Saturday, February 25, 2017

This Day, February 26, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


February 26

11 BCE: According to some sources, the day on which Herod dedicates the renovated Holy Temple in Jerusalem. According to Heinrich Graetz, the building project began in 20 BCE, the 18th year of Herod’s reign. A year and half later, (18 BCE) the inner part of the Temple was finished. It took another eight years to build the outer walls, courts and galleries. The dedicatory celebration took place on “the very anniversary of the day when twenty years previously, Herod, with blood stained hands, had made himself master of Jerusalem.”  Herod reportedly built this modernized version of the Second Temple because he loved to build things and because he was trying to show his Roman masters that he was the beloved ruler of his people.  Regardless, in one sense, Herod sealed the doom of the Temple and the Jewish people because he placed it under the protection of Rome.  What Rome protected Rome could destroy.

364:  Valentinian I is proclaimed Roman Emperor. He was the last Emperor to rule the Empire alone.  A month later, he would appoint his brother Valens Emperor in the East, while he would rule over the Western portion of the Empire. Valentinian belonged to a minority sect called the Arians.  In an attempt to keep peace in the Empire, in 371 he issued a proclamation allowing Christians and Arians to practice their religious belief without incurring any “political disadvantage. This toleration was extended to the Jews.”

1147: The Crusaders massacred the Jews of Wurtzburg; so much for all of those tales of knights and chivalry.

1361: Birthdate of Wenceslaus IV who as Emperor failed to continue the Imperial protection of the Jews of Luxembourg led to their expulsion in 1391.

1418: Emperor Sigsmund “issued commands to all the German princes and magistrates, cities and subjects, to allow” the Jews the full enjoyment of the privileges and immunities given them by the Pope who had denounced attacks on the persons and property of the Jews and the practice of forced conversion.

1498: Isaac Abravanel completed "Mashmia' Yeshu'ah" (Proclaiming Salvation), one of three works “devoted to the exposition of the Jewish belief concerning the Messiah and the Messianic age.”

1569: Pius V issued Hebraeorum gens, a papal bull that accused the Jews of a variety of evil deeds including the practice of magic.

1569:  Pope Pius V ordered the eviction of all Jews from the Papal States (excluding Rome and Verona) who refuse to convert. Most of the approximately 1000 Jewish families decided to emigrate.

1592: First performance of “The Jew Malta” by Lord Strange’s Men, an English theatrical group.

1802 Birthdate of French man of letters Victor Hugo the “preeminent biblical poet among the French Romantics.” He eulogized Isaiah and Ezekiel in William Shakespeare (1864) and injected some basic knowledge of the Kabbalah (probably gained from his Jewish admirer, Alexandre Weill) into Les Contemplations (1856).

1809: Birthdate of Rosanna Dyer Osterman, the native of Germany who married Joseph Osterman who worked in his business in Galveston until passed away at the age of 57 when a steamboat exploded near Vicksburg, MS.

1814: In Holland, a law was enacted officially ending the French rule that had been overseen by Napoleon’s.  The Jews supported the new government under William I and the Netherlands proved to be a welcoming home for the Jewish population which thrived there throughout the rest of the 19th century.

1825: Maryland removed the requirement of a Christian oath for public office, and substituted a declaration of belief in reward and punishment and the World to Come. This obviously made life in Maryland easier on its Jewish citizens. On the very last day of the session of the legislature an act "for the relief of the Jews in Maryland," which had already been passed by the Senate, was passed by the House of Delegates by a vote of twenty-six to twenty-five.  Only fifty-one out of eighty members were present for the vote.  The bill provided that "every citizen of this state professing the Jewish religion" who shall be appointed to any office of profit or trust shall, in addition to the required oaths, make and subscribe a declaration of his belief in a future state of rewards and punishments instead of the declaration now required by the government of the state.

1825: Thirty-one year old Hannah Aarons who passed away yesterday was laid to rest today at the Brady Street Jewish Cemetery in London.

1827: “Lady Georgiana Mary Walpole, a descendant of Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain” married Joseph Wolff, the son of Rabbi David Wolff, who was baptized in 1812 and whose missionary travels and archaeological studies took him took him to the Sinai, Jerusalem and Aleppo as well a large part of Central Asia when began searching for the Ten Lost Tribes.

1829:  In Bttenheim, Germany, “Hirsch Strauss and his second wife Rbecca” gave birth to Loeb Strauss who as Levi Strauss made the riveted blue denim trouser an icon of American fashion called “Levi’s” http://lsco.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Levi-Strauss-Full-Biography.pdf

1830: Birthdate of Philip Bondi, the Bohemian born Rabbi who “in 1857 received his doctor's degree from the University of Prague and his rabbinical diploma from Aaron Kornfeld and Daniel Frank” and whose works included “a Bohemian translation of the Pentateuch.”
 

1848: In the wake of revolutions that swept Europe, the Second French Republic comes into being.  The Republic last a mere four years when it was swept aside when Louis Napoleon (Bonaparte’s nephew) proclaimed the second empire.  Just prior to the birth of the Republic, the Jew’s Oath had been declared unconstitutional by the French courts.  This opened the way to further participation of the Jews in the general world of French business, society and culture.

1851: In Charleston, SC, Samuel Samson married Abigail Goldsmith, the second daughter of Morris Goldsmith.

1853: The New York Times published a portion of a paper present by Dr. A.K. Gardner on "the meats of New York" that was delivered before the Academy of Medicine and was published in the New York Journal of Medicine. According to Dr. Garnder unlike the other butchers, the Jewish butchers "do not prostrate the animal with the ax but first suspend it and then cut this throat.  This must be performed in a peculiar manner.  It is necessary to have along knife, which must be from rust, nic, or any imperfection of the cutting edge."  Only one cut is allowed.  If more cuts are required, “the animal is deemed unfit for food for the Hebrews.  After the animal is dead, he is upon the fore-quarters.  From the difficulty of removing the blood vessels, as required by their law, from the hind quarters, this portion is rarely eaten by the Hebrews, but the mark is placed upon them for the benefit of many Christians, who prefer the meat thus examined.  The butcher paid by the Society in which he worships an annual salary and in addition he receives a small sum per animal from the keeper of the slaughter house for his services."

1854: Henry Cohen, a native of London who came to the United States in 1844 and Matilda Cohen gave birth to “social economist” Mary M. Cohen

1860(3rd of Adar, 5620): Seventy-seven year old educator and author Michael Hess the brother of Mendel Hess and the son of Rabbi Isaac Hess Kugelmann who among other accomplishments tutored “young Baron James Rothschild”  passed away at Frankfort-on-Main.

1861: “The Fundamental Law of February 26, 1861” was promulgated in Austria today after which Raphael Basch, he served as the official spokesman government of Anton Ritter von Schmerling. Born in Bohemia, Basch alternated between being a journalist and political activist who actually became part of successive Austrian governments.  This latter element was unusual for a Jew living in the Austrian Empire at this time.

1862: In Wilna, Joel Kopelovitz and Zine Danishevsky gave birth to Victor Harries, founder and editor of the B’nai B’rith Messenger, the secretary of Congregation Beth Israel and a court interpreter in Los Angeles, CA.

1865(30th of Shevat, 5625): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1873: It was reported today that the recent Hebrew Charity Ball in Philadelphia raised $7,920 after expenses.  The money has already been distributed to several of the city’s Jewish institutions.

1876(1st of Adar, 5636): Rosh Chodesh Adar and the Sabbath of Shekel.

1877(13th of Adar, 5637): Fast of Esther

1877: “The Home for Aged Hebrews” published today described it as “one of the most delightful” institutions of its kind in New York City.  The building which was originally a country home of the Astor family, offers views of the East River and Long Island Sound. The facility currently is home to 70 older men and women who live in “air well-furnished rooms,” are well clothed and enjoy excellent food on a daily basis which is complimented by wine if so desired.

1880(14th of Adar, 5640): Purim

1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association is scheduled to host a Purim entertainment and reception this evening at the Harlem Music Hall.

1880: In New York, the Purim Association sponsored a ball in the Academy. A tableaux featuring Queen Esther surrounded by the Muses, preceded the evening’s dancing.

1880: Sixty-year old Dr. Simon Rosenberger, a distinguished Philadelphia, PA Jewish physician and Ida Smith, a servant girl working in his house, were the victims of a mysterious malady. Miss Smith passed away after suffering convulsions brought on possibly by coal gas that had seeped into the house from the cellar.  Rosenberger who is unconscious and near death is thought to be a victim of the case or possibly an ingestion of poison.

1882: “The Hebrew Charity Ball” published today described plans for the upcoming Purim Association’s upcoming fancy dress ball.  This ball, which has been a part of the New York Social Scene for two decades, will be held at the Academy of Music under the leadership of M.H. Moses, the association’s President.

1882: A review of “Divorce and Divorce Legislation” by Theodore D. Woolsey notes that the volume includes a chapter devoted to the history of divorce among the Jewish people.

1882(7th of Adar, 5642): German painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim passed away. He is often regarded as the first Jewish painter of the modern era. His work was shaped by his cultural and religious roots at a time when many of his German Jewish contemporaries chose to convert to Christianity. Oppenheim is considered to be in sympathy with the ideals of the Wissenschaft des Judentums (Science of Judaism) movement, because he remained "fair to the present" without denying his past.

1888(14th of Adar, 5648): Purim

1888: The grant of citizenship for businessman, banker and philanthropist Jacob Noisotz was approved by the upper house of the Romanian legislature today but would fail to gain his goal when the lower house rejected the request in December.

1889: In Baltimore, founding of the Hebrew Free School Society whose members included Joseph Eisner and Abraham S. Shochet and which sponsored a Talmud Torah that offers daily instruction for three hours from 4 until 7 and that “maintains a school for girls” as well

1890: In honor of a request made to Charles Frohman by child acting star Elsie Leslie, 500 children from the Industrial Schools of the Associated Hebrew Charities attended today’s matinee performance of the “Prince and the Pauper (Frohman was one of three Jewish brothers from Ohio who were involved with the Broadway theatre before World War I)

1891: The Purim Association hosted its 30th annual charity ball at the Metropolitan Opera House tonight in New York City.

1892: The New York Times “has received $20 for Russian Hebrew immigrants from ‘A.Y.E.’”

1893: “New Things in Lawsuits” published today described a lawsuit brought by Max Bronestein against three New Jersey constables for desecrating his home “by cooking and eating meals which had not been prepared according to the Hebraic usages and principles” including the use of “pork sausage.”

1894: “Zangwill’s New Jewish Stories” published today provided a review The King of Schnorrers: Grotesques and Fantasies by Israel Zangwill.

1894: It was reported today that Rabbi Henry Berkowitz offered the opening prayer and then presided over the non-denominational memorial service held in Philadelphia at Keneseth Israel in memory of George W. Childs who was a newspaper and public benefactor in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Joseph Krauskopf the rabbi at Keneseth Israel delivered an address that highlight Mr. Child’s philanthropic work.

1896: More than 3,000 people are expected to attend tonight’s charity ball sponsored by the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home.  This ball is the successor to Purim balls which were a popular social and fundraising event in New York City for many years.  Among the expected attendees are Mayor Strong and Governor Morton.

1898: “London Literary Letter” published today described Israel Zangwill’s new novel as being “a Jewish story” similar to the one that was his “first great success.”  Zangwill’s attendance at the “congress called to consider” “the project of colonizing Palestine with Jews” means “that he intends to do more than write stories of the Ghetto.”

1898: It was reported today that David Christie Murray, the English author, “is emulating Zola in taking up the defense of Dreyfus. 

1898: Emile Zola appeals his conviction.

1899(16th of Adar, 5659) Shushan Purim – the 15th of Adar fell on Shabbat

1899: The children attending the religious school at Congregation B’nai Jershurun on the corner of 65th Street and Madison Avenue celebrated Purim today.

1898: Picquart is dismissed from the Army.

1900: Birthdate of college football star and Medal of Freedom winner Harry Herbert

1901: Birthdate of Aharon Zisling, the native of Minks who helped to found Youth Aliyah, the Palmach and Ahdut HaAovoda and was Israel’s first Minister of Agriculture.

1902: In Vienna, Ida Wolf and Siegfried Reginald Wolf gave birth to Irma Wolf.

1903: Rabbi Kaummann Kohler was elected to the presidency of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1903: Leopold Greenberg arrives in Brindisi and sends a short telegram whose obscurity of wording strikes dismays Herzl.

1903: A paper by Victor Rosewater was read at The National Convention on Municipal Ownership and Public Franchises which is meeting at the Reform Club in New York City.  Rosewater was arguing for the ownership of electric lighting plants by municipalities. Rosewater was the editor of the Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee, an important Republican political leader and an active member of the Jewish community.

1905(21st of Adar I, 5665): Abraham Adolphe Sée the attorney who “president of the Jewish consistory of Colmar and was “the brother of Marc Sée and Gustave Sée” passed away today in Paris.

1906: The New York Times reported that the Motor Yacht Club of Great Britain has received two challenges from E.J. Schroeder of New York, owner of the Dixie, to compete in races for the Hamsworth Cup and the International Cup which was won last year by Napier II, a vessel owned by Lord Montague and Lionel Rothschild.

1906: “The Jewish congress for the attainment of full civil and political rights of Jews which met” secretly in St. Petersburg “decided to participate in the elections for members of the National Assembly and to for a party to defend the interests of the Jewish masses.”

1907: Birthdate of Cyrus Sol “Cy” Malis the native of Philadelphia who pitched in one game for the hometown Phillies.

1909: Birthdate of Claude Cahen a native of Parish who was “a specialist in the studies of the Islamic Middle Ages, Muslim sources about the crusades and the social history of the medieval Islamic Society.”

1912(8th of Adar, 5672): Sixty-one year old New York banker Ernst Thalmann passed away today.

1913(19th of Adar I, 5673): “Communal worker” William Sicher passed away today in St. Louis, MO.

1915: For a second day, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments concerning the granting of a writ of habeas corpus in the case of Leo M. Frank who was found guilty of murdering a factory girl in 1913 in a courtroom “pervaded by mob spirit.”

1915: Arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States on the appeal of Leo M. Frank from the denial of a writ of habeas corpus by a Federal District Came to an end this afternoon” when Louis Marshall concluded his speech for the defense and Attorney General Grice and Solicitor General Dorsey argued for the State of Georgia

1916: Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who has just returned from Constantinople, is to be honored today by the public at the Great Hall of the College of the City of New York.  Cleveland H. Dodge, acting on behalf of the Mayor, is chairman of the committee sponsoring the event.  Among the speaks will be Mayor Mitchell, Bishop Greer, Oscar S. Straus, Rabbi Wise John H. Finley, President Sidney E. Mezes and Ambassador Morgenthau himself.

1916: Birthdate of award winning composer Mordecai Seter.  Born in Russia, he moved to Palestine in 1923 where he spent the rest of his life.  Among his earliest work was The Sabbath Cantata, patterned after Renaissance music.  Several of his most important works included Biblical themes.  These included music for the ballet Judith commissioned by Martha Graham Jephthah’s Daughter commissioned for the Bat Sheva Dance Company and a symphony simply entitled Jerusalem

1917: A. M. Sharp is scheduled to lead the daily service at Temple Emanu-El where Dr. Enelow will speak on “The Jewish Characteristics of Jesus.”

1918(14th of Adar, 5678): As World War I enters its final year, Jews celebrate Purim

1918: “A memorial meeting in honor of the late Dr. Henry M. Leipziger” the long time “Supervisor of Lectures in the public schools was held” tonight “at Temple Emanu-El under the auspices of the Judeans, an organization which he had been President for many years.

1919: Birthdate of Brooklyn native Mason Adams the multi-talented actor who most famous role was as the anonymous voice of Smucker jams and jellies which ended with his tagline - "With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good"

1925: Seventy-four year old James Edgar who as U.S. Senator from New Jersey succeeded in getting the Senate to adopt a resolution in 1916 “asking the President to set aside a day as Jewish relief day for Jewish war sufferers” passed away today.

1920: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” “a silent horror film…written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer” was released in Germany today.

1920: Major General Louis Bols, the Officer Administering the Government of Palestine, issued an official proclamation that the British government intended to carry out the terms of the Balfour Declaration

 1920: Birthdate of Tony Randall.  Born Leonard Rosenberg in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Randall is best remembered for his role as Felix Unger in the television version of The Odd Couple.  Randall often played light comedic roles in the movies but in reality he was an accomplished actor and very urbane, cultured individual.  During the 1950’s, Randall lived near the Met.  In the evening he would take around the neighborhood often stopping in to catch the last two or three acts of that evening’s opera.  As Ed Murrow said when visiting Randall’s apartment during “Person to Person,” Randall’s apartment was not only filled with books, but Randall had actually read the books.

1924: The trial against Hitler began in Munich.  Hitler was on trial for his part in attempted coup that began in a Munich Beer Hall.  The coup failed.  Hitler was found guilty and sent to jail.  While in jail, he wrote Mien Kampf.  He was treated like a celebrity while in jail and came out stronger politically than when he went in.

1925: Seventy-four year old James Edgar who as U.S. Senator from New Jersey succeeded in getting the Senate to adopt a resolution in 1916 “asking the President to set aside a day as Jewish relief day for Jewish war sufferers” passed away today.

1925: As a sign of the growing power of the Nazi Party, The Völkischer Beobachter the party’s official newspaper begins publishing again.

1926: In London, David and Rose Pollack gave birth to Dr. William Pollack, who in 1980 along with his colleagues won the Lasker Award “for excellence in biomedical research.

1926: In New York City, Isaac and Bertha Belack, Jewish immigrants from Russia, gave birth to Doris Belack, the veteran actress known for her roles on “Law & Order” and the hit comedy “Tootsie” who was also the wife of Philip Rose, the producer of “A Raisin in the Sun.” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1926: Fearing trouble now that students at Bucharest University have gone on strike because the school has not acted to limit the number of Jewish student, the government is having the streets of the city “patrolled by military policy” who have orders to “prohibit” “all authorized gatherings.”

1926: According to Menorah Journal Editor Henry Hurwitz, while in “the last century many of the finest minds and spirits in Europe and America turned their backs on Judaism, today, the intelligent Jew is seeking not avenues of but the road to return to Judaism.”

1926: According to reports published today, that according to H.J. Reit Chairman of the Washington Heights section of the United Palestine Appeal, the organization has reached its goal of $125,000 after raising $90,000 at its recent one hundred dollar a plate dinner.

1926: According to the official figures of the British Colonial Office published in the United States today, “during 1925 a total of 33,801 Jewish immigrants entered Palestine, 2,141 Jews emigrated from Palestine” for a “net increase in the Jewish population for the year of 31,660.”

1927: Ten year-old Yeudi Menuhin made is his European debut as a soloist with the Lamoureux Orchestra under the baton of Paul Paray in Paris

1928: In Kfar Malal, Shmuel Scheinerman of Brest-Litovsk and Vera (née Schneirov) Scheinerman of Mogilev gave birth to Ariel Scheinermann who would gain as soldier-statesman Ariel Sharon.

1930:  Birthdate of pianist Lazar Berman.  Born in Leningrad to Jewish parents, he placed third in the piano competition at Budapest in 1956.

1930: Birthdate of Bronx native and DeWitt Clinton High graduate Donald R. Siegel who gained fame as actor Don Devlin.

1930: Moe Berg received his LL.B. today.

1931(9th of Adar, 5691): Otto Wallach passed away at the age of 93.  The German born chemist was a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1910.

1932(19th of Adar I, 5692): Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, or Sonnenfeld, passed away.  Born in 1848. He “was the Chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine. He was originally given the name "Chaim", however, the name "Yosef" was added to him while he experienced an illness. Sonnenfeld was born in Verbó, Hungary (today: Vrbové, Slovakia). His father, Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zonnenfeld, died when Chaim was five years old. He was a student of Rabbi Samuel Benjamin Sofer (the Ksav Sofer), the son of Rabbi Moses Sofer (the Chasam Sofer). He was also a student of Rabbi Avraham Schag in Kobersdorf (who was himself a disciple of the Chasam Sofer); Sonnenfeld moved from the latter city to Jerusalem in 1873. He became an important figure in Jerusalem's Old City, serving as the right-hand man of Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin and assisting the latter in communal activities, such as the founding of schools and the Diskin Orphanage, and the fight against secularism. He refused to meet with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany who visited the Old City because he believed that the Emperor was a descendant of the nation of Amalek. Sonnenfeld sent a delegate, a former Dutch diplomat and writer who had become a baal teshuva, Dr. Jacob Israël de Haan, to Jordan with a peace proposal for King Abdullah.” Contrary to what some might have claimed, “he had a warm relationship with and mutual respect for Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, although the two were vigorous opponents in many areas. Indeed, in 1913 the two traveled together to Northern Israel to try to return lapsed Jews to Torah Judaism.”

1933: Birthdate of Anglo-French financier Sir James Michael "Jimmy" Goldsmith.

1933: A program marking the sixtieth anniversary of the birth of Chaim Nachman Bialik, national Hebrew poet, was held this evening in the auditorium of the College of the City of New York. Bialik’s birthdate was actually January 9, 1873.

1933(30th of Shevat, 5693): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1933(30th of Shevat, 5693): Therese Loeb Schiff, the daughter of Solomon Loeb and the wife of Jacob Schiff, who “organized a literary series for wealthy German Jewish women, donated ten thousand dollars to the National Council of Jewish Women to help cope with Jewish prostitution among young immigrant women, and lectured for the Consumers League in support of protective legislation to end child labor and the exploitation of women” passed away today.

1934: The New York Times featured a review of “’The Dream of My People, a film described as “a screen trip though Palestine with Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt” produced by the Palestine-American Film Company now showing at the Acme Theatre which  is also showing “Lot in Sodom.”

1935: In violation of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler orders the rebuilding of the Luftwaffe.  This is one of the many times the West missed a chance to stop Hitler’s march that would lead to the Holocaust.

1935: The Jerusalem Shopkeepers Association announced today that it will be conducting a one day work stoppage next week in a “a protest against rising rents and the refusal of the Municipal Council to pass a rent restriction law.”

1936: Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the Iowa native and longtime leader for the emancipation of women, delivered an address today “before the women’s division of the American Jewish Congress” said that Jews and Christians “together must uphold the standard of individual rights” and “singled out Germany for condemnation” because of “Nazi persecution of Jews, Catholics and Protestants.”

1938: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a meeting of the pro-Nazi German-American Volksbund ends in a riot. (A meeting like this in America’s heartland provides part of the background around which FDR made his decisions about the Jews of Europe This is not an excuse. It is an explanation.)

1939: Jews held protest demonstrations in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and several of the large kibbutzim this evening. The demonstrations were sparked by credible reports from London that the British government intends to create an independent Arab State in Palestine which will be structured in such a way to ensure that Jewish people will be permanently relegated to “minority status.” 

1939: Israel Rokach, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, sent a telegram to Colonial Secretary of Malcolm MacDonald expressing the displeasure of the 150,000 citizens of his city over what is reported to be the British decision to turn Palestine into an Arab State in which Jews will permanently be a minority.   He wrote that “establishment of a Jewish National Home in the historic land of our ancestors was accepted by fifty-two nations as a sacred trust” and the Jewish people would never agree to accept this newly created permanent minority status.

1941: On the second day of deportations, 1,349 Jews were shipped from Gora Klilwaria, Poland today to Warsaw where they either perished or stayed alive long enough to be sent to Treblinka. (As reported by Yad Vasehm)

1941: In the Netherlands, the citizens of Utrecht and Zaandam staged strikes protesting Nazi raids on the Jews.

1942: Isidore Newman and Edward Zeff, two Jewish wireless operators with the SOE began the trip that would end with them landing in Occupied France by take a train to Bristol and then flying to Gibraltar.

1942: For twelve hours today, between midday and midnight, the Jewish population of Palestine observed a voluntary stoppage of all commercial and business. During this period all persons remained indoors in a self-imposed curfew, as a sign of mourning for the loss of the more than 700 Jews who died when the Struma, sank in the Black Sea north of the Bosporus. The Jewish passengers were trying to escape from Nazi dominated Europe and settle in Palestine, something opposed by the British and the Arabs.

1944: Birthdate of Ronald Steven Lauder “an American businessman, civic leader, philanthropist, and art collector. Forbes lists Lauder among the richest people of the world with an estimated net worth of $3.0 billion in 2007.”

1944: Primo Levy and Dr. Leonardo de Benedetti arrive at Auschwitz after a four day trip from a detention camp at Fossoli in central Italy.

1944: Shooting begins of the Nazi propaganda film, "The Fuhrer Gives a Village to the Jews" in Theresienstadt.

1946: As they searched for those responsible for last night’s attacks on three RAF airfields that destroyed and/or severely damaged 22 aircraft, British troops “seized 5,000 Jews today and imposed a paralyzing night traffic ban throughout Palestine.” The British have already found the body of a dead Jew near one of the airfield.  The deceased is assumed to have been one of the attackers.

1946: Birthdate of Ephraim Sidon the Jerusalem born author of satirical and children books now living in Tel Aviv who in 2004 “was a co-recipient along with David Grossman and Haya Shenhav of the Bialik Prize for literature.

1946: “Inveterate Los Angeles Gambler, publicist and nightclub owner W.R. ‘Billy Wilkerson’” who had “bought a thirty-three acre site between the El Rancho Vegas and the airport” “signed a contract with (Meyer) Lansky’s agent, Harry Rothberg, for a syndicate of investors to buy 60 percent of Wilkerson’s property for one million dollars. (The Mob meaning Lansky and Bugys Siegel, would completely buy-out Wilkerson)

1946: A resolution is scheduled to be introduced today in the United States Senate that would call for a “Congressional investigation of the Palestine situation…The measure calls for a joint House-Senate committee to be sent to the Holy Land to investigate conditions there and report its findings to Congress.”

1947: Jacob and Niza Gabbai arrived in New York from Palestine today.  The couple is here to continue their education.  The Gabbais were married in Tel Aviv in 1944 while Mr. Gabbai, who was serving with the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, was home one leave.  After the war, Mr. Gabbai became co-editor of the Maavak (Struggle), “a publication of the Young Palestinian League in Tel Aviv, which seeks to integrate the country’s cultural resources.

1949: “I Shot Jesse James” a low budget western directed by Samuel Fuller and featuring J. Edward Bromberg as “Harry Kane” was released in the United States today.

1950: Leonard Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety" premiered in New York City.

1951: Monnett B. Davis presented his credentials as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that an agreement on the future status of the Haifa Refineries was initialed by the representatives of the government, the Consolidated Refineries Ltd. and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Eilat was celebrated by a military parade attended by President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, and "a show of local achievements."

1954:  Birthdate of singer and actor Michael Bolton. He won the Grammy in 1990 and again in 1992 as the Male, Best Pop Vocal Performance

1954: Birthdate of Yuli Tamir the veteran of “Aman” who has served as an MK and held various ministerial posts.

1955: Final performance of “Peter Pan” a musical version the 1904 play “Peter Pan: with music by Mark Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

1957: The Diary of Anne Frank which had been running on Broadway at the Cort Theatre since October, 1955, re-opened at the Ambassador Theatre after it had left the Cort four days ago.

1957: In Jerusalem, Geula Cohen, a prominent member of the 1940s underground group Lehi and later MK for Likud and Tehiya and Immanuel Hanegbi, was the Operations Officer for the Lehi gave birth to MK, cabinet member and security expert Yitzhak “Tzachi” Hanegbi

1958(6th of Adar I, 5718): Eighty-seven year old “magazine cover artist” Modest Stein who was “best known for his painted covers for several Street and Smith magazines, such as The Shadow Magazine” passed away today.

1959(18th of Adar I, 5719): Selig Suskin, a native of the Crimea who was one of the founder of Be’er Tuvia, a delegate

1964: “He Rides Tall” a western with a musical score by Irving Getz was released today in the United States.

1969(8th of Adar, 5729): Levi Eshkol passed away.  Eshkol is one of the ironic characters in Jewish History.  He was the Prime Minister sandwiched in between such giants as David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir.  Yet this comparative political non-entity was the Prime Minister in 1967.  He was the one who made the decisions that saved the state in those fateful days of May and June.  And he was the Prime Minister who reunited Jerusalem and reclaimed the City of David.

1970: “Beverly Hills developer Louis Lesser filed suit in San Diego Superior Court today claiming half interest in the estimated $100 million Rancho Los Penasquitos Inc. development company.”

1970:Georgy”  “a musical with a book by Tom Mankiewicz, lyrics by Carole Bayer” opened today at the Winter Garden Theatre.

1974: At its founding convention The American Sephardi Federation announced its goals: First to revitalize Sephardi heritage, and second to provide for aid the underprivileged population in Israel.

1978: “Deathtrap” written by Ira Levin debuted on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre with Marian Winters in the role of “Helga ten Dorp,” a part that she would stop playing in October when she was diagnosed with Cancer that would claim her life.

1980: Egypt and Israel exchanged ambassadors for the first time.  This was one of the tangible outcomes of the historic Sadat - Begin Peace Accords.  While the peace may have turned out to be a cold one, the peace has held.

1980: An Off-Broadway production of “Biography” written by S.N. Behrman opened at Stage 73.

1984: Reverend Jesse Jackson acknowledged that he called New York City, "Hymietown".  What can I say? Twenty years later we get Mel Gibson and his dad.

1984: ABC broadcast the first half of “Lace” a two part min-series featuring June Brown as “Mrs. Trelowney.”

1987: Israeli officials contended tonight that the Tower Commission had played down the Israeli role in the Iranian arms deal as secondary to that of the United States. ''At first glance, it doesn't seem to stress especially the role of Israel; we are not being blamed,'' said Avi Pazner, spokesman for Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. ''But that's at first glance, and we have to study it in depth.'' Unofficially, Government members appeared generally relieved that the report did not disclose any involvement deeper than that already attributed to Israeli officials and middlemen.

1987(27th of Shevat): Eighty-three year old Fredric R. Mann, an industrialist and patron of the arts who helped finance music centers in Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, died of cancer this morning in Miami. (As reported by Tim Page)

1988: Secretary George Shultz is scheduled to meet with Israeli leaders today in an attempt to promote the Bush Administration’s latest peace proposals for the Middle East.

1988: “Alien From L.A.” a sci-fi thriller produced by Yoram Globus was released in the United States today.

1988: “Frantic” a fast paced mystery directed by Roman Polanski was released in France and the United States today.

1988: Settlers from the West Bank demonstrated in Jerusalem today outside the office where Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was meeting with Secretary of State George P. Shultz at the start of a new Middle East peace drive. The demonstrations stood in stark contrast to the expression of other Israelis, notably Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who are willing to consider trading occupied land for peace.

1988: Naum Meiman a 77-year-old Soviet Jew who battled for 13 years to leave the Soviet Union embraced his daughter when he arrived in Israel today. Mr. Meiman hugged his daughter, Olga Plam, 50, of Boulder, Colo., who left the Soviet Union 14 years ago and had not seen her father since then.  Meiman who is a mathematician said, “Some of us managed to get out. Many are still left behind.'' Soviet authorities said they delayed Mr. Meiman's emigration request because of his ''access to state secrets.'' Mr. Meiman had worked on classified calculations in 1955.

1989: In an article entitled “Design: Imagine This,” Carol Vogel describes architect Ron Arad's gallery and office including the small back room in which the architect is drafting his design for the new opera house in Tel Aviv.

1991: The Bank of Israel said today that it would permit foreign companies to issue stocks and bonds on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. But the amount of money a foreign concern could take out of the country would be limited to 20 percent of any new issue. Previously the central bank had turned down applications by foreign firms to issue shares on the stock market. The change of policy "will make the Israeli stock market more international," said Gideon Schurr, speaking for the Bank of Israel."Now we need local investments, not Israeli investments abroad."

1993: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand. One of the bombers claimed the attack was in retaliation for American support of Israel.  The bombers were later found to be connected with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

1993(5th of Adar, 5753): Sixty-four year old Carol Solomon author of Report from the Asylum: Afterthoughts of a Shock Patient, “an account of the shock-therapy treatment used to treat patients in asylums, drawn directly from personal experience.”

1994: Eight-six year old Sofka Skipwith, the Russian émigré and Communist who was honored by Yad Vashem for saving Jews during the Shoah passed away today.

1994: The Peace Now supporters rallied tonight in central Jerusalem, demanding an independent inquiry into the Friday massacre and an evacuation of the 400 Jewish settlers living in overwhelmingly Arab Hebron.

1994: Palestinians rioted and fought with Israeli soldiers across the occupied territories and in predominantly Arab towns in Israel today to protest the massacre here on Friday of at least 40 Arab worshipers by a Jewish settler.

1996(6th of Adar, 5756): Mieczysław Weinberg passed away. Born in Warsaw in 1919, he moved to Moscow in 1943.  He lived and composed in the Soviet Union for the rest of his life. His musical virtuosity did not keep him from being arrested during the period Stalin’s “Doctor Plot.” (He left a large body of work that included twenty-two symphonies and seventeen string quartets; according to one reviewer he ranked as, "the third great Soviet composer, along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich".[1

1999: Jewish American cultural historian Maurice Berger when writing in the Los Angeles Times about “the flap at Inglewood High School over Black History Month and Cinco de Mayo observances” reminder readers that “that history can be a valuable force for social change.”

2002(14th of Adar, 5762): Purim

2004: A fourth Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” today and ran for 36 previews and 781 performances at the Minskoff Theatre in NYC.

2005(17th of Adar I, 5765): Henry Anatole Grunwald an Austrian-born journalist and diplomat perhaps best known for his position as managing editor of TIME magazine and editor in chief of Time, Inc passed away today. (As reported by Richard Severo)

2005(17th of Adar I, 5765): Sixty-one year old Jeff Raskin an America human-computer interface expert best-known for starting the Macintosh project for Apple Computer in the late 1970s passed away tody

2005: In “The Morning After the Tel Aviv Bombing” Joseph M. Hochstein provided a portrait of the indomitable will of the citizens of Tel Aviv in the face of senseless slaughter.

2006(28th of Shevat, 5766): Sixty-six year old artist and photograph editor Sally C. Fox passed away.

2006(28th of Shevat, 5766): Sir Hans Singer, a refugee from Nazi Germany and a well-known British development economist, passed away.

2006: In “Betty Friedan's Enduring 'Mystique'”, published todayRachel Donadio describes the importance of the writings and career of the recently deceased author and feminist.

2006:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's two chief rabbis, Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger have “questions” for the Archbishop of Canterbury, but will not cancel plans to meet the leader of Britain's state church this May in light of the vote by the General Synod of the Church of England to divest its shares in companies whose products are used by the Israeli government in the territories.

2007: Members of Histadrut remained on the job giving authorities more time to affect an immediate solution to the problem of salary debts in 40 local authorities.

2007: Starting today Diane Ravitch “participated in a ‘blog debate’ called ‘Bridging Difference’ with Deborah Meier on the website of Education Week.”

2007: Knesset members yesterday urged the legal authorities to explore ways of indicting Professor Ariel Toaff over his book Pasque di Sangue, which alleges a factual basis to a 15th-century blood libel.”

2008: In New York, The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society presents distinguished writer and journalist Janet Malcolm reading from her stunningly perceptive work Two Lives, in which she pursues the charmed life of famed literary couple Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas while living in a Vichy, France village and pursues the larger question of biographical truth.

2008: The New York Times reports on the results of  a survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. http://religions.pewforum.org/.  The report indicates that the behavior of American Jews in terms of religious affiliation may be more a function of their behavior as Americans as opposed to their behavior as Jews.  The report supports the bi-modal nature of religious behavior in America – a quest for spirituality which is not necessarily tied to usual patterns of denominational affiliation – which is also apparent in the Jewish community.

2008(20th of Adar I, 5768): Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron, a former chief of Israel’s general staff and the paratroop commander who planned and led the storied 1976 raid in which Israeli troops freed 103 hijacked hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, in Israel. He was 70. He was the 13th Chief of Staff for the IDF.

2008: Rabbi Charles A. Klein, a Conservative rabbi and for the last 30 years the spiritual leader of the Merrick Jewish Center-Congregation Ohr Torah, will be installed today as the 59th president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the world’s oldest and largest interdenominational rabbinical board.

2009: Comedian and actor Eugene Mirman discusses and signs his new book, The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life, at Barnes and; Noble in Georgetown.

2009: The Nineteenth Annual KOACH Kallah, sponsored by KOACH, the college program of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism opens at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University in Simi Valley, CA.

2009: In Venezuela, assailants threw an explosive at a Jewish community center today, but nobody was hurt which was the second assault against Venezuela's Jewish community this year.

2009: Today Sergio Widder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for failing to take steps aimed at curbing anti-Semitism.

2010: U.S. premiere of “The Yellow Handkerchief” produced by Arthur Cohen with music by Eef Barzelay.

2010: Harry Baron, the first Jewish justice to serve on the Irish Supreme court whose wife Harriet had passed away 13 years ago, was laid to rest today at “Dolphin’s Barn’s Jewish Cemetery.

2010: Rabbi Barry Baron, co-Director of Jewish Welfare Board is scheduled to lead Purim festivities and services at Fort Belvoir.

2010: Today's issue of Haaretz Magazine is scheduled to publish the exclusive story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank, who served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service's most valuable source in the militant organization's leadership.

2010: ABC News President David Westin confirmed in an interview today that the network's ranks of bureau correspondents, which currently number several dozen, would be cut in half and be replaced with "digital" journalists who would be expected to shoot and edit their own stories. As part of the deep cuts announced this week at ABC News, the network plans to close all of its physical bureaus around the country except Washington and halve the number of its domestic correspondents.

2010(12 Adar, 5770): Prof. David Bankier, one of the world's most renowned Holocaust scholars who also served as the head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, died at the age of 63 today after a four-year battle with cancer. 

2011: Five Brothers, a film about a brotherhood of Algerian Jews living in France who rally to defend themselves while avenging the memory of their murdered father, is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

2011: In Iowa City, Benjamin Coelho and other local musicians are scheduled to perform at Hillel’s Champagne & Classical Evening, which is a fundraiser for this vital part of the University Of Iowa and Iowa City Jewish communities.

2011: In Fairfax, VA, the Olam Tikvah Mens Club is scheduled to host its Judaism is for Lover’s Party.

2011: Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan is scheduled to perform as part of the People’s Symphony Concerts in NYC.

2011: Palestinians in Gaza reported today that IDF planes hit targets in Gaza belonging to Islamic Jihad west of Khan Younis but the IDF did not confirm the Palestinian reports.

2011: Iran and Syria have agreed to cooperate on naval training, Reuters reported Iran’s official news agency saying today.

2011(22nd Adar I, 5771): Eighty-nine year old “Judith Coplon, a former Justice Department employee who became a sensation in 1949 when she was accused of being a Soviet spy” passed away today.(As reported by Sam Roberts)

2011(22nd Adar I, 5771): Arnost Lustig, an acclaimed Czech author who drew on his own harrowing experiences as a teenager in World War II to produce novels and short stories laced with tales of young people who survive the Holocaust, passed away today the age of 84. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2011(22nd Adar I, 5771): Ora Eyal, one of Israel’s most successful children’s book illustrators, whose work included the Israeli classic “A Tale of Five Balloons,” passed away today at the age of 64. “Eyal was born in Jerusalem in 1946 and studied at the Bezalel Academy in the city. She also worked as a translator from Italian. Eyal won the 1994 Ben Isaac Prize for Illustration from the Israel Museum. She was awaiting delivery of the final book she illustrated, “Everyone Went for a Trip,” just before she died.” (As reported by the Eulogizer)

2011(22nd Adar I, 5771): Howard R. Johnston, 86, a retired lieutenant colonel, passed away today. A native of Bruce Lake, Indiana, he spent 23 years on active duty, and was a combat veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was a senior aviator, qualified in fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and a certified flight examiner. (As reported by the Eulogizer)

2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Technologist” by Matthew Pear and the recently released paperback edition of “Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall — From America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness” by Frank Brady.

2012: Today, the IDF is expected to open the southwest segment of a highway that leads to Eilat for the first time since a terror attack near the border with Egypt left 8 Israelis dead after having made major security improvements including the erection of 23 foot high fence. (As reported by Yoav Zitun)

2012: “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” is scheduled to be shown at Temple Beth-El in Poughkeepsie, NY

2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival in Scottsdale, AZ

2012: In London, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street and the author of “A New Voice for Israel” and Jonathan Freedland who writes a weekly column for The Guardian are scheduled to take part in a panel discussion entitled “A New Voice for Israel” as part of Jewish Book Week.

2012: The new edition of “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black will be released today at a special Live Global Streaming Event at Yeshiva University’s Furst Hall in New York. The Event can be seen at http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/

2012(3rd of Adar):  Anniversary of the completion of the Second Temple.  [Editor's Note – This ushers in one of the best periods in Jewish History; we got to be Jewish and nobody tried to kill us!  It is puzzling that we celebrate the tragedy of the destruction of the Temple but do not celebrate the joy of it completion.  It is also puzzling that we celebrate an invented moment in our history (Purim) and do nothing to celebrate a real moment of joy.]

2012: One-hundred-one year old Canadian violinist Ethel Stark founder of the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra passed away.

2012(3rd of Adar, 5772): Ninety-four year old Sol Schiff who so dominated his sport that he was known as “Mr. Table Tennis” passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2012: Workers at Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat ports called a general strike starting at 6 A.M. this morning, after overnight talks between representatives of the finance and transportation ministries, leaders of the Histadrut labor federation and workers’ committees failed to reach an agreement to prevent the strike.

2012: Israeli aircraft bombed two targets in the southern Gaza Strip overnight, the military said today.

2013: “MAKERS: Women Who Make America,” which is follow up to “Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words” is scheduled to be shown on PBS this evening

2013((16th of Adar, 5773): Ninety-five year old Stéphane Hessel, the hero of the Resistance, concentration camp survivor and French diplomat passed away.

2013: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host “Political Earthquake In The Middle East: Are There Any Good Options For The U.S. and Israel” with Walter Russell Mead and Warren Kozak

2013: A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at Ashkelon early this morning, breaking months of quiet between Israel and the Palestinian enclave.

2013: US President Barack Obama will not present a new peace initiative when he visits Israel and the Palestinian territories next month, and instead is coming “to listen,” Secretary of State John Kerry said today

2014: The Thaler Holocaust Committee under the leadership of Dr. Bob Silber is scheduled to meet at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2014: Author and newswoman Hoda Kotb is scheduled to talk about her memoir with Jonathan Tisch at the 92nd Street Y.

2014: Jordan warned today that it might review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after Israeli MPs began a debate on allowing Jewish prayers at Jerusalem’s sensitive Temple Mount.

2014: Yad Vashem recognized Sebastián Romero Radigales as Righteous Among the Nations.

2014: “It was announced today that actress Jessica Lange would be the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty (He is Jewish – she isn’t)

2014: Israeli troops along the border with Lebanon were on high alert tonight after Hezbollah threatened action over what it said was an Israeli air raid

2014: Pulitzer-prize winning author Philip Schultz is scheduled to discuss The Wherewithal: A Novel in Verse about a young man translating his mother mother’s diaries that “concern the Jedwabne massacre.”

2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center For Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “The Hiding Place: A Queer Storytelling Tribute to the Diary of Anne Frank.”

2016: In New York, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host 45 minute tours of the exhibition “Unorthodox” led by the Museum’s docents.

2016: “Feeling are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer” and “Cremator” are scheduled to be shown at the 26th Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2017(30th of Shevat, 5777): Rosh Chodesh Adar; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2017: The New York Times published books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Almost Complete Poems by Stanley Moss, When Police Kill by Franklin E. Zimring, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Older by Richard Haass and the recently released paperback edition of Not In God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

2017: “Cloudy Sunday,” a film that tells “of a war-time romance in Thessaloniki between a Jewish girls and a young resistance fighter” is scheduled to be shown for the last time at JW3 in London.

2017: Soprano Rachel Joselson and pianist Rene Lecuona are scheduled to perform selections by composers who were prisoners of Nazi Germany in Theresienstadt during the Holocaust, including Viktor Ullmann, Adolf Strauss, Ilse Weber and Gideon Klein at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

2017: Among those waiting to see if they will win an Oscar tonight are actress Natalie Portman, actor Andrew Garfield and the creator of “Joe’s Violin”

2017: “The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936” – an exhibition that “explores whether a controversial proposed boycott might have strengthened international resistance to Nazi tyranny and how the Nazis used the games as propaganda to further their agenda” is scheduled to come a close at California African American Museum.

2017: Efraim Halevy, the ninth director of the Mossad is scheduled to be interviewed by David Horovitz tonight at the Hirsch Theatre in Jerusalem.

2017: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host “An Evening with Wolf Blitzer.”

 

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