Monday, June 6, 2016

This Day, June 7, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


JUNE 7

421: Theodosius II, the Emperor whose code sought to reinforce Christianity as the state religion at the expense of Judaism, married Aelia Eudocia Augusta, a pagan who converted so that they could be married by the Church.

1099:  During the First Crusade, the Christians begin the siege of Jerusalem. The armies of the First Crusade (1096-99) reached the walls of Jerusalem. The First Crusade would prove to be the most successful of all of the crusades in terms of meeting the goal of reclaiming the Christian Homeland from the Moslem infidel.  Forgotten in all of this were the true titleholders – the Jews – except when it came to massacring them.  It is ironic that events on this same seventh day of June set matters to right.

1191: As he continues on his quest to gain control of Jerusalem for the Christians, Richard l leaves Tyre and heads for Acre where he will lay siege to the city.

1233(21st of Sivan, 4993): On June 7,For the first time, Jews were ordered to wear distinctive clothing was mandated in Spain. The following year Pope Gregory IX developed guidelines for this, sent in the form of a letter to the King of Navarra: "Since we desire that Jews be recognizable and distinguished from Christians, we order you to impose upon each and every Jew of both sexes a sign, viz, one round patch of yellow cloth of linen to be worn on the uppermost garment."

1365: Urban V issued “Sicuti judaeis non debet” a Papal Bull that forbade people from molesting Jews or forcing them to be baptized.

1494: Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas which divided the New World between the two countries. Considering the Inquisition and the Expulsion from Iberia, this division could have meant that Jews would have been banned from the Western hemisphere.  Fortunately for the Jews, Protestant Holland and Anglican England (as well as France) did not recognize the treaty and had other plans for dividing the lands of the New World.

1594(18th of Sivan 5354): Roderigo Lopez a Marrano physician was hanged in England. Born in 1525, he supposedly arrived in England as Francis Drake's prisoner of war. He rose in importance to become Queen Elizabeth's physician (1586). Accused by other members of the court of being a Spanish spy who was trying to poison the Queen, he was arrested but the Queen refused to carry out the death sentence. In June 1594 she finally consented and he was hanged. Throughout his trial he was vilified as being a "Jew".   According to some accounts, Lopez was a foolish person who got in way over his head playing politics at the Court of Queen Elizabeth.  In the days of Good Queen Bess, the rule of thumb was "when in doubt, hang 'em."

1651(18th of Sivan, 5411): Polish Talmudist Abraham Rapoporort, the “son of Israel Jelriel Rapoport of Cracow and son-in-law of Mordecai Schrenzel of Lemberg who “was president of the Council of Four Lands, and was administrator of the money collected for the poor in the Holy Land” passed away today.

1654: Louis XIV was= crowned King of France. Louis’ record in dealing with the Jews was, uneven to say the least.  In keeping with the mercantilist policies of his minister Colbert, Louis issued a charter of liberty for Jews under royal authority in 1671.  Among other things, this opened up the port of Marseilles as a harbor where Jews could trade freely, much to the consternation of the local Christian merchants.  When the merchants complained, Louis (in a reply probably written by Colbert) responded: “Commercial envy will always impel the Christian merchants to persecute Jews.  But you should be above such motives that issue from personal interests.  You should take into consideration the benefits the government derives from the industrial activity of the Jews, which comprises all the parts of the world thanks to their association with their coreligionists.” This benign attitude did not last forever.  As Colbert fell from favor and Louis grew more pious as he grew older, he acceded to demands to ban Jews from various parts of his empire.  In 1710, “He ordered Jews ‘to leave the kingdom without any belongings,’ and told local officials to take any and all means to expel Jews ‘because that is our wish.’”

1692:  Port Royal, Jamaica is hit by a catastrophic earthquake; in just three minutes, 1600 people are killed and 3000 are seriously injured. Jew first started arriving in Port Royal in 1663, eight years after the British took the island from the Spanish. Sadly, there is little documentation of Jewish life in Port Royal, but earthquake survivor Edmund Heath's account of the infamous 1692 event, notes the existence of a Jew's street and synagogue which records locate on New Street running parallel to Cannon Street. The Jewish legacy in Port Royal also includes a cemetery at Hunt's Bay. During the 17th century it was not unusual to see Jewish families carrying their loved ones by boat across the harbor to be buried.

1699: “By an agreement dated today, the council of Worms pledged itself to grant the Jews certain concessions, and this arrangement was confirmed by Joseph I.”

1772(6th of Sivan, 5532): Shavuot

1733: George Frideric Handel completed “Athalia,” an oratorio based on a play of the same name by Racine.  Both works depict the life of the widow of the King of Judah whose murderous ways make her “a Jewish Lady MacBeth.”

1737(8th of Sivan, 5497): Levi Ulff whom “the king had appointed his Court and order the royal regiments to secure their ribbons” from his ribbon factory which had been moved to Charlottenburg in 1714 passed away today.

1753: In Great Britain, an Act of Parliament styled “The Jewish Naturalization Act 1753” received royal assent today. The Act gave foreign-born Jews to become naturalized by making application to Parliament.  This meant that foreign born Jews would enjoy the same rights as native born English Jews. While the act enjoyed support in the House of Lords, it was repealed in 1754 due to opposition from the Tories in the House of Commons. [Ed. Note – When the “Jew Bill was introduced in the 19th century, the pros and cons would be just the opposite with the Commons supporting the bill and the Lords opposing it.

1779: Eighty-year old William Warburton, the Bishop of Gloucester passed away.  His major work was The Divine Legation of Moses in which he uses the absence of the mention of the afterlife in the Torah as a proof that Moses received a divine revelation which he then uses to defend Christianity against the beliefs of the deists.

1780: The Army was called out today to quell the “Gordon Riots” and among other things arrested Lord George Gordon, the future convert to Judaism, on charges of high treasons – charges of which he would be found not guilty.

1797: The Treaty of Tripoli (Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary) “which was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, received ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate” today including Article which reads “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…

1798(Sivan 23): In Pesaro, Italy Jews were murdered following the retreat of the French Army.  The day became a fast day

1806: Today, “the wealthy leaders of the Sephardic” community “of Bordeaux” expressed their fear of the “evil that had manifested itself among their poor and sought to prevent the infection by religious education during the old regime and also by vocational training after the emancipation.”

1806: Today, “the Philanthropic Society of the Bordeaux Jews maintained that poor Jewish children could at least be taught arts and manual trades, for Jews were longer exclude from these economic opportunities.”

1815: The Jews of Saxony “were permitted to give a reception of King Frederick August, the Just.

1821(7th of Sivan, 5581): Second Day of Shavuot

1828: In Berlin, Wilhelm Wolff Beer and Doris Beer gave birth to Julius Alfred Beer.

1837: Birthdate of Alois Schicklgruber, the son of an unwed mother who would change his name to Alois Hitler, the father of Adolph Hitler.1843: In Denmark, the Supreme Court sentenced Meïr Aron Goldschmidt “to prison (6 times 4 days), a fine, and future censorship” for criticism of the king that appeared in the satirical magazine “The Corsair” which he founded and served as chief editor.

1848(6th of Sivan, 5608): As Europe is rocked by revolutions, Jews observe Shavuot

1851(7th of Sivan, 5611): Second Day of Shavuot

1852: Birthdate of David Kaufman, the native of Moravia who became one of the leading scholars in the fields of history and the philosophy of religion.

1854: The New York Times reported that Frederika Bremer has written a warm appeal to the Swedish Parliament on behalf of the Jews.

1857: It was reported today that the Weekly Gleaner: A Voice of Israel, a Jewish newspaper, is now being published in San Francisco. Rabbi Julius Eckman was the paper's publisher.

1858: "New York City: The Rogue's Portrait Gallery" published today says that Number 169 is a likeness of an old vagabond called "Jew Mike.”

1860: In Vienna, Professor Dr. Simon Spitzer and Marie Spitzer gave birth to Eugenie Spitzer who was married to Mortiz Wottitz and then Zygmnunt Wartski.

1861: Today subscribers across the country opened the Jewish Messenger  to read a response by the fledgling Shreveport Jewish community to column entitled "Stand By the flag" written by Rabbi Samuel Isaacs. The resolution, signed by M. Baer, President of the Shreveport community, proclaims: “We solemnly pledge ourselves to stand by, protect, and honor the flag, with its stars and stripes, the Union and Constitution of the Southern Confederacy with our lives, liberty, and all that is dear to us.” In harsh language, Baer identifies Isaacs as “an enemy to our interest and welfare,” and accuses him of raising “hatred and dissatisfaction in our midst, and assisting to start a bloody civil war amongst us.”

1865: Ferdinand James Anselm von Rothschild married his cousin Evelina de Rothschild the daughter of Lionel de Rothschild

1867(4th of Sivan, 5627): Seventy-eight year old “Italian Hebraist” who had been principal of the Jewish school at Florence and who had taught Professor Fausto Lasino, passed away today.

1870: The attorney representing Sigmund, Joseph and Julius Walberg who are “charged with making false revenue returns as brokers” made a motion for discharge.

1870: The news that a congregation in Charlottesville had voted to join the Reform Movement was greeted with applauses at today meeting of the Rabbinical Council being held in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1870: The Rabbinical Council adopted a resolution providing for a “uniform reading” of the Torah over a three year period at Sabbath services.  The selections should omit “antiquated laws.”

1871: In Cincinnati, Ohio, a meeting of the Rabbinical Council, the governing body of the Reform Movement, the Prayerbook Committee was authorized to publish their new work as soon as it was ready.

1871: “Russian Tyranny and Jewish Resistance” published today reported that Jews in Poland have resisted the government orders to do away with their traditional attire, hair styles and beards.  Since the Jews are not following the news edicts, the police are stepping in to shorten the long coats favored by some Jews and cutting off their “curls.”  Lengthening the short pants of the Jews has been more of  a problem.  But the greatest challenge is getting rid of the beards.  In one rural town, the police grabbed an 80 year old Jew and began cutting his beard.  He cried out and when his co-religionists came to his aid, they were pounced on, forced into chairs, and sheared in “a hurried and rough manner” that was deemed less than “pleasant.”  While the Warsaw Police have avoided such extreme measures up until now, they will adopt them to ensure that the government’s edicts are carried out. 

1872: Birthdate of painter and musicologist Rodolphe d'Erlanger.

1873: An article published today entitled “Hebrew Orphans’ Excursion” reported that the managers of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Free schools have made plans provide the youngsters in their care with excursions this summer starting on June 23..

1874(22nd of Sivan, 5634): Eighty-seven year old Karaite archeologist Abraham ben Samuel Firkovich passed away today.

1875: “Ancient Libraries” published today provides a series of interesting sketches of the great libraries of the world including the following comments about the Jews and their ancient literature.  The author assumes that the Biblical city Kiryat Sefer took its name from the fact that it was a repository for works written by or inspired by Moses as well as “rhapsodies of prophets, the verses of poets, works of historians and dark sayings of proverbial philosophers.  Prominent among these must have the contributions of the great King Solomon who spoke 3,000 proverbs, whose songs were 1,005” who spoke with “scientific method and precision about beasts, fowl creeping things and fishes as well as plants  including the Cedars of Lebanon and hyssop growing out of the walls.  The author assumes that these Jewish libraries were “swept out of existence” and much of the literature was lost except for fragmentary references which can be found in books which have been preserved for religious purposes.

1875(4th of Sivan, 5635): Babette Marx the wife of Alexander Blum with whom she lived in Algiers and then moved back to Frankfurt to live with her sister Esther Kosel, passed away today.

1876: Alois Schiclgruber is officially recognized as the son of Johann Georg Hiedler and his name is changed to Alois Hitler, a linguistic move that could not have been anything but useful to the future Nazi murderer.

1878: Rabbi Gustav Gotthel is scheduled to lead Shavuot Services at Temple Emanuel in New York City

1878: Rabbi Adolph Huebsch is scheduled to lead Shavuot Services at Ahavaht Chesed on Lexington Avenue & 55th Street

1878: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs is scheduled to lead Shavuot Services at B’nai Jeshrun on 34th Street.

1878: Rabbi Frederick De Sola Mendes is scheduled to Shavuot Services at Shaaray Tefillah on 44th Street.

1878: A man named Dixon was hung today in Vicksburg, MS, having been convicted of brutally murdering a 45 year old Jewish peddler named Bachman while he was traveling on the steamboat Fair Play in December of 1877.

1880: The New York Times published a review of The Poetry of the Talmud by Simon Seckles.

1880: Fifty-two year old General Frederick Vilmar commander of the 2nd Brigade of the New York National whom Julius J. Lyons, the son of Rabbi Jacques Lyons served as Judge Advocate from 1875-1876 passed away today.

1881: Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont graduated from the Naval Academy.  His father was August Belmont, the Jewish financer for whom the Belmont Stakes is named.  His mother was the daughter of Oliver Hazard Perry and was not Jewish.

1881: At the Republican State Convention, Louis Seasongood, a Jewish leader from Cincinnati is among those being considered as the party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor.  Seasongood had been defeated by General Hickenlooper for the position two years ago.

1881: It was reported today from St. Petersburg, that the “excitement against the Jews here has abated but has not entirely disappeared.”  [Editor’s note – what charming euphemisms for anti-Semitic riots; as can be seen from the entries below, there was no abatement.]

1882: It was reported today that the Mansion House Committee for the Relief of Russian Jews has collected over eighty-two thousand British Pounds of which it has spent all but 25 thousand pounds.  The Committee is going to send representatives to Hamburg to oversee the departure of the Russian Jews from the German seaport.

1882: At today’s session of the Republican State Convention being held in Columbus, the party adopted the following resolution. “We condemn the terrible persecutions inflicted upon the Jews of Russia and other sections of Europe, and while he heartily approve the action of the Government in its efforts to ameliorate the condition of these unfortunate people, we earnestly solicit a continuance of its most energetic efforts to that end.” 

1886: “Indignant Rabbis” published today described the refusal of Mr. Taylor, the principal of Central High School in Philadelphia, PA to excuse the Jewish students for missing the upcoming final exams which have been scheduled on the days of Shavuot.  Despite pleas from the city’s rabbis to reach some kind of accommodation, Taylor has remained adamant which means the Jewish children could fail through no fault of their own.

1889: “To Celebrate Two Anniversaries” published today took note of the fact that the year 1892 “will witness the four hundredth anniversaries of the expulsion of the Hebrews from Spain and the discovery of America and described plans already being made by those meeting at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue to honor both of these events.

1890: In Bloomington, Illinois, “a gas jet, which had served as the eternal light” at the Moses Montefiore Congregation “ignited a fire on the altar” that destroyed “so much of the Temple’s interior that it had to be completely redecorated.

1890: In Philadelphia, Dr. Solomon da Silva Solis-Cohen and Emily Grace Solis-Cohen gave birth to Leo Solis-Cohen, M.D.

1891: “The committee for the relief of Russian Jews reports” that many of the Jews arriving at Charlottenburg “were wounded while fleeing from the Russian police.” Even more Jews were killed and the exodus is assuming such vast proportion” that the German Government will be forced to intervene “since private charity will soon be powerless to cope with the demands”.

1891: “Friends of the Jews Who Want Them Not” published today described “the indignation of Western Europe” to “Russia’s barbaric expulsion of the Jews” which is beginning to be mixed with a desire “to pass the exiled horde” on to some other nation or nations. “The various organizations and committees which have been formed” in Berlin, Vienna, Paris and London “to look out for the comfort and safety of the Jews after they leave Russia” reportedly spend a large amount of their funds on purchasing “passage tickets to America”

1891: “The Field of Future of Wars” published today described the little known eastern portion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a primitive place where “the village inns – low drinking places at best – are generally kept by Jews, who entice by all means in their power, the peasants to come an consume as much ‘wodka’ as possible.”

1891: “High Sheriff Benjamin Disraeli” published today reports that “an Irish antiquarian has just discovered that the ‘Benjamin D’Israeli, Esq.,’ who was High Sheriff of the Count of Carlow in 1810, was an uncle of Lord Beaconsfield.”  He died in 1814 and is buried in St. Peter’s Church in Dublin. [Editor’s Note – If this report is accurate and if this High Sheriff Disraeli was Jewish it makes one wonder what oath he swore when he took the office. 

1892: “Jewish Historical Society” published today described the organizational meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society at JTS which included an acrimonious debate between laymen and rabbis touched off by the fact that the report of the Committee on Organization did not recommend a rabbi for any of the officer positions.  The debate became so heated that Rabbi Kaufman Kohler “jumped up and left the room.”

1893: Fifty-nine year old American actor Edwin Booth whose portrayal of Shylock was that critics said, “there is no other actor who realize so well as he all the meaning of the character – the bitter hatred, the firmness of purpose, the deep passion, the unswerving faith and the tenderness of his undemonstrative affection for his child” passed away today.

1893: Birthdate of Samuel Pinanski, the native of Boston who was President of the American Theatres Corporation and an officer of the Hebrew Free Loan Society.

1895(15th of Sivan, 5655): Forty-four year old Berlin born composer and conductor Martin Roder  who came to the United States in 1892 “to take charge of the vocal department in the New England Conservatory at Boston” passed away today.

1896: In New York, “Dr. Isaac M. Haldeman” delivered a sermon at the First Baptist Church in which he said “that the Jews had been persecuted by all the civilized nations of the world, so that they were driven to lying, cheating and other vices.  No tongue could describe the tortures inflicted on them – not by pagans, but by Christians…”

1896: Professor Isaac Franklin Russell of NYU Law School delivered a lecture at the Hebrew Institute on “Tom Paine.”

1896: “Mayor Strong Asked to Aid Peddlers” published today described the plight of two Jewish peddlers who have been “driven from the streets by police” because they like so many others have deprived of their livelihood i.e. selling collar buttons and suspenders from various street corners.

1896: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band will perform at a strawberry festival this afternoon sponsored by the Lebanon League which is raising funds for the Lebanon Hospital at Westchester and Cauldwell Avenues.

1896: “Beginnings of a Prime Minister” published today described the handicaps that Benjamin Disraeli had to overcome in making his way to the top of the English political ladder.  It noted that he did “not have the advantages of wealth or connected enjoyed by so many of his race.  His father was a “renegades” who educated his son at “second class private schools” where he was not able to make the friendships and associations that “wealthy Jews nowadays” make at “public schools and universities.”

1897(7th of Sivan, 5657): Second Day of Shavuot

1897: No Orthodox Jew voted in the judicial elections held in Chicago today since marking the ballot would violate the prohibition against writing on a Jewish festival.

1897: Birthdate of Austrian born composer and conductor, George Szell. He was best known for his long, successful career as musical director of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.  He held the position from 1946 until 1970.

1897: “Myer S. Isaacs, President of the Board of Trustees of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, has received a draft for $400,000, from the Baroness de Hirsch, as the first advance on the donation of $1,000,000 recently made by the Baroness to assist the poor of New York City.”

1898: According to today’s New York Times, “gangs of peasants attacked and plundered he shop at Frystak and wounded several Jews’ while the police in this Galician town “fired on the mob killing six of the rioters and wounding five more.”

1899: During ten days of meetings at The Hague that would end on June 17 Herzl met several of the most representative Russian leaders. Baroness Bertha Von Suttner introduced him to Russian State Counselor Ivan von Bloch who is responsible for the calling of the Conference. The meetings result in Herzl's name being brought favorably to the attention of the Czar. Herzl also met with Nouri Bey, General Secretary of the Turkish Foreign Office who promises to get together a group of officials to arrange an audience with the Sultan.

1901: Birthdate of Sam Katzman, an American film producer and director who began working in the industry at the age of 13 when it was centered on the east coast.  He moved west with the industry and enjoyed a successful 40 year career in film.  He passed away in 1973.

1904(24th of Sivan, 5664): Moishe Finkel took his own life after shooting his wife and actor David Levinson who was a romantic rival.  Born in 1850, Finkel was a leading member of the Yiddish theatre in the United States. His tempestuous personal life would have fine material for tragedy or melodrama.  His professional life was intertwined with such greats of the Yiddish theatre as Jacob Adler and Boris Thomashefsky.  And he was the father in law of famed Hollywood actor, Paul Muni.

1908: Founding of Kinneret

1910: Eighty-six year old Goldwin Smith the British born Canadian academic who was a political opponent of Benjamin Disraeli, passed away. “A pathological anti-Semite, Smith disseminated his hatred in dozens of books, articles and letters. Jews, he charged, were "parasites," "dangerous" to their host country and "enemies of civilization." His bilious anti-Jewish tirades helped set the tone of a still unmoulded Canadian society and had a profound impact on such young Canadians as W.L. Mackenzie King, Henri Bourassa and scores of others. Indeed in 1905 in the most vituperative anti-Jewish speech in the history of the House of Commons, borrowing heavily from Smith, Bourassa urged Canada to keep its gates shut to Jewish immigrants.

1912: Evening schools to be opened in New York City for Turkish Jews to learn English during the summer months.

1913: In Chicago, The Frist American Conference on Social Insurance which Lee K. Frankel has attended as a delegate from New York came to an end.

1914: The Federation of Oriental Jews held its second annual meeting today PS 91 in NYC.  The federation is made of representatives of 28 different organizations which have approximately 3,000 members.  The federation estimates that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 Oriental Jews living in New York.  The term refers to Sephardic Jews most of whom are recent immigrants from areas that have been under Ottoman rule including Greece.  Unlike their northern and eastern European co-religionist, they do not speak Yiddish, relying instead on Ladino for much of their colloquial conversation.

1914: Twenty-one men received diplomas and five were ordained as Rabbis at today’s graduation exercises held by the Jewish Theological Seminary at the Aeolian Hall.  Louis Marshall presided over the event and read a speech prepared by Dr. Solomon Schechter who was unable to be present because of ill health

1914: Simon F. Rothschild delivered the opening address at today’s ceremony dedicating the newly constructed building in Brownsville that will house the Hebrew Educational Society.  Among other speakers were Felix Warburg, Abram Elkus and from the world of New York politics, Controller William A. Pendergast

1914: Over a thousand people attended today’s opening of a new building to house the Harlem Hebrew School  The school was begun five years and is supported by the Yeishva Torah Chaim of Harlem.  Almost 500 children attend the school which provides courses in Hebrew, the Bible and Jewish history before and/or after public school hours.

1915: As of today, the officers of the Hebrew Association for the Blind included President Benjamin Berinstein, a lawyer ”who as a blind student at Columbia made a name for himself as a debater and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Vice President Jacob Salmovitz, Recording Secretary Catherine Cohen, Trustee Henry Shapiro and Sergeant-at’Arms Harry Kantrowitz.

1915: “Today, the Exchange Telegraph Company has received a dispatch from Berlin by way of Amsterdam saying the Berliner Tageblatt declares that the German anti-Semitic organs are starting a new campaign to prevent Jews from becoming officers in the army after the war.”

1915: Dr. Cyrus Adler, the President of Dropsie College warned against the latest attempt to separate the synagogue from the Hebrew School.  Such an action “can only result in an exaltation of ‘Hebraic culture’ as against ‘Jewish knowledge and Judaism.’ A secularized Hebrew school is as much a paradox as a non-religious Jewish state and a tragedy which will eventually destroy the synagogue and render asunder the Jewish home.”

1915: In Atlantic City, NJ, the delegates attending the national convention of the Order of B’rith Abraham are scheduled to vote on resolutions endorsing the meeting of a “Jewish national congress” “composing all the fraternities of the race in this country” and demanding that the 11,000,000 Jews of Europe “be according all the rights of free men” when the World War is over.

1915: In Atlantic City, NJ, the delegates attending the national convention of the United States Grand Lodge, Independent Order of B’rith Abraham “adopted resolutions declaring Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to be the ‘great humanitarian’ extending ‘grateful appreciation’ to President Wilson for his veto of the Immigration Bill which would have closed the gates of America to their brethren and declaring for the immediate calling of a national conference of Jews in America.

1915: “It was announced that Dr. Abraham Galante of Constantinople has been invited to New York as the Chief Rabbi of the Oriental Jewish Communities in the United States.”

1915: No reason was given for failure of the State Prison Commission in Georgia to announce “its decision today on the pleas of Leo M. Frank for commutation of his sentence” as had been expected by the large crowd that had gathered at the capital.

1915: As of today, the officers of the Federation of Oriental Jews of America are Honorary President Edward Valensi, President Joseph Gedalecia, First Vice President Samuel Coen, Second Vice President Ezra Barcola, Third Vice President Moses Shalom, Executive Secretary Albert J. Amateau, Recording Secretary Robert Franco, Treasurer David Carasso and Controller Jacob Farhi.

1916(6th of Sivan, 5676): As the Jews on both sides of the conflict observe Shavuot the Germans take Fort Vaux during the Battle of Verdun, the contest of wills that had begun in February and would last until December.

1916: “The investigation being conducted into alleged discrimination against Jews in the New York National Guard” continued today during which “most of the officers…who were called to the stand repeatedly denied that they held any prejudices against Jews or that the question as to the exclusion of Jews had ever been discussed among the officers of their companies.”

1916: Samuel Strauss, a member of the Board of Directors of the Educational Alliance told those attending the school’s confirmation exercises “that unless the Jews of this country made themselves more responsive to conditions of good citizenship and service to America, America will become a place from which we will have to move on again in our eternal wanderings.”

1916: The Republican National Convention which Samuel S. Koening attended as a delegate from New York opened today in Chicago.

1917: In Petrograd, at the opening session of the Zionist Congress, President Tschlenow read a telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs “announcing that information received regarding the atrocities committed by the Turks again the peaceful population of Palestine was of such a nature that it had been considered advisable to communicate with the Allies, with a view to joint representations to the Turkish Government through neutral Powers.”

1919: Conditions of Jews in the Palestine cities of Safed, Tiberias and Kfra Saba are described as bad. The death rate is appalling. Thousands of Jews are starving.

1919: Birthdate of Yohanan Aharoni the Frankfurt born Israeli archeologist who served as chairman of the Department of Near East Studies and chairman of the Institute of Archeology at Tel-Aviv University.

1921: President Warren Harding is scheduled to meet with Albert D. Lasker and discuss his appointment to serve as Chairman of the Shipping Board.

1923: In Jerusalem, Yechiel Halperin and his wife gave birth to Uzziel Halperin who gained fame as “linguist and social activist” Uzzi Ornan.

1926: The body of Meyer London, one of only two Socialists to serve in the House of Representatives “was taken to the Forward building, where it lay in state while 25,000 men, women, and children filed past the casket, paying their respects.”

1926: “Louis Greenspan…whose automobile struck Meyer London was arraigned” today “in the Homicide Court on a short affidavit…charging suspicion of homicide.”

1928: In New York, Ethel (née Newman) and Ira Strouse gave birth to composer and lyricist Charles Strouse whose first Broadway show was the 1960 hit “Bye Bye Birdie.”

1929: The Lateran Treaty which normalized relations between Italy and the Vatican is ratified.  The agreement gave Mussolini, the Italian Prime Minister, a greater measure of respectability.  The Mussolini Connection would set the tone for the Vatican’s relationship with Hitler when he came to power.  Italy's anti-Jewish laws of 1938 prohibited marriages between Jews and non-Jews, including Catholics. The Vatican viewed this as a violation of the Concordat, which gave the church the sole right to regulate marriage between Catholics. But this was not enough of an issue to disrupt the relationship between Rome and the Vatican.

1932(3rd of Sivan, 5692): Sikxty-three year old Polish “neurologist and psychiatrist’ Edward Flatau who wrote of the first modern books on migraines passed away today in Warsaw.

1935(6th of Sivan, 5695): Shavuot

1936: Leon Blum the first Socialist and the first Jew to serve as Prime Minister of France presented his list of ministerial appointments to the Chamber of Deputies. Blum is attacked in anti-Semitic diatribe by right wing deputy named Xavier Vallet who will later serve as an official with the Vichy Government.

1936: Five Arabs were killed and many were wounded this afternoon in a clash with British troops and policemen after an attack on several Jewish-owned buses outside Jerusalem. A British soldier and a British police corporal were seriously wounded.

1936: “A large Jewish-owned timber depot in the heart of Jerusalem was set afire by Arabs tonight and the flames spread to several nearby stores.  The damage to the timber depot was put at $40,000.00.

1936: “Nazi pamphlets printed in Arabic were distributed in Acre blaming the British for “favoring” the Jews.

1936: A young American tourist who would come to be known as President John F. Kennedy arrives in Jerusalem during a visit to the Middle East.

1936: A reception organized by James W. Gerard, the former Ambassador to Germany, in honor of anti-Hitler Professor Georg Bernhard, is scheduled to be held tonight at the Hotel New Yorker.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the London Evening Standard protested editorially against the long delay in the publication of the report of the Royal (Peel) Commission on Palestine, while all sectors of the Palestine population "waited for a real peace." The House of Commons was told that no fees were paid to the Commission members, but one of them continued to draw his salary of £4,500 a year, as president of the Industrial Court. The cost of the commission's subsistence allowances, traveling and other expenses amounted to £2,837, 18 shillings and 3 pence.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that refugees from Nazi Germany recalled the circumstances of the secret execution in Berlin of an American Jew, Helmut Hirsch, who was accused of spying.

1939: Albert Einstein wrote to Wilfred Israel saying, I was extremely glad with your friendly letter and especially with the fact that you are finally safe. What you have done was truly heroic, but I couldn't get rid of the feeling that you are too good for this world, but even more so for the environment, in which you insisted on staying for so long. With the hope of seeing you again once more in this life, heartily regards to you and yours,”

1939: “Another ship attempting to land 260 illegal (Jewish) immigrants north of Haifa was captured today. 

1939: Palestine was today the scene of further Jewish and Arab terrorism. One life was lost in the retaliation and counter-retaliation, and six Jews and one Arab were injured, in addition to considerable damage to government property. The tension continues to run high. A bomb was exploded today on the main railway line 150 yards from the main station.  There were four other bombing attacks in Tel Aviv during the rest of the day. 

1940: “After the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, David Ben-Gurion, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, wrote to his wife from London about Churchill’s speech following the evacuation. “I know that you cannot stand against Hitler with speeches,  Without planes and tanks and bombs and cannons we will not destroy the ‘Mechanized Attila’…But Churchill’s speech was undoubtedly the steadfast and stubborn persistence of the English nation to stand and fight to the end.”  “The phrase ‘Mechanized Attila’ had been coined by Leon Blum the first Jew to serve as Prime Minister of France.  After quoting Churchill’s speech that included the immortal words “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…” Ben Gurion writes his wife that these words ‘were not merely a jest.  This is the spirit of the rebellious England and in it a guarantee for better days – even if not the soonest.

1941: Release date for “Shining Victory” the first film directed by Irving Rapper written by Howard Koch with music by Max Steiner.

1942(22nd of Sivan, 5702): The Jewish ghetto at Krakow, Poland, is liquidated; 6000 Jews from the city are murdered at Belzec.

1942(22nd of Sivan, 5702): A Jewish woman who has escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto into the city proper is dragged back to the ghetto and shot.

1942: The Jewish Yellow Star is made mandatory in Occupied France

1942(22nd of Sivan, 5702): Alan Blumlein died when his Halifax bomber crashed. The British-born radar and electronics expert was on active duty with the Royal Air Force (RAF).  He was part of an elite group of specialist working on the electronic counter measures and devices that helped to give the Allies an edge over the Axis in the dark days of World War II.  His death was described in The Daily Telegraph as a national loss. Air Chief Marshall Sir Phillip Joubert described it as a catastrophe for the war effort, and Sir Archibald Sinclair, Secretary of State for Air, wrote that ‘it would be impossible to over-rate the importance of the work on which they were engaged’, which had undoubtedly saved thousands of lives.”

1943 Dr. Klaus Clauberg reports from Auschwitz that the apparatus to sterilize 1000 Jewish women a day is being set in place.

1944: In the United States, premiere of “Christmas Holiday” directed by Robert Siodmak with a screenplay by Herman J. Mankeiwicz.

1944: The first phase of the deportation and mass murder of the Hungarian Jews is complete. Nearly 290,000 Jews have been killed in 23 days.

1944: At the height of the deportation of Hungarian Jews, Hannah Szenes crossed the border into Hungary.

1944: Joel Brand arrived at Aleppo today where two men, who later were identified as British intelligence, “pushed him into a waiting Jeep with its engine running.”

1945: In Brooklyn, attorney Bernard Fink and the former Sylvia Caplan gave birth to attorney and social activist Elizabeth Marsha Fink.

1945(26th of Sivan, 5705): Eighty-one year old Dr. Charles Isaiah Hoffman, Rabbi Emeritus of Oheb Shalom Synagogue passed away today.  Born in Philadelphia, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced law from 1886 until 1900 when he began studying for the Rabbinate at JTS.  Six months after his graduation in 1904, he filled the pulpit of the Newark, NJ congregation while helping to create several Jewish periodicals including “The Jewish Exponent.” [Editor’s note – Dr. Hoffman’s decision to pursue the pulpit as “a second career” was as uncommon in his day as it apparently has become common in our own times.]

1947: The Oujda and Jerada pogrom which took place in northeastern Morocco began today.  

1948: Edvard Beneš resigns as President of Czechoslovakia rather than signing a Constitution making his nation a Communist state. Beneš was one of the most decent and democratic leaders of his time.  As a leader of the Czech government-in-exile during World War II he condemned the treatment of European Jewry and supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1948: Mordechai Weingarten the Jewish community leader who had participated in the negotiations that resulted in the surrender of the Old City to the Arabs was placed under house arrest when he returned to western Jerusalem.

1950: Mrs. Martha Sharp, the wife of a Unitarian minister from Chicago and the vice chairman of Children to Palestine, visited the children’s village of Ben Shemen in Kfar Vitkin, thirty miles north of Tel Aviv. A grant of $25,000 from her organization is being used to build housing for children who escaped from the European Holocaust and have known no real home.  The Village is named after Reverend Samuel A. Eliot, “the organizer of this interfaith rescue movement.

1950: The Mizrahi Women’s Organization of American hosts the second day of a two-day donor luncheon series for 3,000 members of its metropolitan branches to initiate an all-year silver jubilee celebration.  Mizrahi in Israel has grown from a single home for adolescent girls in Jerusalem to a networked of 49 projects including 13 institutions for children. 

1950: “Armored Car Robbery” directed by Richard Fleischer was released today in the United States.

1953: Birthdate of Joan Stein, a Tony-winning theater and television producer who helped to launch several long-running L.A. stage productions, including "Love Letters," "Forever Plaid" and Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile."

1953(24th of Sivan, 5713): Seventy-seven year old Julius I. Peyser the World War I veteran, lawyer, banker and Zionist who graduated from Georgetown University and taught at George Washington University passed away today.

1953(24th of Sivan, 5713): “A youngster was killed and three others were wounded, in a shooting attacks on residential areas in southern Jerusalem.”

1954(6th of Sivan, 5714): Shavuot

1956: Sixty-five year old actor Sam Jaffee married 32 year old Betty Ackerman with whom he would co-star in the television series “Ben Casey” and with whom he had happy marriage until his death in 1984.

1956: David Saul Marshall completes his services 1st Chief Minister of Singapore.

1956(28th of Sivan, 5716): Eighty-year old French author Julien Benda whose most famous work was The Betrayal of the Intellectuals passed away today.

1961: Holocaust survivors provided shocking testimony at today’s session of the trial of Adolf Eichmann. [Editor’s note – In a time when there a myriad of Holocaust Memorial Museums dotting the landscape and the Shoah was talked of only in hushed tones, the following article by Homer Bigart provides what, for its time was a blinding revelation.

1961: In the U.S. premiere of “The Curse of the Werewolf” a horror film with music by Benjamin Frankel.

1965: The $64,000 Question premiered on CBS-TV. Louis Cowan who has worked to rescue Jews from Germany before the war, created the show. Hal March, a Jewish comic and actor whose real name was Harold Mendelson was the show’s host.  Charles Revson, the Jewish Canadian Cosmetic King, had his company, Revlon, sponsor the show.

1965(7th of Sivan, 5725): Second Day Shavuot

1965(7th of Sivan, 5725): Comedic actress Judy Holiday passes away at the age of 43.

1967: Six months after premiering in Japan, “El Dorado” a cowboy movie co-starring James Caan was released in the United States today.

1967 (28 Iyar, 5727): Dorothy Parker passes away. Born Dorothy Rothschild in 1893, Dorothy ("Dottie" or "Dot") Parker was an American writer and poet best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles.


1967: Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem uniting the city for the first time since the establishment of the state.
On June 7, 1967 at 10:15, with the radio confirmation, "The Temple Mount is in our hands," the Israeli flag was raised above the Western wall.

1967 (28 Iyar, 5727): Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Unification day). Prior to the 6-Day War, Israel had sent repeated requests to King Hussein of Jordan appealing to him remain outside the conflict (trying, therefore, to prevent a three-front war). Due to Arab League pressure, Jordan began to shell Jerusalem on June 5. When the Jordanian force crossed the cease-fire line at Government House, Israel retaliated. General Uzi Narkis brought in Colonel Motta Gur to lead the attack in Eastern Jerusalem.

1967:  Israeli forces captured Jericho, Bethlehem, Sharm-el-Sheikh, and lifted the blockade of the Gulf of Eilat. The entire Jordanian bulge on the western bank of the Jordan came under Israeli control. Hostilities between Israel and Jordan came to an end upon their acceptance of the cease-fire demanded by the Security Council of the U.N., 1967.

1967: On the third day of fighting, the IAF destroyed hundreds of Egyptian vehicles trying to flee across the Sinai in convoys and trapped thousands more in narrow Sinai passes.

1967: By the end of the third day Jordan's air force of 34 combat aircraft had essentially ceased to exist and the Jordanian military was no longer in the fight.

1967: A successful joint attack by armor units and elements of the Golani led to the capture of Nablus this afternoon.

1971: Singer-songwriter Carole King achieved stardom with the release of her album Tapestry

1972: German Chancellor Willy Brandt visited Israel

1974: Refusniks Valery and Galina Panov obtained exit visas.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to Aviation Week Israel was having second thoughts about buying the American F-16 fighter, and planned to design its own fighter plane. Egypt started digging a tunnel under the Suez Canal, about 20 km. north of Suez city.

1978: Six months after opening in Japan, “Capricorn One” directed and written by Peter Hyams, starring Elliot Gould and with music by Jerry Goldsmith was released in the United States today.

1981(5th of Sivan, 5741): Erev Shavuot

1981: The Israeli air force attacks and destroys the Iraq nuclear reactor at Osiriq. Both the United States and leaders in the Israeli opposition condemned Menachem Begin. After Operation Desert storm the American State department belatedly praised his actions, admitting it had saved countless lives.

1984(7th of Sivan, 5744): Second Day of Shavuot

1984: “The Revolt of Job,” “a gently told story of one Jewish couple's attempt to defeat their family's extinction in the Holocaust by adopting a non-Jewish boy, a child who would survive to carry on their line” is scheduled to have its last screening at the Vandam Theatre in New York. (As reported by Seth Mydans)

1987: An article published today entitled “Celebrating the East End’s Jewish Heritages” provides a brief overview of the history of the Jews who settled in London and a schedule of the events for this summer's Jewish East End Celebration.

1991: U.S. premiere of “City Slickers” a mid-life crisis comedy starring Billy Crystal, featuring Josh Mostel, Lindsay Crystal and Jake Gyllenhaal with a script by Lowell Ganz.

1992(6th of Sivan, 5752): For the last time Shavuot is celebrated during the Presidency of George Brush.

1993: Yitzhak Rabin completes his term as Interior Minister

1993: Prof. Shimon Shetreet completed his term as Science and Technology Minister of Israel

1993: Shulamit Aloni replaced Moshe Shahal as Minister of Communication.

1993: Aryeh Deri begins his term as Interior Minister.

1993: Moshe Shahal succeeded Amnon Rubenstein as Energy and Water Resources Minister

1995: Uzi Baram completes his term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

1996(20th of Sivan, 5756): Max Factor passed away.  Factor arrived in the United States at the start of the 20th century.  He was a pioneer in the cosmetics industry who parlayed his work with Hollywood movie stars into his own cosmetics company, the name of which survives under the Max Factor Cosmetics label.

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East by Uri Savir

1999: Marigold Merlyn Baillieu Myer (Lady Southey AC) the youngest daughter of Sidney Meyer and Margery Merlyn Baillieu Myer “became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to the community in the support of health care, medical research and the arts.”

2001: David Wright Miliband assumed office as a Member of Parliament for South Shields.

2002: Seven soldiers were buried today at the Hadera military cemetery today.  They were part of a group of 17 Israelis, including 13 soldiers who were killed when a stolen car packed with explosives pulled alongside a public bus and exploded near the northern town of Megiddo.

2004: The Supreme Court ruled that the 88-year-old niece and heir of an Austrian Jewish art collector can pursue her lawsuit against the Austrian government and its national art gallery for the return of six paintings by Gustav Klimt that belonged to her family before the Nazi takeover. The court did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California by the woman, Maria V. Altmann, and Justice John Paul Stevens indicated in his majority opinion that important defenses remain available to Austria as the case proceeds to the next phase. While Austria has returned $1 million worth of art to the family of the collector, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, including drawings by Klimt, it maintains that the Bloch-Bauers intended to bequeath the six disputed paintings, now worth over $100 million, to the state museum. Therefore, Austria argues, the paintings are its legitimate property today despite having been illegitimately expropriated by the Nazis after the family fled Vienna in 1938. The issue for the Supreme Court was jurisdictional: whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a law passed in 1976 to open the federal courts to specific categories of cases against foreign governments, applies to conduct that predated the law's enactment. By a vote of 6 to 3, the court's answer was yes. The decision affirmed a 2002 ruling by the federal appeals court in San Francisco, although in reaching that outcome, the Supreme Court applied a different legal analysis. In affirming the retroactive applicability of the 1976 law, the decision may open the door to additional World War II-era lawsuits, but the category of cases the decision will actually assist is likely to be small. Claims against Germany and Japan, for example, were addressed by the treaties that ended the war and in the view of many legal experts cannot be pursued in private lawsuits. The connection between the Bloch-Bauer family and the art at issue in this case is stunningly apparent: two of the paintings are portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Ferdinand's wife and Ms. Altmann's aunt. Mrs. Bloch-Bauer died in 1925, leaving a will in which she asked her husband at his own death to leave the paintings to the Austrian Gallery. However, the works belonged not to her but to her husband. By the time he fled Vienna in 1938, he had made no legal arrangements to donate the paintings to the government or its museum. When he died in Switzerland in 1945, the paintings remained in his estate although they were no longer in his hands. Ms. Altmann, who also escaped Austria and has lived in California since 1942, is his only surviving heir. After the war, the family made several efforts to retrieve the paintings. The current effort began in 1998, after a newspaper report based on the museum's records indicated that the Austrian government was aware that the Bloch-Bauers had not donated the paintings. Ms. Altmann turned to the federal courts when she learned that under Austrian court rules, she would have to pay $350,000 in court costs in order to bring her lawsuit there. Retroactivity has been a vexing issue for the Supreme Court, which has developed a set of criteria for deciding when it is reasonable to apply a new law to past conduct. In opposing the lawsuit, Austria argued that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act could not provide jurisdiction and, further, that if the law did apply in a general sense, the specific section that Ms. Altmann invoked did not apply to her case. The lower federal courts found in Ms. Altmann's favor, both on the retroactivity question and on the specific issue of the applicability of a section that permits suits for expropriation of property in violation of international law. In accepting the appeal, Republic of Austria v. Altmann, No.03-13, the Supreme Court agreed to decide only the retroactivity issue. It let stand the ruling on the specific section, meaning that the lawsuit can now go forward in Federal District Court in Los Angeles. In his majority opinion, Justice Stevens cautioned that the ruling was narrow and that Austria could still defend itself on various diplomatic grounds. The United States government opposed the lawsuit, following a longstanding policy of preferring to keep such issues in the realm of diplomacy rather than federal court. Justice Stevens said that as the case proceeds, the government's views on the particular issues were entitled to deference. The majority said that applying the law retroactively was ''most consistent with two of the act's principal purposes,'' namely clarity, in handling claims of foreign immunity and ''eliminating political participation in the resolution of such claims.'' Congress passed the law in part to relieve the executive branch of having to take a position in politically sensitive cases, Justice Stevens noted. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer joined the opinion. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy dissented in an opinion that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas also signed. He said the decision would ''weaken the reasoning and diminish the force of the rule against the retroactivity of statutes, a rule of fairness based on respect for expectations.''

2006:  Hebrew Book Week begins. Despite the name, the “week” will last for 10 days. This year's theme is “Developing the Galilee and the Negev.” The fair's main event will be held in Beer Sheva, in the presence of Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who is scheduled to hold a public reading.

2006: The Central Council of Jews, Germany’s main Jewish organization elected Charlotte Knobloch as its leader.  The 73 year old Holocaust survivor from Munich is the first woman to hold this post.

2007: In “Rebuilding Jewish Life in New Orleans,” published today Bruce Noland describes how “financial incentives and other effort are starting to pay off” in a post-Katrina World.

 
Twenty-three and single, Katie Tutwiler is another of those idealistic young people pouring into post-Katrina New Orleans. Tutwiler moved to New Orleans fresh out of college last summer, tugged by a moral call to join the city's great story of post-hurricane reconstruction. Although she is only nominally Jewish, Tutwiler has been aggressively courted by the area's Jewish community. She received a $1,000 moving grant and was offered a year's free dues to a synagogue and a one-year membership to a Jewish community center. The recruiting effort may be paying off. Tutwiler, a self-described religious "seeker" shopping for a religious identity, has signed up with Birthright Israel for a free trip to Israel this summer, even as her personal exploration also includes attending Catholic Masses. Tutwiler is in play, so to speak, and thus qualifies as a poster child for the New Orleans Jewish community's year-old "newcomers program," which to date has devoted an estimated $180,000 to recruit young Jews to rebuild the city's Jewish community, and the larger city as well. Prominent African American leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson have lobbied for the "full right of return" of all displaced city residents, including poor black people stranded in other cities. But there has not been a specific effort to lure black residents back to New Orleans, where they made up two-thirds of the population before Katrina. The newcomers program is just one of the initiatives in a five-year "strategic plan" New Orleans Jews recently fashioned as part of a $24 million blueprint to revitalize a small but sturdy community that had been shrinking and graying even before Katrina made landfall in 2005. The plan's first goal is to recruit young Jews to New Orleans and nourish them here through the newcomers program. But plans are afoot to fashion incentives to retain at least 50 of the area's 400 to 500 Jewish college students who graduate each year, Michael Weil, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, said. Besides recruiting, there are 11 goals in the strategic plan, Weil said, including maintaining ties with an estimated 3,500 permanently dislocated Jewish New Orleanians; building support systems to nourish Jewish families; fostering collaboration among local Jewish institutions; developing Jewish education; and a national fundraising and public relations campaign. "It's ambitious, it's doable and we're going to make it happen," said Weil, an economist and strategic planner who worked in Israel before he was hired by the federation in 2006. The newcomers program that aided Tutwiler so far has distributed incentives to 116 Jewish individuals or families, said Jennifer Samuels, who helps run the program. Weil estimated that the total number of Jewish newcomers, including those who didn't apply for incentives or haven't yet been identified, is closer to 850. The day Katrina made landfall, the area's Jewish community was estimated to be about 9,500 (less than 1 percent of the metro area population), down from an estimated 13,000 nearly 25 years ago. Research by Louisiana State University sociologist Frederick Weil and others estimated that Katrina reduced the area's Jewish population to about 6,000 in the summer of 2006. They believe the number rebounded to 7,000 to 8,000 earlier this year. Tutwiler said her decision to come to New Orleans was born out of a desire to join a wounded but still fascinating community, and was not triggered by financial incentives. As the daughter of an Episcopalian father and a nonobservant Jewish mother, she said she grew up in a home with no strong religious influence. She knows only the opening phrases to a few common Hebrew prayers, and until recently, she did not know there was a synagogue in her hometown of New Iberia, La., about 100 miles west of New Orleans. "I'm Jewish," she said, "but not quite in the fold." Tutwiler heard about the Jewish incentives program from her grandmother, Catherine Kahn, a New Orleans resident and board member at Temple Sinai, who urged Tutwiler to check it out. Now Tutwiler sometimes accompanies her grandmother to temple and has begun to inquire about her Jewish heritage. In that sense she is quite typical, Michael Weil said. "There's a pattern here" among newcomers, Weil said. "They tend to be on the margins of mainstream Jewish life. These are not your regular synagogue-goers. Their Judaism is more virtual than real. They're less actively involved. But they're motivated. They see themselves as pioneers." He said their willingness to help rebuild the city often is part of a deeply Jewish imperative toward public service called "tikkun olam" or "repairing the world." "You'd think that when you're hit with a major disaster it would knock you flat and you wouldn't have the strength to get up again," Weil said. "But what this community has said is, we're not accepting that. We think we're important, and we have a future, and we intend to go to some significant place, and we'll do whatever it takes to get there."

 
2007: In London, Israel Connects presents “Portraits of Israel.”  The exhibition is a collection of the photographs of Rudi Weissenstein taken from 1932 through 1999. Weissenstein was the official photographer at the signing of the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

2007(21st of Sivan, 5767): Eighty-three year old poet and translator Michael Hamburger passed away today.

2008: In Washington, D.C. The JCC presents David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana.” An exciting Jewish-Cuban musical fusion, Odessa/Havana is led by award winning trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder and includes some of today’s most accomplished jazz musicians.

2008: As a foretaste of celebrating Shavuot, in Cedar Rapids, at Temple Judah, traditional Shabbat morning services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids features a “Sundaes on Saturday” Kiddush.

2008(4th of Sivan, 5768): Ninety-one year old Dr. Montague Ullman passed away today.

2008; Sportscaster Jim McKay past away at the age of 86. “His professionalism and sensitivity melded in 1972. During the Munich Olympics, as he left the hotel sauna and was about to go into the swimming pool on his only day off, he received word that Arab terrorists had invaded the Israeli living quarters in the Olympic Village. Mr. McKay hurried to the studio, and for 16 consecutive hours he anchored ABC’s extraordinary news coverage, with field reporting from Peter Jennings, Howard Cosell and others. The episode ended with the murder of 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and trainers. When that word reached Mr. McKay, he said he thought that he would be the person who told the family of David Berger, an Israeli-born weight lifter whose family lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio, “if their son was alive or dead.” He looked at the lens and said, “They’re all gone.” When ABC finally signed off, Mr. McKay, physically and emotionally spent, returned to his hotel room. Only then did he realize he had been wearing a wet swimsuit beneath his trousers. The next day, Mr. McKay received this cable from an old CBS colleague: “Dear Jim, today you honored yourself, your network and your industry. Walter Cronkite.” Mr. McKay’s work at Munich won him an Emmy Award for news coverage, the first for a sportscaster, and the George Polk Award. Through the years, he won 12 more Emmys.”

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Red and Me by Bill Russell, Red Orchestra by Anne Nelson and the recently published paperback edition of Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters.

2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato.

2010: The New Yorker is scheduled to publish its “20 Under 40” list of fiction writers worth watching that included Jewish authors Jonathan Safran Foer, 33; Rivka Galchen, 34; Nicole Krauss, 35; Gary Shteyngart, 37; David Bezmozgis, 37.

2010: Sirius/XM Radio star and Broadway pianist Seth Rudetsky is scheduled to perform at the Washington Jewish Music Festival.

2010(6th of Sivan, 5770): Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu passed away.

2010(6th of Sivan, 5770): Eighty-seven year old Rabbi Jacob Milgrom considered by many the world’s foremost authority on the biblical Book of Leviticus passed away today in Jerusalem.,

2010: Shahar Pe'er, an Israeli professional tennis player, was ranked Number Fourteen today which was her career-high rating as a single’s player.

2010: Former Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin has been acquitted of allowing minors to work at the Postville slaughterhouse. Today, Jurors acquitted him of all 67 counts of child labor violations.

2010: The funeral for Steve Averbach, the former Monmouth County resident who was paralyzed in an attempt to thwart a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in 2003 was scheduled to take place today in Israel.

2010: Navy commandoes foiled a major terrorist attack from the Gaza coast shortly before dawn today morning, and the Air Force strafed a rocket launching cell. Four armed terrorists were killed and three others were missing in the Navy counterterrorist maneuver.

2010(25th of Sivan, 5770): Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu former chief rabbi who encouraged Israelis to oppose removal of settlements and blamed Reform Jewry for the Holocaust passed away at the age of 81.

 
2010: Joe Schlesinger, the Canadian television journalist and author “received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Queen's University in Kingston and delivered the convocation speech to a part of the graduating class of 2010 from Queens Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He declared that the students would forget a good part of what they learned but they can find out what they need to know in the realm of facts by ‘googling it’!”

2011: Congregation Beth Israel in Glendale, Wisconsin, is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Levite & His Concubine.”

2011(5th of Sivan, 5771): Erev of Shavuot

 
2011(5th of Sivan, 5771): Ninety-one year old Mietek Pemper, the secretary who actually compiled what became known as “Schindler’s List” passed away today.  (As reported by Douglas Martin)

 
2011(5th of Sivan, 5771): Eighty-eight year old Leonard B. Stern, the man who created “Mad Libs” passed away today in California. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

 
2011: Bradlee Birchansky and Jon Burstain, two outstanding young men, were confirmed this evening during Shavuot services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

 
2011: Carolyn Goldmark Goodman, the wife of Oscar Goodman “was elected Mayor of Las Vegas with 60 percent of the vote.”

2011: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced a resolution calling for the withholding of U.N. funding if the General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state. Chabot said today that he hopes to dissuade any effort by the Palestinians to circumvent peace negotiations by going directly to the United Nations for statehood recognition when the General Assembly convenes in September. Chabot is chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

2011: U.S. President Barack Obama said today he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that any Palestinian effort to seek UN recognition for statehood should be avoided. Obama, who was reiterating his own position on the issue, was speaking at a news conference after White House talks with Merkel. Obama has said in the past that a unilateral UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state would be a meaningless empty gesture. During today's news conference, Merkel stressed that "unilateral measures are not helping at all" to bring about a two-state solution. Obama has repeatedly called on the Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel and not appeal to the UN for statehood, calling the move a mistake. "The United Nations can achieve a lot of important work, what it is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state," Obama said last week in a joint conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. "The only way to see a Palestinian state is if Palestinians and Israelis agree on a just peace."

2012: The Carmen at Masada Opera Festival is scheduled to open,

2012: The Anat Cohen Quartet is scheduled to perform in Washington, DC.

2012: Israel’s Defense Ministry announced today that it will erect between 20,000-25,000 tents for African migrants at various detention centers by the end of the year.

2013: “Fill the Void,” a film about an orthodox Chasidic family from Tel Aviv, is scheduled to open at several theatres across the United States including the Clay in San Francisco, the Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, MD and Shrilington 7 Theatres in Arlington, VA.

2013: Tel Aviv hosted its 15th annual Gay Pride Festival today, with a record-breaking 100,000 spectators and participants attending the celebrations, including droves of tourists from all over the world.

2013: Yediot Aharonot reported today that the US recently conducted a test of its bunker buster bomb, destroy a replica of an underground nuclear facility in an effort to show Israel and other ally states that it is capable of striking Iran’s nuclear plants.

2014: The Tel Aviv International Student Film, which this year has enjoyed the unexpected support of Steve Tisch of the New York Giants is scheduled to come to an end. (As reported by Debra Kamin)

2014: “Paradise Cruise,” a film about an Israeli photographer and her rebellious boyfriend, is scheduled to be shown at Windmill Studios.

2014: The traditional minyan at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids celebrates the 80th birthday of Murray Wolf.

2014: Today, “Pope Francis entreated social media followers to pray for Middle East peace” just one day before the Presidents of Israel and the PA are to visit the Vatican and join the Pontiff in a special prayer for peace.

2014: “Hatnua MK Amram Mitzna said today that he will make every effort to convince his party members to leave the coalition and bring an end to the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Words Without Music: A Memoir by Philip Glass, Jonas Salk: A Life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, The New World, a novel co-authored by Eli Horowitz and Coup de Foudre “a thinly — or possibly barely — veiled account of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, in which Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper at a New York City hotel” by Ken Kalfus.

2015: “The Members Book Club” at the National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to discuss Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman.

2015: “Touchdown Israel” and “Sallah Shabati” are scheduled to be shown at the Israel Film Center Festival.

2015: “A Walk on the Moon” starring Diane Lane is scheduled to be shown at the Borscht Belt Film Festival.

2015: The Darom Film Festival is scheduled to open at Sderot.

2015: “Lincoln and the Jews,” an exhibition sponsored by the New York Historical Society “inspired by the publication of Lincoln and the Jews: A History co-authored by Jonathan D. Sarna is scheduled to come to an end today.

2015: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host “Secret Jewish Services in a Nazi POW Camp - Stalag Luft 1” during which Ron Levine will give a presentation discussing how his father, Henry Sanford Levine, led weekly Shabbos and High Holy Day secret Jewish services in a Nazi POW camp, Stalag Luft 1. Henry Levine was a navigator on a B-17 that was shot down over Nazi Germany. After the Gestapo located him they transferred him to Stalag Luft 1, where he became a POW. Ron’s father made a wooden Mogen David while imprisoned. It is made of two triangles not permanently attached so they could be kept separately as two innocuous triangles. Triangles meant nothing to a Nazi guard. A Mogen David could get you killed. Ron has the Mogen David in his possession. Towards the end of the war, special barracks were built for the Jewish POWs so they could be transferred to the Death Camps. The Russians liberated the camp before the Jewish POWs could be executed.

2016: “Every Word has Power,” a “concert film shot at Lincoln Center, featuring musician Basya Schechter (of Pharaoh’s Daughter) adapting ten of Rabbi Heschel’s poems into song” is scheduled to be shown at the 17th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival.

2016: “Man in the Wall” and “Encirclements” are scheduled to be shown at the Israel Film Center Festival in Manhattan.

2016: The work of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz is scheduled to be honored at the 22nd Aleph Society Dinner at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2016:  In Portland, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center is scheduled to present Rabbi Jonathan Porath speaking on “How Jews of America Saved Jews of Europe During the Shoah: The Story of the Joint Distribution Committee.”

2016: “Between Kermanshah To Majdanek” is scheduled to be shown at the Cinema South Film Festival in Sderot.

 

 

 

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