809: Harun al-Rashid (Aaron the Upright, Aaron the Just), fifth caliph of the Abbasid Empire who had issued a decree that Jews wear a yellow belt in 807, passed away.
1244(18th of Nisan): Rabbi Meir Abulafya Ha-Levi (Ramah) an opponent of Maimonides and author of Yad Ramah passed away today.
1267: The government of Barcelona gave the Jews permission to repair their synagogue.
1488(13th of Nisan): Rabbi Obadiah Bertinoro, author of a popular Mishnah commentary arrived in Jerusalem
1564: The Pope authorized the printing of the Talmud in Mantua on condition that the word Talmud would be omitted from the text. From the opening years of the sixteenth century, Mantua was a leading center of Jewish printing. A husband and wife duo, Abraham and Estellina Conat shared equally in printing and promoting Jewish texts. By the seventeenth century, the situation of the Jews of Mantua had worsened as they, like Italian Jews in many other cities, were forced to live behind Ghetto Walls.
1564: The index of Pius IV. of Trent, which appeared today permitted the Jews to use Hebrew and even Talmudic books, provided they were printed without the word "Talmud," and were purged from vituperations against the Christian religion. The expurgation of Hebrew books, thus expressly declared admissible, was henceforth regularly undertaken before printing, either by the Jews themselves or by Christian correctors; and this accounts for the more or less mutilated state of reprints since the middle of the sixteenth century.
1575(3rd of Nisan, 5335): Joseph Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch, passed away today at Safed.
1603: Queen Elizabeth I passed away at the age of 69, having ruled since 1558. Although Elizabethan England was supposedly Jew-free, there were several small Marrano communities in the British Isles. In 1588, Dr. Hector Nunes, one of these secret Jews provided the English leaders with the invaluable intelligence that the Spanish Armada had reached Lisbon which was its first stop as it headed north to attack England. On the other hand, Dr. Roerigo Lopez was Elizabeth’s physician in 1586 and he ended being accused of being part of a plot to kill the Queen. While the evidence was flimsy, it was thought better to execute him given the many threats against her life. The fate of Lopez gave rise to Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta. This in turn inspired Marlowe’s competitor, William Shakespeare to write The Merchant of Venice.
1630(11th of Nisan, 5390): Isaiah Horowitz, Shelah ha-Kadosh (the holy Shelah) passed away in Tiberias
1648(27th of Adar, 5408): Leon of Modena passed away. Leon of Modena was a Jewish scholar, born in Venice in 1571, of a notable French family which had migrated to Italy after the expulsion of the Jews from France. He was a precocious child, but, as Graetz points out, his lack of stable character prevented his gifts from maturing. "He pursued all sorts of occupations to support himself, viz. those of preacher, teacher of Jews and Christians, reader of prayers, interpreter, writer, proof-reader, bookseller, broker, merchant, rabbi, musician, matchmaker and manufacturer of amulets." Though he failed to rise to real distinction he earned a place by his criticism of the Talmud among those who prepared the way for the new learning in Judaism. One of Leon's most effective works was his attack on the Kabbala, Ari Nohem, first published in 1840, for in it he demonstrated that the "Bible of the Kabbalists", the Zohar, was a modern composition by Moses de Leon. He became best known, however, as the interpreter of Judaism to the Christian world. At the instance of an English nobleman he prepared an account of the religious customs of the Synagogue, Riti Ebraici (1637). This book was widely read by Christians; it was rendered into various languages, and in 1650 was translated into English by Edward Chilmead. At the time the Jewish question was coming to the fore in London, and Leon of Modena's book did much to stimulate popular interest. He died at Venice.
1656: After the outbreak of war between England and Spain, Jews living in England petitioned Cromwell to stay insisting that they were not Spaniards but rather Marranos. Although Cromwell chose not to officially reply to today’s request, he permitted the community to establish a Jewish Cemetery, and for protection during prayers. His unwritten agreement was conditioned on there being no public Jewish worship. This is considered by many to mark the official end of the expulsion of the Jews from England.
1664: Roger Williams was granted a charter to colonize Rhode Island. Unlike Massachusetts, Rhode Island was not governed as a theocracy. Rhode Island helped create the atmosphere of toleration that would become the American model thus making the United States a unique place for Jews to live.
1733: Birthdate of British theologian Joseph Priestly who 1786 published “Letter to the Jews” in which he urged them to convert that elicited a length answer from David Levin which led to the publication of his three volume Dissertation on the Prophecies of the Old Testament.
1743(28th of Adar): Rabbi Raphael Immanuel Ricchi author of Mishnat Hasidim passed away
1794: Start of the Kościuszko Uprising. Tadeusz Kościuszko, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, announced the general uprising against the Russian occupiers and assumed the powers of the Commander in Chief of all of the Polish forces. Jews, in a Jewish regiment led by Berek Joselewicz, took part in the failed uprising which led to the third and final partition of Poland in 1795.
1795: Birthdate of Zvi (Zwi) Hirsch Kalischer “an Orthodox rabbi and one of Zionism's early pioneers in Germany.”
1801: Alexander I became Czar of the Russian Empire. He ruled until his death in 1825. His treated his Jewish subjects poorly at the beginning and at the end of his reign. In the middle years which were marked by the wars with Napoleon, Alexander was impressed by the loyalty of his Jewish subjects in the fight against the French. He received unexpected help from the head of the Chabad Chassidim. Like other Christian leaders, Alexander sought to convert the Jews which was the source of any beneficence he might have shown them. When “killing them with kindness” failed, he went back to killing them with starvation, misery and impoverishment.
1807(14th of Adar II, 5567): Purim
1813: In Argentina, the inquisition was officially abolished. Two months later the Assembly passes regulations allowing freedom of practicing religion if it is observed in ones home
1818: American statesman Henry Clay wrote: 'All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are compatible with liberty.' No, Henry Clay was not Jewish. But his statement on the relationship between government and organized religion provides a clue as to why Jews have flourished in America and how wrong some modern politicians are in their statements about separation of church and state.
1820: Birthdate of Elizabeth Rachel Felix, who gained fame as Mademoiselle Rachel, the great French Tragedienne
1820: First public performance of Marche Funebre et De Profundis en Hebreu, a funeral march composed by Jacques Fromenthal Halevy that had been commissioned by the Consistoire Israélite du Départment de la Seine, for a public service in memory of the Duke de Berry, in the Jewish community's temple. This liturgical composition which helped launch Halevy’s career was meant to be performed by a vocal trio and orchestra. On its engraved title page, Halevy was described as a member of the Royal Institute of Music and a recipient of the patronage of the King of France at the Academy of Rome. One of France's greatest composers, Jacques Fromenthal Halevy (1799-1862), was also the son of a cantor. His father, Elie Halfon Halevy was the secretary of the Jewish community of Paris and a Hebrew teacher and writer as well. Musically gifted, Jacques was accepted as a student by the Paris Conservatory at age ten and subsequently became a member of its faculty, rising to the rank of professor in 1833. His lasting fame was assured by his grand opera La Juive which premiered in 1835.
1822: Birthdate of Solomon Cohn, the native of Zülz, Prussian Silesia who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Meshuallam Solomon Cohn of Furth and served as a rabbi of several congregations in Germany.
1841: “Another important step for emancipation was the law adopted today, for Galicia, which promised certain improvements for the Jews of that province who should dress in European costume and acquire a knowledge of either German or Polish”
1843: Birthdate of Siegmund Salfeld, the 1870 graduate of the University of Berlin who in 1880 began serving as a rabbi in Mainz where he passed away in 1926 at the age of 83.
1847: In London, Rabbi D.A. De Sola delivered a sermon at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Bevis Marks, on the subject of the Irish Potato Famine which began with the following statement, “"For devastation has gone forth through the land, Death stalks around, with disease in its train...."
1853: In Jerusalem, English missionaries ended up fighting instead of praying on Good Friday. First, they “were turned out of the Church of the Holy Seplucher because they behaved in an unseemly manner when the Procession of the Host” passed by. Then “a missionary named Crawford preached a sermon outside the Synagogue while the service was going on…and indulged in invectives against the Talmud. One of the Children of Israel incensed this, hurled a dead cat” in his face. A fight then broke out between the Protestant missionaries and the Jews during which “it rained mud and rocks.”
1859: In Savannah, GA, Johanna Peyser became Johanna Wessolowsky when she married Charles Wessolowsky
1860: In New York, the Supreme Court granted an “order of the payment of surplus in the case of Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society vs. Fitzpatrick.
1860: An editorial published today that reviewed the current debate over the death penalty stated that the legislature should refrain from discussing “What the law of Moses says on the subject, or how far that law is binding on modern communities; questions which they are not competent to decide” and should stick to the question at hand – should life imprisonment replace hanging as a punishment for murder.
1862: Judah P. Benjamin completed his service as Secretary of War for the CSA.
1862: The Purim Association of the City of New York was organized for the purpose of arranging annual Purim balls. Meyer S. Isaacs, prominent New York Lawyer, civic leader and Jewish activist, was one of the founders of the Purim Association which lasted until 1906.
1872(14th of Adar II, 5632): Purim
1872: Hyman Israel, one of the wealthiest members of Beth Israel Bikur Cholim in New York City hosted a Purim Open house at his home on 25th Street. The party included a large number of masked young men and women including the host’s daughter, Miss Annie Israel.
1873: Following a speech by Benjamin Disraeli, the government of Prime Minister Gladstone was defeated on the issue of the Irish University Bill. Disraeli, who was seen as a “Jew” and Gladstone alternated as leaders of British governments during the middle decades of the 19th century.
1874: Birthdate of Harry Houdini. Born Eric Weiss, Houdini's father was a rabbi. Houdini showed promise as a contortionist and acrobat at an early age. He later took the name of Harry Houdini and gained fame as an escape artist. He died a tragic death on November 1, 1926. Many magicians, escape artists and people with similar interests gather to commemorate his passing each Halloween, October 31.
1878: Proving that Jews can be found all over the world , it was reported today that Parva, a Brazilian city deep in the heart of the Amazon on the Equator has a population of 35,000 that “includes a few Jews.
1878: The Young Men’s Hebrew Union hosted an evening of culture at the Norfolk Street Synagogue this evening that included a lecture by A. Oakly Hall on “The Great Pertersham Will Case” followed by a musical program that included a violin solo David Bimberg.
1878: Birthdate of Moissaye Joseph Olgin “a Russian-born writer, journalist, and translator” who was active in the first three decades 20th century
1886(8th of Nisan, 5626): Parashat Tzav; Shabbat HaGadol
1887: President Grover Cleveland appointed Oscar Solomon Strauss ambassador to Turkey. Strauss was the first American Jew to serve as an ambassador. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt would appoint Strauss Secretary of Commerce and Labor, making him the first American Jew to hold a cabinet post in the government of the United States. The year 1887 was a busy one for the Strauss family. That was the year that Oscar's brothers, Nathan and Isidor bought Macy’s Department Store.
1889: Meier Selig Goldschmidt Selma Cramer the daughter of Salomon Cramer and Therese (Röschen) Oppenheimer today.
1889: Twenty-three year old Frankfurt, Germany native Meir Selig Goldschmidt married Selma Cramer, the daughter of Salomon Cramer and Therese (Röschen) Oppenheimer.”
1891(14th of Adar II, 5651): Purim
1892(25th of Adar, 5652): Fifty-four year old Moses Mehrbach, a native of Bavaria and the husband of Carolyn Meyer passed away today in New York
1894: The Don Quixote Club will give a benefit performance tonight at the Manhattan Athletic Club Theatre to raise funds for the United Hebrew Charities.
1894: “Rights of Foreign Jews in Russia” published today described an order issued by the Russian Minister of the Interior to the police that they are not to interfere with activities of foreign Jews who have “proper passports” in their possession. The order was issued in response to pressure from various governments whose Jewish citizens have complaint about ill-treatment and expulsion by the Czarist government.
1894: The New York Times stated erroneously that on Friday, March 23, “with the setting of the sun the Hebrew Feast of the Passover began.” (The first Seder would not come until the evening of April 20, with the first day of the holiday falling on April 21.)
1895(28th of Adar, 5655): Babet Karl, the aunt of wealthy real estate lawyer Abraham Stern passed away today in New York.
1895: Professor Felix Adler delivered a lecture this morning at the Carnegie Music Hall entitled “The New View of Childhood and Its Effects on Education.”
1895: Birthdate of Arthur Murray. Born Murray Teichman, he would become America’s Dance Teacher with his chain of Dance Studios and the television show, Arthur Murray's Dance Party.
1897: It was reported today that during the month of February the United Hebrew Charities had received 3,306 applications for assistance on behalf of 11,020 people. Jobs were found for 611 people and 466 people were seen by either doctors or nurses. The charity raised $19,253.40 during February and spent $11,736.53.
1897: Birthdate of Wilhelm Reich. He was a Jewish-Austrian psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author, who was trained in Vienna by Sigmund Freud. He passed away in 1957.
1897: “Theatrical Notes” published today described Oscar Hammerstein’s decision revamp his production of “Greater New York.”
1898: Hertig and Seamon have donated the use of the Harlem Music Hall to the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for tonight’s charity event that will benefit the Society and the Montefiore Home.
1899: It was reported today that Rabbi Joseph Silverman attributes “the long life and freedom from epidemics enjoyed” by the Jews “to their Mosaic laws. “To the Jew his religion is a philosophy of life” and the Jew “is the only real cosmopolitan” who “can live in any country and enjoy health in every climate.”
1899: The Jewish Messenger reported that Congregation Orach Chaim opened its new sanctuary. "An ornament to Manhattan in general and to the inhabitants of E. 51st in particular, is the handsome new edifice of this synagogue. The only thing that mars the beauty of the structure is the $15,000 mortgage. It would be, indeed, permissible even for the most ultra-orthodox to learn from Roman Catholic neighbors not to dedicate a place of worship in the presence of a mortgage."
1900(23rd of Adar II, 5660): Sixty-eight year old “Austrian scholar and author Solomon Joachim Chayim Halberstam, the son of Isaac Halbestram, passed away today.
1902(15th of Adar II, 5662): Shushan Purim
1902(15th of Adar II, 5662): Poet and author Salomon Mandelkern who was born at Mlynov, Volhynian Governorate in 1846 passed away today in Vienna. Mandelkern, whose son Israel lived in New York, had translated the works of several American writers including Henry W. Longfellow into English.
1903: Birthdate of “Polish novelist and educator Igor Newerly” who was imprisoned by the Nazis for his efforts to rescue Jews – efforts which earned him commendation from Yad Vashem.
1909(2nd of Nisan, 5669): Fifty-five year old German architect Alfred Messel whose most famous work was the Wertheim Department store on Leipziger Platz and who became a Protestant in 1899 passed away today.
1910: Birthdate of Gyula Ortutay, the anti-fascist political leader who while serving as the country’s Minister of Religion and Education in 1947 “visited Jewish grammar schools and in a brief address to the students, expressed sympathy and understanding for the sufferings of the Jews under previous pro-Nazi regimes, but pleaded for “forgiveness and cooperation in the reconstruction of Hungary.”
1911: Birthdate of Tyler Kent, the anti-Semitic son of an American diplomat who used his position as cypher clerk to steal and share secret documents the anti-Semitic Right Club, that if exposed would have helped destroy efforts by FDR and Churchill to fight the Nazis before America entered WW II.
1911: Reports reached the West of the massacre and looting of Moroccan Jews.
1912: Birthdate of Isaac Edward Lending, the son of Bronx owner of a textile trimmings business who reversed the order of his name to Edward Issac Lending – the name he used as a journalist and a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
1915: In Lynn, MA, Ann and Israel Sack gave birth to Albert Milton Sack the “prominent New York antiques dealer and the author of a guidebook to early American furniture that became the bible for a generation of weekend antiquers and a standard for professional collectors.”
1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee were the Calgary, Alberta, Jewish Relief Committee, Congregation House of Israel, Hot Springs, AR; the Sunday School of the Hebrew Bible Class Association, Newport News, VA and the Ladies Temple Sisterhood of B’nai Jeshurun, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1915: An eyewitness account of the Austrian surrender of Przemsyl to the Russians sent from Petrograd to London today described the destruction of fortification but reported that except for the outskirts, “town itself” most of whose occupants were Jews who had stayed during the fight was “intact.” (Editor’s note – The Jews stayed because they had not place to go and they were subject to anti-Semitic outburst by those on both sides of the fight.)
1915: The Jews are among the many groups fleeing Constantinople today based on a fear of Russian invasion of the Ottoman capital.
1916: Final arrangements were completed today “for the bazaar for the benefit of the Jewish war sufferers of Europe” which opens tomorrow in the Grand Central Palace” and “is one of the largest undertakings yet attempted by the Jews of New York to raise funds for the relief of their suffering co-religionists in Europe.
1916: In New York, “The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War” received word today that a successful meeting had been held last night at B’nai Emuno Synagogue in St. Louis where “many wept when Rabbi Masliansky and Rabbi Abranowitz described “the sufferings of the Jews in the war zones.”
1917: Based on reports that the political and religious emancipation of the Jews are about to be removed along with “the passport restrictions which have rendered it impossible for American Jews to travel in Russia” the U.S. “State Department has already received a number of applications from American Jews” wishing to go to Russia.
1917: In an interview given today, Dr. Israel Friedlaender, the Professor of Biblical Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary predicted that as a result of the Russian Revolution there would be a “great diminution in the volume of Jewish emigration from Russia to the United States and the return of many thousands of recent emigrants” to Russia “which now offers them the liberty in search of which they had fled” to the United States and “Russian-American Jews” would “play a great part in the industrial upbuilding of their native land.”
1917: According to a letter from Oscar S. Straus published today, “Now that the magnificent uprising of democracy in Russia appears to have opened a new and glorious future for that country with equal rights for the oppressed nationalities, Jewish sentiment in America in favor of the Allied cause may be safely counted upon to become unanimous.”
1917: Birthdate of Brooklynite Alex Steinweiss, the son of women’s shoe designer and a seamstress, who as “an art director and graphic designer…brought custom artwork to record album covers and invented the first packaging for long-playing records.” (As reported by Steven Heller)
1918: At the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall, Dr. Wise is scheduled to speak on “Vies and uses, Right and Wrong, of Friendship and Love.”
1918: Congressman Julius Kahn is scheduled to address the Institutional Synagogue meeting at Mt. Morris Theatre on “American In and After the War.”
1918: In Chicago, Ida and Abe "Melech" Levin give birth to Joseph B. Levin.
1918: At Temple Beth-El is scheduled to speak on War and Democracy at 11 o’clock this moring.
1919: Birthdate of Robert Heilbroner. He was an American economist. The author of some twenty books, Heilbroner was best known for The Worldly Philosophers published in 1953, a survey of the lives and contributions of famous economists, notably Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. He passed away in 2005.
1919: Alvey A. Adee, the Second Assistant Secretary wrote to Dr. Pierre Siegelstein, the President of the Rumanian Hebrew Aid Society that the State Department had “received a message…from the Union of Native Jews of Rumania” in Bucharest asking that Rumanian Jews in America do everything in their power to “send money, food, underwear, clothing and shoes” because “misery is very great with all.
1920: Birthdate of Cracow native Mieczyslaw Pemper, the concentration camp inmate who actually compiled what came to be known as “Schindler’s List.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1921: The Chief Rabbinate of Palestine was established under the British Mandate. The first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Palestine was the scholar and sage, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was one of the leading intellectual and religious leaders during the Yishuv period.
1921: Winston Churchill’s train arrives in Gaza, the first large town he would visit on his trip to Palestine.
1922: In an attempt to calm Arab fears over Jewish immigration to Palestine, Churchill “approved a proposal from Sir Herbert Samuel that Jewish immigration would be limited by the ‘economic capacity’ of Palestine to absorb newcomers.” Of course, Churchill saw that Palestine would have a growing economic capacity given the improvements brought about the Jewish settlers.
1924: Birthdate of Norman Noah Feld, the native of Philadelphia and WW II veteran who gained fame as actor Norman Fell whose most lasting role came as Mr. Roper in the television hit “3’s Company.”
1924: Birthdate of Michael Hamburger the native of Berlin whose family settled in the United Kingdom in 1933 where he attended Oxford, served in the British Army during WW II after he which he pursued an academic career which was noted for his translation of the works of several authors from German into English.
1926: “The New York Board of Jewish Ministers” under the leadership of Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach met at Temple Emanu-El today and “endorsed the appeal to raise $50,000 for the New York Public Library” where “a collection of rare material depicting the history of Jews in Oriental countries” is about to go on display.
1927: “Out of the Mist” a silent film produced by Karl Freund and featuring Vladimir Sokoloff as “Poleto” was released today in Germany.
1927: The “campaign workers for the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities” met at the Unity Club on Bedford Avenue where “Supreme Court Justice Mitchell May, President of the Federation” said “that a recent influx of Jews into Brooklyn had increased the demands on the Federation” and it as announced that so far $125,000 had been raised in the drive to raise $2,500,000.
1933: “The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) an amendment to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet – in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler – the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichsta passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat today and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day.
1934: “Once to Every Woman” a movie version of short story by the same name with a script co-authored by Jo Swerling was released in the United States today.
1936(1st of Nisan, 5696): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1936: Polish Charge d’Affaires Wladyslaw wrote a letter to Dr. Cyrus Adler explaining that his country’s newly adopted Slaughter Reform Bill, which put an end to kosher slaughtering was really just a way to “adjust the abnormal conditions existing in the Polish cattle meat industry” which are caused by the differences in the way Christians and Jews consumer meat.
1936: Mrs. Leo Sulzberger is scheduled to president over today’s open meeting of the New York section of the National Council of Jewish Women is being held in the synagogue at Welfare Island.
1936: The House of Commons discussed a proposal for setting up a Legislative Council in Palestine that would give the Arabs control over the future of Jewish immigration into Palestine i.e. the end of such immigration and the Zionist dream. Churchill delivered a stirring speech against the proposal.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that in London the Secretary for the Colonies, Mr. Ormsby-Gore, was asked in the House of Commons what steps had been taken to prevent any future Arab disturbances and why Palestinian Jews were not allowed the same right of self-defense as enjoyed by the British people.
1937: “The work of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem may help to bring about a better understanding between the two racial groups of the Palestine Population, Professor Hugo Bergman,” the chair of the modern philosophy department and rector of the university “declared” tonight “at a dinner given in his honor by the American friends of the Hebrew University at the Waldorf-Astoria” in NYC.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that The High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, visited the Jezreel Valley and discussed matters of security at Merhavia and Balfouria. An announcement was later made that over 700 supernumerary constables would be re-enlisted for service in the north of the country.
1939: “Wuthering Heights” the movie version of the novel by the same name directed by William Wyler, produced by William Wyler, with a script co-authored by Ben Hecht and music by Alfred Newman premiered in Hollywood tonight.
1940: An hour long production of “June Moon” co-authored by George S. Kaufman co-starring Jack Benny and Benny Rubin was presented today.
1941: After receiving a transit visa from the United States, poet Anna Seghers, her husband, László Radványi and their children left France where they could no longer stay because of the Nazi occupation for America today.
1941: In Chicago, Ester Huff and William Masser gave birth to Michael William Masser, the Chicago born stockbroker turned popular music composer.
1942(6th of Nisan, 5702): Agronomist and journalist Joel Shubin, who was “an alleged Communist International representative to the American Communist Party” and the Soviet Deputy Minister of Agriculture” passed away today either from “lung disease” or as the victim of a political liquidation.
1944(28th of Adar, 5704): In Markowa, a patrol of German police came to the house of Wiktoria and Józef Ulm, where they found 8 Jews, members of the Szall and Goldman families. First the Germans executed all the Jews. Then they shot down pregnant Wiktoria and her husband. When the 6 children began to scream at the scene of dead bodies of their parents, Jozef Kokott, a German policeman (killed them. Markowa was a Polish village near Lancut. During World War II many families hid their Jewish neighbors to help them survive the Holocaust. It is estimated that at least 17 Jews survived the war in Markowa. Seven members of Weltz family were hidden in a barn of Dorota and Antoni Szylar. Jakub Einhorn was hidden by Jan and Weronika Przybylak and the Jakub Lorbenfeld family was hidden by Michal Bar. Two girls from Reisenbach family were initially hidden by Stanislaw Kielar, before joining the rest of 5 members’ of the family in the house of Julia and Józef Bar. Righteous Gentiles came in all shapes and sizes. Some were industrialists called Oksar and others were simple peasants who showed real courage.
1944: An unidentified Turkish Jew who was an eyewitness to the event, reported to the United States government that on this date the Germans had deported all the registered Jews of Athens.
1944: Following the refusal of Elias Barzilai, the Chief Rabbi of Athens, to provide the Germans with a list of Jews, “the Germans lured Jews into Beth Shalom Synagogue” today with an offer of “free matzoth for Pesach.”
1944: Shlomo Venezia and his family were deported from Thessaloniki to Athens before being shipped to Auschwitz.
1944: In occupied Rome, the Nazis executed more than 300 civilians in the Ardeantine Caves Massacre.
1944: As the Nazis assert control over Hungary, President Roosevelt warns the Hungarians “to refrain from anti-Jewish measures.” (As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library)
1944: Two British constables were killed in Tel Aviv and three others were killed in Haifa when a bomb exploded at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Haifa. These and other attacks conducted tonight were believed to be the work of the Stern Gang and were condemned by The Tel Aviv Municipal Council and the Federation of Jewish Labor.
1945: A train carrying 200 Jewish women, exhausted from a death march from Neusalz, Poland, arrived at Bergen-Belsen, Germany.
1945: The Arabs held protest demonstrations at the same time that their leaders rejected a compromise that would have rotated the position of Mayor of Jerusalem among members of the Jewish, Arab and British communities. The Jews had agreed to the compromise even though 61 per cent of the city’s population was Jewish.
1947: Dr. Nahum Goldman is scheduled to leave Palestine today for London and New York so that he can begin planning for the upcoming meeting of the special sessions of the United Nations that has been called to deal with the problem of Palestine.
1948: Seventy-four year old Russian philosopher and author Nikolai Berdyaev whose The Meaning of History “credits the Jews with being the first people to contribute the concept of ‘historical’ to world history thereby discharging ‘the essence of their specific mission’” and further contended that Jews did not merely grasp “the significance of the past and present” but “were also the first people to link these up with the future” as can be seen in The Book of Daniel which “is one of the first well-defined expressions of the true philosophy of history.
1950(6th of Nisan, 5710): Harold Joseph Laski an “English political theorist, economist, author, and lecturer, who served as the chairman of the Labour Party during 1945-1946” passed away.
1950(6th of Nisan, 5710):Thirty-four year old Brooklyn born NYU basketball star Simon Boardman who was appointed “director of physical education at the Atlantic City Technical High School after his service in WW II passed away today, leaving his wife Harriet and his mother Rose to mourn his passing.
1950: An Israeli government official “said today that Jordan suddenly broke off negotiations on a five-year non-aggression pact” between the two countries which was close to completion. “Earlier today, a high diplomatic source in Beirut reported the break in negotiations had been forced by the resignation last week of Jordan’s Premier Tewfik Abul Huda.”
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the atmosphere at the opening of the Hague reparations talks between world Jewry and West Germany was "official, cool and tense." The German delegation claimed that their willingness to make reparations was restricted by Allied legislation.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Jerusalem a man who escaped from a mental home was shot and killed by an Arab Legion sentry near the Jaffa Gate. Infiltrators murdered Mordecai Harkabi, a watchman from Hadera.
1954: Birthdate of actress Donna Pescow, the Brooklyn native who played “Annette” in the disco classic “Saturday Night Fever.”
1955(1st of Nisan, 5715): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1955: “Man Without A Star” a movie version of a novel by the same name produced by Aaron Rosenberg and starring Kirk Douglas was released today in the United States.
1955(1st of Nisan, 5715): Eighty year old Martha Esther Cahn, the daughter of Rachel and Moses Isaac Binion and the wife of Edward Cahn passed away today.
1955(1st of Nisan, 5615): Terrorists threw hand grenades and opened fire on a crowd at a wedding in the farming community of Patish, in the Negev, killing a young woman and wounding 18 others.
1955: United States Customs officials seize copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" because it was obscene.
1956: In Brattleboro, VT, Kitty Prins Shmulin and “George J. Shumlin, a third generation American who was Jewish, and descended from Russian immigrants” gave birth to Peter Elliott Shumlin, the 81st Governor of Vermont.
1956: Birthdate of Steve Ballmer, Vice President of Microsoft.
1958: Seventy-eight year old Seumas O’Sullivan the husband of Irish artist Estella Francis Solomons the daughter of Maurice Solomons “an optician whose practice in 19 Nassau St., Dublin, is mentioned in Ulysses” and the brother-in-law of Bethel Solomons, a physicians who was a supporter of the 1916 Easter Rising.
1959(14th of Adar II, 5719) Purim
1961(7th of Nisan, 5721): Ninety year old Brooklyn born Columbia law school grad Mitchell May whose political career included serving as a member of the House of Representatives and serving 18 years as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court.
1964: “The Fall of the Roman Empire” produced by Samuel Bronston and with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin was released today in the United Kingdom.
1965: “The Sucker” a comedy directed by Gérard Oury was released in France today.
1965: Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir began serving as Deputy Minister of Health.
1965: Rabbi Saul Leeman of Cranston and Rabbi William G. Braude were among those marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
1968: This afternoon Suzie Burger, a 7 1/2-year-old artist, helped dedicate the new Henry Kaufmann Building at the 92d Street Young Men's-Young Women's Hebrew Association.
1969(5th of Nisan, 5729): Seventy-eight year old Neville Laski, the British jurist who was the brother of Harold Laski passed away today.
1969: Birthdate of Munir Amar, the Druze general and Head of the IDF Civil Adminsitration whose life was cut short at the age of 47 in a tragic plane crash.
1970: “King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery To Memphis” a documentary produced by Ely Landau and Richard J. Kaplan and co-starring Paul Newman was released today in the United States today.
1970: “It Takes A Thief” which had co-starred Malachi Thorne in its first two seasons completed its run in prime time television.
1971: ABC broadcast the final episode of “The Young Lawyers” a legal drama starring Lee J. Cobb and with music by Lalo Schifrin.
1972: An estimated 50,000 mourners accompanied Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager’s aron to its final resting place. He had been revered as Vizhnitzer Rebbe for 35 years.
1972: Nine days after premiering in New York City, “The Godfather” produced by Albert S. Ruddy and co-starring James Caan and featuring Abe Vigoda was released across the United States today.
1973(20th of Adar II, 5733): Seventy-four year old award winning Israeli novelist Haim Hazaz passed away. A native of the Ukraine, he made Aliyah in 1931. His only son, Nahum died during the War of Independence. Hazaz spent the last decade of his life in Talbiya.
1975: Eliyahu Moyal replaced Jabr Muadi as Deputy Minister of Communications.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that a Haifa Labor Court ordered the striking Haifa and Ashdod port workers to return to work, but they were still debating whether to respond to the court's orders.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that five hundred and eleven out of 566 members of the Herat's Central Committee voted for Menachem Begin to head the party's list for the forthcoming Knesset elections.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that leading Israeli scientists gathered at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot to protest against the latest wave of Soviet persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union.
1979(25th of Adar, 5739): Shabbat HaChodesh
1979(25th of Adar, 5739): Eighty year old Sir Jacob Edward Cohen, founder of the Tesco supermarket chain passed away.
1979(25th of Adar, 5739): Sixty-three year old British actress Yvonne Mitchell passed away today in London
1979(25th of Adar, 5739): One person was killed and 13 people were injured, most of them lightly, when an explosive charge blew up in a trash can in Zion Square in Jerusalem.
1981(18th of Adar II, 5741): Eighty-four year old Nathaniel Lawrence Goldstein who served as New York State Attorney General from 1943 to 1954 passed away. A Republican, he teamed with Thomas E. Dewey to break the Democratic hold on Albany.
1981: Today Saudi Arabia rejected a suggestion by the Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres that he would try to explore the possibility of peace with the Saudis if his Labor Party wins the Israeli general elections on June 30.The official Saudi press agency quoted Information Minister Mohammed Abdo Yamani as saying the nation ''rejects allegations in the enemy's press to implicate the kingdom in positions contrary to its present and future policies.'' Mr. Abdo Yamani said the remarks were meant for local consumption in Israel during the campaign. ''The peace we want is not that which Peres and Begin want,'' he said, referring to Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel. ''The peace we support is based on rights, justice, international law and the resolutions of the United Nations.''
1981: In “About Education; Nature vs. Nature: Psychologist Urges Active Intervention,” published today Dr. Reuven Feuerstein the clinical psychologist seving as director of the Youth Aliyah Research Insitute, professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University and adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University, explains his unique views on mental health including the concept of intelligence. “Heredity, shemeredity! You have to do something” is his answer to the endless argument over whether disadvantaged children do poorly in school because of inherited traits or because of their environment. The human organism is an open system, very plastic. It can be changed and modified. The question is whether educators have the will, the confidence to do something.”
1984(20th of Adar II, 5744): Ninety-three year old Sam Jaffe who performed with Cary Grant in Gunga Din, with Marilyn Monroe in Asphalt Jungle and Charlton Heston in Ben Hur (amongst other accomplishments) passed way.
1984(20th of Adar II, 5744): Seventy-one year old Judah Cahn, “the founding rabbi of the Metropolitan Synagogue of New York and past president of the New York Board of Rabbis” passed away today. (As reported by David Bird)
1986(13th of Adar II, 5746): Reb Moshe Feinstein, a leading expert on Halachah, passed away 21 days after celebrating his 91st birthday.
1987: In New Haven, CT, Dr. Ira and Karen Zeid gave birth to major league pitcher Joshua Alexander ("Josh") Zeid who played college ball at Tulane University where majored in English.
1989: A videotape version of the 1960 production of “Peter Pan” a musical by Mark "Moose" Charlap, with additional music by Jule Styne, and most of the lyrics written by Carolyn Leigh, with additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green was broadcast today.
1991: Rabbi Laurence Kotok officiated at the wedding of Nancy Anne Stein and David Mark Woolf at the North Country Reform Temple.
1991: Mr. and Mrs. Sam Witchel of Scarsdale N.Y. have announced the engagement of their daughter Alexandra Rachelle Witchel to Frank Hart Rich Jr.., a son of Mr. Rich and Mrs. Joel Fisher, both of Washington. A June wedding is planned. Ms. Witchel, 33 years old and known as Alex, is a reporter in the news department of The New York Times. She writes the "On Stage, and Off" column. Mr. Rich, 41, has been the chief drama critic of The Times since 1980.
1992: “Jakes Women” written by Neil Simon and directed by Gene Saks opened at the Neil Simon Theatre.
1993: Award winning author John Hersey passed away. While most of the world remembers the non-Jewish Hersey for his writings about Hiroshima, many Jews remember him for his epic novel, The Wall. It was one of the first and finest books to be written about events during the Holocaust. In this case, The Wall, portrayed the events leading up to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
1993: Ezer Weizman was elected President of Israel. The nephew of Chaim Weizman enjoyed a distinguished military career before entering politics. He flew for the RAF during World War II and was one of the founders of what would become the Israeli Air Force. He played an instrumental role in developing it into one of the finest military units of its kind in the world.
1994(12th of Nisan, 5754): Fast of the First Born observed since the 14th Nisan is on Shabbat
1996: In “The Jew Who Fought to Stay German” famed Israeli author Amos Elon uses the recent publication of Victor Klemperer’s "Diaries 1933-1945" to review this unique literary work and to examine the world in which this “disenfranchised German Jew” struggled to survive as he came to grips with the reality the “real” Germany despites his best efforts to deny that reality.
1998: Today Howard Epstein “was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for the New Democratic Party representing the provincial riding of Halifax Chebucto.”
2001: “Inherit The Wind” the controversial play co-authored by Jerome Lawrence is scheduled to have its final performance at the Sheffel Theatre of the Topeka (Kansas) Civic Theatre & Academy.
2002(11th of Nisan, 5762): Seventy-four year old Noble prize winner Cesar Milstein and husband of Celia Prilleltensky passed away today in Cambridge, England.
2002: The New York Times included a review of The Good, The Bad &The Difference: How to Tell Right from Wrong in Everyday Situations by Randy Cohn, a Jewish author born in Charleston, South Carolina.
2003(20th of Adar II, 5763): Eighty-eight year old Academy award winning screenwriter Philip Yordan passed away today in La Jolla, CA.
2004(2nd of Nisan, 5764): Eighty –three year old former Congressman Joshua Eilberg passed away today.
2005: Paula Abdul ” was fined US$900 and given 24 months of informal probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving in Los Angeles.”
2005: Broadcast of a re-union episode of Krovim Krovim an Israeli television sitcom.
2006: The Japanese Foreign Ministry “issued a position paper” today “that there was no evidence the Ministry imposed disciplinary action on Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who defied his government while serving in Lithuania by issuing thousands of transit visas to Jews enabling them to escape the Nazis.
2006: Lily Elstein holds the first concert at the former Mivtahim Inn in Zichron Yaakov which she purchased January of 2006.
2006: Hazel Josephine Cosgrove, Lady Cosgrove, completed her service as a Senator of the College of Justice.
2008: Time features an article entitled “Israel’s Secret War” which describes the “invisible battle being waged in the West Bank as Israel uses a mailed fist and a network of Palestinian informers to stop suicide bombers before they can reach their targets.” As one IDF officer said, “Our people sleep comfortably because the IDF is putting in a huge effort in the West Bank to prevent terror.”
2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “A Festival of Hebrew Literature,” with David Grossman, Etgar Keret, Meir Shalev and Zeruya Shalev.
2008: Edmund “Levy was elected by the Supreme Court justices to serve on the Judicial Selection Committee in place of the court's Vice-President Eliezer Rivlin.”
2009: The Princeton Program on Judaic Studies presents “A Celebration of Tel Aviv at 100” featuring talks by Todd Hasak-Lowy (University of Florida) on “Tel Aviv's Accelerated History,” and Alona Nitzan-Shiftan (Technion) on “Architecture from the Sand” and a ‘screening of the first two installments of the new Israeli documentary "Tel Aviv," with creators Modi Bar-On and Anat Zeltser.
2009: In an event co-sponsored by the Embassy of Israel, Israeli writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret, author of the short story collections “The Nimrod Flipout” and “The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories,” as well as creator of the award-winning film "Malka Red-Heart," discusses the relationship between the short story and film as part of the Nextbook series at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.
2009: An effort to auction off bankrupt Agriprocessors has been continued to next week after two days of bidding failed to yield an offer acceptable to the largest creditor.
2009: Senior Labor minister Isaac Herzog announced his support for party leader Ehud Barak's bid to bring the center-left Labor into a coalition headed by Prime Minister-Designate Benjamin Netanyahu.
2010: The Knesset's State Control Committee is scheduled to hold a special hearing today to discuss the cabinet's decision to delay proceeding on a rocket-resistant emergency room for Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon while a new location is sought to avoid tampering with old graves.
2010: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “From Black Market to Dinner Table: International Clandestine Aid and Its Hungarian Jewish Recipients in the 1950s” as part of its graduate seminar program.
2010: Israel will continue building in all of its Jerusalem municipality and a construction plan that raised questions during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's current trip to Washington is nothing new, Netanyahu's spokesman said in a statement today.
2010: The Washington Post featured a review of a memoir entitled "Devotion" by Dani Shapiro, a successful writer who’grew up with difficult parents: a father whose devotion to Judaism was the only sustaining force in a disappointing life, and a bitter, angry mother.’
2010(9th of Nisan, 5770): Ninety-three year old pharmaceutical executive and patron of the arts Mortimer D. Sackler passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2011: Prof Mandy Merck, Royal Holloway, University of London is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “Charlotte loves Harry – Ethnic stereotypes and Jewish jokes in Sex and the City” at the Wiener Library,in the UK.
2011: “The Book of Mormon” the musical that earned Josh Gad a Tony Award nomination as best leading actor in a musical opened at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.
2011: Ely Levine is scheduled to give a lecture at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa entitled "Building in the Bible:From Babel to Bathsheba." Levine, a visiting professor at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, "will discuss how the study of ancient architecture has shed light on biblical mysteries."
2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not leave for Russia today as planned due to the terrorist attack in Jerusalem yesterday.
2011: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and American Society for Jewish Music presented “The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire.”
2011: The British Foreign Office confirmed today that a UK national, Mary Jane Gardner, died in yesterday's terrorist attack at a Jerusalem bus stop, the Associated Press reported. The 59-year-old woman was critically injured in the blast and succumbed to her wounds the same day at Haddasah-Ein Kerem Medical Center. Thirty-nine others were injured in the attack; two are still in serious condition.
2011: The Israeli Air Force struck targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours today, a day after Palestinian militants fired about a dozen rockets and mortars across the border. Hamas, which controls the Strip, said the Israeli airstrike targeted smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border, as well as one of its training camps in central Gaza. An Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson confirmed the air strike, saying that it was in response to the rockets fired at southern Israel.
2012: Ricky Ullman’s final performance “as the character Alex in the New Group's production of "Russian Transport" Off-Broadway in New York.”
2012: Shabbat of the “Sabbath Manifesto” is scheduled to end this evening.
2012: “The Syrian Bride” is scheduled to be shown this evening at Tifereth Israel’s Israeli Movie Night in Washington, DC.
2012: “The Flood” is scheduled to be shown at the 16TH Annual Hartford Jewish Film Festival
2013: Join Beyhan Cagri Trock, author of The Ottoman Turk and the Pretty Jewish Girl: Real Turkish Cooking is scheduled to teach a class featuring “authentic, delicious Sephardic and Turkish family recipes” at the Lorinda "Annie" Hooks Demo Kitchen
2013: The Trio Sefardi is scheduled to provide an afternoon of music that focuses on the traditions of Pesach at the Abraham Lincoln Hall.
2013: The Jewish Cardinal, a French television film directed by Ilan Duran Cohen was broadcast for the first time today on RTS Deux
2013: Visitors to the Weiner Library in London will have the opportunity to view the exhibition Wit's End: The Satirical Cartoons of Stephen Roth', a compilation of the works of the “Czech Jewish artist whose cartoons lampooned fascist dictators and put a wry spin on political events during the Second World War.”
2013: IDF soldiers fired a Tammuz missile at a Syrian army position in Tel Fares, from which shots were fired both that day and the previous day across the border into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The missile destroyed the Syrian post and reportedly wounded two gunmen there.
2013: Ben Zygier, the alleged Mossad agent also known as Prisoner X who committed suicide in Ayalon Prison in 2010, was arrested for passing sensitive information to Hezbollah that led to the arrests of two informants within the ranks of the Shi’ite organization, Der Spiegel reported on today.
2014: Reform Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, the Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, is scheduled to be to speak on “Christianity and and Judaism: God’s Double Helix Through Time” at Loyola University in New Orleans.
2014: “Dancing in Jaffa” is scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.
2014: Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are scheduled to present a benefit performance at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach.
2014: Majn Alef Bejs, “a book on Yiddish published by a Polish Jewish group has won first prize in the non-fiction category of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair which is scheduled to open today.
2014: “For the second time in as many weeks, Economy and Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett came under fire today over an accusation that he has been using his position to funnel money to associates.”
2014: The results of a new survey of anti-Semitic attidues presented at a news conference today organized by the Action and Protection Foundation headquarters “showed up to 40 percent of respondents accepted some anti-Semitic attitudes. (As reported by JTA)
2015: In La Jolla, CA, the Lawrence Family JCC is scheduled to host “Turning Inward: Jews and American Life, 1965-Presentish.”
2015: The 5th J Street National Conference is scheduled to come to an end.
2015: William Brumfield is scheduled to deliver at lecture on the “The Jewish Moment in Russia” at Tulane University.
2015: The 16th Street Book Club is scheduled to discuss A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev, translated by Evan Fallenberg
2015: Today, at a Simon Wiesenthal Center Dinner, Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax “urged Jews in the fight against anti-Semitism to “stand up and kick these guys in the ass.” (JTA)
2015(4th of Nisan, 5775): Eighty-six year old Israeli diplomat and ministerial adviser Yehuda Avner passed away today in Jerusalem.
2016: Ninety-eighth anniversary of the birth of Joseph B. Levin aka Yosef Dov ben Avraham Elimelech without whom, literally, this blog would not exist.
2016: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host “The Music and Life of Irving Berlin.”
2016: The Jews in the American South is scheduled to be in Beaufort, South Carolina visiting with Mayor Billy Keyserling, “the grandson of Lithuanian immigrants” who escaped from Czarist Russia and graudate of Brandies University who has been active in state politics for several decades.
2016(14th of Adar II, 5776): Purim
2016(14th of Adar II, 5776): Sixty-six year old television comedy writer Garry Shandling who was best known for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” passed away today.
2016: Ninety-four year old former MK Esther Herlitz, the native of Berlin who was Israel’s first female ambassador passed away today.
2017: In Memphis, TN, Temple Israel is scheduled to turn Shabbat into a family affair with a Ruach Preneg followed a by a “L’dor Vador Shabbat Service.”
2017: Kibbutz Beit Oren is scheduled to host “Believe Fairy Festival,” Israel’s first “fairy festival.”
2017: 99th Anniversary of the birth of Joseph B. Levin without whom this blog would have never existed.
2017: 99th Anniversary of the birth of Joseph B. Levin without whom this blog would have never existed.