1333: Birthdate of Reginald III of Guelders, a duchy in the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1349 the Duke of Guelders, was authorized by the Emperor Louis IV of the Holy Roman Empire of Germany to allow Jews to live in his duchy. This may have been considered somewhat unusual because Jews were being expelled from other parts of the realm in response to the Black Death.
1497: Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola. Alexander VI was one of the Renaissance popes whose religious qualities might best be summed up by stating that he was the father of Cesare and Lucretzia Borgia. His lack of concern with Church matters benefited the Jews especially the Jews and Marranos fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. He admitted so many refugees to Rome, that Ferdinand and Isabella registered major protests to his policy. Savonarola was a Dominican monk who opposed Alexander on grounds of morality of ethics which is what led to his excommunication. Savonarola’s enmity for the Pope had led him to “expel the Pope” from the Florentine region under his control. At the same time, Savonarola banned Jews from this area as well. So, from a Jewish point of view Alexander trumps Savonarola regardless of the moral stance of the two men.
1534: The first Hebrew printing press in Poland located in Cracow published its first book Sha’arei Duro a code of dietary laws by Rabbi Isaac ben Reuben
1610: Coronation of Marie de Medicis, as Queen consort of France and Navarre. Despite the ban on Jews living in the realm, she employed Elijah Montalto as her personal physician. He was a Marrano, who had been raised as a Christian in Portugal before settling in Venice after publicly returning to “the faith of his fathers. Born in 1567, he passed away in 1616 and was buried at Amsterdam in Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands.
1636(8th of Iyar): Rabbi Menahem Monish Chajes of Vilna passed away today
1665: A statute was enacted in Rhode Island, offering “freemanship” with no specifically Christian requirements, thus effectively enfranchising Jews
1728: Hayyim and Joshua Reizes of Lvov (heads of the Rabbinical court and the yeshiva respectively) were arrested when a Jesuit priest, Zoltowskiki, discovered that Jan Filipowicz (soon tortured and killed), a convert, had reconverted to Judaism. They were accused of complicity. Condemned to death, Joshua committed suicide by cutting his own throat. For three days his brother Hayyim refused to convert to Christianity. His tongue was then torn out, his body quartered and he was finally burnt. Their property was then confiscated.
1779: Birthdate of Jakob Salomon, the Berlin born Jew who converted, took the name Jakob Salomon Bartholdy as he furthered his diplomatic career.
1781: Joseph II, the son and successor of Maria Theresa let Chancellor Count Franz Esterhazy know that he intended to improve the condition of his Hungarian Jewish subjects.
1782: Friedrich Albrecht August, the Jewish born Catholic convert passed away today.
1787: Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy and his eleven convict laden ships set sail for Botany Bay Australia. There are reportedly 17 Jews among the 1500 convicts.
1792: Birthdate of Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti who would become Pope Pius IX. “Pius IX's relations to the Jews remain ambiguous. He repealed laws that forbade Jews to practice certain professions, and that required them to listen to sermons four times per year aimed at their conversion. Judaism and Catholicism were the only religions allowed by law (Protestant worship was allowed to visiting foreigners, but strictly forbidden to Italians). But the testimony of a Jew against a Christian remained inadmissible in courts of law, a tax levied only on Jews supported schools for converts from Judaism to Catholicism, and Jews continued in various other respects to be discriminated against by law. At the beginning of his pontificate, Pius IX opened the Jewish ghetto in Rome, but after his return from exile in 1850 re-instituted it again. In 1858, in a highly publicized case, a six-year-old Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, was taken from his parents by the police of the Papal States. It had been reported that he had been baptized by a Christian servant girl of the family while he was ill because she feared he would die and go to Hell, otherwise. At this time, the law did not permit Christians to be raised by Jews, even their own parents. Pius IX steadfastly refused calls from numerous heads of state including Emperor Franz Josef (1848–1916) of Austria-Hungary and Emperor Napoleon III of France (1852–70) to return the child to his parents.
1799(8th of Iyar, 5559): Isaiah Berlin an 18th century German Talmudist passed away. Born at Eisenstadt, Hungary in 1725, “Berlin studied under Ẓevi Hirsch Bialeh (Ḥarif), the rabbi of Halberstadt, at the latter's yeshivah. In 1755 Berlin moved to Breslau where he engaged in business. In 1793, when already advanced in years, he was elected to a rabbinical post, being appointed to succeed Isaac Joseph Te'omim as rabbi of Breslau. His election was marked by a dispute between the members of the community and the local maskilim, who had begun to organize themselves as a body and opposed Berlin, who, despite his love of peace, openly attacked their ideas. Berlin was elected by an overwhelming majority. Berlin was greatly admired, even by persons who differed with him in religious views. According to Hasidic sources, Berlin was sympathetically disposed toward that movement and extended a friendly welcome to one of its emissaries, Jacob Samson of Spitsevka. Further, Joel Brill, Aaron Wolfsohn, Judah Bensew, and many other Maskilim of Breslau often visited him to seek advice on scientific questions. As the Maskilim always carefully avoided wounding Berlin's religious feelings, he on his part met them half-way in many things. On the occasion of the Peace of Basel, for instance, he held a solemn service in the synagogue and exceptionally permitted the use of instrumental music, he himself delivering a discourse which was highly praised by the press ("Schlesische Zeitung", 1795, No. 59). Thus Berlin, conciliated the hostile elements of his congregation, and his death was mourned equally by all. Berlin's had the habit of annotating almost every book he read; mentioning the sources, or noting parallel passages and variant readings. Such glosses by Berlin have been published on the following books: the Bible (Pentateuch, Dyhernfurth, 1775; the other books, ib., 1807); the prayer-book, ed. Tiḳḳun Shelomoh (ib., 1806); Maimonides' Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah (ib., 1809); Alfasi (Presburg, 1836); the "Ḥinnuk", by Aaron ha-Levi of Barcelona (Vienna, 1827); Malachi b. Jacob's methodology, "Yad Malachi" (Berlin, 1825); Elijah b. Moses de Vidas' book of morals, "Reshit Ḥokmah" (Dyhernfurth, 1811). Although the terse yet clear notes contained in these volumes reveal the immense learning and critical insight of their author, yet Berlin's lasting place of honor among the pioneers of Talmudic criticism rests on the following works, which treat principally of the Talmud: "'Omer ha-Shikḥah" (Forgotten Sheaf), Königsberg, 1860, containing a large number of Halakot on the Talmud not noted by the codifiers; "Oẓar Balum" (Full Treasure), in the edition of Jacob ibn Ḥabib's "'En Ya'aḳob", published at Wilna in 1899, tracing all the Talmudic passages quoted without sources in the different commentaries on the haggadic elements of the Talmud; "Haggahot ha-Shas" (Notes to the Talmud), textual corrections and notes on the origin of parallel passages (Dyhernfurth, 1800, and in nearly all the editions of the Talmud); "Hafla'ah Sheba-'Arakin" (Detached Orders) (part i., Breslau, 1830; part ii., Vienna, 1859), containing, as the title indicates, explanations and glosses on the 'Aruk; "Ḥiddushe ha-Shas", novellæ on the Talmud (Königsberg, 1860, and in several editions of the Talmud); "Minè Targuma" (Dessert Dishes), Breslau, 1831, remarks on the Targum Onkelos (the word "Targuma" signifying both "Targum" and "dessert", equivalent to the Greek τράγημα) and on the Palestinian Targum; "Kashiyot Meyushab" (Difficulties Answered), Königsberg, 1860, treating of the Talmudic passages which end with, and written by Berlin in fourteen days; (8) "Rishon leẒion" (The First for Zion; Dyhernfurth, 1793; Vienna, 1793, and several times reprinted, the title being a play on, "Zion", and, "index"), a collection of indexes and parallel passages in the Midrash; (9) "She'elat Shalom" (Greeting of Peace), Dyhernfurth, 1786, a commentary on Aḥa of Shubḥa's "She'iltot." Berlin's responsa collection and his commentary on the Tosefta deserve especial mention, though nothing is known of their fate.Berlin, was the first—at least among the Germans—who showed an interest in the history of post-Talmudic literature; and it was he, who opened the Kalir question (compare his letter to his brother-in-law, Joseph b. Menaḥem Steinhart, in the latter's "Zikron Yosef", No. 15.
1804: Birthdate Daniele Fonseca, who gained fame as Daniele Manin, the Italian patriot. Manin was born a Jew, but converted as a child at which time he changed his name out of respect for his patron.
1832: The government confirmed the election of Menahem Nahum Trebitsch as "Landesrabbiner" of Moravia, in succession to Mordecai Benet, and granted him a salary of 600 florins; he was the last Moravian "Landesrabbiner" of the old school.
1837: The Jews of Leipzig were given permission to organize as a religious community and establish a synagogue
1839(24th of Iyar, 5699): Rabbi Israel Ashkenazi of Shklov, leader of the Aliya of the followers of the Gaon of Vilna to Eretz Yisrael passed away. The dynamic force of early Hasidism clashed head-on with the dynamic force of Ashkenazic traditionalism generated by the GR"A. The momentum of both movements created the two major aliyot of the pre-Zionist times. Rabbi Israel of Shklov arrived in Eretz Yisrael in 1808. In 1815 he moved to Jerusalem, where he founded the modern Ashkenazic community. The location of his grave was unknown for a long time. It was discovered in 1964, 125 years after his death, in Tiberias.
1842: Löbl Strakosch and Julia Schwarz gave birth to their youngest child Chaile Caroline
1843(13th of Iyar, 5603): Dr. Daniel Levy Maduro Peixotto the eldest of son of Moses Levi Maduro Peixotto, a native of Curaco who had brought his family to New York from Amsterdam passed away today. The elder Peixotto was a successful businessman who served as Chazan at Shearith Israel. Daniel who was born in Amsterdam in 1800 graduated from Columbia at the age of sixteen and earned his medical degree in 1819 at the age of 19. After a few years of travel he returned to New York in 1823, where he pursued his profession with success, and gained a place among the foremost practitioners of his day. He was one of the physicians of the city dispensary in 1827, and president of the New York county medical society in 1830-'1832, and took an active part in public charitable work as well as in Jewish educational movements. One of his eight children, Benjamin Franklin, went on to become a prominent newspaper man and politician who served in several diplomatic posts during the post-Civil War period. Dr. Daniel was quite proud of his Jewish heritage as can be seen from a speech he delivered while he was vice president of the Medical Society of the City and County of New York. “The writings of the Hebrews are generally acknowledged to be unequaled for the simplicity and dignity - the strength, conciseness and boldness of their style; the perfect truth to nature of their imagery; their animated eloquence and sublime figures. The conceits and puerile vanities which disgrace much of classical literature are altogether banished from their pages. It may, however, be suggested that these writings were inspired. This assertion is more imposing by its speciousness than forcible by its application. The great truths and sublime doctrines which were inculcated by Moses and the Prophet were undoubtedly
derived from immediate communication with the Almighty.” [From “Moses and Daniel Peixotto” by Dr. Yitzchok Levine]
1846: The United States declares war on Mexico officially marking the start of the Mexican-American War. As has been true in all other wars, Jews were active participants in this fight with Mexico. Like their gentile neighbors, Jews from Texas were active combatants. These included Adolphus Stern, David Kaufman and Leon Dyer each of whom would be prominent office holders in the early days of the Lone Star State. Baltimore Jews formed a company of volunteers whose three commanding officers were Jewish. David Camden de Leon of South Carolina was the most famous and colorful Jew to serve in the fight with Mexico. A surgeon by trade, de Leon literally swapped his scalpel for a sword at the Battle of Chapultepec where he led a successfully led a cavalry charge after the other officers had been killed or wounded and could not lead the troops. Fifteen years later, de Leon would be named Surgeon General of the Confederate Army.
1853: “The Jewish Disabilities Bill” published today described efforts in the British Parliament to make it possible for Jews to sit in the House of Commons. “The British House of Commons has again decided in favor of striking out the words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ from the oath administered to Members of Parliament.” According to the author, the House of Lords will surely reject the attempt to change the in the oath as part of the continued to keep Jews from sitting in Parliament. While “notorious non-believers” take the oath “without a scruple” the only way a Jew could take the oath would be to convert from the faith of his fathers.
1860: Birthdate of Henry Samuel Morais the son of Rabbi Sabato Morais, a well-known national Jewish leader, Rabbi of Congregation Mikveh Israel of Philadelphia, and founder of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
1863: Philadelphian Michael Baer completed his service in Company F of the 123rd Regiment where he had been promoted from the rank of 1st Lieutenant to Captain.
1864: The jury was unable to reach a decision in the case of Solomon Ullman vs. The Congregation B'Nai Israel. The unusual case revolved a claim by Ullman, a former congregant, that the synagogue had illegally removed his father’s tombstone from their cemetery.
1865: Following the defeat of the Confederacy, as Judah P. Benjamin was fleeing from Union troops he “reached Monticello, Florida” and then continued alone on horseback seeking to reach the Gulf Coast where he could find a ship to take him to Great Britains.
1866: The Pennsylvania Legislature passed an act today that allowed the children who were attending a school operated under the auspices of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia to attend the Boys' and Girls' High School, Philadelphia.
1871: “American Christian Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews” published today described the work of the organization which has an auxiliary branch in Somerset, Iowa in trying to change the religious persuasion of the “65,000 Israelites in New York” and the quarter of million living in the United States.
1872(5th of Iyar, 5632): Fifty year old author and German parliamentarian Mortiz Harmann passed away today outside of Vienna.
1872: Secretary of State Hamilton Fish wrote to Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the U.S. Counsel in Bucharest, that while it is usually the policy of the government not to interfere in the internal affairs of other country’s an exception is to be made in this case since all else has failed. The State Department will support whatever measure Peixotto may take in joining with other diplomats “to avert or mitigate further harshness” shown toward the Jews living in Romania. (Peixotto was Jewish and he was purposely chosen by President Grant in an attempt to ameliorate the suffering of the Jews in Romania. This is yet another proof that Grant was not an anti-Semite)
1877: “Jute” published today describes the origins and modern uses of this plant. The author claims that jute has been used since ancient times citing the story of Samson and Delilah as one of his proofs. “The seen green withes that had never been dried” which the Philistines had given to Delilah so that she might bind the Israelite prophet were “jute withes. “The basis for this supposition is the fact that the word translated ‘withes’ is in the Hebrew reading jeter – that means cordage or roping stuff of any kind.” In the 17th century the Jewish connection was so strong that a form of jute called or Tossa jute (Corchorus olitorius), was popularly referred to as ‘Jews mallow.’ [Editor’s note – Apparently the term Jews mallow is one known to many cooks as can be seen from the recipe for a dish called Jews Mallow Soup http://www.food.com/recipe/molukhia-jews-mallow-soup-151132 ]
1878: A review of Religion of China by Dr. Richard Edkins published today noted that during Edkins visit to China he found that "the Jewish colony had dwindled to a few hundred members none of whom can read Hebrew." In what must be a reference to Simchat Torah, Edkins reported that until their synagogue was destroyed by fire the Jews "had an autumn festival when they walked in procession around the hall taking the scrolls of the law with them." Until recently, they had twelve copies of the Pentateuch, some of which are now in England. According to some, the first Jews arrived during the Han Dynasty - 200 BCE to 200 CE while others came later from Persia
1881: Birthdate of Anna Meingast, who worked as Stefan Zweig’s secretary in Salzburg from November 1919 to March 1938.
1884(18th of Iyar, 5644): Lag B'Omer
1886: Birthdate of violinist and composer Joseph Achron. Born in Warsaw, Achron was a child prodigy from a musical family. He moved to St. Petersburg in 1899 and joined the Society for Jewish Folk Music in 1911. His first Jewish work called "Hebrew Melody" became famous thanks to the interpretation by Jascha Heifetz. Achron lived in Berlin and Palestine before settling in the United States in the 1920's where he continued performing and composing. One of his most compositions was "Golem." When he passed away in 1943, one obituary called him "one of the most underrated modern composers.
1888: Birthdate of Zelig Harry Lefkowitz who gained fame as "Big" Jack Zelig a New York City thug who was one of the last leaders of the Monk Eastman Gang.
1888: Thirty-one year old Max Pinkus married Hedwig Oberländer the daughter of Moritz J. Oberländer and Marie Oberländer
1890: The Amusements column published today provided a detailed review of “The Shatchen” a play written by Henry Doblin and Charles Doblin starring M.B. Curtis in the title role of this comedy about a Jewish marriage broker.
1891: Two Jews were killed today and several more were injured when new violence broke out today in Corfu.
1892: “Jews Ordered From Russia” published today reported that “ten thousand foreign Jews in Odessa have been order to leave” the Czar’s kingdom immediately.
1892: Rector Alhwardt, the notorious anti-Semite went on trial today on charges that he libeled the firm of Loewe & Company when he charged that the company had furnished defective rifles to the army.
1893: “Germany’s Political Crisis” published today described the surprise that has resulted from “the fact that the anti-Semitic electors of Arnswalde have again nominated Rector Ahlwardt, the notorious Jewish Baiter” despite the fact that he is serving a term in prions for having libeled the Jewish firm of Lowe & Company
1893: One Polish Jew arrived in the United States aboard the SS New York
1893: Three hundred twenty-seven Polish Jews arrived aboard the SS Dania, 245 of whom were bound for New York, seven of whom were bound for Boston, two of whom were bound for New Haven, CT, one of whom was bound for Iowa, five of whom were bound for Amsterdam, 13 of whom were bound for Amsterdam, NY 13 of whom were bound for Philadelphia, 13 of whom were bound for Pittsburg, 6 of whom were bound for Buffalo, 29 of whom were bound for Chicago, 5 of whom were bound for Saratoga, NY and one of whom was bound for Milwaukee,
1893: “A press association dispatch sent from Berlin” today “asserts, in contradiction of the recent dispatches from” the New York Times correspondent in London “that there is no movement for the expulsion of Jews from Poland.”
1893: Relying on information that first appeared in the Jewish Messenger, “The Expulsion of the Jews from Poland” published today decried the fact that Russia is allowed to treat her Jewish inhabitants in a manner that is both brutal and laced with bigotry while the Great Powers remain passive in the face of this menace to civilization that smacks of medieval barbarism.
1893: The examination of another 200 of the 1,000 Russian Jews who arrived yesterday at Ellis Island aboard the steamship Dania will resume today. Immigration officials said that many of those already examined “were absolutely destitute” and that a number of them will be returned to the ship.
1894: It was reported today that “there appears to have been a series of savage popular” attacks on the Jews in a number of towns in Southern Russia at Easter time. The bloodiest took place at Ekaterinoslav.
1894: It was reported today that in response to new outbreaks of violence a renewed exodus of Jews has begun from Odessa. In the last week 2,200 have left the port, 800 bound for Argentina; the rest bound for England and the United States.
1894: It was reported today that the official returns from the by-election in Schlochan (Germany) will require a run-off between the Conservative candidate and the first runner-up because the anti-Semitic candidate made “deep inroads in the traditional Conservative majority.
1894(7th of Iyar, 5654): Twenty year old Edwin Bach, the son of Sigmund J. and Rosalie Bach passed away today.
1895: A dramatized version of “Oliver Twist” opened at the Star Theatre with H.G. Carleton playing the part of Fagan, “the awful Jew.”
1896: Solomon Schechter discovered a fragment of the original Hebrew text of “Ecclesiasticus” that had come from the Cairo Genizah.
1897: Theodor Herzl wrote, "Über Nacht fiel mir der Titel des Blattes ein: Die Welt. Mit dem Mog'n Dovid, in der der Globus hineinzuzeichnen wäre, mit Palästina als Mittelpunkt." -"Overnight the name for the paper occurred to me: Die Welt. [The masthead comes] with a Mogen Dovid [Star of David], inside which a globe should be drawn, with Palestine as the central point."
1898: In Harlem, Temple Israel began celebrating its 25th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the dedication of its current facility today.
1898: During the Spanish American War George Jessel Jones, Morris Conheim and Carl Meyer were mustered in as members of the 1st Missouri Volunteer Infantry.
1898: “Hebrew Charities Building” published today described the plans of Solomon Loeb of Kuhn, Loeb & Co to build a new four-story structure at 21st Street and Second Avenue which will be called The Hebrew Charities Building. De Lemos & Cordes have been retained for the project that will cost $150,000 on top of the $60,000 that has been paid for the land.
1899: Memorial services for Baroness de Hirsch were held this afternoon in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance at East Broadway and Jefferson Street.
1899: Ohio native and West Point Graduate Major George W. Moses was honorably discharged today
1899: It was reported today that Doubleday & McClure will soon be issuing an abridged version of The Future of War by Jean de Bloch the Polish Jew who began as a peddler in Warsaw and rose to become a financier with a wide variety of interests in railways, banking and science.
1899: “The first anti-Jewish measure was promulgated” by the Russian government “under which the stay of all – even foreign – Jews is prohibited in St. Petersburg; a prohibition that even applies to French Jews.
1899: “Yiddish: Literature in the Mixed Tongue Produced in This Century” published today provided a review The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century by Leo Weiner. (Weiner was a Polish born Jew who lectured on Slavic Languages at Harvard and became the first American Professor of Slavic Literature, at a time before leaders at Harvard decided there were too many Jews at their college.)
1899: “Asks Aid of United Hebrew Charities” published today described the decision to reject a request for $125 to pay for a family’s transportation back to German “because the demands upon the treasury…have been so great, the society cannot afforded to expends so large a sum on an individual case.”
1900(14th of Iyar, 5660): Pesach Sheni
1900 (14th of Iyar, 5660): Sixty-year old Hermann Levi, the Jewish maestro who conducted the first performance of Wagner’s “Parsifal” at Bayreuth passed away today.
1900: Herzl made a Zionist speech at the "Israelitische Allianz".
1900: In responding to Jacob Schiff’s criticism of the work of the Baron and Baroness de Hirsch Monument Association, Isador Straus agreed that these two great philanthropists required no monument since their good works spoke for themselves. Building the monument was an act of gratitude and hopefully, those who would view it would be moved to emulate the generosity of the Baron and Baroness.
1904: Herzl writes to Wenzel von Plehve asking for an audience for Katzenelson.
1905: Birthdate of Israeli graphic designer Franz Kraus. Born in St. Pölten, Austria he passed away in 1998 in Tel Aviv.
1905: Twenty six year old American producer Sam Shubert, one of the three Shubert theatre owning Shubert brothers passed away today as the result of injuries suffered in a train accident in Pennsylvania while traveling on business. (According to some sources, Shubert actually died on May 12 and not on May 13. So far, I have not been able to resolve this discrepancy. The official marker shows the May 13 date.)
1906: The Bezalel Art School opened in Jerusalem
1906: In Chicago, “The building known as the Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home was formally dedicated” today where 19 orphans resided under the care of Mr. Saul Drucker as superintendent and Mrs. Saul Drucker as matron.
1912: Birthdate of Rabbi Judah Nadich. As a Lt. Colonel and Army chaplain, Nadich would play a key role in the treatment for the Jews of Europe after W.W. II. As President of the Rabbinical Assembly, he would play a key role in gaining equality for women in Conservative Judaism.
1912: The office of Chief Rabbi of England was formally declared to be vacant today and it was announced that applications for the position were now being accepted.
1915: Leslie L. Dauer, the temporary Chairman of the Leo M. Frank Committee in Chicago reported that “many organizations such as the Iowa State Society for the Prevention of Cruelty and the Board of Trade of Missouri have joined the movement” to seek clemency for Frank and “the campaign in Frank’s behalf is being carried on over the whole country and is meeting with enthusiastic response everywhere.:
1916 (10th of Iyar, 5676): Sholem Aleichem passed away. Born Shalom Rabinowitz in the Ukraine, he grew up in the town of Vornokov which served as the model for the fictitious town of Kasrilevke that appears in his writings. Shalom Aleichem began writing in Hebrew. In 1883, he began writing in Yiddish which is when he adopted the pen name of Shalom Aleichem. He used a pen name because he did not want to offend friends and family (including his father) who thought Jews should be writing in Hebrew. Following the pogroms of 1905, he now famous author moved to the United States. He died while living in the Bronx at the age of 59. Shalom Aleichem employed humor and pathos to create a picture of the Shtetl. He was called the Jewish Mark Twain. His most famous character was Tevye who became a worldwide favorite in the hit show and movie, “Fiddler on the Roof.” [Ed. Note: There is no way this brief guide can do justice to this man or his work. The best way to “say Kaddish” for him is to read one of his stories]
1917: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise’s Free Synagogue sponsored a performance of “Little Lord Fauntleroy” for school age children this afternoon.
1917: Mr. Jack Silverman is scheduled to perform a violin solo and Miss Bluma Bernstein is scheduled to provide a dramatic reading at today’s meeting of the Big Sister Movement of Chicago at the Auditorium Hotel.
1917: Dr. Henry Moskowitz criticized the Zionist “movement as romantic and impracticable” while Dr. David De Sola Pool “made a strong appeal for the settling of Palestine as the only to restore Hebrew ideals” “at a symposium on the Jewish question” held tonight at Temple Emanu-El.
1918: Birthdate of Edwin S. Shneidman, “a psychologist who gave new direction to the study of suicide and was a founder of the nation’s first comprehensive suicide prevention center.” (As reported by William Dicke)
1918: Approximately 500 carts crowded in the three blocks of Orchard Street between Delancey and Houston Streets where “the bearded Jews in long overcoats” had discarded their usual wares to sell supplies of Thrift and War Saving Stamps as a way of helping to repay the debt they owe to the country that has provided them with a refuge and a home.
1919: During the Russian Civil War the Jews of Boguslav, a city in the Kiev district of the Ukraine were attacked by gangs of marauding peasants that killed 20 Jews,
1921: The Palestinians have expressed their dissatisfaction with the reply made by Winston Churchill to the petition of the Moslem-Christian Association, which consisted of thirty-two typewritten pages and contained all their grievances “against the colonization of their country by the Zionist immigrants, who are arriving at the rate of 1,000 a month.”
1922: In New York City, Philip Frankel and his wife the former Rebecca Pressner gave birth to Bernice Frankel, who as the actress Bea Arthur played Yente the Matchmaker in the premiere of “Fiddler on the Roof” and gained lasting fame in the role of Maude Findlay, a character first created for the hit series All In the Family, and then spun off for Maude, a hit show in which she was the lead. She gained further success as Dorthoy Zbornak, one of the lead characters in the television hit, “The Golden Girls.”
1923: President Judge Jacob Caplan of New Haven, First Vice President, Louis Fabrican of New York; Second Vice-President, Bertram M. Aufsesser or Albany; Treasurer, Herman Asher of New York, Secretary, Max Levy were elected as officers of District #1 of the B’nai Brith Lodge today.
1923: Mayor David E. Fitzgerald addressed a meeting of the B’nai Brith lodges in the Eastern United States.
1924: Birthdate of Harry Heinz Schwartz, a South African lawyer, opponent of apartheid and South African ambassador to the United States. He served as defense lawyer for James Kantor, who was the defense attorney for Nelson Mandela during the infamous Rivonia Trial.
1923: During a meeting held at the Hotel Astor, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization addressed members of four congregations located on New York’s West Side. Mr. H. Leonard Simmons announced that the $100,000 quota for the West Side would be forthcoming shortly. Captain Gloster Armstrong, British Consul General in New York assured the attendees that Great Britain intends to fulfill its commitments in Palestine under the terms of League of Nations’ mandate. (As reported by JTA)
1926(29th of Iyar, 5686): Sixty-nine year old Sir Stuart Montagu Samuel, the elder brother of Herbert Samuel, 1sr Viscount Samuel passed away today. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1900 replacing his uncle Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaything. He served until 1916.
1926: It was reported today that David M. Bressler, announced that contributions to the United Jewish Campaign in New York reached the sum of $4,835,867. (JTA)
1926: The New York Times reported that during his recent visit to Palestine, Yasha Heifetz performed a concert in the Valley of Jezreel near the site of the “legendary battle of Armageddon.” During the five day tour, Heifetz took part in seven concerts including one attended by 10,000 workers in Tel Aviv.
1927: Solomon Furth won three events today as the New York University freshman track team finished an undefeated season.
1927: In Brooklyn, Harry Hellerman, “a Jewish immigrant from Riga” and the former Clara Robinson gave birth to Fred Hellerman, a member of the Weavers, the group that brought folk music to whole generation of youngsters who knew that there was more to music than “crooners” and “rock stars.”
1927: In Brooklyn, Martha (Grundfast) and Louis Chester Ross gave birth to “actor, choreographer, director and producer.” Herbert David Ross.
1927: Forty members of the National Socialist Party, responsible for the recent anti-Semitic riots on Kurfuerstendamm, were arrested by the police today. In a statement issued by the chief of police, he declared that the police will combat terrorism in the streets of Germany's capital. (As reported by JTA)
1928: Six months after premiering in Germany “Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis” with a script by Karl Freund and Carl Mayer was released in the United States.
1928: “The proposal that officers of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union be elected by membership through a national referendum was defeated tonight by a vote of 13 to 56 after an all-day debate in which the elements in the International opposing Morris Sigman sought to secure passage of the resolution.” (As reported by JTA)
1928: Officials of the Hebrew National Orphans Home, led by its President, State Supreme Court Justice Aaron J. Levy, launched a drive today for an additional 10,000 members.
1929: In Palestine, The Mandatory Government announces an immigration quota of 2.400 permits for a half-year period, beginning in April.
1929: Marcia Glick, the daughter of Bernard Glick and Alma Gluck and the stepdaughter of Efrem Zimabliest became Marci Davenport today when she married Russell Davenport, the editor of Fortune magazine.
1930: Talks between the heads of the Colonial Office and the Palestinian Arab delegation are concluded. Demands to end the growth of the Yishuv, immigration and land settlement remain unfulfilled.
1934: Birthdate of archaeologist Ehud Netzer who led the excavations at Heriodum for 30 years and who discovered “the Wadi Qielt Synagogue, the oldest synagogue ever found.”
1935: Birthdate of composer Professor Yizhak Sadai the native of Bulgaria who moved to Israel in 1949 and became “one of the most regarded and influential music teachers in Israel.”
1935: Pepsodent Toothpaste began sponsoring Albert Pearce’s radio broadcast on the Blue Network and NBC today.
1936: Birthdate of Romanian native Ruth Wisse whose literary works include The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Literature and Culture, The Best of Sholem Aleichem, If I Am Not for Myself…: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, and Jews in Power.
1936(21st of Iyar, 5696): “Two Jews, Ruben Klapholtz and Alter Cohen were shot to death by Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem today, one as he left his home and the other as he passed an Arab Cafte.
1936: Tonight, “thirty Arabs attacked a Jewish stone-crushing plant outside of Jerusalem” killing “one of three Arabs working there, wounding another” before setting fire to the plant.
1936: U.S. premiere of “One Rainy Afternoon” a comedy produced by Jesse Lasky with a screen story by Emeric Pressburger and René Pujol
1936: Following a funeral procession that police said was watched by 10,000 people, Rabbi Leo Jung delivered the eulogy at the funeral service for Judge Otto A. Rsalsky in the Jewish Center following which Cantor Pincus Jassinowsky chanted “El Mole Rachamin the Hebrew prayer for the dead.”
1938: The Palestine Post reported that an Arab police constable who was expected to offer his testimony in the District Court was shot and killed by an Arab terrorist in a Haifa's market cafe. An Arab woman who came into the line of fire was also severely injured and later died from her wounds.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that at the League of Nations Britain requested "for the sake of peace" that all nations recognize the Italian conquest of Ethiopia.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that Poles became suddenly aware of the rapid Nazification of the local German community.
1938: Birthdate of Manhattan born, Queens raised Francine Pascal who gained fame as Francine Pascal the wife of John Pascal and the creator of “the Sweet Valley series of young adult novels.”
1939: SS St Louis departs Hamburg for Cuba with 937 Jews on board. This tragic episode was portrayed in the book and the film, Voyage of the Damned. Having been denied entrance to Cuba, the ship was turned away from the United States. Steaming off the shore of Florida, the refugees could see the lights of Miami. Coast Guard vessels tracked the ship to make sure nobody escaped and to keep the captain from running his ship aground in American waters. In the end, the ship returned to Europe. About half of the passengers survived the war.
1939: Nineteen year old George Jellinek and the family of Peter Gay were among the passengers aboard the SS Iberia when it docked today in Havana, Cuba.
1939: “Miriam (née Klein) and Harry Keitel, Jewish immigrants from Romania and Poland, respectively” gave birth to actor Harvey Keitel.
1940: Hans Rey, who is best known for creating Curious George, wrote in his diary today, “Songs English very slowly because of the events.” “Songs English” refers to a book of French and English rhymes on which he was working. “The events” refers to the German blitz driving across France.
1941: The Nazis interned 3,600 naturalized Jews of Russian origin.
1942: U.S. premiere of “This Gun For Hire” which provided Albert Maltz with his “first screenwriting credit.”
1942: In Brooklyn Teddy and Esta Makowsky gave birth to their eldest daughter Renee Rivka who gained fame as “Rivka Haut, a prominent champion of Orthodox Jewish women fighting for divorce in rabbinical courts and seeking to pray together as a group.” (As reported by Jennifer Medina)
1942(26th of Iyar, 5702): Hyam Greenbaum, British violinist, composer and conductor passed away. He died one day after his 41st birthday.
1943: Hans Frank sent Hitler a list of the "Jewish concealed and stolen goods," that were recovered including 94,000 men's watches, 33,000 women's watches, 25,000 pens and 14,000 scissors. Many of the watches were melted down for their gold or platinum content.
1944: Dr. Samuel Levy, chairman of the board of directors announced that Dr. Samuel Belkin, Talmudist and scholar, will be inducted as second president of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, which includes Yeshiva College on May 23. The 33 year old Belkin is assuming a position left vacant by the death of Dr. Bernard Revel, the founder and first President of Yeshiva College.
1944(20th of Iyar, 5704): Eighty year old Florence Guggenheim passed away today.
1944: Throughout the Nazi camp system, inmate tattoo numbers gain a new series, prefaced with the letter "A." The intention is to conceal the number of prisoners at Auschwitz.
1945: Commissioning of HMS Sanguine, a Royal Navy submarine that would be sold to Israel in 1958 and renamed the Rahav
1945: The Soviet Union “halted all offensive operations” in Europe today.
1945: “The CBS, NBC, Blue and Mutual networks broadcast a second live production of the epic dramatic poem “On a Note of Triumph,” a commemoration of the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany and the end of World War II in Europe narrated by Martin Gabel.
1945: The photo of the “Raising a flag over the Reichstag” taken by Jewish photographer Yevgeny Khaldei was published today in Ogonyok magazine meaning that the two iconic flag raising photos of 1945 (the other being Iwo Jima) were taken by Jews. (Add these to Robert Capa’s D-Day Invasion photos and the Life cover with the sailor kissing a girl at Times Square and you get a sense of connection between Jews and photo-journalism)
1945: During Winston Churchill's famous broadcast speech "Five years of War", Britain’s wartime Prime Minister remembers the valor of Lance-Corporal John Patrick Kenneally who won the Victoria Cross for his exploits in Tunisia in 1943.
1946: In Brooklyn Abe Wolfman, a policer officer and his wife Fay gave birth to Marv Wolfman former Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics
1947: The U.N. General Assembly established the United Nations Special committee on Palestine, also known as UNSCOP.
1948: The “Dov Hoz” with 675 ma’apilim on board and the “Eliahu Golomb” with 339 ma’apilim on board arrive at Haifa today.
1948: As the British began their withdrawal from the Old City, the Haganah awaited the attack by 20,000 Arab soldiers who were determined to capture Jerusalem.
1948: Chaim Weizmann calls Abba Eban out of a meeting at the United Nations seeking reassurance that the proposal to create a trusteeship for all of Palestine (a proposal that would kill the creation of the Jewish state) would not succeed. Eban assures Weizmann that U.N. Secretary General has said that trusteeship is a non-issue.
1948: The Arab Emergency committee and the Haganah High Command signed the terms for the Arab surrender of the town of Jaffa. Despite Jews pleas to stay, 67,000 of the city’s 70,000 inhabitants of the city left, many by boat for Lebanon.
1948: In a daring nighttime firefight, Jewish forces seized the fort at the ancient town of Gezer at the southern end of the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem road. This is the same Gezer that the Pharaoh gave to King Solomon as a wedding gift.
1948: On the day before Israel declares her independence, Arab irregulars perpetrate The Kfar Etzion massacre. Armored cars of the Arab Legion broke through the final defense line of Kfar Etzion. In the last message sent by the defenders to Jerusalem, the defenders described “a Masada –like battle.” The handful of Jewish defenders came out under a white flag and surrendered. Fifteen of the defenders stacked their weapons, and then, lined up to be photographed. Instead of the click of the camera, the Jews were treated to a burst of machinegun fire that killed all of them. Was this planned or a freak accident? To this day, the question has never been answered. The victorious Arab Legion did kill an Arab family that had remained in Kfar Etzion with their Jewish friends.
1948: A motorbike courier delivers an envelope the Tel Aviv apartment of 32 year old Arieh Handler. The envelope contained an invitation to the ceremonies marking the Israeli Declaration of Independence. The envelope also contained a request that the arrangements be kept secret because of a fear that the British might stop the ceremony or the Arabs might use the ceremony as pretext to attack.
1948: Maury Atkin was offered a job as executive officer and agriculture attaché of the first Israeli embassy. The embassy actually would not exist for another 24 hours.
1949: Today Samuel A. Snieg, chief rabbi of the U.S. Zone, presented the first copy of the” Survivors Talmud (“also known as the U.S. Army Talmud) “to General Lucius Clay, Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany, with the words, ‘I bless your hand in presenting to you this volume embodying the highest spiritual wisdom of our people.’”
1950: Eliahu Elath, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, was named Ambassador to Great Britain today. Abba Eban is expected to succeed Elath.
1951: “That’s My Boy” a comedy co-starring Jerry Lewis and featuring Polly Bergen was released in the United States today.
1952: The first degrees of Doctor of Medicine were awarded to 62 graduates of the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School.
1954: The original Broadway production Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ “The Pajama Game” opened today.
1957(12th of Iyar, 5717): Seventy year old Michael Fekete, the Hungarian born Israeli mathematician who won the Israel Prize of Exact Sciences in 1955 passed away today.
1953: Tennis player, promoter, and women's advocate Gladys Heldman released the first issue of World Tennis Magazine
1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that a Bill had been introduced in the Knesset by the Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Benzion Dinur, for the establishment of "Yad Vashem" (an everlasting name), for the memory of the six and a half million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and were granted Israeli honorary citizenship. The Yad Va'Shem archives and museum were to be set up in Jerusalem, "The Heart of the Jewish People
1953: Hans “ Eisler's opera project was discussed in three of the bi-weekly meetings "Mittwochsgesellschaft" [Wednesday club] of a circle of intellectuals under the auspices of the Berlin Academy of Arts starting today.”
1954: The original Broadway production of Pajama Game featuring features a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross opened today and ran for 1,063 performances.
1959(5th of Iyar, 5719): Yom HaAtzma'ut
1959: Birthdate of British comedian and author Benjamin Charles “Ben” Elton, the grandson of German Jewish historian Victor Ehrenberg and the son Lewis Elton, a refugee from Hitler’s Europe and Mary Foster, a product of the Church of England.
1959: Birthdate of Israeli author Zeruya Shalev. A native of Kibbutz Kinneret and an editor at Keshet Publishing house, she survived a suicide bombing in January of 2004.
1961: Actor Jeff Chandler (Ira Gorssel) entered a Culver City hospital and had surgery for a spinal disc herniation, the complications from which would ultimately lead to his death.
1962(9th of Iyyar, 5722): Franz Kline abstract expressionist painter passed away at the age of 51.
1965: Labour Political leader Lewis Cohen became Baron Cohen of Brighton when he “was raised to the Peerage” today.
1965: Germany established diplomatic relations with Israel. (This comes 20 years after its unconditional surrender, at the end of World War II, and 17 years after the establishment of the State of Israel.)
1965: Several Arab nations broke ties with West Germany after it established diplomatic relations with Israel. This came during the height of the Cold War when Communist East Germany was trying to establish itself as the real German government. The West Germans knew what it would cost them in them in the international arena if they recognized Israel, but they went ahead and did it anyway.
1967: Birthdate of American singer, songwriter, guitarist and musical genre innovator, Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner.
1967: Egyptian troops move into the Sinai, which is a demilitarized zone. Egypt radio sets the tone of propaganda ("Egypt, with all its resources, is ready to plunge into a total war that will be the end of Israel.")
1968: A funeral service for New York jurist George Frankenthaler is scheduled to be held at Temple Emanu-El starting at 2 pm.
1969: Boris Kochubievsky goes on trial in Kiev charged with “slander against the Soviet regime.”
1970: “Getting Straight” a marvelous little comedy starring Elliott Gould was released in the United States today.
1973: Reconstructionist Rabbinical College ordained its first graduate
1975:"Rodgers & Hart" opens at Helen Hayes Theater in New York City for 108 performances.
1978: After a month, in Miami, the curtain came down for the last time on National Touring Company’s presentation of “Annie” with lyrics by Martin Charnin and music by Charles Strouse.
1980: ABC broadcast the last episode of season two of “Taxi” starring Judd Hirsch and created by James L. Brooks and Ed Weinberger.
1980: A Stradivarius built in 1734 was stolen today after Roman “had played an all-Mozart recital” at the Longy School of Music In Cambridge.
1983(1st of Sivan, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1983: Philip H. Dougherty reported that the “Israel Ministry of Tourism is more than tripling its advertising budget in the United States from last year, to $2.5 million, and may even add another $3 million to lure more American travelers and make up for the European falloff that followed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The advertising, created by Needham, Harper & Steers/Issues and Images, will promote a friendliness and warmth of the Israeli people toward travelers with the new theme line: ''Come to Israel, come stay with friends.''
1985(22nd of Iyar, 5745): Sixty-nine year old former Albright College lineman Leo “Moose” Disend who as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers NFL team played in the first ever televised professional football game in 1939 before going to play tackle for the Green Bay Packers passed away today.
1985: “Kiss of the Spider Woman” for which Héctor Eduardo “Babenco was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director” making him the first Latin American to be nominated in this category, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
1986(4th of Iyar, 5746): Yom HaZikaron
1986: In New York painter Carroll Dunham and photographer Laurie Simmons gave birth to Emmy Award nominated actress, author, screenwriter, producer and director Lena Dunham.
1986: Natan Shcharansky is scheduled to meet with President Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz in Washington, where he is to receive the Congressional Gold Medal at a reception in the Capitol Rotunda. (As reported by Jane Gross)
1987: Leonard Bernstein will serve as guest conduct of the Israel Philharmonic as the IPO marks its 50th anniversary.
1988: Jack Lang began serving as Culture Minster of France for the second time.
1988: “The Wrong Guys,” a comedy directed by Danny Bilson who co-authored the script and co-starring Richard Lewis and Richard Belzer was released in the United States today.
1988: “Maniac Cop” produced and written by Larry Cohen was released today in the United States.
1988: Vincent Canby reviews “The Lighthoresman,” an Australian made film that depicts the heroism of 800 Australian mounted soldiers who triumphed over thousands of Turks and Germans at Beersheba, in southern Palestine, on Oct. 31, 1917. The battle was a key to the eventual Allied victory over the Turks during World War I which was a critical step in the creation of the modern state of Israel. As mechanized vehicles and machine guns came to dominate the modern battlefield, the Australians climatic cavalry charge against the Turks proved to be the last great, successful endeavor of this kind.
1993: CBS broadcast the final episode of “Knots Landing” one of the longest running prime time soap operas which was created by Baltimore native David Jacobs.
1996(24th of Iyar, 5756): Eighty year old Professor Chaim Menachem Rabin, the native of Germany who became one of Israel’s premiere expert on Hebrew, especially as found in such ancient documents as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
1998(24th of Iyar, 5756): Eighty-nine year old Harry Wagreich, a Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at CCNY and the brothers Drs. Samuel and Paul Wagreich passed away today.
1998: A souvenir sheet of three illustrations by Kariel Gardosh (Dosh) showing postal activities and featuring the character of "Srulik": a service counter at a post office, philately, and post boxes is issued by the Israeli Postal Authority.
1999(27th of Iyyar, 5759): Mary Ellen “Meg Greenfield” famed political columnist and editor of the Washington Post Editorial Page, passed away.
1999: On his 32nd birthday, famed musician Chuck Schuldiner was diagnosed with pontine glioma, a type of brain cancer that invades the brain stem, and immediately underwent radiation therapy.
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Holocaust on Trial” by D.D. Guttenplan, “Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial” by Richard J. Evans and the recently released paperback edition of “Dazzler: The Life and Times of Moss Hart” by Steven Bach “a careful, clear-eyed account of the life of the playwright, director and actor who collaborated with Broadway's best and pleased many people many times without making large claims for his own significance.”
2001: Premiere of “Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m.” directed and written by Claude Lanzman and starring Yehuda Lerner.
2003: A memorial service will be held this morning at the Chicago Yacht Club for Arnold Horween Jr. a successful Chicago business owner who once dined with former President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush.”
2005: Eighty five year old Hugh William Montefiore, The Bishop of Birmingham and the great-great-nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore, who converted to Christianity while attending Rugby School – a famous English day and boarding school- passed away today.
2006: Eighty-nine year old Russian History Professor and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Peter Viereck whose views stood in stark contrast to those of Nazi-sympathizing father, George Viereck, passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2006: Approximately 3,000 people came a to a Toronto bookstore to see Leonard Cohen who was making his first public appearance in 13 years.
2007: The Wolf Prizes are presented at ceremony in the Knesset. Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute and George Feher of U.C. San Diego won the Chemistry Prize. The Art Prize went to Italian Michelangelo Pistoletto.
2007: After 90 days The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, including some original scroll fragments never before displayed in the United States comes to a close at the Union Station in Kansas City. The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition is a joint production of Union Station Kansas City and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
2007: The Sunday New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon and Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek which presents a detailed examination of the relationship between America’s first Jewish Secretary of State and his Presidential patron whose dark sided included a predilection for making anti-Semitic remarks.
2007: The Sunday Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedländer and The Diary of Petr Ginz, 1941-1942 edited by Chava Pressburger. Petr Ginz was a budding writer and artists who died at Auschwitz in 1944.
2007: The New York Times Magazine publishes “Writings in the Dark” by David Grossman in which “an Israeli novelist reflects on what literature can accomplish in a time of permanent political emergency and personal loss.”
2007(25th of Iyar, 5767): Harvey Weinstein, a formalwear manufacturer and former chairman of Lord West formal Wear, passed away at the age of 82
2008: Houston Astros catch Brad Ausmus got his 1,500th career hit making him one of eight catchers in major league history to get 1,500 hits and steal at least 100 bases.
2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “Andy Borowitz, Jonathan Alter, Susie Essman, Calvin Trillin & More: Countdown to the Election” during which award-winning satirist Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker hosts an irreverent look at the upcoming presidential election, featuring Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, comedian Susie Essman and humorist and writer, Calvin Trillin.
2008: Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Lakeview's Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation leads a discussion of Rashi's Daughters Book 1: Joheved by Maggie Anton as part of the Spertus Book Review series. “In 1068, the scholar Salomon ben Isaac — better known as Rashi — returned home to the family winemaking business. He embarked on a path that indelibly influenced the Jewish world, writing the first Talmud commentary and secretly teaching Talmud to his daughters. In the first book of Maggie Anton’s dramatic — and romantic — trilogy, Joheved finds her spirit awakened by religious study, but has to keep her passion hidden. Must she choose between marital happiness and her study of Talmud?
2008: U.S. President George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and media mogul Rupert Murdoch are among the 13 heads of state and 3,500 guests expected to attend President Shimon Peres' Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, which begins today and is being held in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary.
2008: Best-selling author and Harvard psychology professor Tal Ben-Shahar was the guest speaker at today’s gala for the International Sephardic Education held at the Plaza Hotel, Daniel Roubeni received a Young Leaders Award. ISEF president Nina Weiner received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
2008: Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan assumed his new post as the 16th commander of the Israel Air Force. Nehushtan took up his new post during a ceremony at the IAF's Ramat David Base in the North and during which he replaced Maj.-Gen. Elazar Shkedy, head of the air force for the past four years. A pilot with thousands of hours on his flight log, Nehushtan, who previously served as head of the IDF Planning Division, holds degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Northwestern University and Harvard University's Advanced Management Program.
2008: “A New Editor at the Forward” published today described he ascension to this position by Jane Eisner.
2008: At today’s gala for the International Sephardic Education Foundation, held at The Plaza, Iran-born real estate maven Daniel Roubeni, a Young Leaders Award recipient, got teary-eyed as he described leaving Germany (where he had grown up) “to find a Jewish wife in the U.S.”
2009(19th of Iyar, 5769): One-hundred eight year old Wlademar Levy Cardoso, who fought with the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in WW II and was the last living Field Marshall in the Brazilian Army passed away today.
2009: At the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Michael Lasser, host of National Public Radio's "Fascinatin' Rhythm," presents a lecture on the music of the Great Depression, "Let's Go Slumming, Nose-Thumbing, at Park Avenue." Lasser is co-author of “America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley” so the lecture is followed y a book signing.
2010: Professor David Ruderman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The People And The Book: The Invention of Printing And The Transformation of Jewish Culture.”
2010: The Wolf Prize Awarding Ceremony is scheduled to take place at 6:30 pm the Knesset Building in Jerusalem. The awards are scheduled to be presented to the recipients by the President of the State of Israel, in the presence of the Chairman of the Knesset, the Minister of Education, the Chairman of the Wolf Foundation Board of Trustees, and members of the Foundation´s Council.
2010: A cross section of rabbis and Jewish leaders met in the White House today with administration leaders in the second of two meetings that are part of a “charm offensive” designed to reassure the American Jewish community of the Obama administration’s positive view of Israel.
2010: Oz Goffman of the Ministry of Agriculture said today that parliament must still approve the proposal to ban fishing on the Sea of Galilee for the next two years before it takes effect. The ban has already been approved by the cabinet “Israeli officials and scientists who study the freshwater lake hope the ban will allow the population of St. Peter's fish, a local breed of tilapia popular with locals and tourists, as well as other species to regenerate their numbers.” The government has promised to supply financial support for the fisherman over the next two years while the lake is being re-stocked. The ban will not affect the boats that take tourists out on the Sea of Galilee which is popular stop for Christians looking for the place where fishermen were called upon to be fishers of men.
2011: On the secular calendar “Friday the 13th”. Friday the 13th has not always been a lucky day for the Jews. In Strasbourg, the Jews were arrested by a newly installed town council on Friday 13, 1349 on charges that they were responsible for the Black Plague. The Jews were burned the next day, St. Valentine’s Day. Sholom Aleichem, who died on the 13th of May suffered from triskaidekaphobia – the fear of the number 13. Arnold Schoenberg experienced triskaidekaphobia “which possibly began in 1908 with the composition of the thirteenth song of the song cycle Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten Op. 15 (Stuckenschmidt 1977, 96).” His fear of the number 13 is especially odd since he was born the 13th of September and died on the 13th of July. In her novel “Paternity” Susan Baruch created a character who was born on the 13th and suffers from triskaidekaphobia. For the most part, the Jewish view of the number “13” runs contrary to the Western concept that associates it with bad luck. Bar and Bat Mitzvah are associated with the number 13. The TaNaCh lists 13 attributes of God. There are six hundred and 13 commandments. Maimonides Creed contains 13 principles of Judaism. There are 13 months in the year. I know, this is not really history, but every so often you have to have a little fun.
2011: The International Young Israel Movement and the Maimonides Heritage Center are scheduled to present: Shabbaton in the Holy City of Teverya
2011(9th of Iyar): Ninety-five year old cellist Bernard Greenhouse, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, passed away today, (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2011(9th of Iyar): Centenarian Vivian Myerson a political activist in Los Angeles and later a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission passed away today. (As reported by the Eulgizor)
2011: After protracted contract negotiations, Michael Rosenbaum returned to play “Lex Luthor” in the season finale of “Smallville” which was broadcast today.
2012: As part of Yom Hashoah events, artist Wendy Weisel is scheduled to speak during the presentation of her painting "Es Brent" – "It is Burning" at Tifereth Israel in Washington, DC.
2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
2012: The Los Angeles Times features a review of The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart
2012: “Mazel Tov! A Jewish Celebration of Jewish Weddings” an exhibit that explores the mores, symbolic artifacts, and celebration unique to the Jewish wedding is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee.
2012: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz on his joining the government coalition during his opening remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting today.
2012: Presentation of the Wolf Prizes.
2012: Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan today called on the government to cut off the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip in order to avoid electricity shortages it is feared could affect Israel this summer. (As reported by the Jerusalem Post)
2013: Fred Lorber, a Holocaust survivor who lives in Des Moines was among the speakers at today’s groundbreaking ceremony for a Holocaust memorial that is being built “alongside the walkways leading up the west terrace of the Iowa Capitol grounds, near the intersection of East Seventh Street and Grand Avenue.”
2013: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host “Baseball: Kosher Style” featuring Larry Ruttman, Jeffery Lyons, Bob Tufts and Alan Dershowitz
2013: The Center for Jewish History with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture are scheduled to present: “Tsimbl un Fidl – Uncovering the Lost Jewish String Music of Eastern Europe”
2013: In Little Rock, AR, the Chabad Center for Jewish Life under the leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment is scheduled to host an open house that will feature an appearance by an authentically trained and certified Sofer. This rare event is part of the preparations for Shavuot.
2013: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present: Berlin Book Evening – “Jews in Berlin” and Essays by Kurt Tucholsky.
2013(4th of Sivan, 5773): Eight –five year old Dr. Joyce Brothers passed away today (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2013: The operating budget for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official and private residences jumped some 80 percent from 2009 to 2012, according to figures made public today following a request by the Movement for Freedom of Information.
2013: Until now, new immigrant nurses have had to prove they can converse with patients in basic Hebrew, but physicians -- who have less direct contacts with the sick were exempted. Now the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee today approved regulations that would require doctors and two other types of professionals in healthcare to show their Hebrew proficiency as well.
2014: The Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism is scheduled to host a panel discussion on “Nationalities and Parliaments Now. What Can We Learn From the Past?”
2014: In the aftermath of the Holyland corruption case “Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison, a two-year suspended term, and a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000) in the Tel Aviv District Court.”
2014: The Anti-Defamation League released the results of its global survey on anti-Semitism today.
2015: “Rosenwald,” a documentary about Julius Rosenwald, “the part owner of Sears and Roebuck” who funded the building of 5,400 schools across the segregated American South, providing 660,000 black children with access to education” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th Annual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Films.
2015: Annette Libeskind Berkovits is scheduled to discuss In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism her new biography about her father at the Center for Jewish History.2016: In Olney, MD Rabbi David Golinkin, “who was named by the Jerusalem Post as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world: is scheduled is scheduled to speak on “Earthly or Heavenly? Will the real Jerusalem Please Stand Up?” at Shaare Tefilah
2016: Congregation Rodeph Sholom is scheduled to host “a Shabbat Evening Celebration of Israel.”
2016: The Biennial Convention of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America is scheduled to open in Baltimore, MD.
2016: International Hummus Day
2016(5th of Iyar, 5776): On the fifth of Iyar 5708 (May 14, 1948) the state of Israel was born.
2017(17th of Iyar, 5777): Parashat Emor; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/
2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host Seudah Shlishit and havdalah following by a Lag B’Omer celebration completed with a bonfire, smores, singing and drinking.
2017: “A Story of the Land of Israel through the Lens: A History of Photography in Palestine-Israel” and “Israel’s Nationalism: The Original Conflict within Zionism and its Transformation in the Course of Its Implementation” are two of the presentations scheduled to be offered at today’s session of LIMMUDFSU NY.
2017: The PIcon Union Project and the Jewish Music Commission of LA are scheduled to host “Niki Jacobs & Nikitov in Concert with special guest Mostly Kosher.”
2017: Cedar Rapidians are marking the 101st anniversary of the death of Shalom Aleichem by attending a production of Fiddler on the Roof performed by the students at Jefferson High School. These talented youngsters have not only mastered song, dance and drama while doing all of the behind scenes work like building their own sets, thanks to the efforts of their teacher and director, Lynn Jensen they have learned about culture and customs in a time and place that was unknown to them. Thanks to Mrs. Jensen, there is a Cedar Rapids Shtetl that makes the community proud.