JUNE 7 In Jewish History
1099: During the First Crusade, the Christians begin the siege of Jerusalem. The armies of the First Crusade (1096-99) reached the walls of Jerusalem. The First Crusade would prove to be the most successful of all of the crusades in terms of meeting the goal of reclaiming the Christian Homeland from the Moslem infidel. Forgotten in all of this were the true titleholders – the Jews – except when it came to massacring them. It is ironic that events on this same seventh day of June set matters to right.
1233: For the first time, Jews were ordered to wear distinctive clothing was mandated in
1365: Urban V issued “Sicuti judaeis non debet” a Papal Bull that forbade people from molesting Jews or forcing them to be baptized.
1494: Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas which divided the New World between the two countries. Considering the Inquisition and the Expulsion from Iberia, this division could have meant that Jews would have been banned from the Western hemisphere. Fortunately for the Jews, Protestant Holland and Anglican England (as well as France) did not recognize the treaty and had other plans for dividing the lands of the New World.1594(5354): Roderigo Lopez a Marrano physician was hanged in England. Born in 1525, he supposedly arrived in
1654: Louis XIV wass crowned King of France. Louis’ record in dealing with the Jews was, uneven to say the least. In keeping with the mercantilist policies of his minister Colbert, Louis issued a charter of liberty for Jews under royal authority in 1671. Among other things, this opened up the port of Marseilles as a harbor where Jews could trade freely, much to the consternation of the local Christian merchants. When the merchants complained, Louis (in a reply probably written by Colbert) responded: “Commercial envy will always impel the Christian merchants to persecute Jews. But you should be above such motives that issue from personal interests. You should take into consideration the benefits the government derives from the industrial activity of the Jews, which comprises all the parts of the world thanks to their association with their coreligionists.” This benign attitude did not last forever. As Colbert fell from favor and Louis grew more pious as he grew older, he acceded to demands to ban Jews from various parts of his empire. In 1710, “He ordered Jews ‘to leave the kingdom without any belongings,’ and told local officials to take any and all means to expel Jews ‘because that is our wish.’”1692: Port Royal, Jamaica is hit by a catastrophic earthquake; in just three minutes, 1600 people are killed and 3000 are seriously injured. Jew first started arriving in Port Royal in 1663, eight years after the British took the island from the Spanish. Sadly, there is little documentation of Jewish life in Port Royal, but earthquake survivor Edmund Heath's account of the infamous 1692 event, notes the existence of a Jew's street and synagogue which records locate on New Street running parallel to Cannon Street. The Jewish legacy in Port Royal also includes a cemetery at Hunt's Bay. During the 17th century it was not unusual to see Jewish families carrying their loved ones by boat across the harbor to be buried.
1753: In Great Britain, an Act of Parliament styled “The Jewish Naturalization Act 1753” received royal assent today. The Act gave foreign-born Jews to become naturalized by making application to Parliament. This meant that foreign born Jews would enjoy the same rights as native born English Jews. While the act enjoyed support in the House of Lords, it was repealed in 1754 due to opposition from the Tories in the House of Commons. [Ed. Note – When the “Jew Bill was introduced in the 19th century, the pros and cons would be just the opposite with the Commons supporting the bill and the Lords opposing it.
1852: Birthdate of David Kaufman, the native of Moravia who became one of the leading scholars in the fields of history and the philosophy of religion.
1854: The New York Times reported that Frederika Bremer has written a warm appeal to the Swedish Parliament on behalf of the Jews.
1857: The New York Times reported that the Weekly Gleaner: A Voice of Israel, a Jewish newspaper, is now being published in San Francisco. Rabbi Julius Eckman was the paper's publisher.
1858: An article entitled "New York City: The Rogue's Portrait Gallery" published today says that Number 169 is a likeness of an old vagabond called "Jew Mike
1861: Today subscribers across the country opened the Jewish Messenger to read a response by the fledgling Shreveport Jewish community to column entitled "Stand By the flag" written by Rabbi Samuel Isaacs. The resolution, signed by M. Baer, President of the Shreveport community, proclaims: “We solemnly pledge ourselves to stand by, protect, and honor the flag, with its stars and stripes, the Union and Constitution of the Southern Confederacy with our lives, liberty, and all that is dear to us.” In harsh language, Baer identifies Isaacs as “an enemy to our interest and welfare,” and accuses him of raising “hatred and dissatisfaction in our midst, and assisting to start a bloody civil war amongst us.”
1865: Ferdinand James Anselm von Rothschild married his cousin Evelina de Rothschild the daughter of Lionel de Rothschild
1870: The attorney representing Sigmund, Joseph and Julius Walberg who are “charged with making false revenue returns as brokers” made a motion for discharge.1870: The news that a congregation in Charlottesville had voted to join the Reform Movement was greeted with applauses at today meeting of the Rabbinical Council being held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1870: The Rabbinical Council adopted a resolution providing for a “uniform reading” of the Torah over a three year period at Sabbath services. The selections should omit “antiquated laws.”
1871: In Cincinnati, Ohio, a meeting of the Rabbinical Council, the governing body of the Reform Movement, the Prayerbook Committee was authorized to publish their new work as soon as it was ready.1871: An article entitled “Russian Tyranny and Jewish Resistance” published today reported that Jews in Poland have resisted the government orders to do away with their traditional attire, hair styles and beards. Since the Jews are not following the news edicts, the police are stepping in to shorten the long coats favored by some Jews and cutting off their “curls.” Lengthening the short pants of the Jews has been more of a problem. But the greatest challenge is getting rid of the beards. In one rural town, the police grabbed an 80 year old Jew and began cutting his beard. He cried out and when his co-religionists came to his aid, they were pounced on, forced into chairs, and sheared in “a hurried and rough manner” that was deemed less than “pleasant.” While the Warsaw Police have avoided such extreme measures up until now, they will adopt them to ensure that the government’s edicts are carried out.
1872: Birthdate of painter and musicologist Rodolphe d'Erlanger.
1873: An article published today entitled “Hebrew Orphans’ Excursion” reported that the managers of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Free schools have made plans provide the youngsters in their care with excursions this summer starting on June 23..1875: An article entitled “Ancient Libraries” provides a series of interesting sketches of the great libraries of the world including the following comments about the Jews and their ancient literature. The author assumes that the Biblical city Kiryat Sefer took its name from the fact that it was a repository for works written by or inspired by Moses as well as “rhapsodies of prophets, the verses of poets, works of historians and dark sayings of proverbial philosophers. Prominent among these must have the contributions of the great King Solomon who spoke 3,000 proverbs, whose songs were 1,005” who spoke with “scientific method and precision about beasts, fowl creeping things and fishes as well as plants including the Cedars of Lebanon and hyssop growing out of the walls. The author assumes that these Jewish libraries were “swept out of existence” and much of the literature was lost except for fragmentary references which can be found in books which have been preserved for religious purposes.
1878(6th of Sivan, 5638): First Day of Shavuot
1878: Rabbi Gustav Gotthel is scheduled to lead Shavuot Services at Temple Emanuel in New York City
1878: Rabbi Adolph Huebsch is scheduled to lead Shavuot Services at Ahavaht Chesed on Lexington Avenue & 55th Street
1878: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs is scheduled to lead Shavuot Services at B’nai Jeshrun on 34th Street.
1878: Rabbi Frederick De Sola Mendes is scheduled to Shavuot Services at Shaaray Tefillah on 44th Street.
1878: A man named Dixon was hung today in Vicksburg, MS, having been convicted of brutally murdering a 45 year old Jewish peddler named Bachman while he was traveling on the steamboat Fair Play in December of 1877.1880: The New York Times published a review of The Poetry of the Talmud by Simon Seckles.
1881: Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont graduated from the Naval Academy. His father was August Belmont, the Jewish financer for whom the Belmont Stakes is named. His mother was the daughter of Oliver Hazard Perry and was not Jewish.
1881: At the Republican State Convention, Louis Seasongood, a Jewish leader from Cincinnati is among those being considered as the party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Seasongood had been defeated by General Hickenlooper for the position two years ago.
1881: It was reported today from St. Petersburg, that the “excitement against the Jews here has abated but has not entirely disappeared.” [Editor’s note – what charming euphemisms for anti-Semitic riots; as can be seen from the entries below, there was no abatement. ]
1882: It was reported today that the Mansion House Committee for the Relief of Russian Jews has collected over eighty-two thousand British Pounds of which it has spent all but 25 thousand pounds. The Committee is going to send representatives to Hamburg to oversee the departure of the Russian Jews from the German seaport.
1882: At today’s session of the Republican State Convention being held in Columbus, the party adopted the following resolution. “We condemn the terrible persecutions inflicted upon the Jews of Russia and other sections of Europe, and while he heartily approve the action of the Government in its efforts to ameliorate the condition of these unfortunate people, we earnestly solicit a continuance of its most energetic efforts to that end.”1886: “Indignant Rabbis” published today described the refusal of Mr. Taylor, the principal of Central High School in Philadelphia, PA to excuse the Jewish students for missing the upcoming final exams which have been scheduled on the days of Shavuot. Despite pleas from the city’s rabbis to reach some kind of accommodation, Taylor has remained adamant which means the Jewish children could fail through no fault of their own.
1889: “To Celebrate Two Anniversaries” published today took note of the fact that the year 1892 “will witness the four hundredth anniversaries of the expulsion of the Hebrews from Spain and the discovery of America and described plans already being made by those meeting at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue to honor both of these events.1891: An article published today entitled “High Sheriff Benjamin Disraeli” reports that “an Irish antiquarian has just discovered that the ‘Benjamin D’Israeli, Esq.,’ who was High Sheriff of the Count of Carlow in 1810, was an uncle of Lord Beaconsfield.” He died in 1814 and is buried in St. Peter’s Church in Dublin. [Editors Note – If this report is accurate and if this High Sheriff Disraeli was Jewish it makes one wonder what oath he swore when he took the office.
1892: Founding of the American Jewish Historical Society
1897(7th of Sivan, 5657): Second Day of Shavuot
1897: Birthdate of Austrian born composer and conductor, George Szell. He was best known for his long, successful career as musical director of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. He held the position from 1946 until 1970.
1899: During ten days
of meetings at
1901: Birthdate of
Sam Katzman, an American film producer and director who began working in the
industry at the age of 13 when it was centered on the east coast. He moved west with the industry and enjoyed a
successful 40 year career in film. He
passed away in 1973.
that would end on June 17 Herzl met several of the most representative Russian
leaders. Baroness Bertha Von Suttner introduced him to Russian State Counselor
Ivan von Bloch who is responsible for the calling of the Conference. The
meetings result in Herzl's name being brought favorably to the attention of the
Czar. Herzl also met with Nouri Bey, General Secretary of the Turkish Foreign
Office who promises to get together a group of officials to arrange an audience
with the Sultan. the Hague
1904(24th of Sivan, 5664): Moishe Finkel took his own life after shooting his wife and actor David Levinson who was a romantic rival. Born in 1850, Finkel was a leading member of the Yiddish theatre in the United States. His tempestuous personal life would have fine material for tragedy or melodrama. His professional life was intertwined with such greats of the Yiddish theatre as Jacob Adler and Boris Thomashefsky. And he was the father in law of famed Hollywood actor, Paul Muni.1908: Founding of Kinneret
1912: Evening schools to be opened in New York City for Turkish Jews to learn English during the summer months.
1914: The Federation of Oriental Jews held its second annual meeting today PS 91 in NYC. The federation is made of representatives of 28 different organizations which have approximately 3,000 members. The federation estimates that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 Oriental Jews living in New York. The term refers to Sephardic Jews most of whom are recent immigrants from areas that have been under Ottoman rule including Greece. Unlike their northern and eastern European co-religionist, they do not speak Yiddish, relying instead on Ladino for much of their colloquial conversation.
1914: Twenty-one men received diplomas and five were ordained as Rabbis at today’s graduation exercises held by the Jewish Theological Seminary at the Aeolian Hall. Louis Marshall presided over the event and read a speech prepared by Dr. Solomon Schechter who was unable to be present because of ill health.
1914: Simon F. Rothschild delivered the opening address at today’s ceremony dedicating the newly constructed building in Brownsville that will house the Hebrew Educational Society. Among other speakers were Felix Warburg, Abram Elkus and from the world of New York politics, Controller William A. Pendergast.
1914: Over a thousand people attended today’s opening of a new building to house the Harlem Hebrew School The school was begun five years and is supported by the Yeishva Torah Chaim of Harlem. Almost 500 children attend the school which provides courses in Hebrew, the Bible and Jewish history before and/or after public school hours.
1919: Conditions of Jews in the Palestine cities of Safed, Tiberias and Kfra Saba are described as bad. The death rate is appalling. Thousands of Jews are starving.
1921: President Warren Harding is scheduled to meet with Albert D. Lasker and discuss his appointment to serve as Chairman of the Shipping Board.
1926: The body of Meyer London, one of only two Socialists to serve in the House of Representatives “was taken to the Forward building, where it lay in state while 25,000 men, women, and children filed past the casket, paying their respects.”
1929: The Lateran Treaty which normalized relations between Italy and the Vatican is ratified. The agreement gave Mussolini, the Italian Prime Minister, a greater measure of respectability. The Mussolini Connection would set the tone for the Vatican’s relationship with Hitler when he came to power. Italy's anti-Jewish laws of 1938 prohibited marriages between Jews and non-Jews, including Catholics. The Vatican viewed this as a violation of the Concordat, which gave the church the sole right to regulate marriage between Catholics. But this was not enough of an issue to disrupt the relationship between Rome and the Vatican.
1936: Leon Blum the first Socialist and the first Jew to serve as Prime Minister of France presented his list of ministerial appointments to the Chamber of Deputies. Blum is attacked in anti-Semitic diatribe by right wing deputy named Xavier Vallet who will later serve as an official with the Vichy Government.
1936: Five Arabs were killed and many were wounded this afternoon in a clash with British troops and policemen after an attack on several Jewish-owned buses outside Jerusalem. A British soldier and a British police corporal were seriously wounded.
1936: “A large Jewish-owned timber depot in the heart of Jerusalem was set afire by Arabs tonight and the flames spread to several nearby stores. The damage to the timber depot was put at $40,000.00.
1936: “Nazi pamphlets printed in Arabic were distributed in Acre blaming the British for “favoring” the Jews.
1936: A young
American tourist who would come to be known as President John F. Kennedy
during a visit to the Jerusalem Middle East.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that the London Evening Standard protested editorially against the long delay in the publication of the report of the Royal (Peel) Commission on
while all sectors of the Palestine
population "waited for a real peace." The House of Commons was told
that no fees were paid to the Commission members, but one of them continued to
draw his salary of £4,500 a year, as president of the Palestine Industrial Court. The cost of the
commission's subsistence allowances, traveling and other expenses amounted to
£2,837, 18 shillings and 3 pence.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that refugees from Nazi Germany recalled the circumstances of the secret execution in Berlin of an American Jew, Helmut Hirsch, who was accused of spying.
1939: “Another ship attempting to land 260 illegal (Jewish) immigrants north of Haifa was captured today.
1939: Palestine was today the scene of further Jewish and Arab terrorism. One life was lost in the retaliation and counter-retaliation, and six Jews and one Arab were injured, in addition to considerable damage to government property. The tension continues to run high. A bomb was exploded today on the main railway line 150 yards from the main station. There were four other bombing attacks in Tel Aviv during the rest of the day.
1940: “After the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, David Ben-Gurion, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, wrote to his wife from London about Churchill’s speech following the evacuation. “I know that you cannot stand against Hitler with speeches, Without planes and tanks and bombs and cannons we will not destroy the ‘Mechanized Attila’…But Churchill’s speech was undoubtedly the steadfast and stubborn persistence of the English nation to stand and fight to the end.” “The phrase ‘Mechanized Attila’ had been coined by Leon Blum the first Jew to serve as Prime Minister of France. After quoting Churchill’s speech that included the immortal words “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…” Ben Gurion writes his wife that these words ‘were not merely a jest. This is the spirit of the rebellious
and in it a guarantee for
better days – even if not the soonest. England
1942(22nd of Sivan, 5702): The Jewish ghetto at Krakow, Poland, is liquidated; 6000 Jews from the city are murdered at Belzec.
1942(22nd of Sivan, 5702): A Jewish woman who has escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto into the city proper is dragged back to the ghetto and shot.
1942: The Jewish Yellow Star is made mandatory in Occupied France
1942(22nd of Sivan, 5702): Alan Blumlein died when his Halifax bomber crashed. The British-born radar and electronics expert was on active duty with the Royal Air Force (RAF). He was part of an elite group of specialist working on the electronic counter measures and devices that helped to give the Allies an edge over the Axis in the dark days of World War II. His death was described in The Daily Telegraph as a national loss. Air Chief Marshall Sir Phillip Joubert described it as a catastrophe for the war effort, and Sir Archibald Sinclair, Secretary of State for Air, wrote that ‘it would be impossible to over-rate the importance of the work on which they were engaged’, which had undoubtedly saved thousands of lives.”
1943 Dr. Klaus Clauberg reports from
that the apparatus to sterilize 1000 Jewish women a day is being set in place.
1944: The first phase of the deportation and mass murder of the Hungarian Jews is complete. Nearly 290,000 Jews have been killed in 23 days.
1944: At the height of the deportation of Hungarian Jews, Hannah Szenes crossed the border into Hungary.
1945(26th of Sivan, 5705): Eighty-one year old Dr. Charles Isaiah Hoffman, Rabbi Emeritus of Oheb Shalom Synagogue passed away today. Born in Philadelphia, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced law from 1886 until 1900 when he began studying for the Rabbinate at JTS. Six months after his graduation in 1904, he filled the pulpit of the Newark, NJ congregation while helping to create several Jewish periodicals including “The Jewish Exponent.” [Editor’s note – Dr. Hoffman’s decision to pursue the pulpit as “a second career” was as uncommon in his day as it apparently has become common in our own times.]
1947: The Oujda and Jerada pogrom which took place in northeastern Morocco began today.
1948: Edvard Beneš resigns as President of Czechoslovakia rather than signing a Constitution making his nation a Communist state. Beneš was one of the most decent and democratic leaders of his time. As a leader of the Czech government-in-exile during World War II he condemned the treatment of European Jewry and supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
1950: Mrs. Martha Sharp, the wife of a Unitarian minister from Chicago and the vice chairman of Children to Palestine, visited the children’s village of Ben Shemen in Kfar Vitkin, thirty miles north of Tel Aviv. A grant of $25,000 from her organization is being used to build housing for children who escaped from the European Holocaust and have known no real home. The Village is named after Reverend Samuel A. Eliot, “the organizer of this interfaith rescue movement.
1950: The Mizrahi Women’s Organization of American hosts the second day of a two-day donor luncheon series for 3,000 members of its metropolitan branches to initiate an all-year silver jubilee celebration. Mizrahi in Israel has grown from a single home for adolescent girls in Jerusalem to a networked of 49 projects including 13 institutions for children.
1961: Holocaust survivors provided shocking testimony at today’s session of the trial of Adolf Eichmann. [Editor’s note – In a time when there a myriad of Holocaust Memorial Museums dotting the landscape and the Shoah was talked of only in hushed tones, the following article by Homer Bigart provides what, for its time was a blinding revelation.
1965: The $64,000 Question premiered on CBS-TV. Louis Cowan who has worked to rescue Jews from Germany before the war, created the show. Hal March, a Jewish comic and actor whose real name was Harold Mendelson was the show’s host. Charles Revson, the Jewish Canadian Cosmetic King, had his company, Revlon, sponsor the show.
1965(7th of Sivan, 5725): Second Day Shavuot
1965(7th of Sivan, 5725): Comedic actress Judy Holiday passes away at the age of 42
1967: Dorothy Parker passes away. Born Dorothy Rothschild in 1893, Dorothy ("Dottie" or "Dot") Parker was an American writer and poet best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles.
captured the Israel of Old City uniting the city for the first time
since the establishment of the state. On
June 7, 1967 at 10:15, with the radio confirmation, "The Temple Mount is
in our hands," the Israeli flag was raised above the Western wall. Jerusalem
1967 (28 Iyar, 5727): Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Unification day). Prior to the 6-Day War, Israel had sent repeated requests to King Hussein of Jordan appealing to him remain outside the conflict (trying, therefore, to prevent a three-front war). Due to Arab League pressure, Jordan began to shell Jerusalem on June 5. When the Jordanian force crossed the cease-fire line at Government House, Israel retaliated. General Uzi Narkis brought in Colonel Motta Gur to lead the attack in Eastern Jerusalem.
1967: Israeli forces captured
, Jericho , Sharm-el-Sheikh, and lifted the
blockade of the Bethlehem . The entire
Jordanian bulge on the western bank of the Gulf
of Eilat came under Israeli control.
Hostilities between Jordan
came to an end upon their acceptance of the cease-fire demanded by the Security
Council of the U.N., 1967. Jordan
1967: On the third day of fighting, the IAF destroyed hundreds of Egyptian vehicles trying to flee across the Sinai in convoys and trapped thousands more in narrow Sinai passes.
1967: By the end of the third day Jordan's air force of 34 combat aircraft had essentially ceased to exist and the Jordanian military was no longer in the fight.
1967: A successful joint attack by armor units and elements of the Golani led to the capture of Nablus this afternoon.
1971: Singer-songwriter Carole King achieved stardom with the release of her album Tapestry
1972: German Chancellor Willy Brandt visited Israel
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to Aviation Week Israel was having second thoughts about buying the American F-16 fighter, and planned to design its own fighter plane.
started digging a tunnel
under the Egypt Suez Canal, about 20 km. north of city Suez
1981: The Israeli air force attacks and destroys the
nuclear reactor at Osiriq. Both the Iraq and leaders in the
Israeli opposition condemned Menachem Begin. After Operation Desert storm the
American State department belatedly praised his actions, admitting it had saved
countless lives. United States
1984: “The Revolt of Job,” “a gently told story of one Jewish couple's attempt to defeat their family's extinction in the Holocaust by adopting a non-Jewish boy, a child who would survive to carry on their line” is scheduled to have its last screening at the Vandam Theatre in New York. (As reported by Seth Mydans)
1987: An article published today entitled “Celebrating the East End’s Jewish Heritages” provides a brief overview of the history of the Jews who settled in London and a schedule of the events for this summer's Jewish East End Celebration.
1993: Yitzhak Rabin completes his term as Interior Minister
1993: Prof. Shimon Shetreet completed his term as Science and Technology Minister of Israel
1993: Sulamit Aloni replaced Moshe Shahal as Minister of Communication.
1993: Aryeh Deri begins his term as Interior Minister.
1993: Moshe Shahal succeeded Amnon Rubenstein as Energy and Water Resources Minister
1995: Uzi Baram completes his term as Minister of Internal Affairs.
1996(20th of Sivan, 5756): Max Factor passed away. Factor arrived in the United States at the start of the 20th century. He was a pioneer in the cosmetics industry who parlayed his work with Hollywood movie stars into his own cosmetics company, the name of which survives under the Max Factor Cosmetics label.
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East by Uri Savir
2001: David Wright Miliband assumed office as a Member of Parliament for South Shields.
2002: Seven soldiers were buried today at the Hadera military cemetery today. They were part of a group of 17 Israelis, including 13 soldiers who were killed when a stolen car packed with explosives pulled alongside a public bus and exploded near the northern town of Megiddo.
2004: The Supreme Court ruled that the 88-year-old niece and heir of an Austrian Jewish art collector can pursue her lawsuit against the Austrian government and its national art gallery for the return of six paintings by Gustav Klimt that belonged to her family before the Nazi takeover. The court did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California by the woman, Maria V. Altmann, and Justice John Paul Stevens indicated in his majority opinion that important defenses remain available to
case proceeds to the next phase. While Austria has returned $1 million worth of
art to the family of the collector, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, including drawings
by Klimt, it maintains that the Bloch-Bauers intended to bequeath the six
disputed paintings, now worth over $100 million, to the state museum.
argues, the paintings are its legitimate property today despite having been
illegitimately expropriated by the Nazis after the family fled Austria in 1938. The issue for the Supreme
Court was jurisdictional: whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a law
passed in 1976 to open the federal courts to specific categories of cases
against foreign governments, applies to conduct that predated the law's
enactment. By a vote of 6 to 3, the court's answer was yes. The decision
affirmed a 2002 ruling by the federal appeals court in Vienna , although in reaching that
outcome, the Supreme Court applied a different legal analysis. In affirming the
retroactive applicability of the 1976 law, the decision may open the door to
additional World War II-era lawsuits, but the category of cases the decision
will actually assist is likely to be small. Claims against San Francisco and Germany , for
example, were addressed by the treaties that ended the war and in the view of
many legal experts cannot be pursued in private lawsuits. The connection
between the Bloch-Bauer family and the art at issue in this case is stunningly
apparent: two of the paintings are portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Ferdinand's
wife and Ms. Altmann's aunt. Mrs. Bloch-Bauer died in 1925, leaving a will in
which she asked her husband at his own death to leave the paintings to the
Austrian Gallery. However, the works belonged not to her but to her husband. By
the time he fled Japan
in 1938, he had made no legal arrangements to donate the paintings to the
government or its museum. When he died in Vienna in 1945, the paintings
remained in his estate although they were no longer in his hands. Ms. Altmann,
who also escaped Switzerland
and has lived in Austria
since 1942, is his only surviving heir. After the war, the family made several
efforts to retrieve the paintings. The current effort began in 1998, after a
newspaper report based on the museum's records indicated that the Austrian
government was aware that the Bloch-Bauers had not donated the paintings. Ms.
Altmann turned to the federal courts when she learned that under Austrian court
rules, she would have to pay $350,000 in court costs in order to bring her
lawsuit there. Retroactivity has been a vexing issue for the Supreme Court,
which has developed a set of criteria for deciding when it is reasonable to
apply a new law to past conduct. In opposing the lawsuit, California argued
that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act could not provide jurisdiction and,
further, that if the law did apply in a general sense, the specific section
that Ms. Altmann invoked did not apply to her case. The lower federal courts
found in Ms. Altmann's favor, both on the retroactivity question and on the
specific issue of the applicability of a section that permits suits for
expropriation of property in violation of international law. In accepting the
appeal, Austria v. Altmann,
No.03-13, the Supreme Court agreed to decide only the retroactivity issue. It
let stand the ruling on the specific section, meaning that the lawsuit can now
go forward in Republic
of Austria Federal District
Court in . In his majority opinion, Justice Stevens
cautioned that the ruling was narrow and that Austria could still defend itself
on various diplomatic grounds. The Los
Angeles government opposed
the lawsuit, following a longstanding policy of preferring to keep such issues
in the realm of diplomacy rather than federal court. Justice Stevens said that
as the case proceeds, the government's views on the particular issues were
entitled to deference. The majority said that applying the law retroactively
was ''most consistent with two of the act's principal purposes,'' namely
clarity, in handling claims of foreign immunity and ''eliminating political participation
in the resolution of such claims.'' Congress passed the law in part to relieve
the executive branch of having to take a position in politically sensitive
cases, Justice Stevens noted. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia,
David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer joined the opinion.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy dissented in an opinion that Chief Justice William
H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas also signed. He said the decision
would ''weaken the reasoning and diminish the force of the rule against the
retroactivity of statutes, a rule of fairness based on respect for
expectations.'' United States
2006: Hebrew Book Week begins. Despite the name, the “week” will last for 10 days. This year's theme is “Developing the Galilee and the Negev.” The fair's main event will be held in Beer Sheva, in the presence of Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who is scheduled to hold a public reading. In an unintended tribute to the intellectual vitality of the Israelis, Haaretz reported on the popularity of “Hebrew Book Week,” the annual book buying orgy being held this week and a burgeoning crop of literary journals that are capturing the attention of the Israeli literary world. The 2006 Hebrew Book Week lasts until
16, 2006. During this week leading Israeli authors and poets will
meet with the readers in organized fairs all over the country. Poetry readings,
lectures, literary workshops, street theaters, comics happening and other
activities for young and adults will also take place. The Hebrew Book Week
originated in 1926 as a “one day event” taking place in Rothschild Boulevard,
Tel-Aviv. The founder of Masada Press, Bracha Peli, launched the first Book Day
in 1926, offering books at a discount. Since 1961, Hebrew Book Week has become
a country wide, weeklong event taking place every year during the summer. The
Hebrew Book Week is a unique event. Many countries attempt to arrange similar
fairs but never to the scale and popularity of the Israeli one. The
National Library in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is entrusted with
cultural assets for future generations. For this purpose the “law of books” was
legislated, obligating every book publisher in the country to deliver two
copies of the book to the National Library. Towards the Hebrew Book Week the
National Library publishes a report on the books, magazines, cassettes or disks
published in Israel
during the passing year. From this report we learn that an amazing number of
6,840 new books were published during 2005. The majority of the books published
in Hebrew are originally written in Hebrew. The report also brings to light
that more then 22% of the books published during 2005 were directed at the
religious population. Israel
2006: The Central Council of Jews, Germany’s main Jewish organization elected Charlotte Knobloch as its leader. The 73 year old Holocaust survivor from Munich is the first woman to hold this post.
2007: In an article entitled “Rebuilding Jewish Life in New Orleans,” Bruce Noland describes how “financial incentives and other effort are starting to pay off” in a post-Katrina World.
2007: In London, Israel Connects presents “Portraits of Israel.” The exhibition is a collection of the photographs of Rudi Weissenstein taken from 1932 through 1999. Weissenstein was the official photographer at the signing of the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.
2008: In Washington, D.C. The
presents “David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana.” An exciting Jewish-Cuban musical
fusion, Odessa/Havana is led by award winning trumpeter and composer David
Buchbinder and includes some of today’s most accomplished jazz musicians.
2008: As a foretaste of celebrating Shavuot, in
, at Cedar Rapids ,
traditional Shabbat morning services at Temple Judah
in Temple Judah
features a “Sundaes on Saturday” Kiddush. Cedar Rapids
2008; Sportscaster Jim McKay past away at the age of 86. “His professionalism and sensitivity melded in 1972. During the Munich Olympics, as he left the hotel sauna and was about to go into the swimming pool on his only day off, he received word that Arab terrorists had invaded the Israeli living quarters in the Olympic Village. Mr. McKay hurried to the studio, and for 16 consecutive hours he anchored
extraordinary news coverage, with field reporting from Peter Jennings, Howard
Cosell and others. The episode ended with the murder of 11 Israeli athletes,
coaches and trainers. When that word reached Mr. McKay, he said he thought that
he would be the person who told the family of David Berger, an Israeli-born
weight lifter whose family lived in , “if
their son was alive or dead.” He looked at the lens and said, “They’re all
gone.” When Shaker
Heights, Ohio ABC finally signed
off, Mr. McKay, physically and emotionally spent, returned to his hotel room.
Only then did he realize he had been wearing a wet swimsuit beneath his
trousers. The next day, Mr. McKay received this cable from an old CBS
colleague: “Dear Jim, today you honored yourself, your network and your
industry. Walter Cronkite.” Mr. McKay’s work at won him an Emmy Award for news
coverage, the first for a sportscaster, and the George Polk Award. Through the
years, he won 12 more Emmys.” Munich
2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Red and Me by Bill Russell, Red Orchestra by Anne Nelson and the recently published paperback edition of Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters.
2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato.
2010: The New Yorker is scheduled to publish its “20 Under 40” list of fiction writers worth watching that included Jewish authors Jonathan Safran Foer, 33; Rivka Galchen, 34; Nicole Krauss, 35; Gary Shteyngart, 37; David Bezmozgis, 37.
2010: Sirius/XM Radio star and Broadway pianist Seth Rudetsky is scheduled to perform at the Washington Jewish Music Festival.
2010(6th of Sivan, 5770): Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu passed away.
2010(6th of Sivan, 5770): Eighty-seven year old Rabbi Jacob Milgrom considered by many the world’s foremost authority on the biblical Book of Leviticus passed away today in Jerusalem.,
2010: Shahar Pe'er, an Israeli professional tennis player, was ranked Number Fourteen today which was her career-high rating as a single’s player.
2010: Former Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin has been acquitted of allowing minors to work at the Postville slaughterhouse. Today, Jurors acquitted him of all 67 counts of child labor violations.
2010: The funeral for Steve Averbach, the former Monmouth County resident who was paralyzed in an attempt to thwart a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in 2003 was scheduled to take place today in Israel.
2010: Navy commandoes foiled a major terrorist attack from the Gaza coast shortly before dawn today morning, and the Air Force strafed a rocket launching cell. Four armed terrorists were killed and three others were missing in the Navy counterterrroist maneuver. Hamas officials confirmed that two were dead and another was missing. It is not yet known whether Hamas or a different terrorist group carried out the attempted attack on Israel, but initial reports indicate that the unit identifies with Hamas. Navy commandos, from the same unit as that involved in the flotilla clash last week, spotted a squad of terrorists wearing diving suits on their way to carry out an attack on a narby Jewish community. The force fired and hit the terrorists; no casualties were reported amongst IDF forces. Later in the morning, the Air Force targeted a terrorist squad preparing to fire rockets from northern Gaza. Direct hits were identified.
2010(25th of Sivan, 5770): Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu former chief rabbi who encouraged Israelis to oppose removal of settlements and blamed Reform Jewry for the Holocaust passed away at the age of 81.
2010: Joe Schlesinger, the Canadian television journalist and author “received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Queen's University in Kingston and delivered the convocation speech to a part of the graduating class of 2010 from Queens Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He declared that the students would forget a good part of what they learned but they can find out what they need to know in the realm of facts by ‘googling it’!”
2011: Congregation Beth Israel in Glendale, Wisconsin, is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Levite & His Concubine.”
2011(5th of Sivan, 5771): Erev of Shavuot
2011(5th of Sivan, 5771): Ninety-one year old Mietek Pemper, the secretary who actually compiled what became known as “Schindler’s List” passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2011(5th of Sivan, 5771): Eighty-eight year old Leonard B. Stern, the man who created “Mad Libs” passed away today in California. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2011: Bradlee Birchansky and Jon Burstain, two outstanding young men, were confirmed this evening during Shavuot services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2011: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced a resolution calling for the withholding of U.N. funding if the General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state. Chabot said today that he hopes to dissuade any effort by the Palestinians to circumvent peace negotiations by going directly to the United Nations for statehood recognition when the General Assembly convenes in September. Chabot is chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. "I felt it was important to set down a marker to be very clear that there are those of us in Congress who are very concerned about this," Chabot told JTA. The non-binding resolution is a call for U.S. funding to the U.N. General Assembly to be withheld if the General Assembly adopts any resolution recognizing a Palestinian state outside formal negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. "You wouldn't truly have a state, you'd just have one more irritant, one more thing that's going to cause disruption in that important part of the world," Chabot said. "The goal is to not have to take this measure by having the Palestinians backing down or the General Assembly indicating they don't want to take the risk of having U.S. dollars cut off." The measure does not currently have any co-sponsors, but Chabot said he feels confident he'll be able to recruit support among his colleagues when Congress is back in session next week. "I have no concern that we won't be able to attain a significant number," Chabot said.
2011: U.S. President Barack Obama said today he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that any Palestinian effort to seek UN recognition for statehood should be avoided. Obama, who was reiterating his own position on the issue, was speaking at a news conference after White House talks with Merkel. Obama has said in the past that a unilateral UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state would be a meaningless empty gesture. During today's news conference, Merkel stressed that "unilateral measures are not helping at all" to bring about a two-state solution. Obama has repeatedly called on the Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel and not appeal to the UN for statehood, calling the move a mistake. "The United Nations can achieve a lot of important work, what it is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state," Obama said last week in a joint conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. "The only way to see a Palestinian state is if Palestinians and Israelis agree on a just peace."
2012: The Carmen at Masada Opera Festival is scheduled to open
2012: The Anat Cohen Quartet is scheduled to perform in Washington, DC.
Copyright; June, 2012; Mitchell A. Levin firstname.lastname@example.org