Thursday, April 24, 2014

This Day, April 25, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


April 25

693: Opening session of the Sixteenth Council of Toledo which, before its close, would add more regulations that would prove oppressive to the Jews living under the Visigoths.  This Visigoth anti-Semitism would provide a major impetus for Jewish support of the Moors when they invaded Spain in the early decades of the next century.

1211: Birthdate of Duke Frederick II the Quarrelsome who granted a privilegium to the Austrian Jews in 1244.

1214: Birthdate of King Louis IX of France. According to one historian Louis “hated the Jews so thoroughly that he would not look at them.”  Considering the fact that Louis that Louis financed his Crusade from the wealth he stole from his Jewish subjects, the fact that he expelled them from his domain and that he burned 12,000 copies of the Talmud and other Jewish texts, one would have to say that there is more than just a little credence to this evaluation.

1221(2nd of Iyar): Baruch ben Samuel, a leading Talmudist and author of religious poems  “who was one of the leading signatories of the Takkanot Shum, a set of decrees designed to deal with the problems facing Rhineland Jews in the wake of the Crusades passed away toay.

1284: Birthdate of King Edward II of England Edward would be the first King of England since the Norman Conquest, to reign over a Kingdom that had no Jewish subjects.

1295: King Sancho IV of Castile passed away. Among the Jews who served Sancho were the Kabbalist Todros Abulafia and the physicians of the Ibn Waqar family who were close enough to the king that they served as witnesses to his last will and testament.

1367:  Poland's Casimir III "The Great" expanded the "privileges" of 1334 to include the Jews in Lesser Poland and Ukraine.

1599:  Birthdate of Oliver Cromwell.  Most people remember Cromwell as one of the leaders in the revolt against Charles I that left the latter a beheaded monarch and the former Lord Protector.  To the Jews, he is the English leader who enabled the Jews to return to England after three and half centuries of exile.  Despite a great deal of opposition, Cromwell held fast to his commitment to the return of the Jews.  Although they came in secret at first, by 1657, one year before the death of Cromwell, the Jews of London felt confident enough in their position to purchase a building to be used as a Synagogue. Cromwell passed away in September, 1658.

1607: During the Eighty Years' War, the Dutch fleet destroys the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar. The Eighty Years' War, or Dutch Revolt, was the war of secession between the Netherlands and the Spanish king that lasted from 1568 to 1648. The war resulted in the Seven United Provinces being recognized as an independent state. The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or the Dutch Republic, became a world power for a time through its merchant shipping and experienced a period of economic, scientific and cultural growth. The region now known as Belgium and Luxembourg also became established as the Southern Netherlands, part of the Seventeen Provinces that remained under royal Habsburg rule.  The Spanish were Catholics.  The Dutch were Protestants.  More importantly, the Protestant Dutch were willing to provide a safe haven for the Jews.  In fact, the early Jewish community in the Netherlands was dominated by Sephardic Jews whose families had been driven out of Catholic Spain.  It was this Dutch victory over the Spanish that would mean that New Amsterdam would be Protestant and would be a haven for the first Jewish community in what would become the United States. 

1792: Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed La Marseillaise (French national anthem). One hundred and eighty-one years La Marseillaise would become part of Jewish liturgy. On Shemini Atzeres, 5734/1973, before the fourth hakafa, the Rebbe stood on the edge of the bima and began to sing “Ha’aderes vehaemuna” to the tune of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.” Rebbe’s rendition of “Ha’aderes vehaemuna” to “La Marseillaise,” was related to the concept of “Napoleon’s March,” when the Alter Rebbe took the theme of victory from the March.

1803: Wolf Breidenbach, a self-made man who used his wealth and influence in the cause of Jewish emancipation in Germany, succeeded today in having the Jewish "Leibzoll" abolished in Isenburg.  The "Leibzoll" was a tax levied on Jews when they entered a town in which they did not leave or in which the Jews had not been granted special priviliges.

1808: Birthdate of Gustav Weil, the native of Sulzburg who eschewed a career as a rabbi and instead became one of the leading Orientalists of his time which, in those days meant a study of what today we call the Middle East including studies of the world of Islam and their leading prophet.

1845: Today, the Herald of Freedom published an article entitled "The Jews and the Holy Land" in which Nathanial Peabody Rogers, a leading abolitionist from New Hampshire "expressed his views of Mordecai Noah's efforts at Jewish restoration in Palestine." Showing a complete lack of understanding of Jewish feeling for Palestine, Rogers expressed his opposition to "any American Jewish effort to rebuild a Jewish Palestine as a weakening of the struggle for justice and equal rights in the United States."

1846(29th of Nisan): Rabbi Judah ben Joshua Heskiel Bacharach, author of “Nimukei Hagriv and a lineal descendent of Tobias Bacharach, passed away today

1846: The United Order of True Sisters, the first independent national women's organization in America, held its first meeting. Organized at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, the United Order of True Sisters (UOTS) was conceived as a female counterpart to the male Jewish B'nai B'rith organization (founded in 1843), but functioning separately, UOTS claims to be the first independent national women's organization in the United States. Some of the Order's goals resembled those of earlier Jewish women's mutual aid and charitable societies. The Sisters sought "refinement of the heart and mind and moral improvement," and paid regular dues to be used for burial fees and material aid to members struck by illness or sudden poverty. Unlike earlier charitable women's organizations, however, the UOTS also had explicitly political goals. In the words of the group's 1864 constitution, the Order sought "particularly the development of free, independent and well-considered action of its members. The women are to expand their activities, without neglecting their obligations as housekeepers, in such a manner, that if necessary they can participate in public meetings and discussions." The structure of the lodge, with secret passwords, degrees of membership, and closely-guarded rituals, mirrored the organization of men's fraternal organizations like B'nai B'rith, the Masons, and the Odd Fellows.The members of UOTS were mostly middle-class German-Jewish women, as evidenced by the fact that meetings at most lodges were conducted in German until the end of the First World War. Many members were wives of B'nai B'rith members. The UOTS provided these women a place to exercise their leadership abilities and develop a role in the public sphere, without being subject to the authority of men. Although most probably did not fear material want, the system of mutual aid provided an unusual degree of security and independence. Initiated under the leadership of Henriette Bruckman, and founded with just ten other members, the original lodge counted over 100 members by 1851. In the same year, the UOTS established a Grand Lodge as an umbrella organization to connect lodges in different cities and to centralize authority. By the mid-1860s, lodges existed in Philadelphia, New Haven, and Albany as well as New York. Active in public life from the beginning, the UOTS established its own newspaper, Der Vereinsote, in 1884.Today, the UOTS continues to maintain chapters across the country, although its focus has changed and is no longer identified as an exclusively Jewish organization. Since 1947, the main activities of the Order have been raising money for cancer research and providing support to cancer patients. The most recent chapter was formed in Suffolk County, New York, in 1978.

1848:  The new Austrian constitution guaranteed freedom of the Jewish religion.

1850: Paul Julius Reuter used 40 pigeons to carry stock market prices.  Born Israel Beer Josaphat, Reuter had left his uncle's bank just two years before to establish what would become one of the world's greatest news gathering organizations.

1852: Twenty-one Reform Jews formed Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington D.C.

1859: Construction of the Suez Canal begins. The construction and operation of the canal became entangled in the European power politics and imperial conflicts between the French, who built the canal and the British who wanted to control it.  While serving as Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli bought a controlling interest in the company that owned the canal.  This “extra-legal” purchase was made possible by money from the House of Rothschild.

1861: Birthdate of Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman, the influential political economist who became the head of the faculty of economics and sociology at Columbia University in New York City.

1880(14th of Iyar, 5640): Pesach Sheni

1880(14th of Iyar, 5640): Joseph Seligman, founder of Seligman Brothers passed away today in New Orleans.


1880: In Ostrina, Russia, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Krensky gave birth to Harry Krensky who came to the United States at age 13 and who would return to Russia to facilitate his parents coming to America.  Krensky eventually settled in Waterloo, Iowa where he became a successful merchant.

1880: “The Falashas –Remnants of Jews in Abyssinia” published today provides a brief history of the Jews of Ethiopia beginning with the generals who divided the empire created by Alexander the Great.

1880:  It was reported today that a correspondent for the Jewish Messenger in Jerusalem has described the attempt to develop a Jewish agricultural movement near Safed has failed.  The farms have been abandoned and the would be-farmers have returned to live in Safed.

1881: “Journeys in Asia Minor” published today includes a review of “The Land of Gilead with Excursions in the Lebanon” by Laurence Oliphant.”  According to the review the book describes Oliphant’s mission to the land ruled by the Ottomans which included what some saw as “nothing less than” an attempt to begin “a restoration of the Jews” in Palestine.

1881:  A petition signed by 250,000 Germans was presented to the government requesting the barring of foreign Jews from admission into Germany. The petition bore no less than two hundred and fifty-five thousand signatures. This petition marked the opening of modern German anti-Semitism.

1881: In what some say marks the start of “modern anti-Semitism” in Germany, “a petition signed by 250,000 Germans was presented to the government requesting the barring of foreign Jews from admission to the country

1882 “The Persecuted Russian Jews” published today described a meeting that was held in Berlin attended by Sir Julian Goldsmid and Dr. Herman Adler from London, Mortiz Ellinger from the United States and several leading German Jews to decide the roles that various Jewish communities should play in aiding their c0-religiionists trying to escape the Czar’s oppression.  The Jews of London and Berlin will take care of raising funds for the efforts.  The Jews in the United States will be in charge of procuring employment for the immigrants as they arrive in America.

1882: Tonight, in the Russian town of Kamentz, shops and houses belonging to the Jews were destroyed by a fire.  Losses are reported to total 500,000 rubles.

1882: It was reported today that four hundred “Jewish mechanics” who had left Warsaw for the United Sates were stopped at the border between Russia and Germany because they did not have passports. Several of them escaped but most of them are being held by authorities and are waiting for a disposition of their cases. (The Russians did not want to keep the Jews but they did not want to let them leave either.)

1884(30th of Nisan, 5644): Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

1886: Sigmund Freud opened his practice at Rathausstrasse 7, Vienna.

1887(1st of Iyyar, 5647): Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

1889: The coroner began an investigation into the death of a Jewish youngster named Tobias Hipper who had reportedly been killed by some other boys in his neighborhood.

1890: It was reported today that Jews in Oregon are expected to support the Democrats because the Republican candidate had worked to unseat Joseph Simon as Chairman of the State Central Committee.  Simon was the law partner of Solomon Hirsch who was appointed as U.S. Minister to Turkey by President Harrison.

1890: The first meeting of the working girls’ section of the Beth-El Society of Personal Service which would be known as the Pansy Club was held today.

1892: It was reported today that D. Appleton & Co will be publishing The Jew at Home by Joseph Pennell based on the author’s first hand observations of life the Jews living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1893: It was reported today that gentiles in Dennisville, NJ are organizing “a law and order society for the purpose of making the Jews from Woodbine, the Baron Hirsch colony, show proper respect for Sunday.” The people of Woodbine “trail their carts and wagons through Dennisville” which reportedly upset the villagers who are all “interested in church and temperance work.”

1894: “The Samaritan Pentateuch” published today described the text from 1232 which is in the possession of the Lenox Library.  It contains thirty chapters of the Book of Genesis which are not found in the copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch in the possession of the British Library or the Vatican Library. The text is written in Hebrew and contains the Samaritan version of the Five Books of Moses.

1895: “Boston's German-Jewish population establishes the Federation of Jewish Charities of Boston to help the Russian-Jewish immigrants adjust to life in America. Member organizations include the United Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Hebrew Ladies Sewing Society, the Leopold Morse Home for the Aged and Infirm Hebrews and Orphanage, the Free Employment Bureau, and the Charitable Burial Association. Boston's Jewish population is estimated at 20,000, including 14,000 new immigrants.”

1896: The Reverend William H. Hechler brought a very nervous Theodor Herzl to a private audience with the Grand Duke, Friedrich I of Baden, the uncle of Kaiser Wilhelm II, It was the first time that Herzl was able to share his vision of Political Zionism and his solution to the “Jewish Problem” with German royalty. The Grand Duke was very taken with Hechler’s eschatological predictions and with Herzl’s pragmatic solution to the Jewish problem through restoration of the Jews to Palestine. The Grand Duke became a lifelong advocate of Herzl and the Zionist cause. He used his office and his relationship with his nephew…to support Herzl and Zionism. Hechler was an English clergyman who fought against anti-Semitism and was an early and ardent supporter of Zionism in general and Herzl in particular.

1896: Gustave May, a French born Jew who had taken refuge in the United States after the Franco-Prussian War was buried today.  May considered himself a “freethinker” and did not want a religious funeral.  His friend Columbia Professor Adolph Cohn delivered a eulogy in French.

1896: Yesterday’s planned dedication of a new synagogue in Lancaster, PA did not take place because of an explosion caused by a gas leak.  Isaac Grootfield, the “shamas” was injured when struck by flying timbers.

1897: Rabbi Silverman of Temple Emanu-El will officiate at the funeral of Simon Alexander Wolf the long-time writer for The Hebrew Journal.

1897: Professor Felix Adler delivered an address on “The Debt of the American People to Ulysses S. Grant” at Carnegie Hall today.

1897: It is estimated that the world’s Jewish population totals 7 million souls.

1897: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum took placed at the asylum’s building at 136th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.  Emanuel Lehman who had recently donated $100,000 to the asylum was re-elected as President.

1898: The newly elected officers of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society are: Emmanuel Lehman, President; Henry Rice, Vice President; Abraham Wolff, Treasurer and Meyer Stern, Secretary.  Dr. Herman Baar continues to serve as the superintendent.

1898(3rd of Iyar, 5658): Michael Wromser, the son of a poor butcher from Lorraine, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was the sole possessor of an agricultural empire worth a quarter of a million dollars. 

1899: The annual meeting of the Society for the Aid of Jewish Prisoners was held tonight at Temple Emanu-El

1900: Birthdate of Wolfgang Ernst Pauli.  The Austrian born physicist won the Nobel Prize in 1945.  Pauli shows up on lists of Jewish scientists.  In reality, his father was born Jewish and his maternal grandfather was Jewish.  But like so many German and Jewish intellectuals of the time, conversion had taken him out of the House of Israel and only the blood laws of Hitler could have “brought him back.”


1900: A two day crisis began in the Jewish Colonial Bank. Herzl called a meeting of the directors, and had the bank affairs reviewed by an accountant and a bank expert.

1902: The New York Times reported that Rabbi Morris Schreiber died while being taken to Bellevue Hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack when he was leaving the East Tenth Street Ferry House. Rabbi Schreiber whose congregation was located on Bushwick Avenue was on his way to eat a Passover meal with relatives living in Manhattan.

1902: The first step toward the creation of a permanent endowment fund for the United Hebrew Charities was taken today by William Guggenheim, a member of the Board of Directors, when he sent to the President of the organization. Henry Rice, a check for $50,000 for that purpose and a promise of $50,000 more upon the fulfillment of certain specified conditions.

1903: Herzl returns to Paris as he continues to search for support for a Jewish home with the leaders of European government and business.  His approach would stand in stark contrast with the methods of the leaders of the Second Aliyah.

1904: A mass meeting at Carnegie Hall the attendees who were “concerned with the plight of working children overwhelmingly supported the formation of the National Child Labor Committee one of the founding members of which was Felix Adler.

1905: In Providence, Rhode Island, James Edward Ingham and Elizabeth Whelan gave birth to Martha Ingham Dickie who as Martha Sharp acted to save those at risk from Hitler and the Nazis for which she was honored by Israel as one of the righteous among the nations.

1906: Birthdate of Joel Brand who gained fame for his role in negotiations with Adolf Eichmann in an attempt to save the Jews of Hungary. 

1908: Birthdate of Edward R. Murrow.  Most of the world remembers him as Ed Murrow, the voice of CBS News. But before joining CBS, Murrow served as Assistant Secretary of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, which helped prominent German scholars most of whom were Jews deal with the effects of the Nazi rise to power.  When the committee issued its first report in 1934, Murrow compared the conditions with those reminiscent of “the explusion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.”

1908: Joseph Dulberg, a leader of the Manchester Jewish Community, writes to Winston Churchill expressing sympathy for Churchill’s failure to win re-election and reiterating the strong support that Jews showed for him during the election.

1911: Cornerstones were laid for new buildings at Hebrew Union college.

1911:  Birthdate of Jack Ruby, the man who killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruby was Jewish.  Oswald was not.

1911: As part of “The Case of Mendel Bellis,” two medical professors from Kiev University issued a second autopsy of the thirteen year old boy who had been killed in March of 1911.  The report “stated the victim had been almost been completely drained of blood…” and intimated that a ritual murder had been committed.  The autopsy was a fraud.  The two medical men had received a 4,000 ruble bribe from the Russian Ministry of Justice.

1915: The Anglo-French invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula began.  Almost 30,000 men landed on the beach to fight the Turks for this strategic position.  Fighting with the British was a Jewish force known as the Zionist Mule Corp. The Zion Mule Corps was a supply unit that carried material from the beach up to the front lines.  The work was not glorious.  The founders of the corps had hoped to have a Jewish fighting force.  That would come later.  In the mean time, this was the first military unit composed of Jews who fought as Jews since the second century of the common ear.  Unbeknownst to the Jews serving with the Allies, the Turkish army had Jews fighting in Gallipoli at the same time.

1918: Lieutenant General Sir John Monash described today’s  recapture of the town of Villers-Bretonneux as the turning point of the Great War. Monash, the son of Jewish immigrants, was the ranking member of the Australian Army serving on the Western Front.

1919: Formation of Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir

1920: At the San Remo Conference, the Supreme Allied Council assigns mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine to Britain, and Syria and Lebanon to France. The Zionists scored a triumph since, when awarding the mandate to the British it was stated that “the mandatory would be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the 8th November 1917 by the British government.”  In other words, “the Blafour Declaration was affirmed in an international treaty. 

1920: As the San Remo Conference comes to an end, “Jewish and Arab delegations dined together in the Hotel Royal, toasting each other as the British looked on benevolently at the next table.”  Enmity between Zionists and Arabs was neither inevitable nor “present at the creation.”

1920: “The Paris Peace conference formally confirmed the allocation of the Middle East’s Arab rectangle to Britain and France. The Allies’ final boundaries for their respective mandates in Palestine and Syria did not produce the viable frontiers the Zionists had anticipated for their National Home.”  

1923: In Toronto Jacob Herman and Kate Weinberg gave birth to Mildred Hayden who gained fame as ballerina Melissa Hayden.

1926: The first regular meeting of the recently created Department of Industrial Economics of the National Civic Federation was held at the Park Avenue Hotel.  Speakers for the evening included Louis D. Brandeis of the National Civic Federation and Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor.  As the last speaker of the evening, Gompers “reviewed the blessings which had come to the individual through organized labor and expressed the opinion that the beneficiaries would hardly agree to the proposition that association curtailed their liberty.  He said that labor could not depend upon the courts for protection citing the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in holding the ten-hour day for bakers unconstitutional.  ‘I suppose bakers will have to go back to the eleven and twelve hour and even longer day.  If they do I will urge them to strike.’”

1929(15th of Nisan, 5689): Last Pesach of the Roaring Twenties.

1930:  Birthdate of Paul Mazursky, director of “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.”

1932: Rose Franken's "Another Language", premiered in New York City.

1933:  The Law against the Overcrowding of German Schools and Institutions of Higher Learning set a Jewish quota of 1.5 percent of high-school and university enrollment, and stipulated a limit of 5-percent Jewish enrollment in any single school. Because a compulsory education law was in effect, Jewish enrollment in primary schools was not limited for the time being. However, growing numbers of Jews voluntarily moved to purely Jewish settings by 1938, when they were totally barred from general institutions. In autumn 1941, the Jewish schools were closed by administrative order. Ironically, extra-legal discrimination against Jews seeking admission to colleges and universities existed in the United States at this time.  These quotas would hang on until the later 1960’s.

1933: Birthdate of songwriter Jerry Leiber.  Leiber teamed with another Mike Stoeller, “another Jewish white boy” who also loved Jazz and Boogie Woogie to create some of the greatest songs of the early days of Rock and Roll including Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, On Broadway and most of the hits recorded by the Coasters.  If you recognize these classics, you are almost as old as the author and if you are scratching your because you never heard them, then you are young, very young and should be home practicing the Four Questions.
 
1935: Birthdate of Edna Shavit the, “Emeritus Professor in the Drama department in the University of Tel Aviv, and Ha'Levi theatre prize winner for the year 2006.”

1938: Associate Justice Louis Brandeis writes the majority opinion in the landmark case Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins.  Associate Justice Benjamin Cardozo joins the majority in the 7 to 2 decision.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorist gangs murdered two Arabs who refused to hand over money and valuables in a village near Tulkarm.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that there were isolated shooting incidents in Jerusalem and Haifa.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arturo Toscanini, the famous conductor who had just given a series of concerts all over the country, and Bronislav Huberman, the great violinist and the founder of the Palestine Symphonic Orchestra, were granted the freedom of Tel Aviv.

1943: As the Warsaw Uprising raged on, Germans continued their invasion of the ghetto by lighting fires to buildings. Escaping women and children were shot to death and burned.  Thus, the ancient Polish Jewish Community began its final descent from greatness into oblivion. As fires set by Germans consume the Warsaw Ghetto, a German Jew named Hoch desperately leaps from a fourth-floor window, breaking both arms and his spine.

1943:  Composer Ezra Laderman was inducted into the U.S. Army where he served as a radio operator with the 69th Infantry Division during World War II. In describing his wartime experiences Laderman wrote "we were in Caversham, England poised to enter the war. It was here that I learned that my brother Jack had been shot down and killed in Germany. The Battle of the Bulge, crossing the Rhine at Remagen, liberating Leipzig, meeting the Russians at Torgau on the bank of the Elbe were the points in this constellation that was filled with tension and waiting, victory and grief. We became aware of the horror, and what we now call the 'holocaust,' while freeing Leipzig." During the weeks after the war was over, Laderman composed his Leipzig Symphony. This work brought him recognition within the army, and subsequently he was assigned as orchestrator of the GI Symphony Orchestra.

1944: “Religious pioneers from Germany members of the Ezra youth movement and Agudat Israel founded a new kibbutz which was called Chafet Chaim.

1944:  Joel Brand, a member of the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest, was summoned to a meeting with Adolf Eichmann, who presented him with an offer that would be known as "Blood for Trucks." Eichmann told Brand that the highest SS authorities had approved the terms, in which Eichmann would barter "a million Jews" for goods obtained outside of Hungary, including 10,000 trucks for civilian use, or, as an alternative, for use on the eastern front. The 1 million Jews would have to leave the country-since Eichmann had promised that Hungary would be Judenrein-and might head for any destination other than Palestine, since he had promised the Mufti of Jerusalem that no Jews would be allowed to emigrate there. To negotiate the effectuation of the deal, Eichmann let Brand leave Hungary. Although Brand was unaware of it at the time, the offer was evidently connected with an attempt by Himmler to drive a wedge between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, and to conclude a separate peace with the former. Brand did go to Ankara, Jerusalem, and Cairo, and he negotiated with American officials and leaders of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. However, he was arrested and imprisoned in Cairo, and the rescue scheme was never implemented.

1945: Ten months after the Americans landed at Normandy they successfully completed their drive across Europe when they linked up today with Soviet troops on the Elbe River.

1945: In Italy, a partisan uprising began that ended with the execution of Fascist Party dictator Benito Mussolini. Members of the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, an all Jewish fighting force in the British Army, was part of the Allied forced that helped liberate Italy.

1946: The French ship Champollion brought 880 Jewish refuges with Palestine immigration certificates to Haifa today from Marseille.  Of the group, 500 were children, mostly orphans.”  Many of the immigrants were concentration camp survivors.

1946: A force of Jewish fighters attacked a police station in northern Tel Aviv killing seven British soldiers and policemen while wounding two other Britons and nine Jewish civilians.  The Jewish fighters got away without suffering any casualties and have apparently escaped the security cordon created by the British.

1946: Several thousand Jewish youth marched through the streets of Tel Aviv mourning the death of Braha Fuld who was killed during the attack on the Sarona police mobile force headquarters.  She was referred to as ‘a fighter for immigration’

1948:  A reporter for The Times of London (the voice of the British establishment) described the efforts of the Jewish leaders in Haifa to convince the Arab residents to remain.  “The Jews wish the Arabs to settle down again to normal routine, but evacuation continues.”  While the Haganah was distributing leaflets urging the Arabs to stay, the Arab High Command based in Damascus was urging them to leave supposedly to avoid Arab casualties when Arab planes would bomb Haifa.  The planes never came, but the Arabs took flight and the “refugee problem” was born.

1948: A comedic bit featuring funny man Don Wilson and opera singer Dorothy Kirsten generates what would become the longest laughter pause in the history of the Jack Benny Program.

1950: Following the collapse of a building in Jaffa that killed nineteen and injured thirty mostly recent Jewish immigrants, Mayor Israel Rokah “called for the immediate evacuation of 1,700 people from unsafe houses in Jaffa”

1949: Birthdate of Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn, a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party who became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).,

1950: Mohammed Pasha Shureiki “formally notified the United Nations today that Jordan had annexed eastern Palestine and the old walled city of Jerusalem.”  This action is in complete violation of the United Nations partition resolution which called for Jerusalem and Bethlehem to be administered by the UN Trusteeship Council.  There was no motion of condemnation of the Jordanian action which was really the “ratification of facts on the ground” created by the invasion of Jerusalem in the winter of 1947/1948. 

1950: Prime Minister David Ben Gurion addressed the Zionist General Council on the sixth day of its meeting in Jerusalem.  Ben Gurion told the leaders from around the world that “their financial and other aid to Israel did not entitle them to a voice in the affairs of Israel.”  While acknowledging the importance of aid and support from the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, Ben Gurion took the classical Zionist line that “only Zionists who came to Israel and assumed the responsibilities of citizenship were entitled to a voice in determining policy.

1957: Birthdate of Bernard Rajzman, the native or Rio de Janeiro who became one of Brazil’s leading volleyball players

1964:  Birthdate of actor Hank Azaria, voice of Moe and Comic Book Guy on “The Simpsons.”

1966(5th of Iyar, 5726): Yom HaAtma’ut

1967(15th of Pesach, 5727): Pesach

1967:  Jules Feiffer's "Little Murders", premiered in New York City.

1969: Birthdate of Israeli yachtsman Nir Shental. Shenatal and his brother Ran won a bronze medal in the 1995 the World 470 Sailing Class Championships.  Nir and Ran also represented Israel in the 1996 Olympics.

1976(25th of Nisan, 5736): Markus Reiner“an Israeli scientist and a major figure in rheology” passed away. Reiner was born in 1886 in Czernowitz, Bukovina, then part of Austria-Hungary, and obtained a degree in Civil Engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna (Vienna University of Technology). After the First World War, he emigrated to Palestine, where he worked as a civil engineer under the British mandate. After the founding of the state of Israel, he became a professor at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa. In his honour the Technion later instituted the Markus Reiner Chair in Mechanics and Rheology. Reiner was not only a major figure in rheology, (the study of the flow of matter: primarily in the liquid state, but also as 'soft solids' or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force) he along with Eugene C. Bingham coined the term] and founded a society for its study. As well as the term rheology, and his publications, he is known for the Buckingham-Reiner Equation, the Reiner-Riwlin Equation, (now usually spelled Reiner-Rivlin), the Deborah number and the Teapot effect - an explanation of why tea runs down the outside of the spout of a teapot instead of into the cup

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Myron Marcus, an Israeli prisoner in Mozambique, was released in a three-way prisoners exchange swap.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington the White House officials declared that the U.S. President Jimmy Carter, will not consider any compromise with Congress on the all-or-nothing aircraft package sale to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel that would change the number of planes involved. A group of outspoken critics of the Carter Administration published a full-page advertisement in the "New York Times" warning that any weakening of Israel was in effect, a weakening of U.S. in the Middle East.

1979:  Peace treaty between Israel and Egypt went into effect.

1979: In an article entitled “Camp David: Farseeing Diplomacy or Neocolonialism?”Daniel Pipes expresses his concerns about the newly signed peace agreement.

1982:  The Sinai Peninsula was returned by Israel to Egypt, as part of the 1979 Camp David Accord.


1984: “The weekly HaOlam HaZeh (This World), which had appeared with blank spaces the week before, published on its front page a blurred picture of a man being led away.”

1985: Felipe Gonzalez sent a personal letter to the secretary general of the Arab League informing him of Spain’s plans recognize Israel.

1986: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for composer Harold Arlen at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan

1988:  The popular ABC news program "Nightline" went on location to Jerusalem Israel.

1988: In Israel, John Demjanuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II.

1993(4th of Iyar, 5753):Yom HaZikaron

1996: In an article published today entitled “Germans, Jews and Blame: New Book, New Pain” Alan Cowell described the German reaction to the recently published "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust" by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.  “The book's message is that the Holocaust was a result of a deep strain of specifically German anti-Semitism, growing from the 19th century onward, that sought the elimination of Europe's Jews and drew enthusiastic, willing support from possibly hundreds of thousands of ordinary Germans who physically took part in Hitler's deadly campaign against the Jews. The Holocaust, the book says, was a ‘national project.’ The German response, in a flurry of published articles, has been to condemn the book as lacking in scholarship, one-sided, derivative, downright wrong and willfully provocative.”

1997: Launch of the INS Leviathan, a Dolphin class submarine.

1997: Hagit Zavitzky, 23, of Kfar Adumim and Liat Kastiel, 23, of Holon were found stabbed to death in Wadi Kelt.

1999: PGA golfer Bruce Fleisher won the Home Depot Invitational

1999: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including The Lexus and The Oliver Tree by Thomas L. Friedman

2000(20th of Nisan, 5760): Producer David Merrick passed away. Born in 1912 in St. Louis, Merrick's name was originally Margoulis.  He lived in what he described as a mid-western Jewish ghetto.  He had an extremely unhappy childhood.  He found solace and success working in stage production at The Young Means Hebrew Association where his uncle was the director.  Merrick married well, moved to New York where he disassociated himself from his Jewish origins and carved a successful career on Broadway.  Some of his more notable hits were Beckett and Hello Dolly.

2002(2nd of Iyar, 5761): Yom HaZikaron

2003: On the day after Pesach had come to an end it is reported that In a unique partnership between Chabad and the New York-based Manischewitz company, ten tons of Matzah reached Lithuania’s 6,000 Jews in time for Passover. Donated by The donation by Manischewitz was particularly meaningful in a country long part of the Soviet Union, where Matzot were baked clandestinely.

“The largest amount of Matzah received since the independence of Lithuania, this donation literally assured Jews countrywide the ability to have a kosher Pesach,” says Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky, Chabad representative to Lithuania.The donation came through a business associate of Manischewitz and an acquaintance of Rabbi Krinsky’s, Mr. Armand Lindenbaum, whose grandfather Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel lived near Vilna in the early 20th century. When Krinsky approached him several months back about the possibility of making a donation to the Jewish community of Lithuania, Lindenbaum, who visited Vilna and was surprised to find a thriving Jewish community there, facilitated the initial contact between Chabad and The B. Manischewitz Company. From its perspective, Manischewitz, the leading manufacturer of kosher processed food products in the U.S., and the top provider of Matzah worldwide, feels the need and is honored to “give back to the Jewish community,” says executive vice president Steven M. Grossman.One thousand people participating at Chabad’s thirteen public Seders in Lithuania, partook of the Matzah, which was distributed in Lithuania’s major cities and remote towns. Even the five lone Jews living in Svencionys—a city whose pre-Holocaust Jewish population numbered 4,000—were not forgotten. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help in enabling us to conduct the Seders in Svencionys according to Jewish tradition and with kosher Matzah,” said one. According to Grossman, this was Manischewitz's first joint venture with Chabad, and Grossman sees the company’s relationship with Chabad as an “opportunity to make other contributions in the future.” The concerns of the general Jewish community, he says, are concerns of Manischewitz as well, and the company is pleased to contribute wherever it can.

2004: The New York Times reviewed books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967 by Rachel Cohen

2004: The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University sponsor a program entitled “Double or Nothing: Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage in the United States.

2005: For the first time since the Expulsion in 1492, a public, rabbi led Passover Seder was celebrated in Piano Battaglia, Palermo by Rabbi Barbara Aiello.

2005(16th of Nisan, 5765): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

2005(16th of Nisan, 5756): Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe passed away in Jerusalem.  Born in Berlin in 1914, he made Aliyah in 1946 and is remembered as the author of  Alie Shur

2006: In “Grits and Gefilte: How did a southern Methodist college become a destination for America's Jews?” author Steve Stein explains the phenomenal growth in the number of Jews attending Atlanta’s Emory University.  Jewish students now compromise almost one third of the student body at a school once known primarily for its connection with Coca Cola. http://www.emorywheel.com/detail.php?n=17852

2006(27th of Nisan, 5766): Observance of Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.

2007: “Makor Rishon started publishing daily. At the same time, HaTzofe (also owned by Hirsch Media) stopped publishing its daily edition, becoming instead a weekly religious insert in Makor Rishon” Shlomo Ben-Tzvi's Hirsch Media had purchased the newspaper in 2003. His wife is the editor of Segula, a magazine about Jewish history and culture that began publishing in 2012.

2007: At the Leo Baeck Institute Barbara Hahn, Distinguished Professor of German at Vanderbilt University, previously Professor of German at Princeton University, delivers a lecture entitled, “Kafka´s Wife - the Children of Bruno Schulz - On broken Traditions.”

2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque features a screening of “The Decalogue” \ עשרת הדיברות.

2009(1st of Iyar, 5769Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2009(1st of Iyar, 5769): Beloved television and theater star Bea Arthur passed away today at her home in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. The 86-year-old was born Beatrice Frankel to a Jewish family in New York City and became a household name on such TV shows as "Golden Girls" and "Maude". Arthur began her career in the theater, where she won a Tony Award for the musical "Mame" and played "Yente the Matchmaker" in the Broadway premiere of Fiddler on the Roof. Arthur was perhaps most well known for her role as Dorothy Zbornak on the hit series Golden Girls. The show, which centered on the lives of four retired women living together in a house in Miami, Florida, was a hit for six seasons and won 10 Emmys, including one for Arthur in 1988. After Golden Girls ended its run, Arthur appeared in guest spots on TV, including a part as Larry David's mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Arthur was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008.

2009: The David Bromberg Quartet at MerleFest

2010: Agudas Achim in Iowa City is scheduled to host its annual “Mitzvah Day.”

2010: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to offer “A Walking Tour of Downtown Jewish Washington” that will enable participants to visit the sites of four former synagogues while learning what it was like to live and worship as a Jew from 1850-1950 in the historic Seventh Street neighborhood, now known as Chinatown.

2010: Wrestler Bill Goldberg and Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak were among seven inductees into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. The five others inducted at the Hall of Fame in Commack, N.Y., were Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg; female judo champion Rusty Kanokogi; Penn State women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose; Achilles Track Club founder Dick Traum; and former NFL offensive lineman Alan Veingrad. Goldberg, an all-American defensive end at the University of Georgia, was taken in the 11th round of the 1990 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, but he turned to wrestling and martial arts three years after an injury ended his football career in 1994. During his seven-year career on the World Champion Wrestling circuit, World Wrestling Entertainment twice recognized Goldberg as the world heavyweight champion.In an often humorous and casually self-effacing speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony, Goldberg sought to tie his unconventional career choice in professional wrestling to Judaism."I wanted to try my best to give the Jewish youth something to look up to, someone who's persevered and somehow made a difference," Goldberg said. "What better way to help Jewish youth in dealing with adversity than to parade around the ring on national television in my underwear, demolishing every single person in my path?"Goldberg did not address recent rumors of a return to professional wrestling, instead saying that he wanted to focus on remaining on this season of NBC's reality television show "Celebrity Apprentice."  Lezak, a professional swimmer, came to national prominence as the unassuming hero of the U.S. 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay team that won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and set a world record. His dramatic final lap of the race made international headlines and helped teammate Michael Phelps notch a crucial victory on his way to a record eight gold medals at the Games. Lezak has won numerous Olympic medals, including an individual bronze at the '08 Games, and earned four gold medals at the Maccabiah Games in Israel last summer

2011: “Twilight Becomes Night” is one of two documentary shorts scheduled to shown at Film Form in New York. The documentary examines the widespread closing of independently-owned businesses in New York City, and the significant impact this transformation has on the people who live here. Russ & Daughters, a multi-generational Jewish owned family business known for its quality and genial atmosphere, “is presented in the film along with interview clips with Niki Russ Federman and Russ & Daughters' longtime manager, Herman Vargas.”

2011: Yael Hedaya, “an Israeli novelist, one of the head writers for In Treatment, the acclaimed Israeli TV series adapted for HBO” is one of the writers scheduled to appear at “PEN Speakeasy: Sex; Erotic Readings” on the opening day of the PEN World Voices Festival.

2011(21 Nisan, 5771): Seventh Day of Pesach – holiday ends for Israelis and Reform Jews.

2011: Politicians from left, right and center put aside their political differences this evening to join in the traditional Moroccan celebration of Mimouna marking the end of Pessah and the beginning of spring. During Mimouna, revelers feast on moufleta, an oil-rich crepe that serves as the first hametz to be eaten following the holiday. The Mimouna festival has evolved into an opportunity to acknowledge and honor Israel's Moroccan community, and Moroccan activists mark the event by hosting politicians in their homes. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attended a Mimouna celebration in Or Akiva. President Shimon Peres was the guest of honor at Jerusalem's main Mimouna festivity, attended by Mayor Nir Barkat and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. Labor MK Isaac Herzog, who is running for head of the Labor party, said at the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry's Mimouna celebration in Rehovot that "Mimouna must be declared an official, national holiday." Earlier this month, Haaretz published a racist quote attributed to Herzog in a WikiLeaks document, claiming that he called MK Amir Peretz "aggressive, inexperienced and Moroccan," but that Labor's list for the Knesset had Ashkenazim that balanced out the Sephardim

2011: In New York, Russ & Daughters is co-sponsoring a screening of The Vanishing City & Twilight Becomes Night, two documentaries that trace the changing face of the city and the reasons behind the morphing of Manhattan.

2012: “Common Sense Media honored John David Leibowitz, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission as a Champion for Kids
2012: Israeli newspapers reported today that Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has said economic and diplomatic pressures against Iran were beginning to succeed

2012:  Filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman are scheduled to participate in a Q&A following a screening of “Between Two Worlds” at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2012: The Embassy of Israel, the Washington Jewish Film Festival and The Avalon Theatre are scheduled to sponsor a screening of the Israeli film "Ha'lahaka"
2012:  Ninety-six year old Inge Elsas who gave an untold number of youngsters their first taste of Jewish education as the Kindergarten Teacher at Temple Sinai, passed away today.
2012(3rd of Iyar): Yom Hazikaron –Israel Remembrance Day
 2013: In Columbus, Ohio, Congregation Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host a concert where the winners of the 2012 Justine Hackman Memorial Young Artist Competition will perform.
2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to a lunchtime event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the performance of “We Will Never Die” at Constitution Hall.
2013: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled to present “The Human and the Inhuman: Writing in the Wake of the Holocaust”
2013: Police today finished a probe of Rabbi Avraham Chaim Sherman, a judge on the Great Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem. Officers from the National Fraud Investigative Unit suspect Sherman of breach of trust, obstruction of justice and abuse of power in his ruling in a divorce proceeding. Today Police handed over the case to state prosecutors who will decide whether to pursue an indictment.
2013: A court handed the Women of the Wall a significant legal victory in a decision released today, ruling that the state cannot arrest the women for their activities at the holy site.
 
2014: In New York, the Centro Primo Levi is scheduled to host a presentation by David Meghnagi and Barbara Spadaro on “The Jews of Libya Between the 19th Century and the Colonial Era.”