476: The German general Odoacer defeated Orestes and deposed the child emperor Romulus Augustus marking the “official end of the Roman Empire.” Actually this was the end of the Empire in the West. The Eastern Empire continued to rule. Although this is the official date, the imperial system had already effectively ended in the West. The anarchy that immediately preceded and followed the so-called “Fall of the Roman Empire” was not good for any segment of the population. – Jew and gentile alike. But as is so often the case the effects of anarchy and lawlessness fell heavier on the Jews than on their neighbors. The last decades of the Roman Empire were a period of unrest and uncertainty for the Jewish people living in Palestine and Europe. The adoption of Christianity as the religion of the empire led to a variety of discriminatory practices aimed at the Jews. On the other hand, the Jerusalem Talmud was completed in the first half of the fifth century. The real of seat of learning and Jewish culture had moved to Babylonia where scholars and sages would continue to develop traditions and commentaries including the Babylonian Talmud.
1261: Urban IV, who in 1262 would write “Bela, the Hungarian King using Jews as agents “reproaching him for giving opportunities to Jews whom their own sin has condemned to eternal servitude, to exercise official authority over Christians” was crowned Pope at Viterbowho in 1264 would ask “the bishop of Burgos to resolve the impasse that the Bishop of Calahorra had reached with the Jews and Muslims of his diocese over their non-payment of tithes” and in that same year would request “the help of the prior and canon of Troyes in collecting debts which the archbishop of Sens owed Jewish merchants in that city”
1320: Pope John XXII issues a bull against the Talmud. Calling it "the damned initiatives of the perfidious Jews," he orders that "the plague and deadly diseased weed [of Judaism] must be pulled out by its roots." (As reported by Austin Cline)
1554(27th of Elul, 5314): Cornelio da Montalcino - a Franciscan Friar who converted to Judaism - was burned alive in Rome, Italy.
1578: Pope Gregroy XIII “ordered the Jews of Rome to contribute 1,100 gold scudi (Approximately $12,600) toward the maintenance of the Casa dei Catecumeni (Home for Converts to Christianity). One scudo was roughly $125 in today’s terms. (The History of the Jewish People)
1609(5th of Elul, 5369): Rabbi Judah Loew Ben Bezalel, the Maharal of Prague, passed away. Born in 1525, he spent most of his life in
where he gained fame for his
philosophic works and his commentaries including one on Rashi's
Commentaries. He was an advocate of
reforming Jewish education, drawing on the words of Pirke Avot for his
inspiration. His fame was not limited to
the Jewish community and the Emperor Rudolph was counted among his
admirers. For many the Marhal's greatest
claim to fame was tied to a fictional creation called the Legend of the
Golem. That legend is a medieval version
of the story of Frankenstein, according to which the Maharal breathed life into
a human-like figure by sticking a slip of paper with the Tetragrammaton to his
forehead. This gigantic figure would be
called forth to protect the Jews whenever they were in danger. Such was his
popularity that there is a statue of him near the old city hall - a singular
honor for Jew from the Middle Ages. The
term Maharal comes from the first Hebrew letters of the phrase (Moreinu ha-Rav
Loew, "Our Teacher and Rabbi Loew").
According to some Orthodox Jews, the Mahral is a descendant of King
David. In more recent times, there are
those who claim that the family of John Kerry be descended from the
Maharal. Now if that is true, and Kerry
were to win the election, that would mean that a descendant of King David was
living at Prague Sixteen Hundred
1654: “"23 souls, big as well as little," arrive in North America”
1746(19th of Elul, 5506): Grammarian Solomon be Judah Hanau whose pointed literary criticism led moves Frankfort, to Hamburg to Amsterdam to Furth and finally to Hanover where he passed away today.
1758(1st of Elul, 5518): Rosh Chodesh Elul
1781: Los Angeles, California, is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (the City of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the Little Portion) by 44 Spanish settlers. Los Angeles would become part of Mexico and eventually part of the United States following the Mexican-American War. Given the realities of Spanish life, any Jews who might have settled in the city in its earliest days would have been conversos, Marranos or some other variant of “secret Jew.” One of the first known Jews to have settled in Los Angeles was a tailor named Jacob Frankfort who came to the city in 1841 after fleeing from New Mexico. While the records appear to be a little sketchy, more Jews arrived in 1849 and the Sephardic Community traces its roots back to the 1850’s. To put things in proper perspective the Jewish community was still so small that when the
conducted the first national Jewish census between 1876 and 1878 Los Angeles
community was so small that it did not appear in the count. It is estimated
that there were approximately 400 Jews living in California based on U.S.
Census records of 1880. From such humble
beginnings has come one of the largest and most vibrant Jewish communities in
the United States!
1827(12th of Elul, 5587): Rabbi Simcha Bunim Bonhart of Peshischa, a leader of the Chasidic movement passed away today.
One of the more famous oral teachings attributed to Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peschischa goes as follows:
Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he or she can reach into the one or the other, depending on the need. When feeling lowly and depressed, discouraged or disconsolate, one should reach into the right pocket, and, there, find the words: "For my sake was the world created."
But when feeling high and mighty one should reach into the left pocket, and find the words: "I am but dust and ashes."[
1851: In New York, the first interment to place today at the Salem Fields Cemetery. By September of 1877, over 7,000 burials had taken place at this Jewish burial ground adjacent to Cypress Hills.
1853(1st of Elul, 5613): Rosh Chodesh Elul
1855: Lazarus Powell, who would attempt to exploit the issuance of General Order Number 11 for his own political ends during the Civil War, completed his term as the 19th Governor of Kentucky.
1858: In Laeken, Belgium, Jacques Errera and his wife gave birth to botanist Leo Abram Errera.
1860: In New York a Jewish man and women were locked in a custody battle. Today an application for the Custody of a Child was made before Justice Ingraham at the Chambers of the Supreme Court. “The application was made to obtain the custody of a female child, five years of age, and claimed to be of illegitimate birth. The complainant “claimed that the father of the child, Louis Ephraim, was an improper person to have the care of it, and that he treated it in a cruel manner. These charges were denied by Ephraim, who averred that the child was born in wedlock. Both of the parties in the case ‘were married some years since, being subsequently divorced, and each again marrying. The Compliant “now claims that the first marriage was solemnized by a person not authorized to perform the ceremony, and that, for that reason, it was void, and the child illegitimate. On the other hand, it was claimed that the divorce was illegally obtained, and that the marriage was lawful and binding.”
1860: “The Political Horizon; Anti-Slavery Excitement in the South” published today reported that in Montgomery County, Texas, two German Jew peddlers named Friederman and Rotensburg have been arrested and examined by the Rusk Vigilance Committee. Friederman was released because there was not enough evidence to hold him. Based on evidence provided by “several Negros” Rotenbeurg was accused of “inciting them to insurrection. His case was finally submitted to a jury of fifty men, from various parts of the County, and the accused was allowed counsel. After a patient examination of the evidence, a vote was taken on the question of hanging him, and it stood eighteen for and thirty-two against -- the latter believing him guilty of very improper conduct towards the negroes, but that the evidence did not warrant a death punishment. The jury was unanimous in ordering the accused to leave the County within forty-eight hours and the State in four days. Rotenberg's family resided in New-York.”
1860: “Jobson Convicted of Libel” published today described the trial of David Wemyss Jobson in Great Britain. Because of the nature of the case, several prominent Englishmen were called as witnesses including Benjamin Disraeli. When sworn in as a witness, Disraeli identified himself as a “member for Buckinghamshire.” The first question asked by the Defense on cross-examination was “Are you a Jew now or not?” to which Disraeli replied “I am what I always was -- a Christian.” When the Defense tried to ask several other offensive and irrelevant questions of Mr. Disraeli, the presiding official cut him off saying he “would not allow a Court of Justice to be made the medium of insulting any one.” When Mr. Disraeli said that he had always been a Christian, one must wonder if he had forgotten the fact that he was born a Jew, something that was common knowledge at the time.
1861(29th of Elul, 5621): Erev Rosh Hashanah
1862: During the Civil War, August “Belmont wrote President Lincoln to share negative correspondence from Europe and to urge the reinstatement of General George B. McClellan as head of the army: "The people are ready to bring every sacrifice for the restoration of the Union, but right or wrong they have lost confidence in the head of the War department. They have seen the fearful results of the intermeddling of civilians in military affairs & they want to see an experienced soldier at the helm.” Belmont was Jewish; McClellan and Lincoln were not.
1862: Jacob Cohen, a private serving with the 27th Ohio Infantry wrote today the Jewish Messenger describing his units march from Camp Clear Creek to Iuka, Mississippi.
1863: During a riot of Confederate soldiers' wives in Mobile, Alabama, a Jewish merchant struck one of the women as they were breaking into local stores. The policemen, who had ignored the rioters who were carrying banners inscribed "Bread or Blood," "Bread or Peace," and other similar inscriptions, arrested the Jew and beat him severely.
1866: In Cracow, Simon M. Winkler and the former Mathilde Greiwer gave birth to Max Winkler the Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard who became a Professor of German Language and Literature at the University of Michigan where he had earned his Ph.D. in 1892.
1869: In Tucson, Arizona, William Zeckendorf, a prominent Jewish merchant, caught burglars in his store and “firing his pistol put them in flight.”
1869: Dr. Kaufmann Kohler who was the sixth person to serve as Rabbi of Beth El Congregation in Detroit, Michigan, delivered his first sermon (in German) – “The Qualities of a God-called Leader in Israel.” He would leave for Chicago’s Temple Sinai two years later but his impact on the community could be seen by the formation The Gentlemen’s Hebrew Relief Society.
1870: Two months into the Franco-Prussian war, it was reported today that there are over 30,000 Jews serving in the German armies.
1870: The Third Republic was proclaimed in France. The
is bracketed by French defeats at the hands of the Germans. It came into being after the disastrous
Franco – Prussian War. It came to an end in 1941 when the Germans defeated the
French in World War II. The French
Jewish community started this period at a disadvantage since the French lost
control of Third Republic
with its large Jewish population to the Germans in 1870. At the same time, the Lorraine
never had the total support of the French people. The anti-Republic forces used anti-Semitism
to advance its cause as can be seen in the Dreyfus Case. At the same time the French Jews played an
active part in a variety of fields. The
French House of Rothschild became the financial patron of the early Jewish
settlements in Third Republic . Leon Blum would break new ground by becoming
the first Jew to serve as Prime Minister of France. Artists such as Chagall and Modigliani
settled in Palestine ,
while Camille Pissarro helped to found the movement known as French
Impressionism. Of course all the
creativity of the Third Republic came to naught as anti-Semitism triumphed in
Vichy and in the zone of occupation where the French turned on their fellow
citizens who happened to be Jewish. Paris
1870: Adolphe Cremieux was chosen to serve as a member of the government of national defense.
1870: Leo Frankel, who had been arrested in Paris “for his political activity” was liberated in the aftermath of today’s revolution.
1871: Décret Crémieux (named for Adolphe Cremieux) conferred French citizenship on all Jews living in Algeria, which had been a department of France. Arabs and Berbers were not made French citizens which meant that there was a reversal in the centuries old relationship between Moslems and Jews.
1872(1st of Elul, 5632): Rosh Chodesh Elul
1872: At Castle Garden, the Commissioners of Emigration began an investigation of the treatment of passengers aboard the SS Charles H. Marshall. Most of the 11 passengers called to testify as to the crew’s mistreatment were Russian Jews immigrating to the United States. After hearing evidence of physical abuse and the lack of food, the commissioners decided to continue the investigation tomorrow.
1877: It was reported today that a Jew from Eski-Saghra, Bulgaria, had his coat, in which he had hidden his money, stolen by a Circassian in Adrianople.
1879: In Detroit, found of Congregation Beth Jacob.
1880: “A Sad Affair” published today described the life and death of Charles Steckler on the “oldest…most respected and prosperous merchants” in Amador, CA.
1880: It was reported today that at the end of its last fiscal year (May 1,1880) the United Hebrew Charities had collected $58,268. 21 and spent $46, 988.06 on everything from almost 1,500 tons of coal to a variety of clothing items including “70 cloaks.” All told, the charities had provided services to almost 28,000 people.
1881: “End of the Stern Divorce Suit” published today described the Judge’s decision to have Otto Stern pay his wife 6,000 francs immediately and 4,000 francs for the next 18 months while his wife is getting a divorce in America. Stern was born Edward Moses Stern but changed his name to Otto when he became a Lutheran.
1881: It was reported today that the “Sultan favors the scheme” of a group of “Germans and Englishman interested in the welfare of the Jews.” They are working on a plan to “obtain a grant of land in Syria” from the Ottomans that can be settled by Jews who are seeking to flee from countries “where they are not subject to persecution.
1882: It was reported today that there were 2,525 Jews enrolled in Sunday Schools in New York and 493 Jews enrolled in Sunday Schools in Brooklyn.
1884: “The Commissioners of Emigration received a copy of a dispatch from J.H. Baily, United States Consul at Hamburg” claiming that “28 paupers” who had been returned to Germany on SS Westphalia were going to be sent back to the United States “by a Hebrew benevolent society.
1884: “Love Letters in Court” published today described the divorce proceedings between Carrie and Simon Uhlman which has been going on for the last eight months.
1887: “The Euphrates Railway’ published today described the so-far unsuccessful attempt to gain approval for the construction of railroad from Constantinople to Baghdad including the role played by “Mr. James Alexander, a Caledonian Hebrew” who represented the interested British businessman at the Ottoman capital. (Caledonia is another name for Scotland)
1888: “Anonymous Enemies” published today describes what Telemaqua T. Timaneynis claims was the Jewish reaction to his two anti-Semitic books, The Original M. Jacobs and The American Jew. (The story’s report of Jewish boycotts and threats of violence have been published elsewhere without mentioning the fact that they were Timaneynis’ unsubstantiated claims.)
1889: The court of Common Pleas in New York was the site of dueling legal Jews when the judge was asked to decide Alexander S. Rosenthal’s claim that when S.D. Levy ate breakfast with him in the morning and then served him with papers in the evening, he was guilty of a breach of ethics.
1890: In New York, “a local paper published a meagre account of” the allegations of misconduct “toward several young girls” at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn by Adolph Eisner the Superintendent who mysteriously disappeared last week.
1891(1st of Elul, 5651): Rosh Chodesh Elul
1891: A meeting was held tonight at Cooper Union where the speakers denounced the Free Employment Bureau operated by the United Hebrew Charities under the management of Arthur Reichen. They claim that the Bureau has established a trade school where newly Russian Jewish immigrants are trained in the clothing trade creating a glut of workers which has depressed the wages from $18 a week to $10 a week.
1892: In Aix-en-Provence, France, Gabriel Milhaud, an almond importer and Sophie Allatini Milhaud gave birth to composer Darius Milhaud.
1893: The Jewish Women's Congress opened as part of the World Parliament of Religion at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. Press accounts of the Congress reported that "women elbowed, trod on each other’s toes, and did everything else they could without violating the proprieties" to find a place in the overcrowded hall. Over four days, they heard twenty-five women from all over the
many of whom had never spoken publicly before, address questions of Jewish
women's roles in religion, history, and philanthropy. United States
1893: When Jewish depositors threatened to break down the doors of the offices of banker, broker and steamship agent Bernhard Weinberger after they found out that they had been closed all day they were told that they were closed because it was Labor Day, but in reality the offices had been closed by orders of the manager Moses Hirschodorder.
1893(23rd of Elul, 5653): Ninety-year old Joseph Barrow Montefiore the London born son of Eliezer Montefiore who moved to Australia where he became a successful banker and leader of the Jewish community. In the latter role he purchased land for the first Jewish cemetery in 1832 and organized a society that would eventually become the Sydney Hebrew Congregation. After retiring, Barrow returned to the city of his birth.
1893: “Charles Frohman’s comedians” are scheduled to open at the Garden Theatre in New York.
1893: “The Jew in Hard Times” published today provided a detailed review of a novel by Edward King entitled Joseph Zalmonah
1893: “A Jewish View of Christ’s Coming” published today provided a detailed review of History of the Jews Volume II, From the Reign of Hyrcanus to the Completion of the Babylonian Talmud by Heinrich Graetz.
1893: “Earliest of American Jews” published today provided a detailed review of The Settlement of the Jews in North America by Charles P. Daly.
1894: Approximately 12,000 tailors in New York City went on strike to protest the existence of sweatshops. The vast majority of workers in the "needle trades" were Jewish immigrants. This would not be their last strike. Six years later, these workers would launch two unions - The International Ladies Garment Workers Union (women's apparel) and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Of America (men's apparel). These two Jewish dominated unions would work to improve the working conditions first for those in the garment industry and later for workers regardless of where they toiled. Ironically, some of the owners of the sweatshops were German Jews. Thus the schism between German and eastern European Jews was based on economics as well as religious conditions.
1894: Birthdate of Sholom Secunda a Jewish composer, born in Ukraine and educated in the United States. Along with Abraham Ellstein, Joseph Rumshinsky, and Alexander Olshanetsky, he was one of the "big four" composers of his era in New York City's Second Avenue Yiddish theatre scene. He wrote the melody for the popular song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" in 1932. Together with Aaron Zeitlin he wrote the famous Yiddish song "Dos kelbl (The Calf)" (also known as "Donna Donna") which was covered by many musicians, including Donovan and Joan Baez. He passed away in 1974 at the age of 79.
1895: John Reilly and Patrick Finn stole pears from Cohen Friedman, an “aged” Jewish peddler and then attacked him when he asked to be paid for his fruit.
1896: In Hoboken, two policemen arrested Peter Brume after they learned he had falsely promised to help 12 Jews from Poland get passage on ship returning to Europe.
1897: Clara Engles who met her future husband in Athens in 1895 and died in the influenza epidemic in 1918 married Friedrich Münzer the German scholar who would find out that he was “Jewish” when the Nazis came to power and died at the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
1897: After closing five free milk booths yesterday, the sixth and last booth located at City Hall Park was closed today by Nathan Strauss after Board of Health Inspectors charged one of his employees with selling “below the required standards” – a charge which Straus vehemently denies in what he views as part of conspiracy to return the milk business the hands “to the crooked men in the milk business” who have lost money due to his efforts.
1898: “New Synagogue Projected” published today described plans of wealthy Jews living in and Hempstead, Long Island, to begin building a permanent place of worship that will replace the temporary location in which they will hold high holiday services this year.
1898: The Comte de Bejon who has been an observer at the court martial of Captain Dreyfus and wants to share his views with others on the subject registered at the Brevoort House today.
1898: It was reported today that the police have not found the 17 year old who beat sixty year old Louis Rosenbloom to death even though they know that John Schlecta was the bully who murdered the “venerable scholar”
1899(29th of Elul, 5659): Erev Rosh Hashanah
1899: “The fifth week of the second trial by court-martial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus of the artillery charged with treason in communicating secret papers to a foreign Government began today with largest attendance yet seen in the Lycee.”
1899: This evening, at Temple Rodolph Sholom Rabbi Rudolph Grossman’s sermon will be “Where Is the Lamb for the Offering.
1899: This evening, at Temple Beth-El Rabbi Kauman Kohler will deliver a sermon entitled “Life’s Ministry and Life’s Mastery.”
1899: In Harlem, those attending services at Temple Israel will hear a sermon entitled “A Greeting of Peace.”
1899: This evening at B’nai Jeshurun, Rabbi S.S. Wise will deliver a sermon entitled “Behind and Before.”
1899: Over two thousand Jews attended Rosh Hashanah services led by Cantor Weingart at Tammany Hall which was “decorated with palms and evergreens” for this event – the first of its kind in the history of the storied building.
1900: Jacob J. Goldstein of New York and Henrietta Goodman of Charleston, SC were wed today at the German Artillery Hall.
1902: During a conference of Russian Zionists, Ahad Ha’Am stressed the links between Zionism as a movement for national revival, and the cultural needs of the Jewish people.
1904: In Berlin the Rykestrasse Synagogue was inaugurated with Handel's prelude in D major and the Ma Tovu prayer led by cantor David Stabinski , Rabbi Josef Eschelbacher illuminating the ner tamid and Rabbi Adolf Rosenzweig delivering the sermon.
1904(24th of Elul, 5664): Seventy-eight year old Dr. Hermann Barr who had served as Superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York for the past 23 years passed away today. A native Stadthagen, Germany he worked at the Jacobson Schule before moving to Liverpool where he worked for a Jewish congregation for 10 years. He moved to the United States in 1867 where he lived in Washington and New Orleans before moving to New York, where in addition to his other work he wrote for The American Hebrew and wrote a three volume Bible history for children.
1905: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Simenhoff officiated at the wedding of May Lins and Jake Sharnoff.
1907: In Trieste, Bianca Castelli, a member of a wealthy family of coffee importers and Ernest Kraus gave birth to Leo Krauss who gained fame as New York art dealer Leo Castelli. (As reported by Leo Castelli
1908: Birthdate of Edward Dmytryk. An American film director and one of the "Hollywood Ten, he passed away in 1999 at the age of 90. Dmytryk was not Jewish but he directed "Crossfire" in 1947, one of the first films to deal with anti-Semitism. He directed "The Young Lions” which is listed by some as one the Top Fifty Jewish Movies of the 20th Century. And he directed "The Cain Mutiny" which was written by Herman Wouk. Because of his foreign sounding name, his association with Communists and these and other films, he is erroneously listed by several anti-Semitic websites as being Jewish or part of the Jewish Conspiracy
1912: Birthdate of Alexander Liberman, the Kiev native who escaped the effects of the Russian Revolution to pursue a career in photography and fashion that led to him being the real power at Conde Nast Publications. (As reported by Deirdre Carmody)
1912: Birthdate of film composer David Raksin. The Philadelphia native graduated from Penn and played with Benny Goodman before settling down to writing scores for films Two of his early and famous works were for Hitchcock’s Life Boat and Otto Preminger’s Laura.
1913: In Brooklyn, NY, Fanny Cohen and her husband gave birth to mobster Mickey Cohen.
1914: Forty-one year old French author Charles Pierre Péguy who followed the lead of Lucien Herr and became a one of those seeking to overturn the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus (Dreyfusard) and whose writings would be cited by those opposed to the anti-Semitism of the Vichy government was shot in the head “on the day before the beginning of the Battle of the Marne.”
1914: Following the outbreak of World War I, L.J. Greenberg’s Jewish Chronicle showed its support for Great Britain and its Russian ally by stating "From the Russian people Jews have never experienced anything but the deepest sympathy, and with the Russian people they have ever felt on mutually agreeable terms." Before the outbreak of hostilities the Jewish Chronicle had been a vocal critic of Russia and its treatment of her Jewish citizens. Once Germany violated Belgium’s neutrality, the event that brought the UK into the war, Greenberg was determined to show his and Jewish support for the country that had proved to be such a hospitable homeland.
1915: Birthdate of pianist Irving Fields nightclub entertainer and practitioner of a Latin/Hebrew hybrid style of music.
1915: As Germany seeks to sway public opinion in its favor, The Daily Chronicle reported that Count Johann von Bernstorff, Berlin’s emissary to the United States “issued a manifesto” portraying the Germans as the universal emancipator including her role as the emancipator of the Jews. (As strange as this claim might sound to some, there were those who saw German Armies as the liberator of Russian Jews living under the Czarist despot.)
1915: “American correspondents in London” were reminded that Great Britain intends “fight on with the object of freeing Europe from the menace of militarism” (a code word for the Kaiser and German) and that in fact the German peace program “as it became known in London did not include Jewish freedom.”
1915: “More than three hundred delegates from Jewish organizations met at Cooper Union tonight” under the auspices of The National Workmen’s Committee on Jewish Rights “to launch a movement for the emancipation of the Jews in Russia after the war.”
1915: In Cleveland, opening of the Jewish National Workmen’s School and Institute.
1916: Approximately 3,000 people attended the opening day of “the bazaar for the relief of the Jews in Galicia and Bukowina, a week long affair sponsored by the Federation of Galician and Bukowinian Jews
1917: Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII and current Apostolic Nuncio to Germany, writes to Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Vatican Secretary of State, about a request from German Jews to have a shipment of palm fronds from Italy released. He advised him to refuse the request for these items that are necessary for the observance of Sukkoth.
1917: A statement issued by the Federation of Oriental Jews of America included a request that contributions for the relief of the men, women and children of Salonika who lost everything during a fire started by “enemy bombs” “be sent to the Joint Distribution Committee for the Relief of War Sufferers of which Felix M. Warburg is Chairman and Arthur Leman is Treasurer.
1918: During World War I, the Battle of Mont St. Quentin comes to an end. The British commanding general described the spear-head advance of the Australian Corps under Sir John Monash as “the greatest military achievement of the war.” Monash was the Australian born son of two Jewish immigrants from Germany.
1918: The Zionist Organization of America received a cable today stating that the American Zionist medical unit which had left the United States in June had arrived in Eretz Israel. The unit established its main headquarters in Tel Aviv and set up branch offices in Jerusalem and Jaffa.
1919: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, gathered a congress in Sivas to take decisions of the future of Anatolia and Thrace. Atatürk, the general who played a key role in thwarting the Allies at Gallipoli was the secular leader who created the modern state of Turkey. This congress was one of the steps on the road to that creation. There are unproven reports that he had Jewish ancestors. Regardless of that, he created a state that recognized the rights of Jews. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Attaturk sought to convince German Jewish scholars that they should move to Turkey. Turkey was neutral during the war, but unlike neutral Switzerland, Turkey followed the example set by the now deceased Attaturk and did what it could to provide a haven for Jews fleeing from Hitler’s Europe.
1919: In the Bronx, “Elsie and Hugo Morris, a rubber company executive” gave birth to Howard “Howie” Morris who gained fame as the “third banana” on the 1950’s hit Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows” with Carl Reiner as the “second banana.” Morris passed away in 2005.
1921: “A Virgin Paradise,” a “silent adventure movie filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was released in the United States today by Fox Film Corporation.
1921: In Berlin Rabbi Ezekiel Landau and Helen (Grynberg) Landau gave birth to conductor and composer Siegfried Landau, one of those fortunate to escape Nazi Germany and settle in the United States.
1926: It was reported today that Sir Austin Chamberlain, British Foreign Secretary, and Aristide Briand, French Foreign Minister have accused the Permanent Mandates Commission of overstepping its authority and threatening to undermine their authority in Palestine and Syria, respectively. (Once again, we are reminded that trouble in the Middle East is not always connected to the Jews or the Zionists. In fact, blaming them as the sole cause of unrest in the region has actually made matters worse.)
1926(25th of Elul, 5686): Aspiring Hungarian artist Emerich Loewi committed suicide today after having been denied admittance to the Hungarian Art College under the terms of a numerous clausus law that limited the number of Jews would attend education institutions.
1928: Birthdate of New York native movie producer Jerome Hellman, “best known for being the 42nd recipient of the Academy Award for Best Picture for Midnight Cowboy.”
1933: “I Was a Spy,” a “British thriller” produced by Michael Balcon with music by Louis Levy was released in the United Kingdom today by Woolf & Freedman Film Service.
1936: “Swing Time,” a musical comedy produced by Pandro S. Berman with music by Jerome Kern was released in the United States by RKO.
1936: Arthur T. Buch, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Buch delivered a sermon on “Nazis of Jews?” after he was inducted this evening as the Rabbi at Temple Gates of Israel in New York.
1936: “The Road to Glory” a WW I movie featuring Gregory Rattoff, and Julius Tannen was released today in the United States.
1936: “Four religious leaders” including Rabbi Morris Lazaron of Baltimore joined today “in a statement through the Good Neighbor League asserting that more progress had been made toward establishment of economic principles of organized religion during the Roosevelt administration than in the preceding thirty years.”
1936: In Paris, “a plan for implementing the decisions of The World Jewish Congress” made at its first meeting at Geneva in August is scheduled to “be presented to a meeting of the executive committee” whose members include Dr. Stephen S. Wise, the chairman and Louis Lipsky of New York today.
1936: The Midwest Institute of Human Relations ended its six days of deliberation today at the end of which Dr. John A. Lapp, a Catholic layman, Dr. Felix Levy of Temple Emanu-El of Chicago and Dr. James M. Yard, the executive secretary of the Chicago Round Table of Jews and Christians said they recognize that one of the main causes of prejudice “is the implanting of false ideas of religions, races, people and institutions in the mind of our youth, either in the schools, on the playgrounds or in the homes.”
1937: Eliezer Gerstein was badly wounded by a young Arab while returning from prayers at the Western Wall. For those of you who thought that Arabs only got mad when Sharon goes to the Western Wall guess again.
1939: Seventy-seven Jewish children ranging in age from 15 through 17, who are refugees from Germany and hold certificates for entrance into Palestine, were put on a board an Italian steam ship at Trieste by representatives of Youth Aliyah. It is unknown if the ship will dock at Haifa or Tel Aviv.
1939: Captain Archibald Henry Maule Ramsay, a Scottish Unionist Member of Parliament and vicious anti-Semite wrote a poem that would “later…be printed and distributed by the Right Club” that began “
Land of dope and Jewry
Land that once was free
All the Jew boys praise thee
Whilst they plunder thee
1939: In air raid by the Luftwaffe on the Polish town of Sulejow, over a thousand Jews were listed among the dead. The entire Goldblum family was wiped out. From the outset of the war, the German air force conducted bombing attacks on urban population without regard to civilians. In other words, there was no attempt to limit attacks to military targets. Recent books by revisionist historians have complained about the suffering of the German population at the hands of Allied air men. These writers make little or no mention of attacks like those at Sulejow or even worse ones to follow at
1939: Germany occupied Kalisz, Poland which has a Jewish population of 30,000.
1939: Warsaw is cut off by the German Army.1939(20th of Elul, 5699): The invading Nazis shot 180 Jews in the city of Czestochowa. When the Jews refused to burn the Torah, the Germans burned the rabbi, Abraham Mordechai
1939: “The Germans occupied Bendzin, and just a few days later, they burned down the synagogue and damaged some 50 adjacent houses, while their Jewish inhabitants were inside.” (Yad Vashem)
1940: Chiune Sugihara the Japanese Vice-Consul had to stop issuing visas to Jewish refugees when he was forced to close his office in Lithuania.
1940: Eva Schott Berek celebrated her 19th birthday a week after she and her parents, who had fled the terror of Nazi Germany, arrived Angel Island Immigration Station
1941: J.D. Salinger who had been corresponding with Marjorie Sheard, a Toronto woman about his own age provided her with literary advice when he wrote today, “Seems to me you have the instincts to avoid the usual Vassar-girl tripe” and then suggested the names of some smaller publications “where she could submit her work” even though “You can’t go around buying Cadillacs on what the small mags pay,” he wrote, “but that doesn’t really matter, does it?”
1941: Jewish Resistance members based in Dubossary, Ukraine, and led by Yakov Guzanyatskii assassinate a German commander named Kraft. Another group blows up a large store of German arms.
1942: In the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburg, Sarah and Joseph Filner gave birth to Bob Filner future California congressman and Mayor San Diego.
1942: Jews in Macedonia are required to wear the Yellow Star.
1942: Lódz (Poland) Ghetto's Jewish Council leader, Chaim Rumkowski, acquiesces to Nazi demands for deportation of the community's children and adults who are over the age of 65. During the action which will last until September 14, Germans fire randomly into crowds, execute individual Jews, and invade Jewish hospitals. They deport approximately 15,000 people.
1942: Young Jews take on the Gestapo in act of desperate resistance in Lachwa, Poland. One thousand Jews died on this day while 600 escaped into the surrounding woods. Of these an estimated one hundred survived the war
1942: Premiere of wartime spy thriller “Across the Pacific directed by Vincent Sherman who stepped into the job after the original director joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps, produced by Jerry Wald
1943 Six months after the overthrow of Mussolini, prisoners at Ferramonti, the largest Italian concentration camp for Jews were released.
1943: A private funeral will be held today for Edward S. Rothchild who died after being struck by a cab. The 88 year old former banker is survived by his widow Stella M. Rothchild and his son Lewis H. Rothchild.
1944: Jacobus Hnericus Kann, “banker and owner of Lisa & Kann Bank” whose “bureaucratic transport number was XXIV/7” was deported from Westerbork today.
1944: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for Yiddish actor Ludwig Satz.
1944: The British 11th Armoured Division liberated the Belgian city of Antwerp. The Jewish population of the city had been reduced from 35,000 to 15,000 as a result of Nazi attacks and those from their Flemish supporters.
1944: At Lugos, Hungary, hundreds of Jews are massacred by Hungarian Fascists.
1945: “Dead of Night,” “a British anthology horror film produced by Michael Balcon was released today in the United Kingdom by Eagle-Lion Distributors Limited.
1945: At 8:00 pm WEVD broadcast “the news in Yiddish.”
1945: In New York this evening, WEVD broadcast “The Jewish Philosopher.
1945: From 11:30 pm until midnight WEAF broadcast the play “Behold the Jew” with Aline McMahon as the narrator.
1945: Ruben Fine won 4 simultaneous rapid chess games blindfolded. Fine is one of a long line of great Jewish chess players. In addition to his chess playing skills, Fine spent part of World War II calculating the probability of German submarines surfacing at certain points in the
1945: Birthdate of David Monsonego who is now known as David Magen an Israeli politician who served as a Minister without Portfolio and Minister of Economics and Planning in the 1990s. “Born in Fes in Morocco, Magen made aliyah to Israel in 1949, where he attended high school in Jerusalem. Between 1976 and 1986 he served as mayor of Kiryat Gat. In 1981 he was elected to the Knesset on the Likud list, and was re-elected in 1984 and 1988, becoming chairman of the party's local authorities elections headquarters in 1989. In March 1990 he was made a Minister without Portfolio by Yitzhak Shamir, becoming Minister of Economics and Planning in June that year. Although he retained his seat in the 1992 elections, Likud lost power and Magen lost his ministerial position. He returned to the cabinet after Binyamin Netanyahu's victory in the 1996 elections, and was reappointed Minister without Portfolio. However, he left the cabinet in May 1997. In February 1999 he was amongst the Likud MKs to break away from the party and establish Israel in the Center (later renamed the Centre Party). Magen lost his seat in the 1999 elections, but returned to the Knesset in March 2001 as a replacement for Amnon Lipkin-Shahak. He lost his seat again in the 2003 elections.”
1945: German soldiers who had been operating a weather station at Svalbard since September of 1944 and who did not know the war was over “were picked up by a Norwegian seal hunting vessel and surrendered to its captain” making them the last German soldiers to lay down their arms.
1946: “A Flag Is Born,” a play promoting the creation of a Jewish State in the ancient land of Israel opened on Broadway on today. The cast included Paul Muni, Celia Adler and Marlon Brando. Hollywood’s most successful screenwriter, Ben Hecht was the playwright; it was directed by Luther Adler with music by Kurt Weill. It was produced by the American League for a Free Palestine, an organization headed by Hillel Kook, known in America by the anglicized name Peter Bergson.
1946(8th of Elul, 5706): Sixty-five year old Reform Rabbi Isaac Landman whose accomplishments included editing the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia but who was an ardent ant-Zionist passed away today.
1948: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated for health reasons. In 1939, when the government had proposed building a refugee camp for German Jews fleeing from the Nazi regime, Wilhelmina complained about the planned location because it was “too close” to her summer residence. The camp was finally erected about 10 km from the village of Westerbork. This is the camp from which the Anne Frank would be shipped to Auschwitz.
1948: Warner Brothers released “Two Guys from Texas,” a musical comedy co-authored by I.A.L. Diamond and produced by Alex Gottlieb.
1950: “A new immigrant village named Kfar Trujman in honor of the American President was established near Lydda Airport. Eighty families from Poland, Rumania and Jungary comprise the first settlers. A scroll lauding President Truman for his assistance to Israel was read at a dedication ceremony attended by fifty American Jewish leaders.”
1951: After meeting with David Ben Gurion, Mr. Warburg, General Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal announced that the UJA would work to rasie 35 million dollars to pay the cost of moving 60,000 Jews from Eastern Europe and Moslem countries to Israel by the end of the year.
1954: “In today’s issue of The British Medical Journal” Holocaust survivor Dr. Joel Elkes and Dr. Chrmian Elkes, his wife at the time “concluded that the drug chlorpromazine “may have its place” in the management of psychosis, the signature symptom of schizophrenia.”
1955: Birthdate of David Broza, a multi-platinum Israeli singer-songwriter and guitarist.
1955: Following the successful completion of Operation Elkayam, “the U.N. mediated a ceasefire today” with Egypt which decided to halt, even if temporarily, the infiltration of the terrorists called Fedayeen into Israel.
1961: Pitcher Joe Holen made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox.
1964: Ken Harrleson “created” the prototype of the modern batting glove when he wore a golf glove to protect his blistered hand in a game between the K.C. Athletics and the N.Y. Yankees. But it would Irving Franklin, working with Phillies’ 3rd baseman to actual make the first true batting glove which was adopted as the official standard by Major League Baseball in the 1980’s. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1964: Birthdate of Anthony Weiner, New York political leader and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1965: Pitcher Ken Holtzman made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs.
1972: This evening, at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes watched Shmuel Rodensky the role of Tevya during a performance of “Fiddler On the Roof.”
1972: Mark Spitz won a record seventh gold medal by with a victory in the 400-meter relay at the Munich Summer Olympics. Spitz victories would prove to be bitter-sweet. The medal winning triumph would be followed by the slaughter of Israeli athletes by the Arab terrorists. Spitz was spirited out of Munich to make sure that as a Jew he would not meet the same fate.
1974: “Jewish activist Vitali Rubin, a specialist in Chinese philosophy, suffered a heart attack when arrested by police for “parasitism"
1975: The USSR did not attend today’s signing of the Sinai Interim Accord between Israel and Egypt which took place in Geneva.
1977: Moshe Dayan flew to Morocco, where, in a secret meeting with King Hassan, he asked the King to help expedite a meeting between Begin and Sadat.
1978: Talks begin at Camp David between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat.
1980: ABC broadcast the final episode of “Angie” the sitcom starring Donna Pescow with theme music created by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox.
1986(30th of Av, 5746): Rosh Chodesh Elul
1986(30th of Av, 5746): Sixty year old former NYU basketball great Sid Tanenbaum was murdered in bicycle shop today.
1986(30th of Av, 5746): Hank Greenberg passed away. Greenberg was a slugger for the Detroit Tigers. He was the first Jew who was a national hero in what was at that time, the national pastime. He endured his share of anti-Semitic catcalls and abuse. He would later provide aide and comfort to another more famous baseball pioneer – Jackie Robinson. One of the great debates that swirled around Greenberg was whether or not to play ball on the Jewish High Holidays.
1987: ''World of Yesterday: Jews in England 1870-1920,'' an exhibition that is part of the Jewish East End Celebration is scheduled to come to an end.
1992: “Bob Roberts,” a “mockumentary” featuring Bob Balaban, Jeremy Piven, Shira Piven and Jack Black was released today in the United States and the United Kingdom.
1993: Catcher Eric Helfand made his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics.
1994(28th of Elul, 5754): Twenty-four year old Sergeant Victor Shichman was gunned down at the Morag junction while on patrol.
1995(9th of Elul, 5755): Attorney and activist William Kunstler passed away at the age of 76. (As reported by David Stout)
1997(2nd of Elul, 5757): In Jerusalem three Hamas suicide bombers simultaneously blew themselves up on the pedestrian mall, killing five Israelis including three 14 year old girls -- Sivann Zarka, Yael Botvin and Smadar Elhanan, “the daughter of peace activist Nurit Peled-Elhanan and the granddaughter of Israeli general and politician Mattityahu Peled.
1998: “The Rounders,” a dark drama about the world of high stakes poker co-starring Martin Landau with a script by David Levien and Brian Koppelman premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
2001: Hamas took credit for today’s bombing on Hanevi’im Street in Jerusalem which injured 20 innocent civilians.
2005: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A History of the Jews in the Modern World by Howard M. Sachar.
2005: Haaretz reported that Israel's World Cup qualifying match against Switzerland ended in a 1-1 draw. Unfortunately, the sporting event was marred by pro-Palestinian demonstrators who ran across the field during the match. Hopefully the Palestinian protestors will remain non-violent and not follow the path of
the terrorists who murdered Jewish athletes at the Munich Olympics.
2005(30th of Av, 5765): Rosh Chodesh Elul
2005: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the Israeli government has offered everything from a field hospital, to specially trained disaster forensic teams, to organized prayer in an attempt to help the United States cope with this disaster. In addition to sending words of official condolences, Israeli government officials conceded that this would not be a good time to go to
additional aid for those who have left Washington . Gaza
2006: Jerry Lewis host’s the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Tikun Olam comes in many forms.
2007: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, a Jewish supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, which challenges the free market policy of Jewish economist Milton Friedman was published today.
2007: In Jerusalem, the weeklong festival known as Jewish Music Days continues with a second concert at Beit Shmuel, featuring the HaYona Ensemble in its own blend of traditional Jewish "piyut" music with Sufi music.
2007: In New York, Prof. Joanna Tokarska-Bakir is named this year’s recipient of the Jan Karski and Pola Nirenska Prize. Endowed by Professor Jan Karski at YIVO in 1992, the $5,000 prize goes to authors of published works documenting Polish-Jewish relations and Jewish contributions to Polish culture. The award ceremony will be held in October at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Joanna Tokarska-Bakir was born in Warsaw in 1958. She is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Warsaw University and at the Collegium Civitas in Warsaw. She holds a doctorate in ethnology (1992, dissertation Liberation Through Senses: Tibetan soteriological concepts, published 1997), and a degree in Literature Studies (Warsaw University, 2002). She also published a monograph The Curious Image: A Hermeneutic Reading of Ethnographic Sources (2000), and a volume of essays Rzeczy mgliste (Vague Objects, 2004). Her most recent scholarly project is the study titled Anthropology of Prejudice: Blood Libel Myths, which is supported by the grants from the Hebrew University and the Polish Ministry of Science. A book under this title is scheduled to come out in the year 2008. Joanna Tokarska-Bakir is also well known for her articles and essays, among them many devoted to the issues of anti-Jewish prejudices, historical and recent alike. Drawing on her ethnographer’s research, Tokarska reveals how the negative image of the Jew in the Polish traditional folk culture spurred anti-Jewish attitudes over the centuries and into the present time. Her aim is to identify myths and preconceptions, which serve both to dehumanize the Jews and to foster false beliefs about the righteousness of their neighbors. Writing about the Jedwabne massacre of the town’s Jews in the summer of 1941 perpetrated by the local Poles, Tokarska argued against those defenders of the perpetrators who are “obsessed with innocence” and thus unable to accept facts to the contrary. The late Professor Jan Karski, the founder of the prize at YIVO, was the envoy of the Polish government-in-exile during World War II who brought to the West firsthand testimony about the conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto and in German death camps. The prize is also named in memory of Professor Karski's late wife, choreographer Pola Nirenska. Founded in 1925, in Vilna, Poland, as the Yiddish Scientific Institute, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazic Jewry and its influence in the Americas. Headquartered in New York City since 1940, today YIVO is the preeminent global resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature and folklore; and the American Jewish immigrant experience. The YIVO Library holds over 360,000 volumes; the Archives holds more than 22 million archival pieces. YIVO offers a series of free cultural events, Yiddish language classes, various scholarly publications, and research opportunities.
2007: The New York Board of Rabbis unveiled its official Jewish New York History and Heritage Map today at an event attended by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The illustrated map, poster and guide lists scores of noteworthy sites throughout the city, spanning Jewish history since 1654, when Jewish settlers arrived in New Amsterdam from Recife, Brazil, founding what is now Congregation Sheartih Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue on Central Park West.
The sites include historic and cultural landmarks, to be sure, but also a hodgepodge of places of interest to those who closely follow popular culture. A sampling, by borough, follows.
· Baith Israel-Anshei Emeth (Kane Street Synagogue),
236 Kane Street,
where Aaron Copland had his bar mitzvah.
homes of Arthur Miller ( Brooklyn Heights 31 Grace
Court) and Norman Mailer (142 ). Columbia Heights
· The Midwood homes where Woody Allen spent his teenage years (
15th Street) and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg of
the Supreme Court spent her childhood ( 1584 East Ninth Street).
· The childhood home (663
Crotona Park North) of Hank Greenberg, the Jewish
· The childhood homes of Ralph Lauren, formerly Lifshitz (
Avenue) and Calvin Klein ( 3191 Rochambeau Avenue), who grew up two
blocks apart in
in the early 1950s but apparently never met. Norwood
· The Sholom Aleichem Houses (
Sedgwick Avenue and
named after a Yiddish writer, and the childhood home of Bess Myerson, who
became the first Jewish Miss .
, the alma mater of the comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld. Queens College
· The childhood homes of Paul Simon (
137-62 70th Road)
and Art Garfunkel ( 136-58 72nd
Avenue), the songwriting duo who grew up blocks apart
in Kew Gardens Hills.
The Jewish deli which has been a bit of an obsession for some readers (and writers) on this blog, is not a focus of the map, which lists just two
· Guss’ Pickles (
35 Essex Street), which, as this blog has
noted, is the subject of a dispute over who truly has the right to call themselves by
· Kossar’s Bialys (
367 Grand Street, near Essex Street).
( Baron Hirsch Cemetery 1126 Richmond Avenue),
in Willowbrook, which opened in 1899 and includes the tomb of what the map
calls “ Staten Island’s most famous Jewish
resident,” the publisher Samuel I. Newhouse.
The map was produced with city funds and includes statements by Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, welcoming visitors to the city. The back of the map also states, “The map is inclusive and includes those who identify themselves as Jewish and are seen as such by certain segments of the Jewish community.” Although copies of the map were made available to journalists at a news conference yesterday, the map is not publicly available yet, and we were not given permission to share it here. The New York Board of Rabbis intends to put a copy on its Web site after the High Holy Days this month. The map is the result of a two-year effort by a committee that included several scholars and writers, including Ilana Abramowitz, Gerald Chatanow, Joseph Dorinson, Mark Gordon, Oscar Israelowitz and Deborah Dash Moore. Ron Schweiger, the
2008: Haaretz reported that leaders in the US Reform Movement said they hope the privately run Aliyah organization Nefesh B'Nefesh will support programs developed with the Jewish Agency to attract liberal Jews who want to split their time between Israel and their existing homes in North America. Nefesh B'Nefesh, which under an agreement announced on August 31 will take over North American aliya operations for the Jewish Agency, has largely attracted Orthodox Jews aboard its planes, in part through an early partnership with the Orthodox Union, though it has also recently reached out to the Reform and Conservative movements. In the meantime, the Association of Reform Zionists of America and the Jewish Agency have spent the past four years jointly promoting so-called "flex aliya" alternatives to the classic Aliyah, which for American Jews conjures up images of families waving good-bye as they pick up one-way tickets to Israel from the El Al Israel Airways check-in desk. Instead, ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America - the Zionist arm of the Union for Reform Judaism - has offered seminars catering to retirees interested in buying second homes in Israel rather than in Arizona or Florida, professionals looking for mid-career sabbaticals and others seeking to plant their feet on both sides of the Atlantic.
2009: Performance of “Zero Hour.” Written and performed by Jim Brochu “Zero Hour” channels Zero Mostel’s wild moods, crazy humor and righteous anger. James Brochu reintroduces us to this funny, fantastically contrary man whose penchant for truth-telling has been sorely missed. Among other questions raised during the performance are “Will Mostel overcome his bitterness about being blacklisted and go back to work with the legendary director who named names before Congress?”
2009: As happens every Friday throughout the months of July, August, and September, The Alrov Mamilla Mall outside the Jaffa Gate is transformed into one big street theatre featuring a series of “family friendly” performances that include plays, jugglers, magicians, pantomime, stand-up comedy, circuses, music, acrobatics, and more.
2009: It took 70 years for this reunion, but when the vintage steam train pulled into London today with a group of elderly Holocaust survivors, the emotions started to flow. Under the sprawling canopy of the Liverpool Street Station, the survivors were reunited today with the man who as a fearless young stockbroker saved every one of them from the Nazis. Nicholas Winton, now at 100 frail and leaning on a stick, greeted some of the hundreds of Jewish children that he worked so hard to evacuate from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II. "It's wonderful to see you all after 70 years," he said, shaking hands with former evacuees as they stepped off the train. "Don't leave it quite so long until we meet here again." The three-day trip from Prague - by rail and ferry - recreated the fateful journey the survivors made as children, part of the "kindertransports" organized by Winton that carried 669 mostly Jewish children to safety in England. Winton, as a 29-year-old visiting what was then Czechoslovakia, had become alarmed by the flood of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis and was determined to save as many children as he could. The train today carried about two dozen survivors, along with members of their families, 170 people in all. Some survivors gave Winton flowers, while others posed for photographs as a band played festive music. "I am very glad he had the strength and energy to meet us. It is emotionally very important," said 80-year-old Joseph Ginat, who was 10 when he traveled to England in August 1939 with his brother and two sisters. His mother died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. "For me, he is like a father," Ginat said. "He gave us life." Some of the survivors were meeting Winton for the first time. The passengers traveled from Prague to The Netherlands in vintage German and Hungarian railway coaches pulled by 1930s steam locomotives. After crossing the North Sea by ferry, they completed the journey in a refurbished British steam train. Other survivors of the transports who did not make the anniversary journey from Prague gathered at the station to meet the train."It's amazing. It happened so many years ago, yet I remember it so vividly," said Otto Deutsch, 81, who lives in Southend, southern England. "I never saw my parents again or my sister. My parents were shot and what they did with my sister I really don't want to know." In late 1938, Winton, a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange, traveled to what was then Czechoslovakia at the invitation of a friend working at the British Embassy. Alarmed by the influx of refugees from the Sudetenland region recently annexed by Germany, Winton immediately began organizing a way to get Jewish children out of the country. He feared, correctly, that Czechoslovakia soon would be invaded by the Nazis and Jewish residents would be sent to concentration camps. Winton persuaded British officials to accept the children - who agreed as long as foster homes were found and a 50-pound guarantee provided for each one. He then set about fundraising and organizing the trip, arranging eight trains to carry children through Germany to Britain in the months before the outbreak of war. The youngsters were sent to foster homes in England, and a few to Sweden. Few saw their parents again. The largest evacuation was scheduled for Sept. 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany. That ninth train never left Prague, and almost none of the 250 children trying to flee that day survived the war. Winton's story did not emerge until 1988, when his wife found correspondence referring to the prewar events. "My wife didn't know about it for 40 years after our marriage, but there are all kinds of things you don't talk about even with your family," Winton said in 1999. "Everything that happened before the war actually didn't feel important in the light of the war itself." Winton's wife persuaded him to have his story officially documented. A film about Winton's heroism won an International Emmy Award in 2002, and then-Prime Minister Tony Blair praised him as "Britain's Schindler," after the German businessman Oskar Schindler, who also saved Jewish lives during the war. Winton rejected the comparison, and the description of himself as a hero. Unlike Schindler, he said, his life had never been in danger. But for many of those he saved, he is unambiguously a hero. It is estimated there are 5,000 people around the world who owe their lives to Winton - the children he saved and their descendants. The children saved by Winton include the late film director Karel Reisz; Joe Schlesinger, a one-time Associated Press translator who became one of the Canada's most prominent TV journalists; and British lawmaker and peer Alfred Dubs. "He doesn't think that what he did was a big deal," said Marianne Wolfson, 85, who traveled from her home in Chicago to take the train journey from Prague. "But we got our life back."
2010: At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Bentlee Birchansky, son Dr. Lee and Cyndie Birchansky, was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah
2010 (5770): This evening, Rabbi Todd Thalblum is scheduled to conduct his second Selichot service as the leader of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2010: A Kassam rocket launched from Gaza exploded in the southern Israel Negev area on Saturday morning. There were no reported injuries.
2010: IDF bombed smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip tonight. The bombing was a reaction to the Hamas shootings in the West Bank earlier this week, and the kassam rocket fired into Israel from Gaza hours earlier. The army said it struck two tunnels leading to Egypt, and one that led to Israel, and was used by Hamas terrorists planning to kidnap and commit terror acts against Israeli soldiers and civilians. This was the first IDF act in Gaza since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas relaunched peace talks in Washington two days ago.
2010: Yael Rapaport Schoenbaum enjoyed her first Shabbat. She was born today in Bethesda, MD much to the joy of her parents Michael Schoenbaum and Elisa Rapaport and her grandparents Dr. David and Mrs. Schoenbaum of Iowa City, IA.
2011: Anita, a film about a young Jewish woman with Down syndrome, is scheduled to be shown at the Ninth Annual Jewish Film Series sponsored by The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities.
2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sleeping with the Enemy Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan which says that Chanel’s “anti-Semitism was vociferous and well-documented,” The Emperor of Lies, a novel by Steve Sem-Sandberg that paints a picture of the Lodz Ghetto including the role of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski and Except When I Write: Reflections of a Recovering Critic by Arthur Krystal
2011: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein by Julie Salamon and The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man: A Picture Book by Michael Chabon, with illustrations by Jake Parker
2011: The National Union of Israeli Students began folding up its campsite on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard this afternoon, the day after more than 400,000 Israelis hit the streets in a series of social justice protests across the country. Students said the decision to break down the camp was made as the protest movement enters a new phase in which the campsites are no longer relevant.
2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered Israel's top security bodies to keep mum about intelligence information gathered prior to the terror attacks in the south two weeks ago, it emerged today. Military Intelligence chief Major General Aviv Kochavi appeared before the Intelligence and Secret Services today and was asked to brief its members on the series of terror attacks in Israel's south two weeks ago and the way the IDF dealt with the intelligence warnings received beforehand.
2011(5th of Elul, 5772): Seventy-nine year old Eliyahu Naim died today “in a Jerusalem hospital, two weeks after hitting his head while running for shelter in Ashkelon” during a “massive rocket barrage on southern Israel” that took place two weeks ago. His death brings the toll from that attack to three. Sixty-two year old Varda Nachimas and 38 year old Yossi Shushan died earlier.
2012(17th of Elul, 5772): Eighty-three year old Abraham Avidgdorov who was received the Hero of Israel Award (the forerunner of the Medal Valor) “for destroying two Bren machine gun positions on March 17, 1948 passed away today. (As reported by Boaz Flyer)
2012(17th of Elul, 5772): Eighty-seven year old Tony Award winning director Albert Marre passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
2012: Shir Hadash is scheduled to offer training in how to blow a ram’s horn at its Shofar Workshop and a course in Jewish ethics and values – A Taste of Judaism.
2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a lecture by Marc Caplan and Beatrice Lang Caplan entitled “Watch the Throne: Spectacle and Specters in the Stories of Reb Nakhmen and Der Nister.”
2012: The Israeli Opera is scheduled to present a performance of “The Magic Flute.”
2012: A new film series sponsored by the Library of Congress and the Embassy of the Czech Republic titled “Doc in Salute” which focuses “on interesting personalities who have been touched by Jewish themes” is scheduled to open today with a showing of “What Doesn’t Kill You.”
2012: Cyprus hopes to begin importing liquefied natural gas from Israel by early 2015, Cypriot Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Neoklis Sylkiotis was quoted as saying by Famagusta Gazette Online today. Israel is in favor of supplying Cyprus with between 0.5-0.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas for electricity production, he reportedly said. The island country is planning to import natural gas in the short-term.
2012: The New York Times featured a review of Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
2013: “Rock Hashana: 10 Stars of the New Jewish Music” published today provides a look at what is no longer “your bubbe’s Jewish music”
2013: After serving more than three years David I. Adelman completed his term as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.
2013: Latica Honda-Rosenberg and Yaron Kohlberg are scheduled to perform Hindemith’s Violin Sonata in E flat major, op. 11/1 at The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival.
2013: “Fifteen Palestinians were arrested Wednesday morning, including seven youths ahead of the Jewish New Year after they threw stones and clashed with police on the Temple.” (As reported by the Times of Israel Staff)
2013: In an interview published in Yedioth Ahronoth today a cting Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug said her gender may have something to do with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to overlook her for the top post at the central bank.(As reported by the Times of Israel Staff)
2013(29th of Elul, 5773): Erev Rosh Hashanah
שנה טובה, כתיבה וחתימה טובה.
2014: “The solo Exhibition ‘Lotus Eaters’ presenting paintings by Canadian-Israeli artist Melani Daniel is scheduled to open at the Asya Geisberg Gallery
2014: “The Shin Bet released further information about the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens in June, including the transfer of money from Gaza to Hebron to fund the triple killing and the failed escape to Jordan of Hussam Kawasme, who allegedly helped bury the three teens on his land and was indicted Thursday in a military court.” (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)
2014: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy announced that David Makovsky, a member of the State Department’s Middle East peace team, is returning which is seen as “a signal that the Obama administration is retreating from its efforts to broker a peace deal.” (JTA)
2014: “The IDF returned fire at a Syrian army position along the northern border this afternoon, after a mortar shell struck Israeli territory.”
2014: After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, “My Old Lady” a marvelous little comedy with a twist which marked the directorial debut of Israel Horovitz who also wrote the script and was produced by Rachael Horovitz was released in the United States today by the Cohen Media Group.
2014(9th of Elul, 5774): Eighty-one year old comedian Joan Rivers passed away today.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/arts/television/joan-rivers-dies.html?hpw&rref=obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0
2015(20 Elul): Yahrzeit of Dr. Jacob Levin, of blessed memory, beloved husband of Betty, loving father of Michael (Gigi Cohen) Levin, Stephen (Dian Garton) Levin, Sharon (Philip) Wein and Lawrence (Sandra Morrison) Levin and proud Zaide to a whole tribe of grandchildren. To his brother Joe, he was the incomparable “Yaenkel” and to me his was my wonderful Uncle Jack – living proof that good guys finish first.
2015: The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2015: In “Israeli Terrorists, Born in the U.S.A.” published today, Sara Yael Hirschhorn described a segment of society that Prime Minister Rabin had described as “an errant weed” that “sensible Judaism spits out.”
2015: Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, David Tanis provided recipes for holiday treats.
2016(1st of Elul, 5776): Rosh Chodesh Elul – Begin reciting Psalm 27 and blowing the shofar.
2016: Israeli songwriter Yoram Teharlev and The Quartet are scheduled to perform this evening at the the 14th Street Y in New York.
2016: As part of Mekudeshet, “a joint house of prayer” is scheduled to open today “at the Louis & Tillie Alpert Youth Music Center of Jerusalem in the Wolfson Garden for followers of the three major monotheistic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”
2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host its third and final summer-time Docent Tour of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial
2016: The New York Times Book Section featured an interview with Daniel Silva, the author of the Gabriel Allon thrillers.