JUNE 28 In Jewish History
1389: Ottoman forces crush the armies of Christian Europe in Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe. This event is known as the Battle of Kosovo. The memory of this battle lingers to this day and has provided fuel for hostility between the different religious and ethnic groups in the Balkans. This victory of the forces of Islam over the Christians made their position in Europe just that much more precarious. And Christian insecurity was never a good thing for the Jewish population.
1491: Birthdate of King Henry VIII of England. Isabella of Aragon, the daughter of the Spanish King and Queen was Henry’s first wife. Before allowing the marriage to go forward, Henry had to promise that he would never allow Jews to settle in England. For the most part, Henry was true to his word although a small community of crypto-Jews may have settled in London. Henry’s other contact with Jews also surrounded his marriage to Isabella, only this time it revolved around his attempts to shed his wife. Henry sought to use the texts of what he called the Old Testament to prove that the marriage was invalid and that it was cursed by God. He attempted to get Rabbis in Italy to support his claims made to the Pope in Rome. The Rabbis decided that discretion was the better part of valor. Regardless of what the Bible said, they felt no need to risk their safety in Italy for the sake of capricious monarch living so far away.
1519: Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles was the grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella. Charles had already been on the Spanish throne for three years when he became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. As king of Spain, Charles was a worthy heir to his grandparents. He continued the Inquisition and enforced their philosophy regarding Jews and Marranos. But in the Germanic and central European lands that came under his role, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor showed a more benign, tolerant (for his time) attitude towards his Jewish subjects. “He made no attempt to institute the inquisition or even tamper with privileges extended by past emperors. At the Diet of 1544 held at Speyer, “Charles reaffirmed Jewish privileges” to such an extent that “the Speyer document was considered the most liberal and generous letter of protection ever granted to the Jews.” Charles defended the Jews against the anti-Semitic attacks of Martin Luther. “When Spanish troops entered Germany in 1546 during the Emperor’s campaign against rebellious Protestant princes…Charles issued an order to his army not to molest the Jews.” [Editor’s note: If you can find an explanation for this seemingly schizophrenic behavior, please let me know.]
1635: On behalf of the Company of the American Islands, a French owned enterprise Charles Lienard and Jean Duplessis, Lord of Ossonville began the colonization of the Island of Guadeloupe. This did not make the island part of the French Empire which made it possible for the Jews to settle there. Starting with their arrival in 1654, the Jews prospered in the fishing processing business and owned several sugar cane plantations. This would all come to an end when the colony was annexed by the French Empire and the Jews were expelled under the “Black Code.
1712: Birthdate of Swiss philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Unlike some other Enlightenment philosophers, Rousseau did not dabble in anti-Semitism. He may not have been Philo-Semitic but in his limited references to the Jewish people he wrote with unusual understanding and compassion. “We shall never know the inner motives of the Jews until the day they have their own free state, schools and universities where they can speak and argue without fear. Then, and only then, shall we know what they really have to say.”
1762: Catherine II (whom the Boyars called “the Great”) ascends the throne of Russia. The German born Czarina followed her husband Peter III who died under mysterious circumstances in which she might have had a hand. The Jewish historian Salo Baron described her as possessing a rational attitude. Under the partition of Poland, Catherine became the ruler of Lithuanian with its large Jewish population. At first, Catherine tried to “thread the needle” of not offending the Russian Orthodox by granting her Jewish subjects too much freedom while taking advantage of their professional and business skills. In the end, she succumbed to pressure from Russian merchants who hid behind religion and limited the activities of her Jewish subjects to an area that would become known as “The Pale of Settlement.”
1809: A.M. Rothschild writes from Frankfurt to his son Nathan in London telling him that writing in Hebrew was fine for discussing family matters but not for conveying business information.
1821: Birthdate of Max Maretzek, the native of Austria who became an opera impresario in London and New York.
1828: Hyam Harris was the first person interred by "Shaare Chessed," a burial society in New Orleans.
1831: Birthdate of Hungarian/German violinist and composer, Joseph Joachim.
1836: Former President James Madison passed away. Madison worked with his mentor Thomas Jefferson to ensure freedom of religion in the state of Virginia in the years between the Revolution and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Madison played in a key role in the ratification of the first ten amendments of the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. The first of those amendments guaranteed the separation of church and state. Madison was the first President to appoint a Jew to a U.S. diplomatic post.
1838: The coronation of Victoria of the United Kingdom. Victoria was on the throne until 1901. Her long tenure gave an era its name. But under the British system of government she regined but did not rule which means she had only a limited impact on growing role of Jews in her realm. Early in reign, she sided with Moses Motifore as he sought to protect the Jews of Syria during the Damascus Blood Libel lending him her royal yacht for his trip to France. On the other hand,in 1869 she exercised her royal prerogative when it came to creating new peerages by blocking the appointment of Lionel Rothschild to the House of Lords. According to Frederick Morton, one of her biographers, “it was not until Suez became British though Jewish money” and she came under the spell of Benjamin Disraeli that she relented and allowed Lionel’s son to enter the Lords. As she aged, Victoria would visit “the French estate of Baron Rothschild.” Despite her lack of political clout, she did attempt to intervene on behalf of the Russian Jews as Tsar Alexander III worked to make their lives increasingly unbearable. On the other hand, she was not pleased with the growing number of Jews who made up the social circle of her son, the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward
1851: David Salomons stood as a Liberal candidate at a by-election in the Greenwich constituency, and was elected today as one of the constituency's two Members of Parliament (MPs). He was not permitted to serve in the House of Commons, because he had not taken the oath of abjuration in the form established by Parliament. However, he did not withdraw quietly: instead he took the oath, but omitted the Christian phrases, and took his seat on the government benches. He was asked to withdraw, and did so on the second request, but he returned three days later, on 21 July 1851. In the debate that followed, Salomons defended his presence on grounds of having been elected by a large majority, but was eventually removed by the Sergeant-at-Arms, and fined £500 for having voted illegally in three divisions of the House
1866: Benjamin Disraeli began serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader in the House of Commons in the cabinet of the Earl of Derby, the Prime Minister
1874: It was reported today that in the second-hand clothing trade silk and velvet waistcoats that appear to be worn out can be re-worked and made into skull-caps for German and Polish Jews.
1877(17th of Tammuz, 5637):Tzom Tammuz
1878: B.L. Solomon & Sons one of the largest and oldest of importers and dealers in upholstery and furniture in the country failed today. The business was established was established 45 years ago by B.L Solomon under the name of Solomon and Hart.
1882: It was reported today that Henry Holt & Co is issuing a book about the effects of the American Revolution – America and France: The Influence of the United States on France in the Eighteenth Century by Lewis Rosenthal.
1882: The dedicatory services for the new Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews to place at the new building located a one half mile south of Yonkers on Riverdale Avenue in New York.
1882: About 7:30 this evening a group of striking freight handlers attacked Russian Jews who had replaced them in Battery Park just outside of Castle Garden. A half hour later the strikers turned their attention to a group of returning Italian workers who proved to be more of a problem since they were armed with armed bars, sticks and dirks. After police intervened the Jews said they would not go back to work on the piers as replacement workers for the strikers.
1882: It was reported that Dr. Samuel Davidson is preparing a new book on Christian eschatology in which he will compare the doctrines of Christianity and Judaism. [This is evidence of the difference between the European and American view of Judaism. In the latter case it was something to be studied not condmned.]
1883: Birthdate of right wing French political leader Pierre Laval who eventually became Prime Minister of the Vichy Government where he aggressively followed pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic policies that would lead to his execution in 1945.
1883: A Russian Jew named Julius Simon, his wife and six children arrived in New York today aboard the steam-ship Egyptian Monarch. Simon who said he was sent to the United States by the Jewish Ladies Board of London claims to be entirely destitute.
1885: “Orthodoxy and Reform” published today described the clash between these two wings of Judaism as personified by Rabbit Kohut on one sides and Rabbis Kohler and Gottheil on the other. Kohler contends that although he disagrees with Kohut on matters related to religion, he considers him a personal friend.
1885: It was reported today that the elevation of Lord Rothschild to a peerage is unique because of his ethnicity it follows the same pattern of other “plutocrats” who have been so honored.
1885: The Jewish neighborhood along Harrison Street suffered some of the worst damage when a rain storm struck Baltimore this morning followed by flooding which was the worst to hit the city since 1868.
1886: It was reported today that the new monthly magazine which will be the official publication of the B’nai B’rith, is to be named The Menorah. The Jewish fraternal organization is thought to represent over 10 per cent of the country’s Jewish population.
1900(1st of Tammuz, 5660): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1900: Birthdate of Arthur Levitt, New York lawyer and politician who served as New York State Comptroller and was the father of SEC Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
1902: Birthdate of Richard Rodgers. Rodgers would team with Lorenz Hart and then Oscar Hammerstein in writing numerous Broadway musicals including
In reading Mr. Rodgers' obituary in the New York Times one would have no idea
that he was Jewish. In fact the only hint comes in a comment that during
the early 1920's when he could not get anything on Broadway he "put on
amateur productions for schools and synagogues." Oklahoma
1906: Birthdate of Israeli archaeologist Binyamin Mazar. Besides as distinguished career that included the excavation at Beth Shearim, Mazar produced a family of archaeologists including son Ory, grandchildren Eilat and Dan and nephew Amihai Mazar.
1906: Birthdate of Maria Goeppert Mayer, German born
who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1963.
Mayer was not Jewish. She did
come to the US
during the 1930’s where she remained for the rest of her life. Aside from her
scientific work, she supported Jewish female colleagues who had immigrated to
the United States . This latter selfless act certainly should
rate her at least honorable mention as a righteous gentile. USA
1912: After four months of conflict, the entire Council of Jewish Community at Constantinople resigns.
1914: Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife were assassinated at
by Serbian nationalists. According to at least one source, he was going
to view the Sarajevo Haggadah when he was killed. This assassination set
in motion the events that started World War One. World War was not
inevitable. It actually took more than a
month for the war to actually break out. Three Austro-Hungarian Field Marshals
and eight generals were Jewish. “One of them, Field Marshal Johann Georg Franz
Hugo Friedlander, was deported by the Germans in 1943 from Sarajevo to the Theresienstadt Ghetto and from
there in 1944, to Vienna Auschwitz, where he died.” While
there are no exact figures the best estimates indicate that a million and half
Jews served as soldiers in the armies on both sides of the conflict. The
horrors of war fell hardest on the Jews of Eastern Europe and American Jews
made Herculean efforts to provide aid for their suffering brethren.
1914: Birthdate of Aribert Heim a former Austrian doctor, also known as "Dr. Death". As an SS doctor in a Nazi concentration camp in Mauthausen, he is accused of killing and torturing many inmates through various methods, such as direct injections of toxic compounds into the hearts of his victims. Along with Alois Brunner, Heim — who would now be (as of 2008) in his early nineties — is one of the last major Nazi fugitives still at large. However, according to a 2007 publication by former Israeli Air Force Colonel Danny Baz Heim was kidnapped from Canada and taken to Santa Catalina off the Californian coast, where he was killed by a Nazi hunting team code named “The Owl” in 1982. Baz himself claims to have been part of this group. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, as well as the French Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld say this is not true.
1914: Miss Henrietta Szold, Nathan Straus, Dr. J. L. Magnes, and Dr. Stephen Wise of New York arrived in Rochester, New York early this morning to attend a meeting of Zionists. Tje convention of Zionists will be formally opened by Louis Lipsky of New York, Chairman, who will introduce Dr. Schmarya Levin of Berlin. Levin will address the delegates in behalf of the International Executive Committee, whose headquarters are in Berlin. Dr Levin will speak in Hebrew and German. Max Lowenthal will welcome the delegates in behalf of the Jews of Rochester.
1915: During a meeting of the Zionist Federation in Boston, a dinner was held in Mechanics’ Hall where 1,400 attendees listened to speeches by Louis D. Brandeis, Nathan Straus and Rabbi Stephen Wise, among others. Brandeis was hailed as the leader of the movement to create a Jewish home in Palestine. Rabbi Wise’s call for additional funds brought the following response. During the evening it was announced that Mr. and Mrs. Julius Rosenwald of Chicago would donate $1,000 per month to the Zionist cause for the duration of the World War and would continue making their donations for a full year after a peace treaty was signed. an anonymous donor from New York gave $6,000 while Samuel Untermyer and Eugene Meyer each gave $3,000.
1917: In Manhattan, Aaron and Anna Schiff gave birth to Solomon “Sol” Joseph Schiff “whose rocketing, flat forehand propelled him to national and world table tennis championships in the 1930s when he was still in his teens, and who later earned the unofficial title “Mr. Table Tennis” as an ardent advocate for his sport…” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
1917: Fareynikt Moishe Zilberfarb began serving as Deputy-Secretary of Jewish Affairs in the General Secretariat of Ukraine, the main executive institution of the Ukrainian People's Republic.
1919: The Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, ending World War I. The United States Senate would fail to ratify the treaty, which meant the
join the U.S. League of Nations. Many Germans
resented the terms of the treaty. This resentment helped to undermine the
and helped the Nazis in their
rise to power. In other words, from the Jewish point of view, the treaty
contained the seeds of destruction. Weimar Republic
1921; Birthdate of Dorothea Herz who as Dorothea Rabkin she joined forces with her husband Leon to build a collection of American folk art noted for the whirligigs and other sculptures made by anonymous carvers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Starting not long after their marriage in 1958, the Rabkins spent decades scouring flea markets and secondhand shops. They acquired some traditional pieces like quilts and baskets, but they also bought objects few people wanted then — the works by unschooled artisans that are known today as outsider art. Their collection grew to more than 1,200 items, including paintings by self-taught black artists like Sam Doyle and Mose Tolliver. But the Rabkins were best known for figural folk sculpture, amassing one of the finest collections in private hands. Most often carved in wood, sometimes made of metal, the sculptures are typically human in form, depicting men and women at work and at play. Besides whirligigs, articulated pieces designed to move or spin in a breeze, they include tradesmen’s mannequins, ventriloquists’ dummies and dolls. Artwork from the Rabkins’ collection has been reproduced widely in books and exhibited around the country. More than 200 of the couple’s pieces are now in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum in New York. One of the most instantly recognizable is the whirligig “Uncle Sam Riding a Bicycle,” among the most emblematic works of American folk art of any kind. Nearly five feet long and carved of wood, it was made between 1880 and 1920. When a propeller at the front is turned, Uncle Sam, in top hat and tails, pedals his little bike. Behind him, a richly carved American flag (the reverse side is Canadian) seems to ripple in the breeze. Among other notable objects the Rabkins gave the museum is an elaborate sheet-metal farm scene from the early 20th century that, set in motion, is almost Rube Goldbergian in its symphony of contingencies: a man pumps water, and a horse drinks it; a fisherman pulls on his rod as a chicken steals a worm from his bait can. As associates said in interviews this week, Ms. Rabkin had a keen eye for unheralded talent. (She was an early advocate, for instance, of the Pennsylvania folk painter Justin McCarthy.) From the mid-1980s till her retirement in 2007, she served on the collections committee of the folk art museum, advising it on acquisitions. Rabkin was born in Berlin. Her father was Jewish. Her mother was not. After Hitler came to power in 1933, the mother left the family and repudiated her children. In the years that followed, Dorothea and her twin sister, Rose, were shuttled among sympathetic Christian neighbors, sometimes together, sometimes apart, often hidden in closets. They dared not go to school, and their formal education ended. After the war began, the twins, now young adults, found themselves adrift in Berlin. Living separately and furtively, they and an older sister, Elizabeth, passed as Gentiles. (Dorothea dyed her hair platinum blond, her husband said.) During this period, their father, pursued by the Gestapo, killed himself. Their mother survived the war. Rose made her way to New York in 1948. Dorothea arrived the next year, carrying, as she later said, “an empty suitcase.” She found work as a cook in a Schrafft’s restaurant and was later an assistant to a rare-book dealer. In January 1958, Dorothea met Leo Rabkin on a blind date; they married that May. A native of Cincinnati, Mr. Rabkin is an abstract artist whose work is in the collections of major museums; for many years he was also a teacher of troubled adolescents at the Livingston School for Girls on King Street in Manhattan. She passed away at the age of 87, a victim of Parkinson disease cared for by her husband Leo, her sole immediate survivor.
1926: Birthdate of comedian/actor/director Mel Brooks
1929: Release date of the first film adaptation of “Showboat” based on the novel by Edna Ferber with music by Jerome Kern
1933: “In a speech to German newspaper publishers, Hitler describes the government’s new journalistic regulations.” (Jewish Virtual Library)
1934: Birthdate of Carl Milton Levin a Democratic United States Senator from Michigan and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He has been in the Senate since 1979 and
senior senator since 1995. He is the longest-serving Michigan Senator ever to represent US . Michigan
1936: The Palestine Post reported that after a train was derailed near Lydda, and one British soldier and an Arab railway man were killed, the town was ordered by the authorities to pay a 5,000 pound collective fine. The mufti of
Haj Amin el-Husseini again alleged in his statement, mailed to the high
commissioner, that Jews planned to restore their ancient holy places on the
site of al-Aksa mosque. He had also complained that British Army soldiers
disregarded the sanctity of Muslim holy places and searched for arms hidden
inside mosques. Two British soldiers were wounded while protecting linesmen
repairing sabotaged telephone lines. Jerusalem
1938: The British authorities refused to commute the sentence Solomon ben Yosef, a Jewish youth, who is to be hanged tomorrow for having fired at an Arab-owned bus although he caused no casualties.
1939: “Delegates to the forty second annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America heald an outdoor meeting at the Jewish Pavilion at the World’s Fair” after having concluded its regular business sessions. This occasion coincided with the 30th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv, the all-Jewish city that has grown from a sand dune to a modern metropolis with 150,000 inhabitants.
1940: In a letter to Lord Lloyd lamenting the Colonial Sectary’s opposition to arming the Jews of Palestine, Churchill that because of this policy “twenty thousand sorely needed British and Australian troops were tied up in
. This is the price we have to pay for the
anti-Jewish policy which has been persisted in for some years…I is little less
than a scandal at a time when we are fighting for our lives that these very
large forces should be immobilized in support of a policy which only commends
itself to a section of the Conservative Party.” Palestine
1941: German forces entered the Polish city of
which had been in the Soviet
Zone. This marked the start of the
destruction of the Jewish community of Drohobych. Drohobych
1941: Chief of Gestapo, Henirich Muller, sent Adolph Eichmann to review the destruction in Bialystok and Minsk.
1941: For two days, in the German-occupied town of
Lithuanian police and released convicts use iron bars to beat hundreds of Jews
to death in the city's streets. Thousands more Jews are murdered at Lithuania ,
and another 5000 are killed at Kovno, Lithuania . Brest-Litovsk,
1942: Following the end of fighting at Minsk 40,000 Jews are now trapped in the Nazi killing machine.
1942: All Jews living in
over the age of 6 are
required to wear an armband with a yellow Star of David France
1943: Samuel Levy, former Borough President of Manhattan and chairman of the Board of Directors of Yeshiva and Yeshiva College announced today that Dr. Samuel Belkin, Talmudic scholar and dean of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Yeshiva) since 1941, has been elected president of Yeshiva and Yeshiva College
1944: As the Red Army approaches the concentration camp at Maly Trostinets, Belorussia, near Minsk, regular SS troops replace the non-German SS-auxiliary guards. All surviving prisoners--Jews and non-Jewish Russian civilians--are herded into a barracks that is set ablaze. Any prisoners who manage to exit the burning building are shot. About 20 Jews who had come to Maly Trostinets from the camp/ghetto at
, escape to the woods; Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia
1945(17th of Tammuz, 5705): As the ashes of the Holocaust settle over Europe, Tzom Tammuz took on an additional level of sorrow.
1945: Birthdate of Representative Jane Harman representing
’s 36th district California
1946: Birthdate of Gilda Radner, the
born, comedienne who gained famed for weekly appearances on the television show,
Saturday Night Live. Detroit
1947: Birthdate of Mark Helprin “an American novelist, journalist, and conservative commentator.”
1951: The Jerusalem Post reported that a modified scheme for national insurance was finally approved by the government and was to be brought before the Knesset. Registration continued for the Four-Year People's Housing Scheme. Twelve thousand housing units were expected to be allocated to needy citizens yearly.
1952: On Shabbat, in Tel Aviv, taxicab drivers pull their vehicles off the road in protest over the government’s new restriction on use of gasoline and restrictions on driving of personal vehicles.
1956: A bill designed to abolish the death penalty that had been introduced by Sydney Silverman received overwhelming approval in the House of Commons. It was later voted down in the House of Lords.
1967: Several thousand Jews returned to the
amphitheatre on Hebrew University , the scene of the
inauguration of the university in 1925, cut off from the rest of Mount
Scopus since 1948. Jerusalem
removed the barriers that separated occupied east Israel from the rest of the city. This
marked the first time that Jerusalem
was one city since the illegal occupation by the Jordanians in 1948. Jerusalem
1969: Seymour Pine led the raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. Inspector Pine, who was commander of the New York Police Department’s vice squad for Lower Manhattan when led eight officers into the Stonewall Inn, an illegal club frequented by cross-dressers. Pine later apologized for his role in the raid. The raid touched off the Stonewall Uprising, a major turning point for the GLBT to gain full civil rights.
1969: Birthdate of award winning Israeli actress of Ayelet Zurer
1975: Rod Serling passed away. He gained fame as the creator and opening line presenter of Twilight Zone television series. Serling was born and raised as a Reform Jew. He became a Unitarian while in college in an attempt to mollify his wife's family who were upset at the prospect of having a Jewish son-in-law.
1976: The Jerusalem Post reported that an Air France jumbo jet was hijacked over
some 216 passengers, including about 70 Israelis, aboard. This was the first
instance of the hijacking of an Air France plane. Distraught relatives of
Israeli passengers waited all night at Greece
and the Air France offices in Tel Aviv. (This would prove to be the first act
in an adventure that became known as The Raid on Ben-Gurion Airport . Entebbe
1979(2nd of Tammuz, 5739): Stuart Schulberg passed away. The son of producer and studio executive B.P. Schulberg and younger brother of novelist/screenwriter Budd Schulberg, Stuart Schulberg was born in Los Angeles and educated at the University of Chicago. He produced Marshall Plan films for the U.S. government after World War II, later co-producing two feature films, "No Way Back" (No Way Back (1953)), named best West German film in 1954, and "Special Delivery" (Special Delivery (1955)) with Joseph Cotten and Eva Bartok. In October 1956, he and brother Budd formed Schulberg Productions, Inc., which produced Wind Across the Everglades (1958). Stuart joined NBC Television in 1961 as co-producer of "David Brinkley's Journal" and in 1965 was named producer of NBC's "Sports in Action." After a period as an independent documentary film producer working on "The Angry Voices of Watts" (1966) and "The New Voices of Watts" (1968) he rejoined NBC and was producer of "The Today Show" until 1976. Both Stuart and Budd Schulberg were nominated for Emmys for "Angry Voices".
1980: Molly Picon received a Creative Achievement Award from the Performing Arts Unit of B'nai B'rith.
1984(28th of Sivan, 5744): Yigael Yadin an Israeli archeologist, politician, and the second Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, passed away. There is no way to do justice to the life of this fascinating man who did it all from leading Israel in the fight for independence to taking part in some of the most important archaeological digs in history. If you did not know he had lived this life you would have thought it was a product of some famous fiction writer.
1987: A children’s memorial designed by Moshe Safdie and financed by an American Jew named Abraham Spiegel who had lost his two year old son at Auschwitz, opened at Yad Vashem
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth by Norman G. Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn.
2001 in New York City, New York, Matt Bloom defeated Kane to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
2001: American philosopher Mortimer Adler passed away. Adler was born into a non-observant Jewish home. He began his philosophic quest in his teens. Before his death, Adler converted to Roman Catholicism.
2003: At the Library of Congress opening of an exhibition entitled Herblock’s Gift: Selections from the Herb Block Foundation Collection
2007: Screening of “From
the Front” at the Vilna Shul
/ Philadelphia for Jewish Heritage in Boston Center . For more about this film see www.fromphiladelphiatothefront.com Boston, MA
2007: Israel’s President Moshe Katsav signed a plea agreement under which the rape charges against him will be dropped and he will serve no active jail time.
2007: David Miliband begins serving as Secretary of State of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
2007: Tel Aviv held its three White Night festival. Following the tradition of the French, the cultural institutions of Israel’s largest metropolis keep their doors open until “the wee hours of the night.”
2007(12th of Tamuz, 5767): Rabbi Abraham J. Klausner, a Jewish chaplain in the United States Army who arrived at the Dachau concentration camp a few days after its liberation in 1945 and a strong voice for thousands of Holocaust survivors who remained in displaced persons camps for years after the war, passed away at his home in New Mexico at the age of 92. Rabbi Klausner was the leader of Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, a Reform congregation, from 1954 until his retirement in 1989. He wrote several books, including one that posed something of a challenge to Jews concerned about the future of the Jewish family: a guide to interfaith weddings. But Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization in Los Angeles that fights anti-Semitism, said Rabbi Klausner was “the father figure” for the more than 30,000 emaciated survivors found at Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich, after it was liberated on April 29, 1945, and later for thousands more left in camps as the Allies tried to determine where they should go. “They were still pawns in the international gamesmanship as to who was going to take them,” Rabbi Hier said. “In the critical years when no one wanted them, when there was no State of Israel, Rabbi Klausner was the only address they had.” When Earl G. Harrison, the dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was dispatched by President Harry S. Truman to assess conditions in postwar Germany, Rabbi Klausner met him in Munich and persuaded him to visit several of the so-called D.P. camps. In a scathing report to Truman criticizing Army supervision of the camps, Mr. Harrison wrote, “As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them, except that we do not exterminate them.” Under orders from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, and with Mr. Harrison as the American representative to the Intergovernmental Commission on Refugees, conditions in the camps were improved. Abraham Judah Klausner was born in Memphis on April 27, 1915, one of five children of Rabbi Joseph Klausner and Tillie Binstalk Klausner. He graduated from the University of Denver in 1938 and from Hebrew Union College in 1941. In addition to his son Jeremy, Rabbi Klausner is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Judith Steinberg; two other sons, Amos and Michael; a daughter, Robin Cooper; and two grandchildren. In 1986, Rabbi Klausner wrote “Weddings: A Complete Guide to All Religious and Interfaith Marriage Services” (Alpha Publishing Company). The book provided texts of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Russian Orthodox and Muslim wedding services, and suggestions for combining texts of different faiths. For Rabbi Klausner, refusing to marry interfaith couples was a mistake. “It’s a very traumatic experience to have a clergyman reject your judgment,” he told The New York Times in 1989. “I don’t think this is the role of religion, which should heal and help.” Rabbi Klausner’s other books include “A Child’s Prayer Book” (Emanuel Press, 1979) and his memoir, “A Letter to My Children: From the Edge of the Holocaust” (Holocaust Center of Northern California, 2002). It was in May 1945, three weeks after Dachau had been liberated, that Lieutenant Klausner (he would later be promoted to captain) arrived at the camp with the 116th Evacuation Hospital. “He was a rabbi in an American uniform,” Rabbi Hier said. “He was horrified by the fact that the survivors were still living as virtual prisoners. When they didn’t have adequate bedding or enough food, he got it for them; he got kosher provisions for those who wanted it.” Rabbi Klausner wrote letters of protest about conditions in the camp and sent them up the chain of command. He listed every survivor at Dachau and made sure the list was posted at other camps. “He brought hundreds and hundreds of families together,” Rabbi Hier said. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
2008: Birkat Hachodesh - On Shabbat, Jews around the world prepare for the saddest month of the year, by announcing that month of Av will arrive on the seventh day of the upcoming week.
2009: "The Java Jews, an energetic and talented group from Des Moines, IA, with guest artist John Manning, University of Iowa Professor of Tuba perform at the Hillel House at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone” by D.D. Guttenplan
2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish reader including “Arthur Miller: 1915-1962” by Christopher Bigsby and the recently released paperback edition of “For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago” by Simon Baatz
2009: Today, Gideon Shalit’s family said that they would no longer respond to ongoing rumors about their son's release. They claimed the rumors were released by Hamas in order to put pressure on the Israeli government to free terrorists. Defense Minister Barak, too, claimed the rumors are harmful to the efforts to achieve the soldier's release.
2009: The Civil Aviation Authority suspended flights to three southern Russian cities today following a dispute with Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency. All flights from Israel to Sochi, Rostov and Krasnodar have been discontinued until further notice. The underlying cause of the dispute was an attempt by the Russian aviation authority to create a situation in which Russian airlines would dominate the routes at the expense of Israeli carriers.
2009: Tony Kushner’s latest play, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures,” is scheduled to have its final performance.
2010: Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings began today.
2010: The committee appointed to investigate the flotilla crisis of a month ago held its first meeting today
2011: Philip Roth, the much-lauded author of "Portnoy's Complaint", is scheduled to be officially awarded the biennial Man Booker International Prize in London today. The prize, announced during the Sydney Writers' Festival, is worth 60,000 pounds for the winner, and living authors whose works of fiction are either originally in English or generally available in English translation are eligible. It honors a writer's body of work as opposed to the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which is awarded for a single book.
2011: An opening reception is scheduled to be held this evening marking the opening of an exhibition that will include “Under Destruction” a work created by Ariel Schlesinger, a sabara who studied at Bezalel, Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem
2011: Justice Ministry officials came out today in defense of Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, who been under public attack in the wake of Rabbi Dov Lior's arrest a day earlier for allegedly encouraging incitement. Lior was arrested, questioned, and released yesterday after refusing to appear for an inquiry for his endorsement of the controversial book, “Torat Hamelech,” which justifies killing non-Jews. His arrest prompted several protests, as right-wing activists attempted to block the entrance to Jerusalem and around 200 protesters gathered outside the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem. 20 MKs have signed an appeal to disband Nitzan's team. MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said today that Nitzan, with help from Attorney General Yehuda , "holds the entire settler community as guilty until proven innocent." Ariel added that "the recommendation to question Rabbi Lior underscores a strategy of intimidation and silencing, that reflects an atmosphere of incitement coming from the state prosecution." But some of the attacks on Nitzan were more violent in nature. A poster has been circulating featuring a photograph of Nitzan and the words: "enemy of the Torah." Far-right activist Itamar Ben Gvir said Nitzan is "brewing up a storm." Due to past protests by the right-winger against Nitzan there is already a security detail guarding his home in Jerusalem. Justice department officials wrote in a letter that "in a law-abiding state, where a president, prime ministers, ministers and MKs, religious leaders and senior public figure have been questioned, no one is above the law. The officials emphasized that for a long time there have been negotiations with the rabbi's aides in an attempt to bring him to questioning in a dignified and quiet way. "These attempts were rejected, so there was no choice but to issue the arrest warrant," they wrote. Earlier on today, opposition leader Tzipi Livni attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not supporting law enforcement and justice officials. "How do you not defend the officials in the Justice Ministry who are working to uphold the law, while there is severe incitement against them from the outside?" Livni asked. "No one likes to see a rabbi arrested, including me," Livni said. "And I also don't like to see a prime minister under investigation or a president going to prison, but Israel must maintain itself as a law-abiding country where everyone is equal before the law."
2011: The lower house of the Dutch parliament voted to ban the ritual slaughter of animals, Reuters reported. Under the bill passed today, animals are required to be stunned before slaughter. Both Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter must be performed while the animal is fully conscious. The upper house still must approve the measure, which is being protested by Holland’s Jewish and Muslim communities as an attack on their religious freedom. Some 40,000 Jews and about 1 million Muslims live in the country. The bill was put forward by the Animal Rights Party, which claims that stunning before slaughter causes less pain to the animal. The Jewish and Muslim communities have a year to prove otherwise or the law goes into effect. "This is absolutely impossible to prove," Netherlands Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs told Reuters. "You can't ask the animal how it feels afterwards." The European Union requires animals to be stunned before slaughter, but makes exceptions for religiously mandated ritual slaughter. Nevertheless, ritual slaughter is banned in Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
2011: Dr. Oliver Wolf Sacks discussed his work and his personal health issues during the BBC documentary “Imagine.”
2011: According to Haaretz, today in his “remarks to the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians, Ronald Lauder scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a number of missteps, including lacking a diplomatic plan heading into the September UN vote on Palestinian statehood and setting preconditions for negotiations as part of the peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict,
2011: An estimated hundred thousand people took part in the funeral procession of Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz in Bnei Brack today. Lefkowitz, an admired educational figure in the Lithuanian and general haredi world, passed away at the age of 97 yesterdy. Born in Valozhyn, he arrived in Israel in 1936. For over the past 50 years he headed the prestigious Yeshivat Ponovezh L’Tzeirim for young yeshiva students in Bnei Brak, alongside Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman. Over the years Lefkowitz became one of the sector's leading educators, who rarely was involved in political issues, considered an authority on matters of spiritual guidance.
2012: The remaining 18 families living at Givat Ulpana are scheduled to leave their homes today and move to temporary housing at a nearby military base. (As reported by Josh Davidovich)
2012: In Portland, Oregon, The American Conference of Cantors-Guild of Temple Musicians' Convention is scheduled to come to a close.
2012: Chris Murphy, Chief of Staff to D.C. Mayor Gray, is scheduled to speak at noontime meeting sponsored by The D.C. Commission of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)
2012: Israeli cellist Yoed Nir is scheduled to perform at the Peace & Love Festival in Borlange, Sweden.