Tuesday, January 21, 2020

This Day, January 22, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z"L

January 22

1167(23rd of Shevat, 4927): Ibn-Ezra passed away at the age of 78 in Calahorra which was on the border between Navarre and Aragon. There is no way that any entry could do justice to this Sephardic writer, philosopher, scientist and most important of all, world traveler.


1521: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, opens the Diet of Worms. The Diet of Worms would vote to declare Luther an outlaw, banning his literature, and requiring his arrest” and require that he be punished as a heretic. Ultimately this would lead to warfare between Charles and the rebellious Germanic princes who supported Luther. This outbreak of fighting would determine who “the real Charles was” when it came to dealing with Jews.  Charles wore two hats or should we say, crowns.  As King of Spain, he was the grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella, following in the footsteps, the monarchs who brought the inquisition to Spain and expelled the Jews in 1492. But as Holy Roman Emperor “he had issued a letter of protection for Germany’s Jews” and “did not tamper with the privileges extended by previous Emperors to his Jewish subjects.  When the fighting broke out, Spanish troops came to Germany to support Charles against the rebellious Protestant princes. When the Jews complained that the Spanish troops were treating them in the “Spanish manner,” the Emperor issued an order to end the molestation of the Jews. So in this instance Charles worse his “German Hat” and ironically it was a better deal for the Jews of that time and place.

1561: Birthdate of Sir Francis Bacon. According to one “myth” the Earl of Leicester was Bacon's actual father and he had as his physician the magician and Jew Dr. Frederigo Lopez who was the insipiration for “the Jew of Malta.”

1621: William Prynne, the English jurist and political leader who opposed allowing the Jews to return to England graduated from Oxford with a B.A.

 1648: Rabbi Shabbetai ben Meir ha-Kohen completed the manuscript for Nekudat ha-Kessef

1689: As the British wrestled with the issue of whether or not James II was still their ruler, the Convention Parliament met today.  By now Jews had been re-admitted to the kingdom but their numbers were small and they played no active role in the meeting. But the ultimate outcome certainly had an impact on their future as citizens of the United Kingdom. 

1714: In Bordeaux, France, Judica Lopes and Raphael Nones gave birth to Aaron Nones, the husband of Sara Pereyre aand the father of Aaron and Benjamin Nones.

1729: Birthdate of Gotthold Lessing, German poet, philosopher and playwright. Although a strong believing Christian, he advocated religious tolerance. His plays, such as “Die Juden” which appeared in 1749, portrayed the Jews as decent, admirable people. Lessing was a close friend of Moses Mendelssohn, who provided the inspiration for the character of Nathan in “Nathan the Wise” a play whose sympathetic portrayal of the Jews earned it the distinction of being banned by 18th century Christians and 20th century Nazis.

1752(6th of Shevat): Talmudist Rabbi David ben Joseph of Breslau, author of Shoresh Yosef, passed away

1755: Birthdate of Abraham Flesch, father of Moravian born businessman Joseph Flesch who “translated several of the writings of Philo into Hebrew.”

1755: Marshal Oscar von Lubomirski demolished the Jewish homes built on the outskirts of Warsaw in a community called “New Jerusalem”.  After the demolitions were completed, all of the Jews were expelled from Warsaw.

1765: Bordeaux native Jacob Nones and Rose Fernandez gave birth to Selomo Nones.

1775: Pope Pious VI reinforces all existing anti-Jewish legislation as part of his campaign against liberalism.  He passed away in 1781.

1780: In Nemyriv, Ukraine, Chaya Lane and Rabbi Naphtali Hertz Sternhartz gave birth Nathan Sternhartz, known as Nathan of Breslov, “the chief disciple and scribe of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

1786: In New York City, Zipporah Levy and Benjamin Mendes Seixas gave birth to Abraham Siexas, the husband of Charleston, SC native Rachel Nunez Cardozo and the father of Virginia, David, Benjamin, James and Miriam Seixas.

1812: In Dorsten, Meunster, Germany Julia Isaak and Samson Nathan Eisendrath gave birth to twice married Moses Samson Eisendrath, the father of Sigmund, Rosa, Hannah, Nathan and Levi Eisendrath.

1814(1st of Shevat, 5574): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1814(1st of Shevat): Rabbi Eliezer ben Joseph of Alton, author of Mishnat de Rabbi Eliezer passed away today

1814(1st of Shevat, 5574): Raphael Bischoffsheim passed away Mayence.  A merchant and prominent philanthropist, he was born at Bischofsheim-on-the-Tauber in 1773.  He went to Mayence during the French Revolution, and from a small merchant became a purveyor to the army. Bischoffsheim was well thought of by his co-religionist and served as was president of the Jewish community of Mayence.

1818(1th of Shevat, 5578): Tu B’Shevat

1832: Birthdate of Alonzo Barton Cornell, who while serving as 27th Governor of New York appointed Meyer Isaacs to serve as a Justice of the Marine Court.

1837(Shevat 15): Rabbi Jacob Simon Sofer of Cracow, author of Maor Shemesh passed away.

1840: British colonists reach New Zealand. According to Maria Weiss, Jewish merchants began arriving in New Zealand in the 1830’s.  By 1840, there were approximately 30 Jews living in the colony including David Nathan who helped found the Jewish community in Aukland and Abraham Hort who helped found the Jewish community in Wellington.

1840: Two days after he had passed away, Nathan Bennaton Vallentine, the son of Rosa and Benjamin Valentine was buried today in the UK.

1840: In Posen, Marcus Mosse, M.D. and Ulrike Mosse gave birth to Rudolf Mosse

1842: In Lattin, County Tipperary, John Keating O’Dwyer and his wife gave birth to their only son Edward Thomas O’Dwyer, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Limerick, who after meeting with a delegation led by Saul Goldberg, denounced the anti-Semitic pogrom in that Irish city – a denunciation which had little effect since Fr John Creagh CSSR, spiritual director of the Arch Confraternity of the Sacred Heart, the leader of the anti-Semitic riots was beyond his ecclesiastical control.

1850: In London, Catherine Barnett and David Jonas gave birth Louis Jonas.

1851: In NSW, Australia, Julia and Lewis Wolfe Levy gave birth to Benjamin (Benn) Wolfe Levy.

1855: In Schweidnitz, “well known Jewish physician Dr. Mortiz Neisser” and his wife gave birth to Albert Ludwig Sigesmund Neisser a German physician who discovered the causative agent (pathogen) of gonorrhea, a strain of bacteria that was named in his honour (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).”

1856: Twelve Bavarian, Dutch, and Portuguese Jews, who “had originally organized in 1855 as the United Brethren Society, a benefit society that provided members with medical and burial assistance” met today in Brooklyn to discuss plans for the incorporation of their group as a synagogue.  Their efforts would bear fruit in March of 1856 with the founding of Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes. (בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַנְשֵׁי אֱמֶת‎, "House of Israel – People of Truth"), the first synagogue formed on Long Island and “the oldest continuously operating synagogue in Brooklyn.” Today Baith Israel is “commonly known as the Kane Street Synagogue, an egalitarian Conservative synagogue on Kane Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

1858: Frederick I, who appointed the first Jew to a ministerial position and supported Herzl, became Grand Duke of Baden today.

1861: The New York Tribune expressed its displeasure with the decision of Hiram Ketchum and Professor Samuel F.B. Morse to invite Rabbi Raphael to deliver an address saying that “when men are out of money they go to the Jews but we never would have expected to find” them “so short of speech as to be obliged to ask Rabbi Raphael to speak for them.”

1863: The January Uprising breaks out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The aim of the national movement was to liberate the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth from Russian occupation. It is estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 Jews participated in the uprising.  Approximately 400 of them lost their lives while several hundred more were exiled to Siberia by the Russians when the uprising failed.

1864(14th of Shevat, 5624): In Berlin, 70 year old Baruch Auerbach “the founder and life-long director of the Jewish Orphan Asylum” who believed that "Orphans are not merely poor children, but children without parents; to raise and bring them up, an orphan asylum should give those children not merely bread and a shelter, but parental love also, and practical training” passed away today.

1867: Birthdate of Indianapolis, Indiana native Louis Paul Dessar, the CCNY and National Academy of Designed trained internationally acclaimed artist.



1868: In Lafayette Parish, LA, William Louis Bendel and Mary Bendel gave birth to Henri Bendel who in 1899 came to New York City where he opened “small millinery shop” that grew into “the women’s specialty shop” that bears his name and is one of the “fashion leaders” in the Big Apple.


1870: Rabbi Lewin conducted the first Shabbat morning service at the newly formed Temple Israel.  Services were held in the building owned by the YMCA in Brooklyn.  Dr. Samuel Adler of Temple Emanu-El delivered the sermon.  The service was conducted in English and the sermon was delivered in German.

1870: Ludwig Bamberger co-founded “the Deutsche Bank in Berlin as a specialist bank for foreign trade.”

1871: Birthdate of composer Leon Jessel who died at the hands of the Gestapo in 1942.


1874: New Jersey authorities took Abraham Levy off of the Hamburg steamer Silesia before it sailed this afternoon.  The Jewish businessman has been accused by his partner of stealing $2,200 from their Baltimore, MD business.

1875: Birthdate of Cracow native Solomon Z. Prokesch who came to the United States in 1892, earned degrees from NYU, Columbia and JTS after which he served as the Superintendent for the Jewish Children’s Home in Boston and chaplain of the Jewish Protectory and Aid Society in Hawthorne, NY.

1875: Ferdinand Hitzig, the German student of the Bible who spent 28 years writing commentaries published separately on The Psalms (1835–1836; 2nd ed., 1863–1865), The Minor Prophets (1838; 3rd ed., 1863), Jeremiah (1841; 2nd ed., 1866), Ezekiel (1847), Daniel (1850), Ecclesiastes (1847), Song of Solomon(1855), and Proverbs (1858) and who contended that the 5th and 16th chapters of Isaiah were written by the prophet Jonah mentioned in the Book of Kings passed away today.

1876: In Brooklyn, Balbina Rahner (née Bugel) and Gebhard Rahner gave birth to Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner who gained fame as Bess Houdini, the stage assistant and wife of the great Houdini.

1878: A Jew named William Yandaw was held as a material witness after he accused Annie Walker of stealing $35 from him.

1880(9th of Shevat 5640): Abraham Ashkenazi, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine whom the Sultan named “Hakam Bashi” and who was decorated by Emperor Frank Josef when he visited Jerusalem, passed away today.

1881: In Warsaw, Zelman and Liebe (Blumenthal) Altshiller, gave birth to Nathan Altshiller, who gained fame as Nathan Althsiller Court, the University of Oklahoma mathematics professor and husband of Sophie Ravitch best known for his seminal work, College Geometry - An Introduction to the Modern Geometry of the Triangle and the Circle

1882: The Hearts of Oak Company featuring David Belasco as “Mr. Ellingham” performed for the first time at Leubrie’s Theatre in St. Paul, MN.

1883: In Seligman, Missouri, named for Joseph Seligman, “a fire broke out at the Exchange Hotel which destroyed it completely along with a large part of the town.”

1887(26th of Tevet, 5647): Parashat Vaera

1887(26th of Tevet, 5647): Seventy-seven year old Grace Nathan, one of the 14 children of Sarah and Isaac Mendez Seixas Nathan passed away today in her native New York.

1889: Founding of the Ladies’ Hebrew Orphan Aid Society in Newark, NJ, whose members included Rose Marx, Helen Straus and Carrie Kempe.

1890(1st of Shevat, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1890: Birthdate of Frederick “Fred” Vison the Kentucky Congressman who followed Henry Morgenthau as Secretary of the Treasury and who as Chief Justice served with Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter.

1891: Baron Hirsch signed a deed of trust in the presence of the Consul General of the United States in Paris and the Vice Consul that gave control of $2,400,000 to a group of prominent New York Jewish community leaders who would use the funds to aid recent Russian and Romanian immigrants to the United States.

1891: Birthdate of Polish native, painter Moise Kisling who moved to France in 1910 where he developed his style and gained fame and popularity and was decorated by the French for heroism during World War I. 

1891: The first modern ocean-going cruise, which was personally organized and supervised by Albert Ballin, where the pleasure of the voyage was of paramount importance began today when “he SS Auguste Victoria (named after the German empress) set sail to cruise the Mediterranean for six weeks”

1892: In Paris, Noemi Allatini Bloch and Adolphe Bloch gave birth to Marcel Bloch, the great French airplane designer who changed his name to Marcel Dassault after suffering the vicissitudes of World War II

 1891: Birthdate of Budapest born American psychoanalyst Dr. Franz Gabriel Alexander, the husband of “artist Anita Venier with whom he had two daughters, Sylvia and Francesca



1892: “Too Much Immigration” published today described the impact of foreign workers arriving in the United States including that in New York, the Russian Jews “had practically crowed the Germans out of the clothing industry by working for lower wages” but who were no in turn were being crowded out by the Italians who were willing to work for even less and that in New England Jews were crowding the “Cannuks” out of the mills by working for less just as the Canadians had crowded out the Irish. 

1893(5th of Shevat): Seventy-four year old historian David Cassel who was active in “Wissenschaft des Judentums or Jewish Studies which refers to a nineteenth-century movement premised on the critical investigation of Jewish literature and culture, including rabbinic literature, using scientific methods to analyze the origins of Jewish traditions, passed away today.

1893: It was reported today that Temple Emanu-El has donated “over 3,500 books, pamphlets and manuscripts” to Columbia to serve as the foundation for the schools “library of Hebrew literature, philology and religion.”

1893: John Edelmann, the socialist-anarchist architect who had worked for Dankmar Adler addressed a meeting at the Hebrew Institute in New York City held to protest the Panama Scandal now rocking France

1893: Birthdate of actor Conrad Veidt who is remembered for his role of Major Strasser in the famous World War II film, “Casablanca."

1894(15th of Shevat, 5654): Tu B’Shevat

1894: Professor Knapp of Barnard College was scheduled to give a lecture this evening at the Hebrew Institute.

1894: As economic conditions continued to worsen R.H. Macy & Co which was owned by the Straus family sent $1,355.85 to the Charity Organization in New York for the second week in a row.

1895(26th of Tevet, 5655): Edward “Teddy” Solomon passed away today six months before his 40th birthday. An accomplished pianist and conductor, Solomon was a noted composer of comic operas in the manner of Gilbert and Sullivan.

1895: Two days after he had passed away, Samuel Lewis Nathan, the husband of the former Eva Joshua and the father of Joshua, Cecil and Percy Nathan was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1896: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn hosted its 13th annual charity ball which was held this evening at the Academy of Music.

1897(19th of Shevat, 5657): David Orbansky, Civil War veteran and winner of the Medal of Honor passed away today following which he was buried in Columbus, Ohio.

1898: A meeting of anti-Dreyfus and anti-Zola demonstrators is scheduled to be held in Paris’ Latin Quarter today.

1898: Sir Lionel Abrahams and his wife, the former Lucy Joseph gave birth to their only son Arthur Charles Lionel Abrahams, the Oxford Graduate who was killed during WW I while serving as a Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards.


1898: Today, “Selah Merrill…a Congressionalist clergyman and  a prolific writer on Palestine and archaeological subjects relating to Biblical lands” who “was formerly Consul at Jerusalem from 1882 to 1886” was nominated today by President McKinley to serve a second term in that position.

1898: In Riga, which at that time was a part of the Russian Empire, architect Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein, a member of a Jewish merchant family which had convert “to the Russian Orthodox Church and his wife Julia gave birth to Russian and Soviet director Segei Eisnstein best known for the 1925 epic “Battleship Potemkin.”

1898: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil delivered an address about “Jewish Immigration” at dinner tonight at Delmonico’s that celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the Legal Aid Society in New York City.

1898: “Barnato: The Man’s Life and His Fortune in Diamonds” published today provides a review of Barney Barnato: A Memoir by John Ward.

1899: It was reported today that J. Ernest G. Yalden is Superintendent of the Baron de Hirsch Technical Schools and A.S. Solomons is the general manager of the school.

1899: Birthdate of Washington, DC native and National University Law School trained attorney Nathan Cayton who when appointed as a Judge of the DC Municipal Court “was the youngest man ever to be appointed to a judicial position in the District of Columbia.”

1899: Founding of the English Zionist Federation

1899: It was reported today that the Baron de Hirsch Technical Schools, which has limited admission to Russian and Romanian Jewish immigrants are now accepting “Jews of all nationalities.”

1899: Birthdate of Czech born American historian Guido Kisch who specialized in the history of the Jews during the Middle Ages.

1899: The Federated Hebrew Trade Unions sent delegates to today’s meeting of a newly formed labor organization known as the Central Federated Union.

1899: It was reported today that John T. O’Brien who had been supplied with a job and card for free lodging by the United Hebrew Charities claimed that he been the victim of a “badger game”’; a charge for which there was no evidence. (O’Brien had not been asked to provide any proof that he was Jewish when he applied for assistance, indicating that the Jewish charity supplied people who were not their co-religionists.)

1901: King Edward VII followed his mother Queen Victoria to the British throne.  Edward counted several Jews among his friends and “inner circle,” something that did not sit well with much of the British aristocracy.  Even more important, was Edward’s willingness to intervene on behalf of the Jews of Russia.  In a state visit, he approached his cousin, Czar Nicholas II, about the matter.  Cousin Nicky ignored “Bertie.” English political leaders expressed dismay at the King’s behavior.  But for the Jews, Edward would become a hero.  His all too short reign came to an end in 1910.

1901: Following the death of Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill wrote to his mother speculating on what changes will take place in the behavior of the Prince of Wales now that he is king. Churchill wonders if King Edward will “scatter his Jews or will Reuben Sassoon be enshrined among the crown jewels and other regalia?” The King would keep his Jewish friends including “the Baghdadi-born Jew Reuben Sassoon.”

1901: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Jacob and Bertha Mack gave birth to Richard Jacob Mack.

1904: Herzl is received by Rafael Merry del Val the Papal Secretary, who promises to take into consideration the matter of supporting the Zionist aspirations.

1905: The Sunday New York Times Magazine publishes the first three chapters of an unfinished novel by the late Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield.

1905: Birthdate of Karola Bloch, the German architect, left-wing political activist and wife of Ernst Bloch.

1906: Today, Jacob Harry Hollander, the son of “Meyer and Rosa Hollander, who became a full professor at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins marred Theresa Gutman Hutzler with whom he had three children.

1906: “Between 5,000 and 6,000 Polish, Romanian, German and Russian Jews gathered at Rutgers Square on East Broadway to mark the first anniversary of ‘Red Sunday’ when thousands of workingmen were shot down in St. Petersburg while endeavoring to submit an appeal to the Czar.”

1906: It was reported today that Illinois Congressman H.T. Rainey had delivered a speech condemning the attacks on the Jews of Russia in which he said, “In the opening years of this the greatest of all the centuries the Grand Dukes and their followers who support the tottering throne of the Romanoffs have resorted to the hold methods and this time they are inflaming the populace against the helpless Jews – and already the blood of 100,000 Jews cries out for vengeance” which means “the time may be near at hand when an instrument may be raised up to execute upon the men who are responsible for these inhuman butcheries the old doctrine – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

1907(7th of Shevat, 5667): Seventy-nine year old Dr. Joseph Kopp, the Viennese attorney wrote a book “defending the honor of Judaism” in the wake of the rise of anti-Semitism aft the Tisza Eszlar blood libel passed away today.

1907: Salome, Op. 54, an opera in one act by Richard Strauss which he dedicated the opera to his friend Anglo-Jewish financier Sir Edgar Speyer had its New York City premiere.

1908: In Baku, Azerbaijan, petroleum engineer David Lovich Landau and medical doctor Lyubov Veniaminovna Garkavi-Landau gave birth to mathematics child prodigy and physicist Lev Davidovich Landau the winner of the Nobel Prize in 1962.


1909: Birthdate of South African born physicist and radiobiologist Tikvah Alper.




1909: Birthdate of Holyoke, MA native Morris Sawdish, the University of Chicago and Yale University linguist who was an acolyte of Edward Sapir.


1909: Sleah Merrill, the clergyman who worked as an archeologist for the American Palestine Exploration Society, excavating the second wall of Jerusalem and served as the United Counsel in Jerusalem three times between 1882 and 1907 passed away.  “A virulent anti-Semite” he opposed Jewish settlement in Palestine, a view which was adopted by many in the United States State Department.

1910: Birthdate of New York City native and University of Pennsylvania graduate Malcom Alan Vendig a U.S. Army Captain who served with 83rd Infantry Division “during WW II and after the war as military governor of Landkreis Dachau, Germany

1911: At the annual meeting of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society several speakers including Jacob Schiff and Judge Leon Sanders condemned the Gardner Immigration bill, which proposed to add an educational test clause to the exclusion laws and severely criticized the special boards of inquiry on Ellis Island.

1911: In New York City Agnes Elizabeth Meyer, who was Lutheran and Eugene Meyer, who was Jewish gave birth to Florence Meyer who gained famed as Florence Meyer Homolka, the noted photographer who was the wife of actor Oscar Homolka.

1911: Twenty-year old Lily Kronberger won “her fourth consecutive world figure skating championship in Vienna” today. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)

1911:  Birthdate of Bruno Kreisky, the first Jewish Chancellor of Austria.  He died in 1990.

1912: Dr. Harry Friedenwald of Baltimore, Honorary President of the Federation of American Zionists introduced Dr. Benzion Mossinsohn, a representative of the Gymnasium of Jaffa, who delivered a lecture in Yiddish to a very large audience at Cooper Union tonight on the work of that school, the first strictly Jewish school to be established in Palestine for 2,000 years.

1912: “Y.M.H.A.” Dedicates Heinsheimer Annex” published today described the meeting of the National Young Men’s Hebrew Association where the Louis A. Heinsheimer Memorial Building which was a gift from Felix M. Warburg was dedicated along with the unveiling of a tablet memorializing the late Percival S. Menken “which has been placed at the west end of the swimming pool.

1913: In Chicago, Mr. Horace Bridges is scheduled to “deliver a lecture on ‘Eugenics in the Drama’ this evening at the Chicago Hebrew Institue.”

1913: The new Hebrew Union College buildings were dedicated at Cincinnati, Ohio.

1913: Birthdate of London native Hyman Barnett “Harry” Mizler who along with his brothers Moe and Judah worked in the family fish stall “in Watney Street Market” before become becoming a member of Britain’s 1932 Summer Olympics box team and winning “the British Board of Control (BBofC) Lightweight Title.”

1913: The National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods was officially organized today in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1913: Birthdate of Avraham Goldberg, the native of Pittsburgh, PA and graduate of both the University of Pittsburgh and JTS who served as Chaplain in the U.S. military during WW II after which he moved to Israel where he earned a PhD from Hebrew University where he became a Professor of Talmudic Studies.

1914: Bronx resident Solomon Bloomgarden, better as the poet “Yehoash” whose admirers refer to as the “Yiddish Milton” is scheduled to sail today for Palestine where he plans on living “for the benefit of his health” and to participate in “the ‘Jewish Renaissance’ in the ancient land of the Jewish People.”

1915: Birthdate of Samuel J. Popeil, inventor of the Veg-O-Matic.

1915: It was reported today that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has selected Washington, DC to be the site of their 1917 national meeting.

1915: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, the Hebrew League of Boston and a delegation of Jews from New York are among those who will be attending the meeting in the East Room of the White House where President Wilson will hear the pros and cons of the proposed immigration bill which the Jews oppose because of the literacy test.

1915: The trial of Dan H. Lehon, C.C. Tedder and Arthur Thurman who have been indicted for subordination of perjury in matters related to the case of Leo Frank which was supposed to have begun today has been postponed.

1915: “Turks and Germans Expelling Zionists” published today described the apparent intention of “Djemel Pasha, the Turkish commander in chief of the army intended for the attack on the Suez Canal” to systematically destroy “the entire of work of Jewish colonization built up by the labors of thirty years and the expenditure of millions of pounds.”

1915: It was reported today that more than 5,000 refugees from Jaffa and other parts of Palestine are in Alexandria where they could be joined by almost 80,000 mostly Russian Jews whom the Central Powers seem determined to drive out of the country.

1915: According to tonight’s announcement “by the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs of which Louis D. Brandeis is Chairman” about 4,000 Jewish refugees from Jerusalem, Jaffa and Beirut have “fled to Alexandria” with about “5,000 more on their way.”

1915: Leo Frank was scheduled to be hung today. (The execution would not take place thanks to a writ issued by the U.S. Supreme Court following arguments by Louis Marshall)

1916: In New York City, Jacob H. Schiff delivered a speech in which he said “war will never cease until we have worldwide free trade and the only way to render preparedness unnecessary is to raze the Custom Houses and the tariff walls and have international free trade,” a view that was fully supported by the President of the American Tariff Reform League, “the first national organization to declare for the re-nomination and re-election of President Wilson.

1916: Birthdate of Michel Haguenauer, the champion of France in singles senior in 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1949 and 1950 who was “arrested by the Gestapo and interned in Montluc Prison” during WWII.

1916: It was reported today that when Governor Martin Brumbaugh of Pennsylvania issued a proclamation setting next Thursday as special day for making donations to aid the Jews suffering war-torn Europe “he paid tribute to the Jewish people” and suggested that contribution be set to the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C.

1916: “The Home Mission Council, which met” in New York “last week was attacked” today “in a sermon by Rabbi Israel Herbert Levinthal of Temple Petach Tikvah…for utterances regarding the conversion of Jews to Christian faiths reported to have been made at the council sessions.”

1916: Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurum announced today that his congregation had pledged $1,500 for the upcoming Jewish Relief Day.

1916: Among the contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee listed today were congregations in Atlantic City, Atlanta and Minneapolis.

1917: Rabbi Hyman G. Enelow delivered a lecture on “The Jewish Interest in Jesus” this morning at Temple Emanu-El.

1917: President Wilson delivered an address to Congress today which “was intended as an open message to the world of the conditions under which he would urge the United States to enter a world federation to guarantee future peace.”  (Editor’s Note – this is a reference to what would eventually become the League of Nations, the international body that would give Britain its mandate to govern Palestine with all that would mean for the Jewish people.)

1917: The members of the Medical Advisory Board helping Hadassah to send a medical unit to Palestine include Drs. Harry Friedenwald, Isaac A. Abt, Isaac Adler, Emanuel Libman, Milton J. Rosenau and Miss Lillian D. Wald.

1917: Birthdate of Jean-Louis Crémieux, the native of Colombes, France who added Brilhac to his name while serving as a leader of the Free French during WW II.


1918: Birthdate of Idea Weiner, the wife of Manfred Erich Swarsensk who after being imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp came to the United States in 1940 where he served as “Rabbi for Temple Beth El, a Reform congregation in Madison, Wisconsin.

1918: In Vienna, Ida and Siegfried Reginald Wolf gave birth to Elfriede Julie Wolf.

1918: In London, Lord Reading presided over a banquet celebrating the semi-Jubilee of the Jewish Historical Society which was attended by ambassadors from the United States and China as well as by the Lord Chancellor.

1918: “Hundreds of men and women solicitors” participating in “the drive to get 50,000 new members for the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies” met this evening at the Hotel Biltmore where they were told that despite their efforts, “the federation still faces a material deficit in the current year’s budget for the 89 welfar organizations which compose it.

1918: Moishe Zilberfarb completed an 18 month stint as Deputy-Secretary of Jewish Affairs in the General Secretariat of Ukraine, the main executive institution of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

1919: In Boston, “Ezra Ramin, a window trimmer, and Beatrice D. (Salamoff) Ramin gave birth Sidney Nathan Ramin, the award winning composer and arranger who was a boyhood friend of Leonard Bernstein. (As reported by Anita Gates)?


1919: General Orders No.16 of the US War Department which described the Heroism of William Sawleson which earned him the Medal of Honor was issued today. (“Hearing a wounded man in a shell hole some distance away calling for water, Sgt. Sawelson, upon his own initiative, left shelter and crawled through heavy machinegun fire to where the man lay, giving him what water he had in his canteen. He then went back to his own shell hole, obtained more water, and was returning to the wounded man when he was killed by a machinegun bullet.”)

1920: In Jerusalem, Dr. Samuel Lewin-Epstein, the “son of Eliyahu Ze'ev (Wolf) Lewin-Epstein and Judith Lewin-Epstein” and his wife Madeline Lewin-Epstein gave birth to Professor Jacob Lewis-Epstein, the brother of Noah Lewin-Epstein.

1921: In Warsaw, Stanislaw Baczyński, an author with “Jewish roots” and school teacher Stefania Zieleńczyk a zealous Catholic whose Jewish roots led the Germans to treat her and her family as Jews, gave birth to Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński the Polish poet who fought in the Home Army as Jan Bugaj  and whose “uncle, Dr. Adam Zieleńczyk, escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto and was killed by Germans in 1943.”

1922: Pope Benedict XV passed away. During World War I in response to the request of American Jews to alleviate the suffering of Polish Jews, Benedict issued a letter which was published in “Civilta Cattolica” denouncing anti-Semitism.  In 1917, he spent 45 minutes with Zionist Nahum Sokolov discussing the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

1923: The Golden Jubilee Convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations opened at the Hotel Astor in New York City.

1924: When the Labor Party in Great Britain formed its first government, Josiah Wedgwood was named Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.

1925: “Find Bronze Age Graves” published described the “investigations of the Department of Antiquities” at “the site in orange grove at Jaffa where…men diffing a cistern accidently uncovered bones, potsherds and bronze sword handles” as well as two graves from the bronze age which may “throw light on a hitherto unknown period of the history of Jaffa.”

1926: The House of Representatives District Committee which effectively governs the District of Columbia “decided not to report” the Kosher Law proposed by Congressman Samuel Dickstein which is similar to a law in his home state of New York.

1927: After losing two straight bouts, featherweight Wilbur Cohen, a native of Washington, DC, scored a victory on points today.

1928:  In "Homeland of Habima,"published today, William Schack described the current state of theatre in Palestine.  According to him "Palestine is as poor as east side tenement" with a population divided into three linguistic groups speaking English, Arabic and Hebrew.  In the past year, the only English performances were by amateurs who stage a few "ace actors."  During the same period, the only Arabic offering was a performance of Carmen.  Other than that, Schack has not hear of "any Arabic theatre in Palestine."

1929(11th of Shevat, 5689): Fifty-seven year old David Pofcher, the son of Michael and Rose Pofcher, who with his wife Mamie had five children, passed away today in Boston, MA.

1929: Yehudi Menuhin is scheduled to receive “a Stradivatius and Tourte body” from Henry Goldman, a member of Goldman, Sachs and his wife. (As reported by JTA)

1929: Birthdate of Lotte Therese Newman, the Frankfurt born British physician who “became the first woman and the first Briton to serve as President of the International Society of General Practice” and President of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

1929: Flags flew “at half-mast on many public buildings in Newark, NJ” in honor of “merchant and philanthropist” Felix Fuld whose funeral was held today.

1930: In Winnipeg, Cantor and Mrs. Alexander Steinberg gave birth to Ben Steinberg, the noted Canadian musician who served as director of music at the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.

1931: Birthdate of Canadian Doris Giller who went from being “a secretary with a supermarket chain” to a career in journalism.



1931: Sir Isaac Isaacs, the son of a British tailor, was sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia.

1931: Silent screen star Alma Rubens, whose father was Jewish and whose mother was not, passed away.

1932: “Prestige” co-starring Melvyn Douglas was released today in the United States by RKO.


1933: Birthdate of basketball star Leonard Robert "Lennie" Rosenbluth, who played forward on the North Carolina team that won the NCAA Championship in 1957 and went on to a pro career with the Philadelphia Warriors.

1934: In the Bronx, Hannah (née Kleiman) and Joshua Charles Azenberg gave birth to Emanuel “Manny” Azenburg, the Bronx native who gained fame as a theatrical producer who worked with playwright Neil Simon for over three decades.

1934: “The d'Avigdor-Goldsmid Baronetcy, of Somerhill in the County of Kent, was a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom created today for Osmond d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Chairman for the Jewish Agency for Palestine in London” who “was the grandson of Count Henri Salomon d'Avigdor, Duke of Acquaviva.”

1935: Today when the High Commissioner for Palestine, Brig. Gen. Sir Arthur Wauchope, opened a valve that inaugurated the British section of the gigantic enterprise, crude oil that had been pumped 600 mile through the new desert pipe line from the Iraq oil fields flowed into a tanker moored in the Bay of Acre off the coast of Palestine.

1935: Birthdate of American actor Seymour Cassel.

1936(27th of Tevet, 5696): Seventy-one year old Nathaniel Vidaver, the Boston born  son of “Rabbi Falk Vidaver and Anna Vidaver” and the husband of Nellie Vidaver passed away today.

1936: In Berlin, “the ‘Juridical Weekly’ published an article proposing that all marriages between Jews and ‘Germans’ be made the subject of dissolution on the demand of the ‘German’ partner.”


1937:  “A Doctor’s Diary” directed by Charles Vidor and produced by B.P. Schulberg was released today in the United States.

1937: “An official communique today states that by command of King George VV, the British High Commissioner” in Palestine “has invited Amin Abdulhadi, a member of the Moslem Supreme Council and Itshak Bensvi, a member of the General[ML1]  Council of Palestine Jew to represent Palestine at his coronation” and that both men have accepted.

1938: An appeal for continued support of the Jewish colonization movement in Palestine in a time of renewed persecution of Jews in Rumania, Germany and Poland was voiced in Washington tonight by speakers before the National Conference for Palestine, meeting in observance of the completion of twenty years of Jewish settlement in the Holy Land.

1938: Today’s royal decree “whereby the citizenship of Rumania’s 750,000 Jews was called into question” was seen by some as a violation of the Constitution agreed to at the Congress of Berlin in 1878 and “the 1918 Paris minority agreement.”

1939: Dr. Israel Goldstein, the President of the Jewish National Fund is scheduled to be honored this evening for his twenty years of service as the Rabbi of Temple B’Nai Jeshurun by Jews and Gentiles including Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Episcopal Bishop William T. Manning, Methodist Bishop Francis J. McConnell and “Dr. Thomas S. Gates, president of the University of Pennsylvania, Rabbi Goldstein’s alma mater.”

1940: NBC began broadcasting again “The Guiding Light,” a soap opera created by Irna Phillips which it had cancelled but was forced to bring back to popular demand.

1941: “Drive Slows Down” published today that the “fall off in donations for the $60,000 campaign of the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal is causing grave anxiety on the part of the campaign executives including Councilor Max Seigler.

1941: Dr. Bernard Joseph, legal adviser to the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the executive body that is cooperating with the British Government asserted that Jews in Palestine “are facing the paradox of supporting Prime Minister Churchill's war effort completely and yet being at odds with British administration” over issues related to the establishment of Jewish homeland including immigration and land ownership.

1941: The British army has renewed its recruiting efforts aimed at Palestinian Arabs and Jews.  The new recruits will be used for sentry and other similar guard duties which would release other British infantry regiments for use in active combat roles in North Africa.

1941: In Lublin, Poland; Hans Frank told his fellow Nazis, "We...cannot be asked to have any consideration left for the Jews."

1941: The Iron Guard revolt in Rumania led to the first massacre of Jews there during World War II.

1941: The Law for the Defense of the Nation is imposed by Bulgaria, forcing Jews to give up public posts and forcing Jewish doctors, lawyers, and other professionals to forfeit their jobs. Also, a selective tax is imposed on Bulgaria's Jewish shops and homes.

1942: Today, fifty year old Rudolf Propper was transported from his last known home in Pilsen to Terezin, which would be his first stop on the way to Izbic where he was murdered.

1942: The Hungarians continued their slaughter of the Jews of Novi-Sad in Yugoslavia.

1942: “A Time to Kill” a movie version of a Raymond Chandler mystery produced by Sol M. Wurtzel and with music by Emil Newman was released today in the United States.

1943:  This was Rivka Libeskind first Shabbat in Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The women, who had just recently arrived at the camp, lit candles and sang Shabbat melodies. Women who had lived there for years wept and joined the prayer session

1943: During Operation Tiger in Marseilles, France, Nazis seized more than 4000 Jews for deportation over a four day period. At nearby Les Accates, 29 Jewish children were seized at La Rose Orphanage. Their guardian, Alice Salomon, insisted on remaining with them. Marseilles had had a reputation as being the Jerusalem of the Mediterranean.

1943: The Jewish ghetto at Grodno, Belorussia, is liquidated

1943: A death train that originated in Grodno, Poland, on January 17 erupts in violence at the Treblinka death camp when 1000 Jews armed with boards, knives, and razors attack guards. By morning thousands of Jews who had been on the train are dead, killed by Treblinka SS troops armed with machine guns and grenades

1944: President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9417, establishing the War Refugee Board. The Board is committed to enforcing the policies of the U.S. government regarding the rescue and relief of victims of persecution.

1945(8th of Shevat, 5705): German born Herman Jander, the husband or Ray Jander, the father-in-law of Alvin Friedman and the father of Reba Friedman passed away today in Nashville, TN

1945: Crusading journalist Arthur Kasherman was gunned down this evening in Minneapolis in a crime that went unsolved but was always thought to be connected with his exposure of the mob control this half of the Twin Cities.



1945(8th of Shevat, 5705): Ralph W. Mack, a leader in the Reform movement and an officer of the American Council for Judaism passed away today in his native Cincinnati.

1945 (8th of Shevat, 5705): Seventy-five year old Else Lasker-Schüler passed away in Jerusalem (As reported by Sigrid Bauschinger)


1946: Birthdate of Malcolm McLaren, the British born manager of the musical group “The Sex Pistols.”

1946: Following the “blasting of a British installation” the British imposed a stern, tight sunrise-to-sunset curfew on the entire Hadera district of the Palestine coast between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

1947(1st of Shevat, 5707): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1947: At Dachau the Flossenburg War Crimes Trial came to an end with “all but 5 of the defendants were found guilty, 15 of whom were condemned to death, 11 were given life sentences, and 14 were jailed for terms of 1 to 30 years.

1947: Léon Blum completed his term as the 128th prime minister of France.

1947:  The British government decided today that it would turn the Palestine Problem over to the United Nations since it could not get the Jews and Arabs to accept a common solution..  However, the British would not make their decision public for another six weeks. 

1948: Birthdate of London born historian Bernard Wasserstein, who studied with Anna Freud and whose works include The British in Palestine and Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945.


1948: Birthdate of Brooklyn born conductor Sir Gilbert Levine.

1949: After renovation The Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre reopened today with its new name “The Mark Hellinger Theatre.

1949(21st of Tevet, 5709): Parashat Shemot

1949(21st of Tevet, 5709): Fifty year old Henry Ludwig Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett” the Conservative MP, bank director and husband of Amy Gwen Wilson with whom he had two sons and  who “having been brought up in the Church of England” “reverted in the 1930s to his family’s original Judaism and became a champion of Zionism passed away today.

1949: The divorce of David O. Selznick and Irene Mayer Selznick was finalized today.

1949: During a debate in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, leader of the Opposition, attacked Foreign Minister Bevin for his “astounding mishandling of the Palestine problem” that could only be described as “gross and glaring.”

1950: It was announced today that Representative Louis B. Heller has been named chairman of the Brooklyn League of the American Magen David for Israel” succeeding Municipal Court Justice Daniel Gutman.

1950: Colonel Abdullah el Tel, the commander of King Abdullah’s Legion in Jerusalem during the war in 1948, “split with King Abdullah and now favors the internationalization of Jerusalem.”

1951(15th of Shevat, 5711): For the first time during the Korean War, observance of Tu B’Shevat.

1952: “Israel withdrew from all participation in the United Nations General Assembly today "as an expression of grief and protest" against the hanging of two Jews in Baghdad, Iraq.”

1953: The Arthur Miller drama ''The Crucible'' opened on Broadway

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that East Germany had started probing the 'Jewish descent' of its officials and public figures and that the National Zeitung, an organ of the East German National Democratic Party, warned Jews that they would be punished if they 'ally themselves with American warmongers.'  In Moscow the New Times accused Zionists of being the enemies of the Russian people who sought world domination and claimed that the officials of the American Joint Distribution Committee were 'the lackeys of American imperialism.' 

1954: Physicist Albert Einstein wrote to physicist David Bohm who had left the United States during the height of the McCarthy period and living in Brazil concerning possible places for him to settle including Israel which he says “is intellectually alive and interesting…”


 1954(18th of Shevat, 5714): Twenty-nine year old English painter Theodore Garman, known simple as “Theo” passed away today.



1957: Under massive pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union, Israeli forces withdrew from most of Sinai after the Sinai Campaign. The threat of economic sanctions by the United States presented to great a threat for the Israelis not to give ground.  President Eisenhower and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, gave new life to President Nassar of Egypt.  Nasser repaid their support by tying the cause of the Arabs even more tightly to the Soviet Bloc.  The promises that the U.N. gave to effect the withdrawal were not honored.  And like all other dishonorable acts of peace, war would again be the result. 

1958: In St. Louis, Goldie Hogan and her husband gave birth racquetball champion Marty Hogan.


1960: In a Jewish comedic double header, Mort Sahl and Eddie Cantor who was making his last television appearance appeared on NBC’s “The Future Lies Ahead.”

1961: In its review of Pamela Frankau’s Road Through the Woods, the New York Times wrote that she “has written a tightly knit novel with fine characterizations and moments of real beauty.”

1962: Three days after its premiere in France “A View From The Bridge” the cinema version of Arthur Miller’s play directed by Sidney Lumet and featuring Harvey Lembeck and Morris Carnovsky was released in the United States today.

1963(26th of Tevet, 5723): Eighty-nine year old Lily Montagu one of the first women to take a leading role in the Reform Movement in the UK passed away today.


1964: Eighty-seven year old NYU trained lawyer and federal judge Clarence G. Galston the New York born son of“Sigmund and Linda Mainster Galston” who raised two children with his wife “the former Estelle Elkus” passed away today.


1964(8th of Shevat, 5724): Marc Blitzstein, American composer whose works included “Cradle Will Rock,” passed away at the age of 58


1967 (11th of Shevat, 5727): Robert David Quixano Henriques passed away. Born in 1911, he was a British writer, broadcaster and farmer. He gained modest renown for two award-winning novels and two biographies of Jewish business tycoons, published during the middle part of the 20th century. The following year, he wrote 100 Hours to Suez, and it was around this time, in his late forties, that Henriques began to take an active interest and pride in his Jewish identity. He was won over by the Zionist cause, and made frequent trips to Israel where he bought a small property. In the 1960s, Henriques wrote two biographies. The first one charted the life and career of his wife's grandfather Marcus Samuel, the great oil pioneer and leader of the Jewish community, and the second one described the life of Sir Robert Waley-Cohen

1967: Simon & Garfunkel performed live at Philharmonic Hall in the Lincoln Center, New York City. The recording would not be released until July 16, 2002.

1970(15th of Shevat, 5730): Tu B’Shevat

1973: President Lyndon B Johnson President passed way at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas at the age of 64.  One of LBJ’s closest advisors was Abe Fortas who considered himself “a nominal Jew.”  When LBJ nominated him to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court, Fortas, who was one of the few people who could speak candidly to the tall Texan, told him that the Jews would not consider this a Jewish nomination. As President, Lyndon Johnson had the courage (both political and personal) and the skill to enact the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also enacted many measures such Head Start and Medicare which had a great deal of support among Jewish voters. At the same time, his support of the Viet Nam War cost him a lot of support among these same Jewish voters. More to the point, he supported Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.  Among other things, he kept the Soviets from interfering on behalf of their Arab clients and forced the Russians to quit threatening Israel. Long after he had left the White House, The Associated Press published more information about LBJ’s “personal and often emotional connection to Israel” which is worth reading in its entirety.

Based on newly released tapes of the president’s conversations, the news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969) “the United States became Israel's chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.” LBJ is quoted in one conversation, “"I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel." Further reports reveal the full extent of Johnson’s actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Indeed, the title of “Righteous Gentile” is certainly appropriate in the case of the Texan. Most students of the Arab-Israeli conflict can identify Johnson as the president during the 1967 war. But few know about LBJ’s actions to rescue hundreds of endangered Jews 30 years earlier, actions that could have thrown him out of Congress and into jail. The Texas congressman’s district had only 400 Jews, but clearly the Johnson family’s Christian teachings had given him a strong affinity for Jews and their return to the Holy Land. Five days after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the “Dixiecrats” and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland. In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States. With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the U.S. Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit. Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his live. That same year, LBJ warned a Jewish friend that European Jews faced annihilation. Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw. But that wasn’t enough. According to historian, James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle “hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. … Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration…. Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more.” On June 4, 1945, Johnson visited the Dachau concentration camp. According to historian Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that “when her husband returned home, he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized, and ‘bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen.’” As President, Johnson met with Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and undertook to replace the recalcitrant France as Israel’s principal arms supplier, providing Patton tanks and Skyhawk jets and Phantom jets. Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin once asked Johnson why the United States supported Israel when there are 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis. “Because it is right,” responded the straight-shooting Texan.

1973: In a move that would please a majority of Jewish women today in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled “that a woman’s right to choose an abortion was protected by the privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

1976: “The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry charged today that the new Soviet regulations reportedly easing emigration procedures “are merely a smokescreen to cover the new and very real campaign of harassment and terror against Russian Jews seeking freedom.” (As reported by JTA)

1977(3rd of Shevat, 5737): Parashat Vaera

1977(3rd of Shevat, 5737): Eighty-six year old Abraham Nowak, the holder of degrees from CCNY, Columbia University and JTS and WW I Army Chaplain who organized two congregations in Cleveland before moving to Beth El in New Rochelle and was the husband of Ann Segal with whom he had two sons – Wellville and Peter – passed away today.


1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who a week earlier instructed his delegation to break off the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations held in Jerusalem, had now announced that he was leaving the door open for renewed talks, but on certain conditions. He demanded that, before any concrete peace negotiations may continue, Israel must agree to a total withdrawal to the pre-1967 frontiers and recognize the Palestinian rights to self-determination. The US sought a new format for political negotiations and urged Israel to resume military talks held in Cairo and postponed by Premier Menachem Begin. Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan warned that Sadat's conditions would lead to a dead end and offered no opportunity for progress.

1979: Ali Hassan Salameh, “the head of Force 17 and an operative of the Black September Organization that carried out the 1972 Munich Massacre” was killed today when “a remote-controlled car bomb” was detonated in Beirut.

1980(4th of Shevat, 5740): Ninety-two year old German-born Israeli historian and an expert in medieval Spanish Jewish history Yitzhak Baer passed away.

1981(17th of Shevat, 5741): Sixty-five year old Lili P. Edelman, the educator who translated Elie Wiesel's “A Beggar in Jerusalem” and ''One Generation After'' into English from the French passed away today.



1981: A revival production of “The Five O’Clock Girl” with music by Harry Ruby and lyrics by Bert Kalmar opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre.

1982: “The Moscow police dispersed a group that gathered for a Hebrew lesson at the apartment of Irina Shchegoleva.”

1984(18th of Shevat, 5744): Sixty-four year old Emmy Award winning producer Jerome Toobin, the husband of Marlene Sanders and the husband of attorney and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin, passed away today.


1984: The New York Times features Paul Johnson’s review of The High Walls of Jerusalem: A History of the Balfour Declaration and the Birth of the British Mandate for Palestine by Ronald Sanders.

1986: “Desert Bloom” a movie set in post-WW II Las Vegas co-starring Ellen Barkin and Allen Garfield was released in the United States today.

1988: The police imposed a curfew tonight on A-Tur, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem, invoking special emergency powers in this city for the first time since East Jerusalem was captured from Jordan in 1967.

1989: Birthdate of Nick Simmons, “the son of Israeli-American musician Gene Simmons.”

1990(25th of Tevet, 5750): Ninety-two “Russian American photographer” Roman Vishniac, “best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust” passed away today in New York City.


1991: El Al Israel Airlines and Tower Air are still flying to Tel Aviv. Sheryl Stein, the manager of public relations for El Al, said it was continuing daily service from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Tel Aviv. She said that the carrier had not reduced its schedule and that it had 17 flights yesterday in and out of Tel Aviv to other parts of the world. In addition, she said the airline was bringing in immigrants daily from Hungary and Romania.

 1991: After a Scud slammed into a two-story apartment building in a Tel Aviv suburb today, 260 Israelis were forced to move into hotels. Almost 1,000 Israelis, most of whom live in Tel Aviv have already lost their homes because of attack by Iraqi Scuds.

1993: Work was completed today on “MY Sam Simon, the fourth vessel of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society fleet, named after American television producer and writer Sam Simon, who donated the money to purchase the vessel” which was to be used to disrupt the activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

1994 (10th of Shevat, 5754): Irving B Kahn inventor of the teleprompter passed away at the age of 76

1995(21st of Shevat, 5755):In central Israel, two suicide bombers from the Gaza Strip blew themselves-up at a military transit point killing 19 Israelis. This was just one of the many acts of terrorism that took placed after Rabin and Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn.  Despite, them the Israelis would make a variety of territorial concessions.  The terror would continue.


1996(1st of Shevat, 5756): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1996 (1st of Shevat, 5756): Yisrael Eldad, member of the Stern Gang and leader of right wing political groups after the creation of the state of Israel extremist politician, died at the age of 85


1996: When the top awards in children's publishing were announced today, the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults went to Judy Blume in recognition of lifetime achievement in the field.

1997 (14th of Shevat, 5757): Irwin Levine, composer of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” passed away at the age of 58.

1998: “A Price Above Rubies” directed and written by Boaz Yakin and co-starring Julianna Margulies was shown for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival.

1999(5th of Shevat, 5759): Eighty year old George L. Mosse, the Berlin born British educated historian who began teaching at the University of Iowa before moving to the University of Wisconsin where he made his mark on the academic world.





1999: Steven Grossman completed his chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee

2000(15th of Shevat, 5760): Tu B'Shevat celebrated for the first time in the 21st century

2001: In talks today Israeli officials unexpectedly revived the idea of some form of joint or international administration for the historic city center of Jerusalem and its holy sites. This trial balloon was simultaneously punctured by the Palestinians, who reiterated their demand for sovereignty over all Arab districts and religious sites in East Jerusalem, and by the Israeli opposition, which objected to any plan for limiting Israeli rule in the city.

2002(9th of Shevat, 5762): A Palestinian gunman carried out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s central shopping district, raking the area with semiautomatic gunfire that killed two and wounded 20 before being shot dead by the police

2004: Sicor becomes the wholly owned subsidiary of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

2004: Two Israeli cabinet ministers said today that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would have to resign if a bribery investigation eventually leads to his indictment.

2004: “A Match Made In Heaven” published today traces the relationship of sculptor Ilan Ashkenazi and his second wife Tirza Moussaieff, the sister of Shlomo Moussaieff.


2005: The Washington Post published an op-ed column by Samuel Pisar entitled “Will We ‘Never Forget’?”  An international lawyer and author of Of Blood and Hope, Pisar survived Auschwitz.   Pisar expressed his concern that as the survivors reach the autumn of their lives, the world has not learned from the horrors of their experiences nor will they really remember what happened in a meaningful manner. 

2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Between You and Me: A Memoir by Mike Wallace with Gary Paul, Maimonides by Sherwin Nuland, The Poems of Charles Reanikoff: 1918-1975, edited by Seamus Cooney and Nicholas Miraculous a biography of Nicholas Murray Butler.  Regardless of how history views him (and the picture is none too flattering) Butler earns low marks in the American Jewish Experience.  As the reviewer says of Butler, “His most creative involvement with the undergraduate college seems to have come in searching for ways to keeps its Jewish enrollment down. He considered having applicants take physicals that would ‘find grounds to eliminate socially unappealing Jews smart enough to have passed the entrance examination,’ and throughout the 1930's he funneled Jewish students into an affiliated two-year college in Brooklyn. Its courses were "taught largely by junior faculty members from Morningside Heights," and the dropout rate was enormous. When it closed after 10 years, Butler at last gave up on ‘the Hebrew problem.’"

2006: The New York Times reported on the “four founding mothers of a large chunk of today’s Ashkenazi Jewish population” in an article entitled “Loy you, K2a2a, Whoever You Are” by Amy Harmon, a “direct descendant” of one of these four “bubbes”

2006: The S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program hosted a career fair at the Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem to demonstrate how a Yeshiva University education can benefit them.

2007: Representative Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor serving the U.S. Congress moved “to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 52) paying tribute to Reverend Waitstill Sharp and Martha Sharp for their recognition by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority as Righteous Among the Nations for their heroic efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.”

2007: Stephen Arnoff contended that the future of Jewish survival in the United States, depended, in part on older leaders of the Jewish community paying attention to the generation of young Jewish leaders who created projects like Hadar, Storahtelling, Zeek, jewschool, Hazon, Jdub Records and  similar Jewish enterprises

2007: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz agreed to appoint Major General (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi as the 19th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.

2008(15th of Shevat, 5768): Tu B’Shevat

2008 (15th of Shevat, 5768): Miles Lerman, the Nazi Camp survivor who helped found the U.S. Holocaust Museum, passed away. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi


2009: The International Astronomical Union named a crater on the moon after American physiologist Joseph Erlanger.

2009: The final five nominees for the Oscar for best documentary are scheduled to be announced today.  Among those being considered is, “Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”

2009: In Germany the scheduled date for the nationwide release of Adam Resurrected which follows the story of Adam Stein, a charismatic patient at an asylum for Holocaust survivors in Israel, in 1961 starring Jeff Goldblum as Adam.

2009: The Centro Primo Levi and the Yeshiva University Museum present a lecture by Eva Forgacs on the life and work of István Farkas. István Farkas (1887-1944), a modernist of the École de Paris, whose elusive landscapes fascinated writers and painters alike, returned in 1932 to his native Hungary where his mysterious works ultimately presaged his own death at Auschwitz.

2010(7th of Shevat, 5770): One-hundred-two year old pro-choice champion Ruth Proskauer who had followed in the social activist footsteps of her parents passed away today.(As reported by Margalit Fox)


2010: “Catfish,” a documentary about social interaction on the web and not about the traif fish co-directed and co-produced by Ariel Schulman who co-starred in the film along with Nev Schulman premiered today at the Sundance film festival.

2010: Mishkenot Sha'ananim is scheduled to present a second round of "A Shortcut In Time," part of series of lectures delivered over the course of seven months by the Weizmann Institute's Professor Illem Gross that place “scientists ranging from Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking  under the microscope.”

2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story,” a “chronicle of the endlessly surprising life of the charismatic newspaperman, Vegas icon and real-life Zelig.

2011: “The Strange Things About the Johnsons” with a screenplay by director Ari Aster premiered today at the Slamdance Film Festival.

2011: The New York Premiere of “Miss You”(Te extraño) is scheduled to take place at The New York Jewish Film Festival. The film depicts the travail of a middle class Jewish Argentinean family and Javier, a 15-year-old boy who left his home because of the political situation in 1970s Argentina.

2011: Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present the Sixth Annual Comedy Night featuring Dan Adhoot

2011(17th of Shevat, 5771): Frank Lieberman passed away.  A native of New York, Lieberman moved to Los Angeles as a teenager.  He parlayed his work as an entertainment reporter for the Herald-Examiner into a public relations career where he developed a special relationship with Elvis Presley and represented such show business notables as Sammy Davis, Jr., Phyllis Diller and Tony Orlando.

2011: The 2011 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival is scheduled to present “In Rehearsal – a one woman show by Alison Vodnoy.”

2011(17th of Shevat, 5771):Ninety-one year old Tullia Zevi, a pillar of Italy's Jewish community and an ardent anti-fascist who spent the war years in exile in Switzerland, France and the U.S. passed away  today.


2012: Awkward Moment Productions is scheduled to present “Circumference” written and performed by Amy Salloway at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.

2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of “The Balfour Declaration: the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Jonathan Schneer.

2012: YIVO is scheduled to present the world premiere of “When Our Bubbas and Zeydas Were Young.”

2012: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) will resign from Congress this week, she announced in a video message posted today


2012: Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) threatened today to hold up the defense budget until the issue of soldiers traveling on trains is resolved. Today, a new arrangement between the IDF and Israel Railways came into effect, eliminating free rides on most trains between the hours of 6 and 9 a.m. on Sundays. The arrangement is expected to save the IDF money and to reduce overcrowding during those hours. Mofaz criticized the new arrangement, saying it is unacceptable to turn IDF soldiers into "second-class" commuters in order to save money, speaking with Israel Radio.

2012: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today called on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to open an investigation into Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein for incitement after he was recorded quoting a passage by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Hadith that calls for the killing of Jews..

2012: A day after announcing her intention to resign from Congress, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) completed the "Congress on Your Corner" event that was cut short more than a year ago when a gunman opened fire on her and her constituents in a Tucson parking lot. She and a dozen others were injured in the attack; six people were killed.

2013(11th of Shevat, 5773): Ninety-one year old real estate mogul Sherman Cohen passed away. (As reportedby Charles V. Bagli)

2013: As Israelis are scheduled to vote in today’s election, “the Association of Craft and Industry in Israel is calling for the abolition of the Election Day work holiday, saying it will cost small industrial businesses at least NIS 100 million.”

2013: The JCCNV is scheduled to take representative to Richmond, VA as part of Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day.

2013: Meir Ariel’s Election Tour is scheduled to be shown as part of “Election Day at the Cinematheque.”

2013: Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the big winners today were the country's malls, restaurants, beaches, and parks – with nearly all filled to capacity as Israelis took advantage of a rare weekday off, not connected to a religious celebration, with stores, businesses, and places of entertainment wide open.

2013: In the elections that were held today the Jewish Home won 12 seats

2013: An unlicensed therapist who is a respected member of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn was sentenced today to 103 years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing a young woman, beginning the attacks when she was 12.

2014: The next SermonSlam is scheduled to be held at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York

2014: Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom is scheduled to end his trip to the United Arab Emirates where he has been attending the World Future Energy Summit. (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2014: “Up The Wrong Tree” and “Ukraine Brides: 13 Years Later” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2014(21st of Shevat, 5774): Ninety five year old Mary Gordon Shulman who had been married to author Max Shulman, the creator of Dobie Gillis, for 24 years until his death in 1988 passed away today.

2014(21st of Shevat, 5774): Centenarian Psychoanalyst Martin S. Bergmann passed away today.



 2014: “Broad City,” “an American television sitcom created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson” “premiered today on Comedy Central.

2014: Adina Bar-Shalom, whose father Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was the Shas spiritual leader for over three decades until his death in November 2013, is putting out feelers to see how much support she would have in a bid to replace President Shimon Peres when his term in office ends this year, Maariv reported today.  (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2014: “The Israeli Air Force launched an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun early this morning, killing two men, said by Israel to be terrorists behind some of the missile attacks on southern Israeli towns and communities. The air force said it carried out the strike to stop an imminent attack.”

2014: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled “to tour Christian sites in Israel’s north before attending a ceremony at Tel Aviv University, where he will receive an honorary doctorate.” (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2015: In Cedar Rapids, Brit Milah ceremony for Amasai Burt, son of Rodney and Queen Burt is scheduled to take place this afternoon.

2015(2nd of Shevat, 5775): Eighty-six year old children’s television advocate Peggy Charren passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)


2015: “Federal authorities are expected to arrest New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to on charges of corruption.

2015: “The Zionist Idea” and “Above and Beyond” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2016(12th of Shevat, 5776) Ninety-one year old Eugene Borowitz one of the most influential Reform Rabbis of the 20th century passed away today.


2016(12th of Shevat, 5776): Eighty-three year old Manhattan bookstore owner Arnold Greenberg passed away today.


2016: In Pennsylvania, “a three-judge panel in superior court dismiss some of the more serious criminal charges, including perjury, obstruction and conspiracy against Graham Spanier the former President of Penn State who still faces other charges stemming from his “handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.”

2016: David Blatt was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA.

2016: “Happy Ends” featuring “pivotal moments from 10 films presented at previous editions of the New York Jewish Film Festival” is scheduled to be shown at the 2016 New York Jewish Film Festival.

2016: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Hadassah is scheduled to host the Tu B’Shvat Seder at Temple Judah.

2017(24th of Tevet, 5777): On the Jewish calendar yahrzeits of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, “an influential philosopher and dean of students at the Ponovezh Yehsiva and Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady and the author the Tanya.

2017(24th of Tevet, 5777): Eighty-eight year old “translator and Soviet dissident” Lev Navrozov who in more than one publication claimed that while serving as Israel’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Golda Meir “had given Stalin a list of Russian Jews who would fight for Israel” and who then “disappeared at the hands of Stalin’s organs of state security” passed away today.


2017: ““Run for Mem,” a non-competitive road race past sites related to the history of the Holocaust in Rome, took place today. (As reported by Rossella TercatinP

2017: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail by Jonathan Chait, Class by Lucinda Rosenfeld and The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes.

2017: Jewish philanthropist Robert K. Kraft’s New England Patriots are scheduled to take the field this afternoon in quest of yet another AFC Championship which will lead them to the Super Bowl.

2017: In Atlanta, the Breman Museum is scheduled to host “The Carole King Songbook with Liz Callaway” which is part of the 2017 Molly Blank Concert Series that celebrates Jewish contributions to music.

2017: “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2017: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to host Brad Hill, David Fishman, Zachary Baker and Jeffrey Veidlinger who “will discuss the historical importance and context of the Strashun library, its survival during WWII, and its transition to YIVO. Lyudmila Sholokhova and Roberta Newman from YIVO and Lara Lempert from the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania will discuss YIVO’s landmark efforts to steward the Strashun library into the 21st century and beyond.

2018: “The Alienist” a TNT period television series co-starring Matthew Louis Shear premiered today.

2018: Pianist Roman Rabinovich and violinist Asi Matathias are scheduled to join the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players in “Poles Apart.”

2018: The Wine Temple on Emek Raim is scheduled to host “wine flight” featuring beverages made from the Syrah, “the main gape variety of the Rhone region in southeastern France.”

2018: Singer/Songwriter Nathan Goshen is scheduled to perform this evening at Zappa, one of “Jerusalem’s favorite restaurant/bar concert venues.”

2018: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of an “Act of Defiance” in London.

2018: “Humor Me” is scheduled to be shown this evening at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2019:  “A Fortunate Man” is scheduled to be shown this evening making it the final film to be shown at the 2019 New York Jewish Film Festival.

2019: In the UK, the Oxford Jewish Chaplaincy is scheduled to host a dinner followed by a “Mindfullnes Taster Session” “facilitated by Gidon Fineman who trained at The Oxford Centre for Mindfulness.”

2019(16th of Shevat, 5779): Eighty-four year old CCNY and Columbia educated historian Leonard Dinnerstein, the New York born son of Abraham and Lillian (Kubrick) Dinnerstein, whose thesis “The Leo Frank Case” and Anti-Semitism in America established him as an expert on the topic passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/obituaries/leonard-dinnerstein-84-dies.html

2019(16th of Shevat, 5779): On the Jewish calendar Yahrzeit Rabbi Shalom Mordechai Shwadron.


2020: Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in the case of Harvey Weinstein who “is charged with five sex crimes including rape and sexual assault” and who has pleaded not guilty while denying all the charges concerning “non-consensual sex.”

2020: “God of the Piano” and “The Birch Tree Meadow” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2020: Following yesterday’s capture of Arab terrorists “in a wooded area near Kibbutz Kissfum” Israelis are left to wonder if this infiltration is part of a wider plot connected to recent rocket firings and the launching of incendiary balloons aimed at Jerusalsm.

2020:  In San Francisco, the Jewish Community Library is scheduled to host “How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish” during which “Professor-author Ilan Stavans talks about an upcoming anthology he co-edited, exploring the rich interplay of Yiddish and American culture (including Latin American culture).”

2020: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host “Channeling the Masters with Hershey Felder during which he will discuss some of the composers whom “he has vividly brought to life” including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Richard Wagner and Frederick Chopin.