Thursday, September 29, 2016

This Day, September 30, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

September 30

132 C.E. (10 Tishrei): On the secular calendar, Akivah ben Joseph known as Rabbi Akiva passed away.  He was born in 50 C.E., twenty years before the destruction of the Second Temple.   According to tradition, he was an unlearned shepherd until the age of 40 who succeeded in becoming one of the greatest of all the Mishnaic authors (Tanaim). There are countless romantic stories regarding his life. He is one of the Rabbis mentioned in the Haggadah who gathered at B'Nai Brak.   He decided to back Bar Kochbah in his revolt against Roman religious oppression and was then executed by the Romans. He is one of the Ten Martyrs memorialized on the High Holidays. It is said that while being tortured he began saying the Shema with his life ending as he reached the word "Achad"(one).  Considering that he did not start studying until the age of forty, Akiva is "the hero" of Jewish Adult Education.  As one educator said, none of us might be an Akiva, but thanks to Akiva, none of us can say that we are ever too old to start studying.

420: Saint Jerome, the creator of the Vulgate passed away in Bethlehem. A linguist and a scholar Jerome did not trust the text of the Septuagint.  Using his knowledge of Hebrew, he began a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Lation which was completed in 405.

788: Abd Al-Rahman, the man who laid the foundation for an impressive Muslim dynasty in Cordoba (Spain) during what the Jews called the “Golden Age” passed away. The grand mosque he started building still stands today over 1,300 years later, right outside the old Jewish quarter of Cordoba. Apparently, this is a rather common name among Muslim leaders and he is not to confused with some of his less distinguished brethren whose nomenclature looks similar to unlettered Western eyes.

1199: Rambam (Maimonides) authorizes Samuel Ibn Tibbon to translate Guide of Perplexed from Arabic into Hebrew

1337: In Bavaria, a German knight named Hartmann von Deggenburg led his horseman through the gates of Deckendorf, where they joined the local citizenry, in slaughtering the local Jewish population and seizing their property.  The Jews had been accused of desecrating the host or communion wafer and the slaughter was the punishment for the foul deed.  In reality the councilors of the city of Deckendorff desired to free themselves and all the citizens from the debts owed to the Jews. Once again, the avarice of Christians is hidden in religious doctrine to despoil the Jews. The anti-Semitic violence spread to fifty-one communities, including Bohemia and Austria. To this day people reportedly come on pilgrimages to the church where paintings show Jews in Medieval dress desecrating the host "wafers".

1399: Henry IV of England begins his reign even though his coronation will not take place until October.  Although the Jews had been expelled from England and were forbidden by law to return, as is often the case with monarchs, Henry saw himself above the law. In 1410, Henry brought Elias Ben Sabbetai from Bologna in 1410 to serve as his physician.

1452: The first printed book, the Johann Gutenberg Bible, appeared.  For "The People of the Book" the advent of modern printing would have an incalculable benefit on its growth and survival.

1699: Seventy-five year old Johann Leusden the Professor of Hebrew in Utrecht who authored several works on the Hebrew philology and who “in 1660, together with the Amsterdam rabbi and book printer Joseph Athias, published his Biblia Hebraica, the first edition of the Hebrew Bible with numbered verses passed away today.

1759(9th of Tishrei, 5520): Erev Yom Kippur

1777: When the Continental Congress, fearing capture by Howe's British army, left Philadelphia and held sessions in York, John Adams writes to his wife,: "I am comfortably situated here at the house of General Roberdeau, whose hospitality has taken in Mr. Samuel Adams and Mr. Elbridge Gerry.”  General Roberdeau, who was a Jew, had, at his own expense, opened the lead mines in Sinking Valley to supply the Continental Army with bullets during the Revolutionary War.

1782(22nd of Tishrei, 5543): Shemini Atzeret

1782(22nd of Tishrei, 5543): Rabbi David Tebele Scheuer passed away in Mainz, Germany. Born in Frankfurt am Main in 1712, he was one of the outstanding students of the Shev Yaakov, Rabbi Jacob Cohen in Frankfurt. He served as Dayan of Frankfurt during the entire time that the Pnei Yehoshua, Rabbi Yehoshua Falk was Rabbi of Frankfurt (1741-1756). In 1759 he succeeded his father-in-law Rabbi Nathan Otiz as Rabbi of Bamberg. There during the Third Silesian War; its part of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), where Austria under the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria tried for the second time in vain to get back Silesia from Prussia; the Prussians under King Frederick the Great ravaged and plundered the region. In 1763 during the turmoil, Rabbi Tebele lost many of his writings including his writings on the tractate Niddah, which he greatly bemoaned. In 1767 he was appointed as Rabbi of Mainz where he led a Yeshiva.

1784(15th of Tishrei, 5545): Sukkoth

1789(10th of Tishrei, 5550): As they observe Yom Kippur, American Jews feel a renewed sense of security as the newly formed U.S. government takes shape while French Jews felt a wide range of emotions as the French Revolution enters into its fourth month.

1791(2nd of Tishrei, 5552): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

1799(1st of Tishrei, 5560): Last Rosh Hashanah of the 18th century

1801: Birthdate of Zacharias Frankel, “the founder, in Germany, of Historical Judaism, the forerunner of Conservative Judaism in America. A member of the first generation of modern rabbis, Frankel fashioned a multifaceted career as pulpit rabbi, spokesman for political emancipation, critic of radical religious reform, editor, head of the first modern rabbinical seminary, and historian of Jewish law. Frankel was born in Prague, then still the largest Jewish community in Europe, into a financially comfortable family with a distinguished lineage of rabbinic and communal leaders. His education combined traditional immersion in Jewish texts with systematic exposure to secular studies in a manner that was still far from typical. In 1830 he received his doctorate from the University of Pest and in 1831 acquired the post of district rabbi of Litoměřice, becoming the first Bohemian rabbi to hold a doctorate. His advocacy of changes in the synagogue service, the education of the young, and the training and role of the rabbi brought him, in 1836, an invitation from the government of Saxony to occupy the pulpit in Dresden as chief rabbi of the realm. Despite several subsequent offers from the much larger and rapidly growing Jewish community of Berlin, Frankel stayed in Dresden until 1854, when he was called to become the first director of the new rabbinical and teachers' seminary in Breslau. By 1879, four years after his death, the seminary had instructed some 272 students and had placed nearly 120 teachers, preachers, and rabbis in the most important Jewish communities in Europe. A self-styled moderate reformer in matters of religion, Frankel formulated his program of "positive, historical Judaism" in the 1840s to stem the rising tide of radical religious reform. Against the Reform movement's unbounded rationalism, Frankel defended Judaism's legal character, the sanctity of historical experience, and the authority of current practice. The term positive pointed to prescribed ritual behavior (halakhah) as the dominant means for the expression of religious sentiment in Judaism, while the term historical designated its nonlegal realm, sanctified by time and suffering. What gives Frankel's definition its dynamic quality is the role of the people. Genuine reform evolves organically from below and not by fiat from above. It is for this reason that Frankel repudiated the innovations of the three rabbinical conferences of the 1840s; whether dictated by political considerations or the canons of reason, their measures did violence to prevailing sentiment and practice.On a popular level Frankel tried, as author and editor, to deepen Jews' loyalty to the past by offering them a brand of heroic history that stressed cultural achievement. As a scholar Frankel was the preeminent modern rabbinist of his generation, and he devoted a prolific career to introducing the concept of the development of Jewish law over time. Using the method as well as the ideology of Friedrich C. Savigny's geschichtliche Rechtswissenschaft, Frankel tried to recover and analyze the stages of legal evolution, from Alexandrian exegeses of scripture to medieval rabbinic responsa. In the process he left enduring contributions to the modern study of the Mishnah and the Palestinian Talmud. Frankel's undogmatic research on the Mishnah challenged the traditional image of the ancient rabbis as transmitters rather than creators of the oral law and provoked a bitter assault in 1861 from the Neo-Orthodox camp of Samson Raphael Hirsch. Growing religious polarization served to clarify denominational lines and forced Frankel to occupy the middle ground.Two institutions created by Frankel embodied, amplified, and disseminated his vision of Historical Judaism. Die Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, which he edited for eighteen taxing years (1851–1868), provided its readers with a balance of high-level popularization and critical scholarship, setting the standard for all later nineteenth-century journals of Jewish studies. Similarly, the Breslau seminary, which he led for twenty-one years, transformed rabbinic education by integrating modern scholarship with traditional piety and requiring its graduates to be both spiritual leaders and practitioners of Wissenschaft.”

1824: Birthdate of Samuel S. Cox the Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire who while serving as a member of Congress in 1882 delivered a speech criticizing the treatment of the Jews by the Russian government which ended with “How long, O Lord, how long shall rapacity and bigotry despoil this people?

Let the dawn come to the children of the wandering foot and weary heart, waiting, waiting for that morning which will give them its auroral glory and its cheerful beatitudes.”

1831(23rd of Tishrei, 5592): Simchat Torah

1837(1st of Tishrei, 5598): Jews observe Rosh Hashanah for the first time during the Presidency of Martin Van Buren

1839(22nd of Tishrei, 5600): Shemini Atzeret

1840: In Charleston, SC. Solomon Hyams married Caroline Mathilda Thompson, “second daughter of the late James Thompson.”

1841(15th of Tishrei, 5602): Sukkoth

1846(10th of Tishrei, 5607): Yom Kippur

1846: For the second year in a row, Day of Atonement services were held in Chicago with about the same number in attendance who had been there in 1845.

1853: In Paris Protestant religious leader Edmond de Pressensé and his wife gave birth to Francis de Pressensé the French political leader and journalist who supported Dreyfus at great personal cost including being “struck off the roll of the Legion of Honour.”

1856(1st of Tishrei, 5617): Rosh Hashanah

1856: Birthdate of Joseph Reinach, the French author and politician who championed the cause of Alfred Dreyfus.  He called for a public hearing when Dreyfus was first charged and publicly denounced the documents used to convict him as a forgery.

1856:  The New York City column published today reported that last evening at sunset began the new Jewish year.  The New Year, this opening, set down on the calendar as 5617.  In conformity with the usual custom, religious observances were held last evening in all the synagogues in the city.  Today and tomorrow public religious exercises will continued, during which time all labor and business will be suspended.  There are at present over twenty Jewish synagogues in the city and almost 30,000 Jews.  Thirty-six years ago, there was but one synagogue in New York and only a few families of Jews.”

1859: “The Jewish New Year: Its Observance in this City” published today reported that “Yesterday being the Jewish New-Year's Day--a festival of immemorial observance among all the Hebrew race--the occasion was appropriately observed in the several synagogues of this City, and doubtless in all other parts of the country. It is called the Rosh Hashanah, or New-Year, the months being counted from the season of the Passover, according to Exodus xii., 2”  It described the services that were held in the different synagogues and ancient origin of the rituals that were being followed.

1862(6th of Tishrei, 5623): Margaret Heyes, the wife of Paul Johann Heyes died of lung disease in Meran, Italy.

1862: Union troops under the command of Brigadier General Frederick Salomon failed to capture Newtonia, Missouri during the First Battle of Newtonia.  It was the first real setback for Salomon who had risen from the rank of Captain when he joined the Army in 1861.  Whatever blot this may have placed on his record was removed with the victory at the Battle of Helena (Arkansas) as can be seen by the fact that Salomon rose to the rank of Major General by the end of the war.

1862: This afternoon, the corner-stone of the new Orphan Asylum, which is supported by the Hebrew Benevolent Society of New York City was laid at the corner of Seventy-seventh-street and Third-avenue. Benjamin J. Hart, the President of the Society, addressed the crowd as did Rabbis Raphall and Adler.

1863: During the American Civil War, the 15th Kentucky Cavalry, a unit that had been formed under the command of Jewish patriot Lt. Col. Gabriel Netter completed a sweep that had started in Paducah and ended McLemoresville, TN.(You have to be a real Civil War Junkie and Jewish to appreciate this entry)

1865(10th of Tishrei, 5626): Yom Kippur

1865(10th of Tishrei, 5626): Samuel David Luzzatto an Italian Jewish scholar, poet, and a member of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement passed away Born in 1800 at Trieste, he was also known by his Hebrew acronym, Shadal. While still a boy he entered the Talmud Torah of his native city, where besides Talmud, in which he was taught by Abraham Eliezer ha-Levi, chief rabbi of Trieste and a distinguished pilpulist, he studied ancient and modern languages and science under Mordechai de Cologna, Leon Vita Saraval, and Raphael Baruch Segré, whose son-in-law he later became. He studied the Hebrew language also at home, with his father, who, though a turner by trade, was an eminent Talmudist.

1867(1st of Tishrei, 5628):As they observe Rosh Hashanah Jews in New Orleans continue to struggle with a Yellow Fever Epidemic that began in July

1868(14th of Tishrei, 5628): Erev Sukkoth

1868(14th of Tishrei, 5628): A farm worker named Francisco Qiñones, led Spanish troops to the hiding place of Mathias Brugman and his son Bauer. Born in New Orleans, Brugman moved to his mother’s native Puerto Rico where he eventually became an advocate for gaining the island’s independence from the brutal Spanish government.  He was a leader of the El Grito de Lares Uprising which began on September 23.  The revolt failed thanks to the informers working for the Spanish.  Brugman died in the town of Yauco.

1872(27th of Elul, 5632): German Rabbi Benjamin Hirsch Auerbach, the son of Rabbi Abraham Auerbach and the author of Nahal Eshkol, a three volume work on the Sefer HaEshkol, passed away today.

1873(9th of Tishrei, 5634): Erev Yom Kippur

1873: “The Jewish Fast of Yom Kippur” published today reported that “at sundown this evening the Jewish nation enters upon the celebration of the solemn fast known as Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, the most important of the numerous religious observances of the ancient faith.”  According to the article “the Israelitish community” has become lax in its observance of other rituals but all are united in observing this holiday including the twenty-four fast when they abstain from “all manner of food and drink.”

1875(1st of Tishrei, 5636): Rosh Hashanah

1875: According to a contemporary report for the Orthodox Jews today is the first of a two day New Year’s celebration, “but those who have thrown off the yoke of Rabbinical ordinances and who rejoice in the designation of reformers celebrate but this one day.”

1877(23rd of Tishrei, 5638): Simchat Torah

1877: In Pine Bluff, AR Joseph and Matilda Josephat Altheimer gave birth to Benjamin Joseph Altheimer who “in 1910 conceived the idea of setting aside a special day as Flag Day while attending a retreat formation at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.”

1877: It was reported today that Lord Beaconsfield (Benjamin Disraeli) had convinced Queen Victoria to break her promised to inaugurate the Town Hall at Manchester because he was angry at the voters of Manchester for having rejected his candidate for Parliament and voting for Jacob Bright instead. The World, an English paper described this are part of the “unholy influence of a Hebrew minster.” Others have risen to Beaconsfield’s defense contending that the decision was a symptom of the Queen’s desire to remain in seclusion and point to the fact that she only agreed to open “the season” in London because Disraeli urged her to do so. Disraeli may be a Jew by birth, but he “is English to the roots of his hair” -   English in training, in habits in sentiment in ambition.” To his defenders, “Lord Beaconsfield is the greatest state man of his age. He is a triton among minnows, and every man who has ever wielded a pen for bread ought to be proud of this chief of the Brotherhood of Literature.

1878(3rd of Tishrei, 5639):Tzom Gedaliah

1882: Nathan Gottgetren, a 35 year old Jewish swindler and forger who used the alias Nicholas Gilbert, cashed three forged checks at three different stores in New York for a total of $2,460.

1883: It was reported today that the Standard Library Series has published Jewish Artisan Life by Franz Delitzsch in which the author examines the “professions” of Jews during the days of the Second Temple.  He found everything from bakers to doctors, one of whom was famous for dealing with bowel complaints, to makers and sellers of “Medean Beer which was also known as Babylonian Beer and Zithos, a native cider.

1882: Birthdate of Hans Geiger.  The world knows him as the man who invented the Geiger counter.  Jews remember as the German scientist who joined the Nazi party and betrayed Jewish colleagues who had worked with him.

1883: The “first Jewish house of worship…a brick structure that served as both Hebrew school and synagogue” was dedicated today in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1884: “In Trouble On A Fast Day” published today described an altercation between Park Policeman Samuel Murphy and three Jews that took place on Yom Kippur in New York’s Central Park that resulted in the arrest of the three Jews and the “disappearance” of diamond that belonged to Benjamin Levy.

1885: It was reported today that a reporter for the Albany Journal had a confusing experience when attending synagogues in that city.  When he went to the Ferry Street Synagogue, an orthodox congregation, he was admonished for taking his hat off.  Based on that when he went to the South Pearl Street Synagogue he left his hat on.  However, this was a Reform Temple and he was admonished for not removing his hat.  The reporter seemed none the worse for wear.

1886(1st of Tishrei, 5647): Rosh Hashanah

1887: The Philadelphia Record reported today that “it is estimated the over $75,000 is contributed annually to” Jewish charities including profits from the annual charity ball.

1888: It was reported today that “exception measures” have been taken by the Russian government aimed at limiting the entrance of Jews into the Empire and hindering their ability to travel in the country through changes in the passport laws.  These stringent measures apply equally to Russian born and foreign born Jews.

1887: By order of Justice White, Annie Lee, a child who is claimed by “a colored family named Lee and a Hebrew family named Brodcki” is to be placed under the care of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children until the Supreme Court settles the custody dispute.

1888: As of today Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is caring for 585 children, 278 of whom are girls and 307 are boys.  Four hundred forty two are between the ages of 2 and 5 with the balance being under the cutoff age of 15.

1888: “Israel Schwartz, a man of "Jewish appearance", reported witnessing a woman, later identified as Elizabeth Stride thought to be a victim of Jack the Ripper,  being assaulted on Berner Street early this morning

1889(5th of Tishrei, 5650): Sixty-two year old Leopold Newland, a Polish born Jew took his own life today while living at the home of his son-in-law, Elias Green

1889: At Temple Emanu-El in New York City, President Greenbaum of the Aguilar Library Association presided over a meeting of representatives from “a score of Jewish congregations and societies” that had been called to plan the upcoming Hebrew Fair, a major fund-raising event.

1891: “Minister Hirsch’s Return” published today described the travels of Solomon Hirsch, the U.S. Minister to Turkey who visited with groups of Jews in Paris to discuss ways of improving the conditions of their co-religionist in Russia, before setting sail for New York where he begin to enjoy his leave of absence.

1892(9th of Tishrei, 5653): Erev Yom Kippur

1892: In Cleveland, a congregation of Russian Jews is scheduled to hold services in the assembly room of the New Young Men’s Christian Association Building.

1892: A group of Russian Jewish immigrants ignore the crosses on the outside of the building to hear Kol Nidre in a building belong to the YMCA in Cleveland, Ohio.

1892(9th of Tishrei, 5653): Hector-Jonathan Crémieux passed away.  Born in 1828, he was a French librettist and playwright. His best-known work is his collaboration with Ludovic Halévy for Jacques Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers, known in English as Orpheus in the Underworld

1893: Sachs, Kestenbaum and Diamond, three of the four charged with perjury in a case involving prominent Jewish businessman Jacob Bauman remained in jail today because they could not make bail.  The fourth conspirator and probably mastermind, Annie Bauman, Jacob’s wife made bail and did not have to remain in jail.

1893: In Sanitary Inspector Rosse report to the Marine Hospital Bureau written today from Leghorn, Italy concerning the cholera epidemic that the Chief Rabbi of Leghorn has ordered the closure of the synagogue which is “next to that of Amsterdam… the wealthiest synagogue in the world” for the first time in its history.

1894(29th of Elul, 5654): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1894: Evening services marking the start of the Jewish New Year will be held for the first time in the new synagogue of Shaarai Tephilla.

1894: Louis Berghold almost drowned when his father took him to Benjamin Phillips’ bathhouse on Orchard as part of their pre-New Year’s custom and the boy hit his head on the bottom of the pool after sneaking in by himself.

1894: In Memphis, TN, the will of the late Moses H. Katzenberger who was the President of the Savings Bank of Memphis was filed for probate today.

1894: Birthdate of Joseph Leonard Prince the graduate of Wharton who practiced law in his home own of Pottstown, PA.

1895: Birthdate of Leib Milstein, the native of what is now Moldavia who came to the United States in 1912 where he gained famed as Lewis Milestone, the movie director whose career began while serving with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during WW I.

1895: “The Hungarian Reichstage has finally passed the remaining Church Reform bills” which include the “removal of all existing Jewish disabilities.”

1895: In Part I of the Court of General Sessions, the arson trial of Morris Schoenholz resumes after having been postponed because of Yom Kippur per the request of his attorney Abraham Levy.

1895: “Who Shall Govern Jerusalem” published today provides a description of how the Europeans plan on dividing the Ottoman Empire including the squabble based on religion between the Russians (Orthodox) and French (Catholics) over who shall control Jerusalem.  The author sees no role for the Jews in governing the City of David “since there is little doubt that Jewish colonization is a failure.”

1897: It was reported today that Louis Yaffa, the Secretary of the Hebrew Citizens’ League has enrolled 400 members in the organization which has selected a candidate to run for Alderman from New York’s Second Assembly District.

1899: When a Russian Jewish woman was asked by her friend why so many stores were closed today she responded that it was “a yonteff’ (the Yiddish word for holiday).  When asked what Yonteff it was, the woman responded that it was a “Dewey Yonteff.”  Such was her explanation of the holiday like atmosphere in New York City that was honoring the great naval hero of the Spanish American War.

1899: “Mr. Peters’ Book About the Jews” published today provided a review of Justice to the Jews: The Story of What He Has Done for the World by Madison Peters.

1903(9th of Tishrei, 5664): Erev Yom Kippur

1904(21st of Tishrei, 5665): Hoshanah Rabah

1905(1st of Tishrei, 5666): Rosh Hashanah

1905(1st of Tishrei, 5666): Fifty-five year old Charles Ephrussi passed away today in Paris.  Born into a prominent Jewish banking family in Odessa, he traveled to Paris where he became a collector of works by Degas, Manet and Monet as well as a connoisseur of Japanese prints, copies of which he kept at his luxurious mansion on 11 Avenue D’leana

1905: In the twelve month period ending today 100,388 Jewish immigrants were admitted to the United States 49,655 of whom were men, 23,359 of whom were women and 24,373 of whom were children and of which 72,324 remained in New York.

1908: Birthdate of violinist David Oistrakh. David Fiodorovich Oistrakh was a Jewish Soviet violinist who made many recordings, and was the dedicatee of numerous violin works. He passed away in 1974

1909(15th of Tishrei, 5670): Sukkoth

1909(15th of Tishrei, 5670): Mrs. Taube Horowitz passed away today after which she would be buried in the Liepaja Jewish Cemetery

1909: Both Sephardic and Ashkenazic rabbis in Jerusalem pledge to work hand in hand in the interest of the entire Jewish community. Together they found a relief committee to benefit Jewish families whose heads will be called to military service.

1911: Birthdate of writer and humanitarian Ruth Gruber, who led a 1944 American mission to save 1,000 WWII refugees.

1911: In Berlin, a group of Jewish students visit the Turkish Ambassador and volunteer for service in the Turkish Army, while a group of Zionist doctors consider the advisability of organizing a Jewish Sanitary Corps for Turkish field forces.

1912(19th of Tishrei, 5673): Six years after his father’s death, Reb Aharon, the Kidushas Aharon, who served as Admor of Sadigur, passed away today.

1913: “Shon the Piper” an historical drama set in Scotland starring Robert Z. Leonard was released today in the United States.

1914(10th of Tishrei, 5675): Yom Kippur

1914: Services will begin at 10 o’clock this morning at Temple Emanu-El where Dr. Joseph Silverman will deliver a sermon on “Where is God in the Present Conflict?”

1914: An article published today in the Evening Public Ledger entitled “Day of Atonement the World Over” reported that the holy day was being observed in the synagogues of Philadelphia, PA as well as on the European battlefield.  According to the Ledger, there are over 400,000 Jewish soldiers fighting in the armies of the various belligerents and the commanders of the various armies have given the Jews permission to set aside their guns to observe “Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement also” known as Yom Hadin.

1914:”Yom Kippur Fast Today” published today described the observance of “the Day of Atonement” including the afternoon memorial service “in all the synagogues held in memory of those members who have passed away during the preceding year.”

1915(22nd of Tishrei, 5676): Shmini Atzeret

1915: In Petrograd, M. Weinstein was elected to the Council of the Empire making him the first Jew to hold such a position.

1916(3rd of Tishrei, 5677): Shabbat Shuva

1916: In New York, hopes of the continuation of a walkout supporting the striking Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America received a serious blow “when the International Ladies’ Garment Workers; Union announced that no sympathetic strike had been ordered and that the 150,000 members practically all of whom are Orthodox Jews would return to work when their religious holiday came to an end.

1916: It was reported today “that a blind Moscow Jew named Broido” who “recently graduated as a lawyer” and had had his application for permission to be enrolled as an Assistant Advocate rejected by the Ministry of Justice would now be able to fill the that position the Czar had sanctioned his appointment.

1916: As the British government wrestled with problem of what do about the thousands of Russian and Polish Jews who had come to the United Kingdom before the war to escape serving in the Czar’s Army Sir Herbert I. Samuel, the Home Secretary modified the original proposal to allow for the waiver of the naturalization fee for any foreign born Jew who had enlisted by the last day of September.

1916: It was reported today that H.S. Seligman has now joined Australian John Monash in a “unique club of two” – the only two Jews serving as generals in His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

1916: The Russian Government announced that “Jews will enjoy greater education advantages in Russia in the future” because “a series of high schools and technical schools exclusively for Jewish students is to be established and greater freedom will be accorded with respect to their entry into the universities.”

1917(14th of Tishrei, 5678): Erev Sukkoth

1917(14th of Tishrei, 5678): Isaac Newton Seligman passed away today as a result of fall from a horse in Irvington, NJ.

1917: At the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall, Rabbi Wise is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “What Can Stay-At-Homes Do In and For the War

1917: At Temple Israel of Harlem, at 8 PM, Dr. H.M. Harris is scheduled to lead a Sukkah service.

1917:  Birthdate of famed big band drummer Buddy Rich, American drummer.

1917: “The American Jewish Relief Committee announced” today “that on Yom Kippur approximately $500,000 had been contributed for the alleviation of distress among the 3,000,000 Jews left homeless by the war.”

1917: Birthdate of Irving B. Kahn. Kahn is the inventor of the teleprompter and headed the
TelePrompTer Company. In the mid 50's, Kahn designed and built what was perhaps the first remotely controlled, multi-image, rear projection system in the world for the U.S. Army’s facility in Huntsville, Ala., to make persuasive presentations to visiting Congressmen. With five images (one large, 3¼ by 4 slide or film image in the center flanked smaller slides at each side) and random access it could search and select among 500 slides. TelePrompTer also made many technological contributions to the early cable TV industry. In 1961, Kahn and Hub Schlafley demonstrated Key TV, an early pay TV concept, by showing the second Patterson vs. Johansson heavyweight fight, essentially giving birth to pay-per-view.

1917(14th of Tishrei, 5678): Hours after he either fell or was thrown while horseback riding and two hours after an unsuccessful operation was performed on his skull at Mt. Sinai Hospital by Dr. C.A. Elsberg and Dr. Bernard Sachs, banker Isaac Newton Seligman, passed away today.

1917: Lt. Joseph L. Seligman a graduate of Plattsburg and an aide to Brig. Gen. Phillips took the first train from Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg, SC going to New York after receiving a telegram this afternoon “saying that his father Isaac Newton Seligman had been thrown from a horse and killed this afternoon.”

1918: As Allenby’s campaign is on the verge of complete success, his forces captures the Ottoman garrison that had been holding Damascus as it tried to make its escape.

1918: The Allied Powers and Bulgaria signed the Armistice of Salonica ending Bulgarians involvement in WW I which had claimed the lives of over 200 Jewish soldiers fighting in the Bulgarian Army.

1923: Outfielder Moses Solomon made his major league debut with New York Giants.

1924(2nd of Tishrei, 5685): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

1924: Birthdate of author Truman Capote the author who denied he was anti-Semitic when he talked about “the rise of…the Jewish Mafia in America letter.  This is a clique of New York oriented writers and critics who control much of the literary scene through the influence of the quarterlies and intellectual magazines.  All these publications are Jewish-dominated and this particular coterie employs them to make or break writers by advancing or withholding attention.”

1926(22nd of Tishrei, 5687): Shemini Atzeret

1926: Middleweight Cy Schindel (born Seymour Schinell) won brought his won his seventh fight in eight outings today at Yonkers, NY.

1928: Birthdate of Elie Wiesel.  This author and Nobel Prize winner is too well known to require any further comment.

1930: Former Senator Simon Guggenheim the brother of the late Daniel Guggenheim is expected to arrive from Europe this morning aboard the Ile de France.

1930: Birthdate of Jacob Fiszman, the native of Cracow who would gain fame as Dr. Jack Fishman the developer of naloxone, a powerful medication that has saved countless people from fatal overdoses of heroin and other narcotics. (As reported by William Yardley)

1930: Funeral services for Daniel Guggenheim are scheduled to be held at 2 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El on 5th Avenue.

1932: “A Bill of Divorcement” a drama directed by George Cukor, produced by David O. Selznick and wih music by Max Steiner was released today in the United States.

1933(10th of Tishrei, 5694): Yom Kippur

1933: The German government submitted a letter to the Council of the League of Nations claiming that the rights of the Jews living in Upper Silesia had been restored. The letter had been written after the League had responded to the Bernheim Petition which claimed that the Jews were being discriminated against in violation of the German-Polish Convention of 1922.  The American Jewish Congress and the Comité des Délégations Juives had vigorously supported Franz Bernheim in his claim and at this juncture the newly empowered Nazi government was not ready to thumb its nose at the League of Nations.

1935(3rd of Tishrei, 5696): Tzom Gedaliah

1935: Mathematician Issai Shur finally fell victim to the Nazi purge of Jewish professionals when he was dismissed today as a Professor at the University of Berlin

1935:  George Gershwin's "Porgy & Bess" premiered in Boston.

1936(14th of Tishrei, 5697): Erev Sukkoth

1936(14th of Tishrei, 5697): Sixty-nine year old Coningsby Ralph Disraeli, the son of Ralph Disraeli and the nephew of Benjamin Disraeli who served as an MP passed away today.

1937: The Palestine Post reported on the death in London of Earl Peel, the Chairman of the Royal (Peel) Commission on Palestine, at the age of 71. Earl Peel properly appreciated the Jewish part and effort in the development of Palestine. The entire Hebrew press, paid a warm tribute to Lord Peel, who frequently expressed his appreciation of the excellent development work the Jewish community was performing in Palestine

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the Arab press accused the Post and other Jewish organizations of exploiting the murder by of Lewis Andrews, the much-respected district commissioner for Galilee and of his driver, on the steps of the Anglican Church in Nazareth, for the strong criticism of Arab terror and the society which condones such crimes.

1938(5th of Tishrei, 5699): Erev Shabbat Shuvah

1938: This evening Rabbi Harold I. Saperstein delivered a sermon “Return to Thy People” in which he “alludes to events in Italy, Austria and Poland, but focuses on a theme drawn from the central motif of the Sabbath Haftarah (beginning with Hosea 14:2), the motif of return (though return to the Jewish people is substituted for the return to God in the prophetic text) and less directly from the Torah reading.” Unfortunately, “the experience of the last year demonstrates that” even Jews wished to escape their identity “the anti-Semites will not allow them to escape their identity.

1938: Hitler convinced Chamberlain and Daladier that he wanted to protect German rights in the Sudetenland by annexing it, (hence, the Munich Agreement) and that he had no further demands. Chamberlain gave in, claiming that by doing so he had achieved peace "in our time". Bowing to German pressure, France and Britain agreed to the annexation of this part of Czechoslovakia to Hitler as part of the infamous Munich Agreement. Slovakia feigned independence but became a satellite of Germany.  This was one more the events that led up to World War II and one more act of cowardice on the part of the western democracies that emboldened Hitler to follow his bloody path.

1938: As a result of today’s Munich Agreement 18 year old Max Mannheimer and his family were now under Nazi jurisdiction which lead to his father being imprisoned after Kristallnacht.

1938: As the Detroit Tigers play their last home game of the season, Hank Greenberg fails to hit a home run and his hopes for breaking Ruth’s record of sixty for the season begin to fade.

1938, Eleanor Rathbone denounced the just-published Munich Accords. She pressured the parliament to aid the Czechs and grant entry for dissident Germans, Austrians and Jews. In late 1938 she set up the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees to take up individual cases from Spain, Czechoslovakia and Germany. During World War II she regularly chastised Osbert Peake, undersecretary at the Home Office, and in 1942 pressured the government to publicize the evidence of Holocaust.

1939(17th of Tishrei, 5700): Shabbat Sukkoth Chol Hamoed.

1939: “Loyalty Day was observed by Temples and Synagogues throughout” New York City today.

1939: During his sermon, Rabbi Israel Goldstein of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun said, “The death of Professor Sigmund Freud removes from the scene an explorer into the field of human nature whose findings have revolutionized the science of psychology and medicine.  His death in exiles is another poignant reminder of the exile of German civilization from its native soil.”

1939: During his sermon, Rabbi Louis I Newman of Congregation Rodeph Shalom said “Sigmund Freud was a complex contradictory exemplar of the Jewish genius and his influence deserves criticism as well as praise.”

1939: “A new Yiddish company directed by Jacob Ben-Ami opened its season tonight at the National Theatre on Houston Street with ‘Chaver Nachma,’ dramatized by I.J. from his own novel East of Eden.”

1939: Tonight “the Yiddish Folk Players presented as their first production at the Second Avenue Theatre Nuchim Stutchkoff’s ‘In a Jewish Grocery.’”

1940: “Messages by Mayor La Guardia, Louis J. Moss, president of the United Synagogue of America and Dr. Emil W. Leipziger of New Orelans, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis were among those made public today in connection with the beginning tomorrow at sundown of Rosh Hashanah, 5701.

1940: Days before Rosh Hashanah, in New York today in the wholesale meat markets, kosher “veal foresaddle averages were steady” today “while kosher “calf foresaddles were steady to slightly lower” and today’s “averages for kosher lamb foresaddles “were uneven.”

1941(9th of Tishrei, 5702): Erev Yom Kippur

1941: The two day massacre of the Jews of Kiev at Babi Yar came to an end. “The killing rate, almost 35,000 in two days, was unequaled even by the death factories of Treblinka and Auschwitz.” The intent was to wipe out the entire Jewish community in Kiev in what has been described as “the largest single massacre” during the Holocaust. The victims were as varied as little Velvele Valentin Pinkert and 70 year old Yakov-Pinhas Zindelivich, who was dragged out of his apartment by one of his Ukrainian neighbors and turned over to Nazis. According to Sir Martin Gilbert, the old man, wrapped in his prayer shawl was driven to BabiYar, ‘praying all the way’. After the slaughter, the Nazis and their collaborators collapsed the walls of the ravine, turning it into a mass grave. The Jews who had not died from gunfire were buried alive.[There is no way that this brief entry can do justice to evil of the crime]

1941: Opening of the Battle of Moscow.  This clash of the Nazi and Red armies would last for five months.  If the Nazis had been successful, and in the opening stages it looked as if they would the Soviet capital, it might well have meant the end of meaningful Soviet resistance in Europe. As the two armies slammed against each other through the Russian Winter, the fate of European Jewry hung in the balance. Even if the Soviets had remained in the war, the total victims of the Holocaust would have been closer to nine or twelve million and not the six million who actually perished.

1942: SS exterminates 3,500 Jews in Zelov Lodz Poland in 6 week period

1942: New construction at the Treblinka death camp greatly increases its gas-chamber capacity.

 1942: Polish Jews trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto begin the construction of bunkers for a military defense.  By January of 1943, they will have constructed more than 600 fortified bunkers.

1943(1st of Tishrei, 5704): Rosh Hashanah

1943(1st of Tishrei, 5704): Seventy-nine year old Franz Oppenheimer, the German sociologist and political economist, who also studied in the area of the fundamental sociology of the state passes away in Los Angeles today. From 1934 to 1935, Oppenheimer taught in Palestine. In 1936 he was appointed an honorary member of the American Sociological Association. From 1938 onwards, he taught at the University of Kobe in Japan. After he emigrated to the United States in 1942, he became a founding member of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

1943: The Krupp arms factory at Mariupol, Ukraine, is dismantled and relocated west to Fünfteichen, Silesia, Poland, where it is staffed by Jewish slave laborers.

1943: Between now and April of 1944, Jewish slave laborers exhume at least 68,000 corpses of murdered Jews and Soviet POWs at the Ponary, Lithuania, killing ground, near Vilna.

1944: Jewish deportations from Slovakia resume. Between now and March 31, 13,500 were deported and another 5,000 were imprisoned locally.

1944: Johanna Elisabeth Hermine Berta Zenk, the wife of anti-Nazi and Red Orchestra member Bernhard Bästlein found out today that her husband had been executed on September 18.

1944(13th of Tishrei, 5705): Seventy-six year old Rabbi Michael Adler passed away today.

1944: After a German army patrol had searched the cellar warehouse used by the Ehrenfeld Group and failed to capture Hans Steinbrück, a genuine leader in the anti-Nazi resistance, the police searched the building and arrested two Jewish women who were hiding there.

1945(23rd of Tishrei, 5706): Simchat Torah

1945: Hank Greenberg's final day home run won the pennant for the Tigers.

1946: Twenty-two top Nazi leaders were found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg.

1946: Twenty-five days after the premiere of “A Flag is Born”  “the American League for a Free Palestine held a testimonial in honor of actor Paul Muni during which former Iowa Senator Guy M. Gillette, President of the of the American League for a Free Palestine, refereed to Muni’s character of Tevya as a ‘Hebrew Abraham Lincoln.’”

1947(16th of Tishrei, 5708): Second Day of Sukkoth

1947: The World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, is televised for the first time. Both teams had large followings among the Jewish population.  How did those who were not supposed to use electricity cope with the temptation on the second day of yontiff?  How many Reform Jews decided to stay home and observe a second of Sukkoth?  So far, these questions remain unanswered which means there is at least one topic left for a doctorial thesis in Jewish studies.

1947: Several Arab leaders included Mohammad Nima Hawari, a lawyer who founded the firs and largest of the paramilitary Arab youth organizations in Palestine, expressed their opposition to the UNSCOP plan and the creation of a Jewish state.  They said that any such move would result in a violent reaction on the part of the Arabs in Palestine.  They said that any attempt to create a Jewish state would be met a Pan-Arab Army led by a modern day Saladin who lead them to victory as had happened in the days of the Crusaders.

1948: During the siege of Jerusalem, amidst reports that spies were providing information to the Jordanians, George Hawkins, one of those so accused was released from custody. 

1950: “The Breaking Point” directed by Michael Curtiz, produced by Jerry Wald, with music by Max Steiner and co-starring John Garfield was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1951(29th of Elul, 5711): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1951(29th of Elul, 5711): As day gives way to night, and Jews begin to usher in 5712, President Chaim Weizmann and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion each issued New Year’s messages expressing their hopes for peace for the world in general and for the Jewish people and Israel in particular.  Both also cited the burden Israel faced as it moved to accept an ever growing tide of immigrants.  Ben Gurion clearly stated the challenge when he said, “Great and hard are the problems of integration…we shall support this burden fully aware that it is for our generation to discharge this primary task.”  He expressed the hope that “the Jewish people throughout the world will devotedly join in this historic enterprise.”

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from Moscow that Minister Samuel Eliashiv handed a note to the Soviet Government on the possibility of obtaining reparations from East Germany. 

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that a guard, Shimon Badini, was killed and a farmer badly wounded by infiltrators from Jordan who stole from Jewish villages in the Jerusalem Corridor, during the Yom Kippur fast.

1953(21st of Tishrei, 5714): Hoshana Raba

1953: “Donovans Brain” the film version of Curt Siodmak’s novel of the same name was released today United Artists today in the United States.

1954: “Woman’s World” a comedy that provides a classic look at corporate management co-starring Lauren Bacall, a cousin of Shimon Peres was released in the United States by 20th Century Fox.

1954: The U.S.S. Nautilus, an atomic submarine, was launched by the United States Navy.     The Nautilus was the first atomic powered vessel launched by the United States. It was also the progenitor of what would become America's major "ace-in-the-hole" during the Cold War - the fleet of atomic powered submarines armed with ballistic missiles.  Admiral Hyman Rickover was the father and driving force behind the sub fleet.

1956: French and Israeli officials met in Paris where the French seek to induce the Israelis in being part of the Anglo-French plans to take control of the Suez Canal away from Egypt’s Nasser.

1957: In Kew Gardens, Queens, Morty Drescher, a naval systems analyst and his wife Sylvia, a bridal consultant gave birth to multi-talented Francine “Fran” Drescher known to many as “Fran Fine” in the sitcom “The Nanny.”

1960(9th of Tishrei, 5721): Erev Yom Kippur

1960(9th of Tishrei, 5721): Seventy-five year old retired financier and a founder of the Columbia Broadcasting System Jay Paley, the uncle of C.B.S. Chairman William S. Paley, the father of Mrs. Jacqueline Greberm, and the brother of Brother of Benjamin Paley and Mrs. Sophie Brocktor, passed away today at his home in Bel Air.

1962: Two terrorists attacked an Egged bus traveling to Eilat.

1964(24th of Tishrei, 5725): Eighty-five year old Rabbi Jacob Sonderling and Zionist leader passed away today.

1972(22nd of Tishrei, 5733): Shemini Atzeret

1972(22nd of Tishrei, 5733): Samuel Norton “Sam” Gerson passed away in Philadelphia.  Gerson won the Silver Medal for freestyle wrestling as a member of the United States 1920 Summer Olympic Team.  He was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Maccabi Sports Club.

1972(22nd of Tishrei, 5733): Sixty-eight director and set designer Edgar Georg Ulmer who produced People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag) a silent film with a script by Billy Wilder passed away today.

1973: A second group of Egyptian reservists were called to duty, ostensibly to take part in a training exercise; in reality they were part of the force that would attack on Yom Kippur.

1974: “Analytical note of the Propaganda Division of the Central Committee of the CPSU consultant L. Onnikov "On the exit of part of the Jewish population from the USSR."

1974: “Cinderella Liberty” directed and produced by Mark Rydell and starring James Caan and Elia Wallach was released in Germany today.

1975: “Two Jewish cemeteries in Kiev were reported to have been desecrated by vandals.”

1976(6th of Tishrei, 5737): Real estate developer William Zeckendorf, Sr. the owner of Webb and Knapp passed away today.

1979(9th of Tishrei, 5740): Erev Yom Kippur

1979: “One Day At A Time” starring Bonnie Franklin opens for its 5th season.

1981(2nd of Tishrei, 5742): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

1982: Yitzhak Berman completes his terms as Minister of Energy and Water Resources. He resigned “due to the government's attitude towards the Kahan Commission, which was investigating the Sabra and Shatila massacre.”

1982: Premiere of “Cheers” the sitcom co-starring Rhea Perlman and Bebe Neuwirth co-created by James Burrows.

1982: “Taxi’ the sitcom created by James Brooks, Stan Daniels and Ed Weinberger and starring Judd Hirsch began its fifth season on ABC.

1983(23rd of Tishrei, 5744): Simchat Torah

1985(15th of Tishrei, 5746): Sukkoth

1986: Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear technician, disappeared before his revelations about Israel’s atomic program at Dimona were published in the Sunday Times of London.

1988 (19th of Tishrei, 5749):  Rabbi Joachim Prinz passed away.  Born in Germany, Prinz was a rabbi in Berlin from 1926 through 1937.  He was an early opponent of the Nazis and urged the Jews to leave the country.  He left in 1937 for the United States where he became a leader of the Reform Movement and a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement.  He was a speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. He was 86 at the time of his death.

1989(1st of Tishrei, 5750): Rosh Hashanah, 5750

1991(22nd of Tishrei, 5752): Shemini Atzeret

1991(22nd of Tishrei, 5752): Heavy-weight boxer King Levinsky passed away.  Levinksky, who was born in Chicago in 1910, was known by his given name – Harris Krakow – and another nickname – “Kingfish” Levinksy.  Although he never fought for the heavyweight championship, he fought a number of noted heavyweights including his co-religionist, Max Baer, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Primo Carnera. He was marred to Roxana Sand, a fan dance whose birth name was Golda Glickman

1993(15th of Tishrei, 5754): Sukkoth

1993(15th of Tishrei, 5754): Seventy-seven year old Irwin Witty, who led NYU to “the first-ever national postseason Basketball tournament, the NIT, where they advanced to the Final Four before losing to Colorado by one point before losing to ultimate tournament victor Oklahoma A&M, passed away today.

1993: Premiere of season three of “The Simpsons” the cartoon sitcom developed by James Brooks and Sam Simon.

1994(25th of Tishrei, 5755): French microbiologist Andre Micael Lwoff who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1965 passed away.

1994: After premiering at the New York Festival, “Ed Wood” starring Martin Landau and Sarah Jessica Parker and with music by Howard Shore was released throughout the United States.

1997: Emmy award winning actress Rena Sofer returned as a guest star on the long running soap opera “General Hospital.”

1997: In “Iran: Life of Jews Living in Iran,” published today, Barbara Demick reported that "Tehran has 11 functioning synagogues, many of them with Hebrew schools. It has two kosher restaurants, and a Jewish hospital, an old-age home and a cemetery."

1997: The Roman Catholic Church in France issues a public apology for remaining silent during the persecution and deportation of Jews conducted by the pro-Nazi Vichy regime during World War II. Around 76,000 Jews were taken from France to Germany, and most died in Nazi concentration camps

1998(10th of Tishrei, 5759): Yom Kippur

1998: On Yom Kippur, Salem Rajab al-Sarsour, 29 year old Palestinian terrorist made a grenade attack on an army post in Hebron, wounding 14 Israeli soldiers and 8 Palestinian passers-by.

1998: CBS broadcast the first episode of season eight of “The Nanny” the sitcom created by Peter Marc Jacobson and Fran Drescher who also starred in the program.

1999: In Toronto, Paul Stanley (Stanley Bert Eisen) began playing the title role in a production of The Phantom of the Opera for a second time.

2000(1st of Tishrei, 5761): Rosh Hashanah

2000: Arab leaders today on their community to begin a general strike to protest the killing of five Palestinian protestors by Israeli police yesterday on what was the first day of a wave of Arab terror kown as the Al Aqsa Infitada.

2001: The New York Times reviewed books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including War In A Time Of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals by David Halberstam, Family Business::Selected Letters Between a Father and Son by Allen Ginsberg and Louis Ginsberg and Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs.

2002: France 2, the French television channel, broadcasts coverage of the shooting of Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian boy whose televised death would become an iconic image of Israeli brutality and a rallying cry across the Middle East. The story consisted of 55 seconds of edit footage taken at the Netzarim Junction.  The footage was filmed by a local Palestinian cameraman.  The voice over describing this example of Israeli brutality was provided Charles Enderlin.  Unfortunately, Enderlin was not present when the film was shot and just repeated what he had been told by the Arabs. A subsequent Israeli military probe concluded that it was quite possible that the youngster was killed by Palestinian gunmen.  This was followed by a German television documentary that reported the child had died from Palestinian bullets and a June, 2003 Atlantic Monthly story that reached the same conclusion.  Despite calls that Enderlin be dismissed for perpetrating a journalistic hoax, Arab propagandist still use the video clip despite all evidence that that al-Dura was killed by his own people.

2003:  A closely watched legal dispute over the ownership of works of art once looted by the Nazis reached the Supreme Court as the justices accepted an appeal by Austria and one of its state art museums on whether American courts have jurisdiction to resolve such cases. An 87-year-old California woman, the niece and heir of a prominent art collector, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, who fled Vienna in 1938 and died shortly after the end of World War II, has spent decades trying to get back the remains of the collection he left behind. At issue are six paintings by Gustav Klimt, including two portraits of Mr. Bloch-Bauer's wife, Adele. The six paintings, now in the Austrian Gallery in Vienna, are worth more than $100 million. Austria maintains that the paintings were left to the state and its museums under the will of Adele Bloch-Bauer, who died in 1925, and that the Nazis had illegitimate possession of them during the war does not change the fact that they properly belong to Austria now. The niece, Maria V. Altmann, disputes that interpretation, maintaining that her aunt's preferences about the eventual disposition of the paintings never achieved the status of a formal bequest to the government. Ms. Altmann filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Los Angeles three years ago. There has not yet been a trial to sort out the competing interpretations, and the Supreme Court will not decide the merits of the case. Rather, the question for the justices is whether the case can proceed at all under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a 27-year-old federal law that defines the terms for suing foreign governments in the federal courts. Although the issue is a technical one, it could be decisive in resolving a variety of cases involving the behavior of foreign governments and their agencies in World War II.

Such cases have been proliferating. In June, for example, the federal appeals court in New York reinstated a suit by Holocaust survivors and their heirs against the French national railroad, which transported tens of thousands of Jews and others to the Nazi death camps. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court last month. Also in June, the federal appeals court here dismissed a suit against Japan, brought on behalf of 15 women from other Asian countries who had been subjected to torture and sexual slavery in World War II. The status of two paintings by another Austrian painter, Egon Schiele, remains in dispute in New York, where they were claimed by two American families after they were lent by an Austrian foundation to the Museum of Modern Art in 1997. The Nazis are believed to have seized 600,000 important works of art, with 100,000 still missing. The location of the Klimt paintings has not been in doubt. Only their ownership has been disputed since the late 1940's, when Ms. Altmann and the other heirs tried and failed to get export permits to take them out of Austria. Several years ago, the Austrian government returned $1 million worth of porcelain and Klimt drawings to the family, but refused to yield on the paintings. Ms. Altmann, an Austrian native who settled in California after the war and became an American citizen, turned to the federal courts after learning that a suit in the Austrian courts, where filing fees are based on a percentage of the amount in controversy, would cost nearly $2 million. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provides exceptions to the general rule that foreign governments are immune from suit. One exception authorizes suits ''in which rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue'' in connection with ''commercial activity.'' The question for the Supreme Court is whether that exception, which became official United States policy in 1952 and was not codified until 1976, can be applied retroactively to conduct that took place before 1952. So the issue in this case, Republic of Austria v. Altmann, No. 03-13, obviously encompasses foreign governments' immunity from suit for the entire World War II era. Both the Federal District Court in Los Angeles and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, refused Austria's request to dismiss the suit, both on retroactivity grounds and on other grounds that the justices chose not to review. The federal government entered the case late in the lower court proceedings, unsuccessfully urging the Ninth Circuit to reconsider letting the case proceed. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson has not yet filed a brief presenting the government's views to the Supreme Court, but undoubtedly will do so now that the justices have accepted the case. The federal government's general position is that diplomacy, not litigation, should be used to resolve disputes growing out of the Holocaust.

2003: A memorial service was held today English director and actor John Richard Schlesinger the son of two middle class London Jews – Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Edward Schlesinger.

2004(15th of Tishrei, 5765): Sukkoth

2004: Ross Mark Kagan a former director of independent motion pictures and the son of “a close knit Jewish family” from Highland Park, Illinois, was arrested and charged with multiple felonies connected with a counterfeit jewelry ring. 

2005: Under oath, Judith Miller was questioned by the special prosecutor before a federal grand jury but was not relieved of contempt charges

2005: Haaretz reported that “the Vatican library has loaned the Israel Museum four illuminated Jewish manuscripts from the 13th and 15th centuries, which will be on exhibit to the public for the next four months. The manuscripts include a 15th-century manuscript of Maimonides' Mishne Torah, a 15th-century manuscript of Rabbi Jacob ben Asher's Arba'ah Turim, a 13th-century manuscript of the Bible, and a 13th-century book of Psalms. The most famous of the manuscripts on loan is the copy of Maimonides' famous legal composition, the Mishne Torah. The manuscript is not complete and contains only the prolegomenon and the first five books of the 14-part composition, also known as Ha-Yad Ha-Hazaka (the Strong Hand). The second manuscript, of the Arba'ah Turim (Four Rows), is a well-known codex of Jewish Law composed by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher, which is divided into four parts, each dealing with a different aspect of the daily life of a devout Jew. The third item is a13th-century Biblical manuscript which is among the earliest to be found in Italy, and it survived almost in its entirety. The scribe and the vocalizer (nakdan) of the manuscript were members of the famous Anav family of Rome's ancient Jewish community, which produced a line of authors, poets and rabbis. The fourth item in the exhibit is a Psalter from the 13th century. The book has two other parts to it, which are in the Vatican's collection in Rome.”  The Vatican’s willingness to share these treasures as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the fouding of the Israel Museum is further evidence of the long term improvement in relations between Papal Heirarchy and the Jewish state.

2005: USA Today listed the Brenham kehilla as one of "10 great places to share history of the Jewish faith."

2005: The Washington Post reported that Leo Sternbach, the inventor of a revolutionary new class of tranquilizers that included Valium, one of the first blockbuster "lifestyle" drugs, has died at his home in North Carolina. He was 97. Named one of the 25 most influential Americans of the 20th century by U.S. News & World Report, Sternbach's credits include 241 patents, 122 publications, honorary degrees and other awards.

2006(8th of Tishrei, 5767): The Sabbath of the Return – Shabbat Shuvah.

2007: As part of Chol Hamoed Sukkoth, Temple Judah sponsors a Sukkah Hop.

2007: An exhibition celebrating 100th anniversary of the birth of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo comes to an end in Cayoacan.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured reviews of the following books about Jewish topics or by Jewish authors: Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm which asks the question, “How did two elderly Jewish writers living in occupied France survive the Nazis?” and Exit Ghost by Phillip Roth, featuring Roth’s alter ego, the 71 old Nathan Zuckerman

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured reviews of the following books about Jewish topics or by Jewish authors: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naimoi Klein in which the Jewish reporter “tracks 50 years of global capitalism, spotting ruthless opportunism at every turn.” The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? In which author Francisco Goldman whose father is Jewish and mother is from Guatemala “investigates the real life killing of a Roman Catholic bishop.” Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda, part of the famous Hungarian born, British film making family. Stanley The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer by Jim Teal that includes the story of the “rescue of Emin Pasha a.k.a. Eduard Schnitzer, the Silesian born German Jew whose roguish life reads more like a novel than anything else.

2007: Israeli chess player Boris Gelfand tied former chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia for second place with a masterful display of cunning in the world chess championship in Mexico. Indian national Vishwanathan Anand emerged the victor of the grueling competition.

2007: New York Met Shawn Green plays his last game.

2007: In the wake of the Israeli airstrike “on a nuclear reactor in Syria” to which nobody would admit had happened “Syrian Vice-President Faruq Al Shara announced that the Israeli target was the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands, but the center itself immediately denied this.”

2007: Dominique Strauss-Kahn was formally named as the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

2007: Tzipora "Tzipi" Obziler reached her first final on the WTA Tourbat the Guangzhou International Women's Open where she did not prove victorious.

2008(1st of  Tishrei, 5769): First Day Rosh Hashanah

2008(1st of Tishrei, 5769):Sephardic Jews living in northern Brazil's Amazon region have additional reason to celebrate the New Year because of the publication of the first Rosh Hashanah Machzor (New Year prayer-book) which incorporates their unique liturgy and customs. The Machzor will benefit other Portuguese-speaking Sephardic Jewish communities as well as Bnai Anousim (people whose ancestors were compelled to convert to Catholicism at the time of the Inquisition, whom historians refer to as "Marranos") throughout Brazil and Portugal. The Machzor, called Ner Rosh Hashanah, was prepared and edited by Rabbi Moyses Elmescany and Cantor David Salgado, and includes the traditional Hebrew text of the Jewish New Year prayer services, together with both a transliteration and translation into Portuguese. It was published with the support and assistance of Shavei Israel a Jerusalem-based group that assists small Jewish communities, as well as "lost Jews," those with Jewish roots seeking to return to the Jewish people."This Machzor is really the first of its kind," said Salgado, who moved to Israel from northern Brazil together with his wife and children. "It will enable Portuguese-speaking Jews who use Nusach Sepharadi (the Sephardic rite) to better recite and understand the meaning and significance of the New Year prayers." Salgado noted that the Machzor reflects the texts and customs used by Moroccan Jewish communities, but with a special twist. Until today, Brazil's Jews of the Amazon are still using the same Nusach from Morocco in the 19th century."This Nusach is the one that was brought to Brazil's Amazon region by the first Moroccan Jewish immigrants, who arrived there nearly two centuries ago," he said. "And until today, Brazil's Jews of the Amazon are still using the same rite and following the same customs as they were practiced in Morocco in the 19th century." "We are happy to partner with Rabbi Elmescany and Chazan Salgado to facilitate the publication of this special Machzor for Rosh Hashanah," said Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund, adding, "We hope that it will help to preserve the unique Jewish practices and rituals of Brazil's Amazon area, as well as strengthen Portuguese-speaking Jewish communities worldwide." In its initial run, the Machzor was published primarily for the use of the Jewish communities of Belem and Manaus in Brazil, which are home to 450 families and 220 families respectively. But both Freund and Salgado say they hope that other Portuguese-speaking Sephardic communities will benefit from it as well.

2009: The Center for Jewish History presents Nostalgia by Headless Horse Dance, a dance performance choreographed by Robin Rapoport.

2009: In Cedar Rapids, Hadassah book club discusses Sotah by Naomi Ragan.

 2009: Final day for making submissions to The D.C. Jewish Community Center’s annual writing contest being held in conjunction with the upcoming Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival, being held in October. . As in years past, the contest's theme is keyed to the festival's Opening Night, which this year will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Philip Roth's coming-of-age classic, Goodbye, Columbus. Jewish tradition states that 13 is the age at which young people come of age, but the question being posed by the contest is what age do you believe to be your true turning point, that one transformative moment?

2009: Stuart E. Weisberg discusses and signs his new biography, Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman, at Lambda Rising Bookstore, in Washington, D.C.

2010(22nd of Tishrei, 5771): Shemini Atzeret

2011: On the secular calendar, today marks the 70th anniversary of the second and final day of the  two day slaughter at Babi Yar which ended on September 30., 1941.

2011:   A 49-year-old resident of the UK was detained and tried in court after making a Nazi salute and singing the words Auschwitz and Birkenau to a Jewish teenager at a hospital in Wrexham, the Daily Telegraph reported today. Police discovered a Nazi flag draped on the banister and a swastika badge in Zbinigw Lebek's apartment in the city. "This is a case which exemplifies all that is decent in our society and all that is rotten in our society," the Telegraph quoted Judge Nicolas Parry as saying. Lebek admitted that his actions constituted a religiously aggravated public order offense, an offense in the UK that warrants jail time.  Lebek made the gesture while the Jewish teenager, who was a camp counselor, was taking one of his campers to the hospital because of an asthma attack, the Telegraph said.  The teenager was wearing a kippah when Lebek noticed him, made the salute and starting singing the names of the Nazi concentration camps. Lebek then approached the teen, and made the salute again. "For no reason other than sick pleasure you humiliated him and you demeaned him," the Judge told Lebek."You made reference to one of the most horrific passages in the world's history, for fun." Lebek - who was in the hospital for injuries from an assault - said according to the Telegraph that he did not remember the incident due to his injuries and the alcohol in his system. Lebek said he was ashamed of his actions, but denied anti-Semitic views, adding that the Nazi insignia belong to his friend. The Judge ordered the flag be destroyed.

2011(2nd of Tishrei, 5772): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

שנה טובה, כתיבה וחתימה טובה.

2012: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin the recently released paperback edition of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

2012(14th of Tishrei, 5773): Erev of Sukkoth

2012(14th of Tishrei, 5773): Ninety-five year old Barry Commoner, a leading ecologist and environmentalist passed away today. (As reported by Daniel Lewis)

2012(14th of Tishrei, 5773): Italy lost a national hero to when 88 year old  Shlomo Venezia, “a Holocaust survivor who since the 1980s had been speaking and writing tirelessly about his nightmarish experiences, having been forced to serve in an Auschwitz Sonderkommando” passed away today. (As reported by Lisa Palmieri-Billig)

2012: The Los Angeles Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t by Nate Silver.

2012: In cooperation with the Russian Jewish Community, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to commemorate the seventy-first anniversary of the 2 day Massacre at Bai Yar which ended today with 34,000 Jewish men, women and children having been killed in a ravine near Kiev by German killing squads.

2012: In the best tradition of fulfilling the Jewish mission of social justice The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a performance of “Fly” at Ford’s Theatre to show its support for the Lincoln Legacy Project.

2012: Revelation: The Fourth Annual Stern College Senior Art Show is scheduled to come to an end

2012: Iran's economy is edging towards collapse due to international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio today.

2012: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not intend to indicate the date of the next general election when he said in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday that the world's red line for preventing Iran's nuclearization must be next spring, sources close to Netanyahu said today.

2012: In the Game, an exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum, that explores sports and Oregon's Jewish community is scheduled to come to a close. (As reported by “Harriet Rochlin & Jewish Histor

2013: The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center of San Diego (CA) is scheduled to host its annual charity golf tournament. 

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly

2013: Transcending Tradition: Jewish Mathematicians in German-Speaking Academic Culture is scheduled to open at the Center for Jewish History in NYC

2013: UKJF-JW3 are scheduled to present a free screening of “Noodle” a film about a 37 year old twice widowed El Al flight attendant.

2013: US President Barack Obama assured Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today that the US remains committed to preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, is keeping the military option on the table, and will not reduce sanctions unless or until it is clear that Iran is taking verifiable actions to match its purported willingness for progress. (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

2013: The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial announced that it has recognized Egyptian Dr. Mohamed Helmy as Righteous Among the Nations, a title reserved for gentiles who risked themselves to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Dr. Mohamed Helmy and Frieda Szturmann, a German woman, were honored for hiding several Berlin Jews from the Nazis who otherwise would have been deported to death camps. Helmy is the first Egyptian to receive this honor, Yad Vashem announced. Helmy, who was born in Khartoum, Sudan in 1901 to Egyptian parents, came to Berlin to study medicine in 1922 and worked at the Robert Koch Institute until he was fired, due to his non- Aryan ethnicity, in 1937.According to Yad Vashem, Helmy spoke out against Nazi policies despite the extreme risk, and when 21-year-old Anna Boros, a family friend, was in danger of deportation, he successfully hid her and, later on, her family from Nazi authorities. Boros later recalled that Helmy had hid her “in his cabin in Berlin-Buch from March 10 until the end of the war. As of 1942, I no longer had any contact with the outside world. The Gestapo knew that Dr. Helmy was our family physician, and they knew that he owned a cabin in Berlin-Buch.”“He managed to evade all their interrogations. In such cases he would bring me to friends where I would stay for several days, introducing me as his cousin from Dresden.When the danger would pass, I would return to his cabin,” she said. “Dr. Helmy did everything for me out of the generosity of his heart and I will be grateful to him for eternity.”Yad Vashem is looking for Helmy’s family; he died in 1982 in Berlin. Danny Rainer of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation praised the decision to acknowledge Helmy’s actions. (As reported by Sam Sokol)

2014: TCM is scheduled to show “The Young Lions,” “The Way We Were” and “Hearts of the West” as part of its series “The Jewish Experience on Film.”

2014: “Punter Adam Podlesh was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers today.”

2014: “Sara Levy's World: Music, Gender, and Judaism in Enlightenment” is scheduled to come to an end at Rutgers University.

2014: “George Prochnik, author of a brilliant new study of Stefan Zweig” is scheduled to present “Stefan Zweig: The Impossible Exile” at the Center for Jewish History.

2014: “Masked Palestinian youth threw stones and fired fireworks at a complex housing a preschool this afternoon in the Mount of Olives neighborhood in a continuation of increasing incidents of violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in particular.” (As repoted by Noam 'Dabu' Dvir)

2014: “Two lions and a pregnant lioness were transferred today from the Bisan City Zoo in the “northern Gaza Strip to a zoo in Jordan via Israel.” (As reported by Roi Kais)

2014: Six months into a one year deal punter Adam Podesh was released today by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2014: Knopf is scheduled to release “Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, a satire set in a concentration camp during the Second World War.”

2014: Natan Zach, “an acclaimed Israeli poet took out an ad in Haaretz today asserting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had spoken the “truth” in his UN speech, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told “tall tales” in his. (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2014(6th of Tishrei, 5775): Eighty-seven year old Nobel Laureate Martin Perl passed away today.

2015: In Ma’ayan Harod National Park, the Gilboa Balloon Festival is scheduled to come to an end today.

2015: The Priestly Blessing ("Bircat Cohanim") is scheduled to take place at the Kotel

2015: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to host historian Christoph Kreutzmeuller speaking on “Final Sale in Berlin: The Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity, 1930-1945.”

2015: “Suzanne Last Stone (University Professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University) is scheduled to have a conversation with Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in which they discuss the role of shmita, the sabbatical year, in contemporary Israeli society, the prospect of economic reform and debt relief, Israeli constitutional law, and the model that shmita offers for Israeli and international social justice” at the Center for Jewish History.

2016: A large number of foreign dignitaries including President Obama and Prince Charles are scheduled to attend the state funeral for Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.





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