BCE: Aristotle passed away. “Aristotle was almost
universally held in esteem by the Jews; at one time for his intelligence and
mental power, at another as a penitent sinner. The following is Maimonides'
verdict concerning him: "The words of Plato, Aristotle's teacher, are
obscure and figurative: they are superfluous to the man of intelligence,
inasmuch as Aristotle supplanted all his predecessors. The thorough
understanding of Aristotle is the highest achievement to which man can attain,
with the sole exception of the understanding of the Prophets." Shem-Ṭob
ben Isaac of Tortosa (1261) styles Aristotle "the master of all
philosophers." Elijah b. Eliezer of Candia, who edited the
"Logic" about the end of the fourteenth century, calls Aristotle "the
divine," because, having been endowed by nature with a sacredly superior
intellect, he could understand of himself what others could receive only from
the instruction of their teachers.”
161: Roman emperor Antoninus Pius passed away. He was the handpicked successor of Hadrian. Antonious undid the anti-Jewish decrees of his predecessor and when he died the Jewish people lost one of the few friends they ever had sitting on the throne in Rome.
161: Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus are named co-Emperors of the Roman Empire following the death of Antonious Pius. Marcus Aurilius had little understanding or appreciation of the Jewish people. He described them as “stinking and tumultuous” when he traveled through Judea. He reportedly said that he preferred the company of Germanic barbarians to that of Jews.
321: Constantine I, the first Christian Roman Emperor decreed that the dies Solis Invicti (sun-day) is the day of rest in the Empire. Thus would begin the conflict between the Christian Sunday and the Jewish Saturday. Of course the commandment says to hallow the 7th day and Sunday is the first day of the week.
1190(20th of Adar, 4950): During the Lenten Fair, Crusaders filled “with passion for crusade” and jealousy over the supposed wealth of the Jews, slaughtered them at Stamford, England.
1236(21st of Adar, 4996): The Jews of Narbonne began celebrating the Purim of Narbonne after Don Aymeric, the governor, intervened to protect the Jews from marauding Christian who had already carried off the library of Reb Meir ben Isaac as they made their riotous way through the Jewish quarter.
1274: Catholic theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas passed away. While no friend of the Jews, Aquinas’ view of Jews was a little better than the average one held by ecclesiastical and temporal leaders of his time. He opposed conversions at the point of the sword. He opposed the murder of Jews. He felt they should be allowed to live so they could serve as eternal witnesses to “the truth of Christianity.” The views of this influential Catholic theologian are best summed up in a letter to a widow who had inherited a duchy that included what is now Belgium and the Netherlands. “It is true, as the laws declare, that in consequence of their sin (rejecting Jesus) Jews were destined to perpetual servitude, so that sovereigns of state may treat Jewish goods as their own property, save for the sole proviso that they do not deprive them of that is necessary to sustain life.” In other words, Jews could live, but they could only live a miserable life. Aquinas also made it respectable for Catholic nobles to borrow from Jews and then not repay their debts.
1291: Arghun Khan aka Argon, a devote Buddhist and “the fourth ruler of Mongol empire’s Ilkhanate” who “was friendly with Jews and Christians” in this predominately Moslem part of the world and whose “chief counselor was a Jew, Sa'ad al-Daulah, a physician of Baghdad” passed away today touching off a violent attack by Moslems on the Jews of Baghdad.
1361(30th of Adar): Rabbi Simeon ben Zemah Duran, author of Sefer ha-Rashbaz passed away
1612(3rd of Adar II, 5372): Mordecai ben Avraham Yoffe, the son of Abraham ben Joseph passed away at Prague. Born in 1530, he was the Rosh Yeshiva in Prague and author of “Levush Malkhut, a ten-volume codification of Jewish law that particularly stressed the customs of the Jews of Eastern Europe.
1693: Birthdate of Carlo della Torre di Rezzonico, who as Pope Clement XIII would rule that there was no substance to the claim that Jews used blood in the preparation of their unleavened bread. Among other things he intervened with the Polish church and nobles and ordered the protection of Jacob Zelig, the Jewish spokesperson that the Polish Jews had sent to Rome to plead their case.
1738: Seckel and Levi Moses Ulf, the owner of a ribbon factory that in 1720 “was required by the Crown Prince Frederick to supply all the royal regiments with the necessary braid” were married today
1748: Birthdate of William V, Prince of Orange-Nassau who “donated a considerable sum for a new menorah” when he stayed with Benjamin Cohen in Amersfort and whose wife gave the same community a curtain for the congregation’s Holy Ark.
1788: The Jews of the Netherlands celebrated the birthday of William V as holiday as a sign of the support for the Prince of Orange.
1789: Birthdate of Michel Martin Drolling the French painter who counted among his student the Alsatian Jew, Benjamin Ulmann whose works include “Sylla and Manus” which hangs in the Luxembourg Palace.
1799: (30th of Adar I, 5559): Rosh Chodesh Adar II
1799: As Napoleon Bonaparte fought his way across Palestine, his army defeated “a 12,000-strong mixed force of Al Jazzar and the Mamluks” and captured the port city of Jaffa. In one of the first examples of what would become a recurring theme, westerners used modern technology to defeat a Muslim army. In this case, Napoleon use of bombardments from his heavy artillery was the key to victory. Following the victory, the French commander “set out to try and gain political advantages from his military achievements. Letters and proclamations were directed at the Sultan, the various communities of Palestine and Syria and their leaders, Akhmad Jasar, the pasha of Acre and commander-in-chief (seraskir) of the Ottoman forces at that time. All these aimed at paving the way for the complete occupation of the Holy Land by negotiation or by making alliances and contacts to ease further military conquest. Among these was the contact with the Jewish communities in Palestine and Syria, the first de facto attention to the Jews as a potential factor in international policy in modern times.”
1799: The Royal Institution an organization devoted to scientific education and research is founded in London. The Royal Institution today is led by director Baroness Susan Greenfield, renowned scientist and the daughter of Jewish parents.
1802(3rd of Adar II): Rabbi Noah Chaim Zevi Berlin, author of Azei Arazim, passed away.
1807: On the day before “the Great Sanhedrin presented its responses and formally ended its proceedings, Rabbi Sinzheim delivered a short summary of its conclusions and proclaimed them as nothing less than a ‘social pact’ between ‘the People of God and the People of France.’”
1809: Birthdate of Meïr Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Weiser the Russian rabbi known by the acronym Malbim the opponent of Reform whose literary works included a commentary on “Esther” published in 1845.
1818: Birthdate of German born historian, author and Rabbi David Cassel, the brother of Selig Cassel.
1818: In Kassel, Germany Mayer Japhet and Deborah Weinberg gave birth to Israel Meyer Japhet who “was choir director at the Realschule (Adass Jeschurun) in Frankfurt am Main under Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.”
1822(14th of Adar, 5582): Purim
1822: Turkish soldiers killed 60 Jews in Bucharest.
1824: Il crociato in Egitto (The Crusade in Egypt), an opera in two acts by Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, premiered at La Fenice theatre in Venice, Italy.
1825: Birthdate of Alfred Edersheim, English biblical scholar. Edersheim converted to Christianity before the age of 20. He was the author of The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah which is considered by many Christians to be a classic study on this topic.
1828(21st of Adar, 5588): Noted Talmudist Jacob Lazarus Riesser, the father of Gabriel Riesser and “the son-in-law by Raphael b. Jekuthiel Süsskind ha-Kohen, the incumbent of the rabbinate of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck” passed away today in Hamburg,
1833(16th of Adar I, 5593): Sixty-one year old Rahel Antonie Friederike (née Levin) the German author and hostess to the leading intellectuals of her time who had an asteroid named in her honor and who was the subject of Hannah Arendt’s 1958 biography Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess passed away today.
1839: In Kassel, Meyer Bär (Moritz) Mond and Henrietta Levinsohn gave birth Dr. Ludwig Mond a German-born British chemist and industrialist.
1841(14th of Adar, 5601): Purim
1844: Birthdate of French historian Gabriel Monod who in 1897 stated in a letter published by Le Temps “his conviction that Dreyfus was innocent and demanded that his case be reviewed, denying that it would be an insult to the army: ‘There is no shame in an error that is consciously committed and consciously rectified.’”
1847: In Stuttgart, Germany, “Moriz Eichberg, Oberantor of Wurtemberg and Lenore Seligsberg gave birth to Julie Rosewald the wife of Jacob Rosewald who for “ten years was the solo soprano at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco” where she sang and recited “the parts of the service usually sung and recited by the Cantor and served as the Professor of Vocal Music at Mills College
1849: The Emperor Franz Joseph “promulgated his own constitution which granted equal civic and political rights to all citizens, regardless of religious confession” as a result of which “the Jews were emancipated by imperial fiat and not by the popularly elected Reichstag.”
1851: A poll tax levied on Russo-Polish Jews entering Austrian Galicia was discontinued.
1856: A letter from the Hahambashi discusses "reforms" to institute in the Jewish community. The Judeo-Spanish language is discussed, "As the language taught by the Jews of the Levant is not, properly speaking, a language, and cannot be useful to the youth, we order the creation of free schools for the poor where Turkish, Greek, French, and Italian will be taught."
1857: Birthdate of Julius Wagner-Jauregg, the Austrian born physician and Nobel Prize Winner. Apparently he saw no conflict between the fact that he had been a student of Salomon Stircker, the Jewish pathologist and his support of the Nazis.
1860: Birthdate of Austrian physicist Adler Gottlier who earned a doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1882 and developed an expertise in the fields of “electricity and magnetism.”
1860(13th of Adar, 5620): Ta’anit Esther
1860(13th of Adar, 5620): Fifty-eight year old Italian poet and book collector Joseph Almanzi passed away today in Trieste.
1863: “The Purim Ball. A Jewish Festival – A Great Success” published today reported that “No one of the ancient Hebraic celebrities holds a more absolute sway in the affections of the Jews of this day than Esther, the beautiful and pious spouse of Ahasuerus. In commemoration of the signal service rendered by that estimable lady to her nation, on the occasion of the timely elevation of Haman, the envious enemy of her uncle Mordecai, whose daily place of rest was in the neighborhood of the King's gate, the Jewish people yearly observe the Feast of Purim. In this City, the first grand ball of the Purim Association was given last year, with marked success, and the second was given on Thursday night, at the Academy of Music. The building was very elegantly and tastefully decorated and most brilliantly illuminated, the floor was laid for dancing, and the usual magnificence of the Academy incredibly enhanced.” [Please note, this article which showed a certain comprehension and approval for this minor Jewish holiday appeared in a United States newspaper at a time when Jews comprised approximately 1% of the Jewish population.]
1866(20th of Adar, 5626): Birthdate of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein who was Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Knesseth Yisrael in Slabodka, Lithuania and is recognized as having been one of the leading Talmudists of the twentieth century.
1869: Birthdate of Ernst Julius Cohen “a Dutch chemist known for his work on the allotropy of metals” who was gassed by the Nazis at Auschwitz.
1871(14th of Adar, 5631): Purim
1871: Receptions celebrating Purim were held at numerous New York Jewish institutions including the Asylum for the Aged and Infirm, the Orphans Home and the Industrial Home on west 17th Street.
1871: Henry Cardoza and Mary Levi were married this morning by Justice Buckley in Brooklyn’s Second District Police Court. Cardoza opted for a civil ceremony because he could not afford a rabbi.
1872(27th of Adar I, 5632): Jekuthiel Süsskind (Süssel) Rapoport, a leader of the Russian Jewish community passed away today. Born in 1802, he was the son of Rabbi Chaim ha-Koen and the great-grandson of Rabbi Chaim ha-Koen Rapoport. He and his brother Jacob, rabbi of Ostrog, published their father's work "Mayim Ḥayyim"
1875(30th of Adar I, 5635): Rosh Chodesh Adar II
1876: Attendance at tonight’s fancy dress ball sponsored by the Purim Association is expected to be greater than at such past events. The Association has increased its membership which should me more revelers will be dining and dancing at Delmonico’s.
1876: “Ben Israel or Under the Curse,” a 4 hour long drama about the travails of a Jewish patriarch named Ben Israel, his granddaughter Rachel and her suitors was described in a review published today as being “destitute of originality, coherence and interest.”
1878: Joseph Seligman was elected as one of the vice presidents of the newly formed American Pig Lead Association at a meeting of the leading lead miners and dealers held at St. Louis, MO.
1878: Reverend George H. Hepworth, a Unitarian Minister will deliver a lecture entitled “Our American Homes” to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association who are meeting at Lyric Hall in New York City.
1879: In New York’s Court of General Session, Judge Henry A. Gildersleeve heard evidence before rendering a decision on the application of the Commissioners of Charities and Correction to force Leopold, Felix and Alfred Salomon to pay six dollars a week in support of their 70 year old widowed mother, Fanny Salomon. The brother’s contested the request saying that she had rejected their offers to live with them and that she had been able to pay for a trip to France which would indicate she was not destitute.
1879: Birthdate movie director and muralist Hugo Ballin.
1880: Nineteen year old Hedwig Goldschmidt married Herman Hirsch Cramer, the son of Jacob Cramer and Caroline Furth today.
1880: A service was held to this afternoon at Temple Emanu-El to honor the memory of the late Isaac Adophe Creimieux, the Frenchman who had served as President of the Universal Israelite Alliance. When word reached New York that the 84 year old philanthropist and statesman had passed away, the Board of Delegates on Civil and Religious Rights of the Union of American Hebrew congregations recommended a city-wide service. This afternoon’s service was a collaborative effort of 11 congregations under the leadership of Louis May.
1880: Former U.S. Secretary of State Elihu B. Washburne was the featured speaker at today’s memorial service in Chicago held at Temple Sinai to honor the memory of the late Adolphe Cremieux.
1883: Herzl withdraws from the Akademische Burschenschaft Albia. ("Ich sagte den edlen jungen Leuten Lebewohl und fing nun an, mich ernstlich an die Arbeit zu setzen." - "I said farewell to my noble young colleagues and sat down seriously to my work.")
1884: Birthdate of Shlomo Kaplansky, the native of Bialystok who was a leader of the World Union of Poalei Zion and an advocate of a bi-national state for the Jewish homeland.
1887: North Carolina State University is founded by the North Carolina General Assembly. According to recent figures there are approximately 250 Jewish students among an undergrad population of 20,000. The campus is home to a Hillel Chapter. The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh contains a Judaic Art Collection that includes an array of historic and contemporary pulpit, life cycle and holiday objects.
1889: At a meeting of the Board of Trade, Jacob Schloss “agreed to support a scheme to drive an exploratory mining shaft to demonstrate the continuing viability of the mining district.
1890: Abraham Sudyham, a criminal defense attorney was sentenced to five years in New York State prison after having been convicted of grand larceny when he tried to sell the house belonging to his aunt.
1891: Birthdate of Marcel Barger. Born Meyer Streliskie the famed European cabaret performer died at Auschwitz in 1942.
1891: Professor Charles A.L. Totten “the well-known military instructor” at Yale University made a statement today in which he described his approval of the memorial presented to President Harrison by William E. Blackstone advocating a project for “restoring Palestine to the Jews.”
1891: “Collector Nathan To Retire” published today described Ernst Nathan’s repudiation of unfounded reports that he was retiring from his position or that he would seek the office of Mayor of Brooklyn.
1892: It was reported today that the 600 children living at the orphan asylum operated by the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will be returning to school next week. They have been confined to the orphanage since January 1st due to an outbreak of measles – a medical challenged that has been successfully dealt with. (In an era of vaccinations, we do not appreciate the deadly challenges of childhood illnesses)
1892: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Bazar, sponsored by the Ladies’ Aid Society is scheduled to take place in Baltimore, MD. Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, the wife of the President is scheduled to be one of the guests. Mrs. Harrison had told Mrs. Edward Pels and Mrs. J.B. Eiseman that she will be sending a donation of flowers from the White House for the event.
1893: It was reported today that Russian Jews who had formed at a colony in Chesterfield, Connecticut are returning to New York after a suffering through a winter of hardships.
1894: Assemblyman Ainsworth apologized to the Jews for using the term “Jew pawnbrokers” during the debate on a bill to incorporate the “Provident Loan Society.” The bill passed by a vote of 86 to 6 with the Jewish members all voting no.
1894(29th of Adar): Fifty-nine Abraham Baer the German born cantor who was author Ba’al Tifillah, passed away today in Sweden.
1895: The Beth Israel Hospital on East Broadway received a substantial benefit this evening from the proceeds of the Purim charity ball an concert sponsored by the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League, the purpose of which is to support the hospital.
1895: The last “open meeting” of the Monte Relief, “one of the best known Hebrew charitable organizations in” New York City, “will take the form of a “Cake Walk and Colored Jubilee.”
1896: The New York Times reports on the preparations for the upcoming celebration of the 45th anniversary of Dr. Sabato Morais beginning his service as the Rabbi for Congregation Mikvah Israel in Philadelphia, PA.
1897: Professor Felix Adler delivered a lecture “Religion of To-day” at Carnegie Music Hall this morning.
1897: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil spoke on “The Present Bible Controversy” today at Temple Emanu-El.
1897: It was reported today that August Belmont was one of the principal financial backers of plan to unite the manufacturers of bourbon whiskey into a national syndicate.
1897: It was reported that Seymour Mork and Phillip Harrison won the prizes at a debate sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association
1898(13th of Adar, 5658): Ta’anit Esther
1898: In the evening, the Purim “festival proper began” this evening, when the first star was visible, for in celebrating their holidays the Jews till adhere to the old Oriental custom of counting the day from evening to evening.”
1898: “Tatza Jews Killed by Arabs” published today describe the pillaging of the Moroccan city by Ghiatz Arabs who abducted the women after murdering the men.
1898: Senator Cantor introduced a bill today that would exempt the real estate of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association from taxation, assessment and water rates.
1898: “Congregations to Unite” published today traces the decision of members Temple Beth-Elhoim to consolidate with Temple Israel. Both of the congregations are located in Brooklyn with Beth-Elhoim having 150 members and Temple Israel having 140 members. The enlarged congregation will have to build a new sanctuary as neither of the currently occupied edifices are big enough to accommodate the increase in attendance.
1898: It was reported today that the oldest resident of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews is a 99 year old man “whose only physical ailment is deafness.”
1900: Birthdate of Gerald Burton Windrod, the Kansas native whose virulent anti-Semitic views earned him the title of "the JayHawk Nazi.”
1900: Birthdate of Benn Wolfe Levy the British Playwright and Labour Party MP who clashed with his party’s Foreign Minister over the government’s pro-Arab and anti-Jewish policies in Palestine after WW II.
1902(28th of Adar I, 5662): Isidore Cahen, French scholar and journalist born at Paris in 1826 passed aay today.
1903: In Athens, Ohio, newspaper editor and publisher Charles Harvey Bryson, who owned the Athens Morning Journal and his wife gave birth to Bernarda Bryson who married Ben Shan and gained fame in her own rights as Bernarda Bryson Shan (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1904: In Paris, Baron Louis de Koenigswarter and his wife gave birth to Lt.-Col. Baron Jules de Koenigswarter who married Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild in 1935 and fought with the Free French during WW II.
1909(14th of Adar, 5669): Purim
1909: On Purim, in Paris, France Leopold and Lena Pilichowski gave birth to Thade Pilley
1912: Hadassah was founded by Henrietta Szold. “At a meeting at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, Henrietta Szold, a noted scholar, teacher, journalist, editor, social worker and pioneer Zionist, convinced the Daughters of Zion study circle to expand its purpose and embrace “practical Zionism,” proactive work to help meet the health needs of Palestine’s people. Because the meeting was held around the time of Purim, the women called themselves “The Hadassah chapter of the Daughters of Zion,” adopting the Hebrew name of Queen Esther. Hadassah also means “myrtle,” a hardy Levantine plant with agricultural and biblical significance. Henrietta Szold became the first president.
1912(18th of Adar, 5672): In St. Louis, Marcus Bernheimer, the native of Liberty, Mississippi and the son of Samuel and Henrietta Bernheimer passed away today.
1912(18th of Adar, 5672): Seventy-two year old St. Louis merchant Eugene Sterne passed away today.
1913(28th of Adar I, 5673): Seventy-five year old Rabbi Adolf Ehrlich passed away today at Tilsit.
1913(28th of Adar I, 5673): Forty year old theatre manager Maurice Baumfeld passed away today in New York.
1914: Mrs. Simon Baruch had a surprise party for twenty-one Italian children from the Bronx at her home as part of her program to teach patriotism and American values to the children of immigrants newly arrived in the United States.
1914: Having exhausted all of his appeals at the state court level, today, the state set Leo Frank’s execution date for April 17, 1914.
1915: “Miss Jane Addams spoke of ‘War and Social Service’ at the Free Synagogue at Carnegie Hall” this “morning following the service conducted by Rabbi Stephen Wise.
1916: Mrs. Edward Goldbeck is scheduled to speak on “America at the Crossways” this after afternoon during the regular meeting of the Chicago Woman’s Aid at the Sinai Social Center.
1916: “Habits and preferences of members of the Yale senior class were disclosed today” including that of the 325 members of the senior class, 12 of them were Jewish.
1916: Mrs. Edward A Aaron and Mrs. Jules E. Furth arranged the program for the sixth regular meeting of the B’nai Sholom Temple on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
1917(13th of Adar, 5677): Ta’anit Esther and Erev Purim
1917: “The trial of a $50.000 libel suit brought by Maschulem F. Seidman, war correspondent for the Warheit and other Jewish news against The Day, another Jewish publication” which centered around whether or not was in fact part of “German propaganda effort to win the sympathies of Jews in America for the Teuton cause” began today in New York.
1917: Birthdate of Herman Fishman, the Detroit native who letter in basketball, baseball and football and went on to play professional baseball until his career was cut short by WW II where he served in a U.S. Navy intelligence unit.
1917: During World War I, on the Dialah River in Mesopotamia, Private Jack White, a signaler, during an attempt to cross the river, saw the two pontoons ahead of him come under very heavy fire with disastrous results. When his own pontoon had reached mid-stream, with every man except himself either dead or wounded, and not being able, by himself, to control the boat the private tied a telephone wire to the pontoon, jumped overboard and towed it to the shore, thereby saving an officer's life and bringing to land the wounded and also the rifles and equipment of all the men in the boat.
1918: The Palestine Fund Restoration Commission announced to today that “plans have been completed for the establishment of a great Jewish university in Jerusalem” and “that one of the first duties of the commission, which is going to Palestine under the auspices of the fund, would be the founding of this university” on the site which has already been chosen and acquired.
1920: Birthdate of Harry Kuniansky, the native of Atlanta who played guard for the U. of Georgia football team from 1940 through 1942 when the Bulldogs were “declared national champion in six polls recognized by the NCAA.”
1921: Red Army under Trotsky attacked sailors of Kronstadt in a move to put down “a counter-revolutionary” plot. Soviet leaders were always putting down “counter-revolutionary plots” both real and imagined. Stalin would later brand Trotsky as a counter-revolutionary and drive him from the party and the Soviet Union.
1922: Birthdate of Hans Eduard Ephraimson-Abt, the Berlin born Jew who became an internationally known advocate for families of air-crash victims after the death of his daughter on Korean Air Lines Flight 007, shot down by Soviet fighter planes in 1983 (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1925: Dr. Chaim Weizmann is scheduled to sail for England today aboard the SS Olympic so that he can accompany Lord Blafour to Palestine where they will take part in the dedication of the new Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus.
1926: Herbert H. Lehman sent a letter to William Fox, the chairman of the United Jewish Campaign of New York which will officially be launched in April that $300,000 has already been pledged by the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation which should help in meeting the goal of raising six million dollars.
1928(15th of Adar, 5688): Shushan Purim
1929: Today in Iraq, "Jewish journalist, Anwar Shaul, published an open letter in weekly magazine al-Hasid, addressed to the British High Commissioner and commander-in-chief, Brigadier-General Sir Gilbert Clayton, demanding full independence for Iraq from Britain
1930: Birthdate of Alfred Gottschalk, the native of Germany who “as head of Reform Judaism’s major institution of higher learning ordained the first women as rabbis in the United States and Israel.”
1930: Chief Justice MacDonnell and Justices Baker and Kermak heard the appeal of Simcha Hinkis, a 22-year-old Jewish policeman accused of participating in the murder of an Arab family at Jaffa in the August riots. Hinkis had been “found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to death.” “Mordecai Eliash, counsel for the defense, declared the conviction was based on insufficient evidence.” The court is expected to render its judgment next week. [It is ironic that a Jewish policeman is the one who was convicted of murder following the murderous Arab rampage of 1929.]
1930: The blue liveried state luxury saloon carriage of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia, which entered service today would gain an extra measure of fame when it became part of the 2009 Winton Train – “a private passenger train which travelled from the Czech Republic to England in September 2009, in tribute to the wartime efforts of Sir Nicholas Winton, described as the 'British Schindler' for his part in the saving refugee children from Czechoslovakia.”
1932: Benjamin Cardozo, the Chief Judge of the Court of appeals sent his formal resignation today to the Secretary of State as part of the process by which he assumed the position of the Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
1936: In Poland, those supporting a bill introduced by Mrs. Blazej Pyster, the wife of the former Prime minister, that would prohibit kosher slaughtering practices on grounds that it is not humane and makes meat more expensive are faced with charges of violating the Constitution since it guarantees “to all of Poland’s citizens freedom of faith the free execution of religious rites” and this new law “would violate the rights of the Jewish population.”
1936: Today’s meeting of the Reichstag “will be the first since” that body “was convoked hurriedly in Nuremberg last September to sanction the new restrictions on the Jews and the ordinance establishing the Nazi flag as the Reich’s official emblem.”
1936: According to the current issue of the American Hebrew, “the 1935 American Hebrew Medal for outstanding service in promoting better understanding between Christians and Jews has been awarded to Roger Williams Straus…the son of the late Oscar Straus, United States Ambassador to Turkey” who is also co-chairman of the National Conference of Jews and Christians, a member of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee and a vice president of the National Republican Club.
1936(13th of Adar, 5695): Parashat Tetzaveh; Shabbat Zachor; Erev Purim
1936(13th of Adar, 5696): As the celebration of Purim begins tonight, the Jews are in the words of Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson, painfully aware that “in Germany half a million Jews are groaning under the yoke of the Nuremberg laws and are threatened with economic and even physical annihilation.”
1936: Hitler violated Treaty of Versailles by sending troops to the Rhineland. This was one of the early steps leading to World Word II and the Final Solution. Hitler was running a bluff. He really lacked sufficient military force to have made the remilitarization stick. If France and Great Britain had acted decisively, Hitler would have been forced to back down and he might even have been forced from power.
1937: Fifty-four year old Paul Bekker, “the former director of the Wiesbaden opera” who had been stripped of his German citizenship by the Nazis in 1936 because “favored Jews” passed away today in New York City.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that members of the Russian Zionist Center in Tel Aviv were worried by a new wave of purges and arrests in the Soviet Union. They reported that in Moscow, Odessa and many other Russian towns, charges of counter-revolutionary activities were trumped up against Jews and the youth was particularly affected. Although there were hardly any Jews in Japan, the Tokyo government launched Japan¹s first anti-Semitic campaign announcing a “worldwide Jewish plot.” The Japanese press presented a long list of the country’s Jewish enemies who included, among others, various international peace leagues, socialists and even Rotary International. The charges against Rotary were later withdrawn.
1938: Birthdate of David Baltimore, American biologist, recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
1939(16th of Adar, 5699): Seventy-four year old Ludwig Anton Salomon Fulda the poet and playwright who was the first President of PEN of Germany and whose career effectively came to an end when the Nazis came to power committed suicide in Berlin today when he was denied entry into the United States. (Editor’s Note – Germany wanted to put an end to him because he was a Jew and the United States had no room for him for the same reason. Also there seems to be some confusion about the date of his death)
1940: As Jews continued to protest against the newly enacted British laws limiting purchase of land in Palestine by Jews, the Chief Rabbis and leaders of the Vaad Leumi led a protest demonstration through the streets of Jerusalem while other Jews took part in a work stoppage in Haifa. In reaction to the protest in Jerusalem, the British imposed an over-night curfew on the Jewish quarter of the City of David.
1940: Birthdate of Arlene Hannah Butter, the New York born daughter of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who gained fame as artist Hannah Wilke.
1942: Birthdate of Michael Eisner President of The Walt Disney Company.
1942: Lucy Parsons the labor organizer and anarchist who addressed the striking members of the Chicago Tailors Union most of whose members were Jewish and who clashed with Emma Goldman passed away.
1943(30th of Adar I, 5703): Rosh Chodesh Adar II
1943: “The third American enlisted men’s club in the Middle East” is scheduled to be open in Tel Aviv today. The club has “sleeping quarters for 150 men and lounge, game reading and music rooms. It is 300 yards from the beach.” In addition, hospitality committees of the Jewish Agency arrange sightseeing trips in the Holy Land and the Tel Aviv Hospital committee is operating three clubs for solidiers and nurses of the Allied armies serving in Palestine.
1944: The poet David Vogel was deported from Drancy the French concentration camp and sent to Birkenau along with another 1,500 Jews.
1944(12th of Adar): At Birkenau, 3,860 Jews who had been living in "family quarters", were sent to the gas chambers. Five days earlier, in their special "family quarters", they were shown off to Red Cross representatives (who were not allowed to see the rest of the camp.) The Jews were told to write postcards to their Czech relatives, but postdate them
March 25, 26, and 27. The Jews would never live to see
those days. Of this group, only 37 were spared, including eleven sets of twins.
They would be sent to Dr. Mengele for medical experiments.
1944(12th of Adar): Today, the Nazis discovered “the hideout of Emanuel Ringelblum the historian of the Warsaw ghetto and one of the leaders of the Jewish underground” which would lead to the execution of him and his family a few days later.
1945: Brigadier General Ernest Frank Benjamin began serving with the British Eighth Army in the Faenza Area, Italy; a posting that would last until the end of World War II in Europe. Born in 1900, Benjamin “was a British officer from Canada of Jewish birth who commanded the Jewish Infantry Brigade during the Second World War. Benjamin was commissioned into the Royal Engineers and served with that service during 1941-42 before being transferred as a General Staff Officer 1 to the Middle East Command in 1943. He served as Assistant Quartermaster-General there until 1944 when he was appointed Deputy Director of Military Training Middle East Command and in the autumn of the same year as the Commanding Officer, Jewish Brigade Group. His last post with the Brigade group was in north-west Europe as part of the VIII Corps of the British Army of the Rhine. He passed away in 1969.
1945: The US 9th Armored Division seized the bridge at Remagen Germany, enabling them to cross the Rhine and enter the German heartland. This is an amazing story of luck and unbelievable courage on the part of American soldiers which shortened the war and help end the nightmare for European Jewry.
1946: Birthdate of Ronald Reider, the New Jersey native who settled in Cedar Rapids, after earning his M.D. at the University of Iowa.
1947: In Brooklyn, “voice actor Allen Swift” (Ira Stadlen) and his wife gave birth to Lewis J. Stadlen who “made his Broadway debut as Grouch Marx in the 1970 musical comedy ‘Minnie’s Boys’”
1947: Major Beneral R.N. Gale, the British commander of “Operation Elephant” expressed satisfaction with the results of having imposed martial law over a large area of Palestine and that it will be able to “cut out this canker of underground violence.”
1947: As the British continued their efforts to pacify Palestine, 5,000 troops and policemen surrounded Rehoveth, Nathanya and Hadera and began searching the communities for “terrorists” and weapons. The raid netted thirty-two detainees and a small cache of arms. Dr. Chaim Weizmann is a resident of Rehovoth. “After the searches ended” armed masked men attacked the police station at Rishon le Zion. As the British looked for the attackers, they let be known that they were looking for members of the Irgun and the Stern gang and not members of Haganah.
1949: During Operation Uvda, “Golani forces conquered the village Ein Harouf.
1949: During Operation Uvda, “the Alexandroni Brigade moved from Beersheba through Mamshit towards Sodom and then made an amphibious landing near Ein Gedi through the Dead Sea.”
1949: The IDF established a based Ayn Husb at the junction of the Beersheba-Sodom and Sodom-Eilat tracks
1950(18th of Adar, 5710): Daniel Frisch, the President of the Zionist Organization of America, passed away today at the age of 52 following a surgical procedure that had been performed yesterday. Born in Palestine, Frisch was the son of Rabbi Eliezer and Haia Landau Frisch. His family moved to Roumania when Frisch was one year old. Frisch came to the United States in 1921 and settled in Indianapolis where he operated a successful salvage yard. Frisch who had been active in the Zionist movement since childhood, founded the Indianapolis Zionist District, served as President of the Ohio Valley Zionist Region and was elected to the ZOA Administrative Council in 1934. He retired from business five years ago and moved to New York so he could devote himself to the Zionist cause. Frisch reportedly made at least 14 trips to Israel and worked tirelessly to raise funding for a projects for the infant Jewish state.
1950: In what has to be one of the all time great whoppers of history, the Soviet Union issues a statement denying that Klaus Fuchs served as a Soviet spy days after he had been found guilty by a British court. Fuchs testified that Harry Gold was his courier for getting information to the Soviets. Harry Gold led to David Greenglass that led to the Rosenbergs.
1950: “The Communist newspaper Kol Ha’am charged today that Israel has instituted an anti-Communist campaign and inquirty to similar to those that it said had been launched by President Truman in all countries under American protection.” The paper charged that America was pulling the strings of anti-Communism in Israel just as it was in England. [This charge came at the same time when many right-wing Americans were warning of the Jewish Communist conspiracy.]
1951: Lillian Hellman's "Autumn Garden" premiered in New York City.
1951: In one of those incidents that undermine stability in the Middle East and thus prove worrisome to Israel, the Prime Minister of Iran was shot and killed by an Islamic fundamentalist.
1952: Dr. Alexander Marx, director of libraries and the Jacob H. Schiff Professor at JTS is will leave for Israel today. This is his first trip to the new Jewish state during which he plans to establish closer working relationships between JTS and libraries in Israel.
1953(20th of Adar, 5713): Maksymilian Apolinary Hartglas passed away in Tel Aviv. Born in 1883, he was a lawyer, Zionist and a politician in pre-war Poland who courageously escaped from Warsaw and finally settled in Jerusalem.
1955: NBC presented “Peter Pan,” a musical version of the 1904 play of the same time with music by Mark Charlap and Jule Styne, and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green as part of its Producers Showcase anthology series.
1956(24th of Adar, 5716): Seventy-eight year old Cecile Meyer Pilpel (Mrs Emanuel Pilpel) a native of Wissembourg, France, “a leader in parent education for more than thirty years an executive of the Child Study Association of America” passed away today in Hartford, CT.
1960: “Volpone” co-starring Lou Jacobi as “Corvino” was broadcast today at the Play of the Week.
1964: Seventy year old Sir Alexander Knox Helm, the United Kingdom’s first ambassador to Israel passed away today.
1965: On Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, group of 600 civil rights marchers are violently prevented from marching to the state capital in Montgomery. Two weeks later a group of marchers would successfully begin the march from Selma to Montgomery. Included among them would be Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel who said he was “voting with his feet.”
1965: Release date for “The Train” a film based on Le front de l'art by Rose Valland, which tells the story of a successful attempt to keep a train filled with looted French art from reaching Germany. In reality, the boxcar doors were opened by Free French forces under the command of Lt. Alexandre Rosenberg who had no trouble identifying the masterpieces since man of have them had been hanging in the Paris home of his father Paul Rosenberg
1967: “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” premiered off-Broadway today with Bob Balaban as Linus.
1967: Alice B. Tolkas passed away. Born Jewish in 1877, the San Francisco she gained fame as confidante, lover, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, and general organizer for another famous Jewess, Gertrude Stein. Before her death, Tolkas converted to Roman Catholicism.
1969: The Central committee of the Labor Party voted to nominate Golda Meir as Prime Minister.
1970: In Westminster, London, George Weisz, an inventor from Hungary and Edith Ruth (née Teich), a teacher-turned-psychotherapist from Vienna, Austria Rachel Hannah Craig (née Weisz) who gained fame as British actress Rachel Weisz.
1971(10th of Adar, 5731): Eight-three year old movie mogul Barney Balaban, the long serving head of Paramount pictures passed away today.
1971: Birthdate of British-born Academy Award winning actress Rachel Weisz. Her father was a Hungarian Jewish inventor who fled to England to escape the Nazis. Her mother is described as Catholic with Jewish ancestry. Weisz has appeared in films with Keanu Reeves and Hugh Grant.
1971: Egypt refused to renew the Suez ceasefire during an outbreak violence that presaged the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
1972(21st of Adar, 5732): Sixty-eight year old Aubrey Louis Goodman the tackle who led Baylor University and the University of Chicago to conference championships before turning professional and play for the Chicago Bulls and for the NFL Chicago Cardinals passed away today.
1973: “Slither” a crime move directed by Howard Zieff and starring James Caan, Louise Lasser and Allen Garfield was released today in the United States.
1973: U.S. premiere of “The Long Goodbye” starring Elliot Gould and featuring Mark Rydell and Warren Berlinger.
1975(24th of Adar, 5735): Canadian born comedian Ben Blue passed away at the age of 73. Blue never achieved the fame of some his contemporaries like George Burns or Milton Berle. But he was good enough to have his own life variety show in the early days of television.
1977: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met President Carter. Most people remember Rabin as the Prime Minister of Peace from the 1990's. But Rabin was first Prime Minister back in the 1970's. It was at this time that he and the Labor Party were rocked by a scandal dating from Rabin's days as Israel's Ambassador to the United States. The scandal drove him from power. It resulted in the rise to power of Likud and the election of Menachem Begin as Prime Minister. In other words, Rabin's financial indiscretions ended Labor's control of the Israeli government which dated back to the founding of the state in 1948 and changed the political landscape of Israel.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Histadrut met to discuss the current wave of strikes which for more than seven weeks paralyzed the merchant marine, disrupted El Al flights and TV, radio and other communications.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that In Iran the shah warned that he might impose an oil embargo on Israel to make it more flexible in negotiations with Egypt.
1979: Twelve people were injured when a bus was detonated on a bus at the Plaza hotel, while nobody was injured when a second bomb was detonated on another bus in Tel Aviv.
1982(12th of Adar, 5742): Fifty-six year old the movie director Konrad Wolf, the younger brother of Stasi spymaster Markus Wolf passed away in the German Democratic Republic (Communist East Germany) today.
1985(14th of Purim, 5745): Purim
1986: Divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of Challenger on the ocean floor. The crew included Judith Resnik, the first Jewish American astronaut and the first Jewish woman to go into space.
1986(26th of Adar I, 5746): Former Senator from New York, Jacob K Javits passed away in Palm Beach FL at the age of 81. Javits was a political anomaly for his time. At a time when most Jews were Democrats, he was a Republican. True, he was part of the liberal wing of the Republican Party, but he was a Republican nonetheless. Javits was a champion of Civil Rights and stood against the right wing tide that swept his party in the 1960's. A lot of Jews were critical of Javits for supporting President Eisenhower in 1956. Ike and his Republican Administration sided with Egypt during the Suez Crisis and threatened Israel with crippling economic sanctions unless she bowed to the will of the Americans.
1987: In his “Jerusalem Journal,’ Francis X. Clines described the newly Ophel Garden which is “a magnificent ascending honeycomb of history at the southern foot of the Temple Mount that allows passing mortals to meander across 3,000 years of history, from the First Temple time of Solomon in the 10th century B.C. to the Ottoman extravagances of the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, 2,500 years later.”
1993(14th of Adar, 5753): Purim observed for the first time under President Bill Clinton.
1996: The Third Way was formed today “towards the end of the thirteenth Knesset's term when two MKs, Avigdor Kahalani and Emanuel Zisman, broke away from the Labour Party.”
1996: MK Efraim Gur left Likud.
1997: “Jungle 2 Jungle” a comedy featuring Leelee Sobieski was released today in the United States.
1997(28th of Adar I, 5757): Rabbi Emanuel H. Bronner passed away. Born in 1908, Emanuel H. Bronner was the eccentric maker of Dr. Bronner's castile soap, a concentrated liquid notable for the vast amount of lather produced from a few drops and the vast amount of tiny text on its packaging. Although his parents were killed in the Holocaust, Rabbi Bronner believed in the goodness and unity of humanity. He was born in Heilbronn, Germany to the Heilbronner family of soap makers. He emigrated to the United States in 1929, dropping "Heil" from his name to protest the rise of Hitler. He pleaded with his parents to emigrate with him for fear of the Nazis, but they refused. His last contact with his parents was in the form of a postcard saying, "You were right. —Your loving father." He started his business making products by hand in his home. The product labels were crowded with statements of Bronner's philosophy, which he called "All-One-God-Faith" and the "Moral ABCs". Many of Bronner's references came from Jewish and Christian sources, such as the Shema and the Beatitudes; others from poets such as Rudyard Kipling. Sometimes they contained unusual product statements, for example suggesting a contraceptive use for the soap. They became famous for their idiosyncratic style, including hyphens to join long strings of words and the liberal use of exclamation marks. In 1947, while promoting his "Moral
ABC's" at the University of Chicago, Bronner
was arrested and committed to a mental hospital from which he escaped.
Eventually his operation grew into a small factory in Escondido, California. At
his death in 1997, it produced over a million bottles of soap and other
products a year but was still not mechanized. The firm did no advertising but
has been the subject of many published articles. It supported many charitable
causes. After Bronner's death, his family continued the business. They have
said the labels he wrote will not change except when required by government
1999(19th of Adar, 5759): Sidney Gottlieb passed away. Born in 1918, Sidney Gottlieb was an American chemist probably best-known for his involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency mind control program (MKULTRA). Sidney was born in the Bronx under the name Joseph Schneider. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. Despite the fact that he was a stutterer since childhood, Sidney got a master's degree in speech therapy. He also had a club foot, but this did not stop him from practicing folk dancing, a lifelong passion. In 1951, Sidney Gottlieb joined the Central Intelligence Agency. As a poison expert, he headed the chemical division of the Technical Services Staff (
Sidney became known as the "Black Sorcerer" and the "Dirty
Trickster". He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and experiments
in mind control.
1999(19th of Adar, 5759): Movie director Stanley Kubrick passed away at the age of 70. Some of his more memorable films included “Spartacus,” “2001-A Space Odyssey” and “Dr. Strangelove.”
1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including The Times of My Life: And My Life With The Times by Max Frankel, A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue by Wendy Shalit, Hirschfeld On Line by Al Hirschfeld and P.S.: The Autobiography of Paul Simon by Paul Simon
2000: Second showing of ‘The Life of the Jews in Palestine'' at the Museum of Modern Art. The classic documentary was produced in 1913 by the Odessa-based Mizrakh Company and presumed to be lost for some 80 years -- has resurfaced in New York. This excellent new print with English inter-titles of Noah Sokolovsky's 78-minute silent film is quite likely the rarest of the rarities featured in the museum’s 10-program tribute to France's national film archives, the Centre Nationale de la Cinematographie.
2001: Gesher pulled out of the coalition as a result of Ehud Barak’s participation in the Camp David Smmit.
2001: Ehud Barak completed his services as Israel’s tenth Prime Minister.
2001: Shlomo Ben Ami completed his service as Israel’s Foreign Minister.
2001: Binyamin Be-Eliezer replaced Ehud Barak as Defense Minister.
2001: Dalia Rabin-Pelossof replaced Efraim Sneah as Deputy Minister of Defense.
2001: Shimon Peres begins serving as Israel’s Foreign Minister.
2001: Reuven Rivlin replaced Binyamin Ben-Eliezer as Communications Minister.
2001: Asher Ohana replaced Yossi Beilin as Minister of Religion
2001: Avigdor Lieberman replaced Avraham Shochat as the National Infrastructure Minister
2001: Natan Sharansky began serving as Minister of Housing and Construction.
2001: Uzi Landau replaced Shlomo Ben-Ami as Minister of Public Security.
2001: Gideon Ezra began serving as Deputy Minister of Public Security
2001: President Bush met with 25 leaders from the Jewish community in the White House Roosevelt Room.
2002: Fifteen people were injured in the hotel lobby bombing at Ariel for which the PFLP terrorists took credit.
2003(3rd of Adar II, 5763): Two Israelis were killed and five were wounded when armed terrorists infiltrated the community of Kiryat Arba and attacked during Shabbat. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
2003: “In an advertisement placed in” today’s edition of The Jewish Press, The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada declared that ...Agudas Horabonim cannot approve of a call to attend a Reform or Conservative temple on Friday night, or any time. As important as Kiruv - bringing Jews closer to the synagogue - is, it must be carried out in accordance with the Halacha. Since the "Shabbat Across America/Canada" does not state that the synagogue must be Orthodox, clearly implying that it can also be a Reform and Conservative temple, the Agudas Harabonim strongly disapproves, and warns all Jews not to take part in the "Shabbat Across America/Canada" program.” (While this group sees itself as the true keeper of the flame, so to speak, there are those who find them “too lax”)
2003: A celebration of actress Ruth Kobart’s life is scheduled to be held this evening at the Geary Theatre in San Francisco.
2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including The Prisoner of Vandam Street by Kinky Friedman and the recently released paperback edition of Trains of Thought: From Paris to Omaha Beach: Memories of a Wartime Youth, by Victor Brombert in which the renowned literary scholar recalls his bourgeois Jewish childhood in Europe and his stateless youth: his parents escaped from France to the United States in 1941, and after joining the Army he returned to Europe to fight in the Normandy campaign and the Battle of the Bulge.
2004(14th of Adar, 5764): Purim
2005: After considering Hiram Bingham's deeds during the war years in Marseille for a number years, Israel's memorial Yad Vashem ("Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority") issued the Bingham family a letter of appreciation
2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that Saudi Arabia has continued to participate in the boycott against Israeli goods in violation of promises the Saudis had made to the United States and the international economic community. Despite a promise made to Washington last November to drop its economic boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia plans to host a major international conference next week aimed at promoting a continued trade embargo on the Jewish state. The kingdom continues to prohibit entry to products made in Israel or to foreign-made goods containing Israeli components, in violation of pledges made by senior Saudi officials to the Bush administration last year. On November 11, the WTO's ruling general council had voted to grant Saudi Arabia entry into the prestigious group, which aims to promote international free trade, after it agreed to scrap restrictions on doing business with Israel.
2006: The Cedar Rapids Gazette announced that it would no longer carry the column by Mitch Albom because he was not reliable. Apparently the Gazette could tolerate his fictional columns, just not the fact that he could not be trusted to get his work to the paper once a week as promised.
2007: The Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee decided to move the national archive of Israel from Jerusalem to Arad,
2007: At the Skirball Cultural Center, a screening of Black Book. In the film “a beautiful chanteuse (Carice van Houten) joins the Dutch resistance in 1944 to track down the Nazis who killed her family and becomes embroiled in a web of seduction, betrayal, and revenge. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Black Book premiered at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals to rave reviews.
2007: The Israel Air Force began incorporating the new "Shoval" drone, which according to the Israel Defense Forces has an improved ability to identify the launch of projectile rockets such as Katyushas and Qassams.The army said the drones will also be able to provide better assistance to troops on the ground. Shoval is the IAF nickname for the "Mahatz" drone manufactured by the Israel Aircraft Industries.
2007: An exhibition entitled “Superheroes and Schlemiels: Jewish Memory in Comic Strip Art” opens at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. “Superman, Maus, The Rabbi’s Cat and many other heroes and anti-heroes from the art of comics feature in this exhibition of comics and graphic novels by Jewish artists. Leading comic artists present their vision of a Jewish past in original drawings, printed matter and film material. The artists include Will Eisner, Joe Kubert, Ben Katchor and Rutu Modan. The exhibition, with comics from 1910 to the present day, is a co-production by the JHM and the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris.”
2007(17th of Adar, 5767): Eighty-year old journalist and novelist Charles Einstein, the author of The Bloody Spur passed away today in Michigan City, Indiana.
2008(30 Adar I, 5768: Rosh Chodesh Adar II
2008 (30 Adar I, 5768): The eight victims of the attack on Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem were buried this afternoon, each with Torah scrolls stained with their blood, in accordance with the Halakhic decision ruled by former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. The victims included American student Avraham David Moses, aged 16, Doron Maharata, 26 the oldest of those killed whose family immigrated to Israel as part of Operation Moses when he was eight years old, Yochai Lipschitz, 18, of Jerusalem; Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shiloh; Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav Hashahar; Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem; Roey Roth, 18, of Elkana; and Segev Pniel Avihayil, 15, of Neveh Danie
2008: Roland E. Arnall completed his term as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands.
2008: “The Other Boleyn Girl” starring Natalie Portman premiered in the United Kingdom
2008: Today a state historical marker was erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, and Temple Kol Emeth, near the building at 1200 Roswell Road, Marietta where Leo Frank was lynched. The memorial reads:
Near this location on August 17, 1915, Leo M. Frank, the Jewish superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, was lynched for the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory employee. A highly controversial trial fueled by societal tensions and anti-Semitism resulted in a guilty verdict in 1913. After Governor John M. Slaton commuted his sentence from death to life in prison, Frank was kidnapped from the state prison in Milledgeville and taken to Phagan's hometown of Marietta where he was hanged before a local crowd. Without addressing guilt or innocence, and in recognition of the state's failure to either protect Frank or bring his killers to justice, he was granted a posthumous pardon in 1986.
2009: In “The Perfect Hamantaschen” published today Deborah Gardner attempts to settle the dispute between those who prefer prune and those who munch on “mun.”
2009: Journalist David Plotz, the editor of Slate, discusses and signs Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible at Politics and Prose Bookstore,
2009: Israeli illustrator and artist David Polonsky discusses and signs his new graphic novel, Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story (created with Ari Folman, whose animated film of the same name inspired the book), at Busboys and Poets (D.C.)
2009: Shabbat Zachor 5769
2009: With demonstrators clashing with the police outside a near-empty stadium, Sweden won a doubles match to take a 2-1 lead against Israel in the Davis Cup series in Malmo, Sweden
2009: In case involving Dead Sea Scrolls scholars, The Chicago Tribune reported that New York City authorities this week charged the son of University of Chicago professor Norman Golb with identity theft, criminal impersonation and harassment in connection with a campaign to smear opponents of his father's scholarly theories. The academic subject at the center of the controversy is the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, religiously significant documents that have provoked controversy since they were discovered six decades ago. The Manhattan District Attorney contends that Raphael Golb, 49, used dozens of Internet aliases during a six-month period last year to sway debate about the scrolls. In one instance, the 49-year-old attorney allegedly opened an e-mail account in the name of Lawrence Schiffman, a New York University professor and one of his father's chief critics. Then, using NYU computers, Golb allegedly posed as Schiffman and sent e-mails to Schiffman's colleagues admitting plagiarism.Schiffman said he contacted the district attorney's office, and the investigation began. The younger Golb "obviously went way overboard to protect the intellectual views of his father," Schiffman told the Tribune on Friday. "I can't believe this would happen," he said. "We are supposed to be doing scholarly interchange." New York authorities say Raphael Golb, using various aliases, also created Internet blogs that he used to accuse Schiffman of plagiarism, as well as creating e-mail accounts in the names of other Dead Sea Scrolls scholars. Norman Golb, a professor of Jewish history and civilization at the U. of C., on Friday described his son's arrest as another twist in the ongoing, often heated debate about the ancient scrolls. "The fact of the matter is that if I understand it, Raphael was responding to the attacks on me," Golb said from his university office. "I suppose my son felt it was important to get things straight."He added, "This has everything to do with the politics of the scrolls."Indeed, since their discovery six decades ago, the Dead Sea Scrolls have not only shed light on the ancient world but also ignited contemporary conflicts. Scholars view the ancient manuscripts, which include texts from the Hebrew Bible, as a missing link between Judaism and Christianity. Norman Golb, the author of "Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?: The Search for the Secret of Qumran," has played a leading role in the squabbles and is known for criticizing museum exhibits about the scrolls that do not include his views. Golb holds a minority view that the scrolls, hidden during the time of Jesus, were a sort of library of writings by several Jewish sects that were moved to one site to protect them from Roman invaders. Most scholars believe the scrolls are the work of a single Jewish sect, the Essenes, who wrote the documents in a monastery, where they were found in the 1940s and 1950s.Raphael Golb's attorney, Irena Milos, declined to comment Friday. In criminal court for his arraignment Friday, Golb did not enter a plea. He was released on his own recognizance. A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said the investigation is ongoing and would not comment on whether Norman Golb is under investigation.
2010: The Jewish Women's Archive’s tour of Santa Fe is scheduled to come to an end today.
2010: “The Splendor of the House of Camondo: From Constatinople to Paris, 1806-1845” which opened at the Museum of Jewish Art and History in Paris on November 6, 2009 is scheduled to close today.
2010: The 121st annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis opened in San Francisco.
2010: The Twentieth Annual KOACH Kallah is scheduled to come to an end. KOACH is the college program of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
2010: After a year-and-a-half of careful restoration work by the Egyptian authorities, the Maimonides Synagogue in Cairo is scheduled to be rededicated today. The 19th-century synagogue and adjacent yeshiva, which stand on the site where Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, the Rambam, worked and worshiped more than 800 years ago, was restored by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). According to the Egyptian press, the restoration of the synagogue is part of a plan by the SCA to restore all the major religious sites in Egypt, including 10 synagogues. The rededication ceremony will be attended by members of the Cairo Jewish community, the Egyptian diplomatic corps, former Israeli ambassadors and representatives of the state. A group of Chabad Hassidim will also attend the ceremony and help in rededicating the synagogue. Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs at the American Jewish Committee, is one of the people responsible for the renovation project. The initiative dates back five years, Baker told The Jerusalem Post. “My initial reaction to the situation of the Jewish heritage sites in Egypt was not easy,” he said. “The authorities have protected the site from thieves and vandals by placing guards around them, but things were in a sorry condition.” Baker said that over the past few years he went back and forth from the United States to Egypt and met with state officials to discuss the preservation and future of Egypt’s Jewish sites. Among the people he met were Culture Minister Farouk Hosny and SCA director Zahi Hawass. On other occasions he met with the foreign minister and some of the chief advisers to President Hosni Mubarak. “The Egyptians were reluctant to form a formal partnership with us, but were willing to step forward themselves to do the restoration work,” Baker said. “They even endorsed our proposal that one of the restored synagogues should serve as a Museum of Egyptian Jewish Heritage.” Upon taking on the task, the Egyptians proceeded to carefully renovate the Maimonides Synagogue, known to the community as Rav Moshe. Baker said that the Egyptians had transformed the structure from an earthquake-damaged, roofless and moldy wreck to a near picture-perfect replica of the synagogue that was built in the 19th century.“I was there in December and it was remarkable,” he said. “They restored it expertly according to old photographs. “They dug a cistern under the building to drain up excess water that had flooded the yeshiva. They reinforced the ceiling with steel beams. They made new marble columns to replace old ones that had fallen to rubble. They even built a new ark for the Torah scrolls and carefully restored intricate artwork on the walls,” Baker said.The cost of the renovation is estimated at between $1.5 million and $2m. Baker said the Egyptians were cautious about highlighting their work on Jewish sites. “The authorities are tentatively embracing Maimonides as part of their own heritage, but as in most places in the Middle East, Jew and Israeli are often equated and the conflict has a way of entering any discussion,” he said. Former ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel and his wife flew to Cairo on Thursday to attend the event. “Many of Egypt’s Jewish institutions are in bad shape,” said Mazel who was stationed in Cairo between 1996 and 2001. “The Jewish community is very small and is not capable of preserving all the sites. Once there was a large Jewish population there but most people left in the 1950s.”Mazel characterized the path to renovation as “entangled.” “The Egyptians consider the synagogues and the ancient Torah scrolls as part of their heritage, but the fact of the matter is that they were built and purchased by the Jewish community. I think it’s good that they conducted the renovations, but sad that they won’t let Israel be a part of it. “There is a real fear in Egypt of the appearance of normalized relations, which reflects the prevalent anti-Semitism in the Arab world. If there is no dialogue on an issue like this, I think it’s a bad sign,” Mazel said. Rabbi Yosef Hecht will be leading 12 men from the Chabad community in Eilat to take part in the rededication. Hecht said he had been to Cairo more than 20 times to pray and to close the cycle of readings of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah. “We were there when we prayed in a pile of rubble and it will be exciting to be there now that it’s restored,” Hecht said. Some people believe that the synagogue and accompanying yeshiva have miraculous healing powers. The Rambam was a physician and it is believed that those who enter the synagogue may be cured of illness. In late February, a homemade bomb was thrown at the Ben-Ezra Synagogue, sometimes referred to as the El-Geniza Synagogue, in the heart of Cairo. The land for this synagogue was purchased in 882 CE for 20,000 dinars by Abraham ibn Ezra of Jerusalem. This was the synagogue whose geniza or store room was found in the 19th century to contain a treasure of abandoned Hebrew secular and sacred manuscripts. The collection, known as the Cairo Geniza, was brought to Cambridge, England, at the instigation of Solomon Schechter. According to the police report, a man entered a hotel located on the fourth floor of a building across from the synagogue at around 3 a.m. and, as he was checking in, threw his suitcase out the window. The case contained four containers of gasoline, each attached to a glass bottle of sulfuric acid meant to shatter on impact and ignite the makeshift bomb, said police, who speculated the man may have panicked. The bag, which also contained clothes, cotton strips, matches and a lighter, fell onto the sidewalk in front of the hotel and briefly caught fire before being extinguished. There were no injuries and no damage to the historic synagogue.
2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readings including The Ask by Michael Lipstye
2010(21 Adar, 5770): Arnold Forster, an American Jewish leader, lawyer and writer who was a longtime executive of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, passed away today in the Bronx at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale. He was 97. Associated with the Anti-Defamation League for nearly six decades, Mr. Forster was its general counsel from 1946 to 2003. In that capacity he helped document, publicize and combat myriad forms of anti-Semitism in the United States and overseas. He was widely quoted in the news media over the years on a range of Jewish issues, including Zionism, a cause he defended ardently and about which he wrote frequently. His books, many of which began life as league reports, include “The Trouble-Makers” (Doubleday, 1952), “ ‘Some of My Best Friends ...’ ” (Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1962) and “The New Anti-Semitism” (McGraw-Hill, 1974), all written with Benjamin R. Epstein. Mr. Forster was also the author of a memoir, “Square One” (D. I. Fine, 1988), which has a foreword by Elie Wiesel. Mr. Forster began his work with the Anti-Defamation League in the 1930s. In 1938, he convened a group of lawyers to serve pro bono as the league’s legal arm. He formally joined the league in 1940 and later became its associate national director, presiding over an expansion of its law department and civil rights programs. In 1965 Mr. Forster hired a young law school graduate named Abraham H. Foxman as an assistant to the director of the league’s law department. Mr. Foxman is now the league’s national director. After retiring from the league in 1979, Mr. Forster was associated with two New York law firms, Shea & Gould and Baer Marks & Upham. Besides writing books, Mr. Forster wrote the screenplays of several documentary films. Among them are “The Avenue of the Just” (1978), about Gentiles who saved Jews during the Holocaust, and “Zubin and the I.P.O.” (1983), about Zubin Mehta, the music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Broadcast on NBC, “Zubin and the I.P.O.” won Daytime Emmy Awards for its director, Samuel Elfert, and for Mr. Mehta. In “Square One,” Mr. Forster recounted his decades-long campaign against bigotry. Reviewing the memoir in The New York Times Book Review, Marlene Sanders called it “an earnest chronicle of the useful life of a dedicated man.” Ms. Sanders continued: “The work of Mr. Forster and the league over the years has contributed to eliminating many institutionalized forms of prejudice.” She added, “We may not be back to ‘Square One’ in solving the problem, but this book is a reminder that there is still work to be done.”
2011: Israeli choreographer Michal Samama is scheduled to perform ‘Still Life with Seven Stones’ in New York City.
2011: Israeli violinist Misha Keylin, Seymour Lipkin and the Jupiter musicians are scheduled to perform at the Good Shepherd Church in New York City.
2011: On the day before Mardi Gras, Jews in the Crescent City have the opportunity to participate in Breakfast with Maimonides during which Rabbi Zelig Rivkin is scheduled to lead a study of the writings of the Rambam
2011: (1 Adar II 5771): Rosh Chodesh Adar II
2011: (1 Adar II 5771) Yahrzeit for the passengers killed on Egged Bus #53 8 years ago in Tel Aviv:
· Kmer Abu Khamed, 12, from Daliyat al Karmel
· Yuval Mendelevitch, 13, from Haifa
· Smadar Firstatter, 17, from Haifa
· Avigail Lietel, 14, from Haifa
· Asaf Tzur, 16, from Haifa
· Daniel Harush, 16 , from Safed
· Tom Hershko, 16, from Haifa, and his father-
· Motti Hershko, 41, from Haifa
· Tal Kehrmann, 17, from Haifa
· Elizabeth (Liz) Katzman, 17, from Haifa
· Meital Katav, 20, from Haifa
· Moran Shushan, 20, from Haifa
· Anatoly Biryakov, 20, from Haifa
· Be'eri Ovad, 21 , from Rosh Pina
· Eliyahu Laham, 22, from Haifa
· Miriam Atar, 27, from Haifa
· Mark Takash, 54, from Haifa
2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has ordered the state to demolish all illegal West Bank outposts built on private Palestinian land by the end of 2011, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser announced today. The cabinet decision was made in response to a petition submitted by the Israeli NGO Peace Now, demanding that the government put into effect a demarcation order already issued regarding six contentious outposts: Ramat Gilad, Mitzpe Yitzhar, Givat Har'eh, Givat Asaf. Ma'aleh Rehavam and Mitzpeh Lachish. The government decided earlier this month that it would immediately dismantle all illegal outposts built on private land, with the sole exception of the house owned by slain Israel Defense Forces officer Eliraz Peretz, but had not yet set a timetable for that matter. At the same time, however, the government will begin legalizing illegal outposts built on state land. Regarding Peretz's house, the government will ask the court for more time to find a solution. According to the order issued toay, all of the homes in Givat Asaf, and some of the homes in Givat Har'eh and Ramat Gilad, will be razed. Mitzpeh Yitzhar is built on survey land, which means its official owners have not yet been determined. Hauser said that further debate would be held regarding outposts built on non-private land, but current enforcement would be geared against the invasion of private land
2011: Publication of “Jewish Texts Lost in War Are Surfacing in New York”
2012: “Nicholas Winton: The Power of Good” is scheduled to be shown at the Pittsburgh Jewish Film Festival in Pittsburgh, PA.
2012: The junior faculty at the University of Haifa is scheduled to go on strike as part of “an ongoing dispute with the Committee of University Presidents over work conditions”
2012: Friends and family of Dr. Ron Reider join together to celebrate his natal day. Besides being a crack physician, Reider is an avid wrestling fan, a pillar of the Jewish community and a loyal supporter of the Traditional Minyan. In addition to which, he is one of only two people in Cedar Rapids who wraps his tefillin around his right arm.
2012(13th of Adar, 5772): Fast of Esther
2012: As part of their Fast of Esther observance, the 9th graders at Temple Judah have agreed to take part in “Say No To Lashon Hara Day.” Purim is a holiday that reminds of the evil consequences of the Evil Tongue.. Traditionally, on the day before Purim, we give up food and drink to show our solidarity with Esther. They are going to avoid Lashon Hara, both in its literal and figurative meaning, on the day before Purim to show that modern world would be better off without it just as the Jews of Shushan would have benefited from its absence.
2012: Education Minister Gideon Saar announced today that Rabbi Chaim Druckman will receive the Israel Prize for his contributions to society and education. Rabbi Druckman, who heads the Bnei Akiva movement, was nominated by the Israel Price selection committee headed by retired High Court Justice Yaakov Turkel. Rabbi Druckman, born in Poland in 1932, has worked for decades for “uniting the people of Israel,” the selection committee noted. He also has been active in absorbing immigrants from the former Soviet Bloc and from Ethiopia, and he heads a special rabbinical court for conversions. He moved to pre-state Israel in 1944 after having been rescued from the Holocaust. Rabbi Druckman learned at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and was a leader in the establishment of the Gush Emunim movement that promoted a Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
2012: Thirteen Israelis made this year’s list of billionaires which totaled 1,226 people. Idan Ofer, director of Ofer Group, leads the list of Israeli billionaires in the 161st spot, with an estimated fortune of $6.2 billion. Beny Steinmetz of Steinmetz Business Group ranked eight spots bellow Ofer, with a net worth of $5.9 billion. Another Ofer brother, Eyal, came in 173rd on the list, with $5.8 billion. Iscar founder Stef Wertheimer and his family ranked 255th with some $4.2 billion, while Bank Hapoalim's Shari Arison was placed in the 288th spot with $3.9 billion. Other Israelis included on the list were film producer Arnon Milchan (290th, $3.8 billion); Kazakh-Israeli tycoon Alexander Machkevich (418th, $2.8 billion); Check Point founder Gil Shwed (683, $1.9 billion); Delek Group owner Yitzhak Tshuva (683, $1.9 billion);Lev Leviev (764, $1.7 billion); Marius Nacht (1015, $1.2 billion); Teddy Sagi (1015, $1.2 billion) and Moris Kahn (1153, $1 billion). (As reported by Y Net)
2013: Center for Jewish History and American Jewish Historical Society are scheduled to present a discussion of the soon-to-be published book FDR and the Jews.
2013: Helaine and Isaac Heller donated one million dollars as an unrestricted gift to Cooper Union’s Annual Fund.
2013: In Cedar Rapids, the family and friends of Dr. Ronald Reider, a pillar of the Jewish community and an ardent supporter of the Shabbat Minyan, celebrate his natal day. Dr. Reider is one of two men in Cedar Rapids who uses “left-handed’ tefillin.
2013(25th of Adar, 5773): Ninety-eight year old Jacques Torczyner, the Belgian born former president of the ZOA passed away today.
2013: "British Fascism, Anti-Fascism and Jewish Defence,” a one day conference co-sponsored by the Board of Deputies of British Jewish is scheduled to take place at the Wiener Library.
2014: JW3 is scheduled to host a “100% Shabbat friendly” Friday Night Supper Club in London.
2014: The Library of Congress is scheduled to screen “Sukkah City,” Jason Hutt’s documentary that “explores the artistic process of architects and documents how an ancient building was reinvented for the 21st century.”
2014: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host Shabbat Across America.
2014: Following a congregation spaghetti dinner, the 9th grade class is scheduled to lead Friday night services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2014: The third bi-annual LimmudFest New Orleans is scheduled to open this evening with registration at Temple Sinai on St. Charles Avenue.
2014: Nine Ukrainian Jews injured by gunfire during fighting in Kiev were flown to Israel today afternoon to receive crucial medical treatment. (As reported by Yoel Goldman)
2014: “Israeli jets scrambled to its Northern border with Syria today after Syrian aircraft were spotted in the area. The Syrians, who were apparently attacking rebel positions, pulled back from the border when they spotted the IAF. (As reported by Times of Israel)
2014: “Closer to the Moon” a movie based on the Ioanid Gang (a group of Jewish Romanians who allegedly stole a huge amount of money from an armored car) was released in Romania today.
2015: As Jews in Cedar Rapids come together for the Traditional Shabbat minyan they are bathed in a veritable Upper Mid-West Heat Wave as temperatures go above freezing for the second day in a row.
2015: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host a Paint Your Own Passover Pottery party this evening.
2015(16th of Adar, 5775): Eighty-eight year old businessman and philanthropist Isaac Heller passed away today.
2015: Tom Morton-Smith’s “Oppenheimer” which takes him “from a left-wing academic in Berkeley, California, to a military scientist in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he headed the top-secret Manhattan Project” is scheduled to be performed for the last time at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon
2015: At the New Orleans Hyatt Hotel, the Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS), the first and oldest Jewish children’s agency in the United States, will host a 160th anniversary, featuring some of New Orleans finest musical talent, and honoring families who have made programs on behalf of Jewish children a centerpiece of their philanthropy. (Editor’s Note – speaking from personal experience, this is an organization worthy of financial support)
2015: “Yoav Galant, a former IDF general running for Knesset with the centrist Kulanu party, charged today that the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu largely ignored the tunnel threat posed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip until Operation Protective Edge last summer.
2015: “An estimated 40,000 demonstrators filled Rabin Square this eveing “to take part in a rally calling for a change in government” where they herard former Mossa chief Meir Dagan say that Netanyahu “is dragging us down to a bi-national state and to the end of the Zionist dream.”
2016: “Phoenix” and “Apples from the Desert” are scheduled to shown at the Houston (TX) Jewish Film Festival.
2017: In Memphis, TN, Temple Israel is scheduled to host its annual Purimspiel, “an original production…inspired by a collection of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock tunes.”
2017: In France, the court is scheduled to render a verdict after hearing evidence in a case where “French Jewish scholar Georges Bensoussan is being sued by Muslim anti-racism groups for saying in a radio debate: ‘In French Arab families, babies suckle antisemitism with their mothers’ milk.’”
2017: The YIVO Institute is scheduled to sponsor a lecture by Jack Jacobs on the “Political Thinkers Of East European Jewry” where he “will focus on the ideas of Dubnow, Zhitlowsky, Pinsker, Ahad Ha’am, Syrkin, Borochov, Scherer, and Jabotinsky.”