Friday, July 19, 2013

This Day, July 20, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

July 20 In History

356 BCE:  In Macedonia, King Philip II and Queen Olympia give birth to Alexander the Great. You can draw a straight line from Alexander’s Hellenization of Asia Minor to Chanukah to Tisha B’Av, 70 CE.

70: During the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, storms the Fortress of Antonia north of the Temple Mount. The Roman army is drawn into street fights with the Zealots.

1263: Pablo Christiani, a converted Jew, and Raymond of Penaforte, compelled King James of Aragon to force a debate between him and Moses ben Nachman (Nachmanides). The Jews were afraid that no matter what the outcome they would lose, so they pleaded with Nachmanides to withdraw. The King ordered him to continue. Although the outcome was preset (the Christians "won"), the King was so impressed that he rewarded Nachmanides with a present of 300 maravedis. Pablo was given permission to continue these debates throughout Aragon with the Jews having to pay his expenses. Two years later Nachmanides was convicted for publishing his side of the debate. Although he was not severely punished by the King, he decided to leave Spain for good and settled in Eretz-Israel.

1402: During the Ottoman-Timurid Wars, Timur led the forces of the Timurid Empire to victory over the forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Bayezid I at the Battle of Ankara. This defeat could not have been a source of joy for the Jews living in the Ottoman Empire. Bayezid had proven to be a friend of the Jewish people. “In 1394 Sultan Bayezid invited the French Jews who were molested by King Charles VI, to settle in the Ottoman Empire. They established communities in Edirne and the Balkans. The French Kings had the habit of inviting the Jews to establish commerce and borrowing money from them. However often, when payment was due, they expelled them; only to re-invite them when they needed further financing.” Bayezid died a year after the defeat.

1624(4th of Av): Rabbi Abraham ben David of Lemberg passed away

1633 (13th of Av): Rabbi Nathan Shaprio, a leading Kabblist from Cracow and author of Megale Amukot passed away.

1660: Miguel de Barrios with 152 coreligionists and fellow-sufferers set sail for the West Indies. Soon after his arrival at Tobago his young wife died, and he returned to Europe. He went to Brussels and there entered the military service of Spain

1706: Shabbethai ben Joseph Bass who had founded printing business in Dyhernfurth, a small town near Breslau which produced its first book,  a work by Rabbi Samuel ben Uri of Waydyslav in 1689, was forced to leave Breslau as a result of local hostility to Jews.

1775: At the request of the Continental Congress, Jews fasted and prayed for the success of the colonies against the British, and to be spared from the "agony of war."

1790(9th of Av, 5550):Tish'a B'Av

1808: Napoleon decreed that all Jews of the French Empire must adopt family names.

1823: Pius VII, the Pope who rebuilt the walls of the Rome Ghetto and returned the Jews to its confines after they had been freed by Napoleon passed away today.

1829: Birthdate of Thomas Rowe one of Australia's leading architects of the Victorian era who designed the Great Synagogue in Sydney

1830: Birthdate of Francesca Janauschek  the Prague native who gained fame as 19th century character actress Fanny Janauschek.

1834: Birthdate of Jacques Errera, the native of Venice who was a successful banker and the father of botanist Leo-Abram Errera.

1847: Birthdate of painter and graphic artist Max Liebermann. "Liebermann was one of the leading German impressionist painters." He painted in the manner of the Dutch impressionists rather than the French impressionists. This meant "he often painted people at their everyday tasks and explored the effect of changing sunlight on colors and shadows." When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they included his works in their first showing of "degenerate art." He died in 1935 having been stripped of all his honors and ordered not to paint. Eight years later his was wife committed suicide. I must admit a prejudice. I like his works.

1855: According to today’s “New by the Mail” column, “A Protestant lady in St. Louis with seven children has joined the Hebrew congregation there.”

1862: As General George B. McClellan turned into a disaster, August Belmont wrote Thurlow Weed to express his view that the only way to effect re-union was by negotiations if possible.  He called for a cessation to the war effort because it was too costly in terms of human life and treasure.

1863: In describing conditions in Memphis, TN, a year after it had surrendered to forces of the Union Army, the New York Times reported that “There remains in the city but a portion of the old citizens, the balance are vagabonding in Dixie, or are carrying a musket in the Southern army, or have left their bones on the hundred battle-fields of the South. Their residences here have been seized by the Government, and to-day the palatial dwellings of many an old aristocrat are occupied by National officials, and the hordes of Jews, who follow in the rear of an army, like wolves behind the hunters.” [Anti-Semitic references like this stand in stark contrast to acceptance of Jews as can be seen by the change in the law allowing Rabbis to serve as chaplains and the reality of the thousands of Jews who fought for the federals, some of whom reached the rank of general.]

1864: Colonel Frederick Knefler commanded the 79th Indiana Infantry at the Battle of Peachtree Creek, part of Sherman’s audacious campaign to capture Atlanta.

1869: “The Innocents Abroad” Mark Twain’s travelogue describing his visit to Europe and the Holy Land (including what is now the state of Israel) is published.  For more about the famed American humorist’s attitude towards Jews see

1871: British Columbia joins the confederation of Canada. In 1858, the first large body of Jews arrived in British Columbia along with others seeking their fortunes in the Fraser River Gold Rush.  By 1863, there were enough Jews living in Victoria, B.C. to establish Congregation Emanu-El, now Canada's longest serving synagogue. Ten years after B.C. joined the confederation, the Jewish community would receive its next influx of settlers as refugees from Russian anti-Semitism settled in the Canadian West.

1876: Birthdate of German mathematician Otto Blumenthal.  Blumenthal converted at the age of 18.  He may have believed that he would find the path to academic success a lot smoother as a Protestant.  In the end, it did not save him from the Nazis.  Blumenthal died in concentration camp in 1944.

1881: It was reported today that in Neu Stettin, at least 30 anti-Semitic rioters who attacked the editor of the Neu Stettiner Zeitung, were arrested today.

1881: “Jews In Spain” published today, relied on information from the London Times to report that “In Spain, Praxedes M Sagasta the President of the Council of Ministers wrote to a prominent European Jewish author H. Guedalla that “article 1 of the Constitution of Spain is the most decisive revocation of the edict of banishment against the Jews in the year 1492.  Thus all of your coreligionists who wish can come to Spain without any obstacle whatever…”

1882: “A Great Fire In Smyrna” published today described the conflagration that left 6,000 people homeless including many of the city’s sizable Jewish population.  The Jews are the primary agents “in the barter and sale of merchandise from Asia, Syria, Baghdad and Persia.”

1882: During the Freight Handler’s Strike, the strikers stopped providing food for the Jewish and Italian workers whom they had convinced to honor their strike.  Mr. Wolkawoech, the President of the Jewish Freight Handlers’ Union reluctantly provided enough funds to cover the cost of the evening meal.  [Yes there were Russia Jews among the striking workers as well as Russian Jews among what would later be called scabs.]

1883: In Hungary, as the trial of a group of Jews charged with killing a Christian girl continued, it was reported that a constable testified that he had tortured one of the prisoners with thumbscrews. 

1884: “Lamb and Mint Sauce” published today described John Brady’s contention that the custom of eating tansy (bitter) puddings and cakes at Easter was introduced by the monk as a symbolic remembrance of the bitter herbs used by Jews at this time of year.  The monks included bacon in their dishes “to denote contempt for Judaism.”  According to Brady, the Jews “have contrived to diminish the bitter flavor” or their tansy “by making a it into pickle for their paschal lamb.”  From all of this has come the custom of combing mint with sugar to create the mint sauce or jelly eaten with the leg of lamb. [This was based on information provided by an annual publication, Clavis Calendaraia.]

1885: “Jews in Paris” published today summarized a report by the Judische Presse that described the growth of the Jewish population in Paris.  In 1789, there were only 500 Jews living in the French capital.  The numbers have grown: 3,000 in 1806; 12,000 in 1842; 40,000 in 1872; more than 50,000 in 1885.  Jews are more active in the general population as can be seen by the fact that the number of Jewish generals has grown from one in 1821 to five in 1878.

1887: Mrs. Betty Michaelis “began mandamus proceedings” before Judge Potter today, “in which she asks that the Henrietta Verien be commanded to restore her to membership on the ground that her expulsion was not done according to law.” The legal action stemmed from a fight that she had with Mrs. Henrietta Loser, the President of the Henrietta Verein.

1887: Louis Keptlovwitch, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, who has been arrested on charges of bigamy, was confronted by both of his wives – the one he married in Poland and the one he married in New York – today. 

1889: Effective today, Coney Island’s Brighton Beach Hotel announces that it will completely exclude members of the “Hebrew Race” as guests.  The hotel was following the policy adopted by Messers Cable and Breen the lessees of the New York establishment. 

1890: The manager of the Bank and Steamship Passage at 78 Canal Street and his soliciting agent Louis Silikowitz, were arrested on charges of having swindling their customers, most of whom were Polish and Russian Jews out money with which they had been entrusted to buy tickets for family members still in members.

1890: It was reported today that Sol B. Solomon has raised $300 from the guests at the Long Beach Hotel to pay for the excursions provided by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children.

1890: A portion of the 12th annual report of the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children published today showed expenditures of $3,221 and a balance of $7,126 “which is deposited in the seven leading savings banks” in New York City.

1890: Birthdate of Theda Bara. Born Theodosia Burr Goodman in a wealthy suburb of Cincinnati, Bara’s mother was Swiss and her father was a Jewish tailor. She was known as a "vamp" and one of the first "sex symbols" of the silver screen. She passed away in 1955.

1891: “Mercy for Russian Jews” published today described a relaxation of “the persecution of the Jews” by the government.  Decrees expelling Jewish artisans from St. Petersburg have “been indefinitely postponed” and “and orders have been seen to the press” to have newspapers “refrain from publishing articles like to excite animosity against the Jews.” 

1892: As of today, the coroner has not made a determination in the cause of death of Behr Israelson. Doctors claim he died of apoplexy but his Jewish neighbors claimed he was clubbed to death by a policeman. The Jews would not let the coroner’s jury hear the case because there it had no Jewish members.

1893: Three men who claim to be tailors and Russian Jews were arrested and charged with assault at the Essex Market Police Court based on evidence gathered Alter Shapiro, the Vice President of the Hebrew Protective Society that showed them to be part of a ring that robs and tortures Jews living on the lower east side.

1893: The Marshall, who had arrived at the apartment of Mrs. Sarah Goldstein at 181 Orchard to execute the order of eviction gave her an extra day to seek relief from the courts since she said her six children who had measles were still too sick to be moved.

1895: “Hebrew Technical Institute Open” published described the school’s unique summer course for which 200 boys ranging in age from 12 to 15 have enrolled so that they can continue their education in the workshops, laboratories and drawing rooms of the facilities on Stuyvesant Street.

1896: It was reported today that an ambulance had arrived too late yesterday to save the life of Charles Liebhaber who had been ill for weeks but still insisted on observing the fast for the 9th of Av.

1896: Herzl meets with the Association des Etudiants Israëlites Russes.

1897: Funeral services were held today for Mrs. Julia Lauterbach, the widow of Moses Lauterbach, at her home on East 58th Street followed yb burial at Cypress Hills Cemetery.  She was one of those who incorporated the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York, a group which served as Vice President for 11 years.

1903: Herzl writes to Leopold Greenberg (“an English Zionist and future editor of the Jewish Chronicle”) in London to do whatever possible to revive the Sinai enterprise. This is a reference to offers by the British Foreign Office to allow Jews from Eastern Europe to settle in a part of the Sinai Peninsula known as the Brook of Egypt.  Another, better known of these schemes, was the offer to allow Jews to settle in Uganda as a temporary Jewish homeland.  These desperate proposals came against a backdrop of Pogroms in Russia and a general worsening of conditions for Jews in Eastern Europe. While Zionists in German, Austria and Britain were willing to consider such alternatives, the Zionists of eastern Europe rejected them out of hand.  Those living in the greatest physical saw the spiritual danger in accepting anything less than Eretz Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.  In the man time Herzl wrote desperately, "We must indeed take East Africa, or at least the Charter, but we must not deceive ourselves as to the fact that all the non-English Jews are against East Africa. I shall have to use a great deal of patience for it, whereas El Arish is popular." Herzl also prepares steps to approach Portugal for a Charter for Mozambique, Belgium for a territory in the Congo and Italy for a section of Tripoli. 

1904(8th of Av, 5664): Marcus Goldman a German-born American businessman and entrepreneur passed away. He was born in Trappstadt, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He was the founder of Goldman Sachs, which was one of the world's largest global investment banks and is now a bank

1906: Antoine Louis Targe, a French officer whose investigations helped to establish the innocence of Dreyfus was made an officer in the Legion of Honor.

1906: Dreyfus was made a Knight in the Legion of Honor.

1907(9th of Av, 5667): Fast not observed because it is Shabbat.

1908: In a letter to the New York Times, William Maude provides commentary on the antiquity of an ancient copy of the Book of Joshua obtained by Dr. Moses Gaster in Samaria.

1919: Birthdate of Shlomo Zalman Auerbach an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, posek, and rosh yeshiva of the Kol Torah yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. “Auerbach was the first child to be born in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Jerusalem founded by his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Porush, after whom he was named.”

1915(9th of Av, 5675):Tish'a B'Av

1915: Today the Austrians conquered Russian controlled Lublin, Poland. This would appear to be the realization of  a deathbed prophecy by the Chozeh of Lublin (Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz) came true.  When he died on July 15, 1815 (9th of Av, 5575) he said that 100 years from the day of his death, the Russians would lose their control over Poland. 

1920: Birthdate of Lev Aronin. Born in the Soviet Union, he became International Chess Master in 1950.

1921(14th of Tammuz, 5681): Benjamin Bennett Levy, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War, passed away today.

1924: Birthdate of Ann Gilbert. Born in Szydlowiec, Poland, Ann was a Holocaust survivor. She spent over four years in concentration camps and was liberated in April 1945. She married Fred Gilbert (Felek Gebotszrajber) on Jan. 2, 1946, in Scwabisch Hall, Germany. Ann was a consummate homemaker, an accomplished seamstress, and devoted to her family. She and Fred lived in Cedar Rapids from 1949 to 1986, where she was an active member of Temple Judah and in the community. She was a lifetime member of Hadassah. From 1986 to 2003, Ann and Fred lived in Los Angeles, where she was a much sought after seamstress to film and motion picture stars. Ann and Fred were also very active in the survivor community. They were regular speakers at the Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. She and Fred lectured frequently about their experiences. In 2003, she and Fred returned to Cedar Rapids to be near to Lena. Ann remained a constant source of inspiration until she passed away in 2008 at the age of 84.

1930:  Maxim Litvinov is named the Soviet Union's Commissar of Foreign Affairs.  Born Meir Henoch Mojszewicz Wallach-Finkelstein in 1876, into a wealthy Jewish banking family in Białystok in Congress Poland, he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1898. The party was an illegal organization, and it was customary to use pseudonyms. He changed his name to Maxim Litvinov, but was also known as Papasha and Maximovich. Over the years, his politics become more radical in response to the increasingly repressive policies of the Russian government.  He joined the Bolsheviks where he became a confidante of Lenin.  Litvinov carried out a variety of diplomatic missions for the Soviets after the Russian Revolution.  As Foreign Minister, Litvinov was a key participant that led to recognition of the Soviet government by the United States in 1933.  Litivinov sought to create an anti-fascist alliance with western powers during the 1930’s.  When the British and French caved in at Munich, Stalin decided to work on developing relations with Hitler’s government.  To that end, he removed Litvinov since it would not due to have a Jew negotiating with the Nazi government.  After the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union, Litvinov was sent to Washington to negotiate a Lend-Lease that would provide the arms the Soviets needed to meet the Nazi onslaught.

1933: Cardinal Pacelli issued a concordant known as the Hitler Concordant. Hitler described it as” unrestricted acceptance of National Socialism by the Vatican." Cardinal Pacelli later became Pope Pious XII. In its spirit all teaching priests were to greet their students with "Heil Hitler, praised be Jesus Christ."

1933:  In Germany, two-hundred Jewish merchants are arrested in Nuremberg and paraded through the streets.

1933(26th of Tammuz, 5693):  Seventy-year old Sir Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 1st Viscount Burnham GCMG, CH, TD, JP, DL, a British newspaper proprietor and a Liberal Unionist politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1885 and 1916 when he inherited his peerage passed away today.

1933: In London, 500,000 march against anti-Semitism. This may be seen as part of campanion piece to a rally held in March, 1933 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The demonstration in London was certainly not representative of British public opinon or policy.  Many of the movers and shakers in Great Britain were impressed with  the cleansing effect that the Nazis were bringing to Germany, marking them as pro-German, anti-Semitic or both.

1934: The Court of Appeal today quashed the death sentence passed by the District Court on Abraham Stavsky on June 8 for the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, prominent labor leader and member of the Jewish Agency Executive of Palestine. The Appeal Court found that the evidence was insufficient.  Thousands of supporters of Stavsky, who dodged a date with the hangman, reportedly danced in the streets of Jerusalem as they celebrated a victory for the Revisionist faction of the Zionist movement.

1936(1st of Av, 5696): Rosh Chodesh Av

1936: Birthdate of Harvey David Luber. The Chicago native became a first rate photographer, a leader of the Little Rock Jewish community and a great friend.

1936: The Palestine Post reported that since according to the 1935 Official Palestinian Report on Migration certain professions became overcrowded, the government had restricted the admission to the country of all those belonging to the medical, legal and engineering professions. [Editor’s note: This seemingly innocuous ruling came at a time when educated Jews were trying to leave Germany.] Arab snipers shot at British soldiers patrolling the Nablus road in Jerusalem. Lengths of railway track were found removed near Tulkarm. Arab hawkers asked for police protection in order to be able to sell their wares. They complained that the general strike brought them ruin, starvation and death. Several more prominent members of the Arab "National Guard" were interned at Sarafand

1939(4th of Av, 5699): Dutch sculptor Joseph Mendes da Costa passed away.  “Best known for making sculptures and ornaments for buildings” Mendes da Costa was a member of “Ars et Labor” which would become the Dutch version of Art Nouveau. 

1939: British policy on Palestine--particularly the latest decision to cut off legal immigration for six months, beginning Oct. 1--came under heavy fire in the House of Commons tonight. The opposition Laborites contended that the decision to suspend immigration was proof of failure of the government's new policy.

1939:  Birthdate of Judy Chicago.  For over four decades Chicago has been a leading educator, artist and shaper of the feminist movement.  One of her most famous works is the multi-media history of women in Western Civilization entitled “The Dinner Party.”

1941: A Jewish ghetto at Minsk, Belorussia, is established. 

1942: The first detachment of the U.S. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAC’s) begins basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Among this group of volunteers are twelve Jewish women: Ruth Ginns, Beatrice Berg, Carolyne Casper and Jean Korn from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Kathryne Goldfluss, Rose Ross and Joan Strongin from New York, New York; Bee Rosenberg and Ruth Spivak from Chicago, Illinois; Rita Fink and Isabel Bayley of Buffalo, New York; and Elizabeth Morgenstern of Seattle, Washington.

1942: The Jews of Kleck tried to revolt as the Germans circled their town. Only a few hundred escaped. The 1,000 remaining Jews were shot dead.

1942: The Germans murder 1000 Jews at Kleck, Belorussia; 400 flee into forests. Two from the latter group, Moshe Fish and Leva Gilchik (from nearby Kopyl), will form a partisan group;

1942: The Jews from Kowale Panskie, Poland are deported, to the Chelmno death camp.

1942: In Warsaw, Rabbi Alexander Zusha Friedman, a “leader in Agudat Israel, called on the people not to oppose the Germans with force.”God will not permit his people to be destroyed. We must wait and a miracle will certainly occur." Agudat Israel, like many groups in the Judenrat, were afraid that any "violent" opposition would mean the liquidation of the ghetto.

1943(17th of Tammuz, 5703):Tzom Tammuz

1943(17th of Tammuz, 5703): Five hundred slave laborers are murdered at Czestochowa, Poland.

1943: Over two thousand Jews are deported from Holland to Sobibór.

1943:  Two Jews escape from Sobibór 

1943: General Leslie Grove, the director of the Manhattan Project acknowledged J. Robert Oppenheimer’s importance to the program to build the Atomic Bomb when he issued a written order to the Manhattan Engineer District commanding them to approve Oppie’s security clearance regardless of any negative information that might have been gathered.

1944: The most famous plot to kill Hitler failed. This event has been romanticized by various revisionists. The plotters realized that they could not win the war. They thought that with Hitler gone, they could at least negotiate a peace treaty with the West. The plotters were not only incompetent, they were delusional as well. [For more about people who really worked to opposed Hitler see the recently published Red Orchestra.]

1945: Laurence Adolph Steinhardt began serving as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia following his service as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

1946: Birthdate of Israel Carmi (Weinstein) the native of Egypt who perished in 1968 at the age of 22 when the Israeli Submarine Dakar sank.

1946: Arthur Greiser, former Gauleiter of the Warthegau region in Poland, is hanged at Poznan, Poland, after being convicted of war crimes.

1949: Birthdate of Jean-Louis Cohen, “a French historian of architecture and urbanism.”

1949: Israel's 19 month War of Independence ended. The government of Syria signed the last of four armistices, which marked the end of open warfare. The cessation of hostilities did not bring peace since the Arab states refused to come to grips with the reality of the existence of Israel.

1950: Harry Gold, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia pleads guilty to spying for the Soviet Union by passing secrets from atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs.  Gold’s Jewish pedigree provided fodder for anti-Semites who sought to make being Jewish and being Communist (or disloyal to America) one and the same thing.

1950: In Israel, doctors employed by the Health Ministry will go on strike today unless their demands for increased pay are met.

1951: Abdullah Ibn Hussein Jordan's King was assassinated in Jerusalem. He was attending Friday prayers at a mosque when he was killed by those who were afraid he was negotiating with Israel. His grandson, Hussein, became the next King of Jordan. The assassination influenced the young king

1954:  United States Senator Joseph R. McCarthy accepts the resignation of his aide Roy Cohn.  Roy Cohn was the chief counsel of the Senate Committee that McCarthy used to conduct his investigations that smeared people, ruined lives and unearthed no “Communist conspiracy among those he paraded before the television lights.  All of those right wing anti-Semites seemed to lose sight of fact that McCarthy’s chief henchman was one of those “New York Jews.”

1959: Birthdate of Samuel Israel III, the New Orleans born incarcerated hedge fund manager who was the subject of Octopus” Sam Israel, the Secret Market and Wall Street’ Wildest Con by Guy Lawson

1960: The head of the Physics Department at the Israel Institute of Technology, Kurt Sitte, is arrested for espionage.

1962:  Pope John XXIII sent invitations to all 'separated Christian churches and communities,' asking each to send delegate-observers to the upcoming Vatican II Ecumenical Council in Rome. Vatican II would result in an improvement in the relationship between the Jewish Community and the Roman Catholic Church.  Of course, there are those that would that anything would have to be an improvement over Pope John’s predecessor, Pope Pious, the Pope of the Holocaust.

1965:  Lyndon B. Johnson nominates Abe Fortas to the Supreme Court. Fortas was a close friend of Johnson’s; one of the few people who could speak frankly with Johnson.  Fortas was “nominally” Jewish and he warned Johnson that the American Jewish Community would not see him as the right person to hold what, since the days of Brandeis, had become “the Jewish chair” on the High Court.

1969: Israeli commandos successfully complete their attack on Green Island completely destroying the island fortress.  The press hails the attack as an Israeli Navronne, after the fictional island in the movie “The Guns of Navronne.”  But the casualties were not fiction.  Not only were they real, they were higher than expected.  The Israelis learned from the mission and went on to improve the functionality of their units.

1971: Syria and Jordan’s armies exchange fire over the common frontier. This would prove to be prelude to a Syrian attempt to seize Jordan, part of Syrian President Assad’s goal to create a Greater Syria.  In one of those strange twists,  Israel moved tanks towards the area of conflict which Washington’s way of letting the Syrians know that they should back off and leave Jordan alone.

1973: Palestinian terrorists hijack a Japan Airlines jet en route from Amsterdam to Japan and force it down in Dubai.

1976: Today marked the start of what would become the Good Fence Policy along the border with Lebanon. The hope was that the medical treatment of Lebanese citizens in Israel and the beginning of trade between South Lebanon and Israel would start a new era of relations between the two countries. Like so many other peace initiatives this one died at the hand of terrorism.

1978: Birthdate of Elliott Yamin, born Efraym Elliott Yamin, who is an American singer known for his hit single "Wait for You" and placing third on the fifth season of American Idol.

1980:  The United Nations Security Council votes 14-0 that member states should not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is another reason that Israel tends not to trust the UN. In 1947, as part of the partition vote, the UN said Jerusalem would be governed by an international body.  When the Jordanians attacked Jerusalem and expelled the Jewish population from the Old City, the UN did nothing.  During the 19 year occupation of the city by the Jordanians Jews, of whatever nationality, were kept out of the city.  The UN did nothing.  But now that the Israelis controlled the whole city and it was open to Christians, Moslems and Jews, the UN acted to support the Arab view of the City of David.

1981:  The administration of newly elected Republican President Ronald Reagan suspends sales of F-16 fighter jets to Israel. 

1981(29th of Tammuz, 5739): Seventy-nine year old Joseph N. Katz the founder and board chairman of Empire Kosher Poultry Inc., passed away today

1983; The Israeli cabinet votes to withdraw troops from Beirut but to remain in southern Lebanon. The Israelis had gone into Lebanon because the PLO occupied the southern half of the country and was using it as base to attack Israel.  The government of Lebanon either could not or would not remove the PLO so Israel was forced to act or accept the fact that Arafat’s terrorists would have permanent base on Israel’s northern border.

1994: Israel’s Shimon Peres visits Jordan, the highest ranking Israeli official to do so

1996(4th of Av, 5756): Raphael Patai passed away.  Born Ervin György in 1910, Patai, was a Hungarian-Jewish ethnographer and anthropologist.

1997: The Sunday New York Times book section featured reviews of Egypt’s Road to Jerusalem: A Diplomat's Story of the Struggle for Peace in the Middle East by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast by Patrick McGilligan and Inventing Memory: A Novel of Mothers and Daughters by Erica Jong.

2002: As a reminder that Jews were not the only victims of the Nazis, we mark the death of concentration camp survivor and art Jan M. Komski.

2003: At the Lincoln Center Festival, Israel’s Gesher Theatre gives its opening performance of its adaptation of “The Slave. The troupe has been invited to mark the Centennial of Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer's birth by performing two plays based on his novels at the prestigious festival.

2003: Jewish Women International's first-ever international conference on domestic violence in the Jewish community held its first meeting in Baltimore. Among its approximately 450 attendees, the three-day conference included Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis; social workers; artists; activists; and abuse survivors.

2003(20th of Tammuz, 5763): Rabbi Bezalel Rakow, “an orthodox rabbi who headed Gateshead’s Jewish community” and who “was the chair of the Council of Torah Sages of Agudas Yisroel of Great Britain” passed away.

2004 (2nd of Av, 5764): Temple Judah mourned the loss of Rabbi Ed Chesman who passed away unexpectedly while vacationing with family in Florida.

2006(24th of Tamuz, 5766): Charles Bettelheim passed away. Born in 1913 he “was a French economist and historian, founder of the Center for the Study of Modes of Industrialization (CEMI : "Centre pour l'Étude des Modes d'Industrialisation") at the Sorbonne), economic advisor to the governments of several developing countries during the period of decolonization. He was very influential in France's New Left, and considered one of "the most visible Marxists in the capitalist world."

2006: The following were among a total of 43 Israeli civilians (including four who died of heart attacks during rocket barrages) and 116 IDF soldiers were killed in the Israel-Hizbullah war: Maj. Benjy Hillman, 27; St.-Sgt. Rafenael Muscal, 21, of Mazkeret Batya; St.-Sgt. Nadav Baeloha, 21, of Karmiel; St.-Sgt. Liran Sa'adiya, 21, of Kiryat Shmona; St.-Sgt. Yonatan (Sergei) Vlasyuk, 21, of Kibbutz Lahav; Maj. Ran Kochva, 37, of Beit Hananya.

2007: Under the direction of Lauren Reece, The Footlighters ACT II performs "The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch, Iowa.  Making this a Jewish as well as community event, Rabbi Portman of Agudas Achim in Iowa City will conduct an outdoor Shabbat Eve services on the grounds of what was Herbert Hoover’s boyhood home.
2007: The Crown Prosecution Service announced that Lord Michael Levy was not to be prosecuted in connection with the so called "Cash for Honours" affair and that there were to be no charges against him.

2007: World premiere of David Zellnik’s  Ariel Sharon Hovers Between Life and Death and Dreams of Theodor Herzl” at Theatre J in Washington, DC.

2008: Fast the 17th Day of Tammuz, 5768

2008: The Washington Post book section features a review of Debra Winger’s memoir, Undiscovered.

2008: The Sunday New York Times book section features a review of Rapture Ready in which Jewish author Daniel Radosh explores Christian pop culture.

2009: In upstate New York, Marilyn and Lester Milton Bornstein gave birth to Michael Scott Bornestein who gained fame as Michael Oren the author who served as Israel’s ambassador.

2009: At the 18th Maccabiah Games, the basketball competition continues as Brazil plays Germany, the USA plays Argentina, France plays Mexico and the hometown Israelis tip off against Canada.

2009: In an interview given today, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism said that the vast majority of American Jews back a settlement freeze.   
2009(28th of Tammuz, 5769): Mark Richard Rosenzweig an American research psychologist who found in animal studies on neuroplasticity that the brain continues developing anatomically, reshaping and repairing itself into adulthood based on life experiences, overturning the conventional wisdom that the brain reached full maturity in childhood passed away at the age of 86.

2009: Amidst the controversy surrounding the planned screenings of “Rachel,” a film that investigates the death of anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie, and its invitation to her mother, Cindy Corrie, to speak afterward, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Board President Shana Penn resigned from her post, citing “healthy differences on how to approach sensitive issues,” with five months left on a two-year term.

2010(9th of Av, 5770): Tish'a B'Av: 1,940th anniversary of the destruction of the Second Temple; 1,875th anniversary of the fall of Bethar.

2010: A judge at Tel Aviv District Family Court today rejected a request for a gag order on the contents of a box containing manuscripts written by Franz Kafka. The BBC aired a special report on the case, in which experts and researchers discussed whether the manuscripts by the Jewish Czech author, who died in 1924, should be published, or destroyed, as he wished in his will.

2010: Elena Kagan, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee on a nearly party-line vote today, her next to last hurdle before gaining a lifetime seat on the high court.

 2011: Anat Cohen, an Israeli jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and bandleader, is scheduled to appear at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts at an event sponsored by Detroit Jazz Festival & The JCC Stephen Gottlieb Music Festival.

2011: Medical residents announced an indefinite strike today as they continued organizing protests throughout the country against a deal being drafted between the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry to end the doctors' strike.

2011: Reports that an Israeli killed in the New Zealand earthquake in February was an intelligence agent were wrong, Prime Minister John Key said today.

2011(18th of Tammuz, 5771): Eighty-eight year old portrait artist Lucian Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud and the brother of Clement Freud pass away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2012(1st of Av, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Av

2012(1st of Ave, 5772): Thirty year old “Ari Ephraim Rubin, vice chairman of the Jewish Defense League died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound” today.

2012: Fresh from her triumphal performance in Des Moines, Iowa, renowned soprano Sarah Jane McMahon is scheduled to return to Touro Synagogue in New Orleans this evening for the fifth in a series of musical programs devoted to works by Jewish composers.  [For more about this and other happenings in “The Big Easy” see the Crescent City Jewish News

2012: “5-Day Kosher Bike Trek” a 420 mile bike ride  that began in and offers Kosher food for all riders is scheduled to end today at Santa Fe, NM.

2012: As it marks it last Shabbat weekend in its downtown Washington Avenue location, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host a potluck supper before Friday services.

2012: The tearful funerals of the five Burgas airport suicide-bomb bombings were held in the course of today, drawing hundreds — and in some cases thousands — of mourners. Two sets of childhood friends and a newly pregnant woman, they were blown up on Wednesday at the start of what was supposed to have been a vacation, on the bus that was taking them from their plane to the airport terminal in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort.(As reported by Ilan Ben Zion)

2012: A suicide bombing that killed Israeli tourists in Bulgaria this week bore hallmarks of Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants but the U.S. Defense Department has not yet concluded who was behind it, a Pentagon spokesman said today. The attack on a bus carrying Israelis at a Bulgarian airport, "does bear the hallmarks of Hezbollah," George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters.

2012(1st  of Av):Moshe Silman, the homeless man who set himself on fire at a Tel Aviv rally last weekend, died this afternoon at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer after succumbing to the burns which covered over 90 percent of his body.

2012: A Muslim husband and wife convicted of planning a terror attack against Jews in Manchester, England, were jailed today. Shasta Khan, who was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism and two counts of possessing information likely to be useful in an act of terrorism, was sentenced to eight years in prison. The 38-year-old hairdresser, who had pleaded not guilty, will serve four years minus the 350 days she spent on remand. (As reported by Miriam Shaviv)

2013: “More than Carnival,” a season ending summer concert is scheduled to take place at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform for a second day at the Hampton Synagogue at West Hampton Beach.

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