of Talmud, which was completed — and renewed for a new seven-and-a-half-year cycle — this week. Daf Yomi, or daily page, was introduced in 1923 at the First International Congress of Agudath Israel in Vienna by a young Polish rabbi, Meir Shapiro, as a way to bring uniformity to the worldwide study of Shas, an acronym for the names of the six orders of the Mishna, on which the Talmudic sages recorded their commentaries around 200 C.E. Agudah said 120,000 North American Jews were taking part in the celebration this year.”

    2006:  Despite violent protests, Israel successfully completed the evacuation of the West Bank outpost of Amona.  This is in line with the policy of the Sharon government provide security for the state of Israel and ensuring that Israel remains both a democratic nation and a Jewish homeland.  The withdrawal policy has the support of the majority of Israelis.

    2007: The Sarah Silverman Program premiered on Comedy Central

    2007: The first exhibition of female architects in the history of Israeli architecture entitled "The feminine presence in Israeli architecture," opened at the gallery of the Union of Architects in Jaffa. Twenty-two female architects participated and displayed works they have planned in the past few years and which have since been built.

    2007: As part of a kosher cooking contest, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a proclamation naming this date as Simply Manischewitz Cook-off Day.  Candace McMenamin, a non-Jew from Lexington, S.C. won with her sweet potato encrusted chicken.  Only in America

    2008(25thof Shevat, 5768): Eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor Rubin Partel, the father-in-law of New York born neurologist Leonard S. Schleifer, “the founder and chief executive of the biotechnology company Regeneron.,

    2008: In New Jersey, Barnet Hospital which had been founded in 1908 by Nathan Barnet announced that it would closing due to a lack of funding

    2008:Six gunmen opened fire on the Israeli Embassy inMauritania early this morning, trading fire with guards before fleeing screaming "Allah Akbar," witnesses said. The six men arrived by car and regrouped in front of a discotheque that is just beside the embassy, said Hamza Ould Bilal, a taxi driver who was parked outside the club, called the VIP. He saw them pull out their automatic weapons and scream "God is Great!" in Arabic, before assailing the embassy, he said.

    2008: “Praying With Lior,” a new documentary about a Philadelphia boy with Down syndrome preparing for his bar mitzvah opens at the Cinema Village in New York.

    2009:  At Yale University, CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America presents “Palestinian Issues in Israeli Journalism: A conversation with Khalid Abu Toameh, a journalist who writes for the Jerusalem Post

    2009: The New York Times and the Washington Post each featured a review of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle Eastby Martin Indyk, the assistant secretary of state for near east affairs during the Clinton Administration and the first Jewish American to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    2010: The Center for Jewish History and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation is scheduled to present “Diplomacy and Genocide: Challenges for the Future” during which a distinguished panel of policy makers, diplomats, and scholars discuss the issues and opportunities in diplomatic approaches to the prevention of genocide in the contemporary international community.

    2010: Yehuda Weinstein replaced Menachem Mazuz as Attorney General of Israel.

    2010: Two barrels of explosives were discovered on Israeli beaches today, which were dispatched into the sea as part of a large-scale Palestinian terror attack against Israeli navy ships.

    2010: Seven American and European scientists were named winners of Israel's prestigious $100,000 Wolf Prize today. The Wolf Foundation said its prize in medicine went to Axel Ullrich of Germany for groundbreaking cancer research that has led to development of new drugs. Sir David Baulcombe of Cambridge University was awarded Wolf Prize for agriculture research in defending plants against viruses. The physics prize was shared by US professor John F. Clauser, Alain Aspect of France and Anton Zeilinger of Austria for their work in quantum physics. The mathematics prize was shared by two US-based professors: Shing-Tung Yau for geometric analysis, and Dennis Sullivan for contributions to algebraic topology and conformal dynamics. The Wolf Foundation was founded by the late German-born Dr. Ricardo Wolf, an inventor, philanthropist and former Cuban ambassador to Israel. The private nonprofit foundation's council is chaired by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.

    2010(17thof Shevat): Ninety-two year old Selma G. Hirsh, a humanitarian and an author who was associated with the American Jewish Committee for many years, passed away today  at her home in Stamford, Conn.

    2011: Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day is scheduled to take placed in Richmond, VA.

    2011: The Leo Baeck Institute and American Council on Germany are scheduled to present a lecture by Joschka Fischer and Norbert Frei entitled "The German Foreign Office and the Nazi Past"

    2011: At Tulane University, Dean Carole Haber announced that Prof. Ronna Burger, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, has been appointed at the Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Chair in Judeo-Christian Studies. This chair was endowed through of generous gift of Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman..

    2011: Six Senate Democrats rejected a deficit-driven proposal by a new Republican senator to cut United States aid to Israel. In a letter sent today to the top House Republicans on the Appropriations and Budget committees, the Democrats said aid to Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East, is imperative. They backed the $3 billion in foreign military assistance that the U.S. provides annually to Israel. Republican Sen. Rand Paul said last week that the nation faces a fiscal crisis and argued that the U.S. cannot give money away, even to allies, as the debt grows.

    2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak informed Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant today that they have cancelled his upcoming appointment to the post of Israel Defense Forces chief. The announcement comes after months of scandal surrounding his appointment due to allegations that he had seized public lands near his home in Moshav Amikam in northern Israel. Galant was designated to succeed current IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi this month.

    2011: A Tunisian Jewish leader said today that the burning of a building that served as a synagogue in the South of the country was not an attack on the local Jewish community. Roger Bismuth, the president of the Jewish community in Tunisia, told The Jerusalem Post that the fire that broke out at a makeshift Jewish place of worship in the town of Ghabes was probably not an act of anti-Semitism, but one of vandalism

    2011(27thof Shevat, 5771): Seventeen year old Mitchell Perlmeter, the son of rabbi Rex Perlmeter and Rabbi Rachel Hertzman, passed away today in his home at Montclair, NJ.

    2012: “Mamele” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Etz Chaim in Toledo, Ohio.

    2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Illinois.

    2012: Liel Leibovitz is scheduled to moderate a presentation by New York Times columnist David Brooks at the 92nd Street Y.

    2012: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told President Shimon Peres today he was worried about the possible military aspects of Iran's nuclear program, laid out in a recent IAEA report, and called on Iran to prove that the program is peaceful. "

    2012: Israelis are in danger of waking up one morning to a different Israel, Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni said at the Herzliya Conference today. Livni asserted that Israelis today are not debating the true issue - that the state's relgious minority will impose its will on the Zionist majority.

    2012(8thof Shevat, 5772): Eighty-six year old Robert B. Cohen, the president of the Hudson County News Company passed away today.  (As reported by Denis Hevesi)

    2013: Students and members of the Jewish community are scheduled to present poems by Jewish poets including works by Yehuda Acmichai following a Friday night Shabbat dinner at the Hillel at the University of Iowa.

    2013: Tenth anniversary of the Columbia Shuttle disaster which claimed the lives of all on board including Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon.  The event is the subject of a special documentary entitled "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" which is scheduled to be aired today on Iowa Public Television.

    2013: “Not By Bread Alone” is scheduled to be performed at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

    2013: On the secular calendar, 11th anniversary of the beheading of Daniel Pearl.

    2013(22ndof Shevat, 2013): Eighty-eight year old Edward Koch, three-time mayor of New York passed away today on the same day that a documentary of his life opened in New York City theatres.(As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2013: “The Gatekeepers” opened in U.S. movie theatres

    2014: In Rockville, MD, Tikvat Israel is scheduled to show “Lost Islands” as part of its Israeli Film Festival.

    2014: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila, is scheduled to host its Third Annual Comedy night of “Sweet Laughter.”

    2014(1stof Adar 1, 5774): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    2014(1stof Adar 1, 5774): Eighty year old Gordon Zacks, the Ohio businessman who was active in the Republican Party and “served as an adviser to President George H.W. Bush (Bush I) passed away today.

    2014: An Egyptian jihadist group said today that it fired a rocket at the Red Sea resort of Eilat which was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, its second in a fortnight

    2014: Finance Minister Yair Lapid ordered a halt on all money transfers to the settlements pending the clarification regarding their specific use, a statement on his behalf said this evening.

    2014: “Three Molotov cocktails were thrown this evening towards a private home in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood. No injuries were reported and light damage was caused to furniture in the house.”

    2014: At the Writers Guild of America Awards ceremony, Mel Brooks presented Pau Mazursky with the Screen Laurel Award, which is the lifetime achievement award of the WGA.

    2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Girl From Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family by Roger Cohen and the recently published paperback edition of A Replacement of Life, Boris Fishman’s first novel about the forgery of Holocaust restitution claims.

    2015: In London, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host an exhibition “From Generation to Generation” featuring the word of Gideon Summerfield.

    2015: The New England Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, the Jewish philanthropist defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

    2015: Gary Bettman is scheduled to “mark his 22nd year as National Hockey League Commissioner” today.

    2015(12thof Shevat, 5775): Eighty-nine year old M.I.T. professor Irving Singer passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

    2015: “Renewal,” film that “profiles a group of dancers—the Vertigo Dance Company—in their pioneering eco-arts village on the outskirts of Jerusalem” is scheduled to be shown at Lincoln Center in New York.

    2015: In New Orleans, funeral services are scheduled to held at the Old Beth Israel Cemetery on Frenchmen Street for Irvin Samuel Smith “who was a member of the CCJN’s close-knit family.”

    2016: Some of the 6,000 Jews in Iowa are scheduled to join their fellow Hawkeyes in the first-in-the nation caucuses where the candidates include Bernie Sanders, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Hillary Clinton whose son-in-law is Jewish and Donald Trump whose daughter Ivanka is Jewish.

    2016: The award winning exhibition, “Voices of the Vigil” is scheduled to move from Rockville, MD. to Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA.

    2016(22ndof Shevat): On the Jewish calendar “yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, wife of the Rebbe.”

    2017: Physicist Persis S. Drell, the daughter of Sidney Drell, who has been serving as Dean of the Stanford University School of Engineering since 2014 is scheduled to begin serving the Provost of Stanford University today.

    2017: Today the Senate Finance Committee approved Steven Mnuchin’s nomination to serve as Treasury Secretary by a vote of 11-0 with all Democrats boycotting the vote, sending the nomination to the Senate floor

    2017: David Shulkin testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs during hearings on his nomination to serve as U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

    2017 (5thof Shevat, 5777): On the Jewish calendar Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Alter, “the leader of the Ger Chassidic dynasty, author of Sfas Emes.

    2017: In Memphis, TN, Temple Israel Cantorial Soloist Abbie Strauss is scheduled to lead “Musically Speaking” with sessions for both youngsters and adults.

    2017: In New York, the Batsheva Dance Company is scheduled to perform Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “Last Work.”

    2017: The Yeshiva Museum is scheduled to host a special tour focused on the work of Hugh Mesibov.

    2018: On a day when it is offering students a meal of “sweet chili beef and chicken noodles”,The Oxford University Society is scheduled to host a Gemara Shiur.

    2018: Comedian Judy Gold is scheduled to perform at the West Hollywood Library.

    2018: The Quad Cinema is scheduled to host the final screening of Amos Gitai’s “West of the Jordan River.”

    2018: In London, JW3 is scheduled to host the final screening of “An Act of Defiance.”

    2018: In Des Moines, IA, the grand opening of the Hillel House at Drake University is scheduled to take place today.

    0 0

    February 2

    506: Alaric II, eighth king of the Visigoths promulgated The Breviary of Alaric (Breviarium Alaricianum or Lex Romana Visigothorum) a collection of Roman law that included the sixteen books of the Codex Theodosianus complete with all of its anti-Semitic laws.

    450: Birthdate of Justin I during whose reign as Byzantine Emperor the Beth Alpha synagogue was built “at the foot of the northern slopes of the Mt. Gilboa near Beit She’an.

    962: Pope John XII crowns Otto I, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Gershom ben Judah, who will gain fame as Rabbeinu Gershom Me'Or Hagolah ("Our teacher Gershom the light of the exile") had been born two years earlier in Metz.  Mainz, the city he would move to as an adult, was already the center of Talmudic learning in this part of the Holy Roman Empire with Yehuda ben Meir serving as its leading scholar at this time.

    1208: Birthdate of James I of Aragon.King James I of Aragon was the monarch who forced Nachmanides, Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, to participate in a public debate, with the Jewish convert to Christianity, Pablo Christiani.  Unlike what usually happened, Nachmanides chose to respond aggressively. His brilliant defense of Judaism and refutations of Christianity's claims served as the basis of many such future disputations through the generations. Because his victory was an insult to the king's religion, Nachmanides was forced to flee Spain. There were those who wanted the sage killed, but James let him escape; a silent acknowledgement of the strength of the Rabbi’s arguments.

    1484: The first printed edition of tractate Bezah of the Babylonian Talmud was published in Soncino Italy

    1536: Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina.  As in so much of the rest of Latin America, the first Jews to settle in Argentina were conversos.  When Argentina gained its independence in 1810, the Inquisition was abolished and this marked the beginning of the development of the modern Argentinean Jewish Community.  The first Jewish wedding in Buenos Aires took place in 1860.  Today Buenos Aires has a Jewish population of about 200,000 souls.  The city supports a variety of Jewish institutions including a campus of the Convservative JTS and one of the last remaining daily Yiddish newspapers.  Unfortunately, Buenos Aires was also the site of one of the worst terrorist attacks outside of Eretz Israel.

    1499: The expulsion of the Jews from Nuremberg was scheduled to take place but was postponed until Lætare Sunday, 1499.

    1592: Consecration of Clement VIII, during whose Papacy Jews were forced to attend “conversionist sermons,” prohibited from “dealing in new articles of clothing” and forced to allow copies of the Talmud to be burned in 1601,

    1644: Birthdate of Isaac Chayyim Cantarini, also known as Isaacus Viva, the native of Padua who was a physician by training but who ‘also taught in the Yeshiva, officiated as a cantor” and served as “judge” in cases requiring a deep knowledge of Halacha.

    1648(17th of Shevat, 5408): Rabbi Chaim ben Benjamin Bechner of Cracow, author of Or Hadash passed away.

    1653: Incorporation of the city of New Amsterdam under Dutch rule. The first Jews would arrive in

    1649: Birthdate of Domincan month Vincenzo Marco Orsini who as Benedict XIII issued bull describing the “necessary conditions for imposing baptism on a Jew”  and forbidding Jews to sell “new goods.”

    1654.  In other words, there really is a valid reason for thinking New York and New York Jew in the same breath.  (New Amsterdam became New York when the English took the colony and named the city in honor of the Duke of York.) 

    1697: In Great Britain, a site is acquired for the first Ashkenazi cemetery

    1709: In London, Elias Lindo and Rachel Lopes Ferreira were married at Bevis Marks Synagogue – a moment which was celebrated by the creation of a silver Chanukah menorah by John Ruslen known as the Lindo Lamp, the “earliest known English menorah.”

    1718(1st of Adar, 5478): Rabbi Gabriel ben Judah Loew Eskeles of Nikolsburg, Moravia passed away. He was the great-grandson of Rabbi Sinai Liva, the brother of the Maharal of Prague and the patriarch of the Eskeles “clan.”

    1729: Despite the opposition of the Berlin Jewish community, Frederick William I repeated the order that Moses ben Aaron be appointed to serve as the city’s rabbi.

    1740: In Zülz, Silesia, Seligmann Pappenheim, the town’s associate rabbi and his wife gave birth to Solomon Pappenheim whose works include a “book on Hebrew synonyms.”

    1763:Löb Wertheimer (son of Samson Wertheimer and Frumet Brülle) and husband of Sarchen Halberstadt passed away today.

    1769: Seventy-five year old Pope Clement XIII who in 1759 took a stance against the blood libel when he “proclaimed that the Holy See had examined the grounds on which rested the belief in the use of human blood for the feast of Passover and the murder of Christians by Jews, and that the Jews must not be condemned as criminals in respect of this charge, but that in the case of such occurrences legal forms of proof must be used” passed away today.

    1790: The United States Supreme Court meets for the first time.  It would be one hundred and twenty six years before a Jewish jurist would be named to the High Court. 

    1797: In the United Kingdom, George Isaacs and Kitty Levin experienced the tragedy of having a stillborn child.

    1814: Gershom Mendes Seixas of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York gave a sermon saying that because the United States has declared war, it is the duty of Jewish Americans to "act as true and faithful citizens, to support and preserve the honor, the dignity, and the independence of the United States of America!" Gershom asked the people to pray to God for protection and a strengthening of faith and to get rid of the evil that is around them.  He discusses the horrible conditions that many people have been faced with and the numerous deaths that have occurred.

    1816: Birthdate of Jacob Herz (Heart) the native of Bayreuth who was a successful physician in Erlangen but found his career stymied because he would not convert.

    1820: Walter Jacob Levi married Rebecca Hart today in the Great Synagogue.

    1825(14thof Shevat, 5585): Seventy-four year old Isac Hartvig Rée the husband of Sara Wulff Wulff von Essen and the father of Thamar Ree passed away in Altona, Germany.

    1827: Birthdate of Jewish scholar Solomon Buber the Lemberg native who was the son of Isaiah Abraham Buber and the grandfather of Martin Buber.

    1831: Gregory XVI began his papacy today during which he granted an audience to Raphael Meir ben Judah Panigel who “was the Sephardi chief rabbi of Jerusalem” until his death in 1893.

    1835: In Gnesen, Posen, Joseph Chayyim Caro and his wife gave birth to historian Jacob Caro.

    1837(27thof Shevat, 5597): Hungarian rabbi Moses ben Menahem Kunizter, a descendant of Rabbi Lowe, passed away today.

    1840: “A report was spread” in Damascus that Father Thomas and his servant “were last seen in the Jewish quarter of the city” which “was sufficient to excite the wrath of” those “who had long nourished a bitter animosity against the Jews” and resulted in the arrest of Jewish barber.  After having received “500 blows” and the promise of a pardon “if he would disclose the names of his co-religionists who had” murdered the pair, the barber “denounced seven persons who had required human blood for the Passover festival.”  (Modern versions date these events as having begun on February 5. This is based on an account published in 1883

    1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed ending the Mexican-American War.  There are limited records of colorful Jewish characters who showed up at different places where the war was fought (Remember, it covered a swath of territory including California, New Mexico, Arizona and the Republic of Mexico).  They include: Jacob Frankfort a tailor living at Taos, New Mexico; Nathan Appel, a trooper with Phil Kearny’s Dragoons, Solomon and Thomas Farnham who were with the American Army at the Battle of Chapultepec (and later made their fortune in California) and Jacob Frankfort, a tailor living in Los Angeles who went to work for the U.S. Army when the troops arrived.

    1852: “Shocking Murder Near Philadelphia” published today described the discovery of the mutilated body of Jacob Lehman, a German Jew, who had been robbed before he was killed and dumped into the Delaware River.

    1852: Forty-nine year old Francis Mary Paul Libermann (born Jacob Libermann) “a 19th-century Jewish convert to Catholicism who was a member of the Spiritan order and who is best known for founding the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which later merged with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost” passed away today in Paris.

    1854:  A second dinner was held in Philadelphia designed to raise funds for Jewish charities.

    1855: In Eisenstadt, Austria, Rabbi Dr. Azriel Hildesheimer and Henriette Jettchen Hildesheimer gave birth to Rabbi Hirsch Hildesheimer the husband of Rosa Therese Hieldesheimer

    1858: In Pest, Hungary Wilhelm Diamant married Johanna Theres Diamant.

    1860: "Oliver Twist," a dramatization of Dickens' novel by the same name, was performed at the Winter Garden in New York City.  J.W. Wallack played the part of Fagin the Jew

    1861: Birthdate of Solomon R Guggenheim.  A second generation member of the Guggenheim family that made its fortune mining and metallurgy, Guggenheim is best remembered for endowing the Guggenheim Foundation which funds and runs the Guggenheim Museum. Guggenheim’s brother Benjamin died on the Titanic and it was his daughter Peggy who joined her uncle as a patron of the arts.

    1862: Birthdate of Rabbi Joshua A. Joffe, The Jewish Theological Seminary's second Talmud instructor. He joined the Seminary as Preceptor of Mishna and Gemara in 1893, and retired in 1917. As one of only two full time paid instructors at the Seminary when he arrived (the other was Bible instructor Bernard Drachman) Joffe taught all of the Seminary's early graduates. He was also in charge of the library, and he took part in the students' Literary Society, lecturing in Hebrew to the group that met every other Saturday evening. In addition to his work at the Seminary, Joffe taught students in his home (one of these private students was Stephen Wise), and from 1893 to around 1908 he taught Hebrew and Jewish ethics at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam Avenue between West 136th and 138th Streets. Joffe was born in Nesvizh, Minsk, Russia on February 2, 1862. He studied at the Volozhin Yeshiva, and received smicha (Orthodox rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Isaac J. Reines in 1881. He then went to Berlin and attended the liberal Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentumsfrom which he received a second rabbinic ordination in 1888. Joffe's education also included a period, 1886-1890, at the University of Berlin where he studied philosophy, history, and Semitics. He served as rabbi to congregations in Vishnove, Russia, in 1880, and Moabit, a suburb of Berlin, 1889-1892. In 1892 Joffe left Germany and came to the United States. After twenty-four years at the Seminary, Joshua Joffe retired in 1917 after a period of ill health. He then returned to Europe with his wife and daughter and died in Freiburg, Germany on December 23, 1935. His family returned to the United States after his death.

    1866(17thof Shevat, 5626): Fifty-six year old Rosanna Osterman, the wife of “silversmith and merchant Joseph Osterman” who moved to Galveston in 1838, died today “in the explosion of the steamship W. R. Carter on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, and was buried in the Portuguese Cemetery in New Orleans” after which she “left an estate valued at over $204,000, much of which she bequeathed to charitable organizations.

    1869: The will of the late James Disraeli “was proved” today by Benjamin Israeli.

    1871: Baron Jozsef Eotvos, Hungarian statesman and who supported the emancipation of the Jews passed away today while serving as Minister of Religion and Education of Hungary.

    1871: Gustavus Cardozo, Chief of the Ordinance Bureau in New York City has issued orders to all householders to immediately clear the snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their houses and from their rooftops.

    1873: In Olmütz, bandmaster and composer Mortiz Fall and his wife gave birth to Leo Fall who gained fame for composing a series of operettas.

    1873: It was reported today that a benefit performance has raised $5,200 for the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews.

    1874(15thof Shevat, 5634): Tu B’Shevat

    1874: In Philadelphia, PA, Herman Reizenstein and Louise Woernitz gave birth to Milton Reizenstein the recipient of Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and husband of Rose Hollander who served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Educational Alliance and whose writings included the Economic History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

    1875: Birthdate of violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler.  There are several different views as to whether or not Kreisler was Jewish.  As the following note shows, even his family did not agree on the answer to the question. “Amy Biancolli's recent biography Fritz Kreisler: Love's Sorrow, Love's Joy  (Amadeus Press, Portland Oregon, 1998) contains an extensive discussion  of Kreisler's Jewish background, which he never acknowledged and which his wife adamantly denied (see Chapter 8: "Kreisler the Catholic, Kreisler the Jew").    Biancolli cites a 1992 interview by David Sackson of Franz Rupp, Fritz Kreisler's piano accompanist in the 1930s.  Rupp states that he once asked Kreisler's brother, the cellist Hugo Kreisler, about their Jewish background, to which Hugo responded simply, "I'm a Jew, but my brother, I don't know."  According to Biancolli, Kreisler's father, Salomon Severin Kreisler (also called Samuel Severin Kreisler), a physician and amateur violinist from Krakow, was almost certainly Jewish.  Fritz's mother, Anna, was a Roman Catholic, and probably an "Aryan."  According to Louis Lochner's 1950 biography Fritz Kreisler, Kreisler was reared as a Roman Catholic.  However, according to unpublished parts of the manuscript uncovered by Biancolli in the Library of Congress, he was baptized only at the age of twelve.  The bottom line seems to be that Kreisler was at least half-Jewish and his reticence on the subject primarily an attempt to placate his highly anti-Semitic wife Harriet.  ("Fritz hasn't a drop of Jewish blood in his veins!" she is said to have vehemently responded to an inquiry from Leopold Godowsky.  Godowsky retorted: "He must be very anemic.")”

    1876: The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball which we know simply as the National League, the first and oldest of baseball’s two Major Leagues is formed. Lip Pike may have been the first Jewish major leaguer.  He had begun playing before the creation of the National League.  Reportedly, his first stint was with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1876 he played with the National League team in St. Louis, thus making him the first Jewish baseball player to play in baseball’s senior circuit.

    1878:  It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger has taken issue with those who feel they must respond every time somebody expresses negativity regarding Hebrews as individuals are as a group.  Those making these statements are “petty assailants” from whom the Hebrews need no defense.

    1879: Birthdate of Johana Handgriffova who was transported from Prague in October, 1942 to Ujazdow where he was murdered.

    1879: In Prague, Dr. Otto Pribram and Fanny Pribram gave birth Ernst August Pribram the Austrian Army Veteran, the serologist and bacteriologist who settled in Chicago where he also taught at Loyola.

    1882: Birthdate of Irish author James Joyce. Joyce was not Jewish, but Bloom the protagonist in his most famous novel, Ulysses was Jewish.

    1883(25thof Shevat, 5643): Seventy-two year old Rabbi Yisroel Salanter passed away. He was the father of the Mussar movement in Orthodox Judaism and a famed Rosh yeshiva and Talmudist. The epithet Salanter was added to his name due to the influence on his thinking by Rabbi Yosef Zundel of Salant.

    1883: Birthdate of S. Z. Sakall.  Born Eugene Gero Szakall in Budapest Hungary, he used the first two initials of his last name to create his professional persona.  The chubby cheeked actor was also known as “Cuddles.”  One of his most famous roles was as the round faced waiter in Casablanca who tells Rick that he could “kiss him” after he lets a desperate young couple win enough at the casino to avoid the clutches of the lecherous Claude Raines.

    1888: Birthdate of London born classical pianist Irene Scharrer.

    1890: At Neuilly, France, verbal attacks were made against the Jews in general and the House of Rothschild in particular which was denounced for its “German origins” and its alleged role in the collapse of the l'Union Générale. 

     1890: “Religious Census” published today described the denominational makeup of Hartford, CN, a city of 48, 179 which includes 1,158 Jews.

    1890: “Gods Who Are Kinsmen” published today provided a detailed review of Lectures on the Religion of the Semites by Cambridge professor W. Robertson Smith

    1891(24thof Shevat, 5651): Philadelphian Ellen M. Phillips who was a benefactress of various Jewish charities including the Jewish Theological Seminary, passed away today.

    1891: “Art Notes” published today described exhibition at the Hotel Cluny in Paris of “a collection of objects” used by Jewish during the 13th, 14thand 15th centuries.  The collection had been donated to the Cluny Museum by Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild and was made up of items that had originally belong to Isaac Strauss, who served as conductor during the reign of Napoleon III (more for 2014)

    1893: “The Century for February” published today described the articles in this month’s edition of the magazine including “A Voice From Russia” in which Pierre Botkine, the secretary to the Russian Legation in Washington, DC provides his government’s version of its treatment of the Jews.

    1893: Birthdate of Cornelius Lanczos the Hungarian mathematician and physicist who served as an assistant to Albert Einstein and while working for the U.S. National Bureau of Standards developed “the Lanczos algorithm for finding eigenvalues of large symmetric matrices and the Lanczos approximation for the gamma function.”

    1894(26thof Shevat, 5654): Seventy-eight year old Maro Mortara, the native of Viadana who graduated from the rabbinical college of Padua in 1836 before starting to serve as the Rabbi to Mantua in 1842 passed away today leaving behind his son Lodvocio Mortara who was the father of statistician Giorgio Mortara.

    1895(8thof Shevat, 5655): Sixty-eight year old French painter Benjamin Eugène Fichel passed away today.

    1896: The Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s Circle of the Auxiliary Society of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum was formed today in New York City.

    1897(30thof Shevat, 5657): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1897(30thof Shevat, 5657): Author Abraham Kaplan passed away

    1897: The Young People’s Association of the West Synagogue is scheduled to meet today at the home of Dr. H.P. Mendes. 

    1898: During today’s court session where the libel suit that Joseph Reinach has brought against Henri Rochefort, the audience began shouting “Down with the Jews!”

    1899(22ndof Shevat, 5659): Sixty-three year old Samuel David Klauber, the husband of Charlotte Klauber

    1899: Based on information that first appeared in La Presse it was reported today that Captain Alfred Dreyfus was so angry when he learned that Captain Lebrun-Renault had claimed that he had confessed at the time of his trial that he refused to answer any more of the questions put to him by the Court Cassation unless he is returned to France.

    1899:  Birthdate of Benny Rubin the Boston born actor, comic and writer whose career would span over 70 years and include work on the stage, film and television.

    1899: Captain Albert W. Lilienthal completed his service with the 7th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, six months before he would re-enlist with the 40thU.S Volunteer Infantry.

    1899: It was reported today that “the latest victim of the anti-Dreyfus party is the Grand Rabbi, Zadok Kahn, who is being denounced as ‘the ringleader of the infamous Jewish conspiracy against France…’”

    1901: Birthdate of famed violinist, Yasha Heifetz.  Born in Russia, Heifetz was a child prodigy. He soloed for the first time at the age of four.  Considering the fact that he died in 1987, this means that Heifitz was a performer for eighty-two years.  He became "a violin virtuoso of worldwide acclaim."  He won several Grammies in the 1960s for his recordings of chamber music.  Heifetz is one of a long list of Jewish violin virtuosos including Yehudi Menuhin and Conductor Eugene Ormandy.  There are those who think of the violin as “the Jewish instrument.” Why, the comedian asked, do so many Jews play the violin?  Because, the violinist answered, it is a lot easier to carry than the bass fiddle when you are being chased out of a country.

    1901: The 35thAnnual Convention of the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel is scheduled to open in New York today.

    1902:  Birthdate of Israeli political leader and government official Eliyahu Sasson

    1903(5thof Shevat, 5663): Morris Tuska who had served as Vice President of the United Hebrew Charities of the city of New York passed away

    1905:  Birthdate of Alissa Rosenbaum who gained famed as author and philosopher Ayn Rand. Born in St. Petersburg, Rand was the daughter of a pharmacist – a professional and member of the middle class which was quite an accomplishment in the anti-Semitic world of Czarist Russia.  The family lost everything in the Bolshevik Revolution.  She managed to finish her education in the early days of Lenin’s Soviet Union and the immigrated to the United States.  It was during the immigration process that she took the first name of Ayn (rhymes with Pine) and the last name of Rand as in Remington Rand, name of her favorite typewriter.  After a checkered career, Ms. Rand published her two famous novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. These novels and the film made from one of them espoused her philosophy of “Objectivism.”  Rand “glorified the self-made man who aggressively demonstrated his superiority over the masses through his business acumen.”  Her personal life was at odds with her philosophy when you consider the fact that her husband was a financial failure and much of her financial base came from her unconventional relationship with Nathan Blumenthal.  The name “John Galt”, the hero of the Fountainhead became a code word among her followers in the 1950’s.  She was the philosopher to a movement that found its voice in the Goldwater wing of the Republican Party.  Alan Greenspan, the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, is a great fan of her philosophy.  Although Rand died in 1982, her books continue to sell well and her philosophy which, according to some, glorifies selfishness as a virtue and condemns altruism as a vice enjoys periodic periods of revival and popularity.

    1906: In Volkovysk,  Yerucham Warhaftig and Rivka Fainstein gave birth to Rabbi Zorach Warhaftig who made Aliyah in 1947 and served in Israel’s first nine Knessets.   Most important of all he worked with he worked with Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Vice-Counsel in Kaunas to save the entire Mir Yeshiva.

    1906: It was reported today that of the sixteen people executed in the Citadel at Warsaw in the last fortnight, 15 of them were Jews.

    1906: Letters from Gomel appearing in St. Petersburg newspapers all agree that the “anti-Jewish outrages in that town were perpetrated with the open connivance of the authorities” with the Cossacks and dragoon leading the way with acts of arson and plunder.

    1909: Adolf Stoecker, a prominent Lutheran theologian and court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm II who was a leading anti-Semite passed away today.

    1909(11thof Shevat, 5669): Seventy year old Prague native Leopold Karpeles who was “awarded the Medal of Honor as a Sergeant in Company E, 57th Massachusetts Infantry” for rallying the troops under fire during the Wilderness Campaign in 1864 passed away today in Washington, D.C. after which he was buried in the cemetery of Washington Hebrew Congregation, the oldest Jewish congregation in the nation’s capital.

    1909(11thof Shevat, 5669): Eighty-five year old Julius von Gomperzes the Austrian industrialist who was President of the Bron Trade and Commerce Chamber and a leader of the Brno Jewish community passed away today.

    1910: Birthdate of Syracuse, NY, native Alexander "Mine Boy" Levinsky whose nine year career in the NFL included playing on two Stanley Cup championship teams.

    1911: Birthdate of Hilde Metzger, the daughter of Louis and Clara Metzger, who moved to Amsterdam in 1933 when her parents “moved to Palestine escape the Nazis” and who became Hilde Metzter Prins when she married Benjamin L. Prins in New York in 1940.

    1912: Chief Rabbi Franco of Jerusalem protests to the Turkish Minister of Justice and Public Worship over the removal of seats at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Governor ignores his protest.

    1913: Rae D. Landy, the Cleveland trained nurse arrived in Palestine today after having been recruited by Henrietta Szold “to begin a visiting nurse program in Palestine.”

    1913(25thof Shevat, 5673): Fifty-seven year old Judge Henry M. Steinert of New York City passed away today.

    1913(25thof Shevat, 5673): Seventy-five year old Nathan Goodman passed away today in Newburgh, NY.

    1913: At a time when some in the Reform Movement were trying to make Sunday the day for Shabbat services, Dr. Emil G. Hirsch delivered the sermon this morning at services at Sinai Temple on Chicago’s South Side.

    1913: Rabbi Joseph Stoltz is scheduled to deliver a sermon “The Memory of the Righteous” at Chicago’s Isaiah Temple which will coincide “with the annual memorial services of the B’nai B’rith Lodges of Chicago.

    1913: Dr. Stephen S. Wise delivered a sermon ln “What is Wrong with the Jew?” at the Free Synagogue today.

    1913: The New Jersey Conference of Charities and Corrections of which Newark, NJ Rabbi Solomon Foster served as a member of the Executive Committee began meeting in Plainfield, NJ today.

    1914: Less than a year after having the British Featherweight Championship, Ted “Kid: Lewis (born Gershon Mendeloff) won the European Featherweight Championship “at London’s Premierland” today.

     1915: Birthdate of Abba Eban.  Born Aubrey Solomon Eban (he would later Hebracize his name after the creation of the state of Israel), in South Africa, raised in England and educated at Cambridge, Eban was a major figure in the creation of the Jewish state.  At Cambridge he “read” Classics and Oriental language.  This educational background meant he knew Arabic and had an appreciation of Arab culture, knowledge that would be useful during World War II when he served as an intelligence officer with the British Army.  It was while serving with the British Army in Egypt that he met his future wife.  She came from a prominent Sephardic family.  There are those who contend Eban’s political fortunes would later suffer because of his marriage to a Sephardic Jew.  Eban served at the United Nations during the Partition Debate and worked to gain early American recognition for the Jewish state.  After the War for Independence Eban was both Ambassador to the U.N. and Israeli Ambassador to the United States.  In these dual roles, Eban played a critical role in gaining popular and diplomatic support for the embattled state of Israel.  This sophisticated, Cambridge educated intellectual speaking English in the same oratorical tones as Winston Churchill was a one-man public relations machine, the value of which we can hardly comprehend today.  After his time in Washington, Eban returned to the rough and tumble world of Israeli politics.  He held a number of responsible positions, including Foreign Minister, but the top job of Prime Minister always eluded.  Eban produced several works on Jewish History and Civilization including Heritage which was the basis for PBS series narrated by Eban.  Yes, what you have read is biased.  I heard and saw Eban several times as youngster growing up in Washington.  In a post-Holocaust world, with the survival of Israel a daily question-mark, and genteel anti-Semitism still an accepted part of the American landscape, the voice and presence of Abba Eban was a source of pride and comfort to a whole generation of Jews.  Regardless of what his critics might say, in his case, the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.

    1915: During WW I, Jamal Pasha, the military governor of Palestine, began battling the British under General Maxwell with the intent of taking the Suez Canal.

    1915: It was reported today that “nearly all of the Jewish refugees in Alexandria come from Jerusalem and other large towns” including over 1,000 young men “who refused to become Ottomans” and have declared “their eagerness to join the British Army.

    1915: It was reported today that the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs chaired by Louis D. Brandeis “will deposit $10,000 with the American Consul at Alexandria” for the aid of Jewish refugees.

    1915: It was reported today that “the distress among the 5,000 Jews and 12,000 Christians left in Jerusalem is acute” and that “the American relief supplies” are “insufficient to maintain life.”

    1916: The American Jewish Relief Committee announced that it had raised $2,050,082 thus surpassing the goal of raising two million dollars set for Jewish Relief Day.

    1916: Albert Lucas, representing the American Jewish Relief Committee, called on Secretary of State Lansing and Secretary of the Navy Daniels and arranged that a naval collier “laden with medicine” would sail for a Mediterranean port next week where the cargo will then be delivered to those living in Palestine.

    1916: “A report to the committed from Philadelphia” today” said that the local committee there had $330,000 pledged and that the committees of businessmen would keep at work until at least $500,000 had been pledged.”

    1917: The State Department received a cable from Ambassador Elkus that a group of refugees from Jerusalem, Aleppo and various parts of Lebanon, all of whom are women and children, are on their way to Beirut with plans to board the USS Des Moines and Caesar while at the same he has discovered another 1,000 Americans in the region who “are anxious to return to the United States. (Editor’s note: Yes, this is the same region that is facing a refugee crisis 100 years later)

    1917: Premiere of “The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach” a German silent moved filmed by cinematographer Karl Freund.

    1917: Birthdate of Jule Rivlin, the native of Pennsylvania who played basketball at Marshall where he coached from 1955 to 1963>

    1918: Margaret Seligman married Sam A. Lewisohn, son of Adolph Lewisohn, benefactor of City College and other major New York cultural institutions.

    1918: Governor Whitman, Colonel Harry Cutler, Chairman of the Welfare Board for Jewish Soldiers and Sailors’ Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Maurice H. Harris of Temple Israel were among the speakers at tonight’s celebration marking the 75t anniversary of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.

    1918: As it prepares to embark for the Front, The British Legion, a Jewish military unit serving in His Majesty’s forces, was ordered to London to march through the East End before proceeding to Southampton.

    1919: Birthdate of Tullia Zevi, Italian journalist, writer and who was the daughter of an anti-fascist Jewish lawyer.

    1920:  France occupies Memel. Memel was one of those cities that had changed hands many times throughout the centuries.  In the 20th century it was passed back and forth between Germany and re-born Lithuania. “The French Governor, who ruled the region on behalf of the Entente, cancelled all restrictions which had been imposed upon the Jews, and thus all the Jewish inhabitants of Memel and the region received citizenship. The Governor nominated a committee of four members, two of them Jews, Moritz Altschul and Leon Rostovsky, as well as one German and a French officer as chairman, to deal with requests for citizenship, as a result of which the number of Jews in Memel increased quickly. The port, the developing commerce, the convenient conditions for developing industry, the possibility to learn a trade and the easing of permission to leave for the west and to Eretz-Israel, motivated many Jews to settle in Memel. The Lithuanian Government, having annexed Memel and the region to Lithuania in 1923, was pleased with the increase of the Jewish population, because the Jews together with the Lithuanians reduced the influence of the German majority.”

    1922: In Jerusalem, Priscilla Lee, daughter of Dr. Henry J. and Josie Wolfe married Joshua Lipavsky.

    1922: Birthdate Shmuel Agmon, the Tel Aviv born mathematician “known for his work in analysis and partial differential equations.”

    1923: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of the modern Turkish Republic declared, “Our country has some elements who gave the proof of their fidelity to the motherland. Among them I have to quote the Jewish element; up to now the Jews have lived in happiness and from now they will rejoice and will be happy.”

    1923: “Nora” a silent film co-starring Fritz Kortner was released today in Germany.

    1926: Arshag Mahdesian, an expert on Armenia wrote today challenging William E. “Pussyfoot” Johnson’s description of Turkey in which described “the Jews” as “aliens who live on the bounty of the Turks

    1926: In Breslau, Rudolf Stern, “a physician, medical researcher and a veteran of the First World War” and “Käthe Brieger Stern,a noted theorist, practitioner, and reformer in the field of education for young children” gave birth to Fritz Richard Stern an “American historian of German history, Jewish history and historiography” whose family had been forced to leave Germany even though “his family had converted to Christianity in the 19th century.

    1927: “Rio Rita” a musical orchestrated and conducted by Max Steiner “premiered on Broadway” today “at the new Ziegfeld Theatre.”

    1927: The Ziegfeld Theater opened at 6th Ave & 54th Street in New York City. After Flo Ziegfeld’s death, Jewish showman Billie Rose would buy the theatre and turn in into his headquarters.  In 1927, the Ziegfeld was the site of the premiere performance of “Showboat”, the musical which owed its lyrics, tunes and literary inspiration to American Jews.

    1927: Birthdate of jazz great, Stan Getz, premier tenor “sax man.” The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Getz was born in Philadelphia but raised in New York.  His father bought Getz his first saxophone at the age of thirteen. Getz gained fame among mainstream music fans when he won a Grammy for his recording of "The Girl from Ipanema" in 1963. 

    1927: Birthdate of Herbert Kaplow, the Manhattan born son of Jewish immigrants who became a leading reporter for NBC and ABC television news.

    1928: In Tel Aviv, Sir Alfred Mond, the Jewish chemist who became a Member of Parliament, says that despite the current level of unemployment, there is no economic crisis in Palestine, since the rate of unemployment is “constantly decreasing.”  After noting growth in the agricultural sector, Mond predicted that the construction of the Haifa harbor would have a positive impact on the country’s economy.  Others living in Palestine do not share Mond’s optimism, claiming that without an infusion of capital to develop the country’s industrial capacity, the employment situation will worsen.

    1929(22ndof Shevat, 5689): Albert Steinrück who played Rabbi Lowe in the early German film classic Golem passed away at the age of 56.  Considering what was about to happen to the Jews of Europe, there is a certain sense of irony in this choice of material for a film.

    1931: Birthdate of Newark, NJ native Judith Viorst the author best known for her children’s books and the wife of fellow Rutgers alum and author Milton Viorst who was on Nixon’s enemies list and whose late-blooming interest in Zionism and the Middle East can be seen in 2016 work Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal

    1931: The first Siyyum of the Talmud celebrated by Daf Yomi students.

    1931: An announcement was made today at a meeting of “Jewish athletic clubs and youth organizations” held at the 92nd Street Y.M.H.A., that the “first world-wide Jewish Olympic games will be held in Tel Aviv next summer and that these groups had come together to “organize the first American chapter of the World Maccabee Union.”

    1933: Hitler met the high command of Germany's officer corps for the first time.  Hitler needed the support of the Army.  The Prussian officer corps looked upon Hitler as an untrustworthy upstart.  They also feared that he would replace the army with the SA, his private army of brown shirted thugs.  Hitler would later make a deal with the high command.  He would get rid of the SA and they would support him.  This gave rise to the Night of Long Knives when Hitler literally killed off the SA and the German military machine embraced Hitler.  Neither World War II nor the Final Solution could have taken place without this alliance of Hitler and the High Command.

    1933: In response to Hindenburg’s appointing Hitler to the post of Chancellor, theFamilienblatt a Jewish weekly newspaper, “declared, that it can hardly stand the idea, that an outspoken anti-Semite is appointed head of government.”

    1933: “Morgenrot” a WW I German submarine movie starring Camilla Spira, the daughter of actor Fritz Spria who died in the Ruma concentration camp in 1943, was released today in Germany three days after Hitler came to power

    1934(17thof Shevat, 5694): Eighty-four year old Columbia University Professor Julius Sachs, a member by birth and marriage of the Goldman-Sachs clan and the founder of Sachs Collegiate Institute passed away today.

    1934: In a letter published today Zionist leader Louis Lipsky criticizes an article published in the Good Gray Lady on January 21 which endorsed the proposal to create Arab and Jewish cantons as the solution to the problems in Palestine.  The Arab canton would include Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa while the Jewish canton would be limited to Tel Aviv and a narrow strip of land that would include the malarial swamps around Lake Hula.  Furthermore, Lipsky contends that the details of the plan which had been published in the Palestine Arab newspaper, Falstin, violate the spirit and letter of the Balfour Declaration to a point where it whittles it down to meaninglessness.

    1934: U.S. premiere of “Hips, Hips, Hooray!,” a comedy directed by Mark Sandrich (Mark Rex Goldstein) with a script by Bert Kalmar, Edward Kaufman and Harry Ruby.”

    1935: “Red Hot Tires” a crime drama written by Dore Schary was released in the United States today by Warner Brothers.

    1935: Sam Winograd, the CCNY grad would become the school’s Athletic Director, led his basketball team to victory over Temple.

    1936: Elfriede Spiro, a Jewish woman whose family had come from Ostrowo in East Prussia, but had fled to Breslau when East Prussia became part of Poland after World War I and then fled to Italy after the rise of Hitler and Italian physicist and Noble laureate Emilio Gino Segre “were married at the Great Synagogue of Rome” – creating a marriage that lasted until October of 1970 when Elfriede passed away and that produced three children (Claudio, Amelia Gertrude Allegra and Fausta Irene)

    1936: In Washington, D.C., Simon Marks, Sir Herbert Samuel and Lord Bearsted are scheduled to address a conference being held to deal with the challenge of settling persecuted European Jews in Palestine.

    1936: Today, the National Conference for Palestine unanimously approved “a complete boycott of all Nazi goods and services” and a pled to support a campaign designed to raise three and half million dollars for building “the national home in Palestine” and providing aid to German Jews seeking to settle there.

    1936: A review of Adventures in Palestine by Marion Rubenstein which provides “a detailed picture of the new life which is being built in the Jewish communities in modern Palestine” as seen through the eyes of three little girls who are refugees from Germany was published today.

    1936: Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Conquest of Troubles” at the Jewish Science Society.

    1936: Rabbi Morton M. Berman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Need Jews Be Communists?” at the Free Synagogue meeting in Carnegie Hall.

    1936: In Cincinnati, Alfred M. Cohen, president of B’nai B’rith presented his annual report to the executive committee in which he “declared that Palestine offers the one substantial hope for the salvation of German Jewry.”

    1937: Birthdate of wrestler Boris Gurevich, the native of Kiev who a gold medal in Mexico City at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that British troops, assisted by aircraft and police, started a major anti-terrorist campaign in the hills around Jenin. Two British soldiers and some 45 Arab brigands were killed. There were also various shooting incidents in Jerusalem.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that at the Revisionist Conference, held in Prague, Vladimir Jabotinsky opposed partition and urged Britain to recognize the whole of Palestine as a Jewish country. "There is plenty of room," he argued, "for both Jews and Arabs to live together."

    1938: In Warsaw, General Wilczynski, the head of the Physical Education Bureau said that the “Aryan paragraph recently introduced  in the by-laws of several sporting organizations excluding Jewish clubs from membership in national organizations” was “unsportsmanlike” and declared it illegal saying that a numerous clause limiting membership based on population percentage should be used instead.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that The Association of Romanian Architects and Engineers expelled all Jewish members.

    1938: The Premier of Rumania, Octavian Goga, issued a written statement today in which “he asserted that anti-Semitism would continue even if he were removed from” office because anti-Semitism which has been part of the National Christian Party for the last fifty years is an “enduring feature of Rumanian policy.”

    1939: In Prague, “two far reaching decrees – one aimed at depriving most Jews of their Czecho-Slovak citizenship and the other at forcing all immigrants to leave the country within six months – are scheduled to be proclaimed today by the government” which will have a devastating effect on  the 10,000 Jews who have become naturalized citizens since 1918.

    1939: Ten year old Zvi Dershowitz, the future rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, “along with his parents Aaron and Ruth and sister Lili” emigrated to New York from Brno.

    1940: U.S. premiere of “I Take This Woman” starring Hedy Lamar, produced by Louis B. Mayer with a script by Ben Hecht and music by Artur Guttmann.

    1942: Churchill ordered Lord Moyne to release the 793 illegal immigrants on board the Darien and allow them to settle in Palestine. 

    1942: Birthdate of Barry Diller former head of Paramount Studios and founder of Fox Television Network.

     1943: Four days before Max Mannheimer's 23rd birthday, he, his mother, father, brothers Ernst (Arnošt) and Edgar, his 15-year-old sister, Katharina (called Käthe), and his 22-year-old wife, Eva (née Bock) were arrested and deported to Auschwitz” where “his parents, sister and wife were taken in the first selection” and where his brothers Erich and Ernst were murdered shortly thereafter.

    1943: Final surrender of German forces at Stalingrad.  This marked the turning point in the war on Eastern Front.  Now the Soviets would go on the offensive.  One of the by-products of the Soviet advances over the next two years would the liberation of several concentration camps including Auschwitz. The defeat at Stalingrad had a negative impact on Hitler’s relationship with the General Staff.  Ideological steadfastness would now become more important than military skill. 

    1944:  Thirty-four days its keel was laid down, the SS Morris Sigman was launched today.  The ship was named after Morris Sigman who served as president of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union from 1923 to 1928.

    1944(8thof Shevat, 5704): Ernst Alexander died today in Berlin.

    1944: Edward Chodorov's "Decision" premieres in New York City

    1944: Allied planes drop bombs on a German shipping port and accidentally kill Jews on the Island of Rhodes in the Jewish quarter.

    1945: An unknown number of inmates attempted to escape from Mauthausen concentration camp.  Located in Austria, Mauthausen was opened in 1938.  It was liberated in May, 1945.  As to the risks and consequences of escaping consider the following account from a camp survivor, ““When someone tried to escape from Mauthausen during the winter, people were forced to march to the camp center where they were forced to stand outside all night in their ragged clothing. Other times when the person who tried to escape was caught, during the winter they would pour water over him and force him to stay out in the freezing cold weather.” When I asked my grandfather if his father ever tried to escape, he replied, “No, he didn’t escape - nor did he try. There was practically no way to escape from those camps, and if they did escape, then the Sudeten people would chase them through the fields. Most of the time they would catch them.”

    1946: The Jewish Chronicle published the citation appointing Captain Newman a Member of the Order of the British Empire” for “his courage and devotion to duty during two clandestine missions in Occupied France.”

    1947(12thof Shevat, 5707): Sixty-three year old David Louis Podell the native of Odessa, who was the son of Mordecai and Minnie Landa Podell passed away today in New York City.

    1949: The Israeli Government in Tel Aviv announced that West Jerusalem was no longer ‘occupied territory’ but an integral part of Israel under civil administration.

    1949: Immigration fever reached its height with approximately one thousand new immigrants a day reaching the shores of Israel.

    1949: Birthdate of Brent Spiner, the actor who plays Commander Data on “Star Trek.”

    1949: "The British military administration in Libya allowed Libyan Jews to travel to Israel.  This brought an end to travel restrictions that had been in force since the start of the Israel War of Independence.  According to Haim Abravanel "on the first day of legal emigration: 'It was snowing for the first time in Tripoli and under the white flakes blown by the wind thousands of poor Jewish wretches ran towards the street where the polices get their passports at last" and sold all of their possessions including "furniture, businesses assets and work tools."  In the next few days, 8,000 passports were issued to Jews who had no idea how they would reach Israel.

    1950(15th of Shevat, 5710): Tu B'Shevat

    1951: U.S. premier of “The Steel Helmet” a Korean War movie directed and produced by Samuel Fuller.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jordan, following a border clash during which an Israeli patrol expelled marauders, accused Israel of "aggression” and invoked the Jordanian-British Treaty of 1948 for protection.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Soviet media embarked on a concentrated “spy and saboteurs hunt," and a "merciless struggle" against the Ukrainian "Jewish bourgeois nationalism and Zionism." (One thing that was left our during the memorial ceremonies commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz last week was any mention of the virulent ant-Semitism that gripped the Soviet Union almost immediately after the war.  If Stalin had not died, the fate of Russian Jewry would have been much different,)

    1954: President Eisenhower reports detonation of 1st H-bomb.  The debate over whether or not to build the H-bomb featured two famous Jewish physicists; each leading a different faction.  Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the A-bomb opposed the building of the H-bomb.  Edward Teller, who was Oppenheimer’s junior and not nearly as illustrious a scientist led those in favor of building the bomb.  Teller’s side won and the rest is history.

    1955: Pinchas Lavon resigned as Israeli Minister of Defense after bitter disagreements with David Ben Gurion, chief of staff Moshe Dayan, and Director General of his office, Shimon Peres. What became known as the Lavon affair concerned a controversial Israeli operation within Egypt. The question of who had prior knowledge was to plague the Israeli political establishment and Ben Gurion in particular for years to come. The Lavon Affair and its investigation commission eventually led to the fall of the government and brought about Ben Gurion's resignation in 1963.

    1957:  Producer Mike Todd and actress Elizabeth Taylor got married.  Ms Taylor converted to Judaism.  Todd was the creator of a form of wide-screen cinema called Todd-A-O.  “Oklahoma” and “Around the World in 80 Days” were both filmed in this manner.

    1957: The UN adopted a resolution calling for Israeli troops to leave Egypt.  This was the beginning of the end of the 1956 Sinai Campaign.  This resolution marked one of the few times in the Cold War when the U.S. and the Soviet Union found common ground.  The Eisenhower Administration resurrected the career of Nasser, the Egyptian dictator by forcing the Israelis to back down.  The Americans would do the same to the British and the French in what would be an example of the law of unintended consequences.  The Americans told their two European Allies that the American nuclear umbrella would not cover them if they did not give into the Russians.  The French gave in, but swore they would never find themselves in this situation again.  This was the driving force behind the French development of their own nuclear weapons and eventual departure from NATO.  As we have said many times before, Jewish history takes place on the stage of world history.

    1959: “The Pride and The Passion” a big screen epic sent during the Napoleonic wars in Spain directed and produced by Stanley Kramer, co-starring Theodore Bikel as “General Jouvet” and with an opening title sequence designed by Saul Bass was released today in Finland.

    1960:  Birthdate of Robert Smigel, a comedy writer, performer, and puppeteer best known as the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a character he created for Late Night with Conan O'Brien and writer for SNL for twenty years.

    1960: David Susskind produced “Juno and the Paycock” broadcast as “The Play of the Week” co-starring Walter Matthau in the role of “Joxer Daly.”

    1962: “Swifty the Great” published today provides a profile of Swifty Lazar, the super-agent who beats out MCA, William Morris and General Artists for clients on a regular business.,33009,829005,00.html

    1963 (8thof Shevat, 5723): Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel passed away.

    1965: In Chicago, “Robinn Schulman, a nurse whose family owned the company that manufactured Shane Toothpaste (now known as AloeSense), and Joseph Steiner, a figurative painter and art instructor, David Steiner, a Zionist and filmmaker who died in an bus crash in Uganda after which he was posthumously ordained as a Rabbi.

    1968: Today, the ill-fated INS Dakar was scheduled to enter her home port; a rendezvous she did not keep.

    1970: The funeral of Frederick Cohen son of Isidore and Leah Cohen is scheduled to take place this afternoon at The Riverside.

    1970: The funeral of Abraham Cahan, husband of Flora Cahan and father of Sanford Cahan and Marjorie Rosenbloom is scheduled to take placed this morning at The Riverside.

    1974: As Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sought to bring a truce to the Middle East, Syrian guns shelled Israeli military position and civilian positions near the Golan Heights.

    1974: Barbra Streisand's 1st #1 hit, "The Way We Were"

    1975: Two people were injured in a terrorist bus bombing in Jerusalem.

    1977: After their F-4E Phantom II was hit by an Israeli artillery shell David Noy and Ilan Erster were recovered after having ejected from their aircraft.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Europe was on an alert as Arab terrorists boasted of having poisoned Jaffa oranges.

    1978: “The Boys in Company C” an early Vietnam era war film co-starring Michael Lembeck was released in the United States today.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli seamen extended their two-week strike to ships with vital cargoes.

    1978: The first staging of International Stud part of a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein opened today at La MaMa, E.T.C., an Off-Off-Broadway theater, where it ran for two weeks

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the indirect behind-the-scenes Israeli-Egyptian negotiations and the face-to-face military negotiations came to a halt with both sides remaining far apart in their search for a political

    1980 (15thof Shevat, 5740): Tu B’Shvat

    1980 (15thof Shevat, 5740): William H Stein, US biochemist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1972 passed away at the age of 68.

    1985: Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues” closed out its world premiere run which had begun on December at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

    1987: A memorial service is scheduled to be held in NYC for Grete Mosheim, a leading Berlin and West German stage actress whose husbands included actor Oscar Homollka and financier Howard Gould and who had fled Germany when Hitler came to power.

    1988: In Itamar Yitro Asheri and his wife gave birth to Eliyahu Pinchas Asheri who was murdered by terrorists belonging to the PRC in 2006.

    1989(27th of Sh'vat, 5749): Marie Syrkin, author, editor, poet, teacher, and outspoken activist for Israel, died at the age of eighty-nine.

    1991: New York Mayor David Dinkins was scheduled to leave on his trip to Israel today.  The trip is designed to show support for Israel during the Persian Gulf War.

    1992: A theater performance benefiting the Tel Aviv Foundation, which helps Russian artists settling in the Tel Aviv area, was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this evening "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," an adaptation of the Tom Stoppard play by Joseph Brodsky, the poet laureate of the United States, was performed in Russian by a Soviet émigré troupe, the Gesher Theater Company, with simultaneous translation into English. A reception honoring Mayor Shlomo Lahat of Tel Aviv followed the performance.

    1993(11thof Shevat, 5753): Eighty-four year old Lithuanian born American violinist Alexander Schneider who was a member of the Budapest String  Quartet passed away today.

    1994(21stof Shevat, 5754): German born Dutch photographer Annemie Wolff whose husband, architect  Helmuth Wolff committed suicide as a part of a failed suicide pact and who compiled a photographic of Dutch suffering under the Nazis passed away today.

    1995(2ndof Adar I, 5755): Eighty-six year old physicist and radiobiologist Tikvah Alper who overcame prejudice against women and Jews and who opposed Apartheid in her native South Africa passed away today.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingBehind the Oval Office Winning the Presidency in the Ninetiesby Dick Morris, For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman by Jonah Raskin and Arnon Grunberg’s Blue Mondays about “a jaded young Jewish man gets kicked out of high school and spends his days in bars, getting fired from jobs, rejecting his parents and his religion, and dropping most of his money on whores before deciding to become one himself.”

    1997(25thof Shevat, 5757): Ninety-one year old Sanford Meisner the actor and acting teacher who founded the Meisner/Carville School of Acting passed away today.

    1998(6thof Shevat, 5758): Eighty-six physicist Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber passed away today. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Welcome to Heavenly Heightsby Risa Miller and What I Saw Reports From Berlin, 1920-1933 by Joseph Roth; translated with an introduction by Michael Hoffman

    2004: Israel killed a leader of Islamic Jihad and three other terrorists in a Gaza raid.

    2006 (4 Shevat, 5766): Paratrooper Yosef Goodman, a member of the elite Maglan unit died in a training accident. Goodman aged 20, originally from New York, lived in Efrat with his parents and siblings. The price of a Jewish state is indeed expensive.

    2007: Israeli author David Grossman was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

    2007: The Jewish Daily Forward published “The Joys of Cedar Rapids.”

    2008(26thof Shevat, 5768): Eighty-two year old Joshua Lederberg who “was just 33 years old when he won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that bacteria can mate and exchange genes” passed away today.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at Temple Judah kicks off the weekend with Super Bowl Shabbat.  The traditional minyan combines Tefillah and Tailgating by observing Shabbat Mishpatim followed by a Kiddush featuring pizza and assorted football munchies.

    2009: At NYU, the David Project Center for Jewish Leadership cosponsors “Tribalism in the Middle East,” a lecture by Mordechai Kedar, professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies at Bar-Ilan University and an expert on Arabic and Muslim Society.

    2009 (8thof Shevat, 5769): Eighty-nine year old Ralph Kaplowitz, who appeared as a member of the Knicks in what is considered the National Basketball Association’s first game in 1946, when Jewish players were often showered with anti-Semitic catcalls, passed away at his home in Floral Park, Queens today.(As reported by Vincent Mallozzi

    2009: Opening session of the 9th annual Herzliya Conference

    2010: Members of the Little Rock Jewish Community are scheduled to meet at The Center of Jewish Life under the auspices of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment and join their co-religionists around the world in the second JLI course titled Portraits in Leadership: Timeless Tales for Inspired Living.

    2010: The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan is scheduled to show “Una Storia Romana” (An Italian Story), a documentary that centers on the round-up of Jews in Rome in 1943 and Jewish attempts to raise the 50 kilos of gold that German demanded as ransom.

    2010: Maggie Anton, author of the trilogy about Rashi’s Daughters is scheduled to speak at The Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Ontario.

    2010: A number of Israel’s leading “Wikipedes” came to the Knesset today, where they reaped the laurels of their efforts, but also leveled a certain amount of criticism toward a lack of government cooperation with their efforts to compile a free online Hebrew-language encyclopedia

    2010: First broadcast of PBS’s service documentary “Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness” which examines how Melville J. Herskovits a Jew who grew up in El Paso, TX came to be considered “the inventor of African American Studies.

    2010: Ninety-one year old Donald Wiseman, the “biblical scholar, archaeologist and Professor of Assyriology at the University of London” passed away today.

    2010: Security forces searched Israel's coastline and closed beaches in the south today after two barrels of explosives washed up on the shores of Ashkelon and Ashdod, north of Gaza.

    2011: The 92ndSt Y is scheduled to present “The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry: Pivotal Figures from a Heroic Era” during which political advisor Richard Perle and Gal Beckerman, author of When They Come For Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, are scheduled to discuss the dramatic Cold War period when American Jewry first became politicized as Jews and Jews behind Russia's Iron Curtain took grave risks in order to win their freedom and emigrate to Israel or the United States.

    2011: Mike Brown signed a three year extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    2011: Esther Friedman, matriarch of a pro-active Zionist family from Netanya and Jerusalem wh died last night at age 94 after several years of serious illness, was buried today on the Mount of Olives.

    2011: The Knesset Constitution Committee approved a modified version of a bill today that would allow some small communities to maintain admissions committees to screen candidates for residency.

    2012: Professor James Kugel is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “In the Valley of the Shadow: Some Thoughts on Serious Illness at Shearith Israel in New York City.

    2012: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a lecture by Miryem-Khaye Seigel entitled “The Broder Singers: Forerunners of the Yiddish Theater.”

    2012: About 200,000 missiles are aimed at Israel at any given time, a top Israel Defense Forces officer said today, adding that Iran's ability to obtain nuclear weapons was solely dependent on the will of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    2012: During his visit to Gaza today, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon urged “the people from Gaza to stop firing rockets into the Israeli side. Indiscriminate killing of people, civilians, is not acceptable, for whatever reasons. Eight rockets were fired into Israel on the eve of Ban’s visit, the IDF said. 

    2012(10thof Shevat, 5772): Seventy-year old Zalman King, “a filmmaker who mixed artistic aspiration, a professed empathy for female sexuality and gauzy photography to bring soft-core pornography to cable television” passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2013: Israel’s No. 1 box-office hit, “The World Is Funny” is scheduled to be shown at the opening of  The 13th Annual Broward County Jewish Film Festival, at the Posnack JCC, in Davie

    2013: The Israel String Quartet is scheduled to perform two string quartets by Beethoven at the Eden-Tami Music Center.

    2013: As the בולטימור רייבנס prepare to square off against the סן פרנסיסקו 49, the traditional minyan at Temple Judah is scheduled to host its annual Super Bowl Shabbat service.

    2013: The Syrian state broadcasters showed the aftermath images of last week's alleged Israeli air strike on the sprawling Jamraya site north-west of Damascus.

    2013: The Los Angeles Times reported that the top contenders in the city’s mayoral race “share strong ties to the Jewish community.” (As reported by Seema Mehta),0,4056368,print.story

    2013: Turkey’s foreign minister blasted Syrian President Bashar Assad for not responding to an alleged Israeli strike on targets in Syria. (As reported by Yoel Goldman)

    2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including An Officer and a Spy, a novel about the Dreyfus Affair by Robert Harris and Trieste, a novel that focuses on the fate of Jews of this city that has belonged to so many nations by Dasa Drndic as well as a “conversation” with Gary Shteyngart, author of the recently published Little Failure.

    2014: Among the ads scheduled to be shown during the Super Bowl is a commercial for “Noah,” director Darren Aronofsky’s  cinematic treatment of the “the righteous man in his generation.” (It will be interesting to see how his version squares with what he learned growing up Jewish in Brooklyn)

    2014: In the UK, scheduled final showing of “Children of the Sun” a documentary about “the children who were part of Israel’s first kibbutzim.”

    2014: “Mike Flanagan, a former British soldier who smuggled two Cromwell tanks to the Haganah in 1948, was buried in the Sha’ar HaAmakim cemetery alongside his wife and son today. (As reported by Marissa Newman)

    2014: “threeASFOUR: MER KA BA” is scheduled to close today.

    2014: “Chagall: Love, War and Exile” is scheduled to close today

    2014: Ynet News reported today that “R abbi Mordechai “Motti” Elon, an Israeli Modern Orthodox leader, will not appeal his conviction on two charges of sexually assaulting a minor.”

    2014: With Israeli politicians pouncing on US Secretary of State John Kerry for allegedly encouraging a boycott against Israel, the State Department issued a statement today urging that Kerry's words be portrayed "accurately."

    2015: In Miami Beach, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a lecture by Genie Milgrom, “How to Find and Prove your Jewish Ancestry from Catholic Inquisition Sources.”

    2015: In New York, the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Echoes of the Borscht Belt” featuring contemporary photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld.

    2015: During an awards ceremony today where the IDF honored many of those who fought “in last summer’s conflict in Gaza” a Distinguished Service Medal was awarded posthumously to twenty-four year old Lt. Eitan Fund “who famously rushed into a tunnel to try and stop the kidnapping of Hadar Goldin during an ambush near Rafah on August 1, 2014.”

    2015: Pianist Roman Rabinovich and Violinist Itamar Zorman are scheduled to perform with Jupiter Chamber Players at the Good Shepherd Church in New York City.

    2015: Anat Gov’s play “Oh God” is scheduled to open at the JCC Manhattan’

    2015(13thof Shevat, 5775): Ninety-two year old screenwriter Stewart Stern passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2016: “The Metropolitan Klezmer” is scheduled to perform at the 92nd Street Y.

    2016(23rdof Shevat, 5776): Ninety-year old breast feeding advocate Dana Raphael passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

    2016: The 92ndStreet Y is scheduled to host “Trials and Error: The NFL Concussion Settlement.” 

    2017: Journalist Paul Martin is scheduled to speak at today’s Learn and Lunch hosted by the Oxford University Jewish Society.

    2017: Coe College is scheduled to host the first session of “The Conflicted Jewish World of Chaim Potok” under the leadership of award winning Physics Professor Steve Feller.

    2017: Lebanon is scheduled to begin an auction for energy rights in an area of the Mediterranean Sea that is claimed by Israel.

    2017: Richard A. Shweder is the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development at the University of Chicago, David Makovsky is the Ziegler Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute, Mark Yudof is Board Chair of the Academic Engagement Network and Milan Chatterjee is one of two recipients of the American Jewish Committee’s inaugural Campus Courage Awards, are scheduled to take part in a panel discussion about BDS on College Campuses at the Streicker Center

    2017: Susan Bachrach, Curator of the special exhibition The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to take part in a discussion “Sports and Politics, Then and Now” at the California African American Museum

    2017: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host the opening “Black Panther Got Loose from the Bronx Zoo: An Exhibition by Ido Michaeli”

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by dinner at the beginning of Parents’ Shabbat.

    2018: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host its Tu B’Shevat Seder and Soup Seder.




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     February 3

    19(12th of Adar, 3779): Dedication of the Temple built by King Herod the Great at Jerusalem

    1112: Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence marry, uniting the fortunes of those two states.  According to archaeological evidence, Jews had been living in both Barcelona and Provence since the first century of the Common Era. “The earliest documentary evidence for the presence of Jews living in Provence dates from the middle of the fifth century in Arles. They were to be found in large numbers in Marseilles at the close of the sixth century.”  The Jewish population in certain parts of Provence would grow in the 14thcentury when the Jews who had been expelled from France found refuge in Provence which at that time was independent from France.  A group of these refugees would be referred to as the Pope’s Jews. Berenguer would pass away in 1131 the same year that Sheshet Benveniste, the “philosopher, physician, diplomatist, Talmudist and poet” who become the leader of the Barcelona Jewish community until his death in 1210 was born.

    1451: Sultan Mehmed II inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire. He conquered Constantinople in 1453. The oppressed Jews were relieved to see him occupy the city. He allowed Jews from today's Greek Islands and Crete to settle in Istanbul. Mehmed II’s declaration read as follows: "Listen sons of the Hebrew who live in my country...May all of you who desire come to Constantinople and may the rest of your people find here a shelter".  Mehmed II invited the Ashkenazi Jews of Transylvania and Slovakia to settle in the Ottoman Empire. The synagogues Ahrida, Karaferya, Yanbol and Cuhadji which were damaged due to a fire were repaired on his order. Based on surviving documents, the Sultan employed at least five Jewish doctors as palace physicians.

    1468: Johannes Gutenberg, father of modern printing, passed away.  Gutenberg was not Jewish.  But the invention of the printing press was a boon to Jewish study and culture.  The people of the book had much easier access to the World of Books.

    1679. Birthdate of Isaac Lampronti, the native of Ferrara and the great-grandson of Constantinople native Samuel Lampronti who became a rabbi and physician “best known as author of the rabbinic encyclopedia Paħad Yitzħak.

    1740: Charles de Bourbon, King of Naples, invited the Jews to return to Sicily in hopes that this would restore flagging trade and commerce industries. Approximately 20 families heeded the call but due in part to an inhospitable welcome by the local community, most soon left.

    1747: A deed dated with today’s date conveyed a half-acre of land in the Township of Lancaster, Pennsylvania from Thomas Cookson to Isaac Nunus Ricus and Joseph Simons "in trust for the society of Jews settled in and about Lancaster, to have and use the same as a burying-ground."“At this time there were about ten Jewish families at Lancaster, including Joseph Simon, Joseph Solomon, and Isaac Cohen, a physician.” The deed is the earliest record of Jewish settlement in Lancaster which was an early and important settlement during the Colonial and post-Revolutionary period of American history

    1749:  Sicily, invited Jews to return to the island ending a three hundred year ban.  The Sicilians believed that the Jews would restore trade to the island and improve its diminished economic conditions.

    1760(16th of Shevat): Rabbi Jonah Nabon, the son of Hanun Nabon part of a distinguished Turkish and Jerusalemite  family that included Rabbi Ephraim ben Aron Nabon who died at Constinople in 1735 and Rabbi Isaac Nabon son of Judah Nabon and the author of Nepah ba-Kessef passed away today

    1761(29th of Shevat): Eliezer ben Samuel Avila, the nephew of  Talmudist Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar and the rabbi at Rabat Morocco who authored Ozen Shemuel passed away.

    1770(8thof Shevat, 5530): Abraham ben Uri Shraga passed away today in London. (However, his tombstone says he died on Sunday, 9th of Shevat which would have been February 4)

    1780: Jacob Pinto, the son of Abraham and Sarah Pinto and Abigail Pinto, his second wife, gave birth to Sarah Pinto

    1781: During the American Revolution British Admiral George Bridges Rodney seized St. Eustatius which would set the stage for the worst outbreak of anti-Semitism during the war.

    Instead, Rodney assigned a sizable part of his naval force to protecting the convoy. Rodney's occupation of Statia began on February 3rd, 1781. Already, in a report of March 5, 1781, General Vaughan advised Rodney against attempting to keep the island. Rodney did not follow Vaughan's advice. Professing to be ailing, but evidently swayed more by consolidating the riches gained than with geopolitics, he departed for England, leaving a garrison of 670 men behind on decimated Statia, and assigned a naval contingent to protect them.

    1786: Birthdate of Whilhelm Gesenius author of two books “of particular interest to English-speaking students of Hebrew – “a Latin work, the Lexicon Manuale Hebraicum et Chaldaicum in Veteris Testamenti Libros, and a corresponding issue of the German work, Hebräisches und Chaldäisches Handwörterbuch über das Alte Testament” – which were the forerunner of the Brown Driver Biggs lexicon

    1802(1stof Adar I, 5562): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1802(1stof Adar 1, 5562): Seventy-five year old the third child of Isaac and Beila Levy passed away today in Baltimore, MD.

    1807(25th of Shevat): Meir Posner of Danzig, the rabbi of the Schottland Congregation in Danzig and the author of Bet Meir a commentary on the Shulchan Aruk  passed away

     1809:  In Hamburg, Germany the banker Abraham Mendelssohn, the son of the German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and Lea Salomon, a member of the Itzig family and a sister of Jakob Salomon Bartholdy gave birth to Felix Mendelssohn the famous composer who was not Jewish and that is what makes him significant in terms of Jewish History.  His grandfather was Moses Mendelssohn, the founder of Reform Judaism.  Felix was baptized and raised as a Protestant. His detractors point out that he wrote oratorios for the Church instead of music for the synagogue.  Others see him clinging to a vestige of his Jewish roots in choosing to write an oratorio called Elijah andsetting Psalm 100 to music.  Ironically, the German composer Richard Wagner cited Mendelssohn when he attacked the Jewish influence on German music.  Hitler and the Nazis were not the first Germans to see the Jews as a race for whom conversion to Christianity was not a solution to "the Jewish Problem."  Regardless of any sentimental attachments Moses Mendelssohn may have felt for the faith of his grandfather, he died in 1847 as a Protestant.  The Jewish line of Mendelssohn had disappeared.

    1810: In Chrast, Leopold and Theresia Frankl gave birth to Ludwig August von Frankl, the Bohemian born Austrian author and poet.

    1816(4th of Shevat): Rabbi David ben Mordecai of Brody, author of Yefe Einayim passed away today.

    1821: The government of the grand duchy of Baden asked Aron Chorin, a Hungarian rabbi who was an advocate for Reform “for his opinion about the duties of a rabbi, and about the reforms in the Austrian states. Chorin answered by writing Iggeret Elasaf, or Letter of an African Rabbi to His Colleagues in Europe, which was published by M. I. Landau (Prague, 1826). In it he stated that the Torah comprised religious truths and religious laws, the latter partly applicable only in Palestine, partly obligatory everywhere. These may be temporarily suspended, but not entirely abolished, by a competent authority, such as a synod. Only ordinances and precautionary laws which are of human origin may be abrogated in conformity with the circumstances of the time. As for mere customs and usages (minhagim), the government, after having consulted Jewish men of knowledge, may modify or abolish them; but in no other way may it interfere with religious affairs. Chorin also pleaded for the establishment of consistories, schools, a theological seminary, and for the promotion of agriculture and professions among the Jews. Some of these ideas he carried out in his own congregation, which included a great number of mechanics. He succeeded in founding a school, and introducing liturgical reforms into the synagogue; even an organ was installed at his instance. He permitted the eating of rice and pulse during the days of Passover. To his theory of a synod regulating and modifying Jewish laws and customs, Chorin always adhered. In his Treue Bote (Prague, 1831) he declared himself against the transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, but expressed the opinion that, considering the requirements of our time, synods might mitigate the severity of the Sabbatical laws, especially in regard to traveling and writing.

    1826: In Mikuloc, Moses Spitzer and his wife gave birth to Viennese mathematician Simon Spitzer.

    1830:  The sovereignty of Greece was confirmed in a London Protocol marking the end of the Greek War of Independence which had raged from 1821 until 1829. “By supporting the Ottoman Empire, the Jews curried disfavor with the Christian Orthodox Greeks. Thousands of Jews were massacred alongside the Ottoman Turks. The Jewish communities of Mistras, Tripolis, Kalamata and Patras were completely destroyed. A few survivors moved north to areas still under Ottoman rule.”  The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki dated from the 17thcentury and would become one of the largest Jewish communities as Greece developed its national identity during the rest of the 19th century.

    1830: Birthdate of Lord Salisbury, who became an ally of Benjamin Disraeli and who as Foreign Secretary represented the UK at the Congress of Berlin where he worked to make sure that Romania honored its commitment to give equal rights of citizenship to the newly created kingdom.

    1833: In Posen, Prussia, Dr. Siegmund Zabulon Dembitz and Francesca Whele gave birth to Lewis N. Dembitz the Louisville, KY, lawyer and husband of Wilhelmina Wehle who helped to nominate Abraham Lincoln at the 1860 Republican National Convention who may be best known for being the uncle of Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the first Jewish Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    1834: In London, England Dr. Many and Hannah Emanuel  gave birth to Louis Manly Emanuel, the 1860 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School who served with the 88th Regiment of the Union Army from the Peninsula Campaign to the surrender at Appomattox and died prematurely after the war due to the deterioration of his health brought on by his military service.

    1834: The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina establishes the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, today known as Wake Forest University. Based on recent statistics, there are 80 Jewish students among the 4,000 undergraduate student body.  The school offers 21 Jewish studies courses.  Jewish students use the Hillel at UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    1836: Edward Levy Green married Amelia Hart at the Great Synagogue today.

    1841(12thof Shevat, 5601): M.H. Landauer, the son of Cantor Elias Landauer, who served as the Rabbi of Braunsbach and who wrote several works on the Kabala and Zohar passed away today.

    1842(23rd of Shevat): Abraham Stern an inventor of mechanical calculators and one of the few it not the only Jewish member of the Warsaw Society of Friends passed away. He is buried at the Bródno Jewish Cemetery which “was opened in 1780 by Szmul Zbytkower, a Polish Jewish merchant and financier, who donated the land for that purpose.”

    1843: Today’s edition of The Voice of Jacob provided information about London financier Levi Salomons who had passed away in January of 1843.

    1846: Philadelphian Jefferson H. Nones, who would serve “gallantly” at the Siege of Puebla during the war with Mexico, completed his training as a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy.

    1848: The German version of “Elijah” “an oratorio written by Felix Mendelssohn” that depicts events described in the Book of Kings about the Israelite Prophet which had “premiered in 1846 at the Birmingham Festival” premiered today in Leipzig “a few months at the composer’s death.

    1849: Birthdate of Nahida Ruth (nee Sturmhofel) Lazarus the Berlin born author of The Jewish Woman who converted to Judaism after the death of her first husband Max Remy and who then married Professor Mortiz Lazarus.

    1851: Brigadier General James Totten and his wife gave birth to Charles A.L. Totten the graduate of West Point and Yale University professor who “engaged in a genealogical exercise, attempting to prove the Davidic ancestry of the British royal family” and who supported “the project of restoring Palestine to the Jews…through the medium of an international conference.”

    1853: Today, Hyam Joseph, one of the earliest Jewish settlers of the Sandwich Islands, sent a letter with a business order to San Francisco, CA

    1854: In "American Slavery" published today, Henry Ward Beecher draws a distinction between slavery as practiced among Abraham and the Jews and American Slavery. "Hebrew slavery admitted that a slave was a man with all appropriate human responsibilities and made ample provision for his civil and religious instruction."  American slavery stands upon the fundamental idea that a slave is chattel, not a man; and it makes teaching him to read a penitentiary offense."  Beecher was the father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Slave owners and their supporters used the Bible as one of their defenses for that "peculiar institution" saying that if slavery was acceptable in the Bible it was acceptable today.  People like Beecher, who knew their Bible and something of ancient Israelite culture quickly challenged this bogus comparison.

    1858: "The Last Moments of Rachel" published today quotes a letter from French author Mario Uchard to dramatist Victorien Sardou in which he described the final days and death of Rachel Félix the Alsatian born Jewess better known as Mademoiselle Rachel, the famous  French actress.

    1860: Today's review of "Oliver Twist," the dramatic version of Charles Dickens novel of the same name reported that "the most salient triumph of the play, however, it must be said, is won by" Mr. J.W. Wallack, Jr., "who makes Fagin the Jew the fearful, odious and miserable creature that Dickens, working then in the May-time of his genius, summoned into being. The scene in which the wretched Fagin's driveling despair at the advance of death is painted by Mr. Wallack rises far above the level of melodrama. It is eloquent with the results of close and sincere study, vivified by the intense light of a quick and vigorous imagination." [Dickens'"Fagan" is seen by some of being symptomatic of 19th century British anti-Semitism.]

    1860: It was reported that today that “The Vienna Gazette has published an Imperial decree, enacting that the testimony of Jews, in future shall be regarded of the same value as that of Christians. The measure is considered preliminary to according them full civil and political rights. "

    1862: During the Civil War, Captain Leopold Meyer of Philadelphia began his service with Company C of the 113th Regiment of the 12th Cavalry of the Union Army.

    1863: During the Civil War,” a fishing smack, containing three Jews,” was seized tonight on Lake Pontchartrain as it made its way to Ponchatoula, a Louisiana town still held by the Confederates. The boat contained “a large quantity of medicines for the rebels” and letters from forty or fifty leading citizens in New-Orleans which were addressed to persons of authority in the Confederate Government.

    1865: In Amsterdam, Jozef Israëls, “one of the most respected painters of the Hague School, and Aleida Schaap,” gave brith to Dutch painter  Isaac Israëls who was also a popular and award winning painter whose subjects included  Magaretha Gertrud Zelle, better known as the German spy Mata Hari

    1865: During the Civil War, the 27th Ohio Infantry including Jacob C. Cohen arrived at Salkehatchie Swamp, SC, as Sherman’s Army pursued the Rebels under Johnston trying to reach Robert E. Lee.

    1866(18th of Shevat, 5626): Joseph Bach passed away in Budapest. Born in 1784, he was a Hungarian rabbi. After I. N. Mannheimer, he was the first German preacher of a Jewish congregation in Austria-Hungary.mIn Alt-Ofen, his birthplace, he began to ground himself early in life in the study of the Talmud. Without the aid of a teacher he studied several foreign languages; after which he attended the University of Prague, remaining there 12 years. Then he returned to his home town, where he married the daughter of a wealthy family, and settled down as a merchant. It was not long, however, before he lost his entire fortune and was left penniless. Destitute of the means of subsistence, he was constrained to accept a situation as teacher. In 1827, despite having never studied homiletics, and had never heard or read a sermon, he was appointed first preacher at the newly organized synagogue of Pest, where he officiated for over thirty years. Many of his sermons have been published. An autobiography, with a preface by Kayserling, was published by his son in Budapest.

    1869: Birthdate of Ludwig Lesser, the Berlin native who’s fame as an award winning landscape did not keep him from having to flee to Sweden with his son Richard in 1939 after the Nazis came to power.

    1871: In Pilsen, Rabbi Heinemann Vogelstein, a leader of the Reform movement in Germany and his wife gave birth to Ludwig Vogelstein an industrialist who served as Vice President of the World Union Progressive Judaism, and in keeping with his leadership in the Reform movement, an opponent of Zionism.

    1872: Salomon Jacobs, a Jewish peddler, was sentenced to six months in the penitentiary for picking the pocket of sewing girl in New York City.

    1874: In Allegheny, PA, Daniel and Amellia Stein gave birth to American modernist writer Gertrude Stein.

    1875: It was reported today that the committee that has been investigating the management of the Hebrew Benevolent Asylum has concluded that Mr. Meyer Stern and his colleagues were guilty of the charges made against them. While the committee has no legal standing, its investigation has resulted in putting an end to the practices of which they were accused.

    1876: The trial of Pesach N. Rubenstein, a Polish Jew charged with the murder of his cousin Sara Alexander, was scheduled to resume today.

    1876: In New York, 21 year old Therese Schiff (Loeb) and Jacob Henry Schiff gave birth to Frieda Fanny Warburg.

    1878: “Ceremonies of Judaism: Their Meaning and Observance,” a lengthy article that described the ceremonial practices of the Jewish people including their Biblical origins was published in the New York Times. [One could hardly imagine an article like this appearing in a major European daily.]

    1879: In New York, the Controller appeared at today’s meeting of the Board of Apportionment and reported that the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Association was one of the charities that had made application to receive a portion of the excise moneys collected in 1878.

    1879: Birthdate of Guy Gillette, the United States Senator from Iowa who became an outspoken supporter of the Zionist cause and served as President of the American League for a Free Palestine. [In those days, references to Palestine were Jewish, not Arab.  I am still researching the path that led a person from the small northwest Iowa town of Cherokee to support the creation of the state of Israel especially when you consider that in Iowa, unlike some of other states,  there was no “Jewish vote” of any major importance.]

    1885: In Modena, Italian merchant Salvatore Donati whose family traces its origins to back to the 16th century and his wife gave birth to banker, philanthropist and diplomat Angelo Donati who played a key role in rescuing Jews during WW II.

    1887: Famed explorer Henry M. Stanley, the man who “found” Dr. Livingston, left Cairo to day so that he could join the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition and assume his role as active leader. Emin Pasah had been into a German family who named him Isaak Eduard Schnitzer.

    1880: It was reported today that the Russian government is planning to change the law so that Jews have the same rights of other citizens as part of measures to be enacted as part of the Silver Anniversary of the Czar’s coming to the throne.

    1880: The German Women’s Society for Aiding Poor and Sick Widows and Orphans held their annual meeting this afternoon at Steinway Hall.  Originally, the organization had been limited to Lutheran members. By the time of this meeting membership had been opened to include Jews as well as members of other Christian denominations.

    1885: Birthdate of Modena, Italy native Angeolo Donati, the banker, philanthropist and diplomat who saved “Jews from Nazi persecution in Italian-occupied France.”

    1890: “The Jews of France” published today cites claims in Fiagro and Gaulois that anti-Semitism in France  is based on a belief that Republican Government favors the Jews and that the Rothschids were responsible for the “ruin of the Union General.” 

    1891: In Paris, France, Albert Lazard and Camille Lazard gave birth to Jacques Michel Adolphe Lazard the husband of Georgette Lazard.

    1891: It was reported today that 160 Jewish families from Russia are scheduled to arrive in the Twin Cities this week.  They are planning on forming an agricultural colony that has the financial backing of Baron Hirsch.

    1891: Sarah Bernhardt and her company are scheduled to open their four week long “American season at the Garden Theatre” this evening with a performance of “La Tosca” which “will be followed by performances of “Cleopatra,” “Theodora,” “Fedora” and “Jeanne d’Arc.”

    1892: Russia closed down Yeshiva of Volozhin.

    1893: The will of the late Simon Davidson, a retired Jewish merchant whose home had been on East 56th Street in Manhattan was filed for probate today.

    1894(27thof Shevat, 5654): Parashat Mishpatim

    1894(27thof Shevat, 5654): “The Belzer Rabbi, Yehoshua Rokeach, the eldest son of Rabbi Sholem Rokeach, the founder of the Belzer Dynasty,” who “after his father’s death in 1855 maintained the Belz Dynasty for forty years” passed away today. (As reported by Joseph Margoshes)

    1894: Birthdate of Gertrud "Trude" Kiesler (née Lichtwitz) the mother of actress Hedy Lamarr.

    1894: A group of unemployed Jews clashed with police outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London today.

    1895: “Russia’s Jewish Problem” published today provides a detailed review of The Russian Jews; Extermination or Emancipation by Leo Errera. (He was a Belgian born Jewish botanist who works on anti-Semitism “under the pseudonym "Un vieux juif” which is German for "an old Jew"

    1896: In Berlin, movie producer Jules Greenbaum and Emma Karstein gave birth to cinematographer Mutz Greenbaum.

    1898: It was reported today that a decision will not be made for at least week in “the libel suit brought by Joseph Reinach against Henri Rochefort who charged Mousier Reinach with intending to prove Alfred Dreyfus’s innocence by means of forged documents.” The judicial proceedings took place for spectators who quickly turned into a mob of jeering anti-Semites.

    1899: It was reported today Israel Zangwell is expected to speak at the opening session of the Hebrew Fair which will be held at the Tuxedo.

    1899: In New York, founding the Yiddish daily the Jewish Abend-Post.

    1900(4thof Adar I, 5660): Parashat Terumah

    1900(4thof Adar I, 5660): Forty-seven year old Paul Aaron Calmann-Lévy, the son of Kalmus Calmann Lévy and Pauline Levy and the husband of Dorothée Calmann-Levy passed away today in Paris.

    1901: Herzl sets out on a journey to London and Paris that will last until the 15thof the month.

    1901: The Huvra Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter was the scene of a standing room only memorial service for Queen Victoria led by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Samuel Salant.

    1902: In London Suzannah and Herbert Bentwich gave birth to Joseph Bentwich who made Aliyah in 1924 when he began teaching the Herzilya Hebrew Gymnasium.  He spent almost three decades at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa as a teacher and principal. He passed away in 1982.

    1904: Herzl telegraphs back that he can take up the British proposal of new territory in Nandi only after the most careful investigation.

    1906: “Letters from Gomel appearing in the newspapers declare unanimously that the anti-Jewish outrages in that town were perpetrated with the open connivance of the authorities” and cited “numerous instances…of soldiers blackmailing unfortunate Jews who were seeking to save the remnants of their movable property.”

    1906: The American Jewish Committee was formed. It was headed by Judge Mayer Sulzberger, a leader in the fight for liberal immigration laws. Its aims included the protection of civil and religious rights of Jews all over the world. Among its founders were Dr. Cyrus Adler, Louis Marshall and Jacob H. Shiff.

    1907: Birthdate of author James Michener.  Michener was not Jewish.  But his novel, The Source, is one of the least painful ways to gain an overview of Jewish History

    1909: In Paris, two Alsatian Jews – Saolomea and Dr. Bernard Weil gave birth to French mystic and Resistance fighter Simone Weil.

    1910(24thof Shevat, 5670): Sixty-three year old Josephine Lazarus, author of The Spirit of Judaism passed away.

    1912(15thof Shevat, 5672): As the Jews celebrate the New Year of the Trees, American politicians begin to gear up for a New Political Year – the presidential elections of 1912.

    1913: Birthdate of Milton Lipson, a lawyer and investigator who, as a Secret Service agent from 1938 to 1946, was a personal bodyguard for Presidents Roosevelt and Truman.

    1913: The two day “annual convention of District Grand Lodge No. 1 of the B’nai B’rith” which included a dinner at Delmonico’s where Jacob Furth of St. Louis addressed the attendees, a ball at Sherry’s and the election of Dr. Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El as the President came to an end in New York.

    1913: The New Jersey Conference of Charities and Corrections of which Newark, NJ Rabbi Solomon Foster served as a member of the Executive Committee continued meeting for a second day in Plainfield, NJ today.

    1913: The Junior Auxiliary of the Mothers’ Aid of the Chicago Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary is scheduled to be held in the Vestry of Rooms of Isaiah Temple this afternoon.

    1914: It was reported today that “all restrictions on the length of sojourn to be permitted in Russia to Jewish physicians who wish to attend the Twelfth International Ophthalmological Congress in St. Petersburg” that will run from July 28 to August 2, 1914.

    1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee were the Ladies Benevolent Society, Albany, GA; Temple De Hirsch, Seattle, Washington; the House of Israel, Hot Springs, AR; Adath Moshe, Athens, GA; Temple Israel Ladies, Wilmington, NC and the Hebrew Drama Club, Columbus, Ohio.

    1915: Ottoman forces attempt to cross the Suez Canal but are repelled by the British. The Turks then turn towards Beersheba in Palestine after suffering near 2000 casualties.

    1915:  In what would prove to be one of the opening rounds in the battle for the control of Palestine, Turkish troops arrive at the Suez Canal after having marched 130 miles through the Sinai Peninsula.

    1916: The American Jewish Relief Committee announced today that it has received “to date” contributions in cash and pledges totaling $2,112,048.71.

    1916: “In an interview” today the “President of the American Tariff Reform League stated that the organization…was entirely in accord with the sentiments expressed by Jacob Schiff in a speech before the Reform Club” in which he declared “war will never cease until we have worldwide free trade and the only way to render preparedness unnecessary is to the Custom Houses and the tariff walls and have international free trade.:

    1916: It was reported today that the American Jewish Relief Committee had received the following contributions from committees throughout the United States and Canada including $305 from the Calgary Committee and $1,000 from the Des Moines Committee as well as $250 from the Staunton Christian Churches.

    1917: The response of Felix Warburg, the chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, to Germany’s announcement of a return to unrestricted submarine warfare published today, read, in part “Germanys note to the United States announcing a ruthless submarine warfare against neutral and other ships has stopped negotiations begun by the Joint Distribution Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers and which had for its object the sending of the German liners interned here to Syria and Belgium”

    1917: During the second to the last year of World War I, British troops occupied Baghdad. After suffering heavily by forced conscription, torture and extortion by the Turkish ruled government, local Jews celebrated their freedom by declaring it a holiday (Yom Ness). Their freedom lasted until 1929 when the British granted independence to Iraq and all Zionist activities were prohibited.

    1917: Birthdate of William Frankel, the son of Isaac Franekl, the beadle of an Orthodox London Synagogue, who became editor of the “Jewish Chronicle,” a British weekly newspaper.

    1918: The Jewish Press Bureau reported from Stockholm “that the Dutch Zionist Federation has published a protest against the non-participation of a Jewish representative in the Brest-Litvosk peace negotiations” despite the fact that “the rights of millions of Jews as a national minority are being decided there.”

    1918:  In the Bronx, Jacob Gottlieb, a bicycle repairman and Anna Siegel Gottlieb gave birth to Joseph Abraham Gottlieb who gained fame as Joey Bishop whose career spans the entire spectrum of a Jewish comic's life - Vaudeville, Burlesque, the Catskills, Las Vegas, Movies, and Television.  Many remember him as one of ABC's attempts to imitate the popular Johnny Carson Show.  The shows only lasting contribution was introducing Regis Philburn to America.  His other claim to fame was being part of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack which included another famous Jewish entertainer, Sammie Davis, Jr.

    1918: Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, a Member of Parliament visiting the United States on Government business today “urged that no obstacles be put in the path of the Palestine restoration movement” saying that “the Jewish State should include all of the territory of twelve tribes ”stretching from Dan to Beersheba

    1919: Today, Chaim Weizmann, the leader of the Zionist delegation, presented the case for a Jewish homeland together with a map of the proposed entity. The statement supported the creation of a mandate entrusted to Britain and described the Jewish historical connection with the area. It also declared that the proposed borders and resources were “essential for the necessary economic foundation of the country” including “the control of its rivers and their headwaters”.

    1919: It was reported today that Herman Bernstein, “who has just returned from Siberia” is no longer editor of the American Hebrew having been replaced by Isaac Landman.

    1920(14th of Shevat, 5680): In New York, Rabbi Isaac C. Noot passed away at the age of 80.

    1920(14thof Shevat, 5680): In her 57th year, Lena Reich, the wife of Bernard Rech and the mother of Mrs. Louis E. Beiber passed away today in New Rochelle, NY.

    1920(14thof Shevat, 5680): Mae Reichman, the wife of Samuel Reichman and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Goldberger passed away today in New York.

    1921: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise officiated at the marriage of Arthur M. Schwartz and Rosaline Steifel at St. Regis Hotel “followed by a wedding breakfast for about 40 guests.”

    1921: Dr. Bernard Drachman officiated at the wedding of William Freiber and Regine Weiss, “the niece of Charles M. and Henrietta H. Fergess” at the Hotel McAlpin.

    1921: In Washington, DC, Samuel Zallman Alpher and Rose Raise Alher gave birth to Ralph Ahser Alpher the physics professor at Union College, mathematician and provider of the model for the Big Bang Theory which was the subject of his 1948 Ph.D. dissertation.

    1921: In the Bronx, jewelry salesman Milton Kalish and his wife, the former Helen Rosenfeld gave birth to Austin Kalish script writer today. (As reported by Anita Gates)

    1922: Residents of Bridgeport, CT heard a broadcast carried by WDY and KDKA that included the singing of Eddie Cantor in one of his first, if not his first venture, into the world of Radio.

    1922: “Masters of the Sea” a “silent adventure film directed by Alexander Korda” and co-starring his wife Maria was released in Austria today.

    1924: Birthdate of famed timpanist and baton maker Richard Samuel Horowitz, the Bronx native who was the son of “a cellist in silent-picture orchestras and movie theatre projectionist “and a “violin and piano teacher.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1924: “The Marriage Circle” a silent film directed and produced by Ernst Lubitsch was released today in the United States.

    1924: In the back of their dress shop in East Harlem, Daniel and Fanny Gelb gave birth to “Timesman” Arthur Neal Gelb. (As reported by Sam Roberts.

    1925: In Chicago, Irene (née Marks) and Nathan Berman gave birth Sheldon Berman who gained fame as comedian Shelly Berman who was part of a group of early monologists who along with Mort Sahl and Bob Newhart, created a golden age of stand-up comedy.  Berman's specialties included a "series of neurotic schlemiels" and "benign Lenny Bruce characters." He also appeared in a few short-lived comedy series.

    1926: Birthdate of Vivien Wax Nearing, the New York attorney who dethroned Charles Van Doren as champion on “Twenty-One” the popular quiz show on NBC.  She survived as champion for four weeks.  Ms Nearing was one of fourteen contestants who were exposed for cheating during subsequent investigations into the quiz show scandal.

    1928: When Albert D. “Dolly” Stark was “added to the National League umpiring staff” today, he became the first Jew to serve as an umpire in the Major Leagues in modern times.

    1931: In Brooklyn, Arthur Levitt, Sr. and his wife gave birth to Arthur Levitt, Jr. who served as Chairman of the S.E.C. from 1993 to 2001.

    1931: It was reported today that the Zionist Executive Committee has sent a message of condolence to the family of the Reverend William H. Hechler who has just passed away at the age of 86.  Hechler was a Protestant minister who was an early supporter of Zionism and the work of Theodor Herzl.

    1932: Birthdate of Maria Itkina, the native of Roslavl the track star who competed in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics.

    1933: Influential art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen, “was raised to the peerage as Baron Duveen.”  He was the oldest child of Sir Joseph Joel Duveen, the Dutch born Jew who had settled in England where established a firm that dealt in the trading of antiquities. 

    1934: “The anti-Semitic ‘Prophecy’ attributed to Benjamin Franklin” that has been distributed in Germany was actually first published today in Liberation, “the organ of the Silver Shirts, a secret Fascist body headed by William Dudley Pelley” founded in Asheville, NC

    1934: Jesuit Father M. Barbera reviewed Alfred Rosenberg's Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (The Myth of the Twentieth Century) for La Civiltà Cattolica. The book, published in Germany in 1930, had strongly endorsed Article 24 of the Nazi Party Program of 1920, which said that the party "stands for a new `positive Christianity.'" This new cult would abolish the "Jewish" Old Testament, purge the New Testament of humanitarian and pacifist themes, and create a German church anchored in blood, race, and soil. The party program and the book itself constituted a direct challenge to Catholics and Protestants alike, and Father Barbera was not delicate in his response. Because of the book's emphasis on the superiority of the pure "Aryan" race and its distortions of Christian history and teachings, he unequivocally rejected it as a "subversion of the very foundations of Religion and the Christian State." He did not mention Rosenberg's anti-Semitism.

    1935(30thof Shevat, 5695): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1936: The Federal Council of Churches of Christ hosted a luncheon at the Aldine Club at which Sir Herbert Samuel and Viscount Bearsted made a plea to Catholic, Protestant and Jewish clergyman for support in financing the emigration of young Jews from Germany.

    1936: The English-Speaking Union hosted a reception for Sir Herbert Samuel, the former British Home Secretary, during which he urged cooperation between the United States and Great Britain “to promote world peace and liberty.”

    1937: It was reported today the Richard Walter Darre, the Reich Minister of Agriculture has written The Pig Murder, a book that “deals with the killing of 9,000,000 pigs in 1915” which he says was part of a Jewish plot to destroy the basis of the German self-nourishment system” and to aid in the allied blockade that was so harmful to the German war effort.

    1938: In Bucharest, “Foreign Minister Istrate Micescu told the cabinet council that he had scored a success over the Jews in Geneva” where the League of Nations had given Rumania “a free hand to carry out revision of Jews’ citizenship” and said that it will not consider any complaints brought by Jews against that government until Rumania has “put forth its explanations.

    1938: It was reported today that while Great Britain is broadcasting messages in Arabic designed to counteract “Mussolini’s persistent anti-British propaganda and to bring about peace in Palestine between Arabs and Jews” Sir Oswald Mosley, the English fascist leader is among those sending anti-Jewish literature to Arabs and to British officials in Palestine with intention of exacerbating tensions in the Holy Land.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the third British soldier was killed in the battle near Jenin. While more than 50 Arab terrorists were killed, the number of their wounded could not be estimated. In Safed Arabs refused to attend the funeral of an Arab policeman branded as a traitor and murdered by Arab terrorists. The Palestine government approved the Post's suggestion that both Arab and Jewish buses should be of the same color, to make them indistinguishable and less prone to Arab terrorist snipers.

    1939: “The British Government accepted an offer by President Roosevelt’s Advisory Committee on Refugees to send an expert commission to investigate the possibilities” settling Jewish refugees in British Guiana

    1939: “A large number of prominent Finish citizens of all parties started a nation-wide collection” to raise funds to support the destitute refugees from Central Europe, most of whom are Jews from Germany “who have sought temporary refuge in Finland.

    1939: In Budapest, The Dohány Street Synagogue “was bombed by the Hungarian pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party” today after which it was “used as base for German Radio and a stable during WW II.”

    1940(24thof Shevat, 5700): Eighty-two year old librettist Viktor Léon whose best known work was the operetta “The Merry Widow” passed away today

    1941: Esther "Etty" Hillesum, young Jewish women whose diaries about life in Holland under Nazi occupation were published posthumously, went to serve as "model" to the psycho-chirologist Julius Spier, at the Courbetstraat 27 in Amsterdam.

    1941: Birthdate of Toronto native and “Canadian historian of the Holocaust” Michel Robert Marrus the author of such works as Vichy France and the Jews and “one of three Jewish scholars appointed to the International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission to investigate the role of the Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.”

    1943: U.S. premiere of “Air Force,” a film based on a real event that took place in WW II produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack Warner and staring John Garfield and featuring George Tobias, playing a role for which he was born – a Jew from Brooklyn serving in the crew of a B-17

    1943: Leon Blum “wrote to a friend, one Madame Camel: “I received your package from Noch. The ham hock was wonderful. I haven’t yet eaten the prunes, but I know the species and look forward to eating them. … The household routine remains the same, except that occasionally new guards appear from outside.”

    1943: After visits from René Bousquet, the secretary-general of the Vichy police and the man responsible for the July 1942 roundup of French Jews, and the no less redoubtable Colonel Helmut Knochen of the SS, representing Himmler, today Leon Blum was removed from Bourrassol by German troops.

    1943: Eva-Marie Buch, who “worked for the Schutze-Boysen-Harnack resistance group (The Red Orchestra)” “was sentenced to death by the People’s Court.”

    1943(28th of Shevat, 5703):  The Allied troopship S.S. Dorchester was torpedoed by a German sub and went down with a loss of 600 lives. As it sank, four chaplains calmly ministered to the needs of their comrades-in-arms and gave up their lifejackets to shipmates, thereby perishing in the icy waters. The bravery of Rabbi Alexander Goode, Father John Washington, Rev. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed), and Rev. George Lansing Fox (Methodist) led Congress afterward to mark February 3rd as "Four Chaplains Day."

    1944: The 67th train in eighteen months left Drancy for Birkenau. Upon their arrival 985 of the 1,214 deportees were gassed; of them 184 where children under 18 year of age.

    1944: Two weeks after his wife Elizabeth had become a United States citizen, Hungarian born photographer André Kertész became a U.S. citizen today.

    1944: Sydney Shumelson, a 29-year-old junior officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), was part of a Buffalo Beaufighter Squadron that successfully attacked a Nazi convoy off the coast of Norway. On the way back, Shumelson engaged in a running dogfight with a Messerschmitt for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. “Six months later, Sydney participated in another sortie in which he and his comrades sunk two heavily defended warships in the Bay of Biscay. As a result of his service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and became the highest decorated Canadian Jewish serviceman in World War II.”

    1944: “The Fighting Sullivans” a WW II biopic about five brothers from Waterloo, IA, produced by Sam Jaffe was released in the United States today.

    1945: Colonel Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal led the entire Third Division, an armada of 1,000 B-17’s, on a raid on Berlin.

    1946: The Royal Air Force reported that “six uniformed men held up an RAF medical rehabilitation unit in Tel Aviv tonight and stole eighteen weapons.”

    1946: Seventy-nine year old English novelist Edward Phillips Oppenheim who was incorrectly “widely perceived as Jewish and was termed ‘the greatest Jewish writer since Isaiah’” passed away today.

    1946: In Jerusalem, “police and military authorities announced today that the curfew that had barred pedestrians from streets in Jewish quarters would be lifted tomorrow.  The curfew has been in effect for sixteen nights.

    1946: Among the 12,000 Canadian military personnel who arrived at Pier 90 in New York aboard The Big Bess was comedian Lou Herman of Toronto who performed in Italy and Northern Europe “with his rifle on the alert, never sure when an enemy attack might be made.”

    1949: The Provisional State Council which acted as the legislature for the state of Israel until the election of the first Knesset held its last meeting today.

    1949: “The Bribe,” an American crime film directed by Robert Z. Leonard, produced by Pandro S. Berman and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was released in the United States today.

    1950: Morton Gould and his wife gave birth to their third child and first daughter Abby.

    1951: In Philadelphia, President Harry S. Truman dedicated a chapel in the honor of “The Four Chaplains” in Philadelphia.  The chapel was moved to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in 2001 and after being repaired in 2004 was renamed “The Chapel of the Four Chaplains.”

    1952: In Mt. Vernon, NY, Lillian Vernon and Samuel Hochberg gave birth to their first son LGBT activist Fred Philip Hochberg, who in a very Jewish pattern was named for an uncle who died at Normandy and who served as “president and CEO of the Lillian Vernon Corporation” before serving in several government positions including Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank under President Obama.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the Ministry of Labor plans to develop communications and queries, expand irrigation and agriculture and move people from towns to villages all of which should help in lowering the unemployment rate and hasten the closing of the transit camps for recent immigrants.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Arab states had dropped their plans for a boycott of Germany after the Bonn government has ratified the Israeli Reparations Treaty.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Czechoslovakia and Hungary joined the Soviet Union in spreading false anti-Semitic accusations and started identifying and purging their Jewish officials.

    1954: The IDF officially began employing “a new doctrine of combining armored and motorized infantry units” developed by Yitzhak Pundak who was promoted the rank of Brigadier General.

    1958(13th of Shevat): Benzion Katz passed away

    1959(25th of Shevat): Joseph Pearlman passed away

    1960: “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond” a crime biopic that “marked the film debut of Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen), produced by Milton Sperling, with music by Leonard Rosenman was released today in the United States by Warner Brothers

    1965(1stof Adar I, 5725):  Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1965(1stof Adar, 1, 5725): Ninety-two year old Giuseppe Levi “an Italian anatomist and histologist” who “was a pioneer of in vitro studies of cultured cells” passed away today.

    1970: The funeral for Bella Bergoffen, the widow of Samuel Bergoffen is scheduled to take place this afternoon at Riverside Chapel

    1970: The funeral for Dorothy Horowitz Gerber, the widow of Newcomb Germer is scheduled to take placed at the Higgins Home for Funerals followed by internment at the Children of Israel Cemetery in South Plainfield, NJ

    1971: Birthdate of Tobias Jacob "Toby" Moskowitz “an American financial economist and a professor at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business. He was the winner of the 2007 American Finance Association (AFA) Fischer Black Prize, which is awarded biennially to the top finance scholar under the age of 40 in years when one is deemed deserving.”

    1973: Judge Justine Wise Polier retired from the New York Family Court after 38 years spent trying to use the bench to assist children and redress discrimination.

    1974: After only 65 performances a Broadway revival Adler and Ross’ “The Pajama Game” co-starring Hal Linden, closed today.

    1974: The Syrian Foreign Minister announced that his country was carrying out a ‘continued and real war of attrition’ that aim of which was to keep ‘Israel’s reserves on active duty and paralyzing its economy.’

    1975(22ndof Shevat, 5735): Eighty-eight year old Russian born American character actor Michael Mark whose career spanned almost 40 years passed away today.

    1976: In Oman, Elspeth Reid and Brian Fisher gave birth to actress Isla Lang Fisher who converted to Judaism before marrying Sacha Baron Cohen.

    1977: Birthdate of American born sprint canoer Rami Zur, who “competed for Israel at the 2000 Summer Olympics.”

    1978: “The One and Only” a “comedy starring Henry Winkler, directed by Carl Reiner, produced by David V. Picker, starring Henry Winkler and Gene Saks and filmed by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper was released in the United States today.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that mercury was found in Spanish oranges as a poisoning scare cut into sales of Israeli citrus in Europe. In the third week of their almost total strike, Israeli seamen threatened to wreck their ships to prevent their sale, as threatened by the Zim management. The US was contemplating a package deal: a joint sale of American jet fighters to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 1985: Physicist Frank Oppenheimer, younger brother of Robert Oppenheimer, and veteran of the Manhattan Project, passed away.

    1986: In Harrisburg, PA, the large plant owned by TRW (the R stands for Simon Ramo) burned to the ground in an eight alarm fire.

    1988: In Yorkton, Saskatchewan Rick and Carol Schwartz gave birth to Mandi Jocelyn Schwartz the Yale hockey player whose struggle with leukemia would inspire thousands of people to volunteer to be bone marrow donors.”  (As reported by Thomas Kaplan)

    1988: Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited Nablus today and found the streets deserted except for his own soldiers. He chatted with them in the narrow twisting streets. Some residents could be seen peeking at the minister through the slats of their closed shutters as he walked with bodyguards, a squad of soldiers and an entourage of journalists. ''I more than believe that we are going to put an end to it,'' he said of the protests. ''When, I don't know.''

    1989(28thof Shevat, 5749): Seventy-three year old Academy Award winning American movie music orchestra leader, composer and arranger Lionel Newman, passed away.

    1991: After a long and angry debate, the Israeli Cabinet today voted to accept as a new member of the Government a small right-wing party that advocates expelling all the Palestinians from the occupied territories. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir pushed through the appointment of the Moledet Party -- the Hebrew name means homeland -- over the opposition of senior members of his Government to expand his coalition to 66 seats in the 120-seat Parliament. That is considered a safe governing majority. No longer will any but the very largest of the minor parties have the power to bring the Government down. Several of the most senior members of the Government -- the Ministers of Justice, Health, Finance, Defense and Foreign Affairs -- voted against the new coalition agreement or abstained, participants at the meeting said. Vote totals from the closed meeting were not disclosed. In several cases, dissenting ministers said they considered the Moledet Party to be racist. And they openly worried that the move would jeopardize Israel's new-found international standing as a result of its military restraint in the face of Iraqi missile attacks.

    1991:  The army announced that it had decided to begin large-scale distribution of gas masks to Palestinians in the West Bank.

    1991: Mayor David N. Dinkins arrived in Tel Aviv “today from New York City for a lightning visit to show solidarity with Israel. His Israeli hosts wasted no time pressing a gas mask kit into his hands, and then whisked him away for a discussion on chemical weapons with Israel's Foreign Minister. Israeli officials who greeted Mr. Dinkins in the first rush of meetings during his 24-hour visit had nothing but praise for the Mayor. From the President down, Israelis were pleased with Mr. Dinkins's decision to come here at a time when air-raid sirens are wailing almost every night. But that was in direct contrast to the feelings of some of Mr. Dinkins's black constituents. In New York, some black leaders have accused him of using the trip to bolster his popularity among Jewish voters while neglecting the problems of his black supporters. While Mr. Dinkins's visit to Israel has been praised by Jewish leaders in New York, some blacks have objected to the trip because they believe it may align the Mayor too closely with supporters of the Persian Gulf war and could make him appear too hawkish, particularly among blacks who in some opinion polls have been shown to lag considerably behind whites in support of the war. Since the hastily arranged trip was announced 10 days ago, Mr. Dinkins has repeatedly tried to deflect the criticism by characterizing the visit as a humanitarian gesture of support for Israel at a time of great adversity. But aides who came with Mr. Dinkins acknowledged that, along with the show of solidarity, the Mayor's visit was intended as a modest, if early, pitch for Jewish votes in the 1993 election. This appears to be at least part of the reason that Mr. Dinkins has not scheduled any meetings with Palestinians during his trip, though virtually all visiting American politicians make a point of meeting with prominent Arabs. The Mayor's aides said Mr. Dinkins wanted only to express sympathy for Israel and not to take on larger political issues. Such visible support for Israel could be useful if Andrew J. Stein, the City Council President, who could be expected to have wide Jewish support, decides to run against Mr. Dinkins. After being fitted for a gas mask in the airport arrival lounge, Mr. Dinkins, looking weary from his long flight, said: "Wisdom and prudence dictate that we learn how to put on a gas mask. But I'm not afraid. I'm 63, and God has been good to me and taken care of me over the years."

    1992: Ezer Weizman, the former Israeli Defense Minister and air force commander who became an ardent advocate of peace with the Arabs, announced his retirement from politics today, warning that the Government was leading the country toward war. An architect of the 1978 Camp David peace accords with Egypt and an outspoken supporter of talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mr. Weizman said he was leaving public life because he could no longer influence national policy. Addressing Parliament, Mr. Weizman, who is 67 years old, said he was resigning as a member of Parliament from the Labor Party. "After serious consideration I have decided to resign my post in the Knesset and to leave political life," he said. "I leave concerned for the fate and image of the State of Israel in the years ahead. I am troubled by the grave feeling that the path we are taking does not lead to peace, but to an impasse behind which is the horror of war." Farewell May Not Be Final Mr. Weizman said later that he felt he could "no longer contribute" to peace efforts. Acquaintances said he had become disillusioned by the Government's conduct of Arab-Israeli negotiations and by what he saw as the inability of his own party to present credible policy alternatives. While he insisted that he was abandoning parliamentary politics, Mr. Weizman did not rule out a proposal by some legislators that he serve as President, a mostly ceremonial post. His uncle, Chaim Weizman, became Israel's first President in 1948.

    1992(29th of Shevat, 5752: Eighty –five year old “Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar” Theodore H. Gaster passed away today.

    1993: U.S. premiere of “The Century Club” the cinematic treatment of the play by the same name about three Jewish widows in Pittsburgh produced by Philip Rose, with music by Elmer Bernstein and co-starring Lanie Kazan.

    1995: “In the Month of Madness” a horror film featuring David Warner and Frances Bay was released in the United States today.

    1995(3rdof Adar I, 5755): Seventy-one year old author Jack Sendak, the brother of Maurice Sendak and the son of Philip Sendak passed away today. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    1997: Newly installed U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced the uncovering of her Jewish origins.

    1997: During fiscal 1997 which ended today women's apparel accounted for 32 percent of Younkers's sales, men's apparel for 16 percent, home furnishings for 16 percent, and cosmetics for 11 percent. In an example of oft repeated tale, Younker’s traced its origins to a general store started by Lipman, Samuel and Marcus Younker at Keokuk, IA, from which the brothers put the merchandize on backpacks and walked the roads selling to local farms.  Herman Younker “joined them in 1874 and opened a 1,320-square-foot dry goods store in Des Moines on their behalf with a $6,000 grubstake.”

     1999(17th of Shevat, 5759): Eighty five year old Ben “Red” Kramer the Long Island University basketball all-star who won the Haggarty Award  which “is given to the best men’s basketball player in the New York City metropolitan area” passed away today.

    2000: The U.S. Senate voted 89-4 to confirm Alan Greenspan for a fourth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingShouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age by Alan M. Dershowitz

    2002: Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans.

    2003: Today actress Lana Clarkson was found in the Pyrenees Castle, the Alhambra, CA, mansion of musician Phil Spector whose immigrant Jewish grandfather arrived in the United States “with the surname Spekter.”

    2006(5thof Shevat, 5766): Actor Al Lewis, best known for his role as Grandpa on the television show “The Munsters” passed away.

    2007: ט"ו בשבט or Tu B’Shevat and Shabbat Shirah.  In Cedar Rapids a special Tu B’Shevat and Tailgating Kiddush celebrating the New Year of the Tree’s and Sunday’s Super Bowl.

    2008: “Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country” closes at the Jewish Museum of New York.

    2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of Artists in Exile: How Refugees From Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Artsby Joseph Horowitz, Swimming in a Sea of DeathDavid Rieff’s account of his mother’s (Susan Sontag) final illness and Eli Gottlieb’s second novel, Now You See Him.

    2008: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by Jacob Heilbrunn and Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg.

    2008: Super Bowl Sunday: In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots who are owned by Jewish businessman and philanthropist Robert Kraft.

    2009: Dr. Avi Bitzur, Israel's Director General of the Ministry, "gave details of the new Israeli campaign for compensation of seized property and assists as at a panel entitled 'A Matter of Historic Justice: Jewish Refugees From Arab Countries,' held at the Ninth Annual Herzliya Conference.

    2009: The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism presents the second annual Professor William Prusoff Honorary Lecture, "1948 as Jihad" featuring Professor Benny Morris of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

    2009: German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a stern rebuke today to Pope Benedict XVI, accusing the Vatican of giving "the impression that Holocaust denial might be tolerated" by welcoming a disgraced bishop back into the church.

    2009:Palestinian militants fired a long-range rocket from Gaza into the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon today and Israel retaliated with airstrikes against smuggling tunnels and a Hamas outpost in southern Gaza, as Egyptian-brokered talks for a sustainable cease-fire continued in Cairo with no obvious progress. No injuries were reported on the Palestinian or Israeli side.But the rocket that fell near a clinic in central Ashkelon was an imported Katyusha, the first of that more powerful type since a tenuous calm took hold more than two weeks ago. It presented a new challenge to Israeli leaders ahead of elections next Tuesday and raised the possibility of a military escalation should the Egyptian initiative fail.“We promised peace and safety to those living in southern Israel, and we will deliver,” the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, vowed Tuesday. Israel pulled its troops out of Gaza on Jan. 18, ending a devastating three-week offensive that Israel said had been primarily meant to deter such rocket attacks. Israel and Hamas, the Islamic group that rules Gaza, declared separate cease-fires. But tit-for-tat attacks have increased since Jan. 27, when Palestinian militants detonated a bomb that killed an Israeli soldier patrolling the border. Until today, the trickle of mostly homemade rockets fired into Israel had landed primarily in open areas close to the Gaza border. Ashkelon is a city of 120,000 people about 10 miles north of Gaza, on the Mediterranean coast. Hamas denies that it has been firing the rockets. The Gaza branch of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militia nominally affiliated with Hamas’s main rival, Fatah has claimed responsibility for some of the launchings. Others have been claimed by smaller groups, or have gone unclaimed.

    2010: The 10th Annual Herzliya Conference is scheduled to come to a close.

    2010: Maggie Anton, author of the trilogy about Rashi’s Daughters is scheduled to speak at Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park, Michigan.

    2010: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is schedule to present “Taste of Israel: Ethnic Cooking at its Best” featuring six Israeli women from the Partnership Community of Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda who will be at the JCCNV to cook foods from different origins including Morocco, Iraq, India, Kurdistan, Persia and Egypt.

    2010: Elie Wiesel told Haaretz today that he is using his ties with world leaders and heads of state and appearing at international conferences to warn of Ahmadinejad's intentions. More than 40 Nobel Prize winners from various countries have added their signatures to a full-page ad denouncing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that is due to be published in The New York Times and International Herald Tribune in the next few days. The ad, initiated by 1986 Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, condemns Iran's severe human rights violations and warns that Iran's nuclear program is a danger to humanity. The ad is part of Wiesel's worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the threat he says Ahmadinejad poses to world peace. "Governments must stop Ahmadinejad and put him on trial at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on charges of open incitement for genocide," he said. Wiesel blasted Judge Richard Goldstone, saying his report on the Israeli offensive in Gaza was "a crime against the Jewish people." Wiesel, who was deported from his hometown of Sighet in Transylvania to Auschwitz, is demanding Hungary open its Nazi-occupation era archives. This would expose the extent of the Hungarian police and army's persecution of the Jews, he said.

    2010: The daily Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace reported today that Vandals have defiled a Jewish cemetery in the city of Strasbourg with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans.  The swastikas were smeared on about 20 tombstones, while the German phrase 'Juden Raus' (Jews, get out) was scrawled elsewhere in the cemetery. Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, which reported the incident, told France Info radio that the vandalism appeared related to the ceremonies being held Wednesday in Europe to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp at the end of World War II.

    2011: The Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present: “Chamber Music of Schubert, Bach, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff and Zaretsky” performed by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

    2011: Professor Jean Seaton is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Reporting the Holocaust - As it was Happening” at the Wiener Library in London, UK. 

    2011: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a bullet shot into her brain, will not be attending this year’s National Prayer Breakfast which is scheduled to take place today. Congresswoman Giffords had invited her rabbi, Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim, to attend the event with her.

    2011: Police officers stumbled on a large stash of jugs and coins dating back from the Second Temple era in the Galilee village of Mazara today, during an arms raid.

    2011: Rabbi Steven Kushner officiated at the funeral of Mitchell Reuben Perlmeter  at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, N.J. Perlmeter who passed away two days ago at the age of 17 was the son of two rabbis.

    2012: IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz ordered a full inquiry into the incident that saw a soldier with the 188th Armored Brigade accidently left behind in the Palestinian village of Budrus.

    2012: "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumour and it will be removed," Teheran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today. Khamenei addressed thousands of worshipers attending a Tehran University prayer service marking the Fajr celebration. The crowd met the statement by chanting "Death to Israel."

    2012: Rabbi Alexander Goode, Reverend George Fox (Methodist), Reverend Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed) and Father John Washington (Roman Catholic) are remembered on Four Chaplain Day.

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host another of its fabulously popular Friday Night Musical Shabbats

    2012: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff is scheduled to speak at Friday night services at Washington Hebrew Congregation as part of the commemoration of Four Chaplains Day.

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of The Lion Is In by Delia Ephron

    2013: As part of the Temple Judah 90th anniversary celebration, historian Mark Hunter is scheduled to deliver an illustrated talk on the history of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

    2013: Rebekka Helford and Bruce Bierman are scheduled to lead the music and dancing at the Klezmer Jam Session and Dance hosted by The Talking Stick in Venice, CA.

    2013: Final performance of “Not By Bread Alone” is scheduled to take place at the Skirball.

    2013: Today marks the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester, a U.S. Army transport ship, torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II. During the sinking 4 chaplains, including Rabbi Alexander Goode sacrificed their lives to save others answering in the affirmative to the age old question of “Am I my brother’s keeper.” (Special thanks to the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington for assembling so much valuable information about this event)

    2013: Today, Israel’s army chief landed in the United States for talks with his American counterpart, amid tension with Syria following a reported Israel airstrike there last week. He arrived as Israel’s defense minister insisted that Israel “means what it says” about preventing advanced weaponry being moved into Lebanon as Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus loses control. (As reported by Michal Shmulovich)

    2013: As Americans watch the Super Bowl, this is the story of the commercial you will not see.

    2014: An exhibit at La Galeria at Boricua College in Washington Heights featuring works from “Intermarriage” is scheduled to close today.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a panel discussion on “Iranian Jewish Identity.”

    2014: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to “Lea and Daria,” a film about two Croatian “Shirley Temples

    2014: According to reports first published today by Haaretz “Israel has offered Turkey twenty million dollars in compensation to the families of those killed and wounded in its 21o raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.”

    2014(3rdof Adar I, 5774): Eighty-seven year old Arthur Ortenberg, the husband and business partner of Liz Claiborne passed away today, (As reported by Doulas Martin)

    2014(3rdof Adar I, 5774): Sixty-four year old American born Professor Barry Rubin who was a “columnist and well-known expert on terrorism and the Middle East passed away today.(As reported by Stuart Winer)

    2014(3rdof Adar I, 5774): Ninety-two year old Professor Ezra Zohar, the physician who helped to found the School of Medicine at Tel Ave University passed away today.

    2014(3rdof Adar I, 5774): Twenty-one year old Captain Tal Nahman was “killed today due to friendly fire near Gaza.”2015: “Ze’eva Cohen: Creating a Life in Dance” is scheduled to be shown at the Lincoln Center.

    2015(14thof Shevat, 5775): Seventy-eight year old Sir Martin Gilbert,  the official biographer of Winston Churchill and author of 80 books who wrote meaningful history with the style of a novelist passed away today after an extended illness during which he was lovingly cared for by his wife, Lady Esther Gilbert.

    2015(14thof Shevat, 5774): Seventy-five year old theatre director Ike Schambelan, who created opportunities for “challenged” actors and actresses passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2015: In Washington, DC, the Historic 6th& I Synagogue is scheduled to host a Tu B’Shvat Seder “featuring local soured snacks and dessert.”

    2015: French-Israeli journalist Jonathan-Simon Sellem today “was invited at The Algemeiner Gala in New-York City, to receive a prize as one of the 2014 Top-100 people influencing positively Jewish life.

    2015: At the Center for Jewish History Gina B. Nahal is scheduled to discuss her new novel, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S., about the experience of the Iranian Jewish community in the United States.

    2016(24th of Shevat, 5776): Three terrorists murdered 19 year old Hadar Cohen, an Israeli security officer who was “interfering” with their apparent attempt to launch an attack on shoppers in and around the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.

    2016: Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, the Chabad-Lubavitch from Anchorage, Alaska invoked the seven Noahide Commandments when he 19offered the opening prayer at the United States Senate in which he “prayed for the United States to lead in the fight against terrorism worldwide.”

    2016: Professor Michael Walzer is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Secular Revolutions and Religious Counter-Revolutions: The Case of Zionism” at Kol Shalom Congregation.

    2016: “Pinchas Zukerman and the Zukerman Trio” are scheduled to appear the Kaufman Concert Hall.

     2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust is scheduled to host an “Artist Talk Anika Smulovitz” in conjunction with “Pointing the Way” an “exhibit about ceremonial Torah pointers.

    2017: Funeral services are scheduled to today at Chicago’s Emanuel Congregation for Rabbi Herman Schaalman.

    2016: In “Gay Congregation Celebrates Its Identity With New Home in Manhattan” published today David W. Dunlap described the growth of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

    2017: This afternoon, UKJF is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “Through the Wall,” Rama Burshtein’s comedic look at love in the Hasidic community of Tel Aviv.

    2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host Friday night services and a Shabbat dinner followed by Rabbi Michael Rosenfeld-Schueler’s chavruta session.

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to continue Parent’s Shabbat that includes a Pirke Avot study session following Shabbat Luncheon.

    2018: Yiddishkayt is scheduled to host the “West Coast premiere of ‘Art Is My Weapon,’ the inspiring cabaret showcasing the life and work of Dutch-Jewish anti-fascist performer Lin Jaldati at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles.

    2018(18thof Shevat, 5778): Parashat Yitro – including the revelation at Sinai, one of the most universally known of all Biblical stories; for more see






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    February 4

    211: The reign of Septimius Servus, the Roman emperor who outlawed conversions to both Judaism and Christianity in an attempt to unify his crumbling empire, came to an end.

    362: Roman Emperor Julian promulgates an edict that recognizes equal rights to all the religions in the Roman Empire. Known as Julian the Apostate, Julian effectively undid the edicts of Constantine that had made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. He brought back the old religions of the Empire including those that were tied to Hellenism, the spiritual path that he favored.  Julian was sympathetic to the Jewish people and was prepared to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.  Unfortunately, he was murdered by a Christian Arab soldier who may have been angered by Julian’s decision to deny state support to Christianity.

    1194: Richard The Lion Hearted bought his freedom by paying his ransom to Leopold, an Austrian Duke.  In collecting the ransom, the Jews were forced to pay 5,000 marks.  They were taxed at three times the rate as that paid by their Christian countrymen. 

    1428(17th of Shevat): Purim of Sargosa

     1594: Sussex’s Men, an Elizabethan acting company performed Marlow’s “The Jew of Malta” today.

    1616(16thof Shevat 5376): Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jewish merchant passed away in The Hague while serving as the diplomatic representative of the sultan Zidan Abu Maali in negotiations with the Dutch Republic designed to establish an alliance to fight their common enemy – Spain. Born in Fez in 1550, he was the son of a rabbi from Cordoba whose family had fled Spain following the Reconquista.

    1657: Oliver Cromwell granted the right of residence in England to a Jew, Antonio Fernandez Carvajal. According to some, this is the earliest official British act of tolerance in favor of the Jews.

    1657: Thomas Burton, an MP who was a comrade of Cromwell and kept a diary on the proceedings of Parliament wrote today that "The Jews, those able and general intelligencers whose intercourse with the Continent Cromwell had before turned to profitable account, he now conciliated by a seasonable benefaction to their principal agent [Carvajal] resident in England."

    1683: Birthdate Judah Monis, the son of Portuguese conversos born in Algeria who would become the first college Hebrew instructor in North America and the author of the first Hebrew textbook published in North America.  The price of his position at Harvard would be conversion to Christianity; a price many others, such as James Schlesinger, would pay for academic advancement.

    1689(14thof Shevat, 5449): Jerusalem chief rabbi Moses ben Jonathan Galante, the grandson of Moses Galante and the grandfather of Moses Hagis passed away today.

    1738(14thof Shevat, 5498): Joseph Süß Oppenheimer, a noted banker and court Jew was led to the gallows. He had been falsely accused of a variety of crimes and only “confessed” after being tortured. Even as he faced death by hanging, he refused to convert to Christianity, a move that might have saved his life. “Hanging inside a human-size cage, surrounded by a huge crowd of spectators, his last words - while a rope was tied around his neck - were those of the central prayer of Judaism, ‘Shema Yisrael.’"

    1770: Abraham ben Uri Shraga “an upright and proper man…all his days” was buried at the Alderney Road Cemetery.

    1782: Jewish physicians in Galicia were granted permission to treat Christian patients.

    1788(24thof Tevet, 5548): Avrahom bar Baruch passed away today in the United Kingdom.

    1789: George Washington was unanimously elected first President of the United States.  Because he was the first President, Washington’s actions set the tone for the new nation and for his predecessors.  Washington offered assurances to American Jews that they would enjoy full rights as citizens of the new republic where every man will sit under his fig tree and “none shall make him afraid.”

    1792:  George Washington is unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College. Washington’s treatment of the Jews set a national tone that would help make the Jewish experience in America a unique one.

    1800: Lewis Aarons married Abigail Barah at the Great Synagogue today.

    1807: In France, The Great Sanhedrin, a creation of Napoleon Bonaparte, met at the Hotel de Ville in the City Hall of Paris.

    1810(30th of Shevat): Rabbi Reuben Horowitz author of Dudaim ba-Sadeh passed away

    1810: The Royal Navy seizes Guadeloupe.  At this time there were no Jews living on the Island. Jews were first recorded living in Guadeloupe in the late 14th century. In 1391, in a surge of anti-Jewish riots that began in Spain, the most of the Jews were murdered. The community, however, began to revive during the mid-15th century. In 1485, the local inquisitor, Nuño de Arévalo, forbid all Jews from living in Guadeloupe. Prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal in 1492, the Jewish community sold the land of the old cemetery to the local bishop. Many Jews were forced into converting to Christianity; the Conversos in Guadeloupe lived together in a specified street in the former Jewish quarter. In 1489, two monks Diego de Marchena and García Capata, were burned at the stake for converting to Judaism. In 1654, three shiploads of Jewish refugees from Brazil settled in Guadeloupe. During that time, the Jews were welcomed by the French owner of the island. Even the capital of Guadalupe, Pointe-a-Pitre was named after a Brazilian Jew, called Pietre who started a fish processing plant in the city. The Jews established sugarcane plantations, which ultimately became the country’s leading export. In 1685, however, King Louis XIV issued “The Black Code” expelling all Jews from Guadeloupe.  During the latter part of the 20th century, many Jews began to arrive from North Africa and France. In 1988, the Jewish community consecrated the first synagogue in Guadeloupe, Or Sameah. Later the congregation added a Talmud Torah, community center, kosher store, and Jewish cemetery. Today, approximately 50 Jews live in Guadeloupe.

    1815(24thof Shevat, 5575): Seventy-one year old Italian poet Solomon Fiorentino, the father of Angiolo Fiorentino passed away today at Florence.

    1816: In Trieste Isacco Morpugro and Regina Parente gave birth to the banker Giuseppe Morpurgo the husband of Elisa Morpurgo.

    1829: Michael Coleman married Harriet Phillips at the Great Synagogue today.

    1835: In Charleston, SC, Dr. B.A. Rodrigues married Cecilia Solomon this evening.

    1836: Dade County, Florida is formed. According to 2000 census data, Dade County, which includes Miami, had a Jewish population in excess of 125,000 souls. The vibrant Jewish community there has far too many institutions, organizations and cultural events to list here. 

    1838: Together with a dedicated group of Philadelphia Jewish women, Rebecca Gratz established the first Jewish Sunday School.

    1842:  Birthdate of George Morris Cohen Brandes, influential Danish literary critic and historian.  “Poor is the power of the lead that becomes bullets compared to the power of the hot metal that becomes type.”

    1848(30th of Shevat, 5608): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1852: Over eight hundred people attended the annual Ball of the Jew’s Hospital that was held this with the proceeds of the event providing funds to maintain this medical facility.

    1854:  It was today reported that the population of Cape Town, South Africa, totaled 30,000 of which 3,000 were either Jews or Moslems.

    1855: Nahum J. Steiner, "a converted Jew who has been laboring for several years among the Jews" of New York City was scheduled to give an address tonight at the Stanton Street Baptist Church entitled "Israel's Return and The Future Glory of the Messiah."  [Early attempts to convert Jews in America to Christianity were largely unsuccessful.  For those who did not want to remain Jewish, it was easy enough in America's fluid environment to just being a Jew without taking any formal action.]

    1855:  Soldiers shot Jewish families in Coro, Venezuela.

    1859: The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt. The Codex was one of several ancient texts or resources discovered starting at the end of the 18thcentury and continuing into the 20th century including the Rosetta Stone, the Cairo Genizah and the Dead Sea Scrolls that shed light on ancient civilizations. They gave Jewish scholars a better understanding of the ancient Israelites and the Biblical text which are the cornerstone of Jewish faith and culture.

    1863(15thof Shevat, 5623): Tu B’Shevat

    1863: During the Civil War, three Jews went on trial before Judge Peabody in New Orleans, LA.  They had been seized by Union authorities while crossing Lake Pontchatrain headed to Rebel held territory in a boat loaded with medicines and letters from several leading citizens in New Orleans.  The Judge delayed passing sentence on the accused until the letter writers had been arrested per the order of General Nathanial Banks.

    1864: Twenty-six year old Lyon Levy Emanuel, the native of Philadelphia and brother of Dr. Louis Manly Emanuel, began serving as a Captain with Company of the 88thRegiment.

    1864: Union General Benjamin Butler, one of those chosen for his political clout and not his military acumen, replied to a complaint from N.S. Isaacs over the general’s use of the term “Jews” when describing the capture five people trying to smuggle supplies to the Rebels.  The General said that he used the term without thinking and was merely dictating from the dispatches submitted by his subordinate. He used the term Jews as he would Germans, Italians or Irish men i.e. a term of nationality not religion. While appearing to defend himself of a charge of being an anti-Semite the General wrote, I “have always considered the Jews a nationality, although possessing no country. The closeness with which they cling together, the aid which they afford each other, on all proper, and sometimes improper occasions, the fact that nearly all of them pursue substantially the same employment, so far as I have, known them -- that of traders, merchants, and bankers -- the very general obedience to the prohibition against marriage with Gentiles, their faith, which looks forward to the time when they are to be gathered together in the former land of their nation, -- all serve to show a closer the of kindred and nation among the Hebrews, and a greater homogeneity than belongs to any other nation, although its people live in closer proximity. So that while I disclaim all indention of any reflection upon, their national religion, which was the foundation and typical of that of the Christian World, and, holding to the doctrines of Christianity with reverence for the Savior, no one can stigmatize all Jews -- yet one may be reasonably permitted in speaking of that nation, to suppose there may be in all the Jaws of the South, two of whom certainly are in the Confederate Cabinet, at least five, who might attempt to carry on a contraband trade. Because, it may be reverently remembered that when, the Savior, aided by Omniscience, undertook to choose twelve confidential friends from among that nation, he got one that "was a thief and had a devil." 

    1870: In London, L.B. Abrahams, the Welsh born Head Master of the Jews’ Free School and his wife gave birth to Bertram Abrahams the University College graduate, Assistant Physician at Westminster Hospital and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians wh wrote “The Principles of Pathology.”

    1871: Eighty-five year old Hermann, Fürst von Pückler-Muskau who met Rabbi Moses Sachs in Tunis in 1835 and was so impressed with him and his plan to settle Jews in Palestine that he arranged for him to meet with Baron Salomon Mayer von Rothschild of Vienna passed away today.

    1874(17thof Shevat, 5634): Yakir Gueron, the sixth member of his family to serve as the rabbi in Andrianpole who had resigned his position two years ago passed away today in Jerusalem.

    1874: It was reported today that the Hebrew Young Ladies’ Charitable Union will sponsor a dramatic performance at the Lyceum Theatre in New York in order to raise funds for the Home of Aged Hebrews.

    1875: The Downtown Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society – Mothers of Israel – will sponsor its first annual festival ball this evening at Turner Hall in New York City.

    1876: In Kings County, New York, the trial of P.N. Rubenstein who has been charged with murdering his cousin Sara Alexander heard testimony from several witnesses including the defendant’s brother, Louis.

    1877: It was reported today that the in New York, the Purim Association will celebrate the festival this year with a Calico Masked Reception at Delmonico’s.  The event is a fund raiser and attendance will be limited by the number of tickets available.

    1877: It was reported today that the Ladies’ Bikur Cholim Society of the School of Industry will host an event on February 15th at Ferrero’s Assembly Rooms in New York. [Editor’s Note – Bikur cholim refers to the mitzvah of visiting the sick.  Societies to further that goal have been a part of Jewish communal life since the Middle Ages.]

    1877: “Compassionate Israel” published today described the manner in which the Jewish community cares for the less unfortunate including the creation of the Hebrew United Charities, the building of the Jew’s Hospital now known as Mt. Sinai and the opening of the Aged and Infirm Hebrews on the grounds of what used to be the Astor estate.

    1879: William Henry Waddington, who had expressed his support “large-scale Jewish settlement in Palestine” in a letter to the Sultan began serving as French Prime Minister.

    1879: It was reported today that among the private institutions caring for New York’s impoverished orphans that are receiving public funds as proscribed by law is the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which is scheduled to received $32,450 to help toward the care of 295 youngsters

    1884: Leaders of the New York Jewish community met at the Nineteenth-Street Jewish Synagogue to discuss plans for commemorating the upcoming 100th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore with a permanent monument.  Projects under consideration including building housing for poor Jews, a reformatory and a mission designed to provide education for recent Russian immigrants.

    1887: Birthdate of Morris Pozen, the native of Elizabethgrad who came to the United States where earned a BS and PhD from George Washington University after which he pursued a career in the fields of “brewing and food-chemistry.”

    1899: Birthdate of New York native Nathan Peyser, the holder of a Ph.D. from NYU who served as Principal of P.S. in Easter Harlem and P.S. 181 in Brooklyn who championed having the public schools serve as “center of the community” in the fight to prevent delinquency among the city’s youth.

    1890: The sale of boxes for the 29th annual ball sponsored by the Purim Association which will be held next month took place this evening at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

    1891: The trustees of the fund which was created with money donated by Baron de Hirsch met at the home of Jesse Seligman where they re-elected their old officers and finalized the method for gaining access to the Baron’s largesse which help Jewish immigrants to pursue occupations other than peddlers such as mechanics or farmers.

    1892: During an address by American author and journalist Poultney Bigelow on the persecution of “Christian Jews” in which he described the Czar as “a kindly man” a Russian Jew named Copik rose from the audience and said “that the Czar was a savage and a tyrant” and went to provide several examples based on his personal experience.

    1892: The will of the late Benjamin Russak was filed for probate in the Surrogate’s office in New York City.  “The estate is valued at about a million dollars.”

    1892: The Chamber of Commerce met today in New York City in an attempt to raise funds to alleviate the Russians who are suffering through a famine.  Jewish members expressed their support for raising the money but expressed concern that raising such funds would express approval for the government of the Czar which was persecuting their Russian co-religionists.

    1893: It was reported today that the late Simon Davidson has bequeathed $500 to Mount Sinai Hospital.  He also “returned six buildings and the loan bonds for $1,000 which he held against” the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Asylum to that institution.

    1894(Shevat 28): Louis Lewandowski, the first Jew to be admitted to the Berlin Academy of Arts passed away

    1894: It was reported today, that after police drove 250 unemployed Jews from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, they regrouped at Trafalgar Square, “where an impromptu meeting was held.”

    1898: During the Dreyfus Affair, the French Army High Command brings an action of criminal libel against Emile Zola for his accusations of knowing collaboration on the part of the French general staff in convicting Dreyfus based on false information.

    1899: Among the 150,000 forces present to suppress the Insurrection that began today  in the Philippine’s is Joseph M Heller who was assigned as a surgeon to a battalion of the 24th U.S. Infacntry

    1899: In New York, the Shaaray Tefila Young People’s Association hosted an evening of entertainment in the lecture room of the congregation located on West 82ndStreet.

    1900: “The Jewish Historical Society of England created an ‘Education and Publication Committee’” today.

    1900(5th of Adar I, 5660): Rabbi Jacob Aron Mendes Chumaceiro of Amsterdam passes away at the age of 67.

    1900(5th of Adar I, 5660): Rabbi Israel Benamozegh at Leghorn passed away at the age of 76.

    1901(15thof Shevat, 5661): Tu Bishvat

    1901(15thof Shevat, 5661): Jacob Plautt of Hamburg who passed away today in Nice “left 20,000 francs for the benefit of police officers” injured in the line of duty, 10,000 francs each to the Jewish Refuge at Plessis Piquet, the Alliance Israelite and the School Elisa Lemonnier and 5,000 francs to the Jewish Philantrhopic Union.

    1902:  Birthdate of Charles Lindbergh, the “Lone Eagle,” the first person to fly across the Atlantic from New York to Paris.  Unfortunately, Lindbergh’s skill as an aviator surpassed his political aptitude. “As World War II began, Lindbergh became a prominent speaker in favor of non-intervention, going so far as to recommend that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Germany during his January 23, 1941 testimony before Congress. At an America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, he made a speech titled "Who Are the War Agitators?" in which he claimed that Americans had solidly opposed entering the war when it began, and that three groups had been "pressing this country toward war" -- the Roosevelt Administration, the British, and theJews, and complained about what he insisted was the Jews'"large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government." He made clear however his opposition to anti-Semitism, stating that "All good men of conscience must condemn the treatment of the Jews in Germany", further advising "Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastation."

    1902: Fifty-six year old Hermann Wolf passed away in Berlin

    1903:  Birthdate of famed mathematician Sir Alexander Oppenheimer. Interestingly enough, even though Oppenheimer was born in Salford, Lancashire it is reported that his first language was Yiddish. After graduating from Oxford in 1927, he earned PhD from the University of Chicago in 1930. After a year of lecturing at Edinburgh University, he accepted a professorship at the Raffles College, Singapore. During the war he was a prisoner at the Changi camp. After the war he returned to Raffles College, retiring in 1967. He then became a professor at Reading University (1966-68) and head of the mathematics departments of the University of Ghana (1968-73) and Benin, Nigeria (1973-77). He passed away in 1997.

    1903: Birthdate of Alexander Imich “a Polish born American chemist, parapsychologist, and writer, who was the president of the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center in New York City

    1906:  Today, Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, the founder and President of the National Farm School said, "Happiness is never a product of external treasure. It can only spring from within, from a clean heart, from a pure conscience."

    1906: During his lecture on “Liberty” at Cooper Union, Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Slicer said “It is a foolish thing for Russian Jews in America and England to be should for freedom for their people at home when a rich Jew lends money to Russia for a war loan.”

    1908: Birthdate of trumpeter Emmanuel "Manny" Klein.

    1909: In Chicago, Alfred Samuel Alschuler, Sr. and his wife, the former Rose Haas, the noted child education and Zionist, gave birth to Marian Frances Despres

    1912: In Vienna Ludwig Julius and Charlotte Loebl Leinsdorf gave birth to conductor Erich Leinsdorf.

    1913: The Executive Committee of New Jersey Conference of Charities and Correction to which Newark Rabbi, Solomon Foster had been re-elected to as a member came to a close today at Plainfield, NJ.

    1913: Former Harvard football coach and U.S. Congressman Lucius Nathan Littauer “and his brother William were convicted of smuggling and conspiracy to defraud after he admitted to importing valuable jewels from Venice worth in excess of $40,000 without paying the necessary duty.”

    1913: Nora Funkenstein is scheduled to play a piano solo at today’s meeting of the Ladies Society of B’nai Sholom Temple Israel.

    1914(8thof Shevat, 5674): Fifty-five year old Romanian born Yiddish comedian and actor Sigmund Mogulesko passed away today.

    1915(20thof Shevat, 5675): Fifty year old David Blutreich, the Secretary of the 50,000 member Federation of Galician Jews in America who came to the United States ten years ago passed away from heart disease while at his office at 273 East Houston Street.

    1915:  Dr. Joseph Goldberger began his experiments on prison volunteers in Jackson, Mississippi in order to find the cause of the deadly disease pellagra.  He proved that pellagra is caused by poor diet and launched the biological age of nutrition research which linked diseases with a lack of essential vitamins.

    1915:  Turkish troops attempt to cross the Suez Canal as part of plans to start an anti-British uprising in Egypt and close the vital waterway connecting India with the British Isles.  The seriousness of the attack will lead to an aggressive campaign that will ultimately end with the British in control of Eretz Israel.

    1915: “To Send Food to Palestine” published today described the work of The Provisional Executive Committee for General Affairs is doing to arrange for sending “a shipload of food to Palestine” after receiving a cable from the American Ambassador at Constantinople describing a report from the American Counsel at Jerusalem “that it is impossible to obtain coffee, tea, sugar, rice or flour at any price.”

    1915: “Tells of Russian’s Murder of Jews” published today, provides information first appearing in The American Hebrew from “Dr. Arthur Levy, a rabbi serving with the German in the campaign against Russia who sets for in great detail a list of pogroms and murders, with many deeds of unmentionable outrage which, he says, were committed by the Russians against the Jewish population in recent weeks of war”

    1916: Among the contributions reported today by the American Jewish Relief Committee were $100 from Congregation Beth Israel in Washington, DC; $100 from the Dubuque, Iowa, Hebrew Relief Association, $100 from the American Jewish Relief Committee in Chattanooga, TN and $240 from Hirsch Manischewitz of Cincinnati, Ohio.”

    1916: Felix Warburg the Treasurer of the American Jewish Relief Committee “received a check for $835.50, the amount collected by Miss Esther Labold and Mrs. Shapiro of Portsmouth, Ohio” which was “entirely collected” from “non-Jews.”

    1916(30thof Shevat, 5676): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1916: While serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps, Hyman Lightstone of Montreal, received he Military Cross today.

    1916: The People’s Relief Committee which “is raising funds for the relief of the millions of Jews made destitute through the war in Europe” “announced today that it would hold a bazaar and fair” next month.

    1916: The committee raising funds for the Jewish war suffers announced today that the demand for seats at the upcoming mass meeting in Brooklyn has been so great “that the music hall of the Brooklyn Academy of Music has been engaged for an overflow meeting.”

    1917: It was reported today that according to a report received from Abram I. Elkus, the American Ambassador at Constantinople, the Jewish Orphanage at Chichli has received £25 for shoes and clothing.

    1917: The campaign of the Brooklyn Jewish Volunteer Relief Committee which has a goal of raising $200,000 for the relief of Jews in war-torn Europe is scheduled to come to an end tonight.

    1917: J. Shreve Durham, the General Superintendent of the Home Visitation Committee expressed his approval of the cooperation shown by Catholics, Protestants and Jews who took part in today’s effort to compile figures for a religious census in New York City.

    1918: The American Jewish Relief Committee announced today that it has received almost $15,000 in additional contributions for its $10,000,000 fund.

    1918: Today the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith met for the final day of its annual convention during which it passed resolutions supporting the government’s war aims and calling upon all members to support the conservation measures that are part of the war effort.

    1918: A Cincinnati firm that supplies about 65% per cent of the Jews in America with Matzah, today asked Food Administrator Herbert Hoover “to permit bakes of unleavened Passover bread to get sufficient flour to meet the requirements of the Jews.”

    1918: The Palestine Restoration Fund announced that to date it has raised almost $700,000, including a $25,000 contribution of $25,000 from Albert H. Loeb of Chicago.

    1919: While the world waits for a final peace settlement ending the World War the Imperial Ottoman Banks Bank of London is preparing to resume payments who are “not enemies or who are not the allies of enemies” to “residents in those portion of Palestine and Syria” that are under control of the British Imperial forces.

    1919: It was reported today that a $20,000 check from the Phelps-Dodge Corporation was “the first contribution from a New York corporation” made to the Committee for Relief in the Near East which is working to proving “immediate relief to the sufferers in the Holy Land” i.e. Palestine.

    1920(15thof Shevat, 5680): Tu B’Shevat

    1920: The funeral of Louis Seide, a member of the Knights of Pythias is scheduled to take place at the Rothschild’s Chapel on Lenox Avenue this morning.

    1920: The funeral of Mae Reichman, the wife of Samuel Reichman is scheduled to take place this afternoon at the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Goldberger on East 165thStreet.

    1921: At a conference in Salonica, Greek Zionists adopt a resolution stating that Jewish education at the Alliance Israelite Universelle schools is not in tune with their national views and aspirations.

    1921: It was reported today that “during the month of January, the papers on ‘Judaism and Our Youth’ by Mrs. Max L. Margolis of Philadelphia and on ‘Social Effort in America for Assimilation of the Immigrant’ by Mrs. W.D. Sporborg of New York were read the regular meeting of the Baltimore and San Francisco sections” of the Council of Jewish Women.

    1921: Birthdate of Betty Naomi Goldstein, the Jewess from Peoria, Illinois, who would gain fame as BettyFriedan author of The Feminine Mystique.

    1922: Birthdate of New York native and award winning broadcast journalist Bernard Kalb, the older brother of Marvin Kalb with whom he co-authored a book on Henry Kissinger and who resigned as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs “to protest what he called "the reported disinformation program" conducted by the Reagan Administration against the Libyan leader Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi.

    1922: “Radio Operators Hear a Good Concert” published today in the Bridgeport (CT) Telegram described a recent radio broadcast that including songs sung by Eddie Cantor.

    1923: Louis “Gruenberg conducted the American premiere of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg as a member of the International Composers' Guild.”

    1923: The Turks “interrupted” the conference at Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Allies and Ottomans were meeting to bring a formal end to World War I.

    1924: In the same year that he founded Sam Ash Music Corporation, 27 year old Sam Ash married 21 Rose Dinn

    1925: In Brooklyn, Harry and Henriette Koeppel Karnow gave birth to Stanley Karnow, “the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist who produced acclaimed books and television documentaries about Vietnam and the Philippines…” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1927: In Basel, Marcus Cohn, a leader of the Swiss Zionist movement and his wife gave birth to Oscar award winning movie producer Arthur Cohn, the grandson of Arthur Cohn, the chief rabbi of Basel.

    1927: “The Jazz Singer,” the first talking motion picture, starring Al Jolson, was released.

    1927: Twenty-four year old bantam weight Charley Phil Rosenberg won his 15 round championship bout today but lost the title because he was over the weight for his class.

    1929: “The Man with the Frog” a silent film with much by Artur Guttman was released in Germany today.

    1930: “People on Sunday,” a silent film “directed by Curt and Robert Siodmak with a screenplay by Billy Wilder and Robert Siodmak which was produced by Edgar G. Ulmer was released in Germany today.

    1931: In Philadelphia, PA, David and Rose Feinstein gave birth to Barry Feinstein, “a photographer who chronicled the lives of seminal rock ’n’ roll stars of the 1960s, and who was perhaps best known for the stark portrait of Bob Dylan on the cover of the 1964 album “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” (As reported by Paul Vitello

    1932: The 1932 Winter Olympics in which speed skater Irving Jaffee would win two gold medals, opened today in Lake Placid.

    1932(27thof Shevat, 5692): Sixty-five year old Max Leopold Margolis passed away today.

    1933: Eighty-seven year old Archibald Henry Sayce, the Professor of Assyriology at Oxford whose works included The Chronology of the Bible Connected with Contemporaneous Events in the History of Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians, Introduction to the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, The Life and Times of Isaiah, Patriarchal Palestine, The Egypt of the Hebrews and Herodotus, Early History of the Hebrews and Israel and the Surrounding Nations, passed away today.

    1933: In Tel Aviv, Eliyahu Golomb, one of the early leaders of the Haganah and his wife gave birth to David Golomb, Israeli political leader and Knesset member. 

    1935(1st of Adar I, 5695): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1935(1stof Adar I, 5695): Fifty-five year old, Nathan Mileikowsky, the Lithuanian born rabbi who made Aliyah in 1920 and was the patriarch of the Netanyahu clan that included his son historian Benzion and grandsons Benjamin and Yonatan of blessed memory, passed away today.

    1936: In Philadelphia, PA, vaudevillian Louis Brenner and his wife gave birth to comedian David Brenner.

    1936: Bronislaw Humberman, a prominent Polish violinist announced this afternoon that a symphony orchestra is being formed in Palestine that will be known as the Palestine Orchestra Association. Many of those in the orchestra will be residents or former residents of Germany who cannot work that Nazi nation.  Huberman reported $25,000 has already been contributed to help the orchestra with its initial organizational activities.

     1936: David Frankfurter, a Jewish Yugoslav medical student, killed the Swiss Nazi Gauleiter Wilhelm Gustoff. Though the German government demanded the death penalty, he was sentenced to eighteen years. Some historians believe that his action served as a model for Hershel Grynzpan whose assassination was used by the Nazi party for an all-out attack on Jewish property and synagogues known as Kristallnacht.

    1937: “White Cargo” directed by Robert Siodmak, produced by Seymour Nebenzal and with music by Paul Dessau was released in France today.

    1938: Two months after premiering at the Cathay Circle Theatre, Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” which animator David Hilberman helped to create was released today in the rest of the United States.

    1938: Tonight in Vienna, Nazis youths smashed windows in shops owned by Jews and “threw a burning gasoline container” into a synagogue while people were attending services.

    1938: New income tax regulations issued by the German government today ended the income tax reduction for Jewish children while keeping the reduction for Aryan families.

    1938: “The Goldwyn Follies” produced by Samuel Goldwyn, written by Ben Hecht, co-starring the Ritz Brothers, with music by George Gershwin was released in the United States today.

    1938: “Everybody Sing” a musical comedy co-starring Fanny Brice, produced by Harry Rapf and photographed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was released today in the United States.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Mordechai Nahman, a Jewish guard at the Shell Bridge in Haifa, was stabbed and badly injured by two Arabs, who succeeded in escaping.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Dr. Chaim Weizmann, upon his departure for England, stressed the Yishuv's and world Jewry need for unity, and said that some people "can only succeed in placing obstacles on our path, but they will never stop our work."

    1939: Martha and Waitstill Sharp set sail for Europe today in the first step of their plan to help rescue Jews in Europe.  The behavior of these two quintessential WASPS (he was a Unitarian minister who traced his lineage back to the original settlers of New England) defies logic and serve as a reminder of the good truly religious people can in the world.  They have been honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

    1939(15thof Shevat, 5699): Parashat Beshalach and Tu B’Shevat

    1939: Rabbi Nathan A. Peulman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “How Israel Can Survive the World” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1939: Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Jewish Life” this morning at Temple Israel.

    1939: Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Hitler’s Speech and Democracy’s Answer” this morning at Temple Rodeph Sholom.

    1939: As part of the “observance of the Jewish New Year of the Trees” that coincided with Shabbat today, Rabbi Alexander Segel is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Blessed Be the Planters” at the Fort Washington Synagogue.

    1939: Rabbi Harold H. Maischioff is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “A Prelude to Freedom” at the Temple of the Covenant.

    1939: Rabbi Jonah B. Wise is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Tree and Its Maker” at the Central Synagouge.

    1939(15th of Shevat, 5699): Fifty-five year old Edward Sapir, the son of a rabbi who gained fame as an anthropological linguist while teaching at the University of Chicago and Yale.

    1941: As they made their way to Palestine, artist Marcel Janco who co-invented Dadaism and his family arrived Turkey having left Romania following the Bucharest Pogrom of January, 1941.

    1941: In response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide morale and recreation services to uniformed military personnel six civilian agencies including the National Jewish Welfare Board formed the United Service Organization popularly known as the USO.

    1942: Reverend Chait of the Army Jewish Chaplaincy visited Isidore Newman who was in the hospital recovering from the effects of having broken a leg during SOE parachute training in Scotland.

    1943(29th of Shevat, 5703): The Germans killed Eberson, Buber, Kimmelman, and Chigier four of the remaining 12 members of the Jewish Council of Lvov. Six others were sent to Janawska concentration camp.

    1945: This afternoon, a British constable was seized by a shark while he was swimming in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tel Aviv.  “A passing RAF pilot saw the commotion in the water beneath him and dipped down to investigate.  The roar of the motors frightened the shark away and the constable swam to shore safely.”

    1946: The Anglo-American Palestine Inquiry Commission is scheduled to leave for Germany today to begin a month’s study of the Jewish situation in Europe. 

    1946: Garson Kanin’s “Born Yesterday” starring Judy Holliday premiered on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre.

    1947:  “My Brother Talks to Horses” directed by Fred Zinneman and produced by Samuel Marx was released in the United States today.

    1949: At a public meeting David Ben-Gurion stressed the need for a ‘partnership’ between the state of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora.

    1950: The Andrews Sisters version of “I Can Dream, Can’t I?,” “a popular song written by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Irving Kahal completed its run as the “U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single.”

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that a train was derailed north of Kalkilya, as the result of a carefully planned operation by Jordanian saboteurs who blew up a section of track opposite Tulama village. The line was later repaired and reopened, but only after military attaches of foreign embassies visited the site. Israel submitted another complaint on Jordanian infiltration to the Mixed Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Commission.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that a Farm Settlement Bill passed its first reading in the Knesset.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The High Court upheld the Interior Ministry's order closing the Communist daily Kol Ha'am for 10 days for endangering the public peace by publication of articles justifying the current Soviet anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli propaganda, lies and fabrications.

    1956: Birthdate of Kati Marton “an American author and journalist. Her career has included reporting for ABC News as a foreign correspondent and National Public Radio, where she started as a production assistant 1971 in her 20s, as well as print journalism and writing a number of books.She is the former chairwoman of the International Women's Health Coalition, and a director (former chairwoman) of the Committee to Protect Journalists and other bodies including the International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch and the New America Foundation. She has received several honors for her reporting, including the 2001 Rebekah Kohut Humanitarian Award by the National Council of Jewish Women, the 2002 Matrix Award for Women Who Change the World, the George Foster Peabody Award (presented to WCAU-TV, Philadelphia in 1973) and the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary—the country's highest civilian honor. Marton is also a recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence. Marton was born in Hungary, the daughter of UPI reporter Ilona Marton and award-winning AP reporter Endre Marton. Her parents survived the Holocaust of World War II but never spoke about it. Her parents served nearly two years in prison on false charges of espionage for the U.S. and Kati and her older sister were placed in the care of strangers. Raised a Roman Catholic, she only learned late in life and by accident from a third party that her grandparents were Jews who were murdered at Auschwitz concentration camp. Among the many honors her parents received for their reporting on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was the George Polk Award. The family ultimately fled Hungary following the revolution and settled in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where Marton attended Bethesda Chevy Chase High School.

    1956: Sixty-eight year old Savielly Tartakower the Polish and French chess grandmaster whose parent were killed in a pogrom in Rostov-on-Dov despite having convert Christianity, passed away today.

    1957: “Miss Peach” a comic strip created by Mell Lazarus appeared in the New York Herald Tribune for the first time today.

    1957: Reinhold Niebuhr expressed his views on the Jewish state in “Our Stake in the State of Israel” which was published today.

    1959: For the first times since ancient times, Israel began exporting copper ore from the King Solomon mines.

    1959: In Camden, NJ, the Beth-El Men’s Club presented a musical program honoring Cantor Louis J. Herman that included a performance by the Beth-El Choral group accompanied by pianist Mrs. Herbert Solomon.

    1959: “Black Orchard” a love story directed by Martin Ritt was released in the United States today.

    1960: Birthdate of Los Angeles native Jenette Elise Goldstein, the actress best known for her role in the sci-fi thriller “Aliens.”

    1962: Birthdate of Ethan Berkowitz, a leader of the Democratic Party in Alaska.

    1962: Eighty-nine year old French historian Daniel Halévy, the son Ludovic Halevy who had converted to Christianity and who went from being a supporter of Dreyfus to a supporter of Petain’s pro-Nazi Vichy government passed away today.

    1966: In Tel Aviv, the offices of Zim Shipping Company on Rothschild Boulevard “burned down in of the biggest fires in Israeli history.”

    1966: “The Ugly Dachshund” starring Suzanne Pleshette premiered in the United States today.

    1967(24thof Shevat, 5727): Czech born Stephen Roth Jewish cartoonist passed away's_End

    1968: At sundown, Israeli forces ended their search for the INS Dakar.

    1968(5thof Shevat, 5728): Eighty-nine year old Judge Jacob Panken passed away today.

    1969: Birthdate of Leah Gloldstein, the native of Vancouver who moved to Israel where she spent 9 years in the Israeli commandos and secret police, won the 1989 World Bantamweight Kickboxing Championship, and was Israel's Duathlon champion.

    1969: Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Arafat was committed to a Palestinian state from the “River to the Sea.”  Despite all of the grins and handshakes associated with the Oslo Agreements, Arafat’s behavior at and after the Camp David Peace Talks sponsored by President Clinton proved that he really never deviated from this goal.

    1970: “Start the Revolution Without Me” a comedy set in the French Revolution directed and produced by Bud York and starring Gene Wilder was released in the United States today.

    1973: Israel unveiled the Reshef, its newest missile boat.

    1976: U.S. premiere of “Next Stop Greenwich Village,” a film about “a young Jewish boy from Brooklyn who has dreams of stardom” written, directed and produced by Paul Mazursky, co-starring Shelly Winters and Ellen Greene and featuring  Jeff Goldblum/

    1986: Israeli fighters intercepted a Libyan passenger plane.

    1971: In Los Angeles, former D.A. Gil Garcetti and Sukey Roth, daughter of Harry Roth, a Jewish immigrant from Russia who founded the clothing brand Louis Roth& amp; Co gave birth to Eric Garcetti, the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles.

    1979: Birthdate of Topeka, Kansas native and MacArthur Fellow Benjamin “Ben” Lerner, the poet and English professor at Brooklyn College.

    1983: “The Entity” a horror film starring Barbara Hershey was released today in the United States.

    1987: Marcel Marceau performs before a crowd of 2,074 fans in Iowa City, IA.

    1988: Jozef Gierowski, the scholar, who heads the Research Center of Jewish History at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, said at a dinner tonight that Poland will soon acknowledge ''political error'' in 1967-68, when thousands of Jews were purged from the Communist Party.

    1988: A four-day conference, sponsored by the Hebrew University Center for Research on the History and Culture of Polish Jews attended by 300 scholars including more than 80 Polish scholars came to an end. The 150 presentations given during the conference encompassed the entire history of the Polish Jews, covering subjects ranging from Jewish literature and philosophy to relations with the Roman Catholic Church and Jewish political organizations. The main presentation was about ethical problems concerning the Holocaust and Poland.

    1989: After 644 performances, the curtain came down on the West End production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

    1989: France won the doubles and took an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Israel today in Davis Cup play. Guy Forget and Yannick Noah defeated Amos Mansdorf and Shahar Perkis, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-3, 13-11, in a match that lasted three and a half hours. Forget and Noah staved off three match points in the fifth set, which lasted 1 hour 20 minutes.

    1990:Ten Israeli tourists were murdered near Cairo. Israeli military officials speculated this evening that the attackers of an Israeli tourist bus near Cairo were members of a guerrilla organization that sent assassins across the Egyptian border into Israel in December.

    1991: Mayor David N. Dinkins is scheduled to return to New York today after having made “a lightning visit to” Israel. Dinkins had said that the visit served “to reaffirm our historic solidarity with the State of Israel, our concern for the safety of the people of the Middle East who are caught up in this conflict, and of course, our support for the men and women in uniform who are risking their lives for freedom."

    1992(30th of Sh'vat, 5752): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1992: Israel's Ambassador, Zalman Shoval, returned to Washington today with what Israeli officials described as pragmatic counterproposals to an American position stated by Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d on January 24 concerning $10 billion in loan guarantees The Bush Administration had told Israel that it would consider its request for $10 billion in loan guarantees that are to be used for the construction of housing in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

    1994: “Romeo Is Bleeding” a crime film directed by Hungarian-born British director Medak was released in the United States today.

    1995: In an article published today David Gonzalez describes the growing involvement of Orthodox Jewish women in advanced graduate level Jewish Studies which could be a harbinger of further change in the role that Orthodox women play in communal life.,1062424

    1997: En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

    1997: Secretary of State Madeline Albright announced she had just discovered that her grandparents were Jewish.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingThe Bible Unearthed Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman,A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? 3000 BC-AD 1603 by Simon Schama and Under His Very Windows:The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy by Susan Zuccotti

    2002: Ann F. Lewis was appointed National Chair of the Democratic Party's Women's Vote Center.

    2004: Mark Zuckerberg “launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room.”

    2006: “The founder of the concierge service WhatShouldWeDo” and producer Arielle Tepper  the granddaughter of philanthropists Philip J. and Janice H. Levin married Ian Madvoer which she was known as Arielle Tepper Madover.

    2006 (6th of Shevat, 5766): Betty Friedan passed away on her 85th birthday. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2007: An exhibition entitled “The ‘Jewish’ Rembrandt” closes at Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum. The ‘Jewish’ Rembrandt is part of the key programs designed for the Rembrandt-400 celebrations, a national festival organized by museums and public bodies to celebrate the 400th birthday of the Dutch painter Rembrandt.

    2007: A review of Matters of Honor by Louis Begley entitled “A Jew at Harvard” appeared in Sunday New York Times book section.  In Begley’s seventh novel, the author describes the attempts of Henry White, a/k/a Henryk Weiss from Krakow, “to navigate in a culture where the term “Jew” is used “with restraint,” where it’s “an embarrassing word to utter in polite company. ... not unlike ‘homosexual.’ ”

    2007(17 Shevat 5767): Kurt Schubert, the founder of Austria's first Jewish museum after 1945 passed away at the age of 83. .Schubert died after a long illness, according to a statement posted on the Web site of the Austrian Jewish Museum in Eisenstaedt that he founded in 1972.

    2007: Roni Bar-On withdrew his candidacy for the position of Justice Minister

    2008: (28thShevat): On the 28th of Shevat, 134 BCE,, Antiochus V abandoned his siege of Jerusalem and his plans for the city's destruction. According to the “Megilat Taanit,” this day was observed as a holiday in Hasmonean times.

    2008: At the Community Synagogue in New York, The New Yiddish Rep presents “The Essence,” an overview of Yiddish Theater from Abraham Goldfaden to the present day created by Allen Rickman, performed by Allen Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson and Steve Sterner. The narration is in English and the songs and scenes are in Yiddish with English supertitles.

    2008: “The Knesset, including Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, agreed to consider the bill put forth by MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party) proposing the evacuation of the Palestinian residents of Hebron in 2008.” (As reported by Shahar Ilan)

    2008 (28 Shevat 5768): A Palestinian suicide bomber killed one woman and wounded 11 other people when he blew himself up in a crowded mall in the southern Israeli city of Dimona at 10:30 A.M.  (8:30 A.M. GMT). A second suicide bomber was killed by a policeman before he could detonate his explosives belt. The woman killed in the attack was 74-year-old Razdolskya Lyobov, a Dimona resident from the former Soviet Union. One of the wounded, a man, was in "critical condition."

    2009: The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism presents a lecture with Dr. Mordechai Kedar entitled "Islamism, Genocidal Anti-Semitism and the Place of the Other."

    2009: At Columbia University, the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents a lecture entitled, "Statecraft in the Middle East," with Ambassador Dennis Ross

    2009: Dutch Police on Wednesday found two bullet holes from a shooting aimed at a mental health clinic run by the Amsterdam Jewish community, in what may be a further escalation in anti-Semitic attacks in the Netherlands since Israel launched an operation in Gaza in December.

    2009: The 9th Annual Herzliya Conference comes to a close.

    2010: A staged concert version of Harold Rome’s musical “Fanny” opened at City Center.

    2010: The 14thNew York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open in New York City.

    2010: Maggie Anton, author of the trilogy about Rashi’s Daughters is scheduled to speak at Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    2010: Heavy snow was falling on Mount Hermon and on the higher areas in the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights today, while rains, hailstorms and strong winds were felt from Israel's North to the Negev

    2011: “Wandering Eyes” a documentary that tells the story of “Gabriel Belhassan …the next big thing in the rock music world, former Orthodox Jew and recently diagnosed manic depressive directed by Ofir Trainin is scheduled to be shown at the “REELABITLITIES FILM FESTIVAL” in New York City.

    2011: Hadassah Attorneys Ladies who Lunch! Gather at Eli’s, a kosher restaurant in Washington, D.C.

    2011(30thof Shevat, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    2011: Mass flash flooding triggered by Cyclone Yasi caused severe damage to Jewish community buildings in Melbourne. Wild floods stormed through several suburbs heavily populated by Melbourne’s 50,000-strong Jewish community this prompting the closure of the Sephardi Synagogue on Shabbat. At least two Jewish schools were also flooded, with Bialik College – one of the largest Jewish schools in the country – reportedly closing for two days this week due to damage. The offices of theAustralian Jewish News were also partially flooded, according to Yossi Aron, the newspaper’s religious affairs editor.

    2011: Deborah “Solomon stepped down from writing her weekly column” for the New York Times Magazine “to write in house and continue her biography of Norman Rockwell.”

    2011: Alan Gross was charged by the government of Cuba today with "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state," a charge that carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. The U.S. State Department identified Gross as a U.S. government contractor who was in Cuba to assist Cuban Jews in learning how to communicate with other Jewish communities using the Internet. (As reported by JTA)

    2012: Professor James Kugel is scheduled to deliver two lectures at Shearith Israel – “Why Did Moses Do Wrong? The Mystery, and History, of Massah and Meribah” and “How Our Ancient Interpreters Understood the Song at the Sea”

    2012: In Little Rock, the Jewish Federation of Arkansas is scheduled to present President Bill Clinton with the Tikkun Olam Lifetime Achievement Award at an event marking its 100th anniversary celebration dinner.

    2012: Electile Dysfunction: The Kinsey Sicks For President!(Because Sometimes It's Hard Being a Republican) is scheduled to open at Theatre J in Washington, DC.

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Temple Judah Traditional Minyan takes on a triple header – Super Bowl Shabbat, Shabbat Shirah and Four Chaplains Shabbat

    2012: In Iowa City, Defunct Books is advertising a first ever for that college town – a poetry reading featuring Yiddish poetry. Well known Cedar Rapids poet and playwright Murray Wolfe will be reading some of his own original works as well as reciting from the works of Avrom Sutskever

    2012: A shell from the British Mandate era was discovered this morning during construction work at Tel Aviv University.

    2012: As reports about the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure continue to escalate, Iran's oil minister said the Islamic state would not retreat from its nuclear program even if its crude oil exports grind to a halt, the official IRNA news agency reported today. Israel’s reported plan for an air attack is based on these kinds of declarations of Iranian determination to develop a nuclear capability. 

    2013: In Rockville, MD, Magen David Congregation is scheduled to host a presentation by Professor Anat Berko entitled “A Smarter Bomb; Women and Children as Suicide Bombers.”

    2013: The 16thAnnual Miami Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come a close.

    2013: In Florida, “Nicky’s Family,” a film that “pays tribute to” Sir Nicholas Winton who has been dubbed “Britain’s Schindler” is scheduled to be shown at the 13thannual Broward County Jewish Film Festival

    2013: Funeral services for the Ed Koch, the former Mayor of New York City are scheduled to be held at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Israeli consul general are among those scheduled to speak at the funeral.  Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to attend as the representative for President Barak Obama.

    2013: New research published today found that “school textbooks in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority largely eliminate one another’s existence in maps, although the Israeli curriculum is more balanced and self-critical than the Palestinian.

    2013: Israeli threats to strike Iran's nuclear program and send shock waves throughout the world are "unhelpful," and Jerusalem should lower its profile on the issue, director of the Institute for National Security Studies, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, said today.

     2013: The IDF has arrested a number of senior Hamas figures in the West Bank, Palestinian sources said today.

    2013: Mark Dreyfus began serving as Attorney-General for Australia and Minister for Emergency Management.

    2014: Graveside services for Jacob L. Horowitz, the son of Miriam Landsman and Steven Horowitz are scheduled to take place this afternoon at Agudas Achim Cemetery in Iowa City, IA.

    2014: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host an evening of Israeli Dance with instructor Ethan Halpern.

    2014: Keren Katz is scheduled to discuss Israeli cartoonists as part of the New York Comics & Picture –story Symposium.

    2014: Professor Ezra Zohar, the 92 year old physician who was one of the founders of the School of Medicine at Tel University and who passed away yesterday is scheduled to be laid to rest at Mt. of Olives Cemetery this afternoon.

    2014: The funeral for Captain Tl Nahman who was accidently killed yesterday in a “friendly fire” episode is scheduled to be buried this afternoon at the cemetery in Nes Ziona.

    2014: “The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) revamped their Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library today.” (As reported by Tova Dvorin)

    2015: “The Encores! Staged a concert version of the George and Ira Gershwin musical ‘Lady, Be Good’”.

    2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present Kathleen D. Roe speaking on the importance of archives and “why ‘archives matters.’”

    2015: Ari Shavit is scheduled to discuss his latest work, My Promised Land at Temple Emanu-el followed by a book signing.

    2015(15thof Shevat, 5775): Tu B’Shevat

    2016: “The Price of Sugar” is scheduled to be shown on the opening night of the 26thSan Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2016: In Nice, a two day celebration of the life of Angelo Donati who worked to save Italian Jews living in France that “included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on the Promenade des Anglais” came to an end.

    2016: All decent people mourned as 19 year old Hadar Cohen was laid to rest today after having been murdered by terrorists in Jerusalem yesterday.

    2016: The Skirball Center is scheduled to host “An Evening With Frédéric Brenner” the French photographer best known for his masterpiece Diaspora, a 25-year project spanning 40 countries resulting in a stunning visual record of the Jewish Diaspora.

    2016: The Jewish Historical Society is scheduled host an evening with Lawrence Douglas, author of The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great War Crime

    2017(8thof Shevat, 5777): Parashat Bo

    2017: This evening in Chicago, Dr. Daniel Greene, a curator from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to lead a “conversation on Americans and the Holocaust” – what did they know about it when it was happening?

    2017: Shiva is scheduled to come to an end this evening for Gloria Mound “who devoted almost four decades of her life to researching the history, dispersion and fate of Jews exiled from Spain in 1492.”

    2017: The Batsheva Dance Company is scheduled to perform “Last Work” for the final time at BAM.

    2018: In London, JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “Menashe” which is a rarity since it is a full length feature film in Yiddish.

    2018: Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the grand opening of “Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World” at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Illinois.

    2018: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Saboteur:The Aristocrat Who Became France’s Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando by Paul Kix, L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz, Munichby Robert Harris and To Fight Against This Age: On Fascism and Humanismby Rob Riemen

    2018: The exhibition “Codebreakers and Groundbreakers” that includes “documents and photos showing how World War Two codebreaker Alan Turing sponsored two Jewish refugee children from Austria and helped educate them in the UK have been put on show in Cambridge” is scheduled to come to an today at King’s College, Cambridge.

    2018: “In celebration of Black History Month, ACCESS, the young professionals group of the American Jewish Committee - Washington Regional Office, and Thursday Network, the young professionals auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League, are scheduled to host a February Black - Jewish Relations Panel - Recounting the Past, Examining the Present and Envisioning the Future.”

    2018: Betty Moore and Helen Stone are scheduled to be installed today when the Greater New Orleans Chapter of Hadassah holds its annual installation and brunch today. (As reported by CCNJ, the source for Jewish news in Cajun Country)



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    February 5

    517/519: Alcimus Avitus, the Archbishop of Vienne in Gaul who in 576 on Easter temporarily succeeded in calming a crowd angered when a recent convert to Christianity was doused with oil. Four days later local Christians burned down the synagogue and began attacking Jews. The Bishop offered the Jews a choice baptism or exile, he reported that 500 Jews accepted conversion. The rest fled, mostly to Marseilles. Many of those who ostensibly converted managed to eventually return to practicing Judaism.” (As reported by “The History of the Jewish People)

    1191: King Richard I (the Lionheart) whose coronation touched off anti-Semitic riots and Tancred, the King of Sicily, the island where Jews had been living since the first century met today at Catania.

    1265: Clement IV began his papacy during which he “authorized the Spanish Inquisition to investigate the live of Jewish people, especially those who had chosen to join the Catholic Church.” 

    1428: King Alfonso V, ordered Sicily's Jews to attend conversion sermons.

    1523: The first printed edition of Zeror ha-Mor, a popular commentary on the Pentateuch by Rabbi Abraham Sebag was published in Venice.

    1576:  Henry of Navarre, who will become Henry IV, converts to Roman Catholicism in order to ensure his right to the throne of France. Although there were no Jews living in France at this time, Henry reportedly was acquainted with one, a man named Manuel Pimentel whose Jewish name was Isaac Abenacar whom the French king called the “king of players.”  Pimentel or Abenacar would be the first person to be buried at the Jewish cemetery in Ouderkerk, near Muiderberg, not far from Amsterdam.

     1631: Roger Williams emigrated to Boston.  A believer in religious toleration, Williams would be forced to leave Boston which populated by the intolerant Puritans.  In Rhode Island, Williams would practice the religious toleration that became part of the American fabric and would make the United States a unique experience for the Jews.

    1678(13th of Shevat): Yuspi Shammah of Worms passed away

    1705: Seventy year old German theologian Phillip Spener who differed from his fellow Lutherans because he did not believe that “the expectation of the conversion of the Jews” was a “prelude to the triumph of the Church” – an expectation

    1718: Adriaan Reland the professor of Oriental languages at the University of Utrecht who “taught Hebrew Antiquities passed away today. He was a contemporary of Willem Surenhuis another Dutch Hebraist who published a completed Latin translation of the Mishnah from 1698 to 1703.

    1778: During the American Revolution South Carolina became the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, which was the first document of national governance for the newly created United States of America which was still fighting Great Britain to gain its independence. Francis Salvador, who had served as a delegate to the Provincial Council that had voted for independence was not present for this vote since had been killed by Indians while fighting against the British. But most of the Jews, including David Cardozo and Joseph Solomon who were members of a “Jewish company” were probably quite supportive of the ratification since they supported the cause of American Independence.

    1781: Two days after capturing St. Eustatius, Admiral Rodney “asked for an inventory of all merchants and their nationality” followed a week later by an order from Rodney that “all male Jews report to the weigh house for deportation at which time he “extorted a total of 8000 ponds in cash from some 250 males.”

    1791: As the Jews worked to gain full citizenship in Hungary, Judge Stephen Atzel read the following at today’s session of the Diet: “In order that the condition of the Jews may be regulated pending such time as may elapse until their affairs and the privileges of various royal free towns relating to them shall have been determined by a commission to report to the next ensuing Diet, when his Majesty and the estates will decide on the condition of the Jews, the estates have determined, with the approval of his Majesty, that the Jews within the boundaries of Hungary and the countries belonging to it shall, in all the royal free cities and in other localities (except the royal mining-towns), remain under the same conditions in which they were on Jan. 1, 1790; and in case they have been expelled anywhere, they shall be recalled."

    1799(30th of Shevat, 5559): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1782: The Spanish defeated British garrison on Minorca and captured the island. When Minorca had become an English possession in 1713, the English willingly offered “asylum to thousands of Jews” who responded in large enough numbers to justify the building of at least one synagogue. However, when the English left the island after this defeat, the Jews left too. After all, Spain was still the land of the Inquisition.

    1801: In Frankfurt, Benedikt Moses Worms and Schönche Jeannette Rothschild gave birth to Salomon Benedikt Worms the grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild who became a leading member of the Anglo-Jewish community as the 1st Baron de Worms.

    1812: In Amsterdam, Jacob Abraham, “the Levite” “took the family name Rabbie and became Jacob Abraham Rabbie

    1817: “The Rothschilds took up a Prussian loan of 1,500,000 gulden at 5 per cent.”

    1817: Moses and Dinah Meyer were married to at the Western Synagogue.

    1819: Birthdate of Rabbi Bernhard Gotthelf who served as a Chaplain in the Union Army during the Civil War.

    1840: The Damascus Affair started with the disappearance of Father Thomas, a Franciscan superior. The French consul accused the Jews of ritual murder and extracted a "confession" by torture in which one of the victims died. The consul then requested permission from Mahemet Ali to kill the rest of his suspects. Others, including sixty children, were arrested and starved to convince their parents to confess. Sir Moses Montefiore, Adolphe Cremieux and Salomon Munk intervened on behalf of the Jews and the charges were dropped.

    1848(30th of Shevat, 5608) Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1851: David Davis married Esther Hart at the Great Synagogue at the Great Synagogue.

    1852: “Otto Goldschmidt married the world-famous soprano Jenny Lind. To please his wife, he converted to Protestantism.”

    1852(15th of Shevat, 5612): Tu B'Shevat

    1855: French artist Eugène Delacroix wrote the following description of the deteriorating condition of Fromential Halevy, the French composer who was the son of a cantor. “I went on to Halévy’s house, where the heat from his stove was suffocating. His wretched wife has crammed his house with bric-a-brac and old furniture, and this new craze will end by driving him to a lunatic asylum. He has changed and looks much older, like a man who is being dragged on against his will. How can he possibly do serious work in this confusion? His new position at the Academy must take up a great deal of his time, and make it more and more difficult for him to find the peace and quiet he needs for his work. Left that inferno as quickly as possible. The breath of the streets seemed positively delicious.”

    1857: Rabbi Philipp Ehrenberg and Julie Ehrenberg gave birth to Richard Ehrenberg.

    1857: In Philadelphia, PA, Leopold Sulzberger and Sophia Lindauer gave birth to Solomon Sulzberger the husband of Clara Frank who moved to Chicago in 1876 where he served as a Director of Michael Reese Hospital, a Director of the National Paint, Oil and Varnish Association of Chicago and Chairman of the Relief Committee of the United Hebrew Charities.

    1859: Wallachia and Moldavia are united under Alexander John Cuza as the United Principalities, an autonomous region within the Ottoman Empire, which ushered the birth of the modern Romanian state. When the Jews failed to provide financial support for Cuza, he “inserted in his draft of a constitution a clause excluding from the right of suffrage all who did not profess Christianity.”

    1861: Birthdate of history Julius Aronius, the native of Rastenburg whose most famous work was a study of the “history of the Jews in Germany during the Middle Ages” which he was not able to complete before his death.

    1864(28thof Shevat, 5624): Fifty-three year old Mortiz Veit the “author, publisher and politician who was chairman of the Association of German Booksellers and leader of the Jewish community in Berlin passed away today.

    1864; “Physician, children’s health advocate, and community activist Dr. Zemach Szabad was born today in Vilna. Szabad began his career as a doctor providing care and support to Jews whose shtetlach were devastated by World War One. When the war ended, Szabad played an active role in public life, quickly becoming one of the most prominent figures in the city, working to improve the health of the Jewish community—especially children and women—and participating in numerous cultural projects and organizations.” (As reported by Yiddishkayt)

    1864: Birthdate of “Physician, children’s health advocate, and community activist Dr. Zemach Szabad” who served in the Senate of the Second Polish, was a co-founder of YIVO and who was the father of Regina Weinreich, the father-in-law of Max Weinreich and the grandfather of Uriel and Gabriel Weinreich

    1865(9thof Shevat, 5625): Fifty-nine year old Joseph Schwarz the native of Bavaria whose devotion to the history and geography of Palestine led him to move there passed away today in Jerusalem.

    1866: Barbe-bleuean opéra bouffe, or operetta, in three acts (four scenes) by Jacques Offenbach with a libretto co-authored by Ludovic Halevy was first performed at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris where it played for five months.

    1867 (30th of Shevat, 5627): In a decree from the Sultan, brought about by the intervention of Moses Montefiore, the Jews of Morocco were ordered not to be harmed, and to be treated in accordance of the laws of Allah. However, it was reported many Jews became "arrogant and reckless" after hearing this ruling, especially the Westernized Jews who worked the ports.

    1867 (30th of Shevat, 5627): Salomon Munk, German-born French Orientalist passed away. Born in 1803, Munk had a thorough Jewish education before pursuing secular interest.  He was unique among Europeans and Jews of his time because he was fluent in Arabic.  Munk “devoted himself to the study of the Judæo-Arabic literature of the Middle Ages and to the works of Maimonides, more especially the latter's Moreh Nebukim or Guide to the Perplexed." This enabled him to publish his three volume Arabic edition of the Moreh in the years from 1856 to 1860.  This accomplishment is all the more amazing because it was done after Munk had lost his eyesight in 1850 while cataloguing manuscripts written in Hebrew and Sanskrit.  Munk was a leader of the French Jewish community.  His position of prominence in the community along with his Arabic linguistic skills enabled him to serve as one of the three Jewish leaders who went to Egypt to deal with the Damascus Affair. Munk’s Yahrzeit should help us to remember that Maimonides was a Jewish scholar who belonged to the Arab world as well.

    1875)30thof Shevat, 5635): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1879(12th of Shevat, 5639): Moses S. Cohen passed away unexpectedly today at the age of 70.  A prominent New Yorker, he had served as President of B’Nai Israel on Stanton Street and as Master Mason. A native of Holland, he had lived in the United States for almost fifty years.

    1881: Phoenix, Arizona is incorporated. Jews played a prominent part in the development of the Arizona Territory in general and Phoenix in particular from early pioneer times. For example, Michael Wormser, the poor son of a butcher, who made his fortune in the Arizona territory donated the land for the Phoenix Beth Israel Cemetery before his death in 1898. Sol Lewis and Martin Kaltes established the National Bank of Arizona in Phoenix. The Goldwater family is the Jewish family many think of when they hear of Phoenix.  From a Jewish point of view, this is not such a point of pride since the most “famous son” was Barry Goldwater. Senator Goldwater was raised as a member of the Episcopal Church.

    1881: Thomas Carlyle passed away. While many remember him as the historian who chronicled the French Revolution and the life of Frederick the Great others remember as an author “Negro hating,” anti-Semite who believed in the superiority of the Teutonic Race. T. Peter Park examined Carlyle’s anti-Semitism in an article entitled “Thomas Carlyle and the Jews.”

    1883(28thof Shevat, 5643): Seventy-four year old Jonathan-Raphaël Bischoffsheim a member of Bischoffsheim dynasty who co-founded the bank of Bischoffsheim & Goldschmidt and the National Bank of Belgium while also serving as a Liberal member of the Belgium Parliament where he was an advocate for public education, passed away in Brussels.

    1885: In Philadelphian, PA, The Young Women's Union which “was originally a branch of the Hebrew Education Society,  “ was organized today through the efforts of Mrs. Fanny Binswanger. “The object of the union was to educate the younger children of immigrant Jews. It maintained a kindergarten, day-nursery, sewing-school” and other such programs under the Presidency of Mrs. Julia Friedberger Eschner.

    1887(11thof Shevat, 5647): Eighty-year old Asher Sammter who served as the rabbi in Liegnitz (Prussia) from 1837 to 1854 and who moved to Berlin in 1869 where he pursued a career of literary scholarship passed away today.

    1890(15thof Shevat, 5650): Tu B’Shevat

    1890: Rabbi Zeev Yavet, one of the founders of the Misrachi movement, took his students to plant trees at Zichron Yaakov.  The Jewish Teachers Union adopted this custom in 1908.  This is also the origin of the JNF Tree Planting Drive which is tied to the modern observance of Tu B’Shevat.

    1890: Based on information that appeared in the 15th annual report of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children during 1889, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society provided care for 149 children that the New York Society had placed with them.

    1890: It was reported today that Jesse Seligman, J.H. Schiff, Simon Schafer and Henry Rice were among the prominent members of the Jewish community who have bought boxes for the upcoming Purim Ball, a major fund-raising event.

    1891(27thof Shevat, 5651): Forty-seven year old Nehemiah Brüll the native of Moravia who served as the rabbi at Frankfurt am Main and was a leader of the Reform movement as well as a scholar whose “reading in Jewish literature was” unparalleled and who “who evinced a peculiar acumen found in no other scholar in modern times” passed away today.

    1889: Birthdate of Zeev (Wolf) Gold, the son of Mariampol Rabbi who lived in the United States from 1907 to 1924 where he served as Preside of the Mizrachi in the United States and Canada before moving to Israel in 1924 where he lived until his death in 1956.

    1892: It was reported today the late Benjamin Russak made bequests of $500 each to Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews, United Hebrew Charities, Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids and the Hebrew Technical Institute. He made bequests of $250 each to B’nai Jershurun, the Bikur Cholem Society, and the Hebrew Free School.

    1892: As the Chamber of Commerce made plans to raise funds to help alleviate those suffering from the famine in Russia, Jacob H. Schiff, said, “he belonged to the race which had suffered so much at the hands of the Czar’s government” and while the Jews would be generous in supporting the effort, they would not support any effort that sent money to the Russian government.  The money must go directly to those who were suffering.

    1892: Samuel J. Cohn was arraigned this morning on charges of fraud. Specifically he solicited funds while falsely claiming to be a collector for the United Hebrew Charities.

    1892:”Mr. Bigelow Talks on Russia” published today included a description of a dispute that broke between Poulteney Bigelow and a Russian Jew named Coplik.  When describing the persecution of the “Christian Jews” in Russia, Bigelow described the Czar as a kindly man, Coplik rose from the audience and said that “the Czar was a savage tyran and went on to prove it” by providing several anecdotes to support his statement.

    1893: The first of the series of Sunday Grand Opera Concert’s at Oscar Hammerstein’s Manhattan Opera House is scheduled to take place today.

    1893: In New York City, the Central Labor Union endorsed several resolutions including one that called upon the state legislature “to take action in regard to alleged misuse of the Baron Hirsch Fund by the United Hebrew Charities.”

    1894: The Cincinnati Enquirer described the marriage ceremony of Maurice Bear and Miss Bertha Levy of Birmingham, Alabama at her home.  The bride and the groom, who is a successful businessman, are each about four feet tall.

    1899: In Harrisburg, PA, founding today of the Jewish Literary and Musical Society which meets on the first Sunday of each month and whose members included Mrs. George Rosenthal and J.S. Lowengard.

    1899: In the Ukraine, Peter J. Schweitzer and his wife gave birth to Louis J. Schweitzer who came to the United Sates at the age of four and eventually used the family fortune to work for reforms in the penal and judicial systems.

    1899: It was reported today that Senor Castelar, the Spanish Republican political leader has expressed his concern with the political situation in France including what he sees as “as a tendency…to go back to the barbarous old-time expulsions of the Jews”  “when Jews have to be protected from massacre by the armed intervention of the Government…”

    1899: It was reported today that in defending the Zionism, Professor Richard Gottheil has stated that “Palestine is the place where we can live that Jewish life we are called upon to live and only there can we take up the greater work for preparing for the Messianic time….We Zionists are the most ideal of all Jews because we want to prepare the basis upon which the building, seen by our prophets in visions may be reared.” (What may make this sound surprising to some is that Gottheil was a professor at Columbia and the son of on America’s most prominent Reform Rabbis.)

    1901: In Chicago, Nettie Green Sheekman and Charles Grover Sheekman gave birth to Arthur Sheekman the brother of Edith and Harvey Sheekman the writer whose big break came while collaborating with the Grouch Marx.

    1901: Herzl met with the French banker Reitlinger in Paris and discussed the idea of buying the Turkish Public Debt as a way to negotiate for the Charter for a Jewish Homeland in Eretz Israel.

    1902: Herzl begins a trip Constantinople where he is scheduled to arrive on the 14thso that he may begin negotiations for the creation of Jewish homeland.  

    1903: Birthdate of John Michael Cohen, the Cambridge graduate who gave up a career in the family furniture business to become a teacher, translator and author whose “works included The History of Western Literature,The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations and a biography of Ludwig Mond.

    1903: Funeral services were to be held this morning for Morris Tuska at his home in Manhattan followed by burial in Salem fields.  A native of Hungary, the seventy-two year old Tuska passed away two days ago.  He found success in a wholesale upholstery supply business which he operated from 1857 until 1871.  He was a co-founder of the United Hebrew Charity Organization, founder of the Hebrew Technical Institute, President of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum and an active member of Temple Emanu-el for 45 years.

    1904: Sixty-three year old  “French microbiologist and chemist” Émile Duclaux who was “a vocal supporter of Alfred Dreyfus” passed away today.

    1905: Birthdate of Mirra Komarovsky, the Russian born American Sociologist.

    1906: As of today, “many Jews” in Kiev” have received by mail sentences of death in the name of the Pan Russian League in Defense of the Holy Cross.”

    1908: At Setatt, Morocco two days of riots and killings riots and massacres have devastated the Jewish community.

    1908: In Bridgeport, CT, music store own Joseph Gilman and Rebecca Ives Gilman gave birth to Yale Medical School graduate and pharmacologist Alfred Zack Gilman, Sr. Gilman, Sr.

    1913(28thof Shevat, 5673): Fifty-one year old Baltimore merchant Isaac L. Kemper passed away today.

    1913: New York attorney Harry Newburger was “appointed Third Deputy Police Commissioner” today.

    1913: At the Hotel La Salle in Chicago, Dr. Joseph Stoltz officiated at the marriage of Samuel Lee Dinkelspiel of Louisville, KY and Lilian R. Phillipson, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Phillipson.

    1913: “A dispatch received” today “at St. Petersburg” reported “that a crowd of roughs invaded the Jewish quarter” and beat a number of the inhabitants, several whom are believed to have been fatally injured” while also “sacking a number of stores.

    1914: Hyman J. Reit presided over today’s special meeting of “the Executive Committee of the Federation of Jewish Organizations of New York State” where arrangements were made “for sending a memorial and resolutions to President Wilson and Congress protesting against the Burnett Immigration bill…and against other pending legislation restricting immigration.”

    1914: Birthdate of Sol Libsohn, the New York native and CCNY graduate who became a noted photographer.

    1915: After Herbert Samuel had “submitted a Zionist memorandum entitled ‘The Future of Palestine’ to the British cabinet” in January, today “Samuel had another discussion with Foreign Minister Lord Grey: who said that “it might be possible to neutralize the country (Palestine) under international guarantee ... and to vest the government of the country in some kind of Council to be established by the Jews.

    1915: Birthdate of Robert Hofstadter, American atomic physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1961.

    1915(21stof Shevat, 5675): David Cahn the native of Cracow who in 1872 came to the United States where served as the cantor at  numerous New York Congregations in Temple Shar Hashomayim and Temple Rodeph Sholem passed away today.

    1915: In “Turks Near Armageddon” published today described the encampment of the fourth Turkish army near “the historic highway connecting three continents” which “is passed through daily by Jews and Christians fleeing to the seacoast.”

    1915(21stof Shevat, 5675): David Cahn, who was born in Cracow in 1852 and came to the United States in 1871 where served as a Cantor passed away today.

    1916: Albert Lucas, the Chairman of the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering the War received word from Secretary of the Navy Daniels” today “that space allotment for the consignment of medicines” bound Palestine has been made on the naval collier Sterling which will probably set sail from New York within the next ten days.

    1916: In “Brandeis,”  Felix Frankfurter described the impact of the nomination of this distinguished lawyer to the Supreme Court.

    1917: Birthdate of Rephoel Baruch Sorotzkin, the native of Lithuania who was the son of Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin and became the Rosh Yeshiva of Cleveland’s Telz Yeshiva.

    1917(13th of Shevat, 5677): Paul Alfred Rubens an English born song writer who found success in composing works for musical comedies in the UK and the USA passed away today at the age of 41.

    1917: The Congress of the United States overrode President Wilson’s veto of the Immigration Act of 1917, which contains a literacy test, making the act the law of the land.  This override marked the end of a twenty yearlong battle that had begun in 1897 when President Grover Cleveland vetoed an immigration act passed by Congress.  President Taft vetoed a similar bill in 1913.  Jewish groups opposed the act, especially the literacy test, because they saw it as a thinly veiled way to exclude Jewish immigrants from eastern and southern Europe from coming to the United States.  Jewish immigration to the United States peaked in 1906 when 150,000 Jews made their way to the United States.  In 1914, even with the war having broken out in, 140,000 Jews came to the United States.  By 1917, only 14,000 Jews were admitted to the United States.

    1917: The news that President Wilson had broken off diplomatic relations with Germany over that country’s policy of unrestricted submarine warfare and had seized German auxiliary cruisers in American ports was greeted with joy by the British, fear for how American diplomats in Germany might be mistreated and concern that the result of all of this would U.S. entry into the war which would make it that much harder to provide aid to the Jews trapped in eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire.

    1918: Rabbi Wise, the Chairman of the Provisional Zionist Committee, provided a list of the name of European statesman “who had approved the plan for the Jewish State in Palestine.

    1918: This evening, the UB-77, a German submarine, torpedoed the S.S. Tuscania, a U.S. troopship that sank with a loss of life that included at least eight Jewish servicemen.

    1919: In New York City, Jewish immigrants Sophie (née Baker) and Michael Chwatt gave birth to Aaron Chwatt who gained fame as comedian and actor Red Buttons.  Buttons got his first name from the color of his hair.  The last name was a reference to the shiny buttons on the coat he wore as waiter while waiting tables before his career took off. Bronx New York NY, comedian/actor (Sayonara, Poseidon Adventure).

    1919: Charlie Chaplin joined three other Hollywood stars in starting United Artist Studios, one of the early giants of the motion picture industry.  It was unique, because as its name indicates, this studio was owned and controlled by the creative people.

    1919: Today, Julius Kahn, the Jewish Congressman from California expressed his “regret…that President Wilson had come out openly in favor of a” proposal for an independent Jewish state because “consideration of this question should place at the peace table” and because “one of the great dangers of Zionism is the face that the non-Jew will begin to look upon the American Jew as always having a lurking desire to return to the so-called Jewish homeland and the Jew will be accused by the non-Jew of being merely a sojourner in the United States.”

    1920: Office and members of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society will be attending the funeral for Rabbi Isaac C. Noot, the father of Kittie Lazarus, Simon, George and Louis Noot which is scheduled to be held this morning at the family’s residence.

    1921: The “second annual reception and dance” sponsored by “the Bronx Free Synagogue” is scheduled to be held today at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.

    1923: Maurice Duplessis who as Premier of the Province of Quebec issued the warrant which empowered the provincial police to raid “the cultural section of the Canadian Labor Circle, a Jewish fraternal organization” during which they removed “eight hundred books of the 950 volume library maintained by Jewish cultural circle” today began serving as MNA (Member National Assembly) for Trois-Rivières.

    1925(11th of Shevat, 5685): Julius Fleischmann, the son of Charles Louis Fleischmann and mayor of Cincinnati, passed away.

    1925: Four days after he turned 77, British author Arnold Henry White who went from blaming the Jews for the problems in East End to being a “virulent anti-Semite” who opposed Jewish immigration to the United Kingdom passed away today.

    1926: In New York City, Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Iphigene Bertha Ochs gave birth to Arthur Sulzberger, Sr., Chairman of the Board of the New York Timesfrom 1965 to 1991.

    1927: Birthdate of Marshall Rosenbluth, the American plasma physicist who won the National Medal of Science.

    1927: Launch of the USCGC Northland, which after a twenty years of service would be sold for scrap, acquired by Zionists who renamed it the Jewish State and used the ship for bringing European refugees to Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel.

    1929: In Holyoke, MA, “Jewish immigrants Meyer and Rose Belsky gave birth to Harold Simon Belsky, who gained fame as “drummer and session musician” Hal Blaine who can be heard on innumerable hits including recordings by the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel.

    1929: “The Sidewalks of New York” a film “made by animation pioneers Max Fleischer and Dave Fleischer was re-released today as part of the Fleischer’s new series Screen Songs.

    1930:  Fifth Aliyah begins. The Fifth Aliyah, which some sources say actually started in 1929, marked a ten-year period when approximately 250,000 Jews settled in pre-War Palestine.  This new wave of Jewish immigration was sparked by a number of causes including the restrictions on immigrations adopted by the United States in the 1920’s, the end of the Arab Uprising of the 1920’s and the rise of Hitler which brought a wave of German immigrants to the Jewish homeland.  The arrival of the Germans changed the nature of the Jewish community, because unlike the previous immigrants they were not from Russia and they were not committed Zionists eager for life on the Kibbutz.

    1930: After a half-hour’s deliberation the death sentence was imposed today upon the Jewish Constable, 22 year old Simcha Hinkas. The jury had found him guilty of the premeditated murder of an Arab family in the August, 1929. “Not more than ten minutes after the verdict was pronounced, large crimson printed notices appeared pasted on trees and signboards at Tel Aviv where the accused lived and where a spirit of deep mourning now prevails…Meir Dizengoff, Mayor of Tel Aviv said today: ‘When I contrast the death sentence imposed on this Jewish policeman with the acquittal of twelve Arabs accused of murdering seven Jews at Macleff House in Motzah, it makes me weep.  What? Is this human justice?’”

     1931: Eddie Cantor appeared on The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour starring Rudy Vallee which “led to a four-week tryout with NBC’s The Chase and Sanborn Hour.  (Cantor and Fleischmann were Jewish; Vallee was not)

    1931: “The Man in Search of His Murderer” a comedy directed by Robert Siodmak, with a script by Curt Siodmak and Billy Wilder and music Franz Waxman was released in Germany today.

    1933: In Germany All Communist Party buildings and printing presses were expropriated by Hitler’s new Nazi government.  Hitler would equate his war against the Communists with his war against the Jews. 

    1934: David T. Wilenz was appointed Attorney General of New Jersey today.

    1935: After merging with the New York Jewish Tribune, the American Hebrewappeared today as the American Hebrew and Jewish Tribune.

    1936: Charlie Chaplin’s first “talkie,”  "Modern Times", was released.

    1936: On the closing day of its two day meeting in Louisville, KY, the Executive Board of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods denounced “compulsory military training” and endorsed the Nye-Kvale Bill.

    1936: In Manhattan, Gustave Silverman, “a builder and plumber who invested in real estate and eventually bought the Hotel Wales on Madison Avenue,” and the former Bessie Goldberger gave birth to Kenneth Silverman, who won both the Bancroft Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Cotton Mather.

    1936: Sir Herbert Samuel, who is in the United States to raise funds and gain public support for the settling of 100,000 Jewish refugees in Palestine and is the honorary president of the Biriths Friends of the Hebrew University in Palestine was the guest of honor at a reception hosted by Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach.

    1936: Hugo Blumenthal, President of the Board of the School Nursing, presided over the 53rdannual commencement ceremonies at Mt. Sinai Hospital where 33 new nurses received their degrees.

    1936: Bernhard Rust, the Minister of Culture and Education, today “forbade non-Jewish university students” from employing Jewish tutors because it was “contrary to academic dignity.”

    1937: “The Holy Terror” a comedy featuring Joe E. Lewis and Leah Ray, the future wife of Sonny Werblin was released in the United States today.

    1937: U.S. premiere of “Outcast” a murder drama produced by Emanuel Cohen, photographed by cinematographer Rudolph Mate and music by Ernst Toch.

    1937: In an article published in the Evening Standard, Winston Churchill “continued to issue his warnings about the growing menace of Nazi tyranny.”  The Baldwin government would ignore him and Europe would continue on the path that led to the Holocaust.

    1938(4thof Adar I, 5698): Parashat Terumah

    1938: Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to deliver a sermon “God Save the Family” at Temple Israel.

    1938: Rabbi Louis I Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Don Isaac Abrabanel of Spain: a 500th Anniversary Tribute” today at Temple Rodeph Sholom.

    1938: Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver the sermon at Temple Emanu-El this morning.

    1938: Rabbi Hyman Judah Shachtel is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Jews’ Contribution to Civilization” at West End Synagogue.

    1938: Five hundred protestors who gathered at Columbus Circle this afternoon for a meeting sponsored by the New York State Committee Communist Party protested “the Fascist wave of terror aimed at the 900,000 Jews of Rumania” and adopted a resolution demanding “that the Government of Rumania put an end to the oppression of Jews and other national minorities.”

    1938(4thof Adar I, 5698): Thirty-four year old Hans Achim Litten the Jewish lawyer who cross-examined Hitler for three hours during a trial in 1931 committed suicide in Dachau after years of incarceration and torture.

    1939: Today, on Sunday, Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon “It Is Later Than You Think at Temple Emanu-El.

    1939: James Waterman Wise is scheduled to deliver an address on “Hitlerism Invades America: How To Defeat It” at the Free Synagogue meeting in Carnegie Hall.

    1939: At a forum hosted by the West End Synagogue Stanley High is scheduled to deliver an address on “What’s Ahead of the Democracies?” at 11 A.M.

    1939: Ludwig Lewisohn is scheduled to deliver an address on Confessions of a Novelist” at Temple B’Nai Jeshurun.

    1939: Professor Albert P. Martin, the former head of the Quaker Committee in Berlin is scheduled to deliver an address on “The Message of Quakers in a Troubled World” this morning at Temple Rodeph Sholom.

    1939: The Fort Washington Synagogue, led by Rabbi Alexander Segel, hosted a meeting of the Junior League today.

    1939: Mrs. Tehilla Lichtenstein is scheduled to deliver an address on “Religion and Evolution – a Message of Optimism for Today” at the Jewish Science Society in New York.

    1939: The Central Synagogue is scheduled to host the first in a series of lectures on “The History of the Jews” delivered by Rabbi Jonah B. Wise who will speak on “Jews on the Roman Empire.”

    1941: “A diplomatic note from Chinune Sugihara” the Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania, “to Japan's then Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka” states that “he issued 1,500 out of 2,139 transit visas to Jews and Poles.”  This was only part of the picture of a man who should be called “a Japanese Schindler.”

    1941: The first week-day religious school sessions under the Coudert-McLaughlin Law passed last spring at Albany, permitting students to be released from public school classes an hour a week for religious training, were held on this date.  The law was passed in response to the wishes of certain Catholic leaders; not Jewish educators.

    1942: In a letter today, Martha Dodd “told her Soviet contacts that her husband should be brought into their network.”  Dodd was the daughter of William Dodd, the first U.S. Ambassador to Germany who tried to warn America about the menace of Hitler.  Martha’s husband was Alfred Stern, the investment broker who had been married to the daughter of Julius Rosenwald.  Dodd, like many during this period, saw the Soviets as allies in the fight against Fascism.

    1943(30thof Shevat, 5703): Rosh Chodesh Adar 1

     1943(30thof Shevat, 5703: Sigmund Freud’s sister Esther Adolfine (Dolfi) died at Theresienstadt

     1943: For 14 hours the Jews of Birkenau stood in place, in the snow, during a roll call. Then each was beaten, chased or sent to the gas chamber.

    1943: For one week Germans are greeted with an armed uprising as they try to deport the final group of Bialystok Jews. By February 12th, 18,000 were in hiding. Another 10,000 would end up in Treblinka.

    1943: In Chicago, grocers Esther and Jack Mann gave birth to Oscar nominated director, producer and writer Michael Mann.

    1943: Rutka Laskier, a fourteen year old living in Bedzin, Poland wrote in her diary: “The rope around us is getting tighter and tighter. Next month there should already be a ghetto, a real one, surrounded by walls. In the summer it will be unbearable. To sit in a gray locked cage, without being able to see fields and flowers. Last year I used to go to the fields; I always had many flowers, and it reminded me that one day it would be possible to go to Malachowska Street without taking the risk of being deported. Being able to go to the cinema in the evening; I'm already so "flooded" with the atrocities of the war that even the worst reports have no effect on me. I simply can't believe that one day I'll be able to leave the house without the yellow star. Or even that this war will end one day ... If this happens, I will probably lose my mind from joy. But now I need to think about the near future, which is the ghetto. Then it will be impossible to see anyone, neither Micka, who lives in Kamionka C, nor Janek, who lives in D, and not Nica, who lives in D. And then what will happen? Oh, good Lord. Well, Rutka, you've probably gone completely crazy. You are calling upon God as if He exists. The little faith I used to have has been completely shattered. If God existed, He would have certainly not permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with butts of guns or be shoved into sacks and gassed to death ... It sounds like a fairy tale. Those who haven't seen this would never believe it. But it's not a legend; it's the truth. Or the time when they beat an old man until he became unconscious, because he didn't cross the street properly. This is already absurd; it's nothing, as long as there won't be Auschwitz ... and a green card ... The end ... When will it come? ...”

    1945: Twenty-three year old Violette Szabo who played an active role in fighting the Nazis as a member of the SOE was executed by the Germans today at Ravensbruck concentration camp.

    1945(22ndof Shevat, 5705): Twenty-nine year old Paris born Jewess Denis Bloch who served with British Special Operations Executive (SOE) was executed at Ravensbruck after which her body was “disposed of in the crematorium.

    1946: George Arliss passed away.  Arliss was not Jewish, but he won an Oscar for portraying Disraeli in a film of the same name.  For many people of that era, the Arliss portrayal was synonymous with Disraeli and with English Jews.

    1947: In Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, Felek and Chana Gebotszrajber (Fred and Ann Gilbert) gave birth to Yankel Gebotszjraber (Jack Gilbert), the brother of Lena R. Gilbert, who came to the United States in 1949 where he lived in Cedar Rapids before graduating with honors, from California Polytechnic State University in San Louis Obispo.

    1948(25thof Shevat, 5708): Sixty-eight year old Belorussian born Columbia graduate Simeon Strunsky who began as an editor for the New International Encyclopedia before eventually joining the editorial staff of the New Yok Times in 1924 passed away today.

    1948: Dr. Alexander Marx will be the guest of honor at dinner being held at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York to recognize his 45 years of service to JTS as a teacher and librarian.

    1948: In Hollywood, Melrose (née Moore) a Presbyterian from Arkansas and Arnold Nathan Herzstein, a Jewish horse racing columnist gave birth to Barbara Lynn Herzstein who gained game as actress Barbara Hershey.

    1949: “Tarzan’s Magic Fountain” the fifth in the series of Tarzan films directed by Lee Sholem, produced by Sol Lesser and with a script co-authored by Curt Siodmark was released today in the United States

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the cabinet held an extraordinary meeting, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, to consider the recent frequent outbreaks of violence and infiltration across the Jordanian border, including the derailing, of a goods train near Kalkilya,.

    1956: Birthdate of Weizman Shiry. A native of Beersheba, this son of Iraqi Jews served in the Knesset as a member of the Labor Party.

    1958: United Artists released “The Quite American,” the cinematic version of the novel of the same name which was written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and featured Fred Sadoff as “Dominguez.”

    1959: “Redhead,” a musical with music composed by Albert Hague and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, who with her brother, Herbert, along with Sidney Sheldon wrote the libretto opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre.

    1960: “University of New Mexico coach Marv Levy is named head football coach at the University of California, Berkley.” (As reported by Bob Wechsler)

    1962: In Hollywood Jewish thespians Vic Morrow and Barbara Turner gave birth to Jennifer Leigh Morrow who gained famed as actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.

    1964: “Man in the Middle” a film based on a novel by Howard Fast, featuring Sam Wanamaker and Al Waxman was released in the United States today.

    1967: Ninety-two year old Martin Saxe, who when a New York State Senator responded to Bertha Rayner Frank having been turned away from a New Jersey hotel because she was Jewish that would have banned such behavior in the state of New York.

    1971: Seventy-eight year old Hungarian communist politician who repudiated his Jewish faith passed away today.

    1972: “When Michael Calls” a horror film starring Michael Douglas, Marian Waldman and Al Waxman and with music by Lionel Newman premiered today on ABC.

    1974: “On his way home from Cuba Brezhnev told representatives of Canadian Jewish Community of St. Johns at Gander airport, Newfoundland that the real figure of Soviet Jews wanting to emigrate was 3,500 and not 500,000 quoted by the group” and the he refused “to intervene in the case of Sylva Zalmanson, who is currently serving 10 year labor camp sentence.”

    1974: “The Lovell Beach House located on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California” which “was completed in 1926 and is now recognized as one of the most important works by Austrian born Jewish architect Rudolf Schindler” “was listed as a Registered Historic Place in California” today.

    1975(24thof Shevat, 5735): Seventy-seven year old movie producer Lawrence Weingarten who produced two Hepburn-Tracy films – Adam’s Rib and Pat & Mike – and who won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award passed away today.

    1975: The movie version of Report to the Commissioner with a screenplay co-authored by Abby Mann, music by Elmer Bernstein and featuring Yaphet Kotto and Bab Balaban was released today in the United States.

    1977(17th of Shevat, 5737): Swedish physicist, Oskar Klein passed away.

    1977: (17th of Shevat, 5737): Russian born chess player Izaak Boleslavski passed away at the age of 67

    1980: The Egyptian Parliament voted to end the boycott of Israel.  This was one of the “fruits” of the Camp David Peace Accords. 

    1983: Former Nazi Gestapo official Klaus Barbie was brought to trial today.

    1984 (2nd of Adar I, 5744): Seventy-eight year old Manès Sperber an Austrian-French novelist, essayist and psychologist born in Austrian Galicia in 1905, passed away today in Paris. (As reported by Herbert Mitgang)

    1984(2ndof Adar I, 5744): Michael Kogan the Russian born businessman who survived most of WW II living in Japan and who founded Taito Corporation in 1953 passed away today.

    1987: An Italian prosecutor's report contends that a 1985 airport attack here was planned in Syria and carried out by the Abu Nidal organization, according to senior judicial officials. The report says the four gunmen in the attack intended to seize an Israeli airliner and blow it up over Tel Aviv, but were foiled when Israeli security men opened fire, the officials said. The report does not charge direct Syrian involvement although it notes evidence of links with the Abu Nidal group, the officials said.

    1988: In Los Angeles, Donald E. Sanford Jr. and Debra Blair gave birth to sprinter Donald Sanford who “took up Israeli citizenship after marrying Israeli basketball player Danielle Dekel, who he met when they were both students at Central Arizona College.”

    1988: U.S. premiere of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” directed by Philip Kaufman who co-authored the script, produced by Paul and Saul Zaentz and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

    1988(17thof Shevat, 5748): Eighty-five year old Hungarian-born screenwriter, director and producer Emeric Pressburger who fled to Great Britain as the Nazis began to take over Europe passed away today.

    1989 (30thof Shevat): “Charles Z. Offin, an artist, publisher and art patron, died today in Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 90 years old and lived in Manhattan. A gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is named for Mr. Offin in recognition of his gifts to the museum. He also gave grants to the Brooklyn, Guggenheim and Tel Aviv museums and endowed arts projects at universities. Mr. Offin was art editor of The Brooklyn Eagle and editor and publisher of the magazine Pictures on Exhibit. He also was director of the Etchers Guild. In World War II, he worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    1989: The New York Times features a brief review of Past Continuous by Yaakov Shabtai, translated by Dalya Bilu.

    1990: Ninety-four year old Père Marie-Benoît a Capuchin Franciscan friar who helped smuggle approximately 4,000 Jews into safety from Nazi-occupied Southern France passed away.  He had been named as one the “Righteous Among the Nations.”

    1990: The Israeli Army said its troops had killed five heavily armed Arab guerrillas in the western Negev region of Israel after chasing them for a short distance. The army said the guerrillas had crossed into Israel from Egypt through the Sinai and apparently had timed the infiltration to coincide with the second anniversary of the Palestinian uprising. But it was not clear then to which organization the guerrillas belonged.

    1990: Prime Minister Shamir will face nine different parliamentary motions of no confidence, from both left- and right- wing opponents today in Jerusalem.

    1992(1st of Adar I, 5752): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1992(1stof Adar I, 5752): Eighty year old New Jersey native Walter Wallace “Walt” Singer the Syracuse and NFL football player who played college baseball with his twin broth Milton passed away today.

    1993: “3 Arts Entertainment a Beverly Hills–based talent management and television/film production company founded by Erwin Stoff in 1991” today released its first movie, “Loaded Weapon 1.”

    1993(14thof Shevat, 5753): Ninety-four year old media mogul Sidney Lewis Bernstein the son of Alexander and Jane Bernstein who was elevated to the peerage as Baron Bernstein passed away today.

    1993: “The Vanishing” an American re-make of a Dutch film by the same name produced by Larry Brezner and directed by George Sluizer who “was accused by Israeli officials of a 'modern blood libel' for his claims – which in 2010 finally achieved front page level publicity in Israel – that he had witnessed the then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon personally shooting two Palestinian children from close range near the Sabra-Shatilla refugee camp in 1982” was released in the United States today.

    1993 (14th of Shevat, 5753): Joseph L Mankiewicz, director and writer, passed away at the age of 83. (As reported by Peter Flint)

    1993 (14th of Shevat, 5753): Hans Jonas, who fled Nazi Germany and became an influential philosopher, passed away at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. at the age of  89. (As reported by Eric Pace)

    1994(24thof Shevat, 5754): Seventy-four year old Czarna(née Zielinski) Levy, the native of Poltusk and wife of Reuven Levy passed away today in Tel Aviv.

    1996(15thof Shevat, 5756): Tu B’Shevat

    1997:  The so-called Big Three banks in Switzerland announce the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors and their families.

    1999(19th of Shevat, 5759): Ninety-three year old  Wassily Leontief Russian born American Nobel Prize winning economist, passed away.

    1999: The Times of London features a review of The World’s Banker: The history of the House of Rothschild by Niall Ferguson

    1999: “The Last Day” an Oscar winning documentary that ‘tell the story of five Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust” was released today in the United States.

    2003: Ernst Zündel, “A German publisher infamously known for his Holocaust denial” was detained by local police in the US and deported to Canada, where he was detained for two years on a Security Certificate for being a foreign national considered a threat to national security pending a court decision on the validity of the certificate.”

    2003: In “Murder In Monaco” David Kohn provides information about the death of Edmond Safra.

    2004(13thof Shevat, 5764): Eighty-five year old “Samuel M. Rubin, who was known as "Sam the Popcorn Man" for making popcorn almost as popular in New York City movie theaters as jokes and kisses,” passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2004: "Leha'amin" (To Believe) song David D’Or co-wrote with Ehud Manor “was chosen  in voting during the program "Israel Selects a Song," held during a break in a televised Maccabi Tel Aviv Euroleague basketball game in Tel Aviv at which videos of four songs sung by D'Or were shown” to represent Israel in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest.

    2004: Five weeks before opening in Israel, “Walk on Water” premiered today at the Berlin International Film Festival.

    2005: The London revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd closed today at the Ambassadors Theatre.

    2006: Irwin Cotler completed his term as Minister of Justice in Canada.

    2006: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Tattoo for a Slave, Hortense Calisher's elliptical memoir that stretches across two centuries, and wrestles with a grim legacy as she comes to believe that her family — Southern, German and Jewish — may have been slaveholders.

    2006: The Pittsburgh Steelers for whom punter Josh Miller had played from 1996 through 2003, defeated the Seattle Seahawks for whom Sam McCullum had played wide receiver from 1976 through 1981, in Super Bowl XL an event for which Rabbis Kasriel Shemtov and Yudi Mann of The Shul in West Bloomfield created the “Chabad Jewish Center at the Super Bowl”.

    2007: Defense officials told settlers that it was still likely that the security fence would be constructed in the Judean Desert, even though work there had been halted last month due to environmental concerns.

    2007: The board of NBC Universal named Jeff Zucker as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

    2008:  In New York, the 92nd St Y sponsors The Beir Lecture Israel at 60 featuring Michael B. Oren who discusses the 60-year history of Israel and its quest for peace.

    2008: Three Kassam rockets were fired at southern Ashkelon this evening.

    2008: Pope Benedict has ordered changes to a Latin prayer for Jews at Good Friday services by traditionalist Catholics, deleting a reference to their "blindness" over Christ, the Vatican said today.

    2008: A Simchah - Eli Sherman arrives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mother and father are doing fine.  Rabbi and Rabbi are doing fine as well.

    2009(11thof Shevat, 5769): Eighty-nine year old Canadian director, producer and writer Leo Orenstein passed away today.

    2009: Opening of the 13th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

    2009:The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism presents a lecture by Professor Jeffrey Herf, Department of History; University of Maryland entitled "Nazi Propaganda in and towards the Middle East during World War II and the Holocaust"

    2009; The CUNY Graduate Center and the European Union Center of NY present a lecture and presentation marking 50 years of Israel's relations with the European community by Benjamin Krasna, Deputy Consul General of Israel entitled "Israel and Europe: An Insider's Perspective"

    2009: The UN staff discovered five rockets north of the southern Lebanese town of Nakoura which ready to be launched against Israel. Milos Strugar, a UNIFIL spokesman, said the rockets were discovered along with a launching pad by a patrol of peacekeepers near Nakoura, where the UN force is headquartered.

    2009: David Miliband “made a statement to the House of Commons concerning Guantanamo Bay detainee and former British resident Benyam Mohammed.

    2009: Today British actress and ardent supporter of Israel Maureen Lipman “appeared in the third series of teen drama Skins, in the episode entitled "Thomas" as Pandora Moon's Aunt Elizabeth.”

    2010: David Samuel Goyer announced he would be stepping down as FlashForward showrunner to focus on feature films and directing

    2010: “Eyes Wide Open,” a film set in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community, is scheduled to have its New York debut at the Cinema Village in Manhattan.

    2010: Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon arrived in Munich for an annual security meeting which was also attended by Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal.

    2010: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today called the record number of anti-Semitic incidents across the United Kingdom last year "deeply troubling", urging Britons to exercise greater vigilance. more

    2010(21st of Shevat, 5770): Harry Schwarz, a South African Jewish leader and lawmaker who as an attorney defended Nelson Mandela, has died. Schwarz, who escaped the Nazis and came to South Africa from Germany in 1936, died today following a short illness. He was 86. As an opposition member of Parliament from 1974 to 1989, he was among the most vociferous campaigners against apartheid, according to a statement from the South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies. Schwarz in Parliament forcefully denounced the government's racial policies and spoke out strongly against anti-Semitism, the statement said. From 1990 to 1994, although still in the opposition, Schwarz served as South Africa's ambassador to the United States. As an attorney, he served on the defense team of Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists during the1963-64 Rivonia Trial. For his services to South Africa, he was awarded the Order for Meritorious Service: Class 1, Gold. Schwarz was active in Jewish communal affairs, serving from 1983 to 2000 on the National Executive, Management Committee and Gauteng Council of the Jewish Board of Deputies. He served as a navigator in the South African Air Force during World War II

    2010(21st of Shevat, 5770): Beth Shulman, 60, a lawyer, author and union leader who fought for improving conditions for low-wage workers throughout her career, died today of complications from brain cancer at Georgetown University Medical Center. (As reported by Patricia Sullivan)

    2010: Chancellor Arnold Eisen sent an e-mail today that The Jewish Theological Seminary is eliminating the position of dean of its cantorial school as part of a major reorganization and consolidation at Conservative Judaism’s flagship seminary. Chancellor Arnold Eisen said that the restructuring would take place in lieu of closing the cantorial school — the course of action recommended by an outside consultant.

    2010(21st of Shevat, 5770): Frank N. Magid, 78, the television "news doctor" whose survey research and advice to local television stations in the 1970s resulted in co-anchors who chatted between stories, fast-paced graphics, sports tickers and live shots, and a heavy reliance on both crime coverage and feel-good segments, died of lymphoma today at Santa Barbara [Calif.] Cottage Hospital. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: Yoav Gal’s “Mosheh,” an opera loosely based on the life of Moses, is scheduled to have its last performance tonight in New York City.

    2011(1stof Adar I, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Adar I 

    2011(1stof Adar I, 5771): Eighty-six year old Charles E. Silberman, a journalist whose books addressed vast, turbulent social subjects including race, education, crime and the state of American Jewry, died today in Sarasota, Fla, He was 86. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011(1stof Adar I, 5771): Sixty-one year old “Miriam Hansen, a scholar of cinema who studied not only film itself but also the early 20th-century creation known as the film audience” passed away today in Chicago. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: In Cedar Rapids, IA, the traditional minyan at Temple Judah celebrates Super Bowl Shabbat

    2011: The Quartet – the UN, the US, the EU and Russia – “refused to heed the Palestinian call for unilateral statehood and instead continued to throw its support behind a negotiated solution, when it met today in Germany. ‘Unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community,’ the group said in a statement it issued after the meeting.”

    2011: Ed Sabol, the founder of NFL Films who helped to turn the professional game into America’s leading form of sports entertainment was elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio today.

    2012: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present a recital by The Loewenberg Piano Trio

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Thinking the Twentieth Century” by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder, “No One Is Here Except All Of Us by Ramona Ausubel  and the recently released paperback edition of J.D. Salinger: A Life” by Kenneth Slawenski

    2012: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander

    2012:Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai is today expected to call for increased investment to protect Israel's cities and national infrastructure.

    2012:Amid growing reports that Israel is planning to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and increased economic sanctions, Iran will attack any country whose territory is used by "enemies" of the Islamic state to launch a military strike against its soil, the deputy head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards told the semi-official Fars news agency today   

    2012: Israel has not and is not interfering in the political crisis in Syria, Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said today, adding that he did not think radical Islam would take over the country in case Syrian President Bashar Assad is ousted.

    2012: At Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants which were co-owned by Steve Tisch in Super Bowl XLVI.

    2013:Rabbi Riccardo Shmuel Di Segni, M.D., Chief Rabbi of Rome, Italy is scheduled to deliver an address entitled "The Jews of Italy, the Jews of Europe : an Overview and Update" Congregation Magen David in Rockville, MD.

    2013: The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) are scheduled to host an Israeli Wine-Tasting Reception in Washington, D.C.

    2013:Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said today two individuals with links to Lebanon’s Shi’ite group Hezbollah were involved in a bomb attack on a bus in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists last July and a Bulgarian national.

    2013:The IDF stationed a third Iron Dome air defense battery in northern Israel today, amid escalated tensions following last week's reported air strikes in Syria.

    2013: The New York Review of Books “began its year-long celebration of its 50thanniversary with a presentation by Robert Silvers at The Town Hall in New York City.

    2013: Six incoming members of the 19th Knesset will have to have given up their foreign citizenship by today, the day when new MK’s are scheduled to be sworn as members of Israel’s parliament.

    2013: “Obama Plans Visit to Israel This Spring” published today described the plans of President Obama to make his first visit to Israel since moving into the White House although he had visited the country while he was a United States Senator.

    2013: Based on information supplied Chabad today marks the start of 32ndround of studying the 982 chapters of The Mishne Torah.

    2014: Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day is scheduled to take place in Richmond, VA today.

    2014: The Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel is scheduled to make its debut appearance in the United States at Bergen, NJ.

    2014: Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston is scheduled to “Woman to Woman: The Power of the Arts to Transform Lives.”

    2014: The Jerusalem District Attorney's Office filed charges in the city's District Court today against three Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem who planned a sadistic murder spree at a banquet hall. Anas Awisat, Basel Abidat, Ahmed Srur and Amru Abdu of Jabel Mukabar, aged 19 to 21, were charged with conspiring to assist the enemy in wartime. (As reported by Gil Ronen)

    2014: Two air force fighter pilots have been handed short prison sentences and 12 others were tried for breaching military security protocols, after top-secret information was found on their smartphones, Army Radio reported today. (As reported by Itmar Sharon)

    2014: Today the leadership of the Conservative movement responded to MK David Rotem’s statement yesterday that “The Reform movement is not Jewish…they are another religion” in a statement lamenting “the utter lack of leadership that makes these outrages so frequent and undermines the very aspirations that are the foundations of Judaism and the Jewish state.” Saying ‘The Jewishness of the Reform Movement is beyond question and in no need of defense,” the statement called on the government of Israel to censure Rotem and remove him from leadership roles.

    2015(16thof Shevat, 5775): Eighty-five year old Holocaust survivor turned scam-artist Herman Rosenblat passed away today.(As reported by Sam Roberts)

    2015: Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill and the author of 80 books on a wide range of topics including World War II, the Holocaust, Israel, to name but a few and who passed away on February 3 is scheduled to be buried today at Eretz HaChaim Cemetery in Beit Shemesh, Israel.  In addition to having the writing style of a novelist, Sir Martin was kind enough to answer repeated questions from amateur historians.  For those of you who think 80 books are a lot, consider that before illness stilled his pen he was working on a comprehensive history of the Jews of the United Kingdom.  Our hearts go out to Lady Gilbert who was his steadfast companion during these thirty four months when he fought back against the effects of hypoxia of the brain.

    2016: Professor Paul Dilley is scheduled to speak on “The Rabbis and the Persian Empire” in Coralville, IA.

    2016(26thof Shevat, 5776): Eighty-three year old veteran New York Times correspondent Arnold Lubasch passed away today.

    2016(26thof Shevat, 5776): Eighty-six year old federal Judge Miriam Cedabaum who is best known for her role in the Martha Stewart case passed away today.

    2016: The Hadassah Mission to Jerusalem and the Blooming Desert led by Marlene Post, Past National President of Hadassah is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2016: “Carvalho’s Journey” which tells the exciting story of the trailblazing of the American West in scheduled to have its San Diego premiere at that city’s 26thannual Jewish Film Festival.

    2017(9thof Shevat, 5777): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Eliezer Silver, the President of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis who helped to organize the March of the Rabbis in 1943.

    2017: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot, The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping by Aharon Appelfeld, This Close to Happy: A Reckoning With Depression by Daphne Merkin and The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back by Kay S. Hymowitz

    2017: When the Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots take the field against Arthur Blank’s Atlanta Falcons it will be the first time since 2012 that both Super Bowl teams will be owned by Jews but regardless of whom fans favor in Super Bowl LI, they can all enjoy Sabra, the official dip of the National Football League.

    2017: Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots, featuring the play of Julian Edelman defeated Arthur Blank’s Atlanta Falcons.

    2017(9thof Shevat, 5777): Eighty-five year old producer, arranger and composer David Axelrod passed away today.

    2017: The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and the London Partnership Minyan are scheduled to a shiur by Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield.

    2017: “John Singer Sargent’s Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children” is scheduled to come to a close at the Jewish Museum.

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host guest speaker Rabbi Binyamin Miller, the native of Philadelphia and IDF veteran who is the director of the Alisa Flatow International Program.

    2018: At the University of Virginia, the Brody Jewish Center is scheduled to host the “4th Year Seminar” Judaism and Post College Life” as well as a screening of “Rosenwald.”
    2018: The YIVO Institute is scheduled to present “the launch of a new book of Isaac Babel translations with readings by translator Val Vinokur and discussion with Isaac Babel expert, YIVO’s Executive Director Jonathan Brent.”

    2018: The American Sephardi Association is scheduled to present “The IV International Shashmaqam Forever Concert dedicated to Yunus Rajabi (1897-1976), a composer, musician, and scholar who collected, systematized, and transcribed more than a thousand songs and pieces from the Shashmaqam repertoire.”

    2018: Some of “today’s great Broadway stars” are scheduled to perform “an extraordinary cavalcade of brilliant and beloved songs by our most illustrious Jewish American composers and lyricists” as part of the Great Jewish American Songbook at the Streicker Center.


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    February 6

     337: Julius I began his papacy during which “he officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th of December.”

    1095: Henry IV of Germany who issued a charter to the Jews and a decree against forced baptism. He desired to protect the Jews even during the Crusades and granted favorable conditions wherever possible. He also permitted forcibly baptized Jews to return to Judaism. He did this partly because he viewed the Jews as valuable property. The Church criticized his actions.

    1190: In England, the Jews of Norwich were massacred by a mob following a similar attack in Lynn.

    1283: In England, a Justice of the Jews named Hamo Hauteyn, set up a commission to investigate charges against Jews accused of selling plate made of clippings or silvered tinplate to foreign merchants.

    1298: King Jaime II had a Jewish man's property confiscated. Moses Avencurel of Elche was punished for taking part in an anti-royalist rebellion.

    1413: The first sitting of a “disputation” in which the Jews must listen to the Treatise of Geronimo De Santa, a convert to Christianity, contend that the Talmud recognized Jesus as the Messiah. This disputation was ordered by Pope Benedict XIII and would last until November, 1414 with a total of 68 sittings.

    1481: Several affluent men of the community in Seville, led by Diego de Susan, plotted to strike back at the Inquisitors.  He stated to his co-religionists: "Are we not the principal men of this city in standing, and the best esteemed of the people? Let us assemble troops; and if they come to take us, let us start an uprising with the troops and the people; and so we will kill them and avenge ourselves on our enemies!"

    1508: Maximilian I was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In the first decade of his reign, Maximilian would put an end to the attempts by some German nobles to banish the Jews from their realms.  Maximilian did this, not so much because he loved Jews, but because he saw these attempts at banishment as an encroachment on his imperial authority.  Wherever they lived in the empire, the Jews were the subjects of the emperor and not of any local lord.  Therefore only he could banish Jews.  Maximilian feared that if he gave way on his control over the Jews, who knew what power the nobles might try and take from him next. 

    1521: Suleiman the Magnificent, whose reign was one of the highpoints for Jews living in the domains of the Ottomans, led his army west with the intention of conquering Hungary.

    1640(13th of Shevat): Rabbi Israel Samuel Kalihari, author Yismah Yistrael passed away

    1647(1st of Adar): Rabbi Azariah Figo (Picho) author of Giddulei ha-Terumah passed away

    1649: King Charles II of England and Scotland was declared King of Great Britain by the Parliament of Scotland. While on the throne, Charles showed his support for the Jews.  In 1660, when Thomas Violet introduced a petition to have the Jews expelled again from Great Britain, a “Royal message” was sent “Parliament them to take the protection of the Jews into consideration.”  Violet’s petition was rejected.(The Great Trappaner of England': Thomas Violet, Jews and crypto-Jews during the English Revolution and at the Restorationby Ariel Hessayon)

    1664: Birthdate of Sultan Mustafa II.  During his reign Ottoman forces conquered Belgrade again in 1690 and Jews were allowed to return to the city.

    1685: James II of England and VII of Scotland becomes King upon the death of his brother Charles II. For once, a change in monarchs turned out to be a “win-win” situation for the Jewish people.  While still in the Netherlands, prior to regaining the throne, the Anglican “Charles had assured Amsterdam Jews that their coreligionists had no reason to fear his reemergence in England.”  How much of this was promise was due to personal beliefs and how much was the product of the substantial financial support the soon to be crowned monarch received from Dutch Jews is immaterial.  The fact is, he kept his word.  A group of London merchants who wanted to limit their competition petitioned the king to keep the Jews out of the country to protect the religion and welfare of his subjects.  “The targeted Jews” sought the King’s protection which he granted. In 1673, 13 years after Charles II’s coronation, “a grand jury…responded to anti-Semitic rabble rousing by indicting Jewish communal leaders for worshipping in public. When Jews threatened to leave England rather than endure loss of religious freedom, Charles had an order in council issued to halt the legal proceedings. And to make sure it did not happen again, King Charles gave orders “not to cause any more anxieties to Jews.”  During the first year of his reign King James II put an end to the custom of requiring the Jews to pay “the mandatory tax imposed on those who failed to attend the established church.”  The King declared that he did not want the Jews to be troubled about this ever again and only wanted them be able to “quietly enjoy the free exercise of their religion.”  What makes this all the more remarkable is that it took place against a backdrop of religious wars fought between English Catholics, Anglicans and Protestants.  While the Jews became victims of the religious wars on the Continent, in England they were able to survive and thrive.  This may account for the affection which Jews came to hold England and its later iteration as Great Britain.

    1693: Royal charter granted College of William and  Mary, at Williamsburg VA.  Currently the most famous alumnus of this storied academic institution is Jon Stewart, award winning host of “The Daly Show” and featured speaker at the William and Mary’s commencement ceremonies in 2004.

    1756: Birthdate of Aaron Burr, Jr. one of America’s less distinguished “founding fathers.”  Burr’s greatest claim to fame is his participation in a duel with Alexander Hamilton, whose mother was Jewish. Burr also played a role in the career of Sampson who was one of the founders “Jews Hospital” which became Mt. Sinai.  Born at Danbury, CN, he studied under Burr who was a New York lawyer before he went to become one of New York City’s first Jewish lawyers. 

    1756: In response to King George II”s order that today be observed as a period fasting and penitence Isaac Nieto, the Cha-Cham of Sha'ar ha-Shamayim, the Spanish and Portuguese congregation also known as Bevis Marks Synagogue preached a “Sermon Moral” that was “published in Spanish and English in London, 1756.”  The English monarch proclamation was probably issued in connection with the Seven Year’s War.  The positive response of the kingdom’s Jewish community was an indication of how quickly it had become a part of the UK’s social and political environment.

    1767: In Berlin, Deiche Aaron and bank broker Anschell Jaffe gave birth to Saul ben Anschel Jaffe, “a prolific writer whose work can be divided into three different areas: author, translator, editor/publisher.”

    1776: Solomon Isaac, a Jew living in Philadelphia, enlisted as private in the Sixth Pennsylvania Battalion, part of the Rebel forces fighting the British.

    1778: In Paris the United States and France signed treaties of alliance that, among other thing, provided French aid for the fledgling republic.  This helped to guarantee the success of the American Revolution which helped to create the site for the most prominent Jewish community in the diaspora.  The aid would also helped bring financial ruin to France.  This financial ruin was a catalyst for the French Revolution which had a major impact of Jews throughout Europel

    1788:  Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution. Solomon Franco a Sephardic Jew was reportedly the first Jew to come to Massachusetts.  He settled in Boston in 1649. Judah Monis, a descendant of conversos is the next person of Jewish lineage connected with Bay State to appear on the scene.  He filled the chair of Hebrew in Harvard College from 1722 until his death in 1764. When and why Monis became identified as a Christian is a bit cloudy.  Could he be the first example of a Jew who swam through the baptismal font to secure a position in American academia?  The first significant Jewish settlers made their homes in “Massachusetts when the Revolutionary War drove the Jews from Newport. In 1777 Aaron Lopez and Jacob Rivera, with fifty-nine others, went from Newport to Leicester, and established themselves there; but this settlement did not survive the close of the war. A number of Jews, including the Hays family, settled at Boston before 1800. Of these Moses Michael Hays was the most important. In 1830 a number of Algerian Jews went to Boston, but they soon disappeared. The history of the present community begins with the year 1840, when the first congregation was established.”

    1788 : Two days after he died erev Shabbat, Avrahom ben Baruch was buried in the Plymouth Hoe Burial Ground.

    1799(1st of Adar I, 5559): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1801: Birthdate of Salomon Herxheimer, of Dotzheim in Wiesbaden who became the Chief Rabbi of Anhalf-Bernburg.

    1804: Seventy-year old Joseph Priestly the English theologian and chemist who in 1786 published his Letters to the Jews in which he urged them to convert which led David Levi to respond with his three-volume Dissertation on the Prophecies of the Old Testamentpassed away today.

    1818: One of two birthdates for Germain Sée the French physician from Ribeauvillé

    1822(15thof Shevat, 5582): Tu B’Shevat

    1838: Birthdate of Sir Henry Irving, the English actor who gained fame for his portrayal of Mathias in “The Bells,” a version of Erckmann-Chatrian's Le Juif polonais by Leopold Lewis, a property which Irving had found for himself.

    1838: Birthdate of Yisrael Meir Kagan also known as the Chofetz Chaim. He passed away in September of 1933.

    1839: Birthdate of Ferdinand Forzinetti, one of the first French officers to come to the conclusion that Captain Dreyfus was innocent.

    1839:Moshe Yehoshua Yehuda Leib Jusha Diskin and Sara Sonia Diskin gave birth to Yitzhak Yeruham Diskin.

    1839: In Charleston, SC, A.J. Moses of Cheraw, SC wed Octavia Harby, “the daughter of the late Isaac Harby.”

    1839: In Charleston, SC, Lewis Hertz married Esther Peixotto, the “eldest daughter of the late Solomon C. Peixotto.”

    1840:  Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the document making New Zealand a British colony.  By this time, there were at least 30 Jews living in the area.  David Nathan is credited with founding the first Jewish community at Aukland, in the same year that New Zealand became a colony.

    1840: In Hanover, German banker Adolph Meyer and his wife gave birth to banker Sigmund Meyer the grandson of banker Simon Meyer.

    1841(15thof Shevat, 5601): Tu B’Shevat

    1845: In Ottenberg, Germany, Lazarus Strauss and his second wife Sara gave birth to Isidor Strauss, the first of their five children who would become co-owner of Macy’s and die when the Titanic sank.

    1849: In Worms, Germany wedding of Abraham and Clara Kuhn.

    1849: In Worms, Wilhelmine "Mindel" Freudenberg and Nathan Blun gave birth to Rosalie Ida Blun who gained fame as Ida Straus, the wife of Isidor Straus, the co-owner of Macy’s.

    1853: In Madison, Indiana, Aaron Marks and Sarah August gave birth to Martin A. Marks, the husband of Belle Hays who moved to Cleveland in 1887 and whose activities included be a “member of the firm of A. Marks and Son founded by his father in 1847” as well as a series of communal activities including serving as “treasurer of the Covenant Endowment Fund of District Grand Lodge, No. 2, Independent Order of B’nai B’rith and President of Tefereth Israel.”

    1855: It was reported today that "two German Jews" were arrested and charged with "stealing two pieces of black silk with a value of $131.00 from the Importing House of Henry E. Leyrain in New York City. According to the charge, one of the men would appear to be pricing an item while the other would be hiding an item in his coat.  After appearing before a judge at the Tombs, the two were bound over for trial. [How the Times discovered their religion is one question. Why the two are identified by their religion is another question since such practice was not common with those belong to other religious groups.]

    1869: La Périchole, “an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach” was performed in Sockholm for the first time today

    1870: In Brixton, a suburb of London, James Yalden and his wife gave birth to James Ernest Grant Yalden who became head “of a special new school to prepare Jewish immigrants for jobs” in American which was the brainchild, and supported by, the trustee of the Baron de Hirsch fund in America.”

    1871: Birthdate of Yonah ben Amitai the native of Minsk who came to the United States in 1888 where he gained fame as John Paley, the author and editor of a Yiddish daily paper.

    1872:Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the U.S. Counsel at Bucharest wrote to the Secretary of State that reports describing the attacks the Jews had suffered in several towns in Bessarabia and Romania as a result of which hundreds of Jews had fled across the Danube to seek refuge in Turkey.

    1872: Birthdate of German-born author Theodor Lessing.  After the Nazis came to power, Lessing fled to Czechoslovakia where he was murdered in broad day light by Nazi supporters.

    1873: The Hebrew Charity Ball took place this evening at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, PA.

    1874(19thof Shevat, 5634): Fifty-five year old Mayer Amschel de Rothschild the fourth and youngest son of Nathan Mayer Rothschild who was named for his grandfather, the patriarch of the Rothschild family and whose only daughter Hannah became the Countess of Rosebery, the wife of the Earl of Rosebery, the Prime Minister in the 1890’s and one of the wealthiest women in Europe, passed away today.

    1875(1stof Adar I, 5635): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1876: It was reported today that Rabbi Brown addressed the Indianapolis (Indiana) Young Men’s Christian Association on the subject of the “Harmony of all creeds on the Principle of Love.”

    1876: It was reported today that the Purim Association will host a ball at Delmonico’s on March 7.  The association expects a larger crowd than in the past due to its recent decision to increase its membership.

    1876: According to reports published today, the Jews of New York are planning on issuing a call for a national meeting to discuss plans for creating a college designed to teach the Hebrew language and literature and to establish a system of Jewish education.

    1879: It was reported on Zebulon Baird Vance’s last day as Governor of North Carolina that he has pardoned the only Jewish person imprisoned in the state’s penitentiary.  This unnamed Jew had been sentenced to serve 10 years for manslaughter.  Of the pardon, Vance wrote that he took pleasure in issuing the pardon as recognitions of the good and law abiding character of the state’s Jewish citizens.  According to Vance, this episode was “the first serious case ever brought to my notice on the part of any of that people.”

    1880: It was reported today that Isaac Adolphe  Cremieux, the Jewish-French, political leader  is seriously ill.  He currently is serving as a “life Senator.”

    1881: In Edinburg, Scotland, Professor Robertson Smith delivered a lecture on the “Spirit of Hebrew Poetry.”  He believes that the “Canticles’ (another name for the Song of Songs” is simply a love poem and that the Book of Job was written after the Exile and should not be viewed as historical literature.

    1883(29thof Shevat, 5643): Seventy-four year old Raphael Jonathan Bischoffsheim passed away. Born at Mayence in 1808, he gained fame as a Belgian financier and philanthropist (As reported by Singer, Bloch and Weill)

    1883: In Cape Town, Isaac and Esther Abrahams gave birth to Sir Adolphe Abrahams, the British doctor who “was the medical officer in charge of the British Olympic teams from 1912 until 1948.”

    1887: Birthdate of Ernest Henry Gruening, the Senator from Alaska who joined in Wayne Morse in being the only two to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

    1888 (24th of Shevat, 5648):Rebbetzin Menuchah Rachel Slonim, daughter of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch and granddaughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, passed away. She was born on Kislev 19, 5559 (1798 on the secular calendar) -- the very day on which her illustrious grandfather was freed from his imprisonment in the Peter-Paul Fortress in Petersburg; she was thus named "Menuchah", meaning "tranquility" (Rachel was the name of a daughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman who died in her youth). The Rebbetzin's lifelong desire to live in the Holy Land was realized in 1845, when she and her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Culi Slonim, who passed away in 1857,led a contingent of Chassidim who settled in Hebron. Famed for her wisdom, piety and erudition, she served as the matriarch of the Chassidic community in Hebron until her passing in her 90th year in 1888.

    1889: In Prudnik, Poland Max and Hedwig Pinkus gave birth to Alice Babette Cäcilie Herzfeld

    1890: The Hofburgtheater produces Herzl's comedy "Die Dame in Schwarz" - "The Lady in Black". The play is condemned as hokum by the critics.

    1891: In Vienna, Johanna and Herman Joseph Popper gave birth to William Popper, the husband of Annie Popper

    1891: Herzl's best friend, Heinrich Kana, commits suicide in Berlin. After Herzl receives the message, he sets out for a three week journey to Italy and South France.

    1893: Following today’s scheduled performance of “Lady Windermere’s Fan” produced by Charles Frohman at Palmer’s Theatre, the cast of the production will sent on the road “under Frohman’s personal management.

    1893: It was reported today that of 1,100 inmates at the workhouse on Blackwell’s Island, 5 of them are Jews.  Of the 800 prisoners in the Kings County Penitentiary, 7 are Jews. In the whole state of New York, which has the largest Jewish population of any state in the United States, fewer than 350 of those in prison are Jews.

    1893: It was reported today that “with a view to promoting the organization of a society to be called the Jewish Aid Association for the Relief of the Unfortunate, the Jewish Ministers’ Association has published a sketch of the work of its prison chaplain Rabbi Adolph M. Radin.”

    1893: Samuel J. Cohn, who had been a successful lace merchant, was still being held today on charges that he had collected over $500 by posing as an agent of the United Hebrew Charities.

    1893: It was reported today that the Central Labor Federation has “received a letter from the International Typographical Union asking why the Federation had protested against the issuance of a charter to the Hebrew Typographical Union.”

    1893: “Central Labor Union” published today described allegations by that body that the United Hebrew Charities has used money from the Baron Hirsch Fund “to import thousands of poor and persecuted Hebrews, who in turn underbid American workmen in the labor.”  (For those not acquainted with the immigration and labor battles of the 19th and 20th centuries, this is the double whammy – “The Jews” are using their money to take jobs from American workers and give them to foreigners.)

    1894: Among those charities that benefited from today’s distribution of the theatrical and concert license moneys were: Montefiore Home, $500; Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews, $350; Beth Israel Hospital.

    1894: Sixty-four year old Prussian born Austrian surgeon Theodor Billroth who in 1876 triggered a “storm at Austrian universities with his “criticism of what he considered the disproportionately large share of Jewish medical students from Hungary and Galicia” and his strongly stated belief that Jews could never be real Germans passed away today.

    1897(4thof Adar, 5657): Fifty-eight year old Morris Goodhart, a prominent New York lawyer, passed away today.  Born in Amsterdam in 1838, he came to the United States in 1846 and graduated from Yale Law School in 1867.  In 1869, he married the daughter of Philip J. Joachimsen, a prominent jurists and leader of the New York Jewish community.

    1897: A significant number of Jewish men and women attended a meeting at the New York Presbyterian-Hebrew Church Mission on Forsyth Street where they expected to proposals about how to deal with the poor living on the East Side.  Many of the Jewish attendees were unemployed tailors who were suffering do to the economic downturn.

    1899: The Hebrew Fair which will feature a speech by author Israel Zangwill is scheduled tonight at the Tuxedo in New York City.

    1899: The U.S. Senate ratified the peace treaty ending the Spanish-American War.  There were fifteen Jewish crewmen aboard the battleship Maine when she blew up in 1898 in Havana harbor.  This was the “cause” of the war.   Approximately 5,000 Jews served in the war.  In 1898 there were reportedly four thousand requests for furloughs at the time of the High Holidays.  The first trooper in the famed Rough Riders was Jewish.

    1900(7thof Adar I, 5660): Elijah Benamozegh, who “served for half a century as rabbi of the important Jewish community of Livorno, where the Piazza Benamozegh now commemorates his name and distinction and whose major work is Israel and Humanity passed away today.

    1901: Herzl travels to London and tries to win Rothschild for his plan. Despite the efforts of British Zionists, Rothschild refuses to receive him.

    1902:  Birthdate of famed attorney and author Louis Nizer

    1902 Le Roy Eltinge, the author of Psychology of War which contained such anti-Semitic passages as “He doesn’t know what patriotism means”, “the soldiers lot is hard physical work” which “the Jew despises and “he does not have any of the qualities of a good soldier” – remarks which forced the War Department to order him to go over the book and remove all such objectionable portions – was promoted to the rank of Captain in the 15th United States Cavalry.

    1902: Young Women's Hebrew Association was organized in New York City. According to the Jewish Women’s Archive, “Bella Epstein Unterberg held a meeting in her New York City home to discuss the founding of the first Young Women's Hebrew Association. At the meeting, at which she was unanimously elected president of the new association, a decision was made to establish a sister organization to the YMHA, a community center dedicated to the uplift—both social and spiritual—of young Jewish women.”

    1906: It was reported today from Kiev that following the receipt of death threats in the mail from the Pan Russian League in Defense of the Holy Cross, “a great panic prevails among the Jewish population who are expecting a renewal of the anti-Jewish excesses.”

    1906: “The restrictions on the residence of Jews in Moscow are again being applied with the greatest severity” and “many of them have been expelled.”

    1906: Cyrus L. Sulzberger who had overseen “collection of the American fund for the relief of the victims of the massacres in Russia” said tonight that did not give any credence to the report from St. Petersburg that the Russian police “have obtained the lion’s share “ of the money sent to the country to aid the victims of the recent uprisings.

    1909: Birthdate of Russian-born American composer Israel Citkowitz.  Citkowitz had an impact on the careers of Aaron Copeland and Elmer Bernstein.

    1913(29thof Shevat, 5673): Seventy-seven year old David Fuld, a manufacturer from Albany, NY, passed away today.

    1914: Birthdate of Baron Bernd Freytag von Lorinhoven, the native of the island of Saaremaa who was one of the last to escape Hitler’s Berlin bunker in 1945.

    1914 (10th of Shevat, 5674):Rebbetzin Rivkah Schneerson passed away. She was born in Lubavitch in 1833; her maternal grandfather was Rabbi DovBer, the 2nd Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. In 1849 she married her first cousin, Rabbi Shmuel, who later became the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe. For many years Rebbetzin Rivkah, who survived her husband by 33 years, was the esteemed matriarch of Lubavitch, and Chassidim frequented her home to listen to her accounts of the early years of Lubavitch. She is the source of many of the stories recorded in the talks, letters and memoirs of her grandson, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe). The Beth Rivkah network of girls' schools, founded by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak in the 1940's, is named after her.

    1916: “More than $125,000 was subscribed for the Jewish war sufferers in an hour following the appeal of Rabbis J.L. Magnes and Nathan Krass to an audience of Jews and Gentiles in the Academy of Music in Brooklyn tonight.

    1916: “Many letters reaching the American Jewish Relief Committee show how wide-spread among Jews and Gentiles alike is the desire to assist Jewish relief work” including the one from Plymouth, MA, that read:

    “Dear Mr. Warburg, Please find enclosed $2 for the Jewish relief.  The Jesus of the Christian was a Jews. I wish I could give more but, will send the little I can spare.” Signed “A Christian Woman.”

    1917: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) was founded today “by Jacob Landau as the Jewish Correspondence Bureau with the mandate of collecting and disseminating news among and affecting the Jewish communities of the Diaspora.”

    1917(14thof Shevat, 5677): Seventy-seven year old German physiologist Julius Bernstein, the son of Aron Bernstein, a founder of the Reform Congregation in Berlin and the father of mathematician Felix Bernstein.

    1917: Edouard A. Drumont, French anti-Semitic journalist, dies at 72.  His book La France Juive (Jewish France) attacked the role of Jews in France and argued for their exclusion from society. His newspaper “La Libre Parole,” played a leading role in whipping up anti-Semitic passions during the Dreyfus Affair.

    1918: Austrian painter Gustav Klimt passed away. Klimt was not Jewish but many of his patrons were. Born in 1862, by 1898, Klimt had “managed to become the portraitist of the Jewish haute bourgeoisie in Vienna who, since the Jews had reached legal equality in 1867, had become a thriving force in commerce, finance, industry and art. Klimt's patrons were financiers, industrials and other members of the liberal (in the European sense) haute bourgeoisie. Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer (see Klimt's portrait of his wife below) was dominating the Austrian-Czech sugar industry. Karl Wittgenstein, another of his patrons, was often referred to as the "Austrian Krupp" and the creator of the steel cartel. August Lederer was the leading figure in the alcohol business in Central Europe. In the 1920s, he was considered ‘the richest man in Austria after Rothschild’".  Several of the works Klimt painted for his Jewish patrons were seized by the Nazis.  The recovery of these art works became a part of lengthy, difficult litigation in the post-War years.

    1919: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow who served “as a member of the Overseas Commission of the Jewish Welfare Board, which went to France in July, 1918” wrote today that “I am feeling fine. I feel that Providence is taking care of me as I have come out all right of every experience I have had.  At the different camps I have met many friends who have done so much to help the work while the commanding officers have been very obliging.”

    1919: It was reported today that Julius Kahn, a Jewish Congressman from California, has expressed his “regret that President Wilson has seen fit to come out openly in favor of the Jewish State proposed by some of the English statesmen” and his belief “that if President Wilson had consulted the views of those members of the Jewish faith who have lived in the United States for many years he would have found that an overwhelming majority of them is opposed to Zionism.”

     1920:  Birthdate of Congressman James Scheuer who represented New York in the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1993.

    1920: In Neutitschein, North Moravia, Margarethe (Markéta), née Gelb, Mannheimer and Jakob Leib Mannheimer gave birth to author, painter and survivor of the Holocaust Max Mannheimer

    1920: Birthdate of Tidor Rudas, the native of Budapest who survived Bergen-Belsen and who “was the impresario who brought Luciano Pavarotti out of the opera house and into the arena.”

    1921: "The Kid", starring Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan was released. (Coogan was not Jewish.)

    1921: In Washington Heights, Josephine (née Condon) and Bernard Gorcey, a Russian Jewish immigrant gave birth to David Gorcey, who appeared in the East Side Kids series and was one of the Bowery Boys.

    1921: Temple B’nai Israel of Borough Park is scheduled to host a concert that will raise funds for Israel-Zion Hospital which is led by its new President, Newman Dube and Executive Director Boris Fingerhood.

    1921: At the New Rochelle Hospital, Rabbi and Mrs. Richard M. Stern gave birth a daughter this morning.

    1922: In Chicago, Lottie and Simon Wexler, “the found founder of Allie Radio, a mail-order and retail electronic firm” gave birth to Haskell Wexler, one of the ten most influential cinematographers of the 20th century.

    1922: Birthdate of Denis Norden, the London native who gained fame as writer and a “television presenter” and who “accidentally” found himself at Bergen-Belsen at the end of World War II.

    1923: Birthdate of Judge Harold H. Greene.

    1925: Sid Terris lost an elimination bout for the World Lightweight Championship.

    1926: In Manhattan, Harold Stone, “the heir to a fortune built from a five-and-dime store chain, and the former Elza Heifetz, the sister of violinist Jascha Heifetz gave birth to Barbara Stone who gained fame as “author and journalist” Barbara Gelb.

    1926: In the Bronx, Isaac Fein, a history professor and the former Chaya Wertheim, a schoolteacher gave birth to Rashi Fein, the health economist referred to as “a father of Medicare” who was the brother of Leonard J. Fein, the editor of Moment magazine.

    1927: Birthdate of Bukovinian native and survivor Transnistira Zvi Laron who came to Israel for the first time in 1948 where he eventually became world famous endocrinologist best known for his work with a form of dwarfism known as the Laron syndrome.

    1927: The Atlanta Journal reproduced the receipt of Major Rafael Jacob Moses (CSA) from 1865 for $40,000 of bullion which he was supposed to get to the remnants of the Confederate Army to pay for food and munitions.

    1933: The NBC Blue Network broadcast an episode of “Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel,” “a situation comedy radio show starring two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico, and written primarily by Nat Perrin and Arthur Sheekman.”

    1933: Timemagazine published “Hitler Into Chancellor” an article that provides a contemporaneous account of the German leaders rise to power and plans for the immediate future.,8816,745087,00.html

    1934: In France, Jewish political leader Leon Blum, chairman of the Socialist Party, promised to stand with Premier-designate Daladier as right wing paramilitary gangs battered at the doors of the Chamber of Deputies. This attempt to impose a fascist regime on France came before Vichy but explains why so many Jews were so quickly shipped to Drancy, the doorway to Auschwitz. 

    1934: Following tonight’s right-wing anti-government riots historian Daniel Halévy “publicly declared that he “was now ‘a man of the extreme right’” which despite his Jewish origins would lead him to support the Vichy anti-Semitic pro-Nazi Vichy regime.

    1935: Birthdate of New Jersey political leaders Loretta Weinberg has served as a member of the New Jersey Senate from the 37th Legislative District and was an unsuccessful candidate for Lt. Governor in 2009

    1936:  In Washington, DC, Nehemiah Cohen and Samuel Lehrman opened the first Giant supermarket on Georgia Avenue and Park Road, NW.  Giant would grow to become a major supermarket chain in the Washington metropolitan area. In the 1950’s, Giant would be the first grocery chain in Washington sell challah in its in-store bakery.

    1936: An editorial on the front page of the Voelkischer Beobachter, “Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s own newspaper” demanded “the death penalty for David Frankfurter, the Jewish student who killed Wilhelm Gustloff, the German leader of the Nazis in Switzerland.

    1936: While addressing a meeting of Jews in London, the Bishop of Durham asserted that the present rulers of Germany are those who are “ultimately responsible for the assassination of Wilhelm Gustloff.”

    1937(25thof Shevat, 5697): Parashat Mishpatim; Shabbat Shekalim

    1937: Rabbi Hyman Schachtel is scheduled to deliver a sermon “The Strength Judaism Gives” at the West End Synagogue.

    1937: Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon “Will Democracy and Liberalism Destroy the Jew?” at Temple Rodeph Sholom.

    1937: The National Conference for Palestine, whose attendees had had a chance to read “How Many Jews Can Palestine Hold?” by Joseph L. Cohen, opened today in Washington, D.C.

     1938: The Palestine Post reported that Ezekiel Altman, 22, a Jewish supernumerary constable, was found guilty of firing at an Arab truck on December 27, 1937, and was sentenced to death by the Military Court in Jerusalem. The prisoner heard the sentence with equanimity.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that in Tel Aviv, High Commissioner Sir Arthur Wauchope inaugurated the first automatic telephone exchange. Romania started the expropriation of Jewish private land properties in Bukovina.

    1938: Edward M.M. Warburg and Dr. Milton Steinberg are among the speakers at the second Annual Conference on Jewish Affairs being held this afternoon at the Jewish Theological Seminary where the attendees will discuss “The Future of Judaism in America.”

    1938: “A Jewish Who’s Who” published today provided a brief review of Who’s Who In American Jewry: Volume III 1938-1939 edited by John Simon a reference containing “8,477 full biographies” and additional 1,900 names “for which further information was not available.”

    1938: In “Terror Grips Jews In Rumanian Cities” published today G.E.R. Gedye continues his series on the frightening conditions facing the Jews that includes a description of Jassy as “the headquarters of the Anti-Semitic Cuzist terrorists.”

    1938: Don Isaac Abravenel by Joseph Saracheck, “a biography of the 15thcentury Jewish scholar and statesman” was included on today’s list of “Latest Books Received.”

    1938: Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Assignments in Utopia by Eugene Lyons: Russia, the Riddle; What Can Americans Believe About Communism” at Temple Rodoph Sholom.

    1938: Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Conflicts Within” at the Jewish Science Society.

    1938: Rabbi Clifton Harby Levy is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “What Jewish Science Does” at the Centre of Jewish Science.

    1938: Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “What Are the Perquisites of Cooperation?” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1938: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to deliver a sermon “Prodigal Parents’ – Are Parents Always Wrong? Sinclair Lewis Answers” at the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall.

    1939: While speaking “the school of politics in the Women’s National Republican Club” in Manhattan, “Brackett Lewis, the secretary of the American Committee for Relief in Czechoslovakia demonstrated a burst of unwarranted optimism about the future of the country when he “pointed out that the nation’s new president was not the candidate suggested by Berlin and that Jews had not been persecuted as Berlin had suggested to Prague’s ‘sincerity.’”

    1939: On the eve of the start of talks in London about the future of Palestine, Arabs, under the leadership of the followers of Mufti of Jerusalem went on strike today which forced the British to impose a twenty-four hour curfew.

    1940: In Berlin, “the Reich Association of Jews announced today that the Jews would be allowed to have a ration of twenty pfeddings worth of sewing materials each three months to repair clothes” but “as before, Jews will receive no rations cards for clothes, textile  goods, shoes or shoe soles.”

    1940: Word reached to New York today that German author Dr. Eduard Fuchs who had been “violently attacked by the Nazi regime” because among other things “his second wife, the former Grete Alsberg was Jewish.”

    1940: This evening. Dr. George N. Shuster, acting president and academic dean of Hunter College is scheduled to speak at a public meeting of the North Hempstead Round Table of Christians and Jews where the topic is “The Meaning of Democracy.

    1941: Birthdate of Richard Cohen, the New York native who became a leading columnist with the Washington Post.

    1942: Birthdate of Dr. James W. Lowen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong in which he wrote that the prosecution of Robert Goldstein a Jewish German-American who produced “The Spirit of ‘76” “was consistent with Woodrow Wilson's targeting anyone suspecting of holding anti-British views, which the president claimed gave aid to Germany” which the movie did not.

    1943: Upon arriving in “liberated” Algiers, Churchill discovered that the Vichy laws restricting the rights of the Jews of Algeria were still in force and insisted that they be repealed at once.

    1943: Himmler received a report on the quantity of garments collected from Birkenau. The list included: 97,000 sets of men's clothing, 76,000 sets of women's clothing, 132,000 men's shirts, 155,000 women's coats and 3,000 kilograms of women's hair. The hair filled an entire railroad car. Children's items included 15,000 overcoats, 11,000 boys' jackets, 9,000 dresses and 22,000 pairs of shoes. The clothing filled 825 freight cars. Included in this inventory was also close to a half of million in American currency and $116,420 dollars in gold.

    1943: Fifteen trains of deportees reached Birkenau from Holland, Drancy (Paris) and from Berlin. Five thousand on board were gassed.

    1943: Rutka Laskier, a fourteen year old living in Bedzin, Poland writes in her diary: “Something has broken in Me. When I pass by a German, everything shrinks in me. I don't know whether it is out of fear or hatred. I would like to torture them, their women and children, who set their doggies on us, to beat and strangle them vigorously, more and more. When will this day arrive which Nica talked about ... that's one matter. And now another matter. I think my womanhood has awoken in me. That means, yesterday when I was taking a bath and the water stroked my body, I longed for someone's hands to stroke me ... I didn't know what it was, I have never had such sensations until now ...I met Micka today. I don't know with what these "dubious" lovers attract her, to the point that she refuses to get into a quarrel with them. They are so dazzled by her and think that every boy should be in love with her. Of course, I ascribe this to Janek, but Janek finds her disgusting (I don't know why). I think Janek likes me very much. But it doesn't matter to me, either way. Today, I recalled in detail the day of Aug. 12, 1942. I'll try to describe that day so that in a few years, of course if I'm not deported, I'll be able to remember it. We got up at 4 o'clock in the morning. We had a great breakfast (considering it was wartime): eggs, salad, real butter, coffee with milk. When we were ... ready, it was already half past 5, and then we left. There were thousands of people on the road. Every once in a while we had to stop, in order to let the crowd in front of us proceed. At half past 6, we were in place. We managed to get quite good seats on a bench. We were in a pretty good mood until 9 o'clock. Then I looked beyond the fence and I saw soldiers with machine guns aimed at the square in case someone tried to escape (how could you possibly escape from here?). People fainted, children cried. In short--Judgment Day. People were thirsty, and there was not a single drop of water around ... Then ... it started pouring. The rain didn't stop. At 3 o'clock Kuczynsky arrived and the selection started. "1" meant returning home, "1a" meant going to labor, which was even worse than deportation, "2" meant going for further inspection, and "3" meant deportation, in other words, death. Then I saw what disaster meant. We reported for selection at 4 o'clock. Mom, Dad and my little brother were sent to group 1, and I was sent to 1a. I walked as if I were stunned ... The weirdest thing was that we didn't cry at all, AT ALL ... Later on, I saw many more disasters. I can't put it in words. Little children were lying on the wet grass, the storm raging above our heads. The policemen beat them ferociously and also shot them. I sat there until 1 o'clock at night. Then I ran away. My heart pounded. I jumped out of a window from the first floor of a small building, and nothing happened to me. Only my lips were bitten so bad that they bled ... When I was already on the street, I ran into someone "in uniform," and I felt that I couldn't take it anymore. My head was spinning. I was pretty sure he was going to beat me ... but apparently he was drunk and didn't see the "yellow star," and he let me go.

     Around me it was dark like in a closed cabin. From time to time flashes of lightning lightened the sky ... and it thundered. The journey that normally takes me half an hour I did in 10 minutes. Everybody was at home except Grandma, whom Dad released and brought home the next day ...

    Oh, I forgot the most important thing. I saw how a soldier tore a baby, who was only a few months old, out of its mother's hands and bashed his head against an electric pylon. The baby's brain splashed on the wood. The mother went crazy. I am writing this as if nothing has happened. As if I were in an army experienced in cruelty. But I'm young, I'm 14, and I haven't seen much in my life, and I'm already so indifferent. Now I am terrified when I see "uniforms." I'm turning into an animal waiting to die ...Now to everyday matters: Janek came by this afternoon. We had to sit in the kitchen ... I told him that I had given away all my photographs. He got very upset. We were joking around; we spoke about "Nica and the gang." While we were talking he suddenly blurted out he'd like it very much if he could kiss me. I said "maybe" and continued the conversation. He was a bit confused; he thought I was Tusia or Hala Zelinger. I would have allowed [myself] to be kissed only by the person I loved, and I feel indifferent towards him. Then Dad sent me to deal with something. I had to leave. Janek accompanied me. While going downstairs I asked him, is kissing such a pleasant thing? And then I told him that I had already kissed before, what a taste it has (that's completely true). He burst out laughing. (He has a nice laugh, I must admit.) He said he was curious too. Maybe, but I won't let him kiss me. I'm afraid it would destroy something beautiful, pure ... I'm also afraid that I'll be very disappointed.” For more about a young Jewess who has been compared to Anne Frank, another diary writer see:

    1944: Birthdate of actor Michael Tucker. Born in Baltimore, Maryland he is best known for his role as the nebbish tax attorney, Stuart Markowitz on the television series, “LA Law.”

    1944(12thof Shevat 5704): Phillip Max Raskin, editor of The Anthology of Modern Jewish Poetry and author of New Songs of a Jew died

    1946: Two Jews who were plowing a field near Ramle were wounded by an unknown number of attacking Arabs.

    1946: After one of their men had been killed tonight during an attack on the headquarters of an East African soldiers' camp just south of Jaffa-Tel Aviv, British soldiers stormed into the near-by Jewish community of Holon and began firing at “anything that moved.” Apparently the soldiers were not content to fire their weapons since of the fatalities was a 15 year old boy who had been stabbed to death.

    1946 (5th of Adar I, 5706): Fifty-year old Ben Zion Shenkar, the director of a knitting mill and the vice chairman of the Community Council in Cholon was murdered by rampaging British troops who shot up the town after an attack on their headquarters. There are no records of anybody being held accountable for his death.

    1947: Birthdate of Daniel Yergin, the Los Angeles born author, economist and co-founder of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

    1949(7thof Shevat, 5709): Sixty-year old MGM studio executive and producer of the Academy Award winning best picture Broadway MelodyHarry Rapf, New York born son of Maurice and Eliza Brooks Rapf, the husband of Christian Rodin with whom he had two children producer Mathew Rapf and blacklisted screenwriter Maurice Rapf passed away today after suffering his second heart attack.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel told Britain and the US that Jordan was entirely responsible for the current border unrest. The Mixed Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Commission censured Jordan for mining Israeli railway line near Kalkilya.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel had contributed to "Watershood 1953," the Dutch Welfare Fund for the victims of the recent terrifying floods which claimed over 1,300 dead in Holland.

    1954: Birthdate of “Érik Izraelewicz[, a French journalist and author, specialized in economics and finance.”

    1955: Birthdate of Avraham “Avram” Grant the Petah Tikva native who became a successful “football” manager. (In the U.S. this football is called soccer)

    1956(24th of Shevat): Composer Joseph Rumshinsky passed away.

    1958: In Los Angeles, Sidney Miller, an actor, director, and writer, and Iris Burton, an agent, gave birth to Barry L. Miller who won a Tony Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of “Arnold Epstein” in Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues.”

    1958: After surviving the McCarthy Era which led to the death of her husband, Gertrude Berg appeared on “The Ford Show.”

    1961:Do-Re-Mi” a 1961 jazz album consisting of selections from the Broadway musical Do Re Mi, written by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolf Green was recorded today at the Capitol Tower in Los Angeles.

    1965: After seven previews and one actual performance at the Broadhurst Theatre, the curtain came down on the original Broadway performance the Mark Charlap musical “Kelly”

    1967(26thof Shevat, 5727): Seventy-five year old Henry Morgenthau, Jr. who served as 52ndU.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1934 to 1945 passed away today.

    1969: The Jerry Herman musical “Dear World” which featured lighting design by Jean Rosenthal opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.

    1972(21stof Shevat, 5732): Seventy one year old Gavriel Mullokandov regarded by some “as the greatest Bukharin Jewish singer and musician” passed away

    1972: A ground breaking ceremony was held today in Reno for Temple Emanu-El's new building. The dedication ceremony would take place in March of 1973.

    1975: U.S. premiere of “The Strongest Man in the World” co-starring Phil Silvers and featuring Harold Gould a “Regent Dietz.”

    1978: In Paris, two Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Tunisia gave birth Israeli singer/songwriter Yael Naim

    1980: In a letter-to-the editor published today, Zachary Saletan, President of Moriches Duck Farm, takes issue with derogatory comments made by Patricia Wells in an article published on December 19 entitled “So You Want to Buy a Duck” about ducks sold by Empire Poultry.  Saletan contends that it was unfair to compare kosher ducks (Empire) with non-kosher fowl since the kosher birds have to slaughtered and dressed in conformity with the laws of Kashrut.  This requires a process which would account for the different appearance, texture, etc of the final product.  Saletan is doubly upset because Moriches supplies Empire with its ducks.

    1983(23rdof Shevat, 5743): Seventy-two year old Polish native John “Jack” Grossman, a three sport all-star athlete at Rutgers who played professionally in the NFL for the Brooklyn Dodgers before moving to Chile where he played professional baseball and soccer passed away today in Hollywood, FL today.

    1983: The New York Times publishes “Hebrew Poetry In Its Israeli Phase,” Edward Hirsch’s review of The Static Element: Selected Poems of Natan Zach; translated by Peter Everwine and Shulamit Yasny-Starkman

    1984(3rdof Adar I, 5744): Seventy-one year old Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, the rabbi who saved thousands from death during the Holocaust passed away today.

    1985(15thof Shevat, 5745): Tu B’Shevat

    1985: Four days after closing its premiere run in Los Angeles, Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues” opened at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.

    1985(15thof Shevat, 5745): Eighty-four year old Shelomo Dov Goitein, Jewish Arabist, historian and author of the 5-volume work A Mediterranean Society, passed away..

    1987: Prisoner of Zion, Roald Zelichenok was released today in Leningrad.

    1988(18thof Shevat, 5748): Seventy-two year old Marghanita Laski, the author and critic who was part of distinguished family of Anglo-Jewish intellectuals passed away.

    1989(1st of Adar I, 5749): Seventy-seven year old Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman passed away (As reported by Eric Pace)

    1990: The Egyptian authorities said today that the men they suspected of killing nine Israelis in a rifle and grenade attack on a tour bus near here on Sunday were Palestinians. That has come as no comfort to a dwindling minority of 40,000 Palestinians whose roots here, once firm, have weakened with time.

    1990(11thof Shevat, 5750): Eighty-one year old attorney and Treasury Department Bernard Bernstein official passed away today.

    1991: Today an Arab traveling on a bus got up and attacked a soldier with a knife.

    1994(25th of Shevat, 5754): Seventy six year old Jacob Kurtzberg, the son of Austrian immigrants who gained famed as Jack Kirby passed away. He was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books, and the co-creator of such enduring characters and popular culture icons as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Hulk, Captain America, and hundreds of others stretching back to the earliest days of the medium. He was also a comic book writer and editor. His most common nickname is "The King."

    1995: In “Can Peace Survive?” published today, Lisa Beyer examined the status of the peace talks in Israel.,33009,982457-2,00.html

    1997(29thof Shevat, 5757): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Ezer Weizman attended funerals and visited grieving families while thousands of Israelis went to pray at the Western Wall and assemblies were held at schools nationwide as Israel observed a national day of mourning for the 73 Israeli soldiers who died on February 4 when two Sikorsky helicopters collided.

    1998: U. S. premiere of “Blues Brothers 2000” directed by John Landis with music by Paul Shaffer.

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Trouble With Principleby Stanley Fish and a newly published paperback edition of Kaddishby Leon Wieseltier

    2001: Elections for Prime Minister were held in Israel today following the resignation of the incumbent, Labour's Ehud Barak.

    2001: Ariel Sharon was elected Israeli prime minister in a landslide over Ehud Barak.

    2001 Richard N. Haass began serving as United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department.

    2002(24th of Shevat, 5762): Max Perutz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962, passed away.

    2003(4thof Adar I, 5763): Eighty-seven year old journalist Herb Brit passed away today.

    2004: “Focus on the Soul: The Photographs of Lotte Jacobi” opened at the Jewish Museum.

    2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Unholy Alliance Radical Islam and the American Left” by David Horowitz

    2005:  The New York Times reported that two sisters who were separated in Budapest in 1944 were re-united.  Unbeknownst to each other, they had made their separate ways to Israel in 1948 and had been living 45 miles from each other.

    2005: Robert Kraft, the Jewish owner of the New England Patriots, received the Vince Lombardi Trophy, as his team won their third super bowl in four years. 

    2005 (27th of Shevat, 5765): Russian born pianist Lazar Berman passed away at age 75 in Florence, Italy.

    2005 (27th of Shevat, 5765):  Karl Haas, award winning host of the radio show “Adventures in Good Music” passed away.

    2006: Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, the head of the Jewish community in New Delhi who “is the Honorary Secretary of the Judah Hyam Syagogue,  “was a key participant in the 15th International Conference on Human Integration which took place at Kirpal Bagh.” He was “a recipient of the Mahavir mahatma Award for preserving Jewish heritage and culture in India.”

    2006: In one of the largest restitutions ever of art seized by the Nazis, the Dutch government announced that it would return more than 200 old-master paintings to the heir of Jacques Goudstikker, a wealthy Dutch Jewish dealer and collector who fled Amsterdam ahead of advancing German troops in May 1940.

    2006: British Jewry was stunned and outraged over a surprise decision by the Anglican Church's General Synod to divest from companies whose products are used by Israel in the territories. The synod backed a call by the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem to divest from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation," such as Caterpillar, which makes bulldozers that Israel is using to build the separation fence. Several Protestant churches in the United States have adopted similar resolutions over the past two

    2007: Jeff “Zucker became president and CEO of NBC Universal.

    2007: Nine Star Hotel, winner of the 2006 Wologin Award for Israeli Cinema at the Jerusalem Film Festival will begin being screened in movie theatres in several Israeli cities

    2007: In Cedar Rapids, Harold Becker, Chairman of Guaranty Bank and Trust Company and pillar of the Jewish Community, was surprised with a reception celebrating his 85th birthday and marking his 35 year tenure as Chairman.  Mr. Becker is driving force behind the Jewish Welfare Board, the community umbrella organization for the Jews of Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities.

    2007: A Holocaust denier who gave his name as “Eric Hunt” wrote on an anti-Semitic website explaining why he had attempted to kidnap Eli Wiesel from an elevator in San Francisco on February 1.  Police would later issue an arrest warrant for what is described as a “New Jersey” man for on charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery and the commission of a hate crime.

    2007: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appointed Daniel Friedmann as the Minister of Justice today.

    2008: Rosh Chodesh Adar I 5768

    2008: The headsof one of the largest Palestinian clans in Hebron met with the Kiryat Arba local council chief and prominent leaders of the Jewish community in Hebron in what both sides described as a meeting of reconciliation. Sheikh Abu-Hader Ja'abri, the head of a prominent Palestinian clan and a relative of a former mayor of Hebron, and the head of the Abu Sneinah clan, Haj Akram Abu-Sneinah met with the head of the Kiryat Arba settlement council, Zvi K'tzubar, and the heads of Jewish settlers in Hebron.

    2009: An exhibition entitled Woman with a Camera: Liselotte Grschebina: Germany, 1908 – Israel, 1994 appearing at the Ticho House Gallery of the Israel Museum comes to an end.

    2009: A day after a Hamas delegation left Egypt without an agreement on a long-term Gaza truce, terrorists in the Strip fired two rockets at southern Israel. One of the rockets landed near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev region, while the other hit an open area south of Ashkelon

    2009: Eddie Schawartz, “the king of overnight radio in Chicago from the late 1970’s to the mid-1990’s …was laid to rest after graveside services at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery in Forest Park.

    2010: Sidney Ferris Rosenberg returned to WFAN to host a special Super Bowl preview show from Miami.

    2010: In an article published in today’s LA Times, Megan Strack describes the ordeal of Alexei Vaitsen, one of the few Jews who escaped from Sobibor, and has lived to be able to bear witness against concentration camp guard, John Demjanjuk.

    2010: At Temple Judah, in Cedar Rapids, IA, Super Bowl Shabbat combines Tefillah & Tailgating with the Reading of the Ten Commandments.

    2010: Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan are scheduled to perform tonight at the Historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2010: “A Matter of Size” is scheduled to shown this evening as part of the 14th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2010:Tony Copti, a supporting actor in the Oscar-nominated Israeli film Ajami and brother of Ajami co-director Scandar Copti, was arrested this evening along with another brother for allegedly assaulting police officers during a brawl in Jaffa, and released several hours later.

    2010:In a rare occurrence, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon shook the hand of Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal during the annual security conference in Munich today.

    2011:"Hitler and the Germans — Nation and Crime," an exhibition at the German Historical Museum that juxtaposes the Nazis' propaganda images and artifacts such as 1930s Hitler busts with footage and documentation on the regime's brutality and Germans' involvement in it is scheduled to come a close today.

    2011: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present a program entitled “Tableau Vivant: The Berberisca Ceremony (A Living Picture)” which is part “of the year-long series, "2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey", presented Under the High Patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco.”

    2011: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Ugly Beauty: Helena Rubinstein, L’Oréal, and the Blemished History of Looking Good” by Ruth Brandon and “The Last Brother” by Nathacha Appanah, a novel “inspired by the largely unknown story of 1,500 Jews who fled Europe only to be imprisoned in Mauritius from 1940 to 1945 after their ship was refused entry into Palestine (then under British rule)” that “recounts the heartfelt friendship between two boys: David, a Czech orphan, and Raj, an Indian-Mauritian grieving for the two brothers he lost in a flash flood.”

    2011:As the Green Packers were defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers  in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, there was at least one Jew rooting for the Steelers - Randy Grossman the tight end who earned four Super Bowl rings while playing for teams from “the Steel City.” On the other hand, according to Andrew Muchin, the Green Bay Packers might have not existed if it had not been for the unheralded efforts of Nate Abrams, a five foot, four inch “Jewish cattle dealer” who helped finance the Packers and who played for them in their first season.

    2011:A colorful procession of dancers and musicians walked down the aisles and took the stage tonight at Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium, the venerable music venue where the sounds of Bach and Mozart are more often heard than the blares of huge Korzai trumpets and bangs of Doyra drums. In the stands some 2,800 Bukharan Jews and dignitaries – a handful of whom were dressed in the colorful traditional garb of the Central Asian community – clapped and cheered on the occasion of the Bukhara Jewish Congress’s 11th annual gathering.

    2012: Israeli violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, pianist Seymour Lipkin and the Jupiter musicians will perform Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, K. 493; the Beethoven String Quintet in C minor, Op. 104; and Clarinet Quartet No. 2 inC minor by Bernhard Crusell, Finland’s first great master of chamber music at the Good Shepherd Church in New York City.

    2012: Actor Mandy Patinkin who has star of stage, film and television, is scheduled to appear “in conversation with Than Rosenbaum” at the 92nd Street Y.

    2012:Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini today announced that the general strike in support of contract workers will begin in two days.

    2013(28thof Shevat, 5773): Eighty-two year old bridge champion Ira Rubin passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    2013: Sylvie Simmon and Liel Leibovitz are scheduled to discuss the life of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen at the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place.

    2013: “The Other Son” is scheduled to be shown at the 13th Annual Broward County Jewish Film Festival.

    2013(28thof Shevat, 5773): Eighty-nine year old Menachem Elon, the former Supreme Court passed away today and was buried in Jerusalem.

    2013:Officials in charge of Bosnia’s national monuments said today they rejected an offer by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to exhibit one of Bosnia’s most prized relics, a 600-year-old Jewish manuscript that remains locked in a museum which closed because of a lack of money.

    2013: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today spoke up for academic freedom amid controversy over an event at a public college, despite stressing his distaste for the cause at hand.

    2013:U.S President Barack Obama wants to host a summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit here this spring, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said today.

    2014: Anniversary of the birth Isaac Zaretski, “a Yiddish linguist, lexicographer and educator…who was one of the major figures of the movement to reform and standardize the Yiddish language in the Soviet Union.” (As reported by Yiddishkayt)

    2014: The San Diego Center for Jewish Culture’s 24th annual Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to begin today.

    2014(6thof Adar I, 5774): Eighty-seven CBS newsman Marty Plissner passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

    2014(6thof Adar 1, 5774): Eighty-eight year old Pulitzer Prize winning poet Maxine Kumin passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to a panel discussion “Jews, Cities, Culture: Hamburg, New York, Kiev.’

    2014: Amazon Video broadcast the first episode of “Transparent” a comedy-drama created by Jill Soloway and starring Jeffrey Tambor.

    2014: Michael Steinlauf of Gratz College is scheduled to deliver a lecture in Yiddish on “Y.L Peretz in a Time of Revolution.

    2014: The Third Annual Reelabilities: Greater DC Disabilities Film Festival is scheduled to begin today.

    2014: The Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel is scheduled to make its first New York appearance at the Lehman Center for the Performing of Arts in Bronx

    2014: Thousands of Haredi demonstrators demanded the government to reinstate payments to religious seminaries which were frozen earlier this week by Finance Minister Yair Lapid. (As reported by Adiv Sterman and Stuart Winer)

    2015: According to todays “New York Law Journal” fifty-one year old Yisroel Schulman “has resigned as president and attorney-in-charge of NYLAG” “has stepped down amid a federal investigation into his alleged accounting irregularities” while serving as “head of a Jewish legal aid charity for low-income New Yorkers.”

    2014: For the third time in the past 24 hours terrorists in the Gaza strip fired a rocket into the Ashkelon and Eshkol regions.

    2015: The Roni Koresh Dance Company is scheduled to perform at Pace University’s Schimmel Center.

    2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present Singers of the "Meitar" Opera Studio Of The Israel Opera “Bel Canto Gems”

    2015: Funeral services were held today at Chabad of the Rivertowns for Ellen Brody.

    2015: “Educating Rita” is scheduled to shown at the 92nd St Y as part of the Women on Top series.

    2016: As part of its “Power of Pictures” exhibition the Jewish Museum is scheduled to show “The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty” and “Aelita: Queen of Mars.”

    2016: In suburban Maryland, Kelly Terranova and Mike Aronin are scheduled to appear at Shaare Tefila’s 5th Annual Night of Sweet Laughter Comedy Night.

    2016(27thof Shevat, 5776): Shabbat Mishpatim

    2016(27thof Shevat, 5576): Ninety-year old construction mogul John L. Tishman passed away today.

    2016: A terrorist stabbed a 65 year old grandmother who was shopping with her family at a market in Rahat.

    2017(10thof Shevat, 5777): On the Jewish calendar, yahrzeit Shalom Sharabi, the 18thcentury Yemen born rabbi, kabbalist and author Nehar Shalom.

    2017: The Streicker Center at Temple Emanu-El is scheduled to host Canadian piano virtuoso-playwright-director-composer-producer-actor-recording artist Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin in a one-man bio-drama.

    2017: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today called for new international sanctions against Iran during his first meeting with British counterpart Theresa May in London.” (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

    2017: Less than a month after becoming Governor of Missouri, Republic Eric Greitens “signed a bill into las making Missouri the 28th right-to-work state.

    2017: Isaac Zolotarevsky’s 1910 melodrama "Gelt, Libe, Un Shande" (Money, Love and Shame) is scheduled to be presented at YIVO in a new English translation by writer/director Allen Lewis Rickman in a ‘rehearsed reading’ format.

    2017: The Brookes Pub Meetup where Jews at Oxford Brookes University have a chance to meet and mingle is scheduled to take place The Cowley Retreat.

    2017: “Israeli aircraft targeted three Hamas sites in the northern Gaza Strip this afternoon, hours after tanks shelled one of the terrorist group’s positions in the coastal enclave in response to a rocket attack earlier that morning, the army said.” (As reported by Judah Ari Gross)

    2018: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to offer the first session of Radical Jewish Politics in Postwar America and Israel focusing on Arthur Waskow, Meir Kahane, Yoel teitelbaum, and Zvi Yehuda Kook.

    2018: Prize winning concert pianist Eliyahu Zabaly is scheduled to play “selected pieces” at Harmonia Hall in Jerusalem.

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a Holocaust Memorial Day event featuring Czech native John Fieldsen who came to England with his brother in 1939 on the Kindertransport.









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    February 7

    457: Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire. As can be seen from this decree, Leo was no friend of the Jewish people. "Therefore We, desiring to accomplish what Our Father failed to effect, do hereby annul all the old laws enacted with reference to the Hebrews, and We order that they shall not dare to live in any other manner than in accordance with the rules established by the pure and salutary Christian Faith. And if anyone of them should be proved to, have neglected to observe the ceremonies of the Christian religion, and to have returned to his former practices, he shall pay the penalty prescribed by the law for apostates." Jews who converted in public but were found practicing “the faith of their fathers” faced a variety of punishments including loss of estates and possession, loss of the right to transfer property to their heirs and/or loss of life.

    1413: In Aragon (Spain), Vincente Ferrer returned and assisted by an apostate Joshua Lorki (Geronimo de Santa Fe), known to the Jews as Hamegadef (the blasphemer) convinced Anti-Pope Benedict XIII to stage a disputation at Tortosa. It was presided over by the Pope himself and lasted for a period of twenty-one months in sixty-nine sessions. The Jews, led by Vidal Benvenisti and Joseph Albo, were faced with an opening salvo by Benedict when he made the expected outcome clear. Hamegadef attacked the Talmud as anti-Christian and urged its banning. None of the Jews' counter-arguments were officially recorded.

    1497: The bonfire of the vanities occurs in which supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burn thousands of objects like cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy. For once, the books of the Jews may have been spared since Savonarola, had expelled the Jews from Florence earlier in the decade.

    1550: Julius III becomes Pope.  Julius had mixed record where it concerned the Jewish people which made better than most of his contemporaries or others who served as Pope. Julius confirmed the rights of the Jews in Ancona.  “He condemned the blood libel and forbade baptism of Jewish children without parental consent.”  At the same time, he was unable to stand up against the power of the Holy Office.  Under pressure from the Inquisitor General he collected copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books and burned them.

    1569: The Inquisition is established in South America. About a half a century after the Spanish landed in South America, the Inquisition reared its ugly head.  Unlike the English colonies founded in North America in the next century and half, there was no place for religious toleration in New Spain.  Rather the hunt for all manner of backsliders including Marranos, Conversos or Secret Jews became part of Spanish culture in the New World.  When we study the history of Jews in the New World, hopefully we will have time to take a side trip to the little known secret Jewish communities in what later became Arizona and New Mexico.

    1624:  The Jamestown City (Virginia) Census demonstrated that 38 year old Elias Legardo, a Jew, came to America in 1621 on the ship Abigall. Legardo was one of the earliest Jews in the Colonies.

    1685: A document written today, a copy of which found its way into the archives of Breslau, “advised against the establishment of a Hebrew press in Silesia, ‘because there are three very large Jewish printing establishments at Amsterdam in Holland, whence books are sent by sea to Danzig and Memel, thus abundantly providing for the Jews of Poland and Lithuania.’"

    1754(15thof Shevat, 5514): Tu B’Shevat

    1791: Having passed the “De Judaeis law” which regulated the treatment of the Jews of Hungary, the Diet today appointed “a commission to study” ways to ameliorate the conditions under which the Jews of Hungary lived.

    1791: In London, Moses Ancona and the former Hannah Montefiore gave birth to Moses Montefiore Ancona who lived in Barbados and Jamaica before settling in Pennsylvania where he used the first name of Moses, married Mary Ann Knapp, a practiced medicine until he passed away after contracting pneumonia.

    1808: Henry Hart married Phoebe Myers at the Hambro Synagogue today.

    1812: Birthdate of Charles Dickens.  The author of A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield was not Jewish.  But he did portray Jewish characters in at least two of his works.  The most famous was Fagan in Oliver Twist.  Eliza Davis, a Jewish acquaintance of Dickens, whose husband had purchased Dickens’ London residence, wrote a famous letter complaining about the Jewish characterization of Fagan.  Dickens saw himself as a friend of the Jews.  In his response he wrote, “Fagin is a Jew because it unfortunately was true of the time to which the story refers that that class of criminal invariably was a Jew.  But surely, no sensible man or woman…can fail to observe that all of the rest of the wicked dramatis personae are Christians and the Fagan is called a Jew, not because of his religion, but because of his race.  I have no feeling toward the Jewish people but a friendly one.  I always speak well of them whether in public or private and bear testimony to their perfect good faith in transactions as I have had with them.”  In Our Mutual Friend, Dickens created “Mr. Riah” a “totally sympathetic Jewish character notable for his gentle nature and great dignity.”  In a case of what some might consider role reversal, Mr. Riah falls victim to a gang of Christian moneylenders.  Mrs. Davis recognized Dickens’ sincerity when she gave him a Hebrew-English Bible as sign that he had “exercised the noblest quality men can possess – that of atoning for an injury as soon as conscious of having inflicted it.”

    1817: Joel Hart was appointed by President James Madison United States consul at Leith, Scotland, and remained there in that capacity until 1832, when he returned to New York and resumed the practice of medicine. He was well known in Masonic circles in New York City. A native of Philadelphia, Hart received the degree of M.D. from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, London and he was one of the charter members of the Medical Society of the County of New York.

    1819: In New York City, Sarah Nathan and Isaac Mendes Seixas Nathan gave birth to Esther Nathan who became Esther Lazarus when she married Moses Lazarus.

    1838: Judah Joseph and Elizabeth Marks were married today at the Great Synagogue.

    1838: Moses Levy married Alice Moses at the New Synagogue today.

    1840: Isaac Samuel married Fanny Heilbronner in Paris, France today.

    1845: Birthdate of Yaakov Dovid Wilovsky, the native of Kobrin, Russia who served as the Rabbi for several European communities including Vilna before moving to the United States  where he was lected “elder rabbi” by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of America and chief rabbi of a Russian-American synagogue in Chicago Illinois.  He passed away in Safed in 1913.

    1848: In West Maitland, Australia Julia and Lewis Wolfe Levy gave birth to Martha May Levy who became Martha May Cohen when she married Louis Samuel Cohen

    1849(15thof Shevat, 5609): Tu B’Shevat

    1849(15th of Shevat): Rabbi Nehemiah of Dubrovno, author of Divrei Nehemiah passed away

    1851: In Darmstadt, Germany, David Simon and Elise Simon gave birth to Joseph Simon, a German immigrant who serve as U.S. Senator from Oregon and Mayor of Portland, Oregon.

    1853: The executors of the will of Jonas Fränckel asked Zacharias Frankel to be president of the soon to be opened Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. Funds for this new Jewish institution of higher learning had been part of the late Fränckel’s will.

    1853: "Jewish Plantation of Ireland," an article published today claimed that in 1703, James Harrington, the author of Oceana, had proposed that English Jews should be brought to Ireland where they could farm the land which produce revenues of "about four millions a year."  He claimed that Jews had "always showed their aptitude in all pursuits of agriculture."  How credible is this?  Harrington died in 1677 so it is unlikely that he was making any proposals about Jewish farmers in Ireland in 1703.

    1862: During a debate in the House of Representatives, Congressman Hale of New Hampshire showed the impact of the Hebrew Bible on American culture when he responded to critics by stating that he would to Lincoln's Administration "as the old Hebrew Prophet said to the King of Babylon: 'Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another, but I will read to the King the writing declared to me and the interpretation of it.'"

    1869(26thof Shevat, 5629): Thirty two year old Swedish opera singer Eufrosyne Abrahamson, the wife of “Swedish businessman and patron of the arts” August Abrahamson passed away today “unexpectedly after a short illness.

    1869: In Philadelphia, PA, Leon Levy Hyneman and Grace Marks Hyneman gave birth Edwin I. Hyneman who played football and baseball at the University of Pennsylvania from which he graduated in 1889 and eventually became a part of the Philadelphia baseball team which competed in the National League.

    1870: Birthdate of Austrian physician and psychologist Alfred Adler.

    1873: In New York City Henry Goldwater and Mary Tyroler gave birth to Dr. Sigismund Schulz Goldwater the superintendent of Mount Sinai Hospital and Commissioner of Health in New York City.

    1873: Eduard Lasker delivered a speech today “in which he attacked the management of the Pomeranian railway” and exposed financial mismanagement by one of Otto von Bismarck’s “most trusted assistants” which led to his being a target of attacks from the Iron Chancellor.

    1876: In Kings Count, the defense is scheduled to continuing presenting its defense in the sensational murder trial in which the state has accused P.N. Rubenstein of murdering his cousin Sara Alexander.

    1878: Birthdate of Ossip Gabrilovich the Russian born American composer, pianist and composer who married the daughter of Samuel Clemens and who was the father to the last known lineal descendant of the man most people know as Mark Twain.

    1876: A decree issued today was one of two decrees that regulated the behavior of the Jews of Ghent.

    1878(4thof Adar I 5638): In Vienna twenty-eight year old Pauline Herzl, the older sister of Theodore Herzl, passed away after contracting Typhus.  After the creation of the state of Israel her remains would be laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.  Herzl named his daughter after his sister.

    1878: Pope Pius IX who had been the subject of an ode by David Levi when he was elected because of hopes that he would be a progressive but turned reactionary, passed away today.

    1880(25thof Shevat, 5640): Parashat Mishpatim and Shabbat Shekalim

    1880: Seventy-four year old Kassel native and convert to Christianity Franz Ferdinand Benary, the orientalist and University Berlin associate professor of Old Testament exegis who “was the older brother of classical philologist Agathon Benary, passed away today in the German capital.

    1883(30thof Shevat, 5643): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1884: The opera “Nell Gwynne” in which Giulia Warwick (born Julia Ehrenberg) played the title role “was first performed at the Avenue Theatre in London” today

    1889: In Bohemia, Jakob Bondy and Barbara (Babette) Bondy gave birth to Bohumil Gottlieb Bondy who died at Auschwitz in 194.

    1890: Birthdate of Victor Alter, the Russian born mechanical engineer who as a leader of the Bund and the Second International.

    1891: Myer S. Isaac said tonight that since the New York Trustees had begun receiving contributions from Baron Hirsch, they had been able to found jobs for 3,000 people most of whom were heads-of-households.

    1891: In Neustadt, linen factory manager Max Pinkus,  the son of Josef Pinkus and Auguste Fränkel and Hedwig Pinkus gave birth to Hans Hubert Pinkus

    1891: Joseph Klein, the president of a Hebrew Cemetery Association in New Jersey was convicted of fraud today.

    1893: It was reported today that President-elect Grover Cleveland is considering appointing Isidor Straus to the position of Post Master General in his cabinet which will be sworn in in March.  The forty-five year old Straus is the brother of Oscar Straus who served as Minister to Constantinople in Cleveland’s first administration and the brother of Nathan Straus the Park Commissioner.

    1894: “Theatrical License Money Divided” published today provided a list of the charities receiving funds including: the Montefiore Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which got $1,000 in 1893 but only $500 in 1894; Beth Israel Hospital which got $100 in 1893 and the same amount in 1894 and the United Hebrew Charities of New York which got $1,500 in 1893 but only $1,000 in 1894. (The reductions were probably a reflection of the depression that had begun in 1893 and gained momentum in 1894)

    1895: Based on information from its 6th annual report, it was reported today that the Aguilar Free Library “now has 25,848 volumes” and that in 1894, it circulated 253,349 volumes.

    1896: Henry Steinhal, “one of the actors” performing in “The Russian Jew” at Adler’s Theatre “was accidently shot in the leg” when “a piece of wadding” from a blank cartridge went off and “embedded itself in” his limb.

    1896: Jews were among the melting pot of immigrants who attended James Pryse lecture on “The Masters” at Centennial Hall on New York’s lower East Side.

    1897: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil and Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt will participate in the upcoming ceremonies dedicating the new building housing the Hebrew Technical Institute.

    1897: In Chelsea, London, Alexander Neumann, a native of Bomberg who had moved “to London at the age of 15” and Sarah Ann (Pike) Neumann gave birth to Maxwell Neumann, who gained fame as “British mathematician and codebreaker” Max Newman.

    1897: It was reported today Reverend Faust, a Presbyterian missionary attempting to convert Jews in New York “said that the distress among the poor east side Jews was very great…and that he hoped that the wealthy Jews” would join with those who were working and wealthy Christians would contribute to alleviate their suffering. 

    1897: It was reported today that during a meeting at church on the lower east side about how to relieve the suffering of the poor Reverend John B. Devins of Hope Chapel “thought it best for the poor Jews to apply for relief to the United Hebrew Charities.”

    1898(15thof Shevat, 5658): Tu B’Shevat

    1898:  Emile Zola was brought to trial for libel for publishing J'Accuse. “J'accuseaccused the French government of anti-Semitism and of wrongfully placing Alfred Dreyfus in jail. Zola was brought to trial for libel for publishing J'Accuseon February 7, 1898 and was convicted on February 23. Zola declared that the conviction and transportation to Devil's Island of the Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus came after a false accusation of espionage and was a miscarriage of justice. The case, known as the Dreyfus affair, had divided France deeply between the reactionary army and church and the more liberal commercial society. The ramifications continued for years, so much so that on the 100th anniversary of Émile Zola's article, France's Roman Catholic daily paper, "La Croix", apologized for its anti-Semitic editorials during the Dreyfus affair.”

    1898: A fire broke out tonight at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society’s building which is home to 835 youngsters.

    1899: Isaac L. Rice took over the leadership of Electric Storage, a company that was trying to build the first modern submarines that ran on electric power while submerged for the U.S. Navy and changed its name to the Electric Boat Company.  The company operated by the Jewish professor was so successful that it during World War I it would build 85 submarines and 722 sub-chasers. (The company lives on today as General Dynamics.)

    1904: Twenty eight men from 18 local families in the Champaign-Urbana (Illinois) community met and formed the Champaign-Urbana Hebrew Congregation. Rabbi George Zeppin of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations presided over the meeting.

    1906(12thof Shevat, 5666): Eighty-four year old Bella “Betty” Baer, the wife of Jacob Baer passed away today.

    1906: As of today, “over $3,000,000 has been raised for the relief of the Jewish victims of the” outbreak of anti-Semitic violence in Russia of $1,200,000 was raised by the American National Relief Commission of which Jacob H. Schiff is the Treasurer.

    1906: “Soon after his arrival at Gomel,” General Orlott met with a group of prominent citizens including at least one rabbi who declared “that the outrages” that had taken place “were entirely unprovoked.”

    1910(28thof Shevat, 5670): Seventy-one year old Avrohom Bornsztain, founder and first Rebbe of the Sochatchover Hasidic dynasty” who was “known as the Avnei Nezer ("Stones of the Crown") after the title of his posthumously-published set of Torah responsa, which is widely acknowledged as a halakhic classic” and whose “only son, Shmuel, author of Shem Mishmuel, succeeded him as Rebbe” after he passed away today.

    1911: Birthdate of Shimon Koch who as Siegbert Avidan served in the Palmach and led the Givati Brigade during the 1948 War of Independence.

    1912: The Portland Evening Telegram described the Portland Equal Suffrage League which was founded by Josephine Hirsch as one that “will wield an important influence” even though it is “one of he younges leagues to be formed.

    1913(30thof Sheva, 5673): Rosh Chodesh I

    1913: Boris Thomashefsky is scheduled to present “Tata Mamas Zures” at the Haymarket in Chicago.

    1914:  Charlie Chaplin's signature character, "The Tramp," debuted in a film called "Kid Auto Races at Venice"

    1914: Birthdate of U.S. poet David Ignatow.

    1915: More than seven thousand dollars was raised tonight at “the 27th annual entertainment and dance given for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Fuel and Aid Society” which was held in the Astor Gallery of the Waldorf Astoria.

    1916: Birthdate of Floyd K. Haskell, the U.S. Senator from Colorado who was the husband of Nina Totenberg.  She was Jewish – he was not.

    1916: “At a small information luncheon at Little Hungary on East Houston Street,” attended by a number of Jews living on the east side and “several prominent rabbis” Colonel Theodore Roosevelt “pledged his support to the movement organized to obtain equal rights of citizenship for the Jews in every country of Europe at the end of the war.”

    1916: “Judge Samuel Seabury of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York said in a speech to the Far Western Travelers’ Association at the their annual dinner at the Hotel Astor” tonight “that President Wilson had made a great appointment in naming Louis D. Brandeis to the Supreme Court of the United States”

    1916: Leon s. Moisseiff, President of the Jewish newspaper The Day criticized the work of the Educational Alliance saying that “the east side does not believe that the alliance does as much work as it could” because “the great mass of the people of the east side do not feel that this institution in any way links up with the old Jewish customs and traditions.”

    1916: Justice Greenbaum responded to criticism of the Educational Alliance by pointing out that “the alliance not only taught Hebrew, but also gave instruction in Jewish history and Jewish customs.”

    1916: “The Bronx Jewish War Suffers’ Committee announced” today “that management of the Adams-Flanigan store” in the Bronx “will devote 10 per cent of all cash purchases” for the next two days “for the Jewish war sufferers.”

    1917: The first draft of the Balfour Declaration was written at the Gaster home today in the presence of Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolow, Baron Rothschild, Sir Mark Sykes and Herbert Samuel

    1917: The U.S. military expedition that had been trying to capture Pancho Villa since March of 1916 and during which Rabbis had been to various camps on the border by the Army and Navy Committee and the Central Conference of American Rabbis to conduct religious services, came to an end today.

    1917: Forty-nine year old skirt manufacturer Jacob Hyman and his wife, the former Regina Zeltenwerth, a native of Tarnow, Galicia celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.

    1917(15thShevat, 5677): Yosef Levi passed way in Paris. Levi was an archeologist and philologist of African and oriental languages. Born in Adrianople in December 15, 1827, he went on to write 33 books during his career.

    1918: In Chicago, Leon B. Sager, an advertising executive, and Deborah Borovik Sager who died in the Great Flu Epidemic, gave birth to geneticist Ruth Sager, the University of Chicago Phi Beta Kappa who was chief of cancer genetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston when she passed away

    1918: In Brownsville, Abraham Rosenbaum, a Jewish immigrant working as a baker and his wife gave birth to Terry Rosenbum the teacher whose career would be a casualty of Joe McCarthy and the red-baiting right-wingers who distorted the intellectual and political landscape of post-World War II America.

    1919(7th of Adar): Rabbi Isaac Jacob Rabinovitz, author of Zekher Yizhak passed away.

    1920: The Northamptonshire Yeomanry in which actor Leslie Howard (Leslie Howard Steiner) had served as a subaltern during World War I “was reconstituted in the Territorial Army with HQ at the Old Militia Barracks in Clare St, Northampton.”

    1921: As Americans adjust to Prohibition, “the Chicago Rabbinical Association adopted a resolution to refuse to sign all requests for fermented wine for sacramental purposes.”

    1921: Evening classes will begin tonight at the Bath Beach Y.M.H.A. under the leadership of the executive director, Dr. Hochfelder.

    1924(2ndAdar I, 5684): Rabbi Henry Berkowitz passed away.  Emily Nepon, his great-great-great-granddaughter described him in the following words. Born in 1857, Rabbi Henry Berkowitz was the “Beloved Rabbi” of Mobile, Kansas City, Missouri and Philadelphia. He is best known for being the founder of the Jewish Chautauqua Society in 1893, and was one of four members of the first graduating class of Reform rabbis in the United States.  Rabbi Henry Berkowitz was an activist, philanthropist, counselor, community leader, voracious learner, teacher, prolific writer and speaker. And, in keeping with mainstream Reform Judaism of his day, Berkowitz was also anti-Zionist.

    1925(13th of Shevat, 5685): Parashat Beshalach

    1925(13th of Shevat, 5685): Eighty-year old Alabama natve Nancy Priscilla “Nannie” Mordecai Cash, the eldest child of Samuel Jefferson and Martha Louisa "Tarrant" Mordecai and wife of Wesley Sheppard Cash passed away today.

    1931(20th of Shevat, 5691): Sixty-year old Rabbi Abraham Ber Goldenson who served for 13 years as the “head rabbi for the Nusach Hari Shul in St. Louis” passed away today.

    1932: “The Monster Walks” a horror film featuring Mischa Auer was released in the United States today.

    1933: The London Gazette reported that the King has conferred “the dignity of a Baron of the United Kingdom upon Sir Joseph Duveen…and the heirs’ males of his body lawfully begotten…”

    1934: During the Stavisky Affair, a night of rioting fomented by right-wing parties came to an end.  The right failed in their effort to overthrow the Third Republic, but the event was a harbinger of the social rot that would lead to the quick defeat of the French in World War II and the rise of Vichy.

    1934:Vatican directed the Holy Office to place Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth Century on the Index of Forbidden books

    1934: The Halevy Singing Society is schooled to move into new quarters at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism at 15 West 86thStreet. (As reported by JTA)

    1934(22nd of Shevat, 5694): Abraham I. Shiplacoff “sometimes called the Jewish Eugene V. Debs”, passed away today in Brooklyn “after a long struggle with kidney disease. Born in Chernigov, Russia in 1877, he “came to the United States with his parents at the age of 13 in 1891. For several years he worked long hours in a garment shop and studied at night. During this period he married Henrietta (Yetta) Zwickel, and they eventually had three children, Frederick Engels Shiplacoff, William Morris Shiplacoff, and Lydia Shiplacoff Greene. Beginning in 1905 he taught school at P.S. 84, Brooklyn, served as a clerk in the customs service, was briefly labor editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. In 1914 he became secretary-treasurer of the United Hebrew Trades. Politically active in the Socialist Party, he was elected as the first Socialist Assemblyman from New York City in 1915, re-elected in 1916 and 1917, and led the Socialist delegation in the Legislature in a campaign of strong opposition to World War I. He also supported the dissemination of birth control information, curbs on police power and other controversial causes. When, as a street-corner orator, he denounced U.S. military intervention in Russia shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, he was indicted under the wartime Espionage Act; the indictment was later quashed. He was elected to the Board of Aldermen from Brooklyn in 1920, managed the mayoral campaign of Norman Thomas in 1925, chaired the Sacco-Vanzetti Liberation Committee in 1927, and became a vigorous participant in Socialist battles with the Communist Party. During the twenties and early thirties he served as general manager of the Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the International Pocketbook Workers Union. He had a longstanding interest in Palestine and Zionism, and became national chairmen of the National Labor Committee for Palestine in 1933. He was actively involved in many Jewish philanthropic and cultural organizations, and served as executive director of the Deborah Sanitarium, Browns Mills, NJ.”

    1935: Birthdate of Herbert “Herb” Kohl, United States Senator from Wisconsin.

    1936: “The Milky Way” a comedy featuring Lionel Stander as “Spider Schultz” was released in the United States today.

    1936: In his message to the National Conference of Jews and Christians endorsing the upcoming observance of Brotherhood Day, New York Governor Lehman said, “I am heartily in accord with the purposes of Brotherhood Day” and I think the National Conference of Jews and Christians “has done much to bring a greater understanding among those of different faiths and races.”

    1936: Today “in the vicinity of the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps there are some highly conspicuous road signs” – anti-Jewish placards and streamers which correspondents had said were removed because of the Olympics.

    1936: George Althuas, “a former Protestant pastor in Timmerlach” was sentenced to six months in jail by the Summary Court after having been accused of including his prayers “God protect the poor and persecuted Jews,” “having told his Sunday School pupils not to participate ‘in the hue and cry against Jews’” and “having banned the Hitler salute from his Sunday School.”

    1936: Georgetown University sophomore Harry Bassin scored “a team high 11 points” during today’s upset of the NYU basketball team.

    1937: George F. Pelham, the Canadian born American Architect who in 1905 “designed a new synagogue building for Brooklyn's Beth Jacob Anshe Sholom, based on Arnold Brunner's West Side Synagogue building on Manhattan's West 88th Street” passed away today.

    1937: James Waterman Wise is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Is Soviet Russia Anti-Semitic” this morning at the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall.

    1937: Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “When Propaganda Is Substituted for Education” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1937: “A message from President Roosevelt lauding ‘the vitality and vision of the Jewish pioneers in Palestine’ was read to the National Conference tonight” after the organization had committed to raising four and a half million dollars to finance the “Jewish colonization of the Holy Land.”

    1937: Senator Norris of Nebraska “told the National Conference for Palestine that the dissenting opinions of Supreme Court Justice Brandeis would ‘ultimately become the universal law of the land’” and that “Senator Kenyon who had fought the Brandies confirmation had told him shortly before his death that he would ‘give anything if I could retake that step.’”

    1937: Harry Einstein, who was famous for appearing as “Greek chef Nick Parkyakarkus on the Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson radio programs” married actress Thelma Leeds (nee Goodman) today,  union which resulted in the birth comedic talent Albert Brooks.

    1938: Professor Norman Bentwich, the former director of the High Commission for Refugees From Germany told The League of Nations International Conference meeting in Geneva to settle the status of refugees from Germany “that 130,000 Jewish…refugees had left Germany” and “had been able to establish themselves overseas.”

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that according to the London Daily Herald,the Mandatory government planned to erect a 20-foot-high barbed-wire barricade along the northern border in order to prevent the movement of the gun runners, smugglers and terrorists between Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.

    1938: In a leading article on the elections to the Jerusalem Communal Council (Va'ad Hakehila), The Jerusalem Post expressed the hope that the people serving on the  council would be able to cast away heavy obsolete traditions, eliminate inefficiency and stand up to vested interests.

    1938: Approximately 200 people attended the meeting of the Bergen County chapter of the German-American Bund at the home of Caroline Meade, a teacher and actress, where Fritz Kuhn, the national leader of the Bund told the attendees that the Jews in the United States “must be driven from their high posts in government, finance, and education as they have been in certain European countries.”

    1939: In Berlin, “reiterating the contention that ‘the Jewish problem in Germany will be solved only the last Jews has left the Reich, Nazi party leader Dr. Alfred Rosenberg declared that the “problem must be settled definitively not only for the German Jews, but later for the millions of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe.”  (Editor’s note – The Nazi goal of a Jew free Europe was no secret and they made no attempt to hide it from anyone who listened to their spokesmen.)

    1939: Dr. Alfred Rosenberg offered a specific proposal to turn either British Guiana or Madagascar into a “Semitic reservation” which solve “the Jewish question.”

    1940: In Prague, the police informed the leaders of the Jewish community “that a reported order prohibiting the presence of Jews in ant public café…after 8 P.M. was based on a misunderstanding” and there never was such an order.

    1940: “Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress explained” today “that at a recent luncheon of the Brooklyn Women’s Division of the congress he said ‘that the Eruopean nations should have recognized sooner that Hitler’s attack upon the Jews was a sign of his readiness to destroy civilization, including the religious life of the world, and that the nations and churches of civilization should have united to make impossible the Nazi assault upon life’s decencies and values,’ rather than attributing the current war to the failure of the Catholic Church to speak up against the ill treatment of the Jews.”

    1941: U.S. premiere of “Back Street” the second cinematic treatment of the Fannie Hurst’s novel of the same name.

    1942(20thof Shevat, 5702): Thirty-eight year old lyricist Irving Kahal who collaborated on such classics as “Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” passed away today in New York.

    1942: In the aftermath of the release of the Jews on board the Darien, Lord Moyne continued to protest Churchill’s arguing that the Prime Minister’s decision would undermine the Mandatory Government.  Churchill had already tried to assuage Lord Moyne’s fears by reminding him that there was little risk of any mass immigration of Jews since most of Eastern and Southern Europe were under Nazi control.

    1943(2ndof Adar I, 5703): Forty-nine year old Louis Weitzenkorn, “author of ‘Five Star Final’ and other plays and a former newspaper man was found dead of burns and suffocation today in the kitchen of his apartment.”

    1943: In New York, Liza (née Kraitz), a high school art teacher, and historian Jack D. Foner gave birth to historian Eric Foner whose The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery hit the triple header when it won the Pulitzer, Lincoln and Bancroft prizes.

    1943: The first armed struggle between Jews and Nazis takes place in the Warsaw ghetto.   Most people connect the Warsaw Uprisings with Pesach (April) of 1943.  Actually, the first fighting took place in February. Unsettled, by Melvin Konner has an interesting chapter (entitled Smoke) that deals with the issue of Jewish resistance in Europe during World War II. 1946: While taking part in two month speaking tour with self-proclaimed anti-Semite, Gerlad L.K. Smith, Father Arthur W. Terminiello of Mobile, Alabama, a self-styled Father Coughlin of the South, delivers an address at the Chicago’s Veeran Hall in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Albany Park that resulted in a riot and in his subsequent conviction on charges of disturbing the peace.  Three years later, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision in a major freedom of speech case.1946: The Palestine Information Service issued a statement today describing yesterday’s failed attempt to attack a British military camp and seize weapons for the fight to create a Jewish state.1946: Arabs in Lebanon protested the British “decision to permit 1,500 Jewish immigrants to enter Palestine” each month by staging a general strike today.

    1946: In Buenos Aires, Jaime Babenco, “an Argentine gaucho of Ukrainian Jewish origin” and Janka Haberberg, “a Polish Jewish immigrant” gave birth to “Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor” Héctor Eduardo Babenco.

    1947: This date marks the official founding of the Jewish Agency, a world-wide organization centered in Israel. It is dedicated to the establishment of Israel as the Jewish Homeland, and to the encouragement and fulfillment of Jewish Aliyah from around the world.

    1950: Arnold Eidus gave a recital at Carnegie Hall that “featured the debut and only public performance of jazz/pop composer Raymond Scott's Suite for Violin and Piano (which reportedly was composed as a showcase for Eidus) during the composer's lifetime.”

    1952: The DuMont Television Network broadcast the first episode of “Steve Randall” starring Melvyn Douglas in the title role.

    1952(11thof Shevat, 5712): Forty-two year old Phillip G. Epstein died of Cancer a decade after having co-authored the Academy Award winning script for Casablanca, which Time magazine called the greatest movie of all times.  Epstein’s grandson, Theo, broke Bambino’s Curse and brought World Series victory to the Boston Red Sox and then did the same for the Chicago Cubs.

     1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that two policemen who found safety on a rock were saved by a helicopter, but the third was missing, when a captured Lebanese vessel they were towing to Haifa broke up in a heavy storm off the northern coast.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Moscow's press was intensifying its drive against the Jewish and "bourgeois" influence in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that An airlift of immigrants from Iran was stopped, following the intervention of the Egyptian government.

    1955(15thof Shevat, 5715): Tu B’Shevat

    1956: Nineteen year old lightweight boxer Larry Boardman won his 31st victory in his first 32 professional bouts today, “leading to him being rated # 10 in the world in the lightweight division by Ringmagazine.”

    1960(9thof Shevat, 5720): Cabinetmaker Abraham Goodman Jacobs, the son of Abraham and Rebecca Jacobs and the husband of Sarah Jacobs passed away today in London.

    1961: Mortimer Caplin began serving as The Commissioner of Internal Revenue

    1962: U.S. premiere of a remake of the 1921 film “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” co-starring Lee J. Cobb with a score my Andre Previn.

    1967(27thof Shevat, 5727): Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury under FDR and author of the Morgenthau Plan, passed away.  Morgenthau was nominally Jewish.  He was appointed Secretary of the Treasury because he was FDR’s neighbor in Hyde Park and because he was bland enough not to rock the financial boat while FDR was building the New Deal.  During the war, Morgenthau began to get increasingly upset with the State Department’s handling of the “Jewish Question.”  He became aggressive in terms of trying to force FDR to take action.  Obviously, the outcome of the desires of “the next door neighbor” left something to be desired.

    1967(27thof Shevat, 5727): Sixty-eight year old Saul Adler passed away in Monroe, LA. Born in Russia he served in the U.S. Army during World War I. The Saul Adler Community Center in Monroe was named in his honor.

    1967: U.S. premiere of “The Fox” directed by Mark Rydell.

    1967: U.S. premiere of “Tobruk” a WW II movie directed by Arthur Hiller

    1968(9thof Shevat): Just eight days from his 86th birthday Rabbi Eliezer Silver, a refugee from the anti-Semitic Russian Empire of the Czar who worked to save Jews from the Holocaust passed away today.

    1968:  Arthur Miller's "Price" premiered in New York City

    1969: In Boston, MA, Molli Newman, a lawyer, and Dr. Reuben Mezrich, a chairman of radiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine gave birth to author Ben Mezrich whose works include Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

    1970: In Roslyn Harbor, NY, producer and media executive Charles Koppelman and Bunny Koppelman gave birth to Jennifer Koppelman who, after marrying Keith Hutt in 1997, was known as Jennifer Hutt the radio and television talk show host who co-authored Whateverland.

    1973: “Black Caesar” a remake of the gangster classic “Little Caesar” written and directed by Larry Cohen who followed up later in the year with a sequel “Hell Up in Harlem” was released today in the United States.

    1974: Mel Brooks'"Blazing Saddles" opened in movie theaters across America.

    1976(6thof Adar I, 5736): Sixty-three year old rabbi and author Avraham Eliyahu Mokotow who made Aliyah in 1936 whose works include Chassidim v’Anshei Ma’aseh, a five volume collection of Chassidic stories passed away today.

    1977: The Soviets arrested Alexander Ginzburg and Yuri Orlov, members of the “Moscow Helsinki Group.”

    1979:  War Criminal Josef Mengele who as the concentration camp doctor was known as the Angel of Death, reportedly drowned.

    1983: First episode of Krovim Krovim, an Israeli television sitcom” was broadcast today.

     1985: "New York, New York" becomes the official city anthem of New York City. "New York, New York" is a song from the 1944 musical On the Town. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

    1987: According to reports published today, Israel's universities, the reputation and achievements of which have been a source of national pride, are facing a severe financial crisis.

    1990(12thof Shevat, 5750): Nathan Wartels, Chairman of the Board of Crown Publishers, passed away at the age of 88.

    1991 (23rdof Shevat, 5751): Lieutenant Colonel Amos Yarkoni one of six Israeli Arabs to receive the IDF’s third highest decoration, the Medal of Distinguished Service and the first commander of the Shaked Reconnaissance Battalion of the Givati Brigade died of cancer at the age of 71.

    1991: Months after its premiere in the United States “Avalon” the saga of a Jewish immigrant family in Baltimore, MD, directed, produced and written by Barry Levinson, with music by Randy Newman, starring Leo Fuchs, Leo Jacobi and Kevin Pollak was released today in Australia.

    1993: The United States has protested to Israel over the treatment of three Palestinian-Americans who have been jailed on suspicion of having ties with a militant Islamic group in the occupied territories, a United States Embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv said todayIsraeli authorities said they had evidence the three detainees were helping to rebuild Hamas and to finance terrorist activities after scores of Hamas leaders were deported to southern Lebanon by Israel in December. The authorities said the two of the men had been found with more than $100,000 and with plans from Hamas leaders in the United States.

    1994: “Tzomet MKs Segev, Esther Salmovitz, and Alex Goldfarb split from their party to form the Yiud faction.”

    1995: The INS Hanit, a Sa'ar 5-class corvette, was commissioned today.

    1997: “The Beautician and the Beast” starring Fran Drescher who also co-produced the film was released in the United States today.

    1999; The New York Times book section featured reviews of A Journey to the End of the Millennium by A. B. Yehoshua; translated by Nicholas de Lange and Preempting the Holocaust by Lawrence Langer.

    1999: Bruce Fleisher won the Royal Caribbean Classic.

    1999: A Broadway revival “Little Me,” “a musical written by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh” closed today after “99 performances and 43 previews.”

    2000: In “Lindbergh Family Bashes Biographer” published today examines the story behind the writing of Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life by Susan Hertog, the wife of financer and philanthropist Roger Hertog, the Chairman of the Tikvah Fund.

    2004(15thof Shevat, 5764): Tu B’Shevat

    2005: Ian Livingston “the fourth generation son of Polish-Lithuanian Jews who arrived in Scotland 120 years ago became CEO for Retail of BT Group.

    2005: Rabbi Raymond Apple “marked his retirement today after 32 years at the helm of Sydney's Great Synagogue. The NSW Governor, Marie Bashir, and the Premier, Bob Carr, joined representatives from Sydney churches and hundreds of well-wishers at a tribute to Rabbi Apple at the Art Gallery of NSW. Great Synagogue president Herman Eisenberg said Rabbi Apple had always represented his congregation and the wider Jewish community with great dignity. ‘He has been a spokesman for Jewish ethics and values, a bridge between diverse religions and cultures and a moderating voice both in the Jewish community and in wider society,’ Mr. Eisenberg said.”

    2006: Seeking a leader to guide a much-disputed 9/11 museum into existence at ground zero, officials announced  that they had settled on Alice M. Greenwald, an associate director for museum programs at the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

    2006: “A few days before the theatrical release of a “Curious George” motion picture the body of Alan Shalleck who produced “more than 100 short episodes for the Curious George television series” was found in his Florida home, the victim of an apparent robbery/homicide

    2006: The day after Betty Friedan passed away, The Guardian publishes “The Betty I Knew” by fellow feminists Germain Greer who raises questions about the importance of Ms. Friedan’s role in the “Women’s Movement.” (You can decide if this is Lshon Hora.)

    2007: Publication of “America’s First Torah Scholar: Israel Baer Kursheedt” by Dr. Yitzchok Levine

    2007: Daniel Friedmann was sworn in today as Minister of Justice succeeding Tzipi Livni.

    2007: During his freshman season in which he started all 33 games for the Duke Basketball team, today Jonathan James "Jon" Scheyer “scored a season-high 26 points in a loss to North Carolina.”

    2007: In “Sold on a Stereotype” published today the Washington Post reported on the growing popularity in China of “a genre of self-help books that purport to tell the secrets of making money ‘the Jewish way.’”  Volumes include The Eight Most Valuable Business Secrets of the Jewish, The Legends of Jewish Wealth, and The Jewish People and Business: The Bible of how to Live Their Lives.  While some of the volumes tout the success of the Lehman Brothers and the Rothschilds, others miss the mark when the identify J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as Jews.

    2008: First Day of Adar I (2nd Day Rosh Chodesh Adar I 5768)

    2008: Scholar Michael B. Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, discusses and signs copies Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

    2008: In Bethesda, Maryland, Open Arms, the women's giving circle of the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), hosts its first annual "Meet the Author" evening with novelist Elinor Lipman, author of The Inn at Lake Devine, Then She Found Me (the basis of a feature film opening in May) and, most recently, My Latest Grievance, at the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum. 

    2008: The 12thNew York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival opens with a showing of “Got No Jeep and My Camel Died.”

    2008: Right winger Michael Steven “Mike” Brown who had scored his first NHL goal in December “was sent back down to the Manitoba Moose” today.

    2008: The Washington Post featured a review of A Lost Letter, A Remarkable Discovery, and The First Amendment in an Age of Terrorism by Alan Dershowitz

    2009: An exhibition entitled Blue and White Pages: Documenting the History of Israel has its final showing at the Israel Museum.

    2009: Suzane Adam’s tour of the United States designed to promote her award winning new book Laundry comes to an end.
    2009: Shabbat Shirah, 5769

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including For The Soul Of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus by Frederick Brown and Where The God Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom.

    2010: While the Saints defeated the Coldts in Super Bowl XLIV their fans were able to enjoy kosher food. Kosher Sports Inc. (KSI), a New York-based kosher concessions provider geared to the sports industry has signed a contract to provide kosher food to this year's Super Bowl games at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida. This is the first time kosher fare will be available at The Super Bowl. Kosher Sports is under the kosher supervision of the Star-K Kosher Certification, based in Baltimore, Maryland.

    2010: A Jewish former banker was elected the vice president of Costa Rica today. Luis Lieberman will become vice president after Costa Rican voters elected Laura Chinchilla as the Central American country's first female president by a wide margin.

    2010: The CSSO convened two emergency meetings today and, in response to the upset, JTS’s provost, Alan Cooper, took the unusual step of sending a letter on that same day to the cantorial faculty, reassuring them of its commitment to the school

    2010(23rdof Shevat, 5770): Eighty-nine year old Phillip Klass the science fiction writer who used the pseudonym “William Tenn” passed away today.  (As reported by Gerald Jonas)

    2011: The New Yorker published “The Wave” in which Francisco Goldman “wrote about his wife’s death and their relationship.”

    2011: Érik Izraelewicz was appointed director of Le Monde.

    2011: John Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman, 4th generation owners of Russ & Daughters are scheduled to “demystify caviar in an evening that is educational and unpretentious at the Astor Center in New York City. While most of us think of Russ & Daughters as “the go to place” when you want the best in lox, it offers a whole more, including some of the nicest people working behind the counter you would ever want to meet. [This is not a commercial plug. It is based on real live experience.]

    2011: Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich and the Jupiter musicians are scheduled to “perform works by American composers including Aaron Copland at the Good Shepherd Church in New York City.

    2011(3rd of Adar I, 5771): Eighty-year old Jerry James, a longtime contributor to the art of tap dance, and ‘a teacher and choreographer ‘known for his airy, balletic style and eclectic approach’” who had been born Jerome Howard Abrams, passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011(3rdof Adar I, 5771): Maria V. Altmann, a Jewish refugee who in her 80s waged a successful legal battle all the way to the United States Supreme Court to force the Austrian government to return paintings by Gustav Klimt that had been seized from her family by the Nazis, passed away today at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 94.

    2012: Iowa PTV is scheduled to broadcast “Lost in History: Alexander Clark” which is produced by Marc Rosenwasser, the son-in-law of Ellie and Ed Spector (and Nancy’s husband).  The Spectors have brought joy, delight and warmth to a numerous Jewish communities including Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2012: Nathan Englander’s “third book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, short story collection, was released today. Born in 1970, Englander was raised in an Orthodox Jewish community, lived in Israel for five years and graduated from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa.

    2012: In Columbus, Ohio, Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host its HAZAK Tu B'Shevat Seder

    2012: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to presents “The Jewish Antifascist Committee and Its Foreign Delegation” a lecture by Gennady Estraikh

    2012: “Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber” is scheduled to be shown at the Golda Meir Chapter of Hadassah in New York.

    2012: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today for the “very important message” recent sanctions on Iran have sent.

    2012: MK Zahava Gal-On was elected as Meretz chairwoman today, winning 60% of the votes.

    2013: Yiddish copy editor Louis Katz “left the Forward today, half a century after joining the newspaper as a typesetter.” (As reported by Paul Berger)

    2013: Stefanie Fischer is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “Economic Trust and Anti-Semitic Violence at The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide in London.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History and the Jewish Book Council is scheduled to present, “Emerging Writers/Contemporary Literary Landscapes” that will examine the works of Nadia Kalman, Austin Ratner, Francesca Segal and Adam Wilson.

    2013: In Washington, DC, Dr. Peggy Pearlstein, former Society President and Head of the Hebraic Section at Library of Congress is scheduled to conduct a tour titled “Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress,1912-2012”

    2013: “Ezekiel’s World” a play based on the life of Abba Kovener, is scheduled to premiere in New York City. 

    2013: The Jerusalem District Attorney today filed two indictments in the magistrate’s court against four Betar Jerusalem fans for making racist statements against Arabs and Muslims, including new players that had joined the team.

    2013: Residents of the mixed religious/secular neighborhood of Ramat Sharett in Jerusalem are furious over the municipality’s approval of three yeshivas on the edge of their neighborhood at last week’s city council meeting. Today, the residents will hold a planning meeting with City Councilor Rachel Azaria (Yerushalmim) to try and submit a petition to the city’s Administrative Court to stop the yeshiva’s creation

    2013: Tonight’s anti-Israel event sponsored and endorsed by the Brooklyn College political science department will take place on that school’s campus, but it now appears certain that the atmosphere of intimidation and distrust generated by that academic department did not begin, and will not end, with this event.

    2013: Today Ben “Shapiro published an article citing unspecified Senate sources who said that a group named "Friends of Hamas" was among foreign contributors to the political campaign of Chuck Hagel, a former U.S. Senator awaiting confirmation as Secretary of Defense as a nominee of President Barack Obama” and in which he “criticized the Obama administration for ignoring his questions about Hagel's foreign associations and called for full disclosure of Hagel's foreign ties.”

    2014: “The Monument’s Men,” based on book by the same name that beings with the story of the Ettlingers, a Jewish family from Karlsruhe and describes the work of tells the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program is scheduled to be released to theatres today.

    2014: Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi is scheduled to perform in the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

    2014: “The Spanish government approved a draft citizenship bill “that would offer citizenship to Sephardic Jews as a gesture of conciliation for Spain’s expulsion of Jews during the Inquisition” (As reported by Isabel Kershner and Raphael Minder)

    2014: “The Sturgeon Queens” a movie that “tells the story of four generations of the Russ family - and how they took their business from a tiny storefront stocked with herring barrels to the famed smoked fish emporium it is today” is scheduled to be shown at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Hundreds of young worshipers flung rocks at Israeli police on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount just after Muslim Friday prayers concluded at the al-Aqsa mosque.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

    2014: “Thirteen ultra-Orthodox protesters were indicted today after their arrest during anti-draft riots yesterday in Ashdod.” (As reported by Adiv Sterman and Stuart Winer)

    2014: Centuries worth of Jewish documents are at risk of vanishing into the vortex of Iraq’s chronic instability, but for American Jewish groups advocating for their preservation, there was a moment of optimism today after the US Senate approved a resolution calling for a renegotiation of the archives’ status. (As reported by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil)

    2015: In Coralville, IA, Landon Elkind is scheduled to be called to the Torah as Bar Mitzvah at Aguadas Achim’s Traditional Shabbat morning service.

    2015: The Eden-Tamar Music Center is scheduled to host “Sonata or Sontina – Sounds of Flue in Ein Kerem featuring Noam Bhuchman on flute and Pazit Gal playing the piano.

    2015: At Temple Beth El in Hollywood, FL, Rabbi Romiel Daniel, the scholar in residence will discuss the similarities and differences between Hinduism and Judaism after having delivered a sermon the night before on the history of the Jews in India where according to him “Jews have more freedom and few if any cases of discrimination than anywhere else in the world.”

    2015: In “A Month After Kosher Market Attack, French Jews Plan An Exodus” published today Griff Witte described the reaction to the terrorist attack in Paris.

    2015: “Egypt: faith after the pharaohs” an exhibition that includes “the Gaster Bible, a 9th-century Torah from Egypt featuring one of the oldest Hebrew illuminated text” and “fragments of documents from the Cairo Geniza containing Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Aramaic and Arabic texts detailing Jewish life in Cairo during the Middle Ages” is scheduled to open today at the British Museum.”

    2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond by Robert D. Kaplan and Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century by Daniel Oppenheimer.

    2016: The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L.

    2016: “Blind Hero, A: The Love of Otto Weidt” is scheduled to be shown this afternoon at the 26th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival

    2016: Birkbeck University of London is scheduled to host a screening of “Ida” followed by a round-table discussion between Dr. François Guesnet, University College London and Dr. Małgorzata Pakier, POLIN, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw.

    2016: A day after a 65 year old grandmother was stabbed by a terrorist, a Sudanese national who had entered Israel illegally in 2008, stabbed a 20 year old soldier near the central bus station in Ashkelon.

    2017(11thof Shevat, 5777): Forty-nine year old Yehuda Simes, known as the “Rolling Rabbi” passed away today in Ottawa.

    2017: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host an evening with author Judith Viorst.

    2017: This evening, after dinner, The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a talk by Richard Verber from World Jewish Relief on “Tales from a Refugee Camp.”

    2018: JCC Manhattan is scheduled to host the Ka’et Dance Ensemble, a Jerusalem based dance group composed of four Orthodox men performing “Heroes,” a work originally “commissioned by JW3, Jewish Community Centre for London.”

    2018: At the University of Virginia, the Brody Center is scheduled to host “Bagels on the Lawn” in the morning and a presentation by Yavilah McCoy, the founder of Ayecha, in the evening.

    2018: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to “Jewish Baroque” a program “featuring Dr. Michael Beckerman and Dr. Simona Frankel” that “will study the introduction of art music into European synagogues, and explore mystical atonement rituals of Jews during the Baroque era.”



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    February 8

    421: Constantius III becomes co-Emperor of the Western Roman Empire serving as co-Emperor with Honorius. Constantinius only reigned for 7 months, but during his long tenure Honorius was no friend of the Jews as can be seen by his promulgation of “a new law requiring any taxes collected by Jewish leaders from the Jewish community to be sent to the imperial treasury.

    1250: During the seventh crusade, King Louis IX of France faces Ayyubid forces at the 3 day Battle of Al Mansurah.  The entire crusading period was a debacle for the Jewish people.  As to Louis, Fordham University, the Jesuit University of New York says, he “was an ideal medieval king: he was chivalrous, religious, ascetic, and hostile to Jews.”

    1265: Hulagu Khan, whose invasion of Persia in 1255 led to the creation of the Ilkhanate, a portion of the Mongol Empire where much to the relief of the Jews “the rulers abolished the inequality of dhimmis, and all religions were deemed equal,” passed away today.

    1291: Birthdate of King Alfonso IV of Portugal who increased the taxes paid by the Jews, load to “reinstituted the dormant requirement that Jews wear an identifying yellow badge, and restricted their freedom to emigrate.” 

    1349: In Worms, Bishop Frederick ordered that “the Jewish community should pay 20 florins each year on St. Martin’s Day when a new “Bishop of the Jews” – the head of the 12 member council that governed the internal affairs of the Jewish community – each year on St. Martin’s Day.

    1596: Despite being tortured today by the Inquisition Louis de Caraval said nothing but later said that “he remembered that Jorge de Almeida and some others ‘believed in the law which God gave to Moses.’”

    1640: Murad IV, “during whose reign, the Jews of Jerusalem were persecuted by an Arab who had purchased the governorship of that city from the governor of the province,” passed away today.

    1693:  The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.  According to recent figures there are approximately 385 Jewish students attending the school with a student population of approximately 7,700.  The school offers eight Jewish studies courses and is home to William and Mary Balfour Hillel whose mission is “To inspire every Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life and enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.”

    1725: Peter The Great, Russian Czar, passed away at the age of 52.  Peter’s determination to keep the Jews out of his realm and his treatment of Russian Jews was not the picture of “enlightenment.” But his use of the Velesovsky Brothers showed that he was not above using the services of Jews who converted. From the point of Jewish history he certainly was not the “Great”

    1744: Birthdate of Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg, the “prince bishop” sovereign of Frankfurt during whose reign Karl Ludwig Börne was appointed a police actuary in 1811 and then forced to resign three years later because he was Jewish.

    1792(15th of Shevat, 5552): With France gripped in the turmoil of the effects of the Revolution and Americans living under the leadership of their first President, George Washington, Jews celebrated Tu B’Shevat.

    1795: Birthdate of Hungarian-born journalist and author, Moritz G [Moses] Saphir who moved to Bavaria to further his career.  In 1832 he was expelled but was permitted to return by the king later that year.  Eighteen thirty-two was also the same year that Saphir became a Lutheran.

    1806: “In ‘Sur les Juifs’ published today in Mercure de France Louis-Gabriel-Ambroise Bonald “repeated the usual anti-Semitic accusations” including “that the Jews were at war with morality, that they formed an "imperium in imperio," and that the majority of them were parasites.”

    1818: Moses Moses married Sarah Friedberg today at the Great Synagogue.

    1831: Louis Philippe of France, successor to Charles X, ratified a motion putting Judaism on a par with Christianity, granting State support to Synagogues and their Minister of Religion. This meant that France extended financial support to Jewish religious institutions on par with Christian institutions.

    1833: Birthdate of Baron Horace Günzburg who was “one of the founders of the Society for the Spread of Enlightenment among the Jews of Russia…”

    1843: Health officers in Frankfort-on-Main issued an order stating “Israelite citizens and inhabitants, must employ the services of competent persons" when having their sons circumcised.

    1858: Birthdate of Pauline Koch, who as Pauline Einstein gave birth to physicist Albert Einstein.

    1860(15th of Shevat, 5620): Tu B'Shevat

    1860(15th of Shevat, 5620): Sixty-seven year old Charlotte Aron, the wife of Alexandre Aron and the daughter of Asser Lion and Gitlé Loëw passed away today in Alsace, France.

    1860: “A Mistaken Philanthropist” published today describes the efforts of "‘Captain’ Moses, a gentleman we presume of Abrahamic stock,” to raise funds and outfit a ship that would provide relief for “the Christian and Jewish refugees, who had been constrained to flee almost naked from Morocco to Gibraltar ‘to escape the knife of the savage Bedouin of the desert.’” Unfortunately for Captain Moses, he misrepresented his credentials when he went to Philadelphia to continue his efforts and ended up being be jailed because authorities saw him as a “swindler” and “imposter” rather than “an indiscreet philanthropist.”

    1863: An article published today entitled “Beauregard and the Jews” quoted a letter that the P.G.T. Beauregard had written in 1861 when he was commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in which he explained why could not grant leave to Jewish soldiers to observe the High Holidays. He is sure that “the Hebrews” serving with the army will understand that military necessity makes it impossible to grant a request that he would otherwise comply with quite willingly.

    1866: Birthdate of Moses Gomberg, Russian-born American chemist

    1866: At Tabor, Hungary, Judith Klemperer and Juda Markus Klemperer gave birth to Karl Klemperer.

    1867:  The Ausgleichresults in the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The Ausgleichrefers to the compromise document that changed the Austrian Empire into the dual monarchy that put Hungary on level playing field with the previously dominate Germanic (Austrian) element of the Hapsburg Empire.  The reform came about as a result of Austria’s defeat at the hands of Prussia. (Yes this gets complicated; but if you want to understand the fate of the Jews of Europe you have to understand European history.)  Following the Law of Unintended consequences, The Ausgleich had a profound effect on the Jews living under the rule of the Habsburgs. “With the “Ausgleich” between Austria and Hungary in 1867, Jews finally gained full citizen rights. Vienna was now the city in the Habsburg Empire with the largest Jewish community (40,000 or 6.6 percent). Most of the Viennese Jews were of Bohemian, Moravian and Hungarian origin, while others were from the poor area of Galicia. Jewish communities in other parts of the Empire developed, even in cities that have not had any Jews for a long time, such as Salzburg (part of Austria since 1816).”  Today we seem to have forgotten the prominent role that Vienna played in European and Jewish culture.  Within a few decades of each other, for example, Vienna was home to Herzl, Freud and Hitler.  Imagine what might have happened had Hitler been one of Freud’s patients.

    1871: During inquest being held today at Union Hill, NY, to determine the cause of death for Charles Kraft, a Jew named Nathan Berg was identified as one of three men who might have been involved in a fatal beating of the deceased.

    1872: Birthdate of Theodor Lessing, the “German Jewish philosopher… known for opposing the rise of Hindenburg as president of the Weimar Republic and for his classic on Jewish self-hatred (Der jüdische Selbsthaß)…in which he tried to explain the phenomenon of Jewish self-hatred - Jewish intellectuals who incited anti-Semitism against the Jewish people, and regarded Judaism as the source of evil in the world. A Zionist, he moved to Czechoslovakia after Hitler came to power. The move did not save him since he “was assassinated by Nazi agents in the summer of 1933.”

    1874: Sixty-six year old German theologian and author David Friedrich Strauss who was a leader of those studying Jesus as a historical figure, which would have included his Jewish origins, passed away today

    1878:  Birthdate of Martin Buber.  Buber almost defies definition. He gained fame as a theologian, philosopher, teacher and Zionist.  His life and teachings are too rich and complicated to be encapsulated in this brief item. Born in Vienna, Buber spent his youth living with his grandfather who was a distinguished rabbinic scholar. Buber returned to Vienna for his secular education.  He was attracted to Zionism in its earliest days, but saw the need to add a uniquely Jewish cultural and spiritual component to Herzl’s political ideas.  After dabbling with various forms of mysticism, Buber began to study the works of the Chassidic Masters.  Eventually he developed a philosophy based on their lives and teaching which has been described as Neo-Chasidism.  Buber moved to Jerusalem in 1938 and joined the faculty of Hebrew University. His most famous work I and Thou which described the I-Thou and I-It relationships was published in 1923.  Other works available in English include, but are not limited to, Good and Evil, On Judaism and The Legend of the Baal Shem.  Buber understood the relationship between Judaism and Christianity but knew the difference between the two as well.  His works and philosophy has had an impact on people of many different beliefs.  In the words of Buber: “The God of history and the God of nature cannot be separated and the land of Israel is a token of their unity.”  “There is no opposition between the truth of God and the salvation of Israel.”  "To him who knows how to read the legend, it conveys more truth than the chronicle.”  “The Jew carries the burden of an unredeemed world.  He cannot concede that redemption is an accomplished fact for he knows it is not.”

    1878: In the Pale of Settlement a Hebrew scholar named Ezekiel Baevski and his wife, Koona Dubrusha, née Shur gave birth to Simcha Myer Baevski who would gain fame as Sidney Baevski Myer “the Jewish-Australian businessman and philanthropist, best known for creating Myer, Australia's largest chain of department stores.”

    1878: Tonight marked the final performance at the Opera Comique of “Dora’s Dream” starring Giula Warwick.”

    1879(15th of Shevat, 5639): Shabbat and Tu B’Shevat

    1880: Rabbi De Sola Mendes officiated at the funeral of John D. Phillips which was attended by several prominent Jewish leaders including Albert Cordozo, Jesse Seligman and Emanuel B. Hart.

    1882(19th of Shevat, 5642): Twenty days before his 70th birthday, German-Jewish author Berthold Auerbach passed at Cannes, France.

    1883(1st of Adar I, 5643): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1886: Gabriel Lippman the son of a Jewish glove maker and who earned the Nobel Prize in Physics became a member of the French Academy of Sciences which he served as President in 1912.

    1889(7th of Adar, 5649): Eighty-three year old author and social work Anna Maria Goldsmid who was the daughter of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, passed away today.  Born in London in 1805 she first gained fame for her work as the translator of Dr. Gotthold Salomon’s sermons from German into English.  She helped from the Jews’ Infant-Schools and took an active role in the Jews’ Deaf and Dumb Home.

    1889: Achad ha-am organized the Zionist Order Benei Moshe

    1890: Birthdate of Herbert S. Goldstein, a prominent American rabbi and Jewish leader, who passed away in 1970. “He was the only person in history to have been elected president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Rabbinical Council of America (first presidium), and the Synagogue Council of America.”

    1890: Birthdate of Isidore Kaufman, the native of Syracuse, NY who gained fame as singer Irving Kaufman, who along with is brothers Phillip and Jack for the “The Kaufman Brothers.”

    1891(30th of Shevat, 5651): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1891(30th of Shevat, 5651): Fifty-eight year old Bavarian born Grand Rapids mayor and Michigan congressman Julius Houseman passed way in his adopted home town.

    1891: It was reported today that at the request of Baron Maurice de Hirsch and several well-known leaders of the New York Jewish community have undertaken the management of a philanthropic scheme of “great practical utility.” They have consented to act under a deed of trust, by which Baron Hirsch places in their control the sum of $2,400,000 to be used in improving the condition of the poor Hebrew immigrants that are continually coming here from Russia and Romania.

    1891: It was reported today that funds provided by Baron Hirsch and his supporters in the United States four new schools have been opened in New York City to help provide training for the newly arrived immigrants from Russia.  These include a technical school, an evening school for girls who work during the day and two schools that prepare youngsters for entering the public schools.

    1891: It was reported today that Joseph Klein, the President of Hebrew Cemetery Association received a suspended sentence from a court in Union County, New Jersey, after having been convicted of defrauding a co-religionist out of $60.

    1891: “Unleavened Bread,” published in today’s Atlanta Constitution reported that “Cincinnati bakers have been busy for three months preparing for Passover.” (Editor’s note – The story is notable on 2 counts – it was published in a paper in Atlanta, GA, hardly a bastion of Jewish settlement and the matzo was being produced by Manischweitz, which continues to supply a wide variety of Jewish products in the 21st century)

    1894: Birthdate of Ludwig Marcuse German-born author and philosopher.

    1896: At two o’clock, Henry Steinhal, an actor appearing in “The Russian Jew” who had been accidently wounded when a blank pistol misfired, left the Adler Theatre with a limp and with a question – would he get damages from management?

    1896: Benjamin and Rose Briskin gave birth to producer Samuel J. Briskin whose most memorable accomplishments may have been co-founding Liberty Films which made the classics “It’s A Wonderful Life and “State of the Union and serving the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps during WW II for which he received a President commendation.

    1896: The Berlin monthly "Zion" publishes a friendly review of Herzl's London article.

    1896: Herzl discusses his Zionist ideas after a lecture by Chief Rabbi Güdemann in the "Jüdische akademische Lesehalle" with some Jewish students.

    1896: The Jewish community in Vienna wants to prevent the publishing of Herzl's "Der Judenstaat”

    1897: It was reported today that Rabbi Kaufman Kohler and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise will co-officiate at the upcoming funeral of Morris Goodhart.

    1898: Newspapers in Paris published today provided an account of the way Maitre Fernand Gustave Gaston Labori, Emile Zola’s senior defense council dealt with the government witnesses during the first session of the Seine Assizes.

    1898: It was reported today that firemen who arrived at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society’s orphanage were not dealing with a serious fire.  Four boys had secretly gathered to light a homemade lantern made from a cigar box and a candle.  When another boy saw the flame, he told Superintendent Louis Fauerbach and he sounded the fire alarm. The boys involved are awaiting disciplinary action.

    1899: During this evening’s meeting of the People’s Club, Reverend Walter Bentley offered to let the group meet at the St. Mark’s Parish House.  A young, unnamed Jewish man said that “he was positive that no respectable Jew would belong to a club which met in a building connected with a church.” Several Jews said he was mistaken and Reverend Bentley’s offer was acceptable.

    1899: Birthdate of Ralph Steiner, the Cleveland native and Dartmouth graduate who became a leading photographer and documentarian.

    1900(9th of Adar I, 5660): Sixty-six year old Jacob Mendes Chumaceiro who served variously as the dayyan of the Sephardic synagogue, and acting chakam for the Portuguese Jews of North and South Netherlands, inspector of the Jewish schools of Amsterdam, head and librarian of the bet ha-midrash Ets Haim, and editor of Het Israelietisch Weekbladpassed away today.

    1901: In the Reichstag, where Konitz was made the subject of an interpellation), the Prussian minister of justice Schönstedt limited himself to a defense of the authorities against the charge of shielding the Jews; but he carefully refrained from uttering one word in condemnation of the ritual-murder charge, and even from stating that there was no reason for assuming such a motive in the case of Ernst Winter.

    1903: Solomon Barnato Joel and Ellen (Nellie) Ridley gave birth to Stanhope Henry Joel

    1906: Birthdate of Galicia native Henry Roth, author of Call It Sleep.

    1906: In London, Laurie and Dora Marian Magnus gave birth to Sir Philip Montefiore Magnus-Allcroft, the husband of Jewell Magnus.

    1906: “A deputation of prominent citizens” including at least one rabbi were reported today to have told General Orloff that they had seen “Cossacks and hooligans shooting Jews and setting fire to their rooms” in Gomel.

    1906: Birthdate of Arthur Balsam, Polish born pianist, who was an accompanist for Yehudi Menhuin.

    1907: The Jewish community of Kingston, Jamaica issues an appeal for help in rebuilding three synagogues laid in ruins by an earthquake. Many Jews were killed during the disaster. The Jewish community in England responded with an offer of assistance.

    1908: In Buffalo, NY, Anna and Harry Prinzmetal gave birth to their second son, Dr. Myron Prinzmetal the pioneering cardiologist and the brother of attorney Isadore Prinzmetal.

    1909: In Pennsylvania, founding of the Canonsburg Hebrew Association the officers of which are Joseph Levine, President; Maurice Levine, vice president; Benny Klee (who along with his wife owned a grocery store that had previously been operated by Markus Blaustein), treasurer; Samuel Rosenberg, trustee and Harry Levine, trustee

    1910: The Hahambashi is formally asked if he has any recommendations for the Turkish authorities over the subject of Ottoman Jews in Persia. At the time the Persian ambassador to Turkey, Prince Mirza Riza Khan utilized the Hahambashi as the final decider of Jewish law.

    1911: Supporters of Sigmund Freud attack Alfred Adler and his followers at a meeting of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. The Freudians believe “that sexual feelings and sexual repression are the primary motivations of human behavior” while “Adler insists that feelings of inferiority, mostly on the subconscious level, combined with compensatory defense mechanisms (like overcompensation) become the primary forces behind behavior - especially pathological behavior.”

    1913(1st of Adar I, 5673): Parashat Terumah and Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1913: Boris Thomashefsky is scheduled to present “Dvorelle the MIcheses” at the Haymarket in Chicago.

    1915: It was reported today that a gala event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel has raised more than $7,000 for the Ladies’ Hebrew Fuel and Aid Society.

    1915: It was reported today that plans have been for “a Palestine Pageant and Oriental Exposition” at the St. Luke’s Church in New York which will received support from “fourteen neighboring churches of various denominations.” (Editor’s Note -  It would seem that the question of who “owns” Palestine is more complicated than one might already think.)

    1916: “The American Jewish Relief Committee has issued a preliminary report of distribution showing that so far $1,085,000 has been sent to Russia, $660,000 to Germany, $430,000 to Austria-Hungary and $109,243 Palestine.

    1916: “Alleging that the name of his family was being used to lure hundreds of poor east side Jews into a real estate venture, Jesse I. Straus, the son of Isidor Straus who lost on the Titantic, appeared at the District Attorney’s office” today “and urged immediate investigation of the Chatsworth Industrial Company.”

    1916: “Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels notified Leon Sanders, President of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society” today “that the 60,000 pounds of matzoth which the organization is to send to Palestine would be taken on board the collier Sterling which is scheduled to leave Norfolk, VA for Alexandria, VA” in the next eight days.

    1916: The concerns of Dr. M.J. Lewis reported today included “the worries of the older generation of Jews that so many of their offspring, in spite of the work of the Educational Alliance, are mistaking liberty for license and feel that their young are going astray.  American ideas and ideals are causing a great gulf to spring up between the older and the younger.  It is this gulf that is giving them concern.”

    1918: In the East of London, garment manufacture Philip Rayne and his wife gave birth to “property developer” and philanthropist Max Rayne whose good works led to him being made a “life peer” known as Baron Rayne.

    1918: After completing three weeks of training. Solomon Landman was sent to Camp Hancock in Augusta, GA where he performed many of the functions of a social worker and a chaplain including visiting the sick in hospitals, setting up entertainment for the troops and conducting religious services.

    1918: According to reports “from Zurich, in an interview with Rabbis Lipshitz, Treistman and Cahano, the Polish Premier Kucharzewski promised to submit to the Political Department, the rabbinical memorandum on anti-Semitic restrictions still prevailing in Poland and to satisfy the Jewish demands.”

    1919(8th of Adar I, 5679): Parashat Terumah

    1919: Rabbi Gerson B Levi led Shabbat services at B’nai Shalom Temple Israel on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

    1919: In statement made public today by the ZOA, “Jacob H. Schiff said he favored the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine but found himself unable to endorse some of the phases of Zionist propaganda in particular the emphasis on Jewish nationalism at the expense of religion.

    1919: After World War, Hugo Guttman the Jewish officer who successfully lobbied for Adolf Hitler to receive the Iron Cross First Class, “was demobilized from the German Army but was still maintained on the Army rolls as a Reserve Lieutenant.”