Wednesday, March 4, 2015

This Day, March 5, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


March 5

363: Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which will bring to his own death. Julian followed Constantine to the throne and turned back his predecessor’s pro-Christian promulgations.  Effectively, his decrees gave validity to other religions previously practiced in the Empire.  On his was to fight the Sassanids, Julian gave orders that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt.  His untimely death prevented this from happening.  The Sassanids were the Persians of their day.

1133: Birth of King Henry II of England during whose reign Jews would prosper as reported by visitors including Abraham ibn Ezra and Isaac of Chernigov as well as the money that flowed to his coffers through the estate of Aaron of Lincoln and “the Saladin tithe.”

1179:  The Third Lateran Council opens at Rome.  At the end of the meeting the council would adopt the following as matters of canon law: "Jews should be slaves to Christians and at the same time treated kindly due of humanitarian considerations." ”The testimony of Christians against Jews is to be preferred in all causes where they use their own witnesses against Christians."

1245: As the Mongols continued their sweep across Christian Europe, Innocent IV issued “Dei patris immense,” a Papal bull urging them to be baptized.  These are the same Mongols who had destroyed the kingdom of the Khazars in 1239.  Apparently the Mongols were no more impressed with Christianity than the Khazars had been since the latter, in a legendary contest, had chosen Judaism over Islam and Christianity.

1291(3rd of Nisan): Sa’ad al-Da’ulah, Jewish grand vizier under the Mongol ruler of Persia Argun Kahn was assassinated today.

1328(15th of Adar, 5088): After the death of Charles the Fair, Pedro Olligoyen, a Franciscan friar, used the Jews as a scapegoat against French rule. Starting today, Shabbat, all the Jewish houses were pillaged and then destroyed. Approximately 6000 Jews were murdered with 20 survivors. Among the dead were parents and four younger brothers of Menachem ben Zerach, “then barely twenty years old who became a scholar of commanding influence.”  He was saved by “a compassionate knight” who was a friend of the young Jew’s father.

1563: Havazzelet ha-Shaon, a commentary on the Book of Daniel by Rabbi Moses Alshekh was published for the first time today.

1616: The Roman Catholic Church decreed that the Copernican theory was “false and erroneous” and that teaching or believing in the earth orbiting the sun was prohibited.  For one view of Copernicus and the Jews see


1696: Birthdate of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.  His fresco, “The Sacrifice of Isaac” is an example of how European artists used the Hebrew Bible as an inspiration and resource. It also is an example of how deeply entrenched Judaism is in the fabric of Western Civilization  

1783: King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski granted rights to Jews of Kovno. 

1792(11th of Adar, 5552): Moses Alexander (Moshe ben Abraham) passed away today in London.

1814(13th of Adar, 5574): Seventy-four year old Solomon Pappenheim, the son of Rabbi Seligmann Pappenheim of Zulz, who was the associate rabbi at Breslau and the author of a three volume work on Hebrew synonyms passed away today.

1820: Dutch city of Leeuwarden forbade Jews to go to synagogues on Sundays.

1851: In Beisegola, Russia, David Atlas and his wife gave birth Elazar Atlas, the bookkeeper turned literary critic.

1856: In New York, Esther (Nathan) Lazarus and Moses Lazarus gave birth to Agnes Marx.

1861: Dr. Fischer delivered a paper at tonight’s meeting of the New York Historical Society entitled “The History of the Inquisition in America” that included a description of the life and death by fire of the dramatist Antonio José da Silva.  Da Silva wrote most of his plays while imprisoned in a dudgeon and faced the auto de fe rather than betray the faith of his fathers.1861: William H. Seward began serving as Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln. Seward had visited Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine in 1859 and it is thought that his talk about that visit may have been the factor that prompted Lincoln’s comment that when his term was over he wanted to visit the “Holy Land” during his travels aboard with Mrs. Lincoln.

1863(14th of Adar, 5623) Purim

1863: In New York, more than three thousand Jews and their friends gathered tonight at the Academy of Music to for the second annual grand ball of the Purim Association. The first grand ball took place last year and it was great success. Many of the guest came in costumes including “one lady who was dressed … in garments made entirely of Frank Leslie's paper, and was decidedly a feature of the night, as were "Joan of Arc," "Old Aunt Dinah," "Mehitabel Ann," "Old Mother Goose," "Pocahontas," "Anne Boleyn" and the "Dame aux Camelias.” One lady was dressed in the height of fashion, in garments made entirely of Frank Leslie's paper, and was decidedly a feature of the night, as were "Joan of Arc," "Old Aunt Dinah," "Mehitabel Ann," "Old Mother Goose," "Pocahontas," "Anne Boleyn" and the "Dame aux Camelias.” Myer S. Isaacs and his committee are to be congratulated for putting on such a successful event which was orderly and entertaining.

1869: Birthdate of Michael von Faulhaber who was Archbishop of Munich from 1917 until 1952 who opposed the Nazis on certain issues but demonstrated the anti-Semitism compatible with European Christianity as manifested by his work with Amici Israel among other things.

1869: The first edition of the Jewish Times appeared in New York City.  Mortiz Ellinger was the publisher.

1870: In Cambridge City, Indiana, Michael H. and Rachel Levy Franklin gave birth to Leo Morris Franklin who served as Rabbi of Detroit’s Temple Beth El for over four decades.

1871: Birthdate of German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg

1874: “A Gang of Swindlers” published today J. Moritz Ehrenberg, a college educated middle class Hungarian born Jew as the leader of a group of con man who have preyed on members of the American financial community in many cities. Michael Mandel, an Austrian born Jew and Henry Hertz, a Russian born Jew are two of his comrades in these larcenous schemes for which they have been imprisoned in New York and Missouri.

1876: It was reported today that a Purim reception will be held at Delmonico’s 4 days after the actual celebration of the holiday on the Jewish calendar.

1876: Karl Goldmark’s “Rustic Wedding Symphony premiered in Vienna today.

1878(30th of Adar I, 5638): Rosh Chodesh Adar II

1879: In New York, Judge Gildersleve is scheduled to rule on an application compelling the 3 Salomon brothers to pay six dollars a week in support of Mrs. Fanny Solomon, their 70 year old mother.  She had petitioned the court for a payment of support.  The sons had contested the matter claiming that their mother was financially capable of taking of herself.

1880:  The would-be assassin of General Melilkoff, a leading figure in Russia, who was to be hanged today, said while be interrogated that he had converted from Judaism because it was impossible for a Jew to live in St. Petersburg.

1880:  Publication of “Was Shylock A Jew”


1882(14th of Adar, 5642): Purim

1884: Gustav Jacob Born and his first wife Gretchen Kauffmann gave birth to their daughter Kathe.

1884: In the wake of an order expelling all Jews holding foreign passports from Odessa and other Russian cities, The Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Internal Relations, St. Petersburg said that it could not provide Jewish citizens of America with Russian permits of residence.

1885: Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen completed his terms U.S. Secretary of State under President Chester A. Arthur during which he dealt with problems related to the persecution of Jews in Russia and Russian discrimination against American Jews trying to do business in the Czar’s empire.

1887: In Great Britain Jewish novelist Benjamin Leopold Farjeon and Margaret Jefferson gave birth to Herbert Farjeon, a major force in “the British theatre from 1910 until 1945.”

1890: “Dancing For Charity” published today described the charity ball given by the Purim Association has raised between ten and twelve thousand dollars for the United Hebrew Charities.

1890: In Baltimore, MD, Benjamin and Rose Nathan Perlman gave birth to Philip B. Perlman who was appointed as U.S. Solicitor General by President Truman in 1947, making him the first Jew to hold that post.

1890: As Mr. and Mrs. Lazar Anezes and their four children are detained by the Commissioners of Emigration as paupers and the United Hebrew Charities work for their admission by offering “to go surety for them” Judge O’Brien granted a writ of habeas corpus.

1890: “Lipschutz Won Another Game” published today descried the third game of the  match between Jewish chess champions Eugene Delmar and Samuel Lipshcutz at the Manhattan Chess Club which Lipschutz  when Delmar “resigned” after the 49th move.

1891 In one of the earliest manifestation of popular non-Jewish support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, the Blackstone Memorial was sent to President Benjamin Harrison.  The petition was the creation of Reverend William Eugene Blackstone and called for U.S. government support in the endeavor. It was signed by 431 prominent Americans including John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and future President William McKinley and was supported by a myriad of newspapers including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post.  Harrison’s lack of response may have been another sign of the ineptitude that would lead voters to deny him a second term a year later. 

1892: Kansas Congressman Funston was brought to tears during his visit to Ellis Island today when he saw the conditions under which the immigrants were living.  A member of the House Committee on Immigration, Funston was so moved by what he saw that he took money from his own billfold and gave it to some of those whom he encountered.

1892(6th of Adar, 5652): James Solomon Moore who had suffered a stroke two years ago passed away this evening in New York City.  Born at Konigsberg, Germany in 1821, he moved to England at the age of 17 where he pursued his studies while living with his uncle, P.B. Moore.  He came to the United States during the 1840’s and in 1849 joined the California Gold Rush. After a successful business career, he became interested in economic theory and his advocacy of removing tarries earned him the title of “The Father of Free Trade.” He married Amelia Moore in 1854 and was a member of B’nai Jeshrun at Madison and 65th Street.

1892: In New York Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes was shot in the abdomen at his home by a beggar named Jose Mizrachee. Born in England, he had been the rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel of New York and an active member of the Jewish community, who, among other things, established the Jewish Theological Seminary and The American Hebrew. Misrachee followed the rabbi home from the synagogue and forced his way into the house and shot him during a botched robbery attempt.  The rabbi’s wife and baby were in the house at the town.  Emergency surgery spared Mendes and permanent harm.  Mizrachee is described as an “Arabian Jew” who came to the United States in 1890.  He was well known to the victim and other members of his congregation for his aggressive begging habits and his failure to be content with any “alms” that were given to him.

1893: R.H. Macey & Co. was advertising the sale of “Passover Goods for the Holiday” including “Matzoths, Matzoth Flour and Potato Flour” for nine cents a pound on the fifth floor of its new building.

1893: It was reported today that tickets for the upcoming Purim Ball will cost ten dollars and they may be purchased from M.H. Moses as well as several other Jewish businessmen.  Those wanting a box for the event must contact S.B. Solomon or Simon Schafter.

1893: At today’s meeting of The Central Labor Federation, “the Hebrew printers said they had conferred with Typographical Union, No.6”

1894: “Russian Hebrew Immigrants published today described some of the controversy surrounding the admission Jews to the United States.  According to the Bureau of Immigration many of the Russian Jews are actually coming from South America where they have been living in agricultural communities financed by the Baron Hirsh Funds.  The colonies in Argentina have failed and the Jews have come to the United States where they have been allowed to settle as long as they meet the legal requirements regarding health and financial responsibility.  Despite criticism, the Bureau cannot turn people away because of their religion.

1894: In the New York, Assemblyman Danforth E Ainsworth, a Republican from Oswego County made use of the term “Jew pawnbrokers” while addressing the legislature.

1895: “Fortunate Hebrew Foundling” published today described the work of Henry S. Allen who has secured a place for a homeless waif at the orphanage run by the Hebrew Guardian Sheltering society.

1896: In New Haven, Pennsylvania, Aaron and Jennie Marcus gave birth to Jacob Rader Marcus, the Reform Rabbi who founded the American Jewish Archives at the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati, Ohio. He passed away in 1995 at the age of 99.


1898: “Notes of Forthcoming and Recent Publications” published today described an article by Israel Zangwill written by Israel Zangwill “for the Sunday School Times on the second Moses – Moses Maimonides – without a knowledge of whom the old Hebrew prover ‘From Moses to Moses there was non like Moses,’ is meaningless.”

1898: “Bargain Books” published today listed The Jew at Home by Joseph Pennell as costing $.10

1898: “Colonel Picquart, who was disciplined for giving testimony favorable to the case of Emile Zola,” the defender of Dreyfus, “at the recent trial of the author, fought a duel with swords today in the riding school of the Military School with Colonel Henry who testified against Zola.”

1898: “New Jewish Synagogue” published today described plans for the construction of a new synagogue being built by Congregation Hand-in-Hand, the first such building to take place in the Borough of the Bronx. The congregation, which received a gift of $1,000 from Baroness Hirsch for its building fund, has been meeting at the North Side Republican Club Hall

1899: “Rabbis Will Meet in Cincinnati” published today described the decision of reform movement to hold its Annual Central in March instead of July because March  marks the birthday of Dr. I. M. Wise and the rabbis wish to honor the man who mentored so many of them.

1900: Birthdate of Lilli Schlüchterer who gained famed as the German Jewish doctor Lilli Jahn “who gained international fame posthumously following the publication of her letters to her five children which she wrote during her imprisonment in the labor camp Breitenau before being deported to the concentration camp Auschwitz where she was murdered.

1901(14th of Adar, 5661): Purim

1902: Mizrachi (literally: "Eastern", but actually derived from the Hebrew acronym for "Spiritual Centre") was established by Rabbi Isaac Jacob Reines as a religious Zionist organization based on the Basel Program and commitment to the Torah. Their slogan is "Eretz Israel for the people of Israel according to the Torah of Israel." Mizrachi is a worldwide religious Zionist movement. Its main ideal is that Torah should be the spiritual center of Zionism. In Israel, it initiated the Ministry of Religion and helped pass laws for "Kashrut" and Sabbath observance in public life and in the Israel Army. During WWII, it participated in the American Zionist Emergency Council.

1902: Leopold Greenberg, one of Herzl's most devoted followers and representative in London suggests that Herzl should appear before the Royal Commission in London.

1902:26th of Adar I, 5662: Fifty-four year old New York businessman Leonard Lewisohn passed awa at the London home of his son-in-law Charles S. Henry. A native of Hamburg, Mr. Lewisohn came to the United States when he was 16 years old. He was President of the United Metals Selling Company and a philanthropist who had mad generous contributions to numerous Jewish charities.

1902: Reports of the death of Leonard Lewisohn “caused some weakness in the stock market where Amalgamated Copper declined 1 and 3/8 points.

1902: In response to the death of Leonard Lewishon who was trying “make a bull market in coffee” the coffee market opened 10 to 20 points lower than the day before but regained its losses by the close of business

1902: Louis Seligisberg, who represented the business interests of Leonard Lewisohn announced that his death would not affect the coffee business of the firm

1903: A committee was appointed to secure a site for a new building at Hebrew Union College.

1909: Alianza Hispano-Israelita formed in Spain to bring about the return of Spanish Jews.

1909: Oscar Solomon Straus completed his terms as the third U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor. Straus had been appointed by Theodore Roosevelt and left when William Howard Taft took office.  A year later Straus would return to a post he had held before, U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire.

1915: Birthdate of French mathematician, Laurent Schwartz.  His considerable mathematical work, including the theory of distributions, won him the Fields Medal in 1950.  During World War II the Schwartz hid his Jewish identity by using numerous aliases including that of Laurent Sélimartin.  He passed away in 2002.

1915: It was reported today that Dr. Robert Tuttle Morris the former President of the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that “Zangwill’s melting pot theory…is absurd biologically” because “the Jews are not going to cross with the Aryans” which means “they are not melting away” and they have “a sort of racial feeling that they must come again to rule the earth” which “keeps them together.” 

1915: As of today, the Fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee has collected $532,937.14.

1919:  In a letter published in the New York Times Emir Feisal wished “the Jews a hearty welcome home” and asserted “our two movements complete one another.” “There is room in Syria for both of us” he concluded.

1919: Birthdate of Albert J. Rosenthal, who as dean of Columbia Law School in the late 1970s and early 1980s helped increase the number of women on the school's faculty.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

 1923:  Birthdate of businessman Laurence Tisch, CEO of CBS from 1986 through 1995.  Tisch passed away in 2003.

1927(1st of Adar ii, 5687): Rosh Chodesh Adar II and Shabbat Shekalim

1928: Herbert Samuel’s successor as High Commissioner, Field Marshal Viscount Plumer, a distinguished WW I commander, opened Jerusalem’s first Arts and Crafts Exhibition which was held in the Citadel at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem.

1929: John D. Rockefeller Jr. spent the day viewing ancient and historic sites in Jerusalem, including the Mosque of Omar and the Holy Sepulcher.

1929: In the Bronx, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Halpern gave birth to Howard Marvin Halpern, “psychotherapist who wrote popular self-help books about severing or realigning burdensome relationships.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1930: In New York, Dr. Bernard Goodman and the former Alice Matz, the heir to a fortune created by “Ex-Lax” gave birth to Roy M. Goodman who was powerhouse among liberal Republicans when there really were such people.” (As reported by Richard Perez-Pena)


1930: Birthdate of David Lawrence Goldberg, the native of Crown Heights who gained fame as political consultant David Garth. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1932: Three members of the team of athletes assembled by the Maccabee Association of the United States to participate in the Jewish Olympic Games in Palestine sailed on the SS Aquitania.  The three athletes included co-captains David White and Lesslie Flaskman representing the Maccabee Association of Boston and Harold Ginsburg representing the 92nd Stree Y.M.H.A. The other ten members of the team are to sail next week on the Majestic or the Conte Grande.

1933: Last democratic election during Hitler's lifetime. Nationalists gain 52 seats, but not enough to establish a dictatorship by consent of Parliament. The Third Reich is born.

1933: When Jeanette Wolff, an outspoken critic of the Nazis, returned home from an election campaign today and was arrested by SA men.

1934: Birthdate of Daniel Kahneman, Israeli economist, and Nobel Prize laureate. Daniel Kahneman was born in Tel Aviv, in the then British Mandate of Palestine, now in Israel), is a key pioneer and theorist of behavioral finance, which integrates economics and cognitive science to explain seemingly irrational risk management behavior in human beings. He is famous for collaboration with Amos Tversky and others in establishing a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and in developing prospect theory. Kahneman spent his childhood years in Paris, France and moved to Palestine in 1946. He received his B.Sc. in mathematics and psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1954, after which he served in the Israeli Defense Forces principally in its psychology department. In 1958 he came to the United States and earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. Currently a faculty member at Princeton University and a fellow at Hebrew University, he is the winner of the 2002 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work in prospect theory, despite being a research psychologist and not an economist. In fact, Kahneman claims to have never taken a single economics course — he claims that what he knows of the subject he and Tversky learned from collaborators Richard Thaler and Jack Knetsch. In explaining why he entered the field of psychology, Kahneman once wrote: “It must have been late 1941 or early 1942. Jews were required to wear the Star of David and to obey a 6 p.m. curfew. I had gone to play with a Christian friend and had stayed too late. I turned my brown sweater inside out to walk the few blocks home. As I was walking down an empty street, I saw a German soldier approaching. He was wearing the black uniform that I had been told to fear more than others - the one worn by specially recruited SS soldiers. As I came closer to him, trying to walk fast, I noticed that he was looking at me intently. Then he beckoned me over, picked me up, and hugged me. I was terrified that he would notice the star inside my sweater. He was speaking to me with great emotion, in German. When he put me down, he opened his wallet, showed me a picture of a boy, and gave me some money. I went home more certain than ever that my mother was right: people were endlessly complicated and interesting.”

1935: A brothel run by Polly Adler was raided resulting in the only conviction for which the famed madam served jail time (24 days of a 30 day sentence). 

1936(11th of Adar, 5696): Observance of the Fast of Esther since the 13th of Adar fell on Shabbat

1936(11th of Adar, 5696): Rabbi Yosef Rosen, known as the Rogatchover Gaon (Prodigy/Genius), passed away in Vienna today. Born in 1858, and raised in the Belarusian city of Rogatchov, he served for decades as a rabbi in the Latvian city of Dvinsk (Daugavpils). He was an unparalleled genius, whose in- depth understanding of all Talmudic literature left the greatest of scholars awestruck. He habitually demonstrated that many of the famous debates between the Talmudic sages have a singular thread and theme. Rabbi Rosen authored tens of thousands of responsa on the Talmud and Jewish law. Many of them have been compiled in the set of volumes Tzafnat Paneach.

1936: The Spitfire went through its first test-flights.  The famed fighter plane would play a key role in the defeat of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.  Thanks to the Spitfire and the spirited pilots of the Royal Air Force (RAF), Hitler’s seemingly invincible legions were stopped for the first time; the British Isles remained free and would become the launching point for the Allied invasion of Europe which would save a remnant of European Jewry. Robert Roland Stanford Tuck, known as “Lucky Tuck” was one of the Jewish pilots in the RAF who flew the Spitfire.  In his case he flew it at the Battle of Dunkirk where he earned a DSO. The Spitfire was the favorite plane of Ezer Weizmann the father of Israel’s Air Force and later President of the Jewish state.  He had his own Spitfire which was featured in flyovers by IDF planes during various Israeli celebratory activities.

1937: U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull offered a public apology for New York Mayor LaGuardia’s suggestion that the “1939 New York World’s Fair would include a ‘chamber of horrors’ displaying that ‘brown-shirted fanatics who is menacing the peace of the world.’” (Hull’s comments came during the hey-day of Isolationism in the United States.  His apology came in the same year that the United States ignored a Japanese attack on an American gunboat in China.)

1937: Despite an apology issued by the State Department, Mayor La Guardia said he stood by his declaration that Hitler is a “brown-shirted fanatic who is menacing the peace of Europe.”

1937: British author Mary Frances Butts who had been the wife of Jewish poet and published John Rodker whose career she had worked to further and with whom she had one child passed away today.

1937: The wave of Arab terror spread into southern Palestine when an Arab entered a Jewish orange grove near the colony of Less Tzionah and shot Vladislav Louga, a non-Jewish worker from Poland, in the stomach.  Louga was rushed to a hospital in Tel Aviv where he is in critical condition.

1939: The New York Times reported that Palestine Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eugen Szenkar has just completed four subscription concerts in a tour that included stops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where the symphony played before audiences totaling 30,000 music lovers.

1939(14th of Adar, 5699): Purim

1939(14th of Adar, 5699): Moses Gaster, the Romanian born Jewish scholar who served as Hakam of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation in London passed away today at the age of 82. In addition to all of his other accomplishments he was the father of the renowned scholar, Thedore Herzl Gaster.

1940: The Jewish Labor Committee, representing about 500,000 members of Jewish labor unions in the United States, sent a cable to the Labor Party in England requesting the Laborites oppose the recent British restriction of Jewish land purchases in Palestine.

1940: A delegation consisting of Henrietta Szold, Mrs. Isaac Herzog, wife of the Chief Rabbi of Palestine and “others representing the Council of Jewish Women of Palestine” met with the British High Commissioner and gave him a memorandum protesting the recent change in the land laws that was intended to be forwarded to his superiors in London.

1942: At the “Selection” of Jews at Baranowicze, Poland those sent to the left were beaten and placed in trucks where they sent away to their death in a pit just outside of town. Those on the right looked on. Of the 12,000 Jews living in the town at the start of the war, 3,500 were killed that Purim.

1943: In the Ukraine, over 1,000 Jews were murdered outside the Khmeilnik ghetto.

1943: Office of Strategic Services interviews Dr. Eduard Bloch, a Jewish Austrian physician who had been doctor and confidant to Adolf Hitler and his family while the future Fuehrer was growing up, and who ministered to Hitler's mother Klara during her losing battle with breast cancer.

1944(10th of Adar, 5704): Max Jacob French writer and painter, died at the Drancy, the French concentration camp at the age of 68.  Born in Brittany in 1876, Jacob converted to Roman Catholicism in 1914. He spent most of the war hiding from the Nazis and their French fascist allies. He died while awaiting transport from France to a concentration camp in Germany Apparently his conversion was not enough to get the Roman Catholic Church to intervene on his behalf. His friends, who included the renowned Pablo Picasso, saw to it that he had a fine burial after the war, but were unable to do anything so save him from the fate common to most of the Jews of Europe, great and small alike.

1944(10th of Adar, 5704): Ernst Julius Cohen, “a Dutch chemist known for his work on the allotropy of metals,” was murdered today in a gas chamber in Auschwitz. Born in 1869, “Cohen studied chemistry under Svante Arrhenius in Stockholm, Henri Moissan at Paris, and Jacobus van't Hoff at Amsterdam. In 1893 he became Van't Hoff's assistant and in 1902 he became professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Utrecht, a position which he held until his retirement in 1939. Throughout his life, Cohen studied the allotropy of tin. Cohen’s areas of research included polymorphism of elements and compounds, photographic chemistry, electrochemistry, pizeochemistry, and the history of science. He published more than 400 papers and numerous books. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1926.

1945: While excavating the site near Crematorium II at Auschwitz, Soviet soldiers found a German canteen which contained the diaries of Salmen Gradowski. One of the entries read, “At almost each block, beside the men standing in line, bodies of three, four persons are lying. These are the victims of the night that have not lived to see the day. Even yesterday they were standing members of the roll-call and today they lie, lifeless, motionless. Life is not important at the roll-call. Numbers are important. Numbers tally…” Gradowski’s diary was published in a book entitled Amidst a Nightmare of Crime: Manuscripts of the Sonderkommando which describes life in the death camp through the eyewitness accounts of four Sonderommandos. For more about this work, Gardowski and the others who supplied the material see

1946: Birthdate of Martin Levi van Creveld “an Israeli military historian and theorist. Van Creveld was born in the Netherlands in the city of Rotterdam, and has lived in Israel since shortly after his birth. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has been on the faculty since 1971. He is the author of seventeen books on military history and strategy, of which Command in War (1985), Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton (1977, 2nd edition 2004), The Transformation of War (1991), The Sword and the Olive (1998) and The Rise and Decline of the State (1999) are among the best known. Van Creveld has lectured or taught at many strategic institutes in the Western world, including the U.S. Naval War College.”

1947: Birthdate of Dr. John Kitzhaber the Oregon physician who served as governor from 1995 to 2003.

1947: As the Jews of Palestine endure their fourth day of living under martial law, banks in Tel Aviv are scheduled to reopen thanks to a shipment of coins and currency in an amount equal to thirty-two million American dollars having arrived from Jeruslaem.  In an attempt to exercise greater control, the British suspended the press passes of correspondents which had enabled the journalists to enter and leave zones of military occupation.

1948: Actor Eli Wallach married actress Anne Jackson.

1948: Publication of a review of Mark Hellinger’s final film, “The Naked City.”

1949: Operation Uvda, the final Israeli campaign of the War of Independence which is intended to secure portions of the Negev began oday.

1949: Negev Brigade forces set out from Beersheba to the Ramon Crater, through Bir 'Asluj. Golani forces simultaneously set out from Mamshit to Ein Husub on the first day of Operation Uvda, one of the final campaigns of the War for Independence.

1950: Jordanian political leader Samir Rifai Pasha has rejected King Abdullah’s request that he form a new government.  Pasha’s refusal is tied to opposition to the non-aggression pact with Israel which was first made public on February 28, 1950.  Despite Abdullah’s support, the pact seems doomed since Jordan’s political leaders do not.

1950: Iraq’s announcement that effectively, the Jewish population must leave the country within the next twelve months represents a reversal of its policy of not allowing Jews to move to Israel while completely dislocating “Israel’s immigration program for 1950.” The Jewish agency had budgeted for the absorption of 150,000 immigrants, including 50,000 from Arab countries and 50,000 from eastern Europe.  Since there are approximately 150,000 Jews living in Iraq, the Israelis will have to find some way to raise additional funds allowing for the in-gathering of twice as many as Jews as had been originally planned.

1950: Daniel Frisch, the President of the Zionist Organization of America, underwent surgery today at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center today after having named Benjamin G. Bowdy, on the ZOA’s vice president, as acting president.

1952(8th of Adar, 5712): Sixty-six year old Rachael “Rae” Landy the Cleveland born nurse who helped create the health system in pre-World War I Palestine and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army passed away today.

1953: Birthdate of Michael J. Sandel, the Minneapolis born Harvard Professor “best known for his course ‘Justice.’”

1953: Stalin died disrupting plans for mass deportations of Russian Jews.  The Soviet dictator was an anti-Semite.  Unlike Hitler, he could curb his anti-Semitism when it suited his purposes.  For example, he allowed the government of Czechoslovakia to sell modern arms to Israel at the moment of its birth.  He later switched his views and followed an anti-Zionist as well as anti-Semitic policy.

1953: Lazar Kaganovich began serving as the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers in the Soviet Union.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Lower House of the Bonn Parliament passed the first reading of the West German agreement to pay reparations to Israel and World Jewry for the Nazi persecution.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in the Knesset, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion defined the role of the army in national life. The Knesset extended for a year the provisional military law currently in force, providing for prison terms for any form of propaganda intended to undermine the authority of the state.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Abill to legalize the requisition of land or property for the development, security or settlement, from the establishment of the State in May 1948, to the end of April 1, 1952, was presented for the second and third reading.

1954(30th of Adar I, 5714): Rosh Chodesh Adar II

1954(30th of Adar I, 5714): Forty-year old Donald Bloomingdale the son of Rosalie and Irving Bloomingdale and the onetime husband of Bethsabée de Rothschild passed away today.

1955: Birthdate of Julien Dray, the native Oran which was then part of French Algeria, who became a leader of the French Socialist party.

1956: Erich Itor Kahn composer, pianist and Holocaust survivor passed away at the age of 50.

1957: Jewish comedian Phil Silvers in the role of “Sergeant Ernie Bilko” satirizes rock star Elvis Presley.

1967(23rd of Adar I, 5727): Sixty-one year old Mischa Auer the native of Russia who transitioned from the Yiddish theatre to movies, which included a 1936 Oscar nomination passed away today.

1970: U.S. premiere of blockbuster “Airport” directed by George Seaton who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and called himself a “Shabbos Goy” produced by Ross Hunter with music by Alfred Newman.

1973: Marcel Marceau appears at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, IA.

1974: In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur Israeli forces withdrew from the west bank of the Suez Canal as step towards ending hostilities brought on by the Arab sneak attack.  Ariel Sharon was responsible for the audacious attack across the Suez Canal which gave the strategic advantage to the Jewish forces.

1974(11th of Adar, 5734): Solomon I "Sol" Hurok US impresario, passed away at the age of 85. Hurok was responsible for bringing a troupe of Yemenite Jews who had moved to Israel to perform in the United States.  Thanks to these efforts Yemenite culture was introduced to Americans (Jews and non-Jews alike).  Not only did this help to preserve an ancient part of the Jewish heritage, it helped create a positive image of Israel as a homeland for persecuted Jewry no matter where they lived.

1978: A revival of David Merrick’s “Hello Dolly” that would run for 147 performances began at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre.

 1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the US State Department was upset and angered that between the time that Prime Minister Menachem Begin presented his peace plan to US President Jimmy Carter in early December, and when the same plan was submitted at the end of the month to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, significant changes were made in the text. The draft added Israel’s right to maintain security and “public order” in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and stipulated that only those Palestinians who accepted Israeli citizenship could buy land in Israel, while any Israeli could purchase land in the administered areas. The Americans demanded complete reciprocity.

1982: Gail Winston and journalist Frank Rich gave birth to novelist Nathaniel Rich, the brother of screenwriter Simon Rich.

1982: U.S. premiere of “I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can” featuring David Margulies as “Walter Kress” and Ellen Greene as “Karen Mulligan”

1982: U.S. premiere of “Diner” with a script by Barry Levinson who also directed what would the first of four films set in post-war Baltimore, produced by Jerry Weintraub co-starring Steve Guttenberg and Ellen Barkin and featuring Paul Reiser.

1987: Today, in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Yithak Rabin, read a statement in English apologizing to the American government and the American people for the Pollard sypinng operation, an operation that Foreign minister Shimon Peres had characterized as a mistake.

1987: Yossi Sarad, a member of the Knesett, called for the dismissal of Rafael Etian from his job as chairman of the state-owned Israel Chemicals since he was the Defense Ministry official who organized the Pollard spying operation.

1993: In the United Kingdom premiere of “Toys” a comedy directed by Barry Levinson and filmed by cinematographer Adam Greenberg.

1995: The New York Times features a review of The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition

 by Anne Frank; edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler; translated by Susan Massotty

1996(14th of Adar, 5756): Purim

1997(26th of Adar I, 5757): Eighty-eighty year old Zalman Abramov the Israeli politician who had been born in Minsk, made Aliyah in 1920 and served as an MK from 1959 to 1977 passed away today.

1997: U.S. premier of “The Watermelon Woman” with music by Paul Shapiro whose specialties include Klezmer music.

1999: U.S. premiere of  “Analyze This” directed by Harold Ramis, produced by Paula Weinstein and Jane Rosenthal with music by Howard Shore and co-starring Billy Crystal and Lisa Kudrow.

1999: The Times of London featured a review of Brother Against Brother: Violence and

 Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination by Ehud Sprinzak.

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including The Unruly Life of Woody Allen: A Biography by Marion Meade, Law of Return: Short Stories by Maxine Rodburg and Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs, and Rituals by George Robinson.

2002(21st of Adar, 5762): Police officer FSM Salim Barakat (33), Yosef Habi (52), and Eli Dahan (53) were murdered today in Tel Aviv when a Fatah terrorist opened fire on diners at two restaurants.

2002: “The Vagina Monologues” with Idina Menzel opened at the West Side Theatre.

2003: Victor Brailovsky began serving as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.

2003 (1 Adar II, 5763): Seventeen people were killed and 53 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus No. 37 in the Carmel section of Haifa, en route to Haifa University. The blast, which took place on the city's main Moriah Boulevard near the Carmel Center, turned the bus into a charred wreck and scattered bodies along the road. The bus driver, a Christian Arab from Shfaram, was moderately injured. Police said the bomb was laden with metal shrapnel in order to maximize the number of injuries and strapped to the bomber's body. This was the first suicide bombing in two months, following the bombing in the Neve Sha'anan neighborhood in Tel-Aviv on January 5, in which 23 people were killed. The Hamas spokesman praised the attack. The suicide bomber has been identified as a member of Hamas. A letter found on his body praised the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.  The victims included the following all but two of whom died on the day of the attack:

·         Kmer Abu Khamed, 12, from Daliyat al Karmel

·         Yuval Mendelevitch, 13, from Haifa

·         Smadar Firstatter, 17, from Haifa

·         Avigail Lietel, 14, from Haifa

·         Asaf Tzur, 16, from Haifa

·         Daniel Harush, 16 , from Safed

·         Tom Hershko, 16, from Haifa, and his father-

·         Motti Hershko, 41, from Haifa

·         Tal Kehrmann, 17, from Haifa

·         Elizabeth (Liz) Katzman, 17, from Haifa

·         Meital Katav, 20, from Haifa

·         Moran Shushan, 20, from Haifa

·         Anatoly Biryakov, 20, from Haifa

·         Be'eri Ovad, 21 , from Rosh Pina

·         Eliyahu Laham, 22, from Haifa

·         Miriam Atar, 27, from Haifa

·         Mark Takash, 54, from Haifa

2003: Victor Brailovsky begins servicing as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.

2005: "Dear Esther," an Arizona Jewish Theatre Company production had its last performance in Phoenix, Arizona.  The play is based on the life of Esther Rabb and her experiences as recorded in “Escape from Sobibor” about the 1943 uprising.

2006:  A restoration of a 1942 freight car, the type used to carry Jews to death camps went on display at the Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas. The freight car is intended to symbolize the penultimate step in the industrialized mass murder of the Jews of Europe.

2006:  The Jerusalem Post reported that American Jewish leaders welcomed the decision by British architect Richard Rogers to resign his membership in a professional organization that has called for the boycott of Israel's construction industry. However New York politicians had questions for Lord Richard Rogers, in light of the state contract

2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Absolute Convictions, a biography of Dr. Shalom Press by his son Eyal Press, The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the Twenty-First Century by Michael Mandelbaum and Intuition by Allegra Goodman.

2007: Opening of an exhibition styled “Studio Man Ray: Photographs by Ira Nowinski” at the

 Judah L Magnes Museum.

2008: Sheldon Adelson ranked #12 on the list of The World’s Billionaires published today.

2008(28th of Adar I, 5768): Joseph Weizenbaum “a German-American author and professor emeritus of computer science at MIT” passed away.

2008: As part of “Hadassah on Tour,” Dr. Michael Wilschanski, the Director of the Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit of the Division of Pediatrics at Hadassah Medical Center, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, speaks in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

2008: A Yarhtzeit on the civil calendar - Five Year Anniversary of the bombing of Egged Bus 53  carried out by a Hamas suicide bomber who killed 17 innocent civilians.

2008: Following the completion of Operation Hot Winter, today “Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office announced that Israel would maintain its pressure on Hamas..”

2008: In “A City That Was and Is No Longer” published today, Aharon Appelfeld examines the history of Czernowitz.

2009: Sherman Oaks-based mortgage banker Bruce Friedman, whose Friedman Charitable Foundation committed $10 million to the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles and $1 million to Brandon’s Village, a special-needs park in Calabasas, was indicted on securities fraud charges today by the Securities and Exchange Commission

2009: Professor Anat Helman of Hebrew University delivers a talk and visual presentation exporing the deeper meanings of Israeli styles of the 1950s at Rutgers University entitled "Fashion and Identity in Israel in the 1950s."

2009: An Arab terrorist attacked police officers and civilians in Jerusalem with his bulldozer today. He was a resident of the city.

2010: The Washington DCJCC is scheduled to host Interfaith Couples Shabbat Dinner with Rabbi Tamara Miller explaining the rituals while attendees enjoy a traditional Shabbat Dinner.

2010: A major security exercise is scheduled to take place today at the Sha'ar Ha'ir building in Ramat Gan, next to the Diamond Center.

2010: Clashes broke out between Israeli police officers and Muslim rock throwers at the end of Friday prayers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem following a sermon on a recent Israeli decision to include two West Bank shrines on a list of national heritage sites.

2010: Vandals have defaced a former Nazi concentration camp with anti-Jewish and anti-Turkish graffiti, Austrian authorities said today. 

2011: Ravid Kahalani, a veteran of Israel’s renowned Idan Raichel Project who uses his music to showcase his Yemenite-Jewish heritage is scheduled to appear in Berkeley, CA at opening night of the Jewish Music Festival.

2011: Israeli sculptor Ohad Meromi is scheduled to host a series of events as the culmination of his evolving New Commission project in New York City.

2011: Leonard I. Weinglass, filed brief on behalf Mumia Abu-Jamal that was part of “a post-conviction motion to vacate the conviction of his client,” (Weinglass was Jewish; Abul-Jamal was not)

2011(29 Adar I): Shabbat Shekalim

2011: A computer glitch which had been preventing the flow of natural gas at the Mari-B natural gas field operated by the Yam Tethys conglomerate off of Ashdod was fixed after several hours today

2012: “A Child of the Ghetto” is scheduled to be shown at Prague in the Czech Republic.

2012: The second of the annual AIPAC Policy Conference capped off by an gala evening event is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC

2012: Yeshiva University Museum with Fantagraphics Books is scheduled to present: “Diane Noomin’s Graphic Details: Glitz-2-Go Book Launch.”

2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Barak Obama at the White House.

2012: President Shimon Peres today praised US President Barack Obama's speech to the AIPAC annual policy conference, saying he had offered the maximum support for Israel that an American president could possibly offer.

2013: The field of candidates in today’s Mayoral election in Los Angeles includes Wendy Gurel a synagogue attending Christian married to a Jew whose 10-year-old son studies Hebrew and is being raised in the Jewish tradition, City Councilman Eric Garcetti whose mother is Jewish and City Councilwoman Jan Perry, an African-American who converted to Judaism while in college. (As reported by Bill Boyarsky)

2013: Iranian born Israel singer Rita Yahan-Faourz, known simply as Rita, sang in Persian, Hebrew and English at performance in the UN General Assembly Hall tonight.

2013: The London Sinfonietta, conducted by Brad Lubman, at the Royal Festival Hall in London gave the world premiere of Radio Rewrite for ensemble with 11 players, inspired by the music of Radiohead.

2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a lecture by Zalmen Mlotek entitled “100 Years of Yiddish Theater Music.”

2013: Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to meet with newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel today.  This will be Hagel’s first meeting with a foreign defense chief since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

2013: The AIPAC conference is scheduled to come to an end in Washington, DC

2013(23rd of Adar, 5773): Eighty-seven year old actor and director Arthur Storch passed away today.
(As reported by Paul Vitello)

2013: The daughters of a Yiddish writer persecuted under communism reclaimed copies of his works today, following a prolonged legal fight to establish their ownership.

2013: The first Hebrew language edition of Playboy magazine was launched in Tel Aviv.

2013: Thousands attended the funeral of Menachem Froman in the Judean Desert settlement of Tekoa today, remembering the mystic rabbi and activist as a unique figure in Israel’s religious and political landscape.

2014: The Library of Congress is scheduled to host “Dancing in Jaffa,” Diane Nabatoff’s documentary about ballroom dance Pierre Dulaine.

2014: “The Women Pioneers” and “Shtisel” are scheduled to be shown at the 24th Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Jewish Study Center is scheduled to present “Two 20th-Century Theologians:  Herberg and Soloveitchik”

2014: “If/Then” a musical featuring Idina Menzel is scheduled to open at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

2014: Today, IDF Special Forces intercepted a ship in the Red Sea carrying an Iranian arms shipment headed for the Gaza Strip

2014: The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the United States-Israel Strategic Alliance and Security Act, which is aimed at further enhancing the two countries’ already strong defense relationship

2015(14th of Adar, 5774): Purim

2015: The funeral for Chabad Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, the husband of Esther Rochel Moscowitz and the father of nine children is scheduled to take placed today in Chicago.

2015: This evening the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a “Purim Spiel.”