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

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    May 10

    70: During the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus, the commander of the Roman legions and the son of Emperor Vespasian, opens a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city's Third Wall to the northwest.

    1013: After three long years of fighting which destroyed the cities of Jaen, Algecrias, Malaga and Valencia, the Muslim Berber tribesmen from North Africa took over the city of Cordoba, replacing the Umayyad Arabs. This shift in power did not have a negative impact on the Jewish population of Moorish Spain as they continued to play a similar role in the more decentralized world of the Berbers.

    1267: A Church synod, meeting in Vienna, ordered Jews to wear distinctive garb.

     1427: All Jews were ordered expelled from Berne, Switzerland. Expulsions of Jewish communities continued unabated throughout the 15th century: Treves, 1419; duchy of Austria, 1421; Cologne, 1424; Zurich, 1436; archbishopric of Hildesheim, 1457; Schaffhausen, 1472; Mayence, 1473; Warsaw, 1483; Geneva, 1490; Thurgau, 1491; Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, Lithuania, 1492; Mecklenburg and Arles, 1493; Portugal, 1497; Nuremberg 1499; Provence, 1500. 

    1484(15th of Iyar): First auto-da-fe was held in Saragosa, Spain.

    1484: The Inquisitor at Saragossa, General Gaspar Juglar was found dead, possibly the victim of a poisoning. This happened shortly after the first auto-de-fe took place in the city.

    1529: Suleiman the Magnificent launched his campaign to secure control of Hungary.  The campaign would lead to the unsuccessful siege of Vienna in the fall which would mark the high-water mark of Turkish attempts to take control of Europe with all that that would mean for Christians, Moslems and especially Jews.

    1634: William Prynne, an opponent Jews settling in England was pilloried for a second time as part of his punishment for opposing the production of plays.

    1655: The British capture Jamaica from Spanish opening the door for Jews to settle in the island colony.

    1682(2ndof Iyar, 5442): The largest auto da fe was held in Lisbon: One hundred and seventeen persons were judged within three days, including a ninety-one year old woman.

    1682(2ndof Iyar, 5442): Abraham Lopez Pereira and Isaac da Fonseca were burned at the stake.

    1772: Birthdate of Mathias Bush, the native of Prague who came to “New York in the 1740’s” before moving on to Philadelphia where he became a naturalized citizen in 1749, married into the Gratz family, became a leading merchant, a supporter of the American Revolution and the patriarch of the Bush clan that included Solomon Bush who rose to the rank of Lt. Col. In the Continental Army.

    1774: Abraham Solomon married Elizabeth Low at Marblehead, Massachusetts.  Solomon was Jewish, a fact reinforced by the fact that he signed his name in Hebrew on the muster roll so that he could receive his pay while serving in the Continental Army. 

    1774:  Louis XVI begins his reign as King of France.  Basically, Louis followed the policy of his predecessors when it came to the Jews of France.  “The established, finance ally comfortable Sephardim of Bordeaux, Bayonne and Marseilles” enjoyed the privileges granted by Louis XV.  “These privileges had been purchased with a ll0, 000-livres payment in honor of his coronation.”

    The Ashkenazi community of Alsace suffered the abuse and taxation that had been their lot since the days of Louis XIV.  Of course part of this difference in treatment may have been caused by the fact that Alsace was Germanic province that France had taken as a spoil of war.  The French were always suspicious of those living in this border province, Jew and non-Jew alike.

    1789: Birthdate of Jared Sparks, the American historian, Unitarian Minister and President of Harvard who “became interested in Haym Solomon’s career and validated the importance of the Jewish businessman to the American revolution when he wrote “that Salomon’s associations with Robert Morris ‘were very close and intimate and that a great part of the success that Mr. Morris attained in his financial schemes was to the skill and ability of Haym Solomon.’”

    1792(18thof Iyar, 5552): Lag B’omer

    1792: Asher Jacobs married Esther Israel at the Great Synagogue today.

    1799: French troops under Napoleon make one last assault in their futile attempt to conquer Acre.  If the assault had succeeded would history have been changed?  Would Bonaparte have honored the grandiose statements about making Palestine a home for the Jews?  Given his “inconsistency” in other areas, it would probably have depended on his needs at the time.  

    1801: Birthdate of Paul Tulane the businessman whose endowment paved the way for the renaming of the university which was originally known as the Medical College of Louisiana to Tulane University whose many Jewish graduates include Professor Stephen Whitfield.  As of 2009, Tulane’s Jewish population ranked number 9 in a list of 30 private universities. Tulane is home to a Jewish Studies program that has been led by the distinguished author and educator Professor Brian Horowitz.

    1801: American involvement in the Middle East would begin when the Barbary Pirates of Tripoli (North Africa, not Lebanon) declares war against the United States in what became known as the First Barbary War.  American Jews first became involved in the area when Colonel David Franks negotiated a treaty with Morocco back in 1786.  Jewish involvement would continue when President Madison sent Mordecai Manuel Noah to negotiate with Tunisia based Barbary Pirates for the release of imprisoned American sailors in 1813.  The appointment of Noah “helped establish a tradition of appointing American Jews to Middle Eastern diplomatic posts.  (For more about this fascinating intersection of American and Jewish history see Power, Faith and Fantasy by Michael B. Oren.)

    1808: The Westphalian chief of police, a French official named Savagner, entered “The Green Shield.”  The Green Shield was both the home and the business center for Rothschild in Frankfurt.  Savagner and the troopers, who accompanied him, searched the premises looking for proof that Rothschild was plotting with Whilhelm.

    1810(6th of Iyar): Rabbi Joshua Ha-Kohen Perahyah, author of Vayikra Yehoshua passed away today

    1813: Birthdate of Gustav Christian Schwabe a German-born British “merchant and financier who funded companies such as John Bibby & Sons, Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line.”  At the age of six, Schwabe and his family “were forced to convert to Lutheranism.”

    1815: Gabriel Oppenheim married Elizabeth Davis at the Great Synagogue today.

    1815: Samuel Solomons married Sophia Davis at the Hambro Synagogue today.

    1816: Birthdate of Joseph Mayer Montefiore, the native of London who was a nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore

    1837: As the Panic of 1837 (a 19th century version of the 20thcentury Great Depression) worsens banks in New York fail and unemployment reaches record levels. Some Jews prospered during this period while others struggled. Isaiah Moses, a South Carolina merchant and planter was forced to borrow money from Beth Elohim’s charity fund, Karen Kayemet to help maintain his lifestyle. On the other hand August Belmont, representing the Rothschilds, arrived in New York during the Panic. He used his newly created August Belmont & Company to reform and improve the business interests of the House of Rothschild over the next five years.

    1838: Sixty-one year old Heinrich Marx, the father of Karl Marx, who unlike his was Prussian patriot and monarchist and who became a Lutheran because the law forbade Jews to hold positions in the legal system passed away today.

    1839: Ernestine Jaffé and Schiee Jaffé gave birth to Alwine Waldenburg

    1842: In  Rhenish Palatinate, Jacob Sulzbacher and Regine Schwartz gave birth to Louis Sulzbacher, the husband of Pauline Flersheim and the United States for the Western District of Indian Territory and “first continental American appointed as Associate Justice of the newly created Supreme Court of Puerto Rico in 1900.”

    1843: Birthdate of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, leader of the Reform Movement in the United States.  Born and educated in Germany, Kohler came to the United States in 1869 to serve as Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Detroit.  The following year he married the daughter of Dr. David Einhorn, the Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in New York and the leading Reform rabbi of his day.  Kohler followed his father-in-law in that position and supported his views when he helped write the 1885 Reform Platform.  He was elected President of Hebrew Union College and died in 1926.

    1849(18th of Iyar, 5609): Lag B'Omer

    1849: Bernard Sondheim served with the Tenth Regiment of New York State Militia when it quelled the Astor Place Riot, also known as the Forrest-Maready Riots, a unique outbreak of public violence caused by competing fans of two different thespians.

    1855: A group of Jews who have converted to Christianity are scheduled to meet tonight at the

    Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in Manhattan under the auspices of the American Hebrew Christian Association.

    1860: Lewis Collins married Martha Cohen today

    1861: Secretary of War Cameron and President Lincoln officially accepted Major Mordecai's resignation thus ending a 38 year military career of what was at that time, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the U.S. Army.

    1864: Alfred A. Rinehard, a Captain serving with Company of the 148thRegiment was wounded at Po River, Viriginia.

    1865: As the Confederacy crumbled at the end of the Civil War, Judah P. Benjamin completed his terms as the third and last Secretary of State of the CSA.

    1866: In Vilna, Boruch M. Friederman and his wife gave birth to Solomon Jacob Friederman who was ordained by Rabbi Isaac Eichanan Spector in Kovno before serving as the rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Jerusalem and Congregation Kol Israel in New York City.

    1866:  Birthdate of Leon Bakst.  Born Lev Rosenberg in what is now Belarus, Bakst “was a Russian painter and scene- and costume- designer who revolutionized the arts he worked in.” In 1893 he produced a self-portrait that hung in the Sate Russian Museum in, St. Petersburg.

    He passed away in 1924.

    1868: “Mr. Disraeli and Judaism” published today summarized the view expressed by The Jewish Chronicle that Benjamin Disraeli has been a Christian since he was either five or six years old at which time a friend of Disraeli’s father took young Benjamin to a church in Hackney where he was baptized.

    1868: Abraham Nathan married Katherine Lyons today at the Great Synagogue.

    1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah (not Promontory Point, Utah) with the golden spike. When the Union Pacific, one of the two companies building the railroad, entered Utah the Auberach brothers (Fred, Sam and Theodore) opened tent stores in Bryan, Wyoming and Promontory, Utah to meet the needs of the burgeoning population  The Auberachs were so successful that they opened a permanent store in Ogden, Utah in 1869 and Salt Lake City in 1873.

    1872:  Birthdate of Marcel Mauss, “a French sociologist best known for his role in elaborating on and securing the legacy of his uncle, Émile Durkheim and the Annee Sociologique and the author of The Gift. He passed away in 1950.

    1873: Myer Stern the President of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society and a trustee of Temple Emanu-El was among the mayor’s nominees for Commissioners of Charities and Correction in New York City. Born in 1824, Stern came to the United States at the age of 16 and has lived in New York since 1847.  “A large, robust vigorous-looking man with a rather pleasant expression,” Stern is a Reform Democrat who had the support of the Republicans when he ran for the State Senate.          

    1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a patent for their unique manner of manufacturing jeans.

    1874: Birthdate of Moses Schorr, a Polish Rabbi, Polish historian, politician, Bible scholar, Assyriologist and orientalist who died in Soviet prison camp in 1941.

    1877:  Romania declares itself independent from Turkey.  Under the Treaty of Berlin signed in 1878, the Jews of Romania were to receive full citizenship. 

    1877: The will of Henry Grass, a New York clothier who died in April, was filed in Surrogate’s Court today.  The estate was valued at $75,000. The will opened with an invocation “In the name of the God of Israel, Amen.”  Grass left $300 to his niece Jetha and a thousand dollars to the daughters of his brother Abraham “on condition that they ‘marry according to the Jewish law.’”  He left $100 bequests to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew congregation on 57th street between 1st and 2ndavenues.  He left one third of the residue of the estate to his wife Rebecca and the remainder was to be divided equally among his six children.

    1879: Today’s “Foreign News” column reported that there had been a massacre of Jews in Satschcheri in the Caucuses. At the beginning of April the body of a child was found in the woods. Seven Jews were accused by the Christian villagers of having killed the child and then having hid the body as part of their Easter Sacrifice.  The accused were taken before a local Judge who dismissed the charges after “a medical witness” testified that the child had died of natural causes and that the wounds on the body “were the work of wild animals.  The Jews celebrated their deliverance with a party which was interrupted by a an axe wielding Christian mob.  The mob, which had been incited by an Orthodox Priest broke into the house killing six of the Jews and injuring many more.

    1879(17thof Iyar, 5639): Seventy-five year old Russian Hebrew scholar Benzion Berkowitz known for his study of the Targum Onkelos passed away today at Wilna.

    1879: Based on information provided by a correspondent for the Neue Zilricher Zeitgung it was reported today that in the first week of April the Jews of Satschcheri had been massacred after the body of a Christian child had been found in the woods. Seven Jews were accused by the Christian villagers of having killed the child and hidden the body to be used in a holiday sacrifice. The district judge dismissed the charges because the medical witness said the child had died of natural causes and the wounds on the body had been inflicted by wild enemies. Ax-wielding Christian villagers attacked the Jews who were celebrating their deliverance, killing at least six and wounding several more.  The correspondent claimed that the local Greek Orthodox priest had incited the attack
    1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Wasilkow and Konotop, Russia.

    1882: Alliance, a Jewish agricultural settlement, was founded in New Jersey. Alliance was financed by Alliance Israelite Universelle headquartered in Paris. It was part of a movement to have Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe settle away from major metropolitan areas in the United States and Great Britain. 

    1883: Birthdate of Eugen Leviné, the Russian born, German educated communist revolutionary.

    1883: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Craiova, Rumania.

    1883: Josephine and 27 year old Henry Morgenthau, Sr. were wed today in New York City

    1885(25thof Iyar, 5645): Seventy-three year old composer and conductor Ferdinand Hiller whose star pupil was Max Bruch the non-Jew who composed the cello elegy for Kol Nidrei passed away today.

    1885(25thof Iyar, 5645): Sixty year old Russian author Grigori Isaacovich Bogrov whose first work, Memoirs of a Jew, “portrayed the vicissitudes of his life and surroundings’”

    1885: “Welcoming a New Rabbi” published today described the first service conducted by Rabbi Alexander Kohut at Temple Ahavath Chesed.  The Hungarian native had replaced another Hungarian native, Adolph Huebsch who passed away last October. In his opening sermon, Kohut paid tribute to his new home, promised to be an apostle of peace and spoke so movingly of his predecessors that some of the congregants were moved to tears.

    1888(29th of Iyar, 5648): Sixty-five year old Michael Heilprin passed away.

    1888: In Vienna, Gábor Steiner, “a Viennese impresario, carnival exposition manager, and inventor, responsible for building the Wiener Riesenrad” and his wife gave birth to Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner who gained fame as Max Steiner was born in Vienna and supposedly studied under Mahler.  He came to the United States in the 1930's, a composer for films who  produced musical themes for such films as “Casablanca,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “The Summer Place” and most famous of all “Tara’s Theme,” the award winning score  “Gone With the Wind.”

    1890: It was reported today “the upper house of the Prussian Diet has adopted a resolution calling upon the government to remedy the evils arising from the large number of Jews in the public schools”  by excluding “the juvenile Jews while still taxing the adult Jews for the cost of public education.

    1890: “Complaining of the Jews” published today described the reaction of Her von Gosler, the Minister of Public Instruction in Prussia to proposals that Jewish children be excluded from public schools.  He said that “such an attempt would force the nation in a position leading to disruption instead of union.”  To him, this is a matter of educational policy and not subject to “political demand.”

    1891: “Tories Not So Happy Now” published today described the rising fortunes of the Liberal Party which is due in part to a return of the Jews to this political party.  “Under the glamour of Disraeli’s example it became quite the fashion for” Jews to join the Conservative Party. Now, as Jews are confronted with “outside persecution” they recall the debt they owe to the Liberal Party.  Among those leading the change are Baron de Stern and H.S. Leon, the son of clockmaker who has reportedly amassed a fortune of 15 million dollars and has sought to be a leader of the Anglo-Jewish community.

    1891: The increase of this week’s issue of The Hebrew Standard from 16 to 24 pages is reported to be permanent.  The Hebrew Standard “is now the largest Jewish paper published in the United State. “It is intended to be a Jewish family paper” without any congregational affiliation.

    1891: Nearly three hundred Jewish children were vaccinated today the Bureau of Contagious Diseases.

    1892: “Strikes Turn Into Riots” published today described the violent attacks on the Jews of Lodz by workers who have been on strike since May Day. After attacking the mills where they had worked the strikers turned their wrath on the Jewish community which actively defended itself.  Local authorities could not quell the disturbance, but the military units called in showed their sympathy with the rioters and did not defend the Jews.

    1893: Three people escaped being asphyxiated today at a tenement on Eldridge Street which is occupied by Jewish immigrants from Russia.

    1893: In can only be described as a “starting” development, it was reported today that the Russian government to hold a meeting of Rabbis in the Autumn to discuss “the Jewish question.” This comes in the wake of the governments announced plan for expelling a million and half Jews living in the Polish part of the Russian Empire. 

    1895: “Meeting of Jewish Woman’s Council” published today described the groups plans for holding a fundraising fair in December and a request from London to assist in establishing schools for Russian Jews who have moved to Jerusalem.

    1895: Birthdate of Oskar Klein who was murdered at Jajdanek in 1942

    1895: Birthdate of Laura Maria Buntenbach-Kugler, the wife of Victor Kugller who was one of those who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family.

    1896(27th of Iyar, 5656): Lea "Lisette" Koppel Waldstein, the wife of Ephraim Walstein and the mother of Sophie and Zadok Waldsein, passed away today in Munich.

    1897: In New Orleans, Prague native Reform Rabbi Maximilian Heller, the son of Simon Heller and Mathilde Kassanowitz and Ida Annie Heller gave birth to Ruth Heller who was the wife of George Lion Cohen and Albert Steiner.

    1898(18thof Iyar, 5658): Lag B’Omer

    1898: First Sergeant Frank Wolf of Lincoln, Sergeant Henry Jacob of Bellwood and Privates William Assenheimer, William J. Koopman, Eugene Meyer and Guy D. Solomon, of Omaha, were among those who joined the United States military when the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry was mustered into the Army.

    1898: In London Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett and his wife Violet Goetze gave birth “to their only son Henry Ludwig Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett” who “having been brought up in the Church of England” “reverted in the 1930s to his family’s original Judaism and became a champion of Zionism.”

    1898: Privates James W. Rosenberger and Tylor H. Rosenberger both of Winchester were among those who joined the U.S. Military when federal government began the process of mustering the 2nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry in the service of the United States.

    1898: Birthdate of Bialystok native Jacob Perlman who came to the United States in 1912, earned all three of his college degrees at the University of Wisconsin and went to become a world class economist.

    1899: Memorial services honoring the late Baroness Hirsch are scheduled to be held at the Hebrew Institute and Temple Emanu-El

    1899: Birthdate of composer Dimitri Tiomkin.  Born in Russia, Tiomkin worked in lived in Western Europe before coming to the United States in the 1930's where enjoyed an almost unparalleled career writing scores for film productions. His credits include everything from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, to Giant, to The High and The Mighty and the Guns of Navaronne.  One of his classic was the theme for the 1952 classic western, High Noon.  He won an Oscar for that one and Tex Ritter gained musical immortality for singing it.  His biggest contribution to television was theme for Rawhide.  He passed away in 1979, yet another Jew who helped create popular American culture.

    1900: Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber delivered his “Language Bill” Speech which was entirely different than the one he had asked Herzl to write for him.  Herzl responded to this apparent slight by asking if the Prime Minister only valued his “secretarial services" or that he thought that Herzl wants “a decoration or something like that?” In fact, Herzl only wrote the speech as way of getting the Prime Minister to help him arrange a meeting with the Sultan of Turkey so that he could make a presentation on the benefits of creating a Jewish home in Palestine

    1902: Birthdate of Joachim Prinz, the Prussian born Rabbi who came to the United States in 1937 where he became a leader of the Zionist and Civil Rights movements.

     1902: In Pittsburgh, of silent film director Lewis J. Selznick and his wife gave birth to producer David O. Selznick, the son-in-law of MGM's Louis B. Mayer who worked for MGM for years before setting up his own production company which produced Academy Award winner, Gone With the Wind.  Selznick died in 1965.

    1902: Birthdate of Antaole Litvak director of the film Anastasia

    1903: Birthdate of philosopher Hans Jonas. Born and educated in Germany, Jonas would move to Eretz Israel 1933, join the British Army, serving as a combat soldier for five years, return to Israel to fight at the age of 45 as soldier in the War for Independence before moving to Canada and the United States where he wrote and taught until his death in 1993.

    1904: In Amsterdam, Aron Belinfante and Georgine Antoinette Hesse gave birth to Frieda Belinfante the Dutch-American cellist and conductor who was a member of the Dutch resistance during WW II.

    1906: Birthdate of New York mobster Abe "Kid Twist" Reles

    1907: Birthdate of James Joseph Packman, the native of Biala, Poland who came to the United States in 1910 and served as he managing editor of The Milwaukee Sentinel, the Newark Star Ledger and the San Francisco Call-Bulletin.

    1909: It was reported today that there is still a possibility that the million dollar bequest by the late Louis A. Heinsheimer may be given to six New York City Charities on condition that they form a federation.  Alfred M. Heinsheimer, the residuary legatee under the will, is trying to find a way to accomplish the descendant’s desires desipted the fact that Louis Stern, President of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum has expressed his continued opposition to the creation of such a federation.

    1911: In Berlin, medical student Michael Kaufman and his wife Lala Rabinowitz Kaufman, a daughter of Sholem Aleichem gave birth to New York school teacher Bel Kaufman best known for writing Up the Down Staircase.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1913(3rdof Iyar, 5673): On Shabbat, Samuel Straus who had served as an “Indian agent” passed away in Chattanooga, TN.

    1913: Seventieth birthday of Dr. Kaufmann Kohler who for twenty-four years was Rabbi of Temple Beth-El, at Fifth Avenue and Seventy-sixth Street and is now Honorary Rabbi of that congregation.

    1914(14thof Iyar, 5674): Pesach Sheni

    1914(14thof Iyar, 5674): Sixty-three year old Israel Dov Frumkin who move to Palestine at the age of 9 and was an earlier developer of modern Jewish culture including the revival of Hebrew as a modern language as can be seen by his work the newspaper Havatzelet passed away today in Jerusalem.

    1914: Benjamin “Benny” Snyder murdered Philip “Pinchy” Paul “at the behest of ‘Joe the Greaser,’ and east side rival of ‘Dopey Benny’ Fein.  (All of these colorfully named characters are Jewish gangsters)

    1915: “Dramatically asserting his innocence of the murder of Mary Phagan and with impassioned declaration that ‘he was to die for the crime of another,’ Leo M. Frank was today sentenced by Judge Ben H. Hill in the General Court to hang on June 22.”

    1915: After weeping silently, the wife of Leo Frank “screamed, collapsed and sank limp in her chair” after he husband was resentenced to death in an Atlanta courtroom “for a crime of which a great majority of his countrymen believe him to be innocent and for which he was never fairly tried.”

    1915: It was reported today that “Warsaw has 60,000 refugees, a third of them Jews.”

    1915: The International Congress of Women at which “Rosika Schwimmer’s proposal for a Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediate between the belligerents was adopted” came to a close today in The Hague.

    1915: It was reported today that “a Warsaw rabbi” has “assured” Robert Crozier Long, “an author and special correspondent for the Associated Press” who has toured “the war-devastated districts of Poland” “that 100,000 Jews from the towns of Lodz, Piotrkow and Lowicz were without homes” with “many thousands huddled in the tottering fragments of cottages while 10,000 are shivering in the abandoned trenches and terraced Russian dugouts at Skaryszom.”

    1915: According to reports “just received by Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs” in New York City, “an international loan” to which American Jews were major contributors has “saved the large orange-raising industry of the Jewish colonies in Palestine” which “represents an investment of $3,000,000” and twenty years of hard work.”

    1915: A summary of the manifesto recently issued by distinguished Russians protesting again persecution of the Jews of Russia during the war” the full text of which had been published in the Jewish Chronicle of London was published in the United States today ending with a declaration by “members of the Duma, members of the Imperial Council, Princes and distinguished professors and letterateurs” that “we are sure that the disappearance of all kinds of persecution of the Jews and their complete emancipation so as to be our equal in all rights of citizenship will form one of the conditions of a really constructive imperial policy.”

    1916: It was reported today that Isador Herschfield who is returning from Europe where he has been investigating “the distribution of Jewish relief funds” raised in the United States will be “able to give valuable advice as to the best use to be made of money raised in the future” and well as provide comfort to many living in New York since he has several thousands of letters from those living in the war zones addressed to friends and family in the United States.

    1916: According Max J. Klein, when he applied for membership in the Second Field Artillery tonight, “he was told that there no vacancies in the regiment and he and the other 12 Jewish applicants were not sent for medical examinations while several other applicants all of whom were Jewish were sent for the medical examinations which were the next step in joining the unit.

    1917: Rabbi Nathan Krass, a member of the American Jewish War Relief Commission “announced that he had raise $100,000 for Jewish war relief work” during his recent lecture tour.

    1917: “Ex-President Taft applauded vigorously” tonight” at a dinner sponsored by the American Jewish Friends of Free Russia “when Jacob H. Schiff…praised Theodore Roosevelt for his efforts, while President, to bring the Russian autocracy to a realization of the wrong committed against their Jewish subjects.”

    1917: The Jews of Amsterdam held a meeting today where “a resolution was passed hailing the American Jewish Congress and similar movements in Russia and other countries as the beginning of an organization comprising the entire Jewish people for the formation of legitimate representation at the peace conference.

    1917: On the last day of the British War Mission’s visit to Washington A.J. Balfour, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affiars, spoke with Justice Brandeis this afternoon, possibly about the establishment of “a Zionist Republic in Palestine” – a subject “that the British do not desire to discuss too fully in the present disturbed situation.” (That “disturbed situation is also called World War I)

    1917: “Jacob Biliikopf, Executive Director of the $10,000,000 campaign of the American Jewish Relief committee in Behalf of the Jewish War Sufferers in Europe announced” tonight that $1,000,000 has already been pledged.

    1917(18thof Iyar, 5677): Lag B’Omer

    1917(18thof Iyar, 5677): In Philadelphia, PA, “communal worker” L.G. Pape passed away today.

    1918: It was reported today that “the Kehillah has just published the Jewish Communal Register” which “provides some interesting facts regarding the Jews in New York.”

    1919: Birthdate of Daniel Bolotsky, who gained fame as  “Daniel Bell, the writer, editor, sociologist and teacher who over seven decades came to epitomize the engaged intellectual as he struggled to reveal the past, comprehend the present and anticipate the future.” (As reported by Michael T. Kaufman)

    1920(22ndof Iyar, 5680): Sixty-one year old Clarence Isaac de Sola, the “son of Cantor Abraham de Sola and Esther de Sola and husband of Belle Maud de Sola with whom he had four children passed away today passed away today in Boston after which he was buried in his native Montreal.

    1921: Eugen Schiffer began serving at the Minster of Justice for the second time.

    1922: Birthdate of David Joshua Azrieli, CM, CQ the “Canadian builder, designer, architect, developer and philanthropist.”

    1924: Dr. Kaufmann Kohler, President Emeritus of Hebrew Union College at Cincinnati, Honorary President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and known as one of the greatest Jewish scholars of America, celebrated his eighty-first birthday at his home at 2 West Eighty-Eighth Street among a gathering of relatives, friends and scholarly disciples.

    1926: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to receive Zeta Beta Tau’s Gottheil Medal “for distinguished service to the cause of Judaism” this evening at the Hotel McAlpin.

    1926: “Jew and Gentile” published in today in Timemagazine provided the following portrait of the American Jewish Community in the middle of the Roaring 20’s which had come to include a genteel form of anti-Semitism at America’s leading universities


    On the upper end of Manhattan Island there are arising some gorgeous, massive buildings in an Americanized Byzantine manner— rigid facades; a squatty dome; ornate yet severe decoration. They represent the first independent stand on education ever taken by Jewry in the 2,000 years of its exile. Out of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary has grown the Yitzchok Elchanan Yeshivah, in which there will be the first Jewish college ever established in the U. S., equipped to grant "the same academic degrees as other American colleges in a background thoroughly Jewish and thoroughly American in spirit." Such an institution has become more and more inevitable, for a reason implicit in remarks made last week by Gustavus A. Rogers, Manhattan lawyer, who addressed 60 prominent Jews at the Bankers' Club: "We will cater ... to the Jews who have been barred from Christian schools for non-scholastic reasons."  There was simple fact in Mr. Rogers' assertion that U. S. universities— he named Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown and Princeton — discriminate against Jews in accepting matriculants. Polite evasion by those institutions notwithstanding—except in Columbia's case — Jewish undergraduates form an element in the undergraduate bodies which, if it has not occasioned official discrimination, is a subject for much restless discussion and action among Gentile undergraduates, and this constitutes, for the Jews, discrimination of a most definite sort—exclusion from clubs, preference in athletics, elections, etc. It has seemed to many Gentiles high time that the Jews, with their plentiful resources, relieve themselves of embarrassment by building their own colleges, just as they have their own churches, dwelling colonies (e. g., Long Beach, L. I.), and even hotels (e.g., the Hotel Libby, at Delancey and Chrystie Streets, Manhattan, which opened formally last week for Jews only). Another speaker at the Bankers' Club gathering—met to discuss a music festival to be held this month in Madison Square Garden to raise a fifth of the five millions needed to build the Yeshivah— was Adolph Lewisohn, one of the most intelligent and effective workers on human relationships in the U. S. He referred to the Yeshivah as "the salvation of Judaism," where Jews could acquire a college education in Jewish surroundings and without breaking the Sabbath and other holy days. He said that his own grandsons had been excluded "by one of the East's largest universities." There was a tinge of irony in Mr. Lewisohn's position, whether the grandsons had been excluded for social or for academic reasons. He came to this country from Germany as a lad of 16, in 1865. His brother Leonard was already here and the two built up a big mercantile business, Lewisohn Bros. In 1868 they began specializing in metals, particularly copper, and soon led in world markets. Leonard died in 1902. Adolph, now 77, is one of the world's greatest mining and industrial potentates. He sent his son, Sam Adolph, to Princeton ('04) and to Columbia Law School ('07), then took him into the firm, now Adolph Lewisohn & Sons. As wealth accumulated he entered philanthropy in the educational and artistic fields. He housed the Columbia School of Mines with a gift of $300,000. He assisted the College of the City of New York to form a German library, to build an athletic stadium. He collected paintings—Blakelock, Bellows and other moderns as well as Rembrandt, Titian, Dürer—and put them where they could be enjoyed by the people as well as himself. Now his grandsons, because of the pressure of an affluent Jewish population, are uncomfortable in surroundings to whose peace and prosperity he has contributed much. He hears of requests from the colleges to the heads of preparatory schools to "leave the Jews out" when they fill their quotas of certificate scholars. But Adolph Lewisohn understands the nature of social irony, and instead of berating the Gentiles, he has simply noted their frame of mind and thrown his weight behind a movement to supply the people of his race and creed with an institution which, without in turn discriminating against other creeds, will put the children of Israel on an equal educational footing with their Gentile countrymen.

    1925(16thof Iyar, 5685): Seventy-year old Sir Isidore Newman passed away today in England



    1926: Large contributions towards the campaign to save the Franc by voluntary subscriptions are being made by French Jews. Louis Dreyfus contributed the amount of 500,000 Francs today. The Union of Presidents of Jewish Societies in Paris has announced its first contribution of 6,335 Francs.

    1926: New light upon the life, achievements and opinions of Walter Rathenau, late German Jewish statesman who was killed by anti-Semites, is contained in two volumes of the writings of Rathenau and documents pertaining to his life, released here today. The volumes contain about eight hundred letters of Rathenau and cover a period of forty years. The volumes contain material hitherto unknown in which Rathenau emphasized his loyalty to Germany and Judaism.

    1927: In Berlin, Sali and Alex Friedlander gave birth to Rabbi Friedlander.

    1927: “The Bordellos of Algiers” with music by Artur Guttmann was released in Germany today.

    1928: Birthdate of Alfred Gilbert Aronowitz, an American rock journalist best known for introducing Bob Dylan and The Beatles in 1964.

    1929: A joint memorandum to the Mandatory Government by the chief rabbis, the National Council and Agudat Israel demands a halt of all construction work carried out by Muslims near the Western Wall.

    1933(14thof Iyar, 5693): Pesach Sheni

    1933(14thof Iyar, 5693): Fifty-eight year old operatic soprano Selma Kurz lost her battle with cancer and passed away today in Vienna.

    1933: Ezriel Carlebach “attended as an observer the central book-burning on Opernplatz in Berlin, where his books were thrown into the fires

    1933: Books deemed of "un-German spirit," most of them Jewish, are burned on Unter den Linden, opposite the University of Berlin, and throughout Germany. More than 20,000 volumes are destroyed, including works by John Dos Passos, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Émile Zola, H. G. Wells, André Gide, Sigmund Freud, Maxim Gorky, Helen Keller, Friedrich Forster, Marcel Proust, Jack London, and Erich Maria Remarque. Among those who witnessed the burnings were Sinclair Lewis, Eve Curie and Bella Fromm.

    1933: Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife had already moved to Southern France when his works were burned during today’s book burnings in Germany. The famous novelist had been forced to flee because he was Jewish, because he was an out-spoken critic of the Nazis and because he was friend with such decadents as Bertol Brecht.

    1933(14thof Iyar, 5693): Seventy-three year old Samuel “Frenchie” Marx the French born tailor who was the husband of Minnie Marx and the father of The Marx Brothers passed away today in Los Angeles, CA.

    1935: After premiering in Los Angeles last month “Bride of Frankenstein” produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr with music by Franz Waxman opened in New York City.

    1936(18thof Iyar, 5696): Lag B’Omer

    1936(18thof Iyar, 5696): Seventy-two year old Emilie Eisler, the daughter of Catherine and Samuel D. Klauber and the wife of Juris Doctor Alois Eisler passed away today in Moravia.

    1936: Today is Mother’s Day which is being observed “by thousands of Jews in the United States by purchasing trees to be planted in Palestine in honor of Jewish mothers” – a plan that was promoted by Hadassah.

    1936: The 80th anniversary of the founding of Congregation Beth Israel Anshei Emes in Brooklyn “was celebrated at dinner” tonight “at the Hotel St. George attended by more than 100 members and guests” including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Justice Edward Lazansky of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and Harold L. Turk, president of the Congregation.

    1938(9th of Iyar): Author and Zionist leader Alter Druyanow passed away today.

    1939: In Glasgow, thirty-three French featherweight Maurice Holtzer ended his fifteen year pugilist career with a loss on points today.

    1940: During World War II, British forces occupied Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, as part of Operation Fork.  The British took the action to forestall seizure of the neutral island-nation by the Nazis.  The Anglo-Jewish sailors and marines who were part of the occupation force found that city contained a small Jewish population but no synagogue.  By Yom Kippur the disparate groups of Jews had coalesced into a semblance of a community. About twenty five Jewish soldiers from England, Scotland and Canada gathered with eight Jewish refugees and Hendrik Ottósson to observe the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar.

    1940: Birthdate of Parisan Dora Frydenzon (née Skurnik) the daughter of Polish Jews who had fled to France in 1936 and who would survive the war thanks to the efforts of Alfred Le Guellec.

    1940: The Germans invaded the Low Countries and France putting an end to the so called Phony War.  The Blitzkrieg would bring the Holocaust to the existing Jewish populations of these nations as well as to the untold thousands of Jews who had sought refuge in the West since the rise of Hitler during the 1930's.

    1940: The Nazi bombing of Antwerp meant that Leo Bretholtz’s hernia operation was canceled leading to his discharge from the hospital and arrest and imprisonment at St Cyprien.

    1940: Author and illustrator Hans Rey was at his desk in Avranches touching up a page of “Fifi” as the Nazis were invading France and the Benelux countries.  Unbeknownst to Rey, this major military catastrophe would trigger events that would send him and his wife on race against death that would lead them through southern France and ultimately to the United States.

    1941: In London, “the Great Synagogue” was destroyed today.

    1941: As Axis forces drive into Egypt, Churchill receives secret word of a new threat to the Jews of Palestine.  Hitler is pressuring Turkey to allow German troops to cross their borders threatening Palestine from the North.  Churchill reminds his new Colonial Secretary, Viscount Cranborne of his previous support of arming the Jews for self-defense and urges him to get done all that he can.  Realizing the danger of a pincer attack, the British now encourage the Jews to build fortifications on the crest of Mount Carmel so that they can respond to attacks from the north and the south.

    1941 (12th of Iyar, 5701) In Suresnes, France, Aaron Beckermann was the first Jew in France to be shot for resistance.

    1941: Raymond Raoul Lambert wrote in his diary: "In view of the persecutions being initiated by the new order in France, against foreigners in general and foreign Jews in particular, in light of what has happened elsewhere, in view of the racist laws and the 'Commission on Jewish Affairs' being run in Vichy from Berlin, I wonder whether this collaboration won't bring about a yet more rigorous Statut [the anti-Jewish laws of October 7, 1940]... There are days when I don't dare listen to official bulletins on the radio; they wound me, because I still feel French and call myself a Frenchman. If I didn't have my wife and my three sons, I should be sorry not to have died honorably in action... or sorry to have survived my mother..." As a staunch supporter of pan-Europeanism, Paul Lambet had repeatedly censured nationalistic writers and opposed the more militant French attitudes toward Germany. He believed that "Germany and France, after having been combatants, have to collaborate or decline," a prophetic thought, but expressed too early. Lambert's strong identification with France and its interests did not prevent him from taking a deep interest in Jewish affairs. A prolific writer for various French and Jewish publications, he had even published a collection of poems on Jewish themes and had assisted in the founding of the French Jewish Literary Review. He strove to bring French Jewish youth to a better understanding of the need to build "a new notion of a universal order." He was pleased to see the Zionist achievements in Palestine, but his very deep sentiment for liberal France prevented him from showing any special interest in the Zionist movement. Lambert's diary offers us a very interesting description of his service in the defeated French army in World War II, the creation of Vichy and the unprecedented rise of French anti-Semitism.

    1941: Tonight during the Blitz, the Luftwaffe destroyed the boardroom of the Bayswater Synagogue and completely destroyed London’s “Great Synagogue” and the “1870 Central Synagogue.”

    1941: Following tonight’s Blitz that destroyed the Great Synagogue of London, “Sandys Row Synagogue” which had been founded in the 1850’s “by workingmen of Dutch Ashkenazi background, employed as cigar makers, diamond cutters and fruit traders” became the oldest surviving Ashkenazi synagogue in London

    1943: “A Bundist member of the Polish government in exile, Szmul Zygielbojm, committed suicide in London to protest the lack of reaction from the Allied governments. In his farewell note, he wrote:


    "I cannot continue to live and to be silent while the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose representative I am, are being murdered. My comrades in the Warsaw ghetto fell with arms in their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not permitted to fall like them, together with them, but I belong with them, to their mass grave. By my death, I wish to give expression to my most profound protest against the inaction in which the world watches and permits the destruction of the Jewish people."


    1943: Famous actor Ralph Bellamy read from “They Burned the Books” by Stephen Vincent Benet to a thousand people who gathered in front of the New York Public Library “as part of the nation’s observance of the tenth anniversary of the burning of books in Germany.

    1943: This afternoon, in cooperation with the Council on Books in Wartime, New York radio station WQXR will broadcast “Books Never Die” to mark the 10thanniversary of the first mass Nazi book burning. The broadcast will include a message from Republican Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie and addresses by Sinclair Lewis, Eve Curie and Bella Fromm who were in Germany at that time.

    1943: Two Jews were successfully smuggled out of Dobele, Latvia, and hidden in a haystack

    1945: At Theresienstad, Herman Rosenblat “was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 A.M.  But at 8: A.M. he “heard shouts, and saw people running in every which way” because the Russians had liberated the camp.  Rosenblat went to find his brothers who had also survived the last Nazi attempt at genocide. (Herman Rosenblat wrote the “fictitious memoir” Angel at the Fence.)

    1945: Theresienstadt was liberated by the Soviet Army.  Located in the Czech town of Terezin (Theresienstadt was its German name), the ghetto gained some measure of fame as a show place where the Nazis brought representatives of the International Red Cross to show how well the Jews were being treated in the Third Reich.  Eventually most of the Jews of Theresienstadt met the same fate as others in the various Death Camps.  Sadly, after the liberation there was an outbreak of typhus which raged until August, claiming even more victims.  There is a collection of children's art and from this strange ghetto entitled I Thought I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

    1946: “A Night in Casablanca” starring Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx, with music by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby and a script co-authored by Joseph Fields was released today in the United States.

    1946: “In Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, Maurice Julius Lipman, a tailor and Zelma Pearlman gave birth to award winning British actress, writer and supporter of Israel, Maureen Diane Lippman the wife of dramatist Jack Rosenthal an the mother of  Amy and Adam Rosenthal.

    1948: “In an attempt to see if war with Transjordan could be averted, the Jewish Agency sent one of its most formidable negotiators, Golda Meir, on a second secret mission to King Abdullah of Transjordan.  In a mission that would credit to James Bond, Mrs. Meir traveled at night disguised in the robes of an Arab woman.  Mrs. Meir offered a plan along the lines of the U.N. approved partition plan.  Abdullah wanted the Jews to drop their demand for free immigration and give up their aspirations for a state.  Instead, the Jews could have autonomy under Jordanian rule with Jewish representation in a Jordanian parliament. Considering the lack of democracy in Jordan, this offer was a rather a hollow one in terms of power sharing.  As to the substitution of autonomy instead of sovereignty; this would be consistent with the traditional Moslem view of Arab-Jewish relationships.  The Jews would be accepted as long as they would always accept a second class position.   

    1948: Tzfat (Safed) was secured by the Haganah. Located in the northern Galilee, Tzfat is one of the four holiest cities for Jews in Israel.  It has been the home to Jewish mystics for centuries; a center for the study of Kabbalah and the place where Lecha Dodi was created.  Tzfat was the scene of fighting in April and May 1948 as the Arabs sought to destroy the Jewish community before the end of the Mandate.  Tzfat had a small Jewish population and matters were not helped by the departing British commander who turned the keys of the police station (with its arms) which was the local citadel to the Arab insurgents.  The Palmach and the Hagana prevailed despite being outnumbered and outgunned.  Most of the Arab population fled when Jewish victory seemed imminent.  According to the Churchill's biographer Martin Gilbert, "With the invasion of Palestine by regular Arab armies believed to be imminent...many Arabs felt prudence dictated their departure until the Jews had been defeated and they could return to their homes."  And thus began the "Palestinian Refugee Problem" that is with us to this day.

    1948: Since she could not reach Ramot Naphtali, Lorna Wingate, the widow of Order Wingate flew over the settlement in a Piper Cub and dropped a Bible into the compound.  The note attached to it read, "This bible accompanied Wingate on all his campaigns and inspired him.  Let represent a covenant between us - in victory or defeat, now and forever.

    1948: Units of the Moslem Brotherhood were driven back after they had attacked Kefar Darom

    1950: The Mediterranean coastal district of Israel is reported to be fighting an outbreak of polio.

    1951(4thof Iyar, 5711): Despite being surrounded by enemies on all sides, dealing with the challenge of absorbing tens of thousands refugees and host of other problems, Israel celebrates Yom HaAtzmaut

    1951: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, escorted by high ranking Israeli officials, journeyed to West Point this morning and placed a wreath on the grave of Col. David (Mickey) Marcus, who was killed in 1948 while serving with the Israeli forces during the war in the Holy Land.

    1952: Temple Israel in Akron, Ohio lays the cornerstone for its new addition.

    1953: Birthdate of John Diamond, the native of Hackney, London, who became a bio-chemist and fashion designer who was the husband of television personality and author Nigella Lawson.

    1953(10thof Iyar, 5713): Seventy year old Belfast born, American composer and orchestra leader Harry Rosenthal passed away today in Beverly Hills.

    1955(18thof Iyar, 5715): Lag B’Omer

    1955: Birthdate of Christopher James "Chris" Berman, “also known by the nickname Boomer, (born May 10, 1955 in Greenwich, Connecticut) is an American sportscaster. He anchors SportsCenter, Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown, Baseball Tonight, U.S. Open golf, the Stanley Cup Finals and other programming on ESPN and ABC Sports.”

    1960:Following the closure of the Broadway production of Flower Drum Song the eighth musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II “a U.S. national tour began today in Detorit.

    1960(13thof Iyar, 5720): Seventy-year old Maurice Schwartz, the Russian born American actor who founded the Yiddish Art Theatre passed away today.

    1964: “Treblinka was declared a national monument of martyrology today during an official ceremony attended by 30,000 people.”

    1966: In an example of how the Arab-Israel conflict was entwined in the Cold War, Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin arrives in Cairo where he will convince Nasser “that a mutual defense pact between Cairo and Damascus (guaranteed by Moscow) would be in the best interest of all concerned. Israel enjoyed no such reciprocal relationship with the United States or her western allies which reinforced the Israeli notion that in any crisis, Israel would be facing millions of armed Arabs backed by the military might of the Soviet Union.

    1968(12thof Iyar, 5728): Eighty-one year old George Frankenthaler, a former State Supreme Court Justice and New York County Surrogate passed away today.  An accomplished lawyer, Frankenthaler was so highly respected that both President Franklin Roosevelt and Governor Thomas Dewey urged to seek election to the State Supreme Court.   In 1948, Frankenthaler who was a Republican became the first non-Democrat to be elected to the Surrogate’s Court in over half a century. Active in several Jewish charities, he had served as President of the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association.

    1968(12thof Iyar, 5728): Ninety-four year old Samuel Bloomingdale, the son of Lyman Bloomingdale and Hattie Collenberger passed away today.

    1970(4thof Iyar, 5730): Yom HaZikaron

    1972(26thof Iyar, 5732): Edward Henry Pinto, the London born son of a cigar merchant and WW I veteran who was the Joint Managing Director of Compaction Ltd and author of Treen and Other Wooden Objects passed away today.

    1973: At Ramat Gan, writer and poet Yehonatan Geffen and Nurit Makover gave birth to rock start Aviv Geffen.

    1977: Final broadcast of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” Norman Lear’s hugely popular spoof of that uniquely American mainstay of daytime broadcasting – the Soap Opera.

    1978(3rd of Iyar, 5738): Yom HaZikaron

    1981: In “From Genesis to Jesus Christ Superstar, published today, Paul Kresh described the veritable explosion of recent recordings of Biblical literature that have been recorded for the mass market including, Abba Eban reading Psalms and Ecclesiastes, Theodore Bikel reading ''Poetry and Prophecy of the Old Testament''   Claire Bloom’s reading “Ruth,” Claude Rains and Claire Bloom reading “The Song of Songs,”  supply Howard Sackler's clever condensation and direction of the Book of Job, with Herbert Marshall suffering beautifully as the severely tested servant of God, surrounded by a large cast including Martin Balsam as Elihu, Clarence Derwent as Eliphaz (one of Job's non-comforting comforters), and Joseph Holland awesomely cosmic as the Voice Out of the Whirlwind. (Editor’s note –You have to be of a certain age to appreciate the star quality of the performers.  Also in an age of downloading, i-pods, etc., it is difficult to appreciate the technological and social significance of these works.)

    1981: Final broadcast of Season 6 of “One Day At A Time” starring Bonnie Franklin

    1981: In “The Final Solution in Argentina,” Anthony Lewis reviews Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without a Number by Jacobo Timerman

    1983: Eighty-five year old Herbert Benjamin, Communist Party leader turned small businessman, passed away today in Rockville, MD.

    1983:  Birthdate of Tiberias native Moshe Peretz, the popular singer and composer married to Yarden Gozland and father of Michaela, Noam and Guy who fell afoul of Israeli tax laws.

    1984: NBC broadcast the final episode of season two of “Family Ties,” a sit com created by Gary David Goldberg.

    1986(1st of Iyar, 5746): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1989(5thof Iyar, 5749): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1991: U.S. premiere of “The Switch” based on a George Axelrod play, starring Ellen Barkin under the management of Executive Producer Arnon Milchan.

    1992(7th of Iyar, 5752): At New York City's Algonquin Hotel, Sylvia Syms finished singing her last song, raised her right arm to acknowledge the audience's standing ovation, and collapsed of a heart attack.  (As reported by Stephen Holden)

    1992: In Israel Commemorates Start of the Holocaust,” published today Jed Stevenson describes the surprising choice for the commemorative medal that the Israelis have made this year. 

    1995: “A Little Princess,” a World War I drama co-produced by Dalisa Cohen and Amy Ephron, filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki at Barry Levinson’s Baltimore Studios and co-starring Eleanor Bron was released today.

    1995(10th of Iyar, 5755): Eighty-six year old Steffie Spira, the German actress and Communist whose Jewish father Fritz Spira died today in Berlin.

    1996(21st of Iyar, 5756): Seventy-seven year old architect  Zelma Wilson who moved to Paris after her husband screenwriter Michael Wilson was blacklisted passed away today.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Time of Our Time” by Norman Mailer and the recently released paperback edition of “The Memory of All That: The Life of George Gershwin” by Joan Peyser.

    1999(24th of Iyar, 5759): Sheldon Allan "Shel" Silverstein passed away. Born in Chicago in 1930, Shel Silverstein gained fame as a poet, songwriter and author.  He wrote the lyrics to the Johnny Cash hit, “A Boy Named Sue.” The Grammy Winning song was written in response to a bet that Silverstein couldn’t write a country and western hit during a bus ride back to Los Angeles, or so goes the legend.   He authored several books including “The Missing Piece,”A Light in the Attic,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends” “Falling Up” and“The Giving Tree.”  These works are often referred to as children’s literature, but anybody who has read them knows that they transcend that genre and speak to readers of all ages.

    2000(5thof Iyar, 5760): Yom HaAtzmaut

    2001: Having obtained a search warrant, D.C. police search Chandra Levy’s Washington apartment looking for clues as to her whereabouts.

    2001: Publication of a review of William G. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?” a must read tome.

    2002(28th of Iyar, 5762): Yom Yerushalayim

    2002(28thof Iyar, 5762): Ninety-two year old sociologist and author The Lonely Crowd David Riesman passed away today

    2002: Operation Defensive Shield which had been launched following the “Passover Massacre” came to an end.

    2003(8th of Iyar, 5763): Dr. Leonard Michaels, author and professor of English at the University of California at Berkley, passed away.

    2006(12th of Iyar, 5766):  Eighty-four year old Abraham Michael "A.M." Rosenthal passed away.  The Canadian native began his career with the New York Times in 1943.  He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in 1960 and served as executive editor from 1977 until age requirements forced him to leave the post in 1988.  (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2006: Results show that Elliot Yamin, was among three people who named as the top three finalists for American Idol

    2007: “Less than two months before his death, Joel Siegel spoke before the C.E.O. Roundtable on Cancer, an association of corporate executives that was formed when former President George H. W. Bush asked corporate America to do something "bold and venturesome" about cancer. Bush and his wife Barbara were in the audience when Joel spoke at the Essex House in New York City. He began and ended his presentation by saying, "I want to thank you for what you are doing for cancer patients."

    2007: An exhibit of works by local artists Paula Christie and A.D. Lane at the Etz Chaim Synagogue. Crete’s only Synagogue, comes to an end. Etz Chaim was rededicated in 1999.

    2007: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s retrospective entitled “The Magic of Paul Mazursky” comes to an end.  He is probably best remembered for directing the 1969 sexual spoof, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.”

    2008: Early this morning the IDF confirmed air strikes on Hamas police stations in the Gaza Strip, killing five Hamas operatives hours after a fatal barrage of mortar shells fired by Palestinian gunmen killed one man in a Kibbutz in the western Negev. Jimmy Kedushim, a 48-year-old father of four, was killed when a mortar shell landed in the front yard of his house in Kibbutz Kfar Aza Three others were wounded in the attack, one moderately and two lightly. Magen David Adom teams at the kibbutz treated a number of people for shock, Israel Radio reported. A number of buildings in the kibbutz were damaged in the barrage.

    2008: At the Jerusalem Cinematheque, a screening of “Faithful City” \ קריה נאמנה.Made in 1952, the film deals with children survivors of the Holocaust who came to Israel on the eve of the war of independence full of fears and problems.

    2008: As part of its Israel at 60 Celebration, the 92nd Street Y hosts a Yom Ha'Atzmaut Spring Dance Marathon.

    2008: Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said during a parliamentary conference that he "would burn Israeli books myself if found in Egyptian libraries."

    2009: Mark Strauss, a Holocaust survivor, signs copies of his new novel, Four Plus Five” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Bookstore.2009:  As part of the LABA Festival The 14th Street Y, a Jewish Community Center in the East Village, presents a screening of “Water Marks,” a documentary film by Yaron Zilberman, produced by Yonatan Israel. “’Watermarks’ is the story of the champion women swimmers of the legendary Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna. Hakoah (“The Strength" in Hebrew) was founded in 1909 in response to the notorious Aryan Paragraph, which forbade Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes. Its founders were eager to popularize sport among a community renowned for such great minds as Freud, Mahler and Zweig, but traditionally alien to physical recreation. Hakoah rapidly grew into one of Europe's biggest athletic clubs, while achieving astonishing success in many diverse sports. In the 1930s Hakoah's best-known triumphs came from its women swimmers, who dominated national competitions in Austria. After the Anschluss, the political unification of Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938, the Nazis shut down the club, but the swimmers managed to flee the country before the war broke out, thanks to an escape operation organized by Hakoah’s functionaries. Sixty-five years later, director Yaron Zilberman meets the members of the women’s swim team in their homes around the world, and arranges for them to have a reunion in their old swimming pool in Vienna, a journey that evokes memories of youth, femininity, and strengthens lifelong bonds. Told by the swimmers, now in their eighties, Watermarks is about a group of young girls with a passion to be the best. It is the saga of seven outstanding athletes who still swim daily as they age with grace.”

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Third Reich at War” by Richard J. Evans and “Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy by Leslie H. Gelb

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace” by Ayelet Waldman “Conversations with Frank Gehry” by Barbara Isenberg and three books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal – “Little Oink,” “Spoon” and “Yes Day.”

    2010:An exhibition entitled “The Works of Mordechai Rosenstein” is scheduled to open at the Fine Family Art Gallery and the Katz Family Mainstreet Gallery of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA).

    2010: “Forward 50,” a panel discussion featuring recent Forward 50 Honorees is scheduled to take place at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2010:President Barack Obama announced at the White House that he is nominating U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. If Kagan is confirmed, it would be the first time that the nine-member Supreme Court would have three Jews and three women on the bench.

    2010: “The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) invited Israel to become a member of the organization.”

    2010:Israel Air Force planes bombed two targets in the southern Gaza in the early hours today warning in retaliation for a rocket attack on Saturday night, the army said.

    2011:Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story is scheduled to be shown at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    2011: Professor Brian Horowitz is scheduled to give a talk at a conference entitled, In the Mirror’s Reflection: The Encounter between Jewish and Slavic Cultures in Modernity at U.C.L A.

    2011: Rabbi Eliezer Diamond is scheduled to present a lecture “Do We Mean What We Pray, Do We Pray What We Mean?” at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD.

    2011: In “An Insider Views China, Past and Future,” Michiko Kakutani reviewed On China by Henry Kissinger, the first Jew to serve as U.S. Secretary of State.

    2011(6th of Iyar, 5711): Ninety-one year old broadcast executive Burt Reinhardt, who served as President of CNN in those early years when it was changing the face of television news, passed away today in Marietta, GA. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2011(6th of Iyar, 5711): Yom Ha’atzmaut, ,יום העצמאות, Israel Independence Day, is observed.  Yom Ha’atzmaut is normally celebrated on the 5th of Iyar, the anniversary of the day on which Israel declared its independence.  Since 2004, if the 5thof Iyar falls on a Monday, which it did in 2011, the festival is postponed until Tuesday.

    2011: On Independence Day, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported that Israel had a population of 7,746,000, 75% of which is Jewish.  In the past year 178,000 babies were born and 24,500 immigrants made aliyah

    2012: The Jewish American Heritage Parade is scheduled to take place this morning in Albany, NY.

    2012: “The Jewish Woman In America: 1654-2012,” a course that will study the vital contributions that Jewish women have made to American Jewish life, from the time of the first Sephardic arrivals to New Amsterdam in 1654, down to the present sponsored by the Board of Jewish Education of Atlantic and Cape May Counties is scheduled to begin tonight in Margate, NJ.

    2012: Chabad of Iowa City is scheduled to sponsor a Lag Ba'Omer BBQ in West Branch, Iowa, which is the home of the Herbert Hoover Memorial Library. Jews will remember Hoover as the President who appointed Justice Benjamin Cardozo to the Supreme Court giving the U.S. two Jewish Supreme Court Justices at a time of rising anti-Semitism.

    2012: At the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Howard Reich, jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune and son of Holocaust survivors, is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion where American and foreign born Jewish GIs reflect on their wartime experiences, and the impact their religious affiliation had on their time in the service

    2012: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present the Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series Spring Concert including the great masterpiece of Jewish music, “Shlomo”, a Hebrew rhapsody for cello by Ernest Bloch

    2012: Jazzrael - a Festival of Israeli Jazz and World Music featuring the Avi Avital Trio is scheduled to take place at Joe’s Pub in New York City.

    2012: At the Wiener Library in London, Professor Carrier Tarr is scheduled to present a lecture on Secularism, difference and the family as portrayed in Roschdy  Zem’s film “ Mauuvaise foi” which “s a comedy that revolves around the consequences of the secular Jewish heroine’s discovery that she is pregnant, and the increasingly problematic decision she and her equally secular Arab-Muslim boyfriend take to keep the baby and tell their not-so-secular families.”

    2012: New York's kosher law, which regulates the labeling and marketing of kosher food, does not violate the Constitution's First Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled. The three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today in a constitutional challenge to the New York State Kosher Law Protection Act of 2004. Previously, kosher was defined legally as “according to orthodox Hebrew religious requirements.” Several butchers challenged the law in a 1996 suit. (As reported by JTA)

    2013: The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide and the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism are scheduled to present “Sanctioned Laughter: Humour, War and Dictatorship in Twentieth Century Europe.

    2013: “No Place On Earth” is scheduled to open at the Catamount Film and Arts Center in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

     2013(1st of Sivan, 5733): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    2013(1stof Sivan, 5733): Eighty-eight year old author Morris Renek passed away today. (As reported by Daniel Slotnik)

    2013(1stof Sivan, 5773): Sixty-one year social activist Barbara Brenner passed away today. (As reported by Denise Grady)

    2013::At more than 100 Jewish day schools in 38 cities around the world, parents and children are gathering across six continents to study Torah together as part of a joint initiative of global Jewish unity, called Generation Sinai.Tens of thousands of parents and children will be studying the same section of the Torah on the same day in their individual schools as part of one integrated international campaign which began in South Africa.

    2013: Clashes erupted at Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza early this morning, as thousands of ultra-Orthodox teenagers attempted to prevent the Women of the Wall from holding their monthly egalitarian prayer session at the site.

    2014: Sarah Cohen is scheduled to be called the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at Agudas Achim in Coralville, Iowa.

    2014: “Zeitgeist” is scheduled to be shown at the 22ndannual Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Kidon” is scheduled to be shown at the National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th annual Film Festival.

    2014: In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the New World Symphony is scheduled to present an evening of music by celebrated Jewish American composers at Miami Beach, FL.

    2014: Thousands marched in Afula tonight in commemoration of 19 year old Shelly Dadon whose body was found earlier this month “in what is believed to be a nationalistically motivated killing.”

    2014: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his wife and two sons left for a week-long state visit to Japan tonight 

    2015: “Mr. Kaplan,” “The Kindergarten Teacher” and “His Wife’s Lover” are scheduled to be shown on Mother’s Day at the 18thAnnual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Film’s.

    2015: ZUSHA, a “folk/world-soul band of ‘neo-Hasidic hipsters’” is scheduled to make its DC-area debut today.

    2015: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to conduct an “in-depthtour of sites related to Jewish history and military heroes, including the Confederate Memorial by Sir Moses Ezekiel (seen here) and the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Memorials.”

    2015: As part of the Krum Concert Series, young artists are scheduled to perform works by Mieczyslav Weinberg, a Jewish composer whom Shostakovich considered exceptional but who was ignored by the Soviet musical establishment.

    2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Timur Vermes’ Look Who’s Back, a novel about Hitler in which “the first mention of the Jews doesn’t arrive until after Page 50” and Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword by David K. Shipler who won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1987 for Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land.

    2016: The Consulate General of Israel and the 92nd Street Y is scheduled to a host a Yom Hazikaron or Memorial Day Serving “honoring the soldiers who have their lives in defense of the State of Israel and the victims of terrorist attacks.”

    2016: In Philadelphia, PA, The National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to host an evening with “filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky who will share excerpts from his upcoming documentary, Two Who Defied the Nazis, about Martha and Waitstill Sharp, an American social worker and Unitarian minister who provided aid to refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.”

    2016: In New York, the Upper West Side’s annual five day celebration of Israel is scheduled to begin with “Sharim Vezochrim: Songs and Remembrance for Yom Hazikaron with Moshe Bonen” at JCC Manhattan.

    2016: Effective today, the archives of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington are scheduled to be closed until September, 2016 while historic synagogue museum moves locations.

    2017: New York Times columnist Samuel G. Freedman and historian Jenna Weissman Joselit, the author of  Set in Stone: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments are scheduled “to explore the impact of the ancient biblical code on American culture.”

    2017: Donniel Hartman is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Jewish Identity, Belonging and Community” sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and B’nai Jeshurun.

    2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “hotdog and movie night” that will also include veggie burgers.

    2017: “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue” is scheduled to have its premiere showing at the 2017 East Bay International Jewish Film Festival.

    2017: “Between Myth and Reality,” an exhibition of the works of Anglo-Israeli sculptor and artist Chaim Stephenson is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2018: “An Act of God” is scheduled to open at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans

    2018: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to host a presentation by Holocaust survivior Albert Garih.

    2018: “Saving Neta” and “Assumed Identity” are scheduled to be shown at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

    2018: “Falling Backward” and “The Invisibles” are scheduled to be shown at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

    2018: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present ‘20thCentury American Jewish Stardom: Between Eddie Cantor and Sophie Tucker”




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    May 11

    330: Roman Emperor Constantine I changes the name of the ancient city of Byzantium to Nova Roma (New Rome) as it becomes the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.  The city will be known as Constantinople (the city of Constantine). The move is indicative of the growing power of Constantine, the emperor who redefined relations between Jews and Christains that exists into modern times.  The name New Rome also helped to the schism between the Western (Catholic) Christians and their Eastern (Orthodox) co-religionists since the Christian leader of New Rome thought his powers should be equal to the Christian leader (the Pope) at old Rome. 

    1175: Thirteen assassins were foiled in their attempt to murder Saladin. Thirteen years later Saladin would drive the Crusaders from Jerusalem and allow the Jews to return. Maimonides provided medial services to the great Muslim leader.

    1189: Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor set off on the Third Crusade.  He would drown before he reached the Holy Land.  On balance, Barbarossa’s reign was a positive one for the Jews since he viewed the Jews as his special subjects, which means he afforded them protection because they were a source of financial benefit to the monarch.

    1415:  Edict of Benedict XIII: Benedict XIII was enraged by the lack of voluntary conversions after the Christian "victory" at the Tortosa disputation. As a result, he banned the study of the Talmud in any form, instituted forced Christian sermons, and tried to restrict Jewish life completely.

    1415: Today, “in the hope of mass-conversions, Benedict issued a bull consisting of twelve articles, which, in the main, corresponded with the decree ("Pragmática") issued by Catalina, and which had been placed on the statutes of Aragon by Fernando. By this bull Jews and neophytes were forbidden to study the Talmud, to read anti-Catholic writings, in particular the work "Macellum" ("Mar Jesu"), to pronounce the names of Jesus, Maria, or the saints, to manufacture communion-cups or other church vessels or accept such as pledges, or to build new synagogues or ornament old ones. Each community might have only one synagogue. Jews were denied all rights of selfjurisdiction, nor might they proceed against "malsines" (accusers). They might hold no public offices, nor might they follow any handicrafts, or act as brokers, matrimonial agents, physicians, apothecaries, or druggists. They were forbidden to bake or sell matzot, or to give them away; neither might they dispose of meat which they were prohibited from eating. They might have no intercourse (sex) with Catholics, nor might they disinherit their baptized children. They should wear the badge at all times, and thrice a year all Jews over twelve, of both sexes, were required to listen to a Catholic sermon.”

    1421:  At Styria, Austria, a large number of Jews were burned. Those who were not killed were expelled from the country.

    1572(18th of Iyar, 5332): Moses Isserles, “the Rema” passed away today in Cracow, Poland. Moses Isserles, also spelled Moshe Isserlis, who had been born at Cracow in 1520, “was an eminent Ashkenazic rabbi, Talmudist, and posek, renowned for his fundamental work of Halachah (entitled ha-Mapah (lit., "the tablecloth"), an inline commentary on the Shulkhan Aruch ( "the set table"). His work opened up this Sephardic work to the Ashkenazim. “He is also well known for his Darkhei Moshe commentary on the Tur. Isserles is also referred to as the Rema, (or Remo, Rama) (רמ״א), the Hebrew acronym for Rabbi Moses Isserle.”  [This brief entry cannot do justice to the life and work of this sage.]

    1610: Fifty-seven year old Father Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary living in China whose manuscripts described the existence of ten or twelve Jewish families in Kaifeng that may have been living there for five or six hundred years, passed away today.

    1647: Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City. Seven years later, Stuyvesant will be the governor of New Amsterdam when the first Jews arrive in 1654. He will do everything in his power to keep the Jews from settling there and enjoying the full rights of citizenship.

    1685: Isaac Benjamin Wolf Liebmann began serving as rabbi for the Jews of Berlin although he reportedly lived at Landsberg-on-the-Warthe.

    1764: A letter written today from Empress Catherine II opened the way for limited settlement of Jews in Riga

    1784: Birthdate of G.B. Depping, the German born French historian author of Les Juifs dans le moyen âge, essai historique sur leur état civil, commercial et littéraire  a history of the Jews he wrote in response to a competition sponsored by the Royal Academy in 1821 to write a history describing the life of the Jews living in France during the Middle Ages.

    1766: In Enfield, Middlesex, England Benjamin D’Israeli, “a Jewish merchant who had emigrated from Cento in 1784 and his second wife,Sarah Syprut de Gabay Villa Real” gave birth to author and “man of letters” Isaac D’Israeli, the father of the future Prime Minister Benjamin D’Israeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield.

    1795(22nd of Iyar, 5555) Seventy-two year old Austrian banker Joachim Edler von Popper who was “Court Jew” to the Habsburgs and who was the second Jew to be “ennobled” by the Emperor passed away today.

    1800(16thof Iyar, 5560): Asher Anshel  Weiner, the “son of Shimon Wiener and Mrs. Simon Winer and the husband of Slava Viener with whom he had four children passed away today after which he was buried in “Miskolc, Hungary.

    1814: Birthdate of Wolf Pascheles, the native of Prague who went from selling Jewish books to printing them in a publishing house that he began and which produced everything from prayerbooks for women to popular annotated calendars.

    1836: Alexander Levi advertised in today’s issue of the Dubuque Visitor, one of Iowa’s first newspapers. Levi may have been the first Jew to settle Iowa.  He settled in Dubuque, shortly after its founding, and played an active role in its commercial, civic and Jewish life until his death in 1893.

    1838: Birthdate of Walter Goodman, British painter, illustrator and author who followed in the footsteps of his mother, Julia (nee Salaman) Goodman, who was a famed painter in her own right.

    1846: “In Shossmaken, Courland, Russia, Jekuthiel Gerson Deinard and Leah Cohn” gave birth to Ephraim Deinard , a bookseller and bibliographer, the husband of Margolia Jaffe and the driving force to established a failed “Jewish agricultural colony in Nevada in 1897.”

    1847:  Adolphus Simeon Solomons received a certificate of discharge from Third Regiment of the Washington Grays, which was part of the New York State Militia. Born in 1826, he had joined the Grays when he was 14 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant five years later. After leaving the military, he would pursue a successful career in business and politics including playing an active role in the inaugurations of all the Presidents from Lincoln to McKinley. He would also serve in a number of important roles in Jewish communal affairs including serving as acting President of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association.

    1852: In the House of Lords, the first reading of a bill designed to remove the disabilities imposed upon persons refusing to take the “oaths of abjuration.” Lord Lyndhurst cited the recent case of David Salomons, the Jew who had refused to take the standard oath and sought to be seated in the House of Commons nonetheless.

    1853(Iyar 3): Rabbi Isaac Farhi, author of Marpe la-Ezem, passed away today.

    1853: A theatre critic for the New York Times pained the performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at Wallack’s Theatre saying that “there is no delineation of internal passion; no metaphysical reading of the Jew’s revengeful soul…”

    1857: In the Catherine Palace, Czar Alexander II and his wife Maria Alexandrovna gave birth to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia the influential, reactionary advisor to his brother Alexander III and his nephew Nicholas II and Governor of Moscow who zealously oversaw the violent expulsion of that city’s Jewish population starting in 1891.

    1858:  Minnesota is to the Union as the 32ndstate in the United States.  The establishment of the Mount Sinai Hebrew Association of St. Paul, in 1857 means that the first synagogue was established before Minnesota achieved statehood. The founding of Har Tzion (Mt. Zion) marks the start of the Jewish community in Minnesota.

    1859: Seventy-seven year old Archduke John of Austria who helped Moses Sachs submit his “program for the settling of Jews as farmers in the land of Israel under Austrian protection” to the Austrian government which in turn submitted it the Ottomans who rejected it passed away today.

    1859: Wolf Alois Meisel who had been serving as the rabbi at Stettin since 1848 moved to Budapest where he took up a similar position today.

    1859: At Wien, Professor Dr. Simon Spitzer and Marie Spitzer gave birth to Dr. of Jurisprudence Leopold Spitzer

    1860: Sir George Jessel, and Amelia Moses gave birth to British barrister and businessman Sir Charles James Jessel, 1st Baronet, Ladham House.

    1863: Otto von Bismarck, Minister President of Prussia, initiated written correspondence with socialist and reform leader Ferdinand Lassalle. (Lassalle was Jewish; Bismarck was not)

    1864: In San Francisco, Leopold Seligmann and Julia Levi gave birth to David Emil Seligman

    1865: General Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan resigned from the Union Army.  In 1862, Sullivan was serving under General Grant in Tennessee.  He “refused to execute Grant’s Order 11 on the grounds that he thought he was an officer of the army and not of a church.” Sarna 20

    1867: The independence of Luxembourg which was originally granted in 1839 is finally recognized by all of the European great powers including Prussia and France. The Grand Duchy’s first rabbi had served from 1843 until 1866 when Luxembourg had just one synagogue.  By 1880, there were approximately 140 Jewish families throughout the Grand Duchy and there were three synagogues in Luxembourg by the end of the 19th century.

    1869(1st of Sivan, 5629): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1869: In Charleston, SC, J.D. Harby of Galveston, TX, married Leah Cohen, “the fourth daughter of Marx E. Cohen.

    1869: In New York City, Shaaray Tefila (Gates of Prayer) dedicated its new sanctuary located on 44th Street, between Broadway and 6th Avenue.  During the ceremony Leopold Cohn, chairman of the Building Committee gave the keys for the building to Barnet Solomon, the President of the Congregation.  Rabbi Samuel Isaacs officiated at the impressive ceremony. The building, which cost $125,000 is smaller than Temple Emanu-El but compares favorably to it in terms of richness and architectural quality.

    1869: Birthdate of Henrich Lowe, a German born Zionist who was known as a journalist, linguist and student of folklore.

    1871: In Natchez, Mississippi, Samuel Ullman, the author of the poem “Youth” and his wife gave birth to Sidney Ullman who worked as an architect in Birmingham, Alabama from 1899 until 1916 after which he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to practice as an architect from 1917 until 1922 when he began working as a set designer.

    1872: In Allegheny City, PA, Daniel and Amelia Stein gave birth to “American art collector, critic and brother of Gertrude Stein” today

    1873(14thof Iyar, 5633): Pesach Sheni

    1873(14thof Iyar, 5633): Seventy-four old Marx Oppenheimer, the son of Zacharias Oppenheimer and Fratel Oppenheimer passed away today.

    1877: In Kozlov, Czech Republic, Adolf Neubauer, the son of Karl and Theresia Neubauer, and his wife Klara Neubauer gave birth to Emilie Hoffer

    1878: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association met for the first time in their new facility at 110 West 42nd Street in New York City.  Most of the members were in attendance at this all male affair. Mayor Ely was the guest of honor.  I.S. Isaacs, the association’s president, opening remarks included a brief history of the association.  The association, which was formed in 1874, has almost a thousand members and boasts a healthy back account.  Rabbis Gottheil, Henry Jacobs and H.B. Mendez all addressed the group briefly.

    1879: “The Old Pessimists” published today notes that while there was a strongly pessimistic tone in a few books of the Bible – Job and Ecclesiastes - the “national religion of the Hebrews was optimistic in a high degree.” This stands in stark contrast to the deeply pessimistic religious utterances and literature of the ancient of the Greeks and the Romans While the Jews said “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” they were declaring that “the land and the sea are full of evils”

    1879: “Assyrian and Biblical History” published today described unresolved conflicts in the dating used by these two ancient civilizations. While both seem to agree as to the date of the eclipse that took place in the 8th century BCE, there is disagreement for the dates of subsequent events.  For example, the Assyrians say that the invasion of Judea took place in 701 BCE while the Jewish version would have set the date at 713 BCE. Some researches indicate that the discrepancies are the result of a propensity among Assyrian monarchs who had a propensity for not reporting defeats and unsuccessful campaigns.  This was left to their successors.

    1879: Samuel Gobat, who had been serving as the Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem since 1846, passed away.  Unlike his predecessor, Gobat refrained from trying to convert Jews and Moslems and worked among Christians.  He and his wife who had also died while living in Jerusalem are buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.

    1879(18th of Iyar, 5639): Lag B'Omer

    1879(18thof Iyar, 5639): Seventy-five year old Benzion Judah Ben Eliahu Berkowitz who devoted much of his literary efforts to works related to Targum Onkelos passed away today in Wilna.

    1879(18th of Iyar, 5639): Bernhard Wolff the editor of the Vossische Zeitung, founder of the National Zeitung and founder of Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau one of the first press agencies in Europe and one of the three great European telegraph monopolies until the World War II-era, the other two being the English Reuters and the French Havas, passed away today in his native Berlin. (Editor’s note -  All three of these famous wire-services had a Jewish connection.)

    1879: Eighty-year old Samuel Gobat, the Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem who ended his predecessor’s policy of trying to convert Jews, passed away today and following his funeral was buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem.

    1881: In Budapest, “Helen Kohn, who was from a leading Bohemian family, and Mór Kármán who was a leading professor of philosophy and education” gave birth to Theodore von Kármán the Hungarian-American engineer and physicist who was a descendant of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel and who responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization.



    1881: Herzl fights his only duel in the fraternity Albia.

    1881: As a wave of pogroms race across Russia Czar Alexander III receives a delegation of Jews led by Baron Horace de Gunzburg.  He assures them that the government is opposed to the violence which he blames on socialists and elements following the anti-Christ.

    1884: In Bucharest, Zara and Leon Feinsohn gave birth to Reba Fesinsohn who gained fame as the American soprano and recording artist, Alma Gluck.

    1884: Birthdate of Samuel B. Peiper, the native of Philadelphia who was ordained at JTS and served as a rabbi in Brooklyn.

    1885(26thof Iyar, 5645): Seventy-three year old “composer, conductor and writer” Ferdinand von Hiller who students included Max Bruch the non-Jewish “composer of the cello elegy Kol Nidrei, based on the synagogue hymn sung at Yom Kippur” passed away today.,_Ferdinand

    1886(6 Iyar, 5646): Sixty-nine year old Isidor Kalish the German educated Reform Rabbi who came to the United States where he led several Reform congregations starting with Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and was a driving force behind creating the Reform Movement in his adopted country passed away


    1886(6 Iyar, 5646): Rabbi James Koppel Gutheim passed away today in New Orleans.  Born in Westphalia, Germany, he came to the United States in 1843 and became active in the Cincinnati (Ohio) Jewish community, the home of Reform Judaism in the United States.  Guttheim moved to New Orleans where he served as Rabbi at Shangarai Chesed.  He left the Crescent City after a dispute about a memorial to the late Judah Touro and his refusal to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Union during the Civil War.  After serving as rabbi to congregations in Montgomery, Alabama and Columbus, GA, he returned to New Orleans where he served as rabbi at Temple Sinai until his death.

    1887: Birthdate of Paul Wittgenstein.  The Austrian-born pianist lost his right arm fighting for Austria during World War I.  After the war he gained fame for arranging and playing numerous pieces with his left hand.  After fleeing the Nazis during the 1930’s he came to the United States where he became a citizen and continued his career.

    1888:  Birthdate of Irving Berlin.  Born Isadore Balin in Temum Siberia, Berlin was the composer of a wide variety of All American Music. His White Christmas is reported to be the all-time leader in the holiday music category.

    1889: Zadoc Kahn the Chief Rabbi of France who helped to found  Société des Études Juives  in 1879 delivered an address to entitled "La Révolution Française et le Judaïsme" to help mark the centenary of the French Revolution.


    1890: It was reported today that former President Grover Cleveland and his wife have accepted an invitation to attend the upcoming Strawberry Festival, a fund-raiser sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1890: Charles Bernheim was re-elected as President during the annual meeting of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which began at 10 o’clock this morning.

    1890: “Barons Alphonse and Nathaniel Rothschild have warned Emperor Franz Joseph and …the Minister of the Interior, that if oppression of the Jews is continued at Vienna, they will be forced to transfer their business” to Budapest.  They claim that the leadings banks will follow them in moving their business.

    1891: A fire, which was allegedly set by a Jewish immigrant from Poland name Solomon Crizar, broke out at 222 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn.

    1891:  Birthdate of Henry Morgenthau Jr.  Morgenthau was a neighbor of FDR.  It was this friendship rather than his financial wizardry that led to his appointment as US Secretary of the Treasury in 1934.   He held that post until 1945, when Harry Truman took office.  Morgenthau was the author of the so-called Morgenthau Plan which, according to critics, sought to turn Germany into one large farm after World War II.  After two world wars in less than fifty years, Morgenthau was not alone in thinking that the only way to avoid another German Reich was to demilitarize and de-industrialize the country.  The realities of the looming Cold War, among other concerns, derailed any such notions.

    1892(14thof Iyar, 5652): Pesach Sheini

    1892(14thof Iyar, 5652): Yosef Dov Soloveitchik the great-grandson of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin and author of Beis Halevi passed away today.

    1892: Leaders of several congregations met tonight to discuss the possibility of establishing a school that would train men and women to serve as teachers at Jewish Sunday Schools.

    1892: “Vaccination Day” published today described the annual springtime program designed to provide vaccination for hundreds of Jewish, Polish and Italian children that takes place at the Health Office on Mulberry Street.

    1892: In “Turov, Polyesy, Ayzik-Ber Goldin, author of the religious work, Otiyot maḥkimot (Enlightening letters)” and his wife gave birth to Osher-Arye Goldin who worked as an author and translator before moving to the United States in 1913 where he gained fame a Yiddishist Leon Goldin.

    1893: There were a dozen Polish Jews aboard the Majestic when it arrived today in England.

    1893: Acting at the behest of Josef Deckert, an anti-Semitic Austrian priest, Paulus Meyer, a baptized Jew, declared in the Vaterland “that a number of Russian rabbis from Lentschna had performed a ritual murder in his presence.”

    1895: Sir Matthew Nathan began serving as secretary to the Colonial Defense Committee today.

    1895: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted a strawberry festival to mark the end of this season’s programs of study and entertainment.

    1895: Several Polish Jews were arrested in Kingston, NY on charges of being counterfeiters.

    1897: Birthdate of Kurt Gerson the native of Berlin whose medical studies ended with his service in WW I and who gained fame as actor and director Kurt Gerron – none of which kept him from being killed at Auschwitz.

    1898: Rabbi Leucht of Newark, NJ, officiated at the wedding of Moses Schloss and Miss Minnie Krieger of Philadelphia.  Schloss is the manager of S. Scheurer & Co of Plainfield, NJ.

    1899: “De Hirsch  Memorial Service” published today described the services held at Temple Emanu-El in honor of the late Baroness Clara de-Hirsch-Gereuth, the widow of the late Baron Hirsch. Among those who address the packed sanctuary were Myer S Isaacs, President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and William Rhinelander Stewart, President of the State Board of Charities. The service began with Mendelssohn’s Funeral March and ended with a recitation of the Kaddish led by Rabbi William Sparger and a benediction by Rabbi De Sola Menes

    1901: Birthdate of Rosalie Beatrice Scherzer who gained fame as the poet Rose Auslander.

    1902(4thof Iyar, 5662): Asher Isaac Myer, the managing editor of the Jewish Chronicle passed away today. (This is the date supplied by the Jewish Encylopedia)

    1902: Birthdate of Louis K. Diamond, the native of Kishinev who graduated from Harvard Medical School and is known as “the father of pediatric hematology.’

    1903: Birthdate of Victor Candell, the native of the Budapest “the award-winning painter” “who works included a mural on the outside of the Iraqi pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.”

    1903: The El-Arish project fails. Herzl writes in his diary: "I thought the Sinai plan was such a sure thing that I no longer wanted to buy a family vault in the Döbling cemetery, where my father is provisionally laid to rest. Now I consider the affair so wrecked that I have already been to the district court and am acquiring vault No. 28."

    1911: Conservative Young Turks blame Zionists for desecration of the Mosque of Omar.

    1912: In London, engineer Mortiz Kahn and his wife gave birth to journalist and photographer Albert Eugene Kahn.

    1912: “The original production” of “Princess Caprice, a musical theatre work described as a "comedy with music", in three acts, with music by Leo Fall,” the son of Mortiz Fall opened today “at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.”

    1912(24thof Iyar, 5672): Seventy-eight year old Rabbi Samuel Baeck, the father of Rabbi Leo Baeck, the son of Rabbi Nathan Baeck, the grandson of Rabbi Abraham Baeck who was the husband of Eva Placzek, the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Placzek passed away today in Lissa.

    1912: In Brooklyn, “Russian immigrants Saul and Sarah (nee Handler) Silver gave to the their eighth and youngest child Philip Silver who gained famed Phil Silvers” the comedian who appeared in vaudeville and films but whose real fame rests on his portrayal of Sgt. Ernie Bilko, the All-American military con artists with the heart of gold, in the popular sit-com called the Phil Silvers Show.

     1913: It has been reported that “after having promised” for several years “the telephone system has at last been installed at Jerusalem.”

    1913: It has been reported that “he Nationalist have introduced a bill into the Duma which contains a clause to the effect that Jews should only be allowed to edit newspapers in the Pale” the purposed of which “is to banish Jewish influence from the most influential organs in St. Petersburg and Moscow.”

    1914(15thof Iyar, 5674): Sixty-one year old Daniel De Leon, the native of Curacao who became a champion of the rights of the working man and leader of the Socialist Labor Party of America passed away today.

    1915: In “Jews With Wilson, Says the Warheit” published today the American Yiddish language newspaper took issue with a statement in the Frankfurter Zeitung saying “that the United States cannot declare war” on Germany “because of the millions of German, Irish and Jews being in the way” saying that “the Jews should very much like the” German newspaper “and other to refrain from mentioning them in their discussions of a war between the United States and Germany. If mentioned they must be, then let it be said in their name: ‘The Jews of the United States will all, to the last man, stand behind President Wilson and the United States Government.” (Editor’s note: While many Jews were Socialists and wanted to stay out of the war because of their pacifism, and others did not want to fight on the side of the Russians whom they saw as oppressor of Jews, there was a handful of Jews from Germany who did not want to take up arms against what they saw as their enlightened fatherland.  In the end, the Germans overplayed their hand and misread American Jewry as badly as they did other others and American Jews flocked to support their new found home in what they saw as an American fight for freedom)

    1915: “Dr. Perry M. Lichtenstein, a physician at the Tombs prison,’ is scheduled to “speak tonight before the Harlem Jewish League at the Belvedere on the “Dope Fiend.”  (Yes, 100 years ago there was “the war on drugs” debate)

    1915:  “In his sermon at the Tabernacle tonight, the Reverend Billy Sunday expressed himself strongly in favor “of freeing Leo M. Frank.

    1915: “With the death date for Leo M. Frank fixed for June 22” “fifteen thousand petitions for clemency for Frank were brought to the Capitol “at Atlanta “today which are to be delivered to Governor Staton.”

    1916: Isador Herschfield, an agent of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society is currently on board the steamship New Amsterdam which left Rotterdam and is making its way to New York.

    1917: Birthdate of Irving Jay Cohen “who was known as King Cupid of the Catskills for his canny ability to seat just the right nice Jewish boy next to just the right nice Jewish girl during his half-century as the maître d’ of the Concord Hotel…” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1917: It was reported today from Amsterdam that “an appeal” has been “made to Jews to participate in the struggle aiming at national autonomy and the securing of Palestine for the Jews.”

    1917(19th of Iyar, 5677): Seventy year old L.G Pape, a native of Philadelphia who most recently has been working with the Memphis Agency of the Equitable Life Assurance Society in Memphis and who has been President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the driving force behind the construction of the new Temple at Popular Avenue and Montgomery Street passed away today at Memphis leaving behind a wife the former Miss Florie Bloom of Memphis.

    1917: It was reported today that Julius Rosenwald of Chicago has promised to contribute ten percent of the total contributions made by those in Illinois to the Jewish Relief Committee in Behalf of the Jewish War Sufferers in Europe which is trying to raise a total of four million dollars.

    1918: It was reported today that the Jewish Welfare Board, “is cooperating with British and French organizations in Paris and back of the western front to care for the” Jewish soldiers and sailors serving abroad.

    1919: The first Estonian Congress of Jewish congregations held its opening session today.  The organization was going to have deal with the new realities of living in an independent Estonia that was no longer part of the old Czarist Russian Empire or its Bolshevik successor.

    1919: Birthdate of Polish native Rubin Partel, the Holocaust survivor who began a new life in the United States in 1947.

    1921:  Tel Aviv became the first all-Jewish municipality under the Mandatory Government.

    1922: Birthdate of Tawfik Toubi a Christian Arab politician and who was elected to the Knesset in 1949 when Israel held its first parliamentary elections.  Toubi would serve until he retired in 1991.  His death in 2011 marked the end of an era since he was the last surviving member of Israel’s First Knesset.

    1924: The first conference of the General Zionist movement begins in Jerusalem. It decides to establish a General Zionist Federation to amalgamate all centrist factions in Palestine.

    1924: Birthdate of Leonard Garment who served as White House Counsel during the Watergate Scandal.

    1924: Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merge their companies to form Mercedes-Benz.  The “Mercedes” in Mercedes Benz comes from the daughter of Jewish businessman Emil Jellinek who was known as Mercedes.

    1925: In Cleveland, Ohio, Betty and Ben Glasser gave birth to William Glasser, the psychiatrist who was also a successful author on books about mental health.

    1926: According to figures released today, 1,650 Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine during the month of April

    1926: The list of the newly elected members of the Executive Committee District No. 1, Independent Order B’nai Brith published today included “Maurice Bloch of New York, first vice-president; David Ruslander of Buffalo, second vice-president; Joshua Kantrowitz of New York, president of the Home; Joseph Rosenzweig of New York, treasurer; Max Levy of New York, Secretary; Louis Lorence of New York, chairman of the Committee on Finance; Judge Albert Cohen of New York, chairman of the Committee on Law; Isidore H. Fox of Boston, Chairman of the Committee on Religious Activities; Wilfred B. Feiga of Worcester, chairman of the Committee on Intellectual Advancement; Ely Rosenberg of New York, chairman of the Committee on Endowment Reserve Fund; Herbert T. Rosenfeld of New York, chairman of the Committee on Social Service; Max L. Pinansky of Portland, Maine, Chief Justice of District Court; Morris B. Moskowitz of New York, chairman on Committee on Membership; Nestor Dreyfus of New London, Conn., chairman of Committee on General Fund and Charitable Objects, Abraham K. Cohen of Boston, chairman on Committee on Anti-Defamation; Henry Lasker of Springfield, Mass., chairman of Committee on Women’s Auxiliaries; Leo J. Lyons of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Exemplification of Degree; Nathan H. Friedman of Taunton, Mass., chairman of Committee on Publicity; Nathan E. Goldstein of Springfield, Mass., Chairman of Committee on District Deputies; and Louis M. Singer of Toronto, Can., chairman of Committee on Canadian Activities.” (As reported by JTA)

    1927:  Birthdate of Mort Sahl.  Born in Montréal Canada, Sahl was one of a new breed of comedians that appeared in the late 1950's.  Many of them were more cerebral than slapstick; more likely to have started in coffee houses like the Hungry Eye in San Francisco than burlesque theatres. Sahl would come on stage in his trade mark orange sweater, newspaper under his arm and sitting on a stool, begin to take potshots at the political and social leaders of the day. 

    1927: A cross section of thirty six leaders in the infant movie industry founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy is responsible for honoring the accomplishments of the film industry through the annual Oscar ceremonies.  Many of the original 36 were Jewish including Cecil B. DeMille, Louis Mayer, Joseph Schenk, Jake Lasky, Irving Thalberg, George Cohen, Edwin Loeb, Jack Warner and Harry Warner Yes, do the math.  The Jewish representation is definitely statistically disproportional.

    1928: Morris “Moshe” Baran and his family arrived in the United States.  Amongst the three children in the family was Paul Baran, who as an engineer working at RAND Corporation “outlined the basic idea for what has become the Internet.

    1928: Birthdate of Joe Schlesinger the Austrian born refugee from Nazi Europe who gained fame as a Canadian television journalist and author.

    1928:  Birthdate Yaacov Agam. Israeli-born Yaacov Agam was educated at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem and the Atelier d'Art Abstrait in Paris. Agam has had exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum, the Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His work is in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Joseph Hirshhorn Collection in Washington, D.C. (editorial comment - I am no art critic or student of art so I will not even pretend to fake it on this subject.  But I happened to have seen some of his work and there is something really interesting about.  There are several websites where you can see his work.)

    1929: Birthdate of Samuel Charles Cohn.  This native of Altoona, PA, would gain fame as Sam Cohn “the powerful talent broker” who founded International Creative Management (ICM) and represented a panoply of top talent including Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Arthur Miller, E.L. Doctorow and Whoopi Goldberg to name but a few.  He died in May of 2009 at the age of 79. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1929: “Eternal Love” a silent romantic film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and produced by Joseph Schenck was released in the United States today.

    1930: A Zionist youth group gathered in Berehovo, Carpatho-Russia, Czechoslovakia today.

    1931: The Creditanstalt which was founded in 1855 by Salomon Mayer von Rothschild's son Anselm declared bankruptcy today after having been forced by the Austrian government to assume the debts of another institution in 1929 “making it one of the first major bank failures that initiated the Great Depression.”

    1932: During today’s session of the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the assembly’s President, Rabbi Israel Levinthal of Brooklyn, delivered his annual address in which he said many members were suffering financially and serious thought needed to be given to establishing a permanent relief fund.  As further proof of the impact of the Great Depression on Jews and Jewish organization, the seminary is expanding its placement service to help its graduates find work.

    1932: Professor Louis Finkelstein, President of JTS, Sol M. Stroock, Chairman of the JTS Board of Directors, Professor Louis Ginzberg, and Rabbi Israel Goldstein of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, were among those who spoke at tonight’s dinner at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

    1933: “Zeppo Marz and his wife left” Los Angeles “by train tonight to his father’s body back to New York for burial” where their arrival is awaited by Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx.

    1934(26th of Iyar, 5694): Seventy-five year old Lazăr Şăineanu “a Romanian-born philologist, linguist, folklorist and cultural historian: who was “a specialist in Oriental and Romance studies, as well as a Hebraist and a Germanist, known for his contribution to Yiddish and Romanian philology” passed away today in Paris.

    1934: Birthdate of Guinter Kahn, the native of Trier who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and development a “remedy for baldness.”

    1936(19th of Iyar, 5696): Sixty-two year old Judge Otto Rosalsky, “the dean of the General Sessions bench passed away this morning at Mount Sinai Hospital where his family including his wife Mamie Rosalsky, his brothers Justice Joseph S. Rosalsky, Dr. Harry W. Rosalsky and Alexander Rosalsky and his sisters Mrs. Joseph Morrison and Mrs. Bella Shapira were at his bedside.

    1938:  The Palestine Post reported that Hanita beat off another heavy terrorist attack. Arab terrorist gangs continued to enter Arab villages demanding ransom money and valuables. Those villagers who refused such demands were usually kidnapped and their bodies were later found in the neighboring fields. A forest neighboring the Tiberias Hot Springs was set on fire. The Dutch border was closed to refugees after about 2,000 Austrian and 15,000 German Jews succeeded to get in. Holland claimed that despite the fact that it suffered from a heavy unemployment, it had offered residence to over 26,000 refugees.  During the 1930’s the Jews were caught in two pronged anti-Semitic orgy.  In Europe they were condemned because they were permanent outsiders even though they desperately tried to fit into the social fabric of the various nations in which they lived.  In Palestine, the Jews were under attack because they were trying to establish a national home where Jews could live as Jews.  The point of this is that anti-Semitism is irrational and those who hate Jews will grab any excuse and those looking for a scapegoat will grab any Jew.

    1939: Jews are prohibited from working in travel agencies by Nazi Germany

    1939: Premiere of crime drama “Blind Alley” directed by Charles Vidor.

    1941:  In the Warsaw ghetto, children are seen playing with a corpse in a courtyard. In each of the prior two months, 500 - 600 more Jews died of starvation.

    1941: During the Blitz, The Great Synagogue on Dukes Place in London is destroyed in an air raid.

    1942:  Alter Dworetsky, a member of the Jewish Council at Diatlovo, Belorussia, escapes to a nearby forest, only to be shot to death by Soviet partisans after refusing to hand over his pistol.

    1942: “Native Land” a documentary about the trade union movement directed and produced by Leo Hurwitz who also co-authored the script and with music by Marc Blitzstein was released in the United States today.

    1942: Damon Runyon published “Sam Dreben’s Spirit Marches On” a column that uses the career of this Jewish career soldier who won the Distinguished Service Cross to dispel notions of Jewish cowardliness and lack of patriotism.  The column was written “on the occasion of the posthumous conferring of the DSC on Lt. Henry D. Mark of Los Angeles. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

    1942: The Biltmore Program is adopted in an emergency meeting (at the Biltmore Hotel in New York) of the Conference of American Zionists. The program proposed by Ben Gurion and Abba Hillel Silver totally rejected the British White paper and called for the establishment of a Jewish state. There was opposition to the proposal by the "non- Zionists" and those who believed in a bi-national state (HaShomer HaZair).

    1942: “Go Down Moses,” the collection of short stories by William Faulkner is published today.  The title is based on the spiritual that compares the slavery experience of African-Americans in the United States with the enslavement of the Jews by Pharaoh.

    1943: Birthdate of Thomas Buergenthal, the native of Ľubochňa, Czechoslovakia, who survived Aushwitz and Sachsenhausen to become an American attorney and a Judge serving on the International Court of Justice.

    1944: HMCS Beauharnois, a Canadian corvette, was launched today.  She would be acquired by the Israelis and was renamed Josiah Wedgwood, in honor of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, the British M.P. who wanted to remove the obstacles to Jewish immigration to Palestine and opposed the British appeasement of Hitler during the 1930’s.

    1944: Anne Frank writes in her diary, "I'd like to publish a book called 'The Secret Annex.' It remains to be seen whether I'll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis

    1944: Dr. Salomon Gluck, a French Army veteran who had been honored with the Croix de Guerre for bravery in facing the Nazis on the Maginot Line and a member of the Resistance was deported from Drancy aboard convoy 73.  He was number 21530 and the convoy was unusual in that all of the almost 900 prisoners were men. The men did not know that they would meet an ignominious end.

    1944: Allied forces begin their final assault on the German lines at Monte Casino, the seizure of which will open the Road to Rome with the concomitant saving of the lives of Italian Jews hiding in and around the eternal city.

    1946: Fifty-eight of the 61 defendants in “The Mauthausen Camp Trials” were found sentenced to death today.

    1948: “In an interview” given today “in his apartment at the Ansonia Hotel Al Shean of the famous comedy team of Gallagher and Shean “said he had nothing special planned to mark” his eightieth birthday which falls on May 12.

    1948:  Haganah took control of the port of Haifa. Haifa is Israel's northern port.  In 1948, it had enough of a Jewish majority to have elected the town's mayor.  But the city also had a considerable Arab population.  The fighting during April to control the city was fierce.  However, the three major Arab leaders left the city when they realized they were not going to any more help from the King of Jordan.  This demoralized the local Arab population.  Despite being urged by the Jews to stay and remain calm, the majority left by sea for Lebanon and by land for Nazareth.  Matters were not helped by the Arab Higher Committee which urged the Arabs to leave, in part, because the committee was sure that Haifa would be bombed by Arab air forces thus ending the Jewish presence in Haifa.

    1949:  Israel is admitted as the 59th member of the U.N., this, on the anniversary of Turkey's declaration, in 1917, of its intention to free Eretz Israel of the entire Jewish population.

    1949:  Today, Zero Mostel appeared on “Toast of the Town” hosted by Ed Sullivan.

    1950: In a speech given tonight at Madison Square Garden, Governor Dewey declared that Israel must be armed to defend its frontiers against aggression because a strong Israel "is the surest guarantee to peace in the Near East."

    1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that restitution negotiations were expected to begin shortly between the Austrian government and various Jewish Community representatives. The Israeli Cabinet decided to impose a "special unemployment relief tax" after the number of jobless reached 16,000. The Jerusalem Labor Exchange which had been closed for a week, following an attack by a mob of unemployed, reopened and offered forestation jobs to 30 workers. Over 550 workers were already employed in forestation projects carried out by Keren Kayemet, the Jewish National Fun.  In the first decade of the 21st century people see Israel as a place of lush vegetation with a vibrant western style economy.  It is quickly forgotten that in the early days of Israel’s existence the economy was quite shaky with high unemployment, large numbers of immigrants with limited skills and a land that had been denuded and neglected for centuries.

    1955:  Israel attacked Gaza.  In 1955, Gaza was under control of Egypt.  It was a base for fedayeen (from Israel's point of view, terrorists) who would cross into Israel planting roadside bombs and shooting up passing vehicles.  Israel's move into Gaza was temporary, lasting only long enough to destroy the bases from which these people operated.  David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, was always adamant that Israel should never want to hold on to Gaza.

    1959: The original production of “Once Upon a Mattress” “a musical comedy with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer” “opened at the off-Broadway Phoenix Theatre” today.

    1960:  Adolf Eichmann, charged with the implementation of the "final solution", was captured in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eichmann was in charge of all transportation required for the shipment of Jews to the extermination camps. The height of his career was reached in Hungary in 1944, when he managed to transport 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks.  Eichmann was found guilty and is the only person who ever executed by the Israeli the government.

    1961: President John F. Kennedy appointed Walworth Barbour as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1963: Lesley Gore’s recording of “It’s My Party” “entered the Billboard Hot 100” today.

    1963(17th of Iyar, 5723): Seventy-four year old Dr. Herbert S. Gasser, winner of the 1944 Nobel Prize for Medicine passed away tonight in New York City.

    1966(21stof Iyar, 5726): Sixty year old “Monument Man” James Joseph Rorimer, a Jew from Cleveland who was a director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he helped create the Cloisters passed away today after suffering a heart attack.  (For more see Survival: The Salvage and Protection of Art in War by James Joseph Rorimer

    1966: In New York City, “Ronnie I. (née Posner) and Lawrence David Ackman, the chairman of a New York real estate financing firm, Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group” gave birth to “William Albert "Bill" Ackman an American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist who was the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund management company.”

    1967: Abba Eban and his wife tour Israel’s northern border area with General David Elazar, commander of the region.

    1968: Rolling Stone magazine featured a photograph of Eric Clapton taken by Linda McCartney today making it the first time that a photograph by a woman “was featured on a front cover.”

    1968: It was reported today that Max Perlman who has been “absent from the Second Avenue scene for two seasons” is scheduled to return to New York from Tel Aviv “to star in the perennial fall production at of Jacob Jacobs at the Anderson Yiddish Theatre.”

    1969: In “Jean Rosenthal 1912-1969” published today Leo Lerman provided a portrait of the lighting genius who “lit up” the Broadway productions of “Hello Dolly,” “Plaza Suite,” “Cabaret” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

    1969: Sir Harry Charles Luke who served as assistant Governor of Jerusalem in 1921 and was a member of the Haycraft Commission that investigated the May riots in Jaffa and who served as acting High Commissioner to the Government of Palestine for six months during 1928 passed away today

    1969: “Singapore officially recognized the State of Israel and diplomatic relations were established between the two countries.” (As reported by JewishVirtualLibrary)

    1970(5thof Iyar, 5730): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1970: “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” a comedy directed and produced by Otto Preminger and filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman was released in the United States today.

    1970: “Leo the Last,” a British drama produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and starring George Tabori whose “father Cornelius died at Auschwtiz in 1944, was released today in the United Kingdom.

    1971: “The Second Leningrad trial, with “Hillel Butman, Mikhail Korenblit, Lassal Kaminsky, Lev Yagman, Vladimir Mogilever, Solomon Dreisner, Lev Korenblit, Viktor Boguslavsky, Victor Shtilbans” as defendants began today

    1973:  Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg has his charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times dismissed.  Contrary to a popular misconception, Ellsberg was not Jewish.  His parents had been Jewish but they raised their son as a Christian Scientist.  However, the following list of people involved with the Pentagon Papers reads like a who’s-who of Jews during the 1970’s.  How many of these names ring a bell? “To name just a few, we have Leslie Gelb, the chief author of the Pentagon Papers; Henry Kissinger, Nixon's national security advisor and Ellsberg's former Harvard colleague; Leonard Weinglass and William Kunstler, two of Ellsberg's attorneys; Max Frankel and Arthur O. Sulzberger of The New York Times which first published the secret papers; Sidney Zion, the maverick reporter who named Ellsberg as the leaker; Seymour Hirsh, the investigative journalist and one of Ellsberg's few close friends; Barbra Streisand, who sang to raise money for Ellsberg's legal defense fund; Louis Marx, the toy tycoon and Ellsberg's father-in- law; Bernard Barker, the Watergate burglar; Noam Chomsky, the hard-Left Ellsberg defender; and Ellsberg's countless Jewish colleagues and acquaintances at Harvard, at the RANDCorporation, in the government and in the anti-Vietnam War movement.”

    1975: Israel signed an agreement with European Economic Market.  This helped the Israelis to increase their involvement in what was then a new and burgeoning market for its products including fresh flowers and fresh produce.  At a time when Israel was being isolated in the U.N., this agreement served as a tonic for the besieged state.

    1975: Saboteurs derailed a freight train near Jerusalem.

    1976: Three people were injured when terrorist set off a bomb in a Tel Aviv movie theatre.

    1978(4th of Iyar, 5738): Yom HaAtzma'ut

    1981: ABC broadcast “Best Little Girl In the World” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh as “Casey Powell” for the first time.

    1982(18th of Iyar, 5742): Lag B’Omer

    1982: Birthdate of Evan Goldberg, the native of Vancouver, who has collaborated with his fellow Canadian Jewish boyhood friend Seth Rogen to produce several films “including Superbad.”

    1982: The High Court of Australia decided Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen in which barrister Aaron Ronald "Ron" Castan “played a leading role.”

    1982: The initial one-hour installment of ‘‘Oppenheimer,'' a seven-part dramatized biography of the American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer; it stars Sam Waterston as ''the father of the atomic bomb'' will be broadcast tonight as part of the ''American Playhouse'' series. (As reported by Michael Billington)

    1983(28th of Iyar, 5743: Yom Yerushalayim

    1983: In Miami, Arthur and Shirley Sotfloff gave birth to Steven Joel Sotloff the journalist beheaded by ISIS.

    1984: “The Natural,” the feel-good cinematic treatment of Bernard Malamud’s 1952 novel of the same name directed by Berry Levinson with music by Randy Newman was released today in the United States.

    1985: Amy Eilberg was ordained today by the Jewish Theological Seminary making her the first female rabbi in the Conservative Movement.

    1986: Anatoly B. Shcharansky was the featured “speaker at the annual Solidarity Sunday for Soviet Jewry, a rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan.”  Sharansky, who has taken the Hebrew name of Natan was released from a Soviet prison in February thanks to a massive, long-term campaign led by his wife Avital.  ''My K.G.B. interrogators, my prison guards, they tried to convince me that I was alone, powerless in their hands,'' Mr. Shcharansky told the crowd, some of whom had marched to the plaza near the United Nations along a parade route that began at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. The police estimated the audience at 300,000. 'All of You Were With Me'  ''But I knew I was never alone,'' he added. ''I knew my wife, my people and all of you were with me. They tried their best to find a place where I was isolated. But all the resources of a superpower cannot isolate a man who hears the voice of freedom, a voice I heard from the very chamber of my soul.'' (As reported by Jane Gross)

    1987:  Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.  In 1941, Barbie was posted to the Bureau of Jewish Affairs and sent to Amsterdam and later, in May 1942, to Lyon - there, he earned the sobriquet "Butcher of Lyon" as head of the local Gestapo. He was accused of a number of crimes, including the capture and deportation of forty-four Jewish children hidden in the village of Izieu and the torturing to death of Jean Moulin, the highest ranking member of the French Resistance ever captured. All told, the deportation of 7,500 people, 4,342 murders, and the arrest and torture of 14,311 resistance fighters were in some way attributed to his actions or commands.  For several years after the war, Barbie was protected by British and American intelligence agencies because they thought he could provide information to help fight the Cold War.  In the end, Barbie would be found guilty and die in prison from cancer of the pancreas.

    1987: Time magazine published “Essay: Was He Normal? Human? Poor Humanity” by Elie Wiesel.

    1989: NBC broadcast the final episode of season five of the “Cosby Show,” a sitcom co-developed by Ed Weinberger.

    1991: “Amen,” a sitcom created by Ed Weinberger and included a two years of Elsa Raven playing “Inga” was broadcast on NBC for the last time.

    1993: Yithak Rabin replaced Aryeh Deri as Minister of Internal Affairs.

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

    1994(1stof Sivan, 5754): Violinist Leonard Friedman passed away. Friedman was born in London's East End, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants.  He was the father of another generation of performers, Sonia, Maria and Richard Friedman.  Richard Friedman is the second generation of violinists in the family. 

    1995: NBC broadcast the final episode of season 6 of “Seinfeld” which was the number 1 rated show according to Nielsen.

    1997(4thof Iyar, 5757): Yom HaZikaron

    1997: IBM's Deep Blue chess-playing supercomputer defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player. Kasparov claims to be half Armenian and half Jewish.  Regardless of his chess playing skills, Kasparov literally embodies the victims of the two most famous cases of genocide in the 20thcentury.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interst to Jewish readers including “The American Century” by Norman F. Cantor.

    1998: In his column for the Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer wrote:

    "Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store."

    2001(18th of Iyar, 5761): Lag B’Omer

    2001: The Austin Chronicle reviews “Silent Heritage: The Sephardim and the Colonization of the Spanish North American Frontier, 1492-1600” by Richard Santos

    2002: “The city of Rochester” declared today “Hyam Plutzik Day in recognition of his contributions to the community.”

    2002: Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots open their brand new stadium, Gillette Stadium.

    2003:The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The God of Old: Recovering Theological Imaginings” by James Kugel

    2004: Today, “friends and family of Nicholas Berg, who was killed by his captors in Iraq as generous, remembered him as outgoing and funny.

    2004: The Village Voice publishes “The Jesus Landing Pad” in which author Rick Perlstein describes the here-to-for undocumented role of certain Christian groups in forming the Bush Administration’s Middle East Policy. According to Perlstein, the American people “we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.”

    2005: Observance of יום הזכרון לחללי מערכות ישראל - ד'באייר Yom Hazikaron - Israel Remembrance Day or Israel Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day.  This is a day to remember all those who have fallen in the defense of the Jewish homeland including those who have died at the hand of terrorist.  This national day of remembrance always comes one day before Israel Independence Day, which is the fifth of Iyar.  However, according to Israeli law, when the fifth of Iyar falls on a Friday or Saturday, as is the case in 2005, the observance of Independence Day is always moved to Thursday.  This means that Yom Hazikaron is moved to Wednesday.

    2006: At The 92nd Street Y Joseph Telushkin delivers a lecture on his book "A Code of Jewish Ethics", followed by a book signing.

    2006: According to “Hevesi's Advice Stirs Questions On the Coast” published in the New York Sun, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi “faced a conflict of interest allegation in relation to a private capital fund named ‘Markstone’".

    2006(13th of Iyar, 5766): Writer, actor and singer Yossi Banai, one of Israel's most beloved and admired artists passed away at the age of 74 after a serious illness. He is survived by his wife and three children, one of whom is Mashina soloist Yuval Banai. The winner of the 1998 Israel Prize, Banai was celebrated as an extraordinarily talented actor, singer and writer. In addition to performing on stage and screen, Banai wrote and staged numerous performances, including skits for five productions of the Hagashash Hahiver entertainment group, of which his brother, Gavri Banai, was a member. Banai started out his career as an actor at Habima, where he continued to perform for over 50 years. Over time, he performed in every major Israeli theater as well as in numerous other venues. He was also well known for his renditions of French songs by Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, and other French singers, adapted into Hebrew by Naomi Shemer.  Banai was born in the Mahaneh Yehuda neighborhood of Jerusalem, and grew up in an observant home. Last year, he issued a CD on which he read verses from Psalms, accompanied by music composed by Yonatan Bar-Giora. "At an older age, as an actor and also offstage, I began to realize how much poetry this enchanted text contained," he said in an interview following the release of the CD. "The Hebrew language, as it appears in Psalms, is simply sublime - so that even nonbelievers who do not treat the verses as a love song to divinity can read them as pure poetry."


    2007: Jennifer Bleyer is the featured speaker at the Shabbat dinner sponsored by the JCC of Manhattan. “Jennifer is a journalist who founded Heeb Magazine, and became its first editor and publisher. She is currently writing for the City section of The New York Times, and has written about her own personal Jewish journey in Yentl's Revengeand The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt.

    2007: In Postville, Iowa, 200 workers walked off the job at Agriprocessors, the largest kosher slaughtering operation in the United States.

    2007(23rdof Iyar, 5767): The attempt to bury Joseph Chuckrow who had passed away today touched off a legal dispute between the Chuckrow family and Temple Beth El in Troy, NY.

    2007(23rd of Iyar, 5767): Robert Gordon, the blacklisted writer who was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia passed away.  One of his best known quality screen efforts was 55 Days at Peking. During his “black list” period, Gordon served as one of the writers on “Hellcats of the Navy” starring Ronald Reagan and his future wife, Nancy Davis

    2008: Leonard Cohen began his first tour in 15 years at Fredericton, New Brunswick.

    2008: As part of Israel Independence Celebrations, The First International Writers Festival opens in Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem. The festival, which is the first of its type here, provides a common meeting ground for Israeli writers and prominent international colleagues. The festival is the site of roundtable discussions and encounters with readers, in a variety of languages, as well as a number of events for children. Among the guests at the first festival are Jewish-American writers Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander.

    2008: “One of a Kind,” a play that Yossi Vassa co-wrote with Shai Ben Attar about his family’s flight from Ethiopia in the mid-1980s ends its week long run at The New Victory Theater in New York City.  “One of a Kind,” which deals with conflicts in Vassa’s family around the decision to leave Ethiopia, is dedicated to the playwright’s grandmother, who died in Sudan before the rest of the family emigrated via Operation Moses, the covert effort in which thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel. The play has already had a three-year run in Israel, where it won multiple theater awards. It was recently translated into English, and the original cast members, all of whom were born in Ethiopia, are taking it to America and Canada.

    2008: The Sunday New York Times section features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of Jewish interest including How I Learned Geography, a children’s book written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz, Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene by Masha Gessen, Nixonland by Rick Perlstein, The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journalby Lily Koppeland Peace by Richard Bausch of which the reviewer writes, “ One senses some inherited autobiography here. Robert Marson, the novel’s central character is the grandson of German immigrants; his comrade, Asch, is the grandson of a German Jew who fought for the Kaiser in World War I. Bausch has dedicated the book to a father who “served bravely in Africa, Sicily and Italy.”

    2008: The Washington Post book section features reviews of Reflections of a Wine Merchant by Neal I. Rosenthal and Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters.

    2009: Rabbi Denise Eger assumes the leadership of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.  She is the first woman and the firs lesbian to head this organization.

    2009: The Pope arrives in Israel for a four-day stay, which will include visits to the Palestinian Authority and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as well as meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, who will be his official host.

    2009: Sports Illustrated reports on the recent death of Salamo Arouch, the Greek born Jewish boxer who survived Auschwitz by winning fights staged by the camp guards.  After the war, he moved to Palestine where he fought in the War of Independence.  He was 86 when he died.

    2009: Final performance of “The Man That Got Away: After Ira George” at the 92nd Street Y in New York.2010: Andy Christie's The Liar Show featuring Ophira Eisenberg, Mark Katz, Michaela Murphy and Andy Christie is scheduled to appear at the DCJCC

    2010:Yom Yerushalayim, “For the sake of Jerusalem I will not be silent,” a night of activism on behalf of Israel is scheduled to take place at the Mt. Kisco Hebrew Congregation.

    2010:A Prague court has recognized an artist's right to the image he designed of the Golem. Today the Prague Municipal court recognized the right of the daughter of the late sculptor Jaroslav Horejc, who created an image of a burly clay giant for the Czech film "The Emperor's Baker/The Baker's Emperor," to the image of the character, according to Radio Prague. According to legend, the Prague Golem was created by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, to defend the Prague ghetto from pogroms. Horejc's image was the first time that the Golem was shown as a giant, inhuman figure and not a human figure, according to the report.

    2010: David Miliband completed his term of office as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under Prime Minster Gordon Brown.

    2010: Peter Mandelson completed his service as First Secretary of State and Lord President of the Council in Great Britain.

    2011:Rachel Gordan is scheduled to lead a conversation, entitled “Post-World War II American Judaism: How Judaism Became an American Religion,” at the Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture in Boston, MA.

    2011:The Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio, is scheduled to  hold an informal 10-minute conversation on “Jozef Israëls, The Sewing School at Katwijk which provide more information about this masterpiece painted by the Jewish artist dubbed the 19th-century Rembrandt.

    2011: Katherine Scharhon is scheduled to lead the first part of a two part series “A Taste of Sephardic Foods” in which participants willlearn to make (and eat) borekas, those divine filled pies and biscochos, the lovely simple cookies that can be sweet or savory and shaped for a variety of occasions in Seattle, Washington, home to the third largest Sephardic community in the United States.

    2011:Hundreds of Jewish World War II veterans marched in the streets of Jerusalem today on the 66th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. Most of the participants in the VE Day parade were immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as the parade is a tradition originating in Russia, where tanks rumble through the streets on, crossing Moscow's Red Square on VE Day each year. Jewish partisans, wounded soldiers from the war against the Nazis, underground fighters, volunteers from the Yishuv who fought in the British forces and veterans of the Jewish Brigade also participated in the event. Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver and opposition leader Tzipi Livni marched with the veterans.  Following the event, Livni posted a photograph of herself standing with the veterans and wrote a message of support. "Today I attended the Jerusalem march not only as Opposition Leader but on behalf of the entire people of Israel, to tell them thank you," she wrote. "We know the struggle for the existence of Israel did not begin in 1948, but much before ... You and they were partners in this struggle."

    2011: Following the attack on Moshe Cohen, director of Heichal Hatora, in Buenos Aires, Dr. Angel Schindel, vice president of the DAIA Jewish political umbrella organization, plans to file a lawsuit today in the federal justice department based on a violation of Argentina’s anti-discrimination law, which penalizes with jail time attacks motivated by racial or religious hatred. (As reported by JTA)

    2011(7thof Iyar, 5771): Ninety-four year old Leo Kahn, the founder of Staples, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin

    2011: In “At 100, Still a Teacher and Quite a Character,” published today Joseph Berger describes the remarkable life of Bel Kaufman, the granddaughter of Shalom Aleichem who gained fame as an author in her own right.

    2011(7thof Iyar, 5771): Centenarian Maurice Goldhaber, the physicist who as Director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory oversaw experiments that led to 3 Nobel Prizes passed away today. (As reported by Kenneth Chang)

    2012: Amos Kollek’s “Chronicles of a Chrisis” a documentary that includes an examination between the writer/director and his father who was Jerusalem’s most famous mayor finishes its opening week debut at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

    2012: In “Holocaust documents reveal story behind Obama’s tailor” published today Ned Martel tells the story of Washington tailor and Shoah survivor Martin Greenfield.

    2012:In the Western Galilee the Matte Asher and Maale Yosef regional councils are scheduled to host a jeep trip from Lake Monfort to the Tzuriel Crater, Alkosh Forest and Goren Park

     2012: Israeli President Shimon underwent surgery for a hernia at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

    2013: Israeli born pianist Shai Wosner is scheduled to perform at the Kenned Center Terrace Theatre as the Washington Jewish Music Festival comes to an end. 

    2013: Several thousand people marched around central Tel Aviv tonight to protest the budget plan presented earlier this week by Finance Minister Yair Lapid. (As reported by Ben Hartman)

    2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced heavy criticism today after it was revealed he spent $127,000 (over 450,000 shekels) of taxpayers’ money having an El Al plane fitted out with a double-bed in an enclosed bedroom for his five-hour flight to London last month to attend the funeral of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

    2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Exodus: A Memoir by Deborah Feldman and Daughter of the King by Sandra Lansky (daughter of Myer Lansky) and William Stadiem.

    2014:  The 22nd annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2014: The National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th annual film festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2014: “Twenty IDF reservist commanders sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, in which they stressed that over 100 soldiers under their command hadn't undergone any training exercises for three-and-a-half years, and therefore were unprepared for any military conflict the country may face.”

    2014: “A settlers’ group filed a police complaint against iconic Israeli author Amos Oz today, even as the writer doubled down on widely publicized weekend statements in which he called the perpetrators of the recent wave of so-called “price tag” hate crimes throughout the country neo-Nazis, and accused the country’s leadership of being cowed by “settler rabbis.”

    2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to host Yanky Franchler delivering a lecture on “1000 Years of Jewish Blood Libels.”

    2015: Michael Walzer, author of The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions and Paul Berman are scheduled to explore India and its Hindu militants, the ultra-Orthodox and messianic Zionists of Israel, and Algerian Islamic radicals” at the Center for Jewish History.

    2015: “Felix & Meira” and “A la Vie” are scheduled to be shown at the 18thannual Jewish Film Festival.

    2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to host Saul Sapir delivering a lecture on “The Heritage of the Jews of Mumbai (Bombay).”

    2015: In Tel Aviv, at The Israel Museum birthday which is scheduled to take place today, “There will be no charge to enter the museum and anyone turning 50 on the same day will received a free lifetime membership to the museum.”

    2016(3rdof Iyar, 5776): Yom Hazikaron – The Day of Remembrance

    (Yom Hazikaron l'Chalalei Ma'arachot Yisrael ul'Nifge'ei Pe'ulot. "The Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism" is on the 4th of Iyar, but is observed this year on the 3rdto avoid a conflict with Shabbat)

    2016: “Teens and adults from Hashomer Hatzair Youth Group and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue Religious School are scheduled to participate in “Mizikaron Le'atzmaut: From Remembrance to Independence” – a commemoration of the memory of Israeli soldiers followed by “a concert Israeli songs by the a\ Afro-Hebrew band Milk and Honeys.”

    2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education and the Portland Symphonic Choir are scheduled to present “A Child of Our Time” – Michael Tippett’s work written in response to Kristallnacht and performed for the first time in 1944.

    2017: Alesssio Assontis and Gabriele Mancuso are scheduled to lecture on “Like the Medici: Jewish Dynasties in Renaissance Florence” at the Streicker Center.

    2017: Authors Matti Friedman and Nicole Strauss are scheduled to present “Writing Between Two Jewish Worlds” at the Central Synagogue.

    2017: In “Songs of the Nation” Maskilic Readings of the Psalms After Moses Mendelssohn” Dr. Yael Sela-Teichler is scheduled to discuss “the 1791 edition of Moses Mendelssohn’s German translation of Psalms, The Book of the Songs of Israel, exploring maskilic renderings of the music of the Hebrews that reclaim biblical poetry as Jewish musical heritage and challenge traditional notions of exile.”

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host and interfaith Friday night with its “Baha’I friends.”

    2018: “The Live Feed Creative residency program” at the New York Live Art Studios is scheduled to present Netta Yerushalmy’s “Paradmodernites.”

    2018: The UK Jewish Film is scheduled to sponsor two screenings today in London of “Entebbe.”



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    May 12

    940: Sixty-two you are old Eutychius of Alexandria, the Greek who wrote Nazm al-Jauhar, a history, of what some may consider of dubious accuracy that began with Creation and ran through the 10th century which included a description of the Great Revolt in 70 passed away today.

    1191: Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre. This was an arranged marriage to the extreme.  Richard was already leading the Third Crusade in the Holy Land when it came to marry Berengaria.  Richard had to break off his fight and come to Cyprus to marry his queen.  Richard spent most of his reign outside of the British Isles which was unfortunate for the Jews because he was not given to the ant-Semitic behavior of his English counterparts.

    1258: In Valladolid, Alfonso X and Yolanda, the daughter of James I Aragon gave birth to Sancho IV of Castile, who treated the story of the affair between Rahel la Fermosa, a Jewish woman from Toledo, and King Alfonso VIII as fact and not fable, began his reign today.

    1267: A large group of church leaders, including a most of the German churchmen, met in Vienna under the leadership of the papal legate Gudeo.  They confirmed every canonical law that Innocent III and his successors had pass for the branding of the Jews.  Jews were not allowed to have any Christian servants, were not admissible to any office of trust, and were not to associate with Christians in ale-houses or bars.  Christians were not permitted to accept any invitation from Jews or to enter into discussion with them. 

    1267: A special session of the city council of Vienna decided to force all Jews to wear a cone-shaped headdress in addition to the badge. It was called the Pileum cornutum and was to become distinctive attire which is prevalent in many medieval woodcuts illustrating Jews.

    1393: The Jews of Sicily were forbidden to display any funeral decorations in public.

    1540: Paul III issued “Licet Judaei,” a papal bull “clearing the Jews Of the charge that they practiced blood rituals.”

    1670: Birthdate of Augustus II the Strong for whom Issacher Berend Lehman served as “the Court Jew.”

    1700(23rdof Iyar, 5460): Joseph Athias, the native of Cordoba who served as a rabbi in Amsterdam where he published two editions of the Hebrew Bible passed away today.

    1728(4thof Sivan, 5488): The brothers Hayyim and Joshua Reizes of Lemberg, famous for their piety and scholarship, were tortured and executed on charges of influencing the apostate Jan Filipowicz to return to Judaism.

    1797(16thof Iyar, 5557): Seventy-eight year old Rachel Franks Levy, the London born wife of Isaac Mendes Seixas passed away to in New York City.

    1800(Iyar 17): Rabbi Moses Hayyim Ephraim of Sadilkov, author of “Degel Mahaneh Ephraim” passed away

    1804: Lyon Israel Samuel married Fleurette Baruch Weil today at “Remiremont, Vosage, France.”

    1805: Birthdate of German-Jewish orientalist Julius Furst who works included Cultural and Literary History of Jews in Asia.

    1807: Rothschild’s “official” balance sheet shows that his assets on this day totaled 1,973,192 gulden. His assets had quadrupled since 1797.

    1811: Hayim ben Moses married Leah bat Phineas Zelig at the Western Synagogue today.

    1811: An article published in The Star described the dedication of a new synagogue. "On Friday last a new Synagogue was consecrated at Sheerness, which was very numerously attended, and the service performed by Messers Leos and Phillips, who went from London for that purpose. The music was composed by one of the Mes. Leos, and was perhaps as grand as has been witnessed, as Mr. Leo led the band in a most excellent manner. Several persons of distinction were admitted to see the ceremony performed."

    1815: Jacob Baruch and G.G. Uffenheim wrote a petition today addressed to Prince Hardenberg on behalf of the Jews of Frankfort.

    1835: Robert le diable (Robert the Devil) an opera in five acts composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer was performed for the first time in the United States “at the Théâtre d'Orléans in New Orleans.”

    1838: In London, Dinah Levy and Jacob Farjeon gave birth to British writer Benjamin Leopold Farjeon.

    1840: In England, the Brighton Railway Station designed by David Mocatta “opened for trains to Shoreham” today.

    1842: Birthdate of Amos Kidder Fiske the author of The Great Epic of Israel: The Web of Myth, Legend, History, Law, Oracle, Wisdom and Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews and The Jewish Scriptures: The Books of the Old Testament in Light of their Origin and History

    1850: Birthdate of Henry Cabot Lodge, United States Senator from Massachusetts. Lodge led the fight to defeat the Versailles Treaty and to keep the United States out of the League of Nations. The failure of the United States to join the League of Nations was one of the root causes of World War II, a war that destroyed European Jewry.  Lodge was more interested in wounding President Wilson than he was creating a new way for nations to solve their disputes peacefully. Lodge was the co-sponsor “of the 1922 joint Congressional resolution (known as the Lodge-Fish resolution) that endorsed the creation a Jewish national home.  The bill commended the ‘building up of new and beneficent life in Palestine’ as an act of ‘historic justice’ and ‘an undertaking which will do honor to Christendom and give to the House of Israel its long-denied opportunity to reestablish a fruitful Jewish life and culture in it ancient land.’”  Elihu D. Stone, the leading Zionist in Boston “persuaded Lodge to present the resolution to Congress on the eve of” Passover in 1922, since in Stone’s word “this too was to an act of freedom for the Jewish people…”  Lest anybody thing the Lodge had become an ardent had become an ardent Zionist at least one historian makes the strong case that the resolution, which was non-binding, was an attempt to mollify Jews who were upset with the Republican supported anti-immigration that had been passed the year before. (As described in The Jews of Boston edited by Jonathan D. Sarna, et al)

    1851: Moses and Esther Lazarus, gave birth to Eleazar Frank Lazarus, one of the brothers of poet Emma Lazarus.

    1851: Birthdate of Joseph Kemp Toole who while Governor of Montana laid the cornerstone for Temple Emanu-El

    1857: David John Davis married Sophia Hart at the Great Synagogue today.

    1858: Sixty-nine year old Protestant Hebraist J.G.B. Winer passed away today.

    1859: In the United Kingdom due to nationwide scare over the possibility of war with France, today the War Office gave sanction for the formatting of volunteer corps out of concern for home defense to which Lazarus Simon Magnus responded. This would lead to the formation of the Kent Voluntary Artillery, a 19thcentury version of the Home Guard that would be formed to face Hitler in 1940.

    1860: The Rhode Island Republican described the early development of Newport which benefited from the introduction of the first chandlery factory in America by Jewish immigrants from Portugal. 

    1861: Three weeks after Rabbi David Einhorn, a leading abolitionist had escaped to Philadelphia, a delegation from Har Sinai asked him to return to Baltimore.  While they were sympathetic with his views, they said the request was conditional on his promise not to speak out on slavery, secession or the war.

    1862: Second Lieutenant Charles Leo of Company H and the Regimental Adjutant resigned today after six months of service

    1866: In Elgin, Illinois, Leopold and Rose Adler gave birth to Manasseh Max Adler.

    1868: In Dornum, Germany, Fanny and Levi or Louis Schoenberg gave birth to Abraham Elieser Adolph Schönberg who gained fame Al Shean, one half of the famous vaudeville team of Gallagher and Shean who was an uncle of the famous Marx Brothers.

    1869: In Dornum, Germany, Fanny and Levi Schoenberg gave birth to Abraham Elieser Adolph Schönberg who gained fame as Al Shean half of the vaudeville team Gallagher and Shean, and as the uncle of the Marx Brothers

    1869: Nathan Woolf Jacobson married Rebecca Levy at the Great Synagogue today.

    1870: The Manitoba Act was given the Royal Assent, paving the way for Manitoba to become a province of Canada on July 15, 1870. According to a census taken the following year there were only 1,115 Jews living in Canada, most of whom were found in the major metropolitan areas in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Jewish settlement in western Canada began in earnest under the aegis of the Baron de Hirsch Foundation and the Jewish Colonial Association in 1890. The Association financed a series of agricultural settlements including those at New Hirsch and Narcisse in Manitoba.

    1871: The American Christian Society for Promoting Christianity in the city of New York and elsewhere held their first anniversary meeting at Cooper Institute. The society has one branch – in Somerset, Iowa. According to the society there are 65,000 Jews living in New York and 250,000 in the whole United States.

    1872: Birthdate of Eleanor Florence Rathbone an independent British Member of Parliament and long-term campaigner for women's rights. She was a member of the noted Rathbone family of Liverpool. In the House of Commons, the courageous Eleanor Rathbone attacked the British government for the defeatist attitudes expressed at the Bermuda Conference and noted that the Allies are responsible for the deaths of any Jews if they refuse to help.

    1873(15th of Iyar, 5633): Forty-three year old Emanuel Oscar Menahem Deutsch, the Orientalist trained by his uncle David Deutsch who promoted Semitic studies while working at the British Museum passed away today at Alexandria, Egytp.

    1875: In Philadelphia, The Young Men's Hebrew Association was organized today with Mayer Sulzberger as president. This new organization replaced a predecessor, The Hebrew Association. The object of the association is "to promote a higher culture among young men".  The organization would grow to over 1,000 members, under the presidency of Adolph Eichholz.

    1877: According "Russian Interior" published today a revolt has broken out in the Crimea and the "Jews of Jassy have been warned that if they continue prayers in their synagogues for the success of the Turks they will be severely punished."

    1878: “Works of the Rabbis: The Talmud and other Jewish Books; A Supposed Dangerous Work and What Was Done to Suppress It – The Great Change it Wrought by Time - How The Talmud Originated and of What It Consists – The Ten Targums or Interpretations of Scripture – The Principal Commentaries on the Bible – The Masora and Cabala” published today provided a comparative lengthy and detailed history of Jewish writings and the various attempts to suppress or destroy them.

    1884: France expanded its colonial empire in North Africa by forcing Tunisia to become a French protectorate.  The Jewish community of Tunisia dated back to Biblical times and by the middle of the 18thcentury, they made up about one sixth of the population and had access to 27 synagogues. (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1884(17th of Iyar, 5644): Czechoslovakian composer Bedrich Friedrich Smetana passed away.  The melody for Hatikvah was written by Samuel Cohen who based his composition on a musical theme found in Smetana's "Moldau."  During the Mandate, when the British forbade the playing of Hatikvah, many Jews would play records of the piece by Smetana.  The words for Hatikvah which means Hope were written by Naphatali Herz Imber an English poet born in Bohemia

    1885: Birthdate of Paltiel Daykan, a Russian born Israeli Jurist who was awarded the Israel Prize in 1957.

    1886: Birthdate of Max Adler.  A native of Elgin, Illinois, this son of German-Jewish immigrants gave up a career as a concert violinist to become a vice president of Sears Roebuck & Co after he married Sophie Rosenwald, the sister of Julius Rosenwald.  Adler retired in 1928 to pursue a life of philanthropy that included the creations of the Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere.  He passed away in 1952.

    1888: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Max and Sarah Hexter gave birth to Maurice Beck Hexter

    1889:  Birthdate of Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank.

    1890: “The Shatchen” by Henry Doblin and Charles Dickson featuring the character “Meyer Petowsky” as the marriage broker premiered at the Start Theatre in New York City tonight.

    1890: The list of the newly elected officers of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrew published today included Charles L. Bernheim, President; Mrs. Henry Gitterman, Vice President; Charles Sternbach, Treasurer.

    1891: “Russia and the Jews” published today stated that the object of the Czar’s government “apparently is the banishment of a million Jewish families, or, at a low estimate 5,000,000 Jews, men women and children” with the effect of creating suffering that “is literally appalling.”

    1892: It was reported today that behavior of Polish strikers show “a blind hatred for all Jews and a brutal delight in murdering Jews…”  Anti-Semitism is so endemic to the general population that “if Russia were…under a constitutional Government, there is no reason to believe that the Jews would be any more decently treated than they are under the Government of the Czar.”  (Events in the 20th century would prove these words to be prophetic.)

    1892: “Polish Rioters Punished” published today described the ongoing labor violence at Lodz “and the attendant Jew baiting.”

    1892: Birthdate Fritz Nathan Kohn, the native of Vienna, who gained fame as Fritz Kortner, Austrian stage and film actor gained performing in Germany. He played Alfred Dreyfus in the 1930 film “Dreyfus” based on a novel by Bruno Weil. He fled Germany in 1933 for the United States but returned to Germany in 1949 where he gained additional fame for his directorial skills in the “legitimate theatre.”  He passed away in 1970.

    1892: “Better Teachers Wanted” published today described the efforts to improve the quality of the Jewish Sunday Schools in New York.  According to Miss Julia Richmond of the Hebrew Free School Association and a leading public school educator, most of the teachers are “willing and intelligent” but lack the proper training.  Her solution is to create a two year program that would include course in Hebrew, Bible and ancient history mixed with actual classroom experience.  A committee composed of Rabbis Kohler, Kohut, Isaacs, Silverman, Harris and De Sola Mendes and Miss Richmond has been formed to pursue the matter.

    1893: One thousand immigrants, most of whom were Russian Jews arrived at Ellis Island today aboard the steamship Dania.

    1893: A number of Polish Jews were aboard the SS Lahn which arrived in England today.

    1894: During a court hearing in Glogua, Count Walter Puckler-Muskau, the “German anti-Semitic agitator declared that the use of such terms “beat the Jews,” “ crack their skulls,”  “kick them out” and “thrash them” were figurative and meant no harm to the Jews”

    1895: It was reported today during the last year, the expenses for operating Mt. Sinai Hospital exceeded all sources of income by $6,000.despite several sources of revenue including generous bequests by the late Sarah Burr, the last of which totaled $35,000.  The board headed by President Hyman Blum and Vice President Isaac is working to remedy the situation.

    1895: “Through With Their Studies” published today described the season ending activities of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association which “will open it twenty-second season next fall with a membership of over 500.”  In addition to its other activities, the Association will continue to operate a school that offers courses in Jewish history and stenography.

    1895: Zene Barkuskie and Vincent Oustra form Jersey City and Mr. and Mrs. Tony Stelitzka of Kingston, NY, all of whom are Polish Jews are waiting on Commissioner Shields to take action following their arrest yesteray on charges of counterfeiting.

    1895: Selma Kurz “made her début in the title role of Ambroise Thomas's opera Mignon at the Hamburg Stadttheater” today.

    1895: “Golden Wedding Tablets in a Temple” published today described the two tablets that Amalie and William S. Rayner donated to Congregation Har Sinai in Baltimore in honor of their golden wedding anniversary.  The two marble tablets which are six feet by 3 feet by 3 feet were created by William A. Gualt.  They are inscribed with two Hebrew statements and their English translations which are “Hear Israel! The Eternal is God; The Eternal is One” and “Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thysef.”

    1896(29thof Iyar, 5656): Seventy-eight year old French physician Germain Sée who “specialized in the study of lung and cardiovascular diseases” passed away today.

    1897: Herzl decides to create a Zionist paper. ("Mit allem war ich gleich im reinen, nur mit dem Titel nicht" - "I saw everything clearly right away - except for the name.")

    1898: Hammerstein’s Lyric Theatre is scheduled to host this afternoon’s benefit performance featuring members of the Professional Woman’s League.

    1898: New Yorker Samuel Feldman, an enlisted man serving aboard the S.S. New York was injured today “in an attack on the fortifications of San Juan, P.R.” during the Spanish-American War

    1899(3rdof Sivan, 5659): Sixty-six year old Nathan Jacobs, the father of Micah and Judith Jacobs passed away today at Bath

    1899: Roswell P. Flower, the Governor of New York who appointed Edward Jacobs, a member of the Buffalo, NY, Jewish community to serve as Loan Commissioner, passed away today.

    1899: The court at Glogau accepted the plea of Count Puckler-Muskau, the “anti-Semitic agitator” that “his appeals to violence were figurative and meant no harm to the Jews.”

    1900:  Birthdate of German born actress Helene Weigel, wife of Bertholt Brecht. Her father was Jewish; her mother was not.  She died in East Berlin in 1971.

    1900: In a letter to the New York Times, Jacob Schiff expresses his opposition to the “project of the Baron and Baroness de Hirsch Monument Association.  A long-time friend of the Baron, Schiff believes that he and his wife would not want a monument built in their honor preferring instead that their good works serve as their memorial.  Schiff did not question the good intentions of those wishing to build the monument but did challenge the project as being totally inappropriate.

    1900(13thof Iyar, 5660): Italian author and member of Parliament Attilio Luzzato a member of family from Udine province that traces its origins back to the 17thcentury when two Luzzato brothers came there from Venice passed away today.

    1901: Birthdate of the talented musician, Hyam Greenbaum.  Greenbaum lived in Great Britain.  He was an accomplished violinist, film score arranger and conductor for several BBCorchestras.  He passed away in 1942.

    1905: Theatre owner Sam Shubert was injured in train wreck at Harrisburg, PA in which he sustained injuries that would end his life.

    1912:  In Leeds, UK, the Shehitah Board met and rendered a decision “that Jewish butchers may no long slaughter for non-Jewish trade by any other than Jewish methods.”

    1913: Eighty-four year old Joseph Unger, the “Austrian jurist and statesman” who had converted to Christianity, passed away today in Vienna.

    1913(5th of Iyar, 5673): In London, Rabbi Abraham Rosenberg passed away today.

    1915: More than 5,000 letters arrived at the headquarters of the Leo M. Frank Committee in Chicago chaired by Lester L. Dauer joining 80,000 others that have coming to the office “asking for the commutation of the death sentence of Leo M. Frank to life imprisonment.”

    1915: “The commencement exercises of the Hebrew Technical Institute on Stuyvesant Street which currently has 295 pupils are scheduled to held this evening at Cooper Union” under the leadership of President Joseph L. Buttenweiser, Vice Presidents Irving Lehman and Eugene Speigelberg and Treasuer Mortimer L. Schiff.

    1915: It was reported that Govern Edward F. Dunne has been asked to speak at Leo Frank Day on May 16 – a day devoted to gathering tens of thousands of signatures for a petition demanding clemency for Frank from the Governor of Georgia.

    1915: Following a tempestuous (for Victorians) competition of suitors Venetia Stanley wrote to Prime Minister Asquith that she had finally accepted Edwin Samuel Montagu’s proposal of marriage – a relationship that would be consummated in July after her conversion to Judaism.

    1915 It was reported today that the 15,000 petitions asking for clemency for Leo Frank that were collected “by Miss Eleanor Post, a writer on a Cincinnati paper” weighing seventy-five pounds joined another 25,000 letters asking for clemency that were sitting in the reception room of the Governor of Georgia.

    1915: It was reported today that Evangelist Billy Sunday has said that “If I were Governor of Georgia, (Leo) Frank would go free tomorrow.”

    1916: Date of death shown on the tombstone of Shalom Aleichem. Actually it said “12a). He died on May 13. But he suffered from triskaidekaphobia, which is a showboating way to say that he had a fear of the number 13. He used 12a in numbering the pages of his manuscripts. (As reported by Clyde Haberman)

    1916: On behalf of the Secretary of State, Alvey A. Adee, the Second Assistant Secretary, wrote to Simon Wolf saying that he “is in receipt of a telegram dated May 11th from the American Ambassador at Petrograd stating that the Russian Easter has passed without incident.”  i.e. attack s on the Jews

    1917: It was reported today that the Isaac L. Rice Memorial Fountain was formally dedicated last week in Brooklyn, NY.

    1917: It was reported today that “the late Julius Robertson, a trustee of the Montefiore Home left an estate worth over a million and a quarter dollars of which he bequeathed $33,500 to various local charities.

    1917: It was reported today that “the East-West Players” are scheduled “to end their season of Yiddish plays in English this week.”

    1917: A mass meeting is scheduled to be held this evening in the Bronx to raise funds to equip “a Jewish medical unit for Palestine

    1917: The late “Samuel Hirsh, of the Hebrew Technical Institute left $100,000 to the United Hebrew Charities, $10,000 to the Hebrew Technical Institute, $50,000 to the Council of Jewish Women and an additional $15,000 to other local charities.

    1918: The Jewish drive for the relief fund came to an end tonight with the people of Baltimore having raised $500,000 which exceeded the goal of the drive by $150,000.

    1918: The Provisional Zionist Committee distributed a letter from David Lubin, the American delegated to the International Institute of Agriculture in which he expressed a change in his view about Zionism because now that it would have the protection and guidance of England as opposed to being un Turkish control he was in full support of their goal.

    1918: Birthdate of Julius Rosenberg.  Rosenberg and his wife would become the center piece in a spy ring that gave Atomic secrets to the Soviets.  The Rosenbergs were executed for treason in 1953.

    1919: Thirty-eighth anniversary of the laying of a corner stone at the synagogue in Oran, Algeria. At its peak, the Jewish population was about 2,000.  After Algeria gained its independence in 1962, the Jewish community left for France and Israel.

    1920: David Kessler, “one of the leading Yiddish actors in the United States” who also managed Kessler’s  Second Avenue was taken to the hospital tonight “after being stricken with a severe intestinal ailment during a performance at the Lyric Theatre” where he was appearing in “Jacob Gordin’s dramatization of Tolstoy’s ‘Kreutzer Sonata.’”

    1920: Charles Edward Sebag-Monteifiore and Muriel Alice Ruth de Pass gave birth to Hugh William Montefiore

    1920: Birthdate of Vilém Flusser the Czech born Jewish philosopher and author who was a long time resident of Brazil before finally settling in France.

    1922: In the Bronx, cabdriver Irving Gerhenzwit and his wife Ellen gave birth to Morris Gershenwit who would gain fame running “a used record store in Los Angeles” that was really “an international archive of more than 300,000 records.”

    1922: In New York, playwright and author David Freedman and his wife Beatrice (née Rebecca Goodman) gave birth to Noel Freedman who gained fame as David Noel Freedman the Presbyterian convert and minster and biblical scholar who “was one of the first Americans to work on the “Dead Sea Scrolls.”

    1922: Birthdate of Paul Milstein, the prominent businessman and philanthropist  who used profits from the family flooring business to build a real estate empire in New York City, distinguished by major projects begun in uncertain neighborhoods and totaling 50,000 apartments, 8,000 hotel rooms and 20 million square feet of office space.”

    1923: In Poland, Jewish physicians issued a protest against the memorandum published by the Medical Faculty of the Krakau University justifying the demand for a percentage norm against the Jewish medical students on the ground that the Jewish physicians have "low moral standards". The Jewish doctors demanded a retrataction. (As reported by JTA)

    1923: The Joint Distribution Committee announced that it has decided to continue its support for Hebrew Schools operated by the Tarbut Organization. “Tarbut was a Zionist network of Hebrew-language educational institutions founded in 1922, when the first Tarbut conference was held in Warsaw.

     1923: "Kaufman Kohler Sabbath" was observed by Reform Synagogues throughout the United States today in celebration of the eightieth birthday last Thursday of Dr. Kaufman Kohler. The 80 year old Rabbi expressed his concern that “idealism has given way to materialism and opportunism.”  He believes that “the world is passing from a disturbed phase of thought to a higher plane” and that he sees women as playing a vital role in the spread of religious values.

    1924: Otto Frank, the future father of Anne Frank turned 35 today.

    1925(18thof Iyar, 5685): Lag B’Omer

    1925: Edith Hoolander married Otto Frank today at a synagogue in Aachen. (Editor’s note – was their choice of a wedding date driven by the custom of Lag B’Omer, the thirty-third day of the counting of the Omer, being the first time people could celebrate joyous occasions such as wedding during the season of counting the Omer?)

    1926: JTA reported that in Great Britain many public functions of Jewish bodies and societies will have to be postponed if the general strike does not come to an end this week including the scheduled monthly meeting of the Board Jewish Deputies.

    1926: It was reported today that Lord Allenby's unveiling of the Jewish World Memorial at the synagogue in Stepney, has been postponed as result of the General Strike that is gripping the United Kingdom.

    1926: The role of Sir Herbert Samuel, former High Commissioner of Palestine and chairman of the British Royal Coal Commission, in the settlement of the general strike, the first event of that nature in Western Europe, was disclosed today in the official statement issued by the Trades Union Congress. It appears that Sir Herbert played the main part as the mediator between the strikers and the government. Immediately upon his return to London from a vacation, Sir Herbert made efforts toward mediation, as chairman of the Royal Commission, with a view toward settlement. He obtained the memorandum of the Trade Unions which was accepted by the government. (As reported by JTA)

    1926: "No attempt toward the economic reconstruction of European Jewries will succeed unless we stem the anti-Semitic wave," declared Dr. William Filderman, president of the Union of Rumanian Jews, on the eve of his departure for Europe on the Berengaria today. "There is no use educating Jewish artisans if anti-Semitic prejudice deprives them of any market for their products," he explained.

    1928: Birthdate of Burt Bacharach Jewish-American pianist and composer.

    1930: During this evening’s annual meeting of the American Jewish Physicians' Committee, Dr. Nathan Ratnoff, president of the organization announced, that “$100,000 would be raised this year for an administration building for the proposed medical college at the Hebrew University of Palestine.  The medical school will be erected on land bought by the committee in 1922 located on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem.

    1932(6thof Iyar, 5692): Eighty-five year old Moravian native Rosa Sonneschein, the wife of Rabbi Solomon Sonneschein , leader of the St. Louis Jewish community and the “editor of the American Jewess, the first English-language periodical targeted to American Jewish women” passed away today in St. Louis

    1933: Zeppo Marx and his wife who left Los Angeles yesterday are traveling today by train to take the body of Sam Marx to New York where his sons Groucho, Harpo are waiting to bury their father

    1935: Polish dictator Jozef Pilsudski dies. From here on Jews will experience more anti-Semitism in Poland. The government and most Polish political parties will call for discrimination, economic boycott, expulsion, and physical violence against Jews. The Polish Catholic Church, most priests, the Catholic press, and schools will sanction discrimination and/or violence against the Jews.

    1936: It was reported today that New York Governor Lehman responded to the death Judge Otto A. Rosalsky with a telegram to his wife that began “I have just learned with very great sorrow of the passing of your distinguished husband” while Felix Warburg telegraphed, with Judge Rosalsky’s “passed a splendid patriot, a Jew of wonderful qualities and I feel that I have lost a valuable friend” and Irving Lehman wrote, “the community has lost a great leader and I have lost a dear friend.”

    1937(2nd of Sivan, 5697): Fifty-four year old petroleum geologist Leon J. Pepperberg passed away today.

    1938: The Palestine Postreported the Jewish Labor declaration that the Arab terror will merely strengthen the determination of the Jewish people in their development of uninhabited areas and other up building tasks.

    1938: The Palestine Postreported that an armed Arab gang robbed and burned the tents of the Ghazzabiya Bedouin tribe near Beit Shean after its demands failed to be met. Bodies of Arabs kidnapped from the neighboring villages by Arab terrorist gangs were found near Safed.

    1939: Filming of Babes in Arms the film version of the 1937 Rogers and Hart musical began today with Arthur Freed as the producer.

    1939(23rd of Iyar, 5699): Sixty-nine year old Cäcilie Epstein the older sister of mathematician Paul Epstein passed away today, three months before he passed away.

    1940: On this day the German blitzkrieg (lightning war) breached the French defenses. At the time Sousa Mendes was the General Consul of Portugal to Bordeaux, France. Thanks to Mendes' actions it is believed that around 30.000 refugees were saved, among them 10.000 Jews avoided death in the Reich’s death camps. It was said Mendes was descendant from Jewish family.

    1942(25th of Iyar, 5702): Four days after the Ghetto at Radun was sealed off, 3,400 Jews were marched to the outskirts of town and shot, row-by-row, into ditches dug by other Jews.

    1942(25th of Iyar, 5702): One thousand, five hundred Jews from Sosnowiec are gassed in Auschwitz. Another 2,750 Jews from Turobin, joining several other thousands of Jews were crammed into railway box cars and deported to Sobibor to meet their extermination

    1943: The remains of the Warsaw Ghetto go up in flames.

    1943: In New York thousands of Jews attended the funeral of Dr. Chaim Zhitlowsky, the Russian born intellectual who had passed away in Calgary (As reported by JTA)

    1943 (7th of Iyar, 5703): Seventeen-year-old Frania Beatus, active in the Warsaw Ghetto underground, commits suicide rather than surrender to the Nazis.

    1943 (7th of Iyar, 5703): Another round up of Jews who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising were caught and executed.

    1943 (7th of Iyar, 5703): In London, Shmuel Zygielbogm committed suicide. He was one of two Jewish representatives of the Polish-Government-In-Exile in London. His final letter was a cry of agony and despair.  He was crushed that the world would do nothing to save the Jews.  His wife and son perished in the Ghetto.  He felt his life had been a failure and hoped that his death might shock the world into action.  At one point he wrote that he could not live ‘when the remnant of the Jewish people in Poland . . . is being steadily annihilated.'

    1943: The first Aliyah to the Negev began with the establishment of Kibbutz Gevulot. The first three settlements, Gevulot, Revivim, and Bet Eshel, were experimentally established in 1943 to determine the feasibility of permanent settlements in the Negev. As a result of the information gathered in the experimental stage, eleven new settlements were established in the Negev in 1946, and an additional seven in 1947. These settlements served also as strong-points to defend the Yishuv from attack by an enemy advancing from the south. The Egyptian army suffered its first defeat at Nirim, one of the settlements established in 1946, on the anniversary of the first Aliyah to the Negev.

    1944: In London, “Dorothy Mary (née Creagh), a dress designer, and Morris Kestelman, an artist” from a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia gave birth to actress Sara Kestelman

    1944: “Cobra Woman” a South Seas melodrama directed by Robert Siodmak was released today in the United States.

    1945: Sam Gilbert took a photo of “Some of the bodies being removed by German civilians for decent burial at Gusen Concentration Camp, Muhlhausen, near Linz, Austria.

    1945: As mopping up operations continued today, German units of Army Group Centre surrendered to the Russians.

    1946: In Łódź, Poland, Shoah survivors Dora and Nachman Libeskind gave birth to Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind who “won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.”

    1948: Bet-Shean was captured by the Haganah; specifically the 13thBattalion of the Golani Brigade.  Bet-Shean is one of the oldest cities in the world having been first built in the fifth century B.C.E.  The bodies of King Saul and Jonathan were hung from its walls after their defeat at Mt. Gilboa.  Bet-Shean is in the eastern portion of Israel, in the Jezreel Valley.  After the war thousands of Moroccan Jews settled there.  It has been the site of a great deal of archeological discovery. One of the battalions was commanded by Avraham Yoffe

    1948: U.S. Secretary George Marshall “appealed to Ben-Gurion to hold off a decision for independence.  Courteously, but firmly the appeal was refused.” Marshall told Moshe Sharett head of the Jewish agency’s U.N. delegation to ignore the the assurance of Jewish military leaders that they can win out against the Arabs.  He advised him to put off the declaration of independence and accept a UN trusteeship.  This marked the high point in the clash between Marshall and Truman over the recognition of the Jewish state.  Marshall had even threatened to resign over the matter.  Marshall’s opposition was based on what he considered the realities of the geo-political situation in the Middle East.  Fortunately for all concerned, Marshall remained at his post and the team of Truman and Marshall continued to work together as America dealt with challenges of Soviet Imperialism.

    1948: Yigael Yadin, the Haganah's chief of operations, put the odds of the nascent Jewish state surviving the onslaught by the Arab armies at 50-50

    1948: David Ben-Gurion convened an emergency meeting of the Provisional Council, the governing body of the unborn Jewish state. The issue at hand was a proposal that there should be a delay in declaring statehood.  According to one report as much as half of the council wanted to postpone the declaration and accept some sort of cease-fire with the Arab forces already fighting the Jews.  The news the council was not good.  Mrs. Meir reported on the failure of the talks with the Jordanians.  She later reported that she was relieved to see that her report did not dissuade Ben-Gurion from deciding that the Jewish state would be born when the British mandate ended in forty-eight hours.  The Council also heard from Yigal Yadin, the military leader who brought the negative reports about the pending destruction of the Etzion Bloc of settlements.  Ben-Gurion closed the debate by outlining all of the risks.  In the end, the Council voted by six to four to reject the offer of a cease fire and push forward with the declaration of statehood. 

    1948(3rd of Iyar, 5708): Pianist and composer Isidor Achron passed away. Born in Warsaw in 1892, Achron came from a musical family.  His older brother Joseph was a famed violinist.  Achron's early musical career was interrupted by a three year stint in the Czar's Army during World War I.  After the war, he came to the United States where he served as the principal accompanist for Heifitz for ten years.  During the 1930's and 1940's he created his own compositions while pursuing a career as a soloist at such venues as Carnegie Hall. He passed away suddenly at the age of 55.

    1948: Having withstood the onslaught of the Arab Legion during the fight for Mishmar Ha-Emek, Lehi launched a successful operation on five villages directly to the west the Kibbutz.

    1948: U.S. premiere of “The Iron Curtain” produced by Sol C. Siegel with music by Alfred Newman.

    1949: “Home of the Brave” the movie version of the play by Arthur Laurents who co-authored the script with Carl Foreman, directed by Mark Robson, produced by Stanley Kramer and with music by Dimitri Tiomkin was released in the United States today.

    1950: As of today, doctors in Israel are “exhausting supplies of the drug Aureomycin in an attempt to curb the worst polio epidemic in” the history of the Jewish state.

    1950: The Government of Israel said today that farmers in the Hebron area had "extended the cultivation of lands" within Israel, but denied that this had been done under the guns of heavily armed troops.

     1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel agreed to review the acute border infiltration problem in high level talks with Jordan.

    1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that The Special Commission which studied the problems of the Jerusalem Municipality severely criticized the staff, and recommended that the Mayor should be deprived of all executive and fiscal powers, which should be rendered to an appointed City Manager. 1957(11th of Iyar, 5717): Erich von Stroheim passed away.  As a director, von Stroheim ranks up there with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille.  As an actor he was noted for playing Germanic characters.  His most famous role was that of the loyal servant Max von Mayerling, in Billie Wilder’s cinema noir classic Sunset Boulevard.

    1958: Birthdate of Yitzhak Vaknin a member of Shas who has been an MK since 1996.

    1959: For its time, a celebrity bombshell was dropped as two Jewish entertainers, Liz Taylor and Eddie Fisher were married -she for the fourth time and he for the second time after ending his all-American marriage to Debbie Reynolds.

    1959 4th of Iyar, 5719): Yom HaZikaron

    1960:The Yossele Shumacher affair makes headlines when the child's ultra-Orthodox grandfather, Nahman Shtarks, is arrested on suspicion of abducting him from his parents.

    1963(18th of Iyar, 5723): Lag B'Omer

    1963: Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman, walked off the Ed Sullivan (television variety) Show.

    1963: Final broadcast of the “Dinah Shore Chevy Shoe,” starring Dinah Shore (AKA Frances Rose Shore)

    1964: Barbra Streisand won the Grammy for Best Female Vocalist for “The Barbra Streisand Album.”

    1964: U.S premiere of “What A Way To Go” a comedy with a screenplay by Adolph Green and Betty Comden starring Paul Newman as “Larry Flint” and featuring Holocaust survivor Marcel Hillaire as “a French Lawyer.”

    1965:  Israel and West Germany exchange letters beginning diplomatic relations.  For Jews in general, and Holocaust survivors in Israel, this was and is a sensitive topic.  The issue of whether or not to trade with Germany, to enter into arms agreements and/or accept reparation payments for the Holocaust touched off major political debates in Israel. 

    1966: In Seattle, Washington, Temple Beth Am published Statement of Principles that declared “...let our congregation be religious, democratic, creative, relevant and learned...”

    1966: Birthdate of Louis Phillip Spector and Garry Phillip Spector, twin brothers adopted by Phil Spector.1967: Oded Kotler wins the Best Actor Award in the Cannes Film Festival for his leading role in the Israeli film: "Three Days and a Child

    1967: In Moscow, an Egyptian parliamentary delegation including Anwar Sadat was told to expect “an Israeli invasion of Syria immediately after Independence Day, with the aim of overthrowing the Damascus regime.”

    1968: Israel defeated Hong Kong in a 1968 AFC Asian Cup match at Amjadieh Stadium in Tehran, Iran.

    1970: Birthdate of Israeli-American musician Ifar "Eef" Barzelay

    1972(28thof Iyar, 5732): Yom Yerushalayim

    1972: Birthdate of Matthew Hiltzik the graduate of Cornell and Fordham Law School, founder of Hiltzik Strategies who has worked on the campaigns of Chuck Shumer, Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton while contributing to Jewish culture with several activities including producing the marvelous documentary “Paper Clips.”

    1973(10thof Iyar, 5733): Sixty-four year old Austrian born British photographer and Soviet spy Edith Tudo-Hart passed away today

    1974: At the Center 55th Street Theatre, the curtain came down on the final performance of “Music! Music,” “a cavalcade of American music with footnotes by Alan Jay Lerner.”

    1975: In Boulder, Colorado, Stephen Schutz and Susan Poli Schutz gave birth to Democratic Congressman Jared Schutz Polis.

    1976: The Public Group to Promote the Implementation of the Helsinki Agreements – “The Helsinki Monitoring Group in the USSR” is formed in Moscow, led by dissident Yuri Orlov,

    1977: The second of the five part “Nixon Interviews” which were a product of Swifty Lazar’s “hustle” and produced by Marvin Intoff were broadcast tonight.

    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that on the occasion of Israel's 30th anniversary, the Chief of Staff, Rafael Eytan, declared that Zahal will be unable to defend Israel without the West Bank, and urged both his soldiers and civilians to "stop being naive about the subject." He was thus countering the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's declaration made at the same time in New York, which demanded that Israel returns the Gaza Strip to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan.

    1980: Birthdate of award winning Israeli actress Maya Maron.

    1980: Sixty-nine year old Lilian Roth, the movie start who had converted to Catholicism in 1948 passed away today.

    1985: In “Garden Where Biblical Plants Come To Life,” Matthew Nesvisky describes Israel's Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape Reserve.

    1985: Thirty year old Amy Eilberg was ordained in New York as the first female Conservative Rabbi which must have been a source of pride to her husband Louis E. Newman “the John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies, and Associate Dean of the College and Director of Advising at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.”

    1987: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Gimme A Break” a sitcom created by Mort Lachman and Sy Rosen and co-starring Jonathan Silverman.

    1987: James Angleton, a senior officer with the CIA from its earliest days in 1947 passed away today at the age of 69.  Angleton was best known for his counter-intelligence work but Angleton also “handled one of the agency's most sensitive relationships with an allied intelligence service, its ties to the Israelis. Mr. Angleton handled ''the Israeli account'' as it was termed in C.I.A. argot, for more than a decade. Indeed, Mr. Colby, the agency director who forced his resignation, earlier insisted that Mr. Angleton relinquish his control over Israeli matters.” (As reported by Stephen Engelberg)

    1989: “Night Visitor” a horror film starring Elliot Gould and Allen Garfield was released today in the United States.

    1991(28thof Iyar, 5751): Yom Yerushalayim

    1993: ABC broadcast the final episode of “The Wonder Years” starring Fred Savage and narrated by Daniel Stern.

    1994(2ndof Sivan, 5754): Ninety-one year old Erik Homberger Erikson, the German-American psychoanalyst passed away today. (As reported by Morton Schatzman)

    1994: Peter Mandelson “chose to back (Tony) Blair for the leadership” of the Labor Party “in his contest with Gordon Brown.

    1995: “Crimson Tide” a movie that confronts the issue of accidental nuclear warfare and command responsibility produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and with music by Hans Zimmer was released in the United States today.

    1995: While visiting the Ukraine, President and Mrs. Clinton go to Babi Yar.  Escorted by a Chasidic Rabbi, they pay homage to the 30,000 Jews of Kiev who were massacred by the Nazis with the help of the local populace in 1941.

    1995(12th of Iyar, 5755): Movie director Arthur Lubin passed away.  Lubin was an actor during the 1920's, moving behind the camera in the 1930's when he started working with Abbot and Costello.  His re-make of Phantom of the Opera with Claude Raines is considered a classic.  Lubin is credited for two of the most famous talking animals.  He directed the Francis the Talking Mule films and then moved over to television with Mr. Ed.  Lubin passed away at the age of 95.

    1996(23rd of Iyar, 5756): Eighty-six year old German jazz pianist who escaped the Nazis by going to the Netherlands but eventually ended up at Theresiendstadt where he and his “Jazz Swingers” were forced to play in a propaganda film before being ship to Auschwitz passed away today.

    1997(5thIyar, 5757): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1999(26th of Iyar, 5759): Saul Steinberg Romanian born cartoonist and illustrator whose work graced numerous issues of The New Yorker passed away at the age of 85. After coming to the United States in 1942, he did 85 covers and 642 illustrations for what was, in its day, the nation’s most sophisticated weekly.

    2000: After premiering in Los Angeles on May Day, “Gladiator” the Roman epic with music by Hans Zimmer was released today in the United Kingdom.

    2001: “Sing America” which was co-written by Dr. Sherwin Kaufman the son of Sholom Aleichem was played at the Ellis Island Medals of Honor Awards Gala,. As an invited guest at this black-tie event, he “heard the song played at the beginning of festivities and then as a musical background during a video of the ceremony.”

    2002: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “'Hester Among the Ruins” by Binnie Kirshenbaum and “Somebody's Gotta Tell It'' by Jack Newfeld

    2002(1stof Sivan, 5762): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    2002(1stof Sivan, 5762): Forty-three year old Nisan Dolinager of Pe’at Sadeh was shot and killed today by a Palestinian laborer.

    2002:  “The Golem” “…a new English version of the Yiddish classic” based on the legend surrounding a 17thcentury Rabbi living in Prague was performed for the last time today.

    2003: The body of the second terrorists who had helped to blow up Mike’s Place “washed ashore” on the beach at Tel Aviv.

    2004: After his father’s league had been amputated because of complications from diabetes David D’Or returned to Istanbul to perform today at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest.

    2005: A revival production of Jerry Bock’s musical “The Apple Tree” staged by the Encores opened today.

    2005: Observance of Yom Ha'atzma'ut (יום העצמאות yom -‘aṣmā’ūṯ), Israeli Independence Day, which commemorates the declaration of independence of Israel in 1948. Yom Ha'atzma'ut falls on the 5th day of Iyar ( ה'באייר) on the Hebrew calendar. When the 5th of Iyar falls on a Friday or Saturday, as in 2005, the official celebration may be moved to the preceding Thursday. The Gregorian date for the day in which Israel independence was proclaimed is May 14th 1948 when David ben Gurion publicly read the Proclamation of the establishment of the State of Israel.  However, when the fifth of Iyar falls on Friday or Saturday as it does in 2005, Israeli Independence Day is celebrated on the preceding Thursday to avoid any possible violation of the Sabbath.

    2006: In Israel, events begin marking the start of the 15th annual Historic Site Preservation Week, an initiative of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS)

    2006: Harvey Sheldon launched for the first time in the world, WORLD JEWISH NETWORK on the internet. The format will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of nothing but popular Jewish and Israeli music, that you can listen to and dance.

    2007: In Detroit, Michigan, Ayal Mendelsohn, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Mendelsohn, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah.

    2007: In an article styled “Women add to Torah Dialogue,” the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports on a Torah commentary written by female rabbis and female Jewish scholars that will be published in the autumn of 2007.

    2007: The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports on labor troubles at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa.  Agriprocessors is controlled by the Rubashkin family and is the largest kosher slaughtering operation in the United States.

    2008: The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies presents “A Short History of Anti-Semitism,” the second of four lunchtime session taught by historian Dr. Dean Bell that covers anti-Judaism in the classical world, the Crusades and expulsions in the Middle Ages, tolerance and restrictions in the early modern period, and racial anti-Semitism in both the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

    2008: In “Wage the Warrior” published today David Mamet tackles mixed martial arts,” Sports Illustrated reviews “Redbelt,” Mamet’s latest cinematic effort.  “Redbelt” is set in the world of mixed martial art which seems a far cry from the world of the man who wrote The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-hatred and the Jews. On the other hand, the sixty year old man of letters and motion pictures is “a serious jiu-jitsu practitioner.”

    2008: The prestigious Turin Book Fair which  honoring Israel on the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state's creation came to an end today. Prominent Israeli authors Abraham B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, Amos Oz, Aaron Appelfeld and Meir Shalev were among those featured at the fair. Turin's chief rabbi, Alberto Moshe Somekh, said that the city had shown "great courage" in deciding to honor Israel despite protests from various pro-Arab and anti-Israel activists. At a special service in the city's main synagogue, he said the tribute marked also marked "4,000 years of our presence on the world stage as 'People of the Book.'"

    2008:More than 300 people here have already been arrested at Postville, Iowa, in what is being called the largest operation of its kind in Iowa, federal officials said this afternoon

     2008: In a front page article entitled “Time To Go” appearing in The Cedar Rapids Gazette Kathy Goldstein, the Musical Voice of Temple Judah and a Clinton supporter expresses her views on Hillary Clinton’s exit strategy. “The race is over, and I think she should go out in grace and style,” said Katherine Goldstein of Cedar Rapids. “If she does it now, she looks like a queen. If she keeps fighting, she’ll look like a fool.” Once she makes that decision, it may take a while for Clinton’s backers to accept her decision, said Goldstein, a retired teacher. “But once they do, they’ll understand this is the only thing she can do.” Goldstein expects Clinton to put the party first and support Obama, and “we’ll all take our cue from her.” Clinton’s partisans are divided as to whether Obama will — or should — offer her the vice presidency. “It would look very nice, even though she represents the old and he represents the new,” Goldstein said. “The fact she is a woman would trump their differences.”

    2008(7th of Iyar, 5768):An elderly woman was killed by a Kassam rocket that scored a direct hit on a western Negev community, hours after Israeli leaders said they were leaning toward accepting an Egyptian cease-fire deal with Hamas. Shlomit Katz, 75 of Kibbutz Gvar'am, was killed while visiting Moshav Yesha in the Eshkol Regional Council. The deadly attack came four days after a mortar shell barrage killed Jimmy Kedoshim, 48, a father of four, as he stood in the yard of his house in Kibbutz Kfar Aza in the Negev.

    2008:Irena Sendler - a Polish social worker who helped save some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto and giving them false identities - has died today at the age of  98. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2009 (18 Iyar): Lag B’Omer – 33rd Day of the Omer

    2009: As part of its Centennial Celebration, Tel Aviv hosts a special conference on education attended by prominent educators, academics and researchers who will address the key educational and pedagogic issues facing the city's future generations, as well as educational policy and curriculum unique to Tel Aviv-Yafo.

    2009: Today U.S. President Barack Obama declared May Jewish American Heritage Month, saying that the "United States would not be the country we know without the achievements of Jewish Americans." Obama called on all Americans to "commemorate the proud heritage of Jewish Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.""Unyielding in the face of hardship and tenacious in following their dreams, Jewish Americans have surmounted the challenges that every immigrant group faces, and have made unparalleled contributions," Obama said. He added, "Jewish American leaders have been essential to all branches and levels of government. Still more Jewish Americans have made selfless sacrifices in our Armed Forces." Obama said that Jewish American community has set an example for all Americans. "They have demonstrated that Americans can choose to maintain cultural traditions while honoring the principles and beliefs that bind them together as American," said Obama. "Jewish American history demonstrates how America's diversity enriches and strengthens us all."

    2009: Today the Freie Universitat in Berlin launched a project that will give high school students across Germany access to more than 50,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. "The goal of our efforts is to sustainably integrate working with the biographical accounts into classroom teachings about National Socialism," said Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl, Vice President of Freie Universitat. "Nothing may document an era or a historic event more strikingly than personal narrations of the lived history."

    2010(28th of Iyar, 5770) Yom Yerushalayim

    2010: The story of Russ & Daughters is scheduled to be featured in the premiere episode of New York Originals, a documentary series profiling “classic one-of-a-kind shops and mom-and-pop businesses that have stood the test of time.”

    2011: An Israeli delegation of religious leaders is going to present Syrian opposition members to Chief Rabbi of Holon Avraham Yosef, the son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and a member of the rabbinate’s council, will be one of the more high-profile religious leaders in the group that took off from Israel yesterday – one week after the original delegation was with a list of sites in Syria holy to Judaism, to be safeguarded if Bashar Assad’s regime collapses.

    2011: Former concentration camp guard John “Demjanjuk was convicted as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews and sentenced to five years in prison.”

    2011: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present The 2011 Spring Concert as part of the Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series. “The Spring Concert will highlight the works of two great Jewish composers: Lazar Weiner, the prominent American composer of Jewish art songs, and Joseph Achron, the outstanding Russian-born violinist and composer, student of Arnold Schoenberg and one of the co-founders of Jewish Folk Music.”

    2011: The National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to present a screening of “Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray” “a …documentary that reveals the little-known struggles that faced Jewish-Americans both in battle and on the home front during the Civil War” including the 7,000 who fought for the Union, the 3000 who fought with the Rebels and the “five Union Jewish soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor.”

    2011(8thof Iyar, 5771): Seventy-nine year old Jay D. Fischer, the attorney “who negotiated a monetary settlement with the Palestine Liberation Organization on behalf of the family of Leon Klinghoffer after his murder during a 1985 hijacking” passed away today.

    2011(8thof Iyar, 5771): Seventy-six year old Jack Keil Wolf, an engineer and computer theorist whose mathematical reasoning about how best to transmit and store information helped shape the digital innards of computers and other devices that power modern society passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2012: Jan Kasoff is scheduled to deliver a talk based on his 36 years as an NBC cameraman entitled Behind the Scenes at SNL and NBC!! at the JCC of Northern Virginia

    2012: Those living in the Washington Metropolitan area have a chance to party to a unique mix of Israeli hip-hop, bhangra, baile funk, radio remixes, 80s freestyle and a live performance by Israeli-American emcee and rapper Kosha Dillz as part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival.

    2012: Jazzrael - A Festival of Israeli Jazz & World Music: Israeli Jazz/World Music Concert is scheduled to take place at Temple Israel in NYC.

    2012: Mendy Cahan, founder of Yung Yiddish in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is scheduled to lead an interactive workshop about the craft of presenting Yiddish song for contemporary audiences at the Workman’s Circle in New York City. 

    2012: Thousands rallied in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square this evening, and in cities around the country, in the largest “social justice” protest held since last summer’s wave of cost-of-living demonstrations. (As reported by Ben Hartman and Melanie Lidman)

    2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Jewish Federation of Princeton in Princeton, NJ.

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Business of Baby by Jennifer Margulis, Tirza by Arnon Grunberg and the recently released paperback edition of Thinking, Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

    2013: A 1500 year old Byzantine era mosaic floor was discovered under the fields of Kibbutz Beit Kama in the Negev, the Antiquities Authority announced today. The mosaic was discovered by the authority prior to the imminent paving of the southern extension of Highway 6, the Trans-Israel Highway.

    2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host an evening with Susan Abrams who will lead a discussion on the future of the center and the development of “a truly global human rights culture.

    2014:The Fountainheads, an energetic group of young Israeli singers, musicians and dancers, is scheduled to headline the upcoming Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) celebration at the Uptown Jewish Community this evening. (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News, the source for all things Yiddishkeit in Cajun Country)

    2014: Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch is scheduled to visit several site in Yokne’am which were recently subject to ‘price tag’ attacks and to meet with the mayor to discuss the surge in hate crimes in the city. (As reported by Ilan Ben Zion

    2014: In honor of American Jewish Heritage Month the Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, OH, is schooled to host “Broadway Musicals: The Jewish Legacy…Jews revere the site as the tomb of King David, which is on the ground floor of the same building.”

    2014: “Israeli President Shimon Peres was met by political anger and protests over his country’s policies in the West Bank during a visit to Norway today.”

    2014: Today, at the Jaffa Salon of Art in Warehouse 2 at the Jaffa Port Israelis will be able to view pictures of “the face of war” as captured by Jean Mohr ata new exhibition, “War from the Victim’s Perspective,” being launched to mark the 150th anniversary of the First Geneva Convention.

    2014: Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered today near the reputed scene of Jesus’s last supper in Jerusalem demanding that Israel keep sovereignty over the site where Pope Francis will celebrate mass.

    2015(23rd of Iyar, 5775): Seventy-six year old Belda Lindenbahm, a co-founder of Midreshet Lindenbaum who served “as president of the board of the Drisha Institute for Women and president of the American Friends of Bar Ilan University” passed away today.

    2015: Gary Shteyngart is scheduled to join Professor Sasha Senderovich for a conversation and reading from Little Failure: A Memoir, a candid account of Shteyngart’s experiences as a Jewish-Russian immigrant in New York, his haphazard college pursuits, and his initial forays into a literary career at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

    2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to host a lecture on “Jewish Settlements in Palestine in the Century before 1948as seen by an Ephemerist & Postal Historian” by Dennis van der Velde.

    2015: “Welcome to Kutsher’s” is scheduled to be shown at the Borscht Belt Film Festival this morning.

    2016(4th of Iyar, 5776): Yom Ha’atsma’ut – Israel Independence observed because the fifth of Iyar falls erev Shabbat.

    2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to a “Community Discussion” on “The Ethics of Photography.”

    2016: As of today, Goldie Michelson “became the oldest living person in the United States – a title she would hold for less than two months due to her demise in July.

    2016: The Iowa City Jewish Federation is scheduled to sponsor the Yom Ha’atzmaut Dinner at Agudas Achim this evening.

    2016: “Metal-Man – The Story of Sculptor Victor Ries” a film “that takes us through his early life in Germany, fleeing Nazis for Palestine in 1933, emigration to America during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and beginning his American career as a founding member of the legendary Pond Farm art school/cooperative in Guerneville, California” is schedule to be shown in Woodland Hills, CA as part of Jewish American Heritage Month.

    2016: In a talk entitled "Women of the Bible: Paintings of The House of Abraham and The House of David," artist Richard McBee is scheduled to discuss his paintings that explore the narratives of Sarah, Hagar, Tamar, and Lot’s Daughters at the Biederman Library in the Bronx.

    2017: LIMMUDFSU NY is scheduled to begin today

    2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host the Vice Chancellor at its Shabbat dinner.

    2017: In “A Moving Holocaust Memoir for Younger Readers, and Older Ones Too” published today Ruth Sepetys reviewed Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Prisoner of Auschwitz by Michael Bornstein.

    2017: As American Jews prepare to welcome the Sabbath Queen they may be contemplating a week’s worth of stories that began with Nicole Meyer courting Chinese investors and ended with Rod Jay Rosenstein, “the nation’s longest serving U.S. attorney” and newly appointed United States Deputy Attorney General, the number 2 man at the DOJ.

    2018: As part of its Mother’s Day weekend celebration, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to admit all Moms free of admission today.

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a full day of Shabbat activities including morning services, lunch, mincha and Seduah Shlisit.

    2018: “The Hero” and “The Cakemaker” are scheduled to be shown at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

    2018: “Today I Am A Fountain Pen” and “The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick” are scheduled to be shown at the 26th Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

    2018: Final two portions of Viykra (Leviticus) -- Behar and Bechukotai; for more see









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    May 13

    1333:  Birthdate of Reginald III of Guelders, a duchy in the Kingdom of Prussia.  In 1349 the Duke of Guelders, was authorized by the Emperor Louis IV of the Holy Roman Empire of Germany to allow Jews to live in his duchy.  This may have been considered somewhat unusual because Jews were being expelled from other parts of the realm in response to the Black Death.

    1497: Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola. Alexander VI was one of the Renaissance popes whose religious qualities might best be summed up by stating that he was the father of Cesare and Lucretzia Borgia.  His lack of concern with Church matters benefited the Jews especially the Jews and Marranos fleeing the Spanish Inquisition.  He admitted so many refugees to Rome, that Ferdinand and Isabella registered major protests to his policy.  Savonarola was a Dominican monk who opposed Alexander on grounds of morality of ethics which is what led to his excommunication.   Savonarola’s enmity for the Pope had led him to “expel the Pope” from the Florentine region under his control.  At the same time, Savonarola banned Jews from this area as well.  So, from a Jewish point of view Alexander trumps Savonarola regardless of the moral stance of the two men.

    1534: The first Hebrew printing press in Poland located in Cracow published its first book Sha’arei Duro a code of dietary laws by Rabbi Isaac ben Reuben

    1610: Coronation of Marie de Medicis, as Queen consort of France and Navarre. Despite the ban on Jews living in the realm, she employed Elijah Montalto as her personal physician.  He was a Marrano, who had been raised as a Christian in Portugal before settling in Venice after publicly returning to “the faith of his fathers. Born in 1567, he passed away in 1616 and was buried at Amsterdam in Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands.

    1636(8th of Iyar): Rabbi Menahem Monish Chajes of Vilna passed away today

    1665: A statute was enacted in Rhode Island, offering “freemanship” with no specifically Christian requirements, thus effectively enfranchising Jews

    1728: Hayyim and Joshua Reizes of Lvov (heads of the Rabbinical court and the yeshiva respectively) were arrested when a Jesuit priest, Zoltowskiki, discovered that Jan Filipowicz (soon tortured and killed), a convert, had reconverted to Judaism. They were accused of complicity. Condemned to death, Joshua committed suicide by cutting his own throat. For three days his brother Hayyim refused to convert to Christianity. His tongue was then torn out, his body quartered and he was finally burnt. Their property was then confiscated.

    1779: Birthdate of Jakob Salomon, the Berlin born Jew who converted, took the name Jakob Salomon Bartholdy as he furthered his diplomatic career.

    1781: Joseph II, the son and successor of Maria Theresa let Chancellor Count Franz Esterhazy know that he intended to improve the condition of his Hungarian Jewish subjects.

    1782: Friedrich Albrecht August, the Jewish born Catholic convert passed away today.

    1787: Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy and his eleven convict laden ships set sail for Botany Bay Australia.  There are reportedly 17 Jews among the 1500 convicts.

    1792:  Birthdate of Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti who would become Pope Pius IX. “Pius IX's relations to the Jews remain ambiguous. He repealed laws that forbade Jews to practice certain professions, and that required them to listen to sermons four times per year aimed at their conversion. Judaism and Catholicism were the only religions allowed by law (Protestant worship was allowed to visiting foreigners, but strictly forbidden to Italians). But the testimony of a Jew against a Christian remained inadmissible in courts of law, a tax levied only on Jews supported schools for converts from Judaism to Catholicism, and Jews continued in various other respects to be discriminated against by law. At the beginning of his pontificate, Pius IX opened the Jewish ghetto in Rome, but after his return from exile in 1850 re-instituted it again. In 1858, in a highly publicized case, a six-year-old Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, was taken from his parents by the police of the Papal States. It had been reported that he had been baptized by a Christian servant girl of the family while he was ill because she feared he would die and go to Hell, otherwise. At this time, the law did not permit Christians to be raised by Jews, even their own parents. Pius IX steadfastly refused calls from numerous heads of state including Emperor Franz Josef (1848–1916) of Austria-Hungary and Emperor Napoleon III of France (1852–70) to return the child to his parents.

    1799(8th of Iyar, 5559):Isaiah Berlin an 18thcentury German Talmudist passed away. Born at Eisenstadt, Hungary in 1725, “Berlin studied under Ẓevi Hirsch Bialeh (Ḥarif), the rabbi of Halberstadt, at the latter's yeshivah. In 1755 Berlin moved to Breslau where he engaged in business. In 1793, when already advanced in years, he was elected to a rabbinical post, being appointed to succeed Isaac Joseph Te'omim as rabbi of Breslau. His election was marked by a dispute between the members of the community and the local maskilim, who had begun to organize themselves as a body and opposed Berlin, who, despite his love of peace, openly attacked their ideas. Berlin was elected by an overwhelming majority. Berlin was greatly admired, even by persons who differed with him in religious views. According to Hasidic sources, Berlin was sympathetically disposed toward that movement and extended a friendly welcome to one of its emissaries, Jacob Samson of Spitsevka. Further, Joel Brill, Aaron Wolfsohn, Judah Bensew, and many other Maskilim of Breslau often visited him to seek advice on scientific questions. As the Maskilim always carefully avoided wounding Berlin's religious feelings, he on his part met them half-way in many things. On the occasion of the Peace of Basel, for instance, he held a solemn service in the synagogue and exceptionally permitted the use of instrumental music, he himself delivering a discourse which was highly praised by the press ("Schlesische Zeitung", 1795, No. 59). Thus Berlin, conciliated the hostile elements of his congregation, and his death was mourned equally by all. Berlin's had the habit of annotating almost every book he read; mentioning the sources, or noting parallel passages and variant readings. Such glosses by Berlin have been published on the following books: the Bible (Pentateuch, Dyhernfurth, 1775; the other books, ib., 1807); the prayer-book, ed. Tiḳḳun Shelomoh (ib., 1806); Maimonides' Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah (ib., 1809); Alfasi (Presburg, 1836); the "Ḥinnuk", by Aaron ha-Levi of Barcelona (Vienna, 1827); Malachi b. Jacob's methodology, "Yad Malachi" (Berlin, 1825); Elijah b. Moses de Vidas' book of morals, "Reshit Ḥokmah" (Dyhernfurth, 1811). Although the terse yet clear notes contained in these volumes reveal the immense learning and critical insight of their author, yet Berlin's lasting place of honor among the pioneers of Talmudic criticism rests on the following works, which treat principally of the Talmud:  "'Omer ha-Shikḥah" (Forgotten Sheaf), Königsberg, 1860, containing a large number of Halakot on the Talmud not noted by the codifiers;  "Oẓar Balum" (Full Treasure), in the edition of Jacob ibn Ḥabib's "'En Ya'aḳob", published at Wilna in 1899, tracing all the Talmudic passages quoted without sources in the different commentaries on the haggadic elements of the Talmud;  "Haggahot ha-Shas" (Notes to the Talmud), textual corrections and notes on the origin of parallel passages (Dyhernfurth, 1800, and in nearly all the editions of the Talmud);  "Hafla'ah Sheba-'Arakin" (Detached Orders) (part i., Breslau, 1830; part ii., Vienna, 1859), containing, as the title indicates, explanations and glosses on the 'Aruk;  "Ḥiddushe ha-Shas", novellæ on the Talmud (Königsberg, 1860, and in several editions of the Talmud);  "Minè Targuma" (Dessert Dishes), Breslau, 1831, remarks on the Targum Onkelos (the word "Targuma" signifying both "Targum" and "dessert", equivalent to the Greek τράγημα) and on the Palestinian Targum;  "Kashiyot Meyushab" (Difficulties Answered), Königsberg, 1860, treating of the Talmudic passages which end with, and written by Berlin in fourteen days; (8) "Rishon leẒion" (The First for Zion; Dyhernfurth, 1793; Vienna, 1793, and several times reprinted, the title being a play on, "Zion", and, "index"), a collection of indexes and parallel passages in the Midrash; (9) "She'elat Shalom" (Greeting of Peace), Dyhernfurth, 1786, a commentary on Aḥa of Shubḥa's "She'iltot." Berlin's responsa collection and his commentary on the Tosefta deserve especial mention, though nothing is known of their fate.Berlin, was the first—at least among the Germans—who showed an interest in the history of post-Talmudic literature; and it was he, who opened the Kalir question (compare his letter to his brother-in-law, Joseph b. Menaḥem Steinhart, in the latter's "Zikron Yosef", No. 15.

    1800(18th of Iyar, 5560): Lag B’Omer is celebrated for the last time during the Presidency John Adams and for the first time in the 19thcentury.

    1804: Birthdate Daniele Fonseca, who gained fame as Daniele Manin, the Italian patriot.  Manin was born a Jew, but converted as a child at which time he changed his name out of respect for his patron.

    1812: Rabbi Samuel Marx, the uncle of non-Jew Karl Marx and Michle Brisac gave birth to their second child and first son Marcus or Marc today.

    1819: Ezekiel Jacobs married Sarah Levy today at the Great Synaogue.

    1823: Aaron De Symons married Matilda Israel today at the Great Synagogue.

    1832: The government confirmed the election of Menahem Nahum Trebitsch as "Landesrabbiner" of Moravia, in succession to Mordecai Benet, and granted him a salary of 600 florins; he was the last Moravian "Landesrabbiner" of the old school.

    1837: The Jews of Leipzig were given permission to organize as a religious community and establish a synagogue

    1838: Jacob Falcke marrie Isabella Woolf today at the Western Synagogue.

    1838: Lesser Friedlander married Elizabeth Assur today at the Great Synagogue.

    1839(24th of Iyar, 5699): Rabbi Israel Ashkenazi of Shklov, leader of the Aliya of the followers of the Gaon of Vilna to Eretz Yisrael passed away. The dynamic force of early Hasidism clashed head-on with the dynamic force of Ashkenazic traditionalism generated by the GR"A. The momentum of both movements created the two major aliyot of the pre-Zionist times. Rabbi Israel of Shklov arrived in Eretz Yisrael in 1808. In 1815 he moved to Jerusalem, where he founded the modern Ashkenazic community. The location of his grave was unknown for a long time. It was discovered in 1964, 125 years after his death, in Tiberias.

    1842: Löbl Strakosch and Julia Schwarz gave birth to their youngest child Chaile Caroline

    1843(13th of Iyar, 5603): Dr. Daniel Levy Maduro Peixotto the eldest of son of Moses Levi Maduro Peixotto, a native of Curaco who had brought his family to New York from Amsterdam passed away today. The elder Peixotto was a successful businessman who served as Chazan at Shearith Israel. Daniel who was born in Amsterdam in 1800 graduated from Columbia at the age of sixteen and earned his medical degree in 1819 at the age of 19. After a few years of travel he returned to New York in 1823, where he pursued his profession with success, and gained a place among the foremost practitioners of his day. He was one of the physicians of the city dispensary in 1827, and president of the New York county medical society in 1830-'1832, and took an active part in public charitable work as well as in Jewish educational movements. One of his eight children, Benjamin Franklin, went on to become a prominent newspaper man and politician who served in several diplomatic posts during the post-Civil War period. Dr. Daniel was quite proud of his Jewish heritage as can be seen from a speech he delivered while he was vice president of the Medical Society of the City and County of New York. “The writings of the Hebrews are generally acknowledged to be unequaled for the simplicity and dignity - the strength, conciseness and boldness of their style; the perfect truth to nature of their imagery; their animated eloquence and sublime figures. The conceits and puerile vanities which disgrace much of classical literature are altogether banished from their pages. It may, however, be suggested that these writings were inspired. This assertion is more imposing by its speciousness than forcible by its application. The great truths and sublime doctrines which were inculcated by Moses and the Prophet were undoubtedly

    derived from immediate communication with the Almighty.” [From “Moses and Daniel Peixotto” by Dr. Yitzchok Levine]

    1846: The United States declares war on Mexico officially marking the start of the Mexican-American War.  As has been true in all other wars, Jews were active participants in this fight with Mexico.  Like their gentile neighbors, Jews from Texas were active combatants. These included Adolphus Stern, David Kaufman and Leon Dyer each of whom would be prominent office holders in the early days of the Lone Star State.  Baltimore Jews formed a company of volunteers whose three commanding officers were Jewish.  David Camden de Leon of South Carolina was the most famous and colorful Jew to serve in the fight with Mexico.  A surgeon by trade, de Leon literally swapped his scalpel for a sword at the Battle of Chapultepec where he led a successfully led a cavalry charge after the other officers had been killed or wounded and could not lead the troops.  Fifteen years later, de Leon would be named Surgeon General of the Confederate Army.

    1853: “The Jewish Disabilities Bill” published today described efforts in the British Parliament to make it possible for Jews to sit in the House of Commons.  “The British House of Commons has again decided in favor of striking out the words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ from the oath administered to Members of Parliament.” According to the author, the House of Lords will surely reject the attempt to change the in the oath as part of the continued to keep Jews from sitting in Parliament.  While “notorious non-believers” take the oath “without a scruple” the only way a Jew could take the oath would be to convert from the faith of his fathers.

    1859: Sixty-year old “philanthropist and merchant Philipp Schey Freiherr, the Baron von Koromla “the first Jew in Hungary to be made an Austrian noble” was granted his patent of nobility today by King Francis Joseph I who cited “his services to the imperial dynasty during the revolution in 1848 and 1849” and “the great benevolence exercised by him "toward suffering humanity, regardless of creed."

    1860: Birthdate of Henry Samuel Morais the son of Rabbi Sabato Morais, a well-known national Jewish leader, Rabbi of Congregation Mikveh Israel of Philadelphia, and founder of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

    1863:  Philadelphian Michael Baer completed his service in Company F of the 123rd Regiment where he had been promoted from the rank of 1st Lieutenant to Captain.

    1864: The jury was unable to reach a decision in the case of Solomon Ullman vs. The Congregation B'Nai Israel.  The unusual case revolved a claim by Ullman, a former congregant, that the synagogue had illegally removed his father’s tombstone from their cemetery.

    1865: Following the defeat of the Confederacy, as Judah P. Benjamin was fleeing from Union troops he “reached Monticello, Florida” and then continued alone on horseback seeking to reach the Gulf Coast where he could find a ship to take him to Great Britains.

    1866: The Pennsylvania Legislature passed an act today that allowed the children who were attending a school operated under the auspices of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia to attend the Boys' and Girls' High School, Philadelphia.

    1871: “American Christian Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews” published today described the work of the organization which has an auxiliary branch in Somerset, Iowa in trying to change the religious persuasion of the “65,000 Israelites in New York” and the quarter of million living in the United States.

    1872(5thof Iyar, 5632): Fifty year old author and German parliamentarian Mortiz Harmann passed away today outside of Vienna.

    1872: Secretary of State Hamilton Fish wrote to Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the U.S. Counsel in Bucharest, that while it is usually the policy of the government not to interfere in the internal affairs of other country’s an exception is to be made in this case since all else has failed.  The State Department will support whatever measure Peixotto may take in joining with other diplomats “to avert or mitigate further harshness” shown toward the Jews living in Romania. (Peixotto was Jewish and he was purposely chosen by President Grant in an attempt to ameliorate the suffering of the Jews in Romania.  This is yet another proof that Grant was not an anti-Semite)

    1877: “Jute” published today describes the origins and modern uses of this plant. The author claims that jute has been used since ancient times citing the story of Samson and Delilah as one of his proofs.  “The seen green withes that had never been dried” which the Philistines had given to Delilah so that she might bind the Israelite prophet were “jute withes.  “The basis for this supposition is the fact that the word translated ‘withes’ is in the Hebrew reading jeter – that means cordage or roping stuff of any kind.” In the 17th century the Jewish connection was so strong that a form of jute called or Tossa jute (Corchorus olitorius), was popularly referred to as ‘Jews mallow.’ [Editor’s note – Apparently the term Jews mallow is one known to many cooks as can be seen from the recipe for a dish called Jews Mallow Soup ]

     1878: A review of Religion of China by Dr. Richard Edkins published today noted that during Edkins visit to China he found that "the Jewish colony had dwindled to a few hundred members none of whom can read Hebrew."  In what must be a reference to Simchat Torah, Edkins reported that until their synagogue was destroyed by fire the Jews "had an autumn festival when they walked in procession around the hall taking the scrolls of the law with them."  Until recently, they had twelve copies of the Pentateuch, some of which are now in England.  According to some, the first Jews arrived during the Han Dynasty - 200 BCE to 200 CE while others came later from Persia

    1881: Birthdate of Anna Meingast, who worked as Stefan Zweig’s secretary in Salzburg from November 1919 to March 1938.

    1884(18th of Iyar, 5644): Lag B'Omer

    1886: Birthdate of violinist and composer Joseph Achron. Born in Warsaw, Achron was a child prodigy from a musical family.  He moved to St. Petersburg in 1899 and joined the Society for Jewish Folk Music in 1911.  His first Jewish work called "Hebrew Melody" became famous thanks to the interpretation by Jascha Heifetz.  Achron lived in Berlin and Palestine before settling in the United States in the 1920's where he continued performing and composing.  One of his most compositions was "Golem."  When he passed away in 1943, one obituary called him "one of the most underrated modern composers.

    1888: Birthdate of Zelig Harry Lefkowitz who gained fame as "Big" Jack Zelig a New York City thug who was one of the last leaders of the Monk Eastman Gang.

    1888: Thirty-one year old Max Pinkus married Hedwig Oberländer the daughter of Moritz J. Oberländer and Marie Oberländer

    1890: The Amusements column published today provided a detailed review of “The Shatchen” a play written by Henry Doblin and Charles Doblin starring M.B. Curtis in the title role of this comedy about a Jewish marriage broker.

    1891: Two Jews were killed today and several more were injured when new violence broke out today in Corfu.

    1892: “Jews Ordered From Russia” published today reported that “ten thousand foreign Jews in Odessa have been order to leave” the Czar’s kingdom immediately.

    1892: Rector Alhwardt, the notorious anti-Semite went on trial today on charges that he libeled the firm of Loewe & Company when he charged that the company had furnished defective rifles to the army.

    1893: “Germany’s Political Crisis” published today described the surprise that has resulted from “the fact that the anti-Semitic electors of Arnswalde have again nominated Rector Ahlwardt, the notorious Jewish Baiter” despite the fact that he is serving a term in prions for having libeled the Jewish firm of Lowe & Company

    1893: One Polish Jew arrived in the United States aboard the SS New York

    1893: Three hundred twenty-seven Polish Jews arrived  aboard the SS Dania, 245 of whom were bound for New York, seven of whom were bound for Boston, two of whom were bound for New Haven, CT, one of whom was bound for Iowa, five of whom were bound for Amsterdam, 13 of whom were bound for Amsterdam, NY 13 of whom were bound for Philadelphia, 13 of whom were bound for Pittsburg, 6 of whom were bound for Buffalo, 29 of whom were bound for Chicago, 5 of whom were bound for Saratoga, NY and one of whom was bound for Milwaukee,

    1893: “A press association dispatch sent from Berlin” today “asserts, in contradiction of the recent dispatches from” the New York Times correspondent in London “that there is no movement for the expulsion of Jews from Poland.”

    1893: Relying on information that first appeared in the Jewish Messenger, “The Expulsion of the Jews from Poland” published today decried the fact that Russia is allowed to treat her Jewish inhabitants in a manner that is both brutal and laced with bigotry while the Great Powers remain passive in the face of this menace to civilization that smacks of medieval barbarism.

    1893: The examination of another 200 of the 1,000 Russian Jews who arrived yesterday at Ellis Island aboard the steamship Dania will resume today.  Immigration officials said that many of those already examined “were absolutely destitute” and that a number of them will be returned to the ship.

    1894: It was reported today that “there appears to have been a series of savage popular” attacks on the Jews in a number of towns in Southern Russia at Easter time.  The bloodiest took place at Ekaterinoslav.

    1894: It was reported today that in response to new outbreaks of violence a renewed exodus of Jews has begun from Odessa.  In the last week 2,200 have left the port, 800 bound for Argentina; the rest bound for England and the United States.

    1894: It was reported today that the official returns from the by-election in Schlochan (Germany) will require a run-off between the Conservative candidate and the first runner-up because the anti-Semitic candidate made “deep inroads in the traditional Conservative majority.

    1894(7thof Iyar, 5654): Twenty year old Edwin Bach, the son of Sigmund J. and Rosalie Bach passed away today.

    1895: A dramatized version of “Oliver Twist” opened at the Star Theatre with H.G. Carleton playing the part of Fagan, “the awful Jew.”

    1896: Solomon Schechter discovered a fragment of the original Hebrew text of “Ecclesiasticus” that had come from the Cairo Genizah.

    1897:  Theodor Herzl wrote, "Über Nacht fiel mir der Titel des Blattes ein: Die Welt. Mit dem Mog'n Dovid, in der der Globus hineinzuzeichnen wäre, mit Palästina als Mittelpunkt." -"Overnight the name for the paper occurred to me: Die Welt. [The masthead comes] with a Mogen Dovid [Star of David], inside which a globe should be drawn, with Palestine as the central point."

    1898: In Harlem, Temple Israel began celebrating its 25th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the dedication of its current facility today.

    1898: During the Spanish American War George Jessel Jones, Morris Conheim and Carl Meyer were mustered in as members of the 1st Missouri Volunteer Infantry.

    1898: “Hebrew Charities Building” published today described the plans of Solomon Loeb of Kuhn, Loeb & Co to build a new four-story structure at 21stStreet and Second Avenue which will be called The Hebrew Charities Building.  De Lemos & Cordes have been retained for the project that will cost $150,000 on top of the $60,000 that has been paid for the land.

    1899: Memorial services for Baroness de Hirsch were held this afternoon in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance at East Broadway and Jefferson Street.

    1899: Ohio native and West Point Graduate Major George W. Moses was honorably discharged today

    1899: It was reported today that Doubleday & McClure will soon be issuing an abridged version of The Future of War by Jean de Bloch the Polish Jew who began as a peddler in Warsaw and rose to become a financier with a wide variety of interests in railways, banking and science.

    1899: “The first anti-Jewish measure was promulgated” by the Russian government “under which the stay of all – even foreign – Jews is prohibited in St. Petersburg; a prohibition that even applies to French Jews.

    1899: “Yiddish: Literature in the Mixed Tongue Produced in This Century” published today provided a review The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century by Leo Weiner. (Weiner was a Polish born Jew who lectured on Slavic Languages at Harvard and became the first American Professor of Slavic Literature, at a time before leaders at Harvard decided there were too many Jews at their college.)

    1899: “Asks Aid of United Hebrew Charities” published today described the decision to reject a request for $125 to pay for a family’s transportation back to German “because the demands upon the treasury…have been so great, the society cannot afforded to expends so large a sum on an individual case.”

    1900(14thof Iyar, 5660): Pesach Sheni

    1900 (14th of Iyar, 5660): Sixty-year old Hermann Levi, the Jewish maestro who conducted the first performance of Wagner’s “Parsifal” at Bayreuth passed away today.

    1900: Herzl made a Zionist speech at the "Israelitische Allianz".

    1900: In responding to Jacob Schiff’s criticism of the work of the Baron and Baroness de Hirsch Monument Association, Isador Straus agreed that these two great philanthropists required no monument since their good works spoke for themselves.  Building the monument was an act of gratitude and hopefully, those who would view it would be moved to emulate the generosity of the Baron and Baroness.

    1904: Herzl writes to Wenzel von Plehve asking for an audience for Katzenelson.

    1905: Birthdate of Israeli graphic designer Franz Kraus.  Born in St. Pölten, Austria he passed away in 1998 in Tel Aviv.

    1905: Twenty six year old American producer Sam Shubert, one of the three Shubert theatre owning Shubert brothers passed away today as the result of injuries suffered in a train accident in Pennsylvania while traveling on business. (According to some sources, Shubert actually died on May 12 and not on May 13.  So far, I have not been able to resolve this discrepancy. The official marker shows the May 13 date.)

    1906: The Bezalel Art School opened in Jerusalem

    1906: In Chicago, “The building known as the Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home was formally dedicated” today where 19 orphans resided under the care of Mr. Saul Drucker as superintendent and Mrs. Saul Drucker as matron.

    1912: Birthdate of Rabbi Judah Nadich.  As a Lt. Colonel and Army chaplain, Nadich would play a key role in the treatment for the Jews of Europe after W.W. II.  As President of the Rabbinical Assembly, he would play a key role in gaining equality for women in Conservative Judaism.

    1912: The office of Chief Rabbi of England was formally declared to be vacant today and it was announced that applications for the position were now being accepted.

    1914: Today in Amsterdam, Levie Van Praag married Sabiena Cohen both of whom were murdered in Sobibor.

    1915: Leslie L. Dauer, the temporary Chairman of the Leo M. Frank Committee in Chicago reported that “many organizations such as the Iowa State Society for the Prevention of Cruelty and the Board of Trade of Missouri have joined the movement” to seek clemency for Frank and “the campaign in Frank’s behalf is being carried on over the whole country and is meeting with enthusiastic response everywhere.:

    1916 (10th of Iyar, 5676): Sholem Aleichem passed away.  Born Shalom Rabinowitz in the Ukraine, he grew up in the town of Vornokov which served as the model for the fictitious town of Kasrilevke that appears in his writings.  Shalom Aleichem began writing in Hebrew.  In 1883, he began writing in Yiddish which is when he adopted the pen name of Shalom Aleichem.  He used a pen name because he did not want to offend friends and family (including his father) who thought Jews should be writing in Hebrew.  Following the pogroms of 1905, he now famous author moved to the United States.  He died while living in the Bronx at the age of 59.  Shalom Aleichem employed humor and pathos to create a picture of the Shtetl.  He was called the Jewish Mark Twain.  His most famous character was Tevye who became a worldwide favorite in the hit show and movie, “Fiddler on the Roof.”  [Ed. Note: There is no way this brief guide can do justice to this man or his work.  The best way to “say Kaddish” for him is to read one of his stories]

    1917: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise’s Free Synagogue sponsored a performance of “Little Lord Fauntleroy” for school age children this afternoon.

    1917: Mr. Jack Silverman is scheduled to perform a violin solo and Miss Bluma Bernstein is scheduled to provide a dramatic reading at today’s meeting of the Big Sister Movement of Chicago at the Auditorium Hotel.

    1917: Oscar Straus is scheduled to preside over the third of three public meeting where he will lead a “general discussion with respect to the organization of the Free Synagogue of Washington Heights.

    1917: Pope Benedict XV “personally consecrated Nunci Eugenio, the future Pope Pius XII” whose behavior during the Holocaust has been criticized by many, as an Archbisop.

    1917: Dr. Henry Moskowitz criticized the Zionist “movement as romantic and impracticable” while Dr. David De Sola Pool “made a strong appeal for the settling of Palestine as the only to restore Hebrew ideals” “at a symposium on the Jewish question” held tonight at Temple Emanu-El.

    1918: Birthdate of Edwin S. Shneidman, “a psychologist who gave new direction to the study of suicide and was a founder of the nation’s first comprehensive suicide prevention center.” (As reported by William Dicke)

    1918: Approximately 500 carts crowded in the three blocks of Orchard Street between Delancey and Houston Streets where “the bearded Jews in long overcoats” had discarded their usual wares to sell supplies of Thrift and War Saving Stamps as a way of helping to repay the debt they owe to the country that has provided them with a refuge and a home.

    1919: During the Russian Civil War the Jews of Boguslav, a city in the Kiev district of the Ukraine were attacked by gangs of marauding peasants that killed 20 Jews,

    1921: The Palestinians have expressed their dissatisfaction with the reply made by Winston Churchill to the petition of the Moslem-Christian Association, which consisted of thirty-two typewritten pages and contained all their grievances “against the colonization of their country by the Zionist immigrants, who are arriving at the rate of 1,000 a month.”

    1922: In New York City, Philip Frankel and his wife the former Rebecca Pressner gave birth to Bernice Frankel, who as the actress Bea Arthur played Yente the Matchmaker in the premiere of “Fiddler on the Roof” and gained lasting fame in the role of Maude Findlay, a character first created for the hit series All In the Family, and then spun off for Maude, a hit show in which she was the lead.  She gained further success as Dorthoy Zbornak, one of the lead characters in the television hit, “The Golden Girls.”

    1923: President Judge Jacob Caplan of New Haven, First Vice President, Louis Fabrican of New York; Second Vice-President, Bertram M. Aufsesser or Albany; Treasurer, Herman Asher of New York, Secretary, Max Levy were elected as officers of District #1 of the B’nai Brith Lodge today.

    1923: Mayor David E. Fitzgerald addressed a meeting of the B’nai Brith lodges in the Eastern United States. 

    1924: Birthdate of Harry Heinz Schwartz, a South African lawyer, opponent of apartheid and South African ambassador to the United States. He served as defense lawyer for James Kantor, who was the defense attorney for Nelson Mandela during the infamous Rivonia Trial.

    1923: During a meeting held at the Hotel Astor, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization addressed members of four congregations located on New York’s West Side. Mr. H. Leonard Simmons announced that the $100,000 quota for the West Side would be forthcoming shortly. Captain Gloster Armstrong, British Consul General in New York assured the attendees that Great Britain intends to fulfill its commitments in Palestine under the terms of League of Nations’ mandate. (As reported by JTA)

    1926(29th of Iyar, 5686): Sixty-nine year old Sir Stuart Montagu Samuel, the elder brother of Herbert Samuel, 1sr Viscount Samuel passed away today.  He was elected to the House of Commons in 1900 replacing his uncle Samuel Montagu, 1stBaron Swaything.  He served until 1916.

    1926:It was reported today that David M. Bressler, announced that contributions to the United Jewish Campaign in New York reached the sum of $4,835,867. (JTA)

    1926: The New York Times reported that during his recent visit to Palestine, Yasha Heifetz performed a concert in the Valley of Jezreel near the site of the “legendary battle of Armageddon.” During the five day tour, Heifetz took part in seven concerts including one attended by 10,000 workers in Tel Aviv.


    1927: Solomon Furth won three events today as the New York University freshman track team finished an undefeated season.

    1927: In Brooklyn, Harry Hellerman, “a Jewish immigrant from Riga” and the former Clara Robinson gave birth to Fred Hellerman, a member of the Weavers, the group that brought folk music to whole generation of youngsters who knew that there was more to music than “crooners” and “rock stars.”

    1927: In Brooklyn, Martha (Grundfast) and Louis Chester Ross gave birth to “actor, choreographer, director and producer.” Herbert David Ross.

    1927: Forty members of the National Socialist Party, responsible for the recent anti-Semitic riots on Kurfuerstendamm, were arrested by the police today. In a statement issued by the chief of police, he declared that the police will combat terrorism in the streets of Germany's capital. (As reported by JTA)

    1928: Six months after premiering in Germany “Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis” with a script by Karl Freund and Carl Mayer was released in the United States.

    1928: “The proposal that officers of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union be elected by membership through a national referendum was defeated tonight by a vote of 13 to 56 after an all-day debate in which the elements in the International opposing Morris Sigman sought to secure passage of the resolution.” (As reported by JTA)

    1928: Officials of the Hebrew National Orphans Home, led by its President, State Supreme Court Justice Aaron J. Levy, launched a drive today for an additional 10,000 members. 1929: In Palestine, The Mandatory Government announces an immigration quota of 2.400 permits for a half-year period, beginning in April.1929: Marcia Glick, the daughter of Bernard Glick and Alma Gluck and the stepdaughter of Efrem Zimabliest became Marci Davenport today when she married Russell Davenport, the editor of Fortune magazine.1930: Talks between the heads of the Colonial Office and the Palestinian Arab delegation are concluded. Demands to end the growth of the Yishuv, immigration and land settlement remain unfulfilled.1934: Birthdate of archaeologist Ehud Netzer who led the excavations at Heriodum for 30 years and who discovered “the Wadi Qielt Synagogue, the oldest synagogue ever found.”

    1935: Birthdate of composer Professor Yizhak Sadai the native of Bulgaria who moved to Israel in 1949 and became “one of the most regarded and influential music teachers in Israel.”

    1935: Pepsodent Toothpaste began sponsoring Albert Pearce’s radio broadcast on the Blue Network and NBC today.

    1936: Birthdate of Romanian native Ruth Wisse whose literary works include The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Literature and Culture, The Best of Sholem Aleichem, If I Am Not for Myself…: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, and Jews in Power and whose brother is “David Roskies, a professor of Yiddish and Jewish Literature at JTS.

    1936(21st of Iyar, 5696):Two Jews, Ruben Klapholtz and Alter Cohen were shot to death by Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem today, one as he left his home and the other as he passed an Arab Cafte.

    1936: Tonight, “thirty Arabs attacked a Jewish stone-crushing plant outside of Jerusalem” killing “one of three Arabs working there, wounding another” before setting fire to the plant.

    1936: “One Rainy Afternoon” a comedy produced by Jesse Lasky with a screen story by Emeric Pressburger and René Pujol, starring Francis Lederer and featuring Mischa Auer was released today in the United States.

    1936: Following a funeral procession that police said was watched by 10,000 people, Rabbi Leo Jung delivered the eulogy at the funeral service for Judge Otto A. Rsalsky in the Jewish Center following which Cantor Pincus Jassinowsky chanted “El Mole Rachamin the Hebrew prayer for the dead.”

    1938: The Palestine Postreported that an Arab police constable who was expected to offer his testimony in the District Court was shot and killed by an Arab terrorist in a Haifa's market cafe. An Arab woman who came into the line of fire was also severely injured and later died from her wounds.

    1938: The Palestine Postreported that at the League of Nations Britain requested "for the sake of peace" that all nations recognize the Italian conquest of Ethiopia.

    1938: The Palestine Postreported that Poles became suddenly aware of the rapid Nazification of the local German community.

    1938: Birthdate of Manhattan born, Queens raised Francine Pascal who gained fame as Francine Pascal the wife of John Pascal and the creator of “the Sweet Valley series of young adult novels.”

    1939: SS St Louis departs Hamburg for Cuba with 937 Jews on board.  This tragic episode was portrayed in the book and the film, Voyage of the Damned.  Having been denied entrance to Cuba, the ship was turned away from the United States.  Steaming off the shore of Florida, the refugees could see the lights of Miami.  Coast Guard vessels tracked the ship to make sure nobody escaped and to keep the captain from running his ship aground in American waters.  In the end, the ship returned to Europe.  About half of the passengers survived the war.

    1939: Nineteen year old George Jellinek and the family of Peter Gay were among the passengers aboard the SS Iberia when it docked today in Havana, Cuba.

    1939: “Miriam (née Klein) and Harry Keitel, Jewish immigrants from Romania and Poland, respectively” gave birth to actor Harvey Keitel.

    1940: “As the German forces approached Amsterdam” today, the family of Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker whose visas had expired four days ago fled without this vital documentation and found “passage on the SS Bodegraven, in part because a soldier on guard recognized Dési who had given a concert for the troops.”

    1940: Hans Rey, who is best known for creating Curious George, wrote in his diary today, “Songs English very slowly because of the events.”  “Songs English” refers to a book of French and English rhymes on which he was working.  “The events” refers to the German blitz driving across France.

    1941: The Nazis interned 3,600 naturalized Jews of Russian origin.

    1942: U.S. premiere of “This Gun For Hire” which provided Albert Maltz with his “first screenwriting credit.”

    1942: In Brooklyn Teddy and Esta Makowsky gave birth to their eldest daughter Renee Rivka who gained fame as “Rivka Haut, a prominent champion of Orthodox Jewish women fighting for divorce in rabbinical courts and seeking to pray together as a group.” (As reported by Jennifer Medina)

    1942(26th of Iyar, 5702): Hyam Greenbaum, British violinist, composer and conductor passed away.  He died one day after his 41st birthday.

    1943: Hans Frank sent Hitler a list of the "Jewish concealed and stolen goods," that were recovered including 94,000 men's watches, 33,000 women's watches, 25,000 pens and 14,000 scissors. Many of the watches were melted down for their gold or platinum content.

    1944: Dr. Samuel Levy, chairman of the board of directors announced that Dr. Samuel Belkin, Talmudist and scholar, will be inducted as second president of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, which includes Yeshiva College on May 23.  The 33 year old Belkin is assuming a position left vacant by the death of Dr. Bernard Revel, the founder and first President of Yeshiva College.

    1944(20thof Iyar, 5704): Eighty year old Florence Guggenheim passed away today.

    1944: Throughout the Nazi camp system, inmate tattoo numbers gain a new series, prefaced with the letter "A." The intention is to conceal the number of prisoners at Auschwitz.

    1945: Commissioning of HMS Sanguine, a Royal Navy submarine that would be sold to Israel in 1958 and renamed the Rahav

    1945: The Soviet Union “halted all offensive operations” in Europe today.

    1945: “The CBS, NBC, Blue and Mutual networks broadcast a second live production of the epic dramatic poem “On a Note of Triumph,” a commemoration of the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany and the end of World War II in Europe narrated by Martin Gabel.

    1945: The photo of the “Raising a flag over the Reichstag” taken by Jewish photographer Yevgeny Khaldei was published today in Ogonyok magazine meaning that the two iconic flag raising photos of 1945 (the other being Iwo Jima) were taken by Jews.  (Add these to Robert Capa’s D-Day Invasion photos and the Life cover with the sailor kissing a girl at Times Square and you get a sense of connection between Jews and photo-journalism)

    1945: During Winston Churchill's famous broadcast speech "Five years of War", Britain’s wartime Prime Minister remembers the valor of Lance-Corporal John Patrick Kenneally who won the Victoria Cross for his exploits in Tunisia in 1943.

    1946: In Brooklyn Abe Wolfman, a policer officer and his wife Fay gave birth to Marv Wolfman former Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics

    1947(23rdof Iyar, 5707): Seventy-three year old Philadelphia native Henry Bacharach, the banker and Atlantic City, NJ, Republican leader and public official and  husband of Hattie Hanstein passed away today

    1947: The U.N. General Assembly established the United Nations Special committee on Palestine, also known as UNSCOP.

    1948: The “Dov Hoz” with 675 ma’apilim on board and the “Eliahu Golomb” with 339 ma’apilim on board arrive at Haifa today.

    1948: As the British began their withdrawal from the Old City, the Haganah awaited the attack by 20,000 Arab soldiers who were determined to capture Jerusalem.

    1948: Chaim Weizmann calls Abba Eban out of a meeting at the United Nations seeking reassurance that the proposal to create a trusteeship for all of Palestine (a proposal that would kill the creation of the Jewish state) would not succeed.  Eban assures Weizmann that U.N. Secretary General has said that trusteeship is a non-issue.

    1948: The Arab Emergency committee and the Haganah High Command signed the terms for the Arab surrender of the town of Jaffa.  Despite Jews pleas to stay, 67,000 of the city’s 70,000 inhabitants of the city left, many by boat for Lebanon.

    1948: In a daring nighttime firefight, Jewish forces seized the fort at the ancient town of Gezer at the southern end of the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem road.  This is the same Gezer that the Pharaoh gave to King Solomon as a wedding gift.

    1948: On the day before Israel declares her independence, Arab irregulars perpetrate The Kfar Etzion massacre. Armored cars of the Arab Legion broke through the final defense line of Kfar Etzion.  In the last message sent by the defenders to Jerusalem, the defenders described “a Masada –like battle.”  The handful of Jewish defenders came out under a white flag and surrendered.  Fifteen of the defenders stacked their weapons, and then, lined up to be photographed.  Instead of the click of the camera, the Jews were treated to a burst of machinegun fire that killed all of them.  Was this planned or a freak accident?  To this day, the question has never been answered.  The victorious Arab Legion did kill an Arab family that had remained in Kfar Etzion with their Jewish friends.

    1948: A motorbike courier delivers an envelope the Tel Aviv apartment of 32 year old Arieh Handler. The envelope contained an invitation to the ceremonies marking the Israeli Declaration of Independence. The envelope also contained a request that the arrangements be kept secret because of a fear that the British might stop the ceremony or the Arabs might use the ceremony as pretext to attack. 

    1948: Maury Atkin was offered a job as executive officer and agriculture attaché of the first Israeli embassy. The embassy actually would not exist for another 24 hours.

    1949: Today Samuel A. Snieg, chief rabbi of the U.S. Zone, presented the first copy of the” Survivors  Talmud (“also known as the U.S. Army Talmud) “to General Lucius Clay, Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany, with the words, ‘I bless your hand in presenting to you this volume embodying the highest spiritual wisdom of our people.’”

    1950: Eliahu Elath, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, was named Ambassador to Great Britain today.  Abba Eban is expected to succeed Elath.

    1951: “That’s My Boy” a comedy co-starring Jerry Lewis and featuring Polly Bergen was released in the United States today.

    1952: The first degrees of Doctor of Medicine were awarded to 62 graduates of the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School.

    1953: Tennis player, promoter, and women's advocate Gladys Heldman released the first issue of World Tennis Magazine

     1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that a Bill had been introduced in the Knesset by the Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Benzion Dinur, for the establishment of "Yad Vashem" (an everlasting name), for the memory of the six and a half million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and were granted Israeli honorary citizenship. The Yad Va'Shem archives and museum were to be set up in Jerusalem, "The Heart of the Jewish People

    1953: Hans “ Eisler's opera project was discussed in three of the bi-weekly meetings "Mittwochsgesellschaft" [Wednesday club] of a circle of intellectuals under the auspices of the Berlin Academy of Arts starting today.”

    1954: The original Broadway production Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ “The Pajama Game” opened today.

    1954: The original Broadway production of Pajama Game featuring features a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross opened today and ran for 1,063 performances.

    1957(12thof Iyar, 5717): Seventy year old Michael Fekete, the Hungarian born Israeli mathematician who won the Israel Prize of Exact Sciences in 1955 passed away today.

    1959(5th of Iyar, 5719): Yom HaAtzma'ut

    1959: Birthdate of British comedian and author Benjamin Charles “Ben” Elton, the grandson of German Jewish historian Victor Ehrenberg and the son Lewis Elton, a refugee from Hitler’s Europe and Mary Foster, a product of the Church of England.

    1959: Birthdate of Israeli author Zeruya Shalev. A native of Kibbutz Kinneret and an editor at Keshet Publishing house, she survived a suicide bombing in January of 2004.

    1961: Actor Jeff Chandler (Ira Gorssel) entered a Culver City hospital and had surgery for a spinal disc herniation, the complications from which would ultimately lead to his death.

    1962(9th of Iyyar, 5722): Franz Kline abstract expressionist painter passed away at the age of 51.

    1965: Labour Political leader Lewis Cohen became Baron Cohen of Brighton when he “was raised to the Peerage” today.

    1965: Germany established diplomatic relations with Israel. (This comes 20 years after its unconditional surrender, at the end of World War II, and 17 years after the establishment of the State of Israel.)

    1965: Several Arab nations broke ties with West Germany after it established diplomatic relations with Israel.  This came during the height of the Cold War when Communist East Germany was trying to establish itself as the real German government.  The West Germans knew what it would cost them in them in the international arena if they recognized Israel, but they went ahead and did it anyway.

    1967: Birthdate of American singer, songwriter, guitarist and musical genre innovator, Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner.

    1967: Egyptian troops move into the Sinai, which is a demilitarized zone. Egypt radio sets the tone of propaganda ("Egypt, with all its resources, is ready to plunge into a total war that will be the end of Israel.")

    1968: A funeral service for New York jurist George Frankenthaler is scheduled to be held at Temple Emanu-El starting at 2 pm.

    1968(15thof Iyar, 5728): Seventy-nine year old Budapest born Dr. George Vajna who served as government official and publisher in his native Hungary and came to the United States in 1939 where he eventual founded Transatlantic Arts, Inc. passed away today in Hollywood, FL.

    1969: Boris Kochubievsky goes on trial in Kiev charged with “slander against the Soviet regime.”

    1970: “Getting Straight” a marvelous little comedy starring Elliott Gould was released in the United States today.

    1971(18thof Iyar, 5731): Lag B’Omer

    1971: “Four Nights of a Dreamer” in which Alabama born film critic appeared as an extra shortly after having arrived in Paris was released in France today.

    1972(29thof Iyar, 5732): Parashat Bamidbar

    1972(29thof Iyar, 5732): Sixty year old Norfolk born physicist Dr. Julius Halpern who helped to develop radar during WW II passed away today.

    1973: Reconstructionist Rabbinical College ordained its first graduate

    1975:"Rodgers & Hart" opens at Helen Hayes Theater in New York City for 108 performances.

    1978: After a month, in Miami, the curtain came down for the last time on National Touring Company’s presentation of “Annie” with lyrics by Martin Charnin and music by Charles Strouse.

    1980: ABC broadcast the last episode of season two of “Taxi” starring Judd Hirsch and created by James L. Brooks and Ed Weinberger.

    1980: A Stradivarius built in 1734 was stolen today after Roman “had played an all-Mozart recital” at the Longy School of Music In Cambridge.

    1981: Birthdate of Luciana Clare Berger the Laborite MP known as Luciana Berger who was the great-niece of trade union official and Labour MP Manny Shinwell,

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

    1983: Philip H. Dougherty reported that the “Israel Ministry of Tourism is more than tripling its advertising budget in the United States from last year, to $2.5 million, and may even add another $3 million to lure more American travelers and make up for the European falloff that followed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The advertising, created by Needham, Harper & Steers/Issues and Images, will promote a friendliness and warmth of the Israeli people toward travelers with the new theme line: ''Come to Israel, come stay with friends.''

    1984(11thof Iyar, 5744): Seventy-nine year old Stanislaw Marcin Ulam, the Polish born American physicist who played a key role in the development of the hydrogen bomb today.

    1985(22ndof Iyar, 5745): Sixty-four year old Canadian born American comedic actress best known for role as a bailiff on “Night Court” passed away today in Los Angeles.

    1985(22nd of Iyar, 5745): Sixty-nine year old former Albright College lineman Leo “Moose” Disend who as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers NFL team played in the first ever televised professional football game in 1939 before going to play tackle for the Green Bay Packers passed away today.

    1985: “Kiss of the Spider Woman” for which Héctor Eduardo “Babenco was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director” making him the first Latin American to be nominated in this category, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

    1986(4th of Iyar, 5746): Yom HaZikaron

    1986: In New York painter Carroll Dunham and photographer Laurie Simmons gave birth to Emmy Award nominated actress, author, screenwriter, producer and director Lena Dunham.

    1986: Natan Shcharansky is scheduled to meet with President Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz in Washington, where he is to receive the Congressional Gold Medal at a reception in the Capitol Rotunda. (As reported by Jane Gross)

    1987: Leonard Bernstein will serve as guest conduct of the Israel Philharmonic as the IPO marks its 50th anniversary.

    1988: Jack Lang began serving as Culture Minster of France for the second time.

    1988: “The Wrong Guys,” a comedy directed by Danny Bilson who co-authored the script and co-starring Richard Lewis and Richard Belzer was released in the United States today.

    1988: “Maniac Cop” produced and written by Larry Cohen was released today in the United States.

    1988: Vincent Canby reviews “The Lighthoresman,” an Australian made film that depicts the heroism of 800 Australian mounted soldiers who triumphed over thousands of Turks and Germans at Beersheba, in southern Palestine, on Oct. 31, 1917. The battle was a key to the eventual Allied victory over the Turks during World War I which was a critical step in the creation of the modern state of Israel.  As mechanized vehicles and machine guns came to dominate the modern battlefield, the Australians climatic cavalry charge against the Turks proved to be the last great, successful endeavor of this kind.

    1993: CBS broadcast the final episode of “Knots Landing” one of the longest running prime time soap operas which was created by Baltimore native David Jacobs.

    1996(24th of Iyar, 5756): Eighty year old Professor Chaim Menachem Rabin, the native of Germany who became one of Israel’s premiere expert on Hebrew, especially as found in such ancient documents as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    1998(24thof Iyar, 5756): Eighty-nine year old Harry Wagreich, a Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at CCNY and the brothers Drs. Samuel and Paul Wagreich passed away today.

    1998:A souvenir sheet of three illustrations by Kariel Gardosh (Dosh) showing postal activities and featuring the character of "Srulik": a service counter at a post office, philately, and post boxes is issued by the Israeli Postal Authority.

    1999(27th of Iyar, 5759): Mary Ellen “Meg Greenfield” famed political columnist and editor of the Washington Post Editorial Page,   passed away.

    1999: On his 32nd birthday, famed musician Chuck Schuldiner was diagnosed with pontine glioma, a type of brain cancer that invades the brain stem, and immediately underwent radiation therapy.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Holocaust on Trial” by D.D. Guttenplan, “Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial” by Richard J. Evans and the recently released paperback edition of “Dazzler: The Life and Times of Moss Hart” by Steven Bach “a careful, clear-eyed account of the life of the playwright, director and actor  who collaborated with Broadway's best and pleased many people many times without making large claims for his own significance.”

    2001: Premiere of “Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m.” directed and written by Claude Lanzman and starring Yehuda Lerner.

    2003: A memorial service will be held this morning at the Chicago Yacht Club for Arnold Horween Jr. a successful Chicago business owner who once dined with former President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush.”

    2005: Eighty five year old Hugh William Montefiore, The Bishop of Birmingham and the great-great-nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore, who converted to Christianity while attending Rugby School – a famous English day and boarding school- passed away today.

    2006: Eighty-nine year old Russian History Professor and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Peter Viereck whose views stood in stark contrast to those of Nazi-sympathizing father, George Viereck, passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2006: Approximately 3,000 people came a to a Toronto bookstore to see Leonard Cohen who was making his first public appearance in 13 years. 

    2007: The Wolf Prizes are presented at ceremony in the Knesset.  Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute and George Feher of U.C. San Diego won the Chemistry Prize.  The Art Prize went to Italian Michelangelo Pistoletto.

    2007: After 90 days The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, including some original scroll fragments never before displayed in the United States comes to a close at the Union Station in Kansas City. The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition is a joint production of Union Station Kansas City and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times featuredreviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingThe Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon and Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek which presents a detailed examination of the relationship between America’s first Jewish Secretary of State and his Presidential patron whose dark sided included a predilection for making anti-Semitic remarks.

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingThe Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedländer and The Diary of Petr Ginz, 1941-1942 edited by Chava Pressburger. Petr Ginz was a budding writer and artists who died at Auschwitz in 1944

    2007: The New York Times Magazine publishes “Writings in the Dark” by David Grossman in which “an Israeli novelist reflects on what literature can accomplish in a time of permanent political emergency and personal loss.”

    2007(25th of Iyar, 5767): Harvey Weinstein, a formalwear manufacturer and former chairman of Lord West formal Wear, passed away at the age of 82

    2008: Houston Astros catch Brad Ausmus got his 1,500th career hit making him one of eight catchers in major league history to get 1,500 hits and steal at least 100 bases.

    2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “Andy Borowitz, Jonathan Alter, Susie Essman, Calvin Trillin & More: Countdown to the Election” during which award-winning satirist Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker hosts an irreverent look at the upcoming presidential election, featuring Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, comedian Susie Essman and humorist and writer, Calvin Trillin.

    2008: Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Lakeview's Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation leads a discussion of Rashi's Daughters Book 1: Joheved by Maggie Anton as part of the Spertus Book Review series. “In 1068, the scholar Salomon ben Isaac — better known as Rashi — returned home to the family winemaking business. He embarked on a path that indelibly influenced the Jewish world, writing the first Talmud commentary and secretly teaching Talmud to his daughters. In the first book of Maggie Anton’s dramatic — and romantic — trilogy, Joheved finds her spirit awakened by religious study, but has to keep her passion hidden. Must she choose between marital happiness and her study of Talmud?

    2008: U.S. President George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and media mogul Rupert Murdoch are among the 13 heads of state and 3,500 guests expected to attend President Shimon Peres' Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, which begins today and is being held in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary.


    2008: Best-selling author and Harvard psychology professor Tal Ben-Shahar was the guest speaker at today’s gala for the International Sephardic Education held at the Plaza Hotel, Daniel Roubeni received a Young Leaders Award. ISEF president Nina Weiner received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

    2008: Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan assumed his new post as the 16th commander of the Israel Air Force.  Nehushtan took up his new post during a ceremony at the IAF's Ramat David Base in the North and during which he replaced Maj.-Gen. Elazar Shkedy, head of the air force for the past four years. A pilot with thousands of hours on his flight log, Nehushtan, who previously served as head of the IDF Planning Division, holds degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Northwestern University and Harvard University's Advanced Management Program.

    2008: “A New Editor at the Forward” published today described he ascension to this position by Jane Eisner.

    2008: At today’s gala for the International Sephardic Education Foundation, held at The Plaza, Iran-born real estate maven Daniel Roubeni, a Young Leaders Award recipient, got teary-eyed as he described leaving Germany (where he had grown up) “to find a Jewish wife in the U.S.”

    2009(19th of Iyar, 5769): One-hundred eight year old Wlademar Levy Cardoso, who fought with the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in WW II and was the last living Field Marshall in the Brazilian Army passed away today.

    2009: At the National Archives in Washington, D.C.,Michael Lasser, host of National Public Radio's "Fascinatin' Rhythm," presents a lecture on the music of the Great Depression, "Let's Go Slumming, Nose-Thumbing, at Park Avenue." Lasser is co-author of “America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley” so the lecture is followed y a book signing.

    2010: Professor David Ruderman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The People And The Book: The Invention of Printing And The Transformation of Jewish Culture.”

    2010: The Wolf Prize Awarding Ceremony is scheduled to take place at 6:30 pm the Knesset Building in Jerusalem. The awards are scheduled to be presented to the recipients by the President of the State of Israel, in the presence of the Chairman of the Knesset, the Minister of Education, the Chairman of the Wolf Foundation Board of Trustees, and members of the Foundation´s Council.

    2010: A cross section of rabbis and Jewish leaders met in the White House today with administration leaders in the second of two meetings that are part of a “charm offensive” designed to reassure the American Jewish community of the Obama administration’s positive view of Israel.

    2010: Oz Goffman of the Ministry of Agriculture said today that parliament must still approve the proposal to ban fishing on the Sea of Galilee for the next two years before it takes effect. The ban has already been approved by the cabinet “Israeli officials and scientists who study the freshwater lake hope the ban will allow the population of St. Peter's fish, a local breed of tilapia popular with locals and tourists, as well as other species to regenerate their numbers.” The government has promised to supply financial support for the fisherman over the next two years while the lake is being re-stocked.  The ban will not affect the boats that take tourists out on the Sea of Galilee which is popular stop for Christians looking for the place where fishermen were called upon to be fishers of men.

    2011: On the secular calendar “Friday the 13th”. Friday the 13th has not always been a lucky day for the Jews.  In Strasbourg, the Jews were arrested by a newly installed town council on Friday 13, 1349 on charges that they were responsible for the Black Plague. The Jews were burned the next day, St. Valentine’s Day. Sholom Aleichem, who died on the 13thof May suffered from triskaidekaphobia – the fear of the number 13. Arnold Schoenberg experienced triskaidekaphobia “which possibly began in 1908 with the composition of the thirteenth song of the song cycle Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten Op. 15 (Stuckenschmidt 1977, 96).”  His fear of the number 13 is especially odd since he was born the 13thof September and died on the 13th of July. In her novel “Paternity” Susan Baruch created a character who was born on the 13th and suffers from triskaidekaphobia. For the most part, the Jewish view of the number “13” runs contrary to the Western concept that associates it with bad luck.  Bar and Bat Mitzvah are associated with the number 13.  The TaNaCh lists 13 attributes of God.  There are six hundred and 13 commandments. Maimonides Creed contains 13 principles of Judaism.  There are 13 months in the year. I know, this is not really history, but every so often you have to have a little fun.

    2011:The International Young Israel Movement and the Maimonides Heritage Center are scheduled to present: Shabbaton in the Holy City of Teverya

    2011(9th of Iyar): Ninety-five year old cellist Bernard Greenhouse, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, passed away today, (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011(9th of Iyar): Centenarian Vivian Myerson a political activist in Los Angeles and later a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission passed away today. (As reported by the Eulgizor)

    2011: After protracted contract negotiations, Michael Rosenbaum returned to play “Lex Luthor” in the season finale of “Smallville” which was broadcast today.

    2012: As part of Yom Hashoah events, artist Wendy Weisel is scheduled to speak during the presentation of her painting "Es Brent"– "It is Burning" at Tifereth Israel in Washington, DC.

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.

    2012: The Los Angeles Times features a review of The Crisis of Zionismby Peter Beinart

    2012: “Mazel Tov! A Jewish Celebration of Jewish Weddings” an exhibit that explores the mores, symbolic artifacts, and celebration unique to the Jewish wedding is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee.

    2012: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz on his joining the government coalition during his opening remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting today.

    2012: Presentation of the Wolf Prizes.

    2012: Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan today called on the government to cut off the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip in order to avoid electricity shortages it is feared could affect Israel this summer. (As reported by the Jerusalem Post)

    2013: Fred Lorber, a Holocaust survivor who lives in Des Moines was among the speakers at today’s groundbreaking ceremony for a Holocaust memorial that is being built “alongside the walkways leading up the west terrace of the Iowa Capitol grounds, near the intersection of East Seventh Street and Grand Avenue.”

    2013: Philadelphia born professional tennis player Julia Cohen today “peaked at world number 121 in the doubles ranking.”

    2013: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host “Baseball: Kosher Style” featuring Larry Ruttman, Jeffery Lyons, Bob Tufts and Alan Dershowit

    2013: The Center for Jewish History with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture are scheduled to present: “Tsimbl un Fidl – Uncovering the Lost Jewish String Music of Eastern Europe”

    2013: In Little Rock, AR, the Chabad Center for Jewish Life under the leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment is scheduled to host an open house that will feature an appearance by an authentically trained and certified Sofer.  This rare event is part of the preparations for Shavuot.

    2013: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present: Berlin Book Evening – “Jews in Berlin” and Essays by Kurt Tucholsky.

    2013(4th of Sivan, 5773): Eight –five year old Dr. Joyce Brothers passed away today (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2013:The operating budget for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official and private residences jumped some 80 percent from 2009 to 2012, according to figures made public today following a request by the Movement for Freedom of Information.

    2013: Until now, new immigrant nurses have had to prove they can converse with patients in basic Hebrew, but physicians -- who have less direct contacts with the sick were exempted. Now the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee today approved regulations that would require doctors and two other types of professionals in healthcare to show their Hebrew proficiency as well.

    2014: The Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism is scheduled to host a panel discussion on “Nationalities and Parliaments Now. What Can We Learn From the Past?”

    2014: In the aftermath of the Holyland corruption case “Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison, a two-year suspended term, and a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000) in the Tel Aviv District Court.”


    2014: The Anti-Defamation League released the results of its global survey on anti-Semitism today.

    2015: “Rosenwald,” a documentary about Julius Rosenwald, “the part owner of Sears and Roebuck” who funded the building of 5,400 schools across the segregated American South, providing 660,000 black children with access to education” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th Annual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Films.

    2015: Annette Libeskind Berkovits is scheduled to discuss In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism her new biography about her father at the Center for Jewish History.

    2016: In Olney, MD Rabbi David Golinkin, “who was named by the Jerusalem Post as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world:  is scheduled is scheduled to speak on “Earthly or Heavenly? Will the real Jerusalem Please Stand Up?” at Shaare Tefilah.

    2016: Congregation Rodeph Sholom is scheduled to host “a Shabbat Evening Celebration of Israel.”

    2016: The Biennial Convention of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America is scheduled to open in Baltimore, MD.

    2016: International Hummus Day

    2016(5th of Iyar, 5776): On the fifth of Iyar 5708 (May 14, 1948) the state of Israel was born.

    2017(17th of Iyar, 5777): Parashat Emor;

    2017: International Humus Day celebrating a food that “93% of Israelis eat more than once a week.:

    2017: Centerfielder Kevin Pillar today “became the American League leader in hits with 47, after a 3-for-4 performance against the Seattle Mariners.”

    2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host Seudah Shlishit and havdalah following by a Lag B’Omer celebration completed with a bonfire, smores, singing and drinking.

    2017: “A Story of the Land of Israel through the Lens: A History of Photography in Palestine-Israel” and “Israel’s Nationalism: The Original Conflict within Zionism and its Transformation in the Course of Its Implementation” are two of the presentations scheduled to be offered at today’s session of LIMMUDFSU NY.

    2017: A monument honorig Captain Witold Pilecki, “non-Jewish Polish Army officer who reported on atrocities at Auschwitz after allowing himself to be captured and later fought in the resistance was unveiled in Warsaw” today. (JTA)

    2017: The PIcon Union Project and the Jewish Music Commission of LA are scheduled to host “Niki Jacobs & Nikitov in Concert with special guest Mostly Kosher.”

     2017: Cedar Rapidians are marking the 101stanniversary of the death of Shalom Aleichem by attending a production of Fiddler on the Roof performed by the students at Jefferson High School.  These talented youngsters have not only mastered song, dance and drama while doing all of the behind scenes work like building their own sets, thanks to the efforts of their teacher and director, Lynn Jensen they have learned about culture and customs in a time and  place that was unknown to them.  Thanks to Mrs. Jensen, there is a Cedar Rapids Shtetl that makes the community proud.

    2018: The 26th annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to end today.

    2018: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Memento Park by Mark Sarvas, Healing From Hate: How Young Men Get Into – and Out of – Violent Extremism by Michael Kimmel and  Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu by Anshel Pfeffer

    2018: In Atlanta, The Breman Museum is scheduled to host the opening of the “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” a “traveling exhibition that highlights the story of Jewish immigration and diverse communities and how they are integral to baseball’s role in teaching American Culture.”

    2018: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present a concert of music inspired by the City of Gold, featuring cellist Elad Kabilio and an ensemble of musicians from MusicTalks for a selection of music ranging from Ladino and Klezmer to Opera and Israeli song.

    2018: The Washington Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end today.



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    May 14

    1141: As he journeyed towards Jerusalem, Yehuda Halevi set sail for Palestine today from Alexandria, Egypt. According to legend, Halevi was killed by an Arab horseman when as he reached his ultimate destination.

    1288: Thirteen Jews in Troyes, France were burned at the stake by the inquisition

    1316: Birthdate of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Charles viewed his Jewish subjects as “servi camerae” and issued numerous letters ordering that they not be harmed.  The title of Holy Roman Emperor sounded grand but had very limited power so these letters went unheeded for the most part.  However, when the Jewish community of Breslau was attacked, Charles ordered the killers to be arrested and punished for their crimes.

    1482: As the Christians continued their push to take control all of the Iberian Peninsula King Ferdinand took command at Alhama during the Granada War.

    1483: Coronation of Charles VIII of France ("Charles l'Affable"). In the second year of his reign, following accusations of usury, the inhabitants of Marseilles, the port city of the recently acquired territory of Provence, attacked the Jewish neighborhoods pillaging them and killing numbers of Jews in 1484 and again in the early months of 1485, leading to an exodus of Jews from the city, especially to Sardinia which became home to about 200 Jewish families of Marseilles. However, King Charles VIII was not inclined to conform to the popular demand of expelling the Jews from Provence. He decreed that all Jews wishing to leave should be allowed to leave Marseilles unharmed on condition they had fulfilled all their engagements with the Christians. The city authorities, on the other hand, were not prepared to let the Jews leave Marseilles with their property and took various measures in order to reduce their emigration, among others they organized an inventory of the Jewish property in Marseilles in 1486. The resulting protests of the Jews assured the royal intervention and a few additional years of protection. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 brought new Jewish inhabitants to Marseilles. In 1492 the Jewish community of Marseilles ransomed 118 Jews of Aragon captured by the pirate Bartholemei Janfredi, having paid the sum of 1,500 écus, which it borrowed from a Christian. Renewed anti-Jewish attacks in 1493 eventually led to the general expulsion of the Jews from Marseilles three years after Charles passed away in 1498.

    1507: Hernando de Talavera, the archbishop of Granada and Confessor of Queen Isabela who came from a family of “Conversos” passed away today. (Editor’s note – he is but one example of how those with “Jewish Blood” held positions of power and responsibility much to the consternation of Old Christians in Spain.)

    1572: Gregory XIII begins his papacy. “Gregory's policy toward the Jews cannot be distinctly characterized, since it swayed between relative favor and severity. Soon after his election, he protected the Jews in the ghetto of Rome who were in danger of being attacked by the soldiers. Further, an order issued by his notary threatened with hanging any non-Jew found in the ghetto or its vicinity without a valid reason. Gregory authorized once more moneylending with a maximum interest rate of 24%. He guaranteed the safe-conduct of Jews coming into Italy or passing through the country. Although Marranos were also able to benefit from this concession, Gregory nevertheless allowed the Marrano Joseph Saralbo, who had returned to Judaism in Ferrara, to be condemned to the stake in 1583. Gregory was also responsible for organizing regular compulsory missionary sermons, often with the collaboration of apostate preachers The Jewish community was compelled to defray the costs of this institution, as well as the expenses of the House of *Catechumens. The new prohibitions against Jewish physicians treating Christian patients contributed to the decline of medical science among Italian Jews. However, shortly before his death, Gregory intervened with the Knights of Malta to obtain the release of Jewish prisoners in their hands, even though the ransom he offered was lower than the sum demanded.” (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

    1590: On this date the Sumptuary Laws were enacted aimed at the Jews of Casale (Italy). These were laws regulating what Jews may wear, how they may marry, what they may serve at a wedding, and all manner of what might be called social intercourse. These laws were commonplace in Europe and designed to humiliate and punish the Jews in the name of Christ

    1637: The Jews of Venice were denied the right to practice law

    1643:  Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. Louis reigned until his death in 1715.  His record of dealing with the Jews was uneven, based primarily on financial needs and attempts by Catholic French merchants to use religion to oust their Jewish competitors.  Five years before his death, he issued a final ban against Jews living in France, a ban that was not fully enforced.

    1726(13thof Iyar, 5486):  Rabbi Moshe Darshan, author of Torat Ahsam, passes away.

    1803: Birthdate of Salomon Munk, the German-born French Orientalist. In his formative years he was a trained in Torah and Talmud before moving on to Berlin where he became well versed in the classical languages and cultures.  He moved to France, because as a Jew, he could not be hired to work in his chosen profession.  In France, he developed an expertise in the works of Aristotle and Maimonides.

    1807: The newly created grand duchy of Baden recognizes “Judaism as an officially tolerated religion” mean they are “emancipated.”  At the same time Jews are still exclude from being employed in the civil service.

    1808: Birthdate of Leon Hyneman, a native of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania  who settled in Philadelphia where he was a leading Mason and the father of eight children including Leona Moss who gained fame as an actress using the stage name of Leona Moss and Alice  Hyneman, a noted author.

    1817: Birthdate of Moses Polock “a well-known and somewhat eccentric antiquarian bookseller” who was the maternal uncle of Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach.

    1820: Birthdate of Morris Rosenbach, the husband of Isabella H. Polock and father of Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach, his eighth and youngest child who became one of America’s leading collector of rare books and manuscripts.

    1824: The Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, meeting in Lancaster, a city that for one day in September, 1777 was capital of the nascent United States of America, "carefully perused and examined" the Constitution of the Jewish congregation known as Kaal Kadosh Mickve Israel (The Holy Congregation Hope of Israel) in Philadelphia which decrees that services in the Philadelphia synagogue shall always be according to the custom of the Portuguese Jews. The finding of Justices Tilghman, Gibson and Duncan was that this, and everything else in their proposed constitution, was lawful. It was a beautiful example of the novus ordo seclorum "the new order of the times" promised on the Great Seal of the United States. Let us strive to remember this in our day when this new order is under constant attack, both at home and abroad.

    1828: Lewis Raphael married Rachel Mocatta today.

    1832: Birthdate of Rudolf Lipschitz, the German mathematician who gave “his name to the Lipschitz continuity condition.”

    1832: The premiere of “L'elisir d'amor” which would later be produced by Max Maretzek took place at the Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan

    1846: Birthdate of Ernst Herter, the German sculptor who created the Lorelie Fountain, a memorial to Heinrich Heine that was unveiled in the Bronx because the city of his birth, Dusseldorf, rejected it due the prevailing anti-Semitic views in the “Fatherland.”

    1847: Composer Fanny Mendelssohn passed away.  She was the granddaughter of Moses Mendelssohn.  Her grandfather was one of the founders of what would become Reform Judaism.  Unfortunately, Fanny was not Jewish.

    1853: Word reached the United States today, as reported in the New York Times,that Holy Week had seen outbreaks of violence in Jerusalem. Greeks and Armenians fought with each in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher while 24 “missionaries of the London Protestant Association” had “a scuffle with the Jews in the streets of Jerusalem.”

    1853:  According to reports published today, J. Lewis Levy Esq., who is Jewish, has been returned as guardian of the Cathedral City of Rochester (U.K.)

    1853: The New York Times reported that the Earl of Aberdeen has told the House of Lords that he had changed his mind about the Jewish Disabilities Bill.  Two years ago he had voted against the bill.  Now he was prepared to vote for it because “he regarded the exclusion of the Jews from civil privileges as a remnant of the spirit of persecution which prevailed in former times throughout Christendom.”

    1854: The American Society for Meliorating the Conditions of the Jews celebrated its sixth anniversary with a meeting tonight at the Reformed Dutch Church in New York City.  The organization is dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity.  The Society is convinced that the Jews of the United States are ripe for conversion.  However according to its own figures there are more than 40,000 Jews living in the United States and the society has successfully converted 79 of them.


    1855(26th of Iyar, 5615): Eighty-eight year old French banker Beer Léon Fould the son of Jacob Bernard Fould and the father of Achille Fould, the French Finance Minister for Napoleon III passed away today in Paris.

    1858: In Andover, CT, Susan and Joel Foote Bingham gave birth to Theodore Alfred Bingham who while serving as “Police Commissioner of New York  published an article in North American Review on "Foreign Criminals" in which he asserted that half the criminals in the city were Jews” – an assertion he retracted after creating this controversy.

    1859: Isaias W. Hellman and his brother Herman W. Hellman arrived in Los Angles from Bavaria and went subsequently went to work in a dry goods store owed by their cousins.

    1859: Mr. R. J. de Cordova, a well-known humorist is scheduled to give a lecture this morning at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Mr. de Cordova is scheduled to give a lecture every third Saturday for the rest of the year.

    1861: Birthdate of Alfred J. Cohen, the native of Birmingham, England who moved to the United States in 1887 and as Alan Dale became a leading and often “despised” theatre critic.

    1861: A copy of the War Department order announcing Major Mordecai's resignation reached the arsenal at Watervliet, NY which forced Mordecai to relinquish command to his subordinate before his unnamed replacement had arrived.

    1864(8th of Iyar, 5624):Baron Salomon de Rothschild died in Paris today at the age of 29, only two years after his marriage and less than a year after the birth of his daughter, Helene. He was buried at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the family vault. Of his death, the Goncourt brothers wrote "Cabarrus, the Rothschild's doctor, told Saint-Victor that the young Rothschild who died the other day really died of the excitement of gambling on the stock exchange."

    1864: Emma Mordecai had a dispute with her sister-in-law Rosina over reports of a victory by the Confederates under General Lee.  Rosina, who was not Jewish, doubted the report.  Emma, who was Jewish and was an ardent Southern patriot, insisted that the report must be true.  Mordecai's outburst was intemperate since she was a refugee staying at her sister-in-law's Virginia farm

    1865(18thof Iyar, 5625): Lag B’Omer

    1865: In Galicia, Marcus Langbank and Rachel Langbank gave birth to Dr. Lucian Mayer Langbank.

    1867: Birthdate of Kurt Eisner, author and critic turned politician.  Eisner opposed the Kaiser during World War I and became the first democratically elected leader of Bavaria after the war.  He was assassinated in 1919.

    1869(4thof Sivan, 5629): Sixty-five year old “Talmudist and bibliographer” Gabriel Jacob Polak, whose works include “Dibre Kodesh, a Dutch-Hebrew dictionary passed away in Amsterdam today.

    1872: In response to a U.S. Senate resolution of March 28, today, President Grant sent to the Senate copies of all correspondence regarding “the persecution and oppression of the Israelites of Romania.” The correspondence consisted of a series of letters from Benjamin F. Peixotto, the American Consul at Bucharest and Hamilton Fish, the U.S. Secretary of State.  In the correspondence, Peixotto described the attacks on the Jews and the failure of the government to punish the attackers.  He also described the efforts made by the representatives of several European governments, except for the Russians, who attempted to intercede with the government of Prince Michael on behalf of the Jews.  For his part, Secretary Fish wrote to Peixotto expressing his support for any action that might “avert or mitigate further harshness toward” toward the Jews living in Romania. [Editor Note – The Grant Administration’s support of the Jews of Romania is but one of several actions that would tend to show that Grant was not an anti-Semite and that the order of expulsion he issued during the Civil War was an aberration and a mistake he regretted rather than a sign of deep character flaw.]

    1873(17thof Iyar, 5633): Seventy-six year old Gideon Brach the Austrian physician and surgeon who was the nephew of Moritz Steinschneider passed away today.

    1873: The New York Times reviewed Sketches of Jewish Life and Historyby Henry Gersoni which was published by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Printing Establishment.

    1875(9thof Iyar, 5635): Seventy-five year old linguist and literary historian Gottfried Bernhardy passed away today.

    1876: Birthdate of Etta Karesh Levin, the wife of Julius Levin and the mother of Sidney Levin who after her death in 1952 was buried in KKBI Cemetery in Charleston

    1879: “Frenchmen of Foreign Origin: Distinguished Instances of Aliens Attaining Position in France” published today provides background information on several non-native Frenchmen who rose to prominence in France and who played key role in the life of the country.  Of the Jews who fit into this category, the article mentions “the ancestor of the bankers Pereire [who] was a Portuguese Jew who introduced into France the teaching of the deaf and dumb; Bisschoffsheim, another banker is a self-made Jew…Bauer a Hungarian convert from Judaism [who] was court preacher to Napoleon III…Salomon Munk, another orientalist was a German Jew. So too was Jules Oppert, whose religion obliged him to seek a professorship in France.” [Editor’s Note – The references to Munk and Oppert are self-explanatory, although the column makes one mistake.  It was Munk, not Oppert, who came to France because his religion precluded him from being hired in his native Germany.  Bauer probably refers to Abbe Bauer who reportedly trained as a Rabbi before converting to Roman Catholicism.  Bisschoffsheim is probably Raphael Louis Bischoffsheim, the banker whose philanthropy included the founding of the Nice Observatory. Pierre probably refers to Emile and Isaac Pierre the 19th century bankers of Sephardic origin, who were the sons of Jacob Rodrigues Pereira, who was “one of the inventors of a manual language for the deaf.”

    1879: Mary Nolhes swore out a complaint in the Essex Market Police Court today “charging her husband, Joseph, a Polish Jew with abandonment.”  The complaint was dismissed after the court determined that Joseph was “a henpecked husband” who had been abandoned by his wife.  Gustav Diner, a “young and muscular man” who was the complainant’s brother, left the court with the couple.  Once outside of the building, Diner, who apparently thought he could not be seen by anybody from the court “began to pound his brother-in-law unmercifully.” A police officer named Ryan “collared Ryan” and took him back to Court where he was jailed on charges of assault and battery.

    1882: In Bloomington, Illinois several members of the Jewish community met at the B’nai B’rith hall to discuss the organization of congregation which would be founded later in the year as Moses Montefiore Congregation with Aaron Livingston as President.

    1884(19th of Iyar, 5644): Forty year old Karel Abraham Wertheim, the son of Johannes Jonas Wertheim and Marie Rosenick and the husband of Henriette van Heukelom passed away today in the Netherlands.

    1884: Max Shloss and Rosa Sheuerman were married today in Des Moines Iowa.

    1885: Birthdate of conductor and composer Otto Klemperer.  Born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) Klemperer was a child prodigy taking his first music lessons at the age of four.  Like so many of his generation, Klemperer had two lives.  The first was in Germany, the second in the United States.  His musical contributions to his native land were recognized by President Hindenburg who gave him the Goethe Medal "for his contributions to the advancement of German Culture."  A few years later, in 1933, the Nazis confiscated his property and issued a warrant for his arrest.  Klemperer came to the Klemperer came to the United States in 1934 with the reputation as a world-famous conductor.  Over the years he led orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and was director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for six years.  He also continued his distinguished career as a composer.  He died in 1973 at the age of 88.

    1886: Birthdate of Polish born Dutch businessman Abraham Icek Tuschinski who built several movie theatres in the Netherlands and was murdered at Auschwitz in 1942.

    1889(13thof Iyar, 5649): Thirty-five year old Sophie Walter, the wife of Mortiz Walter and the daughter of Joseph and Babette Seligman passed away today.

    1889(13th of Iyar, 5649): Samuel Hirsch, a major Reform religious philosopher and rabbi, passed away in Chicago, Illinois. Born in 1815 at “Thalfang, (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (formerly part of Prussia), he received his training at Metz. He attended the University of Bonn, the University of Berlin, and the University of Leipzig. He first became rabbi at Dessau in 1838 but was forced to resign in 1841 because he promoted a radically liberal form of Judaism, later to become known as classic German Reform Judaism. In 1843 he published his "Die Messias-Lehre der Juden in Kanzelvorträgen" and "Religionsphilosophie der Juden." In 1843 he was appointed chief rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by King William II of the Netherlands. During this period he published his "Die Humanität als Religion." He took an active part in the annual rabbinical conferences held at Brunswick (1844), Frankfurt am Main (1845), and Breslau (1846). In 1844 he published his "Reform im Judenthum." Having received a call from the Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1866, he resigned his post in Europe and moved to the United States. There he succeeded Dr. David Einhorn. From his arrival onward he became closely identified with, and an open advocate of, radical Reform. In 1869 he was elected president of the rabbinical conference held in Philadelphia, at which the principles of Reform Judaism were formulated. In that year he engaged also in numerous ritual and doctrinal controversies. Hirsch remained officiating rabbi of the Philadelphia congregation for twenty-two years, resigning in 1888, after having spent fifty years of his life in the ministry. Moving to Chicago, he took up his abode there with his son, Emil G. Hirsch. During his rabbinate in Philadelphia Hirsch organized the Orphans' Guardian Society, and was the founder of the first branch in the United States of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Hirsch is best known as the author of the "Religionsphilosophie," a work written from the Hegelian point of view, but for the purpose of vindicating the claim of Judaism to the rank denied it by Hegel, the rank of an "absolute religion." In this book he proved himself to be an original thinker (see "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1895, pp. 126 et seq.). His "Katechismus der Israelitischen Religion" was also constructed on original lines; he considered the Biblical legends to be psychological and typical allegories, and the ceremonies of Judaism to be symbols of underlying ideas. From this attitude his Reform principles are derived. He denied that Judaism is a law; it is Lehre ("teaching" or "lore") but is expressed in symbolic ceremonies that may be changed in accordance with historic development. He was the first to propose holding Jewish services on Sunday instead of the traditional Jewish Sabbath Shabbat. He contributed to the early volumes of The Jewish Times (1869-1878). His principal works were first issued in Germany, among them What is Judaism?(1838), sermons (1841), and Religious Philosophy of the Jews (1843).”

    1891: Claims have were filed by many of the unsecured creditors of Levy Brothers & Co with the Sheriff today

    1891: Solomon Crizar, a Polish Jew was still in custody today facing charges for setting fired to a tenement on Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn, NY

    1891: A detachment of troops has been sent from Athens to Corfu to restore order after an outbreak of violence that has resulted in the death of 2 Jews and all businesses owned by the Jews closed. At the same time the Prefect of Corfu has been summoned to Athens to explain the outbreak of violence

    1892: In Germany, the liberal newspapers express the hope that the libel action brought by Loewe & Co against Rector Ahlwardt, the well-known Jew-baiter will put an end to his false claim that this Jewish firm supplied defective rifles to the army.

    1892: Mrs. Schloss purchased a picture embroidered by a little girl from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on the last night Actors’ Fund Fair.

    1892(17thof Iyar, 5652): Fifty-two year Asher Simchah  Weissmann, who in 1889 founded  a German periodical, "Monatsschrift für die Litteratur und Wissenschaft des Judenthum," which was issued with a Hebrew supplement passed away today in Vienna.

    1892: “Columbia Likely to Get More Books” published today described the successful efforts of Professor Richard Gottheil and E.R.A. Seligman to secure the books in the library of Temple Emnau-El for Columbia College.  The school already has a Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages.

    1893: Harold Frederic sent a cable from London “announcing that the exodus of Jews from Poland had actually begun and that the refugees were already arriving in America.”

    1893: It was learned today that many of the Jews arriving at Ellis Island from Hamburg were not German Jews, but Polish Jews who had spent the winter the German port.

    1893: “New Jersey Religious Bodies” published today provides a picture of denominational membership in the Garden State. There are 19 Orthodox congregations with 2,521 members and 5 Reform congregations with 1,755 members scattered through the state.  The total number of Jews in the state is thought to be closer to 15,000 than the published 4,276. The discrepancy is created by the fact that most congregations tend to just count the head of the family instead of all family members.

    1893: It was reported today that in Germany “the ultimate result of the elections will be a Reichstag considerably more reactionary than the last which will vote for the army bill in return for legislation” advancing the cause of anti-Semitism.

    1893: It was reported today form London that “it turns out that the expulsion of Jews from Poland has been going on longer and on a gar large than scale that “previously suspected and that while “Sir Julian Goldsmith and one other official of the Jewish Board of Guardians” knew about it “nothing has been published” in the local press about the matter.

    1894: In Denver, CO, Council No. 6 of the National Council of Jewish Women was organized today with a membership of 98 led by Mrs. C.S. Benjamin as President

    1894: Birthdate of Jacob Meyer Levy, the native of the Ukraine who immigrated to Palestine at the age of 19, the Israeli educator and author whose works included five volumes of history textbooks “and the translation of four of French-Jewish philosopher Henri Bergson's books into Hebrew.”

    1894: The London correspondent of the New York Times reported today that the Jewish immigrants being forced to leave Russia face an additional challenge – an outbreak of Cholera which has spread from southwestern Russia to areas near Hamburg and Riga which are the ports of embarkation used by these emigrants

    1894:  A summary of the statistics that first appeared in the “new journal, the Rundschau” published by “the Jew-baiter” Herman Ahlwardt that the Jewish population in Berlin has gone from 6,500 in 1840, to 30,000 in 1870 to 75,000 in 1890 and that “46 per cent of all the houses in Berlin belong to Jews.” (This compares to a total population of 322,626 in 1840, 826,341 in 1871 and 1,578, 794 in 1890)

    1895: Based on a review published today, “Oliver Twist” is no longer popular with New York theatre goers. Among other things, “the audience refused to take Fagin seriously” even though H. G. Carleton played the part with great skill.  Apparently, a play featuring an evil Jew no longer has the allure it did when Dickens wrote the novel on which the play is based.

    1895: In Paris, Gaston Michel Calmann-Lévy married Hélène Calmann-Lévy

    1895: Birthdate of Lew Lehr, the native of Philadelphia, PA comedian and writer in the pioneering days of film and radio whose works included Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

    1896: Birthdate of Martin Riesenburger, the Berlin born dentist who survived the Shoah to help rebuild the Jewish community in post-war Germany.

    1897(12th of Iyar, 5657): Seventy-five year old opera impresario Max Maretzek passed away at Pleasant Plains, New York

    1898: “Stories of the Ghetto” published today provides a review of The Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan.

    1898: The Rabbi of Temple Israel in Harlem Dr. M. H. Harris presided over today’s events marking “the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Temple Israel of Harlem and the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the present edifice” which included an address by Dr. Emil G. Hirsh, the Chairman of the Semitic Literature Department at the University of Chicago on “Eternal Judaism.”

    1898: At Jefferson Barracks, MO, during the Spanish-American War, among those who were mustered into the 3rd Missouri Volunteer Infantry Privates Morris Franklin, Samuel P. Bachar, Hugh L. Herzberg, Mark Bidez, Robert Samuels, Max Cohen, Joseph D. Meyers, William Levin, Harry Heller and Corporal David A. Goodman, all from Kansas City, MO was as Privates Clarence Leftwich and Edgar W. Marks of Independence, MO.

    1898: During the Spanish-American War, the United States acquired the USS Celtic, “a stores ship” on which Lt. Jr. Grade Stanford Moses served during the Philippine-American War.

    1899: Reverend Madison C. Peters of the Bloomingdale Reformed Church gave the second lecture in his series “Justice to the Jew” in which he is trying to correct many of the inaccurate conceptions about this “race that has been maligned.”

    1899: In Krefeld, chemist Friedrich Auerbach, the son of Leopold Auerbach and his wife gave birth to zoologist and geneticist Charlotte “Lottie” Auerbach.

    1899: “Russian Plans Against Jews” published today described various anti-Semitic policies being pursued by the Czar’s government, the first of which was the prohibition of Jews being in St. Petersburg, the nation’s capital.  The ban applies to foreign Jews including those from France, Russia’s primary military ally.

    1899: “Opposed to Zionism” published today provided a summary of the views on Rabbi Samuel Schulman that first appeared in the Menorah in which the Reform  cleric “the movement as an outgrowth of Jewish despair” which is an “interruption of the work of education and Americanization of the Russian Jews” in the New York City.

    1902: Italian General Giuesppe Ottolenghi, a native of Lombardy was appointed Minister of War today.

    1904: In Bern, Switzerland Albert Einstein and Mileva Marić gave birth to their second child and first son Hans Albert Einstein.

    1904: Herzl writes to the Austrian Foreign Ministry. He reports on this audience with Agenor Goluchowsky, the Austrian Foreign Minister.

    1908(13th of Iyar, 5668): Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach, a New York gangster was gunned down.

    1910: A pogrom was perpetrated by a nationalist organization against the cultural institutions of the Russian Jews in Buenos Aires.

    1911: Eighteen year old Morris Kolsky who gained fame as cinematographer Richard Freyer arrived in New York “on board the steamship Majestic.”

    1912: The Tomb of Samuel Manasseh Ben Israel was restored at the Middleburg Portuguese Cemetery in Holland.

    1912: In London an exhibition of the work of pupils from the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts and Jerusalem’s Evelina de Rothschild School came to a close today

    1913: New York Governor William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller. Governor Sulzer enjoyed support among the Jewish community of New York City and signed The 1913 New York State Civil Rights Act into law.

    1913: Mrs. B.M. Engelhard is scheduled to be installed as President of the Baron Hirsch Woman’s Club this afternoon in the Banquet Hall of the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago.

    1913: Birthdate of Chelsea, Massachusetts native Ben “Red” Kramer, the standout guard and forward for Long Island University in the 1930 who went on to play professional ball from 1938 to 1945.

    1915: During WWI, the Alliance Israelite Universelle announced that it would continue all activities in its institutions in the Ottoman Empire.

    1915: In expressing his support for President Wilson, “A.L. Shiplikoff, Secretary of the United Hebrew Trades said…’The 300,000 Jews represented by the United Hebrew Trades in this city are in favor of he abolition of war and the permanent establishment of international peace.”

    1915: Plans were announced today for a public mass meeting in Minneapolis “to ask the Governor of Georgia to commute Leo M. Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

    1915: “The Zionist Association and its affiliated organizations in America and England” are appeals “to obtain the State Department…to obtain the release from the detention camp at Ruhbleben near Berlin of Israel Cohen, Secretary of the International of Zionist Organization” who is the author ofJewish Life in Modern Times and was interned at the beginning of the war” because he was a British subject.

    1916: As of today the American Jewish Relief Committee of which Felix M. Warburg is the treasurer had received additional contributions including $24 from the Menorah Society of Penn State University, $25 from the Cairo Thread Works and $100 from Zeta Beta Tau.

    1916: “After Henry Morgenthau” who had just resigned as the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey “told of the pitiable plight of the outlawed Armenians at a mass meeting in Carnegie Hall this afternoon” those in the audience “started a $5,000,000 relief fund, with contributions of more than $30,000.”

    1916: “At a meeting of the members of the American Jewish Committee held today at the Hotel Astor…a resolution was adopted to authorize the committee to unite with other Jewish societies for the calling of a congress of Jewish societies in June for he purposed of obtaining full rights for the Jews of all lands and the abrogation of all laws discriminating against them.”

    1916: In Philadelphia, PA, the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War held a national conference where it was reported that the organization had raised $1, 074, 386.

    1917: The Columbia Menorah Society sponsored a concert of Jewish music this evening at the Horace Mann Auditorium at Columbia University with the proceeds going to Jewish War Relief.

    1917: The Cantor’s Association of American which had been founded in 1908 held its 8thannual meeting under the leadership of President Solomon Baum.

    1917: Dr. J.L. Magnus is scheduled to attend today’s meeting of the Chicago Rabbinical Association at the Stratford Hotel.

    1918: “To Pray for Victory” published today described the call sent out by the Union the Orthodox Rabbis signed by Rabbis Moses S. Margolies, Solomon E. Jaffe and Israel Rosenberg among announcing that in accord with President Wilson request for a day of prayer and fasting on May 30 all synagogues would remain open for worship on that day and the fast would be treated in the same manner as official fast days on the Jewish Calendar.

    1920(26th of Iyar, 5680): Sixty year old “David Kessler, one of the leading Yiddish actors in the United States and the manager of Kessler’s Second Avenue Theatre” passed away this afternoon at Beth Israel Hospital.

    1923: A check for $10,000 was handed by Mr. Felix Warburg to Dr. Chaim Weizmann just before the former sailed for Europe.

    1923: “Until its reorganization today, the Oberat” the supreme council that directed the affairs of the Jewish community “was under state control

    1923: It was reported today that The Committee on Higher Degrees of Columbia University has accepted the dissertation of Dr. Mordecai Saltes entitled “The Yiddish Press As A Force in America.” (JTA)

    1923: A radical change in money raising methods for National Jewish philanthropies was proposed at the National Conference of the Jewish Social Service which began its sessions this afternoon here at the Hotel Washington. The proposal, made by Mr. Samuel A. Goldsmith of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, New York, on behalf of the Committee of Nine appointed last year was that instead of these institutions obtaining their maintenance and other funds by direct, personal solicitation, a national budget be established based on the requirements of these institutions. (As reported by JTA)

    1924: In Berlin, Alfred Schuman, a German Christian who converted to Judaism and his wife Hedwig née Rothholz Schuman gave birth to jazz musician Hein Jakob “Coco” Schumann who at 19 was shipped to Theresienstadt “where he became a member of the Ghetto Swingers” before being shipped to Auschwitz where he beat death a lived until liberation despite having contracted the deadly spotted fever.

    1924: The first conference of the General Zionist movement concluded its meeting in Jerusalem. It decided to establish a General Zionist Federation to amalgamate all centrist factions in Palestine.

    1924: Establishment of the city of Bnei Brak.  Bnei Brak is mentioned in the Bible as one of the cities of the tribe Dan.  Later it was famous as the site of Rabbi Akiva’s academy.  The city is mentioned in the Haggadah as the place where the all-night Seder of the Rabbinic sages took place.  The modern city was founded by charedi Jews from Poland and is famous for its yeshivot and Chassidic communities. Bnei Brak is northwest of Tel Aviv.

    1925: Birthdate of Hungarian born historian Tibor Szamuely who served with the Red Army during World War II, served 18 months in a labor camp on espionage charges and produced a “major study of Soviet history, The Russian Tradition.

    1925:  Birthdate of Yuval Ne’eman founder of Israel’s space program and a key figure in Israel’s nuclear program.

    1926: Birthdate of Allen Mandelbaum, whose fluid, sensitive English version of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” stamped his reputation as one of the world’s premier translators of Italian and classical poetry (As reported by William Grimes)

    1927: In Brussels, Max Stuckgold, an engineer and his wife Marsha who “were Jewish immigrants from Poland” gave birth to Julien Joseph Stuckgold who became a major New York real estate developer.

    1927: Birthdate of Detroit native Seymour Austen Lipkin, the grandson of a professional violinist and the son of a doctor who played with the Doctors’ Symphony Orchestra who became a leading conductor and pianist.

    1928(24th of Iyar): Novelist Mordecai David Brandstaetter passed away today

    1929: In Winnipeg, Canada, Rebecca and John Weidman gave birth to Barbara Weideman, who as Barbara Branden, the wife of Larry Branden “helped popularize Ayn Rand’s philosophy” but then upset her acolytes with an unauthorized biography of the “queen of self-interest.”

    1929: Birthdate of William Jay Adler, Brooklyn born author and editor whose works included What to Name Your Jewish Baby. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1930: In Norwalk, CT, Henry Abrahams and “the former Minnie Koffman” gave birth to Elizabeth Abrahams who gained fame as “ceramic artist Elizabeth Woodman” and the husband of artist George Woodman.

    1930: In New York, Ruth and Sol Peterman gave birth to famed opera singer Roberta Peters

    1930: Dr. Leon Pazi, who has just returned from Palestine, cheered delegates to the Argentine Zionist Congress which opened here today, with an optimistic report of the work of the Jewish colonies in Palestine. Zionists from all parts of Argentine are in attendance. Assurance of the support and sympathy of the people of Argentine for Zionism was given the congress by Senator Molinari while reports on the work of the Buenos Aires Zionist Federation during the riots in Palestine last Summer and on the aid being given Zionism by Zionists in Argentine were read to the delegates by the president of the Buenos Aires Zionist Federation. (As reported by JTA)

    1931: In New York City,Eugene Picker, “a film pioneer and movie theatre executive of Loew’s Theaters” and his wife gave birth to David Picker, the Dartmouth graduate who “served as President and Chief Executive Officer for United Artists, Paramount, Lorimar and Columbia Pictures.”

    1931(27th of Iyar, 5691): Playwright and stage producer David Belasco passed away.

    1933(18th of Iyar, 5693): Lag B’Omer

    1933: Indignation against the Hitler regime in Germany is not confined to British Jewry but is shared by the British public of all classes and opinions, Leonard Montefiore, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, told members of the Board of Jewish Deputies today

    "We also enjoy the sympathy of the British Government, but the Government has other problems like disarmament and the World Economic Conference," he pointed out. "Nevertheless, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg realized the universal condemnation of British opinion."

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to speak at a public meeting in London if it is arranged as really representative of the country, Mr. Montefiore announced.

    He declared the statement that Jewish soldiers in the war and Jews whose sons were killed in battle were exempt from dismissal from their positions in Germany was "pure camouflage. I met men possessing the Iron Cross debarred from the courts by administrative chicanery," he said.

    The Joint Foreign Committee, which was organized by the Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association to conduct foreign affairs, was urged by Simon Marks, who has been prominent in Zionist fund-raising activities, to ask the aid of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, "in conducting the wider political work ahead." In reply, Nathan Laski declared that the Joint Foreign Committee had consulted Dr. Weizmann several times but that the organization cannot hand him the leadership, which, he said, would be abdication. He said the committee has also been in contact with Lord Reading and Sir Herbert Samuel (As reported by JTA)

    1933: Boxer (and future mob boss) Mickey Cohen fought his last bout today in Tijuana.

    1934: A natural disaster occurs in Tiberius when cloudbursts cause flooding and rockfalls. Homes are swept into Lake Kinneret.

    1935: A court in Bern, Switzerland, pronounces the German edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a forgery.

    1936:  Viscount Edmund Allenby passed away.  As General Allenby, he led the Allied forces that liberated Eretz Israel, including Jerusalem, from the Ottoman Turks.  Allenby’s victory gave practical meaning to the Balfour Declaration by creating facts on the ground.  Furthermore, a Jewish Legion fought under Allenby’s command and played a central role in some of the fighting with the Turks.

    1936: A large Jewish delegation met with the British High Commissioner and discussed the worsening conditions in the country brought on by continued Arab attacks and violence. The Mayor of Tel Aviv questioned the ability of the British to deal with the situations and leaders from Hederah said they could mobilize 150,000 men to protect the Jews and their interests.  The High Commissioner praised the “exemplary Jewish behavior and self-control…He requested the Jews to fortify themselves with more patience.”

    1937: Today’s March of Time included an “episode” describing pressure being brought by the Worker’s Alliance led by David Lesser on U.S. legislators to combat unemployment.”

    1937: The Government today rushed police reinforcements into the Polesia province as anti-Semitic rioting in the town of Brzesc (formerly known as Brest-Litovsk), which caused injuries to 50 Jews and an estimated $400,000 damage, gave signs of spreading to neighboring villages.

    Windows were broken, shops looted and Jews attacked in the streets in the rioting which occurred after a policeman had been fatally wounded, according to an official statement, by a Jewish butcher who resisted arrest for operating an unlicensed slaughterhouse. The butcher was wounded in the foot by a bullet.

    The excesses raged all day and into the evening before the police, aided by reinforcements from Warsaw, got control. Three Jews were seriously injured. Most of the Jewish shops in the town were demolished and others closed their doors.

    Many peasants attending market day in Brzesc participated in the rioting, dragging Jews from hansoms and beating them in the streets. Main trading streets suffered most from vandalism and looting. Market, May, Dluga and Dombrowska streets were thickly carpeted with glass from broken windows and destroyed merchandise.

    Gazeta Polska and other Government newspapers said the anti-Semitic mob did not pillage the Jewish shops but only "threw Jewish goods out into the street where they were destroyed, while meat and bread taken from Jews were distributed gratis to poor Christians."

    Polish newspapers said the pillaging began after a Jewish mob attacked police who arrived to confiscate illegally-slaughtered kosher meat (outside the strict Government quota for kosher meat) of the Jewish butcher Isaac Szczerbowski.

    The policeman, Stefan Kedziora, was stabbed and later died in the hospital. The Union of Christian Tradesmen of Brzesc announced that shops of its members would be closed during his funeral.

    Panic was still great today among the 25,000 Jews of the city. Deputy Emil Sommerstein left for Brzesc this morning while Senator Moses Schorr obtained assurances from the Interior Ministry that a special police force had been sent to prevent further outbreaks. The city known to Jews as Brisk, has a population of over 50,000.

    Stringent restrictions on kosher slaughtering which went into effect Jan. 1 under a law enacted by Parliament, empowering the authorities to set monthly quotas of cattle to be slaughtered for Jewish consumption, have, in some cases, resulted in "bootleg" slaughterhouses being established.

    Meanwhile, peasants in Zaista, near Malkin, attacked a group of anti-Semitic National Radicals who had rioted against Jews. The terrorists, known as Naras, called on the peasants to join in breaking windows of Jewish shops, but the peasants drove the rioters from the village.

    The peasants later rebuked the Jews for closing their shops during the disturbances, declaring "the action is likely to incite further attacks." The peasants asked the Jews to reopen their shops, promising them protection. (As reported by JTA)

    1937: Jews were forbidden today to give performances of Beethoven, Mozart and Goethe on the ostensible grounds that they must be allowed "to develop their own spiritual and creative genius."

    Explanation of the ban was offered by Hans Hinkel, Nazi Commissar for Jewish Cultural Affairs, who said:

    "Jews must be allowed to develop their own spiritual and creative genius. If they are unable to or show themselves so poor in spiritual endowments that they cannot develop their own culture, it is all the more necessary to show the world that we cannot allow them to become the masters of our cultural life." (As reported by JTA)

    1938: Jean Martin Freud, Sigmund Freud’s son who was known as “Martin” left Austria for London today.

    1938: Classic swashbuckler adventure film “The Adventures of Robin Hood” co-directed by Michael Crutiz (Manó Kaminer), co-produced by Hal B. Wallis and with music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold was released today in the United States.

    1940(4th of Iyar, 5700): Anarchist and feminist, Emma Goldman passed away.  Born in Russia in 1869, she fled Russia in 1885 during a period of intense anti-Semitism.  Over the years she became active in anarchist causes.  Her anti-war political activities cost her U.S. citizenship and deportation back to Russia to experience the Communist takeover in that country.  Goldman was anti-Communist and ended up escaping to Britain.  For the rest of her life she devoted herself to trying to save the world through anarchy and feminism.  She died in Toronto but the American government allowed her body to be buried in Chicago, the city that had so influenced her life.

    1940: Three hours after the German’s delivered an ultimate “ordering the Dutch commander of Rotterdam” to begin a cease fire, German bombers killed over 30,000 of the city’s inhabitants when they fire bombed Rotterdam.

    1940: As the Blitzkreig replaced the “Phony War” the Nazis crossed the Meuse at Sedan and began chasing a French Army that “was running for its life” – a run that would end in Nazi victory, Vichy collaboration and the slaughter of French Jews.

    1940: “Shortly before Brussels was occupied,” Hugo Gutman who served in the same regiment as Hitler during World War I and his family “escaped only with small suitcases taking the last train to France.”

    1940: As of today, the Kindertransport which had started in December, 1938, had brought 7,500 Jewish children to Britain.

    1940: One very last transport left on the freighter Bodegraven from Ymuiden on May 14, 1940 – the day Rotterdam was bombed, one day before Holland surrendered – raked by gunfire from German warplanes. The eighty children on deck had been brought by earlier transports to imagined safety in Holland. Altogether, though exact figures are unknown, the Kindertransports saved around 10,000 children, most of them Jewish, from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. None were accompanied by their parents; a few were babies carried by children.

    1940: Abraham Icek Tuschinski lost all of his movie houses in Rotterdam today “when the city was bombed by the Germans.”

    1941: The Nazis arrested more than 3,600 Parisian Jews and sent to them concentration camps. This marked the start of the roundup of Jews in the Occupied Zone of France (the area directly controlled by the Nazis as opposed to Vichy France.  The roundup began with Polish Jews who had become naturalized French citizens but it did not stop here.


    1941: Approximately 4000 Jews are deported from Paris, most to a camp at Pithiviers, France. “Pithiviers, near Orleans, was one of the infamous concentration camps where children were separated from their parents and imprisoned, while the adults were processed and departed to camps further away, usually Auschwitz.”  This camp, like the one at Drancy, was operated by the Vichy French and their collaborators.  Contrary to the image that the French have concocted about their behavior during World War II, French fascists, led by Petain and Laval, were active participants in the Nazi New World Order.  As to the Jews, the French were already handing them over even before the Germans asked for them.

    1941: The decision was made in Tel Aviv to establish the Palmach (Plugot Mahatz or ‘striking companies’ of the Haganah.  “The Palmach had two primary aims: the defense of the Yishuv against the Arab bands which would inevitably harass the Jewish towns and settlements and engage in local rioting as soon as the British retreated from Palestine; and the defense of the country against the Axis invaders.”  Yitshaq Sadeh, a Jew born in Russia in 1890, was the found and first commander of the Palmach.  He passed away in 1952.

    1941: The Nazis interned 3,600 naturalized Jews of Russian origin.

    1941: Today, Jan Peerce “made his stage debut as the Duke in ''Rigoletto'' in Philadelphia.”

    1942(27th of Iyar, 5702): Noted Jewish Viennese pianist Leopold Birkenfeld is murdered at the Chelmno death camp.

    1943(9thof Iyar, 5703): Seventy-four year old Dutch citizen Johanna v. Engel-Gruenewald was murdered today at Sobibor.

    1944: In Hungary, all hospital patients “newly-born babies, blind and deaf, all mental cases and prison inmates of Jewish origin were transferred to the ghettos.”

    1944: In Long Branch, NJ, Howard Martin Lawn, “the president of Parkmobile Inc., and the Equity and Capital Company and Pearl H. Bergman a chemist and homemaker both of whom were staunch Democrats” gave birth to journalist Constance Ellen “Connie” Lawn who “at the time of her death was the longest-serving White House correspondent.”

    1945: The HMS Springer a British submarine that would be sold to the Israeli in 1958 and be renamed the “Tanin” was launched today

    1946: “Actor, director, producer and television panelist” Martin Gabel married Arlene Francis

    1946: The SS Max Nordau, a Haganah ship containing 1,750 men women and children (300 of whom were orphans) was intercepted by the British off the coast of Palestine.  The refugees were shipped off for detention at Atlit while the crew was arrested and the ship confiscated by the British.  The vessel joined other such ships, including the Enzo Sereni, the Tel Hai and the Orde Wingate at a dock in Haifa.  The Palmach responded by simultaneously, blowing up eleven bridges that connected Palestine with surrounding countries.  This spectacular event came at the cost of 14 Palmach lives.

    1947: Birthdate of Brandies graduate and music critic Jon Landau.

    1947: Much to everyone’s surprise Andrei Gromyko, the permanent representative of the Soviet Union to the United Nations gave a speech before the General Assembly in which he said that “the Soviet Union would still prefer a ‘single Arab-Jewish state with equal rights for the Jews and the Arabs,’ but if the UN commission found the this ‘impossible to implement’ there was a ‘justifiable alternative: the partition of Palestine into two independent single states, one Jewish and one Arab.’” (Editor’s note – ironically, while the world including the United States dithered on the issues, the Soviet Union, for whatever reasons shifted the balance by declaring support for a Jewish state in Palestine now.)

    1948(5th of Iyar, 5708): In one of the most stirring moments in Jewish history David Ben-Gurion led the ceremony establishing the State of Israel.  The British Mandate actually ended on May 15, 1948.  But that was a Saturday and the Jewish State would not be declared on Shabbat, so it was done the afternoon before. Herzl's prediction was off by one year.

    1948: Rebecca Affachiner “the Betsy Ross Of Israel” unfurled her homemade flag which she had made from a cut-up bed sheet on which she had sewn a six-pointed blue star and two stripes colored with a blue crayon.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)

    1948: Three resolutions were defeated at the United Nations by the Arabs and their allies to insure that Jerusalem would be an international city governed by the U.N.  The Arabs insisted that Jerusalem must be an “Arab city” even though it had a Jewish majority.  This lack of will on the part of the U.N. and Arab intransigence are the animating force by the refusal of Israeli governments to ever give up the city.

    1948: Egyptian planes bomb Tel Aviv, the first time the city had been bombed since the Italians flew over in 1940

    1948: The first broadcasts by Kol Yisrael, Israel's radio station.  Kol Yisrael is Hebrew for the Voice of Israel.

    1948:”River Lady” a western film photographed by cinematographer Irving Glassberg was released today in the United States.

    1948: Jordan’s Arab Legion captured the Jewish settlement of Atarot

    1948: In violation of the U.N. resolutions, Jordan's Arab Legion captured Atarot, north of Jerusalem.  This was part of the Arab plan to cut off Jerusalem from the rest of the state of Israel.

    1948: The United States became the first country to recognize the state of Israel.

    1948:  "The Egyptian Prime Minister, al-Nukrashi Pasha, decided to proclaim a state of emergency and arrest all Communists declaring that all Jews were potential Zionists and that all Zionists were in fact Communists." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)

    1948: Sir Alan Cunningham drove out of Jerusalem, bordered a plane and flew to Haifa.

    1948: When the Israeli flag was unfurled outside the Jewish Agency building in New York City, “throngs of Jewish youngster danced the hora outside and traffic on East 68th Street came to a halt.”

    1948: The bitter battle to keep the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem took a positive turn for Jewish forces as they occupied Beit Dagan the British police fortress.  At the same time, the Arabs were poised to seize the vital airport at Lydda.

    1948: Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, was appointed Minister of Police, a position he held until a month before his death in January 1967. He served in fourteen governments and making him the country's longest continually serving minister.

    1948: David Ben-Gurion begins serving as Israel’s first Minister of Defense.

    1948: As the battle for Kfar Darom that pitted the Palmach against the Egyptian Army and the units of the Muslim brotherhood went into its second night Jewish units began an attack on the “Bedouin locality of Khirbat Ma’in.

    1948: David Remez was appointed Minister of Transportation in David Ben-Gurion's provisional government.

    1948: Yehuda Leib Maimon was appointed at Israel’s first Minister of Religious Services.

    1948: Maury Atkin, who had been employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, opened the first Israeli embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts, Avenue.  Atkin served as executive officer and agricultural consultant to the new Israeli Embassy until April 1950

    1948: Following yesterday’s massacre of the Jews at Kfar Etzion, the rest of villages at Gush Etzion surrendered following which the Jews were taken prisoner and their homes “plunder and burned.”

    1948: As of today Milt Rubenfeld, Modi Alon, Ezer Weizman, Lou Lenart, and Eddie Cohen and four S-199's “constituted the entire Israeli Air Force.

    1949: After 252 performances the curtain came down on the last Broadway performance of “Love Life,” “a musical written by Kurt Weill (music) and Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics).”

    1951: The Broadway production of “Flahooley” with lyrics and book by E.Y. Harburg and a score by Sammy Fain opened today at the Broadhurst Theatre,

    1951: Today, in Israel the Shabak arrested Mordechai Eliyahu  and othermembers of the Brit Hakanim “a radical religious Jewish underground organization which operated against the widespread tread of secularization” by torching cars of people who on drove on Shabbat and butcher shops where non-kosher meet was sold.”

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the first visit to Israel of the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles, who arrived, accompanied by a large entourage "for a frank exchange of views." Israeli leaders asked U.S. for a loan to meet their foreign currency debts which reached $70m., while another $40m. were due shortly. Dulles "was happy to be in Israel" and was certain that the talks will be "mutually beneficial."

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel received from West Germany $75m. on account of reparations.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that 102 new immigrants arrived from Iran.

    1953: “The first railway line built by the State of Israel – 28 and a half miles of track running parallel to the coast between Hadera and Tel Aviv – was dedicated by Mrs. David Remez, widow of Israel’s first Minister of Communications who conceived the line in 1948.”  The opening of the rail connection will shorten the time it takes to travel between Haifa, Israel’s major port and Tel Aviv.

    1955: On the seventh anniversary of Israel’s independence, a public memorial service is held at Carnegie Hall in honor of the late Albert Einstein.

    1957(13thof Iyar, 5717): Seventy-two year old Sir Sidney Solomon Abrahams, the older brother of Harold Abrahams (“Chariots of Fire”) and the 26th Chief Justice of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) passed away today.

    1957(13thof Iyar, 5717): Seventy-two year old Sidney “Solly” Abrahams, the older brother of Harold Abrahams of “Chariots of Fire fame” who competed in the Olympics in the long-jump before pursuing a career that including “serving as Chief Justice of Ceylon and President of the London Athletic Club” passed away today.

    1958(24thof Iyar, 5718): Sixty-seven year old New York native Barnett Robert Brickner who served as the rabbi at Anshe Chesed for 33 years passed away today.

    1958: “I Married A Woman” directed by Hal Kanter and written by Goodman Ace premiered in Los Angeles.

    1961(28thof Iyar, 5721): Sixty-five year old Max Perlman, the City Deputy Commissioner of Markets who was a member of the Masons, B’Nai Brith and the Ancient Order of Hiberians and the husband of Rose Perlman and father of Joel and Gail Perlman passed away at his home in Brooklyn

    1962(10th of Iyar, 5722): Prize winning architect Dov Karmi, the son of Hannah and Sholom Weingarten who designed the Culture Palace and Max—Liebling House in Tel Aviv passed away today.

    1963: The sequel to “It’s My Party”, “Judy’s Turn to Cry” was recorded today by Lelsely Gore.

    1966(24thof Iyar, 5726): Parashat Behar-Bechukotai

    1966(24thof Iyar, 5726): Fifty-nine year old C. Irving “Irv” Constantine the Syracuse running back played one season in the NFL in 1931.

    1967(4thof Iyar, 5727): Yom HaZikaron

    1967: Alfred Kazan and Nissim Ezekiel of the Bombay University were among the speakers at the six-day celebration of Henry David Thoreau sponsored by the Nassau Community College that came to an end today.

    1967: According to statements made by Nasser in justifying the blockade of the Straits of Tiran, this is the day on which he discussed the Soviet report of the Israel’s planned invasion of Syria with the government in Damascus and formulated their military response.

    1967: Israeli newspapers carried interviews with General Rabin, IDF chief of staff warning “Damascus” of the consequences that would arise from continued terrorist attacks.

    1968(16thof Iyar, 5728): Seventy year old Dr. Theodore Werner, the Viennese born English Zionist was the godson of Theodor Herzl passed away today. (As reported by JTA)?

    1969: Today marked the end of Abe Fortas’ tenure as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

    1970: Birthdate of mathematician and founder of Akamai Technologies Daniel “Danny” Mark Levin the native of Denver and raised in Israel who was stabbed to death on American Airline Flight 11 reportedly making him the first person to die on “9/11.”

    1970:  After 13 preview performances, a revival of George S. Kaufman’s “Beggar on Horseback” opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

    1970: The Court of Appeals of the State of New York decided the “Matter of Palitz” today.

    1973: Frontiero v. Richardson, in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented Frontiero was decided by the Supreme Court today.

    1974(22nd of Iyar, 5734): First Lieutenant Rami Zusman and Sergeant Reuven Brinenberg were killed just two weeks before Henry Kissinger negotiated a separation of forces agreement between the Syrians and Israelis.

    1977: The first official images of the Merkava were released to the American periodical Armed Forces Journal

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported on the changed mood in the Cairo media which claimed that the deadlock in the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations moved the whole Middle East to the situation which preceded the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The Egyptian press warned that President Sadat's pledge of "no more war" would not be fulfilled, unless Israel dropped its refusal to relinquish all the territories it captured in the 1967 war.

    1979: “The Rebels” a television mini-series featuring Tom Bosley as “Ben Franklin” was broadcast for the first time tonight.

    1980(28thof Iyar, 5740): Yom Yerushalayim

    1980: The full orchestral version of “Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards”  an orchestral piece composed in 1979 by Steve Reich was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony at the War Memorial Auditorium in San Francisco

    1981(10th of Iyar, 5741): Fifty-four year old journalist,ant-fascist and founder of Searchlight  Maurice Julian Ludmer, whose mother was a Hebrew teacher and whose life was transformed when while serving in the British Army during WW II he visited Belsen Concentration camp

    1982: U.S. premiere of “Wrong is Right” a “thriller” directed and produced by Richard Brooks who also wrote the script.

    1982: The Moscow refusenik and Hebrew teacher Pavel Abramovich was summoned to the KGB for the first of what would be four times in the next thirty days.

    1982: Richard F. Shepard reviewed Max and Helen by Simon Wiesenthal

    1983: It was reported today that Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger delivered a speech to the American Jewish Committee in which he said the Soviet government was “making a profound and dangerous mistake if it thought it could force the United States to abandon its commitment to Israel’s security.”

    1983: A new advertising campaign created by Needham, Harper & Steers/Issues and Images, which will promote a friendliness and warmth of the Israeli people toward travelers with the new theme line: ''Come to Israel, come stay with friends'' premieres today with two new 30-second television and radio commercials.

    1984: Birthdate of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame.

    1986(5th of Iyar, 5746): Yom HaAtzma'ut

    1986: The Institute for War documents published Anne Frank’s complete diary.

    1987: As the IPO celebrates its 50th anniversary, Leonard Bernstein conducts the symphony for a second night.

    1989: NBC broadcast the final episode of “War and Remembrance, an American miniseries based on the novel of the same name written by Herman Wouk” co-starring Jane Seymour, Polly Bergen, Sami Frey, Steven Berkoff and Topol.

    1989: “Chu Chem,” billed as “the 1st Chinese-Jewish Musical” with Molly Picon comes to a close today after 68 performances on Broadway.

    1989: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Family Ties” the sitcom created by Gary David Goldberg.

    1990: In Los Angeles, director Steven Spielberg and actress Kate Capshaw gave birth to American actress Sasha Rebecca Spielberg.

    1993: In the U.K. premiere of Cup final an Israeli film written by Eyal Halfon and directed by Eran Riklis.

    1993: CBS broadcast the final episode of “The Golden Palace” a sitcom co-starrubg Estelle Getty featuring theme music by Andrew Gold.

    1996(25thof Iyar, 5756): Seventeen year old Yeshiva student David Bum was murdered by a terrorist who fired on students “as a hitchhiking post at Beit El.”

    1998: The Sixth Annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival came to an end today.

    1998: Performance of the last episode of Seinfeld on NBC with commercials selling at $2 million for a 30 second slot.

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Working Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II”
    by Joshua B. Freeman and the recently released paperback edition of “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times columnist deploys a torrent of anecdotes and vignettes to probe the causes and effects of globalization and the transforming power of technology.

    2000: “Requiem for a Dream,” an American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky premiered at Cannes today.

    2000: Karl Jay Shapiro, a native of Baltimore who was appointed the fifth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1946 passed away in New York.

    2001: The 54th Cannes Film Festival where Dover Kosashvili’s “Late Marriage was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section” opened today

    2003: Allan Kornblum was appointed as a federal magistrate for the northern district of Florida.

    2003: Dorrit Moussaieff an Israeli-born British jewelry designer, editor and businesswoman married the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson,

    2004: Peace Now led the 'Mate ha-Rov' ("majority camp") demonstration today in Tel Aviv, in order to pressure the Israeli government to adopt the Disengagement Plan

    2004: Mayyim Hayyim, a community mikveh [ritual bath] and education center in Newton, Massachusetts, opened its doors.

    2005(5thof Iyar, 5765): Parashat Emor

    2005(5thof Iyar, 5765): “v”ice president of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's international directors council, and director of the Byrd Hoffman Foundation Elaine Terner Cooper, the first wife of art dealer and banker Robert E. Mnuchin and the mother of Goldman Sachs bankers Alan and Steven Mnuchin the latter of whom became Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury.

    2005: U.S. premiere of “The Fallen Ones” featuring Tom Bosley

    2006(16th of Iyar, 5766): One hundred year old  American poet and two time Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz passed away.

    2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer" by David Cesarani and the recently released paperback edition of “Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop” by Joseph Lelyveld which is a memoir of his “often painful Midwestern childhood” featuring his “warring parents: a literary mother and a political father, who was a Reform rabbi and a committed civil-rights activist.”

    2006: On NPR's Weekend Edition, Daniel Schorr mentioned a meeting at the White House that took place with colleague A. M. Rosenthal and president Gerald Ford. Ford mentioned that the Rockefeller Commission had access to various CIA documents, including those referring to political assassinations. Although scolded at first for his television report by former CIA director Richard Helms, Schorr was vindicated by the text of the Pike Committee, which he obtained from an undisclosed source and leaked to The Village Voice. [Editor’s Note – Schorr and Rosenthal were Jewish.  Ford and Helms were not.]

    2006: The following tours were scheduled as part of the 15th annual Historic Site Preservation Week, an initiative of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS: "Bauhaus on Bialik Street" - a tour of this street will mark the designation of "the White City" as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Free guided tours of the old city of Be'er Sheva and other historic sites in the capital of the Negev; a free guided tour of The National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa which was formerly the site of the historic Technion Israel Institute of Technology Building.

    2007: The JCCin Manhattan presents a film screening “Be Fruitful and Multiply: What’s A Mother to Do?” followed by a panel discussion.

    2008: “The World Stamp Championship Israel 2008” opens under F.I.P patronage in Tel Aviv. “WSCIsrael 2008” is organized by the Israel Philatelic Federation in cooperation with the Israel Post Ltd. and its Philatelic Service. Over 70 countries will be present with a variety of 2,500 exhibition frames of the world's finest philatelic collections at the weeklong event.

    2008: As US President George W. Bush lands in Israel for a three-day visit the IDF starts reducing its operations throughout the West Bank. The orders were delivered earlier this week to the IDF's Central Command by the political echelon.

    2008: A shopping mall in Ashkelon was hit this afternoon by a long-range rocket fired from the Gaza Strip injuring around 90 people, four of them seriously. Two militant groups, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, claimed responsibility. Among those seriously hurt are a 24-year-old mother and her infant daughter, both of whom were flown to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, for treatment. They suffered head injuries. Two others sustaining serious injuries were rushed to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for emergency surgery. Most other injuries were light.

    2008(9thof Iyar, 5768): Eighty-six year old cartoonist and satirist Will Elder passed away today (As reported by William Grimes)

    2009:The Foundation for Jewish Studies presents a free lecture with Dr. Robert Alter speaking on “The Challenge of Translating the Bible” at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center.

    2009: The 92nd Street Y presents a lecture by Susanne Vromen entitled “Sanctuary from Hell: Belgian Nuns Who Saved Holocaust Children” in which this Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Bard College author of “Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis” shares the “riveting stories” of the Belgian Jewish children who were hidden in Roman Catholic convicts and orphanages starting in 1942.  Vromen is in a unique position to tell the story since she “was living in Belgium when the Germans invaded the country in 1940 and lived under the Nazi occupation before she and her family were able to escape and find refuge in the Belgian Congo.

    2009: Today Jordan's king pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as the monarch pursued a sweeping resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel. King Abdullah II made the comments during a meeting in the Red Sea city of Aqaba with Netanyahu

    2009(20thof Iyar, 5769): Beatrice Israel Muhlendorf, passed away today at the age 93 in Sheffield, Alabama. Mrs. Muhlendorf was a native of Worcester, Mass., and a member of Temple B'Nai Israel. She attended Florence State Teachers College and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1936.She was the co-founder of the Rho chapter of Sigma Delta Tau sorority at the University of Alabama and served as president in 1935. a lifelong sustaining member of the Muscle Shoals District Service League, past board member of the YMCA of the Shoals and Northwest Alabama Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club and was past president of the Temple B'Nai Israel Sisterhood. She worked for the Navy department during World War II, where she met her husband, Jack, and married in 1942. She, along with her father and husband, co-founded Paper and Chemical Supply Co. in 1949, where she served as a chairman of the board until her passing. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Muhlendorf

    2009: Sholom Rubashkin, the man who ran Agriprocessors, has been named in a new 142 count indictment that adds 70 new charges that  include criminal acts related to bank fraud, money laundering and document fraud.

    2010(1 Sivan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    2010: “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” a sequel to “Wall Street” in which Eli Wallach played the part of “Julius Steinhardt” in what was the last film in his long and storied career premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

    2010: Forty-six year old Jennifer Gorvotiz was named CEO of the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation today making her “the first woman to head on the North American’s 20 largest Jewish Federations.” (As reported by

    2010: Rabbi Shira Stutman and musician Sheldon Low are scheduled to lead a musical and interactive Shabbat at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2011: Liliana Schulder is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest synagogue which was founded in 1867.

    2011: The Cincinnati Art Museum is scheduled to present “A Jewish View of Cincinnati” will “explore art from ancient times that relates to Jewish history; paintings of biblical stories and themes, and works by Jewish artists.

    2011: Pianist Menahem Pressler is scheduled to appear with the Jupiter Quartet as part of the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts in New York City.

    2011: “Footnote” a film about the mistaken award of the Israel Prize premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the award for best screenplay.

    2011: The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport minutes before it was to depart for Paris on today, in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said.

    2011(10thof Iyar, 5771): Ninety-year old Joseph Wershaba, the colleague of Edward R. Murrow who helped to expose Senator McCarthy, passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2011(10thof Iyar, 5771): Eighty-nine year old Murray Handwerker, the man who turned Brooklyn based Nathan’s hot dog stand into a nationally known institution passed away today. (As reported by Reed Abelsson)

    2012: At the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, Dr. Pamela S. Nadell, Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University is scheduled to survey 350 years of the American Jewish experience through the prism of National Museum of American Jewish located on Philadelphia's Independence Mall.

    2012: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music is scheduled to present an evening of performances celebrating its Israeli alumni, students, and international collaborators

    2012: Todd Hasak-Lowy author of Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction is scheduled to participate in A Dalkey Archive Translators Night as the McNally Jackson Bookstore in New York City.

    2012: Roberto Rodriguez and the Cuban Jewish All Stars are scheduled to perform at the Washington DCJCC.

    2012: Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present “Bay mayn mames shtibele: The Women's Art of Yiddish Folksong.”

    2012: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to hold a workshop for new recruits and experienced veterans of the Wiener Library’s Volunteer Translation Program.  The program began with one translator in 2009.

    2012: Offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz, a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, signed a four-year, $5.17 million contract with the team. Schwartz, a tackle from the University of California, Berkeley, was selected 37th overall in April’s draft. The Jewish player was among eight draft picks signed by the team today. His older brother Geoff is in his fourth season as an NFL player ( As reported by Mary Oster)

    2012(22ndof Iyar, 5772): Nine-four year old “David M. Helpern, the business side of the husband-and-wife apparel design team known as Joan & David, who popularized elegant, comfortable — and non-high-heeled — shoes for working women in the 1960s before expanding their line internationally to include clothing,” passed away today.  (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    2012: Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times did not address the graduating class at Barnard College because she was pre-empted by President Obama.

    2013: The refurbished Jerusalem Train Station is scheduled to host its first major event today.

    2013: The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox, the doyenne of New York Times obituary writers goes on sale today.

    2013: “Fire In My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh” is scheduled to open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

    2013(5th of Sivan, 5773): Erev Shavuot

    2013: The DVD of “The Round Up” a French movie “based on the true story of a young Jewish boy that depicts the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv) -- the mass arrest of Jews by French police who were Nazi accomplices in Paris in July 1942—“was released on the American iTunes Store” today.

    2013: As part of the observance of Shavuot, Bentlee Birchansky and Noah Thalblum will celebrate their Confirmation at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Editor’s Note – I had the pleasure of teaching both of these youngsters.  They are two of the brightest, nicest, most diligent students I ever worked with in the last fifty years. They have much to be proud of and even more to look forward to.)

    2013: On the secular calendar, 65th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel!

    2013: The Jerusalem Post ranks Yair Lapid, the founder of Yesh Atid at the top of its list of most influential Jews followed by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew in second place.

    2014(14thof Iyar, 5774): Pesach Sheini

    2014: Nick Kotz, whose recent book, The Harness Maker's Dream, tells the story of his Jewish Ukrainian grandfather's journey to the United States and ensuing life in Texas is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion “A Nation of Immigrants: How They Have Shaped America.”

    2014: In Danville, CA, the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living is scheduled to host a special screening “American Jerusalem,” a “documentary that tells the story of San Francisco Jews became Jews.”

    2014: The New York Times fires Jill Abramson as Executive Editor.

    2014: A senior FSA official said that the Free Syrian Army (FAS) “could tactically collaborate with Israel in toppling the Assad regieme as long as such cooperation is carried out in utter secrecy.”

    2014: US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Amos Gilad of the Defense Ministry met U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the airport this evening as he prepared to begin a two day visit to Israel.

    2015: Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is scheduled to lecture on “Letter from an Unknown Woman: Joseph’s Dream” at the Skirball Center

    2015: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition was formally sworn in tonight after a raucous Knesset session that saw constant heckling, along with accusations by opposition leader Isaac Herzog that the freshly inaugurated government was “a circus.”

    2015: Violinist and composer Ittai Shapira is scheduled to premiere his newest composition, “Ethics” at a the Concert Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp

    2015: “Raise the Roof” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th Annual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Films.

    2015: Steve Richards is scheduled to his book Sitting on Top of the World at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

    2016(6thof Iyar, 5776): Shabbat Kedoshim

    2016: In Baltimore, the JCCs of North America continue their Biennial Convention for a second day.

    2016: Rabbi David Golinkin, the President of the Schechter Institutes, Inc. and a Professor of Jewish Law is scheduled to lecture on “What can do about the state of Judaism in the Jewish State?” as part of Shaary Tefillah’s Scholar in Residence program.

     2016: “As an extension of Yom Hashoah 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the New Orleans Opera, in a special collaboration with The National WWII Museum and assisted by Temple Sinai are the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, are scheduled  present the celebrated children's opera, Brundibar”

    2017(18thof Iyar, 5777): Lag B’Omer

    2017: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Dorre Shafrir’s debut novel Startup,  A Man and His Presidents: the Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley, Jr. by Alvin S. Felzenberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy co-authored by Sheryl Sandberg and Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Familyby Syma Solovitch and Bruce D. Haynes who is currently “contracted with New York University Press for a book entitled Hear O' Israel:  Voices of African American Jews about Black Jews in America and Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond by Gideon Rachman

    2017: The exhibition “500 Years of Treasures from Oxford” that “will showcase in America for the first time an extraordinary array of ancient manuscripts, books, and silver, including what has been called “the most important collection of Anglo-Jewish manuscripts in the world” is scheduled toopen at Yeshiva University Museum today.

    2017: LIMMUDFSU NY is scheduled to come to an end today

    2017: Oxford students are scheduled to check “out JSoc's and Chaplaincy's stalls at the Lag B'Omer fair on Broad Street this afternoon!

    2017: Today, Tunisia’s culture minister said that this North African country “plans to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for the island of Djerba, site of Africa’s oldest synagogue and an annual Jewish pilgrimage”

    2017: Mother’s Day - all women are considered to be mothers in the House of Israel and we honor them all for their contributions without which we would not have survived for the last four thousand years – from the Matriarchs to Deborah to Golda Meir and all of the women of valor in between.

    2017: Continuing a tradition begun in the 1990’s when lamplighter Rabbi Ciment first settled in Little Rock, Chabad is scheduled to host an elaborate Lag B’Omer Celebration that has, like so much of his efforts gone from strength to strength.

    2017(18th of Iyar, 5777): In Los Angeles, ordination ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion,

    2018: More than 100,000 people from Gaza are scheduled to take part in the “March of Return” an attempt to breach the anti-terrorist fence on the border with the Israel which in reality is an attempt by those committed to destroying Israel to invade the country.

    2018: President Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are among the dignitaries expected to attend events marking today’s move of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    2018: Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri is scheduled to go on trial in St. Louis on a charge of invasion-of-privacy stemming from an affair he had “with his former hairdresser.”

    2018: In New Orleans, “Sabena Hijacking: My Version” is scheduled to shown at the JCC as part of the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series.




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    May 15

    392: Theodosius I, who had been emperor of the eastern half of the Roman Empire became the last ruler of the entire Roman Empire (east and west) “A general of Spanish origin, and the son of another general, was chosen to replace Valens who had been killed fighting the Visigoths. He refused to condemn Judaism believing that it was a legitimate religion. Theodosius prohibited the destruction of synagogues by zealot Christians.

    756 CE: Abd Al-Rahman won the battle against his co-religionist outside the city walls of Cordoba. He entered the city as victor.   After he set up his Umayyad administration, Abd Al-Rahman mandated all Jews and Christians pay a jizya, a discriminatory mandated tax in accordance with the Koran for their "protected" status as dhimmis.

    1004: In Pavia, Henry II, who as Holy Roman Emperor would expel Jews from various German cities, was crowned King of Italy today.

    1248: Odo of Chateaubroux "investigated" the Talmud and then condemned it. This was the second condemnation of the Talmud after an appeal was made by the Jewish community of France.

    1252:  Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull Ad Exstirpanda, which authorizes the torture of heretics as part of the Inquisition. Torture quickly gains widespread usage across Catholic Europe.  There would be several Inquisitions during the Middle Ages and on into the Renaissance. The primary aim was to destroy Christians who did not accept the doctrine as commanded by the Popes at Rome.  Of course if you were going to rack or dunk or flay Christians, certainly there were those who would think that it would be alright to do the same to Jews.  Interestingly, there were some Popes who disagreed saying that it was alright to treat the Jews badly, but not to actually do them physical harm.

    1648: The Treaty of Westphalia was signed as part of series of treaties that brought an end to the Thirty Years War and the Eighty Years War between Spain and the Netherlands.  The treaty officially recognized the independence of the Dutch from the Spanish Empire.  This guaranteed the independence of a European nation that had give Jews a place to grow and prosper.  Ironically, many of these were Sephardic descendants of those who had been expelled by the Spanish in 1492 or were Morrano refugees who had grown weary of the ever present Inquisition. The end of the Thirty Years provided a respite to Jews living in Central Europe including the communities of Frankfort, Worms and Jena each of which was the scene of at least one pogroms.

    1745: In Prague, after many appeals and petitions, Empress Maria Theresa revoked her decree banishing all Jews in Moravia and Bohemia, allowing Jews to live there for an unlimited time. Only the Jews in Prague itself who were actually banished 3 years earlier were still under the order, but they were soon permitted to return on a restricted basis.

    1755: Villa de San Agustin de Laredo which is now known as Laredo, Texas, was founded by Don Tomás Sánchez while the area was part of the Nuevo Santander region in the Spanish colony of New Spain. According to the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies, Sanchez came from a family with Jewish origins. For about this and other facets of Jewish life in this Texas border town see “Tomas Sanchez, founder of Laredo” by Carlos M. Larralde, PhD and “History of Laredo's Jewish Community” by Stan Green.

    1756:  The Seven Years War begins when England declares war on France.  In America, the war is known as the French-Indian War. Officially there were no Jews living in Canada at the start of the war since Canada was a French colony and Jews were forbidden by law to live there. This changed as a result of the war.  The first Jews entered Canada with the forces of Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the English military leader who conquered Montreal.  There were several serving in his regiments including four officers.  One of them, Aron Hart, remained, settled at Three Rivers where he became a large landowner and the father of four sons who helped to form the nucleus of the Jewish community in Montreal.  On the other side of the line, some sources contend that a Converso was in the Commissary General for the French forces.

    1767: Birthdate of Canadian entrepreneur and politician, Ezekiel Hart Jewish. Contrary to the image of Jews coming to the New World and assimilating, Hart fought to maintain his Jewish identity when he took his seat in the Canadian legislature.  Hart scored a posthumous victory when the wording of the oath was changed.

    1773: Birthdate of Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich, known to history simply as Meternich.

    1792: At Frankfur-am-Main, Mayer Amschel Rothschild and Guttle Schnapper gave birth to their fifth and youngest son James Rothschild who established the French banking house for the family/

    1799: Birthdate of Adolf B. Marx, composer and educator.  Marx was supposed to be a lawyer, but changed his mind after graduation and moved to Berlin to begin his musical studies.  While composing, he also served a lecturer on Music at the famed University of Berlin and started the Stern Music Conservatory which became one of the leading musical schools of its time.  Marx died in 1866, two days after his 67th birthday.

     1800: An English Jew named D.M. Dyte saved the life of King George III when he thwarted an assassin’s attempt to shoot the monarch. “George III. attended the Drury Lane Theater to witness a comedy by Colley Cibber; and while the monarch was acknowledging the loyal greetings of the audience, a lunatic named Hadfield fired a horsepistol pointblank at his Majesty. Two slugs passed over the king's head, and lodged in the wainscot of the royal box. The king escaped unhurt; but it was only subsequently realized that Hadfield had missed his aim because some man near him had struck his arm while in the act of pulling the trigger. This individual was Dyte, father of Henry Dyte, at one time honorary secretary to the Blind Society. It is said that Dyte asked as his sole reward the "patent" of selling opera-tickets, then a monopoly at the royal disposal. (As reported by James Picciotto in Sketches of Anglo Jewish History)

    1800: A community of Jewish slaves, captured over a period of two centuries and held for ransom by the Knights of St. John on the island of Malta, was officially dissolved.

    1808: Birthdate of Irish composer and conductor Michael Balfe who took the unusual step of hiring a Jew, Max Maretzk as his assistant at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London which was a critical step on his road to success as an impresario and musician in Europe and the United States.

    1817: Jean Lafitte, moved from Matagorda Bay to Galveston today, after having purchased supplies from João da Porta.  João da Porta (also José da Porta or Joseph de la Porta was a Portuguese Jewish merchant, who along with his older brother, Morin, “played an important in the early settlement of the Texan coast. João was born in Portugal but attended school in Paris, France, before moving to Brazil, the British West Indies, and finally New Orleans, Louisiana. Along with his brother, João provided the financing for the privateer Louis Michel Aury, who established his base at the site of the future Galveston, Texas, in 1816. The same year, Mexican revolutionary general Francisco Javier Mina visited and successfully encouraged Aury to join him in an invasion, which failed. Morim left Galveston and soon died, and João sold Aury's camp and supplies to Jean Lafitte, In 1818, João was appointed supercargo for trade with the Karankawa Indians. João later returned to New Orleans after Lafitte had left Galveston.

    1818: Birthdate of Bogumil Dawison, the native of Warsaw who became a leading actor on the German stage noted for his portrayals of Mark Antony, Richard III and King Lear, amongst others.

    1822: Birthdate of Bohemian-Jewish author Leopold Kompert.

    1827: Joseph Harris married Elizabeth Levy today at the Great Synagogue.

    1827: Alexander Levi married Esther Asher today at the Great Synagogue.

    1829: Daniel O’Connell whose fight for Catholic Emancipation paralleled the fight of the Jews for the same rights tried to take his seat in the House of Commons “without taking the oath of Supremacy.”

    1832: Seventy-three year old German music teacher Carl Friedrich Zelter whose pupils included Giacomo Mayerbeer, Fanny Mendelssohn and Felix Mendelssohn, who was such a favorite of his that he “wrote to Goethe boasting of the 12 year old’s abilities.”

    1833: Forty-five year old English actor Edmund Kean whose portrayal of Shylock which first took place in 1824 was described as the personification of a character in “a chapter out of the Book of Genesis” passed away today.

    1842(6thof Sivan, 5602) Shavuot

    1845: In Ivanovka which is now part of Ukraine, “lya Ivanovich Mechnikov, a Russian officer of the Imperial Guard” and “Emilia Lvovna (Nevakhovich), the daughter of the Jewish writer Leo Nevakhovich gave birth to Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov who gained fame as Nobel Prize winning immunologist  Élie Metchnikoff

    1847: Seventy-one year old Daniel O’Connell whose “Catholic Emancipation campaign served as the precedent and model for the emancipation of British Jews, the subsequent Jews Relief Act 1858 allowing Jewish MPs to omit the words in the Oath of Allegiance "and I make this Declaration upon the true Faith of a Christian" passed away today.

    1858(2ndof Sivan, 5618): Marcus Durloch, a member of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel passed away today.  His widow was the person to received benefits from the organizations Widows and Orders Fund that had been incorporated earlier in the year.

    1861(6thof Sivan, 5621): Shavuot is observed for the first time during the Civil War.

    1861: During the Civil War, Philadelphian Sergeant Oscar H. Benjamin began serving in Company B of the 41st Regiment

    1862: In Vienna, Hungarian laryngologist Johann Schnitzler and Luise Markbreiter gave birth to playwright and novelist Arthur Schnitzler who was a central figure in the Viennese literary community that spanned the last decades of the 19th century and the first three decades of the twentieth century.  Schnitzler was a contemporary of Herzl and used him as a character in one of his novels.  Schnitzler passed away in 1931.   His works were later banned by German and Austrian Nazis.

    1864: Moses Jacob Ezekiel fought at the Battle of New Market at as a member of the VMA Cadet Battalion.

    1864: Emma Mordecai apologized to her sister-in-law for their quarrel over whether or not reports of General Lee's victory were accurate.  Mordecai's apology pointed up the precarious position of this unmarried Jewess who had sought refuge from the war at her relative's farm in rural Virginia.

    1865: Captain Alfred A. Rinehard who had been wounded at Po River, Virginia while serving with Company D of the 148thRegiment completed his service in the Union Army today.

     1867: In a letter written to his wife today, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison described his shipboard encounter "with three Jewish former slaveholders.  "Sitting opposite me at the table, are three German Jews, Louisiana planters, who have lost all their slaves, now that they are free, will be unable to take care of themselves!  Of these Israelites it cannot be said that they are without guile; ("Jews of the Civil War: A Reader")

    1872: “Jews in Romania” published today described the decision of the Grant Administration, as conveyed Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, to have its representative in Bucharest work with the other powers to alleviate the suffering being inflicted on the Jews living in Romania.

    1876: Professor Felix Adler delivered the opening address at the first meeting of the Ethical Culture Society.

    1877: In the Swiss Canton Aargau, the Grand Council granted citizens' rights to the members of the Jewish communities of Endigen and Lengnau, giving them charters under the names of New Endingen and New Lengnau

    1879: Seventy-five year old German architect Gottfried Semper who designed a synagogue built in Dresden between 1838 and 1840 that “is noted for its Moorish Revival interior style” known as the Semper Synagogue passed away today

    1879: Lewis Myer Myers and his cousin Ephraim Laman Zox dissolved their partnership in a warehouse business after which Zox “set up his own” business “as a financial agent and arbitrator” on Collins Street West in Melbourne, Australia.

    1881: Anti-Jewish riots break out in Odessa, Russia.

    1882: Alexander III issued the May Laws which were designed to "cause one-third of the Jews to emigrate, one-third to accept baptism and one-third to starve." Jews were banished from all rural areas and towns of less than ten thousand people, even within the Pale of Settlement. These laws remained in quasi-effect until 1914 and provided the impetus for migration to America as well as expanded interest in the settlement of Eretz-Israel.

    1885: In New Zealand, Samuel Shrimski  was appointed to the Legislative Council today

    1887(21stof Iyar, 5647): Seventy-eight year old German philanthropist, Wilhelm Königswarter a native of Furth passed away at Meran.

    1889: Birthdate of Bessie Hillman.  Born Bessie Abramowitz, Hillman was active in the labor movement designed to alleviate the sweatshop conditions in the garment industry. She was active in the 1910 strike against Hart-Shaftner and Marx.  The strike paid two dividends - the creation of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the first meeting with her future husband, labor leader Sidney Hillman.  An early role model for feminists, Hillman continued her labor work even after giving birth to her two daughters.

    1880: In Charleston, Rabbi Levy officiated at the marriage of Adolf Lederberger and Albertine Levy.

    1882(NS): The May Laws, a series of anti-Semitic regulations proposed by Minister of Internal Affairs Nikolai Ignatyev were signed into law today by Czar Alexander III.

    1889: Rabbi Mendelsohn of Wilmington, NC officiated at the wedding of William Fatman and Fannie Mantoue, the “daughter of Benjamin Mantoue of Charleston, SC.

    1889: President Benjamin Harrison named Solomon Hirsch to serve as Minister to Turkey, making him “the third Jew to hold that diplomatic rank” – the other two being Benjamin Franklin Piexotto appointed by President Grant and Isidor Straus appointed by President Cleveland.

    1890: Birthdate of Menasah Skulnik, the seventh of nine children who began his theatre career “by carrying drinks to actors” in a Warsaw theatre specializing in Shakespeare” and became a star in the Yiddish Theatre and on Broadway. (The NYT shows his birthdate as 1892.  I have not been able to resolve this discrepancy.)

    1890: Birthdate of author Katherine Anne Porter whose novel Ship of Fools portrays the rise of Nazism who described herself as “in direct, legitimate line” of the English language accused Jewish writers of “trying to destroy it and all other living things they touch.”

    1891: The will of Nathan Littauer, a benefactor of many Jewish charities, was filed in the Surrogate’s office today.

    1891: Birthdate of David Vogel, the native of the Pale of Settlement who used Hebrew in his poetry Lifney Hasha'ar Ha'afel("Before the Dark Gate"), novels and diaries and who died at Auschwitz in 1944 after having been interred at Drancy.

    1892(18thof Iyar, 5652): Lag B’Omer

    1892: Birthdate of Nashville native Julius Arky Haiman, the graduate of Peabody College and Vanderbilt University Medical School and WW I veteran who pursued a career as an Otolaryngologist.

    1892: “The Israelite Alliance has sent the Sultan of Turkey an address in commemoration of the admission of the exiled Spanish Jews to the Turkish Empire in 1492.”

    1893: “Mission Work Among Jews” published today described a potential conflict between the New York Presbytery and the Presbyterian Home Board.  The New York wants to begin a program to aggressively convert Jews. Up until now the national organization has not endorsed such an effort aimed directly at the Jews.

    1893: Birthdate of Harry Rosenthal, the Belfast (Ireland) native who gained fame in London and the United States as an actor, composer and pianist.

    1893: It was reported today the Jews have been coming to the United States from Poland every month this year “in gradually increasing numbers.”  Twenty –one came in January, seventeen in February and 316 in March, 306 of whom had less than $30 when they arrived.

    1893: “Jews of Poland” published today refutes claims from correspondents in Berlin “that there is no movement for the expulsion of Jews from Poland based on eyewitness accounts of the arrival in London of scores of Jews who have been expelled from Poland.  They carry copies of orders of expulsion some of which show that the movement against the Jews began in January. “Russian officers will say that they are expelling no one but merely moving subjects about inside of the empire.” However, “the ‘moved’ subject stripped of his possessions and deprived of this home, must starve or get out of the country.”

    1894: A policeman discovered that crockery store owned by the Rosenblatts on 10thAvenue was on fire.  The officer entered the building which was also home to the Rosneblatts and dragged them to safety.

    1894: A picture of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was found in the studio of Henry Alexander who took his life today.  The picture was one “that he prized dearly.”

    1894: Francis Bedford passed away.  Born in 1816, he was a noted artist and photographer who helped to found the Royal Photographic Society in 1853.  He accompanied the Prince of Wales on his tour of the Middle East.  His photographs of Palestine were some of the earliest and best of those taken in the 19th century. They were published in 1865 providing many with their first real look at the Holy Land as it actually was.

    1894: Birthdate of Abraham Samuel Samuels, the native of Woltzin Polan who came to the United States in 1922 where he served as Rabbi in Elmira, NY and was active in a number of Jewish organizations including the United Charities for Palestine.

    1895: Birthdate of Fanny Goldstein, a librarian and the founder of Jewish Book Week

    1899(6thof Sivan, 5659): Last Shavuot of the 19th century.

    1898: In Harlem, Temple Israel completed its three day celebration of the 25thanniversary of the congregation and the 10th anniversary of occupying its current facility.

    1899(6thof Sivan, 5659): Final observance of Shavuot in the 19th century.

    1899: The Sanitarium for Hebrew Children of the City of New York which helps “sick and destitute” Jews as well as providing free summer excursions has released its annual report.  It showed that last summer the sanitarium provide nine boat excursions and 24 trains excursions while aiding a total of 15,445 people.

    1899: According to an article by Leopold Sanders, Jews are “the most anciently cultured people” since in the Book of Genesis they were the first to give the world various prehistoric legends of Babylonian origin.

    1902: Jewish housewives on the Lower East Side poured into the streets, breaking windows and throwing meat. The women were protesting a jump in the price of kosher meat from 12 to 18 cents a pound

    1904(29th of Iyar, 5664): Hayyim Selig Slonimski passed away in Warsaw. Born in Poland in 1810 when it was part of the Russian empire, his accomplishments included the invention of a calculating machine for which the Russian Academy of Sciences awarded him the Demidov Prize in 1844 and the establishment of Ha-Tsefirah, a weekly paper published in Hebrew.

    1904: In Brooklyn pharmacist Isidore Michael and Grace Elizabeth Fadiman, Russian-Jewish immigrants gave birth to super-intellectual who gained fame during the golden age of radio.

    1905: Birthdate of businessman Abraham Zapruder, whose famed home movie documented the assassination of JFK

    1905: Founding of Las Vegas, Nevada. According to an article in Hadassah Magazine there is little documented proof concerning the first Jewish families living in Las Vegas.  Names like Bergman and Berman appear in the 1910 census In the 1920’s a family named Goldring served kosher food and proudly announced that they had produced the first Jewish baby born in the town.  Other sources provide a replica of cattle brand found on bovines belonging to a Las Vegas Jew named Charles Field.  The brand consisted of a diagonal “I” with the letter “C” superimposed over it.  Of course the first two Jewish names that come to mind when mentioning Las Vegas are Meyer Lansky and his protégé Ben “Bugsy” Siegel.  Today Las Vegas has one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the United States.

    1907: In Berlin, “Economist and Demographer Robert René Kuczynski and his wife Berta Gradenwitz/Kuczynski, who was a painter” gave birth to their second child Ursula Maria Kuczynski who gained fame as author and WW II Soviet spy Ruth Werner.

    1907: Birthdate of Philip “Phil” Piratin the son of a small Jewish businessman who became active in the Communist Party and was one of the leaders in the “Battle of Cable Street” --

    1907: In San Francisco, political boss Abraham “Abe” Reuf pled guilty to charges of bribery, the day before he appeared a grand jury looking into corruption in the city.

    1908: Birthdate of Frank Glassman who “played college ball at Wilmington and Bliss College and then played guard and tackle in the NFL with the Buffalo Bisons in 1929.”

    1909: The cornerstone for a new building to be used by the Hebrew Infant Asylum is scheduled to be laid today.

    1911: In Poland, Yiddish theatre personalities Yakov and Ruzha Fuchs gave birth to actor Leo Fuchs who came to the United States and began his career in the Yiddish Theatre. Fuchs appeared in "Broadway Plays" in New York and in London.  He was seen on the television hit Mr. Ed.  His film credits include The Frisco Kid and Avalon.  He passed away in 1994.

    1912 Morris Lasker and Nettie Heidenheimer Davis Lasker gave birth to film producer Edward Lasker.

    1912: In Lower Saxony, Frantz Seligmann and Erna Seligmann gave birth to Werner Julius Seligmann, the husband of Irma Seligmann.

    1912: Birthdate of composer Arthur Victor Berger.  Born in the Bronx, Berger was a graduate of NYU and Harvard. Berger was well known in his native America as a composer, teacher and music critic, but was better known in Britain as a writer on music, particularly on the academic, musicological side.  He passed away in 2003 at the age of 91.

    1914: In Lower Saxon Frantz and Erna Seligman gave birth to Werner Julius Seligman, the husband of Irma Seligman

    1914: Premiere in Germany of The Miracle a British color silent film based on the play by Max Reinhardt.

    1914: Konrad von Preysing, who would become a leading anti-Nazi prelate was made Honorary Chamberlain of His Holiness today.

    1914: Architect Louis Isadore Kahn, who had been born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky in Estonia in 1901, became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

    1914(19thof Iyar, 5674): Sixty-six year old Yitzhak Isaac Halevy Rabinowitz, a rabbi, Jewish historian, and founder of the Agudath Israel organization whose works included Dorot Harishonim or Dorot Harischonim  passed away today.

     1915:  Birthdate of American economist Paul Samuelson.  Samuelson won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970.   Jews account for 40% of all winners of the Nobel Prize for Economics.  Fifty-four percent of the Americans who have won the award are Jewish.

    1915: As the United States wrestles with a decision to go to war with Germany following the sinking of the RMS Lusitania it was reported that A. I. Shiplikoff, Secretary of the United Hebrew Trades has said his members “are in favor of the abolition of war and the permanent establishment of international peace..”

    1915: It was reported today that Dr. S. N. Deinard is scheduled to preside over the upcoming meeting in Minneapolis designed to pressure the Governor of Georgia to grant clemency in the case of Leo M. Frank.

    1916: In Solano County, CA Otto Oscar Dannenberg and Iceophine Elsie Dannenberg gave birth to Iceophine Roberta Goepfert

    1916: Five days after Charles E. Klein who was Jewish was told that there were no openings in Battery D of the New York National Guard, Frank J. Conaton, who was not Jewish, was given an application blank by Captain Sullivan and told to go home and have his mother sign it since he was underage and could only be accepted with her consent.

    1916: “Rabbi Stephen S. Wise drew a parallel between the Armenians and the Jews in Russia” saying that “My fellow Jews in Russia could gain relief by forsaking of their fathers” and “the Armenians could obtain surcease from sorrow by becoming Moslems.”

    1916: It was reported today that Congressman Goldfogle, Rabbi Leventhal, Harry Fischel and Leon Kamisky were among those who had spoken at a meeting of The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War in Philadelphia.

    1916: Shalom Aleicheim was buried today at Old Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens, NY.

    1917: Today, in London, “official sources” confirmed the rumors “that whole Jewish population of Jaffa” had been expelled from Jaffa during Passover and forced to leave in a northerly direction.

    1918: Birthdate of Saul Laskin, the native of Fort William who was the first mayor of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

    1918: Two Jewish journalists – Landau and Goldsky – were among those who had worked for the Bonnet Rouge newspaper who were sentenced to prison today after being convicted of treason in Paris.

    1918: In Montreal, Louis and Pearl Rubin (née Ruchwarger) gave birth to Joseph Wiseman, the American trained actor who played “Dr. No.”

    1919: In the Winnipeg General Strike “virtually the entire working population of Winnipeg had walked off the job. 30,000 to 35,000 people were on strike in a city of 200,000. Even essential public employees such as fire fighters went on strike, but returned midway through the strike with the approval of the Strike Committee. The Winnipeg Police were technically on strike but remained on patrol in practice.” Opponents of the strike, especially those in the press including The New York Timesdemonized the strikers as Bolsheviks and Jews.  Cartoons were produced depicting the strikers as hooked nosed Jews.  In 2005, this historic event would become part of the popular entertainment world through a musical called “Strike” by Danny Schur.  The hit play (in Canada) focused on the treatment of the Jewish and Ukrainian workers and carried a message of universal brotherhood. 

    1919: Birthdate of Samuel Abraham Goldblith a food scientist who studied malnutrition while after having been taken prisoner by the Japanese at Corregidor and who developed the techniques for preserving food that were critical to the U.S. manned space program.

    1920: It was reported that the funeral for Yiddish actor David Kessler who passed away yesterday will take place tomorrow since today is the Sabbath – a day of rest when Jews do not bury their dead.

    1922: The German-Polish Convention signed today guaranteed all minorities in Upper Silesia, including the Jews, equal civil and political rights.

    1923:  In New York City, Jacob Israel Avedon, was a Russian-born immigrant who advanced from menial work to starting his own successful retail dress business on Fifth Avenue, called Avedon’s Fifth Avenue and his wife Anna gave birth to “fashion and portrait photographer” Richard Avedon.

    1926: Leopold Damrosch Mannes was appointed a Guggenheim Fellow today for creative work in musical composition and a study of musical literature.

    1926: In Liverpool, Reka (née Fredman) and Jack Shaffer, an estate agent gave birth to twins Sir Peter Levin Shaffer and Anthony Shaffter both of whom became playwrights.

    1927: Judge Julian W. Mack is scheduled to be the principle speaker at the banquet this evening that will mark the start of Philadelphia’s United Palestine Appeal drive.

    1927: Birthdate of Bezalel Rakow “an orthodox rabbi who headed Gateshead’s Jewish community and was the chair of the Council of Torah Sages of Agudas Yisroel of Great Britain.”

    1928: Julius Rosenwald admitted today that he has given away so much money that he does not the dollar value of his philanthropies.

    1928(25thof Iyar, 5688): Sixty-six year old Herione May, social worker and founder of the Jewish Women’s Federation passed away.

    1928: Samuel Goldwyn hosted a testimonial dinner at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel in honor of Al Lichtman, General Manager of Distribution in the United States and Canada for United Artists Corporation.

    1928: Birthdate of a French–born American “novelist and academic, known also for poetry, essays, translations, and criticism who taught at the University at Buffalo, wrote in “the experimental style, that sought to deconstruct traditional prose” and whose books included “Double or Nothing.” 

    1929: David Wuntch of Tyler, TX, was elected president of the Texas Zionist Association which concluded its silver anniversary convention today.

    1930: It was announced today that “a request for an audience with the Roumanian Regency in connection with continuing attacks on Jews in various parts of the country will be made by the Union of Roumanian Jews” Dr. William Filderman is President of the Union.

    1930: “Eliel Loefgren, former foreign minister of Sweden; Charles Barde, a Swiss jurist, and A. Van Kempen, a former Dutch colonial official, were today announced as members of the international Wailing Wall Commission to investigate the Moslem and Jewish claims to the Wailing Wall. The names were submitted to the Council of the League of Nations by Arthur Henderson, British foreign secretary.”

    1930: The High Commissioner’s office has announced that, effective today, all immigration into Palestine is suspended pending the completion of a report being compiled by Sir John Simpson dealing with immigration and land settlement problems.

    1931: Birthdate Norma Diane Fox who gained fame as award winning author Norma Fox Mazer.

    1932: Hitler’s "Voelkischer Beobachter" advised the Jews of Germany to leave the country because “we National Socialists will certainly clear all Jews out of every position they occupy in Germany.

    1933: The Secretariat of the League of Nations rejected petitions protesting the treatment of the Jews of Silesia because the treaty guaranteeing them their political and civil rights requires that the citizens of Silesia file the grievance and representatives of member nations.  The League chose to ignore the reality of the claims.

    1933: In Germany, “a plan to expel Jewish barbers and tobacconists from their positions was initiated here today.”

    1933 (19th of Iyar, 5693): Dr. Alfred Strauss, a Jewish lawyer, was killed in Dachau.

    1934(1st of Sivan, 5694): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1934: Jewish candidates are running in both the Democratic and Republican primaries being held in New Jersey today.  Among the candidates are Samuel Raff, a Republican seeking a seat in the General Assembly and four candidates for the Justice of Peace Passaic County -  David Ehrlich, Democrat, and Benjamin Rosenfelt, Toby Schneider, and Morris Rosenberg, Republicans.

    1935: “The Italian Crown Prince Umberto and the Crown Princess Maria, who are now on an official visit to Tripolitana, today visited the Jewish quarter in the town of Tripoli”.

    1935: Representatives of several Jewish communities in Poland were considering taking part in a project to plant a forest in Palestine in honor of Marshal Josef Pilsudski

    1935: Birthdate of Ingram Berg Shavitz, the Manhattan native who gained fame as Burt Shavitz, the creator of a line of personal care products.

    1935: The Gazeta Warszawska, organ of the anti-Semitic National Democratic Party, was expelled today from the Press Association of the Polish Republic for its "tactless attitude" while the nation was mourning the death of Marshal Pilsudski. The Press Association comprises all newspapers in Poland. The expulsion was decided on at a special session called for this purpose (JTA)

    1936: The Italian consul denied today in a statement to the press that Italian agents are responsible for disorders in Palestine. London newspapers had charged Italian agents with fomenting the outbreak in an attempt to embarrass Great Britain in the Italo-Ethiopian situation. (JTA)

    1936: As Arabs gather in their mosques for prayers today, “the curfew in the Old City…was extended to a large outside the Old City Walls” due to the threat of increased violence.

    1936: On the first day of the official Arab campaign of civil disobedience aimed at ending Jewish immigration violence breaks out forcing the British to cordon off Tel Aviv from Jaffa.

    1937: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Richard Jacob Mack, the son of Jacob William Mack and Bertha Mack and Elizabeth Mack gave birth to Alan Richard Mack

    1937:  Birthdate of Madeleine Korbel Albright. A native of Czechoslovakia, Albright was raised as a Roman Catholic.  In 1996, Albright discovered that her grandparents had been murdered at Auschwitz and Terezin. Her parents had converted to Roman Catholicism to escape the Holocaust.  Albright has stated that she did not know she had Jewish ancestors until she was an adult. In 1997, she was the first woman to be named Secretary of State.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that while the armed Arab gangs continued to carry out robberies, commit arson, blow up culverts, dig holes in the roads and set up mines throughout the country, at least one such gang suffered heavy casualties when engaged by British forces near Acre. Many arrests were carried out in Tamra and the neighboring villages. Two British officers were wounded in this operation. An Arab mukhtar, village elder, was murdered near Nablus after he refused to pay ransom

    1939: Giorgio Polacco, the conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and Chicago Civic Opera re-married Edith Mason today,

    1939 The SS St. Louis leaves Hamburg. Most of the thousand or so passengers are Jewish escapees from Nazi Germany. They have landing passes for Cuba as well as quota numbers that could allow them entry into the United States three years hence;

    1939 A women's concentration camp opens at Ravensbrück, 50 miles north of Berlin.

    1940: Thousands of refugee Jews from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia are trapped behind German lines as Nazi forces push through Holland. The Dutch Army surrenders

    1941(18th of Iyar, 5701): On Lag B’Omer, 12 Polish Jews who have traveled by sealed train from the Biala Podlaska Jewish POW camp to Konskowola are murdered after the train's Nazi overseers discover that four of the POWs have escaped.

    1941: Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid the playing Jewish music

    1942: As of today, an additional 11,000 more Jews had been to Chelmno bringing the total shipped to the death camp from Lodz to approximately 55,000.

    1943: In Rohatyn, Jewish ghetto police secretly plan to buy weapons and form escape parties to the nearby woods. Three weeks later the plan is foiled and all 1,000 Jews of the ghetto are killed.

    1943: The Warsaw ghetto was reduced to ashes and the uprising came to an end after an active resistance of four weeks.

    1943(10th of Iyar, 5703): After days of being crammed in a box car, Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer, his parents, three younger sisters and his brother arrived at Auschwitz at 6 p.m. His mother and sisters were immediately taken to the gas chambers.

    1943: The first issue of Liberal Judaism, a new illustrated monthly journal of opinion and letters appeared today.

    1943: The Adelaide Advertiser published excerpts from the pamphlet “Let My People Go” published in 1942 in which Victor Gollancz wrote “that between one and two million Jews had already been murdered in Nazi controlled Europe and "unless something effective is done, within a very few months these six million Jews will all be dead.”

    1944: In a letter, dated today, addressed to the Zionist leadership in Palestine (under British rule) Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl called on the Zionist leadership to take stronger action on behalf of European Jewry which was systematically being destroyed by the Nazi lead genocide:

    And you - our brothers in Palestine, in all the countries of freedom, and you, ministers of all the kingdom — how do you keep silent in the face of this great murder ? Silent while thousand on thousands, reaching now to six million Jews, were murdered. And silent now while tens of thousands are still being murdered and waiting to be murdered? Their destroyed hearts cry to you for help as they bewail your cruelty. Brutal you are and murderers too you are, because of the cold-bloodedness of the silence in which you watch

    1944: Nazi deportation of Jews from greater Hungary began with the deportation of 14,000 Jews from Munkacs to Auschwitz. The roundup is directed by Eichman with “the full cooperation of the Hungarian police.”

    1944: As part of the Nazi proposal to swap Jews for supplies including ten thousand trucks, Joel Brand is flown from Budapest to Istanbul to meet with two representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.  The two will listen to Brand and take the offer back to Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv.

    1944: On the eve of the Allied invasion of Europe, 878 Jews are deported from Drancy, France, to the Reval, Estonia, slave-labor camp. At the very time when Rommel, the Nazi General who is in charge of preparing to face the Allied onslaught, is bemoaning the lack of men and equipment, the Germans are busy shipping Jews to their death.  This provides further proof that the creation of a Jew-Free Europe was an integral part of the German effort and not some tangential activity.

    1944: Dr. Salomon Gluck, the brother of Rose Warfman, was deported on convoy 73 which left Drancy today.  He would reportedly die five days later.

    1945: Reb David Werdyger was liberated today at the Linz Labor Camp

    1945: The Soviet NKWD arrested Otto Armster, a German intelligence officer who took part in the July 20 to kill Hitler and subsequently took him back to the U.S.S.R.

    1945: Birthdate of Gail J. Koff, who would be considered the silent partner in the national law firm Jacoby & Meyers after she opened their New York offices six years after the firm, began operations in Los Angeles, California.

    1945: In Yugoslavia, fighting between 30,000 Nazi soldiers and a group of Yugoslav partisans known as the Battle of Poljana came to end when the Axis surrendered in what may have been the last formal combat operation in the European Theatre during WW II.

    1948(6thof Iyar, 5708): Parashat Kedoshim

    1948: Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invade the state of Israel on its second day of existence.  As soon as the Mandate ended, the Arab armies attacked with the aim of driving the Jews into the sea.

    1948: As the first day dawned on the new Jewish state, the Israeli military force had grown from 4.500 to 36,600 in the six months since the partition vote. This seemingly impressive total includes everybody not just combat troops.  And it pales in comparison to the size (not to mention the equipment) of the invading Arab armies. At least 1,200 Jews had fallen in fighting during the same period and this does not count civilian casualties. 

    1948: On Cyprus, the British open the gates of the detention camps.  Thousands of Jews who had been imprisoned in their attempt to reach Eretz Israel, would now be free to leave for the new national Jewish home.  Within days, many of those released would be fighting in the front lines against the invading Arab armies. 

    1948: Mordechai Ruttenberg took part in one of those small actions, described below, which helped to change history.

    In Jerusalem, a young teenager and a member of Gadna (Gedudei Noar--Israeli youth corps offering pre-military training of teenagers) helping to defend Jerusalem “found a crate of Molotov cocktails in the Notre Dame Monastery, got really scared, and hid it. The Jordanians tried every possible way to break into the city, and on that day armored vehicles arrived via Damascus Gate and took up positions below the windows of the monastery. Someone shouted from the street, 'Hey, kid, where are the cocktails?' I didn't know what to do, so he explained to me how to throw them. From the window I threw one of the bottles onto the first armored vehicle, which immediately started to burn, and the Jordanians beat a hasty retreat. Afterward people wrote that the Molotov cocktails saved Jerusalem, because otherwise the Jordanians would have entered the city. I pretty much forgot the whole thing, but one day I heard a tour guide telling about the boy with the bottle, and I came out of the closet and said, 'I am that boy.'"  That boy was the future Professor Mordechai Rotenberg who Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who taught at Hebrew University in the social work school, the criminology institute and the department of psychology.

    1948: The American office of Magen David Adom (the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) opened a blood bank for Israel in New York City that was soon packed with donors.

    1948: Voice of Israel (Kol Israel) was born simultaneously with the birth of the State of Israel. Operations for Kol Israel were in the old Palestine Broadcasting Service facilities left behind when the British left Palestine. The first Kol Israel broadcast was made from Tel Aviv as David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence for the Jewish State.

    1948: In a radio Broadcast Menachem Began said today "It is Hebrew arms which decide the boundaries of the Hebrew State; so it now in this battle; so it will be in the future."

    1948: On the day after Israel declared its independence Jews in Baghdad "walked liked shadows, terrified about their own destiny and that of their brothers in the Land of Israel."

    1948: The Battles of the Kinarot Valley began tonight when Israeli observers reported that “many vehicles with full lights” were “moving along the Golan ridge east of the Sea of Galilee.” The observers were describing the movement of a Syrian infantry brigade accompanied by at least one tank battalion and one artillery battalion that was on its way to attack Kibbutz Ein Gev.  Among the Jewish forces facing the Syrians were elements of the Golani Brigade.  Thanks to an arms embargo, the Israelis had no artillery, tanks or combat aircraft to face this onslaught. 

    1948: Moshe Sharett became Israel’s first Foreign Minister.

    1948: Etan Liivni who had been freed from Acre Prison in 1947 during the great prison break, returned to Israel today from his hiding place in Europe so he could fight in the War for Independence. 

    1948: An Iraqi brigade invaded at Naharayim on May 15, 1948, in an unsuccessful attempt to take the kibbutz and fort but the Arabs were able to occupy and loot the power plant which was the creation of Pinhas Rutenberg.

    1948: On the first day of the invasion of Israel by five Arab Armies, the Egyptian 6thBattalion, “backed by armored vehicles, mortars, cannons and aircraft, attacked Kibbutz Nirm which was defended by a force of forty Jewish fighters who after seven hours drove the attackers who retread “leaving behind somewhere between 30 and 35 dead.”

    1948(6thof Iyar, 5708): Holocaust survivor Rivka Salzman died today during the crucial Battle of Nirim – the only woman to die in the successful thwarting of Egypt’s initial attempt to destroy the state of Israel.

    1949: In Philadelphia, PA, opening of “3rd Sculpture International” which includes the works of Chaim Gross, Jacob Epstein, Jacques Lipschitz and William Zorach.

    1949(16thof Iyar): Rabbi Chaim Tchernowita, author of “Toledot haHalakah” passed away

    1949: Sixty-seven year old Mary Antin, a champion of immigrant rights and author whose work included The Promised Land, the 1912 autobiographical tome about her “Americanization “ passed away today.

    1950: The remains of Oscar Grusenberg, the Russian Jewish lawyer who defended Mendel Beilis against blood-ritual charges were interred in Israel

    1951:  Birthdate of Frank Wilczek winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction.

    1951: Pitcher Saul Rogovin is traded from the Tigers to the White Sox and still compiled a league leading 2.78 Earned Run Average.

    1952: Abba Khoushy, Mayor of Haifa, attended the United States Conference of Mayors at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.

    1952: Founding of Sde Boker (Cattle Rancher's Field) in the central Negev hills.  Sde Boker began as a horse-breeding community.  Later sheep were added to the breeding activity.  As the desert was reclaimed orchards were planted by the settlers.  Sde Boker's most famous settler was David Ben-Gurion who first moved there in 1952 when he resigned as Prime Minister in 1952.  Ben Gurion saw Sde Boker as a key to reclaiming the Negev.  In turn Ben Gurion saw reclamation of the Negev - making the desert bloom - as a key to the ultimate success of the new Jewish state.


    1953(1st of Sivan, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that a new railway line linked Hadera with Tel Aviv. The entire new track was constructed out of the French-manufactured material acquired with the aid of French railways. The funds came from the Development Budget.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Bavarian Cabinet had decided to ban the return to Bavaria of Jewish Displaced Persons who left Germany for Israel after World War II and now decided to return to Germany.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Kfar Saba celebrated its 50th anniversary.

    1956(5thof Sivan, 5716): Erev Shavuot

    1958: Premiere of the film version of the Lerner and Loewe musical “Gigi’ produced by Arthur Freed and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg.

    1959(7th of Iyar, 5719): Charlotte Lipsky passed away today at the age eighty.

    1960(18thof Iyar, 5720): Lag B’Omer is celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Dwight David Eisenhower.

    1962: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Cain’s Hundred,” a crime series with scripts by Eliot Asinof, Fred Freiberg, directed by Irvin Kershner, Sydney Pollack and Boris Sagal, and featuring appearances by Edward Asner, Martin Balsam, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jack Klugman, Leonard Nimoy, Norman Fell and Don Rickles.

    1967: Israel holds the Independence Day parade in Jerusalem without the usual numbers of heavy artillery and tanks. The full parade is not held because of an agreed limitation of tanks in the city, as laid down in the armistice agreement with Jordan. Egypt accuses Israel of having sent the "missing tanks and other weaponry to the north." Egypt names May 17 as the day on which Israel will invade Syria. A new song is born: "Yerushalayim shel Zahav" - "Jerusalem of Gold" by Naomi Shemer is performed for the first time on Independence Day. It soon becomes a kind of second national anthem.

    1967: During a parade in Jerusalem marking the 19th anniversary of Israeli independence, a messenger brings word to Prime Minister Eshkol that “large Egyptian forces were moving into Sinai and advancing westward.” The message continued that in Cairo rumored reports had Nasser ordering the removal of the UN Emergency Forces from the Sinai and the Straits of Tiran.

    1967: “While on a photo assignment in London, Linda Eastman met Beatle Paul McCartney at the Bag O’Nails.

    1968: U.S. premiere of “The Swimmer” for which Sydney Pollack provided uncredited directorial work and for which producer Sam Spiegel hired Marvin Hamlisch to write the music.

    1969: Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned over a controversy concerning past legal fees.

    1969: “Thirty five Arabs were injured by terrorist grenade attacks in Gaza, Jabaliya, Kahn Yunis, Rafa, and Deir el Balah,”

    1973(13thof Iyar, 5733): Seventy-three year old Ralph Kahn, the son Baruch Kahn and Constance Kenendel Lang and the husband of Edith Sommer passed away today in Montpellier, France.

    1973: President Richard Nixon awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Air Force Sergeant John L. Levitow, the only enlisted airman to be so honored during the Viet Nam War.  The citation reads as follows: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant John L. Levitow (then Airman First Class), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism on 24 February, 1969, while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission. On that date, Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole through the wing and fragments mad over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crewmember, who had been launching flares to provide illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over forty fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him, who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the open cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood. Unable to grasp the flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly devise to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant, the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's conspicuous gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen and his intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.”  Born in in 1945, Levitow passed away at the age of 55 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    1974(23rd of Iyar, 5734): A cell from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine infiltrated into Israel from Lebanon. They entered an apartment in Ma’a lot, killing the Cohen family including their four year old son. The terrorist then stormed Netiv Meir School.  “They took 105 students and 10 of their teachers hostage.  They were from a religious high school in Safed and who were staying the school during a class trip.”  The terrorists killed 22 students and three of the teachers before the IDF could mount an effective rescue mission.

    1978: In Queens, “Michael Krumholtz, a postal worker and his wife Judy, a dental assistant gave birth to actor David Krumholtz whose portrayal of math wizard “Charlie Epps” in the crime-comedy series “Numbers” might be seen as a bit of ethnic stereotyping.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli Embassy in Washington reiterated that "the supply of advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and Egypt creates a serious threat to the security of Israel." President Sadat of Egypt, in a major policy speech, threatened domestic critics of his policy of negotiating with Israel, and took great pains in explaining why he had deposited one million pounds, received from Katar, in his personal account.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli Cabinet, by a vote of 14 to three, backed the Chief of Staff, Raphael Eitan's declaration that Israel cannot defend itself without Judea, Samaria, and the Golan.

    1979: ABC broadcast the last episode of the first season of “Taxi” the sit com created by James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels and Ed Weinberger and starring Judd Hirsch.

    1981: President Anwar el-Sadat called on Syria and Israel today to adopt a policy of ''hands off Lebanon'' and urged the Palestinians to form a provisional government because ''the day will come when Israel will sit with you.'' Mr. Sadat's remarks came in a two-and-a-half-hour address to Parliament, which was devoted in large measure to a scathing denunciation of Egypt's small opposition Socialist Labor Party. The President dealt only briefly with the Lebanese crisis and did not address himself to a question that has been arising with some frequency here - What would Egypt do if Syria and Israel went to war?

    1982(22ndof Iyar, 5742): Parashat Behar-Bechukotai

    1982(22ndof Iyar, 5742): Eight-eight year old Yale Law School graduate and worker’s comp specialist who was survived by his wife Jessie passed away today in New Haven, CT.

    1983: Rabbi Charles Kroloff of Temple Emanu-El in Westfield officiated at the wedding of Lisa Ehrich and Robert Bernstein.  He was assisted by cantorial student Jill Spasser.

    1983: In “Psychological and Moral Dilemmas” published today, Robert Alter reviews Eight Great Hebrew Novels edited by Alan Lelchuck and Gershon Shaked.

    1983: In “New Life For A Prescient Novel About Nazism” published today Frederick S. Roffman described the film being made based on The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger.

    1986: NBC broadcast the final episode of season 2 of the “Cosby Show” co-created by Ed Weinberger which was the number sitcom for the 1985-1986 season

    1986(6th of Iyar, 5746):  Seventy one year old author and journalist Theodore White passed away.  White first gained fame covering China during World War II for the Time/Life media empire.  His honest reporting got him in trouble with Right Wing Americans and he ended up coming back to the States after the war.  White had been so effective as a reporter because he spoke Chinese, a language he learned quite by accident while studying at Harvard.  A whole new generation of Americans came to know him for his prize winning popular political science treatise, The Making in President which told the story of the Nixon-Kennedy campaign in 1960.  It provided many Americans with their first insight as to how the American electoral system really worked.  Although he was to write several “making of a President” books, none would come close to the original effort which spawned a whole new genre of political reporting.

    1988(28thof Iyar, 5748): Yom Yerushalayim

    1989: French premiere of “Brenda Starr” a film based on the comic strip reporter with a script by “Jenny Wolkind,” better known as Delia Ephron.

    1990: The Cemetery Club produced by Philip Rose opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

    1994(5thof Sivan, 5754): Erev Shavuot

    1994(5thof Sivan, 5754): Seventy-eight year old Russian born British economist Alexander Nove whom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher described as “one of the most significant scholars of 'Soviet' studies in its widest sense and beyond” passed away today.

    1995: The Chicago Sun Times reports that Eddie Schwartz has left WLUP after having failed to obtain the same success he had enjoyed with WGN.

    1995(15thof Iyar, 5755): Eighty-one year old “American real estate investor” and “a philanthropist and the inventor of the National Debt Clock” passed away today.

    1995: “My so-called Life” a teen drama created by Winnie Hotlzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz was officially canceled today.

    1997: NBC broadcast the final episode of season seven of “Seinfeld.”

    1998: “The Horse Whisperer” a movie version of the novel of the same name with a script by Eric Roth and featuring Jessalyn Gilsig.

    1998: “Quest for Camelot” an animated musical fantasy with a script by David Seidler and starring Jessalyn Gilsig and Don Rickles was released in the United States today.

    1998: “Clockwatchers” a comedy co-starring Lisa Kudrow was released in the United States today.

    1999: In the West End at the Lyric Theatre final performance of a revival of “Animal Crackers” a musical with lyrics and music by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby and the book by George S. Kaurfman and Morrie Ryskind.

    2000: Israel and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) reestablish diplomatic relations.

    2000: By decree of the French Republic President, Israeli diplomat, Dr Meir Rosenne, has been made Commander in the National Order of the Legion of Honour.

    2001(22ndof Iyar, 5761): Twenty year old Idit Mizrahi of Rimonim was murdered today when terrorists fired bullets at car carrying her, her father and her brother who were traveling to attend a family wedding.

    2001: One Israel, a party formed by Ehud Barak in 1999 ceased to exist today.

    2001:The BBC broadcast “Revolutions” the 9th episode of “A History of Britain a documentary series written and presented by Simon Schama” which began its second season earlier this month.

    2001: In “Let the Circle Be Unbroken,” published today Mimi Sheraton laments the latest assault on “The Bagel” – Pillsbury’s Toaster Filled Bagels.

     Bagel purists have had a lot to swallow as their favorite nosh has come in for its share of creative rethinking. The basic flour-water-salt-yeast-malt dough that should be shaped and then boiled before being baked is now often steamed or not moistened at all, so that it lacks the inimitable yeasty, chewy inner texture. Pizza or pumpernickel doughs are often used now, and the traditional crust that should be plain, with a golden, shiny finish, may be pockmarked with poppy or sesame seeds, garlic or onions, while the correctly neutral, cool interior is adulterated with cinnamon and raisins, nuts and berries. Economic considerations, like high labor costs, have fostered mammoth bagels that fetch mammoth prices even though they resemble inner tubes more than they do the compact, true bagel that ideally measures about 3.5 inches in diameter. It's a wonder we permit these versions to be called bagels at all. But the single characteristic of the bagel that has always been honored, no matter what other attributes go by the board, is its shape. A bagel is ring-shaped -- round with a hole in the center. At least until now; The Pillsbury Company’s''filled bagels'' -- described in the advertising copy as ''highly evolved'' -- are more like Pop-Tarts than bagels. Each 3- by 4-inch rectangle of ''tasty bagel crust'' is filled with cream cheese and, of all things, strawberry jelly. Although sweetness is antithetical to true bagel connoisseurship, the jelly and the cheese suggest the red-and-white color combination (visible through three slashes on the top crust) of cream cheese and smoked salmon. Real fish, of course, would not work, being too perishable for both freezer and toaster. The greatest attribute of these ''filled bagels,'' promises the ad copy, is: ''No gloppy mess. Next breakfast, it's freezer, toaster, done.'' Following Pillsbury's instructions, this highly evolved taster found the crust (neither baked nor steamed, I bet) to have the flavor and texture one might expect from a dampened, heated manila folder enclosing a crowd-pleasing, sweet and creamy filling. But please, Pillsbury Doughboy, go back to your creative copywriters and marketing talents and come up with another name. The new product you so proudly hail may not be totally terrible, but it is totally not a bagel. Where is the circle? Where is the hole?

    2002: President Bush welcomes forty-five leaders from the United Jewish Communities to the White House.

    2004: After being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket today Kevin Edmund Youkilis “went 2 for 4 in his major league debut” with the Boston Red Sox.

    2005(6th of Iyar, 5765):  Alan B. Gold, Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court passed away at the age of 87.

    2005: “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” co-starring Natalie Portman and Frank Oz premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

    2005: The New York Timesincluded reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of “After Such Knowledge: Memory, History, and the Legacy of the Holocaust,” Eva Hoffman’s essay that “thoughtfully conveys the conflicted inner lives of a generation of children of Holocaust survivors” and “The Sea House”  Esther Freud’s “intricate English novel, inspired by the letters of Esther Freud's grandfather (Sigmund's son), which is set along the Suffolk coast and tells two stories separated by half a century.”

    2006: Over 150,000 people attended the celebrations at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Mount Meron in the Galilee, where a large feast is traditionally held.

    2006: Daniel Barenboim was named principal guest conductor of La Scala opera house, in Milan,

    2006: Daniel Barenboim was named principal guest conductor of La Scala opera house, in Milan, after Riccardo Muti's resignation

    2007: In Washington, D.C. Theater J presents the last of performances of Arnold Wesker's “Shylock,” a landmark re-imagining of the three stories which inspired Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Featuring beloved international performer Theodore Bikel in the title role and Edward Gero as Antonio, this staged concert readingis presented in conjunction with the Shakespeare in Washington Festival.

    2007: In London, the ZF presents “A Special Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem” featuring a speech by Moshe Arens, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States who also served as the Israeli Defense Minister and Foreign Minister.

    2007: Four people were wounded by a barrage of at last 19 Qassam Rockets fired by Hamas terrorists at the western Negev town of Sderot.  Palestinian leaders said that Hamas was trying to divert attention from internecine fighting in the Gaza Strip by renewing hostilities between Israel and the Palestine Authority.

    2007(27th of Iyar, 5767):  Ninety-five year old Italian-Jewish architect Giorgio Cavaglieri, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2008: In Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem, The First International Writers Festival comes to a close.

    2008: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington marks the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel with a series of book talks by Laura Cohen Apelbaum on “Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community” (the companion to the award-winning exhibit of the same name) beginning at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. It is co-sponsored by the Embassy of Israel and the B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum

    2008: President George Bush is schedule to address the Knesset on the second day of his visit to Israel; a visit designed to honor Israel on its sixtieth anniversary as well as to try and advance peace talks with the Palestinians.

    2008: A conference is held at the Beit Chail Haavir in Herzlia by the National Road Safety Authority, Or Yarok, and the Institute of Technological Studies in order to promote new technological advances to improve road safety in Israel.

    2008: Google co-founder Sergey Brin lauded Israeli innovations in technology and environmental efforts, saying Israel "takes our climate challenges very seriously." Brin, visiting as a delegate to President Shimon Peres' Presidential Conference, told Haaretzthat these challenges have "great geopolitcal ramifications on this country, in addition to environmental ones."

    2008: Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch told a panel in Jerusalem on Thursday that promoting technology throughout the Middle East could help advance peace. "When people have the skills - to build better lives for themselves and their families, their societies become more peaceful and Israel will have better neighbors," Murdoch said during a debate on new media and the internet at President Shimon Peres'"Facing Tomorrow" conference. "We'll continue to do what we can to help Israel maintain its competitive edge. Yet we must also look for new ways to expand human capital throughout the Middle East."

    2008: "Waltz With Bashir” a daring new animated documentary which follows Israeli director Ari Folman as he tries to piece together memories of the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila camps is screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

    2009: Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” discusses his most recent book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Md., in an event sponsored by Politics and Prose Bookstore.

    2009:Rabbi Shefa Gold, a leader in Aleph, The Alliance for Jewish Renewal leads Friday night services for Congregation Bet Mishpachah at the Jewish Community Center in Washington, D.C.

    2009(21stof Iyar): Ninety-one year old Edwin S. Shneidman, a psychologist who gave new direction to the study of suicide and was a founder of the nation’s first comprehensive suicide prevention center, passed away today at his home in Los Angeles. (As reported by William Dicke)

    2010: Before Shabbat morning services start at Temple Emanuel in Denver, Rabbi Steven Foster is scheduled to discuss "Reform Responsa: Applying Jewish Text to Modern Day Questions."

    2010(2ndof Sivan, 5770): Moshe Greenberg, one of the most influential Jewish biblical scholars of the 20th century, died today at his home in Jerusalem at the age of 81. As reported by Dennis Hevesi

    2011: Joel and Ethan Coen, the Oscar award-winning producer-director team that created films like The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man are expected to attend the ceremony in Israel today at which they will be formally awarded The Dan David Prize “for their contribution in film making.”  The committee that made the selection “called the duo a unique example in cinematic history for their abilities to tell a simple story in a complex manner.”  “The Dan David Prize is named for the businessman and philanthropist and is administered by a board of directors headed by Tel Aviv University President Professor Yoseph Klafter. Ten percent of the recipients' prize money is donated on their behalf to doctorate and post-doctorate student grants.”  Each recipient receives a million dollars. The other million-dollar prize winners for 2011 are University of California at San Francisco Professor Cynthia Kenyon and Harvard Medical School Professor Gary Ruvkun for their work in gerontology, and Stanford University Medical School Professor Marcus Feldman for his work in the evolutionary sciences. President Shimon Peres and 2010 prize winner Italian President Giorgio Napolitano are expected to attend the award ceremony, the tenth year that the prizes will be awarded.

    2011: A Brazilian production of the musical “Baby” with music by David Shire opened today.

    2011: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present a symposium entitled: “2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey.”

    2011: In what would prove to be a case of “rush to judgment” the New York Police Department arrested Dominique Strauss-Kahn at 2:15 a.m. today “on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a 32-year-old chambermaid in the luxury suite of a Midtown Manhattan hotel yesterday” about 1 p.m., Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said.  (As reported by Al Baker and Steven Erlanger)

    2011: Young Jewish Professionals are scheduled to take part in The Lox, Stock & Bagel Scavenger Hunter where they will “explore the heart of the Lower East Side that is changing right before your eyes. Highlights include Russ & Daughters, Katz's Deli, the birthplace of B'nai B'rith, Economy Candy, and much more.”

    2011: Avraham Granted was fired today as Manager of West Ham United “after the club was relegated to the Football League Championship

    2011: In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Mizel Museum will open its doors free of charge” today “for visitors to tour its new permanent exhibit 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks,” which offers “a dynamic journey through art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and celebrates Jewish culture and history.”

    2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Wizards of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust” by Diana B. Henriques and the recently released paperback edition of “The Sabbath World:Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” by Judith Shulevitz

    2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including 'Say Her Name' by Francisco Goldman.

    2011:Four people were reportedly shot dead by Israel Defense Forces troops today as they opened fire on large numbers of infiltrators trying to breach Syria's southern border with Israel. Another four people were said to have been killed on the Lebanese side of its shared frontier with Israel, as Palestinian protests for the annual Nakba Day, which mourns the creation of the State of Israel, took hold across the region.

    2011: Cedar Rapids native, John Lipsky, brother of Temple Judah congregant Ann Lipsky is named as acting managing director of the IMF.

    2011(11th of Iyar, 5771): Eighty year old Rebbetzin Hesa Halberstam, the widow of Grand Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Halberstam passed away today.

    2011:Dozens of Im Tirtzu activists gathered outside the offices of UNRWA in Jerusalem holding signs and chanting, "They expelled, they attacked, they lost.” Im Tirtzu takes its name from the saying of Theodor Herzl "If you will it, it is no dream."

    2012: The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Book by Matti Friedman went on sale today.

    2012: Basya Schecter is scheduled to perform “Songs of Wonder” which sets the Yiddish poetry of the civil rights activist and Jewish philosopher Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to music at the Washington  DCJCC.

    2012: Cellist Yoed NIr is scheduled to join Regina Spektor in tonight’s performance at the United Palace Theatre.

    2012:Ellen Cassedy is scheduled to read from and sign her new book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History

    2012: Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times will receive an honorary degree to at Farleigh Dickinson University’s 69thcommencement exercises.

    2012:Arab terrorists attacked southern Israel with a Kassam rocket early today and attacked Jews in the Hevron area with two firebombs overnight as “Nakba Day” began

    2012: Twenty-four year old Majid Jamali Fashi was hung today by Iran after having been “convicted for Israel and assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist.”

    2012: “Sisters Joined by Tumult, Grown Apart in Time” published today provides a details review of I Am Forbidden, a noble by Anouk Markovits.

    2012(23rdof Iyar, 5772): Eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor and scholar Arno Lustiger passed away today.

    2013(6thof Sivan, 5773): First Day of Shavuot

    2013: Scheduled opening of the Ein Gev Shavuot Festival

    2013: “Pedro Hernandez, Charged With Murder Of Etan Patz, To Face Trial”

    2013: For the first time since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, two mortar shells exploded in the Mount Hermon area this morning. There were no reported injuries or casualties. The area in the Hermon, the mountain range that straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights, was promptly closed to hikers for several hours on the Shavuot holiday.

    2013: Israel will continue to take military action to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry to Syria, The New York Times quoted a senior Israeli official as saying today, a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to discuss the troubled situation.

    2014: The Oregon Jewish Museum is scheduled to host Peter Zisa in program celebrating the music of two Jewish composers – Alexandre Tansman and Mario Castlenuovo-Tedesco.

    2014: The Israel Action Center at the JCRC is scheduled to present “Israel at 66: Spies and Defenders” with CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv and Israeli journalist Yossi Melman.

    2014: Today, “in the wake of outcry from the public, gay rights organizations and politicians, Yaakov Ariel, the rabbi of Ramat Gan who “advised a landlord not to rent…an apartment to a lesbian couple” was “summoned by Ramat Gan Mayro Israel Singer to explain his remarks.”(As reported by Gavriel Fiske)

    2014: “A Jewish woman was attacked at a bus stop in Paris’ Montmartre district by a man who shook her baby carriage and said, “Dirty Jewess, enough with your children already, you Jews have too many children, screw you.” (Tablet)

    2014: “Two IDF soldiers from the 50th Battalion of the Nahal Brigade have been dismissed from their unit for campaigning on Facebook against orders to evict Jewish settlers on the West Bank, the army said today”

    2014: Tatiana Maslany was cast in a principal role as the younger version of Helen Mirren's character, “Maria Altmann” in the upcoming film “Woman in Gold.”

    2014: The Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism is scheduled to host a lecture by Professor Maud Mandel of Brown University entitled “Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict.”

    2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, VA.

    2015: “The Kindergarten Teacher” is scheduled to be shown on the final day of the 18thAnnual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Film’s.

    2015: Centenarian Elisabeth Bing, whose parents fled Nazi Germany because they had been Jewish before converting to Christianity and was leader in the natural childbirth movement, passed away today.

    2015: Today “at an art storage facility in southern Germany “more than 70 years after its disappearance and after a year and a half of hard-nosed negotiations,” "Femme Assise," was handed over to Christopher A. Marinello, an attorney representing the descendants of Paul Rosenberg, “one of the world’s leading dealers in Modern art…whose collection was looted by the Nazis.”

    2015: In “Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s New Justice Minister, Shrugs Off Critics in Her Path” Jodi Rudoren provided a profile of a rising political star.

    2015: Rabbi Barry Fruendal is scheduled to be sentenced to after “pleading guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism for installing secret cameras in the shower room of the mikvah adjacent to Kesher Israel, the prominent Washington Orthodox synagogue he led for some 25 years”

    2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Little Labors by Rivka Galchen, The Secret War: Spies, Cyphers and Guerrillas 1939-1945 by Max Hastings, A Self-Made Man” The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1849 by Sidney Blumenthal and We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to Covergirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by Andi Zeisler

    2016: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host the first annual city-wide 5K Race for Humanity.

    2016: The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines is scheduled to sponsor an Israel Independence Day Celebration Lunch featuring Israeli falafel followed by a screening of the Mickey Marcus biopic “Cast a Giant Shadow” starring Kirk Douglas.

    2016: In New York, B’nai Jeshurun is scheduled to host “an interactive performance of Lea Goldberg’s Israeli children’s book “Dira Lehaskir -Apartment to Let”! narrated by actress Shira Averbuch”

    2016: Ari Shavit, author of A Promised Land , Georgetown Hillel Rabbi Rachel Gartner, and emerging leader Harry Reis are scheduled to participate in “Israel Forum: Zionism and Liberalism

    for a New Generation” at JCC Manhattan.

    2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “Gala 2016.”

    2016: At the Jewish Women’s Circle in Malta, NY, the Chabads of Saratoga County is scheduled to “Finding Your Small Miracles” featuring, Yitta Halberstam Co-author of the Small Miracles Series: Heartwarming stories of Extraordinary Coincidences from everyday Life 

    2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to co-sponsor a weekly interfaith discussion, this week's topic TBC, from the perspectives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, looked at in a variety of texts and scriptures “at the Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College.”

    2017: (19th of Iyar, 5777): In Los Angeles, graduation ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion

    2017: As part of the lecture series “Israel: The Land and its People” Henry Abramson is scheduled to lecture on “Theodore Herzl: Father of Zionism” at the Avenue J campus of Touro College

    2017: MJE is scheduled to host “Conversations Remix” with Rabbi Mark Wildes.

    2017: Joan Nathan is scheduled to talk about her new book King Solomon’s Tablewhich “explores Jewish cooking from around the world.”

    2017: The Association for Jewish Studies and Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a lecture by Yael Landman on “Is There a Biblical "Law"? Law in the World of the Bible.”

    2017: The exhibit “Menorah: Worship, History, Legend” is scheduled to open simultaneously at both the Jewish Museum and the Braccio de Carlo Magno Museum in the Vatican.

    2017: Obituary writer Margalit Fox is among those scheduled to speak at a symposium describing how the Times Obituary Team “captures a life in 500 words.”  (Editor’s note- this is one time I wish I lived in New York.  The Times obits are not only literary gems, they are an invaluable tool for historical research.  In addition to which, the writers are very patent people who take their time to respond to inquiries even when they come from an “am ha’aretz in eastern Iowa.)

    2017: “MGM Television and Daniel Silva announced today that MGM had acquired the adaption rights for the Allon series, a series of spy novel whose “main focus is Gabriel Allon, an Israeli art restorer, spy and assassin” whose executive producers would be Silva and his Jewish wife Jamie Gangel, the television journalist.

    2017: At the start of the weekly Yisrael Beytenu meeting today, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman rebuked “his fellow ministers for publicly going head-to-head with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the upcoming Trump visit, in an apparent reference to Education Minister Naftali Bennett.”

    2018: Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to host Gettysburg College professor Kerry Wallach discussing her latest work Passing Illusions: Jewish Visibility in Weimar Germany in which she “challenges the notion that Jews in Weimar-era Germany sought to be invisible or indistinguishable from other Germans by “passing” as non-Jews.”

    2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host another session of “Shtisel Watch and Learn” where the chaplains lead a discussion after viewing an episode of “the award winning Israeli Television series” about a “haredi family” living “in Jerusalem’s religious neighborhood of Geula.”










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    May 16

    0942(21stof Iyar, 4702): Saadia Gaon passed away. Born in 882, Saadia Gaon was the head of the Talmudic Academy of Sura (Babylonia). He was a recognized authority on the Talmud, and a profound student of philosophy and philology. Saadia was forced to deal with the challenge of assimilation of the upper-class Jews of Babylonia who were attractedto the Greek philosophers whose works had been translated intoArabic. Saadia wrote a philosophic work, The Book of Beliefs and Opinions, in magnificent flowing Arabic. In it, he defended the rational underpinnings of Judaism and showed logically that every rational Jew could believe in the Torah as well as Aristotle and Plato. He wrote the first Hebrew grammar book which explained how the holy language worked. He provided a Hebrew dictionary plus a compendium of rhyming words for Hebrew poets. He was the first to write an Arabic translation of the Bible. He included commentaries, explanations, and grammatical notes as well. His translation continues to be the authoritative Bible for Jews in Arab lands. He also led a successful fight against the Kararites, a sect which rejected Rabbinic commentary as law.

    1165: Maimonidesand his familyarrived at Acre, Palestine.Having been forced to leave Spain because he would not convert to Islam, Maimonides and his family settled in Fez, Morocco. His work with Jews who had been forced to convert to Islam attracted attention of the local authorities and the family moved on to Palestine. Do to the poverty of the land and the uncertain conditions there, Maimonides finally settled in Egypt where he served both as a physician and leader of the Jewish Community.

    1474:Minister Pacheco of Spain used an attack he organized against "new Christians" as a diversion in order to enable him to capture the citadel of Segovia (and maybe the King). Although the plot was discovered in time, the Marranos were attacked by the organized mob, and men, women and children were murdered.

    1477: Abraham dei Tintori produced the first printed edition of the book of Job with a commentary by Levi ben Gerson was published today in Ferrara, Italy

    1487: Joseph Solomon Sonciino produced the first printed edition of Seder Tahanunim at Soncino, Italy

    1527: Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and re-established a republic The recreation of the Republic led to the expulsion of the Jews. This event took place in the Jewish year 5300 (a year with Jewish mystical connotations), fueling messianic hopes helping to layer the ground for the rise of Solomon Molcho.

    1573: Today Polish nobles elected Henry, as the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, the Lithuanian nobles boycotted this election, and it was the Lithuanian ducal council who confirmed his election. Poland elected Henry, rather than Habsburg candidates, partly in order to be more agreeable to the Ottoman Empire (a traditional ally of France through the Franco-Ottoman alliance), with which a Polish-Ottoman alliance was also in effect.. He owed his election to Solomon Ashkenazi, a “Rabbi” who was an advisor to the Sultan.  He was in effect the Sultan’s foreign minister.  In an unusually blunt statement, Ashkenazi wrote Henry “I have rendered you majesty most important service in securing your election; I have effected all that was done here.” The last statement refers to his behind the scenes work at the Sultans Palace.  See Volume 4  p 605 0f Graetz

    1611: Birthdate of Pope Innocent XI. During his papacy, “Innocent showed a degree of sensitivity in his dealings with the Jews within the Italian States. He compelled the city of Venice to release the Jewish prisoners taken by Francesco Morisini in 1685. He also discouraged compulsory baptisms which accordingly became less frequent under his pontificate; but he could not abolish the old practice altogether. More controversially in 1682 he issued an edict by which all the money-lending activities carried out by the Roman Jews were to cease. However ultimately convinced that such a measure would cause much misery in destroying livelihoods, the enforcement of the edict was twice delayed.”

    1617(11th of Iyar, 5377):Judah Löb Sarava, the Rabbi at Venice who is quoted in the ritual work "Mashbit Milḥamot," in connection with a question in regard to the ritual bath” and “translated into Hebrew Saadia's commentary on Canticles” passed away today.

    1648: During the great Cossack uprising which brought death and destruction to hundreds of thousands of Jews, Bohdan Khmelnytsky's forces overwhelmed and defeated Commonwealth forces under the command of Stefan Potocki at the Battle of Zhovti Vody.

    1667: Sixty-eight year old Samuel Bochart, “a French Protestant biblical scholar” whose “two-volume Geographia Sacra seu Phaleg et Canaan exerted a profound influence on seventeenth-century Biblical exegesis” passed away today.

    1669: Birthdate of “Dutch Christian Hebraist Campegius Vitringa author of a Commentary on Isaiah and De Synagoga Vetere Libri Tres.

    1746(26th of Iyar, 5506): Moshe Chaim Luzzatto passed away. Born in 1707, this Italian rabbi known by the Hebrew acronym RaMChal was noted philosopher and student of kabbalah.

    1754: Fire ravaged the Ghetto in Prague.

    1756: Abigail Franks, the daughter of Moses Levy, who had been married to Jacob Franks for 44 years and who had had two children by 1719 passed away today.

    1761: In Trevellas, Cornwall, England “Edward Opie, a master carpenter and his wife Mary (née Tonkin) gave birth John Opie the youngest of their five children who painted “The Old Jew,” a “portrait of a Jewish man” that he completed “in the months before” he moved to London in 1780.

    1775(16th of Iyar, 5535): Veitel-Heine Ephraim who served as “Jeweller to the Prussian Court and Mint Mast under the Prussian Kings Frederick William I and Frederick the Great for whom he played a critical role in financing the Seven Years War passed away today.

    1785(7th of Sivan): Rabbi Chaim Abraham ben Moses Israel of Ancona, author of “Bet Avraham” passed away.

    1789: Birthdate of Michael Creizenach, the native of Mainz who edited the Hebrew periodical “Zion” with I.M. Jost and who was the father of Theodor Creizenach who followed in his literary footsteps

    1790: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Warsaw.

    1799: Birthdate of Alexander McCaul the Dublin born Christian missionary who spent a decade in Poland trying to convert the Jews but who was no anti-Semite since he opposed the accusations of the “blood libel.”  He returned to England where “he became professor of Hebrew and rabbinical literature at King’s College.”

    1801: Birthdate of William H. Seward who served as Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson (1861-1869).  Shortly after he assumed office, Seward met with Henry I. Hart, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites and assured him that he would continue the push to end the discrimination practiced by the Swiss against American Jews. In 1863, Seward instructed American diplomats to do all that they could to stop the attacks on the Jews of Morocco.

    1807(8th of Iyar): Joseph Abraham Stelicki, Ger Zedek of Nikolai passed the son a butcher who had been raised Catholic but who converted to Judaism in 1785 passed away today.

    1815: “The Jewish community of the Aachen, Germany offered an homage in its synagogue to the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm the third.”

    1816: Birthdate of Adam Gimbel, the native of Bavaria who came to the United States in 1834 and parlayed a trading post he opened in Vincennes in to the chain of Gimbel’s Department Stores which would become the fabled rival of Macy’s.

    1820(3rd of Sivan, 5580): Nathan Salomon the Rabbi at Hombourg who was one of those attending The Grand Sanhedrin of Napoleon that took place at the Town Hall of Paris in February, 1807 and whose parents were Reitz and Marx Salomon passed away today.

    1823: Birthdate of Heymann Steinthal the brother-in-law of Mortiz Lazarus who taught at The Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, or Higher Institute for Jewish Studies.

    1826: Birthdate of Danish banker and Member of Parliament David Baruch Adler.

    1828: In Frankfurt, Baron Carl Mayer von Rothschild of Naples and Adelheid Hertz gave birth to Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild, who would become head of the Frankfurt branch of the Rothschild banking empire.

    1828: Birthdate of Marcus Kalisch, the native of Pomerania who was “one of the pioneers of the critical study of the Old Testament in England, a secretary to the Chief Rabbi  and a tutor in the Rothschild family” which gave him “the leisure to produce his commentaries and other works.”

    1829: Abraham Alexander Wolff “assumed office as chief rabbi of Denmark” today.

    1838: In Bavaria, Jacob Rice and Augusta Mannstein gave birth to Ignatius Rice, the husband of Cornelia Diana Stern, President of the Home for Aged Infirm, Trustee of the National Hospital for Consumptives at Denver, Colorado who resided at 122 East 79th Street in New York,

    1838: Augusta and Lewis Feuchtwanger gave birth to Rebecca Feuchtwanger

    1839: George Moss married Lucy Lippshutz at the Great Synagogue today.

    1845: Birthdate of Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, also known as Eli Metchnikoff. Born in the Ukraine, he was a Russian microbiologist best remembered for his pioneering research into the immune system. Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, for his work on phagocytosis. He passed away in Paris in 1916.

    1853: The New York Times provided more information about outbreaks of violence that had occurred in Jerusalem during Holy Week (Palm Sunday thru Easter). A group of English missionaries were forced to leave the Church of the Holy Sepulcher because “they behaved in an unseemly manner when the Procession of the Host passed on Good Friday.”  One of the missionaries delivered a sermon outside of a synagogue while the Jews were attending services in which he used “invectives” in talking about the Talmud.  One of the Jews reportedly threw a dead cat at the missionary and a fight broke between the rest of the missionaries and the Jews who sought to defend their religious beliefs.   

    1853: The New York Times reported that the recent defeat of the Jewish Disabilities bill in the House of Lords had bitterly disappointed supporters of the measure since they had anticipated that the Lords would follow their usual path and approve legislation that had been approved by the House of Commons. The action of the Lords, according to the Times, shows the great gulf between the aristocracy and the rest of the citizenry.  Despite the prominence of such families as the Rothschilds, “the Jew in England is no better off than he was in the days of King John.”

    1853: The New York Times reported that thousands of Prussians including Alexander Von Humboldt have petitioned the Second Chamber (one of the two houses of their bi-cameral legislature) demanding that Jews be allowed to hold government jobs and allowing for full freedom of religious opinion.  The petitions were in response to vote by the First Chamber to exclude Jews from public employment.

    1854(18th of Iyyar, 5614): Lag B’Omer

    1854: According to an article published today the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews reported that there are 17 synagogues in New York City that show a membership totaling 25,000. The last census shows that there are 46,000 Jews in the entire United States.  The society believes that the census figure is a case of underreporting because it only records people as being Jewish if they self-report. “It is a well-known fact that one-half or more of the Jews in this country call themselves Frenchman, German, Poles, Hungarians and Englishman and never make themselves known as Jews in governmental connections.”

    1859: In London, “the first meeting of the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish Poor was held at the Great Synagogue Chambers

    1863(27th of Iyar, 5623): Jonas Ennery passed away. Born in 1801 at Nancy he became head of the Jewish school at Strasbourg. He served as a Deputy in the French Parliament and compiled a Dictionnaire Général de Géographie Universelle, He was the brother of Marchand Ennery, the chief rabbi of Paris.

    1864: In Vienna, Menachem Mendel Birnbaum, a merchant, from Ropshitz, Galicia, and  Miriam Birnbaum (née Seelenfreund), who was born in northern Hungary (in a region sometimes called the Carpathian Rus), of a family with illustrious rabbinic lineage gave birth to Nathan Birnbaum the Austrian journalist, Jewish philosopher and founder of a Jewish nationalist organization "Kadimah."  Kadimah was formed ten years before Theodor Herzl became the leading spokesman of the Zionist movement. Birnbaum is credited for coining the term "Zionism". He died in 1937.

    1864: In New York, the "Open Board of Stock-Brokers" adopted its constitution.  Among the signatories was Mendez Nathan, the son of Seixas Nathan.

    1864: Birthdate of Julia H. Kohlman who was buried next to her husband Sigmund Kohlman in Mobile, Alabama when she passed.

    1866: In Philadelphia, PA, Werner David Amram and Esther Hammerschlag gave birth to University of Pennsylvania graduate David Werner Amram, the husband of Beulah Brylawski and law school professor who wrote The Jewish Law of Divorce According to Bible and Talmud and Leading Cases in the Bible and was active in numerous Jewish organization the “Hebrew Education Society, Jewish Maternity Association and Congregation Mickve Israel.”

    1868: President Andrew Johnson was acquitted in his impeachment trial in the United States Senate. According to one source, Johnson made several virulent anti-Semitic statements during his political career prior to becoming President. Considering the fact that the “Tarheel Tailor” was illiterate until adulthood, his anti-Semitic statements may be more a case of ignorance than anything else.

    1869(6th of Sivan, 5629): Shavuot is celebrated for the first time during the Presidency of U.S. Grant.

    1875: The Board of Trustees of B’nai Jeshurun met today in New York City and approved a proposal to allow members of the opposite sex to sit together in the same pews during services.  This put an end to the separate seating that had been the rule at the synagogue since its founding.  The decision would be contested by Israel J. Solomon a member of the congregation who brought a suit in the Court of Common Pleas to over-turn the decision. His suit would fail.

    1876: Ida Kuhn married Eduard Cohen and became Ida Cohen

    1877: As the constitutional crisis in France came to a head, 363 parliamentary deputies passed a vote of no confidence in the new government championed by Royalist President Patrice MacMahon. The leaders of the opposition would be defended by Raphael Basch a liberal French Jewish political leader and journalist.  Basch was the father of Victor-Guillaume Basch who would be murdered by the Vichy French in 1944.

    1880(6th of Sivan, 5640): Shavuot

    1880: Birthdate of Julius Tannen the New York born comedian and monologist whose career included vaudeville, Broadway and Hollywood where he his most famous performance was in “Singing In the Rain.”

    1881: Birthdate of Amy Loveman, a founding editor of the Saturday Review.

    1881: “A comic melodrama entitled “Sam’l of Posen, or The Commercial Drummer” premiered at Haverly’s Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York.

    1885: Birthdate of David de Sola Pool, the native of London whose family roots go back to the Sephardim of Medieval Spain who came to New York City in 1907 to begin as 63 year career as the leader of Congregation Sheaerith Israel, also known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue

    1888(6th of Sivan, 5648): Shavuot

    1890: It was reported today that former President Grover Cleveland, Oscar Straus and Joseph Blumenthal will be among those who have purchased boxes for the upcoming Strawberry Festival, a fund raiser sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1891: It was reported today that among the bequests made by the late Nathan Littauer were$1,500 to Mt. Sinai Hospital for the permanent endowment of a bed in memory of his daughter Louise; $1,000 each to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews; $500 to the Board of Relief of the United Hebrew Charities.

    1892: Justice George C. Barrett officiated at the wedding of Albert Kohn and Sophie Kupfer. The nuptials which were one of the most fashionable events in the Jewish community, took place at the home of Henry Kupfer on east 78th Street.

    1893(1st of Sivan, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

    1893: In Great Britain, the Board of Guardians is scheduled to meet today where Sir Julian Goldsmith will talk about the expulsions of the Jews from Poland – a matter that heretofore has been denied or kept secret.

    1893: George Kennan, the explorer and newspaper man who has become a critic of the Czar and advocate for Russian democracy stated his belief that Polish and Russian Jews will be coming to the United States as a result of the edicts of expulsion issued by the Russian government.

    1893: “Myer S. Isaacs, Chairman of the Trustees of the Baron Hirsh Fund for the aid of Russian Jews” in the United States said today that he and his associates “had not considered the question of an influx of Polish Jews” because they did not except any abnormal increase in immigration from that region. (Editor’s note – Based on contemporary reports there was a great deal of disagreement about Russian edicts of expulsion and the potential major influx of Jews from Poland and Russia)

    1894: It was reported today that while Herman Rosenblatt stood in the smoldering ruins of his crockery store, a local ruffian pointed at the Jew and shouted “There is the man who set the fire” causing a mob yelling “Lynch him” to chase after Rosenblatt.  Rosenblatt outran the mob and found sanctuary in the 47th Street Police Station.

    1896: In a cable from London, Harold Frederic provided a scoop for the New York Times when he broke the news about Baron Hirsch’s grandchild, who is the daughter of the Baron’s son Lucienne and a French governess. As confirmed by a copy of the Baron’s will, the child will inherit a large portion of the Hirsch millions.

    1896: In Birmingham, England Laura (née Greenberg) and Louis Balcon gave birth to English movie producer Sir Michael Elias Balcon.

    1898: The Daughters of Jacob are hosting a Strawberry Festival at Terrace Garden for the benefit of a Home for Aged Hebrews of the down-town east side. They have already sold 3,000 tickets at fifty cents each, and have received presents of large quantities of goods that will be sold at the festival.

    1898: Joseph J. Corn, the Vice President Temple Culture Society spoke yesterday about the purpose of the society. He said “that in these days of cheap philosophy and what has come to be known as ethical culture there is a need for Jewish culture.  In an effort to combat the notion that religious education ended with confirmation, the society is holding weekly meetings devoted to the study of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy.  Among other things, the programs should help Jews answer the question “Why are you Jews in this Christian world and yet not of it?”

    1898: During the Spanish American War the 4th Missouri Volunteer Infantry whose members included Captain Max Mannheim (St. Joseph), Sergeants Lewis F. Stein (Carrollton) and Herman Weil (St. Joseph) and Privates Fred E. Wise, Lloyd F. Houseman and Abraham J. Friedman and Artificer Arthur Newsbaum was mustered into federal service today.

    1899: Second Lieutenant George M. Appel of the 2nd U.S. Volunteer Engineers was mustered out of service today.

    1899(7th of Sivan): Eighty-six year Jacob Ezekiel, the husband of Catherine Myers Castro, author of The Jews of Richmond and Persecutions of the Jews in 1840 and the secretary of the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College from 1876 to 1896 passed away today

    1902: Sixteen year old Louis Lefkowitz, the founder of “Louis Lefkowitz and Brothers, manufacturers of leather belts” and other similar items and the husband of Sadie Leah Weiss came to the United States today from his native Hungary.

    1903: At a meeting held under the auspices of the English Zionist Federal a resolution was adopted “declaring that the establishment of a home in Palestine was the only practical solution of the Jewish question.”  Israel Zangwill had given an impassioned speech in support of the motion during which he invoked the bloody images of the atrocities committed against the Jews of Romania and Kishineff.

    1904: Herzl's diary breaks off with a report to Jacob Schiff. Schiff was a successful banker and financer. He was one of the leaders of the Jewish community in the 19th and early 20th century. He actively intervened on behalf of the Jews suffering in Tsarist Russia. Although he had reservations about Zionism, he was increasingly drawn to Herzl’s concept of a Jewish homeland in Palestine as a practical way of lessening the suffering of Russia’s Jews.

    1907: A day after pleading guilty to charges of bribery Abe Ruef “testified before a grand jury incriminating the Mayor of San Francisco which led to his conviction and removal from office.

    1909: Birthdate of  Yehiel Feiner whom the world would come to know as Yehiel De-Nur or Dinur, a survivor of Auschwitz who used his experience as the basis for several books including “The House of Dolls.”

    1911: Masliach Effendi of the Turkish government ridicules the idea that Jews could become a menace to Turkey. He suggests appointment of committee to examine the whole question of Zionism.
    1912: Birthdate of Rita Kanarek. In her senior year at N.Y.U. she married Alex Hillman founder and President of Hillman Periodicals. Mrs. Hillman became president of the Alex Hillman Family Foundation where she pursued her passions as an art collector and philanthropist. Among the beneficiaries of her largesse was the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in Manhattan. She passed away at the age of 95 in November, 2007.

    1912: Birthdate of author, historian and broadcaster, Studs Terkel. “My family was Jewish but not religious. My mother went through the rituals; my father didn't. He was a freethinker.” He passed away at the age of 93.

    1913(9th of Iyar 5673): Ninety-one year old banker William Scholle passed away today in New York.

    1913: Rabbi Tobias Schaafarber is scheduled to deliver the Friday night sermon at the Chicago Hebrew Institute.