March 25 In History
1271: King Jaime (Kings James I of Aragon) freed all the Jews in Murviedro, a city in Valencia of debts from Christians. It should be noted this is after the Christians burned down a synagogue, and then were forced to rebuild it themselves.
1488: Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro “a 15th-century Italian rabbi best known for his popular commentary on the Mishnah, commonly known as "The Bartenura" arrived in Jerusalem where he rejuvenated the moribund Jewish community.
1303: The Jews of Weissensee, Germany, were massacred.
1601(21st of Adar II, 5361): Doña Mariana was tried and put to death at an auto-da-fé held in Mexico City today. She was one of the two surviving daughters of Doña Francisca, who had been put to death earlier. The entire family had been found guilty of the same crime – relapsing from Catholicism to Judaism. Only the youngest daughter would escape death.
1735: For the year beginning today, Jews accounted for 13 of the entries in the journal recording maritime trade for the port of New York.
1748: “For the quarter beginning today there were seven Jewish entries”. “Jacob Rivera had three entries and Mordecai Gomez, Jacob Franks, Samuel Naphtali and Abraham Hart had one each.”
1795: Birthdate of Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, a German born Orthodox Rabbi who supported the Zionist ideal before it officially became a movement.
1807(15th of Adar II, 5567): Shushan Purim
1817: Tsar Alexander I recommended formation of Society of Israeli Christians, whose primary function was to convert Jews to Christianity. It failed.
1838: In Jamaica, Hannah and Isaac Kursheedt gave birth to Edwin Israel Kursheedt
1840: During the Damascus Affair, Adophe Cremieux, vice president of the Central Consistorie of French Israelites, hears the appeals Jews from the Syrian community seeking relief for the Jews who have wrongly been imprisoned. A future member of the Chamber of Deputies, this Sephardic lawyer, takes up the cause of his co-religionists enlisting the support of no less than Adolphe Thiers, the French Prime Minister.
1861: As the storm clouds of secession roll across America, Jews on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line sit down to the Seder tonight on the first night of Pesach.
1863: Birthdate of Simon Flexner. Simon Flexner was a fighter against all diseases. He probed and pushed to find the causes and cures for human ailments. As a result of his work, he became the director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Simon was the fourth of nine children of Esther and Morris Flexner. His brother Bernard became a famous lawyer and an ardent Zionist. Another brother, Abraham, was the first director at the Institute for the Advanced Study at Princeton. Simon went to the University of Louisville to study medicine, and received his M.D. in 1889. Finding that the laboratories at the school had very few supplies, he acquired a microscope and taught himself how to use it. He then went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to study pathology. He soon began to publish papers on pathology and in 1892. He became an associate in pathology in the newly opened Johns Hopkins Medical School. He became involved with many epidemics, including one of cerebrospinal meningitis in western Maryland in 1893. In 1899, he was in Manila where he found the strain of dysentery bacillus that became known as the Flexner type. In 1901, the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research was created and he was chosen to be one of seven members on the board of scientific directors. He was asked to organize and direct the laboratories on medical research. This concept of research was new to America and it was financially secure through the Rockefellers' endorsements. In 1905, New York City was hit with a severe epidemic of cerebrospinal meningitis, which Flexner had encountered 12 years before. He experimented with monkeys until he found a serum to conquer the disease. In 1907, he found himself trying to fight an epidemic of poliomyelitis which had spread through the eastern states. He was able to isolate the infectious agent but he couldn't find a cure, since the disease was caused by a filterable virus rather than a bacterial organism. His discovery laid the basis for others to find polio vaccines some 40 Years later. Simon was the only editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine for 19 years. During this time he wrote many articles on public health, research and education. In World War I, he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Army Medical Corps and went to Europe to inspect and establish the medical facilities of the expeditionary forces. After the war, his role in the Rockefeller Institute became greater, and now included involvement in the animal pathology department at Princeton. Flexner was active in many organizations and became an officer of quite a few. He retired from the Rockefeller Institute in 1935 and a year after was appointed an Eastman Professor at Oxford University. He died in 1946, leaving behind a legacy in the field of pathology.
1864: The Jewish Chronicle published the following description of the death of famed musician Isaac Nathan who had died in January of that year. Mr. Nathan was a passenger by No. 2 tramway car […] [he] alighted from the car at the southern end, but before he got clear of the rails the car moved onwards […] he was thus whirled round by the sudden motion of the carriage and his body was brought under the front wheel. “The horse-drawn tram was the first in Sydney: Nathan was Australia's (indeed the southern hemisphere's) first tram fatality.”
1869(13th of Nisan, 5629):Ta'anit Bechorot
1869: “The Jewish Passover” published today reported that “tomorrow evening at sundown the feast of the Passover will be commenced by Israelites everywhere, in commemoration of their ancestors having remained intact on the night when all of their oppressors, the Egyptians, were smitten by the angel of death.
1869: The New York Times reports that “To-morrow evening at sundown, the feast of the Passover will be commenced by Israelites everywhere, in commemoration of their ancestors having remained intact, on the night when all the first-born in the families of their oppressors. the Egyptians, were smitten by the angel of death. The feat will continue eight days, during which but unleavened bread will be eaten…On the first and second evenings various commemorative rites will be indulged in in every household including the recital of Scriptural and legendary narratives, and familiar conversations on the subject of the deliverance. Appropriate psalms will also be chanted.”
1870: It was reported today that the ladies of the B’nai Jeshrun Benevolent Society in New York have established an Industrial Home for impoverished Jewish Women.
1872(15th of Adar II, 5632): Shushan Purim
1878: Rabbi Abram Isaacs will delivere a lecture tonight on “A Hero of the Synagogue” at the 34th Street Synagogue in New York City.
1879(1st of Nisan, 5639): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1880: In an article explaining the origins of Easter Eggs, the New York Times reports that “the old Jews introduced eggs at the feast of Passover…”
1880: Miss Emita Wolf and Mr. Lewis May were married this evening at the home of Mr. Charles Wolf, the prominent New York banker who is the brother of the bride. The groom is President of Temple Emanu-El and “the head of a large banking house at No. 33 Broad Street in New York City.
1881: Among the winners of the Grave Prize Essays at Williams College was Austin B. Bassett of Albany, NY who wrote on “Ancient and Modern Jew.”
1882: A fire broke out at nine o’clock tonight at a tenement house located at 159 Attorney Street in New York destroying a supply of Matzah which a baker named Louis Schoenthal had stored on the building’s first floor. Schoenthal claims that the Matzah which he had prepared for the upcoming holiday of Passover was worth $6,000. Fortunately, he has insurance which should cover the loss.
1883(16th of Adar II, 5643): Shushan Purim observed since the 15th of Adar fell on Shabbat.
1888: In New York, Mrs. Mary Isaacs, the mother of six, was the first of over eight hundred poor Jews who received meat orders courtesy of funds raised by Mrs. M. Rosendorff. This was part of an annual project to provide food for the city’s poor Jews so that they can celebrate Passover.
1890: Zadoc Kahn was inducted as Chief Rabbi of France, a position to which he had been elected in 1899 following the death of Chief Rabbi Isidor. Kahn “then entered upon a period of many-sided philanthropic activity. He organized the relief movement in behalf of the Jews expelled from Russia, and gave much of his time to the work of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, which elected him honorary president in recognition of his services. He aided in establishing many private charitable institutions, including the Refuge du Plessis-Piquet, near Paris, an agricultural school for abandoned children, and the Maison de Retraite at Neuilly-sur-Seine, for young girls. He was appointed Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1879 and Officer in 1901. He was also Officer of Public Instruction. He was one of the founders, the first vice-president, and, soon after, president, of the Société des Études Juives (1879). He was considered a brilliant orator, and one of his most noteworthy addresses was delivered on the centenary of the French Revolution — "La Révolution Française et le Judaïsme".
1891: T. H. French and Frank Daniels have purchased tickets so that all of the children attending the Industrial School supported by the United Hebrew Charities can attend this afternoon’s performance of “Little Puck” at the Grand Opera House. (Frank Daniels was a stage actor who would pursue a film career in the early days of cinema. He was not Jewish – just generous)
1891: In the Court of Common Pleas, Joseph Abrahamson, a wealthy young Jew, changed his his name to Joseph Abraham Edison.
1893: “Russian Hatred of Jews” published today described yet another manifestation of anti-Semitism in the Czar’s Empire where “grain speculators and merchants” are forming “a new produce exchange from which Jews will be excluded.”
1894: As the United States copes with an economic depression, the Finance Committee of the 6-15-99 Club, a businessmen’s funded relief organization allocated $1,600 to various charities including $100 to the United Hebrew Charities.
1896(14th of Adar, II, 5746): Purim
1896: The Monte Relief Society which was started by former opera star Sofia Nueberger who is now known as Sofia Monte Loebinger and 16 women in 1893 now has 350 members. Mrs. Monte-Loebinger continues to serve as Prsident. Other officers including Louise Simon – Vice President; Mollie Teschner Recording Secretary; Emma Marx – Financial Secretary; Carrie Heyman – Treasurer.
1898: “Vaudeville for Poor Children” published today described a vaudeville show performed by members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for the benefit youngsters under the care of the society and the Montefiore Home.
1899 (14th of Nisan, 5659): This evening, as Jews begin the observance of Pesach, services are held at New York’s Temple Emanu-El conducted by Rabbi Joseph Silverman and Dr. Gustav Gottheil with Mr. Sparger serving as Cantor.
1899: “The Hebrew Passover At Hand” published today described the observance of the holiday that “s the anniversary of the going of the Children of Israel out of Egypt and their freedom from bondage under Pharaoh.” “During the feast no leaven is eaten” but “with the more radical Jews the feast is not now closely observed and the unleavened bread is not eaten, but a quantity is kept at the table…”
1901: Birthdate of British anthropologist Camillia Wedgwood, the daughter of Josiah Wegwood, the British leader who spoke out against appeasement and supported the settlement of Jews in Palestine in opposition to the White Paper. “From 1937 she was secretary of the German Emergency Fellowship Committee, which included Max Lemberg and Sydney Morris. She pleaded the cause of Jewish and non-Aryan Christian victims of Nazi persecution before (Sir) John McEwen, minister for the interior. In close contact with her father, she raised money for refugee passages to Australia, but confided to her sister Helen that she felt like 'a mouse nibbling at a mountain'. She publicly protested against the treatment of the internees in the Dunera and the refugees in the Strouma which sank in the Black Sea.” (As reported by David Wetherell)
1902: Herzl is informed that the Sultan studied his plan. Herzl is asked what plans he has for the regulation of the Turkish debts under more favorable conditions than those submitted by the French.
1903: Herzl met Lord Cromer and Boutros Ghali in Cairo. The Zionist Commission returned to Suez.
1903: The Jewish quarter of Port Said, Egypt was invaded and looted by Arabs in consequence of an earlier ritual murder charge that took place on September 17, 1902.
1905: The New York Times reviews “Volume 9,” the newest volume of The Jewish Encyclopedia to be published. Eventually there will be a total of 12 volumes. “Volume Nine” opens “with a record of the Marawezyk family of Polish scholars that flourished during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and closes with the Philippson family, a family of German authors and scientists, who rose to fame in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.”
1907: The East Side Business Men’s Protective Business Association continued their annual distribution Matzoth and Matzah flour to the poor Jews
1910: Birthdate of Benzion Mileikowsky, the native of Warsaw who gained fame as Benzion Netanyahu, a leading Jewish historian whose Benjamin became Prime Minister of Israel. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1911: Birthdate of Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald.
1911: The discovery of the mutilated body of Andrei Yishinsky, near Kiev, Russia, led to the infamous trial of Mendel Beilis on ritual-murder charges
1911: In New York City, 146 garment workers died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire. Many of the victims were young immigrant Jewish girls working in the sweatshop environment of the garment industry. The first helped spur the formation of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Approximately 500 workers were sewing shirtwaists in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company's sweatshop near Washington Square in Manhattan when a fire broke out. The building lacked adequate fire escapes, firefighting equipment was unable to reach the top floors, and — most tragically — exit doors had been locked to prevent unauthorized breaks. Some women, unable to reach an exit, jumped from ninth- and tenth-floor windows in a vain effort to save themselves. The fire did its work within twenty minutes. In the end, 146 died and many more were injured. Most of the dead were recent immigrant Jewish and Italian women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three. Just two years before, the Jewish owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company had been among the targets of the strike known as the uprising of the 20,000, which had sought union recognition through the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). Though the strike had forced some firms to settle with their workers, Triangle had fired union members there and remained an anti-union shop. In the wake of the fire, the Jewish community and leading women in the labor movement sprang into action. The Women's Trade Union League (WTUL), a cross-class coalition that worked as an ally of the ILGWU, organized a public meeting at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 2. There, Rose Schneiderman, the leader of the 1909 strike, called upon all working people to take action. Three days later, 500,000 people turned out for the funerals of seven unidentified victims of the fire. Under pressure from the ILGWU, the WTUL, and others, New York State established a Committee on Safety in the wake of the fire. In addition, the state legislature set up a Factory Investigating Committee, which drafted new legislation designed to protect workers. Their recommendations included automatic sprinkler systems and occupancy limits tied to the dimensions of exit staircases. Thirty-six labor and safety laws were passed in the three years after the fire, thanks to the agitation of working people. Even as these regulations went into effect, the site of the Triangle fire remained a rallying point for labor organizing. Some survivors, galvanized by their experience, went on to lifetimes of labor activism. Frances Perkins, who witnessed the fire, later became Secretary of Labor under Franklin Roosevelt. She said that the Triangle Fire was what motivated her to devote her career to helping workers. The last survivor of the fire, Rose Rosenfeld Freedman, died in 2001 at age 107.
1911: Louis Waldman was a shocked member of the crowd on the street that witnessed the catastrophic Triangle Waist Company fire of 1911, an event which clearly always remained with him and served as one of the landmarks of his life. Waldman described the grim scene in his 1944 memoirs
"One Saturday afternoon in March of that year — March 25, to be precise — I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library... It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire.
"A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames."Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle Waist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.
"The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines."
1911(25th of Adar, 5671): Seventeen year old Tillie Kuperschmidt died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Along with many others, her tombstone is still standing at the Hebrew Free Burial Association's Mount Richmond Cemetery.
1915: As The Great War rages across Europe, Albert Einstein wrote from Berlin to the French writer and pacifist, Romain Rolland “When posterity recounts the achievements of Europe, shall we let men say that three centuries of painstaking cultural effort carried us no farther than from religious fanaticism to the insanity of nationalism? In both camps today even scholars behave as though eight months ago they suddenly lost their heads.”
1915: As the Gallipoli Campaign gave rise to all kinds of flights of political fancy, “The British Colonial Secretary, Lewis Harcourt, sent the members of the War Council a memorandum headed ‘The Spoils’ in which e suggested that, on the defeat of Turkey, Britain…should offer the Holy Places (in Palestine) as mandate to the United States” (How different History might have been had the United States been an active participant in the settling of the Jewish homeland immediately after WW I.)
1918: Birthdate of sportscaster Howard Cosell. While many think of Cosell as being the quintessential loudmouth New Yorker, he was actually born in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
1921: Arab demonstrations begin in Haifa protesting Jewish immigration. Following police action designed to break up the gatherings, anti-Jewish riots broke out “during which ten Jews and five policeman were injured” by the rioters.
1923: Sir Herbert Samuel, High Commissioner of Palestine denied the demands of the Arab Excuitve “that those arrested in the demonstration of March 14th to celebrate the success of the Arab boycott of the Legislative Council elections be released and that the Jerusalem chief of police be placed on trial for causing their arrest.” (As reported by JTA)
1923: Birthdate of Murray Klein, the driving force behind making Zabar’s Delicatessen into a New York institution.
1925: On a visit to Palestine, Lord Balfour of Balfour Declaration Fame, who is still a supporter of the Zionist cause, drives from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem stopping to visit with Jewish settlers and Arab Sheiks, “who told him they lived quite happily in proximity with their Jewish neighbors.”
1925: Dr. David de Sola Pool, rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue addressed a dinner of the Jewish Education Association at the Hotel Astor in New York City. He strongly supported the need “for Jewish religious education entirely free from the public schools. He voiced his support for the public schools remaining non-sectarian while calling for an improvement in the quality of Jewish education which will ensure the teaching of Jewish values, culture and character.
1925: In a speech delivered at the City College of New York, Rabbi Stephen Wise called on Jews all over the world to contribute to the support of the newly created Hebrew University which will officially be inaugurated on April 1.
1929: Montefiore Hospital for Chronic Diseases decided today to seek a fund of $1,200,000 to provide more modern facilities for wheel chair custodial cases. S.R. Guggenheim donates $50,000 and intends to given a similar sum when an additional $1,150,000 has been raised from other sources.
1934: Birthdate of feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem creator of Ms Magazine. Born into a dysfunctional family in Toledo, Ohio, she loved to watch Shirley Temple movies, hoping to be rescued miraculously from poverty, just like the little girl on the screen. Her first book, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983), wasn't published until she was almost fifty. Steinem said, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
1934: Birthdate of Rabbi Berel Wein There is no way to do justice to this eminent, literate, Jewish scholar. For those interested in finding out more about him, you might begin at
1935: Reynaldo Hahn's three act French opera “Le marchand de Venise” based on “The Merchant of Venice” was first performed at the Paris Opéra,
1937: The Palestine Post reported that Petah Tikva had become Palestine’s second purely Jewish town and had been granted municipal status. The newly formed municipal council was to consist of 15 councilors, of whom one was to be mayor and another deputy mayor.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that Mr. Ormsby-Gore, the Colonial Secretary, told the House of Commons that many arrests had been made in Northern Palestine, but the security situation in the South was better. Meanwhile Rehovot police fought a short battle with Negev Bedouin, searched their encampments and made some arrests.
1938: In Poland, after several attempts, the Seym outlawed the ritual slaughter of meat. The bill was never enforced because the Seym dissolved in September during the Czech crisis.
1940: Birthdate of Susan Fromberg who became famous as Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, a novelist with a gift for evoking complex characters in the grip of extreme psychological stress and physical suffering, notably in “The Madness of a Seduced Woman” and the Vietnam War novel “Buffalo Afternoon.” (As reported by William Grimes)
1941(27th of Adar, 5701): Dr. Froim Ephym Syrkin, the brother of the Zionist leader Nachum Syrkin (of blessed memory) passed away today at the age of 52. For the last five years, Dr. Syrkin has been serving as the superintendent of Beth Moses Hospital in Brooklyn. Born in Russia in 1889, Dr. Syrkin served with the Russian Army Medical Corps during World War I before starting a medical practice in post-war Warsaw where he also served as regional director for the American Joint Distribution Committee. Syrkin came to the United States in 1920 and worked at the Beth Abraham Home and Hospital for Incurables in the Bronx and the Bronxwood Sanitarium before going to work for Beth Moses in 1936. Syrkin was a bachelor who was survived by his mother and three sisters, two of whom are doctors.
1942: The government of the Slovak Republic began to deport its Jewish citizens today. The Slovak Republic was one of the countries to agree to deport its Jews as part of the Nazi Final Solution. Originally, the Slovak government tried to make a deal with Germany in October 1941 to deport its Jews as a substitute for providing Slovak workers to help the war effort. After the Wannsee Conference, the Germans agreed to the Slovak proposal, and a deal was reached where the Slovak Republic would pay for each Jew deported, and, in return, Germany promised that the Jews would never return to the republic. The initial terms were for "20,000 young, strong Jews", but the Slovak government quickly agreed to a German proposal to deport the entire population for "evacuation to territories in the east". The willing deportation was only the latest in a series of anti-Semitic actions taken by the government. Soon after gaining its “independence,” the Slovak Republic began a series of measures aimed against the Jews in the country. The Hlinka's Guard began to attack Jews, and the "Jewish Code" was passed in September 1941. Resembling the Nuremberg Laws, the Code required that Jews wear a yellow armband, banned intermarriage and denied Jews the opportunity to hold a variety of jobs.
1942: Seven hundred Jews from Polish Lvov-district reached Belzec Concentration camp
1943: A second group of Macedonian Jews who had been imprisoned in tobacco warehouses in Skopje was shipped to the Treblinka Death Camp.
1943: In a surprise move, 97% of all Dutch physicians went on strike against Nazi registration
1943: One thousand Jews are deported from Marseilles, France, to the Sobibór death camp.
1943(18th of Adar II, 5703): The Jewish community from Zólkiew, Poland, was marched to the Borek Forest and executed. [Ed. Note – Who says Kaddish for these people?]
1943: An anonymous letter written by a non-Jewish German citizen, critical of Nazi ghetto-liquidation techniques, was forwarded to Hitler's Chancellery. There is no record of the author’s name or his/or her fate.
1944: After weeks of political wrangling and German invasion, official word came that Hungary was ready to deal with its Jewish "problem".
1944: In response to last night’s attacks by members of the Stern Gang, the government imposed a curfew on the Jewish sections of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Hadar Hacarmel in Haifa.
1946: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry heard testimony from twelve witnesses today in Jerusalem. Among those testifying were Golda Meyerson representing the General Federation of Jewish Labor in Palestine, Sami Taha representing the Arab Worker’s Society who “called Zionism a trick of British Imperialism” and E.A. Ghory who “said that Palestine Arabs were supported against Zionism by the entire Moslem world.”
1946: “A shipload of illegal immigrant arrived” off the coast of Tel Aviv tonight. Several of the immigrants evaded capture by the British and reportedly “found shelter” in the homes of Jews living in Tel Aviv.
1946: In the first outbreak of its kind since the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry arrived in Palestine, unidentified attackers stuck the Saronoa police camp.
1947: Meir Feinstein, a British army veteran, Daniel Azulai, Massoud Bouton and Moshe Horowitz appeared before a three man military tribunal to answer charges that they were responsible for the bombing of a Jerusalem railway station last October resulting in the death of a British constable. The quartet will face the death penalty if they are found guilty
1947: A bank in Tel Aviv was robbed today in broad daylight by a gang believed to belong to the Irgun.
1947: In what appears to be another example of an on-going conflict among Arabs over the sale of land to Jews, gunmen attacked the home of Fakhri Eddine, a prominent Arab living in Beisan, seriously wounding five men and a girl.
1950: The United States, Great Britain and France issue a joint declaration promising to “take action against any aggression “designed to alter the frontiers in the Middle East.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from The Hague that the Israeli delegation to the reparations talks feared that there was little hope of attaining early substantial grants and had asked for a detailed clarification of the opening statements made by the West German delegation. The atmosphere at the talks continued to be formal. In Israel the police and Histadrut pickets stood by while Herut was making final preparations for a huge mass demonstration against German reparations.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that three Arab infiltrators were killed in the Sharon; a fourth escaped
1957(22nd of Adar II, 5717): Max Ophuls passed away. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0649097/bio
1960: The head of the Jewish Labor Committee called on the State Department and other Federal agencies today to cease what he termed discrimination against potential employees of the Jewish faith.
1963: At a surprise meeting with David Ben Gurion, Meir Amit was ordered to take over Mossad following the resignation of Isser Harel ("Little Isser"). Amit was forced to double as the director of military intelligence and head of Mossad. (As reported by the Telegraph of London)
1965: Birthdate of actress Sarah Jessica Parker
1974: Barbra Streisand recorded the album "Butterfly"
1975: King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot at point-blank range and killed by his half-brother's son, Faisal bin Musa'id, who had just come back from the United States. It is a commonly-held, but so far unsubstantiated popular belief in Saudi Arabia and the Arab and Muslim world that Faisal's oil boycott was the real cause of his assassination, via a Western conspiracy. [For once Israel and the Jews were not blamed for something gone wrong in the Middle East. The event is a yet another reminder that Israeli is not the cause of murder and mayhem in that part of the world as the anti-Semites would have us believe.]
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that port workers returned slowly to work under Labor Court orders. But the workers of the Land Registry went on a wildcat strike unauthorized by the Histadrut.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that a terrorist cell of 16 members, preparing a car bomb, was caught at Jenin. A number of dentists were put on trial for income tax evasion.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported Israeli scientists concluded that some of the trees of the Gethsemane area in Jerusalem were at least 1,600 years old.
1978: During Operation Litani, the PLO ordered a ceasefire in its fight with the IDF.
1979: Six year old Etan Patz, a Jewish child living in Manhattan, disappeared as he walked to the bus stop for the first time by himself.
1981(19th of Adar II, 5741): Seventy-two year old Uriel Shelach, the Israeli poet who wrote under the pen name of Yonatan Ratosh passed away today.
1981(19th of Adar II, 5741): Ninety-year old chess champion Edward Lasker passed away today. (As reported by Thomas W. Ennis)
1986: The ILGU will host a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
1986: The U.S. Supreme Court rules Air Force could ban wearing of yarmulkes.
1991: At a meeting with prominent Jews President Lech Walesa of Poland repeatedly made explicit statements denouncing anti-Semitism and vowed to fight bigotry in his country.
1998(27th of Adar, 5758): Fifty-one year old Congressman Steve Schiff passed away.
1999: Raik Haj Yahia, Amir Peretz and Adisu Massala broke away from the Labor Party to form One Nation.
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century by Laura Shapiro and Faithless: Tales of Transgression by Joyce Carol Oates.
2001: Dick Schapp is honored by The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
2003(21st of Adar II, 5763): Eighty-nine year old Eddie Jaffe, a legendary New York press agent, passed away today. (As reported by Ralph Blumenthal)
2004: The Times of London reports that the chairman of Signature Restaurants, which owns celebrity eateries in London such as The Ivy and Belgo, is backing plans by the Giraffe’s owners, Jewish business people Russel and Juliette Joffe, to double the size of the business to 16 sites over the next two to three years.
2005(14th of Adar II, 5765): Purim
2006: Shabbat Hachodesh.
2007: “International Jewish Artists of the Year Awards” begins at Christies Auctions House, in London, England (UK).
2007: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is holding an academic symposium in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the death of Uriel Weinreich, an exploration of the legacy of this premier scholar of Yiddish linguistics in America.
2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “The Secret U.S.-German Collaboration to End World War II” a lecture by Maria (Maki) Haberfeld and Sigrid MacRae who offer startling facts about the war with Hitler’s Germany and the way we might want to think about the resurgent anti-Semitism in Germany today. What were Roosevelt’s real responses to Hitler? How did the United States end up inadvertently strengthening the resistance of the Germans and the Swiss to a Holocaust?
2008: Israeli artist Sigalit Landau opens a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
2008: Israel's UN ambassador, Dan Gillerman, slammed the "trend" of equating the "lawful actions" of a state defending its citizens with the "violence of terrorists," in a bitter exchange at the Security Council's monthly session on the Middle East. duty
2008(18th of Adar II, 5768): Eighty-three year old Abby Mann, the American film writer and producer who wrote the screenplay for “Judgment at Nuremberg”, passed away, one day after Richard Widmark who starred in this epic died. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2009: At New Jersey’s Atlantic Cape Community College Janna Gur Israeli culinary delivers the second of four lectures on the cuisine of Israel and Tel Aviv in particular entitled “Celebrating the Food of Tel Aviv.”
2009: The government of Israel hosts a public celebration marking the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty 30 years ago.
2010: The Annual Downtown Seder is scheduled to be celebrated tonight at the City Winery in New York. The City Winery is “the brainchild” of Michael Dorf, a well known Jewish entrepreneur.
2010: The Jerusalem Municipality finance committee approved a plan for the construction of a new cinema complex in the Haleom parking lot opposite the Supreme Court, on condition that it closes during Shabbat, Israel Radio reported today.
2011(19th of Adar II, 5771): Ninety-six year old “Irving J. Shulman, who founded the Daffy’s clothing store chain and brought discount fashion to Fifth Avenue through quirky marketing and a promise of “clothing bargains for millionaires,” passed away today. (As reported by Christine Hauser)
2011(19th of Adar II, 5771): Eighty-one year old Thomas Eisner the “groundbreaking authority on insects whose research revealed the complex chemistry that they use to repel predators, attract mates and protect their young” passed away today. (As reported by Kenneth Chang)
2011: “Last Folio” which has only been exhibited in Cambridge, England is scheduled for display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York in 2011, starting today” a date which “marks the 68th anniversary of the first ever transport to Auschwitz — of young Jewish Slovak girls. As the first inmates there, they were responsible for establishing the routines that would keep them alive, and many became the dreaded and despised kapos, or prisoner-guards.”
2011: In Albany, NY, The Reform Congregations of the Capital District are scheduled to begin the celebration of Founder Day’s.
2011: A Netanya Conservative and Reform house of worship became the target of stone-throwing attacks during Shabbat evening prayers.
2011(19th of Adar II, 5771): Ninety-one year old Dr. Thomas Eisner, “who cracked the chemistry of bugs” passed away today. (As reported by Kenneth Change)
2011: The Jerusalem Marathon ended in some confusion as the three leading runners apparently took a wrong turn and arrived at the wrong finish line.
2012: “White Balance is scheduled to be shown tonight at the 16th Annual Hartford Jewish Film Festival.
2012: As part of a month-long national conversation about Spinoza's impact and legacy, Theatre J in Washington, DC is scheduled to sponsor “Spinoza: A University Debate.”
2012: “The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936–1951” which has been on display at The Jewish Museum New York is scheduled to close today.
2013: The Wiener Library is scheduled to host Compliant or Confrontational?: The Protestant Church and the Holocaust,” a program that “will examine the role of the Protestant Church during the Second World War and the impact and legacy of the Holocaust upon the Protestant Church in post-war Germany.
2013(14th of Nisan): On the Jewish calendar today marks the seventieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Erev of Pesach 5703 (April 19, 1943), the German forces began their final drive to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto. When the SS entered the ghetto they were met with armed resistance. Much to everybody’s surprises a handful of fighters armed with a few pistols, rifles and Molotov Cocktails inflicted casualties on the tank led German troops. At the end of the day, the Jewish “fighters felt that the day was theirs. They had taken on heavily armed and trained units and inflicted losses. They could not win or even hold out, but they would die avenging the silenced dead.” It would take the Germans more than a month to subdue the Jewish fighters. When you consider that the French surrendered to the Germans after only six weeks of fighting, the valor of the Jewish men and women is even more impressive. There are several sites that are calling attention to this anniversary including http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/april-19-1943-anniversary-of-the-warsaw-ghetto-uprising/ and http://www.juf.org/news/thinking_torah.aspx?id=419902
For those of you who would like to add a reading to your Seder to mark the moment you might want to consider the one below. It is an eyewitness description of what the fighters saw as they set up a new position in a rabbi’s apartment at 4 Kuzia Street on the night of the first Seder.
The apartment was in a state of chaos [a youth observed]. Bed linens were spread all around, chairs were turned upside down, various household items were strewn on the floor, and all the window panes were smashed into little bits. During the daytime, while the members of the family had sought shelter in the bunker, the house had become a mess; only the table in the middle of the room stood: festive, as if a thing apart from the other furniture. The redness of the wine in the glasses which were on the table was a reminder of the blood of the Jews who had perished on the eve of the holiday. The Hagada was recited while in the background incessant bursts of bombing and shooting, one after the other, pounded throughout the night. The scarlet reflection from the burning houses nearby illuminated the faces of those around the table in the darkened room. When the rabbi reached the passage, "Shofoch Chamatcha" ["Pour out Your wrath on the nations who have not wished to know You"], he and his family broke down and cried bitterly. I had the feeling that it was the weeping of people condemned to death, people who, outwardly, had re- signed themselves to the idea of their deaths, yet were terrified when the moment neared. The rabbi lamented those who had not lived to celebrate this Seder. From The Holocaust by Nora Levin
2013: This evening, President Barak Obama is scheduled to host his annual White House Seder.