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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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    March 9

    590: Bahram Chobin is crowned as King Barham VI of Persia. The newly crowned king enjoyed support among Persian Jews since opposing forces under a general named Mahbad “killed the Jewish followers of the pretender to the throne, Bahram Chobin.”
    1230: Bulgarian tsar Ivan Asen II defeats Theodore of Epirus in the Battle of Klokotnitsa. According to information in the Virtual Jewish Library Jacob b. Elijah wrote a letter in which he reported that two Jews were thrown from a mountaintop for refusing to obey the order of the Czar to put out the eyes of the defeated Greek ruler.

    1244: The Pope ordered the burning of the Talmud.  Those who hate the Jews understand how critical studying and learning are to our survival.  Hence they have always burned our books and outlawed study.

    1276: Augsburg becomes an Imperial Free City in the Holy Roman Empire. The Jewish presence in Augsburg began during the days of the Romans. Existing records show that a Jewish cemetery and synagogue existed by 1276. The Augsburg Municipal Charter of 1276, determining the political and economic status of the Jewish residents, was adopted by several cities in South Germany. “Regulation of the legal status of Augsburg Jewry was complicated by the rivalry between the religious and municipal powers. Both contended with the emperor for jurisdiction over the Jews and enjoyment of the concomitant revenues.”  For more about this ancient Jewish community see
    1316: “Louis the Bavarian granted the city of Worms the privilege of levying on the Jewish community a yearly tax of 100 pounds heller in addition to the 300 pounds it had thitherto paid.”

    1496:  The Jews of Carinthia, Austria were expelled (and not readmitted until 1848).

    1666: Birthdate of George Granville, 1st Baron Lansdowne, the English poet, playwright and political leader.  In 1701 Lord Lansdowne produced “a spurious version” the “Merchant of Venice” entitled “The Jew of Venice.”  In Lansdowne’s version the part of “Shylock was degraded to a kind of low comedy.”  The play would not be performed again for 40 years when Macklin would revive it and begin the hundreds of his sensitive portrayals of Shakespeare’s most famous Jewish character.

    1739: Birthdate of Boston, MA merchant Moses Michael Hays, the son of Judah and Rebecca Hays.  He was one of the founding members of the famous Touro Synagogue.

    1773(14th of Adar, 5533): Purim

    1773: On Purim at the Newport synagogue, the future President of Yale University at Ezra Stiles described Rabbi Raphael Chiam Isaac Carregal as being "dressed in a red garment with the usual Phylacteries and habiliments, the white silk Surplice; he wore a high fur cap, had a long beard. He has the appearance of an ingenious and sensible man"

    1799: Napoleon comes to power as a result of a coup d’etat.

    1808: Seligman Löb (Siegmund Leopold) Beyfus married Babette Rothschild

    1820: The revolutionary military leader and de facto Spanish leader, Riego of Spain issued a decree ending the Inquisition. This decree was apparently not accepted by everybody since people continue to suffer under the Inquisition until 1826. The Spanish Inquisition was actually only brought to an end on July 15, 1834

    1828: At Posen, Rabbi Levi Aron Pinner and Wilhelmine Goldbarth Pinner gave birth to Moritz Pinner who moving to the United States became active in the anti-Slavery movement and the creation of the Republican Party.

    1846: Birthdate of Emil Gabriel Warbug a leading German Jewish physicist was part of the famous Warbug Family

    1849: “The Merry Wives of Windsor” an opera with a libretto by Hermann Salomon Mosenthal was performed for the first time in Berlin

    1852: The New York Times reported that “France has addressed three demands to the government of Switzerland” one of which concerned the treatment of the Jews of Basle Champagne.

    1868(15th of Adar, 5628): Shushan Purim.

    1868: The annual Purim Ball was held tonight at Pike’s Opera House in New York City. The ball marked the end of city’s “season of Carnival.”

    1872: A reporter for The New York Times visited Temple Emanu El in this morning where he “at once noticed the extraordinary resemblance” that this Jewish house of worship had “to the Christian cathedral form.”

    1876(13th of Adar, 5636): Fast of Esther.

    1879(14th of Adar, 5639): Purim

    1879: It was reported today that there of the 849,870 people living in Australia’s Victoria Colony, 4,237 are Jews.

    1879: Thomas Grady is scheduled to speak at meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association tonight where he will defend his proposal to abolish the Free College.

    1880: Birthdate of Bernard “Barney” Samuel a leader of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania who served as May of Philadelphia from 1941 to 1952.  He passed away two years later.

    1881: Birthdate of English labor leader and politician Ernest Bevin. Bevin was Foreign Minister in the Labor Government after World War II. He helped to enforce the White Paper and hewed to a pro-Arab line.  In responding to request for consideration for Jews after the Holocaust, Bevin commented that Jews were always trying to push to the head of the line. Bevin died in 1951 at the age of 70.

    1884(12th of Adar, 5644): Moses Wilhelm Shapira “shot himself in the Hotel Bloemendaal in Rotterdam. Born in the Russian Empire in 1830 he followed his father to Palestine in 1856. He converted to Christianity and began a career selling artifacts.  Unfortunately, many of these were reported to be fakes. According to some reports he took his own life as the result of his involvement in the forging of supposedly biblical texts.

    1890: Several “Sabbath Schools of Jewish congregations” in New York City hosted special Purim celebrations. One congregation hosted a Purim Operetta performed by the female faculty for the benefit of the young children.

    1890: Almost 2,000 people attended the Purim celebration hosted by the Temple Beth El Sabbath School which was held at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

    1890: It was reported today that the money raised by the Hebrew Benevolent Society’s charity ball at Long Island City will go “to the erection of a house of worship, a school for children, the purchase of a burial plot” and for a fund to provide relief for widows and orphans.

    1890: Rabbi Kohut recounted the Purim story to 350 children, their parents and friends at Temple Ahawath Chesed at 55thand Lexington Avenue.

    1890: It was announced today that Dr. Charles Elliot who has been teaching Hebrew at Lafayette College for the past four years will not be teaching after this year.

    1891: Today during the strike by Polish cloakmakers “ a group of Polish Jews” broke into the tenement occupied by two cloak contractors – Hermann Greenbaum and Sam Billet – where they were reportedly having non-union workers make cloaks and broke up the work stations.

    1891: Benjamin Fernstein, a seventy year old clothing cutter who died yesterday while riding the Second Avenue El was the victim of a heart attack according to his family.

    1892: Following the death of two more Jewish immigrants and two more Irish immigrants, it was reported that there have been 14 deaths since the outbreak of typhus with 70 known or suspected cases quarantined on North Brother Island.

    1892: Mason Hirsh, a senior member of the umbrella manufacturing firm of Hirsh Brothers located in Philadelphia was knocked down by a car in front of 435 Broadway in New York City today.

    1892: A. J. Rosenthal, a Jewish banker from Fayette County served as Chairman of the Credentials Committee when the Republican State Convention opened today in Austin, Texas.

    1892: The New York State Senate passed the “so-called Freedom of Worship bill” this afternoon

    1892: Birthdate of Mátyás Rosenfeld, the Hungarian communist leader who repudiated Judaism and changed his name to Mátyás Rákosi as he climbed the ladder of “party success.”

    1893: A charity ball sponsored by the Purim Association will take place tonight at Madison Square Garden with the United Hebrew Charities serving as the beneficiaries of the event where the admission ticket costs $10 per attendee regardless of their sex.

    1893: “Gift to the Aguilar Library published today described an anonymous gift given to this non-sectarian institution founded by several prominent Jews that is “open to any resident of New York over twelve years of age.  (In a day of “tablets” and “i-pads” it is hard to envision what the availability of this trove of free books meant to generations of immigrants and their families)

    1893: Today, Lord Lyon Playfair explained to the House of Lords that “Messrs. Burnett and Schloss” had been sent to the United States “as part of a general inquiry in the subject of pauper alients to the United Kingdom” especially as it pertained to Russian and Polish Jews.

    1895: Fifty-nine year old Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch “who faithfully described the manners of Polish Jews but feared that his affection for them might give the impression that he was” Jewish passed away today. He was the author Jews and Russians and the editor of At the Pinnacle, “a progressive magazine” that championed “tolerance and integration for the Jews of Saxony.”

    1895: Birthdate of Albert Günther Göring, the older brother of Hermann Göring, who worked to save Jews while his brothers was killing them.

    1895: Purim will be celebrated this evening with an invitation only fance-dress reception at Delmonico’ sponsored by the Purim Association.

    1896: Judge Julian Mack married Jessie Fox.

    1897: Maurico Jacobs and his family are scheduled to set sail from New York to Panama today aboard the SS Allianca thanks to funds provided by the United Hebrew Charities.  Jacobs is a native of Peru who owned a sugar plantation in Cuba with his brother.  He claims that they were forced to leave the island after his brother was killed and the plantation was seized.

    1898: Mrs. Oscar Hammerstein has obtained a lease Olympia which was arranged by Andrew Freeman.

    1898: It was reported today that the name of Esterhazy, one of the French officers responsible for the false imprisonment of Captain Dreyfus, was added to the name of villains who were booed during the reading of the Megillah during Purim Services.

    1899: “Peters Praises The Jews” published today provides a summary of Reverend Madison C. Peters lecture on “Justice to the Jew” – a unique highly positive view of the Jewish people.
    1900: Herzl had another meeting with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. The subscribers the Colonial Bank were permitted to complete their payments and receive their shares.

    1900(8th of Adar II): Sixty-three year old Hebrew poet and Yiddish author Isaac Rabinowitz (Ish Kovno) passed away

    1902: Composer Gustav Mahler married Alma Schindler in Vienna.

    1916: Birthdate of Hyman H. “Bookie” Bookbinder a Washington lobbyist for Jewish causes who spent many years working for a variety of liberal causes including civil rights and the rights of labor.

    1918:Ukrainian mobs massacre Jews of Seredino Buda

    1918: IN Bloomington, Illinois, vaudevillians Claire and George Rockwell gave birth to George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party.

    1921: Winston and Clementine Churchill arrive in Cairo in preparation for a conference to examine the workings of the mandates for Palestine and Iraq.

    1922: Winston Churchill delivered a speech in Parliament support the Balfour Declaration against its opponents.  He reiterated support for the establishment of the Jewish Homeland in Palestine while cautioning against letting Jews who were Bolsheviks settle in Palestine.

    1922: The Shearith Israel League of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York City is scheduled to  present a performance of “The Mikado” today in the grand ballroom of the Hotel Plaza.

    1923:  Birthdate of Walter Kohn winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1998.

    1928: New York State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthal was injured this morning when the taxicab in which he was riding skidded out of control and hit an elevated pillar. Israel Mora was the cab driver.

    1929: The Zionist Organization of America announced plans for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv.  The planned activities include a Jewish ‘world Congress for Propagation of Interest in Palestine Products and a Palestine and Newar East Exhibition and Fair.

    1931: Dr. Victor Rosewater, the former editor and publisher of The Omaha Bee and a leader of the Jewish community and Republican Party in Nebraska spoke at the school of politics of the Women’s National Republican Club.  He told the gathering that “the influence of the press in forming political opinion is no longer as directed as it once was…”

    1932: The new turbines at the hydroelectric project created by Pinhas Rutenberg began to turn today.

    1933: The first of thousands of “critics” of The Third Reich were sent to Dachau

    1935: “New German Plea” published today described Dr. Julius Lippert’s call for American businessman to put an end to the Jewish Boycott of German goods.

    1936: The cover of Time magazine features the beaten, bandaged visage of Leon Blum who had been beaten Royalist (right wing) youths.

    1936: “Abominable Triumph” published today as the cover story for Time described the causes of the life threatening beating given to Leon Blum by those who oppose him because he is a socialist, anti-fascist and Jewish. (The road from Drancy to Auschwitz began on the streets and chambers of Paris in the 1930’s)

    1936 :( 15th of Adar, 5696): Shushan Purim

    1936: Birthdate of Juda Bar-Norwegian, Dutch born Israeli actor.

    1936: The Przytyk, Pogrom, the worst of a series of pogroms that took place in Poland during the interwar decades, claimed the lives of three people.

    1938: The Chancellor of Austria, Schuschnigg, announces a plebiscite on the question of Austrian independence. His policy was to try and keep Austria semi-independent and to limit the more overt anti-Semitic activities. Hitler furiously demanded his resignation, which arrived two days later. His resignation opened the way to the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria by Germany on March 13

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorists sniped at various quarters of Jewish Jerusalem. The Sanhedria Quarter came under a direct Arab fire from Lifta.

    1941: Esther "Etty" Hillesum began writing in her diary which would provide a description of life Amsterdam under the Nazis.

    1942: The Jews of the small Polish community of Mielec were driven out of their homes and rounded up in the marketplace; the old and feeble were shot on the equivalent of a death march. The survivors waited in a hangar in the aircraft factory without food or water and were herded into cattle cars a few days later.

    1943: U.S. Army Colonel F.B. Yancy, Chief of the Special Services spoke at the opening club designed for the use of U.S. military personnel. The club is housed in former Tel Aviv luxury hotel.

    1943: The Nazis continued the transport of Greek Jews from Salonika to Auschwitz. Salonika was an ancient Jewish community.  It became a haven for Sephardic Jews when they fled Spain at the end of the fifteenth century.  It was renowned center for kabalistic studies.  In 1943, Elie Veissi, a journalist, formed an all Jewish resistance group at Salonika.  Veissi supplied valuable information to the British about Nazi activities in Greece.  But he and his group failed in their main mission - saving the Jews of Salonika.  A few thousand escaped to Athens, but most of the rest perished in the camps. Some of you know about the Jews of Salonika because of their unique music. Some of it was captured in a recording called Kol Salonika.  You may have heard their haunting melody for verses five and six of the 118th Psalm – Min hameitzar karati Ya, anani vemerchav, Out of my distress I called upon the Lord and He set me free.  .  The other famous song is entitled Kol Ha-Olam Kulo - "The entire world is a narrow bridge; the main thing is not to fear." (I realize this has been a little lengthy, but one of the lessons of Jewish History is that Holocaust Memorial Day should be plural, not singular, event.)

    1943: In a rare case of open police resistance to the arrest and murder of Jews of Europe during WWII, 12 Dutch military policemen including 23 year old Henk Drogt refused orders to round up the remaining local Jews in Grootegast, Holland. The policemen were pressured and threatened by their commanders with incarceration at a concentration camp themselves, but steadfastly refused to carry out the orders. The group was subsequently arrested and taken to the Vught concentration camp in the Southern Netherlands.  Drogt would evade capture until his arrest in August of 1943.  He was executed in April of 1944.  In 2010, he received the State of Israel's highest honor for non-Jews on Monday at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

    1943: An audience of 40,000 gathered in New York’s Madison Square Garden to watch “We Will Never Die”  “a dramatic pageant” designed “to raise public awareness of the ongoing mass murder of Europe's Jews. It was organized and written by screenwriter and author Ben Hecht and produced by Billy Rose and Ernst Lubitsch. The musical score was composed by Kurt Weill and staged by Moss Hart. The pageant starred Edward G. Robinson and Paul Muni and subsequently traveled to other cities nationwide.”

    1944(14thof Adar, 5704): Purim

    1947: The first unauthorized immigrant ship known to have been sent to Palestine by the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation was taken into government custody today. The ship which was known variously as the SS Ben Hecht and/or the SS Abril was filled with 599 Jewish refugees including 385 men, 194 women and 20 children.  All of the refugees were placed on two ferries by the British and sent immediately to displaced persons camps in Cyprus.  .

    1947: “Troops fired over the heads of a number of Jews in the marital-law area of Jerusalem” because officials said they were “’too slow in returning to their homes when the daily curfew was re-imposed at 5 P.M.’”

    1947: British policed reported that 25 “suspected terrorists” have been arrested in Tel Aviv in the last 24 hours.

    1948: Birthdate of American artist Eric Fischl.

    1949: During Operation Uvda, one unit from Alexandroni Brigade captured Ein Gedi while another unit captured Masada.

    1949: During Operation Uvda,“Golani forces captured Gharandal and proceeded to Ein Ghadyan (now Yotvata).”

    1949: During the War for Independence, two IDF units set off to take Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba

    1950: A special meeting of the board of directors at the Astor Hotel is held to announce the formation of the Amun-Israeli House Corporation that “will finance $20,000,000 worth of housing construction” in Israel.  The lack of adequate housing is one of the Jewish state’s most pressing problems and this effort which enjoys support from a diverse group that includes Nelson Rockefeller and the leaders of the I.L.G.W.U. represents a major effort to provide both immediate and long term relief.

    1950:  It was officially announced tonight that Turkey “has accorded full diplomatic recognition” to the state of Israel.

    1950: The Swedish government issued a report today accusing the Israeli police of demonstrating grave negligence in investigating the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte which had taken place in September of 1948.

    1950: AT&T announced today that it has created a new direct circuit between New York and Tel Aviv which will improve phone service between the major cities.  Calls can only be made between 7 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon at a cost of $12 for the first three minutes.

    1951: Birthdate of Michael Kinsley, journalist and founder of Slate.

    1951: Almost thirty thousand Iraqi Jews had signed up for immigration for Israel as of today.  Today was the deadline the Iraqi government had set for this registration.  Registration meant giving up their Iraqi citizenship which meant that as of this date these people were "stateless."

    1952: Birthdate of Amir Petertz, the native of Morocco whose family made Aliyah in 1956. A Labor Party MK, he has served as Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Moscow following the death of Stalin,Georgi Malenkov, 51, was appointed the head of the Soviet Union while Molotov, Beria, Bulganin and Kaganovitch had been named as his deputies. Israel was one of the few countries which were not invited to Stalin’s funeral.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel had been divided into six administrative districts: three urban: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, and three rural: the Northern, Central and South.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that fifteen marauders were killed and 11 captured during the past week.

    1954: CBS television broadcasts the See It Now episode, "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy," that featured Ed Murrow at his finest. Fred Friendly, a Jewish television producer born in New York, joined forces with Murrow to produce all of the See It Now episodes. CBS was owned by William Paley who was also Jewish.  Their ethnic origins had nothing to do with this choice of programming.  In fact, Paley, like so many other Jews in the print and electronic media, bent over backwards to avoid any connection between being Jewish and the product they offered.

    1959: Barbie, the popular girls' doll, debuted, Over 800 million have been sold marking another Jewish business success brought to us, in this case, by Ruth Mosko Handler.

    1962: Egyptian President Nasser declared that Gaza belonged to Palestinians. Of course Gaza was occupied by Egypt from 1948 until 1967.  No attempt was made to turn the government over to the Palestinians at the time of this declaration.  In fact, the Palestinians were trapped in Gaza without meaningful economic assistance from their Arab brethren.

    1963: The 1963 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament which would provide a showcase for the talents of Duke’s Art Heyman opened today.

    1963: Allan Sherman’s “My Son The Celebrity” reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 150 Best Sell LP’s Chart.

    1968: Today, while serving with the U.S. Army in Viet Nam Jack S. Jacobs performed so heroically that earned the Medal of Honor for Valor. “Although seriously wounded and bleeding profusely, he assumed command and ordered a withdrawal. He then repeatedly returned through heavy fire, to rescue other wounded including the company commander and treated their wounds. On three occasions he repelled Viet Cong squads who were also searching for wounded American soldiers in the same area, killing three and wounding several others.”

    1968: Birthdate of Adam Carl Adamowicz, “concept artist whose paintings of exotic landscapes, monsters and elaborately costumed heroes and villains formed the visual foundation for two of the most popular single-player role-playing video games of all time” – Fallout3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. (As reported by Daniel E. Slotnik)

    1969: The chief of staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces was killed today during the War of Attrition. Today marked the second day of Egypt’s attempt to destroy the Bar Lev using massive artillery bombardments.  While General Abdul Munim Riad was at the front to personally viewing the product of his handiwork, he was mortally wounded by Israeli artillery that had been fired in response to the Egyptian assault.

    1970: A meeting of over 100 investors interested in financing tourist development projects in Israel will meet today in Jerusalem today.  The government will unveil its plans to provide support for these efforts.

    1977: About a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. The siege ended two days later. The three buildings were the District Building (city hall), the Islamic Center and, surprise, surprise the national headquarters of B’nai B’rith. And you thought terrorism like this only started with Osama and company.

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that the US refused to consider any new sale of arms to Israel, despite Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann’s pressing requests, until the conclusion of the current Carter-Begin summit meetings and negotiations.

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel has started the commercial exploitation of oil from the Alma II and III wells, situated near a-Tur in the Gulf of Suez.

    1982(14th of Adar, 5742): Purim

    1982: Pola Nirenska, a Polish-born dancer and choreographer who first came to the United States with Mary Wigman's company from Germany in 1932, presented ''An Evening of Choreography'' to night in George Washington University's Marvin Theater.

    1992(4th of Adar II, 5752): Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin died in Tel Aviv at age 78. Regardless of your view of his politics, Begin was one of the central characters in the Zionist movement whom we will study in depth. Begin was the heir to Jabotinsky and the founder of what today is the Likud Party.  In other words, he was the leader of the Jewish opposition to the Labor Zionists personified by Ben Gurion.  Begin was the founder and leader of the Irgun.  He was the first right wing Prime Minister of Israel.  Most important of all, he negotiated the peace treaty with Sadat that ended the state of war that had existed with Egypt since 1948.

    1994(26th of Adar, 5754):  Lawrence E. Spivak, creator of Meet the Press passed away at the age of 93.  On radio and then on television, Meet the Press was billed as the live press conference of the air.  With Spivak sometimes serving as the moderator and sometimes as a member of the four person panel, American and foreign government officials took part in a thirty minute unrehearsed question and answer session.  While the programs were marked by an air of civility, the members of the print and electronic media asked real questions and the guests were expected to provide real answers.

    1996(18th of Adar, 5756): Comedian George Burns passed away at the age 100.

    1997:The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Blood and Water:Sabotaging Hitler's Bombby Dan Kurzman, Southernmost And Other Storiesby Michael Brodsky and The Stories of David Bergelson:Yiddish Short Fiction From Russiaby David Bergelson.

    2001(14th of Adar, 5761): Purim

    2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Regions of the Great Heresay: Bruno Schulz: A Biographical Portrait by Jerzy Ficowski, Down and Out in the Magic by Cory Doctorow and the recently released paperback edition of Me Times Three, by Alex Witchel.

    2006:There was a palpable air of excitement at the Kraft Family Stadium, as two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady of the New England Patriots made a special visit to see what American Football in Israel was all about. Fans of all ages surrounded Brady as he signed autographs and threw passes to some of the AFI athletes.


    2007: As the college basketball world is seized with “March Madness,” The Jewish Week features an article styled “Carolina on his Mind” in which “Lennie Rosenbluth looks back a half century later on the historic victory that put the UNC Tar Heels on the basketball map.” Rosenbluth led UNC to a perfect 32-0 season including Carolina’s first NCAA championship.  Along the way, Rosenbluth averaged 27.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during the regular season and defeated a team led by the legendary Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain. This is further evidence of the pervasive impact that Jews have had on many facets of American culture.

    2008: Novelist and former Roman Catholic priest James Carroll discusses his 2001 book Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
    2008: The Sunday New York Times featured reviews of Beaufort, a novel by Israeli author Ron Lehsem, translated by Evan Fallenberg, The Life of the Skiesby Jonathan Rosen and a collection of  four short works of fiction by French novelist and Holocaust victim by by Irène Némirovsky including David Golder, The Ball, Snow In Autumn and The Courilof Affair.

    2008: In an article entitled, “A Family Tree of Literary Fakers,” Motoko Rich traces famous literary frauds including Clifford Irving’s “biography of Howard Hughes,” Binjamin Wilkomirski’s 1996 phony memoir, Fragmentsdescribing how he survived as a Latvian Jewish orphan in a Nazi concentration camp and Misha Defonseca’s book, Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Yearsabout a childhood spent running from the Nazis and searching for her deported parents; a childhood that did not happen.

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America by Steven Waldman.  Founding Faith takes up two central questions about religion in early America. First, what did such Founding Fathers as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison usually believe? And second, how did it come about that the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"? The answers to these questions carry implications for Jewish Americans since the role of religion and religious freedom has allowed the American Jewish community to think of itself as a unique element that will transcend past Jewish experiences in other societies and countries.

    2008(2 Adar II, 5768):Twenty-year-old Sergeant Liran Banay, who was critically wounded last Thursday when a bomb was detonated near an IDF vehicle patrolling the Gaza security fence, died of his wounds on Sunday morning. The Givati Brigade soldier, who lost both legs as a result of Thursday’s explosion, died in Soroka Hospital in Ashkelon.

    2009: WebYeshiva started the WebYeshiva Blog today. “The WebYeshiva Blog presents a variety of posts daily in audio, video, and text format, and features regular columns such as the weekly Parsha, Haftora, Nach, Business Ethics, Aggada, and Jewish Philosophy. Both WebYeshiva students and teachers also make regular contributions, and WebYeshiva's Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Brovender, posts a video Halacha Yomit every day.” “WebYeshiva, founded in 2007 by Rabbi Chaim Brovender, was the first online yeshiva and midrasha.

    2009 (13 Adar 5769): Fast of Esther

    2009: In the evening, Megillah Reading

    2009: Economist Nouriel Roubini, the Turkish born son of Iranian Jews who spent part of his youth living in Israel and who was the “man who predicted the current financial crisis said the US recession could drag on for years without drastic action…Roubini sees ‘no hope for the recession ending in 2009 and will more than likely last into 2010.’”

    2009:Police arrested two Arab youths carrying a commando blade in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of Jerusalem today foiling a stabbing attack. During a preliminary investigation, the pair said they had planned on carrying out a terror attack.

    2009: In an article entitled “Bad Guy Inspires Goodies,’ published in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, columnist Cecilia Hanley provides a brief account about Purim, the history of Hamantaschen and a recipe for a pastry that she likened to the Kolache, a pastry popular with the Czech population that settled Cedar Rapids and is still a unique local delicacy.

    2009: In “The Perfect Hamantaschen” published today Deborah Gardner attempts to settle the dispute between those who prefer prune and those who munch on “mun.”

    2010: The winners of the National Jewish Book Award are scheduled to be honored today in New York City. The names of the winners had been made public in January. Toronto author Joseph Kertes won the 59th annual National Jewish Book Award for Fiction for his novel, "Gratitude." Other National Jewish Book Award winners include Hasia Diner, author of "We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962" (New York University Press), the American Jewish Studies' Celebrate 350 Award; Melvin Urofsky, the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award for "Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (Pantheon Books); Daniel Gordis, for "Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End" (John Wiley & Sons), the Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice Award. Ellen Frankel and Avi Katz of the Jewish Publication Society won the Louis Posner Memorial Award in Illustrated Children’s Books for the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible. Sir Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of England, won the Dorot Foundation Award in memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson in Modern Jewish Thought & Experience for his "Covenant & Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible, Genesis: The Beginnings" (Koren Publishers).

    2010: David Nemeth is scheduled to be the instructor at this evening’s session of How to Give A D’var Torah at Adas Israel in Washington, D.C.

    2011(3rd of Adar II, 5771): Seventy-two year old “Owen Laster, one of the most powerful literary agents of his generation, who ran William Morris’s worldwide literary operations and had a long list of best-selling writers that included James A. Michener and Gore Vidal”, passed away today (As reported by William Grimes)

    2011: Calvin Goldscheider (Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies, Brown University), Max Ticktin (Professor of Judaic Studies, George Washington University), Susan K. Finston (CEO and Managing Director, Amrita Therapeutics Ltd.), Steve Rabinowitz (future emeritus president and CEO of Rabinowitz-something Communications), and a special mystery guest speaker are scheduled to appear at Washington DC's 20th Annual Latke-Hamantash Symposium at Adas Israel.

    2011: The Lillian &Albert Small Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “From Shtetl to City: Travel in the Old Jewish Heartland” featuring author Ruth Ellen Gruber.

    2011:As Jerusalem prepared for the possibility of a snowstorm, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat asked the public “to be responsible” “during an inspection of the city’s emergency snow plans at the Givat Shaul maintenance center.


    2011: Today the Knesset approved the initial reading of a bill which proposes an end to allowing companies to discriminate against customers based on where they live, a law which could potentially benefit West bank cities and residents.


    2011: UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was honored by Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba today for his exceptional work as “a widely published theologian and philosopher, whose aspirations for truth and mutual respect of all peoples guide his actions.”

    2011: According to an article entitled “50 Famous Travel Spots Every Literary Geek Should See” published today by the website “Online Courses must see spots include the following four spots of special interest to followers of Jewish history.

    1. The Secret Annex: Amsterdam has converted The Secret Annex into the Anne Frank Museum, preserving the memory of lives lost and destroyed when Nazis discovered their hiding place.

    2.      Auschwitz-Birkenau:Holocaust literature frequently relates horrific tales of the Auschwitz concentration camp, most notably Night and Maus, and today it stands as a somber reminder of humanity’s capacity for senseless cruelty. Buchenwaldalso appears in many memoirs as well.

    3.      Algonquin Hotel:This lush Midtown Manhattan locale used to host the Algonquin Round Table, consisting of New York’s finest wits. Their meetings resulted in a plethora of fictitious and non-fictitious works alike, most famously the bulk of Dorothy Parker’s oeuvre. Parker was born Dorothy Rothschild, the daughter of German-Jew who was not related to the famous banking house.

    4.      Dublin, Ireland:Visit the Irish capital on June 16th for Bloomsday, a festival honoring James Joyce’s modernist magnum opus Ulysses. Readings and walks bring the brick of a novel to life, allowing celebrants to follow in the footsteps of iconic protagonist Leopold Bloom. Although fictious, Bloom may be Ireland’s most famous Jews.

    2011(3rd of Adar II): Anniversary of the dedication of the Second Temple which took placed on the 3rd of Adar, 3412 (349 BCE)

    2012: In Washington, DC,  at Tifereth Israel,  Artist in Residence Alison Westermann is scheduled to kick off a weekend of “Translating Text Into Song” with a Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat Service.

     2012: “Footnote” – the Oscar nominated tale of a rivalry between two Talmudic scholars who are father and son – is scheduled to pen Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinema.

    2012: Two senior terrorists were killed in Gaza today after IDF aircraft targeted a vehicle in the Strip, the army confirmed. (As reported by Yoav Zitun)

    2012: More than 30 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel tonight, leaving at least eight people injured, one of them seriously.

    2013: “No Place On Earth” is scheduled to have its Minnesota Premiere this evening at the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: AMIT is scheduled to host “A Night of Israeli Cinema” at Tribeca Cinemas.

    2013: The Eden-Tamir Music is scheduled to host a concert “Loving Brahms” today in Jerusalem.

    2014: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host its annual Purim Carnival under the leadership of Rabbi Jeff Portman.

    2014: “The Sturgeon Queens,” a documentary about Russ & Daughters is scheduled to be shown in Boulder, CO.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “The Whole Megillah: A Family Purim Program featuring a Puppet Show and Art Project”

    2014: The Washington DC JCC is scheduled to host the 4th Annual Community Day of Education on Israeli Arab Issues.
    2014: The 24th annual Washington Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2014: David Brooks is scheduled to lecture on “Genius, God and Morality” at the 92ndStreet Y.

    2014: The third bi-annual LimmudFest New Orleans is scheduled to come to an end. (For more see  or the Crescent City Jewish News)

    2014: The New York Times published reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Genesis: Truman, American Jews and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict by John Judis and The Double Life of Paul De Man by Evelyn Barish




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    March 10

    0037: Roman Emperor Tiberius passed away at age 78.  He followed Augustus to the throne and reigned from 14 through 37.  His record in dealing with the Jews was a mixed one.  On the one hand he over-ruled anti-Jewish edicts of Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea.  At the same, he temporarily expelled all of the Jews from Rome when a Jew was falsely accused of defrauding a Roman matron.

    0298:The Roman Emperor Maximian concluded his campaign in North Africa against the Berbers, and made a triumphal entry into Carthage.The city of Carthage appears repeatedly throughout Roman history.  According to some historians, when Carthage fell to the Romans after the Punic Wars, “many Carthaginians and Phoenicians converted to Judaism, because Jerusalem was the only remaining centre of West Semitic civilization.” They attribute the original Jewish settlements in Spain to the fact that Spain had been a Carthaginian colony and that these settlers were part of a group of these converts.  The Berbers would also figure in Jewish history. In the 7th century, they would convert to Islam.  In the 8th century, the Berbers were a major part of the Muslim force that drove the Christians out of Spain and created a comparatively hospitable for the Jewish people.

    0418: Jews were excluded from holding public office in the Roman Empire
    1126: Following the death of his mother Alfonso VII, the monarch who started a school in Toledo which begins to spread Hebrew and Arabic learning as well as ancient Greek knowledge through Western Europe was crowned King of Leon and Castille.

    1452:  Birthdate of Ferdinand II the Catholic, King of Aragon/Sicily who expelled the Jews from his realm.


    1616: Vincent Fettmilch was hanged.  Fettmilch lived at Frankfort on the Main (Germany).  During a period of economic downturn (1612-1616), the ruling class blamed the problems on the Jews.  They allowed anti-Semitic demagogues to attack the Jews.  Fettmilch was the ring leader of the action that resulted in the destruction of the Jewish property in the ghetto.  Jews fled for their lives.  Without the Jews to blame, the powers that be feared the mobs would turn on them.  So they hanged Fettmilch as a way of re-establishing law and order.
    1791(4th of Adar II): Rabbi Aryeh Leib Sarah, a disciple of Rabbi Dov Baer passed aw
    1822(17thof Adar, 5582): The mother of Moses Sofer, Reizel the daughter of Elchanan passed away.

    1823: Birthdate of Leopold Eidlitz, a prominent New York architect best known for his work on the New York State Capitol


    1831: The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria. A large number of Jews who fled Eastern Europe during the 1930’s found “a home” in the French Foreign Legion.  For more about the Legion and the Jewish people see Jews and the French Foreign Legion by Zosa Szajkowski
    1845: Birthdate of Czar Alexander III. Alexander III was the second to the last of the Romanov Czars.  In a line of rulers who made life hell on earth for the Jewish people, Alexander stands out as one of the worst, if not the worst of the lot. His policies were intended to give meaning to the one third, one third, one third rule. One third of the Jews would leave Russia, one third would convert. One third would perish.
    1845: The Jewish Reform movement in Germany was publicly announced
    1856: The News of the World reported that in Constantinople a Turkish woman who could not locate her child for several hours started to scream after local Greeks told her Jews had dragged her child by force into the house to drain its blood for use on Passover. A crowd gathered and started to smash the windows of the home, and was only held back by the French soldiers. The child later was found by the mother.

    1857(14thof Adar, 5617): Purim

    1859: In Budapest, Jeanette and Jacob Herzl gave birth to Pauline Herzl, the sister of Theodor Herzl


    1860: Mortiz Pinner, the German-Jewish immigrant abolitionist who was a publishing a newspaper in Kansas City served as a delegate at the Republican State Convention in Missouri.  Pinner would be chosen as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago where Abraham Lincoln was nominated as President of the United States.
    1861: Birthdate of Meier Dizengoff.  A native of Bessarabia, he would make Aliyah in 1905, help found Tel Aviv in 1909 and then became its first mayor.

    1864: During the American Civil War, beginning of the Red River Campaign which would claim the life of Colonel Newbold of the Fourteenth Iowa.

    1866 (23rd of Adar, 5626): Yitzchak Meir Alter passed away. Born in 1798, he is the first Rebbe of the Ger Chasidic dynasty. Some of his followers referred to him as Reb Itche Meir as the Chidushei HaRim.  

    1867: Birthdate of Lillian Wald. Born into a successful merchant family in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Rochester, New York, Lillian Wald is remembered today as the founder of public health nursing and an influential pioneer in the settlement house movement of the early twentieth century.
    1868: An article entitled “The Purim Ball” published today reported that last night’s Purim Ball was so lavish that it was a fitting way to end New York’s gala winter social season. “The truly brilliant affair” reinforced the reputation of the Purim Society for providing a ball that “was unique in character” and “meriting the praise” that it has continued to receive. The ball not only is the epitome of refinement, it raises money for the disadvantaged – Jew and non-Jew alike.

    1870(8th of Sh'vat, 5630): Czech born composer Isaak-Ignaz Moschelescomposer passed away at the age of 75.

    1872(30thof Adar I, 5632): Rosh Chodesh Adar II

    1875: It was reported today that E.B. Hart, Joseph Seligman and Joseph Koch are among the prominent Jews heading the committee of the Purim Association that will be responsible for the upcoming Hebrew Charity Ball.

    1873: Birthdate of Jakob Wassermann author of My Life As a German and a Jew.  Wasserman was a novelist who dealt with challenges of being both a German and a Jew.  His writings urged Jews to assimilate and "and thus destroy themselves as a group.  By the end of his life, he recognized that Jewish survival was inevitable and desirable."


    1875:Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba), an opera in four acts by Karl Goldmark was first performed todayat the Hofoper (now the State Opera) in Vienna,


    1876(14thof Adar, 5638) Purim


    1876: The Anshe Bikur Cholim Society held a reception this evening at Irving Hall.  It was very well attended because it was the Purim celebration of its kind in New York held today.

    1877: In what was then Galicia, Esther Verner and dairy farmer Jacob Taffel gave birth to Frank Taffel who founded the Fulton Auto Exchange in Atlanta, GA in 1924
    1879(15thof Adar, 5639): Shushan Purim
    1884(13thof Adar, 5644): Fast of Esther
    1887(14thof Adar, 5647): Purim
    1887: In Galicia, Esther Verner and dairy farmer Jacob Taffel gave birth to Shrage Fyvel Taffe who as Frank Taffel became a pillar of the Georgia (USA) Jewish community
    1888(27th of Adar): Ferdinand Eberstadt, the first Jewish Mayor of Worms, passed away
    1888(27th of Adar): Scholar and philanthropist Issachar Dov Ber Bampi passed away

    1890: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will host its fifth “informal entertainment of the season this evening at Vienna Hall.

    1890: The body of an unidentified Jews was found in a cellar at a house on Eldridge Street in New York City.

    1890: The Downtown Religious and Sewing Schools and the Young Men’s Society will hold their Purim celebration tonight at Pythagoras Hall.


    1891: Birthdate of Sam Jaffe who starred in movies and television.  He gained early fame playing an Indian water boy in the film “Gunga Din.”  Television viewers of the 1950's and 1960's saw him as wise old Dr. Zorba in the popular medical series called “Ben Casey.”


    1892: Friedman Silverstein, a Jewish immigrant from Russia who has been living in the United States for 2 years was diagnosed as having typhus fever today.

    1892: Ruben Lodge No. 3 of the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel will host a masquerade ball this evening at the Lexington Opera House.

    1893: Lillian Wald opened the Lower East Side settlement house that would become the Henry Street Settlement on her 26th birthday. The Nurses' Settlement opened on Jefferson Street. Two years later, in 1895, she moved her enterprise to Henry Street. In both locations, the settlement was dedicated to public health nursing, a term Wald coined to describe an organic relationship between health care and broader community needs. In the first year, the settlement cared for 4,500 patients. Recognizing the interconnectedness of illness and poverty, Wald expanded the activities of the settlement over time. The renamed Henry Street Settlement House offered boys' and girls' clubs; classes in arts, crafts, homemaking and English; and vocational training. Health care remained important, with over 26,000 patients cared for by 100 Henry Street nurses in 1915.
    1893: In Philadelphia, Rabbi Dr. Henry Berkowitz delivers a speech to his congregation, Rodelph Shalom in which he suggests that a society be formed in the United States for "the dissemination of knowledge of the Jewish religion by fostering the study of its history and literature, giving popular courses of instruction, issuing publications, establishing reading-circles, holding general assemblies, and by such other means as may from time to time be found necessary and proper." In response to his suggestion, the Jewish literary societies of Philadelphia appointed a "committee on organization," which formulated plans. An agreement was entered into with the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle for the use of the general methods of the popular education process known as the "Chautauqua System." A Jewish society, national in its scope, was then organized, with Dr. Berkowitz as chancellor. In the winter of 1893 the society began the publication of a series of "course books" or syllabi for general readers and members of reading-circles or study classes. These guide-books give syllabi of courses in Biblical and post-Biblical history and literature, in the Hebrew language (correspondence method), and on Jewish characters in fiction.

    1893: “To Study Our Immigration” published today described the debate in the House of Lords led by Lord Lyon Playfair over the impact of Russian and Polish (Jewish) immigration in the United Kingdom and the treatment of these immigrants in the United States

    1895(14th of Adar, 5655): Purim

    1895: It was reported today that it will cost $80,000 to build a new facility for Beth Israel Hospital which now using a building on East Broadway owned by the Hebrew Free School
    1895: In an article entitled “Emanu-El’s Fifty Years,” the New York Times describes plans for the celebration of Temple Emanu-El’s fiftieth anniversary which will be held on April 12, 13 and 14th.  The article also provides a brief history of the Reform Movement and the milestones in the history of New York’s leading Reform congregation.

    1896:Dr. Reuben Bierer, chief rabbi of Sofia, announces that he considers Herzl to be the Messiah. The newspaper "Ha-am" in Kolomea places itself at Herzl's disposal.

    1896: Theodore Herzl described his first meeting with Reverend William Hechler in today’s diary entry.  Herzl described Hechler as an enthusiastic Zionist who wants introduce him to the various German leaders who are friends of the Anglican minister.

    1896: In Pittsburgh, PA, Anselm and Sophie Irene Loeb, the noted child welfare worker, were married today.

    1897: The will of the late Simon Goldenberg, who left an estate valued at $200,000 in real property and $1,000,000 in personal property was filed for probate today.

    1897: The Charity Ball for the benefit of the Montefiore Home which is being sponsored by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League will take place this evening at Carnegie Hall, under the leadership of Leon Hirsch, who is the group’s President. 
    1898: Funeral services for Moses Bruckheimer will be held today at Beth Elohim in Brooklyn
    1898: Fifteen thousand people are expected to attend tonight’s annual Fête and Champêtre
    at Carnegie Hall sponsored by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home for Consumptives



    1905(3rdof Adar, 5665): Fifty-nine year old Elijah David Rabinowitz-Teomim (ADeReT), a Lithuanian born Rabbi who made Aliyah at the turn of the century passed away today and was buried on the Mount of Olives.

    1905: Ernst Gräfenberg earned his doctorate after studying medicine in Göttingen and Munich. Another intellectual casualty of the Nazis, this doctor who had served in the German Army in World War and who developed the IUD, would flee to the United States in the 1930’s.
    1906: Sixty-seven year old Eugene Richter, a German political leader who defended the Jews during the growing waves of German anti-Semitism that marked the last decades of the 19th century passed away.
    1910: Karl Lueger, the sixty-five year old anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna passed away.
    1913: Birthdate of Canadian composer John Jacob Weinzweig. The son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, he received his first formal study of music in mandolin at the Workmen's Circle Peretz School.

    1915: The Frankfurter Zeitung published a letter that had first appeared in the Hambruger Israelitische Familienblatt written by a Jewish soldier, who with his brother had joined the German Army even though they had been denied German citizenship. According to the letter, one brother had been killed in battle and the surviving brother wanted his family to know that it was not a piece of paper that made them Germans. It was their “sentiments that made them Germans.”  Feeling this way, they could not let others fight while they remained spectators.  “The hero’s death is better than shame.”


    1918: Birthdate of Isaac Rosenfeld, the Chicago born author who wrote Passage from Home in 1946.

    1918:  Warner Brothers released its first major film “My Four Years in Germany." The corporate name honors the four founding Warner brothers, Jewish brothers who emigrated from Poland to London, Ontario, Canada, Harry Warner (1881–1958), Albert Warner (1883–1967), Sam Warner (1887–1927) and Jack L. Warner (1892–1978).

    1920: In the wake of Arab attacks on Jewish citizens, Major-General Louis Bols, the Officer Administering the Government of Palestine, issued an order prohibiting further demonstrations in Jerusalem.

    1925(14thof Adar, 5685): Purim

    1929(28thof Adar I, 5689): Seventy-seven year old German Jurist Victor Gabriel Ehrenberg passed away.
    1929: In New York, Lewis Steiger, the proprietor of men’s clothing business and his wife Rebecca gave birth to Samuel Steiger “a New Yorker who transformed himself into a Western rancher, served five terms in the House as a Republican from Arizona…” (As reported by William Yardley)

    1929: The New York Times reports on the upcoming opening of “the Warner Brothers' ambitious Vitaphone production which will open at the Winter Garden, featuring Dolores Costello and George O'Brien” which is a cinematic treatment of the Biblical story.
    1929: Birthdate of “Stephen Myron Schwebel is an American jurist and expert on international law.”

    1932: It was reported today that when Benjamin Cardozo is sworn in next week as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, there will finally be enough Justices to constitute a quorum so that the Court can hear the government’s appeal of a consent decree by the lower court in an anti-trust case involving the nation’s meatpackers.  The death of Justice Holmes and the recusal of Justices Hughes, Stone and Sutherland had meant that there were not enough Justices to hear the case.

    1933: Michael Siegel, a Jewish lawyer who complained about the police “is forced to walk through Munich barefoot while carrying a sign reading ‘I will never complain to the police again

    1933: Victor Klemperer writes in his diary “Hitler elected as Chancellor. What I had called terror was only a mild prelude. . . . It is amazing how everything collapses . . . prohibitions and acts of violence. And with it, on streets and radio, unrestrained propaganda. On Saturday I heard a piece of Hitler's speech in Konsigsberg. I understood only a few words. But the tone! The unctuous roaring bark, the bark, really, of a clergyman. . . . How long will I be able to retain my professorship?”

    1937: “Chicken Heart” written by Arch Oboler was broadcast for the first time on the radio suspense show,

    1937: The Palestine Post reported from London that Viscount Cranborne, MP, the Foreign Under-Secretary told Commander Oliver Locker-Lampson, MP, that the population of Transjordan was about 300,000 and that the Palestine Mandate still applied there, except for the provisions which included the establishment of the Jewish National Home. The policy in regard to the prospects of the Jewish settlement in Transjordan "remained unchanged". Thomas Williams, MP, asked the Colonial Secretary why the recent British military expenditures were charged to the Palestine government, while they might have been caused by the necessities of the international situation.
    1937: The Palestine Post reported that Jerusalem Arabs welcomed Moslem pilgrims returning by train from the pilgrimage to Mecca.
    1938: The day after the Germans marched into Austira,  Fritz Grünbaum and Karl Farkas acted for the last time in Simplicissimus before trying to flee to Czechozlovakia.

    1938: Birthdate of Ron Mix.  Mix was an oddity - a Jewish professional football player.  He was all-star offensive tackle with the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979. Just to be on the safe side, Mix went to law school at night.

    1943: Emanuel Zisman, his mother and his sister, along with the rest of the Jews living in Plovdiv, Bulgaria were rounded up for a planned deportation to the death camps.
    1943: Bulgaria refused to release 48,000 of its Jews to the Germans. This became known to the Bulgarians as a "miracle of the Jewish people."
    1943: Last of two performances of “We Will Never Die” took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City

    1944: Adolf Eichmann and his staff met at Mauthausen concentration camp to work out the deportation of over 750,000 Jews from Hungary.
    1947: In what seems to be a public change in policy by Jewish leaders, 5 mayors in the martial law zone, including the Mayor of Tel Aviv issued a strongly worded statement warning against any new outbreak of terrorism.  “Acts of desperation do nothing but harm to the community and are calculated to bring about the disruption of our organized life.  We urgently warn the perpetrators and those who bear responsibility for them to cease all acts of terrorism, murder and violence against Jews and Britons.  Do not destroy the last possibility of maintain the wholeness of our organization.”
    1947: “Twenty-one American citizens, including a woman named Hanna Herschkowitz, as well as two Norwegians with American…papers and two French nationals, all of whom arrived aboard the unauthorized immigrant ship Abril, were remanded by a magistrate in Haifa today. They will be held for a fortnight pending investigations into charges arising from the ship’s arrival in Palestine waters.”  Two American newspapermen – Wallace Litwin and Albert L. Hrschkoff are among those being detained.  Joseph Kaserman, an attorney from Haifa has been retained to defend the crew and protect the rights of the ship’s registered owner, the Tyre Shipping Company of New York City. The Abril is also known as the SS Ben Hecht, a ship under Irgun control that had been carrying 599 Jewish refugees trying to land in Palestine.
    1947: Daniel Frisch a leading member of the ZOA and the Zionist General Council said tonight, “I am persuaded by consultations and assurances obtained back by overwhelming Jewish as well as non-Jewish sentiment, that the United States Government will never give its consent to a solution of the Palestine problem which would tend to rob the Jewish people of its only path leading to rehabilitation and life.”

    1948: Birthdate of retired government agent and private investigator Robert Levinson who has been held by the Iranians since 2007.

    1948: A “company of the 1st Battalion commanded by Assaf Simchoni acted against an Arab gang which had settled in Kafr Kanna, on the Tiberias-Nazareth road. Information had been received that the village had become a center for gangs headed by a certain ‘Ibrahim’ that had carried out many attacks in the Lower Galilee and the Zevulun Valley. Among these was a gang that had previously been active in Shefaram, but had moved to Kafr Kanna. Born in 1922, Simchoni would rose to the rank of Major-General in the IDF. In 1956, he “commanded the Sinai Campaign and was killed in an airplane accident at the end of the war.”

    1949: During Operation Uvda  “an aerial photographer discovered that the police station guarding Ras al-Naqb was abandoned and the Negev Brigade set out towards Umm Rashrash through Ras al-Naqb


    1949: At 15:00 the Negev Brigade reached the abandoned policed station at Umm Rashrash (the future site of Eilat) followed two hours later by the Golani Brigade.
    1949: The conquest of the southern Negev and Um Rashrash (Eilat) in March 1949 ended the War of Independence.
    1949: In Israel, the Provisional Government gave way to the first Cabinet of the new State.
    1949: Moshe Sharett completed his term as Foreign Minister for the Provisional Government which had been in power since the creation of the state in May of 1948
    1949: Moshe Sharett begins serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel’s first elected government.

    1949: Haim-Moshe Shapira replaced Yitzhak Gruenbaum as Internal Affairs Minister.

    1949: Aharon Zisling completed his service as Israel’s first Minister of Agriculture.
    1951: An estimated 200 million dollars worth of Jewish property was then taken over by the state.  "At a secret session of the Iraqi Parliament passed Law No. 5 of 1951 under which "the assets of all Jews who were leaving and had denounced Iraqi citizenship - 103,866 by that time - were frozen and put under Iraqi Government control."  This law actually was applied to the more than 123,000 Jews who had been forced to flee during the years 1948-1951. The Jews still trapped in Iran were not only stateless, they were now totally impoverished. 
    1952(13th of Adar, 5712): Fast of Esther
    1952: Fulgencio Batista leads a successful coup in Cuba and appoints himself as the "provisional president". This was Batista’s second time to serve as president.  It was during this second presidency that Meyer Lanksy negotiated the deal with Batista that gave “the mob” monopoly control over the island’s gambling operations in return for a down payment of 3 million dollars and a fifty percent cut of the profits.  (In those days, a million dollars was really worth a million dollars.)

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported the cabinet’s decision that wages earned by Arabs in the employ of the state, municipalities and other public institutions, and the prices paid for Arab produce would be equal to those paid to the Jews. Mr. Palmon, the prime minister’s adviser on Arab affairs, stated that among Israeli Arabs the collection of income tax was practically nonexistent. They paid only a negligible property tax. The cabinet had also approved the Pensions and Rehabilitation of the Victims of the War of Independence bill.
    1957(7thof Adar II, 5717): Sixty-six year old screenwriter and author Samuel Ornitz who was blacklisted as a member of the “Hollywood Ten” passed away today.

    1959: Birthdate of Aital Selinger, the native of Haifa volleyball player who twice represented the Netherlands in the Summer Olympics.

    1963: Birthdate of Frederick Jay Rubin, known as Rick Rubin. Rick Rubin is one of the two guys behind legendary hip-hop label Def Jam.

    1965: Neil Simon's play ''The Odd Couple'' opened on Broadway.

    1966: Birthdate of actor Stephen Mailer, son of author Norman Mailer.

    1970: Barbra Streisand recorded "The Singer"& "I Can Do It"
    1970: The Knesset passed the "Who is a Jew?" bill which defined a Jew as one born to a Jewish mother or a convert to the Jewish religion.
    1974: Golda Meir formed a new government that included Moshe Dayan and Shimon Peres.  The government was formed in response to a new threat from Syria and would prove to be the shortest lived government in the history of Israel.
    1974: Abba Eban completed his term as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel’s 15thgovernment and began serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel’s 16thgovernment.
    1974: Aharon Uzan replaced Shimon Peres as Communications Ministers
    1974: Yitzhak Rafael replaced Zerach Warhaftig as the head of the Ministry of Religious Services
    1974: Yehoshua Rabinovitz replaced Ze’ev Sherf as Minster of Housing and Construction
    1974: Birthdate Keren Ann Zeidel the famous singer-song writer born at Caearea.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that US President Jimmy Carter suggested that the final Israeli borders should include only "some minor adjustments in the 1967 borders." He added, however, that it was important to recognize the difference between the "legal borders" and "defense lines" which would enable Israel to defend itself.
    1980: Yitzhak Shamir began serving as Foreign Minister.

    1980: Jean Harris murdered Doctor Herman Tarnower, the Scarsdale diet doctor.

    1986(29th of Adar I, 5746): Ninety-five year old Rosh Yeshiva Yaako Kamenetsky, author of Emes leYaakov al HaShas ("Truth to Jacob") passed away.
    1987: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew: An Italian Story by Dan Vittorio Serge and The Italians and the Holocaust: Persecution, Rescue, Survival by Susan Zucotti.

    1987:Five authors of books with Jewish themes, published in 1986, were honored today at the Eighth Annual Present Tense/Joel H. Cavior Book Awards luncheon, sponsored by Present Tense magazine and the American Jewish Committee, and held at the committee's headquarters.  The winners were: Biography/Autobiography: Victor Perera, ''Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood'' (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). Fiction: Art Spiegelman, ''Maus: A Survivor's Tale'' (Pantheon Books). History: Bernard Lewis, ''Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry Into Conflict and Prejudice'' (W. W. Norton & Company). Jewish Religious Thought: David Weiss Halivni, ''Midrash, Mishnah, and Gemara: The Jewish Predilection for Justified Law'' (Harvard University Press). General Nonfiction: Lesley Hazleton, ''Jerusalem, Jerusalem'' (Atlantic Monthly Press).  Elie Wiesel was honored with a special lifetime achievement citation for his ''extraordinary efforts to rescue the Holocaust from historical and literary oblivion and to dramatize the plight of Soviet Jews and other oppressed people.

    1991:  Susanne J. Schwartz and Colin M. Davidson were married this evening.  The bride’s father is Richard A. Jacobs, the president of the Joseph Jacobs Organization, an advertising agency that was founded by his father the late Joseph Jacobs.

    1992:In an article entitled “Menachem Begin, Guerrilla Leader Who Became Peacemaker,” published the day after he passed away James Feron described Menachem Begin as “the Israeli Prime Minister who made peace with Egypt” after  living much of his life in the opposition. A Jewish underground leader before Israel gained independence in 1948; he openly fought the established Zionist leadership of the struggle against British rule. Then for nearly three decades, he headed Israel's major opposition party. Ultimately and to many Israelis, surprisingly, his minority bloc ousted the Labor Party, which had governed continuously in the three decades since statehood, and Mr. Begin, as party leader, became Prime Minister. He was to govern an ever more divided and troubled nation. Mr. Begin, who led Israel from May 1977 until he resigned as Prime Minister in 1983, stretched the national mood from great pride to deep dismay. He guided the nation to a peace treaty with Egypt, the first such pact with an Arab country. But he also presided over a bitterly divisive war against Palestinian guerrillas in Lebanon.” The treaty with Egypt, which brought Mr. Begin a shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize with President Anwar el-Sadat, represented a high point in his political leadership while the war in Lebanon in 1982 and the stalemate that followed, with its steady toll of dead and wounded, were its low point.


    1996: New York City Mayor Giuliani visited Israel.
    1996: Helène Aylon's “The Liberation of G-d” was shown for the first time in the New York Jewish Museum's exhibit “Too Jewish?: Challenging Traditional Identities.”  The work, which took six years to create, was made by covering every page of the five books of the Torah with transparent parchment, on which Aylon marked problematic passages with a pink pen. The marked passages were mostly those considered degrading to women, but also included negative references to homosexuality. This work was accompanied by commentary on the marked passages from a spectrum of Jewish scholars and rabbis. “Liberation” was typical of Aylon's work in combining Jewish and social justice themes.
    1997: The New York Times reported that the ownership of The Chattanooga Times is being transferred from the four grandchildren of Adolph S. Ochs, who bought the paper in 1878 and remained its publisher until 1935, to his 13 great-grandchildren. The family said it did not anticipate any shift in the Tennessee newspaper's management or direction as a result of the change in ownership. ''It is part of an orderly transfer of responsibility to our children, and we make it with the utmost faith that they will sustain and enrich'' the family's commitment to the paper, said Ruth S. Holmberg, who remains the chairman of The Chattanooga Times and is one of the four current owners. In addition to Mrs. Holmberg, the other three owners are Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Marian S. Heiskell and Dr. Judith P. Sulzberger. All are in their 70's, while their children range in age from 32 to 53. The four grandchildren of Mr. Ochs are also the trustees of four trusts that own a controlling stake in The New York Times Company. Mr. Sulzberger is also the chairman of the Times Company. Although Mr. Ochs bought The New York Times in 1896, The Chattanooga Times remained separate from the Times Company.
    1998(12thof Adar, 5758): Seventy-four year Hayim David HaLevi, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi for Tel Aviv and Jaffa passed way today. A native of Jerusalem, he served in the IDF during the War for Independence before following a rabbinical career to which this blog cannot do justice.

    1998: The new building of the Jewish Museum of Greece was inaugurated today.
    2002: Israeli helicopters destroyed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's office in Gaza City, hours after 11 Israelis were killed in a suicide bombing in a cafe across the street from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's residence in Jerusalem.

    2003: Yaakov Edri begins serving as Deputy Minister of Public Security.

    2006: The Conservative movement decided to postpone until December 2006 making a final decision on recognizing gay marriage and allowing homosexuals to be ordained as rabbis, a move that is threatening to split the movement. The movement's Halakhic (Jewish law) committee discussed the initiative today but it was decided to delay making a final decision. One of the Conservative movement's leading rabbis in New York, who requested to remain anonymous, told Haaretz on Monday that the initiative's approval would cause broad resistance among the movement's rabbis and congregation members, and that many would leave the movement.

    2007: Shabbat Parah
    2007: The Tel Aviv Museum hosts a gala concert in honor of American composer Steve Reich

    2008: An exhibition styled “Lucien Freud: The Painter’s Etchings” at the Museum of Modern of Art comes to an end.


    2008: A screening of a film based on Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History takes place at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

    2009: “Irena’s Vow,” starring Tovah Feldshuh opens at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City.

    2009 (14 Adar, 5769): Purim


    2009: Sherwin B. Nuland, a clinical professor of surgery at Yale University and the author of The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine and the forthcoming The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside, presents the inaugural Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, "Chinese Medicine, Western Science and Acupuncture," at the National Institutes of Health.
    2009:Charles Zentai, an 87-year-old man accused of killing a Jewish teenager in Hungary during World War II asked an Australian court today to prevent his extradition to Hungary, and claimed the results of a lie detector test prove he had nothing to do with the death.
    Zentai, an Australian citizen, is listed by the U.S.-based Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center among its 10 most wanted Nazis as having participated in manhunts, persecution, and murder of Jews in Budapest in 1944.

    2010:The CJH, YUM, Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies at Cardozo Law School is scheduled to present “Genocide and Responsibility to Protect" during which a panel of scholars and practitioners will discuss The Responsibility to Protect ("RtoP" or "R2P"), a new international security and human rights norm designed to address the international community's failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
    2010(24thof Adar): Actor Corey Haim passed away.

    2010: The 121stannual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis came to a close today.

    2011:The NJDC is scheduled to host a reception honoring Kenneth R. Feinberg an American attorney specializing in mediation who is currently overseeing the U.S. government’s response to claims arising from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    2011:The Israeli Opera is scheduled to host the premiere “of the tumultuous Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Katerina Izmaylova), by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, directed by Yulia Pevzner, based on a version staged by Irina Molostova, a Ukrainian stage director who first directed it in a joint production of the Israeli Opera and the Kirov Opera House in 1997.”


    2011: Ruth Ellen Gruber is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “From Persona Non Grata to the Present: An American Jewish Journalist's View of Poland's Transformation” in Washington, DC.

    2011: Opening night of the 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festiva
    2011:The faces of four of Israel’s most celebrated poets and playwrights have been selected to appear on a new series of banknotes slated for release in the next three years, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer announced today. Natan Alterman, Leah Goldberg, Shaul Tchernichovsky and Rachel Sela – better known as Rachel the Poetess – were selected for the list, which was finalized following more than a year of heated debate and which will now be submitted to the government for approval. The faces will appear on new NIS 20, 50, 100 and 200 banknotes. The Bank of Israel said in a press release that the poets were chosen in the hope that “featuring these personalities on the banknotes will help to instill in the younger generation of Israelis an appreciation of their contribution to Israeli society and to the state.” Fischer made the announcement a day after meeting with the Committee for the Planning of Banknotes, Coins and Commemorative Coins, chaired by retired Judge Yaacov Turkel, to confirm the four selections. The committee was tasked in December 2009 with finding a new set of personalities for the banknotes after the central bank shelved its original list – which included Rachel the Poetess, writer Shai Agnon and former prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin - following strong opposition from, amongst others, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and MK Benny Begin, son of Menachem. The New Israeli Shekel was introduced in place of the old shekel in 1985, with banknotes featuring the same personalities that can still be found today: former prime minister Moshe Sharett on the NIS 20 note, Shay Agnon on the NIS 50 note, and former presidents Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and Zalman Shazar on the NIS 100 and 200 notes. According to the Bank of Israel, the new series will incorporate state-of the-art security and identification features to aid anti-counterfeiting measures.

    2011: In an agreement signed today, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate sold most of its leasing rights to large swaths of Jerusalem to a group of Jewish investors last week. The
    2011: “Today, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia — home to more than a quarter of the country’s population of 2 million — gained a new cultural artifact: the Holocaust Memorial Center of the Jews from Macedonia. A landmark in the middle of the city, the center remembers Jews lost in the Holocaust from Macedonia and from neighboring Southeast European nations.” (As reported by Katherine Clarke)

    2011: Opening of the 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

    2012: “Camera Obscura” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth-El Jewish Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX.

    2012: Alison Westermann is scheduled to make her Washington, DC debut with a performance at Tifereth Israel

    2012(16thof Adar, 5772): On the Hebrew calendar, anniversary of the commencement of the rebuilding of the Walls of Jerusalem by Agrippa I in 41 of the CE.
    2012: United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the barrage of rockets fired towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. Clinton said in a meeting with Opposition leader Tzipi Livni in New York that Israel has the right to defend itself. Livni in turn urged the international community to speak out against terrorism directed at Israel's southern communities.
    2012: Due to the escalation in violence, the IDF Home Front command along with the heads of a number of local authorities in Israel’s south decided tonight to cancel school in all towns and cities located between 7km to 40km from the Gaza Strip.
    2013:Bel Kaufman, author of Up the Down Staircase;Rachel Cohen Gerrol, co-founder of the Nexus Global Youth Summit; and Rachel Sklar, founder of Change the Ratio are scheduled to be honored at JWA's Third Annual Making Trouble/Making History awards luncheon
    2013: The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital is scheduled to host a Purim Ball and Auction honoring Marsha Gentner and Joe Berman, Jacqueline Eyl and Leonard Chanin Mindy and Jeffrey Sosland featuring comedian Joel Chasnoff

    2013: As part of Temple Judah’s 90th anniversary observance, Barb Feller will lead a trolley tour of historic Jewish cites in Cedar Rapids with Mark Hunter serving as “subject matter expert.” 
    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim.”

    2014: Jennifer George, Al Jaffee, Adam Gopnik and Brian Walker are scheduled to discuss “The Genius of Rube Goldberg” at the 92nd Street Y.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Lost Souls: Retrieving Jewish War Orphans after the Holocaust.”






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    March 11

    1513:  Leo X elected Pope.  Leo X succeeded Julius II, the Pope who paid for the painting of the Sistine Chapel.  “To Martin Luther, Leo was the functioning head of a “kingdom of Antichrist.’”  Even his admirers might say that Leo was more a man of the Renaissance than a Vicar of Christ.  He respected learning, even when that learning was Jewish.  In a dispute concerning the Talmud, Leo took the side of Johann Reuchlin one of the Christian scholars who could read Hebrew.  He defended the Talmud, saying that it did blaspheme Jesus or Christianity.  Despite the pressure on him to burn the Talmud to the opposed tact and had a Christian printer produced the text in its entirety, without censorship.  Leo banned the requirement of the Jew Badge in his French possessions and refused to enforce it in his Italian holdings. 

    1415: Pope Benedict XIII banned the study of the Talmud in any form and tried to restrict Jewish life completely. The town of Tortosa, Spain, was the scene of a disputation between Christians and Jews from 1412 through 1414.  These disputations were always rigged so that the Christians would win.  The Pope (or as he described by some the anti-Pope) was enraged by the lack of conversions which was the cause of the ban.

    1762: Although Rhode Island was considered more liberal than other states, and although a few Jews had been previously granted citizenship, the state refused to grant citizenship to Aaron Lopez and Isaac Eliezer. The court stated that “no person who is not of the Christian religion can be admitted free of this colony.” Lopez was granted citizenship by Massachusetts, and the sentence “upon the true faith of a Christian” was excluded from the oath. Lopez was probably the first Jew to be granted citizenship in Massachusetts.

    1787(21st of Adar): Rabbi Elimelekh of Lizhansk, author of Noam Elimelekh, a commentary on the Torah, passed away today. He was the brother of Rabbi Zušya, of Hanipol (one of my favorite Chassidim) and a student of the Maggid of Mezeritch the successor to the Baal Shem tov.

    1800(14th of Adar, 5560): First Purim of the 19th century

    1801: Paul I of Russia is assassinated, leading the way for his son Alexander I to accede the throne. Paul’s death was no loss to the Jews of Russia. At the time of his death, Paul was preparing to implement the recommendations contained in a report entitled, “An Opinion on How to Avert the Scarcity of Food in White Russia Through the Curbing of the Jews’ Avaricious Occupations, Their Reformation and Other Matters.”  Alexander I began his reign by adopting a series of policies that were designed to further degrade and impoverish the Jews.  As the threat of Napoleon loomed on the horizon, Paul’s policies towards the Jews softened and improved.  The first Lubavitcher Rebbe urged Jews to support Alexander in the fight against Napoleon.  After the Napoleonic threat disappeared Alexander’s treatment of the Jews became increasingly less sympathetic.  By the time of his death, he had returned to the reactionary views that had marked the start of his reign. 

    1812: Prussian Jews were granted civil rights. The price of citizenship included the adoption of family names in the Western style. Although later reaction revoked most of this freedom, the discrimination never returned to the level existing in the "Middle Ages." That is, until the rise of Hitler.

    1831: Birthdate of Adolf Neubaur. A native of Hungary and student of rabbinical literature, he worked in the Austrian Consulate at Jerusalem where he began publishing articles about the Jews of that city. Eventually he made his way to Oxford where he enjoyed a distinguished career as a reader in Rabbinic Hebrew and sub-librarian at Bodelian Library. Besides his extensive cataloguing work, this unsung intellectual hero edited the Aramic text of the Book of Tobit and discovered a Hebrew fragment of the wisdom text of “Ben Sira.”

    1852: An article entitled “Benjamin Disraeli” published today described the various views, most of them negative, on the appointed of Disraeli to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Much of the criticism was based on Disraeli’s career as the author of several novels.  Apparently being a man of letters should have disqualified him for such a post.  According to the author of the article, Disraeli’s literary background gives him unique qualifications for public life.  Besides which, he was the most capable member of his party serving in the House Commons where the Conservatives were in need of leaders.

    1853(1stof Adar II, 5613): Rosh Chodesh Adar II

    1853: The Jewish Disabilities Bill came up in the House of Commons for a second reading. Mr. Ernal Osborne argued “that religious liberty was violated in the exclusion of Jews from Parliament and thought the question not one of Jewish disabilities, but of the right of Christians to be represented by whom they pleased.”  Several Members of Parliament “totally opposed the bill on Christian grounds.”

    1853(1stof Adar II, 5613): Sixty-eight year old Pinchas Selig Rubino passed away

    1872(1stof Adar II, 5632): Rosh Chodesh Adar II

    1873: In a letter written today, W. Archdall O’Doherty stated that it was a year ago to the day that he had delivered “control of the Erie Railway to a little London Jew of the name of Bischsoffsheim.” The letter continues with his explanation of the financial machinations that the new owners have engaged in since the sale. [Editors Note – The reference is to Bischoffsehim and Goldschmidt, British bankers, who were the leaders of a group of English shareholders seeking to oust Jay Gould from his controlling position of the railroad which he was ruining for his personal financial gain.  Gould was one of the villains of the Robber Baron Era.  The letter was written by a shadowy figure whose role was emerging during the multiple investigations that were being conducted.  His resort to an anti-Semitic smear was not unusual in certain circles at that time,]

    1876: It was reported today that the Purim Ball which has been held for several years at the Academy of Music did not take place this year.  No reason was given for the change which came as a surprise because it was so popular with both Christian and Jewish citizens of New York.

    1884(14thof Purim, 5644): Purim

    1886: In Chicago, Rabbis Lesser, Anexter and Oalperstein officiated at the appraisal of four casks of wine and liquor shipped from Jersualem for using during the upcoming holiday of Passover.  According to the appraiser, the wine will carry a duty of three dollars a gallon.  The wine looks liked “ordinary Rhine wine and tastes like hard cider.”  After the Appariaser finished his work, the religious leaders sealed the casks and recited the appropriate prayers over them.

    1890: “Found Dead In A Cellar” published today described the events surrounding the discovery of a female corpse in a building that is used as a dry goods store by Moses Levy on the ground floor and as a school by Aitz Chaim, a Talmud Torah occupying the second and third floors under the direction of Isaac Libermann and Hermann Rothstein.

    1891: Ignatz Klein swore before Coroner Levy that a girl that he had seen the United States named Rose Kohlmeyer was in fact Esther Soloymis, the girl he was accused of murdering nine years ago in Hungary as part of an alleged blood libel.

    1892: Authorities are investigating reports of patient neglect at North Brothers Island, the site where numerous typhus fever, many of whom are Russian Jewish immigrants, are supposed to be held until they regain their health or pass away.

    1892(12th of Adar, 5652): Sixty-two year old Mason Hirsh, an umbrella manufacturer from Philadelphia, passed away today New York after being hit by a car two days ago.  He was the Treasurer of the United Hebrew Charities of Philadelphia.

    1894: “The Treaty in the Reichstag” published today described the debate taking place in the German parliament over the adoption of a Russian-German Commercial Treaty; a debate filled with ant-Semitism. Baron von Hammerstein and Lieberman von Sonnenberg called the treaty “monstrous” because it would allow Russian Jews to enjoyall the privileges of Germans while avoiding military service.  They “warned the government that these Russian Jews would inevitably overrun and monopolize entire villages and absorbed the prosperity of the provinces.

    1896: Herzl meets Reverend William Hechler chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna. Hechler was tutor in the household of the Grossherzog von Baden. He knows the German Kaiser and thinks he can get Herzl an audience.

    1897: Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Asylum, the Montefiore Home, the Home for Aged and Hebrews are each to receive bequests of three thousand dollars from the late Simon Goldenberg. The United Hebrew Charities and the Hebrew Technical Instituteeach will receive bequests of five thousand dollars.

    1899: “Africa” published today provides a review of The Redemption of Africa in which Frederic Perry Noble includes a description of the impact of Abraham’s journey to Egypt on the continent’s religious and social development.

    1899: “The Best of Histories” published today listed 143 works that should be purchased by anybody forming a historical library including The Story of the Jews by J.K. Hosmer and The History of the Jews by Josephus Falvius translated by William Whiston


    1900: In Konitz, West Prussia, 19 year old Ermst Winter, the son of an architect from Prechlau who going to school in Konitz did not return to his boarding house.  It was assumed that he had fallen through the ice and a search was begun.  Unbeknownst to everybody, including the Jews of Konitz, this would mark the start of Konitz Affair, a 20thcentury blood libel.

    1903: Zionist leader Oskar Marmorek returns to Vienna.  While few may know his name today, the Austrian born architect was an early convert to Zionism joining Max Nordau and David Wolffsohn as one of Herzl’s key supporters.

    1904: Birthdate of leading childhood obesity and anorexia researcher Hilde Bruch. Raised in a small German town, Bruch originally wanted to become a mathematician. An uncle convinced her that medicine was a more practical career for a Jewish woman, and she earned her doctorate in medicine at the University of Freiburg in 1929. After giving up her academic career for private practice in response to anti-Semitism within the university, Bruch fled Germany altogether in 1933, immigrating to England. After a year in London, she moved to the United States, where she began working at BabiesHospital in New York City. Bruch began researching obesity in children in 1937; her work in this area would prove to be groundbreaking. Yet she left this research in 1941 to study psychiatry at the JohnsHopkinsUniversity. Returning to New Yorkin 1943, she both established a private psychoanalytic practice and joined the faculty at ColumbiaUniversity's College of Physicians and Surgeons. In New York, and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where she joined the faculty in 1964, Bruch's research increasingly focused on the underlying causes of anorexia nervosa. She published both scholarly and popular articles on eating disorders, and continued to see patients until her eightieth birthday. Her collected work, published as Eating Disorders: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa and the Person Within in 1973, is still considered a definitive work on the subject. Bruch died in Houstonin December, 1984.

    1906: In a column entitled “Talk With Josef Lhevinne,” the Jewish pianist who is visiting the United States discussed a wide range of topics including the impact of Anton Rubinstein on his career, his love and admiration for America and his disappointment that he will not be able to go fishing while in this country.  “Fishing is favorite diversion, aside from tennis which he plays constantly to keep down his weight and to diversion to the muscles of his arms.”

    1908(8th of Adar II):  Hebrew novelist Isaiah Bersadsky passed away

    1909: Birthdate of Jules Engel “a Jewish-Hungarian American filmmaker, painter, sculptor, graphic artist, set designer, animator, film director, and teacher.”

    1911: Birthdate of Haim Cohen, the Lübeck, born Israeli legal scholar and jurist who wrote The Trial and Death of Jesusin 1968 in which he argued that it was the Romans, not the Sanhedrin, who tried and executed Jesus.

    1911: Fire breaks out at the Triangle Waist Factory, also known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.  At least 146 workers died most of them immigrant Jewish women.

    1917: During World War I Baghdad falls to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Maude. Those welcoming the British included, “red-fezzed oriental Jews in misfit European clothing…” Baghdad was part of the Ottoman Empire.  According to General Maud, Jews, not Moslems, made up the majority of the city’s population.  Maude probably overstated the actual number of Jews.  But he did not overstate the economic role the Jewish population played in an area that children of Israelhad lived in since the days of the Babylonian exile.According to Martin Gilbert, for several years afterwards, their arrival was celebrated by the Jews of Baghdad as "a day of miracles."

    1918:Mrs. Felix Warburg opened her house home on New York’s Fifth Avenue, for a reading by Miss Jenny Mannheimer which was intended to be fundraiser for the War Relief Fund.

    1921: The British C-I-C for Palestine quashed all military proceedings against Jabotinsky and 19 of his comrades for what came to be seen as self-defense measures taking during the Arab riots in Jerusalem.

    1921: Birthdate of Elisabeth Jenny Jeanne Meynard who gained famed as Elisabeth Maxwell, the wife of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell.

    1922: Bernard Baruch and Henry Morgenthau were among those who pledged to raise $100,000 for the Woodrow Wilson fund of $1,000,000 which is to be used in the establishment of annual prizes for meritorious public service.

    1927: Samuel Lionel "Roxy" Rothafel opened the theatre that bears his name – Roxy Theater- in New York City.  Six years later he would open an even more famous venue – Radio City Music Hall – that feature the “Roxyettes” who were later known as the “Rocketts.”  (And you thought those leggy gals were named after a missel.)

    1931: Birthdate of media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch’s mother was Jewish.

    1932: At NYCCity Hall, Mayor Jimmy Walker met with 10 of 13 of the athletes who will be participating in the Jewish Olympics before they set sail this evening on SS Majestic. The mayor praised the group saying that the co-ed cohort of athletes would bring honor and glory to the United States and New York City.

    1933: Jewish-owned department stores in Braunsshweig were looted.

    1937: As Arab violence continued to mount, The Palestine Postreported that armed Arabs

    attacked Jews who plowing fields near Afula.  Two Kfar Tavor farmers, Jacob Kizler and Shlomo Rothenstein, were seriously injured during the attack by armed. Stanislav Sluga, the 46-year-old Pole who was shot in a Ness Ziona orange grove, died after being taken to the hospital. Dogs tracked his alleged Arab assailant.

    1938: The German army entered Vienna. Austrian Jews were instantly deprived of all civil rights. Physical and mental oppression of Austrian Jews began and Austriaceased to exist as in independent state.

    1938:  As the prowess of Szapsel Rotholc continued to grow, “the Idishe Bilder newspaper ran a front-page headline proclaiming "Our Szapsel, the boxing hero." The article went on to point out that Szapsel  the Yiddish version of the Hebrew name Shabtai, means sheep, but his army of fans saw him as a far more dangerous animal. "Who would ever have imagined," the correspondent waxed, "that the Jewish people, the People of the Book, would take the sport of boxing to their hearts? After all, Jews - who are, by their very nature, gentle souls - have never been thought capable of such things."

    The article went on to describe Rothholc as "our jewel, who made the Germans eat dirt."

    1942:  The Gestapo used Jews for target practice at Janowska labor camp. Chief Dibauer and Lieutenant Bilhause would pick them off from their window as they carried loads of rocks.

    1943: “The Sephardic Jewish community of Monastir, historically the largest Jewish community in Macedonia was deported…In cooperation with the Germans, Bulgarian military and police officials rounded up 3,276 of Monastir's Jewish men, women, and children, deported them to German-controlled territory and turned them over to the custody of German officials. The Germans transported the Jewish population of Monastir and environs to their deaths in Treblinka as part of their plan to murder all European Jews.”

    1943: “Bulgarian police monitored by SS rounded up the entire Jewish population of Skopje, Bitola and Štip.The population was sent to temporary detention center in the state tobacco warehouse known as "Monopol" in Skopje. Among 7,215 people who were detained in warehouses there were:

     539 children less than 3 years old,

     602 children age 3 to 10 years

     1172 children age 10 to 16 years

     865 people over 60 years old

     250 seriously ill persons (tied to the bed)

     4 pregnant women who have given birth in the detention camp

     4 people died at the arrival in the camp.”

    1945: Birthdate of Mark Steinvocalist/organist and founder of Vanilla Fudge.

    1947: Levy Shklonik, the secretary of the Tel Aviv Labor organization told its members today “that the time would come when the labor movement would have to undertake a bloody anti-terrorist struggle.  His message echoed the words of Hashomer Hatzair (Young Guard Movement) which called on the Federation of Jewish Labor to join in the fight against terror and kidnapping.

    1947: Kibbutz Yakum (He Shall Rise) was established on the Plain of Sharon north of Tel Aviv.  The collective was founded by members of the Hashomer Hatzair (Young Guard Movement).

    1947: A group of American, Rhodesian and South African Jewish war veterans who had served variously with the American military, the British Army and South Africa’s Sixth Armored Division have founded Maayan Baruch (Spring of Barch), a kibbutz in the Upper Galilee near the borders with Syria and Lebanon.  The kibbutz is named in honor of Bernard Gordon of blessed memory who had served as vice president of the South African Zionist Federation and who had left half of his large estate to the Jewish National Fund.

    1948: Arabs bombed the headquarters of the Jewish Agency. The explosion of the car bomb in the courtyard of KH-UIA's building, tragically claiming the lives of Keren Hayesod - United Israel Appeal's Director, Leib Jaffe and 11 other Keren Hayesod - United Israel Appeal employees. The Jewish Agency was the unofficial government of the Jewish Community (the Yishuv) in what was to become the state of Israel.  This attack was part of the unofficial war waged by the Arabs designed to "drive the Jews into the sea" prior to the British leaving Palestinein May, 1948.

    1949: The first Israeli troops reached the Gulf of Aqaba where a white bedsheet with a hand drawn blue Star of David is hoisted as a sign of the Jewish state’s claim to the area around Eilat.

    1950(22nd of Adar, 5710): Dr. Mordecai Elash, Israel’s Ambassador to Great Britain, passed away today.

    1950: “The visiting Istanbul Fenerbache soccer players were carried off the hield on the shoulders of Israeli fans today after they had whipped the Tel Aviv Hapoel 3 to 0 in the first mach of their Israel tourney.”  The enthusiastic demonstration was probably the result of Turkey’s announcement this week that it was recognizing the state of Israel, making Turkey the first Moslem country to do so. 

    1950:  Birthdate of film director Jerry Zucker.  “Ghost” and “Ruthless People” were two of his more notable films.

    1951: Birthdate of MK Aryeh Gamliel

    1952(14th of Adar, 5712): Final Purim observed during the Presidency of Harry S Truman

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israel Medical Association warned that the "deteriorating nutrition situation was inherently dangerous." The Minister of Agriculture, Levi Eshkol, voiced full support for "Magen David Yarok"­ the planting of vegetables in home gardens. Urgent steps were taken to solve the problems of theft, pilferage and smuggling in the Haifaport which assumed dangerous proportions.

    1955(17th of Adar, 5715): Anna Freud, a sister of Sigmund Freud, passed away.

    1955: Archibald Maule Ramsay the former British military officer and Member of Parliament who was such a rabid anti-Semite and so sympathetic to the Nazis that he became the only member of the House of Commons “to be interned under Defense Regulation 18B which allowed the government to suspend habeas corpus to imprison Nazi sympathizers.

    1959: Premiere of “Raisin In The Sun” the controversial play produced by Philip Rose who personally raised the money to bring the drama to Broadway.

    1964: Birthdate of actor Peter Berg,best known as Dr. Billy Kronk on TV's Chicago Hope. Berg’s father is Jewish and his mother was Catholic.

    1964: Release date for “Becket” with a script by Edward Anhalt and music by Laurence Rosenthal.

    1968:  Birthdate of singer and songwriter Lisa Loeb.

    1972: Birthdate of Benjamin Cohen the French singer no known Benjamin Diamond.

    1975(28th of Adar, 5735: Fifty-two year old former MK Meanchem Cohen passed away.

    1977:The Jerusalem Postreported from Washingtonthat Hanafi Moslem terrorists held more than 100 mostly Jewish hostages in three buildings and threatened to chop off their captives’ heads, unless their demands were met. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was pleased with US President Jimmy Carter¹s definition of peace and with his distinction between "defense lines" and "legal borders." But he forecast a tough clash with the USover Israel¹s final borders.

    1977: More than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were freed after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the negotiations.  The B’Nai Brit building was one of the three buildings which the Muslims had seized.

    1977: Palestinian terrorists killed 34 Israelis on the Tel Aviv-Haifa highway.

    1978: The Palestine Liberation Organization carried out a massive terrorist attack in Israel. PLO terrorists from Lebanon first killed Gail Rubin, an American Jewish photographer. 

    1978: Eleven Palestinian terrorists landed in Zodiac boats on a beach just outside Ma'agan Michael and from there ventured towards Tel Aviv in a hijacked bus in what has become known as the Coastal Road massacre where 39 Israelis were killed.

    1978: Terrorists killed 45 Israelis during an attack on a mail truck at Tel Aviv.

    1982: In an article entitled “The Dance: By Pola Nirenska,” New York Times correspondent Anna Kisselgoff  described the travailed filled life of this accomplished dancer and choreographer whose life took her from pre-war Poland, through the days of the Holocaust to a new life in America.

    1986: The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Leo Frank a pardon, citing the state's failure to protect him or prosecute his killers, though they stopped short of exonerating him.

    1987:Secretary of State George P. Shultz today called the Israeli spy case ''very disheartening'' and said a decision by the Israeli Government to investigate would have ''a cleansing effect.'' Testifying before the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Mr. Shultz also confirmed reports that all United States officials in Israel had been ordered to have no contact whatever with Col. Aviem Sella or with the Tel Nof Air Base, which he commands. Colonel Sella has been indicted by a Federal grand jury on charges of espionage in the case of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a United States Navy employee who has been sentenced to life in prison for giving intelligence information to Israel.

    1989: Birthdate of Russian-born, American actor Anton Yelchin.  Yelchin’s parents were Olympic class ice skaters whose carreers in the old Soviet Union were limited because they were Jewish.  Yelchin’s father would become the trainer for Jewish skater Sasha Cohen.

    1990(14th of Adar, 5750): Purim

    1999: In ceremonies at New York City's
    92nd Street
    Y, Rachel Adler was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought. The award recognized “Engendering Judaism: A New Theology and Ethics,” which set forth a new model for integrating modern feminism with traditional Jewish theology.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including “Martyrs' Crossing” by Amy Wilentz and “Paradise Park” by Allegra Goodman.

    2001: In New York, premier performance of “I Will Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer” by Victor Klemperer; adapted by Karen Malpede and George Bartenieff; translated by Martin Chalmers.

    2002: Israel lifted Yasser Arafat's three-month confinement in West Bank.

    2004: Seventy-one year old “Gordon Zacks is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of R.G. Barry Corp. after 50 years with the company.”

    2005: The United States government reached a $25.5 million settlement with the families of Jewish Hungarian Holocaust victims in the so-called Nazi "Gold Train" affair and will acknowledge the U.S. Army's role in commandeering a trainload of the families' treasures during World War II.

    2006: A London revival production of “Once in a Lifetime” written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman came to an end today.

    2006: Spain began a somber remembrance of the Madrid terror bombings on this, the second anniversary of the attacks - with plans for Christians, Muslims and Jews to join in prayers for peace, and for silence to descend at a memorial set up for victims.

    2007 In Nagoya, Jewish professional wrestler Matt Bloom and Travis Tomko defeated Manabu Nakanishi and Takao Ōmori to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.

    2007: The Central Conference of American Rabbis, a 1,500 member group representing Reform Rabbis opened its annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

    2007: An exhibition entitled “Biblical Art in a Secular Century: Selections, 1896-1993” featuring that includes the works of such Jewish artists as George Segal and Ben-Zion Weinman, as well as outstanding non-Jewish artists, at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art comes to an end.

    2007: The Reconstructionist movement formally names Rabbi Toba Spitzer to head its Rabbinical Association. Rabbi Spitzer is the first avowed Lesbian to lead such a Jewish group.

    2007:The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Gospel of Food:Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong”by Barry Glassner and “At the Same Time” by Susan Sontag 

    2007:The Washington Post features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Waiting for Daisy” by Peggy Orenstein.

    2008: The
    92nd Street
    Y presents “Dennis Prager: The Case For Judaism,” featuring the popular radio talk show host and author.

    2008: In Jerusalem famous Israeli singer Ronit Shahar performs in an acoustic concert at Beit Shmuel, singing many of her hit songs.

    2008:The Belgian government and banks agreed to pay €110 million ($170 million) to Holocaust survivors, families of victims and the Jewish community for their material losses during Word War II.

    2008: A Kuwaiti newspaper published unprecedentedly harsh criticism of the terror attack which killed eight students at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. The piece presented a stark contrast to the main current in the Arab press, which presented almost sweeping praise for the "heroic operation."

    2008: Jewish American playwright David Mamet announced a shift in political view and allegiance with an essay in The Village Voice, “Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'.”

    2009 (15 Adar, 5769): Shushan Purim

    2009: In Sterling, Virginia, Rabbi Bonny Grosz of the Community Rabbi Foundation leads the first of three study sessions on "Turning Torah: Studying the Weekly Torah Reading Using Different Approaches."

    2009: This evening two Palestinian Authority Arab men attacked Jewish soldiers and civilians in the Binyamin region.

    2010: Construction began on Barclay’s Center, the pride and joy of Bruce Ratner

    2010: At the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, The Jewish Studies Centers is scheduled to present “Judaism and Islam: Mirrors and Echoes - Tales from the Koran and Torah” during whichAfroze Mohammed and Stephanie Lowitt will trace the stories about Joseph, or Yusuf, through both scriptures, and you’ll learn how this always fascinating character is pivotal to both Jewish and Muslim traditions.

    2010:United States Vice President Joe Biden warned Israelis in a direct address from Tel Aviv today that the status quo in the Middle East was not sustainable, and vowed that the United States would do everything in its power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. He also urged both Israelis and the Palestinians look toward direct negotiations to end the long-standing conflict.

    2010: The New York State Attorney General appointed Judith Kaye as an independent counsel to investigate allegation that the Governor had violated ethics laws.

    2011:After snowing throughout the day yesterday, the snow was expected to taper off last night with rain in the north forecast for today.

    2011:The “women building a bridge” festival at the Valley of Springs near Ashdot Ya’acov is scheduled to be held on the Jordan River banks near the border between Jordan and Israel today.

    2011:  The Song of Songs minyan is scheduled to come together for a community Kabbalt Shabbat at the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay as part of The Jewish Music Festival
    2011(5thof Adar II: Anniversary of Moses’ last day as leadership of the Jewish people.  According to Chabad, this took place on 5th of Adar 1273, BCE.

    2011:Hours after a 8.9 magnitude earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami struck Japan today, Jewish and Israeli humanitarian groups pledged to help relief efforts in the island nation.

    2011(5 Adar II, 5771):Five members of an Israeli  family were killed tonight when a suspected terrorist broke into their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar and stabbed them all to death. According to police, the suspect broke into the house armed with a knife and stabbed the mother, father and three children, aged 11, three and an approximately one-month-old baby. Magen David Adom rescue services arrived at the scene and found them all dead. The victims of the brutal murders are Rabbi and IDF tank unit officer Udi Fogel, his wife Ruth, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad and three-month-old Hadas.

    2011(5 Adar II, 5771): Eighty-seven year old Danny Stiles a New York disc jockey who styled himself as the “King of Nostalgia and “The Vicar of Vintage Vinyl” passed away today. (As reported by the Eulogizer)

    2011(5 Adar II, 5771): Eighty-two year old Stan Ross, the producer-engineer who co-founded Gold Star Studio passed away today in Burbank, CA.(As reported by Valerie Nelson)

    2012: Major General Nitzan Alon is scheduled to officially take up his post as head of the Central Command at the headquarters in Jerusalem.

    2012: Dan Shapiro and Julie Fisher are scheduled to be honored at tonight’s JPDS-NC Purim Ball, sponsored by the only Jewish Day School in Washington, D.C.

    2012: “Ahead of Time” is scheduled to be shown at the Sacramento Jewish Festival in Sacramento,CA

    2012: “Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades” is scheduled to be shown at the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival in Vancouver, CA.

    2012: Stephen Stern is scheduled to moderate “Modern Judaism Wrestles with Spinoza” featuring Rabbi Lyle Fishman and Joel Schwartz as part of the backstage events surrounding the performance of “New Jerusalem.”

    2012: The Eliat Chamber Music Festival, which will include an appearance by violinist Valery Soklov, is scheduled to open tonight.

    2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery” by Noam Scheiber and “Beautiful Souls:Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times” by Eyal Press.  “Beautiful Souls” contains a vignette about Paul Grüninger, a Swiss police commander, who “broke the law to help Jewish refugees flee from Austria” after the Nazis annexed  the country.

    2012:Residents of southern Israel suffered another day under siege today as Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired about 50 more rockets at the Negev.

    2013: Rabbi Sidney Kleiman’s 100th birthday on the Today Show

    2013: In Brooklyn, Judge Eric Vitaliano “rejected a Jewish attorney’s request to exclude Jews from a jury involving a client facing charges of lying about joining the Taliban” ruling “that it would be unconstitutional to bar a prospective juror because of religion.” The attorney is Frederick Cohn who is representing Abdel Hameed Shehadeh.

    2013: An 11 day mission to Israel sponsored by The Jewish Federation of North America’s

    Network of Independent Communities is scheduled to being today.

    2013:NASHIM Annual Women's Seder is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm

    2013: Publication date for Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg 

    2014: Historic 6th& I Synagogue is scheduled to host “Food for thought- Digesting Ethics, Mysticism, and Philosophy with Rabbi Yosef Edelstein of MesorahDC

    2014: In Denver, CO, Temple Emanuel is scheduled to host “The Dishes of Our Lives: Jewish Cookbooks, Jewish Stories”





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    March 12

    515 BCE: On the secular calendar the construction of the Second Temple was completed. (Book of Ezra, 6:15 “And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.”  Darius began his reign in 522 BCE.)

    604: Pope Gregory I passed away. Born in 540, Gregory was Pope from 590 until 604. The great prelate was a vigorous foe of Judaism, a religion he believed was based on depravity.  In his eyes, “the Jewish understanding of scripture was perverse.” He sought to keep Jews and Christians apart.  He forbade Christians from using Jewish doctors and would not let the clergy employee Jews as clerks.  Jews were not to hold public office, build new synagogues, marry non-Jews or convert Christians to Judaism.  But Gregory was not an unmitigated anti-Semite.  On several occasions he protected the private property and synagogue of European Jews.  One of his writings summed up the view, “ Just as it is not befitting to permit Jews in their communities to go beyond the boundaries of what is permissible by law, so also the rights they already have should not be diminished.”

    1088: Urban II began his papacy during which he initiated the First Crusade, which brought death and destruction to the Jews all the way from the Rhineland to Jerusalem.

    1421: In Vienna, under the auspices of Archduke Albert of Austria, a combination of murder, libel and host-desecration charges brought about the destruction of the entire Jewish community. This was partly due to the revival of the crusader spirit of the Hussite Wars. Many Jews were forcibly baptized, others took their own lives. The rest were forced to leave. Later this became known as the Wiener Gezairah (The Vienna edict).

    1496: Maximilian I expelled the Jews from Styria, Austria.

    1664: New Jersey becomes a colony of England. A year later, New Jersey granted religious toleration to those living in the colony. While there were undoubtedly Jewish merchants operating in the colony in the 17thcentury, the honor of being the first Jews to live in the colony may go to “Aaron and Jacob Lozada, who owned a grocery and hardware store in Bound Brook as early as 1718.”

    1682:  Anti-Jewish riots beak out in Krakow.

    1715: Elector Max Emanuel ordered the expulsion of the few Jews still living in Bavaria, Germany.

    1776: In Chevening, UK, Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope and Lady Hester Pitt gave birth to Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope, the eccentric English noblewoman whose “archaeological expedition to Ashkelon in 1815 is considered the first modern excavation in the history of Holy Land archeology.”

    1777: During the American Revolution, Captain Lewis Bush who had transferred from the Sixth Pennsylvania Battalion to Harley’s Additional Continental Regiment was promoted to the rank of Major.

    1811(16th of Adar): Judah Leib ben Ze’ev, the first Jewish grammarian of modern times passed away

    1822: L'esule di Granata (The exile of Granada) a melodrama (opera seria) in two acts by German Jewish composer  Giacomo Meyerbeer, had its world premier at the famed at La Scala Opera House in  Milan, Italy.

    1846(14thof Adar, 5606): Purim

    1852: The New York Times publishes an evaluation of the British government headed by Lord Derby which included Benjamin Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Disraeli’s appointment to this particular post came as a surprise and, given what the Times reporter considered his lack of aptitude for the job “his triumph will astonish the public and lead to his greater glory.”

    1856: The New York Times reported that the Greene Street Synagogue has replaced Anselm Leo with a new leader from Germany who has musical skills which he has used to introduce a choir to the congregation.  No musical instruments are allowed, but a pitch pipe is used to set the tone for the choir.

    1858: Birthdate of Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of the New York Times.  Ochs was the engine behind the Times rise to being the "paper of record" in the United States. Ochs is one of many American Jews who have been involved in the media giving rise to the anti-Semites' false claim that Jews control the media.  Ochs was the son of German Jews whom immigrated to the United States before the Civil War.  His life story is a classic example of that groups rise to prominence from the end of the Civil War through the start of World War II. It is obvious from reading Ochs' obituary in the New York Times that he was active in the Jewish community and quite proud of his heritage.  He was a Classical Reform Jew.  He was a trustee of Temple Emanu-El. He donated a building to the Templein Chattanooganamed for his parents.  And he raised $4,000,000 (quite a sum in 1926) for the HebrewUnionCollege, which had been founded by his father-in-law.  In responding to an inquiry about the keys to his success, Ochs wrote, in part, "My Jewish home life and religion gave me a spiritual uplift and a sense of responsibility to my subconscious better self --which I think is the God within me, the Unknowable and the Inexplicable.”

    1862: According to an articled published today entitled “The Line of the Mississippi” described the fortifications on both the North and South sides of the city of New Orleans.  According to travelers who have recently arrived in St. Louis from the Crescent City, the Jews are the only people in the city not “regularly enlisted” in its defense.

    1862(10th of Adar II, 5622: The U.S. Congress allowed Rabbis to serve as army chaplains.

    1865(14th of Adar, 5625): Purim

    1873(13th of Adar, 5633): Fast of Esther

    1873: “The Palestine Lodge of the I.O. of F.S.I. will host a masque ball at the Germania Assembly Rooms” tonight in New York as part of the celebration of Purim.

    1873: A Purim masquerade will be held in Brooklyn tonight at the Assembly Rooms above the Post Office.

    1876: The annual Purim reception held at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews located at Lexington and 63rd Street began at 11 in the morning and lasted until seven in the evening.

    1876(16thof Adar, 5636): Shushan Purim observed since Shabbat was on the 15thday of Adar.

    1881: Birthdate of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the modern secular state of Turkey who served as its first President. In 1923, during the early days of the newly created Turkish Republic Ataturk declared, “Our country has some elements who gave the proof of their fidelity to the motherland. Among them I have to quote the Jewish element; up to now the Jews have lived in happiness and from now they will rejoice and will be happy.” Ataturk came to the aid of the Jews in the early days of Hitler’s rise to power. “In 1933 Ataturk invited to Turkeymany University Professors of Jewish origin that were threatened by Nazi cruelty. The list of names is long; approximately 600 distinguished scholars took refuge in Turkey.”

    1884(15thof Adar, 5644): Shushan Purim

    1889: Birthdate of Philip Guedalla, the Anglo-Jewish barrister and author whose quips include this one that frightens all historians or would-be historians - "History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other."

    1890: The Passover Relief Association held its 18th annual Purim Masquerade Ball this evening at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

    1891: Jesse Seligman received a draft for twelve million francs from Baron Hirsch today.

    1891: Birthdate of Hungarian born American scientist turned philosopher, Michael Polanyi.

    1893: Rabbi Adloph Radin of Shaari Tikvah was one of the speakers who addressed the crowd gathered at the hall of the Hebrew Institute where citizens were protesting the closing of the annex to Grammar School #7 on Hester Street.

    1894(4thof Adar II, 5654): Ludwig August Ritter von Frankl-Hochwart passed away after leading a multi-faceted life.  Born in Boehmia in 1810, he studied Hebrew with Zecharias Frankel, earned an M.D. from the University of Pauda before moving to Vienna.  There he served as secretary and archivist of the Vienna Jewish congregation and became active in the Revolution of 1848.  He was a prolific author and philanthropist whose literary works include “Nach Jeruslem” which describe his travels to Asia, Greece and Jerusalem where he help founded a school.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg. (As reported by Singer and Mannheimer)

    1894: Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time. Coca-Cola was actually first introduced in 1886 at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta. Ga. Jacob’s Pharmacy was owned by Dr. Joe Jacobs who is buried in the same section of Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery as other prominent Atlanta Jews including Morris Rich, founder of Rich’s Department Store. Coke was not certified as Kosher and Kosher for Passover until 1935 thanks to the efforts of an Atlanta orthodox rabbi named Tobias Geffen.

    1895: Dreyfus arrives in French Guyana.

    1895: “The Rights of Clubmen” published today described the struggle between saloon owners and members of private clubs in New York.  Among the clubs that could be affected by a change in status would be the Adelphi Club, which is the leading private Jewish club in Albany.  Its members include “some of the wealthiest Jews” living in the state capital.

    1896: Judge Charles P. Daly will deliver an address entitled “Songs and Song Writing” at tonight’s meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1896: Today’s special performance of “The Heart of Maryland” which was intended to raise funds for the Hebrew Infants’ Asylum has been postponed until the end of the month.

    1896: It was reported today that “Charles Frohman has purchased a new melodrama” which he will not name but says will be produced in Boston before being brought to Broadway.

    1897: About 200 cloakmakers who are employed in the shops of contractors who work for Julius Stein &am Co in Manhattan went out on strike today.

    1897: The will of Elias Joseph which was filed with the Surrogate today left three bequests of $1,000 each to the Montefiore Home, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1898: Sir George Henry Lewis, the well-known Jewish lawyer testified before a committee of the House of Commons that was investigating “the evils of money lending.”

    1898: “Boston Announcements” published today included a description of a book of Yiddish poetry with an English translation written by Marice Rosenfeld which will be published Messrs. Copeland & Day.  The translation is being prepared by Professor Wiener of Harvard.  Jewish author Israel Zangwill and Abraham Cahan, editor of the Forwards have expressed their approval of the work.

     1898:"Anti-Juif Bourguignon," appeared today for the first time  at Dijon,

    1899(1st of Nisan, 5659): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

    1899(1st of Nisan, 5659): Sir Julius Vogel, the first Jewish Premier of New Zealand passed away.

    1902: Sophia Karp, Jacob Fischel and Joseph Lateiner founder the Grand Theatre in New York. It was the first theatre in New York built  to serve as venue for performing Yiddish theatricals.

    1904: Herzl authorizes Dr, Leopold Kahn to enter into negotiations with the Ottoman Empire for renting the administrative revenues of the Sanjak of Acre and for a loan to be obtained for the Imperial treasury.

    1908: Birthdate of David Saul Marshall. Born in Singaporeto an Orthodox family that had come from Iraq, Marshallwas trained as a lawyer.  After World War II he became leader of the Labour Front political party and in 1955 became the first Chief Minister of Singapore.

    1909: In Sophia, Bulgaria, The Medical Congress decided to print brochures in Ladino. The decision was in response to a request from a Christian Delegate who asked that this be done for the benefit of Jews unfamiliar with the Bulgarian language.

    1910: At the first meeting of the sub-committee on laws of the Civic Federation’s Committee on Compensation for Industrial Accidents “letters were received from Louis Brandeis of Bostongiving suggestions the establishment of an accident insurance system” designed to provide relief for workers injured on the job.

    1911: Vera Cheberiak, leader of a group of thieves in Kiev, makes plans to have Andrei Yustschinski murdered.  His murder will touch off the infamous Mendel Bellis Case.

    1914(14thof Adar, 5674): Last Purim before the outbreak of WW I.

    1915: General Sir John Grenfell Maxwell met with a delegation headed by Jabotinsky to discuss the formation of a “Jewish fighting unit” in the British Army. “The General said he was unable, under the Army Act, to enlist foreign nationals as fighting troops, but that he could form them into a volunteer transport Mule Corps.”

    1916: The National Union for Jewish Rights held its first meeting this afternoon in London. The Anglo-Jewish community formed the organization to secure the rights of the Jews at the end of the World War. Lucien Wolf and Israel Zangwill addressed the group.  Zangwill said that “if England got Palestine” he “hoped a Jewish governor would be appointed.

    1916: Today The Day, the Jewish daily newspaper edited by Herman Bernstein published the following cablegram from a special correspondent in Berne.  “I have learned from an absolutely reliable source that the Pope has prepared an important document of great interest to the Jewish people.  It is understood that this document will prove of the same importance and significance as the bull issued by Pope Innocent IV denouncing the ritual murder accusations against the Jews as false and based upon a cruel legend. The present statement by the Pope, who has interested himself so deeply in peace is devoted to the sorrows of the Jews in the belligerent lands and contains a plea for justice and fairness to the Jews.” [The article referred to Pope Benedict XV.]

    1917: During the Russian Revolution, the Duma elected a “provisional committee” which was effectively a new executive branch for the Russian government that would replace the Czar.  The apparent triumph of these social democrats offered hope (ultimately false hope) for the Jews of Russia that revolution would lead to liberation.

    1921: The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) passed a resolution to establish the Haganah.  Haganah, (literally "defense") was established for the purpose stated in its name.  It was organized to protect the Jewish settlements from Arab attacks - something the British could not or would not do.

    1921: The Cairo Conference began during which Winston Churchill sought to examine the workings of the British Mandates for governing Iraqand Palestine.

    1922(12thof Adar, 5682): Samuel Hirsch Margulies passed away.  Born at Berezhany in 1858, he held several rabbinic posts before being appointed chief rabbi of Florence, Italy in 1890 where he also became head of the Collegio Rabbinco when it was transferred from Rome to Florence

    1922(12th of Adar, 5682): Eighty year old Minnie Dessau Louis passed away.

    1922: According to reports published today Samuel Untermeyer and his son Irwin are among the members of a New York committee that has pledged to raise $100,000 for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation fund. 

    1922: In Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA, Max and Jennie Gold gave birth to Sydney Gold who gained famed body-builder Joe Gold, founder of Gold’s Gym – one of the most ubiquitous fitness centers found in most major and not so major cities in the United States.

    1928: Birthdate of Mordechai Eliyahu, the Jerusalem native who would become a prominent rabbi, posek and who would serve as the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993.

    1929: One of the first “talkie HollywoodBiblical epics, “Noah’s Ark,” the Warner Brothers film written by Darryl Zanuck premiered to critical and popular acclaim in New York City.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby-Gore, told the House of Commons that from 1922 to 1935 the population of Jerusalemrose from 63,000 to 110,000; of Tel Aviv from 15,000 to 110,000; of Jaffafrom 33,000 to 74,000 and of Haifafrom 25,000 to 85,000. He added that a committee had been set up by the High Commissioner in 1932 to consider compulsory health insurance, but it had decided that the introduction of such system in Palestinewas premature, especially for the Arab section of the population.

    1938: Hitler entered Austriato the greetings of the Church and Cardinal Innitzer. Seys-Inquert, who later achieved infamy as a mass murderer of Jews, was appointed Chancellor. The following day, Austria was annexed to Germany. Just a month before Hitler’s arrival, J.D. Salinger left Vienna to return to the United States.  He had been in the country since 1937 where he was learning about the meat-importing business.

    1938: As part of its drive to raise $4,500,000, The United Palestine Appeal issued a report today focusing on the growth in Palestine over the last twenty years.  Among highlights of the report are figures showing that from 1931 to 1936, exports increased from eight million dollars to eighteen million dollars. At the same time, bank deposits more than doubled in the last five years and the numbers of factories and workshops more than doubled in period starting in 1921 and ending in 1937.

    1939: Pope Pius XII was crowned Pope in Vaticanceremonies. While the Catholic Church may be considering Pious XII for canonization, the Jewish view of him is one who is “impious.”

    1941: Churchill met with Weizmann and reiterated his support for the eventual establishment of Jewish military units and a Jewish state in Palestine.

    1941: A sentry shot and killed a 13 year old in the Lodzghetto.

    1942(23rd of Adar): David Raziel was killed while serving for the British in Iraq

    1942: The Nazis ordered 8,000 Jews from southern Polish town of Mielec to be at the train station. The next morning, as they gathered, 2,000 children and elderly were shot dead at the train station.

    1943: In Chicago, Illinois, Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Finkel and his wife, Sara Rosenblum gave birth to Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the Haredi Rabbi who became Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem

    1943: Aaron Copland's ''Fanfare for the Common Man'' was performed for the first time, by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

    1943: Tonight is the night when Oskar Schindler changed his life, the life of his workers and history. Addressing his workers, he told them not to go home tonight. The Krakowghetto, he said, would be liquidated the next day. Schindler had witnessed the killings and decided he must protect his laborers. He would build his own concentration camp as a satellite to Kraków-Plaszów, and his staff would compile the now famous list of workers he wanted transferred to his camp.

    1945(27th of Adar, 5705): Bernard Drachman, who served as rabbi at the Park East Synagogue for 55 years starting in 1890, passed away today.

    1945: According to some sources, this is the day Anne Frank died at Bergen Belsen two months before the liberation by British forces.

    1947: Speaking as leader of the Loyal Opposition, Churchill attacks the Labor Party’s policy in Palestine attacking what he called “a senseless, squalid war with the Jews, in order to give Palestine to the Arab or God knows who.”

    1947: A British corvette warned British troops that a large number of Jewish refugees on board the SS Susanna, were attempting to land on the southern coast of Palestine.  British troops assisted by the local Arab population worked to intercept and arrest the refugees.  The British reported that they had captured almost 900 people but 240 may have been Jewish citizens of Palestine.

    1947: The Truman Doctrine was proclaimed today.  It was a policy set forth by U.S. President Harry S Truman stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere.  Greece was in the throes of a civil war where one side was supported by the Soviets.  In February of 1947, the British government informed Washington, that it was too broke to continue its traditional role of protecting Greece which had been part of its “sphere of influence.”  While Britain did not have the money to halt Soviet imperial expansion, she apparently had enough funds to patrol the Mediterranean to stop Jews from getting to Palestine. And she had enough money to support what had become an army of occupation aimed at thwarting the creation of a Jewish homeland.  It should be remembered that when President Truman was being pressured to deal with the problems of the displaced Jews of Europe and the issue of Palestine, he was also dealing with an explosion of other problems including the Soviet drive to control Europe.  His decisions vis a vis the Jews must also be viewed against the backdrop of a much larger world stage which the United States was only reluctantly entering on to.

    1947: During a session of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, Auni Bey Abdulhadi described the “wartime associations of the Mufti of Jerusalem…with Hitler and Mussolini.”

    1949: Birthdate of producer, director and writer Rob Cohen. It may not be fair to include Cohen on this page given his view of being Jewish.  When asked about his feelings about being Jewish Cohen has said, “I'm totally in reaction to it. I've never been comfortable with the Jewish identity. It's been one of those crosses to bear that I had the surname 'Cohen' which is a label. You can't hide even if you wanted to, so I don't practice. It's not anything of interest to me. I don't want to rediscover it. I'm not interested.”

    1950: The Foreign Ministry of Israel is scheduled to host a reception for members of the Istanbul Fenerache soccer team who played their first game in Tel Aviv yesterday.  The reception is in response to the fact that Turkey announced its decision earlier this week to recognize the state of Israel.

    1950: As a reminder of the fact that the Jewish state is surrounded by enemies committed to its destruction “the Israeli Defense Ministry today ordered the registration for the Army Reserve of all physicians between the ages of 29 and 49.”  Reportedly the government will soon require all civilians between the ages of 18 and 49 who have not served in the military to register with the Ministry of Defense.

    1950: The New York Times reported that the Israel Ministry of Education and Culture has appointed Mr. Frank Pelleg to serve as head of its music department.

    1951: As of this date the Iraqis allowed planes filled with Jewish refugees to fly straight to Israel instead of having to go to Cyprus first.

    1952:The Jerusalem Postreported that Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett met Sir Anthony Eden, the British foreign secretary, in London and told him that Israel was eager to reach a settlement with its neighbors and to stop to "perpetuate its loneliness" in the area.

    1953: Birthdate of Ron Jeremy, pornographic film actor

    1954:The first performance of Arnold Schönberg's "Moses und Aaron.” This was not the only Jewish themed work by this great Jewish composer.

    1954: Birthdate of British sculptor Anish Kapoor who was born in Bombay (Mumbai) to Jewish mother whose family immigrated from Baghdad and whose grandfather was the cantor in the Synagogue in Pune. Kapoor lived on a Kibbutz and after discovering that Engineering was not his forte decided to gain the skills that have made him a famous artist.

    1954: Birthdate of Chicago native Larry Rothschild who was the first manager of the newly minted Tampa Bay Devil Rays as well as a successful pitching coach for numerous teams including the New York Yankees.

    1957: Birthdate of actor Jerry Levine.

    1963: Bob Dylan cancels "Ed Sullivan Show" television appearance.

    1964: S[amuel] N[athaniel] Behrman's "But for Whom Charlie" premieres in New York.

    1965: Birthdate of American sports journalist, Steve Levy.

    1967: Naqi Jahan, the daughter of the first Miss India, Esther Victoria Abraham, was chosen Miss India. (As reported by Dr. Navara Jaat Aafreedi)

    1968: Mauritius achieves independence from Great Britain. Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean. In 1940, the British created a prison there to hold Jews who had escaped from Hitler’s Europe and were trying to enter Palestine.  The Jewish cemetery on the island attests to the cost of the British policy.  Since gaining its independence, Mauritius has sent many of its citizens to Israel for professional training in several fields of study including that of agronomy.

    1969: Linda Eastman married Beatle Paul McCarthney (A marriage that fits with Purim motif)

    1975: Birthdate of Dan Greenbaum, the native of Torrance, CA who played on the 1992 U.S.Olympic  Volleyball team that won a bronze medal.

    1977: Egypt's Anwar Sadat pledged to regain Arab territory from Israel.  Sadat would reach his goal, but with the pen of the peace treaty not the sword of war.

    1985(19th of Adar, 5745):  Eugene Ormandy, Hungarian born conductor, passed away.  Born in 1899, he came to United States in 1921.  He was the permanent conductor and music director for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1938 until 1980.

    1990(15thof Adar, 5750: Sixty-nine year old businessman and sport’s team owner, Gene Klein passed away today.

    1990 (15th of Adar, 5750): Rabbi Stuart E. Rosenberg, a spiritual leader of Canada's Jews and an author, died of cancer today in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he had a winter home. He was 67 years old and also lived in Toronto.  For nine years, until he retired last August, Rabbi Rosenberg led the Beth Torah synagogue in Toronto. Earlier, he was senior rabbi for 17 years at BethTzedec in Toronto, the largest Conservative congregation in Canada. Rabbi Rosenberg was one of the first Western religious leaders to focus on the plight of Soviet Jews, traveling to Moscowin 1961 and writing a series of newspaper articles on their problems. He was also a pioneer in Christian-Jewish dialogue in Canada. He wrote 20 books, including ''Christians and Jews: The Eternal Bond,'' published in 1985, and a two-volume study, ''The Jewish Community in Canada'' (1971). His last book, ''Secrets of the Jews,'' is scheduled to appear in the fall. He also worked as an editor for the Encyclopedia Judaica with responsibility for Canadian matters. Born in Manhattan, Rabbi Rosenberg was a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary and received a Ph.D. from ColumbiaUniversity.

     1993(19thof Adar, 5753): Eighty-three year old Michael Kanin passed away. The brother of Garson Kanin, he co-authored the Oscar winning script for “Woman of the Year” and shared an Oscar nomination with his wife Kay Mitchell for the script of “Teacher’s Pet.”

    1993(19th of Adar, 5753): Yehoshua Freidberg, a 24 year old immigrant from Canada was shot dead on the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem highway.

    1998(14thof Adar, 5758): Purim

    1999: The Times of London features a review of From Catastrophe to Power: Holocaust survivors and the emergence of Israelby Idith Zertal. 

    1999(24th of Adar, 5759): Sir Yehudi Menuhin famed violinist passed away at the age of 82.  Born in New York in 1916, Menuhin was raised in San Francisco.   He was a child prodigy who debuted at the age of eight.

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including In America by Susan Sontag, How We Got Here. The 70's: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life (For Better or Worse)by David Frum and The Nazis by Piotr Uklanski.

    2000: Pope John Paul II asked God's forgiveness for the sins of Roman Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women and minorities. What a difference in the events from 61 years before on this date.

    2003: At the Library of Congress opening of an exhibition entitled Herblock’s Gift: Selections from the Herb Block Foundation Collection

    2003: In an article entitled “A New Glasnost on War’s Looted Art,” Sophia Kishkovsky describes the efforts of Russia’s Ministry of Culture to return thousands of paintings, archives and rare books looted by Soviet forces in Germanyand Eastern Europe during and after World War II and taken to Russiaas so-called trophy art. Hitler's forces had previously pillaged many of the works from Jewish owners and other Nazi victims

    2003(8th of Adar II, 5763):  Howard Fast passed away.  Born in 1914, some of the controversial authors more famous works include Spartacus, Citizen Tom Paine and The CrossingThe Crossing was adapted for a PBS mini-series depicting the battles surrounding Washington’s Crossing the Delaware which were critical to the colonists ultimate victory over the British.

    2005:  “Roman Allegories” a solo exhibition of the works of Eleanor Antin came to a close at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York, NY

    2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Lipshitz Six or Two Angry by T Cooper and the recently released paperback edition of Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System by Sharon Waxman

    2006: A two-hour event - "Jewish Unity Live 2006" - is held at a hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

    2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that “the first Israeli Druse physician to become a professor is Dr. Jamal Zidan, head of the oncology department at ZivMedicalCenterin Safed. He received his title from the Medical Faculty of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, and he has worked at Ziv since 1979, when he was an intern.”

    2008: In Washington, D.C.,Joseph Horowitz, a former New York Times music critic and executive director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, discusses and signs Artists in Exile: How Refugees from Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts.

    2008: The New Republic featured reviews of The Jewish King Lear: A Comedy in America by Jacob Gordin, translated by Ruth Gay and Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia by Christopher Clark in which the author attributes the rise of Prussia during the 17thcentury to the “legendary religious tolerance of the Hohenzollerns” which enabled them to strengthen the state’s economy by opening its borders to Jews. The same magazine also profiled the Jews of Sefwi Wiawso a community of about 150 Ghanaians who claim to be descendants of the lost tribes of Israel 

    2008: The Australian parliament commemorated Israel's 60 years of independence as its leaders pledged their commitment to the country's security and stated their "respect for the Israeli cause,"Australia's The Age reported. The motion was put forward by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and seconded by Opposition leader Brendan Nelson.

    2008: Israel's Holocaust memorial posthumously recognized a prominent Spanish diplomat, who was the grandfather of the Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, for his role in saving hundreds of Jews during World War II.  Yad Vashem named Eduardo Propper de Callejon a "Righteous Among the Nations," the highest honor granted to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. More than 22,000 have been honored since the designation was originated in 1963, including Oskar Schindler, whose efforts to save more than 1,000 Jews was documented in the Oscar-winning film "Schindler's List," and Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who is credited for having saved at least 20,000 lives from Nazi death camps. Only four Spaniards have been granted the award. About six million European Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. As German troops marched into Francein the summer of 1940, Propper de Callejon, then first secretary in the Spanish embassy in Paris, stamped and signed passports for four days nearly nonstop to allow refugees to escape to Spain, and from there to the relative safety of Portugal. Propper de Callejon, a Franco loyalist, defied Spanish foreign ministry instructions not to issue such visas. In 1941, he was demoted and never promoted to be an ambassador. He retired in 1965 and died in 1972. The exact number of visas Propper de Callejon issued remains unknown, but Yad Vashem Director Avner Shalev - who called Propper de Callejon the "Spanish Raoul Wallenberg" - said it was believed to be at least 1,500, both Jewish and non-Jewish. "He was signing papers with both his hands. He signed so many that his hands hurt so much, my mother had to bandage them at the end of the day," said Elena Bonham Carter, his daughter. "It was extraordinary. Bonham Carter attended Wednesday's ceremony at the memorial's Garden of the Righteous along with her brother, Felipe Propper de Callejon. "Today, justice has been done to my father," He said. Bonham Carter said her famous daughter wished she could have been at the ceremony as well, but she is currently on location for the latest film in the Harry Potter series - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." 

    2009: New YorkUniversity’s Taub Center of Isreal Studies presents “Negotiating Peace With Syria,” a public dialogue subtitled “Lessons from the Past, Promises from the Future,” featuring Martin Indyk, former USAmbassador to Israel, and Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the US.

    2009: The Westchester Film Festival opens with a screening of “The Gift of Stalin,” the moving tale of a Jewish boy’s exile to the hinterlands of Kazakhstanin 1949 who is raised by the gruff Kasym, a Muslim, and Verka, a Christian.

    2009:The disgraced financier Bernard L. Madoff was immediately handcuffed and led off to jail today after a hearing in which he pleaded guilty to running a vast Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of billions of dollars. Rather than letting Mr. Madoff remain free on bail and return to his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Judge Denny Chin of
    Federal District Court
    ordered Mr. Madoff remanded as he awaited sentencing.

    2009: The National Book Critics Circle awarded the autobiography prize to Ariel Sabar's "My Father's Paradise," which traces the author's Jewish roots in Kurdish Iraq. Sabar, who spoke of being an immigrant's son in 1980s Los Angeles, remembered growing up with a father who "looked funny,""talked funny" and "couldn't get his clothes to match." But Sabar became deeply curious about his family's history and was struck by Iraq's long history of people of different faiths "who pretty much got along."

    2009(16thof Adar. 5769): Ninety one year old Lenore Cohn “Lee” Annenberg, the widow Walter Annenberg, passed away.  (As reported by Robert McFadden)

    2010: The Adas Israel Scholar-In-Residence Weekend is scheduled to begin with a Friday night service, dinner and a presentation by Professor David Kraemer on "Sacrificial Judaism, Vegetarianism, and the “Theology” of Food and Kashrut"

    2010:The former mayor of Amsterdam, 62-year-old Marius Job Cohen became the new head of the Dutch Labor party today after Wouter Bos, his predecessor, resigned. Cohen reportedly could become Prime Minister after elections are held this June.

    2011: Eighty-nine year old Tawfix Toubi, the last surviving member of the First Knesset (1949) passed away today in Haifa.  An Arab Christian, he was a member of the Communist Party who served in the Knesset until he retired in 1990.

    2011: In Fairfax Station, VA, Jewish Rock Artists Rick Recht and Sheldon Low are scheduled to perform at a special concert celebrating Temple B’nai Shalom’s 25th anniversary.

    2011: “Zion and his Brother” and “There Were Nights” are scheduled to be shown at the 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: “Ajami,” an Israeli film that had been nominated for an Oscar is scheduled to be shown at Columbia Jewish Congregation’s (CJC) 2011 - Nineteenth Season of Movies

    2011(6thof Adar II): According to tradition today marks the anniversary of Moses completion of the book of Deuteronomy, which took place on 6 Adar, 1273.

    2011(6thof Adar II): Ninety-five year old Yiddish actress Shira Lerer passed away today in New York City.(As reported by Joseph Berger)

    2011: Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed today that Israel would use every means possible to track down those behind the fatal stabbing of a family of five in the West Bank settlement of Itamar .

    2011: In “A Local Life: Al Ungerleider, 89; old soldier recalled nightmare mission,” published today, Lauren Wiseman recounts the exploits of the Jewish general who as a young lieutenant fought his from Normandy across Europe where he saw the horror of Nordhausen.

    2012: The East Bay International Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open in Oakland, CA

    2012: The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, The American Jewish Committee, and The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists are scheduled to sponsor a “brown bag lunch” featuring Art Spitzer, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area who will provide a look at some of the civil liberties cases on the Supreme Court Docket.

    2012(18thof Adar, 5772): On the Hebrew calendar, the 211th anniversary of David Emanuel being sworn in as Governor of the state of Georgia, making him the first Jew to serve as the chief executive of any state government in the United States.

    2012: Offensive tackle Geoff Schwartz signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

    2012: Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 40 rockets at Israel today, as the heavy cross-border barrage continued into its fourth day.

    2012: Journalist turned politician Yair Lapid blamed the Palestinians for the failure to reach a breakthrough in the peace process in a speech on Monday at Tel Aviv University.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History  is scheduled to present “Private Films, Public Identities: Jewish Self-Representations in Hungarian and Polish Interwar Home Movies”

    2013:”The Other Son” is scheduled to be shown at the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Sameh "SAZ" Zakout  a native of Ramle is one of the Israeli musicians scheduled to perform today at SXSW 2013

    2013(1stof Nissan, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Nissan

    2014: “A month after canceling a trip to Israel because of floods at home, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to address the Knesset today.” (As reported by Spence Ho)

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble in a performance of Schubert’s Sonatina in D Major, Brahms’ Sonata No 2 in A Major and Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op 80,

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

    2014: In Washington, DC, as part of “Voices of the Vigil, graphic designer Avrum Ashery will showcase his unique role in creating posters, buttons, and cards of protest for the movement.

    2014: The Washington Wizards basketball team is scheduled to host Jewish Heritage Night & a Pre-Purim Celebration.

    2014: In Washington, the Jewish Study Center is scheduled to host the “Latke-Hamentashen Debate.”

    2014: Ruth Goodman and Yossi Almani are scheduled to lead “Israeli Dancing” at the 92ndStreet Y.

    2014: In Metairie, LA, Rabbi Mendel Ceitin is scheduled to begin teaching at six week course “To Be a Jew in the Free World: Jewish Identity Through the Lends of Modern History.”


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    March 13

    624: Islamic forces under the command of Muhammad were victorious at the Battle of Badr which cemented the power of the Moslem leader with all that we would mean for civilization in general and the Jews in particular.

    1245: As the Mongols sweep across Asia and Christian Europe, Innocent IV issued “Cum non solum,” a letter addressed to the Mongols asking them to desist from attacking Christian nations.  This is the same Innocent IV who had ordered the massive burning of Jewish books including many priceless copies of the Talmud. 

    1421 (10th of Nisan): After nearly a year’s imprisonment, the Jews of Austria were ordered to be burned.  “In Viennaalone, more than a hundred perished in one field near the Danube.” 

    1421(10th of Nisan): Rabbi Aaron of Neustadt, author Hilkhot Niddah died the martyr’s death in Vienna

    1524: Suleiman II issued a firman that brought closure to Abraham de Castro who had exposed the traitorous plans of Amad-Pasha to take control of Egypt and protection for the Jews of Egypt, an event memorialized by “Cairo Purim)

    1601(9th of Adar II): Mordecai Marcus Meisel passed away. Born in in 1528, the son of Samuel Meisel, he was one of the wealthiest people in Bohemia. A noted philanthropist, he was a leader of the Jewish community in Prague. During his youth, the Jews of Prague were the victims of the fanatical persecutions instituted by Ferdinand I. “In 1542 and 1561 his family, with the other Jewish inhabitants, was forced to leave the city, though only for a time. The source of the great wealth which subsequently enabled him to become the benefactor of his coreligionists and to aid the Austrian imperial house, especially during the Turkish wars, is unknown. He is mentioned in documents for the first time in 1569, as having business relations with the communal director Isaac Rofe (Lékarz), subsequently his father-in-law. His first wife, Eva, who died before 1580, built with him the Jewish Town Hall in Prague, which is still standing, as well as the neighboring Hohe synagogue, where the Jewish court sat. With his second wife, Frummet, he built (1590-92) the Maisel Synagogue, which was much admired by the Jews of the time, being, next to the Altneusynagoge, the metropolitan synagogue of the city.”  After his death, despite the fact that  “his widow had given presents of tens of thousands of florins to the king and city, soldiers would forcibly enter his house on the Sabbath and torture his nephews until they ‘confessed’ that there was still more money hidden away. All the money was declared property of the Bohemian Chamber with nothing left to the family.”

    1615: Birthdate of Antonio Pignatelli who as Pope Innocent XII abolished Jewish loan-banks in Rome 1682. In the following year he extended the ban to Ferrara and other Jewish ghettos under his authority. He also prohibited the Jews under his control from serving as shopkeeper and banned them most trades and crafts, causing the Roman Jewish community to shrink.

    1639: Harvard College is named for clergyman John Harvard. Eighty-three years later, Harvard would hire its first Jewish instructor, sort-of. In 1722,”the officers of Harvard Corporation vote that Judah Monis be approved as an instructor of the Hebrew language at the College, under the condition that he convert to Christianity. One month before assuming his post at Harvard, Monis converts before a large assembly in College Hall.” It would take Harvard another 221 years to hire a Jewish professor without the requirement that he convert. Harry Levin became the first Jewish full professor in the Harvard English department in 1943.

    1656: The Jews were denied the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam.

    1682: Students in Cracow staged anti-Semitic riots

    1741: Birthdate of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor.  On the positive side, Joseph did away with numerous humiliating conditions for his Jewish subjects including the special badges and taxes. He wanted to liberate the Jews from “humiliating and oppressive laws and to assure that all Austrian subjects could contribute to the public welfare without any distinction with regard to nationality and religion.”  The thrust of his reforms were intended to make Germans out of his Jewish subjects.  This liberalization worried the empire’s anti-Semites.  But it also bothered Jewish leaders including Moses Mendelssohn.  They feared that the price of being free was a diluted Judaism. 

    1745: Jews exiled from Prague

    1808(14th of Adar, 5568): Purim

    1809: Birthdate of Alexander Levi, a French born Sephardic Jew, who was one of the early settlers of Dubuque, Iowa. He would live there until he passed away in 1893.  Levi was a successful merchant and civic leader who was one of the first Jews to hold public office in the Hawkeye state.

    1815: In Pressburg, Sarel, the daughter of Rabbi Akiva Eger and Rabbi Moses Sofer gave birth to Shmuel Binyomin Sofer a leading 19th century Hungarian Rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Pressburg Yeshiva.

    1845: Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto is premièred in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist. Born in 1809 Felix Mendelssohn was the grandson of Moses Mendelssohn.  His Jewish parents had him baptized as a Lutheran in 1816.  The violinist Ferdinand David was Jewish.

    1852: An article styled "Austria" published today reported that "an Hungarian Jew has been arrested for trying to negotiate a number of Kossuth notes, that he had brought with him from Hamburg."

    1862(11th of Adar II, 5622): As the American Civil War enters into its second year, Jews observe the Fast of Esther. 

    1865(15th of Adar, 5625): Shushan Purim

    1865: Frederick Knefler, who was serving under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman, was promoted to the rank of brevet brigadier general just before the end of the Civil War.  Born in Hungary in 1833, Knefler had the distinction of being one of the few people to rise from the rank of private to general during the course of a war.  In 1861 he volunteered for the Union Army and became a captain within one year.  He passed away in 1901.

    1865:During the Civil War Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Union Army.  The newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel was the son of Alfred Mordecai, a southern born officer in the United States Army.  Mordecai Sr. resigned from the Army rather than fight against the South, marking the end to an illustrious career.  However, in a display of honor that was rare among other Southerners who left the U.S. Army, he refused to accept a commission in the Confederate Army or serve the South in any civilian capacity.

    1870: At a meeting of the board of directors of the “B'nai Jeshurun Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society, the President, Mrs. Henry Leo, the founder of the Society, presented a report on the growing number of destitute Jews who were elderly and in poor health.  She urged the ladies to develop a practical way of dealing with this growing problem

    1870:  A group of leaders of the Jewish community, including Thomas H. Keasing, E.S. Isaacs and T.J. Solomon, met today to make plans for establishing a society that would destitute Jewish immigrants when they came to United States.  A committee of seven was selected to draw up plans for such an organization that would be submitted to this group at its next meeting.  In the mean time, fifty dollars was donated to serve as “seed money” for the group’s work.

    1871: The children of Aaron Adolphus, a wealthy New York Jew who passed away in January, contested the terms of their father’s will in Surrogate Court.
    1873(14thof Adar, 5633): Purim

    1873: In New York, the Sabbath School Fair Association of the 57th Street Congregation hosted a Purim reception an masked ball at the Terrace Garden.

    1875: It was reported today that the police in Hartford, Connecticut, have arrested a swindler named W.F. Gerhardt.  Gerhardt is really is really Hungarian born Jew named Moritz who worked his larceny in his native land before being forced to flee to the United States. His confederates include Michael Mandl, an Austrian Jew and Henry Hertz.

    1876: It was reported that the Jews in Washington, DC celebrated Purim with “a brilliant masked ball.”

    1876: A police officer found the body of Leopold King in front the building housing Ahavat Chesed in New York City. The police found a an empty blue vial in his hand that smelled of prussic acid. The 54 year old King was a native of Prussia who had retired from his successful cap making business and gone into real estate.  The family could offer no reason for a suicide and said they thought “that he died from a fit of apoplexy.”

    1876: It was reported today that the managers of the  Home for the Aged and Infirm Hebrews has leased the “Old Hildebrand Mansion “ at the corner of 87th Street and Avenue A in New York City.  The number of people seeking admission has grown to such a large number that the current facility on Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street is no longer large enough.

    1881: Alexander II of Russia is assassinated, which put an end to his half-hearted liberalism. He was succeeded by Alexander III who was devoted to medievalism and urged a return to “Russian civilization.”  The most influential person during his reign was Pobestonostov, his financier and procurator of the Holy Synod, who earned the title "the Second Torquemada." The newspapers in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa began a campaign against the Jews which would only lead to greater outbreaks of anti-Semitism as the Czarist regime swirled forward on its downward dance with destruction that ended in 1917.

    1887:  In Clinton, IA, a group of Protestants founded the American Protective Association which was anit-Catholic and anti-immigrant at the same time that the an untold number of Jews were trying to escape from repressive regimes Russia and Romania.

    1888: Justice Samuel Greenbaum married Selina Ulman today. They had four children - Lawrence Samuel, Edward Samuel, Grace and Isabel – before she passed away at 25 years of age.

    1890:It was reported today that the Passover Relief Association had raised nearly $250 at its annual Purim masquerade ball which would go toward the fund it raises yearly to provide the Hebrew poor of this city with the wherewithal to celebrate Passover.

    1890: “Hebrew Charities” published today summarized the efforts of the United Hebrew Charities during the month of February which including providing 226 applicants with work and providing 216 pupils with free instruction in the industrial school. The charity provided over seven thousand dollars in direct aid.

    1891: It was reported today that the funds Jesse Seligman has received from Baron Hirsh “will be kept in the vaults of various trust companies until the trustees of the fund decide” how it is to be invested.
    1892(14th of Adar, 5652): Purim

    1893: Felix Adler is among those scheduled to meet with President Cleveland today to urge him to veto the newly passed Treaty of Extradition with Russia.

    1893: “Oriental Records Translated” published today provides a detailed review of Records of the Past edited by A.H. Sayce  which includes the information that “in the soil of Palestine, for example, the spade has brought to light evidence of the existence of a Canaanitish library dating from a period earlier than the birth of Moses…” The material translated provided a comparison between Biblical texts and those of other, recently discovered civilizations in the East.

    1894: “Want The School Reopened” published today describe a meeting held to protest the closure of grammar school on Hester Street which will impact 500 children, most of them who are Jewish.  The leaders of the protest contend that the Jewish “resident of the district were anxious to have their children the English language” and were afraid that the closure would impede this.  (Editor’s Note – Compare this view of the English language by Jewish immigrants with that which has evolved in the 21stcentury)

    1894: The United Hebrew Charities is one of the organizations distributing the proceeds from a concert given by Musurgia to help aid those suffering during the current economic depression.

    1897:  San Diego State University founded. The first Jew connected with San Diego was a young adventurer named Louis Pollock who was temporarily imprisoned in San Diego along with other Americans by Mexican authorities.  By 1851, there were enough Jews in San Diego for Lewis Franklin to organize the first High Holiday services held in southern California.  Today SDSU has approximately 2,500 Jews among its 27,000 undergraduates and 500 Jews among more than 6,300 graduate students. The school offers 15 courses in Jewish studies and students can major or minor in Jewish Studies. The campus has an accredited Hillel with its own Hillel House.For more information about the SDSU Jewish community see
    1897: “Another Homer to be Identified” published today provides a critique of “The Unknown Homer of the Hebrews” by Amos Kidder Fiske the author of The Jewish Scriptures.  According to Fiske, just as Homer is the father of Greek literature, so is there one author un-named author who created much of the Biblical literature.  Based on “higher biblical criticism” Fiske contends that the author is the Prophet Elijah

    1897: “The Austrian Election” published today described the outcome of the vote for Mayor in Vienna where “Dr. Lueger, the well-known Jew-baiter” has emerged victorious over Mayor Strohbach.  The Emperor had nullified an earlier victory by Lueger but the belief is that the he will not intervene for a second time.

    1898: “Money Lenders Attacked” published today summarized the testimony of Sir George Lewis “the well-known lawyer” and leader of the Jewish community before the House of Commons in which he complained of the behavior of money lenders, “the bulk of them” who “were Jews whom “the Jewish community loathed and despised.”  The worst of the lot was one known as “Sam” who had played a key role in the scandal surrounding Lord Nevill-Spender Clay.

    1898:Lemercier-Picard, author of the forged letter quoted by General de Pellieux a month earlier (the "faux Henry"), is found hanging from the window-catch of his hotel bedroom.  Circumstances of death remain unclear.

    1899: While testifying before the Court of Inquiry investigating “the beef counsel” Edward Tilden, the treasurer of Libby, McNeill & Libby Packing Company testified that “the forequarter of the carcass is the only part eaten by an Orthodox Jew” but that that the price of the beef does not depend on “the number of Jews in the community.”

    1899: Rabbi H.P. Mendez, Dr. Stephen Wise, Rabbi Gustav Gottheil and his son were among the prominent Jews attended Professor Thomas Davidson’s  lecture entitled “Zionism from a Non-Jewish Standpoint” at Shearith Israel Synagogue.

    1899: This evening Cincinnati, Ohio, Rabbi David Philippson is scheduled to deliver the “address of welcome” at the preliminary meeting prior to the official opening of the annual Conference of American Rabbis which will start tomorrow.  Dr. Joseph Silverman and Rabbi Isaac M. Wise are also scheduled to address the meeting to which the general public has been invited.

    1900: Henri Didon Louis Remy, the Dominican Friar who wrote approvingly of the fifth and final volume of Renan’s History of the Jews passed away today.

    1902: The Sultan approves the Rouvier project (from the French government) for the consolidation of the public debt. This was part of a project that Herzl had worked on, the idea being that assisting the Ottomans with their financial needs would help smooth the way for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israelwhich was part of the Sultan’s empire.

    1903(14th of Adar, 5663): Purim

    1904:Ludovic Trarieux, the French political leader who served as Minister of Justice during the Dreyfus Affair where he should great courage in taking up the cause of the French military officer who was a victim of anti-Semitism and a conspiracy of right wing militarists passed away today.

    1906: Social reformer and suffragette Susan B. Anthony. Among Antony’s  allies were Ernestine Rose, the Polish born American and English suffragette whose slogan of “Agitate, Agitate” she adopted.

    1906:  Birthdate of Oscar Nemon, The Slavonian born English sculptor, best known for his series of more than a dozen public statues of Sir Winston Churchill as well as sculptures of Harry Truman and Margaret Thatcher.  After World War II, he made sculptures of a spectacular list of high-profile figures including such war-time leaders as Dwight D. Eisenhower Earl Alexander of Tunis, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Lord Freyberg and Lord Beaverbrook.  He passed away in 1985.

    1908: Birthdate of Walter Annenberg.  The famed philanthropist built a publishing empire around the Daily Racing Form, the Philadelphia Inquirer and that uniquely American cultural icon, TV Guide.

    1908: A major fire in the Jewish quarter of Haskoy, Constantinople, Turkey destroys 500 houses. There were over 5,000 Jews left without shelter. A cablegram was sent from Constantinople to Oscar S. Straus, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor asking for assistance.

    1913: Birthdate of Harold Hochstein who would gain fame as Harold Stone, a character who played numerous roles on Broadway, in Hollywood films and television. Stone usually played ‘heavies” or bad guys.  He was the sort of actor who became the role.  You might not recognize the name but as you see the original version of Spartacus or re-runs of the television series, The Untouchables, you will remember who he was.

    1918: American Red Magen David, the Jewish Red Cross, was formed.

    1919(11th of Adar II, 5679): Amid the chaos of post-World War I, Jews observe the fast of Esther.

    1921:  Birthdate of cartoonist and Mad Magazine illustrator Allan Jaffee.

    1926(27thof Adar, 5675): Eighty-five year old Shlomo Elyashiv passed away.  The grandson of Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, and the son of Chayim Chaikl Eliashiv or Eliashoff , he is best known author of Leshem Shevo V’Achlama

    1928: Despite support from Lloyd George and Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill, the British Cabinet rejects a loan designed to support the “Zionist enterprise” in Palestine in a manner consistent with the Balfour Declaration.

    1932: Benjamin Cardozo was sworn in as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme.  A liberal nominated by the conservative President Herbert Hoover, he would join Louis Brandies as the second Jew to serve on the High Court.  Unlike Brandeis whose confirmation hearing had been contentious with more than a whiff of anti-Semitism, Cardozo’s nomination sailed through with near unanimous support.

    1933: Jewish lawyers and judges were expelled from court in Breslau

    1933:  Birthdate of rock and roll composer Mike Stoller.

    1935: Birthdate of philosopher and political commentator Michael Walzer

    1936: Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell, thefirst New Zealand-born Prime Minister of New Zealand, passed away. His Jewish mother had converted before he was born.

    1938: While walking home from school in Hungary, Tom Lantos sees a newspaper with the headline: "Hitler Marches into Austria.” Years later, Lantos said that he sensed that this historic moment would have a tremendous impact on the lives of Hungarian Jews, my family, and myself."

    1939:  Birthdate of musician Neil Sedaka, a product of Brooklyn’s Sephardic Community.

    1939: Churchill wrote to a leading Albanian diplomat stating that he had been authorized to negotiate ways to establish a refuge for Jews fleeing Germany in Albania.  The plan came to naught when Mussolini invaded the little Balkan country a month later. 

    1941(14th of Adar, 5701): Russian author Isaac E Babel was executed during one of Stalin’s periodic purges. The Soviets exonerated him in 1954. 

    1942: The first trainload of 1000 deportees arrived from Theresienstadt at the village of Izbica Lubelsak, just north of Belzec. Only six would survive the war.

    1943(6th of Adar II):German forces liquidated the Jewish ghetto in Cracow. Two thousand Jews were rounded up for deportation at Cracow, Poland. Before the trains left hundreds of children were shot to death, hundreds of elderly were killed in the streets, and an untold number of patients were killed in the hospital wards.

    1946:Birthdate of Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu who was a commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit of the Israel Defense Forces. His younger brothers are Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, who previously held that office from 1996-99, and Iddo Netanyahu, an Israeli author and playwright. Yoni was awarded the Medal of Distinguished Service (Hebrew: עיטור המופת) for his conduct in the Yom Kippur War. He was killed in action during Operation Entebbe at Entebbe airport, by Ugandan soldiers, when the Israeli military rescued hostages after an aircraft.

    1947:The Lerner and Lowe musical ''Brigadoon'' opened on Broadway.

    1947: Tonight the British government in Palestine announced that it had arrested 78 people including 15 members of the Stern gang and 12 members of the Irgun. The arrests of these “terrorists” had been made possible, in part, because of “assistance from the Jewish community.”

    1947: “Some resistance was encountered by British troops today when 703 Jews who arrived in Palestine waters yesterday after running the naval blockade were taken aboard the steamer Empire Rival.”  The Jews are reportedly being shipped to camps in Cyprus.

    1948:While speaking at the ceremony marking the induction of Dr. Nelson Glueck as head of Hebrew Union College Samuel I. Rosenmean, who has served as a special assistant to both Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, assails appeasement. He called for a "policy of resistance" rather than appeasement and said that the Russian dictatorship had started rolling westward in true Hitler manner.

    1950: The body of Dr. Mordecai Eliash, Israel’s first ambassador to the United Kingdom, arrived at Lydda Airport today and was taken to Jerusalem where it will lie in state until tomorrow’s funeral.

    1950: Dr. Walter Caly Lowdermilk, American expert on soil erosion, met today with Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and Finance Minister Elizar Kaplan before leaving for London.

    1951: Israel demanded DM 6.2 billion compensation from Germany

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Eilat was bedecked and illuminated to mark the third anniversary of the town¹s liberation. A military parade was held and a message was read from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who said: "The military victory will be won only if pioneers make the land fertile."

    1960(14th of Purim, 5720): Last Purim observance during the Presidency of Ike Eisenhower.

    1965: In Los Angeles, CA, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, the Jewish stars of “Mission Impossible” gave birth to actress Juliet Rose Landau.

    1969(23rd of Adar, 5729): Paul Burlin, famed abstract expressionist painter, passed away. Burlin joined such artists as Picasso, Manet, Monet, and Degas at the famous Armory Show in 1913 which was the turning point in public acceptance of expressionism in the United States.

    1967: Margaret Arnsteinbecame dean of the Yale University School of Nursing. As dean, she brought Yale's nursing school into the forefront of nursing education. Arnstein's lifetime of work was well recognized in her later years. In 1966, she became the first woman to receive a Rockefeller Public Service Award. In 1971, she received the Sedgwick Memorial Medal, the American Public Health Association's highest honor.

    1971: Jerry Wolman, the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, has agreed to sell historic Shibe Park which he had purchased in 1964 for $757,500.

    1973: The New York Times reviewed the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Nine of the 12 women who first formed the collective that created this groundbreaking women's health reference were Jewish

    1974: One of David Wolper’s crews filming a National Geographic history of Australopithecus at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area was killed when the Corvair 440 Sierra Pacific Airlines plane exploded on take off from Eastern Sierra Regional Airport in Bishop, California killing all 35 on board including 31 Wolper crew members.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported from Washington that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was surprised to find out that when the US State Department spoke about "minor adjustments" in the pre-1967 Israeli borders, it referred to border changes of only a few hundred meters, or "straightening out of the line" in such places as Latrun or Kalkilya. It was in order to correct such assumptions that Rabin repeated that under no circumstances would Israelgo back to the 1967 lines. "We believe that we are entitled to decide, when it comes to our defense, where the boundaries will be which will defend Israel in the future," Rabin concluded.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that In Washington Hanafi Moslem terrorist leaders freed their hostages in return for their release without bail, guaranteed by the authorities.

    1979(14th of Adar, 5736): Purim

    1981(7th of Adar II, 5741):Jacques Zucker, an artist whose paintings in post-Impressionist style were seen in many one-man shows in the United States and abroad, died today at Beth Israel Hospital after a long illness. Mr. Zucker, who lived in Manhattan, was 80 years old. His work, including landscapes, still lifes and portraits, is part of permanent collections in Paris, Tel Aviv and the collection of Joseph Hirschorn in Washington, D. C. He was born in Radom, Poland. As a youth studied art at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem. He continued his art studies in Paris and maintained a home there.

    1985: In Topanga, California, , Margaret Esther (née Davenport) and David M. Hirsch gave birth to actor Emile Davenport Hirsch

    1987:A poll conducted by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper today indicated that two-thirds of Israelis believed their Government should help Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Pollard.

    1990(16th of Adar, 5750):  Bruno Bettelheim, noted child psychologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor committed suicide six years after his wife had died from cancer.(As reported by Daniel Coleman)

    1993(20th of Adar, 5753): Simha Levy, a woman who worked as driver taking Palestinians from Gaza to  their jobs inside the pre-1967 borders was axed to death in her van at Khan Yunis.

    1997(4th of Adar II, 5757): Seven school girls aged twelve and thirteen, all from the same school at Beit Shemesh, were shot dead by a Jordanian soldier who went berserk on the Jordan Border.  King Hussein paid surprise and much appreciated condolence call on the grieving families.

    1997:Virologist and immunologist, Hilary Koprowski who invented the world's first effective live polio vaccine received the Legion d'Honneur from the French government.

    1999(25th of Adar, 5759): Director Garson Kanin passed away. From a Jewish point of view, Kanin’s claim to fame is that he direced the play Diary of Anne Frank.  The play premiered in 1955 and ran for 717 perfromances.  In 1964 he directed the Broadway hit Funny Girl, the story of Fannie Brice.  The musical ran for over a thousand shows.

    2001: In an article entitled “Year by Year, a Witness to the Nazis’ Affronts,” Bruce Weber reviews “I Will Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer” by Victor Klemperer; adapted by Karen Malpede and George Bartenieff; translated by Martin Chalmers a one-actor theatrical adaptation of the second volume of Klemperer’s diaries that had been published last year.

    2005: In a case of Jew follows Jew, Disney announced that Bob Eiger would succeed Michael Eisner as CEO

    2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including recently released paperback editions of An Almost Perfect Moment by Binnie Kirshenbaum a darkly comic novel, set in the 1970's that revolves around a Jewish teenager in Brooklyn who thinks she's the Virgin Mary and There Are Jews in My House  by Lara Vapnyar

    2006: Cole Meyer announced that it was selling Myer, an Australian department store chain founded by Sidney Meyer (born Simcha Myer Baevski) ”to a consortium controlled by US private equity group Newbridge Capital, part of the Texas Pacific group:

    2006(13th Adar): The Fast of Esther has been designated International Agunah Day by Yad L'Isha. An agunah is a woman who is unable to obtain a get(Jewish divorce).

    2007: Under the direction of its founder Eylon Nuphar, Mayumana opens its production of “Be” at the Union Theatre Square. “Mayumana is a corruption of the Hebrew word for skill, and the players display a variety of them, in a show that combines mime, dance, gymnastics, music and percussion in a joyous celebration of life.”

    2008:In Washington, D.C. veteran scriptwriter and television producer Gary David Goldberg, creator of the series "Family Ties" and "Spin City," discusses his new memoir, Sit, Ubu, Sit: How I Went from Brooklyn to Hollywood with the Same Woman, the Same Dog, and a Lot Less Hair at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue formerly the site of Adas Israel which relocated to Connecticut Ave and Porter and is the only Conservative Synagogue still located in the District of Columbia.

    2008: Israeli President Shimon Peres paid tribute to the French who saved Jews during the Holocaust in a somber ceremony at the Pantheon in the Latin Quarter, and visited a French Foreign Ministry exhibition about the origins of the state of Israel.

    2009: “The Saul Steinberg: Illuminations” travelling exhibition opened in Hamburg, Germany

    2009: Award winning Israeli author Etgar Keret comes to Albany University for a screening of his film “Wristcutters: A Love Story” sponsored by the Albany Center for Jewish Studies and the Writers Institute.

    2010: Israeli diva Rita is scheduled to begin her U.S. Tour today.

    2010: As part of the Scholar-In-Residence program, Professor David Kraemer is scheduled to speak on “Laity in the Lead” following Shabbat morning services.

    2010:Late today Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrested Mahar Udda, a top Hamas official in Ramallah, suspected of leading military cells responsible for the murder of more than 70 Israelis over the course of the second Intifada.

    2010:Around 1,000 demonstrators marched this evening outside the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem to protest Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz's decision to allow the continuation of single-sex bus lines that serve the Haredi community.

    2011(7th Adar II): Yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu. According to tradition Moses passed on his 120thbirthday, Adar 7, 2488 (1273 BCE). This same tradition teaches that he  was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE).

    2011(7th of Adar II): Burial Society Day. “The Chevrah Kadisha (Jewish Burial Societies) hold their annual get-together and feast on Adar 7th. This is based on the tradition that God Himself buried Moses on this day.”

    2011:The Palestinian leadership must be held accountable for continued incitement and failure to stop the glorification of murderers, a senior aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said today as the Fatah faction named a town square in El-Bireh after the leader of the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre.Today Israel was mourning the slaughter of the five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction named a town square after Dalal al-Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 bus hijacking in which 37 Israelis were killed and 71 were wounded.

    2011:Chabad Lubavitch of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present The Rabbi Samuel and Zehava Friedman Annual Yeshiva Day. 

    2011:Jubanos: The Jews of Cuba” and “The Fig Tree” (La Higuera) are two of the films scheduled to be shown at the 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: As part of its commemoration of the Triangle Waist Factory Fire and the changes that followed in its wake, the Jewish Women's Archive has organized a walking tour which is scheduled to take place today.

    2011: The second wedding to take place at the Huvra Synagogue since its re-dedication is scheduled to take place today.

    2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Executive Unbound : After the Madisonian Republic co-authored by Eric A. Posner and the recently released paperback editions of Wrestling With Moses:How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint and  Making a Toast:A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt.

    2011:Former Knesset member Tawfik Toubi aged 89 a Haifa resident, who was the last remaining living member of the first Knesset was laid to rest in Haifa's Kfar Samir (Sde Yehoshua) cemetery.  Toubi, a Christian Arab Israeli, was a member of the Communist Party.

    2011: An orthodox Jewish prayer observance by three passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight today alarmed flight attendants unfamiliar with the ritual, prompting them to lock down the cockpit and issue a security alert, officials said.
    2011: Tens of thousands attended the funeral for five members of the Fogel family massacred at Itamar. The entrance to Jerusalem was blocked off by police and vehicles diverted to an alternative entrance after the huge attendance brought traffic to a standstill. Israel's major television channels provided live coverage of the eulogies for the victims.

    2012: A Chabad rabbi who was serving the tiny ancient Jewish community in Cochin, India, and his wife were expelled today and sent back to Israel for allegedly engaging in illegal activities. Indian authorities accused Rabbi Zalman Bernstein of failing to declare on his visa application that he would be conducting religious activities and of trying to convert foreigners. A local daily accused him and his wife of spying for Israel. (As reported by Haaretz)

    2012:"Gaza militants fired a Grad-type Katyusha rocket toward the western Negev today, despite a Egypt-mediated cease fire between Israel and militant groups that went into effect earlier in the day.  The rocket struck a residential area if the town of Netivot, with one person lightly wounded. Eleven people were treated for shock."

    2012:Israel's Counter Terrorism Bureau warned Israeli citizens today against travelling to Turkey, citing intelligence that terror groups were planning attacks against Israeli or Jewish institutions in the country.

    2012: Israeli composer and organist, Roman Krasnovsky is scheduled to perform a solo recital at the Central Synagogue in New York City.

    2012:Shmuel Ashkenasi is scheduled to perform with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

    2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a private tour lead by Dr. Peggy Pearlstein of Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress, 1912-2012

    2013: Seton Hall basketball player Tom Maayan informed his uncle David Fuchs that he could not postpone his service in the IDF any longer and packed his bags for the flight to Tel Avv.

    2013: The Yeshiva University Museum is schedule to sponsor a curator’s tour “Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War.”

    2013(2nd of Nisan, 5773): Eighty-four year old actor Malachi Throne passed away today. (As reported by Daniel E. Slotnik

    2013: In another case of “Jew on Jew” Larry page announced in a blog post that Andy Rubin “had moved from the Android division to take on new projects at Google.”

    2013: Bruce Ruben, director of the School of Sacred Music at HUC, is scheduled to a lecture entitled “Max Lillienthal and the Making of the American Rabbinate” at the Leo Baeck Institute.

    2013:In Washington, DC, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism is scheduled to host a community organizing training program for those participating in the Jewish Energy Network.

    2013: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentinian cardinal who was elected pope late today and will take the name Francis I, is said to have a good relationship with Argentinian Jews.

    2014: The 17th Annual New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open at the Center for Jewish History.

    2014: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host “The Immigrant Experience in Movies.”

    2014(11thof Adar II, 5774): Fast of Easter observed on Thursday.  For more see


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    March 14

    388: A law prohibiting mixed marriages between Jews and non-Jews which is defined as adultery, is promulgated as part of the Theodosian Code.

    1181: King Philip Augustus of France ordered the seizure of all Jews of Paris attending synagogue and had them detained for ransom

    1473(14th of Adar): Marranos massacred in Cordova, Spain

    1489: The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. Jews had been living on this Mediterranean island since Roman time.  At the time of the Venetian acquisition, a considerable number of Jews were leading merchants in the port of Famagusta. 

    1492: Queen Isabella of Castile orders her 150,000 Jewish subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

    1535: David dei Rossi a Jewish merchant from Italy, who set out for the Orient in 1534, writes his wife Sarah the following observation of life in Ottoman Palestine, "Hatred of the Jew is, in contrast to our homeland, unknown here, and the Turks hold the Jews in esteem. In this country and in Egypt, Jews are the chief officers and administrators of the customs.

    1543: During the Counter Refromation, Paul III issued entitled “Injunctum nobis,” a papal bull  that affirmed certain Catholic teachings, including the authority of the Pope, in the face of Protestant challenges. This came a year after Paul III had launched an Inquisition that was designed to stamp the Protestant revolution begun by Luther.  “Judaizing” was one of the crimes that the Inquisition was empowered to investigated and punish. 

    1630: In Przemysl, Poland, Moses the Braider, a Jewish merchant, was accused of conspiring to desecrate the host and was burned alive.

    1647: Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden sign the Truce of Ulm during the Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years War coincided with the great Cossack Uprising.  Jewish refugees from these two calamities reversed the eastward migration of Jews.  A trickle that would eventual became a comparative “torrent” began moving Westward settling in Holland and England. 

    1682: Jacob Isaackszoon van Ruisdael, the Dutch landscape painter whose works include “The Jewish Cemetery” passed away today.

    1774(2nd of Nisan, 5534): The Jews of Basra, Persia celebrated a special Purim, Yom Ha Nes

    1799: The French Army under Napoleon leaves Jaffa after conquering the city and “continued its march northwards towards its goal, Acre.”

    1808(15th of Adar, 5568):Shushan Purim

    1820: Birthdate of Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of a unified Italian state.  He reigned from 1861 until 1878.  How big a difference did the emergence of the modern Italian nation make to the Jewish people?  “Historian Howard Morley Sacher puts it this way: ‘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.’”

    1832: In Edinburgh, Helen and Sir Charles Fergusson gave birth to Sir James Fergusson who during a Parliamentary debate in 1890 “said that the British Charge d’Affiares at St. Petersburg had telegraphed the Foreign Office that no fresh measures were under consideration by the Government aiming to deprive the Jews of any of the privileges they now enjoy.”

    1845:The state of Massachusetts granted a charter of incorporation to Congregation Ohabei Shalom (Lovers of Peace) giving form anal possession of land to the Jewish Community. Organized by German Jews living in Boston, this large Reform congregation is now located in Brookline, MA. It is the only Jewish congregation in the Bay State and the second oldest in New England.

    1851: While traveling from London to Philadelphia, Rabbi Sabato Morais arrived in New York

    1853: British Parliament debates a Jewish Disabilities Bill. Lord John Russell said that “his object was to complete the edifice of religious toleration by permitting the Jewish subjects of Britain the same rights and privileges of British subjects as were a presented enjoyed by Protestants, Dissenters and Roman Catholics.” He could see no danger to Christian institutions to allow “a small number of believers in a different faith and who were otherwise good citizens and not given to proselytizing” to hold civil office. Among the opponents, the famed Robert Peel claimed that “it was incompatible with the dignity of Christians to admit Jews into almost every office.” One member of the House called for a definition of Parliamentary Christianity because “he could not understand what doctrine of the Christian religion was involved in Parliamentary Christianity. While another opponent said that Jews were as bad as atheist, Mr. O’Connell came to the defense of the Jews.  As a Roman Catholic he had suffered discrimination and felt it was his duty to speak up on behalf of another group suffering the same fate.  The Bill would be defeated.  Victory would not come until 1848.

    1854: Birthdate of Nobel Prize Winner and medical scientist, Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.  He died in 1915 at the age of 61. How does a Jew become a German scientist? - By winning the Nobel Prize.  Interestingly, the obituaries of both of these men (see Einstein below) identify them as Germans even though in the case of Einstein he was forced to flee by the Germans just before the Brown Shirts ransacked his home and office.

    1860(20th of Adar, 5620): Lewis Charles Levin passed away.  Levin was the first Jew elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the American Party candidate from Pennsylvania in 1844. He was born in Charleston South Carolina, on November 10, 1808. He graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) with a law degree. He was a founder of the Native American Party and published and edited the Philadelphia Daily Sun. Levin was reelected twice before being defeated in 1850. He then returned to the practice of law in Philadelphia.

    1861: It was announced at today’s meeting of the Board of Charities and Corrections that the Hebrew Orphan and Half orphan Asylum was among the organizations that received a portion of the $645 dollars recently raised at benefit held to raise funds for the benefit of New York’s widows and orphans.

    1865:The fourth annual masquerade ball of the Purim Association took place this evening at the Academy of Music. The society is composed exclusively of Jews, and the proceeds are to be devoted to charitable purposes.

    1862: Aaron Katz, a native of Philadelphia, PA who had been working as a clerk in Mecklenburg County, NC, enlisted in the Confederate Army today

    1865: “The Hebrew Purim Ball” one of the highlights of the New York social season was held this evening at the Academy of Music.

    1866: Seventy-six year old American historian and former President of Harvard Jared Sparks who had taken an interest in the life of Haym Solomon passed away. When others were attempting to denigrate Solomon’s role, Professor Sparks “wrote to the effect that Solomon’s association with Robert Morris ‘were very close and intimate and that a great part of the success that Mr. Morris attained in his financial schemes was due to skill and ability of Hyam Solomon.”

    1871: In a lecture delivered tonight at Rutgers Female College entitled “The Bible in the Rocks,” Professor Egleston said that the Bible was written for “Hebrew bondsman, so all of the illustrations are of a simple nature and can be comprehended by the most unenlightened.  Yet these illustrations are perfectly consisten with the latest discoveries of modern science.”

    1873(15th of Adar, 5633): Shushan Purim

    1874: “The History of Hats” published today traces the men’s headgear from ancient Tibet to modern day France.  According to the author, Jews have not made any contribution to what he calls “hatology” claiming that he cannot find a Hebrew word hat and that Jews have “entirely discarded that useful article of dress.”

    1876: A full dress reception sponsored by the Purim Association will be held at Delmonico’s this evening in New York City. This event marks the fifth and final day of receptions, suppers and other festivities marking the celebration of Purim.

    1879: Birthdate of Nobel Prize Winner Albert Einstein.  Forced to flee Germany during the Nazi era, Einstein continued his career at Princetonwhere he died in 1955.  He published four scientific papers in his spare time while he worked as an examiner in the Swiss Patents Office. Each one had revolutionary implications for the field of physics. Among them was his special theory of relativity. Einstein said, "If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." It was Einstein who warned Rooseveltof the dangers of Nazi Germany building the Atomic Bomb - a warning headed by the United States.  Einstein's views on religion were not exactly Jewish, but he was Jewish enough to be offered the Presidency of the infant state of Israel - a position he reluctantly declined.

    1881: According to Mrs. Berthold Riese, she was married to Berthold Riese, a Jewish clairvoyant on this date.  During a trial in 1887, in which he faced charges of having abandoned his wife, Riese would deny the validity of the document which said the he, a Jew, was married to Catholic by a Lutheran minister.

    1883: Karl Marx passed away.

    1884: Birthdate of Maxwell Zwerbach the American gangster known as Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach who led the Eastman Gang.

    1892: Police Recorder dismissed the charges that had been lodged against two Jewish grocers who had been arrested last week for doing business on Sunday.

    1893: Two members of a gang in Kansas City, MO that uses a Jewish fence named Morantz were captured this morning.

    1894: Among the charities that received money from the Mayor’s Committee of Five which was distributing funds that had been raised for the to aid those who have lost their jobs during the current economic distribution was the United Hebrew Charities which was given $2,700.

    1896: The Hovevei Zion in Vienna decides to call on Herzl to work for the fulfillment of the program of a Jewish state.

    1896: The Jewish children whose families live on the upper east side of New York City gave a ball and carnival tonight at the Central Opera House.

    1897: “The Old Dutch Records” published today described the impact of “the city of New York” to publish “the records of its municipal ancestor, Nieuw Amsterdam. Included in the documents is a report of the arrival of 23 Jews in 1654 who “were ordered to depart March 1, 1655.  The Patroons of the West India Company decide, however that as the Jews owned most of the stock in that organization, they would be let alone.”

    1897: In Brooklyn, Father Sylvester Malone of the Church Saint Peter and Saint Paul spoke in praise of “Mrs. Nannette Marks, a Jewish lady who has become famous throughout Brooklyn for her benevolent acts” irrespective of the creed of those in need.

    1897: Emma Frohman was in charge of the entertainment presented by the Hebrew Institute on East Broadway this evening.

    1897: A service was held in memory of Morris Goodhart, the late President of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society who passed away in February.

    1897: Seventieth anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Philip J. Joachimsen, the native of Bristol, who founded the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1898: Felix Adler addresses the Mother’s Congress this afternoon.

    1899: In Albany, Edward Lauterbach appeared before the state Senate Cities Committee to voice his opposition to a bill that would establish St. Nicholas Park because the park would encompass grounds on Amsterdam Avenue that had been previously granted to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1899: “Certain Phases of Zionism” published today described the view of Professor Thomas Davidson that the Jewish return to Palestine because of selection by “a Supreme Being” is “illogical and unfair.”  “Jew must cast off the swaddling clothes of supernatural and superstition” for “the new Zion of religious freedom.”

    1899: Émile Erckmann, co-author of the 1869 play “Le Jeuf Polonais” (The Polish Jew) passed away today.

    1899: “Topics of the Times” published today described the career of Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise, “the oldest American rabbi now in active service and generally and cordially recognized as the most eminent of them” who will be honored at the upcoming session of the Central of American Rabbis.  According to the article he was born on March 14 while other sources show his birthdate as March 29, 1819.

    1899: The member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis presented Dr. Isaac M. Wise with an ivory gavel mounted in gold as part of the celebrations honoring his 80th birthday which included a dinner at the Phoenix Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    1900: Morris and Rose Gershwin gave birth to future stock broker and composer Arthur Gershwin

    1903: Birthdate of American painter Adolph Gottlieb an original member of “The Ten” a group of mostly expressionist and mostly Jewish avant garde artists.  Gottlieb abandoned figuration for a new style, “abstract expressionism.” Among is work is “Man Look at Woman” an oil painted in 1949 hanging MoM

    1905: Birthdate of Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron, “a French philosopher, sociologist and political scientist, well known for his lifelong, often critical friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre, and for his skepticism of the post-war vogue in France for ideologies that largely took their inspiration from a Marxist tradition.” The son of a Jewish lawyer who witnessed Nazi book burnings, he passed away in 1983.

    1906: Flora Krichefski the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Krichefski of Jersey married Hyman Appleberg, the son of Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Appleberg at the Great Synagogue.

    1909: In an article published today entitled “Rabbi Lyons Urges Reform Judaism,” Rabbi Alexander Lyons of Temple Beth Elohim in State Street, Brooklyn expressed his opposition to the formation of a Jewish federation in New York City. His opposition is based, in part, on his strongly held belief that Reformed Judaism is “the religion of the Jewish future” and that Orthodox Judaism is doomed. Furthermore he believes that such a federation would be futile attempt to paper over the social, economic and ideological differences in the Jewish community and that such an organization would separate the Jewish people from their fellow Americans.
    1911(14th of Adar, 5671): Purim

    1915: A benefit performance sponsored by the Krakauer Chairty and Aid Society is scheduled to take place tonight at the Lyric Theatre. The money raised by this event will used to buy Matzoth which will be distributed among the city’s poor Jews for their use during the upcoming celebration of Passover.  The famous singer and actress, Lillian Russell has volunteered to serve as the announcer for the event. [The Krakauer Chairty and Aid Society was one of the many organizations established by Jews from Cracow, Poland.  No reason is given for Lillian Russell’s having volunteered her services for the event.  However, she was married to Edward Solomon, the English composer whose family was Jewish.]

    1917: Fifty-six year old Fernand-Gustave-Gaston Labori, French attorney who defended Émile Zola in 1898 in the Dreyfus trial and Captain Alfred Dreyfus at the court martial in Rennes in 1899 passed away today.

    1919: Birthdate of writer Max Shulman.  Shulman is probably best known for his writings about Dobie Gillis which were later turned into a television sit-com of the same name.

    1920: Hayyah and Zevi Kempner gave birth to Vitka Kempner the Jewish resistance fighter who married famed poet Abba Kovner.
    1921: In New York, Leah Rosenthal Landman and Dr. Michael Louis Landman gave birth to Ada Louise Landman who as “Ada Louise Huxtable, pioneered modern architectural criticism in the pages of The New York Times, celebrating buildings that respected human dignity and civic history — and memorably scalding those that did not…” (As reported by David Dunlap)

    1922(14th of Adar, 5682): Purim

    1923: Birthdate of photographer Diane Arbus.

    1923: Birthdate of Meyer Zarodinsky the Bessarabian native who made Aliyah in 1925 and gained fame Meir “Zarro” Zorea an IDF general and member of the Knesset

    1930(14th of Adar, 5690): First Purim of the Great Depression

    1932(6th of Adar II, 5692): Benjamin N. Cardozo joins his fellow Jew Louis Brandeis as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    1935: Birthdate of “Jack Keil Wolf, an engineer and computer theorist whose mathematical reasoning about how best to transmit and store information helped shape the digital innards of computers and other devices that power modern society.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1937: Pope Pious XI issued an encyclical condemning racism. This was one of the few times the Vatican made a public statement against the Nazi regime. The next pope, Pious XII, did even less.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that Shlomo Gafni, 28, and Hanoch Metz, 24, of Kfar Hahoresh were stabbed to death and their flock of 320 sheep and 70 goats stolen by Arab murderers. A bomb was thrown in Tiberias and there were various shooting incidents in Galilee. In Safed, a self-constituted Arab "National Committee" confined Jews to their quarter, subject to a rigid boycott. "We are like prisoners over whom hangs an indeterminate sentence," one Safed Jew complained. In Londonthe Royal (Peel) Commission on Palestineheard further evidence from Sir Winston Churchill and other important British personalities.

    1938: Time published “GERMANY: Vivid Satisfaction!”

    1939: Sara Adler’s fifty years of work on the stage were celebrated in a gala event at the National Theater during which she performed the third act of Tolstoy's Resurrection.

    1939: German troops fully occupy the Czechoslovak provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. This was a gross violation of the Munich Agreement that Chamberlain had negotiated.  This was the last step on the road to war in Europe and the Final Solution.

    1939: As the Nazis advance on Prague, Martha and Waitstill Sharp decided to remain in the Czech capital and continue their work of rescuing refugees from Hitler’s murder machine.
    1941: The Nazi occupiers of Holland forbade Jewish owned companies.

    1943:  In Krakowthe deportation of Jews continued. Children younger than three years were flung into baskets and emptied like trash into ditches. They were buried alive. One child, Shachne Hiller, who survived due to the efforts of a Polish couple, was taken by them to a Polish pries for baptism. The Priest refused, thinking that it would be unfair to the wishes of the child's parents. The child survived. The Priest went on to become Pope John Paul II.

    1943: Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" was played for the first time in New York City with George Szell conducting
    1944: Hanna Szenes ,Yoel Palgi and Peretz Goldstein were parachuted into Yugoslavia and joined a partisan group.

    1945: Winston Churchill wrote to Laura Wingate, widow of Orde Wingate the British officer who had helped trained Jewish fighters during the 1930’s telling of her plans to build a memorial to her late husband on the grounds of HebrewUniversity.  Wingate had been killed while fighting the Japanese in Burmaduring the war.  At a time when the British officer corps ranged from pro Arab to anti-Semitic Wingate stood out as a “chever” (friend) to the Jewish people in the truest sense of the term.

    1945: Special services were held in many American synagogues today as Jews here and abroad marked the end of a week-long period of mourning for the millions of Jews who had been murdered by Hitler and his cohorts. 

    1945: Palestine’s 600,000 Jews ended their week of mourning for the millions of their co-religionist who have been murdered in what would come to be known as the Holocaust or the Shoah by observing a solemn day of fasting where they abstaine from normal commercial and social activities.  Among other things, “factories, workshops, schools, restaurants and places of entertainment were closed for hours beginning at 9 o’clock this morning.”

    1946: “As part of the illegal immigration to Eretz Israel ("Aliya Bet"), the “Wingate” sailed from Italy with 238 maapilim ("illegal immigrants") on board, mostly from Eastern Europe.”

    1947: Birthdate of Judith Plaskow, “the first Jewish feminist to identify herself as a theologian.”
    1947:  Birthdate of comedian and movie star Billy Crystal.

    1947: According to reports received in Jerusalem, today’s attacks on oil pipelines at Haifa were the work of the Stern Gang and not the Irgun. 

    1947: In an interview today that expressed frustration with both terrorism and the British government, Moshe Shertok, a leader of the Jewish Agency said that “terrorist groups and White Paper government are vying with each other in ruining the Yishuv.”

    1949:The IAF flight school graduated its first class. Among the graduates was Mordechai "Mottie" Hod, the commander of Israel’s Air Force during the Six Day War.

    1950: It was announced today that “Dr. Walter Clay Lowdermilk, American expert on soil erosion and pioneer of the Tennessee Valley Authority,” has been appointed serve as an adviser to the Israeli government.

    1950: The burial of Dr. Mordecai Eliash, who was serving as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom when he passed away, is scheduled to take place today in Jerusalem.

    1950: Dr. Serge Koussevitzky, the 75 year old conduct emeritus conduct of the Boston Symphony who is currently on a sixteen concert tour in Israel has donated “his entire music library to Hebrew University.”

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from the US that President Harry Truman¹s $7,000m. Mutual Security Program listed $196m for the Middle East, $76m.for Jewish refugees in Israel and $65m for Palestinerefugees. .

    1953(27th of Adar): Essayist and journalist Chaim Greenberg passed away

    1960: Walter Mathau appeared in the role of James Hyland and Jacob Ben-Ami appeared in the role of Dr. Jacobson in tonight’s Play of the Week – “The Rope Dances” – produced by David Susskind.

    1960: Israel's Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and West Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer met to discuss mutual problems. Adenauer was trying to build a "new Germany" and his work to establish a positive relationship with the state of Israel was part of an attempt to remove the Nazi Stain.  Ben-Gurion, ever the realist, saw West Germany as a source of financial support (war reparations and other aid) as well as political support in a world in which the new Jewish state had few friends.  Ben-Gurion was criticized by many Jews both in and out of Israel for his work with West German and Adenauer.

    1961(26th of Adar, 5721): Akiba Rubinstein world famous chess player passed away at the age of 78.

    1964: A jury in Dallas, Texas finds Jack Ruby guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of John F. Kennedy.  The man who shot JFK was not Jewish.  The man who shot the man who shot JFK was Jewish.

    1968(14th of Adar, 5728): Last Purim celebration during the administration of Lyndon Johnson, a true friend of Israel and a supporter of Civil Rights.

    1969(24th of Adar, 5729): Painter Ben Shahn passed away at the age of 70.

    1971: Barbra Streisand appears on "The Burt Bacharach Special" on CBS TV

    1972: A small New Yorkstudy group using the name "Ezrat Nashim", founded in 1971 to study the status of women in Judaism, presented Conservative rabbis with a manifesto for change at the Rabbinical Assembly convention.

    1977: The New York Times reported that Ezrat Nashim (part of the Conservative movement) was about to publish a booklet entitled "Blessing the Birth of a Daughter: Jewish Naming Ceremonies for Girls."

    1977:The Jerusalem Post reported that upon his return from the US, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that President Jimmy Carter said nothing to indicate a reversal of his pre-election stand, which said that Israel ought not withdraw from Jerusalemor Golan Heights. Israel made it clear to the US that it would never return to the 1967 lines and was sufficiently strong to accept Carter¹s opinion, or to disagree with him on this issue.

    1978:  The Israeli Defense Force, in retaliation for a terrorist attack three days earlier, invades and occupies southern Lebanon, under codename Operation Litani, resulting in the evacuation of at least 100,000 Lebanese, approximately 2,000 deaths, as well as the creation of United Nations Interim Forces In Lebanon (UNIFIL)

    1979: Birthdate of actor Chris Klein

    1980(26th of Adar, 5740):  Politician Allard Lowenstein passed away at the age of 51.  He was the Democratic Congressman from New York’s Fifth District.

    1991(28th of Adar, 5751): Lyricist Howard Ashman passed away.  Born Howard Elliot German in 1950 in Baltimore, Maryland, Ashman teamed with Alan Menken on several scores for Disney movies including Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.  He won two Grammies, and two Oscars for Best Song.
    1996(23rd of Adar, 5756): Seventy-seven year old philanthropist and successful businessman Alfred P. Slaner passed away today. (As reported by Robert Thomas, Jr.)

    1997(5th of Adar II, 5757): Fred Zinnemann, Austrian-born director, passed away

    1997: A decision was reached by the Israelis to begin work on a building project at Har Homa in southern Jerusalem.

    1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man by Howard Pollack and Sex and Social Justice by Martha Nussbaum.

    2000: “Israel deployed the first battery of Arrow missiles.”

    2001: President George Bush issued an Executive Order adding the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade to the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organization.

    2002: Avigdor Lieberman completed his service as National Infrastructure Minister

    2003(10th of Adar II, 5763): Jack Goldstein passed away at the age of 57. Born in 1945, he was one of the first graduates of the California School of Fine Arts; Jack Goldstein was known for his experiments in film, sound and performance art. In 1974, he moved to New Yorkwhere he had his first show in 1981. He often made use of commercial production techniques or isolated bits of Hollywood films such as creating a continuous loop of the roaring MGMlion. In the late 1970s, he focused on painting and did works ranging from images of lightning storms, volcano eruptions and World War II battles to abstractions based on astronomy.

    2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including A Sportswriter’s Life:From the Desk of a New York Times Reporter by Gerald Eskenazi.

    2005: During the Cedar Revolution hundreds of thousands of Lebanese went into the streets of Beirut to demonstrate against the Syrian military presence in Lebanon and against the government. This entry serves as a reminder that there is a lot of violence in the Middle East that has nothing to do with Israel.  It also serves as a reminder that the late President Assad wanted to create “Greater Syria” which included territory now known as Lebanon, Jordan and much of Israel.

    2006: 14th of Adar 5766 – Purim

    2006:  National Public Radio profiled Allan Sherman on “All Things Considered.”

    2006: “People & Politics” published today described the switch of Mark Leibovich from the Washington Post to the New York Times.

    2006: Eric Lichtblau was a co-winner of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting for coverage of the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.

    2006:  Haaretzreported that Rome's chief rabbi paid a landmark visit to the capital's mosque yesterday, calling for greater dialogue between Jews and Muslims to promote peace. Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni's visit to the sprawling mosque on Rome's outskirts, one of the largest in Europe, was the first by a chief rabbi of Romesince it opened in 1995.

    2007(24th of Adar, 5767): Lucie Samuel (Bernard) Aubrac, French history teacher and member of the French Resistance passed away. In 1939, Lucie Bernard married a French Jew named Raymond Samuel. After WW II began, Samuel changed the family name to Aubrac in response to the anti-Semitism so prevalent at the time.  Lucie and Raymond were both active in the Free French Resistance and kept the name Aubrac even after hostilities came to an end in 1945.

    2007: The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) ended its annual meeting which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.

    2007: Israel Singer, one of the heads of the World Jewish Congress and a leading figure in the Jewish world for the past 30 years, was dismissed in an unexpected move from all his posts in the WJC. The decision to fire Singer was announced by WJC President Edgar Bronfman and approved by the WJC steering committee.

    2007: An exhibition styled “Notes from the Underground, Subway Portraits by Joseph Solman” opened at the Danforth Museum in Framingham, MA. Joseph Solman was, with Mark Rothko, a co-founder of The Ten, a group of expressionist painters who worked in New York Cityin the 1930s.

    2008: At the Newberry Library in Chicago, NextBook presents "A Gateway to Jewish Literature, Culture, and Ideas" featuring author Sara Paretsky.  Sara Paretsky published her first story in The American Girl at the age of 11, but didn't turn to detective fiction until her 30s. Troubled by the way women were traditionally portrayed in that genre, Paretsky created V. I. Warshawski, a tough, independent female private eye, now one of the best-known characters in crime fiction. Growing up in a small eastern Kansas town, where she and her brothers were the only Jewish kids in school, Paretsky discusses how her Jewish upbringing has informed her life and her writing. Sara Paretsky's papers are in the collections of the Newberry Library. Chicago Illinois.

    2008 The Paris book fair, one of the major events on the European literary calendar opens with Israel as the ‘guest of honor.”Several Arab countries are boycotting the prestigious annual fair, because it honors Israeli writers. Each year the international fair puts the spotlight on one country. This year it is inviting 39 writers from Israel, including David Grossman, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and Aharon Appelfeld. A similar controversy is brewing about the May book fair in Turin, which is also highlighting Israeli works."It's sad and a shame," said Martine Heissler, who was helping to run a stand at the fair for Tribune Juive, a monthly for the French Jewish community. "We're not talking about Kalashnikovs here. Ironically, the 39 Israeli writers being honored were mainly from the political left and supported Palestinian statehood.

    2008: Austriahonors the work of the kinder transport and those who helped with the rescue mission that took place in the months leading to the outbreak of World War II, with a special ceremony on at the Westbahnhoff, Vienna railway station. Austrian Minister of Transport Werner Faymann will unveil a statue to commemorate the kinder transport and a plaque to honor Britain, which took in nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Europe. The commemoration honors the different rescuers, including Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld, a British rabbi who personally rescued thousands of Jews, and the role of the Quakers and the Christadelphians. The statue is the work of Flor Kent, a Jewish Venezuelan artist living in London. Following the unveiling ceremony and speeches, a kosher celebratory meal will be served on the station platform.

    2008: The commemoration of the kinder transport and those who helped with the rescue mission continues at the Vienna Synagogue with special Friday evening services led by Austrian Chief Rabbi Chaim Eisenberg. The Vienna Synagogue was built in 1824 and was the only synagogue to survive the Nazis,

    2009: Shabbat Parah

    2009: In Little Rock, AR, a special Kiddush is given by Rabbi Pinchus and Estie Ciment in honor of the most recent addition to the family of these august Lamplighters who joined the Ciment Clan in the evening between Purim and Shushan Purim.

    2009: Opening night of the Hartford Jewish Film Festival featuring the Connecticut premiere of “The Little Traitor, the beautiful story of an implausible 1947 friendship between amiable British Sergeant Dunlop and spirited 12 year old Proffy Liebowitz, starring Alfred Molina, IdoPort and Theodore Bikel.

    2010:Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to host a Community Women’s Seder (age 13+) using a Haggadah honoring the role of women in the Passover tradition while giving the participants a chance to lead a reading, join in the singing and discussion and share favorite recipes at a pot-luck dairy dinner of Passover foods.

    2010:Magen David Sephardic Congregation is scheduled to host special afternoon of Israeli Art & Culture featuring the works of Ilan Hasson and Avi Biran.

    2010:More than 70 years after its synagogue was destroyed by Nazi rioters, the German town of Herford dedicated a new Jewish house of worship. In a ceremony today, local and national Jewish leaders and clergy joined to unveil the new structure, which will serve the 106-member community -- 90 percent are immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
    2010: The LA Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power “by James McGrath Morris.

    2011: Fallen Heroes – Remembering the Jewish casualties of Iraq and Afghanistan published today.  
    2011: Zemer Chai (Living Song), “The Jewish Community of Chorus” is scheduled to perform at the National Theatre as part of the Washington Sings: Festival of Song.

    2011:The Commonwealth Club's Middle Eastern Forum and JIMENA are scheduled to present “Last Jews of Yemen” with linguist, journalist and blogger, Josh Berer.

    2011: Next Year in Bombay, a documentary about the Bene Israel, is one of the films scheduled to be shown today at the 15thNew York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Albert Einstein will go digital in the coming months, as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem begins a project to digitize the German-Jewish physicist's archives. The digitization is expected to take around one year and then the over 80,000 documents will be available on the Albert Einstein Archives website. News of the initiative, which will be made possible by a $500,000 grant from the Polonsky Foundation of London, was announced today; the 131st anniversary of Einstein's birth in the town of Ulm in what is today Southern Germany.


    2011:The Jewish New Media Innovation Fund announced over half a million dollars in grants today for nine digital media projects intended to engage people between the ages of 18 and 40 with Jewish life.

    2011: Sixty-nine year old Neil Diamond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight during a ceremony at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria.  The Jewish Diamond was introduced by another Jewish musical icon – Paul Simon.  Two other Jews were among the evening’s honorees –Art Rupe founder of Specialty Records and Jac Holtzman, founder of Elektra Records, the label that recorded numerous LP’s by Theodore Bikel.

    2011(8th of Adar II): Seventy-six year old Canadian Larry Zolf, who was a popular CBC journalist, passed away. Zolf was a self-described product of the Jewish ghetto of North Winnipeg. He is the father of famous poet Rachel Zolf.

    2012: In Washington, DC, Theatre J is scheduled to a Backstage Discussion entitled “A Spinozian Sense of Justice: Crime and Punishment in a World According to Spinoza.”

    2012: “The Pioneer Jewish Film Festival” which is held in Amherst and Springfield, MA is scheduled to open today.

    2012(20th of Adar, 5772): On the Hebrew calendar, Yahrzeit of Yoel Sirkes Rabbi of Krakow and author of the Bayit Chadash ("Bach"), a commentary on the great Halachic work, the Arba'ah Turim. (As reported by Chabad Lubavitch)

    2012(20th of Adar, 5772): Ninety-five year old Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the leader of the Viznitz Hasidim pass away today.(As reported by Joseph Berger)

    2012: TIP's Alan Elsner is scheduled to host Dr. Emily Landau who will be speaking about "Iran's Nuclear Challenge and Israel's Possible Responses.”

    2012: Marbin, an improvised music duo consisting of Israeli-American guitarist Dani Rabin and Israeli saxophonist Danny Markovitch.  is scheduled to perform at the Newton Theatre at Newton, NJ.

    2012: Azerbaijan authorities have arrested 22 people suspected of plotting to attack the Israeli and American embassies in the capital Baku, AFP reported today.

    2012: A Jerusalem Court acquitted an antiquities collector on most counts of forgery today eleven years after the case was first opened.

    2013: The Wiener Library is scheduled to present “I'll Never See You Again: A Story of Survival and Reconciliation” featuring 92 year old Holocaust survivor Margot Barnard.

    2013: “Melting Away, “ an Israeli film that “follows the story of a Tel Aviv family drawn into crisis after the parents discover their son is secretly a cross-dresser and expel him from home” is scheduled to have its Minnesota Premiere at the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival..

    2013: LABAlive is scheduled to present “Drunk,” an evening of learning, art and perfromances on the heavens and hells of intoxication in ancient Jewish tradition.

    2013: Alast-minute glitch delayed final completion of coalition negotiations today, with the prime minister’s wife reportedly at its center. Still, most insiders remained confident that a deal would be done, and the new government sworn-in next Monday. According to Army Radio, Sara Netanyahu demanded that Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett — with whom she reportedly fell out when he served as her husband’s chief of staff from 2006-08 — not be given the largely symbolic title of deputy prime minister in the new government, and that the same title also therefore be denied to fellow putative coalition partner Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid. (As reported by Times of Israel)

    2013:  The white smoke had barely dispersed from over the Vatican this morning when President Shimon Peres invited the new pope for a visit to Israel, asking him to contribute to peace as a spiritual, rather than a political, leader.

    2013:Today the Israel-based Shem Olam Holocaust and Faith Institute showcased items that may have been used for Passover rituals at the Chelmno death camp in western Poland. The items were discovered during excavations of the site in pits containing prisoners’ belongings

    2014: Rebecca Kushner is scheduled to lead Musical Shabbat at Augdas Achim in Coralville, Iowa.

    2014: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host a Purim themed Shabbat Dinner complete with costumes.

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    March 15

    457 BCE (12th of Nisan, 3303): Ezra and his followers departed from the River Ahava on their way to Jerusalem.

    44 BCE: Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate. The Jews supported Caesar in his fight for power against Crassus and Pompey. Pompey had seized Jerusalem, violated the Holy of Holies and shipped thousands of Judeans off to the slave markets. Eight years later, Crassus came to Jerusalem and stole the Temple Treasury. As a reward for Jewish support, Caesar returned the port of Jaffa to Judean control. He instituted a more humane tax rate that took into account the Sabbatical Year. He allowed the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt and he allowed Jewish communities in the Italian peninsula, including Rome itself, to "organize and thrive."

    351: Constantius II elevates his cousin Gallus to Caesar, and puts him in charge of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. During his rule, Gallus had to deal with a Jewish rebellion in Judea/Palestine. The rebellion, possibly started before Gallus' elevation to Caesar, was crushed by Gallus' general, Ursicinus, who ordered all the rebels slain.

    1391: “A Jew hating monk” is responsible for starting anti-Jewish riots in Seville, Spain. These riots marked the start of a wave of violence throughout Spain and Portugal which claimed 50,000 lives within less than a year. Many Jews escaped death by converting to Christianity. This marked the emergence of Marranos who were said to number 200,000.

    1545: Opening session of the Council of Trent. At the Council of Trent in the 16th century, the Roman Church stated as a theological principle that all men share the responsibility for the Passion—and that Christians bear a particular burden. "In this guilt [for the death of Jesus] are involved all those who fall frequently into sin..." read the catechism of the council.”This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews since, if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; while we, on the contrary, professing to know him, yet denying him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on him."

    1672: Charles II of England issues the Royal Declaration of Indulgence. This declaration was part of the jockeying for power between Roman Catholics, Anglicans and non-Anglican Protestants. Religious rights for Jews were not a part of this measure. Oliver Cromwell, the Protestant civil ruler who temporarily replaced the Stuarts allowed the Jews to re-enter England. Charles II continued his policy and actually expanded the rights and protection for the growing Jewish population. Charles II’s, his successor King James II and the last Catholic King of England further expanded the royal protection of the Jews. Both monarchs appreciated the financial support they received from Jewish bankers. By the time William and Mary had replaced James on the English throne, Jews were too well established in England to ever again be candidates for expulsion and exile.

    1773: The South Carolina Gazette reported that Moses Lindo purchased a stone which he believed to be a topaz of immense size, and that he sent it to London by the Right Hon. Lord Charles Greville Montague to be presented to the Queen of England.” Lindo was a native of England who settled in South Carolina where he prospered in the trade of indigo.

    1776: South Carolina becomes the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government. The Jews played an active role in the political affairs of South Carolina from its earliest days. As early as 1702 they were voting in the colony’s general elections. Francis Salvador began serving in the Provincial Congress in the year before the Palmetto State declared her independence

    1795: Birthdate of Samuel Moses Marx, the son of a Jewish doctor in Halle who, when baptized in 1819, changed his name to Adolf Bernhard Marx who gained fame as a German composer and critic.

    1820: Just a year after Rebecca Gratz established the country's first Female Hebrew Benevolent Society in Philadelphia, Richa Levy led a group of women that established a Female Hebrew Benevolent Society at New York's Shearith Israel congregation. At that time, Shearith Israel was the only synagogue in New York City.

    1820: Maine becomes the 23rd state to join the Union. Today Maine has a small but active Jewish population. There are ten congregations in the state. There are Hillel chapters at the University of Maine, Colby, Bates and Bowdoin. Statewide organizations include the Jewish Community Council of Bangor, Main, the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Main, The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine and the Maine Jewish Film Festival. The mission of the Maine Jewish Film Festival is to “provide a forum for the presentation of films to enrich, educate and entertain a diverse community about the Jewish experience.” Since 1998, we have fulfilled this mission by presenting over 145 films about all facets of Jewish life and culture to nearly 17,500 people. Our annual Festival takes place over nine days in mid-March, and each year we bring a rich selection of films to Maine that otherwise wouldn’t get seen by audiences anywhere else in the state or even Northern New England. The Festival serves filmgoers of all ages and backgrounds, both Jews and non-Jews alike. Maine is one of the smallest cities in the United States to host an independent Jewish film festival and each successive year we attract increasing numbers of attendees (over 3,000 in 2006).

    1827: The University of Toronto is chartered. The first Jewish community did not develop in Toronto until the 1840’s. Today the Toronto University has 3,000 Jewish students among its 40,000 undergraduates and 500 Jewish students among its 10,000 graduate students. The University offers approximately 35 courses in Jewish Studies and a minor in Jewish studies. The Hillel chapter is located at the Wolfond Center for Jewish Life.

    1830: Birthdate of Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse, the first Jew to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

    1849: Birthdate of Emanuel Rich, who with his brother Morris, founded Rich’s Department Store.

    1848: Birthdate of Ignace Ephrussi, the native of Odessa, who was a member of a family of famous Jewish bankers that included his brother Charles.  The family moved their operations from Odessa to Paris and Vienna.

    1851: Birthdate of Hungarian attorney and Diet Member, Arthur Jellinek.

    1856: Following the creation of the Company Ports of Marseille, Franco-Jewish financier Jules Mires formed a partnership with Talabot Paulin to rebuild the docks of this major French Mediterranean port.

    1859:Abramo Volterra, a cloth merchant, and Angelica Almagià, the parents of Italian mathematician and physicist, Vito Volterra were married today.

    1860: Birthdate of Count Moïse de Camondo, a native of Constantinople whose Sephardic family owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire and who became a leading French banker and art collector.

    1860: Birthdate of bacteriologist Waldemar Mordecai Wolff Haffkine, the native of Odessa who refused to convert to further his career choosing instead to emigrate to France where he continued his work that led to vaccines against cholera and the bubonic plague

    1862: An article published today entitled “Treason in Embryo: A Remarkable Document” contained excerpts from correspondence written by David Yulee in January of 1861. At the time, Yulee was a United States Senator representing Florida. The correspondence described the meetings of U.S. Senators from several southern states and the role they would be playing the secession movement and the establishment of the Confederate States of America.

    1865: The activities surrounding “the fourth annual masquerade ball of the Purim Association” which was held last night was described in an article published today entitled “The Purim Ball--Grand Masquerade at the Academy of Music.” According to the article “The Purim Ball is held to commemorate one of the great epochs of Jewish history -- the deliverance of the chosen people from the machinations of Haman, Prime Minister to King Ahasuerus, of Persia.”The Purim Association raised approximately $9,000 for its charitable activities through the sale of 900 tickets at $10 each. The society also published the Purim Gazette, a paper which is printed at each recurrence of the Purim ball.1867: The Amusements Column, in an item styled "Last of Shylock" reported that this evening marked the next to the last performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Winter Garden Theatre. There would be one more Saturday matinee and then "farewell to the Jew for the Season. The Merchant of Venice featuring Shylock reportedly was the first Shakespearean play to have been performed in United States; a performance that took place in colonial Virginia.

    1869: Prussia does away with the Oath More Judaico or Jewish Oath

    1876: It was reported today that the Earl of Aylesford was in such dire financial straits that if he paid all of the money he owed to various English Jews, “he would have scarcely had a income to support himself.”

    1877(1st of Nisan, 5637): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

    1877(1st of Nisan, 5637): Albert Cohn, the Hungarian born French philanthropist and scholar passed away in Paris.

    1880: It was reported today that Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen by Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner “bristles with attacks on Jews.”

    1881(14thof Adar II, 5641): Purim

    1881: The Purim Masquerade Ball will be held today at the Academy of Music in New York City.

    1882(24th of Adar): Rabbi Eliezer Lipmann Silbermann founder of Ha Maggid, the first weekly Hebrew newspaper, passed away today

    1886: In New York, formation of the Jewish Immigrants’ Protective Society

    1886: Yeshiva Etz Chaim was founded in New York. It was the first American yeshiva to include the study of Talmud.

    1889: Birthdate assigned to  Melech Epstein by his parents. The native of Belarus moved to the United States where he wrote Labor in U.S.A. and The Jew and Communism 

    1891: General H.B. Carrington delivered four lectures today a Syracuse University including one entitled “Hebrew History.”

    1891: “New York University” published today described the upcoming free lectures that would be offered by The School of Pedagogy including Rabbi Leight on speaking on “Old Hebrew Education.”

    1892: “Sunday Not Recognized By Jews” published today described the grounds on which John Besher dismissed the charges that had been lodged against two Jewish grocers for doing business on Sunday. Bsher accepted their position that “Sunday being recognized by their race as an ordinary week day, they were entitled to keep their stores open for business” but only if they observe Saturdays as their Sabbath.

    1892: As the business operations of J.E. Guenzburg crumbled today in St. Petersburg, it was announced that the Jewish bankers had liabilities totaling six million rubles. It had been thought that the assets of his firm which dates back to the Crimean War were closer to ten million rubles.

    1892: In Paris, the Bourse closed down based on reports of the failure of J.E. Guenzburg’s banking interests in St. Petersburg.

    1892: Word of the failure of J.E. Guenzburg, a leading Russian banker had little effect on the financial markets in London

    1892: In Berlin it is believed that the failure of Guenzburg was the result of governmental animosity. The Czar’s government objected to the power of a Jewish banker and his involvement with German bankers since Russia is now allying itself with France. Creditors have good reason to believe that Guenzburg will pay all of his creditors.

    1893: Birthdate of Jules Salvador Moch, the French politician who was the grandson of Colonel Jules Moch and the son of Captain Gaston Moch who was born and died in the same year as Captain Alfred Dreyfus whose cause he supported.

    1893: Arthur Reichow, a representative of the committee connected with the Baron Hirsch Fund, returned to New York City tonight after having spent the day investigating conditions at the Jewish colony at Chesterfield, eight miles from New London, CT. “Instead of starvation” Reichow said “he found a comparatively contented people with only six families of the thirty two” at the colony were “really in need of assistance” and two of the families refused to accept any help unless it was in the form of loan.

    1893: It was reported today that a Jewish peddler named Morantz has been fencing stolen goods for several gangs in the Kansas City area.  Morantz has a daughter named Mollie who takes the goods from the thieves when her father leaves the city “to sell the plunder.”

    1893: Citing information that has appeared in German newspapers, “Andrew D. White, the United States Minister to Russia” has written to the State Department warning “that it is the intention of the promoters of the Baron Hirsch fund…to renew the immigration of Russian” Jews “to the Argentine Republic.”  “Only the better class of” Jews “will be sent to the South American republic and that those of an undesirable class will be sifted out and sent to the United States.”  White did not comment on the credibility of the reports saying only that U.S. immigration officials should vigilant about the appearance of such undesirable immigrants.

    1896: Seventy-eight Jewish veterans of the Union Army met in New York City's Lexington Opera House to form the Hebrew Union Veterans, the precursor group to the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. The veterans gathered in an attempt to refute claims in Harper’s Weekly and the North American Review that Jews had not fought in the war. (As reported by Seymour “Sy” Brody) The same charge was also made by Mark Twain which would prove to be unusual on two counts. Twain’s brief flirtation with the war had come on the Rebel side and his daughter would end up marrying a Jews.

    1896:”Russia and Religious Liberty” published today described the treatment of non-Orthodox treatment in the Czar’s empire including his five or six million Jewish subjects who are subject to “Jew baiting” in which the government has “appealed to what is worst in human nature.  “The harrying of the Jews is generally admitted to be one of the cause of the growth of poverty” among the Russian people.  “After the expulsion of the Jews from Moscow, the rate of interest in private pawnshops rose from 25 to 200 per cent per annum. (So much for the myth of the avaricious Jewish moneylender)

    1897: It was reported today that a performance of “My Uncle’s Will” by the students of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts was the main entertainment provided at an event hosted by the Hebrew Institute.

    1897: English Mathematician James Joseph Sylvester passed away. Born in London in 1814, Sylvester studied finite analysis. In 1880, he was awarded the Copley Award, the highest honor of the Royal Society.

    1897: “Eulogies of Mr. Goodhart” published today described the speeches made by Dr. Emil G. Hirsch of Chicago, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. F. de Solo Mendes and Dr. Hermann Phillips the religious director at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society all of which spoke movingly of the contribution of the late Morris Goodhart.

    1897: The Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia, whose “annual report showed that it had an income of $9,114 last year” celebrated its 49thanniversary today.

    1897: “Ephraim Lederer” has volunteered to continue giving “weekly lectures on the Constitution of the United States and the requirements for the proper performance of the duties of a citizen” in Philadelphia.

    1899: Today the General Conference of American Rabbis discussed a paper entitled “The National Idea in Judaism with Especial Reference to the Zionistic Movement” presented by Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch of Chicago, Illinois.

    1899: Three hundred forty-five guests attended the celebration of the 80thbirthday of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise which included a dinner at the Phoenix Club in Cincinnati, Ohio hosted by the General Conference of American Rabbis.

    1899: It was reported today that the next musicale and tea sponsored by the Woman’s Committee of the Hebrew Technical Institute will take place next month at Sherry’s

    1900: Parts of the body of Ernst Winter, a student who had disappeared in Konitz, West Prussia were discovered in a nearby lake and an arm was found in a cemetery.

    1900: Following the death of a student in Konitz, Poland, local Jews are faced with another “blood libel” episode. While Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews, Wolf Israelski was accused and arrested. After Israelski was proven innocent, two other Jews, Moritz Lewy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal and Lewy were acquitted, yet Lewy was sentenced to four years for denying he knew the victim. All the evidence was based on the testimony of a petty thief named Masloff who later received only one year for perjury.

    1905(8thof Adar II, 5665): Seventy-seven year old Meyer Guggenheim, the native of Switzerland, who came to the United States in 1847 where he made his fortune in mining and smelting and became the patriarch of the Guggenheim clan consisting of his wife Barbara and ten children, passed away today.

    1906: While delivering a speech at Chesham on the question of the excluding aliens from settling in the British Isles, The Honorable Lionel Walter Rothschild, Member of Parliament for the Aylesbury Division of Buckinghamshire, “referred to the number of poor Russian refugees excluded from Great Britain in the last few months.” Based on what he considered to be “irrefutable evidence,” Mr. Rothschild, the son of Lord Rothschild, reported that those Russians who were forced to return to their native land were shot at the border without being given any kind of trial.

    1908: With Passover a month away, the baking of Matzoth has become a full time operation in New York with large moving vans having to be used to take the boxes of unleavened bread from the bakeries to the various distribution centers around town. A bakery on 33rd Street between Second and Third Avenues is actually having to work around the clock to keep up with the world wide demand for Matzoth.

    1912: The Turkish Ministry of the Interior to the Governor of Jerusalem issued a decree permitting the Jews to place benches and light candles in front of the Western Wall.

    1913: Birthdate of businessman Lew Wasserman. Wasserman was Chairman and CEO of MCA from 1946 until 1995.

    1915: Birthdate of Joe E. Ross, borscht belt comedian and star of such television sitcoms as “Car 54 Where Are You?”

    1915: Birthdate of broadcast journalist David Schoenbrun. He was CBS broadcast bureau chief in Washington DC and Paris France.

    1917: Czar Nicholas II abdicated bringing an to the Romanov dynasty which had caused so much suffering for the Jewish people

    1919(13th of Adar II, 5679): On Shabbat, Albert, (Avraham) Harkavy passed away. Born in Belarus in 1835, Harkavy led an unusual life for a Russian Jew. After getting a Yeshiva education he received two degrees from the University of St. Petersburg before gaining a doctorate while studying abroad. In a country wracked by anti-Semitism, he was appointed head of the Oriental Division in the Imperial Public Library, a position he held until his death.

    1921: Birthdate of John Patrick Kenneally, the illegitimate son of a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer, who won the Victoria Cross for his bravery on April 29 and April 30, 1943, while fighting in Tunisia.

    1922: After Egypt gains nominal independence from the United Kingdom, Fuad I becomes King of Egypt. This is the same King Faud I who declared in 1917, when he was the Guest of Honor at the opening of the Zionist Movement in Cairo and Alexandria that: "You Jews of Egypt, will always be protected by us, until you go back to your land, the Land of Israel"

    1923: Birthdate of Rostam Bastuni, an Arab Christian who was the “the first Arab citizen of Israel to represent a Zionist party in the Knesset.”

    1924: Birthdate of Michael Harsegor an Israeli historian and a professor for history at the Tel Aviv University who specialized in the history of Europe in the late Middle Ages.

    1924: Birthdate of Richard Topus, who gained fame as pigeon trainer during World War II. Born in Brooklyn, Topus was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. Growing up in Flatbush, he fell in love with the pigeons his neighbors kept on their rooftops in spacious coops known as lofts. His parents would not let him have a loft of his own — they feared it would interfere with schoolwork, Andrew Topus said — but he befriended several local men who taught him to handle their birds. Two of them had been pigeoneers in World War I, when the United States Army Pigeon Service was formally established.

    “In January 1942, barely a month after Pearl Harbor, the United States War Department sounded a call to enlist. It wasn’t men they wanted — not this time. The Army was looking for pigeons. To the thousands of American men and boys who raced homing pigeons, a popular sport in the early 20th century and afterward, the government’s message was clear: Uncle Sam Wants Your Birds. Richard Topus was one of those boys. He had no birds of his own to give, but he had another, unassailable asset: he was from Brooklyn, where pigeon racing had long held the status of a secular religion. His already vast experience with pigeons — long, ardent hours spent tending and racing them after school and on weekends — qualified him, when he was still a teenager, to train American spies and other military personnel in the swift, silent use of the birds in wartime. World War II saw the last wide-scale use of pigeons as agents of combat intelligence. Mr. Topus, just 18 when he enlisted in the Army, was among the last of the several thousand pigeoneers, as military handlers of the birds were known, who served the United States in the war. Pigeons have been used as wartime messengers at least since antiquity. Before the advent of radio communications, the birds were routinely used as airborne couriers, carrying messages in tiny capsules strapped to their legs. A homing pigeon can find its way back to its loft from nearly a thousand miles away. Over short distances, it can fly a mile a minute. It can go where human couriers often cannot, flying over rough terrain and behind enemy lines. By the early 20th century, advances in communications technology seemed to herald the end of combat pigeoneering. In 1903, a headline in The New York Times confidently declared, “No Further Need of Army Pigeons: They Have Been Superseded by the Adoption of Wireless Telegraph Systems.” But technology, the Army discovered, has its drawbacks. Radio transmissions can be intercepted. Triangulated, they can reveal the sender’s location. In World War I, pigeons proved their continued usefulness in times of enforced radio silence. After the United States entered World War II, the Army put out the call for birds to racing clubs nationwide. Tens of thousands were donated. In all, more than 50,000 pigeons served the United States in the war. Many were shot down. Others were set upon by falcons released by the Nazis to intercept them. (The British countered by releasing their own falcons to pursue German messenger pigeons. But since falcons found Allied and Axis birds equally delicious, their deployment as defensive weapons was soon abandoned by both sides.) But many American pigeons did reach their destinations safely, relaying vital messages from soldiers in the field to Allied commanders. The information they carried — including reports on troop movements and tiny hand-sketched maps — has been widely credited with saving thousands of lives during the war. Mr. Topus enlisted in early 1942 and was assigned to the Army Signal Corps, which included the Pigeon Service. He was eventually stationed at Camp Ritchie in Maryland, one of several installations around the country at which Army pigeons were raised and trained. There, he joined a small group of pigeoneers, not much bigger than a dozen men. Camp Ritchie specialized in intelligence training, and Mr. Topus and his colleagues schooled men and birds in the art of war. They taught the men to feed and care for the birds; to fasten on the tiny capsules containing messages written on lightweight paper; to drop pigeons from airplanes; and to jump out of airplanes themselves, with pigeons tucked against their chests. The Army had the Maidenform Brassiere Company make paratroopers’ vests with special pigeon pockets. The birds, for their part, were trained to fly back to lofts whose locations were changed constantly. This skill was crucial: once the pigeons were released by troops in Europe, the Pacific or another theater, they would need to fly back to mobile combat lofts in those places rather than light out for the United States. Mr. Topus and his colleagues also bred pigeons, seeking optimal combinations of speed and endurance. After the war, Mr. Topus earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business from Hofstra University. While he was a student, he earned money selling eggs — chicken eggs — door to door and afterward started a wholesale egg business. In the late 1950s, Mr. Topus became the first salesman at Friendship Food Products, a dairy company then based in Maspeth, Queens; he retired as executive vice president for sales and marketing. (The company, today based in Jericho, N.Y. and a subsidiary of Dean Foods, is now known as Friendship Dairies.) In the 1960s and early ’70s, Mr. Topus taught marketing at Hofstra; the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University; and the State University of New York, Farmingdale, where he started a management-training program for supermarket professionals. In later years, after retiring to Scottsdale, he taught at Arizona State University and was also a securities arbitrator, hearing disputes between stockbrokers and their clients. Though the Army phased out pigeons in the late 1950s, Mr. Topus raced them avidly till nearly the end of his life. He left a covert, enduring legacy of his hobby at Friendship, for which he oversaw the design of the highly recognizable company logo, a graceful bird in flight, in the early 1960s. From that day to this, the bird has adorned cartons of the company’s cottage cheese, sour cream, buttermilk and other products. To legions of unsuspecting consumers, Andrew Topus said last week, the bird looks like a dove. But to anyone who really knew his father, it is a pigeon, plain as day. Mr. Topus passed away in December of 2008.

    1925(19th of Adar): Mordecai Spector passed away

    1926: Birthdate of Sheldon Jerome Segal, “who led the scientific team that developed Norplant, the first significant advance in birth control since the pill, and who also developed other long-acting contraceptives…”

    1929: Birthdate of Betty Asher, who as Betty (Mrs. Jacob) Levin would grow up to be a marvelous person, who raised four fine children, taught school, opened her heart and home to one and all and was a life-long partner to her husband of blessed memory.

    1932: In an article datelined London, the Associate Press describes “the Jewish Olympiad at Tel Aviv, Palestine” as one the “four great athletic competitions of 1932” putting it in the same category as the world’s Tenth Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles. “More than mere physical contests, the Jewish games serve both body and soul. They recall the protest of ancient Maccabees against the Greek Olympiads which glorified Athenian physique.”

    1933: Birthdate of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

    1933: Three Jews were arrested by Storm troopers in Breslau were beaten and bloodied.

    1935: Bernard S. Deutsch, New York’s President of the Board of Alderman, met with the team of Jewish athletes that will be representing the United States at the World Maccabiah Games

    1935: According to a statement issued today by Dr. E.L. Sukenik, Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, twelve pieces of broken pottery found on the site of ancient Lachish destroy the very foundations of biblical "higher criticism."

    1935: Birthdate of actor Judd Hirsch best known for his role in the hit sitcom, “Taxi.”

    1936: In Tel Aviv, shops were closed “as a sign of grief for the plight of the Jews of Poland said to be the victims of renewed pogroms.” The economic protests “coincided with a mass meeting called by the Jewish National Council of Palestine.” According to published reports, Polish Jewry is facing a threatened prohibition of kosher slaughtering in the Polish republic.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that after Shlomo Gafni and Hanoch Metz were murdered and robbed near Nazareth, Gedaliah Geller, 36, Moshe Zalman Ben-Sasson, 33, and Yehuda Eliovitz, 28, of Yavne¹el were murdered nearby. Police dogs followed the tracks to Tiberias. Ammunition disappeared from a sealed government armory at Kfar Tavor and there was sporadic shooting all over Galilee. Dr. Chaim Weizmann accepted a donation of £5,000 for the Yishuv¹s security and development from the British Synagogues Federation.

    1937: Based on a cablegram from Gordon Loud, who was leading the Megiddo Expedition sponsored by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, to Dr. John A. Wilson, Director of the Institute, an announcement was made that gold, gems and vessels hidden at Megiddo dating back to 1400 BCE had been discovered. It is speculated that the treasure was hidden there by some hitherto unnamed “Prince of Megiddo.”

    1938: As the Nazis took over Prague Martha and Waitstill Sharp who were running one of the most successful refugee rescue operations in Europe finished burning their notes to keep any information from failing into the hands of the SS.

    1939: Felix Weltsch left Prague with Max Brod and his family on the last train out of Czechoslovakia. In Palestine, Weltsch worked as a librarian in Jerusalem until his death in 1964.

    1939: German troops marched into Prague. This was the last act of German aggression before the start of World War II. It also brought the Jews of Czechoslovakia under the control of the Nazis

    1939: In Slovakia, Alexander Mach became commander of the Hlinka Guards, the Slovak Nazis who helped deport the Jews to Aushwitz.

    1939: The family of historian Dr. Yehuda Bauer left Czechoslovakia for Palestine. Bauer’s life reads like some character out of one of those historic fiction novels that Leon Uris would write. It spans everything from membership in the Palmach to a distinguished academic career.
    1940: Birthdate of Judith Rose Fingeret, the Pittsburgh native, who, as Judith F. Krug, led the campaign by libraries against efforts to ban books, including helping found Banned Books Week, then fought laws and regulations to limit children’s access to the Internet.

    1941: In Amsterdam, Etty Hillesum a young woman studying Slavic languages at Amsterdam University recorded her rage of the deportations (of the Jews) writing in her diary “The whole German nation must be destroyed root and branch. They are all scum.”

    1943: Birthdate of David Paul Cronenberg. Cronenberg is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. He is one of the principal originators of what is sometimes known as the "body horror" genre, which explores people's fears of bodily transformation and infection. In his films, the psychological is typically intertwined with the physical. In the first half of his career, he explored these themes mostly through horror and science fiction, although his work has long since moved beyond these genres. He was born to a Lithuanian-Jewish family in Toronto. Cronenberg's father was a journalist and his mother a pianist. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in literature, and has cited William S. Burroughs and Vladimir Nabokov as influences.

    1943: The deportation of the Jews from Thrace began. When Hitler was dismembering the Balkans, he gave Thrace to Bulgaria. The price was for the Nazis largesse was the extermination of the local Jewish population. The Jews of Thrace ended up at Treblinka. At the time of the deportation, Anthony Eden, the British Foreign Minister was meeting in Washington with the Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State. Hull raised the issue of rescuing the Balkan Jews. Eden cautioned against this. After all, Hitler might offer the Allies the Jews of Poland and Germany as well and there simply were not enough ships available for such an effort.

    1943(8th of Adar II, 5703): At the Theresienstadt Ghetto, Trude Neumann died of starvation. She was the daughter of Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement.

    1943: “In the aftermath of the Stalingrad disaster, Hitler informed Joseph Goebbbels that the liquidation program should not ‘cease or pause until no Jew is left anywhere in the Reich.’”

    1944: Fort Ontario, an 80 acre federal reservation on Lake Ontario, was closed today, only to be re-opened later in the year as the European refugee center that would be known as “Safe Haven.”

    1944: Birthdate of Josef Joffe, the native of Łódź, Poland who grew up in West Berlin and became editor of Die Zeit, a weekly German newspaper before moving onto a career in academia in the United States.

    1944:Abba Berditchev parachuted into Yugoslavia. His “mission was to assist the Jews, gather intelligence and help rescue members of the air forces who were captured or had parachuted into Romania. He did not succeed in reaching Romania, instead returning to Bari, Italy. In August 1944 Berditchev traveled to Slovakia, where he participated in the Slovak National Uprising. After two months of fighting in the mountains, Berditchev was captured by the Germans and transferred in December 1944 to Mauthausen along with other captives, where he was brutally tortured and murdered by the Nazis.”
    (As chronicled by Yad Vashem
    1945: Birthdate of New York politician Mark J. Green

    1945: The exact date of the death of Anne Frank has not been established. According to one source, on this date Anne Frank died in Bergen Belsen concentration camp from Typhus shortly before the liberation. Anne was born in Frankfurt but spent most of her life in Holland. Once the deportations began Anne and her family moved to a hiding place and stayed there from July 9, 1942 until August 4, 1944 when they were betrayed. Anne had hoped to become a writer and succeeded beyond anything she could have imagined when her diary was published after World War II

    1946: British premier Attlee agreed to India's right to independence. This decision had a major, if under-reported affect on the future of the Jews in Palestine. Once the British decided to give up India, the need to protect the Suez Canal, the British lifeline to India, had greatly diminished. The British had wanted the Palestine Mandate primarily to protect this lifeline. Now that this would no longer be needed, the British were prepared to give up the Palestine Mandate which led to the creation of the state of Israel two years later.

    1947: For the first time, British authorities have shipped “authorized immigrants” from Palestine to Cyprus on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. The immigrants are Jews who had come to Palestine aboard the Susannah.

    1948: Birthdate of Kate Bornstein, American transgender author.

    1949(14thof Adar, 5709): Purim

    1949(14thof Adar, 5709): Emma Menko, the wife of Jake Menko and the daughter of Charles Wessolowsky, an earlier supporter of B’nai B’rith in Alabama, passed away.

    1952: In Tangiers, a Muslim demonstration supporting union with Morocco turned violent and "many Jewish-owned shops were among those looted and burned."

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from Egypt that a political battle was shaping up in Cairo between Palestine hard-liners and moderates over the future of the Palestine Liberation Organization¹s role in the Middle East and its relations with Jordan and Syria.

    1956: "My Fair Lady" opened on Broadway. The lyrics were written by Alan J. Lerner and the music was composed by Frederick Lowe. These are but two Jews connected with that unique American entertainment creation - the musical comedy. Some other names include the team of Rogers and Hammerstein, Moss Hart, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Loesser, Jerome Kern and the Gershwin Brothers, George and Ira.

    1957(12th of Adar II, 5717): Twelve days after having been shot by Zeev Eckstein, Rudolf Israel Kastner succumbed to his wounds and died today in Tel Aviv.

    1957: Birthdate of David Silverman, American animator best known for his work on the television “The Simpsons.”

    1962(9th of Adar II): Hebraist Daniel Persky passed away

    1965: President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress asked Congress to ensure everybody's right to vote regardless of any race, religion, sex, etc. This landmark legislation which was heavily supported by Jewish voters and politicians would be known as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It would change the landscape of American politics forever. And it was a true act of political and physical courage for Johnson to make and support such a proposal.

    1966(23rd of Adar, 5726): Abe Saperstein founder of the Harlem Globetrotters passed away at age 63.

    1969: US Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned under a cloud of scandal. Fortas was a closed friend and advisor to Lyndon Johnson. According to some accounts, when Johnson told Fortas that he was going to appoint him the "Jewish seat" on the Supreme Court, Fortas, cautioned against this. He told Johnson that neither he, nor the Jewish community, would consider his appointment as fulfilling that role. Apparently, Fortas saw himself only nominally as a Jew and did not see this accident of birth as a stepping stone to power. Johnson ignored him and made the appointment later.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that at his press conference in Washington US President Jimmy Carter suggested how Israeli and international troops, assisted by listening stations, might possibly man Israel¹s "defense line" which would be outside of the sovereign border. He refused, however, to say where the "line" would be. He warned that further Israeli settlement in the administered territories hampered the peace effort.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Knesset Law Committee discussed legislation which would introduce partial constituency elections in Israel.

    1977: The Religious Torah Front, a political alliance in Israel composed of Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael that held five seats in the Knesset split with Agudat Yisrael taking three seats and Poalei Agudat Yisrael two.

    1977: The Hadash movement which included Rakah and Non-Partisans parliamentary group was formed in preparation for the 1977 elections.

    1979: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Carolyn and Mike Youkilis, a wholesale jeweler, gave birth to professional baseball player Kevin Youkilis.

    1982: Paul Saginaw, Michael Monahan and Ari Weinzweig founded Zingerman's, a kosher-style delicatessen, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    1987: In an article entitled, “For Israel and U.S., A Growing Military Partnership,” David K. Shipler describes how the relationship between the two nations continues to thrive despite the Jonathan Pollard fiasco.

    1987: Today an Israeli newspaper quoted Rafael Eitan, named as the spymaster in the Pollard case, as saying that his superiors had known of the operation, contradicting the Government's position. Mr. Eitan later denied having made such a statement.

    1990: Haim Bar-Lev complete his terms as Minister of Public Security

    1990: Yitzhak Rabin completed his term as Minister of Defense.

    1990: Gad Yaacobi completed his term as Minister of Communications

    1990: Ezer Weizman completed his term as Minister of Science and Technology.

    1990: The Labor Alignment left the National Unity Government leading to the defeat of Likud’s Yitzchak Shamir.

    1990: Yitzhak Moda'I and four other MKs (all of them former members of the Liberal Party) broke away from Likud to form the Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea, later renamed the New Liberal Party;

    1994(3rd of Nisan, 5754): Arthur Taubman, a self-made businessman who built the Advance Stores auto parts chain into a multimillion-dollar business passed away at the age of 92. During World War II, Mr. Taubman also helped about 500 European Jews reach the United States by filing affidavits with the immigration authorities saying the Jews were relatives. When questioned by Federal officials, he said any Jew facing death in Nazi-occupied Europe was his first cousin. In addition, he was the founding chairman of Alliance Tire and Rubber Company Ltd., which he and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion of Israel established in 1953. The company, based in Hadera, Israel, became the largest such manufacturer in the Middle East. Mr. Taubman, who was born and reared in Astoria, Queens, went to work as a stock boy in a New York department store at the age of 13 after completing the sixth grade. He served in the Navy in World War I and later began an auto parts chain in Pittsburgh. When the business failed in the early 1930's, he moved to Roanoke, Va., and started over, making a down payment on three failing auto-parts shops. This time he achieved success. The chain, Advance Stores, a privately held family business based in Roanoke, now has 370 stores. Automotive Marketing magazine estimated its 1992 sales at $320 million. Mr. Taubman was president of the chain until 1969, when he became chairman. He retired in 1973 but was vice chairman until 1985.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including The Children by David Halberstam and Persian Brides by Dorit Rabinyan

    2002: Three Israelis made the Forbes list of 500 Billionaires - Cruise ship heiress Shari Arison Dorsman, shipping magnates Sammy and Yuli Ofer and software kingpin Gil Schwed are the world's richest Israelis. Jewish billionaires featured on the list include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a media mogul turned Republican politician, whose $4.4 billion fortune ranks him at No. 72. Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is No. 413 with $1.1 billion

    2005: Dignitaries from all over the world attended the opening of Yad Vashem's new History Museum in Jerusalem.

    2006: Attorney David Etra stays overnight at the White House on the day after Purim. When asked to explain the holiday’s meaning, Etra summed it by saying, “It was a about a crazy guy in Iran who wanted to kill all the Jews” which caused President Bush to remarked that “not much has changed.”

    2006: 15th of Adar 5766 – Shushan Purim. This day points out one of the differences between the Jews and those who sought to conquer or destroy them. There are still Jews around to celebrate Purim and Shushan Purim. Where are the Romans who must “Beware of the Ides of March”?

    2007(25th of Adar, 5767): Stuart Rosenberg an American film and television director whose notable works included the movies Cool Hand Luke), Voyage of the Damned ,The Amityville Horror, and The Pope of Greenwich Village passed away at the age of 79.

    2007: USA Today reported that Businessman Jimmy Delshad is set to become the first Iranian-American mayor in the USA. The sixty-sixty year old Delshad, who immigrated to America at the age of 19, will assume the top job in Beverly Hills, California. As the article points out, 8,000 of the city’s 35,000 residents are of Iranian descent. Just as America benefited from the German Jews who fled Hitler in 1933, so it would appear that America is benefiting from the Iranian Jews who fled the Ayatollah in 1979.

    2007: The Canadian Jewish News reported that Zahal Square, the barren space just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, is to be rebuilt by Canadians, Jewish and non-Jewish, into an attractive public gathering place and site of national celebrations and cultural events, under a joint project of the Jerusalem Foundation, the municipality and leading Israeli businesspeople.

    2008: Shabbat Zachor, 5768

    2008: The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and The Iowa Arts Council present Israeli Pianist Ofra Yitzhaki at the Galvin Fine Arts Center, St. Ambrose University. Ms. Yitzhaki is a recipient of the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship at Julliard and the winner of the Van Cliburn Institute Concerto Competition.

    2008: In Washington, D.C. The National League of American Pen Women hosts author Cynthia Polansky presenting a lecture, "Why a Holocaust Novel? The Far Above Rubies Journey," delving into the real-life story that inspired her novel.

    2009: In an event that is part of the Chaim Kempner Author Series and is co-sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute Robert Zweig discusses and signs Return to Naples: My Italian Bar Mitzvah and Other Discoveries at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

    2009(19th of Adar, 5769): A Palestinian terrorist shot Israeli Senior Warrant Officer Yehezkel Ramzarkar, 50, and Warrant Officer David Rabinowitz, 42, as they patrolled near the northern Jordan Valley town of Massua. The so-called Imad Mughniyeh Group claimed responsibility for the murder, which occurred when a terrorist cell staged a vehicle breakdown and then shot at a police car that had stopped to assist, killing the two policemen inside.

    2009: Over 600 Jewish professional from across North America who are attending the National Young Leadership Conference in New Orleans took a break from lectures and learning opportunities to work on restoring Archbishop Hannan High School in St. Bernard Parish which had been abandoned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    2009(19 Adar, 5769): Twenty-four year old Sgt. Robert Weinger was killed near Bati Kot, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an explosive device.

    2010: After a nearly 62-year hiatus, the renowned Hurva synagogue inside the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City has been rebuilt and is again an operational house of prayer.Hundreds of people, braving the wind and an unexpected Jerusalem chill, crowded into a courtyard opposite the outer walls of the synagogue tonight to take part in an official rededication ceremony for the newly-rebuilt shul – which stands in the exact spot it did before its destruction at the hands of the Jordanian Arab Legion during the War of Independence in 1948. Huvra’s first incarnation came in 1701, when it was constructed by disciples of Judah Hahasid. Its first destruction came some 20 years later, when those same disciples lacked the funds to repay local creditors, who in return burned the Hurva to the ground.It was nearly 150 years before the Hurva stood again, but in 1864, after a massive construction project was approved by the Ottoman Turks and funds were procured from Jewish communities the world over, a neo-Byzantine Hurva was soon towering over the rest of the Jewish Quarter. However, that Hurva, which hosted the likes of Theodor Herzl and Ze’ev Jabotinsky before the creation of the state, also met with ruin. The Jordanian army took Jerusalem’s Old City in May of 1948, loaded the building with explosives and set off a blast whose smoke cloud could be seen miles away.

    2010: The New York Philharmonic is scheduled to present “Sondheim: The Birthday Concert” marking the 80th anniversary of the birth of Stephen Sondheim.

    2010: Israeli lawmaker David Rotem told a delegation of American Jewish leaders that he would consult with Diaspora Jewry on issues involving conversion.

    2011(9thof Adar, 5771): Fifty-one year old “Yakov Kreizberg, an internationally known conductor praised for the depth and intensity of his interpretations” passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011(9th of Adar II): On the Jewish calendar anniversary of First Dispute Between Two Schools of Torah Thought (1st century CE). According to Chabad-Lubavitch, “The schools of Shammai and Hillel for the very first time disagreed regarding a case of Jewish law. This occurred around the turn of the 1st century. In the ensuing generations, the schools argued regarding many different laws, until the law was established according to the teachings of the "House of Hillel" -- with the exception of a few instances. According to tradition, following the arrival of the Moshiach the law will follow the rulings of the House of Shammai. All throughout, the members of the two schools maintained friendly relations with each other.”

    2011: The five finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize in fiction for Jewish Literature are scheduled to meet with judges in New York City. The winner is expected to be announced shortly after these meetings.

    2011: “Yolande: An Unsung Heroine” is one of the films scheduled to be shown today at the 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. The movie tells “the heroic, riveting story of Yolande Gabai (de Botton), a beautiful, sophisticated Jewess from Alexandria, who became one of the most prominent Israeli spies in Egypt in 1948, risking her son's life and her own collecting intelligence in Egypt, undercover as a reporter for the Palestine Post.”

    2011: Samuel Heilman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Lubavitchers: What Do They Want, and Who Sent Them?” at Ohev Shalom – The National Synagogue.

    2011: Nissim Reuben, the American Jewish Committee’s Program Director for Indian-Jewish American Relations is scheduled to deliver a lecture about the Jewish community in India, Jewish Indian Americans, their relationship with Israel, and his personal story at Congregation Beth Emeth.

    2011: The IDF seized a freighter ship with dozens of tons of weaponry from Iran headed for Hamas in the Gaza Strip today. The ship, known as Victoria, was flying a Liberian flag, and was seized by the navy in the Mediterranean Sea, 200 miles off of Israel's coast. The Victoria was boarded by commandos from the Israeli Navy's Flotilla 13, also known as the Shayetet, arrived in the Ashdod port this evening. An initial inspection of the cargo revealed the ship was carrying weapons. The exact amount is to be determined. The crew, questioned by the Navy Commando, was not aware that the cargo contained weaponry. The ship set sail last night from the port of Lattakai in Syria and from there it traveled to Turkey. There, it was supposed to unload the weapons, which would travel by land to Gaza. The IDF's assessment is that the weapons did not originate in Turkey, but that the containers were unloaded there and transferred onto the Victoria. The port of Lattakai is the same port where two Iranian war ships docked in February on their way to the Suez Canal. At the time, IDF officials raised concerns of the possibility that they were carrying weapons intended for terrorists’ organizations, but there was no confirmation.

    2011: At 11:00 AM this morning, people throughout the country stopped, observing five minutes of silence in honor of Gilad Schalit.


    2011: The Tel Aviv Museum of Art announced the selection of painters Asaf Ben Zvi and Michael Halak as the winners of the 2011 Rappaport Prize. This is the sixth prize awarded since its establishment in 2006 in honor of Ruth and Baruch Rappaport.The prize is awarded annually to two painters, an established painter (Ben Zvi ) and a young painter (Halak ). Beyond the monetary sum given to the painters, the prize funds two solo exhibitions at the museum as well as the production of the catalogs accompanying the exhibitions. (As reported by Daniel Rauchwerger)

    2011: Egyptian security officials said that Egypt's army captured five vehicles smuggling weapons into the country from Sudan, and apparently heading to Gaza, AP reported.

    2012(21stof Adar, 5772): Seventy-four year old “Jerome Albert, who with his father, Dewey, created and operated Astroland, the space age-themed amusement park that breathed new life into the Coney Island Boardwalk in the 1960s” passed away today. (As reported by Denis Hevesi)


    2012: Noa (Achinoam Nini) and Mira Awad, two of Israel’s most beloved singing stars and coexistence advocates are scheduled to perform their concert “Two Voices, One Vision.”

    2012: Political Stand-up Comedian Jeremy ‘Political’ Man is scheduled to appear at the Off The Wall Comedy Basement in Jerusalem.

    2012: “Non-practicing” Jewish authoress Jodi Picoult is scheduled to discuss the moral dilemmas presented in her new novel “Lone Wolf” at the Historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2012: New York Congressman Gary L. Ackerman a flamboyant Jewish Congressman from New York and a supporter of Israel announced today that he will not seek re-election.

    2012:The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted a Grad-type Katyusha rocket fired by Gaza militants toward the southern city of Ashdod today, following hours of relative calm along Israel's border with the coastal enclave. Two more projectiles hit an open field in the Eshkol and Ashkelon regional Councils; no wounded reported.

    2013: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila is scheduled to sponsor “Shabbat Alive!”

    2013: In Tel Aviv, the city’s annual marathon will not be run today because of the expectation of unseasonably high temperatures.  Other races, including the half marathon, are scheduled to be run as planned. (As reported by Adviv Sterman)

    2013: Yotam Ben Horin and Sarai Givaty are scheduled to perform at SXSW 2013 in Austin, Texas.

    2013: Playwright Jonathan Garfinkel has probably gone where no Canadian Jewish writer has gone before — Pakistan and Afghanistan — to create his new play, “Dust.” Premiering  today at the Enbridge playRites Festival in Calgary, the drama centers on three women — Canadian, Pakistani and Afghan — and how their lives are affected by the War on Terror. It’s based on hundreds of pages of interviews conducted by Garfinkel and Christopher Morris, the play’s director, in each of those countries. (As reported by the times of Israel)

    2013(4thof Nisan, 5773): A participant in the Tel Aviv half marathon collapsed and died , and more than 20 others were hospitalized due to extremely hot conditions.

    The deceased runner, Michael Michaelovitch, was a 29-year-old IDF sergeant from the settlement of Tene, south of Hebron

    2013: The Jewish Home and Yesh Atid parties signed a coalition agreement with Likud-Beytenu this afternoon, paving the way for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to swear in his new government early next week

    2014: The Desert Film Society is scheduled to show “The Sturgeon Queens.”

    2014(13thof Adar II, 5774): Shabbat Zachor

    2014: “My Best Holiday” is scheduled to have its New York Premiere at the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: As the friends and family of Betty Levin prepare to celebrate Purim, they will be wishing this Ashish Chayel a happy 85th.

    2014: In Springfield, VA, Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to host a Purim Pasta Party.

    2014: In the evening, Ilan Caplan is scheduled to chant the Megalith Esther at Shir Chadish in Metairie, LA.

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    March 16

    597BCE (2ndAdar): On the secular calendar, according to certain archaeological calculations, the first conquest of Jerusalem by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar occurred. In the Bible, the event is recorded in 2 Kings 24:1ff. and in 2 Chronicles 36:5-8. It is also implied in the early chapters of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

    37: Caligula becomes Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius.  Caligula was a challenge to all those he ruled, including the Jews, because he was “crazy.” Among other things, he appointed his favorite horse to the position of Consul.  He did present a special problem for Jews because he believed he was a god and expected to be worshipped by his subjects.  Fortunately, he never succeeded in having his golden image installed in the Temple of Jerusalem.  After a bizarre meeting with a delegation of Jews from Alexander that included the famous Philo, Caligula said of the Jews, “They’re not so bad after all.  They’re just a poor, stupid people unable to believe in my divinity”

    455: Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor passed away. During his reign, the position of Jews continued to worsen. Under one imperial decree, Jews were excluded from government service and were prohibited from practicing law. Another decree made it possible for the children of Jews who converted to Christianity to inherit the property of their Jewish parents. 

    1021:The first documentary reference to Jews living in Cologne after 331 occurs during the rule of Archbishop Heribert of Cologne who passed away today.

    1190: On the Sabbath eve before Passover ("Shabbat Hagadol") in York, England, a group made up of clergy, barons indebted to the Jews, and crusaders waiting to follow Richard, set Jewish houses on fire and stole all their valuables. The Jews under Josce, a prominent Jew of York, and their Rabbi, Yom Tov of Joigny (a contemporary of Rabbenu Tam and author of the Yom Kippur Hymn "Omnam Ken"), fled to the castle. Richard Malebys (a noble who owed large sums to Jewish moneylenders) commanded the attackers. For 6 days the Jews held out. A monk who came each morning to celebrate mass and inflame the crowd was killed by a stone thrown from the tower. Facing the choice of baptism or death, most chose death. (Josce killed his wife and two children, and was in turn killed by the Rabbi). The vast majority killed themselves after destroying their belongings. Josce was the last to die. The few who remained opened the gate and requested baptism. They were massacred anyway. Over 150 Jews died.

    1716: Birthdate of Perh Kalm, the Swedish-Finnish explorer who visited North America in 1740’s and described “the Jews of New York” as having “formed a considerable portion of the population”  having “stores and fine houses and ships and flourishing synagogue” while enjoying “all the privileges of the other citizens.”

    1722: The new "Aeltesten-reglement" (Constitution of the Jewish Community) was issued today in Prussia. It was intended to do away with the evils that had become apparent in the administration of the community, and which, in order to be brought home more thoroughly, was to be read every year in the synagogue. Under this constitution the administration consisted of two permanent chief elders, five elders, four treasurers, and four superintendents of the poor, and assistants; new officers were to be elected every three years by seven men chosen by lot from among the community. The committee was to meet every week in the room of the elders, and to keep the minutes of their proceedings; resolutions, passed by them, becoming law by a majority vote. The exclusion of a member of the community from the Passover was made dependent on the unanimous vote of the committee; the ban could be pronounced only with the consent of the rabbi; and both of these measures were to be subject to ratification by the Jews' commission. The elders were held responsible with their own money for the proper collection of the taxes, but could proceed against delinquent payers. Every year the entire board had to report to a committee of five chosen by the community. The college of rabbis was to consist of a chief rabbi, a vice rabbi and two or three assessors. Other taxes were soon added to the existing ones; e.g., on pawnshops, and calendar money for the Royal Society of Science, and marriage licenses. The income from the last was paid into the treasury from which enlisted men received their pay, and its amount (4,800 thalers a year) soon became a permanent tax upon the whole community.

    1743: The New-York Weekly Journal reported that a Jewish funeral procession in New York was attacked by a mob. According to "one learned Christian" witness to it, the mob had, "insulted the dead in such a vile manner that to mention all would shock a human ear."

    1751: Birthdate of James Madison author of the Federalist Papers and 4th President of the United States.  Madison was also the President during the War of 1812.  He was the first President to appoint a Jew to a diplomatic post.  “In 1813, President Madison appointed Mordecai Manuel Noah as Consul to Tunis in the Barbary States, where he obtained the release of Americans who had been captured and sold into slavery by the Barbary pirates. It was a difficult task requiring considerable adroitness, but he spent more than his allotment for the purposes and his commission was revoked, the letter of recall affirming that his religion was deemed to disqualify him for the post…In time, however, he got a clan bill of health in the conduct of his mission and the sums he advanced in performing it were reimbursed.”  While Noah’s name is known but a handful today, he was considered to be “the most conspicuous figure in the American Jewish community in the period between the War of 1812 and the Mexican War (1846).” When he returned from Tunis, Noah became a power in New York politics.  At one point he was elected High Sheriff of New York.  One angry citizen complained about Noah saying “What a pity that Christians are to be hung by a Jew.”  Noah replied, “What a pity that Christians should have to be hung.” 

    1802: The United States Military Academy West Point is established.  According to recent figures, there are 85 Jewish Cadets among the 4.200 members of the Corps of Cadets.  There is an accredited Hillel Chapter at West Point and a Jewish Chaplain.  “The West Point Jewish community provides a warm, supportive, nondenominational family to all West Point Jewish cadets and cadet friends. Family night services are very popular. The choir practices once per week and travels several times per semester to other university Hillel Houses and community functions for relaxed overnight trips. The community celebrates nearly all Jewish holidays and the West Point Hillel sponsors parties, retreats and service field trips.” The completion of the Jewish Chapel in 1984 culminated a twenty year undertaking. The organization responsible for the project was the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund a private, non-profit civilian organization. This group raised more than 7.5 million dollars to erect and furnish the facility. In 1986 the Jewish Chapel was deeded to the Academy. Led by a military chaplain, the congregation serves the needs of various branches of Judaism represented in the Armed Forces. In close connection with the Jewish Welfare Board worship resources are designed to meet the broad spectrum of our faith. The Chapel contains an extensive Judaica collection, a fine library, and special exhibits. Sabbath services are held every Friday evening during the academic year at 7:00 p.m.” 

    1813(14th of Adar II, 5573): As Americans fight the British  and the Canadians fight what is known in the United States as the War of 1812, Jews on both sides observe Purim.

    1832(14th of Adar II, 5592): Purim

    1855: Bates College in Lewiston, Maine is founded. According to recent figures, this small liberal arts college has 150 Jewish students among its 1,700 student body.  The school has a Hillel Chapter.  The environment on campus is described as follows. “Bates is very supportive of the Jewish Community. Jewish students gather weekly for Shabbat services and dinner at the Multicultural Center. Films, lectures, holidays, and parties are frequent. Highlights include Sukkah Building and campout, Tu B`Shvat Seder, and Parent's Weekend Bagel Brunch. Bates has a Klezmer Band, Gefilte Dog, and speakers are brought to campus for forums and discussions often. Hillel also presents a visiting Rabbi retreat. Programs are also held with students at Colby and Bowdoin. Bates students volunteer at the local synagogue, Temple Shalom.”

    1859: Emperor Alexander II granted Jewish scholars, wholesale merchants and manufacturers the right to live outside of the Pale

    1860: Based on reports from the Halifax Sun, “an extraordinary event in the history of the German Jews has just taken place. In the free City of Hamburg, where a Jew, ten years ago, was not even eligible for a night constable, a Jew, by the free suffrages of the citizens, has lately been chosen a chief magistrate, next in station to the highest dignity in that Republic. The gentleman elected is a distinguished juris-consult and writer, Dr. Gabriel Reisser who was Vice-President of the German Parliament that sat at Frankfort in 1848.” Born in 1806, Gabriel Riesser “was the first Jewish judge in Germany and an advocate of the emancipation of the Jews in Germany.”

    1866(29th of Adar): Rabbi Solomon Ha-Kohen of Radomsko, author of Tiferet Shelomo passed away

    1868: An article published today entitled “Affairs In England” described the reaction to Benjamin Disraeli who was a member of the Conservative or Tory Party, being selected to serve as Prime Minister.  Generally speaking, the “Radical press” has congratulated Disraeli on the appointment and wish him well in his new position. The “Conservative press” has responded coldly, showing distinct dissatisfaction with Disraeli’s appointment.  For them, Disraeli’s appointment is not a triumph for the Tories but “a blow to their prejudices and principles.”  Instead of being led by Duke or an Earl, the party is now being led by a commoner who “is not an Englishman by descent” but rather by a man “whose grandfather was a Jew of Venice, whose father was a man of letters” and who himself was the editor of a newspaper.

    1872: Emily Catherine and Josiah Wedgwood gave birth to Josiah Clement Wedgwood the British political leader.  During the 1930’s Wedgwood took the politically unpopular positions of opposing the appeasement of Hitler and the limitations on Jewish settlement in Palestine that climaxed with the White Paper of 1939. Although he passed away in 1943, the Jewish people honored his memory by naming several things in his honor including Moshav, an INS destroyer and streets in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    1874: It was reported today that the Germania Theatre Company will be performing at the Terrace Garden Theatre in two days for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society

    1875: Mayor Wickham Chamberlain Tappan was among the dignitaries who attended tonight’s charity ball organized by the Purim Association. The event raised $13,000 for the various Hebrew charities in New York City.

    1878: On Shabbat Zachor, rabbis at several synagogues addressed the appeal that has been issued by the Board of Delegates of American Israelites to raise funds to aid their suffering co-religionists trapped in war torn Eastern Europe and parts of the Ottoman Empire.  They did not make a direct appeal for funds. Instead the urged them to respond to the appeal that has been sent to all congregations by the Executive committee of the Central Relief Committee whose members include Meyer S. Isaacs, Moritz Ellinger, Jacob H. Schiff, Leonard Lewisohn and Hyman Blum

    1882: The Tenth Assembly District Republican Association met tonight to decide if Civil Justice Alfred Steckler, Charles Steckler, and Julius Harburger should be expelled because they had supported Steckler over the association’s chosen candidate. (In the 19th century the majority of Jews voted Republican)

    1883: Sir George Jessel, who was fighting a variety of chronic illnesses, sat as the Master of Rolls for the last time.  He was the first Jew to hold this important judicial position.

    1885: Birthdate of Sydney Chaplin, half-brother of Charlie Chaplin

    1889(13th of Adar II, 5649): Shabbat Zachor; erev Purim

    1889(13thof Adar II, 5649): Sixty-four Dr. Alfred Edersheim the Austrian born Jew who would later convert to Christianity passed away today. He was made an A.M. at Oxford in 1881 where he lectured on Biblical topics and wrote Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

    1890: The Mageburg Israelitishes Wochenblatreported “that a petition is in circulation among the rabbis of Europe and America begging the Pope to end the calumny that the Jews use human blood in religious sacrifice by ordering a formal denial throughout the Catholic churches.”

    1890: Birthdate of Solomon Mikhoels, Soviet actor and chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.Solomon Mikhoels was a Soviet Jewish actor and director in Yiddish theater and the chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Born Shlioma Vovsi in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils), Latvia, Mikhoels studied law in Saint Petersburg, but left school in 1918 to join Alexander Granovsky,s Jewish Theater Workshop, which was attempting to create a national Jewish theater in Russia based on the Yiddish language. Two years later, in 1920, the workshop moved to Moscow, where it established the Moscow State Jewish Theater. This was in keeping with Lenin's policy on nationalities, which encouraged them to pursue and develop their own cultures under the aegis of the Soviet state. Mikhoels, who showed outstanding talent, was the company's leading actor and, as of 1928, its director. He played in several memorable roles, including Tevye in an adaptation of Sholom Aleichem's comic short stories about Tevye the Milkman(which were adapted for an American audience as Fiddler on the Roof) as well as in many original works, such as Bar Kochba, and translations. Perhaps his most noted role was as King Lear in a Yiddish translation of the play by William Shakespeare. These plays were ostensibly supportive of the Soviet state, however, closer readings suggest that they actually contained veiled critiques of Stalin's regime. It is noteworthy that two of the Shakespearean plays put on by the theater company were King Lear and Richard III, both studies in tyranny. It is now believed that the Ukrainian director Les Kurbas contributed to the original King Lear production after he was ousted from his Berezil theater in 1934. He seems to have had a lasting influence on Mikhoel's directing style. By the mid-1930s, Mikhoels' career was threatened because of his association with other leading intelligentsia, who were victims of Stalin's purges, notably author Isaac Babel. Mikhoels actively supported Stalin against Hitler, and in 1942, he was made chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. In this capacity, he travelled around the world, meeting with Jewish communities to encourage them to support the Soviet Union in its war against Nazi Germany. While this was useful to Stalin during World War II, after the war, Stalin opposed contacts between Soviet Jews and Jewish communities in non-Communist countries, which he deemed as "bourgeoisie." The Jewish State Theater was closed and the members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were arrested - all except for two were eventually executed in the purges shortly before Stalin's death. Mikhoels was the most visible of the intellectual Jewish leadership, and a show trial would have cast aspersions on Stalin's rule. Such claims lead most people to a suggestion that Stalin had him assassinated in Minsk in January of 1948 masking his death as a car crash, and Mikhoels received a state funeral. According to documents unearthed by the historian Gennady Kostyrchenko, the organizers of the assassination were L.M. Tsanava and S. Ogoltsov, and the "direct" murderers were Lebedev, Kruglov and Shubnikov. Mikhoels' brother Miron Vovsi was Stalin's personal physician. He was arrested during the Doctors' plot affair but released after Stalin's death in 1953, as was his son-in-law, the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

    1892: Based on information that first appeared in the Hartford Courant and the New Haven Evening Post it was reported today that when he is not lecturing on military topics Professor Charles Totten of Yale, devotes his time to Biblical work including study of the Hebrew Prophets. Furthermore, this early supporter of Jewish settlement in Palestine says in the preface to the published copy of his Yale Military Lectures that “the whole series was written in the spirit of Anglo-Saxon identity with the ten lost tribes of Israel.”

    1892: “A Russian Banker Fails” published described the impact of the failure of the Russian-Jewish banker J.E. Guenzburg. The firm dates back to the Crimean War when Guenzburg’s father supplied “vast quantities of spirits to the Russian Army.  While Guzenburg currently has extensive holdings in lands and mines, his financial setbacks are due in no small part to “the expulsion of the Jews who were employed in the firm’s immense sugar factories” and the hostility of the current government towards its Jewish citizens.

    1893: “A Contented Colony” published today described conditions “in the Jewish colony at Chesterfield” which is eight miles from New London, CN. Contrary to previously published reports the colonists are not destitute and that most of the 32 families are “comparatively contended people”  The colony already has 180 cows which will provide milk for the new creamery; something that will produce “considerable revenue.” The colony is supported by the Baron Hirsch Fund.

    1897: It was reported today that “a recent and clever English novel represents the rector of a struggling parish as having a written a book assailing the moral character of the Hebrew patriarchs.” The purpose of the novel is to acquaint the reader with “higher Biblical criticism” and demonstrate “that Moses did not write the Pentateuch.”

    1898: Oscar S. Straus said today that the “a large sum of money that had recently” been received by the Trustees of the Baron de Hirsch funds “was not a new gift “but the second installment of $1,000,000 which the Baroness had promised him last year” to help “the Jews in the crowded districts of New York.”

    1898: The recital of Aristide Franceschetti in the Carbon Studio on West Sixteenth Street began “with an evening prayer,’Vegna reba’ in the Hebrew text, which preserved by tradition in the synagogue of Leghorn.”

    1898: At today’s meeting of the School Board for the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, the commissioners voted 11 to 5 to set aside “the full week in which Good Friday” and “some of the Passover days occur” as Spring Vacation.

    1899: Those attending the meeting of Rabbis belonging to the Reform Movement in Cincinnati will have to decide if this conference “will supersede the conference which” had been scheduled to be held in Boston this year. While the current conference has included several general reports, its primary purpose was to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Rabbi Wise, who favors holding the Boston conference.

    1899: “Credit Men Meet At Dinner” published today described the event sponsored by the New York Credit Men’s Association which included the statement by one of the speakers declared that “No man in business life respects” Jewish merchants “more than I do.  I have lost less money by them than by Gentiles, at the ratio of 4 to 1.  They often pay 100 cents on the dollar when they fail.

    1899: Simon Wolf of Washington, DC delivered a lecture at Temple Israel in New York at a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association entitled “American Jewish Philanthropy.”

    1899: Ant-Jewish riots begin in Nikolayev, Russia

    1900: Herzl, in his never ending quest to have the rich and powerful support the creation of a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel, had a luncheon with Eulenburg-Hertefeld, the German ambassador in Vienna.

    1906: Birthdate of Henny Youngman.  Born in London, England, this comedian was known for his signature line, 'Take my wife, please. Youngman was had to drop out of school as a youngster and was not Bar Mitzvahed at age 13.  When he was well past the age of seventy, Youngman studied and proudly participated in the rites that he had missed out on as a youngster.

    1908: The New York Times reported that the Passover Relief Association has arranged to buy 10,000 pounds of matzoth, 3,000 pounds of coffee, 5,000 pounds of sugar and 500 pounds of tea which will be distributed among the city’s poor Jews at a distribution center at the Continental Hall during the week prior to the celebration of Passover which begins on the evening of April 15.

    1908: In Haifa, "bitterness against the Jews led to a clash between Jews, Ottoman soldiers and local Arabs in which thirteen Jews were injured, some of them severely."

    1911: Election for Grand Council of the Jewish Community of Constantinople takes place. Ashkenazim boycott the elections. Five Ashkenazim who were elected by the votes of Sephardim do not accept office.

    1911: Birthdate of Josef Mengele.  This is was a dark day in history, marking the birth of the German Nazi doctor at Auschwitz extermination camp.  To make matters worse, Mengele escaped justice and lived out his days in South America.  He died in 1979.

    1913: Birthdate of Natalie Goldstein the native of Chicago’s south side who gained fame as Natalie Goldstein Heinmen, “a pioneering national champion for children’s welfare and respected community and national leader, changed the lives of thousands of children through her innovative and thoughtful leadership.” (As reported by Pastora San Juan Cafferty)

    1916(11th of Adar II, 5676): Rabbi Moses Guedalia passed away at the age of 76.  Born in Gibraltar, Guedalia lived in Brazil before coming to New York City when he was nine years old.  This “prominent Jewish scholar” was the founder of the Moses Montifore Congregation and during “the last few years of his life served as the lay-reader for the Free Synagogue established by the Spanish-Portuguese congregation.

    1917: It was reported today that Herman Bernstein, the editor of The American Hebrew, believes the condition of the Jews would improve under the revolutionary government that has taken control of Russia. He also believes that the new government will seek a separate peace with Germany while seeking to sign a treaty with the United States that guarantee the Russian government would allow all Americans to visit and do business in Russia.

    1917: Provisional government of Russia voided many anti-Jewish laws and restrictions.  This was the so-called Kerensky Government which replaced the Czar.  Unfortunately, Kerensky and the forces of democracy were overthrown by Lenin and his Bolsheviks.

    1918:  Birthdate of Frederick Reines winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1995.

    1919(14th of Adar II, 5679): Purim

    1919(14th of Adar II, 5679): Yakov Mikhaylovich Sverdlov, Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic(SFSR) passed away at the age of 33. 

    1925(20th of Adar, 5685): Fifty-nine year old August Paul von Wassermann, the Bamberg native, who developed the Wassermann test that remains “a staple of syphilis detection” passed away today.

    1926:Mrs. Abram I. Elkus, wife of the former United States Minister to Turkey, was appointed chairman of the Women's Division of the New York drive in the United Jewish Campaign. Mrs. Jacob H. Schiff heads the Division as its honorary chairman, according to an announcement made by William Fox, chairman of the New York drive. An organization meeting will be held today at the Hotel Biltmore, where headquarters of the New York drive are located. Fifty women, leaders in women's clubs, professional groups, syiagogue organizations, and others making up a representation of all varied women's interests in the Jewish life of the city, will be present. They will be addressed by David A. Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign. Each of these fifty will head a unit of workers in the active drive, which opens April 11th. Mrs. Elkus served in the great Jewish War Relief Campaign of 1918, and led a group of 1,000 women workers in the Red Cross Drive of that year. Her life abroad in the years immediately after the war in Eastern Europe brought her into personal contact with the tragedy precipitated by the war upon European Jewry.(As reported by JTA)

    1926: Birthdate of Jerry Lewis.  Born Joseph Levitch, in Newark NJ, Lewis teamed with Dean Martin to form one of the most popular comedy duos of the post-war period.  After the team broke up, Lewis honed his comedic craft and is especially loved by French audiences.  He is best known for his Labor Day MDATelethons which have raised untold millions for research and care of those suffering from this disease.

    1933: Birthdate of Sandy Weil financer and CEO of Citigroup until 2003.  The son of Polish immigrants, Weil became one of the wealthiest individuals in America.  Recent revelations have shown that while Weil made a lot of money, some his methods were of a questionable nature.

    1934: In its first international football (soccer) match the team from Mandatory Palestine (the future Israel) lost to Egypt 7 to 1.

    1935: Fourteen Jewish American athletes and their manager David White set sail on the SSConte di Savola.  The athletes will participate in the Maccabiah, the Jewish Olympics, scheduled to open in April in Tel Aviv.  Due to unexpected financial difficulties, it was not known until the last minute if the team would be able to go.  Thirty teams are expected to compete in the games up from the twenty-five teams that competed in the inaugural games held in 1932.  

    1935(11th of Adar II, 5695): Aron Nimzowitsch passed away.  Nimzovichor Niemzowitsch was born in Latvia in 1886 when it was part of the Russian Empire. He was a chess grandmaster and was the foremost figure amongst the hypermoderns. Nimzowitsch came from a wealthy Jewish family and learned chess from his father. He travelled to Germany in 1904 to study philosophy, but began a career as a professional chess player that same year. After tumultuous years during and after World War I, Nimzowitsch moved to Copenhagen in 1922 and lived there until his death. He is buried in Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    1936: Jews in Palestine protested the worsening conditions under which the Jews of Poland were living.  Polish Jews were dealing with everything from a government threat to end Kosher slaughtering to actual Pogroms.  The Jewish National Council of Palestine conducted a mass protest meeting and the Jews of Tel Aviv shuttered their shops for one day.

    1937: Birthdate of cognitive psychologist Amos Tversky.  Born in Haifa, Amos Tversky, a Stanford psychology professor and his longtime colleague, Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman, jointly won the 2003 Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. The $200,000 prize, awarded for the third time by the University of Louisville in Kentucky, recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of psychology. Working as a team for nearly three decades, Kahneman and Tversky revolutionized the scientific approach to decision making, ultimately affecting all social sciences and many related disciplines. Tversky died of cancer in 1996.  His untimely death prevented him from sharing in a Nobel Prize with his longtime colleague, Daniel Kahneman. 

    1938(13th of Adar II, 5698): Fast of Esther

    1938: Jewish Professors were "Kicked Out of Austrian Universities."

    1938: Adolf Eichmann Goes to Austria to Begin Removal of Jews

    1939: As Arab violence continues unabated, 3 Arabs were killed today and another 250 were arrested by British forces who also seized a large quantity of rifles, ammunition and explosives.

    1940(6th of Adar II, 5700): Samuel Untermyer passed away. It is difficult to do justice to the life and career of this lawyer, self-made millionaire and leader of the Jewish community born in Virginia who found success in New York City. The following lengthy obituary in the New York Times provides a picture of his life and accomplishments  Untermyer was the grandfather of Samuel Untermyer II. Born in 1912, he was “a United States nuclear engineer who theorized that steam bubble formation in a nuclear reactor core would not produce unstable reactions but would instead result in an inherently stable and self-controlling reactor design. He was responsible for the BORAX Experiments and in recognition of his fundamental development work on safe, water-cooled reactors the American Nuclear Society now has an award named after him for work in this field.” He won the Newcomen Medal in 1980 and passed away in 2001.

    1942: The first 1,600 Jews were deported from Lublin to Belzec. Another 10,000 would follow the next week

    1943(9th of Adar II, 5703):  An SS officer was killed by a Jew named Kotnowski at Lvov. In reprisal, the Germans hung 11 Jewish policemen from the balconies overlooking the main street of the Ghetto. Also over 1,000 Jews were taken away and shot.

    1946: Today The Acheson-Lilienthal Report Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy was published.  Lilienthal is David Lilienthal who had gained fame as the creator of TVA. His involvement in how the United States should deal with Atomic Energy in the post-war world is another example of Jewish involvement in a whole raft of issues dealing with the creation and use of both the Atomic and Hydrogen bombs.

    1947: The British announce plans to end Martial Law in Tel Aviv and adjacent areas effective tomorrow. 

    1947: An explosion ripped through press room and tourist information center in the Jerusalem offices of the Jewish agency.  While some said the attack was the work of “Jewish terrorists” and highlighted the split between Yishuv and militant extremists, the Irgun denied responsibility and said the attack may have been the work of the British.

    1948: As Arab forces waged a war of terror designed to undo the UN Partition Resolution, the Palmach attacked al-Husayniyaa in response to the explosion of land mine.

    1949:  In London, Ontario, Joe Garber and Hope Wolf gave birth to Canadian actor Victor Garber

    1952:  Birthdate of French American businessman, Philippe Kahn, founder of Borland Software Corporation

    1962: The “Golani Brigade raided Syrian outposts to the north of the Sea of Galilee in order to stop Syrian shelling of Israeli Villages.  Seven Israeli soldiers and thirty Syrian soldiers were killed during the battle.”  The raid did not end the shelling.  It would continued sporadically until 1967 when the IDF heroically took the Golan Heights. 

    1965: Israel votes to have diplomatic relations with West Germany

    1965: As bagel bakers clashed over how to deal with the changing world of Bagel Baking, Morris Skolnick was defeated in his bid to be elected business agent for famed local 388.

    1968(16th of Adar, 5728): Italian Jewish composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedescopassed away. Born in Florence in 1895, he was descended from a prominent banking family that had lived in the city since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Like many artists who fled fascism, Castelnuovo-Tedesco ended up in Hollywood, where, with the help of Yasha Heifetz, he landed a contract with MGM as a film composer. Over the next fifteen years, he worked on scores for some 200 films there and at the other major film studios. He was a significant influence on other major film composers, including Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, Nelson Riddle, John Williams, and André Previn. His relationship to Hollywood was ambiguous: later in life he attempted to deny the influence that it had on his own work, but he also believed that it was an essentially American art form, much as opera was European. In the United States, Castelnuovo-Tedesco also composed new operas and works based on American poetry, Jewish liturgy, and the Bible.

    1976(14th of Adar II, 5736): Purim observed for the last time during the Presidency of Jerry Ford.

    1980(28th of Adar, 5740):  Allard Lowenstein, Congressman from New York’s 5th district and noted liberal Democrat was murdered.

    1984: William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later dies in captivity.

    1985:  Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut.

    1987: Israel radio reported today that the Israeli Government has helped to pay the legal bills of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American intelligence analyst sentenced to life in prison last month for spying for Israel.

    1987: Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin today denied reports that Israel may still be spying on the United States. Mr. Rabin was responding to a story in The Washington Post which said American investigators became suspicious during their questioning of Mr. Pollard that Israel had another agent working in an American intelligence operation.

    1991: "Underground," a new work by the Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol, directed by Adrian Hall, is scheduled to have its last performance today at the Yale Repertory Theater.

    1992: Loretta Weinberg began serving as a Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 37th Legislative District

    1995(14thof Adar II, 5755): Purim

    1998: The Vatican expressed remorse for the cowardice of some Christians during the Holocaust, but defended the actions of Pope Pius XII.

    1999(28th of Adar, 5759): Rhoda Mendelson Faffer passed away today at the age of 87.  The deceased was the wife of the late Samuel Faffer and the late, well-known Chazan, Cantor Nathan Mendelson of Montreal Canada. 

    2001: More than 30 Jewish student journalists from across the United States studied with Pulitzer Prize-winners Charles Krauthammer and Glenn Frankel, the editor of The Washington Post Magazine, as well as editors of leading American Jewish publications as part of the Journalism Track of the 2001 Charlotte and Jack J. Spitzer B'nai B'rith Hillel Forum on Public Policy.
    2002: “The Last Days of Pompeii,” a solo exhibition of the works of Eleanor Antin came to a close.

    2003: On the eve of the United States' invasion of Iraq, Pastor John Hagee took to the pulpit to warn of the coming Antichrist. In his sermon, "The Final Dictator," Hagee described the Antichrist as a seductive figure with "fierce features." He will be "a blasphemer and a homosexual," the pastor announced. Then, Hagee boomed, "There's a phrase in Scripture used solely to identify the Jewish people. It suggests that this man [the Antichrist] is at least going to be partially Jewish, as was Adolph Hitler, as was Karl Marx." This "fierce" gay Jew, according to Hagee, would "slaughter one-third of the Earth's population" and "make Adolph Hitler look like a choirboy."

    2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the Newsby Eric Alterman

    2005:  In yet another exchange of land for a promise of peace, Israel officially hands over Jericho to Palestinian control

    2007: The Jewish Post reported that “Hadarom, the Rabbinical Council of America’s annual Torah journal, is now available on the Internet. The 50-year-old journal, which deals principally with matters of Jewish law and biblical and Talmudic exegesis, is accessible at”

    2008: The New York Times book section features reviews of Why We’re Liberals:A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America by liberal Jewish columnist Eric Alterman and The Best American Erotic Poems From 1800 to the Presentedited by David Lehman.

    2008: An article entitled “Black Rabbi Reaches out to Mainstream of His Faith” published in The New York Times, describes the life and work of Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr. (prounced fun-AY) the spiritual leader of Chicago’s Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation.Like their rabbi, a majority of Beth Shalom’s members came to Judaism later in life, after wrestling with contradictions and questions that they found in their own earlier beliefs. Many refer to their religious experience as reversion, rather than conversion, and feel a cultural connection to the lost tribes of Israel. They say that Judaism has renewed their sense of personal identity. There are no firm national statistics on the number of African-American Jews, said Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research. Usually referred to as Israelites or Hebrews, they have historically been seen to stand apart in theology and observance from the nation’s approximately 5.3 million Jews, mainly of Ashkenazi, or European, ancestry, and have largely been ignored by the broader Jewish community. Rabbi Funnye hopes to change that by speaking about his congregation at synagogues throughout Chicago and across the country. “I believe that people cannot know you unless you make yourself known,” he said. “The only way to do that is to step outside and not fear rejection.” To spread his message, he also serves on the boards of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and the American Jewish Congress of the Midwest. In addition, he is active in the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, focusing on reaching out to other communities of black Jews around the world, including the Falashas in Ethiopia and the Igbo in Nigeria. Occupying a former Ashkenazi synagogue, Beth Shalom is in the Marquette Park neighborhood. It is just blocks from where Chicago’s Nazi party used to march and where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was struck by a rock while protesting against segregated housing in 1966. The congregation was founded in 1918 as the Ethiopian Hebrew Settlement Workers Association by Rabbi Horace Hasan from Bombay. Members include some Hispanics, African-Americans and whites who were born Jews, as well as former Christians and Muslims. In line with traditional Jewish law, Beth Shalom does not seek out converts, and members must study for a year before undergoing a traditional conversion ritual. Men are required to be circumcised, and women undergo a ritual bath in a mikvah. Many worshipers feel that their devotion to Judaism is misunderstood. “When the broader community thinks of a Jew,” Dinah Levi said, “we don’t fit the profile.” Ms. Levi, 57, raised as a Baptist, is vice president of Beth Shalom, where she said she feels at home with spiritual elements that incorporate the African-American experience. “Since we are a varied people as written in the Torah,” she said, “I think the religion can be embraced by a multitude of people.” Beth Shalom’s service is somewhere between Conservative and Modern Orthodox observance with distinctive African-American influences. Men and women sit separately as the liturgy is read in English and Hebrew. Some members kiss their prayer shawls, pointing to the Torah, as is the practice in traditional synagogues. A chorus sings spirituals over the beat of a drum. Across America, black congregations have been active since the early 20th century. In the past, efforts to reach out to the mainstream Jewish community have been met with suspicion and rejection, said Lewis R. Gordon, the director of the Center of Afro-Jewish Studies at Temple University. That is why many groups stay separatist, aligning themselves more with Black Nationalism than with traditional Jewish groups. “People ask me, ‘As if you aren’t already in a bad enough situation being black, why would you want to be Jewish?’ ” said Tamar Manasseh, 29, a lifelong member of Beth Shalom. Ms. Manasseh, wearing a Star of David around her neck, attended Jewish day school and is currently planning her daughter’s bat mitzvah. “I can’t change being Jewish just the same way I can’t change being black,” she said. Close to completing her rabbinic studies, she will be among the first black women to be ordained as a rabbi, according to Rabbi Funnye, her mentor. After a Saturday service, Rabbi Funnye has a quiet moment in his office. On the wall is a 1930s black-and-white photograph of members of an African-American congregation. The men, all in prayer shawls, look out before an opened Torah. “We’re not going anywhere,” said Rabbi Funnye, smiling confidently, “I’m going to reach out until you reach back.”

    2008:About two dozen Holocaust survivors, including some saved by German industrialist Oskar Schindler mark the 65th anniversary of the Nazi's liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Krakow.

    2008:A bomb alert today at the Paris Book Fair, which this year honors Israeli writers, prompted the evacuation of thousands of people but appeared to be a false alarm, Paris police officials said.

    2009: In Albany, NY, a screening of Etgar Keret’s film “Jellyfish” followed by Q&A with the famed Israeli author.

    2009:As part of Lillian Goldman Literary Seriesthe American Jewish Historical Society, the Center for Jewish History and Jewish Heritage present: “The Lifecycles of New York Jews: Love and Loss,” the second in an already widely praised series of staged readings that explores the experiences of love, well-being and loss through the eyes of New York Jewish authors.

    2009: A 29 year old Israeli man connected with Jerusalem’s haredi “modesty squad” was sentenced to four years in prison today for the brutal gang assault of a woman in her apartment last year. The Justice Minister announced that the group’s ringleader and other alleged cell members were never charged in the case due to a lack of evidence.

    2010: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski “released a National Broadband Plan, titled “Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan”.

    2010: Rosh Chodesh Nisan, 5770

    2010: According to the Vilna Gaon, construction of the third temple is scheduled to begin on this day.

    2010: As part of its series “Far Flung Jews: Jewish Cultures Around the World,” the Jewish Study Center is scheduled to offer a program describing “The Resurgent Jewish Community of Berlin” at Adas Israel in Washington, DC.

    2010:A senior Israel Defense Forces officer said today that despite the violence that erupted across Jerusalem in response to Hamas' declaration of a "day of rage" , neither the Palestinian Authority nor Israel was interested in seeing a renewal of conflict. "

    2010:Avner Netanyahu, 15, son of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Sarah Netanyahu, received the top honor in Israel's national Bible Quiz championship for youth today. The girls' champion was Or Ashual of the Bnei Akiva Amana Academy in Kfar Saba.

    2010: “Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson…helped” to “re-launch the London Jewish Museum” today “after a two year closure.
    2011: The 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2011: Final screening of Human Resource Manager, a film based on a novel by A.B. Yehoushua, is scheduled to take place at the Cinema Village in New York.

    2011: Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi are scheduled to appear “in concert for the opening of the exhibit on Ketuvot at The Jewish Museum.

    2011: The Israel Air Force fired two missiles at a security compound in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip today, killing two Palestinians.The IDF Spokesperson confirmed the attack in an official statement, saying it was a direct hit and that the airstrike was launched response to rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli territory .
    2011:Jewish youth held an artistic and educational ceremony to memorialize the victims of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires Israeli pop star Ivri Lider, who was invited to Argentina by the "Autumn Festival” of music, performed at the event. Youth media professionals specializing in video and film prepared a video called “Justice will not stay buried under the rubble” about the attack memorials.  

    2011:The northern California home of Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive Tikkun magazine, was vandalized for the third time in less than a year. The attack came a day after Lerner presented the Tikkun Award for ethics to South African Justice Richard Goldstone at a celebration of Tikkun’s 25th anniversary attended by more than 600 people at the University of California, Berkeley. (As reported by JTA)

    2011: The Chief Rabbinate, Interior Ministry and State Attorney’s Office are currently drawing up new procedures to determine the validity of Orthodox conversions for the purpose of aliya, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar said today.

    2012: “Nina Menkes Retrospective: Cinema as Sorcery” featuring personal appearances by the famed filmmaker whose parents are Holocaust survivors is scheduled to come to an in New York City.

    2012: The Friars Club is scheduled to present a tribute to Jerry Lewis at the 92ndStreet Y. The program will include a “screening of a new documentary, Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, followed by a talk/tribute with Jerry Lewis on the occasion of his 86th birthday.”

    2012: Jerusalem hosted its second annual marathon today.

    2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform in Rockville, MD. 

    2013: “The Day I Saw Your Heart” is scheduled to have its Minnesota Premiere at the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival.

    2013(5thof Nisan, 5773): Sixty year old former MK Marina Solodkin suffered a stroke and passed away while attending a conference in Riga, Latvia.

    2013: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to a the Virginia Virtuosi performing an evening of Jewish classical music celebrating Freedom.

    2013: The Philomusica Quartet – Nadia Weintraub, Yelena Tishin, Avraham Leventhal, Dmitri Golderman – is scheduled to perform at the Eden-Tamir Music Center

     2013: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented the new government to President Shimon Peres tonight.

    2014(14thof Adar II, 5774): Purim

    2014: Eden Rose Strauss, daughter of Rabbi Feivel and Abbie Strauss and granddaughter of Dr. Bob and Laurie Silber is scheduled to be the youngest person in Bexley, Ohio “celebrating” what for will be her first Purim

    2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a family concert by The Dirty Sock Funtime Band.

    2014: “The Jewish Cardinal” and “Suskind” are scheduled to be shown at the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to host a screening of “Joann Sfar Draws From Memory” which “tracks his odyssey through the Algerian and Eastern European Jewish heritage that serves as the wellspring of his work.”

    2014: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa Temple Judah is scheduled to host a Religious School Purim Carnival followed later in the day by a Megillah Reading with attendees including adults in costumes.

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and or of special interest to Jewish readers including  Bernard Malamud: Novels and Stories of the 1940s and 50s: "The Natural,""The Assistant,""Twenty Stories,""Posthumously Published Stories edited by Philip Davis, Bernard Malamud: Novels and Stories of the 1940s and 50s: "The Natural,""The Assistant,""Twenty Stories,""Posthumously Published Stories edited by Phillip Davis and The Wherewithal, A Novel in Verse by Philip Schultz as well as the publication of an interview with Philip Roth.

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    March 17

    45 BCE:  Julius Caesar defeated the forces of Pompey at the Battle of Munda.  Caesar’s victory put an end to the Pompeian attempt to rule Rome. Considering the way Pompey treated the Jews, Caesar’s victory was the preferable outcome.

    180: Antonius Marcus Aurelius Emperor of Romepassed away at the age of 58.  The author of Meditations was known as a wise philosopher-king.  However, he had little use for the Jews.  While traveling in Judea, he described the Jews as "Stinking and tumultuous."  He reportedly expressed a preference for the Teutonic barbarians whom he was fighting on the border between Gaul and Germania.

    455: Petronius Maximus becomes emperor of the Western Roman Empire after murdering Valentinian III and forcing the Empress Eudoxia to marry him.  The Empress wrote to Genseric the Vandal asking him to come to Rome to avenge her. According to Theophanes he came and sacked the city and reportedly carried off the treasures from the Second Temple that had been seized by Titus in 70.

    763: Birthdate of Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid caliph who sent Jewish teachers to France at the request of Charlemagne.

    1190: The Crusaders completed the massacre of Jews of York England slaughtering 500 Jews on this particular day.

    1616: In Holland, under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it is decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In those towns where they were admitted they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.

    1636:Urban VIII issued “Cum allias piae” a Papal Bull that ordered the “Synagogues of the Duchies of Ferarri and Urban, to pay a tax of 10 ecus.”

    1654: Alexis Mikhailovich, the second Romanov Czar, issued an edict today instructing “a party of Lithuanian Jews to proceed from Kaluga to Nijni-Novgorod” under the protection of an “escort of twenty sharpshooters.”

    1733: “Deborah,” an oratorio by Handel based on Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Judges premiered at the King’s Theatre in London.

    1749: “Solomon,” an oratorio by Handel based on the Biblical account of the Israelite King had its first performance at the Theatre Royal in London.

    1762: The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held in New York City.  The parade was organized by Irish soldiers serving in the British Navy.  “Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional meal enjoyed by many on St. Patrick's Day, but only half of it is truly Irish. Cabbage has long been a staple of the Irish diet, but it was traditionally served with Irish bacon, not corned beef. The corned beef was substituted for bacon by Irish immigrants who came to America and who could not afford the real thing i.e. bacon. According to one version of this tale, the Irish immigrants learned about the cheaper alternative, corned beef, from their Jewish neighbors.” Are we to believe that traif bacon gave way to kosher Corned Beef?  Only in America!

    1757:Following a dispute with other members of the Bet Din in London, Isaac Nieto wrote a letter today resigning as ab bet din.  Nieto was the son David Nieto and he had served as the Haham of Bevis Marks and as the first Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Gibraltar. He had been serving as the ab bet din since 1751.

    1789: Birthdate of Edmund Kean, the great 19thcentury Shakespearian actor who first gained fame for his portrayal of Shylock.  The portrayal of the Jew from Venice was a difficult role and a career-maker for those few who did it successfully.

    1805: The Italian Republic, a creation of Napoleon, was transformed in the Kingdom of Italy with the French emperor serving as King.  The Jews of Italy benefited from the appearance of the French revolutionary armies. Between 1796 and 1798, they had liberated several ghettos, most notably the Rome Ghetto in 1798.  The Jews will be forced to return to their ghettos with the return of Italian reactionaries but Napoleon would have one last success when he freed the Jews of Florence from their Ghetto in 1808.

    1807: Birthdate of Mendel Hess the Chief Rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Weimar (Germany).

    1808: Today an imperial edict was issued that “divided the Jews living in French countries into consistories. Brussels (Belgium) was included in the consistory of Crefeld. Since 1794, the French had controlled Belgium.  By the time of the issuance of that edit, this meant Napoleon was the one issuing the orders. On the overthrow of Napoleon, Belgium was united with Holland; and the Jewish community of Brussels became the head of the fourteenth religious district of Holland. After the revolution of 1830 Brussels became the head of the Belgian consistories, and a chief rabbi was nominated.”

    1808: The Infamous Decree (decret infame) of Napoleon canceled all debts owed to Jews by those serving in the military or by women if it was signed without the approval of their husbands or parents. It also abolished freedom of trade of the Jews by forcing them to acquire permits (which were almost never given) from the local prefects, and it prevented Jews from settling in the area of the Upper and Lower Rhine.Decree

    1808: Establishment of the Central Consistory of French Jews.

    1811: Birthdate of Karl Gutzkow, the author “Uriel Acosta” which was first performed in Yiddish in 1882 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Odessa starring Abba Schoengold whom Jacob Adler described as "the god of the Yiddish public, the god, indeed, of all who saw him on stage... the handsomest man in the world. Tall. Blue eyes. Golden hair. An Apollo."

    1832: Birthdate of Moncure Daniel Conway the Unitarian clergyman and author whose works include The Wandering Jew and Solomon and Solomonic Literature

    1836: In Charleston, South Carolina, Isaac and Babetta Dittenhoefer, gave birth to Abram Jess Dittenhoefer. His parents were immigrants from Germany who lived in Baltimore and Charleston before settling in New York where his father became a successful merchant.  A graduate of Columbia Law, young Dittenhoefer would become a practicing attorney and successful judge. Oddly enough, this Jew who was born in the Cradle of the Confederacy would be one of the electors from New York who would cast a vote for Abraham Lincoln in the Electoral College.

    1840: Birthdate of Henri Didon Louis Remy, the Dominican friar who spoke “approvingly of Renan’s closing work, History of the Jews  which depicts “Christianity as the flower, masterpiece and glory of Judaism.”

    1851: Rabbi Sabato Morais arrives in Philadelphia with the expectation of becoming the spiritual leader of Congregation Mikveh Israel.

    1852: Birthdate of Henry Seigel, the German immigrant who came to United States in 1852 where he established and/or acquired a series of increasingly successful department store including Siegel, Hartsfield & Co., the Siegel Cooper Company, Simpson Crawford Company in New York, and the Schlesinger and Mayer Company in Chicago.

    1854: Mr. and Mrs. Moses Ley Maduro Peixotta gave birth to Daniel Levy Maduro Peixotto, a leader in the New York State Militia who died as a result of fever contracted during the Spanish-American War.

    1857: Paul Reuter, a Jew by birth who would become one of the first of the modern Press Lords as the founder of Reuters legally became a British subject.  Reuter had already shed the Jewish part of his origins when he converted in November of 1845, a month after he had moved to London.

    1861: The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed. The ghetto walls came tumbling down and the Jews were fully emancipated.  Jews played an active part in the creation of the modern Italian state and they enjoyed a level of social and legal acceptance that was second only to that enjoyed by the Jews of Great Britain.

    1862(15th of Adar II, 5622):Shushan Purim

    1862: A group of wealthy young men who formed what would be known as the Purim Association held the first Purim Ball in New York City

    1862(15th of Adar II, 5622): Composer Jacques François Fromental Élie Halévy passed away.  Born in 1799, Halévy composed the tragic opera La Juive and the comic opera L'Éclair. These works are his major claim to artistic fame.

    1864(9th of Adar II, 5624): Abraham David Meijer, the brother of Jonas Daniel Meijer (the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands) passed away today.

    1865(19th of Adar, 5625):Isaac Noah Mannheimer passed away

    1870(14th of Adar II, 5630): Purim

    1870(14th of Adar): Rabbi Dov Ber ben Isaac Meisels of Cracow, author of Hiddushei Mahardam  passed away

     1870: Since the Purim balls in New York appear to have lost their popularity, tonight’s Purim celebrations will not consist of any “grand demonstration” but will be limited to some unpretentious entertainments.

    1874: Birthdate of Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise President of Zionist Organization of America. Rabbi Wise declined to accept the pulpit of New York's largest Reform Congregation if it meant he could not speak out in favor of Zionism.  Wise was one of several Jews who attended the Paris Peace Conference at the end of World War I.  In 1922, Wise founded the Jewish Institute of Religion "in an attempt at sectarian non-partisanship, so that its graduates might serve any one of the [Jewish] religious groupings" in the United States.

    1886(10th of Adar II, 5646)Leopold Zunz also known—"Yom Tov Lipmann Tzuntz" passed away. Born in 1794, “he was a German Reform rabbi and writer, the founder of what has been termed the "Science of Judaism" (Wissenschaft des Judentums), the critical investigation of Jewish literature, hymnology and ritual.”

    1878: “Ethical Culture” which was published today describes the growth of The Society for Ethical Culture which was founded only two years before by Felix Adler.  The author gives due consideration to Adler’s Jewish origins and the effect that has had in creating the increasingly popular movement.

    1878: The Jewish owner of the coffee and cake saloon at number 7 Fulton Street failed in his effort to get Justice Murray to find that his employee was not guilty of violating the city’s ordinance against throwing oyster shells, after shucking them, into the street. 

    1878: The annual Purim reception at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews began this morning at 11 o’clock.  Due to the inclement weather, the turnout was smaller than normal.  The reception ended at 6 in the evening.
    1878: Cohen Davis, an elderly glazier, was tried for perjury today in the General Sessions Court.  The prosecutor charged that he had lied under oath during the trial of Abraham Freeman and Charles Freeman who have been convicted of arson in the first degree. 

    1880: It was reported today that the annual ball sponsored by the Purim Association had raised $18,585.80 for the New York’s Mt. Sinai Hosptial.

    1880: It was reported today that George Kessler is among those selling tickets the Concord Society’s first grand annual charity ball which is a benefit for the Young Ladies’ Charitable which is an adjunct of the United Hebrew Charities.

    1882: “Justice Steckler Expelled” published today described the decision to expel Alfred Steckler and some of his associates from the Tenth Assembly District Republican Association.  Steckler and his associates were not expelled because they were Jewish but because they had failed to support the Republican candidate.

    1884: Birthdate of Dr. Nahum Nir, the native of Warsaw who made Aliyah in 1925 and was one of the signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

    1884(20th of Adar, 5644): Benjamin Gratz passed away in Lexington, KY.  Part of the famous Gratz family, he was born in Philadelphia in 1792.  After serving in the Army during the War of 1812 he moved to Kentucky where he practiced law and served as trustee of Transylvania University.

    1889(14th of Adar II, 5649): Purim

    1892: It was reported today that Rabbi Stephen S. Wise will be addressing the congregants at Temple Israel in Harlem.

    1893: “Russia’s Securities May Suffer” published today described an appeal made by the London Russo-Jewish Committee that has been “sent to every Jewish banker, bank director, bank manager, stock broker, and “agent de change” in Europe calling on them” to boycott Russian loans and Russian financial transactions in general. “The appeal is in retaliation” for the continued severe treatment of the Russian Jews by the Czar

    1894: Moritz Kepes, a Jewish saloon owner, was beaten up today by John Fuchs and his son who owned a nearby saloon.

    1894: A fire broke out today in a tenement house on Jefferson Street this morning that is owned by Abraham Doworsky and is occupied by Russian Jews.  Some of the tenants told Doworsky that they would be starting a newspaper in the building’s basement, but the fire exposed the fact that they were operating an illegal still.

    1894: “The Germans and their Fatherland” published today provides a detailed review Germany and the Germans by William Harbutt in which the author devotes one chapter to the anti-Semitic party and another chapter the criminal activities in which Jews engage.  The author does raise and does not answer the question “What do the anti-Semites propose to do with the Jews and what would do without them

    1894: The United Hebrew Charities reported today that between October 1, 1893 to March 1, 1894 that they had over 18,000 applicants for assistance.  During those five months, the charity had spent over $103,000 for clothing, medicine burials, coal and operating the industrial schools.  For the same period a year ago, they had spent a little more than $46,000 which is indicative of the losses caused by the depression that began in 1893.

    1895: Birthdate of Shemp Howard.  Born Samuel Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York, this comedic star gained fame as one of the Three Stooges and for his role in “The Bank Dick.”

    1897: Birthdate of Charles Levine, the son of Massachusetts scrap metal dealer, who was a pioneer in the field of aviation.  A contemporary of Lindbergh, he was on the second plane that flew from America across the Atlantic.  Unlike Lindbergh who was heading for Paris, Levine was trying to make Berlin.  Although he had to land one hundred miles short of his distance, he had actually out-distanced the Lone Eagle.

    1897: Samuel Simon Leibowitz arrived in America with his parents from Romania.  Born in 1893, he would become a famous defense attorney and New York Judge.  He is best known as attorney who took the lead in defending the Scottsboro Boys.

    1898:”The Baron De Hirsch Fund” published today described the efforts to build “model tenements” and erect “suburban homes” to relieve the overcrowding on the Lower East Side.  Some of the money had already been used to purchase 12 lots across the Harlem River where “model tenements” will be constructed. These efforts are not to be confused with other efforts financed by the late Baron Hirsch and his widow to develop “agricultural colonies” including the one at Woodbine, NJ.
    1899: “Jewish Philanthropy” published today described Simon Wolf’s view of Jewish generosity.  According to him, “We take care of our people and we help others.”  “In the largest cities in the United States” Jews have collected $64,000,000 for philanthropic purposes, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of such mean as Oscar Nathan, Isidor Straus and Adolphus S. Solomon.

    1899: On Chicago’s South Side, Rabbi Isaac M. Wise dedicated the sanctuary of The Reform Congregation of Isaiah Temple which had been designed by Dankmar Adler.

    1900: Birthdate of American film composer Alfred Newman, a major Jewish-American composer of music for films. He received 45 Academy Award nominations (a record in the music categories, now shared with John Williams), winning 9 times; in 1940 he was nominated for 4 different films. He also composed the familiar fanfare which accompanies the studio logo for 20th Century Fox, where he headed the music department. He was active until the end of his life, scoring Airport shortly before his death. Between 1930 and 1970, he wrote music for over 200 films of every imaginable type, including a score for the newsreel made from the World War II footage of the Battle of Midway

    1901: In Philadelphia, PA, a federation of Jewish charities including the Jewish Hospital Association, Jewish Foster Home, Society of United Hebrew Charities, Hebrew Education Society, Orphans' Guardians, Jewish Maternity Association, Jewish Immigration Society, Young Women's Union, and Hebrew Sunday-School Society was formed today with Jacob Gimbel as President

    1902: Herzl is authorized to obtain three letters of credit, each for a million francs, from banks in Paris, Berlin and London. The funds are to be deposited in Turkish banks.  Several members of the Actions Committee including Avraham Menachem Mendel Ussishkin are opposed to the plan. Ussishkin and Herzl were both fervent Zionists but they had different views as to the goal of establishing a Jewish home in Eretz Israel could be accomplished. Born in 1863 in Russia, Ussishkin would become an early Zionist leader and first President of the Jewish Nation Fund or JNF.In his youth,he became an enthusiastic reader of the works of contemporary Hebrew writers in his teens, and from then on the revival of the Hebrew language was one of the main goals of his life work. Like many other early Hibbat Zion members, he was shocked by the Russian pogroms of 1881, which emphasized to him the necessity for Jewish emigration. Ussishkin then began working actively for several Zionist groups. After graduating as a technical engineer from the Technological Institute in Moscow, he became active in Hebrew educational work as well as in Zionist propaganda and fund-raising in Russia. Ussishkin was a "practical" Zionist who viewed agricultural settlement in Eretz Israelas the first and most important step toward attaining a Jewish state. He was thus active in recruiting youth for pioneer work and for agricultural settlement of the land. He was a delegate to the First Zionist Congress held in Basle in 1893, and was appointed Hebrew secretary of the Congress. At the Seventh Zionist Congress (1905), he was among the leaders of those who forced the abandonment of the Uganda Scheme, and he then proposed a program of Zionism which was later adopted by the Zionist movement. Under his influence the Zionist movement actively supported the establishment of agricultural settlements, educational and cultural institutions, and a Hebrew university. In 1919 Ussishkin himself settled in Eretz Israel, and in 1923 he was chosen to head the Jewish National Fund, a position he held for nearly twenty years.

    1904: Birthdate of Chaim Gross an Austrian born American sculptor. Gross began exhibiting both his sculpture and graphic art in 1935, and was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the 3rd Sculpture International held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949. Gross was a practitioner of the direct carving method, with the majority of his work being carved from wood. Gross was a professor of printmaking and sculpture at both the Educational Alliance and the NewSchool for Social Research in New York City, as well as a member of Artists Equity, the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He served as President of the Sculptors Guild of America.  He passed away in 1991 at the age of 84. (As reported by John T. McQuiston)

    1908(14thof Adar II, 5668): Purim

    1910: Birthdate of David Abraham "Sonny" Werblin the Flatbush native who gained national fame for his purchase of the New York Jets and the signing of Joe Namath – an act which helped to force the NFL to merge with the AFL.

    1916: Birthdate of Dr. Albert M. Kligman, a dermatologist who invented the widely used acne medication Retin-A but whose experiments involving prisoners raised ethical questions that dogged his career.

    1917: One hundred and ninety Jews from Palestine migrate to Cyprus on an Ottoman mail steamer.

    1917:Dorothy Cohen Schwartzman, Ida Bienstock Landau, Minna Goldsmith Mahler, Eva Effron Robin, and Sylvia Steierman founded Delta Phi Epsilon (ΔΦΕ or DPhiE) is an international sorority at New York University Law School.

    1918: The British Army including the Jewish battalion captured Amman

    1921: Birthdate of Meir Slutzki who as Meir Amit gained fame as an Israeli politician, general, and Director of the Mossad.

    1921: The Constituent Assembly ratified the constitution of the Polish Republic which granted equal rights to the Jews.

    1921: At the Cairo Conference attended by Winston Churchill and T.E. Lawrence (better known as “Lawrence of Arabia”) it was agreed that Transjordan (an Arab State) should be separated from Palestine “thus enabling Britain to fulfill its wartime pledges to both the Arabs and the Jews.”  The decision reinforced the right for Jews to “be able to settle the land from the Mediterraneanto the Jordan, from the Galilee to the Negev.” (“This comprised the area of both Israel and the West Bank today.”)

    1926: Rodgers and Hart's musical "Girl Friend" premiered in New York.  This is but one example of a Jewish team providing a hit musical comedy for Broadway.

    1927(13thof Adar II, 5687): Fast of Esther

    1933: Victor Klemperer writes in his diary, “on Friday, unfortunately, Thiemes was here. It was frightful . . . such enthusiastic conviction and support. The phraseology of unity. Progress piously repeated. Grete (his wife) said, "Everything else failed, now we have to blow this horn." He corrected her vehemently. "We didn't have to." In really free elections he has voted for the right cause. This I can't forgive him. The poor dog may be frightened for his job. He must howl with the wolves. But why in front of me? . . . Naked violence, breach of law, terrible hypocrisy, unmitigated barbarism poses as law.

    1933: The Chevrolet Program starring Jack Benny is broadcast for the first time on NBC Radio

    1935: The Palestine Maccabee Association announced that it would not participate in the 1936 Olympics to be held in Germanybecause of that country’s treatment of its Jewish citizens.

    1936: In response to the receipt of a copy of Victor Gallancz’s The Yellow Spot: The Extermination of the Jews in Germany from Harold Laski, Churchill wrote Laksi urging the Laborite to find a way to gain support from the Labor Party for the re-armament program designed to thwart the threat of the Nazis.

    1936: A mass demonstration of Polish Jews, left-wingers, and liberals protests anti-Semitism in Poland.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that in addition to five young Jews who were murdered by Arabs during the past few days, there were two more victims: Samuel Gottfried, 26, of Rosh Pina and an Arab villager who defended his flock from robbers.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that The Jewish Agency Executive in London submitted a memorandum to the British government which claimed that the Arab disturbances which began on April 19, 1936, did not end on October 12, 1936, as claimed by the government and the Arab Higher Committee, but continued uninterruptedly, claiming many Jewish lives.

    1938(14thof Adar II, 5698); Purim

    1939: At a meeting in Tel Aviv today, “the National Council of Palestine Jews…decided to a call a 24 hour strike” to start on Monday, March 20th “  “as the first step in its program of ‘drastic political action’ against Great Britain’s plan” for Palestine.  “The Council condemned the plan as ‘the liquidation of the Jewish national home and strangulation of the Jewish settlement.’”

    1941: According to a death certificate issued by the Soviet government and made public in 1954 this is date of the death of Isaac Babel. It would not be until the 1990’s that this would be exposed as a lie. Babel had actually been executed by the Soviets on January 27, 1940.

    1941: Hans Frank, General Governor of Occupied Poland, had a meeting with Adolf Hitler about the fate of Jews in Europe. Afterwards, Frank informs the General Government's undersecretaries of state, police and SS chiefs, district governors, and department directors that the Jews are to be eliminated.

    1942: The 60,000 Jews in Tunisiaare restricted to publishing only one newspaper.

    1942: In eastern Poland, the Belzec Concentration Camp opened as 1,500 Jews arrive from the Lviv Ghetto in the western Ukraine.  At that time 30,000 Lublin Polish Jews were transported to this death camp.

    1942: Birthdate of educator Meyer Feldberg.  Born in South Africa, Feldberg was the Dean of the A.B. Freeman School of Business at TulaneUniversityand later became Dean of the Columbia School of Business

    1942(28th of Adar, 5702):In Pochep, Russia, 1,816 Jewish villagers were massacred in an anti-tank ditch.

    1943(10th of Adar II, 5703): More than 1200 Jews from Lvov, Ukraine, were killed at Piaski, Poland, as retribution for the March 16 murder of an SS trooper by a Jewish man. Eleven Jewish policemen were hanged in the ghetto, 1000 Jewish slave laborers were executed, and an additional 200 Jews were murdered.

    1943:Dimitur Peshev and 40 other members of the Sobranje, the Bulgarian parliament, sign a petition demanding that deportations of Jews from Bulgaria to Occupied Poland end. Archbishop Kiril of Plovdiv sends a telegram to Tsar Boris III informing him of his intention to lie down on the tracks in front of any trains transporting Bulgarian Jews.

    1946: Some of the members of “Kibbutz Buchenwald” set sail for Palestine from France today on the Maapilim boat the “Tel-Chai”.

    1947: The Palestine police issued a “broadsheet” today “offering an unspecified reward for information leading to the arrest of 18 wanted men” described as “terrorist chiefs.”  The list which includes photos and physical descriptions is in alphabetical order beginning with Menachem Begin of the Irgun.  The penultimate spot on the list goes to Nathan Friedman Yellin, Abrahm Stern’s successor as head of the Stern Gang.  The last name on the list is Itshak Yexernitsky who has been captured by the British but has escaped their custody.

    1947: Leaders of the Arab League are scheduled to meet in Cairo today where they will map out their propaganda program to oppose the creation of a Jewish state  and how best to present their case at the upcoming meeting of the United Nations.

    1947: “Just before noon today an Army officer blew his whistle” in Jerusalem marking the end of martial law in several areas including Mea Shearim.

    1948: In Jerusalem, the British abandoned their compound on the grounds of Schneller Orphanage which the Etzioni Brigade would “use at its base of operations during the Israeli War of Independence.

    1948: The Naval Service, which became the Israeli Sea Corps, was formed today and the members for the Plugat HaYam (the naval arm of the Palmach) were ordered to join.

    1950: The Jewish Agency for Palestine announced tonight that it was prepared to receive 20,000 refugees from Iraq.  This issue has taken on a great deal of urgency for Iraq’s 150,000 Jews, since the Baghdad government has given them a year to leave the country for Israel.  As part of the price of departure, the Jews must basically leave behind most of their possessions and wealth for use by the Iraqi’s. 

    1953(1stof Nisan, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

    1954(12th of Adar II, 5714): In the Negev, an Israeli bus was attacked by “a group of Palestinian Arabs who had infiltrated into Israel from Jordan.  The driver and ten passengers were killed.

    1957(14thof Adar II, 5717): Purim

    1957: “Great Philosophy in Small Packets” included a review of The Age of Enlightenment: The Eighteenth Century Philosophers, Selected with introduction and commentary by Isaiah Berlin.

    1962(11thof Adar II, 5722): Shabbat Zachor

    1962(11thof Adar II, 5722): Ninety-four year old “Rabbi Clifton H. Levy, the oldest past president of the New York Board of Rabbis and a leader of the Reform rabbinate” passed away today. “Together with the late Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Rabbi Levy was a founder in 1922 of the Association of Reform Rabbis of New York City and Vicinity. Born in New Orleans, LA, Rabbi Levy received his ordination from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He was the author of a book, Judaism Applied to Life, and of pamphlets and articles on Biblical archaeology and art.” (As reported by JTA)

    1969: Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel. A dedicated Zionist and Socialist, Mrs. Meir devoted her entire life to creating a national homeland for the Jewish people where we could flourish in peace and safety.  Her life reads more like a novel with all of its twists and turns ranging from the gritty determination of the 1920's when she was a pioneer in primitive Palestine, to the clandestine trips she made to meet the King of Jordan in an attempt to avert war in 1948, to her fund raising in the United States so the unborn state would have some weapons with which to face the invading Arab Armies, to...well I think you get the idea.  She certainly is worthy successor to the memory of Miriam and Deborah and Moses and David as well.

    1974(23rd of Adar, 5734): Architect Louis Kahn passed away.

    1977:The Jerusalem Postreported that Leah Rabin, wife of the prime minister, admitted that she had closed her dollar account in Washingtonand transferred the money totaling $2,000, as a donation to a charity for autistic children which she headed. Events surrounding this bank account would lead to Prime Minster Rabin’s political downfall, end the Labor Party’s domination of Israeli politics and bring Menachem Begin and Likud to power for the first time since the founding of the state in 1948.

    1978: Jack Klugman was roasted on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast on NBC

    1983: Actor Dustin Hoffman and Lisa Hoffman give birth to their daughter Rebecca Lillian Hoffman

    1989: The Broadway production of “Chu Chem,” a musical inspired by “a trip to Kaifeng Fu (prefecture), China, the site of a major Jewish migration in the 10th century” with music by Mitch Leigh opened at the Ritz Theatre.

    1992(12th of Adar II, 5752): The Islamic Jihad used a truck bomb to attack the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires Argentina killing 29.

    1997:Janet Rosenberg Jagan, the Chicago born Jewess, began serving as Prime Minster of Guyana.

    1999(29th of Adar, 5759): Composer Ernest Gold passed away. Born in 1921 in Vienna Gold was an Austrian-born Jewish-American Academy Award winning composer of the theme from the movie Exodus. Gold wrote nearly 100 film/television scores between 1945 and 1992, including the Hawaii Five-O theme. He also composed a 1968 Broadway musical "I'm Solomon".

    2002: At the Jewish Museum in New Yorkan exhibition entitled ''The Emergence of Jewish Artists in 19th-Century Europe'' comes to a close.

    2003(13thof Adar II, 5763): Ta’anit Esther; Erev Purim

    2003(13thof Adar II, 5763): Eight-seven year old historian Herbert Aptheker passed away. (As reported by Christopher Lehman-Haupt)

    2005: “The Southern Command of the Israel Defense Forces issued a military order prohibiting Israeli citizens not living in the Gaza Strip settlements from taking up residence there.”

    2006: The Forwards reported that the Aleph Institute, an organization linked to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement was approved by the Department of Defense to endorse chaplains.  The Aleph Institute will join the Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains council which until now was the only body endorsing Jewish chaplains. 

    2007: Shabbat Ha-Chodesh

    2007: At the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, an exhibition styled “Adi Nes: Bible Stories” opens to the general public. The series contains fourteen works of staged photography created by Adi Nes between 2003 and 2006.


    2008: In an article entitled “How Hamas Is Playing the Spoiler,” U.S. News & World Report describes how the latest Hamas rocket attacks on Ashkelon pose a new strategic threat to Israel and the limited options available to the Israelis in responding to this latest downward spiral in the Middle East.

    2008(10 Adar II, 5768): Ronald E. Arnall, French born American businessman who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands and was a “friend” of Chabad-Lubavitch passed away.

    2008: Sports Illustrated describes the pending confrontation over allegations that Patriots coach Bill Bilichick illegally videotaped his opponents.  This could turn into a Jew versus Jew situation since the probe into the matter is being spearheaded by Arlen Specter, the Jewish Republican Senator from Pennsylvania and the Patriots are owned by Jewish businessman and philanthropist Robert Kraft.

    2008: Israel and Germanyupgraded their ties approving a host of joint projects and agreeing to hold annual government consultations, in one of the highlights of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's three-day visit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert chaired a joint session of members of their respective cabinets, at which both governments signed off on a range of projects, including in education, the environment and defense.

    2008: Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar announced that Ethiopian immigrants should be able to convert to Judaism in their native land and make Aliyah under the Law of Return.

    2008:  Haaretz reported that Elie Wiesel has told the Prime Minister’s office that he will not take part in the torch-lighting ceremony marking the 60thanniversary of Israel’s Independencedue to prior commitments. 

    2008: Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer resigns after a scandal involving a high-end prostitute.

    2009: At The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Dr. Ellen Kellman of BrandeisUniversity delivers a lecture entitled “Educating ‘Moyshe’ or Corrupting Him? Polemics around the Novel Sanin in the American Yiddish Press ca. 1908” in which she discusses the role of serialized fiction in the American Yiddish press which was the subject of rancorous debate from its beginnings. C

    2009: Services are held at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield for Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson, a noted philanthropist who was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame last year and passed away on March 13, 2009 at the age of 86.Among the causes he funded were HadassahUniversityMedicalCenter, the Israel Antiquities Authority,the JerusalemArchaeologicalPark,the Wexner Foundation and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

    2009:Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said today that her surgery for pancreatic cancer was successful and that she is scheduled to undergo a precautionary round of chemotherapy starting later this month.
    2010(2nd of Nisan, 5770):  Ninety-one year old Albert J. Rosenthal who had served as Dean of the Columbia Law School passed away.

    2010: In Jerusalem, Hama'abada is scheduled to present "Janana," by Yiftach Klein.

    2010: Cookbook author Judy Zeidler is scheduled to offer tips on prepping for your Seder and mastering your grocery list, along with recipes for new and traditional Seder dishes in a program entitled “Passover: Cooking with Judy” sponsored by the American Jewish University.

    2010:Some 3,000 officers were put on high alert on today after Hamas called for anti-Israel protests.

    2010: “Sin,” a play by Mark Altman opened at the .Baruch Performing Arts Center.

    2010:Veteran IPO subscribers enjoy a memorable evening as Itzhak Perlman performs with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    2011:Tamar Hirschl is scheduled to show a suite of paintings and recent resin works “in the inaugural Artist Project in New York City, a fair for independent artists.”

    2011: The Hadassah Mahj Tournament, sponsored by Hadassah of Greater Detroit, is scheduled to take place at Hadassah House in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

    2011(11th of Adar II): Ninety-year old Betty Sarah Wouk, “the wife and literary agent of bestselling writer Herman Wouk” passed away.

    2011(11th of Adar II): Ta’anit Esther

    2011(11th of Adar II): Eighty-one year old Gabrial Laderman, a painter of figurative art, passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

    2011:President Shimon Peres said today that the Navy's seizure of the cargo ship Victoria earlier this week proves that Syria is providing weapons to Hamas in Gaza and to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    2011:Sacramento Kings and Israel National Basketball Team forward Omri Casspi may temporarily sign to play with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the event of an NBA work stoppage, he said in an interview with Army Radio today. The second-year NBA player, who formerly played with Maccabi Tel Aviv, said that there had already been some discussions about him possibly rejoining the team in the event of a lockout.

    2011:Alaska Airlines apologizes today for the misunderstanding that occurred earlier this week on board one of their flights, in which flight attendants issued a security alert when three Mexican Jews began praying with Tefillin."To help make sure this misunderstanding does not happen again, we plan to incorporate awareness training of Orthodox Jewish religious practices into our ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts," a statement issued by the airlines said. Flight attendants aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 241 from Mexico City to Los Angeles issued a security alert on March 13 after three Orthodox Jewish passengers began praying with Tefillin. Following the alert the place was met at LAX by fire crews, foam trucks, FBI agents, and police.

    2012: Twentieth Anniversary of the Iranian bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina.

    2012(23rd of Adar, 5772): Yahrzeit of Yitzchak Meir Alter the first Rebbe of the Ger Chasidic Dynasty who was born in 1799 and passed away on March 10, 1866.

    2012: “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts” is scheduled to be shown at the Schenectady JCC Jewish Film Festival at Niskayuna, NY

    2012: The Eilat Chamber Music Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El is scheduled to present “Deconstructing Woody Allen: Humor, Identity, Judaism” with Dr. Daniel Fainstein

    2013: The Theatre at the 14thStreet Y is scheduled to present a puppet show “Lost & Found In Israel” written and performed by Zvi Sahar and Leat Klingman.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Yellow Sneaker and "The Matzah Time Crunch"

    2013:“Samson and Delilah,” sung in French (with English supertitles) will be presented today at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans featuring Cantor Joel Coleman “as the Old Hebrew.”

    2013: The Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: Today, “Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras vowed to crack down on neo-Nazi groups in a landmark speech marking the 70th anniversary of the first deportations of Thessaloniki’s Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.” (As reported by JTA)

    2013: Minutes released today by the Israel State Archive revealed details of tense and nearly failed meetings between then-prime minister Menachem Begin and former US president Jimmy Carter during the latter’s visit to the country in 1979, as the two leaders tried to hammer out the last details of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.

    2013: Likud MKs met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem today and received their marching orders for the next Cabinet and other government roles.

    2014: Film critic Shlomo Schwartberg is scheduled to present the final lecture in the series “Defining Greatness – Director Steven Speilberg at the Miles Nadal JCC.

    2004:Professor Yair Reisner of the Weizmann Institute of Science is scheduled to be recognized for his work in bone marrow transplant therapy when he receives his Rapport Prize today. (As reported by David Shamah)

    2014: Dr. Yaakov Nahmias of Hebrew University is scheduled to receive the Rapport Prize today for identifying a grapefruit molecule that can block viruses. (As reported by David Shamah)

    2014: “Brave Miss World” is scheduled to be shown at the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Once Upon a Time at 55th and Hoover,” a documentary about the 300 Sephardic families from Rhodes who emigrated to Los Angeles (USA) and established a Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) language neighborhood in the area around 55th St and Hoover, in South Central Los Angeles” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: Grammy-award winning performer Ron Levine is scheduled to share stories from his fantastic career, including touring with nationally renowned recording artists and his award-winning work on the motion picture Urban Cowboy, at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this evening.

    0 0

    March 18

    37: The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius' will and proclaims Caligula emperor. Caligula ruled from 37 until his death in 41. From the Jewish perspective he was not so much an anti-Semite as a lunatic whose crazy behavior affected the Jews. The biggest problems rose from his belief that he was a god and his insistence that the Jews, along with the rest of the Empire worship him. The Jews did not which led to a major confrontation. Additionally, Caligula wanted to place a huge statue of himself in Jerusalem. Fortunately he died before this travesty could take place.

    1123: Opening of the First Lateran Council.  Unlike later councils, this meeting did not deal directly with issues related to the Jews. However Canon Eleven did give renewed impetus for the Crusades. “For effectively crushing the tyranny of the infidels, we grant to those who go to Jerusalem and also to those who give aid toward the defense of the Christians, the remission of their sins and we take under the protection of St. Peter and the Roman Church their homes, their families, and all their belongings, as was already ordained by Pope Urban II.”  Canon Eleven also equates going to fight in Spain with going to Jerusalem because Spain was under control of the Moors and the Church sought bring an end to this.

    1160: Hamza ibn Asad abu Ya'la ibn al-Qalanisi an Arab politician and chronicler passed away in Damascus. His writings provide one of the few contemporary accounts of the First Crusade from the Moslem point of view including a description of the sacking of Jerusalem. The Jews had fought alongside the Muslims to defend the city against the attackers.  At the end, according Ibn al-Qalnisi, "The Jews assembled in their synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads.’ (The Franks was the terms easterners used to describe the Crusaders)

    1190: Crusaders killed 750 Jews in Bury St Edmonds England. The logic of the Crusaders was why wait to kill infidels in the Holy Land when you can kill them right here at home. Just because these infidels were Jews and the infidels holding the Holy Land were Moslems did not seem to bother these noble Christian knights and their supporters.

    1229: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor declared himself King of Jerusalem during the Sixth Crusade. In what be lesson for modern times, Frederick’s use of diplomacy succeeded where the use of force by others had failed. His sixth crusade was not a military venture; a fact which drew the ire of the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, after landing in Palestine, he negotiated with the Moslems and gained control of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem for a period of ten years.

    1389: A priest living in Prague, Czechoslovakia was hit with a few grains of sand by small Jewish boys playing in the street. He became insulted and insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week.

    1478: In Spain, a group of Jews and conversos gathered for a Seder on the first night of Passover. “A young cavalier” discovered the group and reported the matter to the authorities. Since it was holy week, the Spanish decided that the Jews had gathered to “to blaspheme the Chrisitian religion.” When Alonso de Hojeda, the prior of the Convent of San Pablo in Seville and enemy of the Jews and New Christians heard of the event he took the news to Ferdinand and Isabella. Supposedly this was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and the two monarchs petitioned the Holy See to issue a Bull authorizing an Inquisition. The Bull would be granted and the road to the expulsion of 1492 opened up like a superhighway.

    1580 (2nd of Nisan): Rabbi Benjamin ben Moses of Lemberg, author Tavnit ha-Bayt passed away

    1584: Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible passed away. Ivan was terrible for the Jews as well as for everybody else. He did all that he could to bar them from Russia, spreading the calumnies of the day, and, when he had the chance, giving them the choice between conversion or a cruel death.

    1655: Dutch Minister Johannes Megapolensis wrote a letter to the Amsterdam Classis, a ruling body in the Reform Church attacking the Jews who had recently arrived in New Amsterdam.

    1669: In Halberstadt which had been annexed Brandenburg as part of the Peace of Westphalia, a mob aided by the military demolished a synagogue in the Joeddenstrasse. The people claimed that the Jews had built the synagogue without permission from the government. For some time after, the hammer that was used to break the door of the synagogue was “preserved in the parish house.”

    1722(13th of Adar II, 5532):Ta'anit Esther

    1723: Birthdate of Daniel Itzig, the native of Berlin, who became the “Court Jew” of Kings Frederick II the Great and Frederick William II of Prussia.

    1762(23rd of Adar): Rabbi Judah ben Eliezer passed away

    1767: Myer Myers married Joyce Mears, a cousin of his first wife, Elkalah Myers Cohen of blessed memory. Myers first wife bore him five children and his second wife bore him eight children.

    1799: Haifa was captured by Napoleon. This marked “high-water mark” in Napoleon’s conquest of Palestine. The next day French forces reached Acre. It was defended both by British warships and local townspeople including the Jewish inhabitants. By June, Napoleon would give up and return to Egypt.

    1817(1stof Nisan, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

    1831: Birthdate of Joshua Glaser, the Postelburg native who trained as a lawyer before converting to Christianity to advance his career.  At that time, he changed his name to Jules Glaser, the name by which he gained renowned as a jurist and statesman


    1837: Birthdate of Grover Cleveland, the only man to be elected President of the United States, defeated in his bid for re-election and then to be victorious over the man who had beaten him. In 1887, during his first term, Cleveland appointed Oscar Solomon Straus, “the ranking Jew in America,” envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Turkey. In 1897, during his second term, Cleveland vetoed a bill that contained a literacy test for immigrants. The bill was an attempt to halt immigration from southern and Eastern Europe. If it had passed it would have a detrimental impact on the Jews of Russia, Romania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire seeking to come to America. Cleveland spoke out against the treatment of the Jews at Kishinev and work to raise money for them after the Pogrom in 1903.

    1852: In Paris, Augustus Glossop Harris and his wife gave birth to Sir Augustus Harris the British theatrical impresario whom “all of London” called “Gus” and who “was of Hebrew family and properly proud of his race.”

    1857: In Pittsburgh, PA, Louis and Henrietta Berkowitz gave birth to Henry Berkowitz the educator and reform rabbi.

    1861: The New York Times reported today that the “story floating around the Northern papers” about a rich Jew named Mordecai “declaring himself insolvent, after paying a small per centum to his New-York, Boston and Philadelphia creditors, is a falsehood, cut out of the whole cloth.”

    1862: Judah P. Benjamin began serving as Secretary of State for the Confederacy; a position he would hold until the end of the war.

    1869: Birthdate of Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who signed the infamous Munich Agreement with Hitler. He returned to England with the words, “I bring you peace in our times.” Instead there was war within the year. At the same time Chamberlain’s government followed a pro-Arab policy in Eretz Israel which resulted in the infamous White Paper that effectively ended Jewish immigration at the time when the Jews needed a homeland more than ever in their entire history.

    1870(15thof Adar II, 5630): Shushan Purim

    1874: The Germania Theatre Company will perform tonight at New York’s Terrace Garden Theatre for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.

    1875(11thof Adar II, 5635): Fast of Esther observed since the 13th of Adar falls on Shabbat.

    1877: It was reported today that during 1876, the strength of the British Army averaged 184,669 officers and enlisted men of whom 131 were Moslems, Hindus or Jews. 

    1878(13thof Adar, II, 5638): Fast of Esther

    1879: The defense was scheduled to present its case in attempt to prove that Cohen Davis, an elderly Hebrew glazier, had not committed perjury in the recent trial of Abraham Freeman and Charles Bernstein, two convicted arsonists.

    1880: In New York, Dr. J. P. Newman will deliver a lecture at Chickering Hall sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association

    1886(11th of Adar II, 5646): Leopold Zunz, also known as Yom Tov Lippman, a German-born Jewish intellectual passed away at the age of 91. Born in 1794, Zunz came of age in post-Napoleonic Germany when Reform Judaism was gaining power and many Jews were converting to Christianity to gain acceptance in the New Europe. Zunz was a scholar with a strong Jewish education. He became "the principal of a teacher's seminary established by the Jews of Berlin.” As can be seen from his teaching and writings including The Religious Discourses of the Jews Zunz emphasized the importance of prayer and instruction while contending that Judaism was a religion that had constantly been reforming itself. Zunz also believed that for the most part, Judaism and Jewish culture had been at a higher level than the societies that surrounded it.

    1886: Birthdate of German-born Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka. He moved to the United States in the 1920’s where he taught at several colleges and universities including Wisconsin and Smith.

    1890: Louis Levene represented the Shirtmakers’ Union at the arbitration hearing being held today in an attempt to end the strike.  Most of the workers are Jewish as are many of the contractors on the other side.

    1891: A five-story tenement building at the corners of Hester and Allen Streets which is located in a neighborhood crowded with Polish Jewish immigrants burned today.  At the time of the fire eleven Jewish families composed of forty-nine persons were asleep in the building.

    1891: The Trustees managing the funds sent to the United States by Baron Hirsch for the aid of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Romania are scheduled to meet today in New York.

    1892: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise will deliver a lecture entitled “The Jew, Past, Present and Future” this evening at Temple Israel of Harlem.

    1892: Jose S.K. Mitrachee, the Syrian Jewish beggar who shot Rabbi Mendes on March 5th, returned to New York from Philadelphia today in the custody of Detective Sergeants Jacobs and Heidelberg.  The prisoner was immediately taken to the rabbi’s home where Dr. and Mrs. Mendes and their 3 servants positively identified as the attacker.

    1893(1stof Nisan. 5653: Rosh Chodesh Nisan and Shabbat HaChodesh

    1893(1stof Nisan, 5653): Two Russian Jewish immigrant peddlers – Isaac Rosnewig and Harris Blank murdered 18 year old Jacobs marks on Dutch Mountain in Wyoming County, PA. (At the time of their execution for the crime the two were described as “the only people of the Jewish faith ever executed for murder in this country.”)

    1895: New York Mayor Strong appointed Jacob W. Mack, the secretary and treasurer of Nathan Manufacturing Company, to serve as a School Commissioner.

    1897(14thof Adar, 5657): Purim

    1897: A.S. Solomons, the manager of the Baron de Hirsch Fund oversaw today’s Purim Celebration for the students which was held in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance Building.

    1897: The feast of Purim was celebrated today with “the formal opening of the new wing of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews” which was attended by 200 visitors.

    1899: In a letter to the editor published today “A.C.” takes issue with the statement that Henry Irving plays the part of the Polish Jew in “The Bells.”  Irving actually plays the part of Mathias, the murder of the Polish Jew which “is not quite the same thing.”

    1899: It was reported today that “some of the French journals intimate that anti-Semitism is at the bottom of the new movement, which is that no Jew is to be permitted either to adopt a career in art, or, having painted a picture, to exhibit it.”

    1899: “The Colored Race and Illiteracy” published today provides a summary of an article by Wallace C. Hamm in The North American Review that includes the notation that “The Russian and Polish Jews are never illiterates.” (This stands in stark contrast of the portrait painted of the Jews of eastern Europe being semi-literate disease laden parasites)

    1899:Edward Breck, who was not Jewish, expressed his displeasure with the way that United States was complying with Russian laws that discriminated against American Jews and praised Julius Goldschdmidt, the U.S Counsel General in Berlin for his protest over the American government’s behavior in this matter.

    1903: Herzl begins a trip to Egypt that lasts until April 9.

    1905: Birthdate of Mollie Parnis. Although she never had any formal education in design, Mollie Parnis became an influential women's fashion designer whose prestigious Seventh Avenue firm provided dresses for first ladies Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, and Patricia Nixon. Parnis was raised on New York's Lower East Side. She started working in fashion at age eighteen, when she was hired as an assistant saleswoman for a wholesale blouse manufacturer. Her ability to tailor and add distinctive finishing touches to blouses for retail customers earned Parnis her first recognition. She moved from the blouse business to a dress house, but in 1933, she opened an independent designer dress firm with her husband, Leon Livingston. Although she could not cut and sew fabric or draw, Parnis's acute eye for detail and perceptive knowledge of what women wanted allowed her to provide the creative vision for the company. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the Parnis Livingston label was successful. Parnis's designs were said to combine elegance and beauty with form and function, and they were frequently featured in the style pages of magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Life. After Livingston's death in 1962, Parnis reshaped her company to cater to a new demand for more informal clothes. New labels targeted working-class women and young professionals. She closed the doors of her business in 1984.Throughout her life, Parnis was as dedicated to humanitarian work as she was to fashion. In 1971, she funded a program to clean up New York neighborhoods and establish small parks throughout the city. A similar program for Jerusalem followed two years later. She also contributed scholarships to fashion schools, and created the Livingston Awards, which honor young journalists in memory of Parnis's son. Mollie Parnis died in 1992.

    1905: Birthdate of Benny Friedman the native of Cleveland, Ohio known as “the Jewish Johnny Unitas” who played quarterback for the University of Michigan before going to a career as a head coach.

    1906: As conditions worsened in Bialystok, two policeman named Rubansky and Syrolevich were killed, probably by anarchists. This was part of the unraveling situation that would lead to a pogrom in June of that year.

    1906: A dark day in history since it marked the birth of Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo officer who contributed so much to the Final Solution. Eichmann is the only person to ever be executed by the state of Israel.

    1907: As the peasants of Romania rose up against the landed gentry, the government declared a state of emergency and began a general mobilization of the army.  The revolt was tainted by anti-Semitism because in some parts of the country the Jews collected the rents from the Christian peasants for the Christian landlords.  The Jews, of course, could not own the land.
    1910(7th of Adar II, 5670): Adolphus Simeon Solomons passed away in Washington, D.C. Born in 1826 John Solomons, a native of London who emigrated to the United States in 1810, Julia, daughter of Simeon Levy, “Solomons was educated in the University of the City of New York, and entered the employ of a firm of wholesale importers of stationery and fancy goods, becoming within two years its head book-keeper and confidential man. At the age of fourteen he had enlisted as a color-guide in the Third Regiment Washington Greys (New York State National Guard); he was promoted sergeant five years later” “In 1851 Daniel Webster, then secretary of state, appointed him "Special Bearer of Despatches to Berlin." On his journey he visited for the first time a Jewish ward in a hospital, at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and determined to establish a similar institution in New York. Upon his return home he became a member of a committee of young men who arranged a ball for charity in Niblo's Garden. The sum of $1,034 realized therefrom was, upon Solomons' motion, placed in the hands of Simpson Simson of Yonkers, who, with others, had recently taken out a charter for a Jewish hospital in New York, the present Mt. Sinai Hospital. In 1859 Solomons established the publishing-house of Philp & Solomons in Washington, D. C., which held for a number of years the government contracts for printing. Solomons was in 1871 elected a member of the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia, serving as chairman of the committee on ways and means. As a representative of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, Solomons at a public meeting held in New York advocated the establishment of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of Sir Moses Montefiore's birth. As trustee and, subsequently, as acting president of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association of New York, he was influential in bringing about a successful reorganization of the society's finances. In 1891 he became general agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and director of its many activities in America; and in 1903, when relieved of active work, he was made honorary general agent. Solomons was an incorporator and for seventeen years an active member of the National Association of the Red Cross, and was also one of its two vice-presidents. President Arthur appointed him and Clara Barton as representatives of the United States government in the International Congress of the Red Cross, held at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1881; and Solomons was elected vice-president of that congress. He was one of the five original members of the New York executive board of the Red Cross Relief Committee, which board was in session during the Spanish-American war and consisted of twenty-five members presided over by Bishop Potter. Solomons has been a member of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, and its treasurer for the United States. He has been for twenty years a director, and for some time treasurer, of the Columbia Hospital and Lying-in Asylum in Washington, D. C.; he is also a charter member of the Garfield Memorial Hospital, acting president of the Provident Aid Society and Associated Charities, founder and president of the Night Lodging-House Association, and trustee of the first training-school for nurses in the District of Columbia; he has been identified also with nearly all the prominent charities in the United States capital. Solomons has taken active part in all inauguration ceremonies” starting with Abraham Lincoln.

    1913: The King of Greece was assassinated at Salonica. False charges ran in the Greek newspapers that the killer was Jewish. The killer would turn out to be a Greek who was not Jewish but who was reported to be mentally ill.

    1922: In Cairo, the first meeting was held between a Zionist Delegation and representatives of the “Executive Committee of the Congress of Parties of the Confederation of Arab Countries.”

    1922: Judith Kaplan, age 12, became the first American to celebrate a bat mitzvah. Judith was the oldest daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. Believing that girls should have the same religious opportunities as their brothers, Rabbi Kaplan arranged for his daughter to read Torah on a Shabbat morning at his synagogue, the Society for the Advancement of Judaism. The Kaplan bat mitzvah marked a turning point for Conservative Judaism in America. Always torn between tradition and modernity, the movement struggled for many decades with women's roles in the synagogue. Judith Kaplan herself was not allowed to read from the Torah scroll, as modern bat mitzvah celebrants do; instead, she read a passage in Hebrew and English from a printed Chumash (first five books of the Bible) after the regular Torah service. Still, Rabbi Kaplan's innovation gained followers, and about a third of Conservative congregations held bat mitzvah ceremonies by 1948. By the 1960s, bat mitzvah was a regular feature of Conservative congregational life; today it is a mainstay in synagogues from Reform to Modern Orthodox. After her ground-breaking bat mitzvah, Kaplan Eisenstein (she married Ira Eisenstein who became Kaplan's successor in leading the Reconstructionist movement) went on to a successful career in Jewish music. After studying at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Julliard School) in New York, she attended the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) Teachers Institute and Columbia University's Teachers College, where she earned an M.A. in music education in 1932. She later earned a Ph.D. in the School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Kaplan Eisenstein taught music pedagogy and the history of Jewish music at JTS, HUC-JIR, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for many years. She also created the first Jewish songbook for children, Gateway to Jewish Song (1937). Her other published works include Festival Songs (1943) and Heritage of Music: The Music of the Jewish People (1972). In 1987, she created and broadcast a thirteen-hour radio series on the history of Jewish music. In 1992, at age 82, Kaplan Eisenstein celebrated a second bat mitzvah, surrounded by leaders of the modern Jewish feminist movement. This time, she read from a Torah scroll. Kaplan Eisenstein died on February 14, 1996.

    1927: Birthdate of Lillian Vernon. Born Lilly Menasche in Leipzig, Germany, Lillian Vernon fled with her family first to Amsterdam and then to New York to escape Hitler. In the U.S., her father manufactured leather goods, which would become the base of Vernon's first foray into mail-order commerce. Married and pregnant, Vernon began the business that would become Lillian Vernon, Inc., in 1951. She took $495 out of her wedding gifts to place an advertisement for personalized belts and handbags in Seventeen magazine. Her father's company manufactured the belts and bags, and Vernon embossed, packaged, and shipped them. The ad brought in over $32,000 worth of sales, and Vernon's company was born. She mailed her first catalogue two years later. Taking monogramming as its trademark, and catering mainly to women, Lillian Vernon mail-order grew rapidly, generating $200,000 in sales in 1956, the year Vernon opened her first manufacturing plant. By 1990, sales had risen to $238 million, and the mailing list had grown to 17 million names. After pioneering her successful mail-order business, Vernon continued to keep the company at the forefront of commercial changes. She began opening retail outlets in 1985, and went online a decade later. Hers was also the first woman-owned business to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. The company continues to introduce new catalogs regularly, and now produces special lines of items for children, teens, and gardening, as well as its traditional products for the home. Vernon has used her wealth to support over 500 charities, and has been recognized by, among others, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which awarded her its National Hero Award. She has also received the NAACP Medal of Honor, and has been inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame. In 1997, she was named one of 50 leading women entrepreneurs by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners. Though she no longer embosses items herself, Vernon is still active as the CEO of her company and as its main spokesperson.

    1927: Birthdate of Broadway composer and dance arranger John Kander. Some of his credits include “Chicago” and “Cabaret.”

    1927(14thof Adar II, 5686): Purim

    1928: The New York Times described the controversy surrounding the decision of a court in Jaffa to fine a storekeeper for violating local ordinances concerning the observance of the Jewish Sabbath.


    1930: Arthur James Balfour passed away at the age of 81. Balfour was a prominent British politician who served as Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. During World War I, Balfour served as Foreign Minister. It was while serving in this position that he gained his place in Jewish History by giving his name to the Balfour Declaration, which read in part, "His Majesty's Government view with the favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object..." The Balfour Declaration came to be one of the basic documents in the Jewish diplomatic efforts to establish what would become the modern state of Israel.

    1932: Birthdate of Alan Rosenthal the native of Manhattan and Harvard graduate who was director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University from 1974 to 1993. (As reported by Kate Zenike)

    1937:The Palestine Post reported that 17 Jews, two policemen and one British soldier were injured by a bomb thrown at the Egged bus terminal on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road. Two Arabs were detained on suspicion. Later four Arabs were injured when bombs were thrown into Arab-frequented cafes on Mamilla Road and in Romema. Police dogs picked an Arab farmer, Mohammed Kamel, as the murderer of Samuel Gottfried, 26, of Rosh Pina.

    1940: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom. [Editor’s Note – For some strange reason, Italy was never held accountable for its role as Hitler’s willing ally and all that that meant.]

    1941: This week, 200 Jews would die from hunger in Warsaw ghetto. The prior week, 400 died of hunger.

    1942: Forty-five year old Charles A. Levine who was “the first trans-Atlantic plane passenger” was in front of a federal judge in Los Angeles over a $500 fine that had been levied against him over a violation of immigration law.

    1943(11th of Adar II, 5703): Fast of Esther observed since the 13th of Adar is on Shabbat.

    1943(11th of Adar II, 5703): The hiding place of Dr. Julian Charin, age 30, of Lapy, Ukraine, was betrayed to the Nazis, and Charin was shot.

    1943(11th of Adar II, 5703): At Auschwitz, 26-year-old underground fighter Lonka Kozibrodska died of typhus.

    1944: Birthdate of Amnon Lipkin-Shahak the 15th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Member of the Knesset and Minister of Transportation and Tourism.

    1944: Hitler summons the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Horthy for talks. Horthy guaranteed the delivery of 100,000 Jewish workers for the German war effort. Yet he was still hesitant about a general deportation of the rest of the country's 750,000 Jews. At 9:30 that evening, German troops begin to enter Hungary.

    1946: Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill was “the guest of honor at a dinner given by” Jewish financier and unofficial advisor to numerous Presidents, Bernard Baruch.

    1947: Birthdate of Steve Schiff the Chicago native who became a Congressman from New Mexico’s First District.

    1947: Efforts to overturn the death sentences of Dov Rosenbaum, Eliezer Kashani and Mordecai Kashani suffered a setback today when the “Palestine High Court rejected an application for an order for the commissioner of prisons, the British commanding general, the attorney general and the chief secretary to show cause” for why the sentence should not be set aside.

    1948(7th of Adar II): Rabbi Chaim Isaac Block, author of Divrei Hibbah passed away.

    1948 President Truman met with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann and assured him of the United States' support for Jewish statehood. 

    1949: James Grover McDonald was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel by President Harry Truman.

    1950: “Dr. George Josephthanal, director of the Absorption Department of the Jewish Agency” announced “that a sea and air operation aimed at moving 90,000 Jews out of Iraq into Israel would be initiated next month at a cost of sixty million dollars.”

    1951: Birthdate of Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Empire.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Agriculture Minister Levi Eshkol promised self-sufficiency in animal fodder, increased tobacco production, and intensification of cattle raising for meat, as the immediate policy goals of his ministry. He noted a general improvement in fruit production, although he warned that it could take a couple of years until the full impact of last year¹s planting was felt on the market.

    1961:The New York Times reports that the French government awarded Rabbi Simon Langer the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur for his "...extraordinary contributions to the advancement of better French-American relations before and after the Second World War. He is credited with rescuing many French children from the Nazis." His tireless work with Bikur Cholim continues.

    1962: The Evian Accords put an end to the Algerian War of Independence, which began in 1954. The end of the Algerian War marked the beginning of a change in French policy towards the Arabs, and therefore, towards Israel. While fighting the Arab nationalist in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, the French saw the Israelis as allies. This accounts for French willingness to supply the IDF with military equipment including jet fighter planes and to join in the Suez War of 1956. Once De Gaulle decided to end French fighting with Arab nationalist, he sought to create a French sphere of influence among its former colonies. Supporting Israel was now a detriment to French policy aims. In 1967, De Gaulle would oppose Israel’s right to defend itself in what would become the Six Days War going so far as to deny delivery of naval vessels to the Israelis for which the Jewish state had already paid.

    1964(5th of Nisan, 5724): American mathematician Norbert Wiener passed away. Born in 1894, he was known as the founder of cybernetics. He created the term in his book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948), widely recognized as one of the most important books of contemporary scientific thinking

    1965(14thof Adar II, 5725) Purim

    1965: Death of King Farouk, former ruler of Egypt. While King of Egypt, Farouk led his country to war against Israel in 1948. The defeat of Egyptian forces along with his total corruption, led to Farouk’s overthrow in 1952 in a coup masterminded by Nasser.

    1973(14thof Adar II, 5733): Purim

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo that Yasser Arafat made it clear that the PLO had no intention of giving up its aim of creating a "secular state" in Palestine ¬ its roundabout expression for the destruction of Israel. In Washington, despite Israeli repeated requests, the State Department declined to say what President Jimmy Carter had in mind when he called for a Palestinian "homeland." Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was reportedly worried by Carter¹s statement that there had to be a homeland provided for Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years.

    1979: Birthdate of Adam Levine an American singer-songwriter and guitarist who is the frontman for the pop rock band Maroon 5.

    1980(1st of Nisan, 5740): Eric Fromm passed away.

    1982: In Livingston, NJ, Caryn and Steven Pally gave birth to actor and comedian Adam Saul Pally.

    1984(14thof Adar II, 5744): Purim

    1986(7th of Adar II, 5746): Seventy-one year old author Bernard Malmud passed away. The prolific author may be best known for The Fixer for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and The Natural which was made into a movie starring Robert Redford. The movie and the book have different endings. The film version makes Hollywood happy. The book ends in a manner consistent with Malmud’s view of life. (As reported by Mervyn Rothstein)

    "1993: "The Sisters Rosensweig a play written by Wendy Wasserstein opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

    1992: Leona Helmsley was sentenced to 4 years for tax evasion.

    1997: It was reported today that President, Chancellor, Boards of Governors and Overseers, faculty, administration and students of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion record with profound sorrow the death in Jerusalem of Dr. S. Zalman Abramov, Chairman of the Board of Overseers of our Jerusalem School.

    1997: The Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the proposed designation as a Landmark of the Pike Street Synagogue (Congregation Sons of Israel

    Kalwarie), and the proposed designation of the related Landmark Site
    1999: Marcel Marceau day is established in New York City.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation by Edwin Black and The Voice of Memory: Interviews 1961-1987 by Primo Levi; edited by Marco Belpoliti and Robert Gordon

    2003(14thof Adar II, 5763): Purim

    2006: Shabbat Parah

    2006: The family and multitude of friends of Betty Levin gather in Chicago to celebrate her birthday. Wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher, pillar of the Jewish community and so much more – she is the complete package. She redefines the term Ashesh Chayil giving the term a meaning far beyond anything that Solomon could have possibly imagined.

    2007: The Jerusalem Circus performs at the Gerard Behar Center as part of the Jerusalem Arts Festival.

    2007: At Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y, Zvi Gotheiner and Dancers present the last performance of “Gertrud,” a tribute to Gotheiner’s late teacher, Gertrud Kraus.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times features a review of Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein.

    2008: Eric Alterman, a professor of English and journalism at the City University of New York, discusses and signs Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America at Borders Book Store in Washington, D.C.

    2008: German Chancellor Angela Merkel becomes the first foreign head of government to address the Knesset. In the past, the honor has been reserved only for heads of state and monarchs.

    2008: A special meeting of the Committee for the Advancement of Women will be convened to mark International Agunah Day, led by the new chairperson of the committee - Knesset member Lia Shemtov.

    2008(11th of Adar II, 5768): Henry A. Fischel, a “professor emeritus of Near Eastern languages and cultures at Indiana University,” passed away. “Fischel was an influential figure in founding the Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. Under his direction, the Lilly Endowment gave the university a grant in 1972-73 to develop a Jewish Studies Program.”

    2008: A 49 year old Israeli rabbi identified as Rabbi Yechezkel Greenwald was stabbed and wounded by an Arab assailant near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

    2009: The Leo Baeck Institute hosts “Regina Resnik Presents: Covert or Convert” a film that pays “homage to composers who converted to Christianity but who wrote on Jewish themes, and to composers who did not convert, but wrote on Jewish themes in secret, often at the risk of their lives.

    2009: Book World columnist Michael Dirda discusses and signs his most recent book, Classics for Pleasure, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, Md.

    2009: The Orange Prize, given annually to a female fiction writer, announced its list of 20 contenders, including Allegra Goodman author of “Intuition.”The finalists for the Man Booker International Prize, a lifetime achievement award given every other year, have been announced including E. L. Doctorow and Joyce Carol Oates.

    2009: "The North American United Jewish Communities, in cooperation with the State Department...set funds aside to absorb 110 Yemenite Jews in to the United - more than a third of all the Jews remaining in Yemen."

    2009(22ndof Adar, 5769):Terry Schwarzfeld died of brain injuries today, two weeks after being airlifted to a hospital in Ottawa from Barbados where she had been brutally by Curtis Joel Foster while on vacation with her daughter-in-law.  At the time of the attack she had just started her term as president of Canadian Hadassah WIZO and was executive director of Ottawa's largest synagogue, Agudath Israel.

    2010: Jacques Pépin, author of more than a dozen cookbooks and host of a trio of celebrated cooking shows, is scheduled to serve as a celebrity judge today during the finals of the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, hosted in New York City by the kosher food giant. The kosher recipe contest will award prizes worth $25,000. Open to contestants from across the country, the competition is limited to original recipes that are kosher, can be prepared in less than an hour and contain no more than 8 ingredients including one of the three varieties of Manischewitz’s new, kosher, all-natural broths. The winner of the fourth annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off will get a trip to New York, a kitchen’s worth of new appliances — at a value of roughly $25,000 — as well as a check for $5,000 and a gift card for groceries.

    2010: An auction of several rare early American Jewish books is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in New York. Among the offerings at the sale being conducted by Swann Auction Galleries is an early Jewish-American cookbook and the first Hebrew Bible printed on American soil. A first edition of Esther Levy's 1871 Jewish Cookery Book is expected bring bids ranging from $10,000 to 15,000. “This first Jewish cookbook published in North America offers a glimpse into late-19th-century Jewish life and food trends, when mutton was popular and husbands expected special Sunday dinners. Also for sale is an extremely rare Liber Psalmorum Hebraice from 1809, the first Hebrew version of the Bible printed in the Americas. No other complete copy has been seen at auction since 1998, according to the auction catalogue. The book is valued at $9,000 to $12,000. Other items of interest include 200 books, manuscripts and other papers from the family archives of Abraham Moses Hershman, who became rabbi of Detroit's Shaarey Zedek synagogue in 1907, and an early edition of Isaac Leeser's The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, dating from about 1852.

    2010: Itzhak Perlman joins the IPO for a performance in Concert in Jeans Series in Tel Avi.

    2010: As part of The Levin/Rosenstein Lecture Series held in Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph B. Levin, Dr. Jacob L. Levin, and Larry and Judy (Levin) Rosenstein, The Jewish Studies Program at Tulane University is scheduled to present “From Berlin to New York: Jewish Culture in Pre-Nazi Germany and Jewish Culture in Post-War America.”

    2010: A migrant worker in the northern Negev was killed by a rocket fired by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. The rocket struck Moshav Nativ Ha'asara this morning, killing a 30-year-old Thai man working in a hothouse. It was third rocket fired from Gaza in 24 hours.

    2010: Israeli actor and television host Eyal Kitzis and his wife Tali gave birth to their first son.

    2011: In Buenos Aires, Argentina Jewish leaders, “Jewish school groups, local and federal government officials met in the square where the embassy once stood, to remember the attack on the Israeli Embassy which took place on March 17, 1992, killing 29 people, and injuring 242. The attack was the work of Iran.

    2011: The Five finalists on the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off who have won an all-expense paid trip to Manhattan are scheduled to compete today at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. A panel consisting of food media and other culinary experts will judge the contestants. Chef Jacques Pepin, the celebrity guest of honor, will act as emcee, head judge, and prize awarder. The cooking contest has a $25,000 grand prize package including a GE Profile kitchen appliances and cash.

    2011: Lorin Sklamberg with Dublin-born chanteuse Susan McKeown and guitarist Aidan Brennan are scheduled to present Saints and Tzadiks, a program of rare songs from the Yiddish and Irish traditions in Bielefeld, Germany.

    2011(12 Adar II, 5771): Sixty-seven year old Knesset Member and educator Ze'ev Boim passed away today.

    2011(12 Adar II): On the Hebrew calendar, anniversary the “Dedication of Herod’s Renovated Temple” in 11 BCE. For those who know how Herod lived his life the Talmud’s declaration that "He who has not seen Herod's edifice has not seen a magnificent edifice!" is difficult to understand.

    2011:Projectiles land in open areas with no injuries, damaged reported; shots fired at IDF soldiers near southern Gaza border.   .

    2011: In “In Novels, an Ex-Spy Returns to the Fold,” Jules Bosman describes the upcoming literary efforts of Valery Palme Wilson, the CIA employee who happened to Jewish and who was identity was scandalously exposed by those upset with her husband.

    2012: The annual Jewish Women’s Archive Luncheon is scheduled to take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

    2012: The final in a three part lecture series “Agnon’s Eretz Israel” presented by Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is scheduled to take place today.

    2012: “The Last Jews of Libya” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Sephardic Film Festival.

    2012: The NoVA International Film Festival is scheduled to begin today in Fairfax, VA.

    2012(24th of Adar, 5772): Eighty-seven year old real estate developer Melvyn Kaufman passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2013: At Shaaray Tefila, Rabbi Dagan is scheduled to present a “special program where he will share gorgeous melodies that track his personal musical journey from an Israeli Sephardi synagogue to a Reform rabbinate in Haifa.

    2013:Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present “Beer, Art and Revolution: Jewish Life in Munich, 1806-present”

    2013: Gideon Sa’ar replaced Eli Yishai as Minster of the Interior.

    2013: Moshe Ya’alon replaced Ehud Barak as Minister of Defense.

    2013: Ayoob Kara completed his term as Deputy Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee

    2013: The ministers of Israel’s 33rd government were sworn in this evening in the Knesset in Jerusalem.

    2013:Israel and a European human rights official criticized Hungary today for presenting an award to a television journalist they accuse of anti-Semitism.

    2013: AnIsraeli was lightly injured in a drive-by attack near the West Bank settlement of Kedumim this morning. A Palestinian shooter opened fire on the man, 71, who was on foot, at the Kedumim Junction, slightly injuring him in the leg. 

    2014: The New York Premiere of “Shadow in Baghdad” is scheduled to take place at New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Dancing in Jaffa” is scheduled to be shown at the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: Twenty-four Distinguished Crosses are scheduled to awarded Army veterans who were denied their honor due to prejudice including Private First Class Leonard Kravitz and Sargent Jack Weinstein who were killed during the Korean War. (As reported by Jim Kunhenn)

    2014: The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD by Simon Schama is scheduled to go on sale today. This is the first volume of a two volume study of Jewish history which is the source for the PBS series, “The Story of the Jews which is scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, March 25



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    March 19

    1191: Eighty Jews were burned at Bray, France for trying to execute a vassal who had killed a Jew. The Jews were not a lynch-mob. They had the permission of the local ruler which is more than one can say for those who killed the Jews.

    1227: Election of Pope Gregory IX “a prominent opponent of Judaism during his life, condemning it as "containing every kind of vileness and blasphemy". In the 1234 Decretals, he invested the doctrine of perpetua servitus iudaeorum – perpetual servitude of the Jews – with the force of canonical law. According to this, the followers of the Talmud would have to remain in a condition of political servitude until Judgment Day. The doctrine then found its way into the doctrine of servitus camerae imperialis, or servitude immediately subject to the Emperor's authority, promulgated by Frederick II. The Jews were thus suppressed from having direct influence over the political process and the life of Christian states into the 19th century with the rise of liberalism” (Dietmar Preissler, Frühantisemitismus in der Freien Stadt Frankfurt und im Großherzogtum Hessen (1810 bis 1860), p.30, Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, Heidelberg 1989, ISBN 3-533-04129-8 (German).

    1497: In an effort to prevent the Jews from fleeing Christian persecutions, King Emanuel, secretly ordered the baptism of all children between the ages of four and fourteen.

    1590: Birthdate of William Bradford who served as governor of Plymouth Colony for over 30 years. Bradford was typical of so many of his ilk who saw a connection with their lives and what they called “The Old Testament.”  Bradford studies the Hebrew language because, as he put it, “Though I am growne aged, yet I have had a longing desire to see with my owne eyes, something of that most ancient langue and holy tongue, in which the Law, the oracles of God were write; in which God, and angels spake to the holy patriarchs, of time; and what names were given to things, from the creation…for my owne contente.” (William Bradford: Plymouth’s Faithful Pilgrim by Gary D. Schmidt)

    1640(24th of Adar): Rabbi Chaim Algazi of Constantinople, author of Nesivot ha-Mishpat passed away today. A native of Ismir, Turkey, Chaim Algazai served as the rabbi of Rhodes before returning to his home town to serve as Chief Rabbi.  B’nei Chayay, his commentary on the Four Turim, was edited by Rabbi Araron Alfandri, his granddaughter’s husband and the author of Yad Aaron (As reported by Aryeh Kaplan)

    1772(14th of Adar II, 5532): Purim

    1803:( 25th of Adar): Rabbi Moses ben Abraham, author of Meliz Yosher passed away today   
    1821: In Devon, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Netterville Burton and Martha Baker gave birth to Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton one of those eccentric 19thEnglishman who dabbled in the military, exploration and writing. Among his many works was The Jew The Gypsy and El Islam,%20The%20Gypsy%20and%20El%20Islam/index.htm

    1822: Boston, Massachusetts, incorporated as a city. “The earliest mention of a Jew in Massachusetts bears the date May 3, 1649, and there are references to Jews among the inhabitants of Boston in 1695 and 1702; but they can be regarded only as stragglers, as no settlers made their homes in Massachusetts until the Revolutionary war drove the Jews from Newport. In 1777 Aaron Lopez and Jacob Rivera, with fifty-nine others, went from Newport to Leicester, and established themselves there; but this settlement did not survive the close of the war. A number of Jews, including the Hays family, settled at Boston before 1800. Of these Moses Michael Hays was the most important. In 1830 a number of Algerian Jews went to Boston, but they soon disappeared. The history of the present community begins with the year 1840, when the first congregation was established.”

    1832: Birthdate of Ármin Vámbéry.

    1839: A “pogrom, known as the Allahdad, broke out in the Iranian city of Mashhad. At the time of the pogrom, the city of Mashhad was home to about 2,500 Jews. The event devastated the Jews of Mashhad, who were violently forced into converting to Islam. The ruler of Mashhad ordered the authorities to attack the Jews. A large mob went on to the Jewish quarter and proceeded to burn down the synagogue, destroy Jewish homes and businesses, abduct Jewish girls, kill about 40 Jews and injure many more. The Jews had knives held to their throat and were forced to renounce Judaism and accept Islam. While some of the Jews left Mashhad following the incident, others stayed and would go on to lead a secret Jewish life. While adopting Muslim customs in public, most would maintain Jewish tradition in the privacy of their homes. There are no Jews left in Mashhad today. Most of the descendents of Mashhad's Jews live in Israel.”

    1848(14thof Adar II, 5608) Purim

    1848: Birthdate of Wyatt Earp. Born in Monmouth, Illinois, this fabled lawman gained fame as the Marshall of Deadwood, Dodge City and Tombstone, Arizona. Much of Earp's life was spent as a gambler, prospector and failed businessman. He was not Jewish, but his third wife was. While living in Tombstone, Earp took up with Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, daughter of practicing Jewish family living in San Francisco. Despite her claims that they married, no written record existed. However, they remained together, if nothing else in common law marriage until Earp's death in 1929. Earp's ashes were buried in the Marcus Family Plot at Jewish Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California, south of San Francisco. While Ms. Earp did not live among Jews for most of her adult life, she too chose to rejoin her people in death and is buried alongside her famous husband. For more about this interesting marriage you can I Married Wyatt Earp, Mrs. Earp's book about their life together.

    1853: Things turned violent in Jeruslaem today, Palm Sunday. Greeks and Armenians fought in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and 24 Protestant missionaries from London scuffling with a group of Jews in the streets of the City of David.

    1860: The "Wealth, Power and Enterprise of the Hebrew People, as evidenced by the Building of King Solomon's Temple," was the subject of a lecture delivered this evening in Temple Hall by Rabbi Raphall.

    1862: The New York Timespublished a letter today in which took issue with that paper’s characterization of Senator David Levy Yulee as being Jewish. “In your well-merited rebuke of the traitor Yulee … you were led into an error which I am sure you will correct, as it reflects unjustly upon the loyalty of a large religious body of the community. You speak of Yulee, (the Ex-Senator) and Finegan (the ex-contractor) as "Jew and Irishman," thus placing the supposed religious belief of Yulee in juxtaposition with the nationality of his co-traitor. The facts are. Levy is an American, and foreswore the religion of his fathers many years ago, married a Christian lady of wealth, was baptized a Christian and had his name changed by the Legislature of his State to ‘Yulee’ thus adding to the many proofs, that a bad Jew will never make it good Christian.”

    1867: In Detroit, members of Congregation Beth El gave the trustees of Tabernacle Baptist Church $17,000 for their property which would be home to Beth El for the next 36 years.  D.J. Workum, President of the congregation and Martin Butzel were leaders of in the negotiations on behalf of Beth El.

    1867: The Ashkenazim of living in Palestine sought permission to slaughter their own meat. The Ashkenazim appealed to the British to intervene on their behalf. In the formal letter of request to the Consul, it stated that both the Muslims (and the Sephardim) “understood that the Ashkenazim were not true Israelites." This concerned the Ashkenazim because they made money selling certain cuts of meat to the Muslims, and if the Muslims did not consider them Jews, they would not buy their meat.

    1868: In Butrimonys, Albert and Judith Valvrojenski gave birth to Senda Valvrojenski who gained fame as Senda Berenson Abbot, a pioneer in the game of women’s basketball.  She was also the “sister of the art historian Bernard Berenson and a great-great-aunt of the photographer Berry Berenson and the actress and model Marisa Berenson.”

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

    1875: In New York’s Part II of the Marine Court Chief Just Shea presided over breach of contract brought by Jennie Jonas, a Polish Jewess against Victor Goldstein for his failure to marry him. Jonas was represented by famed litigator Samuel Hirsh. In the end, the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded her $75 in damages.
    1877: It was reported today that the Marquis de Compiegne, the famous French explorer had died in the interior of Africa after having been mortally wounded during a duel he fought “with a German Jews named Mayer.” The duel was brought on by a dispute over geographic matters and insults to Mayer’s girlfriend.

    1880: It was reported today from Madrid, the Jews of Morocco are planning to honor the United States Minister who interceded on their behalf so that they would be protected by the Sultan.

    1880: According to a review of “Sunshine and Storm in the East” published today, Lady Brassy reported that one of the difference between the Jews and Moslems of Morocco was that the Moslem women “were muffed up to the eyes and waddled along like animated bundles of dirty clothes” the Jewish women were “gorgeously draped” and their faces were uncovered.

    1880: In New York the Board of Estimate and Apportionment allocated funds to be paid to charities taking care of youngster committed to their care by the Police magistrates including $1,691.43 for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1888: Birthdate of Peretz Naftali, the native of Berlin who made Aliyah in 1933 and served in Israel’s first Knesset

    1890: “Slaves of the Sweater” published today summarized the arbitration hearings between the striking members of the Shirtmakers’ Union and the contractors for whom they work. The workers claim they work fourteen hours a day for as little a four dollars a week.  The contractors claim that the workers only labor from 7:30 am to 6 pm with half an hour for dinner and that “a good female operative could make $9 a week and man $13.”  The work used to be done by “German, American and Irish girls” but they have been driven out by the Jews who are now on strike.  The manufacturers, most of whom are Jewish, claim they know nothing about working conditions because they deal only with the contractors.

    1891: It was reported today that Solomon Goldstein and his three sons were among those fortunate enough to have survived the fire at the tenement building at the corner of Hester and Allen Streets but one of them, Abraham, was injured and had to be taken to Gouvernor Hospitals. 

    1892: Jose S.K. Mizrachee, the Syrian born Jew charged with shooting Rabbi Mendes in New York City, is being held at Police Headquarter and is scheduled to make his first appearance in Part I of the Court of General Sessions this morning.

    1893: An altercation broke out in New Haven, CT today after carpenters came to work on a house on Rose Street which was being converted to a synagogue.  The current occupants of the house claimed that the workers would disturb their Sabbath peace, this being Sunday and began attacking the workers and the Jews who accompanied them. 

    1893: Following regular services at Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Silverman delivered a lecture on “Popular Errors About Intermarriage” which is part of series of lectures he is delivering “on popular errors concerning the Jews.”

    1894: Mrs. Charles Krumm took $20 out of the safe and saw her husband give it to Policman Charles Levy $20 (in what was either a bribe or payoff)

    1896: “Polish Jews Going to Cripple Creek” published today described the passage of 80 families, numbering 260 Polish Jewish immigrants who passed through Fort Worth Texas on their way to Cripple Creek where they going to begin life as farmers.

    1896: Maurice Barrymore and Cyril Scott will serve as the auctioneers for the sale of boxes and seats for the upcoming benefit performance to be staged  at the Herald Square Theatre

    1897: It was reported today that new wing of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which was completed six weeks ago cost $75,000 and allows the institution to care for as many as 300 people.

    1897: The ladies of the Sewing Society of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum hosted an afternoon of entertainment for children at the facility on Amsterdam Avenue.

    1897: It was reported today that the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia had raised $9,114 last year to support its programs that include weekly lectures by Ephraim Lederer on the U.S. Constitution.

    1898:Benjamin "Ben" Schlesinger the native of Lithuania who would become the nine-time President of International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union became a United States citizen in Chicago today.

    1898: Three Jewish children, Celia Bogin (11), Louis Begin (9) and Kate Bogin (4) whose mother had died two weeks ago in Denver were taken to headquarters of the United Hebrew Charities in New York by a cabman who found them on the street

    1899: Florence Prag a teacher at Lowell High School in San Francisco married Julius Kahn, a former Broadway actor, state legislator, and, at the time, a first-term U.S. Representative from San Francisco. The couple had two sons, Julius, Jr., and Conrad. She would later serve five terms in the U.S. House of Representative as a Republican after succeeding her husband in office following his death.

    1900: Herzl has another meeting with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber.

    1901: Birthdate of Captain (Hon) The Hon. Ewen Edward Samuel Montagu, RNR, the man who played a key role in the creating the subterfuge that helped make the landings for Operation Husky a success. After the war, Montague filled vital leadership roles for the Jewish community in the United Kingdom.


    1905(12th of Adar II): Yiddish novelist Isaac Moses Bader, the husband of Helen Bader and the father of playwright and journalist Gershon Bader passed away today.

    1909: The Sultan ratifies election of the Hahambashi Haim Nahoum who had had an audience with the Turkish ruler.

     1911: International Women’s Day was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honoring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.

    1915: As attempts were being made to form a Jewish fighting force in the British Army, Joseph Trumpeldor held a meeting of all the volunteers that was attended by senior British military leaders including Major-General Alexander Godly during which “theyheard how it would be the first time in British history that non-Britons or non-colonials were to be admitted as a unit into the British forces. Patterson explained that the soldier who carries ammunition and supplies to the trenches requires no less courage than the man who fires a rifle and Godley declared that ‘Today the English People have entered into a covenant with the Jewish People’ (As described by Martin Sugarman)

    1915: The Young Men’s Hebrew Army and Navy Association announced today that it has obtained leave of absence for all Jewish sailors and soldiers attached to army and navy posts in and around New York for three days during Passover. Fifteen hundred sailors and soldiers will be able to celebrate the holiday with leaves of absence effective March 29, 30 and 31.

    1916: Birthdate of novelist Irving Wallace. His first best seller was the Chapman Report which caused a minor scandal for its time since it focused on a group of that was conducting a survey of sex habits. Other novels included The Man about the first African-American to become President and The Fan Club. Wallace passed away in 1990.

    1916: In New York City, the funeral for Rabbi Moses Guedalia was held followed by interment at Mount Neboh Cemetery, Cyprus Hills.

    1917: With Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter voting with the majority, the US Supreme Court upheld the Adamson act which provided an 8-hour work day for railroad employees.

    1918: Birthdate of Irving Schlossenberg, the native of Baltimore who was a photographer for the Washington Post and served with distinction as a combat photographer with the Marine Corps during five different Pacific landings.

    1918: Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau, the semi-official voice of the German government sent out an account of the discussion held in the Main Committee of the Reichstag concerning the Lichnowsky memorandum written by the former German ambassador to Great Britain which was denounced as indiscreet and treasonable. Wolffs was founded by Bernhard Wolff, the son of a German Jewish banker. It was ironic that the British and German press services were both founded by German Jews. But Reuters, unlike Wolff, left his native home and his native religion.

    1920: The United States rejected the Treaty of Versailles for the second time. This rejection helped paved the way for World War II and therefore for the Holocaust. At one level, the rejection signaled a turn to Isolationism which meant the United States would not do anything to curb the rise of fascism during the 1930’s. Rejection of the treaty also meant that the United States would not be joining the League of Nation which would render that international body d.o.a.

    1923: In Lodz, Poland, Jewish socialists Josef and Golda Morgentaler gave birth to Henryk Morgentaler who survived and gained fame as Canadian Doctor Henry Morgentaler.

    1924: Birthdate of Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, a nationally prominent Reform rabbi known for his progressive, sometimes provocative public stances, including opposition to the Vietnam War, a speech at Yale accusing the University of a history of anti-Semitism and early political support for his neighbor Barack Obama. His mother was a social worker; his father, a tailor, died when Arnold was 7. For several years, starting when he was about 10, Arnold acted in national radio dramas broadcast from Chicago on the Mutual Broadcasting System. After receiving an associate’s degree from the University of Chicago, Arnold Wolf earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Cincinnati in 1945. He received his ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1948 and later served as a Navy chaplain with United States occupation forces in Japan. In choosing his vocation, Rabbi Wolf had been greatly influenced by an uncle and a great-uncle, both Reform rabbis. (The great-uncle was the leader of the KAM congregation, a precursor of KAM Isaiah Israel. Founded in 1847, KAM took its name — an acronym for the Hebrew phrase “Kehilath Anshe Ma’arav,” “Congregation of the People of the West” — in tribute to its frontier origins.) In 1957, Rabbi Wolf became the first full-time rabbi of Congregation Solel, a Reform synagogue in Chicago. Guest speakers there over the years included the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Chicago Seven, the seven defendants charged with inciting to riot and other offenses stemming from protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. In 1965, the rabbi marched in Alabama with the civil rights leader John Lewis. Two years later, he led a group of congregants to Washington to lobby against the Vietnam War. Starting in the early 1960s, Congregation Solel conducted an annual weekend of Holocaust remembrance, among the first synagogues in the country to do so. In 1973, Rabbi Wolf helped found Breira, an organization of progressive American Jews that advocated a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The organization, whose name means “alternative” in Hebrew, was a target of frequent, bitter public attacks by American Zionists. It disbanded in 1977. Beginning in 1972, Rabbi Wolf spent eight years at Yale as a chaplain and the director of the university’s chapter of the Hillel Foundation, the Jewish student organization. In 1980, when he was preparing to leave Yale and return to Chicago, he delivered a blistering Yom Kippur sermon in which he charged the university with a “long and dishonorable history of anti-Semitism” and accused its administration of “callousness” toward the needs of Jewish students and faculty members. The sermon, and the university’s subsequent denial of Rabbi Wolf’s accusations, attracted wide public attention. At his death in 2009 at the age of 84, Rabbi Wolf was rabbi emeritus of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in Chicago, where he had served as rabbi from 1980 until his retirement in 2000.

    1926: Birthdate of Jerold Rosenberg, who as Jerry Ross would gain fame as “an American lyricist and composer whose works with Richard Adler for the musical theater include The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, winners of Tony Awards in 1955 and 1956 respectively in both the "Best Musical" and "Best Composer and Lyricist."

    1930: Birthdate of Eugene Bleecher Selznick, the native of Los Angeles who was captain of the United States men's national volleyball team for 17 consecutive years (1953–67 during which time he team won two Volleyball World Championships.

    1933: Birthdate of author Phillip Roth. His writings can be loaded with sex, guilt, humor and plenty of pathos. Two of his more famous novels were Portnoy's Complaint and Goodbye Columbus. He won the National Book Award for Goodbye Columbus in 1955 and Sabbath's Theatre in 1995. As somebody once, Roth is funny until you realize that Portnoy and you have the same mother.

    1933: Estee Lauder gave birth to her son Leonard who became Chairman Emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

    1933: The state of Nevada legalized gambling. One of the results of this would be Bugsy Siegel’s building of the Flamingo which led to the creation of Las Vegas, the gaming capital of the United States.

    1934: The New York Timesfeatures John Chamberlain’s excellently written review of "The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger. He describes the text as being “that rare thing, a novel…that is both good propaganda and first-rate dramatic writing.” The novel paints a picture of a well-to-do German Jewish family confronting the rise of Hitler. In his concluding lines, Chamberlain writes, “You won’t discover the reasons for Hitler in the Oppermanns, but you will discover Nazism’s ghoulish incidence in the wreckage of many human lives and hopes.”

    1935(14thof Adar II, 5695): Purim

    1935: Birthdate of actress of Phyllis Newman

    1936: Hitler placed an American citizen, Fritz Julius Kuhn, as the head of the Nazi organization that became known as party the German American Bund.

    1937: The Jerusalem Postreported on widespread violence and that a curfew was imposed in Jerusalem. Four Arab building workers were injured when an Arab, who was caught later by police, threw a bomb at them on their construction site in the Mea She’arim quarter. There were many other shooting and stabbing incidents. The Arab Higher Committee issued a statement calling for calm in a period in which "enemies of the nation were striving to incite Arabs by provocations."

    1939: Birthdate of Judy Rae Glassman, the native of Cambridge, MA, who gained fame as Judith Daniel, the founding editor-in-chief of Savvy magazine.

    1940: In what must have seemed to have been a miraculous rescue, Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe arrives in New York. The Friediker Rebbe was a man of great physical and spiritual courage. He battled the Bolsheviks on their home ground and then stayed with his Chassidim when the Nazis invaded Poland. When he arrived in the United States, he immediately opened the first Lubavitch Yeshiva in the United States despite warnings that he would fail because America was so different from Europe. The Rebbe preserved against great odds. The small community that he had the fortitude to start in Crown Heights became the Chabad Lubavitch movement that today circles the globe.

    1940: Vladimir Jabotinsky addressed a crowd of more than 5,000 supporters in New York demanding the “restoration of a Jewish state” in the area under British Mandate.

    1941(20th of Adar, 5701): Rafal Krzepicki, aged 34, was shot dead by a sentry at the Lodz ghetto

    1942: “Levine Asks for Tine Payment” published in the Los Angeles Times described Charles Levine’s last brush with the law.

    1943: Haj Amin al-Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem broadcast from Rome to the “Arab World.” It was the birthday of the Prophet and Haj Amin used the occasion to try to stir up anti-Jewish hatred. His speech included the reading of a pledge from German Foreign Minister Jachim von Ribbentropt that “the obliteration of what is called the Jewish National Home was a basic tenet of German policy.”

    1944: Martha Nierenberg and her entire family go into hiding with a friend in Budapest when the Nazis invaded her native Hungary.

    1944: During World War II, the Wehrmacht occupies Hungary. Hungary had been a willing ally of the Germans. By 1944, the Hungarians saw the signs of impending defeat and attempted to surrender. The Nazis realized what was happening, occupied the country and made sure that a sympathetic Hungarian government stayed in power. This shift marked the beginning of the end of the Hungarian Jewish community. Thanks to the Hungarian government, the Jews of Hungary had been spared the Final Solution. Now Eichmann and his henchmen were on their way and “The Night” would become reality.

    1944: The Germans arrested 200 Hungarian Jewish doctors and lawyers. This was Germany's first independent action in that Country. The Gestapo then set up activities in hundreds of Hungarian towns. They threatened thousands of prosperous Jews with death if they did not pay “a homage” of valuable belongings and money to the Gestapo.

    1945:Mrs. Z. H. Rubinstein President of the Brooklyn chapter of Hadassah announced today that the group had met its goal of raising $200,000 which will be used to fund five projects underway in Palestine.

    1945: As World War II was coming to an end “Adolf Hitler issues his "Nero Decree" ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.”

    1946: Economist Elisha Friedman writes to Winston Churchill telling him how deeply he had been moved to hear the British leader refer to himself as a Zionist.

    1947: At a meeting of editors held in Tel Aviv today, journalists discussed the warnings of terrorist groups not to publish an offer of a reward by police that was designed to lead to the capture of 18 wanted terrorists. Names on the list include Menachem Begin head of the Irgun and Nathan Friedman head of the Stern Gang. In a letter delivered to 12 Jewish newspapers, the terrorists said that publication would be treated as collaboration and dealt with accordingly. Because they were afraid for the safety of their staffs, the editors agreed no to voluntary publish the list but said they would have no choice but to comply under the law if requested to do so by the government.

    1948: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Warren Austin told the Security Council “that the United States no longer viewed the partition plan as viable.”  (The only problem was that nobody had told President Truman who would express his anger over what he considered an end-run around the White House by the State Department.

    1950: Leah and Yitzhak Rabin gave birth to Israeli attorney and MK Dalia Rabin-Pelossof

    1951: Herman Wouk's Caine Mutiny was published. The popular Jewish author has two great loves – the U.S. Navy and Judaism. This affection shows in his literary efforts.

    1952: Birthdate of Producer Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax

    1952: The Jewish Agency announced that Jews emigrating from East European countries would be admitted to the country without any restrictions imposed by the new, selective immigration policy.

    1954: The Jewish Chronicle reported on plans for an exhibition entitled “Manchester and Israel – a city’s contribution to the birth a State” which coincided with the 50th anniversary of Chaim Weizmann’s arrival in the English industrial city.

    1954: Birthdate of Jill Abramson, the first woman to serve as executive editor of The New York Times.

    1962: Bob Dylan's self-titled debut album was released. The five time Grammy winner was born Robert Zimmerman.

    1962: Funeral services were held to in New York for “Rabbi Clifton H. Levy, the oldest past president of the New York Board of Rabbis.” (As reported by JTA)

    1965: Two days before the Selma march was scheduled to begin, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel received a telegram from Reverend Martin Luther King, inviting him to join the marchers in Selma, Alabama who are seeking the right to vote for all Americans regardless of race, religion or creed. Heschel will go, “praying with his feet.” These demonstrations will help Lyndon Johnson to secure passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most sweeping and far-reaching pieces of legislation passed in the history of the United States.

    1970: Writer and activist Grace Paley was among 182 people arrested in New York City for protesting the Vietnam War draft

    1970: In Canada, Bora Laskin began serving as Pusine Justice of the Supreme Court.

    1977: "Side by Side by Sondheim" closes in New York City after 390 performances

    1978: UN Security Council Resolutions adopted resolutions 425 and 426. They called upon Israel to immediately cease its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory while establishing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Like so many UN resolution, this one failed to address the reasons that forced the Israelis to take action in the first place.

    1985(th of Adar, 5745): Eighty-seven year old Dr. Philip Reichert, M.D, who had married Helen Reichert in 1939, passed away.

    1987(18th of Adar, 5747): Arch Oboler, “an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer and director who was active in radio, films, theater and television, passed away. He generated much attention with his radio scripts, particularly the horror series Lights Out, and his work in radio remains the outstanding period of his career. Praised as one of broadcasting's top talents, he is regarded today as a key innovator of radio drama. Radio historian John Dunning[1] wrote, "Few people were ambivalent when it came to Arch Oboler. He was one of those intense personalities who are liked and disliked with equal fire." A native of Chicago, Oboler was the son of Leon Oboler and Clara Oboler, Jewish immigrants from Riga, Latvia.”

    1993: Arnold Resnicoff “delivered the prayer for the commissioning of the first of a series of new Israeli missile boats (Sa'ar 5), jointly built by the U.S. and Israel, in Ingalls Shipyard, Pascagoula, Mississippi.”

    1998: As Ronald Perelman worked to finalize his purchase of Sunbeam a press release was issued that Sunbeam would not meet sales expectations.

    2000: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including recently released paperback editions of Max Frankel’s "The Times of My Life: And My Life With The Times" and Thane Rosenbaum's "Second Hand Smoke", a “novel about the son of Holocaust survivors who grows up in a home dominated by his tormented mother and later becomes a Nazi-hunting lawyer.”

    2003: The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors sends a letter to the Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Canada addressing the next steps to be taken in the distribution and use of funds from the Claims Conference that has worked to gain additional restitution for the victims of the Holocaust.

    2003: Mahmoud Abbas became the new Palestinian Prime Minister. His appointment was supposed to mark a new phase in peace negations. Without Arafat's support, he, like the peace process at that time, was doomed to failure. He finally resigned.

    2006: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including "The Doctor’s Daughter" by Hilma Wolitzer and "Anna of All the Russias: The Life of Anna Akhmatova" by Elaine Feinstein

    2006: The Second World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace began in Seville, Spain.

    2007: While the world's cricketing powers are engaged in the World Cup, history is being made today when for the first time an Israeli team steps out onto the cricket fields of India.

    2008: "Regina Waldman, an executive committee member of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where she testified about her family' flight from Libya after the Second World War."

    2008: Eric Alterman, a professor of English and journalism at the City University of New York, discusses and signs Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America at Prose Bookstore, in Washington, D.C.

    2008: In New York, the 92nd Street Y features a presentation by Edward Kaplan entitled “Spiritual Radical: On Abraham Joshua Heschel.”

    2009: As part of the Blavatnik Chamber Concert Series, The Center for Jewish History and the Leo Baeck Institute present: “Women in Song: From Baroque to the Present” performed by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble under the direction of Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky. The evening features songs by Felix's sister Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel along with other women composers from Germany, France and America.

    2009: A revival of the 1950’s musical “West Side Story” opens on Broadway directed by Arthur Laurents, the 92 year old Brooklyn born Jew whose views about the world of American theatre are readily available in his recently published book, Mainly on Directing: Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals”

    2009: An anonymous American Jewish investor celebrated his eldest son’s Bar Mitzvah which took place this morning at the Western Wall by contributing a Torah scroll to the Samarian outpost community of El Matan, next to Ma’aleh Shomron and Ginot Shomron. The name of the community means “G-d’s Gift” in Hebrew, and the donor, a man of Moroccan descent, said that the mitzvah of giving the holy scroll is all the recognition he needs.


    2009:  “Cape Verde Heritage Project Launched” published today described “an effort to preserve the Jewish heritage in Cape Verde” that “was formally launched in Washington.”

    2010: Itzhak Perlman, the IPO and Emmanuel Halperin perform together this morning in Tel Aviv.

    2010: Previews of “Sondheim on Sondheim” are scheduled to begin Studio 54.

    2010: Elephant Parade, one of an unprecedented eight bands imported from Israel for the sole purpose of taking part in this year’s SXSW (South by Southwest) festival is scheduled to play at Stephen F’s Bar.

    2010: The opening reception for "My Father's Microcosm, Tel Aviv", a photographic installation by Israeli photographer Yossi Guttmann and curated by Eva Grudin is scheduled to take place this evening at The Williams Club of New York.

    2010: The Air Force hit six targets in Gaza early this morning in response to recent rocket attacks on southern Israel.


    2010: Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has succeeded in acquiring German generic drug maker Ratiopharm for $4.9 billion, beating out U.S. drug firms Pfizer and Actavis of Iceland in the bidding that ended today.

    2010: David Adelman was confirmed as United States Ambassador to Singapore.

    2011: Civilian areas in southern Israel were heavily shelled by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza this morning, when more than 50 mortars were fired at the regional councils of Sha'ar Hanegev, Eshkol and Sdot Hanegev. Two Israelis sustained light injuries by shrapnel and were transferred to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.


    2011: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed Israel's United Nations envoy to lodge a formal complaint with the organization after Israel was hit by over 50 mortars fired from Gaza this morning.

    2011: “Yiddush Cup” is scheduled to play tonight at Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

    2011(13th of Adar II, 5771): Shabbat Zachor

    2011: In the evening, the Megillah is read as Purim celebrations begin.

    2011(13th of Adar II, 5771): Sixty-three year old Larry Friedlander who founded Reason Magazine passed away today.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2012: The Women’s Conference sponsored by Temple Torah is scheduled to open at West Boyton Beach, Florida.

    2012: “Mabul” and “Little Simco’s Big Fantasy” are scheduled to be shown at the 16th New York Sephardic Film Festival.

    2012: In Jerusalem, The Off The Wall Comedy Club is scheduled to host “Jerusalem Blend,” featuring Elazar ‘Dr. Jazz’ Brandt & Benny Firszt ‘Jerusalem’s Poet’

    2012(25thof Adar, 5222): In Toulouse, Mohamed Merah opened fire on two Jewish pupils, their father and the headmaster’s daughter at Otzar Hatorah which is now called Ohr Torah School.

    2012(25th Adar, 5772): Yahrtzeit for those who perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

    2013: The Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers series is scheduled to present “Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man” featuring Walter Stahr and Louis P. Masur

    2013(8thof Nisan, 5773): Eighty-nine year old ”the matriarch of the last of the grand Catskill resorts, who greeted guests with a “Welcome home,” made sure the regulars got rooms facing the lake, entertained them with comedians and filled them with blintzes and stuffed cabbage” passed away today. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

    2013:The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, newly installed as Pope Francis I, opened his speech at today’s Papal inauguration with a nod to the Jewish community, saying say he was speaking “with the permission of the diplomatic corps, the Jews who are with us and all the rest,” according to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. A delegation of leaders of Jewish communities from around the world, including Rabbinate Director General Oded Weiner, was on hand at the Vatican today when Bergoglio officially took office as the leader of the world’s more than 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. (As reported by Sam Sokol)

    2013:The remains of 17 bodies, discovered at the bottom of a well in the city of Norwich in 2004, were given a Jewish burial in Earlham Cemetery in Norwich today.

    2013: A day after being sworn into office, Israel’s incoming ministers today celebrated a series of changing-of-the-guard ceremonies at their respective ministries, ushering in Israel’s 33rd government.

    2013: The Jerusalem Art Festival is scheduled to present “Cairo Circus”

    2013: In New York, the Anastasia Photo Gallery is scheduled to host its first show featuring the works of Israeli photographer Natan Dvir

    2014: In a sign of the changing times for Jewish institutions, in Olney, MD. Jewish Social Service Agency is scheduled to host an evening on “The Secrets to a Successful Job Search” at Shaare Tefila Congregation.

    2014: “La Verite si Je Mens #3” (“Would I Like to You #3”) is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Sephardic Film Festival.

    2014: “”Aftermath” is scheduled to be shown at the Houston (TX) Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: Seventieth Anniversary of the German Occupation of Budapest.



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    March 20

    43BCE: Birthdate of the Roman poet, Ovid. In “The Art of Love, Part One” Ovid wrote "And do not miss the festival of Adonis, mourned of Venus, and the rites celebrated every seventh day by the Syrian Jews." Apparently Ovid knew about Jewish customs and, at least when it came to love, thought well of them (the Jews and the customs)

    1602: The Dutch East India Company is established. “By the middle of the seventeenth century, Jewish diamond merchants helped finance the Dutch East India Company, which organized its own trade route to India. So Amsterdam then replaced Lisbon as the port of entry in Europe for India's diamonds.”

    1705: In Great Britain, Hambro Synagogue founded (there are other claims that this now defunct synagogue was found variously in 1702 or 1707)

    1725: Birthdate of Abdul Hamid I, the Ottoman Sultan who employed two Jews from Salonica, Doctor Joseph and Doctor Cohen.

    1799(13th of Adar II, 5559):Ta'anit Esther

    1799: French forces under the command of Napoleon began the siege of Acre. This was part of Napoleon’s campaign that stretched from Egypt through Palestine. Napoleon’s campaign in the eastern Mediterranean marked the start of serious Western involvement in the land that would eventually become the modern state of Israel.

    1806(1st of Nisan): Rabbi Joseph Harif of Zamosc, author of Mishnat Hakhamim passed away today

    1815: After escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule. In a 1930’s movie about the Rothschilds, Nathan Rothschild agrees to pledge his entire fortune to defeat Napoleon. In exchange for his generosity, he demands that the Austrians and Prussian remove their restrictions against the Jews. “There is a legend told that on the day of the Battle of Waterloo, Nathan Mayer Rothschild came to the floor of the London Stock Exchange, leaned against a pillar, and started selling. It was well known that the Rothschilds had their own independent sources of information and intelligence, and nobody knew the results of the battle, so when he began to sell, everyone thought that England had lost, and they began selling, too. That forced a panic in the market. As much as 15%-20% of the value of the stocks fell in about three hours. And after they had fallen so low, Rothschild turned around and began buying. It is said that he knew all along that the Duke of Wellington had defeated Napoleon and that the British market would go up. And when the official news came the next day that the British had won, the market went up 1000 points, making Rothschild even wealthier. It is reputed that on that coup alone, a substantial amount of the Rothschild fortune was made.”

    1810(14thof Adar II, 5570): Purim