Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This Day, April 13, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


April 13

1111: Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Henry gained power by revolting against his father Henry IV.  This was unfortunate for the Jews of Germany since Henry IV had been protective of his Jewish subjects as can be seen by his enforcement of laws forbidding the forcible baptism of Jews and allowing Jews who had been forcibly baptized to return to the faith of their fathers even if this ruling was contrary to Church doctrine. While no record exists that shows Henry V repealed the rulings his father’s loss of power was still a blow to the Jews because it was rare to find a monarch who was protective of his Jewish subjects.

1204: During the Fourth Crusade the sack of Constantinople continues. The Fourth Crusade was initially called for by Innocent III, one of the more anti-Semitic Popes. European Jews did not suffer in the way they had during the first 3 crusades, in part because of the devastation they had already experienced.  The Fourth Crusade degenerated into a fight among Christians as the Latin Crusaders made war against eastern Orthodox Christians.

1250: The Seventh Crusade, led by King Louis IX of France is defeated in Egypt. This marked the last of the Crusades.  Considering the impact they had on the Jews, the end of the Crusades was a positive thing.  This did not mark the end of the Crusading Spirit which would continue to rear its ugly head in events such as the expulsion from Spain two and half centuries later.  Louis IX’s four decade long reign was a time of misery for the Jews. It was marked by the famous burning of twenty four carloads of Talmudic writings in Paris in 1242 and a similar such conflagration two years later.  

1519: Birthdate of Catherine de' Medici who would become the wife of Henry II of France. When it came to choosing a doctor, Catherine opted to go for quality and used Jews even though Children of Israel had been banned from living in France. Catherine first employed a Marrano named Luis Nunez.  Later she began using Philotheus Montalto, a Portuguese doctor who had cured of her some un-named malady when he was passing through Paris.

1556(23rd of Nisan, 5316): Portuguese Marranos who had returned to Judaism were burned to death in Acona, Italy. A Jewish-led boycott of the port of Acona marked the first community-wide effort by "free" Jews, since the beginning of the Diaspora, to hit back at their enemies.

1587(5th of Nisan, 5347): Jacob Luzatto passed away in Venice, Italy at the age of 60.  It is not known if this is the same Jacob Luzzato who lived and preached at Safed and was a prolific author of tomes ranging from Talmudic commentaries to Haggadot.

1598: Henry IV of France issues the Edict of Nantes allowing freedom of religion to the Huguenots in Catholic France.  The edict did not cover Moslems or Jews living in France, including “New Christians” who had fled to France because of the Inquisition.

1636(7th of Nisan): Rabbi Elijah Kalmankes of Lemberg author of Eliyahu Rabbah passed away.

1660: Antonio Enrequez Basurto, a Marano poet and comedic playwright was burned in effigy after seeking refuge in Amsterdam.

1712: Shabbethai ben Joseph Bass was suddenly arrested today “on the charge of having spread abroad incendiary speeches against all divine and civic government.”

1727(22nd of Nisan, 5487): Judah ben Samuel Rosanes passed away Born in 1657, this student of Samuel ha-Levi and Joseph di Trani was appointed by the Sultan to serve as “hakam bashi” (Chief Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire because of his scholarship and linguistic skills. He was the son-in-law of Abraham Rosanes.

1743: Birthdate of Thomas Jefferson.  “Thomas Jefferson is deservedly a hero to American Jewry. His was one of the few voices in the early republic fervently championing equal political rights for Jews. Jefferson’s Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia is a classic American statement of religious toleration. Significantly, while Jefferson championed the rights of Jews and other religious minorities, he did not do so out of respect for Judaism but because he respected the right of every individual to hold whichever faith they wished…. Despite his reservations about the perceived “defects” in Judaism, Jefferson never wavered in his commitment to civil and religious freedom for Jews. Jefferson’s most notable achievement in establishing religious and civic toleration for American Jewry was his 1779 Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia. Adopted in 1785, the Bill proclaimed: “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess. . . their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise . . . affect their civil capacities.”  Two years later, in 1787, the U. S. Constitution was adopted. Article VI contains the following, Jefferson-inspired phrase: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Despite his attitude toward Judaism as a religion, Jefferson’s advocacy of the rights of Jews –and those of other religious minorities – has become the law and custom of the land. Toleration of all religions, the absence of an official government religion, and the right to practice and express religious thought freely are the hallmarks of Jefferson’s legacy. Despite his private views of Judaism, he was indeed a most ‘righteous Gentile.’” 

1763: At Providence, Jacob Rivera, Aaron Lopez, Naftali Hart and Moses Lopez were among the ten signatories of the Spermaceti Candle Agreement.  The agreement was an effective tool for controlling the candle making trade in area including Pennsylvania, New York and New England.

1764: Final effective date for the Spermaceti Candle Agreement which had been supported by Jacob River, Aaron Lopez, Naftali Hart and Moses Lopez, four of the leading merchants in an industry based on whale oil.

1772: In New York, Uriah and Eva Esther Hendricks gave birth to Aaron Hendricks.

1793: Birthdate of Louis Jacques Begin, a Belgium born French surgeon and author.

1822(22nd of Nisan, 5582): 8th day of Pesach

1823: In the northern Italian city of Leghorn, Samuel and Bonina Morais gave birth to Sabato Morais, a leading 19th century American Orthodox Rabbi.

1827: Birthdate of Viennese native Josef Kopp, the attorney who became a judge and a member of the “Lower Austrian Parliament.

1829: In Great Britain, Parliament passes the Catholic Relief Act which removes most of the remaining legal obstacles to full participation of Roman Catholics in the political life of the country.  The Jews living in this British Isles saw this as a sign of hope that they would soon attain full religious freedom.  They and their non-Jewish supporters began a campaign to gain equal rights for the Jews.  Unfortunately, success was not just around the corner and the fight would take fifteen years to win.  One Catholic politician was reported to have said that he would support the Jews in their fight since he could not deny to others what had been won for him and his Catholic brethren.

1830: Boletter Salomonsen and Zacharias Isaac Levy gave birth to Arnold Zacharias who is interred in the Horsens Jewish Cemetery at Denmakr.

1840: Birthdate of Samuel Ullman, the native of Hohenzollern-Hechingen who came to the United States at the age of eleven, settled in Mississippi, fought for the Confederacy and moved to Birmingham, Alabama where he became a successful businessman and lobbied so vigorously for the rights African Americans that a high school was named in his honor.

1840: Birthdate of Ludwig Mauthner, the native of Prague who became a noted “Austrian neuroanatomist and ophthalmologist.”

1845(6th of Nisan, 5605): Baruch Hays, the son of Solomon Hays who was the husband of both Prudence and Rachel Hays passed away today.

1849: During the Hungarian Revolution which was a revolt against being ruled by the Habsburgs of Austria, Hungary becomes a republic. Thousands of Jews fought on the side of the revolutionaries and thousands more contributed financially to the short-lived success of the cause. The new Hungarian Republic voted to give the Jews full rights of citizenship.  Unfortunately, the Jews would enjoy their new status for only two weeks.  Austrian forces conquered the Hungarians and put an end to this short lived new republic.

1850:  Birthdate of Hungarian-Jewish author and professor Bernhard Alexander who passed away in Budapest in 1927.

1851: At “Weimar Jewish pianist Salomon Jadassohn was the soloist at the first performance, under Liszt's baton, of Liszt's arrangement for piano and orchestra of Carl Maria von Weber's Polonaise (Polacca) brillante "L'hilarité" in E major, Op. 72.

1851: Sabato Morais was elected Hazan of Mikveh Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation in Philadelphia, PA.

1852: Birthdate of Rabbi Haim (Henry) Pereira Méndez. Mendez was part of a family famous for its rabbis.  Mendez began his career in England before moving to the United States where he served as rabbi for Shearith Israel (The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue) in New York.  He was also one of the founders of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

1854(15th of Nisan, 5614): Pesach

1860: “Savoy in the British Parliament” published today described Switzerland as a place “which worship William Tell; persecute the Jews; and find the Bourbons in body-guards, English clergymen in scenery, and all the world in watches” [Apparently Swiss antipathy towards Jews was a well-established fact as could be seen by a treaty that the Switzerland tried negotiated with the U.S. in the 1850’s that permitted them to discriminate against American Jews.]

1861: After 33 hours of bombardment by Rebel artillery, the United States garrison at Fort Sumter, SC surrendered exactly four years and four days before the South would surrender to the North at Appomattox Court House in war which pitted brother against brother, including Jewish brother against Jewish brother.

1861: On his way back to his post at Watervilet, NY, Major Alfred Mordecai stopped in Richmond where his brother George urged him to resign from the U.S. Army and join the Confederates.

1864: In Vienna, “Galician Jewish liberal newspaper publisher Mortiz Szeps” and his wife gave birth to Bertha Szeps who gained fame as writer, journalist and critic Bertha Zuckerkandl-Szeps.

1865: In Russia Seelig Seligsohn and his wife gave birth to Max Seligsohn the American and French trained linguist whose aborted effort to study the conditions of the Falashas led to him becoming an editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia in New York in 1902.

1866(28th of Nisan, 5626): Fifty-six year old Naphtali Frankfurter, the brother of Berhnhard Frankfurter, the reform Rabbi who led the Hamburg Temple and  who was elected to serve in the Hamburg Parliament passed away today.

1870(22nd of Nisan, 5631): 8th day of Pesach

1870: The New York State Legislature granted the Metropolitan Museum of Art an Act of Incorporation marking today as the founding date of this great institution.  The Robert Lehman Collection, which was donated in 1969, following Lehman’s death is one of the largest and most unique collections on display at the museum.

1871: La belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen), an operetta by Jacques Offenbach with a libretto co-authored by Ludovic Halévy opened in New York City at the Grand Opera House

1880: It was reported today the a Selig Selbiger, a Jewish peddler from western Prussia, has testified before the coroner that his 22 year old sister Fanny has been killed by her husband Moses Adler, a Lithuanian born matzo maker.

1881: Birthdate of Ernst Heilmann, the German jurist and political leader who was murdered at Buchenwald in 1940.

1881: An “anti-Jewish” petition was sent to Otto von Bismarck today.  The petition, which has been circulating throughout the German Empire for the last six months calls for restrictions to be placed on the number of Jews immigrating to Germany and for repealing the legislation which has given the rights of citizens to the Jews of Germany.

1882: Seventy two year old Bruno Bauer whose early works on Christianity and Judaism gave way to a series of anti-Semitic writings passed a way today.

1882:  An Anti-Semitic League was formed in Prussia.  Prussia was the dominant state in the newly united Germany.  [Obviously Hitler did not start anti-Semitism in Germany.]

1885: In Budapest, József Löwinger and his wife Adele Wertheimer gave birth to Hungarian philosopher and literary critic Georg Lukács,

1890: “New Publications” published today provides a detailed review of The Temple of Solomon: History of Art in Sardinia Judea, Syria and Asia Minor by Georges Perrot and Charles Chipiez.

1892: “Sampson Simpson’s Bequest” published today described the decision of the Court of Appels that the North American Relief Society did not qualify as an organization established “for the purpose of ameliorating the condition of Jews in Jerusalem” and therefore the residue of the estate of Sampson Simpson should go to the descendants of his nephew Moses Isaacks.”

1893: Theodore Seligman, the son of Jesse Seligman was blackballed at the Union Club this evening when his application for membership came before that body.  The members who voted to blackball young Mr. Seligman publicly and proudly admitted that “it was a simply a matter of race prejudice.”  In response to this action, the senior Mr. Seligman who had been a member of the club for a quarter of a century and a vice president for 14 years immediately resigned.

1894: Congregation Shaaray Tefila (Gates of Prayer) dedicated their new sanctuary on west 82nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues this evening

1895: The celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Temple Emanu-El entered its second day. Rabbi Joseph Silverman and Cantor William Sparger conducted the morning services. Approximately 2,500 people attended the evening events.

1895: The Chicago Evening Journal “welcomed the premier of the ‘American Jewess and praised its editor Rosa Sonneschein.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)

1895: Alfred Dreyfus is placed in solitary confinement on Devil's Island, off the coast of French Guiana.

1897: During the meeting of the New York City Board of Health where contagious diseases were discussed it was noted that “the most troublesome contagion is trachoma or granulated eyelid;” a condition to which Jewish children from Russia are highly susceptible to given their constant exposure to this condition.

1899: At Wesp’s Hall in Buffalo, NY, founding of the International Social and Benefit Society.

1900(14th of Nisan, 5660):  In one of those quirks of the calendar Christians observe Good Friday on the same day when Jews sit down to their first Seder. 

1900(14th of Nisan, 5660):  Poor Jews living on the Lower East Side were relieved to find that free matzoth were being distributed at Charles “Silver Dollar” Smith’s “old place on Essex Street.”  There was concern that the distribution would end since Smith had passed away last year.  Before he had changed his name, Smith was known as variously as Charles Goldschmidt or Charles Solomon.  A New York alderman who was part of the Tammany Hall machine, he was called “Silver Dollar” because of the “2,400 silver dollars used as a studded inlay in his saloon…”

1900: Herzl met with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. 

1902: In Paris, Baron Henri de Rothschild and Mathilde Sophie Henriette von Weissweiller gave birth to Baron Philippe de Rothschild who developed a passion for grand prix race driving and growing fine wines.

1902: Today, Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, founder of the National Farm School said, “Not yet have we grasped the scientific truth that society is an organic whole in which the welfare of all is dependent upon the well-being of each…"

1903(16th of Nisan, 5663): Second Day of Pesach

1903(16th of Nisan, 5663): Seventy-eight year old German philosopher and Jewish communal leader and author Mortiz Lazarus passed away today.
http://humanities.tau.ac.il/history-school/images/yanivE.pdf

1905: In Vienna, Keva Padover and the former Frumet Goldover gave birth to American historian Saul Kussiel Padover whose 30 books included biographies of characters as King Louis XVI, Karl Marx and Thomas Jefferson. (As reported by Edith Evans Asbury)
http://www.nytimes.com/1981/02/24/obituaries/dr-saul-k-padover-author-dead-at-75.html

1909: The Jews took an active part in uprising of the Young Turk movement including Nissim Effendi Mazliah and Emmanuel Effendi Carusso, members of the Parliament. Many Jews from Adrianople, Constantinople, Monastir and Salonika volunteered for service in the Army of the Young Turks. The Young Turks was the name given to those who sought to modernize the Ottoman Empire.

1910: Sir Charles Walston, Lord Walston and Florence Walston, gave birth to Evelyn Sophie Alexandra Browne (Walston) the wife of Sir Patrick Reginald Evelyn Browne

1911(15th of Nisan, 5671): Pesach

1912(26th of Nisan, 5672): Fifty-two year old Rabbi Henry Klein passed away today in New York.

1912: The Titanic continues on its maiden voyage with an array of wealthy Jewish passenger as well those traveling in third class including Russian born a storekeeper in Manchester on his way to visit his brother in Massachusetts.

1913: The United Hebrew Community sent several hundred pounds of Matzoth to the Otisville Sanitarium in Otisville, NY.  The organization also sent new dishes to the sanitarium which will be used on Passover which begins next week.

1913(6th of Nisan, 5673): Fifty-two year old merchant Isadore Siegel passed away today in Newark, NJ.

1913: Founding of “Ezras Israel Synagogue” in Chicago, Illinois.

1913: In Brooklyn, Rabbi Alexander Lyons is scheduled to officiate at the funeral of Isaac Tuck, the publisher of the Produce Bulletin

1913: “In the absence of Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. Henry Berkowitz of Philadelphia, the chancellor of the Jewish Chautauqua, spoke at the Free Synagogue” this morning on the topic of “Jewish Chivlary.”

1913: Founding of Keneseth Israel in Scranton, PA.

1914(17th of Nisan, 5674): Harry Horowitz a gangster also known as Gyp the Blood and a leader of the Lenox Avenue Gang in New York City was executed at Sing Sing Prison

1915: U.S. Attorney General Gregory announced that the Department of Justice had retained Louis D. Brandeis of Boston to serve as special counsel for the Interstate Commerce Commission in the five percent rate case to defend Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo and Comptroller of the Currency Williams in the injunction proceedings being brought by Riggs National Bank in Washington, D.C.

1916: The Industrial Department of the United Hebrew Charities continued to sort through the bags collected on Bundle Day, deciding what to sell and what to distribute to the less fortunate.

1917: Herman Bernstein of the American Hebrew was reported today to have said that sending a copy of the Statue of Liberty to the people of Russia would be a fitting gift from the Jews of America who love their country and “are enjoying the liberty and equality” to their co-religionists who thanks to the Revolution will now enjoy the benefits of emancipation.

1918(1st of Iyar, 5678): Rosh Chodesh Iyar and Shabbat

1918(1st of Iyar, 5678): During World War I, 20 year old  Lieutenant Arthur Charles Lionel Abrahams the only child of Sir Lionel Abrahams KCB and Lucy (nee Joseph) Lady Abrahams “fell on the Western Front” while serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards.

1918: According to “semi-official cables” received in Washington today, “about 100 American families who had moved from Jerusalem just prior to the British occupation of the city presumably having been released by the Turks.

1918: In Washington, The War Trade Board has placed a limit of $175,000 a month on the amount of credits which may be sent from” the United states for the relief of Jews in Syria living under Turkish control” while there is no limit as to the amount that may be sent to Jews living in territory occupied by the British.

1920: In Patterson, NJ, Gussie and David Lefkowitz gave birth to Joseph Lefkowitz a graduate of Rutgers University who worked for the Social Security Administration until he retired in 1985 and moved to Crossville, TN where he was living at the time of his death.

1921: Today, at its meeting in Washington the Central Conference of American Rabbis adopted a “resolution recommending that the Conference request the great church organizations of this country to protest against the calling of the world anti-Semitic congress at Vienna and to petition the President and Congress to take such steps as may be advisable to prevent the call of this Congress on the ground that it is a menace to the peace of the world and to the permanence of democratic contitutions.”

1922(15th of Nisan, 5682): Pesach

1922: In Camden New Jersey, Congregation Beth El holds Passover service at 9 in the morning and seven in the evening.

1922: In Detroit, department store owner Louis Oppenheim and Julia Nurko Oppenheim gave birth to “clarinetist and…producer” David Jerome Oppenheim, the brother of Stanley Oppenheim.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/arts/03oppenheim.html

1922: “Make It Snappy” starring Eddie Cantor opened at the Winter Garden Theatre.

1923: Birthdate of comedian Don Adams best known for his portrayal of Maxwell Smart in the television hit Get Smart.  Smart’s father was a Hungarian Jew, but his mother was an Irish Catholic.

1924: Birthdate of Moshe Tehilimzeigger, the native of Równe, Poland who moved to Palestine in 1938 where he was first known as Moshe Shimony and then as Dahn Ben-Amotz who served in the Palmach before gaining fame as a broadcaster, journalist and author.

1924: In Columbia, South Carolina, Helen Cohen, the daughter of a jewelry salesman and Mordecai Moses Donen, a dress-shop manager gave birth to director and choreographer Stanley Donen who most famous works are “On the Town” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”

1926: It was reported today that the United Jewish Campaign is raising six million dollars “as part of a nation-wide drive” to raise fifteen million dollars to the Jews of Eastern Europe.

1927: Judge Samuel D. Levy announced today that “a campaign to raise $500,000 for the needs of the National Jewish Hospital Consumptives of Denver” which opened in 1899 and has treated 5,200 people from all over the countries regardless of their religion, is scheduled to begin on April 15.

1930: American composer and music administrator William Howard Schuman went to a Carnegie Hall concert of the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Arturo Toscanini with his older sister, Audrey. According to the Philharmonic's archives, the program included works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Smetana. Of this experience, Schuman later said, "I was astounded at seeing the sea of stringed instruments, and everybody bowing together. The visual thing alone was astonishing. But the sound! I was overwhelmed. I had never heard anything like it. The very next day, I decided to become a composer."

1930(15th of Nisan, 5690): First Pesach of the Great Depression

1930(15th of Nisan, 5690): On the first day of Pesach, rabbis combined the message of the holiday with the fact that this date marked the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson “who wrote the statue providing religious freedom in the Constitution of the State of Virginia.”  On the Upper East Side at   Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Nathan Krass declared that Moses, a figure even mightier than Thomas Jefferson, had first promulgated the doctrine of religious freedom when he had told Pharaoh that he wished to liberate everybody.  Krass also combined the message of religious freedom with the current economic crisis.  In the Bronx at the Montefiore Congregation, Rabbi Jacob Katz compared the prophetic message with sage of Monticello who championed American independence and religious liberty.  In this time of worsening financial crisis, Katz said that today we must “remove oppression, and create economic equality” just as our forefathers created political equality.  [Ed. Note: Neither of these Rabbis saw the irony of invoking the name of Jefferson the slaveholder on a holiday that celebrated the end of slavery.]

1931: In Brooklyn Morris Harkavy, “the chief engineer for the Borough of Queens” and his wife Esther gave birth to Ira Baer Harkavy, the graduate of Columbia Law School and Brooklyn Civil Court Judge “best known for his sentencing, on Dec. 7, 1987, of Morris Gross of Brighton Beach to 15 days in the six-story building Mr. Gross owned at 320 Sterling Street in what is now called Prospect-Lefferts Gardens for failing to address more than 400 housing code violations.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/nyregion/ira-harkavy-common-sense-new-york-judge-dies-at-84.html?hpw&rref=obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=1

1932: In Berlin, Peter and Irma Unger gave birth to Eva Unger who gained fame as Eva Figes, the “acclaimed novelist, memoirist, critic and author of “Patriarchal Attitudes.” (As reported by Leslie Kaufman):

1932: Birthdate of Yosef “Yossi” Banai, the native of Jerusalem who gained fame an entertainer ahd who was “one of the first members of the IDF’s famous troupe of performers – the Nahal troupe.

1933: During a debate in the House of Commons, Churchill warned that “there is a danger of the odious conditions now ruling in Germany being extended by conquest to Poland, and another persecution of pogrom of Jews begun in this new area.”

1933:  Central Committee of German Jews for Relief and Reconstruction was founded.

1934: “Bottoms Up” a musical comedy with a script co-authored by Sid Silvers who also played the role of “Spud Mosco” was released in the United States today.

1935(10th of Nisan, 5695): Shabbat HaGadol

1935: I. Edwin Goldwasser, Michael Schaap and Nathan Strauss, the co-chairmen of the Greater New York United Jewish Appeal announced that “sermons describing the situation of the Jews in Germany” will be the topic of the upcoming Passover sermons which will help prepare for the fund raising drive beginning on April 28.

1936(21st of Nisan, 5696): Seventh day of Pesach

1936: “A hope that the United States Government ‘will find it possible to intervene on behalf of the Jews in Poland’ to prevent their persecution was expressed to Secretary of State Cordell Hull today by a committee representing members of the American Federation of Labor and 350,000 Jewish citizens” in the United States.

1936: Dr. Everett R. Clinchy, the director of the National Conference of Jews and Christians, Reverend Michael J. Ahern of Weston College and Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron of Baltimore, MD boarded a train in Washington, DC to mark the start of “a six-week’s nationwide tour in the interest of creating closer understanding and cooperation among Protestants, Catholics and Jews.”

1936: At services today marking the concluding days of Pesach, sermons are being given placing an emphasis “on the necessity for Jewish communities giving their utmost support to movements to help destitute Jews in Germany, Eastern and Central Europe and other localities where their existence is threatened.”

1937: Mishmar HaShlosha, a moshav in the lower Galilee was established today on land purchased by the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association.

1938: At 8:30 this evening, Arturo Toscanini appeared before an audience of 1,700 adoring fans and began conducting a concert by the Palestine Orchestra.  The evening included a performance of Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony which is a double statement against fascism since Mendelssohn has been banned by the Nazis and Toscanini said he was dedicating the performance to the Italy he still loves.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that commander Oliver Locker-Lampson, Conservative MP from Birmingham, had introduced in the House of Commons a bill proposing to extend Palestinian nationality to all persecuted Jews. The vote was 144 "Ayes" and 144 "Nays," and the bill was passed after the Speaker voted in the affirmative. There was little doubt that the bill would never reach the Statute Book and become law.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that a mounting toll of Jewish suicides continued to be reported from Vienna, including a number of prominent Jewish residents.

1939: “The Fatted Calf” a comedy filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman was released in France today.

1939: Following its Hollywood premiere in March, “Wuthering Heights” directed by William Wyler, Samuel Goldwyn, with a script by Ben Hecht and music by Alfred Newman was released across the United States today.

1939: In Wilmington, Delaware, George Katz and the former Beatrice Goldstein gave birth to Michael Barry Katz the author of The Underserving Poor who was “an influential historian and social theorist who challenged the prevailing view in the 1980s and ’90s that poverty stemmed from the bad habits of the poor, marshaling the case that its deeper roots lay in the actions of the powerful.” (As reported by Paul Vitello)
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/us/michael-b-katz-historian-who-challenged-views-on-poverty-dies-at-75.html?hpw&rref=obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

1940: Eugene Meyer was among those who accompanied President Roosevelt to the Gridiron Dinner at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC.

1940: Anna Wolkoff made copies of classified documents stolen by pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic American diplomat Tyler Kent and “sent them to Berlin” where they ended up on the possession of the Abwehr while Kent planned to send these same documents to anti-FDR politicians with the hope of undermining the President’s attempt for re-election.

1941:  German troops enter Belgrade Yugoslavia. Another 75,000 more Jews would now fall under the German yoke. Jewish shops that day were ransacked by German troops and German citizens living in the Yugoslav capital city.

1941:  German troops and German citizens living in Belgrade finished the second day of a two-daylong orgy of violence aimed at the Jewish citizens of the Yugoslav capital city.

1941:  The Soviet Union and Japan sign a five year non-aggression pact. The Japanese had fought a brief undeclared war with the Russians in the late 1930’s in which they did poorly.  This helped cause Japan to turn its attention to south Asia which ultimately led to Pearl Harbor. This agreement meant that the Soviets did not have to worry about war with Japan so it could focus all of its attention on defeating the Nazis.  At the same time, the treaty made it possible for Japan to attack the United States which brought the might of America to bear against the Nazis.  

1942: Birthdate of Samuel Morgan “Sam” Slom who has represented the 9th District in the Hawaii Senate since 1996.
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/memberpage.aspx?member=slom

1943:  In the Katyn Forest in the Soviet Union, the Germans discovered more than 4000 corpses of Polish officers, some of them Jews. The officers were killed by the Soviets.

1944:  Birthdate of Representative Susan Davis, member of Congress from California’s 53rd Congressional District.

1944: In Hungary, Jews of the annexed territories were being rounded up and concentrated in urban ghettos.

1944: Eighty-five year old Robert Watchorn, the English born American Immigration Commissioner who in 1907attended a Seder at Ellis Island  where he gave “a speech dealing with the right of every man in this country to worship God according to his own conviction and pointing out that a man who served God was sure to make a good citizen passed away today.

1945(30th of Nisan, 5705): On Rosh Chodesh Iyar, five thousand Jews being taken from Auschwitz and marched to Belsen were herded into a barn. The Germans set the barn on fire. While some escaped, many thousands more were burned to death. The Germans shot those who tried to escape during the fire.

1945: Frank Towers was among the members of the U.S. Army’s 30 Infantry Division “who freed prisoners from  Bergen-Belsen” today “who had been packed into a train 40 to 50 cars long bound for Theresienstadt. (As reported by Hillel Kuttler)

1945: Hans Günther Adler gained his freedom from Buchenwald where he had been imprisoned since October of 1944.

1945: Five year old Micha Tomkiewicz, who would become a Professor of Physics, “was among the 2,500 Jewish prisoners rescued from one of what have now come to be known as the Bergen-Belson Death Trai

1945: Major Clarence Benjamin of the 743rd Tank Battalion, USA, took a photo of “a girl, perhaps 4 years old,” later identified as Shilma Spitzer, “walking up an incline holding hands with a kerchiefed young woman” “moments after they were liberated from a train transferring them from Bergen-Belsen” (As reported by Hillel Kuttler)
http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-unraveling-one-holocaust-mystery-journalist-finds-others/

1946: “Using poison procured from one of Abba Kovner’s associates, three members” of “The Jewish Avengers” “spent two hours coating some 3,000 loaves of bread with arsenic, divided into four portions” with a goal of killing “12,000 SS personnel and Joseph Harmazt oversaw the operation from outside the bakery.”
http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-avenger-has-only-one-regret-he-failed-to-kill-any-nazis-in-post-war-arsenic-plot/

1946: After 167 performances at the National Theatre, the curtain came down on “The Day Before Spring,” a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

1946: During an interview today, Ben Hecht, “author and co-chairman of the American League for a Free Palestine” pleaded with Americans to provide financial support that would “enlarge the trickle of Jews from Europe to Palestine to a mass exodus despite” despite British military efforts to keep the Jews out of Eretz Israel.

1948: At Kibbutz Yagur, Tirza and Yosef Gadish gave birth to Moshe Gadish one of the sailors lost when the Submarine Dakar sank in January, 1968.

1948: In San Antonio, TX, Gloria and S.S. “Sy” Kalter gave birth to Suzy Gershman, “author of ‘Born to Shop’ Guides.” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1948: As the Arab Legion trained its guns on the besieged Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, a kindergarten was hit injuring 20 children.

1948: As night gave way to morning, units of the Palmach took the villages of Al-Mansi and Naghnaghiya

1948(4th of Nisan, 5708):  Seventy-seven people, mostly doctors and nurses on their way Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, were murdered by Arabs.  This took place after the Partition Vote, but before the British had left.  It was part of an Arab terror campaign to drive the Jews out Israel even before the state had been declared.  British troops stationed close by refuse to "interfere".  During this period of time, the British Army did little to acquit itself admirably from the Jewish point of view.  At the same time, their behavior of antagonism and outright hostility towards the Jews was representative of the policies and practices of the British Government.

1948 a large group of doctors, nurses, patients, professors and students joined a supply convoy which was travelling to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus. The convoy was ambushed and its vehicles blown up as it made its way through the affluent Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah — only a few hundred meters from a British military outpost. With the British looking on, Arab attackers mercilessly slaughtered any personnel attempting to escape the inferno. Incredibly, having resisted Haganah attempts to rescue Jews caught in this death trap, it still took the British over six hours to intervene. Seventyeight people were murdered in the attack, or burned to death after their ambulances and buses were set on fire. Among the victims was the director of the Hadassah organization in Palestine, Dr. Chaim Yassky. (As reported by Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am)

1948: Operation Har'el launched by Haganah at conclusion of Operation Nachshon, does not succeed in opening the road to Jerusalem. 

1948: As the Haganah fought to defend Mishmar HaEmek from being conquered by the Arab Liberation Army, Palmach units took the villages of Al-Mansi and Naghnaghiya.

1949(14th of Nisan, 5709): Fast of the First Born.

1949(14th of Nisan, 5709): In the evening, first Seder celebrated in the independent state of Israel.

1950: In Washington Heights, NY, Dorothy and Bert Perlman gave birth to actor Ron Perlman

1950: Israel informed the United Nations that it would not participate in talks with the Arabs that included return to the partition boundaries of 1947 as a pre-condition to opening negotiations.  The Israelis reminded the UN that the Arabs have consistently rejected all offers to negotiate a peace settlement and that the Jewish state has “authentic information at is to disposal to the effect that a war of revenge against Israel is a plan which exercises certain minds at the very sumit of political power in the Arab world.

1950: At a luncheon meeting of the Overseas Automotive Club, “Isaac Arditi of Arditi, Ltd., a Tel Aviv importer and exporter, declared that Israel is now the biggest export market for small automotive replacement parts, tools and tires in the Near East.” The number of civilian owned automobiles has more than doubled since the days of the British mandate and in the past year Israel has imported three quarters of million dollars of various automobile supplies from the United States. 

1951: In Newark, NJ, “Bertram Weinberg, an attorney, and Ruth Weinberg, a high school physical education teacher” gave birth to Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jordan had instructed the Barclays and Ottoman banks, as well as individual Arab refugees, to stop their participation in the Israeli scheme for the release of Arab bank accounts frozen in 1948 in Israel.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Cabinet had established committees for Internal Affairs and Services, for Legislative Drafting, for a Foreign Affairs and Security and a special Experts Committee to study the question of foreign currency control.

1953: Chaim Leavanon is elected mayor of Tel Aviv.

1953: Israel Rokach completes his service as mayor of Tel Aviv.

1954: Birthdate of Barbara Maureen Roche (née Margolis, “a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament” and served as a cabinet minister in the government of PM Tony Blair.

1955: In France, release of “Rififi” a French crime film directed by Jules Dassin.

1956: U.S. release of “Tribute To A Bad Man” produced by Sam Zimbalist, with a script co-authored by Michael Blankfort, featuring Vic Marrow as “Lars Peterson.”

1957: Sidney Lumet’s “12 Angry Men” which was filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman and co-starring Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam and Jack Klugman was released for distribution.

1957: “Shinbone Alley” a musical orchestrated by Irwin Kostal with a book by Mel Brooks opened on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre.

1957: In Washington, D.C. George Goodman, an ophthalmologist and Dorothy (née Bock), a social worker gave birth to journalist Amy Goodman.

1962: Birthdate of Hillel Slovak, guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who passed away in 1988.

1962: “Experiment in Terror” featuring Ned Glass was released in the United States today.

1964(1st of Iyar, 5724): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1965(11th of Nisan, 5725): Seventy-seven year old Aaron Harry “Fuzzy” Kallet, the Polish born University of Syracuse football player who earned his letter as an “End” while attending Medical School passed away today.

1965: For their work on “Mary Poppins,” Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman received the Grammy Award for “Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show”

1968(15th of Nisan, 5728): First Day of Pesach celebrated in a united Jerusalem.  The Jewish people are able to observe the holiday of liberation at the Kotel for the first time since 1948.

1969: Birthdate of white collar criminal Nevin Shapiro who as of 2013 is scheduled to be released from Federal Prison in 2027.
http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/6866006/ponzi-schemer-nevin-shapiro-says-provided-benefits-miami-athletes%27%20rel=%27nofollow

1970: During the IAF’s Operation Priha, “an Egyptian SA-2 base near Manzala is struck by a 69 Squadron pair, while two 201 Squadron birds strike at a radar facility near Wadi Zur”

1970: Intense Israeli air attacks on targets far west of the Canal Zone come to an end.

1971: Aline Milton Bernstein Saarinen was named chief of the Paris bureau of the National Broadcasting Company making her the first woman to head an overseas bureau in television.

1972(29th of Nisan, 5732): Sixty-seven year old Harry David “Dave” Skudin who played guard for NYU from 1924 through 1926 and who after graduating in 1927 “played one season in the NFL passed away today.

1974(21st of Nisan, 5734): Seventh Day of Pesach and Shabbat

1974: Yonatan Netanyahu wrote to his parents:

"I have no real girl friend at the moment. My last romance is over, and as I don't have time to run around anyway, it looks as if I'll remain on my own for the time being. . . On the whole, I've nothing to complain of. I'm up to my neck in my army work, and during leaves I move about a lot in our lovely land. The whole world marvels at the Inca and Aztec civilizations and such—and they do indeed deserve admiration. Nevertheless almost all of these came into being after the start of the Christian Era (not that this detracts from their value), whereas here it seems that the cradle of world civilization is all around us, everything dating back thousands and thousands of years. A few Saturdays ago I visited the Biblical Gibeon, and saw the remarkable ancient pool there (I'll take you to see it when you come). It's this pool that's mentioned in II Samuel in connection with Abner ben Ner and Joab ben Zeruiah, who 'met together by the pool of Gibeon' and let 'the young men arise and play before them.' And the country is all like that!"

1975(2nd of Iyar, 5735): American movie actor Larry Parks died of a heart attack at the age of 60.  Parks gained his first taste of fame at the age of 31 when he played the title role in “The Jolson Story” followed by another portrayal of the Jewish entertainer in “Jolson Sings Again.” His career was a casualty of the Red Hunt.  Despite efforts to avoid testifying, he ended appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee where he implicated others.  His testimony did not save his career.  He was Blacklisted which meant the studios would not hire him and pictures he had already made were shelved. 

1975:  Christian Falange killed 27 Palestinians, beginning the Lebanese civil war.  Stability in Lebanon was based on a fragile power-sharing agreement between Christians and two groups of Moslems.  At one point in the 1950's President Eisenhower had sent Marines to Lebanon to help restore order.  Contrary to popular misconception, Israel was not the cause of the disintegration of Lebanon or the civil war that raged in that country.  Today, part of Lebanon is occupied by Syrian troops and is essentially a province of the Damascus government.  Control of Lebanon was part of the late President Assad's dream of a Greater Syria.  Control of Israel and part of what is now Jordan was also part of that dream.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that radios had again reverberated and TV screens had glittered as the Israel Broadcasting Authority signed an agreement with the Journalists Association, ending an 11-day radio and TV journalists' strike.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Carter, while playing host to the Romanian president Nicolae Ceasescu, described Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, giving the town the status which the US Government had refused to acknowledge.

1979(16th of Nisan, 5739): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1980: “One Day at a Time,” starring Bonnie Franklin closes its 5th season on CBS.

1983(30th of Nisan, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1983: In a battle of “firsts” Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African-American mayor defeated Bernard Epton.  If he had been elected, Epton would have been the Windy City’s first Jewish mayor.

1984: President Ronald Reagan read the report describing the events of the Beirut Bombing attack that killed and wounded over 300 Marines in its entirety as his keynote address to the Rev. Jerry Falwell's "Baptist Fundamentalism '84" convention, in Washington, DC.  The report had been prepared by Rabbi Arnold Resincoff who was in Beirut at the time.

1984: After having been released in Australia in 1983, horse-racing movie “Phar Lap” co-starring Ron Leibman was released in the United States today.

1984(11th of Nisan, 5744): On the second day of the Egged Bus Hostage Crisis, at around seven in the morning, following lengthy negotiations “a special force of Sayeret Matkal under the command of brigadier-general Yitzhak Mordechai stormed the bus while shooting at the hijackers through the vehicle's windows. During this takeover operation the soldiers were able to eliminate two of the hijackers, capture the two additional hijackers, and release all hostages except for one passenger – a 19-year-old female soldier named Irit Portuguese who was killed during the takeover operation. Seven passengers were wounded during the course of the operation

1985(22nd of Nisan, 5745) Oscar Nemon the Croatian born English sculptor whose work includes statutes depicting Dwight D. Eisenhower, Earl Alexander of Tunis, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Lord Freyberg, Harold Macmillan, Harry S. Truman and Margaret Thatcher passed away.

1986: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including a review “Heroes and Hustlers, Hard Hats and Holy Men: Inside the New Israel by Ze'ev Chafets

This sharp-tongued book gives a voice to the new younger generation of Israelis. This generation, the author says, is convinced that the utopian dream of the founders of the state is dead and that Israel is now ''a real country with the flaws and weaknesses of real countries everywhere.'' The author and his generation do not believe in utopias. Of course, in Israel the flaws and weaknesses are seen as worse than normal; and hundreds of thousands of young people, battered by wars, economic troubles and claustrophobic anxieties, have deserted Israel in recent years. This book is the story of the majority who stayed behind, told by an American who joined them in what he loyally calls ''a good country in a bad neighborhood.'' The story begins in August 1967, with William Chafets, a student at the University of Michigan, flying to Israel for his junior year abroad. Landing, he knelt down and fervently kissed the tarmac. He now remembers, ''Several of the ground crew found this hilariously funny.'' Those rude Israelis should have shown more respect, even if most visitors to Israel do not kiss the greasy tarmac. But how could they know? William stayed in Israel and became Ze'ev, and 10 years later Ze'ev Chafets became the director of the Government Press Office for Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Now he has written ''Heroes and Hustlers, Hard Hats and Holy Men,'' and, in his eagerness to assimilate, Ze'ev Chafets shows no more respect for the Israelis than the ground crew showed him. But if you hear him out, you begin to feel that, in this foreigner turned pseudosabra, Israel may have found itself a 1980's Tocqueville. He describes democracy in today's Israel. He believes Israelis have unchained themselves from the old founding-father elite, whose religion and ideology ''brought the Jews to the Land of Israel to rebuild an independent state; but in recent years that state has been increasingly taken over by its own people, and it is they who will determine what Israel will be when it finally grows up.'' His view is that the 1973 Yom Kippur War freed the people to rule themselves by bringing to power in 1977 Menachem Begin's Likud coalition. ''Inside the New Israel'' is his John Gunther-style subtitle, as he tries to tell what Israelis are like. He writes mainly about three groups: the Sephardic, the religious and the entrepreneurial. This is the ''new Is-rael'' in which the Sephardic Jews, who had been second-class citizens, grasped a share of power. It is the Israel in which the stone-throwing ultra-Orthodox have challenged the ''Exodus''-style, nonobservant farmer-fighters. It is the Israel that raised to respectability the businessman out to make a profit rather than to build a nation - ''a generation that has become the first middle-class permanent revolutionary society in history.'' It is the Israel that can openly admit it hates Arabs. He tells stories of individuals he knows. David Levy arrived from Morocco with his parents in 1957, became a hard-hat construction worker, rose to be a minister in Mr. Begin's cabinet and recently challenged Yitzhak Shamir for the leadership of the Herut party. Tikvah is a Jewish prostitute who defends her Turkish roots against all detractors. Yisrael Aharoni, son of Bukharan immigrants from the Soviet Union, grew up in a Haifa slum and now owns the Ying Yang Chinese Restaurant, staffed with former Vietnamese boat people. The ex-convict Baruch Abu Hatzira, who had been convicted for fraud and bribe-taking among various other crimes and misdemeanors, put on his late father's robes as a venerated holy man and attracted 150,000 to a profitable monster memorial service for his father. Mr. Chafets illustrates the business spirit with the story of Shimshi Cohen, who works for an insurance company in Jerusalem, and his wife Leora, an ex-stewardess. When they reach their mid-30's, they have ''square jobs, two cars, two kids, a three-bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood. . . . They live in Jerusalem, but many of their values and dreams are not too different from those of suburban Jewish couples in Shaker Heights, Scarsdale or Bloomfield Hills.'' While Shimshi was leading a patrol in Lebanon, an explosive charge blew up near him, peppering his face with shrapnel and damaging his hearing. His best friend was killed in Lebanon. When Mr. Chafets asked Shimshi why he did not leave Israel and its ''crazy'' dangerous life, he replied, ''This is the end of the line. You've got to stop running sometime.'' Mr. Chafets sketches his pictures with a dose of traditional Jewish guilt, a pinch of love of his new-found home, and a hefty splash of the smart aleck. He writes, ''If the Messiah does come, and he gets to Tel Aviv, He'll have his work cut out for Him. . . . On Yarkon Street near the luxury hotels on the beach, a flourishing strip of porno movies, streetwalkers, B-girl clubs, pool halls and fast-food joints offers temptations not sanctioned by the Torah.'' The message - we Israelis are real guys like everybody else. There is more than a bit of arrogance in all this. Mr. Chafets claims that if you talk only to English-speaking Israelis, you can never know the real Israel. This, of course, is nonsense. You don't even have to be Jewish. He writes, ''Hebrew is more than simply a language -it is an exclusive code. . . . This is one of the reasons why foreign correspondents are so frequently mistaken in their reporting about Israel.'' In this, Mr. Chafets sounds like he is still a Likud press officer berating the press. His book is better than that. MR. CHAFETS thinks things have improved since he arrived 19 years ago. He says, ''Many Israelis deplore the materialism, fast-buck mentality and selfishness that have replaced the old pioneer austerity, but few of them would want to go back to the good old days.'' Then Israel ''was hardly the Eden many Israelis recall it as having been. And if it has changed a great deal from its early period, many of those changes seem to me to be for the good, at least in terms of the Western secular, liberal values I brought with me from Pontiac, Michigan.'' But in Jerusalem, as even Mr. Chafets admits, Mayor Teddy Kollek deals these days with more violence from pious ultra-Orthodox Jews than from Arabs. Mr. Chafets concludes: ''As time goes by, the diaspora and Israeli Jews understand each other less and less. . . . Israelis are in the process of becoming an identifiably different kind of Jew. . . . Beyond anything else, Israelis are the first Jews in two thousand years to live their lives without the dominating influence of Gentile society. It is this fact, far more than any utopian master plan that makes Israel such an experimental and exciting place. Almost forty years after its birth, it is still in the process of becoming . . . an expression of what Jews are like when Jews are on their own.'' This book will anger some American friends of Israel and depress others, but they had better heed his voice. He speaks for an Israel that is changing. What it will be like when it matures cannot be predicted. But then in 1835 Tocqueville could not have predicted where democracy would take America.

1986: Pope John Paul II, “became the first pope known to have made an official papal visit to a synagogue when he visited the Great Synagogue of Rome” today where he was greeted by Elio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome.

1987:  Ofra Moses was buried today in Petah Tikvah. Mrs. Moses, aged 35, was riding in a car yesterday with her husband and four children when an unidentified assailant threw the firebomb, a bottle filled with gasoline and a burning rag, through the open window of the car. They were driving to the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikvah to buy food for the Passover holiday. None of the family could attend the funeral since her husband was in the hospital being treated for extensive burns, her five year old was hospitalized in critical condition and the remaining three children had not been released due to the extent of their injuries.

1988: The New York Times reported that the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Yitzhak Navon, and Justice Minister Avraham Sharir are expected to arrive in Poland today for a one-week visit to take part in ceremonies to mark the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

1988: U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz met with Refueniks today.

1993: A revival of George Abbott’s “Three Man On A Horse” featuring Tony Randall, Jack Klugman and Jerry Stiller opened at the Lyceum Theatre.

1994(2nd of Iyar, 5754): Hamas conducts a suicide bombing claiming that it is in response to Baruch Goldstein’s attack on mosque in Hebron in February during which he killed 29 Muslims who praying there.

1994(2nd of Iyar, 5754):  In the second such attack in a week, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up today in an assault on an Israeli commuter bus, killing five Israelis and wounding 30 others at the main bus station in Hadera, a working-class town in the country's heartland. Most of the survivors had minor wounds, but they told of a scene of blood and terror, of bodies ripped apart and of people too stunned in the first moments even to scream. Those killed today included Bilha Butin, 49,Rahamim Mazgauker, 34, David Moyal, 26, Daga Perda, 44 and Sgt. Ari Perlmutter, 19

1994(2nd of Iyar, 5754):  At annual Memorial Day ceremonies in Jerusalem Prime Minister Rabin took note of last week’s bombing in Afula and today’s bombing in Hadera, both the work of Hamas when he said,  "Even today, Israelis have paid with their lives, taken by despicable murderers, enemies of peace. They are trying to torpedo the peace. Beyond the bloodshed, the booby-trapped cars and the bombs, we continue to hold out our hands for peace in order to put an end to the suffering. In spite of the difficulties, we will continue on our way to peace." The somberness of the day gave way to ceremonies tonight marking the 46th anniversary of the country's founding. But the celebrations were muted for many, not only because of the latest attack but also because of warnings from the Hamas group of Islamic militants that more horror was on the way in one of the worst terrorist waves inside Israel in years.

1997: The New York Times includes a review of “In The Memory of the Forest”, a novel by Charles T. Powers based on the fate of the Jews of Jadowia and ensuing events that take place in Polish village under the Communist regime.

1997: “An American Daughter,” a play written by Wendy Wasserstein “premiered in a Lincoln Center Theatre Production at the Cort Theatre.

2000(8th of Nisan, 5760): Eighty-four year old Giorgio Bassani, the author of the classic modern novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, passed away today in Rome.(As reported by Alessandra Stanley)
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/14/arts/giorgio-bassani-novelist-of-italy-s-fascist-era-dies-at-84.html

2001: According to reports published to “an American Jewish Congress delegation” has been “invited to attend this month's inauguration of President Mathieu Kerekou of the West African West Africa.”

2001:  The Los Angeles Times contained an article entitled "Doubting the Story of the Exodus", by Teresa Watanabe which summarized the current scholarly consensus about whether or not the Exodus happened:

2002: As Operation Defensive Shield, the Israeli response to terrorists attacks that culminated with a murderous bombing at hotel Seder, was coming to an end, the IDF was reported to have determined the location of 23 bodies in Jenin.

2003: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including ''The Rebbe's Army'' by Sue Fishkoff

2004: Release date of Half Dozen by Evan and Jaron (Evan and Jaron Lowenstein)

2005: Following opening day, today, the Boston Red Sox shipped Kevin Youkilis to Pawtucket today.

2006(15th of Nisan, 5766): Pesach

2006(15th of Nisan, 5766): Eighty-eight year old Dame Muriel Spark whom “The Times named in is list of ‘the 50 greatest British writers since 1945’” passed away today.

2007: Those following the Perek Yomi program posted on the Torah Page of the Temple Judah (Cedar Rapids) website read Psalm 150 which means they have completed the entire Book of Psalms.

2007: “Disturbia,” a thriller starring Shia LaBeouf was released in the United States today.

2008: The two week long Bat Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism opens in this Israeli metropolis near Tel Aviv.

2008: In Denver, at The Mizel Center for the Arts, the final production of “In the Belly of the Whale.”

2008: In New York, The Center for Jewish History presents a colloquium entitled “Objects of Affection: The Wedding in Jewish Culture” during which scholars, artists, curators and others  gather to discuss the most elaborately celebrated of Jewish life cycle events. Weddings provide rich opportunities to consider the intersection of media and Jewish religious life.

2008: The headstone unveiling for Don Novick at Eben Israel Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Jewish author Cynthia Osick’s latest work, A Quartet.

2008:  The Sunday New York Times featured a review of “The Genius” by Jesse Kellerman, the Orthodox Jewish mystery writer who is the son of two other Orthodox Jewish mystery writers, Faye and Jonathan Kellerman and “Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America” by Steven Waldman. Waldman describes the religious beliefs of the “Founding Fathers” and the origins of the doctrine of separation of church and state which was driven by concerns among various Christian sects that one would come to dominate the other.  So even though Jews and American Judaism benefited from this, Jewish beliefs were not a concern.  This is the opposite of the European experience.  In Europe, when Christians clashed with their co-religionists or with Moslems, the Jews suffered often as a form of collateral damage.  In a strange application of the law of unintended consequences, in America, Jews benefited from such clashes.

2009: At Yale University, Miriam Benson, former counsel to the International Committee of Women of the Wall delivers a talk on the Struggle of Women of the Wall for Freedom of Worship in Israel entitled "Praying in Her Own Voice."

2009: The American POWs in Germany traveling exhibit "Behind Barbed Wire" comes to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This educational exhibit features the experiences of Midwest prisoners of war (POWs) who were imprisoned in Hitler's Third Reich. Actually within a traveling museum called a "Buseum," this exhibit is housed in a converted school bus. The non-profit educational organization TRACES created this exhibit, which will reach nearly 120 schools, libraries and historical societies during the current tour. A reception in Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library follows this exhibition.

2009: Newsweek publishes its third annual list of the Fifty Most Influential Rabbis compiled by compiled by Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman & CEO Michael Lynton, News Corporation Executive Vice President Gary Ginsberg and JTN Productions CEO Jay Sanderson and its first annual list of America’s 25 Most Vibrant Congregations compiled by the same businessman. [Editor’s Note: If you are upset that your rabbi did not make the list, relax.  The sages of Pirke Avot and Rashi couldn’t have either when you consider that David Saperstein got “the top spot because of his role as Washington insider and political powerbroker and Friend of Obama.” And Marvin Hier ranked #2 because he “is a major player in national and world politics…”

2010: Tali Ploskov was elected head of Arad’s municipality today.

2010: Ghaleb Majadele an Arab Israeli who became “country’s first Muslim cabinet minister” in 2007 “re-entered the Knesset today as a replacement for Yuli Tamir who had resigned her seat.”

2010: PBS is scheduled to broadcast Independent Lens: “Blessed Is the Match” the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper and resistance fighter and was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis narrated by Joan Allen. Senesh is famous for her such works as “Blessed is the Match” and “Eli, Eli”  (My God, My God).

2011: The Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present a multi-media lecture entitled “Sounds of Immigrant New York: Bukharian Jewish Music in New York City”

2011: “Max Blumb” portrayed by Adam Pally made his appearance on the television series “Happy Endings.”

2011: Today Israel reopened a commercial crossing with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that was shut for seven days, as a lull in cross-border fighting continued, an Israeli spokesman said. Israel had closed the Kerem Shalom crossing during a violent flare-up in which Hamas militants fired rocket and mortars at south Israel, shooting an anti-tank rocket at a school bus.

2011: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research presents: “Ethnography of a Vanishing Courtyard: Moyshe Kulbak's Zelmenyaner”

2011: Israel’s attorney general announced today his intention to indict the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on corruption charges, but said he would allow Mr. Lieberman a hearing to contest an indictment before issuing a formal charge sheet.

2011(9th of Nisan, 5771): Evelyn Einstein, the 70 year old granddaughter of Albert Einstein, passed away.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/us/19einstein.html?_r=1
http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/11109/1140362-84-0.stm

2011:Bar Ilan University unveils four rare Haggadot”
http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?id=216404

2012(21st of Nisan, 5772): Seventh Day of Pesach; final day of observance in Israel and for Reform Jews.

2012(21st of Nisan, 5772): Thirty-five year old Jeremiah Luber the grandson of Elaine and Harvey Luber, of blessed memory, passed away today.

2012(21st of Nisan, 5772): Ninety-nine year old Pittsburg born Israeli Talmud scholar and WW II veteran Avraham Goldberg passed away today.
https://thetalmudblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/prof-avraham-goldberg-%D7%96%D7%9C/

2012: “Once More, With Feelings” published today provides a detailed review of Schmidt Steps Back by Louis Begley.

2013: Congregation Ada Reyim and The Northern Jewish Film Festival are scheduled to present “Kaddish for a Friend.”

2013: PBS is scheduled to show “Blessed is the Match” which present the brave tale of Hannah Senesch, the Jewish poet who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe where she was murdered by her captors.

2013: “Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2013: “All In” and “Koch” are scheduled to be shown at the Hartford Jewish Film Fest.

2013: This evening The 3rd Annual National Collegiate Jewish A Cappella Championship Competition sponsored by Adas Israel is scheduled to take place at the UDC Theatre of the Arts in Washington, DC

2013: In Columbus, Ohio, Jacob Daniel Levin is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Tifereth Israel. L’dor V’dor

2013(3rd of Iyar, 5773): Eighty-two year old Carmen Weinstein, the President of the Jewish Community of Cairo passed away  at her home in Zamalek

2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including You Should Have Known, a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

2014: “A man with ties to white supremicist ties opened fire outside the Overland Park JCC, killing two people” after which he “killed a third person at the Village Shalom center before being apprehended by police.”

2014: “Hellman v McCarthy,” Brian Mori’s dramatic portrayal of clash involving Jewish born playwright Lillian Hellman, the skilled playwright who was an apologist for Communism’s worst abuses is scheduled to close at the June Havoc Theatre.

2014: Filmmaker Aviva Kempner is scheduled to discuss her most recent work: a documentary on Julius Rosenwald, the Chicago Jewish businessman and philanthropist who joined with African American communities in the South to build schools during the Jim Crow era at the Washington DCJCC.

2014: WQXR is scheduled to present “A Musical Feast for Passover with Itzhak Perlman.

2014: In Tel Aviv, the European Weightlifting Championships are scheduled to come to an end.

2015: Herb Keinon, the diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem, is scheduled to lecture on the meaning of Israel’s elections at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.

2015:  AJHS, Remember the Women Institute is scheduled to host “Women, Theatre and Holocaust.”

2015: The B’nai B’rith Music Society and the Jewish Historical Society of England are scheduled to host Dr. Malcolm Miller who will speak on “Modern Jewish Composers.

2015: The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center is scheduled to host a reading of “Our Class” an award winning play that “unveils the truth behind a massacre of Jews in Jedwabne, Poland.”

2015: Hours before a Holocaust memorial ceremony was to be held at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, shots were fired outside of the West End Synagogue leaving “at least one bullet hole between two windows at the front of the building.”

2016: “The Grüninger File,” a movie based on the courage of Swiss Police Commander Paul Grüninger—known by many as the “Oscar Schindler of the Swiss-German border region”— is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2016: “Wedding Doll” is scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.

2016: Yeshiva University Museum, Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought are scheduled to present “The Image of the Haggadah,” featuring Marc Michael Epstein, Ronnie Perelis, Smadar Rosensweig and Meir Soloveichik in a discussion about the imagery of the Haggadah and what it teaches us about the meaning and historical celebration of Passover.

2016: In Iowa, The Jewish Federation of Great Des Moines and Partnership2GETHER/Western Galilee is scheduled to present “The Jewish Violin with The Israeli Violinists” accompanied by Professor Michael Wolpe of The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

2017(16th of Nisan, 5777): Second Day of Pesach

2017: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host a screening of “Streit’s Matzo and the American Dream” following by a Q and A “featuring director Neil A. Friedman.

2017: The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is scheduled to host “a night safari” which provides “an opportunity to watch night animals on their nocturnal wanderings.”

 

 

 

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