64: During the reign of Nero, The Great Fire at Rome comes to end. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Jews had been living in Rome since the second century before the Common Era since “the pretor Hispanus issued a decree expelling all Jews who were not Italian citizens” in 139 BCE. “Under Nero the Jews of Rome had a comparatively peaceful time, owing to the favorable attitude of the empress Poppæa Sabina” a situation that would change the aftermath of the Great Revolt that would begin in two years.
362: The Roman Emperor Julian, known to Christians as Julian the Apostate, left Constantinople and arrived in Antioch to prepare for the invasion of Persia. While preparing for the invasion he met Jewish leaders to whom he promised he would re-build the Temple. Julian’s short reign would come to an end in the following year and nothing came of his plans for the Third Temple.
711: Muslim forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeat the Christian Visigoths led by their king Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete. This decisive Moorish victory was the key to the Moslems establishing their rule over the Iberian Peninsula. Jews living in Christian Spain had suffered under the Visigoths and helped the Moors. The Battle of Gaudalete was one of the events that led to the five century period known as the Golden Age of Spain for the Jewish people.
1195: In Spain the Almohades defeat the Christians under Alfonso I of Toledo. The Jews of Toledo had willingly helped to finance the impoverished Alfonso ini his fight against the Almohades despite recent anti-Jewish violence that had claimed the life if Abraham Ibn-David among others.
1385 (10th of Av): Rabbi Menachem ben Aaron ibn Zerah, author of Zeidah la-Derekh passed away.
1490: Yucef Franco, aged 20, a cobbler who had been arrested by the Inquisition, along with his 80 year old father at the beginning of the month, fell ill. He asked the doctor who was treating him if he would arrange for a Rabbi to visit him.
1510: In Brandenburg, Prussia, Joachim the Elector burned 38 Jews at the stake on a charge of desecrating the host. Another two accepted Christianity and were mercifully beheaded.
1588: The Spanish Armada was spotted off the coast of Cornwall but the English could not do anything about it since their fleet “was trapped in Plymouth Harbor by the incoming tide.” (In an era when people think they have overcome nature in times of war, it is humbling to remember that there was a time when the future of religious freedom was at the mercy of the tides and the winds)
1785: Birthdate of Mordecai Manuel Noah, the native Philadelphian who, according to some “was the most influential Jew in the United States in the early 19th Century.” Educated as a lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina, Noah settled in New York where he was a politician, newspaper editor, diplomat and the visionary who wanted to create a Jewish colony in New York called Ararat.
1797: While visiting Amsterdam, Moses Levy Maduro Peixotto, a rabbi and merchant born in Curaçao, married Judith Lopez Salzedo. Eventually Peixotto would settle in the United States where he served as the head of Congregation Shearith Israel
1817: “Romilda e Costanza,” an opera composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer premiered in Padua, Italy
1821: George IV is crowned King of Great Britain and Ireland. King George would actively oppose legislation introduced in the 1830’s designed to grant Jews full rights of civil and political citizenship.
1834: In Williamsport, KY, Abraham Jonas and Louisa Block gave birth to Benjamin Jonas who was served as a U.S. Senator from Louisiana, making him the third Jew to serve in that legislative body. (All three of them came from southern states – 2 from Louisiana and one from Florida.)
1849: In Islington, London, Samuel Meldola and his wife gave birth to their only , Raphael Meldola who served as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of London and invented Meldola’s Blue Dye.
1863: Birthdate of Hermann Bahr, the Austrian author and critic who sued the Jewish journalist Karl Kraus because he felt had been unfairly attacked in Die Fackel (The Torch) a newspaper founded and published by Kraus.
1865: Birthdate of Yisroel Aaron Fishel, the native of Meretz (Russia) who came to the United States at the age of 20 where he gained fame and fortune as Harry Fishel, New York businessman and supporter of numerous Jewish causes. In 1931 he founded The Harry Fischel Institute for Talmudic Research. He passed away in 1948.
1866: In San Francisco, William J. Mack and Rebecca M. (Tandler) Mack, gave birth to Julian Mack the distinguished jurist who was a leader of the American Jewish community who attended the Peace Conference with Woodrow Wilson and was an advocate for a Jewish state in Palestine.
1868: Birthdate of “American socialite” and amateur, poorly skilled singer Florence Foster Jenkins” who Anglo-Jewish actress Maureen Liipman portrayed from November, 2005 to April 2006 “in the Olivier Award nominated show Glorious! at the Duchess Theatre in London's West End.”
1870: The Franco-Prussian War begins when Napoleon III declares war on the Germans. The two states were each looking to be the dominant power in Europe. The immediate cause of the conflict was a clash over who would rule Spain. The war, which ended in May, 1871, was a total disaster for the French. In addition to the general humiliation of having her capital occupied by the Prussians, the French were force to give up the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine and to pay a large indemnity to the German state. This loss of territory and the desire to avenge the humiliation of 1870 were part of the causes of World War I. “A number of Jews, including Jules Moch and Leopold See, attained high rank in the French army. See later became Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior. The war also marked the beginning of Rabbis serving as chaplains in the German army.” After the War, Many Jewish families preferred to emigrate from Alsace and Lorraine rather than be under German rule.
1870: A “Hebrew clothier” from Albany was taken to court today by his maid who claimed he had prevented her from carrying away her clothing despite the fact that he owed her for two years in back wages.
1873(24th of Tammuz, 5633): Parashat Pinchas
1873(24th of Tammuz, 5633): Sixty-three year old Hamburg born violinist and protégé of Felix Mendelssohn, David Ferdinand passed away today in Switzerland.
1874: Har Sinai, a Reform Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland, unanimously elected Joseph Meyer of Cleveland to serve as its rabbi.
1877(9th of Av, 5637): Tish'a B'Av;
1877: “The Fast of AAB,” published today in the secular press reported that “Today is the ninth day of Aab” the fast marking “the anniversary of the temple and of Jerusalem. The reformed Israelites have abandoned the observance, but it is held in veneration and kept by both orthodox Jews, both in Europe and America with fasting and gloomy services…Today is the 1,825th anniversary of the second destruction of the temple.”
1877: At sunset, with the end of Tisha B’Av the black crepe draperies will be removed from the pulpit and furniture at the synagogue on West 19th Street in New York and the usual lighting will be returned to the structure.
1880: It was reported today that the August edition of the Atlantic Monthly will include “The Preceptor of Moses” in which Francis H. Underwood “reconstructs a chapter of Hebrew History.” [Underwood was an American biographer who founded the Atlantic Monthly as part of the fight against slavery. In its comments about the article, the Uitca (NY) Gazette, said that it should been included as a work of fiction since “it does not possess any particular value as a historical study.”
1881: Two thousand people attended an “anti-Jewish” meeting in Berlin today.
1882: As the Freight Handler’s Strike continued, today was a bad day for the Russian Jews. An extra detachment of police had to be called out protect the Jews from the strikers at one of the piers in Jersey City while 35 Jews were fired at the Star Union Pier in New York.
1883: In Kraków, William Fleischer, a tailor and his wife gave birth to Max Fleischer, pioneer animator and film producer.
1884(26th of Tammuz): Mayer Schutz, passed away today at the Brighton Beach Hotel on Coney Island. Born in Bavaria in 1814, he came to the United States in 1840 where he “made his fortune” in the wholesale dry goods business. He retired fifteen years so he could devote himself “to charitable and benevolent work” including membership in the Hebrew Benevolent Society, serving as a director of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Mount Sinai Hospital and holding the Presidency of Rodef Sholom. [All glory is fleeting]
1884: Wolf Finkelstein is being held Ward’s Island until arrangements can be made to send him back to Russia. The Jewish immigrant has a brother in Chicago who is a peddler but there is no means of getting him there and thus avoid being “a public charge.”
1885: It was reported today that among the new rules that theatrical director Heinrich Conried has imposed on the performers of the Casino Company is one that states, “Any principle member seen talking with a rival manager will be regarded…as lukewarm to the present management” and “will subject himself to being talked about in Hebrews.” [Note - No explanation is given for this apparently odious use of the language of the Bible. Conried was no crackpot since he would later serve as director the Metropolitan Opera. He was from a Jewish family in Silesia, so this may have been his way of saying they would be subject to verbal abuse that they would not understand.]
1885: In Portugal, Maria Angelina Ribeiro de Abranches de Abreu Castelo-Branco and José de Sousa Mendes gave birth to José de Sousa Mendes the Portuguese diplomat who defied his government and issued visas to 30,000 people fleeing the Nazis in 1940 including 12,000 Jews.
1887: A free excursion for underprivileged Jewish children sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children and partially underwritten by the staff of the Hebrew Journal will take place today.
1887: Louis Keptlovwitch a Jewish immigrant working as a printer in upstate New York was arrested today after his wife and child arrived today. The charge was bigamy. It seems that Mr. Keptlovwitch had forgotten about his Polish family and had married a Jewish woman from Newburg, NY.
1888: The third free excursion sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children will leave at nine o’clock this morning from a pier at 5th Street and the East River. [There were usually three such boat trips each summer intended to get poor little children and their mothers out of the tenements on the Lower East Side. These Jewish efforts mirrored the work of Julia Hull.]
1891: “Famine In Russia” published today expressed the fear that Czar may cope with the problem in the traditional manner, starting a war with a nation on one of its borders. The French are trying to calm the situation by extending credit but they are being hampered by the hostility of “all the great Jewish financial houses in Western Europe” brought by the shameful persecution of the Jews.
1891: “Aid For A Worthy Charity” published today described the excursions that the Santiarium for Hebrew Children is offering on a weekly bases “to poor Jewish women and children.” Approximately 700 people take part in each outing which includes two “substantial meals” for each of the travelers.
1892: Coroner Lindsay attempted to hold an inquest to determine the cause of death for Berhr Israelson, whom the doctors said died of apoplexy but whom the Jews living in the building said died after being clubbed by a police officer named Clarke.
1892(24th of Tammuz, 5652): In London, Abraham Swift, who had been born Abraham Asher ben Joshua in Russia in 1869, passed away today.
1895: The Children’s Street Cleaning Brigade is scheduled to have its second meeting tonight at the Hebrew Institute.
1895: Sydney James Stern, the eldest son of Viscount David de Stern “was raised to the peerage as Baron Wandsworth, of Wandsworth in the County of London.”
1895: The funeral of Simon M. Erhlich, the Chief Justice of the City Court, is scheduled to take place at Temple Emanu-El this morning.
1896(9th of Av, 5656): Tish’a B’av
1896(9th of Av, 5656): Fifty-five year old Charles Liebhaber, who had just gotten out of the hospital, passed away today while attending services at Congregation Tifereth Israel on 126 Allen Street in New York.
1897: Birthdate of Theresa Wolfson, professor of economics and labor relations at Brooklyn College. Born in Brooklyn just three years after her parents had emigrated from Russia, she earned her bachelor's degree at Adelphi College (1917). During college, she spent a summer investigating wage standards in the New York garment industry; it was the beginning of a long career in labor relations. After her graduation from Adelphi, Wolfson took a position as a health worker in New York City, then worked for the National Child Labor Committee, investigating child labor across parts of the South and Midwest. Then, from 1920 to 1922, Wolfson served as executive secretary of the New York State Consumers League, where she lobbied for minimum wage and maximum hour legislation. For her M.A. degree (1924) at Columbia University, Wolfson conducted a study of posture, lighting, and fatigue in New York's garment factories. After Columbia, Wolfson became director of education at the Union Health Center of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. At the same time, she conducted research on the barriers to organizing women workers; this research, published in 1926, brought Wolfson her Ph.D. from the Brookings Institution. Wolfson joined the faculty of the Brooklyn branch of Hunter College in 1928. When this branch became Brooklyn College soon thereafter, Wolfson helped to develop the curricular and organizational design of the new institution. Her scholarly work also took her into public life. She served on the public panel of the War Labor Board (1942 to 1945), was involved in the New York State Board of Mediation (1946-1953) and the Kings Country Council Against Discrimination (1949-1953), and served as president of the New York chapter of the Industrial Relations Research Association. She won the John Dewey Award from the League for Industrial Democracy in 1957 for her work in mediating labor disputes. Throughout her career, Wolfson combined academic expertise with a concrete approach to the workings and status of labor unions and to the dynamics of gender in labor and labor organizing. Combining research and social action, her focus on worker education was designed to break down barriers to the advancement of women in the workplace and gender inequality within trade unions. Wolfson believed that a worker's ability to deal effectively with society depended on a sound education. Thus, in addition to her scholarly teaching and writing, she also taught in non-academic settings, including classes for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the Summer School for Office Workers, and, after her retirement, for a continuing education program at Sarah Lawrence College. Theresa Wolfson died on May 14, 1972 at the age of 74. A scholarship in her name allows a Brooklyn College student to pursue graduate studies in labor economics each year.
1897: Sir John Skelton who was appointed by Benjamin Disraeli to serve as secretary of the Scottish Board of Supervision passed away.
1898: After having been discharged as a 2nd Lt. from the 3rd Missouri Infantry yesterday, Albert Lieberman began serving as Assistant Surgeon in the 6th Missouri Infantry.
1898: "Novelist Emile Zola fled France after being convicted of libel against the French Army in the...Dreyfus affair." Zola had written a famous letter to the newspaper entitled "J'Accuse" (I Accuse). The letter exposed the conspiracy at the highest level of the French military establishment to convict Dreyfus and then to cover up the fact that he another officer was guilty of crime of which Dreyfus had been accused.
1898: A list of bequests by the late Jacob Berk published today including $1,000 each to the Montefiore Home, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Technical Institute and the Home of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith at Yonkers, NY.
1899: Philip H. Stern began actively serving as a Captain with the 29th Infantry.
1905: Birthdate of Max Kolpenitzky, the native of Königsberg who gained fame as “scriptwriter and lyricist” Max Colpet
1905: Birthdate of Giuseppe Girotti, the Dominican priest who died at Dachau after having been imprisoned for protecting and saving Jews – a feat for which “he was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1995 and recognized as a Catholic martyr and declared Venerable by Pope Francis.”
1908: Emma Goldman's personal manifesto, "What I Believe," was published by the New York World.
The first paragraph began as follows. "It is too bad that we no longer live in the times when witches were burned at the stake or tortured to drive the evil spirit out of them. For, indeed, Emma Goldman is a witch! True, she does not eat little children, but she does many worse things. She manufactures bombs and gambles in crowned heads. B-r-r-r!" Thus ran the first paragraph of Emma Goldman's personal manifesto, "What I Believe," written in response to "widespread public misconceptions about anarchism," the article systematically combated slanders against Goldman and outlined her anarchist approach to issues of property, government, militarism, free speech, the church, marriage and love, and violence. Born on June 27, 1869, in Lithuania, Goldman experienced the czar's Anti-Semitic policies and economic instability, which forced her family to move from Lithuania to Prussia and then to Russia in search of economic stability. These displacements and her distaste for the role of women in traditional Jewish families led Goldman to immigrate to America when she was sixteen. While working as a garment worker she became involved in the labor movement. Most tellingly, the trial, conviction, and execution, on specious evidence, of a group of anarchists for an 1886 bombing in Haymarket Square in Chicago inspired her to become an anarchist activist. In "What I Believe," Goldman sought to explain and defend her struggle for "freedom in the large sense of the word" through anarchism. The struggle for universal freedom served as the basis for her radical critique of property and capitalism: "It is the private dominion over things that condemns millions of people to be mere nonentities ... who pile up mountains of wealth for others and pay for it with a gray, dull and wretched existence for themselves." Since in her opinion government did nothing to further individual liberty or social harmony, Goldman saw it as nothing more than a protector of property and monopoly, and thus as an obstacle to freedom. Goldman's article also spoke out against the growing tendency of militarism that she viewed as "the most merciless, heartless and brutal [spirit] in existence." She stood particularly opposed to militarism because she believed that the military must necessarily be antidemocratic and antithetical to freedom. In Goldman's view, anarchism advocated for peace by offering a call for universal human brotherhood and solidarity rather than dividing people into economic and political rivals requiring military protection. Just as she saw the government as an invasive institution based on economic inequality, Goldman saw the institution of marriage in the same way. Making sure to differentiate between marriage and love, Goldman felt that marriage prevented a woman's freedom. She wrote, "marriage, or the training thereto, prepares the woman for the life of a parasite, a dependent, helpless servant, while it furnishes the man the right of a chattel mortgage over a human life." Goldman's radical views on marriage, as well as on religion, which she called "a nightmare that oppresses the human soul and holds the mind in bondage," and on other topics, brought her renewed criticism. In February, a few months before Goldman's manifesto, a Washington Post editorial had called her "a menace" with "enormous powers of hate ... set against law and order and government." Already under constant police harassment for their views, Goldman and her anarchist allies suffered further interference with their public lectures in the following months. At a New York City rally for the unemployed in September, 1908, for example, Goldman's partner Alexander Berkman was arrested; Goldman herself fled the hall just ahead of the police. Ultimately, Goldman's vocal endorsement of anarchism and opposition to World War I would lead to her arrest, denaturalization, and deportation under the 1918 Alien Act, which authorized the expulsion of any alien found to be an anarchist. Sent to Russia in 1919, Goldman soon became disillusioned with the Bolshevik regime. Throughout the rest of an itinerant life, Goldman continued to advocate through speech and writing for the possibility of a more just world. She died in Canada on May 14, 1940, and was buried in Chicago
1909(1st of Av, 5669): Rosh Chodesh Av
1912(5th of Av, 5672): Seventy-six year old Dr. Raphael Hausman, passed away today in Breslau.
1912(5th of 5672): Fifty-two year old Gustav Frankenstein, the President of the Jewish Community of Bielefeld passed away today.
1915(8th of Av, 5675): Rabbi Cranmer, a veteran of the America Civil War passed away today in Washington, D.C.
1915(8th of Av, 5675): In the evening observance of Tisha B’Av began
1915: “Hung with black, with all lights out except a few candles which made the darkness all the more weird, the congregants of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue at Central Park West and Seventieth Street,” observed “the fateful Ninth of Av” with the same signs of mourning that were first used two hundred and sixty years ago when the Jews worshipped “in a room near Bowling Green”
1915: During World War One, as services ended this evening marking the start of the observance of Tisha B’Av Rabbi Pereira Mendes told his Sephardi congregants, “The world is sick of war. Let justice be heard but let mercy prevail. Let us forgive, forget and forbear. Then only will world peace and heart peace prevail.”
1915: In Atlanta, GA, “the Penitentiary Committee of the House of Representatives…voted to table three resolutions which would have provided for a legislative investigation of the attack made on Leo M. Frank at the State Prison Farmer.
1915: In Brooklyn, Otto Stern, Leo Frank’s brother-in-law said that Mr. and Mrs. Frank had no comment to make on the attack on their son.”
1915: Two dozen names were signed to a telegram “from a body of citizens in a small city near Columbus, GA, asking Governor Harris to grant a pardon to the man who attempted to murder Leo Frank at the state prison farm.
1916: Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Film Company—originally formed by Zukor as Famous Players in Famous Plays—and Jesse L. Lasky's Feature Play Company merged today to form “Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, an American motion picture and distribution company.”
1916: “The Joint Distribution Committee of the American Jewish Relief for War Sufferers and the People’s Committee met in the office of Felix Warburg…an appropriated more than $600,000 for relief work among Jewish suffers in the war zone of Europe.”
1916: Dr. Karl Helfferich, the Secretary of the Interior and Imperial Vice Chancellor who had just returned to Berlin from Russian Poland, described the changes the Germans have made in the region including an amelioration of the “terrible suffering that had existed before the Germans had arrived” as could be seen in the admittance “of Jewish representative to the governmental bodies.”
1917: The announcement by the new Russia government that it considers “Russians who have taken out citizenship papers in the United States are still being considered the new Petrograd government unless they have obtained the consent of the Russian government to their change of allegiance” “is considered of considerable interest to a great number of American Jews of Russian origin who have relatives and friends whom they desire to visit in Russian and whom they might wish to go there to bring back with them to the United States.”
1918: Persian Jews in Hamadan wire the Zionist headquarters in Petrograd, asking that representation be made to the Russian government on behalf of 20,000 Jews who were robbed and left homeless by the Bolshevik troops before their departure.
1919: Birthdate of Alfred Abraham, the native of Pretoria better known as welterweight boxer Alf James.
1919: Lawyer-statesman, Louis Marshall, addressed an overflow crowd of Jews at Carnegie Hall. They were there to celebrate Marshall’s achievement of having the rights of Polish Jews recognized by the Minorities Treaty.
1920: In New Brunswick, NJ, David Stollman and the former Julia Friedman who had immigrated from Poland and “met in the balcony of a Yiddish theatre on the Lower East Side” gave birth to “Bernard Stollman, whose staunchly independent record label, ESP-Disk, provided an indispensable chronicle of the free jazz of the 1960s, and a series of provocations from the psychedelic counterculture.” (As reported by Nate Chinen)
1921: Birthdate of Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Rosalyn Sussman Yalow. When she won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1977, she was only the second woman to win the prize in the field of Medicine. "Her achievement was the development of RIA, an application of nuclear physics in clinical medicine that makes it possible for scientists to use radio tropic tracers to measure the con- concentration of hundreds of pharmacologic and biologic substances in the blood and other fluids of the human body and in animals and plants. She invented this technique in 1959 to measure the amount of insulin in the blood of adult diabetics." As can be seen from the following excerpt from the New York Times, Dr.Yalow is proud of being Jewish. “As a Jew, I share a strong commitment to the Jewish intellectual tradition. That tradition places emphasis on learning--learning for the sake of understanding and perfecting our world, and learning for its own sake. Through the ages, we have taken pride in being known as the "People of the Book" and have carried our Torah and our traditions with dignity and affection. Even in the face of persecution and dispersion, and often denied access to centers of learning, the Jewish people, never satisfied with conventional answers, have always valued intellectual inquiry and continued to honor wisdom and learning. Moreover, being Jewish means to me having a deep attachment to family. I grew up in an era of tightly-knit families which shaped our values and world-view. Today, the family, including the Jewish family, is said to be an endangered institution. It is time for us to rededicate ourselves to strengthening Jewish family life. Surely this is our best investment in the Jewish future." Finally, Judaism represents a great synthesis of universal and Jewish values. For me as a Jew, there need be no conflict between science and religion. Moses Maimonides, philosopher and codifier of Halacha (Jewish law), also graced the world of medicine. He is a role model of living in two worlds, Jewish and universal, and of making them one. The greatness of this country is that here we can be fully Jewish and fully American. American Jews are blessed to be living in a country where one need not compromise one's Jewishness to enjoy the opportunities of an open, pluralistic society. In a world which is too often concerned with instant pleasures and self-gratification, Jews have long believed in the importance of scholarship and disciplined learning. Accordingly, let us rededicate ourselves to the traditional values of our people and the service of humanity. "
1928: Sir Harry Charles Luke, a British colonial official, assumed the position acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine today. In 1929, he would make an unsuccessful attempt to mediate an agreement between Jewish and Arab leaders.
1928: Joseph Lefkowitz is scheduled to be executed today at Sing Song for arranging the drowning of Benjamin Goldstein so that he could collect on an $80,000 insurance policy issued by Metropolitan Life.
1930: Birthdate of Joseph Persico author of Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial which tells the story of the Nuremberg Trials and was adapted for television as the docudrama “Nuremberg.”
1931(5th of Av, 5691): Seventy-eight year Joseph E. Newburger who had served as a state Supreme Court Justice and President of the Board of Trustees of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum passed away today at Bluff Point, NY.
1934: Birthdate of Larry Zolf, a Canadian journalist and commentator.
1935: “Silk Hat Kid,” a “crime drama” with a screenplay co-authored by Dore Schary was released in the United States today.
1936: “Tales From the Chassidic Folklore” published today provides a review of Miracle Man by David Meckler.
1936: The Palestine Post reported that four more Jews were killed by Arabs in various separate murderous assaults throughout the country. This raised the number of Jewish victims of Arab disturbances to 47 since April 19. Guards at Ein Harod and Kfar Saba repulsed Arab attacks. Six Arab terrorists were killed when they bombed a military convoy near Tulkarm. A gaping hole was reported to have been made by Arab terrorists in their first attempt to sabotage the Iraqi Petroleum Co.'s pipeline. Police protection was promised for the traditional visit of religious Jews to Rachel's Tomb on the Bethlehem road, during the month of Av.
1936: “A committee of delegation for the defense of Jewish rights” sent a telegram signed by Rabbi Stephen Wise, its chairman, to Anthony Eden, British Foreign Secretary and President of the League of Nations Council protesting again the Danzig administration’s new moves which “menace the equality of rights of Danzig Jews guaranteed under the Constitution of the Free City and the League of Nations.”
1937: Dr. Chaim Weizmann records the details of conversations held with William Ormsby-Gore, the British Colonial Secretary in which the two leaders discussed the recommendations of the recently released report by the Royal Commission.
1937: “Death of Gershwin” published today provides Time’s description of the death and life the composer who died before his time.
1938: “Members of the Gordonia youth movement” founded Ma'ale Hahamisha (lit. Ascent of the Five)
“a kibbutz in central Israel in the Judean Hills” which one of “the 57 tower and stockade settlements” built during the Arab Revolt.
1940: Dr. Leopold Wallach is scheduled to lead his first Friday Night Service at Temple B’Nai Israel in Sheffield, Alabama. The 30 year old rabbi arrived in the United States 10 months ago from Germany and is “the first full-time Rabbi” employed by the rabbi for many years.
1941: Nazis conquer Vinnesta, a Ukrainian city with a Jewish population of 25,000 of whom approximately 17,500 were able to flee eastward.
1942: Himmler sent a directive to SS Lieutenant-General Wilhelm Kruger, head of the German police forces in the General Government. The directive ordered "the resettlement of the entire Jewish population of the General Government be carried out and completed by December 31.The General Government was the term for the Nazi administration in occupied Poland. The order was issued "in the name of the New Order, security and cleanliness of the German Reich."
1941: Vinnitsa, Ukraine was captured by German troops which would eventually lead to the massacre of the town’s 28,000 Jews.
1942: Deportations to the Auschwitz death camp begin for Parisian Jews who have been held at Drancy, France, since July 16.
1942: The Family Hostage Law is announced in Occupied France. Under its provisions, fugitive "terrorists" who do not surrender to German authorities can expect their male relatives to be killed, female relatives sent to work camps, and children sent to special schools for political reeducation.
1943: Three thousand, five hundred Jews were taken from the Birkenau camp to the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. Their task is to comb the ruins for valuables left by the Jews
1944: “Two SS officers who were sent from the ‘Rosenberg Command’ in Athens…assigned the president of the community” in Rhodes “the task” of informing “the women to join their husbands” on penalty of death. The women were told to bring with all of their belongings including “jewelry, gold sovereigns, banknotes, a few personal items and food.”
1944: Twelve hundred Hungarian Jews from Kistarcsa are trucked to Rákoscsaba, Hungary, and then loaded onto trains bound for Auschwitz.
1944: Relying on information leaked by British intelligence, “BBC Radio broadcast a story that two emissaries of the Hungarian government had appeared in Turkey, proposing that all Jews in Hungary would be allowed to leave if England and America supplied pharmaceuticals and transport to the Germans, with a promise from the Germans that the equipment would not be used on the Western front. The proposal, which the BBC called "humanitarian blackmail," was reported as a crude attempt to set the Allies against each other. The report added that it was not clear whether the plan had the approval of the German and Hungarian authorities.” [This is part of one of the most improbable tales from the Shoah in which Eichmann supposedly was ready to swap a half million Hungarian Jews for equipment that he could only have been used to fight the Soviets]
1944: Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII, appeals to Admiral Miklós Horthy on behalf of 5000 Hungarian Jews with Palestinian visas. Roncalli provides baptismal certificates for Jews in hiding.
1945: Starting today, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff “managed the capture of rocket scientists from the German Army Research Center at Peenemunde under “Operation Overcast” which would be re-named “Operation Paperclip” in 1946.
1947: Birthdate of famed trumpeter and leading conductor, Gerard Schwarz. In addition to his many professional honors and accomplishments, Schwarz is active in the Jewish community. “Schwarz was a founding member of Music of Remembrance, an organization dedicated to remembering Holocaust victim musicians. He is also an active member of Seattle’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai and has lectured on Jewish music there and at various Jewish Federation events, both local and regional.”
1947: After over 500 performances at the National Theatre, the curtain came down on “Call Me Mister,” a revue with words and music by Harold Rome and a cast that included Jules Munshin but which would continue its Broadway run at the Majestic and Plymouth theatres.
1947: The Runnymede Park, Ocean Vigour and Empire Rival, three deportation ships under British control, which were filled with Jewish refugees from the SS Exodus, set sail from Haifa bound for Port-de-Bouc, France. The British sailed the commandeered ship into Haifa port, where its passengers were transferred to three more seaworthy deportation ships, Runnymede Park, Ocean Vigour and Empire Rival. The event was witnessed by members of UNSCOP. These ships left Haifa harbour on July 19 for Port-de-Bouc. Foreign Secretary Bevin insisted that the French get their ship back as well as its
1948: After ten days of fighting, the road from Haifa to Nazareth was firmly in Israeli hands.
1948: The “Second Truce” goes into effect. The state of Israel had survived for two months despite two rounds of fighting with invading Arab Armies. The Jewish state was still not one contiguous unit. Egyptian forces were still in the Negev. The Jerusalem corridor was a slender strip of land and some northern settlements were cut-off from the rest of the country by Arab forces. Despite the truce, there would still be more fighting before the armistice documents would be signed in 1949. Still and all, the Jewish nation, even a precarious state, was a reality.
1948: In Jerusalem, Israeli forces drive off an Arab attack designed to penetrate the new, modern, Jewish section, of the city
1948: The main Cairo store owned by Cicurel family was damaged by a bomb today. The attack was thought to be the work of the Muslim Brothers. The store was part of a chain started by the family of Moreno Cicurel had migrated to Cairo from Izmir in the mid-nineteenth century
1951: Sir Laurence Olivier presided at the opening of the Irving Memorial Garden, built to honor memory of Sir Henry Irving who as an actor was known for his portrayal of Shylock and as a theatre manager for the production of “The Bells”, a version of Erckmann-Chatrian's “Le Juif polonaise” by Leopold Lewis. According to contemporaries, “he invested” his portrayal of Shylock with a “dignity” that was a marked “departure from the traditional interpretation of the role.”
1951: “Two on the Aisle,” “a musical revue with a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Jule Styne” opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.
1951:The US, Britain and France were prepared to back Israel's protest to the UN Security Council against the Egyptian blockage of the Suez Canal for shipping destined for Israel. The Egyptian blockade was a violation of international law. It would take the war in 1967 to finally establish Israel’s right to have access to the international waterway.
1951: In New York, John Blandford, the new director of UNWRA, was planning a tour of the Arab countries in order to provide the Palestine Arab refugees with homes and constructive work. This was the beginning of the "Arab Refugee Problem" created, in part, by the unwillingness of Arab states to allow the Palestinians to live in the homelands of their fellow Arabs.
1953: Birthdate of Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks.
1955: The Yarkon water project was opened. The Yarkon River flows near Tel Aviv.
1969: Israeli commandos begin a night attack on Green Island, a major military installation in the Gulf of Suez. The attack is one of the most difficult undertaken by Israel’s special operations forces. It would be a joint attack included forces from the Army’s Sayeret Matkla unit (a cross between the Green Berets and the Rangers) and the Navy’s Sayetet 13 or Flotilla 13, commonly known as Ha’commando Ha’yami, similar to the U.S. Navy’s SEALS.
1969: For the feats of heroism performed today during Operation Bulmus Ami Ayalon was awarded the Medal of Valor, the IDF’s version of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1969: In Los Angeles, “actor/director Richard Elfman and Rhonda Joy Saboff” gave birth to Bodhi Pine Saboff, the “grandson of author Blossom Elfman, and nephew of composer Danny Elfman” who gained fame as actor Bodhi Elfman.
1970: “The Valley of Gwangi” a fantasy film that featured Gila Golan in her final film appearance and filmed by cinematographer Jerome Moross was released in Japan today.
1970: Yosef Goldschmidt began his second term as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.
1973: Ninth Maccabiah comes to a close.
1976: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli pound was again devalued by 2 percent, to IL 8.12 to the dollar. But the cabinet ended its exclusive linkage to the dollar, and altered the year-old system of creeping devaluations to make their dates harder to guess. The pound was linked to a basket of currencies (including the dollar). The special ministerial committee was empowered to devalue the pound by up to 8 percent within the set four-month period in any way it chose. The Histadrut Executive decided to increase the membership dues and allowed Kupat Holim to charge its members for doctors' prescriptions
1981(17th of Tammuz, 5741): Tzom Tammuz
1981(17th of Tammuz, 5741): A boy of 17 was killed and 15 people were injured as a result of Katyusha bombardments on western Galilee.
1982(28th of Tammuz, 5742): Seventy-three year old David Frankfurter who created an international sensation when he assassinated the Swiss branch leader of the German NSDAP Wilhelm Gustloff in 1936 in Davos, Switzerland passed away today.
1983(9th of Av, 5743): Tish'a B'Av
1985(1st of Av, 5745): Rosh Chodesh Av
1985(1st of Av, 5745): Captain (Hon). Ewen Edward Samuel Montagu, RNR, CBE, QC, DL passed away. Born in 1901, he was a British judge, writer and Naval intelligence officer. Montagu was the second son of the prominent peer Louis Samuel Montagu, 2nd Baron Swaythling. During World War II, Montagu served in the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander RNVR. While Commanding Officer of NID 17M, Squadron Leader Charles Cholmondely, RAFVR and he conceived Operation Mincemeat, on the war’s most successful act’s of deception. Thanks to Operation Mincemeat, the forces of Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, enjoyed the element of surprise that helped to make the invasion a success. For his role in Mincemeat, he was awarded the Military Order of the British Empire. He wrote The Man Who Never Was in 1953 which was an account of Operation Mincemeat that was made into a movie three years later. He was president of the United Synagogue, 1954-62, and vice-president of the Anglo-Jewish Association.
1985: Five children were stabbed and wounded by a terrorist from Dura in the center of Jerusalem.
1989(16th of Tammuz, 5749): Eighty-six year old J.M. (John Michael) Cohen, the English businessman and WW II schoolmaster who found his niche as a translator of foreign language passed away today.
1989(16th of Tammuz, 5749): Seventy-year old Israeli author and sculptor Benjamin Tammuz passed away.
1993(1st of Av, 5753): Rosh Chodesh Av
1993(1st of Av, 5753): Eighty-four year old violinist and conduct Szymon Goldberg passed away today.
1994(11th of Av, 5754) Gottfried Reinhardt, the German born film director and producer who was the son of the Austrian theater director Max Reinhardt, passed away in Los Angeles.
1994(11th of Ave, 5754): “Lt. Guy Ovadia, 23, of Kibbutz Yotvata, was fatally wounded in an ambush near Rafiah. HAMAS took responsibility for the attack, saying it was "a response to the massacre at the Erez checkpoint". (Jewish Virtual Library)
1995: “Clueless” a comedy directed by Amy Heckerling, produced by Scott Rudin and co-starring Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd was released by Paramount Pictures in the United States today.
1996: An exhibition featuring the works of Stella Styne is scheduled to come to an end at Belgrave Gallery.
1998: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Stephen Sondheim: A Life by Meryle Secrest, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum, Summer Sisters by Judy Blume and The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by Richard Zimler
2002: “In his regular column for the National Catholic Reporter, John L. Allen Jr. quotes unidentified Vatican officials who suggest that Jewish bias against the Roman Catholic Church is partially responsible for the widespread media coverage and bias in the sexual abuse scandal.”
2004(1st of Av, 5764): Rosh Chodesh Av
2004: Eliezer Sanburg swapped ministerial portfolios today began serving as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure after completing his term as Minister of Science and Technology.
2004: TNT broadcast the first episode of “The Grid,” a miniseries co-starring Julianna Margulies.
2005: Today, “German prosecutors charged Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel with 14 counts of inciting racial hatred, which is punishable under German penal code, Section 130, 2.(3) (Agitation (sedition) of the People) with up to 5 years in prison. The indictment stated Zündel "denied the fate of destruction for the Jews planned by National Socialist powerholders and justified this by saying that the mass destruction in Auschwitz and Treblinka, among others, were an invention of the Jews and served the repression and extortion of the German people."
2006: “Strike on Israeli Navy Ship” published today that after having been suffered damage from a missile attack off the coast of Lebanon, “ the INS Hanit stayed afloat, got itself out of the line of fire, and made the rest of the journey back to Ashdod port for repairs on its own
2006: The second in a series of three concerts takes place at Jerusalem’s Confederation House featuring bakashot (prayers of request in the Sephardic fashion). This concert focuses on the bakashot of Morocco. Morocco was the only Arab country not conquered by the Ottomans and Jewish Moroccan music, having avoided centuries of Turkish influence, retains an older style harking back to the Golden Age of Spain before the expulsion. The cantors for this concert are Rabbi Meir Eliezer Attia, Maimon Cohen, David Attia, Haim Elon and Moshe Louk.
2006: The following were among the total of 43 Israeli civilians (including four who died of heart attacks during rocket barrages) and 116 IDF soldiers who were killed in the Israel-Hezbollah war: St.-Sgt. Yonatan Hadassi, 21, of Kibbutz Merhavia; St.-Sgt. Yotam Gilboa, of Kibbutz Maoz Haim, Rabiya Abed Taluzi, three, and his brother Mahmoud, 7, of Nazareth.
2007: In Jerusalem, The Zeek Gallery at the Yellow Submarine presents an exhibition entitled "Chance Music."
2008: Police arrested seven IDF soldiers on suspicion of involvement in a quarrel with civilians which took place near Atlit Navy base. The soldiers claimed they tried to prevent the citizens from entering a closed military area; however the civilians, members of two Druze families from Bet Ja'an, claimed that the soldiers had attacked them for racial reasons. The families said that they visit Atlit Beach without incident almost every week, and that the place where they pitched tents was more than 200 meters from the fence of the base. One of the family members, a border policeman, was injured in the altercation, and was taken to Haifa's Rambam Hospital in a moderate condition. Police opened an investigation into the event, and said that traces of alcohol were found in two of the soldiers' blood.
2008: Less than a month after meeting the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in Israel, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi left for the United States for a week of talks - with a focus on Iran - with top US defense and diplomatic officials. The visit is Ashkenazi's first to the US as chief of General Staff and comes following two visits Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen has made to Israel in the past seven months.
2008: Another production of Kurt Weill’s American opera, “Street Scene” was performed today on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich “with a cast largely from students attending Trinity College of Music.
2009: A stretch of Vienna’s Danube River will be transformed into a sunny beachfront from April through October. Today’s official launch party pays tribute to Tel Aviv’s Centennial with Israeli music, concerts and an upbeat summer party.
2009: At the 18th Maccabiah Games the Israel cricket team plays a team from South Africa and Great Britain plays India as the round robin matches continue.
2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Kissinger: 1973, the Crucial Year by Alistair Horne.
2009: The Governor of Kentucky announced that Jerry Abramson would be running of Lt. Gov. on his ticked in 2011.
2010: An advanced screening of “Lebanon,” a film based on Post-screening discussion with director Samuel Maoz’s own experience during the war with Lebanon in 1982, is scheduled to take place at The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.
2010: It was announced today that The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have arrested a Hamas terror cell that was operating in the West Bank and was behind a shooting attack last month in the southern Hebron Hills which killed policeman Shuki Sofer..
2010(8th of Av, 5770): Eighty-six year old particle physicist Gerson Goldhaber, whose accomplishments earned him the title of California Scientist of the Year and the Panofsky Prize of the American Physical Society. (As reported by Jascha Hoffman)
2011: In New York City, The Dor Chadash Book Salon series is scheduled to present Dorit Rabinyan, the Israeli author of A Strand of a Thousand Pearls,
2011: “The official gala opening” of “Ghost the Musical” for which Caissie “Levy originated the role of Molly Jensen” took place this evening in London.
2011: IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered the Israel Navy to intercept the French yacht Dignite-Al Karame after it had refused to stop heading toward the Gaza shore. Elite troops from Shayetet 13, a naval commando unit, boarded the vessel minutes after the IDF chief issued the order, and took it over quickly with no resistance on the part of the passengers.
2011: The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) suspected that Israeli spies may have been among the Israeli casualties in the powerful 6.3 earthquake which hit New Zealand earlier this year, killing 181 people including three Israelis, New Zealand newspaper The Southland Times reported today. Israel's Ambassador to New Zealand, Shemi Tzur dismissed the charge as "science fiction
2011(17th of Tammuz, 5771) Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
2012: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to present “Seeking Justice,” a lecture by Eli Rosnebam, “the longest-serving prosecutor and investigator of Nazi criminals and other perpetrators of human rights violations.”
2012: “Hava Nagila” (the movie) is scheduled to be shown on the opening night of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
2012: Twenty of those “lightly injured” in yesterday’s terrorist attack in Bulgaria are scheduled to be flown to Israel starting today.
2012: An airplane carrying 32 Israeli tourists wounded in the attack in Burgas yesterday landed in Ben Gurion Airport this afternoon.Three victims remained in serious condition at a hospital in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Military medical staff currently in Bulgaria have yet to determine whether they will be flown to Israel later in the day.
2012: The five Israelis killed in yesterday’s terror attack in Bulgaria arrived in Israel late tonight, as their plane touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv shortly after 12:30 a.m. Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov oversaw an official ceremony for the victims, whose relatives were present for their arrival. The victims were named this evening as Amir Menashe, 27; Itzik Kolengi, 27; Maor Harush, 26; Elior Priess, 26; and Kochava Shriki, 42.
2012: Israel has raised its military alert on the northern border, and cancelled some weekend furloughs, amid fears that the situation in neighboring Syria is rapidly spiraling out of control. Touring the border area today, Defense Minister Ehud Barak found himself within earshot of mortar shells fired between Syrian Army and rebel forces, which landed just a few hundred yards away, and he and senior Israeli army officers watched clouds of smoke rising from conflict zones that were being shelled
2013: In Trancoso, “a learning center” devoted to the history of the Jewish community in Portugal is scheduled to open today. (As reported by Cnaan Liphshiz)
2013: “The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats” the first major exhibition in this country to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats whose beloved children’s books include Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, and The Snowy Day is scheduled to open at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Hampton Synagogue in West Hampton.
2013: “Mamele” is scheduled to be shown this evening as part of the “July Yiddish Film Festival at Agudas Achim” immediately after Shabbat Eve services.
2013: A directive from the “European Union that bars its 28 members from all cooperation with Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and requires that any contracts between EU member countries and Israel henceforth include a clause stating that East Jerusalem and the West Bank are not part of the State of Israel is scheduled to take affect today. (As reported by Gavriel Fiske)
2013: An army spokesperson has confirmed that the IDF has stationed an Iron Dome missile defense battery near the southern city of Eilat. “The move comes amid the latest bout of unrest in Egypt that has put Israel on edge in part because of an increase of Islamist militancy in the Sinai region.”
2013: Today at the Maccabiah, Israel takes on India in cricket, Canada in softball and the USA in baseball and basketball.
2013: “The 14 pages containing the original Schindler’s List will be auctioned off today by California collectors Gary Zimet and Eric Gazin, who set the reserve price at $3 million but are hoping to sell it for $5 million.”
2014: As of 1:30 a.m. Israeli time, the IDF continues its mission in Gaza to destroy the capability to launch missiles into Israel and to conduct cross-border raids through tunnels.
2014: “Fourteen French police officers were wounded and 38 people were arrested” today at an anti-Israel rally held in defiance of a “city-issued ban” on the demonstration. (JTA)
2014: “In Brussels, calls to “kill the Jews” were heard at a demonstration of a few thousand people, where approximately 200 protesters smashed shop windows and parked cars.” (JTA)
2014: “In London, approximately 10,000 people attended a protest rally that featured calls to destroy Israel.” (JTA)
2014: The Historic Sixth & I Synagogue is scheduled to host the “Carsie Blanton CD Release Show.”
2014(21st Tammuz, 5774): Col. Amotz Greenberg, 45, of Hod Hasharon, and Sgt. Adar Bersano, 20, of Nahariya, were killed this morning (Shabbat) after a terrorist squad infiltrated from Gaza into Israel through a tunnel. (As reported by Gil Ronen and Tova Dvorin)
2014(21st of Tammuz, 5774): Ninety-two year pioneering television producer Madeline Amgott passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2015: An exhibition featuring a selection of the “illustrations, sketches and etchings” of cartoonist Liana Finick is scheduled to come to an end today at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning.
2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust is scheduled to host an “historic walking tour of Jewish South Portland.”
2015: Bob Geminder, a native of Poland whose family survived the Warsaw Ghetto and escaped from a train bound for Auschwitz is scheduled to speak at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.
2015: The Jerusalem Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2015: In Amherst, MA, “a concert featuring the Yidstock All-stars with Frank London and a group of all-star guest including Lorin Sklamberg of the Klezmatics is scheduled to take place at the Yiddish Book Center.
2015: “Scalia/Ginsburg” an opera that looks at the Supreme Court through the eyes of its leading conservative justice and liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is scheduled to be performed for the third and final time at the Castleton Festival.
2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Pinch: A History by Steve Stern, The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West by Michelle Goldberg and One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner.
2016: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host a “Summertime Swing Party” this evening.
2016: The Republican Convention in Cleveland is scheduled to nominate Donald Trump, whose daughter and son-in-law are Jewish as President of the United States.