363: Roman Emperor Julian is killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire. General Jovian is proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield. According to various sources, Julian was a true Roman pagan who sought to roll back the inroads that Christianity had made among the ruling classes. He passed an edict of toleration. In the year of his death, he ordered the Temple to be rebuilt on its historic location in Jerusalem. The plan died with him and the exile continued.
1187: Saladin crosses the Jordan River with an army of 20,000 in what will lead to the final battle for control of Jerusalem. At this time, the Jews fare better under the Muslim leader than they do among the European Christians who have slaughtered them and driven them from their ancient homes in the “City of David.”
1409: The Roman Catholic church is led into a double schism as Petros Philargos is crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XIII in Avignon. While these various claimants to Papal power were fighting amongst themeslves, they had time to bedevil the Jews. In 1409, Pope Alexander V ordered the Inquisitor of Avignon, Dauphiné, Provence and Comtat Venaissin to proceed against several categories of persons "including Jews who practiced magic, invokers of demons, and augurs" Benedict initiated the year-long Disputation of Tortosa in 1413, which became the most prominent Christian-Jewish disputation of the Middle Ages. Benedict was well known for his oppressive laws against the Jews
1523: The first printed edition of the Sefer ha-Chinuch (ספר החינוך) appeared. The printing of this comparatively obscure volume within seven decades of the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press demonstrates how quickly “the people of the book” took to the printing of books. Sefer ha-Chinuch was not the first book to be printed in Hebrew. That honor probably goes to Tractate Berakhot of the Babylonian Talmud which was printed by Joshua Solomon Soncino in 1483. . According to the Hillel Website, "Sefer HaChinuch is a unique work in many ways. It was published anonymously and scholars throughout the ages have not succeeded in unearthing the humble author. The book dates to 13th century Spain and is a comprehensive description of the 613 commandments, arranged according to their appearance in the Pentateuch. The description of each commandment includes (a) the concept of the Mitzvah and its Biblical source, (b) the philosophical underpinnings of the commandment, and (c) a brief summary of the laws governing its observance. An English translation of this important work is available."
1541 (23 Sivan 5301): Rabbi Jacob Pollack passed away. Born in Poland 1460, he was the first important Polish-Jewish Rabbinic scholar. Prior to his time, the great Talmudic centers had been found in Germany. He helped establish the Talmudic method of study called "Pilpul". This complicated and often hair-splitting method of explanation was originated in southern Germany. It is called mental acrobatics by some, yet is also responsible for the development of the sharp Talmudic mind. Pollack served as a Rabbi in Cracow, moved to Eretz-Israel for a period of time and returned to live in Lublin where he passed away.
1570(23 of Tammuz): Rabbi Moshe Codovero passed away.
1629: Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller was imprisoned. Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller was born in 1579. He was the author of Tossafoth Yom Tov,a major commentary on the Mishna. While he was serving as a Rabbi in Prague, he was involved with the distribution of tax money. He was wrongfully accused by some of showing favoritism in his work. He ended up being taken to Vienna in chains. The Christian officials respected his integrity and released him. Considering that this took place during the Thirty Years War, it is surprising that Heller did not come to some barbarous end. He passed away in 1654, the same year in which the American Jewish Community began.
1665: Rabbi Simon Brandeis, the husband of Libele Perls and the son Rabbi Samuel Brandeis passed away today.
1688: English Philosopher Ralph Cudworth passed away. Born in 1617 he became professor of Hebrew at Cambridge in 1645. Among those with whom he carried on an extensive correspondence was Isaac Abendana, the Sephardic Jew who moved to England and taught Hebrew at Cambridge. By the time he passed away in 1710, Abendana had become a teacher at Oxford’s Magdalen College and had provided Hebrew books for Bodleian Library.
1775(28th of Sivan, 5535): Aryeh Löb ben Mordecai Ha-Levi Epstein (Ba'al ha-Pardes) passed away. He was a Polish rabbi born in Grodno in 1708. At first he refused to become a rabbi, preferring to devote himself entirely to study, but in 1739 he was forced by poverty to accept the rabbinate of Brestovech, Lithuania, and in 1745 he became rabbi of Königsberg, where he remained until his death. He corresponded with Elijah, Gaon of Vilna, and with Jonathan Eybeschütz, with whom he sided in the quarrel about amulets (see Emden-Eybeschütz Controversy). He is the author of Or ha-Shanim, on the 613 commandments (Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1754), Halakah Aḥaronah and Ḳunṭres ha-Ra'yot (ib. 1754; Königsberg, 1759), Sefer ha-Pardes, in three parts: (1) on the Shema and the observance of Sabbath, (2) sermons, (3) funeral orations (ib. 1759). Several other cabalistic and halakic works from his pen are mentioned in his own works or by his biographer. A prayer which he composed on the occasion of the dedication of a new synagogue in Königsberg (ib. 1756) is found in the Bodleian Library. Annotations by him and by his son Abraham Meïr Epstein are published in some of the later editions of the Babylonian Talmud. He is called "Levin Marcus" in Solowicz's Gesch. der Juden in Königsberg, Posen, 1857.
1819: “Emma di Resburgo,” an opera composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer, was performed for the first time in Venice.
1813(28th of Sivan, 5573): Solomon Ben Joel Dubno, the Russian born Jewish poet, grammarian, teacher and author who lived in Amsterdam from 1767 to 1772 before settling in Berlin where he taught Moses Mendelssohn became his friend and patron, passed away today. Among other his works was a commentary for Mendelssohn’s translation of the Bible.
1821: Birthdate of Adolf Jellinek an Austrian born scholar who served as the rabbi of The Leopoldstädter Tempel in Vienna.
1830: King George IV who as Prince of Wales was a patron of boxer Daniel Mendoza, died today and the Duke of Clarence who in 1797 while still the Prince of Wales visited Barbados where “he visited the synagogue and was presented with an address and a sword by the Congregation” succeeded him as William IV.
1831: Birthdate of Julius Levy, who gained fame as poet and author Julius Rodenberg.
1835: Birthdate of Ernest Abraham Hart, the son of a London dentist, who became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons before pursuing his career in medical journalism that began with the Lancet in 1857.
1843: The Treaty of Naking which had the effect of opening up China to British traders included David Sasoon, went into effect.
1848: In France the “June Days Uprising” came to end; violence which eventually doomed the Second Republic and brought Louis Napoleon to power with all that that would mean for France, the French Jewish community and Europe.
1848: Captain Boris Moses, a graduate of Saint-Cyr was appointed “chief of battalion” for distinguishing himself during the suppression of the Paris riots which ended today.
1855: Ninety-year old Anton Von Schmid a Christian publisher who published books by Jewish authors including the works of Maimonides and of Judah Löb Ben-Zeeb, the Hebrew Bible with a German translation as well as the Hebrew periodical "Bikkure ha-'Ittim,"
1857: The first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London. The Victoria Cross is the highest military award for valor granted within the British military. It is the English version of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Jewish recipients include Frank Alexander de Pass who received the award posthumously for requesting comrades trapped in No Man’s Land on the Western Front in 1914 during World War I; Captain Robert Gee who earned it for heroism on the Western Front in 1917; Corporal John Patrick Kenneally who it for heroism in Tunisia in 1943; Corporal Issy Smith, an Austrialian soldier who earned it during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915; Private Jack White who earned it in 1917 while saving the lives on fellow soldiers during fighting in Mesopotamia.
1865: Birthdate of Bernard Berenson, described by The New York Times as "an American art critic." In fact, he had been born in Lithuania in a small village known as Butrimants in Yiddish. His father’s name was Alter Valvrojenski, his mother’s Eudice (Michliszanski). Berenson given name was Bernhard. As he sought the safety of assimilation after coming to America, he had himself baptized as an Episcopalian. Only after the Hitler period did he come to realize that the world would always regard him as "a Jew." While he did not renounce his baptism, he did allow for Jewish cultural activity in his private life. Some say that he was the prototype for one of the characters in Herman Wouk's Winds of War. He died in 1959.
1866: Birthdate of Spanish American War veteran Milton Kraus, the native of Kokomo and graduate of the University of Michigan who served in the House of Representatives.
1866: Following the death of Rosanna Dyer Osterman, the Houston Weekly Telegraph wrote:
It is an unjust and ungenerous thing to assert that "with insults you cannot make a Jew fight." How little has the Jew had to fight for in most countries? In our late war, we have stood side by side with the Jew in battle, and we have never seen men more gallantly than they, bare their breast to blue lead and cold steel. In charity and kindness their women have often rivalled our own. Every one resident in Galveston during the war, whether soldier or civilian, knows that among the very foremost in deeds of kindness to our suffering, sick and dying soldiers, one to whom the poor Confederate soldier never applied in vain, one whose heart overflowed with all the kindliest active charities, was a Jewess, equally distinguished for her piety and careful observance of all the ceremonial duties of her religion. (Courtesy of Bill Lowen)
1870: The wedding ceremony joining Miss Elizabeth Abraham of Washington, DC and Mr. Solomon Caro of New York in the bonds of holy matrimony began this afternoon at a synagogue on 18th street in the Nation’s Capitol but it did not end there. The ceremony began with the entrance of the bridal party followed by a preliminary service and discourse by Rabbi Jacob S. Jacobson on the subject of marriage. But a commotion broke out when the Rabbi began to perform the ceremony. At that point, the groom’s father, Rabbi Caro of New York, began a heated discussion in Hebrew with his son. At first people thought he was objecting to the marriage. Actually, he was objecting to the lack of a chupah. The synagogue had recently become a Reform Congregation and had dispensed with many of the traditional customs and ceremonies. The President of the congregation had assured the bride that a wedding canopy would be provided, but had failed to follow through. Once the ceremony was stopped, the bridal party left the synagogue and went to the house of the bride’s father on D Street where refreshments were served. Once the Chupah had been put up the wedding went on with the groom’s father and Rabbi Bernard Illowy of Cincinnati performing the ceremony. The service, which was conducted in Hebrew and German, was followed by expressions of congratulations for the newlyweds and an ample repast for the guests. [Bernard Illowy was a distinguished 19th century Orthodox Rabbi who played a prominent role in the fight to maintain traditional Judaism. Ironically, his last pulpit was in Cincinnati, the home of Reform Judaism.]
1872: In New York, a Coroner’s Jury rendered a verdict of accidental death in the case of three year old Sarah Levy. She was with her father, Moses Levy, when she was “run over and killed by a Fourth Avenue care in the Bowery.” A civil suit has been filed against the transit company in which the plaintiff is seeking $30,000 in damages.
1872: Nathaniel Isaacs, the English adventurer who co-founded Port Natal (modern day Durban) and who descried his life in Africa in Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa passed away today and was subsequently buried at Canterbury
1875: Birthdate of Carl Jung, one of the founders of psychoanalysis who learned from and clashed with Freud. Jung was one of the few non-Jews to be involved with this new field of science. His relationship with Sabina Spielrein was the subject of popular film that highlighted the clash between the giants and Jung’s apparent “fascination” with Jewish women.
1875: In Morgan City, LA, on the banks of the Atchafalaya River Congregation Shaarey Zedek on First Street was completed and dedicated. The Jewish community had been working on this since February 1875 and its fundraising efforts included hosting a “Grand Calico Ball.”
1878: Twenty-nine year old Adolph Lewisohn, a successful American businessman who had been born in Hamburg married Emma Cahn in Manhattan.
1881: Birthdate of Ya’akov Cohen, the native of Slutsk who made Aliyah in 1934 and became a prize winning “man of letters” who received the Tchernichovsky Prize for exemplary translation, for translations from the German of the first part of Goethe's Faust and other Goethe's works, Torquato Tasso and Iphigenia in Tauris, as well as a selection of poems by Heinrich Heine.”
1881: It was reported today The British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Among the Jews condemned “the anti-Semitic agitation” that is currently taking place in Europe.
1881(29th of Sivan, 5641): Seventy-two year old German-Jewish philologist and expert on Sanskrit Theodor Benfey whose works also included one that proved that “the names of the Hebrew months…were derived from the Persians” passed away today.
1881(29th of Sivan, 5641): Eighty-two year old baron Philipp (Fülöp) Schey von Koromla who when he was granted “a patent of nobility by Emperor Franz Joseph” made him the first Hungarian Jew to be made a noble passed away today.
1882: The Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society stated today the funds promised to care for the 8,000 refugees who have arrived since January have not been forthcoming. A member of the society claimed that the London Committee that had collected seventeen thousand pounds which were to be used to assist in the settlement of the refugees, has not forwarded the money to New York.
1883: It was reported today that Rabbi George Brandenstein of Beth Elohim Synagogue was the first to speak at an event honoring Henry Ward Beecher. After saying a few words in praise of his services “to men of all races,” he presented Beecher with a silver pitcher on behalf of the members of his synagogue.
1883: “The Alleged Passover Murder” published today recounted events surrounding accusations that Moritz Scharf had murdered Esther Salomossy, a Christian girl in Nyreghhaza, Hungary. Jewish witnesses claimed they had been threatened before giving testimony and Moritz had been threatened with life imprisonment if he did not confess that the murder had been committed in the synagogue. As the blood libel charges unraveled it was discovered that the young girl had quarreled with her mistress before her disappearance and some of her friends thought she had committed suicide. [Looking at the date, you can see how strongly entrenched the Blood Libel was in gentile minds.]
1883: Cornerstone laying ceremonies for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn is scheduled to begin at 2 pm today.
1887: Nineteen year old Johanna Goldschmidt, a native of Frankfurt married Adolph Stern, a native of Ziegenhain, who was the son of Salomon A. Stern and Sarah Goldschmidt.
1887: “Minister Straus Safe in Turkey” published today described the first month of Oscar Straus’ service as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Straus who arrived in May has already had his first audience with the Sultan. He has taken up temporary resident in a hotel at Therapia until he can find a house for more permanent quarters. He has recieved a document of greeting written in Hebrew from the Grand Rabbi and the leaders of the various Jewish communities throughout the empire as well as letters of greetings from the America Baptist Society and the missionaries of western Turkey who are meeting in Constantinople.
1887: Chicago millionaire Levi Rosenfield signed a codicil will which disinherited his son Maurice by giving his share of the estate to his daughter-in-law Mattie Rosenfeld, and should she predecease him to his son-in-law David Stettauer. This decision would later disappoint Maurice’s creditors who refused to settle his debts for twenty five cents on the dollar because they thought he was going to inherit a large sum from his father.
1887: “Minister Straus Safe In Turkey” published today described the cordial reception enjoyed by Oscar Straus following his arrival at the Ottoman capital. In an unusual move, the Sultan agreed to see the newly appointed ambassador even though it was Ramadan.
1887: Birthdate of Baruch Zuckerman, the son of Lithuanian peddler who “was a leading American-Israeli zionist, one of the leading proponents of Yad Vashem, editor of Yiddishe Kempfer, and a leading figure in the Farband and Histadrut campaigns, and president of the Labor Zionist Organization of America.
1887(4th of Tammuz, 5647):Lionel Louis Cohen who served as head of Louis Cohen & Sons, a financial firm followed by his father Louis Cohen and who served as an MP passed away today.
1887: In London Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia gave birth to their third and youngest son British philanthropist Anthony G de Rothschild.
1887: “Judaic Romance” published today reviews The Yoke of the Torah by Sidney Luska. But according to Josh Lambert Luska did not exist. He was the creation of a young non-Jewish author named Henry Harland.
1890: In Philadelphia, PA, Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen, M.D. and Miriam Binswanger Solis-Cohen gave birth to Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen, Jr., the President of Mastbaum Brothers and Fleisher and of Albert M. Greenfield and Company who was also the President of the Jewish Publication Society of America.
1891: Benjamin Cardozo was admitted to the New York State Bar.
1892(1st of Tammuz, 5652): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1892: The funeral of Captain Armand Mayer, the Jewish officer who was killed in a duel the anti-Semitic Marquis de Mores was held today in Paris.
1892” In Hillsboro, West Virginia Stulting and Absalom Sydenstricker gave birth to Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author Pearl Buck whose works included Peony, a novel set in the Jewish community of K’aifeng in the 1850’s.
1892: “Aid Asked for Hebrew Settlers” published today described the efforts of the 250 Russian Jewish immigrants to make a new life for themselves in Rosenhayn, NJ. By day they work for New York clothiers or as farmers. At night they attend a night school sponsored by the Educational Society of Rosenhayn they formed to enhance their ability to speak, read and write English.
1893: “Passed Creditable Examinations” published today described the outcome of the exams administered to the 24 pupils at the Jewish Theological Seminary. All of the students performed in “an exceedingly satisfactory manner,” but David Wittenberg and Joseph Hertz were the most impressive as can be seen by the fact that they were “the senior prize winners.”
1894: “A New Quarantine Commissioner” published today described the decision of Governor Roswell P. Flower to appoint Edward Jacobs, a prominent Jewish lawyer to serve as one of the three Quarantine Commissioners. Considering the role that this position plays at Ellis Island, the selection of a Jew to the position seems to be extremely appropriate.
1897: It was reported today that as of 1895, of the 1,568,092 people living in Bosnia, 8,213 are Jews.
1897: Myer S. Isaacs, the President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, was among the dignitaries who attended tonight’s graduation exercises at the Baron de Hirsch Trade Schools.
1897: “An Interesting Study of Conditions in Southeastern Europe” published today included a brief history of the Jews of the Balkans, most of whom are descendants of the Spanish Jews who were given permission to settle in Serbia and Bosnia by Murad III. Unlike recent Jews who have moved here from Hungary, most of them still speak Spanish. The community numbers about seven thousand, three thousand of whom live in Sarajevo
1898: The Governor has telegraphed his superiors that the situation in Galicia, where renewed anti-Semitic violence has claimed the lives of 16 Jews, “is extremely serious.”
1898: Private Levy transferred to the Hospital Corps of the United States Army.
1901: Bicentennial of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest in England. Sephardic Jews founded Bevis Marks in 1701. The congregation is known as the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation.
1902: Birthdate of Gracie Allen, the wife and comedic partner of George Burns.
1903(26th of Tammuz, 5663): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1904: Birthdate of actor Peter Lorre. A refugee from Hitler’s Europe, Lorre gained fame in American films as what was called "a character actor." Two of his more memorable appearances came in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, both of which starred Humphrey Bogart. One of Lorre’s few starring roles came when he played the lead in the Mr. Moto movies. Mr. Moto was a clever detective of undetermined European origins, sort of an urbane Columbo.
1905: The 20,000 Jewish residents of Lodz, a cultural center for Jews in Poland, flee in the face of Pogroms and what are in effect, the Czar’s attacks on his own citizens.
1906: Birthdate of Albert Silverman, the New York native who gained fame as lyricist Al Stillman whose works included the 1950’s Christmas standard recorded by Perry Como – “Home for the Holidays.”
1906: In Jerusalem, the Laemmel School a school established “for the secular education of Jewish children” by Fra Elise Herz of Vienna under the auspices of the poet Ludwig August Frankl “celebrated the semi-centenary of its foundation” today.
1909: “After forty-one grueling rounds Leach Cross (born Louis C. Wallach) lost a bout in California which was not as tragic as it may sound since boxing was a side-line to his major occupation – dentistry.
1911(30th of Sivan, 5671): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1911(30th of Sivan, 5671): Eighty-four year old Agnes Byk, the wife of Samuel Alexander Byk, passed away today.
1911: Joseph L. Seligman, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Newton Seligman of New York, hosted his bachelor party tonight. The fifty guests celebrated his upcoming marriage to Josephine Knowles.
1911: Birthdate of Edward Levi, professor of law, President of the University of Chicago and Attorney General during the Ford Administration. The son and grandson of Rabbis, Levi's grandfather was one of the original faculty members of the University of Chicago. Levi was a total product of the institution graduating from its lab school, undergraduate college and school of law. When Levi was named President of the University of Chicago in 1968, he was the first Jew to hold such a post at a major American university. In terms of measuring progress, today such appointments are almost not worth mentioning. When he died in 2000, at the age of 88, Levi was eulogized for a long and distinguished career in the law and academia.
1912: The Board of Education paid tribute to the late District Superintendent Miss Julia Richman, the energetic reform minded educator who passed away while vacationing in France.
1912: In New York Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Koner gave birth to dancer and choreographer Pauline Koner.
1912: “Bruno Walter led the Vienna Philharmonic in the world premiere of Mahler's Symphony No. 9
1913: The American Zionists’ convention continues its meetings in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1913: In Springfield, Illinois, the annual conference of the American Association of Officials of Charities and Correction which Simon W. Rosndale, Mortimer L. Schiff and Henry Solomon all of New York were delegates came to a close today.
1913(21st of Sivan, 5673): Eighty-four year old Rabbi Arnold Levy passed away in New York.
1915: In Norfolk, VA, suffragette and Hadassah member Ella Shapiro and attorney Louis Shapiro gave birth to Charlotte Gertrude Shapiro who gained fame as Charlotte Zolotow, “a distinguished author and editor of children’s books.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1915: Those who favored the imposition of the death penalty for Leo Frank are scheduled “to show their disapproval” to Governor Slaton’s commutation today “when the Governor retires from office and Judge Nat E. Harris is inaugurated.
1915: “The feelings aroused by Governor John M. Slaton’s in commuting the death sentence imposed on Leo M. Frank …culminated today at the Capitol in a demonstration against the Governor when he retired from the Executive office and Judge Nat E. Harris of Macon was inaugurated. For the first time in the history of Georgia a Governor left office with a crowd hurling epithets at him and crying ‘Lynch him!’ and escaped bodily harm only through the protection of a large force of police and State troops.”
1915: In New York, “the Woman’s Peace Society is scheduled to hold a reception in the Assembly room of the Cosmopolitan Garden this afternoon for those who signed the petition to Governor Slaton asking for the commutation of the death sentence of Leo Frank and to those who worked to obtain the signautres.”
1915: “Early this morning” Rabbi Eichler conducted services at Temple Ohaibe Shalom on Union Park Street for forty delegates who will be attending the convention of American Zionists in Boston
1915: “An informal dance and reception” was held in Boston this evening to mark the opening of “the great convention of American Zionist, the first such national gathering of Jews on American soil.”
1915: In Ohio, Beachwood was incorporated as Beachwood Village, the Cleveland suburb that is home to Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, Agnon School and Cleveland Hebrew School.
1916: It was reported today that “the de Hirsh society has tendered a check for $1,500” to be used for the construction of a Hebrew Orphan Asylum to be built in Hudson County which is a pet project of Henry Morgenthau.
1917: In Baltimore, the delegates to the 20th Annual Convention of the Federation of American Zionists were scheduled to attend a presentation by the Young Judeans.
1918: During World War I, Allied Forces including units of the AEF under General John J. Pershing defeated units of the German Army under the command of Crown Prince Wilhelm. Among the Americans who fought in this critical battle was a Jewish Marine from Buffalo New York named Lester Bergman. Born in 1889, “Bergman was the first person from Buffalo, NY, to enlist in the Marine Corps during World War I. He was wounded during extremely heavy fighting at the battle of Belleau Wood in France, where he participated in the capture of a Maxim gun, 23 machine guns and 170 German soldiers. Bergman was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre.” He passed away in 1958.
1919: The first national conference of the Religious Zionist Organization, Mizrachi, closes.
1919: In the Weimar Republic, premiere of “The Oyster Princess” a silent film directed and written by Ernst Lubitsch.
1921: In Paris, Englishman Charles George Bushell and French dressmaker Reine Blance Leroy gave birth to Violette Reine Elizabeth Bushell who Violette Szabo served with the SOE during WW II and was executed by the Nazis at Ravensbruck.
1922: Frank Taffel, the native of Galicia, who would found Atlanta, Georgia’s Fulton Auto Exchange and co-found Congregation Beth Jacob became a United States citizen today.
1923: At Yankee Stadium Princeton lost to Yale despite the fact that Moe Berg went two for four (single and a double) and played shortstop with enough skill to interest major league scouts.
1925: The 148th Session of the New York State Legislature in which Philip M. Kleinfeld served as a State Senator came to a close today.
1925: “The Gold Rush,” starring Charlie Chaplin premiered in Los Angeles.
1925: Brenham, TX native Rosa Levin, who had attended Blinn College and Rice University, married Sam H. Toubin. Rosa Levin Toubin would write two books about Jewish history in Texas included History of B’nai Abraham Synagogue.
1926: In Jerusalem, Rabbi Moshe Ber Rivkin and his wife gave birth to Shlomo Rivkin the last Chief Rabbi of St. Louis, MO.
1927: Birthdate of Jerry Schatzberg, the Bronx born photographer and movie director
1928: When the Democratic National Committee convened, Belle Moskowitz was the only woman at the table, but she was as influential as any man there. The networks she had created in New York helped to secure the Presidential nomination for Al Smith, the first major Catholic candidate for U.S. President. After his nomination, she directed national campaign publicity. When Smith lost to Herbert Hoover, Moskowitz stayed on as his press agent, and coordinated his campaign for the 1932 nomination, which Smith lost to Franklin Roosevelt.
1930: Three days after his death, Sir Israel Gollancz, the former Professor of English Language and Literature at King’s College was buried at the Jewish Cemetery at Willesden after which he was memorialized by awarding of the Sir Israel Gollancz price for Early English Studies by the British Academy.
1931: In Brooklyn, theatrical haberdasher Harry Minoff and his wife gave birth to Marvin Minoff the movie and television producer who married Bonnie Franklin.
1933: “The Akademie für Deutsches Recht (Academy for German Law) is founded to rewrite the entire body of German law to NSDAP specifications” The NSDAP is the Nazi Party.
1933: The Federation of Jewish Communities of Switzerland the Berne Jewish Community files suit against the right-wing Swiss National Front for distributing anti-Semitic literature including the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” At the end of the litigation, the court will hold that that the “Protocols are a forgery, are plagiarized, and qualify as ‘obscene’ literature”
1934: It was reported today that a bank in Tel Aviv “has issued notices to holders of its external twenty-year sinking fund six and a half percent public improvement sterling bonds…have been drawn for redemption at par, on the current rate of exchange for sterling on the day of presentation” (As reported by Austin Cline)
1936: Germany adopts an ordinance banning Jews from serving the Army.
1936: U.S premiere of “San Francisco” a film set at the time of the city’s famous earthquake with music by Walter Jurman and featuring Al Shean, the uncle of the famous Marx Brothers.
1936: In the aftermath of the The Przytyk Pogrom, the worst anti-Semitic violence that occurred in pre-war Poland, the trial of those charged with taking part in the violence came to an end. There were 43 Polish defendants and 14 Jewish defendants. The Jews claimed that they had acted in self-defense. But the court sentenced eleven of the Jews to prison terms ranging from 6 months to 8 years for demonstrating “aggressive behavior toward Polish peasants.” Thirty-nine of the Poles received sentences ranging from 6 to 12 months.
1936: The Palestine Post reported that circulars urging Arab villagers to put an end to disorders were dropped by British Army planes. The leaflets promised that the king would send a Royal Commission to inquire into the Arab grievances, but only when a complete order was restored. Some 50 well-armed Arabs attacked a convoy made up of 10 buses and accompanied by two armored cars close to Nablus. One British soldier and six Arabs were killed before the convoy was able to continue. The Post published the full text of the House of Commons debate on Palestine (11 pages) and continued a series of articles by Maurice Samuel which explored the possibilities of an Arab-Jewish reconciliation. A Jew was badly wounded by an Arab who had asked for a drink in an orange grove near Petah Tikva. A similar incident happened a week earlier.
1936: Birthdate of Edith Pearlman, the native of Providence, RI and Radcliffe graduate who won the 2012 Harold U. Ribalow Prize presented by Hadassah magazine for outstanding Jewish fiction.
1936: “Religious objection to the policy of any State which strikes at the very practice of religion, specifically the treatment of Catholics in our sister republic of Mexico” was expressed tonight by the Central Conference of American Rabbis at its annual convention, when it approved a recommendation submitted by the committee on resolutions.”
1936: “Police and military patrols on the streets of Bucharest were doubled today as the government decided to take firm measures to suppress attacks on Jews.”
1937: Laurence A. Steinhardt completed his service as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
1937(17th of Tammuz. 5697): On Shabbat, Sam Frank, Nevada’s first Jewish mayor passed away. A native of California, Frank moved to Reno, NV in 1903. Prior to Prohibition, Frank worked in the wholesale liquor business. When America went dry, he and his brother opened a soft-drink bottling company. Frank became Mayor when Edwin E. Roberts passed away. He was defeated for re-election in 1935. Unlike his brother Ben, Sam Frank was not active in the Jewish community for many years; a situation some attributed to the fact that he had married a non-Jews. (For more see Jews in Nevada by John P. Marschall)
1937: George Gershwin was released from Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles with a diagnosis of “likely hysteria” since tests had shown no physical cause of “the headaches and olfactory hallucinations he had been experiencing..
1938: Five more bombs exploded today in the quarter between Jaffa and Tel Aviv wounding fifteen Arabs. Soon after the first bomb exploded in the morning a mob of Arabs raided a Jew's shop and stabbed the proprietor.
1939: Final broadcast of the CBS version of Camel Caravan starring Eddie Cantor.
1939: After opening at the Labor Stage Theatre the ILGWU production of “Pins and Needles” a revue with music and lyrics by Harold Rome who also wrote the book along with several others including Marc Blitzstein, directed by Charles Friedman and choreographed by Benjamin Zemach transferred to the Windsor Theatre.
1939: “Five hundred people attended a session of the convention of the National Council of Young Israel which was held today in the Temple of Religion at the World’s Fair. ‘The event was chaired by Henry G. Fromberg. Cantor Aaron Caplow and the Oscar Julius Choir provided the music for the event.
1940: A split takes place among the leaders of Etzel, also known as the Irgun. They cannot decide whether or not to cease attacks against the British for the duration of the war. Abraham Stern, believing that the timing was ripe to pressure the British by any means to allow full immigration sets up the LEHI (Lohamei Herut Yisrael) Freedom Fighters of Israel. The group was also known as the Stern Gang. This splinter terrorist group will eventually kill a UN peace envoy during the War for Independence – an act that will be condemned by the Jewish leadership.
1940: United States Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long determines to obstruct the granting of visas to Jews seeking entry into the United States. He seeks indefinitely to "delay and effectively stop" such immigration by ordering American consuls "to put every obstacle in the way [to] postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of visas." His goal will be realized over the next four years. Breckinridge Long represents what is called “genteel anti-Semitism,” a disease which lingered after the war among what Harry Truman called the striped pants boys at Sate.
1940: The Nazis confined Cardinal Emmanuel Celestin Suhard, the Archbishop of Paris “in his archiepiscopal residence” preparatory to a planned move to ship him off to a concentration camp.
1941(1st of Tammuz, 5701: Hundreds of Jews from Kovno, Lithuania, are executed at the fortified Ninth Fort on the city's outskirts.
1941: Lithuanian fascists massacred 2300 Jews in Kovno. The sad fact of the matter is that the Nazis had many willing helpers among the population of various European countries.
1941: The invading Nazis seized hundreds of Jews in Kovno, USSR and murdered them.
1941: The Germans reached Bialystok home of the bialy. Another large Jewish population center would now fall victim to the SS Killing Squads.
1941: In Jedwabne, Poland, a local priest convinces the Poles who had begun attacking their fellow citizens who were Jewish, to halt their pogrom. He assures them that the Germans would take care of the Jews. However, the Poles refused to sell food to the Jews in the town amid rumors that the Germans “would be issuing orders that all Jews be destroyed.
1942: For the first time British radio carried reports about the fate of the Polish Jews. It said that 700,000 Jews had been killed in Poland to date. This would have meant that over two million of Poland’s reported three million Jews were still alive and could have been saved.
1943: Dr.Karl Landsteiner the Austrian born American physician who the 1930 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on differentiating the blood groups passed away in New York. He had converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism when he was twenty one years old.
1943: On Shabbat, special prayers were offered for the nation's leadership asking them to lead us toward "a peace of righteousness and permanence" at a service in Temple Emanu-El. The service was held today in conjunction with the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, who represent the Reform Rabbinate in the United States
1945: The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco. At a time when there was multi-faceted opposition to the creation of a Jewish state, the United Nations would provide the legal framework for the creation of the modern state of Israel.
1946: Today, “Tzadok”, the leader of the Beitar branch in Bruna, wrote on the back of a photograph of parade of Beitar members “As an eternal memory for our friends, from the opening of Kibbutz Beitar in Bruna, which took place on April 22-23 [...] in Linz.”
1949: Eighty-seven year old David Philipson, “the Dean of the American Reform Rabbinate” collapsed today at the convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
1949: Jewish golfer Herman Barron, the 1948 Goodall and 1947 Tam O’Shanter champion teamed with William J. Cobb to win the annual pro-member tournaments at the Bonnie Briar Country Club in Larchmont, NY.
1950: “Admiral Sir John Edelsten, Commander in Chief of the British Mediterranean Fleet arrived in Israel today” when HMS Surprise, his flagship, docked at Haifa. It was the first such visit since the British left the country two years ago.
1951: The Jerusalem Post reported that contracts had been signed for the widening of the Kishon River outlet near Haifa, building of a bridge over it and the construction of a port and dry dock there.
1952: An Israeli army spokesman said that fourteen Arabs had been killed during the last two weeks during operations designed to keep infiltrators from crossing into the Jewish state. Two more were arrested and two were wounded.
1955(6th of Tammuz, 5715): Fifty-four year old Borrah Minevitch the Ukrainian born harmonica player who led The Harmonica Rascals, a ten piece ensemble that recorded for Brunswick and Decca records passed away today in Paris.
1956: Under President Nasser, Egypt seized control of the Suez Canal.
1957: Eighty-seven year old German-American author Bruno Alfred Döblin who converted to Catholicism while spending World War II in Los Angeles passed away today.
1960(1st of Tammuz, 5720): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1961: Operation Morale, “a clandestine effort headed by Mossad to facilitate the emigration of Jewish Moroccan children to Israel” began today when the first of five convoys left the North African country “under the guise of taking a supposed holiday to Switzerland.
1963: “Levi Eshkol took over Mapai and formed the eleventh government.
1963: Levi Eshkol replaced David Ben Gurion as Minister of Defense.
1963: Birthdate of Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs who lost his business empire and his freedom when President Putin felt threatened by him. “Because Khodorkovsky's father is Jewish, some concerns have been raised that his persecution is motivated by anti-Semitism, and that it is only one of many steps to clearing Russian economy from Jews.”
1966: Birthdate of Daniel Hamidou, the Berber born Jew who gained fame as French comedian Dany Boon who played “Private Ponchel” in Joyeux Noël, a gem of a film.
1966: After twenty-three performances the curtain came down on a revival of “Guys and Dolls” starring Jan Murray as Nathan Detroit at the New York City Center.
1967: Spain granted Jews and Protestants the right of public worship for the first time since Ferdinand and Isabella proclaimed Catholicism as Spain's only religion.
1968(30th of Sivan, 5728): Rosh Chodesh Tamuz
1968: Birthdate of Rich Eisen anchor on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
1969: Birthdate of Sociology Professor Philip “Phil” Zuckerman whose works include Society Without God.
1970: Today’s Bulletin described the reading of the Book of Ruth after services on the second day of Shavuot by Louise Brott, Erica Shacter and John Diamond, the first time that this has occurred at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal.
1974: “Police arrest cyberneticist Mikhail Agursky in Moscow.”
1974(6th of Tammuz, 5734): Eighty-seven year old Ernest Gruening, the long-time liberal Democrat who served as Governor of Alaska before being elected Senator passed away. Gruening had been trained as a doctor at Harvard and Harvard Medical School although he never practice medicine. He is best remembered as only one of two Senators who voted against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, a move that cost him his Senate seat. (As reported by John T. McQuiston)
1974: “For Pete’s Sake” a comedy produced by Stanley Shapiro who co-authored the script and starring Barbra Streisand was released today in the United States.
1974; Today, at 8:01 a.m., “a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum slid down a conveyor belt and past an optical scanner. The scanner beeped, and the cash register understood, faithfully ringing up 67 cents. That purchase, at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, was the first anywhere to be rung up using a bar code. A Jew did not invent the now ubiquitous bar code, but Alan Haberman, of blessed memory, “led the industry committee that chose the bar code over other contenders — circles, bull’s-eyes and seemingly random agglomerations of dots — in 1973. By all accounts, he spent years afterward cajoling manufacturers, retailers and the public to accept the strange new symbol, which resembles a highly if irregularly compacted zebra. His efforts helped cement the marriage between the age-old practice of commerce and the new world of information technology led the industry committee that chose the bar code over other contenders — circles, bull’s-eyes and seemingly random agglomerations of dots — in 1973. By all accounts, he spent years afterward cajoling manufacturers, retailers and the public to accept the strange new symbol, which resembles a highly if irregularly compacted zebra. His efforts helped cement the marriage between the age-old practice of commerce and the new world of information technology.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1976: Maxwell Raab, a Wall Street lawyer who played a prominent role in the Eisenhower presidency was inducted as a fellow of Brandeis University.
1976: In case of Jew versus Jews, in “Omen Is Nobody’s Baby” published today Richard Eder panned “The Omen” which was directed by Richard Donner and written by David Seltzer.
1978: Mariia Slepak was the latest person to go in the dock Moscow as part of the anti-Zionist trials.
1979(1st of Tammuz, 5739): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1980: Birthdate of actor Jason Schwartzman
1981: “Stripes” an Army comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman who produced along with Daniel Goldberg who in turn co-authored the script with Len Blum, Daniel and Harold Ramis who played the role of Pvt. Russel Ziskey and with music by Elmer Bernstein was released today in the United States.
1982(5th of Tammuz, 5742): Forty-six year old André Tchaikowsky, a Polish born composer and pianist who as a small child survived the Warsaw Ghetto, passed away.
1982: “The Last American Virgin” directed by Boaz Davidson who also wrote the script, produced by Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan and filmed by cinematographer Adam Greenberg was released in Japan today.
1982(5th of Tammuz, 5742): Seventy-two year old Chaim Grade, a Yiddish poet and novelist whose work gained wide attention because of its passion and intensity in dealing with Jewish life in Eastern Europe and with the trauma of the Holocaust, died of a heart attack today in Montefiore Hospital. (As reported by Richard F. Shepard)
1984: Barbra Streisand records "Here We Are at Last"
1984(26th of Sivan, 5744): Sixty-nine year old Carl Foreman who wrote the scripts of such classics as High Noon, The Guns of Navarone and The Bridge on the River Kwai passed away today.
1985: Two months after premiering at Cannes, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” directed by Héctor Babenco was released in Brazil and the United States today.
1985: “Pale Rider” a “dark cowboy” film with music by Lennie Niehaus was released today in the United States.
1989(23rd of Sivan, 5749): Trude Weiss-Rosmarin passed away. Born in 1908, she was a German Jewish writer, editor, scholar, and feminist activist. With her husband, she co-founded the School of the Jewish Woman in New York in 1933, and in 1939 founded the Jewish Spectator, a quarterly magazine, which she edited for 50 years. She was the author of 12 books, including Judaism and Christianity: The differences (1943), Toward Jewish-Muslim Dialogue (1967), and Freedom and Jewish Women (1977).
1992: NBC broadcast the final episode of seasons 2 of Seinfeld.
1994(17th of Tammuz, 5754): Tzom Tammuz
1994: Alan Blinder completed his service as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.
1994: After 73, the curtain came down on the original production of “Broken Glass” “a play by Arthur Miller, focusing on a couple in New York City in 1938, the same time of Kristallnacht.”
1996(9th of Tammuz, 5756): Staff Sgt. (Res.) Asher Berdugo, 22, of Kiryat Bialik; Sgt. Ashraf Shibli, 20, of Shibli; and Cpl. (Res.) Ya'acov Turgeman of Rishon Lezion were killed in an ambush along the Jordan River north of Jericho by terrorists who infiltrated from Jordan.
1997: Mervyn Taylor completed his term as Minister for Equality and Law Reform which the Irish government then abolished and merged with the Department of Justice.
1997: Barry Manilow was diagnosed with bronchitis before a scheduled performance in Austin, TX.
1997: The International Congress of the International Napoleonic Society came to an end at Akkesandria, Italy.
1998: Launch of the INS Tkuma, a Dolphin class submarine.
2001: President Bush welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the White House.
2002: Jean-François Copé began serving as a member of the National Assembly for Seine-et-Marne’s constituency.
2002(16th of Tammuz, 5762): Ninety-two year old Sadie Hurwitz Bregman “a homemaker and widow of Samuel “Bo” Bregman the Washington businessman and homebuilder who “promoted the Joe Louis vs Buddy Baer at Griffith Stadium in September, 1940 for the world heavyweight championship” passed away today at the George Washington University Hospital.
2003: Amos (Amit) Mantin, 31, of Hadera, a Bezeq employee, was killed in a shooting attack in the Israeli Arab town of Baka al-Garbiyeh. The shots were fired by a Palestinian teenager, who was apprehended by police. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
2004(7th of Tammuz, 5764): Israel's renowned composer and songwriter Naomi Shemer passed away at the age of 74. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/29/nyregion/29shemer.html
Shemer is known to many as the composer of the famous song “Y'rushalayim Shel Zahav" or in English, "Jerusalem of Gold." For those of you who saw "Shindler's List" this was the song played at the end of the movie when the film turned from black and white to color as the survivors were shown visiting the Shindler's grave. The song was written at the request of Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kolek in 1967 several weeks before the outbreak of the Six Day War. The song expresses the longing of a person for Jerusalem who has to view the Old City from the opposite side of the Green Line. In one of those ironic twists of history, "the song became the war's anthem.
Jerusalem of Gold
2005: Igo Feldblum writes a letter to historian Martin Gilbert describing how young Jews in Palestine responded positively to the war time slogan ‘Win We Will.’ ‘Confident in this prophecy, many enlisted in the Jewish Brigade and fought alongside the Allies.’ “Thirty thousand Palestinian Jews fought in the British forces…and more than seven hundred were killed in action.”
2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including King of the Jews by Nick Tosches and The Woman From Hamburg by Hanna Krall.
2005 (19th of Sivan, 5765): Eighty-one year old Louis J. Sigel, a Teaneck, N.J., rabbi who was a prominent voice for integration of the township's public schools in the early 1960's, passed away today at his home in Hackensack, N.J. (As reported by George James)
2005: Wild Desert, a horse owned by several businesspeople including former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, gave Robert J. Frankel his first victory in the $1 million Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine Racetrack.
2005: The Rubashkin Education Center in Postville is scheduled to hold its grand opening this afternoon
2006(30th of Sivan, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
2006(30th of Sivan, 5766): Seventy-two year old Harvard psychiatrist Joseph J Schildkraut passed away today. (As reported by Jeremy Pearce)
2006: Twenty-four hours after attacking an IDF checkpoint Palestinians fire Kassam Rockets into Israel.
2007: At the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, an exhibition inspired by the ancient flood story of Noah’
2007: The General Assembly of the European Jewish Congress elects a new president for the EJC for a two year term.
2007: The President of Poland and Jewish leaders break ground for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews on a site next to Warsaw’s monument to Jews who resisted the Nazis during the 1943 ghetto uprising.
2007(10th of Tammuz, 5767): Belgian born American fashion designer, Liz Claiborne passed away at the age of 78. (As reported by Eric Wilson)
2008: In New York City the Gallery at the Astor Center presents, “A Taste of Appetizing” featuring Mark Russ Federman, representing the third of the four generations of famed Russ & Daughters who guides participants on a tasting of his extraordinary wares. From humble Herring to luscious Lox, Mark will be explain all—accompanied by a generous side order of the stories behind this New York culinary landmark, judged by the Smithsonian Institute as “part of New York’s cultural heritage.” Joining Mark will be Russ & Daughters’ long-time manager, Herman “The Artistic Slicer” Vargas.
2008: A rocket fired from Gaza hit the Sderot industrial area this afternoon, exploding near a gas station and shattering the truce for a fourth time this week. While neither Prime Minister Ehud Olmert nor Defense Minister Ehud Barak released statements following the rocket attack on Sderot on Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni issued an uncharacteristically sharp demand for an immediate military response.
2009(4th of Tammuz, 5769): Seventy-nine year old Jo Amar, a Moroccan-born Jewish singer whose melding of Andalusian and Israeli musical influences made him a star in Israel and a popular performer in Jewish communities around the world, died today at the home of his son Ouri in Woodmere, N.Y. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2009: Jews in the Washington Metropolitan Area have a wide panoply of choices when it comes to welcoming the Sabbath Queen ranging from the Carlebach Minyan at Kesher Israel to Congregation Adat Reyim's unique folk service lead by their folk group that group uses musical instruments and a variety of melodies from Debbie Friedman, Craig Taubman, and others to add a wonderful musical aspect to their Shabbat services
2009: Russia told a U.S. court today that American judges have no authority to tell the country how to handle sacred Jewish documents held in its state library, which had been seized by the Nazi and Soviet armies. The case is being handled by the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, Royce Lamberth, who in January ordered Russia to preserve the documents following Chabad's fears they are not being properly cared for and could be sold on the black market. Russia said in its filing Friday that even though it respects the U.S. court, it would not participate in the litigation in order to protect its sovereignty. According to the filing, "This [U.S.] court has no authority to enter orders with respect to the property owned by the Russian Federation and in its possession, and [we] will not consider any such orders to be binding." Lamberth agreed to hear the case because he said both the Nazi seizure and the Russian government's appropriation of the collection, which Chabad says totals 12,000 books and 50,000 rare documents, violated international law. The collection was formerly held by Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, a leader of Chabad-Lubavitch born in Russia but forced to leave in 1927. He took the documents to Latvia and later Poland, but left them behind when the Nazis invaded and he fled to the United States. The collection was seized and taken to Germany, then recovered by the Soviet Army in 1945. Attorneys representing Chabad at the firm Bingham McCutchen said after five years of litigation, Russia is now acting like a child who has lost a game and wants to start over on its home court. The plundering of religious texts during war is contrary to the Hague convention and the norms of any civilized society. The documents are at the center of a lawsuit brought by members of Chabad-Lubavitch, which follows the teachings of Eastern European rabbis. The group is suing Russia in an effort to recover manuscripts, prayers, lectures and philosophical discourses by leading rabbis dating back to the 18th century.
2010(14th of Tammuz, 5770): Eighty-four year old Shoista Mullojonova “a renowned Tajik-born Bukharian Jewish Shashmakom singer” passed away today.
2010: Ginsberg Jewelers, a mainstay of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, business community battles back from the Floods of 2008 and hosts an Open House in its new, location. Ginsberg Jewelers owned by Herman Ginsberg, a pillar of the Jewish community and a mensch of the first order.
2010: The Jewish community of Cedar Rapids is scheduled to gather this evening for “Havdalah Under The Stars.”
2010: Prize winning ice skater Loren Galler-Rabinowitz won the Miss Massachusetts title.
2011: Israel continued repositioning part of its contested barrier in the West Bank today, four years after a court ruled it should be re-routed to give Palestinians greater access to farmland. Israeli tractors tore down a section of the barrier, a metal fence, as a clutch of journalists watched. A new concrete barrier has been erected some 600 meters from the old route near the Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit. The Israeli military tore down a watchtower overlooking Bilin earlier in the week.
2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Druggist of Auschwitz: A Documentary Novela” by Dieter Schlesak. Translated by John Hargraves
2011: The Jewish Museum Milwaukee is scheduled to participate in a WWII Encampment Reenactment program being staged by the Milwaukee County Historical Society at Trimborn Farm. Local student and actor, Shane Skinner, is scheduled to present a dynamic portrayal of the lives of Jewish servicemen during the war, drawing on collections from the archives of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee.
2011: “The Washington Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context” is scheduled to come to an end today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Washington Haggadah, an illuminated medieval manuscript and, since 1916, a principal treasure in the Library of Congress, is spending Passover in New York City on a snug reading stand in a display case at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Haggadah, the collection of prayers and songs that tells the story of exodus that is the Passover Seder, lies open to the Dayenu (“If He had given us Shabbat and not led us to Mount Sinai, it would have been enough . . .”), a thousand-year-old song that’s unusually sprightly for its age, perhaps because it can function as a cue to cooks and celebrants that it’s nearly time to serve the meal. The scribe reinforces that cue with a drawing at the bottom of the page: A man, apparently a beggar invited to help with the feast, turns a rack of lamb while two women, well dressed in the Italian style, stir soup and offer him a cup.You could easily miss “The Washington Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context,” an exhibition that consists of just two vitrines and a wall display in a hallway in the Met’s department of medieval art. But the modest display fits the artifact — the mix of homey scenes and exquisite items was a trademark of the scribe and illustrator, Joel ben Simeon (approximately 1420-95), and suited the taste of his wealthy Ashkenazi clientele in Germany and Italy. Although this exhibition does not display the manuscript’s individual pages — as the Met did successfully last summer with the utterly bloodthirsty and not-safe-for-work exhibition of the Book of Hours of Jean de Berry — the museum’s medievalists have vividly conjured the world of medieval European Jewry, surrounding the small manuscript with luxurious objects similar to those in the drawings. A pale yellow glass with a decorative band is a close match for the one the woman offers the man turning the lamb. A brass ewer from Germany is practically identical to the one in the hands of the red-hatted man filling cups, who is beside instructions to pour the service’s second glass of wine. “The Washington Haggadah,” on view through June 26, is the first installment in a three-year series devoted to Hebrew manuscripts and their contemporary context, a clever strategy that pairs valuables from the Met’s stronger collections with loan items in one of its weakest areas (illuminated Hebrew manuscripts).“Our colleagues in the textile department are thrilled,” said curator Barbara Boehm, standing beside a silk-velvet swatch that looked like it could have been cut from the skirt of a fashionable woman who shows up later in the Haggadah. “I don’t think these have ever been shown. They’re not great big pieces, but they’re exquisite and such a nice match.” Scribes are typically anonymous artisans, but ben Simeon signed and dated this illuminated Haggadah. It was an unusual move, but some 20 years before, German publisher Johannes Gutenberg had printed his first Bible, and illuminators were scrambling to come up with marketing strategies to compete with the burgeoning book trade. Ben Simeon created this work not on commission but as a salable stock item that could appeal to the broadest possible tastes. He left the last few pages and many of the margins blank, in case the buyer, most likely a wealthy banker, doctor or merchant, had any special requests. Ben Simeon specialized in Haggadot, a sensible business plan for a Jewish scribe, but the exodus story at the heart of the service almost certainly had personal resonance, too. Soon after he was born in Cologne, Jews were expelled from that city. His family moved to Bonn, and 20 years later that city expelled the Jews. He seems to have adapted by spending most of his life in transit, moving back and forth across the Alps between Italy and Germany. As a result, he drew with a mixture of national styles: His figures are flat and stubby in the German woodcut style, but his faces are delicate and individual, and his representations modern and realistic, in the manner of the Italians — the wicked son is drawn like a knight (for an effect similar to drawing him in Nazi get-up today), and the beggar turning the lamb has goiter (a then-common affliction in landlocked areas such as the Alps). On the page with the Curse Upon the Gentiles — a prayer added to the Seder after the Crusades — ben Simeon seems to have captured a moment of changing traditions. A man stands at the door to his house, as was the habit, checking to see that there are no Gentiles within earshot during the recitation: “Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that do not know You,” as ben Simeon faithfully copied in a passage that begins in large gold-leaf letters and his most elaborate filigree. But he also depicted the tradition that has come down to Jews today: As the door is opened, Elijah appears, riding on an ass, accompanied by what appears to be his entire family. Near the tail end, a fashionable lass in a silk-velvet dress raises a wineglass. No one knows who first bought the Haggadah from ben Simeon — an Ashkenazi in Italy or Germany, judging by the handwriting on some of the blank pages. But the Haggadah, too, had its years of wandering: from Germany in the 1700s, over to Italy by the late 1800s and into the hands of the Provencali family of Mantua, where in 1879 one Ettore Finzi added a note in German (“Guten Appetit”) during a Passover celebration. Twenty-three years later, Ephraim Deinard — an American book dealer and a preeminent figure in the development of many great institutional collections of Judaica and Hebraica — bought the copy and persuaded New York financier Jacob Schiff to donate it, along with nearly 20,000 other books in Deinard’s collection, to the Library of Congress as part of a vast “gift to the Nation.”After 500 years, the Haggadah had found its permanent home
2011: Mordechay Lewy, the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, “who caused a storm in the Jewish world by praising Pope Pius XII for saving Jews during World War Two backtracked today, saying his judgment was "historically premature." The comments made by, the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, were some of the warmest ever made by a Jewish official about Pius but were very upsetting to Holocaust survivors and others who know the history of the man some call “Hitler’s Pope.”
2011(24th of Sivan, 5771): Ninety-one year old Sidney Radner, owner of one of the largest collections of material related to Harry Houdini passed away today. This was a case of one Jew carrying for the legacy of another Jew. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
2011(24th of Sivan, 5771): Seventy-seven year old Joseph Hochstein passed away today in Tel Aviv. In 1965, Hochstein and his father Phillip started the Jewish Week, a Washington, DC publication that was the successor the National Jewish Ledger. It was renamed The Washington Jewish Week after Hochstein sold the paper in 1980’s and made Aliyah.
2011: “After 28 previews and 73 performances” the curtain came down on the second Broadway revival of “Born Yesterday” written by Garson Kanin.
2012: Eating and drinking must be on the minds of those at the 92nd Street Y which is scheduled to offer programs on “Wines of the Southern Hemisphere” and “Picnics Through the Ages.”
2012(6th of Tammuz, 5772): Ninety-two year old “Harry Levinson, a psychologist who helped change corporate America’s thinking about the workplace by demonstrating a link between job conditions and emotional health — a progressive notion when he began developing his ideas in the 1950s” passed away today. (As reported by Claudia H. Deutsch)
2012: As part of the Food for Thought program, Rabbi Yosef Edelstein is scheduled to lead “Digesting Ethics, Mysticism and Philosophy.”
2012: David Kilimnick, Razorback by birth and Israeli by choice, is scheduled to host another “Open Mic” night at Jerusalem’s Off The Wall Comedy Club on Ben Yehuda
2012: Four suspects from Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Ashdod are under arrest on suspicion of spray-painting hate slogans on the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, Ammunition Hill and other landmark monuments over the last couple months, police announced this morning. The arrests were carried out by the elite central unit of the Judea and Samaria district. Police searched the homes of suspects and seized large amounts of texts condemning Zionism, Israel, and PLO flags, as well as paint. Texts suspected to be incitement to hatred were also found on computers.
2012: Fires raged in the forest around Jerusalem today, with the largest fire near the suburb of Motza. The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway was closed to traffic as fire and rescue services scrambled to control the blaze.
2012(6th of Tammuz, 5772): Seventy-one year old Nora Ephron whose work included “Sleepless in Seattle and “When Harry Sally” passed away today. (As reported by Charles McGrath)
2012: New York City Councilman Charles Barron, a fierce critic of Israeli policy who was opposed by Jewish lawmakers and top party officials, was trounced his bid to secure the Democratic nomination in a Brooklyn congressional race.
2012: Today the Central Council of Jews in Germany slammed the “outrageous and insensitive” decision of a regional court to prohibit circumcisions, calling upon the German parliament to pass a law that safeguards freedom of religion. (As reported by Raphael Ahren)
2013: “In a Strange Land: The Photographic and Artistic Interpretation of Unfamiliar Environments,” a symposium sponsored by the Israel Museum is scheduled to come to an end today.
2013: Aharon Oren, a Professor of Microbial Ecology at the Hebrew University is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Shipping Lanes of the Dead Sea: 2500 years of navigation” at the University of Connecticut.
2013: The ICCJ International Abrahamic Forum International Conference is scheduled to open at La Baume, Aix en Provence France
2013: In San Diego, CA, the Center for Jewish Culture is scheduled to host a screening of “The Trotsky” – a film about Montreal high school students who thinks he is the reincarnation of the famous Russian revolutionary.
2013(18th of Tammuz, 5773): Seventy-eight year old Jewish-American billionaire Marc Rich, who was pardoned by then US president Bill Clinton over what had once been the biggest tax evasion case in US history and busting sanctions with Iran, died today from a stroke in Switzerland
2013: Fishel Litzman, a New York police officer in training and an Orthodox Jew, took the NYPD to court today for requiring him to trim his beard for service. (As reported by Michael Wilner)
2014: The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to present “Debating Anti-Semitism: Why do Jews Disagree so Much?”
2014: Historian Lisa Jardine delivered the Conway Memorial Lecture today entitled “Things I Never Knew About My Father” which focused on the life of her father Anglo-Jewish mathematician Jacob Bronowski.
2014: Professor Anthony McElligott is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled The Last Transport: Writing a history of the Holocaust in the Eastern Aegean at Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide
2014: “The Green Prince” is scheduled to be shown at the 22nd annual Portland Jewish Film Festival.
2014: Tel Aviv is scheduled to host its 11th White Night event
2014: “La Rafle” and “The Lady in Number 6” are scheduled to be shown at the Chicago Jewish Film Festival
2014: A court in Versailles ordered the extradition of 29 year old Mehid Nemmouche, “the man suspected of murdering four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels” to Belgium.2014: As firefighter worked “to put out reaining hotspots from a major forest fire that broke out yesterday afternoon in southwest Jerusalem” Fire and Rescue Commissioner Shahar Ayalon said a thorough investigation had already begun amidst suspicions that the fire “was caused, possibly intentionally.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)
2014(28th of Sivan, 5774): Ninety-three year old Viennese born American opera and orchestra conductor passed away.
2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host The Gertler Quarter as part of “The Future Generation Series.”
2016: “The Wedding Doll” is scheduled to be shown at the 13th annual Israeli Film Festival in Ottawa, Canada.
2016: “Israeli superstar David Broza is scheduled to perform “An All Request Show” at the City Winery in NYC.
2016: “The Art Dealer” and “Demon” are scheduled to be shown at the 24th Portland, Oregon Jewish Film Festival.
2016: The Jewish Genealogical Society and the Ackman & the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at Center for Jewish History are scheduled to host a presentation by Phyliss Kramer “who will review Eastern European historical geography and cover researching a town using JewishGen's town pages, maps and gazeteers, Routes to Roots, Jewish Records Indexing-Poland, Google and other key web sites.”
2016: In Cedar Rapids, IA, following a fun-filled BBQ dinner and silent auction President Nancy Margulis is scheduled to chair Temple Judah’s annual meeting
2016: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism by Yuval Levin, Jackson 1964 And Other Dispatches From Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America by Calvin Trillin and the recently released paperback edition of Rebecca Dinerstein’s first novel, The Sunlit Night.