1085: Pope Gregory VI passed away. Gregory opposed Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor who saw himself as a protector of the Jews. Henry contended that the Jews, regardless of where they lived, were his subjects. He granted them special dispensations and exemptions in matters of trade and taxes.
1085: Alfonso VI of Castile took Toledo back from the Moors. As Moslem Spain came under the control of increasingly intolerant religious leaders, Jews and liberal Moslems found refuge in the tolerant world of Christian Toledo. As many as 40,000 Jews are reported to have fought in the armies of Alfonso against the Almoravides. Ironically, there were thousands of Jews fighting with the Almoravides as well.
1096: Massacre of the Jews of Worms who took refuge in the city's castle during the First Crusade. Simcha Bar Isaac haKohen was "torn to bits" by Crusaders in a church for stabbing the bishop's nephew while pretending to submit to compulsory baptism. (Editorial comment: I’ll bet that scene is in not in any of the blockbuster hits about the noble Crusaders and their noble Moslem opponents.)
1241: First attack on Jewish community of Frankfort-on-the-Main Germany.
1261: The Papacy of Alexander IV, who brought the Inquisition to France, ended today.
1490: In Toledo, 400 Judaizers and “many Hebrew books” were burned “1t a great auto da fé “where a woman who wished to die as a Jewess expired with the word "Adonai" on her lips.”
1648: Chmielnicki's pogroms, which resulted in the massacre of more than 300,000 Jews, broke out. This slaughter took place in the Ukraine. This was the worst slaughter of Jews until the Holocaust.
1710(5th of Iyar): Rabbi Benjamin Ozer of Zolkiev, author of “Even ha-Ozer” passed away
1717: Johann Christian George Bodenschatz, the native of Hof, Germany who “devoted his life to Jewish antiquities, and is said to have made elaborate models of the Ark of Noah and of the Tabernacle in the wilderness.”
1738(6th of Sivan, 5498): “Moshe Neta, the son of Avi passed away today in Yablonov.
1741(10th of Sivan): Daniel Christian Jabolonski, who printed the Talmud passed away in Berlin today.
1757(6th of Sivan, 5517): Shavuot
1757(6th of Sivan, 5517): Italian Rabbi and Poet Jacob Daniel Olmo Ben Abraham passed away today.
1759: Judah Lob Ben Nathan Krysa, an 18th century Frankist leader from Galacia “declared that the cross symbolized the "holy trinity" spoken of in the Zohar, and the seal of the Messiah.” Krysa also “asserted before the ecclesiastical dignitaries that the Talmud prescribes the use of Christian blood. Like his master Jacob Frank and most of the Frankists, Krysa” would later embrace Christianity.
1768: Levi Sheftall and Sarah de la Motta, the parents of Savannah native Rachel Sheftall were married today in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, the homeland of the bride.
1769(18th of Iyar, 5529): Lag B’Omer
1772(22nd of Iyar): Rabbi Aaaron ben Solomon Amarillo, author of “Penie Aharon” passed away.
1776(7th of Sivan, 5536): Second Day of Shavuot
1779: In the United Kingdom, Jonathan Jones and the former Catherine Phillips gave birth to Rachel Jones.
1784: Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek
1787: Opening session of the Philadelphia Convention which would become known as the Constitutional Convention because its fifty-five delegates would write the U.S. Convention. While there were no Jewish delegates at the Convention, the framers took action that had a profound effect on the Jewish people that has lasted to the 21st century. Article VI of the document states: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” In other words, from the beginning of Jews, at least at the federal level, were eligible to hold office. Lewis Charles Levin would be the first Jew elected to Congress, winning election to the House of Representatives in 1844.
1798: In St. Mary Axe, Raphael Raphael, and the former Ashe Julia gave birth to Henry Raphael.
1800 :(1st day of Sivan, 5560): Rosh Chodesh Sivan observed for the first time in the 19th century.
1815: One day she had passed Leah bat ? was buried today at the Brady Jewish Cemetery.
1817: Birthdate of Saul Solomon the native of St. Helena, the leader of South Africa’s Liberal Party who is called the “Cape Disraeli” because, like Benjamin Disraeli, he converted to Christianity. And like Disraeli, he retained a sense of pride in his ethnic origins. He passed away in 1892.
1820: In New York, David and Henriette Cromelien gave birth to Washington Cromelin who is buried at Mikveh Israel Cemetery in Philadelphia.
1821: Influential 19th economist David Ricardo the son of Anglo-Sephardic Jews who became a Unitarian when he married Priscilla Anne Wilkinson voted for the abolition of the death penalty for forgery.
1821: Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich began serving as 1st State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire. Metternich was an extremely complex character whose treatment of Jews depended on the needs of the Austrian Empire. Thus he could favor rights for Jews in Germany while opposing them for Jews in Austria. Henry Kissinger, the first Jewish Secretary of State wrote his thesis on Metternich and eventually published A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812-22
1822(5th of Sivan, 5582): Parashat Bamidbar; Erev Shavuot observed as the Greeks wage war against the Ottomans for their independence.
1826(18th of Iyar, 5586): Lag B’Omer
1826: Bavarian Lewis Eisenmann, “took out his first papers” – a step to becoming a citizen of the United States.
1826: Uri Feivel ben David married Blumah bat Samuel today at the Western Synagogue.
1827: One day after he hd passed away, Prague native Reuben Lyon was buried today at the Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”
1831: In Philadelphia, PA, Mary Levy Moss and Eleazer (Eugene) Moss gave birth to Lucien Moss.
1831: Henry Jones married Elizabeth Benjamin today at the Great Synagogue.
1832(25th of Iyar): Rabbi Jacob Lorberbaum of Lissa, author of “Netivot ha-Mishpat” passed away.
1833(7th of Sivan, 5593): Second day of Shavuot
1839: Birthdate of Vienna native Yehuda Porges, who gained famed as “Paris based financer” Jules Porgès and husband of Rose-Anne Wodianer who played a major role in the development of diamond and gold mining in South Africa
1839: "The British Vice-Counsel in Jerusalem, William Tanner Young, wrote a report comparing the conditions of the Jews in Palestine to that of their counterparts in Egypt. Young wrote that the Governor of Egypt, Ibrahim Pasha, showed 'more consideration' for the Jews than the Christians did. Young also wrote that he had heard several Egyptian Jews acknowledge that 'they enjoy more peace and tranquility under this Government, than they have ever enjoyed here before.' But he then observed that, in contrast, 'the Jew in Jerusalem is not estimated in value much above a dog - and scarcely a day passes that I do not hear of some act of tyranny and oppression against a Jew.'" (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)
1842: Angel Haas married Elizabeth Cohen at the Great Synagogue in London today
1844(7th of Sivan, 5604): Second Day of Shavuot
1844: Today, during the reign of Louis Philippe, major changes were made in the way members were chosen for the Jewish consistory which Napoleon convened first as the Assembly of Jewish Notables and later as a “Grand Sanhedrin.”
1845: In New York City, Jane and Emanuel Boaz Pike gave birth to Lipman Emanuel "Lip" Pike reportedly was the first Jewish baseball player and the first baseball player to play the game for cash meaning he was the first professional baseball who was the husband of Zila Pike with whom he had three children – Boaz, Minnie and Emanuel.
1846: Birthdate of Theodore Minis Etting, the native of Philadelphia, PA who served in the U.S. Navy from 1862 until 1877 when he resigned to pursue a career as a lawyer a civic leader that culminated in his election “
1852: In Chicago, fourteen Jews organized B’nai Sholom, the second oldest congregation in the city.
1852: “Jewish Disabilities” published today began with the sentence “No more accurate gauge for advancing civilization could probably be chosen, than the political condition of the Jews” is worth reading in its entirety for anybody seeking to understand the unique nature of the American Jewish experience.
1854: Today during the second reading of the Jewish Disabilities Bill sponsored by Lord Russell, Benjamin Disraeli voiced his opposition to the measure. In part, Disraeli’s opposition was based on a desire to divorce the bill, which is designed to allow Jewish MP’s to sit in Parliament, from a move to provide full rights of citizenship to British Roman Catholics.
1854: German author Paul Heyse arrived in Munich where he had been appointed professor of Romance philology at the city’s university. Heyse, who father was not Jewish and whose mother Julie was the daughter of the Prussian court jeweler Jakob Salomon, is considered by some to be the first Jew to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
1859: Birthdate of Russian native Isaiah Agat, who served as the Rabbi at Chicago’s Congregation Moses Montefiore which had been founded in 1875 and which during his tenure offered a three-day religious school and looked to the Sisters of Moses Montefiore, as an Auxiliary Service to help with congregational projects.
1859: In Philadelphia, PA, “David and Eva (Baum) Blumenthal” gave birth to “Hart Blumenthal,a trustee of the Jewish Publication Society, chairman of the Keneseth Israel Free Library and a noted collector of Lincolniana” with his wife Ida Ratwitch raised Walter Hart Blumenthal, the Clinton, IA native precocious enough to the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 16 before going on to a career as an author.
1863: Birthdate of Parisian born opera composer Camille Erlanger.
1865: Today the Jewish Messenger “published an appreciation of Abraham Lincoln in Hebrew by Isaac Goldstein which began with “Happy are thou, Lincoln, Who is like unto thee! Among Kings and princes thou art exalted…”
1863(7th of Sivan, 5623): Second Day of Shavuot
1863: In Kovno, Jehuda Zwie Finkelstein and his wife gave birth to Simon I. Finelstein who served as rabbi at a several American congregations including Congregation Bikur Cholim, Baltimore, Md., 1886-1890; Beth T'flla, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1890-1897; and Poale Zedek, Syracuse, N. Y., 1897-1902 and Congregation Ohave Sholom, Brooklyn NY
1867: In Odessa, Nathan Sanders and his wife gave birth to Leon Sanders who was admitted to the New York bar in 1895, Married Bertha Fisher in 1896 and served as Tammany Hall leader in a series of legislative capacities before being elected “as justice of the Thirteenth District of the Municipal Court of the City of New York.”
1868: The New York Times reviewed “The Book of Genesis,” translated from the original Hebrew by Dr. T. J. Conant. The translation is accompanied “with copious notes and an introduction.”
1870: At 3 o'clock this afternoon the corner-stone of the Mount Sinai Hospital was laid at the corner of Sixty-sixth-street and Lexington-avenue. The ceremony included addresses by New York Mayor Abraham Hall and Judge Cardozo.
1871(5th of Sivan, 5631): 49th Day of the Omer; Erev Shavuot
1873: “A Jewish Ceremony” published today described “a very curious ceremony called ‘The Burying of the Law.’” Such a ceremony which takes place once every eight or ten years recently took place “in the Spanish Synagogue in Jerusalem” which has a “subterranean cave” in which “every old leaf torn out from any holy book, every old worn-out Bible, Gemara and phylactery” has been deposited “by all the Jewish residents of Jerusalem” regardless of their Minhag. Every 8 to 10 years, these materials are made into bales and then, after following the applicable rituals, the bales are carried out of the Zion Gate by a procession of Jews who descend “into the valley of Jehoshaphat where a very deep well is located. The bales are then drop into the well “amid the singing of the joyous crowd.
1874: Birthdate of Roemerstadt, Austria native Dr. Otto Marburg, the leading neurologist who became a “clinical professor of neurology at Columbia” after fleeing the Nazis in 1938 and who said of the United States, “I am full of gratitude to this great nation which wants nothing for itself but helps as much as possible those who need help.”
1875: This evening Professor Felix Adler, of Cornell University, addressed the American Geographical Society at Association Hall in New York City. His topic was "The Influence of the Physical Geography of Palestine on Hebrew Thought." The opening of this address was devoted to the statement and citation of the effects of climate on the character and thoughts of people born in it.
1876: A meeting of delegates representing Hebrew congregations from various U.S. cities which was being held at The Harvard Rooms in New York City came to an end. The delegates discussed the possibility of establishing a seminary that would teach Jewish theology and the Hebrew language while preparing students to become Rabbis.
1877: An article published today entitled “A Romance in Paterson: The Marriage of a Pretty Jewess Under Peculiar Circumstances” described the suit for an annulment that Miss Rachel Blumenthal, the daughter of wealthy Montreal Jew, is bringing against Moses Tannenhoz a cigar dealer from Patterson, NJ. The 18 year old Miss Blumenthal claimed that she was tricked into marrying Tannenhoz and that she was not of the age of consent when the ceremony took place.
1879: The yearly meeting of the United Hebrew Charities was held this morning at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, in East Seventy-seventh-street.
1880: In Amsterdam, a merchant named Jacob Samuel Hillesum and his wife Esther Hillesum-Loeza gave birth to their 4th and youngest child Levie (Louis) Hillesum, the father of Esther "Etty" Hillesum. Years later, Etty would keep a diary of life under Nazi occupation that would not surface until after her death at the age of 29 in Auschwitz.
1882(7th of Sivan, 5642): Second Day of Shavuot
1882(7th of Sivan, 5642): English publisher and convert to Judaism Thomas Jones passed away
1882: In Lithuania, Hannah-Dvorah Hersch (née Blumberg) and Meyer Dovid Hersch gave birth to Pesach Liebmann Hersch who gained fame as the pioneering demographer and statistician Liebmann Hersch, the husband of Liba Lichetenbaum with whom he had three children Irene, Joseph and philosopher Jeanne Hersch
1887: In “Ukraine, Pinchus and Chava (Geiro) Bodansky” gave birth to Cornell University educated biochemist Dr. Aaron Bodansky, the husband of Marie Syrkin, who worked at the Research Laboratories of Upjohn in Kalamazoo while writing “numerous scientific papers on enzymes and hormones” before going on to “enzymes and hormones.”
1889: Birthdate of Philadelphia native and NYU trained attorney Jacob Axelrad.
1890(6th of Sivan, 5650): First Day of Shavuot
1890: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Gottheil will officiate at Confirmation Services.
1890: At Temple Beth-El, Rabbi Kohler will officiate at Confirmation Services.
1890: At Temple Ahawatch Chesed, Rabbi Kohut will officiate at Confirmation Services.
1890: At the Temple on East 15th Street, Rabbi Raphael Benjamin will officiate at Confirmation Services.
1890: Rabbi H.S. Jacobs will lead Shavuot Services today at B’nai Jeshurun.
1890: Rabbi De Sola Mendes will lead Shavuot Services today at Shaarai-Tephilla.
1890: The body of Samuel Hotz, a Jewish peddler, was found in an old mining shaft at Wurtsborough, NY.
1890: “Republican Origins” published today described the reaction to The Origins of the Republican Form of Government in the United States by Oscar Straus which has now been translated into French by Madame Jessie Catherine Couvreur
1890: It was reported today that President Carnot’s meeting with the Chief Rabbi of France has “called forth a host of letters on the ‘second Babylonish captivity’ and the freedom of the Jews in modern times.”
1890: It was reported today that the Republican Club in New York City continues to refuse to admit Jews with several members publicly committed to using the blackball to accomplish this end.
1890: It was reported today that the Internal Revenue Collector and “boss of one-half of the Republicans of Kings County,” Ernst Nathan began his career as a cigar maker. Today he owns several rows of houses, “has made many thousands of dollars in real estate” and is worth a half-million dollars. His political power stems from his ability to name those who will occupy important elected positions including two state Assembly districts as well as the party candidates for Senator and Third District Congressman.
1891: It was reported today that resolutions passed six months under the leadership of the Duke of Westminster beseeching the Czar to show some pity for his Jewish subjects have been met with “unseemly contempt” and no let-up in the expulsion of the Jews. In response, the Hebrew Lovers of Zion has been formed in London with the aim of finding a home for the Jewish refugees in Palestine. Their attempts have been met approval in England and the United States where anti-immigrant sentiment is growing.
1891: It was reported today that the flood of refugees is gaining, not losing “headway.” During April 7,501 Russian and Polish immigrants arrived in the United States “an increase over 1890 of 3,291. While German immigrants are described as “sturdy” and Scandinavians are described as “honest, lusty workers” these immigrants are described as being poor, degraded and in “pitiable condition” who would be better settled in the lands of the Sultan (Palestine).
1892: “Mortally Wounded In A Duel” published today described the circumstances around a duel fought in Hungary Baron Aczel, a member of the Diet and a rich Jewish landowner named Karsay who was denied a chance to participate in the celebration of the jubilee of the coronation of the King because of his religion.
1892: The building of the new sanitarium for Jewish children located at Rockaway Park which cost $20, 975 was overseen by the Board of Managers whose officers include Nathan Lewis, President; Dr. Horatio Gomez, Vice President; Hezekiah Kohn, Treasurer; Joseph Davis, Secretary.
1893: According to Israel Schwartz who has been living at the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery for nine years, today, “in school I talked to other boys against” following which “my teach Byron Reilly wrote to Superintendent Engel of the nursery about me.”
1894: “Annoyed by a Sausage Dealer” published today described the store owned by Florian Sicher, the Yorkville butcher which includes signage advertising “Anti-Semitic Sausages” as well as banners on the awning reading “Do Not Buy From Jews” and “No Sales Made to Jews.”
1894: Two days after she had passed away, 35 year old Sophia Isaacs ,the daughter of Lewis and Sarah Isaacs was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”
1894: The Longman publishing company will publish Christopher Columbus and the Participation of the Jews in the Spanish and Portuguese Discoveries by Rabbi Meyer Kayserling today.
1894(19th of Iyar, 5654): Alexander Kohut, the Hungarian born Rabbi who was elected rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Chesed in New York in 1885 and helped to found the Jewish Theological Seminary passed away. He was the father of the scholar and author George Alexander Kouth.
1895: Andrew McCran, the next door neighbor of Samuel Samuelson, has been arrested on suspicion of shooting the Jew living in Miles Alley.
1896: The New York Times reported that Baron Hirsch had left “only” thirty million pounds to his heirs and beneficiaries, the primary one of which is his widow. While there are rumors floating around London that the Baron had destroyed the IOU’s of a prominent royal personage (possibly the Crown Prince) those in the know do not believe that the Baron was of such a forgiving nature.
1898: Birthdate of French writer Robert Aron
1898: In Manhattan, “Gustave Cerf,a lithographer and Frederika Wise, the heiress to a tobacco-distribution fortune” Bennet Alfred Cerf, the founder and CEO of Random House” who was best known for being a panelist on the Sunday night television show, “What’s My Line?”
1898: Birthdate of Russian-born American composer and concert pianist Mischa Levitzki.
1899: Dr. Henry M. Leipziger was re-elected as President of the Judeans who held their annual meeting this evening at the Tuxedo. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise spoke of the political progress being made by the Jews as can be seen by the appointment of Oscar S. Straus as U.S. Minister to Turkey and the election of Joseph Simon as U.S. Senator from Oregon, making him the fourth Jew to serve in Upper House of Congress. He compared the Jewish condition in the United States to Russia which is in the grips of the “outrage of anti-Semitism and France where Dreyfus is still not free.
1899(16th of Sivan, 5659): Rosa Bonheur French realist painter and sculptor passed away. Born in Bordeaux in 1822, she was one of four children all of whom were artists. According to some reports, as a child she was known as Rosa Mazeltov.
1900: The four daylong meeting of the Actions Committee and Trust began today. During the meeting a new Bank Commission was appointed and a decision was reached to hold the next Zionist Congress in London.
1901(7th of Sivan, 5661): Second day of Shavuot
1901(7th of Sivan, 5661): Samuel Joseph Rubinstein passed away. Born in Mitau in 1817, his father sent him to the U.K. when he reached the age of 12 – the age at which he would have been forced to join the Russian Army. He traveled with his aunt who was joining her husband in Glasgow. When Rubinstein reached the Scottish city, he was befriended by the Davis family who members of the local Jewish congregation. They took him in, gave him work to do so that he could earn some money and treated him as if he were a member of the family.
1902(18th of Iyar, 5662): Lag B’Omer
1902: In Lisbon, a foundation stone is laid for the first synagogue built in Portugal since the expulsion of the Jews in 1497.
1902: At Temple Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, Joseph J. Corn presided over the first public meeting of the Israelite Alliance of America where resolutions were adopted “approving the passage of the resolution of Congressman Henry M. Goldfogle urging the government of the United States to insist that Russia end its discrimination against American Jews and observe the treaty of 1832.”
1903: In Islington, Rosa Enoyce and George Barnes, a Jewish policeman gave birth to English actress Gertrude Maude “Binnie” Barnes.
1904: “Myer S. Isaacs Dead” published today recounted the life of the recently deceased Judge Myer S. Isaacs who had served as President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites and of the Hebrew Free School Association. A lifelong Republican, Governor Cornell had appointed him to the Marine Court in 1880. He was nominated to the Superior Court in 1891 and the Supreme Court in 1895.
1905: In Baden-Wurttemberg, Samuel and Malchen Jeselsohn gave birth to Sigmund “Shimon” Jeselsohn the husband of Karolina Jeselsohn.
1906(1st of Sivan, 5666): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1907(12th of Sivan, 5667): Parashat Naso
1907: It was reported today that a group of prominent Jews have appointed a committee chaired by Michael Furst “to raise the sum of $18,000 to build an addition to the Jewish Protectory at Hawthorne, NY which will be maintained by Jewish charitable societies in Brooklyn”
1908: It was reported today that The Jewish Publication Society of America has “announced that the Board of Publication had finally completed arrangements for the successful carrying on of the Bible translations, which it is expected will now be accomplished in a short time.”
1909(5th of Sivan, 6669): Erev Shavuot
1909: Today, Jacob H. Schiff, who is staying at the Ritz in London, told the New York Times correspondent “that the report that he had committed himself to the plan for planting Jewish colonies in Mesopotamia was erroneous.”
1910: The Chief Rabbi of Salonica protests that despite assurances to the contrary, during his departure, Jews were enrolled in the Army on Saturday. The Minister of Interior telegraphs the Governor General, and instructs him to not let this be repeated. Of 1,908 Jews enrolled at Salonica, 1,719 entered active service; the remaining 189 went into the reserves.
1911: In St. Louis, MO, Rose Pfeiffer and Samuel Elijah gave birth to “coin collector” Eric Newman. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
1912: Austran jurist Hans Kelsen married Margarete Bondi, few days after converting “to Lutheranism of the Augusburg Confession,” – a conversion that would not save him from being treated as a Jew the Nazis.
1912: Founding of the East Boston Hebrew Free School
1913: The Independent Order of B’rith Abraham which had been organized in 1887 opened its 26th Annual Convention today in New York City.
1913: Birthdate of Lee Tabor Shalom, the Paris, Illinois, native who as a director was known as “Roll ‘Em” Sholem.
1913: Birthdate of film and television screenwriter Sidney Carroll
1913: Dedication of the Sarah Morris Hospital for Children of Michael Reese Hospital
1913: Dedication of B’nai Jacob synagogue in New Haven, CT.
1913: Dedication of Beth David Hospital in New York City.
1913 Dedication of Tifereth Israel in Lincoln, Nebraska.
1915: The conclusion of Judge Ben B. Lindsey asking for clemency for Leo Frank which read “I was born and raised in the South and I haven’t any doubt of the sincerity and certainty of the people of Georgia as well as your Excellency and the honorable Board of Pardons, doing anything but justice in this matter. That is why I join the appeal in behalf of the commutation of the sentence of Frank with perfect confidence that your action will be in accord with what seems to me to be the universal opinion throughout the country and that the sentence of Frank should at least be commuted to life imprisonment.”
1914: Today, ten years after Herzl wrote in his diary that Pope Pius X had said “Jerusalem must not get into the hands of the Jews” Pius created 25 new cardinals.
1915: The list of candidates published today those of who might replace M.S. Stern as the Grand Master of the United States Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Sons of Israel who has held the office for thirteen years includes Solon J. Liebeskind, Louis Hess and Emil Tausig of New York City.
1915: One of the last acts of the Michigan Legislature which “formally concluded its 1915 session today” “was the adoption of resolutions urging the Governor of Georgia to commute the death sentence of Leo M. Frank to life imprisonment.”
1915: In Springfield, Illinois, Governor Edward F. Dunne addressed a mass meeting at the State Arsenal tonight in behalf of Leo M. Frank during which he “declared capital punishment to be ‘barbarism’ and asking that the Governor of Georgia to commute his sentence to life imprisonment.”
1916: Dedication of the Grace Aguilar Home in Philadelphia, PA.
1916: “As Chairman of the Board of Delegates of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and as resident member of the Executive Committee of the International Order B’nai B’rith” Simon Wolf wrote to President Woodrow Wilson asking him to express himself “as far as is consistent and proper at this juncture” as supporting the “securing of equal rights for” the Jews throughout the world, “especially those in Russia and Romania” when the terms of peace ending the World War are agreed upon.
1916(22nd of Iyar, 5676): Fifty-five year old Morris Weslosky, the native or Riddleville, GA, who was the husband of Julia Weslosky passed away today in New York City.
1916: It was reported today that “there are about 1,500,000 Jews” in New York City” and there “about 3,500 Jewish organizations of all kinds – religious educational, social philanthropic, industrial and mutual aid.”
1916: It was reported today that “Governor Whitman will be asked to broaden the inquiry into discrimination against Jews alleged to have practice in selecting recruits for Battery D, Second Field Artillery, New York National Guard to a general investigation of similar conditions alleged to exist in other companies and regiments” including the 22nd regiment of the National Guard.
1916: It was reported today that “an Army and Navy Committee of the Young Men’s Hebrew and Kindred Associations is being formed to continue the work of a special committee that takes care of the wants of the estimated 5,000 Jews in the United States Army and Navy.
1916: Isidore Hershfield, the Director of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of America, returned to New York, “after being abroad for many months” during which, “with the permission of the military authorities of both the Austro-Hungarian and German Government, he established a means of communication between the war sufferers and their friends and relatives in the United States.”
1917: In Minsk, Russia, Yiddish was recognized as a second official language.
1917: Funeral services are scheduled to be held for Minnie Weil, the widow of the Benjamin Weil at the home of her son Isaac Weil followed by burial at Free Sons’ Cemetery in Chicago.
1917: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for 47 year old Dwight S. Hirsch, the husband of Mae Hirsch followed by interment at Mount Maariv.
1917: “Diversions of the Turk” summarized “the account sent to Jewish bodies in the United States by the British Ambassador at Washington” that “shows the Turks driving the Jews out of Jaffa during Passover” sacking their houses and robbing them while the Jews who resisted the pillagers “were hanged.”
1918: The Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs announced tonight that an uncensored letter from a correspondent with the British Army in Palestine, reported that General Allenby’s army had renewed its offensive in Palestine and that the campaign will carry these forces beyond the borders of “the Holy Land.” This marked the end of three month halt in the campaign during which the British troops had plenty of time to establish good relations with the Jewish population including the people of Tel Aviv, the site of a major English encampment.
1919: KAM (Kehilath Anshe Ma’arav or "Congregation of the Men of the West"), “the oldest Jewish congregation in Chicago” is scheduled to host the last regular meeting of its Junior Alumni today.
1921: Birthdate of Jack Steinberger, German-born American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988. In talking about his escape from Germany, Steinberger said, “In 1934, the American Jewish charities offered to find homes for 300 German refugee children. We were on the SS Washington, bound for New York by Christmas 1934.”
1921: Birthdate of lyricist and song writer, Hal David. He is a prolific producer of tunes, many of which were written in collaboration with Burt Bacharach. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" won an Academy Award as the score for the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Don't Make Me Over", "Close to You", and "Walk on By" are all in the Grammy Hall of Fame. "What's New Pussycat,” “Alfie” and "The Look of Love" received Oscar nominations. He also wrote many country music hits, including Willie Nelson's "To All The Girls I've Loved Before".
1921 The Hurwitz Educational League sponsored a lecture and recital featuring Dr. A.A. Roback of Harvard University and his wife on “Folk Music Among Jews and Other Nations” in the auditorium of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association on 31 West 110 Street in New York City.
1922(27th of Iyar, 5682): In Chicago, political economist Joseph Pedott passed away today.
1923: Britain recognized Transjordan with Abdullah as its leader. In this illegal action, Britain paid off part of its debt to one Arab family for its part in fighting the Turks during World War I. There are those who contend that by this act Britain effectively portioned Palestine and created an Arab state out of it
1925: The Camden Section of the Junior Hadassah met this evening at the Beth-El Synagogue.
1926: "No attempt toward the economic reconstruction of European Jewries will succeed unless we stem the anti-Semitic wave," declared Dr. William Filderman, president of the Union of Rumanian Jews, on the eve of his departure for Europe on the Berengaria today. "There is no use educating Jewish artisans if anti-Semitic prejudice deprives them of any market for their products," he explained.
1926: Sholom Schwartzbard assassinated Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of Ukrainian People's Republic. Schwartzbard had lost both of his parents in pogroms and he held Petliura accountable for the anti-Semitic violence that had been part of the war in the Ukraine. Anti-Semitic violence was part and parcel of life in the Ukraine, as can be seen in the Chmielnicki's pogroms of 1648, the pogroms in Kiev at the start of the 20th century and the slaughter at Babi Yar during World War II. Schwartzbard’s case was taken up by the French Jewish community and he was acquitted of the charges.
1926: Molecular biologist Alfred Ezra Mirsky married children’s author Reba Paeff
1927: The United Palestine Appeal in Philadelphia, PA is scheduled to come to an end today.
1927: Three weeks after its first screening in Los Angeles of “7th Heaven” a movie that produced at least one Oscar with a screenplay written by Benjamin Glazer opened at New York City.
1928(6th of Sivan, 5688): Shavuot
1928: Birthdate of Henry Baron, the first Jew to sit on the Irish Supreme Court
1929: Birthdate of Beverly Sills. Born Belle "Bubbles" Miriam Silverman in Brooklyn NY, Sills gained fame as operatic soprano and patroness of the arts.
1929: According to reports published today “industrial establishments in Palestine have increased to 513, employing 5,000 workers” with a total of $7,500,000 in invested capital. The actual figures could have been higher but the Ruttenberg Works which has 700 employees was not included in the survey.
1930: Birthdate of John Strugnell who would become editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1984. Strungell was not Jewish but he spent a major portion of his academic life working with these texts and his comments about Judaism in Haaretz turned into a major cause célèbre.
1930: Birthdate of Sonia Fils, the native of Paris who gained fame as fashion designer Sonia Rykiel.
1930: The Peter J. Schweitzer Memorial Hospital, a modern health institution operated at level comparable to those found in an American hospital, opened today in Tiberius in the Valley of the Galilee.
1931: Birthdate of Herbert Eser Gray, “Canada's first Jewish federal cabinet minister, and one of only a few Canadians ever granted the title The Right Honourable who was not so entitled by virtue of a position held.
1931: In New York City, Sol and Anna Winkler gave birth movie producer and director Irwin Winkler who “won an Oscar for Best Picture for ‘Rocky’.”
1931: In Palestine voting began to select the representatives to the 17th Zionist Congress to be held in June. When the voting ends, the Yishuv delegation of 36 consists of 24 Mapai and HaShomer HaTzair, 7 Revisionists, 2 Mizrachi, 2 Hapoel HaMizrachi and 1 Yemenite.
1933(29th of Iyar, 5693): Louis Schloss, a Jewish lawyer was murdered in Dachau.
1934: Ernest Peixotto of the Fontainebleau School arrived in New York after having crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the same liner that carried the chairman of the board of the French Line. Peixotto reported that he had offered American student of the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts the honor of decorating one of the cabins on the Normandie, the largest ship in the world which is now under construction.
1935(22nd of Iyar, 5695): Parashat Bechukotai
1935(22nd of Iyar, 5695): Fifty-six year old Russian born NYU trained attorney and New York City municipal judge Abraham Harawitz passed away today. (Some sources show May 24)
1936: The Jewish Auxiliary Police, "Ghaffirs", was established to guard Jewish settlements and rural roads.
1936: “Hannah Gluckstein (the artist known as Gluck) “married Nesta Obermer, a socialite married to an American businessman” – an event that provided the inspiration for Gluck’s work “Medallion” that “pictured the two together at a performance of Don Giovanni.”
1936: The body of thirty-six year old Jacob Rasili, a laborer belonging to the Jewish Federation of Labor, was found this morning near the Hebrew University library and the doctors reported he had been murdered when “he had been struck on the head with a heavy cane or iron bar.”
1936: It was reported today that Governor Lehman has contributed $3,500 to the United Palestine Appeal and that Maurice Levin and his half-brother J.M. Kaplan have contributed $50,000 to the same cause.
1937: “The League of Frightened Men” co-starring Lionel Stander the Bronx born son Russian Jewish immigrants was released in the United States today.
1938(24th of Iyar, 5698): Shihata Abdalla Saltoun passed away today after which he was buried in Khartoum, Sudan
1938: In Brooklyn Jack and Rose Israel gave birth to “living theatre performance artist” Steven Ben Israel (As reported by Paul Vitello)
1938: As Arab violence continued unabated The Palestine Post reported that in Jerusalem 30 year old Moshe Proper was killed and there were other casualties including 12 Arab victims and seven Jewish victims. A curfew was imposed to stop stoning and shooting incidents. A number of Jewish youths were arrested and a 120 pounds fine was imposed on the Jewish quarter of Montefiore. A number of Revisionists, just released from the Acre prison, were rearrested. Nahum Bibi, a Jewish laborer was fatally shot at Safed and a Bedouin sheikh was murdered by an Arab gang roaming Galilee.
1939(7th of Sivan, 5699): Second Day of Shavuot
1939(7th of Sivan, 5699): Sir Joseph Duveen passed away. The son of Sir Joseph Joel Duveen who had 13 children, he followed in the footsteps of his father and his uncle Henry J. Duveen, and became one of the leading art dealers of his time.
1940(17th of Iyar, 5700): Parashat Bechukotai
1940: As the Allied position in Western Europe crumbles before Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, Churchill’s War Cabinet meets to decide if Britain should continue to the fight against Germany. The ‘peace party’ is led by Foreign Minister Lord Halifax who will make a strong case for a deal with Germany as the debate rages for three days.
1940: FDR began his day in the White House by meeting with Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter.
1940: Judge Samuel I. Rosenman was among the five people who had dinner in the White House with FDR.
1940: U.S. premiere of “Torrid Zone” featuring George Tobias as “Rosario La Mata.”
1940: Hans Biebow today issued orders for factories to be set up in the ghetto (called Arbeitsressorte, or work sections). Provided with very cheap labor, these factories were to serve the Nazis as a source of easy profits and exploitation. The Jews in the ghetto, cut off as they were from all other possible sources of livelihood, were prepared to work for no more than a loaf of bread and some soup. The exploitation of the Jews imprisoned in the ghetto yielded a profit to the ghetto administration estimated at 350 million reichsmarks ($14 million). (As reported by Yad Vashem)
1941: Koestler’s anti-Soviet novel “Darkness at Noon” received a rave cover review in the New York Times Book Review Section: “A splendid novel,” Harold Strauss declared, “written with such dramatic power, with such warmth of feeling and with such persuasive simplicity that it is as absorbing as melodrama. It is a far cry from the bleak topical commentaries that sometimes pass as novels.”
1942: Birthdate of Barry K. Schwartz, the Bronx native who joined with his boyhood friend Calvin Klein to form Calvin Klein, Inc. in which he enjoyed so much success that he could indulge his passion for thoroughbred horse racing.
1943: “At the Auschwitz a group of 1,035 Gypsies (507 men and 528 women) were killed in a single day.”
1943: Four deportations of Jews from Holland to the death camps at Auschwitz and Sobibór total 8000 people.
1943: The expulsion of the Jews from Sofia, Bulgaria, began today. 1944: Birthdate of Actor Frank Oz
1944: Release date of “Mr. Skeffington,” a film about Job Skeiffington, a Jew living in high society directed by Vincent Sherman with a script by Julius and Philip Epstein who produced it along with Jack L. Warner.
1944: In Budapest, the German representative, General Edmund Veesnmayer reported that 138,870 Jews had been deported in the past 10 days.
1944: Hundreds of fleeing Hungarian Jews are killed during a revolt at Auschwitz.
1944: Pioneer television station WPTZ (now KYW-TV) in Philadelphia presented a special, all-star telecast which was also seen in New York over WNBT (now WNBC) and featured cut-ins from their Rockefeller Center studios. Cantor, one of the first major stars to agree to appear on television, was to sing "We're Havin' a Baby, My Baby and Me". Arriving shortly before airtime at the New York studios, Cantor was reportedly told to cut the song because the NBC New York censors considered some of the lyrics too risqué. Cantor refused, claiming no time to prepare an alternative number. NBC relented, but the sound was cut and the picture blurred on certain lines in the song. This is considered the first instance of television censorship
1945: Just three weeks after the surrender of the German capital, pharmacist Erich Zwilsky became the Berlin Jewish Hospital’s managing director, assuming responsibility for the only Jewish institution that had remained in operation throughout World War II.
1945: “Investigating Team 6822, part of the U.S. War Crimes Program to create legal standards and judicial systems to prosecute Nazi crimes” completed its investigation into the murder of prisoners being moved from Rottleberode subcamp to Neuengamme concentration and sent a report to General William Hood Simpson, the Supreme Commander of the United States 9th Army.
1946: Abdullah I becomes King of the Kingdom of Transjordan. From 1921 until 1946 Abdullah had been Emir of the Emirate of Transjordan. On the eve of the creation of state of Israel in 1948, Abdullah met secretly with Golda Meir. Meir sought to keep the Jordanians from attacking the soon to be created Jewish state when the British withdrew. Abdullah offered to let the Jews peacefully as subjects of Jordanian Kingdom that would include all the land of the Palestine mandate. Abdullah’s army invaded Israel, seized what is called the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem. In 1951, Abdullah would be assassinated by an Arab fanatic at the Al Aqsa Mosque. He thought Abdullah was involved in secret peace talks with the Israelis
1946: Switzerland signs the Washington Agreement, under which the Swiss government will voluntarily contribute $58.1 million in gold to an Allied commission established to help rebuild Europe. The Allies are aware that this payment will come from Swiss stores of looted gold taken from Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution. Regardless, the Allies agree not to press the Swiss for additional claims. At this time, Switzerland holds between $300 and $400 million in looted gold.
1947: “The Web,” a “film noir thriller” filmed by cinematographer Irving Glassberg was released in today in the United States.
1947: Perry Belmont, the former Congressman and diplomat who was the son of August Belmont passed away. The Belmonts had passed out of the Jewish world when August married Caroline Slidell, the daughter of a Confederate diplomat and descendant of American naval hero Matthew C. Perry, the man who “opened up Japan.”
1948: The Old City of Jerusalem falls. Defended by local residents, Etzel members and about 80 Haganah soldiers, they were outnumbered and out-gunned by the Arab legionaries. After weeks of desperate fighting it was decided to surrender and save the almost 2000 mostly elderly Jews who were still living in the Old City.
1948: British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin says that the Negev should not be included in a Jewish state because no Jews lived there and that Jaffa and Acre “should be given back to the Arabs” because they were “purely Arab towns.
1948: The attack on Latrun, begun the night before continues. The forces of the Arab Legion are able to fire down on the attacking Jews. As the Jews fall victim to the barrage of bullets, they are forced to confront a second enemy, the searing heat which many of these recent refugees from Europe are not used to. To make matters worse, many of them went into battle without canteens. Their pleas for water are met by sniper fire from the Arabs. Realizing that the attack has failed, the Israelis withdraw with eighty dead and uncounted others wounded. Among the dead is Reuven Oppenheim who had survived the Holocaust. He fought with partisan forces in that part of the Soviet Union known as White Russia. Miraculously, Oppenheim’s immediate family (mother, father and sister) survived with him and came to Palestine in 1947. The price for a Jewish state was high indeed.
1948: The government of Egypt "issued a proclamation stipulating that no Jew could leave Egypt with a special visa from the Ministry of the Interior. This...applied to the many thousands of Jews who held foreign passports." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)
1948: The Scotsman, a newspaper published in Edinburgh, “quoted an Israeli government statement that Thomas C. Wasson,” the Counsel General for the United States in Jerusalem who days before “had attempted to stop the Arab Legion shelling of the Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University on Mount Scopus” "was killed by Arab bullets."
1949: Chaim Weizmann went to the White House as President of Israel at the invitation of President Harry Truman.
1950: “Israel's mounting immigration troubles became more apparent today with the interim report of Malben, which handles the country's hard core cases. This organization has discovered that its six month-old budget of $17,500,000 is about half what it needs to handle the handicapped immigrants under its care.”
1950: Tonight, “The decision of the United States, Britain and France to include Israel in their over-all plan for supplying the countries in the Middle East with arms for defense purposes was greeted” in Israel “with satisfaction by a Foreign Ministry spokesman.”
1950: “In an effort to further stabilize the Armistice Agreements, and to control the flow of arms to the Middle East, France, Britain and the United States announced, today, their decision to stabilize the situation in the region by an agreement among themselves not to supply weapons to a state harboring aggressive designs. They also agreed to take action both within and outside the U.N. to prevent any change in the armistice lines. Text of the Declaration follows.”
1951: In a handwritten letter proposes, Abba Eban proposed periodic meetings between himself and the leaders of major American Jewish organizations “to exchange views and impressions about the American-Israeli relationship.”
1952: King Features launched the Sunday version of the comic strip “Big Ben Bolt” written by Elliot Caplin, the brother of Al Capp.
1953: In New York City, Arthur Ensler, a Jewish food industry executive and his non-Jewish wife Christ gave birth to award winning playwright Eve Ensler, “best known for her play The Vagina Monologues.”
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Cabinet was discussing the deteriorating security situation in border areas.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Thomas Harlan, son of Veit Harlan, a notorious Nazi film producer, was in Israel working on a film which would "atone" for the sins of his father.
1954: The Pittsburgh Pirates traded Cal Abrams to the Baltimore Orioles.
1954(22nd of Iyar, 5714): Robert Capa, possibly the most famous photo journalist of the 20th century was killed while on assignment cover the French- Indochina War. The Jewish native of Hungary waded ashore with the first wave of troops at Omaha Beach, providing the first photographic record of the assault.
1955(4th of Sivan, 5715): Eighty-five year old Regina “Rae” Mayer Sabath, the Baden-Wurttemberg born daught of Willam and Sarah (Stern) Mayer and wife of Judge Joseph Sabath who whom she married in 1888 and whom she had three children - Albert, Stella and Milton Sabath - passed away after which she was buried in Chicago at the Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum.
1957: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Caesar’s Hour” starring Sid Caesar and his comedic sidekicks Howard Morris and Carl Reiner.
1957: After 49 performances at the Broadway Theatre, the curtain came down on “Shinbone Alley,” a musical with a book by Mel Brooks orchestrated by Irwin Kostal.
1958(6th of Sivan, 5718): Shavuot
1958: After only 4 months, ABC broadcast the final episode of “Sid Caesar Invites You” which “briefly united” the comedian with a group of writers that included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon and Mel Brooks.
1963(2nd of Sivan, 5723): Parashat Bamidbar
1963(2nd of Sivan, 5723): Fifty-year old New York Times publisher Orvil Dryfoos, the husband of Marian Sulzberger and son-in-law of Arthur Hays Sulzberger who guided the paper through the 114 day long newspaper strike passed away today.
1963: During his Shabbat Sermon, at Tremont Temple in the Bronx, Rabbi Maurice J. Bloom declared that because of his divorce and recent remarriage Governor Rockefeller is morally obligated to press for an easing of New York State's divorce laws. If New York State had a proper marriage and divorce code neither the Governor nor his first wife, nor his current wife would be forced to participate in actions that are variance with the laws that the Governor is sworn to uphold as the state’s chief executive. Furthermore, the Rabbi contended that it is not fair that divorce is only open to the wealthy who can afford to take up temporary residence in other states with more lenient laws related to terminating a marriage. Tying the contemporary issue to Jewish tradition, Rabbi Bloom said, “Judaism believes in making strict marriage laws to safeguard marriage and easy divorce laws to make it possible to repair mistakes made by the application of those strict laws. Judaism stresses the sanctity of marriage, and for that reason it does not condemn people to live together where strife and incompatibility would mar good family life.”
1963: After 43 performances, the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Hot Spot,” a musical with “lyrics by Martin Charnin, music by Mary Rodgers, and additional lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim”
1964: “The Subject Was Roses,” the Pulitzer Prize winning play directed by Israel Ulu Grosbard and starring Jack Albertson “premiered on Broadway at the Royale Theatre” today.
1965(23rd of Iyar, 5725): Sixty-four year old Irving Isaacs, the husband of the “former Bertha Goldman” and the father of Albert and Morton Goldman, who was the “owner of Abalon Kosher Caterers in the Bronx” passed away today “in Westchester Square Hospital.”
1965: Shimon Peres completed his term as Deputy Minister of Defense.
1966(6th of Sivan, 5726): Shavuot
1966: Opening in the United Kingdom, “It Happened Here” a film based on a mythic successful invasion of England by the Nazis filmed by Peter Suschitzky was released today in Australia.
1966: U.S. premiere of “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” co-starring Carl Reiner, Alan Arkin and Theodore Bikel with music by Johnny Mandel.
1966: Helen Reddy, who had converted to Judaism before the ceremony married Jeff Wald today.
1967: U.S. premiere of “Barefoot in the Park” the movie adaption of the play by Neil Simon, directed by Gene Saks, produced by Hal B. Wallis, featuring Herb Edeleman as “Harry Pepper”, Mabel Albertson as “Harriet” and Fritz Feld.
1968(27th of Iyar, 5728): Parashat Emor
1968(27th of Iyar, 5728): Sixty-four year old agent and movie producer Charles K. Feldman, the husband of Clotilde Barot, whose film credits included “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the timeless comedy “The Seven Year Itch” and cowboy classic “Red River” passed away today.
1969: Release date of “Midnight Cowboy” directed by John Schlesinger and starring Dustin Hoffman.
1969: An Israeli vehicle was damaged Sunday night after hitting a mine near Maoz Chaim in the valley. There were no casualties
1971: The board of directors of Yonkers Raceway announced today that 51 year old Stanley Tananbaum has been named president replacing his late brother Martin Tananbaum
1972: Filming of “Ciao! Manhattan” co-directed, co-produced and co-written by David Weisman was completed today after which it premiered “in Amsterdam…to critical acclaim.”
1976(25th of Iyar, 5736): A guard at Ben Gurion Airport was killed and nine others were injured when a bomb planted in a suitcase by a terrorist went off prematurely.
1977: Samuel W. Lewis, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel presented his credentials today.
1977: Star Wars opened. This would be the first in a whole series of films that would include the villain Darth Vader. According to Adams Walls, “Even though it's too small to see on screen, part of Darth Vader's chestplate features three lines of Hebrew, one of which appears to be upside down. What the lines say is a matter of much online debate among Jewish "Star Wars" fans. On TheForce.net, which features photos of the Hebrew script in question, one blogger believes it's a play on a section from Exodus 16 about repentance, while another thinks the lines read: "His actions/deeds will not be forgiven until he is proven innocent" and "One shall be regarded innocent until he is proven guilty."
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported the official denial of reports that Israel sought control over the West Bank's absentee property owned by Arabs residing abroad, and that there were plans to establish a Jewish urban quarter near Nablus. Officials of the Land Administration were instructed to lift a ban on transactions affecting property owned by local Arab residents, residing abroad.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Knesset Speaker, Mr. Yitzhak Shamir, accepted an invitation to visit Germany at the head of the Knesset delegation.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that a six-lane divided highway, which would cut through the Sacher Park and expand the Kirya, was approved in Jerusalem.
1978(18th of Iyar, 5738): Lag B’Omer
1979(28th of Iyar, 5739): Yom Yerushalayim
1979: “The Brood” a sci-fi film directed by David Cronenberg who also wrote the script was released in the United States today.
1979: Israel begins to return the Sinai to Egypt as part of the Camp David Peace Accords.
1979: A graveside funeral service is scheduled to held “at the Jewish Memorial Cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin today for seventy-four year old Dr. Ralph P Rosenberg, the son of “Barnet and Rose (Weislander) Rosenberg and the husband of Leah (Davidson) Rosenberg, the holder of a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin who was a “Professor of German and the Humanities at Yeshiva University in New York for 38 years.
1979: Six year old Etan Kalil Patz disappeared in Lower Manhattan, New York City as he walked to catch the school bus. . He would be the first missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.
1981(21st of Iyar, 5741): Sixty-five year old UK native Leonard Blake, the son of Harry and Gertrude Balke and the husband of Gabrielle Blake passed away today in Marbella, Spain.
1981: “News Summary” published today included charges by Prime Minister Menachem Begin made for the first time that “Soviet advisers are entering Lebanon accompanying large Syrian Army Units.”
1982: In a meeting today with Alexander Haig, Philip Habib repeated what he had already said many times before: "Terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews in Europe are not included in the cease-fire agreement.”
1983(13th of Sivan, 5743): Eighty-four year old journalist and author Zelda F. Popkin whose works included Quiet Street which “was based on the siege of Jerusalem during the Israeli War of Independence.”
1983: “Demonstrations protesting against the persecution of refuseniks were held simultaneously in New York, Washington, Paris, London and Lisbon.”
1983: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi with a script by Lawrence E. Kasdan and Frank Oz performing as “Yoda” was released today in the United States.
1985(5th of Sivan, 5745): Erev of Shavuot
1985(5th of Sivan, 5745): Robert Gruntal Nathan “an American novelist and poet” passed away. “Nathan was born into a prominent New York family. He was educated in the United States and Switzerland and attended Harvard University for several years beginning in 1912. It was there that he began writing short fiction and poetry. However, he never graduated, choosing instead to drop out and take a job at an advertising firm to support his family (he married while a junior at Harvard). It was while working in 1919 that he wrote his first novel—the semi-autobiographical work Peter Kindred—which was a critical failure. But his luck soon changed during the 1920s, when he wrote seven more novels, including The Bishop's Wife, which was later made into a successful film starring Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young. During the 1930s, his success continued with more works, including fictional pieces and poetry. In 1940, he wrote his most successful book, Portrait of Jennie, about a Depression-era artist and the woman he is painting, who is slipping through time. Portrait of Jennie is considered a modern masterpiece of fantasy fiction and was made into a film, starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. In January 1956 the author wrote, as well as narrated, an episode of the CBS Radio Workshop, called "A Pride of Carrots or Venus Well-Served." Nathan's seventh wife was the British actress Anna Lee, to whom he was married from 1970 until his death. He came from a talented family — the activist Maud Nathan and author Annie Nathan Meyer were his aunts, and the poet Emma Lazarus and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo his cousins.”
1987: James Levine is scheduled to conduct the IPO tonight in a performance that will include Mahler’s Third Symphony.
1990(1st of Sivan, 5750): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1990: Showtime broadcast the last episode of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” a sitcom “created by Garry Shanling and Alan Zweibel.”
1990(1st of Sivan, 5750): Seventy-nine year old Vienna born and refugee from the Nazis Harry Bachrach, the husband of Katherine Bachrach and the father of Alfred, George and Frances Bachrach who was “the president of Harry Bachrach Inc., a Manhattan textile company specializing in neckties” passed away today.
1991: Israel began the evacuation 14,000 Ethiopian Jews. This was done as a secret operation and served as a reminder of the role of Israel as a haven for all Jews.
1991: Final broadcast of “Out of This World” a sitcom co-starring Donna Pescow.
1993(5th of Sivan, 5753): Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Friedman, the founder and former spiritual leader of the Garment Center Synagogue in Manhattan, passed away today at the age of 95. He was a rabbinical graduate of Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1921 and, a decade later, founded the Garment Center Synagogue. The synagogue, at 205 West 40th Street, was established primarily to serve the many Jews who worked in the garment trade. Born on Nov. 13, 1897, in Jerusalem, Rabbi Friedman came to the United States with his mother and brother in 1918 to escape famine in his homeland. His father had arrived a year earlier. Trained as a scribe, Rabbi Friedman began his rabbinical studies in 1919. After his ordination, he was appointed rabbi of Congregation Ezrath Israel in Ellenville, N.Y., a position he held for four years before moving to Brooklyn. In 1931, after serving at several synagogues in New York City, Rabbi Friedman founded the Garment Center Synagogue. In the mid-1950's, he was named rabbi emeritus. Rabbi Friedman's wife, Charlotte, died in 1980.
1994: In Needham Massachusetts, Lynn (née Faber), a former high school gymnast, and Rick Raisman gave birth to Alexandra Rose Raisman who gained fame as Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, the victim of sexual abuse who was “awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”
1996(7th of Sivan, 5756): Second Day of Shavuot
1997(18th of Iyar, 5757): Lag B’Omer
1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Actual by Saul Bellow and the Wisdom of the Body by Sherwin B. Nuland
1999: Final broadcast of season one of “Felicity” created by J.J. Abrams staring Greg Grunberg as “Sean Blumberg.
1999: A production of “The Phantom of the Opera” starring Paul Stanley (Stanley Bert Eisen) opened today in Toronto.
2000: Publication of Bee Season by Myla Goldberg.
2000(20th of Iyar, 5760): Centenarian Francis Lederer, an actor who enjoyed successful careers in Europe and the United States passed away today.
2000: Israel withdraws the last of its forces from Lebanon.
2001: The terrorists of Palestinian Islamic Jihad took credit for the bombing today the Hadera bus station where 65 people were injured but nobody was killed.’
2001: The 54th Cannes Film Festival where Dover Kosashvili’s “Late Marriage was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section” came to an end today
2001: The terrorists of Hamas took credit for the bombing at a mall in Hadera today where there were no reports of any fatalities.
2002: “Last Call,” the film version of the book by Frances Kroll, the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last secretary and personal assistant, who portrayed herself as playing a key role in his last and uncompleted novel, The Last Tycoon, was released in the United States today. (Editor’s note – watched on Amazon or Netflix and for some reason really enjoyed it.)
2002: An exhibition opens at the Tate in London entitled “Ori Gersht: Afterglow” which features the work of Israeli artist Ori Gersht.
2003: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Last Good Season by Michael Shapiro.
2004(5th of Sivan, 5764): Roger Williams Straus, Jr. passed away. Born in 1917, “Strauss was co-founder of Farrar, Straus and Giroux a New York book publishing company. Straus, along with John Farrar, began the influential firm of Farrar and Straus in 1945. In 1955, the company hired editor Robert Giroux away from rival Harcourt, Brace, who brought along authors such as T. S. Eliot and Flannery O'Connor, among others. Ultimately, in 1994, twenty years after his partner Farrar had died, Straus determined he could no longer run the company, retired, and sold the business to a German publishing conglomerate, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, the type of company he had long disdained and spoke out against. Straus was regarded as one of the last, old-fashioned publishers, faithful to his company and tight with his money, but emphasizing quality over commercial success. His dedication to the publishing business earned him several Nobel Prize-winning authors, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky, Nadine Gordime, Czeslaw Milosz and T. S. Eliot, and Pulitzer Prize authors such as Robert Lowell, John McPhee, Philip Roth, and Bernard Malamud. Straus grew up in a wealthy and influential family. His mother was Gladys Guggenheim, heir to one of the largest fortunes in America. His father, Roger W. Straus, was chairman of the American Smelting and Refining Co., which was owned by his wife's family. Straus' paternal grandfather, Oscar S. Straus, served as Secretary of Commerce and Labor under President Theodore Roosevelt.”
2004(5th of Sivan, 5674): Erev Shavuot
2004(5th of Sivan, 5674): Eighty-seven year old publisher Roger Williams Straus, Jr, the “son of Gladys and Roger Williams Straus” and the “brother of Oscar Solomon Straus, II” passed away today after which was buried in Manhattan.
2004: In Israel, striking lifeguard returned to work today as part of what they called “a goodwill gesture” for Shavuot which begins this evening.
2005(16th of Iyar, 5765): Sixty-seven year old concert pianist Ruth Laredo whose career spanned three decades lost her battle with ovarian cancer today.
2005: At U.C Santa Cruz, The Jewish Studies Program is scheduled to present a lecture by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, titled “Seduced into Eden: The Beginning of Desire.” Zornberg's first book, Genesis: The Beginning of Desire won the National Jewish Book Award for nonfiction in 1995.
2006(27th of Iyar, 5766): Rabanit Yocheved 'Jackie' Wein z"l, the first wife of Rabbi Berel Wein passed away today.
2006: In “New Stamp to Honor WWII Envoy” published today Christopher Lee described plans to honor “Hiram Bingham IV, a blue-blood American diplomat in France who defied U.S. policy by helping Jews escape the Nazis in the early years of World War II.”
2006: During the Sydney Writers’ Festival at the Sydney (Australia) Jewish Museum Professor Konrad Kwiet leads a discussion with editors and journalists from major Sydney newspapers where they examine the role of free press in a democratic society including the need, if ever, for limits on freedom of the press and the need for the media to demonstrate a sense social responsibility.
“Books can be entertaining, insightful and at their best, life changing. But are there some books that just should not be read? Are they indeed dangerous? Books like Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, have spawned some of the most evil Books can be entertaining, insightful and at their best, life changing. But are there some regimes the world has known. Yet should we limit our access to these ideas? The intrinsic virtues of free speech are often touted throughout the West, however in countries such as Australia Anti Racial Vilification Legislation limits what can and cannot be said in public forums. What can or should be the role of the media in these kinds of debates? A free press is one of the basic tenets of a democratic society, but are there times when this freedom is taken too far? Does the press have a social responsibility and if so, what is it?
2007: In Israel, Avner Itai the lead Israel Chamber Orchestra oboist, one of the greatest conductors in Israel and a professor for choir conducting joins Ora Seitner and guitarist Oded Schub in performing folk songs and works from Catalonia and France at the Abu Gosh Festival. He will play an oboe d'amore that he bought this year. Itai will conduct instrumentalists from the Philharmonic and his choir, Collegium Tel Aviv, in Bach's "Mass in B Minor."
2007: Ryan Joseph Braun made his major league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers.
2008 Efram “Sneh announced that he would be leaving the Labor Party and creating a new party, Yisrael Hazaka.”
2008: The Wolf Prizes were awarded today at the Chagall Hall by the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Chairperson of the Wolf Foundation Council, Prof. Yuli Tamir, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Zeev Schleisner.
2008: Barry Levinson's tale of an embattled Hollywood producer entitled “What Just Happened?” closes this year's Festival de Cannes. The movie is based on his memoir about his experiences as a producer.
2008: The winner of the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award is announced in New Orleans at the 62nd Reuben Awards Ceremony. Mad Magazine Veteran Al Jaffee is one nominees for this year's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. The Reuben Award (a statuette designed by and named after the
2008: The Cedar Rapids Jewish community watches with pride as Daniel DeClue takes part in the graduation ceremonies at Prairie High School. A dedicated student of Judaica, a regular at Saturday morning services and an all-around great guy, he will be truly missed while he is away at college.
2009: As Americans gather to observe Memorial Day, the following we are reminded of the role that Jews have played in defense of this country from Asher Levy in New Amsterdam to Corporal Mark Evnin, the first Jewish casualty in Iraq.
2009: Israel is likely to face simultaneous missile strikes and terror attacks across the country in the event of a war breaking out, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said today. Vilnai made the comments during a session of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, in which he said the Home Front Command would simulate defending against such an assault as part of a large-scale drill to be held next week. "This isn't an imaginary situation. This isn't detached from reality and if there is a war, it's very likely that this is what will happen," said the deputy minister. The Israel Defense Forces drill, codenamed "Turning Point 3, has been billed as the largest exercise ever in Israel's history. IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Ze'ev Zuk-Rom, the National Emergency Authority chief, also participated in the briefing. He said the drill will be based on lessons learned in different exercises held over the last two years, including ones learned during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, Israel's recent offensive against Hamas in Gaza. "In every future confrontation with one enemy or more the home front will suffer the brunt of the offense. The better prepared Israel is, the smaller the number of casualties and the lesser the damage to vital national infrastructure will be." committee chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi said at the end of the meeting. "The committee is satisfied that the upcoming drill was planned in a professional and reliable way and that its contribution to saving lives is of supreme importance," Hanegbi concluded.
2009(2nd of Sivan, 5769): Amos Elon, author of “The Israelis: Founders and Sons,” passed away at the age of 82.
2010: "The Adventures of Hershele Ostropolyer," a new musical adaptation of the classic Yiddish play by Moyshe Gershenson, is scheduled to premiere tonight at The Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.
2009: Conference 2009 hosted by The Philadelphia Kehilla For Secular Jews came to an end.
2010: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., officially reopened the Etan Patz case today.
2010: American Olympic figure skating champion Sarah Hughes “graduated from Yale and received a bachelor's degree in American studies with a concentration in U.S. politics and communities.”
2010: Elizabeth Holtzman announced that she had decided not to run for New York State Attorney General.
2010: The 49th Israel Festival, arguably one of Israel's most important cultural and artistic events, will commence with performances by Nuevo Tango, Ahavat Olamim, a tribute to Charlie Parker by Anchipolosvky, the King's Singers, and a dance performance entitled Vertigo, Birth of the Phoenix. The three week festival centered in Jerusalem will feature music, dance, and theater from Israeli and international artists that hail from the U.S., Britain, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, France, Iceland, India, Japan and Korea. Events will occur in venues throughout the city.
2011: Jonathan D. Sarna is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “That Obnoxious Order”: Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC.
2011: Joan Nathan is scheduled to sign copies of “Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous” at the National Archives following a presentation that “explores the rich tapestry of more than three centuries of Jewish cooking in America.
2011: The New England Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present a lecture, “Among Mishpocha: At Home in the Boston Jewish Community” by Dr. Michael Feldberg in the Education Center of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.
2011: Ken Spiro is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the accomplishments of the Jews throughout history entitled “What Would the World be Like without the Jews?” in Greenwich, CT.
2011: Six Israeli women from Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda are scheduled be at the JCCNV to cook foods from different origins (Moroccan, Kurdish -Iraqi, Persian, Russian
and Yemenite) as part of “Taste of Israel: Ethnic Cooking at its Best.”
2011: Opening of “Jews, Slavery and the Civil War” a conference hosted by the College of Charleston.
2011: US President Barack Obama said today that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "more urgent than ever." And while expressing confidence that a two-state solution was achievable, the US president made it clear that seeking Palestinian statehood in the United Nations would be "a mistake." Speaking alongside UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a press conference in London after the two met privately, Obama stated that the Palestinians must understand "they have obligations as well."
2012: Gil Shohat is scheduled to conduct a Brahms Marathon at the Henry Crown Concert Hall as part of the Israel Festival.
2012: The Centre Daily Times reported that Graham Spanier “is suing” Penn State University in order to force them the school to turn over some e-mails related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The paper also reported that Spanier “was listed as one of four officials at the center of the school’s faiure to respond to Sandusky’s predatory behavior.” Spanier had been President of Penn State until he was forced to resign for his failure to act to react to reports of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys. (Spanier is Jewish, Sandusky is not)
2012: As Americans begin their Memorial Day Weekend by Cantor Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner are scheduled to lead a special Shabbat Eve service at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue honoring the memory of the Jewish Fallen Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan. National Museum of American Jewish Military History President, Norman Rosenshein, is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks. During the service, the names of the more than 40 fallen heroes will be read as a sign of solemn remembrance
2012: The confirmands and their families attended Shabbat evening services at Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio.
2013: Zubin Mehta is scheduled to conduct the IPO at a gala concert in Israel featuring Itzhak Perlman.
2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform at the Potomac Overlook Regional Park in Arlington, VA.
2013: Syrian web activists loyal to the regime of Basher Assad launched a failed cyber-attack on Haifa's water supply system, a senior scientist and web expert revealed today.
2013: Dozens of protesters demonstrated tonight in Ramat Gan around Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom's residence over the government's intention to approve the export of natural gas from Israel, Army Radio reported
2014: Forty-six year old Carla Brui, the Italian born former first lady of France is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv.
2014: The funeral for Don Levine, the creator of “GI Joe” is scheduled to be held at Temple Beth-El in Providence, RI
2014: French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve “condemened” yesterday’s atrack in front a synagogue in Créteil, a Paris suburb on what he describe as members of “the Jewish faith.” (Tmes of Israel)
2014: “Prosecutors today said they are looking for a lone suspect in the lethal weekend shooting spree at the Brussels Jewish Museum that left three people dead and one in critical condition. “ Two of the victims have been identified as an Israeli couple Mira and Emmanuel Riva.The other victims have only been idenitied as a murdered French woman and an injured Belgian.
2014; “AOL Inc said today it is starting a program in Israel to assist start-ups, and that it will invest at least $100,000 in as many as 10 projects at a time.”
2014: At Ben Gurion Airport President Shimon Peres “welcomed Pope Francis, saying "On behalf of the Jewish people and in the name of all the people of Israel, I welcome you with the age old words from the Book of Psalms: 'Welcome in the name of the Lord.' Welcome at the gates of Jerusalem." (As reported by Attila Somfalvi)
2014: In Durham, NC, Hundreds of people are scheduled “to witness the internment of a cake of ashes given to an American soldier by a Dachau survivor in 1945” at the Durham Hebrew Cemetery. (As reported by Rene Ghert-Zand)
2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman (reviewed by Nicholas Lemann) and in-depth interview of Leah Hager Cohen author of No Book but the World.
2014: In a front-page ad in today’s edition of Haaretz, “the New Association For a Better Future” “called on MKs” to support 88 year old former Defense Minister Moshe Arens for the Presidency of Israel.
2014: In Spain, residents of the town of Castrillo Matajudos (Castrillo Kill Jews) will vote on changing the town’s name to Mota Judios or Mota Judious, both of which means Mound of the Jews.
2015(7th of Sivan, 5775): Second Day Shavuot – Yizkor
2015(7th of Sivan, 5775): Ninety year old Morris Wilkins passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)
2015: Today, “judges sentenced former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to serve an additional eight months of prison over a graft conviction, tacking the sentence onto a separate six-year jail term the ex-politician is set to serve for another conviction.”
2015: This evening the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, DC is scheduled to host Café Nite, an exploration of several learning options with MesorahDC.
2015: Memorial Day observed as Americans remember those who made the supreme sacrifice for the United States and her citizens.
2020: The Virtual Sonoma County JCC Israeli Film Festival is scheduled to host a screening of “Turn Left at the End of the World,” a 2004 drama about culture clashes between Indian and Moroccan Jews who have immigrated to Israel and the love between two girls on opposite sides
2020: Memorial Day is scheduled to be observed in the United States since the start of the pandemic
2020: The History Channel is scheduled to host the first in a three-part miniseries about U.S. Grant, infamous for Order Number 11 but also known for his positive relationship with the Jewish community that led to its support for him at the ballot box and included his attendance at the dedication of Adas Israel to which he made a contribution.
2020: Aish is schedule to host a “special live class with Rabbi Benjamin Blech” who will speak on “How the Torah Changed the World,” “a 40-minute exploration on the 10 commandments and personal fulfillment.
2020: As they arise this morning, Israelis will be confronting the realities of the Pandemic and the reality of Prime Minister standing on trial for corruption.
2020: The ASF Institute of Jewish Experience is scheduled to present a Webinar on “Value and Consequences in the Halakhic Process: A Sephardi Perspective” with Professor Zvi Zohar.