68(3rd of Sivan, 3828): During the Great Revolt, Vespasian captured Jericho and slaughtered the Jewish inhabitants.
325: The First Council of Nicaea, convoked by Emperor Constantine, opens. Among other things, the Council dealt with the issue of setting the date for Easter. Going forward, Easter would never again be celebrated on the same day as the first day of Pesach.
526: An earthquake, with an epicenter in Syria that reportedly killed 300,000 people, is felt throughout much of the Near East including at least two towns now located in the modern state of Israel – Acre and Beit Jann.
1092: During the reign of St. Ladislaus the Synod of Szabolcs decreed that Jews in Hungary should not be permitted to have Christian wives or to keep Christian slaves. This decree had been promulgated in the Christian countries of Europe since the fifth century, and St. Ladislaus merely introduced it into Hungary.
1285: Henry II, the second surviving son of Hugh III succeeded his brother John I who may have been poisoned, as “the last ruling and first titular King of Jerusalem” a meaningless title from the point of Jews.
1293: King Sancho IV of Castile creates the Study of General Schools of Alcalá which would become one Spain’s oldest and finest universities. During the 1930’s the school would prove to be haven for Jewish intellectuals fleeing anti-Semitism in other parts of Europe. The school would cease to be a haven when Franco led his coup in 1936 that became the Spanish Civil War and brought facism to the Iberian Peninsula.
1530: Ninety year old Avraham HaLevi Mintz the husband of Livo Minz and Chief Rabbi of Padua,passed away today at Padua, Italy.
1631: The city of Magdeburg in Germany is seized by forces of the Holy Roman Empire and most of its inhabitants massacred, in one of the bloodiest incidents of the Thirty Years' War. For once, there were probably no Jews among the dead. The Jews had been explled from the town in 1493 and would not be readmitted until 1671 during the reign of the great elector, Frederick William.
1648: King Wladislaus IV of Poland passed away. Wladislaus was the king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth when the Chmielnicki, Uprising began in January of 1648. According to some, the King and his advisors underestimated the size and the strength of the uprising. They suffered to major defeats as the Cossacks moved westward. His death left the Poles leaderless at a crucial time in their history and may have been a contributing factor to the success of the uprising which brought death and destructions to hundreds of thousands of Jews living throughout the area.
1671: Frederick William of Prussia permitted 50 Jewish families who had been expelled from Vienna to settle in his dominion.
1769(13th of Iyar): Rabbi Nethanel Weil of Prague, author of “Korban Nethanel” passed away.
1806: Birthdate of British philosopher John Stuart Mill
1806(3rd of Sivan, 5566): Talmudist and author Samuel ben Nathan Ha-Levi Loew, who had been born in Bohemia in 1720 and who “presided over a yeshiva at Boskovice, Moravia for almost 60 years” passed away today.
1819(25th of Iyar, 5579): Rosey Aaron, the wife of Sander bar Aharon passed away today in England.
1819: Rica Meldola, the eldest daughter of Raphael Meldola married David Aaron de Sola, the senior rabbi at Bevis Marks Synagogue in London.
1820(7th of Sivan, 5580): Second Day of Shavuot; Yizkor
1820: In Warsaw, Gabriel Berekson, the son of Berek and Temerl Bergson and his wife gave birth to composer and pianist Michal Bergson.
1820: Rabbi Löb Glee Hildesheimer, a native of Hildesheim and his wife gave birth to Esriel or Azriel Hildesheimer, a German rabbi who was a leader in the formation of Modern Orthodox Judaism.
1822: Birthdate of author Emile Erckmann who along with Alexandre Chatrian co-authored the 1869 play “Le Jeuf Polonais” (The Polish Jew) which was the basis for “The Bells.”
1835: Michael Rose, the Great Synagogue’s first Rabbi, arrived in Sydney, Australia.
1839(7th of Sivan, 5599): Second Day of Shavuot; Yizkor
1842: Arch abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wrote an article in his newspaper the Liberator, referring to Mordecai Noah, one of the most prominent Jews of the period as "a Jewish unbeliever, the enemy of Christ and Liberty." Garrison felt that Noah had expressed sentiments that were hostile to the abolitionists when, as a Judge, he was delivering a charge to a Grand Jury. Garrison would continue his attacks on Noah describing him as "the miscreant Jew", that lineal descendant of the monsters who nailed Jesus to the Cross” and as a "Shylock" who "will have his pound of flesh at any cost."
1847: Consecration of the New Netherdutch Synagogue took place in New York. The congregation was organized so they could, "have a Synagogue where they can worship according to the Amsterdam Minchag. They number about sixty members. The service was performed by the S. E. C. Noot, the Chazan of the congregation, assisted by several young men."
1851: Birthdate of inventor Emile Berliner. Born in Germany, Berliner came to the United States in 1870. His most famous invention was the flat phonograph record which replaced the cylinder that had been invented by Thomas Edison. Berliner made many other contributions through his work at the Bell Labs. He also was an early developer of the helicopter. At the end of his life, he supported the rebuilding of Palestine and was very active on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He died in 1929.
1852: Birthdate of Dr. Immanuel Munk, the native of Posen and brother of Hermann Munk who became a leading physiologist.
1855: Birthdate of Saul Frank. A Dutch Jew, whose parents were Sephardic, he was a successful businessman who settled in California and married Sarah Vasen the Iowa educated physician who became the first Jewish woman doctor in Los Angeles.
1856: A meeting was organized with the Ottoman Grand Vizier Aali Pasha upon his visit to London today where an agreement on the principles to establish a railway between Jaffa and Jerusalem was signed today
1858(7th of Nisan, 5618): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor
1866(6th of Nisan, 5626): Shavuot
1867: A fair was held today at the Concordia Opera House in Baltimore, MD. Proceeds from the event are to be used for the building of the Hebrew Hospital which, when completed, will offer services to all indigent citizens without regard to religious affiliation.
1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno, received patent 139,121 which protected their invention of blue jeans with copper rivets in areas of stress including the pocket corners and the button fly.
1874: Levi Strauss marketed blue jeans with copper rivets charging $13.50 per dozen. Strauss arrived in San Francisco with canvas that he thought he could use for making tents to sell to the miners. But what the miners needed were stout pants, which Strauss gave them using the canvas. He later changed to heavy blue denim called genes in French which became jeans in to the people of California. The copper rivets were used because the miners put nuggets in their pants pockets and regular stitching would not hold them.
1877: Thirty year old Dr. Ignatz Kornfeld married 24 year old Harriet Singer today.
1879: Joseph H. De Meza a young Cuban Jew pleaded guilty to charges that he had tried to steal clothing from Mrs. Charles A. Lillie by swindling her. He was held over because he could not raise $3,000 in bail. During the proceedings, De Meza told the court of various swindles he had taken part since his family left Cuba six years ago. According to De Meza, his family had been forced to flee from their home in Matanzas because they were part of the insurgency aimed at overthrowing the Spanish rulers of Cuba.
1882: After a night-long interrogation, five year old Samuel Scharf “confessed to police” describing the role that his father and several other Jews has played in the ritual murder of of Andreas Huri at Tisza-Eszlar.
1885(6th of Sivan, 5645): Shavuot
1886: Birthdate of Jake Guzik, the native of Cracow who became the “Treasurer” responsible for the financial well-being for Al Capone which did not preclude him from taking part in a myriad of other criminal activities.
1888: Birthdate of Rabbi Moses Aaron Poleyeff, the native of Minsk who came to the United States in 1920 where he served on the faculty of Yeshiva College.
1889(19th of Iyar): Italian Jewish leader Samuel Altari passed away
1890(1st of Sivan, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1890: It is alleged that two or more unidentified individuals threw the body of Samuel Hutch, a Jewish peddler, down an abandoned mine shaft near Wurtsborough, NY.
1891: “He Wants to go Home” published today described the plight of Barney Greenman who came to United States with his parents a year ago. The teenager who has received help from the United Hebrew Charities, wants to go back to Rotterdam where he can rejoin his parents who went back because they “did not succeed in make a fortune…”
1891: In London, as the number of destitute Russian Jews seeking refuge in Great Britain, The Evening News “warns authorities that if the Hebrew ‘invasion’ is not checked…an anti-Hebrew movement…will grow up in England.”
1891: Louis Raphael shot his fiancée, Rachel Weinberg this evening and then turned the gun on himself.
1891: Dr. Henry M. Leipziger was unanimously elected Assistant Superintendent of Schools in New York City.
1893: As the condition of Jews in Russia worsened it was reported today those living in the Asiatic part of the empire are to be expelled in the same manner as their co-religionist in the Polish part of the empire.
1893: Birth of Herzl's daughter Margarethe Gertrude (always known as "Trude").
1895: In Brooklyn, a judgment in the amount of twelve dollars was awarded to the landlord who owned the building at 116 Seigel Street to be paid by Congregation Havercham which had failed to pay rent for the month of May.
1896: In New York the laying of the cornerstone took place for the new Synagogue of Congregation Shearith Israel at 70th Street and Central Park West. At the entrance to the synagogue, there are two millstones that were from Mill Street, the location of the town miller during the early colonial period.
1896: Max Bodenheimer, leader of the Cologne Zionists, invites Herzl to speak. Bodenheimer was a lawyer in Cologne and one of the main figures in German Zionism. Close to Theodor Herzl, he was the first president of the Zionist Federation of Germany and one of the founders of the Jewish National Fund. After his flight in 1933 from Nazi Germany, and a short sojourn in Holland, he settled in Palestine in 1935. He passed away in 1940.
1897(18th of Iyar, 5657): Lag B'Omer
1897: According to a compilation of the May Laws published today, the right of Jews “to become shareholders in stock companies, or directors, managers, or superintendents of real property belonging to corporations and situated outside of towns or townlets in the Pale” was severely limited.
1898: The Jewish Messenger reported that Congregation Orach Chaim had resolved to purchase its first building at 221 East 51st Street. The edifice was formerly used as a church. Prior to this, the congregants had been worshipping in rented space, reportedly above a beer saloon. During the meeting at which the decision to make the purchase was reached, long-term president Meyer Dannenberg "...arose and surprised members by giving toward the new edifice $5,000 in behalf of his son, Hon. Isaac Dannenberg."
1898(28 of Iyar, 5658: Sixty-two year old Rabbi Herman Phillips, a teacher at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for the last six years passed away at his home on 3rd Avenue. A native of Germany, he served as cantor at the synagogue on west 44th Street in Manhattan before serving as a rabbi at congregations in Boston and Toronto
1899: “French Cheers for Dreyfus” published today described the reaction in Paris to the acquittal of the notorious Jew baiter, Max Regis on charges of inciting to murder. An angry mob followed him to the train station and the marched to the Officers’ Club where they cheered for Dreyfus and Picquart. When the French officers turned a water hose on the crowd, they were pelted with stones some of which injured the anit-Dreyfus military men.
1899: It was reported today that police arrested fifty rioters who attacked the Jewish quarter in Algiers where they wrecked several houses.
1903: Miss Anita Sutherland discovered the unconscious body of Washington Seligman, the son of James Seligman, at the Hotel Rossmore, where he had used a safety razor blade to cut the left side of his throat in a failed attempt at suicide and rushed him to Roosevelt Hospital where his life was saved.
1904(6th of Sivan, 5664): Shavuot
1904: Birthdate of Meir Tobianski
1906(25th of Iyar, 5666): Raphael Louis Bischoffsheim, a Dutch-born French banker, politician, philanthropist and founder of the Nice Observatory passed away today.
1907: Incorporation of Dropsie College in Philadelphia, PA
1907(7th of Sivan, 5667): Second day of Shavuot, Yizkor
1912: In New York, Nathan Finkelstein and Anna Katzenellenbogen gave birth to Moses Isaac Finkelstein, who gained fame as Sir Moses I. Finley
1914: In Jerusalem, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Shapira gave birth to Avraham Elkanah Shapira who werved as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993.
1915(7th of Sivan, 5675): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor
1915: Birthdate of Moshe Dayan. Dayan was born at Deganya, the most famous Kibbutz,. As a teenager he joined the Haganah. He lost an eye in an attack on Lebanon with an Australian Division. During the War for Independence, Dayan would play a key role in the relief of Deganya. He rose in the ranks of the Israeli army, becoming Minister of Defense in 1967. He resigned after the Yom Kippur War because he was criticized for Israel's lack of preparedness. In 1977 he joined the Begin government.
1915: The Ottoman government allowed Hebrew to be used once again as a written language for letters, although it will be censored by the military.
1915: The Philadelphia Inquirer described the function of the Hebrew Free School in Camden as being “to teach the Hebrew language and to translate it into to English.”
1915: As of today, “thousands of Atlanta businessmen, including practically every banker in the city, a Basil Stockbridge, a former assistant to Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, have signed their names to petitions pleading for a commutation of Leo M. Frank’s death sentence.”
1917: The Ottomans allowed the Jews to return to Jaffa and Tel Aviv reversing the order expelling them from their homes.
1917: The Sisters of Fidelity are scheduled to hold an informal dancing party this evening at the new ballroom of the Auditorium Hotel.
1917: Joseph Fienberg will represent Congregation Ohavo Emuno Beth Hamedrosh Hachocesh, the oldest Jewish Orthodox congregation in Chicago founded in 1859 as a delegate to the American Jewish Congress meeting today at Chicago and S. M. Jess will represent the congregation as an alternate.
1917: The Hebrew Union Veteran Association and the Hebrew Veterans of the War with Spain are scheduled to hold their annual joint memorial services today at Temple Ansche Chesed in Harlem.
1917: In Chicago a mass tonight raised over $500,000 for the Jewish Relief Committee for War Sufferers with largest contribution coming from Mr. and Mrs. Julius Rosenwald who contributed $150,000.
1917: The Jews of Chicago are scheduled to celebrate the emancipation of Russian Jews with a series of mass meetings to be held throughout the city this afternoon concluding with a banquet at the Hotel La Salle.
1920: Henry Ford’s newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, with a circulation of seven hundred thousand, "discussed" the Jewish problem. Ford was an anti-Semite and his paper followed his lead.
1922: “The first Jewish municipal bond issue in history, amount of 80,000 pounds has been authorized by the Palestine Government for the township of Tel-Aviv…The obligations are secured by taxation, the bonds being used at 6 per cent, repayable in twenty years.
1922: Birthdate of Sarah Doron. Born in Lithuania she made Aliyah in 1933 and eventually pursued a political career that including serving as a member of the Knesset and Minister without Portfolio.
1923: Birthdate of Israel Gutman the native of Warsaw “who took part in the Warsaw ghetto uprising, survived three Nazi concentration camps and became a prominent historian of the Holocaust.” (As reported by Isabel Kershner)
1925: Founding of Davar, the Hebrew language newspaper of the labor movement in Palestine.
1926(7th of Sivan, 5686): Second Day of Shavuot
1926: Actress Helen Menken, the daughter of Frederick and Katherine Menken married Humphrey Bogart (who was not Jewish) today.
1926: In Brooklyn, businessman and community activist Harry Plissner and his wife Charlotte gave birth to Marty Plissner, the “longtime political director for CBS News who helped expand the role of television in covering elections.” (As reported by William Yardley)
1928: Birthdate of Alfred Gilbert Aronowitz “an American rock journalist best known for introducing Bob Dylan and The Beatles in 1964.”
1930: Sir John Hope-Simpson arrives in Palestine. “Upon the recommendation of the Shaw Commission the British authorities conducted an investigation into the possibilities for future immigration to and settlement of Palestine. The investigation was headed by Sir John Hope-Simpson, who spent a relatively short amount of time in Palestine reviewing the situation. Hope-Simpson's main concern was that there was not sufficient land to support continued immigration. According to his report, Arab farmers were suffering from severe economic difficulties. Many were tenant farmers who owed large amounts of money and lacked the means to ensure successful agricultural endeavors. Others were simply unemployed. The report indicated that the Jewish policy of hiring only Jews was responsible for the deplorable conditions in which the Arabs found themselves. Due to these conditions, Hope-Simpson recommended the cessation of Jewish immigration. Only after new agricultural methods would be introduced in Palestine, would room be made for an additional number of immigrants. In response, Jewish leaders in the Yishuv argued that Hope-Simpson had ignored the capacity for growth in the industrial sector. Stimulating economic growth through increased demand would most likely benefit the Arab economy as well. Hope-Simpson disagreed, seeing the future of Palestine in agriculture, not in industry. Jews also claimed that since they had made a principle of using Jewish labor only, the cessation of immigration would in fact have no effect on Arab unemployment. The Hope-Simpson Report was published in October, 1930. At the same time, the Passfield White Paper was issued, clarifying British intentions in Palestine.”
1930: “The Chief Rabbinate of the Jewish Community of Palestine has joined in the call for a general strike of protest against the suspension of immigration.”
1931: Birthdate of Israeli political leader Yisrael Kessar. Born in Yemen, he made aliyah at the age of two. His service in the military was followed by course work in economics and sociology at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University. Following an active career with Histadruit, he was elected to the Knesset and served Minister of Transportation from 1992 to 1996.
1932: Birthdate of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, a groundbreaking and wide-ranging scholar of Jewish history whose meditation on the tension between collective memory of a people and the more prosaic factual record of the past would influence a generation of thinkers. (As reported by Joseph Berger)
1934: Jack Benny is among those who will be featured at the “Friars Frolic” which is scheduled to take place tonight at New York’s Forty-fourth Street Theatre.
1934(6th of Sivan, 5694): First Day of Shavuot
1934: Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to lead Confirmation Services at Temple Israel.
1934: Rabbi Samuel J. Levinson is scheduled to lead Confirmation Services at Temple Beth Emeth of Flatbush (Brooklyn).
1934: Rabbi Israel Goldstein is scheduled to lead Confirmation Services at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun on 257 West Eighty-Eighth Street.
1934: Rabbi Samuel Buchler is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "The Ten Commandments in Our Generation;" at New People's Synagogue on Clinton Street.
1934: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled "Young Israel and the Undying Jew;" at the Free Synagogue meeting at Carnegie Hall.
1934: The 1934 edition of the "Friars Frolic" will be presented at the Forty-fourth Street Theatre this evening. It will be staged under the direction of Lou Holtz, Jack Benny and Nat Burns.
The show, which will offer a series of original and intimate sketches and playlets, which have been presented at private "Frolics," will also enlist the services of more than one hundred stars of the stage, screen and radio. With his plain vanilla looks, bland speech pattern and neutral name, Benny was the most “un-Jewish” of Jewish comedians.
1934: Birthdate of Moshe Shahal the Baghdad native who made Aliyah in 1950 and pursued a political career that included serving Deputy Speaker of the Knesset.
1935: Birthdate of Michael Rose, the native of Bedford-Stuyvesant who gained fame as screen writer Mickey Rose
1936: “J. H. Hertz, chief rabbi of the British Empire is scheduled to deliver an oration at the Willesden cemetery during the funeral services for Dr. Nahum Sokolow, one of the founders of political Zionism.” (As reported by JTA)
1936: A memorial service is scheduled to be held this evening at the Great Synagogue in London in honor of Dr. Nahum Sokolow of blessed memory.
1936: It was reported today that “the Solingen Tageblatt revealed a case in which the Nuremberg racial laws had been used in an attempt to blackmail a wealthy Jew” – a case which resulted in the man being imprisoned for three months and “the woman was sent to prison for two months.”
1936: “Today all Palestine railways were placed under rigid curfew regualtions” and Christians have “joined Jews in evacuating the Old City of Jerusalem” where “only 200 Jewish remains out of a former total Jewish population of 5,000.”
1936: As Arab violence continued, all railways in Palestine were placed under rigid curfew regulations. “Christians joined Jews in evacuating the Old ‘City of Jerusalem.” As of today, only “200 Jewish families out of a former total of 5,000 remained in the Old City.”1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorists set on fire a special experimental agricultural farm, set up by the government, for the benefit of Palestinian Arab farmers.
1939: Despite the recent outbreaks of violence in response to the White Paper, as the Sabbath came to an end, Jews peacefully “paraded in their customary fashion on the main streets of Jerusalem.” In an attempt to bridge the gap between Jews and Arabs, the Sephardic community issued a statement that expressed solidarity with the rest of the Jews of Palestine in the struggle to annul the betrayal of the White Paper appealed to the Arabs saying “Brethren in race, our hand is outstretched today as ever for a true peace, for collaboration in an honorable and lasting peace. The mandatory proposals will lead to the ruin of the country and the impoverishment of both Jews and Arabs instead of construction and revival.
1940: A concentration camp begins functioning at Auschwitz in Poland. Because most of Europe's Jews live in Poland and Eastern Europe, the six concentration camps called death camps will be established there: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Belzec, Treblinka, Sobibór, and Majdanek.
1941(23rd of Iyar, 5701): Thirty year old David Raziel, a founder of Irgun, was killed today. Raziel was serving with the British in Iraq in their fight against the pro-Axis government when a bomb from a German aircraft kill him and the British officer with whom he was serving.
1941(23rd of Iyar, 5701): Dutch physicist Leonard Salomon Ornstein passed away. Born in 1880, he studied theoretical physics with Hendrik Antoon Lorentz at University of Leiden. He subsequently carried out Ph.D. research under the supervision of Lorentz, concerning an application of the statistical mechanics of Gibbs to molecular problems. In 1914 he was appointed professor of physics, as successor of Peter Debye, at University of Utrecht. In 1922 he became director of Physical Laboratory (Fysisch Laboratorium) and extended his research interests to experimental subjects. His measurements concerning intensities of spectral lines brought Physical Laboratory in the international limelight. He is also remembered for the Ornstein-Zernike theory (named after Ornstein and Frederik Zernike) concerning correlation functions. Together with Gilles Holst, director of Philips Research Laboratories (Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium), he was the driving force behind establishing the Dutch Physical Society (Nederlands Natuurkundig Vereniging, NNV) in 1921. From 1939 until November 1940 he was Chairman of this Society. From 1918 until 1922 Ornstein was Chairman of the Dutch Zionist Society (Nederlandse Zionistische Vereniging). Immediately after the involvement of the Netherlands in the World War II (see Battle of the Netherlands), a friend from the United States of America, the astronomer Peter van de Kamp, offered to bring Ornstein and his family to America. However, Ornstein did not accept this offer, since, as he put it, he would not leave his laboratory in Utrecht. Owing to his Jewish heritage, Ornstein was summarily dismissed from University in September 1940; he was even barred from entering his own laboratory. In November 1940, he was officially dismissed from University. On his own initiative, in 1940, Ornstein withdrew his membership of the Dutch Physical Society. During this period he increasingly distanced himself from public life, to the degree that he no longer wished to receive guests at home. Ornstein died six months after being barred from University. One of the five buildings of Department of Physics of University of Utrecht, Ornstein Laboratorium, is named in his honor.
1941: In France, more laws were put into place restricting Jewish movements in all aspects of life. Jews are prohibited from engaging in wholesale and retail trade. They cannot own banks, hotels, or restaurants
1941: Goering commanded that no Jew would be allowed to emigrate from any occupied territory..."in view of the imminent final solution". This was the first official reference of THE FINAL SOLUTION.
1942: Three hundred train cars of clothing taken from those who had been killed Chelmo arrived in Lodz for sorting by Jewish workers. Ironically this meant that the death of Jews gave the Lodz Jews work which meant they got to live.
1944 “Russian Rhapsody” an animated short subject featuring the voice of Mel Blanc “was released to theatres” today.
1944(27th of Iyar, 5704): Reportedly the day on which Salomon Gluck, a French doctor and leader of the French Resistance was assassinated in Kaunaus. He had been shipped from Drancy on convoy 73 along with 878 other men all of whom were murdered.
1944: In Jerusalem, Zev and Esther Vilnay gave birth to Matan Vilnai. Zev had been born in Kishinev and moved with his parents to Haifa at age 6. He worked as a topographer for the Haganah and the IDF. He pursued a career as leading geographer, author and lecturer. Mata joined the IDF where he served with the paratroopers, the Sayeret Matkal and deputy commander of the assault force for the Entebbe Raid. He rose to the rank of Major General and served as Deputy Chief of Staff before retiring to civilian life where he served in the Knesset and as Minister for Home Front Defense.
1945: Between today and May 27, four Polish Jews who return to their hometown of Dzialoszyce are murdered by Poles.
1947: The Palmach “blew up a coffee house in Fajja, specifically in retaliation for the murder of two Jews in nearby Petah Tikva.”
1948: Twenty-six year old George Frederick “Buzz Beurling, “Canada’s most famous WW II fighter pilot” who had been recruited to fly for the IAF, “fatally crashed his Noorduyn Norseman transport aircraft while landing at Aeroporto dell'Urbe in Rome” while on his way to Israel.
1948: First appearance of the Israeli Air Force. Real combat aircraft bearing the Star of David would not appear until later in the week.
1948: Heavy Syrian shelling of Degania Alef started at about 04:00 this morning from the Tzemah police station, by means of 75 mm cannons, and 60 and 81 mm mortars. The barrage lasted about half an hour. At 04:30 the Syrian army began its advance on the Deganias and the bridge over the Jordan River north of Degania Alef. Unlike the attack on Tzemah, this action saw the participation of nearly all of the Syrian forces stationed at Tel al-Qasr, including infantry, armor and artillery. The Israeli defenders numbered about 70 persons (67 according to Aharon Israeli's head count), most of them not regular fighters, with some Haganah and Palmach members. Their orders were to fight to the death. They had support from three 20 mm guns at Beit Yerah, deployed along the road from Samakh to Degania Alef. They also had a Davidka mortar, which exploded during the battle, and a PIAT with fifteen projectiles. At night, a Syrian expeditionary force attempted to infiltrate Degania Bet, but was caught and warded off, which caused the main Syrian force to attack Degania Alef first. At 06:00, the Syrians started a frontal armored attack, consisting of 5 tanks, a number of armored vehicles and an infantry company. The Syrians pierced the Israeli defense, but their infantry was at some distance behind the tanks. The Israelis knocked out four Syrian tanks and four armored cars with 20 mm cannons, PIATs and Molotov cocktails. Meanwhile, other defenders kept small arms fire on the Syrian infantry, who stopped in citrus groves a few hundred meters from the settlements. The surviving Syrian tanks withdrew back to the Golan.At 07:45, the Syrians halted their assault and dug in, still holding most of the territory between Degania Alef's fence and Samakh's police fort. They left behind a number of lightly damaged or otherwise inoperable tanks that the Israelis managed to repair.
1948: Jewish fighters scored their first victory over the Syrians at Deganya. At in the morning, Syrian troops crossed the Jordan and attacked the Kibbutz with tanks and flamethrowers. By the tanks were inside the perimeter of Deganya when two 65 mm. howitzers and additional fighters under the command of Moshe Dyan arrived. When they went into action, the Syrians were so startled that they retreated. One of the Syrian tanks that had penetrated the kibbutz and was destroyed remains to this day at Deganya as a memorial to the bravery of the defenders. What seemed like a miracle was the result of a bold gamble by Yigal Yadin, the man who sent the guns in the first place.
1948: The siege of Gesher ended when the two field pieces that had saved Deganya from the Syrians were rushed southwards. The guns opened fire on the Iraqi forces besieging the Jewish fighters. Faced with modern weapons, the Iraqis fled rather than fight.
1948: Foreign Minister Moshe Sharet informed Secretary-General Trygve Lie that Abba Eban was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.
1948: Mordechai "Modi" Alon and the rest of the Jewish pilots who have been training in Czechoslovakia board a DC-54 transport plane and begin their flight back to Israel. Although they have not completed their training, the pilots are anxious to get home since they have heard that the Egyptian Air Force has been attacking the newly created Jewish state.
1948: Operation Balak officially begins with its first flight from a Czech airfield code named ‘Etzion.’ Operation Balak was the name given to secret program for purchasing and shipping arms to the infant Jewish state.
1948: The United Nations named Count Folke Bernadotte to serve as mediator between the Jewish and Arab states.
1950: Hedda Sterne signed a letter to President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 20 to protest aesthetically conservative group-exhibition juries. Born into a Jewish home in Bucharest, she was the “only woman in a group of Abstract Expressionists known as "The Irascibles.”
1950: Birthdate of Brooklyn native Alan Zweibel who has worked on several television shows starting with writing skits for “Saturday Night Live” and won the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Human for his novel The Other Shulman.
1953(6th of Sivan, 5713) First Day of Shavuot
1954(7th of Iyar, 5714): Selig Brodetsky, “a British Professor of Mathematics, a member of the World Zionist Executive, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the second president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem” passed away today.
1954: Release date for “Three Coins in A Fountain,” produced by Sol C. Siegel with music by Victor Young
1955(28th of Iyar, 5715): Seventy year old Russian born American artist Charles Polowetski passed away today.
1957(19th of Iyar, 5717): One worker was killed when a terrorist “opened fire in the Arava region.”
1957: Birthdate of Steven Leiber, a San Francisco art dealer and collector who became an expert in artists’ ephemera and built an archive that became an important resource for scholars and curators. (As reported by Roberta Smith)
1960: Birthdate of actor Tony Goldwyn
1962: An Orchestra Hall Concert of the Halevi Choral Society with Hyman Reznick conducting and featuring Cantor Jacob Barkin as guest soloist was recorded live today.
1966: Birthdate of actress Mindy Cohn, who played Natalie on the sitcom “Facts of Life.”
1970: U.S. premiere of “Too Late the Hero,” a WW II with a script by Lukas Heller.
1972(7th of Sivan): Second Day of Shavuot
1973(18th of Iyar, 5733): Lag B’Omer
1973: “Letter bombs were sent to Jewish and Israeli addresses in Britain and Holland” after which two Arabs were arrested by police and expelled from Great Britain.
1973(18th of Iyar, 5733): Sixty-three year old Charles Brasch, “a New Zealand poet, literary editor and arts patron who was the founding editor of the literary journal Landfall passed away today.
1974(28th of Iyar, 5734): Leontine Sagan, Austrian born actress and founder of the National Theatre of Johannesburg passed away at the age of 85.
1974(28th of Iyar, 5734): Yom Yerushalayim
1977: JTA reported that “The Senate has confirmed President Carter's appointment of Manuel Plotkin, 53, a marketing research expert and executive of Sears Roebuck and Co., to be director of the Census Bureau. He will be the first Jew to hold that office of which Thomas Jefferson was the original incumbent in 1790. Senate approval of the appointment was without dissent. Plotkin, who was born in Irkutsk, Siberia, was taken by his parents to Mexico City at the age of three. The family moved to Chicago in 1929 where they have lived ever since. Plotkin and his wife, the former Dianne Weiss, are members of Temple Sholom in that city
1978: Three members of the PFLP (Peoples Front for the Liberation of Palestine) a terrorist organization, killed a policeman near El Al airlines at Orly Airport outside of Paris, France.
1979: After 857 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, the curtain came down today on the original Broadway production of “I Love My Wife,” the Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart musical.
1981: The Israeli Cabinet reportedly will meet today to discuss proposals made by Philip C. Habib, President Reagan's envoy who has been meeting with the President of Syria over the threat posed by his missiles located in Lebanon.
1983: Journalism professor and author Nicholas Lemann was married today in a union that produced his two sons Alexander and Theodore.
1983: Due to being in a coma that followed an attack of pneumonia, Jan Peerce was not able to perform at was to have been his “comeback” concert scheduled for today.
1985: Israel exchanges 1150 Palestinian prisoners for 3 Israeli soldiers
1989(15th of Iyar, 5749): Forty-two year old Comedienne Gilda Radner famed for her roles on “Saturday Night” Live died of ovarian cancer today.
1992: Poet and college professor Charles Bernstein and artist Susan Bee gave birth to their second child, Felix Bernstein
1993: NBC broadcast the final episode of season four of “Seinfeld” tonight.
1993: The Jerusalem Post reported that in her 43rd State Comptroller's Annual Report, the State Comptroller, Dr. Miriam Porat, warned that pension funds may soon begin defaulting on payments, if urgent steps are not taken to reduce their huge actuarial deficits. The problem, she disclosed, was compounded by the abuses of the Histadrut, whose funds represented 93 per cent of all fund members. The Histadrut, she pointed out, often forces workers to sign up for its funds via collective wage agreements, and then assigns them to these with large actuarial deficits.
1994(10th of Sivan, 5754): Staff Sgt. Moshe Bukra, age 30 and Cpl. Erez Ben-Baruch, age 24 were shot dead by HAMAS terrorists at a roadblock one kilometer south of the Erez checkpoint in the Gaza Strip
1994(10th of Sivan, 5754): Eighty-nine year old Meer Parodenck “the founder and president of the Parodneck Foundation for Self-Help Housing and Community Development, and president of the board of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board” passed away today. (As reported by Richard D. Lyons)
1997: “Roseanne,” a sitcom created by, and starring Roseanne Barr ended its final season.
1998(24th of Iyar, 5758): Seventy-three year old author Cyril Wolf Mankowitz passed away today in County Cork.
2001: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Tell Me A Story: Fifty Years and 60 Minutes in Television” by Don Hewitt the son of German Jewish and Russian Jewish immigrant who transformed television journalism.
2002(9th of Sivan, 5762): Stephen Jay Gould an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science who was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation” passed away today.
2002: Yitzhak Vaknin left the position of Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Welfare.
2002: Hamas claimed credit for the highway bombing at Afula.
2006: “'It's Your Birthday, Clifford Odets! A Centennial Exhibition' at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery” published today provides a window into the artistic side of man whom most of us think of as a playwright.
2007: The New York Times published an op-ed piece by novelist and commentator Mark Helprin arguing “that intellectual property rights should be assigned to an author or artist as far as Congress could practically extend them.”
2007: In New York City, rededication of Kehila Kedosha Janina. Eighty years ago, Kehila Kedosha Janina opened its doors to serve the small Romaniote Jewish community on the Lower East Side joining hundreds of other Jewish houses of worship in the neighborhood. By the 1940’s there would be other Romaniote synagogues in the New York area. Today this is the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and one of only five original Jewish houses of worship on the Lower East Side that still functions as an active synagogue.
2007: The Upper Mid West Region of Hadassah presents “Zay Gesunt – You Should Live and Be Well” in Bloomington, Minnesota.
2007: The New York Times features reviews of books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson and Einstein: A Biography by Jürgen Neffep; translated by Shelley Frisch.
2007: The Los Angeles Times and The Sunday Washington Post each feature a review of Shakespeare’s Kitchen by Lore Segal. “The protagonist of Shakespeare's Kitchen is Ilka Weisz, a scrappy, opinionated Jewish refugee who has appeared in slightly different guises in Segal's earlier novels, Her First American and Other People's Houses.
2007: Herzalyia Mayor Yael German presented Eliahu Hacohen with the Herzl Award, “the high priest of research into Israeli songs, who has dedicated his life to strengthening the link with our cultural heritage.”
2007(3rd of Sivan, 5767): Ben Wiesman a classically trained pianist, who helped write nearly 60 songs for Elvis Presley, passed away at the age of 85.
2007(3rd of Sivan, 5767): Barcuh Kimmerling, Professor of Sociology at Hebrew University and author of The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society and the Military, passed away.
2007: In Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western Reserve University confers an honorary Doctor of Humanities on Morton Mandel who served as a Case Western Reserve University trustee from 1977 through 1992, and is now an honorary trustee. In addition, he is a recipient of the university's Newton D. Baker Distinguished Alumni Award. Mandel has been involved in numerous national and international activities, the Council of Jewish Federations, the Mandel Leadership Institute, and the World Conference of Jewish Community Centers.
2008: Mashina is an Israeli pop rock band considered by many to be Israel's most important and influential rock band. Their musical style took inspiration from ska and hard rock, among others. Mashina is an Israeli pop rock band considered by many to be Israel's most important and influential rock band. Their musical style took inspiration from ska and hard rock, among others.Mashina, one of Israel’s most influential pop rock bands plays at Webster Hall in New York.
2008: At Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Michael Levin successfully defends his dissertation. “A Doctor Is Born.”
2009: Kevin Youkilis, “the first baseman and cleanup hitter for the Red Sox returned from the 15-day disabled list today night and promptly went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .404.”
2009: John Simon Bercow officially announced that he was seeking the Speakership of the House of Commons. Victory would make him the first Jew to serve in this position
2009: Final day for The Tel Aviv Centennial Multimedia Exhibit at Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Station, NY
2009: In New York, City Winery celebrates Israel’s 61st Year of Independence with a tasting featuring wines from over 15 Israeli Wineries paired with Israeli singing sensation David Broza for the post-tasting entertainment. The event would appear to show tjat Jews have gained their independence from the syrupy taste of the Concord grape concoction that was the staple of Jewish homes for decades.
2009: For the last time Lt. Col. Shawn M. Pine mailed a box of scarves to his sister Michelle Lefkowitz. He purchased the scarves on a weekly basis from a little girl in Afghanistan who sold them to support her family.
2009(26th of Iyar, 5769): Fifty-one year old Army Lt. Colonel Shawn M. Pine was killed today when a vehicle in which he was riding in was struck by an explosive device near Kabul, Afghanistan. A second generation soldier, Pine served six years in the IDF before graduating from Georgetown University and pursuing a career in the U.S. Army. He is buried next to his father at Arlington National Cemetery. (As reported by Maia Efrem)
2009(26th of Iyar, 5769): Twenty-one year old USAF First Lieutenant Roslyn L. Schulte was killed today when a vehicle in which she was riding in was struck by an explosive device near Kabul, Afghanistan. An intelligence officer, she was the first female USAF Academy graduate to have died in combat. She was killed in the same attack that took the life of Lt. Col. Pine. (As reported by Maia Efrem)
2009: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced today that Iran has successfully test-fired a new advanced missile with a range of about 1,200 miles, far enough to strike Israel and southeastern Europe as well as U.S. bases in the Gulf.
2009: As described in the articled archaeologists from Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) have revealed two important artifacts recently discovered in Jerusalem, both dating from the First Temple Period.
The first, a bone seal engraved with the name “Shaul” was found in an excavation being conducted under the auspices of the IAA, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority in the Walls Around Jerusalem National Park, located in the City of David. The dig, which is underwritten by the “Ir David Foundation” (City of David) is being carried out under the direction of Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the IAA.The seal, which is made of bone, was found broken and is missing a piece from its upper right side. Two parallel lines divide the surface of the seal into two registers in which Hebrew letters are engraved. A period followed by a floral image or a tiny fruit appear at the end of the bottom name. The name of the seal’s owner was completely preserved and it is written in the shortened form of the name, Shaul, which is known from both the Bible (Genesis 36:37; 1 Samuel 9:2; 1 Chronicles 4:24 and 6:9) and from other Hebrew seals. Another Hebrew seal and three Hebrew bullae (pieces of clay stamped with seal impressions) were previously discovered nearby. The second artifact, an ancient jar handle bearing the Hebrew name “Menachem” was uncovered in the neighborhood of Ras el ‘Amud during an excavation prior to construction of a girls’ school by the Jerusalem municipality. The jar handle, inscribed with the name "Menachem" carved in Hebrew, was found among settlement remains dating to different phases of the Middle Canaanite period (2200 – 1900 BCE), and the last years of the First Temple period (8-7 BCE) that were recently uncovered during the excavation. The name Menachem Ben Gadi is noted in the Bible as that of a king of Israel who reigned for 10 years in Samaria, as one of the last kings of the Kingdom of Israel. According to Kings II, Menachem Ben Gadi ascended the throne in the 39th year of Uzziah, King of Judah (Judea). The names Menachem and Yinachem both are expressions of condolence, noted excavation director Dr. Ron Be’eri, who speculated they might be related to the death of family members. The archaeologist added that such names already appeared earlier in the Canaanite period, on Egyptian pottery sherds and a document about an Egyptian governor on the Lebanese coast. This is the first time that a handle with the name “Menachem” has been found in Jerusalem.
2009: Four men arrested were arrested tonight, shortly after planting a 16.78-kilogram mock explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two mock bombs in the backseat of a car outside the Riverdale Jewish Center, another synagogue a few blocks away, authorities said. Police blocked their escape with an 18-wheel truck, smashing their tinted Sport Utility Vehicle windows and apprehending the unarmed suspects. Authorities said the men also plotted to shoot down a military plane. James Cromitie, 55; David Williams, 28; Onta Williams, 32; and Laguerre Payen, all of Newburgh, were charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles. An official told The Associated Press that three of the men are converts to Islam. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.
2010(7th of Sivan, 5770): Second Day of Shavuot
2010(7th of Sivan, 5770): Eighty-two year old Leonard Wolfson (Baron Wolfson) passed away today.
2010: The First Festival of Israeli Jazz NY is scheduled to open at The Stone in the East Village.
2010: The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum reopened parts of its grounds to visitors on today after floodwaters from the nearby Vistula and Sola rivers seemed to peak and begin to recede.
2010: Hedy Lamarr was chosen from 150 IT people to be featured in a short film launched by the British Computer Society
2011: Cedar Village in Mason, Ohio is schedule to host an event entitled “Memory and Jewish Identity” during which Dr. Adrian Parr, associate professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and affiliate faculty, Department of Philosophy and Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati will use the narrative of her grandmother’s survival of the Holocaust and her own subsequent discovery of her Jewish identity to explore the importance of Jewish cultural memory for keeping Jewish identity alive amidst adversity.
2011: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with President Obama the White House today.
2011: Violin virtuoso Gil Shaham is scheduled to play “Walton’s sublime and rarely performed Violin Concerto, a masterpiece of the violin literature commissioned and debuted by Jascha Heifetz in 1936, with one of the world's greatest ensembles, The Philadelphia Orchestra.”
2011: In “Perched in Berlin With Hitler Rising,” Janet Maslin reviewed In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson. Just when you thought you knew all you needed to know about the Hitler era, along comes Larson who provides a fascinating, informative snapshot of the pre-war world focusing on the life of William E. Dodd, FDR’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Berlin and his exotic daughter.
2011: Despite political unrest, pilgrims are scheduled to celebrate Lag B’Omer at the El Ghriba synagogue. The normally vibrant celebrations will take a more muted form because of the unstable conditions in Tunisia.
2011(16th of Iyar, 57771): Just a week before his 96th birthday, Arieh Handler, on the founders of the Religious Zionist movement and the last living person to have present at when Israel declared her independence passed away today.
2012: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the family and friends of Dr. Todd Burstain, a hameshah mensch who has raised four fantastic sons, are looking forward to celebrating his birthday today.
2012: Eirc Greitens was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Tufts University when he gave the commencement speech at the school's 156th commencement
2012: In Flushing, NY, the Free Synagogue is scheduled to host the Second Annual Sacred Sites Open House organized by The New York Landmarks Conservancy
2012: Dr. Hal Lewis, President and CEO of Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address as part of Let My People Know, an afternoon of Jewish education at the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati, Ohio.
2012: A Jerusalem Day family celebration featuring a concert by Peter Himmelman is scheduled to take place at Ohev Shalom in Washington, D.C.
2012: Schmekel, “Brooklyn's only 100% transgender, 100% Jewish, schtick-rock sensation” is scheduled to appear at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room in Washington, DC
2012: JSSA (Jewish Social Service Agency) is scheduled to hold its largest annual fundraiser, Gala 2012, in Washington, DC. JSSA Gala 2012 – An Evening of Passion and Purpose – will feature performance artist, David Garibaldi.
2012: The NMAJMH and the JSC are scheduled to devote a special afternoon to “Family Stories: Daughters, Mothers and Bubbes.”
2012: In Cleveland Ohio, the Hadassah chapter will host a celebratory Centennial Birthday brunch to honor the accomplishments of the largest Jewish volunteer organization in America and present the Centennial Award to life member, Moreland Hills resident Roz Abraham.
2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Cause co-authored by Eric Alterman and Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen
2012: Security forces intercepted a Palestinian squad that attempted to kidnap Israeli citizens in the West Bank, the Shin Bet indicated today, adding that the squad's purpose was to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jail.
2012(28th of Iyar, 5772): Celebration of Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Reunification Day – 45 years of Jerusalem being undivided and under control of the rightful owners.
2013: Dr. Ted Merwin, associate professor and director, Religion and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College will speak on the topic "American Jews in Entertainment" at JFK Airport as part of the US Customs and Border Protection service’s celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.
2013: Friends and family of Dr. Todd Burstain gather in Cedar Rapids to celebrate this father of four of the finest young men imaginable – a real credit to the Jewish community
2013: Ira Forman, who led President Obama’s reelection campaign in the Jewish community, was appointed as the State Department’s envoy to combat anti-Semitism today.
2013: Grafitti reading 'Torah tag' and 'Women of the Wall are wicked' that had been painted on a wall leading up to the apartment of Peggy Cidor, a longstanding member of the board of Women of the Wall was discovered this morning.
2014: Today’s session of the 4th International Writers Festival begins “with a poetry encounter for high school students with the works of Yehuda Amichai, and ends with singing the songs of Amichai.” (As reported by Jessica Steinberg)
2014: “The US called on Israel today to open an investigation into the deaths of two Palestinian teenagers shot during clashes with the IDF in the West Bank last week, after video emerged showing them unarmed during the incident” even though the Israeli government has already said that the video was heavily “doctored” and did not show the level of threat facing the Israelis.
2014: “Bulgaria is making progress in hunting down the terrorists responsible for a July 2012 bombing in the resort city of Burgas that killed five Israelis, the country’s leader said today in Jerusalem.”
2014: “An IDF raid on the Jenin refugee neighborhood in Samaria today exposed weapons and improvised explosive devices, as well as knives and various kinds of ammunition. In the course of the raid, local terrorists fired live rounds at the soldiers but no members of the IDF were hit.”
2014: “The Sturgeon Queens” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC in Manhattan
2014(20th of Iyar, 5774): Ninety-year old Arthur Gelb, one of those “Times Men” who shaped the national culture and helped set the national agenda passed away today.
2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a screening of “Iraq N’ Roll.”
2015: Jean Naggar is scheduled to discuss her memoir Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus from Egypt at the Center for Jewish History.
2015: In Philadelphia, PA, the National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to host “Portraits & Politics: The Resonance of ‘Family Affairs.’”
2016: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host the Chamber Music Ensembles - Competition Winners - of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
2016: The Israeli Consulate is scheduled to host the 2016 “Beyond Conference.”
2016: In the United Kingdom, the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “Bring A Friend Shabbat Dinner” this evening.
2016: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host is annual “Mediterranean-style Family Shabbat Dinner.”