83 BCE: Birthdate of Marcus Antonius, who is better known as Mark Antony (often pronounced Anthony). Mark Antony is credited by some with recognizing Herod as a Jewish leader and elevating him accordingly. Later, he would side with Cleopatra in her attempts to claim some of Eretz Israel for her own.
1129: Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes. Troyes was the home town of the great Jewish commentator Rashi who died there a quarter of a century before the council was held. At the time of the meeting, Rabbinu Tam, the most famous of Rashi’s grandson was 29 years old and living at the village of Ramerupt, which was just outside of Troyes. The term “Templar” refers to the Temple of Solomon. In its early days, the Order saw itself as a protector of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple. When it broadened its activity the members of the order learned about banking from the Jews. Unlike others related to crusading activities, the Templars did not engage in the wholesale slaughter of Jews.
1301: Andrew III of Hungary dies, ending the Arpad dynasty in Hungary. While his predecessor on the Hungarian throne had approved a variety of ant-Jewish rules and regulations, Andrew took a different tact “when, in the privilegium granted by him to the community of Posonium (Bratislava), that the Jews in that city should enjoy all the liberties of citizens.” Things went downhill for the Jews of Hungary after Andrew’s death and they were expelled from the kingdom in 1349 under the belief that the Jews were responsible for the Black Death.
1484: The first printed edition of Ibn Gabirol’s Mivhar ha-Peninm was published today.
1514: Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery. This is the same Pope Leo who clashed with Martin Luther and who offered protection to the Jews at various times including when he reconfirmed the privileges of French Jews despite opposite from the local bishops and banned the wearing of the Jew badge in France
1589: Anglican clergyman “Francis Kett was burned alive by the Church for inferring that the Jews would one day return to the Promised Land, an opinion derived from reading the Bible” and for his heretical belief that Jesus was not divine.
1601: The Church burned Hebrew books and manuscripts in Rome. These book burnings destroyed priceless parts of the Jewish heritage. One of the puzzling questions is why do Christians have this almost pathological fear of Jewish books.
1639: The "Fundamental Orders", the first written constitution that created a government, is adopted in Connecticut. “No Jew, however, was recorded in colonial Connecticut until 1659 when ‘David, the Jew’, was mentioned in the Hartford legislative records.” Hartford was one of the four cities that were covered by The Fundamental orders.
1664: Birthdate of Frankfurt am Main native Johann Jakob Schudt a gentile who wrote ‘a preface to Grünhut's edition of David Ḳimḥi's Commentary on the Psalms in 1712 and published the Purim play of the Frankfurt and Prague Jews with a High German translation 1716” but who also published Judæus Christicida, in which he attempted “to prove that Jews deserved corporal as well as spiritual punishment for the crucifixion” and Jüdische Merkwürdigkeiten which “is full of prejudice, and repeats many of the fables and ridiculous items published by Johann Andreas Eisenmenger; but also contains details of contemporary Jewish life, a source for the history of the Jews, particularly those of Frankfurt.”
1690: The clarinet is invented in Germany. No, the Jews did not invent the clarinet. But from Benny Goodman, to Artie Shaw to the Kings of Klezmer, can you imagine the clarinet without Jews or Jews without the “licorice stick.”
1711: One of the largest fires that ever occurred in Frankfurt broke out in the Judengasse (Jews Alley). The fire started at about 8 p.m. in the House Eichel (German: Acorn) owned by the senior Rabbi Naphtali Cohen.
1745: Birthdate of Gershom Mendez Seixas, the son of Isaac Mendez Seixas) and Rachel Levy, daughter of Moses Levy, an early New York merchant who gained fame as an American rabbi and fervent supporter of the American Revolution.
1758: Birthdate of Jacob de Castro, the son of a London rabbi whose career as a comedian included performances at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and the Haymarket Theatre where he led a group of players known as “Astley’s Jews”
1765: Birthdate of Seckel Isaac Fränkel, the German rabbi who led the new Reform Temple in Hamburg when it opened in 1818.
1768: Aaron Hart, who is considered to be the father of Canadian Jewry, wed his cousin Dorothea Catherine Judah in Portsmouth, England. After the marriage, Uriah and Samuel Judah who were both his cousins and brothers-in-law emigrated to Trois-Rivières, Canada. The large family included four sons: Moses, Ezekiel, Benjamin, and Alexander (Asher), and five daughters, the latter educated by the Ursuline Catholic sisters in Trois-Rivières. One daughter, Chavah, married a Judah and two others, Sarah and Charlotte, married Samuel and Moses David respectively, sons of Montreal's Lazarus David. Seventeen sixty-eight was also the same year in which Hart joined with others for found Shearith Israel in Montreal.
1798: Birthdate of the poet and writer of Isaac de Costa. A Dutch born member of a Sephardic family, de Costa, converted to Christianity. Oddly enough, one of his major ventures into the world of prose was a work on Jewish History entitled Israel and the Gentiles.
1803: Birthdate of Eduard Munk, who taught at the Royal Wilhelmsschule at Breslau and at the gymnasium of Glogau but whose academic career was stifled because he was Jewish.
1821: Birthdate of Salomon Hermann Mosenthal, the native of Kassel, whose operatic works included “Die Maccaber” or “The Maccabees” which he created with Anton Rubinstein.
1831: The Scottish poet and lawyer Henry MacKenzie who “speculated that the high incidence of biblical place names around the village of Morningside near Edinburgh might have originated from Jews settling in the area during the Middle Ages” passed away today.
1842: In Vienna, Leopold Bruer and his wife gave birth to Dr. Josef Bruer the mentor of Sigmund Freud.
1842: According to the Jewish Chronicle, at this time Woolwich “had barely a minyan of Jews, consisting of five or six families” who employed their own Shochet. They had held services for this time on Rosh Hashanah, 5601(1840).
1851: In Cayuga County, NY, the prosecution rested its case during the trial of John Baham who is charged with having murdered Nathan Adler, an industrious and well-liked Jewish peddler from Syracuse.
1853: In a letter published today, Dr. George Bethune described the conditions of the seven or eight thousand Jews living in Rome under “shockingly oppressed” conditions. At that time, as he pointed out, the government of Rome was under the control of the Vatican.
1858: In Chicago, Sarah (Spiegel) and Michael Greenebaum, a successful merchant gave birth to Hannah Greenbaum Solomon, the founder and first president of the National Council of Jewish Women.
1859(7th of Shevat, 5619): Fifty-nine year old Zerline “Lina” Beyfus, the wife of Meyer Levin Beyfus passed away at Frankfurt am Main
1860: It was reported today that two Jewish businessmen named Magnus and Guedalla challenged one another to single combat during a heated dispute over who should control a company called the Great Eastern
1861: Birthdate of Mehmed VI the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He came to the throne in the closing days of World War I. His representatives signed the Treaty of Sèvres, the peace treaty marking the end of the war for the Ottoman Empire. In signing the treaty, the Turkish sultan recognized the mandates that ended the empire including the British mandate over Palestine that was a key step on the path to creation of the state of Israel. The sultan lost his throne to Turkish revolutionaries who were angered by the signing of the treaty.
1866: In Switzerland, Jewish rights were ratified. Switzerland had been the scene of some of the worst massacres during the Black Plague and a hotbed of anti-Jewish edicts. This legislation was only passed after the United States, Britain and France refused to sign treaties until their anti-Jewish cantons were repealed.
1867: Birthdate of Philadelphia pitcher William “Bill” Kling who was mistakenly identified as being Jewish because his brother Johnny had married a Jew and had never denied claims that he was also Jewish.
1871: In Hamburg, Germany Charlotte Esther Oppenheim Warburg and Moritz Moses Warburg to Felix Warburg who came to the United States in 1894 where he became a partner at Kuhn, Loeb and Co. as well as a leading member of the American Jewish community.
1878: Among the payments made from the New York City Treasury today was on of $7,976.66 to the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Society.
1880: Birthdate of Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier who was posthumously awarded the title Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1981 for his efforts to save Jews from the Vichy Government of Petain and Laval as well as their Nazi allies.
1881: As of today, the price of l'Union Générale had fallen to 2,800 francs marking a loss of 140 francs a share in a week which helped to cause the Bourse to crash – an event that many claim was the cause of a sharp rise in French anti-Semitism that would find its fullest expression at Drancy in WW II.
1884(14th of Tevet, 5644): Seventy-six year old Philip Phillips a native of Charleston, SC, who practiced law in Mobile and served in the state legislature and the U.S. House Representatives passed away today. The husband of Eugenia Levy, he was a Union sympathizer who lived in several Southern cities including Washington, D.C.
1888(1st of Shevat, 5648): Rosh Chodesh Shevat.
1889: Webster Hall, which is owned by Charles Goldstein, is scheduled to host the third annual reception of the Hoffman House Barkeepers.
1890: Ninety-year old Father Ignaz von Döllinger author of "The Jews in Europe" passed away today.
1891: “Russian Jews For America” published today described the arrival of about 500 hundred Russian Jewish men, women and children who plan to go on to the United States.
1892: In Lippstadt, Heinrich Niemöller and his wife Pauline (née Müller), gave birth to Martin Niemöller, the Lutheran minister whose anti-Nazi views slowly evolved and whose view about Jews was “a mixed bag” at best.
1892: The annual convention of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of America opened this morning at the Lindell Hotel in St. Louis, MO.
1892: Mrs. J.B. Eiseman, Mrs. Edward Pels and Mrs. G. Eiseman, of Baltimore, MD, met with Caroline Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison in Washington, DC at which time they invited her to attend upcoming Hebrew Orphan Asylum Bazar. Mrs. Harrison said that if possible she would attend. In any event, she would “send a donation of flowers from the White House Conservatories.” (President Harrison was engaged in a re-election campaign which might have been the reason she met with the Jewish ladies. In fairness, her refusal to commit to coming may have reflected her weakened condition that came from her battle with Tuberculosis which would take her life in October)
1892: The three days of ceremonies marking the opening of the Jewish Maternity’s facility in Philadelphia, PA, came to a close today.
1892: It was reported today that Adolph L. Sanger’s failure to gain election as the President of the Board of Education had nothing to do with the fact that he was Jewish. Rather it was a case that the Tammany “machine” had decided it wanted to the incumbent to retain the position.
1894: It was reported today that Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, one of the leading rabbis in Philadelphia, is coming to New York City to deliver an address sponsored by the Young Men’s Association of Ahawath Chesed
1894: President James H. Hoffman presided over the tenth annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute which was held this morning in New York City.
1895: Benjamin Oppenheimer, one of the Republican delegates from the 22nd Assembly District was so upset when he heard that reports circulated by those opposing William Brookfield’s continued service as Republican County Chairman because Jews were against him due to his membership in the Union League Club that he has started to campaign among his co-religionist to gain support for Brookfield (The Union League Club had blackballed Joseph Seligman’s son because he was Jewish and the fact that it no longer had any Jewish members was bone of contention among “uptown Jews..”)
1896: Birthdate of Hans J. Salter, Viennese trained composer who came to the United Sates in 1937 where he began a thirty year career of creating music for the movies.
1896: The inaugural event of this social season hosted by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Asylum is scheduled to take place this evening at the Lexington Assembly Rooms in NYC.
1897(11th of Shevat, 5657): Seventy-eight year old Leon Sternberger, the “cantor emeritus of Temple Beth-El” passed away today. Born in Bavaria in 1810, he “was a pupil of Solomon Sulzer, the father of modern Jewish religious music.” After serving as a cantor in Warsaw, he came to the United States in 1849, where he first served Anshe Chesed,
1897: It was reported today that in Austria, Christian and Jewish witnesses swear the same oath before testifying. However, Christian witnesses take the oath “before a crucifix between two lighted candles” while Jews take the oath with their right hands on a Bible open to the Ten Commandments.
1898(20th of Tevet, 5658): Eighty-nine year old Lazarus Straus, “the senior member of L. Straus & Sons” passed away today. Born in Bavaria in 1809 to a prominent Jewish family, he came to the United States after the failure of the Revolutions of 1848 in which he supported the liberals He arrived in Talbotton, GA in 1853 and, after a series of business ventures in the South moved to New York City 1865. The crowning point of his business career came when his firm acquired controlling interest in R.H. Macy & Co. A generous philanthropist, he was a leader of the Jewish community who actually lit the Eternal Light at Temple Beth-El during the sanctuary’s dedication. His proudest accomplishment may be his family which include his sons Isidor, Nathan who is the President of the Board of Health and Oscar who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.
1898: As the Dreyfus Affair continues to inflame France, a group of law students demonstrated in front of the offices of the Aurore protesting the writings of Emile Zola.
1899: It was reported today that Magistrate Sims has resolved the trespass charge brought by Mrs. Esther Wallenstein, President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum. The Magistrate agreed that the watchmen employed by the builders who had been hired to remodel the asylum’s building “had no legal right to be on the premises” he only fined the one dollar because they had every reason to believe they had such a right. In other words, they were innocent pawns in a struggle between Mrs. Wallenstein and the builders, John Webber & Sons.
1899: Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation in Chicago, Illinois, dedicated a school building. The structure was attached to the synagogue which had been designed by Dankmar Adler.
1900(14th of Shevat, 5660): Fifty-seven year old Abraham Baer Dobsewitch, the Pinsk native known for his commentaries and Hebrew writing passed away today in New York.
1902: Oscar Straus “was named a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague to fill the place left vacant by the death of ex-President Benjamin Harrison.”
1902: Daniel Joseph Jaffé “became associate member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (A.M.I.C.E.)” following which me moved to Hong Kong where among other things, he would build what was, at its time, the largest dam in the Far East.
1903: In San Francisco, prominent socialites Mr. and Mrs. Walter Stettheimer gave birth to Barbara Stettheimer who gained fame as Barbara Ochs Adler, the wife of Julius Ochs Adler.
1905: In St. Louis, “Isaac Newton Hahn, a dry goods salesman, and Hannah Hahn, a free-spirited suffragette” gave birth to journalist and novelist Emily Hahn who most memorable work came while she was writing from China from 1935 to 1941.
1906: The plans for a bazaar and ball in the Grand Central Palace featuring “professional vaudeville performers” and “the brand from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum” that will raise fund “for the assistance of the Jews of Russia” sponsored by the Women Workers for the Self Protection of Jews in Russia” were announced today.
1906: The Board of the Berlin Congregation discussed “the admission of proselytes.”
1909: In Goldfield, Nevada, Abe Attel retained his world featherweight title when he knocked out his opponent in the tenth round. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)
1912(24th of Tevet, 5672): Eighty year old German philologist Salomon Lefmann passed away today at Heidelberg.
1913: It was announced at the meeting of the Council of the United Synagogue that the selection committee had decided to submit to the Electoral College the names of two candidates only, Joseph H. Hertz of New York and Dr. Hyamson of London, for the office of chief rabbi, coupling with this resolution a strong recommendation in favor of Dr. Hertz.
1914: In Camden, NJ, the Hebrew Ladies’ Aid Society is scheduled to host its tenth annual reception and ball at Turner Hall tonight.
1915: In Sacramento, CA, Russian-Jewish immigrants Abraham Ellis and Fannie Goodson gave birth to U.C. graduate turned game show producer Mark Goodson.
1915(28th of Tevet, 5675): Seventy-eight year old Henrietta Francisca Sichel, the daughter of Fanny and Salomon Bernard Sichel and the wife of Joseph Mayer Montefiore passed away today in Sussex.
1915:The Red Cross Fund of which Jacob H. Schiff is treasurer increased by $395.75 which included a donation from the Ladies’ Aid Hebrew Temple of Fort Gibson, Mississippi and brought the total to $438, 791.33.
1915: The list published today of contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee for Suffers from the War included Chesed Shel Emes, Springfield, Ohio, Temple Beth-El, South Bend, Michigan, Ahavas Chesed Ladies, Mobile, Alabama, Congregation Agudas AChim, Shreveport, Louisiana and Mrs. S. Stern of Des Moines, Iowa.
1916: The text of the telegram sent by the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War seeking to gain the interest of Rabbis in supporting the day designated by President Wilson to collect funds for the cause was published today including a request that the sermons on the Shabbat before the event include a plea for support.
1916: It was announced today that the Clothing Jobbers’ League under the leadership of Chairman Emanuel Neuman and Secretary Samuel J. Klein has pledged $1,200 to be sent to the committee collecting funds to aid the suffering Jews of war-torn Europe and Palestine.
1917(20th of Tevet, 5677): Eighty-six year old “Solomon Ullmann, President of the Western Synagogue and one time treasurer of the Plymouth Hebrew congregation passed away today.
1917: “At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the National Jewish Home for Consumptives, Dr. Adolf Meyer of New York said that unless necessary precautions were taken there was a great danger of tuberculosis being increased in this country by immigration after the war.”
1917: “The women’s Proclamation Committee, a national organization for war relief, of which Mrs. Samuel Elkeles is Chairman will send today to the Joint Distribution Committee its check for $5,000 which was pledged toward the 1917 $10,000,000 fund for the relief of Jewish war suffers at the recent meeting in Carnegie Hall.”
1917: “Leon Trotsky, a Russian journalist and Socialist, his wife and his two sons, Leon, 11 and Serge, arrived” today in New York “on the Spanish liner Montserrat after having been expelled from Europe for preaching peace.” (Yes, the number two man in the Russian Revolution found refuge in the United States months before the Communists came to power.)
1917: “At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the National Jewish Home for Consumptives held this afternoon, Dr. Adolf Meyer of New York said that unless necessary precautions were taken there was great danger of tuberculosis being increased in the United States by immigration after the war.”
1917: It was announced today that “preparations for a ‘Week of Mercy’ to be held through the United States” later this month “are being made by the Central Committee for the Relief of the Jews Suffering through the War.”
1917: Among the appeals the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society received form persons in the wars zones asking that relatives or friends in the United States be located was one for “J. Pomerantz, 124 Street, Des Moines, Iowa.
1918: The Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies started its campaign today to raise $4,000,000 or more for the year’s maintenance of Jewish welfare, relief and sociological activites.”
1923: It was reported today that “George Barsky, proprietor of the Hotel Allenby located just outside of the Jaffe Gate in Jerusalem” has arrived in New York for a month long stay during which he plans to raise funds to build a new, modern hotel in Jerusalem that will have 500 rooms with 200 baths, a hot water heating system and all of the other amenities that Westerners connect with a first-class hostelry including a restaurant, billiard room and ballroom for dancing. Barsky sees Jerusalem and Palestine as prime travel destinations and has high hopes for the development of the tourist industry in “the holy land.”
1926: After losing his last three fights in 1925, featherweight Wilburn Cohen won his first bout of 1926 by a knockout.
1928: U.S. premiere of “Love and Learn” a six reel silent film produced by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky with a script co-authored by Herman J. Mankiewicz.
1930: Fifty-seven year old German Egyptologist Émile Brugsch who in 1881 “discovered the tomb at Deir el Bahir” which included the mummy of Ramses II, the Pharaoh of the Exodus passed away today.
1930: Rutgers defeated Drexel today thanks to a 26 point performance by Jack Grossman. (As reported by Wechsler)
1936: Reports published today describing the decision of Conductor Wilhelm Furtwaegler, who relies on the Third Reich for much of his work to drop a performance of works by Mendelssohn, who is considered “Jewish” from a performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Budapest.
1936: In Bucharest, police arrested 71 anti-Semites after the “anti-Semitic supports of Professor A.C. Cuza kidnapped and beat several leaders of the National Peasant party” as they drove to a meeting in Bukovina Province. (Editor’s Note: There has been tendency in the last fifty years to concentrate on the Holocaust and the Nazis which has resulted in a failure to appreciate the wave of anti-Semitism that was sweeping Europe during the 1930’s in a wide variety of counties that included the majority of European Jews.)
1937: Despite “a pouring rain” Jews from Haifa to Jerusalem “gave an enthusiastic welcome to the new Chief Rabbi, Dr. J.A. Herzog”, the replacement for the late Rabbi Kook, who arrived today from Ireland where he had served as chief rabbi
1937: Birthdate of Leo Philip Kadanoff, the native of New York who became an award winning physicist known for his contribution to “the fields of statistical physics, chaos theory, and theoretical condensed matter physics.”
1938: In Berlin, Harold and Lily Wolkowitz Kartiganer gave birth to Esther Kartiganer who came to United States at the age of one where she eventually became the senior producer for “60 Minutes” who “became entangled in a controversy over a program that raised questions about President George W. Bush’s military service during the Vietnam War” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
1938: The Palestine Post reported that one Arab constable was shot and another wounded by Arab bandits during a search at Tulkarm and Kalkilya. Arms and ammunition were found and a number of Arabs were brought before the newly established Military Court in Jerusalem and sentenced. According to the Jerusalem correspondent of the Egyptian press, a special committee was appointed by the British government to study the question of the Jewish settlement in Transjordan. Mr. H. St. John ("Hai Abdullah") Philby, the noted British Muslim who resided at Jedda, told the Arab press that he laments the recent growth of hostility between the Jewish and Muslim peoples, despite their common Semitic origin and their friendly relations in the past. He recommended the abolition of the Mandate and the creation of a National Government in Palestine which should permit Jewish immigration, in accordance with the economic and public needs of the country. St. John Philby was the father of the notorious spy, Kim Philby.
1939: Master teacher and pianist Rosina Lhévinne performed in a two-piano recital with her husband to mark the 40th anniversary of both their marriage and their professional collaboration.
1940: In a column entitled “Season In Palestine” Dr. Peter Gradenwitz, described recent musical events in the Holy Land including a series of concerts at the Jerusalem “Bezalel National Museum,” the presentation of a full program by the Palestine Symphony Orchestra without a conductor in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and a performance of Smetana’s “Tabor” by the Radio Orchestra which was introduced by Dr. Kadlec, the Jerusalem consul General of Czechoslovakia. The latter took on special significance because of the fate of the Czechs at the hand of the Nazis and Smetana’s relationship to “Hatikvah.”
1940: Of 880 Jewish Polish taken prisoner, 100 were shot on the march to prison. The next day approximately 400 more killed while 40 escaped. The day after, almost 150 more were murdered.
1941: In Manhattan, attorney Jacob Goldsmith and fourth grade school teacher Dorothy Markowitz gave birth to Susan Jane Goldsmith who gained fame as “Susan J. Tolchin, a political scientist who explored the workings of political patronage, women in politics and, most presciently, the electoral power of voter anger in several popular books, most of them written with her husband, Martin Tolchin” (As reported by William Grimes)
1941(13th of Tevet, 5701): Sixty-year old Austrian entertainer and art collector Fritz Grunbaum died during his second imprisonment at Dachau after having spent time in Buchenwald.
1942(25th of Tevet, 5702): Sixty-six year old German born American songwriter Fred Fisher whose hits included “Peg O’ My Heart” and “Come Josephine in My Flying Machine” passed away today
1942: The Nazis ordered 1,600 Jews from Ixbica Kujawska, in western Poland to report to a public place of assembly. The Jewish council warned the citizens about what was happening. The Germans shot the entire council. The rest were taken to Chelmno and gassed by the SS, local gendarmes, and Gestapo. Ten transports of about 80 people each were gassed and buried at Chelmno
1943: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and United States President Franklin Roosevelt met at Casablanca, Morocco, to discuss the future Allied invasion of Western Europe. News of the meeting buoys the spirits of Jews, who hope the war may soon be over. Roosevelt, though, proposes to French North African official General Noguès and later to a leader of the Free French Forces, General Giraud that the French government in North Africa should discriminate against local Jews just as Hitler did in the 1930s. Roosevelt specifically states, twice--once to Noguès and separately to Giraud--that "the number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions...should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population." President Roosevelt adds that limiting the number of Jews in the professions "would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore toward the Jews in Germany...."
1943: Rabbi Menachem Zemba, “called on the Jews of Warsaw to revolt” saying that "we must resist the enemy on all fronts". He also warned that "we are prohibited by Jewish law from betraying others...” Zemba was killed (19 Nissan) a few days after the revolt began. He had refused the offer of Catholic priests to help him and flee with another two rabbis, believing that he must remain until the end with his fellow Jews. Zemba had published over 20 manuscripts. Many others were destroyed in the ghetto.”
1943: The Jewish Council members in Lomza, refused to take part in the selection process. The Germans were forced to select for themselves those Jews who should be taken away.
1943: When the Jewish Council and Jewish police in Lomza, Poland, refuse to provide the Gestapo with 40 Jews, Gestapo agents make the selections, and include two Council members. A further 8000 Lomza Jews are deported to Auschwitz.
1943: Birthdate of Dr. Ralph Marvin Steinman, the native of Montreal, who became a noted American cell biologist and Noble Prize winner for his work on the human immune response. (As reported by William Grimes.)
1944: In New York, violinist Roman Totenberg and real estate broker Melanie Shroder Totenberg gave birth to NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg.
1945: Ninety-one year old Gerald Balfour, the brother of Arthur Balfour of “Balfour Declaration” fame who in 1906 “failed to get a vote of confidence from his constituents” because he strongly supported the passage of a bill that effectively excluded Russian Jews from immigrating to England, passed away today.
1945: The SS evacuates the remaining prisoners from the concentration camp at Plaszów, Poland.
1946(12th of Shevat): Rabbi Joseph Herman Hertz who had served as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom since 1913 passed away. A native of Hungary he earned a BA from Columbia and earned his Rabbinic designation at JTS, the American flagship training entity of the Conservative movement.
1948: Anna "Ans" van Dike a Dutch Jewish Nazi-collaborator was executed at the age of 42.(I cannot find any details about this. If any of you know about this person, please forward the information to me. Thanks.)
1948: A postal delivery truck filled with explosives manned by pro-Arab volunteers was driven into the center of Haifa where it exploded. These volunteers included recently released German POW’s and deserters from the British Army.
1948: Department store pioneer Beatrice Auerbach, longtime proprietor at G. Fox& amp; Co. in Hartford, CT, received the Tobe Award for outstanding contributions to public service in the retail field
1949: In Miami, FL, Sylvia Sarah and Clarence Norman Kasdan gave birth to Lawrence Edward Kasdan the writer, director and producer who has given us some marvelous films including “The Big Chill” and some not so marvelous including several episodes of “Star Wars.”
1949: Dr. Edwin J. Cohn of the Harvard Medical School is scheduled to deliver the Julius Stieglitz Memorial Lecture today at the University of Chicago.
1951(7th of Sheva, 5711): Three people were killed and twenty more were injured when “someone tossed an army hand grenade in the crowded Mas’uda Shemtov synagogue in Baghdad” forcing the Israeli government to implement Operation Ezra and Nehemiah which brought 120,000 Iraqi Jew to Israel in the space of a year.
1951(7th of Shevat, 5711): Seventy-four year old Joseph W. Pincus the Russian born American agricultural expert who directed the Jewish Agricultural Society and editor of the Jewish Farmer passed away today.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Soviet Union told the world that nine leading doctors five of them Jewish had "confessed" to the murder of Andrei Zhdanov, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and Alexander Shcherbakov, the secretary of the Moscow Committee, and possibly other Soviet leaders. One of the accused was the chief medical officer at the Kremlin. This announcement was understood as the so-called "Doctors' Plot," a crude attack on Soviet Jewry by Stalin. Fears were expressed that such "revelations" would lead to an anti-Jewish purge and hysteria, and a possible forced "resettlement" of Soviet Jews in outlying areas. While Izvestia had already demanded "a special status for Jews," the free world and Jewish press described the charges as false, "fantastic" and completely unsubstantiated.
1954: Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio. Ms. Monroe would later convert to Judaism and marry playwright Arthur Miller.
1960: Birthdate of Eric Alterman, the creator of the political weblog “Altercation”
1961: Ella Fitzgerald completed the recording of the “Harold Arlen Songbook” today which included sounds Broadway classics as “That Old Black Magic,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “Over the Rainbow” which is popularly known as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
1964(29th of Tevet, 5724): Seventy-two year old Barney Sedran, the “Mighty Mite” who played for CCNY from 1909 to 1911 and then played for a series of pro teams into the 1920’s passed away today.
1967: At the Alvin Theatre, after 127 performances, the curtain came on the Broadway revival of “Dinner at Eight” written by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber.
1971: Operation Bardas 20 took place today, to neutralize a guerrilla base in Lebanon, near Sidon, where about two dozen terrorists were training as frogmen. During the course of the raid, the commandos discovered a house with several women in it, and decided not to blow it up
1973: “Mossad found out today about the plan to assassinate Golda Meir, when a sayan, or local volunteer, informed Mossad that he had handled two telephone calls from a payphone in an apartment block where PLO members sometimes stayed.”
1973: After 14 performances at the Felt Forum, the curtain came down on “The Grand Music Hall of Israel” a revue in two acts starring Shoshana Damari.
1975: The Soviet Union repudiates 1972 trade agreement with the U.S. in response to passage of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.
1978(6th of Shevat, 5738): British athlete Harold Abrahams passed away. Born in 1899, Abrahams gained prominence as an Olympic runner during the 1920 and 1924 games. He gained a wide measure of fame when his youthful accomplishments were featured in the film “Chariots of Fire.”
1981: “Scanners,” is a science-fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg was released today in the United States.
1984(10th of Shevat, 5744): Paul Ben Haim, prominent Israeli composer, passed away at the age of 86. http://www.milkenarchive.org/people/view/all/591/Ben-Haim,+Paul
1985(21st of Tevet, 5745): Ninety-three year old Dutch born American silent era film actress Jetta Goudal passed away today.
1986: S. Simcha Goldman v. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, et al in which a Jewish Air Force officer sought to have the right to wear a yarmulke when in uniform was argued before the U.S. Supreme Courtn
1987: Israeli warplanes attacked Palestinian targets near the Syrian border today in the fourth raid on Lebanon in 10 days. The raid came hours after an attack by Lebanese guerrillas on a position manned by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army militia east of Sidon in which three people were reported killed and 10 wounded. ''Air force planes attacked buildings used as command posts for a Palestinian terrorist group and tents,'' a spokesman for the Tel Aviv command said. ''All planes returned safely to base.'' The raid today was only the second in eastern Lebanon since October 1985. A month after that attack Israeli planes shot down two Syrian warplanes and Syria retaliated by deploying surface-to-air missiles along its border with Lebanon.
1988: Today an Israeli builder who is directly affected by the loss of his Arab workers sat in a trailer on a nearly abandoned construction site, grumbling about the workers from Gaza who did not show up for work for the 10th day in a row. ''I guess they couldn't get out of the Gaza Strip,'' he said.
1990: At the Lincoln Center theatre, the curtain is scheduled to come down on the Broadway revival of Paddy Chayefsky’s “The Tenth Man”
1990: Ninety-two year old Douglas Geoffrey, the chief assistant to, and official successor of Theodore Hardeen, the younger brother of Harry Houdini, who performed as Hardeen, Jr. after his patron’s death, passed away today.
1992: John Herbert Adler began serving as a member of the New Jersey Senate from the 6th district.
1992: In “Scuds Are Gone, but the Israelis' Fears Linger” Clyde Haberman describes the condition of the Israeli psyche a year after what became known as Gulf War I.
1994(2nd of Shevat, 5754): Grigory Ivanov was stabbed to death by a terrorist in the industrial zone at the Erez junction, near the Gaza Strip. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.
1995(13th of Shevat, 5755): Seventy-eight year old attorney Albert Hessberg II the Yale football player who was the first member of Skull and Bones passed away toda.
1998: In “A Jew Stalin Killed Now Symbolizes Rebirth” Alessandra Stanley described the festival being held in Moscow in memory of “the great Yiddish actor and theater director Solomon Mikhoels slain by Stalin's secret police which marked the death of the Jewish theater in the Soviet Union.” Stanley provides a full description of the role of Mikhoels in Russian life, the attack by Stalin and the conditions of Jewry in today’s post-Communist Russia.
1999: Today, Jerry Falwell said "the Anti-Christ is probably alive today and is a male Jew." In his speech, he continued: "Is he alive and here today? Probably, because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he'll be Jewish. Of course he'll pretend to be Christ. And if in fact the Lord is coming soon, and he'll be an adult at the presentation of himself, he must be alive somewhere today."
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History by James Carroll.
2002(1st of Shevat, 5762): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
2002: A terrorist, named Raed al-Karmi, the 27-year-old leader of a local Palestinian militia, was killed by a bomb hidden beside a cemetery wall near his house.
2002: Herb Gray completed his term as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and retired from Parliament.
2004: Former Enron finance chief, Andrew Fastow, pled guilty to conspiracy as he accepted a 10-year prison sentence.
2004(20th of Tevet, 5764): A young Palestinian mother, feigning a limp and requesting medical help, blew herself up today at the entrance to a security inspection center for Palestinian workers, killing four Israeli security personnel and wounding seven people, the Israeli military said. The bomber, Reem al-Reyashi, 22, said in video released after her attack that ''it was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists.'' Ms. Reyashi left behind a son aged 3, and a year-old daughter. Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, said this was the first time his group had dispatched a woman to be a suicide bomber. Some militant Palestinian factions have been reluctant to do so, and some Islamic groups have questioned whether it is permitted under Islamic law. But when Sheik Yassin was asked why Hamas had decided to send a woman, he cited purely tactical concerns. ''It could be that a man would not be able to reach the target, and that's why they had to use a woman,'' he said. Ms. Reyashi's attack, in an industrial zone at the northern edge of the Gaza Strip, was the first Palestinian suicide bombing to kill Israelis since a Dec. 25 blast at a bus stop outside Tel Aviv, which also left four dead. Middle East violence has been down recently, but the blast ratcheted up tensions and dealt another blow to peace efforts that have been stalled for months. Palestinians have carried out more than 100 suicide bombings during the past three years of violence. But such attacks have been extremely rare in the fenced-in Gaza Strip, where Palestinian contact with Israelis is largely limited to security checks at places such as Erez. Ms. Reyashi was able to carry out her bombing by momentarily deceiving the soldiers with her claim that she needed medical treatment inside Israel, the military said. She joined the line where the Palestinians go through a security check each morning as they enter the industrial zone. As she approached the building's entrance, which has a metal detector at the doorway, she was limping, the Israeli military and Palestinian witnesses said. She told soldiers she had a recent leg operation, and a metal pin had been implanted that the detector would register. She was allowed to pass, and when the alarm sounded, the soldiers told her to wait while they called an army woman to search her, the military said. Seconds later, Ms. Reyashi detonated her bomb, estimated at about 10 pounds and packed with ball bearings and screws to make it more lethal, the military said. The blast tore apart the simple structure, sending part of the roof skyward and leaving behind dangling strips of metal. The floor was sticky with blood and littered with body parts, and bloodstains speckled the walls. Two soldiers, a border policeman and a civilian security guard were killed and seven people were wounded, including both Israeli security personnel and Palestinians heading to work. Ms. Reyashi, who came from a middle-class family in Gaza City, appeared in her video wearing combat fatigues, with an automatic rifle in her hands and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher on the desk in front of her. ''God gave me the ability to be a mother of two children who I love so,'' she said. ''But my wish to meet God in paradise is greater, so I decided to be a martyr for the sake of my people. I am convinced God will help and take care of my children.'' Hamas, the Islamic movement, and the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a faction loyal to the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, took joint responsibility for the attack.
2006(14th of Tevet, 5766): Academy Award winning actress Shelly Winters passed away.
2006: Skater Sasha Cohen won her first national gold medal at the U.S. Championships Saturday night in St. Louis.
2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of About Alice by Calvin Trillin, a memoir about his wife Alice Trillin who died at the age of 63 after twenty-five year battle with lung cancer. The Times also featured a review of Heist: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, His Republican Allies, and the Buying of Washington by Peter Stone.
2007: The front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune featured an article by Ron Grossman entitled “Echoes of history: Holocaust voices resurface at IIT” that recounted the story of Professor David Boder who went to Europe in 1946 and electronically recorded the experiences of Holocaust survivors.
2008: In Washington, D.C. Journalist Charles Enderlin, the Jerusalem bureau chief for channel France 2, discusses and signs The Lost Years: Radical Islam, Intifada, and Wars in the Middle East.
2008: Sports Illustrated reported that “Will Bynum ex-Georgia Tech basketball player is in hot water in Israel where he plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv. He was arrested after allegedly driving into some outside a bar. The victim survived. Bynum says he’s innocent.” In a departure from the tolerance Americans show for such behavior an official of Maccabi Tel Aviv told the media that “Bynum will no longer wear a Maccabi shirt.” The same magazine also published a column entitled “A Changeup for Bud’s Boys” advocating the purchase of the Chicago Cubs by Mark Cuban, the multi-millionaire grandson of Jewish immigrants from Russia.
2008: “Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie” co-produced by Ruth Reichl was broadcast for the first time on PBS.
2009: The Leo Baeck Institute and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research present a screening of “What If? The Helena Mayer Story” followed by a discussion led by filmmaker Semyon Pinkhasov and James Traub, a journalist specializing in the responsibility of nations toward their citizens. Helena Mayer was a fencing instructor at Scripps College. She became Germany's woman fencing champion in 1930 and won a silver medal in the Berlin Olympics in 1936. She then settled in the US, became a citizen, and won the US Women's National Fencing Championship eight times.
2009: The Jewish film festival season kicks off with the opening of the 9th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and 18th annual New York Jewish Film Festival
2009: Israel Radio reported that the IDF was turning up the heat on Hamas this morning, with ground forces progressing slowly to prevent civilian casualties. The IAF had attacked some sixty targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, Israel Radio reported. The targets included 30 terrorists smuggling tunnels, weapons storage facilities and rocket launch squads.
2009: Palestinian terrorists continued to attack Israeli civilian areas today, firing 18 projectiles by late afternoon, including a phosphorous mortar shell that hit the Eshkol region.
2009: The New York Times featured a review of Never Tell A Lie by Hallie Ephron.
2009: Gottschalks, which founded by German Jewish immigrant Emil Gottschalk in 1904 as a dry goods store in downtown Fresno, California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2009: The Museum of Memory and Welcome was inaugurated today near Nardo, in southern Italy. Israel's ambassador to Italy and Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, joined local officials for the ceremony. The museum, commemorating Jewish Holocaust refugees, opened near the Italian town that gave them shelter on their way to Palestine. Between 1943 and 1947, as many as 150,000 Jews fleeing Europe for Palestine, then still under British control, found shelter in and around Nardo, in the heel Italy's boot.
2009: The first stage adaptation of My Name Is Asher Lev “debuts on professional stage in Philadelphia, PA.”
2009: Three rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon
2009: In “Gentlemen and Scholars” published today Dan Laor describes the relationship between Shelomo Dov Goitein and Shmuel Yosef Agnon.
2010: At the New York Jewish Film Festival, the U.S. premiere of a “Ahead of Time,” a documentary that tells the story of Ruth Gerber. “Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Ruth Gruber had an extraordinary career as a foreign correspondent and photojournalist spanning seven decades. The first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic (in 1935), she escorted Holocaust refugees to America in ’44, covered the Nuremberg trials in ’46, and reported on the plight of the ship Exodus in ’47.”
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival features a screening of “Breaking Upwards,” an anti-romantic indie comedy described as an Annie Hall for Generation Y that examines a stifled twenty-something New York Jewish couple who, battling codependency, decide to engineer the dismantling of their relationship.
2010: Today, Silvyo Ovadya, the president of the Musevi Cemaati, or Jewish community, said the 23,000-member community has no immediate fear, but further tensions could "turn into anti-Semitism."
2010: A bomb exploded near a small convoy of vehicles belonging to Israel's embassy in Jordan this afternoon. No one was hurt in the incident, which occurred some 20 kilometers from the border crossing at Allenby Bridge,
2010 Members of the IDF medical teams preparing to spend two weeks in Haiti following a devastating earthquake received vaccinations today to prepare them for the stay in the country which is known for its poor medical infrastructure, Ash said.
2010: The ZAKA delegation arrived in Haiti today after taking part in rescue operations, collection of bodies and identification at another disaster scene – the site of the helicopter crash in Mexico in which Jewish financier and philanthropist Moshe Saba was killed.
2010: Goel Ratzon, an Israeli polygamist was arrested today on suspicion of enslavement, sexual abuse and rape. Reportedly he lives with 17 women and has fathered as many as 89 children.
2010: The man who shot up the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building in July 2006 was sentenced to life in prison. One woman died and five were wounded when Naveed Haq attacked the Jewish agency. In an address to the court during his sentencing, Haq apologized for the shooting rampage "from the depth of my being," according to the Seattle Times.
2011: Shabbat Tzedek celebrating 50 years in pursuit of justice with the Religious Action Center (RAC) is scheduled to begin.
2011: Limmud NY 2011 is scheduled to begin at The Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, NY.
2011: The head of the Labor Party’s internal court, attorney Amnon Zihroni, decided today to give Labor chairman Ehud Barak and two ministers who seek to replace him until Wednesday to reach a compromise on an agreed date for a key Labor convention that will decide whether to leave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition and advance the next Labor leadership race.
2011: “The Dilemma” a comedy produced by Brian Grazer, with a script by Allan Loeb, co-starring Winona Ryder and music by Hans Zimmer was released today in the United States.
2011: As the dispute over conversion bills and the definition of who is a Jew escalates, Pashkevilim were pasted in Jerusalem today that slam “those who promote fraudulent conversions without accepting the yoke of Torah and Mitzvot.” They were signed by most of the senior haredi Ashkenazi rabbis.
2012: In an interview with the German newspaper Der Tagesspiel Hungarian born pianist and conductor András Schiff accused the Viktor Orbán government of racism, anti-Semitism and neo-fascism, and declared that he would never set foot in Hungary again
2012: “Dear Mr. Waldman” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, MA.
2012: “Bachelor Days Are Over” – featuring Sarah Adler - and “Mary Lou” - directed by Eytan Fox – are scheduled to have their New York Premiers at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2012: Today the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has stepped up contingency planning in case Israel launches a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. According to the report, U.S. defense officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to carry out such a strike.
2012: The 3rd round of the Jordanian-sponsored talks between Israelis and Palestinians resumed tonight in Amman.
2013: “SENSO” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.
2013: “Numbered,” a “film that examines the…relationships of three Auschwitz survivors” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival
2013: The National Council of Jewish Women is a co-sponsor of today’s screening of “The Invisible War” which is scheduled to take place at Temple Judea in Tarzana.
2013: The Florida Department of Corrections agreed to serve kosher food to Jewish inmates, ending a five-year struggle that saw the US Justice Department file a lawsuit against the state
2013: During 2011, Israel’s population grew by 1.8 percent, increasing the population by some 141,500 people to a total of 7,836,600 by the end of the year, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics report released today.
2013: “Israeli soldiers discovered the opening of a large tunnel in Israeli territory dug from the Gaza strip which officials believe is intended for use in terror activity.” (JTA)
2014: “For A Woman” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2014: The state of Israel is scheduled today to name “an Arrow anti-missile facility for the late Daniel Inouye the longtime Hawaii senator who championed Israel in the US Senate.” (As reported by JTA and the Times of Israel)
2014(13th of Shevat): Yahrzeit for Kaufmann Kohler, one of the leading Reform Rabbis of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
2014(13th of Shevat, 5774): Eighty six year old producer Richard “Dick” Shepherd who changed his name to avoid the stigma of being Jewish passed away today.
2014: JTA informed is readers and supporters that “the board of directors has voted to move forward with final steps of a merger with MyJewishLearning.
2014: “A right-wing Israeli civil rights organization today petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni be made to respond to a New York court’s request for information in a landmark case filed by families of victims of Palestinian suicide bombings.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)
2015: “Mayor de Blasio and Rabbis Near Accord on New Circumcision Rule” published today described attempts by New York City to regulate “metzitzah b’peh.”
2015: Addressing a vocal crowd of activists and supporters, Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Labor-Hatnua party, this evening touted the newly elected lineup of his party as “the future leaders of Israel.”
2015: The Argentinean prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center today accused Argentina’s president and foreign minister of covering up Iran’s involvement in the attack.
2015: Marisa Scheinfeld is scheduled to explain the process she used to create “Echoes of the Borscht Belt” a photographic record of the “degradation of some of the most famous Borscht Belt Hotels
2015: “Like Brothers” and “The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: The London Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Teachers’ Evening: Teaching the Holocaust.”
2015: “Life Sucks (Or the Present Ridiculous) written and directed by Aaron Posner is scheduled to open at Theatre J in Washington, DC.
2015: “Man Seeking Woman, a television comedy series from Simon Rich, based on his The Last Girlfriend on Earth, premiered on FXX.”
2015: An exhibition “Anne Frank: A History for Today” is scheduled to open at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.
2015(23rd of Tevet, 5775): Seventy-one year old Mordechai Shumel Ashkenazi, Chief Rabbi of Kfar Chabad passed away today in Israel.
2016: “Art of the Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2016(4th of Shevat, 5776): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira, the great Sephardic sage and kabbalist known as the Baba Sali
2007(16th of Tevet, 5777): Parashat Vayechi; Completion of the reading of the final portion of Bereshit (Genesis). For more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/
2017: The chaplains of The Oxford University Jewish Society are scheduled to host the Seudah this evening with a shiur given by Barcuh Zev Galinsky.
2017: “The Women’s Balcony” and “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2017: The Conference of JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) is scheduled to begin this evening at the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life.
2017: The Paz Band is scheduled to perform on the final night of the Fourth Annual Winter Edition of the Tel Aviv Blues Festival.