876 BCE (28 Iyar 2884): This is the traditional date of death of Samuel, prophet and priest (born 2832).
455: The Vandals entered Rome and plundered the city. Among the treasures they took with them were the spoils of the Second Temple that had been brought to Rome by Titus.
1098: During the First Crusade, the first Siege of Antioch ends as Crusader forces take the city marking one more step on their rode to Jerusalem that would mean more death and destruction for the Jewish people
1128: Pier Leoni, “the son of the Jewish convert Leo de Benedicto and founder of the great and important medieval Roman family of the Pierleoni” who was said to be “the greatest man in Rome in his time” passed away today.
1430: “Moses Arragel, a Hebrew Scholar in Castile, presented his translation of the “Old Testament” into the Castilian language to Don Luis de Guzman, grand master of the Order of Catalrava”
1446: William III of Luxembourg, “who mined a silver groschen known as the Judenkopf Groschen” – a coin that “shows a man with a pointed beard waring a Jewish hat” married Anne of Luxembourg today.
1453: In Breslau, John of Capistrano led a mock trial of alleged desecrations of the host. The Rabbi of the community hanged himself and urged other Jews to commit suicide. Forty-one Jews were burned, their property confiscated, and all children under seven were forcibly baptized.
1476: Printing of the first edition of Tur Orah Cahim in Mantua, Italy
1485: The Jews of Toledo plan an attack designed to kill the Inquisitors and then lock the city gates. The plan did not come to fruition after it was betrayed. The Jews of the city suffered later the following winter at the hands of the Inquisitors.
1495: In Leiria, Abraham d’Ortas completed the printing of Jacob ben Asher’s Tur Or Hayyim.
1727: Elias Levy and Judith Hart were married today in the United Kingdom
1778(7th of Sivan, 5538): Second Day of Shavuot as George Washington prepares to lead his troops out of Valley Forge where they spent a horrific winter that in the end re-shaped the military unit facing the British and their Hessian mercenaries.
1780: Rachel Pinto who, like most members of the Jewish community had left New York when the British occupied the city returned to the city today.
1780: Seven years before his conversion to Judaism, Lord George Gordon “headed a crowd of around 50,000 people that marches on Parliament marking the start of the “Gordon Riots.”
1786(6th of Sivan, 5546): Shavuot
1790: Raphael Raphael married Julia Asher at the New Synagogue in the United Kingdom.
1805(5th of Sivan, 5565): Erev of Shavuot observed as Lewis and Clark continue their expedition of exploration.
1807: In what is now the Czech Republic Leopold Lobl and his wife gave birth to Marcus Lobl.
1807: Zalma Rehine, a native of Germany became a citizen of the United States today.
1808(7th of Sivan, 5568): Second Day of Shavuot
1812: Birthdate of Wilhelm Stahl, the native of Munich who became an economist and who converted to Christianity after living with his older brother Friedrich Julius Stahl.
1813: In Great Yarmouth, Edward Emanuel Micholls and Rosetta Micholls gave birth to Samson Micholls.
1816(6th of Sivan, 5576): Shavuot
1816: Birthdate of Grace Aguilar, the British author whose Portuguese Marrano forbearers found a safe home in 18th century England.
1821: Birthdate of Frederick A. Johnson the first Jewish child born in Cincinnati. He was the son of David Israel and Eliza Johnson.
1824(6th of Sivan, 5584): Shavuot observed for the last time during the Presidency of James Monroe.
1827(7th of Sivan, 5587) Second Day of Shavuot and Shabbat observed on the same day that in that part of Mexico known as Texas, Francisco Ruiz wrote to Stephen Austin, the leader of the American colony that the “Chiefs of Tahusacano and Waco Indians wish to make peace” and are going to San Antonio for that purpose.
1830: Rabbi Isaac Lesser delivered his first sermon in English at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia.
1835: Max and Sarah Oppenheimer gave birth to Nathan Hirsch Oppenheimer.
1835: Birthdate Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto who as Pope Pius X granted an audience to Theodore Herzl who failed in his attempt to enlist the Pope’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Pope was polite but firm in his rejection.
1837: In Philadelphia, PA, Judah Lazarus Hackenburg and Maria Allen gave birth to William Hackenburg, the husband of Adeline Schoneman, “manufacturer of sewing and machine silks” and Chairman of the Silk Association of America whose many leadership roles in the Jewish community including co-founding the United Hebrew Charities in 1869, the Hebrew Charity Ball Association in 1859 and the committee “to aid Russian refugees” as well as serving as President of the Jewish Hospital and Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites, Treasurer of Congregation Beth El Emeth and Vice President of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites.
1840: Three days after he passed away, Abraham Quixano Henriques was buried today at the Nuevo Jewish Cemetery in London.
1840: As the furor over the Damascus Affair increases, French Prime Minister Adolphe Thiers defended the behavior of Benoit Laurent-Francois, Count de Ratti-Merion, the French Consul in Damascus during a debate in the Chamber of Deputies. Thiers attributed the uproar to the Jews whom he described as being “more powerful in the world than they have pretensions to be.”
1840: Birthdate of Thomas Hardy. The rest of the world the world may remember him as a British author, but for Jews he was a supporter of a homeland in Palestine as can be seen by the fact that in February of 1919, “he signed a declaration of sympathy with the Jews in support of a movement for ‘the reconstitution of Palestine as a National Home for the Jewish People.’”
1841: Abraham Emanuel and Clara Joseph were married today at the Great Synagogue in London.
1841: Henry Lazarus and Frances Barnett were married today at the Great Synagogue in London.
1846: Birthdate of Hubert-Joseph Henry, the French officer who killed himself after being arrested for forging the evidence that helped to convict Alfred Dreyfus.
1846: Birthdate of Dr. Emil Bessels, the native of Heidelberg, Germany, who was both a physician and Arctic explorer who worked for the Smithsonian Institution.
1854(6th of Sivan, 5614): Shavuot
1857: Joseph Hyams and Julie Joel were married at the Great Synagogue in London.
1857: The body of Isaac Jackson was discovered on a farm near Westfield, MA and Charles Jones was arrested on charges of having murdered him. Jackson was Jewish. Jones wasn’t.
1860: Birthdate of Sarah Beck, the native of Brandenburg, Germany, who became Sarah Hexter when she married Max Hexter with whom she raised a family in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1863: During the Civil War, Jacob C. Cohen who was serving with the 27th Ohio wrote home describing military life in and around Memphis, TN. The 27th arrived at there after having served at Corinth, MS and fought several skirmishes in northern Alabama. By being at Memphis, Cohen and his comrades were being spared the hardship of that part of Grant’s army trying to take Vicksburg. But they would see plenty of action when Sherman began his campaign to take Atlanta.
1863: Establishment of Congregation Emanu-El a synagogue in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island
1864: Moroccan Jews and Jews from Gibraltar residing in Haifa requested a written ruling from the British Consul for permission to pray. "The Turkish authorities here made no objection to our thus assembling for prayer till quite lately; when they declared that we cannot meet together without being possessed of a firman from Constantinople."
1867: Simon Bennett was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.
1870: “Religious Bigotry in Turkey – Massacre of Jews by Christians” published today described “a horrible massacre of Jews by Christians in the Turkish province of Romania.” On Sunday, May 29, the Christians attacked the Jews living in all of the “principle towns” butchering “without mercy” thousands of Jews without regard to age or sex.
1870: “Mr. Disraeli’s Health”, published today, reported that the British Prime Minister’s health had improved the extent that he could visit the Foreign Ministry and dine with two American diplomats.
1870: Based on dispatches received today in Washington, the Jews of Louisville, KY have sent telegrams to their co-religionists in cities throughout the West urging them to contact their Congressmen with a request that they do all they can to prevent further attacks on the Jews of Romania which have been described as a massacre.
1870: As American Jews respond to the worsening conditions of their co-religionists in Romania, in Washington, D.C., Simon Wolf receives the following telegram from M.S. Isaacs, Secretary of the Jewish Board of Delegates of the United States “Ask the President to instruct the Minister at Constantinople to help the Jews of Roumania.”
1870: As American Jews respond to the worsening conditions of their co-religionists in Romania, in Washington, D.C., Simon Wolf receives the following telegram from Henry Greenbaum, a leading Chicago banker “Please ask my personal friends in Congress to cooperate with you in representations to the President or otherwise, that the persecution and butchery of our brethren in Roumania be stopped.”
1870: A New York Times writer marvels at the fact that those who have most recently escaped from the effects of religious persecution are the most likely to persecute others for their religious beliefs. The case in point is the persecution of the Jews by the Christians of Roumania, who have so recently been “released from the fear of oppression” by the Moslems. The atrocities are reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition and are a reminder that the “problems of the darkest ages” are still found in the 19th century.
1873(7th of Sivan, 5633): Second Day of Shavuot
1876: Today, The Evening Post praised the new house’ of Wellington, NZ “entrepreneur and philanthropist” Lipman Levy saying that “it is fitted with a number of unusual appliances including a high pressure steam boiler in the kitchen” that supplies water to “all parts of the house” and “handsome gaslights.”
1877: Samuel Morais Hyneman was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia, PA. Hyneman played an active role in Jewish communal affairs serving as the President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Philadelphia and serving on the board of trustees of both the Jewish Theological Seminary and Gratz College.
1878: Eliza Miller and Ralph Cohen were the receptients of this year’s “Betty Bruhl Prizes” which were presented during “a gala event” that was held this evening at Hebrew Orphan Asylum. The event also marked the third anniversary of the distribution of the “Betty Bruhl Prizes.” Four years ago, Moses Bruhl presented the asylum with $2,500.00 with the stipulation that the interest on the amount was to be presented annually to tow orphans – one boy and one girl – not older than 15 years of age. The money (which now totals $50 per award) is to be invested with the principle and interest being given to the winner when the leave the asylum. The award is named after Mr. Bruhl’s late wife who “was a parton of the…asylum.”
1879: The New York Times published a review of "The Historical Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews" translated and critically acclaimed by Michael Heilprin. The reviewer attributed the content and style of the book to the possibility that Heilprin might be Jewish. In fact Michael Heilprin was a Jewish supporter of Kossuth who came to the United States after the revolt failed. His father Phineas Mendel Heilprin was a noted Jewish scholar who had also supported Kossuth and had moved to the United States. The younger Heilprin supported the Union and was opposed to slavery. He was a Jewish scholar and supporter of Jewish causes.
1879: As a result of Russian mistreatment of Jewish American businessmen, the U.S. House of Representatives requested the President to have all international treaties which impair the rights of American citizens because of religion amended to secure equal rights.
1882: The Hebrew Children’s Sanitarium is appealing to the public to send funds which will be used to finance its annual summer excursions which are scheduled to start later this month. Donations can be sent to the office of the Jewish Messenger on Grand Street.
1883: Bernard Abraham, who had been commanding the Seventeenth Infantry was promoted from Colonel to the rank of Brigadier General in the French Army
1884: Birthdate of Viennese native Hermine Pfleger who gained fame as actress Mia May, the wife of director Joe May and actress Eva May.
1886: Rabbis in Philadelphia met today to discuss the refusal of the principal at Central High School to excuse the Jewish students from having to take final exams scheduled for Shavuot. Principal Taylor was aware of the conflict when preparing the exam schedule and refused to make an allowance for alternative test dates. The Rabbis agreed to deliver a letter to Taylor requesting that he re-consider his decision.
1888(23rd of Sivan, 5648): Arnold Blum, Jr. the son of Jeanette and Abraham Levi Blum and husband of Rosina (Rosa) Blum with whom he had six children passed away today in New York
1888: “Endowed In Heilprin’s Honor” published today described the plans to create a fund in memory of the late biblical scholar Michael Heilprin. These include a challenge by Jacob Schiff in which he said he will contribute $5,000 to the fund if an additional $50,000 can be raised by others during the year.
1888: It was reported today that Empress of Victoria has spoken out against anti-Semitic agitation and told listeners that she is expressing the views held by Emperor Frederick. The Emperor’s defense of his Jewish subjects has met with strong outburst by some including the posting of placards in English reading “The Jew Emperor, Frederick Cohen.”
1889: As the Jewish population in Florence, SC continued to grow, “the foundation of a Sunday was laid” today to which A.A. Cohen invited “all children of Israelite parents” to attend.
1889: It was reported today that the Semitic Department at Harvard will be offering three new courses for the upcoming academic year including on covering the history of Israel and one covering the history of the Hebrew religion. The professors teaching the new classes were not Jewish.
1889: It was reported today that Isaac Benseken has hosted a tea party arranged by the American Consul at Tangiers. Two of the ladies at the party were dressed “in the traditional gala dress of the Hebrew women of Morocco…” Refreshments included green tea garnished with sprigs of mint in the Moroccan manner and “Moorish sweetmeats consisting of a thin shell of sugar filled with sweet almost paste…”
1890: As census takers fanned out across New York City, Jewish women responded with fear when they were asked questions about “whether their husbands and sons had done military service” because of their experience with destructive nature of Jewish service in the Czar’s Army.
1890: Based on information that first appeared in Pall Mall Gazette, it was reported today that “a syndicate of Jews has offered $200,000 for the Vatican’s copy of the Hebrew Bible.” The Vatican has possessed the Bible at least since 1512 when Pope Julius II who needed funding to continue his fight with Louis XII negotiated with a group of Italian Jews to sell them the Bible. For reasons that are still unknown, the Pope changed his mind and kept the book. (Editor’s Note – This is the Pope who “paid for the paint” that covered the Sistine Chapel.
1891: In Vienna, Phillip and Esther Neuman Gilbert gave birth NYU trained ENT specialist Dr. Charles N. Gelber, who was appointed medical examiner for children by the Board of Health in 1916, who served as president of the New York Physicians Society and who ran for Councilman in Manhattan in 1937.
1892(7th of Sivan, 5652) Second Day of Shavuot
1892: This morning, at Hamilton College, the Clark Prize for speaking was awarded to Gregory Rosenblum, a young Russian immigrant who spoke on “The Jews in Russia.”
1892: “A Woman’s Revenge” published today described a beating that former prize fighter inflicted on Chicago merchant Joseph Fish. According to Fish, the beating “was prompted by a young attractive-looking widow” whom he was no longer seeing since his engagement to the daughter of a prominent Jewish Chicago citizen.
1893: Three days after he passed away, Frederick Barnet Mozley was buried today in the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.
1893: An out of court settlement was reached in Schwab v Schwab which kept the Judge from having to make a decision that would either render the defendant as a bigamist or the plaintiff’s children as being “illegitimate.”
1893: Myer S. Isaacs, President of the Baron Hirsch Fund testified before the Senate Committee on Immigration at the New Netherland Hotel. In response to questions, he said that the fund did not provide financing to bring immigrants to the United States. Rather it worked with immigrants who were already in the United States to help them gaining an education and developing the skills that would allow them to get a job.
1895: Birthdate of Saul Edward “Sol” Weinberg, the Case Western Reserve College alum who played “two games at tackle” in 1923 for the NFL Cleveland Indians (not to be confused with the American League baseball team with the same name)
1895: Sarah and Isaac Hecker gave birth to Jacob Hecker, a Tommy who was killed in Belgium in August, 1917.
1895: French railroad tycoon and philanthropist Baron Moritz de Hirsch meets Theodore Herzl in Paris. Herzl hopes to convince Hirsch to take the money he had been spending to settle Jews in agricultural communities in places like Argentina and spend it instead on the creation of a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel.
1895: Eighty-two year old German jurist Heinrich von Friedberg who became a Protestant early in his career passed away today.
1895: The list of the trustees of the newly incorporated Independent Young Pleasure Club, a “landsmanshaftn” published today included Abraham Cohen, Kate Jacobs, Jacob Levine, Meyer Libsohn, Samuel Gussoff, Davis Schroeder and Max Scharlin.
1895: “Hands and Mind Drilled” published today traced the history of the Hebrew Technical Institute, a vocational educational school begun over ten years ago to meet the needs of newly arriving Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe who lacked suitable job skills.
1896: The Neue Freie Presse mentions Herzl's Der Judenstaat for the first time.
1897(2nd of Sivan, 5657): Abraham Cohn, “an American Civil War Union Army Sergeant Major and recipient to the highest military decoration for valor in combat — the Medal of Honor — for having distinguished himself at the Battle of the Wilderness, Virginia passed away in New York.
1897: In Vienna, with the German parties obstructing the formation of a new government, the Count Badeni , today, by order of the Emperor who had refused to ratify the election of Dr. Karl Lueger, the anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna, prorogued (dismissed without dissolving) the Parliament.”
1899: In Hong Kong, Sir Elly Kadoorie and his wife gave birth to Baron Lawrence Kadoorie, the noted businessman and philanthropist who was part of a clan of Misrahi Jews who had made their way from Baghdad, to Bombay to China.
1899: “A Noble German Jew” published today recounted an 1850 encounter between Bismarck and Dr. Eduard Simson when the latter was serving as President of the Parliament and called the Chancellor to order. When Bismarck said that members of the “old nobility knew how to conduct themselves” countered the Chancellor invocation of his bloodline with the retort “you say that to me a descendant in the direct line from the high-priest Aaron. To which Bismarck replied, “Pardon me Mr. Speaker, but I had never looked upon the matter from that point of view.”
1899: “The Situation in France” published today described the view of the anti-Dreyfusites who “are not convinced by the declaration of Monsieur Ballot de Beaupre that Esterhazy is the traitor” and the belief that “the people are so tired of the affair that by the time Dreyfus has returned to France angry passions will probably have subsided.” (Those opposed to Dreyfus never accepted the confession and the passions really never cooled until all involved had died.)
1899: A case of diphtheria was discovered today “in the grammar depart of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society at 151st Street and Broadway just two hours after a quarantine had been lifted on the infant department of the same institution.
1900(5th of Sivan, 5660): Parashat Bamidbard and Erev Shavuot
1900: Birthdate of Russian native and Washington University trained attorney Israel Trieman who taught law at his alma mater, practiced law in his adopted home town of St Louis and earned a doctorate at Oxford while being honored as one of the U.S.A.’s first Rhodes schnolars.
1901: Commencement exercises were held today at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam Avenue. Prizes consisting of engraved certificates and $50 in cash were awarded to the outstanding boy and girl at the institution. The prizes were created by the late Moses Bruhl as a way to honor the memory of his wife, Bettie Bruhl.
1901: Sixty-two year old James A. Hearne who staged Israel Zangwill’s “The Children of the Ghetto” in 1899 passed away today.
1902: Birthdate of Jerusalem native and John Hopkins Ph.D. Aaron Morris Margalith the author and professor at Yeshiva University, who was the husband of Helen Margaret Margalith, the hold of a B.A. from Hunter and Masters of Library Science of Columbia and the father of Joan and Carol Margalith.
1903(7th of Sivan, 5663): Second Day of Shavuot1903: Birthdate of Max Aub, the Parisian born author whose shifting citizenship from French, to Spanish to Mexican mirrored his changing literary and political fortunes.
1904: “Camden Hebrews’ New Synagogue” published today described the decision of the Board of Trustees of Adas Israel “to erect a $25,000 synagogue at the southeast corner of Fifth and Spruces Streets in Camden, NJ.
1906(9th of Sivan, 5666): Parashat Nasso
1906: It was reported today that Commissioner Stephen Smith has heard an applications in the office of the State Board for Charities for a license for a dispensary the Hebrew Memorial Dispensary.
1907: It was reported today that a Polish Jew named Abraham Kahn is being in the Jefferson Market Court prison “under $1,000 bail” while police look into charges that he swindled Miss Rosa Gostyuska out of $500.
1908: In Vienna, actors Fritz Spira and Lotte Spira gave birth to actress Steffie Spira who survived the Holocaust and settled in East (Communist) Germany after the war.
1909: Alfred Deakin became Prime Minister of Australia for the third time. At one time, Deakin had been a political ally of the Jewish Australian politician Isaac Isaacs who he appointed to the position of Attorney General in 1906.
1909: Birthdate of Benzion Netanyahu an Israeli historian and Zionist activist who is also known for being secretary to the father of the Revisionist Zionism movement Ze'ev Jabotinsky as well as the father of Yonatan Netanyahu, former commander of Sayeret Matkal, who was killed in Operation Entebbe and Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu
1910(24th of Iyar, 5670): Sixty year old Emma Loewen, the Krotschin, Germany born daughter Helena and Simon Bienstock and the wife of David Lowen passed away today in St. Louis after which she was buried in University City, a suburb of St. Louis
1911(6th of Sivan, 5671): Shavuot
1911: The Sultan of Turkey conferred the Order of Medjidie, Fourth Class, on Isaac Jessua Bey of Salonica. He was the secretary to the Inspector General of the Gendarmerie of the vilayet.
1912: The Jews of Bialystok were alarmed “because of ritual murder accusations.”1912: The “Fifth Annual Convention” of the Federation of Romanian Jews of America which has 40,000 members including Solomon Schechter, P.A. Seigelstein, Emil Koffler, Charles I. Fleck and Herman Speier is scheduled to come to an end today in New York City.
1913: “The Federation of Galician Jews is holding its convention today” in New York City.
1913: It was reported today that Caroline Nesustadter, “the widow of Henry Neustadter, a member of Neustadter Brothers of San Francisco” “who gave no less than $1,500,000 to various Jewish and public charities” in New York and San Francisco “left an estate which has been appraised at $3,320,000.”
1914(8th of Sivan, 5674): Sixty-six year old “Chevalier N .B. Emanuel, assistant director of the Chicago Grand Opera Company and museum of international note” who had been named Chevalier by the King of Italy and who had been in “declining health for the last year” passed away today “at the Winnetka sanitarium.”
1915: “Jim Conley, on whose testimony Leo M. Frank was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan and sentenced to death and who himself was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment as an accessory reached Atlanta today having be released from the convict camp” because he got “two months off for good conduct.
1915: “The meeting between Leo Frank and Jim Conley to give evidence in the suit of Mary Phagan’s mother against the National Pencil Company to recover $10,000 for the death of her daughter” scheduled for today “did not occur” because it “was rendered unnecessary when attorneys agreed to accept evidence give at Frank’s trial in regard to the girl’s death.”
1915: Brooklyn attorney Joseph Goldstein sent “a petition signed by 6,000 Brooklyn residents urging executive clemency in the case of Leo M. Frank, to Governor Slaton of Georgia.”
1915: The American Jewish Relief Committee issued a special appeal on behalf of the Jews of Poland where “three million are starving” even though $800,000 has already been sent to meet their needs.
1915: The members of the American Jewish Relief Committee whose names were published today included Felix Warburg, Cyrus Adler, Louis D. Brandies, Julian W. Mack, Dr. J.L. Magnes, Louis Marshall, Jacob Schiff, Nathan Straus, Oscar S. Straus, August Sulzberger and Mayer Sulzberger.
1916: “The Austrian Supreme Court has decided that the law prohibiting marriages between Christians and non-Christians applies to marriages contracted outside of Austria” but did nothing to change the Austrian law that allows “non-Christians to marry Jews” while prohibiting them from marrying Catholics or Protestants.
1916: “District Attorney Harry E. Lewis of Kings county, State Senator Charles C. Lockwood, Joseph Barondess of the Board of Education, Rabbi Max Raisin of Brooklyn” were among the prominent persons who “appeared before a special committee of the State Board of Charities” today “to urge the grant of a charter to the Beth Moses Hospital, a ‘kosher’ institution proposed for the Williamsburg district.”
1917(12th of Sivan, 5677): Parashat Nasso
1917(12th of Sivan, 5677): Sixty-five year old Polish born American Rabbi, “Hebrew Scholar and teacher” Simon Harris passed away today in Portland, OR where he has lived for the past four years in the same town which is home to his daughter Mrs. Ida Weinstein before which he lived in New York which is the home to his son Louis Harris.
1917: “The story of how the Jews of Jaffa were deported by the Turkish Government ostensibly as a measure of ‘military precaution’ was received” today “from the State Department by the American Jewish Relief Committee.”
1917: “The first band concert and dance to be given by the Chicago Hebrew Institute Band” is scheduled to “take place” this evening in the Assembly Hall of the Administration Building at 8 o’clock.
1917: This evening, the Jewish Educational Alliance Dramatic Club which has been “making a study of what is best in Jewish Drama” hosted an evening devoted Sholom Aleichem “in memory of the first anniversary of the great master of Jewish literature.”
1917: “Dr. Jacob S. Minkin of Hamilton, Ontario preached the baccalaureate sermon” this “morning at the Jewish Theological Seminary” during which “he paid a tribute to the late Dr. Solomon Schechter and touched on the present day needs of Judaism.
1918: It was reported today that 83 members of the Independent Order of Brith Sholom and 3,924 sons of the members are serving with the armed forces of the United States and that its members “have subscribed” to over a million dollars “to the Liberty Loans” and purchased $34, 842.75 worth of War Savings Stamps.
1919: Birthdate of American painter Nat Mayer Shapiro
1919: “The newly established Bureau of Jewish Social Research will welcome visitors” today.
1920: Russian-American composer and violinist, Joseph Achron, the son of Julius and Bertha Achron married his wife Marie today at Petrograd, Russia.
1920: Birthdate of Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Polish-born German critic.
1920: “According to word received” in New York today, Julius J. Lyons a Director and legal counsel to State Bank who was he son Rabbi Jacques J. Lyons and the father of San Diego, CA, rancher Edwin Lyons had passed away on May 26 in San Diego.
1921: Birthdate of Sir Sigmund Sternberg, the Hungarian native who came to the UK in 1939 where he went on to become a “philanthropist, businessman and Labour Party donor.”
1922(6th of Sivan, 5682): Shavuot
1922: New Yorker Bernard A. Rosenblatt who is a member of the Zionists Executive left New York to arrange for the underwriting of the first Jewish municipal bond issue in history.
1922: Today, at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, Hyman “graduated 107th out of 540 midshipmen and was commissioned as an ensign.”
1922: In Camden, NJ, Congregation Beth-El held Confirmation Services which were led by Cantor Jacob Mickelman.
1923 Birthdate of mathematician and economist Lloyd Shapely who joined his “Jewish-American colleague Alvin Roth in winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for their work on market design and matching theory.”
1924: Grigori Yakovlevich Sokolnikov began serving as a “candidate member of the 13th Politburo.”
1926: The Hokoah teams which has been playing exhibition games in the United States is scheduled to set sail today for its ultimate destination of Vienna.
1926: In Vienna, Michael Hilberg and his wife gave birth to Dr. “ Raul Hilberg, a Jewish émigré from Nazi-occupied Europe who helped begin the field of Holocaust studies with his long and minutely detailed 1961 study of the massacre of European Jews: (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1926: Birthdate of physicists Arthur Rosenfeld, the Birmingham native who “received the Energy Department’s Enrico Fermi Award in 2006 and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation…” (As reported by Harrison Smith)
1927: In New York City, Ben and Madeline Simon Katz gave birth to WWII Navy veteran and secondary school teacher William Loren Katz, the graduate of Syracuse and holder of an M.A. from NYU who gained fame as an historian and author of 40 books including Breaking the Chains: African American Slave Resistance, The Black West, and Black Women of the Old West.
1928: After 280 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of the Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar music “The Five O’clock Girl
1930(6th of Sivan, 5690): Jews celebrate Shavuot for the first time during what will become known as The Great Depression.
1930: In Camden, NJ, Ruth Barroway delivered the “opening prayer” during Confirmation Services at Congregation Beth-El which is led by Rabbi Nachman S. Arnoff and President Jacob Leventon.
1932: Ruth Barroway, Miriam Morris, Sidney Kantor, Leona Pinksy, Robert Kaplan and Edward Gallob were confirmed today at Congregation Beth-El in Camden, NJ.
1932: U.S. premiere of “What Price Hollywood?” directed by George Cukor, produced by Pandro S. Berman and David O. Selznick with music by Max Steiner.
1932(27th of Iyar, 5692): Simcha Gutman a Hebrew poet and novelist who wrote under the pen name Ben Zion passed away at the age of 62/
1934: In San Francisco, Robert Tandler Mack, the Cincinnati born son of Rebecca and William Jacob Mack and his wife Jeanette Mack gave birth to Susan Jean Mack, who became Susan Jean Thorstad when she married William Lawrence Thorstad.
1936: The Tarbut School in Moletai, Lithuania, held its eleventh graduation.
1936: During the Arab Riots, the Irgun defied the Jewish Agency’s call for restraint by killing nine Arabs with an explosion at the Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate.
1936: As “the Jews of Przytyk prayed all day in the synagogue for the acquittal of fourteen Jews who were brought to trial today with forty-two Christians” another day of anti-Semitic rioting took place in the town with “nationalist parading in the streets and smashing windows in the homes of the Jews.”
1936: “Continued sniping by Arab terrorists and burning of Jewish-owned crops were reported to be continuing tonight” at the same time that rail service between Jerusalem and Jaffa was suspended due to the derailing of the train running between the two cities.
1936: Forty-three Polish and fourteen Jewish defendants went on trial today in the aftermath of the Przytyk Pogrom during which “hundreds of Jews were beaten and their homes and shops were demolished.”
1937: The Palestine Post reported that the Arab Higher Committee denounced the anticipated Royal (Peel) Commission's proposal for the partition of Palestine.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that the new Central Railway Station opened in Haifa.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that the an Arab who for £10 attempted to smuggle a Baghdadi Jew, Maji Shlomo Jarjana, from Syria to Palestine was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment. Jarjana got a two weeks jail sentence and deportation.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that the in the Polish town of Bransk Jews were beaten and injured, their stalls demolished, windows were smashed in their homes and at the synagogue.
1937: Information published from Venezuela indicated there is an Ashkenazi community of 100 members, most from Romania, and an indigenous Sephardic community between 700 and 800 members, who have "no relations" whatsoever with the Ashkenazim.
1938: “The recent series of mass arrests” that had included shipping Jewish comedian and composer Hermann Leopoldi and 750 other people to Dachau” ended today after a group of 400 Jews, among whom were several doctors and lawyers who were sent to Styria.
1939: The Christian Science Church attacks Jewish refugees as causing their own troubles, a position reportedly taken by many important Protestant journals of the time.
1940: The concentration camp at Neuengamme, Germany, is upgraded to primary-camp status
1940: Two days after he had passed away, fifty-six year old Kansas City, MO attorney Benjamin Morris Achtenberg, the son of David and Hannah Achtenberg and husband of Minnie Achtenberg was buried today in Raytown, MO.
1940: The Jewish Institute of Religion held its 15th annual commencement this afternoon. Rabbi Stephen S Wise ordained 8 candidates for the rabbinate. Two men were honored with honorary degrees as Doctors of Hebrew Letters. One went to Salmann Schocken, the publisher and businessman who had fled from Germany to Palestine when the Nazis came to power. The other was awarded in absentia to Rabbi Moses Schorr, “the former chief rabbi of Warsaw, who is now languishing in one of Stalin’s prisons. (Editor’s note – This is at a time when the non-aggression pact between the two dictators is in effect and the Soviets have conquered their half of Poland)
1941(7th of Sivan, 5701): Second Day of Shavuot
1941: Second and final day of the Farhud Pogrom during which approximately 200 Jews were murdered in Baghdad and more than 2,000 were injured. Property damage exceeded 3 million dollars.
1941: French law called for ‘administrative arrest' for all Jews.
1942: Four hundred volunteers from the Jewish Brigade under the command of Major Liiebmann fought at the Battle of Bir-el Harmat in Libya which began today and lasted until June 11.
1942: Three thousand, four hundred Jews from Hurbieszow were sent to Sobibor, where eventually all but 12 were gassed.
1942: Fred Traum’s parents, Elias Israel Traum and Gitel Sara Traum left Vienna by train and reportedly were murdered by the Nazis three to five days later when the train reached Minsk.
1942: When Viennese Jews were deported to the Minsk (Byelorussia) Ghetto today Elsa Speigel, decided to leave her 5 and 1/2-month-old son, Jona, behind. The baby will eventually be sent to the camp/ghetto at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, where he will survive the war.
1942: The BBC reports that 700,000 Jews have been exterminated. Its information comes from a report smuggled out of Poland by the Jewish Bund in Warsaw.
1942: Birthdate of producer Berry Levinson.
1942(17th of Sivan, 5702): Leo Katzenberger was guillotined at Stadelheim Prison in Munich after having been convicted, in a totally bogus trial, of “race pollution” because he allegedly had sexual relations with his non-Jewish girlfriend.
1943: “Liquidation of the Lwów Ghetto, located in German-occupied Poland, was completed, with the last surviving Jewish residents deported to the nearby Janowska concentration camp. At one time, there had been 160,000 Jews in Lwów which the Germans had renamed Lemberg. Nearly all of the former dwellers would be killed by November. After the Soviet victory in World War II, the city would become part of the Ukrainian SSR and renamed Lvov.”
1944: Itzhak Gruenbaum, the chairman of the Rescue Committee of the Jewish Agency, requests the bombing of rail lines that lead to Auschwitz.
1944: The Allies begin a bombing operation (Operation Frantic) in the Balkans, the goal of which is to distract the Germans from upcoming Allied landings in France. Bombing routes overfly the railway lines leading from Hungary to Auschwitz. The operation lasts for four months, during the deportation of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. The railway lines carrying the Jews are never targeted
1944: In the Bronx, Max Hamlisch and his wife gave birth to Marvin Frederick Hamlish “the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who imbued his movie and Broadway scores with pizazz and panache and often found his songs in the upper reaches of the pop charts.” (As reported by Rob Hoerburger)
1945(21st of Sivan, 5705): Parashat Beha’alotcha
1945: As delegates are meeting to establish the United Nations, the Soviet Union demanded a right of veto for the permanent members of the Security Council.
1945: Forty-seven year old August Hirt, the doctor who performed experiments on concentration camp inmates and developed a program based on collecting Jewish skeletons for Himmler, committed suicide today.
1945: Less than a month after VE, when a remnant of Jews were DP’s (displace people)Pope Pious XII, who had found a way to co-exist with the Fascist warned the College of Cardinal of the dangers of “those mobs of dispossessed, disillusioned disappointed, hopeless men” wandering Europe.
1946(3rd of Sivan, 5706): Sixty-one year old Yiddish author and journalist Joseph Chaikin, “the former managing editor of The Day passed away today.
1946: Birthdate of Tel Aviv native Gidon Remez the prize winning Israeli author who along with Isabella Ginor is responsible for the innovative history Foxbats Over Dimona and The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973
1947: Bernard M. Baruch, former United States member of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, said today that it would be "sheer suicide and sheer madness if we didn't adopt the compulsory military training plan just recommended by the Advisory Commission on Universal Training."
1947: Meir (Myer Jack) Landa who passed away on May 30 was buried today at Willesden Cemetery in London.
1947: In Germany, Rachel and Moshe gave birth to Hairm Bar-Zeev(Reichberger) who immigrated to Israel a year later and was lost when the Submarine Dakar went down with all hands in 1968
1947: The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) elected its Chairman, Emil Sandstrom, a Swedish Supreme Court Judge and set sail for Palestine.1948: Viktor Brack, who was Hitler's supervisor of the installation of gas chambers in Poland, was executed.
1948: An Israeli attack on Egyptian positions at Ashdod marked the turning point in the war between Israel and Egypt.
1948: The Golani and Carmeli brigades attacked Jenin today
1948: Birthdate of Roni Bar-On, the Tel Aviv native who served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF before pursuing a political career that included service as an MK and cabinet minister.
1949: The Kingdom of Transjordan was renamed The Kingdome of Jordan. The kingdom had been named Transjordan because it was across (trans) the Jordan river. In 1948, Jordan's army crossed the Jordan River and seized the eastern portion of Jerusalem and the territory now called the West Bank. Since the country was now on both sides of the Jordan River, it was no called Jordan. This name change proved that the government of Jordan planned to remain permanently on the west bank of the Jordan River and there was no intention to create a Palestinian State.
1949(5th of Sivan, 5709): Erev Shavuot
1949(5th of Sivan, 5709): Fifty-three year old Hungarian author Béla Zsolt author of Nine Suitcases, “one of the earliest Holocaust memoirs” passed away today
1949: “Studio One,” a CBS television anthology series broadcast an adaptation of “June Moon,” the 1920’s drama co-authored by George S. Kaufman.
1949: In Washington, DC, Helen and Frank Hart Rich gave birth to Frank Hart Rich, Jr. who would gain fame and fortune as Frank Rich, one of the finest and wittiest writers to write for the New York Times
1950: Plans to build a village in Israel bearing the name of President Truman to be called Kfar Truman were announced at the White House.
1950: Violinist Jascha Heifetz, who is on a concert tour in Israel, said today that he founded Israeli audiences to be “a little too sophisticated but quite wonderful.” In the 12 performances to date, he has enjoyed enthusiastic audience response.
1951: After 30 weeks and 235 performances the curtain came down on the “Country Girl” written and directed by Clifford Odets, starring Steven Hill as “Bernie Dodd” with sets designed by Boris Aronson who won a Tony for his work.
1952: Birthdate of Elan Steinberg, the native of Rishon LeZion, “who brought what he called a new, “American style” assertiveness to the World Jewish Congress as its top executive, winning more than $1 billion from Swiss banks for Holocaust victims and challenging Kurt Waldheim, the former United Nations secretary general, over his Nazi past…” (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1952: Birthdate of Gary Bruce Bettman, the commissioner of the National Hockey League.1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, and contrary to persistent rumors, no definite reparation offer had yet been received from Western Germany.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that an Israeli mother, who drowned her sick and handicapped five-year-old child in the sea, received a one year prison sentence. The judge pointed out that there was a waiting list of more than 300 handicapped children waiting for proper treatment.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that prospective emigrants were ordered to give up their ration books before leaving Israel.
1955: Twenty-four year old Brooklyn born right-handed pitcher Hyman Cohen played in his final major league game as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
1956: In Paterson, NJ, Irving Polansky and his wife Edith gave birth Purdue graduate, Air Force officer and NASA Astronaut Mark Lewis “Roman” Polansky who “took a teddy bear from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum” on STS-116.
1956: Birthdate of Efi Oshaya, the Israeli political leader who served as an MK for Labor and One Israel.
1959: Allen Ginsberg wrote his poem "Lysergic Acid," in San Francisco.
1960: “In Friendly Theatre Foes” published today provides a sketch of Burton Abraham Zorn and his role as the attorney representing Broadway producers.
1960(7th of Sivan, 5720): For the last time during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jews observe the second day of Shavuot
1961(18th of Sivan, 5721): Famed playwright George S. Kaufman passed away.
1961: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, “accompanied by his Private Secretary, Yitzhak Navon (later President of Israel) and the Israeli Ambassador to London, Aruthur Lourie” meet with Winston Churchill in London. During their conversation, Ben-Gurion outlines his views on the situation in Iraq, the stability of the Jordanian monarchy and the threat posed by Egypt which now possessed twenty or more MIG-19 air craft which were better than anything the Israelis possessed.
1961: The World Wrestling Championship in which Boris Gurevich would win a Silver Medal opened today in Japan.
1962: On Shabbat, during his sermon today, Rabbi Bernard J. Bamberger told congregants at Shaaray Tefila in New York, “that the current discussion of medical care for the aged had been confused by warnings of ‘the danger of socialized medicine.’”
1962: Dr. Kurt Klappholz, the Rabbi at Congregation and Talmud Torah Tifereth Israel, an Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn delivered a sermon today in which he was highly critical of the Central Conference of American Rabbis for urging the government of Israel to spare Eichmann’s life four hours before he was to be hung. The Klappholz family was wiped out by the Nazis.
1963: AT ‘the age of 18, Rabbi Yisroel Hager married Rebbetzin Sarah Chaya Chana Twersky, the daughter of Rabbi Meshulom Zishe Twersky, previous Grand Rabbi of Chernobyl in Bnei Brak.”
1965: London property developer and philanthropist Baron Max Rayne married his second wife Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart.
1965: The United Synagogue which was established for charitable purposes by the Jewish United Synagogues Act of 1870 was formally registered as a charity today in the United Kingdom.
1967(23rd of Iyar, 5727): Chase F. Isaacs, the widow of University of Cincinnati and Harvard University trained hematologist and “the mother of Dr. Benjamin H., Lucian B. and Dr. Mark L. Isaacs” passed away today in Maryland.
1968(6th of Sivan, 5728): Shavuot
1968: In St. Louis, Evelyn and Lou Cohen gave birth to Boston University grad Andrew Joseph Cohen an American radio and television talk show host, producer, and writer who is the brother of jewelry designer Emily Rosenfeld
1969(14th of Iyar, 5729): Pesach Sheni
1969(14th of Iyar, 5729): Fifty-one year old actor Leo Bernard Gorcy best known for being the loud-mouth leader of “The Bowery Boys” passed away today.
1971(9th of Sivan, 5731): Sixty-three year old Ephraim Epstein, who served as the rabbi for Congregation Shaare Zedek in St. Louis, MO from 1934 to 1969 passed away today.
1971(9th of Sivan, 5731): Eighty-two year old Brooklyn restaurant owner Minnie Epstein, the wife of Hyman Epstein and the mother of Mollie Shlesinger and Dr. Samuel Epsteinpassed away today in “Parsons Hospital, Flusing, Queens.
1973: Birthdate of David Bezmozgis, Latvian born Canadian author
1974: It was reported today that “Red Cross aircraft took off simultaneously from Tel Aviv and Damascus carrying 12 Israelis home from Syria” and carrying 25 Syrians and one Moroccan “who had fought with the Syrians” to Damascus as “Israeli and Syria carried out the second stage of their troop-separation agreement.
1974: It was reported today that “President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger had conferred with Secretary General Kurt Waldheim at the White House on the role of the United Nations peace-keeping force on the Golan Heights…”
1974: It was reported today that Binyamin Kiryati, “an Israeli P.O.W. released by the Syrians” had declared “It’s like being born again.”
1974: Abba Eban completes his service Foreign Minister.
1976(4th of Sivan, 5736): Eighty-five year old “Dr. Alexander M. Dushkin, professor emeritus at the John Dewey School of Education that he helped organize in 1950 at Hebrew University in Jerusalem” passed away today.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported from Washington that the US and Israel fundamentally disagreed over the Arab willingness to live in peace with a secure Israel. US officials believed that Arabs were ready to accept Israel within the pre-1967 borders, but Israeli leaders doubted Arab moderation.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Kennan Moss, a new immigrant from South Africa, was held for allegedly crossing into Jordan where he betrayed important Israeli security secrets.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Shippers’ Council sued the Marine Officers Union for losses caused by the recent, prolonged marine strike.
1978: Release of “Darkness on the Edge of Town, the studio album that featured Max Weinberg on the drums.
1978: Six months after being released in Japan, “Capricorn One” a space conspiracy movie directed by Peter Hyams who wrote the script, starring Elliott Gould and with music by Jerry Goldsmith was released in the United States today.
1978: The R.H. Macy building at Herald Square on 34th Street which had been built by Isidor and Nathan Straus in 1902 was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark.
1979(7th of Sivan, 5739): Second Day of Shavuot
1982: Yad Vashem recognized Jan Karski as Righteous Among the Nations. A tree bearing a memorial plaque in his name was planted at Yad Vashem's Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations in Jerusalem
1987: President Ronald Reagan nominated Alan Greenspan to serve as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
1988: The New York Review of Books publishes the letter signed from Natan Zach and Nissim Calderon in which they resign as members of the advisory committee of the International Poetry Festival due to take place in Israel as part of the country’s 40th anniversary celebration.
1989(28th of Iyar, 5749: Yom Yerushalayim
1989: Israeli journalist Eric Silver wrote an article in the London Jewish Chronicle describing life in Jerusalem for Arabs and Jews; a life marred by violence and suspicion. Responding to Arab claims that “Jews are afraid’ Silver writes, “The Jews say it is not so much fear as prudence. Why risk a knife in the back, a rock through the windscreen? Who needs it?”
1991: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Chutzpah by Alan Dershowitz.
1993: A revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” opened in the Wes End at the Royal National Theatre.
1995: “Fluke” a movie based on the novel of the same name co-starring Max Pomeranc and Ron Perlman was released in the United States today.
1996(15th of Sivan, 5756): Amos Tversky, Israeli psychologist passed away.
1998(8th of Sivan, 5758): Seventy-six year old Beverly Levin, the wife of Dr. Jules Levin and sister of actress of Charlotte Rae best known for her roles in “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”
1998: Jacob A. Stein and Plato Cacheris replaced William H. Ginsburg, the attorney who had been representing Monica Lewinsky from the time the scandal first broke.
2000(28th of Iyar, 5760): A month before President Clinton issued the formal invitation to Ehud Barak and Yasar Arafat to come to peace talks at Camp David, Jews observe Yom Yerushalyim
2001(11 of Sivan, 5761): Fifteen year old Yael-Yulia Sklianik of Holon and 20 year old Sergei Panchenko from the Ukraine died today of the wounds sustained when a suicide bomber attacked the Dolphinarium.
2001: “Talmud Display Honors Holocaust Survivors” published today described plans for a volume of this special edition of the Jewish which is currently “on display at the Chrysler Museum of Art” to “go on a national tour.”
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sunday Jews': Proudly Half and Half by Emily Barton and Firehouse by David Halberstam.
2002: HBO broadcast the first episode of “The Wire” a creation of David Simon which painted a gritty, dark picture of Baltimore, MD.
2002(22nd of Sivan, 5762): Seventy-nine year old journalist Flora Lewis, best known for her role as foreign affairs columnist at the New York Times passed away today.
2002(22nd of Sivan, 5762): Seventy-six year old Detroit born producer Herman Cohen, the who gave us the “ I Was A Teenage Werewolf” series passed away today.
2003: The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the leading advocate for Jewish cultural creativity and preservation in America, hosts a gala ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York where it presents today the honorees for the fourteenth annual Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards. The event is chaired by Morris W. Offit and Merryl H. Tisch, and hosted by Tony Award-winning actor Ron Leibman. The awards seek to recognize artists or cultural institutions who demonstrate a significant body of work or consistent achievement, excellence on the highest standards of the discipline as well as significant contributions to Jewish life and culture in America. This year, the awards are distributed in five categories: Patron of the Arts, Media Arts, Performing Arts, Literary Arts and Visual Arts. The honorees include:- Lynn Korda Kroll, philanthropist and chairman of the board of the NFJC (Patron of the Arts); David Isay, radio producer (Media Arts); Leonard Nimoy, actor, author and photographer (Performing Arts); Adrienne Rich, author, poet and educator (Literary Arts) and Mierle Laderman Ukeles, conceptual and installation artist (Visual Arts).
2004: Limrick Nelson, Jr. who in 1991 had fatally stabbed “Yankel Rosenbaum, a 29 year old Chasidic Jew” during a race riot in Crown Heights but who was only “convicted in federal court of having violated the Jew’s civil rights” is scheduled to be related from the Federal Penitentiary today thanks to “time off for good behavior.”
2005: Award winning Israeli singer and actress Miri Mesika married the musically record producer Ori Zakh today.
2005: The San Diego Jewish Times, published the following article by Donald H. Harrison entitled “Yossi Harel tells Exodus Story From the Commander's Perspective.”
I was surprised after Yossi Harel finished speaking that the 40-50 people invited by the Tel Aviv Foundation to hear him May 15 at Reina and David Shteremberg’s home in La Jolla didn’t jump to their feet as one to give him a standing ovation. Harel’s stirring story is the kind that makes your heart swell with gratitude that God made you a Jew. Perhaps the more restrained response was because Harel, today an octogenarian, seems so shy, and so modest about himself that people didn’t want to embarrass him by their effusions. The simplicity of the man—measured against his deeds—reminded me of the time I toured the historic home of Paula and David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv. To pass between their kitchen table and the cabinets, one practically had to turn sideways. Such an unassuming home for someone as important to the Jewish people as Ben Gurion! But he was not a man of large possessions, rather he was a man of big deeds. So too might it be said about Harel. Harel was a youngster in the pre-Israel Independence Haganah underground forces when he was directed to study coastal navigation—study that led to him being named the post World War II commander of the effort to smuggle immigrants past the British blockade and into Palestine. Most people of my generation know his story very well; as it was fictionalized in the movie Exodus starring Paul Newman. The real Exodus was among the ships under Harel’s command. The captain of that ship, Ike Arianne, coincidentally is coming to San Diego to speak June 5 to the Alpine Jewish Connection and June 8 to Congregation Beth Israel about his experiences. In describing the journey of the Exodus and other immigrant ships, Harel emphasized three major points: the awesome sense of responsibility he felt trying to ferry people from the camps of Europe, especially for the youth who had survived the Holocaust, and the dangers that the clandestine ships faced along the way. Harel remembers the children the most vividly. On one ship, he remembers a boy who used to dig tunnels from a nazi-guarded ghetto to the city outside. His father wanted him to sneak his sister out, but the sister wouldn’t leave the parents. So the boy’s father told the boy to leave the ghetto on his own, and not to come back. The father knew the nazis eventually would take them all away. The boy did as he was told, later telling Harel “I never again saw my father, my mother, my sister; they went to heaven through the chimneys of Auschwitz.” To his La Jolla listeners, Harel reflected; “You listen to this story and you begin to understand what is the command you got.” On that particular ship, there were 4,000 passengers, and “everyone had an equivalent story.” It gave rise to the determination that while the British might be successful in stopping some ships from disembarking its passengers in Palestine, it couldn’t stop all of them. At one of the Displaced Persons camp from which Exodus passengers were chosen, he remembered a girl who held a little boy’s hand tight. Was she the older sister, he wondered? No, he learned from the camp’s Haganah commander. She had been sent by her Jewish parents to a monastery where she posed as a Catholic. The little boy came later, but was too young to understand what was required of him. At night, he cried in Yiddish for his mother—dangerous because the Gestapo would yank such children from the monastery and execute them. The girl hushed him, taught him how to make the sign of the cross and other prayers, and remained his protector to that very day. The immigrant ships navigated waters that under normal circumstances were treacherous; let alone when the ships sat deep in the water because they were overloaded with passengers. They were short on food, fuel and water, often having to cut rations as they neared their destination. On one ship, a Greek captain and senior crew member began making the sign of the cross on their chests as they looked at the rocks of Peloponese. “When you see the captain and the chief do that, you know something is wrong,” Harel recalled, his understatement prompting laughter from his La Jolla listeners. The strong waves were driving the 50-year-old ship toward the rocks, and the heavy-in-the-water vessel had insufficient power to counteract their force. Six miles from the rocks, than five miles, then four miles… “I could see that the ship was going to wreck,” he said. “We didn’t have a single lifeboat, what can we do? So you sit on the bridge, and you watch, and all of a sudden you see the waves parallel to the coast beginning to change direction. The winds changed! Slowly we passed by maybe 200-300 yards offshore. We had 4,000 people aboard. Maybe the supplication of the captain helped!” On another occasion, a ship had to be navigated through the Bosporus—but to get to the straits, it needed to first sail through waters that the Russians had mined during World War II. A Russian pilot refused to sail at night, so a Haganah member was assigned to read the charts and get the ship through. “It was the longest night of my life,” said Harel.
“Overall,” Harel said, “we brought 100,000 people but this was the bloodiest war we ever had. In the War for Independence, we had 600,000 Jews, and we lost 6,000 – one percent.” Running the blockade, he said, “we lost over 3,000 people drowned in the Black Sea—three percent…
“With all these casualties, they kept coming, they didn’t stop,” he marveled. “A nation destroyed was coming back to life.”
2006(6th of Sivan, 5766): First day of Shavuot
2006(6th of Sivan, 5766): Sol W. Cantor, an early proponent of discount retailing featuring warehouse style stores passed away at the age of 95. He was a major philanthropist who supported the UJA, ADL and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
2006: Pittsburgh's Malacandra Productions staged a nine-character play adapted by John Regis from the classic William Tenn (Philip Klass) science fiction short story, "Winthrop Was Stubborn".
2007: In Cedar Rapids, Melanie Abzug becomes a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Judah.
2007: The Cedar Rapids Gazette features an article entitled “Mitzvahs Swell in Summer” by Molly Rossiter describing the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Ceremonies and the way they are practiced at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids and Agudas Achim in Iowa City.
2007(16th of Sivan, 5767): Martin Meyerson, former president of the University of Pennsylvania who briefly led the University of California at Berkley during the tumultuous 1960’s passed away at the age of 84. “He was the first Jewish head of a major research university, and he and John Kemeny of Dartmouth College were the first Jewish presidents in the Ivy League. A reporter once called Mr. Meyerson ‘the Jackie Robinson of Jewish academia.’”
2008: AIPAC Policy Conference opens in Washington, D.C.
2008 (28th of Iyar, 5768): Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Reunification Day. This marks the celebration of the 41st anniversary of the re-establishment of Jewish control over the entire “City of David.”
2008(28th of Iyar, 5768): Eighty year old Paul Sills, “the original director of Chicago’s The Second City” passed away today. (As reported by Campbell Roberston)
2008: Punter Adam Podlesh “was elected to the Rochester Jewish Sports Hall of Fame” today.
2018: The paperback edition of the award winning novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, a distant relation of David O. Selznick was released today.
2008: At the Spertus in Chicago, the fourth and final session of “A Short History of Anti-Semitism.” Taught by historian Dr. Dean Bell, the course covers anti-Judaism in the classical world, the Crusades and expulsions in the Middle Ages, tolerance and restrictions in the early modern period, and racial anti-Semitism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dean Bell is Dean and Chief Academic Officer at Spertus. He earned his BA at the University of Chicago and MA and PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at Berkeley, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Hebrew Theological College.
2008: Brian “Horwitz hit his first major league home run today, off New York Mets starting pitcher Óliver Pérez.”
2008: In “Holocaust survivors passing memories to young people,” published today, The Chicago Tribune describes the “Generation to Generation” program sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie which is designed to enable Holocaust survivors to tell their story with a young recipient to ensure that the personal memories are not lost.
2009: The National Capital Mikvah offered a class on "The Fourth Trimester: Childbirth and Beyond." During an interactive lecture Rebbetzin Sharon Freundel led a discussion on childbirth and post-childbirth issues for Orthodox women including niddah after childbirth and when to return to the mikvah, how to schedule a brit for both term and pre-term boys, and other laws and customs.
2009(10th of Sivan, 5769): A gunman killed one person, seriously wounded a second and said he tried to hit a third in an apparent shooting spree in central Jerusalem early this morning, police said. Yoel Almog Dazhinishvilli shot and killed Amjad Abu Hadar, 33, and seriously wounded a Jewish yeshiva student who passed by moments later. Police say Danishvilli also tried to wound a third man, but failed. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said investigators thought Dazhinishvilli had psychological problems and did not think his attacks had a political motivation. Rosenfeld said he did not know if Dazhinishvilli had a history of psychological problems. Both men were shot at close range. Danishvilli, 48, had a permit to carry the weapon for his job as a security guard. He was arrested shortly after a man was found with bullet wounds to the chest on Hanevi'im Street in central Jerusalem at around 3 A.M. Rosenfeld said the gunman told police he had been meditating in the square at around 3:30 A.M. when the Arab man approached him. The gunman told police that he had opened fire when he felt threatened, and had shot the second man he asked him for a cigarette.
2009: A rising and falling siren sounded this morning at 11 A.M. for a minute and a half as part of this year's Home Front Command national exercise, with all citizens encouraged to practice entering their protected rooms.
2010: The YIVO is scheduled to present a lecture entitled “Empire of Charity: American Jews and the Rebuilding of Polish Lithuania, 1919-1939” which “focuses on the role Jewish émigrés and their philanthropy played in reshaping political, social, and economic life in Brisk and Vilna, the two historic intellectual centers of Lithuanian Jewry.”
2010: Funeral services were held today in Los Angeles for 88 year old Holocaust survivor Sophi Lazar, the widow of Max Lazar with whom she had two children Mordechai and Chana.
2010: In “An Assault, Cloaked in Peace” published today Michael B. Oren explains why those on Turkish ship Mavi Marmara were not promoters of peace, in the usually understood meaning of that term.
2010: Today, “the New York Post reported that Jeff Zucker would be paid between $30 million and $40 million to leave NBC Universal shortly after Comcast completes its 51% acquisition in the company.”
2010: In “A Viennese District Is Reborn” published today Kimberly Bradley described the rebirth of the Karmeliterviertel, or Carmelite Quarter as a center for Jewish culture. “Over the last decade or so the area has become one of the few places in the world outside of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv where bohemians stroll alongside groups of Orthodox Jews — the former buying chutney from Slow Food Vienna’s booth at the market, the latter munching on matzo and hummus from Kosherland.”
2011: The Masada Opera Festival is scheduled to “kick off with a celebratory opera evening featuring works by Verdi, Puccini and Rossini performed by Svetla Vasileva and the orchestra of Arena di Verona”.
2011: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to present “Israeli Wines: Talk and Tasting” a program offering a virtual tour of several vineyards as well as a look at the unique Israeli wine-making process facilitated by Udi Kadim, CEO of Yarden, one of the nation's leading importers of quality wines.
2011: Israel has deployed an Iron Dome rocket interceptor outside Sderot, a Gaza border town that has borne the brunt of Palestinian shelling attacks, posing a new test for the fledgling system underwritten by Washington.
2011: Five people were arrested this afternoon in connection with an incident earlier in the day, in which a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Binyamin Police commander's car, setting it ablaze. Also, this afternoon, Border Police and Civil Administration authorities demolished the Ga'on Yarden settlement outpost in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, in which several buildings were illegally built. It was the second demolition carried out in one day.
2011: After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last month “Footnote” was released in Israel today.
2011: It was announced today that Jill “that Abramson would become the executive editor of the Times in September 2011…”
2012: In Atlanta, The Temple is scheduled to sponsor a concert featuring The Return which will be both a fundraiser and celebration of the birthday of Rabbi Alvin Sugarman
2012: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Jessica Heeren is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah
2012: Seven historic synagogues in Krakow that are closed for most of the year are scheduled to be open tonight as part of the second annual 7@nite-Synagogues By Night, an evening of exhibitions, music concerts and fashion shows by young artists from Poland and around the world. The free event is sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, JCC Krakow and the Krakow Jewish community. (As reported by the JTA)
2012: “Thousands demonstrated for social justice tonight in Israel’s three largest cities in an effort to rejuvenate the movement that swept the country last summer with tent cities and weekly demonstration. Many of the protesters, especially in Tel Aviv and Haifa, were from the Meretz and Hadash parties, as well as from leftist youth movements.” (As reported by Haaretz)
2012: Dianna Agron hosted the GLAAD Media Award in San Francisco.
2013: A grand ceremony to dedicate British Columbia’s first synagogue will be reenacted today exactly 150 years to the day following the establishment of Congregation Emanu-El in downtown Victoria, the picturesque capital of Canada’s western-most province. (As reported by Arthur Wolak)
2013: The American Society for Jewish Music and the American Jewish Historical Society are scheduled to present “Music in Our Time: 2013” an annual concert that features music with Jewish content.
2013: The Israeli National Soccer Team is scheduled to play the Honduran National Team at Citi Field in what will the Israeli team’s first New York appearance in 35 years.
2013: A conference on “Holy War and Sacred Struggle in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” is scheduled to open at Tel Aviv University
2013: A farewell dinner is scheduled to be held in New Orleans for Rabbi Uri Topolosky of Congregation Beth Israel and his wife Dahlia. (For more about the New Orleans Jewish Community see the Crescent City Jewish News edited by Alan Samson)
2013 American model Lisa S. (born as Lisa Selesner) and actor Daniel Wu gave birth to their daughter Raven.
2013: “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges” is scheduled to have its final showing at the National Museum of American Jewish Museum. (Special thanks to Rabbi Fred Davidow, an “authentic Southern Jew” and a real mensch for making us aware of this)
2013: The New York Times published reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster – the Creators of Superman by Brad Ricaa, No Joke: Making Jewish Humor by Ruth Wisse and Lady At The O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp by Anna Kirschner.
2013: The Bayit Yehudi party has officially endorsed Rabbi David Stav as its candidate for the position of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi in a vote that took place during a faction meeting this afternoon.
2014: The JCC in Manhattan is scheduled to host a screening of “An Honest Liar.”
2014: “Israel fired artillery shells at a target in Syria early this morning after a mortar shell from the war-torn country hit Mount Hermon, opening a second front hours after returning fire into Gaza.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)
2014: “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the ministers of a new unity government” which he hailed as ending the split with Hamas which is part of this reconciliation government, a fact denied by the United States which says that it can negotiatie with the PA because members of Hamas are not ministers in the new cabinet.
2014(4th of Sivan, 5774): Eighty-eighty year old chemist Alexander Shulgin passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Rethinking Jabotinsky,” a book talk with Hillel Halkin in conversation with New York Times cultural critic, Edward Rothstein, Columbia University historian Rebecca Kobrin, and moderator Abe Socher, editor of The Jewish Review of Books.
2015: The National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to sponsor a trip to Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre to experience “Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano” a musical that follows the journey of a piano as it moves in and out of American lives from the turn of the century to the present.
2015: “The Pennsylvania Senate voted 49-0 today to confirm Dr. Rachel Levine as the state's physician general -- making her the highest ranked out transgender person ever to serve in Pennsylvania government.
2015: Christopher Bandini reviewed Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Third Reich by Emily Kurlioff.
2015(15th of Sivan, 5775): “Just a few days shot of his 102nd birthday, former JHSGW president Henry Brylawski passed away today.
2015: “Channel 2’s Moshe Nussbaum reported” today that Israel did not attack Lebanese territory earlier in the day meaning that reported by “Lebanese media outlets” that IAF had struck near the city of Brital” and inflicted casualties were false.
2015(15th of Sivan, 5775): Eight-eight year old Nobel Prize winning chemist Irwin Rose passed away today.
2015: President Obama posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant William Shemin, who served in the Army during WW I.
2015: Elsie Shemin-Roth is scheduled to receive the Medal Honor today on behalf of her late father Sgt. William Shemin, “nearly a century after he pulled wounded comrades to safety” during World War I. (As reported by Salter
2015: Israeli pop star Kobi Peretz is scheduled to perform at the Highline Ballroom.
2016: The 4th Annual Israel Film Center Festival is scheduled to open tonight with a screening of the winner of the 2015 Israeli Academy Awards, “Baba Joon.”
2016: In Israel, “the Energy Ministry confirmed that the Leviathan offshore field has 20 per cent less gas than previously reported saying that there were 500 billion cubic meters of gas in the reserve and not 620 billion cubic meters.
2016: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at Temple Judah funeral services are scheduled to be held for Harold Becker, a successful businessman, World War II veteran, generous philanthropist and pillar of the Jewish community
2016: Sara “Hurwitz delivered the "A Message from the Dean" at Yeshivat Maharat’s Semikha Ceremony, hosted at Ramaz Lower School in which she applauded "the loud voices of those who hired our graduates as spiritual leaders, who support our graduates in fulfilling their dreams of serving the Jewish people as Orthodox clergy" and expressed her belief that the graduates: Hadas (Dasi) Fruchter, Ramie Smith, and Alissa Thomas-Newborn, "embody the ethic of optimism.”
2017: “The Women’s Balcony,” the “#1 Film of the Year in Israel” is scheduled to open in Scottsdale, AZ.
2017: “Committee Elections for next terms are scheduled to be held this evening following the Friday Night Dinner” hosted by the Oxford University Jewish Society.
2017: “Letters from Baghdad” is scheduled to premiere at Lincoln Plaza Cinema and Agelika Film Center.
2018(19th of Sivan, 5778): Parashat Behalotecha;
2018: 'Keynote' a Site Specific Installation by Tirtzah Bassel, “an Israeli artist based in New York,” is scheduled to open today.
2018: Participants in the Silent Auction sponsored by the Straus Historical Society scheduled to take place on June 4 begin previewing the items today.
2018: “A new event celebrating 50 years of educational partnership with Hebrew University that was scheduled to take placed today at the UCLA Hillel” will not take place as alumni express their outrage at violence “on the Gaza border” – an outrage that apparently did not carry over to this week’s rocket barrage from terrorists in Gaza launched against Israel.”
2019: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to hold its annual BBQ potluck dinner and annual congregational meeting featuring a “Year-In –Review” prepared by Steve Eckert, whose artistry proves once again that here is something about a Jews and Cameras (or at least talented ones like Steve)
2019: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Funny Man: Mel Brooks, the biography of the Jewish comedian by Patrick McGilligan and The Drama of Celebrity, Sharon Marcus’ biography of Sarah Bernhardt.
2019: Avodah New Orleans is scheduled to host its "Eighth Annual Partners in Justice Jazz” honoring “three incredible heroes in the work for a more equitable Louisiana.”
2019(28th of Iyar, 5779): Celebration of Yom Yershualayim, marking the 52nd anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem, marking the end of the illegal 19t year-long occupation of the eastern part of the city by Kingdom of Jordan; an occupation that brought no complaint from the world community or demand from the Arabs of Palestine to have it turned over to them as a capital for their “state.”
2019: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to host Deborah Ugoretz as she discusses the practice by 19th century Jews in Poland and Poland “of making decorative papercuts for Shavuot, often representing flowers and animal” followed by her demonstration of this unique holiday custom.
2019: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present a performance of Verrd’s “Nabucco” adapted by and starring David Seroro in the title role.
2020: “Lynn Melnick, the author of the poetry collections Refusenik, Landscape with Sex and Violence, and If I Should Say I Have Hope, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation is scheduled to lead a “Poetry Writing Workshop Inspired by ‘The New Colossus’ sponsored by the AJHS.
2020: Live on Zoom, The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to “The Muslim World’s Reaction to the Six Day Work.
2020: Live on Zoom the Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to host a discussion of Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday, featuring George Prochnik, author of The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World.”
2020: Today on GiveNOLA Day donors can make contribution to JCRS (Jewish Children’s Regional Service), an organization that really delivers the goods for Jewish youngsters living throughout the southern United States.
2020: LSJS is scheduled “Batsheva,” the third in a lecture series Debbie Meyer on “The Trials of King David.
2020: On-line, The Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry is scheduled to present “The Marriage of Véra Slonim and Vladimir Nabokov as Jewish, Russian and American History.”