JUNE 23 In Jewish History
79: Vespasian, the Roman general who was in the process of conquering Judea when he became Emperor, died.
79: Titus, the Roman general whom the Jews will always remember for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple succeeded his father Vespasian as tenth Roman Emperor.
1295: The newly chosen head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Boniface VIII, entered Rome and spurned the Torah scrolls offered to him by the Jewish community.
1298: Massacre of the Jews of
1608: Samuel Pallache “a Jewish-Moroccan merchant, diplomat and pirate met stadholder Maurice of Nassau and the States-General in The Hague to negotiate an alliance of mutual assistance against Spain.
1696: Jews of Posen, Poland were saved from a mob set to avenge the murder of a soldier when a peasant woman who was seized carrying the victim's clothing, confessed to her son's murder.
1700: Solomon de Medina was dubbed a knight by William III. He was the first Jew to receive this honor. Medina was military contractor who would provide invaluable aid to the Duke of Marlborough during the War of Spanish Succession.
1794: With the second partition of
additional territory was added to the Pale (the district in which the Jews were
forced to live) that included parts of the Poland and the city of Ukraine . Jews were granted
permission by Empress Catherine II to settle in Kiev . Kiev
1810 John Jacob Astor organized Pacific Fur Company at what is now
There seems to be some dispute as to whether or not Astor was Jewish or
"of Jewish origins." Astoria, Oregon
1823: Mordecai Manuel Noah, an early American Jewish leader who dabbled in politics and journalism, wrote a twenty page letter to President James Monroe seeking his support for William Crawford’s candidacy for President of the United States. Crawford lost his bid which marked a decline in Noah’s self-appointed role a political king-maker.
1858: An incident, known as the Mortara Affair, began in
: Edgardo Mortara, a seven year old
Jewish boy, was kidnapped by the Roman Catholic Church on the pretext that a
servant girl claimed that she had baptized him. The pope, Pious IX, refused to
surrender him despite many protests. The combination of the Bologna affair and this affair led to
unification among many Jews and later to the establishment of the Alliance
1868(3rd of Tamuz, 5628): Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall passed away. Born at Stockholm, Sweden, in 1798, “at the age of nine he was taken by his father, who was banker to the King of Sweden, to Copenhagen, where he was educated at the Hebrew grammar-school. Later he went to England, where he devoted himself to the study of languages, for the better acquisition of which he subsequently traveled in France, Germany, and Belgium. After lecturing on Hebrew poetry he began to publish the "Hebrew Review, and Magazine of Rabbinical Literature," which he was forced to discontinue in 1836 owing to ill health. For some time he acted as honorary secretary to Solomon Herschell, chief rabbi of Great Britain. He made translations from Maimonides, Albo, and Herz Wessely; conjointly with the Rev. D. A. de Sola he published a translation of eighteen treatises of the Mishnah; and he also began a translation of the Pentateuch, of which only one volume appeared. In 1840, when the blood accusation was made at Damascus, he published a refutation of it in four languages (Hebrew, English, French, and German) and wrote a defense of Judaism against an anonymous writer in the London "Times." In 1841 he was appointed minister of the Birmingham Synagogue and master of the school. He continued in these capacities for eight years, and then sailed for New York (1849). In that city he was appointed rabbi and preacher of the B'nei Jeshurun congregation, where he continued as pastor till 1866, his duties then being relaxed owing to his infirm health. Raphall was the author of a text-book of the post-Biblical history of the Jews (to the year 70 C.E.). He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Erlangen (Germany).”
1873: The children under the care of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Free School are scheduled to enjoy their first excursion of the summer today. Lewis S. Levy is the chairman of the committee that has organized the event.
1876: It was reported today that an unnamed Moor stabbed eleven Jews with a dagger at Alcassar in the province of Fez, Morocco. Among the victims was Moses Abecasis. The Moor, who has been arrested, insists that “he was not aware of what he was doing when he committed the crimes.” The British and Italian Vice Consuls have insisted that the provincial governor and the leading citizens of Alcasar “have a signed a document guaranteeing the lives and property of foreign Jews” living there.
1877: At Ahaveth Chesed on the corner of Lexington and 55th in New York City, Rabbi Adolph Huesbech delivered a sermon based on Deuteronomy X:12, “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to fear thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him and serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” In the course of the sermon he spoke about the recent events surrounding the banning of Jews by Judge Hilton which he referred to as the “grievous occurrences of the past few days.” While he abhors boasting, he believes that “the Jewish name must always be held in honor.” He decried the fact that the Jews “had been placed in a false position” by this member of the nouveau riche who had used his newly “attained social eminence” to arouse enmity aimed at the Jews. In the end, the Rabbi said he would fail. “The Hiltons will die away but the principle of liberty as embodied in the American Constitution will live forever.
1877: Rabbi Samuel Isaacs, the leader of New York’s Gates of Prayer, described the negative impact that Judge Hilton’s behavior would have on English Jewish leaders including the Rothschilds and Sir Moses Montefiore who is “personal and esteemed friend of Queen Victoria.” They have always viewed the United States as a place where Jews were treated with the utmost “consideration and courtesy”; a situation similar to the treatment of Jews in the United Kingdom. If the Queen can count Montifore among her friends, certainly Judge Hilton could treat a person like Mr. Seligman with “common civility.” When asked Judge Hilton’s attempt to draw a distinction between “trade Jews and real “Hebrews, Rabbi Isaacs responded by recalling the “the words of the late Baron James Rothschild of Paris. ‘When we are poor and ignorant we Jews; when we are well to do we become Israelites; when we are rich and influential we are called Hebrews.’” Judge Hilton is trying to create a distinction that does not exist as a face-saving maneuver.
1877: A column published today entitled “The Jewish Question” reported that both sides in the dispute touched off by Judge Hilton’s banning of Jews from the Grand Union Hotel seemed to hold firm to their previously stated positions. Various Jewish leaders, including Mr. Seligman’s attorney have advised against any further public discussions or meetings on the matter. They are reassured by the public response and the decision by some not to do business with the firm controlled by Hilton. Hilton will not change his policy and still claims that he does not dislike Jews. After all, the messenger to whom he entrusts thousands of dollars each day is Jewish.
1878: “The Jews and Titus,” an article published today, that originally appeared in the English publication, Fraser’s Magazine reviews events surrounding the decision of Titus to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. The article points out that the Jews had a favorable impact on the western world in the era between Antiochus and Nero. Among other things the Jews are industrious and hard working just like the people living “in the American Union are at Salt Lake.” Even their leaders worked at “mechanical labor or rustic art.” Even the Roman historian Tacitus acknowledged the virtues of the Jews. When Titus conferred with his officers about sparing the Temple, they urged him to destroy it and the rest of the city as well. Jerusalem had been the source of “two detestable religions, the Jewish and the Christian, which best be destroyed by uprooting their original home…” Despite Roman cruelty and oppression which followed by “Christian animosity” “the Jews and their religion” have survived without any deterioration over the centuries. Unfortunately, the article concludes, the Jews “still have to plead for toleration and from justice Slavonic Europe.”
1879: The Literary Notes Column reported that “Mr. Nutt, the Librarian of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University has edited” a manuscript in the library’s possession that is “a commentary on Isaiah” written “by Rabbi Eleazar of Beaugency.” Nutt has included a preface that provides “a valuable account of Bibilical exegesis among the Spanish and French Jews of the Middle Ages. [Eleazar was a 12th century French Biblical commentary who lived at Beaugency. He was a “pupil of Samuel ben Meïr, the eminent grandson of Rashi.”]
1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Harlem is sponsoring a strawberry festival this evening which is designed to raise funds for a gymnasium to be used by the members.
1882: Rabbi Levy arrived at the New York office of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society from South Carolina. He told those in charge that the European Jewish refugees “were unfit” for the work “on Southern Plantations.” He brought 11 of the 30 refugees who had been placed in his care with him to New York. He thinks that they could be successful working on small vegetable farms. [This was part of the move to create agrarian opportunities for the horde of Jewish refugees fleeing Eastern Europe.]
1882: “Is He Sane Or Insane” published today described the travails of Samuel Obright who has been committed to Middletown Lunatic Asylum. His wife, whom he married only a few days ago, contends that his family and friends had him committed because Obright who is Jewish chose to marry a Christian. The judge has ordered him held in the custody of the Sheriff until the matter can be decided.
1882: It was reported today that Dr. Julius Goldman had delivered a report to the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society entitled “Colonizing the Russian Refugees” and not Dr. Julius Goodman as stated in an earlier article.
1883: Anti-Jewish riots resumed today in St. Gall, Switzerland. Dismounted dragoons were called out to disperse the mob.
1883: It was reported today that those wishing to make contributions to support the upcoming summer excursions sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children can be sent to John Davis.
1884(30th of Sivan, 5644): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1885: Mr. Julius Bien of New York, President of the B’nai B’rith opened a meeting of the Jewish organization in Berlin. He was assisted in his efforts by Isaac Hamburger of New York and Henry Gruenbaum of Chicago.
1886: It was reported today that Harris Cohen had been awarded the Lewis May Award at a reception sponsored by the Hebrew Technical Institute. Samuel Sass won the Carl Schurz Prize for the best essay on technical education.
1887: Birthdate of Hugo Hermann the Moravian born author, publisher and Zionist leader who died in Jerusalem in 1940.
1887(1st of Tammuz, 5647): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1887(1st of Tammuz, 5647): Joseph Freedman, a Russian-Jew who was a tin peddler died this evening at P.J. Kelly’s furniture store in New Haven, Conn.
1888: The Eldridge Street Synagogue was filled with congregants for today’s memorial service held in honor of the late German Emperor. Rabbi Zinsler of the Henry Street Synagogue delivered a eulogy in German followed by Coroner Ferdinand Levy who delivered a eulogy in English. [This was just one of many such services held by the Jews to honor the late Kaiser.]
1888: Emile Hirsch, who serves as the Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Chicago returned to the Windy City after a brief visit to New Orleans.
1888: This evening Rabbi Emile Hirsch addressed his congregation in Chicago outlined his view on inter-marriage, declaring that “Judaism was more than a religion or a creed…Judaism is a mission and a message of loved and righteousness.”
1889: “In the Catskill Mountains” published today described the opening of the various hostelries in this New York vacation venue including the fact that “the anti-Hebrew crusade is practically a matter of the past.” Generally speaking this movement was confined to the cottages at Pine Hill where Gentiles and Jews are equally welcome provided they can afford to pay the fee for entertainment which can be as much as one hundred dollars a week. [For those who connect the Catskills with the Borscht Belt, the idea of Jews being banned must seem a little strange.]
1892: The military band of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum played the opening march at the annual reception and commencement exercises of Grammar School Number 43 on Amsterdam Avenue in NYC.
1896: Herzl is received as a journalist of the Neue Freie Presse. Herzl offers that the Jews would undertake the regulation of the Turkish finances if they were given
. Herzl cannot
obtain an audience with the Sultan. Palestine
1899: The New York Times reported that “a part of the income…of the Baron de Hirsch Fund allotted to America” will be used to improve conditions in Brownsville, a section of Brooklyn with a large Jewish population. The project is being spearheaded by Abraham Abraham, a Brooklyn merchant and A.S. Solomon, the general agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund in New York.
1909: Helen Rosenfield of Portland, Oregon married Rabbi Jonah Bondi Wise. At the time he was the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel She passed away in 1950. He passed away in 1959
1917: As part of the Allied drive to dislodge the Turks from Palestine, a move supported by the Zionists, British aircraft bombed the railway station at Tulkarm, the airfield at Ramleh and the German military headquarters in Jerusalem, located in the August Victoria church and sanatorium on the summit of the Mount of Olives
1918: “Jew Has High Rank In British Army” published today traces the career of Sir John Monash, the Australian Jew who has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and given command of a British Army Corps.
1919: “A pogrom took place today at Skvria in which 45 Jews were massacred, many were severely wounded, and 35 Jewish women were raped by army insurgents. As Whites, Reds and Cossacks battled for control of Russia during the Russian Civil War a series of pogroms took place in and around Kiev known as the Kiev Pogroms.
1919: Birthdate of Nathan Cohen, the Brooklyn born son of a New York publicist who would gain fame as Lee Solters, “a foxy, flamboyant press agent who cranked up his raspy Brooklyn-accented voice to hyperbolize about Broadway, Hollywood and a raft of clients including Frank Sintra, Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney and Wings, Led Zeppelin, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, the Muppets, Mae West and Michael Jackson. When he passed away in 2009, the New York Times would describe him as, “One of the last surviving links to a Runyonesque era when publicists would slip items to columnists at 1am over drinks at the landmark Manhattan bar Toots Shor's, Solters was a prominent press agent – or "flack", as the Americans call them – during the years when it was routine to "plant" items about stars in showbusiness columns by such gossip writers as Hedda Hopper and Walter Winchell. Over more than 40 years the gravel-voiced Solters handled more than 300 shows, including the Broadway musicals Annie, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady and Camelot, “major motion pictures including The Graduate and the hit television series, “Dallas.”
1925(1st of Tammuz, 5685): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1926: The College Board administers the first SAT exam. “In 1926, Harvard and other Ivy League schools began using the SAT test to replace the admissions test on which urban Jews had performed well.” This was part of an overall attempt to limit Jewish attendance at these elite schools. “The SAT was grounded in the earlier Ellis Island and U.S. Army World War I tests in which Jews, among others, had performed poorly. That the poor performance was largely based on the lower literacy of the foreigners and their unfamiliarity with English and American terminology was not perceived to be the principal cause for the poor test performance. Here was a test that had provided evidence Jews did not perform well; its use might help bring about the desired results. Moreover, the fact that some of the SAT questions were developed and tested on Princeton freshman and Cooper Union students (all scholarship recipients), demonstrated that smart Gentiles did well on the tests. Ironically, as time passed and Jews became literate, absorbed American terminology, and learned how to take such tests, the outcomes completely reversed. But that was in the future and not anticipated when SAT testing began in 1926”.
1929: Birthdate of Simcha Dinitz “an Israeli statesman and politician” who “served as Director General of the Prime Minister's office and political advisor to Prime Minister Golda Meir from 1969–1973, before becoming the Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 1973 to 1979.
1930: Birthdate of Harvey Slom Ginsberg, the Bangor, Maine native “a New York book editor who served long tenures at G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Harper & Row and William Morrow & Company, and whose most loyal writers included John Irving and Saul Bellow… His relationship with Mr. Bellow began at Harper & Row with Mr. Bellow’s book “The Dean’s December,” published in 1981. Mr. Ginsberg subsequently left Harper for Morrow, and for his next novel, “More Die of Heartbreak,” Mr. Bellow followed him. Mr. Ginsberg began his long partnership with Mr. Irving on the novel “The Cider House Rules,” published by Morrow in 1985, and he edited five other novels by Mr. Irving as well; they continued to work together through 2005 on a freelance basis even after Mr. Irving moved to another publishing house. His taste was high-minded, but he enjoyed a well-executed popular novel as well. In 1975 he edited “Black Sunday,” a first novel about a terror attack at the Super Bowl whose author, Thomas Harris, went on to write novels featuring the man/monster Hannibal Lecter”
1938: Four persons were killed and at least a dozen seriously wounded in a series of shootings in Jaffa today. With heavy police reinforcements, scores were beaten by police clubs. Many bystanders were roughly handled by crowds. Residents of Jaffa’s Jewish quarter fled out of fear most of them heading for near-by Tel Aviv.
1938: “Three Jewish farmers from the Zichron Jacob mysteriously disappeared this afternoon. It is believed they were kidnapped by armed Arabs and carried off to the hills.
1939: Dutch Jewish diarist Esther "Etty" Hillesum took the first of her master’s exams in Dutch Law.
1939: Herman Goering, Hitler’s number 2, led a meeting of Reich Defense Council in which he told them to prepare for total war. Hitler planned to conscript seven million soldiers. This means production work is to be given to prisoners and inmates of prisons and concentration camps.
1940: Today, Sunday, at 1:30 pm Margret and Hans Rey arrived in Lisbon.
1941: In the evening, German forces enter the village of Jedwabne, Poland
1941: The great yeshivot of Slobodka and Telz closed their doors the day after
1942: The first selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz take place on a trainload of Jews from Paris.
1942: A German convoy deported Jews from
to the death camps of Morocco Europe.
1943: Ukrainian police surround a Jewish school at
, where 534 Jewish slave
laborers are housed. The camp commandant, Thomanek, shoots several prisoners
and orders others carted off for execution. In The Holocaust, Martin
Gilbert describes how a local gentile, Jan Nakonieczmy, risked his life to hide
five Jews in his tiny henhouse. “The henhouse was only two feet high, four feet
wide, and thirteen feet long. The five
Jews were Henryk Sperber, his mother, his sister, his fiancée and his
cousin. All five survived the war. So did their savior.” Czortków, Ukraine
1943: In Czortkow; Ukrainian police began an "action" that would destroy the remaining Jewish population of about 600 people.
1943: By this date 50,000 Jews had been deported from
. The slow pace was not to
the satisfaction of the Nazis. France
1943: Birthdate of James Levine, conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. Levine was born into a musical family; his maternal grandfather was a cantor and his father was a violinist.
1944: Chaim Barlas, an agent of the Jewish Agency working in Istanbul received a copy of a 30 page report known as the ‘Auschwitz Protocols’ complied by two Jews who escaped from the camp that April. The report made it clear that the camp was a killing ground for the Jews of Europe.
1944: Operations resume at the Chelmno death camp.
1944: The Allies learn that more than 430,000 Hungarian Jews have been deported to
and murdered since May. There are about 300,000 Jews left alive in . Hungary
1944: A Red Cross delegation visits the camp/ghetto at
and is apparently fooled by the camp's superficially benign atmosphere.
However, the Red Cross almost simultaneously sends an official protest to Theresienstadt,
deportations of Hungarian Jews. Hungary
1944: After intensive search through the Lodz Ghetto for Jews, deportation began and did not end until July 14. Jews were shipped out at the rate of 3,000 a week for three weeks. They were told that they on their way to work as laborers in
or outside of Berlin . Actually the
Jews were shipped to Chelmo where they would all perish once inside the camp. Leipzig
1952(30th of Sivan, 5712): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1952: In a letter to the New York Times, Lessing J. Rosenwald, President of the American Council of Judaism, an anti-Zionist organization reiterated the group’s disagreement with the Israeli government’s new policy concerning citizenships, declaring that nationality and religion are two different issues.
1956: Gamal Abdel Nasser is elected President of the Republic of Egypt in a landslide in which 99.95 percent of the voters mark their ballots for him. A secular pan-Arabist who was the ringleader of the “Colonel’s Revolution” Nasser reportedly claimed that he did not hate the West because of Israel but hated Israel because it was of the West.
1967: Five thousand Muslims prayed on the Haram, including a thousand Israeli Muslims who had been denied access during the nineteen years of Jordanian rule.
1972: Birthdate of Actress
1986(16th of Sivan, 5746): Seventy-four year old classical scholar Sir Moses I. Finley, author of The Ancient Economy, passed away. Born Moses Israel Finkelstein in New York City he graduated from Syracuse and Columbia before taking the name of Finley in 1936. After teaching at Columbia and City College he was fired by Rutgers when he “took the 5th” when called by Senator McCarthy’s red hunting committee. He and his wife Mary moved to Great Britain where he pursued his career, another casualty of the Right Wing Red Witch Hunt.
1991: Tony Randall and Jack Klugman starred in a Broadway Performance of "The Odd Couple." Two Jewish actors took their television roles of Felix Unger and Oscar Madison back to the
stage from which these roles had sprung. The
author of this All- American hit was another Jew named Neil Simon. New
1992: Maxine Frank Singer, a leading biochemistry researcher and advocate of science education, was awarded the National Medal of Science
1992: Yitzhak Rabin wins the Israeli parliamentary elections and becomes Prime Minister for the second time. A sabra, Rabin had begun his military career in the Palmach. He rose to be Chief of Staff during the Israel’s smashing victory in 1967. Rabin signed off on the Oslo Accords in a bold attempt to bring peace to the Middle East. Rabin won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Unfortunately Rabin was murdered by a right wing zealot in 1995. This heinous crime robbed the Israelis of the one leader who might have been able to move the process forward. Would things have been different if Rabin had lived? We will never know. Obviously the assassin and his supporters felt that by killing Rabin they could kill the peace process.
1995(27th of Sivan, 5755): Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the first Polio Vaccine passed away. Another Jew, Dr. Sabine, invented the second Polio Vaccine. This is but one of the many contributions that the American Jewish Community should be celebrating and sharing with our countrymen during the 350th Anniversary of the Jewish Community in the United States.
1997: Anna Halprin received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in modern dance.
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz
2005(16th of Sivan, 5765): Prof. Nahum M. Sarna, z"l passed away.
2006: Shlomo Mola becomes the first Ethiopian to be chosen as a top executive of World Zionist Organization. Mola who now serves as the Jewish Agency's senior consultant for Ethiopian immigrants, will head the department for Zionist institutions. According to Haaretz, the nomination is especially significant, since his confirmation would mark the first time an Ethiopian immigrant has been elected to a key leadership position within the Zionist establishment that does not deal specifically with the Ethiopian sector. "It was Prime Minister Olmert's idea to have an Ethiopian deal with non-Ethiopian issues," said one World Zionist Organization insider. "It was a way of showing that after 20 years in
Ethiopians can be the boss of run-of-the-mill Israeli bureaucrats. The idea is
that it shouldn't be looked at as strange, that Ethiopians have already become
mainstream Israelis." Israel
2006: According to a report published in a scientific journal, ancient beads that may represent the oldest attempt by people at self-decoration have been identified from sites in Israel and Algeria,
The beads, made from shells with holes bored into them, date to around 100,000 years ago, some 25,000 years older than similar beads discovered two years ago in South Africa, researchers report in the journal Science. The new find involves just three shells, two from Skhul in northern
the researchers said were about 100,000 years old and one from Oued Djebbana, Israel ,
estimated to be 90,000 years old. The researchers said the shells were found
many miles from the sea, indicating they were brought to those locations
deliberately, most likely for bead-working. Algeria
The beads, made from shells with holes bored into them, date to around 100,000 years ago, some 25,000 years older than similar beads discovered two years ago in South Africa, researchers report in the journal Science. The new find involves just three shells, two from Skhul in northern
2006(27th of Sivan, 5766: Television producer Aaron Spelling passes away.
Miriam Maikon becomes a Bat Mitzvah,
at Cedar Rapids . Temple Judah
2007: The Jewish Culture Festival in
opens. The city's historic Jewish quarter (called Kazimierz) fills with music,
art, dance, lectures and exhibits - all celebrating the 900-year history of
Jews in . Poland
2007: “Pangs of The Messiah” has its English Language World Premiere at Theatre J in Washington, D.C.
, Alan Furst reads from and signs his new espionage thriller, The Spies of Warsaw, at Politics
and Prose Bookstore Washington,
, at Cedar Rapids,
a memorial service for Penny Binger, a sweet soul who loved Chasidic stories
and was a self-styled “Shlomo Charlebach Groupie.” Temple Judah
2008: Overnight, Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip fired a mortar shell into Israel – the first breach of the cease fire since it went into effect five days ago.
2008: Time magazine reviews “Apples and Oranges” by Marie Brenner
2009: Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 1st day of Tammuz, 5769
2009: Israel released the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council from prison today, ending his three-year incarceration. Aziz al-Dweik, considered a moderate Hamas leader in the West Bank, was one of several Palestinian leaders arrested after the June 2006 abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. Israeli prosecutors failed to persuade a military court to extend Dweik's prison term during a hearing last Wednesday. Dweik and dozens of other Hamas politicians in the West Bank in 2006 after gunmen from the Palestinian Islamist group in the Gaza Strip abducted Shalit in a 2006 cross-border raid. The dragnet paralyzed the Palestinian Legislative Council, which had been dominated by Hamas since it crushed President Mahmoud Abbas's Western-backed, secular Fatah faction in a parliamentary election earlier that year. The Islamists accused Israel of trying to pressure them into freeing the Shalit. Al-Dweik urged reconciliation and dialogue between Hamas and Fatah and called for the release of long-time prisoners, asking the Palestinian public to work toward this goal. "My hand is outstretched to all who want Palestinian unity," he said. "I thank you and my lawyers and journalists." Al-Dweik specifically thanked Al Jazeera reporter Guevara Budeiri, who he said was a source of encouragement for prisoners. The 60-year-old lawmaker was appointed chairman of the Palestinian parliament after the 2006 elections bringing Hamas to power, in an attempt to project a moderate message to Israel and the West. In the years before his arrest, al-Dweik worked on behalf of Hamas in Hebron, focusing on civil, rather than militant, activities and lecturing at West Bank universities. He was one of several Hamas leaders Israel deported to Lebanon in 1992, and served for a time as their English-language spokesman. He has never been convicted of security offenses and did not become publicly involved in Hamas activities after he returned to the West Bank. An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said that Dweik, who was sentenced to three years in prison for his ties to Hamas, would go free when the term was up, as a bid by prosecutors to keep him behind bars was rejected.
2009: A bankruptcy trustee recommended today that SHF Industries be allowed to buy most of the assets of Agriprocessors for $8.5 million, in addition to funds already committed to buy up about $21 million in debt owed two of Agriprocessors’ largest creditors. SHF is led by Heshey Friedman, the president of Montreal-based Polystar Plastics, which manufactures packaging for poultry and other meats. Friedman has two other partners in the venture, Daniel Hirsch and Mitch Kirschner.
2010: The Yellow Submarine is scheduled to present Hatsai Tzvaim Hatsai Kolot: Israeli poet Rachel's poetry set to music, and The Naomi Ensemble: a tribute to Naomi Shemer - a tribute to two of Israel's finest poets.
2010: Beit Avi Chai is scheduled to present "Tel Aviv-New York -- Authentic jazz with a touch of the Mediterranean"
2010: A conference organized by the Humphrey Institute for Social Research at Ben- Gurion University meeting today dealt with “the political, social and cultural role of diasporas and their links with their countries of origin or, in the case of second and third generation diaspora children, the home countries of their parents and grandparents.”
2011: Sheriff David Clarke will speak on "Security and Spirituality: Reflections on My Mission to Israel" at meeting sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
2011: A lively presentation featuring Naama Shefi of the Consulate General of Israel entitled A Food Lover's Tour of Israel” scheduled to be held at the 92nd St Y will give attendees a chance to “discover what cutting-edge Israeli chefs are creating in Israel and learn the history of dozens of the country's most famous dishes.”
2011: There are widening gaps between poor and middle class citizens in Israel in the rate of incidences of chronic disease, a report published today revealed. The report, which was based on information from four HMOs in Israel, was prepared by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services. The report characterizes poor citizens as those who receive a full or partial exemption from paying the national health tax, which is 10.1 percent of people living in Israel. There has been an increase in the prevalence of diabetics receiving medical treatment in Israel, the report reveals. The rate of diabetes who have an exemption from paying the national health tax is 16.07 percent, 4.7 times higher than tax-paying citizens, whose rate stands at 3.43 percent. These numbers reflect an equality gap which has increased by 4.3 between 2005 and 2007. In addition to diabetics, the report also reflected a disparity in rate of poor people diagnosed with asthma. Out of those exempt from the national health tax in 2009, 2.36 were diagnosed with asthma, a rate which is 2.5 times the rate of asthma diagnosed in the rest of the population. Reports reflecting similar inequalities have been published in the past as well as reports reflecting an inequality in the health care that is available in the center of the country, versus the periphery.
2011: The failure of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to retaliate in the Gaza Strip for rocket fire after disengagement – as he promised – was one of the major mistakes made after the 2005 pullout, Dan Kurtzer, who was the US envoy to Israel at the time, suggested today. Kurtzer, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, said that immediately after Israel left the Gaza Strip he told Washington “to expect a very serious Israeli response to the first act of violence coming out of Gaza.”Kurtzer, attending the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, said he “was persuaded” by what Sharon said: “That once the pretext for fighting Israel has been removed, there would be no argument for [continued violence], and in effect, the Palestinians would have to learn a lesson for continuing violence.” Kurtzer said his message to the Bush Administration was to be ready for a sharp Israeli military response to rocket fire, “and be ready to support it.” The success of disengagement rested on the aftermath of its implementation so I was very surprised there was no reaction to the first rocket, second rocket and 15th rocket,” Kurtzer said.Kurtzer, today a professor in Middle East policy at Princeton, said that Sharon argued that the rockets were landing in fields, “not really that bad,” or were being fired by dissident elements, and not the Gaza leadership.. “But all of a sudden people got acclimated to the idea that there can be rocket fire,” he said. “From there it was just a matter of degree: from one rocket a week, to one a day; from one a day, to one and hour – so it escalated. By the time Israel did respond, the provocations were very very significant, and the fabric of trust in post-disengagement had already been eroded.”Asked whether he thought the Bush administration would have accepted his recommendations to support military action, he said, “My guess is the administration would have said that they don’t see any justification for the attacks, that Israel has the right to defend itself, and that the Palestinians have responsibility to stop the rocket fire.” Another lesson to be learned from the 2005 disengagement, Kurtzer said, was that any future unilateral move needed to be “constructed differently.” “There was never really any buy-in from the Palestinian side,” he said. “So even though there were some discussions about handing over certain assets and coordinating certain moves, it literally turned into locking the fence and throwing the key back over.”better than it was.”However, he said, another lesson from disengagement is that “it may not work.”“In fact,” he said, “if you look at the four times Israel gave up territory – two through agreements, Egypt and Jordan, and two unilaterally, Lebanon and Gaza – the two through agreements worked out, and the two done unilaterally have not worked out at all.”Turning to the present situation, Kurtzer said that at this time it was incumbent upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to present his own plan on how he wanted to move forward. “American administrations going back 40 years much prefer to work on the basis of an Israeli initiative,” Kurtzer said, adding that he thought US President Barack Obama was frustrated that Netanyahu “had not come up with something.”“He [Obama] tried this idea of starting negotiations on the basis of borders and security, and Netanyahu clearly doesn’t like it,” Kurtzer said of the president’s proposal to start negotiation on the basis of the 1967 lines, with mutual agreed swaps. “I think Obama’s answer now is, ‘OK I’m not going to be angry, but tell me what you want to do. I know what you don’t want to do, now tell we what you want to do. And its not going to be sufficient to articulate more conditions.” Kurtzer said that the problem with Netanyahu’s two major policy addresses – the Bar Ilan speech in 2009, and the address in the Knesset last month – was that he listed a number of conditions, “but there is no strategy or process.” “Don’t tell me what the Palestinian have to do, because that is a precondition,” he said. “Tell me what you want to do – otherwise there is a vacuum. That is what I mean by an initiative.”Just as Israel needed to initiate something, so did the Palestinians, Kurtzer said. He downplayed the significance of the PA’s UN bid, saying that calling it a “train wreck,” as it has been characterized, was “silly.”“If they want to go to the UN, let them do it. It is going to fail in practical terms – they are not going to produce anything,” he said. “This is a nothingness, because it doesn’t accomplish anything.”Kurtzer said he failed to understand why the UN gambit was triggering such concern in Israel, saying that it would be a diplomatic triumph, but nothing else. “Now they will have embassies, rather than missions; ambassadors, rather than emissaries. They will have status, marching bands, but it doesn’t mean anything.”
2011: The Israeli Presidential Conference came to an end.
2011(21st of Sivan, 5772): Eighty-four year old Gene Colan one of the leading comic-book artists of the 20th century passed away. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2012(3rd of Tammuz, 5772): 18th Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory simply known as The Rebbe. This blog cannot do justice to his impact on Judaism or the lives of individual Jews. One does not have to be a Lubavitcher to have been impacted by the Rebbe or his corps of “Lamplighters” such as Rabbi PInchas Ciment, who brought the light of Chassidus and Judaism to some very dark places.
2012: “Hungry Kite,” the creation of Choreographer Deganit Shemy is scheduled to perform for the last time at the Chocolate Factory at Long Island City.
2012: Kulanu Toronto and Congregation Shir Libeynu are scheduled hold a pre-Pride Karaoke Night after Shabbat.
2012: Rabbi Meir Soloveichik is scheduled to discuss “Serving Man and God in the Twilight Zone: Reflections on Judaism and Western Thought,” www.torahinmotion.org