457: Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire. As can be seen from this decree, Leo was no friend of the Jewish people. "Therefore We, desiring to accomplish what Our Father failed to effect, do hereby annul all the old laws enacted with reference to the Hebrews, and We order that they shall not dare to live in any other manner than in accordance with the rules established by the pure and salutary Christian Faith. And if anyone of them should be proved to, have neglected to observe the ceremonies of the Christian religion, and to have returned to his former practices, he shall pay the penalty prescribed by the law for apostates." Jews who converted in public but were found practicing “the faith of their fathers” faced a variety of punishments including loss of estates and possession, loss of the right to transfer property to their heirs and/or loss of life.
1413: In Aragon (Spain), Vincente Ferrer returned and assisted by an apostate Joshua Lorki (Geronimo de Santa Fe), known to the Jews as Hamegadef (the blasphemer) convinced Anti-Pope Benedict XIII to stage a disputation at Tortosa. It was presided over by the Pope himself and lasted for a period of twenty-one months in sixty-nine sessions. The Jews, led by Vidal Benvenisti and Joseph Albo, were faced with an opening salvo by Benedict when he made the expected outcome clear. Hamegadef attacked the Talmud as anti-Christian and urged its banning. None of the Jews' counter-arguments were officially recorded.
1497: The bonfire of the vanities occurs in which supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burn thousands of objects like cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy. For once, the books of the Jews may have been spared since Savonarola, had expelled the Jews from Florence earlier in the decade.
1550: Julius III becomes Pope. Julius had mixed record where it concerned the Jewish people which made better than most of his contemporaries or others who served as Pope. Julius confirmed the rights of the Jews in Ancona. “He condemned the blood libel and forbade baptism of Jewish children without parental consent.” At the same time, he was unable to stand up against the power of the Holy Office. Under pressure from the Inquisitor General he collected copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books and burned them.
1569: The Inquisition is established in South America. About a half a century after the Spanish landed in South America, the Inquisition reared its ugly head. Unlike the English colonies founded in North America in the next century and half, there was no place for religious toleration in New Spain. Rather the hunt for all manner of backsliders including Marranos, Conversos or Secret Jews became part of Spanish culture in the New World. When we study the history of Jews in the New World, hopefully we will have time to take a side trip to the little known secret Jewish communities in what later became Arizona and New Mexico.
1624: The Jamestown City (Virginia) Census demonstrated that 38 year old Elias Legardo, a Jew, came to America in 1621 on the ship Abigall. Legardo was one of the earliest Jews in the Colonies.
1685: A document written today, a copy of which found its way into the archives of Breslau, “advised against the establishment of a Hebrew press in Silesia, ‘because there are three very large Jewish printing establishments at Amsterdam in Holland, whence books are sent by sea to Danzig and Memel, thus abundantly providing for the Jews of Poland and Lithuania.’"
1791: Having passed the “De Judaeis law” which regulated the treatment of the Jews of Hungary, the Diet today appointed “a commission to study” ways to ameliorate the conditions under which the Jews of Hungary lived.
1812: Birthdate of Charles Dickens. The author of A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield was not Jewish. But he did portray Jewish characters in at least two of his works. The most famous was Fagan in Oliver Twist. Eliza Davis, a Jewish acquaintance of Dickens, whose husband had purchased Dickens’ London residence, wrote a famous letter complaining about the Jewish characterization of Fagan. Dickens saw himself as a friend of the Jews. In his response he wrote, “Fagin is a Jew because it unfortunately was true of the time to which the story refers that that class of criminal invariably was a Jew. But surely, no sensible man or woman…can fail to observe that all of the rest of the wicked dramatis personae are Christians and the Fagan is called a Jew, not because of his religion, but because of his race. I have no feeling toward the Jewish people but a friendly one. I always speak well of them whether in public or private and bear testimony to their perfect good faith in transactions as I have had with them.” In Our Mutual Friend, Dickens created “Mr. Riah” a “totally sympathetic Jewish character notable for his gentle nature and great dignity.” In a case of what some might consider role reversal, Mr. Riah falls victim to a gang of Christian moneylenders. Mrs. Davis recognized Dickens’ sincerity when she gave him a Hebrew-English Bible as sign that he had “exercised the noblest quality men can possess – that of atoning for an injury as soon as conscious of having inflicted it.”
1817: Joel Hart was appointed by President James Madison United States consul at Leith, Scotland, and remained there in that capacity until 1832, when he returned to New York and resumed the practice of medicine. He was well known in Masonic circles in New York City. A native of Philadelphia, Hart received the degree of M.D. from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, London and he was one of the charter members of the Medical Society of the County of New York.
1819: In New York City, Sarah Nathan and Isaac Mendes Seixas Nathan gave birth to Esther Nathan who became Esther Lazarus when she married Moses Lazarus.
1845: Birthdate of Yaakov Dovid Wilovsky, the native of Kobrin, Russia who served as the Rabbi for several European communities including Vilna before moving to the United States where he was lected “elder rabbi” by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of America and chief rabbi of a Russian-American synagogue in Chicago Illinois. He passed away in Safed in 1913.
1848: In West Maitland, Australia Julia and Lewis Wolfe Levy gave birth to Martha May Levy who became Martha May Cohen when she married Louis Samuel Cohen
1849(15th of Shevat, 5609): Tu B’Shevat
1849(15th of Shevat): Rabbi Nehemiah of Dubrovno, author of Divrei Nehemiah passed away
1851: In Darmstadt, Germany, David Simon and Elise Simon gave birth to Joseph Simon, a German immigrant who serve as U.S. Senator from Oregon and Mayor of Portland, Oregon.
1853: The executors of the will of Jonas Fränckel asked Zacharias Frankel to be president of the soon to be opened Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. Funds for this new Jewish institution of higher learning had been part of the late Fränckel’s will.
1853: "Jewish Plantation of Ireland," an article published today claimed that in 1703, James Harrington, the author of Oceana, had proposed that English Jews should be brought to Ireland where they could farm the land which produce revenues of "about four millions a year." He claimed that Jews had "always showed their aptitude in all pursuits of agriculture." How credible is this? Harrington died in 1677 so it is unlikely that he was making any proposals about Jewish farmers in Ireland in 1703.
1862: During a debate in the House of Representatives, Congressman Hale of New Hampshire showed the impact of the Hebrew Bible on American culture when he responded to critics by stating that he would to Lincoln's Administration "as the old Hebrew Prophet said to the King of Babylon: 'Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another, but I will read to the King the writing declared to me and the interpretation of it.'"
1869(26th of Shevat, 5629): Thirty two year old Swedish opera singer Eufrosyne Abrahamson, the wife of “Swedish businessman and patron of the arts” August Abrahamson passed away today “unexpectedly after a short illness.
1869: In Philadelphia, PA, Leon Levy Hyneman and Grace Marks Hyneman gave birth Edwin I. Hyneman who played football and baseball at the University of Pennsylvania from which he graduated in 1889 and eventually became a part of the Philadelphia baseball team which competed in the National League.
1870: Birthdate of Austrian physician and psychologist Alfred Adler.
1873: In New York City Henry Goldwater and Mary Tyroler gave birth to Dr. Sigismund Schulz Goldwater the superintendent of Mount Sinai Hospital and Commissioner of Health in New York City.
1873: Eduard Lasker delivered a speech today “in which he attacked the management of the Pomeranian railway” and exposed financial mismanagement by one of Otto von Bismarck’s “most trusted assistants” which led to his being a target of attacks from the Iron Chancellor.
1876: In Kings Count, the defense is scheduled to continuing presenting its defense in the sensational murder trial in which the state has accused P.N. Rubenstein of murdering his cousin Sara Alexander.
1878: Birthdate of Ossip Gabrilovich the Russian born American composer, pianist and composer who married the daughter of Samuel Clemens and who was the father to the last known lineal descendant of the man most people know as Mark Twain.
1876: A decree issued today was one of two decrees that regulated the behavior of the Jews of Ghent.
1878(4th of Adar I 5638): In Vienna twenty-eight year old Pauline Herzl, the older sister of Theodore Herzl, passed away after contracting Typhus. After the creation of the state of Israel her remains would be laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Herzl named his daughter after his sister.
1878: Pope Pius IX who had been the subject of an ode by David Levi when he was elected because of hopes that he would be a progressive but turned reactionary, passed away today.
1883(30th of Shevat, 5643): Rosh Chodesh Adar I
1884: The opera “Nell Gwynne” in which Giulia Warwick (born Julia Ehrenberg) played the title role “was first performed at the Avenue Theatre in London” today
1889: In Bohemia, Jakob Bondy and Barbara (Babette) Bondy gave birth to Bohumil Gottlieb Bondy who died at Auschwitz in 194.
1890: Birthdate of Victor Alter, the Russian born mechanical engineer who as a leader of the Bund and the Second International.
1891: Myer S. Isaac said tonight that since the New York Trustees had begun receiving contributions from Baron Hirsch, they had been able to found jobs for 3,000 people most of whom were heads-of-households.
1891: In Neustadt, linen factory manager Max Pinkus, the son of Josef Pinkus and Auguste Fränkel and Hedwig Pinkus gave birth to Hans Hubert Pinkus
1891: Joseph Klein, the president of a Hebrew Cemetery Association in New Jersey was convicted of fraud today.
1893: It was reported today that President-elect Grover Cleveland is considering appointing Isidor Straus to the position of Post Master General in his cabinet which will be sworn in in March. The forty-five year old Straus is the brother of Oscar Straus who served as Minister to Constantinople in Cleveland’s first administration and the brother of Nathan Straus the Park Commissioner.
1894: “Theatrical License Money Divided” published today provided a list of the charities receiving funds including: the Montefiore Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which got $1,000 in 1893 but only $500 in 1894; Beth Israel Hospital which got $100 in 1893 and the same amount in 1894 and the United Hebrew Charities of New York which got $1,500 in 1893 but only $1,000 in 1894. (The reductions were probably a reflection of the depression that had begun in 1893 and gained momentum in 1894)
1895: Based on information from its 6th annual report, it was reported today that the Aguilar Free Library “now has 25,848 volumes” and that in 1894, it circulated 253,349 volumes.
1896: Henry Steinhal, “one of the actors” performing in “The Russian Jew” at Adler’s Theatre “was accidently shot in the leg” when “a piece of wadding” from a blank cartridge went off and “embedded itself in” his limb.
1897: In Chelsea, London, Alexander Neumann, a native of Bomberg who had moved “to London at the age of 15” and Sarah Ann (Pike) Neumann gave birth to Maxwell Neumann, who gained fame as “British mathematician and codebreaker” Max Newman.
1898: Emile Zola was brought to trial for libel for publishing J'Accuse. “J'accuse accused the French government of anti-Semitism and of wrongfully placing Alfred Dreyfus in jail. Zola was brought to trial for libel for publishing J'Accuse on February 7, 1898 and was convicted on February 23. Zola declared that the conviction and transportation to Devil's Island of the Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus came after a false accusation of espionage and was a miscarriage of justice. The case, known as the Dreyfus affair, had divided France deeply between the reactionary army and church and the more liberal commercial society. The ramifications continued for years, so much so that on the 100th anniversary of Émile Zola's article, France's Roman Catholic daily paper, "La Croix", apologized for its anti-Semitic editorials during the Dreyfus affair.”
1896: Jews were among the melting pot of immigrants who attended James Pryse lecture on “The Masters” at Centennial Hall on New York’s lower East Side.
1897: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil and Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt will participate in the upcoming ceremonies dedicating the new building housing the Hebrew Technical Institute.
1897: It was reported today Reverend Faust, a Presbyterian missionary attempting to convert Jews in New York “said that the distress among the poor east side Jews was very great…and that he hoped that the wealthy Jews” would join with those who were working and wealthy Christians would contribute to alleviate their suffering.
1897: It was reported today that during a meeting at church on the lower east side about how to relieve the suffering of the poor Reverend John B. Devins of Hope Chapel “thought it best for the poor Jews to apply for relief to the United Hebrew Charities.”
1898: A fire broke out tonight at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society’s building which is home to 835 youngsters.
1899: Isaac L. Rice took over the leadership of Electric Storage, a company that was trying to build the first modern submarines that ran on electric power while submerged for the U.S. Navy and changed its name to the Electric Boat Company. The company operated by the Jewish professor was so successful that it during World War I it would build 85 submarines and 722 sub-chasers. (The company lives on today as General Dynamics.)
1904: Twenty eight men from 18 local families in the Champaign-Urbana (Illinois) community met and formed the Champaign-Urbana Hebrew Congregation. Rabbi George Zeppin of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations presided over the meeting.
1906: As of today, “over $3,000,000 has been raised for the relief of the Jewish victims of the” outbreak of anti-Semitic violence in Russia of $1,200,000 was raised by the American National Relief Commission of which Jacob H. Schiff is the Treasurer.
1906: “Soon after his arrival at Gomel,” General Orlott met with a group of prominent citizens including at least one rabbi who declared “that the outrages” that had taken place “were entirely unprovoked.”
1911: Birthdate of Shimon Koch who as Siegbert Avidan served in the Palmach and led the Givati Brigade during the 1948 War of Independence.
1914: Charlie Chaplin's signature character, "The Tramp," debuted in a film called "Kid Auto Races at Venice"
1914: Birthdate of U.S. poet David Ignatow.
1916: Birthdate of Floyd K. Haskell, the U.S. Senator from Colorado who was the husband of Nina Totenberg. She was Jewish – he was not.
1916: “At a small information luncheon at Little Hungary on East Houston Street,” attended by a number of Jews living on the east side and “several prominent rabbis” Colonel Theodore Roosevelt “pledged his support to the movement organized to obtain equal rights of citizenship for the Jews in every country of Europe at the end of the war.”
1916: “Judge Samuel Seabury of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York said in a speech to the Far Western Travelers’ Association at the their annual dinner at the Hotel Astor” tonight “that President Wilson had made a great appointment in naming Louis D. Brandeis to the Supreme Court of the United States”
1916: Leon s. Moisseiff, President of the Jewish newspaper The Day criticized the work of the Educational Alliance saying that “the east side does not believe that the alliance does as much work as it could” because “the great mass of the people of the east side do not feel that this institution in any way links up with the old Jewish customs and traditions.”
1916: Justice Greenbaum responded to criticism of the Educational Alliance by pointing out that “the alliance not only taught Hebrew, but also gave instruction in Jewish history and Jewish customs.”
1916: “The Bronx Jewish War Suffers’ Committee announced” today “that management of the Adams-Flanigan store” in the Bronx “will devote 10 per cent of all cash purchases” for the next two days “for the Jewish war sufferers.”
1917: The first draft of the Balfour Declaration was written at the Gaster home today in the presence of Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolow, Baron Rothschild, Sir Mark Sykes and Herbert Samuel
1917: The U.S. military expedition that had been trying to capture Pancho Villa since March of 1916 and during which Rabbis had been to various camps on the border by the Army and Navy Committee and the Central Conference of American Rabbis to conduct religious services, came to an end today.
1917: Forty-nine year old skirt manufacturer Jacob Hyman and his wife, the former Regina Zeltenwerth, a native of Tarnow, Galicia celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.
1917(15th Shevat, 5677): Yosef Levi passed way in Paris. Levi was an archeologist and philologist of African and oriental languages. Born in Adrianople in December 15, 1827, he went on to write 33 books during his career.
1918: In Brownsville, Abraham Rosenbaum, a Jewish immigrant working as a baker and his wife gave birth to Terry Rosenbum the teacher whose career would be a casualty of Joe McCarthy and the red-baiting right-wingers who distorted the intellectual and political landscape of post-World War II America.
1919(7th of Adar): Rabbi Isaac Jacob Rabinovitz, author of Zekher Yizhak passed away.
1921: As Americans adjust to Prohibition, “the Chicago Rabbinical Association adopted a resolution to refuse to sign all requests for fermented wine for sacramental purposes.”
1921: Evening classes will begin tonight at the Bath Beach Y.M.H.A. under the leadership of the executive director, Dr. Hochfelder.
1924(2nd Adar I, 5684): Rabbi Henry Berkowitz passed away. Emily Nepon, his great-great-great-granddaughter described him in the following words. Born in 1857, Rabbi Henry Berkowitz was the “Beloved Rabbi” of Mobile, Kansas City, Missouri and Philadelphia. He is best known for being the founder of the Jewish Chautauqua Society in 1893, and was one of four members of the first graduating class of Reform rabbis in the United States. Rabbi Henry Berkowitz was an activist, philanthropist, counselor, community leader, voracious learner, teacher, prolific writer and speaker. And, in keeping with mainstream Reform Judaism of his day, Berkowitz was also anti-Zionist.
1931(20th of Shevat, 5691): Sixty-year old Rabbi Abraham Ber Goldenson who served for 13 years as the “head rabbi for the Nusach Hari Shul in St. Louis” passed away today.
1932: “The Monster Walks” a horror film featuring Mischa Auer was released in the United States today.
1933: The London Gazette reported that the King has conferred “the dignity of a Baron of the United Kingdom upon Sir Joseph Duveen…and the heirs’ males of his body lawfully begotten…”
1934: During the Stavisky Affair, a night of rioting fomented by right-wing parties came to an end. The right failed in their effort to overthrow the Third Republic, but the event was a harbinger of the social rot that would lead to the quick defeat of the French in World War II and the rise of Vichy.
1934: Vatican directed the Holy Office to place Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth Century on the Index of Forbidden books
1934: The Halevy Singing Society is schooled to move into new quarters at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism at 15 West 86th Street. (As reported by JTA)
1934(22nd of Shevat, 5694): Abraham I. Shiplacoff “sometimes called the Jewish Eugene V. DebS”, passed away today in Brooklyn “after a long struggle with kidney disease. Born in Chernigov, Russia in 1877, he “came to the United States with his parents at the age of 13 in 1891. For several years he worked long hours in a garment shop and studied at night. During this period he married Henrietta (Yetta) Zwickel, and they eventually had three children, Frederick Engels Shiplacoff, William Morris Shiplacoff, and Lydia Shiplacoff Greene. Beginning in 1905 he taught school at P.S. 84, Brooklyn, served as a clerk in the customs service, was briefly labor editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. In 1914 he became secretary-treasurer of the United Hebrew Trades. Politically active in the Socialist Party, he was elected as the first Socialist Assemblyman from New York City in 1915, re-elected in 1916 and 1917, and led the Socialist delegation in the Legislature in a campaign of strong opposition to World War I. He also supported the dissemination of birth control information, curbs on police power and other controversial causes. When, as a street-corner orator, he denounced U.S. military intervention in Russia shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, he was indicted under the wartime Espionage Act; the indictment was later quashed. He was elected to the Board of Aldermen from Brooklyn in 1920, managed the mayoral campaign of Norman Thomas in 1925, chaired the Sacco-Vanzetti Liberation Committee in 1927, and became a vigorous participant in Socialist battles with the Communist Party. During the twenties and early thirties he served as general manager of the Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the International Pocketbook Workers Union. He had a longstanding interest in Palestine and Zionism, and became national chairmen of the National Labor Committee for Palestine in 1933. He was actively involved in many Jewish philanthropic and cultural organizations, and served as executive director of the Deborah Sanitarium, Browns Mills, NJ.”
1935: Birthdate of Herbert “Herb” Kohl, United States Senator from Wisconsin.
1936: “The Milky Way” a comedy featuring Lionel Stander as “Spider Schultz” was released in the United States today.
1936: In his message to the National Conference of Jews and Christians endorsing the upcoming observance of Brotherhood Day, New York Governor Lehman said, “I am heartily in accord with the purposes of Brotherhood Day” and I think the National Conference of Jews and Christians “has done much to bring a greater understanding among those of different faiths and races.”
1936: Today “in the vicinity of the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps there are some highly conspicuous road signs” – anti-Jewish placards and streamers which correspondents had said were removed because of the Olympics.
1936: George Althuas, “a former Protestant pastor in Timmerlach” was sentenced to six months in jail by the Summary Court after having been accused of including his prayers “God protect the poor and persecuted Jews,” “having told his Sunday School pupils not to participate ‘in the hue and cry against Jews’” and “having banned the Hitler salute from his Sunday School.”
1936: Georgetown University sophomore Harry Bassin scored “a team high 11 points” during today’s upset of the NYU basketball team.
1937: George F. Pelham, the Canadian born American Architect who in 1905 “designed a new synagogue building for Brooklyn's Beth Jacob Anshe Sholom, based on Arnold Brunner's West Side Synagogue building on Manhattan's West 88th Street” passed away today.
1937: James Waterman Wise is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Is Soviet Russia Anti-Semitic” this morning at the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall.
1937: Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “When Propaganda Is Substituted for Education” at Temple Emanu-El.
1937: “A message from President Roosevelt lauding ‘the vitality and vision of the Jewish pioneers in Palestine’ was read to the National Conference tonight” after the organization had committed to raising four and a half million dollars to finance the “Jewish colonization of the Holy Land.”
1937: Senator Norris of Nebraska “told the National Conference for Palestine that the dissenting opinions of Supreme Court Justice Brandeis would ‘ultimately become the universal law of the land’” and that “Senator Kenyon who had fought the Brandies confirmation had told him shortly before his death that he would ‘give anything if I could retake that step.’”
1937: Harry Einstein, who was famous for appearing as “Greek chef Nick Parkyakarkus on the Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson radio programs” married actress Thelma Leeds (nee Goodman) today, union which resulted in the birth comedic talent Albert Brooks.
1938: Professor Norman Bentwich, the former director of the High Commission for Refugees From Germany told The League of Nations International Conference meeting in Geneva to settle the status of refugees from Germany “that 130,000 Jewish…refugees had left Germany” and “had been able to establish themselves overseas.”
1938: The Palestine Post reported that according to the London Daily Herald, the Mandatory government planned to erect a 20-foot-high barbed-wire barricade along the northern border in order to prevent the movement of the gun runners, smugglers and terrorists between Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.
1938: In a leading article on the elections to the Jerusalem Communal Council (Va'ad Hakehila), The Jerusalem Post expressed the hope that the people serving on the council would be able to cast away heavy obsolete traditions, eliminate inefficiency and stand up to vested interests.
1938: Approximately 200 people attended the meeting of the Bergen County chapter of the German-American Bund at the home of Caroline Meade, a teacher and actress, where Fritz Kuhn, the national leader of the Bund told the attendees that the Jews in the United States “must be driven from their high posts in government, finance, and education as they have been in certain European countries.”
1941: U.S. premiere of “Back Street” the second cinematic treatment of the Fannie Hurst’s novel of the same name.
1942(20th of Shevat, 5702): Thirty-eight year old lyricist Irving Kahal who collaborated on such classics as “Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” passed away today in New York.
1942: In the aftermath of the release of the Jews on board the Darien, Lord Moyne continued to protest Churchill’s arguing that the Prime Minister’s decision would undermine the Mandatory Government. Churchill had already tried to assuage Lord Moyne’s fears by reminding him that there was little risk of any mass immigration of Jews since most of Eastern and Southern Europe were under Nazi control.
1943(2nd of Adar I, 5703): Forty-nine year old Louis Weitzenkorn, “author of ‘Five Star Final’ and other plays and a former newspaper man was found dead of burns and suffocation today in the kitchen of his apartment.”
1943: In New York, Liza (née Kraitz), a high school art teacher, and historian Jack D. Foner gave birth to historian Eric Foner whose The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery hit the triple header when it won the Pulitzer, Lincoln and Bancroft prizes.
1943: The first armed struggle between Jews and Nazis takes place in the Warsaw ghetto. Most people connect the Warsaw Uprisings with Pesach (April) of 1943. Actually, the first fighting took place in February. Unsettled, by Melvin Konner has an interesting chapter (entitled Smoke) that deals with the issue of Jewish resistance in Europe during World War II. 1946: While taking part in two month speaking tour with self-proclaimed anti-Semite, Gerlad L.K. Smith, Father Arthur W. Terminiello of Mobile, Alabama, a self-styled Father Coughlin of the South, delivers an address at the Chicago’s Veeran Hall in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Albany Park that resulted in a riot and in his subsequent conviction on charges of disturbing the peace. Three years later, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision in a major freedom of speech case.1946: The Palestine Information Service issued a statement today describing yesterday’s failed attempt to attack a British military camp and seize weapons for the fight to create a Jewish state.1946: Arabs in Lebanon protested the British “decision to permit 1,500 Jewish immigrants to enter Palestine” each month by staging a general strike today.
1946: In Buenos Aires, Jaime Babenco, “an Argentine gaucho of Ukrainian Jewish origin” and Janka Haberberg, “a Polish Jewish immigrant” gave birth to “Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor” Héctor Eduardo Babenco
1947: This date marks the official founding of the Jewish Agency, a world-wide organization centered in Israel. It is dedicated to the establishment of Israel as the Jewish Homeland, and to the encouragement and fulfillment of Jewish Aliyah from around the world.
1950: Arnold Eidus gave a recital at Carnegie Hall that “featured the debut and only public performance of jazz/pop composer Raymond Scott's Suite for Violin and Piano (which reportedly was composed as a showcase for Eidus) during the composer's lifetime.”
1952: The DuMont Television Network broadcast the first episode of “Steve Randall” starring Melvyn Douglas in the title role.
1952(11th of Shevat, 5712): Forty-two year old Phillip G. Epstein died of Cancer a decade after having co-authored the Academy Award winning script for Casablanca, which Time magazine called the greatest movie of all times. Epstein’s grandson, Theo, broke Bambino’s Curse and brought World Series victory to the Boston Red Sox and then did the same for the Chicago Cubs.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that two policemen who found safety on a rock were saved by a helicopter, but the third was missing, when a captured Lebanese vessel they were towing to Haifa broke up in a heavy storm off the northern coast.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Moscow's press was intensifying its drive against the Jewish and "bourgeois" influence in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that An airlift of immigrants from Iran was stopped, following the intervention of the Egyptian government.
1955(15th of Shevat, 5715): Tu B’Shevat
1956: Nineteen year old lightweight boxer Larry Boardman won his 31st victory in his first 32 professional bouts today, “leading to him being rated # 10 in the world in the lightweight division by Ring magazine.”
1960(9th of Shevat, 5720): Cabinetmaker Abraham Goodman Jacobs, the son of Abraham and Rebecca Jacobs and the husband of Sarah Jacobs passed away today in London.
1961: Mortimer Caplin began serving as The Commissioner of Internal Revenue
1962: U.S. premiere of a remake of the 1921 film “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” co-starring Lee J. Cobb with a score my Andre Previn.
1967(27th of Shevat, 5727): Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury under FDR and author of the Morgenthau Plan, passed away. Morgenthau was nominally Jewish. He was appointed Secretary of the Treasury because he was FDR’s neighbor in Hyde Park and because he was bland enough not to rock the financial boat while FDR was building the New Deal. During the war, Morgenthau began to get increasingly upset with the State Department’s handling of the “Jewish Question.” He became aggressive in terms of trying to force FDR to take action. Obviously, the outcome of the desires of “the next door neighbor” left something to be desired.
1967(27th of Shevat, 5727): Sixty-eight year old Saul Adler passed away in Monroe, LA. Born in Russia he served in the U.S. Army during World War I. The Saul Adler Community Center in Monroe was named in his honor.
1967: U.S. premiere of “The Fox” directed by Mark Rydell.
1967: U.S. premiere of “Tobruk” a WW II movie directed by Arthur Hiller
1968(9th of Shevat): Just eight days from his 86th birthday Rabbi Eliezer Silver, a refugee from the anti-Semitic Russian Empire of the Czar who worked to save Jews from the Holocaust passed away today.
1968: Arthur Miller's "Price" premiered in New York City
1969: In Boston, MA, Molli Newman, a lawyer, and Dr. Reuben Mezrich, a chairman of radiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine gave birth to author Ben Mezrich whose works include Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
1970: In Roslyn Harbor, NY, producer and media executive Charles Koppelman and Bunny Koppelman gave birth to Jennifer Koppelman who, after marrying Keith Hutt in 1997, was known as Jennifer Hutt the radio and television talk show host who co-authored Whateverland.
1973: “Black Caesar” a remake of the gangster classic “Little Caesar” written and directed by Larry Cohen who followed up later in the year with a sequel “Hell Up in Harlem” was released today in the United States.
1974: Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles" opened in movie theaters across America.
1976(6th of Adar I, 5736): Sixty-three year old rabbi and author Avraham Eliyahu Mokotow who made Aliyah in 1936 whose works include Chassidim v’Anshei Ma’aseh, a five volume collection of Chassidic stories passed away today.
1977: The Soviets arrested Alexander Ginzburg and Yuri Orlov, members of the “Moscow Helsinki Group.”
1979: War Criminal Josef Mengele who as the concentration camp doctor was known as the Angel of Death, reportedly drowned.
1983: First episode of Krovim Krovim, an Israeli television sitcom” was broadcast today.
1985: "New York, New York" becomes the official city anthem of New York City. "New York, New York" is a song from the 1944 musical On the Town. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
1987: According to reports published today, Israel's universities, the reputation and achievements of which have been a source of national pride, are facing a severe financial crisis.
1990(12th of Shevat, 5750): Nathan Wartels, Chairman of the Board of Crown Publishers, passed away at the age of 88.
1991 (23rd of Shevat, 5751): Lieutenant Colonel Amos Yarkoni one of six Israeli Arabs to receive the IDF’s third highest decoration, the Medal of Distinguished Service and the first commander of the Shaked Reconnaissance Battalion of the Givati Brigade died of cancer at the age of 71.
1991: Months after its premiere in the United States “Avalon” the saga of a Jewish immigrant family in Baltimore, MD, directed, produced and written by Barry Levinson, with music by Randy Newman, starring Leo Fuchs, Leo Jacobi and Kevin Pollak was released today in Australia.
1993: The United States has protested to Israel over the treatment of three Palestinian-Americans who have been jailed on suspicion of having ties with a militant Islamic group in the occupied territories, a United States Embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv said todayIsraeli authorities said they had evidence the three detainees were helping to rebuild Hamas and to finance terrorist activities after scores of Hamas leaders were deported to southern Lebanon by Israel in December. The authorities said the two of the men had been found with more than $100,000 and with plans from Hamas leaders in the United States.
1994: “Tzomet MKs Segev, Esther Salmovitz, and Alex Goldfarb split from their party to form the Yiud faction.”
1995: The INS Hanit, a Sa'ar 5-class corvette, was commissioned today.
1997: “The Beautician and the Beast” starring Fran Drescher who also co-produced the film was released in the United States today.
1999; The New York Times book section featured reviews of A Journey to the End of the Millennium by A. B. Yehoshua; translated by Nicholas de Lange and Preempting the Holocaust by Lawrence Langer.
1999: Bruce Fleisher won the Royal Caribbean Classic.
1999: A Broadway revival “Little Me,” “a musical written by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh” closed today after “99 performances and 43 previews.”
2004(15th of Shevat, 5764): Tu B’Shevat
2005: Ian Livingston “the fourth generation son of Polish-Lithuanian Jews who arrived in Scotland 120 years ago became CEO for Retail of BT Group.
2005: Rabbi Raymond Apple “marked his retirement today after 32 years at the helm of Sydney's Great Synagogue. The NSW Governor, Marie Bashir, and the Premier, Bob Carr, joined representatives from Sydney churches and hundreds of well-wishers at a tribute to Rabbi Apple at the Art Gallery of NSW. Great Synagogue president Herman Eisenberg said Rabbi Apple had always represented his congregation and the wider Jewish community with great dignity. ‘He has been a spokesman for Jewish ethics and values, a bridge between diverse religions and cultures and a moderating voice both in the Jewish community and in wider society,’ Mr. Eisenberg said.”
2006: Seeking a leader to guide a much-disputed 9/11 museum into existence at ground zero, officials announced that they had settled on Alice M. Greenwald, an associate director for museum programs at the Holocaust Museum in Washington.
2006: “A few days before the theatrical release of a “Curious George” motion picture the body of Alan Shalleck who produced “more than 100 short episodes for the Curious George television series” was found in his Florida home, the victim of an apparent robbery/homicide
2006: The day after Betty Friedan passed away, The Guardian publishes “The Betty I Knew” by fellow feminists Germain Greer who raises questions about the importance of Ms. Friedan’s role in the “Women’s Movement.” (You can decide if this is Lshon Hora.)
2007: Publication of “America’s First Torah Scholar: Israel Baer Kursheedt” by Dr. Yitzchok Levine
2007: Daniel Friedmann was sworn in today as Minister of Justice succeeding Tzipi Livni.
2007: During his freshman season in which he started all 33 games for the Duke Basketball team, today Jonathan James "Jon" Scheyer “scored a season-high 26 points in a loss to North Carolina.”
2007: In “Sold on a Stereotype” published today the Washington Post reported on the growing popularity in China of “a genre of self-help books that purport to tell the secrets of making money ‘the Jewish way.’” Volumes include The Eight Most Valuable Business Secrets of the Jewish, The Legends of Jewish Wealth, and The Jewish People and Business: The Bible of how to Live Their Lives. While some of the volumes tout the success of the Lehman Brothers and the Rothschilds, others miss the mark when the identify J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as Jews.
2008: First Day of Adar I (2nd Day Rosh Chodesh Adar I 5768)
2008: Scholar Michael B. Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, discusses and signs copies Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
2008: In Bethesda, Maryland, Open Arms, the women's giving circle of the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), hosts its first annual "Meet the Author" evening with novelist Elinor Lipman, author of The Inn at Lake Devine, Then She Found Me (the basis of a feature film opening in May) and, most recently, My Latest Grievance, at the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum.
2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival opens with a showing of “Got No Jeep and My Camel Died.”
2008: Right winger Michael Steven “Mike” Brown who had scored his first NHL goal in December “was sent back down to the Manitoba Moose” today.
2008: The Washington Post featured a review of A Lost Letter, A Remarkable Discovery, and The First Amendment in an Age of Terrorism by Alan Dershowitz
2009: An exhibition entitled Blue and White Pages: Documenting the History of Israel has its final showing at the Israel Museum.
2009: Suzane Adam’s tour of the United States designed to promote her award winning new book Laundry comes to an end.
2009: Shabbat Shirah, 5769
2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including For The Soul Of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus by Frederick Brown and Where The God Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom.
2010: While the Saints defeated the Coldts in Super Bowl XLIV their fans were able to enjoy kosher food. Kosher Sports Inc. (KSI), a New York-based kosher concessions provider geared to the sports industry has signed a contract to provide kosher food to this year's Super Bowl games at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida. This is the first time kosher fare will be available at The Super Bowl. Kosher Sports is under the kosher supervision of the Star-K Kosher Certification, based in Baltimore, Maryland.
2010: A Jewish former banker was elected the vice president of Costa Rica today. Luis Lieberman will become vice president after Costa Rican voters elected Laura Chinchilla as the Central American country's first female president by a wide margin.
2010: The CSSO convened two emergency meetings today and, in response to the upset, JTS’s provost, Alan Cooper, took the unusual step of sending a letter on that same day to the cantorial faculty, reassuring them of its commitment to the school
2010(23rd of Shevat, 5770): Eighty-nine year old Phillip Klass the science fiction writer who used the pseudonym “William Tenn” passed away today. (As reported by Gerald Jonas)
2011: The New Yorker published “The Wave” in which Francisco Goldman “wrote about his wife’s death and their relationship.”
2011: Érik Izraelewicz was appointed director of Le Monde.
2011: John Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman, 4th generation owners of Russ & Daughters are scheduled to “demystify caviar in an evening that is educational and unpretentious at the Astor Center in New York City. While most of us think of Russ & Daughters as “the go to place” when you want the best in lox, it offers a whole more, including some of the nicest people working behind the counter you would ever want to meet. [This is not a commercial plug. It is based on real live experience.]
2011: Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich and the Jupiter musicians are scheduled to “perform works by American composers including Aaron Copland at the Good Shepherd Church in New York City.
2011(3rd of Adar I, 5771): Eighty-year old Jerry James, a longtime contributor to the art of tap dance, and ‘a teacher and choreographer ‘known for his airy, balletic style and eclectic approach’” who had been born Jerome Howard Abrams, passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2011(3rd of Adar I, 5771): Maria V. Altmann, a Jewish refugee who in her 80s waged a successful legal battle all the way to the United States Supreme Court to force the Austrian government to return paintings by Gustav Klimt that had been seized from her family by the Nazis, passed away today at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 94.
2012: Iowa PTV is scheduled to broadcast “Lost in History: Alexander Clark” which is produced by Marc Rosenwasser, the son-in-law of Ellie and Ed Spector (and Nancy’s husband). The Spectors have brought joy, delight and warmth to a numerous Jewish communities including Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2012: Nathan Englander’s “third book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, short story collection, was released today. Born in 1970, Englander was raised in an Orthodox Jewish community, lived in Israel for five years and graduated from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa.
2012: In Columbus, Ohio, Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host its HAZAK Tu B'Shevat Seder
2012: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to presents “The Jewish Antifascist Committee and Its Foreign Delegation” a lecture by Gennady Estraikh
2012: “Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber” is scheduled to be shown at the Golda Meir Chapter of Hadassah in New York.
2012: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today for the “very important message” recent sanctions on Iran have sent.
2012: MK Zahava Gal-On was elected as Meretz chairwoman today, winning 60% of the votes.
2013: Yiddish copy editor Louis Katz “left the Forward today, half a century after joining the newspaper as a typesetter.” (As reported by Paul Berger)
2013: Stefanie Fischer is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “Economic Trust and Anti-Semitic Violence at The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide in London.
2013: The Center for Jewish History and the Jewish Book Council is scheduled to present, “Emerging Writers/Contemporary Literary Landscapes” that will examine the works of Nadia Kalman, Austin Ratner, Francesca Segal and Adam Wilson.
2013: In Washington, DC, Dr. Peggy Pearlstein, former Society President and Head of the Hebraic Section at Library of Congress is scheduled to conduct a tour titled “Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress,1912-2012”
2013: “Ezekiel’s World” a play based on the life of Abba Kovener, is scheduled to premiere in New York City.
2013: The Jerusalem District Attorney today filed two indictments in the magistrate’s court against four Betar Jerusalem fans for making racist statements against Arabs and Muslims, including new players that had joined the team.
2013: Residents of the mixed religious/secular neighborhood of Ramat Sharett in Jerusalem are furious over the municipality’s approval of three yeshivas on the edge of their neighborhood at last week’s city council meeting. Today, the residents will hold a planning meeting with City Councilor Rachel Azaria (Yerushalmim) to try and submit a petition to the city’s Administrative Court to stop the yeshiva’s creation
2013: Tonight’s anti-Israel event sponsored and endorsed by the Brooklyn College political science department will take place on that school’s campus, but it now appears certain that the atmosphere of intimidation and distrust generated by that academic department did not begin, and will not end, with this event.
2014: “The Monument’s Men,” based on book by the same name that beings with the story of the Ettlingers, a Jewish family from Karlsruhe and describes the work of tells the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program is scheduled to be released to theatres today.
2014: Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi is scheduled to perform in the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.
2014: “The Spanish government approved a draft citizenship bill “that would offer citizenship to Sephardic Jews as a gesture of conciliation for Spain’s expulsion of Jews during the Inquisition” (As reported by Isabel Kershner and Raphael Minder)
2014: “The Sturgeon Queens” a movie that “tells the story of four generations of the Russ family - and how they took their business from a tiny storefront stocked with herring barrels to the famed smoked fish emporium it is today” is scheduled to be shown at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.
2014: “Hundreds of young worshipers flung rocks at Israeli police on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount just after Muslim Friday prayers concluded at the al-Aqsa mosque.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)
2014: “Thirteen ultra-Orthodox protesters were indicted today after their arrest during anti-draft riots yesterday in Ashdod.” (As reported by Adiv Sterman and Stuart Winer)
2014: Centuries worth of Jewish documents are at risk of vanishing into the vortex of Iraq’s chronic instability, but for American Jewish groups advocating for their preservation, there was a moment of optimism today after the US Senate approved a resolution calling for a renegotiation of the archives’ status. (As reported by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil)
2015: In Coralville, IA, Landon Elkind is scheduled to be called to the Torah as Bar Mitzvah at Aguadas Achim’s Traditional Shabbat morning service.
2015: The Eden-Tamar Music Center is scheduled to host “Sonata or Sontina – Sounds of Flue in Ein Kerem featuring Noam Bhuchman on flute and Pazit Gal playing the piano.
2015: At Temple Beth El in Hollywood, FL, Rabbi Romiel Daniel, the scholar in residence will discuss the similarities and differences between Hinduism and Judaism after having delivered a sermon the night before on the history of the Jews in India where according to him “Jews have more freedom and few if any cases of discrimination than anywhere else in the world.”
2015: In “A Month After Kosher Market Attack, French Jews Plan An Exodus” published today Griff Witte described the reaction to the terrorist attack in Paris.
2015: “Egypt: faith after the pharaohs” an exhibition that includes “the Gaster Bible, a 9th-century Torah from Egypt featuring one of the oldest Hebrew illuminated text” and “fragments of documents from the Cairo Geniza containing Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Aramaic and Arabic texts detailing Jewish life in Cairo during the Middle Ages” is scheduled to open today at the British Museum.”
2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond by Robert D. Kaplan and Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century by Daniel Oppenheimer.
2016: The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L.
2016: “Blind Hero, A: The Love of Otto Weidt” is scheduled to be shown this afternoon at the 26th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival
2016: Birkbeck University of London is scheduled to host a screening of “Ida” followed by a round-table discussion between Dr. François Guesnet, University College London and Dr. Małgorzata Pakier, POLIN, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw.
2016: A day after a 65 year old grandmother was stabbed by a terrorist, a Sudanese national who had entered Israel illegally in 2008, stabbed a 20 year old soldier near the central bus station in Ashkelon.
2017: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host an evening with author Judith Viorst.
2017: This evening, after dinner, The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a talk by Richard Verber from World Jewish Relief on “Tales from a Refugee Camp.”