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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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    February 17

    1411: Musa Celebi became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. During his reign the small Jewish community of Manisa grew in size and wealth after it had been conquered by the Ottomans.

    1525(24th of Adar): Rabbi Isaac Eizik Margoliot author of Seder Gitten ve-Halizahpassed away.

    1537: “Pope Paul III” issued “a call for a general council to deal with the Reformation.” This is the same pontiff who issued “Licet Judaei” a bull that spoke against the blood libel.

    1732: Birthdate of English dramatist Richard Cumberland who “The Jew” a comedy about a Jewish moneylender that was first produced at London’s Drury Lane Theatre in May of 1794.  Unlike earlier English portrayals of Jewish moneylenders, in this case,  Sheva the moneylender is the benevolent hero.

    1772:  First partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia and Austria.  The multi-parted partition of Poland would mean the demise of the Polish nation until after World War I.  Much to the disappointment of the Russians, they acquired a large Jewish population as a result of the partition; a Jewish population that the Russians did not want.

    1776: Publication of the first volume of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

    From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives, and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind.

     - Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776)

    1785: Birthdate of Nachman Kohen Krochmal, the native of Brody who interrupted his studies to become a business man who wrote Moreh Nebuke ha-Zeman

    1801: An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives. Thomas Jefferson was the fist President to appoint a Jew to a Federal post. In 1801 he named Reuben Etting of Baltimoreas U.S. Marshall for Maryland.  More importantly from a Jewish perspective was the fact that Jefferson was a strong defender of the concept of separation of church and state.

    1809: Miami University is chartered by the State of Ohio. According to recent figures a thousand of the school’s 15,000 undergrads are Jewish and 100 of its 1,000 grad students are Jewish.  The school offers approximately 20 Jewish Studies courses and a Major in Jewish Studies. The school hosts a robust Hillel Chapter offering a wide variety of programs including a weekly Friday night Shabbat services and dinner.

    1852(27th of Shevat, 5612): Five days before his 40thbirthday, Hebrew Poet Micha Joseph Levenson passed away.


    1853: A Hungarian tailor makes an unsuccessful attempt on the life of Emperor Franz Josef.  Jews are erroneously thought to have colluded with Italian dissidents in the attempt.

    1856: Heinrich Heine passed away. The famed poet was born to a Jewish family but converted to Christianity in 1825 seeing it as the only way to fully enter German and European society. Reportedly Heine saw his conversion as matter of practical convenience saying that “As Henry IV said, 'Paris is worth a mass'; I say, 'Berlin is worth the sermon.'"  Heine remained ambivalent about his decision for the rest of his life.  When the Nazis decided to burn books by Jewish authors, they included the works of Heine. Heine has prophetically written, “Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people."

    1863: Birthdate of British political leader David Lloyd George. Lloyd George was the Prime Minster of Great Britain during the last half of World War I.  His resolve helped to bring victory to the Allies. For Jews, Lloyd George will be remembered as the Prime Minister whose government issued the famous Balfour Declaration.  Unlike some of his wartime contemporaries, Lloyd George remained a loyal supporter to both the letter and the spirit of the Balfour Declaration after the Great War when it was no longer fashionable to keep the promises made to the Jewish people.

    1866: A correspondent for the New York Times arrived in Kai-fun-fee, the capital of Honan where he has gone in search of the remnants of an ancient community of Chinese Jews.

    1870: In Milwaukee, WI, Temple Emanu-El which had been formed in 1869 was formally incorporated, making I the city’s second oldest congregation.  E.M.V. Brown was the first Rabbi to serve the congregation.

    1871: The victorious Prussian Army parades though Paris after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. Jews fought in the armies of the victorious Prussians and the vanquished French.  More importantly, the humiliating defeat in 1871 led to World War I which in turn led to World War II and the Shoah. 

    1872: It was reported today that of the $528,742.47 that New York City gave to sectarian charitable institutions in 1869 and 1870, Hebrew institutions received $14,404.49 as compared to the $412,082.56 that went to Roman Catholic Institions.

    1874(30th of Shevat, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1874:  Benjamin Disraeli finished serving as leader of the Loyal Opposition as he prepared to assume the role of Prime Minister.

    1875: Twenty-one year old Sophie Seligman became Sophie Walter when she married Moritz Walter today.

    1875: The Israelite General Benevolent Society gave its 9th annual ball at the Turn Hall tonight.  The affair was a fundraiser to raise money for destitute and poor Jewish families
    1877(4thof Adar, 5637): Fifty-six year old German-born Austrian writer known for his “opera libretti” passed away today
    1878: “Daniel – The Third Ruler in the Kingdom” published today discusses why Daniel who interpreted the inscription for the Babylonian king was referred to as the “third ruler” when Joseph who interpreted the dream for the Pharaoh was referred to as the “second ruler.”

    1878: It was reported today that after four years, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of New York City has 900 members.

    1878: It was reported today that the Gemeindebund  ("Union of Judæo-German Congregations") has been reorganized to better protect the Jewish communities in Germany

    1878: It was reported today that more than one third of the Jews living in Amsterdam are paupers.  These 13,000 individuals are supported by the Jewish community and the government.  The Congregational Council spent 130,214 florins in 1877 to support a variety of community officials and institutions including a Chief Rabbi, Chief Cantor, free religious schools for 1,800 boys and 600 girls, a rabbinical college, an orphan asylum and a hospital and lunatic asylum “considered the best in the country.”

    1880: “Historic Balds,” a comic look at the lack of hair among men through the ages printed today, not that based on the story of Elisha “baldness seems to have been considered a disgrace in remote ages…”  On the other hand, the stories of Samson and Absalom would indicate that flowing locks are not a guarantee of good fortune or divine approval.

    1880: After having been charged with arson, Jacob Naftal, a Jewish clothing merchant, went on trial today for his role in starting a fire at Red Bank, NY which destroyed 9 buildings.  The 9 buildings, which included a store owned by the defendant, were in the town’s business district. The trial is expected to last for several days.

    1881:  Rabbi E.M. Meyer Rafael of Brooklyn provided his version of the conflict between Raphael Joseffy and Matthew Arbuckle who were supposed to be participating in an upcoming concert to provide funds for his Brooklyn synagogue. According to Meyer, Arbuckle, one of the leading coronet players had agreed to charge a reduced price for his performance and the Joseffy, one of the leading pianists, had agreed to play for free.  However, when Joseffy’s secretary found out the Arbuckle was performing, the secretary said Joseffy would not perform if a coronet was being played.  Joseffy expressed no opinion about Arbuckle.  The objection would have been the same if it had been another coronet player. The dispute could derail this benefit event.

    1882:  The description of the conditions of the Jews in Kiev and its surrounding area provided by Russian speaking Protestant Englishman who had visited the area were published today. According to him the homes of the Jews had been “completely wrecked…with the…doors and windows…torn from their hinges.  At least 2,000 Jews – men, women and children – were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. During one 48 hour period of carnage, “numerous defenseless young women were completely at the mercy of the mob…” The authorities did nothing to prevent the violence and expressed sympathy for the attackers. When some of the attackers were put on trial, “the government prosecutor expressed sympathy with the motives” of the attackers. The light sentences showed that the populace supported the attacks and the violence. In some of the small towns outside of Kiev, the soldiers who were ordered to protect the Jews actually joined the rioters.

    1882: Hamilton Disston wrote a letter from Jacksonville, FL to Mayor King of Philadelphia offering a free 40 acre tract of land owned by Okeechobee Land and Improvement Company of Florida to each of the 50 Jewish families fleeing Russian persecution that are on a boat bound for the City of Brotherly Love.
    1882: It was reported today that at Kiev, Odessa, Elizabethgrad and other Russian cities “more than 250 women were outraged by Jewbaiters during the disturbances [“Outraged” is a euphemism for rape and “disturbances is a euphemism for Pogrom.]

    1882: It was reported today that petroleum was poured on a Jew’s head in Odessa and that he was then set on fire.

    1882: It was reported that at Kiev, General Dreutlen refused to protect the Jews because it was not worth risking the lives of his soldiers to do so.

    1882: It was reported today that F.D. Moccatta has contributed £ 1,000 to the relief fund for the Jews of Russia.  He has also to contribute 1 per cent of any sum collected within the next two years in an amount not to exceed £ 1,000,000. [F.D. Moccatta is Frederick David Mocatta]

    1888:  Birthdate of Otto Stern, 1943 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

    1890: It was reported that the funds raised by the concert and reception hosted by the Seligman Solomon Society would go to the Seligman Solomon Prize Fund for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  The society which is was founded three years ago is made up of those who had lived at the asylum and the late Seligman Solomon was one of its leading patrons. 

    1890: United States Commissioner John A. Shields continued to hear testimony regarding the Sixth National Bank case, which if true, would mean that Siegmund T. Meyer and his sons Philip and Arthur, “raided” the financial institution.

    1890(27thof Shevat, 5650): Herman Frohman a wealthy New York butcher, the husband of Mary Frohman and the father of Henrietta Frohman, Lena Frohman Vollman, Fannie Frohman Adler, Bertha Frohman and Rebecca Frohman passed away today.

    1891: Birthdate of Abraham Fraenkel, the Munich native and “fervent Zionist” who became the first Dean of Mathematics at Hebrew University.

    1891(9th of Adar I, 5651): In Leadville, CO, Abe Oliner passed away just two months short of his sixth birthday.  Abe came to Leadville in 1885 with his father Isaac, age 30, mother Gilla, age 25, brother Jacob, age 4 and sister Fannie, age 2.

    1894(18th of Adar I, 5654): Sixty-three year old Albert S. Rosenbaum, a retired tobacco merchant and hotel proprietor passed away today in New York.  A native of Cassel, Germany he came to the United States when he was 18 and settled in California where he made his fortune investing in San Francisco real estate.  He moved to New York to better manage his tobacco interest.

    1895: “Heine’s Pension” published today described Heinrich Heine’s life in France beginning with “his exile in Paris in 1831.” (Heine was the German literary figure who converted, a decision that he later came to regret but never rectified.)

    1895: In St. Louis, Russian, Austrian, Polish, Hungarian and Scandinavian Jews who had become naturalized citizens of the United States form the Progressive Order of the West, a fraternal and benevolent organization. The Progressive Order's objectives were to familiarize members with the laws, customs, and institutions of this country; to create a fund to be used for charitable purposes, and to provide for the payment of death benefits to the families of members. In 1898, 7 lodges were in existence in St. Louis and steps were being taken to extend the order to other cities.

    1895: It is reported today that the Government in Germany  has taken the side of the striking tailors and seamstresses. (Considering the reactionary nature of the German ruling class this would seem rather strange except that the owners are described as being “mostly Jews.”)


    1895: “Are Sisters of Mercy” published today described the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood as one of “the pioneer of all Jewish sisterhoods: and “one of the most excellent institutions among…Hebrew charities.”

    1896: It was reported today that Baron von Leonrod, the Bavarian Minister of Justice has said that it would be impossible to refund the 80,000 marks that Louis Stern of New York had left as bail even though he had received a pardon from the Prince Regent

    1897: It was reported today that Professor Felix Adler is one of the speakers scheduled to address the upcoming conference on improving housing conditions in New York City.

    1897: “Large Gift to Orphans” published today described the offer of Emanuel Lehman to provide “$100,00 for the endowment of an industrial and provident fund for the benefit of graduates” who have been under the care of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society.

    1897: As Emanuel Lehman celebrated his 70th birthday it was reported today that “every charitable association” in New York City “in which Lehman is interested received a handsome check from him…with an explanatory note that it was a birthday present.

    1897: “Work of the United Hebrew Charities” published today showed that during January 114 people had received money to be used for transportation to other parts of the United States or Europe. During January, the UHC provided 53 free burials and provided medical assistance to 394 people including medicine and visits to the doctor.  Finally the UHC provided clothing, shoes, furniture, lodgings, meals and cash to 5,422 applicants.

    1898: Judge Meyer S. Isaacs will deliver a lecture  entitled “The Old Guard” tonight at Temple Israel sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1903: Herzl meets Dr. Abdullah Djevdet Bey whose poetry he reviewed in the Neue Freie Presse. Djevdet offers his help in gaining support for the Zionists in Turkey. Leopold Greenberg reports from Egypt that it will be impossible to obtain a Charter that will support Jewish colonization.

    1904:  Birthdate of political scientist and historian Hans J. Morgenthau.  Born and educated in Germany, Morgenthau came to the United States in the 1930’s.  He gained fame as director of the Center for the Study of American Foreign and Military Policy while teaching at the University of Chicago.  Morgenthau was a realist and opposed the Vietnam War “because the risks of military participation outweighed any benefits.”  He was a leader in the fight to improve the conditions of Soviet Jewry and he spoke out against the PLO as a terrorist organization.  He passed away in 1980.

    1910:  Birthdate of American cinema actor Marc Lawrence.  Born Max Goldsmith, Lawrence gained fame as a character actor.  He was a friend and acting contemporary of John Garfield.  Like Garfield, Lawrence ran into trouble during the McCarthy Period.  Unlike Garfield, Lawrencesurvived professionally and personally.  He passed away in 2005.

    1911: Birthdate of Oskar Koplowitz, a native of Silesia, who as Oskar Seidlin became a noted American “literary scholar, poet and” an author of detective novels and books for children.
    1913: The Armory Show opens in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century. William Zorach, Max Weber, Elie Nadelman, Maurice Becket and Abraham Walkowitz were among  the Jewish artists invited to display their work.

    1915: Reverend Thomas Kelly Cheyne, the former Oriel Professor of Interpretation of the Scriptures at Oxford and who was one of the first “English scholars” to apply “the methods of Higher Criticism” to the study of the Old Testament – a methodology that had already become popular among some German-Jewish scholars – passed away today. Cheyne was the author of Job and Solomon: The Wisdom of the Old Testament,   The Prophecies of Isaiah in two volumes and work on the prophet of Jeremiah.

    1916: A musical co-authored by Sigmund Romberg premiered in New York City.

    1917: General James Rowan O’Beirne,  the Civil War and Medal of Honor winner who served as Superintended of Immigration in the 1890’s who opposed Jess Seilgman’s efforts to gain admittance to the United States for the 86 Jewish passengers aboard the SS Marsala passed away.

    1918:Jacob H. Schiff, head of the special committee of the American Jewish Relief Committee that arranged the plan whereby the workers of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union will forego the holiday on Washington's Birthday and give their day's earnings to the Jewish war sufferers announced that almost no factory organized by the ILGU would be open and that many owners would be paying time and half or double time.

    1918: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise announced that the Palestine Restoration Fund now totals more than $800,000 of which $250,000 was collected in New York.

    1918:  Saul J. Cohen, editor The Maccabean, the official Zionist journal received a cable from Israel Zangwill, founder of the Jewish Territorial Organization, saying that he has altered his position following the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and “now looks toward Palestine as the land of the Jews.”

    1918: Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Zionist Committee of New York presided over a meeting of Zionists at the Casino Theatre who had gathered to honor the memory of Dr. Jechiel Tchlenow  who died last month in London. 

    1920: Birthdate of Bella Levy, a noble mother among the House of Israel

    1921: Herah Lerner, his wife Elka and their daughter who had been born two days ago while aboard a ship bringing these Jews to the United States arrived in New York.

    1921:After having been informed by the New York World that “the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which he has been reprinting with anti-Semitic commentary in his own newspaper the Dearborn Independent, are a forgery”  Ford said he did not care replying "The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on. They are sixteen years old, and they have fitted the world situation up to this time. Indeed they do."

    1925: In York, PA, Dorothy and Joseph Rosenmiller gave birth to Joseph Lewis Rosenmiller, Jr. “who earned a fortune building a chain of radio stations and then donated tens of millions to promote causes that he felt traditional philanthropies largely ignored, like voting rights and the empowerment of domestic workers…” (As reported by Leslie Kaufman)

    1925, Florence Prag Kahn won a special election, becoming the fifth woman and first Jewish woman to serve in the United States Congress.

    1925: Harold Ross and Jane Grant found The New Yorker magazine. Numerous Jewish writers and artists have contributed to the sophisticated journal.  These include two cartoonists – Jules Feifer and Roz Chast as well as such authors as Dorothy Park and S.J. Pearlman.

    1927: David T. WIlentz, the Attorney General of New Jersey who prosecuted Bruno Hauptmann and his wife gave birth to Robert Wilentz, the longest serving Chief Just of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

    1929:  Birthdate of the author Chaim Potok.  A graduate of YeshivaUniversity, Potok was ordained as a Conservative Rabbi after studying at The Jewish Theological Society.  He earned a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He decided to become a writer after reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisitedin 1945. He was fourteen years old, and all he had read were magazines and pulp fiction. He wanted to read a serious adult book, and he chose Brideshead Revisited at random from the public library. He later said about reading it, "I found myself inside a world the merest existence of which I had known nothing about. I lived more deeply inside the world in that book than I lived inside my own world."   Potok’s work draws on his own life’s experiences – Judaism (The Chosen, The Promise,) and a stint as an Army Chaplain serving in the Far East (The Book of Lights) – as well as the conflicts he faced including becoming an artist despite family and cultural opposition (My Name Is Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev).  His success stems from many factors.  One is that he opened doors to worlds that people did not know existed i.e. Chasidic Judaism and the Orient.  The second is that he dealt with larger issues such as how a minority culture copes with a majority culture, how to temper brilliance with humanity,  and the challenge of effective parenting in changing world, to name but a few. 

    1930: Release date for The Vagabond King, a musical operetta, produced by Adolph Zukor, written by Herman J. Mankiewicz and co-starring  Lillian Roth

    1932: Irving Berlin and Moss Hart’s musical "Face the Music" premiered in New York.

    1933: The first edition of Newsweek makes its appearance. In 1961, America’s “perennially #2 newsweekly” will be purchased by Katherine Graham’s Washington Post Co.

    1935(14th of Adar I, 5695): Purim Katan

    1936: S. N. (Samuel] Nathaniel) Behrman's "End of Summer" premiered in New York.

    1937:Bronislaw Huberman, the violinist and founder of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, received a rousing tribute at a concert here tonight with the Concertgebouw, under the auspices of the Society for Art for All.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Austria had capitulated to the German ultimatum and appointed pro-Nazis to the cabinet, marking the effective end of the country's independence.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that there was a major, festive ceremony when the District Commissioner, Mr. Keith Roach, opened Kalia, the first hotel and health resort on the Dead Sea, with the keys handed to him by Major T.C. Tuloch, Chairman of the Kalia Health Resort Company.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Mohammed el-Rab, a Palestinian Arab, was executed at the Acre prison, one week after his arrest and an immediate Military Court trial, for possession of a loaded automatic gun and ammunition.

    1940: Birthdate of Dennis Gamsy a South African cricketer who played in two Tests in 1970.

    1943(10th of Adar II, 5703): Fifty-three year old Victor Atler, the Jewish socialist who was a leader of the Bund was executed today on charges of spying for Hitler.  The execution was carried out with Stalin’s approval.

    1943: Dutch churches protested against Seyss-Inquart’s persecution of Jews. The Austrian born Seyss-Inquartbecame Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands in May, 1940.The Dutch churches were protesting against "the forced sterilization of Jewish partners in mixed-marriages.  For once, the Germans relented and ended this one form of inhumanity. At the end of the war Seyss-Inquart was arrested and charged with war crimes in Nuremberg. At his trial it was pointed out that of the 140,000 Dutch Jews, only 8,000 survived in hiding and only 5,450 came home from camps in Polandand Czechoslovakia. Seyss-Inquart was found guilty and hanged on 16th October, 1946.

    1945:Nicholas George Winton, the Englishman who organized “the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport” “was promoted to war substantive flying officer” in the RAF.  Winton, who was later knighted, was not Jewish.  He was a decent human being who, unlike so many others, did the right thing during “the long, dark European Night.”

    1946:Birthdate of Steve Grossman the Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts and   the former President of Grossman Marketing Group, a family-owned marketing company based in Somerville, Massachusetts. From 1992 to 1997, he was the chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and from 1997 to 1999 he was the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Grossman received his Bachelor's from Princeton University, and his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is married to Barbara Wallace Grossman, a Professor of Theater at Tufts University, and they have three children.

    1948: In the aftermath of today's coup in which the ruler of Yemen was assassinated, "the Jews were accused of murdering two young Muslim girls and throwing their bodies down a well."  This Arab-world version of the blood libel led to the leaders of Yemen's Jewish community being beaten and imprisoned while a mob looted and robbed those living in the Jewish Quarter.

     1949: Chaim Weizmann was sworn in as the first president of Israel. The election took place in Jerusalem, a city that had been under siege by the Arabs and almost lost to the invading enemy.  The election of a President of the state of Israel was one of the first items of business for the Knesset which was holding its first meeting in Jerusalem.  Weizmann was elected by a vote of 83 to 15.  In Israel, the President is a figurehead.  The Prime Minister holds the political power.  The election of Weizmann was recognition for his long, untiring decades of service to the Zionist cause. One of his proudest accomplishments was getting the British Government of adopt the Balfour Declaration which gave international recognition and approval to the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  The President of Israel is called "Nasi" a term which means ruler or prince.  In the early centuries of the Diaspora it had been a honorific title applied to the heads of various Talmudic academies and Jewish communities. To give you some idea of the esteem in which Weitzman was held, he was the first person to be called a Nasi in almost 1500 years.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in a statement read to the Knesset, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stressed that the recent bombing of the Soviet Legation in Tel Aviv was no justification for a rupture of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. The Soviet action was the culmination of "a campaign of defamatory propaganda against the State of Israel, the Zionist Movement and World Jewry which had been proceeding for a long time."Holland agreed to represent Israeli interests in Moscow.

    1957: The Suez Canal re-opens marking the end of the Suez Crisis that had started in October of 1956.

    1958: Time published “Historical Notes: Diary of Anne Frank – The End”

    The diary of 15-year-old Anne Frank ended abruptly when the Nazis broke into her family's hiding place in Amsterdam. What happened next? Of the last days of one of the world's best-known modern heroines, little was known except that she had died, like millions of other Jews, in a German concentration camp. To fill out the chronicle of her short life, West German Publisher S. Fischer last year assigned Author Ernst Schnabel to search the German and Dutch archives and interview survivors of the camps who might have known her. In Paris Le Figaro Littéraire printed excerpts from Schnabel's findings, to be published as a book in the U.S. this fall. Anne, her sister Margot, and her father and mother were first taken to Westerbork prison in The Netherlands, then shipped by cattle car to Auschwitz. Recalls a woman fellow prisoner: "The doors of the cars were opened violently, and the first thing we saw at Auschwitz was the garish light of the searchlights trained on the cars . . . The voice of a loudspeaker dominated all others; it bellowed: 'Women to the left, men to the right!' I saw them go away: Mr. Van Daan, Mr. Dussel, Peter, Mr. Frank." The men never saw the women again. The women were told that trucks were ready to take the small children and the sick to the prison. But those who fought their way into the trucks never reached the camp; they vanished from-the face of the earth. At Auschwitz, Anne's long hair was clipped and her eyes seemed to grow larger and larger as she grew thinner. Her gaiety disappeared but not her indomitable spirit. The women were divided into groups of five and, though the youngest of her group, Anne became its leader, partly because she was efficient at scrounging necessities. When during cold weather she and the others were reduced to sackcloth smocks, Anne found somewhere a supply of men's long underwear. She even magically produced a cup of coffee for an exhausted prisoner. Most of the adults tried to armor themselves against reality: "Who bothered to look at the flames billowing up from the crematory? When, suddenly, an order came to barricade the neighboring block, who was disturbed? We well knew that they were being readied for the gas chamber, but we were too well-trained to worry about it. We no longer heard anything, saw anything." But Anne Frank did, right up to the end. Said a survivor: "I can still see her standing by the door, watching a group of naked young gypsy girls being shoved along to the crematory. Anne watched them, weeping. And she also wept when we filed past Hungarian children waiting, twelve hours naked under the rain, for their turn to enter the gas chamber. Anne cried: 'Look at their eyes!' She wept when most of us had no tears left." On Oct. 30, 1944, there was a selection of the youngest and strongest to be sent to the concentration camp at Belsen. Single file, the undressed women were ordered into a hall where, seated behind the glare of a searchlight, a doctor chose this one for Belsen, that one for the gas chamber. "Anne's face remained unchanged, even in the cruel light of the projector. She took Margot's arm and they came forward. I can see them now, stripped naked. Anne turned her serene face toward us; then they were led away. It was impossible to see what happened behind the light, and Mrs. Frank cried: 'The children! My God! My God!'" In the hell of Belsen, Anne and Margot Frank lasted scarcely five months. They both became ill. Margot was in a coma for several days and was found, fallen from her bunk, dead. Anne was so sick that no one told her of Margot's fate. Says a fellow prisoner who watched: "Several days later she died peacefully, in the certitude that death was not a calamity."

    1959: Birthdate of Arhey Deir, the Moroccan born Israeli political leader of Shas.

    1962(13th of Adar I, 5722):  Conductor Bruno Walter passed away.

    1963: The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan which is credited with sparking the modern feminist movement is published.

    1969(29th of Shevat, 5729): Levi Eshkol, third Prime Minister of Israel, died suddenly.  In one of the great ironies of history, it was the mild-mannered Eshkol and not any of his more flamboyant contemporaries who led the Israeli government during the June, 1967 War that resulted in the re-unification of Jerusalem.

    1969: Golda Meir sworn in as Israel's 1st female prime minister. Goldie Mabovitch (who later Hebraized her name to Golda Meir) was a Russian immigrant living in Milwaukee.  In 1918 she wanted to join the Jewish Legion, a British unit organized to fight the Turks in World War I.  Mrs. Meir made Aliyah and eventually became a major political figure in the Zionist Community and later in the state of Israel.  Her description of being in Moscowfor Simchat Torah after the creation of the state of Israel is a moving story.  She served as Foreign Minister and following the death of Levi Eshkol became Prime Minister.  She lead the country through the trying days of the Yom Kippur War and its aftermath.  By the time Anwar Sadat made his memorable trip to Israel, Mrs. Meir was no longer in the government.  When the two adversaries met she is reported to have said, "Long after we have forgiven you for killing our sons, we will be working to forgive you for turning our sons into killers."  This modern Devorah took no pleasure in being involved in so many military adventures.

    1970(11th of Adar I, 5730): Shmuel Yosef or S.Y. Agnon (Hebrew: שמואל יוסף עגנון; born Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes) passed away.  Agnon was the first Hebrew author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.  He won the prize in 1966. Since this is beyond my area of expertise, included find this canned summary. “Shmuel Yosef Agnon was born in Galicia in 1888. He immigrated to Jaffa in 1908, but spent 1913 through 1924 in Germany. In 1924 he returned to Jerusalem, where he lived until his death in 1970. A prolific novelist and short-story writer from an early age, Agnon received numerous literary awards, including the Israel Prize on two occasions. Called "a man of unquestionable genius" and "one of the great storytellers of our time," S.Y. Agnon is among the most effusively praised and widely translated Hebrew authors. His unique style and language have influenced the writing of subsequent generations of Hebrew authors. Much of his writing attempts to recapture the lives and traditions of a former time, but his stories are never a simple act of preservation. Agnon's tales deal with the most important psychological and philosophical problems of his generation. "Via realistic and surrealistic modes," writes the New York Times, "Agnon has transmuted in his many words the tensions inherent in modern man's loss of innocence, and his spiritual turmoil when removed from home, homeland and faith." An observant Jew throughout most of his life, he was able to capture "the hopelessness and spiritual desolation" of a world standing on the threshold of a new age. Extolled for his "peculiar tenderness and beauty," for his "comic mastery" and for the "richness and depth" of his writing, it is S.Y. Agnon's contribution to the renewal of the language that has been seminal for all subsequent Hebrew writing.”


    1972: President Richard Nixon begins his historic trip to China.  This major diplomatic breakthrough was orchestrated by White House advisor Henry Kissinger who would become the first Jewish Secretary of State.

    1977: In New York City, the first Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy comes to a close. The two day meeting led to the founding of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

    1981: In “Yiddish Book Collection Grows in New England,” Michael Knight described the work of the Yiddish Book Exchange.

    1981: Birthdate of Joseph Gordon-Levittan American actor best known for his role as Tommy Solomon on “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

    1982(24th of Shevat, 5742): Lee [Israel] Strasberg, father of method acting passed away at the age of 80.  Strasberg also enjoyed a career as an actor with one of his most roles coming at the end of his life when he played the “Meyer Lansky” figure in The Godfather Part II

    1985: Martin Eli Segal “served as the the Gerneral Chairman of the “Night of 100 Stars II, the first AIDS benefit held by the Actors’ Fund of American.

    1987:Aulcie Perry Jr., a former basketball player who had become an Israeli citizen and was hailed as a sports champion in Israel, went on trial today on charges of conspiracy to import heroin, importation of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.The 6-foot-10-inch Perry, who holds a dual citizenship, joined the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team in Israel in 1977 and helped bring it a European Cup championship that year and in 1979. He remained on the team until 1984. Perry's cousin, Kenneth Johnson, 29, who was charged with Perry, pleaded guilty earlier this month and is awaiting sentencing.

    1988: The United States announced that it is planning to change ambassadors to Israel next summer. According to State Department officials, William A. Brown, currently ambassador to Thailand, will replace Thomas R. Pickering, who has served in Tel Aviv since 1985. Mr. Pickering is scheduled to return to Washington to become Under Secretary of State for management. The State Department also plans to replace Morris Draper, the Consul General in Jerusalem, with Philip C. Wilcox Jr., a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State who deals with Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. The Consul General in Jerusalem has something approaching ambassadorial status. He reports directly to the State Department, not to the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, a situation that reflects Washington's refusal to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

    1988:A dozen Israeli playwrights, poets and other intellectuals made an urgent appeal to the Government tonight to ''talk peace with the Palestinians.'' Amos Oz, the Israeli novelist, started and ended his address to the group with the words, ''What was, will not be again.'' Seventy New York writers, artists and performers sent a telegram expressing their support to the Israeli Playwrights' Association, a gesture welcomed by Israelis here who feel support from abroad can put effective pressure on the Government. Among the signers were Erica Jong, Allen Ginsburg, Grace Paley, Gloria Steinem, E. L. Doctorow, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer and Susan Sontag.


    1988: The violence in the occupied territories continued today, as Israeli soldiers shot and killed one Palestinian and wounded at least three others while dispersing riots in the West Bank village of Shuyukh, near Hebron, an army spokesman said.


    1994 (6th of Adar, 5754): Yuval Golan who was stabbed on December 29, 1993 by a terrorist near Adarim in the Hebron area he died of his wounds.

    1996: In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world champion Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match. Kasparov’s mother is Armenian and his father is Jewish.

    2001: At the Library of Congress of an exhibition entitled “Herblock’s History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium” which presents works by cartoonist Herb Block, who chronicled the nation’s political history and caricatured twelve American presidents from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton comes to an end.

    2003(15th of Adar I, 5763): Seventy-eight year old art dealer Felix Landau passed away today (As reported by Eric Pace)


    2005: Today, in the wake of the bankruptcy of Sunbeam Products, Ron Perelman filed a lawsuit against Morgan Stanley, claiming that Morgan had defrauded him by knowingly misleading him about the financial condition of Sunbeam Products.  The Sunbeam acquisition was only one in a long series of such deals in which this Jewish philanthropist and businessman had engaged in over the past four decades starting with the purchase of Esslinger Brewery in 1961. He and his father bought the company for “$800,000, then sold it three years later for a $1 million profit.” 

    2006: Thousands of mourners gathered at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv this morning to pay their final respects to ShoshannaDamari, who lay in state on the stage until the memorial service began shortly before noon.  During the memorial service President Moshe Katsav said "One can say of her that she was the voice of Israel," he said. "We have lost her, but not her songs.” Damari, whose unique throaty voice and larger-than-life performances embodied the Hebrew revival myth, died Tuesday at 83 after a short bout with pneumonia. She was buried later Friday afternoon at the
    Trumpeldor Street
    cemetery in Tel Aviv. Damari, who was born in 1923 in the city of Damar in Yemen and immigrated to Israelas a toddler, was a grandiose figure, the diva of Israeli popular music and the recipient of the Israel Prize. The country's leaders and trendsetters saw Damari as a synthesis of biblical splendor, Eastern exoticism and security-consciousness; she also embodied a feeling of destiny and belonging, pathos and, generally speaking, the intensification of the drama of Israeli life to the point of collective, operatic shuddering. Before all of the grief cliches are extracted - those that refer to "the last of the giants" and bury Israeliness itself with all of its creators and representatives who pass away - it may be worthwhile to say this in Damari's favor: Death caused by old age and disease, not by fire or sword, is in and of itself a small victory of existential normality. And if we have recently been lamenting the passing of more and more people who have completed a 60-year career, it's certainly not joyous, but it isn't tragic. It may even be heroic and nice. This is especially true in a country where "we have reached the final wall / And the sword is dangling over us," as verses written in the 1940s for Damari's phenomenal voice, sparkling beauty and dramatic performances would have it. Damari was to the world of song what David Ben-Gurion was to the world of politics and Ariel Sharon and his generation are to the world of military commandos: talented figures that became larger than life - in their own eyes and in the eyes of others - when life itself wasn't so great.

    2006: Israel's hopes for an Olympic medal took a blow when ice dancer Galit Chait fell during the compulsory program of the Pairs Ice Dancing competition.
    2007: Shabbat Shekalim – The Sabbath of the Shekel.

    2007: Celebration of Fred Rodgers birthday: a brand plucked from the flames of the Holocaust and pillar of the Jewish community.

    2008: Final performance of “Fabrik: The Legend of M. Rabinowitz” at the Urban Stages Theatre in Manhattan.  This adult puppet show traces the life of Moritz Rabinowitz.  He was a Polish Jew sent to Norwayby his family to escape pre-World War II pogroms, who became a successful businessman before ending up at Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.

    2008: The Sunday Los Angeles Times book section featured reviews of The Bad Wife Handbook by Jewish poet Rachel Zucker and The Life of the Skies by Jonathan Rosen

    2008: An exhibition entitled “Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic” opens at The Museum of Jewish Heritage.In 1938, a time when openings for Jewish refugees were hard to find, the government of the Dominican Republic offered to resettle up to 100,000 Jews. Sosúa, an abandoned banana plantation on the north coast of the island, would become a refuge to hundreds of Jews. The settlers were given resources to cultivate the land they were provided, and built a thriving town – one that still exists today. This exhibition will tell how the settlers were recruited and came to Sosúa, what awaited them there, what role the Dominican and U.S.governments and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee played in the story, how the settlers worked with their Dominican neighbors to establish themselves, and what kind of a town they created. Sosúa speaks poignantly to one chapter in a shared Dominican and Jewish story.

    2008: An exhibition entitled “To return to the land…” Paul Goldman’s Photographs of the Birth of Israel opens at The Museum of Jewish Heritage.Hungarian-born photojournalist Paul Goldman fled to the British Mandate of  Palestine in 1940, where he chronicled the events leading up to the foundation of the State of Israel. Goldman’s photos of life before statehood, during the War of Independence, and the ingathering of dispersed Jews are complemented by rich memories of individuals who lived through those same events. Images and words together tell stories of the birth of Israelthrough the lenses of photographic and human memory.  From Tel Aviv streetscapes to the bombing of the KingDavidHotel, from street vendors to Prime Ministers; both the extraordinary and every-day document this monumental story.

    2009: In Manhattan’s East Village, the fourth and final part of a four part series The Comedy and Kabbalah of Relationships featuring Rabbi YY Jacobson

    2009: At New York University, Professor Yoram Peri, head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University delivers a public lecture entitled "New Leadership in Israel and the Peace Process"

    2010: The CJH is scheduled to co-sponsor “Music in the Age of the Wittgensteins,” featuring a performance by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

    2010: In Arkansas, Bella Levy, wife of Manford Levy, celebrates her 90th birthday.  Bella is an Ashes Chayel in the truest sense of the word.  All who know are are blessed by the experience.

    2010:The heads of various medical associations held an emergency meeting today, and the president of the Israel Medical Association(  IMA) Dr. Leonid Eidelman, said the organization would not hesitate to carry out its threat to strike if necessary, in its escalating battle with Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman should its Scientific Council be transferred to the ministry.

    2010:According to JTA, “lawyers for the estate Adrian Jacobs added J.K. Rowling's name to a lawsuit it filed in the High Court of England last June -- some 12 years after Jacobs died penniless in Nightingale House, a home for elderly Jews in south London. Adrian Jacobs, an art collector, lawyer and accountant who made millions on the stock market before going bust, wrote a children’s book in 1987 titled The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No. 1 Livid Land.” The suit claims that Rowling plagiarized ideas for her fourth book, the best-selling “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2000), from "Willy the Wizard No. 1."
    2011: A job fair, held in conjunction with the Orthodox Union Job Board, is scheduled to take place at Sasson v’ Simcha Hall located in Brooklyn.

    2011:Gainsbourg, “the boldly imaginative and wildly entertaining biopic of Jewish French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, one of the most iconic and diversely talented music artists of the 20th Century” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attempted to dispel rumors that relations between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had soured, saying on today that "our relations are intact.""I spoke to the prime minister," after vetoing Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's choice for ambassador to London, Lieberman said. "We'll keep working together."

    2011: A Lebanese military court convicted a man of spying for Israel and sentenced him to death late today.Amin al-Baba was found guilty of giving Israeli intelligence agents information in return for money.
    2011: A Night of Outrageous Comedy with Julie Goldman is scheduled for tonight at the Washington DCJCC.

    2011:Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attempted to dispel rumors that relations between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had soured, saying  that "our relations are intact.""I spoke to the prime minister," after vetoing Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's choice for ambassador to London, Lieberman said. "We'll keep working together."

    2011:Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians  after observeing the Palestinians approaching the security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip attempting to plant explosives.."

    2011: The Washington Post featured a review of  Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New Yorkby Ariel Sabar, the son Yona Sabar, a Kurdish Jewish scholar, linguist and researcher. He was born in the town of Zakho in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq. His family moved to Israel in 1951. He received a B.A. in Hebrew and Arabic from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1963 and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 1970. He is currently professor of Hebrew at UCLA. He is a native speaker of Aramaic and has published more than 90 research articles about Jewish Neo-Aramaic and the folklore of the Kurdish Jews. His immigrant journey from the hills of Kurdistan to the highways of Los Angeles is the subject of an award-winning memoir by his son, Ariel Sabar, an American author and journalist. Ariel Sabar's book — My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq— won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography.

    2012(24thof Shevat, 5772): Seventy-seven year old “Peter Novick, a history professor at the University of Chicago who stirred controversy in 1999 with a book contending that the legacy of the Holocaust had come to unduly dominate American Jewish identity” passed away today (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2012: Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein is scheduled to deliver a Friday night talk entitled “True Love..How to Find It and Keep It” at the Magen David Sephardic Congregation in Rockville, MD.

    2012: Following Carlebach Services and dinner, Dr. Jerry Muller, Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History,Catholic University of America, Washington DC is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Capitalism and the Jews” as part of the Scholar-In-Residence Weekend at Tifereth Israel in Washington, DC.

    2012: Opening session of LimmudLA

    2012: Tali Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Defense Ministry's representative to India who was moderately injured in the attack on Israel’s embassy in New Delhi , gave a testimony to police, which may change previously held assumptions about the attack and its perpetrator, the Times of India reported today.

    2012: Palestinian terrorists fired an RPG at IDF forces stationed near the Gaza border fence today, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office.. 

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Four New Messages by Joshua Cohen and the recently released paperback editions of In Our Prime: The Fascinating History and Promising Future of Middle Age by Patricia Cohen

    2013: Professor Brian Horowitz is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks of two day conference at Tulane University – “Jewish Secular Utopias and Distopias in Central and Eastern Europe”

    2013: The Toronto Jewish Film Society is scheduled to present “The Barber of Stamford Hill” and “The 10th Man” at the Miles Nadel JCC.

    2013: “Six Million and One” is among the movies scheduled to be shown at the final night of the 17thDenver Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: In “Online Battle Over Sacred Scrolls, Real-World Consequences” published in print today, John Leland describes the efforts of Raphael Haim Gold”s less than honorable attempts “to advance his father’s views about the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

    2013(7thof Adar, 5773): Seventy seven year old Israeli entertainer Shmuel "Shmulik" Kraus passed away.

    2013:A Knesset panel will launch an independent investigation into the jailing and suicide of Mossad agent Ben Zygier, following growing calls for an official accounting of the case, the committee said tonight.

    2013: A delegation of Israeli security officials visited Cairo to discuss the security situation in the region with their Egyptian counterparts today, the second such trip in less than a week.
    2014: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia Cultural Arts Department in Fairfax is scheduled to hold auditions for the one-act family theatre production of “Cinder-Rachella,” an original play with music that celebrates Israeli culture through the eyes of the iconic fairytale Princess

    2014: “Broken Lines,” a film about “Jake, a working class Jewish boy…and his fiancée Zoe” is scheduled to be shown for the first time at as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

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    February 18


    1229: During The Sixth Crusade, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signed a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy. Prior to the Sixth Crusade, Pope Gregory III had used the Crusading Spirit to impose anti-Semitic legislation.  Frederick II was involved in a power struggle with the Papacy.  As part of that he struggle, he defied Rome and granted a charter of privileges to the Jews of Vienna in 1238.

    1239: The ten year truce between Emperor Frederick II and the Sultan of Egypt came to an end.  During this period, 1236, the Emperor issued a decree refuting the accusations of ritual murder and providing for the protection of his Jewish subjects.

    1488: The first printed eviction of tractate Gittin of the Babylonian Talmud was published in Soncino, Italy

    1546: Martin Luther passed away.  Luther was a significant figure in the movement to reform Christianity.  He extended the hand of friendship to the Jews, thinking that he could win them over to his side with kindness.  When the Jews rejected his goal - conversion - Luther turned on them.  By 1544, he was publishing a pamphlet entitled "Concerning the Jews and Their Lies." Jews were characterized as “venomous, virulent, thieves, brigands and disgusting vermin."  According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "'...Luther's ferocious castigation of the Jews provided fuel for anti-Semites and vicious force of that legacy was still evident in Nazi propaganda.'"

    1564:Michelangelo passed away. Among his works were a statue of Moses that had horns and a statue of an uncircumcised David.

    1574: An auto-de-fe took place in Mexico City; nearly 100 people were sentenced that day, including New Christians.

    1577: The Jews of Safed requested assistance from the Sultan for persecution by local officials. In a letter to the local Ottoman officials, the Sultan told his people that the Jews, "have complained of wrong done to them." The Jews were forced to pay high taxes, transport dung on Saturdays, were levies tolls on the road to Damascus, and were beaten with a strip of metal. The Sultan ordered his people not to molest the Jews, to investigate and give back what the Jews are owed.

    1723: In Prussia a revised form of the "Aeltesten-reglement" (Constitution of the Jewish Community) was issued.  The original document which was supposed to be read every in the synagogue was issued in March of 1722.

    1743: Premiere performance of Handel’s “Samson” at Covent Garden, an oratorio based on the life of the Biblical figure described in the Book of Judges.

    1757: In Avignon, France, a local townsman walking through the ghetto on a dark night, stumbled and fell into a well near the synagogue. Fortunately he was not hurt. The day was declared a local holiday for generations. The rationale was that had the townsman drowned so near the synagogue, the Jewish community would have been accused of complicity in his death. 

    1794(18th of Adar): Rabbi Alexander Suskind of Horodno author of Yesod ve-Shoresh ha-Avodah passed away

    1804:  Ohio University founded in Athens, Ohio. Today approximately 10% of its 17,000 students are Jewish.  There is an on-campus Hillel Chapter at Ohio University.

    1813: Emancipation of the Jews of Mecklenberg, Germany

    1839: Birthdate of Zadoc Kahn, the Alsatian native who became Chief Rabbi of France.

    1839: Birthdate of Charles S. Baker who while serving as Congressman from New York in 1890 submitted a resolution “protesting…the enforcement by Russia of the edicts of 1882 against the Jews” and requesting the President to submit a protest to the Czar’s government.

    1840: Sultan Abdul Mejid I issued a royal decree absolving the Jewish community on the island of Rhodes of charges “of having killed a gentile child” so that his blood could be used in baking matzoth. The day was celebrated as The Purim of Rhodes.  The Sultan was a reformer who was trying to make the Ottoman Empire a modern nation as can be seen by his attempts to replace the turban with the fez, introduce the use of banknotes and the issuing of a patent so that a telegraph system could be built in Turkey.

    1846: Beginning of the Galician peasant revolt.  At this time Galicia was a province of the Austrian Empire.  The revolt was one of many that would sweep Europe during the late 1840’s. By 1851, once the revolts in Galicia had been suppressed, the Reform Constitution would be  revoked and, among other things, Jews would lose their newly won right to purchase  land in Galicia,

    1848(14th of Adar I, 5608): Purim Katan

    1850: In Budapest, Karl Ullmann and his wife gave birth to  Alexander de Erény Ullmann the political economist who served in the Hungarian Parliament from 1884 to 1892.  His father who was born in 1809 and passed away in 1880 founded the first Hungarian Insurance Company.  Alexander passed away in 1897.

    1852: According to reports published today, a juror named Shubal Hubbard claimed that Alexander Christallar, a witness for the defendant, had tried to engage him in inappropriate social contact during a break in the trial.  In his deposition, Hubbard claimed that Christallar was a Jew and that he was President of a Williamsburg Synagogue.  He also claimed that Christallar had invited him to a celebration at which Oysters would be served.

    1853: August Belmont, the Jewish banker and Democratic political leader, and Caroline Slidell gave birth to August Belmont, Jr. who was raised as a Christian.

    1856: Full civil rights are granted to Turkish Jews

    1859: Birthdate of Solomon Rabinowitz who became famous under the penname of Sholem Aleichem.  Born in Russia, Sholem Aleichem first wrote in Hebrew and only later turned to writing in Yiddish.  He moved from Russia to Denmark, to Switzerland and ultimately moved to the United States at the outbreak of World War I.  Unfortunately, he only lived in America for two years and he passed away in 1916.  Known as the Yiddish Mark Twain, Sholem Aleichem is most famous for creating Tevya and all of the wonderful characters who lived with him in the shtetels of the Pale.  He used humor to portray both the joy and the suffering of his co-religionists.  He became famous among generations of Jews who had thought they had escaped from all of that "Yiddish stuff" and gentiles as well with the production of Fiddler on the Roof.  Some of his famous lines include: "In the mud, but not of the mud."  "When a Jew eats a chicken one of them was sick.""A bachelor is a man who comes to work each morning from a different direction.""Gossip is nature's telephone.""Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.""No matter how bad things get you got to go on living, even if it kills you.""The rich swell up with pride, the poor from hunger." Some of his works that have been translated into English include Tevye's Daughters, The Adventures of Menahem-Mendel, The Best of Sholom Aleichem and The Great Fair which is his autobiography.

    1861: With the Italian unification almost complete, King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.  Jews were active participants in the fight to unify Italy and the newly unified Italian nation was certainly hospitable to its Jewish citizens.  Historian Elliot Rosenberg cites a quote from his fellow historian Howard Morely Sacher to capture what the new Italian nation meant to the Jewish people.  “In 1848, there had been no European country save Spain where the restrictions placed upon Jews were more galling and more humiliating than in Italy.  After 1860, there was no country on the continent of Europe where conditions were better for Jews.”

    1866: Birthdate of Samuel Krauss, a professor at the Jewish Teachers' Seminary in Budapest and the Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna who was a contributor to the Jewish Encyclopedia.

    1870: State Supreme Court Justice Cardozo denied a motion for an injunction in an action styled the Mayor of New York City vs. the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company.

    1871: Rabbi Wise delivered the first in a series of lectures on the “Origin of Christianity” at Steinway Hall in New York City.  Reverend O.B. Frothingham introduced the Rabbi.

    1874(1st of Adar, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1874: Ida Morgenthau, the daughter of Lazarus Morgenthau married William J. Erich.

    1874: Lazarus Morgenthau founded a society that would provide dowries for orphan Jewish girls.

    1876: In Maryland, Circuit Court Judge Pinkney, ruled that the City of Baltimore did not have the right give public funds to a variety of charitable organizations including the Hebrew Hospital.

    1880: Mr. Moses Levinson of New Rochelle sued the New Haven Railroad today in United States Circuit Court for “exemplary damages.”  Levinson contended that he had been wrongfully put off one of the New Haven’s trains when the conductor claimed he had not paid for his ticket.  Levinson sought $5,000 in damages.  The jury awarded him $750.

    1882: “The Russian War on the Jews” published today described the renewed attacks to which the Jews of Kiev have been subjected and Count Totleben’s refusal to intervene without special instructions from the government at St. Petersburg.

    1882: In Philadelphia, PA, the old passenger station belonging to the Pennsylvania Railroad, has been configured to provide temporary accommodations for the Jewish refugees who will arrive in the city after having escaped from the recent round of pogroms in Russia.  A supply of food has been gathered for the refugees and Dr. Thomas G. Morton is the head of a group of doctors who will be available to take care of their medical needs.  In the mean time, an Employment Committee will make every effort to find jobs for the new arrivals.

    1887: In New York, the Hebrew Technical Institute moved from its location on Crosby Street to its new school building at 34 and 36 Stuyvesant Street. Founded in 1884, the school provides vocational training to young Jews most of whom are the children of recent immigrants.

    1890:  In Moscow, according to the Gregorian calendar, Leonid Pasternak, a professor at the Moscow School of Paint, Sculpture and Architecture and concert pianist Rosa Kaufman gave birth to Boris Pasternak, the author of Doctor Zhivago

    1893: “Regulators in Louisiana” published today described “the existence of an oath-bound organization having for its object the banishment of Jewish merchants…and Negroes from Tangipahoa Parish.”  Among those threatened was David Stern, a leading merchant in Amity, LA.

    1893: Seventy-year old Gerson von Bleichröder the second generation German-Jewish banker who provided his services to Bismarck and Prussia passed away today.

    1894: It was reported today that George Eliot had told American author Charles Godfrey Leland “that in order to write Daniel Deronda she had read through 200 books.” Leland wrote that he “longed to tell her that she had better have learned Yiddish and talked with 200 Jews and been taught, as Iwas by my friend Solomon the Sadducee, the art of distinguishing Fraulein Lowenthal of the Ashkenazim from Senorita Aguado of the Sephardim by the corners of their eyes.” (Daniel Deronda is the philo-Semitic novel written by Mary Anne Evans who used the penname George Eliot.  At the time of this entry, Leland was doing research on gypsies.)

    1894: “All Fools’ Day” published claimed that 17thcentury antiquarian John Brand attributed the origin of April Fool’s Day to the Jews.  According to Brand, Noah sent the dove out of the ark before the waters had abated on a day which corresponds to April 1.  The celebration of fools on this date reminds of the original “fool’s errand” on which Noah sent the Dove.

    1894: It was reported today that the late Albert S. Rosenbaum passed away as a result of heart disease which probably does not offer any comfort to the widow and five children who survived him.

    1897: In Paris, French author Emil Zola was attacked by a mob on his way home from the court where his case was being heard.  The police were forced to intervene to prevent a lynching.  The frustrated mob then “made a rush for the Jews threatening to throw them into the Seine.”

    1901: Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons. At the time, Churchill was member of the Conservative Party serving as an MP for Oldham.  In 1904, the Conservatives at Oldham would tell Churchill that they could no longer support him.  This would force Churchill to seek a new constituency which would be Manchester North-West where a third of the voters were Jewish.  This change in political fortune would force Churchill to deal with Jewish political issues for the first, but not the last time, in his career.  For more on this topic you should Sir Martin Gilbert’s highly readable Churchill and the Jews.

    1903(21st of Shevat, 5663): Moses Mielziner, the Prussian born American rabbi who had been President of the Hebrew Union College since 1900 passed away today.

    1910: In Lithuania, Rabbi Moshe Yom Tov Wachtfogel gave birth to Nosson Meir Wachtfogel who became known as the Lakewood Mashgiach.

    1913: During the Third Republic, when real power was held by the Prime Ministers, Raymond Poincaré becomes President of France. Along with General Pershing (commander of the AEF), Poincare opposed the Armistice contending that Allied armies needed to penetrate deeper into Germany lest the German people not realize that their army had been beaten.  Their view did not prevail.  The German Army marched back into Germany giving rise to the “stabbed in the back” myth that helped Hitler come to power.  During the 1920’s, Poincare intervened on behalf of the Jews of Poland when he convinced the Polish government to refrain from adopting legislation that would have discriminated against her Jewish citizens.

    1914:Charles Edward Sebag-Montefiore and Muriel Alice Ruth de Pass gave birth to Denzil Charles Sebag-Montefiore

    1916: Birthdate of Maria Victoria Bloch-Bauer, who as Maria Altmann gained fame for her “successful, five decades long fight to regain five Gustav Klimt paintings owned by her family that had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

    1918: Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Zionist Committee of New York, presided over the memorial service held in honor of the late Jechiel Tchlenow, the Russian born doctor who passed away in London only months after having participated in the negotiations that produced the Balfour Declaration.
    1920: The Jewish Court of Arbitration held its first session (p 112)

    1927: The London Gazette reported from Whitehall that “Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, granting the Dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom to the undermentioned gentlemen and the heirs male of their respective lawfully begotten: Sir Joseph Duveen, of Millbank in the City of Westminster”

    1929: First Academy Awards are announced. “Broadway Melody” produced by Irving Thalberg was named Best Picture for 1928 – 1929. “All Quiet on the Western Front” directed by Lewis Milestone was named Best Picture of 1929-1930.

    1930: Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart's "Simple Simon" premieres in New York

    1931(1st of Adar, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1931(1st of Adar, 5691): Fifty year old Russian born American actor Louis Wolheim who gave a memorable performance in “All Quiet on the Western Front” passed away today.

    1931: King Levinsky fought a four round exhibition with former Heavy Weight Champion Jack Dempsey. Levinsky the scion of a Jewish family from Chicago that had a fish business on Maxwell Street

    1932:  Birthdate of Czech born film director Milos Forman.  Forman’s father was Jewish but his mother was not.  They died in the camps.

    1933: Marinus van der Lubbe, the man who will be accused of setting the Reichstag Fire, arrived in Berlin. There are those who contend the fire was really set by the Nazis.  Regardless, they used it as tool to consolidate their power weeks after Hitler became Chancellor.

    1934(3rd of Adar, 5694): “Dr. Heinrich York Steiner, Hungarian Jewish writer, friend of Dr. Theodore Herzl” and one of the founders of the Zionist movement passed away today at the age of 75.  Dr. York-Steiner, who was born in Hungary, spent most of his life in Vienna.  Known as a novelist, critic and dramatist, he became friendly with Dr. Herzl as a young man and worked closely with him to form Zionist groups. He played an important part in the creation of the World Zionist Organization.”

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that owing to German influence there had been in recent months a concentrated Italian drive against the appointment of Jews to leading positions in the economic and political life of the state.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that there were three successive Arab attacks on the Rana police post, near Acre. Some 150 Arab villagers in the Tulkarm area were arrested in connection with a number of recent railway sabotages.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Maestro Toscanini had withdrawn from participating in the Nazi-dominated Salzburg Festival and announced his intention to come and conduct the Orchestra in Palestine.

    1940: In Warsaw, two Jewish girls were raped by two German sergeants.

    1943: A group of 1,220 Jewish refugees from Poland arrived in Israel from Tehran where they had found refuge in 1924.

    1943: Joseph Goebbels gave his Total War speech which should have put an end to any later claims that the Allies were wrong in pursuing a policy of Unconditional Surrender when fighting the Axis.

    1943: The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.  The White Rose movement was an anti-Nazi movement inspired by German students.  It is important to remember that there were those in Germany who opposed Hitler and were willing to risk their lives to express that opposition. 

    1945: The last of six convoys of deportees arrived at The Langenstein-Zwieberge, an under-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp.  

    1946: A clandestine radio transmitter known as the “Voice of Free Israel” that is reportedly operated by the Stern Gang was seized in Tel Aviv after “a house to house search by British Soldiers and police officers.”

    1946: Clemens August Galen was named as a Cardinal.  During World War II, while serving as the Bishop of Munster (Germany), he opposed the Nazis.

    1947: Birthdate of Eliot Engel, Congressman representing New York’s 17th District.

    1949:Eamon de Valera resigns as Taoiseach (head of government) of Ireland. The controversial Irish leader was rumored to have been the illegitimate son of a Portuguese Jew, a rumor he vehemently denied. However de Valera was not an anti-Semite as can be seen by his support in 1937 for a provision in the Irish Constitution that explicitly recognized the existence and rights of the Jewish community in Ireland.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset approved, by 79 votes to 16, the government's statement on the ruptured relations with the Soviet Union. The resolution upheld the role the Soviet Union played in the establishment of Israel in 1948, but found no justification for the Soviet role in breaking off the diplomatic relations between the two countries now. Mass meetings in New York asked the Soviet Union to "Let My People Go!"

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in London the House of Commons backed the British government's decision to continue selling jet fighters to Arab nations to the exclusion of Israel.
    1955: Pinchas Lavon’s resignation as Defense Minister is accepted.

    1955: David Ben Gurion agrees to come out of retirement and serve as Defense Minister.  Four months later he will also agree to serve as Prime Minister.

    1965(15th of Adar I, 5725): Eight-six year old Paul Sachs, the Assistant Director of the Fogg Art Museum and founding member of The Museum of Modern Art who played a key role in making plans for protecting American art during WWII and retrieving art from war torn Europe as described in The Monuments Men passed away today.

    1966(28th of Shevat, 5726): Fifty-seven year old Robert Rossen, the director of the Oscar winning picture “All the King’s Men” passed away today.

    1967(8th of Adar I, 5727): Robert Oppenheimer passed away.  The famed physicist was director of the Manhattan Project and is one of those referred to as the father of the Atomic Bomb.

    1969: The PLO attacked El-Al plane in Zurich Switzerland.  Long before 9/11, the Israelis were forced to deal with a level of vicious terrorism aimed at strangling their avenues of commerce and tourist industry.  As a result of the PLO attacks, the Israelis were the first to put sky marshals on their flights and to do in depth pre-screening of all passengers.  And yes, the head of the PLO was Yassar Arafat, the "partner for peace." 

    1970:  The Chicago Eight, including Abbe Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, were found not guilty of charges relating to the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention held in Chicago.

    1973: A headline in the New York Times read "Half Baghdad's Jews Said to Apply to Leave; Property Seized."  "Half the members of the tiny Jewish community in Baghdad have applied for passports to leave Iraq in recent weeks in the face of a crackdown by Iraqi authorities, according to a first day account.

    1973: In Montreal's Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Naim Kattan, an Iraqi-born Jew spoke at a memorial and protest rally for nine more Jews who had been murdered in Baghdad.  (page 300 for the dead)

    1981:Israel's 60,000 teachers, who earn an average of $110 a week, staged a one-day strike today to press for a wage increase promised by the Government. The Government's decision in principle last month to grant the raise brought the resignation of Finance Minister Yigal Hurvitz, which resulted in the Government coalition losing its majority in Parliament. Negotiations, however, have continued.

    1982(25th of Shevat, 5742): Ninety-two year old multi-talented musician Nathaniel Shilkret passed away today.

    1983(5th of Adar, 5743): Eighty-two year old Leopold Godowsky, Jr. the American violinist who held to create Kodachrome passed away.

    1988(30th of Shevat, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1990: Dozens of supporters are planning to lie down across the road here in front of Ariel Sharon's northern Negev ranch this morning to stop him from driving to Jerusalem for the Cabinet meeting where he plans to resign. But as the former general sees it, by resigning as Industry and Trade Minister he is not leaving; he is simply opening a new front. And the goal of this new campaign, he said in an interview, is to be Israel's next prime minister replacing Yitzhak Shamir.

    1992(14th of Adar I, 5752): Purim Katan

    1999(2nd of Adar, 5759): Comedic actor and director Noam Pitlik passed away.

    2001: The New York Timespublished an op-ed essay explaining the pardon of Marc Rich which did not mention the donations of almost two million dollars that Denise Rich had made to the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton’s senatorial campaign or the Clinton Library.

    2003: (16th of Adar I, 5763) Isser Harel, head of Mossad from 1952 until 1963, passed away.  He was in charge of the operation that brought Eichmann to Israel to stand trial.

    2005(9th of Adar I, 5765): Lee Kahn passed away at the age of 101. She was one of the siblings of Helen Reichert, all of whom were centenarians.

    2006: Shabbat Shekalim, the Sabbath of the Shekel.

    2007: The 23rd International Book Fair opens in Jerusalem

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of French Seduction:
    An American’s Encounter With France, Her Father, and the Holocaust by Eunice Lipton. The book deals, in part with the sense of conflict that art historian Eunice Lipton, the offspring of Jews who fled the rising tide of pre-war anti-Semitism, feels when chooses to live in Paris, city rich in art and rife with the memories of the roundup of Jews by the Nazis and their French partner.s

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section “Poet’s Choice” by Robert Pinksy features a commentary on "The Amen Stone" and The Jewish Time Bomb" that appeared in Yehuda Amichai's last collection of poems, Open Closed Open.

    2007: The Sunday Chicago Tribune book section included a review of Amanda Vaill's Somewhere, a biography of Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz who came to be known as Jerome Robbins the man who “conquered--and in many ways defined--both the musical and modern American ballet, a genius by nature…” 

    2008: In New York, Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Drior Baitel performs his graduation recital at Mannes Concert Hall.  The performance includes such favorites as Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata and Chopin’s Funeral March Sonata.

    2008: In the United States, FBI  domestic terror squads remain on the alert for any threats against synagogues and other potential Jewish targets in the United States after the assassination of the top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah and the movement's leader threatened to attack Israeli and Jewish institutions around the world.

    2009:In, Manhattan’s East Village, the fourth and final part of a four part seriesThe Comedy and Kabbalah of Relationships featuring Rabbi YY Jacobson

    2009: At New York University, Professor Yoram Peri, head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University delivers a public lecture entitled "New Leadership in Israel and the Peace Process"

    2009: Today, the IDF announced that apples grown by Israeli farmers in the Golan Heights will be exported to Syria,

    2009: The New York Times reported that the American Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer.


    2009: Holocaust survivors voiced criticism of Yad Vashem's announcement that it will bestow its highest honor on a Nazi officer who helped save a Polish Jew, whose story became the basis for the film The Pianist. Yad Vashem said it would posthumously name ex-Wehrmacht officer Wilm Hosenfeld as Righteous Among the Nations - a title reserved for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

    2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present another in the series Spiritual Journeys: Feminine Reflections on the Rhythms of Our Lives entitled “Adar: Increasing Joy” with   Rabbi Joyce Reinitz.

    2010:Today, while the media is filled with stories about supposed Israeli resonsiblity for the death of Hamas leader in Dubai, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer advanced to the semifinals of the Dubai Championship, after beating 10th seed Na Li in the quarterfinal match.

    2010:An IDF soldier was lightly wounded today by a bomb which exploded near a patrol unit on the security fence near the central Gaza Strip.


    2010: Terrorists hurled a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli bus in Gush Etzion yesterday evening. There were no casualties, but the bus was damaged.

    2010: The Washington Post features a review of Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Timeby Kristin Swenson in which the reviewer recommends “Robert Alter’s books…as well as the exhilarating Richard Elliot Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible?

    2011: Einsatzgruppen The Death Brigades, the “harrowing two-part documentary meticulously details the Nazi killing squads charged with destroying entire Jewish populations in occupied Eastern Europe during WWII” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: A Small Act is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:The Portland Jazz Festival is scheduled to start today. “This year's theme is 'Bridges and Boundaries', which refers to bridging the two minority communities of Jewish Americans and African Americans.”

    2011: A German prosecutor said today that he has opened a murder investigation against a key witness in the trial of alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk. The probe is based on evidence Alex Nagorny may have been involved in mass killings at the Nazis' Treblinka concentration camp in occupied Poland.

    2011: Friends and family celebrate the birthday of Joel Barnum, an unpressuposing pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

    2011:The United States used its veto this afternoon to block a Security Council resolution declaring Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank illegal. The other 14 members of the council voted in favor of the resolution. The Obama administration has criticized Israel’s settlement policy for the past two years, but in the end it chose to use the veto rather than allow the split between the United States and Israel to deepen. (As reported by Neil MacFarquhar)

    2011: In “Auschwitz Shifts From Memorializing to Teaching,” Michael Kimmelman described the changing role of the site of the worst of the Death Camps.

    2012: Shabbat Shekalim, 5772

    2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldbeerg is scheduled to be shown at Beth El Temple Center in Belmont, MA

    2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth-El Jewish Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX!

    2012: In Iowa City, Hillel is schedyked to present a concert by University of Iowa School of Music faculty members, Uriel Tsachor and Rachel Joselson.

    2012: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza took advantage of stormy weather conditions to fire rockets towards large southern cities in Israel. A Grad-type rocket was launched in the direction of the Negev's largest city, Beersheba, today triggering air raid sirens.

    2012: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Iran is clearly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and if it succeeds it will set off a dangerous round of nuclear proliferation across the Middle East while the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey said that an Israeli strike on Iran "wouldn’t achieve its long-term objectives" and would be "destabilizing."


    2013: In London, Professor Neil Gregor is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Mockery as Politics: The Degenerate Art Exhibition, 1937” in which he examines how the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937 was used to prepare people intellectually for the Holocaust

    2013: Hadassah’s National Center for Attorneys’ Councils and the Greater Washington Area Chapter Attorneys’ Council are scheduled to host a dinner honor those who are to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court

    2013: At Tulane University, the second and final day of “Jewish Secular Utopias and Distopias in Central and Eastern Europe” co-sponsored by Dr. Brian Horowitz and Dr. Andrew Solin

    2013: At Brandeis University, a two-day conference “Zionism in the Twenty-First Century” is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: “Religious Studies and Rabbinics” a conference designed to promote dialogue between the fields of religious studies and rabbinics is scheduled to open at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

    2013: President Shimon Peres today announced that he will present his American counterpart with the Presidential Medal of Distinction during his March stay in Israel.

    2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today sent Pope Benedict XVI a letter of appreciation on behalf of the State of Israel, a week after the pontiff announced his imminent resignation from office. Benedict said he would step down as head of the Catholic Church at the end of February.

    2013(8thof Adar, 5773): Eighty-three year old legal scholar Alan F. Westin passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2014: The Skirball Center is scheduled to present another in the series of lectures by Dr. Daniel Rynhold entitled “Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy.”

    2014: “The Zigzag Kid” is scheduled to be shown at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco.”

    2014: Friends and family celebrate the natal day of Joel Barnum, one of those quite “pillars” of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

    2014: A three-day long on-line marathon brainstorming session sponsored by the Israeli government to Plan the Future of the Jewish People is scheduled to come to and end.

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    February 19

    197: Emperor Septimius Severus defeated the usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, Severus was trying to use syncretism to maintain imperial unity and authority.  Since Jews, as well as Christian, resisted this concept, the Emperor outlawed conversion to either of these religions. 

    356: Following in the footsteps of his father Constantine the Great Constantius II closed all pagan temples. During his reign, he would also issue a series of edicts designed to limit the economic and social activities of Jews. All of this was part of the drive to make Christianity the state religion which would then serve as a unifying force for the empire that was past its zenith.

    607: Boniface III is named Pope.  His papacy only lasted for nine months but during that time he “ensured that the title of ‘Universal Bishop’ belonged exclusively to the Bishop of Rome” thus ensuring the primacy of the Pope as head of the Catholic Church. The impact of this decision would indirectly affect the Jews for centuries to come as they were forced to deal with Church sponsored persecution and/or to seek Papal protection from a variety of murderous enemies.

    842: The Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ended, when a Council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of images (icons) in the churches. This debate over icons is often considered the last event which led to the Great Schism between the Eastern and WesternChurches. This split continues to this day between the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox.  As students of Jewish history know, many of the things done to the Jews by Christians were by-products of these various squabbles between various Christian sects.

    1090: In Speyer, Germany, Emperor Henry IV renewed to Rabbi Judahben Kalonymus, the poet David ben Meshullam, and Rabbi Moses ben Yekuthiel the pledges granted six years earlier by Bishop Ruediger. In addition the emperor guaranteed the Jews freedom of trade in his empire as well as his protection. Within six years Speyerbecame one of the first communities on the Rhineto be attacked. After the attacks Rabbi Moses took it upon himself to care for and protect the orphans created by this violence.

    1229: During the Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signed “a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the Pope Gregory IX.” The Sixth Crusade is remembered as one that did not result in the massive slaughter of Jews in Europe or Palestine. Gregory is remember as the Pope who created the dreaded institution known as the Inquisition.During his reign, Frederick “decided to combine the manufacturing of silk and the dying trades and to give them over to a number of Jewish families. For many years both of these industries were “almost the exclusive activities of Jews in Sicily, Naples, and other parts of Italy” which were part of the Holy Roman Empire.

    1539: The Jews of Tyrnau Hungary (then Trnava Czechoslovakia) were expelled.  In case you had not noticed, there seems to be an expulsion somewhere on almost every day of the year. 

    1543: The Vaticanestablished the House of Catechumens (Casa dei Catecumeni). The purpose of the house, supported by Jewish taxation was solely to convert Jews. Those sent there were subjected to 40 days of intense “instruction”. If after that time he still refused baptism he was allowed to return to his home – few did. Until it was abolished in 1810 around 2440 Jews were converted in Rome alone. Other houses were set up in various Italian cities. On this same day three Portuguese Marranos from Ferrara were burned in Rome's Campo dei Fiori.

    1560: The third volume of the Zohar was printed for the first time in Mantua, Italy

    1583(27thof Shevat): In Italy, Joseph Saralbo was burned at the stake at the command of Pope Gregory XIII. Saralbo was accused of returning to Judaism and of trying to convince other Marranos in Ferrarato join him. According to reports he proudly proclaimed that he had helped 800 Marranos return to Judaism.  He asked the Jews of Rome not to mourn for him stating “I am on my way to meet immortality.”

    1594: King Sigismund III ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is crowned King of Sweden. Under King Sigismund’s rule, conditions for Polish and Lithuanian Jews continued to deteriorate.  Such could not be said of his Swedish realm since there was no Jewish community in Sweden at this time.

    1674:  England and the Netherlands sign the Peace of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, which renamed it New York.  If the war had turned out otherwise, comedians would have been talking about New Amsterdam Jews instead of New York Jews. Think of Seinfeld in Dutch.

    1707(17thof Adar l, 5467):Jonah Abravanel, “a learned and highly respected” member of the Amsterdam Jewish community passed away. [Jonah Abravanel was a fairly a common name and this individual should not be confused with  the16th century poet who was the son of the physician Joseph Abravanel, and a nephew of Manasseh ben Israel]

    1732: In Cambridge, UK, Johanna Bentley and Dr. Denison Cumberland gave birth to dramatist Richard Cumberland, author of “The Jew of Magadore” and  “The Jew,” “the first playing the English theatre to portray a Jewish moneylender as the hero of a stage production.” In 2012, the play was published as “Sheva, the Benevolent.”

    1740(22nd of Shevat): Rabbi Jacob ben Benjamin Papiers of Frankfort author of Shev Ya’akov passed away.

    1819:Under the influence of Rabbi Moses Münz, Rabbi Aron Chorin “recalled” Ḳin'at ha-Emet (Zeal for Truth), a paper written on April 7, 1818, and published in the collection Nogah ha-Ẓedeḳ (Light of Righteousness),” in which “he declared himself in favor of reforms, such as German prayers, the use of the organ, and other liturgical modifications. The principal prayers, the Shema', and the eighteen benedictions, however, should be said in Hebrew, he declared, as this language keeps alive the belief in the restoration of Israel. He also pleaded for opening the temple for daily service.” A year later he would publish Dabar be-'Itto (A Word in Its Time), in which he reaffirmed the views expressed in Ḳin'at ha-Emet, and pleaded strongly for the right of Reform.

    1825: Birthdate of Abraham Pereira Mendes, the native of Kingston, Jamaica who was trained in Londoa by Rabbi David Meldola and Rabbi D.A. de Sola and who led several Sephardic congregations in the United Kingdom and the United States.

    1835: Birthdate of Austrian Rabbi Moritz Güdemann who passed away in 1918.  

    1843: A committee of representatives, including eight from the Great Synagogue, met under the chairmanship of Isaac Cohen in the Vestry room in Duke's Place

    1843: In Madrid, Salvatore Patti and Salvatore Patti gave birth to Adelina Patti, the 19th century opera star who was discovered by Jewish impresario Max Maretzek.

    1856: During the current session of the New York Legislature,today Mr. Brooks gave notice that he planned to introduce a bill "to increase the number of trustees of the Jews Hospital" in New York City.

    1857: Moses Polydore Millaud, the French banker who owned La Presse“hosted a banquet for the Goncourt brothers, but later that year he was faced with financial difficulties and sold the newspaper to Felix Solar.”

    1861: As part of his reforms, Czar Alexander II abolished serfdom. Although the Jews were not directly affected by the emancipation of the serfs, they benefited from other reforms initiated by Alexander II including putting an end to the drafting of Jews into the Russian Army and the opening of some educational institutions and occupations to the Jews of Russia.  This gave rise to the masklim movement in Russia.  Unfortunately, all of this came to an end when the Czar was assassinated in 1881 which led to Pogroms and reactionary regimes.

    1863: “The Doom of Memphis”  published today described the desperate economic conditions in the Tennessee city including the fact that many of the city’s prominent businessman have joined the retreating Rebel Army and their homes have been occupied by “military Generals or Hebrews, who have turned them into Sutlers' establishments.

    1867: Birthdate of Annie Nathan Meyer, “an American author and promoter of the higher education of women.”

    1870: In Brooklyn, Congregation Beth Elohim which had been conducted services in “the traditional manner” adopted a moderate reform ritual in its worship.

    1871: “Abraham’s Sacrifice” which was published today included a description of Rembrandt’s relationship with the local Jewish population including the fact that after the death of his wife, the Dutch painter “retired to an old house on the Rue des Juifs in Amsterdam.”

    1875(14thof Adar I, 5635): Purim Katan

    1881: Seventeen year old Marion Calisch, the Hebrew teacher at Professor Felix Adler’s Kindergarten at 45th and Broadway disappeared today.

    1882: President Isaac Marx addressed the opening session of annual convention of the Grand Lodge of the order Kesher Shel Barzel, District Number 1. During his speech, Marx expressed remorse at the recent death of President Garfield and concern for the plight of the Jews of Russia.  Marks praised the work of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society in aiding the Russian Jews. He suggested that the Order should emulate the action of the Free Sons of Israel and make a generous contribution to HIAS.

    1882: It was reported today that in the upcoming session of Parliament, the Opposition plans to pepper Prime Minister Gladstone with “taunts and jibes” over his denunciation of the Bulgarian atrocities while remaining silent about the Russian persecution of the Jews.  The difference they claim has nothing to do with the Jews and everything to do with the fact the Turks are weak and the Russians are strong.

    1882: In London, the Lord Mayor’s relief fund to aid the Jews of Russia has reached £50,000.

    1882: Reverend Jacob Freshman addressed a large gathering this afternoon at Cooper Union on the subject of “Hebrew and Christian Unity.”  Freshman, the son of a rabbi, had converted to Christianity.  The meeting was part of a movement “looking toward the converting and Christianizing of the Jews.”

    1882: In St. Petersburg, Count Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatyev, the Russian Minster of the Interior told a Rabbi that the government would neither encourage nor oppose the emigration of the Jews.[This statement does not conform with reality.  The Russian government was committed to the one-third, one-third, one-third policy: One third of the Jews would convert; one-third would emigrate; one-third would die.]

    1887: Rabbi Alexander Kohut of Ahawath Chesed is scheduled to host a reception for members of his congregation at his home in Beekman Place

    1894: “Huxley on the Bible” published today provides a detailed review of Science and Hebrew Traditions, a collection by Thomas H. Huxley. (Huxley was a 19thcentury scientist who was an enthusiastic advocate of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution)

    1894: The United Hebrew Charities was one of the recipients of money given to New York charities by the Distribution Committee of the Citizens’ Relief Committee when it met today in the office of J. Pierpont Morgan.
    1897: Birthdate of silent screen star Alma Rubens. The San Francisco native’s mother was Irish Catholic and her father was Jewish.

    1897(17thof Adar I, 5657): In New York, Simon Goldenberg, the husband of Mary Goldenberg and member of Temple Beth El who left an estate of $200,000 in real property and $100,000 in personal property passed away today.
    1898: “It is said that the taking of testimony” in the trial of Emile Zola “will be concluded tonight.”  There are only five or six more witnesses to be heard.

    1898(27thof Shevat, 5658): Five year old Tina Fein passed away at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1898: “Grant Allen’s Book on God” published today provides a review of The Evolution of the Idea of God: An Inquiry Into the Origins of Religion by Grant Allen in which the author say, “The only people who ever invented or evolved a pure monotheism at first hand were the Jews.  It is the peculiar glory of Israel to have evolved God.  The mistake Jews make, is to believe that Abraham…was always a monotheist…and that monotheism was smitten out at a single blow by the genius of…Moses at the moment of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.”

    1899: It was reported today that in the past year the Gemilath Chasodim Committee lent $68,110 to 3,917 needy families comprised 19,000 individuals.  The American Hebrew described the committees practicing of providing small loans as “The Help that Helps.”
    1899: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil delivered a sermon entitled “Was Christ a Christian?” today at Temple Emanu-El.

    1903: Birthdate of Louis Slobodkin, the sculptor and award winning illustrator of children’s books who was the father of “pioneering ecologist” Lawrence Slobodkin.

    1909:Auguste Leon Luzatto Pasha, the director-general of the Banque d’Egypte, passed away.  Following his death, his heirs sold his home to the Curciel family – the Jewish family that owned Egypt’s largest department store chain.

    1912: Birthdate of Saul Chaplin. Born Saul Kaplan in Brooklyn, Chaplin won four Oscars his work on the scores and orchestrations for An American in Paris (1951, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and West Side Story (1961).

    1915: During World War I, The Battle of Gallipoli began as Allied forces attack the Turks. The Battle of Gallipoli took place on the Turkish Peninsula at the Dardanelles.  The idea was to break the stalemate on the Western Front and at the same time open the Dardanelles to Allied ships carrying supplies to the Russians.  If the attacks had been executed as planned, World War I might have ended in 1915 or 1916 which would have meant a lot less bloodshed, no Russian Revolution and no Versailles Treaty.  The Battle of Gallipoli saw the appearance of the Zion Mule Corps – the first all Jewish fighting unit to operate in World War I.  The Zion Mule Corps paved the way for the Jewish Legion in the British Army. The Zion Mule Corps was one of the progenitors of the modern I.D.F.
    1918: Birthdate of Benjamin Miedzyrecki, the Warsaw native who would survive the Warsaw Ghetto and after coming to the United States would his name of Benjamin Meed.  Meed would parlay eight dollars into a successful import-export business and become a leading advocate for Jewish Holocaust survivors before passing away at the 88 of in 2006.
    1920(30th of Shevat, 5680): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1922:  Ed Wynn became the first talent to sign as a radio entertainer.  Born in 1886, Wynn started out as a haberdasher.  He starred in the Ziegfield Follies in 1915 and 1916.  He translated his success in vaudeville to radio and later to both movies and television.  In this way, he was part of a long line of Jewish comedians who made the same trek including George Burns, Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor.  Wynn was the father of character actor Kennan Wynn.  He passed away in 1966.

    1924: Birthdate of David Bronstein, Ukrainian born chess player

    1927(17th of Adar I, 5687): Georg (Morris Cohen) Brandes passed away at the age of 85.  Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1842, Brandes gained fame as a critic and literary historian.  Among those whose careers he affected were Henrik Ibsen and Friedrich Nietzsche.  Brandes was an outspoken critic of Herzl, but he switched to a pro-Zionist position with the issuing of the Balfour Declaration

    1930: Birthdate of movie director John Frankenheimer.

    1931: Birthdate of Dr Meir Rosenne, one of Israel’s most distinguished jurists and scholars of international law. Born in Jasy, Romania, he immigrated to Israelin 1944.

    1935: Publication of “Brown Shirts in Zion” by Robert Gessner in The New Masses
    1935:Clifford Odets'"Awake and Sing," premieres in New York City at the Belasco Theatre. The play explores the experiences of one Jewish family during the Great Depression. The original production starred Luther and Stella Adler. The play tells the story of the impoverished Berger family and their conflicts as the parents scheme to manipulate their children's relationships to their own ends, while their children strive for their own dreams 

    1937: During the Arab Uprising, violence comes to Tiberias a city known, until now, for peaceful relations between Arabs and Jews. After a week of an Arab boycott in Tiberias, Erev Shabbat, the Jews retaliated by boycotting Arab fish mongers.  Arab youths began pelting Jews walking in the town with oranges and then escalated to throwing stones.  As the Jews retreated to the town’s Jewish quarter, the clashes became more intense as Revisionists who were passing through town in two buses stopped to come to the aid of their co-religionists.  Arabs in the hills above Tiberias began firing shots into the town and at least one Jew was stabbed in the back while another had his head split open with a stone.  By the time the British intervened, thirty Jews and thirty Arabs were “slightly injured and two Jews were seriously hurt.”

    1938(18th of Adar I, 5698):Edmund Georg Hermann Landau a German Jewish mathematician who worked in the fields of number theory and complex analysis passed away.  Born in 1877, he married Marianne Ehrlich, the daughter of Nobel Prize winner Paul Ehrlich.

    1941: The Nazis raided Koco Amsterdam and seized 425 young Jews who were sent to Beuchenwald.  Koco was described as an isolated Jewish section in Amsterdam.  This roundup was part of a week of violence aimed against the 70,000 Jews of this Dutch city.  On February 9, Dutch Nazis sparked the first anti-Jewish riots in Amsterdam.  Although there was considerable damage and destruction, the Jews along with many of the Dutch countrymen fought back.  After the arrests on the 20th, tens of thousands of Dutch men and women went on strike in protest.  The stunned Nazi occupiers struck back brutally and crushed the strike.  However, this would not be the last time that the embattled people of Hollandworked to protect their Jewish fellow countrymen.

    1942(1st of Adar, 5702): In the Dvinsk Ghetto (Latvia), Chaya Mayerova was murdered for trading a bit of cloth with a non- Jew for a two-kilogram bag of flour. The entire Jewish population was gathered to witness the execution. There were over 11,000 Jews living in Divinsk when the war broke out.  By 1970 there were fewer than 2,000.  Divinsk should be remembered for more than this tragic entry.  It was the home to one of the sages of the 19thand early 20th century Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen.  Reb Meir was not just a Talmudist whose learning was so great that Chaim Nachmann Bialik called him “a walking encyclopedia.”  He was also a man of courage.  During World War I, Reb Meir refused to leave Divinsk even though it was in a combat zone.  If there were only nine Jews left in the town, he said he must remain so there would be a minyan.  Reb Meir supported Zionism but in 1906 he turned down an offer to be the Rabbi in Jerusalem.  The people of Divinsk convinced them that Divinsk needed him more than Jerusalemso he stayed with his kinsman.  It is important to remember the texture of the civilization that the Holocaust sought to destroy.  What was lost was so much more than a cold listing of numbers will ever convey.

    1943: Birthdate of "Mama" Cass Elliot.

    1943: German tanks under Brigadier General Buelowius attacked the U.S. Army at the KasserinePassin Tunisia.  This little known battle was the first contest between the German Army and the U.S. Army.  The Americans took a real beating and it took them months to recover.  There are those who think that World War II was a string of victories for the Americans.  Such was not the case.  The precarious nature of the war as well a streak of anti-Semitism helps to explain why Rooseveltdid not “do more to help the Jews.”  This is not a defense of FDR; merely an attempt to provide historic context for his behavior.

    1945:Edward "Eddie Jacobson" opened a menswear store in Kansas City, MO.

    1945: Battle of Iwo Jima begins. There were approximately 1,500 Jewish Leathernecks among the 70,000 Marines who fought in this climactic battle of the war in the Pacific. On the 60thanniversary of the start of the battle Sam Bernstein, a 20-year-old (Jewish) Marine corporal at the time of the battle reminisced about the fight. “I thought it appropriate to spotlight some news and information about the Jews who fought and died in the five-week battle between 70,000 American Marines (1,500 of which were Jewish) and an unknown number of deeply entrenched Japanese defenders. “Bernstein chuckles when he remembers the Tootsie Rolls he put in his cartridge belt. I chose Tootsie Rolls because they wouldn't melt and they were just the size of a bullet. At the same time, I strapped on three or four bandoliers full of ammunition. Still, if the officers had known what I was doing, they probably would have shot me instead of the Japanese! He does not chuckle when he remembers the two men who were killed in his foxhole. Or the day he helped the Jewish chaplain bury some Marines.” The Jewish Chaplain was Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, assigned to the Fifth Marine Division who was the first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn was in the thick of the fray, ministering to Marines of all faiths in the combat zone.  His tireless efforts to comfort the wounded and encourage the fearful won him three service ribbons.  When the fighting was over, Rabbi Gittelsohn was asked to deliver the memorial sermon at a combined religious service dedicating the Marine Cemetery. Unfortunately, racial and religious prejudice led to problems with the ceremony. What happened next immortalized Rabbi Gittelsohn and his sermon forever. It was Division Chaplain Warren Cuthriell, a Protestant minister, who originally asked Rabbi Gittelsohn to deliver the memorial sermon.  Cuthriel wanted all the fallen Marines (black and white, Protestant, Catholic and Jewish) honored in a single, nondenominational ceremony.  However, according to Rabbi Gittelsohn's autobiography, the majority of Christian chaplains objected to having a rabbi preach over predominantly Christian graves The Catholic chaplains, in keeping with church doctrine opposed any form of joint religious service. To his credit, Cuthriell refused to alter his plans. Gittelsohn, on the other hand, wanted to save his friend Cuthriell further embarrassment and so decided it was best not to deliver his sermon.  Instead, three separate religious services were held.  At the Jewish service, to a congregation of 70 or so who attended, Rabbi Gittelsohn delivered the powerful eulogy he originally wrote for the combined service:

    "Here lie men who loved Americabecause their ancestors’ generations ago helped in her founding.  And other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores.  Here lie officers and men, Negroes and Whites, rich men and poor, together.  Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews together.  Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color.  Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed.

    "Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred.  Theirs is the highest and purest democracy!  Whosoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery.  To this then, as our solemn sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves:  To the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of White men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.
    "We here solemnly swear this shall not be in vain.  Out of this and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come, we promise, the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere."

    Among Gittelsohn's listeners were three Protestant chaplains so incensed by the prejudice voiced by their colleagues that they boycotted their own service to attend Gittelsohn's.  One of them borrowed the manuscript and, unknown to Gittelsohn, circulated several thousand copies to his regiment.  Some Marines enclosed the copies in letters to their families.  An avalanche of coverage resulted.  Time magazine published excerpts, which wire services spread even further.  The entire sermon was inserted into the Congressional Record, the Army released the eulogy for short-wave broadcast to American troops throughout the world and radio commentator Robert St. John read it on his program and on many succeeding Memorial Days. In 1995, in his last major public appearance before his death, Gittelsohn reread a portion of the eulogy at the 50th commemoration ceremony at the Iwo Jimastatue in Washington, D.C.  In his autobiography, Gittelsohn reflected, I have often wondered whether anyone would ever have heard of my Iwo Jima sermon had it not been for the bigoted attempt to ban it.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles invited Israel to join his new Middle Eastern Defense Organization. (Note: If this is the organization that would be known as CENTO, neither the United States nor Israel would ultimately join the organization.)  
    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Pravda, the official Communist party newspaper, charged that Israel was joining NATO and allowing the US to build military bases on its territory. (This was pure propaganda designed that was part of the shift in Stalin’s foreign policy.)

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The State Comptroller's Report for 1951-1952, prepared under the supervision of the Comptroller, Dr. Siegfried Moses, marked a definite improvement of the Israeli Civil Service.

    1956: The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America dedicated a community center in New York, with impressive ceremonies. Speakers included Judge Jonah J. Goldstein and the late Judge Edgar J. Nathan, Jr. The Brotherhood Memorial Post presented the colors (flags).

    1959: The United Kingdomgrants Cyprusits independence. Jewish settlement in Cyprus dates back to Biblical times.  In the first century, the Jews of Cyprus rebelled against the Romans.  In modern times, Cypruswas the site for the camps housing Jews who tried to run the British blockade and enter Eretz Israelbefore 1948.  For more about the Jews of Cyprus, you might want to read Place of Refuge: A  History of the Jews in Cyprusby Stavros Panteli.

    1963: Following his conviction for the 1962 murders of two New York City police detectives, Jerry “the Jew” Rosenberg began serving his sentence today. By the time he died in 2009, he would have set a record for length of incarceration in the state of New York.

    1964: In Brooklyn, Richard Brown Lethem and Jewish political activist Judith Frank Lethem gave birth to best-selling author and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Jonathan Lethem.

    1964: Paul Simon wrote "The Sounds of Silence," the song which, in a year and a half, will catapult him and Art Garfunkel to stardom as Simon & Garfunkel.

    1967: An article published in the American Journal of Cardiology described an electronic device capable of recording arterial pulsations and the mechanical events of the heart without actually making contact with the chest wall.  This device was the product of combined efforts led by Dr. Aaron Valero who brought together the clinical medical staff at Rambam Hospital and the engineers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.  Dr. Valero organized and put together teams from the two institutions, which he headed up. This unique cooperation led to the first product of the soon to be established Biomedical Engineering Department of The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. It was an electronic device capable of recording arterial pulsations and the mechanical events of the heart without actually making contact with the chest wall.

    1973(17th of Adar I, 5733): Hungarian born violin virtuoso Joseph Szigeti passed away at his home in Switzerland.

    1976(18thof Adar I, 5736): Seventy-four year old seamstress Ruth Rosenfeld Taffel, the widow of Frank Taffel passee away today.

    1977(14th of Adar I, 5559): Purim Katan

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that, two Arab terrorists assassinated Youseff el-Sibaei, the editor of the semi-official Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper at the Larnaca Hilton hotel, in Cyprus and took 11 Egyptian hostages to the local airport in an apparent reaction to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US President Jimmy Carter defended his offer of jet fighters to "staunch, friendly Arab allies." In his comment, Defense Minister Ezer Weizman said that the worst effect of the aircraft sale proposed by the Carter administration was the fact that it put Israel together with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a "package deal."

    1980(2ndof Adar, 5740): Nathan Yellin-Mor the Lehi leader who became a pacifist passed away.

    1988(1st of Adar, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1988:A memorial service is scheduled to be held tonight at 8 P.M. at Beth Am, The People's Temple in Manhattan to honor Rabbi Israel Raphael Margolies, of blessed memory who passed away earlier this week at the age of 72.  Rabbi Margolies had served at Temple Emanu-el in Engelwood, N.J. at Beth Am, The People's Temple in Manhattan. He “frequently called for equality for minority group members and for women. He was a supporter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and once marched alongside him in a civil rights parade in Englewood.”

    1990:The Soviet Union, under heavy pressure from Arab countries, has rejected an appeal from the Bush Administration to allow direct flights for Soviet Jews from Moscow to Israel, Administration officials said today. American and Israeli officials said that in the absence of such flights, thousands of Soviet Jews were in effect trapped in the Soviet Union at a time of rising anti-Semitism.

    1994 (8th of Adar, 5754): Zipora Sasson, five months pregnant, was killed on the trans-Samaria highway in an ambush by shots fired at her car. The terrorists were members of HAMAS.

    1994(8th of Adar, 5754: Fifty-seven educator and MK Yitzhak Yitzhaky passed away today.

    1995(19th of Adar I, 5755): Israeli Rabbi Shlomo Averbach passed away at the age of 84.

    1995: Poet Kenneth Koch wins Bollingen Prize.

    1997(12th of Adar I, 5757):Leo Rosten passed away at the age of 88.  Born in 1908, Rosten was an amazingly prolific writer on a variety of topics.  While best known for his writings on Jewish topics - The Joys of Yiddish, Treasury of Jewish Quotations and Hooray Yiddish - he also wrote such works as Religions In America and Captain Newman, M.D.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1999: Actor Dennis Franz receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    1999: In New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage features an exhibit entitled “A Living Memorial to the Holocaust” featuring artifacts, documents, photographs, videos and film clips are included in exhibitions on the Holocaust and on Jewish life before and after World War II.

    2001(26th of Shevat, 5761): Eighty-seven year old director and producer Stanley Kramer passed away.(As reported by Rick Lyman)

    2003: Iranian officials announced that they had released the five last remaining Jews imprisoned in the city of Shiraz. The men: Dani (Hamid) Tefillen; Asher Zadmehr; Naser Levy Hayim; Farhad Saleh and Ramin Farzam, where the last 5 out of 13 Jews on trial for spying for the "Zionist regime" and "world arrogance." Ten of the men were convicted and sentenced to prison. Since their sentencing in July 2001, five had already been quietly released.

    2004: Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a "lifetime of service to humanity."

    2005:  Fred Rodgers, who just celebrated his birthday on February 17, joined his sister Hilda for her 85th birthday.  Fred is a pillar of the Jewish community in Cedar Rapids.   He and his sister were two of those who were not lost in the European Holocaust, Baruch Ha'shem.

    2006: The New York Times Book Section features a review of Barney Ross by Douglas Century.

    2007(1stof Adar, 5767): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2008:Veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr discusses his new book, Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium, at a luncheon event at the Woman's National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C.

    2009: It was reported today that all ten members of Yisrael Chala's family had been flown from Yemen to Israel.  Two months earlier, two firebombs had been thrown into the courtyard of the family's home. 

    2009:In New York City, the American Friends of Tel Aviv University and the Simon Wiesenthal Center co-host a lecture by Professor Dina Porat, head of the Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University entitled "Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Which is the chicken and which is the egg?"

    2009:Israeli Andy Ram will be allowed to compete in a Dubai tennis tournament next week after the Arab country said said today that it would permit the seventh-ranked doubles player to enter the country.

    2009: In Manhattan, the exhibition of the Valmadonna Trust Library at Sotheby’s comes to an end.  Edward Rothstein’s article “A Lifetime’s Collection of Texts in Hebrew, at Sotheby’s” explains the significance of this collection and provides a useful description of the importance that the printed word plays for Jews and Judaism.

    2010: In Jerusalem, Beit Avi Chai presents "Kalabbat Shabbat" featuring Kobi Arieli.

    2010:The opening of the opera "La Juive" (The Jewish Woman) at St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theater was postponed from last night to tonight by a bomb threat that proved to be false, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.

    2010:Omri Caspi, the first Israeli to play in North America's National Basketball Association, will participate in a special Friday-evening service and Shabbat meal this evening with hundreds of members of the Los Angeles Jewish community, ahead of the Sacramento Kings' game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

    2010: The Washington Post features a review of Making Toast: A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt.

    2011: The Matchmaker a coming-of-age drama directed by Avi Nesher that “tells the story of a relationship between an Israeli teen and a Holocaust survivor who makes ends meet by brokering marriages” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: A documentary entitled Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:President Shimon Peres called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today to discuss the failed United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement building.

    2011:The family of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit marked the 1,700th day of his captivity today along with hundreds of supporters in front of the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.

    2011: Canadian born professional tennis player Sharon Fichman was the runner-up in the Copa Colsanitas Tournament in Bogotá, Columbia.
    2011(15th of Adar I, 5771):Sanford C. Sigoloff, a Los Angeles-based turnaround expert nicknamed “Mr. Chapter 11,” who also did what he could for employees when they were fired, passed away today at the age of 80. (As reported by Mary Williams Walsh)
    2012(26th of Shevat, 5772): Ninety-year old “Ruth Barcan Marcus, a philosopher esteemed for her advances in logic, a traditionally male-dominated subset of a traditionally male-dominated field” passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox

    2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander and ‘Liebestod: Opera Buffa With Leib Goldkorn’ by Leslie Epstein.

    2012: LimmudLA is scheduled to come to an end at Costa Mesa.

    2012:The IDF is planning to deploy an Iron Dome battery in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area for the first time as part of a drill simulating a missile attack, Ynet learned today.  

    2012:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 38th Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem today.

    2013: Kobi Kablek is scheduled to present “Failure and Memory: How the Rescue of Jews During the Holocaust is Depicted in Post-War German Film” at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC

    2013: YIVO is scheduled to present “It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past” featuring author David Satter.

    2013: In Iowa City, Iowa, the Bijou Theatre is scheduled to present “The Rabbi’s Cat,” a film that tells the tale of a talking cat owned by a rabbi.

    2013: “Uproar Over Netanyahu’s Ice Cream Is Welcome in One Parlor” described how Prime Minister spent $2,700 on ice cream including his favorite, pistachio. (As reported by Isabel Kershner)

    2014: “Putzel” is scheduled to be shown at the DPJCC's 14th Annual Jewish Film Festival

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews.”

    2014: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host Bob Budoff’s “Analysis of Current Developments in Israel and the Middle East.”


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    February 20

    390: Emperors Valentinian II., Theodosius, and Arcadius issued a decree that thwarted the attempt of the association of "navicularii" (ship-and cargo-owners) of Constantinople to force the Jews and the Samaritans to join them and to share in the burdens of the society. They “decided that the communities of the Jews and the Samaritans could not legally be forced to join the navicularii, and that at most their wealthy members only could be taxed ("Codex Theodosianus," xiii. 5, 18). This decree was most important to the Jews, for many of them were ship-owners, and more than one-half of the shipping in Alexandria was controlled by Jews.” (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)

    1194: King Tancred of Sicily died effectively ending the Norman Kingdom of Sicily and bring it under the German Hohenstaufens. This would prove beneficial to the Jews because 15 years later, Emperor Frederick II would intervene on behalf of his Sicilian Jewish subjects to temporarily put an end to their persecutions by the Crusaders.

    1422:  Pope Martin V (1417-31) issued a Bull reminding Christians that Christianity was derived from Judaism and warned the Friars not to incite against the Jews. The Bull was withdrawn the following year amidst allegations that the Jews of Rome attained the Bull by fraud.

    1431: Pope Martin V, the author of  Sicut Judaeis ("and thus to the Jews," passed away,

    1547:  Edward VI of England crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. Edward was the male heir sought by his father Henry VIII. Edward’s reign was short since he died at the age of 15.  Reportedly small numbers of Conversos made their way to the kingdom during his reign as they had during Henry VIII’s time and worshipped secretly in London and Bristol.

    1662(1stof Adar, 5422): Shabbatai ben Meir HaKoehn, the Lithuanian-born Moravian rabbi whose works included Siftei Kohn or the Shakh, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah passed away today.

    1667(26th of Shevat, 5427): Rabbi David ben Samuel Halevi passed away. Born in Cracowin 1586, he was known as TA"Z an acronym for his response Turei Zahav – Rows (or Rock) of Gold. During the Chmelnitsky Uprisings which resulted in the massacre of thousands of Jews he found refuge in the castle of Prince Radziwillin a narrow room at the top, near the clock – the symbol of the Polish eagle that could be seen for miles. A folktale says that when Chmelnitsky and his hooligans approached the town Olyka, the rabbi and a large number of Olyka Jews took refuge in the Prince's castle and prayed to God. They fought alongside the Prince's men against the cruel enemy. Two ancient huge cannons that were not even usable suddenly shot out by themselves and killed off many of the enemy. In any event, the fear of God befell the hooligans and the quickly retreated and ran away. In memory of this miracle, Rabbi David composed special penitential prayers for the 20th of Nisan, the day the miracle occurred. The descendants of Rabbi Ha-Levi were the Russian rabbinical family Paltrowitch. This family produced 33 rabbis over several generations. One of these rabbis, Simcha Paltrowitch (1843-1926) served the
    Pine street
    “shul” in Buffalo from 1890 to 1914.  His brother’s descendant is the producer-director Bruce Paltrow (Hill Street Blues, St.Elsewhere), the father of the actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

    1751:Benedict XIV issued Elapso proxime Anno, a papal bull dealing with the issue of what the Church called “Jewish heretics.”

    1790:  Austrian Emperor Joseph II passed away at the age of 49.  Joseph II actually reigned over the Holy Roman Empire which was "neither holy nor Roman."  For his time he was a benign despot who sought to reform his empire.  Jews viewed him with mixed feelings.  On the one hand he abolished many of the archaic restrictions on Jewish social and commercial life.  He abolished laws pertaining to wearing the yellow badge and prohibiting Jews from practicing law and medicine.  At the same time, he called for an end to writing public documents and contracts in Yiddish or Hebrew and the abolition of certain aspects of self-governance in the Jewish community.  On the one hand even a reformer like Moses Mendelssohn was concerned about the impact of Joseph's plans on Jewish identity.  On the other hand, a century and a quarter later, Adolph Hitler expressed his disdain for this Austrian monarch.  I guess you will have to be the judge after you have had a chance to the history of Jews in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries.
    1790: At Strasbourg, The Society of the Friends of the Constitution admitted its first Jewish member.

    1792: “Jews who lived in the vicinity of Strasbourg were granted permission to enter the city to take an oath of allegiance.

    1798: Following Napoleon’s conquest of Italy, the ghetto at Rome was abolished.  When the Pope regained power the ghetto was re-established.  It would finally be abolished after the re-unification of Italy in 1870.

    1804: At Hobart, Australia a penal colony was established which included 8 Jews among its prisoners.

    1808: In Canada, the assembly resolved by a vote of 35 to 5 that "Ezekiel Hart, Esquire, professing the Jewish religion cannot take a seat, nor sit, nor vote, in this House.”

    1827: Sir Moses Montefiore and Lady Judith Montefiore began their first trip to Palestine (As reported by Jennifer Breger)

    1852(30th of Shevat, 5612): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1855:The inauguration of the Touro Literary Institute took place this evening, at the rooms of the Institute at Number 448 Broome-street in New York City.”  Most of those attending the meeting were described as “intelligent” and of “Hebraic descent.”  Benjamin H. Myers, the president of the Association presided over the meeting.  Jonas B. Phillips and Rabbi R.J.M. Raphall addressed the meeting. In their speeches, the speakers traced the history of Jewish literature and literary societies from ancient Jerusalem, through Spain and London to modern times.


    1857: According to an article published today, the boot manufactures of Hopkinton, MA, have discovered, much to their consternation, that some of their workmen have been selling some of their footwear to "certain Jew pedlars and others" at a fraction of their cost.  The plan was to purchase the goods in one town and sell them in another, thus avoiding detection. [Please note, only the Jews are identified by their religion.  This was often in the case in newspapers and journals of the day including the New York Times.]

    1863: Ha-Levanon, the first Hebrew language periodical in Palestine, was published today

    1864: Ellen Terry, the British actress who gained fame for her portrayal of Portia in The Merchant of Venice marred George F. Watts, the artist who painted her portrait.

    1872: According to reports published today, a dispute has arisen in New York over the ritual purity of wine being supplied to the Jewish community.  According to Rabbi Aronson, the wine being supplied to the local synagogues has not been prepared in accordance with Jewish law.  But the wine dealers say that their wine bears the seal and signature of Rabbi A.J. Ash of the Grand Beth Hamedrash of New York City proving that the wine is Kosher.  Rabbi Isaacs has also certified the wine as ritually fit.

    1874: Benjamin Disraeli began serving his second and final term as Prime Minister of Great Britain. Disraeli was a leader of the Conservative Party.  But as can be seen by the reform legislation passed by his government these Conservatives have more in common with the liberal Democrats of the 21st century than they do with those on the American right who call themselves Conseratives.  “Disraeli's government introduced various reforms, including the Artisan's and Labourers' Dwellings Improvement Act 1875, the Public Health Act 1875, the Sale of Food and Drugs Act (1875), and the Education Act (1876). His government also introduced a new Factory Act meant to protect workers, the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act 1875 to allow peaceful picketing, and the Employers and Workmen Act (1875) to enable workers to sue employers in the civil courts if they broke legal contracts. As a result of these social reforms the Liberal-Labour MP Alexander Macdonald told his constituents in 1879, ‘The Conservative party have done more for the working classes in five years than the Liberals have in fifty.’”  When it came to foreign policy, Disraeli’s government supported the concept of Empire.  He engineered the first British acquisition of financial interest in the Suez Canal.  He understood the great issue of the time as being the management of the decline of the Ottoman Empire and showed his mastery of the diplomacy at the Congress of Berlin.

    1876: It was reported today that The Alliance Israélite Universelle, which is headquartered in Paris, is providing a variety of services to Jews throughout the world.  Among other things, the Alliance is providing care for a large number of Russian Jewish orphan, supporting an Agricultural School in Jaffa and operating a normal school for Jewish women from Asia Minor in Paris.  The Alliance is supporting numerous other schools throughout North Africa and western Asia, including ones at Aleppo, Baghdad and Constantinople.

    1878: Leo XIII is elected Pope. “In reaction to the painful loss of the papacy’s temporal power…Leo XIII lashed out against modernity.”  “The Vatican increasingly viewed the Jews who were beneficiaries of the demise of the church’s temporal rule as part of the array of dangerous forced against it.  In 1880, apparently with the approval of Leo XIII, “Civilta Cattolica kicked off a decades-long campaign against the Jews accusing them of all the old sins and then many new ones such as being responsible for both capitalism and communism and of being disloyal to the countries in which they lived.’ (As reported in Antisemitism by Richard S. Levy)

    1880: In Prescott, AZ, the Pauline Markham troupe that included Josephine Sarah Marcus, the eccentric Jewess who became the lover and wife of Wyatt Earp completed their performances of HMS Penifore.

    1880: “Oil in the World,” an article published today that describes the conditions of oil fields throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, reported that  some of the fields in Eastern Galicia are controlled by Polish Jews. The Jews of Boryslaw are more interested in gaining the wax found in their fields because it is part of the highly profitable candle business.  Therefore, they have resisted spending the money necessary to develop the oil production in the area.

    1882: Birthdate of Polish -born “American sculptor, draughtsman and collector” Elie Nadelman.

    1882: This morning, Philadelphia’s Mayor King received a telegram from J.M. Brown of Galveston Texas offering to provide one hundred acres of land in Motely County, Texas to any of the 50 Jewish families who are on their way to Philadelphia from Russia who are willing to settle in the Lone Star State. Motely County is one of those under populated expanses in the northwest part of the state.

    1882: The Grand Lodge of the order Kesher Shel Barzel, District No. 1 continued with its annual convention at the Pythagoras Hall.

    1886: “Undesirable Immigrants” published today described the condition of 300 Romanian Jews who were expelled from their native land and are now being held at Castle Garden.  While few of them had any money, most of them had tickets that would take them to American cities where they say that have friends who will assist them.

    1886:  Birthdate ofBéla Kun head of HungarianSovietRepublic formed in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I.  Neither the Soviet nor Kun survived for very long.

    1888: Henry de Worms, the Lord Pirbright, began serving as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in the government of Marquess of Salisburgy.

    1888: Rabbi Joseph Silverman finished his service with Congregation B'nai Israel in Galveston, Texas, where he had been serving since July, 1885.  The Ohio born rabbi was on his way to a pulpit in New York City.  

    1890(30thof Shevat, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1890; It was reported today that Mrs. Phillip J. Joachimsen is President of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York and C.W. Meyer is serving as Secretary.

    1892: The Cunard Line Etruria was being held in quarantine because of the need to take extra precautions because there are Jews from Russia among the steerage passengers.

    1893: “Some New Publications” published today includes a review of Studies by a Recluse in Cloister, Town and Country in which Augustus Jesopp describes the history the Abbey at Bury St. Eduunds including a period in the Middle Ages during which Abbott Sampson drove out the Jews who had legitimately acquired much of the property following a period of gross mismanagement.

    1893: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian and Orphan Asylum will give a concert at the Lenox Lyceum this evening under the sponsorship of the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society.

    1894: It was reported today that Jesse Seligman, Nathan Straus and Perry Belmont were among those who attended the meeting of the Distribution Committee established by the Citizens’ Relief Committee.  The committee had been set up to deal with the suffering caused by the Depression that began in 1893.  Belmont was the son of August Belmont, Jr. the Jewish born financier.  Perry’s mother was not Jewish.

    1895:Ferdinand Forzinetti, the commandant of the Cherche-Midi military prison, and one of the first to be convinced of Dreyfus's innocence was granted his retirement today while his most famous prisoner sailed to Guyana. Later, Alfred Dreyfus paid homage to his jailer who had dissuaded him from taking his own life and "who knew how to combine the strict duty of a soldier with the highest feelings of humanity."

    1896: It was reported today that the last year’s charity ball sponsored by the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home raised $10,088.12.

    1896: It was reported today that among those who included on the lists as patrons for the upcoming charity ball sponsored by the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home are Governor Levi Morton, Mayor W. L. Strong and Theodore Roosevelt.

    1898: As the Dreyfus Case continued to embroil France a mob of three thousand Parisians “marched toward the Pantheon yelling ‘Down with Zola!’ and “Death to the Jews.’”

    1898:Ludovic Trarieux, Emile Duclaux, Edouard Grimaux and Francis de Pressensé are among those who founded “The Ligue des Droits de l'Homme et du citoyen” [League for Human and Civic Rights] which was founded to defend Alfred Dreyfus who had been wrongly convicted of treason Ludovic Trarieux served as its first President,

    1898: A mass meeting was held in New Jersey synagogue tonight to protest the statements by William J. Corssley, the Prosecutor in Mercer County, who while trying a case against a peddler, said “The god of the Jew is gold.  They are not fit to be citizens, as they only come here to hoard wealth, that they may go back to Jerusalem and spend it.

    1899: “Christ and His Religion” published today provides Rabbi Gustav Gottheil’s views on Jesus whom he does not believe would be comfortable with the practices and the preachings of today’s Christian churches.

    1901: Birthdate of famed architect Louis I. Kahn

    1905: Miss Annie Russell appeared to-night in the leading role of "Jinny, the Carrier," a four-act comedy by Israel Zangwill, which was presented for the first time before a packed house at the Park Theatre in Boston, MA.

    1907(6th of Adar, 5667): French Chemist Henri Moissan passed away. Moissan isolated fluorine and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1906

    1916: “A profile of Theda Bara (born Theodosia Burr Goodman) that appeared in the New York Times, reported that 500,000 fans followed Bara everywhere she went. She was said to have received over a thousand marriage proposals from adoring fans. Others named children after her. One critic called her "a clever actress with...a marvelously mobile and expressive face."’

    1917: The musical “Oh Boy” with the score composed by Jerome Kern, premiered in New York City.

    1917: Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, is appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Germany. This will make him the eyes and ears and representative of the Vatican during the rise of Hitler.

    1918: In New York, Clara and Maxwell Cohn gave birth to Lenore Cohn. A niece of movie mogul Harry Cohn, she gained fame as Lee Annenberg, the wife of Walter Annenberg

    1919:Victor Berger was convicted of having violated the Espionage Act of 1917 and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. “The trial was presided over by Judge Kenesaw Landis, who later became the first commissioner of Major League Baseball. His conviction was appealed, and ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court which found that Judge Landis had improperly presided over the case after the filing of an affidavit of prejudice.” Berge was Jewish and was the first member of the Socialist Party elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  In the eyes of many, these were his real crimes.

    1920(1st of Adar, 5680): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1920(1st of Adar, 5680):Pauline Einstein, the mother of the physicist Albert Einstein, passed away. Born in Cannstatt, Württemberg, in 1858, she “had an older sister, Fanny, and two older brothers, Jacob and Caesar. Her parents were Julius Doerzbacher, who had accepted the family name Koch in 1842, and Jette Bernheimer.”

    1924: Birthdate of Mordechai Ofer, the Krakow native who made Aliyah a year later and served in the Knesset from 1965 until his untimely death in 1971 at the age of 47.

    1924: Birthdate of Gerson Goldhaber, the German born “American particle physicist and astrophysicist who was one of the discoverers of the J/ψ meson which confirmed the existence of the charm quark.”

    1926: Chief Justice Walter I. McCoy in Equity Court ruled today that Mrs. Beta Isenberg, the 80 years old,widow of Paul Isenberg, a citizen of Bremen and also of the Hawaiian Islands, is an American citizen because of the Hawaiian citizenship and is entitled to the return of $2,500,000 worth of property despite the protest of the Alien Property Custodian

    1926: In Marshalltown, Iowa, Louis Bucksbaum and the former Ida Gervich gave birth to Matthew Bucksbaum the co-founder of “a family shopping mall empire that helped transform the landscape of suburbia and the habits of American consumers.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1927: Birthdate of Roy Cohn the lawyer, who gained fame or infamy as the council for the (Joseph) McCarthy Committee.  McCarthy and Cohen took advantage of American fears of Communism to conduct a witch hunt that ruined reputations and lives without saving us from any Communist spies.  Publicly homophobic, Cohn's death from AIDs was the subject of an HBO movie.

    1932: In the Bronx, Mae and Nathan Ader gave birth to Doctor Robert Ader, the Tulane University graduate and experimental psychologist who was among the first scientists to show how mental processes influence the body’s immune system; a finding that changed modern medicine. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1933: Industrialists met at Goering's Reichstag President's Palace to show support of Hitler. Hitler promised to rid the world of Marxists and restore the Wehrmact (the Germany Army).  Hitler and his anti-Semitic policies enjoyed support from Germany’s business community from the outset.

    1936: Bronislaw Huberman, the Polish violinist and founder of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, announced today that “the first concert of the newly organized Palestine Symphony Orchestra will be broadcast to the United States from Tel Aviv late in October over the facilities of the National Broadcasting Company.”  He also said that “negotiations have been started for regular visits of the orchestra to Egypt and Greece” as well as a world tour that would include a visit to the United States.

    1937:Tiberias, one of the towns of Palestine known for its friendly relations between Arabs and Jews, was the scene of disorder today. Thirty Jews, thirty Arabs and two British policemen were slightly injured and two Jews were seriously hurt before order was restored.

    1938:Louis Lipsky, chairman of the administrative committee of the United Palestine Appeal presided over a meeting of Jewish leaders held under the auspices of the Zionist Organization of America at the Hotel Pennsylvania.  The Jewish leaders, including Dr. Bernard Joseph, legal adviser of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, expressed a desire for a peaceful solution to the problems separating Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

    1938: Hitler addressed the Reichstag and served notice that the future of Austria and the Sudeten Germans were in the direct interest of Nazi Germany. The annexation of Austriaand the Sudetenland would be two of the landmarks on the road to World War II and the Final Solution.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that one British officer was shot dead and two others wounded when their car was shot at in the vicinity of Haifa. British troops and police cordoned off the whole area and one Arab was shot dead when he tried to break through. A number of Arab suspects were arrested. There were many other cases of sniping at traffic and sabotage throughout the country.

    1939: Twenty thousand Nazi supporters gather in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.  While there were only a limited number of such displays, the power of the isolationists led by Lindbergh and the America First movement provided a socially acceptable cover for anti-Semites and fascists.  FDR’s decisions about European Jewry were made against this hostile background.

    1939: In an apparent attempt to strengthen the Axis Alliance, Mussolini shifts policy by banning Jews from his Fascist Party.  According to some, as many as 10,000 Jews had been members of the party.  Years later, Mussolini’s mistress would claim that Il Duce had claimed that he always had been an anti-Semite.

    1941: The Nazis ordered Polish Jews barred from using public transportation

    1941: The firsttransport of Jews from Plotsk, Poland to be sent to a concentration departed. "We remember so that nobody will forget.  We remember lest anybody try and forget."

    1942: In France, Jacques Bielinky described the responses of his non-Jewish fellow citizens to anti-Jewish policies, expressing contempt for their lack of making any attempt to prevent the dismissal of their Jewish colleague.  “They did not make the move; cowardice has become a civic virtue.”

    1943: Birthdate of English movie director Mike Leigh.

    1943: Birthdate of Moshe Cotel, the Baltimore native who would become an acclaimed pianist and composer whose works were often infused with themes emanating from his deep Jewish roots. Cotel’s “Jewish reconnection” would lead him to the rabbinate. He would be ordained five years before his death in 2008 while he was serving as spiritual leader of Temple Beth El of Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn.

    1947:A female member of The Irgun Zvai Leumi telephoned newspapers correspondents stating the Irgun was responsible for cutting an oil pipeline in two places and attacking an Royal Air Force installation near Hadera.

    1947: The British government announced that it would withdraw from India.  This decision signaled a change in the U.K.’s foreign policy.  Its willingness to give up the Palestine Mandate would be triggered in part by the realization that protecting the Suez Canal as the lifeline to an imperial possession was no longer a critical need.

    1951: Rostam Bastuni, the first Israeli Arab to represent a Zionist party in the Knesset left Mapam and “set up the Left Faction with Adolf Berman and Moshe Sneh.

    1951: Birthdate of Dr. Robert “Bob” Silber, a fine physician, a devoted husband and father, an ardent Hawkeye fan, a pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community and a real mensch, who is smart enough to have more questions than answers.

    1952: The film The African Queen opened at the Capitol Theatre in New York City.  The African Queen marked the film debut of Theodore Bikel.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Washington Senator William Langer, a Republican, introduced a resolution asking Congress to investigate the plight of Arab refugees, a roadblock to the "stability and security" of the Middle East. (The Republican Party was not always friendly territory for supporters of the State of Israel.)

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Jewish Agency opened a hostel in Tel Aviv for skilled Western immigrants. 

    1959(12thof Adar I, 5719): Israeli poet Zalman Shneur, the native of Belarus who wpm the Bialik Pririze in 1951 and the Israel Prize in 1955 passed away today in New York City.

    1960: Sir Charles Leonard Woolley passed away at the age of 80. This non-Jewish British archaeologist is remembered for having excavated Ur of the Chaldees, and for discovering the ancient Sumerian civilization.  Yes, these are the actual places which produced Abraham, Lot and Sarah.

    1963: Opening performance of Rolf Hochhuth’s “The Deputy” which provides a controversial view of Pious XII’s behavior during the Holocaust.

    1965(18th of Adar I, 5725): Director and producer Michał Waszyński passed awar.

    1972(5th of Adar, 5732): Walter Winchell passed away at the age of 74.  According to some, Winchell was the creator of the modern newspaper gossip column.  Starting out with the New York Graphic and then the Daily Mirror in the nineteen twenties, Winchell's column was eventually syndicated in papers across the country.  At one time he had 30 million readers.  The column coupled with his radio show gave Winchell an amazing amount of power - sort of cross between Rush Limbaugh and Entertainment Tonight.  The right mention in a Winchell column could make you; the wrong mention or the lack of a mention could break you. How Jewish were Kun, Cohn and Winchell? Who really is a Jew in Jewish History?  These are questions that will plague us and challenge us on many Monday nights to come

    1973(18th of Adar I, 5733): Joseph Szigeti Hungarian born US violinist, passed away at the age of 80.

    1976(19th of Adar I, 5736): French born human rights activist, Renee Cassin, passed away.  Jurist, combat veteran of  World War I, member of the Resistance in WW II and leader of the French Jewish community, Cassin received the Nobel Prize Winner for Peace,

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that in a chaotic gun battle at Larnaca, Cyprus, 38 Egyptian commandoes freed the 11 Egyptian hostages held aboard a Cypriot Airways DC-8 airliner and apprehended the two Arab terrorists who held them.

    1981(16thof Adar I, 5741): Seventy-six year old “Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, a former senior fashion editor at Vogue magazine whose panache and sense of quality earned him the reputation of one of the fashion industry's great men of style” passed away today.  (As reported by Sheila Rule)

    1992:The clashes between Israelis and Iranian backed guerrillas in Lebanon culminated with an Israeli armored push today into the villages of Kafra and Yater, about a mile north of what Israel calls its security zone in southern Lebanon.

    1995(20thof Adar I, 5755): Eighty-four year old Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Kol Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem passed away today. Over a quarter of a million people attended his funeral.

    1996(30th of Shevat, 5756):  Dr. Solomon Asch, leading Gestalt Psychologist and pioneer social psychologist passed away.

    1999(4th of Adar, 5759): Film critic Gene Siskel passed away.  As the article below indicates, he was not just a successful critic he was also, a committed Jew, a real `mensch'

    People the world over have eulogized him as a master movie critic, a dedicated family man and a modest person whose fame didn't detract from his friendliness.A lesser-known but equally important side to Siskel reflected his Jewish upbringing and his continued dedication to Judaism and his community. Siskel, who died of cancer at age 53, was an active supporter of Israel and Jewish educational initiatives. He spent his early childhood in a historically Jewish neighborhood on Chicago's North Side. After his parents died when Siskel was very young, he and his siblings were raised by their mother's sister and her family in a northChicago suburb. His aunt and uncle were founding members of Conservative Synagogue Beth El, where he celebrated his bar mitzvah and later became a member with his wife, Marlene. Their daughter celebrated her bat mitzvah at Beth El in January, the last time he was out in public. More than 1,200 people attended his funeral there on Monday, among them his film-critic partner and longtime friend Roger Ebert. Just days before he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Siskel emceed at Chicago's community celebration of Israel's 50th anniversary. At the time he was suffering from migraine headaches due to his illness. “Gene was a revolutionary at his craft, known the world over, yet he never forgot where he came from," said Steven Nasatirof the Chicago area Jewish federation." In an era when public figures often have little to do with their community, Gene was a mensch, whose Judaism was paramount in his life and who was a very willing and active member of his community." Siskel's dedication to Israel was strongly influenced by a family trip there two years ago when his oldest daughter, Kate, was in eighth grade. Siskel's children attended Moadon Kol Chadash, a small, family-run Hebrew school whose first graduating class was taken to Israel. Believing that such a trip should be offered to a greater number of local Hebrew-school students, Siskel took the project under his wing. As a result a group of eighth-graders went to Israellast February, and a second, much larger group, went earlier this month. Siskel compiled a video chronicling Jewish stereotypes and anti-Semitism in Hollywood, which he used as an educational tool. Friends say Siskel expressed Judaism with modesty and little fanfare. "He was very low-key and never took himself too seriously," said his longtime friend Howard Caroll, a retired Illinoisstate senator, "but he was fervent about his Jewish beliefs." Beth El Rabbi Vernon Kurtz said in his eulogy Monday that just weeks ago, prior to their second daughter's bat mitzvah, Siskel and his wife told her that the two most important values in life were family and Judaism. "Judaism," Siskel said, "has taught me right from wrong,"

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary Germans by Eric A. Johnson and The Arcades Projectby Walter Benjamin; edited by Rolf Tiedemann; translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin.

    2000: Bruce Lee Fleisher won the GTE Classic.

    2002: The Israeli Defense Ministry awarded Elbit Systems, the Haifa based electronics manufacturer founded in 1967,  a ground-breaking tender to purchase new trainers for the air force

    2003(18th of Adar I, 5763):Daniel Aaron, a refugee from Nazi Germany and an orphan who went on to become a founder of Comcast, the largest cable company in the country, died today in Philadelphia, where he lived. He was 77. The cause was Parkinson's disease, according to the company.In 1990, speaking at a dinner for his retirement as vice chairman of Comcast in Philadelphia, Mr. Aaron described himself as something like the conscience of the operation. He pictured the young company as a car, with Mr. Roberts, the chairman, behind the wheel, Julian A. Brodsky, the principal fund-raiser, stepping on the gas, and Mr. Aaron himself with a foot on the brake. In 1963, Mr. Aaron persuaded Ralph J. Roberts, a Philadelphia entrepreneur who had recently sold a men's wear business, to buy a small cable television system in Tupelo, Miss. As part of the deal, Mr. Aaron agreed to help run it, and over the next 30 years they built or acquired dozens of other cable systems around the country. Last fall, the company they started, Comcast, acquired AT&T Broadband to become the largest cable television service provider in the country

    2005: At the DCJCC, the final performance of Joyce Carol Oates’ The Tattooed Girl.  The play is an adaptation of the author's post-9/11 novel of the same name, published in 2003. The work takes a big picture view of America by focusing its lens sharply on two distinct and distinctly differing characters, Alma, a working-class woman who has run short of options, and Joshua Siegl, a faded literary star closing in on 40, who had caused a stir with the publication of his first novel when he was all of 26. 

    2006: Right-wing British historian David Irving was convicted in Austria on Monday of denying the Holocaust - a crime in this country once run by the Nazis - and was sentenced to three years in prison.  Irving, 67, who had pleaded guilty and insisted during his one-day trial that he had a change of heart and now acknowledged the Nazis' World War II slaughter of 6 million Jews, had faced up to 10 years behind bars for the offense. "The court did not consider the defendant to have genuinely changed his mind," presiding judge Peter Liebetreu told the court after pronouncing the sentence. "The regret he showed was considered to be mere lip service to the law."

    2005:  The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Nice Big American Baby by Judy Budnitzan, the recently released paperback edition of Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z. by Debra Weinstein and essay by the recently deceased Susan Sontag entitled “Report on the Journey.”

    2007: Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak speaks at CoeCollege in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2008: Chelsea Football Club announced that Avraham Grant had received anti-Semitic death threats from unknown sources

    2008: At the Jerusalem Cinematheque a showing of “Le Viel Homme et L’Enfant” ( הזקן והילד). Set in WW II France, the story revolves around the relationship between a young Jewish boy sent to hide with a rural family and the older man who is a WW I hero, a supporter of Petain and a vocal anti-Semite.

    2008: The Washington Post reported on the results of a cancer study conducted by Itai Kloog, of the University of Haifa.  According to the study, “women who live in neighborhoods with large amounts of nighttime illumination are more likely to get breast cancer than those who live in areas where nocturnal darkness prevails, according to an unusual study that overlaid satellite images of Earth onto cancer registries.

    2008: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Jerusalem in an attempt to further latest round of peace talks which appear to be faltering.  These talks are an outgrowth of the negotiations held in Annapolis, MD in November of 2007.

    2009: The 24th Annual Jerusalem International Book Fair comes to an end.

    2009:A barrage of 10 mortar shells was fired at Gaza Belt communities  in what military sources said might have been the first stage of an attempted two-part combined terrorist attack.


    2010:Singer, actress and playwright Rebecca Joy Fletcher is scheduled to perform her acclaimed one-woman show “Cities of Light” at Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon, VA.

    2010: “A Matter of Size” is scheduled to be shown on the opening night of The 12th Annual Northern New Jersey Israel Film Festival.

    2010:  Birthday celebration of Dr. Bob Silber, a pillar of the Jewish community and a mensch in the truest sense of the word.

    2011(16th of Adar I, 5771): Jay Landesman, a writer and editor whose journal Neurotica analyzed the anxieties of postwar America and whose Broadway musical, “The Nervous Set,” has been called the first (and only) Beat musical passed away today in London at the age of 91.

    2011: The 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2011: Amos Oz: The Nature of Dreams, a documentary based on the memoirs of Amos Oz, that “delves into the persona of one of Israel's greatest and most controversial authors and political commentators” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: English author Ian McEwan is scheduled to be awarded the Jerusalem Prize, Israel's highest literary honor for foreign writers at the opening of the Jerusalem International Book Fair.

    2011: The family and myriad friends of Dr. Bob Silber celebrate the 60th natal day of this die-hard Hawkeye fan, ardent Zionist and all-around good-guy.

    2011: The New York Times featured a profile of author Walter Isaacson who has been the chairman and chief executive of CNN and the editor of Time magazine and the recently released paperback edition of Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, a “philosophical novel about love, Jewish cultural identity and academic infighting.”

    2011:The Environment Ministry reported that the recent appearance of an extensive bout of haze has brought the concentration of dust in central Israel to a level four to 10 times more than the average rate as of today.

    2012:US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon's three day trip to Israel brought on by rising tensions over the creation of an Iranian nuclear capability is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2012: MesorahDC is scheduled to sponsor Café Nite at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2012: As the United States celebrates Presidents’ Day,  the Jewish community may reflect on the unique interaction between it and various Chief Executives including: Washington’s letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island; Franklin Pierce’s appointment of the first Jew to serve as the U.S. Minister to a foreign country; Abraham Lincoln’s role in making it possible for Rabbis to serve as Chaplains in the U.S. Army and revoking Order #11; U.S. Grant’s attempt to appoint the first Jew to the Cabinet and his attendance at the dedication of Adas Israel; Teddy Roosevelt’s appointment of the first Jew serve in the Cabinet; William H. Taft’s at the first seder ever to be graced by a U.S. President; Woodrow Wilson’s appointment of the first Jew to serve on the Supreme Court; President Herbert Hoover’s appointment of the second Jew to serve on the Supreme Court; President Harry Truman’s role in the creation of the state of Israel; Lyndon Johnson’s role in saving Jews from the Holocaust, passing legislation that outlawed discrimination based on religion and support Israel during the 1967 War. (And this is a short list)

    2012:If Cairo unilaterally decides to alter the peace treaty with Jerusalem, Israel will ask why sign agreements with other neighbors if these accords are not kept, Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor said today.

    2012:US President Barack Obama will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on March 5, the White House said today. Netanyahu will be in Washington to address the annual policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which will be held on March 4-6.

    2012:Ammunition Hill will not close after an emergency meeting this evening with representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defense Ministry, and the Finance Ministry, Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser promised a budget of NIS 2 million for the 2012 year. Before the decision was reached, a group of veterans and children of soldiers killed in the battle for Ammunition Hill lowered the giant billowing flag from the hilltop this afternoon for the first time since 1967. The dramatic move drew condemnation from some veterans who fought in the Six Day War. The flag lowering was in protest to the lack of government funding for the site, which had depleted its resources and could not even pay the salaries of the six employees, according to director Katri Maoz. The Paratroop Brigade fought a fierce battle at Ammunition Hill against the Jordanian Arab Legion on June 6, 1967, during the Six Day War. The victory on the hilltop was a turning point in the army’s campaign for Jerusalem.

    2012:Iran Raid Seen as a Huge Task for Israeli Jets” published today describes the great challenge that the IAF would face if it had to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability.

    2013: My German Children,” which premiered at Jerusalem’s Jewish Film Festival in December, is scheduled to air for the first time on Israeli TV today as part of a Yes Doco series on children. (As reported by Renee Ghert-Zand)

    2013: Happy Birthday Dr. Bob

    2013:YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a ”discussion on the groundbreaking anthology Choosing Yiddish: New Frontiers of Language and Culture, “featuring editors Lara Rabinovitch, Shiri Goren, Hannah S. Pressman, editors, along with Gennady Estraikh (NYU), Eddy Portnoy (Rutgers), Jennifer Young (NYU/YIVO), and many others.”

    2013: Nigerian security forces this evening arrested three people belonging to an Iranian-linked terror cell that was reportedly planning to launch an attack against Israeli and American targets, Army Radio reported.

    2014: Friends and family of Dr. Bob Silber, pillar of the Jewish committee, President of the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Committee and diehard Hawkeye celebrate his natal day.

    2014: Hemi Rudner, “one of the finest musicians in the Israeli rock scent” who is the leader of “Eifo Hayeled” at CAFÉ WHA?

    2014” The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “The Power of the Geniza.

    2014: “Bethlehem.” winner of 6 Ophir Awards, is scheduled to be shown at the DPJCC's 14th Annual Jewish Film Festival

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    February 21

    362: Athanasius returns to Alexandria so he can lead the fight against various Christian heretics such as the Arians.  His negative views about the Jews were really part of his fight against Christian heretics. His “anti-Jewish rhetoric served to stigmatize Christians who resisted” the efforts of Athanasius “to reform the Alexandrian (local) practices of Lent and Easter along more international (catholic) lines.” For more on this view of his works and writings one should read “Jewish Flesh and Christian Spirit in Athanasius of Alexandria” by David Burke, Journal of Early Christian Studies - Volume 9, Number 4, Winter 2001, pp. 453-481

    1513: The papacy of Julius II came to an end.  His greatest claim to fame was that he gave Michelangelo the paint brush for the Sistine Chapel.  Samuel Sarfatti, a Jewish physician, took care of the Pope’s health needs.  His papacy was a period of benign neglect for the Jews.  Julius was more interested in temporal pleasure than doctrine so he pretty much left the Jews alone; not a bad deal considering what other Popes did to the Jews.
    1519: Upon the death of Maximilien, the Jewish community at Regensburg numbering approximately 800 souls, (one of the oldest in Germany,) was expelled. The synagogue was destroyed and a chapel, built in its place. About 5,000 gravestones were taken from the Jewish cemetery and used for building the Christian house of worship.

    1520: Birthdate of Moses Isserles, the Ashkenazic rabbi from Cracow best known for writing HaMapah (The Table Cloth) a “gloss” on The Shulchan Aruch (Set Table) of Joseph Karo.  Karo relied primarily on Sephardic sources. Isserles used Ashkenazic sources to create a table cloth that would cover the set table thus making Caro’s work viable for the large number of Jews living in Northern and Eastern Europe.

    1619(7th of Adar): Rabbi Ephraim Solomon ben Aaron of Luntshits, author of Keli Yakar passed away

    1665: Emperor Maximilian II granted permission to Christophe Plantin, whose work included the Plantin Polyglot Bible the first four volumes of which were the “Old Testament” which contained two columns with the Hebrew original and the Latin translation, to print Hebrew books in Antwerp

    1677(19thAdar I, 5437): Philosopher Baruch de Spinoza passed away. His philosophy and his life are too complex for this simple summary page. I did not understand why he was banned from the Jewish community when I first read about him as a ReligiousSchool student.  His philosophy baffled me when I first read it at Tulane.  Since I do not fake it, I suggest you begin your quest at and go from there. Good luck.

    1730: The papacy of Benedict XII came to an end. In 1727, he had issued Emanavit Numer that laid down the conditions under which Jews could be forcibly baptized. Two years later, he issued Alias Emanarunt that “forbade the selling of goods by Jews.”  (For more see The Inquisition: A History by Michael C. Thomsett)

    1743: George Frederic Handel's oratorio, "Samson" premiered in London.  The musical was based on the figure depicted in the Book of Judges and is another example of how Jewish culture enriched the culture of the Western World.

    1821: Birthdate of Elisabeth "Eliza, or Élisa" Rachel Félix better known only as Mademoiselle Rachel. She gained fame as an actress and as the mistress of the rich and famous including Napoleon III.

    1848: Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto.  Marx was not Jewish but his father was.  This fact has not stopped a myriad of anti-Semites including Adolph Hitler from equating Judaism with Communism.

    1852: 1st of Adar, 5612): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1852: Pope Pius IX wrote to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, “insisting that he revoke the right of the Jews to live outside of the Ghetto.”

    1856: A blood libel case occurred in Constantinople, with Jews being targeted with violence from Greeks, Armenians, and Turks. This occurred only three days after the Ottoman "reforms" which were to bring equality.

    1860: An Imperial decree issued today granted the Jews of Lower Austria, Moravia, Silesia, Hungary, Voywodina, and the Banat, Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, and the Littoral Districts, the right of possessing real property. They cannot, however, exercise the rights of patronage, jurisdiction, or scholastic representation, attached to such possession.

    1860: Uriah P. Levy was appointed Commodore and given command of the U.S. Navy’s Eastern Mediterranean fleet. A Jewish officer in the Navy at this time was rather unusual.  Levy dealt with his share of anti-Semitism during his career including a court-martial at the end of which he was fully exonerated. Levy waged a successful fight to end flogging as a form of punishment in the Navy.  He was an ardent admirer of Thomas Jefferson.  After Jefferson’s death, Levy bought Monticelloand restored it to its former luster.  The restoration included reclaiming Jefferson’s library which numbered about 2500 volumes.  When Levy passed away in 1862, he left the estate to the people of the United States.  Levy was proud of his Jewish heritage.  He served as the first president of Washington Hebrew Congregation which is still one of the dominant Reform congregations in Washington, D.C. Forty-three years after President Monroe had made Levy a lieutenant, President Buchanan gave him command of the Mediterranean Squadron. With command came the Navy's highest rank: Commodore. The American fleet and frigates from Russiaand Sardinia boomed out a thirteen-gun salute in the harbor at La Speziaas the pennant bearing a single star ran up the main mast of his flagship, USS Macedonian.

    1865: Cécile Anspach and Baron Gustave de Rothschild gave birth to Aline Caroline de Rothschild who became Lady Sassoon when he married Edward Sassoon in 1887. She passed away in 1909 having  given birth to two children – Philip Albert Gustave David and Sybil Rachel Bettie Cecile.

    1867: Birthdate of banker and patron of the arts Otto Hermann Kahn. While his name is unknown today, in his time Otto Kahn was a major financial and cultural figure in the United States and Europe.   Kahn began his banking career in Germany.  But he reached greatness after moving to the United Statesin 1893 where he became a partner in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company.  Described as Wall Street Wizard, he helped “reorganize the U.S. railroad system, finance the Allied effort in World War I and encourage banking reform after the 1929 stock market crash.”   He organized and bankrolled theMetropolitan Opera Company.  He also supported a whole slew of artists many of whom were unknown and struggling at the time. Among the many recipients of his support were Hart Crane, George Gershwin, Arturo Toscanni, EugeneO’ Neil, Paul Robeson, Isadora Duncan and Ezra Pound.  The eclectic Kahn was also a favorite of the inventor Thomas A. Edison who kept a picture of the banker-philanthropist on the wall of his New Jersey Home.  Kahn accomplished this and a lot more despite anti-Semitism and anti-German feelings in the United States.  He passed away in 1934.Here is something to think about.  If a man with a resume like Kahn can be so quickly forgotten, how many of today’s “important people” will be remembered fifty years from now?

    1874:  Benjamin Disraeli replaced William Gladstone as Prime Minister.  Disraeli was born Jewish, but his father had him baptized.  The conversion came over a dispute that the elder Disraeli had with the local synagogue.  Since he was not Jewish, Disraeli was not limited by English law in pursuing his political career.  At the same time, he was the target of anti-Semitic barbs and he was quite proud of his Jewish heritage.

    1875: According to “Poland Today” described conditions in the present day Russian province which has shrunk from 282,000 square miles to 48,863 square miles under the rule of the Czars.  While the majority of the population is Roman Catholic, “the money in Poland is chiefly in the hands of the Jews.”

    1877: The 200th anniversary of the death of the great Dutch Jewish philosopher on the secular calendar was marked by the publishing of “Baruch Spinoza.”

    1879:"The Reformer and Jewish Times; A Journal of Progress in Religion, Literature, Science, and Art" published its final edition today.  It first appeared in 1869 as “The Jewish Times: A Journal of Reform and Progress.”

    1880: According to “The Elder Disraeli’s Tomb” published today, the tomb of Benjamin Disraeli, the grandfather of the Prime Minister which is located at the Spanish and Portuguese Cemetery in the Mile-end-road has been repaired.  The need to recut and repaint the tombstone should come as no surprise since the elder Disraeli was buried in 1816. No repairs have been made on the tombstone of the Prime Minister’s grandmother who was buried in the same cemetery.
    1880: It was reported today the Jewish leaders in New York City have an issued an appeal to their co-religionists throughout the United States to make generous contributions to the Alliance Israelite Universelle, the Paris based charity that provides financial support and educational opportunities for Jews living under the Czar and the Ottoman Sultan.  It is suggested that leaders take advantage of the upcoming Purim festivities and address their congregations on the Sabbath of Remembrances on the need for providing financial support.

    1881: Birthdate of Rabbi Jonah Bondi Wise “an American Rabbi and leader of the Reform Judaism movement, who served for over thirty years as rabbi of the Central Synagogue in Manhattan and was a founder of the United Jewish Appeal, serving as its chairman from its creation in 1939 until 1958.”

    1883(14th of Adar I, 5643): Purim Katan

    1882: It was reported today that the reports of British Consular officials have “to a certain extent” exaggerated “the seriousness of the anti-Jewish riots in Russia” especially when it comes to “the reports of loss of life” and attacks on Jewish women.  Only  about “100 Jews were shamefully” mistreated in Warsaw of whom only 10 or 12 have died because of their injuries. However, the reports of property destruction were not exaggerated.

    1890(1stof Adar, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1891: In Pittsburgh, PA on Shabbat, the rabbi at Poale Zedeck Congregation on Grant Street was prevented from preaching his announced sermon by Rueben Miller, the Vice President of the synagogue who was to be the topic of the talk.


    1892: As New York City continued to deal with an outbreak of Typhus, the SS Etruria which had been “detained at Quarantine” because she had a large “number of Russian Jews among her steerage passengers” was allowed to dock today.  The Health Officer order the seventy Russian Jews to remained on board until “their baggage” had been “thoroughly fumigated.”

    1892: “Non-Success of Russian Jews” published today which relied on information first published in the Pall Mall Gazette reported that Voskhod has examined the conditions “of Jews who left Russia during the persecutions of the last 18 months.”  According to this monthly Jewish publication, those who went to Palestine want to return to Russia because the agricultural settlements “have been failures.”  And things are so bad for those who went to United States, “that were a society formed…to pay” their expenses “two thirds would gladly avail themselves of its funds and return.” (This report may reflect the philosophic stance of Voshkod as much as it does the conditions of the people it described. 

    1892: “A Great Hebrew Hospital” published today provided a lengthy history of Mount Sinai Hospital which began as the Jewish Hospital.  In addition to all of its other accomplishments, it “was the first hospital in the city to admit women to membership on its house staff.”

    1893: Mr. Weinstock wrote from Sacramento, CA to Pierre Botkine of Century Magazine asking  about the status of Jews in Russia “who enter the Greek Catholic Church.”  Specifically, he wanted to know if conversion brings “full civil and political rights.”

    1895: Birthdate of Szmul Zygielbojm (Zygelbojm or Zigelboim) “a Jewish-Polish socialist politician, leader of the Bund, and a member of the National Council of the Polish government in exile” who in 1943  “committed suicide to protest the indifference of the Allied governments in the face of the Holocaust.”

    1895: Alfred Dreyfus was “removed from his prison and transferred to an icy cell in a naval cruiser” which would carry him imprisonment on Devil’s Island.

    1896: Students' party at "Kadimah". The students give Herzl a great ovation.

    1897: Birthdate of Meir Ya’ari, the native of Galicia who made Aliyah in 1920 where he help to found Kibbutz Artzi before serving in as a member of Israel’s first Knesset.

    1897: In correspondence bearing today's date, “leading members of the Jewish community in Tripoli sent a letter to the President of the Alliance that gave a grim picture of Jewish life in rural Tripolitania."  The Jews reported that they were living as “dhimmi.” An Arab mob had destroyed the synagogue in the village of Zliten and in another village the authorities refused to find those who had murdered one Jew and injured his companion.

    1897: The Board of Trustees of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum is scheduled to meet today where they will take up Emanuel Lehman’s offer to provide $100,000 “for the endowment of an industrial and provident fund for the benefit of graduates of the asylum.”

    1898: As the trial of Emile Zola, the publisher of the Aurore enters its final days it was reported today that “public feeling against the Jews is so overwhelming that” his conviction is a foregone conclusion.

    1898: It was reported today that Jews in Trenton, NJ are are still upset with the anti-Semitic remarks of William J. Cossley, the Prosecutor in Mercer County. 


    1899: It was reported today that “Max Regis, the former Mayor of Algiers” and “notorious Jew-baiter…has been sentenced…to three years’ imprisonment” and ordered “to pay a fine of 1,000 francs” for press offenses and glorify murder and pillage at meetings in Algiers and Paris.”  (These meetings were part of the anti-Dreyfus violence that swept France.)

    1900: Birthdate of Henry Cohen, the British physician and lecture who was honored as the 1st Baron Cohen of Birkenhead for his contributions in the field of medicine.

    1905: During the Russian Revolution of 1905 the Chief of Police for the district that included Bialystok was killed.  Attacks like this would become an excuse for the attacks against the Jews known as  the Bialystok Pogrom that would take place in June of the following year.

    1910: Samuel D. Warren, a former law partner of Louis D. Brandeis passed away today in Boston, MA

    1914: Dr. John Tatlock and Marjorie Tatlock gave birth to Dr. Jean Frances Tatlock whom some contend was the mistress of  J. Robert Oppenheimer. Tatlock was a Communist and this relationship would be used against him when his security clearance was lifted after World War II.

    1915: Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of Dropsie College, presided over the opening session of the 23rd annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society which is being held at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City.

    1915: William Vincent Byars of St. Louis read a paper on the part played by the Gratz brothers in the development of trade in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys at the morning session of the annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society.

    1915: Leon Huchner presented a paper on the life of Daniel Gomez a merchant in colonial New York at the afternoon session of the annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society.
    1916: During World War I, 1,400 German guns fired the open salvo in the Battle of Verdun.  The bloodletting would last for ten months at a cost over half a million French casualties and four hundred thousand German casualties.  For the French, this pointless blood letting would lead to a pacifism when facing the threat of Hitler.  Life in the trenches would lead to the creation of the Maginot Line which also helped to pay the way for France’s early collapse in World War II.  In other words, a fairly straight line can be drawn from a battle in 1916 and the rise of Vichy and French collaboration with the Nazis that led to the death of so many Jews.

    1918(9thof Adar, 5678): Fifty-two year old author and linguist Hedwig Lachmann passed away. (As reported by Hanna Delf von Wolzogen)

    1918:  During the fight to freePalestine from Turkish control, Australian units under the overall command of General Allenby drove the Turks from Jericho and reached the northern end of the Dead Sea. As a result of these victories, the British would become the mandatory power after the war and the Balfour Declaration would be worth the paper it was written on, for a little while at least.

    1919:  As the right wing reasserts its authority in Germany, a German aristocrat named Count Anton Arco-Valley shot Jewish born Bavarian political leader Kurt Eisner in the back and killed him as he on his way to the Munich Parliament.

    1919: In Hungary, “the prime minister ordered the arrest of over one hundred prominent Communists including Bela Kun.”

    1922: Birthdate of DJ Murray “the K,” referred to as the Fifth Beatle.

    1922: Birthdate of Zivi Zeitlin, the native of Dubrovna who was raised in Palestine and became “an internationally renowned violinist known for interpreting the work of contemporary composers.” Zeitlin was 11 years old when he won a scholarship to Julliard making him the youngest person to win such an honor from the famed music school.  In 1967, he became a professor at the Eastman School of Music.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1925: In York, PA, Lewis and Nettie Wolfson Leibowitz gave birth to Herschel Weldon Leibowitz, “a Penn State University psychologist who was among the first scientists to explore how the mind can misinterpret what the eye sees at night, a phenomenon that contributes to traffic accidents.” (As reported by Benedict Carey)

    1932(14th of Adar I, 5692): Purim Katan

    1932(14th of Adar): Boris Schatz, founder of the Bezalel Art School passed away

    1932: The New York Times featured a review of The Tragedies of Progress by Italian Jewess Gina Lombroso who is described as a severe critic "of the trend in our technical civilization"

    1935: “When the Jewish-owned steamer Tel Aviv” docked today in Palestine for the first time, the first passenger to land was” Georg Martini the correspondent for The Völkischer Beobachter the official newspaper of the Nazi Party.

    1938: Semyon Dimanstein who had at one time been head of Yevsektsiya, the Jewish section of the Soviet Communist party, was arrested by Stalin.  Within short order he would be condemned to death and executed.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that British troops, assisted by police, inflicted heavy casualties on a gang of armed Arabs halfway between Rosh Pina and Safed and that there were about 500 suspected Arab terrorists interned at El Mizra camp.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that R.E. Alderson, R.A.F. Squadron Leader murdered by Arab terrorists near Atlit was buried with honors at Ramle.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that The Jewish Agency, The Marine Trust Ltd. and other Jewish organizations asked the government to speed up the development of the Tel Aviv port in order to stop congestion and allow normal passenger traffic. The basin had to be deepened, the quay space doubled and another lighter basin added to the existing facilities.

    1939: In a further move to impoverish the Jews,the German government order them “to surrender all objects made from gold, silver, precious stones and pearls.” (Like Haman, Hitler knew that anti-Semitism was a profitable “business.”

    1940: Oberfuerher Richard Gluecks informed Himmler that he had found a "suitable site" for a new "quarantine Camp" at Auschwitz.

    1940: Czech architect Otto Eisler arrived in Norway after fleeing his homeland which had been taken over by the Nazis who had imprisoned and tortured him.

    1943: The Battle of Guadalcanal ended.  Former champion boxer, Barney Ross won a Silver Star the second highest medal given for battlefield gallantry for his heroics during this grinding eight month long battle.  Ross had enlisted at the age of 32 and fought in the first of the island hopping battles that would lead to victory over Japan in 1945.

    1943: Dutch Roman Catholic bishops protested against persecution of Jews. This came as part of the response to Nazi recent roundups of Jews in Amsterdam. The "Righteous Gentiles" did make their attempts to help, but there were just too few of them.

    1943: Birthdate of record producer David Geffen.

    1943: Sir Harold MacMichael, High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine, broadcast a speech tonight on the eve of Red Army Day in which he “warmly praised the achievements of the Red Army.”

    1944(27thof Shevat, 5704): Dov Lopatyn was killed by a landmine today.  While serving as the head of the Judenrat in Lachwa  he “refused the demand of the Einsatzgruppen that the Lakhva Ghetto inhabitants line up for deportation and led one of the first ghetto uprisings after which an untold number of the Jews escaped to the Pripet Marshes.  It was there the Lopatyn joined the partisans with whom he fought until his death.

    1944: Birthdate of Dr. Sander L. Gilmnan, the New York native and Tulane University alum whose accomplishments include the founding of the Jewish Studies program at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

    1946: British soldiers and policeman are searching for those who attacked the police headquarters tonight in Haifa and Tel Aviv.  The attackers in Tel Aviv were armed with machine guns and grenades and set-off at least 6 separate explosions.  The attacks followed searches of Jewish settlements by the police that resulted in the seizure of rifles and “a clandestine radio.”

    1946: Congressman Augustus Bennett, a New York Republican, with the support of Congressman Thomas J. Lane, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced a resolution today in the House of Representative calling for a “Congressional investigation of the Palestine situation…The measure calls for a joint House-Senate committee to be sent to the Holy Land to investigate conditions there and report its findings to Congress.”

    1947: Edwin H. Land demonstrated the first instant developing camera in New York City. It took only sixty seconds to develop a black and white photograph.  Most of us know that such famous scientists as Einstein, Salk and Sabine were Jewish.  But how many knew that this famous college dropout was Jewish as well?  He is also given credit for creating improved lenses and sunglasses as well as providing research on new theories related to color perception.

    1948: The Arab League voted to deny American oil companies pipeline rights in the Middle East until Washingtonaltered its Palestinepolicy reinforcing efforts by Secretary of State George Marshall and others at the State Department to get President Truman to reconsider his support for the creation of a Jewish state.

    1955: David Ben-Gurion succeeded Pinhas Lavon as Defense Minister.

    1956(9th of Adar, 5716): Edwin Franko Goldman the founder of Goldman Band of New York City and the American Bandmasters Association passed away at the Montefiore Hospital in New York

    1958: Birthdate of exercise expert Jake Steinfeld (Body by Jake).

    1958: Egypt and Syria having formed the United Arab Republic (UAL) elected the Egyptian dictator Gamiel Nasser as its new President.  Nasser was a Pan Arabist - yes they show up year in and year out - who was determined to destroy the state of Israel as his means of uniting the Arab World.  He failed on both counts.

    1958: In Cambridge, MA, Elaine Salovey, a registered nurse, and Ronald Salovey, a physical chemist gave birth to their oldest child Peter Salovey, a descendant of the Soloveichik rabbinic family who became the 23 President of Yale Univeristy.

    1962: In Brooklyn, Norma and Al Lerner gave birth to Randy Lerner the billionaire businessman who took over ownership of the Cleveland Browns when his father passed away.

    1962: Birthdate of Eliezer Sandberg, the Haifa native who has served as an member of the Knesset and held at least two cabinet posts.

    1969(3rd of Adar, 5729): Itzik Manger (איציק מאַנגער) passed away. Born in what is now the Ukraine in 1901, Manger lived in various European cities as he wrote plays and poems in Yiddish. Towards the end of his life, he made Aliyah and lived in Tel Aviv. Itzik's Midrash and Songs of the Megillah were two of his more famous works, both of which drew upon Biblical themes.

    1970: A Swissair plane bound from Zurich to Tel Aviv explodes and crashes shortly after takeoff; all 47 people aboard are killed.

    1970: An Austrian airliner carrying mail for Israel from Frankfurt, West Germany, to Vienna is damaged by an explosion in flight; no one is hurt.

    1971: In “Seeing the Sinai” Douglas Greener described his tour of the Wilderness 4 years after the Six Day War.

    1973: Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert, killing more than 100 people.

    1974: Israeli forces left the territory on the western side of the Suez Canal.  While the Yom Kippur War (October, 1973) began as a disaster for the Israelis, the military outcome was a triumph.  Troops under Sharoncrossed the Suez Canal and put a stranglehold on the Egyptian Army.  The disengagement of 1974 led to the historic visit of Sadat and the peace treaty that followed.

    1977:Birthdate of Birthdate of Jonathan Safran Foer an American author whose works include Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Eating Animals.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that there were at least 2,000 guests at the colorful opening of the 29th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Finance Minister Simha Ehrlich had set up a special police task force to study how to implement the Shimron Committee's recommendations on fighting the organized crime in Israel.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egypt withdrew its diplomatic mission from Cyprus after its 15 commandos were killed and some 50 injured in fighting Cypriot soldiers and PLO terrorists in an attempt to free a plane at the Larnaca airport, in which two Arab terrorists were holding Arab and Egyptian hostages.

    1982: A revival of “Little Me,” a musical written by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh the cast of which included Bebe Neuwirth closed at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

    1982(28th of Shevat, 5742): Gershom Scholem passed away.  Born on December 5, 1897, Scholem, was a Jewish philosopher and historian who was raised in Germany. He is widely regarded as the modern founder of the scholarly study of Kabbalah, becoming the first Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Scholem is best known for his collection of lectures, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism(1941) and for his biography Sabbatai Zevi, the Mystical Messiah(1973). His collected speeches and essays, published as On Kabbalah and its Symbolism(1965), helped to spread knowledge of Jewish mysticism among non-Jews. He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1958 and was elected president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1968.

    1983(8th of Adar, 5743): Murray Seasongood, who served as Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio from 1926 through 1930 passed away today at the age of 104.

    1987: The Syrian army marched into Beirut.  This was part of Syria’s plan to rule “Greater Syria” a territory that would include Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.  At the behest of the United States, Israel blocked Syria’s plans to seize part of Jordanin the 1970’s.  As the bombing in Beirut this week reminds us, the Syrians still dominate the Lebanese political scene.

    1988:In an article entitled “Russia and the Jews: Photos of a Turbulent Past,” Chaim Potok used his critique of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum to provide a semi-sentimental journey through the world of Russian Jewry in the closing decades of the 19th century and the opening decades of the twentieth century.

    1991: Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers" premiered at Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City for the first of 780 performances.

    1991: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher delivers the key note address at the retirement dinner honoring Sir Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth,

    1992:Israeli forces withdrew from two villages in southern Lebanon today, ending a 24-hour thrust against Shiite Muslim guerrillas who had fired salvos of rockets into northern Israel. Hours after the withdrawal, the villages were again filled with gunmen from the pro-Iranian Party of God, and fresh barrages of rockets were fired at Israeli border villages.

    1992(17th of Adar I, 5752): In Granot Haglil, five-year old Avia Elizad was killed by a Katyusha fired by Arabs in Lebanon as she ran to meet her father who was returning from work.  Her last words were “Daddy, Daddy!”

    1992: A Palestinian fatally stabbed Russian émigré today in Kfar Sava, northeast of Tel Aviv. The assailant, from neighboring Kalkilya on the West Bank, stabbed the woman in the neck with a kitchen knife and wounded three other émigrés before being shot and subdued. Leaflets distributed in Gaza and signed by the Islamic Holy War movement took responsibility for the stabbing.

    1993: After a campaign sullied by charges of mischief and wrongdoing, Israeli rabbinical elders and political leaders chose Chief Rabbis today for the Ashkenazic and Sephardic branches of Judaism. The election may affect the Government because the results seem to strengthen Shas, a party of fervently Orthodox Sephardic Jews and the only religious party in the coalition. Shas supported both winning candidates. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, 56, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, won the closely watched race to represent Ashkenazic Jews, or those of Eastern and Central European origin. Several women accused him of trying to seduce them years ago. He sued one for libel. Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, 52, of Haifa, won the Sephardic contest, affecting Jews with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African backgrounds. He had his own problems: affidavits charging he once tried to bribe a Haifa City Council candidate to drop out of the race. He denied the charges. The atmosphere was so thick with accusations that at one point the incumbent Chief Rabbis publicly deplored the quality of the campaign. The moral authority of the new Chief Rabbis was not enhanced when the former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, called the candidates "minor leaguers" in scriptural scholarship. Nearly 150 electors chose the Chief Rabbis, whose interpretations of Jewish law are binding on the Government. The positions have political roots.

    1993(30thof Shevat, 5753): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1993(30thof Shevat, 5753): Sixty-eight year old cartoon pioneer Harvey Kurtzman passed away today. (As reported by Richard D. Lyons)

    1994(10thof Adar, 5754): Ninety-three year old Mary Woodard Lasker, the widow of Albert Davis Lasker with whom she established the Lasker Foundation passed away today. (As reported by Eric Pace)

    1996(1st of Adar, 5756): Science fiction writer Horace Leonard Gold passed away at the age of 81.


    19961st of Adar, 5756): Composer and former President of ASCAP Morton Gould passed away at the age of 82. (As reported by Bernard Holland)

    1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Kissinger Transcripts:The Top Secret Talks With Beijing and Moscow,Edited by William Burr and Ex-FriendsFalling Out With Allen Ginsberg, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Lillian Hellman, Hannah Arendt, and Norman Mailerby Norman Podhoretz

    1999(5th of Adar, 5759): Gertrude Elion, winner of The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988,passed away.For more about this fascinating woman in her own words see

    1999: At the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Family Heritage Week, with special activities, including creating family trees and special tours, goes on through Sunday. Exhibitions include ''Jewish Life a Century Ago,'' with memorabilia from Jewish rituals and celebrations in Europe in the early 1900's; ''War Against the Jews,'' detailing events from 1933 to 1945, and ''Jewish Renewal,'' focusing on life after the Holocaust comes to an end.

    2000: Ninety-two year old General Kenneth D. Nichols who played a key role in the development of the Atomic Bomb during WW II and who was one of the driving forces behind removing J. Robert Oppenheimer’s security clearance passed away.

     2002: The State Department declared that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was dead, a month after he'd been abducted by Islamic extremists in Pakistan.
    2002: A videotape was released titled “The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl.” The video shows Pearl's mutilated body, and lasts 3 minutes and 36 seconds.

    2004: Bassam al-Asker, one of the murdering terrorists who hijacked the Achille Lauro was erroneously reported to have died today.  (As of 2007, he was supposedly living in Lebanon having spent 14 years training terrorists in Iraq.)

    2006: The Jewish author E. L. Doctorow was named the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. The winning work was "The March" (Random House), his best-selling novel about Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's devastating march through the Confederate South, The Associated Press reported. Mr. Doctorow, who also won the 1990 Pen/Faulkner Award for "Billy Bathgate," will receive a prize of $15,000 from the Washington-based organization, which is "committed to building audiences for exceptional literature and bringing writers together with their readers."

    2006: Wafa Sultan, an American author and critic of Muslim society and Islam who trained as a psychiatrist in Syria took part in Al Jazeera's weekly 45-minute discussion program The Opposite Direction. She criticized Muslims for treating non-Muslims differently, and for not recognizing the accomplishments of Jewish and other members of non-Muslim society while using their wealth and technology. Her comments, especially a pointed criticism that "no Jew has blown himself up in a German restaurant", brought her invitation to Jerusalem by the American Jewish Congress.

    2006(23rd of Shevat, 5766):  Abraham Lopez Cardozo passed away at the age of 91.  The New York cantor was known for his efforts to preserve the music of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews (As reported by Ari L. Goldman)

    2007: Haaretzreported that only 19,264 people immigrated to Israelin 2006, down nine percent from 2005. It is the lowest number of immigrants recorded since 1988.
    2008: In New York, Susannah Heschel presents a lecture entitled “Biblical Scholarship and the Rise of Racism.” An esteemed scholar—and the daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel— Dr. Heschel takes a fascinating look at the modern history of biblical scholarship.

    2009: Shabbat Shekalim – Sabbath of the Shekel (5769)

    2009: Two and a half weeks after United Nations peacekeepers in southern Lebanon discovered five rockets ready to be launched toward Israel, a Katyusha rocket slammed into the western Galilee near the town of Ma'alot this morning, lightly wounding three people.


    2009: The 92nd Street Y presents “It Started With a Dream: David Zippel—Lyrics He Wrote, Lyrics He Wishes He Wrote”during which the Jewish Tony Award-winner and multiple Oscar, Emmy and Grammy award nominee  presents highlights from his own scores and shares his inspirations and personal favorites from the iconic Songbook canon.  

    2009: The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, who leads a small congregation in suburban Chicago, will become the second woman to head the rabbinical assembly of Judaism’s liberal Reform movement. Dreyfus, 57, is to be installed as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis on February 28 in Jerusalem and will begin her tenure in Israel.

    2010: Family, students and friends, including American historians Jonathan Sarna and Kimmy Caplan will gather at 7 p.m. at Jerusalem’s Yedidiya Synagogue for a memorial symposium marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Rabbi Geffen, who for 60 years was considered the dean of the Southern Orthodox rabbinate in the US.

    2010: The Jewish Agency for Israel is scheduled to open its three-day long meeting today in Jerusalem.  The meeting had originally been scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida.)

    2010: The Israeli Ballet is scheduled to perform Don Quixote, at the Walt Whitman Theatre in Brooklyn, NY.

    2010:A man hurled a suitcase containing a makeshift bomb at Cairo's main downtown synagogue in the early hours this morning, causing no injuries or damage, police said.


    2010: The Washington Postfeatured a review of Pulitzer:A Life in Politics, Print, and Power by James McGrath Morris, a biography about the Hungarian born Jewish immigrant who changed the face of American journalism.

    2011: The movies scheduled to be shown today at the Atlanta Jewish Film touch a wide range of Jewish emotions and themes since they include Diary of Anne Frank and American Tail, an animated film about “the immigrant adventure of Russian-Jewish mice that flee persecution in pursuit of the American dream.”

    2011: Israeli pianist Idith Meshulam is scheduled to perform the second annual Music Of Now Marathon in New York City.

    2011: Suez Canal officials said today that two Iranian naval vessels were expected to start their passage through the strategic waterway early tomorrow.

    2012: Sue Eckstein is scheduled to discuss her latest novel “Interpreters” in London as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012: Pam Fox is scheduled to discuss “A Place to Call My Jewish Home: Memories of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue 1911-2011” in London as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012: Joshua Cohen, Ruth Franklin and Adam Kirsch are scheduled to participate in “In the Beginning Were Words: The Greatest Jewish Books” at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan

    2012:IDF and Israel Police forces conducting anti-smuggling operations foiled a potential terrorist attack when they discovered a powerful explosive device being brought into the country.


    2012: As tensions in Israel continue to rise due to threat of a nuclear Iran, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying today that Iran would take preemptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered

    2013: In London, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is scheduled to mark LGBT history month with a “screening two of the earliest sympathetic depictions of same-sex attraction in the history of cinema” which “were created in the German Weimar Republic.”

    2013:The Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present a concert, “The Best of the Classics.”

    2013: In New York, Temple Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to host a Klezmer Jam.

    2013(11thof Adar, 2013): Fast of Esther

    2013:Three men were found guilty today of planning a “spectacular bombing campaign” in the UK, including an attack on a synagogue.

    2013: Today President Shimon Peres exhorted the European Union and its member states to place Hezbollah on their terror lists, and warned Lebanon against initiating violence against Israel.

    2014: Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim in Silver Spring, MD is scheduled to host “Rockin’ Moroccan Shabbat Dinner” this evening.

    2014: In Iowa City, Avremel and Chaya Blesofsky invite the community to attend the brit of their son.


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    February 22

    1290 BCE:  The coronation of Ramses II, who, according to some, is the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Since the Bible does not mention the Pharaoh by name, Ramses is not the only candidate.  In addition to which, there is some debate among Egyptologist as to when Ramses actually came to power.  According to some, his reign began in 1297 BCE. 

    1040: On the secular calendar birthdate of Rashi ישר, an acronym for Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac or Shlomo Yitzchaki.  Rashi was one of the greatest commentators on the TaNaCh and the Talmud.Rashi was born at Troyes, Champagne, northern France, in 1040 and died there in 1104 or 1105. He was reputedly descended from the Davidic line with lineage to the royal house of King David. He studied at Worms under Yaakov ben Yakar, and at Mainz under Isaac ben Judah. He returned to Troyes at age 25, probably serving as Rabbi and “religious judge.”  According to the Dictionary of Jewish Biography, as a judge and a rabbi, “he was unpaid…and he earned his living from the vineyards that he is reported to have owned.” [Editor’s note: Like Maimonides, Rashi followed the admonitions that he who makes a spade of the Torah shall perish and calling upon people to work for a living as well as studying Torah.]  About 1070 he founded a Yeshiva which attracted many disciples. According to tradition Rashi earned his living as a vintner and/or as a wine merchant. Although there are many legends about his travels, Rashi likely never went farther than from the Seine to the Rhine - the utmost limit of his travels was the Yeshivot of Lorraine. Rashi had no sons, only three daughters, Yocheved, Miriam and Rachel, all of whom married scholars. Yocheved married Meir ben Samuel, Miriam married Judah ben Nathan (see above), and Rachel married (and divorced) Eliezer ben Shemiah. Yocheved and Meir's four sons were the tosafists Shmuel (Rashbam), Yaakov (Rabbeinu Tam), Yitzchak (Ribbam), and the grammarian Shlomo; one of their daughters, Channah, wrote a responsum explaining the ritual and blessing for the Shabbat lights. Besides minor works, such as an edition of the Siddur (Prayer-Book), Rashi wrote two great commentaries on which his fame rests. These were the commentaries on the whole of the TaNaCh (Hebrew Bible) and on about thirty tractates of the Talmud. Rashi's works are so well respected that he is often cited simply as "the Commentator." His commentaries are of interest to secular scholars because he tended to translate unfamilar words into the spoken French of his day. As such, his commentaries offer an interesting insight into the vocabulary and pronunciation of Old French. The authors of the Dictionary of Jewish Biography and The New Encyclopedia of Judaismagree that “although Troyes (Rashi’s city of residence) was untouched by the First Crusade of 1096…the last years of his life were saddened by the devastation that the Crusaders brought to bear on “defenseless Jewish communities of the Rhineland” in general and “the disasters which had befallen his own colleagues.

     Commentary on the TaNaCh

    Rashi's commentary on the TaNaCh is very thorough, and is used to understand both the plain meaning of the TaNaCh and the interpretation of the medieval rabbis. His commentary is often used in basic, intermediate, and advanced studies of the TaNaCh. There are a small number of commentaries that bear his name that were not authored by him, but by his students. Rashi's commentary on the Torah has become an indispensable part of the framework of Orthodox Judaism - tens of thousands, men and women alike, daily study "Chumash with Rashi" (Chumash = Pentateuch + corresponding portions from the Prophets) in reviewing the Parsha to be read on the next Shabbat. Rashi's explanation of Chumash, clarifies the "simple" meaning of the text so that a bright child of five could understand it. At the same time, it is the crucial foundation of some of the most profound legal analysis and mystical discourses that came after it. Since its publication, this commentary has been included as a standard in almost all Chumashim produced within the Orthodox community. Supercommentaries on this work include Gur Aryeh by Rabbi Judah Loew (Maharal), Sefer ha-Mizrachi by Rabbi Elijah Mizrachi (Re'em) and Yeri'ot Shlomo by Rabbi Solomon Luria (Maharshal). Almost all later commentaries will discuss Rashi either bringing His view as a support or debating it

    Commentary of the Talmud

    Rashi also wrote the first comprehensive commentary of the Talmud. His commentary attempts to provide a full explanation of the words, and of the logical structure of each Talmudic passage. Unlike other commentators, Rashi does not paraphrase or exclude any part of the text, but carefully elucidates the whole of the text. He also exerted a decisive influence on establishing the correct text of the Talmud. He compared different manuscripts and determined which readings should be preferred. His work became such a standard that it is included in all printed versions of the Talmud.

    Rashi's Talmud commentary is always situated towards the middle of the opened book display; i.e. on the side of the page closest to the binding. The semi-cursive font in which the commentaries are printed is often referred to as "Rashi script." This does not mean that Rashi himself used such a script, only that the printers standardly employ it for commentaries. Daniel Bomberg, a Christian printer from Venice, introduced "Rashi script" in his publication of Rashi's commentary on the Tanakh in 1517. Rashi's commentary, which covers almost all of the Babylonian Talmud, has been printed in every version of the Talmud since the first Italian printings. Rashi did not compose commentaries for every tractate of the Babylonian Talmud. Some of the printed commentaries which are attributed to him were composed by others, primarily his students. In some commentaries, the text indicates that Rashi died before completing the tractate, and that it was completed by a student. This is true of the tractate Makkot, the concluding portions of which were composed by his son-in-law Rabbi Judah ben Nathan and of Bava Batra finished (in a more detailed style) by his grandson, Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (also known as the Rashbam), one of the prominent contributors to the Tosafot.

    “Rashi’s responsa (replies to inquiries on matters of Jewish law) …are characterized by liberality and humility…He ruled that it is permissible to interrupt the grace after meals to fee ones animals, basing the decision other scriptural injunction for a man to feed his animals before himself.  On one occasion he told his questioner, ‘I was asked this question before but I realize that my answer then was wrong and I welcome the opportunity to correct my mistake.’”  There are places in his commentaries where admits that he does not understand the meaning.  “Of this I do not know.” 

    Rashi in his own words:

    “Any plan formulated in a hurry is foolish.”

    “Be sure to ask your teacher his reasons and his sources.”

    “Teachers learn from their sudent’s discussions.”

    “A student of laws who does not understand their meaning or cannot explain their contradictions is just a basket full of books.”

    “Do not rebue your fellow man so as to shame him in public.”

    “To obey out of love is better than to obey out of fear.”

    “”All the 613 commandments are included in the Decalogue.”

    1217(6thof Adar, 4977):Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg passed away. Born in 1140 in Speyer, he was also called He-Hasid or 'the Pious' in Hebrew and was the initiator of the Chassidei Ashkenaz, a movement of Jewish mysticism in Germany. “This movement is considered different from kabbalistic mysticism because it emphasizes specific prayer and moral conduct. Judah settled in Regensburg in 1195. He wrote Sefer Hasidim (Book of the Pious) and Sefer Hakavod (Book of Glory). The latter has been lost and is only known by quotations that other authors have made from it. His most prominent students were Elazar Rokeach and Moses ben Jacob of Coucy.

    1288: Papacy of Nicholas IV began. Like many medieval popes, Nicholas IV displayed a mixed attitude toward the Jews. On the one hand, he issued various instructions (1288) to the inquisitors to proceed against *Conversos and he renewed earlier legislation concerning the Jews in Portugal, compelling them to wear a *badge. On the other hand, he specifically protected the Jews of Rome from being molested by Christians (January 1291). He wrote to Emperor Rudolph requesting the release of *Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg from prison. There is a belief that he enlisted the services of the Jewish physician and scholar Isaac b. Mordecai Maestro Gaio, who also attended Boniface VIII and who was the first of the Italian Jewish papal physicians. (As described in the Jewish Virtual Library)

    1349: In Zurich, Switzerland, the town council tried to protect the Jews of the town, they were forced to give in to the mob, resulting in the murder of many of the Jewish inhabitants. The Jews were then forced to leave.

    1455: Birthdate of Johann Von Reuchlin the German linguist who came to the defense of the Jews when Dominican Friars led by Johann Pfefferkorn sought imperial support to destroy a vast array of Jewish books.

    1475: The first known Hebrew book, a copy of the TaNaCh, was printed in Italy.

    1495: King Charles VIII of France enters Naples to claim the city's throne.  Following the expulsion from Spain, Jews had found refuge in Naples thanks to King Ferdinand of Naples.  When Ferdinand died his son Alfonso replaced him on the throne.  Charles deposed Alfonso.  During his short lived reign over the Italian city, the situation of the Jews worsened.  Fortunately, a mixed bag of political and religious leaders drove Charles back to France.  Unfortunately, the Jews of Naples would be expelled from their Italian haven in 1510.

    1501: On this day and the following day, two tremendous auto-de-fe's took place in Toledo. A woman prophet and over 100 of her followers were burned. The woman envisioned those Jews who had previously died as martyrs were taken to heaven, and the Jewish Messiah was speedily going to return the Jews to the Promised Land.

    1520: Birthdate of Moses Isserles, the Ashkenazic rabbi from Cracow best known for writing HaMapah (The Table Cloth) a “gloss” on The Shulchan Aruch (Set Table) of Joseph Karo.  Karo relied primarily on Sephardic sources. Isserles used Ashkenazic sources to create a table cloth that would cover the set table thus making Caro’s work viable for the large number of Jews living in Northern and Eastern Europe.

    1618(27th of Shevat): Rabbi Tanhum Ha-Kohen of Cracow passed away today.

    1656: The Jews in New Amsterdam are granted, "A little hook of land situate [sic] outside of this city for a burial place." This cemetery land was located by the Bowery, near Oliver Street in what is now lower Manhattan. It would be another month before Jews were granted the right to own real estate.  Public Jewish worship would not be an accepted matter of fact until the turn of the century.  The establishment of a burial society and cemetery is a matter of major importance for any Jewish community.   It was sign of permanence and belonging.  Following the defeat of the Dutch by the English in 1664, New Amsterdam would become New York. 

    1732:  Birthdate of George Washington. Several Jew’s served with Washington during the Revolutionary War.  When Washington was elected President he sent amicable letters to different Jewish communities assuring them that Jews were welcome in the United States.  The tone set by Washington helped to make the American experience different for the Jews than anything they had known in their history. As he said in his famous letter written to the Jews of Newport, “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants--while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

    1755: Benedict XIV issued Beatus Andreas a Papal Bull that confirmed the blood libel as factual. ”The Bull reviewed the cases of ritual murder by Jews, which it explicitly upholds as a fact, and establishes the beatification but not the canonization of Andreas of Rinn and Simon of Trent”

    1775: The Jews were expelled from outskirts of Warsaw, Poland.

    1781: During the American Revolution Isaac Franks, who had been serving as “forage-master” at West Point, was commissioned as an ensign in the 7thMassachusetts Regiment.  He served in that capacity until 1782 when he resigned due to health problems. 

    1788:  Birthdate of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.  Schopenhauer has nothing to positive to say about human existence.  For him, life is harsh and cruel.  If this is so obvious, Schopenhauer asks why there are any optimists in the world. Schopenhauer argues that ‘the aggressively optimistic philosophers of the Western World have fallen victim to a vulgar buoyancy which is rooted in the Jewish Tradition!”  In his most famous work The World as Will and Idea the philosopher says Jewish traditional optimism reflects "a self-congratulatory human egoism, which is blind to all except our (own) all too frail human goals and aspirations."

    1819: The United States of America and Spain signed the Florida Purchase Treaty which gave the United States complete control over what is now the Sunshine State.  Within 2 years, records show that 30 to 40 Jews lived in northern Florida including Moses Levy a Moroccan born lumber dealer who built a Jewish colony in an area that is now home to the University of Florida.  Abraham Myers, a West Pointer who served during the Seminole Wars was one of the first Jews to live in south Florida.

    1820: Birthdate of Elizabeth D. A. Cohen, who would become the first practicing female physician in Louisiana. Born in New York City and educated at the Philadelphia College of Medicine, Cohen practiced medicine in New Orleans, LA.  She passed away on May 28, 1921 and was buried in the Gates of Prayer Cemetery on Canal Street.

    1828: In Vilnius, Abraham Bar Lebensohn and his wife gave birth to the Hebrew poet Micah Joseph Lebensohn. His brother-in-law Joshua Steinberg who was an author in his own right and functionary in the Russian government translated some of his Hebrew works into German.

    1840:  Birthdate of August Bebel, a German social democrat and founder of the Social Democrat Party of Germany.  The non-Jewish Bebel was committed to the concept of the brotherhood of man and one of his famous statements was, "Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools."

    1847: In Germany, M.A. and Sophia Stern gave birth to Louis Stern.  After moving the family moved to Albany, Louis was sent to Petersburg, W. Va. “to learn the rudiments of merchandizing in the small store of any uncle after which he moved to New York where he and his brothers – Isaac, Bernard and Benjamin - opened the dry goods store that became known as Stern Brothers, that classier than Wanamakers and B. Altman’s but never quite reached the level of Lord & Taylor or Bonwit Teller.

    1848: Beginning of the “The Third French Revolution” which replaced Citizen King Louis Philippe with the Second Republic.

    1850: Birthdate of Isaac L Rice.  The German born Rice taught at Columbia University and is the namesake for its Rice Stadium.  As a businessman he played a key role in the development of submarines.  He was a famous chess player and the inventor of the Rice Gambit.

    1852: Martin Beir, the secretary and treasurer of the Milton Clark Company, an insurance agency in Rochester, NY married 17 year old Clara Hirsch, the daughter of Wolf and Eva Hirsch. (Clara passed away at the age of 39 and Beir never remarried.  In 1898, he was chosen to head B’nai B’rith for the state of New York.

    1853: Founding of Eliot Seminary in St. Louis which would become Washington University. According to recently published figures Wash U has 2,000 Jewish undergraduates who are 33% of the student population. This helps to rank it as number 11 on a list of the 30 private schools Jews choose.

    1855: The New York Times reported that a concert designed to raise funds for the Hebrew Benevolent Society is scheduled to be held at the Dodsworth Academy.

    1855:  Pennsylvania State University is founded.  Today Penn State has approximately 4,000 Jewish undergraduate and graduate students out of a total student population of over 40,000.  The university offers approximately 45 Jewish Studies courses.  Penn State offers both a major and a minor in Jewish studies.

    1856: The Republican Party holds its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Early Jewish Republican supporters included Sabato Morais, Rabbi of Philadelphia’s Mikveh Israel Congregation; Moritz Pinner, a German born editor of an abolitionist paper who would fight in the Union Army during the Civil War; Louis Naphtali Dembitz, a Louisville lawyer whose nephew would become the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice.  Jews were drawn to the Republican Party because of its anti-Slavery stance.  Ironically, another group drawn to the Republican Party were members of the short-lived American Party, also called “The Know-Nothing” Party.  The Know-Nothings were natavist who were opposed to the swelling tide of immigration, a belief that included more than just a whiff of anti-Semitism.

    1857: Birthdate German born physicist Heinrich Hertz. He was the first one to broadcast and receive radio waves.  The unit of measure “hertz” is named for him.  Hertz was born into a Jewish family that converted to Christianity.  The German Jewish community was devastated two times: first by conversions in the 19thcentury and then by the Final Solution in the 20th century.  One wonders how many of those who perished in the latter were from families who had participated in the former.

    1859: Ephraim Alex, the Overseer of the Great Synagogue secured the adoption of the following resolutions designed to help “the strange and foreign poor”:

    (1) That it is highly expedient that the relief of the strange poor be managed by a Board of Guardians constituted of delegates from the three City Uniting Congregations.

    (2) That the following gentlemen be appointed the delegates of this Board with power to meet the delegates appointed by the other two congregations and make such arrangements with them for one year as shall seem most desirable to effect the desired object, viz., Messrs. E. Alex, Samuel Moses, Lewis Jacobs, S. A. Jonas, Joseph Lazarus, Jacob Waley, M.A., and Lionel L. Cohen.

    (3) That £220 be placed at the disposal of such Board of Guardians for one year to be paid in monthly instalments.

    (4) That the Secretary of the Synagogue do attend the meetings of the Board of Guardians when requested and finish all information, books or documents bearing on the relief of the strange poor.

    1860: The New York Times reported that “The community of Kingston, which is composed chiefly of Jews, have been making contributions for the relief of their suffering brethren of Morocco. They have managed to collect large sums in spite of the prevailing poverty.”

    1861: Bell & Daly announced the forthcoming publication of The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, by Isaac Taylor

    1861: According to reports sent from Paris today, the arrest of Jules Mires has threatened the stability of the Credit Mobilier.  It is expected that when word of his arrest reaches Constantinople, ruinous panic will set in since investors there hold a glut of paper tied to his financial activities.

    1865:The Richmond Examinerdescribed the condition of Charleston, SC when it fell to Union forces under the command of General Sherman. According to the Examiner, all that the Yankees found was “the abandoned hull of Charleston” inhabited by “a few Jews” and “some telegraph operators.”

    1871:Dr. Henry W. Schneeberger received his formal rabbinical ordination from Dr. Hildesheimer. In the document of ordination Dr. Hildesheimer testified to Henry’s high moral character and to his devotion to Judaism. He also wrote, “He is worthy to be crowned with the crown of Morenu Horav [Our Teacher, the Rabbi].” “Thus equipped with the rabbinic title and with the university degree, he lost no time and hurried home to try out for a rabbinical post. Only three weeks after his ordination in Berlin, he preached at the synagogue where he had delivered his very first sermon, at the Rodeph Shalom Synagogue on Clinton Street in New York City.” Rabbi Dr. Henry W) Schneeberger was the First American Born, University Educated, Orthodox Ordained Rabbi in America (As reported by Dr. Yitzchok Levine).

    1872: “Galicia’s Demands” published today described conditions in this portion of Austria that became part of the empire as a result of the partition of Poland.  According to the article, the Poles are in the majority.  However, the Germans and the Jews, who are in the minority “are far ahead of the Poles” “in money and intelligence.” Due to the electoral system, the Poles are the dominate force and the Germans and the Jews are underrepresented in the Diet.

    1876: In New York City, a Polish Jew was arraigned on charges of cruelty to animals.  According to the arresting officer, Siwaski roasted a rat after he had caught in a wire cage trap. 

    1876:  Johns Hopkins University was founded in Baltimore, Maryland.  Today, the elite school has approximately 750 Jewish students out of a student population of 6,500.  The university offers 45 courses in Jewish Studies and a major in Jewish Studies.

    1878: It was reported today that Rabbi Maruice Treichenberg, who had served as the spiritual leader for the Greene-Street Synagogue, has passed away in Denver, Colorado.

    1880: In New York, a meeting is scheduled to be held this afternoon at the Sons of Israel Synagogue to evaluate charges by Jewish butchers that they are being forced to violate Halachah by the wholesalers who employ them.  According to the butchers, the wholesalers are having them keep meat for a period longer than that allowed by law and they are not allowed to warn their customers about this.  The wholesalers deny the allegations.

    1880: Professor Felix Adler delivered a lecture today on the subject of “Catholicism and Liberty” in which he took issue with the view of Cardinal Manning. Speaking on behalf of the Church, Manning has taken issue with the concept of the equality of man and the theory that government’s authority is derived from the will of the people

    1882: The SS Illinois a ship carrying Jewish refugees from Russia is expected to arrive in Philadelphia, PA today.  The 50 Jewish families are escaping the violent attacks now going on the Czar’s domain.  A committee of prominent Christians including the Mayor and leading Jews has developed plans to care for the refugees including lodging, food and job placement.

    1882: Philadelphia’s May King received an offer today from Calvin Jones of Charlotte, NC, offering 40 acres to each of the 50 Jewish refugee families. The land is located in Alexander and Wlikes counties and is described as well watered and suited for growing wheat, corn and tobacco.

    1882: In London, Sir Alexander T. Galt, the Resident Minister in Great Britain of the Dominion of Canada, recommended that Russian Jews immigrate to Manitoba while he was attending a meeting of the Lord Mayor’s Jewish Fund Committee.

    1884:  Birthdate of boxing Hall of Famer Abraham “Abe” Attell.  Known as “The Little Hebrew,” Attell was Featherweight Champion from 1901 until 1912.  He gained additional notoriety and ignominy as one of the figures alleged to have fixed the 1919 World Series.  Supposedly Attell was the one who actually passed the ten thousand dollars to several White Sox players to guarantee that they would throw the Fall Classic.

    1887: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society opened a new facility “for infants and boys over six years old” at 11th Avenue between 150th and 151st Street in New York.

    1887: Henry M. Stanley who had been designated as the leader of the expedition charged with rescuing the apostate Jew Emin Pasha arrived at Zanzibar.

    1890: Tonight’s celebration of Washington’s Birthday sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association which will take place at the Hebrew Free School Building will include a speech by Rabbi Rudolph Grossman.

    1890:  Birthdate of Ukrainian born British pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch.

    1890: Menachem Ussishkin one of the originators of BILU, founded the Odessa Committee. The Committee was dedicated to the practical exponent of the Hovevei Zion movement, in establishing agricultural settlements in Eretz-Israel. Ussishkin later served as President of the Jewish National Fund. He was one of the few early Zionist leaders who actually settled in Eretz-Israel.

    1891: Birthdate of "Chico" Marx one of the Marx Brothers.  A couple of his more famous films included “Animal Crackers” and “A Night at the Opera.”

    1892: As New York City dealt with an outbreak of Tyhus that had been traced to recent arriving immigrants thirty-two year old Solomon Zabalzki and forty-two yeard old Rachel Hesselberg were among those who taken to North Brother Island where those thought to be infected were kept under quarantine.

    1892: Sixty year old Esther Goodman, Robert Goodman and Sarah Goodman were rescued by firemen when a fire broke out this morning at their apartment in Brooklyn, NY,

    1892: It was reported today that “the Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfort and Konigsberg Jewish Relief Committees” will be meeting “to consider the refusal of America to receive Russian Jewish immigrants brought by North German Lloyd steamers.”

    1892: Birthdate of David Dubinsky one of a veritable army of American Jews who became leaders in the American labor movement.  Born in Russia, Dubinsky began working the United States in 1911 as a cloak cutter.  Two decades later he had risen to the presidency of the International Ladies Garment Union.  The ILGU was a force for social and labor progress that helped end sweatshops and improve the lot of American workers.  Dubinksy was honored with an American Medal for Freedom.  He died in 1982 at the age of 90.
    1894: The 14th annual reception sponsored by the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society was held at the asylum’s facility on 151st Street.

    1895: Captain Dreyfus began the journey that would take him to prison in French Guyana

    1897: Amos J. Cummings will deliver a lecture today on “Horace Greeley” as part of the free lecture course offered at the Hebrew Institute.

    1897: The Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League will host a reception today in honor of George Washington’s Birthday at the Montefiore Home.

    1897: The Jewish Alliance will host a reception today at Temple Emanu-El on 5thAvenue in honor George Washington’ Birthday.

    1897: “Lehman Gift Accepted” published today provided details of the decision of the Board of Trustees of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society to accept the gift of $100,000 from Emanuel Lehmnan that will serve as an endowment for a fund that will benefit those who had been under the care of the society and were now out on their own.

    1898: The managers of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will host their annual reception in honor of George Washington’s Birthday between 3 and 5 this afternoon.

    1898: The Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home will host their fourth annual reception this afternoon in honor of George Washington’s Birthday.

    1901: Over the next three days, Herzl writes letters to Zionists in France, Italy, England and America for parliamentary intervention against immigration restrictions in Palestine. He considers transferring the center of his action to London but drops the plan because he does not want to separate from his parents.

    1902: Herzl travels to Munich and meets the banker Reitlinger. Herzl proposes the Turkish suggestion of Jewish immigration to Asia Minor and Mesopotamia and the exploitation of mines. Reitlinger considers the matter too costly, risky and unsafe.

    1903: Boutros Ghali writes the conditions for the Jewish settlement in Sinai.

    1907: Birthdate of actor, director and producer Sheldon Leonard.

    1910: Birthdate of Sophie Melvin, the native of the Ukraine who gained fame as social activist Sophie Gerson (As reported by Deborah Gerson and Tim Wheeler)

    1914: Birthdate of Dr. Renato Dulbecco, the Italian born virologist who shared a Nobel Prize in 1975 for his role in drawing a link between genetic mutations and cancer. During World War II, Dulbecco served as a medical officer in the Italian Army. When the train taking him to the Russian front “stopped in Warsaw, he saw railway laborers wearing yellow stars. When he asked about them, he was told that the workers were Jews who would be killed when their work was done. He was horrified.” According to him seeing this was life changing moment which may account for the fact that he deserted from the Italian Army and spent the rest of the war providing medical assistance to the resistance fighters in and around Torino.(As reported by Denise Gellene)

    1915: The second day of the 23rd annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society will include another series of literary presentations and a business meeting that will include the election of officers.

    1916: Elinor “Ellie” Fatman the daughter of Morris and Settie Fatman who had been teaching at the Henry Street Settlement House since 1913 proposed to Henry Morgenthau, Jr. in Central Park.(As reported by Edna S. Friedberg)

    1917(30th of Shevat, 5677): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1918: Colonel John Henry Patterson led the Jewish Legion, the unit he commanded on parade down Whitechapel Road.

    1920: The New Orleans Times-Picayunepublished an interview with Elizabeth D.A. Cohen, the first practicing female physician in Louisiana, her 100th birthday.

    1922: Birthdate of Sammy Hershkovitz, the Romanian born Jew who made Aliyah at the age of 2 and gained fame as Sammy Ofer, the Israeli international shipping magnate, philanthropist and art collector who headed a family ranked as the richest in Israel. (As reported by Isabel Kershner)

    1922 (24th of Shevat, 5682): Aaron David (A.D.) Gordon passed away.Gordon, a Hebrew writer and philosopher of the “religion of Labor,” was considered the ideological pillar of the kibbutz movement. Born in 1856 in Russia he only came to Eretz Israel at the age of 48. Neither his age nor health impeded his drive to work in agriculture .He helped found Kibbutz Degania in 1909. Gordon's philosophy included a call to a return to “Nature.” He believed that the self-improvement of each individual rather than external changes such as espoused by Marxism was the way to change Jewish destiny.

    1925: Birthdate of the American poet Gerald Stern.  The Pineys, his first collection was published in 1971.  During the 1990’s he published Leaving Another Kingdom, and Odd Mercy.

    1925(28th of Shevat): Poet and author Mrs. Radcliffe N. Salomon (Nina David) passed away

    1931(5th of Adar): Poet and novelist Menahem Mendel Dolitzky passed away today.

    1933: Birthdate of Gideon Patt, a Sabra who served in the Nahal Brigade, earned a BA from NYU before pursuing a career in politics that included service in the Knesset and several cabinet posts.

    1933: Adolf Hitler made his private para-military units,  the SS and the SA, part of Germany’s police force.

    1934: Bishop Hermann Wilhelm Berning of Osnabrück ordered all churches in his diocese to display the Nazi’s swastika flag on patriotic occasions alongside standard church flags

    1936:This morning Arturo Toscanini accepted an invitation to conduct the opening concert of the newly organized Palestine Symphony Orchestra on next October 24 at Tel-Aviv.

    1937(11thof Adar, 5697): Sixty-seven year old Astronomer J. Ernest G. Yalden who spent 25 years directing a “trade school funded by the Trustees of the Baron de Hirsch Fund passed away


    1941: In Paris, Theodore Dannecker, the SS officer in charge of bringing the Final Solution to France reported approvingly that “The French inspectors formed and instructed in collaboration with our section for Jewish affairs today constitute an elite body as well as training cadres for Frenchmen to be drafted in the future to the anti-Jewish police.”  The “French inspectors” worked for the agency that “transferred” the over 20,000 Jewish businesses into the hands of Frenchmen sympathetic to the Third Reich.  “The anti-Jewish police” referred to the Frenchmen who would round up French Jews and ship them off to the death camps. 

    1941: The Nazi SS began rounding up Jews of Amsterdam.

    1942(5th of Adar, 5702): In Brazil, author Stefan Zwieg and his second wife Lotte (néeCharlotte Elisabeth Altmann) committed suicide together in Petrópolis using the barbiturate Verol. Filled with a sense of despair at the future of Europe and its culture, he wrote, "I think it better to conclude in good time and in erect bearing a life in which intellectual labor meant the purest joy and personal freedom the highest good on earth."

    1942:Wanda Landowska performed Bach's Goldberg Variations at New York City's Town Hall. It was the first 20th-century performance of this work on the harpsichord. The Polish born Jewess who sought refuge from the Nazis first in France and then the United States is credited with reviving harpsichord music in the 20th century,

    1942: Lord Moyne completed his service as Secretary State for the Colonies. Moyne was a close personal friend of Churchill, who as Deputy Resident Minister of State in Cairo took part in the interrogation of Joel Brand when a response was being crafted to Eichmann’s “Blood for Truck” proposal.  Moyne would be murdered by Lehi in 1944.

    1943(17th of Adar 1, 5703): At Auschwitz, the Nazis murdered Communist Party member and anti-Fascist fighter Dagobert Biermann  

    1943: For the next six days, 10,000 more Jews were deported to Chelmno. All were gassed to death.

    1943: “An agreement was signed between the special Nazi envoy sent to facilitate the deportations, Theodor Dannecker and the Bulgarian Commissar for Jewish Affairs, Alexander Belev for the deportation of 20,000 Jews (12,000 from Macedonia and Thrace and 8,000 – from the old territory of Bulgaria).”

    1943: Bulgaria agreed to allow the Germans to deport 11,000 Jews. Horrible overcrowding conditions existed in the 20 trains that would transport them. Each day the trains stopped to dump the bodies of those who died during the journey.

    1943: Italians countermanded German orders to deport French Jews. Three days later Ribbentrop complained to Mussolini that "Italian military circles. . . lacked a proper understanding of the Jewish question."

    1943:Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and their friend Christoph Probst were found guilty of treason and condemned to death by head judge of the court Roland Freisler. They were beheaded by executioner Johann Reichhart in the Munich-Stadelheim prison only a few hours later at 17:00. The execution was supervised by Dr. Walter Roemer who was the enforcement chief of the Munich district court. Prison officials emphasized the courage with which she walked to her execution.” This trio was part of a small number of genuine anti-Nazi Germans who had worked to bring down the regime.

    1943: “Allied military forces marched through the crowded streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa today as part of the celebrations of Red Army Day.” [The Red Army referred to is the Soviet Army which was doing the brunt of the fighting against the Germans.]

    1944: Dr. Leonardo De Benedetti, Physician and Surgeon and Dr. Primo Levi, Chemist “left the concentration camp at Fossoli di Carpi with a convoy of 650 Jews of both sexes and all ages. They did not know that the trip would end four days later in Auschwitz.

    1945(9th of Adar, 5705):Osip Maksimovich Brik “a Russian avant garde writer and literary critic, who was one of the most important members of the Russian formalist school, though he also identified himself as one of the Futurists,” passed away.

    1946: The Palmach attacked the Police Tegart fort at Shefa 'Amr with a 200-pound bomb; in the firefight that followed, the Palmach suffered casualties

    1946:The British said today that three members of armed Jewish bands had been killed during the series of night attacks on Palestine mobile police camps in which dynamite charges damaged several buildings, vehicles and other facilities last night.

    1947: Birthdate of Israeli man of letters Yehonatan Geffen, the native of Nhalal who is the nephew of Moshe Dayan and the father of Aviv, Shira and Natasha Geffen.

    1948 As the conflict over the coming partition of Palestine grew, three car bombs arranged by Arab irregulars exploded on Ben Yehudah Street killing 52 Jewish civilians and leaving 123 injured.This was part of the war waged by the Arabs between the partition vote in November, 1947 and the end of the Mandate in 1948.  In the mean time the international community did nothing then or later to enforce its decision to make Jerusalem a city to be governed by an international body.

    1948: The Golani Brigade, one of Israeli’s most elite infantry brigades was formed. 

    1951: Birthdate of Ellen Greene, the Brooklyn born daughter of a guidance counselor and dentist who has enjoyed a multi-dimensional career performing in nightclubs, on Broadway, in films and television programs including Law & Order, The X Files and Miami Vice.

    1958(2nd of Adar, 5718): Movie producer Michael Todd died in plane crash. Born Avron Goldbogen, Todd may be best remembered for an innovation in widescreen film presentation called Todd-A-O.  This widescreen format launched such box office hits as Oklahoma and Around the World in Eighty Days. .  At the time of his death he was married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Reportedly, Taylor had wanted to convert to Judaism.  Todd advised her to take her time and make sure she was doing this for the right reasons.  Taylor took his advice and did not convert until she married her next husband, Eddie Fisher.

    1958: Egypt and Syria announced that they were joining together in a new nation, The United Arab Republic.  The UAR was supposed to be the first step in the creation of giant Pan Arab Nation.  The Israelis were concerned because the two enemies now were going to have a one military command which made coordinated military actions against he Jewish state a potentially destructive reality.  The UAR would collapse three years later as the Syrians grew disgusted with the Egyptian attempts to dominate the relationship.  This would not be the first or last time that charismatic leader would try to form a Super Arab and/or Super Moslem state. 

    1960: David Susskind produced “A Very Special Baby” this week’s “Play of the Week” co-starring Marion Winters as “Anna” and Larry Blyden as “Joey.”

    1965(20th of Adar I, 5725): Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice passed away.  Born in 1882, Frankfurter was involved in various liberal and unpopular causes including the defense of Sacco and Venzeti.  He was a professor at Harvard Law School.  Many of his students went to work in FDR’s new deal and they were known as “Frankfurters” (for their teacher not the hot dog).  When FDR appointed him to the bench, Frankfurter was the third Jew to serve on the High Court.

    1971: Birthdate of Arnon Grunberg, the Dutch born author of Blue Mondays which won the Dutch prize “for the best debut novel” and whose mother survived Auschwitz

    1972: Paul Grüninger, the Swiss police official who save thousands of Jews following the Anschluss died in poverty today.

    1982: New York City Mayor Ed Koch announced his plans to run for governor of New York.  The campaign would be a failure. 

    1982(29th of Shevat): Legendary DJ Murray "the K" Kaufman, called the 5th Beatle by some, passed away at the age of 60.

    1985(1stof Adar, 5745): Rosh Chodesh

    1985 (1st of Adar, 5745): Violinist Efrem A Zimbalist passed away at the age of 95..  Born in Russia, Zimbalist was one of long line of violin virtuosos that included Jascha Heifitz, Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern. Many of you may recognize this name with the word "Junior" after it.  Zimbalist’s son was a minor matinee idol in television and movies who was not Jewish.(As reported by Tim Page)

    1986(13th of Adar I, 5746): Soviet PoetBoris Slutsky passed away.

    1987(23rdof Shevat): David Susskind passed away at the age of 66. Susskind is best remembered for his pioneering role in late night television.  Susskind hosted a show called Open End, where guests from a variety of walks of life actually discussed issues of the day without a script and with civility. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1989:At a benefit for the Dance Library of Israel, an international dance library and archive in Tel Aviv, Marge Champion presented an award to Agnes de Mille. The presentation took place at a dinner that preceded a benefit performance of “Jerome Robbin’s Broadway.”

    1991: "Underground," a new work by the Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol, directed by Adrian Hall, has its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theater today, directed by Adrian Hall.

    1992(18thof Adar I 5752):Avot Yeshurun, an Israeli poet who wove Arabic and Yiddish idiom into a unique and influential form of Hebrew verse, passed away today at the age of 88. No cause of death was given by his family, which announced his death. Born in Ukraine as Yehiel Perlmutter, Mr. Yeshurun made aliyah in 1925, worked as a laborer and began publishing poetry. His family perished in the Holocaust. After Israel was established in 1948, Mr. Yeshurun was one of its first literary figures to acknowledge the plight of the uprooted Palestinians. He saw the Palestinians and the Jews of Europe as having endured a common tragedy, and sought to fuse their experience in the language of his poetry. Although long ignored by the establishment, Mr. Yeshurun was highly regarded by younger poets. His stature was formally recognized a month ago when he was awarded the Israel Prize.

    1992:  Barry Diller resigns as CEO of FOX Television Network.

    1992: American diplomat Josiah W. Bennett who as a member of the Foreign Service headed the United States Information Service in Tel Aviv passed away.  (Bennett was not Jewish)

    1993: New York Judge Judith Kaye is nominated by then-governor Mario Cuomo to become the first female Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Love Invents Us by Amy Bloom and Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist by Philip Furia.

    1998(26th of Shevat, 5758): Distinguished Democratic politician and government official, Abraham Ribicoff passed away.  Ribicoff was Governor of Connecticut, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under John Kennedy and U.S. Senator from 1963 until 1981.

    1999(6thof Adar, 5759): Nobel Prize winner Gertrude Elion passed away.

    2004: At least eight people were killed in an Arab suicide bombing in Jerusalem. (Does this start to sound repetitious?)

    2005(13thof Adar I, 5765): Ninety-six year old German-Jewish American arranger of Broadway hits including Carousel and Sound of Music passed away today. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    2006: The Liberal Party appointed Irwin Cotler Critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in the opposition shadow cabinet for the 39th Canadian Parliament. “Cotler's wife, Ariela, is a native of Jerusalem and worked as a legislative assistant to the Likud members of the Israeli Knesset from 1967 to 1979.”

    2006:French President Jacques Chirac and his prime minister attended a synagogue memorial ceremony for a Jewish man who was kidnapped, tortured and killed.


    2006(24th of Shevat, 5766):Bernie Weisberg, former national director of Young Judea and the Labor Zionist Alliance, passed away at the age of 82 (As reported by Anthony Weiss)

    2008: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has established an unprecedented high-level government task force charged with fundamentally altering the Israel-Diaspora relationship.


    2008: Israeli officials rejected Arab complaints that they are not committed to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.  .

    2009: In a move intended to improve its relationship with the new wave of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, the Hebrew Free Burial Association hosted a Russian-Jewish Community event. Established in 1888, HFBA is one of the oldest and largest free burial associations serving the New York Jewish Community.

    2009:Music of the Sephardic Diaspora is the focus of a concert in the new Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center when celebrated viola da gambist Jordi Savall and early music ensemble Hespèrion XXI present Diáspora Sefardí: From Medieval Spain to the Eastern Mediterranean.
    2009:Agudas Achim conducts the first ever Early Passover Pallet Sale in eastern Iowa making it possible for those living in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor to buy unique “Kosher for Passover “items including Chocolate Seder Plates, at “discount prices.”

    2009: The New York Times features a review of A Hidden Life:A Memoir of August 1969by Johanna Reiss who had won a Newberry Award a quarter of a century ago for The Upstairs Room, her story of survival as a ten year old hiding from the Nazis in occupied Holland.

    2009: The now-daily rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists against southern Israel resumed today with the launch of a Kassam rocket at the Sha'ar HaNegev region and a mortar attack fired at IDF troops near the Kissufim Crossing

    2009(28th of Shevat, 5769): Howard Zieff, the commercial director and ad photographer who stuffed an actor with spicy meatballs in a memorable Alka-Seltzer spot and used an American Indian in print ads to convince people “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s real Jewish Rye,” then went on to direct movie comedies, passed away today at the age of 81. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)


    2010: The Knesset "approved a law instructing the Israeli Government to protect the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab counties in all forthcoming peace negotiations; the first Israeli law to recognize Jews as coming to Israel not only to fulfill Zionist aspirations, but as refugees

    2010:The Jewish Studies Program at Tulane University under the leadership of Dr. Brian Horowitz and the Center for Cultural Judaism are scheduled to present a program entitled “The Jewish Question as the Arab Question: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz” at Tulane’s Uptown Campus in New Orleans, LA.

    2010:National police headquarters issued an order today to cease the delivery of mail throughout Israel following the discovery of what is believed to be a package bomb at a post office in Migdal Haemek.

    2010:Army Radio reported today that The Palestinian Authority handed a Kassam rocket made in a West Bank village to Israeli authorities last week. According to the report, PA security forces found the rocket ready to be launched towards central Israel.

    2010:Israel's ice dancing team at the Winter Olympics finished in 10th place. Roman and Alexandra Zaretsky performed to music from "Schindler's List" in the free dance tonight at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada.

    2010:Israeli archaeologists said today that they've discovered an unusually shaped 1,400-year-old wine press that was exceptionally large and advanced for its time. The octagonal press measures 21 feet by 54 feet (6.5 by 16.5 meters) and was discovered in southern Israel, about 40 kilometers south of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

    2010(8th of Adar, 5770):Rabbi Menachem Porush, a long-serving Knesset member and father of current Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush, died in Jerusalem today at the age of 94. Porush, a seventh generation descendent of Lithuanian immigrants, sat in the Knesset for 35 years until 1994 and remained politically active until his death. The son of a deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Porush entered politics through journalism, working as a writer and editor for religious newspapers for two decades until his election to the Knesset in 1959. "He was a great Jew. He was like one of the stone of the Wailing Wall in the Holy City, Jerusalem," President Shimon Peres said on Monday. "Menachem my friend, you were full of vision and hope for the future of the Jewish nation. You loved the nation and worked to unify it. You stood as a bridge between its parts.

    2010(8th of Adar, 5770):Steffi Sidney-Splaver, who as a young actress appeared in and then gave up acting to become a Hollywood writer, publicist and producer, passed away today at the age of 74.Born April 16, 1935, in Los Angeles, she was raised on movie lore and the entertainment business. She was the daughter of famed Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky, who observed movie stars and other personalities from his perch at Schwab's Pharmacy on Sunset Boulevard and claimed to have been the first to call the Academy Award statuette "Oscar." A graduate of Fairfax High School, Sidney-Splaver studied at the Actors Lab in Los Angeles. Her first movie role was in "The Eddie Cantor Story," a 1953 film her father produced. Two years later, the dark-haired actress landed the role of Mil in "Rebel Without a Cause," Nicholas Ray's 1955 film about adolescent angst starring James Dean and Natalie Wood. Billed as Steffi Sidney, she played one of the girls in the gang of teenagers tormenting Jim Stark, played by Dean. Decades later, teenagers still gushed about Sidney-Splaver's part in the classic film, she said in a 2000 interview with The Times. "They just flip," she said. "I just find that amazing. They still identify with that movie." A few more movie roles followed, including in "Hold Back Tomorrow" (1955) and "The Hot Angel" (1958). Then she left acting to write for teen magazines Datebook and Tiger Beat and work as a production assistant and associate TV producer. She also produced TV commercials. After she married Splaver in 1985, they formed a public relations agency, Splaver Associates. They moved to Whidbey Island near Seattle in 1998, and she retired in 2003. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sister, Nina Marsh. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. April 16 at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles.

    2011:Member of Knesset Danny Danon. The Deputy Knesset Speaker, Chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee and of World Likud is scheduled to give an address at The OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.

    2011: The Round Up,a “drama that tackles the controversial subject of French collusion in the atrocities of the Holocaust” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: At the Jerusalem International Book Fair, Galaade Editions and ITHl are scheduled to present: “Sisters, not enemies: Telling the story of Jews and Arabs in Israel in another voice.”

    2011: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall.

    2011:Israel conducted a successful test of the Arrow 2 ballistic missile defense system off the coast of California early this morning, when it destroyed a target simulating an Iranian ballistic missile

    2011: Rham Emanuel was elected Mayor of Chicago today, making him the first Jew to hold this position.

    2011:Montreal's city council has condemned the boycott campaign against a local shoe store that sells footwear made in Israel. A council motion deploring the campaign, proposed and supported by Mayor Gerard Tremblay, passed today by a vote of 38 to 16.  (As reported by JTA)

    2011(18th of Adar, 5771):George Einstein, a cousin, contemporary and occasional companion of Albert Einstein who was a successful inventor and businessman in his own right passed away at the age of 91.

    2011: Sue Fishkoff described the role of the Jewish community in the conflict between Wisconsin’s Governor Walker and public sector employees.

    2011:Nearly 100 orthodox North American rabbis signed a letter demanding  Interior Minister Eli Yishai to “rectify the injustice being done to our converts, ourselves and the Jewish people” and “insure that those individuals whom we convert will automatically be eligible for aliyah as they have been in the past.”

    2011:In an effort to curb the trend of Orthodox converts from abroad not being recognized by Israel for citizenship, the Jewish Agency today appealed the Interior Ministry for a more dominant role in identifying established Diaspora communities as such.

    2012: “Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber” is scheduled to be shown at Temple Beth Sholom Idelson Library in Sarasota, FL.

    2012: In London, Chochana Boukhobza is scheduled to discuss “The Third Day” a novel about two cellists who travel to Jerusalem for a concert, as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012: In London, Rod Arad is scheduled to talk about his passion for marrying unconventional forms with unexpected functions and the sources of his unbridled creativity during Jewish Book Week.

    2012: Publication of “The Jewish Community of Harbin, China”

    2012:Iran may develop inter-continental missiles that can reach the east coast of the United States in two to three years, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a CNBC interview today.


    2012: Israel Beiteinu will propose an alternative to the Tal Law by which "everyone will serve the state," Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said today..

    2013: The Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio is scheduled to present The Operas of Donizetti at the Eden Tamir Music Center

    2013: In Springfield, VA, Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to host a wine and cheese reception along with a Shabbat Folk Service “celebrating the anniversary of Debbie Friedman’s birth.”

    2013: Palestinian protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank turned violent today, with demonstrators throwing stones at Israeli security forces at several locations.

    2014: In Iowa City, Hillel under the leadership of Director Jerry Sorkin  is scheduled to host its annual fundraising concert featuring University of Iowa School of Music faculty members, Kenneth Tse (saxophone), Alan Huckleberry (piano), and Scott Conklin (violin), along with a quartet of School of Music graduate students.

    2014: The DPJCC's 14th Annual Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to close with the showing of “Orchestra of Exiles”

    2014: Friends and family of Cyndie Birchansky, whose accomplishments include raising three really neat children, look forward to celebrating her natal day.

    2014: The Red Door is scheduled to host “Waiting Room” an evening curated by Leah Wolff and Guy Ben-Ari.




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    February 23

    42: King Agrippa I began the construction of a gate for the of Jerusalem

    68: During the Great Revolt, Vespasian occupied the city of Gadara as the legions made their slow, inexorable march to Jerusalem.

    1422:  During the conflict between the Hussites and the Dominicans, Pope Martin V issued a Bull favorable to the Jews reminding Christians that their religion had been inherited from the Jews.  “The pope forbade the monks to preach against intercourse between Jews and Christians.”

    1447 Pope Eugenius IV passed away. In speaking about the Jews, Eugenius declared “We decree and order that from now on, and for all time, Christians shall not eat or drink with the Jews, nor admit them to feasts, nor cohabit with them, nor bathe with them. […]  They cannot live among Christians, but in a certain street, separated and segregated from Christians, and outside which they cannot under any pretext have houses.”

    1455:  Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.  This revolution in publishing was one of the most liberating events in Western history.  Some say that it really marked the beginning of the Modern Intellectual Era of Western Civilization.  Soon books would be printed Hebrew giving the People of the Book greater access to books thus further democratizing the concept of learning which is a cornerstone of Jewish civilization.  The chapter and verse system finally took hold in copies of the Torah (books not the Scroll itself) as a result of the printing revolution.

    1484: Over this day and the next, 30 men and women were burned alive, as well as the bones of 40 others at the Inquisitional Tribunal of Ciudad Real.

    1592: Emperor Rudolph II invited Rabbi Judah ben Bezalel Lowe, known as the Maharal of Prague to his castle. The two men met for an hour and a half during with they “developed a mutual respect for each other. Rabbi Judah Lowe made use of his excellent connections with the Emperor, often intervening on behalf of his community when it was threatened by anti-Semitic attacks or oppression. (As reported by Chabad Knowledge Base)

    1658: Jacob (John) Lumbrozo, the first doctor in Maryland was tried for having, "Denied Jesus of Nazareth…." Lumbrozo was convicted, sentenced to death, and was to have all his property confiscated by the government. He was later freed from these penalties. Lumbrozo was born in Portugal. He then moved to Hollandand finally settled in Marylandin 1656.

    1685: Birthdate of composer George Frideric Handel.  In 1718, he wrote the oratorio “Esther” which was based on Racine’s 1689 tragic drama of the same name. Two of his other oratorios were “Deborah” based on the life of the Biblical Judge and “Athalia,” an operatic treatment of the life of the murderous Jewish Queen.

    1723: Birthdate of Richard Price, the non-conformist minster who held the lectureship at Old Jewry, the Presbyterian meeting house built on the site of London’s original Jewish neighborhood.

    1734: Birthdate of Mayer Amschel Rothschild in Frankfort.  A banker in Frankfort, Mayer Amschel became the chief investor for the ruler of the Germanic state of Hesse-Cassel.  This was the start of the famous House of Rothschild.  Mayer Amshel's five sons would establish branches throughout Europe.  This great banking family would be the source of philanthropy and power for Jews in many parts of the world over the coming centuries.  Their rise to power will make for fascinating reading when reach the study of European Jewry.  Mayer Amschel died in 1812.

    1777: Birthdate of Leopold Bettelheim, the Hungarian physician who “was the recipient of a gold medal of honor from the emperor Franz I. for distinguished services to the royal family and to the nobility.”

    1807: The British Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of abolition of the slave trade. This victory was due in large measure to the decades’ long efforts of William Wilberforce. This is the same William Wilberforce who helped found Christ Church Ministries Jerusalem (CMJ) in England in 1809. Wilberforce and other leading evangelicals such as Lord Shaftesbury believed that the Jewish people had to be restored to their ancient land in order to pave the way for the return of Jesus. From the 1840s on the Society built in Jerusalema School of Industry for training Jewish believers in basic trades; an Enquirers House, a HebrewCollege, and a modern hospital for Jewish people as well as ChristChurch.

    1815(13th of Adar): Patriot and founder of Aaronsburg, PA Aaron Levy passed away

    1823: In Piotrkow, Poland, Phineas Mendel Heilprin and his wife gave birth to Michael Heilprin  the American author, philanthropist and champion of social justice.

    1832(22ndof Adar I. 5592):Wolf Heidenheim, who was born at Heidenheim in 1757 and whose works included several editions of the Pentateuch, a Pesach Haggadah, and several siddurim passed away today at Rödelheim

    1835: La Juive (The Jewess) a grand opera in five acts composed by Fromental Halévy premiered today at the Opéra, Paris

    1836: The Siege of the Alamo began at San Antonio, Texas.  Dr. Mark Levy, a Jewish physician was reportedly one of those manning the walls of the Texas mission facing the forces of Santa Anna.

    1846: In Poland, the National Government issued a proclamation “calling for the Jewish population to join the uprising and ensuring their full equality.”

    1848: John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States passed away.  In what seems like a strange turn of events, President Adams expressed his support for a Jewish homeland in the land of Israel.  In a letter to Mordecai Manuel Noah, one of the most prominent Jews in pre-Civil War America, Adams wrote that he believed in the “rebuilding of Judea as an independent nation.”

    1848: During the third French Revolution François Guizot, the reactionary Prime Minister opposed by Adolphe Cremieux was forced to resign and flee the country.

    1852: Birthdate of Nathan Frank, the native of Peoria, Illinois and leader of the Republican party who founded the St. Louis Star and served in the 51st Congress.

    1853: In Philadelphia, a dinner was held at the Samson Street Hall to raise funds for Jewish charities.

    1855: The New York Times reported that the concert designed to raise funds for the Hebrew Benevolent Societies scheduled for February 27 has been moved from Dodworth's Rooms to Niblo's Saloon because of the unusually high demand for tickets.

    1860(30th of Sh'vat, 5620): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1861: Birthdate of Emrich Ullmann the Austrian surgeon who was a pioneer in renal transplantation research.

    1865: Birthdate of pioneer baseball executive, Barney Dreyfuss.  Dreyfuss was the owner of the Pittsburg Pirates and the “father” of the World Series.

    1868(30th of Shevat, 5628): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1870: Professor George Bartchelor delivered a talk on education reform to the New York Liberal Club.  Batchelor contended that when it came to language, Hebrew, along with Greek and Latin, were the foundation of liberal education.  But the public schools were teaching German, French and Spanish. [Considering who belong to the Liberal Club, one wonders what would have happened if a Hebrew teacher from the Lower East Side had shown up at its meeting.]

    1871: The official position of the Jewish community in Ghent was regulated by two decrees one of which was issued today.

    1872: Mortiz Ellinger ended his term as publisher of the Jewish Times today.

    1878: “Celebrated Jews In Power” published today claims that the rise of Jewry in Europe has turned the fiction of “Coningsby” and the predictions of Sidonia into reality.  One of the proof points is the leading role that Benjamin Disraeli, the author of Coningsby, plays in British politics.

    1879(30th of Shevat, 5639): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1879: It was reported today that  an unnamed Jew had scored a coup during the sale of old military stores at Edinburgh Castle. He bought 600 rusty old helmets for 6 pence a pound.  After he cleaned them up, he discovered that they were made of “fine steel…adorned with Arabic inscriptions” showing that they were very old pieces of equipment. After selling a few of the helmets, an Armenian purchased the lot of them for 18 shillings per helmet. Realizing their error, the government bought the helmets from him for 2 of 3 English pounds per helmet.

    1880: It was reported that in Germany, associations have been formed for the purpose of excluding Jews from serving in Parliament. In Breslau, one such group has announced that it will not support a Jew under any circumstances. [The rise of anit-Semitism paralleled the moves to emancipate German Jewry.]

    1882: The SS Illinois arrived at Philadelphia, PA at 3:20 pm carrying 325 men, women and children who were refugees from the anti-Semitic violence that had been taking place in the Russian Empire including Poland, Kiev and Odessa.  The refugees were greeted by members of the committee that has been preparing for their arrival. After being examined by Dr. T. J. Elleinger and his medical staff, the refugees were taken to the old Pennsylvania Railroad station which has been remodeled to meet their needs.  The refugees had harrowing tales of deprivation and violence to tell their American benefactors who included Jews and Christians.

    1882: It was reported today that the Toronto Globe has received a cable from London describing a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Mansion House Fund for the Relief of Russo-Jewish Refugees presided over by Cardinal Manning.  With the support of Sir A.T. Galt a sub-committee was established to select sites for the establishment of agriculture settlements in Palestine the Canadian Northwest that could provide a viable new home for the persecuted Jews. The subcommittee has a budget of ten thousand pounds. [This outpouring of support for the Jews who were the victims of a series of Pogroms following the assassination of Alexander II is laudable.  Sensing that England could and New York City could inundated by a wave of refugees, plans were made to try and settle the Jews in the under-populated areas of Canada, the United States and Argentina]

    1886: Lena Lillienthal married Meyer Goldberg. By August of the following year, the two would embroiled in nasty divorce case in which she sought to end the marriage.

    1890: The President and Managers of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York will hold a reception today between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in honor of George Washington’s birthday.  (Washington was born on February 22 which in 1890 fell on Shabbat which accounts for the delay)

    1890: English dramatist Leopold Davis Lewis passed away.  Born in 1828 and trained as a solicitor he began his dramatic career by translating Erckmann-Chatrian's “Le Juif Polonais,” (the Polish Jew) which he then produced as “The Bells.”

    1890: It was reported today that among those charities received property tax exemptions were the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child’s Protectory ($12,000) and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews ($30,000).

    1890: “Gladstone At Oxford” published today included comments by the English Prime Minister about the status of the Jews.  When asked if he thought “that there is any likelihood of an anti-Semitic agitation in England” Gladstone replied “I have not the least fear of an agitation in England against the Jews.  You might as well expect one against the law of gravity.”

    1890: “Sir A Sassoon” published today relying on information that first appeared in The Spectator briefly described “this rise of this Jewish family in England” which “were till quite recently strictly Indian Jews” who were “almost natives in their manner of life.” (Sir A. Sassoon probably referred to Sir Albert Abdulah David Sassoon, the First Baronet)

    1890: It was reported today that in the summer of 1875 a group of visitors from Massachusetts came to Lincoln’s Inn, London looking for Judah P. Benjamin, the Confederate leader turned British Barrister..  They were surprised that Benjamin, who was Jewish “was engaged to appear against an influential firm of Jewish money lenders.”
    1891: “A Row in the Synagogue” published today described the outbreak of fight at the Grant Street synagogue in Pittsburg, PA.  Ruben Miller bloodied the nose of Harris Bartniski during a meeting at which congregants were discussing a sermon by Rabbi Feinich in which he denounced Miller for renting his building “to a company of atheists.”

    1893: New York State Jacob A. Cantor met with party leaders at the “Tammany Wigwam” to discuss pending legislation in Albany.

    1894: It was reported that among those who attended the 14th annual reception of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society included Mr. and Mrs. Selig Steinhardt, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Seligman, Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Bloomingdale and the Honorable and Mrs. Joseph Blumenthal.

    1895: It was reported today that English actor John Hare, who has played the lead in “The Old Jew” will be coming to New York City to perform in December.  Among the productions in which he is expected to appear is “The Old Jew.”

    1896: It was reported today that the sale of tickets and boxes for the upcoming Purim Ball are “exceeding all expectations.”

    1896: “Nordau Replied To” published today contained a detailed reviews of Regeneration: A Reply to Max Nordauwith an Introduction by Nicholas Murray Butler.

    1896: The Tootsie Roll is introduced by Leo Hirshfield. The soft chewy candy took its name from the nickname of Hirshfield’s daughter.  Hirshfield was from Austria.  However, the question as to whether he was or was not Jewish is still up for grabs.  Like the mystery of the Red Heifer, this one may not be answered until the coming of the Moshiach.

    1896:Mihail Grigore Sturza, the voivode, (count or military governor) signed a document recognizing the Jewish community of Galatz, Romania.

    1896: “The Shoket, and Kosher and Trefa Dishes –Where to Buy Meats” published today

    1898: In France Émile Zola was convicted following his trial for libel.  He received the maximum sentence – one year in jail and a fine of 3000 Frances. He had written “J'accuse” which was a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully placing Alfred Dreyfus in jail.

    1898: As the Dreyfus Affair reached one of its climaxes, Paul Deroulede attempted to get the troops at Neuilly to take part in a coup d’état.

    1899: In France, during President Félix Faure’s state funeral Paul Déroulède, Jules Guérin and the Ligue des Patriotes attempt a coup which resulted in their arrest.

    1899:The Nineteenth Century Club heard Israel Zangwill and Hamlin Garland discuss "The Novel" in Delmonico's large ballroom tonight, and both authors agreed so well upon the functions of art in fiction that the men and women present had to forego the usual argumentative entertainment which they plan for these meetings by bringing together speakers of supposedly differing views

    1902: The ninth meeting of the Union of Judaeo-German Congregations opened today in Berlin.

    1903: Leopold Greenberg anEnglish newspaper editor, Zionist and friend of Theodore Herzl leaves Egypt.

    1904: Birthdate of William L Shirer.  Shirer was one of "Murrow's Boys" a group of correspondents hired by Edward R. Murrow who covered the events prior to and including World War II.  Shirer's post was Berlin where he broadcast stories about the rise of the Nazis.  He actually provided live coverage of the French surrendering to Hitler in 1940.  His greatest claim to fame was as author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a classic on Hitler and his followers, based, in part, on Shirer's first hand observations

    1904: Birthdate of Leopold Trepper, a Jewish James Bond.  Trepper was born in Poland.  During World War II he organized and ran one of the most famous espionage rings in history - The Red Orchestra.  Operating in France in 1940, the ring penetrated German intelligence and was able to provide the Soviets with detailed information about the impending invasion of Russia by Germany.  Unfortunately, Stalin refused to believe the warnings. Members of the Red Orchestra were captured in 1942.  Trepper escaped and hid until the liberation of Parisin 1944.  When he returned to Moscow, he was arrested along with thousands of others who had bravely fought the Nazis and spent ten years in prison.  Eventually he moved to Israelwhere he died in 1982.

    1913: Solomon Schechter, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary, founded the United Synagogue of America, the association of Conservative synagogues in the United Statesand Canada. In 1957, it organized the World Council of Synagogues with membership in 22 countries

    1910: The Hahambashi proposes to convene, in summer, a conference of delegates of all Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire to consider reform of the rabbinate and to plan a new reorganization of the community. Included in this would be the elimination of life appointments in favor of elections.

    1912: A New York Ladino language newspaper called La Aguila hit the presses, but failed due to lack of support and finished running on March 22 of the same year.

    1912: Jews in Kustendil, Bulgaria were attacked by a mob and nine people were injured.

    1912: A bill introduced in the Portuguese Congress provides for cession of land to Jewish emigrants who move to Angola, Portuguese West Africa.

    1917: The February Revolution began in Russia.  This is the revolution that brought down the Czars and brought the Social Democrats to power.  Unfortunately, they failed and the next revolution brought the Communists to power with disastrous effects for the world in general and the Jews in particular.

    1917(1st of Adar, 5677): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1919: Benito Mussolini forms the Fascist Party in Italy. According to author Alexander Stille "What distinguished the story of Italian Jews from that of Jews elsewhere in Europe was the long coexistence between Jews and Fascists in Mussolini's Italy. Italian Fascism was in power for 16 years before it turned anti-Semitic in 1938. Until then, Jews were as likely to be members of the Fascist Party as were other conservative-minded Italians. This singular fact altered the entire moral and existential equation for Italy's Jews. In other countries, Fascism was the undisguised enemy. But the experience of Italian Jews was far more complex: a strange mixture of benevolence and betrayal, persecution and rescue."

    1919(23rd of Adar I, 5679): Just weeks before his 84th birthday New York lawyer, jurist and author Abraham Jesse Dittenhoefer passed away. Ironically, he was a native of Charleston, SC, the cradle of Southern Secession who was the last surviving elector from the election of 1864 during which he cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln.

    1921: Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Rabbi Ya'akov Meir were elected as the first two chief Rabbis of pre-state Israel.  Kook was the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi and Rabbi Ya'akov Meir was the Chief Sephardic Rabbi.

    1921: As head of the Colonial Office, Winston Churchill reviews Pinchas Rutenberg’s request for a concession to harness the waters of the Jordan and Yarkon fivers for electrical power; a concession that would employ 800 Jews and Arabs.

    1929(13thof Adar I, 5689): Thirty-nine year old Mercédès Jellinek, the granddaughter of Adolf Jellinek, the former chief rabbi of Vienna whose name is the Mercedes in the Mercedes-Benz automobile succumbed to bone cancer today.

    1932: In the Netherlands, the Jewish Historical Museum was officially opened. It was located in a single room on the top floor of the AmsterdamHistoricalMuseum, which was housed in the Weigh House.

    1936: Birthdate of Harrison Jay Goldin the Bronx born lawyer and former New York politician who served as an attorney in the United States Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights during the Kennedy Administration and ran in the 1989 Democratic Primary election for Mayor of New York.

    1936: Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope the High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine was booed by a crowd as he left a museum in Tel Aviv where he had just given a dedicatory address.  The demonstration was prompted by reports that the mandatory government is about to implement new regulations designed to limit Jewish immigration and land purchases by Jews. The High Commissioner ordered the crowd to disperse but did not order any arrests.

    1938: Today is the planned date on which passengers will begin debarking at the newly refurbished port of Tel Aviv.  The event is viewed as “a milestone in the rebuilding of the Jewish National Home.”

    1939: Birthdate of Lester Glassner, an artist who graduated from Pratt Institute who created a “museum-size collection that included dolls and wind-up toys, plastic fruit sculptures and costume jewelry, sunglasses and makeup kits, greeting cards and matchbooks, salt and pepper shakers and Christmas ornaments, not to mention movie stills, posters, cardboard cutouts, books, magazines, records, and 8- and 16-millimeter films.”

    1939: “The chief architect and designer of the Palestine Paviilion” at the New York World’s Fair, Arieh El-Hanani arrived today “on the Queen Mary to supervise “the setting up of the Palestine exhibits, which will arrive next week on the liner Excalibur.

    1940(14th of Adar I, 5700): Purim Katan

    1941 Romanian born painter Marcel and Medi Janco and their two daughters who had survived the Iron Guard’s Bucharest Pogrom, arrived in Tel Aviv

    1941: David Zacharin, Russian born cellist and director of the Tel Aviv Academy, gave his first New York recital tonight at the Town Hall. His program was devoted Jewish music.  Of the seventeen works played 14 were his own while the remaining three were Bloch’s “Schelomo” (Hebrew for Rhapsody, Gnessin’s “Song of the Wandering Knight” and Bruch’s “Kol Nidre.”  Zacharin “achieved real eloquence” when he played “If I Forget Thee Jerusalem,” a piece of his own creation.  Whatever the evening lacked in artistic perfection was overcome by the fact that it gave “insight into the longings and religious aspirations of an ancient people.”

    1941: A large scale pogrom in Amsterdam continued for a second day.

    1942:Edward M.M. Warburg, son of the late Felix Warburg and Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, joined the army last week as a private, despite the fact that he is married and has a 6-months-old son, it was learned here today. A member of Company B, 518th Military Police Battalion, Private Warburg is in training at Governors Island, home station of the unit. Army headquarters, in disclosing Mr. Warburg's enlistment, emphasized that the battalion was a field unit subject to call to active service. Warburg himself declined to comment on his enlistment.

    1942:Struma, a ship chartered to carry Jewish refugees from Axis-allied Romania to British-controlled Palestine during World War II,  with its engine inoperable, was towed from Istanbul through the Bosporus out to the Black Sea by Turkish authorities with its refugee passengers aboard, where it was left adrift.

    1943: A division of the Red Army attacked the Germans at Alexseyevka, in the Ukraine. Many of the attacking soldiers were Jews

    1944: At Zwadka, Poland, a Polish man and his daughter were killed by Germans, along with the two Jewish women whom they had helped.

    1945: As the Soviet Army approached Schwarzheide, in the Dresden (Germany) area 300 Jews who had been moved from Berkenau to the Schwarzheide factories were shot. The German camps of Belsen, Dachau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen and Ravnebruck became the destination of thousands of evacuated Jews from all the other camps

    1945:  Joe Rosenthal takes the most famous picture of World War II, "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.

    1946: In a report issued by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, medical authorities said that there were no reports of Plague in Europe with the exception of the Mediterranean ports including Jaffa with two cases, and Haifa and Tel Aviv with one case each.

    1947: General Eisenhower opened a drive to raise $170 million in aid for European Jews

    1954: The first mass inoculation using the Salk Polio Vaccine began.  In one of the irony of history the first polio vaccine was created by a Jewish Doctor, Jonas Salk.  But the second polio vaccine was also created by a Jewish Doctor, Albert Sabin. 

    1960(25thof Shevat, 5720): Seventy-eight year old gold medal winning Olympic fencer Alexandre Lippmann passed away.

    1962: Churchill’s friend Montague Brown wrote a letter expressing his concerns about the retired Prime Minister’s plan to visit Israel on an upcoming cruise to the eastern Mediterranean.  He was fearful of the effect such a visit would have on Britain’s Arab friends in the Middle East. Ultimately, Churchill’s yacht would pass the coast of Israelat night and would not make landfall.

    1965: Sixty-four year old Herberts Cukurs, a member of the Arajs Kommando which slaughter thousands of Jews in Latvia died today in Uruguay.

    1965: Birthdate of Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers.

    1965: American classic’s scholar Charles A. Robinson, the husband of Celia Sachs and son-in-law of art historian Paul J. Sachs who played a key role in saving European art from the Nazis, passed away today.

    1968(24th of Shevat, 5728): Fannie Hurst passed away at the age of 78.  Born in 1889 in Ohio, she graduated from WashingtonUniversity (St. Louis) and then furthered her studies at Columbia in NYC. (This educational activity was unusual in and of itself for a woman of her times.  Hurst was a successful author, friend of Eleanor Roosevelt and supporter of the New Deal and aid to refugees from Nazi Europe.  By the time she passed away she had written seventeen novels, nine volumes of short stories, three plays, many articles, speaking engagements, a television talk show and collaborated on a number of films. One of the most amusing stories about her, which shows that she was way ahead of her times, involved her marriage. “In 1915, she had secretly married pianist Jacques Danielson and they each had their own residence. When their marriage was revealed in 1920, a New York Times editorial took them to task for having separate residences when there was a housing shortage. Hurst retaliated by stating that a married woman had the right to retain her own name, her own special life and her own personal liberty. They remained happily married until his death in 1952.” When Justice Arthur Goldberg declared in 1962, "that it is time that we evaluated Women on merit and fitness for a job," she snapped back, "Time sir! You are a half century too late."


    1973(21st of Adar I, 5733): Tehilla Lichtenstein passed away.  She served as leader of the Society for Jewish Science from 1938 until her death.

    1974(1st of Adar, 5734): Songwriter Harry Ruby passed away.

    1977:Leonard Steinberg, Baron Steinberg of Belfast in the County of Antrim was shot by the Provisional Irish Republican Army after he refused to give in to a demand to pay “protection money.”

    1979: Release date in Italy for “Christ Stopped at Eboli” (Cristo si è fermato a Eboli) a  film adaptation of the book of the same name by Carlo Levi.

    1983: Moshe Arens replaced Menachem Begin as Defense Minister.

    1986: In an article entitled “The Museums of Israel,” Nitza Rosovsky, the curator of exhibits at the Harvard Semitic Museum and the author of Jerusalem Walks describes “Israel, as a crossroads of ancient civilizations in which the countryside itself is like a museum filled with the remains of those who were here before, from Canaanites to Philistines, from Romans to Crusaders. Even the present-day inhabitants -Jews from some 80 lands, Arabs from all over the Middle East, Christians of different denominations - create a living museum.”  In describing the rich variety of museums to be found in Israel, she captures both the history and the efforts to capture the history of the land and cultures that are now part of the Jewish homeland.

    1987: The Russian Writers Union accepts Boris Pasternak as a as member posthumously

    1987:Aulcie Perry Jr., a former basketball player who became an Israeli citizen and was hailed as a sports champion there, was convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court tonight of smuggling heroin with a street value of $1.8 million into the United States. Judge Mark A. Constantino said sentencing would be set for the end of March. The 36-year-old Perry had been on trial since Feb. 17 on charges of conspiracy to import heroin, importation of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. He was convicted on all counts, each of which carries a possible 20-year prison term. His lawyer, Richard Lind, said he would appeal. Perry, who was born in Newark, played for the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association in 1974-75. He was signed by the Knicks but was cut before the 1975-76 season. The 6-foot-10-inch Perry, who holds a dual citizenship, joined the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team in Israel in 1977 and helped bring it a European Cup championship that year and in 1979. He remained on the team until 1984. Perry's cousin, Kenneth Johnson, 29, who was charged with Perry, pleaded guilty earlier this month and is awaiting sentencing.

    1989:At the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Soviet émigré pianist Vladimir Feltsman is scheduled to play the music of Schubert and Mussorgsky at a benefit performance designed to raise funds for the Maimonides Research and Development Foundation.

    1990(28th of Sh'vat, 5750):David Samuilovich Kaufman who wrote under the name of David Samoylov passed away. Born in 1920, he was a “notable poet of War generation of Russian poets, and considered one of the most important Russian poets of the post-World War II era.” 

    1997: Sixty five million viewers watch the completely uncensored version of “Schindler’s List” on NBC television.

    1997(16th of Adar I, 5757):  Oscar Lewenstein, British producer and director, passed away at the age of 80.

    1997:Palestinian Ali Abu Kamal opens fire on tourists on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, killing one and wounding another six before committing suicide.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Nazi Germany and the Jews, Volume 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939by Saul Friedlander and Conflicting Accounts: The Creation and Crash of the Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Empireby Kevin Goldman

    1998: Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders. Considering what the Crusaders did to the Jews during the Middle Ages, these is a strange declaration indeed.

    1999: In another example of personalization and splintering of Israeli politics, Yitzhak Mordechai quit Likud and formed the Israel in the Centre Party. Other members included David Magen and Dan Meridor from Likud, Hagai Meirom and Nissim Zvili of Labour, and Eliezer Sandberg of Tzomet.

    1999: Michael Nudelman and Yuri Stern left Yisrael BaAliyahto form Aliyah, which later entered into an alliance with another Russian-immigrant party, Yisrael Beiteinu.

    2000(17th of Adar I, 5760): Ofrz Haza, popular Yeminite Israeli singer, passed away. Born in 1957, she made her international debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 1983, which she very narrowly failed to win for Israel with the song "Hi". Ofra Haza had a world-wide hit in 1988 with "Im Nina'lu" from the album Fifty Gates of Wisdom.Her international hits also included "Temple of Love (Touched by the Hand of Ofra Haza)" with the Leeds-based post-punk band, The Sisters of Mercy in 1992 and "My Love is for Real" with Paula Abdul in 1995. She also sang in the animated film The Prince of Egypt in 1998.Her Israeli hits include "Shir ha-Frekha" ("The Bimbo Song", theme from the movie Shlager, in which she also acted) and "le-Orekh ha-Yam" ("Along the Shore").Haza, who came from the poor Hatikvah neighborhood of Tel-Aviv, at one time almost a slum, was a success story and the subject of pride on behalf of many Israelis of Yemenite origin. She died of AIDS.

    2003(21st of Adar I, 5763): Meyer R. Schkolnick, who became the famed sociologist Robert K. Merton, passed away at the age of 93. According to one source he is the man who coined such as phrases as “unintended consequences,” “role model” and “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

    2003: Bruce Fleisher won the Verizon Classic.

    2005: The French Law on Colonialism passed to by the Union for a Popular Movement was opposed by Jewish French historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet

    2005: Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz announced that Dan Halutz would be the next IDF Chief of Staff.

    2005: Effi Eitam and Yitzhak Levi announced that they had officially split from the NRP to form a new party, the Renewed Religious National Zionist Party

    2005: Chief Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum was the guest speaker for "Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals". Over 150 students, staff and community members crammed into the UMKC School of Law Courtroom for the lecture. Eli Rosenbaum has directed the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) for over 10 years.

    2005: Purim Katan

    2006:As reported in The Washington Post, Frederick Busch, 64, a writer whose novels and short stories were esteemed by critics but who never quite found a large following with the general public, died of a heart attack at a New York Cityhospital. Since 1971, Mr. Busch had written 27 books and came to be known, perhaps in sympathy with his middling sales, as the quintessential "writer's writer." Novelist Scott Spencer called him "a first-rate American storyteller," and Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley praised him as "a serious and gifted novelist" whose stories and novels "tend to be quiet, reflective and subtle."

    2006: The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of “The Pajama Game,” a musical created by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross opened today.

    2007: Ben Stiller received the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award from Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals. According to the organization, the award is given to performers who give a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment

    2007: In Amsterdam, the Jewish Historical Museum opens Retrospectives of the works of photographers Robert Capra and Eva Besnyö. 

    2007: In Jerusalemthe 23rd International Book Fairwhich is being held at the Binyanei Haooma Convention Center comes to an end.

    2007(5th of Adar, 5767): Heinz Berggruen, collector and gallery owner passed away at the age of 93. (As reported by Alan Riding)

    2008: In Washington, D.C. Susan Jacoby author of Half Jew: A Daughter's Search for Her Family's Buried Pastdiscusses and signs her newest work, The Age of American Unreason.

    2008:Joseph Cedar, director of the Oscar-nominated Israeli film Beaufort, and an Orthodox Jew, will attend a symposium sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the five finalists vying for the best foreign-language film Oscar today. Since the symposium is being held on Shabbat attending presented a unique challenge for Cedar.  Cedar’s rabbi told him he could attend as long as he walked to the event and did not use a microphone. Observing Shabbat would require a two mile long walk to the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre which Cedar, New York born whose parents made Aliyah when he was five, figured he could cover in about two hours.

    2008: Simon Garfield described the story of Anne Frank’s lost love.

    2009: Manhattanville College sponsors a lecture and Q&A session with Ambassador Danny Carmon, Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations entitled "Israel and Europe: An Insider's Perspective."

    2009: After undergoing surgery to remove a tumor on her pancreas,Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the court in time for three days of oral arguments.

    2009: Sport Illustrated“remembers the life” the late Joe Goldstein, the “old-school sports public relation man” who recently passed away at the age of 81.  He was known for his upbeat manner as well as his persistency which cause an NBC executive to describe him as “the Jewish equivalent of the Chinese water drip.”  His clients included “Joe Frazier, Bob Hope, the New York City Marathon, Evel Knivel and the Palisades Parkway.”

    2009: In Washington, D.C.,Sara Houghteling reads from and signs her new novel, Pictures at an Exhibition, at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (formerly the home of Adas Israel)


    2009:The Israel Antiquities Authority announced today that a routine archeological excavation that was conducted before the scheduled start of a private construction project in an Arab neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem has uncovered a series of seal impressions from the reign of the biblical King Hezekiah 2,700 years ago.


    2009:IDF soldiers foiled a large-scale attack at the Kissufim border crossing against troops or a southern Israeli community. The attempted attack came early this morning, when a Golani force spotted two Palestinians laying explosive devices near the border crossing.

    2009: Gaza terrorists fired two Kassam rockets at southern Israeli civilian areas on Monday. One hit an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev region, while the other landed in a field near Sderot. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.

    2010: The three-day long meeting of the Jewish Agency for Israel being held in Jerusalem is scheduled to end.

    2010:The Jewish Studies Program at Tulane University under the leadership of Dr. Brian Horowitz and the Center for Cultural Judaism are scheduled to present a program about Satmar Chasidism featuring Dr. David N. Myers,Professor and Director, UCLA Center for Jewish Studies.

    2010:Israel said today that Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon will lead a high-level delegation next week to China, the most prominent holdout against tough sanctions on Iran.

    2010:Delaware's first Jewish governor hung a mezuzah at the governor's mansion in Dover today. Among those joining Jack Markel in today’s ceremony in the capital were Rabbi Peter Grumbacher of the governor’s synagogue, Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington; Rabbi Steven Saks of the Rabbinical Association of Delaware; and Glenn Engelmann, president of the Jewish Federation of Delaware, according to the Sussex Countian. Markel received the mezuzah as an inauguration gift, according to the report.

    2011: “Vidal Sassoon: The Movie” and “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground” are two of the documentaries scheduled to be shown tonight at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: The 25th Jerusalem International Book Fair is scheduled to present a program entitled ''The Changing Jewish Kitchen - Is Jewish food still Jewish food and what is it?''

    2011: David McKenzie is scheduled to present a program entitled “Isachar Zacharie: Lincoln’s Chiropodist—and Peace Envoy” at Adas Israel in Washington, DC.

    2011(19thof Adar I, 5771): Eighty-seven year old Joseph H. Flom, a pioneering corporate lawyer who helped build Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the nation’s leading law firms, passed away today.

    2011(19th of Adar I, 5771):Jack Gottlieb, a composer who brought synagogue melodies to concert halls and who worked closely with the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein passed away today at the age of 80.

    2012(30thof Shevat, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2012: Dina Zvi-Riklis’s 2006 film “Three Mothers” that explores Israel’s history through the lives of three Egyptian-born sisters Triplets Rose, Flora and Yasmin who were born into “high society” over 60 years ago in Alexandria, Egypt and now live in Israel, is scheduled to be shown at The Yeshiva University Ring Family Israel Film Festival. 

    2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to shown at the Columbus Jewish Film Festival in Columbus, GA

    2012: In London, “Mordechai Richler: The Last of the Wild Jews” a film about the Canadian-Jewish author is scheduled to be shown as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012: In London, Simon Goldhill is scheduled to discuss “Freud's Couch, Scott's Buttocks, Bronte's Grave” as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012:Iran submitted a letter of protest to the United Nations Security Council today, charging Israel of attacking its nuclear scientists and coloring recent accusations of Tehran's links to attempted attacks against Israeli officials worldwide as being part of a "war game" against the Islamic Republic.

    2012:Interior Minister Eli Yishai said today that "The government will have to extend Tal Law until alternative legislation regulating yeshiva students' military service is drafted, with the collaboration of the Defense, Justice and Finance ministries." Yishai's comment was reportedly made following a "lengthy conversation" with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    2013: The Northernmost Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open in Fairbanks, Alaska.

    2013: In Iowa City, Hillel is scheduled to host its annual fundraising event in which Benjamin Coelho will join with colleagues from the University Of Iowa School Of Music to perform a program entitled “Songs without Words.”

    2013: Purim in Ein Karem “More than Carnival: with the Ensemble Millennium is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. today.

    2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at Temple Moses in Miami Beach, FL.

    2013(13thof Adar, 5773): Shabbat Zachor Erev Purim

    2013: In the evening, reading of the Megillah Esther

    2013: Today’s announcement by the Pentagon it was grounding all F-35 fighter jets due to a crack found in one of the engine blades” could have an unforeseen impact on Israel’s military capabilities since the IAF has ordered 20 of the planes in a bid to maintain a qualitative edge over its vast array of actual and potential adversaries

    2014: Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times is scheduled to address the The Hadassah Attorneys Council dinner in Washington, DC

    2014: “Handle With Care,” a hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy about an inept package deliverer who loses an Israeli grandmother’s corpse in a Virginia parking lot on a snowy Christmas Eve is scheduled to have its final performance at Westside Theatre Downstairs

    2014: ”Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue” is scheduled to close today at Yeshiva University Museum.

    2014: Ruth Grumber is scheduled to appear via Skype at the event officially opening “Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber.”

    2014: The annual Seforim Sale – the largest sale of Jewish books in North America – is scheduled to come to a close.

    2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Forgiving The Angel: Four Stories for Franz Kafka by Jay Cantor

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    February 24

    303: The first official Roman edict for the persecution of Christians was issued by Roman Emperor Galerius Valerius Maximianus.  This was part a contest between Pagans and Christians for control of the Roman Empire.  The Jews were not involved.  But they would be the ultimate losers when Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire and the Church unleashed the power of the state on all religious groups that opposed it, including the Jews.

    1221: AlicedeMontmorency, wife of  Simonde Montfort, passed away.  In 1217, Alice ordered the arrest of all of the Jews living in Toulouse.  They could either convert or be killed.  Children under the age of six were taken from their parents, baptized and raised Christians.  Her actions violated the promise her husband had made to the Jews of Toulouse guaranteeing them their freedom and right to practice their religion.   

    1147: In Wurzburg, Germany, a rumor began that a Christian corpse was found in the river which could perform miracles. The Jews were accused to killing the person. In the ensuring riots, twenty two Jews were murdered including the rabbi, Isaac ben Elyukem. After the riot the survivors fled to a local Castle.

    1479: After four years of conflict and intrigue, Queen Isabella of Castile secured her throne.  Isabella’s machinations to gain control of the kingdom show her as every bit as other female monarchs as Elizabeth of England or Catherine the Great of Russia.  Later in the year, she would marry Ferdinand of Aragon, a move that would lead to the creation of the modern Spanish state.  Contrary to popular misconception, she was the abler of the two monarchs.  In fact, it was only because Ferdinand was a man in a male-dominated society that saved his reputation.  Isabella’s accession to the throne was the first in a series of events that would end with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

    1510:  Pope Julius II excommunicated the Republic of Venice. Many remember Julius II as the Pope who commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel.  Julius II, like at least one of his predecessors, had a Jewish physician; in this case Samuel Sarfatti.  From the Jewish point of view, Julius clashes such as the one that brought on the above mentioned excommunication and aesthetic projects meant that he did not have time to waste on persecuting his Jews.  Out of sight out of mind or benign neglect placed Julius on the list of one of the “better Popes.” 

    1582:  Pope Gregory XIII announced the Gregorian calendar.  This replaced the Julian Calendar which explains why there is some confusion about various dates in history.  Of course the Jews use their own calendar, but as a people who “live in time” it is useful to know when other parts of the Western world began changing the way they keep track of the years.

    1590: An entire family of Marranos named de Carabaja “was forced to confess and abjure at a public auto-da-fé, celebrated” today. “Luis de Carabajal the younger, with his mother and four sisters, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and his brother, Baltasar, who had fled upon the first warning of danger, was, along with his deceased father, Francisco Rodriguez de Matos, burnt in effigy.”

    1688(23rd of Adar): Portuguese poet and grammarian Moses Gideon Abudiente passed away.

    1739: The army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah at the Battle of Karnal.  Nadir Shah’s rise to power marked an improvement in the lives of the Persian Jewish community.  The last half of the 17th century had been a period of persecution for the Jews when many of them actually outwardly converted to Islam. Under Nadir, the Jews were once again free to practice their religion in public.

    1765: David Tevele Schiff was named as the Rabbi to lead the Great Synagogue in London succeeding Hart Lyon in that position.  Hart had actually been the rabbi for the Great Synagogue and the Hambro Synagogue. The two congregations were supposed to continue this practice.  But they could not agree on a successor.  Once the Great Synagogue had made its decision, the Hambro Synagogue chose Israel Meshullam Solomon to serve as their rabbi.

    1831: Birthdate of Leo von Caprivi, who as Chancellor of Germany earned the enmity of the anti-Semites, who were a growing force, when he attacked their leaders in a speech before the Reichstag in 1893.

    1835: Birthdate of Sir Julius Vogel, the eighth Premier of New Zealand and the first Jew to hold this position.

    1848: Louis-Philippe, “King of the French,” abdicates the throne. Louis’s reign began with a revolution in 1830 and ended with a revolution in 1848.  This monarch from the house of Orleans was a rather dull character when compared to the glory of the Bourbons and Bonaparte but it was his very dullness that got him to the throne.  As is so often the case, Louis’ record in dealing with the Jews is a mixed bag.  As Elliot Rosenberg points, by the time Louis came to the throne French Jews were well on their way to full emancipation.  Under Louis, “rabbis joined other clerics paid from the state exchequer.”  While English Jews were still denied entry to Oxford and Cambridge, the doors “opened widely” at French universities.  “Jewish communities joined in praising” him as the monarch who “’had enlarged our liberties.’” In 1835, Louis defended the rights of French Jews in a diplomatic conflict with the Swiss.  James de Rothschild, head of the French branch of the House of Rothschild was “a royal intimate” who according to his brother Salomon “goes to the palace whenever he wishes.  James was not only a pillar of the French government, he was also the man who handled the “personal investment accounts” of the French monarch.  All this good will was tainted by the Damascus Affair in which the French sided with those who supported the claim of the Blood Libel against Jews living in Syria.  The French were trying to establish their sphere of influence in the Middle East and North Africa and if the price was that of a few Jews, so be it.  Regardless, by the time of the abdication, Jewish emancipation in France was so ingrained that nothing would stem that tide.  Of course, the Dreyfus Affair, fifty years later would demonstrate the illusory nature of that emancipation.  Louis’s successor, Napoleon III would prove to be “bad for the French people” and therefore “bad for the Jews.”

    1848: As the revolutionary forces took power, the Republicans named Adolphe Cremieux, a prominent lawyer, statesman and leader of the French Jewish community,  to serve as the minister of justice. During his time in office, he “secured the decrees abolishing the death penalty for political offenses, and making the office of judge immovable.”  “He was instrumental in declaring an end to slavery in all French Colonies, for which some have called him the French Abraham Lincoln.”

    1860(1st of Adar, 5620): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1863: In Vienna, Austria, Rabbi Ignatz and Nettie (Rosenbaum) Grossman gave birth to Louis Grossman who graduated from Hebrew Union College and served as the rabbi at Detroit’s Temple Bethel and Congregation B’nai Yeshurun in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    1864: During the Civil War, Joseph B. Greenhut, who had been fighting as a member of the Union Army since April of 1861, resigned his commission and returned to civilian life. Greenhut had fought at a series of famous battles including Fort Donelson, Gettysburg and Lookout Mountain.

    1868(1st of Adar, 5628): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1877: An agreement was reached today between the Ottoman rulers and the Serbian envoys led by Prince Milan. The Serbians agreed to all of the conditions set by the Turks except two, one of which was the requirement that the Jews of Serbia be granted the same rights as all other Serbs.

    1878: “Is Disraeli A Jew” was published today.

    1878: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association met tonight in New York to discuss the proposal made by Thomas Grady to abolish the Free College.

    1879(1st of Adar, 5639) Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1881: Seventeen year old Marion Calish, the Hebrew teacher at Professor Felix Adler’s kindergarten who has been missing since the 19th, was found just before midnight tonight by a traveling salesman who took her to the local police precinct.

    1882: A man who claimed to be named Rothschild and is thought to be Jewish attempted to use a bogus check to pay for purchases at A & C Myer in New York City.

    1882: Two of the Jewish refugees from Russia who arrived in Philadelphia, PA on the SS Illinois are the only ones who have been identified as being sick – that is two out over three hundred men, women and children.

    1882: A cable sent to the Toronto Globe from London stated that at a meeting of the Committee on the Fund for the Relief of Russo-Jewish Refugees, Sir A.T. Galt suggested that two or three of the Jewish refugees should be allowed to go to Canada’s Northwest Territories to make arrangements for the arrival of their co-religionists. 

    1885: Birthdate of Joseph Sprinzak, first Speaker of Israeli Knesset. “Born in Moscow, Sprinzak's father was active in the Hovevei Zion. When Jews were expelled from Moscow in 1891, the family moved to Kishinevand then Warsaw. The home was a center for young Hebrew writers and Zionists. In the early 1900s, he was one of the organizers of HaTehiyah, a Zionist group led by Yitzhak Gruenbaum. During this period he worked in a Hebrew publishing house as well as on Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers in Warsaw. In 1905 he returned to Kishinev where he was active in Zionist affairs. In 1908 he spent several months in Constantinoplewhere he was in contact with Zionist leaders, and then went to Beirut to study medicine. His studies were cut very short when, after just a few months, he was asked to become secretary of HaPoel HaZair. During World War I he was in Eretz Yisrael and after the war, was instrumental in founding Hitahdut, a world movement which joined HaPoel HaZair and Zeirei Zion. A delegate to the 11th and 12th Zionist Congresses, Sprinzak became the first representative of the yishuv's labor movement to be elected to the Zionist Executive. When independence was declared in 1948, he was elected to the Provisional State Council as well as the first three Knessets, serving as speaker for 10 years.   Joseph Sprinzak was known as a Zionist leader who strongly identified with the rank-and-file, both in Israeland abroad. His conception of Zionism was based on socialism and the process of national rebirth. During his tenure as secretary of HaPoel HaZair, he was involved in the absorption of Jews from Yemen. During World War I, he helped organize the yishuv's Jewish workers. In the 1920s, as a member of the Zionist executive, he was head of the Labor and then the Aliyah Departments. He also helped found the Histadrut labor federation and was a member of the Tel Aviv municipality. In the 1930s, as a member of the Histadrut executive, Sprinzak was instrumental in the formation of Ben-Gurion's Mapai political party. In the 1940s he became a leading member of the Zionist General Council and eventually was general secretary of the Histadrut. As Knesset speaker during the body's first 10 years, Sprinzak had a major influence on the country's emerging democracy. He died in 1959.”

    1889: Birthdate of Jacques (Jacob) Presser “a Dutch historian, writer and poet best known for his book Ashes in the Wind: The destruction of the Dutch Jews which descried “ the persecution of the Jews in the Netherlands during World War II.”.

    1890: It was reported today that Sarah Bernhardt will be returning to the United States in October to perform at the Broadway Theatre in New York City. 

    1890: It was reported today that at the request of Elsie Leslie, 500 hundred children from the Industrial Schools of the Associated Hebrew Charities will attend one of her final matinee performances of “The Prince and the Pauper at the Broadway Theatre. (Elsie Leslie was a noted child actress of her time.  Born in 1881, she passed away in 1966.  I cannot find any reason why she singled out a school for Jewish students for this treat.)

    1890: It was reported today that the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is caring for nearly 600 children, 200 of whom were girls and 400 were boys.

    1891: “Elevated Funeral Trains” published today described the decision of the Directors of the Union Elevated Railroad in Brooklyn to extend service to Cypress Cemetery and the “numerous Jewish cemeteries in the neighborhood and to establish funeral trains consisting of a car for the coffin and two or three cars for the funeral party.  Most of the directors are Jewish and Edward Lauterbach who is counsel for the company is attempting to establish contracts with various synagogues to convey the funeral parties from the ferries or bridge to the cemetery.

    1893: The AmericanUniversity, a private Methodist university in Washigton, D.C. is chartered by an act of the Congress of the United States of America. A.U. has over one thousand Jewish undergraduate students out of a total of almost 6,000.  Out of an estimated 4,700 grad students, 1,000 are Jewish.  The school offers a minor in Jewish Studies, a university program in Israel and the services of an authorized Hillel House. (In the 1950's it was where the Levine and Levin children learned to swim at 7:30 Saturday mornings - before going to services)

    1893(8th of Adar): Benjamin Henry Ascher, Hebrew scholar and author passed away

    1893: “At the second session of the 52ndCongress…a bill was presented to the House ordering that a gold medal be struck off in recognition of the services rendered by Haym Solomon during the Revoluionary War, in consider of which the Salomon heirs waived their claims upon the United States for indemnity.” The full House never took action on the resolution.

    1894: It was reported that Kuhn, Loeb & Co is among the contributors to the Citizens’ Relief Committee which has raised $94, 065.50 for those suffering from the effects of the economic depression.

    1894: It was reported today that Jacob H. Schiff, Solomon Loeb and Abraham Wolff are among the prominent citizens who have joined a movement led by Cornelius Vanderbilt “to establish a pawn broking establishment” in New York modeled on “public pawn broking establishing that have been of great help to the poor in several large European cities.

    1895: “A Most Noble Charity” published today described the work of the Montefiore Home for Incurables which “was originally intended as home where incurable patients should be received and made comfortable during their lives” has not taken on the additional role of providing treatment for chronic invalids” many of whom “were hopelessly stricken by disease” but have left the facility “in the full possession of health.

    1896: “Religion In Large Cities” published today described the conditions of religious institutions in New York City including the fact that there “51 Hebrew organizations” in the city.

    1896: According to Emily Crawford of the Associated Press, Prince Henry of Orleans is hoping to capitalize on the anti-Dreyfus spirit as a way of bringing about the downfall of the Republic which he no doubt hopes will be replaced with a Monarchy.

    1898: “Prison and Fine For Zola” published today described the scene in the courtroom when Emile Zola was convicted. The verdict was handed down at seven in the evening but the jury had agreed on its decision days ago in response, in part to threats from the mob that surrounded the court during the trial. In response to the sentence which stemmed from his defense of Captain Dreyfus the defamed Jewish officer Zola compared himself to Christ saying that he too was “a victim of mob violence office cowardice and a grand miscarriage of justice.”  (Considering that the Catholic Churc were one of the groups arrayed against him, this was a bold, fitting, comparison.)

    1899(14th of Adar, 5659): Last Purim celebration of the 19th century.

    1902: In Berlin, the ninth meeting of the Union of Judæo-German Congregations came to end.

    1904:  Herzl writes, "Yesterday I had a most curious visitor: Ali Nuri Bey ... His proposal ... comes to this: Sail into the Bosporuswith two cruisers, bombard Yildiz, let the Sultan flee or capture him, put in another Sultan (Murad or Reshad), but first form a provisional government - which is to give us the Charter for Palestine...."

    1906: Birthdate of Yosef Serline, the native of Bialystok who served as personal secretary Nahum Sokolow before making Aliyah in 1930 following he which he served as an MK in the first seven Knessets.

    1907(10th of Adar, 5667): Composer Otto Goldschmidt passed away at the age of 87.

    1906: Birthdate of Yosef Serlin, the native of Bialystok who made Aliyah in 1933 and worked as lawyer in Tel Aviv while pursuing a political career that included serving as member of the First Knesset.

    1908(22nd of Adar): Rabbi Jehiel Michal Epstein of Novogrdok, Russia author of Arukh ha-Shulhan passed away

    1909: Birthdate of Max Black.  Born in Azerbaijan, raised and educated in England, Black became a U.S.citizen in 1948.  It is hard to classify him because his interests were so varied. “Black was famed for his contributions to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mathematics and science, the philosophy of art, conceptual analysis, and his studies of the work of several major philosophers. Black was a prolific author and lists of his publications contain over 200 items. He passed away in 1988.

    1912: Birth of Hadassah, the largest women's organization in America.

    1914: Birthdate of Esta Saltzman the native of Boston, MA who gained fame as Yiddish actress Esta Saltzman Lubin

    1916: The Zionist Council of New York held a mass meeting at Cooper Union tonight.  Louis Lipsky, who presided over the meeting, attacked the critics of the Zionist movement, including fellow Jews who had called it a “partisan issue.”  He said that “Zionism is the essential ingredient of any policy the Jewish people may adopt at this time time for the protection of Jewish interests.”  Wolf Gluskin, who has only arrived in the United States from Palestine where he had helped to establish one of first Zionist settlements, told the assembly about the suffering being experienced by 35,000 Palestinian Jews as a result of the World War.  The wine industry, which the Jewish settlers had worked so hard to develop, was on the verge of destruction.  The New York Zionists also heard from Dr. Ben Zion Mossinsohn, a teacher living in Jaffa and Dr. Schmaraya Levin of the International Zionist Committee.

    1917: H. Pereira Mendes celebrates his 40th anniversary as rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israelof New York City.

    1917: The Judeo-Spanish newspaper El Emigrantewas established in New Jersey.

    1917: The Russian Revolution begins in earnest when troops of the Czar fire on the citizens of St. Petersburg.  This is the first, non-Bolshevik Russian Revolution. Jews played an active role in the various upheavals that would bring an end to the reign of the Czars.  The Jews did not realize that anti-Semitism was such an integral part of the Russian psyche that it would survive and flourish under the next wave of autocrats – the Communists who replaced the Czars.

    1917: The German plan to bring Mexico into World War on the German side is exposed.  The incident is referred to as the “Zimmerman telegram.”  Zimmerman was the German foreign minister.  This bit of arrogance and ignorance was one of the causes of the United States entering the war in April of 1917.  The Jewish author Barbara Tuchman wrote a very readable and informative book on this subject.

    1918:  Einstein wrote “to an academic correspondent who had rebuked him for his dislike of war, ‘Your ostentatious Teutonic muscle-flexing runs rather against my grain.  I prefer to string along with my compatriot Jesus Christ, whose doctrines you and your kind consider to be obsolete.  Suffering is indeed more acceptable to me than resort to violence.’”

    1920: The Nazi party held it first major meeting in Munich, Germany.

    1921: In Cincinnati, Ohio, the Board of Governors announced that Dr. Kaufman Kohler, President of the Hebrew Union College, will retire at the end of the current academic year.  Dr. Kohler has been serving as President since February, 1903.

    1921: As head of the Colonial Office, Winston Churchill makes his first commitment to practical Zionist enterprise by approving Pinchas Rutenberg’s plan to harness the waters of the Jordan and Yarkon rivers for electrical power enabling the Jews to begin to make further plans for substantial urban and rural development.

    1922:  Birthdate of actor Steven Hill.  Born Solomon Krakovsky in SeattleWashington, he is best known for his role as Adam Schiff on the television series “Law and Order.

    1922(26thof Shevat, 5682): Sir Ellis Kadoorie passed away today and was buried in keeping with Jewish ritual was buried on the same day at the Jewish Cemetery in Hong Kong. Born in 1865, he was part of prominent Jewish family from Baghdad that moved to Bombay and eventually made their fortune in a variety of enterprises many of which were located in China and Hong Kong.

    1925(30th of Shevat): Rabbi Isaac Jeroham Diskin passed away

    1928: Birthdate of Ezat Delijani, a 1979 refugee from Iran’s Islamic Revolution who became a prominent Los Angeles businessman (As reported by Dennis McLellan)

    1932: Benjamin N. Cardozo was confirmed by a unanimous voice vote in the Senate to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Compare the ease with which Cardozo’s name sailed through the approval process with the contentious combat that surrounded the confirmation of Justice Brandeis.  

    1932: The Maccabee Association of the United States hosts a benefits concert at Carnegie Hall to raise funds for an athletic stadium in Tel Aviv.

    1936: “Henrietta Szold…replied today to Palestine Jewry’s greetings on her seventy-fifth birthday, stating that without their assistance she could have achieved nothing.”

    1940:  Winston Churchill shared a telegram with the War Cabinet in which Chaim Weizmann described the “deplorable” effect that adoption of the Land Transfer Regulations would have.  The War Cabinet was unmoved by the plea.

    1941: Following a two-long pogrom in Amsterdam, “an open air meeting was held on the Noordermarkt to organise a strike to protest against the pogrom as well as the forced labor in Germany.

    1942: The Struma it was torpedoed and sunk by the Soviet submarine SC 213  Approximately 769 illegal Jewish immigrants aboard the Struma perished on their way to Palestine.  The Struma was one of a series of ships filled with Jews that attempted to run the British blockade.  The blockade was part of the British commitment to the Arabs to keep Jews out of Palestine in violation of the Balfour Declaration and the terms of the Mandate.  The British slavishly enforced the blockade during and after World War II.  The Struma traversed the Black Seaand attempted to stop at Istanbul.  But the British told the Turks that the Jews would not be allowed to land in Palestine so they turned the ship back in the Black Sea.  It was there that the ship was sunk, reportedly torpedoed by a Nazi submarine.  Exodus by Leon Uris is based on another blockade running episode that took place in 1947.

    1942:  Birthdate of Senator Joe Lieberman.

    1943: Hitler sent Nazi members a message on the anniversary of the establishment of the Nazi Party, "The struggle will end . . . with the liquidation of Jewry in Europe."

    1944: At Birkenau, 200 of the 800 prisoners in the Sonderkommando were sent to Majdanek where they were shot.

    1944:Max Jacob a French artist, who was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism, was arrested by the Gestapo and put into Orléans prison. He was then transferred to a holding camp in Drancy for transport to a concentration camp in Germany.

    1946:In Tel Aviv, a throng of more than 50,000 Jews attended the funeral of four men killed during an attack on several RAF airfields. For more than six hours, this “all-Jewish” city was truly in control of the Jewish people as there were no signs of any British police or soldiers.  Jewish newspapers published black-bordered obituaries for each of the deceased.  During the funeral, the Haganah distributed leaflets, giving further proof that the airfield attacks were not the work of the Irgun, but were the work of a broader-based Jewish resistance movement.  The attack and the public outpouring of grief seemed to indicate a change in mood among the Jewish population who were now apparently willing to support more aggressive tactics designed to secure their national home in light of what they have come to view of as the British betrayal of the Zionist cause and their support for the Arabs.

    1946: Birthdate of Michael Radford the New Delhi born son of an Austrian Jewish mother who became a successful director and screenwriter who directed the 2004 film version of the Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino as Shylock.

    1947: Birthdate of Lawrence Bailey Bogdanow an architect whose love for natural materials and fine craftsmanship brought a sense of warmth and ease to the interiors of dozens of Manhattan’s most popular restaurants, including Union Square Café, Savoy and the Cub Room (As reported by William Grimes)

    1947: Birthdate of Juval Aviv, the native of kibbutz Kfar Menachem who is known as an Israeli-American security consultant and writer.

    1949: "Under the auspices of the United Nations Mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche, an armistice was signed between Egypt and Israel."  This marked, more or less, the end of Israel's War for Independence.  "It was the first such agreement between Israeland any of its warring neighbors.  The aim of the armistice was not merely to end the fighting but, as its terms stated to 'facilitate the permanent peace'.  The phrase was taken from the United Nations Security Council resolution of November 16."  Unfortunately, the Egyptians and the other Arab nations only viewed this as a cease fire.  Over the next several decades they would violate the spirit and the agreement as they sought to destroy the state of Israel.  For the Israelis the armistice was a great victory won against seemingly impossible odds.  When asked to explain the reason for this victory which sealed the creation of the Jewish state, Yigal Yadin replied, "If we are to condense all the various factors, and they are many, which brought about victory, I would not hesitate to credit the extraordinary qualities of Israel's youth, during the War of Independence, with that victory."  In other words, it was the spirit of the people that provided the will to hold out in the early dark days and then to take advantage of later breakthroughs to turn toward victory.  As we study Jewish History, it will be interesting to see the similarity between the causes of Jewish victories in ancient and modern times.

    1949: President Weizmann entrusted David Ben-Gurion with the task of forming Israel’s first government.

    1950: Ada Maimon, a member of the Knesset, is spearheading the drive to tighten Israel’s marriage laws.  She is seeking to raise the minimum age of consent from 15 to 18 and tighten up on rules concerning the exceptions.  Current law, which is left over from the British mandate allows girls to marry at the age of 15 but allows for marriage at a younger age with parental consent. Miss Maimon would limit exceptions to girls at the age of 17.  Miss Maimon, who is a member of the Knessett, is most concerned about ending what she considers the abuse of this “loophole” that has girls as young as 12 getting married.  Primary opposition is coming from Jews of Oriental orign who are offended by Miss Maimon’s characterization of Oriental mothers as “breeding delinquents.”  The fifty-seven year old Miss Maimon is the sister of Rabbi Judah L. Maimon Israel’s Minister for Religious Affairs and is in charge of the agricultural training farm at Ayanot that was founded in 1930.

    1952:  Birthdate of Simon Weinstock, British businessman and racehorse owner.

    1953: Birthdate of Marc Feinstein the native of Mitchell, South Dakota who has served as the Representative from the 14thDistrict in the South Dakota House of Repesentatives.

    1954: Birthdate of Dutch author Leon de Winter whose works include the novels Kaplan and Hoffman’s Hunger.

    1956: “Churchill received the Israeli Ambassador, Eliahu Elath, who presented him with a portfolio of woodcuts depicting ancient Jerusalem as an eightieth birthday gift from the Prime Minister and Government of Israel.

    1956:  Birthdate of television journalist, Paula Zahn.

    1967(13th of Adar I, 5727): German born, American composer Franz Waxman passed away.  Waxman was nominated for 12 Oscars.  In back to back victories he won for “Sunset Boulevard” and “A Place in the Sun.”  These two films give us a sense of the breadth of Waxman’s skills since the first film was classic cinema noir and the second was a Western.

    1976: Jules Feiffer's "Knock Knock" premiered in New York City.

    1981: Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower, the Jewish author of the bestselling The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet. From “eat, eat my children eat” to a mania for weight watching; such is the Jewish experience in the last hundred years. 

    1981:Two bronze doors, weighing about 200 pounds, were stolen from a mausoleum at the Baron Hirsch Cemetery on Staten Island cemetery today. The police estimated the value of the doors at $600.

    1983(11th of Adar, 5743): Ta’anit Esther

    1987(24th of Shevat, 5747):Marian Gerber Greenberg, who worked closely with Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah, the Woman's Zionist Organization of America, and its Youth Aliyah to help rescue thousands of Jewish children from Nazi Germany, died of congestive heart failure at the Cooley-Dickenson Hospital, Northampton, Mass. She was 89 years old and lived in Amherst, Mass. Mrs. Greenberg was the first national chairman of Youth Aliyah, serving in the post from 1936 to 1941. A national board member of Hadassah since 1927, she was a national vice president and a Hadassah delegate to five world Zionist Congresses between 1931 and 1952. She was also national chairman of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Building Fund. She edited the Hadassah newsletter (now a magazine) and, from 1943 to 1946 was editor of the monthly bulletin of the Citizens' Housing and Planning Council of New York. A former resident of Manhattan, she retired to Amherst in 1976, where she taught courses in the Bible and modern Jewish thought, sponsored by the Judaic Studies department of the University of Massachusetts. She was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Cornell University in 1919. She was the widow of David Greenberg, a writer on wildlife and conservation, who died in 1968.

    1988(6th of Adar, 5748): Sixty-one year old Seymour Siegel, the Rabbi who has been a major force in Conservative Judaism for the last four decades passed away today. (As reported by Ari L.Goldman)

    1989(19th of Adar I): SergeantBinyamin Meisner, an Israeli paratrooper, was killed today when he was struck in the head by a concrete block thrown from a building in Nablus, in the West Bank, the army said. Meisner, a 24-year-old reserve sergeant, is the sixth Israeli soldier to die in the current Arab wave of violence.

    1991: The New York Times reviews To Know A Woman by Amos Oz.

    1994(12th of Adar, 5754): Dinah Shore passed away. Born Francis Rose Shore in 1916, the Tennessee native gained fame as a singer and star of her own television variety show. (As reported by Stephen Holden)

    1996:  Andrew Beckerman-Rodau a Jewish professor at Suffolk University Law School flew from Detroit to Kiev. His visit to Kievwas at the invitation of the Ukrainian Supreme Court in cooperation with USAID, an agency of the United Statesgovernment. USAID's mission is to assist this newly independent country in developing a democratic government.

    1997: Time published “Echoes of the Holocaust” that describes attempt for victims regain some of the wealth stolen from them be bankers during the Nazi domination of Europe.


    1998(27th of Shevat, 5758): Comedian Henny Youngman passed away at the age of 92.  Youngman was famous for his tagline “Take my wife please.”  Youngman did not have a Bar Mitzvah as a child.  When he was in his seventies, he finally had one much to his joy and delight. (As reported by Mervyn Rothstein)

    1999(7th of Adar, 5759): David Daube, a world renowned Biblical law scholar who charmed generations of students while teaching at the University of California, Berkeley's law school passed away at the age of 90.

    2001(1st of Adar, 5761): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2002: Bruce Fleisher won the RJR (Golf) Championship

    2002(11th of Adar, 5762):  Leo Orenstein, Russian born American composer and pianist passed away at the age of 89.

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Life in Pieces: The Making and Unmaking of Binjamin Wilkomirskiby Blake Eskin and Kindred Souls: The Friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and David Gurewitschby Edna P. Gurewitsch. (Gurewitsch, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia was “Eleanor Roosevelt's friend, confidant, personal physician, housemate, and traveling companion during her post-White House years.”)

    2005: 14th of Adar – observance of Purim.

    2006: London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from office for four weeks after being found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute by comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

     2007: Israel Non-Stop  “seven days of cutting edge Israeli music, theatre, film, art, food and more” began in New York with the appearance of Israeli music phenomenon Mosh Ben-Ari. According to the playbill, “Mosh Ben-Ari combines ecstatic middle eastern rhythms, spirituality, and scents of reggae and African beats. Mosh Ben-Ari's joyous concerts around the world turn into high spirited celebrations for peace. His recently released album, Go Giving, has been praised by music critics and fans alike.”

    2007: “West Bank Story” won the Academy Award for Short Film-Live Action. The 21 minute musical has a “West Side Story” motif. “In this case the confrontation is between competing West Bank Falafel stands, the Israeli Kosher King and the Palestinian Hummus Hut.

    2008: Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman was one of the main speakers at a major protest rally against the growing influence of nationalistic (Zionist) thought and philosophies in the Haredi world” Born in Hungary, Ulman is an expert on Jewish law pertaining to fiancé and property and he is a member of the Dushinksy Hasidic Movement founded by Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky

    2008:  “Burnt Diary Yields Horror of Warsaw Ghetto” published today described the recovery of the writings of person known only as “Debora” who chronicled life in one of the most infamous places of Jewish captivity.

    2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of a biography about Jewish author and playwright David Mamet entitled David Mamet: A Life In The Theatre by Ira Nadel.

    2008: An exhibition styled “CHIM: The Photography of David Seymour (1911 – 1956)” came to an end at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Alfred Kazin:A Biography by Richard M. Cook and Staring At The SunOvercoming the Terror of Deathby Irvin D. Yalom, the award winning Jewish born psychiatrist and author.

    2008: Israelis (and many others) wonder if Beaufort directed by Joseph Cedar will win the Oscar for best Foreign Language Film.  This is the seventh time an Israeli film has been nominated in this category. Beaufort is set “in the days leading up to Israel's withdrawal from Lebanonin 2000. The soldiers stationed at the mountaintop outpost of Beaufort live under a barrage of constant attacks. Frustrated by the knowledge that they are risking--and often losing--their lives in defense of a fortress that will soon be abandoned, the men struggle to do their duty while grieving for their dead comrades and preparing for the evacuation.”The movie is based on the novel Im Yesh Gan Eden (If There is a Paradise) by Ron Leshem, who co-wrote the screenplay with Cedar.

    2009: Dalia Itzik completed her term as Speaker of the Knesset

    2009: Paul Finkelman, a professor of law and public policy who had reviewed Eli Faber’s Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade: Setting the Record Straightand is the author of Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson, presents a lecture on abolitionist John Brown as part of the "Great Lives Lecture Series" at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.

    2009:More than 300 rabbis gather at the 120th annual Central Conference American Rabbis convention opens in Jerusalem, Israel.

    2009(1stof Adar, 5769): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2009(1stof Adar, 5769): Eighty-seven year old choreographer Pearl Lang, the founder of the Pearl Lang Dance Theatre passed away today. (As reported by Jack Anderson)

    2009:More than three months after the 17th Knesset was dispersed, the 18th Knesset was sworn in this afternoon, in a ceremony that began with a moving speech by President Shimon Peres, during which he paid tribute to the IDF for the recent Gaza operation, hailed US President Barack Obama's election and called for a peace deal with the Palestinians during the next Knesset's term.

    2009: The Jerusalem Post reported that an archive of over 10,000 works of modern Yiddish literature has gone on-line. The collection of full texts, comprising the National Yiddish Book Center's Steven Spielberg Digital Library, can be read, downloaded and printed free at

    2010:The Israel Ballet, Israel's foremost classical ballet company which was founded in 1967 by Berta Yampolsky and Hillel Markman is scheduled to perform "Don Quixote" in Elmira, NY.

    2010:Ted Leonsis, the AOL entrepreneur and the owner of the Washington Capitals as well as a partner in the Washington Wizards franchise, is scheduled to discuss his new book, "The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Life and Work," at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2010:A bill that allows civil marriage in Israel to couples who could not be married by the rabbinate failed by a large margin in its initial reading. The Civil Union bill, introduced today by the Kadima Party’s Meir Sheetrit, was defeated 58-22.
    2010:Today, the Israel Flower Growers Association reported a 30-percent drop in exports for Valentine’s Day compared to last year. The flower-growers blamed the drop on a shortage of Thai workers, which made it impossible for them to meet demands, and have threatened to sue the government for damages.
    2011: Gainsbourg,the boldly imaginative and wildly entertaining biopic of Jewish French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, one of the most iconic and diversely talented music artists of the 20th Century” and Chariots of Fire are scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

    2011:Ruth David, Professor Peter Davies (Edinburgh) and Dr Andrea Hammel (Aberystwyth) are scheduled to present a program entitled Holocaust Texts and Translation” at The Wiener Library in London, UK.

    2011:The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to continue its year round programming in Berkeley with an encore presentation of 2010 Festival sleeper hit Father’s Footsteps– a gripping coming of age drama about a Tunisian-Israeli family threatened by violence and crime.

    2011:YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present: "Integrale Yidishkeyt": Modern Yiddish Culture's Turn Inward in Response to the Holocaust.

    2011:YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a discussion of : Joseph Roth's Job

    2011:IAF aircraft struck against a number of terrorists in the southern Gaza Strip today in a joint IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation that left one dead and three injured. IDF Spokesperson released a statement saying that the aircraft successfully hit their intended targets. The Israeli operation came after a grad-model Katyusha rocket struck Beersheba  the first such attack on the city since Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip over two years ago.

    2011:With Israeli Apartheid Week a week away, Israel seems to have found an unexpected champion in Michael Lucas, a popular gay columnist and porno producer with dual US-Israeli citizenship. Lucas told The Jerusalem Post by phone from New York today that “I defeated a group of anti- Semites” who sought to equate Israel with the former South African apartheid regime at an event slated to be held at the city’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center.

    2011(20thof Adar I, 5771):Jerrold (Yoram) Kessel passed away today.

    2011: Judy Gross, the wife of Alan Gross “pleaded with the Cuban government to release her husband on humanitarian grounds. Gross' daughter, 26, has breast cancer, and his mother has been diagnosed with lung cancer.” (As reported by JTA)

    2012(1stof Adar, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2012: In London, Claudia Roden is scheduled to talk about discoveries she made while researching her new book “The Food of Spain” as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012: As many as 100 college students who are part of the Kol HaOlam competition are scheduled to attend the Ruach Minyan at Adas Israel in Washington, DC.

    2012: In New York City, Temple Emanu-El is scheduled to host a Friday night service that will include a commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Hadassah attended by Marcie Natan, National President of Hadassah.

    2012:Tensions continued to escalate in the South early thismorning with the Israel Air Force making two separate forays into the Gaza Strip to bomb terror targets in response to the firing of Kassam rockets into Israeli communities.

    2012:Security forces used force to disperse hundreds of Muslim worshipers at the Temple Mount today who rioted and threw stones following a tense week in the Old City.

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel, City of Angels Or, the Overcoat of Dr. Freud by Christa Wolf and the recently released paperback edition of God’s Jury; The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World by Cullen Murphy

    2013: Center for Jewish History, YIVO Institute and the International Center of Photography are scheduled to sponsor a screen of Eleanor Antin’s “Man Without a World.”

    2013: Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is scheduled to celebrate Purim complete with a megillah reading and separate costume contests for children and adults.

    2013: Dedication of the Jacobs Family Education Center is scheduled to take place at Agudas Achim in Iowa City, Iowa.

    2013: The Maccaebeats are scheduled to perform at The Moriah School Purim Chagiga in Englewood, NJ

    2013(14th of Adar, 5773): Purim

    2013:Purim’s carnival atmosphere spread out across Israe today, with revelers of all types and ages soaking up the holiday cheer, many bedecked in bright, loud and extravagant costumes.

    2014: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to begin a two day visit to Israel.

    2014: At the Center for Jewish History, Henry L. Feingold is scheduled to speak on “American Jewish Political Culture and the Liberal Persuasion.”

    2014: “Dancing Alfonso” is scheduled to be shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival

    2014: Israel Apartheid Week, a week-long orgy of anti-Semitism hidden under the guise of anti-Israel lectures and workshops is scheduled to begin today.

    2014:Ian Heath Gershengorn, Principal Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, is scheduled to address the Hadassah Attorneys Council in Washington, DC.

    2014: In New Orleans, the Jewish Studies Department of Tulane University is scheduled to present a lecture by Tome Beller entitled “J.D. Salinger’s Late Barmitzva.”

    0 0

    February 25

    161 BCE: Jewish soldiers led by Judah Maccabee defeated Nicanor, the Syrian general who had boasted that he would destroy the Temple and mount Judah’s head on the gates of Jerusalem.

    138: The Emperor Hadrian adopts Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor. For Jews Hadrian stands out as one of the cruelest of the Roman emperors.  He is the one who defeated Bar Kochba.  It is said that Hadrain was more evil than Titus because he did not just make war against the Jewish people.  He made war against Judaism by banning its practice.  In one of those many ironic twists of fates, Antionious Pious, his hand-picked successor reversed the decrees of Hadrain. He allowed the Torah to be studied and is laws obeyed.  He reinstituted the ban on imperial statues in synagogues and he allowed the Jews to practice the rite of circumcision.


    1308: Coronation of King Edward II.  One of this uniquely incompetent monarch’s claim to fame is that he was the first King of England to reign over a realm without any Jews since the Norman conquest in 1066.  Edward’s father, Edward I, had expelled the Jews in 1290.

    1304: Birthdate of Ibn Battuta, the Moslem Moroccan explorer who visit large segments of Asia and Africa where he chronicled meetings with various groups including Jews in India and China.
    1333: Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveler, visits Jewish communities in India

    1336: Alfonso X of Castile was persuaded by the apostate Alfonso of Valladolid to ban the prayer Aleinu. Alfonso alleged that the prayer was anti-Christian. As a result, many Jewish communities excised a sentence from the prayer which has only been printed in recent years in only some prayer books.  The offending line which was taken out comes just before the time when everybody bows and recites “Va-ananchnu Kor’im – But we bend our knees…” The line that was taken out reads “For they bow to vanity and emptiness and pray to a god which helps not.”  If you read the entire prayer and insert this line, the following line makes a lot more sense.  According to several commentators the offending line had nothing to do with the Christians but had been placed there to refer to all heretics and that its origins were found in Isaiah (30:7 and 45:20). Further evidence refuting the claim that it was anti-Christian can be found in the fact that it was composed in the third century by Rav Abba Arucha head of the Academy of Sura (Persia) which was not a Christian country.  Ashkenazi prayer books dropped the line but Sephardic prayer books i.e. those in the land of Islam, retained the line.  Today it can be found in some Ashkenazi prayer books including those in the Artscroll Series.

    1451: Nicholas V issued a papal bull banning all social intercourse between Christians and Jews.  This was because of the fear of Christians being attracted to Judaism. A Christian who converted to Judaism and the Jews who helped him were usually subject to the death penalty in most Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries.  It is amazing that with the Church's attitude towards Judaism, and with the contempt that Jews in which Jews were held, that there should be such a fear of "Jewish missionizing".
    1570:  Pope Pious V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I.  This was one of the steps on the road to loosening the stranglehold that doctrinal Christianity had on Western Europe.  As the Church’s grip on Europe weakened it opened up the way to a religious toleration that was highly beneficial to the Jewish people.

    1593:Pope Clement VIII issued “Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia” (the blind and obdurate perfidy of the Hebrews) a papal bull which expelled the Jews from the Papal States, effectively revoking the bull Christiana pietas issued in 1586 by his predecessor Pope Sixtus V.The bull was a culmination of Clement VII's tightening of the anti-Jewish measures of his predecessors which began with his elevation to the papacy in 1592. The bull gave Jews three months to leave the Papal States (with the exception of Rome, Ancona, and the Comtat Venaissin of Avignon). The main effect of the bull was to evict Jews who had returned to areas of the Papal States (mainly Umbria) after 1586 (following their expulsion in 1569) and to expel Jewish communities from cities like Bologna (which had been incorporated under papal dominion since 1569). For the Jews remaining within Rome, Ancona, or the Comtat Venaissin, the bull re-established mandatory weekly sermons. The bull also resulted in the relocation of Jewish cemeteries to Ferrara and Mantua. The bull alleged that Jews in the Papal States had engaged in usury and exploited the hospitality of Clement VIII's predecessors "who, in order to lead them from their darkness to knowledge of the true faith, deemed it opportune to use the clemency of Christian piety towards them" (alluding to Christiana pietas).

    1799: Napoleon defeat the army led by Al Jazzar as he made his way from Khan Younis to Gaza.

    1799: Napoleon captured Gaza. (Yes, the same place in the news today). This was his first encounter with "Palestinian" Jews.” It is said that he offered “the reestablishment of ancient Jerusalem” as a Jewish homeland in return for Jewish loyalty.

    1795: First New York City performance of “Sheva, The Benevolent” by English playwright Richard Cumberland which features, Sheva, “the Jewish moneylender as the benevolent hero.”

    1806: Birthdate of Rabbi Salomon Ulmann the French rabbi who among other things organized the Central Conference of the Chief Rabbis of France

    1840: Birthdate of German philosopher, the Kantian, Otto Liebmann
    1841: Birthdate of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the French artist who painted “Alice and Elisabeth Cahen d’Anvers” (most commonly referred to as Pink and Blue).The painting portrayed the 2 daughters of the banker Louis Raphael Cahen d'Anvers, the blonde, Elisabeth, born in December 1874, and the younger, Alice, in February 1876, when they were respectively six and five years old. The artist produced many portraits for the families of the Parisian Jewish community at the time. Renoir was commissioned to paint many portraits for this family, which he had met through the collector Charles Ephrussi, proprietor of the "Gazette des Beaux-Arts."

    1844: Birthdate of Leó Frankel, the Hungarian born revolution who active in the First International and a member of the Paris Commune that was formed in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War.

    1847: State University of Iowa was approved.  What is now called the University of Iowa has certainly provided employment and educational opportunities for a fair number of Jews from the land of the Hawks as well a number of other places. The 28,000 student body includes approximately 600 Jewish undergrads and 200 Jewish grad students.  The school offers ten Jewish studies courses and the campus offers students a choice of Hillel or Chabad.  They also have access to Agudas Achim and its Rabbi, Jeff Portman, a mensch in the truest sense of the word. Several distinguished Jewish scholars have taught at the university including the late Dr. Jonathan A. Goldstein who provided the introduction and commentary for The Anchor Bible's Book of Maccabees and Dr. David Schoenbaum who has authored numerous works about German history as well as The United States and the State of Israel, a diplomatic history of relations between the United States and Israel from 1948 to 1993.
    1848: Birthdate of Eugène-Melchior, vicomte de Vogüé the French diplomat and archaeologist who provided “much of the earliest documentation about the Temple Mount. Because his work was done with the “full consent of the Muslim Counsel” he “work included the most complete and detailed mongraphs on how the mosques looked and their relationships to ancient Temple of Jerusalem.”  De Vogue “was also known for his architectural studies of Jerusalem and its surroundings.” (For more on thisDigging Through the Bible by Richard A. Freund

    1855:The Jewish residents of Lancaster PA organized Congregation Shaarai Shomayim which then took possession of the old Jewish cemetery.

    1856: Professor O.M. Mitchell is scheduled deliver a lecture tonight entitled "Critical Examination of the Astronomical Allusions and Illustrations Employed by the Writers of the Sacred Books of the Hebrews" at the Brooklyn Athenaeum. 

    1858: Sir Anthony de Rothschild, Louis Nathan, Ephraim Alex and Marcus Samuel, the father of the first Lord Bearsted were among those who attended a conference designed to deal with the problems of “the strange and foreign poor” held in the chambers of the Great Synagogue in London.

    1859: The first formal meeting was held at 31 New Bridge Street of the Board of Guardians which consisted of delegates from the London’s three leading congregations.

    1862: Judah P. Benjamin began serving as Attorney General in the cabinet of Jefferson Davis.

    1862: Birthdate of Stanisław Głąbiński Polish attorney and political leader who shared a cell in Lubyanka Prison with Rabbi Moses Schorr with whom he formed a close friendship before the Jew and Gentile met the same fate – murder by the NKVD in 1941.

    1862: A fire broke at 6 o'clock this morning in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, on Lamartine-place.  Damages which are valued at three hundred dollars, should be fully covered by insurance.

    1865(29th of Shevat, 5625): Shabbat Shekalim

    1867: Ralph Disraeli and his wife gave birth to British political leader Coningsby Disraeli, the nephew of Benjamin Disraeli.

    1870: As a reminder that the battle over the separation of church and state which has been a cornerstone of Jewish success in the United States is on-going, a meeting was held at the Reformed Presbyterian Church in New York in which the attendees called for a national convention that would promote “constitutional recognition of Almighty God and the Christian religion in the United States.”

    1871: Rabbi Stephen Wise of Cincinnati delivered a lecture on the Apostle Paul, the third and final in a series of addresses on the Origin of Christianity. The well attended event took place at Steinway Hall in New York City
    1876(30thof Shevat, 5636): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1877: It was reported that the Purim Association will host a masked ball at Delmonico’s on March 1st in celebration of this minor Jewish festival.

    1877: A reception celebrating Purim was held today at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews.  The event was hosted by the lady managers of the well-maintained facility located at 87th Street and Avenue A in New York City.

    1877: Professor Felix Adler delivered a detailed laudatory address to a mostly Jewish audience at Standard Hall on the life and teachings of Baruch Spinoza.  The 200th anniversary of the death of the famous Jewish Dutch philosopher provided the impetus for the “panegyric.”

    1880(13th of Adar, 5640) Ta'anit Esther

    1881: It was reported today that the will of Louis Strauss of San Francisco includes bequests to the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Home Society of San Francisco ($10,000), and the Jewish Orphan Asylum of New York ($5,000) as well as three other non-Jewish institutions.

    1881: It was reported today that Marion Calisch, young Jewess kindergarten teacher who disappeared mysteriously, has been re-united with her parents and taken home.  The police are still investigating the matter since they do not find Ms Calisch’s explanation of events creditable.

    1882: A mass meeting is scheduled to be held at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia during which the attendees will express their outrage at the treatment of Russian Jews by the Czarist government.  The multi-denominational array of speakers will be expressing their sympathy with the plight of the refugees, some of whom have just arrived in the City of Brotherly Love.

    1882: It was reported today that John W. Foster will be deliver a lecture on “The Czar and His People” before the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in Chickering Hall.  The New York event will be a benefit for Jewish refugees who have fled persecution in Russia.
    1882: A Purim celebration for the Temple Beth-El Sunday School students was held at the Terrace Garden this afternoon in New York City.

    1882: The Young Men’s Association of Temple Beth-El sponsored a grand ball in Terrace Garden.  This Purim celebration was organized by Nathan Ullman, Louis Lowenfels and Samuel Eiseman.

    1885: Birthdate of Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II, who personally saved Rachel Cohen and two of her children from the Nazi death camps.

    1887: Relief expedition to rescue the apostate Jew turned Ottoman official Emin Pasha, under the command of Henry M. Stanley, left Zanzibar for its next stop, Banana at the mouth of the Congo River.

    1888: Birthdate of John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State from 1953 through 1959.  No, Dulles was not Jewish. But this patrician Cold Warrior did play a major role in American Israeli relations and his effect was less than positive.  He sided with the Soviets in their support of Nasser during the Suez crisis of 1956.  He led the forces that put pressure on Israel to withdraw from the Sinai and Gazaleaving the terrorist bases in tact while propping up the Egyptian dictator.  Dulles and Eisenhower’s misguided action led to the development of the independent French nuclear capability and to the Six Day War in 1967.

    1891: Charles W. Foster began serving as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, a position which gave him considerable control over the increasing influx of Jews from Russia and Poland; a fact that would be duly noted later in appeals made to him by leaders of the American Jewish Committee.

    1892: “No Mercy For the Jews” published today provided a detailed account of the report prepared by Colonel John B. Weber who had represented the 33rdDistrict of New York in the 49th and 50th Congresses and Dr. Walter Kempster on the “conditions and treatment of the Jewish subjects of the Czar.  The report which was prepared for the House Committee on Immigration, “sets forth calmly, dispassionately and with a careful regard to accuracy...a state of things unheard of in modern times.” 

    1894: In Philadelphia, PA, a non-sectarian memorial service in memory of the late George W. Childs was held at Keneseth Israel.

    1894: It was reported today that a member of the Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore has contributed a paper on the “The Booth” the famous family of 19thcentury thespians.  According to the paper, they were originally a Jewish family from Spain named “Cabana.”  When one of the ancestors settled in England he translated the family name into English and that back the family name – Booth

    1895: “Once Famous, Now Forgotten” published today described the life of Bernard Bauer, the Hungarian Jew who converted to Catholicism, where, as Father Maria Berhnard he became a popular preacher in France and the confessor of Empress.  This meant that he was following in the footsteps of Hermann Cohen, the Jewish pianist who converted and gained fame as Father Hermann.

    1898: A social event is scheduled to be held today to raise funds for Jewish hospital to be built in Brooklyn.  Currently there are no Jewish hospitals in Brooklyn and Robert Strahl, Sigmund Wechsler and Charles Levy are among those leading the drive to remedy this deficiency

    1899: It was reported today that the Junior Association of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews had participated in the annual Purim reception that had been held at the home on 106th Street.

    1899: Paul Julius von Reuter founder of the news agency Reuters passed away.  Reuter was born in 1816 and his name was Israel Beer Josaphat.  He left his uncle's bank in the German town of Gottingeng and established what would become the world's greatest wire service in 1848. No Kaddish was said since he had converted and became a Lutheran in 1845 after having moved to London.

    1901: Birthdate of Zeppo Marx, one of the famous Marx Brothers
    1903: Dr. Kaufmann Kohler, the senior Rabbi at New York’s Temple Beth-El has been asked to serve as President of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, the first and until recently, when a conservative seminary was established in New York, the only college in America designed for the education of Rabbis.
    1903: “Zionist committees set out today to investigate the feasibility of a British proposal to have Jews colonize El-Arish” which is located on the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai Peninsula.   
    1903:Herzl receives a telegram from the commission in El Arish: "Vicinity has made a favorable impression."

    1907: Birthdate of actor Shimen Rushkin.  Born in Poland, he gained famed in America in televisions and a variety of films including Fiddler on the Roof and the original version of The Producers.  He passed away in 1967.

    1908: Continued massacres in Setatt drive Jews to Casablanca for safety. During this period the Jewish population of all Moroccois somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000.

    1914: Maurice and Ada Nudelman Kallis gave birth to  Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman, whose donation of artworks by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Alexander Calder greatly bolstered the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s standing as an exhibitor of modern art.
    1919: The funeral for the Abraham Jesse Dittenhoefer, the native South Carolinian who was the last living elector to have voted for Lincoln in 1864, will be held at his home this morning at ten o’clock.

    1919: Birthdate of Brooklyn born cellist  Fred Katz.

    1920: In Germany, the Nazi party endorsed its own platform consisting of twenty-five points. Seven of these points concerned the Jews.
    1921: Greek authorities expropriate the old Jewish cemetery in Smyrna.

    1923: The price of bread rose to 2,000 marks in Berlin.  This hyper-inflation wiped people’s life savings and destroyed the basic faith of the middle class in many of the existing political and social institutions.  It laid the groundwork for the rise of political extremism that would make the Communists and the Nazis the dominant political forces in the 1930’s.

    1923:In an article entitled “Palestine Relief Work Extended,” Doctor Isaac M. Rubinow, the director of the Hadassah Medical Organization describes the positive changes that the work of the Hadassah doctors and nurses has had on the citizens of Palestine including Jews, Arabs, Moslems and Christians.  When Dr. Rubinow went to Israel in 1919 the unit consisted of 43 nurses and doctors.  Today four hundred medical personnel sponsored by Hadassah support five major hospitals and several field hospitals.  As a sign as of its commitment to “heal the wounds of prejudice” all Hadassah hospitals and clinics are open to Moslems and Christians as well as Jews.  To ensure equality of treatment, the staff members do not maintain a private practice and there are no private rooms in the medical facilities.  Everybody is treated in a democratic fashion on modern hospital wards.  The Hadassah Medical Organization has established a modern infant welfare plan under the management of pediatricians at Rothschild Hospital in Jerusalem and a department of school hygiene “which has saved thousands of children from blindness and other ailments by regular examination for and treatment of trachoma and various forms of skin diseases.”

    1928: In New York City, Dr and Mrs. Henry Stern gave birth to Richard Gustave Stern,the best American author of whom you have never heard…” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1928: Birthdate of Larry Gelbart, television producer responsible for the hit show “MASH.”

    1928: Birthdate of Shlomo Kalo, a native of Bulgaria who survived the Holocaust and made Aliyah in 1949.  He gained fame as a microbiologist as well as a poet and an author of works of fictions and non-fiction.

    1932: Immigrant Adolf Hitler officially became a German citizen.  Hitler was born in Austria.  His Germanic connection was ethnic rather than political.  His formal connection with the government of Germanybegan when he joined the Kaiser’s army in 1914.

    1933: The Literary Digest, the magazine that would go out of business after picking Alf Landon to win the election in 1936, published “Israel’s Alarm at Hitler’s Rise.”

    1935:  Birthdate of Sally Lowenthal, better known to most Americans as talk show hostess Sally Jesse Raphael.

    1936: Rose Pesotta joined the Goodyear Rubber workers' sit-in as an organizer of the strike which temporarily closed the largest tire factory in the world.

    1937(14th of Adar, 5697): Purim

    1937: In London, Winston Churchill met Emery Reves for the first time. Reeves was a Hungarian born Jew whose birth name was Imre Rvesz who had become a leading literary agent for European democratic leaders, a role he would soon assume for Churchill.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that The Times of London criticized, in its leading article, the delay shown by the Colonial Office in appointing a new technical commission which would advise how to implement the proposed by the Royal (Peel) Commission and the League of Nations partition of Palestine. 

    1939: Heinrich Himmler reportedly issued a secret decree designed to get of Germany’s Jews by encouraging emigration. This report would seem to lack credibility given the impediments that the German government placed in the way of Jews leaving Nazi control.

    1939: In Britain, the Picture Post published the first of two photo-journalist presentations that supported the call for Winston Churchill’s return to an active role in the Government.  Stefan Lorant was the editor and designer for the Picture Post was the moving force behind the article.  Lorant was a Hungarian born Jew who had worked in Germany before being imprisoned at Dachau in 1933.

    1941: The 1941 February Strike (aka The Strike of February 1941) began today.  The strike was organized in the Netherlands as protest following pogroms that had taken place in Amsterdam’s Jewish neighborhoods.

    1945: Birthdate of Amram Mitzna “an Israeli politician and former general. He is the acting mayor of Yeruham, the former mayor of Haifa (1993–2003) and lead the Labour Party from 2002 to 2003.”

    1946: Three RAF installations were attacked in Palestine tonight resulting in damage valued at $2,000,000,000.  Fourteen planes were destroyed outright and another 8 planes were damaged so badly that they were beyond repair.

    1947: Birthdate of Gary Rosenblatt who has served as editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, The Jewish News of Detroit, The Atlanta Jewish Times and The Jewish Week of New York

    1947: British Foreign Minister Bevin continues his anti-Semitic rhetoric attacking Zionism and defending theArabs who have been in Palestine “for 2,000 years.”

    1947: The SS President Warfield set sail from Baltimore, MD on a voyage which would sail her into the history books as The Exodus.

    1948: The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia takes control of government in Czechoslovakia and the period of the Third Republic ends.  The Communist seizure of power was a major step in the hardening of positions during the early days of the Cold War.  It galvanized pro western forces in Europe to participate in what would become NATO.  It also helped interantionalists (many of whom were Jewish) in the United States to overcome isolationist opposition America taking the lead in opposing Soviet imperialism.  For the Jews of Palestine who were already facing Arab attacks prior to the pending departure of the British, this turn of events was beneficial.  With the approval of their Soviet masters, the new Czech government would allow the shipment of surplus ME-109 aircraft that was stored in Czechoslovakia to Israel at the moment of the creation of the Jewish state.  In one of the great ironies of history, the first combat aircraft flown by Israeli pilots were former German fighter planes shipped from Communist Czechoslovakia.

    1950: "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca premiered on NBC. Writers included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Woody Allen. This was an early hour long variety - primarily comedy - show that dominated the airwaves in its weekend time slot.  And it was live when live meant live.  Yes, three of those mentioned above were Jewish.  But by now you have come to expect a connection between Jewish and Humor
    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that after Jordan asked Britain to intervene against what he called Israeli "aggression" and invoked the Jordanian-British pact of mutual assistance, the British government officially disclosed that it considered the possibility of stationing its armed forces on Jordanian territory.

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that Hevrat Ovdim (the Histadrut's General Cooperative Society), together with the Histadrut's pension funds and other organizations, mobilized funds for the construction of the first huge hotel and rest house in Eilat. Eilat is Israel's southern port.  Early on, the Israelis sought to make it a tourist haven as well as a port that would be a gateway to Africa and Asia.  The blockade of Eilat by the Egyptians in 1967 was the official act of war that provided the justification under international law for what would become the Six Days War.

    1954: Nasser became Egyptian premier. The “man behind the throne” who had masterminded the downfall of the Egyptian monarchy now took center stage and took his country down a road to repeated war with Israel as well as doom and disgrace.

    1957(24th of Adar I, 5717): Mark Aldanov, aka Mark A Landau, Russian born author and chemist passed away at the age of 70.

    1957(24th of Adar I, 5717): B. P. Schulberg passed away. Born Percival Schulberg in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1892, he took the name Benjamin from the boy in front of him when registering for school to avoid mockery for his British name. He worked in the fledgling film industry in New York City until 1919 when he moved to Hollywood, California where he operated "Preferred Pictures" and was responsible for making Clara Bow a star. He joined Louis B. Mayer to form "Mayer-Schulberg Studio" but after Mayer became part of MGM, Schulberg would join with Adolph Zukor and became the head of Paramount Pictures. In an era when the film industry was filled with conservative studio executives, B.P. Schulberg was a "New Deal" liberal, described by Moving Pictures magazine as "a political liberal in the reactionary world of Mayer and Hearst." His wife Adeline Jaffe-Schulberg founded a talent agency taken over by her brother, producer/talent agent Sam Jaffe. She spent little time with Hollywood society women, instead working for charities that aided the poor and promoting socialism. She subsequently had a literary agency in New York. They were the parents of renowned novelist and screenwriter, Budd Schulberg, producer Stuart Schulberg, and writer Sonya Schulberg O'Sullivan.In a power struggle at Paramount, Schulberg left the studio in 1937 and remained out of the business until 1940 when he began producing for Columbia Pictures. He produced six films for Columbia in three years until he retired in 1943.

    1960: Lillian Hellman's "Toys in the Attic" premiered in New York City.

    1963(1st of Adar, 5723): Melville J. Heskovits passed away.The American born anthropologist established African and African American studies in American academia. Herskovits's controversial classic The Myth of the Negro Pastis about African cultural influences on American blacks. He also helped forge the concept of cultural relativism, particularly in his book Man and His Works.

    1967:Birthdate of Jonathan Saul Freedland “a British journalist, who writes a weekly column for The Guardian and a monthly piece for the Jewish Chronicle. Freedland has previously written for The Daily Mirror and as of September 2005, he writes each Thursday for the London Evening Standard. He is the son of Michael Freedland, the biographer and journalist.

    1970(19th of Adar I, 5730): Latvian born American painter and print maker Mark Rothko born Marcus Rothkowitz passed away whose unusual work. includes the 1961 painting “Blue, Orange, Red.”

    1973: Steven Sondheim's musical "Little Night Music" premiered at the Shubert Theater in New YorkNYfor the first of its 601 performances.

    1975(14th of Adar, 5735): Purim

    1986:  Birthdate of actor Justin Berfeld who plays Reese on “Malcolm in the Middle.”

    1988(7th of Adar, 5748): Eighty year old William G. Braude who has served as a rabbi for 40 years at Congregation Sons of Israel and David, Temple Beth-El in Providence, R.I., passed away today. A native of Lithuania, he came to the United States in 1920 where he earned degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College. He also taught at Yale, Brown, Hebrew University and Leo Baeck College in London.

    1988: Secretary of State George Schultz arrived in Israel today on the first of four day mission to the Middle East designed to explore reaction to recent American peace proposal. Shultz called on Israel to make ''decisions of historic proportions'' to help change the status quo in the Middle East when greeted by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres who responded by saying that this is ''a most demanding period of our life, facing probably the most complicated issue of the day.''

    1991: The barrage of Iraqi scud attacks that began on January 18th came to an end today.  During that period 39 missiles were fired into Israel.

    1994(14th of Adar, 5754): Purim

    1994 (14th of Adar, 5754): Eighty- year old Sam Eisenstadt was assaulted with an axe while walking in the center of Kfar Saba. Sam died of his wounds shortly afterwards.

    1994: In one of the most shameful acts committed by a Jew, American-born Baruch Goldstein opened fire inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he was beaten to death by worshippers. 

    1999: The Reuters News Agency commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of its founder,Paul Julius Reuter, by launching a university award in Germany.

    1999: Disney named Bob Iger president of Walt Disney International, the business unit that oversees Disney's international operations, as well as chairman of the ABC Group. Disney called the change a promotion for Iger. But the company's insistence was initially viewed with skepticism, as some thought Iger was merely being removed from day-to-day authority at ABC since ABC had been struggling.

    2000: Hilary Koprowski, a Polish Jew, was honored with a reception at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first administration of his oral polio vaccine. At the reception, he received commendations from the United States Senate, the Pennsylvania Senate and Governor Tom Ridge.

    2006: Tens of thousands of people marched through Paris in memory of Ilan Halimi, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed two weeks ago in an attack that authorities say was partly motivated by anti-Semitism.

    2006: American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a group of four journalists and a pair of U.S. cancer researchers have each won $1 million Dan David awards.


    2007: In Amsterdam, an exhibition styled “Looted, But from Whom?,” an exhibition about art objects which were either acquired by forced sale or stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis during the Second World War, closed.

    2007: Yaakov Edri “was appointed be responsible for Israel’s sixtieth anniversary celebrations.

    2007: Yaakov Edri “was questioned under caution on suspicion of having tried to receive personal benefits in return for promoting a police commander, Ya'akov Zigdon, whilst he was Deputy Minister of Internal Security” and denied the charges.

    2007: The Sunday New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Bambi vs. GodzillaOn the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business by David Mamet, George Gershwin His Life and Work by Howard Pollack and Overture by Yael Goldstein.

    2007: Corresponds to the 7th day of Adar which “traditionally marks the birth and the death of Moses.  This is a minor fast date “observed by members of Jewish burial societies to atone for any acts of disrespect which they may unwittingly have committed toward the dead.”

    2008: In New York City, the 92nd Street Y presents “Life is a Cabaret: A Tribute to Fred Ebb” highlighting the decades long collaboration between Jewish lyricist Fred Ebb and composer John Kander that produced such works as Cabaret, Zorba, Chicago, Woman of the Year, Kiss of the Spider Woman andCurtains

    2008: Newsweekreported on the financial loss suffered by the New England Patriots owner, Jewish businessman Robert Kraft, as a result of the Pats failure to have a perfect 19-0 season.  Anticipating a Super Bowl victory, Kraft had applied for trademarks to use phrases such as “19-0” and Perfect Season” on a litany of gear including greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles, kites and temporary tattoos.  The trademarks are worthless and sale of the merchandize never materialized.

    2008: Time reported on the recent death of 14 term California Congressman Tom Lantos the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the U.S. Congress.  Lantos was sixteen when the Nazis occupied his native Hungarywhere he escaped the death camps and fought against the Nazis.

    2009: In New York, famed Italian performer Moni Ovadiahis presents a performance “Kavanah” (intention and participation through a chant), a reflection on the Hebraic liturgical tradition and its complex maze of meanings and sources.

    2009:A fresh exhibition in New York that has put a spotlight on postcards used during and after the turn of the 20th century meant to depict important aspects of Jewish life comes to a close. “The show at the Bernard Museum of Judaica includes more than 200 photographic postcards that portray a variety subject matter, including Jews' emigration from Europe, arrival in the New World, the building of synagogues and Zionism. The exhibition also offers a glimpse into communities that were once considered "exotic," including Yemenite and Bukharan Jews in traditional dress. Many of these cards were created and mailed during the years 1898 to 1918, a period known as the "Golden Age of the Postcard." Together the cards provide a visual resource for the study of modern Jewish history. Some of the postcards were designed as holiday greetings and were accompanied by Yiddish poems. Others highlighted the grand synagogues that existed in the United States and in Europe - many of which were destroyed during the Holocaust.”

    2009: Rosh Chodesh Adar – First day of Adar, 5769

    2009:Two Kassam rockets were fired across the Gaza border into Israel today.One of the rockets fired from Gaza hit an agricultural area near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev region, and rescue services were yet to find the second rocket.

    2009:A British bishop whose denial of the Holocaust led Argentina to order him out of that country returned to England today. Richard Williamson, a bishop with the conservative Society of St. Pius X, was told to leave Argentina or face expulsion amid criticism over a television interview in which he said no Jews were gassed during the Holocaust. The controversial bishop had been excommunicated 20 years ago, but Pope Benedict XVI last month lifted the excommunication decree on Williamson and three other bishops. The four had been excommunicated because they were consecrated by the late ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent _ a move the Vatican said was an unacceptable violation of the pope's authority. The recent lifting of the decree by the pope, which angered many Jews worldwide, came days after Williamson was shown in a Swedish state TV interview saying historical evidence indicates there were no Nazi gas chambers and that a maximum of 300,000 people died in concentration camps in the Holocaust. Most historians believe about 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League also found records of speeches and letters by Williamson when he was based at a seminary in Winona, Minnesota. He was quoted in one 1989 speech as saying that "Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism."The Vatican has ordered Williamson to retract his comments before he can be admitted as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. Williamson has apologized for causing distress to the pope but has not recanted. A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, who declined to be named in keeping with the group's policy, said he had no idea what Williamson would do next. The spokesman said that the conference had no relationship with Williamson. The Society of St. Pius X in Great Britain declined comment today.

    2010: During a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee held today, Illinois Rep. Don Manzullo, a Republican, asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to intervene on behalf of a gefilte fish factory in his district. The factory, Schafer Fishery is located in Thomson, Illinois. Manzullo is concerned about several hundred jobs at the fishery in his district and he said Israel had imposed a 120-percent tax on nine containers of Asian carp that had been made into gefilte fish patties.

    2010:As he arrived at Jerusalem District Court for the opening of his trial today Ehud Olmert became the first former prime minister in Israel's history to stand trial for alleged corruption.

    2010: “Andy Warhol's Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century: In Retrospect” is scheduled to open at the Washington DCJCC.

    2010:Novelist, critic and broadcaster Howard Jacobson is scheduled to appear at the Washington DCJCC.

    2010(11th of Adar, 5770): Ninety-two year old Eugene L. Moore, a past commander of the Department of Florida Jewish War Veterans, passed in Boynton Beach, Florida.

    2010(11th of Adar, 5770):Herta Herzog-Massing,Austrian-American social scientist specializing in communication studies,” passed away

    2011(21stof Adar I, 5771): Ninety-two year old Eugene Moore, a past commander of the Department of Florida Jewish War Veterans passed away in Boynton Beach, FL.

    2011:Ahead of Time, “graceful portrait of the extraordinary life of 99-year-old American journalist and humanitarian Ruth Gruber whose efforts led to the rescue of 1,000 Jewish Holocaust refugees” and The Judge, a documentary featuring the former Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court, are scheduled to shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:Today, the IDF instructed teachers to keep children from going outside to play in kindergartens located in towns near Gaza. The order comes from concerns of further firing from Gaza after two Grad rockets landed in Beersheba earlier this week, causing building damage, with five people treated for shock. The IDF also instructed residents of towns surround Gaza to be alert over the weekend.

    2012: In London, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jeffery Goldberg and Maureen Kendler are scheduled to a new Haggadah edited by Foer and translated by Englander as part of Jewish Book Week.

    2012; “Jewish solders in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at Young Israel of Woodmere in Woodmere, NY.

    2012: “Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women” is scheduled to be shown at B'nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany, NY.

    2012: HaOlam II, at the end of which the second official National Collegiate Jewish A Cappella will named, is scheduled to take place at Adas Israel in Washington, DC.

    2012: Indian intelligence services have considerable evidence that Iran was behind this month's New Delhi terrorist attack, but are not releasing it in a bid to avoid public confrontation with the Islamic republic, an Israeli security source says.

    2012:Hundreds gathered in front of Ministry of Interior offices in Tel Aviv today to protest the deportation of families whose petitions for residency permits were rejected.


    2013: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to co-host “Arnold Bernstein and Gerd Bucerius,” a lecture and discussion on the relationship between shipping pioneer Arnold Bernstein and Gerd Bucerius, the lawyer and published who defended him against the Nazis.

    2013:Burglars broke into the home of an employee at the Prime Minister's Office today. Initial reports indicate a computer was taken from the house, which is located in Moshav Beit Yitzhak in the Sharon. The content of the computer is still unknown. The burglars managed to escape the scene undetected, and police have launched an investigation.(As reported by Yaniv Kubovich)

    2013: Over 10,000 Palestinians attended the funeral procession today for the detainee Arafat Jadarat, who died on Saturday in Meggido Prison at the age of 30. The funeral ended without disturbances; however the IDF remains on high alert in anticipation of continued riots. (As reported by Yaniv Kubovich and Chaim Levinson|)

    2013:Israel carried out a successful test of its upgraded Arrow III missile interceptor today. Defense sources said it was the first flight test of the advanced interceptor. (As reported by Gil Cohen)

    2014: Dr. Daniel Rynhold is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy” at the Skirball Center.

    2014: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to complete her two day trip to Israel.

    2014: Kay Menchel is scheduled to lecture on “The Short Stories of Bernard Malmud” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host  YIVO, Freud, and American Jewry: Discourse on Eastern Europe as a Talking Cure” for American Jewish Ambivalence” in which Marcus Krah explores how American Jews in the 1940s-50s used competing narratives of aspects of the East European Jewish past - from the shtetl, to pogroms, to Hasidism and Socialism - to find meaning in their American present.


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    February 26

    11 BCE: According to some sources, the day on which Herod dedicates the renovated Holy Temple in Jerusalem. According to Heinrich Graetz, the building project began in 20 BCE, the 18th year of Herod’s reign. A year and half later, (18 BCE) the inner part of the Temple was finished. It took another eight years to build the outer walls, courts and galleries. The dedicatory celebration took place on “the very anniversary of the day when twenty years previously, Herod, with blood stained hands, had made himself master of Jerusalem.”  Herod reportedly built this modernized version of the Second Temple because he loved to build things and because he was trying to show his Roman masters that he was the beloved ruler of his people.  Regardless, in one sense, Herod sealed the doom of the Temple and the Jewish people because he placed it under the protection of Rome.  What Rome protected Rome could destroy.

    364:  Valentinian I is proclaimed Roman Emperor. He was the last Emperor to rule the Empire alone.  A month later, he would appoint his brother Valens Emperor in the East, while he would rule over the Western portion of the Empire. Valentinian belonged to a minority sect called the Arians.  In an attempt to keep peace in the Empire, in 371 he issued a proclamation allowing Christians and Arians to practice their religious belief without incurring any “political disadvantage. This toleration was extended to the Jews.”

    1147: The Crusaders massacred the Jews of Wurtzburg; so much for all of those tales of knights and chivalry.

    1418: Emperor Sigsmund “issued commands to all the German princes and magistrates, cities and subjects, to allow” the Jews the full enjoyment of the privileges and immunities given them by the Pope who had denounced attacks on the persons and property of the Jews and the practice of forced conversion.

    1498: Isaac Abravanel completed "Mashmia' Yeshu'ah" (Proclaiming Salvation), one of three works “devoted to the exposition of the Jewish belief concerning the Messiah and the Messianic age.”

    1569: Pius V issued Hebraeorum gens, a papal bull that accused the Jews of a variety of evil deeds including the practice of magic.

    1569:  Pope Pius V ordered the eviction of all Jews from the Papal States (excluding Rome and Verona) who refuse to convert. Most of the approximately 1000 Jewish families decided to emigrate.

    1802 Birthdate of French man of letters Victor Hugo the “preeminent biblical poet among the French Romantics.” He eulogized Isaiah and Ezekiel in William Shakespeare (1864) and injected some basic knowledge of the Kabbalah (probably gained from his Jewish admirer, Alexandre Weill) into Les Contemplations (1856).

    1814: In Holland, a law was enacted officially ending the French rule that had been overseen by Napoleon’s.  The Jews supported the new government under William I and the Netherlands proved to be a welcoming home for the Jewish population which thrived there throughout the rest of the 19th century.

    1825: Marylandremoved the requirement of a Christian oath for public office, and substituted a declaration of belief in reward and punishment and the World to Come. This obviously made life in Maryland easier on its Jewish citizens. On the very last day of the session of the legislature an act "for the relief of the Jews in Maryland," which had already been passed by the Senate, was passed by the House of Delegates by a vote of twenty-six to twenty-five.  Only fifty-one out of eighty members were present for the vote.  The bill provided that "every citizen of this state professing the Jewish religion" who shall be appointed to any office of profit or trust shall, in addition to the required oaths, make and subscribe a declaration of his belief in a future state of rewards and punishments instead of the declaration now required by the government of the state.

    1829:  Birthdate of Levi Strauss.  The man who made the riveted blue denim trouser an icon of American fashion called “Levi’s” was none other than a Jewish immigrant from Bavaria.
    1848: In the wake of revolutions that swept Europe, the Second French Republic comes into being.  The Republic last a mere four years when it was swept aside when Louis Napoleon (Bonaparte’s nephew) proclaimed the second empire.  Just prior to the birth of the Republic, the Jew’s Oath had been declared unconstitutional by the French courts.  This opened the way to further participation of the Jews in the general world of French business, society and culture.

    1853: The New York Times published a portion of a paper present  by Dr. A.K. Gardner on "the meats of New York" that was delivered before the Academy of Medicine and was published in the New York Journal of Medicine. According to Dr. Garnder unlike the other butchers, the Jewish butchers "do not prostrate the animal with the ax but first suspend it and then cut this throat.  This must be performed in a peculiar manner.  It is necessary to have along knife, which must be from rust, nic, or any imperfection of the cutting edge."  Only one cut is allowed.  If more cuts are required, “the animal is deemed unfit for food for the Hebrews.  After the animal is dead, he is upon the fore-quarters.  From the difficulty of removing the blood vessels, as required by their law, from the hind quarters, this portion is rarely eaten by the Hebrews, but the mark is placed upon them for the benefit of many Christians, who prefer the meat thus examined.  The butcher paid by the Society in which he worships an annual salary and in addition he receives a small sum per animal from the keeper of the slaughter house for his services."

    1861: The Fundamental Law of February 26, 1861 was promulgated in Austria today after which Raphael Basch, he served as the official spokesman government of Anton Ritter von Schmerling. Born in Bohemia, Basch alternated between being a journalist and political activist who actually became part of successive Austrian governments.  This latter element was unusual for a Jew living in the Austrian Empire at this time.

    1865(30thof Shevat, 5625): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1873: It was reported today that the recent Hebrew Charity Ball in Philadelphia raised $7,920 after expenses.  The money has already been distributed to several of the city’s Jewish institutions.

    1876(1stof Adar, 5636): Rosh Chodesh Adar and the Sabbath of Shekel.

    1877(13thof Adar, 5637): Fast of Esther

    1877: “The Home for Aged Hebrews” published today described it as “one of the most delightful” institutions of its kind in New York City.  The building which was originally a country home of the Astor family, offers views of the East River and Long Island Sound..The facility currently is home to 70 older men and women who live in “air well-furnished rooms,” are well clothed and enjoy excellent food on a daily basis which is complimented by wine if so desired.
    1880(14th of Adar, 5640): Purim

    1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association is scheduled to host a Purim entertainment and reception this evening at the Harlem Music Hall.

    1880: In New York, the Purim Association sponsored a ball in the Academy. A tableaux featuring Queen Esther surrounded by the Muses, preceded the evening’s dancing.

    1880: Sixty-year old Dr. Simon Rosenberger, a distinguished Philadelphia, PA and Ida Smith, a servant girl working in his house, were the victims of a mysterious malady. Miss Smith passed away after suffering convulsions brought on possibly by coal gas that had seeped into the house from the cellar.  Rosenberger who is unconscious and near death is thought to be a victim of the case or possibly an ingestion of poison.

    1882: “The Hebrew Charity Ball” published today described plans for the upcoming Purim Association’s upcoming fancy dress ball.  This ball, which has been a part of the New York Social Scene for two decades, will be held at the Academy of Music under the leadership of M.H. Moses, the association’s President.

    1882: A review of “Divorce and Divorce Legislation” by Theodore D. Woolsey notes that the volume includes a chapter devoted to the history of divorce among the Jewish people.

    1882(7th of Adar, 5642): German painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim passed away. He is often regarded as the first Jewish painter of the modern era. His work was shaped by his cultural and religious roots at a time when many of his German Jewish contemporaries chose to convert to Christianity. Oppenheim is considered to be in sympathy with the ideals of the Wissenschaft des Judentums (Science of Judaism) movement, because he remained "fair to the present" without denying his past.

    1888(14thof Adar, 5648): Purim

    1890: In honor of a request made to Charles Frohman by child acting star Elsie Leslie, 500 children from the Industrial Schools of the Associated Hebrew Charities attended today’s matinee performance of the “Prince and the Pauper (Frohman was one of three Jewish brothers from Ohio who were involved with the Broadway theatre before World War I)

    1891: The Purim Association hosted its 30th annual charity ball at the Metropolitan Opera House tonight in New York City.

    1892: The New York Times“has received $20 for Russian Hebrew immigrants from ‘A.Y.E.’”

    1893: “New Things in Lawsuits” published today described a lawsuit brought by Max Bronestein against three New Jersey constables for desecrating his home “by cooking and eating meals which had not been prepared according to the Hebraic usages and principles” including the use of “pork sausage.”

    1894: “Zangwill’s New Jewish Stories” published today provided a review The King of Schnorrers: Grotesques and Fantasies by Israel Zangwill.

    1894: It was reported today that Rabbi Henry Berkowitz offered the opening prayer and then presided over the non-denominational memorial service held in Philadelphia at Keneseth Israel in memory of George W. Childs who was a newspaper and public benefactor in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Joseph Krauskopf the rabbi at Keneseth Israel delivered an address that highlight Mr. Child’s philanthropic work.

    1896: More than 3,000 people are expected to attend tonight’s charity ball sponsored by the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home.  This ball is the successor to Purim balls which were a popular social and fundraising event in New York City for many years.  Among the expected attendees are Mayor Strong and Governor Morton.

    1898: “London Literary Letter” published today described Israel Zangwill’s new novel as being “a Jewish story” similar to the one that was his “first great success.”  Zangwill’s attendance at the “congress called to consider” “the project of colonizing Palestine with Jews” means “that he intends to do more than write stories of the Ghetto.”

    1898: It was reported today that David Christie Murray, the English author, “is emulating Zola in taking up the defense of Dreyfus. 

    1898: Emile Zola appeals his conviction.

     1898: Picquart is dismissed from the Army.

    1899(16thof Adar, 5659) Shushan Purim – the 15th of Adar fell on Shabbat

    1899: The children attending the religious school at Congregation B’nai Jershurun on the corner of 65th Street and Madison Avenue celebrated Purim today.

    1901: Birthdate of Aharon Zisling, the native of Minsk who helped to found Youth Aliyah, the Palmach and Ahdut HaAovoda and was Israel’s first Minister of Agriculture.

    1903: Rabbi Kaummann Kohler was elected to the presidency of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    1903:Leopold Greenberg arrives in Brindisi and sends a short telegram whose obscurity of wording dismays Herzl.

    1903: A paper by Victor Rosewater was read at The National Convention on Municipal Ownership and Public Franchises which is meeting at the Reform Club in New York City.  Rosewater was arguing for the ownership of electric lighting plants by municipalities. Rosewater was the editor of the Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee, an important Republican political leader and an active member of the Jewish community.

    1906: The New York Times reported that the Motor Yacht Club of Great Britain has received two challenges from E.J. Schroeder of New York, owner of the Dixie, to compete in races for the Hamsworth Cup and the International Cup which was won last year by Napier II, a vessel owned by Lord Montague and Lionel Rothschild.

    1916: Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who has just returned from Constantinople, is to be honored today by the public at the Great Hall of the College of the City of New York.  Cleveland H. Dodge, acting on behalf of the Mayor, is chairman of the committee sponsoring the event.  Among the speaks will be Mayor Mitchell, Bishop Greer, Oscar S. Straus, Rabbi Wise John H. Finley, President Sidney E. Mezes and Ambassador Morgenthau himself.

    1916: Birthdate of award winning composer Mordecai Seter.  Born in Russia, he moved to Palestine in 1923 where he spent the rest of his life.  Among his earliest work was The SabbathCantata, patterned after Renaissance music.  Several of his most important works included Biblical themes.  These included music for the ballet Judith commissioned by Martha Graham, Jephthah’s Daughter commissioned for the Bat Sheva Dance Company and a symphony simply entitled Jerusalem

    1918(14th of Adar, 5678): As World War I enters its final year, Jews celebrate Purim

    1920: Major General Louis Bols, the Officer Administering the Government of Palestine, issued an official proclamation that the British government intended to carry out the terms of the Balfour Declaration

    1920: Birthdate of Tony Randall.  Born Leonard Rosenberg in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Randall is best remembered for his role as Felix Unger in the television version of The Odd Couple.  Randall often played light comedic roles in the movies but in reality he was an accomplished actor and very urbane, cultured individual.  During the 1950’s, Randall lived near the Met.  In the evening he would take around the neighborhood often stopping in to catch the last two or three acts of that evening’s opera.  As Ed Murrow said when visiting Randall’s apartment during “Person to Person,” Randall’s apartment was not only filled with books, but Randall had actually read the books.

    1924: The trial against Hitler began in Munich.  Hitler was on trial for his part in attempted coup that began in a Munich Beer Hall.  The coup failed.  Hitler was found guilty and sent to jail.  While in jail, he wrote Mien Kampf.  He was treated like a celebrity while in jail and came out stronger politically than when he went in.

    1925:As a sign of the growing power of the Nazi Party, The Völkischer Beobachter the party’s official newspaper begins publishing again.

    1926: In London, David and Rose Pollack gave birth to Dr. William Pollack, who in 1980 along with his colleagues won the Lasker Award “for excellence in biomedical research.”

    1926: In New York City, Isaac and Bertha Belack, Jewish immigrants from Russia, gave birth to Doris Belack, the veteran actress known for her roles on “Law & Order” and the hit comedy “Tootsie” who was also the wife of Philip Rose, the producer of “A Raisin in the Sun.” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1927: Ten year-old Yeudi Menuhin made is his European debut as a soloist with the Lamoureux Orchestra under the baton of Paul Paray in Paris

    1928: In Kfar Malal, Shmuel Scheinerman of Brest-Litovsk and Vera (née Schneirov) Scheinerman of Mogilev gave birth to Ariel Scheinermann who would gain as soldier-statesman Ariel Sharon.

    1930:  Birthdate of pianist Lazar Berman.  Born inLeningrad to Jewish parents, he placed third in the piano competition at Budapest in 1956.
    1931(9th of Adar, 5691): Otto Wallach passed away at the age of 93.  The German born chemist was a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1910.
    1932(19th of Adar I, 5692):Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, or Sonnenfeld, passed away.  Born in 1848. He “was the Chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine. He was originally given the name "Chaim", however, the name "Yosef" was added to him while he experienced an illness. Sonnenfeld was born in Verbó, Hungary (today: Vrbové, Slovakia). His father, Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zonnenfeld, died when Chaim was five years old. He was a student of Rabbi Samuel Benjamin Sofer (the Ksav Sofer), the son of Rabbi Moses Sofer (the Chasam Sofer). He was also a student of Rabbi Avraham Schag in Kobersdorf (who was himself a disciple of the Chasam Sofer); Sonnenfeld moved from the latter city to Jerusalem in 1873. He became an important figure in Jerusalem's Old City, serving as the right-hand man of Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin and assisting the latter in communal activities, such as the founding of schools and the Diskin Orphanage, and the fight against secularism. He refused to meet with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany who visited the Old City because he believed that the Emperor was a descendant of the nation of Amalek. Sonnenfeld sent a delegate, a former Dutch diplomat and writer who had become a baal teshuva, Dr. Jacob Israël de Haan, to Jordan with a peace proposal for King Abdullah.” Contrary to what some might have claimed, “he had a warm relationship with and mutual respect for Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, although the two were vigorous opponents in many areas. Indeed, in 1913 the two traveled together to Northern Israel to try to return lapsed Jews to Torah Judaism.”
    1933: Birthdate of Anglo-French financier Sir James Michael "Jimmy" Goldsmith.

    1933: A program marking the sixtieth anniversary of the birth of Chaim Nachman Bialik, national Hebrew poet, was held this evening in the auditorium of the College of the City of New York. Bialik’s birthdate was actually January 9, 1873.

    1933(30thof Shevat, 5693): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1933(30thof Shevat, 5693): Therese Loeb Schiff, the daughter of Solomon Loeb and the wife of Jacob Schiff, who “organized a literary series for wealthy German Jewish women, donated ten thousand dollars to the National Council of Jewish Women to help cope with Jewish prostitution among young immigrant women, and lectured for the Consumers League in support of protective legislation to end child labor and the exploitation of women” passed away today.

    1934: The New York Times featured a review of “’The Dream of My People, a film described as “a screen trip though Palestine with Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt” produced by the Palestine-American Film Company now showing at the Acme Theatre which  is also showing “Lot in Sodom.”

    1935: In violation of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler orders the rebuilding of the Luftwaffe.  This is one of the many times the West missed a chance to stop Hitler’s march that would lead to the Holocaust.

    1935: The Jerusalem Shopkeepers Association announced today that it will be conducting a one day work stoppage next week in a “a protest against rising rents and the refusal of the Municipal Council to pass a rent restriction law.”

    1938: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a meeting of the pro-Nazi German-American Volksbund ends in a riot. (A meeting like this in America’s heartland provides part of the background around which FDR made his decisions about the Jews of Europe This is not an excuse. It is an explanation.)

    1939: Jews held protest demonstrations in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and several of the large kibbutzim this evening. The demonstrations were sparked by credible reports from London that the British government intends to create an independent Arab State in Palestine which will be structured in such a way to ensure that Jewish people will be permanently relegated to “minority status.” 

    1939: Israel Rokach, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, sent a telegram to Colonial Secretary of Malcolm MacDonald expressing the displeasure of the 150,000 citizens of his city over what is reported to be the British decision to turn Palestine into an Arab State in which Jews will permanently be a minority.   He wrote that “establishment of a Jewish National Home in the historic land of our ancestors was accepted by fifty-two nations as a sacred trust” and the Jewish people would never agree to accept this newly created permanent minority status.

    1941: In the Netherlands, the citizens of Utrecht and Zaandam staged strikes protesting Nazi raids on the Jews.

    1942:For twelve hours today, between midday and midnight, the Jewish population of Palestine observed a voluntary stoppage of all commercial and business. During this period all persons remained indoors in a self-imposed curfew, as a sign of mourning for the loss of the more than 700 Jews who died when the Struma, sank in the Black Sea north of the Bosporus. The Jewish passengers were trying to escape from Nazi dominated Europe and settle in Palestine, something opposed by the British and the Arabs.

    1944: Birthdate of Ronald Steven Lauder “an American businessman, civic leader, philanthropist, and art collector. Forbes lists Lauder among the richest people of the world with an estimated net worth of $3.0 billion in 2007.”

    1944: Primo Levy and Dr. Leonardo de Benedetti arrive at Auschwitzafter a four day trip from a detention camp at Fossoli in central Italy.

    1944: Shooting begins of the Nazi propaganda film, "The Fuhrer Gives a Village to the Jews" in Theresienstadt.

    1946: As they searched for those responsible for last night’s attacks on three RAF airfields that destroyed and/or severely damaged 22 aircraft, British troops “seized 5,000 Jews today and imposed a paralyzing night traffic ban throughout Palestine.” The British have already found the body of a dead Jew near one of the airfield.  The deceased is assumed to have been one of the attackers.

    1946: “Inveterate Los Angeles Gambler, publicist and nightclub owner W.R. ‘Billy Wilkerson’” who had “bought a thirty-three acre site between the El Rancho Vegas and the airport” “signed a contract with (Meyer) Lansky’s agent, Harry Rothberg, for a syndicate of investors to buy 60 percent of Wilkerson’s property for one million dollars. (The Mob meaning Lansky and Bugys Siegel, would completely buy-out Wilkerson)

    1946: A resolution is scheduled to be introduced today in the United States Senate that would call for a “Congressional investigation of the Palestine situation…The measure calls for a joint House-Senate committee to be sent to the Holy Land to investigate conditions there and report its findings to Congress.”

    1947: Jacob (26) and Niza (22) Gabbai arrived in New York from Palestine today.  The couple is here to continue their education.  The Gabbais were married in Tel Aviv in 1944 while Mr. Gabbai, who was serving with the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, was home one leave.  After the war, Mr. Gabbai became co-editor of the Maavak (Struggle), “a publication of the Young Palestinian League in Tel Aviv, which seeks to integrate the country’s cultural resources.

    1950: Leonard Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety" premiered in New York City.

    1951: Monnett B. Davis presented his credentials as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that an agreement on the future status of the Haifa Refineries was initialed by the representatives of the government, the Consolidated Refineries Ltd. and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Eilat was celebrated by a military parade attended by President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, and "a show of local achievements."

    1954:  Birthdate of singer and actor Michael Bolton. He won the Grammy in 1990 and again in 1992 as the Male, Best Pop Vocal Performance

    1954: Birthdate of Yuli Tamir the veteran of “Aman” who has served as an MK and held various ministerial posts.

    1969(8th of Adar, 5729): Levi Eshkol passed away.  Eshkol is one of the ironic characters in Jewish History.  He was the Prime Minister sandwiched in between such giants as David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir.  Yet this comparative political non-entity was the Prime Minister in 1967.  He was the one who made the decisions that saved the state in those fateful days of May and June.  And he was the Prime Minister who reunited Jerusalemand reclaimed the City of David.

    1974: At its founding convention The American Sephardi Federation announced its goals: First to revitalize Sephardi heritage, and second to provide for aid the underprivileged population in Israel.

    1980: Egyptand Israelexchanged ambassadors for the first time.  This was one of the tangible outcomes of the historic Sadat - Begin Peace Accords.  While the peace may have turned out to be a cold one, the peace has held.

    1984: Reverend Jesse Jackson acknowledged that he called New York City, "Hymietown".  What can I say? Twenty years later we get Mel Gibson and his dad.

    1987:Israeli officials contended tonight that the Tower Commission had played down the Israeli role in the Iranian arms deal as secondary to that of the United States. ''At first glance, it doesn't seem to stress especially the role of Israel; we are not being blamed,'' said Avi Pazner, spokesman for Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. ''But that's at first glance, and we have to study it in depth.'' Unofficially, Government members appeared generally relieved that the report did not disclose any involvement deeper than that already attributed to Israeli officials and middlemen.

    1987(27thof Shevat):Eighty-three year old Fredric R. Mann,  an industrialist and patron of the arts who helped finance music centers in Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, died of cancer this morning in Miami. (As reported by Tim Page)

    1988: Secretary George Shultz is scheduled to meet with Israeli leaders today in an attempt to promote the Bush Administration’s latest peace proposals for the Middle East.

    1988:Settlers from the West Bank demonstrated in Jerusalem today outside the office where Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was meeting with Secretary of State George P. Shultz at the start of a new Middle East peace drive. The demonstrations stood in stark contrast to the expression of other Israelis, notably Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who are willing to consider trading occupied land for peace.

    1988:Naum Meiman a 77-year-old Soviet Jew who battled for 13 years to leave the Soviet Union embraced his daughter when he arrived in Israel today. Mr. Meiman hugged his daughter, Olga Plam, 50, of Boulder, Colo., who left the Soviet Union 14 years ago and had not seen her father since then.  Meiman who is a mathematician said, “Some of us managed to get out. Many are still left behind.'' Soviet authorities said they delayed Mr. Meiman's emigration request because of his ''access to state secrets.'' Mr. Meiman had worked on classified calculations in 1955.

    1989:In an article entitled “Design: Imagine This,” Carol Vogel describes architect Ron Arad's gallery and office including the small back room in which the architect is drafting his design for the new opera house in Tel Aviv.

    1991:The Bank of Israel said today that it would permit foreign companies to issue stocks and bonds on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. But the amount of money a foreign concern could take out of the country would be limited to 20 percent of any new issue. Previously the central bank had turned down applications by foreign firms to issue shares on the stock market. The change of policy "will make the Israeli stock market more international," said Gideon Schurr, speaking for the Bank of Israel."Now we need local investments, not Israeli investments abroad."

    1993: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand. One of the bombers claimed the attack was in retaliation for American support of Israel.  The bombers were later found to be connected with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

    1993(5thof Adar, 5753): Sixty-four year old Carol Solomon author of Report from the Asylum: Afterthoughts of a Shock Patient, “an account of the shock-therapy treatment used to treat patients in asylums, drawn directly from personal experience.”

    1994:The Peace Now supporters rallied tonight in central Jerusalem, demanding an independent inquiry into the Friday massacre and an evacuation of the 400 Jewish settlers living in overwhelmingly Arab Hebron.

    1994:Palestinians rioted and fought with Israeli soldiers across the occupied territories and in predominantly Arab towns in Israel today to protest the massacre here on Friday of at least 40 Arab worshipers by a Jewish settler.

    1996(6th of Adar, 5756):Mieczysław Weinberg passed away. Born in Warsaw in 1919, he moved to Moscow in 1943.  He lived and composed in the Soviet Union for the rest of his life. His musical virtuosity did not keep him from being arrested during the period Stalin’s “Doctor Plot.” (He left a large body of work that included twenty-two symphonies and seventeen string quartets; according to one reviewer he ranked as, "the third great Soviet composer, along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich".

    2002(14thof Adar, 5762): Purim

    2004:A fourth Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” today and ran for 36 previews and 781 performances at the Minskoff Theatre in NYC.

    2005(17th of Adar I, 5765):Henry Anatole Grunwald an Austrian-born journalist and diplomat perhaps best known for his position as managing editor of TIME magazine and editor in chief of Time, Inc passed away today. (As reported by Richard Severo)

    2005(17th of Adar I, 5765): Jeff Raskin passed away at the age of 61. He was an America human-computer interface expert best-known for starting the Macintosh project for Apple Computer in the late 1970s

    2005: In “The Morning After the Tel Aviv Bombing” Joseph M. Hochstein provided a portrait of the indomitable will of the citizens of Tel Aviv in the face of senseless slaughter.

    2006(28th of Shevat, 5766): Sixty-six year old artist and photograph editor Sally C. Fox passed away

    2006(28th of Shevat, 5766): Sir Hans Singer, a refugee from Nazi Germany and a well-known British development economist, passed away.

    2006: In an essay entitled Betty Friedan's Enduring 'Mystique', Rachel Donadio describes the importance of the writings and career of the recently deceased author and feminist.

    2006:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's two chief rabbis, Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger have “questions” for the Archbishop of Canterbury, but will not cancel plans to meet the leader of Britain's state church this May in light of the vote by the General Synod of the Church of England to divest its shares in companies whose products are used by the Israeli government in the territories.

    2007: Members of Histadrut remained on the job giving authorities more time to affect an immediate solution to the problem of salary debts in 40 local authorities. The money is owed to 7,000 to 8,000 employees. One hundred authorities have also failed to make deposits to pension and education funds, even though the employees' contribution has been debited to their salaries. It seems odd that a Jewish state would have such a problem with this issue concerning the Torah injunction, “Do not keep the wages of hired man overnight.

    2008: In New York, The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society presents distinguished writer and journalist Janet Malcolm reading from her stunningly perceptive work Two Lives, in which she pursues the charmed life of famed literary couple Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas while living in a Vichy, France village and pursues the larger question of biographical truth.

    2008: The New York Timesreports on the results of  a survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.  The report indicates that the behavior of American Jews in terms of religious affiliation may be more a function of their behavior as Americans as opposed to their behavior as Jews.  The report supports the bi-modal nature of religious behavior in America– a quest for spirituality which is not necessarily tied to usual patterns of denominational affiliation – which is also apparent in the Jewish community.

    2008(20th of Adar I, 5768):Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron, a former chief of Israel’s general staff and the paratroop commander who planned and led the storied 1976 raid in which Israeli troops freed 103 hijacked hostages at EntebbeAirportin Uganda, in Israel. He was 70. He was the 13th Chief of Staff for the IDF.

    2008:Rabbi Charles A. Klein, a Conservative rabbi and for the last 30 years the spiritual leader of the Merrick Jewish Center-Congregation Ohr Torah,will be installed today as the 59th president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the world’s oldest and largest interdenominational rabbinical board.

    2009: The Nineteenth Annual KOACH Kallah, sponsored by KOACH, the college program of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism opens at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University in Simi Valley, CA.

    2009: In Venezuela, assailants threw an explosive at a Jewish community center today, but nobody was hurt in the. This was the second assault against Venezuela's Jewish community this year. Abraham Garzon, president of the Jewish Community Center, told the local Globovision television news channel that a small explosive resembling a pipe-bomb was lobbed at the building in Caracas before dawn today. The explosion damaged the doors to the center.
    2009: Today Sergio Widder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for failing to take steps aimed at curbing anti-Semitism.

    2010:Rabbi Barry Baron, Co-Director of the Jewish Welfare Board is scheduled to lead Purim festivities and services at Fort Belvoir. Plans call for the serving of a traditional Shabbat Dinner followed by services led by Rabbi Baron. The JWB is the premier endorser of Military Rabbi’s worldwide.

    2010:Today's issue of Haaretz Magazine is scheduled to publish the exclusive story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank, who served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service's most valuable source in the militant organization's leadership.