July 15 In Jewish History
1099: Godfrey de Bouillon entered Jerusalem, drove all the Jews into the synagogue, and set them afire while he marched around the synagogue singing, "Christ, we adore thee". This marked the end of Jerusalem as a Jewish center for centuries, although Jews did return in limited numbers after the Moslem reconquest in 1187. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews were massacred or captured and sold as slaves in Italy.
OR (You pick the version)
1099: The crusaders final assault on Jerusalem was successful and the city was sacked. This was in keeping with the general rule that, if a fortified place did not surrender, it might be sacked and its inhabitants killed or enslaved. Although there was considerable bloodshed in Jerusalem, recent research has demonstrated that crusade leaders intervened to protect some of the inhabitants, including Muslims and Jews. Among those who took this step was Godfrey of Bouillon. Some Muslims and Jews were slaughtered, but some were escorted to Muslim territory.
1174: Baldwin IV was crowned King of Jerusalem. Graetz claims that the Leperous King was the one who banned the Jews from Jerusalem. That honor should go to his father who took the throne in 1162 and the ban began in 1165 and last until 1175. Since Baldwin was only 13 at the time of his coronation credit for lifting the ban probably should go to the Raymond III of Tripoli, the regent who negotiated a treaty with Saladin.
1205: Pope Innocent III laid down the principle that Jews were doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation because they had crucified Jesus. This classic charge of deicide was officially removed in 1963.
1291: King Rudolf I, who had negated the freedom of Jews of Germany by declaring them servi camerae ("serfs of the treasury") in 1286, passed away today.
1572 (5332) Isaac Luria passed away. There is no way this simple guide can do justice to the life of this giant of Judaism. For those who are interested, here are two places to begin: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/111878/jewish/Rabbi-Isaac-Luria-The-Ari-Hakodosh.htm
1606: Birthdate of the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. Rembrandt lived in a Jewish quarter in Amsterdam. He often depicted Jewish people on his canvases. One of his most famous paintings is styled “Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law.” There are several special events planned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s and many of them highlight his special relationship with the Dutch Jewish community. For more on this subject, you might want to read the recently published Rembrandt’s Jews by Steven Nadler
1738 (5498): Baruch Laibov and Alexander Voznitzin were burnt alive in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the consent of Empress Anna Johanova. Voznitzin, a naval captain, was guilty of the crime of converting to Judaism. Laibov was guilty of helping him.
1790: Members of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim of the Jewish Congregation of Charleston wrote a letter to congratulate the President of the United States George Washington on the occasion of the establishment of a federal government.
1799: The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign. The discovery of the Stone helped to fuel interest in archaeology, including what would become the field of modern Biblical archaeology.
1801: In what might seem like a weakening of the position of French Jews, Napoleon signs a Concordat that recognizes Catholocism as the religion of “the great majority of Frenchmen.”
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders for the final from aboard HMS Bellerophon. Having learned their lesson from Napoleon’s escape from captivity following his first surrender, the conquering European powers exile him to St. Helena where he will live out his days. This final surrender seems to mark the return of the Ancien Regime to Europe in general and France in particular. The forces of reaction will try and undo the gains in liberty made by the Jews of Europe.
1832: Solomon Etting, a Jewish citizen of Baltimore, MD, wrote a letter to Henry Clay, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky, saying that he other co-religionists “feel both surprised and hurt by the manner in which you introduced the expression ‘the Jew’ in debated in the Senate of the United States, evidently applying it as a reproachful designation of a man whom you considered obnoxious in character and conduct.” Since Ettinger did not know the man in question and since he assumes that Clay has no “antipathy” for the Jewish people, he asked that Clay write to him why he had used this particular expression in this particular manner.
1834: The child-Queen Isabella's mother, Christina, issued an official and final edict abolishing the Inquisition in Spain. The words read, "It is declared that the Tribunal of the Inquisition is definitely suppressed. The Inquisitions had been in place for nearly three and one half centuries.
1838: Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage. This was not the first or last time that Emerson would express views on religion that were out of step with prevailing Christian views. In describing the Last Supper, Emerson states “Jesus is a Jew sitting with a countrymen celebrating their national feast.” Jesus’ Jewishness would not become an accepted tenant of many Christian beliefs until the second half of the twentieth century.
1854: The Israelite, the first Jewish newspaper published in Cincinnati, Ohio, was established today. This English language newspaper was founded by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the “founding father” of Reform Judaism in America whose other “firsts” included the creation of the Hebrew Union College.
1854: The New York Times published a letter from E.R. McGregor, the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle in which he takes issue with the Times report that a U.S. citizen named Jones has been guilty of selling pieces of ancient columns and other such items to unsuspecting tourists in Jerusalem According to McGregor Jones is a “Christian and a gentlemen” who was sent to Palestine by the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews (A.S.M.C. Jew) to examine the feasibility of establishing “agricultural colonies and schools for the benefit of the Jews and others residing in the country.” James Finn, the British Consul in Jerusalem, is the source of the negative stories about Mr. Jones. According to McGregor, Finn is responsible for large losses connected with land near Bethlehem that was supposed to be purchased with American funds for the purpose of creating an agricultural colony. (Editor’s note – Other sources describe Finn as “a devout Christian, who belonged to the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, but who did not engage in missionary work during his years” as British Consul in Jerusalem. According to these sources, Finn bought a piece of land outside of the Old City that he turned into an agricultural training facility for Jews. Finally, he bought land, at a place called Artas near Bethlehem where employed otherwise impoverished Jews as laborers. Further research is obviously necessary.)
1870: In Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Max Lienthal of Cincinnati Ohio, presented the following resolutions to a meeting of rabbis from across the nation who adopted them unanimously.
Whereas, In consideration of the religious commotion now agitating the public mind in both hemispheres, in accordance with the principles of Judaism it is unanimously declared:
1. Because with unshaken faith and firmness we believe in one indivisible and eternal God; we also believe in the common Fatherhood of God and the common brotherhood of men.
2. We glory in the sublime doctrine of our religion, which teaches that the righteous of all nations, without distinction of creed, will enjoy eternal life and everlasting happiness.
3. The divine command, the most sublime passage of the Bible “Thou shalt love thy fellow man as thyself,” extends to the entire human family without distinction of either race or creed.
4. Civil and religious liberty, and hence the separation of Church and State, are the inalienable rights of man, we consider them to be the brightest gems in the Constitutions of the United States.
5. We love and revere this country as our home and fatherland for us and our children, and therefore consider it our paramount duty to sustain and support the Government, to favor by all means the system of free education leaving religious instruction to the care of the different denominations.
6. We expect the universal elevation and fraternization of the human family to be achieved by the natural means of science, morality, freedom, justice and truth.
According to the attendees, “ these resolution…clearly express…the religious and political creed of Judaism.”
1870: The Kingdom of Prussia and the Second French Empire commence the Franco-Prussian War. The outcome of what was a brief European conflict would lead to World War I and World War II which means the Final Solution.
1877: An article published today entitled “Protection for Jews in Palestine” included the text of a letter from the Acting Secretary of State to Meyer S. Isaacs, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites. The letter was in response to a request from Mr. Isaacs seeking American protection for Russian Jews living in and around Jerusalem from abuse by the Ottoman authorities. Mr. Seward explained that normally, the U.S. government only provides protection for its own citizens living abroad. He conceded that the United States has a reputation for helping oppressed people in foreign countries; but that help can only be provided if all of the parties involved go through proper diplomatic channels.
1877: The Jewish Messenger reported that Secretary of State Seward had sent a letter to Meyer S. Isaacs, President of the Board of Delegates of Israelites in response to his letter of June 4 asking that the United States help provide protection for Jews from Russia living in and around Jerusalem. Speaking in that unique language of diplomats, Seward told Isaacs that the U.S. usually only extends such protection to its own citizens living abroad. But he assured him that the United States was sympathetic to “all the oppressed peoples in foreign countries” and would act accordingly within the spirit of “international courtesy and diplomatic usage…The desired protection will be extended if these conditions are complied with.” [This was one of the first times that American Jews had asked the United States government to intervene on behalf of their co-religionists living in Eretz-Israel. Seward’s understated reply was more potent than it might appear. He was a real power in the Republican having served as a U.S. Senator and having been a serious candidate for the Presidency in 1860. Also, he had actually visited Palestine in the years prior to the Civil War so he had a firsthand knowledge of the area and the Ottomans who ruled it .
1877: Union of Hebrew Congregations completed its meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Several speeches were delivered in favor of having all the Jews in the United States represented by one national organization. The delegates agreed to hold their next meeting in July of 1878 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1877: “The English Jews in Politics,” an article published today reprinted the views of Goldwin Smith that originally appeared in the Fort-nightly Review. According to Smith, the Jews supported the Liberal Party until they gained full rights (including the change in oath that made it possible for them to sit in Parliament) and then they “gravitated toward the party of wealth” – the Conservative Party. Smith went on to describe Judaism as “surviving relic of the primeval world” that was a “tribal religion” inferior to Christianity that belonged to “the ages before humanity.” As such, Jews “cannot be expected to have much sympathy with progress” and since they are now wealthy, they are obviously supporter of the “plutocratic party.” [Editor’s note – What the publishers of the article do not say is that Smith was a member of the Liberal Party and strong opponent of Benjamin Disraeli, the leader of the Conservative Party. He later became a professor at Cornell University before finally settling in Canada. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Goldwin Smith was “a major exponent of anti-Semitism in the 19th century…. A pathological anti-Semite, Smith disseminated his hatred in dozens of books, articles and letters. Jews, he charged, were "parasites," "dangerous" to their host country and "enemies of civilization." His bilious anti-Jewish tirades helped set the tone of a still unmoulded Canadian society and had a profound impact on such young Canadians as W.L. Mackenzie King, Henri Bourassa and scores of others. Indeed in 1905 in the most vituperative anti-Jewish speech in the history of the House of Commons, borrowing heavily from Smith, Bourassa urged Canada to keep its gates shut to Jewish immigrants.” This should explain much of the content of Smith’s article.)
1880: The second annual convention of the National Rabbinical Association came to a close today in Detroit, Michigan. About half of the 56 member rabbis were in attendance. A large number of non-Jews attended the sessions at which papers on several topics related to Judaism were presented.
1880: “Notes of Literary News” published today described the upcoming publication of Jewish Life in the East a collection of papers written by Sydney M. Samuel on the condition of Jews living in Palestine and other parts of the Levant including an examination of their physical and moral condition and their manners and customs. At Jerusalem, in 1879-80, Sydney M. Samuel found 416 heads of families pursuing 29 handicrafts, among whom were tinkers, goldsmiths, watchmakers, smiths, turners, and masons ("Jewish Life in the East," p. 78)
1880: Among the charities designated to receive funds from Excise Fund in New York was the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society in the amount of $1,686.
1881: Four of the five newly elected officers of the Executive Board of the Hebrew Union come from Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of Hebrew Union College. The only exception was A.L. Sanger of New York who was elected to serve as Vice President.
1881: It was reported today that the just concluded meeting of the Council of the Hebrew Union had rejected Rabbi Wise’s proposal to provide stipends for worthy students who lacked the funds to attend Hebrew Union College. Wise was concerned that “poverty” would keep those with “talent” from serving as Rabbis. The attendees refused to even vote on a proposal requiring that a rabbi must get the consent of his congregation before talking to another congregation about a new position. The Council felt that they had no business interfering in the relationships that rabbis had with their congregations.
1882: In an attempt to eliminate a source of strikebreakers, it was suggested that the striking freight handlers meet with the Polish Jews and offer to provide them with enough money so that they can buy a stock of small goods and go on the road as peddlers. The idea was based on reports that the Polish Jews only planned to work on the docks until they had earned enough money to go into business for themselves.
1882: “Russian Refugees Returning Home” published today described the plight of Russian Jewish immigrants who have arrived in Philadelphia in the last few months. Only a third of the 600 recent arrivals have found jobs and 51 of the families will be shipping out from New York today as they return to their homeland.
[This item is an example of how tide of impoverished Jewish immigrants overwhelmed the resources of the Jewish community which sought to handle this in a methodic, humane way in the best traditions of their historic commitment to care for the “widow, the orphan and the stranger in your midst.”]
1884(22nd of Tammuz, 5644):French painter Alphonse Hirsch passed away. Born in Paris in 1843, he studied with Meissonier and Bonnat. Among his most famous portrait was one painted in 1877 - “Isidor, the chief Rabbi of France.”
1884: The last remnant of the Judengasse in Frankfort, Germany, is scheduled to be demolished today.
1884: Twenty people from four families arrived in New York today aboard the SS India. Their passage had been paid for by the Hebrew Relief Committee of Breslau.
1885: In what appears to be a botched murder/suicide brought on by a domestic dispute, Augustus Erwin, a German Jew, shot his wife and Margaret and then turned the gun on himself.
1885: It was reported today that the newly formed Union of Hebrew Charities will require favorable responses from 12 of the Jewish charitable organizations before it will officially begin its work.
1886: It was reported today the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children will be sponsoring three free excursions this summer for the enjoyment of the poor Jewish children and their mothers.
1886: Today’s outing to the Catskills sponsored by the Five Points Mission was an ecumenical affair since it included children of Italian, German, Irish and Jewish immigrants. Actually the mixture merely mirrored the multiplicity of immigrant groups that were living in the squalor of the Lower East Side’s worst neighborhood.
1886: In Bloomington, Illinois, Miss Ida Clark who converted to Judaism last week so that she could marry an English Jew named Holland tonight suffered a great embarrassment and disappointment today. She received word that he had changed his mind and had called off the engagement without any explanation.
1886: “Dog Catchers Defeated” published today how James Flanagan, Joseph Kelly and James Murphy unsuccessfully tried to capture a spitz owned by Nathan Weissbaum. Their ineptitude was exacerbated by the interference of “several hundred Polish Jews” bent on mischief who unhitched the dogcatchers' horse from its cart leaving the trio afoot on Hester Street.
1887: “Harry the Jew,” a well-known New York crook sent to the county jail Asbury Park, NJ to await charges of having robbed several bathhouses. Harry’s last name is various listed as Harris, Fell and Luster.
1887(23rd of Tammuz, 5647): One hundred nine year old Hirsh Harris, known as “Rabbi Hirsch” passed away today in Brooklyn.
1892: Birthdate of Walter Benjamin German literary critic and writer. Benjamin died in 1940 on the border between France and Spain as he tried to escape from the Nazis. According to some he committed suicide, although this is disputed by others. Regardless this brilliant man who combined the ideas of Brecht and Scholem died too soon, another victim of the Holocaust.
1896: While serving as the Rabbi at Temple Israel in Omaha, Nebraska. Rabbi Leo Morris Franklin married Hattie Oberfelder at her parent’s home in Chicago Illinois. Their first daughter, Ruth, was born in Omaha.
1904: Vyacheslav Von Plehve, Russian Minister of Interior was assassinated. Von Plehve was responsible for the Kishinev massacres in which forty-seven Jews were killed, ninety-two severely wounded or crippled, and five hundred slightly wounded. His assassin was a member of the socialist revolutionary movement, which had suffered as well by his policies. Czar Nicholas was frightened into making a few concessions. Unfortunately, he did not make enough to meet public demand.
1904: Birthdate of Dorothy Fields, who wrote lyrics to over 400 songs over half a century, Raised in New Jersey, Fields was the daughter of Lew Fields, half of the well-known Weber and Fields vaudeville team. Though Lew Fields discouraged his daughter from pursuing a theater career, Dorothy Fields eventually became one of Broadway and Hollywood's most prolific lyricists. Fields got her start writing songs for revues at New York City's Cotton Club. Collaborating with Jimmy McHugh, she wrote the lyrics for "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "I'm in the Mood for Love," and "Don't Blame Me," all in 1928. Shortly thereafter, she was asked to write lyrics for a song Jerome Kern was adding to the score of the film Roberta. The song, which became "Lovely to Look At," was the beginning of a long collaboration between Fields and Kern. In 1936, they won an Academy Award for the song "The Way You Look Tonight," from the film Swing Time. Fields also collaborated with such well-known composers as Irving Berlin and Cy Coleman, and with her brother, Herbert Fields. In all, Fields wrote lyrics for 19 Broadway musicals and 25 films. Among the musicals for which Fields wrote songs are Annie Get Your Gun, Sweet Charity, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Up in Central Park, and Seesaw. In 1971, Fields was the only woman in the first group of people named to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She died of a heart attack on March 28, 1974. In a field in which the names of Jewish men from George and Ira Gershwin to Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim are ubiquitous, Fields made her mark with some of the American musical theater's most memorable songs.
1908: Birthdate of Max M. Fisher who would gain fame as a Detroit oil and real estate magnate known for his philanthropy and for the advice he gave Republican presidents on the Middle East and Jewish issues.
1909: Birthdate of Jean Hamburger “a French physician, surgeon and essayist” who “is particularly known for his contribution to nephrology, and for having performed the first renal transplantation in France in 1952.” He passed away in 1992.
1912: Pitcher Ed Mensor made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
1913: Birthdate of Avrom Sutzkever. Born in Russia, this Holocaust survivor is variously described as “an acclaimed Yiddish poet,” “one of the great poets of the 20th century” and "the greatest poet of the Holocaust." According to David G. Roskies, Sutzkever was the greatest poet of the Holocaust, who was also a leader of the Vilna ghetto and a partisan fighter. It would have been enough, he tells us, had Sutzkever been only ''a symbol of hope and creative power for the powerless Jews of the ghetto,'' but he was much more. As ''the foremost among Jewish poets'' Sutzkever ''made the memory of the dead the nexus of his artistic expression.'' In his major prose poem, ''Green Aquarium,'' Sutzkever accomplishes the transcendence of the dead by proposing the victory of poetry over death, art over destruction, neo-classical form over chaos, and the beauty of what remains in the universe after barbarism has done its terrible work He passed away in Tel Aviv. There is no way to do justice to his work, which you can read in English at http://books.google.com/books?id=sj_2zrw2_bMC&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=%E2%80%9CThere+is+no+God,+no+World+Creator%E2%80%9D+by+Sutzkever&source=bl&ots=JG4u2QKDQN&sig=6vpMQYzJq5SY7Bp9mOOOPsKllJE&hl=en&ei=sdocTqWtMuG60AGMzZDVBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
(Editor’s Note – Special thanks to Murray Wolf, playwright, poet and translator of Yiddish authors who first brought Sutzkever to my attention.)
1915: In St. Louis, MO, Benjamin Landesman, an immigrant Jewish artist from Berlin, and his wife Beatrice, who dealt in antiques, gave birth to Irving Ned Landesman, who gained fame as Jay Landesman, a writer and editor whose journal Neurotica analyzed the anxieties of postwar America and whose Broadway musical, “The Nervous Set,” has been called the first (and only) Beat musical…(As reported by William Grimes)
1918: During World War I, start of the Second Battle of the Marne. The Second Battle of the Marne marked the climactic German offensive on the Western Front during World War I. With the Russians already out of the war, victory here would have meant that the Kaiser and his forces would have won “The Great War.” The mind boggles at what that might have meant i.e. no Hitler, no Holocaust? Who knows? The fact remains that the Allies would halt the Germans. The great offensive would collapse and the Germans would surrender in November of 1918.
1918: During World War I, 500 German and Turkish prisoners of war were marched through the streets of Jerusalem.
1919: Birthdate of Irving Ned Landesman, the St. Louis native, who gained fame as “Jay Landesman, a writer and editor whose journal Neurotica analyzed the anxieties of postwar America and whose Broadway musical, “The Nervous Set,” has been called the first (and only) Beat musical.”
1922: Birthdate of American physicist and Nobel Prize Winner, Leon Lederman
1928(27th of Tammuz, 5688): Sir Charles James Jessel, the son of famed English jurist Sir George Jessel, passed away. A successful barrister and magistrate in his own right, he was a member of the Anglo-Jewish aristocracy as can be seen by his marriage to Edith Goldsmid, the daughter of Sir Julian Goldsmid. The fact that the North Borneo Company named its leading trading post Jesselton in his honor attests to his business acumen. He was also one of several Jews who had served as High Sheriff in Kent.
1929(7th of Tamuz, 5689): Hugo von Hofmannst passed away. Born in 1874, He was an Austria novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist. His great-grandfather, to whom his family owed the noble title "von Hofmannsthal," was a Jewish merchant ennobled by the Austrian emperor.
1930(19th of Tammuz, 5690): Hungarian born violinist Leopold Auer passed away. Born in 1845, Auer taught many violinists who later became famous, including Efrem Zimbalist, Nathan Milstein, Mischa Elman, and Jascha Heifetz. Sometime before his death Auer converted to Christianity.
1932: The New York Times reported that a list of 133 prominent Jews outside of the United States was published in today's issue of The American Hebrew and Jewish Tribune. The journal describes the list as "Our Foreign "Who's Who, being the first roster ever printed of outstanding Jews in lands other than the United States. Among those listed are Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs, Governor General of Australia…Oscar Straus, Viennese composer; Paul Hyams, Belgian Minister of Justice; Georg Cohn, counselor to the Foreign Ministry of Denmark…”
1934(3rd of Av, 5694): In Germany, Simon Strauss and his son were shot dead by Kurt Baer. The court found that the murdered Jews actually "committed suicide". Baer found guilty only of breaching the peace.
1935: Nazi gangs attacked Berlin Jews as part of a round of Anti-Jewish riots.
1937: A concentration camp was established at Buchenwald, Germany
1936: The Palestine Post reported that nine Arab terrorists were killed by British troops near Jenin and Safed. One British soldier was killed and several wounded when their lorry overturned during the engagement. There were repeated attempts by Arab terrorists to interfere with railway traffic. Arab merchants expressed considerable dissatisfaction and asked for a speedy end to their prolonged general strike.
1938(16th of Tammuz, 5698): At an orange grove near Hadera, Arab attackers shot and killed a Jewish worker while a group of workers leaving a grove near Tulkarm were attacked with one being wounded seriously, but not mortally.
1938: Police found a bomb at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem two hours before it was set to detonate while a large store of arms and munitions was found near the Mosque of Omar.
1940: As they prepared to leave Lisbon for Rio, Margret and Hans Rey "had their vaccination papers signed and stamped.” Hans Rey is the creator of Curious George.
1940: Five hundred Jews who had been taken from Szczebrzeszyn, Poland were sent to various work camps. From then on all Jews between the ages of sixteen and fifty had to report daily for selection.
1941: Birthdate of Lawrence G. "Larry" Cohen “an American film producer, director, and screenwriter” who “is best known for directing his own low-budget, satirical, and inventive horror films and thrillers that are laced with scathing social commentary about modern American society.”
1941: (20th Tammuz, 5701): Nazi forces and local Lithuanian sympathizers massacred the male population of Telz, including Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Bloch and the faculty of the yeshiva.
1942: The first 2,000 deportees left Holland from the Westerbork transit camp for Auschwitz. Most of them were German Jews who found safety there years earlier.
1942(1st of Av, 5702): Rosh Chodesh Av
1942(1st of Av, 5702): One thousand Jews from Moczadz were taken to the woods and shot dead.
1942(1st of Av, 5702): One thousand Jews were murdered in Bereza Kartuska, Belerus in the Soviet Union.
1943: Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves, director of the Manhattan Project (the super-secret project to build the Atomic Bomb) verbally ordered that Robert J. Oppenheimer be given security clearance regardless of accusations about his loyalty.
1944: After 7,176 Jews had been shipped from Lodz to Chelmon, deportations were halted. They would resume again in August.
1944: The Red Army approached Siauliai, Lithuania, so the Germans cleared the town of its remaining four thousand Jews. More and more Jews were finding freedom in the arms of the advancing Red Army.
1944: The Kovno Ghetto was cleared out of its remaining Jews.
1944: The Chicago Sun reported "1,000,000 Hungarian Jews Face Massacre, Hull Says." Hull was Cordell Hull the Secretary of State whose wife’s father was a Jewish immigrant from Austria. She was raised as an Episcopalian. The level of anti-Semitism in the United States was such that, according to biographer Irwin Gellman, Hull hid her Jewish connection to protect his political career.
1948: President Harry Truman was nominated for another term by the Democratic Party. Truman’s candidacy was pronounced dead on arrival. The Dixiecrats left the party over the issue of Civil Rights and backed Strom Thurmond for President. Part of the left wing of the party left to support the candidacy of Henry Wallace, the man who had been Vice President during Roosevelt’s third term. Truman’s victory over Dewey would be one of the greatest upsets in political history. Truman garnered a large part of the Jewish vote which was congregated in key states with large electoral votes. Jewish support was in no small part a reward for Truman’s decision to recognize the Jewish state which was fighting for survival as the man from Missouri fought for his political life.
1948: Still seeking a way to reach Tel Aviv, the Egyptians attacked Be’erot Yitzhak. In a day long desperate fight, the outnumbered defenders drove off the Egyptians. As the Egyptians retreated, seventeen of the Israeli fighter lay dead and all of the settlement’s buildings had been destroyed. Tel Aviv was saved, but the cost was high.
1948: Continuing their drive for Nazareth, Israeli forces take Zippori after fierce fighting.
1948: While the fighting flared, the diplomats dithered. The United Nations decided that the Arab rejection of the extension of the truce that had been proposed by Count Bernadotte was a “breach of the peace” and ordered a permanent cease-fire. The Arabs ignored the threat of sanctions and rejected the cease-fire.
1948: During Operation Dekel, Israeli planes attacked the village of Saffuriya
1948: Israeli forces began another attack on the Latrun Fortress, the Jordanian held military installation that was blocking the road to Jerusalem.
1951: Ted Lurie, The Jerusalem Post reporter and future editor, visited Eilat and described the difficulties facing the new settlers. There was no bakery, the water tasted rusty and caused diarrhea, there was no facility to chill water or bottled drinks. But a large cold-storage plant was being planned to make the import of meat from East Africa possible.
1952: The first production of “The Seven Year Itch” the hit comedy by George Axelrod, the son of Russian Jewish immigrant Herman Axelrod took place at the Fulton Theatre in New York City.
1955: Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons. The declaration was created by Otto Hahn and Max Born. Hahn had stayed in Germany after the rise of the Nazis and played a major role in the atomic program. Born had to leave Germany in 1933. He had become a Lutheran but his parents were Jewish and as far as the Nazis were concerned Born was still Jewish.
1958: Five thousand U.S. Marines landed in Beirut, Lebanon, to protect the pro-Western government. This landing took place at the same time that the pro-Western government of Iraq was being overthrown. The fighting in Lebanon was part of an on-going struggle between the Christians and the Moslems which had supposedly been settled by a power-sharing agreement set up by the French before they ended their imperial role there. The collapse of this power-sharing agreement would explode in a civil war in the 1970’s, the aftermath of which exists today. Needless to say, this instability in its northern neighbor has added to Israel’s problems.
1959(9th of Tammuz, 5719): Swiss-born American composer Ernest Bloch passed away. While his works covered a variety of themes, from a Jewish point of view, one of his most interesting works was Schelomo, a composition for cello and orchestra written in 1915 that was completed during Bloch's "Jewish Cycle," which lasted from 1912–1926
1969: Rod Carew ties the record with his 7th steal of home in a season. Carew is from Panama and some of his ancestors were conversos. He converted when he married Marilyn Levy. Their daughters attended Jewish day schools in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. They were Bat Mitzvahed in a Conservative synagogue
1973: General Shmuel Gonen assumed command of Israel’s Southern Front. He replaced Ariel Sharon who was leaving the army to go into politics. Just prior to the change in command, Sharon told Defense Minister Dayan that Gonen lacked the experience to handle the command if war should break out. Dayan assured Sharon that Gonen had plenty of time to gain the needed experience since there was not going to be a war in 1973.
1973 CIA Director Richard Helms sent a telegram to Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor, stating that King Hussein of Jordan had told him that Jordanian intelligence had learned of a Syrian attack to recapture the Golan Heights originally which had been delayed since June could take place at any time; probably sooner than later. One of the Jordanian intelligence sources was the commander of a Syrian armored brigade, and the Jordanians had obtained a copy of the battle plans, which had been coordinated with Egypt and Iraq. Once again, instability in the Middle East is shown not to be “an Israeli problem.” In fact the Americans would call upon the Israelis to assist in thwarting the planned attacked.
1976: It was reported today that the Labor Party Government is being pressed by a large number of British citizens “to take some firm action” in response to the “presumed death of 73 year old Dora Bloch, an Anglo-Israeli who disappeared after the Israeli raid on Entebbe.
1976: The Jerusalem Post reported that former defense minister Moshe Dayan called for an arrangement whereby Jews and Arabs would live together in the administered territories, with the Arabs remaining Jordanians and the land remaining under Israeli control. He stressed that Israelis were in the territories by right, not as conquerors. Questioned whether Arabs would agree to this, he replied that if we had to do things according to the desires of the Arabs, we could pack our bags and go to Canada. A delegation of Israeli legal and atomic energy experts visited Washington to work out final details of the sale of two US 450-megawatt reactors to Israel.
1986(8th of Tammuz, 5746): Actor and comedian Benny Rubin passed away at the age of 87.
1991: The Landmarks Preservation commission held a public hearing on the proposed designation as a Landmark of the New York Public Library, Aguilar Branch, and the proposed designation of the related Landmark Site. “The Aguilar Branch of the New York Public Library initially was built for the Aguilar Free Library Society which was founded in 1886 as an independent library to provide circulating books for immigrant Jews. The society was named after Grace Aguilar a popular 19th century British novelist and essayist of Sephardic Jewish descent.” (As reported by the Landmarks Preservation Commission)
1993: Fourteenth Maccabiah comes to an end.
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Supreme Injustice by Alan M. Dershowitz, Vote: Bush, Gore and the Supreme Court edited by Cass R. Sunstein and Richard A. Epstein, to be published by the University of Chicago Press in October and currently available as an e-book on the Web site www.thevotebook.com) and the recently released paperback editions of Scandalmonger by William Safire and Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play by James Shapiro
2002: Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three other suspects were convicted of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
2005: Lily Gasway begins the celebration of her Bat Mitzvah by leading Friday Services at Temple Judah. In Cedar Rapids, thanks to Lily and the Gasway family "Am Yisroel Chai."
2006: In response to orders from The Home Front Command businesses and clubs in Karmiel remained closed as Katyusha alerts rang throughout Karmiel sending residents into bomb shelters. In light of the situation, the Home Front Command has decided to operate a silent radio wave in the following frequencies: FM 102.2, 98.5, 95.7. This enabled those keep the Sabbath to leave the radio turned on and listen to emergency announcements. Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel cannot interfere with those who are “Shomer Shabbos.”
2007: Hadassah opens its 93rd national convention in New York City.
2007: Shimon Peres formally becomes President of Israel, a post that he will hold for a seven year term.
2007: The Rochester Jewish Film Festival presents a screening of “Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy.”
2007: The National Art Gallery presents a screening of “Children Must Laugh,” one of the few surviving documentaries about Jewish life in Poland before WWII.
2007: The Sunday New York Times book sections featured reviews of 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East by Tom Segev, translated by Jessica Cohen and Presence, a collection of stories written by Arthur Miller in the years before his death in 2005.
2008: In Washington, D.C. Professor Alvin S. Felzenberg discusses and signs The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game at the National Press Club.
2008: As part of complicated and controversial prisoner exchange, President Shimon Peres signed the pardon of Samir Kuntar, the terrorists who murdered several Israelis in cold blood in 1982. Peres said that the pardon in no way should be seen as an act of forgiveness. Arabs in Lebananon await the release of Kuntar who will be greeted as a hero.
2008: In suburban Washington, D.C., Ellen Rachlin, author of Until Crazy Catches Me and the forthcoming chapbook Captive to Residue, reads from her work as part of the Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series
2008: The 79th All Star Game is played at Yankee Stadium in New York City. At least three players of Jewish descent made the lineups of Major League Baseball's All -Star teams. Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis will start for the American League Ian Kinsler, the second baseman from the Texas Rangers, will be a reserve for the American League. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun will start for the National League. The all-star selections were announced Sunday. Youkilis, whose nickname is "The Greek God of Walks," openly identifies as Jewish. In explaining his charity work, he once told mlb.com, "In my religion, the Jewish religion, that's one of the biggest things that's taught, is giving a mitzvah, forming a mitzvah." He also said, "I was always taught as a kid giving to charity. You're supposed to give a good amount of charity each and every year." Both Braun and Kinsler have Jewish fathers and reportedly identify as half-Jewish.
2009: Once a year the banks of Paris’ Seine River are transformed into a makeshift beach known as “Paris Plages”, complete with parasols, beach chairs, amusement rides and plenty of shirtless Parisians. This year the French capital honors its twin city of Tel Aviv-Yafo with an Israeli beach party on the Seine’s left bank.
2009: At the 18th Maccabiah Games, Israel plays Australia in Cricket.
2009: At the Randi & Bruce Pergament Jewish Film Festival a screening of “Noodle, a touching comic-drama about two human beings, as different as Tel Aviv is from Beijing, on a remarkable journey together to find their way back to a meaningful life.”
2009: Today Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat ordered his municipality to halt all services to the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim. The move comes amid violent protests in those neighborhoods following the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox woman suspected of starving her 3-year-old son. The services were halted in light of fear for the safety of municipality employees, as a Border Policeman was hurt in one of the scuffles, when a rock was hurled at him by a protester. Fifteen rioters were arrested as the protests spread from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh. “The municipality regrets the inconvenience to residents of these neighborhoods who are not involved in the incidents occurring there at this time,” said a statement issued by the Jerusalem municipality spokesman. “We hope to renew the services soon.”The protests over the arrest of the Jerusalem mother suspected of starving her toddler for months resumed Wednesday afternoon after having raged on Tuesday. The 30-year-old woman, who is ultra-Orthodox and belongs to one of the most extreme sects in Jerusalem, was arrested for allegedly starving her three-year-old son over the course of two years, it was announced Tuesday. The boy, who weighs about seven kilograms, is hospitalized in serious condition. Hundreds of people participated in the protest Wednesday by blocking traffic on Bar Ilan road by sitting in the middle of the road, while several others set fire to trash cans. Flyers were disseminated in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods saying that the welfare authorities and the police were persecuting Haredi mothers with baseless allegations. Last week, 15 ultra-Orthodox students broke mirrors, computers and toys at the welfare offices in Jerusalem. They also tore out windows and plants. The door of one of the welfare offices was set on fire two days ago and it is believed to have been a retaliatory action over the mother’s arrest. The woman is believed to be suffering from a condition called Munchausen by proxy syndrome. Sufferers of the syndrome pretend to be sick or intentionally inflicts illness on himself or others in order to get attention and compassion. Doctors said Wednesday that the boy’s condition has consistently improved since the arrest of his mother. The arrest came after hidden cameras recorded the woman disconnecting her son’s feeding tube
2009(23rd of Tammuz, 5769): Julius Shulman, an American architectural photographer best known for his photograph "Case Study House #22” passed away.
2010: In Washington, D.C. Norman Shore is scheduled to lead the final class of “I Kings: May the King Live! A Study of King Solomon and his Heirs.”
2010: Critically acclaimed Israeli choreographer Deganit Shemy, known for her aggressively physical work is scheduled to bring five dancers together for their final performance of the week in the courtyard at John Street United Methodist Church in New York City.
2010: Haim Pearlman, suspected of four counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder, was remanded in custody until July 22 by the Petah Tikva District Court today. The suspected, who is associated with the outlawed Kach movement, was arrested two nights ago by Jerusalem Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). As well as murder, he is suspected of possessing illegal weapons. During the hearing held in his absence police alleged that in 1998 and 1999 Pearlman, 29, from Beit Rabban near Yavne, went on a stabbing spree, killing three Palestinians in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Mea She’arim and Abu Tor. Pearlman is accused of traveling in far-right circles. He is married and has three children. He allegedly tried to murder five more Palestinians in the Jerusalem area. Pearlman denied all the allegations, and said in an interview recorded two days before his arrest and aired on Channel 2 on last night that he was being framed. Pearlman’s lawyer, Adi Keidar, told The Jerusalem Post yesterday, “In the coming days, we will expose the unacceptable and shameful techniques used by the Shin Bet against my client. My client has denied all wrongdoing.” Keidar added that he has been prevented from meeting with Pearlman for the time being. “In the condition that I was in, I would have confessed to killing Arlosoroff,” Pearlman said during the Channel 2 interview, in a reference to Socialist Zionist leader Haim Arlosoroff, whose unsolved murder in Tel Aviv in 1933 was blamed on right-wing elements. “The Shin Bet gave me money to feed them information six months ago,” Pearlman said. He also accused his purported handlers of encouraging him to commit violent acts, including killing Sheikh Raed Saleh, the head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch, as part of the efforts to frame him. An associate of Pearlman’s told the Post that the Shin Bet enticed Pearlman with cash payments to become an informer, but then cut links with him after realizing that the information he provided was worthless. The associate added that audio recordings were made by Pearlman of Shin Bet “He was a right-wing activist 10 years ago, but since then has left. He couldn’t get a teaching permit because of a past arrest during a disturbance related to the disengagement [from Gaza and parts of northern Samaria in 2005],” the associate said. “He was in financial distress, so the Shin Bet exploited him. They gave him hundreds of shekels for meeting with them, and kept in regular touch with him, asking him to provide them with information,” the associate added. The associate said that after realizing the information Pearlman was giving was false, undercover agents were sent to Givat Washington to put up posters advertising a job. When Pearlman contacted the people who advertised the position, he realized they were Shin Bet agents, the associate said.“They crossed the line, and tried to cause him to commit violent acts. These conversations were recorded by him. When the Shin Bet realized they were being recorded, they framed him, out of revenge,” the associate claimed. The associate claimed to have heard the recordings. “In one tape, an agent is heard saying, ‘Let’s go to a village in the North... It’s not a problem to take out Salah. You open fire on the vehicle... You have to empty out the cartridge... Or you can plant a bomb,’” he said. “Why was he arrested now, when the cases are more than 10 years old?” he said. “There is no doubt this is revenge.” Pearlman appeared at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court yesterday where his custody was extended by a day, despite attempts by the police representative to get it extended by 15 days. His next remand hearing will be held on Thursday at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. Pearlman was arrested in the past for waving an Israeli flag on the Temple Mount, but was acquitted. He was also arrested for attacking an Arab man during the funeral of Binyamin and Talia Kahane in 2000. Binyamin, the son of Kach founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his wife were shot dead in their van by Palestinian terrorists while driving in the West Bank. The Shin Bet fully lifted a media gag order on the case late Wednesday night and released a statement saying: “Pearlman was arrested on suspicion of carrying out severe offenses, including a series of murders of Arabs and additional terrorist attacks against Arabs. The decision to arrest Pearlman came after months of intelligence efforts in conjunction with the Israel Police and the state prosecution. The efforts ... included a number of meetings held between Shin Bet members and Pearlman ... and other intelligence-gathering operations aimed at consolidating information on him.” The Shin Bet rejected claims that Pearlman had been framed. Shmuel “Zangzi” Meidad, the founder of Honeinu, a human rights organization that is helping to defend Pearlman, commented about the arrest. “Soon, new information will come to light that will shock Israel in the revelation of how the Shin Bet works,” Meidad said, adding that he was not at liberty to go into specifics. “From my understanding, Pearlman may have been duped into carrying out killings by the Shin Bet.”Meidad said Pearlman was a normative person whose weaknesses were exploited by the security services.
2010: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has appointed Meiron Reuven, Israel's ambassador to Colombia, as the new ambassador to the UN today Israel Radio reported. Israel Radio reported that Lieberman is calling Reuven a replacement, so that the appointment will not have to be brought to the government for approval, and that Lieberman did not inform Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Protocol calls for the prime minister to appoint permanent ambassadors.
2011: In a time of communal sorrow, the funeral of Suzanne Katz, the wife of Bert Katz, is scheduled to take place at Eben Israel Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2011: Firefighters extinguished a fire in the Golan today, after battling the blaze that broke out in the Ein Tina Nature Reserve yester day. The fire ravaged the north Israel area, destroying 10,000 dunam of land and vegetation. Four planes and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were brought in to help manage the fire, and firefighters were finally able to put out the fire completely this afternoon, nearly a day after the blaze began. Hikers have been asked to refrain from visiting the Ein Tina Reserve until fire services have ensured that the area is safe. The massive fire erupted yesterday at 2:00 P.M. in the eastern part of the Golan Hula Valley, spreading quickly and forcing hikers to flee the flames, Danny Hananya, head of fire and rescue services in the Golan Heights said in a statement. Six people in including a pregnant woman were lightly injured in the fire, all suffering from smoke inhalation. The pregnant woman was in her eighth month, and was rushed to the delivery room after she went into labor due to the shock of the trauma. A couple and their two children, ages three and eight, were admitted for mild scratches they attained while escaping the fire.
2011: Five Kassam rockets were fired into southern Israel overnight and an additional mortar shell from Gaza landed in the Negev this morning. No one was hurt in the attacks and no damage was reported. The IAF responded to the rocket attacks with airstrikes on six targets in Gaza.
2011: Defense Forces officials issued a statement Friday, condemning Hamas for not taking action to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel, shortly after Chief of Staff Benny Gantz called an emergency meeting to discuss the increased violence in southern Israel. The IDF chief met with GOC Southern Command Tal Russo, Israel Air Force commander Ido Nehushtan and Military Intelligence Chief Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi, among other top IDF brass. The closed door meeting focused on the increase in attacks from Gaza against Israel in recent days. Israel Air Force launched retaliatory strikes early today that left at least five Palestinians wounded and one missing in the Gaza Strip, witnesses and officials in the territory said. The witnesses said that IAF fighter jets struck a smuggling tunnel under the border between southern Gaza and Egypt, where five people were wounded. The Israel Defense Forces spokesman's office said the strikes were in response to response to six homemade missiles fired by militants from Gaza toward towns in southern Israel, marking escalating tension along the Gaza border for the first time in two months.
2012: Those celebrating the 120th anniversary of the birth of Walter Benjamin today might be reading his essay “On the Concept of History” or Walter Benjamin: A Philosophical Portrait by Professor Eli Friedlander, the head of the Philosophy Department at Tel Aviv University.
2012: “Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America” a creation of the International Spy Museum, is scheduled to open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
2012: “Silk Stones,” an exhibition feature the works of Rochelle Rubinstein is scheduled to come to a close at the Yeshiva University Museum.
2012: The final screening of Israeli documentary filmmaker Michal Aviad’s “Invisisble” at the Museum of Modern Art.
2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family’s Legacy of Infidelities by Katharine Weber and Why This World George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family’s Legacy of Infidelities by Katharine Weber
Copyright; July, 2012; Mitchell A. Levin, firstname.lastname@example.org