474: Zeno was crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire. “The feeling of Emperor Zeno towards the Jews is illustrated by a remark made at the races of Antioch. After a mob murdered many Jews, threw their corpses into the fire, and burned their synagogue Zeno commented, ‘They should have burned the living ones also.’”
1119: Calixtus II was named Pope. During his twenty five years on the papal throne, Calixtus II “provided a considerable amount of protection for Roman Jews.”
1267: The Synod of Breslau ordered Jews of Silesia to wear special caps.
1288(4th of Adar): Pola, a female copiest who belonged the Avanim family from Rome completed working on a book of the Bible as can be seen from the colophon which revealed “the name of her father, her forefathers, her first husband and the date of completion.” (As reported by Renee Levine Melammed)
1404: In Constantinople, Manuel II Palaiologos and Helena Dragaš gave birth to Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last Byzantine Emperor who would lose his capital to the Ottomans led by Mehmed II in 1453. This would mark the end of Christian domination in parts of eastern Europe and Asia Minor, a change which would have incalculable effect on Jews living in the region as far west as Spain.
1517: Isabel Lopez, the daughter of Maria Lopez offered an expanded rebuttal of the charges made against by the Inquisition. “She never observed Shabbat or wore special clothes except in honor of a Church holy day, a baptism or wedding ceremony. She recited the Ave Maria, the Pater Noster, the Creed and the Salve Regina. She had no idea what the sciatic nerve was, but was a clean woman who ate all types of fish and animals. She asked the tribunal to restore her honor and reputation. In August, she stated that the evidence was false and invalid. She was a good Christian; nothing she did was heretical. If she cleaned her meat, it was because she was meticulous; she never dressed up on Friday or Saturday and had no special lamps in her home.” (As reported by Renee Levine Melammed)
1621: Gregory XV was elected Pope. Gregory’s support of the censorship of Jewish books can be seen in the fact that during his brief papacy (1621-1623) at “least three expurgators of Hebrew books were appointed by the Roman Inquisition: Vincentius Matelica, 1622, "auctoritate apostolica"; Isaia di Roma, 1623, "per ordine di Roma"; and Petrus de Trevio, 1623, "deputatus" (officially appointed to revise books).”
1670: Sixty year old Frederick III, who said of the Jews, they “have stolen into Denmark contrary to long-standing custom, [since the days of the Reformation, the Lutheran creed had, according to the laws of Denmark, been compulsory throughout the kingdom], and have dared to traffic with jewels and the like” which led him “to order that no Jew should enter Denmark without a special passport ("Geleitsbrief"), and that those who were already in the country should be heavily fined if they did not leave within fourteen days” passed away today. [Editors’ note: A few years later, however, the tables were turned. Frederick III., being in need of funds for his wars, borrowed money from the Jew Abraham (or Diego) Teixeira de Mattos of Hamburg (known through his relations with the Swedish queen Christina), and gave as security crownlands in Jutland. Teixeira thereupon made such good use of his influence with the Danish king that, as early as Jan. 19, 1657, "the Portuguese professing the Hebrew religion" were permitted to travel everywhere within the kingdom, and to trade and traffic within the limit of the law. Teixeira himself gained little by his transaction with the Danish monarch. As his loan was not returned, he took instead the estates he held as security, selling them later at a great loss. The king acted similarly in his dealings with the De Lima family, who were in possession of the Hald estate from 1660 to 1703.”
1749: Benedict XIV issued a papal bull, “Singulari Nobis consoldtioni” that prohibited marriages between Jews and Christians.
1807: Napoleon convened the French Sanhedrin. The first meeting in Paris of the Napoleonic Sanhedrin was under the leadership of The Assembly of Jewish Notables. It opened amid great pomp and celebration under the direction of Abraham Furtado. The Sanhedrin was modeled on the ancient Tribunal in Jerusalem and consisted of 71 members - 46 Rabbis and 25 laymen. Rabbi David Sinzheim of Strasburg was its President. They were presented with 12 questions regarding the positions of Jewry regarding polygamy, divorce, usury, other faiths, and most important whether they considered France to be their Fatherland. Needless to say, they received "guidance" from the emperor as to the general formulation of the answers.
1808: In Westphalia, a large delegation of Jews visited King Jerome, the brother of Napoleon to express their thanks for his granting them full emancipation. During the audience he told them: Tell your brothers to enjoy the rights that were granted to them. They can depend upon my protection on a par with the rest of my children."
1812: Birthdate of Israel “Izzy” Lazarus, the London born bare-knuckle boxer who moved to the United States in 1853 with his wife and two sons (both of whom were boxers) where he was “saloon keeper” and fight promoter.
1815: Birthdate of Austrian Talmudist and historian Isaac Hirsch Weiss best known for his 5 volume work Each Generation and Its Scholars, “a history of the Halakha, or oral law, from Biblical times until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain at the end of the 15th century.”
1825: Birthdate of Abraham Pereira Mendes, the native of Kingston Jamaica whose lengthy career as a rabbi took him London and Montego Bay before spending the last ten years as the leader of Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I.
1825: For the first, and so far only time, the House of Representatives chose the President of the United States when it elected John Quincy Adams to the Presidency during which he responded to a letter from Major Mordecai Manuel Noah by saying “I believe in the rebuilding of Judea as an independent nation.”
1842: In Charleston, SC, Frank Segar wed Elizabeth De Haan, the daughter of Samuel De Hann.
1852: Today’s “News by the Mail” column reported that “Rabbi Raphall is lecturing at Albany on the Poetry of the Hebrews.”
1854: Birthdate of Aletta [Henriëtte] Jacobs, activist for the rights of women and the first Dutch female physician.
1857(15th of Shevat, 5617): Tu B’Shevat
1860: “The Temple of the Reformed Jews” on Twelfth street, between Third and Fourth avenues, was among the buildings damaged by a gale described as a "winter tornado" that swept across New York City this evening.
1860: The Philadelphia North American reported that it is unlikely that “Captain Moses” will end up in jail. The man who had been previously described as “a Hebrew” had been charged with swindling those wishing to make donations to aid the destitute Jewish and Christian refugees from Morocco who had taken shelter at Gibraltar. There will be no trial because there is no real evidence to substantiate the charge.
1862: Toechter Lodge No.2, the second women’s lodge of the Free Sons of Israel was organized today.
1864: In a report published today, the Richmond Examiner highlighted the presence of Jews among those seeking to escape from the Confederacy and find refuge in the North. The Examiner reported that “it is reliably estimated that during the past week over 100 Jews, principals of substitutes and others, have come...to Richmond from the South, put up at the hotels, and disappeared by the various underground routes to the North. How they go is known only to themselves and their agents, but it is true they have gone and are still going. Ten Jews left one of the principal hotels on Sunday morning. They are mostly of the wealthy class, and $10,000 is frequently tendered for a safe passage to the Potomac.” Farmers who have brought goods to the Confederate capital reportedly smuggle the refugees North in their empty wagons. Those caught trying to leave have been imprison in the Castle Thunder Prison. Jews have been able to escape from the prison by pretending to be dead and having their embalmed bodies taken “through the lines, en route to bereaved relatives in the North.”
1864: N.S. Isaacs of New York wrote to Union General Benjamin Butler concerning his use of the term “Jew” in a disparaging manner in his recent dispatches about a group caught trying to smuggle contraband to Confederate forces.
1865: Professor John W. Draper the first in a series of lectures on "The Historical Influence of Natural Causes." In his address tonight on “The Influence of Climate” he said that that “climate does change men” as can be “seen in the Jews, who come of a common stock. In northern Europe they are fair, with blue eyes, while in Palestine they are tawny, and in Malaga, almost black.”
1865: Birthdate of actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell whom Solomon J. Solomon painted ‘Paula Tanqueray’ in 1894.
1873(12th of Shevat, 5633): Sixty-seven year old Jewish German orientalist Julius Furst passed away in Leipzig.
1875: In New York, the hat store on Third Avenue that belonged to a Polish Jew named Abraham H. Keinski burned tonight.
1876: Today’s session of P.N. Rubenstein’s trial for the murder of Sara Alexander in Kings County lasted from 10:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon.
1878 Giulia Warwick (born Julia Ehrenberg) created the part of Lady Viola in “The Spectre Knight,” which replaced Dora's Dream as the curtain raiser at the Opera Comique.
1879(16th of Shevat): “Markus Edinger, the first Jew in Mayence to serve as a juror, passed away today
1879: Both sides rested during the trial Abraham D. Freeman and Charles Bernstein who were accused of complicity along with Abraham Perlstein in setting to the house on Ludlow Street. Perslstein has already been convicted and sentenced. In his charge to the jury, Judge Barrett spoke strongly on the matter of prejudice, telling all concerned that it had no place in the decision making process. As of midnight, the jury had not reached a verdict.
1879: It was reported today that modern day London and its suburbs cover an area of 700 square miles with a population that includes more Jews than are found in all of Palestine.
1880: It was reported today that Hebraica, which has been published as a monthly supplement to the Jewish Messenger will now be published as a weekly featuring articles on Hebrew literature and the science of the Bible.
1881: Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky passed away. To the world he is the author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. For Jews, he was a skilled author who was also a vocal anti-Semite. He freely disparaged them as “Yids” who “have everything to gain from every cataclysm and coup d’état…and only profit from anything that serves to undermine gentile society.”
1885: In Vienna, Johanna and Conrad Berg gave birth to Austrian composer, Alban Berg, a protégé of Arnold Schoenberg.
1889: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is established as a Cabinet-level agency. Former Kansas Congressman Dan Glickman who served as USDA Secretary from 1995 to 2001 is the only Jew to head this department of the U.S. Government.
1890: Grand Master J.E. Lowenstein presided over the opening session of the Grand Lodge, No.1 of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel at Webster Hall in New York City.
1890: A memorial service in honor of the late Seligman Solomon was held today at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York City.
1890: It was reported today Princeton University Professor Arthur Frothingham presented each of the students in his Hebrew Class with a new Hebrew Lexicon and a volume containing the text of Genesis. The course was an elective. Frothingham was one of the first professors of art history and an archeologist who got in trouble with President of Princeton over his choice of courses. I have not been able to find out why he was teaching a course in Hebrew, except for the face that his academic training had been foreign languages.
1891: A deed of trust signed by Baron Hirsch and those who have been named to oversee the $2,400,000 grant designed to improve the lot of Russian and Romanian immigrants to the United States was filed in the Register’s office in New York
1895: The mid-year examinations in Hebrew are scheduled to be given at Columbia College today.
1895: William G. Morgan invents volleyball at YMCA in Holyoke, MA. Jewish volleyball players include the Brazilian women’s star Adriana Brandão Behar, Aryeh ("Arie") Selinger the Polish born Israeli who coached the Dutch Men's Team to the silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain and Avital Haim Selinger, a 48 year old Sabra, who, before his retirement, played for two different Dutch teams in the Summer Olympics.
1895(15th of Shevat, 5655): Tu B’Shevat
1895(15th of Shevat, 5655): Elim D’Avigdor “the eldest son of Count Salamon Henri d'Avigdor and of Rachel, second daughter of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid” who followed his engineering career with a publishing career while serving as a leader of the Jewish community as “a warden of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue” and “chief of the Chovevi Zion Association” passed away today.
1897: The funeral of 58 year old Morris Goodhart, the President of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society Orphan Asylum is scheduled to take place this morning at Temple Beth El followed by interment at the family plot at the Washington Cemetery.
1898: “Hebrew Charities Building to be Incorporated” published today described New York State Senator Cantor’s introduction of a bill in the state legislature that would allow for the incorporation of the Hebrew Charities Building in New York City. “The object of the corporation is to establish and maintain a building in which Hebrew benevolent institutions can have their headquarters, and at which all applicants for aid may apply.” The building will also include a public library “with a special department of Judaica.”
1899: It was reported today that Ida Silverman was among those chosen to serve on the Executive Committee of the People’s Club in New York City.
1900: Davis Cup competition is established. The most prominent American Jewish player in Davis Cup competitor was Aaron Krickstein. He was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team from 1985-1987 and also was a member of the 1990 squad. He compiled a 6-4 record in singles play during Davis Cup ties. The highlight of Krickstein's Davis Cup career came in 1990 when he scored two hard fought victories in a World Group Quarterfinal tie against Czechoslovakia leading his team to a 4-1 win. Israel first competed in Davis Cup play in 1949. Shlomo Glickstein and Eleazar Davidman are two of the most prominent members of the Israeli teams over the last half century.
1900: Birthdate of Friedrich Mandl, the Austrian fascist armaments manufacturer whose wives included Jewish actress Hedy Lamar and Monika Brücklmeier, the daughter of one of the men executed for his role in the plot to kill Hitler in July of 1944.
1904: Sir Matthew Nathan completed his term as the 20th Governor of the Gold Coast, the British colony that became the independent nation of Ghana.
1904: As some Zionist leaders consider temporary alternatives for a Jewish homeland, Leopold Greenberg cables to accept the offer of the territory in Nandi without delay because a governmental change was impending. Under this pressure Herzl writes back the demanded consent. On the next day he cables Greenberg again to undertake nothing until he received Herzl's written instructions.
1905: In Newark, NJ, Martha levy and Maurice Steinfeld gave birth to Harold L. Steinfeld.
1906: “According to Dr. Mosesohn, a prominent Jew” living in Portland, Oregon, “whose are assertions are corroborated by the local Post Office Officials, a large amount of the money sent from the United States to aid Jewish sufferers in Russia has never been received by those for whom it was intended” due to “a general failure on the part of the Post Offices throughout Russia to cash postal money orders which have been sent to Jews” in Russia..
1906: Birthdate of California native Erwin Charles Ginsburg, who earned All-Far Western Conference honors while playing for Fresno State from 1925 to 1929.
1908: Birthdate of Jacob Finkelstein, the Chicago native who boxed as welterweight under the name of Jackie Fields.
1910: Birthdate of the influential modern dance choreographer Anna Sokolow.
1912(21st of Shevat, 5672): Eighty-one year old Marx Moses who had been the Rabbi at Ahavath Chesed in Jacksonville, FL until 1885, passed away today in New Orleans.
1912: Birthdate of Marianne Baum, the husband of Herbert Baum who were both Jewish leaders of the anti-Nazi resistance.
1913: The Judaeans are scheduled to hold a meeting this evening at the Hotel Astor where they will “honor of the board of editors of the new Bible translation now being prepared under the joint auspices of the Jewish Publication Society of American and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
1915: In a letter written today, Charles S. Hartwell who has offered 100 bushels of corn to the Serbian Agricultural Relief Commission shared the text of a postcard from “A Hebrew” who noted that by doing this he was “trying to please the Czar, the protector of my Jewish brethren.”
1915: During today’s session of the Duma, Foreign Minister Segei Sazonov denied allegations that the Russians had organized pogroms against the Jews and that any suffering came from “the Jewish population being in the theatre of war” where “suffering…is an inevitable evil.”
1915: At Worcester, MA, “the 63rd annual convention of District 1, I.O.B.B., the oldest fraternal Jewish order in American came to a close today after donating $1,000 to the American Zionist toward the relief ship which is to go to Palestine” and appointing “a special committee…to assist in the relief work of the indigent and unemployed of New York.”
1915: “Celebration for Army and Navy Jews” published today described the plans of the Army and Navy Young’ Men’s Hebrew Association to arrange “a Passover celebration…for Jews serving the United States Army and Navy stationed in the vicinity of NewYork” which be held at the Vienna Hall at 58th and Lexington in Manhattan.
1915: It was reported today that “there are mon than 8,000 Jews” currently serving in the U.S. military.
1916: It was reported today that the matzoth that will be shipped aboard the U.S. Navy collier Sterling “is intended for distribution among Jews who, owing to the war conditions will be unable to get a supply from any other source” and that “the matzoth is being prepared in accordance with all the requirements of the Jewish religion.”
1917: The 600-year-old synagogue of Congregation Shaari Zedek in Tunis was destroyed by fire.
1917: Dr. Isaac Straus, the editor of the American Jewish Chronicle, who has just applied for his naturalization papers denied that he had ever been a member of The Committee for the East, a pro-German propaganda organization or that he had come to the United States with Bernhard Dernburg, the German-Jewish leader who had come to the United States to present the German point of view before America entered the war on the side of the allies.
1917: The Joint Distribution Committee, chaired by Felix M. Warburg, today authorized the transfer to Europe of all of the funds in its possession - $955,000 – for the purpose providing relief to Jews of Europe, Turkey and Palestine.
1917: This week’s issues of The American Hebrew and The American Jewish Chronicle published today, “both pledged to President Wilson the unwavering support of the Jews in America” if the United States goes to war with Germany.
1919(9th of Adar I, 5679): Seventy-year old Ludwig Geirger, the son of Abraham Geiger, who was chair of the history department at the University of Berlin passed away today.
1923: Premiere of “The Land of Smiles,” “a romantic operetta with a libretto co-authored by Fritz Löhner-Beda would be murdered by the Nazis two decades later at Monowitz concentration camp.
1924: Twenty-one year old Rose Dinn married 27 year old Sam Ash, the founder of Sam Ash Music Corp. which was, at one time, “the largest family owned chain of musical instrument stores in the United States.
1925(15th of Shevat, 5685) Tu B’Shevat
1925: The children of Jerusalem planted trees on Tu B’Shevat
1927: “Wrapped in elegant gray furs, Helen Menken was handcuffed and charged with ‘contributing to a common nuisance’ and ‘obscene exhibition’ when police arrested her and the rest of the cast of “The Captive.”
1931: Birthdate of William “Willie: Harmatz, the native of Wilkes-Barre, PA, who grew up in California where he learned the skills to make him a leading jockey who won the Preakness, the third jewel in the triple crown, in 1959.
1934: The funeral for Abraham Shiplacoff, a veteran labor leader and the first member of the Socialist Party to be elected to the New York State Assembly is scheduled to be held today the Daily Forward Building in New York City.
1934: In the UK, premiere of the “The Rise of Catherine The Great” directed by Paul Czinner, produced by Alexander Korda, with music by Irving Berlin.
1936: “Mrs. William Dick Sporborg accepted the chairmanship of the women’s division of the United Palestine Appeal” which plans on “raising $3,500,000 during 1936 to finance the settlement in Palestine of large numbers of Jews from Germany and other Eastern European countries.
1936: In a statement issued today “through Dr. Stephen S. Wise” Dr. Chaim Weizmann said “American Jewry constitutes the premier Jewish community in the world” and such it “must recognize that the rebuilding of Palestine as Jewry’s ‘one means of self-preservation’ rather than a mere philanthropic enterprise. (Editor’s note: Compare this inclusionary statements with the exclusionary policies followed increasingly by the current of government of Israel)
1936: In a sermon this morning, Dr. J. Stanley Durkee, the pastor of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn criticized “Jews for declining to become ‘an integral part of the civilization around them’” while describing their persecutors as those “who have driven them away and so over-pressed them that their only hope lies in money to purchase their freedeom”
1936: In Buffalo, at a meeting of the executive board of the Union Hebrew Congregations, Chairman Jacob W. Mack of Cincinnati made a plea for the 286 reformed congregations in the United States “to become a counterpart of the liberal movement in world Jewry.”
1936: “Modern Jewish Thought” published today provided a lengthy review of Rebirth: A Book of Modern Jewish Thought by Ludwig Lewisohn.
1937(28th of Shevat, 5697): Georges Calmann-Levy, “the famous French publisher” the grandson of the founder of the firm of Calmann-Levy, which published the works of Antaolo France, Pierro Loti and Ernest Renan passed away today. (As reported by JTA)
1937: Albert Ganzert’s “Borderline” a play set in Berlin that “describes the havoc wrought in a substantial, happy family when certain persons discover that the grandfather of the head of the family (an eminent physician) was a Jew” “was presented by Maurice Schwartz and the Yiddish Art Theatre Company at the Forty-ninth Street Theatre” tonight.
1937: Following violent demonstrations last night during which 22 Jewish students were injured, nationalist students at the university in Vilna proclaimed today as “A day without Jews” and barred Jewish students from entering the classroom
1938: The Jerusalem Post reported that a British sergeant was killed while pursuing an Arab gang near Tulkarm.
1938: The Jerusalem Post reported that Arab terrorists cut telephone wires, shot at and stopped an Arab bus near Hebron, killed one passenger and took away the uniform of an Arab constable, warning him to leave the force.
1938: The Jerusalem Post reported that in elections to the Jerusalem Communal Council (Va’ad Kehila) out of 9,404 votes cast, Labor won 1,417, Revisionists 877, General Zionists 416, Mizrahi 413, and the rest was divided among 13 small political parties.
1938: Today “The Rumanian National Bank committee forabade the sending of currency to Rumanian Jews studying abroad.”
1938: Today, “Colonial Secretary William Ormsby-Gore told the House of Commons that the British Government would consider the problem of the Jews in Rumania when it set the new immigration for Palestine.”
1939: In Johannesburg, “Betty (née Sonnenberg) and Saul Suzman, a wealthy tobacco importer” gave birth to South African actress Janet Suzman, the granddaughter of South African MP Max Sonnenberg and the “niece of Helen Suzman, South African politician and anti-apartheid campaigner.”
1940: William E. Dodd, the American historian who served as Ambassador to Germany from 1933 to 1937 passed away. Dodd was the first American ambassador who served under the Hitler régime. He tried to warn the State Department and the American people about the danger but his warnings fell on deaf ears. (For more see In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, a history book that reads like a novel.)
1940(30th of Sh'vat, 5700): Rosh Chodesh Adar I
1940: U.S. premiere of “Broadway Melody of 1940,” a musical directed by Norman Taurog, filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg with a story co-authored by Dore Schary.
1941: Dutch Nazis sparked the first anti-Jewish riots in Amsterdam. Among other damage, the Nazi collaborators destroyed the pro-Jewish café Alcazar Amsterdam. Alcazar refused to hang "No Entry for Jews" signs in front of café.
1942: Birthdate of Carole King. The famous singer and song writer was born Carol Klein in Brooklyn.
1943: In Gary Indiana, (née Fishman) and Nathaniel D. Stiglitz gave birth to Joseph E. Stiglitz, American economist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics.
1943, G R Barnes, the director of talks at the BBC “complained about an interview which strayed into forbidden territory by discussing anti- Semitism: 'Personally I don't want to touch the subject, except by implication in talks on other subjects,' he wrote.” His complaint was emblematic of an anti-Semitic mentality at the BBC that “led to a policy which suppressed news about Germany's attempt to exterminate European Jews.”
1944(15th of Shevat, 5704): Tu B’Shevat
1944: Tarnow, Poland ‘was declared ‘Judenrein’ – Jew free – today.
1944: The Lodz Ghetto received machinery and a factory was set up that helped to secure survival for a while longer for many Jews. Unknown to them, the machinery came from Poniataw, where the Jewish population had been obliterated in November, 1943.
1945: Churchill sends Ibn Saud, the Saudi Monarch, urging him to meet with FDR who is on his way back to the United States after the Yalta meetings. Churchill mistakenly believes that FDR will provide leverage for the settlement of Jews in Palestine after the war.
1948: The Stern Gang blew up two Arab owned building in Jerusalem from which Arab snipers had been shooting at Jews.
1948: During the fight for Jerusalem, the Haganah attacked the Arab village of Sur Bahir from which snipers had been shooting at the residents of Talipot.
1948: The Supreme Court, including Justice Felix Frankfurter began hearing oral arguments in the landmark anti-trust cast – United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (Paramount was the creation of a cadre of Jews including Zukor, Frohman, Lasky, Goldywyn, et al)
1950: “Young Man with a Horn” the movie version of the novel with the same name directed by Michael Curitz, produced by Jerry Wald, with a screenplay co-authored by Carl Foreman and starring Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall was released in the United States today.
1951(3rd of Adar I, 5711): Pianist and society band leader, Eddy Duchin passed away. Born in 1910, in Cambridge, MA, this son of Jewish immigrant parents trained as a Pharmacist before pursing his musical dream. He was a musical genius who began leading his own orchestra in 1931 when he was only 22. He was 41 years old when he died of acute myelogenous leukemia. He was the father the even more famous Peter Duchin. The Eddy Duchin Story, a film with Tryone Power playing the title role and Kim Novak playing his High Society first wife, made no mention of Duchin being Jewish or the challenges that must have presented as he pursued his career among those who if not anti-Semitic certainly were not partial to having Jews around.
1952: John Demjanjuk , a guard at Sobibor who Michael Hanusiak, editor of the Ukrainian News would list as a Ukrainian suspected of collaborating with the Nazis, his wife and child arrived in New York aboard the USS General W.W. Haan
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that by six votes of Mapai and Ha’oved Hatzioni against two of Mapam, and one member of Mapam abstaining, the Histadrut decided to ban Communists from the organization.
1953(24th of Shevat, 5713): Fifty-eight year old London born American cinematographer Richard Fryer passed away today.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that three marauders were killed and eight captured along the Jordanian border.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the cabinet had decided on the establishment of the State Bank, agreed to hold the Conquest of the Desert Exhibition and allocated land for the Hebrew University Givat Ram development.
1954: Birthdate of Salah Tarif, a Druze Israeli politician who served in the Knesset for fourteen years. His service in the cabinet of Ariel Sharon made him the first non-Jew to serve as a government minister in Israel.
1964: Thanks to the work of their manager Brian Epstein, the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, three days before they were to appear at Carnegie Hall as a result of a deal work out between Epstein and impresario Sid Bernstein.
1966 (19th of Shevat, 5726): Sophie Tucker, the last of the Red Hot Mommas, passed away.
1968 (10th of Shevat, 5728): Sydney Silverman, Labour MP, foe of the death penalty and a supporter of Jewish causes passed away today.
1969: Today, over a year after the INS Dakar sank with all hands on board, a Palestinian fisherman found her stern emergency buoy marker washed up on the coast of Khan Yunis, a Palestinian town southwest of Gaza.
1972(24th of Shevat, 5732): Bella Fromm passed away. Born in Bavaria in 1890, she became a successful journalist who sought refuge in the United States in 1938. In 1942, she published an account of her time spent covering the Nazis in a bestseller entitled “Blood and Banquets: A Berlin Social Diary.”
1972(24th of Shevat, 5732): Fifty-six year old Dr. Irving K. Perlmutter, the native of Newark who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Medical College and was the “former director of obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Medical Center” passed away today.
1973(7th of Adar I, 5733): Max B. Yasgur, an American farmer, best known as the owner of the dairy farm in Bethel, New York at which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held passed away.
1975: The Second National Conference in Solidarity with Chile co-sponsored by Herbert Aptheker, came to an end.
1975(28th of Shevat, 5735): Sixty-four year old art dealer and “art sleuth” Frank Richard Perls passed away today.
1975: “A Brief Vacation” an Italian film produced by Arthur Cohn was released today in the United States.
1976(8th of Adar I, 5736): Fifty-six year old Israeli archaeologist Yohanan Aharoni who took part in numerous digs including Tel Hazor and Lachish as well as the “discovery of the Bar Kokhba Caves” passed away today.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat succeeded in persuading US President Jimmy Carter to adopt a more active role in peace negotiations. In New York, Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan denied that Israel had violated pledge given to the US on the settlement issue and sharply attacked Sadat¹s negotiating stance. In Geneva, meeting Jewish leaders, Prime Minister Menachem Begin warned that the sale of US arms to Egypt and other Arab countries endangered peace.
1978(2nd of Adar I, 5738): Sixty-two year old Woodrow “Woody” Gelman whose varied career as a cartoonist and publisher included the creation of the “Triple Nickel” books and the designing of the Topp’s Baseball Card sets passed away today.
1982: “Twenty eight veteran refuseniks sent an open letter to participants of the Madrid Conference of the CSCE meeting listing Soviet violations of the Helsinki Final Act.”
1987: Kidnappers holding four Western hostages reiterated that they would kill their captives at midnight tonight unless 400 Arab prisoners were freed by Israel, then, as the deadline passed, announced that it had been extended ''until further notice.'' Between the kidnappers' statements, a car-bomb explosion killed 17 people and wounded 80 in a densely populated Shiite Moslem suburb of Beirut. A hand-written letter signed by three American hostages had said the kidnappers, Islamic Holy War for the Liberation of Palestine, ''will execute us at midnight because Israel is refusing to release 400 Palestinians from its cells.'' The statement, delivered to a Western news agency in Moslem-controlled West Beirut, was accompanied by a photograph of one hostage, Alann Steen. Three other teachers - Robert Polhill and Jesse Turner, both Americans, and Mithileshwar Singh, an Indian national - were also abducted by gunmen from Beirut University College last month. The Israelis indicated that they might consider the demand for the release of the 400 Palestinians, but they have not taken up an offer by the leader of the Lebanese Shiite militia Amal, Nabih Berri, to exchange an Israeli Air Force navigator being held by Amal for the 400 prisoners in Israel.
1987: Israel's Defense Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said tonight that Israel would consider any American appeal to swap 400 Arab prisoners for hostages held by kidnappers in Beirut. But he, Prime Minister Shamir and Foreign Minister Peres emphasized that the United States had not asked Israel to get involved. ''If and when the U.S. will turn to us, we'll consider what to do,'' Mr. Rabin said. Mr. Peres said Israel did not know which 400 prisoners the kidnappers wanted released.
1989: Sally Oppenheim-Barnes who served in the House of Commons with her for four years, “was created a life peer today as Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes of Gloucester in the County of Gloucester.
1990: Unrepentant, the Israeli peace campaigner Abie Nathan was released from prison today. He vowed to continue the activities for which he was jailed four months ago.
1991: A new Scud missile attack on Israel left 20 people slightly wounded in Tel Aviv, the military said. Iraq fired a single Scud missile armed with a conventional warhead at Israel early this morning, and the authorities said it was hit by a Patriot missile over Tel Aviv. But burning debris struck buildings in a residential area, badly damaging some of them and wounding between 15 and 20 people, the army said.
1992: The "Schwarzkopf March," which was composed by Abraham Sternklar in honor of General Norman Schwarzkopf, is scheduled to have its premiere at the North Shore Jewish Center in Port Jefferson Station. As a 12 year old living in Tel Aviv in 1943, Sternklar had composed a march in honor of British General Bernard Montgomery entitled “Montgomery’s March.”
1993: Launch of the INS Eilat (501) a Sa’ar 5 – class corvette.
1994: Israeli minister Shimon Perez signed a peace accord with PLO's Arafat.
1994: Poet Kenneth Koch, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia, was named winner of the Bollingen Prize in Poetry by Yale University.
1994: In Israel, two portfolio managers, Vladimir Saar and Arye Shafir, have been detained on suspicion of a multimillion-dollar stock market manipulation scheme on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the police said today. Press reports said they were suspected of violations involving more than $26 million. Reports of the arrests led to a slide in the exchange's blue-chip index, which closed 3.5 percent lower. Dealers reported particularly sharp drops in shares of eight companies whose prices the two men were said to have manipulated. Last year, the prices of some of those companies rose as much as 700 percent. Police officials said the arrests were the result of an investigation by the Government's Securities Authority, an oversight group. Stock exchange and Securities Authority officials declined to comment on the case while it was still under investigation.
1994 (28th of Shevat, 5754): Taxi driver, Ilan Sudri was kidnapped and killed while returning home from work. The Islamic Jihad Shekaki group sent a message to the news agencies claiming responsibility for the murder.
1994(28th of Shevat, 5754): Eighty-year old Romanian born “French-speaking Surrealist theorist and poet” passed away today.
1996(19th of Shevat, 5756): One hundred six year old Rabbi Albert J. Amateau, founder of the Brotherhood of Rhodes, and the Sephardic Brotherhood, an offshoot of the Salonican Brotherhood, passed away.
1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Reichmanns Family, Faith, Fortune, and the Empire of Olympia & York by Anthony Bianco and French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial by Serge Klarsfeld
1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Journey to the End of the Millenium by A.B. Yehoshua and Preempting the Holocaust by Lawrence L. Langer.
1999: Journalist Claudia Dreifus highlighted her expertise in a talk on the art of the political interview given at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
1999(23rd of Shevat, 5759): Just ten days before his 78th birthday NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion and college and professional football standout Leonard Bernard “Butch” Levy passed away in his hometown – Minneapolis, MN.
2000(3rd of Adar I, 5760): Stephen Robert Furness a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers' famed Steel Curtain defense who earned four Super Bowl rings passed away.
2001: Arthur Levitt, Jr. the twenty-fifth and longest-serving Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission stepped down from his position today.
2001(16th of Shevat, 5761): Nobel Prize winning economist Herbert Simon passed away.
2002: In today's broadcast of Verbatim, Rabbi Raymond Apple described his early life in Melbourne (including his early experience of a Catholic kindergarten) from short pants to long 'Bar Mitzvah' trousers and the steady development of his religious vocation
2003: The Times of London featured a review of Charlotte and Lionel by Stanley Weintraub
2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Lost In America: A Journey With My Father by Sherwin B. Nuland and Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren by Michael Gross.
2006(11th of Shevat, 5766): The Indian film star known as Nadira passed away today in Mumbai after a long illness. There is some confusion as to her age – she was either 73 or 75. That is not the only confusion. According to one source her name was a native of Palestine named Florence Ezekiel who moved to India in the late 1940’s to begin a career in films. Another source said her name was Farhat Ezekiel Nadira and she was the daughter of Baghdadi Jews.
2005(30th of Shevat, 5765): Sixty-seven year old former Mossad agent Sylvia Rafael passed away today.
2006: The United States confirmed the appointment of Eric S. Edelman as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
2006: In Germany, after several delays, Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel’s trial in which he was facing charge of “14 counts of inciting racial hatred” was resumed.
2007: Haaretz reported on a study conducted by the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University that found between 6 million and 6.4 million Jews live in the United States, about 1 million more than was previously thought.
2007: Ernst Leitz II, “the German owner of the company that manufactures Leica cameras was honored” posthumously “by the ADL for saving an 200 to 300 employees and their families from the Nazis.”
2008: The 12th Sephardic NY Film Festival continues with “A Tribute to Israel at 60” featuring the North America premiere of “Exodus, Ada’s Dream” which is “based on the true story of Ada Sereni who became a leader of Aliyah Bet helping the underground Jewish Brigade bring survivors to Palestine in 1945” followed by the New York Premier of “Family Heroes” or “Le Heros de Famille.”
2008: It was reported today that Conservative Rabbis plan to vote on a resolution (see below) criticizing the Pope’s revision of prayer recited on Good Friday.
“The revision of a contentious Good Friday prayer approved this week by Pope Benedict XVI could set back Jewish-Catholic relations, Conservative Judaism’s international assembly of rabbis says in a resolution to be voted on next week.
The prayer calls for God to enlighten the hearts of Jews “so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.”
The draft resolution states the prayer would “cast a harsh shadow over the spirit of mutual respect and collaboration that has marked these past four decades, making it more difficult for Jews to engage constructively in dialogue with Catholics.”
On Tuesday, the pope released new wording for the prayer, part of the traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass.
Before the Second Vatican Council, also known as Vatican II, the Good Friday Mass in Latin prayed for the conversion of Jews, referring to their “blindness” and calling upon God to “lift a veil from their hearts.”
An unofficial translation of the new prayer reads: “Let us pray for the Jews. May the Lord Our God enlighten their hearts so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.”
Lay Jewish groups this week called the change insufficient.
Rabbi Joel H. Meyers, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Conservative rabbis’ group, said leaders from the Reform and Reconstructionist movements had also been in touch with him about issuing a joint statement on the papal revision.
“We have been very much involved in interfaith activities and dialogue for years, and relationships with the Catholic Church are really quite good,” the rabbi said. “I think it really turns back the clock a bit and reverts to some sense that the church is pulling back from the positions it took in Vatican II.”
Most Catholics worship in the vernacular
At a meeting in Washington from Sunday to Thursday, the Rabbinical Assembly will vote on a draft resolution, which, while subject to revision, says the group is “dismayed and deeply disturbed to learn that Pope Benedict XVI has revised the 1962 text of the Latin Mass, retaining the rubric, ‘For the Conversion of The Jews.’ ”
The Rev. James Massa, executive director of the secretariat of ecumenical and interreligious affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Friday that the prayer would be heard by “a tiny minority of Catholics and they will hear it in Latin.”
“The publication of the prayer and its interpretation by some of our partners in the Jewish community does lower the temperature a bit,” Father Massa said, “but we have persevered other controversies in the past and at the end of the day we are all at the table of dialogue.”
2008: It was reported today that the selection of Israel as guest of honor at this spring’s International Book Fair in Turin has set off a furious debate among Italian, Israeli and Arab authors and intellectuals, including calls to boycott the event, Italy’s largest annual gathering of the publishing world provides portrait of the double standard to which Israel and Israelis are subjected.
2009(15th of Shevat, 5769): Tu B’Shevat
2009: At NYU, the Taub Center for Israel Studies cosponsored a briefing and Q&A session with Ambassador Asaf Shariv, Consul General of Israel.
2010: The 14th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “Pillar of Salt,” a film “based on the autobiographical novel by sociologist Albert Memmi” which “captures the cultural richness and social complexity of a Jewish boy's life in Tunisia.”
2010: The 92nd Street Y in New York is scheduled to present “Those Who Trespass Against Us: A Dialogue on Murderous Neighbors” a program featuring Philip Gourevitch author of We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, and Jan Gross the author of Neighbors, an extraordinary account of the day in 1941 when the Jews of Jedwabne, Poland, were brutally killed by their fellow townspeople, discuss this question and its dreadful consequences.
2010: In Washington, D.C., Maina Chawla Singh is scheduled to present "Being Indian, Being Israeli: Migration, Ethnicity and Gender in the Jewish Homeland."
2010: Joel Chasnoff’s memoir The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A skinny Jewish Kid From Chicago Fights Hezbollah is scheduled for release today by its publisher Free Press.
2010: Well-known Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel relayed his efforts to speak out against both the Iranian regime and the Goldstone Commission's report today. The prolific author has put together a petition denouncing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed by some 50 other Nobel Prize winners, which will run as a full page advertisement in newspapers such as the New York Times.
2010(25th of Shevat,5770): Ninety-three year old Dr. Albert M. Kligman, a dermatologist who invented the widely used acne medication Retin-A but whose experiments involving prisoners raised ethical questions that dogged his career, died today in Philadelphia (As reported by Denise Gellene)
2010: A memorial service for 86 year Samuel Hirsch, “a life-long labor and civil rights activist who served in the U.S. Army will be held today NYU’s Tamiment Library.
2011: “The Socalled Move,” a film that “charts the personal quest of an obsessive personality as he excavates, then deconstructs his Jewish musical heritage to create an illuminating union of cultures” is scheduled to be screened at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.
2011: The Eleventh Annual Herzliya Conference is scheduled to come to an end.
2011: Tony Kushner. The Professor of Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the Parkes Institute and History Department, University of Southampton whose research interests includes British Jewish history, immigration issues and responses to the Jews, is scheduled to be one of those delivering a lecture entitled Refugees in the Media: Then and Now at the Wiener Library in London.
2011: NewCAJE is scheduled to present a webinar by Rabbi Anne Brener entitled "Reflections on Life, Death and Debbie Friedman."
2011: Kadima launched a new campaign today highlighting the faults of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and calling for early elections.
2011(5th of Adar I, 5771): Eva Lassman, a Holocaust survivor who became prominent in the Spokane, Wash., area for her frequent appearances at schools and events where she spoke against hatred and bigotry, passed away today at the age of 91. Lassman and her family arrived in Spokane in 1949, but she began speaking publicly only after attending the inaugural gathering of Holocaust survivors in Washington, D.C., in 1983. In the following years she appeared repeatedly at Spokane-area community events, met frequently with schoolchildren, helped organize a major exhibit about Anne Frank at Gonzaga University, and appeared at a human rights rally to counter a hate march by white supremacists in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Her awards included a presidential commendation from Whitworth University, an honorary law doctorate from Gonzaga and the Carl Maxey Racial Justice Award from the area’s YWCA. In 2009 she became the first recipient of an award named for her, the Eva Lassman Award, from Gonzaga’s Institute for Hate Studies, to recognize individual achievement in combating hatred. George Critchlow, an associate law professor at Gonzaga and a founder of that institute, said Lassman “was so committed to educating about the Holocaust.”Lassman was born in Lodz, Poland, and fled to Warsaw following the Nazi invasion. After the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, she was sent to Majdanek death camp, where she did forced labor. “They took everything from us. I could not take my ring off of my swollen finger. They cut it off with pliers," she told students in 2001. "The air smelled of burning flesh. It was a scene that no human being should ever have to witness.” She met her husband, Walter “Wolf” Lassman, at a refugee camp after the war. They had two children in Europe and went to Spokane in 1949 under the sponsorship of the Spokane Jewish community. Her husband, a tailor, ran a clothing shop there until he died in 1976. The Spokane newspaper editorialized about Lassman after her death: “She labored to make sure this and future generations never underestimate the consequences of hate. She made hundreds of presentations, mostly to children, and her powerful message made the Holocaust chillingly real for thousands." The editorial added that "the Inland Northwest, tainted as it has been by Hitler worshipers, is a better, more ethical region as a result of her efforts.” (As reported by the Eulogizer)
2011: “Poles 'plundered mass graves and turned Jews over to the Nazis'”, published in today’s Daily Mail described material in Golden Harvest by Jan Gross and Irena Grudzinska in which the authors “claim some Poles actively profited from the persecution of the Jews – and would turn them in to the occupying forces for a reward.”
2012: Marc Caplan is scheduled to deliver the Podbrodz Memorial Lecture sponsored by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research entitled Belarus in Berlin/Berlin in Belarus: Moyshe Kulbak’s Raysn and Meshiekh ben-Efrayim
2012: At the JCC of Northern Virginia,The ReelAbilities Film Festival part of a week-long festival dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with various disabilities is scheduled to come to a close.
2012: Significant steps forward were taken today in talks between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Federation to end Israel’s general strike
2012: The State Comptroller’s report on the December 2010 Carmel fire will place “special” responsibility with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Interior Minister Eli Yishai for failures that led to the disaster, and “general” responsibility with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, observers said today.
2012: It was announced today that Josh Lewin would be joining the New York Mets Radio Network sharing the play-by-play with Howe Rose thus giving the New York an all Jewish duo in the booth.
2013: The Ensemble Millennium is scheduled to perform “The Russians” a concert featuring the works of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky at the Eden-Tamir Music Center in Jerusalem.
2013: In Frederick, MD, Beth Sholom Congregation is scheduled to host its Second Annual Casino Night.
2013: As a near record blizzard batters the Northeastern United States, “at least two synagogues in Providence, RI, called off Shabbat services. “Due to the impending blizzard all worship services have been canceled Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said a recorded message at Providence’s Temple Beth-El yesterday afternoon. Newport, RI’s Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the country, will reportedly not hold services this Shabbat for the first time in years. Nearly 99% of Aquidneck Island, where Newport is located, lost power, according to the Providence Journal. (As reported by JTA and AP)
2014: “The Mexican Suitcase,” an exhibition of the photographs of CHIM (David Seymour) is scheduled to come to a close at Museo San Ildefonson in Mexico City.
2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host David Weinstone and The Music for Aardvarks Band
2014: Rabbi Cahim Seidler is scheduled to present “Exile: The Secret of Jewish Survival” at Temple Emanu-El’s Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.
2014: “The Dybbuk” made in Poland in 1937 with a “screenplay by Yiddish novelist Alter Kacyzne, and cantorials by Gershon Sirota is scheduled to be shown at the Westside Neighborhood School in L.A.
2014: This morning the Israeli Air Force targeted a terrorist in the Gaza Strip who was involved in multiple attacks against Israel, critically wounding him. The targeted terrorist was identified as Abdallah Kharti, a Popular Resistance Committee operative affiliated with global jihad. (As reported by Yoav Limor, Shlomi Diaz, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff)
2014: “The Decent One” an Israeli documentary about Heinrich Himmler premiered today at the Berlin International Film Festival.
2014: The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities said today it will boycott all government events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary unless the government cancels some of the planned memorials.
2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sex After: Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes by Iris Krasnow, Last Train to Paris by Michele Zackheim and Alena by Rachel Pastan as well as an interview with Rachel Kushner
2015: Ronnie Perelis is delivered a lecture “The New World Adventures of Luis de Carvajal- Mexican Crypto- Jew and and Mystical Searcher” at the Jewish Museum of Florida.
2015: “GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Manhattan.
2015: Banking giant HSBC faced damaging claims today that its Swiss division helped wealthy customers, including “6,200 Israelis with holdings totaling some $10 billion, dodge millions of dollars in taxes after a “SwissLeaks” cache of secret files emerged online.
2015(20th of Shevat, 5775): Ninety-eight year old Milton “Ed” Sabol who changed the face of football when he found NFL Films passed away today.
2015(20th of Shevat, 5775): Eighty-two year David Levy “composer of Mourning Becomes Electra” passed away today.
2015: Jon Stewart announced that he was leaving “The Daily Show.”
2016: As part of the “The Real Housewives of the Bible” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Hagar.”
2016: In London, the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled a lecture by Professor Dan Stone on “Race Theory, Anthropology and the Jewish Connection.”
2016: As the U.S. Presidential primary season begins, the approximately 10,000 Jews join their fellow one million plus fellow Granite Staters in the first primary election of 2016.
2016(30th of Shevat, 5776): Calendar Coincidence – Mardi Gras and Rosh Chodesh Adar I;
2017: Dr. Steve Feller is scheduled to lead a Thursday Forum on “The Conflicted Jewish World of Chaim Potok” featuring a discussion of My Name is Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev.
2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host an after-dinner talk by Teaching Fellow Maureen Kendler on “Satan: Friend or foe?”
2017: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host a Valentine’s Day Program – “Bubby: Kosher Love Advice in Unkosher Times” - a fashion photo series that features real bubbies imparting love and life advice.