835 BCE (1st of Nisan, 2926): According to some Joash assumed the throne as King of Judah
1188: Emperor Frederick was convinced (both diplomatically and financially) by Moses bar Joseph Hakohen of Mayence to issue a decree declaring “that anyone who wounds a Jew shall have his arm cut off, he who slays a Jew shall die. This decree succeeded in preventing most of the excesses of the pervious crusades in the third crusade soon to follow.
1244(11th of Nisan, 5004): Rabbi Meir Abulafia Halevi (Ramah), noted Talmudist, masorete, and poet passed away today at Toledo, Spain at the age of 74. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)
1349: Emperor Charles IV “declared that the city of Speyer had no blame for” the riots in January, 1349 during which “the Jewish community was totally wiped out.”
1366: Coronation of Henry II as King of Castile and Leon. Henry denigrated his rival Peter by portraying him as a friend of the Jews; a portrayal that including calling him “King of the Jews.” Henry exploited Castilian animosity towards Jews by instigating pogroms and forcing them to convert to Christianity.
1559: Polish King Sigismund II grants the Jews a charter despite opposition of the local authorities at Przemysl.
1602: In Stoke-on-Trent, Vicar Thomas Lightfoot and his wife gave birth to clergyman John Lightfoot who authored several books on the Old Testament and its positive relationship to Jesus as well as such works as A Handful of Gleanings out of the Book of Exodus
1614(19th of Nisan): Rabbi Joshua Falk ben Alexander Katz of Lemberg author of Sefer Me’irat Einayim, passed away today.
1629: Birthdate of Alexis Mikhailovich, the second of the Romanov Czars. He reigned during the period marked by the Chmelnicki Uprising that decimated eastern European Jewry and the appearance of Sabbati Zvi. Considering the fact that we have records of the Czar ordering sharpshooters to protect Jews on their travels, sending Jewish merchants abroad to purchase wine and allowing Jews living in territory he acquired under the Treaty of Andrussev to continue living there as Russian citizens, he is considered to have been “kindly disposed toward the Jews.
1632: The Treaty of Saint-Germain is signed, returning Quebec to French control after the English had seized it in 1629. Return of the city to French control would keep Jews from settling in Quebec for another 130 years. The French gave up Canada to the British in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years War, known in America as The French and Indian War. Once the British were in control, Jews began to openly settle in the former French colony.
1664: Consecration of Giulio Rospigliosi to whom apostate Jew Giovanni Battista Jona, dedicated a Hebrew translation of the New Testament when he became Pope Clement IX
1714(13th of Nisan): Rabbi David ben Solomon Altaras, author of Kelalei ha-Dikduk passed away.
1719(9th of Nisan): In Venice, Rabbi Jacob Pardo of Ragusa and his wife gave birth to David Pardo who accepted the position of Chief Rabbi at Sarajevo in 1764 and passed away in Jerusalem in 1792.
1744(16th of Nisan): Rabbi Hayyim ben Jacob Abulafia of Smyrna, author of Ez ha-Hayyim passed away.
1773: Pope Clement XIV confirmed the bull issued by Clement VII concerning “Jus Gazaka” which the Jews viewed positively since it dealt with their right to rent houses in the ghetto of Rome.
1793: In a decree issued today, the restriction on Austrian Jews “farming rural property” was modified to allow for it on “the estates of noblemen” “and even then hereditary tenancy or acquisition was prohibited.”
1801(15th of Nisan, 5561): First Day of Pesach – the holiday is observed for the first time during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
1814: The King of Denmark officially allowed Jews to find employment in all professions and makes racial and religious discrimination punishable by law.
1819: Birthdate of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. Isaac Mayer Wise was one of America's most influential Jewish leaders during the 19th Century. His major achievements were the establishment of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873, the Hebrew Union College in 1875, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1889. This brief summary can in no way do justice to the life a man who had such an impact on the American Jewish community.
1819: In Larraine, France Simon and Pauline Levy gave birth to Kalmus Calmann Levy.
1821: Birthdate of engraver and publisher Frank Leslie whose Illustrated Newspaper carried pictures of Jewish events including a Hebrew Purim Ball and Chanukah Celebration.
1832: Birthdate of Austrian philosopher Theodore Gomperz, the native of Brno, who “was elected a member of the Academy of Science, received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa from the university of Königsberg, and Doctor of Literature from the universities of Dublin and Cambridge.”
1848: In Great Britain, Samuel Joseph Rubinstein married a daughter of David Moses Dyte, a London quill merchant.
1848: A decree issued today granted civil rights to the Jews of Alessandria, Italy which allowed to serve in the army and hold government jobs.
1858(14th of Nisan): Jews who had served in the Russian army received the right of residence in the province of Abo-Bjorneborg, Finland upon its annexation today.
1860: Todays "Personal" column reported that “The Cincinnati papers notice the arrival in that city of Mr. Israel J. Benjamin, author of Eight Years in Asia and Africa -- a Jew, who is making the tour of North America to examine the condition of his race. His design is to cross the Plains, spend a short time in the Rocky Mountains, and thence proceed through California to Asia.
1861: Opening night at the Winter Garden for “The Hebrew Son” a play designed to appeal to the Jews in the audience.
1862: Birthdate of Swiss born American portrait painter whose work includes a painting of Isaac Newton Seligman that has disappeared and one of his five year old son Joseph L. Seligman which was done in 1891 and first exhibited in January of 1892.
1863 “New From Fortress Monroe “published today reported that two Jews were arrested while on board the SS Thomas A. Morgan which was making her trip from this Fortress Monroe, VA to Yorktown, VA. The Jews had “a lot of contraband goods” in their possession. [The implication of the article is that the Jews were trading with the Rebel forces further upriver.
1863: The New York Times reported that Colonel Crane and a group of Union soldiers captured a schooner towing a lighter filled with cotton in Florida. Of the 12 men aboard the schooner, 10 were rebels while the others were a man named Titus from Rhode Island and “a Jew from New York named J. Cohen.” [The correspondent does not say how he ascertained that Cohen was a Jew or why his was the only one whose religion was mentioned.]
1866(22nd of Adar II, 5646): Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch passed away. Born in 1789, Rabbi Menachem Mendel was the grandson of the first Chabad Rebbe and was the third Chabad Lubavitch Rebbe. "He was also known as the Tzemach Tzedek (Righteous Sprout), the name for a voluminous compendium of Jewish halachah that he authored. He also authored Derech Mitzvotecha (Way of Your Commandments), a mystical exposition of Jewish law." According to some sources, the seventh Lubavitch Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson was named in honor his illustrious predecessor. This brief summary can in no way do justice to the life and writing of this illustrious sage.
1867: “Affairs In Illinois” published today reported on the victimization of the insurance companies by a series of fraudulent claims. The article concludes by stating “And the fire insurance companies have been so frequently victimized by Jews practicing arson, that many of them are declining Israelitish risks.’ The article does not contain any details about these Jewish arsons.
1867: “The Purim Ball” published today reported that this event is different from the other balls that make up the New York Social Season. Unlike the other festivities, the Purim Ball is rooted in the national traditions of the Jews and calls for form of costume and masquerade that makes it a unique event.
1873(1st of Nisan, 5633): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1875: It was reported today that there is a dispute among the members of New York’s Beth-El congregation over how to deal with the remains of those buried at the two cemeteries owned by the congregation. Beth-El was formed by a merger of Anshei Chesed (Norfolk Street Synagogue) and Adas Jeshurun which is why Beth-El has two cemeteries.
1877(15th of Nissan, 5637): First Day of Pesach – the holiday is observed for the first time during the Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes.
1878: Birthdate of Albert Gumm, the Indiana native who gained fame as a songwriter under the name of Albert Von Tilzer, the author of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”
1880: Myer Stern represented the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society at today’s meeting of the New York State Board of Charities meeting.
1880(17th of Nisan, 5640): Sixty-year old Heinrich Bernhard Oppenheim, the scion of a Jewish banking family who served as editor of the liberal Die Reform (The Reform) who served in the German Reichstag.
1880: Birthdate of pianist Rosina Lhévinne whom Juilliard president Peter Mennin called "quite simply one of the greatest teachers of this century." Born in Kiev, she began her piano studies at age six and entered the Moscow Conservatory at age nine. Over the next nine years, she perfected her piano technique, graduating in 1898 with the school's gold medal. Among her classmates at the Conservatory were Sergei Rachmaninoff and Josef Lhévinne, whom Rosina married after her graduation. After getting married, Lhévinne abandoned her fledging solo performance career in order to keep her husband, also an accomplished pianist, in the spotlight. However, she did not abandon the performance circuit, often playing two-piano concerts with her husband. The Lhévinnes toured the U.S. for the first time in 1907, and moved permanently to New York immediately after World War I. In 1924, they joined the faculty of the newly established Juilliard Graduate School, where they shared a studio. After Josef Lhévinne's death in 1944, Rosina continued to teach at Juilliard, where her students included such promising musicians as Van Cliburn, David Bar-Ilan, James Levine, and Arthur Gold. As her students made their mark in national and international piano competitions, Lhévinne's fame grew. However, it was only in 1956, at the age of seventy-six, that Lhévinne resumed her own solo piano career. Her first concert was with the Aspen Festival Orchestra; she went on to perform with orchestras around the country. In 1963, she appeared in four performances with the New York Philharmonic, under Leonard Bernstein's direction. Despite a busy performance schedule, Lhévinne continued to teach at Juilliard until she passed her ninety-sixth birthday.
1881: In Leadville, CO a fire broke out in the Pioneer Salon which spread to the next door liquor business owned by the Schloss family.
1882: A two day Pogrom in the largely Jewish town of Balta (Russia) comes to an end leaving nearly half of the homes and shops in ruins.
1884: Mrs. Max Rosenberg claimed that on this day her husband forced her to pack her trunk, leave their New York apartment and stopped providing her with financial support. (Rosenberg would subsequently deny these claims, citing proof that she left of her own volition, that he continued to support her, that she still loved him and that the cause of their problems was that he was Jewish – a fact resented by her gentile father.)
1887: In Leadville, CO, Simon Schloss “was a member the committee of arrangements for the eighth annual Purim Masque Ball held at the Tabor Opera House today
1888(16th of Nisan, 5648): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer
1888(16th of Nisan, 5648): Seventy-four year old composer and pianist Charles-Valentin Alkan whose “Op. 31 set of Préludes includes a number of pieces based on Jewish subjects, including some titled Prière (Prayer), one preceded by a quote from the Song of Songs, and another titled Ancienne mélodie de la synagogue (Old synagogue melody)
1890(8th of Nisan, 5650): Shabbat HaGadol
1890: Birthdate of daughter Pauline Herzl, daughter of Theodor Herzl who passed away in 1930.
1890: “Emanuel Bernheimer” published today listed the philanthropies and charities supported by the founder Lion Brewery including Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Montefiore Home for the Chronic Invalids.
1890: It was reported today that in St. Petersburg, university students have presented Professor Menelieff with demands that entrance fees be reduced and the restrictions against Jewish admission be removed.
1890(8th of Nisan, 5650): Forty-five year old Morris Eising, a Jewish immigrant from German was found dead in his boarding house at West 24th Street.
1892: The Russian government published the edict that expelled 14,000 Jews from Moscow. Two thirds of Moscow’s Jewry were disposed and violently removed to the Pale of Settlement.
1892(1st of Nisan 5652): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1892(1st of Nisan 5652): Rabbi Elimelech Szapira of Grodzhisk passed away. Born in 1832, he “was the leading Hasidic rebbe of his time in Poland. He was a chosid (follower) of the Rizhiner Rebbe. After the death of his father, the Sorof of Mogelnica, he assumed leadership of the chasidim, who eventually numbered ten thousand. His sons-in-law were the Kozhnitser Rebbe and Rebbe Osher the Second of Stolin-Karlin.”
1893: In Boston, Judge Ely dismissed charges against Tavia Angus, the defendant charged by the police with illegally possessing wine and liquor which his co-religionists from Adat Israel claimed he was holding for them and which would be distributed prior to Passover which begins at sundown on March 31. The Jews will now be able to get their wine and brandy back from the police in time for the first Seder.
1893: “New Immigration Commissioner” published today described Secretary of Treasury John G. Carlisle’s appointment of Joseph H. Senner as the Commissioner of Immigration at New York. (Carlisle was not Jewish; Senner was)
1895: “Grand Cake Walk For Charity” published today described the fund raiser sponsored by the Monte Relief Society which began with an address by the founder and President Sofia Monte-Loebinger. The society which is named for its founder was founded by a handful of Jewesses and provides financial aid to the city’s destitute.1895(4th of Nisan, 5655): Bernhard Bernhard, a benefactor to many Jewish charities including the Hebrew Benevolent Association, passed away today at his home on East 62nd Street in New York leaving behind two children
1896(15th of Nisan, 5656): First Day of Pesach
1896(15th of Nisan, 5656): The New York Times reported that “Pesach, or the Feast of the Passover, with which the Israelites celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from bondage in Egypt, was inaugurated at sundown yesterday. The feast continues eight consecutive days and will close with the setting of the sun next Saturday.”
1896(15th of Nisan, 5656): Fifty-two year old Hungarian born revolutionary Leó Frankel who took part in the Paris Commune of 1871 passed away today.
1896: It was reported today that Lucien L. Bonheur is chairman of the committee planning the 19th annual Strawberry Festival sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association. He is being assisted by Isaac Newton Lewis, Falk Younker, Levi Hershfield, Edwin M. Schwartz and Dr. Louis S. Rosenthal. Percival S. Menken is President of the Association.
1897: “Millions For Charity” published today described a “stupendous project” to be underwritten by the Baron de Hirsch Fund that will “relieve the congested district of” New York’s “east side by building homes and establishing industries in the suburbs.”
1897(25th of Adar II, 5657): Sixty-six year old David Weinberg, a retired furrier, passed away at his home leaving behind a widow and four children in New York.
1897(25th of Adar II, 5657): Forty-nine year old Louis Israel, “proprietor of the one of the largest livery stables in Brooklyn” passed away today. A native of Brooklyn, he was President of the Hebrew Benevolent Society and a member of the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel, the King Solomon Lodge and the B’nai Sholom Benefit Society.
1898(6th of Nisan, 5658): Rabbi Emanuel Schwab who was 101 years old passed away today in New York City. A native of Frankfort on Main he came to the United States 53 years ago where he served as rabbi of congregations at Schenectady, NY and Bridgeport, Conn. He was preceded in death by his wife the former Miss Sophie Hirsch whom he had married in 1862.
1899: Baroness Hirsch the widow of the late Jewish philanthropist is reportedly to be critically ill.
1899: The Jewish Colonial Bank in London begins to accept subscriptions.
1900: The American Israelite announced the death of Isaac Mayer Wise.
1903: Herzl meets with the Belgian born barrister Leon Constant Ghislain Carton de Wiart now living in Egypt. Herzl tells him that “We will give up the word 'Charter' but not the thing itself."
1905: At 07:00 today Dorothy Levitt “departed from the De-Dion showroom in Great Marlborough Street London, and arrived at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool at 18:10, having completed the 205 miles in 11 hours” thus establishing “a new record for the longest drive achieved by a lady driver.”
1907(14th of Nisan, 5667): On Ellis Island, Rabbi Adolph Radin joined 180 Jewish immigrants in a Seder this evening which marked their first Passover in the United States.
1907: As of today 140,000 soldiers had been recruited to help quell the Romanian Peasant Revolt. The peasants were revolting against the Christian nobles who were the landowners responsible for their exploitation. An untold number of Jews fell victim to the peasants because they were the one who collected the rents. Once again, a dispute between groups of Christians results in dead Jews.
1910: Eugène-Melchior, vicomte de Vogüé a 19th century French archaeologist and author “who is known for his architectural studies of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the surrounding areas. (For more see Digging Through The Bible by Richard A. Freund)
1912: By decree of the King of Italy, Jews in Tripoli can now organize as a community.
1913: Birthdate of Hyman Bloom who came to the United States with his family in 1920, at the age of seven. He lived for most of his life in Boston, Massachusetts and at a young age planned to become a rabbi, but his family could not find a suitable teacher. Bloom and Jack Levine, another Jewish painter from Boston, received scholarships in the fine arts given by the famous Harvard art professor Denman Ross. Bloom, along with Levine and another painter, Karl Zerbe, eventually became associated with a style named Boston Expressionism. He passed away in 2009.
1913: Birthdate of comedian Phil Foster. Born Phil Feldman in Brooklyn, Foster gained lasting fame as Frank De Fazio on the 1970’s sitcom “Laverne and Shirley.” He passed away in 1985.
1915: Emanuel Beckerman, an interpreter in the Bronx Municipal Court was pleased to learn today that the ten pounds of matzoth that he had shipped to Rabbi Bernard Pressen for his Seder in Berlin had arrived in Amsterdam and should have made it to Berlin in time for the Seder. Beckerman had met Pressen in 1907 did not want his co-religionist to go with unleavened bread because the Kaiser’s government had banned using wheat to make matzoth.
1915: “More than 300 Jewish soldiers and sailors along with Admiral Charles Sigsbee who had commanded the Battleship Maine, were the guests tonight at a Seder hosted by the Army and Navy Y.M.H.A.
1915(14th of Nisan, 5675): Ninety men and one hundred and five women ranging in age from 67 to 110 held a Seder at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob in New York City. Nissen Rosen, 105 years old, will sit at one end of the table where he will face 110 year old Ethel Rosenstein. It will be a double celebration for Hannah Perlaeur who was born on the night of the Seder 95 years ago.
1915(14th of Nisan, 5675): One hundred Jews who had recently arrived from Jerusalem were among those who participated at a Seder at the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society’s home on Broadway.
1915(14th of Nisan, 5675): Dr. M.J. Leff conducted a Seder for the staff at the Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.
1915: As Jews ran their last errands in preparation for the Seder at Ostrolenka, Russia, German planes began bombing the city with what appeared to be a decision by “the enemy to raze the city to its foundations.”
1915: It was reported today that Judge Nathaniel E. Harris, the governor-elect of Georgia believes “the bitterness against Leo Frank has largely passed away and there are now many who take the view that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice” while “on the other hand, there are plenty of them who do not.”
1919: “The centenary of the birth of the late Dr. Isaac M. Wise” is scheduled to “be celebrated by the Jews of America” today according to Rabbi Joseph Silverman.
1921: Birthdate of Bronx native Abraham H. Baum, who would lead the raid commanded by Blood and Guts Patton to rescue his son-in-law from a German POW camp.
1921: Winston Churchill, British Colonial Secretary, is greeted by 10,000 Jews on Mt. Scopus in Palestine. Both the Chief Sephardic and Ashkenazic Rabbis were in attendance. They gave him a Sefer Torah. Churchill planted a tree on the future site of Hebrew University and spoke in support of the Zionist endeavors in Palestine.
1921: It was reported today that the late Julia Wormser Seligman was a native of San Francisco who was the only daughter of the late Isidore Wormser from whom she inherited two million dollars.
1923(12th of Nisan, 5683): Fast of the First Born observed because the 14th of Nisan falls on Shabbat.
1923: Birthdate of Jack David Dunitz the Glasgow born British chemist and widely known chemical crystallographer who was a Professor of Chemical Crystallography at the ETH Zurich from 1957 until his official retirement in 1990 and is the husband of Barbara Steuer as well as the father of Marguerite and Julia Gabrielle Steuer
1925: While visiting Palestine, Lord Balfour, of Balfour Declaration fame, “reads the lessons in the Anglican Cathedral of St. George.”
1926: In Kecskemét, Hungary, Solomon and Margaret Sandberg who were murdered in 1944 gave birth to Gusztáv Sandberg who gained fame as Dachau survivor and Israeli economist Moshe Sanbar.
1927: Birthdate of Martin Fleischmann. A chemist at the University of Utah, Fleischmann (and his partner Stanley Pons) claimed to have discovered Cold Fusion in 1989.
1928: Yeshiva College received its charter in New York City. Yeshiva College began as a Cheder on the lower east side of Manhattan in 1886. During the first decades of the twentieth century the school began offering dual curriculum including secular level high school courses. At that time it became known as The Talmudical Academy. Yeshiva College was founded to provide TA grads with alternative to secular colleges when going on to higher education. The college became Yeshiva University in 1946 and eventually altered its charter to become a secular university. None of these changes came without protests. But these changes show how Modern Orthodoxy has dealt with need to maintain Jewish education and tradition while equipping generations of youngsters with the skills to live in the secular world.
1930: The first American convention of the promoters and adherents of the Yiddish language, literature and culture opened this evening at the Irving Plaza Hall in New York City. Eight hundred people from the United States and Canada attended the opening session of a convention working to foster Yiddish Culture.
1931: Birthdate of Evelyn de Rothschild. Rothschild headed the English branch of the family and its banking business for twenty-one years. In 2003, the English and French branches merged and Baron David de Rothschild, head of the French branch assumed the new leadership position. The Rothschilds continue to be "one of the world's largest private banking dynasties."
1932: At the first Jewish Olympic Games, officially known as the Maccabiah, American Sybil Koff of New York, finished first in the semi-final of the 100 meter race while the American team finished second in the semi-final of the relay race. The opening contests in which American Jews played a prominent part took place “in the newly built stadium situated at the junction of the Yarkon River and the Mediterranean Sea” before a crowd estimated to exceed the venue’s 25,000 seat capacity.
1932: Jack Benny debuted on radio. This legendary Jewish entertainer moved from vaudeville to the electronic medium - radio, the movies and finally television.
1933: The front page of the Nazi newspaper, Volkisher Beobachter, stated "Let Jewry Know Against Who it Has Declared War".
1933: “In an act of anticipatory obedience to the Nazi regime, the management of UFA, a leading German motion picture production company, decided to fire several Jewish employees.”
1934(13th of Nisan, 5694): Otto Hermann Kahn passed away. Born in Germany in 1867, this noted banker, collector, philanthropist and patron of the arts moved to the United States in 1893. He joined the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Company and continued to add to his fortune. He was a founder and President of the Metropolitan Opera Company. He bankrolled numerous artists including Hart Crane, George Gershwin and Arturo Toscanini. Kahn uttered the following warning, “The deadliest foe of democracy is not autocracy but liberty frenzied. Liberty is not foolproof.” To work “it demands self-restraint, a sane and clear recognition of the practical and attainable, and of the fact that there are laws of nature which are beyond our power to change.”
1934: Birthdate of Ehud Netzer, the native of Haifa who became a leading Israeli archeologist.
1935: In Brooklyn, Abraham M. and Belle Lindenbaum gave birth to Samuel H. Lindenbaum, who was widely considered New York City’s top zoning lawyer and who was credited with doing as much as any of the powerful developers among his clients to shape the modern skyline of Manhattan…” (As reported by David W. Dunalp)
1936: The SS guard formations were renamed SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-Death's Head Units). They provided guards for concentration camps
1938: A total of $20,000 was contributed tonight to the Youth Aliyah (immigration) fund of Hadassah to remove children from Austria as well as Germany and Poland.
1937: Birthdate of Moacyr Jaime Scliar a Brazilian writer and physician who passed away in 2011.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that the body of Jacob Zwanger, an engineer who had disappeared some 18 days earlier, was found near Rehovot. He was apparently strangled. A Jew and his Arab partner were arrested, both suspected of Zwanger's murder.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that Arab brigands held up and robbed drivers near Jenin.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that a plea was made in the House of Commons to reduce the British tariff on Palestine oranges which was devised to protect the South African citrus industry.
1938: The New York Times reported that Dr. Sigmund Freud has been denied a passport so that he cannot leave Vienna for the Netherlands. A delegation that included Princess Marie Bonaparte had gone to Vienna to make Freud aware of the warm welcome that would await him in what would be his new Dutch home.
1938: A total of $20,000 was contributed tonight to the Youth Aliyah (immigration) fund of Hadassah to remove children from Austria as well as Germany and Poland.
1939: Birthdate of Roland Arnall, the French native who became a successful American businessman, diplomat and financial contributor to the well-being of Chabad-Lubavitch.
1939: The Soviet NKVD secret police arrested Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, the father of the late Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson for his outspoken efforts against the Communist Party’s efforts to eradicate Jewish learning and practice in the Soviet Union. After more than a year of torture and interrogations in Stalin's prisons, he was sentenced to exile to the interior of Russia. He died there in 1944. Rabbi Schneerson was a distinguished Kabbalist. Some of his writings have been published under the name Likkutei Levi Yitzchak. Most of it, however, was burned or confiscated by the Soviet authorities and has yet to be returned to the Chabad movement.
1942: SS Captain Dieter Wislicey wants $50,000 in cash as the price for stopping the deportations of Slovakian Jews to the death camps. He will get the money, but the deportations will continue
1942: Founder's Day in honor of Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of Reform Judaism, was observed this afternoon in the Central Synagogue, with a special service under the auspices of the Greater New York City Alumni of the Hebrew Union College
1943: Third and final shipment of Macedonian Jews from Skopje to Treblinka. Of the 7,144 Jews shipped there over three days only about 200 survived the war/
1944: Anne Frank mentions in her diary that Gerrit Bolkestein, Education Minister of the Dutch Government in exile, delivered a radio message from London urging his war-weary countrymen to collect "vast quantities of simple, everyday material" as part of the historical record of the Nazi occupation and writes "Ten years after the war people would find it very amusing to read how we lived, what we ate and what we talked about as Jews in hiding."
1944: Tel Aviv was declared off limits to all military personnel today, including those who have family living in the city. The ban was in response to attacks on police stations in Haifa, Jaffa, and Jerusalem for which the Irgun has taken public credit.
1945(15th of Nisan, 5705: First Day of Pesach
1945(15th of Nisan, 5705): On the first day of Pesach least 58 Jews were murdered in a forest near the Austrian village of Deutsch Shuetzen, in what would come to be called the Deutsch Shuetzen Massacre. SS sergeant Adolf Storms SS sergeant Adolf Storms was among the perpetrators of the killing.
1945: In the evening, members of the Jewish Infantry Brigade of the British 8th Army serving in Italy took part in a Seder at Faenza.
1945: The ill-fated and ill-conceived mission ordered by General Patton to rescue his son-in-law John K. Waters under the command of Captain Abraham Baum came to an ignominious end with Baum who had been shot in the groin joining the wounded Walters in a German hospital for POWS.
1946: U.S. premiere of “Night Editor” directed by Henry Levin
1947: Clifton Daniel interviewed Jewish refugees at Caraolos, a British run displaced persons camp outside of Famagusta, Cyprus. “An appeal for the outside world to consider their plight was the first and only formal proposal addressed” to him by these immigrants. Currently, there are 11,000 Jews living in camps like this all across Cyprus. If the British stick to their policy of releasing 750 Jews a month to go to Palestine, it will take at least fourteen months to empty these camps.
1947: “A ship carrying 1,600 Jewish unauthorized refugees was intercepted tonight off the northern coast of Palestine by the Royal Navy.” The ship which was known as the Patria or Moledeth was taken to the harbor at Haifa.
1947: At a mass meeting in Tel Aviv, Golda Meyerson, the head of the Jewish Agency’s political department “assailed the underground extremists’ warfare today in these words: ‘Terrorism is assisting Palestine’s British administration it has put Palestine Jewry on the defensive, whereas but for terrorism the Zionists could have pursued a more vigorous line in their political efforts…we don ot want to embark on internal warfare, but if it be thrust upon us we shall finish with the terrorists, although without cooperating with the Government in doing so.’”
1949: In a meeting with Zionist leaders in New York, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill offers assurance that his commitment to the Jewish state is as solid as it has ever been.
1950: The United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine issues a memorandum designed to “meet the Israeli demands for direct negotiations and the Arab desire that the commission act as mediator.”
1950: The “first contingent of ‘hard core’ cases from the refugee camps in German and Austria arrive in Israel” three days before Pesach. “These unfortunates, the halt, the lame and the blind were brought in by the combined efforts of the international relief organizations, the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Israeli Government.” Their arrival is an example of David Ben Gurion’s belief that Israel is the home for all Jews regardless of their condition.
1951: Judy Holliday, born Judy Tuvim, won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Billie Dawn in the film “Born Yesterday.”
1951: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage. The prosecutor in the case and the judge who would pronounce the death sentence were also Jewish. However, right-wing politicians would overlook this and use the Rosenberg case as further proof that the Jews were part of the Communist Conspiracy.
1953: Birthdate of Samuel Elliott Chwat founder of the Sam Chwat Speech Center.
1954: In “Massacre at Scorpion’s Pass” published today the Time correspondent described the terror attack that took place south of Beersheba.
1956: Syria returned 4 Israeli soldiers who had been held captive for fifteen months in return for an the prisoners the Israelis had taken during Operation Olive Leaves.
1956: Be'er Sheva or Beersheba was linked to Israel's railway system. Yes, this is the ancient city mentioned connection with Abraham and Isaac. This is just one example of how the young state of Israel was developing its economy and infrastructure while confronting on-going threats of Arab attacks as well as the reality of cross-border raids by fedayin (the name given to the terrorists of those days.)
1959: Birthdate of Nouriel Roubini, the Turkish born son of Iranian Jews who became a leading American advisor on economics and the chairman of Roubini Global Economics.
1959: Birthdate of Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane’s Addiction
1959: Release date for “Some Like It Hot” a great comedy film directed, produced and co-authored by Billy Wilder.
1963: U.S. premiere of Miracle of the White Stallions” directed by Arthur Hiller.
1965: In the United Kingdom, premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” with a script by Ernest Lehman.
1965: Birthdate of Elisheva Greenbaum. In June of 2003, at the Metulla Festival of Poetry, Ellisheva was awarded the prestigious "Tevah" prize in poetry. Earlier, in 2002, Elisheva was awarded The Prime Minister's prize for poetry.
1967(17th of Adar II, 5727): Israeli author, Isaac Dov Berkowitz passed away. Born in Belarus in 1885 he made aliyah in 1928. The son-in-law of Sholom Aleichim, he was a two-time winner of the Bialik Prize and a winner of the Israel Prize for literature in 1958.
1970: Eighty-four year old Heinrich Brüning, the Chancellor of Germany who tried to save the Weimar Republic in the wake of the anarchy created by the Communists and the Nazis and sought to thwart Hitler’s rise to power passed a way today.
1973(25th of Adar II, 5733): Ida Cohen Rosenthal, the woman who created the modern brassiere industry passed away.
1977: Robert Stauss began serving as United States Trade Representative.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, said that he would allow the early reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference without PLO participation. The conference might later decide on the PLO's eventual participation.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Egged management threatened to withdraw public transport service to and from Lod due to hooliganism, personal attacks, theft and other difficult conditions at the Lod Central Bus Station.
1979: U.S. premiere of “Real Life” the first feature film directed by Albert Brooks who co-authored the script and co-starred in the picture.
1981: The New York Times reviews "The Geneva Crisis" by Matti Golan, an Israeli diplomat writing about a fictional attempt by idealistic Jews who are duped when they attempt to work for peace with Palestinian rebels.
1983(15th of Nisan, 5743): Pesach
1986(18th of Adar II, 5746): Seventy-eight year old Harry Ritz, one of the famous three Ritz Brothers passed away today.
1987: Yitzhak Shamir was re-elected chairman of right wing Herut Party. Born in Poland in 1915, Shamir moved to Palestine in 1935. While attending Hebrew University he joined the Irgun. He later left the Irgun and joined what was the Stern Gang. Shamir would later rise above what some people might think of a rather dubious past to become Prime Minister in 1988. To his credit, in May 1991, Shamir ordered the airlift rescue of thousands of Ethiopian Jewry, codenamed "Operation Solomon." In September, Shamir provided living proof that people can change, when he represented Israel at the Madrid Peace Conference which brought about direct negotiations with Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinians.
1987: Tonight Colonel Aviem Sella, the Israeli Air Force who was indicted earlier this month in the United States for his role in recruiting Jonathan Pollard as a spy, said that he was giving up his recent promotion to the rank of general because of “the problems it had caused between the United States and Israel.”
1987: An American Rabbi, Arthur Schneier, said that “that the Soviet Union has agreed that future Jewish émigrés will be sent to Israel by way of Rumania.” In the past, those Jews who were allowed to leave the Soviet Union traveled through Vienna where many of them obtained visas for the United States even though they had said they were leaving to go to Israel. Schneier hopes the change will lead to an increase in the number of Jews who are allowed to leave the Soviet Union. The Rumanians have asked that the transit cite in their country not be identified so that it will not become a target for terrorists.
1991(14th of Nisan, 5751): The Kesim celebrated the last Pesach for their community at the Israeli embassy in Addas Abba, Ethiopia.
1993: Billy Crystal served as host at the 65th Academy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles. Elizabeth Taylor was co-winner of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
1993: Simone Veil replaced Bernard Kouchner as Minister of Health in France
1993: Jack Lang completed his first term in office as Education Minister of France.
1994(17th of Nisan, 5754): During Chol Hamoed Pesach, Yitzhak Rothenberg, age 70, of Petah Tikva, was attacked on a construction site by two residents of Khan Yunis by axe blows to the head. He died several days later of his wounds.
1996: Actress Rebecca “Schaeffer's life and death became the topic of the first E! True Hollywood Story episode, which originally aired” today,
1998: The 27th Nabisco Dinah Shore Golf Championship was played today. The namesake of this major LPGA event was born Frances Rose Shore in Winchester, Tenn. in 1917. She adopted the name Dinah from a hit 1930's tune of the same name that was her signature song in the early days of her career.
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including “Diplomacy for the Next Century” by Abba Eban, “Clement Greenberg: A Life” by Florence Rubenfeld,” The Castle: A New Translation, Based on the Restored Text” by Franz Kafka; translated by Mark Harman and “Getting Away With Murder: How Politics Is Destroying the Criminal Justice System” by Susan Estrich.
1998: Famed basketball player Henry "Hank" Rosenstein Rosenstein was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
1999: In the ever-changing revolving door of Israeli party politics, Eliezer Sandberg”s HaTzeirim faction joined Shinui.
1999: Emanuel Zisman left the Third Way political party and served the rest of his term as an independent MK.
2000: Israel's high court orders that about 700 Palestinians be allowed to return to their traditional homes in caves in the southern West Bank.
2002(16th of Nisan, 5762): Second Day of Pesach and 1st day of the Omer.
2002(16th of Nisan, 5762): “Tuvia Wisner, 79, of Petah Tikva and Michael Orlinsky, 70, of Tel-Aviv were killed Friday morning, when a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the Neztarim settlement in the Gaza Strip.” (Jewish Virtual Library)
2002(16th of Nisan, 5762): Rachel Levy, 17, and Haim Smadar, 55, the security guard, both of Jerusalem, were killed and 28 people were injured, two seriously, when a female suicide bomber blew herself up in the Kiryat Yovel supermarket in Jerusalem. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. (Jewish Virtual Library)
2002(16th of Nisan, 5762): Lt. Boaz Pomerantz, 22, of Kiryat Shmona and St.-Sgt. Roman Shliapstein, 22, of Ma'ale Efraim were killed in the course of the IDF anti-terrorist action in Ramallah (Operation Defensive Shield. (Jewish Virtual Library)
2002: In response to the suicide bombing at a Seder in the Park Hotel that claimed the lives of 30, the IDF launched Operation Defensive Shield.
2002: U.S. premiere of “Clockstoppers” a “science fiction comedy film” with a script co-authored by David N. Weiss.
2002: U.S. premiere of “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” a comedy directed by Harry Shearer who also wrote the script.
2002: In the U.K. premiere of “Invincible” a drama based loosely on the life of Jewish vaudeville strongman and circus performer Siegmund “Zishe” Breitbart.
2003: In her presidential installation sermon Rabbi Janet Marder spoke about the need to develop and sustain progressive Judaism in Israel, and about "developing an inner life — about personal prayer, about seeking the Holy One, and quiet hours inside a book, and the solitude that is essential for a life of clarity and integrity."
2005: The New York Times reported that “as Columbia University awaits a report on charges of intimidation of Jewish students in classes in Middle East studies, a group of graduate students began circulating a petition calling for the resignation of Columbia’s president, Lee Co. Bollinger, because he ‘failed to defend our faculty, thereby nurturing an environment of fear and intimidation throughout the university.’” Columbia’s faculty has been divided about Mr. Bollinger’s performance ever since the showing of a videotape last fall that demonstrated some professors of Middle East studies intimidating Jewish students in classes and on campus.
2006: With 95 percent of the ballots counted, the election results for the 17th Knesset appeared as follows:
Kadima: 28 Knesset seats
Israel Beitenu: 12
NRP / NU: 9
United Torah Judaism: 6
United Arab List: 4
While it appears that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Kadima Party gained the largest number of seats, it was fewer than had been estimated in earlier polls. Once the results are final, Olmert will probably be asked to form a government. If the total holds at or around thirty seats, Kadima will have to gather another 31 seats to gain the 61 seats necessary to control the Knesset and govern the country.
2007: The Tel Aviv Museum of Art presents, for the first time in Israel, a retrospective selection of works by Mark Rothko, one of the pillars of the New York School artists, identified in the late 1940s and early ‘50s as the painters of Abstract Expressionism.
2008: Shabbat Parah, 5768
2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “Gershwin Brothers’ Dream of a Great American Opera: Porgy and Bess and beyond” the third lecture in a series entitled “Music as Melting Pot Mosaic: The Gershwins.”
2009: In the 2nd of a four part lecture series marking this special year of Hakhel Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of England a noted author and lecturer delivers a talk on Unity and Redemption - Celebrating Freedom Together.
2009: Model Matzah Baker takes place at Lubavitch Chabad of Northbrook with participants learning about Passover and enjoying the thrill of baking their own Matzah.
2009: The Chicago Tribune reviews “The Kindly Ones” a Holocaust novel by Jonathan Littell which the reviewer calls a “helpless narrative” and “missed opportunity.”
2009: The Times of London reported today that the Israel Air Force used unmanned drones to attack secret Iranian convoys in Sudan that were trying to smuggle weapons to Palestinian militant organizations in the Gaza Strip. Defense officials were quoted as saying that the trucks were carrying missiles capable of striking as far as Tel Aviv and the nuclear reactor in Dimona.
2009(4th of Nisan, 5769): Ninety-five year old American photographer Helen Levitt passed away.
2010: Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted a performance in London by the acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet. Today’s lunchtime concert, which was being broadcast live on BBC Radio, was taken off the air in the middle due to the disruption, the Jewish Chronicle reported. The quartet completed its program. About five protesters took turns disrupting the concert with anti-Israel epithets at 10-minute intervals throughout the performance at Wigmore Hall, according to reports. They were removed from the audience. Protesters in other countries also have disrupted the quartet's performances. In a statement, the quartet noted that all four musicians served in the Israeli army as musicians and not in combat, and also perform as regular members of Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings Israeli and Arab musicians together. "We no more represent the Government of Israel than the audience at the Wigmore Hall represented the Government of the United Kingdom," read the statement. Only one of the four musicians is a native Israeli; one lives in Portugal and another in Berlin
2010: In New York, a week long program entitled The New Israeli Cuisine is scheduled to come to an end.
2010(14th of Nisan, 5770): Fast of the First Born
2010(14th of Nisan, 5770): In the evening, Jews around the world sit down to the Seder. Have a zissen Pesach
2010(14th of Nisan, 5770): Seventy-five year old author Alan Isler whose works included The Prince of West End Avenue, a novel “set in a Jewish old person’s home” which won the National Jewish Book Award and the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize passed away.
2011: “Nora’s Will” and “Precious Life” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2011: President Obama nominated Daniel B. Shapiro to serve as the Ambassador of the United States of America to the state of Israel.
2011: Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute presented “Romantic Piano Trios: Schumann and Rachmaninoff.”
2012: The Andy Statman Trio (Andy on mandolin and clarinet, Jim Whitney on bass, Larry Eagle on drums & percussion) is scheduled to wrap up the season at the Charles Street Synagogue.
2012: Al Munzer is scheduled to moderate “Spinoza, Superstar of the millennium?” as part of Theatre J’s backstage program.
2012: Jon Lebowitz was confirmed for a second term as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
2012: “Footnote” is among the films scheduled to be shown today at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2012(6th of Nisan, 5772): Seventy-four year old “Kenneth Libo, a historian of Jewish immigration who, as a graduate student working for Irving Howe in the 1960s and ’70s, unearthed historical documentation that informed and shaped World of Our Fathers, Mr. Howe’s landmark 1976 history of the East European Jewish migration to America” passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
2013: The Ruach Minyan at Adas Israel in Washington, D.C. is scheduled to host a Pesach Shabbat dinner.
2013: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a concert “Passion and Fire in the 20th Century.”
2013(18th of Nisan, 5773): Ninety-one year old linguist John H. Gumperz passed away today.
2013: The 23rd annual Haifa International Children’s Theatre Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2013: The Bernard and Irene Schwartz Classic Film Series is scheduled to present “That Hamilton Woman” the classic directed by Michael Korda
2013: Forty year old Michael Steinberg, a SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager who had worked for discredited billionaire Steven Cohen, was arrested by federal agents today.
2013: A man claiming to represent the hackers behind one of the biggest attacks in Internet history made anti-Jewish statements.
2014: “Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood” is scheduled to be shown for the last time in a pop art space at 462 West Broadway.
2014: “Labor and Race in Modern Germany,” co-sponsored by the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to come to a close today
2014: “The Zigzag Kid” is scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.
2014: “A Jewish woman and her partner were among the first same-sex couple ever to be officially married in Britain today, after a law authorizing same-sex marriages went into effect throughout the country. Twenty-nine-year-old Nikki Pettit, who is Jewish, married Tania Ward, 28, in a Jewish ceremony in Brighton, on Britain’s south coast.”
2014: “Trebilinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine is scheduled to air tonight on the Smithsonian Channel.
2014: Israel did not conduct the fourth stage of the prisoner release tonight,
2014: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson today for using the controversial term "occupied territories," saying he "misspoke" during his speech to a Republican Jewish Coalition event, Politico and CNN reported.”
2014: “Rabbi Yousef Hamadani Cohen, chief rabbi of Iran since 1994, who passed away over the weekend was laid to rest” today.
2015: Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host a screening of “Defiance.”
2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman
2015: Suite Française a film “based on the best-selling book by Irène Némirovsky, written by her during the Nazi occupation and before she was sent to Auschwitz is scheduled to be shown today as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival
2015: “A Happy End” by Iddo Netanyahu is scheduled to be performed for the last time at the June Havoc Theatre in Manhattan.
2015: The 64th Annual Israel Folk Dance Festival and Festival of the Arts is scheduled to take place in NYC.
2015: Professor Derek J. Penslar is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “1948 as a Jewish World War” in Miami Beach.