Monday, May 20, 2013

This Day, May 21, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

May 21 In History
383: As the emperor struggles to make Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire he promulgates a law that denies anybody who converts from Christianity to another religion the right to make a will.  This law may have had some impact on the Jews but the real target were the Romans who sought to become pagans or Manichaens, followers of the Persian prophet Mani.  (Sometimes Jews are just “collateral damage” in other people’s struggles for power)
878: Syracuse is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily. This change from Christian to Muslim rulers seems to have had little effect on the Jews of Syracuse. Israelite traders who visited the ancient colony when it was ruled by the Greeks were probably the fist Jews to settle in Syracuse. The Jewish population grew after the destruction of the Second Temple when the Romans brought Jewish slaves to Sicily.  Life for the Jews of Syracuse would take a negative turn in 1492 when Sicily came under Spanish domination.
996: Otto III begins his reign as Holy Roman Emperor which included modern day Germany.  Records exist that show Jews had been living in Cologne during the reign of Otto’s predecessor, Otto II and the community grew enough so that a synagogue was constructed in the first decade of the 11th century.

1577: Portuguese Marranos were granted permission to settle in Brazil

1671: Frederick William the Hohenzollern the Margrave of Brandenburg readmitted the Jews to his domain including the capital at Berlin. Although they were permitted to live and trade where they wished they had to pay a protection tax of 8 Thalers, and a gold florin for every wedding and funeral. In addition, Jews were not allowed to sell their houses to other Jews and were only permitted to have prayer rooms but no Synagogues

1674: John Sobieski was elected by the nobility to be the King of Poland. The Jews of the Polish town of Przemysl had suffered economic reverses and had been forced to borrow from nobles prior to John Sobieski’s coming to the throne.  In 1678, there was a major fire in the Jewish section of Premysl and the King John granted them special dispensation from their debt re-payment so that they could rebuild their portion of the town. King John would make further extensions for his Jewish subjects because he was concerned that they would leave the kingdom and take their mercantile and managerial skills with them.

1760(6th of Sivan, 5520): As England and France clash during the Seven Years War, British Jews observe the First Day of Shavuot.  The Jews had been expelled from France so there was nobody in Paris to observe the festival.

1798(6th of Sivan, 5558): Two days before the Society of United Irishman, a group including Protestants and Catholics start a rebellion against British rule, Jews observe the First Day of Shavuot

1799: French troops under Napoleon retreated from Acre thus ending a two months siege of the Ottoman held city.  The retreat marked the end of Napoleon’s dream of an eastern empire which included a promise to the local Jews that Palestine would become their home.

1809(6th of Sivan): As the Napoleon faces the Austrians on the first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Jews observe the first day of Shavuot

1814(2nd of Sivan): Rabbi Aryeh Leib Berlin passed away

1817(6th of Sivan, 5577): For the first time during the Presidency of the newly inaugurated James Monroe, Jews in the United States observe Shavuot

1820 (NS): Birthdate of Nikolaus von Giers, who served as Foreign Minister while Alexander III promulgated the infamous May Laws. 

1832: In Charleston, SC, Abraham Moise and Caroline Moses gave birth to Edwin Warren Moise. A Sephardic Jew whose family had made its way from Alsace to the French Caribbean before settling in South Carolina’s major seaport, pursued a career as a lawyer, soldier in the CSA and adjutant general in the post-Civil War Palmetto State. (As reported by Robert N. Rosen)

1847(6th of Sivan, 5607): Shavuot

1852: The New York Times reported that in Germany “the citizens of ‘Luboc’ have referred to a committee a decree of the Senate” that would place Jews on an equal footing  with other citizens.”

1853: The New York Times reported that the Trieste Gazette had published a letter from Jerusalem dated March 27 in which it described the outbreak of violence between English missionaries and a group of Jews on March 24.  The missionaries had gathered in front of the Great Synagogue and while the Jews were praying inside they began giving “speeches against the Jews and the Talmud.  A Jew threw a cat at one of the missionaries which sparked a fight between the two groups.  Eventually, the English retreated and the Chief Rabbi went to the European consular officials to protest the offensive behavior.

1854: The Washington Sentinel printed an editorial entitled “The Jews as Citizens” which said that the “the absence of applications for relief was…not an index of Jewish affluence” but a result of the Jewish community providing for the financial needs of their co-religionist. After noting that Jews were absent from the jails and poorhouses, the editorialist concluded that Jews “are among the best, most orderly well disposed of our citizens.
1866: The New York Times features a review of “Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church Part II” by Arthur P. Stanley in which the author traces the history of the Jews from Samuel to the Captivity.

1868: Birthdate of Heinrich Brody (German) or Bródy Henrik (Hungarian) “a Hungarian (after 1918 Czechoslovakian) rabbi. He was born in Ungvár, a town historically part of Hungary, now of the Ukraine. He was a descendant of Abraham Broda. Educated in the public schools of his native town and at the rabbinical colleges of Tolcsva and Pressburg, Hungary, Brody also studied at the Hildesheimer Theological Seminary and at the University of Berlin, being an enthusiastic scholar of the Hebrew language and literature. He was for some time secretary of the literary society Mekiẓe Nirdamim, and in 1896 founded the "Zeitschrift für Hebräische Bibliographie", of which he was coeditor with A. Freiman. Brody was the rabbi of the congregation of Náchod, Bohemia and chief rabbi of Prague (both cities then part of Austria-Hungary), before moving to Palestine. In Czechoslovakia, he was the leader of the Mizrachi movement. He passed away in 1942.

1870: Birthdate of Sarah Vasen, the first Jewish woman doctor in Los Angeles and first superintendent and resident physician of Kaspare Cohn Hospital (later Cedars-Sinai Hospital) (As reported by Julie Beardsle

1871: Reverend Howard Crosby delivered an address to group interested in the exploration of the Holy Land.  During his speech he described plans for an upcoming expedition that hoped to find “the actual tombs of the Kings, the ark of the covenant and the tables of stone written on by the fingers of God…”

1872: It was reported today that the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a motion by Mr. Cox, requesting the President to join with the Italian government in its protest against the intolerance and cruelty practiced towards the Jews of Romania.
1872: Mr. Benjamin J. Hart presided over tonight’s annual meeting of the Convention of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which was held at the Forty-fourth-street Synagogue in New York City. The deteriorating condition of the Jews of Romania dominated most of the evening’s discussion.  A letter that Secretary of State Hamilton Fish had sent to the United States Consul at Bucharest instructing him to intercede with Romanian government was read to the convention.  The delegates outlined a plan of action to help bring pressure on the Romanians and created a Committee on Immigration to help those who had been forced to flee to the United States due to the persecution in Eastern Europe.  The delegates voted to hold the next annual convention in Washington, D.C.

1872: The Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin reported that General Henry C. Wayne who had served the Confederacy as the Adjutant-General of Georgia during the Civil War, was supporting Grant over Horace Greely in the upcoming Presidential election. In explaining Southern support for the General who defeated them he wrote, “We cannot stand being carried in the pockets of a foreign Jew banker though Tammany finds it a profitable investment.”  [The “foreign Jew banker may have been a reference to August Belmont, who was Chairman of the Democratic Party after the Civil War.  He resigned the post following the Presidential election of 1872.]

1872: Charles Netter wrote a letter today describing how pupils from Mikveh Israel who had spent Passover with their parents in Jerusalem “were subject to persecutions and publicly vilified.”  According to Netter, the parents were urged to withdraw their children by Rabbis who did not object to Jewish children being sent to schools run by Protestant missionaries. The rabbinic objection to attendance at Mikveh Israel, was based on a fear that they would get less in the way of Halukkah funds. Halukkah refers to funds collected in the galut to support Jews living in Palestine; a collection that dated back to the Middle Ages.  Founded in 1870, Mikveh Israel was the first agricultural school operated by the Alliance Israelite Universelle.

1876: According to an article entitled “The Temple At Jerusalem,” more has been written about The Temple in Jerusalem than any other building in history and that most of it has been totally inaccurate.  The article included references to modern efforts to map the Temple Mount including Frederick Catherwood’s survey in 1833 and the even more accurate work done by Captain Charles Wilson in 1864 and 1865.

1876: Judge P.J. Joachimsen of New York presided over today’s annual convention of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites in Philadelphia, PA.  The report of the executive committee dealt primarily with the conditions of the Jews of Palestine and Roumania. During the afternoon, the delegates visited a Jewish hospital and in the evening elected officers to serve during the coming year. 

1878(18th of Iyar, 5638): Lag B'Omer

1881: The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton. Washington business man Adolphus Simeon Solomons, a member of a prominent Sephardic family, played a key role in the founding of the humanitarian organization.  In fact Clara Barton called him her "good vice president and kind counselor."

1885(7th of Sivan, 5645): 2nd day of Shavuot, Yizkor

1886: Construction was begun today for a new Sephardic synagogue to be used by the Moses Montefiore Congregation.

1886(16th of Iyar): David Gordon passed away.  Born in Vilna in 1831 he was a supporter of Hibbat Zion and was an editor for HaMaggid, the first Hebrew newspaper.

1890: The Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorized the transfer of $30,000 from last year’s balances to be used for the furnishing of the new school to be opened in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Building on 77th Street near 3rd Avenue.

1891: The manager of a “‘Shelter,’ an institution established for the reception” of Russian Jews arriving in England disputed claims that a large number destitute refugees are arriving in his country.  According to him, on average, only 20 destitute Jews arrive each week and nine-tenths of them move on to the United States “or the English colonies.” The Shelter provides them with enough funds so that they can show they are capable of earning a living once they arrive at their final destinations.

1892: Among the bills that the Governor Flowers of New York allowed to die today was one introduced by Assemblyman Stein that would have provided a tax exemption for the Hebrew Children’s Sanitarium at Rockaway Beach.

1892: Max Cohen has just released by the annual report of the Maimonides Library.

1893(6th of Sivan, 5653): Shavuot

1893: There were a number of Polish and Russian Jews among the three hundred steerage passengers aboard the SS Amalfi which had sailed from Hamburg and arrived at Ellis Island today.

1895: It was reported today that a congregation that has been worshipping at 116 Seigel Street in Brookly for several years has been ordered to pay its back rent to the landlord.

1898: The will of Aaron Hershfield, which contained bequests to numerous Jewish charities was executed today naming his son-in-law Daniel P. Hays and his sons Levi N. and Mitchell Hershfield as executors.

1898: Birthdate of businessman Armand Hammer

1899: Dr. Felix Adler is scheduled to officiate at the funeral of Julius Hirsch, a native of Germany who was a partner in the tobacco firm of Hirsch, Victorious & Co.

1899: The Hebrew Technical Institute was among the many organizations that endorsed the Women’s Memorial presented to the just completed Peace Conference held in New York City.

1899: The Hebrew Free School Associated hosted the confirmation exercises today for the 118 boys and girls who had completed the six year course of study.

1900: Herzl turns to Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber to intervene for the Rumanian Jews who have no permission to cross the border to Austria.

1901: Herzl dictates the résumé "for the special benefit of the weak understanding of His Imperial Majesty of the Khalifate."

1901: Birthdate of producer and agent Sam Jaffe.

1903: During a conversation on this date, Dr. Cyrus Adler of the Smithsonian Institution, Secretary of the International Jewish Association, and editor of the Jewish Year Book, discussed the massacre of Jews in Russia, including the official utterances on the subject by Count Cassinf, the Russian Ambassador.

1904(7th of Sivan, 5664): Second day of Shavuot, Yizkor

1904: Herzl returns to Vienna after an unsuccessful therapy in Franzensbad.

1907: The proprietors of the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel in Atlantic City apologized to Bertha Rayner Frank for her experience with anti-Jewish discrimination at their hotel.

1909: Birthdate of Guy Édouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild the Parisian who was the son of Baron Édouard de Rothschild, who had headed the bank before Baron Guy, and the great-grandson of James, who founded the French branch of the Rothschild empire in 1812 (As reported by Paul Lewis)

1912: David Defilipov, a chemist who was born in the Ukraine, immigrated to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century and Sonia née Gerdstein, gave birth to “singer, director, producer and impresario Edis De Philippe, who founded the Israel National Opera Company in 1947 and ran it with an iron hand until her death.” (Jewish Women’s Archives)

1915: Rabbi Leventhal is scheduled to deliver a talk at the semi-annual examinations of the Hebrew Free School in Camden, NJ. 

1916: Birthdate of novelist Harold Robbins author of a series of bestsellers including Moneychangers, Carpetbaggers and Betsy.

1917: The Great Atlanta Fire destroyed over 300 acres and 2,000 homes in Georgia and the South’s leading metropolis. The fire was confined primarily to the city’s Fourth Ward, which had a significant Jewish population on its north side. Following the fire Rich’s, the Jewish owned department store “assisted bereaved customers financially, even providing burial clothes for many of the victims” without regard to whom they were.

1921(11th of Iyar): Author Akiva Fleischman passed away

1921: Birthdate of Harold Lane David, the son of Jewish immigrant who owned a Brooklyn delicatessen owner, later known as Hal David the award winning lyricist who created such musical questions as What’s it all about?,” “What’s new, pussycat?,” “Do you know the way to San Jose?” and “What do you get when you fall in love?,” (As reported by Rob Hoerburger)

1921: Birthdate of Eugene Harold Ehrlich, a self-educated lexicographer who wrote 40 dictionaries, thesauruses and phrase books for the “extraordinarily literate,” not to mention people just hoping to sound that way. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1923: For the first time (but not the last) Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain following the resignation of Arthur Bonar Law.  Baldwin will serve in this capacity, off and one throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s.  He is viewed as one of those politicians who turned a blind eye to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini and thus helped to bring on World War II with all that that would mean for the Jewish people.  On the other hand, in 1938, a year after he left office, Baldwin “led a major appeal to provide financial assistance for Jewish refugees from Nazi brutality.”

1924: University of Chicago students Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a "thrill killing."  The two killers and their victim are all Jewish.

1925: Lord Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer is named High Commissioner in Palestine. Born in 1857, Plumer had a long, distinguished career in the British Army.  He actually was one of the few competent commanding officers on the Western Front during World War I and was promoted to the rank of Field Marshall after the Armistice.  The appointment to Palestine came when he was 68 and lasted until 1928.  He proved to be a capable administrator who resisted Arab attempts to undermine the terms of the Mandate.  The economic down turn that occurred during his tenure was not of his making. He returned to England where he served in the House of Lords until his death in 1932.

1927: National Jewish Book is scheduled to begin today.

1927: On the day that Charles Lindbergh completed his trans-Atlantic flight, Jewish businessman and airplane enthusiast Charles Levin announced that his airplane would fly farther on a $15,000 transatlantic flight challenge from America to Germany and carry a passenger.”  Levine’s plane had been sitting the hanger, grounded because of a court battle, when Lindbergh had taken off for Paris.  Levine would accomplish his goal the following when he flew aboard the Columbia, as a passenger while Clarence Chamberlin was at the controls.

1928: A dinner honoring Dr. H. Peretra Mendes was to have been held this evening.  The dinner was postponed until October.

1928: The House of Representatives is schedule to consider the Jenkins Bill which is designed to grant enlarged preference within the quota to the wives and children of aliens

1934(7th of Sivan, 5694): Second Day of Shavuot

1934: The New York Council of Mizrachi Youth of America is scheduled to hold a Shavuot celebration tonight at 224 Henry Street with proceeds going toward the Hachshara farm, a Mizrachi training camp for Palestinian pioneers.

1934: Dr. I. Mortimer Bloom is scheduled to deliver a sermons today entitled "Pilgrims of Eternity" at Temple Oheb Sholom on West 93rd Street.

1934: Rabbi Milton Steinberg is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Time and Religion" at the Park Avenue Synagogue.

1934: Dr. Samuel Benjamin is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Jews Without Memory;" at Congregation Hope of Israel in the Bronx.

1934: Rabbi Solomon Reichman is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Sinai-a Symbol of Israel" at the Bronx Y. M. and Y. W. H. A.

1934: Rabbi Robert Gordis is scheduled to officiate at Yizkor services today at Temple Beth-El, Rockaway Park.

1934: Rabbi Henry Fisher is schedule to deliver a sermon entitled “Belief and Practice” at Congregation Derech Emunoh.

1936: A crowd of Arabs fired from the hilltops on a Jewish-operated bus coming from Tel Aviv seriously wounding a Jewish man and girl.  According to officials at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, dum-dum bullets had been used by the Arab attackers.

1938:  In Poland, the ruling party adopted "13 articles pertaining to Jewish affairs," stating that the Jews are 'an element which hinders the normal development of the forces of the Polish nation and state."

1939: In a column published in Davar the pro-labor Hebrew language newspaper, David Ben Gurion said of the White Paper, “This document is not the final word of the British people.  This document meanwhile is only a proposal of their government.  The conscience of Britain and the whole world still can be awakened.” [Ed. Note: This time B-G got it wrong]

1939: The British arrest the Irgun leadership, including Commander David Raziel. In February, 1938 the Revisionists under Jabotinsky had held a Zionist Congress in Prague.  They rejected the notion that Jews could not settle on either side of the Jordan.  More importantly, after two years of Arab violence they decided that the Jewish Agency’s policy of restraint was not working.  The Irgun was to respond to each act of Arab violence with force and alacrity.   The increased tempo of attacks against the British and Arabs must be viewed against the backdrop of the times: the worsening situation of the Jews in Europe, the issuance of the White Paper that would close Palestine to the Jews and guarantee a permanent Arab majority and the unabated violence of the Arabs.  The Irgun and the Revisionists did not reflect the majority view of the Jewish population.  Finally, in 1948, Ben Gurion took military action to bring the Irgun under control.  Ironically, Menachem Begin, the leader of Irgun, would be the right wing politician who broke the hold of the Labor Zionists on the Israeli government.

1940: Chairman Willem Vogt fired all Jewish employees at AVRO, the Dutch broadcasting company

1941: Dutch Singer and Nazi collaborator Johan Heesters visited Dachau concentration camp.

1941: A collaborationist group, Nederlandse Arbeids Dienst (Dutch Labor Service), is established in Holland.

1942(5th of Sivan, 5702): Erev Shavuot

1942(5th of Sivan, 5702): In Koritz, on the eve of Shavuot, 2,200 Jews were taken to the edge of town and shot into pre-dug pits. The dead included the wife and 13 year old daughter of Moshe Gildenman who was soon to become famous as the partisan “Uncle (Dyadya) Misha”. Gildenman succeeded in escaping with his son, Simcha, and a few others with one pistol and five rounds of ammunition. His groups slowly grew in strength and were eventually absorbed into Saburov’s brigade group. They were always known as Uncle Misha’s Jewish groups. During the war, Gildenman received the Order of the Red Star and finished the war with his son in Berlin. After the war, his son returned to Koretz and upon meeting the Ukrainian who killed his mother and sister - shot him.

1943(16th of Iyar, 5703):  Three thousand Jews driven from Brody, Ukraine, to a waiting transport train revolt, killing four Ukrainians and a few Germans. Many of the Jews break free after being put on the train, only to be machine-gunned. The remainder is killed upon arrival at the Majdanek death camp.

1943(16th of Iyar, 5703):  Members of the Jewish community at Drogobych, Ukraine, are exterminated in the Bronica Forest

1944: The SS President Warfield, a packet steamer built in the 1920’s to carry passengers and cargo between Norfolk and Baltimore (sheltered waters), was returned by the British so she could serve in the U.S. Navy.  The Warfield would become famous as the SS Exodus.

1944: The Gestapo imprisons all 260 Jews of Canea, Crete, at Rethymnon, Crete

1945: Today, many liberated survivors continue to live at the Dachau concentration camp two weeks after the end of the war.

1945: German war criminal Heinrich Himmler was captured

1945: Lauren Bacall (born Betty Pinsker) and Humphrey Bogart were married. (She was Jewish; Bogy was not.)

1946: One of several post-war Hungarian pogroms took place today at Kunadaras where peasants murdered two Jews and wounded eighteen others.

1948: For the second time in two days, the 53rd and 54th battalions attacked the Egyptian-held fort of Iraq Suwayden which the British had handed over to Muslim Brotherhood as they departed Palestine.  The irony is that the British had built the fort in the 1930’s to help quell the infamous Arab Revolt.
1948: Today, “at dawn the Golani staff reported that the enemy was repelled but that they were expecting another attack. The full report read:
Our forces repelled yesterday a heavy attack of tanks, armored vehicles and infantry that lasted about 8 hours. The attack was repelled by the brave stand of our men, who used Molotov cocktails and their hands against the tanks. 3" mortars and heavy machinery took their toll on the enemy. Field cannons caused a panicked retreat of the enemy, who yesterday left Tzemah. This morning our forces entered Tzemah and took a large amount of booty of French ammunition and light artillery ammunition. We have captured 2 tanks and an armored vehicle of the enemy. The enemy is amassing large reinforcements. We are expecting a renewal of the attack.’”

1948: Haganah troops returned to Tzemah today “and set up fortifications, the damaged tanks and armored cars were gathered and taken to the rear. The settlers returned that night to identify the bodies of their comrades in the fields and buried them in a common grave in Degania”

1948: Abba Eban names Arthur Louie, Jacob Robinson, Moshe Tov, Michael Comay and Gideon Rafael as his alternates and advisers at the United Nations and names I.L. Kene as the delegation’s spokesman.

1950: As a sign that Israel was taking its place among the family of nations, the government announced that Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett will meet with South African Prime Minister Daniel F. Malan during his upcoming trip to the African state.

1951: Birthdate of comedian turned U.S. Senator, Al Franken

1952(26th of Iyar, 5712):  Actor and film star John Garfield passed away at the age of 39. Born Jacob Julius Garfinkle in New York City, he was sent to a school for problem children after the early death of his mother. It was there that he was introduced to boxing and acting. He won a scholarship to an acting school hosted by Maria Ouspenskaya, and made his Broadway debut in 1932. The play Golden Boy that featured a young prize fighter was written for him, but he was passed over for the role. He decided to leave Broadway and try his success in Hollywood. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1938 film Four Daughters. He gained further fame as the handyman drifter in the Postman Rings Twice. He appeared in several war movies during WW II, usually playing the part of the wisecracking enlisted man (once as the gunner on a B-17 and once as a seaman aboard a sub) who sees the light and comes to understand why America was in the war.  Garfield’s liberal politics brought him to the attention the McCarthyites during the Red Scare of the late 1940’s and 1950’s.  He was forced to appear before the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee; an appearance which proved detrimental to his career

1952: During a meeting of HUAC a letter from Lillian Hellman was read that stated "I cannot and will not cute my conscience to fit this year's fashions..."

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that upon his return to the U.S., Mr. John Foster Dulles, the U.S. Secretary of State, expressed satisfaction from his first, recent visit to Israel, and recommended to his government a sizeable aid for the country's quick development.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that two marauders who shot at an Israeli patrol in Jerusalem's "Corridor" were killed in an exchange of fire.

1953(7th of Sivan, 5713: Second Day of Shavuot

1954(18th of Iyar, 5714): Lag B'Omer

1963: Birthdate of Richard Appel who tried to follow in the footsteps of his parents, Nina Appel the Dean of Loyola Law School and Alfred Appel  who was a professor of literature at Northwestern.  Appel graduated from law school before turning to a life of writing and producing comedy.
1969: Israeli planes shot down three Egyptian Mig 21s in the Suez Canal zone during what would become known as the War of Attrition.

1969: A group of about 10 saboteurs was intercepted today near Nahal Argaman in the Jordan Valley. One saboteur was killed in a clash with an Israeli unit. Another was wounded and a third escaped and joined other members of the gang hiding in caves. After the area was surrounded, the saboteurs were ordered to surrender. Six gave themselves up and two who resisted were killed

1969: Robert Kennedy's murderer Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death.  At the time, the Jordanian youth said Kennedy had to die because of his support of Israel.

1974: Elizabeth Holtzman, the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, castigated the government for laxness in allowing Nazi war criminals into the U.S.

1977: "Fiddler on the Roof" closed at the Winter Garden Theatre in NYC after 167 performances

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli security men and French policemen killed three gunmen who attacked the El Al desk at the Paris Orly airport. One French policeman was killed in this Arab terror attack and three French passengers were wounded. Most El Al passengers were employees of a French insurance company, who later left to tour Israel.

1980(6th of Sivan, 5740: Shavuot

1980: Release date of “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” directed by Irvin Kershner.

1982: In “Housing Surge Alters Borough Park,” Alan Oser described the five year growth in the Brooklyn neighborhood which he attributed to a steady expansion of Borough Park's population of Orthodox Jews, about half of them Hasidim. They require large apartments for large families, and accommodations near synagogues and denominational schools.”  The article provides an interesting snapshot of the needs of this unique community

1982: Delia Ephron married Jerome Kass.

1982(28th of Iyar, 5742): Yom Yerushalayim

1987: James Levine is scheduled to conduct the IPO as part of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

1988(5th of Sivan, 5748) Erev Shavuot

1988: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to address a dinner tonight hosted by a group calling itself "Concerned Citizens for New York," an alliance of black businesspeople. The dinner is being held at Terrace in the Park, a kosher catering facility owned by Allen Sherel and Stanley Lewin.  The owners agreed to rent the facility before they found out that Farrakhan was the speaker.  The two Jewish owners promised to donate every penny they make from the dinner to Jewish charities.

1994: Israeli commandos captured Shiite guerrilla leader Mustafa Dirani

1998: Jack Lew began serving his as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton.

1999(6th of Sivan, 5759): Shavuot

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Advent of the Algorithm: The Idea That Rules the World” by David Berlinski.

2001: Radio broadcast of the annual Alfred Deakin Lecture; this year entitled "My Country – A Personal Journey" in which Robert Mamre describes what it is like for the son of Jewish immigrants to grow up in an Australia that is considered Anglo-Celtic. Author and historian Robert Manne is the Associate Professor of Politics at La Trobe University, a columnist for The Age, The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, and a regular commentator on ABC Radio and Television

2001: The Houston Post reports that American Jewish Congress v. Bost would be heard in federal district court. American Jewish Congress v. Bost was an establishment clause lawsuit concerning the separation of church and state based on events that took place in Brenham, Texas. The case was the first constitutional challenge to a charitable choice contract. In the community of Brenham, Texas, the American Jewish Congress and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit against a social services program that they believed used a tax-funded jobs program to support religious practices that violated the separation of church and state. Other accusations include use of funds to proselytize, purchase bibles, and coerce participants to "accept Jesus."  The lawsuit went back and forth between state and federal courts and was twice appealed. In January of 2003, the lawsuit that is believed to be the first constitutional challenge to a "charitable choice" contract, came to a conclusion. The case was finally dismissed "on the ground that there was no live controversy."

2005: In an article entitled “BioHazards,” New York Books reviews “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss.  Krauss willingly talks about her second novel but refuses to talk about her husband, the Jewish writer Jonathan Safran Foer.

2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Any Place I Hang My Hat” by Susan Isaacs, “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss and “Indecision” by Benjamin Kunkel.

2006: Haaretz reported that author A.B. Yehoshua predicted that Diaspora Jews would move to China if it were to become a world power.  Dr. Avrum Ehrlich, a professor at the Center for Judaic and Inter-Religious Studies at the University of Shandong (China) says that this process is actually already under way. ‘The Jewish community in Hong Kong is thriving,’ he explains, ‘and there are at least 300 Jews now living permanently in Beijing alone.’”

2006: The United Jewish Community/Jewish Federation of Las Vegas hosts its biggest and best Yom Ha’Azma’ut festival at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Jewish Agency arranged a variety of day-long activities to celebrate Israel Independence Day in downtown Budapest. 

2007: The JCC in Manhattan presents a program entitled “Bernstein & Robbins: Dybbuk in Music & Dance.” Jean-Pierre Frohlich, ballet master and former soloist with the New York City, discusses his work with Robbins in staging the ballets and presents several dancers performing excerpts from Dybbuk. Ellen Sorrin, director of The George Balanchine Trust and advisory council member of The Jerome Robbins Trust, serves as moderator.

2007(4 Sivan 5767): Shir-El Friedman is killed when a Hamas rocket struck vehicle near a bakery next to shopping mall in Sderot. The35 year old woman was struck by shrapnel and succumbed to her injuries as she was being rushed to the hospital.

2008: AJHS hosts the 2008 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Dinner, commemorating the Jewish Chaplains who led survivors of the Holocaust from DP camps to Israel and the US. Sid Lapidus will be honored for his deep commitment to the American Jewish Historical Society.

2008:  In Jaffa, System Ali plays on the roof of Mishkenot Ruth Daniel. Over the past year, System Ali has been performing in different venues throughout Jaffa, Tel Aviv and beyond, drawing impressive crowds whose diversity reflects that of the individuals on stage.”

2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “The Psychology of the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis.” Moises Salinas explores the way psychological factors impede the peace process. 

2008; Jewish Braille International dinner was held at the Harmonie Club. “Founded in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute by Leopold Dubov, the blind son of a rabbi, and Rabbi Michael Aaronson, who had been blinded in World War I, today the JBI library serves 35,000 individuals in 30 countries in eight languages — all at no charge.”

2009: Michael Sandel delivered the 2009 Reith Lectures on “A New Citizenship” today at Oxford, UK.

 2009: The Center for Jewish History and the Leo Baeck Institute presentedHappy Birthday, Felix: Music of Felix Mendelssohn and His Contemporaries” with Phoenix Chamber Ensemble performing rare arrangements of Felix Mendelssohn's Hebriden, op.26 and Ruy Blas, Op.95 Overtures and Symphony No.1 in C minor for 1 piano-4 hands, violin and cello and Robert Schumann's 12 Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children, Op.85

2009: Writer and essayist Phillip Lopate discusses “Notes On Sontag,” his reflections on the late Susan Sontag and her role as essayist, novelist and playwright, at Politics and Prose Bookstore, in Washington, D.C.

2009: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech at Ammunition Hill in memory of soldiers who fell in the Six-Day War in 1967 in which he said, “Jerusalem was always ours, will always be ours, and will never again be divided.”

2009: The four men arrested last night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y. were petty criminals who appeared to be acting alone, not in concert with any terrorist organization, the New York City police commissioner said today. The four men arrested are all Muslim, a law enforcement official said. According to a police informant James Cromitie, one of the four men who was arrested said  that he was upset about the war in Afghanistan and that that he wanted to do “something to America.” and “the best target” — the World Trade Center — “was hit already.” According to the same informant the four men made statements if “Jews were killed in this attack and that would be all right.”

2010: The 92nd St Y schedules two events to celebrate Shabbat: in the morning a Shabbat Bakery where participants can bake their own Challah and a Shabbat Rooftop Dinner, an intergenerational family Shabbat dinner experience in a meaningful and welcoming environment.

2010: As part of her Bat Mitzvah weekend at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Shannon Williams and her family will be participating in Friday night services.

2011: The AJMF Festival is scheduled to host its Closing Night Party at Center Stage.

2011: Korin Alal and Eran Zur are scheduled present a joint concert at the JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ.

2011: Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today that the differences between Israel and the United States on the peace process are smaller than they seem.

2011: In “Harold Bloom: An Uncommon Reader,” Sam Tanenhaus reviewed The Anatomy as a Way of Life, the latest literary effort by 80 year Jewish man of letters Harold Bloom.

2012: In recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month, the DC Public Library is scheduled  to present a lecture entitled “Jewish Civil Life at a Time of Civil War: American Jewry in the Mid-19th Century” during which Dr. Lauren Strauss, assistant professor of History and Judaic Studies at the George Washington University, will discuss the Jewish-American experience before 1870, with a focus on the status of the Jewish community in the decades surrounding the Civil War.

2012: In a great example of “acts of loving kindness”, The Derfner Judaica Museum located at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Bronx, NY is scheduled to offer private group tours for individuals with dementia and their family members or care partners that will focus on select highlights of this fascinating institution. 

2012: Tefillat HaShlah - the Shlah's Prayer should be recited today before sunset.  The prayers was composed Isaiah Horowoitz, a noted 17th century rabbi who moved to Palestine in the 1620’s, living there until his death ten years later. “Rabbi Horwitz wrote that the eve of the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan is the most auspicious time to pray for the physical and spiritual welfare of one's children and grandchildren, since Sivan was the month that the Torah was given to the Jewish people. He composed a special prayer to be said on this day, known as the Tefillat HaShlah - the Shlah's Prayer”

2012: The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Zeev Dorman is scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall

2012: Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman is among those scheduled to perform at the Good Shepherd Church in New York.

2012: The Yellow Ticket with Alicia Svigals is scheduled to be the final performance at the 13th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival.

2013: The 7th independent conference for the Hannah Arendt Circle sponsored by The Institute of Jewish Studies and the Centre for Philosophy of Culture at the University of Antwerp in Belgium is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: The IPO annual Young Leadership concert is scheduled to take place in Manhattan

 2013: Dudu Fisher is scheduled to perform at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ.


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