July 3 In Jewish History
323: Constantine the Great defeated Licinius at the Battle of Adrianople. Constantine ruled the western half of the Roman Empire. Licinius ruled the eastern half. In 313 the two rulers had issued the Edict of Milan which opened the Roman Empire to Christianity. In 320, Licinius reject the edict. These led to a clash of political and religious power that was settled at the Battle of Adrianople. When the war ended, Constantine and Christianity were secure in their respective positions of power and the history of the Jews of Europe would take a turn for the worse.
987: Hugh Capet is crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty. “The Capetian dynasty lasted for more than 300 years. Capetian rule was weak, especially during the first hundred years. Thus each duchy decided for itself how to treat its Jews. The Church gained enormous influence over local affairs and promoted the idea that the Jews were in league with the Devil - declaring them the antichrist".
1431: Queen Violante, the second wife of Juan I of Aragon passed away. Unlike other Catholic monarchs of her time, Violante showed herself to be a friend of the Jews. When she found out that Christian mobs had attacked the Jewish community of Majorca, killing at least three hundred of them, she order that “inhabitants of the islands to pay a fine of 150,000 florins (or, according to some authorities, 104,000 florins).”
1475: Meshullam Cusi Rafa ben Moses Jacob established the first Hebrew press in Italy at Piove di Sacco near Padua and printed Jacob ben Asher's Arbah Turim. The same year he also printed a Slichot
1608: Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel Champlain. Prior to 1760, when the British took Canada from France, officially there were no Jews living in Quebec or any other part of the French colony. The King of France had decreed that only Roman Catholics could settle in the colony. This declaration was aimed at potential Protestant colonists, but it hit Jews as well. The first known Jew settled in Quebec in 1767.
1749: Seventy-year old Menahem Man ben Aryeh Löb of Visun, who had been tortured was executed in Vilna
1844: Birthdate of Dankmar Adler, American architect and engineer. Adler was born in
1849: The French entered Rome in order to restore Pope Pius IX to power. After his return to power Pius re-instituted the Ghetto for the Jews of Rome 1850. In 1858, he would gain greater fame (or infamy) during the Mortara Affair during which Pius refused to return young Edgardo to his Jewish family.
1852: Birthdate of Hungarian pianist and composer Rafael Joseffy
1855: An article published today entitled “Jewing the Jews” reported that “Lord John Russell who is notorious for great promises and abundant non-performance” has backed out on his promise to remove the legal obstructions preventing Jews from serving in Parliament. The article goes on to trace Lord Russell’s history of involvement in the issued beginning in 1847 when he needed the financial support of the Rothschilds to win the election. While the Rothschilds provided the funds need by Lord Russell, Lord Russell, for some mysterious reason, avoided the easy route that would have it possible for Rothschild to take his seat in the Commons and opted instead for a broader reform that was sure to fail because it needed the support of the House of Lords. It would seem that Lord Russell really never wanted a Jew to sit in Parliament.
1857: It was reported ttoday hat a Jewish boy named Isaac Jackson was robbed and murdered in Russell, MA by a man named Charles Jones. Jones had recently been released from prison and had been arrested for this latest criminal act.
1860: Birthdate of Théodore Reinach “a French archaeologist, mathematician, lawyer, papyrologist, philologist, epigrapher, historian, numismatist, musicologist, professor, and politician.”
1863: In New York City Sophie and Abram J. Dittenhoefer gave birth to Irving Meade Dittenhoefer. Dittenhoefer was the grandson of Isaac Dittenhoefer a native of Germany who came to the United States in 1834 settling first in Baltimore and then Charleston, SC where he became a successful merchant. Irving followed his father into the legal arena graduating from Columbia Law School in 1885. He and his wife Fannie have one son, Newman Erb Dittenhoefer.
1863: Union forces decisively defeated the Rebels on the third and climactic day of the Battle of Gettysburg. . The war would last for almost two years, but the tide had been turned. The “last best hope of man” would survive. The United States, with all of its freedom, would become home to one of the largest and most dynamic Jewish communities in the four thousand year history of the Chosen People. Edward S. Salomon, a German-Jewish immigrant who had settled in Chicago, “became a hero during the Battle of Gettysburg.” Lt. Colonel Salmon had two horses shot out from under him and assumed command of his regiment when the commanding officer was wounded. The regiment was the 82nd Illinois which had over a hundred Jewish members in its ranks. Major General Carl Schurz, his corps commander, described him during the battle: "He was the only soldier at Gettysburg who did not dodge when Lee's guns thundered; he stood up, smoked his cigar and faced the cannon balls with the sang froid of a Saladin ...” Apparently the irony of comparing this brave Jewish officer to a Moslem military hero was lost on Schurz. Such was Salomon’s skill and bravery that he would be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General before the end of the war. when the Confederate and Union armies collided and battled at the Battle of Gettysburg July 1–3, 1863. His ability to lead men was quickly recognized and he rapidly rose through the ranks. Salomon received a brevet promotion to brigadier general in March 1865. After the Battle of Atlanta, Colonel John Cleveland Robinson recognized the feats of Colonel Salomon when he wrote: "I consider Colonel Salomon one of the most deserving officers. His regiment is deserving of high praise. In a point of discipline it is second to none in the corps. Among other Jewish soldiers who fought at this climactic battle were Elias Leon Hyneman who had volunteered to serve in Company C, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry at the start of the conflict; Captain Joseph B. Greenhut who had enlisted in the 12rh Illinois Infantry at the start of the war and served with the 82nd Illinois Infantry at Gettysburg;
1863: The Tullahoma or Middle Tennessee Campaign a ten-da long military action in which Confederate forces were defeated by Union Forces that included 79th Indiana under the command of Frederick Knefler came to an end.
1869: Founding of the Union of Judæo-German Congregations" during a synod that was held at Leipzig.
1870: Members of Beth Jacob consecrated their house of worship in Brooklyn this afternoon. After a procession from the local Masonic Hall to the new edifice, Rabbi Samuel M. Issacs addressed the congregation, speaking proudly of the advances that had been made recently in religious thought and strongly endorsing reforms that were being adopted by many congregations. He also addressed the wonderful climate of freedom that Jews enjoyed in the United States. Rabbi Adolph Huebsch of Brooklyn also addressed the crowd after which a total of $1,000 was contributed by the attendees. The new building had cost $8,000 and was fully paid for without this additional sum.
1874: Starting with this issue The Israelite, an English language weekly founded by Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise was renamed The American Israelite
1874: Among those who were arriving at Saratoga Springs at the beginning of the Summer Social Season were “Mrs. Joseph Seligman wife of the wealthy banker” and her two daughters, Miss Bella Seligamn and “Mrs. Hellman whose husband is a Director of the Bank of New Orleans.”
1875: The Foreign Notes column reported that “a new invention by Sir David Salomons for preventing railway accidents by an improved system of signaling” has been exhibited to “a large number of engineers and inventors” in London. The invention “consists of an insulated rail laid beneath the four way, by means of which station-masts can telegraph to a train while in motion.” Also this makes it possible for people on one train to communicate with people on another train. Salomons is best known for his several attempts to assume political office to which he had been elected with taking the oath that called for an affirmation of Christian beliefs.
1875: The Foreign Notes column reported that the Russian government is going back to its past practice of persecuting Jews. Many Jews have moved their homes and businesses to take advantage of new opportunities created by the developing railroad system. Authorities are now enforcing an old law and forcing the Jews to return to their former homes, leaving behind their new businesses and homes.
1877: Two Jews named David Milstein and Isaac Goldstein were tried today in New York and found guilty of first degree burglary. They had broken into the home of a butcher named Meyer Freeman, robbing him of money and jewelry. They were sentenced to 12 years in the state prison. Milstein has spent 21 of his 28 years in prison while Goldstein has served one term in the state penitentiary.
1879: In London, a formal announcement was made that the three sons of the recently deceased Baron Lionel de Rothschild will carry on their father’s business activities.
1882: As boatloads of Italian and Russian Jewish workers who had replaced the striking freight handlers returned from New Jersey, they were set upon and beaten by gangs of local thugs. The strikers claimed that they were not involved and that this was merely the work of young toughs.
1882: A Russian Jew employed on the Pennsylvania pier, No.1 North River tore a piece of his scalp that was two inches in diameter from his forehead when a heavy bale that he was putting on a truck broke free and hit an obstruction. The Russian Jews was one of the strikebreakers who were plentiful in number but inept at doing the work.
1883: Birthdate of author Franz Kafka. The famous Czech born author gained his real fame after his death. After many false starts Kafka earned a Doctorate of Laws and then took a mind-numbing job with an insurance company. Ill health finally enabled him to work shorter hours, which gave him time to pursue his writings. Three of his best known works are the Trial, The Castle and
1884: The attorney for Gustave Jean Jacquet defended the painter from charges by Alexandre Dumas fils that he had defamed him by caricaturing the French author and dramatist as Baghdad Jew by arguing that the author’s features were public property. In making his argument he cited the precedent of Horace Vernet “who depicted a well-known Jew running away with the cashbox.” Dumas was the illegitimate son of the more famous author of the same name. He was also the maternal grandfather of Alexander Lippman the French Olympic fencer whose father was Jewish.
1885: “Sending Back French Paupers” published today described the situation of indigent Jewish immigrants who had been sent to the United States by the Hebrew Aid Society of Paris last season and been returned to their place of origin because of their lack of funds and financial sponsors.
1888: The Sanitarium for Hebrew Children conducted the first of its ten summer excursions for poor Jewish children and their mothers.
1903: Pogrom began in Bialystok.
1904(20th of Tamuz, 5664): Theodor Herzl away at the age of 44. One person can make a difference. “If you will it, it is no dream!”
1918: Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire passed away at the age of 73. He had been the titular head of the empire that sided with the Central Powers during World War I. Among the Jews who died fighting under the Sultan’s banner were Major Isaac Adjubel, Captain Albert Cohen, Captin Izidor Shalom, Captain Zavarro, Captain Albert Menashe, Captain Pepo Akshiote, Captain Siyaves, Captain Albagli, Captain Asa, Captain David Feder and Captain Pharmacist Behor Alfandar.
1921: Birthdate of Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the second Rebbe of the Boston Hasidic dynasty founded by his father, Rabbi Pinchas Horowitz.
1923: Mayer Dizengoff, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, sails from New York City aboard the Aquitania.
1924: In Syracuse, NY, Bessie and Harry Israel gave birth to Marvin Israel “a painter and editorial art director and a teacher of graphics and photography.”
1925: Birthdate of Tony Curtis. Born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, Curtis was sometimes referred to as "a poor man's Cary Grant." One of his biggest hits came when he played opposite Grant in the film "The Pink Submarine." Other famous roles were in "Some Like It Hot" with costars Jack Lemmon and that famous Jewess, Marilyn Monroe and as the wisecracking
1929: At the opening meeting of the Assembly of the Elected, “the national body which elects the National Council of Palestine Jews, a dispute broke out between Dr. Ton, the presiding officer and revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky. The dispute revolved around revisionist claims that several of their delegates were attacked by Labor delegates and was so intense the meeting was adjourned.
1933: In Chicago, the convention of the ZOA comes to a close.
1935(2nd of Tamuz, 5695): Sir Francis Montefiore, grandnephew of the noted philanthropist, Sir Moses Montefiore, passed away today at the age of 75
1936(13th of Tamuz, 5696): German Jew Stefan Lux kills himself in the assembly room of the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The suicide is in protest of
1936 The Palestine Post reported from London that the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby Gore, told the House of Commons that "there were no provisions in the Covenant or Peace Treaties or the Mandate regarding the withdrawal of the Mandate from the Power entrusted with it."
1936 The Palestine Post reported that Hebron was fined a collective fine of £2,000 for ambushing an army patrol. Two British soldiers were hurt in this encounter.
1936: The Palestine Post reported that ten suspected Jewish communists were rounded up by police in Tel Aviv and interned at the army's Sarafand detention camp.
1936 The Palestine Post reported that when questioned about a news item which appeared in an Arab newspaper, the management of the Jerusalem YMCA declared that it offered a platform on which young men, irrespective of their race, creed and religion could cooperate and meet in an atmosphere of congeniality and goodwill.
1937: Twenty-nine year old Brooklynite Moe Schultz returned today on the President Roosevelt from Palestine, where he said he had driven a truck for three years between the towns of Haifa and Tel-Aviv, a distance of ninety miles, and had many thrilling escapes from Arab snipers.
1939: A sailboat of unknown of unknown nationality arrived in Haifa flying the blue and white colors of the Zionist cause. British police boarded the boat “where they found 697 Jewish immigrants including 192 women and 37 children.” The immigrants are classified as “illegal” and their total will be deducted from the pitifully small allotment of Jews allowed to enter Palestine under the White Paper.
1939(16th of Tamuz, 5699): Tonight Arabs attacked Tel Hayim, a settlement near Tel Aviv, killing one Jewish supernumerary.
1941: Associate Justice Harlan Fisk Stone began serving as Chief Just of the U.S Supreme Court. From 1932 until 1937, Stone, the New England Prorestant joined the two Jewish Justices – Cardozo and Brandeis – as the 3 Musketeers, the liberal faction of the Supreme.
1941(8th of Tammuz, 5701): At Nowogrodek, the Nazis sought fifty "volunteers" to be members of the Jewish council there. They are taken away and never seen again. Fifty more were shot in the town square.
1941: In Vilna, all the Jews were required to wear identity badges.
1941(8th of Tammuz, 5701): One hundred Jews are murdered at Bialystok, Poland.
1941(8th of Tammuz, 5701): In the Ukraine, 3500 Jews are killed at Zloczow and hundreds die at Drohobycz.
1941(8th of Tammuz, 5701): Fifty Jews in Novogroduk, Belorussia, who volunteer for a German-organized Jewish council, "disappear." Another 50, selected at random, are shot in the town square to the accompaniment of music played by a German band.
1941: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orders the establishment of partisan units to harass German troops in occupied Soviet territory. Jews would play an active role in these units. There were also units made up exclusively of Jewish partisans.
1941: Birthdate of Gloria Rachel Bloom, who gained fame as Gloria Alred, the publicity seeking lawyer.
1943: Birthdate of self-promoting television news personality Geraldo Rivera. Rivera’s father was from
1944: The British War Cabinet agrees to examine Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann's request for the formation of a Jewish Brigade to fight in the British Army, with the white and blue Star of David as its standard.
1946: Theodore Levin was nominated by President Harry S. Truman to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by Edward Julien Moinet.
1946: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis met for the first time in Atlantic City. They would become one of the leading comedy teams of their time. The Italian Crooner played straight man to the Jewish clown.
1947: Birthdate of brilliant attorney, Renaissance man and all-around great guy, David Robert Levin- a real Mensh. He is also one heck of a great brother!
1948: Rumors abound in besieged
1949: Birthdate of world traveling computer whiz and pillar of the
1951: The Jerusalem Post reported that the first reading of the Women's Equal Rights Bill was passed by the Knesset. The Knesset had also passed a bill empowering the government to float loans up to IL5m. from financial institutions to be applied to the defense budget. 128,223 new immigrants entered the country during the first six months of 1951. Since the state was established in 1948, 638,597 immigrants arrived.
1959: Birthdate of David Shore the Canadian lawyer turned writer, who is “best known for his work writing and producing television shows including Family Law, NYPD Blue, Due South and House.
1962: The Algerian War for Independence ends with Algeria gaining its independence from France. The end of the war with the Algerians marked a shift in French attitudes and policies in the
1976: The Israeli cabinet approved Operation Thundberbolt, the rescue mission designed to save the Jewish hostages being held at Entenbbe. It was to be under the command of Major General Yekutiel "Kuti" Adam with Matan Vilnai as the Deputy Commander and Brigadier General Dan Shomron was appointed to command the operation on the ground
1979: Thirty-four years after the end of World War II, the West German government voted to continue prosecution of Nazi war criminals by removing the statute of limitations on murder.
1980(19th of Tamuz, 5740): Anatoli (Tankhum) Lvovich Kaplan “a Russian painter, sculptor and printmaker, whose works often reflect his Jewish origins” passed away. One of his most noted works was “The Musicians” painted in 1968.
1982:Uri Avnery, the Israeli writer and Knesset member who has traveled from the Irgun to the leftist peace movement met Yasser Arafat on during the "Battle of Beirut" — said to have been the first time an Israeli met personally with Arafat.
1987: ''Furniture Making in East London: 1830 to 1980,'' an exhibition that is part of this summer's Jewish East End Celebration opened at Geffrye Museum,
1989: Opening of the Thirteenth Maccabiah.
1997: Poet Adrienne Rich made headlines on by refusing to accept the National Medal for the Arts. “Ms Rich informed Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, that she would not accept the National Medal for the Arts. To accept the award, she felt, would be hypocritical in view of the country's widening socio-economic gap. In her typical hard-hitting style, Rich wrote that, "art—in my own case the art of poetry—means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage." Both the national recognition and Rich's principled refusal were emblematic of the place this poet has come to occupy in American culture.”
2001(12th of Tamuz, 5761): Mordecai Richler passed away. Born in 1931, Richler was a prolific prize winning author. One of his most famous books was the “Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,” which was later made into a movie starring Richard Dreyfus.
2005: 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 Missing Peace: The Inside Store of the Fight for Middle East Peace by Dennis Ross and Codex by Lev Grossman
2006: In the following review of “Up, Up and Oy Vey!” by Simcha Weinstein, Louis Parks describes “the obvious parallels” between the origins of Superman and Biblical depiction of Moses.
A loving parent tries to save the life of a child by placing him in a basket—or space capsule—and sending him floating/blasting to safety. Found and adopted into a new family in his new world, Moses/Superman is still guided by the wisdom and counsel of his parent. He lives a double life with a secret identity. Moses eventually leads people from abuse to freedom. Superman rescues people from disasters and crime. Superman's creators, Jewish immigrant sons Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster, invented the superhero in 1938 Cleveland, Ohio. They never declared Superman was Jewish and their ambiguity was probably intentional. Though they didn't give their hero a specific ethnicity or religion, there are hints at his Jewishness. In some of his earliest stories, Superman sometimes foiled the plans of thinly disguised German Nazis, whose persecution of Jews already was infamous. Americans may not have noticed, but apparently the Nazis snapped to the implications, quickly blasting the new comic. Weinstein writes that in 1940, Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels denounced Superman as Jewish. Weinstein also "recounts the Jewish influence on superheroes such as Batman, Captain America, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and X-Men, most of whom were created by Jewish artists."
2007: Friendship: An Expose by Joseph Epstein goes on sale to the general public today.
2007: Much to the delight of all who know him, David Levin, a mensch in the truest sense of that word, celebrates his sixtieth birthday.
2008: Rosh Chodesh Tammuz (First Day)
2008: Birthday celebration of David Levin, a grand gabbai and, like his Biblical namesake, a sweet singer of song.
2008: A foundation created by Steven Spielberg is giving $1 million to the National Museum of American Jewish History. The money from the Righteous Persons Foundation will go toward a new, five-story museum building being built in Philadelphia. With the donation, officials say the museum's capital campaign has raised $111 million toward its $150 million goal. The new museum is set to open in 2010. Spielberg helped establish the Righteous Persons Foundation in 1994 after directing his Oscar-winning Holocaust film "Schindler's List."The museum was established in 1976 and is dedicated to telling the story of the American Jewish experience. It is constructing the new building in hopes of raising its profile and increasing the number of visitors
2008: Today, Saudi Arabia invited an Israeli rabbi to attend an interfaith conference to be held in Madrid. Rabbi David Rosen, president of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, is the only rabbi who lives in Israel who was invited by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the World Muslim League to the conference that is slated for July 16 to 18. Other rabbis representing Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism have also been invited. Rosen said that the conference was the Saudis' first initiative to reach out to other religions in this way.
2008: During the ceasefire with Hamas a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza struck near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. No casualties or damage was reported.
2009: Bill Hurwitz, world traveling computer whiz pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community, and a Zeda twice over celebrates the BIG Six-O.
2009: The family and friends celebrate the anniversary of the natal day of David Levin whose accomplishments are so numerous that we would have to start a separate blog just to cover them. יום הולדת שמח
2010: The United States Holocaust Museum is scheduled to present a special program entitled France Pruitt "Faith, Courage, and Survival in a Time of Trouble"
2010: The joy of Shabbat is doubled as it coincides with the celebration of the birthday of David Levin, a hamesha mensch par excellence and a great brother.
2010: In Cedar Rapids, the traditional Shabbat minyan at Temple Judah celebrated the holiday weekend with a “Red, White and Blue.”
2010: Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat categorically denied today a report that the PA told George Mitchell it would allow or accept Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall in a new Arab state. The London-based Al-Hayat Arabic language daily had reported today that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell a signed letter that the PA would surrender its demand that the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem be part of his proposed PA state.
2011: The family and friends of David Levin are glad to be able to share in celebrating the natal day of this hamesha mensch.
2011: The wedding ceremony joining Abbie Silber and Rabbi Feivel Strauss is scheduled to take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A sweet singer of song joins a budding sage!
2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “To End All Wars” by Adam Hochschild.
2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Manstein: Hitler’s Greatest General” by Mungo Melvin and the recently released paperback editions of “Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law” by Gabriel Schoenfeld and “Spies of the Balkans Alan Furst’s that centers around “Costa Zannis, a police official and fixer who has taken to helping Jewish refugees from Berlin complete the difficult route to safety.”
2011(1st of Tammuz, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
2011: Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza resumed rocket fire on the western Negev this morning. The missile exploded in an open area, causing no injuries or property damage. The primitive Kassam rockets have no guidance system, and their trajectory usually leaves Israeli residents in the Gaza Belt area in a situation of being unwilling players in “Russian Roulette.” Today’s rocket was the first in two weeks, when Hamas broke another “ceasefire” announcement. It had stated in April it would hold its fire if Israel did not strike, following an attack with a laser-guided anti-tank missile that struck a school bus, killing one teenager.
2011: Hundreds of people demonstrated in Jerusalem today in support of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, who was arrested that morning for questioning over incitement to racism and violence, and released in less than one hour. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef, was arrested in his car after concluding his morning prayer at Simon's Tomb in Jerusalem, and was questioned for less than an hour about his endorsement of the controversial book "Torat Hamelech," which justifies the killing of non-Jews, before being released. A short demonstration took place outside his home in Jerusalem, which developed into unruliness. Some of the protesters attacked two cars carrying Arabs, in which one passenger was injured and required medical treatment. Police forces that were called to the site pushed protesters to the sidewalk and opened the street to traffic
2011(1st of Tammuz, 5771: Seventy-six year old Fred Newman whose “influential role in New York life and politics defied easy description” passed away. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2012: The European Union of Jewish Students is scheduled to sponsor “Sharing Our Common Past: Christian and Jewish students” where young Jews and Catholics come together in Krakow to look for answers to the following questions: What divides us? What do we have in common? How can we work together? What are our roles and niches in contemporary Europe?
2012: American hard rockers Guns 'N Roses who are heading back to Israel for the first time since 1993 are scheduled to perform at Hayarkon Park along with support acts Ugly Joe Kid and local favorites Hayehudim
2012: In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, friends and family of David Levin prepare to celebrate the birthday of one “cool dude.”