Friday, September 9, 2016

This Day, September 10, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

September 10

134 CE: The great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Akiva, was taken captive by the Romans, and executed five days later in Caesarea, Israel. Rabbi Akiva had been a 40-year-old shepherd who could not even read the Aleph-Bet. One day, he came across a stone that had been holed out by a constant drip of water. He concluded: If something as soft as water can carve a hole in solid rock, how much more so can Torah -- which is fire -- make an indelible impression on my heart. Rabbi Akiva committed himself to Torah study, and went on to become the greatest sage of his generation, with 24,000 students learning under him at one time. The Roman authorities eventually arrested him for "illegally" teaching Torah. As he was being tortured, Rabbi Akiva rejoiced in fulfilling the biblical command to "love God with all your life." As he died, Rabbi Akiva uttered the words of Shema Yisrael. His self-sacrifice for Torah continues to inspire Jews till today.

877: Birthdate of Eutychius of Alexandria, the Greek who wrote Nazm al-Jauhar, a history, of what some may consider of dubious accuracy that began with Creation and ran through the 10th century which included a description of the Great Revolt in 70.

1191: During the Third Crusade, King Richard., the Lionhearted, captured Jaffa but throughout the remainder of 1191 and into the summer of 1192, he was unable to realize his ultimate goal of recapturing Jerusalem. Richard was facing Saladin, the Muslim leader who readmitted the Jews to Jerusalem in 1190.  Richard would leave the Holy Land and end up in an Austrian dungeon. His brother Prince John would pillage the English people to raise the ransom; the Jewish people were a special target for the Richard’s avaricious brother who would one day become King of England.

1199(8th of Tishri): Maimonides wrote to Samuel Ibn-Tibbon, who as translating the "Guide to the Perplexed from Arabic into Hebrew.  The letter included advice on how to do this as well as plea that Ibn-Tibbon not undertake his planned trip from France to Egypt to visit him.  The distance was too great and he would be too busy since to see him for more than an hour since each day except Shabbat he must travel from Fostat to Cairo where he spends half a day ministering to the Sultan and his court.  Then he travels back to Fostat where he is besieged by Jews, Moslems, et al all seeking his medical skill and advice.

1337: In Deckendorf, Bavaria, there was an alleged host desecration.  This allegation brought wide spread violence to over fifty communities in Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria. Host desecration was right up there with blood libel accusations when it came to inciting Christians to violent attacks on Jews.  Since the host was symbolic of the body of Jesus, the desecration of the host was treated like a repeat of the alleged betrayal of Jesus by the Jews that is at the core of the Good Friday/Easter celebration.

1349: Jews who survived a massacre in Constance Germany were burned to death.

1487: Birthdate of Pope Julius III.  As far as Popes went Julius was not the worst of the lot.  He did allow the burning of the Talmud and other “harmful books.”  At the same time condemned the use of the “blood libel” and the forced Baptism of children without the consent of their parents.

1663: Letters of denization were issued to Jacob Lumbrozo, a Sephardic Jew who was the first of his faith to settle in Maryland.  Denization was a level below full citizenship but included a several rights including the right to buy and own real estate. 

1671: The Jewish community of Berlin was organized.

1691: Eighty-six year old English Biblical school Edward Pococke whose works included “the Porta Mosis, extracts from the Arabic commentary of Maimonides on the Mishnah, with translation and very learned notes”  as well as a series of English language commentaries of several of the Jewish prophets. passed away today.

1718:  The Collegiate School at New Haven, Conn., changed its name to Yale.  Yale, of course is noted for the fact that Hebrew is used in its crest. This was not because of Jews attending the school but because Hebrew was one of the languages used in the Biblical studies at the college. Elihu Yale, for whom Yale is named, also had a slightly risqué relationship with the Jewish people.  While serving in Madras, he had an affair with the wife of Jewish merchant who was a leading member of the community.  The relationship apparently was open and ongoing and produced a son.  [I’ll bet that’s something that the Eli don’t sit around talking about down a Mory’s.]

1725: Emperor Charles VI., named Issachar Berush Eskeles "Landesrabbiner" of Hungary, a position which had been occupied by his deceased father-in-law.

1768(28th of Elul, 5528): In Newport, Rhode Island, Aaron Lopez does not open his businesses today because of Shabbat.

1798(29th of Elul, 5558): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1832: In Surinam, a fire destroyed the village at Jodensavanne including the synagogue.

1839: Having returned to London “from his academic travels in Africa and the Middle East” Louis Raphael wrote to his sisters that he was glad to be home and that he would send them money by the next post.

1840(12th of Elul, 5600): In Rozhniatov, Yenti, the daughter of Yehuda Pinchas passed away today.

1847(29th of Elul, 5607): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1852: It was reported today that Lionel de Rothschild, "that eminent Hebrew," is resigning from Parliament since he cannot take his seat.  "The Jewish Colossus has, as it said, come to the conclusion that the post of 'dummy representative' confers no credit on him while it is a decided disadvantage to the city" of London.

1854: Birthdate of American journalist Poultney Bigelow who during the 1890’s presented himself as an expert on “the persecution of Christian Jews” and who, unlike others, represented “the Czar as a kindly man overruled by fierce and venal bureaucrats.”

1855 (27 Elul 5615) Rabbi Sholom Rokeach, also known as the Sar Sholom (“minister of peace”), the first Belzer Rebbe passed away. Born in 1779, Rokeach’s father was Rabbi Elazar, a member of the Brody Kloise sages. His grandfather was Rabbi Elazar Rabbi of Brody until 1736, then Rabbi of Amsterdam. Rabbi Sar Sholom grew up as an orphan, in his uncle's home in the polish town of Skohl. This uncle, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Ramraz, his mother's brother, was the head of the Jewish law courts in that town. The uncle raised him, taught him Jewish tradition, and married his daughter Malka to him. In the town of Skohl he was influenced by Rabbi Shlomo (Flam) the Rebbe of Skohl (also known as Reb Shlomo Lutzker). Rabbi Shlomo was the personal writer and second hand of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, the successor to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chasidus. Since his uncle (and father in law) was opposed to Hasidus, Rabbi Sholom would secretly be let down the window by his wife, to learn at Rabbi Shlomo Lutzker's Beis Midrash during the nights. He composed several songs - most still sung by the Belzer Chasidim, including one tune, to "Tzur Mishaelo", sung during the Shaleshudes third ritual meal on the Sabbath, which is still popular today. Many of his speeches, teachings, writings and ideas, have been saved in an onthology named "Midbar Kadesh". He reigned as rebbe from 1817 till 1855. He was a disciple of the Seer of Lublin.:

1857: Birthdate of Flora Langerman Spiegelberg, the "grand lady of the southwest frontier.”  Spiegelberg was born in New York City.  She met her husband while she was on a visit to German.  Willi Spiegelberg also was visiting from the United States. The couple married in the Reform Temple at Nuremberg in 1874 and then returned to America.  Willi and his brothers were successful merchants in Sante Fe, New Mexico.  Flora settled there and became one of the leaders of the frontier community, starting among other things, the first non-sectarian school.  Although her husband with some other relatives had already established a prosperous mercantile business in Santa Fe, Spiegelberg, upon her arrival, found that she was only the eighth woman in town. Instead of giving into culture shock, Spiegelberg devoted herself to improving her new community. The success of her husband's store enabled Spiegelberg to put all her energy into community service. In 1879, she helped to establish the first non-sectarian school in Santa Fe, and the following year raised $1,000 from the Santa Fe business community to purchase an acre of land for a new three-room schoolhouse. In addition, she ran not one but two religious schools: a Hebrew school on Saturdays and a Catholic Sunday school. Spiegelberg also created the first children's playground and garden in Santa Fe. In addition to all of her efforts on behalf of Santa Fe's growing community, Spiegelberg was also a moderately successful children's writer, and some of her work was broadcast on the CBS radio network in the 1930s. In 1937, she published Reminiscences of a Jewish Bride of the Santa Fe Trail, a collection of stories from her own life.

1858: The City Items column published today reported that “Yesterday was kept strictly holy by those of our citizens who profess the Jewish faith. The day, until sunset, was observed with fasting and prayer.  During the morning the Synagogues were all open and were thronged with worshippers.”  “The day was not a mere nominal Day of Atonement since “all the Jews’ stores in the city were closed.”

1858: Hermann Mayer Salomon Goldschmidt discovered Asteroid 54 Alexandria.

1860: Birthdate of Shimon Meyerovich Dubnow  who gained fame as the great Jewish historian Simon Dubnow whom the world could not be bothered to save so he was murdered in the cemetery at Riga by the Nazis.  Although he was talking to the Jews of the Riga Ghetto when he said Yidn, shraybt un farshraybt"' (Jews – write and record)” he was reminding us all of the age old admonish to Zachor –Remember, which is a good enough reason to try one’s hand at history, at any level.

1864: Philadelphian Michael Baer began his second enlistment in the Union Army today as a Second Lieutenant in Battery I of the 204th Regiment.

1866(1st of Tishrei, 5627): Rosh Hashanah

1871: It was reported today that The New Era, “a Hebrew magazine” that the days are long gone when the Jews could be thought of as forming their own nation.  Living for so long among other nations of the world, they have identified with the nations in which they live.  Thus Jews living in England are Englishman; Jews living in Germany are Germans, etc.  When nations go to war, Jews find themselves fighting each other which is in violation of what had been a core value – loyalty.  As to the establishment of modern Jewish state, “the idea of a restoration of a Jewish kingdom is an exploded theory and is now rejected by the great majority of our people.”

1871: In “Glories of the Temple at Jerusalem” published today, Reverend Buddington described the findings of the Excavations of Jerusalem project paid for by the Palestine Expedition Fund.  The project began in 1868 and was completed in 1870 under the leadership of Charles Warren and Henry Brittles. Among other things, the British explorers found evidence of the burning of Jerusalem, “the seal of Haggai” and pavement dating from the time when Jesus was supposed to have been in the city.

1871: Miss Isabel Burton’s account of her recent visit to Hebron was published today.  She described how the Moslems had co-opted the Cave Macpalah by building a mosque on the site and the limitations on placed on Jews trying to visit the site.

1874(28th of Elul, 5634): Thirty-five year old John Harris passed away today following which he was buried in Natchitoches, LA.

1874: It was reported today that Herr and Frau Heilbut had recently celebrated their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversary in Hamburg, Germany.  The Municipal Council had closed the area where the festivities were taking place to all vehicular traffic.  The celebration included services at the local synagogue, serenades by two choral societies and congratulatory visits from the Chief Burgomaster  and the Director of Police.  Among the gifts were a “a magnificently bound prayer-book with a large diamond set in the cover presented by the Empress of Germany” a long with a persona note from her Imperial Majesty. [The Jews of Hamburg had only recently won full civil rights as German citizens.  This outpouring of official recognition gave a great deal of hope and comfort to the over 12,000 Jews living in a city whose Jewish citizens had included Moses Mendelsohn.]

1875: James Koppel Gutheim “was engaged as a guest rabbi to lead the inaugural services” for Temple Beth El’s new building in San Antonio, Texas. 

1875(10th of Elul, 5635): Rebekah Gumpert Hyneman a noted authoress from Philadelphia, PA passed away today.She was a regular contributor to The Masonic Mirror, published a volume of Tales for Children, and wrote essays descriptive of the women of the Bible and the Apocrypha. She also published a number of poems under the titles The Leper and Other Poems and The Muses.”

1876: “‘Becky Sharp’ On Stage” published today described a dramatization of Vanity Fair that had been performed in San Francisco, CA. (Thackeray’s novel contained several references to Jews, none of which were particularly faltering. Rhoda Swartz, a classmate of Becky’s is described as being the daughter of German Jew who was a slave owner.  Of a group of Jews who are among the attendees at a bankruptcy auction she say “Look at them with their hooked beaks…They’re like vultures after a battle.” As described by Marcus Ballenger)

1877: “The Jewish New Year” published today describes the differences in the way in which “Orthodox and Reformed” Jews observe the just completed holiday.  It points out that “the Jewish Church has in later years been somewhat divided on minor points, though” it is “thoroughly united in all material matters.”  For example one group considers it proper to use an organ which the other prohibits its being played.  One group observed the holiday for one day and blew the ram’s horn on Saturday; the other group only blew the ram’s horn on the second day of the holiday.

1877(3rd of Tishrei, 5638): Tzom Gedaliah

1878: “Joshua Stampfer came to Jaffa to supervise the found of Petach Tikhav, the first Jewish farming settlement latter referred to as ‘the mother of moshavot.’”  (255 green)

1878: Moses Ottinger and Amelia Gottlieb Ottinger gave birth to their son Albert Ottinger a lawyer who played a prominent role in New York politics. A Republican, Ottinger ran for Governor of New York in 1928.  He lost to a Democratic Party Ticket on which Herbert Lehman, who was also Jewish, was running as Lieutenant Governor.

1880: Simon Rosenheim, a Polish Jew went on trial today charged with having set fire to the Hester Street tenement house in which he lives.

1880: Birthdate of baseball pitcher Barney Pelter, the native of Farmington, MO, known as “the Yiddish Curver” began his and ended his career with two American League teams that no longer exist - the St. Louis Browns who became the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators who became the Minnesota Twins.

1881(16th of Elul, 5641): Forty-eight year old Samuel Raphel, the husband of Anna Nathan Raphael passed away today after which he was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA.

1881: Based on information that first appeared in the Jewish World it was reported today that “Russia is at last taking active steps to suppress any further outrages” aimed at the Jews.

1882:`The Congress for the Safeguarding of Non-Jewish Interests, which opened in Dresden, Germany, was the first international assembly to promote anti-Semitism. This meeting is considered to be a major milestone in the development of anti-Semitism.  For the past two centuries, (see item above for an example) it appeared that Europe was slowly, if gradually, rejecting anti-Semitism and moving to admit Jews as full participants in legal, commercial and social affairs.  This meeting represented a major move backwards and, being held in Germany, which was considered a center of European culture made the shift seem even more significant.  Finally, the anti-Semitism that this Congress represented was more along "racial" lines - the pitting of the Aryans against the Semites.  Over time, this mentality would find its ugliest manifestation in the Final Solution.

1883: Communal elections which were supposed to have been held in Agram today were postponed following an outbreak of violence in which several houses occupied by Jews were attacked by a mob that did not disperse until two in the morning after the hussars fired several volleys in its direction.

1884: Law enforcement officers scoured the countryside around Montana, PA looking for the Polish miners who had attacked them when they attempted to arrest the miners after they had stolen the packs belonging to a Jewish clothing merchant whom they had refused to pay for the clothing they had ordered.

1885(1st of Tishrei, 5646): Rosh Hashanah

1885: In New York, Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs delivered a sermon based “on the text in Isaiah: ‘For God is our King, and He will save us.’”

1885: In Alpena, Michigan, for the first time a professional cantor led services.

1886: Birthdate of Paul Burlin, a noted modern and abstract expressionist painter.

1886: Lawrence Barrett played the role of Shylock in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Star Theatre. Barrett’s portrayal stands out because unlike others he does not portray the Jew as loathsome caricature and portrays “the dignity of the representative of a shamefully abused race.” 

1887: It was reported today that the term “That beats the Jews” when used in New York City is a “complimentary exclamation” that is used when a person accomplishes something that is particularly clever. As can be seen from the large number of businesses bearing German-Jewish names, Jews are increasingly successful in the world of commerce.  In the public schools, Jewish children are almost half of the graduates and they excel in the field of mathematics.  “The Jews are the great patrons of classical music and the dramatic arts” and their absence is felt when performances fall on their holidays. (Editor’s note – This complimentary description of New York Jews stands in stark contrast to the exclusionary movement that began in Saratoga Springs and the fearful response to the wave of eastern European Jewish immigrants which was beginning to swell the city’s population.)

1889: Sixty-four year old Samuel Cox, who while serving as a Congressman from Ohio spoke out against the treatment of the Jews in Russia,  describing the Jews, in a speech given in the House of Representatives as a “broken-hearted and scattered race” upon whom “the Czar of all the Russia” uses “enormities of his rule” to persecute this people “with a lineage unrivaled for purity, a religious sentiment and ethics drawn out of the glory and greatness of Mount Sinai.”

1889(14th of Elul, 5649): Twenty-seven year old British poet and novelist Amy Levy, the first woman who attended Cambridge University and  whose friends included Eleanor Marx, the daughter of Karl Marx and Oscar Wilde passed away today.

1890: In Prague, Rudolf Werfel, “a manufacturer of gloves and leather good” and Albine Kussi, “the daughter of a mill owner” gave birth to the first of their three children, author and playwright, Franz Werfel.  a Jewish Czech who wrote in German and  was a contemporary of such famed intellectuals as Franz Kafka and Martin Buber.  Werfel was one of the intellectuals brought to the United States by American diplomat and righteous gentile, Adrian Frey.  Werfel died in California in 1945.  Two of his most famous American efforts were The Song of Bernadette and Jacobowsky and the Colonel, the film version of which featured Danny Kaye and Kurt Jurgens.

1890: In Kiev, Fanny Shafferman and Henry Finkelstein, “a distillery worker studying to be a rabbi” gave birth to Rose Finkelstein who gained fame as Rose Finkelstein Norwood the American labor leader.

1891: The trouble in connection with the 100 Russian Jews who arrived on September 8 is no closer to being resolved today than it was on the day they landed.

1891: Birthdate of Sam Born, the Russian born American “candy man’ who invented a machine that “inserted sticks into lollipops and created a candy company still thriving today.

1891: The platform of the New York Republican Party published today includes a “12th plank” that calls for the intervention of the national government to end “the cruelties and persecutions practiced upon the Jews in Russia” that “are abhorrent to the sense of justice of this people.”

1891: “Rabbi Soneschein Resigns” published today described the unexpected departure of Rabbi Solomon Soneschein as the leader of Temple Israel in St. Louis –  a change attributed to ill-health that resurrected reports of “scandalous stories…that have never been proved.”  [Editor’s note - His health could not have been all that bad since he went to serve as Rabbi of B’nai Yeshurun in Des Moines Iowa.  He and his wife Rosa, who was quite prominent in her own right, separated in 1891 and he divorced her in 1893. This personal misfortunes and frailties do not diminish the accomplishments of either of them.}

1891: The New York Times publishes an editorial calling for strict enforcement of laws designed to keep Russian Jews out of the United States.  After quoting statements by Lord Rothschild and Mr. Seligman that none of the funds of the late Baron Hirsch were used to settle Russian Jews in the United States, New York’s “paper of record” stated that “unlike their co-religionist from other countries they (Russian Jews) fail altogether to assimilate with our people or in any sense to become Americanized, but remain a class apart.”

1892: Mr. Thomas Sherman, the U.S. Consul in Liverpool, UK offered described the measures being used to keep sick immigrants from traveling to the United States including the fumigation of luggage belong to Russian Jews because of problems with small-pox.

1893(29th of Elul, 5653): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1893: “Festival of Rosh Hashanah” published today described solemn nature of the New Year which Jews throughout the world will begin celebrating tonight as 5654.

1894: The funeral was held this afternoon at Cypress Hills Cemetery for Mrs. Abraham Greenspahn of Williamsburg but her husband would later come to believe that the body buried belonged “to a Christian woman” and was not his wife.

1895: English author and historian Sir John Robert Seely, author of Ecce Homo and Natural Religion passed away. He believed that “the Hebrew Scriptures express in poetic form…the spirit of modern science”

1892: It was reported today that Samuel Ulmar is the only surviving member of a congregation started 34 years ago by French speaking Jews form Alsace

1894: “First American Bible” published today described preparation and printing of the Bay Psalm Book in 1640 including the reliance on Bishop Bedell to provide an accurate translation from the Hebrew – a task he was able to perform because he had studied the language with “Rabbi Leo, the chief chachan of the synagogue in Venice.”

1894: Based on information that first appeared in The Denver Daily News, “Dream of the Ages” published today described “the recent and sudden growth of the Jewish population in Palestine” in which 100,000 Jews have entered that land in the last seven years “as the beginning of the realization of the dream of centuries, the first practical step toward the restoration of the Jews to their ancient lands.”

1895: Birthdate of Melville J. Herskovits, “inventor of African-American Studies.”

1895: Birthdate of Edwin R. Thiel the Seventh Day Adventist minister and archaeologist who The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, “a comprehensive work” that establishes the chronology of the Kings of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.

1896: After more than a year of imprisonment on Devil’s Island where his jailers went out of their to treat him in the most abusive manner, a totally “depressed” Alfred Dreyfus “stopped keeping his diary, writing that he could not foresee on what day his brain would burst.

1897: In “A Jewish State Impossible” published today Rabbi Isaac M. Wise, the leader of the Reform Movement dismissed Zionist Congress held at as “a novelty, a gathering of visionary and impracticable dreamers who conceived and acted a romantic drama” and then “applauded it all by themselves.”

1897: (13 Elul 5657): At the age of seventeen Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn married a distant cousin, Rebbetzin Nechama Dina Schneersohn, daughter of Rabbi Avraham Schneerson of Chişinău, son of Rabbi Yisroel Noach of Nizhyn, son of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn

1898: It was reported today that approximately ten per cent of the 350,000 Jews living in “Greater New York” belong to the 32 synagogues and temples in the city.

1898: In Paris, the Ministerial Council convened to  hear General Émile Zurlinden, the newly appointed Minister of War’s  account and recommendations on the Dreyfus case adjourned early because Zurlindent, who was an honorable man did not feel he had all of the information.

1898: Temple Beth-El is reported to be making plans for providing religious services for Jewish soldiers serving in the local military camps during the upcoming High Holiday season.

1898: “Palestine Closed To Jews” published today provided the official Turkish declaration which stated “The entrance into Palestine is formally prohibited to foreign Israelites and consequently the imperial Ottoman authorities have received order to prevent the landing of immigrant Jews in the province.”

1899: The day after his conviction, Captain Dreyfus signed the Application to the Court of Revision.

1899: On the day after his conviction, Captain Dreyfus told his wife “I am not uneasy regarding myself as I shall soon be free; but I think of you and my poor children.  They will be branded as the children of a traitor.” (Dreyfus had been sentenced to ten years but based on the time he had already served he thought he would be released in October)

1899: Evangelist Dwight L. Moody addressed a mass meeting at the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn where he and other speakers expressed their displeasure with the verdict.  Moody said that Dreyfus “is suffering for his race. 

1899: In the Williamsburg section of New York, Reverend Roland S. Dawson responded to the Dreyfus verdict by telling worshippers at the Ainslie Street Presbyterian Church that “Justice and right are paralyzed in France before an unscrupulous military despotism.”

1899: John Most addressed a mass meeting of Anarchist at the Thalia Theatre which was held to protest the verdict in the Dreyfus Case.  Most said that “he had not come to shed tears over the verdict because tears would not do any good.”

1899: In Atlanta, GA, Mrs. David Eichberg received a letter today from the wife of Captain Dreyfus in which she said her husband could not accept a sword from the American people for which Mrs. Eichberg had been a leading fund-raiser.

1899: At the Baptist Temple in Brooklyn, Reverend Cortland Myers denounced the Dreyfus trail as persecution where the French have decided “Better that an innocent man go to prison and death than that the nation suffer.”

1899: In responding to the Dreyfus verdict, Dr. Madison C. Peters of Bloomingdale Church “took for his text the words from Isaiah, “Justice standeth afar off, for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter.”  In part he said, “France has gone mad…The civilized world stands astounded that in the closing days of the nineteenth century the bloodhounds of anti-Semitism should be let loose upon an innocent man.”

1899: “At The Play and With The Players” published today described the offerings for this season’s dramatic entertainment in New York including the performance of three dramas about Jewish life – “Ben Hur,” “The Ghetto” by Henrik Hyermann and “Children of the Ghetto” by Israel Zangwill – which will appear at The Broadway Theater

1900: Birthdate of Itzik Feffer, the Yiddish poet who as a military reporter with the rank of colonel and was vice chairman of the Soviet Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee but who was murdered by Stalin after the war when the dictator’s anti-Semitism trumped the patriotism of Soviet Jews.

1904(1st of Tishrei, 5665): Rosh Hashanah

1904: Birthdate of Max Shachtman Polish-born American leftist who began as an associate of Lenin and evolved into anti-Soviet Socialist.  A spokesperson of the downtrodden, he espoused the cause of rights for African-Americans in the 1930’s when the issue was barely a blip on most advocates of social change. He passed away in 1972.

1909(25th of Elul, 5669): Mrs. Hane Schilling passed away today

1909: Dr. Sigmund Freud received an honorary doctorate from Clark University where he is delivering five guest lectures.

1910: Birthdate of Chicago native Harris Krakow who gained famed as heavyweight boxer King Levinsky.

1911: In Russia, Minister of Justice Shcheglovitov rushed from St Petersburg to Kiev to provide additional false evidence to ensure the conviction of Mendel Bellis.

1911:  Delegates of the Mizrachi Party meeting in Berlin decided to secede from the main Zionist organization.

1915(2nd of Tishrei, 5676): Second day of Rosh Hashanah

1915: For a second day, New Year’s services in New York are held in unconventional venues including both the Lexington Avenue and Bronx branches of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association as well as the building at 110th Street near Lenox Avenue, home to the Young Women’s Hebrew Association.

1915: According to reports published today the Council Ministers “has discussed the program” of reforms presented by the new majority in the Duma which included “complete cessation of religious persecution and removal of restrictions on the Jews.”  (Editor’s Note-they would still be discussing this two years later when the winds of Revolution bl
1916: It was reported today that among the contributions received by the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War were $20 from Anshe Chesed in Cleveland, $60 from Rabbi J.N. Rosenberg and $45 from H.G. TAnanebaum.

1916: After leaving New York aboard the Oscar II on August 17 and stopping in Berlin for two or three days Abram I. Elkus the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Turkey is scheduled to arrive in Constantinople today.

1916: Birthdate of Haim Landau, the Cracow native who made Aliyah in 1935 after which he became a leader of the Irgun and held several ministerial posts while serving as an MK.

1916: As of today, it was reported that The Joint Distribution Committee of the Funds of the American Jewish Relief Committee for Jews Suffering through the War “has received from committees and individuals in various parts of the country to date more than $4, 600,000.

1919: Birthdate of Harry Schwartz, the New York native who became “an editorial writer for The New York Times from 1951 to 1979 and a specialist in Soviet and East European affairs who wrote and lectured extensively on the cold war and later on health care.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

1919: Foreign Minister Eduard Benex signed Czechoslovakia’s own version of the Minorities Treaty which Czech President Jan Masaryk immediately incorporated in to the Czech Constitution.  “Henceforth, in common with others of Czechoslovakia’s ethnic communities, Jews were entitled to a full panoply of linguistic, communal and educational rights.”

1922: Memorial services are held at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in the Bronx, NY for the late Colonel Harry Cutler, a leader of the America’s Jewish community whose positions included serving as executive director of the Jewish Welfare Board,

1923(29th of Elul, 5683): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1923: Birthdate of Israeli sociologist Shmuel Eisenstadt.

1923: Birthdate of Uri Avneri, Israeli author and politician who has traveled the political spectrum from membership in the Irgun to left-wing peace activist.

1924(11th of Elul, 5684): Twenty-two year old actress Eva May, the daughter of Mia and Joe May died today apparently of a self-inflicted wound.

1924: Leopold and Loeb were found guilty of murder.  The sons of two wealthy Chicago Jewish families killed the son of a third Jewish family.  Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney saved them from the hangman.  They were each sentenced to life in prison.  The story became the source for the novel (and a movie of the same name) called "Compulsion."

1926(2nd of Tishrei, 5687): Rosh Hashanah Second Day

1926: Jewish policeman and firemen in Newark, NJ are to be excused from active duty because of Rosh Hashanah as ordered by the Director of Public Safety.

1927: “7th Heaven” a silent film produced by William Fox with a screenplay by Benjamin Glazer was re-released in New York today.

1934(1st of Tishrei, 5696): Rosh Hashanah

1934: At Lynbrook, NY, Rabbi Harold I Saperstein delivered a sermon at Temple Emanu-El entitled “The Call To Battle” which “contained a powerful endorsement of the boycott policy” which was intended to bring the Nazi regime “to its knees through economic stranglehold” – a policy supported by Rabbi Wise and the American Jewish Congress but opposed by the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith.

1935: Kurt Weil and his wife moved from Nichols, Connecticut to the St. Moritz Hotel in New York City.

1935: In Nuremberg, opening of the seventh Nazi Party Rally with a motto of Party Rally of Freedom, an allusion to Hitler’s renunciation of the Treaty of Versailles.

1936: It was reported today the Professor Horace M. Kallen, chairman of the World Jewish Congress Commission to Combat Anti-Semitism has said that “there is a great difference between the old anti-Semitism of the pre-war kind and the new anti-Semitism” because “the attack on the Jew now is based upon the nation that the world is divided into two races, the Aryan and the human race, and that the former is destined be master of all mankind.”

1936: In a speech given at Nuremberg during the Nazi Congress, Minister of Propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels “declared that ‘almost exclusively Jews sit in the Soviet Government’” while asserting that “bolshevism constituted ‘a far-flung attempt by Jewry to obtain power over all the nations.’”

1937: The Palestine Post reported from Warsaw that a large number of Polish Jews were brutally attacked and beaten during the Jewish New Year period. According to the Post' special correspondent, the Polish government was to be blamed for being cognizant of, if not officially sympathetic to, the present wave of the anti-Jewish persecution. Yes, anti-Semitism was part of the Polish landscape before the German invasion of 1939.  And it lasted after the defeat of the Germans in 1945.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the Palestine question figured fourth on the agenda of the League of Nations Council's meeting in Geneva. Discussions, however, of the problems involved were expected to take most of the council's time and attention.

1937: In Boston, Dr. Louis K. Diamond and Flora Kaplan gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winning author Jared Mason Diamond.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that Arab leaders from Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Iraq, met at Bludan, Syria, to discuss Arab-British relations. All of them were highly critical of the Royal (Peel) Commission's findings and the suggested partition of Palestine.

1938: Conservative Rabbi Israel H. Leventhal of the Brooklyn Jewish Center and Reform Rabbi Louis I. Newman of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan issued a joint statement urging American Jews to help raise funds for the Jews of Poland by contributing to the American Committee Appeal.  Orthodox rabbis had already issued a similar appeal.

1938: The Third Betar Congress opens in Warsaw, Poland. “Betar is the Zionist revisionist youth movement established 1923, by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Betar is an acronym for ‘Brit Trumpeldor,’ and is also the name of Bar Kochba’s ancient fortress.

1939: Today, Sydney Simon Shulemson enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He graduated from flight school in 1942. He joined RCAF 404 Squadron in Wick in Scotland, flying a Bristol Beaufighter. Shulemson downed a German flying boat on his first sortie. He pioneered techniques for rocket attacks on Axis ships in the North Atlantic. After the war, Shulemson located aircraft and recruited pilots for Israel's growing Israeli Air Force.

1939: After ordering 50 Jews to repair a bridge, General Halder shot them all in their synagogue. For some Halder is some kind of "hero."  An anti-Nazi, he was part of an aborted attempt at a coup against Hitler prior to the war.  Despite his high rank in the German Army, he was imprisoned because he was alleged to have been part of the plot to kill Hitler in July, 1944.  But as this event during the early days of the Nazi invasion of Poland shows, the supposed anti-Nazi hero could serve Hitler and be a major player in the extermination of the Jews.  This episode also raises questions about the lack of involvement of the German Army in the Holocaust.

1939(26th of Elul, 5699): Sixty year old Austrian born American conductor and violinist Hugh Riesenfed who composed the scores for numerous movies passed away today.

1940: Rabbi Yaakov Ben Zion Mendelson “made an impassioned plea” at the convention of Knesset ha-Rabbanim (the Assembly of Hebrew Orthodox Rabbis of America and Canada) “to all American Jewry for the support of war refugees.”

1940: Ida Haendel, the British violinist who had been born in Chelm began her recording career for Decca today.  (Guess all Chelmites weren’t fools as the portrayed in the folk tales.)

1941: Birthdate of American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould

1941: Pitcher Harry Feldman made his major league debut with the New York Giants.

1942: The Allies carry out an amphibious landing at Majunga, north-west Madagascar, to re-launch Allied offensive operations in the Madagascar Campaign. Madagascar played an odd role in the history of The Final Solution.  Prior to the war, anti-Semitic elements in the Polish government investigated the possibility of deporting Jews to the island.  The plan was revived by some of Nazi leaders after the defeat of France.  The infamous Stern Gang actually bought into this as a temporary solution for the survival of the Jews of Europe.  Of course, in reality, only extermination of the Jews fit the Nazi plan for victory in its “War Against the Jews.”

1942: In Belgium, foreign Jews are seized in Antwerp. They are sent to a camp in Mechelen, Belgium, and then to forced labor in northern France.

1942: Yehuda Joakob “Edi” Weinstein escaped from Treblinka and returned to his home town of Losice, Poland where he tried to warn the surviving Jews of the fate that awaited him.  Weinstein would survive the war and chronicle his life story in Quenched Steel: The Story of an Escape from Treblinka. The November 8, 2007 edition of the Jerusalem Post would describe the 83 old Weinstein as being the last known survivor of Treblinka II.

1943(10th of Elul, 5703): Riva (Rebecca) Bernstein and Levie (Louis) Hillesum the parents of Esther (Etty) Hillesum died today either during their transport to Auschwitz or in the gas chambers immediately upon their arrival at the German Death Camp.

1943: Nine month occupation of Rome by the Nazis begins today.

1943: Birthdate of Michael Dougall Bell who served two terms as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel first from 1990 to 1992 and again from 1999 to 2003.

1943: Jewish youths attack German troops at Miedzyrzec, Poland, killing two. Five Jews are shot.

1944: Fifty-two Jews hiding from the prior two days of SS reprisals at Topolcany, Slovakia, were discovered. They were brought to an open field, forced to dig deep ditches and then shot. Among the dead were six young children

1945: “New Year Prayers for Peace Are Said” published today took note of the fact conservative and orthodox Jews ended their observance of Rosh Hashanah yesterday “with the prayer that the Jewish year 5706 would see recent social and scientific gains put to work to assure a prosperous and peaceful world” a sentiment echoed by Reform Jews who ended their observance the day before.

1945(3rd of Tishrei, 5706): For the first time since 1939, Jews of the world observe Tzom Gedaliah

1946: “The French State sentenced” Paul Touvieer who had murdered “seven Jewish hostages at Rillieu-la-Pape” in 1944 “to death in absentia for treason and collusion with the Nazis.”

1946: Birthdate of history professor Shlomo Sand, the Austrian born son of Polish Holocaust survivors who became a professor of history at Tel Aviv whose unconventional views can be seen in several of his works including The Invention of the Jewish People.

1947: Third baseman Al Rosen made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians.

1947: “Bombs Found on Jewish Ship: Battle Leaders Sent To Jail” published in the Glasgow Herald wrote today “Security fears seemed justified after the Jews were removed when a homemade bomb with a timed fuse was found on the Empire Rival .It was apparently rigged to detonate after the Jews had been removed, the cables indicate."

1947: “Bomb Found on Jewish” published today in the Glasgow Herald described the resistance by Jewish refugees aboard the Empire Rival led by Mordechai Rosman and Paul Bergman to being placed in DP camps in Hamburg by the British after they had been turned away from landing in Palestine.

1948: Birthdate of Nimrod Dori, the native of Kibutz Hulata who perished at the age of twenty aboard the Israeli Submarine Dakar.

1950: According to reports published today, the government of Israel will be issuing a stamp at harvest time picturing Stahveet, a cow which has produced 100,000 liters of milk, which may be a world’s record.

1950: “A Native Returns” published today described the how Josef Von Sternberg has resuscitated his career by directing “Jet Pilot, his first film in technicolor and taking on the filming of “Macao” a blockbuster with a $1,400,000 budget.

1951: The executive body of the World Jewish Congress will begin its annual meeting at Geneva today. Described by its members as the most representative body of world Jewry, they will discuss and try to formulate a policy on a number of matters of pressing interest to Jewish groups throughout the world.  “The resurgence of Germany as a leading independent power” is one of the major issues on the mind of many of the attendees.  The attendees hope to prepare a position paper to be circulated among the leading Western nations expressing Jewish concerns which include the failure of Germany to accept responsibility for War Crimes, failure to build in self-guards against a resurgence of anti-Semitism and any attempt to pay reparations to those who suffered at the hands of the Germans.  Rabbi Israel Goldstein is leading the U.S. delegation.  Dr. Nahum Goldman is serving as presiding officer, a position he had filled at the recently completed Zionist Congress that had met in Jerusalem.

1951: JTA reported that the Jewish organizations of Argentina have brought to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Interior the wounding of a Jew in the nearby city of Avellaneda in what they describe as a serious outbreak of anti-Semitism. A 23-year-old Jew, Jacob Chermenitzky, was on his way to work early yesterday morning when he was accosted by three men waving pistols. First they made the young Jew shout "Viva Hitler" and "Death to the Jews" then they shot him at close range. Cherminitzky was seriously wounded

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett told reporters, while leaving for Luxembourg to sign the Israeli-German Reparation Agreement, "that without complacency I can say that this journey gives expression to the change which came about in the Jewish people with the establishment of the State of Israel, and the achievements which the state means for the Jewish people."

1952: After six months of negotiations, the Claims Conference and the German federal government signed an agreement embodied in two protocols. Protocol No. 1 called for the enactment of laws that would compensate Nazi victims directly for indemnification and restitution claims arising from Nazi persecution. Under Protocol No. 2, the German government provided the Claims Conference with DM 450 million for the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, according to the urgency of their need as determined by the Conference. Agreements were also signed with the State of Israel.

1952: Among those involved in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany today was Benjamin B. Ferencz, a Hungarian born American lawyer, veteran of WW II and an investigator who gathered information for the trials of Nazi leaders.

1953:  Birthdate of actress Amy Irving.  Irving is the sister of director David Irving and the wife of Steven Spielberg.

1956: Birthdate of Israel archaeologist Eilat Mazar, the third in her line which began with her grandfather Benjamin Mazar.

1956: Following his graduation from the University of Iowa in 1955, Gene Wilder was drafted into the United States Army today.

1957: Pitcher Barry Latman made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox.

1966: In London, The Destruction in Art Symposium chaired by Gustav Metzger, came to a close.

1969: “Shocked and angered by news of the raid” on the Red Sea Coast which the Israelis called Operation Raviv, “Egyptian president Gamel Abdel Nasser suffered a heart attack.”

1969: Designated hitter Ron Blomberg made his major league debut with the New York Yankees.

1970: Birthdate of Jeff Marx, the Florida native whose musical talents gave us the Tony Award winning “Avenue Q.”

1971(20th of Elul, 5731): Ninety-four year old judge, philanthropist, and political activist Joseph Meyer Proskauer, a founding partner of Elkus, Gleason & Proskauer passed away today.

1972(2nd of Tishrei, 5733): Rosh Hashanah Second Day

1972: Under the auspices of the Committee on Justice and Peace of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, “more than 100 rabbis through the” United States are scheduled to begin “a five-day liquid fast” ‘to protest the Munich massacre as well as the war in Vietnam.”

1974: Birthdate of Sarah Danielle Goldberg “an actress in the popular television series “7th Heaven.”

1977: Broadcast of the fifth and final Nixon Interviews with David Frost which were produced by Marvin MIntoff who was president of Frost’s production company.

1977: After having been released in the United States and Finland, “Getting Straight” starring Elliot Gould and featuring Jeannie Berlin (the daughter of Elaine May) and John Rubinstein (the son of pianist Arthur Rubinestein) was released in Spain today.

1980: “The Exterminator” a film about Vietnam veteran directed and written by James Glickenhaus was released in the United States today.

1983(3rd of Tishrei, 5744): Shabbat Shuvah

1983(3rd of Tishrei, 5744):  Physicist Felix Bloch passed away.  Born in Switzerland in 1905, Block won the Nobel Prize in 1952.

1988: Elazar Shach, a leading Haredi Rabbi who seemed to have quarreled with or disapproved of most Jewish leaders including the Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson wrote a letter today forbidding debate with Rav Adin Steinsaltz because he is a heretic.

1993: Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival of “Life According to Agfa,” an Israeli film directed by Assi Dayan.

1993: “True Romance” a “dark comedy featuring Michael Rapaport and Saul Rubinek with music by Hans Zimmer was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1993: First broadcast in the long-running television series “The X-Files” starring David Duchovny.

1994(5th of Tishrei, 5755): Shabbat Shuva

1998: The International Puppet Festival which provided a “a rare revival of the E.Y.”Yip” Habrburg musical “Flahooley” opened today in New York.

1999: Two months after opening the United States “Eyes Wide Shut” directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick who co-authored the script featuring Sydney Pollack as Victor Ziegler was released today in the United Kingdom.

1999: Ten months after opening in the United Kingdom “B. Monkey” directed by Michael Radford who co-authored the script as well was released today in the United States.

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You: Stories by Amy Bloom, The Head Game: Baseball Seen From the Pitcher's Mound by Roger Kahn, Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity by Israeli historian Omer Bartov, The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices by Elazar Barkan, Dreams of Being Eaten Alive: The Literary Core of the Kabbalah by David Rosenberg and Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg.

2000: Radio personality and commentator Scott Simon married Caroline Richard. They are raising their two daughters as part of what “they consider to be a Jewish family.”

2002(4th of Tishrei, 5763): Ninety-year old Louis Pollock, whose wife Marian had passed away in August, passed away today.

2003: At a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Kerala Tourism Minister, K.V. Thomas gave Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a gift that “contained replicas of the Copper plates from the `Magna Carta' of the Jews of Kochi, which has the oldest synagogue outside Israel.”

2003: In Saskatchewan, Canada, the Rural Municipality of Willow Creek designed Beth Israel Synagogue and its cemetery as a municipal heritage site. The synagogue had been built by Jewish immigrants who came to Canada from Lithuania via South Africa and established the Edenbridge Hebrew Colony.  The colony was part of the attempts to settle eastern European Jews in areas outside of the major municipal centers.

2005:  The Jerusalem Post reported that replicas of the Sarajevo Haggadah - a 600-year-old Jewish manuscript - are to be sold to the public. Jakob Finci, the head of the Jewish community in Bosnia, said that a total of 613 replicas of the document are to be printed and made available by next Passover. It was decided to start with 613 replicas because there are 613 mitzvoth.

2006:  The Sunday New York Times featured a review of Jennifer Gilmore’s debut novel, Golden Country that details the complex history of two intertwined families: the Blooms and the Brodskys. Both are Jewish, both touched with genius and dishonesty, as they strive toward the twin goals of material success and social acceptance in America. Haaretz featured a review of Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution by Laurence Rees which the British Book Awards named "History Book of the Year" for 2006.

2006: “For Your Consideration,” a film about the fictional filming of a 1940’s movie entiteld “Home for Purim,” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

2006: In an essay that appeared today in The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung German historian Arno Lustiger criticized  “Günter Grass's treatment of his Waffen-SS membership in his latest book.”

2007: A lawyer representing Neta Shoshani, a student at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem, sent one last letter to the Ministry of Defense requesting all documents related to the event that took place in Deir Yassin.

2007: In a moment of great irony, Haaretz reported that at a time when a German television network had fired a popular news woman who had praised Nazi values in a book she had published, Jewish residents of Petah Tikvah were enduring a two year long reign of terror by neo-Nazi, skinhead gangs whose membership comes from teenage immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

2007: In “Little Trends, Big Impacts” published today U.S. New & World Reports, an American magazine, summarizes some of the findings found in Microtrends by Mark Penn including a heading styled “Pro Semites” which reports that “when Americans were asked how they feel about religious groups in the United States, Jews rated the highest of any, with a net positive of 54 percent…As love for Jews spreads, so do Jewish customs.  Non-Jews are having bar mitzvahs.  Americans consume over 8 million pounds of matzo per year – a sickening amount if divided only among the nation’s 6 million Jews.

2007: The New Republic features a review of The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedlander.

2008: Neal Karlen, noted journalist and author, discusses his book, The Story of Yiddish: How a
Mish-Mosh of Languages Saved the Jews at the U of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.

2008: The American Sephardi Federation presents the screening and discussion of “The Law Aliyah from Yemen” and “About the Jews of Yemen: A Vanishing Culture” - two films about the Yemenite Jewish Community.

2008: Today Gina “Gershon appeared in a video on, parodying former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, titled "Gina Gershon Strips Down Sarah Palin" which she followed with "Gina Gershon Does Sarah Palin 2"

2008: The inaugural Library of Congress Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Writing of Fiction will be conferred upon bestselling author Herman Wouk, author of The Winds of War and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Caine Mutiny, at the library's Thomas Jefferson Bldg., Special guests William Safire, Martha Raddatz and Jimmy Buffet are among those who will read from Wouk's work, while Wouk himself will read from his unpublished literary diaries.

2009: Rich Cohen discusses and signs Israel Is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and Its History at Politics and Prose Bookstore

2009: At Tulane University, the Jewish Studies program begins its Fall Colloquium and Film Series.: The *Colloquium is devoted to the subject of “Cultural Judaism: Experience, Concepts and Rival Perspectives”The first lecture of the series presented today by Ronna Burger is entitled, “"In the Wilderness: Moses as Founder and Legislator"

2009: A class-action lawsuit accusing a Los Angeles Jewish cemetery of dumping remains to make room for new interments was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court claims that Eden Memorial Park, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the United States, instructed groundskeepers to “secretly break concrete vaults with a backhoe and remove, dump and/or discard the human remains, including human skulls, to make room for new interments.” According to the complaint, the cemetery management “took considerable steps to conceal their fraudulent actions by threatening employees and witnesses with retaliation and the loss of their jobs.”As many as 500 graves may have been affected over the course of 15 years, CNN reported. Service Corporation International, the largest owner of cemeteries and funeral homes in the United States, was accused by the state of Florida of similar allegations in 2003 in another Jewish cemetery. It settled with the family members of the interred whose bodies were desecrated for $100 million.

2009(21st of Elul, 5769): Ninety-nine year old Lou Bender, depression-era Columbia University basketball star, passed past away today. (As reported by Vincent Malliozzi)

2009: Cass Sunstein was confirmed by Senate as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

2010(2nd of Tishrei, 5771): Rosh Hashanah II

2010: At the 67th Venice International Film Festival, premiere of Barney’s Version, the cinematic treatment of the novel of the same name written by Canadian author Mordecai Richler.

2010: ‘Ahead of Time’ is scheduled to open at New York’s Angelika Film Center

2010: A Kassam rocket fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip exploded in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council area this morning. No injuries or damage were reported in the attack.
The rocket marked the fourth such attack on southern Israel from Gaza in the last two days since the Rosh Hashana holiday began.

2010: At a news conference held today, University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach “acknowledged that he had lied to NCCA investigators looking into recruiting violations at the Knoxville school.
Bruce Pearl, a big-time college basketball coach and spokesman for Jewish causes, was a week or so early on his mea culpas during the Yom Kippur season. Pearl, the wildly popular men’s coach at the University of Tennessee, has orchestrated a major turnaround since taking over the program in 2005, leading the traditional football powerhouse to its first-ever No. 1 ranking in basketball last year. In the process he has taken up Jewish causes, including serving as coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. men's basketball squad at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel and speaking on behalf of local groups, including the Jewish Federation of Knoxville. In 2007 he rocked the house with a motivational speech at the Jewish federation system’s annual General Assembly in Nashville. These days, however, Pearl finds himself in the middle of controversy. At a news conference today, the second day of Rosh Hashanah, a teary Pearl acknowledged that he had lied to NCAA investigators looking into alleged recruiting violations. Since then he has been skewered by the media. But the Jewish charities he has helped are standing by their man. “We are supportive of him," Jed Margolis, the executive director of Maccabi USA, told JTA in an interview Tuesday. "People make mistakes, and he has owned up and taken responsibility for them, and I feel very comfortable.” Pearl has become one of Maccabi USA’s most prominent faces along with former Olympians Lenny Krayzelberg, Mark Spitz and Kerri Strug. “His impact on the games was very positive, and not just because of the medal he won," Margolis said. "He was a good role model and teacher, and had a wonderful experience in Israel. He was a real shining light for us.” The organization’s president, Ron Carner, also sent an open letter to the embattled coach offering his support. “In the past few days I have been contacted by many of our board members and executive committee as well as our athletes -- all unanimously agree that I should write in an official capacity to reassure you that the entire Maccabi USA family is behind you during this trying time,” Carner wrote. Pearl is slated to speak Sunday to Maccabi USA funders in Greenwich, Conn., the day after Yom Kippur, and again next month in Florida. Margolis, who enjoyed Shabbat dinner with Pearl and his family at the Chabad of Knoxville several weeks ago, insisted that Maccabi USA never considered dropping the coach. Pearl has become known in Tennessee for his philanthropy, where he serves as a spokesman for the United Way. In addition to his speech at the federations’ General Assembly, he regularly speaks to groups associated with the Jewish Federation of Knoxville and is an avid supporter of Hillel at the University of Tennessee, which has about 500 Jewish students, according to the local federation’s executive director, Jeff Gubitz. The coach regularly lends out his office to Hillel, which does not have an official campus space, for Torah study. And Pearl, who belongs to the Conservative synagogue Heska Amuna, where he attended services the first day of Rosh Hashanah, regularly donates memorabilia for local charities, according to Gubitz. Pearl’s actual infractions might seem minor to the casual observer: According to reports, he made excessive phone calls to recruits and used unauthorized phones to do so, and then lied about the infractions. But his critics say that Pearl doesn’t have much room for error -- 20 years ago, as an assistant coach for Iowa State, he famously was the whistleblower who outed another assistant coach at the University of Illinois for trying to secure a recruit by offering him an SUV and cash. In the cut-throat world of major college basketball recruiting, Pearl broke a serious taboo, and once he was busted for lying about his own infractions, his peers and the press pounced, sparking scores of articles lambasting him and calling for his ouster. The University of Tennessee has not fired the coach, but it has docked him $1.5 million in pay over the next five years and has barred him from off-campus recruiting for the next year. In the face of this tidal wave of criticism and sanction, Pearl continues to enjoy the support of Jewish organizations, including the Jewish federation in Knoxville. “I think that Bruce is a positive individual and has come out on top from some other situations, and I am sure he will in this situation,” Gubitz said. “I know he has an incredible amount of remorse there. But Bruce is one of those people who I’m sure is harder on himself for tripping over some rules or guidelines than anyone else.”

2010(2nd of Tishrei, 5771): Eighty-year old advertising executive Joyce Beber, co-founder of Beber Silverstein & Partners and promoter of Leona Helmsley’s business ventures, passed away today.  (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2011: Renaud Capucon and Yefim Bronfman are scheduled to perform Beethoven’s Violin Sonata no.5 in F major, op. 24 Spring at the 14th Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival.

2011: The Daniel Ori quintet is scheduled to play two sets featuring arrangements from their upcoming album “Emuna.” Ori is a native of Kfar Saba.

2011: Israel sent a pair of military jets into Cairo at dawn today to evacuate its embassy staff after six members had been trapped in the embassy overnight by thousands of protesters who invaded the building and tossed documents from the windows.

2011: In a televised statement tonight, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the violent riots outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo last night, during which a mob demolished the security wall surrounding the embassy and stormed the premises, forcing the Egyptian commando to evacuate six Israeli Embassy employees that were stranded inside the building in a special rescue operation. "We are acting along with the Egyptian government to quickly return our ambassador to Cairo," Netanyahu noted, stressing that "Israel intends to adhere to the peace treaty with Egypt."

2011: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today slammed US President Barack Obama, claiming he did not take interest in the Turkish-American citizen who died on board the Mavi Marmara during the 2010 IDF raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

2012: At the Toronto International Film Festival, premiere of a “Late Quartet,” a simply marvelous must see movie directed and co-produced by Yaron Zilberman, with a script by Seth Grossman and Yaron Zilberman.

 2012: EMET is scheduled to host a noon time lecture entitled “11 Years After 9/11: What Went Wrong With American Policy?”  in Washington, DC.

2012(23rd of Elul, 5772): Eighty-six year old Holocuast survivor Eli Zborowski who founded the American and International Societies for Yad Vashem passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2012: Deploying military force against Iranian nuclear sites too early or without the United States' approval could ultimately be detrimental in preventing an Iranian bomb, former head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin said today.

2012: Following a string of "Price Tag" attacks in the West Bank over the past few weeks, Israel Police are set to launch a new unit that will help investigate such crimes, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said today.

2102: A French Canadian adaptation of BeTipulis an Israeli television drama revolving around the personal and professional life of an Israeli psychologist, Reuven Dagan entitled "En thérapie" was shown for the first time on Canadian television.

2012: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin called for the government to postpone continued construction of the separation barrier, during a visit to Gush Etzion today.

2013: MK Rabbi Dov Lippman and David Makovsky are scheduled to take part in a discussion entitled “Secular and Religious Jews in Israel: How to Shape a Better Future” at the JCC in Rockville, MD

2013: In Fairfax, VA, the JCCNV Special Needs Committee hosts a book club meeting that will discuss Touch of the Top of the World” A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See by Eric Weihenmayer.

2013: “Conference to Mark the 70th Anniversary of the Creation of the United Nations War Crimes Commission in 1943” co-hosted by  the Weiner Library is scheduled to open in London.

2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “It’s a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York and Beyond”

2013: Details of a deal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control are highly murky, Knesset foreign affairs chief Avigdor Liberman said today, warning that the plan could potentially serve the interests of the Assad regime. (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2013: A leaflet distributed today by the Fatah-affiliated Al- Aksa Martyrs Brigades called for launching terror attacks against Israel as of this coming Friday. The group called on all its “units and sleeping cells” to start launching attacks against “the Zionist enemy.” It said that Palestinians should regard Friday as a “green light from our consciences to all our units and sleeping cells” to launch terror attacks against Israel. (As reported by Khaled Abu Toameh)

2013: Publication of Wilson, a biography of the 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Andrew Scott Berg

2014: Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman is scheduled to speak on “All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holidays at Temple Emanu-El’s Skirball Center.

2014: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a screening of “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco” followed by a Q & A by Professor Ellen Eisenberg.

2014: Friends and family are scheduled to celebrate the birthday of Rabbi Avrohom Blesofsky, the Lubavitch Leader of Iowa City.

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Abraham Sutzkever: The Power in Poetry Lecture”

2014: At the University of Connecticut, the Center For Judaic Studies is scheduled to sponsor a “Yiddish Tish.”

2014: “Two weeks after the 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict ended, the Military Advocate General Corps has ordered an investigation into five cases, ranging from high-profile airstrikes to a simple case of alleged theft, a senior IDF officer said today.” (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

2014: “President Reuven Rivlin, who drew criticism before becoming Israel’s president for broadsides against non-Orthodox Jewish streams, told a group of Conservative Jews today that Jews are “all one family.”

2015: A special “shiva service” for Murray Wolfe of blessed memory, beloved husband of Charlene Wolfe, is scheduled to be held this evening in Cedar Rapids, IA.

2015: In London, The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host Judith Kerr “who will share the real-life stories behind her words and pictures.”

2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a “Book Talk” with the subject being Jewish Resistance Against the Nazis by Patrick Henry.

2015: The National Football League is scheduled to kick-off its 2015 season when owner Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots, led by his son President Jonathan Kraft square off against the Pittsburgh Steelers whose most famous Jewish player may have been Randy Grossman, nicknamed the “Rabbi” who helped his team win four Super Bowls.

2015: Thanks in part to the efforts of New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky, the National Grid announced a reversal of its policy and said it would not reinstate fees for disconnecting and reconnecting gas lines – a practice that had been beneficial to his constituents following Hurricane Sandy.

2015: “On Transience” featuring the works of Friderike Heuer is scheduled to open at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

2016(7th of Elul, 5776): Parashat Shofetim and the anniversary of the Bar Mitzvah of Shelly Lubar, Z"L

2016: ZviDance which “exists to share with audiences the choreographic vision and movement vocabulary of Israeli-born Artistic Director, Zvi Gotheiner” is scheduled to perform an excerpt from “COUPLING” at Joe’s Pub.
2016: Shabbat takes on an extra special sweetness as the friends and family are scheduled to celebrate the birthday of Rabbi Avrohom Blesofsky, the Lubavitch Leader of Iowa City.

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