Friday, October 31, 2014

This Day, November 1, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


November 1

1179: Philip II is crowned King of France. In 1180, Phillip would order the arrest of all Jews living in his realm based on charges of ritual murder. It should come as no surprise that two years later, in 1182 Phillip confiscated all of the property belonging to the Jews as he banished them from his kingdom. The Jews would seek refuge in Champagne which was not a part of France at this time.

1210:  King John, brother of Richard the Lionhearted, began imprisoning the Jews of England.  As the conditions worsened in England, many Jews sought to flee the kingdom.  King John had no intention of losing this exploitable economic commodity. So he jailed his Jews rather than lose them.  By the end of the century, the English monarchs would have stripped the Jews of their wealth and would send them packing.   

1223:  Louis VIII of France issued an ordinance that prohibited his officials from recording debts owed to Jews, thus reversing the policies set by his father Philip II Augustus. Usury (lending money with interest) was illegal for Christians to practice. According to Church law it was seen as a vice in which people profited from others' misfortune (like gambling), and was punishable by excommunication, a severe punishment. However since Jews were not Christian, they could not be excommunicated, and thus fell in to a legal grey area which secular rulers would sometimes exploit by allowing (or requesting) Jews to provide usury services, often for personal gain to the secular ruler, and to the discontent of the Church. Louis VIII's prohibition was one attempt at resolving this legal problem which was a constant source of friction in Church and State courts. Twenty-six barons accepted, but Theobald IV (1201–53), the powerful Count of Champagne, did not, since he had an agreement with the Jews that guaranteed him extra income through taxation. Theobald IV would become a major opposition force to Capetian dominance, and his hostility was manifest during the reign of Louis VIII. For example, during the siege of Avignon, he performed only the minimum service of 40 days, and left home amid charges of treachery.

1290: Final expulsion of the Jews from England.  On July 18, 1290, Edward I (England) pressured by his barons, the Church, and possibly his mother, announced the expulsion of all the Jews. By November approximately 4000 had fled. The Jews had to pay their own passage, mostly to France. They were allowed to take movables (i.e. clothing). A number of Jews were robbed and cast overboard during the voyage by the ship captains. The Jews did not return to England until 1659. This was the first national expulsion of the Jews. England was one of the only centralized and national monarchies of that time.

1348: The Jews are caught in power struggle among contending Christian factions in Spain when the anti-royalist Union of Valencia attacks the Jews of Murviedro because they are serfs of the King of Valencia and thus "royalists".

1349: Duke of Brabant ordered the execution of all Jews in Brussels. He accused them of poisoning the wells.

1478: The Holy See issued a Papal Bull empowering Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain “to appoint three bishops…with complete jurisdiction over heretics and their accomplices.”  This simple statement marked the start of the infamous Spanish Inquisition.

1503: Start of the papacy of Julius II who in 1512 refused to sell a copy of the Hebrew Bible belonging to the Vatican for an amount valued in the 19th century at £20,784.  Why Julius turned down the offer when he needed the money in his fight with King Louis XII of France is not known.

1504: The most important and unfortunate decree was that made by King Vladislav today: “ …and we grant to the citizens the favour that neither we nor future kings of Bohemia will bring more Jews into this city, as the Jews have been given to your city by our forefathers for your benefit. We therefore confirm in writing and with our royal powers in Bohemia that your city and its citizens have the right to expel the Jews from your city whenever you like without any hindrance from our side or from future kings of Bohemia.” In 1504, the citizens of Pilsen took this ‘glorious privilege’ literally and expelled all Jews from the city without taking account of the income they would lose from the Jewish taxes.

1706(24th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Chaim ben Benjamin Asael of Salonika, author of Sam Hayyai, passed away

1768: Maksym Zaliznyak, the Ukrainian leader who was responsible for the Jews at Uman earlier in the year was deported to Bilhorod for leading a rebellion (not for killing Jews).

1784: Birthdate of Rabbi Gotthold Salomon “the first Jew to translate the TaNaCh into High German.”

1793(26 of Cheshvan, 5554): Forty-two year old Lord George Gordon the Scottish noble and MP who converted to Judaism passed away today.

1813: Benjamin D’Israeli, the grandfather of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, signed his last will and testament.

1817: Birthdate of Marseilles journalist Joseph Cohen who wrote about the Jews of Algeria and who was one of the editors of the first French Jewish weekly, "La Vérité Israélite," in which he published his famous work, "Les Déicides," an investigation into the life of Jesus, in which he attacks the originality of the moral teaching of the Gospels, and defends the Pharisees.”

 
1832: Michael Alexander, the Prussian born Jew who moved to England and eventually became an Anglican was ordained today as a priest in the Church of England.

1839: In Soulzmatt, Rabbi Seligman Loeb and his wife gave birth to  Isidore Loeb the French born scholar and historian who was the editor of Revue des Études Juives, the main literary product of Société des Etudes Juives

1851: Birthdate of Parisian composer Andre Alphonse Wormers who was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1875.

1861: General George B McClellan made general in chief of Union armies.  McClellan would actually serve two terms as commanding General of the Army of the Potomac.  A great organizer, he seemed to have had an aversion to actually waging war.  His failure to win victories and his over-inflated sense of self-worth brought him on a collision course with President Lincoln who fired him in 1862.  Eventually, McClellan, who was a popular figure made his way to New York where he worked August Belmont, the Jewish financier.  Belmont would provide the financial backing that led to McClellan’s nomination for President on the Democrat Party ticket in 1864.

1864: John Hay, President Lincoln’s private secretary wrote a letter to Myer Isaacs that was a response to his letter of October 26 in which he warned the President that a group of New York Jews with whom he met were not leaders of the Jewish community and could not deliver the Jewish vote. In his letter, Hay assured Isaacs that when Lincoln met with “certain gentlemen of the Hebrew faith” they did not promise to deliver the Jewish vote nor did the President offer them any inducement to do so.  In other words, Isaacs was either misinformed or worrying without cause.

1870(7th of Cheshvan, 5631):Eighty-one year old German mathematician Ephraim Salomon Unger who was a Professor at the University of Erfut passed away today.

1872:”A General Conference of the Jews” is taking place in Brussels.  A delegation of Romanian Jews has described the conditions under which they are living.  The delegation reported that the Romanian Jews had abandoned their idea of moving en masse to the United States and instead were planning on petitioning the Romanian government to grant them full civil and political rights.

1873: A report published today describing the changing state of affairs in the newly united Kingdom of Italy. The Jews have been among the most ardent supporters of the new government which has removed the onerous restrictions under which they been living.  For example Jews can now own real estate in areas that were formally under Papal Control.  This was a right the Catholic Church had denied them despite repeated petitions for change.  Several of the editors of the leading publications are Jewish and they lend their support to the new government.  According to some, “the Jews…have grown rich in Italy” because they have not hesitated to take advantage of their new opportunities.

1878: A lease was obtained for a building today and provisions were made to convert it into the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1879: Acting on behalf of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites, Simon Wolf has presented the Secretary of State with a memorandum urging the United States to withhold recognition of Romania’s independence until that country grants the Jews full civil and religious and civil liberty as provided for by The Treat of Berlin.

1879: Birthdate of Oskar Barnack who invented the Leica 35 mm camera which was than mass produced by Ernst Leitz.  Letiz would take advantage of the economic power and world-wide reach of his company that was based on Barnack’s invention to mount the rescue effort of German Jews known as the Leica Freedom Train.



1880:  Birthdate of novelist and playwright Sholem Asch (pronounced shō'lum ăsh).  Born in Poland Asch first wrote in Hebrew but switched to Yiddish.  His writings were well received and he was quite popular.  He moved to the United States before World War I and his popularity continued to grow.  He became a citizen in the 1920’s.  However, during the late 1930’s and 1940’s he wrote a trilogy of novels that dealt with Christianity.  The works were well received by the general public, but the Yiddish world rejected the works because of the subject matter.  The Forward refused to publish any more of his writings. In the 1950's, Asch settled in a suburb of Tel Aviv.  After his death in 1957, his home in Israel was turned into a Sholem Asch museum.  The following quotes are a sample of his wit and insights into the human condition. “To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are." “Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.” “The lash may force men to physical labor; it cannot force them to spiritual creativity." “The sword conquered for a while, but the spirit conquers forever!”

1880: It was reported today that in his most recent sermon Dr. J.P Newman of New York’s Central Methodist Church spoke on the “Impending Danger to Our Public Schools.”  He praised the current public schools as places where “the children of the Christina, Jews and infidel meet…on an equal footing without undergoing sectarian instruction.”  The teaching of religious doctrine should be left to parochial schools paid for by the churches.  (The public school system, free from religious indoctrination would prove to be a boon to the waves of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe that would soon be washing up on America’s shores.)

1885: “An English Hebrew Prayer Book” published today described the recent decision of the rabbis who had been meeting in Baltimore to create a prayer book that included a mixture of prayers in English and Hebrew, some of which are traditional and some of which are original.  There are numerous text like this in German, but “only one or two in English.”

1886: “Caught in a Corner,” a play featuring a performance by “Mr. Curtis whose forte is to caricature” modern Germans, is scheduled to open an 8 week run at the Fourteenth Street Theatre in Manhattan.

1886: Birthdate of author Hermann Broch, writer and refugee from the Nazis.  Born in Austria, Broch was imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis in 1938.  While in the camp he began writing one of his greatest works The Death of Virgil.  The book would be published in 1945.  Several prominent authors including James Joyce intervened on Broch’s behalf and he was released by the Nazis.  He came to the United States where he continued writing until his death in 1951.

1887: It was reported today that of the 25,788 Jewish “immigrants who land at Castle Garden during the year, 18,197 remained” in New York and “16 were returned” to Europe “as paupers by the Commissioners of Emigration. 

1887: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities, under the presidency of Henry Rice, had provided assistance to 17,385 Jews living in New York City

1888: It was reported today that Rabbi A.S. Isaacs and Joseph Arthur Levy addressed those who attended the consecration of new synagogue and school at 186 West 80th Street in NYC.  The school will offer instruction for Hebrew for students of all ages at no charge.

1889(7th of Cheshvan, 5650): Sixty-five year old August Henry Edinger, the well-known wine merchant who came to United States in 1849 from his native Worms-on-the-Rhine and was a patron of Mount Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, passed away today.

1889: The following notice appeared in the New York papers today: “Siegelstein – Bubis – At Mayor’s office, Oct. 13, 1888 and at the church, June 9, 188.  Pierre Siegelstein to Mary Bubis.  Pierre Siegelstein is now studying medicine.” (Read tomorrows TDIJ for details)

1890: Jacob H. Schiff expressed his support for the anti-Tammany forces in the upcoming municipal elections when he said that “he was heart and soul for Mr. Francis M. Scott and the rest of the Municipal League Ticket” because he thought that Scott was “just the kind of Mayor the people of New York needed.”

1890: As New Yorkers prepared to vote for Mayor, Jesse Seligman expressed his support for Francis M. Scott saying that “I consider the Tammany Hall organization rotten to the core and I see no reason why…Tammany Hall should not be overthrown.”

1890: As of this date another 1,982 Russian immigrants had arrived in Philadelphia, PA, which was an increase from 694 during the same period last year.

1890: “MR. FROUDE ON LORD BEACONSFIELD'S RELIGION” published today provided the view James Anthony Froude, the author of a biography on Disraeli, feels that the former British Prime Minister had on this subject.

1891: As of today, 62,574 Jews came to New York this year in Steerage, 54,194 of whom were from Russia.

1891: It was reported today that of the 239,000 Jews who came to the United States in the last six years, 90% came to New York and 70% of them have remained in the city.

1894: Czar Alexander III who implemented the anti-Semitic May Laws of 1882 and sought to deal with the Jews through his one-third, one-third, one-third policy died today.

1894: Nicholas II becomes Czar after the death of Alexander III.  Nicholas was the last Czar.  He was an incompetent reactionary.  He was also an anti-Semite.

1894: Having been finally given permission to speak out, Louise Dreyfus told her brother-in-law Mathieu about the charges leveled against her husband which led to Mathieu Dreyfus becoming the leading architect of the Dreyfus Defense.

1894: The French Army high command announced that it would proceed with a formal court-martial with Dreyfus as the defendant.

1895: According to a summary published today, the United Hebrew Charities collected $144,539.90 from all sources and spent $138,895.11 to provide services

1895: It was reported today that 27,065 Jewish immigrants had arrived in New York City this year as compared with 16, 381 who come in 1894. 

1895: As of today there are 300,000 Jews living in New York City

1895: The City Magistrate of Essex Market Police Court “dismissed the charges of extortion brought against Max Sanftman, an agent for the Hebrew Branch of the Anti-Vice Society, Barney Silverman” a restaurant owner whose wife had been arrested based on information provided by Sanftman.

1895: Ludovic Trarieux, a Dreyfusard who was the founding president of the League of Human and Civil Rights completed his term as Minister of Justice.

1896: Joseph Jacobs, the editor of Macmillan’s Jewish Library is reported to be in the United States so that he can deliver a series of lectures during the upcoming meeting of the National Council of Jewish Women.

1898: Professor Richard Gotheil, a Professor of Oriental Languages at Columbia addressed a meeting of the West Side Zion Society where he spoke about events at the Zionist Conference which he attended at Basel last August.

1898: Based on reports published today, the heat has taken its toll on the Kaiser and his wife during their visit to Palestine.  They have cancelled their trip to Jericho and will be returning to Germany sooner than expected. Since nearly 40 horses have died from the heat, the Kaiser has decided to return to Haifa from Jaffa by sea.

1898: Twenty-five year old Kate Hart, “a devout Roman Catholic” who fell in love Charles Mundag, “a devout Jew” and married him five years ago despite the opposition of her family burned herself to death after her family made overtures of reconciliation.

1898: According to a summary of the report of the United Hebrew Charities published today, the society raised $133,107.12 and spent $120,540 on providing services to the city’s needy Jews.

1898: Leopold Lederer is being held in the Tombs charged with having burned down his home in August, 1894 and Abraham Zucker is being held in the Tombs on charges of setting fire to his dry goods store on the Corner of 41st Street and 9th Avenue.

1899(28th of Cheshvan, 5660): Moses Bruhl, who has been in the jewelry business for 46 years, passed away today.  He came to the United States in 1854 at the age of 18 and became a noted philanthropist as well as a successful businessman.

1899: J. Charles Wechsler and Dr. M.J. Burstain presented plans for the proposed Emanuel Hospital and Dispensary which will serve Jews from Galicia, Austria and Hungary living on the East Side to the State Board of Charities today.

1899: As of today, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is providing direct care for “876 children ranging in age from three to sixteen years” of whom 534 are boys.

1899: Isaac Stern, Chairman of the Executive Board of Mount Sinai Hospital and President Isaac Wallach of Mount Sinai Hospital expressed their opposition to the construction of a new hospital for which, according to them, there is no real support.

1903: Eighty-five year old Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Theodor Mommsen “who strongly opposed anti-Semitism” and wrote a pamphlet in which he opposed the views of Heinrich von Treitschke “who popularized the phrase "Die Juden sind unser Unglück!" ("The Jews are our misfortune!"), which was adopted as a motto by the Nazi publication Der Stürmer several decades later.

1904: Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach, a Jewish gangster, met with Richie Fitzpatick in an attempt to decide which one of them would lead Monk Eastman Gang. During the meeting, Firzpatrick was shot to death by one of Kid Twist’s henchmen.

1907: Birthdate of Elimelekh-Shimon Rimalt, the native of Galicia who served in the Knesset and as the Minister of Postal Services.

1914(12th of Cheshvan, 5675): During WW I, 15 year old “Midshipman Vivian George Edward S. Schreiber, HMS Monmouth, RN, died today.”

1914: Birthdate of Rabbi Moshe (Moses) Teitelbaum  Chasidic Rebbe and the world leader of the Satmar Hasidim, which is believed to be the largest Chasidic community in the world, with some 100,000 followers.

1914: Birthdate of Sofia Cosma, the native of Latvia “who defied long odds to rebuild her career after seven years in Soviet prison camps.”

1914: “Immigration” published today provides the views of Edward A. Ross on how the World War will affect population movement including a prediction that “the possible alleviation of the status of the Jew in Russia” will lead to a decrease in their “outflow” from western Asia.

1914: Today’s “City Brevities” column includes a description of an upcoming meeting of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1914: “Finds Russian Jews Aflame As Patriots” published today described the study by Charles H. Sherrill of the patriotism of Russian Jews who are rallying to the Russian flag in the present war” and its impact on Jews living in the United States.

1916: Arnold Schönberg “completes the Four Songs for Voice and Orchestra, op. 22.”

1916: The Ottoman Jewish Union was founded with aim of fostering friendly relations between Jews of different countries and the Ottomans, as well as closer association of the Ottoman Jews with the other nationalities in Turkey.

1917: W.T. Massey, British correspondent with the British army fighting in Palestine transmitted a dispatch headlined “Beersheba Taken In Night Charge.” According to him Australasian Cavalrymen dismounted to storm defenses held by Germans and Turks. The infantry cleared the way, tearing down wire entanglements with their bare hands.  At the same time, over four hundred Turkish soldiers were captured in fighting at Gaza.

1918:  Responding to demands for an end to the monarchy, the Kaiser tells an emissary from Prince Max, ‘I wouldn’t dream of abandoning the throne because of a few hundred Jews and a thousand workers.”  The German monarch’s anti-Semitism trumped the reality of the thousands of Jews who had fought and died for the fatherland from 1914 until 1918.

1919: “The Federation of Hungarian Jews in America was organized” today.

1921: Congregation Beth El located in Camden, NJ, was official incorporated by the state of New Jersey.

1921: Hadoar, the first Hebrew daily Hebrew paper published in the United States appeared for the first time.

1922: The last sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed VI, abdicates. The Sultan and the empire would be replaced by a secular Turkish Republic led by Attaturk Kemal.  Large numbers of Jews fled Turkey during this period as a result of the Greco-Turkish war which was fought at this time.  Jews of the new republic also suffered a loss international protection under the terms of the Treaty of Locarno under pressure from the new regime. 

1923: Birthdate of Menachem Fetter, who made in Aliyah in 1935 and became the note Israeli jurist Menachem Elon who became Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Israel.

1924: U.S. premiere of “White Man” the silent film produced by B.P. Schulberg that marked the cinematic debut of Clark Gable.  (Gable was not Jewish but it is still worth noting)

1924: Birthdate of Aharon Uzan, the Tunisian born Israeli political leader who held the positions Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Labor and Social Welfare after Abuhatzira resigned from both posts following his conviction for larceny, breach of trust and fraud from 1982 until 1984.

1930: A new cooperative housing project, spearheaded by Lieutenant Governor Herbert Lehman and Aaron Rabinowitz opened on the site of the old Hoe & Co Printing Plant on Delancey Street.  An editorial writer for the New York Times referred to this effort as “the first step toward the rejuvenation of the Lower East Side.

1930: A demonstration was held in Jerusalem to protest the White Paper on British Policy in Palestine.

1930: The British government is making preparations to prevent any demonstrations tomorrow (the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration) by Jews who have been protesting against the White Paper on the British Policy in Palestine.

1931: The New York Times reports the Yasha Heifitz will go to Palestine next Spring to present a series of five concerts.  The Times reported approvingly of the growth of the appreciation in Palestine for “good Occidental music” in a land where until only recently “companies of wandering Egyptian musicians were the only artists heard.”

1933: The first issue of Ristow's anti-Semitic Blick in die Zeit (A Look at the Times) is published in Germany.

1935: “Members of the religious agricultural training in Telz, Lithuania” were photographed today.

 
1935: The first edition of The American Hebrew, which was the successor to the American Hebrew and Jewish Tribune appeared today.

1935: Birthdate of Robert Andrzej Krauthammer the native of Warsaw, who, after he was smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto was given the name of Andre Tchaikowskyunder which he became a famous composer whose extra claim to fame is the fact that Royal Shakespeare Company uses his skull as prop, per the terms of his will.

1935: An addition to the Reich Citizenship Law disqualifies Jews from German citizenship.

1936: An exhibition of water-color landscapes of Palestine opened this afternoon at the Jewish Club in New York City.  The paintings “are the work of Elias Newman, an American artist who has lived in Palestine for eight year and is affiliated with the Tel Aviv Museum.”

1936:  "Palestine Arabs Turn to Boycott" published today reported that "As was excepted immediately after the Arab general strike was called off through Palestine, an anti-Jewish boycott movement has taken root."  If it continues, it can have a disastrous effect on all those living in Palestine - Arab and Jew alike

1937: The Palestine Post reports the death of Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City. Born in Birmingham, England in 1852, he was one of the two founders in 1886 of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Mendes was rabbi emeritus of Shearith Israel since retiring after 43 years in 1920.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that Raphael Ben-Israel Namda was severely wounded and Ahmed Moussa el-Masri, a Persian, was killed by an Arab terrorist at the corner of Nahlat Shiva and Jaffa Road, in the center of Jerusalem. A day earlier, Jacob Weiss, the manager of the German Bank, was stabbed by an Arab assailant, but was out of danger. Shots were fired at Palestine Quarries workers near Motza. 

1938: A British Mandate police report noted that although the Arabs of Palestine had not yedclared 'a complete Jihad,' yet Jihad had been preached in many village mosques in Palestine, Syria and Iraq.   If the British government were to announce a poicy 'which is adverse to Arab interest,' the report warned, 'a complete Jihad will be declared by the more prominent religious leaders of Islam.'

1938: Father Bernhard Lichtenberg, a Roman Catholic priest in Berlin, condemns the German assault on Jews. One of the few German Catholics to denounce the immoral behavior of the government, Father Lichtenberg sermonizes: "Outside the synagogue is burning, and that also is a house of God."

1939: Hans Frank, governor-general of Occupied Poland, sets up the first "self-governing" Jewish council (Judenrat) within Jewish ghettos. The council leaders must obey the demands of the Nazis.

1939: Birthdate of French politician and physician Bernard Kouchner whose father was Jewish and who is the co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde

1942: The Nazis completed the murder of the Jews of Pinsk, Russia, begun on October 29.  As of this date there are reportedly no more Jews left alive in the city.

1942: More than 170,000 Jews are killed within one week at the Belzec, Auschwitz, and Treblinka death camps.

1942: Birthdate of Paul L. Dickstein, the Bronx native who was Mayor Koch’s third and longest serving Budget Director. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1943: In Algiers, Simon Attali, the owner of a perfume shop gave birth to twins Bernard Attali and Jacques Attali the French economist who was “first president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

1943: Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill sign the Moscow Declaration. Because of British suspicions that the Jews and Poles are exaggerating German atrocities, the declaration omits references to gas chambers. Also, while promising postwar justice for murderers, the declaration does not mention Jews.

1943: When Francis Osborne D’Arcy, the British envoy to the Vatican, had an hour-long private audience with Pope Pious XII, the Pontiff insisted that he had no complaints about the Nazi occupation of Rome.  This is a recurring theme that reinforces the view that Pious was either totally insensitive, at best, or really an anti-Semite.

1944: Since The Russian army had driven the Germans from eastern Poland and from most of Hungary Jews began to emerge from their hiding places.

1945: In response to the British decision to continue enforce the White Paper of 1939, units of the Palmach and the Irgun conducted a series of coordinated attacks on the British run railway system and sunk “three…guard boats” in Haifa and Jaffa.

1946: In the opening game of the fledgling Basketball Association of America (BAA), Ossie Schectman scored the opening basket for the New York Knickerbockers against the Toronto Huskies. Schectman and his teammates Sonny Hertzberg, Stan Stutz, Hank Rosenstein, Ralph Kaplowitz, Jake Weber, and Leo "Ace" Gottlieb went on to win the opening game 68 – 66 and finish the season with a 33 – 27 record. In 1949, the BAA became the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Schectman’s shot is considered the first basket in the NBA.

1950: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion formed his second government today with a political coalition that included the United Religious Front.

1950(21st of Cheshvan, 5711): Eighty-four year old Colonel Hebert Jessel passed away today.  A member of the distinguished Jessel family, he was known as Sir Herbert.  A graduate of Oxford, he served in the House of Commons before being elevated to a peerage.

1950: Private First Class Tibor Rubin, a Hungarian born survivor of the Holocaust, was taken captive in North Korea by the Chinese enemy. With an injured left hand and shrapnel lodged in his chest, he was forced to march the long distance to the Prisoner of War camp. There, for many long months, Rubin stood out among his comrades as a hero, stealing out of the camp each night to obtain food, just as he had done five years earlier, as a Hungarian child in a Nazi concentration camp. For over half a century, the United States Army failed to recognize Rubin’s valor, in part, as one of his fellow GI’s said, because of anit-Semitism.  In 2005, President Bush announced that he was bestowing upon this great patriot our nation's highest award for bravery, the Medal of Honor."

1954: After dissolving the “Left Faction, Rostam Bastuni rejoined Mapam today.

1955: Birthdate of Michael “Mike” David Mendoza, the controversial sports radio talk show host who is a cousin of Peter Sellers and a descendant of the legendary boxer Daniel Mendoza.

1956: During the Sinai Campaign, Israeli forces fought a bitter battle with Egyptians in order to take control of Rafa at the entrance to the Gaza Strip which was a base for fedayeen, the name given to the Arab terrorists of the period.

1956(27th of Cheshvan, 5717): A car in which members of Kibbutz Erez were travelling hit a mine laid by fedayeen killing three of the passengers.

1957: Starting today and continuing for almost three weeks, 486 Egyptian Jews were arrested under 'Military Proclamation No. 4.'

1959(30th of Tishrei, 5720): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1959(30th of Tishrei, 5720): Gershon Agron mayor of Jerusalem passed away at the age of 66.  Born Gershon Agronksy in the Ukraine in 1894, Agron immigrated to the United States with his parents.  During World War I he served with the Jewish Legion in Palestine.  In 1932, he started an English language newspaper called the Palestine Post.  In 1950, for obvious reasons, he changed the name of the paper to the Jerusalem Post.  By publishing in English, Agron provided a voice that could be understood by the British occupiers and the nascent American Zionist movement.  His brother was Martin Agronsky, a distinguished American broadcast journalist.

1961: Women Strike For Peace (WSP) was inaugurated with a day-long strike by an estimated 50,000 women in 60 cities, all pressing for nuclear disarmament. Bella Abzug helped form and run the group, and she became the chairperson of WSP's legislative committee. Abzug remained active in WSP until she was elected to Congress in 1970. (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archive)

1961: Birthdate of Peggy Orenstein, the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, “Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, An Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, A Romantic Night, and One Woman's Quest to Become a Mother.”

1962: It was reported today that Robert St. John has written two more books about Israel that are due to be published in the near future – “They Came From Everywhere: Twelve Who Helped Mold Modern Israel” and “The Man Who Played God.”

1965: Over 85% of the Israeli electorate participated in today’s election to choose member for the 6th Knesset.

1972: “The Israeli ambassador to Bonn was called back to Jerusalem for consultations which many interpreted as the government’s ways of showing displeasure” with the German government’s “speedy” release of the surviving members of the terror squad  that killed the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. (As reported by Yael Greenfeter and Matti Golan)

1976: Asher Yadlin was scheduled to succeed Moshe Sanbar as governor of the Bank of Israel.

1978: President Jimmy Carter established the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. The purpose of the Commission was to make recommendations on establishing and funding an appropriate memorial to victims of the Holocaust. The Commission suggested the following:

  • that a living memorial be established to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and which would ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust be taught in perpetuity;
  • that an educational foundation be established to stimulate and support research in the teaching of the Holocaust;
  • that a Committee on Conscience be established that would collect information on and alert the national conscience regarding reports of actual or potential outbreaks of genocide throughout the world; and
  • that a national Day of Remembrance of victims of the Holocaust be established in perpetuity and be held annually.

1981: In an article entitled “Kvetching About the Human Condition” Wallace Markfield reviewed A Bintel Brief Volume II. Letters to the Jewish Daily Forward 1950-80. Compiled and Edited by Isaac Metzker. (Translated by Bella S. Metzker and Diana Shalet Levy, Under the Supervision of Isaac Metzker)   For more than eighty years the Jewish Daily Forward's legendary advice column, "A Bintel Brief" ("a bundle of letters") dispensed shrewd, practical, and fair-minded advice to its readers. Created in 1906 to help bewildered Eastern European immigrants learn about their new country, the column also gave them a forum for seeking advice and support in the face of problems ranging from wrenching spiritual dilemmas to petty family squabbles to the sometimes hilarious predicaments that result when Old World meets New. Issac Metzker, who began writing for the paper in the 1920’s created this compilation column

1984(6th of Cheshvan, 5745): Seventy-four year old Norman Krasna an American screenwriter, playwright, and film director passed away.  He is best known for penning screwball comedies, melodrama, and early films noir. Krasna also directed three films during a forty-year career in Hollywood. He garnered four Academy Award screenwriting nominations, winning once for 1943's Princess O'Rourke, a film he also directed. Later in his career, he also wrote plays, including Time for Elizabeth (1948) cowritten with Groucho Marx, and the popular Kind Sir which he adapted into the movie Indiscreet (1958). He married Al Jolson's widow Erle in 1951, and they remained married until Krasna's death.

1985(17th of Cheshvan, 5746): Famed funny man Phil “Silvers passed away.  Born Phillip Silversmith in 1911 in Brooklyn, Silvers was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants.  He began his career at the age of 11.  He would sing in “movie theatres” when the film would stop due to a broken projector – a common problem in the early days of film.  His most famous role came in the 1950’s when he played Sergeant Ernie Bilko on the Phil Silvers Show.  The fast talking Bilko was the comedic con artist par excellence always looking for a way to outsmart the military establishment and his dim witted Colonel.

1987: Because Jonathan Pollard committed his crimes prior to this date “he is eligible for parole” possibly in November, 2015.

1988: Actor Jeff Goldblum and actress Geena Davis wed in Las Vegas

1988:  Over 79 per cent of the eligible Israelis (2.3 million voters) turned out to participate in the elections for the 12th Knesset. 

1990(13th of Cheshvan, 5751): Eighty-three year old Sir Alan Abraham Mocatta passed away.  A graduate of Oxford who served in WW II, he a leading English jurist and a leader of the British Sephardic community

1991(24th of Cheshvan, 5752): Eighty-eight year old civic leader Frank Binswanger passed away today.




 
1993: Yosef Harish left the post of Attorney General and was replaced by Michael Ben-Yair.

1995: When he met with Yehuda Avner, his long-time English speechwriter and friend today Yitzhak Rabin provided some of the rationale for his negotiations with Yassir Arafat. He said that he considered the likelihood of reaching a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Yasser Arafat to be only “a long shot.” But he attempted it, reluctantly, via the Oslo process, because he recognized that Muslim fundamentalists were gradually winning over the hearts and minds of the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, and that their domination would mean “the certainty of no settlement at all.” “It is either the PLO or nothing,” Rabin said. [This conversation took place three days before Rabin was murdered on November 4.}

1996: Premiere in Israel of “Saint Clara” a film directed by Ari Folman and Ori Sivan based on the novel The Ideas of Saint Clara by Pavel Kohout.

1997: “Titanic” co-produced by Jon Landau was screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom, Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller; Translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber, Principles For A Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With the Common Good
by Richard A. Epstein. and Israel and the Bomb by Avner Cohen  

2004: Before returning from injury, Matt Bloom was released from his WWE contract

2005: The U.S. Senate enters a rare closed session to discuss the Plame affair and intelligence in the Iraq disarmament crisis. The Plame in the Plame Affair is Valerie Plame an American CIA agent who discovered her Jewish ancestry as an adult.

2005:  In a resolution co-sponsored by 104 Member States, the General Assembly today designated 27 January as Holocaust Remembrance Day, drawing immediate praise from Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who said the United Nations would do its part to keep the memory alive in a bid to prevent future acts of genocide.

2006 Yuli Tamire replaces Ophir Pines Paz as Science and Technology Minister

2006: Former Conservative Party MP Nigel “Lawson's lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, published today] criticizes the Stern Review and proposed what is described as a rational approach, advocating adaptation to changes in global climate, rather than attempting mitigation, i.e., reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

2006: At the United Nations Building in New York, Haaretz.com senior editor Bradley Burston received an Eliav -Sartawi Award for Middle East Journalism, an annual prize for Arab, Israeli and international journalists. The winning article was entitled “Let their people go.” Israeli musician David Broza and Palestinian musicians Wisam Murad and Said Murad won an award for their song “In My Heart,” which describes the bond that Israelis and Palestinians share for the same land.

2007: In Washington, D.C., Architect Allan Greenberg presents a lecture, "American Architecture and the Legacy of the Revolution," drawn from his book Architecture of Democracy (his illustrated musing on the link between America's political ideals and architectural traditions), at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

2007: An exhibition opens at Yad Vashem designed to showcase Muslims who saved Jews from Nazis during the Holocaust. The exhibition focuses on more than a dozen of the scores of Muslim Albanians previously recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" - the Holocaust center's highest honor - for risking their lives to save Jews during World War II. The exhibit, titled "BESA: A Code of Honor - Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust," is a collection of photographs by the American photographer Norman Gershman of the Albanian Righteous and their families, accompanied by short texts.

2007: Aaron Kintu Moses, director of the Abayudaya Jewish community of Uganda, visited Agudas Achim in Iowa City, IA.  The Abayudaya is a group of native Ugandans who have been practicing Judaism since 1919 when their local leader studied the Hebrew Bible and adopted the observances of all of Moses’ commandments including circumcision.

2007: “Sub on Wheels”, the first glatt-kosher food truck which provides a variety of items including hamburger, hot dogs and a variety of other fleshig sandwiches offers its Williamsburg customers a unique item for Thursday – Cholent which can be set aside and served for Shabbat.

2007: The Ant-Defamation League released recent survey results which it says show 15 percent of American adults hold “unquestionably anti-Semitic” views.

2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa Temple Judah offers a Saturday Double Header:

·        In the Morning, Balfour Shabbat Shacharit Services

·        In the Evening, Dinner, a Havdalah Service and Musical Concert with Doug Cotler

2009: Opening of the 31st Annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival which claims to be the largest Jewish book festival in the United States.

 
2009: Elisa New discusses and signs her new memoir, "Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore," at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

2009: After only 9 performances, Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” closed today.

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics special interest to Jewish readers including Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller, Look At the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut and Enemies of the People My Family’s Journey to America by Kati Marton

2009: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics special interest to Jewish readers including The Humbling by Phillip Roth.

2009: “Lionel Perez was elected in the Darlington district of the Côte des Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough in today’s election as a member of Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s Union Montréal team, taking the seat held by Saulie Zajdel.”

2009: Seventy-five year old George Hirsch, the founding published of New York Magazine and the man who helped Fred Lewbow plan the first five boorugh NYC Marathon in 1976 is scheduled to be at the starting line  of the NYC Marathon  today when the runners set off from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

2009: “A rare rift in George and Ira Gershwin's harmony” published today

 
2010:  The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim and Adam and Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund

 
2010: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a lecture by Dr. Maros Borský who launched the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route. A network linking 24 prominent Jewish heritage sites around Slovakia, it includes synagogue buildings, branches of the Museum of Jewish Culture, and three historic Jewish cemeteries.

2010: “Polish wartime hero accused of being Nazi collaborator” published today

 2010: Holocaust Education Week Begins
http://www.holocausteducationweek.com/

 
2010: Beate Auguste Künzel Klarsfeld visited the Shoah Memorial Mural installed inside the Evangelische Vaterunser Kirche in Berlin. Her host was Pastor Annemarie Werner, the head of the congregation.

 
2010: The Atlantic Monthly cited Diane Ravitch as a “Brave Thinker” for her changing views on the types of educational reform needed in the United States.

 
2011: Today marks the return of Marc Chagall's America Windows to the Art Institute of Chicago.

2011: in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of first  broadcast of Pee-wee’s Playhouse starring Paul Ruebens, a book by Caseen Gaines called Inside “Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon,” is  scheduled to be released by ECW Press

2011: The 31st Annual Holocaust Education Week begins

2011: Professor Avner Cohen, author of “The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb,” and journalist Ron Rosenbaum, author of “How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III,” are scheduled to sit down with distinguished journalist and former network correspondent Marvin Kalb to discuss the history and risks of Israel’s nuclear ambiguity and worst-case-scenarios in an age of atomic anxiety at the Jewish Literary Festival in Washington, D.C.

2011: Judge Richard Goldstone, who led the UN investigative commission into Israel and Hamas’ conduct during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, defended Israel against charges of being an “apartheid state” in a New York Times op-ed published today

2011: Israel delayed a military operation in the Gaza Strip to stem Palestinian rocket fire due to an Egyptian request to give an additional 24 hours to cease-fire efforts, The Jerusalem Post learned today.

2012: In Minneapolis, MN, The Sabes Jewish Community Center is scheduled to present “To the Ladies of the Cool,” a concert featuring Kathy Kosins.

2012: Unless disrupted by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the 7th Annual JCCNV Jewish Book Festival is scheduled to open in Fairfax. VA

2012: Despite the advent of Hurricane Sandy, Andras Schiff is still scheduled to perform Book 2 of “Well-Tempered Clavier” at the 92nd Street Y.

2012: Indonesian premier of “The Act of Killing” directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.

2012: The 16th UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to begin today.

2012: Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is charged in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case.

 
2012: Cartoons in major newspapers across the Arab world are portraying President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney as being in the pocket of Jews and Israel, the Anti-Defamation League said today
 
2012: Israel’s political arena was rife with rumors today that retiring Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, arguably the most popular minister in the outgoing government, is considering launching a breakaway party to rival his own Likud, possibly because of disagreements with the prime minister.

 
2013: The ceremony dedicating the South Campus of the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital Kay and Robert Schattner Center is scheduled to take place this morning in Washington, DC.

2013: In Rockville, MD, Congregation Tikvat Israel is scheduled to host the opening session of “Chocolate & Jewish Values: A Fair Trade Experience.

2013: Chassida Shmella - Ethiopian Jewish Community Inc.is scheduled to host a Shabbat Dinner and Sigd Celebration this evening in New York City.

2013: In Iowa City, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, leader of the Abayudaya Jewish community of eastern Uganda is scheduled to present the unusual musical synthesis vital to the spiritual practice of this century old native African community

2013: Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, leader of the Abayudaya Jewish community of eastern Uganda is scheduled to lead a Kabbalat Shabbat service in Iowa City.

2013: One soldier was seriously wounded and another was in moderate condition today after an IDF operation last night to destroy part of a tunnel, east of Khan Younis just inside the Gaza Strip, was targeted by Hamas. (As reported by Yoel Goldman and Ricky Ben-David)

2013: Based on reports broadcast by Channel 2 and Channel 10 in Israel “Israel is fuming with the White House” for its announcement that the IAF “had struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia…hitting weaponry that was set to be transferred to Hesbollah.”

2014: Pierre Moscovici is scheduled to begin serving as European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs

2014: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a piano recital by Tatyana Rubina.

2014: PuppetCinema with Zvi Sahar is scheduled to perform for the last time.

2014: In Oregon, “Portland Jewish Book Month” is scheduled to begin.

2014: “The Last Mensch” is scheduled to be shown in Sydney at Jewish International Film Festiva.

2014: “My German Friend” is scheduled to be shown at the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival.

2014: Shabbat Lech Lecha