1039 Conrad II passed away. Born in 990, he served Holy Roman Emperor from 1027 until his death. His reign was part of positive period for the Jews of the Rhineland. The first synagogue was built in Worms in 1034 and Rabbi Gershom ben Judah taught at his famous academy in Mainz until his death in 1028.
1391: A riotous mob led by the Queen Mother's confessor, killed many Jews in Seville, Spain.
The massive riots were part of Ferran Martinez’s plan to eradicate the Jews. Historian Netanyahu stated the assault upon the Jewish community "resulted in a bloodbath of massive proportions that all but annihilated the Sevillian Juderia."
1632: Jacob Bassewi (Bassevi) and Leon Bassewi, his cousin and business partner, “received a privilege from the Duke governing Prague that gave them “the right to do business without any hindrance in all the town, markets and areas of the dukedoms of Friedland, Sagan and Glogau”
1632: Albrecht Wallenstein, the Count of Friedland, granted Jacob Bassewi and his cousin Leon Bassewi in order to improve his possibilities for business and living, the exceptional freedom to build a house in our town of Reichenberg at the best location for him and in order to speed up the process we order, you our chief officer, to support him with material and payments to the citizen builders. In the event that he should find a house that is already built, we give you the powers to allow him to buy it and allow him to have his friends or children, Jewish or gentile, to live there and to direct his business from there. We further order that, if the Bassewi people need protection anywhere in our Dukedom or in all of the Kingdom of Bohemia, they shall enjoy our highest official protection. Nobody shall dare to act against this our will without punishment. We seal this letter with our great seal.”
1672(9th of Sivan): Rabbi Moses Rikves, author of Be’er ha-Golah passed away
1697: Birthdate Rabbi Jacob Israel Emden, the Altona born Talmudic scholar most famous for his fight against those whom he considered to be Sabbateans. His most famous dispute was the one with Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz.
1738: Birthdate of King George III, the British monarch best remembered as the ruler during the American Revolution. During his reign conditions of his Jewish subjects would improve on several fronts as can be seem from the establishment of the London Board of Shechita, establishment of the Jews’ Free School and Jewish Blind Society.
1767(7th of Sivan, 5527): Bezaleel, the son of Moses Brandeis ha-Levi, who like his father “was the district rabbi of Bunzlau (Bohemia) passed away today.
1751(11th of Sivan): Rabbi Abraham Geron of Adrianople, author of Tikkun Soferim passed away
1775(6th of Sivan, 5535): Thirteen days before the Battle of Bunker Hill, while American forces are besieging the British at Boston, observance of Shavuot.
1783: Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiore Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga, the future Pope Leo XII who would put the Gate back on the Ghetto and pursue other policies inimical to the Jews, was ordained as a priest.
1789: “The Captivity of Judah” by William Crotch was played at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (UK). Crotch was not Jewish but his pupil Charles Kensington Salaman, the British pianist and composer was. Crotch’s “most successful composition was the oratorio “Palestine”
1813(6th of Sivan, 5573): As the War of 1812 goes into its second year, observance of Shavuot.
1832(6th of Sivan, 5592): As Andrew Jackson prepares to seek re-election, celebration of Shavuot.
1835(7th of Sivan, 5595): Second day of Shavuot
1835(7th of Sivan, 5595): Seventy year old Seckel Isaac Fränkel who in 1818 was the rabbi for the new Reform Jewish Temple of Hamburg for which he wrote a new prayer book passed away today.
1840: During the Damascus Affair, Adolphe Cremieux, vice president of the Central Consistoire of French Israelites, dispatched an appeal to Sir Moses Montefiore, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, to join with him and a delegation from the French Jewish community in a visitation to Mehemet Ali in Alexandria, Egypt.
1841: At a time when Jews in Prague “had been prohibited from spending the summer in the suburbs” an edict was issued that allowed the Jews to own rural real estate provided that they “worked the land themselves.”
1843(6th of Sivan, 5603): Shavuot
1848: French banker and opponent of Napoleon III’s imperial designs Michel Goudchaux was elected to the Assembly today in a by-election “In the department of the Seine.”
1851: In Voyska, Bohemia Simon Steinbach and Rosalie Weisskopf gave birth to Lewis W. Steinbach the husband of Johanna Rosenbaum who earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College who became a leading surgeon in Philadelphia, PA.
1852: Beth Hamedrash Hagadol “a congregation for Russian Jews was formed with the help of former German Jewish immigrants. This traditional congregation opened a school and soon became the center of Orthodoxy in the U.S. Abraham Joseph Ash, a halachic authority, was elected as its rabbi in 1860 and held the position until his death in 1888. So as not to be dependent on a community salary, he also tried his hand in business without much success.” While some like to emphasize the cleavages between the different elements of the New York Jewish community, this synagogue formed for Russian Jews, with support from German Jews, received financial assistance from a Sephardic Jew, a member of Shearith Israel, who provided funds that helped with the congregation’s purchase of its first building.
1857: The Springfield Republican reported that Isaac Jackson a Jewish boy who was either 17 or 18 years old had been robbed and shot to death by Charles Jones while he was driving a wagon on the road between Westfield and Russell, MA in a case of what the paper described as “a dreadful murder.” Jackson was one of four brothers who owned a store at Westfield and delivered merchandize to the surrounding towns. The murder appeared to have taken place on the first of June. The missing wagon and the corpse were discovered on the second of June. Charles Jones, a violent man with a criminal record has been taken into custody.
1873: According to a report published today, the following New York City institutions received these payments from the Excise Fund New York:
Hebrew Free Schools: 1871 - $3899.00 1872 - $1806.00
Polomes Talmud Torah School: 1871- $420.00
1874: Publication of the first edition of The Morecambe Visitor and General Advertiser, (later just called The Visitor) which came under the sway of Arthur Caunt starting in 1898 who would be sued for libel when “he penned a diatribe against British Jews for not doing more to prevent Zionist killing of British troops in Palestine, describing ‘Jews as a plague on Britain.’
1877: U.S. Secretary of State Seward received a letter from Meyer S. Isaacs, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which requests that American diplomats help to protect Jews of Russian birth living in and around Jerusalem. The ruling Ottomans were hostile to the Jews because they were Russian and because they were Jews.
1878: The Ottoman Empire ceded control of Cyprus to the British Empire. Ironically, Benjamin Disraeli was the Prime Minister when this happened. After all for Jews, British control of the island has a negative connotation. They turned the island into a giant prison for Jewish refugees trying to get into Eretz Israel during after World War II.
1880: Sarah Bernhardt signed a contract today for a series of 60 performances to be given this winter at Booth’s Theatre.
1881(7th of Sivan, 5641) Second Day of Shavuot
1882: A conference of delegates representing Jewish organizations from across the United States and Europe opened this morning at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum to discuss how to cope with the increasing stream of Jewish immigrants from Russia. The Executive Committee of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society had issued the call for the meeting and H.S. Henry, the Society’s President, presided over the opening session. Henry said that since its founding in December of 1881, HIAS has collected over $75,000, all but $7,000 of which it has spent on helping over 3,000 immigrants. The leaders discussed the seemingly overwhelming task of helping their suffering co-religionists but affirmed their commitment to do so. One of the practical programs discussed was the settling of refugees in the open tracts of land in Minnesota and the Dakotas. According to figures presented to the conference it would take over a thousand dollars to provide a single agricultural settler with everything from provisions, fuel, seed, livestock, 80 acres of land, materials to build a house, furnishings and provisions until the first harvest is sold.
1882: “A general conference of delegates from the various Jewish societies in the United States” which had been convened to discuss the challenges related to the continuous arrival of refugees from Russia opened this morning in New York at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. “The meeting was called to order by H.S. Henry, President of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society of the United States.
1882: It was reported today that appeal is being circulated in Paris to secure funds to help Jews leave Russia. Famed author Victor Hugo’s name is at the top of the list of those who signed the appeal.
1882: It was reported today that President Chester A. Arthur and former President U.S. Grant are among the leaders who will be attending the upcoming fundraiser designed to provide aid for Jewish refugees from Russia.
1882: It was reported today that European Jews are debating the direction Russian immigrants should take – west to the United States or east to Palestine. An un-named Anglo Jewish citizen contends that the United States is the better of the two destinations. The movement to settle Palestine “is a mere hobby of Protestant Christians.” The Ottoman government would not support the settlement and the Jews would be moving to a country less civilized than the one they are leaving. Among the advantages offered by the United States are a high state of civilization, large unsettled areas and the 400,000 Jews already living there who would help the newcomers.
1883: In London Benjamin Leopold Farjeon, the son of Orthodox Jews and Maggie (Jefferson) Farjeon gave birth to British author Joseph Jefferson Farjeon
1883: In Altona, Germany, Emilie (née Fischel) and Otto Ehrenberg gave birth to Hans Phillip Ehrenberg a convert who co-founded the Confessing Church but who was forced to flee to England because of Jewish ancestry when the Nazis came to power.
1886(1st of Sivan, 5645): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1890: In South Carolina, David L. Hart married Laura L. Levy today.
1892: Mrs. Davis the long time matron of the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child’s Protectory offered an explanation for the discrepancy between their records and those of the police magistrate’s clerks. According to Mrs. Davis, the Jewish agency does a more detailed check and often finds that the children are younger than originally reported which leads to a longer a stay at the facility which in turn results in additional charges to the government.
1893: The Shirt Contractors’ Association posted a notice which the Jewish shirtmakers “regard as the beginning of a fight by the Contractors’ Association against the union.” As if to reinforce their fears, 4 of the contractors lock out their shirtmakers today.
1894: It was reported today that Frederick Nathan was one of the members of the Finance Committee of the Mutual Employment Society which was founded last winter to help applicants find jobs at no cost to employers.
1894(29th of Iyar, 5654): Eighty-eight year old philologist and lexicographer Wilhelm Freund, author of Wörterbuch der Lateinischen Sprache passed away today at Breslau,
1894:”Reception at Montefiore Home” published today described the event which is usually held on Decoration Day but was postponed because of memorial services being held for the late Jesse Seligman. 1895: “Samuell Casten, alias ‘Jew Sam’ was indicted by the Grand Jury” in response to charges of grand larceny brought by Mrs. Helen Maillard
1896: Judge Myer S. Isaacs was among the members of Council of the University sitting on the dignitaries’ platform at the New York University commencement exercises being held in Carnegie Hall.
1897: The first issue of "Die Welt" appears. The English Hovevei Zion officially dissociates itself from the Zionist Congress.
1897: Sixty five year old Louis Blum was sentenced to ten days in prison for violating the bottling law when broke off the heads of empty siphons and used as them as hooks for a chupah that was building at the synagogue where he was the sexton.
1898: The Human Rights League (Ligue des droits de l'homme or LDH) was founded today by Ludovic Trarieux to defend Captain Alfred Dreyfus who was falsely convicted on charges of treason.
1899: It was reported today that The Hebrew Citizens League of Jersey, whose objectives “will be to induce Hebrews are not naturalized to become citizens at once” and “to protect their legal rights” has filed articles of incorporation with County Clerk John G. Fisher.
1899: It was reported today that “the Dreyfus affair has been instrumental in weakening the bonds of friendship between Russia and France and in destroying the faith with which Russian military men had in the discipline of the French Army” which appears to be leading to a “rapprochement between Russia and Austria-Hungary.”
1899: A riot broke out at the Auteuil race course where the mob expressed its hostility for President Loubet with a variety of verbal assaults including the call of “Down with Traitors, Jews and Dreyfusites.!”
1899: The officers of the newly incorporated Hebrew Citizens’ League of Jersey City are: President – Louis Strang; Vice President – Samuel Lastage; Treasurer – Harris Steirman; Financial Secretary – Henry Weisberg; Counsul – Peter James; Sergeant at Arms – William Steirman.
1899: “Harsh Treatment of the Jews” published today described the “latest outrage against the Russian Jews” which took place at Nikolaev where an anti-Semitic movement started by religious fanatics who “pillaged” every shop owned by the Jews and left over 200 of them wounded, “many of them fatally.”
1899: “The Library of Princeton University” published today described the history of the institution and some of its prized tomes including “Jonathan Edward’s Hebrew Bible, a large folio with the celebrated theologian’s autograph.”
1899: “Science and Industry,” a compilation of activities in Europe published today described the opening of a Spinoza museum “in the house where the famous Hebrew philosopher lived and polished lenses for his bread at Rhynsburg, near Leyden” which “has been restored to its 17th century style.”
1899: The Neue Freie Presse publishes Herzl's editorial about the return of Colonel Dreyfus.
1900: Birthdate of Nelson Glueck, American Jewish archaeologist. Director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem between 1932 and 1947, he explored and dated over 1,000 ancient sites in Palestine and the Near East. One of his popular works was Rivers in the Desert.
1902: While in Paris, Herzl receives the invitation to appear before the Royal Commission for Alien Immigration in London. The meeting is scheduled to last two days.
1903: Herzl renews his efforts to gain support Great Britain and again submits plans to Constantinople for a Charter for Mesopotamia.
1907(22nd of Sivan, 5667): Young Barney Aaron, the English born American bare knuckle boxer who ws the U.S. Lightweight Champion and the son of English boxer Barney Aaron who was called “The Star of the East” passed away today on Long Island, NY.
1908: Alfred Dreyfus was wounded by a disgruntled journalist while “attending the ceremony” during which the ashes of Emile Zola were interred in the Pantheon. Zola was the French journalist and author who led the fight to free Dreyfus during which he exposed the anti-Semitic and corrupt nature of the French officer corps.
1909: The President of the Turkish Chamber of Deputies speaks in favor of Jewish immigrants being admitted to the Ottoman Empire. He sees it a as a necessity for the growth of the country.
1911: The Hahambashi receives several telegrams from Arabia and Syria describing attacks on Jews. Details of the attacks were given to the authorities who could then intervene.
1912: Massachusetts became the first state to pass a minimum wage law. Boston attorney Louis Brandeis, the future Supreme Court Justice, was an ardent advocate for minimum wage laws.
1913(28th of Iyar, 5673): Rabbi Abraham Samuel Neumark passed away today in New York City.
1915: As of today, “Warsaw newspapers which have been smuggled through the lines say that the number of homeless Jews on the Russian side is increasing steadily.”
1915: In Rochester, NY, Mayor Hiram H. Edgerton presided over a “mass meeting…in Convention Hall to protest against the scheduled execution of Leo Frank” which was condemned by the featured speaker by James. G. Cutler, the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.
1915: According to the remarks of Ohio Judge Rufus R. Smith published today, “The execution of (Leo) Frank or even his imprisonment for any length of time would constitute an indictment of the administration of criminal law in this country which would be shameful and humiliating.”
1915: Irving Berlin and Jerome Siegel were chosen to serve as Governors at the annual election of officers today at the Friar’s Club on West 45th Street.
1915: In New York, The Appellate Division reversed a judgment that had been rendered in favor Daniel Guggenhiem’s Guggenheim Exploration Company and decdied that a mining engineer who had worked as assistant manager and consulting engineer for the company was entitled to stock in the Yukon Gold Company valued at more than $100,000.”
1915: “Fearing that a mass meeting which to be held on the State Capitol grounds” in Atlanta “tomorrow night for the purpose of protesting again the commutation of the death sentence of Leo M. Frank, may result in a riot, Mayor James G. Woodward this afternoon wrote Governor John M. Slaton urging that the latter have the military on hand at the meeting.”
1916: Herman Bernstein, editor of The American Hebrew received a cable from Lord Reading, Chief Justice of England, expressing his approval of Louis Brandeis taking his seat on the Supreme Court. “Membership in the Supreme Court of the United States,” the English jurist wrote, “is one of the greatest distinctions known to the legal world and I heartily congratulate the new Associate Justice.”
1916: “The Central Committee of the United Krakauer War Relief Fund held its first meeting tonight at the Temple Israel at 120th Street and Lenox Avenue” where it began efforts to raise $50,000 to provide “relief for the destitute Jews of Cracow.”
1916: The National Farm School, “a Jewish institution in Bucks County” held its 19th annual Spring exercise marking the consecration of festive and memorial trees and the installation of the 52 students of the freshman class” was addressed by former U.S. President William Howard Taft.
1916: “Jacob H. Schiff informed the Kehillah at it its seventh annual convention today “that he had been hurt by recent attacks made upon him in connection with his efforts to help to solve the problems of his co-religionists and that hereafter Zionism, national, the Congress movement and Jewish politics in what form they may come up would be a sealed book to him.”
1917: Birthdate of Howard Metzenbaum. A Democrat and a liberal, Metzenbaum served in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Ohio.
1917: In Pittsburgh, PA, the National Association of Jewish Social Workers Annual Convention went into its second day with presentations by Edwin Goldwasser, Morris D. Waldman and Solomon Lowensein.
1917: The Pulitzer Prizes for journalism, literature and music are awarded for the first time. America’s premier honor for arts and literature was created under the terms of the will of publisher Joseph Pulitzer, an immigrant from Hungary whose father was Jewish and whose mother was Roman Catholic.
1917: During World War I Jules Cambon, Director-General of the French Foreign Ministry wrote to Nahum Sokolow offering vague words of support for Zionist efforts in Palestine. Much to the chagrin of the French, these vague assurances helped pave the way for the issuance of the Balfour Declaration.
1917: The Ladies’ Auxiliary of Temple Shalom are scheduled to host the first meeting of a Red Cross unit being formed by Jewish women “on the North Side and North Shore suburban towns” this afternoon at 1 p.m.
1917: In the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn Abraham Miller, a tailor whose original last name was Milstein and his wife Lillian Blaban gave birth to Moishe (Morris) Miller who the world would know as Robert Merrill, the Baritone who gained fame singing for NBC and the Metropolitan Opera.
1918: Catcher Bob Berman made his major league debut with the Washington Senators.
1918: Encouraged by the British, “Dr. Chaim Weizmann met the Emir Feisal, the leader of the Arab Revolt, near the port of Akaba, and worked out with him what seemed to be a satisfactory Arab support for a Jewish National Home in Palestine.”
1919(6th of Sivan, 5679): Shavuot
1919: Birthdate of Robert Merrill. Born Morris (Moishe) Miller in Brooklyn, New York, Merrill was the son of two Jewish immigrants from Warsaw named Milstein who Americanized their name to Miller. Robert Merrill became one of the greatest operatic baritones of the 20th century. Lest anyone question his Jewishness please note that when Merrill died in 2004 he was buried in the Sharon Gardens Cemetery, the Jewish section of the Kenisco Cemetery.
1919: By a vote of 56 to 25 the United States passed the 19th Amendment which had the support of many Jews including the National Council of Jewish Women.
1926: Dr. Nathan Ratnoff, Chairman of a Joint Hospital Committee representing Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America and the American Physicians’ Committee, announced plans to establish a college of medicine at Hebrew University and to upgrade hospital facilities at the Mt. Scopus institution as part of a program to improve health conditions for those living in Palestine. The committee plans on raising at least one million dollars to make the plans a reality.
1926: In Kiel, Germany, Rosel (née Zamora) and Rabbi Max Malina gave birth to Judith Malina “an American theater and film actress, writer, and director, who was one of the founders of The Living Theatre.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)
1927: Two weeks after Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, Charles Levine’s plane Columbia took off from New York for what was supposed to be the first flight to Berlin. Clarence Chamberlin was the pilot, but Levine was planning to lay claim to being the first trans-Atlantic passenger. The flight ended at Eisleben, 100 miles short of Berlin but was longer than the Lone Eagle’s flight.
1927: Birthdate of Richard Allen Silberman, the native of Kansas City, MO who gained gamed as movie producer Richard “Dick” Shepard.
1928: Birthdate of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, self-described sex therapist and author.
1931: It was reported today that Miss Dorothy Duveen, the only daughter of Jewish art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen is engaged to marry the son and heir of Sir William Garthwaite, William F.C. Garthwaite.
1931(19th of Sivan, 5691): Mortimer L. Schiff “an American banker and notable early Boy Scouts of America (BSA) leader” passed away. “Mortimer Leo Schiff was the only son of the German-Jewish American banker and philanthropist Jacob Schiff and his wife Therese. While he worked as a partner in the financial firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. from 1900 until his death in 1931, he also devoted much of his time to the development of scouting in America. He was a member of the World Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the Theodore Roosevelt Council Executive Board. After a long tenure as vice-president of the BSA beginning in 1910, during which he also appeared on the cover of Time magazine on February 14, 1927, he was elected president of the organization in 1931. However, his untimely death came only one month later. He had also been serving as the BSA's International Commissioner for several years. The property for the Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation was subsequently purchased by his mother, named in his honor, and donated to the BSA for their national training center. His son John Mortimer Schiff was also involved with the BSA.” Schiff was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, granted by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting. Both Mortimer and his son, John M. Schiff, received Silver Buffalo Awards from the BSA.”
1931: Birthdate of Sir Gustav Victor Joseph Nossal, AC, CBE, FRS, FAA, an Australian research biologist.
1932: As Germany spirals into political chaos In Germany, President Paul von Hindenburg dissolves the Reichstag and sets new elections for next month which are likely to be won by Hitler and his Nazis.
1933: CBS radio broadcast the last episode of the first season of “Lazy Dan, the Minstrel Man” starring Irving Kaufman today.
1936: In Poland, the Prime Minister, F. Slawoj-Skladkowski, declared his support for the "economic war" against the Jews.
1936: Professor Georg Bernhard the “German journalist, statesman and economist who had given up his position as Chair of Economics at the University of Commercial Studies in Berlin as part of his protest against Hitler and is in the United States to raise fund for the German Jewish refugees in France is scheduled to “be the guest this afternoon of the Administrative Committee of the American Jewish Congress at a luncheon at the Hotel Biltmore.”
1936: Leon Blum became the first Jew to be elected premier of France. Blum, a socialist, instituted the 40-hour work week and many important social reforms. His government fell over lack of parliamentary support for his financial program, lasting only one year.
1936: In France, Georges Mandel completed his term as Minister of Post during which he “oversaw the first official television transmission in French.”
1936: “In Gaza, where eight of the twelve municipal councilors had refused to join the Arab strike, a bomb was thrown in the yard of the municipal offices” in an apparent attempt to intimidate them.
1937(25th of Sivan, 5697): Helmut Hirsch, a German Jew who was executed by decapitation, for his part in a bombing plot intended to destabilize the German Reich. There had been several efforts to intervene to save his life including a 11th hour appeal to Hitler who turned down the request. While details about the actual plan may be sketchy, there is no reason to doubt his courage.
1937: The Palestine Post reported from London that the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby-Gore, told the House of Commons that in view of the changed financial and security situation in Palestine, and the uncertainty regarding the country's future, pending the awaited recommendations of the Royal (Peel) Commission, he could not encourage the initiation of any schemes for immediate development in Palestine. He was leaving, however, open options for urgent development projects approved by the Palestine High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that Kemal Bey, the well-known Arab terrorist who led the attack against Tel Yosef in 1921, was killed in his village in the Huleh area, as a result of a family dispute.
1937: In London, Henri Armand Hugh Selbourne, and Sulamith (Amiel) Selbourne – “a descendant of generations of Jewish thinkers and rabbinical scholars and, in a cognate line, sharing an ancestry with Karl Marx” gave birth to David Selbourne “a British political philosopher, social commentator and historian of ideas.”
1938: Sigmund Freud, his wife Martha, his daughter Anna, left Vienna on the Orient Express bound for Paris, the way station on their final destination – London.
1939: The SS St. Louis, a German passenger liner carrying 900 Jewish refugees was denied permission to dock at any ports in Florida. The ship steamed off the coast of the United States where the passengers could see the lights of Miami. The Coast Guard had orders to keep the St. Louis and its Jewish passengers from reaching the United States. The ship and its wretched cargo returned to the Europe where many perished in the Holocaust. This episode became the basis for the film “Voyage of the Damned.”
1940: Under orders from Benito Mussolini, the Italians began building Ferramonti, the largest of 15 concentration camps constructed just before Italy entered World War II.
1941: Eighty-two year old Wilhelm II, the last Kaiser died in exile in the Netherlands. While thousands of German Jews fought and died for the Kaiser, he was an anti-Semite who blamed his defeat and abdication on “the tribe of Judah.”
1941: The republic of Croatia issued an order depriving all Jews of their property and compelling them to wear a yellow badge with the letter Z.
1942(19th of Sivan, 5702): Mordechai Gebirtig, Yiddish poet and songwriter was murdered by the Nazis in the Krakow Ghetto on what was known as “Bloody Thursday.”
1942: Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Police and SD, dies of blood poisoning caused by injuries suffered in the May 27 attack by Czech partisans. Heydrich chaired the conference in January of 1942 when the plans for the last phase of the final solution were set in motion. The Czechs who killed him were working for the British and his killing really had nothing to do with his virulent anti-Semitic attitudes or plans.
1942: The Battle of Midway begins and will last until June 6, 1942. The American victory over Japan marked a major turning point on the road to victory for the Allies. The victory was an audacious gamble pulled off by a comparatively small number of U.S. naval vessels against a major Japanese armada. If the U.S. had lost, the Pacific coast would have been open to invasion. The American victory was made possible, in part, by the ability of the Americans to read the Japanese code. The team that cracked the code was led by Colonel William Friedman. Friedman was the son of Russian immigrant Jews. He and his wife were two of the top cryptologists of the 20th century. This was no mean fete in the days before computers were available.
1943(1st of Sivan, 5703): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1943(1st of Sivan, 5703: Hannah Karminski, who assumed more of a leadership role of the Jüdischer Frauenbund, JFB (League of Jewish Women) after Bertha Pappenheim passed away in 1936, was murdered today at Aushwitz-Birkenau.
1945: Lyndon Johnson visited Dachau. According to Lady Bird, when her husband returned home, "he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized and bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen."
1945: Soldiers of the Jewish Brigade had their first contact with Jews from central or Eastern Europe when four young men who had traveled from Poland, Rumania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia arrived at their camp at Tarvisio, Italy.
1948(26th of Iyar, 5708); Samuel Krauss passed away today in Cambridge. Born in 1866, he served as professor at the Jewish Teacher’s Seminary in Budapest from 1894 to 1906 and then moved on to the Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna where he stayed until the Anschluss forced to take refuge in England in 1938. He was the author of the pioneering work on archaeology, Talmudische Archäologie
1948: The infant IAF began moving its units away from the front line toward a more secure base at Herzliya.
1949: In New York, Florence and David Cohen, a Philadelphia City Councilman, gave birth to their first child Mark B. Cohen who served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for over forty years.
1950: In Trouble-Shooter Diplomat,” published today Gertrude Samuels provides a detailed portrait of Israeli Diplomat Eliahu Elath who represented Israel at the San Francisco Conference in 1945, served as Israel’s first Ambassador to the United States and was about to assume a similar position at the Court of St. James.
1951(29th of Iyar, 5711): Russian born American symphony conductor Dr. Sergei Aleksandrovich Koussevitzky passed away. Born in 1874, Serge, as he was known, was music director of the Boston Symphony for a quarter of a century.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from London that West Germany had tentatively offered to negotiate with Israel a reparations offer, totaling approximately $585 million, on the basis of 10 annual payments. The Times warned Germany not to make this restitution offer entirely at the expense of its other contractual creditors, and thus shirk its responsibility for the wrongs done to Jews by Hitler's Germany.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Knesset approved amendments to the Patents and Designs Ordinances, aimed at fulfilling the requirements of the International Charter of 1934.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that restrictions were announced on a gradual reduction of interurban and urban bus services, ordered by the government in order to save fuel and foreign currency. Plans were made, however, for a complete end to the rationing of all textiles.
1953: In the United States, release date for MGM’s “Julius Caesar” directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and filmed by Joseph Ruttenberg.
1956: New York Mayor Robert Wagner and Israeli Air Force General Shlomo Shamir addressed the annual donor luncheon of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America at the Waldorf-Astoria. Mayor Wagner told the 1,200 attendees that “the children in the State of Israel must receive every opportunity to grow up to become leaders and defenders of their country.”
1959(27th of Iyar, 5719): Fifty-eight year old Hungarian born American movie director Charles Vidor who passed away while filming his last movie “Song Without End” passed away today.
1964: Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax threw his third no-hitter beating the Phillies, 3-0.
1967: Meir Amit reported to the cabinet meeting that U.S. Secretary Robert McNamara had said "I read you loud and clear." in response to Amit’s request “All we want is three things: One, that you refill our arsenal after the war. Two, that you will help us in the UN. Three, that you will isolate the Russians from the arena." Amit told the cabinet this was a green light from the United States if Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against its Arab enemies.
1967: As war clouds gathered over Israel, General Mordechai “Mottie” Hod “briefed his wing commanders.
1967: For seven hours Israel’s National Unity Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol met to hear a review of the military options presented by Moshe Dayan as well as an update by intelligence sources on the situation in the Egyptian military command. Egyptian generals were pressuring Nasser to let them strike the first blow. The “Arab streets” were demanding action. Delay was Israel’s enemy. Each day the Arab forces grew stronger, while Israel’s forces were at their “optimum level.” The Cabinet agreed that the military option was all that was left. The Cabinet voted unanimously to let Eshkol and Dayan choose the time and place of attack. After the Cabinet adjourned, the two Israeli leaders agreed that H-hour was 7:45, Monday, June 5. The report delivered by General Meir Amit was considered critical to the decision. Amit had just returned from Washington where he met with Defense Secretary MacNamara who assured the Israeli General of America’s willingness to re-supply Israel after the war, help the Jewish state at the UN and to keep the Soviets out of the area.
1970(29th of Iyar, 5730): Comedian Menasha Skulni, known as Menasha the Magnificent, passed away at the age of 78.
1971(29th of Iyar, 5730): Sixty-nine year old comedian Joe E. Lewis best known for having been mutilated and left for dead after turning down a contract with Al Capone passed away today.
1971(11th of Sivan, 5731): Eighty-six year old Marxist philosopher György Lukács passed away in Budapest.
1972: Joseph Brodsky, Russian born Jewish poet and essayist who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and would serve as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992, was expelled from the Soviet Union.
1976(6th of Sivan): As Regan and Ford contest for the Republican nomination for President, observance of Shavuot
1981: It was reported today that George Balanchine, choreographer and artistic director of the New York City Ballet, has received the Jewish National Fund's first Tarbut Award, given to the choreographer in honor of his ''great achievements in expanding the scope and dimension of dance in America and throughout the world.''
1981: Begin and Sadat held a summit meeting at Sharm El Sheikh two days before the scheduled of the Iraqi nuclear reactor – a fact known to Begin but not Sadat.
1982: In attempt to dislodge the PLO from its bases, Israel attacked targets in south Lebanon.
1982: “Hank Panky” a comedy starring Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner was released today in the United States.
1985: In the seemingly endless attempt by some to breach the wall between church and state the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Wallace v Jaffree that an Alabama law mandating a minute of silent mediation or voluntary prayer at the start of the school day is unconstitutional.
1985: At Hod HaSharon, Rafi Fefaeli and former fashion model Tzipi Levine gave birth to actress and model Bar Refaeli.
1986: Jonathan Pollard, spy for Israel, pled guilty in US court
1987: The IPO music director, Zubin Mehta, conducts with soloists Itzhak Perlman and Gerry Mulligan in a classical-jazz concert.
1989: Wendy Wasserstein became the first woman to win a Tony Award for Best Play, for The Heidi Chronicles.
1990(11th of Sivan, 5750): Jack Gilford passed away at the age of 82, a victim of stomach cancer. He gained fame as comedic actor whose "rubber face" was an acting trademark gained additional fame playing a piece of fruit in the Fruit of the Loom commercials.
1993: “Life with Mikey” produced by Scott Rudin, co-starring David Krumholtz and featuring music by Alan Menken was released today in the United States.
1994(25th of Sivan, 5754): Eighty-four year old Roberto Burle Marx “one of the most influential landscape architects of the twentieth century” whose works are on display at the Jewish Museum until September, passed away today
1995(6th of Sivan, 5755): Shavuot
1995(6th of Sivan, 5755): Seventy-six year old Leo Cantor who played fullback in the same UCLA backfield as Jackie Robinson and went on to a career in pro-football passed away today.
1995: Outfielder Brian Kowitz made his major league debut with the Atlanta Braves.
1997(28th of Iyar, 5757): Thirty years after the Six Day, Jews observe Yom Yerushalayim
1998: The Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives passes “a School Prayer Amendenment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision banning state-written and state-mandated Christians in public schools.: While the Bill passed by a simple majority it failed to gain the two-thirds majority necessary to move forward the amending process.
2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman.
2004: “Shul Life, Circa 1850” published today, Adam Dickter provides a portrait of the “early days of Brooklyn’s Kane Street synagogue.
2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman, Edited by Michelle Feynman, What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building by Noah Feldman and Wilt, 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era by Gary Pomerantz.
2006: In a show of the changing face of Jewish involvement in all facets of life Haaretz reported that Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer advanced to the last sixteen of the French Open, after a resounding 6-4, 7-5 defeat of sixth-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva. Peer, ranked 26 in the world, has won three out of three tournaments this year - Pattaya, Prague and Istanbul - but this is her first win against a top ten player who has also competed in two Grand Slam finals.
2007: In the “Verbatim” section Time magazine featured the following quote by Rutka Laskier, “'If only I could say, It's over, you only die once ... but I can't, because despite all these atrocities, I want to live, and wait for the following day.'” Rutka Laskier has been described as the Polish Anne Frank. Like Frank, she wrote a Holocaust-era diary, at the age of 14. Like Frank, Laskier perished during the Holocaust. Apparently, the Nazis killed her at Auschwitz.
2007: An article about Scholar and Rabbi Jacob Neusner entitled “The Pope’s Favorite Rabbi” appears in Time Magazine. The brief article briefly describes Neusner’s view of Christianity and their impact on Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope devotes 20 pages of his new book to A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, a 161-page tome published in 1993. In that volume, the professor (now at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and non-congregational rabbi projected himself back into the Gospel of Matthew to quiz Jesus on the Jewish law. He found the Nazarene's interpretation irredeemably faulty. In his 14-years-delayed response, Benedict not only compliments Neusner as a "great Jewish scholar" but also recapitulates the thesis of A Rabbi Talks and spends a third of one of his 10 chapters answering it.
2008: In Washington, D.C., the AIPAC Policy Conference comes to an end.
2008(1st of Sivan, 5768): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
2008: A judge declared a mistrial in the case of Navee Haq, the man who stormed into a Jewish center two years ago and shot six women, killing one, as he ranted against Israel and the Iraq war. The jurors appeared to be hopelessly deadlocked over whether or not he was guilty by reason of insanity.
2008: The Historical Society of Jews from Egypt asked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to intervene on its behalf with government in Cairo since the Egyptians have refused to release archives connected to the Jewish community. The historical society's members consist of Jews worldwide whose families have been exiled from Egypt since the 1950s. According to the society's president Desire Sakkal nearly half a million Jews originally from Egypt and their descendants live outside the country. In 1948, around 100,000 Jews lived in Egypt, but by 2007 that number had dropped to between 20 and 100. Another organization, the World Congress of the Jews from Egypt, has been working to recover the property of Jews who were exiled in 1948. The Historical Society of Jews from Egypt had requested ownership of or access to the books, birth certificates, "civil paper" and 120 holy books belonging to the community, Sakkal said. "It's our history, everything we own going back hundreds and hundreds of years," he said. However, Egypt has refused to release the documents to the historical society. Sakkal said this was a consequence of the Egyptians' fear of restitution claims. "Very clearly Egypt is trying to deny our existence. They are afraid that if we can claim that we are Egyptians, that we were born there, then our grandchildren could come there one day and claim everything that they confiscated from us," he said. The Egyptian Embassy had no comment.
2009: Elinor Lipman, author of the bestselling novels The Inn at Lake Devine and Isabel's Bed, reads from her new novel, The Family Man, at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue (formerly Adas Israel) in Washington, D.C.
2009: The Israeli government praised U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world today, saying it shared his hopes for Middle East peace, but stressed that Israel's security interests remained paramount. "We share President Obama's hope that the American effort heralds the opening of a new era that will bring an end to the conflict and to general Arab recognition of Israel as the nation of the Jewish people that lives in security and peace in the Middle East," an official statement said after Obama's address in Cairo.
2010: The “Waiting Room,” the first New York solo exhibition of Be’er Sheva native Maya Bloch is scheduled to open at Thierry Goldberg Projects.
2010: At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Friday night services feature the baby-naming ceremony for Nicole Charley Hurwitz, the second granddaughter of Ivy and Bill Hurwitz.
2010: The Baltimore Zionist District is scheduled to sponsor “A Rally to Stand in Solidarity with Israel” at the corner of Pratt and Light Street in Baltimore, MD.
2010(22nd of Sivan, 5770): Ninety-nine year old Himan Brown who created a series of classic radio dramas including “The Adventures of the Thin Man”, “Dick Tracy,” and “Inner Sanctum” passed away today. (As reported by Joseph Berger)
2011(2nd of Sivan, 5771): Eighty three year old Felix Zandman, the Holocaust survivor who “founded Vishay Intertechnology Inc., a $2 billion electronics firm traded on Wall Street that supplies the computer, aerospace and other industries” passed away today.
2011(2nd of Sivan, 5771): Ninety-one year old Leo Greenland, advertising man par excellence, passed away. (As reported by Maraglit Fox)
2011: The great New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa is scheduled to give a rare recital tonight at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyanei Hauma )
2011: “Sundaes on Saturday” will be the theme of this month’s traditional Shabbat Minyan at Temple Judah featuring a Kiddush where attendees will make their own ice cream concoctions as everybody gets in the Shavuot Mood.
2011: Thousands visited Krakow's seven historic synagogues in an unprecedented event aimed to foster Jewish identity among Krakow's small Jewish community. The event was also designed to educate non-Jewish Poles about contemporary Jewish culture. Called "Seven at Night," today’s event was sponsored by the Krakow Jewish Community Center, the Joint Distribution Committee and Krakow Jewish communal organization. It started with a public Havdalah ceremony in the courtyard of the JCC, then the seven synagogues in the city's historic Jewish district, Kazimierz, were open from 10:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. Each synagogue hosted an exhibit, concert, panel discussion or other activity highlighting Jewish life and culture as lived today. All events were free. They ranged from talks on "the ABCs of Judaism" by Krakow Rabbi Boas Pash to a concert by an Israeli rock band and a panel discussion on Polish Jewish youth. Organizers estimated that more than 5,000 people visited the synagogues, often waiting in long lines to gain entry. "It far, far exceeded our expectations," JCC director Jonathan Ornstein told JTA.
2011: Around 5,000 people took part in a march in central Tel Aviv this evening supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. The march ended with a rally at the Tel Aviv Museum. MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash) and Zahava Galon (Meretz) and playwright Yehoshua Sobol gave speeches.”
2012: Melting away “the first feature film in the history of Israeli cinema dealing with the parents' perspective on having a transgender child” is scheduled to be shown in Washington, DC.
2012: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to offer “It’s Magic: Nine Decades of Songs from Warner Brothers” which celebrates the role of music at the studio owned by four Jewish brother starting with “The Jazz Singer.”
2012: In Jerusalem, the Israel Festival is scheduled to host “Theatre ad Infinitum” at the Khan Theatre
2012(14th of Sivan, 5772): Seventy-four year old Steve Ben Israel passed away.
2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club in Bethesda, MD.
2013: Finerman's Rules: Secrets I'd Only Tell My Daughters About Business and Life by Karen Lisa Finerman was published today by Hachette Book Group's Business Plus
2013: Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, a sequel to The Devil Wars Prada was released today and “debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list.
2013: At Tel Aviv University the conference entitled “Holy War and Sacred Struggle in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” is scheduled to come to an end.
2013: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Center for Jewish History are scheduled to present a panel discussion entitled “Hungary and the Holocaust: Assessing the Past; Preparing for the Future.”
2013: Relations between coalition parties Hatnua and the Bayit Yehudi continued to deteriorate today, with Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett effectively blocking a bill by MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) to change the panel that chooses the chief rabbis.(As reportedy Lahav Harkov & Jeremy Sharon)
2013: IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz has ordered a major reduction in the employment of external advisers, and cancelled all non-operational trips of IDF delegations to militaries abroad today. Speaking at the site of an Infantry Corps drill, Gantz said he believes the IDF is up to the "difficult task" of making defense budget cuts. (As reported Yakkov Lapin)
2014 (6th of Sivan, 5774): Shavuot
2014: Starting at 12:30 A.M. the JCC in Manhattan is scheduled to show “Tikkun Leil Shavuot: Supermensch” a film at about Shep Gordon.
2014: As part of the Shavuot celebration Jews in Little Rock are scheduled to gather at the Chabad House under the leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment for a reading of the Ten Commandments followed by a delicious dairy Kiddush complete with cheesecake and ice cream.
2014: At least 46,000 tickets have been sold for the Rolling Stones first ever concert in Israel which is scheduled to take place tonight at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. (Time of Israel)
2014: The Shalom Hartman Institute is scheduled to hold English language study sessions as part of the Shavuot observances led by Suzanne Last Stone, Gil Tory, Menachem Fisch and Menachem Loberbaum.
2014: The Iron Dome system fired interceptors as at least two mortars were fired from Syria into the Golan Heights.
2014: As Israelis celebrate Shavuot they are experience a heat wave resulting in record or near record temperatures at Beersheba, Kfar Saba, Haifa and Tel Aviv. (As reported by Noam (Dabul) Dvir)
2015: In Washington, DC, Theatre J is scheduled to celebrate “30 years of Charles Busch” with a performance of “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.”
2015: The Israel Film Center Festival is scheduled to open the JCC Manhattan.
2015: The International Consortium for Research on Antisemitism and Racism; Center for Research on Antisemitism, Berlin and the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism are among the co-sponsors of “Gender, Memory and Genocide: An International Conference Marking 100 Years Since the Armenian Genocide” is scheduled to open today
2015: The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by Coach David Blatt are scheduled to play the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the NBA Championship series.
2016(27th of Iyar, 5776): Completion of Vayikra (Leviticus)
Bechukotai (In my statutes); for more see
2016: “Tatram,” “an eclectic instrumental power trio for in Israel in 2011 is scheduled to perform this evening at Iridium.
2016: “Facts on the Ground,” a solo exhibition of the works Shimon Attie at the Jack Sahinman Gallery is scheduled to end today.
2016: The 17th annual Washington Music Festival is scheduled to open tonight with a performance by “Yemen Blues.”
2016: A solo exhibition featuring the works of Tal Eshed is scheduled to end at Tanja Grunert Gallery.
2016: The Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation is scheduled to host its Casino Royale fundraising event.