70: During the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. The Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometers.
1096: In one of the few instances of individual courage, the local Bishop of Cologne and some of the local Burghers offered the Jews protection in their own houses. The Bishop later escorted them to towns under his protection. Crusaders reached Cologne and found the gate to the city closed by order of the bishop. Of all the Jewish communities in the path of the Crusaders, Cologne's Jews were the only ones to escape total destruction.
1096(6th of Sivan): In Cologne, Mar Isaac and Rebecca perish in an act of Kiddush Ha-Shem
1096(6th of Sivan: Isaac of Mayence committed suicide on Shavuot two days after he had he submitted to forced baptism to save the lives of his mother and children. According to legend, he set the synagogue on fire to keep it from being turned into a church. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)
1201: Birthdate of Theobold IV, Count of Champagne. When Louis VIII issued an ordinance that prohibited his officials from recording debts owed to Jews, Theobold was the only French baron who refused to accept the royal decree since this would interfere with extra income he gained by being able to tax Jewish financial transactions. The issue here really had nothing to do with either party caring about the Jews. The issue was money and who would have the real power; the monarch or his barons.
1252: Saint Ferdinand III, the King of Castile and King of Galicia and Leon passed away. The King must have been both courageous and practical. He stood up to the powerful Catholic Church when refused the Pope’s demand that Jews be forced to wear special badge and clothing. He was afraid that the requirement would force the Jews to leave for Muslim Granada which would had a disastrous effect on revenue collections for his kingdom.
1497: King Ferdinand of Spain “proclaimed in a royal decree that Luis de Santangel and his family, present and future, were to be protected from the inquisition.” Born at Valencia Santangel, a baptized Jew, was the finance minister to the Spanish monarchs who convinced them to sponsor Columbus’ voyage to the new world. He raised the funds himself.
1574: Henry III becomes King of France on the death of his brother, Charles IX. Henry had been serving as the King of Poland at the time of his brother’s death. He owed his selection as ruler Poland to a Jew named Solomon Ashkenazi who was an advisor to the Turkish Sultan.
1593: Twenty-nine year old Christopher Marlowe the English playwright whose work included “The Jew of Malta” which like Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” portrays the Jews in such a way that it is assumed to be anti-Semitic passed away today.
1599: Birthdate of Samuel Bochart, the French Protestant biblical scholar who was an expert on Oriental languages including Hebrew and who delivered a series of unique lectures on Genesis including “the names contained in the Table of Nations.”
1635: During what will be known as the Thirty Years War (it started in 1618 and ended in 1648) the Peace of Prague is signed marking the start of the end of hostilities. The war will finally end with the Peace of Westphalia. The war was between pitted Protestants against Catholics with Jews caught in the middle For example the Jews of Vienna suffered as a result of the occupation of the city by Imperial soldiers in 1624 when Emperor Ferdinand II confined the Jews to a ghetto. The fighting centered around Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands and throughout many towns in Germany and Moravia, the Jewish population was expelled, which resulted in thousands of refugees fleeing to Cracow and other Polish cities. These Jews would get caught up in the uprisings that took place in Polish dominated Ukraine. The good news is that the end of the Thirty Years War would mark the rise of a flourishing Protestant Netherlands that would prove a home to European Jews.
1762: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Emden, Prussia.
1775: In Charleston, Miss Rachel De Costa married Jacob Tobias.
1778: Voltaire French philosopher and author passed away. Voltaire is generally regarded as a great thinker. However, as can be seen from his own words, he was a rabid anti-Semite. He described Jews as being “small, ignorant and crude people.” Voltaire did not base his anti-Semitism on the Jews adherence to their religion. Cure them of their religion, he wrote and there is still the problem of their in-born character.
1796: Birthdate of Philip Salomons, the eldest son of London financier and leader of the Jewish community, Levi Salomons.
1800(6th of Sivan, 5560): Shavuot celebrated for the first time in the 19th century.
1806: Joseph David Sinzheim was among those attending the Jewish Assembly of Notables convened by Napoleon I.
1814: Signing of the First Treaty of Paris. The treaty officially returned the Bourbons to the French throne which marked the official beginning of a period of reaction which was not good for the Jews who had gained many rights during the Napoleonic Wars.
1814: Birthdate of Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin whose anti-Semitic views would seem to prove that anti-Semitism is the common denominator for Russians be they Romanovs or Revolutionaries.
1828: William Huskisson, who took “the first step toward” freeing the Jews from their disabilities by presenting “a petition” to Parliament “singed by 2,000 merchants and others from Liverpool” completed his service as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
1829: Birthdate of Lewin Goldschmidt, the native of Gdansk who became a leading German jurist and an ardent supporter of Chancellor Bismarck’s idea of a united German Empire that exclude Austria and its polyglot empire.
1839: Birthdate of. Hermann Adler, the Hanover born Rabbi who succeeded his father as Chief Rabbi of the British Empire a position he held from 1891 until his death in 1911.
1844(12th of Sivan, 5604): Italian physician and author Benedetto Frizz (AKA Benzion Raphael Kohen) passed away today.
1845: In Colmar, France, the chief rabbi and his wife give birth to French physician Theodore Klein who “was also a member of the Jewish Consistory of Paris, and for eighteen years president of the Société de l'Etude Talmudique”
1860: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs officiated at the wedding Daniel Ottolengui and Helene R. Rodrigues, the daughter of Dr. B.A. Rodrigues.
1861: Edward Storm a German Jewish immigrant living in Greenville, MS enlisted in the Confederate Army.
1868: In London, famed actress, Adah Isaacs Menken, gives in her last theatrical performance.
1870: Jim Levy, an Irish Jew, survived his first gunfight in Pioche, Nevada. Levy shot it out with a local thug named Michael Casey. After an earlier gunfight, Levy contradicted Casey’s claim that he acted in self-defense. An angry Casey challenged the unarmed Levy to a gunfight. Levy had to borrow a gun before he could answer the challenge. Levy fired a single shot which mortally wounded Casey. Contrary to the popular image in Western Movies, the gunfight was not a one-on-one combat. Dave Neagle, a friend of Casey, fired a shot at Levy while he was facing Casey. The shot hit Levy in the jaw but did not prove to be life threatening. The episode changed Levy’s lifestyle as he went from peaceful miner to leading the life of a gambler and “professional regulator” – a polite term for a fast gun for hire.
1873: The Jewish Messenger published an appeal for funds to support a program of summer excursions for Jewish children in New York including those at the Orphan Asylum and those attending “Free Schools.”
1876: A week before his death, Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz is replaced by his nephew Murat V. As can be seen from the items below, Abd-ul-Aziz’s reign was a net plus for the Jewish people. Several Jews served in prominent governmental positions. Sultan Abdul Aziz allocated the "Alliance Israelite Universelle" 2600 dunams of land east of Jaffa for the establishment of a school of agriculture and also granted permission for importing all kinds of tools and machinery free of taxes and customs. As Ben Gurion, said: "I doubt that the Israeli dream would have been realized if the farm school of Mikveh Israel had not existed." Upon recurrence of blood libel accusations, Sultan Aziz issued a firman taking the Jews under his protection. Thanks to this firman the Greek Orthodox patriarchate had to issue encyclicals to all churches, forbidding such practices. Murat passed away three months after reaching the throne, leaving no legacy for the Jews or any of his other subjects.
1876: Judge McAdam is scheduled to render a decision today in a case involving a can-can dance named Katie Forest and her Jewish partner, a jewelry salesman named Solomon Care.
1876(7th of Sivan, 5636): Second Day of Shavuot
1877: Based on responses from 174 congregations and 125 charitable institutions to a questionnaire sent by the Board of Delegates of American Israelites it was reported these congregations have a total of 11,507 members, 11,341 in their religious schools and 597 teachers providing instruction. The total property value comes to an estimated six million dollars. There are five Jewish hospitals, six orphan asylums, 3 homes for the aged and infirmed, 15 newspapers and magazines and four Jewish fraternal orders, the large of which is the Order of the B’Nai Brith.
1878: It was reported today that over seven million dollars had been collected in New York City to provide relief for the Jews who suffering as a result of the war between Russia and Turkey.
1879: It was reported today that Benjamin Mayer has been sentenced to two and half years in the state penitentiary and ordered to pay a fine of six thousand dollars for his role in in defrauding thirty financial firms. During the sentencing statement, the Judge stated that Mayer had received a fair trial and that his religious background had no impact on the verdict or the sentence.
1880: H.S. Allen presided over the sixth annual meeting of the United Hebrew Charities which was held at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Manhattan. The members re-elected Henry Rice to serve as President and Mr. Allen will continue serving as First Vice President.
1882: Birthdate of Ludwig Lewisohn the native of Berlin who settled with his family in South Carolina in the 1890’s.
1884(6th of Sivan, 5644): First Day of Shavuot
1886: During today’s exercises celebrating the accomplishments of the 500 youngsters at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Mrs. Jacob Bookman is scheduled to present the Betty Bruhl prize which includes a one dollar award and Jesse Seligman, the President of the Asylum Society will present the Malcolm Atherton Strauss Prize.
1887(7th of Sivan, 5647): Second Day of Shavuot
1888: It was reported today that dispute brought on by the death of Moses A. Isaacs last year has been settled with the North American Relief Society for Indigent Jews in Jerusalem, Palestine receiving $50,000 plus interest earned over the last thirty years as provided by the will of Samson Simpson, the uncle of Moses A. Isaacs.
1890: The Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum will host its annual reception today.
1890: Several Polish Jews came to Essex Market Place Court today to file a complaint against William S Wolf whom the claimed “had defrauded them out of money they had given him” which he was supposed to have sent back to Poland.
1890: It was reported today that New York City Mayor Grant has exercised his prerogative under the law and appointed Isidor Strauss to serve as a bridge commissioner – an appointment that will be matched by the governor.
1890: Birthdate Paul Czinner the native of Budapest who was active in the Hungarian world of cinema who spent WW II in the United States before moving to England where he pursued his career as “a writer, director, and producer.”
1890: Jacob Epstein, a twenty-nine year old Russian Jewish immigrant and his wife Flora who are in Gouverneur Hospital are not expected to survive their gunshot wounds which were inflicted by Epstein during a fit of jealousy. The children are being cared for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
1892: As part of today’s Memorial Day ceremonies the Honorary Staff of the Veteran Zouaves’ Association will present “a handsome silk flag” to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum followed by a speech from General J.R. O’Beirne.
1892: Myer S. Isaacs, A. S. Solomons of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, Judge Henry M. Goldfogle, General Robert Avery, Joseph Blumenthal of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and Rabbi H.S. Jacobs addressed the children of the Baron de Hirsch Fun Schools at today’s Memorial Day celebration.
1892: The Free School at Jefferson Street and East Broadway, which was funded by Baron de Hirsch, was the scene of a unique Memorial Day celebration. The school was awash with patriotic paraphernalia including little American flags and red, white and blue bunting. Visitors to the school were treated to four hundred recently arrived Jewish children from Russia singing “My Country Tis of Thee” in faultless English followed by a recitation of “Our Flag Shall Float” and climaxed by these same youngsters singing The Star Spangled Banner. This program is an example of the Americanization activities that are an integral part of the immigrant children’s education.
1894: Memorial services for the late Jesse Seligman were held at the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam Avenue starting at three o’clock this afternoon.
1894: Charles Dupuy, formed a new government and began serving as Prime Minister of France – a post from which he would preside over the arrested and condemnation of Alfred Dreyfus.
1894: During an interview today, Mrs. Esther J. Ruskay, defended a paper she presented at to a cross section of Jewish women at Temple Emanu-El in which she “declared that among the Jews of America there was no family life because parents had allowed themselves to drift away from the time honored observances of their faith.” She attributed this to parent paying “too much attention…to their worldly advancement…and a consequent drifting away from the synagogue” as cam be seem by their “giving up” the observance of the Sabbath.
1895(7th of Sivan, 5655): Second Day of Shavuot
1895: Cadets from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum will march with the Fourth Division in today’s Brooklyn (NY) Memorial Day Parade.
1895: J. Ernest G. Yalden married Margaret Lyon, the sister of Cornell Agronomy Professor T. Littleton Lyon. In 1894, The Trustees of the Baron de Hirsch Fund hired him to be superintendent of their school, a position he held for 25 years.
1896: In Kensington, London, Abraham Moss, who was Jewish and his wife Sara Jane gave birth British race car driver and dentist Alfred Ethelbert Moss who invented the Morrison Shelter during WW II and the father of world famous race car driver Stirling Moss.
1898: The newly elected officers of the League of Zionist Societies of the United States are Dr. Phil Klein – President; Dr. Michael Singer – General Secretary; Morris Neuman – Treasurer; Dr. Henry Wald – Chairman of the Executive Board.
1898: The excursion for the grand opening of the country sanitarium of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids at Bedford Station, NY will leave New York City at 11:30 this morning.
1898: As part of today’s Memorial Day observance, The Hebrew Union Veterans’ Assoication will hold memorial services at Temple Emanu-El this evening.
1898: It was reported today that the Directors of the Maurice Grau Opera Company designated Edward Lauterbach to prepare a set of resolutions expressing their regret over the death of Hungarian born conductor Anton Seidel which are to be given to his widow. Lauterbach was a prominent lawyer who served as a trustee of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum for almost 4 decades.
1899: It was reported today that the United States Grand Lodge of the Independent Order Sons of Benjamin sent a telegram to the wife of the imprisoned Captain Dreyfus expressing their support and commending her for her behavior at the “approach of vindication.”
1899: In Brooklyn, William and Henrietta (Haymann) Thalberg gave birth to American movie producer Irving Thalberg,
1899: Judge Ballot-Beaupre read his report on the Dreyfus case before the Court of Cassation.
1900: Captain Antoine Louis Targe began serve as aid-de Camp under General Andre, the French Minister of War. Three years later, under the Minister’s direction he began an investigation of evidence brought against Dreyfus. Targe would produce information that would help to free Dreyfus.
1900: The new home of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association was dedicated today. The facility includes a gymnasium, classrooms and a library with 9,000 volumes.
1901: Herzl meets Grossherzog Friedrich of Baden, who tries to get him an audience with the Czar.
1903: Herzl informs Zadoc Kahn and Lord Rothschild about the failure of the El-Arish Project.
1901: in Czernowitz, Austria-Hungary, Hillel Manger, “a skilled tailor in love with literature” and his wife gave birth to Yiddish playwright and poet Itzik Manger.
1903: “Camden At Hebrew Meeting” published today described plans for the upcoming meeting in Philadelphia sponsored by the Kishineff Relief Committee which will be attended by Mayor Nowry and to which Archbishop Ryan has already contributed $20.
1904: Birthdate of Meyer Parodneck, the Polish born American lawyer who developed programs to get milk to poor children during the Great Depression. (As reported by Richard D. Lyons)
1906(6th of Sivan, 5666): First Day of Shavuot
1908: Birthdate of Mel Blanc. The San Francisco native was the voice for a several cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig.
1908: Birthdate of Dr. Abraham Stone Freedberg, a Harvard cardiologist who developed an early treatment for angina and whose pioneering work in identifying the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers was initially all but ignored. However, he was vindicated when two Australian physicians won a Nobel Prize for work based on his discovery.
1910: Birthdate of German actress Inge Meysel. Meysel’s mother was Danish and her father was Jewish. According to one source, she was banned from acting during the Nazi period. She resumed her career in the German city of Hamburg and continued working until her death in 2004.
1909: Reuben Siegel laid the cornerstone for the first home in Tel-Aviv
1909: Birthdate of Benny Goodman. Born in Chicago, Goodman gained fame as a clarinetist and bandleader. During the Big Band Era, he was known as the King of Swing
1910: Birthdate of Harry Louis Bernstein, author of The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers, his “painfully eloquent memoir about growing up Jewish and poor in a northern English mill town earned him belated literary fame on its publication in 2007, when he was 96…” (As reported by William Grimes)
1912: Birthdate of dramatist and playwright Joseph Stein. His most famous effort was Fiddler on the Roof
1912: Birthdate of American biochemist Julius Axelrod who won the Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine in 1970.
1913: In New Jersey, official dedication of the Mountain Ridge Country /club.
1913: The Balkan war, which had started in October, 1912 officially came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of London. As a result of this Albania became an independent state. Jews had lived in Albania since Roman times. The false messiah, Shabbetai Zevi spent his final years in Albania and died there. At the time that Albania gained its independence from Turkey, there were probably only a couple of hundred Jews living in the country.
1915: In Ottawa, Canada, Leon and Beckie Petegorsky gave birth to their only son David W. Petegorsky, the ordained rabbi who received a Ph.D. from London School of Economics and was the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress.
1915: It was reported today that “the total of Illinois petitioners” calling on the Governor of Georgia to commute the sentence of Leo Frank “will exceed 1,000,000” by the time the case is heard tomorrow and this does not count those received “from the big towns in Indiana.”
1915: “In an editorial addressed to the Prison Commission, the Atlanta Journal” made a final please for Leo Frank which began “Frank’s sentence ought to be commuted to life imprisonment because of the deep-seated and overshadowing doubt of his guilt. The state cannot afford to sacrifice human life on uncertainties.”
1915: The three commissioners – Chairman R. E. Davison, Judge T.E. Patterson and E.L. Rainey – who make up the State Prison Commission which will hear the plea for commuting Leo Frank’s sentence arrived in Atlanta, GA tonight.
1915: “An Atlanta Appeal For Frank” published today provided a complete reprint of the text of James Gray’s editorial originally printed a week ago.
1916(27th of Iyar, 5676): Eighty-two year old Adolph Frank, a German chemist and businessman best known for his work in potash and the winner of the John Scott Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1893 passed away today.
1919: A national Jewish association is founded in Constantinople under the auspices of the Jewish association Amicale, and with cooperation of the B'nai Brith Lodge. Among its many goals, are the establishment of an autonomous Jewish homeland in Palestine, and support for the communal administration of Jewish philanthropic groups in Turkey.
1919: Bernard and Mildred Asch gave birth to Sidney Howard Asch, “a New York judge with a Ph.D. in sociology who wrote scholarly works about civil liberties and made notable decisions about landlord-tenant law, employment of gay people and a man’s right to get his hair cut in a women’s beauty salon…” (As reported by Paul Vitello)
1920: “The 21st conference of the English Zionist Federation of London passed a resolution ‘expressing gratitude to the Supreme Council for incorporating the Balfour declaration in the treaty with Turkey and for granting the mandate for Palestine to Great Britain.’”
1920: Ninety-one year Joseph Eduard Konrad Bischoff whose 19th century novella Judas Makkabaeus demonstrated a renewed interest in the non-Jewish world in the Jewish warrior passed away today.
1925(7th of Sivan, 5685): Second Day of Shavuot
1925: Birthdate of John Henry Marks, the London born physician who served as Chariman of the British Medical Associate from 1984 to 1990.
1925: In Memphis, TN, Edward Bihari a Jewish immigrant from Hungary who worked in sales and later ran a grain and seed business in Tulsa, OK and his wife gave birth to Joseph Bihari, the youngest of 8 siblings who had a major impact on the popularization of “R&B” as can be seen by his being the first to record the music of B.B. King. (As reported by William Yardley)
1926: A rodeo featuring a troop of 120 Don Cossacks who recently arrived in the United States from Russia is scheduled to take place tonight at Madison Garden. The proceeds of the event will go the United Jewish Campaign of New York
1930: At a meeting in Tel Aviv, the Vaad Leumi, the Jewish National Council called for a national strike to begin next week to protest the British government’s order suspending Jewish immigration pending an inquiry into land and immigration problems by Sir John Simpson.
1930: In Manhattan, Harold and Judith Heyman gave birth to their only child Ira Michael Heyman the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkley and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
1931: It was reported today that Isaac Landman who has agreed to return as the rabbi of Congregation Beth Elhoim in Brooklyn will still serve as the editor of The American Hebrew and editor-in-chief of The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia,
1932: As the Weimar Republic descended into the chaos that would bring Hitler to power Chancellor Brüning announced his cabinet's resignation after President Hindenburg and his fellow Junkers “opposed his policies of distributing land to unemployed workers.”
1933(5th of Sivan, 5693): Erev Shavuot
1933: The Bishops saw a draft of the Concordat as they assembled for a meeting of the Fulda bishops conference led by Breslau’s Cardinal Bertram
1933: The League of Nations held the first of two days of debate about the persecution of the Jews in Germany.
1936: The Palestine (British) Government today warned all mukhtars (chieftains) that their villages would be subject to collective punitive measures unless the cutting of telephone wires, bomb explosions, attempts to demolish railway lines and other acts of brigandage ceased.
1938: The Palestine Post published the full text of the letter, written by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, addressed to the High Commissioner for Palestine. The letter was accompanied by the Annual Jewish Agency's memorandum prepared for the League of Nations Mandates Commission. The Agency accused the Palestine Government that 1937 was a year of an artificially limited immigration and a "chequered development". The Jewish economic structure had shown strength and resilience in the face of the Arab terror. Exports increased, but there was insufficient Government aid for industry and control of imports.
1941: Germany seizes the Greek island of Crete. The Germans would leave the Jews of Crete alone until 1944. In 1944, the Germans loaded the Jews of Crete on to a ship called the Tanais along with a mixed bag of Greek and Italian prisoners. The ship was sunk as it headed for the mainland. It is unclear whether a German U-boat or a British submarine sank the Tanais.
1941: At ten o'clock in morning, Yunis al-Sabawi, the newly self-appointed pro-Nazi Military Governor of Baghdad "summoned the Chief Rabbi, Sasson Hedouri to his office and ordered him to instruct the Jews to go to their homes and stay there until noon. He was also supposed to tell them to pack a suitcase for each family member because they were being taken to detention camps 'for their own safety." In the meantime, Sabwai "instructed the broadcasting station to issue a call to the Baghdad public to massacre the Jews." The broadcast was to be made at noon. (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert.
1941: At meeting with the Mayor of Baghdad, Arshad al-Umari, The Chief Rabbi, Sasson Khedouri asked him to thwart the plans of Yunis Al-Sabawi for the destruction of the city's Jewish population.
1941: Yunis Al-Sabawi, the pro-Nazi governor of Baghdad, took refuge in Persia when the Mayor of Baghdad, Arshad al-Umari, took control of the city and ended the threatened massacre of the Jewish population.
1942: After 467, “Lady in the Dark” closed at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. It could be called “a Jewish musical” since Kurt Weill wrote the music, Ira Gershwin did the lyrics and Moss Hart supplied the book and the direction.
1942: Members of the Wehrmacht deported the remaining 75 Jews from Hanau, Germany.
1943: U.S. premiere of “DuBarry Was a Lady” a musical comedy produced by Arthur Freed photographed by cinematographer Karl Freund and featuring Zero Mostel as “Rami the Swami.”
1946: In a play that anticipates a scene in The Natural by Brooklyn-native Bernard Malamud, the Braves' Bama Rowell smashes a double in the 7-run 2nd inning of the second game of a doubleheader at Ebbets Field. The ball shatters the Bulova clock high atop the right-field scoreboard at 4:25 P.M., showering glass down on the Dodgers' Right Fielder Dixie Walker. An hour later the clock stops.
1948: At dawn this morning forces of the Irgun captures Ras el Ein near Petah Tikva the source of Jerusalem’s water supply. By nightfall, the Jewish troops had to give up their hard won victory because of counterattacks from a larger force of Iraqi soldiers.
1948: Milton “Milt” Rubenfeld, that native of Peekskill, NY who had flown for the RAF and the U.S.A.A.F. flew his first mission for the infant Israeli Air Force taking off at 0530 as the wingman for Ezer Weizman with whom he was supposed to attack positions around Tulkarm.
1948: In the skies above Israel, Arab aircraft were on the attack striking at Jewish forces in several locations including Zirin, a village near Jenin, Kinereth near Timeria, Rebovoth, near Ramleh, Merchavia and Afula which was the target for incendiary bombs. The newly-minted Israeli air force struck at Tel el Kasser on the Trans Jordan border and at an area near Isdud where Egyptian forces were assembling to move on Jaffa. The Israelis lost one plane in the attack.
1948: “Israel’s last remaining dissident organization, the Stern Group, announced tonight that it had been incorporated into the regular Israeli army.” (Ed. Note: This was part of Ben Gurion’s determined effort to create a modern state with only military. This was not a popular effort and it meant with resistance from a wide spectrum of political opinion. If Ben Gurion had not pushed forward with his plan the Jewish community of the day would have looked Gaza in the 21st century.)
1949: Birthdate of Charles Samuel Shapiro “an American diplomat and a former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. He went on to become Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department from 2007 to 2009, and now heads its free trade agreement task force. Some supporters of president Hugo Chavez accuse Shapiro of having supported the 2002 coup d'état, including a meeting with interim president Pedro Carmona Estanga one day after the coup. Shapiro and other US sources have denied this and claim that he urged Carmona to reinstitute the dissolved national assembly. Shapiro has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgia State University, and served in the United States Coast Guard.
1949: In “Fine Singing Heard At Jewish Festival” published today Hugh Thomson provided a review the annual Jewish music festival held in celebration of the Sabbath of Song which opened Jewish Music Month in Toronto.
1951: Birthdate of Dallas native Stephen Tobolowsky, character actor whose most famous role might be that of Ned Reyerson, the obnoxious insurance salesman in Groundhog Day.
1951: Austrian born author Hermann Broch passed away. Broch was imprisoned in a concentration camp after the Anschluss. During his imprisonment he began writing the most important of his three major works, The Death of Virgil. Broch’s influential friends including James Joyce obtained his release and got him into the United States. He converted to Roman Catholicism prior to his death in 1951.
1952(6th of Sivan, 5712): Shavuot
1952: In Charleston, West Virginia, “Harold Marks, who operated a linen supply business, and the former Beverly Rosenthal, a painter on Judaic themes” gave birth to Gilbert Stanley Marks “a culinary historian who wrote widely on the relationship between Jewish food and Jewish culture in a manner that was both scholarly and friendly.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)
1952: Birthdate of Giles Uriel Bernheim, the native of Aix-les-Bains, Savoie who was elected chief rabbi of France in 2008.
1952(6th of Sivan, 5712): Seventy-two year old Albert Lasker, the Lord and Thomas Advertising Agency executive who introduced the campaigns for such products as Kleenex Tissues and Lucky Strike cigarettes passed away. He used his millions to establish the Lasker Foundation and to endow the Albert Lasker Awards, given annually “for outstanding contributions to clinical and basic medical research.
1953: After 263 performances, the curtain comes down at the Empire Theatre on “The Time of the Cukoo” a play by Arthur Laurents directed Harold Cluman
1954: In New York City, Hermann Merkin, who owned 37 percent of Overseas Shipping Group and helped to found the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and his wife Ulla gave birth author and journalist Daphne Miriam Merkin.
1958: Sarah Churchill writes to her father describing the ceremony opening the Churchill Auditoriums at the Technion. “They love you very much and the auditorium was designed to honor your achievements…”
1959: U.S. premiere of “The Young Philadelphians” starring Paul Newman with music by Ernest Gold who came to the United States after the Anschluss because his paternal grandfather was Jewish.”
1959: “Sunrise at Campobello” the gripping drama about FDR’s fight with Polio written Dore Schary closed today after running for 556 performances at the Cort Theatre.
1960(4th of Sivan, 5720): Boris Pasternak, author of Dr. Zhivago passed away
1961: Prime Minister David Ben Gurion met with President John F. Kennedy in the Presidential suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The meeting lasted for an hour and a half. The two leaders discussed the sale of HAWK missiles to Israel, the reactor at Dimona and need to make some sort of conciliatory gesture concerning the Palestinian refugees.
1961(15th of Sivan, 5721): Binyamin Mintz an Israeli politician who served as Minister of Postal Services from July 1960 until his death today. Born in Łódź in the Russian Empire (today in Poland), Mintz studied in a Hasidic Ger school and was a member of Young Agudat Israel. He made aliyah to Mandate Palestine in 1925, and worked in construction and as a printer. In 1933 he joined Agudat Israel Workers, and was later a member of the Provisional State Council. In 1949 he was elected to the first Knesset on the list of the United Religious Front (an alliance of the four main religious parties). Re-elected in 1951, 1955 and 1959, he was appointed Minister of Postal Services by David Ben-Gurion in 1960. The village of Yad Binyamin, established in 1962, was named in his honor.
1963(7th of Sivan, 5723): Second Day of Shavuot
1964(19th of Sivan, 5724): Famed nuclear physicist Leo Szilard passed away. Born in Hungry, Szilard sounded the early warning about Nazi plans to build an atomic bomb and the need for the Western Powers to do it first. His efforts led to the famous letter from Einstein, the Manhattan Project and the successful building of the Atomic Bomb Hungarians/US nuclear physicist
1965: Moshe Carmel began serving as Minister of of Transport, National Infrastructure and Road Safety
1966: Birthdate of Stephen Malkmus indie-rock musician who played with a band called Silver Jews.
1967: King Hussein of Jordan visited Cairo. “At the meeting Nasser produced a file containing the Syrian-Egyptian defense pact” King Hussein was, in his own words “so anxious to reach agreement” that told Nasser to give him another copy of the agreement, “replace the word Syrian with the word Jordan” so that he could join the alliance without delay. Apparently, Hussein was not the reluctant participant he would later claim to have been. This was part of Arab efforts to create a united military front in what would become the Six Day War which would begin a week later. When the war broke out, the Israelis sent word to the Jordanians asking them to stay out of the fight. The Israelis assured the Jordanians that they had not intention of attacking them. The Jordanian response was to starting shelling Israel. It was this action by the Jordanians which led the Israelis to the Green Line and drive the Jordanians out of east Jerusalem.
1967: As “the Arab noose” seems to be tightening around the Israeli neck, Meir Amit was sent to Washington to check the American response if Israel launched pre-emptive strikes at Egypt. He told the defense secretary Robert MacNamara: "All we want is three things: One, that you refill our arsenal after the war. Two, that you will help us in the UN. Three, that you will isolate the Russians from the arena." MacNamara said to Amit: "I read you loud and clear."
1968: Martin Noth, German Old Testament scholar, passed away. Noth was the first authority to note that “First and Second Kings” contained virtually no mention of the classic prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and Hosea.
1969: Palestinian terrorists blew up the oil pipeline which passes through the Golan Heights. Thousands of tons of crude oil polluted the river-beds, but were blocked before they could reach Lake Kinneret.
1970 "Minnie's Boys" a play about the Marx Brothers closed at Imperial Theater in New York City closed after 80 performances
1971(6th of Sivan, 5731): Shavuot
1971: In the borough of Queens Helene and Stuart Mentzel gave birth to singer/songwriter Idina Menzel who “originated the role ‘Maureen Johnson’ in the Broadway hit ‘Rent’ and its cinematic adaption.
1972: Final exams are scheduled to be held today at The Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York. The exams had originally been scheduled to given on May 19 which coincided with the celebration of Shavuot. The date of the exams was changed following protests led by Hillel, the Anti-Defamation League and individual students.
1972: In Tel Aviv, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport Massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.
1973(28th of Iyar, 5733): Yom Yerushalayim
1975: Larry Blyden began what would be his last vacation in Morocco.
1976: Birthdate of child star Omri Katz
1977: In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 27 year old Nina Bushkin daughter of jazz pianist Joey Bushkin married 58 year old Alan Jay Lerner, the man who wrote the lyrics for such Broadway hits as “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot.”
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that in his inaugural Knesset address the new, fifth President of Israel, Yitzhak Navon, called upon Egypt to renew peace negotiations and urged other Arab leaders to follow suit. Knesset members were so pleased with Navon's appearance that they broke a cardinal rule and spontaneously burst into applause. The Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, looking pale after several days of fever, turned up despite reports that his health might preclude his appearance.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Tadiran gave a sneak preview of its miniature, remotely-controlled pilotless reconnaissance aircraft, the Mastiff.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to Yigal Hurwitz, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, only huge budget cuts of some four to five billion pounds, accompanied by a drastic reduction of manpower in the service sector, could save Israel from the fast growing inflation.
1983: As part of the American Jewish Choral Festival workshops were scheduled to take place today “on the tradition of Jewish choral music, on the choral music of Israel and on the significance of texts in Jewish choral music, led by Hugo Weisgall, Joshua Jacobson and the director of the festival, Matthew Lazar.”
1984(28th of Iyar, 5744): Yom Yerushalayim
1984: A revival of “Little Me” a musical written by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh opened on the West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
1990(6th of Sivan, 5750): Shavuot
1990: Good luck as much as any other factor helped foil a potentially disastrous attack by heavily armed seaborne terrorists on Israeli civilians today. Air, ground and naval forces engaged the intruders, killing four and capturing 12 before they could cause casualties or damage. Meanwhile, a full-scale inquiry has been opened at Israel Defense Force General Headquarters, in order to seek answers to many questions being asked by officers, politicians and the public at large over the defensive operation conducted by the IDF.
1991: Christopher Lehmann-Haupt reviewed On the Third Day by Piers Paul Read that begins with a discovery by an Israeli counterintelligence unit that leads to the conclusion that Jesus did not survive the crucifixion and that he did not rise on the third day
1997: Richard Danizg, a Clinton appointee, completed his term as Under Secretary of the Navy. He was the 26th person to fill this position since it was resurrected by Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. In another era, both Teddy Roosevelt and FDR had held this same postion.
1997(23rd of Iyar, 5757): Thirty-one year old Jonathan M. Levin, a son of the Chairman of Time Warner was killed by a former student Corey Arthur. “Five years later, the New York City Education Department opened Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications in the same South Bronx building where he had taught, declaring it “a living tribute” to the English teacher’s “spirit, values, commitment and impassioned belief” that every child has a right to a quality education.” (As reported by Al Baker)
1998(5th of Sivan, 5758): Sam Aaronvitch, British economist, academic, working class intellectual and senior member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, passed away
1998: Tonight, Erev of Shavuot, Jonathan Eisenthal and as many as 150 other members of Mt. Zion Hebrew Congregation will be studying Exodus 19, the biblical passage in which God first approaches the Israelites to become partners in a divine covenant, and, through Moses, gives them the Torah. Among Reform Jews like Eisenthal, staying up the whole night, or even part of it, to study is a relatively new practice. Eisenthal is doing just what the head of the Reform movement, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, hopes to inspire among more of his constituents. Last November, in his first speech as president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the umbrella organization for Reform synagogues, Yoffie declared that "Torah is at the center" of his movement. Hebrew literacy, and a knowledge of core Jewish texts, was, he said, to be the focus of a new campaign.
2000: Yitzhak Mordechai completed his term as Minister of Transport, National Infrastructure and Road Safety
2001: President Bush welcomes Israeli President Moshe Katsav to the White House for a working dinner with Jewish leaders and senior Administration officials.
2001: A car bomb explodes outside a school in Netanya injuring 8 people for which Palestinian Islamic Jihad took credit.
2003: (28th of Iyar, 5763) Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Reunification Day
2005: Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar decides to recognize the members of India's Bnei Menashe community as descendants of the ancient Israelites. Amar also decides to dispatch a team of rabbinical judges to India to convert the community members to Orthodox Jews. Such a conversion will enable their immigration to Israel under the Law of Return, without requiring the Interior Ministry's authorization.
2005: President Moshe Katsav arrives in Germany to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations during a three-day visit in which he is to address the German parliament.
2006: “A commemorative stamp portraying Hiram Bingham IV” who served as U.S. Vice Counsel in Marseille and helped over 2,500 escape the Nazis
2007: Elias Chacour - Archbishop of Galilee, “an Arab Christian” who advocates for the Palestinian cause” was a interviews by Jerome McDonnell on Worldview on Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ.
2007: An exhibition, ''Sisters by Color'' comes to a close at the Hebrew University. The exhibition, featuring works of art by sisters Rachel Ziv and Gila Elyashar Stolisky, opened on April, 12, 2007, in the presence of the Lithuanian Ambassador to Israel Asta Skaisgiryte Liauskiene.
2007: As the missile attacks continue, a Qassam rocket hit a high-voltage electricity pole and landed on a building in the western Negev city of Sderot this evening. The house sustained some damage, but the residents of the home had been secured inside a protected room and remained unharmed.
2008: On Friday night, Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa celebrates the third and final Special Musical Sabbaths for this year.
2008: In Patterson, NJ, the Barnet Hospital named for Jewish philanthropist and political leader Nathan Barnet officially closed its doors today after 99 years of service.
2008(25th of Iyar, 5768): Lee Henkel, the former general counsel to the IRS who ran Neiderhoffer Henkel the investment bank founded by hedge fund manager Victor Niederhoffer passed away today.
2008: Outfielder Brian Horwitz appeared in his first major league baseball game as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
2008: In “A Class For All Traditions,” published described The Chicago Jewish Day School on its fifth anniversary.
2009(7th of Sivan, 5769: Second Day Shavuot – Yizkor
2009: Stephan M. Silverman, a clinical and school psychologist and Jacqueline S. Iseman, a clinical psychologist specializing in children and adolescents lead a discussion of “School Success for Kids With ADHD” at Borders Books in Rockville, MD.
2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish of authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer and Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law by Gabriel Schoenfeld.
2010(17th of Sivan, 5770): Eighty-eight year old Israeli political leader and Knesset Member Aryeh “Lova” Eliav passed away.
2011: Limmud Colorado’s Fourth Annual Conference is scheduled to come to an end.
2011: Israeli Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilna'i and his Russian counterpart Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu are scheduled to sign an agreement to increase Israeli-Russian cooperation in emergency situations during a ceremony at the Knesset today.
2011(26th of Iyar, 5771): Yahrzeit Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. Born in 1707 he “was a prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, kabbalist, and philosopher.” Known by the Hebrew acronym RaMCHaL (or RaMHaL, רמח"ל), he passed in 1746
2011: A group of squatters forcefully entered a building that houses Bet Abraham, a synagogue that was established in over ten years ago on the first floor, in a move that anti-government observers say was religiously motivated. The squatters were peacefully dislodged this morning after negotiations with the police and community leaders. “The action’s objective was not to disturb the normal activities of the synagogue and the protesters did not enter the religious grounds, nor did they act in a disrespectful manner,” said the Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations in a statement.
2011: The head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bernie Farber, announced he is running for public office. Farber, who worked for the CJC for 27 years and has been its CEO since 2005, announced he is taking a leave of absence to run as a Liberal candidate in October's provincial elections in Ontario. Farber is running in the heavily Jewish district of Thornhill, north of Toronto, where he will face the Progressive Conservative party's incumbent, Peter Shurman, a Jewish one-time broadcast executive.
2011: According to some of the findings in Identity a la Carte, a landmark study of post-Communist Jewish identity, affiliation and participation released today, “a generation after the fall of communism, Jews in Central Europe feel comfortable where they live but are concerned about anti-Semitism. They like to visit Israel but don't want to move there. And they feel that they don't have to be religious to be a "good Jew."
2011: Funeral services will be held today in Toronto for Milton Avruskin with internment at Interment at Pardes Shalom Cemetery, Temple Har Zion section.
2011(26th of Iyar, 5771): Eighty-nine year old Helen S. Yalow, the first woman to earn a Nobel Prize in Medicine, passed away today. (‘As reported by Denise Gellene)
2012: Judaism and the American Legal Tradition taught by Dr. Daniel Rynhold is scheduled to hold its final course of the semester.
2012: Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute are scheduled to present a concert featuring Vassa Shevel and Inessa Zaretsky of the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble and guest pianist, Ellen Braslavsky
2012: Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today that Israel should consider imposing the borders of a future Palestinian state, becoming the most senior government official to suggest bypassing a stagnant peace process.
2012: The European Jewish Community Center (EJCC), holds an event at the European parliament commemorating Israel’s establishment of control over the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967, a week after the national holiday was held in Israel. (As reported by Gil Shefler)
2012: Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yoram Cohen told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today that terrorists funded by Iran have increased attempts to attack Jewish targets around the world in the past year.
2013: The award ceremony at which Francesca Segal will receive the 2013 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in recognition of her debut novel, The Innocents
2013: The 4th International Conference of the Global Forum for CombatingAntisemitism is scheduled to come to a close.
2013(21st of Sivan, 5773): Seventy-nine year old actress Helen Haft passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
2013: The Wiener Library is scheduled to host a book signing for Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg whose latest work is Walking with the Light.
2013: Leonard Saxe, Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and Director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies as well as Director at the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University, is scheduled to speak at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation on The Future of Liberal Judaism in America: What We Can Learn from the Birthright Israel Generation.
2013: The Religious Services Ministry has said that it is moving toward a system in which the serving rabbi of any congregation, whether Orthodox or non-Orthodox, will be financially supported by the ministry. The statement was made today in response to a High Court petition filed in January against the ministry by the Reform Movement in Israel and the Conservative Movement, arguing that it is illegal discrimination that the 157 state-employed neighborhood rabbis are all Orthodox.(As reported by Jeremy Sharon)
2013: Nigerian authorities said today they had arrested three Lebanese in northern Nigeria on suspicion of being members of Hezbollah and that a raid on one of their residences had revealed a stash of heavy weapons. "The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria," according to Captain Ikedichic Iweha, the military’s spokesman.
2013: Chaim Weizman “was posthumously honored by Governor Mike Pence as a Sagamore of the Wabash today at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, in Terre Haute, Indiana.”
2013: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria displayed a new defiance in a television interview broadcast today, warning Israel and suggesting that he had secured plenty of weapons from Russia as his opponents falter politically and Hezbollah fighters infuse force into his military campaign.
2014(1st of Sivan, 5774): Rosh Chodesh SivanAccording to the 17th century sage Isaiah Horovitz “the eve of the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan is the most auspicious time to pray for the physical and spiritual welfare of one's children and grandchildren, since Sivan was the month that the Torah was given to the Jewish people.
2014: “Monologues from the Kishke,” “a Yiddishpiel Theater musical celebrating Eastern European food and culture” is scheduled to be performed at the Janco-Dada Museum in Ein Hod.” (As reported by Natan Skop)
2014: Professor Manfred Gailus, Technische Universität Berlin; Dr François Guesnet, University College London; Dr Hugo Service, University of Oxford are scheduled to speak about “Pogroms: Contemporary Reactions to Antisemitic Violence in Europe c. 1815-1950” at the Weiner Library in Russell Square in London, UK
2014: “Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, whose ministry oversees the Border Police, praised Border Policemen who prevented a suicide bombing attack when they stopped a man from Nablus who had a 12 pipe bombs and a electric detonator under the overcoat he was wearing in the 95 degree farenheit heat.
2014: David Saltiel, the head of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki said today that vandals broke into the Jewish cemetery and “desecrated several headstones.”
2014: In Silver Spring, MD, Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim is scheduled to host a “Friday Night Tish” – “a modern taken on an old Chassidic tradition.”
2014(1st of Sivan, 5774): Ninety year old Israeli actress Hanah Maron passed away.
2015: For the second and final time Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor are scheduled to perform “Ship of Fools” at Abrons Arts Theatre.
2015: Cellist Inbal Segev is scheduled to perform at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Brooklyn.
2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform for the second and last time at the Event Center in Riverside, Iowa.
2015: The Israel Wind Soloists are scheduled to perform at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.