Saturday, April 15, 2017

This Day, April 16, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


April 16

1457 BCE: Egyptian forces under Thutmose III defeated a group of rebellious Canaanite Vassal States at the Battle of Megiddo. This would have taken place while the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. The strategic position of Megiddo would make it the site of many battles including one between Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah in 609 BCE and the British and the Turks in 1918. This is the same Megiddo where Solomon kept horses and chariots and which is thought to be the site of the mythic Battle of Armageddon.

537 BCE (1st of Iyar, 3223): According to the Book of Ezra, the foundation of the Second Temple was laid on this date

69:  Otho, Roman Emperor, commits suicide ending his short-lived reign.  Otho was the second of the four men to hold the position of Emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors.  According to some, it was the instability that Otho and his compatriots brought to the Empire that led to Titus destroying the Temple instead of merely settling for the defeat and humiliation of the Jews of Judea.

73: According to some calculations this is the day that Masada fell to the Romans after several months of siege, ending this Jewish Revolt against Rome.  Of course, this was not the final revolt.

778: Birthdate of King Louis I or Louis the Pious France. Louis continued the favorable policies towards the Jews adopted by his father, Charlemagne. Although considered to be a weak ruler (who wouldn’t have been if had to follow Charlemagne) and quite pious, he protected his Jewish subjects from the clergy and the nobles.  He continued to allow them settle in any part of his dominion and out of sympathy for his Jewish subjects, changed the Market Day from Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) to Sunday.

1158: In Genoa, the name of a Jewish trader, Jusuphus Judeos, appeared for the first time on an official deed drawn up “from the public notary Giovanni Scriba.

1203(26th of Nisan, 4963): “German synagogal poet” Menahem Ben Jacob Ben Solomon whose great-grandfather Simson, was living in Worms at the time of the First Crusade and was surnamed "Ha-Darshan," passed away at Worms today.

1319: Birthdate of King John II of France.  During the Hundred Years War, John was captured by the English and held for ransom.  Desperate for funds, John’s son who was serving as Regent during his father’s imprisonment negotiated a deal with Manessier de Vesoul that would allow Jews to return to France in return for their financial support of the impoverished kingdom.  Once John was ransomed, he gave into pressure and reneged on some of his son’s promises.  

1641: “Don Lope de Vara y Alarcon, alias Judah the Believer, appeared before the Inquisition to repudiate a previous spurious defense which he had offered to the tribunal against its charge of heresy.”  Don Lope was a Christian (not a Convserso) who converted to Judaism.  Eventually he would be burned at the stake because he referred to recant and return to Christianity. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

1669(15th of Nisan): Rabbi Jonah Teomim of Metz, France, author of Kikayon de-Yonah passed away

1681: A rescript issued today “repeated that Jews were not to come into Denmark without a special Geleitsbrief.”

1729(17th of Nisan, 5489): Seventeenth and 18th century “German rabbi and Talmudic author” Jacob Eliezer Braunschweig passed away today.

1741(30th of Nisan, 5501): Abraham Spitz, “who purchased the freedom of Imprisoned Jews from Buda” passed away today.

1746: An army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government defeated Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Culloden. George Frideric composed “Judas Maccabaeus” a three act oratorio “as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.”  The oratorio was based on the characters known to all who have celebrated the holiday of Chanukah.

1799: Napoleon defeated the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Mount Tabor and drove them across the Jordan River. This the same Mount Tabor that was the staging area for the armies of Deborah and Barak, as they faced the assembly of Canaanites and their chariots arrayed below them on the plain to the west.  It is also the same Mount Tabor where the Midianite kings killed the brothers of the Judge named Gideon.  Both episodes are described in the Book of Judges.

1804:  Establishment of the London Board for Shechita.

181730th of Nisan, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1823: In Berlin, Johan Konstantin Eisenstein and Helene Pollack who had converted from Judaism to Christianity gave birth to mathematician Ferdinand Gotthold Max Eisenstein.

1826: In The Hague, Leonardus Levy Abraham Verveer and Caroline Elkan gave birth to Dutch painter and engraver Elchanan Verveer

1844: Birthdate of Nobel Prize winning author Anatole France.  The non-Jewish France joined his friend Émile Zola in the Dreyfus case and was the first to sign Zola's famous article J'Accuse, condemning the false treason indictment of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer. At a 1904 International Congress of Freethinkers at Paris, France said, "The gods advance, but they always lag behind the thoughts of men.... The Christian God was once a Jew. Now he is an anti-Semite."

1849:Le prophète” (The Prophet), an opera in five acts by Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was first performed today  by the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier

1850: In Shutesbury, MA, Nathaniel and Harriet Adams gave birth to Herbert Baxter Adams, the Johns Hopkins University who has contributed “valuable papers on the services of” Haim Solomon, “the patriotic Jew.”

1852: In New York, Johan Levy, a merchant and sea captain and Francis Phillips gave birth to Jonas Levy the New York Congressman who was the nephew of Uriah Phillips Levy.

1855: In St. Louis, over 400 hundred people attended that cornerstone laying ceremony for the first synagogue constructed in St. Louis and the first synagogue built west of the Mississippi.

1858(2nd of Iyar, 5618): Sixty-three year old Alois Isidor Jeitteles the Austrian physician who co-founded the Jewish weekly Siona with his cousin Ignaz Jeitteles passed away today.

1861(6th of Iyar, 5621): One year old Lucy Esther Goetz passed a way today after which she was interred at the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1862(16th of Nisan, 5622): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1862: Sixty-five year old Max Samuel Mayer, the son of the rabbi in his native Fruendal who became a Lutheran in 1834, five years after he earned a law degree, and eventually became a Professor at the University of Tubingen (a position that was open to him because he was no longer a Jew) passed away today.

1862: Franziska Montefiore, the daughter of Salomon Bernard Sichel and Fanny Sichel and Joseph Mayer Montefiore gave birth to Edward Mayer Montefiore

1862: It was reported the Jewish dealers had been present when the cattle market opened on Monday but were absent the following day because it was Passover; a fact that caused a drop off in market activity.

1864: Copies of “A History of the World” by Philip Smith are now available. The second part of this volume presents the history of Egypt including the “history of the Hebrew Theocracy and Monarchy from the exodus to the destruction of the kingdoms or Israel and Judah, and the Babylonian Captivity of the Jewish nation.”  The work includes information based on newly revealed discoveries about the area.

1864: Today’s “Literary Gossip” column reported that a new edition of Reverend Henry Hart Milman’s “History of Christianity from the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire by Constantine” by Henry Hart Milman, the noted English clergyman has been published.  This work is part of trilogy, the other two works of which are “History of Latin Christianity” and “History of the Jews.” Milman published “History of the Jews in 1829 was unique for its time since it tried to portray the Jews as a historical people and “minimized the miraculous.”  This approach, which he used in his later works, made him the target of attacks from Biblical literalists among others.  This portrayal of the Jews actually impeded the career of this Christian minister.

1867: Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild married Emma Louise von Rothschild, a cousin from the Rothschild banking family of Germany in Frankfurt with whom he had three children Lionel Walter, Evelina Rothschild-Behrens and Nathaniel Charles.

1870(15th of Nisan, 5630): First Day of Pesach

1871:  All civic limitations imposed on Jews of the German Empire were lifted. It was thought that this would bring medieval anti-Semitism to a conclusion.

1871: In “Hebrew Charity” published today provided a most positive report on the various benevolent activities engaged in by the Jewish community to alleviate the suffering of their less fortunate co-religionists.  Last fall’s Hebrew Charity Fair raised enough funds to provide over $100,000 for Mount Sinai Hospital and over $33,000 for the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum.  The Hebrew Benevolent Fuel Association, the B’nai Brit, the Society of B’nai Abraham and the Society of Kesha Shel Barsel (Order of the Golden Crown) are among other community-wide organizations aiding the needy.  This does not include Mt. Sinai Hospital (formerly the Jews Hospital) which now serves Jews as well as the general population or the various aid societies sponsored by the 30 synagogues and temples located in the city.

1872(8th of Nisan, 5632): Moritz Reichenheim, founder of the Orphan’s Home passed away today in Berlin.

1874: Birthdate of Ashland, Ohio, native Louis M. Cahn, the Harvard lawyer and “first executive director of the Jewish Federation Charities of Chicago who was the brother of Tillman Cahn and Mrs. Fanny C. Holzheimer.

1876(22nd of Nisan, 5636): 8th day of Pesach

1879(23rd of Nisan, 5639): Leyser Lazarus who had been elected President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau in 1875 following the death of Zecharais Frankel passed away today.

1880: David Smith, a Jewish speculator and cigar dealer who has been a long-time resident of Chicago has disappeared, reportedly leaving behind “fraudulent debts in the amount of nearly $5,000.” It is thought that he may have gone to be with his daughter who lives in Australia.

1880: It was reported that The Young Men’s Hebrew Association held its 6th annual reception last night at the Chickering Hall in New York City.

1880: It was reported today David Smith, a Jewish speculator and cigar dealer, has disappeared in Chicago leaving behind him debts totaling $5, 000. Smith has a daughter living in Australia and it is thought he may have to seek refuge with her.

1881: According to “The Jews In Germany” published today Prime Minister Bismarck and the Crown Prince Frederick William are not sympathetic to the movement sweeping parts of Germany aimed at limiting the number of and opportunities for Jews in Germany.

1881: Pogroms spread to villages surrounding Elizavetgrad (Russia) where anti-Semitic violence had broken out during Easter observances.

1881: In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle. This happened at the same time that Beersheba, the first of seven agricultural colonies established in Kansas was being started by 60 Jewish families from Russia.  Wyatt Earp, one of Masterson’s best friends married a Jewish woman named Josie.  Gene Barry, a Brooklyn born Jew, played the title role in a television series about the western lawman called “Bat Masterson.”

1881: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment made the annual distribution of financial aid to a variety of charitable institutions including a payment of $1,440 to the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews and $240 for the Zion Aged Relief Association.

1881: A review of “Buried Alive: Or Ten Years of Penal Servitude in Siberia” reports that the cast of characters includes a hypocritical “Jew who acts a pawnbroker and money-lender to the other convicts” while observing his religious with a great display of public piety. [The stereotype of the Jewish money lender survived in Russian literature about Siberia only to be joined by another stereotype – the Jewish revolutionary, be he communist, socialist or anarchist.

1882: Jakob and Barbara/Babette Bondy gave birth to Antonie Wagner who died at Riga in 1942 during the Holocaust.

1883: On the day after his marriage to Pauline Moses, David Holtz endures a “violent lunatic” from his wife.

1884: Thirty-four year old German historian Ernst Bernheim married 22 year old Amalie ("Emma") Henriette Jessen]

1885: Birthdate of Hungarian composer and music educator Leo Weiner.

1887(22nd of Nisan, 5647): 8th day of Pesach

1889(15th of Nisan, 5649): First day of Pesach

1889: Birthdate of Silent Screen Star Charlie Chaplin.  Many will consider the Little Tramp as his greatest comedic triumph. Others will remember him for The Great Dictator, "a talkie" that poked fun at Hitler and Mussolini when the world was still having trouble standing up to the Nazis and the Fascists.  Born in England of Jewish parents, he was forced to retreat to his native soil during the McCarthy Period.  He passed away on December 25, 1977.  Interestingly, the lengthy obituary in the New York Times makes no mention of Chaplin's ethnic origins.

1890: It was reported today that Jesse Seligman was one of those be considered as the Republican nominee in the upcoming mayoral race. It is felt that in addition to drawing the “full Republican vote” he would also be able to attract a large percentage of the Jewish vote.

1891(8th of Nisan, 5651): Fifty-six year old Joseph H. Hepner, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who came to the United States 8 years ago, took his own life at the grocery store he has owned for the last three years on East Broadway.

1893(30th of Nisan, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1893: At Temple Emanu-El, during his sermon which was a response to aggressive attempts by Protestants to convert Jews, Rabbi Joseph Silverman “charged corruption in the methods by which the Protestants are seeking to proselyte the Jews” saying that “the Christian missionaries and the so-called ‘converted’ Jews are paid commissions for making converts and in order to make their business brisk and produce a good showing they divide their commissions with their ‘converts’.”

1893: The Reverend Merle St. Croix Wright, pastor of the Lenox Avenue Unitarian Church delivered a sermon condemning the Union League Club’s rejection of Theodor Seligman because of his “race.”

1894: The doctors reported today that four year old Jacob Green, the son of a Jewish peddler had only suffered a broken collarbone when he fell from the fifth floor of his tenement.  Before he hit the ground, the boy landed on Morris Eisenberg who was standing in front of the building.  Despite great pain from what turned out to be a broken shoulder, Eisenberg got the boy to the hospital where he received prompt medical attention.

1895: The newly incorporated Hebrew Infant Asylum of New York City is publicly committed to provided care for Jewish orphans under the age of five.  Among the trustees are Jacob Fleishhauer, Minnie Frank, Jacob B. Seligman and Esther Wallenstein.

1896: Birthdate of Samuel Rosenstock, who gained fame as Tristan Tzara, poet, playwright and founder of the Dada Movement.  He passed away in 1963.

1897)14th of Nisan, 5657): Ta’anit Bechorot

1897: The will of Francis Danzig, the widow of Louis Danzig was filed for probate today.

1897: Fifty-nine year old August Seligman passed away today at his home in New York City.  A native of Oppenheim, Germany, he came to the United States 45 years ago where he began in the importing business before turning to the manufacture of corsets He was a member of Temple Beth El and  was active in Jewish fraternal organizations.

1897: Birthdate of John B Glubb the British officer who was the commander of Jordan's Arab Legion.  It was Glubb and those like him who trained the Jordanian Army and made it in effective fighting force against the Israelis.  The Arab Legion was the only force to score a meaningful victory over the Jewish fighters which left the Jordanians in control of the eastern section of Jerusalem and what is now the West Bank.  Nobody wanted to set up a Palestinian State in the West Bank in those days.

1897(14th of Nisan, 5657): The New York Times reported that “At sundown this evening the Feast of Passover will begin, and will continue for seven days, ending at sundown on April 22. The feast is celebrated generally by the Jews, with services in the synagogues on the first and last days, and the evenings preceding those days. The "matzoth," or unleavened bread, is used in place of the usual bread during the week…Each family, however poor, manages to live well by some means or other during the Passover week, the poorer ones being assisted by others who are more fortunate.”

1898: “Four days before the Spanish-American War was declared, Dr. Joseph M. Heller who went to the Surgeon General of the Army and volunteered his services.

1900: Birthdate of Polly Adler Russia, author of A House is not a Home. Long before “Sex and the City” was a television show, this famous Madame was providing the real thing.

1903: During the so-called Melvin Bellis Case, as rumors of pogroms began to circulate, the Russian Minister of Justice telegraphed the Kiev District Prosecutor ordering him to personally investigate the cause of Andrei Yustschinkski’s death.

1905: Peddlers on the east side planned to be out selling their wares today even though it was Sunday.  Sigmund Schwartz, President of the East Side Peddlers Assoication had told them that Police Commissioner McAdoo had given them permission to ignore the laws because of the approaching celebration of Passover.

1905: In “How Passover Will Be Observed on the East Side; The Beautiful Sentiment of Opening the Door to the Poor with Which This Time-Honored Jewish Festival Is Initiated at the Seder Table," published today it was reported that ‘Next Wednesday evening, the first night of Passover, thousands of the Children of Israel on the great east side will sit by their firesides in faith, hope, and contentment. From the dim haze of antiquity hunted from shore to shore, they have at last found peace -- in this country of glorious freedom, where they can at least worship their God in peace, and where their Passover comes without menace of riot and bloodshed”

1906: Twenty Jewish butchers working in Harlem were found guilty of selling meat after midnight on Saturday.  The magistrate hearing the case said that he was fining them reluctantly and wished that “the legislature would repeal this absurd law.”

1911: During what would become known as “The Case of Mendel Bellis,” the Russian Minister of Justice ordered the Kiev District Prosecutor to personally investigate the death of Andrei Yustschinski; an investigation that would include a second autopsy conducted by two professors from the Kiev Medical School.

1913: Mrs. I.J. Robin, the president of the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society and Mrs. Ignatz J. Reis, the president of the Conference of Jewish Women’s Organizations were among those who spoke at conference day arranged by the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society of Chicago.

1914: In Lithuania, Rabbi Nathan Milikowsky and Sara Milikowsky gave birth to Matthew Milikowsky

1914: According to Dr. Ben Wildauer, a friend of Leo M. Frank, Dan S. Lehon of the Burns Detective Agency hired C.C. Tedder today “paying him $500 cash, $250 as an advance on his salary and $250 for expenses” as part of plan to have the detective agency look at the possibility that perjured evidence had been used to convict Frank, the Jewish factory who was convicted of killing a Mary Phagan in one of the worst orgies of anti-Semitism in the history of United States.

1915: Birthdate of Coleman Jacoby, the native of Pittsburg, PA  a comedy writer who created the laughter for many famous names including Fred Allen, Phil Silvers, Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.  He passed away at the age of 95 in 2010.

1916: Abraham K. Cohen, Samuel Fleishman and Joseph Levinson presided over “the dedication of the B’nai B’rith Building of the Independent Order of the B’nai B’rith tonight at the new headquarters on Broadway where attendees heard speeches by Marcus M. Marks, Otto Irving Wise, Abraham K. Cohen and Herman Asher followed by “a prayer for peace delivered by Herbert S. Goldstein.

1916: Among the contributions reported today by The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War were $31 from Rabbi L.J.Haas and $32 from people in Wharton, TX.

1916: Jacob Schiff, Dr. Cyrus Adler, Dr. J.L. Magnes and Professor Mordecai M. Kaplan were among the speakers when “the new quarters of the Teachers’ Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary on the fifth floor of the annex to the Hebrew Technical Institute” were dedicated this afternoon.

1916: “Jews in America” published today provided a review of the 23rd of the American Jewish Historical Society’s series of Publications that deals “in the main with the history of Jews of America” including William Vincent Byars discussion of the papers of 18th century Philadelphia merchants Bernard and Michael Gratz.

1916: Birthdate of “Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the leader of one the world’s largest Hasidic sects, the Viznitz Hasidim.” (As reported by Joseph Berger)

1916: France and Britain divided up the Middle East in the Sykes-Picot Agreement. France was assured of Syria and the Mosul, with English gaining control of Northern Arabia and Central Mesopotamia. Pre-state Israel was divided with France controlling the Galilee, Britain the Haifa area and the rest of the region to be under some sort of undefined international control.

1917(24th of Nisan, 5677): Edouard Gaspard Marcel Kahn, “chief of battalion” was killed today during WW I.

1917: Twenty-four year old philosopher Walter Benjamin married Dora Pollak today after which they went to a sanatorium in Dachau for treatment of his sciatica.

1917: The American Jewish Relief Committee received telegrams today from the brothers of Utah Governor Simon Bamberger – J.E. Bamberger and Herman Bamberger, “who control large mining interests” – promising to match the Governors’ pledge to contribute an amount equal to 10 per cent of the contributions from Utah.

1917: Reports received today in New York from Jerusalem claim that “fully 50 per cent of the population of Palestine and Syria are facing death by starvation” and that “the only chance for relief is the capture of Jerusalem and the seaport of Jaffa by British forces” which would “enable the Allies to bring supplies from Egypt.”

1917: Herman H. Lehman, Treasurer of the Joint Distribution Committee announced that the committee received $180,000 today.

1917: In Berlin, Dr. Albert Salomon, a prominent surgeon and his wife gave birth to Charlotte, the artist who was gassed at Auschwitz in 1943.

1918(4th of Iyar, 5678): 2nd Lt. Cecil Shekury, a native of Singapore and was attending school in England in 1914 when the war broke out and he enlisted in the Army was killed today.

1918: Dr. Hyman Gerson Enelow completed his services “as a member of the Overseas Commission of the Jewish Welfare Board.”

1918: “A protest against alleged ‘continuous unjust, unfair, and discriminatory treatment’ of Jews in the war was with Secretary Baker today by Louis Marshall of New York, head of the American Jewish Committee” including the complaint “that not a single among the large number with the expeditionary forces in France has been commissioned from the ranks” although many such commissions have been awarded to others.

1919(16th of Nisan, 5679): Second Day of Pesach

1919: Furloughs granted to members of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) so they could observe Passover came to an end at midnight.

1920: A union was founded to strengthen and develop friendly relations between Moroccan Jewry and Spain.

1920: Birthdate of Richard Nathaniel Goldman, a native of San Francisco who founded Goldman Insurance Services for co-founded “the Goldman Environmental Prize, which is given to six grass-roots environmental activists every year.”  He pass away in 2010 at the age of 90.

1922:  Po'al ha-Mizrachi, the religious Zionist labor movement, founded.  Unlike many other Orthodox, the followers of Mizrachi were ardent Zionist from the earliest days.  They played a vital role in the creation of Jewish Palestine under the mandate and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

1922: Germany and the Soviet Union sign the Treaty of Rapallo which was effectively a peace treaty between these two parties from WW I.  The Russian and German empires that had been warring parties had been replaced by these two national entities.  The treaty drew the two “pariah states” of Europe into an embrace that included training of the German Army in the Soviet Union.  Yes, in one of those great ironies of history, Stalin would provide the training for the Wermacht that would invade his country; an invasion that resulted in the death of millions of Jews.

1923(30th of Nisan, 5683): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1926: “Judge Mack and Rabbi Landman Debate Zionism” published today described the presentation of the different opinions about Palestine held by Judge Julian W. Mark and Rabbi Isaac Landman.

1926: “The Wooing of Eve” a silent film written by Robert Liebmann was released in Germany today.

1927(14th of Nisan, 5687): Shabbat HaGadol; erev Pesach

1927: Judge Otto A Rosalsky, the Vice President of the Jewish Educational Association which is seeking to raise a half million dollars “to provide religious training for the Jewish youth of New York City” said today “that the world more than ever today must turn to the task of providing religious training for the young” a sentiment echoed by Jonah J. Goldstein, the Chairman of the campaign who said that “giving our youth a Jewish education is giving them a heritage that will proved more valuable than merely earthly possessions.”

1927: The Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society is scheduled to hold a Seder at 425 Lafayette Street which will be attended by “the fifteen members of the Hakoah soccer team of Vienna.”

1927: The Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society is scheduled to hold a Seder on Ellis Island for approximately “150 immigrants temporarily detained there” as well as for an untold “number of deportees.

1927: Temple Anshe Chesed began its last Passover observance at its current location at Seventh Avenue and 114th Street before moving into the facility “being erected at West End Avenue and 100th Street.

1927: Seventy-six year old Florence Earle Coates who “was among "artists and intellectuals" who spoke out against the wrongful imprisonment, and would pen four poems relating to the affair: "Dreyfus" (1898), "Dreyfus" (1899), "Picquart" (1902) and "Le Grand Salut" (1906)” passed away today. (As reported by Sonja N. Bohm)

1927: Nathan Straus, New York philanthropist, arrived on the White Star liner Adriatic after a visit to Palestine. He said that he found steady progress there, in spite of the crisis in Tel Aviv, which he said was temporary. Straus praised Lord Plumer, the High Commissioner and reported that “friction between Arabs and Jews was on the decline.

1928: In Brooklyn, Samuel and Lily (Lazell) Sylbert gave birth to “Richard "Dick" Sylbert, a two-time Academy Award-winning production designer.”

1928: In Brooklyn, Samuel and Lily (Lazell) Sylbert gave birth to “Oscar-winning production designer” Paul Sylbert.

1930: In Jamaica, Queens, NY, store owner Louis Herman and “the former Yetta Scheer, a seamtress” gave birth to Dolphin researcher Louis Herman.

1930: Birthdate of Herbert Jay Solomon who gained fame as Herbie Mann, a leading American jazz flutist.

1931(29th of Nisan, 5691): Rachel Bluwstein Sela passed away at the age of 40. She “was a Hebrew poet who immigrated to Palestine in 1909 who was known by her first name, Rachel, (רחל) or as Rachel the poetess (רחל המשוררת). Born in Saratov[  in Russia in 1890, she was “the eleventh daughter of Isser-Leib and Sophia Bluwstein, and granddaughter of the rabbi of the Jewish community in Kiev. During her childhood, her family moved to Poltava, Ukraine, where she attended a Russian-speaking Jewish school and, later, a secular high school. She began writing poetry at the age of 15. When she was 17, she moved to Kiev and began studying painting. At the age of 19, Rachel visited Eretz Israel with her sister en route to Italy, where they were planning to study art and philosophy. They decided to stay on as Zionist pioneers. They settled in Rehovot and worked in the orchards. Later, Rachel moved to Kvutzat Kinneret on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where she studied and worked in a women's agricultural school. At Kinneret, she met Zionist leader A. D. Gordon who was to be a great influence on her life, and to whom she dedicated her first Hebrew poem. During this time, she also met and had a romantic relationship with Zalman Rubshov - object of many of her love poems who later became known as Zalman Shazar and was the third president of Israel. In 1913, on the advice of A. D. Gordon, she journeyed to Toulouse, France to study agronomy and drawing. When World War I broke out, unable to return to Palestine, she returned instead to Russia where she taught Jewish refugee children. It may have been at this point in her life that she contracted tuberculosis.

After the end of the war in 1919 she returned to Palestine on board the ship Ruslan and for a while joined the small agricultural kibbutz Degania, a settlement neighboring her previous home at Kinneret. However, shortly after her arrival she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, then an incurable disease. Now unable to work with children for fear of contagion, she was expelled from Degania and left to fend for herself. In 1925 she lived briefly in a small white house in the courtyard of No. 64 Street of the Prophets in Jerusalem (courtyard of the William Holman Hunt House). She spent the rest of her life traveling and living in Tel Aviv, and finally settled in a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in Gedera…. She is buried in the Kinneret cemetery in a grave overlooking the Sea of Galilee, following her wishes as expressed in her poem ‘If Fate Decrees.’ Alongside her are buried many of the socialist ideologues and pioneers of the second and third waves of immigration. In recent years, Naomi Shemer was buried near Rachel, according to Shemer's wish. Rachel began writing in Russian as a youth, but the majority of her work was written in Hebrew. Most of her poems were published on a weekly basis in the Hebrew newspaper Davar, and quickly became popular with the Jewish community in the Palestine and later, in the State of Israel. The majority of her poetry is set in the pastoral countryside of Eretz Israel. Many of her poems echo her feelings of longing and loss, a result of her inability to realize her aspirations in life. In several poems she mourns the fact that she will never have a child of her own. Lyrical, exceedingly musical and characterized by its simple language and deep feeling, her poetry deals with fate, her own difficult life, and death. Her love poems emphasize the feelings of loneliness, distance, and longing for the beloved; her lighter poetry is ironic, often comic. Her writing was influenced by French imagism, Biblical stories, and the literature of the Second Aliyah pioneers. In one poem she identifies with Michal, wife of David. Rachel also wrote a one-act comic play ‘Mental Satisfaction,’ which was performed but not published in her lifetime. This ironic vignette of pioneer life was recently rediscovered and published in a literary journal.  Anthologies of Rachel's poetry remain bestsellers to this day. Many of her poems were set to music, both during her lifetime and afterwards, and are widely sung by Israeli singers. Her poems are included in the mandatory curriculum in Israeli schools. A selection of her poetry was translated to English and published under the title ‘Flowers of Perhaps: Selected Poems of Rachel,’ by the London publisher Menard. In his foreword to the 1994 edition of ‘Flowers of Perhaps,’ the acclaimed Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai stated: ‘What may be most remarkable about the poetry of Ra'hel, a superb lyric poet, is that it has remained fresh in its simplicity and inspiration for more than seventy years.’ In 2011, Rachel was chosen as one of four great Israeli poets whose portraits would be on Israeli currency (the other three being Leah Goldberg, Shaul Tchernichovsky, and Nathan Alterman).”

1932: In Karlovac, which at the time was part of Yugoslavia, Iva (Ischak) Goldstein and his wife gave birth to Danko Goldstein who changed his name to Daniel Ivin when he moved to Israel but later returned to his native Croatia where he pursued a career as a writer and human rights activist.

1935: Birthdate of Steffi Sidney-Splaver, the daughter of famed Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky, who as a young actress appeared in and then gave up acting to become a Hollywood writer, publicist and producer.  She passed away in 2010 at the age of 74.

1935: Birthdate of American “character actor” Al Israel, one of those people you send an untold number of movies such as “Carlito’s Way” and “Scarface” but whose name you never know.

1936: “Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington” the comedy for which Robert Riskin wrote the Oscar winning script was released in the United States toay.

1936: In Bucharest, Rumania, “the Liberal Party combined with the National Peasant Party” today demanded “that the government put an end to the activities of the Iron Gaurds” and others that are part of “the extreme right wing anti-Semitic Fascist movement.”

1936: In the Netherlands, “Het Volk, the leading Labor newspaper” said the German “consulate distributed copies of a Nazi publication, ‘Germans Abroad’ which contains an article that is an insult to Amsterdam’s Jewish population.”

1936: Dr. Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Rabbi Lazar Schonfeld soliciting his support for Yeshiva College.

1937: When a caretaker opened the gates at a Jewish cemetery this morning he “found sixteen tombstones overturned” and damage to the cemetery wall in several places which was “believed to have been” done by the Nazis.

1938(15th of Nisan, 5698): First Day of Pesach

1938: On the first day of Pesach, Rabbi David de Sola Pool at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue said " The Passover message of freedom is a ringing call to- man to struggle to preserve his civic liberty and his freedom of thought, speech and conscience." Speaking to a crowd o 2,500 at Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Samuel Goldenson stressed the necessity for Jews “to reaffirm the importance of liberty and freedom.”  He also drew a comparison between the plight of the Jews of Egypt and plight of Jews living in totalitarian states in Europe. 

1938: Arturo Toscanini conducted the Palestine Orchestra in Tel Aviv. “The program was a repetition of that given in Haifa earlier this week, but tonight’s performance was even more brilliant because the better acoustics at the Tel Aviv Hall.”

1939:  Stalin requested the creation of a British, French & Russian anti-Nazi pact.  Stalin was not blind to Hitler's ambition.  He sought an alliance with the West. However, London and Paris dithered because they were concerned about joining forces with the Communist dictator.  Fearing isolation and having to fight the Germans alone, Stalin negotiated a non-aggression pact with Hitler which freed the Nazis to attack Poland and then turn against the West.  By the time the Germans attacked the Russians, a new government was in power in London.  When Churchill was asked if he would aid Stalin, Churchill said that he would help the Devil if he were fighting the Nazis.

1939: Sensing opportunities with the Soviet Union, Mussolini welcomes the notion of a pact of solidarity with that country.

1940: Before going to Griffith Stadium to watch the opening game of the baseball stadium, President Roosevelt met this morning with Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr.

1940: On opening day at Griffith Stadium, the home of the Washington Senators, President Roosevelt accidently smashed the camera of a Jewish photographer. Irving Schlossenberg was a photographer with the Washington Post.  After FDR had thrown the ceremonial “first pitch,” Schlossenberg convinced him to do it a second time so that he could get a better picture.  Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s second pitch went wild and smashed Schlossenberg’s camera.  Schlossenberg went on to serve as a combat photographer with the United States Marine Corps hitting the beach in the first wave at four different landings – a fete that help to earn him four bronze stars.

1941: Germans invade Sarajevo, and with the help of Muslims (of whom they had incited) looted and destroyed the main Sephardic synagogue.  All Jews were ordered to surrender their radios.

1941: German troops and local Muslims looted and destroyed the main synagogue in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

1941(19th of Nisan, 5701): Aron Beckermann became the first Jew to be shot by the Germans for resistance in France.

1942: SS officials in the Ukraine informed authorities in Berlin that the Crimea is judenrein (purged of Jews).

1944: After forcing the Jews to register, the Hungarian government confiscated the property of the Jewish population.

1944: The Parczew partisans, fighters in irregular military groups participating in the Jewish resistance movement against Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II “participated in the take over the city of Parczew today

1944: In impressive services held this afternoon at the Central Synagogue, Lexington Avenue at Fifty-Fifth Street, three American Jewish leaders including S.W. Baron, J.N. Rosenberg and W. Rosenwald received the honorary degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College

1946(15th of Nisan, 5706): On the first day of Pesach, American journalist Mrs. Margaret Ashton Stimson Lindsley entered Acre Prison so that she could interview imprisoned members of the Irgun.  The British had turned down her requests to review the prisoners, so Mrs. Lindsley took advantage of the British practice of allowing family members to visit prisoners on Pesach.  Mrs. Lindsley pretended to be a member of the first family of Revisionist Zionism, the Jabotinskys, so she could join them on a visit to jail.  There she interviewed Eri Jabotinsky, son of the Revisionist Zionist leader, Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky. a leader of the Irgun's "aliya bet" underground railroad, which smuggled tens of thousands of Jews from Europe to Palestine in defiance of British immigration restrictions and his 17-year-old cousin Peleg Tamir, who was also an Irgun activist

1946: Birthdate of Little Rock, AR native Margot Adler, the granddaughter of Alfred Adler, the author whose writing on Neopaganism showed how far she had moved from her from the faith of her grandfather.

1947:  Bernard Baruch the famed Jewish financier and unofficial advisor to several Presidents reportedly coined the term “cold war” to describe the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviets.

1947(26th of Nisan, 5707): The British executed four members of the Irgun – Dov Gruner, Mordechai Alkahi, Hehiel Dresner and Eliezer Kashani – in Acre Prison.

1948:  During the Israeli War for Independence a platoon of Palmach soldiers made its way into the city of Safed where the Jewish quarter was under siege from a large Arab force.  The appearance of this small but tough group of Israeli fighters stiffened the spirit of the besieged population.  With the sanction of the local rabbis, the largely Orthodox population worked to improve the defenses of the Jewish quarter even though the work would interfere with preparations for Pesach.  The Palmach arrived just in the nick of time, since the departing British forces turned over the keys to their police fortress and other fortified positions to the Arab military forces. Ultimately, the Jews of Safed would prevail and the Arab military units would be driven out.   

1948: Jamal Husseini, “the former Secretary to the Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab Congress” told the Security Council today, “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

1948: In Manhattan, Sam Aaron “a founder and chairman of Sherry-Lehman, the New York wine merchant” and “the former Florence Goldberg, a geriatric therapist” gave birth to Jane Frances Aaron the “filmmaker and illustrator” best known to many for the animated shorts she made for “Sesame Street.”

1950(29th of Nisan, 5710): A four story building in Jaffa collapsed killing twelve and injuring thirty.  Most of the dead were newly arrived immigrants.  The cause of the collapse is still under investigation but it is thought to have been the result of the removal of one of the building’s pillars to make room for carpentry equipment being installed in a shop on the ground floor.

1951: The Beh Sabagahs arrived at the airport at Baghdad where they were greeted by mobs yelling “Rot in Hell” and then were abused by guards before they could board a plane for Israel.

1951: Cantor David Werdyger and his wife gave birth to .Mordechai Werdyger, “an American Hasidic Jewish singer and songwriter popular in the Orthodox Jewish community known by his stage name Mordechai Ben David.

1951: “The Great Caruso” the biopic produced by Joe Pasternak was released in the United States today.

1952: Birthdate of Esther Roth-Shachamorov , the native of Tel Aviv and record-setting track and field star who married gymnast and coach Peter Roth with she had two children – a daughter Einat and a son Yaron who became a national fencing champion.

1953(1st of Iyar, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1953: U.S. premiere of “Titanic” a cinematic treatment of the ocean disaster with music by Sol Kaplan.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that army engineers had completed a new road, bringing Wadi Ramon within 212 km. of Tel Aviv. The last stage comprised a steep descent of 250 meters along 4.5 km. of the literally vertical wall of the Makhtesh - a great engineering achievement. The road was now planned to reach Eilat. Syria reportedly prepared a list of all Jewish property to be placed in the hands of a custodian, should Israel carry out its decision to sell the property of Arab refugees.

1953: Birthdate of J. Neil Schulman author, screenwriter, journalist, radio personality, and filmmaker who is the son of famed violinist Julius Schulman.

1953: The New York Times reports that “Jack Benny plans to increase his television appearances next fall to once every three weeks, and will film six of the half-hour programs this summer. The six or seven remaining shows for the 1953-54 season will be done "live."

1954:In the Bronx, Evelyn (née Rozin) Barkin and Sol Barkin gave birth to actress Emmy and Tony award winning actress Ellen Rona Barkin, the sister of George Barkin who has been the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times. The Bronx born actress appeared in such films as the big Easy and the Sea of Love and gained additional fame as the fourth wife of “Cosmetic’s King” Ron Perlemen.

1957: Terrorists infiltrated from Jordan, and killed two guards at Kibbutz Mesilot.

1959: Vic Morrow appeared in the premiere of NBC's 1920s crime drama “The Lawless Years” in the episode "The Nick Joseph Story".

1962: In New York City, Judith and Donald Blinken gave birth to foreign policy expert Anthony “Tony” John Blinken who was raised in part his step-father attorney and Holocaust Survivor Samuel Pisar.

1963(22nd of Nisan, 5723): Eighth Day of Pesach

1964(4th of Iyar, 5724): Yom HaAtzma’ut

1964: In New York City “writer Buz Kohan and novelist Rhea Kohan gave birth to producer and writer David Sanford Kohan and his “twin brother Jono.

1965(14th of Nisan, 5725): Ta'anit Bechorot

1965(14th of Nisan, 5725): Seventy-eight year old Mendel Osherowitch, a former editor “The Jewish Daily Forward” and a leading Yiddish author passed away today in Manhattan

1966: Jan Peerce “was one of the participants in the Metropolitan's farewell gala marking the last performance in the old opera house.”

1968(18th of Nisan, 5728): Fourth day of Pesach

1968(18th of Nisan, 5728): Eighty-two year old author Edna Ferber passed away  Born in Michigan in 1885, Ferber's parents were Jewish immigrants from Hungary.  Ferber was proud of her Jewish heritage.  In her autobiography she described anti-Semitic episodes of her youth.  She also recounted the story of a meeting with three of her friends and a New York society matron.  When the society lady, boasted about having thrown away a book because it was written by a Jew, Ferber and her friends (all Jewish as well) walked out on her.  Ferber won a Pulitzer for So Big.  She is also known for other epics including Showboat and Giant, both of which became successful movies.

1970(10th of Nisan, 5730): Seventy-eight year old Vienna born American architect Richard Joseph Neutra passed away today.

1972: “The Culpepper Cattle Co.” the first film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer as released today in the United States.

1978: NBC broadcast “The Gathering Darkness” the first episode of the miniseries “Holocaust” tonight.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US president Carter's Administration, which had just sold 50 F-5E jet fighters to Egypt, was prepared to approve the sale of 3,000 US-made armored carriers to Egypt. In Washington, Alfred Atherton, the US Middle Eastern envoy, said that it was up to Israel to make the stalled peace negotiations with Egypt possible

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the number of those making Aliya in March, 1978, increased by 35 percent in comparison with that of March, 1977. The majority of the 1,988 new immigrants who arrived in March came from the Soviet Union.

1979:  Zaventem Airport in Belgium was the scene of a failed attack by Palestinian terrorists.

1980: Phyllis Trible whom Athalya Brenner called one of the "prominent matriarchs of contemporary feminist bible criticism" became a full Professor at Union Theological Seminary.

1984: Birthdate of White Plains, NY native Noah Fleiss, the actor who “is a distant relative” of the infamous Heidi Fleiss.

1984(14th of Nisan, 5774): Fast of the First Born; erev Pesach

1986: Yitzhak Moda'I switched from serving as Minister of Finance to Minister of Justice.

1989: “In recognition of Rabbi Schneerson’s” works “Congress, by House Joint Resolution 173 designated” today as “Education Day, U.S.A.”

1993: Hamas stages what is believed to be its first suicide car bombing at Mehola Junction.

1995(16th of Nisan, 5755): Second Day of Pesach

1995: “The Sarajevo Haggadah,” one of the world's most beautiful illustrated Jewish manuscripts, emerged today from the chaos of the Bosnian war at a Passover ceremony that offered a moment of reconciliation in a shattered city. The fate of the richly illustrated 14th-century Haggadah, or Passover ceremonial book, had been unknown since the war began in 1992. Rumors circulated that the medieval book, perhaps the best known Hebrew illustrated manuscript in existence, had been destroyed, lost or sold. But the Bosnian Government, acting at the request of Sarajevo's vestigial Jewish community, laid the rumors to rest today by bringing the Haggadah from the vaults of the national bank to an unusual Passover ceremony. In a city encircled and bereft of freedom, about 70 people gathered for a feast celebrating the freedom of the Jews through deliverance from Egypt. Addressing himself to Sarajevo's Jews, of whom 525 remain from a prewar total of 1,300, President Alija Izetbegovic said: "I ask you not to leave Bosnia, I ask you to stay here. This is also your country. "Our wish is that this country should be a tolerant community of religions and nations, as it has been for centuries," he added. President Izetbegovic, the leader of Bosnia's governing Muslim nationalist Party of Democratic Action, did not remain in the synagogue for the Seder itself. But his presence at the start of a ceremony also attended by religious leaders of the city's Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim sects was clearly intended to buttress emotional support for a multi-ethnic Bosnia at a time when three years of war appeared to have done irreparable damage to that ideal. "Spend your holiday in peace, and enjoy," President Izetbegovic said, "as much as is possible in these circumstances." In the synagogue, where Jews, Muslims, Serbs and Croats mingled amid quiet conversation and mutual respect, peace appeared possible for a moment. It was as if the frail Haggadah, with its painstakingly beautiful and vivid illustrations of subjects including the creation of the world and Moses blessing the Israelites, had imparted a lesson of patience and tolerance. But outside, the city lived another day of ordinary violence. A French soldier in the United Nations peacekeeping force was killed while trying to set up an anti-sniper barrier outside the Holiday Inn, where many journalists and diplomats stay. He was the second French soldier killed in two days. NATO jets swooped overhead, to no visible effect, and there were regular bursts of machine-gun fire. It had been thought that the Haggadah, created in northern Spain between 1350 and 1400, might have been another victim of this violence. Kept but very rarely shown at the Sarajevo National Museum before the war broke out, the book had disappeared from view completely. Before today, the book was last seen in 1989, on a single afternoon as part of an exhibition called "The Jews of Yugoslavia." Before that, it had only been seen once since World War II, when it was displayed for a few hours in 1966, on the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Sarajevo of the Spanish Jews. The Haggadah (meaning "the telling" in Hebrew) is an account of the Egyptian bondage of the Jews, a thanksgiving to God for deliverance and a prayer for ultimate redemption. The Sarajevo manuscript, consisting of 142 pages of vellum, some illustrated, some blank, belonged to a Jewish family that was probably expelled from Spain in 1492. From there, the exact steps are unknown, but in 1609 it was sold in Italy. After that, it did not resurface until 1894, when a Sarajevo family of Sephardic Jews named Kohen sold the book to the National Museum, then under the administration of Austro-Hungarian officials. The book was then taken to Vienna. Later it was returned to the Sarajevo Museum, where a German officer tried to take it in 1941. But the museum's director contrived to hide it from the Nazis, and the book was returned to the museum at the end of the war. Marked with wine stains and children's scrawls, the book bears the evidence of its peregrinations. It is at once a religious manuscript of unusual beauty and a well-used family prayer book. The Haggadah's value was appraised at $700 million in 1991, when Spain asked for it to be sent there for an 1992 exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of its expulsions of Jews. The book was not lent. Today, Ivan Ceresnjes, the head of the Jewish community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that President Izetbegovic had mentioned the possibility of sending the Haggadah somewhere for restoration, perhaps the United States. "It's 700 years old, but who will take care of it for the next 700 years?" he asked. But President Izetbegovic made no reference in his remarks, and it appeared unlikely that a book so identified with this city could be sent elsewhere at this time. Mr. Ceresnjes said he believed that Bosnia's mixed society was not yet totally destroyed, but that "the longer the war goes on, the more difficult it is because people are losing confidence in each other." He added that the Government was being pushed toward a more radical identification with Islam. At the start of the war, the Jewish community, helped by Muslim, Croatian and Serbian volunteers, established an aid organization called Benevolencia -- named after a society set up by Sarajevo Jews in 1892 to help the poor. The organization has provided medicine, a first-aid clinic, food and postal services. "Our work, it shows us our standpoint," said Mr. Ceresnjes. "We are a small community, but we have set out to show that it is still possible to live like before."

1996(27th of Nisan, 5756): Yom HaShoah

1997: In “Retracing Jewish Steps, Through Haroseth” Joan Nathan traces the origins of this staple of the Seder plate.

1999: A symposium entitled The History of American Jewish Political Conservatism held at American University in Washington, D.C. comes to a close.

2000: Fifty year old Raik Haj Yahia, an Israeli Arab who had served in the Knesset as a member of the Labor Party passed away today.

2000: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Lingua Ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky With the Human Brain” by William H. Calvin and Derek Bickerton,The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning” by Stanley Aronowitz and the recently released paperback edition of “The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America” by Ira Berlin in which “the historian examines the many forms and meanings of slavery between the arrival of the first blacks in Virginia in 1619 and the rise of King Cotton.”

2000(11th of Nisan, 5760): Seventy-seven year old international law scholar Abram Chayes passed away today.

2002(4th of Iyar, 5762):  Yom Hazikaron.

2002: The Sherman Brothers' classic motion picture, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was adapted into a London West End Musical in 2002 and premiered at the London Palladium today featuring many new songs and a reworked score by both Sherman Brothers

2003(14th of Nisan, 5763): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

2003: U.S premiere of “A Mighty Wind” a comedy based on “the 2003 tribute concert to folk music producer Harold Leventhal” featuring Harry Shearer and Eugene Levy who also co-authored the script.

2003: In “Once Sweet and Heavy, Now Dry and Desirable,” published today Amanda Hesser describes the change in the nature of Kosher for Passover wine and the growth of it is a commercial operation. “It was not so long ago that kosher wines ranked right up there with Jägermeister and Coors Light on the quality scale. They were as sweet as Cherry Coke and about as complex. And those kosher wines that did try to break the mold were rough around the edges at best. For makers of kosher wine, this has been a difficult reputation to shake, partly because some people are so accustomed to the sweet-style Passover wines that they become oddly sentimental when faced with new choices, and partly because consumers maintain a misperception that all kosher wine has been boiled and therefore must be bad. But over the last decade, the kosher wine industry has worked to change people's minds. The efforts were conservative at first, with winemakers rolling out a handful of new labels advertised as dry rather than sweet. Now, however, they are attracting consumers with kosher wines -- good kosher wines, as it happens -- made all over the world, from the Barossa Valley in Australia to Bordeaux, sherries to Champagnes, and with prices up to $250. In some instances, it is working. Sales at the Web site kosherwine.com have grown more than 300 percent this year, and the company now offers more than 400 kosher wines and spirits. Astor Wines & Liquors in Manhattan, which carried about 40 kosher labels five years ago, now has more than 100.”

2004: “An Agent for Good” published today described the life and career of “Edward Lewis Wallant” an author whose premature death did not keep people from comparing him to “postwar Jewish American writers - Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer and Philip Roth.”

2006: The New York Times featured a review of Sweet and Low: A Family Story, by Rich Cohen. Yes, it is a Jewish family that is responsible for bring Sweet N Low, that staple of the diet world, to the American dieting consumer.  Eat, eat my child gives way to diet, diet my child. The Times also reviewed the recently released paperback edition of “The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life” by Tom Reiss.  Part cultural biography, part literary mystery, Reiss's book chronicles the life of Lev Nussimbaum (1905-42), a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a bestselling author in Nazi Germany. Under the pen name Kurban Said, Nussimbaum wrote "Ali and Nino," a romance novel set in Azerbaijan at the time of the Russian Revolution. His enormously popular books and articles as "Essad Bey" opened a window on the Islamic world. Disentangling fact from fiction in Nussimbaum's life, Reiss also unlocks fascinating details on everything from the rise of fascism to the origins of the Shiite-Sunni split.”

2007: An exhibition entitled “Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust” opens at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. “During the Holocaust, Jews throughout Europe, through individual and collective acts of resistance, sought to undermine the Nazi goal of the annihilation of the Jewish people. Jews engaged in a range of resistance activities with the aim of preserving Jewish life and dignity despite unimaginable difficulties.  Their efforts powerfully refute the popular perception that Jews were passive victims. Through testimony, archival footage, and authentic artifacts, the exhibition will help visitors to understand the dilemmas that Jews faced under impossible circumstances.  Whether praying clandestinely, documenting the experiences of Jews in the ghettos, or taking up arms to fight, these responses took many forms, but each and every one was a courageous act of resistance.”

2007: Time Magazine featured an article by Walter Isaacson entitled “Einstein & Faith.”  The article was based on Walter Isaacson”s latest literary effort, Einstein: His Life and Universe.

2007(28th of Nisan, 5767): Ninety-three year old college basketball star and attorney Abe Weissbrodt passed away today.

2007(28th of Nisan, 5767): In one of history’s many ironies, a Holocaust Survivor was murdered on the day after Yom HaShoah. Liviu Librescu aged 76; a Romanian born Israeli teaching at Virginia Tech was killed in a massacre, in which a gunman killed 33 people at the university before committing suicide. This was the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. Students of the Israeli lecturer who said he saved the lives of several students by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot. "He himself was killed but thanks to him his students stayed alive," an Israeli student who survived the massacre told Army Radio. Librescu, had known tragedy since childhood. When Romania joined forces with Nazi Germany in World War II, the young Librescu was interned in a labor camp, and then sent along with his family and thousands of other Jews to a central ghetto in the city of Focsani, his son said. Hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews were killed by the collaborationist regime during the war.

2007: Israeli photographer Oded Balilty working for the Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography. This is the award-winning picture of the Amona outpost evacuation

2008(11th of Nisan, 5768): Three IDF soldiers were killed and two others were wounded Wednesday after coming under heavy fire from Palestinian gunmen while patrolling the border with the Gaza Strip. The soldiers who were killed were identified as Sgt. Matan Ovdati, 19, from Patish, Sgt. Menhash Albaniat, 20, a tracker from Kuseife in the Negev and Sgt. David Papian, 21, from Tel Aviv.

2008: In Florida, Rabbi Andrew Baker presents a program entitled “Confronting the Resurgence of Anti-Semitism in Europe.” As the American Jewish Committee's Director of International Jewish Affairs, Rabbi Baker is a leading expert on anti-Semitism in Europe and other challenges including Holocaust restitution. As director of European affairs for 8 years he was instrumental in developing programs to promote tolerance in the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is a founding member of a national commission in Romania chaired by Elie Wiesel that examines the history of the Holocaust.

2008: As part of the Israel at 60 Celebration, the 92nd Street Y presents Professor Uri Cohen’s review of the development of Israeli culture from 1948 to the Present through an examination of Israeli Film, Music and Literature.

2008: Hedy Epstein, whose parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust speaks at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2008: In New York, The Center for Jewish History presents “The History of Jewish Involvement
in Building New York” with the following breakout sessions:

  • New York 1908: The Apartment House Comes to Gotham...
    and Look Who Moves In presented by Barry Lewis, Architectural Historian
  • Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Jewish Migration and Ethnicity in New York City presented by Joseph Salvo, Demographer
  • The Banker, the Realtor, and the Delicatessen Owner: The Jewish Businessmen of the Lower East Side presented by Annie Polland, Lower East Side Historian
  • The Evolution of the Jewish Real Estate Family moderated by Judith H. Dobrzynski, former New York Times Editor and Reporter and Simon Ziff, Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group

2008: The New York Times reviewed The Much Too Promised Land by Aaron David Miller a Jewish native of Cleveland, Ohio who spent most of two decades as diplomat involved in America’s attempts to bring peace to the Middle East.

2009(22nd of Nisan, 5769): Eight Day of Pesach. 

2009: Jan Karski was honored by the Polish Government and New York City today. In recognition of Karski’s wartime courage and lifelong commitment to the memory and history of Polish Jews, Poland memorialized Karski with the unveiling of a new street sign in front of the De Lamar Mansion, the Consulate’s residence at 233 Madison Avenue at East 37th Street, which was officially designated Jan Karski Corner during the ceremony. As a courier for the Polish Underground during World War II, Karski was the first person to bring news of the Holocaust directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

2010: A memorial service is scheduled to be held today honoring Steffi Sidney-Splaver.

2010: Altered States of Reality: an Exhibition of Analog and Digital Photography an exhibition featuring six Israeli artists, Offer Goldfarb, Goodash, Gabriel Leitner, Uri Mahlev, Eli Matityahu and Shifra, is scheduled to open at Agora Gallery in New York City.

2011(12 Nisan, 5771): Shabbat Ha-Gadol.

2011(12 Nisan, 5771): Television and film script writer Sol Saks passed away at the age of 100.  Among other accomplishments was his role in the creation of the hit television sit-com, “Bewitched” for which he wrote the first script. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2011(12 Nisan, 5771): Milton D. Glick, 73, the 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno and nationally respected figure in higher education, whose academic career spanned more than 50 years, passed away today in Reno.

2011: Yahrzeit for the Jews of York, England: On Shabbat Ha-Gadol (Nisan, 4950) in 1190 the Jews of York were attacked by a mob including crusaders heading for the Holy Land.  They gave the Jews the choice of converting or death.  Most of the Jews chose death, which meant murder-suicide pacts.  A few Jews did surrender to the mob, but they were murdered any way. 

2011: “A Late Marriage,” an Israeli film set in the Georgian community of Tel Aviv, is scheduled to be shown at Columbia Jewish Congregation’s (CJC) 2011 - Nineteenth Season of Movies in Columbia, MD.

2011: Gil and Orli Shaham are scheduled to give a recital at the 92nd St Y that will include Achron’s Hebrew Dance, Op. 35, No. 1 and Hebrew Melody, Op. 33 as well as Bloch’s Ba’al Shem for Violin and Piano.

2011: Air Force fighter jets struck two targets in Gaza early today in response to a double-Grad rocket attack on Ashdod that shattered a six-day cease-fire. Yesterday’s Palestinian rocket- fire triggered warning sirens in the southern port city and sent residents fleeing for cover. The rockets exploded in open areas, failing to cause injuries or damages. Hours later, warplanes flew over Gaza and struck two terror targets, an IDF spokesman said. “An accurate strike was identified, and the planes returned to base safely,” the spokesman added. No details were provided on the targets that were struck. “The IDF will not tolerate fire on the South, and views Hamas as being responsible,” said the spokesman.

2012: Holocaust survivors John and Michael Schwabacher are among those who are planning on attending the memorial program scheduled to begin today in Wurzburg, Germany – the city from which they fled after having survived the Holocaust.

2012: “Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Rabbi Alfredo F. Borodowski is scheduled to begin teaching “The Maimonides Letters: Leadership at a Time of Crisis” at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.

2013(6th of Iyar, 5773): Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day)

2013: “Koch” and “Yossi” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2013: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled to host a genealogy workshop, at no charge, that “is designed for descendant of refuges and Holocaust survivors, especially members of the second generation.”

2013: The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical are scheduled to present an evening with Ann Kirschner author Lady at the O.K. Corral, a biography of Josephine Sara Marcus Earp, the wife of the famous western lawman who had him buried in a Jewish cemetery.

2013: The Center for Jewish History and Israel Film Center are scheduled to present “Through His Eyes,” a ” documentary history of Israeli cinema through the eyes of a still photographer, Yoni Hamenahem, who for the past 40 years has photographed the sets of many of Israel's classic films.”

2013: Mathew Nash’s film – “16 Photographs at Ohrdruf” –which tells of the first concentration liberated by the U.S. Army in 1945 is scheduled to be shown at the Boston International Film Festival

2013: Eighty-nine year old Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone is scheduled to speak at Kirkwood Community college this morning and at Mount Mercy University this evening.  Her appearance is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

2013(6th of Iyar, 5773): Ninety-eight year old Jake Alhadeff, the native of Atlanta, GA who moved to Maitland, FL in 2003 passed away today.

2013: Eighty-nine year old Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone is scheduled to speak at Kirkwood Community college this morning and at Mount Mercy University this evening.  Her appearance is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

2014(16th of Nisan, 5774): Second Day of Pesach – First day of the Omer

2014: Macon Openshaw, 21, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to firing three rounds from a handgun at the Congregation Kol Ami synagogue in Salt Lake City (As reported by JTA)

2014: The Magical Festival is scheduled to open this morning in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.

2015(27th of Nisan, 5775): Yom HaShoah

2015(27th of Nisan, 5775): Ninety-three year old mental health pioneer Mira Rothenberg whose father died in the Holocaust passed away today.

2015: As part of the Skirball Center’s Yom HaShoan observance Menachem Z. Rosensaft the editor of God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes, New York Times reporter Joseph Berger, senior editor of Tablet Magazine Stephanie Butnick, Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling, David Miliband, former Foreign Secretary of the UK, and senior fellow at New York University, Thane Rosenbaum, are scheduled to discuss how memories of the past affect their lives.

2015: Holocaust survivor Bob Behr is scheduled to speak at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of the First Person program.

2015: “Bialik” King of the Jews” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015: “Saviors on the Screen,”  “a special Films Series dedicated to the rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust presented by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the JCC Manhattan is scheduled to take place today.

2015: On Yom HaShoah, Nancy Baron-Baer, the Regional Director of the ADL is scheduled to “conduct a discussion about Anti-Semitism in today's world and how to combat it” at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

2015: According to Army Radio, an “ultra-Orthodox soldier was threatened and called a Nazi by Haredi men today in Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem.

2016(8th of Nisan, 5776): Shabbat HaGadol;
 
2016: “Junun” and “Rosenwald” are scheduled to be shown for the last time at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2016: Israeli composer Ophir Ilzetzki is scheduled to have his American premiere at the 2016 MATA Festival.

2017: The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is scheduled to conduct a trip on the Knesset trail – “a free tour about birds, Jerusalem history and nature.”

2017: The New York Times featured reviews by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The First Love Story: Adam, Eve and Us by Bruce Feiler and What to do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball.

 

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