66: After stealing money from the Temple Treasury, the Roman Procurator Gessius Florus allowed his troops to “loot the Upper Market” of Jerusalem. He also unleashed his Cohorts on the crowds of Jews who gathered to protest the theft. This would prove to be the precipitating event that would start the Great Revolt which would end in disaster for the Jewish people.
70: Following an early repulse of his forces, the Roman Legions commanded by Titus retake and destroy Jerusalem’s middle wall. The Romans followed this victory by quickly building a wall that will surround the city, cutting off all shipments of food and causing increased starvation among the Jewish defenders.
1192: Conrad I, newly crowned King of Jerusalem was assassinated in Tyre only days after ascending the throne. According to one source, the assassins were Moslems who may have been in the pay of Conrad’s Christian enemies. The whole affair of Conrad’s selection during the time of the Third Crusade points to the fact that these were not noble religious adventures at all. This makes the treatment of the Jews during this period all the more despicable.
1560(2nd of Iyar): Rabbi Kalman of Worms passed away.
1694(3rd of Iyar, 5454): Judah ben Samuel ha-Kohen Cantarini the Talmudist and physician who had a large number of Christian and Jewish patients passed away in Padua.
1758: Birthdate of James Monroe, leader of the American Revolution and fifth President of the United States. During the Revolutionary War, Monroe was one of the many patriots who accepted “loans” from Haym Salomon. This money enabled Monroe and the others to live in Philadelphia and carry on the war against the English.
1775: Birthdate of Judah Touro. Born in Newport, Rhode Island Touro, who never married, was a famous merchant and philanthropist who supported many Christian and Jewish charities. He started as a merchant selling soap, candles and codfish, and would eventually become one of the wealthiest men in all of America. Touro's father was of Portuguese Jewish extraction, by way of Jamaica.
1778(1st of Iyar, 5538): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1778(1st of Iyar, 5538): The eldest son of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Horowitz of Chortkiv, Shmelke of Nikolsburg who was one of the earliest great Chasidic Rebbes from both the The Nikolsburg Hasidic dynasty and the Boston Hasidic dynasty passed away to in Nikolsburg.
1788: Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States. By the time of the ratification, there are enough Jews living in Baltimore that the community can maintain its own burial site. Among the families living in Baltimore are the Ettings, headed by the widowed mother Shina and her five children including two sons, Reuben and Solomon. Jews do not enjoy full civil rights at this point in time. Under the spirit of the “Toleration Act” those are reserved for people who believe in Jesus Christ. In 1797, Jews and their Gentile supporters make their first attempt to remove the religious test. It failed along with all subsequent efforts until 1825 when the so-called Jew Bill passed in the Lower House by one vote. It would not be until 1826 that the religious test for office would modified so that anybody declaring “his belief in a future state of rewards and punishment” could hold a position of public trust.
1801: Birthdate of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury who was an early supporter of plans to populate “Greater Syria” (the name for the territory part of which became Palestine and finally the state of Israel). In 1853, when he was President of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews wrote to Prime Minister Aberdeen that Greater Syria was "a country without a nation" in need of "a nation without a country... Is there such a thing? To be sure there is, the ancient and rightful lords of the soil, the Jews!"
1834(19th of Nisan): In Mantua, philanthropist Samuel Trabotti passed away today.
1835(29th of Nisan, 5595): A. Löwy, the chief rabbi of Dresden passed away today
1838: Birthdate of Tobias Michael Carel Asser a Dutch jurist, co-winner (with Alfred Fried) of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911 for his role in the formation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the first Hague peace conference (1899). He also advocated for the creation of an international academy of law, which led to the creation of The Hague Academy of International Law. He passed away in 1913.
1847: Birthdate of Arthur Strauss who was first elected the House of Common in 1895, serving into the 1970’s when he earned the unofficial designation of “Father of the House” and who like so many of his generation paid the price of patriotism when his son Victor, a Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps “was killed in action in 1916.”
1854(30th of Nisan, 5614): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1854: Rabbi Solomon Jacobs officiated at the wedding of Henry Davis of Charleston, SC and Dinah Joel, the daughter of the late David and Catherine Joel of London, England.
1859: Accompanied by Odo Russell, a British diplomat, Sir Moses Montefiore went to the Vatican where he met with Cardinal Antonelli with whom he discussed the Mortara Case and reasons for returning the boy to his Jewish parents. The meeting proved to be a fruitless waste of time.
1860(6th of Iyar, 5620): Sixty year old Amsterdam born poet Isaac De Costa whose prose works included Israel en de Volken, a multi-volume survey history of the Jewish people that was translated into English under the title Israel and the Gentiles passed away today. In 1822, De Costa converted to Christianity.
1864(22nd of Nisan, 5624): As Jewish soldiers in the Union Army participate in the Wilderness Campaign in Virginia and follow Sherman on his march to Atlanta, they celebrate the 8th day of Pesach.
1865: Birthdate of Adolph Bluthenthal, the native of Bavaria who settled in Pine Bluff, AR where his daughter Adele was born.
1865: L'Africaine premiered today almost a year after Giacomo Meyerbeer's death at the Salle Le Peletier
1867: Today’s “Current Literature” column contained a lengthy expert from The Jew’s Revenge.
1872: In Camden, SC, Isabelle ("Belle") Wolfe and Dr. Simon Baruch gave birth to Herman B. Baruch the physician turned diplomat “who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands and Portugal.
1874: Jacob Kraus, a papermaker, and his wife Ernestine, née Kantor Jacob Kraus, a papermaker, and his wife Ernestine, née Kantor gave birth to Karl Straus, Austrian writer and journalist. Kraus converted to Catholicism in 1906 but left the church in 1923. Freud found him so irritating that he referred to him as a “mad, half-wit.” He passed away in 1936.
1875: Nathan Strauss married Lina Gutherz with whom he had six children, among them Sissie Strauss who would become the wife of Chief Judge Irving Lehman.
1881(29th of Nisan, 5641): Sixty-three year old French sculptor and photographer Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon passed away in Paris
1881: In Kherson, Elizabethgrad, a tavern dispute over blood libels spawned massive outbreaks against the Jews (often joined by the soldiers) in Odessa and Kiev. In all, over a hundred and sixty riots occurred in southern Russia. Ignatiev, the Minister of the Interior, insisted that the Jews caused the pogroms. General Drenbien refused to endanger his troops "for a few Jews."
1881: Czar Alexander III suggested to his ministers that outside agitators must have incited the mobs against the Jews, and that reports of policy and military laxity in quashing the pogroms were a disgrace.
1882: It was reported today that Jewish leaders in Berlin have received word from their co-religionists in Russia that “they will quit the country en masse if” their persecution continues. (This would be a triumph of at least part of the Russian one third policy. The government planned on solving its Jewish problem by having one third convert, one third immigrate and one third die.)
1886: Bernhard Liebentahl, a young Jew from Schafenburg, Germany was among the passengers who arrived in New York today aboard the SS Main.
1886: Birthdate of photographer Erich Salomon. Born in Berlin, Salomon worked as a carpenter and studied to be a lawyer before he found his true calling. He was a genius in the use of the then newly developed 35 mm camera. He is considered one of the founders of photojournalism. His fame as a photographer of the European leaders and celebrities spread beyond Germany. One French politician joked that no conference could be considered important if Salomon were not there to take pictures. His artistic skills did not save him and he died at Auschwitz at the age of 58 on July 7, 1944. In one of those great ironies, the daily blurbs on many websites list him as "a German photographer" and simply give the date of his passing with no mention as to the place or its significance.
1887(4th of Iyar, 5647): Fifty-six year old Isaac Hendricks passed away today at the home of his brother-in-law, H.S. Henry. A retired businessman and part of a prominent Jewish family, Hendricks was a member of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.
1889: As churches and synagogues in New York held services observing the centennial of George Washington’s first inaugural (April 30, 1789) Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs spoke at an assembly of youngsters at B’nai Jershrun. The students had been greet by a larger banner framing a portrait of Genereneral Washington that hung across the center door of the synagogue. The program included a program of patriotic music and recitations by the children.
1890: It was reported today that the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society has a rejected a proposal from the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum that the two organizations consolidate. The Brooklyn organization is caring for one hundred children while the New York organization is caring for 559 children.
1891: In Great Britain, The Pall Mall Gazette describes a plan to settle Jews living in Poland and parts of southeast Europe in uninhabited areas in Brazil and Australia. Baron Hirsch is so supportive of the plan that he has pledged 15 million dollars to set the resettlement project in motion. The plan could not come at a better time since the United States, which has been a haven for these Jews, is adopting laws designed to limit immigration. According to the Gazette, “This decision comes at an opportune moment for England, for the new United Sates legislation against the immigration of destitute aliens might result in converting the United Kingdom into a dumping ground for all the Hebrew refugees of Europe. They arrive here already at the rate of 18,000 annually.”
1892: One hundred heads of Jewish families from Russia left Montreal for Oxlow in the Canadian Northwest where they plan to start an agriculture colony. As soon as they have built houses, these farmers will be sending for their family members. The colonization is part of the efforts of Baron Hirsch, the Baron Hirsch Colonization Alliance and the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society of Montreal. If this initial settlement is successful, the Jews in Montreal plant to settle as many as 10,000 Russian Jews as farmers in Manitoba.
1893: Dr. H. M. Harris delivered a lecture at Temple Israel in Harlem entitled “The Religious Rights of the Minority, Apropos of the Movement to Convert the Jews.”
1894(22nd of Nisan, 5654): 8th day of Pesach
1894: “Ex-rector Hermann Ahlwardt, the Jewbaiter who has been imprisoned several times for criminal libel” declared in a meeting this evening “his intention of publishing next week some revelations” concerning the formation of “annuity estates in Prussia” that would expose the “corruptness of the Jews and the criminal complicity of those in authority.”
1894: This evening 30 young Jewish girls will be featured performers at a benefit hosted by the Young Ladies’ Charitable Society at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.
1895: “A Free Art Exhibition” published today described an upcoming fundraiser to be held for the benefit of the University Settlement Society and the Hebrew Educational Alliance as well as providing a brief history of these organizations.
1895: The convention of the B’nai B’rith is scheduled to open in Cincinnati, Ohio today where it is hoped that the members from Atlanta, GA will be able to report that the new building the Hebrew Orphans’ Home in their city has been completed.
1896: German Historian and Reichstag Deputy Heinrich von Treitschke who became a leading anti-Semite starting in 1878 when he began attacking the Jews for failing to assimilate as well as no longer being useful because the Aryans had learned the money management skills that had been the sole reason for allowing Jews to play a role in the German Empire.
1897: Mr. Goldstein and Mr. Meyer were among those arrested in Brooklyn today for operating an illegal still.
1898: In Galveston, TX, Arthur Fischel Samson and Babette Levy gave birth to Dr. John Jacob Sampson
1903: “The Jewish Massacre Denounced,” published today reported that “The anti-Jewish riots in Kishinev, Bessarabia, are worse than the censor will permit to publish. There was a well laid-out plain for the general massacre of Jews on the day following the Russian Easter. The mob was led by priests, and the general cry, "Kill the Jews," was taken up all over the city. The Jews were taken wholly unaware and were slaughtered like sheep. The dead number 120 and the injured numbered about 500. The scenes of horror attending this massacre are beyond description. Babes were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and bloodthirsty mob. The local police made no attempt to check the reign of terror. At sunset the streets were piled with corpses and wounded. Those who could make their escape fled in terror, and the city is now practically deserted of Jews."
1906: Birthdate of Richard Rado the “German-born British mathematician” who fled Germany following the rise of the Nazis.
1908: Birthdate of Oskar Schindler, the Schindler of “Schindler’s List” fame. He passed away in 1974. While much has been written about how authentic the tale told in the film and book was, the reality is that he saved over 1,200 Jews, which is more than most people can say.
1908(27th of Nisan, 5668): Jacob Voorsanger passed away today.
1911: Council of Rabbis of Constantinople decides to establish a yeshiva for the training of rabbis for Sephardic Jewry.
1911: Bedouins set fire to the synagogue at Tschebel (Tripoli, Barbary), entirely destroying the building which contained old and valuable manuscripts and books.
1912: In “How A Russian Girl’s Failure Was Turned To Success,” published today described the work of the successful, important work of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association and its fund raising drive that will enable it to enlarge its facilities.
1913(21st of Nisan, 5673): Seventh Day of Pesach
1913: In Atlanta, Leo Frank, a director with the National Pencil Company told the police that Newt Lee, the night watchman who had found the body of Mary Phagan had not punch his time card which “was supposed to be punched every half hour during his security rounds” at “three or four intervals.”
1915: The International Congress of Women, where Rosika Schwimmer offered a proposal for a Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation between the governments of the belligerents fighting the World War began today in The Hague.
1915: As the British Empire was fighting for its survival in WW I, the soap opera triangle involving Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, Venetia Stanley, the Jewish Liberal M.P. Edwin Samuel Montagu reached a climax when Venetia, who would convert to Judaism, “finally accepted Montagu’s proposal” of marriage.
1915: Birthdate of Bernard Phillips, the native of Minneapolis who earned a Ph.D. at Yale and became a professor of philosophy and religion.
1916: “A sharp debate in an open session of the Senate today revealed the fact that a vote at the present time in the Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Louis D. Brandeis…for the Supreme Court of the United States would result in an adverse” because the Democratic members of the committee were not united behind Wilson’s nominee and the supporters of Brandeis were looking to line up support among Republican legislators.
1917(6th of Iyar, 5677): Shabbat
1917: Jacob H. Schiff donated “$10,000 to the American Red Cross” to purchase equipment for three United States military hospitals.
1917: At Temple Israel of Harlem, Rabbi M.H. is scheduled to deliver a Shabbat morning sermon on “Master and Servant.
1917: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Silverman is scheduled to deliver a Shabbat morning sermon on “The Liberalism of the Jews.”
1917: “There were three names that called forth cheers each time they were mentioned at the opening of the eighth annual convention of the Kehillah of New York City in the Hebrew Technical School for Girls” tonight, three words that sum up the immediate heart interests of the delegates on the floor and crowds in the gallery – America, Russia, and Palestine.”
1917: “Rabbi J.L. Magnes, Chairman of the Executive announced tonight “that it had been decided to sever from the Kehillah its two important Bureaus of Education and Industry” so “that the bureaus might develop unhampered and at the same the Kehillah might work out the democratic experience without hindrance.”
1918: During World War I, The Jewish Board of Welfare Work and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Camden (NJ), will host a dinner this evening for all of the Jewish young men who are about to begin their training at Fort Dix, NJ.
1920: The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic came to an end today when it was replaced by the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic a product of the Red Army’s invasion under the direction of Lenin. The creation of the Soviet puppet state brought an end to Zionist activities in the region and the banning of Jewish and Hebrew cultural activities. A few hundred Jews were able to leave for Palestine but the rest would remain trapped and would not have the opportunity for Aliyah until the 1970’s
1922: The first edition of The American Hebrew appeared.
1928: Birthdate of Yves Klein, French artist, who, among other things, was a major figure in school of art known as neo-Dadaism.
1929: Birthdate of Avigdor Arikha, the Israeli artist who learned the power of art as a boy during the Holocaust when he sketched scenes from a concentration camp onto salvaged scraps of paper. Arikha, a painter, draftsman and printmaker, became one of Israel's most important contemporary artists, imbuing his portraits and scenes of daily life — a red umbrella against a wall, an overflowing bookshelf, a jumble of bottles in a cabinet — with enigmatic, disconcerting beauty.The artist, who abandoned abstract art for figurative work in the 1960s, was well-known for portraits of subjects including Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and his close friend, writer Samuel Beckett. He also produced many probing portraits of himself and his wife, poet Anne Atik. "I paint not to get a copy of nature but to get with the brush what I see while I see it," he told The Times in 1987. "It's an act of observation by means of the brush. The instant cannot be repeated and the brushwork is organic. When you retouch it, you disorganize it. I can't bear to go back." Born in Romania, Arikha turned to drawing to cope when he was sent to a Ukrainian labor camp at age 12. Seventeen sketches survived the war: One showed a pile of corpses in a wagon and a woman's naked body being tossed into a grave. Arikha and his sister were rescued when his drawings came to the attention of the International Red Cross during a camp inspection. Arikha's father died in the Holocaust, and his mother learned that her children were alive in Palestine only after the war. Arikha lived on a kibbutz, studied at the Bezalel School and fought in the war over Israel's creation, during which he was wounded in 1948. Recognizing his talent, supporters in Israel insisted he go to Paris to study and financed him. He arrived in Paris in 1949 and built on the foundations of his Israeli studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Arikha's works are in collections around the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He also wrote extensively about art and was named a knight in France's Legion of Honor in 2005. Arikha died at the age of 81 from complications of cancer at his home in Paris, where he spent most of his adult life
1929: Birthdate of Carolyn Jones. Born in Amarillo, Texas, Jones carved out a career on the stage, in films and television. Her most famous role was as Mortica Addams, in the TV. hit, “The Addams Family.” A convert to Judaism, Jones died tragically in 1983 at the age of 54, a victim of cancer.
1929: Aaron Rabinowitz and Lieutenant Governor Herbert Lehman take title to the building that had housed the Hoe & Co print plant so that they could convert the property into a cooperative housing project similar to one already created under the aegis of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.
1933: Birthdate of Dr. Allan Rosenfield, who as dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University will become a leading advocate for women’s health during the global H.I.V./AIDS epidemic.
1936: Sixty-eight year old Faud I, the King of Egypt who continued the “friendly” attitude towards the Jews living in Egypt regardless of their citizen which had been followed during British rule passed away today.
1936: It was reported today that the Nazis “have waged a valiant battle to seize” the funds of the Felix Mendelsohn-Bartholdi Foundation to “assure that nobody of Mendelssohn’s own race shall become a beneficiary of his generosity.”
1936: In Nazareth, four British constables were injured by Arab demonstrators who stoned the police.
1936: A fire at a Jewish tannery in the Moledeth quarter near the village of Yazur ‘was discovered in time to prevent” it from spreading.
1936: In Jerusalem, this evening a Jew was sent to the hospital after having been “stabbed twice in the back by Arab.”
1936: Because of the Arab strike at the port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv merchants have stopped using the port and today “Jewish importers have cabled manufacturers abroad to send all goods to Haifa.”
1937: When the seven day sale of the art collection of the House of Lionel Rothschild ended tonight at Sotheby’s Galleries the items auctioned brought in a total of 125,262 pounds.
1938: The Palestine Post reported on the arrival in Jerusalem of the four members of the new Palestine Commission, which was expected to study the situation and recommend to the British Government how to implement the country's partition. The Palestine Government welcomed the Commission and set it up at the Jerusalem's Government House. The Palestine Arab leadership objected to the Commission's presence and announced a total business strike. But only a fraction of the Arab-owned shops and businesses remained closed for a day.
1943: Thomas "Toivi" Blatt and his family, with about 400 other Jewish people from Izbica, was transported by the Germans to Sobibor, where “all of Blatt's family were killed there, along with most of the people from his village.”
1943: During World War II, as British forces confronted the Axis, Lance-Corporal John Patrick Kenneally single-handedly thwarted a planned attack by the Fascists when he charged down a slope at at Dj Arba, Tunisia, firing his Bren gun into the enemy formations. The enemy was so surprised that they broke and ran. Kenneally was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). John Patrick Kenneally was an assumed name. He was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer in Manchester. His mother was an 18-year-old un-married daughter of a Birmingham pharmacist, who was disowned by her family.
1943: In the Warsaw Ghetto, the uprising enters into its tenth day.
1944: Mohammed Alim Khan “the last emir representative of the Uzbek dynasty” whom Levi Babakham, the father of Moshe Babakhanov and grandfather of Ari Babakhanov, served as “court vocalist” passed away today,
1944: “1,500 people suitable for labor were taken from the Kistarcsa internment camp to Osweicim” where “they were compelled to write encouraging notes to their relatives with datelines from “Waldsee” which “were brought by an SS-Courier to Budapest and were distributed by the Jewish Council.
1945: Benito Mussolini and his mistress were executed by Italian partisans and then hung by their heels from a sign at a local gas station.
1945: Polish born French trade unionist Henri Krasucki returned to France after having survived Drancy, Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
1945(15th of Iyar, 5705): Anna Kann, the wife of Jacob Kann and the mother of three children – Maurits, Johan and Jap – who died during the Shoah passed away today at Theresienstadt
1945: Tonight, “a secretly formed International Prisoners Committee took control of the main camp at Dachau after “Victor Maurer, a representative of the International Red Cross negotiated an agreement to surrender the camp to U.S. troops.”
1945: Martin Dannenberg, “a counterintelligence officer” serving with Patton’s Third Army and Frank Perls, both of whom were Jewish, “found a manila folder sealed with red wax embossed with swastikas inside of which was an original four-page copy of the Nuremberg Laws signed by Adolf Hitler in September 1935, which stripped German Jews of their citizenship and prohibited Jews from marrying "Aryans".
1945: Film crews captured the arrival of several ferries carrying thousands of concentration survivors at Malmo, Sweden where “the undernourished victims took their first steps in freedom.”
1945: An armed revolt took place in the town of Dachau. Both former and escaped concentration camp prisoners, and a renegade Volkssturm (civilian militia) company took part. At about 8:30 AM the rebels occupied the Town Hall. The advanced forces of the SS gruesomely suppressed the revolt within a few hours.
1945: Lieutenant Colonel Arkadi Timor entered the heart of Berlin at the head of the Fourteenth Soviet Armored Battalion. At twenty-four he was one of the youngest officers to hold this rank in the Soviet Army. Despite the fact the Timor already knew that the Nazis had wiped out his entire family from his 2 year old sister to his 96 year old grandfather he refused to take revenge on the Berliners. Instead, “he ordered his soldiers to hand out sop to the starving civilians” and he established the first kindergarten for German orphans. After rising to the rank of Colonel, Timor whose interest in Judaism had been re-kindled was imprisoned in 1956. His wife was told that he would never return from the Gulag. But in 1960, thanks to secret negotiations, he was allowed to move to Israel where he provided invaluable assistance to the Israeli Ordinance forces as well as serving with valor in combat.
1946: “Representative Emanuel Celler of New York declared that” the British “decision to hold all of the 180,000 Jews of Tel Aviv responsible for the killing of seven British soldiers…was ‘Hitler technique.’” “Mr. Celler said that he as well as other responsible and God-fearing Jews deplored the terrorist activities, but to hold the entire city responsible ‘is exactly the same kind of perverted law that the German military brought with when it occupied Europe.’” Representative Celler assailed the British for taking “a page out of Himmler’s book.”
1947: Birthdate of Robert Magnus who would serve as the 30th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
1948: Release date for “Letter from an Unknown Woman” based on story by Stefan Zweig and directed by Max Ophüls who also co-authored the script.
1948: Pitcher Saul Rogovin appeared in his first major league baseball game as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
1948: British troops pulled out of the last police fortress in their control in Upper Galilee, at Rosh Pinah in the valley immediately below Mount Canaan. The fort was then occupied by the Haganah.
1948: Approximately 50 children were evacuated from Kibbutz Gesher in the Jordan Valley. The Jordanian Legion had attacked the kibbutz which was on the banks of the Jordan River in an attempt to seize the kibbutz’s bridge and an adjacent British police fortress. Afer a lengthy and bloody battle the kibbutz members decided to transfer the children in the dead of the night to a safe haven. The children were taken on a dangerous nighttime trek from the Kibbutz to Haifa and housed in an abandoned German monastery in the Bat Galim neighborhood adjacent to what is now the Rambam Medical Center.
1949: Birthdate of Dorothea Miriam Bratu, who as Miriam Hansen, “introduced a new level of sophistication to film studies with her groundbreaking study of American silent film and research on cinema and the human senses.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1952: Alfred W. Stern, a resident of Chicago who is a collector of Lincoln memorabilia presented the United States Library of Congress with “a scrapbook in which Lincoln” had “pasted newspaper account of his historic diabetes with Stephen A. Douglas. The scrapbook was used as a printer’s copy for a book edited by Lincoln” entitled Debates which became a bestseller in 1860 when it reportedly sold 50,000. Thanks to the generosity of his Jewish American, the library, and therefore the American people, own the only book ever written or edited by The Great Emancipator.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that for the second consecutive day the Jerusalem Labor Exchange closed after only 120 of Jerusalem's 2,000 jobless were willing to accept the offered forestation work. More than 450 were needed for this work daily, but the unemployed were reluctant to accept such jobs since the payment was set up according to production norms.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jerusalem was still short of water since the Municipality could not manage to settle the debt of IL60,000 owed to the Jerusalem Electric Corporation.
1957(27th of Nisan, 5717):Yom HaShoah
1963(4th of Iyar, 5723) יום הזכרון Yom HaZikaron Israel Remembrance Day
1964(16th of Iyar, 5724): Seventy-one year old Alexandre Koyré the Russian born French academic whose field of interest was the philosophy and history of science passed away today in Paris.
1965: “My Name is Barbra” was broadcast this evening.
1966: Simon Gerson sponsored the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner at the Sutton Ballroom of the New York Hilton. (Pretty spiffy for an event hosted by members of the Communist Party USA)
1968: Birthdate of Daisy Berkowitz, original guitarist with Marilyn Manson.
1969: Dr. Farouk Shabtai and his two brothers were released after almost two years of imprisonment by Egyptian authorities. Over four hundred adult Jewish males were seized by the Egyptians at the start of the Six Days War and held in what they claimed was a form of “protective custody.”
1971(3rd of Iyar, 5731): Yom HaZikaron
1971: Release date of Woody Allen’s “Bananas” co-starring Louise Lasser with music by Marvin Malisch.
1972(14th of Iyar, 5732): Pesach Sheni
1982(5th of Iyar, 5742): Yom HaAtzma’ut
1983(15th of Iyar, 5743): Eighty year old Hebraist Dr. Harry Blumberg passed away today.
1984: In promoting his contention that "One of the principal elements in the study of Rambam is the unification of Jewry," the Rebbe explained that when everyone studies the same thing on the same day, their learning is united across continents. The Rebbe added that when different people study the same topic, they will come to discuss and debate it. This friendly and scholarly debate, the Rebbe said, will bring people closer to each other, contributing to unity among Jews.”
1985: Several thousand people attended a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich.
1987: Rabbi Arnold Resincoff deliver his prayer, “To Keep the Dream Alive,” at the National Civic Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in the Capitol rotunda.1987: Today, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir went to Paris in order, as he put it, to ''undermine European support for an international conference.'' This puts him at loggerheads with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and threatens to end the Likud-Labor coalition currently governing Israel.
1988: The final episode of Season 4 of the Cosby Show which was co-created by Ed Weinberger who also scripts for the show, was broadcast this evening.
1990: After 6,137 performances at the Shubert Theatre the curtain came down on the original production of “A Chorus Line” with lyrics by Edward Kleban and music by Marvin Hamlisch.
1991: It was reported today that Israeli commemorative coins “appeal more to the heartstrings than to the purse strings.” Some examples of this are “the coins struck for Israel's 1991 Independence Day to commemorate the immigration of Jews from around the world, a process that is continuing with the arrival of Jews from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union. In 1950, the Israeli Parliament passed the Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to any Jewish immigrant. Since then, millions of Jews have immigrated. Previous surges of such immigration have strained the Israeli Government's resources, and the new surge's proportions are nearly overwhelming. To raise money for the new immigrants, Israel has been selling bonds and seeking donations. The Government Coins and Medals Corporation has minted three new commemoratives. The three coins are similar in design. Each shows immigrants alighting from a Boeing 747. Around the outside of the coin, in English and Hebrew, appears a phrase from the Book of Jeremiah: "I will gather them out of all countries." On the other side is a wide band running through the center of the coin with a large numeral -- the coin's value. The coins are available in one-shekel and two- and 10-sheqalim pieces. The smaller denominations are 92.5 percent silver, while the 10-sheqalim piece is 90 percent gold. The coins will have a limited mintage -- 15,000 of each silver coin and 6,000 gold 10-sheqalim coins. The silver shekel and the gold 10-sheqalim coin both weigh close to half a troy ounce, while the two-Shekalim coin is nearly a troy ounce of silver. The prices are $32 for the large proof silver two-Shekalim coin and $52 for both the brilliant uncirculated one-shekel and the proof two-Shekalim coins. The gold proof 10-sheqalim coin is $399. All are packaged in a presentation case. The coins may be ordered from the American Israel Numismatic Association.”
1995: “Destiny Turns On The Radio” a comedy featuring Allen Garfield was released today in the United States.
1996: “Big the musical” with tunes by David Shire and a book by John Weidman, the son of Jerome Weidman opened on Broadway at the Schubert Theatre.
1996(9th of Iyar, 5756): Dora “Dutch” Sudarsky, who had been married to sportscaster Bill Mazer for fifty years, passed away today.
1999(12th of Iyyar, 5759): Arthur Leonard Schawlow, American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate passed away.
2000: “Rabbi at end of 1800’s wasn’t really a rabbi” published today declared that Jacob Voorsanger, a leading 19th century rabbi who led Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco was never ordained according to Visions of Reform: Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco 1849-1999 by Fred Rosenbaum.
2000: Birthdate of Jacob Levin. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Levin is the most wonderful grandson in the world.
2001(5th of Iyar, 5761): Seventy-six year old Yaakov, the sabra who the Israel Prize Winner whose architectural work included the Charles Bronfman Auditorium and the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, both in Tel Aviv, passed away today.
2002: An exhibition entitled “New York: Capital of Photography” opens at The Jewish Museum in New York City.
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Master of the Senate by Robert Caro
2003: Ira Herskowitz, the Brooklyn born American geneticist passed away in San Francisco.
2004: Omer Golan made his international debut for the Israel national football team when he came on as a 74th minute substitute for Eyal Berkovich in a friendly against the Moldova national football team” today.
2005(19th of Nisan, 5765): Fifth Day of Pesach
2006(1st of Iyar, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
2006(1st of Iyar, 5766): Israeli composer Ben-Zion Orgad, the native of Gelsenkirchen, Germany who made Aliyah in 1933, passed away today in Tel Aviv.
2006: Ninety-seven year old Noble prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini attended the first meeting of the Senate in Italy.
2006: “The TV Set,” a comedy directed and written by Jake Kasdan who co-produced the film with Judd Apatow premiered at Tribeca today.
2007: The Cedar Rapids Gazette featured an article entitled “Temple Judah Plans for big crowd at Big Dinner.” The article describes the preparations and purpose for this major event in the Jewish community that is scheduled for Sunday, May 6. The article includes a large picture of Rugalach “a sweet pastry prepared by members of Temple Judah.”
2008(23rd of Nisan, 5768): Ninety year old air pioneer Diana Barnato Walker passed away today.
2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque presents a screening of: “We Who Remained Among the Living” and “Pizza At Auschwitz”
2008: The New York Times reports that “Schindler’s 100th Birthday Is Private Affair for Survivors.” As he does every year on the birthday of Oskar Schindler, Nahum Manor will make a pilgrimage to the famed factory owner’s grave on Mount Zion. Manor, 85, met his wife while working in Schindler’s factory. “My life changed very dramatically when I started working at Schindler’s factory,” he said. “We moved from hell to a kind of paradise.” April 28 would have been Schindler’s 100th birthday, and around the world there will be scattered, locally inspired memorials to the factory owner who saved 1,100 lives during the Holocaust and was immortalized in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List.” In New Jersey, Sol Urbach, a Schindler survivor, will be at a small ceremony at the Kaplen Jewish Community Center in New Jersey that his daughter helps organize every year. In Krakow, Poland, last month, 30 Schindler survivors joined a march to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the city’s ghetto, winding from the ghetto to the concentration camp to remember the liquidation and honor Schindler. The march ended at the Palace of Art, where more than 500 photos of Schindler and his factory were on display. Many elements of Holocaust memorialization have become ritualized to intense levels of detail and organization. But Schindler has not yet earned any regular form of commemoration. The homegrown ceremonies that have sprung up around his birthday suggest the personal ways in which many Holocaust survivors are still dealing with their experiences of horror and heroism. “What we have seen recently is the routinization of Holocaust commemoration,” said Michal Bodemann, a professor at the University of Toronto who has written about Holocaust remembrance. Bodemann said the individualized commemorations of Schindler hark back to an earlier era. “From 1945 up to 1978, all commemoration was personal, out of the public eye,” Bodemann said. “It is important to see,” Bodemann added, “that the Schindler Jews have their own private way of celebrating Schindler that is very different from what is happening in public.” Schindler was born in 1908 in Svitavy, Austria-Hungary, which is now a part of the Czech Republic. Under his watch, his family’s business dissolved into near bankruptcy. But when the war started, he saw a business opportunity in following the German army into Poland. There, he used his connections to secure a factory in Krakow that made pots and pans and defective munitions for the German forces.Driven by profits, he used the cheapest labor around: Jews. But on March 12, 1943, Schindler changed his life, the life of his workers and history. Addressing his workers, he told them not to go home that night. The Krakow ghetto, he said, would be liquidated the next day. Schindler had witnessed the killings and decided he must protect his laborers. He built his own concentration camp as a satellite to Kraków-Plaszów, and his staff compiled the now famous list of workers he wanted transferred to his camp.Schindler’s dramatic change in character - from a self-absorbed playboy to a caring hero willing to risk his life to save others - attracted Thomas Keneally, the Australian author who wrote “Schindler’s Ark.” The book was later renamed “Schindler’s List,” and used in Spielberg’s movie. “You’d expect Oskar to be a perfect Nazi,” Keneally said from his home in Melbourne, Australia. “He was a good German lad. You’d think he’d be a pushover for the dominant propaganda about race, but he wasn’t. It is a remarkable legacy in that way.” Schindler’s story has become the core of many of the personalized efforts to commemorate the man. Lili Haber, whose father was on Schindler’s list, organized a symposium that will coincide with Schindler’s birthday, to take place in Ariel, Israel, on behalf of the Association of Krakovians in Israel. Haber hopes to fill the 400-seat auditorium with students. The symposium will include a panel discussion featuring a Holocaust scholar and 10 to 20 survivors. “It is important for young people to learn Schindler’s legacy,” Haber, said. “This way, we show young people Schindler’s great accomplishments and what he risked.” In New Jersey, rather than focusing on history, the Schindler admirers have designed a ceremony that will have more of a personal, religious bent. Families and members of the community will gather in the Kaplen JCC. The ceremony will begin with a playing of Itzhak Perlman’s music from “Schindler’s List.” The Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the deceased, will be recited, as will the “El Maleh Rachamim,” the prayer for the souls of the deceased. A candle lighting will take place, too, and a survivor will address the audience. “Schindler was a very personal hero,” said Barbara Urbach Lissner, Urbach’s 53-year-old daughter. “That is always acknowledged on a personal level, but as a community the focus is on the tremendous loss and the tremendous sadness.” For many survivors, the personal nature of the connection to Schindler means that remembering the man does not require his birthday or a ceremony. “I think of Schindler most of the time. I don’t have to wait for his birthday,” said the youngest member of Schindler’s list, Leon Leyson, who is 78 and lives in Los Angeles. “I could be spreading margarine on my toast,” Leyson said, “and I’ll remember having that little piece of margarine as part of the ration and remember that Schindler had given me bread and, at that time, that was as precious as you can imagine.” In Jerusalem, where Schindler is buried, there are always a number of people who congregate at his grave for his birthday, though not in any organized fashion. Manor said he was considering going to Krakow this year, but he did not need to return to remember. “It wouldn’t be right to say we are going back, because we are always back,” he said. “We never leave Krakow, nor Schindler, nor the war.”
2008: Yossi Harel was be buried at the Caesarea-area kibbutz, Sdot Yam today. Harel, who commanded four ships bringing Jews to Israel illegally, died at the age of 90 in Tel Aviv. Harel assisted 24,000 Jews in reaching Israel aboard four ships, including the famed SS Exodus, between 1945 and 1948. Great Britain, which controlled the region at the time, banned Jewish immigration due to Arab pressure. The other three ships were called Knesset Yisrael (Gathering of Israel), Atzma'ut (Independence) and Kibbutz Galuyot (Ingathering of the Exiles).The Exodus was made famous by a film of the same name. Born in 1919, Harel was the sixth generation in his family born in Jerusalem. At the age of 15 he joined the pre-state Haganah defense force. By the age of 28 he oversaw the clandestine immigration operations bringing Jews, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, to the Holy Land. Later on, Harel oversaw the IDF’s Unit 131, an intelligence unit that ran a spy ring in Egypt until the so-called Lavon Affair of 1954.
2009: “Picturing the Shoah,” a film festival sponsored by YIVO that explores how movies have represented the Holocaust from radical, provocative, and unexpected angles continues with an exhibition of “Lili Marleen.”
2009 (4 Iyar): Yom Hazikaron – Israel Remembrance Day - Israel's National Memorial Day for the Fallen and the Victims of Terror http://www.jafi.org.il/education/festivls/ZKATZ/ZK/index.html
2009(4 Iyar, 5769) Richard J. Pratt passed away. Born Ryszard Przecicki, in 1934 he “was a prominent Australian businessman, chairman of the privately owned company Visy Industries, and a leading figure of Melbourne society. In the year before his death Pratt was Australia's fourth richest person, with a personal fortune was valued at $5.48 billion dollars. Pratt was appointed an Officer, of the Order of Australia; however he returned his awards in February 2008 after he was fined $36 million for price fixing.”
2009: Journalist and motivational speaker Jean Chatzky discusses her new book, “The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times,” at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
2009: The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) welcomes Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party following the longtime Republican Senator’s announcement today that he is “crossing the aisle.” Specter becomes the 12 Jewish Democratic Senator. The number will rise to 13 with the seating of Al Frankin from Minnesota
2010: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to sponsor “Daughters of Sara, Mothers of Israel: Jewish Women of Medieval Gerona,” the first of two lectures on the Jews of Catalonia.
2010: Israeli singer songwriter Danny Robas, one of Israel's most unique musicians in the last 20 years is scheduled to perform at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.
2011: Rabbi Joseph Krakoff is scheduled to lead the discussion at Congregation Shaarey Tzedek’s “Tequila and Talmud” in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
2011: Graveside services will be held today at Zion Memorial Park for Holocaust surivior Gora Hudesa Gora
2011: A bomb killed 15 people including two Jews who were among 10 foreigners in Morocco's bustling tourist destination of Marrakesh, state television said today in an attack that bore the hallmark of Islamist militants. The Jewish woman was reportedly an Israeli citizen and pregnant. The blast ripped through a cafe overlooking Marrakesh's Jamaa el-Fnaa square, a spot that is often packed with foreign tourists. A Reuter’s photographer said he saw rescuers pulling dismembered bodies from the wreckage.
2011: Wisconsin offensive guard Gabe Carimi was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
2012: Jacob Wertheimer, the son of former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali's daughter Khaliah Ali Wertheimer and her husband Spencer Wertheimer had his Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia
2012: “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life,” a film that tells “the story of a boy born to Russian-Jewish parents in Nazi-occupied Paris rising to international fame” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2013(18th of Iyar, 5773): 33rd day of the Omer – Lag B’Omer
2013(18th of Iyar, 5773): Eighty-eight year old world renowned cellist Janos Starker passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2013: Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski is scheduled to lead “Finding God: A Workshop” at the Skirball Center
2013: Lubavitch of Iowa City is scheduled to host its annual Lab B’Omer BBQ this afternoon
2013: The Jewish Food Festival is scheduled to be held at the River Market Pavilion in Little Rock, AR.
2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner and Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen
2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration sponsored by the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix.
2013: “Steal a Pencil for Me,” the opera composed by Gerald Cohen with a libretto by Deborah Brevoorst will debut at Congregation Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale, NY.
2013: Friends and family gather to celebrate the birthday of Jacob Levin
2013: The Israel Air Force bombed two sites in the Gaza Strip early this morning in response to a Qassam rocket that was fired from Gaza into southern Israel last night.
2013: While some in Israel are enjoying the first flush of summer of recent days, hitting the beach and packing out the cafes and boulevards, the unseasonably hot weather has brought the usual spate of wildfires and heatstroke cases as people celebrate Lag B’Omer
2013: Israel will not tolerate a "drizzle" of rockets on its territory, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet today, explaining an IAF strike in Gaza hours earlier against a terror facility and weapons storage site in southern Gaza.
2014(28th of Nisan, 5774): Yom HaShoah
2014: In New Orleans, the keynote speaker at the Holocaust Memorial Program is scheduled to be eighty-eight year old Philip Bialowitz, one of only seven survivors of the Sobribor revolt at the Nazi death camp who was 17 at the time of the revolt, joined with his brother and others to overwhelm the guards and helped free 200 of the 600 prisoners housed there” whose memoir is A Promise at Sobribor: A Jewish Boy’s Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland. (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)
2014: Rabbi Sara Luria is scheduled to present the first in a three part lecture series “Jewish Spirituality Through Water: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition” at the Skirball Center.
2014: Rob Reiner is scheduled to be honored tonight at the 41st Chaplin Award Gala by several notables including James Caan and Billy Crystal.
2014: As part of The William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Roswenwald Course in Contemporary Jewish History Yitschak Schwartz is scheduled to lecture on “How We Here: Judaism in America, 1654-2014
2014: Lena Gilbert, a leading member of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, is scheduled to deliver a lecture tonight at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon on her life as the daughter of Holocaust Survivors.
2014: Friends and family prepare to celebrate the natal of Jacob Levin, whose academic, musical and Hebraic skills mark him as a budding “Renaissance Man” adding to the fact that he has already proven himself to be a Mensch par excellence
2015: “The Dove Flyer” and “Almost Friends” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2015: The Washing Society of Jewish Deaf is scheduled to present a screening of “Lost and Sound.”
2015: Dr. Michael Hornum Archaeologist and Smithsonian Scholar is scheduled to deliver his final lecture on the “Archaeology of Israel – From Canaanite to Israelite” The Transformation from Bronze Age City States to the Iron Age National State” at Beth Shalom in Howard County, MD.
2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to sponsor a presentation by Shirli Gilbert author of Music in the Holocaust in which she “examines the role of music in the Nazi ghettos and camps and the insight it offers into victims' responses” For more see http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/ and
2016: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host an evening with Paul Krugman of the New York Times discussing the condition and future of the economy.
2016: Hainan Airlines, the largest private carrier in China, is scheduled to begin flights between Ben Gurion Airport and China today.
2016(20th of Nisan, 5776): Sixth Day of Pesach
2016: Friends and family celebrate the all-important 16th birthday of Jacob Levin!