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

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    January 5

    1355: Charles I of Bohemia was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan. Charles I morphed into Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor who at the beginning of his reign made an effectual attempt to protect his Jewish subjects by issuing “letter after letter forbidding the person of the His Jews, his ‘servi camerae,’ to be touched.”  His Christian subjects in Germany disregarded their Emperor and continued their persecution of the Jews.

    1548: Birthdate of Francisco Suarez the Jesuit theologian who “advocated the banning of the Talmud and the building of synagogues as well as forbidding ‘any familiarity with Jews.’” (As described by The History of the Jewish People)

    1589:  Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, the wife of King Henry II passed away.  Along with several other French rulers and power brokers including Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIV, she had a penchant for collecting Hebrew Manuscripts.

    1642: King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war. The Civil War would bring Oliver Cromwell to power.  Cromwell would champion the return of the Jews to England, leading to the creation of the modern Jewish committee in Great Britain, and by extension throughout the British Empire including the United States.

    1797: Birthdate of German-Jewish  banker and astronomer Wilhelm Wolff Beer, the half-brother of Giacomo Meyerbeer

    1814:Today Chief Rabbi Lehmans of The Hague organized a special thanksgiving service and implored God's protection for the allied armies. 

    1826: Maryland put into effect the "Jew Bill", 1826, which allowed Jews to hold public office if they believed in Reward and Punishment in the Hereafter. Maryland had an interesting history when it came to questions of religious toleration.  Unlike other colonies, it was founded by Catholics and the Act of Toleration was one of its landmark pieces of colonial legislation.

    1841: Birthdate of Shlomo Elyashiv, the son of Rabbi Chayim Chaiil Elisahoff and author of Leshem Shevo V’Achlama.

    1846: Birthdate of Arsène Darmesteter the French Philologist who “deciphered the difficult and beautiful French elegy, preserved in the Vatican, on the burning of the thirteen Jewish martyrs at Troyes in 1288.”

    1856: Under the heading “We May Eat Pork Without Fear of the Tape Worm,” the New York Times published a letter to the editor written in response to a previously published article warning about the relationship between pork consumption and tape worm infestation.   Citing the statement  “that a Jew was never known to have a tape-worm,” the author warns  any “hypochondriac” who  “should be tempted to turn Jew from this statement and forswear pork”  need not do so since it is a “rare occurrence in this country” for anybody  to be infested by the worms  “notwithstanding we  are such universal pork-eaters.” 

    1863: Lazarus Powell, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky called on Congress to adopt “a resolution condemning…General Orders No. 11 as ‘illegal, tyrannical, cruel and unjust.’”

    1868(10thof Tevet, 5628): Asara B’Tevet

    1874: It was reported today that when the noted author Léon Gozlan passed away he was buried by a Catholic priest.  “He had the features of a Jew and lived like a Jew…but it was positively declared  that he had been so baptized so the Rabbi gave way” and Gozlan was interred using the rites of the Church.

    1874: Birthdate of American physiologist Joseph Erlanger

    1875: A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which includes several Jewish members, was held at their new offices on Broadway and 34th Street.

    1876:  Birthdate of Konrad Adenauer.  Adenauer was the first post-war Chancellor of West Germany.  He took office in 1949.  Having been imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II, Adenauer sought to return Germanyto the world community.  He sought to make amends with the Jewish community by offering war reparations to the government of Israel.  Under Adenauer, Germanyrecognized Israel and provided arms for her defense despite threats from the Arab governments.

    1877: The Supreme Court of Massachusetts upheld a lower court decision that Jews must observe the laws of the state regulating the observance of the Sabbath.  The case grew out of an attempt to keep a store open on Sunday.

    1878(1st of Shevat, 5638): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    1878: It was reported today that “a thrilling tale of a brave young Jew will appear in the New York Weekly on the morning of January 7.

    1878: Rabbi Abram S. Isaacs will deliver lecture entitled “The Dance to Death” at tonight’s meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in New York’s Lyric Hall.

    1879(10th of Tevet, 5639): Asara B’Tevet

    1879: The Board of Directors of the Home for Aged and Infirm Jews met this afternoon.  The Board limited itself to routine business and did not take up the matter of accepting or rejecting Judge Hilton’s recent offer to contribute $250 to the Home.  Judge Hilton is the New York businessman who banned Jews from his hotel at Saratoga Sprin

    1879: An article profiling Otto von Bismarck published today reported that “mixed marriage in Germany” is “a source of horror to the orthodox Christians as well as to orthodox Jews.”  Bismarck coarsely described mixed marriage as “the crossing of a Jewish mare with a Christian stallion.”

    1885: Ludovic Trarieux, the future Minister of Justice who would become a defender of Alfred Dreyfus, was elected Senator from the Gironde.

    1886: Birthdate of Israeli scientist Markus Reiner.

    1888(21st of Tevet, 5648): Henri Herz, the Austrian born French pianist and composer passed away.  Hertz owned his own piano factory, built a concert hall in Paris and still found time to teach write and perform.

    1890: Birthdate of Sarah Aaronsohn, the native of the moshav Zikhron Ya’akov who became a leader of Nili during World War I. After being tortured by the Turks, she took her own life in 1917.

    1891” It was reported today that “Solomon J. Solomons has been moved Russia’s persecution of the Jews to” create a painting that is an allegorical representation of the struggle.  In the picture, “the Russian Eagle falls with the beak and claw on a Jewish family while a Fury, masquerading as Justice, presented to defend the family from the monster’s attack.”

    1892: Captain Strauss of the Seventh Precinct took five children, all Russian Jewish immigrants, from a hotel on 141 Madison Street.  They were suffering variously from varioloid, diphtheria and/or scarlet fever.

    1892: Birthdate of Louis Waldman, a native of the Ukraine who became an American labor leader and a leader of the Socialist Party.

    1892: A review of the MacLean-Prescott company’s production of “The Merchant of Venice” described Marie Prescott’s portrayal of the Jewess Portia as “very bad, cold” and “stilted.”  R.D. MacLean’s portrayal of Shylock which appeared to be on par with Cruikshank’s drawing of Fagen was based on “a totally false idea.”

    1894: Rabbi Gottheil officiated at a private funeral service for Adolph L. Sanger, the late President of the Board of Education after which a public ceremony was held at Temple Emanu-El followed by burial at Salem Field in Cypress Hills Cemetery.

    1894: It was reported that “Marie,” a one act play by Charles D. Levin was performed at the Berkley Lyceum as part of a fundraiser for the Louis Down-Town Sabbath and Daily School.

    1894: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities had spent over $171,000 in aiding the needy. Due to the economic downturn in 1893, the organization had spent $200,000 through November of 1893
    1895: According to the will of the late multi-millionaire Eugene Kelly which was filed in the Surrogate’s office today, $10,000 should “go to such Hebrew charitable institutions” as may be selected y by the executors.

    1895: Colonel David S. Brown is scheduled to set sail today on the SS Normannia for a trip that will take him to Egypt and then to Palestine.

    1895: Alfred Dreyfus was publicly degraded and sent to Devil's Island. Later, evidence was produced which proved that Major Esterhazy and Colonel Henry, Dreyfus' chief accusers, had forged the evidence. Yet, a new trial was not begun until 1899.  The Dreyfus Affair brought on a torrent of anti-Semitism that spawned the modern Zionist movement.  It tore at the fabric of French society and for decades later, there was still a political divide between those who supported Dreyfus and those who wanted to believe that he was a traitor.

    1896: “Colonial New York City” published today provides a picture of “the Big Apple” in 1748 based on the writings of Peter Kalm who visited the city at that time which includes a description of “the Jews of New York at that time” who “formed a considerable portion of the population.  They had stores and fine houses and ships and a flouring synagogue and enjoyed all the privileges of the other citizens.  The young Jews, especially when away from home made no scruple about eating pork when” the opportunity presented itself.

    1896: Julius Harburger, the Excise Commissioner of New York City, addressed a meeting of the Boston chapter of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel, of which he is a Grand Master.

    1896: The will of Eugene Kelly which was filed for probate today included a bequest of “$10,000…to go to such Hebrew charitable institutions” of which the executors “may approve.”

    1896:Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered his second lecture today entitled “Another Basis on Which Christians and Jews Can Unite” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1896: It was reported today that the most recent census of the state of New Jersey shows that there are 16.413 people in the category of “other nationalities” which includes Jews as well as Italians and Hungarians.

    1896: Detective Sargent Cuff was on his way to Chicago today where he was to take custody of Jacques Oschs, a Romanian born Jew and bring him back to New York to face charges of participating in swindling schemes many of which were aimed at his co-religionist which earned him over $50,000.

    1896: “Effect of Hellenism on Judaism” which relied on information that first appeared in The Edinburg Scotsman provided a summary of an address delivered by Claude G. Montefiore in Glasgow entitled “Some Reflections on Hellenistic Judaism.”  Montefiore used the term “Hellenic Judaism” to described “that Judaism which was touched an influenced by the Hellenism of the time of Alexander the Great and his immediate successors

    1896: It was reported today that Reverend C.H. Parkhurst publicly expressed his appreciation for the support the Jews have given to the City Vigilance League, the successor to the Society for the Prevention of Crime.

    1896: It was reported today that 16 year old Jennie Zellers saved the lives of her five siblings when a fire broke out in a tenement building in Philadelphia. A grocery store owned by Samuel Lipman occupied the first floor of the four-story building that suffered $5,000 in damages.

    1897: It was reported today that the Trustees of Columbia tendered their thanks to Benjamin Stern and Charles A. Dana for their donation of Hebrew manuscripts to the school’s library.

    1898: In the Supreme Court in Brooklyn, Justice Gaynor is scheduled to hear Mrs. Martha Reubel’s petition for an annulment based on a claim that he is a Christian.  Mrs. Reubel is an 18 year old Jewess and contends that her husband Siegfried mis-represented himself as being an Orthodox Jews.

    1898: Herzl’s "The New Ghetto" was finally produced in the Carl-Theater in Vienna.
    The play was also performed in Berlin and Prague.

    1899: The will of David Marks, benefactor of Jewish organizations, was filed for probate today.

    1899: It was reported today that a French civil court has fined Comtesse de Martel who writes under the nom de plume of “Gyp” five thousand francs for libeling Senator Ludovic Trarieux, the former Minister of Justice. The libel consisted of an unfounded accusation that the Senator had become a Protestant “in order to contract a rich marriage. 

    1899: It was reported today that the Comtesse de Martel, who proclaimed herself to be an anti-Semite said the Jews should not only be driven out of Paris but out of the whole country. 

    1899: “Alleged Outrages on Jews” published today summarized the “anti-Semitic prejudice existing in “the United States as described by Brooklyn resident Leopold Cohn, a former rabbi who had converted to Christianit

    1904: Birthdate of Austrian violinist Erika Morini who began her studies under the guidance of her father, Oscar Morini, who directed his own school in Vienna.

    1906: In London, biblical scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon and Amy Kenyon gave birth to archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon who worked on excavations at Jericho from 1952 until 1958 and at Jerusalem “concentrating on the ‘City of David’ from 1961 to 1967.”

    1908:Adas Israel dedicated its new sanctuary at Sixth and I NW in Washington, DC which replaced the original building at Sixth and G Streets, NW. The cornerstone for the building, which was designed by Louis Levi, the Baltimore Architect,  was laid in 1906.

    1912:State organization formed in Boston, Mass. to encourage naturalization of Jews living in the BayState.

    1912: ThePhiladelphia Jewish community requested leniency in the enforcement the Sunday Closing Law of 1794.

    1912:The Boston Section withdrew from Council of Jewish Women.

    1914: Mary Kursheedt and 24 year old Albert Kursheedt, the son of Alexander E. Kursheedt and the nephew of Moses Montefiore Kursheedt were wed today.

    1914:Birthdate of Heinz Berggruen a German art dealer and collector who founded the BerggruenMuseum in BerlinGermany. Born in Berlin, he immigrated to the United States in 1936 and studied at BerkeleyUniversity. In 1939 he became an "Assistant director" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In preparing an exhibition about the Mexican painter Diego Rivera he met Frida Kahlo, too, and had a short love affair with her. After the Second World War he got acquainted with Pablo Picasso in Paris, who spontaneously had confidence in Berggruen and so he became Picasso's art dealer. In 1996, after 60 years in exile, he returned to Germany and opened an art museum in front of the CharlottenburgPalace. Berggruen left his precious art collection in a generous gesture of a low price to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. For this he was awarded the honorary citizenship of Berlin and the Federal Cross of Merit (Grand Cross 2nd Class) of Germany(Bundesverdienstkreuz, Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband). He died in Paris on February 23, 2007.

    1916: African-American actor Sam Lucas passed away. In 1878 he became the first black man to play the part of Uncle Tom when he appeared a production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin produced by Charles and Gustave Frohman “who financed a number of theatre productions featuring African American actors” – something quite unusual for its time.

    1919: The National Socialist Party (Nazi) formed as German Farmers Party.  Hitler was not one of the party founders.

    1923: Birthdate of Robert L Bernstein, chief executive of Random House.

    1923: Birthdate of Israel Prize-winning author and translator Aharon Amir. Amir, who was born in Lithuania, grew up in Tel Aviv and was a member of both the Irgun and the Lehi. He was one of the founders of the Canaanite movement, which saw geographical location rather than religious affiliation as the defining element of Hebrew or Israeli culture. He studied Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but translated works of literature mainly from English and French. Authors whose work he rendered into Hebrew include Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Lewis Carroll, Albert Camus, and Charles de Gaulle. Amir won the Tchernichovsky Prize for translation in 1951 and the Israel Prize for translation in 2003. He passed away on February 28, 2008 at the age of 85.

    1924: Leon and Henrietta Shershevsky gave birth to George Leon Sherry, a United Nations official who helped calm crises around the world — a role that evolved from his time as the leading rapid-fire translator of speeches by Russian diplomats in the organization’s early days…(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1928: Reports of a large number of unemployed workers in the non-agricultural sector of the economy are a cause of major concern for the Government and leaders of the Labor movement.  While approximately 21,000 people are employed non-farm jobs, there may be as many as 10,000 unemployed workers.  It is hope that the situation will be alleviated, in part, with the construction and operation of a variety of public works projects including the building of the Straus Health Clinic in Jerusalem.

    1930: Mapia was founded today “by the merger of the Hapoel Hatzair founded by A. D. Gordon and the original Ahdut HaAvoda (founded in 1919 from the right, more moderate, wing of the Marxist Zionist socialist Poale Zion led by David Ben-Gurion

    1931: Elections were held today to choose members for the Asefat Hanivcharim (The Jewish Elected Assembly). Only 35 to 40 per cent of those eligible are expected cast their ballots.  The sharpest contest is between the Labor Party and the Revisionists.  Labor is expected to win 23 seats and the Revisionists will end up with 18 seats, the same number expected to be won by the Party representing “Oriental Jews.”  There are a total of 71 seats at stake.  There has been no prediction about how many seats will be won by the United Women’s ticket head by Henrietta Szold. 

    1933: Birthdate of Leonard Marsh, the New York born window washer, who along with his brother Hyman Golden and childhood friend Arnold Greenberg founded the Snapple Beverage Corporation. (As reported by Margalit Fox).

    1936: Birthdate of Steven Cojocaru, Canadian born American television personality and fashion critic.

    1937: In the Beit She’an Valley, members of the Sadeh group from the Mikveh Israel agricultural school and immigrants from Austria, Germany and Poland Kibbutz HaSadeah, which was later re-named Sde Naum in honor of Zionist leader and author Nahum Sokolov

    1937: Israel Rokach, Mayor of Tel Aviv, testified before the Peel Commission.  Rokach said that he was not opposed to a certain amount of governmental involvement with municipal affairs but that the real dispute centered on underfunding of the city government.  Members of the commission expressed positive interest in Rokach’s proposal to develop a port that would serve both Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

    1938: The Palestine Postreported that the British government was about to send to Palestine a new, largely technical commission, essentially a fact-finding body, which would plan how to implement Partition, according to the terms of the agreement reached with the Mandatory Commission of the League of Nations. The government, however, indicated that it was in no way committed to the actual execution of such a plan. Three Arabs out of a band of 40, apparently arms smugglers, were killed close to the Syrian border. Haskiel Joseph and Nathan Yairoff were shot and badly wounded by an Arab terrorist inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem.

    1939: The gathering of a group of young Jews in Riga is captured in a photograph which will later become the property of Yad Vashem.

    1939: Sir Horace Rumbold, a member of the Peel Commission, attempts to explain away his description of the Jews of Palestine as an “alien race” by saying that he merely meant that the Jews were a race with different characteristics from the Arab race.
    1939: Germany declared Karaite Jews exempt from enforcement of the Nuremberg Laws.

    1939: President Roosevelt nominated Felix Frankfurter to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was chosen for the position following the death of Benjamin N. Cardozo.  When Frankfurter was confirmed two weeks later, he became the third Jew to serve on the High Court. 

    1940: Jews were forbidden by the General Gouvernment be in the streets between 9:00PM and 5:00AM.

    1942: Birthdate of Elzbieta Ficowska, nee Koppel, one of the 2,500 children smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto by Irena Sendler and her associate Stanislawa, a widowed Catholic mid-wife. (Shades of the story of the brave mid-wives found in the Book of Exodus.)

    1942: The Jewish ghetto at Kharkov, Ukraine, is liquidated.

    1943: The Vught, Holland, concentration camp is established

    1943: In an orgy of killing that would last for the next two days the Nazis murdered thousands of Jews at Lvov, Ukraine.

    1943: Birthdate of Lawrence E. Stager, the Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University  and Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum” who since 1985 “has overseen the excavations of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon.

    1944: Birthdate of Ed Rendell, Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia in the 1990’s before being elected Governor of the State of Pennsylvaniain 2002.

    1945: In article entitled “American Boy’s Find Tel Aviv Like a Home Town” Anne O’Hare McCormick described conditions in Palestine’s major metropolis.  According to her, “40% of the Jewish population of Palestine lives in Tel Aviv.”  She describes Tel Aviv “as being one of the world’s youngest cities” and as being “better planned and more modernistic that the Florida boom towns it resembles.”  This very cosmopolitan city is suffering from a housing shortage brought on by an influx of refugees from Europe and North Africa.

    1946: The long running Broadway revival of "Show Boat" opened at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City for the first of 417 performances. This was a musical adaption of a novel of the same name by Edna Ferber, Jewish author who remembered being taunted as a “sheeny” when walking the streets of home town in Michigan.  Ferber’s willingness to tackle the touchy subjects of race and miscegenation stood in stark contrast to the romanticized formula followed by Margaret Mitchell and others and is yet another example of Jews advancing the cause of social justice.  The creation of the musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II is a reminder that this unique culture phenomenon is in many ways, an Jewish creation.

    1947:In a broadcast from its secret transmitter, Haganah, the Jewish defense organization denounced Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang as extremist organizations and blamed them for the latest outburst of violence in Eretz Israel.

    1948: Benjamin Rabin begins serving on the New York Supreme Court.

    1948: Warner Brothers offered the first color newsreel, covering the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. At that time, the company was still the property of the four brothers name Warner – Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack L. – Polish Jews who came to the United States via Canada.

    1948: As the siege of Jerusalem continues, the Haganah launches an attack against Katamon, a suburb from which Arab gunmen have been firing non-stop into adjacent Jewish neighborhoods.

    1949: As the War of Independence winds down, Israeli forces struggle to dislodge the Egyptians from Gaza.  A sandstorm hinders and IDF column attacking the town of Rafa.  At the same time the storm provides cover for an Egyptian armored column that launched a counter-attack aimed at keeping the Israelis from Rafa.

    1950: Birthdate of guitarist Chris Stein, co-founder of “Blondie.”

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that East Germany had launched a Zionist witch-hunt, accusing two Jewish Communist leaders of being Zionists, American agents, Titoists and Trotskyites. 

    1959:In his introduction to A Matter of Taste: The Albert D. Lasker Collection: Renoir to Matisse that includes commentaries by Wallace Brockway, Alfred Frankfurter asks, “What was it that made an American business man * * * train his eye and his energies so spectacularly as to produce this extraordinary array of art ?"

    1964: Pope Paul VI and President Zalman Shazar of Israel met today at Megiddo, the scene of ancient battles, and both voiced hope for a moral revival and for peace among men

    1970(27th of Tevet, 5730):  Max Born passed away at the age of 87.  A native of Germany, the famous physicist was forced to take refuge in Britainin 1933 when the Nazis came to power. Max Born won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954.

    1970: Nine Egyptians soldiers crossed the Suez Canal and under covering fire from the west bank attacked Israeli positions.  All nine were killed.

    1973(2nd of Shevat, 5733): Hyman Reznick who had founded the Halevi Choral Society with Harry Coopersmith, passed away today.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that at AswanUS President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat declared jointly that any Middle East peace settlement required the recognition of the "legitimate rights of the Palestinians and their participation in deciding their own future." In Jerusalem Premier Menachem Begin declared his firm opposition to this self-determination principle.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Jewish National Fund started ground-breaking operations for eight new settlements in Sinai, between Yamit and El Arish.

    1981: Yoram Aridor, a member of Likud, began serving as Communications Minister.

    1985: In response to pressure from Arab countries, Sudan ended the airlift of Jews from Ethiopia after Israeli Shimon Peres held a press conference confirming reports of what would become known as Operation Moses. With help from the CIA, Israel would organize Operation Sheba, the last of the airlifts which had secretly brought over 14,000 Jews from Ethiopia from 1972 through 1985.

    1988: Richard Mathew Stallman starts developing GNU, a free software operating system.

    1988: The New York Times reviews Operation Babylon by Shlomo Hillel (Translated from the Hebrew by Ina Friedman) which relates the fascinating tale of the rescue of the Iraqi Jewish community.

    1989:Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that the reported death threat by Mr. Arafat against other Palestinians ran counter to a P.L.O. pledge to refrain from terrorism and had created a ''real problem'' for the United States. Mr. Arafat was reported to have said in the radio broadcast on Monday that ''any Palestinian leader who proposes an end to the intifada exposes himself to the bullets of his own people.'' Speaking to reporters on his way here for a conference on chemical weapons, Mr. Shultz said that the United States did not have direct information about Mr. Arafat's reported statement. He said: ''What we have is reports of what Arafat is alleged to have said. We have not seen any statement as such.'' But the Secretary then assailed the reported remark. ''It represents a real problem and an equivocation,'' he said.

    1993: Israel approved a $380 million grant today to support a major upgrading of the Jerusalem plant of the computer-chip manufacturer Intel Israel.

    1996: Yahya Ayyash, chief bomb maker for Hamas, is killed by an Israeli-planted booby-trapped cell phone.

    1997:In the Southern Ocean near 52°S 100°E, Tony Bullimore's boat, Exide Challenger capsized and the majority of press and media reports assumed that the 55 year old sailor was lost

    1997: A revival production of "Show Boat" the famed musical that owes its music, lyrics and book to three American Jews closed at Gershwin Theater New York City. 

    1997: The Sunday New York Times book section featured review of books by Jewish authors or of special interest to Jewish readers including My Teacher’s Secret Life by Stephen Krensky,A Journalist's Search for the Heart of His Country by Henry Grunwald which tells the story of how a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany became editor in chief of all publications in the vast Time Inc. empire, before retiring at the end of 1987 and   Unfinished People: Eastern European Jews Encounter America by Ruth Gay which “is essentially a memoir of Jewish life in the West Bronx in the 1920's and 30's, including the author's discomfort with her Eastern European immigrant family and her ''ordeal of civility,'' to use John Murray Cuddihy's phrase, in moving from ghetto culture to gentility.”

    1998: To commemorate her 30 years on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Muriel Siebert rang the closing bell to mark the end of the trading day.  She was the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE


    2002: In the wake of shoe-bomber Richard Reid’s attempt to blow up a plane last December, airlines and government officials are looking at additional security measures. As food service deliveries and food cars used on planes are coming under scrutiny the stringent procedures followed by El Al, the Israeli airline are considered the gold standard for aviation security. At its catering center, several miles from Tel Aviv's airport, security guards monitor every step of food packaging, from items being ladled onto trays and sealed with plastic wrap, said Isaac Zeffet, a former chief of El Al security who now runs a consulting concern in Cliffside Park, N.J.Mr. Zeffet, the former El Al security chief, said banning food carts would be only a patch on a security system that requires a complete overhaul, including tighter controls on everyone and everything that comes in contact with planes before takeoff.

    2003(2nd of Sh'vat, 5763):In the deadliest attack against Israel in 10 months a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up just seconds apart today in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood of Tel Aviv, an area crowded with foreign laborers, killing 23 other people and injuring 100 more.
    2004: The Center Art Gallery at Calvin College presents “Talmud: in the Art of Ben-Zion and Marc Chagall,” an exhibit that brings together the Biblical work of two of the most important Jewish artists of the 20th Century. It features 18 intaglio prints by Ben-Zion and 25 color lithographs by Marc Chagall. The title, Talmud, is appropriate for this exhibit of images that help illustrate the collection of Biblical writings that constitute the Jewish civil and religious law (Talmud, n. {Heb. Talmud, instruction, from lamed, to learn}). Although Talmud traditionally deals with text and not image, these works act as aesthetic and insightful commentaries on the text of Scripture in the best of the Talmudic tradition. Viewed together, Zion’s blunt, powerful expressions of Biblical subjects and Chagall’s vibrant and dreamlike interpretations of religious narrative create an artistic dialogue that furthers understanding and enjoyment of their work and the Scripture they interpret.

    2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was showered with catcalls on today from his own right-wing party during a speech in which he said he would take down some Jewish settlements and permit the formation of a Palestinian state if the two sides reached a peace agreement. But Mr. Sharon again warned that he was prepared to set a security line unilaterally that would separate Israelis and Palestinians if they could not make progress under the current peace plan, which is stalled.

    2005 Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, is discovered by the team of 4 that included David L. Rabinowitz.

    2005: The 10th Pan American Maccabi Games came to an end in Santiago, Chile.

    2007: Haaretz reported that The Amsterdam house where Anne Frank wrote her diaries in hiding before dying in a Nazi concentration camp drew almost a million visitors during 2006. The total of 982,000 was 16,000 higher than in 2005. Most of the visitors were young tourists, primarily from the United States and Britain, the Anne Frank House said.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The traditional Shabbat Morning minyan at TempleJudahenters into its seventh year.

    2008: The Israeli Army wound up a large-scale, three-day operation in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.  Nineteen Palestinians had been detained during the operation that uncovered a major arms cache including rockets similar to the hundreds of projectiles that have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

    2009:Rabbi Ari Solomont, a native of Boston, has been named director of the Yeshiva University S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. The program enables hundreds of young men and women every year to incorporate their study at more than 45 participating yeshivot and other educational institutions in Israel into their college years, enhancing their academic experience. The program is supervised by the Israel Program staff at the YU campus in Jerusalem

    2009: “For Women Only,” a drama, song and dance review showcasing the Jewish women and girls of Baltimore was  presented at Goucher College.

    2009:Lawmakers are scheduled to take their first close look at financier Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion fraud and why the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to discover the scandal. Critics say the SEC missed warning signs and failed to uncover the scandal until Madoff's sons went to the authorities and told them he confessed to the fraud.

    2009: The Washington Post reviewed Old Flame, a Jackson Steeg novel,by Ira Berkowitz.

    2009:The Minnesota State Canvassing Board certified results today showing Al Franken, a Democrat, winning the Senate recount over Republican Norm Coleman, who is expected to challenge the result. Earlier today, the state Supreme Court rejected the Coleman campaign’s petition to count several hundred additional absentee ballots.

    2009:The disgraced financier Bernard L. Madoff tried to hide at least $1 million in watches and jewelry from government investigators and should have his bail revoked and sent to jail immediately, federal prosecutors told a judge this afternoon. The newly aggressive stance by prosecutors appeared to mark a serious deterioration in relations between the government and Mr. Madoff, who confessed to a large Ponzi scheme last month and had seemed to be cooperating with investigators trying to unravel the scheme.

    2009: In France, a car containing Molotov cocktails rammed into the door of a French synagogue and burst into flames. A rabbi and about 10 of his adult students in the Toulouse synagogue during the attack tonight fled unharmed. A second car containing Molotov cocktails was found near the synagogue, according to police.

    2009 (9 Tevet 5769):Four soldiers were killed in friendly-fire incidents. Three soldiers were killed when a tank mistakenly opened fire on a home in Saja'iya occupied by officers and soldiers from the Golani Brigade. Another tank accidentally fired on a home in al-Atatra, killing an officer in the 202nd Battalion of the Paratroop Brigade. The soldiers were Cpl. Yousef Moadi, 19, who lived recently in Haifa, but was originally from the Druse village of Yirka; Maj. Dagan Wertman, 32, from Ma'aleh Michmash in the Binyamin region; St.-Sgt. Nitai Stern, 21, from Jerusalem; and Capt. Yonatan Netanel, 27, from Kedumim.

    2010: In Jerusalem, Hama'abada presents a Double Feature show featuring Uri Dror a Jerusalemite singer-songwriter gaining recognition in the Israeli rock music scene in advance of his upcoming debut album and missFlag, the four piece band from Jerusalem that will soon begin a tour in the United States.

    2010:The Yellow Submarine's Zik Gallery presents Diyukan (Portrait), a group photography exhibit of the Third Year Students at the Musrara School of Photography and Media

    2010:Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a phone conversation today with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to assist in renewing peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Barak also updated the UN chief regarding Israeli efforts meet the humanitarian needs of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

    2010:Pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated in New Zealand against Israel’s top-ranked women's tennis player amid a bomb scare in the arena. Shahar Pe'er, 22, was delayed from entering the arena for her opening match in the ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland for about 20 minutes today after an unattended bag in the ASB Tennis Centre prompted the bomb scare.


    2010(19th of Tevet, 5770):Murray Saltzman a Reform Rabbi and civil rights leader passed away. Born in 1929 to a Russian-immigrant family, he was the youngest of three sons. He led congregations in Maryland, Indianapolis, and Florida, among them Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Saltzman was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, after marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. and leading in various civil action projects.

    2010: Rabbi Shira Stutman is scheduled to lead an interactive conversation about Rosh Chodesh, traditionally considered a “woman’s holiday” for reasons including perceived connections between the moon and the female cycles answering the question  ‘How does the monthly reminder of womanhood shape our identity as women and as Jews?’ at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2011: After Senators returned Amy Totenberg’s nomination to the President at the end of the 111th Congress, he re-submitted the nomination today.

    2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to feature a screening of “Coming to America: The History of the Syrian Jewish Community 1900-1919.” This documentary is envisioned as part of a series on Syrian Jewish History and includes interviews with Syrian Jews living in the New York metropolitan area talking about their own families' experiences, histories, customs and traditions. 

    2011:Terrorists from the Hamas-controlled Gaza region struck the western Negev with another mortar attack this morning. Two shells exploded in an open area of the Eshkol Regional Council district.


    2011:The following is a list of the 39 Jewish members — 12 senators and 27 representatives — who are expected to serve in the 112th U.S. Congress, which is set to convene today.


    Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

    Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

    Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)

    Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

    Al Franken (D-Minn.)

    Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.)

    Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

    Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)

    Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

    Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.)

    Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

    Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)**

    (Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) does not identify a religion, but notes that his mother is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor.)


    Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)

    Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)

    Howard Berman (D-Calif.)

    Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

    David Cicilline (D-R.I.)*

    Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.)

    Susan Davis (D-Calif.)

    Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)

    Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)

    Bob Filner (D-Calif.)

    Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

    Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)

    Jane Harman (D-Calif.)

    Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)

    Sander Levin (D-Mich.)

    Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

    Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)

    Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

    Steve Rothman (D-N.J.)

    Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

    Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.)

    Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

    Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

    Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

    Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

    John Yarmuth (D-Ky.


    2011:Relatives and friends of those killed in the devastating Carmel fire last month refused to let Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak today  as he stood at the podium of the official state memorial ceremony to deliver a eulogy to the victims. Those present at the ceremony mourning the 44 people killed in Israel's largest-ever wildfire let President Shimon Peres address the audience, but began heckling the premier and calling him a "liar" as he took his turn on the stage.


    2011: Debbie Friedman is sedated and on a respirator at a hospital in Orange County, Calif.
    2011(29thof Tevet, 5771):Seventy three year oldDavid G. Trager, a federal judge in Brooklyn whose rulings were pivotal in a racially charged case in Crown Heights and in the first civil suit to challenge the Bush administration’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to countries that employ torture, died today at his home in Brooklyn.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2012: The Red Sea Classical Music Festival is scheduled to open this evening at Eilat.

    2012(10thof Tevet, 5772): Asara B’Tevet

    2012(10th of Tevet, 5772): Yahrzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin), a true woman of valor who will always be missed.

    2012:Israel Police has been unsuccessful in running its agents in the West Bank, a senior police officer said today, adding that officers have been struggling to gather evidence on crimes committed by right-wing activists. Haim Rahamim, head of the investigations and intelligence wing of the Judea and Samaria District in the West Bank, made the statement during a discussion at the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on law enforcement in the territories.

    2012:Ehud Olmert, who resigned as prime minister of Israel in 2008 amid corruption charges, was indicted today for allegedly taking bribes in the construction of a huge residential complex while he was mayor of Jerusalem.
    2013: “Les Troyens,” a cinematic presentation of Berlio’s epic is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

    2013: Ms. Erica Strauss, a soprano making a guest appearance with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is scheduled to present a one hour program of live opera and Jewish music this evening at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2013(23rd of Tevet, 5773): Eddie Goldstein, who lived in Boyle Heights for almost 8 decades, possibly making him “the last Jewish resident from the original Boyle Heights Jewish community” passed away today.

    2013: Israeli documentary "The Gatekeepers" was awarded the nonfiction or documentary prize by the National Society of Film Critics in the U.S. today

    2013: The traditional minyan at Temple Judah starts its 12th year of Saturday morning services.

    2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed willingness to form a broad-based coalition with center-left parties, but claimed they have negated the possibility in advance.

    2013: Vienna's Jewish Museum holds hundreds of books and works of art that may have been stolen by Nazis, a newspaper reported today.

    2014: “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage” an exhibition that had opened at the National Archives in October is scheduled to come to a close today.

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart and The Downfall of Money by Frederick Taylor in which he described Germany’s hyperinflation during the 1920’s which some contend helped bring Hitler to power.

    2014: “Behind the Candelabra” and “Happy Happy” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.


    2014: “Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age” is scheduled to have its final showing at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX.





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    January 6

    548: This was the last year the Church in Jerusalem observed the birth of Jesus on this date. (Celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the late 300s in the WesternChurch.)

    1387: John I begins his reign as King of Aragon. In 1375, the future king assigned Abraham Cresques and his son Yehuda “to make a set of nautical charts which would go beyond the normal geographic range of contemporary portolan charts to cover the "East and the West, and everything that, from the Strait (of Gibraltar) leads to the West". For this job, Cresques and Jehuda would be paid 150 Aragonese golden florins and 60 Mallorcan pounds, respectively…”

    1449: In an unusual move, Constantine XI is crowned Byzantine Emperor at Mistra instead of at Constantinople. His reign would be a short one.  He would lose his throne in 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans under Mehmed II.  Constantine was the last Emperor and the last Christian ruler of what was left of the Roman Empire.  The Moslem Ottoman Empire would prove to be a haven for Jews fleeing from persecution in Christian Europe.  Also, Mehmed worked to insure that a significant portion of the population of Istanbul (the new name for Constantinople) would be Jewish.  Cresques was a 14thcentury Jewish cartographer “who is credit with the authorship of the Catalan Atlas.

    1481: In Spain, during the Inquisition, the priests inaugurated the first auto-da-fe. 

    1497: Jews were expelled from Graz, Syria.

    1560: Giovanni Medici who had been elected Pope on Christmas Day 1559 was installed as Pope Pius IV. According to Gordon Thomas, author of The Pope’s Jews, “Pope Pius IV …relaxed a variety of restrictions on Jewish life that had been imposed by his predecessor, Paul IV, but… does not point out that the restrictions were restored by Pius V.”

    1663(5423): Italian rabbi Simeon (Simḥah) ben Isaac Luzzatto passed away in Venice.

    1693: Mehmed IV, the Ottoman Sultan passed away. During his reign, Moses Beberi was appointed ambassador to Sweden. After his death in 1674 his son Yehuda was appointed to the position ambassador. When the Jews of the Ukraine were looking for a place of refuge during the Cossack Uprising Mehmet IV, allowed them to settle on the banks of the Danube in Morea, Kavala, Istanbul and Salonica. The second event happens in 1666. Rabbi Sabetay Sevi declares himself messiah and causes turmoil. Mehmed was also the sultan who had to deal with Sabbati  Zevi, the famous false messiah.

    1706: Birthdate of Benjamin Franklin, printer, publisher, scientist, statesmen and a man who was far greater than his parts.  Franklinknew the Hebrew scriptures (what we call the Bible) very well. He had even suggested that the Great Seal of America depict Moses standing on the shore of the Red Sea, while Pharaoh drowns in his chariot in its midst. The motto at the bottom of the seal would have read: ‘Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.’ You see Franklin was among those Founding Fathers who saw in the American Revolution a replaying of the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. King George III was the Pharaoh. George Washington was Moses. The Atlantic Ocean was the Red Sea. And, it was as if God were saying to King George: ‘Let my American people go!’ It is also important to point out that when the Jewish community in Philadelphia built their synagogue, which they named “Mikveh Israel,” Franklin contributed to the building fund himself. On July 4, 1788, Franklinwas too sick and weak to get out of bed, but the Independence Day parade in Philadelphia marched right under his window. And, as Franklin himself had directed, ‘the clergy of different Christian denominations, with the rabbi of the Jews, walked arm in arm. And when he was carried to his grave two years later, his casket was accompanied by all the clergymen of the city, every one of them, of every faith.”

    1761: Jacob Henry of New York wrote a letter addressed to Barnard Gratz in which he discussed plans to build a synagogue in Philadelphia.

    1785(24th of Tevet, 5545):  Haym Salomon passed away in Philadelphia at the age of 44.  Born in Poland in 1740, Salomon came to the United States before the outbreak of the American Revolution.  He was a friend of financier Robert Morris and helped several leaders of the American Revolution.  Among those whom he lent money to was James Madison, author of the Federalist Papers and President of the United States.  Salomon died penniless having bankrupted himself in support of the cause of American independence

    1803:Birthdate of pianist and composer Henri Herz.

    1811: Birthdate of Charles Sumner who served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. While serving as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sumner supported efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Jews of Romania.

    1813:Wirt und Gast, the second opera by German-Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was performed for the first time in Stuttgart, Germany.  Unlike his first opera, Jephtas Gelübde, which was a Biblical drama, Wirt und Gast is “the colorful Arabian Nights tale of the man who becomes caliph for a day.”

    1838: Birthdate of German composer, Max Bruch.  Bruch was not Jewish.  But he is most famous for his composition Kol Nidrei, written for cello and orchestra.  It is based on the traditional chant associated with that most holy of Jewish holidays

    1840: Sultan Abdul Mejid, under pressure from the Montefiore delegation, issued a Firman against blood libels. He also unconditionally released nine survivors of the Damascus libels. Four Jews had already died.

    1846(8th of Tevet, 5606):  Lewis Goldsmith passed away in Paris.  Born at Richmond,Surrey, he played an active, if marginal role, in the conflict between Napoleon and the British,  Among other things, he “published The Crimes of Cabinets, or a Review of the Plans and Aggressions for Annihilating the Liberties of France and the Dismemberment of her Territories, an attack on the military policy of” William  Pitt.

    1854: The will of Judah Touro dated this day appoints four executors, three of whom are to each receive $10,000.  R.D. Shepperd, the fourth legatee is the residuary legatee.  The will bequeathed nearly $450,000 to various public institutions for charitable purposes, including the following: $80,000 for the establishment of an Almshouse in New-Orleans; $5,000 to the Hebrew Congregation in Boston;

    1854: Judah Touro signed his last will and testament.

    1858: Babette and Joseph Seligman give birth to George Seligman

    1858: The Court of Common Pleas heard the case of Mark Isaacs vs The Beth Hamedrash Society which “grew out of a claim by the plaintiff for baking” Matzah “for this religious corporation.  The matter was to be settled by arbitration but the plaintiff contended the arbitration was invalid because the arbiters met on Sunday which was a violation of state law.  But the respondents contended that since they observed Saturday as a day of rest they were not bound by this restriction.  While agreeing with respondents contention, the Court found their claim to be immaterial since the final document of arbitration was signed on Monday which meant that the issue of Sabbath observance was moot. Decision for the Respondent

    1859: Birthdate of Samuel Alexander, the Australian-born British philosopher who was the first Jewish fellow of an “Oxbridge” college.

    1859:It wasreported today that a journal printed in Hebrew called Cammagia (The Orator) which has just appeared in Lyk, a city in northern Prussia  has been well received in Poland as well as in Prussia.

    1861(24th of Tevet, 5621): Major General Albert Goldsmid passed away. Born in 1794, this son of Benjamin Goldsmid entered the British Army in 1811 and served at the Battle of Waterloo.  Much of his career was spent in the cavalry where he earned several decorations for his service.

    1863: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that General Order 11 had been rescinded.

    1863: General Grant sent several telegrams to General Halleck acknowledge the revocation of General Order 11.  “By direction of the General in Chief of the Army at Washington¸ the General Order from these Head Quarters expelling Jews from this Department is hereby revoked.”

    1871: U.S. Vice President Schyler Colfax sent a letter today expressing his regret at not being able to attend an upcoming celebration of the newly unified nation of Italy.  Colfax expressed his hope that when Victor Emanuel said that Italy is free and one he meant that the newly united nation would follow the example of the United States of guaranteeing religious freedom to “Jew and Gentile” alike.  Colfax saw this guarantee of religious freedom as critical to the current success of the American Republic and as a critical to the future success of the Italian Republic. [Declarations like this are another example of what separates the experience of the Jews in the United States from that in European, Asian or African political entity.]

    1876: In Buffalo, NY, the clothing firm of Friedman & Co made an assignment to Henry Cone, a retired Jewish merchant to cover their liabilities of $5,000.

    1878; It was reported today that “a thrilling tale of a brave young Jew” is going to appear in the Number 10 issued of the New York Weekly.

    1878: It was reported today that “a Jewish paper” has called for a national meeting to revise Jewish ritual.  The papers say that “there is much in the ritual to which many Jews no longer give assent.”  Also, there are sections which an even larger number do not understand.
    1879(11th of Tevet, 5639)Rabbi Benjamin Artom passed away today at 3 Marine Parade, Brighton.(UK).He was the Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Great Britain.  Born in 1835 at Asti, Piedmont, Italy, he was the first person to hold the post of rabbi of Naples. In 1866 he accepted a call to become the spiritual leader, or Haham, of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Britain, and held the post until his death. He composed a prayer for boys on the occasion of their Bar Mitzvah that was at one time used in most orthodox synagogues in Britain, and is still used in the Spanish and Portuguese ones.

    1890(14THof Tevet, 5650): Former Judge Philip J. Joachimsen passed away today at 4 o’clock this afternoon at his home on 54th Street in New York City. The American jurist and communal worker was born in 1817 at Breslaue Germany. He emigrated to New York in 1827, and was admitted to the bar there in 1840. During the Civil war, he organized and commanded the Fifty-ninth New York Volunteer Regiment, and was injured at New Orleans. For his services he was made brigadier-general by brevet. After the war he practiced law until he was elected judge of the New York Marine Court in 1870. In 1877, he returned to private practice. In 1859, he was elected to serve as the first president of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. In 1879 he organized the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for Children in New York. (As reported by Adler & Friedenberg and the NYT)

    1892: It was reported today that thirty adult Russian Jews and 12 of their children are living at J. Syren’s Hotel on Madison Street where conditions are so unsanitary that officials are worried about an outbreak of smallpox.

    1893: “The Outbreak of Typhus Fever” published today described the outbreak of the epidemic in New York City which had its greatest impact among the immigrant population.

    1893: The Libre Parole sponsored “a great anti-Semitic meeting” at the Tivoli Vauxhall in Paris.

    1894: Among the charities receiving funds from the Brooklyn Board of Estimate were the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society - $294.88; Hebrew Benevolent Society, Eastern Division - $121.42; Hebrew Benevolent Society, Western Division - $72.32.  This means that the Jewish charities received $488.62 of the $85,000 distributed by the Board.

    1895: For the first time since its founding in 1863, the Union League does not have any Jewish members because Edwin Einstien resigned from the club today.  He resigned because the league had taken no action to remedy the effect of the blackballing of the son of Jesse Seligman which had taken place two years ago.

    1895: “Will of Eugene Kelly” published today explained that “the famous banker” had not left money to Catholic and Jewish charities as an “expression in favor” in favor of either these religions but because “other denominations are wealthier and better able to care for their poor.”

    1895: “The Late Czar” published today provided a review of Alexander III of Russiaby Charles Lowe which included a description of Russian persecution of its Jewish population.

    1896: Birthdate of Nathan Pritzker.  The highly successful investor and real estate mogul is best known for his ownership of the Hyatt Hotel chain.  At one time or another he has also controlled the Hammond Organ Company and Continental Air Lines.  According to one estimate his holdings were valued at 700 million dollars during the 1980’s.

    1896: Mrs. Freda Silverman and her two daughters (Rachel,9 and Sarah, 3) were forced to leave their room at 185 Division Street tonight by their landlord because they could not pay the $6 in rent they owed him.

    1897: “The twenty-third annual lecture course of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association opened tonight at the Musical Hall of the Carnegie Building with a recitation by Mrs. Aida Kaufman and a lecture on ‘Modern Popular Delusions’ by Simon Sterne.”

    1898: State Supreme Court Judge William N. Cohen is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The Profession of the Law and Its Demands” at Temple Emanu-El sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.
    1898:Herzl travels to Berlin and convenes a conference of Berlin Jews. He also has two conversations with Ahmed Tewfik, the Turkish ambassador.

    1898: In a case of Jew versus Jew “representatives of the Auxiliary Relief Branch of the Russian and Polish Jewish Central Committee at Jerusalem… expressed indignation at the charges made of misues of the money collected in the United States for the relief of poor American Jews in…Palestine” made by the President of the newly formed American Congregation, the Pride of Jerusalem.

    1899: A list of the bequests left by the late David Marks published today includes instruction that $250 be given to each of the following: the Hebrew Technical School; the Montefiore Home, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews; Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, Mount Sinai Hospital, Educational Alliance, Young Men’s Hebrew Association and $100 each to the Hebrew Free School and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.  (This represents panoply of the institutions supported by New York Jewry at the turn of the century.)

    1899: “The Honorable Lionel Walter Rothschild has been elected a member of Parliament for the Aylesburgy Division of Buckinghamshire without opposition, succeeding his uncle, the late Baron Ferdinand James De Rothschild, who died December 17, 1898

    1903:  Birthdate of composer and conductor Maurice Abravanel.Abravanel was born in Saloniki Greece when it was still part of the Ottoman Empire. A descendant of Isaac Abravanel, he came from an illustrious Sephardic Jewish family, which was expelled from Spain in 1492. Abravanel's ancestors settled in Saloniki in 1517, and his parents were both born there. In 1909, they moved to Switzerland, where his father Edouard de Abravanel was a very successful pharmacist. In 1934, anti-German sentiment forced  Abravanel to leave Europe.  After enjoying a triumph in Austraalia, Abravanel came to the United States to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera. He became the long-time conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra (1947-1979, building it from a part-time community orchestra into a well-respected, professional ensemble with recording contracts with Vanguard, Vox, Angel, and CBS. He lobbied for years for a permanent home for the orchestra, which then performed in the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square. He saw his dream come true when Symphony Hall was built, but not until the season after he retired. It has now been renamed Abravanel Hall in his honour. Only in America could the a major musical venue in the heart of “Mormon Country” be named for a Sephardic Jew from Salonika.   Abravanel passed away at the age of 90 in Salt Lake City.
    1903(7thof Tevet, 5663): Henry de Worms, 1st Baron Pirbright, the third son of Solomon Benedict de Worms and leading Conservative  politician passed away today.

    1903: Herzl begins a trip that would take him to Paris and London.

     1908: Birthdate of composer Menahem Avidom.  Born in Galicia, Avidom moved to Eretz Israel after World War I.  He studied music and graduated from the AmericanUniversity in Beirut.  He gained fame in Israel and throughout the world for his musical accomplishments before he died in 1995.

    1911:  Birthdate of comedian, actor and columnist, Joey Adams

    1912: New Mexico becomes the 47th state to enter the Union.  The historical record is too limited to do more than speculate on New Mexico Jewish life prior to 1848. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia suggests that prior to 1850; there may have been isolated conversos in New Mexico. From then until New Mexico's statehood, Jews played an active role in New Mexico's social, economic and political life. The first religious services were held in 1860 Sante Fe and a B'nai B'rith lodge was formed in 1882 in Albuquerque. New Mexico's first synagogue was built in Las Vegasin 1886. Other Jews were active in municiple and territorial/state politics. The experiences of New Mexico's Jewish pioneers speak clearly to their resilience and dedication. In 1990, the 6,400 Jews living in New Mexico were found mostly in the Albuquerque area. Between 1750 and 1850, many German Jews came to America to escape economic hardship and religious persecution. In the 1840s and 1850s, the first Jewish immigrants to New Mexico established themselves as merchants, sending for relatives as soon as they were able. They married local women or traveled to Europe or cities in the United States to find Jewish brides. By 1860, half the Jewish population of the territory was related. During the Civil War, Jews served the Union cause as soldiers and suppliers.  After the war, they expanded into new occupations - banking, politics, law, mining, and ranching. The railroad arrived in New Mexicoin 1879, and a new wave of Jewish immigrants reflected their conservative Eastern European origins. After New Mexicobecame the 47th state in 1912, most of these families returned to urban centers to educate and marry off their children, and the pioneer era came to a close.

    1914: Birthdate of Heinz Berggruen, collector and gallery owner - one of the world’s most important patrons and collectors of 20th century masters.

    1918(22nd of Tevet, 5678): Georg Cantor passed away.  Born in 1845, Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor was a mathematician who was born in Russia and lived in Germany for most of his life. He is best known as the creator of modern set theory. He is recognized by mathematicians for having extended set theory to the concept of transfinite numbers, including the cardinal and ordinal number classes. Cantor is also known for his work on the set of uniqueness, a generalization of Fourier series. Cantor’s father was a Jewish Dane.  His mother was a Protestant. Under Halachah, Cantor would not be considered Jewish.  Under the racial laws that would go into in Germany 15 years after his death, he would have been a candidate for the Final Solution.

    1919: Theodore Roosevelt 26th President of the United States passed away.  While President, Roosevelt intervened with the governments of Rumania and Russia on behalf of their Jewish populations.  This was an unusual event for Jews and earned Roosevelt and the Republicans support among Jewish voters.  T.R.’s finest moment, from a Jewish point of view, may have come in 1895 when he was serving as New York City Police Commissioner.  Pastor Hermann Ahlwardt, a noted German anti-Semite came to New York to give a speech.  In an attempt to gain publicity for himself and his cause, he demanded police protection from what he was sure would be hostile demonstration by New York Jews.  Roosevelt gave him his police protection.  All of his protectors were Jewish policemen.  

    1919:As 100,000 German Marxists gathered in Berlin, Rosa Luxemberg urged them not to seize power until they had popular support.  They did not listen to her.  They began their unsuccessful revolt during which Rosa Luxemberg and Karl Liebknecht, the Jewish Communist leaders were killed.

    1923: Birthdate of Argentine born writer and social protestor Jacobo Timerman.  After his release from an Argentine prison he moved to Israel.  He died in 1999.

    1925(10th of Tevet, 5685): Asara B'Tevet

    1925: Birthdate of Israel Shenker, the Philadelphia native who served as “a reported on the metropolitan staff of the New York Times” from 1968 to 1979. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1927: A mass meeting is held tonight at Cooper Union to honor the memory of Asher Ginsberg (Ahad Ha’am).  Speakers at the event include, Dr. Chaim Weismann, Louis Lipsky (President of the World Zionist Organization), Carl Sherman (President of the Zionist Organization of America), Ambrahm Goldberg (President of the American Hebrew Federdation), Professor Selig Brodetzky and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise.

    1929: “Several speakers at the quarterly meeting of the national executive committee of the Zionist Organization of America…expressed disapproval of the actgion of Dr. Stephen S. Wise of the Free Synagogue in opposing participation of non-Zionists in the activities of the Jewish Agency.  The Jewish Agency is the term now applied to the World Zionist Organization.”  Non-Zionists who will work with the with Zionists in the Jewish Agnecy iknclude Louis Marshall, Felix M. Warburg, Dr. Lee K. Frankel, Herbert H. Lehman and Judge Irving Lehman.

    1929: The New York Times featured a review of How Propaganda Works by Edward L. Bernays, “father of modern public relations and nephew of Sigmund Freud.

    1931:  Birthdate of author E. L. Doctorow.

    1932(27th of Tevet, 5692): Julius Rosenwald passed away. Rosenwald is best known for turning Sears and Roebuck into a retail giant.  He was also a great philanthropist whose efforts included everything from being the patron of chess champion Samuel Reshevsky to endowing Tuskegee Institute to the creation of the Rosenwald Fund which was established “for the well-being of mankind.”  This brief entry cannot do justice to the accomplishments of a man, mighty in his times, who has been forgotten by most.

    1932: It was announced today that “an unlimited quota of athletes will be permitted by the Palestine government to enter the country to take part in the Maccabee Games” to be held this spring in Tel Aviv.

    1934: Hadassah announced that “the lowest infant mortality rate achieved in a Palestine health district was in Tel Aviv.  “The rate was 68.03 among children under 1 year for every 1,000 live births and represented an improvement over 1931 when the rate was 72.52.”  Jerusalem “had a rate of 117.30 in 1932 and 104.28 in 1931.  Bethlehem…had a rate of 341.91 in 1932, the highest health district rate in the country.   The infant death rate for the whole country was 153 in 1932, against 170 in 1931.”

    1936: Cartoon character Porky Pig makes his debut.  For most of his career the traif animal got his voice from the Jewish Mel Blanc.

    1937: The Palestine Postreported that a quarry worker, Haim Katz, 29, and a policeman, Jacob Klinger, 34, were murdered in an ambush at Givat Shaul.

    1938: William Dodd, who had resigned as U.S. Ambassador to Germany in December, arrived in New York City wherehe said that he "doubted if an American envoy who held his ideals of democracy could represent his country successfully among the Germans at the present time." Dodd was the first U.S. Ambassador appointed after the rise of Hitler.  In time he came to see the Nazi threat and tried to do what he could to warn America about the danger.

    1938(4th of Sh'vat, 5698): Pinchas Friedman one of the earliest Zionist settlers and a founder of Tel Aviv passed away today.  Born in Russia, he made Aliyah in 1890.

    1939: In an article entitled “Interests of Britain, Jews and Arabs Are in Clash,” Anne O’Hare McCormick describes conditions in Palestine which is currently in the grip of an armed Arab uprising.  She describes meetings with two different groups of Arabs.  The first group, “composed of fervent nationalists complained” that the Jews of Palestine “prevented Palestinians from attaining an independent status like that granted to Iraq.”  They vowed that they “would never cease fighting” and “insisted that they spoke for every Arab in the land.”  The second group of Arabs was found “sharing a meal in a communal dining room” on a kibbutz.  These Arabs said “they wanted peace and complained that the British neither punished the handful off rebels stirring up their village” nor providing arms to responsible Arab leaders so they could stand against those creating the violence.

    1940: Shivering Jews in Warsaw, Poland, are forced to burn Jewish books for fuel.

    1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his State of the Union address which became known as the Four Freedoms Speech because FDR listed them as:

    1. Freedom of speech and expression including the right to dissent

    2. Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way

    3. Freedom from want

    4. Freedom from fear
    The first two are recognizable as being part of the Bill of Rights.  Freedom #2 spoke directly to the needs and concerns of the Jewish people and would prove strikingly ironic considering the events surrounding the Holocaust.

    1942: Jacob Moshe Toledano who was born in Tiberias was installed as Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. In 1926 Toledano served as the head of the religious court at Tangiers, and later similar posts in Cairo and Alexandria. Toledano was escorted from Tiberias to Tel Aviv by a grand delegation.

    1942: Victor Klemper was arrested and interrogated at the Gestapo headquarters in Dresden.

    1943: Eighty six year old Abbot Lawrence Lowell, the former President of Harvard, passed away.  He was praised by some for being a leader in educational reforms.  But many of his policies were homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic.

    1943: The Jews of Lubaczow, Poland, are killed at the Belzec death camp

    1943: Jews hiding in Opoczno, Poland, are murdered by Germans after being coaxed out of hiding with a promise of rail transport to a neutral country. Five hundred "Jews with relatives in Palestine" came out of hiding to register. All 500 were sent to Treblinka and were gassed.

    1944: Birthdate of Bonnie Franklin, American actress. She once said that because of her red hair and freckles, fans have a hard time believing that she is Jewish.

    1945 (21st of Tevet, 5705): On Shabbat, Roza Robota and three other Jewish women implicated in the smuggling of explosives used in the October 7, 1944, uprising at Auschwitz are hanged in front of the entire women's camp at Birkenau.  The three women had been previously tortured in connection with the revolt at Birkenau but gave away no one. Robota’s final words were, "that vengeance would come."

    1945: Hungarian authorities accede to Raoul Wallenberg's request that 5000 Jews be transferred to Swiss-sponsored safe homes in Budapest.

    1945(21st of Tevet, 5705):  Anne Frank's mother, Edith, dies at Auschwitz

    1946: In Zanzur, Libya Islamic instigators encouraged the local population to attack the Jewish community. Of the 150 local Jews half were murdered. The rioting spread to a number of small towns near Tripoli leaving a death toll of approximately 180 Jews and 9 synagogues destroyed. The local police and Arab soldiers often joined in the destruction and murder.  This outbreak of Arab anti-Semitic violence took place two years before the creation of the state of Israel.  This should put an end to claims that only source of friction between Jews and Arabs was the creation of the Jewish state.

    1949: During Operation Horev, the Israeli Air Force shot down five RAF Spitfires on patrol in the area, killing two pilots and taking two prisoners.  It is not clear if the Spitfires were being flown by Egyptian or British pilots.

    1949: The British moved forces into the Jordanian port of Akaba.

    1949:After three days of fighting around Rafah in which its forces failed to defeat the IDF,  the Egyptian government announced, that it was  willing to enter armistice negotiations

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to the new and improved rationing schedule each Israeli was now able to purchase four eggs a week. A mere fifty years ago, the Israelis were living barely above the subsistence level.  With no natural resources and faced by enemies on all of its borders, the Jews created a modern, vibrant country. A huge forest, named after Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was planted on Mount Carmel. Only five years after the founding of the state of Israel, the Jewish state created a living monument to a Moslem leader who was not afraid to embrace the modern world.

    1954: Moshe Sharett succeeded David Ben-Gurion as Prime Minister of Israel.  Ben Gurion had been Prime Minister since the creation of the state in 1948.  Sharett had been Foreign Minister, a post he kept in the new government.  Golda Meir remained as Labor Minister and Pinchas Lavon became Minister of Defense.  The change was in leadership; the Labor Zionist still maintained control of the government. 

    1955: In Boston, publication of the tercentenary issue of the Jewish Advocate.

    1956: Birthdate of Gonen Segev, the native of Kiryat Motzkin who has served as an MK and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

    1956: In Seattle, Washington, a Friday night services is held at the U of W Hillel House attended by 170 people who want to form a Reform congregation that will become Temple Beth Am.

    1956: Birthdate of Justin Welby, “the first ‘Jewish’ Archbishop of Canterbury.”

    1957: Yeshiva Kol Ya'ackov opened in Moscow Russia.

    1964: Pope Paul VI completed his first visit to the “Holy Land” where he visited sites in Jordan and Israel and began his return flight to Rome.
    1967: Jewish pianist Jacob Lateiner, accompanied by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performed at the premier of Elliot Carter’s piano concerto and the third piano sonata of Roger Sessions.

    1967: "Milton Berle Show" aired for the last time on ABC-TV

    1968: It was reported today that during a New Year’s conversation French President Charles de Gaulle had assured Jacob Kaplan, the Grand Rabbi of France “that it was far from his intention to insult the Jews when he called them an ‘elite people, sure of itself and domineering’ during a news conference in November of 1967.  Speaking at a time when France was repositioning itself following the Six Days War DeGaulle also said “that while the Jews though the centuries had ‘provoked, more precisely aroused’ antagonism in various countries, they had received great sympathy from Christians because of their sufferings.” (Editor’s Note – these words have a hollow sound coming from the land of Drancy.  They also show that French anti-Semitism in the 21st century is not just a produce of Moslem radicals)

    1969: “The Fig Leaves Are Falling” a musical with script and lyrics by Allan Sherman closed after only 4 performances


    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that Egypt agreed to reduce by one -third its forces in Sinai, once Israelevacuated the whole area. The US Embassy in Tel Aviv asked the Israeli government to clarify its intentions regarding the setting up of new settlements on the West Bank and in Sinai.

    1981(1st of Sh'vat, 5741): Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat

    1987: A.M. Rosenthal’s “On My Mind” column appeared for the first time on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times.

    1987(5 Tevet 5747): U.S. Federal Court issued a decision in favor of Agudas Chassidei Chabad ("Union of Chabad Chassidim") regarding the ownership of the priceless library of the 6th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. The ruling was based on the idea that a Rebbe is not a private individual but a communal figure synonymous with the body of Chassidim. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchak's son-in-law and successor) urged that the occasion be marked with time devoted to study from Torah books ("sefarim") as well as the acquisition of new Torah books.

    1987:A roadside bomb killed four members of an Israeli-backed militia in southern Lebanon today.

    1987: Yitzhak Shamir replaced Yitzhak Peretz as Internal Affairs Minister.

    1991: Following a speech today, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Iraqi Army, in which Sadam Hussein said he was preparing the nation for a great battle to liberate Palestine and defeat American "tyranny" in the Middle East the United States once again rejected efforts to tie the gulf crisis to the Palestinian question.

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including newly released paperback versions of! Amy Wilentz’s Martyrs' Crossing, the first novel by a former Israel correspondent for The New Yorker and Bob Woodward’s Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom, an admiring portrait of the Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan.

    2002: Sheila Finestone completed her service as Senator for Montarville, Quebec, when she reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

    2003: Police said tonight that that they suspected the suicide bombers who struck in Tel Aviv on Sunday used backpacks containing more than 20kg of explosives instead of suicide belts.

    2005:: Edgar Ray Killen is arrested as a suspect for the 1964 murders of three Civil Rights workers James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi and two Jewish voting rights organizers from New York, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

    2005: The First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace begins in Brussels, Belgium.

    2006:  “Jackie Hoffman: Chanukah At Joe’s Pub” and “Walking in Memphis: The Life of A Southern Jew,” a semi-autobiographical piece by Jonathan Ross are now playing “Off, Off Broadway” in New York City.

    2006: “Fateless” a movie based on the novel by the same name written by Imre Kertesz opens at the Film Forum in New York.  Fatelesswas a biographical novel for which Kertesz won the Nobel Prize in 2002.

    2006: Ariel “Sharon underwent a five-hour operation to halt bleeding in his brain, following which Sharon was returned to the neurological intensive care unit.”

    2007: As part of its “Jewish Season” The Theater for a New Audience in New York City presents The Merchant of Venice.

    2008: An exhibition entitled Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. comes to a close.

    2008(28thof Tevet, 5768):Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, a Talmudic scholar who for more than 50 years led a major Orthodox yeshiva in Brooklyn, known as the Mir Yeshiva, died today. He was 87. His death followed a long struggle with cancer, said Rabbi Pinchos Hecht, executive director of the yeshiva, also called the Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute.  The Mir Yeshiva is exclusively devoted to the study of the Torah: the Old Testament, commentaries upon it and the oral tradition known as the Talmud. It has 1,200 members. Another branch is in Jerusalem, with an estimated 4,000 students.  Rabbi Berenbaum was born in 1920 in Poland and studied in a yeshiva in Mir before World War II. As the Nazis rolled across Eastern Europe, he and other yeshiva students fled to the Soviet Union and resettled in Shanghai. From there, they eventually emigrated to the United States. Steven Bayme, national director of contemporary Jewish life at the American Jewish Committee, said the yeshiva helped preserve “a world that was otherwise lost.” “The rescue of the institution during the Holocaust by going to Shanghai was an act of incredible daring,” Mr. Bayme said. “It took enormous courage and perseverance.” Jonathan Rosenblum, director of Am Echad, an advocacy group in Israel that works to build bridges between ultra-Orthodox Jews and others, said that while Rabbi Berenbaum had no public position in America, “he was the one who was consulted on anything connected to Torah learning in the Torah world,” adding, “He taught Torah for over 50 years, and he never repeated himself.” Leadership of the Brooklyn yeshiva will pass to Rabbi Berenbaum’s nephew, Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz. (As reported by AP)

    2008: The Matzo Show on Rivington Street by Deborah Kolben Matzo Show on Rivington Street &st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

    2008: The Washington Post featured a review of People of the Book a work of historic fiction by Geraldine Brooks.  “The Book” in the title is the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, created in medieval Spain.  The Haggadah is “a famous rarity because it was a lavishly illuminated Hebrew manuscript made at a time when Jewish belief was firmly against illustrations of any kind.”

    2008: The Sunday New York Times featured a review of, and excerpt from, Jihad and Jew-Hatred:Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11by Matthias Küntzel and translated by Colin Meade, a review of, and an excerpt from, Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemyby Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg and a review of Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence by Zacharcy Karabell.

    2008 (28 Tevet 5768): Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, the Rosh yeshiva of the Mir yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York City which includes an elementary school and a high school, as well as its post-graduate Talmudical Academy passed away.

    2009:The National Jewish Democratic Council recognizes the Jewish Democratic Members of the 111th Congress at a reception at Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC

    2009: Fast of the 10th of Tevet and Yahrzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin).

    2009:Today, on the Christian observance known as the Feast of the Epiphany, the Ra'anana Symphonette (RS) conducted by Omer Wellber, will play Irena's Song - a Ray of Light through the Darkness by Kobi Oshrat. The composition and the performance were inspired by Irene Sendler, who along with her intrepid band of helpers from Zegota, the Polish underground, rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between 1942 and 1943.
    2009: Barack Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to serve as his solicitor general. If the nomination is confirmed by the United States Senate, Kagan who is the dean of the HarvardLawSchooland is Jewish would be the first woman to hold this position.
    2009 (10 Shevat 5769):St.-Sgt. Alexander Mashevizky, 21, a resident of Beersheba, was killed in a gun battle with Hamas operatives in northern GazaCity.Mashevizky, a member of an elite Engineering Corps unit, led the joint force, which was ambushed by Hamas gunmen while conducting ground sweeps.
    2010:The Bronx House Jewish Community Center presents “Klezmer Party” with Matan Chapnizka (Saxophone), Daniel Ori (Bass) and Dan Pugach (Drums) as part of the 2010 Bronx House Concert Series.

    2010:At around 1 a.m. this morning the Etz-Hayyim Synagogue in the Greek city of Hania on the island of Crete was set on fire by an unkown arsonist. The fire was started on wooden staircase that led to the second-story women's section of the main sanctuary in the small seaside complex. The Etz-Hayyim Synagogue was restored in the late 1990s after years of neglect in the wake of the Second World War. The nearly 300 members of the Hania Jewish community were shipped out by the Nazi invaders in 1944, and died when their ship was sunk in transit by an Allied torpedo. It serves as a place for prayer, a museum and memorial, and a library recording the long and troubled history of Crete's Jews. The walls of the synagogue's main hall were covered in soot, but the fire did not reach the Torah scrolls or the library.

    2010:Israel inched a step closer to deploying a missile defense system along the border with the Gaza Strip today after the Iron Dome successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests held in southern Israel this week.

    2010:American Jewish youth movement Young Judaea and its long-running sponsor, Hadassah Women's Organization, suffered another blow today following the resignation of key staff member, YJ/FZY Year Course Director Keith Berman. Berman's decision to leave Young Judaea after more than 20 years with the movement closely follows the resignation of its director, Rabbi Ramie Arian, who is scheduled to step down in the coming weeks.

    2010:James von Brunn, who shot and killed museum guard Stephen Tyrone Johns on June 10 during an attempted raid on the U.S. Holocaust Museum, died in a prison hospital today. He was 88 and died of natural causes. Von Brunn was awaiting trial on possible death penalty charges in the federal prison in Butner, N.C., after recovering from being shot in the face by another guard. Von Brunn had a long history of white supremacist and anti-Semitic writings. The museum issued a statement memorializing Johns.  "The Museum's thoughts and prayers continue to be with Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns' family at this time," the statement said. "Officer Johns died heroically defending the Museum, visitors and staff. This tragedy is a powerful reminder that our cause of fighting hatred remains more urgent than ever."

    2011(1stof Shevat, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

    2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present a program entitled “Democracy, Power Politics and the New Middle East” which will “delve into the shifting tectonic plates of Middle East politics, Iran's embattled regime and its nuclear ambitions, Iraq's fledgling democracy, new realities for Persian Gulf monarchies and the longer-term challenges facing Israelis and Palestinians.

    2011: Aaron Hillel Swartz “was arrested near the Harvard campus by MIT police and a U.S. Secret Service agent” after which he “was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on two state charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.”

    2011: The Red Sea Classical Festival is scheduled to open in Eilat.

    2011: Birthday of Brian Cohen, shofar blower par excellence, and a man whose life is worthy of his patronymic.

    2011: The High Court of Justice ruled today that public bus companies could continue the practice of gender segregation on dozens of lines serving the ultra-Orthodox sector, as long as there is no coercion or violence involved.

    2011:Kenyan runner Stephen Chemlany won the 34th annual Tiberias Marathon today, making it across the finish line after 2:10:02. Frenchman Patrick Tambe Ngoie captured second place, finishing seven seconds behind the leader. Kenya’s Julius Muriuki Wahome finished in third place. Haile Satayin, Israel’s champion marathon runner, defended his title today, becoming the first Israeli to cross the finish line. Satayin, who finished in 19th place overall, completed the course in 2:18:57. While the result put him in first among Israelis, it failed to reach the minimum threshold as determined by the Olympic Committee, meaning Satayin will not represent Israel in London. Zohar Zamiro was the second Israeli to cross the finish line.

    2012: In New Orleans, LA, Touro Synagogue is scheduled to host a Shabbat Family Dinner.

    2012: Think Different – Original Israeli Rock is scheduled to take place at the Blaze  Sports and Rock Bar on Rechov Hillel

    2012: Excerpts from works by LeeSaar The Company Lior Shneior (Sea Songs), Michal Samama (Under the Skin), Neta Dance Company and Netta Yerushalmy are scheduled to be performed at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

    2012:  The Judges Selection Committee announced the nomination of four new Supreme Court judges today.


    2012: Gabriel Cadis, a senior figure in Jaffa’s Christian community was stabbed to death today evening, during festivities at the St George Church in Jaffa. Cadis, who served as head of the Orthodox Church Association in Jaffa, was taken to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, but succumbed to his injuries very quickly.

    2012:A third file containing hacked credit card details of Israelis was posted on the internet today. The new file, published in the PasteBin website, contains information from the same credit cards that was revealed earlier this week. Bank Leumi warned that the current file might contain a Trojan horse and that people should refrain from downloading it.


    2013: The Klezmer Jam Session and Dance is scheduled to take place at The Talking Stick in Venice, CA.

    2013: Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya and the recently released paperback editions of Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine by Eric Weinter and  The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman

    2013: Family and friends of Brian Cohen, master latke maker and shofar blower par excellence, wish him the happiest of birthdays in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2013: Public Television is scheduled to broadcast “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, featuring interviews and performance footage that provides insight as to why Broadway “is fertile territory for Jewish artists.”

    2013:"A report released by the State Comptroller today finds that former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi was not directly complicit in the production of a document aimed at discrediting Defense Minister Ehud Barak's choice to succeed him as army chief, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant."

    2013: "Flooded tracks brought train traffic between Tel Aviv and Haifa to a halt for a few hours today, as stuck automobiles caused traffic jams in many places across the country."

    2013(24thof Tevet, 5733): 200th Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad Lubavitch Movement. We cannot do justice to the career of this Jewish leader who “created” a form of Judaism that harmonized the need for spirituality, ecstasy  and education.

    2014: Professor Steven is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Leonard Bernstein: From Jewish Roots to Broadway” in Carlsbad, CA.

    2014: “12 Years a Slave” is among the films scheduled to shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    0 0

    January 7

    1256:Berechiah De Nicole, the Chief Rabbi of Lincoln was released after having been imprisoned in London on charges related to the death of “Little Hugh of Lincoln.”  The son of Rabbi Moses ben Yom Tov of London, Reb Berechiah was an English Tosafist who was considered an authority on ritual matters. “He decided that the evening prayer might be said an hour and a quarter before the legal time of night…and declared that nuts prepared by Gentiles might not be eaten by Jews.” In August, 1255, the body of gentile boy named Hugh was found in Lincoln (a town called Nicole in Norman-French). This discovery gave rise to charges of ritual murder for which all the Jews of Lincoln were seized and imprisoned in Lincoln. Berechiah reportedly some time during 1256, but the exact date and cause are unknown.

    1325:  Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal.  During the early 14th century, more than 200,000 Jews lived in Portugal, which was about 20 percent of the total population. This period was part of what is known as “Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery, in which Jews made a major contribution to Portugal’s success.” During the reign of King Dinis, Alfonso’s father, the clergy invoked the restrictions of the Fourth Lateran Council in an attempt to get the monarch to restrict the role of Jews in Portuguese society.  .  The clergy, however, invoking the restrictions of the Fourth Council of the Lateran, brought considerable pressure to bear against the Jews during the reign of King Dinis I of Portugal, but the monarch maintained a conciliatory position. Alfonso remained faithful to his father’s policies.  The position of the Jews of Portugal did not begin to deteriorate until the last decades of the 14th century as can be seen by the decree of King Joao I forcing Jews to wear special clothing and obey a special curfew.

    1502: Birthdate of Pope Gregory VIII, famed for the creation of the Gregorian calendar, a method of tracking time has had a unique impact on Jewish historians trying to match events that occurred before 1752 (5512) on the Jewish calendar with the civil calendar.

    1516: Representatives of several towns including Frankfort and Worms attended a Diet at Frankfort to discuss how the Jews might be banished and never allowed to return.

    1536: Catherine of Aragon, the wife of King Henry VIII of England, passed away.  She was the daughter of the two monarchs who created the Spanish Inquisition and drove the Jews out of Spain. The Spanish monarchs would consent to their daughter’s marriage if Henry’s father would promise that no Jews would ever live in England.  Ironically, it was Catherine’s inability to provide a male heir that led to the England’s break with the Catholic Church which would play in an indirect positive role in the return of the Jews to England.

    1566: Pius V. the Pope, who expelled the Jews from Imola, began his papacy today.  Among those expelled was Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph the Talmudist and author of the Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah, also known as  Sefer Yaḥya

    1625: Ferdinand II issued decree of general expulsion that the Jews of Vienna were able to prevent from being carried out.

    1768: Birthdate of Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.  As King of Spain, he abolished the Inquisition. 

    1775: For the second time in two months, Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia.

    1800: Birthdate of Mortiz Daniel Oppenheim whose paintings included portraits of  several notables including Moses Mendelssohn and “The Return of the Jewish Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to His Family Still Living According to Old Customs”

    1800:  Birthdate of President Millard Fillmore.  In 1850, the American Minister to Switzerland signed a treaty with the Swiss Confederation establishing the rights of the citizens of each country to travel and sojourn in the other.  However, the Swiss wished to limit the privileges to Christians. In a message to the Senate, Fillmore opposed the treaty because the U.S. government could not sanction an agreement that treated its citizens differently based on religion.  This episode serves to underscore the difference between the Jewish experience in America and other parts of the world in which they had previously settled.  Fillmore is living proof that the least of men can do the greatest of things. 

    1841: Birthdate of Israel Levy, the German-Jewish scholar whose first publication was Ueber Einige Fragmente aus der Mischna des Abba Saul

    1843: The first Jewish service was held at the Wellington Hebrew Congregation in Wellington, New Zealand under the leadership of Abraham Ort. There had been Jewish people in New Zealand from the beginnings of European settlement in the north.  Jewish traders from England, including John Montefiore, Joel Polack and David Nathan, were active starting in the 1830’s. Jews were on the first ships to arrive in Wellington. A Jewish community was founded in 1843 with the arrival from London of Abraham Hort after he and his family arrived aboard the Prince of Wales.

    1848: The Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association was formed today.  A fraternal and benevolent order formed by German Jews “who had fled to” the United States “during the German revolution,” it was first led my Mordecai Noah, a former Sheriff of New York.

    1857(11th of Tevet, 5617): Sampson Simson passed away today in New York.  Born at Danbury in 1781, he was the son of Solomon Simson and was partners with his in a firm known as Simson’s in Stone Street which “imported beaver coating and other articles.”

    1858: Birthdate of Eliëzer Ben-Yehuda.  Born Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman, in what is now Lithuania; Ben-Yehuda was the father of modern Hebrew.  Ben-Yehuda adopted several plans of action to accomplish his goal. The main ones were three-fold, and they can be summarized as “Hebrew in the Home,” “Hebrew in the School,” and “Words, Words, Words.”  By the time he died in 1922, Ben-Yehuda had almost singled-handedly transformed a “dead Biblical language” into a modern language that embodied the spirit of Zionism and the modern Jewish world.

    1863: Ohio Congressman George H. Pendleton introduced a resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives condemning General Order No. 11.  Pendleton was “a Peace Democrat” so his resolution was more a reflection of his anti-war sentiments than of any great concern about the well-being of the Jews.

    1865(9th of Tevet, 5625):Lazarus Simon Magnus Esq the beloved and only son of Simon Magnus of Chatham passed away today at the ago of 40.  He was buried at theChatham (Kent) Jewish Cemetery

    1860:Solomon F. Joseph of the Portuguese Hebrew Society was chosen as one of the Directors of the Board of Deputies of Benevolent and Emigrant Societies at the organizations meeting held tonight at Cooper Institute in New York City.

    1865: Lazarus Magnus “developed a toothache. Despite an invitation from his brother-in-law to stay with him and his family Lazarus went back to his offices in London Bridge. He exchanged greetings with the housekeeper and asked her about the best remedy to the problem. The housekeeper suggested some laudanum on a piece of lint, but Magnus replied: “That is no use. I will try chloroform.” Unfortunately, this was a fatal mistake, that cost him his life - he died from inhaling too much of it.” Born in Chatham in 1826, he was a successful British businessman, leader of the Jewish community and Mayor of Queenborough.

    1868: Birthdate of Abraham M "Mark" Lidzbarski.  Born in Russia, he moved to Germany.  A linguist and Orientalist, he was also known by the name Avraam-Mordekhay He passed away in 1928.

    1873: Birthdate of Adolph Zukor, the American entrepreneur who built the Paramount movie empire.

    1876(10th of Tevet, 5636): Asara B'Tevet

    1879: Birthdate of architect Gustave Albert Lansburgh who designed Oakland’s Temple Sinai in 1914 and whose personal favorite “was said to have been the Al Hirschfield Theatre.”

    1877: It was reported today that Bishop Claughton presided over a meeting of several prominent English clergyman where they discussed the difficulty they were having in converting Jews to Christianity.

    1878: It was reported today that the United States Consul at Florence had sent the State Department a report describing the government loan institutions (Monte di Pieta) of Italy first introduced by Bernasdoda Feltried toward the close of the 15th century which led to Jewish money-lenders being banish from Florence.

    1879: Superintendent Lewis was in charge of the orphanage for Jewish children in Brooklyn that opened today with 4 children residing at the facility.

    1881: Herr Strassman who is Jewish received 97 out of 120 votes to gain re-election as President of the Berlin Municipal Council

    1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute, a vocational High School in New York City was founded on today. The school was founded after three Hebrew charity organizations formed a committee to promote technical education for the many Jewish immigrants arriving in New York at the time. The school closed in 1939

    1884(9th of Tevet, 5644): Julius Hallgarten, the wealthy American banker, passed away today in Davos Switzerland.
    1885:Alois Hitler (born Alois Schicklgruber) married Klara Pölzl whose fourth child would be the author of the Holocaust.

    1888: A telegram arrived in Leadville, CO, stating that the “defendant in the case of the United States vs. Jacob Schloss and others had achieved final victory before Judge D. J. Brew of the United States Supreme Court

    1887(11th of Tevet, 5647):Anna "Nettie" Rosenbaum Grossmann, wife of Ignatz Grossmann and the mother of Julius, Adolph, Louis and Rudolph who had been born in Hungary in 1835  passed away today in Detroit Michigan.

    1889(5th of Shevat, 5649): Asher Asher passed away in London.  Born at Glasgow in 1837, “was the first Scottish Jew to enter the medical profession”  In 1873, he published The Jewish Rite of Circumcision. “Since 1910, the University of Glasgow awards the Asher Asher Memorial Medal and Prize, annually for its Ear, Nose and Throat course.”

    1890: State Senator Jacob Cantor was among those who were present when the 113th New York State Legislature was convened today.

    1891: It was reported today that Captain A.F. Wild of the U.S. Secret service has arrested Antono Ruggiero, an Italian-Jew who used the alias Anthony Rogers on charges of having been involved with a ring that counterfeited two dollar bills.

    1892: The Brooklyn Institute is scheduled to host a program entitled “The Policy of the Czar in the Expulsion of the Jews and the War of Movement in Europe” this evening.

    1893: It was reported today that the meeting organized by the right-wing anti-Semitic journal Libre Parole was addressed by the Marquis de Mores.  He opened his speech “with a general onslaught on the Hews as the corrupters of French honesty and the haters of French honor.”
    1895: General Horace Porter, the President of the Union Club and his predecessor Chauncey M. Depew, refused to discuss the resignation of Edward Einstein from their organization.  They did not dispute Einstein’s claim that he had left because a Jewish candidate had been blackballed because of his religion.

    1895: “Edwin Einstein Resigns” published today described the impact of Edward Einstein’s resignation from the Union Club which resulted from the blackballing of the son of Jesse Seligman because of his religion and which now leaves  the  social organization without a Jewish member; a situation which will not soon change since there are no Jews on the list of perspective members.

    1895: “The Crusaders and Their Work” provides a detailed review of The Crusaders: The Story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by T.A. Archer and Charles L. Kingsford which attributes the practice of making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to the Jews in a period the pre-dates Christianity.

    1896: Herzl's article "Die Lösung der Judenfrage" - "The Solution of the Jewish Question" appears in "The Jewish Chronicle" in London.

    1896: Nine year old Rachel Silverman and three year old Sarah Silverman, the daughters of Freda Silverman “were committed to the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery” today following a hearing at the Essex Market Police Court.”

    1896: Levi Freiburg, a fifty-year old Jew was being held on charges of child endangerment at the Lee Avenue Police Station.

    1896(21st of Tevet, 5656): Fifty-seven year old Sir Julian Goldsmid, 3rd Baronet “a British lawyer, businessman and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1866 and 1896” passed away today at Brighton.

    1897: The annual meeting of the Educational Alliance which included addresses by Isidor Straus and Dr. Henry Leipzierg was held tonight Temple Emanu-El in New York City

    1898: The Brooklyn Hebrew Hospital Society applied to the State Board of Charities for a certificate of incorporation.

    1898: Three men were hung today at Hahnville in St. Charles Parish, LA for their part in murdering a Jewish peddler name Ziegler after they had robbed him while he was at the Ellington Plantation.

    1898: “Charity in the Holy Land” published today described the indignation expressed by representatives of the Auxiliary Relief Branch of the Russian and Polish Jewish Central Committee at Jerusalem over charges “made of misuse of the money collected in the United States for the relief of poor American Jews in Jerusalem and Palestine.”

    1899: “Scotts Novels” published today contained a description of the English authors novels including Ivanhoe which features “such quotable characters” as Rebecca and her uncle, Isaac the Jew.

    1903: In Paris, Herzl discusses the reply to the British government with Nordau, Leopold Greenberg and Alexander Marmorek and to take counsel on subsequent action.

    1910:  Birthdate of Baron Alain de Rothschild.  He was part of the French banking family

    1915: During WW I, Alexander Helphand a Ukrainian born Jew who was also known as Israel Lazarevich Gelfand and who had risen to prominence in the Bolshevik movement, approached the German Ambassador in Constantinople.  He contended that the Germans and the Bolsheviks should make common cause because they had similar goals, the overthrow of the Czar and the dismemberment of the Russian Empire into smaller entities.  This intitial overture would ultimately lead to the Germans shipping Lenin and his supporters back to Russia during the Russian Revolution to ensure that Russia would make a separate peace with the Kaiser. 

    1916: In an article entitled “Rabbi Silver Will Talk on General Subjects,” The Wheeling Register reports on a series of upcoming Sunday lectures to be delivered at the Eoff Street Temple. "The general subject for the series will be Aspects of American Life. The lectures will touch on topics related to business, home, the stage, politics, school and the press and will be given in Rabbi Silver's characteristic manner."

    1919(6th of Shevat, 5679): Sixty-seven year old Anglo Jewish banker and philanthropist Herbert Stern, 1st Baron Michelham, the son of Herman de Stern and Julia Goldsmid and the first cousin of Sydney James Stern and Sir Edward Stern passed away today in Paris

    1917: Birthdate of Alfred Mordecai Freedman,a psychiatrist and social reformer who led the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 when, overturning a century-old policy, it declared that homosexuality was not a mental illness.

    1920: Louis Waldman and Charles Solomon were among the five members of the Socialist Party that the New York State Assembly refused to seat as Assemblymen.

    1921: Publication of the  first edition of the resurrected Yiddish language newspaper Der Emmes (The Truth) published by Yevsektsiya, the Jewish section of the Communist Party.  An earlier version of the paper had been published in 1918 in Moscow.  The paper would cease publication in 1939 when it fell victim to an anti-Yiddish campaign in the Soviet Union.

    1921: A Commission in Jerusalem reports that at present there is no way to secure an appointment of a Hahambashi for Palestine that would satisfy all sections of the community. They recommend the formation of a supreme religious council that will represent both Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities.

    1921: Birthdate of Chester Kallman. Kallman was a poet, librettist and translator.  From a professional point of view, his greatest claim to fame may rest on his work with Igor Stavinsky.  But he may be equally famous for the fact that for thirty-five years he was the companion of poet W.H. Auden with whom he also collaborated professionally.  Kallman passed away in 1975.

    1922: The partners of Edgar Speyer published a letter supporting their business partner and rejected rthe implications of his correspondence with his German relatives, stating that he was "incapable of any act of treachery against the country of his adoption"

    1923(19th of Tevet, 5683):Emil Gustav Hirsch “a major Reform movement rabbi in the United States” passed away. Born on May 22, 1852 in Luxembourg, he was “a son of the rabbi and philosopher Samuel Hirsch. He later married the daughter of Rabbi David Einhorn. For forty-two years (1880-1922), Hirsch served as the rabbi of Chicago Sinai Congregation, one of the oldest synagogues in the midwest. At this post, he became well-known for an emphasis on social justice. From Chicago Sinai's pulpit, he delivered rousing sermons on the social ills of the day and many Chicagoans, Jew and gentile alike, were in attendance. Appointed professor of rabbinical literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1892, Hirsch also served on the Chicago Public Library board from 1885 to 1897. He was an influential exponent of advanced thought and Reform Judaism. He edited Der Zeitgeist (Milwaukee) (1880–82) and the Reform Advocate (1891–1923). He also edited the Department of the Bible of the Jewish Encyclopedia. Hirsch is the namesake of the Emil G. Hirsch Metropolitan High School of Communications (Hirsch Metro), located in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. In keeping with his interest in education, Hirsch advised a wealthy congregant, Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck & Co., to use part of his wealth to help build public schools which black students could attend in the segregated south. The school building program was one of the largest programs, but not the only, administered by the Rosenwald Fund.

    1924: George Gershwin completes “Rhapsody in Blue.”

    1925: Musical "Big Boy" with Al Jolson premiered in New York City.

    1926: George Burns married Gracie Allen. He was Jewish.  She wasn’t.

    1927: Abe Saperstein’s Harlem Globetrotters play their first game in Hinckley,Illinois.

    1927: A memorial service was held for the late Zionist poet Achad Ha’Am at New York’s Cooper Union.

    1929: Henry Arthur Jones, the English dramatist whose works include “Judah” which was first performed in 1890 passed away.

    1932: Chaim Arlosoroff, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, wrote a letter to High Commissioner Viscount Ord Plumer proposing that the municipal region of Jerusalem should be divided into two boroughs: West Jerusalem, which was mostly Jewish and the Old City which was largely Arab.  A United Municipal Council would oversee these to two sub-entities.  The British rejected the proposal lest it anger the Arabs.

    1931: Doar Hayom, the newspaper of the Revisionists, published a demand that the election for the Jewish-elected Assembly be declared null and void and that new elections should be held.

    1934: The New York Times reported on the recent announcement that 200 Jewish families, drawn from the ranks of jobless needle trade workers in New York, are to be settled in an industrial-agrarian community on a 1,000-acre tract of land bought for the purpose in New Jersey. This move calls attention to the new back-to-the-land movement among the Jews of the United States

    1935: Birthdate of Noam Sheriff,  one of Israel’s most versatile and world renowned musicians.


    1935(3rd of Shevat, 5695):  Rabbi Yosef ben Rabbi Menachem Kalisch zt"l, the Amshinover Rebbe, passed away.

    1935: Benito Mussolini and French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval sign the Franco–Italian Agreement.  The Italians were looking for a free hand in their conquest of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia).  The French were looking for support in dealing with Hitler.  The irony of this is that Pierre Laval would become the Prime Minister of Vichy France a role which enable him to ship thousands of French Jews to Drancy and then on to the death camps in the East.  Mussolini, who had support of some Italian Jews and a Jewish mistress, would become Hitler’s ally.

    1935: Birthdate of Joe Wizan the head of 20th Century Fox's motion picture division and an independent producer of films such as "Jeremiah Johnson" and "… And Justice for All” (As reported by Dennis McLellan,

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Romania started re-examining the naturalization of all "foreigners" who had settled there since 1913, in order to deprive them of their citizenship. The first victims of the new policy were Jewish doctors who lost their right to practice medicine. Jewish innkeepers were declared to be "dangerous". All Jews were divided into citizens and non-citizens, and the latter became the subject of a compulsory expulsion. A timely British note reminded Romania of her obligations under the Minorities Treaty, signed in Paris in 1910. 

    1939:  Official founding of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

    1940(26th of Tevet, 5700): State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler passed away tonight at the age of 58. Born in 1881, he attended City College, where he developed a life-long friendship with Felix Frankfurter and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1903.  Frankenthaler was active in Democratic Party Politics, numerous civic and professional organizations and Jewish charitable activities.
    1941: Members of the Woman’s League for Palestine are using tonight performance of “Meet the People,” the new topical, musical revue at the Mansfield Theatre as a benefit for the Overseas Refugee Relief fund.  The net proceeds will augment the $25,000 Emergency Refugee Relief Fund for young women refugees sheltered in the two home of the league in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

    1942: A major Arctic blast hit the Levant. The thermometer in Alexandria was six degrees below zero, five people were killed because of the snow in Lebanon, Jerusalem suffered damage when buildings in the Old City were cracked from ice buildup, and in Istanbul the city suffered deaths and was stifled with three feet of snow, twelve degrees below zero temperatures and "hungry wolves" in the neighborhood.

    1942: Throughout the day at the Chelmno, Poland, death camp, Jewish deportees from nearby villages are systematically gassed in vans; German and Ukrainian workers pull gold teeth and fillings from the corpses' mouths. Germans undertake van gassings of 5000 Gypsies from Lódz, Poland.
    1943: British Colonial Secretary Oliver Stanley informs the British War Cabinet that Germany's Eastern European allies have turned to a policy of expulsion of Jews as an alternative to exterminating them. He concludes that this change in policy makes it "all the more necessary" to limit the number of Jewish children accepted into Palestine.

    1943: Over the next three weeks, twenty thousand Jews from Germany, Belgium, Holland, and Poland are gassed at Auschwitz.

    1944: “Anne Frank confessed her love for” Peter Schiff  “a boy she had been smitten with for years.”

    1944: Word reached those living in New York City that Rabbi Louis Werfel, the 27-year-old chaplain serving with the 12th Air Force Service Command was killed in a plane crash in Algeria on Christmas Eve, 1943. Werfel was the fourth Jewish chaplain be killed in line of duty during World War II.  Werfel was known as “the flying rabbi” because of his willingness to use aircraft to reach Jewish soldiers serving in far-flung outposts throughout the Mediterranean Theatre

    1945: Birthdate of Shulamith Bath Shmuel Ben Ari Feuerstein, author of The Dialectic of Sex

    1948: With Jerusalem under siege, members of the Irgun planted a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in an attempt to get food supplies into the Jewish quarter. The bomb killed fourteen Arabs.  Three members of the Irgun were killed by British police in the aftermath of the explosion.  Apparently the British were unable to keep the Arabs from trying to starve out the Jews but they were strong enough to kill the Jews where were trying to feed their co-religionists.

    1949: During Israel’s War of Independence Operation Horev came to an end.

    1949: At two o’clock in the afternoon, Israel accepts a ceasefire on the Egyptian front based on Egypt’s publicly announced willingness to negotiate an armistice.  Egypt is left in control of Gaza, but Israel has driven the Egyptians from the Negev.

    1949: During the War for Independence Israel shot down 5 British planes that flew over the battlefront with Egypt. The British government was hardly a disinterested party during the war.  The Jordanian Army, known as the Arab Legion, drew its leadership from the British Army.  The British supplied and trained the force as well.  The actions of the RAF at this point, further debunk the notion that the British were neutrals and that the West was responsible for the creation and survival of the infant state of Israel.

    1950:The "ten greatest Jews of the last fifty years" were named today by Rabbi Israel Goldstein in a sermon at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, in New York City.

    1951: As it starts its first post-independence tour in the United States, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) has its first performance at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

    1953:The eightieth anniversary of American Reform Judaism, founded in Cincinnati by the late Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise "to adapt Judaism to the American way of life," was marked tonight with special ceremonies and a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. More than 300 American Jewish leaders from various sections of the country attended.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset debated the proposed State Archives' and Public Accountants' Bills. Israel seized an Egyptian ship with a cargo of 65 tons of arms, bound for Syria. The ship was reported to have run aground in Israel's territorial waters.

    1953: President Harry Truman announces that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.  The bomb had been successfully tested at Eniwetok atoll in 1952.  The creation of the H-bomb had pitted Edward Teller against Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the Atomic Bomb.”  The two Jewish physicists became the poles around which the proponents and opponents rallied during this major Cold War debate.

    1958: A week after Ben Gurion resigned as Prime Minister “over the leaking of information from ministerial meetings” he formed the 8th government “with the same coalition partners.”

    1958: As Israel transitioned from its 7th government to its 8th government, Golda Meir continued to serve as Foreign Minister.

    1962: Lev Landau’s was in automobile accident today which left him so severely injured that he was unable to accept the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physics in person.

    1967(25th of Tevet, 5727): American author and screen writer David Goodis, passed away.

    1969: Birthdate of Israeli comedian and television performer Eyal Kitzis.

    1970: In response to cross canal attacks by Egyptian forces, Israeli planes begin an in-depth bombing campaign against Egyptian military bases. 
    1971(10th of Tevet, 5731): Asara B'Tevet

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's announcement that after the signing of the peace agreement he would not accept the presence of even a single Israeli soldier or civilian who would like to remain on Egyptian soil.

    1978: Isaiah Sheffer and “his artistic partner…put on a marathon concert of Bach “at a grimy, derelict movie theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side” that would become Symphony Space.

    1979: The New York Times book section features the following Walter Kerr’s essay on Anne Frank entitled 'Anne Frank' Shouldn't Be Anne's Play

    1980(18th of Tevet, 5740): Eighty-year old Dov who served as the military governor of Jerusalem during the 1948 War of Independence and served as MK and cabinet minister  passed away today

    1984: Birthdate of Ran Danker an Israeli actor, singer, and model who “is the son of Israeli actor Eli Danker. He has sung such songs as "אני אש" ("I am Fire"). He has also starred in the hit Israeli series HaShir Shelanu.”

    1984(4th of Shevat, 5744): Eighty-four year old Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Moroccan born Sephardic Rabbi knownas the Baba Slali or Praying father passed away in Jerusalem.

    1990: In article entitled “The Russians Are Coming In Droves,” Barrymore L. Scherer described the “torrent of music that has pouring our way” in a variety of recordings including a live recording Shostakovich's weirdly disturbing Violin Concerto No. 1 (coupled with the Glazunov Concerto), both performed at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium in July 1988 by Itzhak Perlman with the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta (EMI CDC 49814; CD and cassette).

    1993: Showing some flexibility in the crisis over 415 deported Palestinians, Israel agreed today to allow two Red Cross officials, including a doctor, to visit the exiles at their tent camp in southern Lebanon.

    1995(6th of Shevat, 5755): Harry Golombek passed away.Born in 1911, Harry Golombek, was a British chess player and honorary grandmaster.

    1995(6th of Shevat, 5755): Economist Murray Newton Rothabard passes away at the age of 69. Born in 1926 and educated at Columbia. Rothbard was the co-founder of the Cato Institute.

    1995: Bruce Sundlun completed his term in office as Governor of Rhode Island.

    1996: Debbie Friedman gave a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall, commemorating twenty-five years as one of the world's most well-known contemporary Jewish musicians.
    2001 (12th of Tevet, 5761): Seventy-two year old “Rabbi Yitzchok Singer, whose leadership of the historic Bialystoker Synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan helped it thrive despite four decades of community change, passed away today at Beth Israel Medical Center.” (As reported by Nadine Brozan)

    2001: Giving its stalled Middle Eastern peace effort one final push, the Clinton administration said today that it would send its top negotiator to the region this week for direct talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. .

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount by Gershom Gorenberg, To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World:The Life of Frieda Fromm-ReichmannBy Gail A. Hornstein and Future Success by Robert B. Reich

    2001: Among the 28 recipients of the Presidential Citizens Medals were

    Jack Greenberg

    In the courtroom and the classroom, Jack Greenberg has been a crusader for freedom and equality for more than half a century. Arguing 40 civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the historic Brown v. Board of Education, he helped break down the legal underpinnings of desegregation in America, and as a professor of law, an advocate for international human rights, and head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, he has helped shape a more just society.

    Anthony Lewis

    Revered by colleagues and readers alike for his Pulitzer prize-winning reporting, profound insight, and broad understanding of constitutional law, Anthony Lewis has set the highest standard of journalistic ethics and excellence. A staunch defender of freedom of speech, individual rights, and the rule of law, he has been a clear and courageous voice for democracy and justice.

    Robert Rubin

    Leaving a brilliant career on Wall Street to serve as Director of the National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin played a pivotal role in creating America's longest economic expansion. He forged a new team approach that produced an economic framework based on fiscal discipline, investment in opportunity, and expanded trade, while exhibiting exceptional leadership in ensuring global financial stability. His efforts helped countless Americans share in an era of unprecedented prosperity.

    Elizabeth Taylor

    A screen legend, Elizabeth Taylor has captured the hearts of audiences around the world, portraying some of the most memorable characters in film history. A dedicated leader in the fight against AIDS, she has focused national attention on this devastating disease. With grace, style, and compassion, she has reminded us of our responsibility to reach out to those in need.

    Marion Wiesel

    Convinced that our greatest hope for a just society is to teach tolerance and mutual respect, Marion Wiesel has worked with creativity and compassion to combat hatred and injustice. Whether writing a haunting documentary about the children of the Holocaust, translating her husband’s work, or helping young Ethiopians in Israel to thrive and succeed in a new land, she is replacing despair with dignity and overcoming ignorance with understanding

    Rabbi Arthur Schneier

    A Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has devoted a lifetime to overcoming the forces of hatred and intolerance. As an international envoy, Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, and founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, he has set an inspiring example of spiritual leadership by encouraging interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding and promoting the cause of religious freedom around the world.

    Eli J. Segal

    As founder of AmeriCorps and the first Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Eli Segal has galvanized the American spirit of community and helped us realize the dream of a vital civilian service corps. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, he has brought businesses and communities together to create opportunity for welfare recipients, enabling them to experience the power, dignity, and independence of work. Juan Andrade, Jr.

    2002(23rd of Tevet, 5762): Actor and comedian Avery Schreiber passed away.  Born in 1935 he was half of the comedy team of Burns and Schreiber.

    2002:The captain of a ship seized last week by Israel as it smuggled tons of weapons said in jail-house interviews today that he had taken his orders from a weapons agent of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority and that his deadly cargo was meant to arm Palestinians

    2003: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff delivered the benediction for the Bipartisan Congressional Prayer Service that welcomed the members of the 108th congress before the ceremony to swear them in.

    2003:Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian gunmen today in a raid on a Gaza Strip refugee camp.

    2004:Israeli and Libyan officials held a secret meeting in December and discussed the possibility of ties between the longstanding enemies, Israeli officials said today. .

    2007: Teapacks or Tipex, an Israeli band formed in 1988 in Sdeort was ”selected by IBA's Eurovision Committee to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Helsinki, Finland”

    2007: The Washington Post Sunday book section featured a review of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter D. Kramer.

    2007: The Sunday Times (of London) reported that “Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

    2007: Under the title “Operation Screwball” about 350 Jews staged a noisy protest  against Neturei Karta an anti-Israel religious group whose members - among them a Monsey rabbi - attended an Iranian conference that questioned the Holocaust.

    2007: Two rabbis, two rabbinic pastors and one cantor were ordained by the Jewish Renewal Movement at the annual Ohalah convention in Boulder, Colorado.

    2008: Sidney Blumenthal a former aide to President of the United States Bill Clinton and an advisor to Hillary Clinton during her Presidential campaign was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Nashua, New Hampshire. Later, he would plead guilty to a charge of misdemeanor DWI.

    2008(29th of Shevat, 5768): Eighty-three year old Boris Lurie “who survived the Holocaust and then depicted its horrors while leading a confrontational movement called No! Art,” passed away today. (As reported by Colin Moynihan)

    2008: In New York, The 92nd Street Y presents “Protection from Terrorism: What America Can Learn from Israel,” a lecture by Leonard Cole and Irwin Redlener, part of the Y’s Israel at 60 celebration.

    2008: In Brooklyn tens of thousands of mourners turned out for the funeral of Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum the 87 year old head of the Mir Yehsiva who had passed away the day before. Berenbaum's body was to be flown to Israel for burial in Jerusalem.

    2009: The Wall Street Journal reported that Cass Sunstein would be named to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

    2009: At the Wise Auditorium on the campus of HebrewUniversity, The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance presents the latest in a series of concerts titled “The Titan,” that honors Ludwig van Beethoven with a series aptly titled, The Titan.

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, members of TempleJudah meet to form an Israel Advocacy Task Force

    2009(11th of Tevet, 5769): Eighty-eight year old Yaakov Bania, a commander with Lehi who served with the IDF during the War for Independence and later wrote Hayalim Almonim (Anonymous Soldiers) passed away today.

    2009: Israel suspended fighting today for three hours to permit humanitarian relief goods to reach civilians living at Gaza while Hamas declared that the group would not talk about a cease fire so long as Israel continued its “occupation.”  In the Hamas lexicon, “occupation” is synonymous with the existence of the state of Israel.

    2009: As the Madoff Scandal widens in scope, The New York Times reported that Sonja Kohn , leaving the firm she founded, Bank Medici, in the hands of Austrian regulators, who took it over last week. Embarrassment from investing heavily with Mr. Madoff could explain wanting to disappear from public view. But another theory widely repeated by those who know Mrs. Kohn is that she may be afraid of some particularly displeased investors: Russian oligarchs whose money made up a chunk of the $2.1 billion that Bank Medici invested with Mr. Madoff. It is a stunning reversal for the 60-year-old Mrs. Kohn. The daughter of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe who moved to Vienna after World War II, Mrs. Kohn came to New York in the 1980s and was one of the rare women to found and head a small brokerage firm. At that time, she started a decades-long friendship with Mr. Madoff. Once known here as “Austria’s woman on Wall Street,” she became one of Mr. Madoff’s international conduits for securing billions of dollars from the global rich. With her husband, Erwin, a former banker, Mrs. Kohn was able to draw interest from wealthy Russians, Ukrainians and Israelis. And though she migrated from a more traditional Jewish background to ultra-Orthodox practice — which is why she covered her hair with the wig — Mrs. Kohn and her husband even managed to secure meetings with deep-pocketed Arab investors.“He was the door opener, she was the go-getter,” said the Viennese acquaintance of the Kohns who insisted on anonymity because of the publicity surrounding the Madoff case, both in Europe and the United States. “

    2010 (21 Tevet, 5770): The Israeli Government marks today a National Hebrew Day in honor of the 152nd birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew.

    2010: At the 14th Street Y opening night of “Laba’s Guests." LABA is the National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture, an innovative arts and culture initiative of the 14th Street Y.

    2010: At least 10 mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel.
    2010: A breakthrough in the research of the Hebrew scriptures has shed new light on the period in which the Bible was written, testifying to Hebrew writing abilities as early as the 10th century BCE, the University of Haifa announced today. Prof. Gershon Galil of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa recently deciphered an inscription dating from the 10th century BCE, and showed that it was a Hebrew inscription, making it the earliest known Hebrew writing. The significance of this breakthrough relates to the fact that at least some of the biblical scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates presented today in research and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at that time. The inscription itself, which was written in ink on a 15 cm X 16.5 cm trapezoid pottery shard, was discovered a year and a half ago at excavations that were carried out by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley. The inscription was dated back to the 10th century BCE, which was the period of King David's reign, but the question of the language used in this inscription remained unanswered, making it impossible to prove whether it was in fact Hebrew or another local language. Prof. Galil's deciphering of the ancient writing testifies to its being Hebrew, based on the use of verbs particular to the Hebrew language, and content specific to Hebrew culture and not adopted by any other cultures in the region. "This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ("did") and avad ("worked"), which were rarely used in other regional languages. Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ("widow") are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages," Prof. Galil explained.

    The deciphered text:

    1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].

    2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]

    3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]

    4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.

    5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

    Once this deciphering is received, Prof. Galil added, the inscription will become the earliest Hebrew inscription to be found, testifying to Hebrew writing abilities as early as the 10th century BCE. This stands opposed to the dating of the composition of the Bible in current research, which would not have recognized the possibility that the Bible or parts of it could have been written during this ancient period.

    2011: Gold Medals are scheduled to be given to Israeli illustrators Asaf Hanuka and Koren Shadmi at The first of the three-part “Annual Exhibition: Illustrators 53,” the Sequential/Series and Uncommissioned Exhibit features works by leading contemporary illustrators worldwide.

    2011: Rabbi Shira Stutman and musician Sheldon Low are scheduled to host 6th in The City Shabbat at the Historic 6th&I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2011: The first Musical Shabbat of 2011 is scheduled to take place at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.

    2011(2nd of Sh’vat, 5771): Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Nadav Rotenberg, 20, was killed today and four were wounded in a violent encounter with Palestinian militants near the border between Israel and Gaza.

    2011: Israel’s departing intelligence chief said he believes Iran will not be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 at the earliest, Israeli news media reported today, in a revised and surprisingly upbeat assessment of Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

    2012 The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture at the 14th Street Y is scheduled to present the premiere of the musical theater adaptation of the famous Israeli children's book "Hanna's Shabbat Dress," by Itzchak Damiel.

    2012: The Impossible Spy is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Kerem Shalom in Concord, MA

    2012: Shlomi Koriat is scheduled to perform at the Jerusalem Theatre where he will give a stand-up performance in which he tells about his childhood, his Moroccan family, coming to the big city, marriage, and more.

    2012(12 of Tevet, 5772): Jews all over the world complete Bereshit– Chazak, Chazak,

    2012: Approximately 200 protesters clashed with police in south Tel Aviv tonight during a protest against the municipality’s attempt dismantle a tent city for homeless families. until the end.”

    2012: Israel said today the online publication of thousands of its citizens' credit card details by a hacker claiming to be Saudi was comparable to terrorism, and vowed to hit back.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance is scheduled to present: “A Vanishing Sound: Jewish Musical Resonance in Traditional Moldavian Dance--ca. 1800-1950”

    2013: “The Great Book Robbery” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013(25th of Tevet, 5773): Eighty-eight year old poet and New York Times editor Harvey Shapiro passed away today (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2013(25th of Tevet, 5773):  Eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor and Israeli historian Zvi Yavetz whose life you can read about in his autobiography My Czernowitz, passed away today.

    2013(25th of Tevet, 5773): Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable passed away today at the age of 91. (As reported by David Dunlap)

    2013: “Life in Stills” is scheduled to be shown at the Washington Film Festival under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

    2013: December 2012 witnessed a 400% spike in the number of terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem compared to August, according to statistics published by the Shin Bet security service today.

    2013: As lights flickered and falling tree branches batted down power lines across the country today, Israelis continued to brace themselves for a week of torrential rains and thunderous winds.

    2014: “License to Live” and “The Grandmaster” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.



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    January 8

    1198: Start of the papacy of Innocent III who was responsible for the Fourth Lateran Council which produced an array of anti-Jewish promulgations.

    1297: Monaco gains its independence when Francesco Grimaldi and his men captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco. Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi.  Any Jews living in Monaco from the 14th century until the start of World War II were usually Ashkenazim fleeing from France.  An organized Jewish community was established in 1948.  Almost half of the Jewish community is made up of British Jews living in Monte Carlo.

    1324: Venetian traveler Marco Polo, who visited China, then under the Yuan Dynasty, in the late 13th century and described the prominence of Jewish traders in Beijing, passed away.

    1414: The Disputation of Tortosa, one of the famous disputations between Jews and Christians of the Middle Ages, which was held in the city of Tortosa, Spain resumed.

    1455: Nicholas V issued a “Romanus Pontifex,” a Papal Bull that expressed the Church’s approval of Portugal’s seizure of lands in the New World and Asia.  This was part of an attempt to divide the newly discovered lands between Catholic monarchs and freeze out the Protestant nations.  Fortunately for the Jews, the Church’s bull was not worth the paper it was written on since the Protestant nations such as the Dutch and the English would provide a place where Jews could practice their religion and engage in commerce.

    1575:  Many Marranos were among the victims of the Auto de Fe at Seville.

    1598: Expulsion of the Jews from Genoa, Italy.

    1790:In France, the Deputies excluded the rights of Jews when considering the rules governing the election of municipal officers

    1806: Cape Colony became a British colony as the Union Jack replaced Dutch rule.  Dutch Jews had been living in the colony since 1652.  In 1804, they had finally gained freedom of religion thanks to a proclamation issued by the Dutch commissioner-general Jacob Abraham de Mist that instituted religious equality for all persons (including the Jews) without any regard to creed.  One of the first acts of the British was to repeal this proclamation.  While a new wave of Jews began arriving in the 1820’s, the first synagogue was not formed until 1841 with the establishment of the Gardens Shul in Cape Town.

    1815: American forces under General Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans.  The pirate leader, Jean Lafitte provided a large number of soldiers and several cannon that were critical to Jackson’s success.  According to some sources, Lafitte’s mother was a Sephardic Jew whose family had fled the Inquisition.  He was raised in a home that observed Kashrut and his first wife was Jewish.  Like so many other things about Lafitte, we cannot be sure where fact ends and legend begins.  There is no question about the Jewish identity of another fighter at the Battle of New Orleans.  Judah Touro, of the famed New England Turo family had moved to New Orleansand become a prominent member of the community.  He volunteered and fought with Jackson’s forces.  He was severely wounded and taken from the battlefield by Rezin Shepherd, a close friend and fellow merchant.  Touro walked with a limp as a result of the wounds sustained in the battle.  Touro Infirmary (hospital) and Touro Synagogue provide modern reminders of this businessman-philanthropist who answered the call to defend the United States in one of its darkest moments.

    1830: The Ohio General Assembly granted Congregation B’Nai Israel in Cincinnati a charter whereby it was incorporated under the laws of the state.

    1849: Following the failure of the Revolution of 1848, Prague native Isidor Bush arrived in New York City where he briefly published Israel’s Herald before moving to St. Louis where he found fame and fortune.

    1851: In Cayuga County, New York, a jury is to be impaneled in the case of People vs. John Baham, Jr.  Baham and his brothers were charged in the vicious murder of Nathan Adler, a Jewish peddler from Syracuse.

    1852: Jacob Lehman, the son of a Jewish peddler living in Philadelphia is seen for the last time.  His disappearance will eventually lead to a gruesome murder case.

    1855: The sixth anniversary of the German Hebrew Mutual Aid and Benevolent Society was celebrated this evening in Pythagoras Hall on Walker Street in New York City.  The dinner, which began at 7 pm, was attended by two hundred members of the society and their guests.  Before the meal began, a Hebrew hymn was chanted in memory of the members of the society who had passed away.  Among the speakers for the evening were Rabbis Raphael and Isaacs. The guests gave a “liberal contribution” to the poor before departing from the event.

    1856:The New York Times published a summary of The Jew: A Story of the South by the same author who wrote Leaves From The Journal of a Physician's Wife

    1862: Rabbi Arnold Fischel enclosed a copy of the bill that has been approved which will allow Rabbis to serve as Chaplains in the Union Army in a letter he sent to his supporters in New York.  In the letter, Fischel thanked them for their financial support.  He assured them that the money had been put to good use in getting the Congressional Committee to approve the change in the law.  He also reported that a letter had been published in the Washington newspapers from Reform Rabbis, including Wise, Einhorn and Adler claiming that Fishcel did not have the authority to act for the Jewish community. 

    1865(10th of Tevet, 5625): As the American Civil War enters its final years, Jews observed Asara B’Tevet.

    1870: Dr. Ellinger, editor of the Jewish Times addressed the Longfellow Literary Association at the YMCA in New York City on the outcome of the Rabbinic Conference which was held in Philadelphia, PA.  Ellinger provided an analysis of the religious reforms proposed by the Jewish leaders.
    1871: “The Jews In America” published today points out that “few outside of the Jewish fold have any precise knowledge of “the difference between Orthodox and Reform Jews and then proceeds to described the differences “between the rigid orthodox Jew who repeats a hundred benedictions daily…and the radical reformed Jew…who believes there is nothing supernatural about the Bible but regards it merely as a book written by mortal hands.

    1871: Vice President Samuel A. Lewis, chaired today’s annual meeting of the members of Mount Sinai Hospital. The meeting was informal since only fifty members were in attendance the by-laws require 75 for a quorum.  Emanuel B. Hart has replaced Benjamin Nathan as President, Nathan having passed away. The hospital, which treats Jewish and Gentile patients, treated 1,787 out-patients during the past year.  The hospital admitted 677 patients during the year or whom 609 were designed at “cured or relieved.”

    1871: The Hebrew Relief Association which was incorporated in 1831 held its annual meeting this morning at the 19th Street Synagogue in New York City.  Officers include, President Hendry S. Allen, Vice President A.R.B. Moses and Treasurer E.B. Hart. During this past year, the association distributed $2,500 among the city’s less fortunate Jewish population.

    1875: The Downtown Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society met this evening and elected a slate of officers.

    1878: It was reported today that the Young Men’s Hebrew Union has elected the following officers: President, A. Ottinger; Vice President, William Rothschild; Secretaries, Alfred Steckler and Lewis Heyman; Treasurer, Henry Bausch.
    1888: Judge Nathaniel Rollins, who represented Jacob Schloss in his suit aimed to protect his “placer patent” from the federal government, relished the victory he had scored for his Jewish clients from Leadville, Colorado.

    1882: “Anti-Juif” an anti-Semitic weekly first published at Paris in 1881 is published for the fourth and final time today.  (There will be several other publications that will appear using this name.)

    1890: Rabbi H. Pereira Mendes of Congregation Shearith Israel presided over the funeral services for Judge Philip J. Joachimsen, which were held at his home on 54th Street followed by internment at Cypress Guardians

    1892: It was reported today that Madame Olga Novikoff claims that in an effort to downplay the seriousness of the famine in Russia, the Czar is willing to accept private donations, but no government money.  She reports that money has been sent from England “to aid the distressed Jews.”  (This famine was but one more reasons that so many Jews were arriving in the U.S. and the U.K.

    1892; It was reported today that stepsons of the late Bernhard Blumenberg are contesting the will which leave half of his estate to his widow Anna Blumenberg.  They claim that she could not have been their father’s wife since she had married Loeb Sigel who was still alive. She claims that they had been divorced.

    1893: Thirteen year old David Koblenzer delivered an address today in which he recounted the history of the Boys’ Yorkville Charity Society, a philanthropic organization begun Jewish youngsters in June of 1891.

    1893: Hyman Blum presided over the annual meeting of the Mount Sinai Hospital Society in New York City.

    1893: It was announced today that in September Princeton University will offer a $75.00 prize to the incoming junior who had the highest score on the Hebrew Examination. (They may not have liked the Jews, but they loved their language)

    1894(1st of Shevat, 5654): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    1894: Funeral services for Adolph L. Sanger, the President of the New York City Board of Education, will take place today at Temple Emanu-El

    1894: As the economic downturn in the United States continue to worsen the offices of the United Hebrew Charities on Second Avenue were so crowded that the clerks had to work “briskly” to deal with all of the requests for aid.

    1894: In an attempt to help those suffering as a result of the “Depression of 1893” Nathan Straus will begin selling coal at 25 per cent less than before.  This means that 25 pounds can be bought for a nickel and 100 pounds can be bought for 20 cents. Straus had already started selling fresh bake bread at reduced prices “at his sterilized milk depot.”

    1895: Establishment of the first "Israel Gymnastic Club" in Constantinople (Kushta), Turkey

    1895: During a strike by 200 cloakmakers in New York City, the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor withdrew its offer to give $10,000 to the United Hebrew Charities. The money was going to be used “pay” the strikers for their work as street-cleaners.

    1895: It was reported today that members of the Union League are not bothered by the fact that their last Jewish members has resigned.  Proving that they are snobs, as well as anti-Semites members of the league are opposed to admitting Henry Fricke, a partner of the powerful Andrew Carnegie, because he lives in Pittsburgh.

    1896: It was reported today that Rabbi Gottheil was one of several clergyman who responded favorably to the creation of the United Charities, an umbrella, inter-denominational organization meant to help the city’s destitute.

    1896: Among those who were reported today to have thanked President Theodore Roosevelt of the Police Board for services rendered was Isidor Struass who sent a letter to TR “thanking the board for” providing a special detail during the recent Charity Fair at Madison Square Garden.

    1896: It was reported today that rising shops belong to Dutch, German and Jewish merchants have been destroyed as a result of rising anti-German feeling among those living in London’s east end.

    1898: It was reported today that among those serving as directors of the newly created Brooklyn Hebrew Hospital Society are Morris Kotlowitz, Frank Baratt, Dora Kotlowitz and Annie Levy.
    1897: It was reported today that the Educational Alliance received over $25,000 in contributions last year but spent more than $52,000.  The deficit was covered by proceeds from a charity fair.  According to Isidor  Strauss, the President of the Alliance, Jewish people play a dominate role in managing the organization but it is strictly non-sectarian when it comes to providing services.

    1898: It was reported today that Solomon Loeber has purchased a lot on the corner of Second Avenue and 21st Street from the estate of Dr. Aaron wise on which he plans to build a seven story office building which he will give to the United Hebrew Charities as a headquarters.

    1898: Graduation exercises were held this evening at the Baron de Hirsch Trades Circles on East 9th Street.

    1898: Miss Julia Richman presided over the monthly meeting of the Jewish Religious School Union which was held at Temple Beth-El in Manhattan.  The main topic for discussion was providing the proper incentives for students.  Miss Richman expressed her opposition to artificial incentives except as expedients.  She feels that natural incentives are the key to educational success and that the use of artificial incentives will lead to the ruin of the character of a majority of the students.

    1899: President James H. Hoffman addressed the annual meeting of the “patrons and members of the Hebrew Technical Institute”
    1899: Five hundred people attended an evening of entertainment sponsored by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.  One hundred new members joined the league which provides financial support for the charity.

    1900: In Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia, to George Francis Baillieu and Agnes Sheehan gave birth to Margery Merlyn Bailliu who became Merlyn Myer when she married Sidney Myer (Simcha Baevski) the penniless Russian Jew who found the Myer retail company.

    1906: A meeting was held in the board-room of the Hampstead Synagogue for the purpose of inaugurating a North-West London branch of the Jewish Territorial Organization (ITO). Mr. Lucien Wolf presided. Mr. Wolf said the formation of this branch of the I.T.O. was a gratifying illustration of the way in which the movement was progressing among the Jewish community. He did not pretend that territorialism would be a panacea for all the ills Jewry was heir to, the essence of which was the position of the Jews in Russia. During the 20 years past attempts to solve the problem in Russia had been pursued by means of representations and petitions, but no step had been made towards emancipation. Meanwhile, emigration schemes had no perceptible effect in Russia and did very little to improve the social conditions of Jews, who through the operations of laws, formed new ghettos in the towns to which they were transferred and entering congested labor markets created an impression of numbers greater than they were and stimulated prejudice and Anti-Semitism. Then the late Baron de Hirsch conceived the idea of substituting colonization for emigration. Baron de Hirsch’s idea was to found colonies in new countries free from ghettos and Anti-Semitism, but his scheme had not the success hoped for. It attempted to work from above and did not enlist the enthusiasm or the sympathy of the people for whom it worked. Dr Herzl proposed territorialism and afterwards adopted Zionism as the only means of enlisting the almost fanatical enthusiasm of the Russian Jews. Zionism in turn failed and the I.T.O. came forward with the natural development of Dr Herzl’s scheme. The advantage was that they could begin at once upon territory wherever they could get it, and they had the opportunity of obtaining it in the British Empire. It is of great importance to get to work at once. Within the last few days the great Revolution in Russia had been crushed, and the emancipation of Russian Jews was more remote than ever. He felt bound to pay tribute to the gallantry and heroism with which their brothers and sisters in Russia had acquitted themselves in the heroic struggle of the last few months. (Hear, hear). [Ed. Note - In 1905 the question of a future Jewish state in Palestine split the Zionist movement. The breakaway Jewish Territorial Organization (known as the ITO) sought any land that was available within the British Empire as homeland for the Jewish people. The rest of the Zionist movement clung to the idea that Palestine was the only place for a Jewish homeland. . After the British Government, and then the League of Nations, declared support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the organization lost its appeal and by 1925 had disbanded.]

    1912:The Chicago Section adopted resolution to withdraw from Council of Jewish Women.

    1914(10th of Tevet, 5674): Asara B'Tevet

    1916: During World War I, Allied forces withdrew from Gallipoli marking the end of this ill-fated attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front by forcing their way through the Dardanellesand up the Balkans.  Among the forces withdrawn were the Zion Mule Corps, a Jewish military unit that was part of the British Army.  The Zion Mule Corps was the first Jewish unit to take action since the end of the SecondCommonwealth.  The Mule Corps was intended to be a supply unit.  However, the Mule Corps earned the respect of British army officers because they had to carry supplies to the front line under constant bombardment by Turkish forces.  The Zion Mule Corps was one of the progenitors of the modern I.D.F.

    1919: In Hungary, Bela Kuhn, a communist dictator, was disposed of with the help of Rumania and Admiral Nicholas Horthy. Since Kuhn was a Jew, all the Jews were accused of being communists. During the "White Terror" that followed, an estimated five thousand Jews were killed.

    1923: Birthdate of Joseph Wiezenbaum, a pioneer in the study of artificial intelligence.

    1923: Birthdate of comedian Larry Storch.

    1926: In Franklinton, NC, Irving and Sadie Supman gave birth to Milton Supman who gained fame as comedian Soupy Sales

    1926: Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud becomes the King of Hejaz and renames it Saudi Arabia.  The Saudis had been competing with the Hashemites for control over the holy places in Arabia.  With the ascendancy of the Saudis, the British were forced to find a “home’ for the Hashemites.  The Hashemite got two homes.  One son got the throne of the British invention known as Iraq.  The other Hashemite son got the throne of that other British invention, the Kingdom of Trans-Jordan later the Kingdom of Jordan.  Trans-Jordan was carved out of the British Mandate which was supposed to be part of the Jewish home under the terms of the Balfour Declaration.  This explains why some people think that the Arabs already have their state.  It is called Jordanand that is the proper PalestinianState.

    1926: Birthdate of Evelyn Shulman, the granddaughter of Cantor Savel Kwartin and the daughter of opera singer Nine Shulman, who gained fame as “Evelyn Lear, an American soprano who became a star in Europe in the 1950s and who later won acclaim in the United States for singing some of the most difficult roles in contemporary opera…” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1929: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that Meir Dizengoff has been chosen to serve as Mayor of Tel Aviv.  Dizengoff was one of the founders of the city and has previously held the position of Mayor.

    1932: In Austria, celebration of the 150th anniversary of the promulgation of the Toleration Decree of 1781 issued by Emperor Josef II under which the Jews of Austria were accorded civil and political equality.

    1932: In Brooklyn, NY, Pauline and Dr. Jacob Rosenblum gave birth to Morton Edgar Rosenblum who gained fame as “M. Edgar Rosenblum, an arts executive who helped steer the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven to prominence in the American theater landscape, developing work that traveled to Broadway and elsewhere and that won Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards along the way…” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1933(10th of Tevet, 5693): Asara B'Tevet

    1933: Birthdate of Warren Kenton, the London native who gained famed as Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, a leading teacher of Kabbalah who founded the Kabbalah Society which promotes the Toledano Tradition.

    1934(21st of Tevet, 5694):Serge Alexandre Stavisky passed away. Born in 1886 in the Ukraine, he was a French financier and embezzler whose actions created a political scandal that became known as the Stavisky Affair. In 1927, Stavisky was put on trial for fraud. However, the trial was postponed again and again and he was granted bail 19 times. Faced with exposure in December 1933, Stavisky fled. Today the police found him in a Chamonix chalet suffering from a gunshot wound.  Officially Stavisky committed suicide but there was a persistent speculation that police killed him. Alexandre Stavisky was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery.

    1937: Eugene Wigner,the JewishHungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician became a naturalized United States citizen.

    1939: In an article entitled “Solution of Problem Must Be based on Present, Not Past,” Anne O’Hare McCormick writes that the one thing that is clear “is that it is impossible to go back twenty years to solve the present problem under the terms of the Balfour Declaration or the promises made to Sharif Hussein in the McMahon correspondence.”  Among the changed realities are “the 400,000 Jews now settled” in Palestine and their “push and energy” which “are transforming the country at an astounding rate.” She goes on to describe the modernizing impact the Zionists have had on Jerusalem, the growth of Tel Aviv which “is one of the most extraordinary boom towns on earth.”  Finally she cites the creation of the port at Tel Aviv by a “people without experience in seafaring or maritime commerce” when the Arab uprising deprived the use of the port a Jaffa.  The Arab response has been one of resistance.  Ironically, long time residents of Palestine “find not only Palestine but also the Palestinians altered in the last five years (the period of greatest Jewish influx) than in the preceding century.” She concludes that the “Arab guerilla war is not independence” but for a halt to Jewish immigration even if this can only be accomplished with a prolongation of British rule.”

    1940: The body of State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler, who passed away yesterday, lay in state today at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

    1943: “The Thin Man,” produced by Himan Brown, returns to the airways sponsored this time by General Foods

    1943: Birthdate of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin), truly an Ashit Chayil, “A Woman of Valor.” A devoted wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, faithful friend as well as daughter and sister extraordinaire, Judy is a gift to all who are fortunate enough to be part of her life.  “And her children called her ‘Blessed’.” 

    1949: On the day following RAF intervention in the fighting between Israel and Egypt in which several British planes were shot down “British pilots were issued a directive to regard any Israeli aircraft infiltrating Egyptian or Jordanian airspace as hostile and to shoot them down, but were also ordered to avoid activity close to Israel's borders.”

    1953: When Prime Minister Churchill and President Truman dined at the British Embassy, Churchill impressed Truman with his vocal support of Israel and his criticism of Egypt for closing the Suez Canal to ships bound for Israel.

    1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that with the last piece of rock blasted away the new 88-km. Beersheba-Sdom road was opened. The road was expected to revitalize the Potash Works which had been inactive since the road north of the Dead Sea was cut during the 1948 war. Despite Israeli protests, Washington announced that it had no objections to the British plans to sell jet planes to the Arab states.

    1953: Leo Lerman, the Jewish editor and writer for such glossy fashion magazines as Vogue, Mademoiselle and Vanity Fairhelped discover a new European singing sensation at the Le Fenice opera house in Venice by the of name Maria Callas.

    1953: René Mayer becomes Prime Minister of France.

    1959(28th of Tevet, 5719): New York State Supreme Court Justice Albert C. Cohn passed away.  Unfortunately, for Judge Cohn, despite a distinguished career, he will be best remembered as the father of Roy Cohn

    1971: Today’s Bulletin described the annual meeting of Congregation Shaar Hasyomyim of Montreal where Dr. Charles Solomon, the President of the Congregation described the shaky financial situation followed by the approval by the Board of Trustees of a special assessment to be paid by each member which would raise $350,000 to be applied against the structural indebtedness

    1975(25th of Tevet, 5735): Richard Tucker passed away at the age of 61.  Born Reuben Ticker, he gained fame as a Cantor and as an operatic tenor.

    1978(29th of Tevet, 5738):Rose Luria Halprin one of the foremost American Zionist leaders of the twentieth century who served twice as the national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, held key posts within the Jewish Agency at critical periods in the history of the Yishuv and the subsequent State of Israel passed away today.

    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported from Washington the announcement made by US President Jimmy Carter that he was still opposed to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, as it could be used as a base for subversion against Israel.

    1978: Isaiah Sheffer “wrote down his idea for a place he had decided to call Symphony Space, in part because that was the name of the theater and in part because its first event was a symphony concert. After tens of millions of dollars raised and a decade of litigation, it became a complex of two theaters with a cafe, offices and a board directors.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1980:Park East Synagogue designated as a New York City Landmark. The structure was built on New York’s Upper East Side in the last decade of the 19thcentury for a congregation led by Rabbi Bernard Drachman.

    1982:As part of the breakup of AT&T, AT&T agreed to divest itself of twenty-two subdivisions. Judge Harold Greene, a Jew who fled Hitler’s German with his parents, presided over United States v. AT&T, the antitrust suit that broke up the AT&T vertical market monopoly on the telecommunications industry in the United States.

    1982: Birthdate of actress Gabby Hoffmann.

    1984 (4th of Shevat, 5744):In Netivot (southern Israel), Reb Yisroel Abuchatzeira, the Baba Sali passed away.  Rabbi Israel Abuchatzera known as "Baba Sali," was born in Tafillalt, Morocco in 1890, to the illustrious Abuchatzera family. From a young age he was renowned as a sage, miracle maker and master Kabbalist. In 1964 he moved to the Holy Land, eventually settling in the southern development town he made famous, Netivot. His graveside in Netivot will become a holy site visited by thousands annually.

    1986, New York City teachers elected long-time teacher advocate Sandra Feldman president of the city's United Federation of Teachers (UFT). “

    1991(22nd of Tevet, 5751):Harold J. Mason, a seller of rare books and a publishing company executive passed away today at the age of 64.Dr. Mason, a native of Brooklyn, held bachelor's and master's degrees from Emory University and a doctorate in library science form Columbia. He was with the Kraus Reprint Company before co-founding the Greenwood Press in Westport, Conn., in 1966. In 1973 he established a company in his own name in Norwalk, Conn., selling antiquarian journals and magazines. He is survived by his wife, the fomer Selma Werner; two daughters, Lori Reisman of Ventura and Dione Katz of Tel Aviv; a brother, Robert, of Washington and three grandchildren.

    1991: Israel deported four Palestinians to Lebanon today, less than 24 hours after they had dropped their final legal appeals. The four, suspected of being leaders of an Islamic fundamentalist group in the Gaza Strip, were flown handcuffed and blindfolded to southern Lebanon, dropped off at the edge of Israel's self-declared security zone and then ordered to march north toward a Lebanese Army checkpoint. There they offered angry, threatening statements to waiting Lebanese journalists and then made their way to Beirut.

    1992: Israel and China are expected to establish diplomatic relations for the first time during a trip by Foreign Minister David Levy to Beijing toward the end of the month, senior officials here said today. Although Israel was quick to recognize the People's Republic of China after the Communist revolution in 1949, the countries never developed diplomatic relations. But they have long had trade, scientific and other contacts that include arms sales by Israel to China that are said to total several billion dollars.

    2000(1stof Shevat, 5760): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    2001: Jack Abramoff left Preston Gates to join the Government Relations division of the Washington, D.C. law firm Greenberg Traurig. “With the move to Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff took as much as $6 million worth of client business from his old firm, including the Marianas Islands account. At Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff recruited a team of lobbyists known familiarly as "Team Abramoff". The team included many of his former employees from Preston Gates and former senior staffers of members of Congress.”

    2003:Today, Israeli forces killed a gunman in the Golan Heights, Israel Radio reported. The Israeli military said the man was killed and another was captured during a clash with armed men who were crossing into Israeli-controlled territory near the Syrian and Jordanian borders.

    2006: Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Suskind, author of The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill, was the special guest speaker at the United Jewish Community of Broward County's annual Major Gifts Event in Fort Lauderdale.

    2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster, The Reason I Wont Be Coming: Stories by Eliot Perlman,Busting Vega$: The MIT Whiz Kid Who Brought the Casinos to Their Knees by Ben Mezrich and newly released paperback editions of Seven Types of Ambiguity by Ellot Perlman, The Speakeasies of 1932 and Hirschfeld's Harlem by Al Hirschfeld, Pragmatism, and Democracy by Richard A. Posner and  Amos Oz’s Tale of Love and Darkness a “richly layered memoir that chronicles the life of one of Israel's most acclaimed novelists. Tracing his ancestors back to 19th-century Ukraine, Oz weaves his family's history into the broader story of World War II, the rise of the Israeli state and the death of the socialist-Zionist dream. Oz returns often to his mother's suicide in 1952, when he was 12: the wound shapes his self discovery and the story of how he became a writer.”

    2007: New York magazine, published an article entitled “Mall Menorah Smackdown” which told the tale about “dueling rabbis struggling over who gets to spread the faith to newcomers in the gentrifying area around Atlantic Yards.” “A turf war has erupted between two Lubavitch rabbis claiming dibs on the rapidly gentrifying brownstone neighborhoods that surround it. In one corner is Rabbi Ari Kirschenbaum, who showed up in ProspectHeightsthree years ago to revive a decrepit Orthodox synagogue in the neighborhood, and recently opened what he has dubbed the Brooklyn Jewish Community Center in a donated space over a former laundromat. His rival is Rabbi Tali Frankel, who is backed by his wife’s powerful uncle, Rabbi Shimon Hecht of Park Slope.”

    2008: “A scaled down London revival” of the Jerry Herman musica., “La Cage aux Folles, opened at the Menier Chocolate, in London.

    2008(1st of Shevat, 5768):.  According to tradition 1 Shevat, 2488 marked the start of Moshe’s dissertations that compose the Devarim (Book of Deuteronomy). 

    2008(1st of Shevat, 5768): Lieutenant General Moshe Levy, the 12th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) passed away.  Born in Tel Aviv in 1936, he was person of Misrahi origin to serve as Chief of Staff. 

    2009: As part of the Spiritual Journeys series, at the 92nd Street Y Rabbi Joyce Reinitz, the spiritual leader of the Society of Jewish Science in Manhattan and psychotherapist facilitates a noon time presentation styled  “Feminine Reflections on the Rhythms of Our Lives: Tevet—Illuminating the Miraculous.”

    2009 (12th of Tevet, 5769):Two IDF officers and a soldier were killed today as the IDF penetrated deeper into urban centers in the northern Gaza Strip. Maj. Ro'i Rosner of the Kfir Brigade's Haruv Battalion was killed and another soldier was lightly wounded, when a Hamas man fired an anti-tank missile at them as they conducted searches near the Kissufim crossing into the Strip.Capt. Omer Rabinovitch, 23, of Arad, was killed in the close-quarter firefights in Zeitoun. Sgt. Amit Robinson, 21, a tank crewman from Kibbutz Magal, south of Baka al-Gharbiya, was killed by a sniper, also in northern Gaza. His parents made aliya from Argentina.

    2009:Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a barrage of at least 30 rockets at southern Israel today, just hours after the United Nations passed a resolution calling for an immediate truce between Israel and Hamas.

    2009:Three Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon struck Nahariya, one of which slammed into a retirement home. Two people were lightly wounded.

    2009: The comrades of Private David Sher, the 8thAustralian soldier killed in Afghanistan while fighting the Taliban, hung a Star of David above his casket as it was prepared to be sent to Melbourne for burial.

    2010: Brit of Nathan Zachary Silber son of David and Rebecca Silber and grandson of Dr. Robert “Bob” and Laurie Silber, pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community and all around great guys.

    2010: An exhibition is scheduled to open at Ben Uri Gallery: The London Jewish Museum of Art that includes “Apocalypse,” the “a previously unknown 1945 gouache by Mac Chagall.”  Painted in New York, “Apocalypse shows a naked Christ screaming a Nazi storm trooper below the cross who has a backwards swastika on his arm, a Hitler-like mustache and serpentine tail.”  This is one more example of Chagall using “an image of a crucified Jesus…as a metaphor for persecuted Jewry

    2010:Israel has taken the upper hand in a new kind of Mideast conflict, one in which bullets are replaced by chickpeas. Using a satellite dish on loan from a nearby broadcast station, chefs in Abu Ghosh today whipped up more than 4,000 kg. of humous, adding a Guinness world record to the Arab town's reputation for hospitality and harmony.


    2011: The 10th Red Sea Classical Festival in Eilat comes to a close.

    2011:Nadav Kohen is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah at Agudas Achim in Iowa City, IA.

    2011:Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum who “fears that without pluralism, Israel will become ‘a state alienated from itself’” is scheduled to give two talks at Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex, Caldwell, NJ, entitled “Israeli Female Rabbis and the Challenges of 5771” and “Feminine Voices: Halacha and The Public Square.”

    2011:Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, Arizona’s first Jewish congresswoman,was in critical condition after being shot in the head. “Giffords was outside one of her signature "Congress at your corner" events outside a Safeway in Tucson, the district she represented, when a gunman approached and shot her in the head. The gunman, identified by media as Jared Lee Loughner, shot 17 people, killing six of them, including a 9-year old boy and a federal judge, John Roll. The gunman was tackled and arrested. Doctors said Giffords was expected to survive, although it was not yet known what her condition would be. Giffords was elected to Congress in the Democratic sweep in 2006. The first Jewish woman elected to Congress from the state, she made her Jewish identity part of her campaign. “If you want something done, your best bet is to ask a Jewish woman to do it,” said Giffords, a former state senator, said at the time. “Jewish women — by our tradition and by the way we were raised — have an ability to cut through all the reasons why something should, shouldn’t or can’t be done and pull people together to be successful.” Giffords, 40, was raised "mixed" by a Christian Scientist mother and Jewish father, but said that after a visit to Israel in 2001, she had decided she was Jewish only. She attended services at a local Reform synagogue. Giffords fought a hard election this year, against the national anti-incumbent, anti-Democratic mood. She tacked to the right of her party on immigration, saying border security was of primary consideration. The election was called in her favor weeks after the vote. Giffords' office had been vandalized in March, after she voted for health care reform. Friends said she had received threats for her positions on health care and for opposing her state's new law allowing police to arrest undocumented immigrants during routine stops. According to preliminary reports, 18 people were shot and six people are dead including a senior federal judge and a nine year old child.  So far, no mention has been in the national media of the fact that Giffords is Jewish and no attempt has been made to link her religious beliefs or support of Israel to the deadly assault.

    2011(3rd of Shevat, 5711):Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, was killed in the mass shooting at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's Congress on the Corner event. Zimmerman, a former social worker, was Giffords's director of community outreach and the organizer of the meet-and-greet event.Zimmerman was Giffords's point of contact for constituents in the district. It was a great fit: Zimmerman had a degree in social work, natural empathy and an extroverted personality, those who knew him said. Zimmerman was a Tucson native. He had worked for Giffords since her first campaign in 2006. He was engaged to marry a nurse and was an avid runner, friends said. Zimmerman had worked with Giffords since her first congressional race in 2006, the Arizona Daily Star reports, and his friends described him as having a natural talent at working with other people. Gabe Zimmerman in 2009 (Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans)He received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master's in social work from Arizona State University. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Ross Zimmerman, step-mother Pam Golden, brother Ben Zimmerman, and fiancée Kelly O'Brien.

    2011:Today four mortar shells fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza landed in a kibbutz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, wounding three foreign agricultural workers – one of them seriously. The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Quds Brigades, took responsibility for mortar fire that injured three agricultural workers. In a statement on its website, the group said that "it is the resistance's right to act against any Zionist aggression against our people."

    2011(3rd of Shevat, 5771): Eighty-two year old “Alexis Weissenberg, a charismatic Bulgarian-born pianist known for his thundering aggressiveness and rational detachment at the keyboard, and for his unapologetic defense of those traits in interviews” passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg is scheduled to be shown at the Salisbury Film Festival at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD.

    2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Mobile Jewish Film Festival in Mobile, Alabama.

    2012: A display of Chanukah menorahs designed by Bronx-based silversmith Bernard Bernstein which has been part of the New York Historical Society’s Chanukah celebration is scheduled to come to an end.

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Breakdown” by Sara Paretsky, “Henrich Himmler” by Peter Longerich, “Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich” by Robert Gerwarth, “A More Perfect Heavan: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos” by Dava Sobel and “Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief and Small Boats” by Roger Rosenblatt.

    2012:IDF soldiers captured close to a dozen pipe bombs at the Salem Crossing near Jenin in the northern West Bank today, thwarting what appears to have been a major terrorist attack, possibly against a nearby military court. Four Palestinians were arrested at the crossing and were found to be in possession of 11 pipe bombs, a homemade pistol and a commando knife.


    2012: The Jerusalem District Court today indicted five right-wing activists suspected of involvement in the so-called 'price tag' attack on the IDF's Ephraim Division military base last month. Jerusalem district prosecutors accused the suspects of collecting important military intelligence, conspiracy to riot, entering a closed military zone and direct involvement in the attack on the Ephraim Brigade base. The five suspects were named as Akiva Pinchas Hacohen, 27, from Yitzhar, Elad Meir, 36, from Machrasha, Ephraim Moshe Chaykin, 18, from Jerusalem, Meir Etinger, 18, from Jerusalem and David Tzvi Eliyahu, 17, from Jerusalem. They were arrested in Jerusalem's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood approximately three weeks ago.


    2013:Seth Chernoff is scheduled to have a discussion and signing of his new book Manual For Living: Connection, A User’s guide to the Meaning of Life at American Jewish University in Los Angeles.

    2013: Three shorts – Reality Check, Martha Must Fly and Shalom – are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Seventieth anniversary of the birth of Judy Levin Rosenstein זיכרונה לברכה

    2013: The Associated Press reported today that "the consensus now among some U.S. officials involved in the case is that despite years of denials, Iran's intelligence service was almost certainly behind the 54-second video and five photographs of Robert Levinson that were emailed anonymously to his family.

    2013: Rabbis from the Rabbis for Human Rights-North America board are scheduled to deliver a copy of a letter,expressing concerns about settlement expansion in the E-1 Corridor to the Israeli Embassy in Washington today.  The letter contains the signatures of 720 Rabbis and rabbinical students.

    2013: "Traffic resumed in both directions of Tel Aviv’s main highway, the Ayalon freeway, this afternoon, hours after the road was closed along with other major arteries due to heavy rains that caused waters to rise near road-level."

    2013:"The Israeli Navy was sent into the coastal city of Hadera late tonight to help rescue residents stranded by massive flooding."

    2014: Professor Steven Kennedy is scheduled to deliver a second lecture on “Leonard Bernstein: From Jewish Roots To Broadway” which looks at the legacy of the multi-talented musician whose Jewish identity was such that he conducted the symphony in Tel Aviv while Israel was fighting for its independence.

    2014: “Wild West Hebron” and “Pulse” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    0 0

    January 9

    681: Erwig, the Visigoth King of what is now Spain convened the 12thCouncil of Toledo which would enact a variety of measures detrimental to the Jews living in Iberia.

    1180:  Philip Augustus (the new king of France) arrested large numbers of Jews while his father, Louis VII, who tried to protect the Jews (though not always successfully) was still alive. All the Jews found in synagogue on the Sabbath were arrested. Philip agreed to free them for 15,000 silver marks.

    1324:  Explorer Marco Polo passed away. Marco Polo told of meeting Chinese Jews in his 1286 journey to China

    1349: On an island in the RhineRiver, seven hundred Jews of BaselSwitzerland were burned alive in houses especially constructed for that purpose. Their children were spared from the burning but were forcibly baptized instead. The first Swiss persecution of the Jews took place in Bern, where the Jewish community was accused of having murdered a Christian boy named Rudolf (Ruff). They were expelled from Bern but then allowed to return shortly after.

    1554: Birthdate of Pope Gregory XV.Gregory strongly supported the censorship of Hebrew books by the Catholic Church. During his papacy, the Roman Inquisition appointed three different men to serve as “expurgators of Hebrew books.

    1570: The Inquisition was established in Peru.

    1779: During the American Revolution, Lewis Bush, a Jewish Philadelphian, became a 1st Lieutenant of the 6thPennsylvania Battalion.

    1788: Connecticutbecame the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Jews have been a part of Connecticut since colonial times.  The Pinto family was one of the most prominent during the Revolutionary War.  Solomon Pinto was one of four brothers who fought in the war. The wounded veteran was one of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati, a Revolutionary War veterans’ organization.  Today Jews make up about 3 per cent of the state’s population and is home to the Hebrew High School of New England. Many people know the name of Joe Lieberman, the first Jew to run for Vice President on the ticket of a major national party.  To an earlier generation, the name Abe Ribbicoff was of equal importance.  At a time when Jewish national political leaders were still rare, Ribbicoff was by turn, governor, Senator and Secretary of H.E.W. under John Kennedy.

    1810 (4th of Shevat, 5570): Rabbi Abraham of Kalisk passed away. Born in 1741, he was a controversial figure in the 3rd generation of Chassidic leaders. In his youth, he was a study partner of Rabbi Elijah "the Gaon of Vilna", who led the initial opposition against Chassidism; but later Rabbi Abraham himself joined the forbidden kat ("sect", as the Chassidic movement was derisively called by its opponents) and became a disciple of Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezeritch, the successor to Chassidism's founder, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. After Rabbi DovBer's passing in 1772, much of the opposition to Chassidism was directed against Rabbi Abraham's disciples, who, more than any other group within the movement, mocked the intellectual elitism of the establishment's scholars and communal leaders; even Rabbi Abraham's own colleagues were dismayed by the "antics" of some of his disciples. In 1777, Rabbi Abraham joined the first Chassidic "aliyah", in which a group of more than 300 Chassidim led by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk immigrated to the Holy Land. Rabbi Abraham passed away in Tiberias on the 4th of Shevat of the year 5570 from creation (1810 CE).

    1821: Birthdate of Senator William Sharon who left $5,000 to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in San Francisco when he passed away.

    1843: Birthdate of Elizabeth Rose Cohen, oldest sister of famed musician Frederic Hymen Cowen.

    1851: In Cayuga County, New York, District Attorney Theodore M. Pomeroy began presenting the state’s case in the trial of John Baham who is accused of murdering Nathan Adler, a Jewish peddler from Syracuse.

    1863(18th of Tevet, 5623):Julius Lettman, died today of wounds fighting for the Union at the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro. He was buried at the Temple Cemetery in Nashville, TN the nine acres of which remain the primary place of interment for the Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom—the city’s oldest.

    1870: Birthdate of Joseph Strauss.  The Cincinnati born and educated engineer was the Chief Engineer for the construction of San Francisco’s Golden GateBridge.

    1870: It was reported today that The Jewish Messenger is now in its fourteenth year of publication.

    1873: Emperor Napoleon III of France passed away. Jews played an open role in French society during the time dominated by Napoleon. Achille Fould served as minister and political advisor to the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte.  During the debate about the nature of the monetary system that took place during Napoleon’s reign the Pireire brothers (Sephardic Jews) favored paper money while Alphonse de Rothschild defended preservation of France's bimetallism system. In 1870, Napoleon’s French government granted the Jews of Algeria French citizenship. Among his mistresses was Elisa Rachel Felix, better known as Mademoiselle Rachel, the young Jewess who was one of the most prominent performers of her time. But Napoleon’s greatest impact on the Jewish people would be indirect.  His foolish war with Prussia resulted in the emergence of the German Empire, created the anger that would lead to World War I that then led to World War II.

    1873:At the request of the Grant Administration, Abraham de Sola delivered opening prayer at the House of Representatives.  [For some strange reason we remember Grant’s unfortunate Order #10 while overlooking items like this.]

    1873: Birthdate of Chaim Nachman Bialik.  Born in a Ukrainian village, fatherless at the age of seven, raised by a strict Orthodox grandfather, Bialik became the father of Modern Hebrew poetry.  While Herzl, Ben-Gurion and others were busy creating Zionism in the political sphere, Bialik was one of those giving birth to the Zionist dream in the field of culture.  When he began writing his poetry in Hebrew, it was still a language of the Bible - the holy tongue not to be used in modern parlance.  Bialik used Hebrew to express modern feelings and emotions, yet always tied back to his Jewish roots. He is variously described as the "poet laureate of the Jewish national movement" and "Israel's National Poet."   He gained early fame for his two poems written after the Kishinev Pogrom in 1903 - The City of Slaughter and On the Slaughter.  In his poems he attacked the mobs who had slaughtered the Jews.  But he also called upon the Jews to resist future attackers.  So powerful were his words, that they helped the modern Zionist movement develop its ethic of self-defense. According to some critics, two of his greatest poems are "MeteiMidbar" (Dead of the Desert) and "Megillat Ha'esh" (Scroll of Fire). He passed away in 1934 and his home in Tel Aviv was converted into a museum named in his honor.  

    Bialik in his own words:

    "Reading a poem in translation is like kissing a woman through a veil." 

    "Each people has as much heaven over its head as it has land under its feet." 

    "Say this when you mourn for me:
    There was man -- and look, he is no more.
    He died before his time.
    The music of his life suddenly stopped.
    A pity!  There was another song in him.
    Now it is lostforever." 

    1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute “was incorporated today by Leo Schlesinger, Gustavus A. Goldsmith, James H. Hoffman, Solomon Woolf, Jacob Korn, Otto Moses and Manuel A. Kursheedt.”

    1886: Birthdate of Ida Kaganovich the native of Russia who as Ida Cohen Rosenthal became a co-founder of Maiden Form, the first company to make modern bras.

    1878: During the Russo-Turkish War, the fourth and final stage of the Battle of Shipka Pass ended with a Russian victory.  According to three Russian Generals the Jewish soldiers demonstrated “dauntless courage…at the Shipka Pass. According to them, “in one instance, a call for twenty-five men to engage in a forlorn hope was answered by thirteen Jewish soldiers.”

    1879: In Paris, American circus performer Edward de Forest and his wife, the former Juliette Arnold gavie birth to Maurice Arnold de Forest, who along with his younger brother Raymond would be adopted “by the millionaire Baroness Clara de Hirsch, née Bischoffsheim, wife of Jewish banker and philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch de Gereuth, and given the surname de Forest-Bischoffsheim.”

    1887: President Hoffman presided over the annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute which was held today at Temple Emanuel.

    1889: Approximately 300 children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum are scheduled to see a performance of “Little Lord Fauntleroy” thanks to the generosity of Mr. Sanger who manages the Broadway Theatre.

    1891: It was reported today that annual meeting of those supporting the Hebrew Technical Institute will be held in New York City next week.

    1893: It was reported today that 88.61% of the 3,159 patients who were admitted to Mt. Sinai Hospital last year were “treated gratuitously” meaning that only 11.39% were “pay patients.”  The hospital has treated 43,674 patients since its founding. (more for 2014)

    1893: It was reported that the Boy’s Yorkville Charitable Society, an organization started by a group of Jewish boys ranging in age from 11 to 15 had raised $160 through their various activities in 1892 which they had divided among various groups dedicated to helping the needy.

    1894: Secretary Nathanial S. Rosenau was quoted today as saying that the work of the United Hebrew Charities “has a multiplicity of ends.”  To meet these ends requires having “a corps of mid-wives,” “25 physicians who give free treatment and free medicines” and seven clerks for an employment bureau that is “constantly busy” having found for employment for “500 persons in November and December.”
    1894: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities is one of the agencies that will share in the proceeds from an upcoming benefit concert to be held at the Metropolitan Opera House.

    1895: It was reported today that claims that the Pale has been abolished are “premature.”

    1896: It was reported today that the Young Folk’s League of the Hebrew Asylum will hold its first social activity of the season next week.

    1898: At the conclusion of the 14th annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute  which was held on the top floor of the Tuxedo Building at 59th and Madison, “it was announced that Mrs. Esther Herman” had given the school an unconditional gift of $10,000.

    1898: “The dedication of the new home for the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at 861 Lexington Avenue which was a gift of Jacob H. Schiff took place this afternoon.”

    1898: It was reported today that a corner lot on First Avenue in New York has been purchased for the use of an unidentified Jewish charitable institution.

    1898: The band from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is scheduled to perform at ball sponsored by the Ladies Aid Society at Congregation Ansche Chesed.

    1898: It was reported today that J. Earnest G. Yalden, the Superintendent of the Bard de Hirsch Trade School in New York City presented diplomas to forty graduates of the school

    1899: It was reported today that “the Court of Cassation” which is the court of last resort in France, “is convinced that Dreyfus was justly condemned.”

    1899: Mrs. Esther Wallenstein, President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum filed a complaint at the Morrisania Police Court charging John Buchanan and Paul Beneson with trespass and disorderly conduct at the asylum’s building one 162ndStreet and Eagle Avenue

    1899: It was reported today Professor Richard Gottheil of Columbia University delivered a lecture entitled “Palestine” at a recent function hosted by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society

    1899: It was reported today that supporters of the Hebrew Technical Institute had raised $50,501.87 during the past year to support the institution.  Jacob H. Schiff made a special contribution of $5,000 which will help to meet the needs of boys who would have had to leave the school because of their impoverished circumstances.

    1902: Birthdate of Rudolph Bing manger of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

    1903(10th of Tevet, 5663): Asara B'Tevet

    1903(10th of Tevet, 5663):Baron Henry de Worms (Lord Pirbright) passed away today.  Born in London in 1840, he was “third son of Solomon Benedict de Worms, a baron of the Austrian empire. He was educated at King's College, London, and became a barrister in 1863. As Baron Henry de Worms he sat in the House of Commons as Conservative member for Greenwich from 1880 to 1885, and for the East Toxteth division of Liverpool from 1885 to 1895, when he was created a peer. He was parliamentary secretary to the Board of Trade in 1885 and 1886 and from 1886 to 1888, and under-secretary of state for the colonies from 1888 to 1892. In 1888 he was president of the International Conference on Sugar Bounties, and as plenipotentiary signed the abolition treaty for Great Britain. He became a member of the Privy Council in the same year. He was a royal commissioner of the Patriotic Fund, and one of the royal commissioners of the French Exhibition of 1900. His works include: "England's Policy in the East" (London, 1876), "Handbook to the Eastern Question" (5th ed., London, 1877), "The Austro-Hungarian Empire" (2d ed., London, 1877), "Memoirs of Count Beust" (ib. 1887).In 1864 he married Fanny, daughter of Baron von Tedesco of Vienna, and in 1887, after her death, Sarah, daughter of Sir Benjamin Samuel Phillips.” (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)

    1904: The New York Times featured a review of Zionism and Anti-Semitism by Max Nordau, Officer d' Academie, France, and Gustav Gotthell, Ph.D.

    1908(5th of Shevat, 5668): Abraham Goldfaden died at the age of 67. Born in 1840 in what was then part of the Russian Empire, Golfaden was a driving force in the Yiddish theatre during its golden period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He was an author, composer (yes, there were musicals), director and producer.  He worked in several countries in Europe before settling in the United States for the last time in 1903.  He was the author of sixty theatrical works, some of which are enjoying renewed interest with the current renaissance of Yiddish Literature.  One of his early comedies was called Shmendrik "whose title-hero was the proverbial gullible, good-natured schlemiel.  The play was so popular, that the word Shmendrik became part of the Yiddish language and survives today in American slang.  The music for the famous Yiddish lullaby "Rozhinkes mit Mandlen," (Raisin and Almonds) is a product of one of Goldfaden's musicals. Goldfaden was so famous at the time of his death that he rated an obituary in the New York times that referred to him as "the Yiddish Shakespeare," who was "both a poet and prophet."  Furthermore, wrote the Times, "…there is more evidence of genuine sympathy with and admiration for the man and his work than is likely to be manifested at the funeral of any poet now writing in the English language in this country."  We may not recognize his name today, but 75,000 people "attended his funeral procession that went from the People's Theater in the Bowery to WashingtonCemetery in Brooklyn."

    1908: In Little Rock, Arkansas, for the sum of $8,000 the Orthodox congregation purchased their own building at the corner of 8th and Louisiana. This was the first official home of Agudath Achim Synagogue. 

    1913: Birthdate of Richard M. Nixon.  As the leader of the Right Wing of the Republican Party, Nixon was not popular with most Jewish voters.  While he did have Jews working for him (William Safire, Leonard Garment and Henry Kissinger) Nixon’s anti-Semitic comments are a matter of public record.  From the point of view of many of his Jewish opponents Nixon’s saving grace came when he came to the aid of Israelduring the darkest days of the Yom Kippur War.  Without his efforts, the IDF would not have received the material and supplies that were critical in defeating the Egyptian and Syrian sneak attack. (“No man is all good or all bad.  But sometimes you have to look real hard.”)

    1916: Eighty-two year old Edward Levy-Lawson, 1st Baron Burnham, a British press lord whose power stemmed from his ownership of the Daily Telegraph, a paper bought by his father Joseph Moses Levy, passed away today.

    1917: British forces defeated the Turks at the Battle of Rafa on the border between Egypt and Ottoman Palestine.  The British victory was a prelude to the move of British forces into Palestineand other parts of the Ottoman Empire.  The British forces fighting in Palestine would include Jewish regiments.  The British victories would be critical to eventual implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the realization of Herzl’s dream.

    1918: “ Behind Walls” by Henri Nathansen had its first performance in the United States at the German Irving Place Theatre in New York City.  The drama which was originally walled “Hinter Mauren” revolves around the marriage between a Jew and a Gentile.  Nathansen is a Dane.

    1921: Birthdate of composer, pianist and cellist Seymour Barab.

    1922: Birthdate of Hans-Josef Gumperz, the native of Hattingen, Germany who fled the Nazis and gained fame as linguist John Joseph Gumperz.

    1922:Sir Edgar Speyer issued a statement responding to the report and rebutting the Home Office's Certificates of Naturalization (Revocation) Committee’s interpretation of the facts. He stated that he had been advised of the committee's investigation in 1919 and, after considerable delay by the Home Office, had persuaded it to carry out an investigation in America into allegations made against his conduct there. These investigations, he stated, had demonstrated that the allegations were false, but, after he returned to Britain for the formal hearing in 1921, a further series of allegations were presented regarding his business transactions. Speyer stated that the issues involved were of a trivial nature and were similar to those encountered by other British banks which had traded without censure. He stated that "the whole thing is neither more nor less than the culmination of years of political persecution. The Home Secretary simply dared not give me the vindication to which I was entitled." He challenged the government to publish the evidence presented, and "to point to a strip of material evidence that would induce any fair-minded man to support the monstrous conclusions of this report. 

    1925: Birthdate of Gurion Joseph Hyman, a “Canadian Jewish Anthropologist, Linguist, Pharmacist, Composer, Artist, and Translator. Primary contributions have been (a) liturgical compositions for the Passover Haggadah and Sabbath prayer service, (b) translations into English as well as the setting to music of several internationally acclaimed Yiddish poets, (c) an (ongoing) project to write an etymological dictionary of Yiddish, and (d) proprietor of the second branch of Hyman's Book and Art Shoppe.”

    1927:  Houston S. Chamberlain passed away.  Born in Britainin 1855, Chamberlain eventually settled in Germanywhere his writings were quite popular.  Chamberlain was noted for his works about the Aryan Race and the superiority of German culture.  Chamberlain was popular with Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolph Hitler.  Hitler called him “The Prophet of the Third Reich.”

    1928: Birthdate of Judith Krantz.  Born in New York, she is the author of Scruples, I'll Take Manhattan,Princess Daisy and Dazzle.

     1938: The Palestine Post reported on various shooting incidents in Jerusalem, Kalkilya and Nablus. A delegation of Polish Jews met the British ambassador in Warsawand expressed their anxiety over the reports that a permanent minority status for the Jews in Palestine was under consideration. Similar fears were expressed in a telegram sent by the French section of the Jewish Agency to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

    1938: In article entitled “Palestine Modernized” George Brandt describes Tel Aviv as being the “most spectacular of the modern achievements in Palestine.” With a population of well over 100,000 “the world’s newest city is also its most modern.”  As Brandt “rode through Tel Aviv’s well-paved streets” he “felt as though” he “were in the world of Well’s ‘Things To Come.’”  He concludes that “the greatest enemy of young reborn Palestine is the desert.  Will be be pushed back by the new forces or will it in years to come be the eventual victor.

    1940: A throng of 2,500 people attended the funeral of State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Fankenthaler which was held this afternoon at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson and Cantor Moshe Rudinow officiated at the service.  Senator Robert Wagener delivered  the eulogy. New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and former Governor Al Smith, who were honorary pallbearers, were among the many dignitaries who attended the service.

    1941(10th of Tevet, 5701): Asara B'Tevet

    1941: The Jews of Warsaw were forbidden to greet a German in public.

    1941:  Six thousand Jews exterminated in a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania

    1941: Nazi police break into a house in the Warsaw Ghetto, force the women inside to undress, and prod their breasts and genitals with pistols.

    1941: Adolf Hitler officially abandoned the planned invasion of Great Britain.  This meant that the Jews of Great Britain would be spared the horrors of the Holocaust.  Unfortunately for the Jews of the Soviet Union, this meant that the Nazis would turn their time and attention to the invasion of that country which would take place in June of 1941. 

    1942: The Nazis deported 1,000 Jews from Theresienstadt and sent them to Riga. Only 102 would survive the war.

    1942:  The Nazis took 1,000 Jews from Klodaw to Chelmno and gassed them to death.

    1943: Jews in the Netherlands are no longer allowed to have bank accounts. Instead, all Jewish money is put into a central account.

    1943: Germans apprehend, torture, and kill 20-year-old Jewish partisan Emma Radova.

    1943: The British magazine New Statesman urges that Jewish refugees be allowed at least temporarily into all nations, including 40,000 more into Palestine.

    1943: In Germany, clothing taken off of the dead Jews were given to the German People's Winter Aid Campaign. The group complained that the clothes were soiled and stained with blood. Furthermore, the Jewish stars had not been removed.

    1948: As the siege of Jerusalem continues, a British police driver was killed when his armored car hit an Irgun roadblock.

    1950: The government of Israelrecognizes the People's Republic of China

    1951 In the Negev, founding of Kfar Yeruham which became the modern town of Yerhum in 1962. “Yeruham is the site of Tel Rahma, dating back to the 10th century BCE. On the outskirts of Yeruham is an ancient well, Be'er Rahma (באר רחמה). Some archeologists have identified it as the well where the biblical Hagar drew water for her son Ishmael.”

    1951: Shlomo Zalaman Shragai, a member of the National Religious Party was chosen as Mayor of Jerusalem.  This marked the end of the public career of Daniel Auster, “who was known as the ‘first Hebrew mayor of Jerusalem.’”

    1953: The Jerusalem Postreported extensively on the bitter dispute raging between the Mapai and Mapam factions at Kibbutz Ein Harod. Members of the respective parties came to blows and only police arrival saved the kibbutz, already suffering from economic demise, from extensive damage. Henry Byroade, of the U.S. State Department, invited all Arab states to join the newly created Anglo-American Mediterranean Defense Alliance.

    1956:  Abigail Van Buren's "Dear Abby" column appeared for the first time

    1957: Jacob K. Javits completed his term as New York State Attorney General.

    1957: In case of Jew follows Jew, Jacob K. Javits begins serving as U.S. Senator filling the seat that had been held by Herbert H. Lehman.  Javits was a Republican. Lehman was a Democrat.

    1957: British Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigned, citing health reasons.  The real reason Eden resigned was because of the failure of his policy in the Middle East.  He had sought to unseat President Nasser of Egypt by joining with the French and Israelis in the Suez Campaign of 1956.  During the 1930’s, Eden had been one of the few English politicians who saw the threat that Hitler posed to the peace of Europe.  At the same time, according to some, Edenwas one of those who opposed any attempts to rescue the Jews of Europe once the war had begun.

    1961: Emily Greene Balch passed away.  Balch was the first Quaker to win the Noble Prize for Peace.  She won in 1946.  One of those who nominated her was Judah Magnes of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  “During the 1930s she aided Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. Initially she opposed WWII because she opposed all war in general, but she supported USentry into the war in 1941. Balch saw Nazism as the personification of evil and a threat to humanity that had to be stopped.”

    1974: The National Council of Jewish Women pledged to work to help Syrian Jewry, calling Syria's acts against the Jews as "…degradation and inhuman restrictions."

    1977: NBC is scheduled to broadcast a three-hour long made for television movie based on the Raid-on-Entebbe starting at approximately 8 pm eastern time following the completion of the Super Bowl.  Peter Finch will play Prime Minister Rabin and Yaphet Kotto will play President Amin.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin warned Egyptthat Israel might rescind the peace proposals giving all the Sinai back to Egyptif Cairo did not permit Israeli settlements to remain there. In that case, Begin added, Israelcould demand territorial changes in 1967 borders. The cabinet, however, declared that there would be no more any new settlement activity in Sinai.

    1990 (12th of Tevet, 5750):Shlomo Pines passed away. Born in 1908, he was a scholar of Jewish and Islamic philosophy, best known for his English translation of Maimonides'Guide to the Perplexed.

    1991: Egyptian newspapers reported today that President Hosni Mubarak warned Israel this week to stay out of the conflict, saying he would revise his policies on the crisis if Israel became embroiled.Mr. Mubarak's comments reflected worries in many Arab countries that Israeli military involvement could transform the crisis into an Arab-Israeli dispute, splintering the anti-Iraqi Arab coalition.

    1992: The French weekly Paris Match reported today that the second and final autopsy on the body of Robert Maxwell showed numerous bruises, indicating that the British publisher was probably beaten before his death. But that conclusion was disputed by one of the pathologists who conducted the autopsy in Israel.
    1992: In an article entitled “For Young Readers, Picasso Not Bunnies” published today, Trish Hall describes the wacky, wonderful world of Maira Kalman, the Tel Aviv native who has become a popular  children's book author and illustrator whose fans include a growing number of adults.

    1992: Conservative columnist William Safire’s wrote a column entitled “Strongly Condemn” in which he took issue with the increasingly hostile policy the Bush is administration is pursuing towards the state of Israel.

    1995: Gonen Segev replaced Moshe Shahal as Minister for Energy and Water Resources.

    1996: Tony Bullimore, who was clinging to “a rigid-hulled inflatable boat” from the capsized Exide Challenger, was rescued by crew members of the HMAS Adelaide. Bullimore was a Sephardic-Jewish yachtsman born at Bristol before the start of WW II.

    1997:Opening day of the Red Sea International Music Festival.  In what the sponsors call a move to foster peace in the Middle East, the Festival, for the first time will take place, in both Israel and Jordan.

    2003:Amid reports of illegal activity by Prime Minister Sharon coming on the eve of Israeli election Haaretz is scheduled to publish a report today stating that Likud, which had once been projected to win 40 of the 120 seats in the election for Parliament on January 28, now seems likely to win only 27, while the Labor Party could get 24. 

    2003:Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel has rebuffed Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal appeal to reconsider Israel's decision to keep Palestinian negotiators from attending a British-sponsored conference in London next week, officials said today. The Israeli decision was the result of terrorists attack in Tel Aviv on Sunday that has claimed the life of at least 22 Israelis.  Groups allied with Chairman Arafat have taken credit for the attack.

    2003: Tonight Prime Minister Sharon held a nationally televised news conference to assert that he was a victim of an ''attempt to seize power through lies.'' About 10 minutes into his speech, the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Mishael Cheshin, ordered Israel's three television channels and two radio stations to halt their broadcasts. Seventy-nine year old

    2004(15th of Tevet, 5764):Seventy-nine year old Nissim Ezekiel, an Indian born “Jewish poet, playwright, editor and art critic” who was a major cultural force in post-colonial India passed away today.

    2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of  And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frankby Steve Oney.

    2006:  The Wolf Foundation announced today that an American, an Israeli and an Italian will receive prestigious Wolf Prizes this year. The prize which is to be awarded in a Jerusalem ceremony in May will be shared by Ada Yonath, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, and George Feher, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, the foundation said in a statement. Also, Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto will receive the 2007 Wolf Prize in the arts. Each prize is worth $100,000. Yonath, 67, was awarded the prize for her work in understanding the production of proteins. "Her work paves the way to dealing with the crucial issue of drug activity and resistance mechanisms," the statement said. Feher, 82, is to receive the award for his research on photosynthesis, "revealing the basic principles of light energy conversion in biology." Pistoletto, 73, will be honored for "his ability to come up with new possibilities and to encourage the application of imagination to artistic and social change." His work with various media establishes "a system for communication between art and every other human activity." The Israel-based foundation was established by Ricardo Wolf, a German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist who spent the last years of his life as Cuba's representative in Israel, where he died in 1981. The statement said prizes are awarded "for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples." Since 1978, 232 scientists and artists have received prizes.

    2006 (9 Tevet):Yahrzeit of Ezra Hasofer and Nechemia.

    2006 (9 Tevet):Yahrzeit of Rabbi Ezra HaNavi, Tosafist, Kabbalist, Teacher of the Ramban,.

    2008: George W. Bush made his first trip to Israelas President of the United States.  Arabs responded with a series of rocket attacks from Gaza.

    2008: The first episode “The Jewish Americans” airs on PBS.  The three episode series traces the history of the Jews in America starts with the arrival of the first 23 Sephardic Jews in New Amsterdam in 1654 and “ends with Maisyahu, the Chasidic hip-hop star, one of about six million Jews in America today.” 

    2009: Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” opens at the Shattered Globe Theatre.

    2009: Dutch Jews are scheduled to hold a rally at The Hague in support of Israel.

    2009:After a relatively quiet night, Palestinians in Gaza resumed rocket fire on the western Negev this morning. Four Palestinian rockets struck the city of Ashkelon, according to Israel Radio. Three Israelis were injured lightly, and 19 were treated for shock.
    2010: Jews all over the world begin reading Shemot, the Book of Exodus.

    2010:Adas Israel hosts the Winter Swing Dance featuring Swing Speak and a free dance lesson with Tom and Debra of, Washington, DC's most popular swing dance instruction & promotion Company.

    2010: “The Kosher Cheerleader” starring Sandy Wolshin, the former Oakland Raider Cheerleader who converted to Orthodox Judaism, in an autobiographical one woman show opens in Phoenix, AZ.

    2011: The Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues is scheduled to present a program entitled “Arab Citizens of Israel -- Challenges and Opportunities: A Community Education Day” at the Washington DCJCC.

    2011: In Iowa City, the Sisterhood of Agudas Achim is scheduled to host a Wine and Tapas Party complete with an auction and door prize.

    2011:Israeli choreographer Deganit Shemy is scheduled to bring together a group of colleagues for an afternoon of solos and an excerpt of Shemy's recent work at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

    2011(4th of Shevat, 5771): Fifty-nine year old “Debbie Friedman, a singer and songwriter whose work — which married traditional Jewish texts to contemporary folk-infused melodies — is credited with helping give ancient liturgy broad appeal to late-20th-century worshippers, died on today in Mission Viejo, Calif.”(As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: Israeli bulldozers demolished the Shepherd Hotel today. It had originally been built in the 1930s as a villa for Haj Amin al-Husseini, then the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who notoriously aligned himself with Hitler.

    2011: According to reports published today,Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, who in 2007 officiated at the wedding of Ms. Giffords and Capt. Mark E. Kelly and who leads Congregation Chaverim in Tucson, said the congresswoman had never expressed any concern about her safety.”

    2011: Prosecutors accused Jared Lee Loughner…of five serious federal charges today including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, for his role in a shooting incident that left 20 people wounded, six of them fatally, yesterday morning.  According to court documents filed in the United States District Court in Phoenix, the authorities seized evidence from Mr. Loughner’s home showing that he had planned to kill Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona’s only Jewish member of the House of Representatives. Ms. Giffords, a Democrat, remained in critical condition at University Medical Center in Tucson today. Her doctors said she was able to respond to simple commands, and they described themselves as “cautiously optimistic.”

    2011:More than 100 people crowded into a special healing service for Representative Gabrielle Giffords at Congregation Chaverim, where she was married three years ago, for a tearful ceremony. Ms. Giffords’s rabbi, friends and admirers gathered to pray for a swift recovery and to honor a woman many described as an inspiration.

    2011:A US Department of Homeland Security memorandum reportedly notes the fact that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a Jew may have a factor in the motives of the Arizona congresswoman's alleged assailant. FOX News, reporting on the memorandum it obtained tonight, said that “strong suspicion is being direceted (sic) at American Renaissance,” an organization the shooter Jared Loughner referenced on the Internet, and said that federal law enforcement authorities are investigating Loughner’s possible links to American Renaissance.

    2011(4th of Shevat, 5771):Benny Hesse, 67, director of a chevra kadisha (communal burial society) in Haifa for more than 20 years, was shot to death outside his home today by several attackers in a killing that some have speculated may have been related to internal disputes among burial groups over allocation of burial plots.

    2012:The Ronen Shmueli Jazz Quintet is scheduled to perform at Beit Avi Chai.

    2012: Cecile Kuznitz is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The History of YIVO” that “will consider YIVO’s educational initiatives such as the Aspirantur, Pro-aspirantur, and teacher training courses in Vilna, as well as efforts to transplant them to New York in the wake of the Holocaust.”

    2012: MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) poured a cup of water on her colleague MK Raleb Majadele (Labor) during an argument at a heated Knesset Education Committee debate this morning. The argument erupted after MK Danny Danon (Likud) called for the dismissal of the principal of a school in the Negev town of Arara, who took students on a human rights march held in Tel Aviv last month.

    2012: Jack Lew, an Orthodox Jew who currently serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget has been named White House Chief of Staff by President Obama, replacing William Daley. 

    2013: In Los Angeles, Temple Beth Am is scheduled to host “Israel Elections 2013”  which will examine the “parties and the players” as well as the “issues and opinions” surrounding Israel’s general upcoming Knesset elections.

    2013: Opening night of the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: A signing ceremony creating a brain research center under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Max Planck Society is scheduled to take place today the Giva Ram campus in Jerusalem.

    2013: “Lies in the Closet” is scheduled to shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Festival.

    2013: At long last, the much-anticipated snow arrived in Jerusalem today after days of heavy rains and fierce winds that caused power outages and widespread flooding.

    2014: “When Jews Were Funny” and “Lonely Planet” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Blancanieves” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host the opening of “Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights,” an exhibition that highlights her career as an opponent of apartheid and her “enduring friendship with the late Nelson Mandela.”

    2014: The 129 Modern Language Association Annual Convention is scheduled to open today in Chicago where it will discuss moves to enforce BDS aimed at Israel (Editor’s Note -Boycott, sanctions, divestiture is considered by some to be pure anti-Semitism since similar moves have not been made against Russia, China or Turkey which has occupied a portion of Cyprus since its invasion in 1974.)

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    January 10

    49 BCE: Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war. Caesar’s opposition was led by Pompey, the Roman who defiled the Holy of Holies, mocked the Jewish religion and shipped thousands of Jewish slaves to Rome. On the other hand, once Caesar had won the war, he allowed the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, instituted a taxation system that took the sabbatical year into consideration and made it possible for the Jews living in the Italian peninsula to form into communities. The Jews living under Caesar must have thought him to be at least the “lesser of two evils” if not a “good guy” since Romans of the time took note of the unusual grief displayed by the Jews when he was assassinated by Brutus and his cohorts.

    1072: Robert Guiscard conquers Palermo, Sicily. His new subjects certainly included at least some Jews. By the time the Norman warrior took control of the Sicilian city, Jews had been living on the island for at least 400 hundred years since records exist of letters being written to Pope Gregory I whose papacy ended in 604, about the conditions of the Jews living in Sicily. Conditions for the Jews would later deteriorate when the Crusaders stopped at the Island and by the start of the 15th century Jews would be living in Ghettos.

    1276: Pope Gregory X passed away. During his papacy Gregory acquiesced to a request by the Jews and issued a bull “which ordained that they were not to be made by brute force to undergo baptism, and that no injury was to be inflicted upon their person or their property.”

    1728(Tevet, 5488): Rabbi David Nieto passed away in London. Born in Venice in 1654, Nieto was the Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community in London, later succeeded in this capacity by his son, Isaac Nieto. He first practiced as a physician and officiated as a Jewish preacher at Livorno, Italy. There he wrote in Italian a work entitled "Paschologia" (Cologne, 1702), in which he dealt with the differences of calculation in the calendars of the Greek, Roman, and Jewish churches, and demonstrated the errors which had crept into the calendar from the First Council of Nicaea until 1692. In 1702 Nieto succeeded Solomon Ayllon as ecclesiastical chief of the Portuguese Jews in London; and two years after his settlement in that city he published his theological treatise, Della Divina Providencia, ó sea Naturalezza Universal, ó Natura Naturante (London, 1704). This work provoked much opposition against him; and it was used by his opponents as ground for accusing him openly of Spinozism, which at that period was equivalent to atheism. However, Tzvi Ashkenazi, who was called in as arbitrator, decided in his favor (Hakham Tzvi, Responsa, No. 18). Nieto was a powerful controversialist. In his Matteh Dan, or Kuzari Heleq Sheni (London, 1714), written in Hebrew and Spanish on the model of the Kuzari of Judah ha-Levi he defended the Oral Torah against the Karaites, and showed that the contradictions of the Talmud lay not in essentials but in externals. ("Karaites" here does not refer to the historic Jewish sect of that name, of whom there were none in Western Europe, but to Jewish dissidents such as Uriel Acosta who cast doubt on the Oral Torah.) He waged war untiringly on the supporters of the Shabbethaian heresies, which he regarded as dangerous to the best interests of Judaism, and in this connection wrote his Esh Dat (London, 1715) against Hayyun (who supported Shabbetai Zevi). Nieto was one of the most accomplished Jews of his time and was equally distinguished as philosopher, physician, poet, mathematician, astronomer, and theologian. A prolific writer, his intercourse with Christian scholars was extensive, especially with Ungar, the bibliographer. Nieto was the first to fix the time for the beginning of Sabbath eve for the latitude of England.

    1784: Louis XVI of France abolished the poll-tax on Jews in Alsace-Lorraine. This tariff, the same as for market animals was paid by Jews who wished to enter certain cities. The poll tax had been instituted in many countries in Europe, dating back as far as the Roman Emperor Domitian (93CE) though it was only adopted in Europe in the 14th century.

    1791: King Leopold II of Hungary approved the bill passed by the Diet protecting the rights of the Jews.

    1798: Anti-Jewish riots took place in Ancona, Italy

    1801: Birthdate of Isaac ben Jacob Benjacob, Russian born “bibliographer, author, and publisher”

    1807: In London, Rabbi Solomon Hirschel delivered a sermon today warning Jews against sending their children to a free school that had been opened by the London Missionary.

    1833 Felix Mendelssohn's "Die erste Walpurgisnacht" premiered in Berlin. While this may have been a grand day for the world of music, it was a sad one for the Jews. Felix Mendelssohn was the Lutheran grandson of Moses Mendelssohn. For some, the fate of Felix Mendelssohn was proof of the dangers of the teachings of Moses Mendelssohn.

    1845: Birthdate of William Henry Hechler, the Anglican minister who fought against anti-Semitism, promoted Zionism and was a close personal friend and advisor to Theodor Herzl.

    1846: The installation of Dr. Max Lilienthal, as Chief Rabbi of the three congregations of German Jews, (Anshay Chessed, Shaaray Shamayim, Rodef Shalom) took place today, which was Shabbat, in New York City at the Henry Street Synagogue. "The fact of his having been unanimously elected for this important office, argues well for the true religious spirit which pervades the above congregations."

    1847: Birthdate of Jakob Heinrich Schiff, the native of Germany who gained fame as Jacob Henry Schiff, the New York City financier and philanthropist.

    1849: Eleven men, including Friedman Kohn, Henry Strauss, Carl Abales, Charles Heyneman, Abraham Posner, Lazarus Lobel, Herman J. Goldsmith and Isaac Hamburger formed the first lodge of the Free Sons of Israel which they name Noah Lodge No. 1 in honor of Judge Mordecai M. Noah

    1854(10th of Tevet, 5614): Asara B'Tevet

    1859: Birthdate of Nahum ben Joseph Samuel Sokolow, the native Wyszogród, Poland who gained fame as author, journalist, Zionist and promoter of modern Hebrew, Nahum Sokolow.


    1860: Today's City Intelligence column reported that “The efforts which have been made to raise a fund for the suffering Jews and Protestants at Gibraltar have met with great success. It is estimated that $10,000 will be sufficient to load a vessel at this port with such provisions and clothing as would be most acceptable to the destitute multitude which is so badly in need of food and clothing.” Those being helped were probably refugees from the fighting that resulted from Spain’s invasion of Morocco in 1859.

    1861: Florida seceded from the Union. At the time of secession, David Levy Yulee, one of the Senators representing the Sunshine State and the first Jew elected to the U.S. Senate withdrew from that body and joined a similar institution of the Confederacy. Yulee married a Christian and his children were raised in the faith of his wife. David Camden DeLeon, who gained famed in the Florida’s Seminole Wars, would leave the U.S. Army and be named the first Surgeon General of the CSA.

    1875: The New York Times featured a review of “Remains of Lost Empires” by P.V.N. Myers and H.M. Myers that includes a sketch of Palmyra which owes it creation to King Solomon. Known in the Bible as “Tadmor in the Wilderness, the “City of Palms” has a more interesting and chequered history than such famous ancient cities as Babylon or Ninveh.

    1881: Birthdate of Irma R.M. Peixotto, the native New Yorker who was the daughter of Daniel Levy Maduro Peixotto and the granddaughter of Moses Levy Maduor Peixotto.

    1883: Publication of the first edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. (Editor’s note – 131 years later the Gazette would continue to be a locally owned independent newspaper providing, among other things, the kinds of stories about religion and culture that dispel ignorance and promote harmony and understanding.  The Gazette has a history of covering stories about Jewish customs and ceremonies on the local level.  For example, when the Gazette did a story about the foods of Passover, an editor came to a Seder hosted by a local family and then published reminisces and recipes.  The Editorial Page publishes letters, guest columns and op-ed pieces on the dangers of anti-Semitism and the dangerous challenges faced by Israel.  Jews and non-Jews alike are the beneficiaries of the efforts of those who work so hard to provide a vanishing treasure – independent, locally owner, quality journalism.)

    1884: Father Marie Theodor Ratisbonne, who had converted to Christianity at the age of 22 passed away today.  His conversion was an extreme example of changes in religion by western European Jews who felt the baptismal font was the only path to full acceptance.

    1884: “Will of Julius Hallgarten” published today described the various bequests made by the late Jewish financer. The estate was valued at over three million dollars. Besides making providing for the financial needs of his family, he left bequests to a variety of educational institutions including Yale, Harvard and Columbia as well as Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Asylum Society.  In a move that was unique in its day (and even more unique today), Hallgarten made provision for each of the clerks working for his company to receive an amount equal to 20% of their annual salary.

    1886: The Passover Relief Society sponsored a ball in Tammany Hall as a fund raiser under the direction of Mrs. Rosendorff.

    1890: Birthdate of Russian born physicist Grigori Landsberg. Landsberg graduated from Moscow University in 1913. His primary scientific contribution was in the fields of optics and spectroscopy. He was a co-discoverer of inelastic scattering of light used in Raman spectroscopy. He passed away in 1957.

    1892: It was reported today that London has become so cosmopolitan that “a Russian Jew…dressed in his native garb is hardly noticed…”

    1892: James J. Hoffman, President of the Board of Trustees presided over today’s annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute at 36 Stuyvesant Street.

    1893:L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, runs an article by Jesuit Father Saverio Rondina called "Jewish Morality" in which Rondina wrote, "The Jewish nation does not work, but traffics in property and work of others; it does not produce, but lives and grows fat with the products of the arts and industry of the nations that give it refuge. It is the giant octopus that with its oversized tentacles envelops everything. It has its stomach in the banks... and its suction cups everywhere: in contracts and monopolies... in postal services and telegraph companies, in shipping and in the railroads, in the town treasuries and in state finance. It represents the kingdom of capital... the aristocracy of gold. ...It reigns unopposed."

    1894: Birthdate of Uri Zvi Greenberg. Born in Poland to a Chasidic family, Greenberg gained fame as a poet who wrote in both Yiddish and Hebrew. Originally a favorite of the Labor Zionists, Greenberg became a supporter of Jabotinsky. During the thirties, he was one of those who warned the Jews of the dangers presented by Hitler and the Nazis. While he was able to escape his family perished. He was a right wing member of the Knesset. While his political views were viewed as extreme, his value as a poet was unquestioned. In 1957 he was honored with the Israel Prize. Greenberg’s belief that the Covenant with Abraham, later renewed with the Jews at Sinai, is the basis of Jewish being” infused both his art and his politics. He passed away in 1981.

    1895: In Bobruysk, Zvi Luzinski and Esther Seldovitch gave birth to Kadish Luzinski who gained fame as Israeli political Kadish Luz who served as Speaker of the Knesset for 10 years, from 1959 to 1969.

    1896: It was reported today that during December of 1895, the United Hebrew Charities spent over fourteen thousand dollars to meet needs of those who applied for aid. In addition to providing clothing, shoes and lodging, the Employment Division found employment for 531 of its 750 applicants and training in sewing and dressmaking for 234 young ladies.

    1896: As part of the ongoing attempt by some to convert Jews to Christianity, the American Mission to the Jews will open a new mission house today in New York City.

    1897: German born, British financer and businessman Gustav Christian Schwabe passed away. At the age of six he was forcibly converted to the Lutheran religion.

    1897: It was reported today that $38,537.12 had been donated to the Hebrew Technical Institute during its first year of operation and expenses were $34,658.66 for the same period.  The school offered six classes in various vocational courses which had an average attendance of 86 boys.

    1897: Jacob H. Schiff presented the Young Men’s Hebrew Association with a new home at 861 Lexington Avenue, New York.

    1897: It was reported today that Judge M.S. Isaacs complimented the graduating class of the Baron de Hirsch Trade Schools on their work after which each of the youngsters received his own set of tools and a tool-chest that had been made by the carpentry students.

    1898: The closed door trial of Ferdinand Esterhazy which the German spy had requested to clear his name began today.

    1898: Birthdate of Russian film director Sergei M Eisenstein.

    1898: According to figures published today, there are 210 students enrolled in the Hebrew Technical Institute which is an increase of 20 students from last year.

    1899: Dr. Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine, an orthodox Jewish Russian scientist from the Pasteur Institute, established the Haffkine Institue which is located in Mumbai, India.

    1899:Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire resigned as president of the Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation “when he accused the Criminal Chamber of conspiring with Piquart and” favoring a review of the Dreyfus Trial.

    1904: Savannah’s Mickve Israel joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations

    1906: William Rainey Harper the namesake of the library at my Deborah Dorfman’s alma mater – The University of Chicago and the author “The Return of the Jews from Exile” (9/1/1899) and “The Jews of Babylon” (8/1/1899) passed away.

    1912: The New York Jewish community made arrangements for a course of lectures to be given by Miss Dona Saruya on Jewish dietary laws at Teachers' College.

    1917: Birthdate of music producer Jerry Wexler. Yes, the man who brought you music all the way from Aretha Franklin to Bob Dylan is Jewish.

    1917: Jacob H. Schiff, banker and philanthropist celebrated his seventieth birthday today.

    1919: Birthdate of Milton Parker who will bring long lines and renown to the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan with towering pastrami sandwiches and who, as a voluble partner will kibitz with common folk and celebrities alike. He will record his exploits in How to Feed Friends and Influence People: The Carnegie Deli – A giant sandwich, a little deli, a huge success.

    1920: The U.S. House of Representatives refused to all Victor L. Berger take his seat as the elected Congressman from Wisconsin’s 5th District. The refusal was based on the fact that Berger was a member of the Socialist Party

    1920: The League of Nations holds its first meeting, and ratifies the Treaty of Versailles, therefore ending World War I. The most significant fact of the day was the absence of the United States from the League. This absence was proof positive of America’s retreat to a policy of Isolationism that was a contributing factor to the start of World War II.

    1920: Birthdate of Max Patkin known as “the Clown Prince of Baseball.” Patkin, who passed away in 1999, is honored with a place in the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

    1922(10th of Tevet, 5682): Asara B'Tevet

    1923: Lithuania seizes and annexes Memel. Memel had been part of the German Empire before WWI. The Germans lost control under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. How Lithuanian came to control Memel is too convoluted a tale for this blog. The Jews of Memel who would number 9.000 by the start of World War II, were trapped between the Lithuanians, who ran the city's government, and the Germans, who were a majority. After Hitler rose to national power in Germany in 1933, the Nazis began campaigning for the city's return to Germany. This campaign included anti-Jewish riots and other anti-Semitic actions. In October 1938 the local Nazis called for the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws in Memel; at the end of that year the Nazis won 26 of 29 seats in the city's parliament, effectively making Memel part of Germany. German troops entered Memel in March 1939. Many of the Lithuanians and almost all of the city's Jews had managed to escape to Kovno and other nearby towns before the invasion. However, after the Nazis took over Lithuania in mid-1941, they destroyed those Jews along with the rest of Lithuanian Jewry. When Memel was liberated by the Soviet army in January 1945, not one Jew remained.

    1924 (4th of Shevat, 5684): The former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Elyachar Haim Moshe, passed away at the age of 80.

    1927: Fritz Lang's “Metropolis” premieres. German born film director Lang had a Catholic father and a Jewish mother. His mother converted to Catholicism and he was raised as a Catholic. When Hitler came to power, Lang was offered a prominent position in the German film industry. Lang turned down the offer and eventually fled Germany. He felt that the regime would eventually turn on him because he was “half-Jewish.” This experience led him to become a staunch anti-fascist and anti-Nazi

    1928: Birthdate of Philip Levine, two time winner of the National Book Award for Poetry and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1995 for “Simple Truth.”

    1928: The Soviet Union ordered the exile of Leon Trotsky.

    1928: George and Ira Gershwin’s musical "Rosalie" premiered in New York City

    1929: “Street Scene,” a play by Elmer Rice (born Elmer Leopold Reizenstein), opened at the Playhouse Theatre in New York City on and ran for a total of 601 performances. The action of this ambitious, groundbreaking play takes place entirely on the front stoop of a New York City brownstone and in the adjacent street in the early part of the 20th century. It studies the daily and complex lives of the people living in the building (and surrounding neighborhood) and their sad, often tragic interactions. It won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The main characters are Anna Maurrant, dealing with issues of infidelity; Rose Maurrant, her daughter, who struggles with the demands of her job and boss and her attraction to a Jewish neighbor, Sam Kaplan; Frank Maurrant, the domineering and sometimes abusive husband and father of Anna and Rose; Sam, a caring and concerned neighbor in love with Rose; and many other neighbors and passersby.

    1932: In Brooklyn, Rabbi Simon R. Cohen celebrated his 25th anniversary as the spiritual leader of Union Temple.

    1934(23rdof Tevet, 5694): Fifty-six year old George Anselm Alphone Rothschild, the older son of Albert Salomon von Rothschild passed away in a private mental hospital today without ever marrying which meant he produced no heir.

    1936: Birthdate of Alvin "Al" Goldstein “an American publisher and pornographer who founded the pornographic magazine Screw in 1968.” “In his book XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without a Shul, Luke Ford writes about a conversation he had with Goldstein. During this conversation he asked Goldstein why the porn industry contained so many Jews. Goldstein answered, "The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don't believe in authoritarianism." Ford then asked, "What does it mean to you to be a Jew?" To which Goldstein responded, "It doesn't mean shit. It means that I'm called a kike." Ford also asked, "Do you believe in God?" Goldstein said, "I believe in me. I'm God. Fuck God. God is your need to believe in some super being. I am the super being. I am your God, admit it. We're random. We're the flea on the ass of the dog."

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the ongoing citizenship rights revision in Romania could affect the bulk of the Jewish population. It had already deprived many Jewish physicians of their right to practice medicine. An Arab police constable was seriously wounded by an Arab terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem. Major J.B. Paget, a veteran combatant of the British Armed Forces who once served in Palestine, published in Britain the so-called "Paget Plan," according to which he recommended the establishment of an independent Jewish kingdom in Palestine, under the Duke of Windsor, as hereditary king and ruler. (According to British tradition the Duke of Windsor was the hundredth in direct descent from King David.)

    1938: Forty-three year old British archaeologist James Leslie Starkey who was “the first chief excavator of the first archaeological expedition at Lachish “was robbed and killed by Arab bandits near Bayt Jibrin on a track leading from Bayt Jibrin to Hebron.” (Editor’s Note – Lachish is one of the most ancient cities in Eretz Israel with its fist Biblical mention coming in the Book of Joshua.  One cannot overstate the importance of Archaeology to the Jewish people or the role that many non-Jews played in this endeavor which has provided validation for many of the Biblical tales as well as the ancient ties of the Jewish people to their homeland)


    1939: Birthdate of writer William Levy. Known as the Talmudic Wizard of Amsterdam and Dr. Doo-Wop, Levy is the author of such works as The Virgin Sperm Dancer, Wet Dreams, Certain Radio Speeches of Ezra Pound and Natural Jewboy. Mr. Levy attended the University of Maryland and Temple University and taught in the literature department at Shippensburg State College, in Pennsylvania. In 1998, Mr. Levy was awarded the Erotic Oscar for writing at London's Sex Maniac's Ball. Mr. Levy's alter-ego, Dr. Doo Wop, can be heard weekly spinning groovy music across Amsterdam's airwaves. Mr. Levy currently lives in Amsterdam with his wife, the literary translator Susan Janssen.

    1939: Birthdate of self-described Conservative activist, David Horowitz.

    1940: Rabbi Koretz of Salonica, the man who succeeded Rabbi Uziel as chief rabbi of Salonica, was among the candidates who submitted applications to the Tel Aviv committee responsible for selecting a new Chief Sephardic Rabbi. Just three years later Salonica Jewry would be wiped out, and Koretz would be found communally guilty of holding back knowledge of the Germans plan to murder the Jews.

    1941: Dutch Jews register with German authorities representing the Nazi occupiers.

    1943: In the Generalgouvernement, several thousand Jews who had left forest hiding places on November 10, 1942, after a Nazi promise of safe passage, are betrayed. Most are transported to Treblinka and gassed. The rest of them are sent to labor camps at nearby Sandomierz and Skarzysko Kamienna.

    1943: Four hundred Jews who resist their German overseers at the Kopernik camp in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland, are burned alive in their barracks

    1944 (14th of Tevet, 5704): Victor Basch and his wife, Ilona Basch (née Helene Furth) aged 81,were taken from their home in Lyon and assassinated by Joseph Lecussan und Henri Gonnet of the anti-Semitic Vichy French Milice Française under orders of the regional chief Paul Touvier. For most of his life he had been a professor at the Sorbonne who support the Zionists and opposed the fascists.

    1945: Today, while appearing before Cairo’s supreme military court, two Palestinian Jewish youths, who are generally believed to belong to a right-wing terrorist organization with which a great majority of Zionism vigorously dissociates itself, confessed to the premeditated murder last of Lord Moyne on November 6, 1944. The accused were identified as Eliahu Bet-Tsouri a 23 year old surveyor from Tel Aviv and Eliahu Hakim from Haifa. In court today, the prosecutor demanded that the death sentence be imposed on the two accused.

    1946(8th of Shevat, 5706): Harry Von Tilzer a very popular United States songwriter born in 1872, passed away today in New York City. Von Tilzer was born in Detroit, Michigan under the name Aaron Gumbinsky which he shortened to Harry Gumm. He ran away and joined a traveling circus at age 14, where he took his new name by adding 'Von' to his mother's maiden name 'Tilzer'. Harry soon proved successful playing piano and calliope and writing new tunes and incidental music for the shows. He continued doing this in Burlesque and Vaudeville shows for some years, writing many tunes which were not published or which he sold to entertainers for 1 or 2 dollars. In 1898 he sold his song "My Old New Hampshire Home" to a publisher for $15, and watched it become a national hit, selling over 2 million copies of the sheet music. This prompted him to become a professional songwriter. He was made a partner of the Shapiro Bernstein Publishing Company. His 1900 number "A Bird In A Gilded Cage" became one of the biggest hits of the age. Von Tilzer became one of the best known Tin Pan Alley songwriters. In 1902 Von Tilzer formed his own publishing company, where he was soon joined by his younger brother Albert Von Tilzer. Harry Von Tilzer's hits included "A Bird in a Gilded Cage", "Cubanola Glide", "Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie", "Old King Tut", "All Alone", "Mariutch", "I Love My Wife, But Oh You Kid!", "They Always Pick On Me", "I Want A Girl Just Like The Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad", And The Green Grass Grew All Around and many others.”

    1947: As part of their on-going program to deny Jews the right to enter Eretz Israel, the British took two ships of "illegal" immigrants to Cyprus.

    1948: Birthdate of Mischa Maisky. A native of Riga, Maisky is a cellist who won the 1966 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In 1970, he was imprisoned in a labor camp near Gorky for 18 months. After his release in 1972, he immigrated to Israel to avoid further persecution by the Soviet regime. Later, he moved to Belgium. In his performing and recording career, Maisky has worked in long-standing partnerships with and conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

    1948: The British released casualty figures for the last six weeks (covering the two weeks before the Partition vote and the month since Partition was adopted) showing 1069 Arabs, 769 Jews and 123 British casualties. The percentages are disproportionate given the large number of Arabs.

    1948: The Arab Liberation Army, based in Syria invaded Eretz Israel. This was part of the war waged against the Jews by the Arabs between the partition vote in November, 1947 and the actual date of British departure in May, 1948. The Arabs were determined to destroy the Jewish state before it was even born. Nine hundred Arab soldiers attacked the Jewish settlement of far Szold which was defended by a force numbering less than 100. “When the British Ambassador in Damascus protested to the Syrians about their role in the attack on Kfar Szold, the Syrian Prime Minister replied ‘Pretty soon the Arab armies will teach the Jews a lesson they will never forget.’”

    1949: “The Goldbergs”, the first television show about a Jewish family premiered on CBS. The show was based on the hit radio program that had begun back in 1929 called The Rise of the Goldbergs. Both shows starred Gertrude Berg in the lead as the “Jewish Mother,” Molly Goldberg. The show took place in Brooklyn and began with Molly calling out the window to her neighbor with the signature line “Yoo hoo Mrs. Bloom.”

    1951: American author and Nobel Prize winner, Sinclair Lewis passed away. An anti-totalitarian, he saw the danger in the rise of Hitler. Only a year after the Nazis had reached power by constitutional means in Germany, Lewis wrote It Can’t Happen Here in “which he showed how a similar fascist takeover might very well happen here in the sober, God-fearing USA.”

    1957: Louis Lefkowitz begins serving as the 59th New York State Attorney General.

    1957: Anthony Eden resigns and Harold Macmillan becomes PM Britain. Eden’s government fell as a result of the British involvement in the ill-fated Suez Crisis when an Anglo-French military force joined with the Israelis to fight Egypt in 1956. The Israelis wanted to end the terrorist attacks coming from Gaza and the Sinai. The Europeans were seeking to regain control of the Suez Canal and unseat the Gamal Nasser, President of Egypt and militant Pan-Arabist. The Soviets and the Americans under President Eisenhower thwarted the British and French efforts. The clumsy, timid British military action ended Eden’s time as Prime Minister.

    1960: Delmore Schwartz was awarded the Bollinger Prize for poetry.

    1961: Mystery writer Dashell Hammett author died from throat cancer at the age of 66. Hammett was not Jewish but he is the one who took the term “shamus” and moved it into the English language as a term referring to a private detective

    1971: "Light, Lively & Yiddish" closed at the Belasco Theater in New York City after 87 performances

    1972(23rd of Tevet, 5732): Al Goodman died at the age of 81. This Russian born Jewish musician was best known as the orchestra leader for the NBC Comedy Hour, a live Sunday night television show that was quite popular in the 1950’s

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that "belt tightening" was the keynote of the annual budget speech, made in the Knesset by Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich. He made it clear that 1978 would not be an easy year ­ neither for the economy, nor for the individual. He hoped, however, for a brighter 1980. The budget was sharply denounced by the Bank of Israel which said that it must be trimmed, as otherwise it would steeply increase inflationary pressures. In spite of the advanced Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations which could end in a total surrender of the whole Israel-occupied Sinai area, plots for private housing at Yamit were reported to be selling very fast to numerous prospective investors.

    1979: Billy Carter, brother of President Jimmy Carter makes allegedly anti-Semitic remarks

    1982(15th of Tevet, 5742): Lazar Weiner, prolific composer of Jewish and Yiddish music, died at 84

    1987: Israeli jets rocketed Palestinian targets near Sidon today, and shellfire from Christian militiamen shut down the Beirut airport again. Palestinian guerrillas, many loyal to Yasir Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, hold strategic positions around the village of Maghdusheh. The Israeli attack followed the firing of a rocket into northern Israel on Tuesday. The rocket damaged a building, but Israeli military censors did not allow publication of other details about the attack, for which the P.L.O. took responsibility. In Tel Aviv, a military spokesman said today that the targets near Maghdusheh were the ''headquarters of Palestinian organizations used for staging terror attacks.''

    1989: During the Intifada,  2 Palestinian girls died today of head wounds from Israeli gunfire, bringing to four the number of Palestinian teen-agers who have been killed in the last 36 hours

    1991: Israel moved palpably closer to a war footing today as the Defense Ministry and other officials alerted citizens that conflict in the Persian Gulf now appeared likely, and that they should begin preparing for a possible Iraqi attack. The military, already on high alert for the last several months, raised its level of readiness even more by calling up selected reserve air force and intelligence specialists. And civil defense officials began preparing an urgent public information campaign "to start giving more information on what they should do" in case of Iraqi attack, said Dani Naveh, the Defense Ministry spokesman. Across the country today, Israelis flocked to stores, stocking up on canned goods, bottled water, batteries and other war supplies. Repeating a threat Iraq has issued many times, Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz warned that Iraq would "absolutely" draw Israel into any gulf war.


    1994(27th of Tevet, 5754): Yigal Hurvitz passed away. Born at Hahal Yehuda in 1918, he served as a member of the Jewish Brigade during World War II. A member of Mapia who joined the various parties founded by David Ben Gurion, Hurvitz was an MK who held several ministerial positions including Minister of Finance.

    1996: Israel freed hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return for further assurances from Arafat et al that there would be no return to violence.

    1997(2nd of Shevat, 5757): Actor, director, producer Sheldon Leonard passes away.

    1997: On the second day of the Red Sea International Music Festival, the venue moves across the border from Eilat to Aqaba for the premiere of works commissioned from Charbon Shalayev, a Tagikistani composer, and Oded Zehavi, an Israeli.

    1999: The New York Times book section included reviews of Murder in the Name of God: The Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin by Michael Karpin and Ina Friedman, Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics From Altalena to the Rabin Assassination by Ehud Sprinzak, Heart of a Wife: The Diary of a Southern Jewish Woman by Helen Jacobus Apite; edited by Marcus D. Rosenbaum and The Jew of New York by Ben Katchor.

    2000: One hundred thousand Israelis packed Rabin Square tonight to protest a withdrawal from the Golan Heights that would be part of any peace agreement with Syria.

    2000 (3rd of Shevat, 5760): American producer Sam Jaffe passed away at the age of 99. Born in 1901, he “was, at different points in his career in the motion picture industry, an agent, a producer and a studio executive. He was brother-in-law to B.P. Schulberg which no doubt helped him get his first job at Paramount. Jaffe began as an office boy for Paramount-Famous Players-Lasky Company where he worked his way up through the ranks to become the executive in charge of production. In the early 1930s he worked at Columbia Pictures briefly before leaving to start his own talent agency. He successfully represented several stars of the era, including Lauren Bacall, Peter Lorre, Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, David Niven, Zero Mostel, Richard Burton, and Stanley Kubrick, until the 1950s when his business was negatively affected by investigations of many of his clients by Joseph McCarthy's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.”

    2000: A recess takes place today in the U.S. sponsored peace talks between Israel and Syria. The talks are scheduled to resume on January 19, 2000.

    2005: Ophir Pines-Paz began serving as Internal Affairs Minister.

    2005:Binyamin Ben-Eliezer began serving as Minister of National Infrastructure

    2005: Avrhaham Hirschson replaced Gideon Ezra as Minister of Tourism.

    2005: Dalia Itzik replaced Ehud Olmert as Communications Minister.

    2005: Isaac Herzog replace Tzipi Livini was Housing and Construction Minister.

    2005: Shimon Peres begins serving as Vice Prime Minister.

    2006: Shimon Peres began serving a Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee.

    200610th of Tevet, 5766): Asara B'Tevet: Observance of the Tenth of Tevet, a minor fast day marking the start of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem that would end on the ninth day of Av with the destruction of the Temple.

    2006 (10 Tevet): On the secular calendar Judith Sharon Rosenstein (nee Levin) passed away. Known to one and all as Judy, she truly was an Ashit Chayil, “A Woman of Valor.” A devoted wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, faithful friend as well as daughter and sister extraordinaire, Judy is a gift to all who are fortunate enough to be part of her life. “And her children called her ‘Blessed’.” May her name always be remembered!

    2007: Alejandro Springall’s film “My Mexican Shivah” or “Morirse esta en hebreo” based on a novella by Ilan Stavans premieres at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater as the opening entry of the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2007:  Labor leader Amir Peretz announced that Raleb Majadele would be appointed Minister of Science, Culture and Sport

    2007(20th of Tevet, 5767): "Bubbe" Maryasha Garelik, who lived through the entire 20th century, surviving the pogroms of czarist Russia, Soviet anti-Semitism and Nazi terror and then dispensing her wisdom to thousands of Lubavitch Jews, passed away at the age of 106. "She was small in size - less than 5 feet tall - but a giant in stature," Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky said.For decades, the bubbe (grandmother in Yiddish) dispensed wisdom to thousands in her Brooklyn neighborhood who came seeking her guidance. Her advice came from decades of trial by fire. According to a Lubavitch biography of Bubbe Maryasha, her father was killed in a pogrom, or organized massacre, in Czarist Russia when she was 5, and her grandparents, with whom she and her mother lived, were subsequently executed. Years later, under Soviet rule, Garelik, her husband and their small children were evicted from their apartment into the deep snow because he refused to do factory work on the Jewish Sabbath. As a Jewish underground operative, he was arrested in the 1930s during Stalin's rule, then shot. (His wife did not know exactly what happened to him until 1998, when his fate was revealed in an unsealed Soviet secret police file). "She was a lone person who stood up to a regime that shot her husband in cold blood in a field," Kotlarsky said. "She was left with six children, ages 1 to 14, and she persevered and raised them by herself, with ethical and moral integrity." When authorities warned her against lighting the Sabbath candles, Garelik fled with her children. The family moved six times in three years due to harassment from Soviet authorities; one home was a stable. But she was resourceful, growing potatoes in back of a synagogue to feed her family - with enough left over to pay for the dilapidated synagogue to be fixed. When an acquaintance tried to persuade her to send her children to the Communist public school, she said emphatically: "Stalin will be torn down before my children are indoctrinated that way," as quoted by her granddaughter Henya Laine, who is now herself a grandmother in Brooklyn. By 1941, when the Germans advanced onto Soviet soil, Garelik and her brood escaped to Uzbekistan, where she made and sold socks to survive. In 1946, they ended up in a detention camp in Germany. After the war, she moved to Paris, where she established a Lubavitch Jewish girls' school that still exists. She immigrated to the United States in 1953, helping to start a Brooklyn organization whose members visited the sick, and a boys' school for which she collected money into old age. God gave her "two healthy feet," she would say. "I can walk; I can take care of myself and help others."

    2008: In Kensington, Maryland, Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks reads from her new novel, People of the Book, a work of historic fiction built around The Sarajevo Haggadah.

    2008: After leaving Israel, President George W. Bush visits the Palestinian city of Ramallah where he said that refugees should receive compensation for the loss of homes they fled or were forced to flee during the establishment of Israel and declared that should be an end to Israel’s “occupation” of lands seized in war four decades ago.

    2009: With the reading of “Vayechi,” completion of the reading of Bereshit (Genesis).

    2009: Vandals struck four Chicago-area synagogues early this morning, shattering glass doors and windows with bricks and rocks and spray-painting anti-Israel graffiti. The caretakers at Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation in the normally quiet village of Lincolnwood just outside Chicago woke up to the sound of shattering glass and saw two adults running through the synagogue's parking lot in ski masks. Four bricks were thrown through the building's front doors, but the vandals were unable to gain entry. "Death to Israel Free Palestine," was the message left behind on the walls in bright orange spray paint. Similar incidents occurred around the same time not far away at three synagogues and schools in Chicago's West Rogers Park, a neighborhood dominated by Orthodox Jews. Two windows were shattered at Young Israel of West Rogers Park, "Death to Israel" was spray-painted on the wall of Congregation Anshe Motele and rocks broke a glass window at the Lubavitch Mesivta School. Lubavitch Mesivta's Rabbi Moshe Perlstein told the Chicago Sun-Times that cameras captured video of the men damaging his school at around 4:40 a.m. The footage shows one man spray-painting the side of the building while the other ran around to the front and threw rocks at the front door, breaking a glass window, he said. The video has been turned over to police. Lincolnwood and Chicago police and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force will check whether there was a connection between Saturday's incidents and the December 29 throwing of a Molotov cocktail into Temple Sholom, one of Chicago's oldest and most ornate synagogues, in the Lakeview neighborhood. The city's Ida Crown Jewish Academy high school received a mailed bomb threat two weeks ago that warned of attacks at other Chicago-area Jewish institutions, including day schools.

    2009 (14 Tevet, 5769): Edmund de Rothschild, a merchant banker from the renowned banking family’s British branch who led the development of a major hydroelectric project in Labrador while helping his firm expand globally and opening it to people outside his family, passed away at his home at the age of 93. Mr. de Rothschild helped put together what in the early 1950s was the largest project ever undertaken by private enterprise, the giant hydroelectric development. The story began when Joseph R. Smallwood, premier of Newfoundland, which governs Labrador, personally asked Winston Churchill to help arrange for British investment in the project in 1953. Mr. Smallwood said he hoped the British would develop something like the East India Company or the Hudson’s Bay Company. Mr. Smallwood next met with Anthony de Rothschild, who then headed the British Rothschilds’ business, and with Edmund, Anthony’s nephew. As a result, Edmund put together a consortium of seven Canadian and American companies to develop mineral, timber and hydroelectric power resources in an area bigger than England and Wales combined. After many years of political and economic twists and turns, the project, at Churchill Falls (originally named Hamilton Falls), began operating in 1971 as the second-largest hydroelectric plant in North America. Edmund de Rothschild made more than 400 trips to Canada in pushing the project to completion. Mr. de Rothschild also changed the corporate structure of the Rothschild partnership to open it to people from outside the family. He made Rothschild a significant factor in the birth of the Eurobond market, and oversaw the firm’s considerable expansion internationally, particularly to Japan. Edmund Leopold de Rothschild was born on Jan. 2, 1916, in London, and was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. After he graduated, his father, Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, paid for an 18-month trip around the world, The Daily Telegraph reported in its obituary. Edmund went big-game hunting in Africa and rode horseback over the Andes, and told of his adventures in a book, “Window on the World” (1949).He returned from the trip to work at the family firm until World War II. He joined an artillery regiment in the British Army, and served in France, North Africa and Italy, where he was injured. Mr. de Rothschild returned to the firm, where, since the death of his father, his uncle Anthony had been the sole partner. “My knowledge of banking was nonexistent,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying. When Anthony had a stroke in 1955, Edmund effectively took over. He headed both Rothschild Continuation Holdings, the Rothschilds’ holding company based in Switzerland, and the family’s London operation, N. M. Rothschild & Sons.

    2010: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to present “How Ain't Misbehavin' Became a Broadway Classic” with guest speaker Murray Horwitz ,playwright, co-writer of hit Broadway show Ain't Misbehavin', and a commentator for National Public Radio.

    2010: As part of the History of Genocide Initiative, The Center for Jewish History and American Society for Jewish Music is scheduled to present: Imagination and Catastrophe: Art and the Aftermath of Genocide, co-sponsored by American Jewish Historical Society and Yeshiva University Museum.

    2010: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Citizen’s Constitution: An Annotated Guide by Seth Lipsky and the recently release paperback edition of Hitler’s Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life by Timothy W. Ryback.

    2010: Opening Route 443 to Palestinian traffic could lead to the "total collapse" of Highway 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, a Transportation Ministry representative told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today.

    2010: Two sisters from Tel Aviv, now in their 80s, were given Franz Kafka's manuscripts by their mother, who received them as a gift from Kafka's good friend Max Brod, according to a report submitted to the court today by the executor of the estate of the mother, Esther Hoffe.Hoffe was Brod's secretary and close friend for decades. If the court confirms this report is accurate, then the other parties in the case, the State of Israel and the National Library, will have to prove why Eva Hoffe and her sister Ruti Wisler should give them Kafka's documents.

    2010: The University of Haifa issued a press release stating that the text found at Khirbet Qeiyafa was a social statement relating to slaves, widows and orphans.

    2011: NOA who is Achinoam Nini, Israel's leading international concert and recording artist, is scheduled to perform at The City Winery in New York City.

    2010: Karen Armstrong, author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and A History of God, Islam, and Buddha is scheduled to speak at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2011: Israel's leading international concert and recording artist, Tel Aviv native Achinoam Nini, who performs under the name of NOA, is scheduled to appear at The Winery in New York City.

    2011: Contemporary Dance Workshop with Israeli born dancer and choreographer Dana Ruttenberg is scheduled to take place at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York.

    2011: People of decency and conscience mourn those murdered and wounded in Tucson, Arizona, including Gabriel “Gabby” Giffords, the Jewish congresswoman from Arizona who was the target of the assassination. Others, who have published maps targeting the congresswoman with a gun-sight and calling on their followers not to retreat but “to reload” claim that there is no connection between their rhetoric and this latest act of violence.

    2010: Three Kassam rockets were fired into Israeli territory and exploded in the Hof Ashkelon Regional this evening. The rockets fell in an open area and did not cause any injuries or damage.

    2011: It was revealed today that the overall moratorium on legal actions that could change the status quo of conversions in Israel has been extended by another six months in a deal brokered by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser.

    2011: The Kadima faction stated today that it will oppose the proposal to establish a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the funding and activities of left-wing organizations.
    2012: W.W. Norton and the Leo Baeck Institute are scheduled to present “Joseph Roth, A Life in Letters” -- a panel discussion of Roth’s literary legacy moderated by W.W. Norton executive editor Robert Weil and featuring New Yorker fiction editor Willing Davidson, the author and record producer Anthony Heilbut, and author Fran Lebowitz.

    2012: A panel discussion featuring Michael Freund Beata Schulman and Max Jackl entitled “The Hidden Jews of the Holocaust: Poland’s Re-emerging Jewish Community is scheduled to take place at the th 92nd Street Y in NYC.

    2013: The storm battering the Jewish state which is “the fiercest Israel has seen in two decades, is expected to let up” this afternoon.

    2013: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present “Judaism and the Invention of Christian Art.”

    2013: “Finding Barb,” a musical comedy about one Jewish girl's unorthodox quest for love, is scheduled to be shown in Los Angeles

    2013: “Lies in the Closet” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

    2013: “Kol Nidre” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival

    2013: President Obama announced that he is appointing current Chief of Staff and former OMB Director Jack Lew, who is an Orthodox Jew,  to be the nation’s next secretary of the Treasury.

    2013: Dr. Zvi Yvetz, the award winning professor of ancient history at Tel Aviv University whose family was wiped out during the Holocaust was buried today at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak.

    2013:Two Israeli films were nominated for the 85th Academy Awards' Best Documentary Feature category today, The Gatekeepers and 5 Broken Cameras.

    2014: The Jewish Community Center of Northern version is scheduled to host “Mister Benny,” a dramatized version of the life of Jack Benny.

    2014: Beth Schafer is scheduled to perform during Friday night services at Beth Chaverim in Ashburn, VA.

    2014: Caesarea native Karen Ann Zeidel is scheduled to perform at Le Poisson Rouge

    2014: “Out of Israel” Dance Festival is scheduled to begin at the 92ndStreet Y.

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    January 11

    314: Militades, who was the Pope when Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Toleration which effectively recognized Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, passed away.

    347: Birthdate of Theodosius I the last emperor to rule both the western and eastern portion of the Roman Empire. As powerful as Theodosius may appeared to be, he was no match for the rising power of the Christian church leaders. When a bishop had incited a group of his followers to burn down a synagogue, Theodosius ordered the bishop to pay for re-building the Jewish house of worship. But Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, overruled the Emperor contending, according to one source, that Christian money should not be used to pay for Jewish things.

    630: As Islam begins its march into North Africa, East Asia and parts of Europe with all that that will mean to the Jewish people for the next millennium and half, Mohammed conquers Mecca.

    1313: The Council of Zamora (Spain) made a ruling which was allegedly based on a ruling by Pope Clement V, in which he allowed the Christians to legally deny accruing any interest on loans from Jews.

    1755: Birthdate of Alexander Hamilton, aide to General George Washington, ardent Federalist and the 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was in Charleston, a city on Nevis, an island in the West Indies. He was the son of James A. Hamilton and Rachel Facucett Lavien. Although the facts are a little murky, it would appear that Hamilton’s mother was Jewish.  She had left her husband, Johann Michael Lavien, a Jewish planter before she began her affair with Hamilton was a married man.  Since Hamilton was born out of wedlock, he could not go to school at the school run by the Church of England.  Instead he attended classes at a Jewish private school.  If Hamilton’s mother was indeed Jewish and not just a woman married to a Jew, he would be Jewish according to Halachah. Hamilton never identified himself as a Jew and lived his life in New York as a Christian.

    1775: Francis Salvador of South Carolina became the first Jew to be elected to a state legislature. An ardent patriot, Salvador lost his life and his hair while fighting the Cherokees who were allies of the British.

    1787: William Herschel discovered the Uranian moons Titania and Oberon. Herschel’s ethnic origins are part of an oft told tale among Germans of this period. William Herschel was the son of German Jew named Isaac Herschel. Isaac married a Christian woman and the children, including William, were raised as Christians.

    1799: A state of siege was declared in Jerusalem, as Napoleon approached Gaza and Jaffa.

    1819: In Bridgetown, Barbados, Esther Hannah (Montefiore) Levi and Isaac gave birth to Jacob Isaac Levi Montefiore. His brothers were Edward Levi Montefiore and George Levi Montefiore. In 1835, he moved to Sydney, Australia, assumed his mother’s name and became a successful merchant and investment banker.  He passed away at Norwood, London in 1885.

    1849: Birthdate of Dr. Oskar Lassar, famed German dermatologist. He also developed a public bath house system designed to give improve the hygiene of the less fortunate.

    1859:  Birthdate of Lord George Nathaniel Curzon. Curzon was one of two members of the British Cabinet who were opposed to the Balfour Declaration; the other was a Jew, Edwin Samuel Monatgue. In the end, Curzon did vote to accept the declaration. In the 1920’s Curzon served as Foreign Secretary. He negotiated the agreement that resulted in Egypt gaining her independence. He also oversaw the division of the British Mandate in Palestine which resulted in the creation of the Kingdom of Jordan on the land east of Jordan River. Some Jewish leaders decried this as an illegal act.  When partition was later proposed for the land west of the Jordan, many opposed it saying that Curzon’s earlier partition had already given the Arabs their state.  For a time, Winston Churchill was one of those who made that argument.  

    1860: Two factions clashed today at a contentious meeting of the shareholders of the Great Eastern that took place today at the London Tavern in the UK.  One faction was led by the Chairman, a man named Campbell.  The other was led by Simon Magnus, a English Jew who had made his fortune in the coal industry.

    1873: An article published today entitled “The Persecuted Hebrews” described efforts by the government of the United States to ameliorate the suffering of the Jews of Romania.  Among other things the U.S. Ambassador in Vienna has enlisted the help of the Austrian government in an attempt to pressure the Prince of Romania to improve the conditions of the Jews living in Moldavia and Wallachia.

    1888(27th of Tevet, 5648): Prominent Jewish businessman Jacob Magnus passed away.  He was buried in Balls Pond Jewish Cemetery, Islington, Middlesex, England.

    1890: It was reported today that during December, the Unite Hebrew Charities provided assistance to 3,578 people who belonged to 778 families in the amount of $3,381.50 while giving $210 to “87 transients.” (More for 2014)

    1890: It was reported today that Jacob Schiff has given ten thousand dollars “to Harvard University for the establishment of a museum for the study of the literature, history and remains of the Semitic people” (When Harvard decided to change its admission policies because it had too many Jews, it did not return the funds because it had too much Jewish money)
    1891: The 8th annual meeting of the patrons and members of the Hebrew Technical Institute was held this morning at 10:30 at 34 Stuyvesant Street where it was reported that 150 students are now attending the school which began with only 28 students.

    1891(2ndof Shevat, 5651): Samuel Joseph Fuenn, the Talmudic scholar who was born at Vilnius in 1819 whose works include Shenot Dor we-Dor, a chronology of Biblical history, passed away today.

    1891: It was reported today that many of the famous 19th century scholars “were very unhappy at school.”  This included Heinrich Heine who according the “Reisebilder, “used to pray to a big crucifix ‘O Thou, Poor Deity, if it be possible grant that I may remember the irregular verbs.”

    1892: It was reported today that Baron de Hirsch refused to accept payment from the North American Review for an article he had written for the July edition and had instructed the editor, Lloyd S. Price to send the check for $250 to the Hebrew Technical Institute.

    1892: Simon Borg, Sol B. Solomon and Abraham Herrman continue to serve as trustees the Hebrew Technical Institute even though their terms were supposed to end yesterday because a fight over the by-laws prevented elections from taking place.

    1893: A large house and saloon belonging to David Sampson, a Jewish resident of Elizabeth, NJ, burned down today.

    1893: Commissioner Adolph L. Sanger “was chosen President of the School Board” in New York today. A native of Baton Rouge, Sanger was a graduate of CCNY and Columbia and had served as President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1894: It was reported today that Henry Pereira Mendes, the rabbi at Shearith Israel who was shot two years ago by a Jew named Joseph Misrachee  has been threatened by an unnamed “mendicant who boasted that he was “one of Mizrachee’s fellows.” The police take the threat so seriously that they have assigned detectives to find the man who made approached the rabbi.

    1894: In Baltimore, Rabbi Tobias Schonfarber officiated at the marriage of Mrs. Ida McKenna and Jacob G. Schonfarber, the editor of The Journal of the Knights of Labor.

    1895: As part of the Dreyfus Affair, Major Ferdinand Esterhazy faces a court-martial where he is confronted by Colonel Georges Picquart who offers indisputable evidence of Esterhazy’s guilt and Dreyfus’ innocence. As had happened previously when Picquart had presented his evidence to the deputy chief of staff, the court attacks Picquart and disregards his testimony.

    1896: It was reported today that “the United Hebrew Trades and Halevy Singing Society” were among the organization who took part at ceremonies memorializing the late champion of Russian freedom Sergey Mikhaylovich Stepnyak-Kravchinsky

    1896: Based on information that first appeared in the Philadelphia Ledger, it was reported today that Dr. Paul Haupt, a professor at Johns Hopkins University delivered a lecture “under the auspices of the Gratz College Trustees at Mickve Israel ” on the subject of “The Site of Paradise and the Babylonian Nimrod Ep

    1897: It was reported today that during the 13 years of its existence the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York “has graduated 239 students” all of whom but five are still alive.  Approximately 75% of the graduates are employed in some kind of “mechanical occupation” which consistent with the kind of training offered by the Institute.  (More for 2014)

    1898: It was reported that the late Rudolph Hertzog was unpopular with German Jews because he refused to employ his co-religionists in his dry goods stores.
    1898: After overcoming considerable opposition because of his origins, Herman P. Faust, a converted Jew will be ordained as Presbyterian minister.
    1898: Anti-Semitic riots broke out in Paris after Ferdinand Esterhazy was acquitted  by a secret French Military Court of charges that he, and not Dreyfus, was the spy who had sold military secrets to the Germans.

    1899: It was reported today that in the deposition that had been cabled from Cayenne to Paris by Alfred Dreyfus, the convicted Captain denied that he had ever made a confession “to a Republican Guard or Gendarme’ including Captain Lebrun-Renault and Colonel du Paty de Calm.  He has “always declared that his innocence would be proved in two or three years.

    1899: It was reported today that “the Dreyfus affair has…entered one of its bitterest chapters” when Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire, the President of the Court of Cassation (France’s court of final appeals) discredited his colleagues as having conspired with the Dreyfusards in making their upcoming decision on the Captain’s final appeal.  He thought they were going to overturn the conviction, a move that he opposed as an “antidreyfusard” who sought to become leader of the French right wing.

    1905 (5th of Shevat): Chasdic Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter passed away in Góra Kalwaria, Poland. He was born in Warsaw in 1847. When he was young his father died, so that when it came time to lead the Ger Hasidic dynasty, he was under-age and he refused the mantle of leadership for many years. Eventually his followers succeeded in gaining his assent for him to become their leader as Rebbe. Thus he succeeded his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter, as the second Rebbe of the Ger dynasty of Chasidic Judaism. He was a prodigious scholar and his work the Sfas Emes (or Sfat Emet) deals with the legalistic Talmud, the ethics of Midrash, and mysticism of the Zohar. During the Russo-Japanese War many of his young followers were drafted into the Russian Army and sent to the battlefields in Manchuria. Alter was very worried over these devotees and would constantly write to them. It began to be detrimental to his health. He was only 57 when he passed away. He was succeeded by his son Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter. Following the Holocaust, the Ger dynasty became a large movement in Israel.

    1907: Birthdate of Pierre Mendes France French political leader who was Prime Minister of France during the Fourth Republic

    1908: Birthdate of Lionel Jay Stander, the gravely voiced actor who had a career in movies, radio, television and theatre who was a victim of the infamous Blacklist.  Younger viewers best remember him as the butler on the television hit “Hart to Hart.”

    1912: Morris Hillquit debated fellow Socialist “Big Bill” Haywood at New York City’s Cooper Union.  Haywood who had no qualms about violent action, claimed that Hilliquit had a betrayed the “class struggle” by helping the garment workers negotiate a contract with their employers.

    1912: The Russian consul in New York City refuses to grant a visa to Jewish journalist Herman Bernstein.

    1918: Birthdate of composer Albert Weisser.

    1919: Romania’s Jewish population grew today when it annexed Transylvania. Romania promised that it would grant full emancipation to its Jewish population at the time of the annexation.  The changes were met with opposition by the National Christian Defense League and riots by right-wing students.

    1921: A month before assuming his responsibilities at the Colonial Office, Winston Churchill “was in Paris where he discussed” Middle East policy with French President Alexandre Millerand, “who criticized Britain’s support for a Jewish National Home.”

    1921: Birthday of Judith Lieber, luxury handbag doyenne. She “was the first woman to become an apprentice and then master in the Hungarian handbag guild. She survived World War II in hiding and met her husband—an American soldier—on the streets of Budapest. A GI Bride, she moved to the United States and began working as a pattern maker and later foreman at a handbag company before launching her own company in 1963. Lieber's small firm quickly grew, and she soon opened a factory to produce her designs. Today, Lieber's handbags, still made in the United States by skilled artisans, are cherished by celebrities and collectors alike. In 1953, throngs of guests and reporters turned out to see the Judith Lieber bag carried by Maimie Eisenhower at her husband's inauguration; every first lady since Nancy Reagan has carried one. Although she retired from designing handbags in 1998, many of her most famous lines, including the classic beaded Chatelaine, are still in production. Her bags have been featured in numerous art exhibitions and are included in the collections of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., among others.

    1922: Insulin was first administered to a human patient with diabetes in Toronto, Canada. The study of the pancreas and the function of insulin took place over many decades and took the efforts of numerous scientists. As you would imagine some of these were Jewish. Two of these were Oscar Minkowski who played a key role in establishing the relationship between the pancreas and diabetes and Rosalyn Sussman Yalow who received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the development of the radioimmunoassay for insulin.

    1922: Release date for “Foolish Wives” billed as Hollywood’s “first million-dollar move” written, directed and co-starring Erich von Stroheim, co-produced by Irving Thalberg and Carl Laemmie with music by Sigmund Romberg.

    1922: Birthdate of Lawrence Garfinkel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who helped design landmark studies that linked smoking to lung cancer. (As reported by Denise Grady)

    1927: Birthdate of Gerald Gold, the Brooklyn native who as an editor for the New York Times “helped supervise the herculean task of combing through a secret 2.5-million-word Defense Department history of the Vietnam War, later known as the Pentagon Papers, to produce articles showing that officials had lied about the war…” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1928: Birthdate of David Wolper “an award-winning movie and television producer best known for the groundbreaking mini-series Roots.”

    1929: Birthdate of Rafael "Raful" Eitan, the native of Afula who became Chief of Staff of the IDF, an MK and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel.

    1931: Governor Franklin Roosevelt and Mayor Jimmy Walker were among the dignitaries who expressed their sense of loss when informed that Nathan Straus had passed away today.

    1933: In Hamburg, Germany, the Altona Confession was issued by area pastors. In light of the confusing political situation and the developing Nazi influence on the State Church, it offered Scriptural guidelines for those seeking lead a Christian life.
    1935: Hakibbutz Hadati, the religious kibbutz movement was founded. Actually, the movement was styled after the moshav, which allowed for ownership of private property. It was affiliated with the HaPoel Ha Mizrachi movement the religious Zionist Labor Organization. Its idea was to combine religious life and labor in a communal agricultural settlement the first being Tirat Tzvi

    1941(12th of Tevet, 5701): Seventy-two year old chess champion Emanuel Lasker passed away today in New York City

    1942: The Nazis seized 1,500 Jews in Vienna and sent them by train to Riga.

    1942: The Los Angeles Times reported that “Charles A. Levine, the ex-junk dealer who claimed the now-obscured fame of being the first trans-Atlantic airplane passenger in 1927, was jailed in New York on a Los Angeles indictment of conspiring to smuggle a German alien into the United States.”

    1943: The Höfle Telegram was sent by SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle to SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann in Berlin listing 1,274,166 total arrivals to the four camps of Aktion Reinhard through the end of 1942, as well as the total arrivals by camp for the last two weeks of 1942.

    1943: Birthdate of Steven Neil Posner, the Baltimore native “who with his father, Victor, was caught up in a major corporate raiding case that led to the convictions of Ivan F. Boesky and Michael R. Milken”

    1944: “Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner said today that he had been particularly impressed by the good care taken of American soldiers in all the theatres he had visited, including India, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East…Rabbi Brickner is administrative chairman of the Committee examining religious activities on behalf of the military as well a member of the National Jewish Welfare Board.” Brickner shared with his religious counterparts “the task of making a survey of the morale” of America’s fighting men and women.

    1944: The Nazis established the Crakow-Plaszow Concentration Camp.

    1945: The deportations of Jews from Hungary to Austria have ended. In Budapest, 120,000 Jews await in protected housing for the arrival of the Red Army. Hungarian Fascist Nyilas thugs entered "protected" Jewish houses throughout Budapest, murdering dozens of residents. A gang of eight Nyilas enter one of the houses and kills 15 men, 26 women and one child. Another group surrounds the Jewish hospital, torturing and killing 95 patients.

    1947: In “The Arabs Mobilize” published today Edward P. Morgan provides a snapshot of the preparation for battle taking place in Palestine.
    1948: Maurice Fischer, the Jewish Agency Representative in Paris sent a telegram demanding that the negotiations with the French over allowing them to see secret British documents recently seized by the Haganah be held in Paris and not in Jerusalem.

    1957: In Savannah, GA, an expanded structure designed to replace the original Mordecai Sheftall Memorial space was dedicated at Mickve Israel.

    1961: The Egoz, a small boat leased by the Mossad to smuggle Jews from Morocco to Gibraltar, capsized.  All forty-four of the olim drowned, half were children.  After the Egoz disaster, the Jewish Agency and the Mossad worked with threatened Moroccan communities to rescue the children first.  In Operation Mural, 530 Moroccan Jewish children were sent by their families on an ostensible holiday in Switzerland—and, from there, flown to Israel. (As reported by Diana Muir Appelbaum)

    1962: Sir Gilbert Mackereth passed away. While serving as a British diplomat in Syria he sought to limit the number of Jews entering Palestine when in 1937 he called for an “increase in border patrol” along the Syrian border “due to the high numbers of Jewish immigrants fleeing Hitler’s Germany

    1965: Morton Halperin and Ina Young gave birth to Mark E. Halperin, American political analyst for Timemagazine and and the co-author of Game Change

    1968(10th of Tevet, 5728):  Assara B’Tevet

    1968(10th of Tevet, 5728): Moshe Zvi Segal an eminent Israeli rabbi, linguist and Talmudic scholar passed away. Segal was born in Lithuania in 1876. In 1896, he moved with his family to Scotland and subsequently to London. He was ordained as a rabbi in 1902 and later obtained a degree from Oxford University. He emigrated to the then British Mandate of Palestine in 1926. In 1936 (jointly with Raphael Patai) and again in 1950, Segal was awarded the Bialik Prize for Jewish Thought. In 1954, he was awarded the Israel Prize, for Jewish studies.

    1971: Israel's population reached 3,000,000.

    1972: East Pakistan renames itself Bangladesh.  East Pakistan had gained its independence from Pakistan as a result of war between India and Pakistan.The major general who masterminded and spearheaded India’s offensive, and who accepted Pakistan’s surrender, was Jack Frederick Ralph Jacob, the scion of an old Jewish family from Calcutta.” There are no definite numbers available as to the size of the current Jewish population of Bangladesh due to a fear of persecution.

    1977: Bollingen Prize is awarded to David Ignatow. David Ignatow was born in Brooklyn, and has lived most of his life in New York. He has published sixteen volumes of poetry and three prose collections. Included in these are Poems, The Gentle Weightlifter, Say Pardon, Figures of the Human, Earth Hard: Selected Poems, Rescue the Dead, Poems: 1934-1969, Facing the Tree, Selected Poems-1975, Tread the Dark, Whisper to the Earth, Leaving the Door Open, Shadowing the Ground, Despite the Plainness of the Day: Love Poems-1991, Against the Evidence, and I Have a Name. He has taught at Columbia, the New School for Social Research, the University of Kentucky, the University of Kansas, York College of the City University of New York, New York University, and Vassar College. At various times he has worked as an editor for the American Poetry Review and Beloit Poetry Journal. The National Institute of Arts and Letters has presented to Mr. Ignatow an award "for a lifetime of creative effort." His work has been recognized also with the Bollingen Prize, two Guggenheim fellowships, the Wallace Stevens fellowship from Yale University, the Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, the Poetry Society of America's Shelly Memorial Award, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is president emeritus of the Poetry Society of America and a member of the executive board of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. Ignatow passed away in 1997.

    1977: France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics
    1982: The New York Times includes a review of The Dean’s December. It is Saul Bellow’s ninth novel and  his first since he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976.

    1984: Religious women of many backgrounds gathered for a Women of Faith conference sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. “

    1984: Birthdate of Oshri Cohen, the Israeli actor who starred in “Beaufort.”

    1986: In an article published today famous chef Marian Buros described the delicatessen started by Arnold Reuben as “the quintessential New York restaurant" decorated with "Italian marble, gold-leaf ceiling, lots of walnut paneling and dark red leather seats.”

    1987: The complexities of life in Israel will be the focus of a five-part film series starting today entitled ''A Lens on Israel: Society Through Its Cinema'' at the 92d Street Y


    1988: Israeli television reported tonight that a Palestinian was shot dead in the Khan Yunis refugee district in the Gaza Strip as he tried to grab a soldier's rifle. He was identified by the Palestine Press Service, an Arab-run news agency, as Mustafa Youssef Khadir, 20 years old.

    1988(21st of Tevet, 5748): Isidor Isaac Rabi nuclear physicist passed away at the age of 89. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1944. According to Rabbi Fred Davidow, The Healer of Shattered Hearts: A Jewish View of God by David Wolpe contains the following story about Rabi. "The renowned physicist I. I. Rabi was once asked to name the most significant intellectual influence in his life. The interviewer expected to hear "Einstein" or perhaps "Newton.""My mother," Rabi replied instantly. For each day, he explained, when he would come home from cheder ..., his pious mother would say to him, 'So Isaac, did you ask any good questions today?' From her, said Rabi, he learned that the key to wisdom is to ask good questions."

    1989: The High Court has overturned an Israeli military censor's ban for the first time, allowing the publication of criticism of the head of the Mossad intelligence agency.

    1990: According to reporter Michael Wines, following the invasion of Panama, U.S. officials are still trying to understand the role Mike Harari, a 62-year-old retired agent of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, played under the role of General Noriega.

    1992: Paul Simon opens a tour in South Africa. This was his first appearance in South Africa after the boycott of the formerly white supremacist government had ended. Simon played a key role in bringing certain types of African music to Western audiences.

    1993: Howard Stern's radio show begins transmitting to Buffalo NY (WKBW).

    1997: On the third day of, the Red Sea International Music Festival, the festival returns to Eilat where the opera chorus performs an “a capella” concert at 11 A.M.

    1998: The New York Times featured a review of the paperback edition of Don’t Call It Night by Amos Oz; translated by Nicholas de Lange. “Not surprisingly, the author's latest novel is set in his native Israel, but it is not a landscape of political turmoil and terrorism that he surveys, but one of discordant domesticity between two middle-aged lovers.”

    2001: As the attempt to control cell phone usage in such places as churches and restaurants heats up Gil Israeli, the chief executive of NetLine, located in Tel Aviv, is quoted as saying that a sign saying ''No Cell Phones'' does not go far enough.

    2001: In the following letter-to the editor of the Wall Street Journal the leaders of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs take issue with a column by Ira Stoll that “attacks” Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

    On behalf of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), which represents 13 national and 123 local Jewish community relations and public affairs organizations throughout the United States, we want to express our dismay over Ira Stoll’s op-ed in the December 29 edition attacking Rabbi Yitz Greenberg. Any reasonable person who has read the full text of Rabbi Greenberg’s speech given last November at the United Jewish Communities’ General Assembly in Chicago -- which provided the selective quotes that formed the basis for Mr. Stoll’s attack -- will conclude that the op-ed is a blatant distortion of reality. Rather than accusing Israeli soldiers and policemen of using excessive force in responding to the recent Palestinian violence, Rabbi Greenberg, Chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, actually praises them for their restraint under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. He notes that in a small number of cases there may have been an overreaction and that Israeli officials are properly investigating them. Rabbi Greenberg, who has had a long and illustrious career supporting Israel and the Jewish people, was simply doing in this speech what he has been doing for decades -- providing our community with a thoughtful, loving analysis of the dilemmas Israel faces in exercising power in one of the world’s toughest neighborhoods. Mr. Stoll also unfairly attacks the Council that administers the Holocaust Museum. While no institution is beyond criticism, we believe that overall this important institution has done an outstanding job of educating Americans and its many visitors from abroad about the history of the Holocaust and current human rights concerns. We are confident that under Rabbi Greenberg’s inspired leadership the Museum will continue to serve this important function.


    Chairperson Leonard A. Cole,

    Executive Vice Chairperson Hannah Rosenthal

    2000: On his return from West Virginia, Prime Minister Ehud Barak tonight broke the silence that governed the closed-door negotiations with Syria to say that the peace talks had reached a ''decisive stage'' in which both sides would have to make difficult decisions. Speaking in a television interview, Mr. Barak said it was impossible to predict whether the round of talks that begins next week would be ''conclusive.'' He said that he had witnessed ''certain fissures in the Syrian rigidity'' but that he was not reading much into them.

    2002: In an article entitled “When Jews Found a Place Among European Artists,” Grace Glueck provides a fascinating trip through the world of Jewish art as she reviews an exhibition at the New York’s Jewish museum, ''The Emergence of Jewish Artists in 19th-Century Europe''

    2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Battle For Rome The Germans, the Allies, the Partisans, and the Pope, September 1943-June 1944by Robert Katz (author of Black Sabbath, a Holocaust study of the deportation of the Jews of Rome) and The Doctor’s Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis by Sherwin B. Nuland.

    2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel said today that he saw no risk that Palestinians could undermine Israel's Jewish identity by gaining a demographic majority, dismissing a reason pressed by some members of his Likud faction for a swift exit from some of the occupied territories.

    2005:While delivering a speech opposing the disengagement plan from Gaza, Effi Eitam called Prime Minister Sharon a “refuser of democracy.”

    2006: The New York Times described the struggle of F Line Bagels to remain open despite attempts by the MTA to stop the owners from selling what has been a traditionally New York Jewish delight in an atmosphere that resembles a sanitized version of a subway station.

    2006: Senator Barak Obama visits a remote Israeli town with Chicago ties. Illinois Senator Barack Obama flew to areas along the northern border with Lebanon today. Obama's first Middle East visit took him to a small village that is well-wired to Chicago. Israel may be a Jewish state, but more than a million people who live there are non-Jews, most of them Christian. But the Christian population in Israel is rapidly declining. That exodus has attracted the attention of the Chicago Catholic Archdiocese and the Chicago Jewish Federation. Israel's loss of its Christian minority attracted the attention of Senator Obama. Three hours from Jerusalem, as far north in Israel as possible, just before Lebanon, this is the town of Fassouta, and this is where the village worships. All 3,000 residents of Fassouta are Israeli, Palestinian and Catholic. The Catholic pastor for this entire village in upper Galilee welcomed visiting Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who is traveling with leaders of Chicago's Jewish community. Fassouta is a living example of interfaith good will in action, an overseas extend-a-hand. A computer lab is part of a literacy project funded by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and the Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago. "This community center had been built not long before that, but it's empty. Ours was the first project that went into it, and it became a draw for the other things that are now functioning in here. Children's ballet classes, chess classes," said Linda Epstein, Chicago Jewish Federation. Senator Obama may be the first member of congress ever in Fassouta, and a grateful mayor and village leaders proudly gave him a look around. A prominent Northwestern and Tel Aviv University professor says his visit sends an important signal. "Israel has a minority of 20 percent non-Jewish Arab minority, And the visit of the senator to this village is an acknowledgment that there is this minority that needs to be acknowledged and seen," said Elie Rekhess, Northwestern University. But the real winners are the young people of Fassouta, who for the first time have new computers and are wired to the world. Many villages along the northern Israel border have a more troubling distinction. They are easy targets of Hezbollah terrorists just over the border in Lebanon. For years Lebanese militant groups perched just north of Israel have opened fire on Israeli border towns. Most recently, on December 22, the village of Kiryat Shmona was hit by Hezbollah rockets. ABC7 news flew with Illinois Senator Barack Obama in an Israeli army Blackhawk helicopter to the border zone. The news crew flew over Israel's most vulnerable border areas,the narrowest part of the country between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea, over Arab villages in the Galilee and then on to the Lebanese border region that recently came under attack. It also visited one of the Israeli homes that was hit by Katyusha rockets in the overnight barrage that killed 14. The family that lives in the house was asleep when the terrorist missiles hit. They survived but their home is badly damaged and their lives shaken. "I thought it was a gas tank that had exploded, because it smelled like fire. We couldn't come out of the room because this room was all filled with shrapnel," said Kiryat Shmona, Israeli. Israeli military officials mapped out for Illinois' junior senator how Hezbollah terrorists unsuccessfully tried to kidnap Israeli soldiers during the attack. They offered information to Obama that the militant militia group is going unchallenged by Lebanese leaders and United Nations commanders, hoping Obama and the US will press Lebanon to stop the border assaults. The Palestinian problem has recently received far more attention than the Lebanese border stand-off with Hezbollah. With the country now preoccupied by the recent stroke of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and upcoming elections, military commanders on the ground in northern Israel are concerned that the rocket attacks will get worse.

    2006: The Nation published Elizabeth Holtzman's essay calling for the impeachment of U.S. President George W. Bush for authorizing "the wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."

    2007: The free newspaper Israeli which is poised on the brink of closure published its last edition. Israeli is a Hebrew language daily with a press run of 150,000 copies that is handed out free at such locations as bus and train stations, as well as malls and other business centers.

    2007: Ruth Dayan was awarded the Partner of Peace Award by the Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam community, a cooperative village of Jews and Arabs mid-way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

    2007: The Baltimore Jewish community bade farewell to Morton “Sonny” Plant at his funeral held at Chizuk Amuno Congregation.

    2007: Representative James “Jim” McGorvern introduced a House Resolution to Reverend Waitstill Sharp and Marsha Sharp for their recognition by Yad Vashem “as Righteous Among the Nations for their heroic efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.”

    2008: Today's edition of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles published a detailed report about The Spinka Financial Controversy alongside a number of subsidiary articles. The article was the papers cover story and was written by the paper's religion editor Amy Klein.

    2008: In New York City, the 92nd Street “Y” presents “Desert Soul Music” featuring Matt Turk and Basya Schechter, the founder of the neo-Chasidic world music band Pharaoh’s Daughter..

    2009: In Irvine, CA, Volley Ball Team USA trys out as part of the 18th Maccabiah Games.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Letters of Allen Ginsberg, edited by Bill Morgan, The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder edited by Bill Morgan and The Journey by H.G. Adler.

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sashenka, Simon Montefiore's first novel and With Wings Like Eagles by Michael Korda.

    2009: A pro-Israel rally was held at Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation this afternoon to respond to the spate of hate crimes and support Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
    2009: Israel's "Waltz with Bashir" won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film. The victory  solidifies its front-runner status to win Israel's first Oscar at the Academy Awards next month.
    2009: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a moving eulogy today at the military funeral of a Jewish soldier killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. At the request of the slain soldier's family, donning a yarmulke, Rudd delivered a euology, telling almost 2,000 mourners at Melbourne's Lyndhurst Jewish Cemetery that Pvt. Gregory Sher's death was not in vain


    2009: JTA reported that As Good As Anybody by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Raul Colon, a book that traces the lives and friendship of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel won the Sydney Taylor Award for Young Readers which is an award for Jewish children's literature.


    2010: The Oy!hoo Music Festival, which is designed to bring together established, new and emerging artist in the Jewish and Israeli music scene in New York City is scheduled to take place at The City Winery in New York City.

    2010: The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is scheduled to conduct a walking tour for English speakers living in Jerusalem of Montefiore's Windmill and the Yemin Moshe neighborhood.

    2010:The U.S. Army will double the value of emergency military equipment it stockpiles on Israeli soil, and Israel will be allowed to use the U.S. ordnance in the event of a military emergency, according to a report in today’s issue of the U.S. weekly Defense News.
    2010: A leading pro-Israel congressman hosted a business meeting in his offices between Israeli officials and a defense contractor in which he profitably invested. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee, told the New York Daily News, which published the revelation today  that he did not profit in any way from the meeting between Alan Magerman, the founder of Xenonics, and two Israeli officials.

    2010:Remains of a prehistoric Tel Aviv building, which is the earliest ever discovered in the area and estimated to be 7,800-8,400 years' old, have been unearthed in an archaeological excavation,the Israel Antiquities Authority announced today. The excavation was carried out prior to the construction of an apartment building in the "Green Fichman" project in Ramat Aviv. Ancient artifacts thought to be between 13,000 and 100,000 years' old were discovered there. Archaeologist Ayelet Dayan, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities
    2010:Miep Gies, the office secretary who defied the Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager's diary, passed away today at the age of 100. Gies' Web site reported that she died after a brief illness. The report was confirmed by museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostar, but she gave no details. The British Broadcasting Corp. said she died in a nursing home after suffering a fall last month. Gies was the last of the few non-Jews who supplied food, books and good cheer to the secret annex behind the canal warehouse where Anne, her parents, sister and four other Jews hid for 25 months during World War II. After the apartment was raided by the German police, Gies gathered up Anne's scattered notebooks and papers and locked them in a drawer for her return after the war.

    2011: The 92ndStreet Y is scheduled to present a program entitled “Undoing the Inquisition” featuring Rabbi Juan Mejia.

    2011: The Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC, is scheduled to host “Food for Thought: Digesting Ethics, Mysticism and Philosophy with Rabbi Yosef Edelstein of MesorahDC.

    2011:A senior Islamic Jihad militant was killed today by an Israel Air Force missile while he was driving a motorcycle in the southern Gaza Strip, according to local Palestinian officials. Gaza emergency services said that the targeted militant Mohammed A-Najar, 25, was killed immediately and that an additional casualty had been evacuated to hospital for treatment. Israel Defense Forces sources confirmed the attack, and said that Najar had been planning a terrorist attack within Israeli territory and with rocket-launching cells.

    2011:Debbie Friedman was eulogized at her funeral today by friends, rabbis, and fellow musicians, both in words and through the songs she composed and sang, which transformed Jewish worship in synagogues and summer camps. Her acoustic guitar lay on top of her casket during the funeral service at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, California, the Orange County Register reported. Friedman died Jan. 9 at the age of 59, after being diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to a hospital a few days earlier. She blended the folk music roots of the 1960s an 1970s and combined them with traditional Jewish prayers and liturgy, and was frequently described as the "Joan Baez of Jewish song." Mourners at the service joined Craig Taubman and other performers in singing such famous Friedman works as "Sing Unto God,""Devorah's Song,""You Are The One,""Miriam's Song" and "L'chi Lach." Perhaps Friedman's best known composition is "Mi Sheberach," a popular version of the prayer of healing for the sick. During the funeral, Rabbi Heidi Cohen of Temple Beth Sholom described Friedman as a modest artist, despite her fame, adding, "If Debbie were here today, she would say, 'What's the big fuss? I don't need this. I don't want this.'" Rabbi Richard N. Levy of Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles said of his former colleague, "Debbie wanted us to believe that God is good and God takes our prayers seriously. Even though all our prayers did not (heal her), they provided an escort into the next world that sang unto God, this woman is going to rock your throne."

    2011: The Los Angeles City Council adjourned its meeting in memory of Friedman, whom Councilmember Paul Koretz eulogized saying "Anyone who has ever attended a liberal Jewish synagogue or summer camp or youth group event has been touched by Debbie Friedman. He added: "She was always ahead of the curve -- be it in songs for lifecycle events, Jewish feminist music, or interfaith spirituality. May her memory -- and her music -- be a blessing."

    2011: The Jewish Book Council announced today that “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle To Save Soviet Jewry,” Gal Beckerman’s comprehensive history of the popular movement to save Soviet Jews in the latter half of the 20th century is the winner of the Jewish Book of the Year Award

    2011: Today, the Jerusalem Post published the following list of notables who passed away in 2010:
    Theodore "Ted" Sorensen, 82, was President John F. Kennedy's speechwriter, a longtime adviser and a ghostwriter of Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage."
    Daniel "Danny the Red" Bensaid, 63, a French philosopher and former student radical who was a leader in the student revolt in Paris in 1968, was described as France's leading "Marxist public intellectual" upon his death.

    Ruth Proskauer Smith, 102, was an abortion rights pioneer.

    Harry Schwarz, 85, was a South African anti-apartheid activist who was his country's ambassador to the United States during the transition from apartheid to the Mandela government. He also was a leader of South Africa's Jewish Board of Deputies, and he worked with Israeli leaders to ensure the safety and future of South African Jewry. Schwarz told his own story as part of a museum exhibit of German refugees in South Africa.

    David Kimche, 82, was a founding father of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and a spy who worked undercover in Africa and with the Christian Phalangists in Lebanon before Israel's 1982 war there.

    Dov Shilansky, 86, was a former Speaker of the Knesset.

    Tony Curtis, 85, actor and artist, was born in the Bronx as Bernard Schwartz. A major sex symbol on the big screen from the 1950s on, Curtis helped finance the rebuilding of the Great Synagogue in Budapest in honor of his Hungarian roots.

    Tom Bosley, 83, was probably best known as Richie Cunningham's dad, Howard, on the sitcom "Happy Days." The Jewish Exponent published a piece on Bosley in 2006 when he appeared in a stage production of "On Golden Pond" in Philadelphia.

    Zelda Rubinstein, 76, a diminutive (4-foot-3) actress who won a science fiction film award for her role in "Poltergeist" in 1982, was an activist for "little people."

    Harold Gould, 86, was best known for his role as the father of Rhoda Morgenstern in the TV sitcoms "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda." Gould, who held a doctorate in theater, taught for four years at the University of California, Riverside, before turning to acting. He appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies, including "The Sting." Gould was originally cast as Howard Cunningham in "Happy Days."

    Maury Chaykin, 61, known for portraying detective Nero Wolfe on TV, had film roles in "Dances With Wolves,""WarGames" and "My Cousin Vinny."

    Steve Landesberg, 74, an actor, comedian and voice actor, was best known for his work on TV's "Barney Miller."

    Bud Greenspan, 84, who was best known for his production of documentaries about the Olympics, was called a "trailblazing filmmaker" by The Los Angeles Times.

    Irvin Kershner, 87, a film director, was most noted for "The Empire Strikes Back," the 1980 sequel to the original "Star Wars" film.

    Ingrid Pitt, 73, a Holocaust survivor, was an actress in horror films in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Eddie Fisher, 82, was a pre-rock-era pop singer. He was married to actress Debbie Reynolds, but left her, scandalously, for actress Elizabeth Taylor -- a move that cost him his "Coke Time" TV series and a recording contract in 1959. Fisher made the first commercial recording of "Sunrise, Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof."

    Mitch Miller, 99, a record company executive and conductor who became famous for his 1960s TV show "Sing Along With Mitch," (video clip here) was known for speaking derisively about rock and roll. He passed on signing contracts with Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.

    Malcolm McLaren, 64, was a rock and punk music impresario and performer who was most noted for managing the Sex Pistols, a seminal British punk band in the 1970s. London's The Telegraph ran an extensive obituary and photographs after his death.

    Doug Fieger, 57, was co-founder of the power pop band The Knack and writer of the 1979 hit song "My Sharona."

    David Soyer, 87, was founding cellist of the Guarnieri String Quartet, one of the modern era's most celebrated chamber music ensembles.

    David Deckelbaum, 71, a Canadian/Israeli folk musician from the group "The Taverners," was described by the Israeli daily Haaretz as an "iconic banjoist" on the folk music scene in Israel. Click here to see a video of Deckelbaum and the Taverners on Israeli television.

    Daniel Schorr, 93, was an award-winning journalist whose name appeared on Richard Nixon's "enemies list" and who angered both government officials and his employers for being a stickler for journalistic ethics and the protection of sources. Schorr spent many years as a commentator for National Public Radio. The station produced a lovely package of stories, audio clips and tributes about Schorr after his death.

    Harvey Pekar, 69, was a cartoonist best known for his autobiographical comic series, "American Splendor." His life was the subject of a 2003 film with the same title, starring actor Paul Giamatti as Pekar and featuring a cameo by Pekar himself.

    J.D. Salinger, 91, was one of the 20th century's most celebrated and reclusive American authors. Salinger's 1951 novel, "The Catcher in the Rye," still sells a quarter-million copies a year. The New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani said Salinger "domesticated the innovations of the great modernists" and presaged the work of writers such as Philip Roth and Saul Bellow.

    Erich Segal, 72, was an author and professor whose novel (and later film), "Love Story," became a touchstone of youthful romance in the 1970s. The film's signature line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry," was 13th on the American Film Institute's list of top 100 movie quotes. Segal, the son of a rabbi, also produced scholarly works in the fields of Greek and Latin literature.

    Abraham Sutzkever, 96, was an acclaimed Yiddish poet who was considered one of the great poets of the Holocaust. Born in the Russian Empire, he was a partisan during World War II and spent more than 50 years in Israel, writing what Israeli scholar Miriam Trin called some of the greatest poetry of the 20th century. However, he was largely unknown in Israel because he wrote in Yiddish.

    Shmuel Katz, 83, was a well-known Israeli caricaturist and illustrator of children's books. Haaretz said Katz, an Austrian Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel in 1948, drew some of Israel's "best-loved" children's books.

    David Slivka, 95, who once famously made a death mask of his friend Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, was a sculptor and painter. The New York Times described Slivka  as "one of the last living members of the New York school of Abstract Expressionists." His paintings and sculptures are in the permanent collections of many major museums, including the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Brooklyn Museum.
    Martin Ginsburg, 78, was an internationally renowned taxation law expert and law professor, as well as the husband of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    Howard Zinn, 87, was a radical historian and author of, among other titles, "A Peoples History of the United States."

    Adam Max Cohen, 38, was an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. A Shakespeare scholar, he wrote about how the illiteracy caused by his terminal brain tumor enabled him to gain new insights into appreciating Shakespeare's plays as performance art, and not only as great literature.

    Martin Grossman, 45, was executed in Florida 26 years after his conviction for the murder of a Florida wildlife officer. The Orthodox world campaigned to keep Grossman from execution.

    Rosa Rein of Switzerland, who was believed to be the world’s oldest Jew and the oldest Swiss citizen, died in February, just weeks before her 113th birthday.

    Mark Madoff, 46, was an American businessman and son of the infamous Bernard Madoff.

    Miep Gies, 100, was a non-Jewish Dutch woman who enabled Anne Frank and her family to hide, and who later discovered and preserved Frank's diary. She was honored by many organizations in later years, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial organization in Israel.
    2012: ‘The Bintel Brief Exhibit’ is scheduled to open at the Sixth and I synagogue in Washington, D.C.,

    2012: “400 Miles to Freedom,” the untold story of the 1984 exodus of co-director Avishai Mekonen and his secluded Jewish community from the mountains of Northern Ethiopia is scheduled to be the opening feauture at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present: Curator’s Tour: Old and the New: Mark Podwal’s Textiles for the Altneuschul in Prague

    2012: “The Cantor’s Son” is scheduled to be shown at the Yiddish Film Series/ Fundación Marcelino Botín in Santander, Spain

    2012:The leading French newspaper Le Figaro reported today that Israeli Mossad agents are recruiting and training Iranian dissidents from Iraq’s Kurdish region to work against the regime in Tehran. Quoting a security source in Baghdad, Le Figaro reported that members of the Israeli intelligence agency are actively operating in Kurdistan and recruiting Iranian exiles in the region.

    2012:An explosive thrown through the window of a New Jersey synagogue and residence is being treated as attempted murder, the Bergen County prosecutor said. The latest in a string of attacks that have hit the county's synagogues recently took place this morning at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford. The Orthodox synagogue doubles as a home for its rabbi, Nosson Schuman, and his family. Schuman suffered slight burns but no one else was hurt, The Record newspaper reported. In the past month, synagogues have been attacked in Paramus, Maywood and Hackensack. Police are unsure if the attacks, which include anti-Semitic graffiti and a fire, are related. U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman, who represents Bergen County in the House of Representatives, in a statement called on the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to pool their resources with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Rutherford Police Department to solve the latest attack.
    2013: The Studio Opera Singers of the Israel Opera are scheduled to perform at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

    2013: “Nor In Tel Aviv” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to present a lecture by Naomi Shepherd will described how Wilfrid Israel used his personal fortune and the resources of his firm to rescue “thousands of Jews from Nazi persecution from the 1930’s until his death in 1943.”

    2013: New election polls headlined toay by the Hebrew-language dailies Yedioth Ahronoth and Maariv echoed several trends first revealed in The Times of Israel’s major opinion poll published earlier this week.

    2013:Medical sources in Gaza said today that IDF gunfire killed one Palestinian and injured another east of the Jabaliya refugee camp near the border, AFP reported. The IDF Spokesman's Office stated that dozens of Palestinian rioters approached the Gaza border fence this afternoon and did not heed IDF warnings to desist.

    2013(29thof Tevet, 5773): Oscar Straus II Chairman Emeritus of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, and the Fred Lavanburg Foundation passed away today.

    2013(29thof Tevet, 5773): Twenty-six year old programmer Aaron Swartz “was found dead” today. (As reported by John Schwartz)

    2014: The New York Jewish Film Festival  is scheduled to show “The Jewish Cardinal” and “The Congress”

    2014: The 92ndStreet Y is scheduled to host a Saturday night dance party as part of its inaugural “Out of Israel” Dance Festival.

    2014: “Nadine Animato” Theater Dance Company which was established in 2009 by choreographer Nadine Bommer in Rishon Lezion, Israel is scheduled to perform at the City Center.

    2014(10thof Shevat): Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Joseph Isaac Sneersohn


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    January 12

    1412: In Spain, the regent Donna Catalina acting in the name of the child-king Juan II issued an edict of twenty-four articles intended to impoverish and humiliate the Jews and to reduce them to the lowest grade in the social scale.

    1493: The Jews were expelled from Sicily, which had become a province of Aragon in 1412. The Jews never really returned there, despite an invitation during the 1800's.


    1517: María López denied all charges presented against her by the prosecutor of the Inquesion including observing the Sabbath and dressing in holiday garb. (As reported by Renee Levine Melammed)

    1519:  Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor passed away.  Joseph ben Gershon Loans better known as Yosel von Rosheim an Alsatian Jew born in 1480, served as “shtadlen” or advocate for the Jews during Maximilian’s reign. In 1514, while living in Mittelbergheim Yosel and several other Jews were imprisoned on charges of “host desecration.” They were all freed several months later when their innocence was established. Between 1515 and 1516, Yosel personally presented the complaints of the Jews of Oberehnheim to the Maximilian himself and obtained a safe conduct pass for his co-religionists. Yosel outlived Maximilian and served as ‘shtadlen” until his death in 1554.  While Maximilian was capable of taking stands inimical to Jewish interests such as when he signed an edict allowing John Pfefferkorn to confiscate Hebrew books (an order he later modified, he was also capable of coming to their aide. He regarded the Jews as his property and opposed those who banish them from his empire.  For example in January of 1516, he sent a letter to the Elector Albert and his allies ordering them to hold any meetings that would result in the banishment of the Jews from Frankfort, Worms and Mayence.

    1539: King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the Treaty of Toldeo.  The treaty ended the hostilities between the two monarchs.  Charles wore two hats (or crowns) – Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.  As Holy Roman Emperor, he treated the Jews of central Europe comparatively well.  As King of Spain, he continued the policies of the Inquisition and hostility to the Jewish people.  Both monarchs were beneficiaries of business dealings with Dona Gracia Nasi one of the most powerful and unusual leaders of the Sephardic community.

    1565(29thof Tevet, 5325):Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen, the Meir of Padua, passed away.

    1723: Birthdate of Reverend Samuel Langdon, the President of Harvard who delivered a speech to the Legislature in New Hampshire entitled “The Republic of the Israelites an Example to the American States” in which he contends that Moses and the “Old Testament” provide a picture of proto-democratic government which stands in contrast to the monarchy of the English.

    1729:  Birthdate of Edmund Burke, Anglo-Irish statesman and political philosopher.  One of Burke’s most famous quotes is “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  This line is found in many study programs about the Holocaust.

    1735:At Frankfort-on-the-Main, Rabbi Jacob Kahana demanded that Moshe Chaim Luzzatto take an oath promising "to abandon his Kabbalistic illusions, and to refrain from writing on or instructing anyone in the doctrines of the Zohar."

    1770:Charles Bonnett wrote a letter to Moses Mendelssohn saying that he regretted that Lavater had sent him a copy of his book as if it were an attack on the beliefs of the Jewish philosopher.

    1808:"Jerome...issued an edict declaring all Jews of his state without exception to be full citizens, abolishing Jew-taxes of every description, allowing foreign Jews to reside in the country under the same protection as that afforded to Christian immigrants and threatening with punishment the malicious who should derisively call a Jewish citizen of his state 'protection Jew' (Schutz-Jusde)." Jerome is Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest of Napoleon’s brothers who was King of Westphalia from 1807 to 1813.

    1823:Birthdate of Hermann Jellinek the Austrian author who was the brother of Adolf Jellinek.

    1850: Birthdate of Wilhelm Bacher, the native of Liptó-Szent-Miklós, Hungary who gained fame as a  scholar, rabbi, Orientalist, and linguist.

    1853: The New York Times reported that William Gladstone has replaced Benjamin Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the new British government.  Gladstone and Disraeli would be political rivals for much of the rest of the century with one replacing the other as Prime Minister in future governments.

    1862:Members of Congregation Beth Elohim laid the cornerstone for the first synagogue built on Long Island on two lots at the corner of State Street and Boerum Place in Boerum Hill.

    1864: As Americans prepare for their first war time Presidential elections, August “Belmont held a national committee meeting at his Fifth Avenue home, the first since the summer of 1860. Most of the twenty-three members attended.” Most of those who were absent were westeners only the weather accounted for the absence of some westerners," Belmont sided with those committee members who wanted a late Democratic national convention — in July.

    1873: Relying on information that first appeared in the London Daily Telegraph,“The Past” published today provides a summary of a paper by George Smith in which he summarizes his findings and hopes for the future surrounding the explorations of the ruins and mounds in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates which have shed light on the historical veracity of accounts in the Biblical Book of Kings and which should provide further information about the origins of the Semitic people of the area including the ancient Hebrews.  (Editor’s note –Smith was a noted 19th century Assyriologist who discovered and translated “The Epic of Gilgamesh.”)

    1876: James Eustis began serving as U.S. Senator from Louisiana.  Eustis would later serve as U.S. Ambassador to France during the Dreyfus affair and apparently was sympathetic to the French Jewish officer

    1878: In a case of Jews versus Jews, at Buffalo, NY, Jacob and Burnet Friedmann brought suit in chancery court against Henry Cone, Abraham Altman, Emanuel Levi and the Third National Banks charging them with fraud and other financial crimes.

    1878: Birthdate of Ferenc Molnár, the Hungarian author and playwright who came to the United States to escape the Nazis.

    1878(8th of Shevat, 5638): Joseph, Baron Günzburg passed away.

    1879: It was reported today that “Liberty in Germany” an article about the Socialist movement, by Leonard Montefiore, will be published in the January issue of The Nineteenth Century. A graduate of Balliol College, Montefiore was the brother of Claude G. Montefiore and a fellow student of Arnold Toynbee.

    1890: The Harmony Club, which housed a Jewish social organization, was among the buildings caught in the path of cyclone that struck St. Louis, MO this afternoon.

    1890: President James H. Hoffman presided over today’s meeting of the members and patrons of the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York City.

    1890: “Crowns” published today described the royal headgear of 19thcentury monarchs the purposed of which “remains as it was in the days of King Solomon…an article of display rather than of practical of utility. “The King of Romania is said to buy his crown from a Jewish dealer in Frankfort” Germany.

    1891: It was reported today that the Hebrew Technical Institute which was formed eight years ago as manual training school for Jewish students  has elected a officers for the new year including: James Hoffman – President; David L. Einstein – First Vice President; Otto A. Moses – Second Vice President; Leo Schlesinger – Treasurer; Joseph Metzler – Secretary.

    1891: Professor Dr. Moritz Lazarus wrote in his foreword to Nahida Ruth Remy’s The Jewish Woman (Das jüdische Weib): “Writing about Jews is seldom without prejudice; writing by women is seldom thorough. But this book about the Jewish woman, written by a Christian woman, is both thorough and free of prejudice.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)

    1892: First day of the ceremonies marking the opening of the Jewish Maternity Association's facility in Philadelphia, PA

    1892: Based on information that first appeared in the Kreuz Zeitung it was reported today that a Jewish butcher who had been arrested in the town of Xanten on charges of murdering a Christian boy has been released.  The German paper maintains the release was in error and that the boy had been part of a Jewish practice “of killing Christian children for the purpose of using their blood in their peculiar religious rites.”

    1893: It was reported today that the Fire Chief in Elizabeth, NJ said that the fire that burned down the house and saloon owned David Sampson, a Jewish citizen, was of mysterious origin. Sampson estimated the loss, which was covered by insurance, at four thousand dollars.  Neighbors claim that the fire was deliberate.

    1895: As part of the Dreyfus Affair, the French military judges acquit Colonel Esterhazy of all charges while the high command stripped Colonel Picquart of his commission and pension for not letting the Dreyfus matter come to a quiet, if unjust end.

    1895: Birthdate of Leo Aryeh Mayer, the native of Galicia who became “an Israeli scholar of Islamic art and rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art which was established in 1974 by Vera Bryce Salomons was named in his honor

    1895: Reports published today in the Baltimore Sundescribed the visit of Dr. Michael L. Rodkinson, a Russian Jew, to Maryland’s largest city where he has attempted to gain financial backing from the local rabbis for his proposed first of its kind translation of the Talmud into English

    1896: The National Council of Jewish sponsored a lecture given by Dr. Solis Cohen of Philadelphia, a Temple Beth-El in New York City.

    1897:  Property valuations reported today included Temple Emanu-El, $700,000; Temple Beth-El, $400,000; Shearith Israel, $275,000; Mt. Sinai Hospital - $300,000.  All of this property is tax exempt.

    1899: Mr. Adler introduced a bill for consideration by the New York State Assembly “fixing the rate for infants received and cared for by the Hebrew Infant Asylum of New York City at 38 cents per day.”

    1899: In Hüngheim, Germany, businessman Isaak Schorsch and his wife gave birth to Emil Schorsch a German born rabbi who survived Buchenwald who served a congregation in Pottstown, Pa from 1940 to 1964 before passing away in 1982.

    1900: Premiere of Herzl’s "I Love You" in the Vienna Burgtheater.

    1903: Birthdate of Binyamin Mintz, the native of Lodz who made Aliyah in 1925 who was elected to the first Knesset and served as Minister of Postal Services.

    1903: Harry Houdini performed at the Rembrandt Theater in Amsterdam.

    1903:Herzl arrives in London in his continuing quest to gain governmental support for a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel.

    1904: In Great Britain, the Limerick Pogrom, the name given to a wave of anti-Jewish violence in Wales that followed a failed miners’ strike, takes place. 

    1905: Emanuel Wallach, the son of Samson and Adelaide Wallach and the brother of the distinguished attorney Leopold Wallach was laid to rest today.

    1906: Churchill was elected a Liberal Member of Parliament for North-West Manchester following which he traveled to Europe where he stayed with three Jewish supporters Sir Ernest Cassel, Lionel Rothschild and Baron de Forest.

    1908(9th of Shevat, 5668):RabbiBernhard Felsenthal, one of the world’s leading Jewish scholars who is considered to be the founder of the Reform Movement in Chicago, Illinois, passed away today at the age of 88.

    1909(19th of Tevet, 5669):Hermann Minkowski, German mathematician, passed away.  He was the brother of Dr. Oskar Minkowski who played a key role in research on the pancreas that led to life saving treatment of diabetics.

    1909(19th of Tevet, 5669): Eighty-nine year old Major General Sir Fredric John Goldsmid passed away today.


    1911(12th of Tevet, 5671): Fifty nine year old Austrian legal scholar and “legal positivist” George Jellink passed away.

    1911: Birthdate of Robert Abshagen, the native of Hamburg who would be beheaded in 1944 for his role in the anti-Nazi resistance movement.

    1915:  Birthdate of Martin Agronsky.  Agronsky was a journalist and Peabody Award winning radio and television newsman and commentator.  He was also related to Gershon Agronsky.  Gershon changed his named to Agron and was the founder of the Palestine Postwhich became the Jerusalem Post after the birth of Israel.

    1915: Birthdate of Norman Rufus Colin Cohn whose father was Jewish and whose mother was Roman Catholic. The Londonborn historian influenced a generation of historians and social scientists with his insight that totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century, chiefly Communism and Nazism, were propelled by mythologies associated with medieval apocalyptic movements

    1916: Herbert Samuel assumes the position of Home Secretary in the government of Prime Minister H.H. Asquith.

    1917: First provisional council of Palestinian Jewry was established. (The Jews were the Palestinians long before the name was usurped by the Arabs.)

    1918: Finland’s "Mosaic Confessors" law went into effect, making Finnish Jews full citizens.Under the Act, Jews could for the first time become Finnish nationals, and Jews not possessing Finnish nationality were henceforth in all respects to be treated as foreigners in general.”

    1919: Birthdate of Seymour B. Sarason, “a leader in Community Psychology.”

    1919: A general assembly met today to form a women’s Zionist organization in Great Britain.

    1921: The position of Baseball Commissioner, which had been part of the Lasker Plan (named after its author Albert Lasker) was created.  Lasker would play a key role in having Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis serve as the frist commissioner.

    1921: In a letter to Prime Minister Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, Churchill summarized the view of the French government toward the Middle East which was basically pro-Arab and anti-Zionist.

    1926: Birthdate of composer Morton Feldman.

    1926(26th of Tevet, 5686): Sixty-one year old Martin Behrman, who was serving his 5th terms as Mayor of New Orleans, passed away today. A native of New York, he came to the Crescent City as an infant and grew up in the Algiers section which was on the city’s West Bank.

    1930: According to dispatches from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency published today, “Achduth Avodah, representing the industrial workers and Hapoel and Hazaif” joined together at a meeting in Tel Aviv last week to for the Palestine Jewish Labor Party.   Among those sending congratulatory telegrams to the new organization were Leon Blum, Chaim Wiexann and PIincus Rutenberg.

    1932: In the midst of dedicating the main building, Ada Maimon and 10 girls, accompanied by a Hebrew guard, started living in Ayanot.  They had to live in the cowshed for a short time, and they were later joined by more girls until there were 70 residents.

    1936: “Reich Scientists Uphold Freedom” published today descried the hostility showed by the National Socialists (Nazis) for the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science which “has refused to introduce the ‘Aryan clause’” which would require it to “expel Jewish members.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that John Llewellyn Starkey, 50, one of the most distinguished archaeologists conducting excavations in Palestine, was shot and killed by a gang of Arab terrorists on the Beit Guvrin track, northwest of Hebron. Starkey was returning to Jerusalem from Tell el-Duweir, the site of the ancient Lachish, where he discovered inscribed tablets from the period of Jeremiah. Starkey was buried in Jerusalem.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that The Court of Honor of the Zionist Congress found Mr. Meir Grossman of the Jewish State Party guilty of revealing details of the secret conversation between Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby Gore, on the subject of Partition. Grossman was fined to cover the costs of the trial and deprived from participation in the Zionist General Council for two years.

    1940: The Nazis murdered 300 patients at Hordyszcze, a Polish mental health facility.

    1940:Ferenc Molnár, the Hungarian born novelist and playwright who fled the Nazis, arrived in the United States today.

    1942: China joins 9 European nations in adopting a resolution calling for the trial of Axis Leaders on charges of War Crimes.

    1942: The first of 19,582 Odessa Jews were transported in cattle trucks to Berezovka and then onto two concentration camps elsewhere. Most would die within the year of starvation, cold, untreated disease, or executions. The Jews of Odessa were no longer.

    1942: While working as part of burial duty at Chelmno, Michael Podklebnik found the remains of his wife, daughter and son.  He buried them amongst the other corpses of those just gassed.

    1943: Over the next eight days, twenty thousand Jews are deported from Zambrow, Poland, to Auschwitz.

    1945: Shalom Scopas, a Jewish soldier serving with the Soviet Army, went behind the lines of the Nazis "for what would be his last retrieval mission.”

    1945:  The Soviets began a major winter offensive against the Nazis in Eastern Europe.  This final push would help to liberate the remnant of the Jews who had escaped the final solution including the more than 100,000 Jews clinging to life in Budapest.

    1946: This morning a gang of seventy robbers took part in a daring train hold-up that resulted in the robbery of 35,000 pounds [about $140,000] in cash, representing the railway staff payroll. According to officials, the robbers were Jews armed with rifles and automatic weapons.

    1947: Members of Lehi blew up a police station in Haifa.

    1947(20th of Tevet, 5707): Jonas Cohn passed away at the age of 77 in Birmingham.  The German born professor of philosophy was forced to flee Germanyin 1933 with the rise of the Nazis.  He settled in England where he continued his work.

    1948: Ferenec Molnar planned to spend his 70thbirthday by “working, because it’s an old habit of mine.” He is currently working on two plays, “Wax Works and “Games of Hearts.”  While some Americans may not be acquainted with his more than 40 dramatic works, many know the Rogers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel” which was inspired by his play “Liliom.”

    1950: Birthdate of Dorit Moussaieff, “an Israeli-born British jewellery designer, editor and businesswoman” who was the great granddaughter of Shlomo Moussaieff “one of the founders of the Bukharim neighborhood in Jerusalem

    1950(23rdof Tevet, 5710): Producer and director John M. Stahl, a Jewish immigrant from Baku who was one of the founding member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (the Oscars), passed away today.

    1952: The U.N. Genocide Pact went into effect

    1952: In Los Angeles, CA, Leroy Mosely and Ella Slatkin whose family was Jewish immigrants from Russia, gave birth to mystery writer Walter Ellis Mosley. “In 2010, there was a debate in academic literary circles as to whether Mosley's work should be considered Jewish literature.”

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that despite Cairo's vigorous campaign against the British occupation of the Suez Canalzone and disregarding Israeli protests that such action might bring a new war, Britain delivered 25 new jet fighters to Egypt.

    1953: Nine"Jewish" physicians were arrested for "terrorist activities" in Moscow.  This was part of the so-called “Doctors’ Plot” that existed only in the twisted minded of Joseph Stalin.  Stalin planned to use the plot as a springboard for creating a wave of virulent anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union.  Stalin died before he could bring his plans to fruition.

    1954:  Birthdate of Howard Stern.  Hey, they all can’t be Nobel Prize Winners!

    1954(8thof Shevat, 5714): Bernard "Barney" Samuel passed away.  Born in 1880, he was a Republican Pennsylvania politician who served as mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1941 to 1952. Samuel first won election to City Council in 1923. When in 1939 George Connell, then president of City Council, became acting mayor upon the death of S. Davis Wilson, Samuel succeeded to the position of president pro tempore. Upon the death in August, 1941, of Mayor Robert Eneas Lamberton, however, Samuel assumed the mayoralty for the remainder of Lamberton's term. Samuel won re-election to the mayor's office in 1943 and 1947, defeating Democrats William C. Bullitt and Richardson Dilworth respectively, to become the first multi-term mayor since William S. Stokley (1872–81). To date, Bernard Samuel's mayoralty was the longest in Philadelphia's history. In defending the political machine he served, Mayor Samuel ironically prepared the city for reform by endorsing creation of Philadelphia's highly-touted City Planning Commission and supporting 1947's Better Philadelphia Exhibition, which subjected the failures of a "corrupt and contented" Republican political machine to harsh scrutiny and made the elections of 1949 and 1951 for city controller and mayor, respectively, landmarks in the city's political history. Samuel was succeeded by reformist mayors Joseph Sill Clark, later Democratic United States Senator, and Richardson Dilworth, later a Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania who was also mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 1960.[2] Samuel remains the last Republican elected mayor of Philadelphia. Mayor Samuel is buried at Arlington Cemetery in suburban Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

    1966: The 6th Knesset “started with Levi Eshkol’s Alignment forming the 13thgovernment today.

    1966: Golda Meir completed her service as Foreign Minister.  She was the second person to hold that post and the first women to hold it.  It would be forty years before another woman would hold this post.

    1966: Abba Eban completed his service as Deputy Prime Minister.

    1971: Norman Lear’s "All in the Family" premiered on CBS featuring.  Once again we find a Jew creating an American cultural icon.

    1971: A Federal grand jury indicted Reverend Philip Berrigan and 5 others, including a nun and 2 priests, on charges of plotting to kidnap Henry Kissinger.  They were not kidnapping Kissinger because he was Jewish.  They were looking for a dramatic way to protest the Vietnam War and Kissinger was Nixon’s leading foreign policy advisor.

    1975: Steeler tight end Randy Grossman would earn one of his 4 Championship rings as Pittsburgh defeated Minnesota in Super Bowl IX at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, LA.

    1977: Anti-French demonstrations took place in Israel after Parisreleased Abu Daoud, responsible 1972 Munichmassacre of Israeli athletes

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli-Egyptian negotiations started somewhat inauspiciously after Israel stated that it wished to preserve the Jewish settlements in Sinai. There were severe differences over the agenda, and the Egyptians did not permit the Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann to give the speech he had prepared for the opening. In Cairo, however, President Anwar Sadat assured Rabbi Alexander Schindler "that Egypt guarantees the security of Israel."

    1982(17thof Tevet, 5742): Sixty four year old Eva Schocken passed away.

    1988: Eight four year old Hiram Bingham, the American diplomat who worked with Varian Fry to save over 2,500 Jews in France from falling into the hands of the Nazis.

    1989(6thof Shevat, 5749): Ninety-five year old Paula Ackerman passed away today in Thomaston, GA

    1989:In an article entitled  “Soviet-Israeli Diplomacy Is Winner in a Court Test,” Esther B. Fein describes the significance of the fact that an Israeli basketball team was playing on a court in the Soviet Union for the first time 21 years.  The game represents a major step in the normalization of relations between the Soviet Union and Israel. Even more amazing than the game itself was the scene at courtside where “blue-and-white Israeli flags, large ones draped from poles, small paper ones, homemade ones painted on sheets were being waved to Hebrew chants of ''Am Yisrael chai!'' - The people of Israel lives! - and ''Hevenu shalom aleichem!'' - We bring you peace! -and to loud cries of Mac-CA-bee! Tonight's game seemed less a sports event than an occasion for Soviet Jews to flaunt their pride in Israel. Stars of David and medallions with the word ''chai,'' Hebrew for life, were worn proudly. Heads bared of fur hats were covered with yarmulkes. Hebrew folk songs rang out spontaneously. People greeted one another by saying ''shalom.'' Soviet officials said 175 Israeli fans had been issued visas to attend the game, but the loudest Hebrew cheers in the audience appeared to come from Soviet Jews.

    1990: Richard Shepard reviewed ‘‘The Return,'' Frederic Glover's play at the Jewish Repertory Theater about conflict between two leading Zionists – Chaim Weismann and David Ben-Gurion.

    1994(29th of Tevet, 5754): Moshe Becker of Rishon Le-Zion was stabbed to death by three Palestinian terrorist employees while working in his orchard. The Popular Front claimed responsibility for the murder.

    1994(29thof Tevet, 5754): Eighty-five year old producer and director Samuel Bronstein, the nephew of Leon Trotsky passed away today.

    1995: Harry Schwarz whose family fled Germany in 1934 and who was an active opponent of Apartheid completed his service as South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States.

    1997: The New York Times book section features a review of Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski, a Holocaust survivor who was born to a Jewish family in Latvia in 1941 and was rescued from Auschwitz at the age of five.

    1998(14thof Tevet, 5758): American born poet and Professor of English Lit at Hebrew University passed away today.

    2001: The University of Pennsylvania Law School announces that during the spring semester Harry Reicher, a University of Pennsylvaniaadjunct law professor, will teach "Law and the Holocaust," a course which has been termed a world first."Law and the Holocaust" draws together the fields of comparative law and jurisprudence and international law to examine the Nazi philosophy of law in the Third Reich.

    2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Lucyby Ellen Feldman

    2006: Jewish political leader Steve Rothman was featured on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, in Stephen Colbert's part nine of the "Better Know A District" segment, which highlighted Rothman and New Jersey's 9th District.

    2007: Kassam rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel, as IDF troops operating in Gazaand the West Bank discovered and safely detonated two bombs.

    2007: Author E.L. Doctrow spoke at WashingtonD.C.’s CardozoHigh School.  A Jewish author spoke at a high school named for a Jewish Supreme Court Justice where he was questioned by an avid audience of African American, Latino and Asian American students.  “Only in America.”

    2008: In a tribute to the vitality of small community Judaism, Shecharya Flatte celebrates his Bar Mitzvah at Agudas Achim Congregation in Iowa City, Iowa.

    2008:"Yud Shevat" Yahrtzeit observances begin. The Hebrew letter has the numerical value of “10.” Since the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away on the tenth day of the month of Shevat the anniversary of his passing is called “Yud Shevat.  Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim observe the special customs of the Shabbat prior to the yahrzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), which occurs next week, on the 10th of Shevat, January 17, 2008. The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the son-in-law of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote the following instructions for how this Yahrzeit should be observed.  For those who know Lubavitch only through elements of its outreach program including the Mitzvah Mobiles and the public Chanukah Menorah lightings, the instructions provide an interesting view of the wondrous and wonderful rituals and philosophy that are part of Chabad.  On the Shabbat before the yahrzeit, each should try to be called up to the Torah for an aliyah. If there are not enough aliyot, the Torah should be read a number of times in different rooms. However, no additions should be made to the number of aliyot per reading. The one who is honored with Maftir should be the most respected congregant, as determined by the majority; alternatively, the choice may be determined by lot. The congregation should choose someone to lead the prayers on the day of the yahrzeit. It is proper to divide the honor, choosing one person to lead the evening service (Ma’ariv), a second to lead the morning service (Shacharit), and a third – the afternoon service (Mincha). In this way a greater number of community members will have the privilege. A yahrzeit candle should be lit that will burn for the entire twenty-four hours. If possible, the candle should be of beeswax. Five candles should be lit throughout the prayer services. After each prayer service (in the morning service—following the reading of Psalms), the one leading the prayers should study (or at least conclude the study of) the following selections from the Mishnah: Chapter 24 of Keilim and chapter 7 of Mikvaot. He should then recite the Mishnah "Rabbi Chananyah ben Akashya...," followed silently by a few lines of Tanya and Kaddish de Rabbanan. After Ma’ariv, part of the discourse (maamar) entitled Basi LeGani, which the Rebbe released for the day of his passing, should be recited from memory. If there is no one to do this from memory, it should be studied from the text. This should be continued after Shacharit, and the discourse should be concluded after Mincha. Before Shacharit, a chapter of Tanya should be studied. This should also be done after Mincha. In the morning, before prayer, charity should be given to causes associated with our Nasi, my revered father-in-law, of sainted memory. Donations should be made on behalf of oneself and on behalf of each member of one's family. The same should be done before Mincha. After Shacharit and the recitation of the maamar, each individual should read a pidyon nefesh. (It goes without saying that a gartl should be worn during the reading.) Those who have had the privilege of being received by the Rebbe in yechidut, or at least of seeing his face, should—while reading the pidyon nefesh—envision themselves as standing before him. The pidyon nefesh should then be placed between the pages of a discourse maamar or other pamphlet of the Rebbe's teachings, and sent, if possible on the same day, to be read at his graveside. In the course of the day one should study chapters of Mishnah that begin with the letters of the Rebbe's name. In the course of the day one should participate in a Chassidic gathering (farbrengen). In the course of the day one should set aside a time during which to tell one's family about the Rebbe, and about the spiritual tasks at which he toiled throughout his life. In the course of the day, people (to whom this task is appropriate) should speak at synagogues and houses of study in their cities and cite a saying or an adage from the Rebbe's teachings. They should explain how he loved every Jew. They should make known and explain the practice that he instituted of reciting Psalms every day, studying the daily portion of Chumash with the commentary of Rashi, and (to appropriate audiences) studying the Tanya as he divided it into daily readings throughout the year. If possible this should all be done in the course of a farbrengen. In the course of the day, people (who are fit for the task) should visit centers of observant youth — and, in a neighborly spirit, should make every endeavor to also visit centers for the young people who are not yet observant — in order to explain to them the great love that the Rebbe had for them. It should be explained to these people what the Rebbe expected from them, his hope for them and the trust that he placed in them that they would ultimately fulfill their task of strengthening Judaism and disseminating the study of Torah with all the energy, warmth and vitality that characterize youth.”

    2009: The American Jewish Historical Society, the Center for Jewish History and Jewish Heritage present: “The Lifecycles of New York Jews: Little Disturbances and Enormous Changes.” This isthe first in a series of staged literary evenings that will depict the complex and ever-surprising lives of New York Jewish families.  Stage and screen star Kathleen Chalfant will be joined by Matt Rauch, Jerry Matz and Robert Zukerman to pay tribute to authors Grace Paley and J. D. Salinger.  Gabriel Brownstein will read from his Hemingway/PEN Award-winning fiction.  A sample of a work-in-progress documentary film portrait of Grace Paley by Lilly Rivlin will be shown.

    2009:The Canadian dance troupe La La La Human Steps takes part in the Dance at the Mishkan series by performing Edouard Lock's newest piece, Amjad, a marriage and contemporary reinvention of two of Tchaikovsky's most famous works, SwanLakeand Sleeping Beautyat The Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv.

    2009:Edward Kritzler discusses and signs copies of his latest book entitled Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom--and Revenge at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

    2009: Haaretz reported on demonstrations around the world that have been held in support of Israel’s cross-border military action. According to the paper, nearly 1,000 people in Mexico City demonstrated over the weekend in favor of Israel and its war effort. Supporters waved Israeli flags and carried signs reading, “Forward Israel!”, “Israelis Attacking in Self-Defense”, “12,000 rockets in 8 years is not enough? It’s plenty!” and more.  Israel’s Ambassador to Mexico, Yossi Livneh, addressed the Israel-supporters and explained the importance of Israel’s anti-terrorism campaign. In Odessa, Ukraine, local Jews held a pro-Israel rally on the street in front of the Jewish Cultural Center. Shlomo Ben Tzvi, from the Israeli Embassy in the Ukraine, addressed the participants. In Houston, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee, and Hadassah organized a rally in support of Israelthis past Wednesday at Congregation Beth Yeshurun. The Consul-General of the Israel Consulate to the Southwest, Asher Yarden, was among the speakers.Since Thursday, pro-Israel rallies have been held in London, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pa., New York City, Texas, Connecticut, and elsewhere around the world.

    2009 (16 Tevet):Rabbi Alan Lew, who was known for his efforts to bridge Judaism and Buddhist teachings, died unexpectedly. Lew, the retired spiritual leader of San Francisco’s Congregation Beth Sholom, died Monday while jogging, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 65.Synagogue officials told JTA that he was in Baltimore teaching at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinic training institute. Lew was the author of “One God Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi.” Before joining the Conservative rabbinate he spent 10 years studying Zen Buddhism, and later pioneered the use of meditation to enhance Jewish spirituality. The rabbi also was a social justice activist who protested executions at San Quentin penitentiary and argued for the homeless and poor at City Hall, according to Rabbi Micah Hyman, the current spiritual leader at Beth Sholom.

    2009: Several news outlets reported that Julius Genachowski would be President-Elect Obama's choice to head the FCC.His father's cousin, Menachem Genack, is the CEO of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division.     

    2010: Father Patrick Desbois who has spent a lifetime documenting the Holocaust was honored today by Alan Solow Chairman of the President's Conference and by Malcolm Hoenlein, the group’s executive vice chairman who presented him with an etching of a dove.

    2010:The first class of a four part series entitled “Why Be Jewish” is scheduled to be taught tonight by Dr. Erica Brown at The Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. This four-part series will explore modern Jewish identity in America through self-reflection, an exploration of stereotyping, case studies, and classic Jewish texts. The four classes include: “You as a Jew,” “Stereotypes Make Life Easy,” “Jewish Foods, Jewish Moods,” and “Jewish Values: Seeking and Finding.”What do Barbie and Borat have in common?

    2010: Steve Luxenberg, a senior editor at The Washington Post, is scheduled to discuss and sign his memoir "Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret" at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, MD.

    2010:The Hebrew Language Table of the Library of Congress presents a lecture by Dr. Maurice Roumani entitled “North African Jewry during WWII: The Holocaust and its Impact.”

    2010(26th of Tevet, 5770): Shirley Bell Cole passed away.  From 1930 to 1940, she was the primary radio voice for Little Orphan Annie. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2010:Pope Benedict XVI should be welcomed when he visits Rome's main synagogue, but he should halt moves to beatify wartime pontiff Pius XII, criticized for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust, a former chief rabbi of Israel said today.

    2011: The New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to begin tonight, marking the 20th year of the event.

    2011:Rami Kleinstein & ISRAMERICA are scheduled to perform at The City Winery in New York City.

    2011: CMJ UK is scheduled to hold a memorial service for Kristine Lukenin today at Southwell, north of Nottingham. Lukenin was one of two women who were stabbed as they took a Shabbat walk near Beit Shemesh. Her friend, Givat Ze’ev resident Kay Wilson was seriously wounded.CMJ is the Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People, which promotes Messianic Judaism.

    2011: The New York Times featured a review of Dueling Writers Take on Each Other and the World  co-authored by Bernard-Henri Lévy.

    2011:The Knesset approved a preliminary reading of the "Jerusalem Law" proposed by MK Uri Ariel (National Union).

    2011:“Mahler on the Couch,” a lush fictionalization of a 1910 meeting between composer Gustav Mahler and psychologist Sigmund Freud, opened the New York Jewish Film Festival

    2012: “His Wife’s Lover” is scheduled to shown at the Yiddish Film Series in Santander, Spain.

    2012: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present “Poetics of Place – Readings with Drunken Boat, Tin House and Conjunctions.”

    2012: Donna Karan is scheduled to join Fern Mallis at 92Y for a coffee klatch today, where the two fashion industry powerhouses will talk shop–and, of course, shopping

    2012:The Israeli Defense Forces demolished the illegal West Bank outpost Mitzpe Avichai near Kiryat Arba, in the early hours of this morning.


    2012: IDF tanks opened fire on a terror cell operating east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza late tonight. Army sources said soldiers manning an observation post spotted a number of Palestinians as they were attempting to plant bombs near the security fence separating Israel from the Strip.  


    2012: "We, the State of Israel, should say thank you to immigrants from Ethiopia and not vice versa," President Shimon Peres said today during a visit to a school in Jerusalem. "We do not want racism here, or anywhere else." Peres' statement came a day after Immigration Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, in response to recent protests against discrimination against Ethiopian immigrants, said that Ethiopian immigrants should be grateful for what they have received from Israel.

    2012: “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” opened tonight at the Richard Rogers Theatre in New York.

    2013(1stof Shevat, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    2013(1st of Shevat, 5773: Eighty-three year old “Leon Leyson, the youngest Holocaust survivor on Schindler’s list passed away today in Los Angeles.

    2013: Magen David Sephardic Congregation is scheduled to host “Path to Jerusalem” which will let attendees “visit Israel in the heart of Rockville, MD” with music, coffee and pasties.

    2013: “How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire” is scheduled to be shown at The New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The Minneapolis (MN) Jewish Humor Festival is schedule to open for the 4thyear in a row tonight.

    2013: “The Best of Chamber Music” featuring a performance of Dvorak Piano Quintet of opus 81 in  A major is scheduled to be performed at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

    2013: Avraham Heffner’s “The Winchell Affair” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef suffered a mild stroke this morning during the Sabbath-morning prayer service

    2013: Jan Fischer lost in his bid to become the first Jew to be elected President of the Czech Republic.

    2014: At Agudas Achim, Nancee Blum is scheduled to present “To Buy or Not to Buy” a program about compulsive shopping.

    2014: In Ashburn, VA, Beth Schafter is scheduled to perform at Beth Chaverim.

    2014: JCCNV is scheduled to present the final performance of “Mister Benny.”

    2014: “Mamele” and “The Zigzag Kid” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow and The Exiles Returnby Elisabeth de Waal

    2014: Israel is scheduled to bid farewell to former prime minister and one of the most prominent commanders of all times today. The casket of Israel's 11th prime minister Ariel Sharon will be placed in the Knesset plaza from 12:00 noon until 18:00 so the public can pay its last respects. (As reported by Moran Azulay)

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    January 13

    519 BCE: Darius had “a crown made for Zerubbabel out of gold sent by Jews in Babylon.”

    1334: Birthdate of King Henry II of Castile who “was arguably the first ruler since the Visigothic King Ergica to utilise opposition to Jewish activities in Iberian Peninsula as part of his policy.”

    1435: Pope Eugene IV,who would issue an edict prohibiting: building of synagogues, money-lending for interest, holding public office, testifying against Christians, issued “Sicut Dubum,” a bull banning the enslavement of inhabitants of the Canary Islands who had converted to Christianity.  Both measures had the same purpose – the growth of Christianity at all costs.

    1505: Birthdate of Joachim II Hector the Elector of Brandenburg who allowed the Jews to return to his realm after he was told that the charges of host desecration that had led to their expulsion were false.

    1546(10th of Shevat): The responsa of Rabbi Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi were printed for the first time in Rome

    1625:  John Milton, author of “Paradise Lost” is admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge at the age of 16. During Milton’s lifetime, Jews were still officially not allowed to settle in the British Isles.  Like many Puritans living in the England of Oliver Cromwell, Milton saw a connection between his brand of Christianity and the Israelites.  Until his eyes weakened, he read the Hebrew Bible on a daily basis and expressed a positive view of Mosaic Law.  Milton was a politician as well as a poet.  He served as a secretary to Oliver Cromwell and, according to one of his biographers, was part of the group who negotiated for the return of the Jewish community to England.

    1635: Birthdate of German Protestant theologian Philipp Jakob Spencer who differed with Lutherans on two major points one of which their belief that the conversion of the Jews was a required prelude to “the triumph of the church.”

    1733: James Oglethorpe and 130 colonists arrive in Charleston, South Carolina on their way to found the colony of Georgia.  The first Jews would arrive in Georgia with the second boatload of colonists who will arrive in July of 1733.

    1777: During the American Revolution, Lewis Bush, a Jew from Philadelphia, was transferred from the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion to Colonel Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment.

    1778:  Birthdate of Sir Isaac Goldsmid. A Sephardic Jew, Goldsmid was a prominent Londonbanker who was a founder of the University of London.  He passed away in 1859.

    1797: Birthdate of Emanuel Schwab the native of Roedelheim, Germany who married Sophie Hirsch in 1862 and served as a rabbi for congregations in Schenectady, New York and Bridgeport, CT.

    1803: Birthdate of Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire and one of the most prominent Jewish clerics of the 19th century.

    1807 (4th of Shevat, 5567): Reb Moshe Leib of Sassov passed away. Born in 1745, Rav Moshe Leib was a disciple of Rabbi Shmelke of Nikolsburg, who was in turn a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch. As the many stories about his life demonstrate, Rav Moshe was committed to all three forms of love as enumerated by the Baal Shem Tov: love of God, love of Torah and love of Israel.

    1810: Birthdate of Ernestine Louise Polowsky, the daughter of a wealthy Polish rabbi who gained fame as Ernestine Louise Rose, the American feminist and abolitionist.

    1821: In London, an unnamed visitor came to the Exchange and reported to Mr. Rothschild that he was the intended victim of an assassination plot, one possibly being hatched in Austria.  Rothschild gave no credence to the threat and was prepared to let the man depart.  Others insisted that he be held.  He was taken into custody, questioned by authorities and then released.  The name of the informant has not been made public.

    1825: Prior to his death Czar Alexander I expelled all the Jews from Mohilev and Vitebsk.

    1830: When the Great Fire began in New Orleans today, the Jewish community numbered little more than thirty members but had already formed a congregation, Shaarai Chesed (Gates of Mercy), under the direction of Jacob Solis.

    1847: Birthdate of Morris Rich, founder of Atlanta’s Rich’s Department Store.

    1854(13th of Tevet, 5614): Judah Touro passed away.  A native of Newport, Rhode, Island born in the same year as Lexington & Concord, Touro spent most of his adult life in New Orleans where he was a successful businessman and real estate investor. Touro also took part in the city’s signature event serving as a volunteer with Andrew Jackson’s forces that defeated the British in 1815.  Touro was one of the great philanthropists of his time.  Beneficiaries of his generosity included Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, The Bunker Hill (MA) Monument Fund and a residential settlement and almshouse in Jerusalem.

    1873: It was reported today that the London Jewish Chronicle has published a story about the murder of a Russian Jewish family.  Two laborers ordered brandy from Jewish innkeeper and then refused to pay for their drinks. They became abusive and eventually were forced to leave the tavern. Later that night, he innkeeper, his wife, his children and his brother were awakened by cries of “fire.” When they ran outside they were attacked by a mob of eight people including the two laborers.  The mob ransacked the inn, set fire to the building and then threw the Jews in.  They all burned to death except for a 12 year old boy who escaped into the woods.

    1873: It was reported today that President Grant has instructed all United States ministers to inform the governments to which they are accredited that the U.S. has taken a “deep interest” in the Jews of Romania and would expect these governments to do what they can to intervene on behalf of this persecuted minority.Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the American-Jew who is the U.S. Consul at Bucharest expressed his pleasure with the American government’s intervention. [This would be another example of the bogus charge that President Grant was an anti-Semite.]

    1877: It was reported today that Lord Beaconsfield who celebrated his 71stbirthday on December 27 “is now utterly enfeebled and exhausted and reduced to a condition of intellectual decrepitude  by the strains of office.”

    1878: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Newark, NJ, held its first meeting this afternoon.  The 172 members elected the following officers: President – Frank Marx; Vice President – Leopold Harzfeld; Recording Secretary – Oscar Wiener; Financial Secretary – Edward Hirschler; Treasurer – Joseph Goetz.  The members voted to raise $2,000 by issuing 400 shares of stock at $5 a share.

    1878: It was reported today that David Rosenberg of Columbus, Ohio whom it is assumed is a Jew “has issued a call for a national convention of all Israelites who are now willing to accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah of the world.” The Jews promptly repudiated the man and his scheme.

    1878:  It was reported today that The Jewish Messenger sees the “present tendency to break down the barriers of synagognism” and replace it with a “brotherhood of synagogues” as one of the most promising features of the Jewish-American landscape.

    1879: It was reported today that Thomas D. Conygham, the forger who swindled the people of Wilkes-Barre, PA out of $250,000 before fleeing the country was in turn the victim of a swindle perpetrated by Lazarus, a Sephardic Jew who conned him out of $70,000 in Haiti.

    1884:  Birthdate of Sophie Tucker, “last of the Red Hot Momma.”  The daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Tucker exploited her size and loud voice to fashion a successful career in vaudeville, burlesque and night clubs.  She used part of her fortune to endow a chair at BrandeisUniversity.  She passed away in 1966.

    1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute elected the following as its first slate of officers: President- James Hoffman; Vice President – Leo Schlesinger; Treasurer – David L. Einhorn; Secretary – M.A. Kursheedt.

    1886: In a small village near Minsk, Brokhe Tsharni (née Hurwitz) and Zev Volf, “a fervent Lubavitcher” gave birth to Baruch Charney Vladeck who gained famed as Baruch Nachman Charney, an American Jewish Labor Leader and manger of the Jewish Daily Forward

    1890: It was reported today that the Hebrew Technical Institute is currently 120 pupils who are supported by the efforts of 557 patrons and members.

    1890: It was reported today that Harmony Club, a Jewish social club, suffered 3,000 in damages as a result of the cyclone that recently struck St. Louis, MO.

    1891: A ship carrying five hundred Jewish men, women and children who were all from Russia, arrived at Dover, UK

    1891: It was reported today that the Hebrew Benevolent Society and the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children were among the charities named to receive bequests in the will of the late Emma Abbot Wetherwall who was not Jewish.

    1891: “Objects To Working Saturday” described the objections that Judge Joseph E. Newberger, an Orthodox Jew has raised to hearing matters on Saturday morning. While at least one of his colleagues has agreed to cover for him, Chief Justice Ehrlich responded by saying that Newberger should have considered this before running for election.”

    1892: Second day of a three day celebration marking opening of the Jewish Maternity Association's facility in Philadelphia, PA

    1892: Charles Spurgeon, a leading British Baptist minister was quoted today as expressing his displeasure with the Russian treatment of her Jewish citizens.  “If I had all the health and strength that could fall to the lot of man, I should be quite unable to express my feelings on reading of Russia’ intolerance of the Jews…The Czar is greatly injuring his own country by driving out God’s ancient people.  No country can trample upon Israel with impunity…

    1892: It was reported today that the annual expenses for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for the fiscal year ending October 1, 1891 were in excess of $92,000,000.  The expenditures included part of the payment for the society’s new building. (More 2014)

    1893: Birthdate of Chaim Sutin, the native of Belarus who gained fame as French painter Cahim Soutine. He owed part of his success to the support of Paul Guilluam, the French art dealer who championed the works of another Jewish artist, Amedeo Modigliani.

    1894: Adolph L. Sanger lost in his bid to be elected President of the Board of Education in New York City.

    1895: English author and historian Sir John Robert Seely, author of Ecce Homo and Natural Religion passed away. He believed that “the Hebrew Scriptures express in poetic for…the spirit of modern science”

    1896: It was reported that a course in Hebrew will be offered by New York University as one of its summer school offerings starting this July.

    1896: “Dr. Cohen On ‘Judaism A Force’: published today includes Dr. Cohen’s message that “the wealthy Jewish merchants of Philadelphia…built large temples, patronized the arts and sciences and were chairitalbe…but was there one among them who paid his employees liberally?  In Philadelphia, as in other cities he knew of clothing fortunes that had been built from the blood of the poor Russian Jews…”

    1898: Emile Zola published "J'Accuse." This famous letter appeared in Clemenceau's paper L'Aurore.  Zola was a supporter of Alfred Dreyfus and the letter condemned the French establishment for wrongly convicting Dreyfus.  (The Clemenceau mentioned above is the same Clemenceau who led Franceto victory in World War I.)

    1899: Magistrate Sims is scheduled to hear a case in which Mrs. Esther Wallenstein, President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum, has brought charges of trespass against the builders working on the asylum’s building.  She is represented by Maurice Untermyer.

    1899: It was reported today that Liebler & Company are committed to producing a dramatization of Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto which will be produced at the Herald Square Theatre starting in October.  The theatrical company has accepted the scenario he presented and the Jewish author is now working on a multi-act treatment.

    1903: Herzl begins the preparations for the meetings with the Foreign Ministry and with Lord Rothschild.

    1904(25th of Tevet, 5664): Leo Napoleon Levi, a lawyer and one of the first Jews from Texas to gain national recognition, died of a heart attack. He was born in 1856 in Victoria, TX.  “At age sixteen he enrolled at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he received the medal for being the best university debater and at age twenty received his law degree. He married Ray Bachrach, and they had six children. He settled in Galveston and became associated with the law firm Flournoy and Scott in 1876; later he became a partner in Scott, Levi, and Smith. Levi was a well-known orator, and officials at the University of Texas invited him to give the commencement address in June 1899. The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith published this speech and others by Levi in a book in 1905. In 1887 Levi was elected president of Temple B'nai Israel, and the next year he brought Rabbi Henry Cohen to Texas. Levi retained the presidency for twelve years. In Galveston he joined the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, a Jewish fraternal organization, and was elected president of District Seven, which comprised seven Southern states. In 1900 Levi was elected national president of the IOBB. That same year he moved to New York City to pursue his work with B'nai B'rith. As president of B'nai B'rith, Levi he sent a petition to Czar Nicholas II, after the massacre at Kishinev, that demanded Russians stop abusing Jews. Secretary of State John Hay signed the Kishinev petition, and President Theodore Roosevelt endorsed it.

    1904(N.S): Birthdate of Nathan Mironovich Milstein) a Russian-born American virtuoso violinist.

    1907: A new building, which resulted from the remodeling of two townhouses opened today for the use of Congregation Orach Chaim.

    1908: The Times of London published the obituary for Major General Sir Frederic John Goldsmid who passed away yesterday without mentioning the fact that his family was Jewish.


    1912:Centenary celebration of the birth of Dr. Liebman Adler. Adler began his career in Germany as a public school teacher and cantor at a local synagogue. He moved to DetroitMichiganin 1854 where he served as rabbi and cantor at Congregation Bethel. Adler was the father of famed architect Dankmar Adler.  The younger Adler’s mother died in childbirth so the father named him “Dank” (thanks), Mar (bitter).  Liebman Adler moved to Chicagoin 1861 when he was named rabbi of Kehilath Anshe Ma'ariv Synagogue.  Dankmar would build a new synagogue before his father passed away in 1891.

    1915:  Winston Churchill presented plans for an assault on the Dardanelles.  This plan would come to be known as the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign.  If the campaign had succeeded, Turkeywould have been knocked out World War I.  Russiawould have been re-supplied meaning no Russian Revolution.  The stalemate on the Western Front would have ended and World War I would have ended without the United States joining the fray.  But the campaign failed which ironically had a positive effect on one small aspect of Jewish history.  Gallipoli consumed a great deal of Allied manpower.  In desperation, the British were even willing to use an-all Jewish unit called the “Zion Mule Corps.”  The corps acquitted itself with valor and honor, making it possible for the British to create an all Jewish combat unit that saw service under Allenby in the fight against the Turks in Palestine.

    1916: Birthdate of Bella Lewitzky, founder of the internationally acclaimed Bella Lewitzky Dance Company.  When she appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Lewitzky declined to testify saying, “I am a dancer, not a singer.”

    1917:In Manhattan, The First Hungarian Congregation Ohab`Zedak offered prayers of special thanksgiving for the life and works of Jacob Schiff who had just turned seventy

    1922:Today, Nahum Sokolow, President of the Executive Committee of the World Zionist organization, who is visiting the United States as the head of a European delegation of Zionist leaders, met with U.S. President Warren G. Harding.

    1926:  Birthdate of author and feminist Carolyn Gold Heilbrun.

    1927: Birthdate of British born biologist Sydney Brenner. He shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with H. Robert Horvitz and John Sulston.

    1929: Wyatt Earp, Western legend, passed away. Earp was not Jewish.  But his wife was and she conspired to have him buried in a Jewish cemetery.  This gave rise to erroneous rumor that Earp had converted before his death.

    1935: Germany regains control of a valuable resource as the Saar rejoins the Reich following a plebiscite conducted by the League of Nations.

    1936(18th of Tevet, 5696):Samuel Lionel "Roxy" Rothafel passed away. Born in 1882 at Stillwater, Minnesota “was a showman of the 1920s silent film era and the impresario for many of the great New York movie palaces that he managed such as the Strand, Rialto, Rivoli, Capitol, and his eponymous Roxy Theatre in New York City He also opened Radio City Music Hall in 1932, which featured the precision dance troupe, the "Roxyettes", later renamed the Rockettes.” Roxy also made a name for himself on radio, where he began broadcasting in mid-November 1922, and throughout the 1920s, his live broadcasts from the Capitol Theatre became increasingly popular. One estimate from 1924 placed his typical radio audience at about five million listeners, and he was said to receive thousands of pieces of fan mail weekly. (His weekly variety show, "Roxy and His Gang," was later heard on the NBC Blue network, by that time broadcasting from the Roxy Theatre. Rothafel has been credited with many movie presentation innovations, including synchronizing orchestral music to movies (in the silent film era) and having multiple projectors to effect seamless reel changes. The book The Best Remaining Seats by Ben Hall (1961), gives a good overview of the movie palaces of the 1920s and, specifically, of Roxy himself. Rothafel is buried in Linden Hill Jewish Cemetery in Queens, New York.”

    1936: It was announced today that the annual donor luncheon of the Women’s League will be held at the Waldorf Astoria on January 15, 1936.  Proceeds from the event will be used to pay for the completion of a facility being built in Tel Aviv for female refugees fleeing Hitler’s Germany.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported on the opening of the Rockefeller archeological museum in Jerusalem, founded by John Rockefeller and named in his honor. The museum's permanent exhibition revealed the history of mankind as recorded in local archeological finds. No festive opening ceremony took place, due to the tragic murder of archeologist John Starkey. 

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Jewish buses were shot at in Haifa and there were various shooting incidents in Jerusalem.

    1938: An article in The Palestine Postquoted extensively from the London's Financial Times, which reviewed the hopeless position of over five million Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, denied the means of existence or possible emigration. The report concluded that "it seemed too much to hope in the present state of the world that a political and economic effort will be made to stop this tragedy."

    1938(11th of Shevat, 5698): Albert Ottinger, the former New York State Attorney General who was the Republican candidate for governor defeated by FDR in 1928 passed away today at the age of 59. He used his governmental positions to fight corruption and prosecuted those responsible for perpetrating frauds in the financial services industry. He was responsible for the introduction of voting machines.  Ottinger was also active in Jewish communal affairs. [Many younger readers may be surprised to find out that the Republican Party in New York had a history of using government to protect the citizens from abuses by rapacious and/or crooked “capitalists.]

    1941: James Joyce passed away. His most famous novel, Ulysses, featured a Jewish protagonist, Leopold Bloom.

    1942: The deportation of 10,000 Jews from Lodz began at the rate of 700 a day. They are all sent to Chelmno to be gassed. Nine transports of about 90 people each were buried in Chelmno. Five of the nine men unloading the corpses were shot when the day was done.

    1943: The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, warned Italians that they would permit Jews to live in areas under German rule until March 31. After that time, "the Government won't be able to make any exceptions."   In other words, Italian Jews would now become candidates for the Final Solution.

    1943: Fifteen hundred Jews are deported from Radom, Poland, to Treblinka.

    1944: Two United States Treasury Department officials--Josiah DuBois and Randolph Paul--threaten to resign and make public the report on their investigation into the State Department's scandalous activities in regard to the Jews. The report is originally entitled "Report to the Secretary [of the Treasury] on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews." The report indicts officials of the State Department for their "willful attempts to prevent action from being taken to rescue Jews from Hitler.""They have not only failed to use the governmental machinery at their disposal to rescue Jews from Hitler, but have even gone so far as to use this governmental machinery to prevent rescue of the Jews.

    1948 (2nd of Shevat, 5708): Solomon Mikhoels was killed by the secret police under Stalin's orders, as part of a campaign to eradicate Jewish intellectualism and culture.  Born in 1890, Mikhoels was a leading Russian and Yiddish actor famed for his roles as Tevye and King Lear. During the war he had tried to win support for the Russian war effort by touring Englandand the United States.

    1948: In attempt to secure the road to Mt.Scopus, site of HadassahHospital, the Haganah launched an attack on Sheikh Jarrah.  Having dislodged the Arab gunmen from the area, the Jews were forced to hand it over to the British who promised not to permit armed Arabs into the area.  Within forty eight hours, the British gave it back to the Arabs.

    1949: Birthdate of television executive, Brandon Tartikoff.

    1953: An article published today in Pravdatouched off a wave of virulent anti-Semitism throughout Russia.

    1953: The JerusalemPost reported that the losses due to drought in the Negevtopped $3 million. The heavy rain came too late, and not a drop fell in the Migdal-Ashkelon-Safieh region, where the loss was over IL 10m.

    1954: Birthdate of Trevor Rabin.  The South African native is best known as a writer and guitarist for the band “Yes.”  Rabin, who changed his name from Rabinowitz, was raised in a Reform household. He grew up observing Shabbat and singing in his synagogue choir, and despite the name change, he has never really left Judaism. In 2004, he told the San Diego Jewish journal that it helps to be a Jew in the world of rock and roll, because so many other musicians are also MOT. Indeed, Rabin wasn't the only Jew affiliated with Yes--their manager,
    Brian Lane
    , was born Harvey Freed.

    1961: Birthdate of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the actress who played Elaine on the television hit “Seinfeld.”

    1966: Abba Eban becomes  the third Foreign Affairs of Israel.

    1974(19th of Tevet, 5734): Sholom Secunda passed away. Born in 1894 at Oleksandriia, he “was a Jewish composer, born in Ukraine and educated in the United States. He wrote the melody for the popular song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" in 1932. Together with Aaron Zeitlin he wrote the famous Yiddish song "Dos kelbl (The Calf)" (also known as "Donna Donna") which was covered by many musicians, including Donovan and Joan Baez. Along with Abraham Ellstein, Joseph Rumshinsky, and Alexander Olshanetsky, he was one of the "big four" composers of his era in New York City's Second Avenue Yiddish theatre scene

    1974: A Gallup poll on religious worship showed that fewer Protestants and Roman Catholics were attending weekly services than ten years earlier, but that attendance at Jewish worship services had increased over the same period.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post published an exclusive interview with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, who agreed that Israel needed security, but could not keep Arab land. Sadat proposed mutual security measures for the West Bank and Sinai. He promised to build a "triple shrine"­ a mosque, a synagogue and a church ­at the top of Jebel Musa, Mount Sinai, where according to tradition Moses received the Ten Commandments.

    1978: Former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey passed away in Waverly, Minnesota, at age 66.  As mayor of Minneapolis and Senator from Minnesota was champion of the underdog and fighter for civil rights.  These policies made him popular with Jewish voters.  During the 1950’s visitors to Humphrey’s office in the SenateOfficeBuildingwere greeted by the sight of a prominently displayed JNF Tree Certificate.

    1980:"King of Schnorrers" closes at the Playhouse Theater in New York City after 63 performances.  “King of Schnorrers” was a musical based on work of the same name by Israel Zangwill.

    1981: Yigal Hurvitz, who had been serving as the Minister of Finance, left the cabinet.

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

    1994: Edward P. Djerejian, a Clinton appointee, presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1998: Daniel Charles Kurtzer presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. (Yes an American Jew represented the United States in Cairo.  Jewish diplomats representing the United States in Moslem countries is nothing new. It dates back to the days of the Ottoman Empire.]

    2002(29th of Tevet, 5762):  Canadian born comedian Frank Shuster, who gained fame as part of the comedy duo of Wayne and Shuster passed away.

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Public Intellectuals:A Study of Decline by Richard A. Posner, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate by Neil Baldwin, two books of Al Hirschfield’s drawings -  Hirschfeld's New York and 'Hirschfeld's Hollywood and Be My Knifeby David Grossman “an Israeli, widely known not just for his four previous novels but for two seminal books about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and for his -- as the Israelis say -- dovish'' articles and editorials in major newspapers around the world. With the exception of his first novel, however, the horrific political life of Israel -- the real world of intifada and reprisal -- plays virtually no role in the universe of Grossman's fiction.” Fifty eight year old

    2003(10thof Shevat, 5763):Fifty eight year old Rabbi Steven Dworken, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, a professional body serving over 1,100 Orthodox rabbis, died suddenly at his home in Teaneck, N.J., of a heart attack

    2006: Jeffrey Pollack was appointed Commissioner of the World Series of Poker.

    2006: An exhibit of works by ceramicist Daisy Brand sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Northern Clay Center opened today.

    2007: Senior archaeologists have come out in harsh criticism against the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) for authorizing plans for a bridge to connect the Dung Gate in Jerusalem's OldCityto the Mugrabi Gate, located next to the Western Wall and leading to the TempleMount. The archaeologists say that the bridge's pylons will damage one of the most significant archaeological parks in Israel and the world, located outside the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount.

    2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky who grew up in a small eastern Kansas town, where she and her brothers were the only Jewish kids in school and is best known as the creator of the fictional female detective V. I. Warshawski, Vienna Blood by Dr. Frank Tallis in which the author returns to his previous literary landscape - fin de siècle Vienna complete with Sigmund Freud and Austrian anti- Semitism and Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by Jacob Heilbrunn. As can be seen from one typical review, the book emphasizes the Jewish nature of the Neo-Con movement. “The story of the neocons is a saga of immigrant assimilation, whose seeds lie in the Jewish intellectual circles of the 1930s, when communists loyal to Stalin clashed with Trotskyites over communist theory and its applications in the real world. In tracing the evolution of neo-conservatism (including a look at the influence of the mysterious Leo Strauss), Heilbrunn shows how generations of Jews moved from the margins of political and intellectual life to replace the old WASP elite and now play a central role in determining U.S. policy in the Middle East.”

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky and a biography about Mstislav Rostropovich the renowned Bakuborn Jewish musician entitled Rostropovich: The Musical Life of the Great Cellist, Teacher, and Legendby Elizabeth Wilson

    2008: An exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art,"Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005 " comes to a close in Washington, D.C.

    2008: The UK's Mail on Sunday issued a free DVD of The Jazz Singer.

    2008:”New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam July 27, 1656,” anew play by David Ives about the clash between religion and modernity focuses on the interrogation of the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza opens at the Classic Stage Company in New York

    2008: Leonard Cohen announced today that he would make his first concert tour in 15 years starting in May of 2008 at New Brunswick.

    2008: “They Called Me Mayer July”, the first major exhibition of Mayer Kirshenblatt’s  work in the United States has its final showing at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkley, California. The exhibition 65 paintings is a tribute to the 91 year old Mayer Kirshenblatt’s distinctive imagination and sharp recollection of his Polish Jewish home town before World War II, with images such as: the pregnant hunchback, who stood under the wedding canopy just hours before giving birth; the khayder teacher caught in bed with the drummer's wife; the corpse that was shaved; and the "black wedding" in the cemetery during a cholera epidemic.

    2009: The 92ndSt Y presents an evening with newly minted Nobel Laureate, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

    2009: The Governor of New York nominated Jonathan Lippman to serve as the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.

    2009:U.S. Senator Bill Nelson revealed during Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing that he believes Robert Levinson is being held in a secret prison in Iran. "The door has been closed at every turn", Nelson said during Clinton's confirmation hearing. "We think he is being held by the government of Iran in a secret prison. (Levinson is the only Jew in this item)

    2009:Hadassah began instituting a massive reduction in force today when it laid off 80 employees across the country, roughly a quarter of its national staff. The cuts are coming at all levels of the organization. Hadassah recently announced that it had in total $40 million invested in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scam, as well as another $50 million the organization thought it had made in the scam. It was a significant hit to its endowment, which now stands at $412 million.

    2010: Miriam Levinson, an expert on Jewish Cuban History is scheduled to present a lecture entitled “The Jews of Cuba: The Road to Paradise and the Land We Called Home” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.
    2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival opens with a showing of “Saviors in the Night.” 

    2010: In “For Some, ‘Kosher; Equals Pure,” Kim Severson reported that “this year, for the first time, glatt kosher food will be sold at the Super Bowl.” She then explained why “kosher” has become so popular among the food-eating public..


    2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival opens with a showing of “Berlin ’36.” 

    2010: Israel’s deputy foreign minister issued a formal apology to the Turkish ambassador today after ostentatiously humiliating him earlier in the week and aggravating strains in a complex and increasingly troubled relationship between Israel and Turkey, its closest Muslim ally.
    2010: According to a report entitled "Searching for the Study of Israel" that was released today, "the past three years have seen a huge jump in the number and variety of courses about Israel taught in America's top universities."

    2011:Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” is scheduled to have its world premier at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground” is scheduled to have its New York premier at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:Andrea Meislin Gallery is scheduled to host a reception in honor Naomi Leshem to mark the opening of Between Zones, an exhibition of the work of this acclaimed Israeli photographer.

    2011:A group of national religious youth, known as “Ra'ananim” [waking up], plans to launch a campaign today against buying fruits, especially figs, from Turkey for the upcoming Tu B'Shvat holiday. .”

    2011: In an unprecedented step, some twenty senior Israeli ambassadors sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, asking him to intervene in the Foreign Ministry workers' strike "in order to save Israel's foreign service."

    2012: “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground” – a documentary about one of the premier klezmer music groups – is scheduled to be shown at The Boston Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: “The Last Jews of Libya” is scheduled to be shown at Temple Sinai in Springfield, MA

    2012: Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau warned Israeli citizens today to stay away from Thailand's capital, following the arrest of a Hezbollah militant suspected of planning a terrorist attack in the city.

    2013: Gary Gilson is scheduled to perform “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish…But  It Couldn’t Hurt” at e Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival

    2013: The New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “An Evening with the Safdie Brothers” featuring an in person appearance by directors Josh and Benny Safdei.

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson, The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond and She Matters: A Life in Friendships by Susanna Sonnenberg.

    2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to co-sponsor the presentation of “Life in Stills” and “Hava Nagila” as part of the Washington Film Festival

    2013: Israeli forces evacuated a Palestinian outpost built on a controversial strip of land in the West Bank early this morning, less than a day after the High Court stayed the demolition of the small tent village.

    2013: Cabinet ministers voted in favor of approving an upgrade in status for the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center, making it a recognized institute of higher education, and allowing it to open a program that has been widely touted as Israel’s “first liberal arts college.”

    2014: Following “a formal mourning ceremony” which is scheduled to be held at the Knesset and attended by national leaders, Ariel Sharon is scheduled to be laid to rest at Shikmim Farm in the Negev next to his second wife Lily. (As reported by Times of Israel)

    2014: “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Bethlehem” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival

    2014: Professor Joel Dimsdale is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Anatomy of Malice: Rorschach Records of the Nuremberg War Criminals” at the Lawrence Family JCC

    0 0

    January 14

    83 BCE: Birthdate of Marcus Antonius, who is better known as Mark Antony (often pronounced Anthony).  Mark Antony is credited by some with recognizing Herod as a Jewish leader and elevating him accordingly.  Later, he would side with Cleopatra in her attempts to claim some of Eretz Israel for her own.

    1129:  Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes. Troyes was the home town of the great Jewish commentator Rashi who died there a quarter of a century before the council was held.  At the time of the meeting, Rabbinu Tam, the most famous of Rashi’s grandson was 29 years old and living at the village of Ramerupt, which was just outside of Troyes.  The term “Templar” refers to the Temple of Solomon.  In its early days, the Order saw itself as a protector of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple.  When it broadened its activity the members of the order learned about banking from the Jews.  Unlike others related to crusading activities, the Templars did not engage in the wholesale slaughter of Jews.

    1301:  Andrew III of Hungary dies, ending the Arpad dynasty in Hungary. While his predecessor on the Hungarian throne had approved a variety of ant-Jewish rules and regulations, Andrew took a different tact “when, in the privilegium granted by him to the community of Posonium (Bratislava), that the Jews in that city should enjoy all the liberties of citizens.” Things went downhill for the Jews of Hungary after Andrew’s death and they were expelled from the kingdom in 1349 under the belief that the Jews were responsible for the Black Death.

    1514: Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery.  This is the same Pope Leo who clashed with Martin Luther and who offered protection to the Jews at various times including when he reconfirmed the privileges of French Jews despite opposite from the local bishops and banned the wearing of the Jew badge in France

    1601: The Church burned Hebrew books and manuscripts in Rome.  These book burnings destroyed priceless parts of the Jewish heritage.  One of the puzzling questions is why do Christians have this almost pathological fear of Jewish books.

    1639: The "Fundamental Orders", the first written constitution that created a government, is adopted in Connecticut. “No Jew, however, was recorded in colonial Connecticut until 1659 when ‘David, the Jew’, was mentioned in the Hartford legislative records.” Hartford was one of the four cities that were covered by The Fundamental orders.

    1690: The clarinet is invented in Germany.  No, the Jews did not invent the clarinet.  But from Benny Goodman, to Artie Shaw to the Kings of Klezmer, can you imagine the clarinet without Jews or Jews without the “licorice stick.”

    1711: One of the largest fires that ever occurred in Frankfurt broke out in the Judengasse  (Jews Alley). The fire started at about 8 p.m. in the House Eichel (German: Acorn) owned by the senior Rabbi Naphtali Cohen.

    1745: Birthdate of Gershom Mendez Seixas, the son of Isaac Mendez Seixas) and Rachel Levy, daughter of Moses Levy, an early New York merchant who gained fame as an American rabbi and fervent supporter of the American Revolution.

    1768: Aaron Hart, who is considered to be the father of Canadian Jewry,wed his cousin Dorothea Catherine Judah in Portsmouth, England. After the marriage, Uriah and Samuel Judah who were both his cousins and brothers-in-law emigrated to Trois-Rivières, Canada. The large family included four sons: Moses, Ezekiel, Benjamin, and Alexander (Asher), and five daughters, the latter educated by the Ursuline Catholic sisters in Trois-Rivières. One daughter, Chavah, married a Judah and two others, Sarah and Charlotte, married Samuel and Moses David respectively, sons of Montreal's Lazarus David. Seventeen sixty-eight was also the same year in which Hart joined with others for found Shearith Israel in Montreal.

    1798: Birthdate of the poet and writer of Isaac de Costa.  A Dutch born member of a Sephardic family, de Costa, converted to Christianity.  Oddly enough, one of his major ventures into the world of prose was a work on Jewish History entitled Israeland the Gentiles.

    1821: Birthdate of Salomon Hermann Mosenthal, the native of Kassel, whose operatic works included “Die Maccaber” or “The Maccabees” which he created with Anton Rubinstein.

    1842: In Vienna, Leopold Bruer and his wife gave birth to Dr. Josef Bruer the mentor of Sigmund Freud.

    1842: According to the Jewish Chronicle, at this time Woolwich “had barely a minyan of Jews, consisting of five or six families” who employed their own Shochet.  They had held services for this time on Rosh Hashanah, 5601(1840).

    1851: In Cayuga County, NY, the prosecution rested its case during the trial of John Baham who is charged with having murdered Nathan Adler, an industrious and well-liked Jewish peddler from Syracuse.

    1853: In a letter published today, Dr.  George Bethune described the conditions of the seven or eight thousand Jews living in Rome under “shockingly oppressed” conditions. At that time, as he pointed out, the government of Rome was under the control of the Vatican.

    1858: In Chicago,Sarah (Spiegel) and Michael Greenebaum, a successful merchant gave birth to Hannah Greenbaum Solomon, the founder and first president of the National Council of Jewish Women.

    1859(7thof Shevat, 5619): Fifty-nine year old Zerline “Lina” Beyfus, the wife of Meyer Levin Beyfus passed away at Frankfurt am Main

    1860: It was reported today that two Jewish businessmen named Magnus and Guedalla challenged one another to single combat during a heated dispute over who should control a company called the Great Eastern

    1861: Birthdate of Mehmed VI the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.  He came to the throne in the closing days of World War I.  His representatives signed the Treaty of Sèvres, the peace treaty marking the end of the war for the Ottoman Empire.  In signing the treaty, the Turkish sultan recognized the mandates that ended the empire including the British mandate over Palestinethat was a key step on the path to creation of the state of Israel.  The sultan lost his throne to Turkish revolutionaries who were angered by the signing of the treaty. 

    1866: In Switzerland, Jewish rights were ratified. Switzerland had been the scene of some of the worst massacres during the Black Plague and a hotbed of anti-Jewish edicts. This legislation was only passed after the United States, Britainand France refused to sign treaties until their anti-Jewish cantons were repealed.

    1878: Among the payments made from the New York City Treasury today was on of $7,976.66 to the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Society.

    1880: Birthdate of Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier whowas posthumously awarded the title Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1981 for his efforts to save Jews from the Vichy Government of Petain and Laval as well as their Nazi allies.

    1884(14thof Tevet, 5644): Seventy-six year old Philip Phillips a native of Charleston, SC, who practiced law in Mobile and served in the state legislature and the U.S. House Representatives passed away today.  The husband of Eugenia Levy, he was a Union sympathizer who lived in several Southern cities including Washington, D.C.

    1888(1stof Shevat, 5648): Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

    1889: Webster Hall, which is owned by Charles Goldstein, is scheduled to host the third annual reception of the Hoffman House Barkeepers.

    1892: In Lippstadt, Heinrich Niemöller and his wife Pauline (née Müller), gave birth to Martin Niemöller, the Lutheran minister whose anti-Nazi views slowly evolved and whose view about Jews was “a mixed bag” at best.

    1892: The annual convention of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of America opened this morning at the Lindell Hotel in St. Louis, MO.

    1892: Mrs. J.B. Eiseman, Mrs. Edward Pels and Mrs. G. Eiseman, of Baltimore, MD, met with Caroline Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison in Washington, DC at which time they invited her to attend upcoming Hebrew Orphan Asylum Bazar.  Mrs. Harrison said that if possible she would attend.  In any event, she would “send a donation of flowers from the White House Conservatories.”  (President Harrison was engaged in a re-election campaign which might have been the reason she met with the Jewish ladies.  In fairness, her refusal to commit to coming may have reflected her weakened condition that came from her battle with Tuberculosis which would take her life in October)

    1892: The three days of ceremonies marking the opening of the Jewish Maternity’s facility in Philadelphia, PA, came to a close today.

    1892: It was reported today that Adoph L. Sanger’s failure to gain election as the President of the Board of Education had nothing to do with the fact that he was Jewish.  Rather it was a case that the Tammany “machine” had decided it wanted to the incumbent to retain the position.

    1894: It was reported today that Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, one of the leading rabbis in Philadelphia, is coming to New York City to  deliver an address sponsored by the Young Men’s Association of Ahawath Chesed

    1894: President James H. Hoffman presided over the tenth annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute which was held this morning in New York City.

    1895: Benjamin Oppenheimer, one of the Republican delegates from the 22ndAssembly District was so upset when he heard that reports circulated by those opposing William Brookfield’s continued service as Republican County Chairman because Jews were against him due to his membership in the Union League Club that he has started to campaign among his co-religionist  to gain support for Brookfield (The Union League Club had blackballed Joseph Seligman’s son because he was Jewish and the fact that it no longer had any Jewish members was bone of contention among “uptown Jews..”)

    1896: The inaugural event of this social season hosted by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Asylum is scheduled to take place this evening at the Lexington Assembly Rooms in NYC.

    1897(11thof Shevat, 5657): Seventy-eight year old Leon Sternberger, the “cantor emeritus of Temple Beth-El” passed away today. Born in Bavaria in 1810, he “was a pupil of Solomon Sulzer, the father of modern Jewish religious music.” After serving as a cantor in Warsaw, he came to the United States in 1849, where he first served Anshe Chesed,

    1897: It was reported today that in Austria, Christian and Jewish witnesses swear the same oath before testifying.  However, Christian witnesses take the oath “before a crucifix between two lighted candles” while Jews take the oath with their right hands on a Bible open to the Ten Commandments.
    1898(20thof Tevet, 5658): Eighty-nine year old Lazarus Straus, “the senior member of L. Straus & Sons” passed away today. Born in Bavaria in 1809 to a prominent Jewish family, he came to the United States after the failure of the Revolutions of 1848 in which he supported the liberals He arrived in Talbotton, GA in 1853 and, after a series of business ventures in the South moved to New York City 1865. The crowning point of his business career came when his firm acquired controlling interest in R.H. Macy & Co.  A generous philanthropist, he was a leader of the Jewish community who actually lit the Eternal Light at Temple Beth-El  during the sanctuary’s dedication.  His proudest accomplishment may be his family which include his sons Isidor, Nathan who is the President of the Board of Health and Oscar who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

    1898: As the Dreyfus Affair continues to inflame France, a group of law students demonstrated in front of the offices of the Aurore protesting the writings of Emile Zola.

    1899: It was reported today that Magistrate Sims has resolved the trespass charge brought by Mrs. Esther Wallenstein, President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum.  The Magistrate agreed that the watchmen employed by the builders who had been hired to remodel the asylum’s building  “had no legal right to be on the premises” he only fined the one dollar because they had every reason to believe they had such a right.  In other words, they were innocent pawns in a struggle between Mrs. Wallenstein and the builders, John Webber & Sons.

    1899: Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation in Chicago, Illinois, dedicated a school building.  The structure was attached to the synagogue which had been designed by Dankmar Adler.

    1902:Daniel Joseph Jaffé “became associate member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (A.M.I.C.E.)” following which me moved to Hong Kong where among other things, he would build what was, at its time, the largest dam in the Far East.

    1903: In San Francisco, prominent socialites Mr. and Mrs. Walter Stettheimer gave birth to Barbara Stettheimer who gained fame as Barbara Ochs Adler, the wife of Julius Ochs Adler.

    1913: It was announced at the meeting of the Council of the United Synagogue that the selection committee had decided to submit to the Electoral College the names of two candidates only, Joseph H. Hertz of New York and Dr. Hyamson of London, for the office of chief rabbi, coupling with this resolution a strong recommendation in favor of Dr. Hertz.

    1915:  Birthdate of game show producer Mark Goodson

    1917: “At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the National Jewish Home for Consumptives, Dr. Adolf Meyer of New York said that unless necessary precautions were taken there was a great danger of tuberculosis being increased in this country by immigration after the war.”

    1923: The New York Times reported that “George Barsky, proprietor of the Hotel Allenby located just outside of the Jaffe Gate in Jerusalem” has arrived in New York for a month long stay during which he  plans to raise funds to build a new, modern hotel in Jerusalem that will have 500 rooms with 200 baths, a hot water heating system and all of the other amenities that Westerners connect with a first-class hostelry including a restaurant, billiard room and ballroom for dancing.  Barsky sees Jerusalem and Palestine as prime travel destinations and has high hopes for the development of the tourist industry in “the holy land.”

    1938: In Berlin, Harold and Lily Wolkowitz Kartiganer gave birth to Esther Kartiganer who came to United States at the age of one where she eventually became the senior producer for “60 Minutes” who “became entangled in a controversy over a program that raised questions about President George W. Bush’s military service during the Vietnam War” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
    1938: The Palestine Post reported that one Arab constable was shot and another wounded by Arab bandits during a search at Tulkarm and Kalkilya. Arms and ammunition were found and a number of Arabs were brought before the newly established Military Courtin Jerusalem and sentenced. According to the Jerusalemcorrespondent of the Egyptian press, a special committee was appointed by the British government to study the question of the Jewish settlement in Transjordan. Mr. H. St. John ("Hai Abdullah") Philby, the noted British Muslim who resided at Jedda, told the Arab press that he laments the recent growth of hostility between the Jewish and Muslim peoples, despite their common Semitic origin and their friendly relations in the past. He recommended the abolition of the Mandate and the creation of a National Government in Palestinewhich should permit Jewish immigration, in accordance with the economic and public needs of the country. St. John Philby was the father of the notorious spy, Kim Philby.

    1939: Master teacher and pianist Rosina Lhévinne performed in a two-piano recital with her husband to mark the 40th anniversary of both their marriage and their professional collaboration.

    1940: In a column entitled “Season In Palestine” Dr. Peter Gradenwitz, described recent musical events in the Holy Land including a series of concerts at the Jerusalem “Bezalel National Museum,” the presentation of a full program by the Palestine Symphony Orchestra without a conductor in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and a performance of Smetana’s “Tabor” by the Radio Orchestra which was introduced by Dr. Kadlec, the Jerusalem consul General of Czechoslovakia.  The latter took on special significance because of the fate of the Czechs at the hand of the Nazis and Smetana’s relationship to “Hatikvah.”

    1940: Of 880 Jewish Polish taken prisoner, 100 were shot on the march to prison. The next day approximately 400 more killed while 40 escaped. The day after, almost 150 more were murdered.

    1941(13thof Tevet, 5701): Sixty-year old Austrian entertainer and art collector Fritz Grunbaum died during his second imprisonment at Dachau after having spent time in Buchenwald.

    1942: The Nazis ordered 1,600 Jews from Ixbica Kujawska, in western Poland to report to a public place of assembly. The Jewish council warned the citizens about what was happening. The Germans shot the entire council. The rest were taken to Chelmno and gassed by the SS, local gendarmes, and Gestapo. Ten transports of about 80 people each were gassed and buried at Chelmno

    1943: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and United States President Franklin Roosevelt met at Casablanca, Morocco, to discuss the future Allied invasion of Western Europe. News of the meeting buoys the spirits of Jews, who hope the war may soon be over. Roosevelt, though, proposes to French North African official General Noguès and later to a leader of the Free French Forces, General Giraud that the French government in North Africa should discriminate against local Jews just as Hitler did in the 1930s. Roosevelt specifically states, twice--once to Noguès and separately to Giraud--that "the number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions...should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population." President Roosevelt adds that limiting the number of Jews in the professions "would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore toward the Jews in Germany...."

    1943: Rabbi Menachem Zemba, “called on the Jews of Warsaw to revolt” saying that "we must resist the enemy on all fronts". He also warned that "we are prohibited by Jewish law from betraying others...” Zemba was killed (19 Nissan) a few days after the revolt began. He had refused the offer of Catholic priests to help him and flee with another two rabbis, believing that he must remain until the end with his fellow Jews. Zemba had published over 20 manuscripts. Many others were destroyed in the ghetto.”

    1943: The Jewish Council members in Lomza, refused to take part in the selection process. The Germans were forced to select for themselves those Jews who should be taken away.

    1943: When the Jewish Council and Jewish police in Lomza, Poland, refuse to provide the Gestapo with 40 Jews, Gestapo agents make the selections, and include two Council members. A further 8000 Lomza Jews are deported to Auschwitz.

    1943: Birthdate of Dr. Ralph Marvin Steinman, the native of Montreal, who became a noted American cell biologist and Noble Prize winner for his work on the human immune response. (As reported by William Grimes.)

    1944: In New York, violinist Roman Totenberg and real estate broker Melanie Shroder Totenberg gave birth to NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg.

    1945: The SS evacuates the remaining prisoners from the concentration camp at Plaszów, Poland.

    1946(12th of Shevat): Rabbi Joseph Herman Hertz who had served as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom since 1913 passed away. A native of Hungary he earned a BA from Columbia and earned his Rabbinic designation at JTS, the American flagship training entity of the Conservative movement.

    1948: Anna "Ans" van Dike a Dutch Jewish Nazi-collaborator was executed at the age of 42.
    (I cannot find any details about this.  If any of you know about this person, please forward the information to me.  Thanks.)

    1948: A postal delivery truck filled with explosives and driven by pro-Arab volunteers was driven into the center of Haifa where it exploded. These volunteers included recently released German POW’s and deserters from the British Army.

    1948:Department store pioneer Beatrice Auerbach, longtime proprietor at G. Fox & Co. in Hartford, CT, received the Tobe Award for outstanding contributions to public service in the retail field

    1949: In Miami, FL, Sylvia Sarah and Clarence Norman Kasdan gave birth to Lawrence Edward Kasdan the writer, director and producer who has given us some marvelous films including “The Big Chill” and some not so marvelous including several episodes of “Star Wars.”

    1949: Dr. Edwin J. Cohn of the Harvard Medical School is scheduled to deliver the Julius Stieglitz Memorial Lecture today at the University of Chicago.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Soviet Union told the world that nine leading doctors ­ five of them Jewish ­ had "confessed" to the murder of Andrei Zhdanov, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and Alexander Shcherbakov, the secretary of the Moscow Committee, and possibly other Soviet leaders. One of the accused was the chief medical officer at the Kremlin. This announcement was understood as the so-called "Doctors' Plot," a crude attack on Soviet Jewry by Stalin. Fears were expressed that such "revelations" would lead to an anti-Jewish purge and hysteria, and a possible forced "resettlement" of Soviet Jews in outlying areas. While Izvestia had already demanded "a special status for Jews," the free world and Jewish press described the charges as false, "fantastic" and completely unsubstantiated.

    1954:  Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio.  Ms. Monroe would later convert to Judaism and marry playwright Arthur Miller.

    1960: Birthdate of Eric Alterman, the creator of the political weblog “Altercation”

    1978(6th of Shevat, 5738): British athlete Harold Abrahams passed away.  Born in 1899, Abrahams gained prominence as an Olympic runner during the 1920 and 1924 games.  He gained a wide measure of fame when his youthful accomplishments were featured in the film “Chariots of Fire.”

    1984(10th of Shevat, 5744):  Paul Ben Haim, prominent Israeli composer, passed away at the age of 86.,+Paul

    1986:S. Simcha Goldman v. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, et al in which a Jewish Air Force officer sought to have the right to wear a yarmulke when in uniform was argued before the U.S. Supreme Courtn

    1987: Israeli warplanes attacked Palestinian targets near the Syrian border today in the fourth raid on Lebanon in 10 days. .

    1988: Today an Israeli builder who is directly affected by the loss of his Arab workers sat in a trailer on a nearly abandoned construction site, grumbling about the workers from Gaza who did not show up for work for the 10th day in a row.The past month of rioting in the occupied territories, which has kept thousands of Palestinians away from jobs in Israel, has been a bitter reminder to Israelis that the country's economy is largely dependent on its political foes.

    1992: In “Scuds Are Gone, but the Israelis' Fears Linger” Clyde Haberman describes the condition of the Israeli psyche a year after what became known as Gulf War I.

    1994(2nd of Shevat, 5754):Grigory Ivanov was stabbed to death by a terrorist in the industrial zone at the Erez junction, near the Gaza Strip. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.

    1998: In “A Jew Stalin Killed Now Symbolizes Rebirth” Alessandra Stanley described the festival being held in Moscow in memory of “the great Yiddish actor and theater director Solomon Mikhoels was slain by Stalin's secret police, spelling the death of the Jewish theater in the Soviet Union.”  Stanley provides a full description of the role of Mikhoels in Russian life, the attack by Stalin and the conditions of Jewry in today’s post-Communist Russia.

    1999: Today, Jerry Falwell said "the Anti-Christ is probably alive today and is a male Jew." In his speech, he continued: "Is he alive and here today? Probably, because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he'll be Jewish. Of course he'll pretend to be Christ. And if in fact the Lord is coming soon, and he'll be an adult at the presentation of himself, he must be alive somewhere today."

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Constantine’s Sword:The Church and the Jews: A Historyby James Carroll.

    2002(1st of Shevat, 5762): Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat

    2002:A terrorist, named Raed al-Karmi, the 27-year-old leader of a local Palestinian militia, was killed by a bomb hidden beside a cemetery wall near his house.

    2002: Herb Gray completed his term as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and retired from Parliament.

    2004: Former Enron finance chief, Andrew Fastow, pled guilty to conspiracy as he accepted a 10-year prison sentence.

    2004: A young Palestinian mother, feigning a limp and requesting medical help, blew herself up today at the entrance to a security inspection center for Palestinian workers, killing four Israeli security personnel and wounding seven people, the Israeli military said. The bomber, Reem al-Reyashi, 22, said in video released after her attack that ''it was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists.'' Ms. Reyashi left behind a son aged 3, and a year-old daughter. Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, said this was the first time his group had dispatched a woman to be a suicide bomber.

    2006(14th of Tevet, 5766): Academy Award winning actress Shelly Winters passed away.

    2006: Skater Sasha Cohen won her first national gold medal at the U.S. Championships Saturday night in St. Louis.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of About Alice by Calvin Trillin, a memoir about his wife Alice Trillin who died at the age of 63 after twenty-five year battle with lung cancer. The Times also featured a review of Heist: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, His Republican Allies, and the Buying of Washingtonby Peter Stone.

    2007: The front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune featured an article by Ron Grossman entitled “Echoes of history: Holocaust voices resurface at IIT” that recounted the story of Professor David Boder who went to Europein 1946 and electronically recorded the experiences of Holocaust survivors. 

    2008: In Washington, D.C.Journalist Charles Enderlin, the Jerusalem bureau chief for channel France 2, discusses and signs The Lost Years: Radical Islam, Intifada, and Wars in the Middle East.

    2008: Sports Illustrated reported that “Will Bynum ex-Georgia Tech basketball player is in hot water in Israel where he plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv.  He was arrested after allegedly driving into some outside a bar.  The victim survived.  Bynum says he’s innocent.”  In a departure from the tolerance Americans show for such behavior an official of Maccabi Tel Aviv told the media that “Bynum will no longer wear a Maccabi shirt.” The same magazine also published a column entitled “A Changeup for Bud’s Boys” advocating the purchase of the Chicago Cubs by Mark Cuban, the multi-millionaire grandson of Jewish immigrants from Russia.

    2009:The Leo Baeck Institute and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research present a screening of “What If? The Helena Mayer Story” followed by a discussion led by filmmaker Semyon Pinkhasov and James Traub, a journalist specializing in the responsibility of nations toward their citizens. Helena Mayer was a fencing instructor at ScrippsCollege. She became Germany's woman fencing champion in 1930 and won a silver medal in the Berlin Olympics in 1936. She then settled in the US, became a citizen, and won the US Women's National Fencing Championship eight times.

    2009:  The Jewish film festival season kicks off with the opening of the 9th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and 18th annual New York Jewish Film Festival

    2009:Israel Radio reported that the IDF was turning up the heat on Hamas this morning, with ground forces progressing slowly to prevent civilian casualties. The IAF had attacked some sixty targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, Israel Radio reported. The targets included 30 terrorists smuggling tunnels, weapons storage facilities and rocket launch squads.

    2009:Palestinian terrorists continued to attack Israeli civilian areas today, firing 18 projectiles by late afternoon, including a phosphorous mortar shell that hit the Eshkol region.


    2009: The New York Times featured a review of Never Tell A Lie by Hallie Ephron.

    2009:Gottschalks, which founded by German Jewish immigrant Emil Gottschalk in 1904 as a dry goods store in downtown Fresno, California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    2009: The Museum of Memory and Welcome was inaugurated today near Nardo, in southern Italy. Israel's ambassador to Italy and Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, joined local officials for the ceremony. The museum, commemorating Jewish Holocaust refugees, opened near the Italian town that gave them shelter on their way to Palestine.


    2009: The first stage adaptation of My Name Is Asher Lev “debuts on professional stage in Philadelphia, PA.”

    2009: Three rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon

    2010: At the New York Jewish Film Festival, the U.S. premiere of a “Ahead of Time,” a documentary that tells the story of Ruth Gerber.


    2010: The 10thannual Atlanta Jewish Festival features a screening of “Breaking Upwards,”an anti-romantic indie comedy described as an Annie Hall for Generation Y that examines a stifled twenty-something New York Jewish couple who, battling codependency, decide to engineer the dismantling of their relationship.

    2010:Today, Silvyo Ovadya, the president of the Musevi Cemaati, or Jewish community, said the 23,000-member community has no immediate fear, but further tensions could "turn into anti-Semitism." Turkey's Jewish community said disputes between the country and Israel must be solved courteously, and warned that continued tensions could inflame anti-Semitism.

    2010:A bomb exploded near a small convoy of vehicles belonging to Israel's embassy in Jordan this afternoon. No one was hurt in the incident, which occurred some 20 kilometers from the border crossing at Allenby Bridge, and the vehicles continued on to Amman.

    2010 Members of the IDF medical teams preparing to spend two weeks in Haiti following a devastating earthquake received vaccinations today to prepare them for the stay in the country which is known for its poor medical infrastructure

    2010:The ZAKA delegation arrived in Haiti today after taking part in rescue operations, collection of bodies and identification at another disaster scene – the site of the helicopter crash in Mexico in which Jewish financier and philanthropist Moshe Saba was killed.

    2010: Goel Ratzon, an Israeli polygamist was arrested today on suspicion of enslavement, sexual abuse and rape. 

    2010:The man who shot up the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building in July 2006 was sentenced to life in prison. One woman died and five were wounded when Naveed Haq attacked the Jewish agency. In an address to the court during his sentencing, Haq apologized for the shooting rampage "from the depth of my being," according to the Seattle Times. Speaking before a courtroom filled with survivors of the attack and their families, along with the family of the slain victim, Pamela Waechter, Haq blamed the shootings on his poorly treated mental illness, according to reports. A jury last month found Haq, 34, of Pasco, Wash., guilty on all eight counts against him. Following nearly two months of testimony, the jury agreed with the prosecution that Haq knew full well what he was doing when he wounded six women, killing one, at the federation building nearly 3 1/2 years ago. Haq suffers from a mental disorder, and his defense claimed that he could not understand his actions. A previous jury had deadlocked on the case, precipitating a second trial.

    2011: Shabbat Tzedek celebrating 50 years in pursuit of justice with the Religious Action Center (RAC) is scheduled to begin.

    2011:Limmud NY 2011 is scheduled to begin at The Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, NY.

    2011: As the dispute over conversion bills and the definition of who is a Jew escalates, Pashkevilim were pasted in Jerusalem today that slam “those who promote fraudulent conversions without accepting the yoke of Torah and Mitzvot.”

    2012: In an interview with the German newspaper Der Tagesspiel Hungarian born pianist and conductor András Schiff accused the Viktor Orbán government of racism, anti-Semitism and neo-fascism, and declared that he would never set foot in Hungary again

    2012: “Dear Mr. Waldman” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, MA.

    2012: “Bachelor Days Are Over” – featuring Sarah Adler - and “Mary Lou” - directed by Eytan Fox – are scheduled to have their New York Premiers at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Today the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has stepped up contingency planning in case Israel launches a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. According to the report, U.S. defense officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to carry out such a strike.

    2012: The 3rdround of the Jordanian-sponsored talks between Israelis and Palestinians resumed tonight in Amman.

    2013: “SENSO” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: “Numbered,” a “film that examines the…relationships of three Auschwitz survivors” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival

    2013: The National Council of Jewish Women is a co-sponsor of today’s screening of “The Invisible War” which is scheduled to take place at Temple Judea in Tarzana.

    2013:The Florida Department of Corrections agreed to serve kosher food to Jewish inmates, ending a five-year struggle that saw the US Justice Department file a lawsuit against the state

    2013:During 2011, Israel’s population grew by 1.8 percent, increasing the population by some 141,500 people to a total of 7,836,600 by the end of the year, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics report released today.

    2014: “For A Woman” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The state of Israel is scheduled today to name “an Arrow anti-missile facility for the late Daniel Inouye the longtime Hawaii senator who championed Israel in the US Senate.” (As reported by JTA and the Times of Israel)

    2014(13thof Shevat): Yarhrzeit for Kaufmann Kohler, one of the leading Reform Rabbis of the late 19th and early 20th centuires.




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    January 15

    588 BCE:  On the secular calendar, Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign. The siege lasts until July 18, 586 BCE

    69: Servius Sulpicius Galba 6th emperor of Rome(68-69) was killed by Praetorian Guard in the Forum Rome.  Following the death of Nero, there was a power struggle.  Romehad four emperors in one year of whom Galba was one.  This state of anarchy came during the Jewish Revolt against the Romans.  The Jews actually had a year in which to improve their military position before the Romans resumed their attacks or to possibly negotiate some kind of peace.  The Jews squandered the chance by fighting among themselves, with the religious extremists becoming the dominant force.   When the dust had settled Vespasian was the Emperor and he sent his son Titus with reinforcements to crush the Jewish rebellion. 

    409:Roman emperors Honorius and Theodosius II decree that previous laws against pagans and Jews must continue to be enforced."The Donatists and the rest of the vain heretics who refuse to be converted to the Catholic communion, including all Jews and pagans, must not imagine that any laws previously issued against them have diminished in force.” (The Donatists were a Christian sect that was seen as a rival to the Church at Rome.  In this case, the Jews may have been “collateral damage” as the Roman emperors used the Catholic Church to consolidate their political power)

    1559:  Coronation of Elizabeth I of England.  Elizabeth’s experience with Jews and Marranos was uneven, to say the least. By the end of her reign, small Morrano communities existed in Bristol and London.  Dr. Nunes, a secret Jew, was the first to bring word of the sailing of the Spanish Armada in 1588.  On the other hand, Dr. Lopez, also a secret Jew, was one of Elizabeth’s physicians.  He was accused of trying to poison the monarch; a charge which he died.  However, after being tortured in Tyburne prison, he confessed and was executed

    1582:  Russia cedes Livonia and Estonia to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. There are reports of Jews living in Estonia as far back as the 14th century.  The Jewish community Livonia dated back to 1572. This change in “nationhood” had to be good news for the Jews of Livonia and Estonia since the 16th century Poland was a haven for Jews. They were protected by the monarchs, allowed to name a chief Rabbi and were governed by their own communal administration or Kahal.  According to one source, during the 16th century, three quarters of all the world’s Jews lived in Poland.

    1595: Murat III passed away.  During his reign as Sultan,the Ottoman Empire continued to be a comparatively good place for Jews to live as can be seen by  Murat relying on Izak Amon as an advisor and employing Doctor Domenico Yerushalmi and Doctor Eliezer Iskenderi as court physicians.

    1630: In Santa Engracia (Lisbon), Simon dias Solis, a young New Christian was seen near the local church (on his way to a rendezvous with a young woman) and was arrested for allegedly stealing a silver vessel from the church. After his hands were cut off he was dragged through the streets, and then burned. The real culprit, a common (Christian) criminal, admitted to the crime one year later. As a result, Solis's brother, a friar, fled to Amsterdam and reconverted to Judaism.

    1711(24th of Tevet, 5471: After two days, the fire that had burned its way through the Judengasse in Frankfurt came to an end. The fire claimed the lives of four and was so destructive that the Jews who had lost their homes were allowed to rent dwellings outside of the ghetto until new houses could be constructed. The 24thof Tevet became a day of communal fasting to mark the anniversary of this disaster.

    1784: Congress resolved "that a triplicate of the definitive treaty [of peace] be sent out to the ministers plenipotentiary by Lieut.-Col. David S. Franks." Franks was a native of England who had settled in Montreal before the American Revolution.  He became a supporter of the patriot cause and joined a military unit from Massachusetts. He overcame unjustified charges of treason in the case of Benedict Arnold and went to serve his adopted homeland in several different capacities.

    1822: Birthdate of Isidor Bush, the native of Prauge who came to the United States after the failed Revolutions of 1848 ultimately settling in St. Louis where he became a leader of the fledgling Jewish community, a supporter of the abolitionist movement and ultimately an expert in viticulture who wrote The Bushberg Catalogue

    1840: A new Jewish School was opened in Riga with Rabbi Max Lienthal serving as principle. In recognition of the sentiments expressed in the sermon with which Lilienthal opened the school the emperor Nicholas presented him with a diamond ring.

    1842: Birthdate of Josef Breuer, Austrian physician and early founder of psychoanalysis.

    1844:University of Notre Dame received its charter in Indiana.  The famous Catholic college is home to the Notre Dame Holocaust Project—an interdisciplinary faculty group that designs educational opportunities for students to engage in the study of the Shoah. Rabbi Michael A. Signer is Director of the Project.  For many students, he is the first Jewish religious leader with whom they have had any in depth contact.

    1851: In Cayuga County, NY, the defense presents its case in the People v Baham, a murder case in which the victim was a popular Jewish peddler from Syracuse named Nathan Adler.

    1852:  Mt.SinaiHospital was incorporated by Sampson Simson and eight associates in New York City. It was the first Jewish hospital in the United States. A native of Danbury, Connecticut, Simson graduated from Columbia University with a law degree in 1800. Simson was well-known for his charitable contributions to both Jewish and non-Jewish causes.  Two years before his death in 1857, Simson was a co-founder of synagogue that would become known Beth Hamedrash Hagadol.

    1859: The Jews of San Francisco are scheduled to hold a meeting today to express their feelings over the kidnapping of the Mortara child and the refusal of the papal authorities to return him to his parents.

    1855: Birthdate of Aristides Damalas who was known as Jacques Damala, the non-Jewish husband of Sarah Berhnhardt.

    1861: Today, as Southern states were seceding from the Union and it became apparent that war was inevitable, North Carolina’s Governor John W. Ellis began “the first definite endeavor” to have Major Alfred Mordecai resign from the United States Army and join the Confederate forces. The governor asked fellow North Carolinian, Representative Warren Winslow to offer Mordecai, who was a Tar Heel by birth and who many family members still living in the state, “ ‘a good position and a good salary’ if he would resign from the Army and take on ‘the work of putting N.C. on a war footing.’” Captain Theodore Laidly, a mutual friend of the two men, actually conveyed the offer to Mordecai, an offer the talented ordinance offer would refuse.

    1862: Birthdate of dancer Loi Fuller whose rumored engagement to Jacob Cantor would keep him from being elected to New York’s 15th Congressional District  in 1894.

    1864(7th of Shevat, 5624): Isaac Nathan passed away today in Sydney, Australia in what was the Land Down Under’s first fatal tram accident. Born in 1792 at Canterbury (UK), Nathan was the son of a chazzan who went to a musical career of his own in England and Australia.

    1866: In Switzerland, Jews are finally granted equal rights. It took yet another seven years for the Constitution to be changed.

    1870: It was reported today “that a large immigration of indigent Jews” will soon be on their way from Western Russia to the United States.  The Jews, most of whom are poor,. are fleeing from persecution.

    1872: In an article published in Havazelet, Jeshua Heschel Levin of Volozin becomes the first to issue a call for a truly great National Jewish Library. Havazelet was an early Hebrew language newspaper which published articles by Eliezer Ben Yehuda among other notables.

    1874: In Chicago, Temple Sinai, a Reform congregation held Sunday services at Martin’s Hall.  The congregation’s original home had been destroyed during the Chicago Fire and its new home would not be finished until 1876.

    1876: Birthdate of Ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia whose rise to power destabilized parts of the Middle East, who kept his country neutral during WW II and who led his country in the fight against the creation of the State of Israel.

    1877(1stof Shevat, 5637): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    1879: In New York, Mr. Henry Berg will deliver a lecture to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Chickering Hall entitled “Humanity and Civilization.”
    1879: James Levy, a New York Jew described as “a most expert swindler” pleaded guilty to one of the four charges against him – forgery, obtaining money by false pretenses and violation of the Hotel Act - and was sentenced to five years at hard labor in a New York state penitentiary.
    1881(15thof Shevat, 5641): Tu B’Shevat

    1889 The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is originally incorporated in Atlanta. In 1888, a customer  who had a headache came into Jacobs Pharmacy in Five Points which was owned by a prominent Atlanta Jew, Joe Jacobs, “and asked that John Stith Pemberton's tonic be mixed with seltzer water—and Coca-Cola was born." Cokebeen certified kosher, including kosher l’Pesach since 1935 thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Tobias Geffen

    1891: Birthdate of Osip Mandelstam Soviet poet and essayist. 

    1892: It was reported today that the late Cardinal Manning was held in such high esteem by non-Catholics that the Jews of London presented him with an address of praise when he celebrated his ordination jubilee.

    1892: James Naismith publishes the rules of basketball. A sport born at a YMCA quickly gained popularity with Jewish youngsters.  One sports writer even said that the game was uniquely suited to Jews because it called for people who were shifty and good with their hands. (Okay, it ia an anti-Semitic stereotype, but for once it is meant as a compliment.)  Jews figured prominently in the early days of the NBA and Abe Saperstein, with the Harlem Globetrotters, was the first person to give a comparatively large number of African-Americans a chance to play basketball for pay.

    1892: It was reported today that the President of Young Men’s Hebrew Association of America, Alfred M. Cohen has said that he could think of “no better work” for the Association than to provide for the influx of Jewish immigrants from Russia.  He expressed special concern for providing proper education for the young immigrants who will need it to meet their “altered conditions.”

    1893: It was reported today from Tangiers that Mohammed Benivda, the governor in Morocco has been imprisoning Jews and subjecting them to the last before finning them.  The Jews have broken no law and the governor is doing this simply as a way of making money.

    1893(27thof Tevet, 5653): In New York Dr. Eleazar Phillips, the author of Passages from the Prophets passed away unexpectedly this afternoon.  Born at Schiverin (Prussia) in 1809, he came to the United States in 1849 where he lived in St. Louis and Cincinnati before settling in New York where he served as rabbi for Adas Israel for 25 years.  Among his survivors is Emanuel Phillips, a grandson who teaches at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1893: Members of the Cloakmakers Union held a meeting this evening at the Hebrew Institute in Manhattan. (The choice of meeting places indicates the close association between the Jewish people and the American working class, especially in the garment industry)

    1893: It was reported today that in one three room apartment on the Lower East Side a family composed of six Jewish immigrants from Russia shared their space with 15 boarders, most of whom were infected with Scarlet Fever.  This was considered to be the most deplorable of the various unsanitary living conditions which were common throughout New York’s tenements.

    1894: At a meeting held today In Philadelphia, PA, a new Auxiliary Association of Congregation Rodeph Shalom was formed with the aim of furthering “the religious, educational and moral undertakings of the Congregation…”  It replaced the Jewish Cultural Association which had been formed by members of Rodeph Shalom.

    1894:  Birthdate of songwriter and music scout, Irving Mills.  Mills played a key role in the development of jazz because of his willingness to work with talented black musicians.  He is credited with “discovering” Cab Callaway and Duke Ellington.  His most famous hit was “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got No Swing.”

    1895: “The North German Anti-Semites” are supposed to meet in Berlin today to decide if they shall accept Hermann Ahlwardt as a member since “he wishes to join the Parliamentary group of ‘jew-baiters’ instead of occupying…a seat in the visitor’s row.”

    1895: It was reported today that the claim that some Jews are opposing William Brookfield’s attempt to be re-elected of the Republican County Committee because of his affiliation with the Union League “does not hold water” as can be seen by the support he is getting from Benjamin Oppenheirmer.  (The Union League had blackballed a candidate because he was Jewish and, following the resignation of its remaininh Jewish members was proudly “Jew free’.)

    1896: Jacob Schiff was among those attending the “fifth annual meeting of the University Settlement Society” which among other things seeks to create “a better understanding between the rich and the poor.”

    1896: “The Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home gave a reception and dance” this evening at the Carnegie Lyceum.

    1898: It was reported today that that there was a renewal of anti-Zola demonstrations in Paris where students “paraded down the boulevard St. Michel shouting: ‘Down with Zola!’  ‘Down with the Jews!’:

    1898(21st of Tevet, 5658): Seventy-one year old Solomon Latz passed away in New York City. He came to the United States fifty years ago and became a successful real estate dealer.   He retired twenty years but remained active in communal affairs serving as President of the B’nai B’rith Home in Yonkers and a trustee for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Montefiore Home and Mount Sinai Hospital.

    1899:  Birthdate of Goodman Ace, American radio/TV actor/writer/columnist/humorist.

    1899: It was reported today that under a law recently passed by the Imperial Senate, Jews in Russia do not have the right name their own children as they please.  Jews are only allowed to use Biblical names and they may not use a modernized form of these.  The police have the power to regulate these and other rules which mean Jews may use only the Hebrew or Yiddish forms of names

    1899: “Untaxed Property Worth  $96, 162, 500” published today provided a compilation of the valuations of all of New York City’s tax exempt property including  2 Mt. Sinai Hospital properties, $360,000 and $175,000; Mt. Sinai Dispensary, $96.000; Hebrew Institute, $400,000; Hebrew School on 104th Street, $5,000

    1903: Herzl met with Lord Rothschild. Herzl shows him the correspondence with the British government and asks for three million pounds from the I. C. A. for the Jewish Eastern Company

    1904: Birthdate of Hyman /Reznick who co-founded the Halevi Choral Society in 1926.

    1908: Birthdate of Edward Teller.  Born in BudapestHungary, this famous physicist worked on the Manhattan Project.  He later clashed with Oppenheimer.  Oppenheimer opposed the building of the H-bomb.  Teller favored it.  Teller became known as the “father of the Hydrogen Bomb.”

    1909:  Birthdate of Elie Siegmeister. “Elie Siegmeister is one of the large group of American composers who have productive careers -- as performer and influential educator as well as composer in this case -- but who are hardly known to the public. Siegmeister was born in New York"into an upper- middle-class family of Russian-Jewish origin." His father's enthusiasm for serious music infected young Elie, and he studied music theory and composition first at Columbia, then in Pariswith Nadia Boulanger. After four years in Paris, he returned to New York, where he spent the rest of his life. During the 1930s, he was involved with the Composers' Collective of New York, a group whose project was to introduce "classical" music to students and workers. In the 1940s, Siegmeister continued in that vein by incorporating "the American folk-song tradition" in his compositions. ‘Many of his most popular works come from this period and coincide with an overall shift in American composition towards music of simplicity and directness.’" He passed away in 1991.

    1909: “If Charities Unify They Get $1,000,000” an article published today described the terms of the will of Louis A. Heinsheimer who passed away on January 1 of this year.  According to the will, Heinsheimer will contribute $1,000,000 to the Jewish charities of New York if these institutions consolidate to form one organization or form a federation that will collect and distribute funds for the Jewish charities. Regardless of which format is chosen six charities – Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Asylum of the City of New York, the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids and Country Sanitarium for Consumptives, the Educational Alliance, the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews of New York and the United Hebrew Charities – must all agree to join for them to get the million dollar bequest. The charities have one year to create the new organization. The new organization would not be limited to these six charities and all such similar organizations would be invited to join.  Heinsheimer was a supporter of the federation format which is used in many other cities because it enabled the maximum amount of money to be raised with least amount of cost. Failure will mean that United Hebrew Charities will get $100,000 and the Montefiore Home will get $25,000. Heinsheimer left many generous bequests to family members including approximately one million dollars to his brother, Alfred M. Heinsheimer. The estate is reported to be valued at five million dollars.  The executors include Jacob H. Schiff, Alfred M. Heinsheimer, Felix Warburg, Paul M. Warburg and Mortimer L. Schiff.

    1914: In Amsterdam, Esther “Etty Hillesum, Riva (Rebecca) Bernstein and Levie (Louis) Hillesum gave birth to Esther "Etty" Hillesum, the young Jewess  whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation. She died at Auschwitz in in 1943.
    1915: The Hahambashi of Turkey protests the creation of schools designed to convert Jews to Christianity.  The schools are located in the Haskoy quarter of Constantinople. He is assured the school will be closed, and not reopen. At request of the Hahambashi, the Ministry of Public Instruction cedes the building of the missionary school over to the Jewish community.

    1917 The 25th council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations opens in Baltimore.  Henry Morgenthau, former Ambassador to Turkey and Jacob H. Schiff are scheduled to speak at the gathering at which Jewish women will be taking a more active role.

    1918:  Birthdate of Gamal Abdel Nasser.  Nasserwas an officer in the Egyptian Army.  He helped engineer the coup that ended the reign of the corrupt King Farouk in 1953.  The Israelis were hopefully that the new regime would accept the Jewish state and end hostilities.  Such was not the case.  Nasserbecame President of Egypt in 1954 and served as virtual dictator until his death in 1970.  Nasserwas a Pan-Arabist who had a secular version of Bin Laden’s dream.  As part of his dream, Nasserwas committed to the destruction of the state of Israel.  He opened the Middle East to the influence of the Soviet Union and became a virtual client of the Communists in order to get the weapons of war he thought would bring him victory.  His greatest miscalculation resulted in the Six Day War of 1967.  Nasser did put the conflict with Israel in its true perspective.  He said that he did not hate the West because of Israel; he hated Israel because it was of the West.  In other words, peace would not come to the Middle East even if Israelwere destroyed.  Peace would only come when there was an end to Western influence in the swath of land stretching from Morocco to Indonesia.

    1919 (14th of Shevat 5679):  Rosa Luxembourg Marxist revolutionary and leader of the German Spartacus League was murdered by members of the Frei Korps, a group that later would support the Nazis.  Luxembourgwas attempting to lead a Communist Revolution in Germanythat would follow the lead of Lenin’s successful revolt a year earlier.

    1919: Birthdate of “Maurice Herzog, a French alpinist who was hailed as a hero in his country in 1950 when he and a fellow climber became the first men to conquer a peak of more than 26,000 feet, that of Annapurna I in the Himalayas…” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1926: Birthdate of Herman Ginsberg.  Born in Kansas City, MO to Rose and Izzy Ginsberg, Herman grew up in Cedar Rapids, IA.  As the longtime proprietor of Ginsberg’s Jewelers, Herman is pillar of the Cedar Rapids business community.  A member of Temple Judah, Herman’s contributions and involvement in the Jewish community are too numerous to mention here.  But most important of all, today marks the birthdate of man who is a mensch in the truest sense of the term.

    1927: The City College Club, composed of 1,000 City College (NY) alumnae announced that Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler had been elected President of the organization.

    1929: Birthdate of Reverend Dr Martin Luther King.  Dr. King’s birthdate is a good time to remember the role that Jews and Jewish values played in the American Civil Rights Movement. 

    1930: Josephine Esther Mentzer married Joseph Lauter.  She changed the spelling of the name from Lauter to Lauder and became Estee Lauder.

    1930: Birthdate of David Zelag Goodman, the Manhattan native who became a prolific screenwriter who, with Sam Peckinpah, wrote “Straw Dogs” and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the romantic comedy “Lovers and Other Strangers.” (As reported by Daniel Slotnik)