392: Theodosius I, who had been emperor of the eastern half of the Roman Empire became the last ruler of the entire Roman Empire (east and west) “A general of Spanish origin, and the son of another general, was chosen to replace Valens who had been killed fighting the Visigoths. He refused to condemn Judaism believing that it was a legitimate religion. Theodosius prohibited the destruction of synagogues by zealot Christians.
756 CE: Abd Al-Rahman won the battle against his co-religionist outside the city walls of Cordoba. He entered the city as victor. After he set up his Umayyad administration, Abd Al-Rahman mandated all Jews and Christians pay a jizya, a discriminatory mandated tax in accordance with the Koran for their "protected" status as dhimmis.
1004: In Pavia, Henry II, who as Holy Roman Emperor would expel Jews from various German cities, was crowned King of Italy today.
1248: Odo of Chateaubroux "investigated" the Talmud and then condemned it. This was the second condemnation of the Talmud after an appeal was made by the Jewish community of France.
1252: Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull Ad Exstirpanda, which authorizes the torture of heretics as part of the Inquisition. Torture quickly gains widespread usage across Catholic Europe. There would be several Inquisitions during the Middle Ages and on into the Renaissance. The primary aim was to destroy Christians who did not accept the doctrine as commanded by the Popes at Rome. Of course if you were going to rack or dunk or flay Christians, certainly there were those who would think that it would be alright to do the same to Jews. Interestingly, there were some Popes who disagreed saying that it was alright to treat the Jews badly, but not to actually do them physical harm.
1648: The Treaty of Westphalia was signed as part of series of treaties that brought an end to the Thirty Years War and the Eighty Years War between Spain and the Netherlands. The treaty officially recognized the independence of the Dutch from the Spanish Empire. This guaranteed the independence of a European nation that had given Jews a place to grow and prosper. Ironically, many of these were Sephardic descendants of those who had been expelled by the Spanish in 1492 or were Morrano refugees who had grown weary of the ever present Inquisition. The end of the Thirty Years provided a respite to Jews living in Central Europe including the communities of Frankfort, Worms and Jena each of which was the scene of at least one pogroms.
1745: In Prague, after many appeals and petitions, Empress Maria Theresa revoked her decree banishing all Jews in Moravia and Bohemia, allowing Jews to live there for an unlimited time. Only the Jews in Prague itself who were actually banished 3 years earlier were still under the order, but they were soon permitted to return on a restricted basis.
1755: Villa de San Agustin de Laredo which is now known as Laredo, Texas, was founded by Don Tomás Sánchez while the area was part of the Nuevo Santander region in the Spanish colony of New Spain. According to the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies, Sanchez came from a family with Jewish origins. For about this and other facets of Jewish life in this Texas border town see “Tomas Sanchez, founder of Laredo” by Carlos M. Larralde, PhD and “History of Laredo's Jewish Community” by Stan Green.
1756: The Seven Years War begins when England declares war on France. In America, the war is known as the French-Indian War. Officially there were no Jews living in Canada at the start of the war since Canada was a French colony and Jews were forbidden by law to live there. This changed as a result of the war. The first Jews entered Canada with the forces of Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the English military leader who conquered Montreal. There were several serving in his regiments including four officers. One of them, Aron Hart, remained, settled at Three Rivers where he became a large landowner and the father of four sons who helped to form the nucleus of the Jewish community in Montreal. On the other side of the line, some sources contend that a Converso was in the Commissary General for the French forces.
1767: Birthdate of Canadian entrepreneur and politician, Ezekiel Hart Jewish. Contrary to the image of Jews coming to the New World and assimilating, Hart fought to maintain his Jewish identity when he took his seat in the Canadian legislature. Hart scored a posthumous victory when the wording of the oath was changed.
1773: Birthdate of Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich, known to history simply as Meternich.
1792: At Frankfur-am-Main, Mayer Amschel Rothschild and Guttle Schnapper gave birth to their fifth and youngest son James Rothschild who established the French banking house for the family/
1799: Birthdate of Adolf B. Marx, composer and educator. Marx was supposed to be a lawyer, but changed his mind after graduation and moved to Berlin to begin his musical studies. While composing, he also served a lecturer on Music at the famed University of Berlin and started the Stern Music Conservatory which became one of the leading musical schools of its time. Marx died in 1866, two days after his 67th birthday.
1800: An English Jew named D.M. Dyte saved the life of King George III when he thwarted an assassin’s attempt to shoot the monarch. “George III. attended the Drury Lane Theater to witness a comedy by Colley Cibber; and while the monarch was acknowledging the loyal greetings of the audience, a lunatic named Hadfield fired a horsepistol pointblank at his Majesty. Two slugs passed over the king's head, and lodged in the wainscot of the royal box. The king escaped unhurt; but it was only subsequently realized that Hadfield had missed his aim because some man near him had struck his arm while in the act of pulling the trigger. This individual was Dyte, father of Henry Dyte, at one time honorary secretary to the Blind Society. It is said that Dyte asked as his sole reward the "patent" of selling opera-tickets, then a monopoly at the royal disposal. (As reported by James Picciotto in Sketches of Anglo Jewish History)
1800: A community of Jewish slaves, captured over a period of two centuries and held for ransom by the Knights of St. John on the island of Malta, was officially dissolved.
1808: Birthdate of Irish composer and conductor Michael Balfe who took the unusual step of hiring a Jew, Max Maretzk as his assistant at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London which was a critical step on his road to success as an impresario and musician in Europe and the United States.
1817: Jean Lafitte, moved from Matagorda Bay to Galveston today, after having purchased supplies from João da Porta. João da Porta (also José da Porta or Joseph de la Porta was a Portuguese Jewish merchant, who along with his older brother, Morin, “played an important in the early settlement of the Texan coast. João was born in Portugal but attended school in Paris, France, before moving to Brazil, the British West Indies, and finally New Orleans, Louisiana. Along with his brother, João provided the financing for the privateer Louis Michel Aury, who established his base at the site of the future Galveston, Texas, in 1816. The same year, Mexican revolutionary general Francisco Javier Mina visited and successfully encouraged Aury to join him in an invasion, which failed. Morim left Galveston and soon died, and João sold Aury's camp and supplies to Jean Lafitte, In 1818, João was appointed supercargo for trade with the Karankawa Indians. João later returned to New Orleans after Lafitte had left Galveston.
1818: Birthdate of Bogumil Dawison, the native of Warsaw who became a leading actor on the German stage noted for his portrayals of Mark Antony, Richard III and King Lear, amongst others.
1822: Birthdate of Bohemian-Jewish author Leopold Kompert.
1829: Daniel O’Connell whose fight for Catholic Emancipation paralleled the fight of the Jews for the same rights tried to take his seat in the House of Commons “without taking the oath of Supremacy.”
1832: Seventy-three year old German music teacher Carl Friedrich Zelter whose pupils included Giacomo Mayerbeer, Fanny Mendelssohn and Felix Mendelssohn, who was such a favorite of his that he “wrote to Goethe boasting of the 12 year old’s abilities.”
1833: Forty-five year old English actor Edmund Kean whose portrayal of Shylock which first took place in 1824 was described as the personification of a character in “a chapter out of the Book of Genesis” passed away today.
1842(6th of Sivan, 5602) Shavuot
1847: Seventy-one year old Daniel O’Connell whose “Catholic Emancipation campaign served as the precedent and model for the emancipation of British Jews, the subsequent Jews Relief Act 1858 allowing Jewish MPs to omit the words in the Oath of Allegiance "and I make this Declaration upon the true Faith of a Christian" passed away today.
1858(2nd of Sivan, 5618): Marcus Durloch, a member of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel passed away today. His widow was the person to received benefits from the organizations Widows and Orders Fund that had been incorporated earlier in the year.
1861(6th of Sivan, 5621): Shavuot is observed for the first time during the Civil War.
1861: During the Civil War, Philadelphian Sergeant Oscar H. Benjamin began serving in Company B of the 41st Regiment
1862: In Vienna, Hungarian laryngologist Johann Schnitzler and Luise Markbreiter gave birth to playwright and novelist Arthur Schnitzler who was a central figure in the Viennese literary community that spanned the last decades of the 19th century and the first three decades of the twentieth century. Schnitzler was a contemporary of Herzl and used him as a character in one of his novels. Schnitzler passed away in 1931. His works were later banned by German and Austrian Nazis.
1864: Moses Jacob Ezekiel fought at the Battle of New Market at as a member of the VMA Cadet Battalion.
1864: Emma Mordecai apologized to her sister-in-law for their quarrel over whether or not reports of General Lee's victory were accurate. Mordecai's apology pointed up the precarious position of this unmarried Jewess who had sought refuge from the war at her relative's farm in rural Virginia.
1867: In a letter written to his wife today, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison described his shipboard encounter "with three Jewish former slaveholders. "Sitting opposite me at the table, are three German Jews, Louisiana planters, who have lost all their slaves, now that they are free, will be unable to take care of themselves! Of these Israelites it cannot be said that they are without guile; ("Jews of the Civil War: A Reader")
1872: “Jews in Romania” published today described the decision of the Grant Administration, as conveyed Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, to have its representative in Bucharest work with the other powers to alleviate the suffering being inflicted on the Jews living in Romania.
1876: Professor Felix Adler delivered the opening address at the first meeting of the Ethical Culture Society.
1877: In the Swiss Canton Aargau, the Grand Council granted citizens' rights to the members of the Jewish communities of Endigen and Lengnau, giving them charters under the names of New Endingen and New Lengnau
1879: Seventy-five year old German architect Gottfried Semper who designed a synagogue built in Dresden between 1838 and 1840 that “is noted for its Moorish Revival interior style” known as the Semper Synagogue passed away today
1879: Lewis Myer Myers and his cousin Ephraim Laman Zox dissolved their partnership in a warehouse business after which Zox “set up his own” business “as a financial agent and arbitrator” on Collins Street West in Melbourne, Australia.
1881: Anti-Jewish riots break out in Odessa, Russia.
III issued the May Laws
which were designed to "cause one-third of the Jews to emigrate, one-third
to accept baptism and one-third to starve." Jews were banished from all
rural areas and towns of less than ten thousand people, even within the Pale of
Settlement. These laws remained in quasi-effect until 1914 and provided the
impetus for migration to America as well as expanded interest in the settlement
1885: In New Zealand, Samuel Shrimski was appointed to the Legislative Council today
1887(21st of Iyar, 5647): Seventy-eight year old German philanthropist, Wilhelm Königswarter a native of Furth passed away at Meran.
1889: Birthdate of Bessie Hillman. Born Bessie Abramowitz, Hillman was active in the labor movement designed to alleviate the sweatshop conditions in the garment industry. She was active in the 1910 strike against Hart-Shaftner and Marx. The strike paid two dividends - the creation of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the first meeting with her future husband, labor leader Sidney Hillman. An early role model for feminists, Hillman continued her labor work even after giving birth to her two daughters.
1880: In Charleston, Rabbi Levy officiated at the marriage of Adolf Lederberger and Albertine Levy.
1882(NS): The May Laws, a series of anti-Semitic regulations proposed by Minister of Internal Affairs Nikolai Ignatyev were signed into law today by Czar Alexander III.
1890: Birthdate of author Katherine Anne Porter whose novel Ship of Fools portrays the rise of Nazism who described herself as “in direct, legitimate line” of the English language accused Jewish writers of “trying to destroy it and all other living things they touch.”
1891: The will of Nathan Littauer, a benefactor of many Jewish charities, was filed in the Surrogate’s office today.
1891: Birthdate of David Vogel, the native of the Pale of Settlement who used Hebrew in his poetry Lifney Hasha'ar Ha'afel ("Before the Dark Gate"), novels and diaries and who died at Auschwitz in 1944 after having been interred at Drancy.
1890: Birthdate of Menasah Skulnik, the seventh of nine children who began his theatre career “by carrying drinks to actors” in a Warsaw theatre specializing in Shakespeare” and became a star in the Yiddish Theatre and on Broadway. (The NYT shows his birthdate as 1892. I have not been able to resolve this discrepancy.)
1892: “The Israelite Alliance has sent the Sultan of Turkey an address in commemoration of the admission of the exiled Spanish Jews to the Turkish Empire in 1492.”
1893: “Mission Work Among Jews” published today described a potential conflict between the New York Presbytery and the Presbyterian Home Board. The New York wants to begin a program to aggressively convert Jews. Up until now the national organization has not endorsed such an effort aimed directly at the Jews.
1893: Birthdate of Harry Rosenthal, the Belfast (Ireland) native who gained fame in London and the United States as an actor, composer and pianist.
1893: It was reported today the Jews have been coming to the United States from Poland every month this year “in gradually increasing numbers.” Twenty –one came in January, seventeen in February and 316 in March, 306 of whom had less than $30 when they arrived.
1893: “Jews of Poland” published today refutes claims from correspondents in Berlin “that there is no movement for the expulsion of Jews from Poland based on eyewitness accounts of the arrival in London of scores of Jews who have been expelled from Poland. They carry copies of orders of expulsion some of which show that the movement against the Jews began in January. “Russian officers will say that they are expelling no one but merely moving subjects about inside of the empire.” However, “the ‘moved’ subject stripped of his possessions and deprived of this home, must starve or get out of the country.”
1894: A policeman discovered that crockery store owned by the Rosenblatts on 10th Avenue was on fire. The officer entered the building which was also home to the Rosneblatts and dragged them to safety.
1894: A picture of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was found in the studio of Henry Alexander who took his life today. The picture was one “that he prized dearly.”
1894: Francis Bedford passed away. Born in 1816, he was a noted artist and photographer who helped to found the Royal Photographic Society in 1853. He accompanied the Prince of Wales on his tour of the Middle East. His photographs of Palestine were some of the earliest and best of those taken in the 19th century. They were published in 1865 providing many with their first real look at the Holy Land as it actually was.
1895: Birthdate of Fanny Goldstein, a librarian and the founder of Jewish Book Week
1899(6th of Sivan, 5659): Last Shavuot of the 19th century.
1898: In Harlem, Temple Israel completed its three day celebration of the 25th anniversary of the congregation and the 10th anniversary of occupying its current facility.
1899(6th of Sivan, 5659): Final observance of Shavuot in the 19th century.
1899: The Sanitarium for Hebrew Children of the City of New York which helps “sick and destitute” Jews as well as providing free summer excursions has released its annual report. It showed that last summer the sanitarium provide nine boat excursions and 24 trains excursions while aiding a total of 15,445 people.
1899: According to an article by Leopold Sanders, Jews are “the most anciently cultured people” since in the Book of Genesis they were the first to give the world various prehistoric legends of Babylonian origin.
1902: Jewish housewives on the Lower East Side poured into the streets, breaking windows and throwing meat. The women were protesting a jump in the price of kosher meat from 12 to 18 cents a pound http://jwa.org/thisweek/may/15/1902/kosher-beef-boycott-of-1902
1904(29th of Iyar, 5664): Hayyim Selig Slonimski passed away in Warsaw. Born in Poland in 1810 when it was part of the Russian empire, his accomplishments included the invention of a calculating machine for which the Russian Academy of Sciences awarded him the Demidov Prize in 1844 and the establishment of Ha-Tsefirah, a weekly paper published in Hebrew.
1905: Birthdate of businessman Abraham Zapruder, whose famed home movie documented the assassination of JFK
1905: Founding of Las Vegas, Nevada. According to an article in Hadassah Magazine there is little documented proof concerning the first Jewish families living in Las Vegas. Names like Bergman and Berman appear in the 1910 census In the 1920’s a family named Goldring served kosher food and proudly announced that they had produced the first Jewish baby born in the town. Other sources provide a replica of cattle brand found on bovines belonging to a Las Vegas Jew named Charles Field. The brand consisted of a diagonal “I” with the letter “C” superimposed over it. Of course the first two Jewish names that come to mind when mentioning Las Vegas are Meyer Lansky and his protégé Ben “Bugsy” Siegel. Today Las Vegas has one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the United States.
1907: In Berlin, “Economist and Demographer Robert René Kuczynski and his wife Berta Gradenwitz/Kuczynski, who was a painter” gave birth to their second child Ursula Maria Kuczynski who gained fame as author and WW II Soviet spy Ruth Werner.
1907: Birthdate of Philip “Phil” Piratin the son of a small Jewish businessman who became active in the Communist Party and was one of the leaders in the “Battle of Cable Street” --
1907: In San Francisco, political boss Abraham “Abe” Reuf pled guilty to charges of bribery, the day before he appeared a grand jury looking into corruption in the city.
1908: Birthdate of Frank Glassman who “played college ball at Wilmington and Bliss College and then played guard and tackle in the NFL with the Buffalo Bisons in 1929.”
1909: The cornerstone for a new building to be used by the Hebrew Infant Asylum is scheduled to be laid today.
1911: In Poland, Yiddish theatre personalities Yakov and Ruzha Fuchs gave birth to actor Leo Fuchs who came to the United States and began his career in the Yiddish Theatre. Fuchs appeared in "Broadway Plays" in New York and in London. He was seen on the television hit Mr. Ed. His film credits include The Frisco Kid and Avalon. He passed away in 1994.
1912 Morris Lasker and Nettie Heidenheimer Davis Lasker gave birth to film producer Edward Lasker.
1912: In Lower Saxony, Frantz Seligmann and Erna Seligmann gave birth to Werner Julius Seligmann, the husband of Irma Seligmann.
1912: Birthdate of composer Arthur Victor Berger. Born in the Bronx, Berger was a graduate of NYU and Harvard. Berger was well known in his native America as a composer, teacher and music critic, but was better known in Britain as a writer on music, particularly on the academic, musicological side. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 91.
1914: In Lower Saxon Frantz and Erna Seligman gave birth to Werner Julius Seligman, the husband of Irma Seligman
1914: Premiere in Germany of The Miracle a British color silent film based on the play by Max Reinhardt.
1914: Konrad von Preysing, who would become a leading anti-Nazi prelate was made Honorary Chamberlain of His Holiness today.
1914: Architect Louis Isadore Kahn, who had been born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky in Estonia in 1901, became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
1914(19th of Iyar, 5674): Sixty-six year old Yitzhak Isaac Halevy Rabinowitz, a rabbi, Jewish historian, and founder of the Agudath Israel organization whose works included Dorot Harishonim or Dorot Harischonim passed away today.
1915: Birthdate of American economist Paul Samuelson. Samuelson won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970. Jews account for 40% of all winners of the Nobel Prize for Economics. Fifty-four percent of the Americans who have won the award are Jewish.
1915: As the United States wrestles with a decision to go to war with Germany following the sinking of the RMS Lusitania it was reported that A. I. Shiplikoff, Secretary of the United Hebrew Trades has said his members “are in favor of the abolition of war and the permanent establishment of international peace..”
1915: It was reported today that Dr. S. N. Deinard is scheduled to preside over the upcoming meeting in Minneapolis designed to pressure the Governor of Georgia to grant clemency in the case of Leo M. Frank.
1916: Five days after Charles E. Klein who was Jewish was told that there were no openings in Battery D of the New York National Guard, Frank J. Conaton, who was not Jewish, was given an application blank by Captain Sullivan and told to go home and have his mother sign it since he was underage and could only be accepted with her consent.
1916: “Rabbi Stephen S. Wise drew a parallel between the Armenians and the Jews in Russia” saying that “My fellow Jews in Russia could gain relief by forsaking of their fathers” and “the Armenians could obtain surcease from sorrow by becoming Moslems.”
1916: It was reported today that Congressman Goldfogle, Rabbi Leventhal, Harry Fischel and Leon Kamisky were among those who had spoken at a meeting of The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War in Philadelphia.
1916: Shalom Aleicheim was buried today at Old Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens, NY.
1917: Today, in London, “official sources” confirmed the rumors “that whole Jewish population of Jaffa” had been expelled from Jaffa during Passover and forced to leave in a northerly direction.
1918: Birthdate of of Saul Laskin, the native of Fort William who was the first mayor of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
1918: Two Jewish journalists – Landau and Goldsky – were among those who had worked for the Bonnet Rouge newspaper who were sentenced to prison today after being convicted of treason in Paris.
1918: Birthdate of Joseph Wiseman, the Canadian actor who played “Dr. No.”
1919: In the Winnipeg General Strike “virtually the entire working population of Winnipeg had walked off the job. 30,000 to 35,000 people were on strike in a city of 200,000. Even essential public employees such as fire fighters went on strike, but returned midway through the strike with the approval of the Strike Committee. The Winnipeg Police were technically on strike but remained on patrol in practice.” Opponents of the strike, especially those in the press including The New York Times demonized the strikers as Bolsheviks and Jews. Cartoons were produced depicting the strikers as hooked nosed Jews. In 2005, this historic event would become part of the popular entertainment world through a musical called “Strike” by Danny Schur. The hit play (in Canada) focused on the treatment of the Jewish and Ukrainian workers and carried a message of universal brotherhood.
1919: Birthdate of Samuel Abraham Goldblith a food scientist who studied malnutrition while after having been taken prisoner by the Japanese at Corregidor and who developed the techniques for preserving food that were critical to the U.S. manned space program.
1920: It was reported that the funeral for Yiddish actor David Kessler who passed away yesterday will take place tomorrow since today is the Sabbath – a day of rest when Jews do not bury their dead.
1922: The German-Polish Convention signed today guaranteed all minorities in Upper Silesia, including the Jews, equal civil and political rights.
1923: In New York City, Jacob Israel Avedon, was a Russian-born immigrant who advanced from menial work to starting his own successful retail dress business on Fifth Avenue, called Avedon’s Fifth Avenue and his wife Anna gave birth to “fashion and portrait photographer” Richard Avedon.
1926: Leopold Damrosch Mannes was appointed a Guggenheim Fellow today for creative work in musical composition and a study of musical literature.
1926: In Liverpool, Reka (née Fredman) and Jack Shaffer, an estate agent gave birth to twins Sir Peter Levin Shaffer and Anthony Shaffter both of whom became playwrights.
1927: Judge Julian W. Mack is scheduled to be the principle speaker at the banquet this evening that will mark the start of Philadelphia’s United Palestine Appeal drive.
1927: Birthdate of Bezalel Rakow “an orthodox rabbi who headed Gateshead’s Jewish community and was the chair of the Council of Torah Sages of Agudas Yisroel of Great Britain.”
1928: Julius Rosenwald admitted today that he has given away so much money that he does not the dollar value of his philanthropies.
1928(25th of Iyar, 5688): Sixty-six year old Herione May, social worker and founder of the Jewish Women’s Federation passed away.
1928: Samuel Goldwyn hosted a testimonial dinner at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel in honor of Al Lichtman, General Manager of Distribution in the United States and Canada for United Artists Corporation.
1928: Birthdate of a French–born American “novelist and academic, known also for poetry, essays, translations, and criticism who taught at the University at Buffalo, wrote in “the experimental style, that sought to deconstruct traditional prose” and whose books included “Double or Nothing.”
1929: David Wuntch of Tyler, TX, was elected president of the Texas Zionist Association which concluded its silver anniversary convention today.
1930: It was announced today that “a request for an audience with the Roumanian Regency in connection with continuing attacks on Jews in various parts of the country will be made by the Union of Roumanian Jews” Dr. William Filderman is President of the Union.
1930: “Eliel Loefgren, former foreign minister of Sweden; Charles Barde, a Swiss jurist, and A. Van Kempen, a former Dutch colonial official, were today announced as members of the international Wailing Wall Commission to investigate the Moslem and Jewish claims to the Wailing Wall. The names were submitted to the Council of the League of Nations by Arthur Henderson, British foreign secretary.”
1930: The High Commissioner’s office has announced that, effective today, all immigration into Palestine is suspended pending the completion of a report being compiled by Sir John Simpson dealing with immigration and land settlement problems.
1931: Birthdate Norma Diane Fox who gained fame as award winning author Norma Fox Mazer.
1932: Hitler’s "Voelkischer Beobachter" advised the Jews of Germany to leave the country because “we National Socialists will certainly clear all Jews out of every position they occupy in Germany.
1933: The Secretariat of the League of Nations rejected petitions protesting the treatment of the Jews of Silesia because the treaty guaranteeing them their political and civil rights requires that the citizens of Silesia file the grievance and representatives of member nations. The League chose to ignore the reality of the claims.
1933: In Germany, “a plan to expel Jewish barbers and tobacconists from their positions was initiated here today.”
1933 (19th of Iyar, 5693): Dr. Alfred Strauss, a Jewish lawyer, was killed in Dachau.
1934(1st of Sivan, 5694): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1934: Jewish candidates are running in both the Democratic and Republican primaries being held in New Jersey today. Among the candidates are Samuel Raff, a Republican seeking a seat in the General Assembly and four candidates for the Justice of Peace Passaic County - David Ehrlich, Democrat, and Benjamin Rosenfelt, Toby Schneider, and Morris Rosenberg, Republicans.
1935: “The Italian Crown Prince Umberto and the Crown Princess Maria, who are now on an official visit to Tripolitana, today visited the Jewish quarter in the town of Tripoli”.
1935: Representatives of several Jewish communities in Poland were considering taking part in a project to plant a forest in Palestine in honor of Marshal Josef Pilsudski
1935: Birthdate of Ingram Berg Shavitz, the Manhattan native who gained fame as Burt Shavitz, the creator of a line of personal care products.
1935: The Gazeta Warszawska, organ of the anti-Semitic National Democratic Party, was expelled today from the Press Association of the Polish Republic for its "tactless attitude" while the nation was mourning the death of Marshal Pilsudski. The Press Association comprises all newspapers in Poland. The expulsion was decided on at a special session called for this purpose (JTA)
1936: The Italian consul denied today in a statement to the press that Italian agents are responsible for disorders in Palestine. London newspapers had charged Italian agents with fomenting the outbreak in an attempt to embarrass Great Britain in the Italo-Ethiopian situation. (JTA)
1936: As Arabs gather in their mosques for prayers today, “the curfew in the Old City…was extended to a large outside the Old City Walls” due to the threat of increased violence.
1936: On the first day of the official Arab campaign of civil disobedience aimed at ending Jewish immigration violence breaks out forcing the British to cordon off Tel Aviv from Jaffa.
1937: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Richard Jacob Mack, the son of Jacob William Mack and Bertha Mack and Elizabeth Mack gave birth to Alan Richard Mack
1937: Birthdate of Madeleine Korbel Albright. A native of Czechoslovakia, Albright was raised as a Roman Catholic. In 1996, Albright discovered that her grandparents had been murdered at Auschwitz and Terezin. Her parents had converted to Roman Catholicism to escape the Holocaust. Albright has stated that she did not know she had Jewish ancestors until she was an adult. In 1997, she was the first woman to be named Secretary of State.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that while the armed Arab gangs continued to carry out robberies, commit arson, blow up culverts, dig holes in the roads and set up mines throughout the country, at least one such gang suffered heavy casualties when engaged by British forces near Acre. Many arrests were carried out in Tamra and the neighboring villages. Two British officers were wounded in this operation. An Arab mukhtar, village elder, was murdered near Nablus after he refused to pay ransom
1939: Giorgio Polacco, the conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and Chicago Civic Opera re-married Edith Mason today,
1939 The SS St. Louis leaves Hamburg. Most of the thousand or so passengers are Jewish escapees from Nazi Germany. They have landing passes for Cuba as well as quota numbers that could allow them entry into the United States three years hence;
1939 A women's concentration camp opens at Ravensbrück, 50 miles north of Berlin.
1940: Thousands of refugee Jews from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia are trapped behind German lines as Nazi forces push through Holland. The Dutch Army surrenders
1941(18th of Iyar, 5701): On Lag B’Omer, 12 Polish Jews who have traveled by sealed train from the Biala Podlaska Jewish POW camp to Konskowola are murdered after the train's Nazi overseers discover that four of the POWs have escaped.
1941: Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid the playing Jewish music
1943: In Rohatyn, Jewish ghetto police secretly plan to buy weapons and form escape parties to the nearby woods. Three weeks later the plan is foiled and all 1,000 Jews of the ghetto are killed.
1943: The Warsaw ghetto was reduced to ashes and the uprising came to an end after an active resistance of four weeks.
1943(10th of Iyar, 5703): After days of being crammed in a box car, Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer, his parents, three younger sisters and his brother arrived at Auschwitz at 6 p.m. His mother and sisters were immediately taken to the gas chambers.
1943: The first issue of Liberal Judaism, a new illustrated monthly journal of opinion and letters appeared today.
1943: The Adelaide Advertiser published excerpts from the pamphlet “Let My People Go” published in 1942 in which Victor Gollancz wrote “that between one and two million Jews had already been murdered in Nazi controlled Europe and "unless something effective is done, within a very few months these six million Jews will all be dead.”
1944: In a letter, dated today, addressed to the Zionist leadership in Palestine (under British rule) Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl called on the Zionist leadership to take stronger action on behalf of European Jewry which was systematically being destroyed by the Nazi lead genocide:
And you - our brothers in Palestine, in all the countries of freedom, and you, ministers of all the kingdom — how do you keep silent in the face of this great murder ? Silent while thousand on thousands, reaching now to six million Jews, were murdered. And silent now while tens of thousands are still being murdered and waiting to be murdered? Their destroyed hearts cry to you for help as they bewail your cruelty. Brutal you are and murderers too you are, because of the cold-bloodedness of the silence in which you watch
1944: Nazi deportation of Jews from greater Hungary began with the deportation of 14,000 Jews from Munkacs to Auschwitz. The roundup is directed by Eichman with “the full cooperation of the Hungarian police.”
1944: As part of the Nazi proposal to swap Jews for supplies including ten thousand trucks, Joel Brand is flown from Budapest to Istanbul to meet with two representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. The two will listen to Brand and take the offer back to Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv.
1944: On the eve of the Allied invasion of Europe, 878 Jews are deported from Drancy, France, to the Reval, Estonia, slave-labor camp. At the very time when Rommel, the Nazi General who is in charge of preparing to face the Allied onslaught, is bemoaning the lack of men and equipment, the Germans are busy shipping Jews to their death. This provides further proof that the creation of a Jew-Free Europe was an integral part of the German effort and not some tangential activity.
1944: Dr. Salomon Gluck, the brother of Rose Warfman, was deported on convoy 73 which left Drancy today. He would reportedly die five days later.
1945: Reb David Werdyger was liberated today at the Linz Labor Camp
1945: The Soviet NKWD arrested Otto Armster, a German intelligence officer who took part in the July 20 to kill Hitler and subsequently took him back to the U.S.S.R.
1945: Birthdate of Gail J. Koff, who would be considered the silent partner in the national law firm Jacoby & Meyers after she opened their New York offices six years after the firm, began operations in Los Angeles, California.
1945: In Yugoslavia, fighting between 30,000 Nazi soldiers and a group of Yugoslav partisans known as the Battle of Poljana came to end when the Axis surrendered in what may have been the last formal combat operation in the European Theatre during WW II.
1948(6th of Iyar, 5708): Parashat Kedoshim
1948: Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invade the state of Israel on its second day of existence. As soon as the Mandate ended, the Arab armies attacked with the aim of driving the Jews into the sea.
1948: As the first day dawned on the new Jewish state, the Israeli military force had grown from 4.500 to 36,600 in the six months since the partition vote. This seemingly impressive total includes everybody not just combat troops. And it pales in comparison to the size (not to mention the equipment) of the invading Arab armies. At least 1,200 Jews had fallen in fighting during the same period and this does not count civilian casualties.
1948: On Cyprus, the British open the gates of the detention camps. Thousands of Jews who had been imprisoned in their attempt to reach Eretz Israel, would now be free to leave for the new national Jewish home. Within days, many of those released would be fighting in the front lines against the invading Arab armies.
1948: Mordechai Ruttenberg took part in one of those small actions, described below, which helped to change history.
In Jerusalem, a young teenager and a member of Gadna (Gedudei Noar--Israeli youth corps offering pre-military training of teenagers) helping to defend Jerusalem “found a crate of Molotov cocktails in the Notre Dame Monastery, got really scared, and hid it. The Jordanians tried every possible way to break into the city, and on that day armored vehicles arrived via Damascus Gate and took up positions below the windows of the monastery. Someone shouted from the street, 'Hey, kid, where are the cocktails?' I didn't know what to do, so he explained to me how to throw them. From the window I threw one of the bottles onto the first armored vehicle, which immediately started to burn, and the Jordanians beat a hasty retreat. Afterward people wrote that the Molotov cocktails saved Jerusalem, because otherwise the Jordanians would have entered the city. I pretty much forgot the whole thing, but one day I heard a tour guide telling about the boy with the bottle, and I came out of the closet and said, 'I am that boy.'" That boy was the future Professor Mordechai Rotenberg who Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who taught at Hebrew University in the social work school, the criminology institute and the department of psychology.
1948: The American office of Magen David Adom (the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) opened a blood bank for Israel in New York City that was soon packed with donors.
1948: Voice of Israel (Kol Israel) was born simultaneously with the birth of the State of Israel. Operations for Kol Israel were in the old Palestine Broadcasting Service facilities left behind when the British left Palestine. The first Kol Israel broadcast was made from Tel Aviv as David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence for the Jewish State.
1948: In a radio Broadcast Menachem Began said today "It is Hebrew arms which decide the boundaries of the Hebrew State; so it now in this battle; so it will be in the future."
1948: On the day after Israel declared its independence Jews in Baghdad "walked liked shadows, terrified about their own destiny and that of their brothers in the Land of Israel."
1948: The Battles of the Kinarot Valley began tonight when Israeli observers reported that “many vehicles with full lights” were “moving along the Golan ridge east of the Sea of Galilee.” The observers were describing the movement of a Syrian infantry brigade accompanied by at least one tank battalion and one artillery battalion that was on its way to attack Kibbutz Ein Gev. Among the Jewish forces facing the Syrians were elements of the Golani Brigade. Thanks to an arms embargo, the Israelis had no artillery, tanks or combat aircraft to face this onslaught.
1948: Moshe Sharett became Israel’s first Foreign Minister.
1948: Etan Liivni who had been freed from Acre Prison in 1947 during the great prison break, returned to Israel today from his hiding place in Europe so he could fight in the War for Independence.
1948: An Iraqi brigade invaded at Naharayim on May 15, 1948, in an unsuccessful attempt to take the kibbutz and fort but the Arabs were able to occupy and loot the power plant which was the creation of Pinhas Rutenberg.
1948: On the first day of the invasion of Israel by five Arab Armies, the Egyptian 6th Battalion, “backed by armored vehicles, mortars, cannons and aircraft, attacked Kibbutz Nirm which was defended by a force of forty Jewish fighters who after seven hours drove the attackers who retread “leaving behind somewhere between 30 and 35 dead.”
1948(6th of Iyar, 5708): Holocaust survivor Rivka Salzman died today during the crucial Battle of Nirim – the only woman to die in the successful thwarting of Egypt’s initial attempt to destroy the state of Israel.
1949: In Philadelphia, PA, opening of “3rd Sculpture International” which includes the works of Chaim Gross, Jacob Epstein, Jacques Lipschitz and William Zorach.
1949(16th of Iyar): Rabbi Chaim Tchernowita, author of “Toledot haHalakah” passed away
1949: Sixty-seven year old Mary Antin, a champion of immigrant rights and author whose work included The Promised Land, the 1912 autobiographical tome about her “Americanization “ passed away today.
1950: The remains of Oscar Grusenberg, the Russian Jewish lawyer who defended Mendel Beilis against blood-ritual charges were interred in Israel
1951: Birthdate of Frank Wilczek winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction.
1951: Pitcher Saul Rogovin is traded from the Tigers to the White Sox and still compiled a league leading 2.78 Earned Run Average.
1952: Abba Khoushy, Mayor of Haifa, attended the United States Conference of Mayors at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
1952: Founding of Sde Boker (Cattle Rancher's Field) in the central Negev hills. Sde Boker began as a horse-breeding community. Later sheep were added to the breeding activity. As the desert was reclaimed orchards were planted by the settlers. Sde Boker's most famous settler was David Ben-Gurion who first moved there in 1952 when he resigned as Prime Minister in 1952. Ben Gurion saw Sde Boker as a key to reclaiming the Negev. In turn Ben Gurion saw reclamation of the Negev - making the desert bloom - as a key to the ultimate success of the new Jewish state.
1953(1st of Sivan, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that a new railway line linked Hadera with Tel Aviv. The entire new track was constructed out of the French-manufactured material acquired with the aid of French railways. The funds came from the Development Budget.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Bavarian Cabinet had decided to ban the return to Bavaria of Jewish Displaced Persons who left Germany for Israel after World War II and now decided to return to Germany.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Kfar Saba celebrated its 50th anniversary.
1956(5th of Sivan, 5716): Erev Shavuot
1958: Premiere of the film version of the Lerner and Loewe musical “Gigi’ produced by Arthur Freed and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg.
1959(7th of Iyar, 5719): Charlotte Lipsky passed away today at the age eighty.
1967: Israel holds the Independence Day parade in Jerusalem without the usual numbers of heavy artillery and tanks. The full parade is not held because of an agreed limitation of tanks in the city, as laid down in the armistice agreement with Jordan. Egypt accuses Israel of having sent the "missing tanks and other weaponry to the north." Egypt names May 17 as the day on which Israel will invade Syria. A new song is born: "Yerushalayim shel Zahav" - "Jerusalem of Gold" by Naomi Shemer is performed for the first time on Independence Day. It soon becomes a kind of second national anthem.
1967: During a parade in Jerusalem marking the 19th anniversary of Israeli independence, a messenger brings word to Prime Minister Eshkol that “large Egyptian forces were moving into Sinai and advancing westward.” The message continued that in Cairo rumored reports had Nasser ordering the removal of the UN Emergency Forces from the Sinai and the Straits of Tiran.
1967: “While on a photo assignment in London, Linda Eastman met Beatle Paul McCartney at the Bag O’Nails.
1968: U.S. premiere of “The Swimmer” for which Sydney Pollack provided uncredited directorial work and for which producer Sam Spiegel hired Marvin Hamlisch to write the music.
1969: Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned over a controversy concerning past legal fees.
1969: “Thirty five Arabs were injured by terrorist grenade attacks in Gaza, Jabaliya, Kahn Yunis, Rafa, and Deir el Balah,”
1973(13th of Iyar, 5733): Seventy-three year old Ralph Kahn, the son Baruch Kahn and Constance Kenendel Lang and the husband of Edith Sommer passed away today in Montpellier, France.
1973: President Richard Nixon awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Air Force Sergeant John L. Levitow, the only enlisted airman to be so honored during the Viet Nam War. The citation reads as follows: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant John L. Levitow (then Airman First Class), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism on
24 February, 1969,
while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission.
On that date, Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The
resulting explosion ripped a hole through the wing and fragments mad over 3,500
holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were helplessly
slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare
from the grasp of a crewmember, who had been launching flares to provide
illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though
stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over forty fragment
wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man
nearest to him, who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was
moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the open cargo compartment
door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger
involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started
toward the burning flare. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of
blood. Unable to grasp the flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon
the burning flare. Hugging the deadly devise to his body, he dragged himself
back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo
door. At that instant, the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of
the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft
and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's
conspicuous gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen and his
intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty are
in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Air Force and
reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.” Born in in 1945, Levitow passed away at the
age of 55 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
1974(23rd of Iyar, 5734): A cell from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine infiltrated into Israel from Lebanon. They entered an apartment in Ma’a lot, killing the Cohen family including their four year old son. The terrorist then stormed Netiv Meir School. “They took 105 students and 10 of their teachers hostage. They were from a religious high school in Safed and who were staying the school during a class trip.” The terrorists killed 22 students and three of the teachers before the IDF could mount an effective rescue mission.
1978: In Queens, “Michael Krumholtz, a postal worker and his wife Judy, a dental assistant gave birth to actor David Krumholtz whose portrayal of math wizard “Charlie Epps” in the crime-comedy series “Numbers” might be seen as a bit of ethnic stereotyping.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli Embassy in Washington reiterated that "the supply of advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and Egypt creates a serious threat to the security of Israel." President Sadat of Egypt, in a major policy speech, threatened domestic critics of his policy of negotiating with Israel, and took great pains in explaining why he had deposited one million pounds, received from Katar, in his personal account.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli Cabinet, by a vote of 14 to three, backed the Chief of Staff, Raphael Eitan's declaration that Israel cannot defend itself without Judea, Samaria, and the Golan.
1979: ABC broadcast the last episode of the first season of “Taxi” the sit com created by James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels and Ed Weinberger and starring Judd Hirsch.
1981: President Anwar el-Sadat called on Syria and Israel today to adopt a policy of ''hands off Lebanon'' and urged the Palestinians to form a provisional government because ''the day will come when Israel will sit with you.'' Mr. Sadat's remarks came in a two-and-a-half-hour address to Parliament, which was devoted in large measure to a scathing denunciation of Egypt's small opposition Socialist Labor Party. The President dealt only briefly with the Lebanese crisis and did not address himself to a question that has been arising with some frequency here - What would Egypt do if Syria and Israel went to war?
1983: Rabbi Charles Kroloff of Temple Emanu-El in Westfield officiated at the wedding of Lisa Ehrich and Robert Bernstein. He was assisted by cantorial student Jill Spasser.
1983: In “Psychological and Moral Dilemmas” published today, Robert Alter reviews Eight Great Hebrew Novels edited by Alan Lelchuck and Gershon Shaked.
1983: In “New Life For A Prescient Novel About Nazism” published today Frederick S. Roffman described the film being made based on The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger.
1986: NBC broadcast the final episode of season 2 of the “Cosby Show” co-created by Ed Weinberger which was the number sitcom for the 1985-1986 season
1986(6th of Iyar, 5746): Seventy one year old author and journalist Theodore White passed away. White first gained fame covering China during World War II for the Time/Life media empire. His honest reporting got him in trouble with Right Wing Americans and he ended up coming back to the States after the war. White had been so effective as a reporter because he spoke Chinese, a language he learned quite by accident while studying at Harvard. A whole new generation of Americans came to know him for his prize winning popular political science treatise, The Making in President which told the story of the Nixon-Kennedy campaign in 1960. It provided many Americans with their first insight as to how the American electoral system really worked. Although he was to write several “making of a President” books, none would come close to the original effort which spawned a whole new genre of political reporting.
1988(28th of Iyar, 5748): Yom Yerushalayim
1989: French premiere of “Brenda Starr” a film based on the comic strip reporter with a script by “Jenny Wolkind,” better known as Delia Ephron.
1990: The Cemetery Club produced by Philip Rose opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
1994(5th of Sivan, 5754): Erev Shavuot
1994(5th of Sivan, 5754): Seventy-eight year old Russian born British economist Alexander Nove whom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher described as “one of the most significant scholars of 'Soviet' studies in its widest sense and beyond” passed away today.
1995: The Chicago Sun Times reports that Eddie Schwartz has left WLUP after having failed to obtain the same success he had enjoyed with WGN.
1995(15th of Iyar, 5755): Eighty-one year old “American real estate investor” and “a philanthropist and the inventor of the National Debt Clock” passed away today.
1995: “My so-called Life” a teen drama created by Winnie Hotlzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz was officially canceled today.
1997: NBC broadcast the final episode of season seven of “Seinfeld.”
1998: “The Horse Whisperer” a movie version of the novel of the same name with a script by Eric Roth and featuring Jessalyn Gilsig.
1998: “Quest for Camelot” an animated musical fantasy with a script by David Seidler and starring Jessalyn Gilsig and Don Rickles was released in the United States today.
1998: “Clockwatchers” a comedy co-starring Lisa Kudrow was released in the United States today.
1999: In the West End at the Lyric Theatre final performance of a revival of “Animal Crackers” a musical with lyrics and music by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby and the book by George S. Kaurfman and Morrie Ryskind.
2000: Israel and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) reestablish diplomatic relations.
2000: By decree of the French Republic President, Israeli diplomat, Dr Meir Rosenne, has been made Commander in the National Order of the Legion of Honour.
2001(22nd of Iyar, 5761): Twenty year old Idit Mizrahi of Rimonim was murdered today when terrorists fired bullets at car carrying her, her father and her brother who were traveling to attend a family wedding.
2001: One Israel, a party formed by Ehud Barak in 1999 ceased to exist today.
2001: In “Let the Circle Be Unbroken,” Mimi Sheraton laments the latest assault on “The Bagel” – Pillsbury’s Toaster Filled Bagels.
Bagel purists have had a lot to swallow as their favorite nosh has come in for its share of creative rethinking. The basic flour-water-salt-yeast-malt dough that should be shaped and then boiled before being baked is now often steamed or not moistened at all, so that it lacks the inimitable yeasty, chewy inner texture. Pizza or pumpernickel doughs are often used now, and the traditional crust that should be plain, with a golden, shiny finish, may be pockmarked with poppy or sesame seeds, garlic or onions, while the correctly neutral, cool interior is adulterated with cinnamon and raisins, nuts and berries. Economic considerations, like high labor costs, have fostered mammoth bagels that fetch mammoth prices even though they resemble inner tubes more than they do the compact, true bagel that ideally measures about 3.5 inches in diameter. It's a wonder we permit these versions to be called bagels at all. But the single characteristic of the bagel that has always been honored, no matter what other attributes go by the board, is its shape. A bagel is ring-shaped -- round with a hole in the center. At least until now; The Pillsbury Company’s ''filled bagels'' -- described in the advertising copy as ''highly evolved'' -- are more like Pop-Tarts than bagels. Each 3- by 4-inch rectangle of ''tasty bagel crust'' is filled with cream cheese and, of all things, strawberry jelly. Although sweetness is antithetical to true bagel connoisseurship, the jelly and the cheese suggest the red-and-white color combination (visible through three slashes on the top crust) of cream cheese and smoked salmon. Real fish, of course, would not work, being too perishable for both freezer and toaster. The greatest attribute of these ''filled bagels,'' promises the ad copy, is: ''No gloppy mess. Next breakfast, it's freezer, toaster, done.'' Following Pillsbury's instructions, this highly evolved taster found the crust (neither baked nor steamed, I bet) to have the flavor and texture one might expect from a dampened, heated manila folder enclosing a crowd-pleasing, sweet and creamy filling. But please, Pillsbury Doughboy, go back to your creative copywriters and marketing talents and come up with another name. The new product you so proudly hail may not be totally terrible, but it is totally not a bagel. Where is the circle? Where is the hole?
2002: President Bush welcomes forty-five leaders from the United Jewish Communities to the White House.
2004: After being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket today Kevin Edmund Youkilis “went 2 for 4 in his major league debut” with the Boston Red Sox.
2005(6th of Iyar, 5765): Alan B. Gold, Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court passed away at the age of 87.
2005: “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” co-starring Natalie Portman and Frank Oz premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
2005: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of “After Such Knowledge: Memory, History, and the Legacy of the Holocaust,” Eva Hoffman’s essay that “thoughtfully conveys the conflicted inner lives of a generation of children of Holocaust survivors” and “The Sea House” Esther Freud’s “intricate English novel, inspired by the letters of Esther Freud's grandfather (Sigmund's son), which is set along the Suffolk coast and tells two stories separated by half a century.”
2006: Over 150,000 people attended the celebrations at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Mount Meron in the Galilee, where a large feast is traditionally held.
2006: Daniel Barenboim was named principal guest conductor of La Scala opera house, in Milan,
2006: Daniel Barenboim was named principal guest conductor of La Scala opera house, in Milan, after Riccardo Muti's resignation
2007: In Washington, D.C. Theater J presents the last of performances of Arnold Wesker's “Shylock,” a landmark re-imagining of the three stories which inspired Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Featuring beloved international performer Theodore Bikel in the title role and Edward Gero as Antonio, this staged concert reading is presented in conjunction with the Shakespeare in Washington Festival.
2007: In London, the ZF presents “A Special Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem” featuring a speech by Moshe Arens, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States who also served as the Israeli Defense Minister and Foreign Minister.
2007: Four people were wounded by a barrage of at last 19 Qassam Rockets fired by Hamas terrorists at the western Negev town of Sderot. Palestinian leaders said that Hamas was trying to divert attention from internecine fighting in the Gaza Strip by renewing hostilities between Israel and the Palestine Authority.
2007(27th of Iyar, 5767): Ninety-five year old Italian-Jewish architect Giorgio Cavaglieri, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2008: In Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem, The First International Writers Festival comes to a close.
2008: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington marks the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel with a series of book talks by Laura Cohen Apelbaum on “Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community” (the companion to the award-winning exhibit of the same name) beginning at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. It is co-sponsored by the Embassy of Israel and the B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum
2008: President George Bush is schedule to address the Knesset on the second day of his visit to Israel; a visit designed to honor Israel on its sixtieth anniversary as well as to try and advance peace talks with the Palestinians.
2008: A conference is held at the Beit Chail Haavir in Herzlia by the National Road Safety Authority, Or Yarok, and the Institute of Technological Studies in order to promote new technological advances to improve road safety in Israel.
2008: Google co-founder Sergey Brin lauded Israeli innovations in technology and environmental efforts, saying Israel "takes our climate challenges very seriously." Brin, visiting as a delegate to President Shimon Peres' Presidential Conference, told Haaretz that these challenges have "great geopolitcal ramifications on this country, in addition to environmental ones."
2008: Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch told a panel in Jerusalem on Thursday that promoting technology throughout the Middle East could help advance peace. "When people have the skills - to build better lives for themselves and their families, their societies become more peaceful and Israel will have better neighbors," Murdoch said during a debate on new media and the internet at President Shimon Peres' "Facing Tomorrow" conference. "We'll continue to do what we can to help Israel maintain its competitive edge. Yet we must also look for new ways to expand human capital throughout the Middle East."
2008: "Waltz With Bashir” a daring new animated documentary which follows Israeli director Ari Folman as he tries to piece together memories of the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila camps is screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
2009: Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” discusses his most recent book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Md., in an event sponsored by Politics and Prose Bookstore.
2009: Rabbi Shefa Gold, a leader in Aleph, The Alliance for Jewish Renewal leads Friday night services for Congregation Bet Mishpachah at the Jewish Community Center in Washington, D.C.
2009(21st of Iyar): Ninety-one year old 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, passed away today at his home in Los Angeles. (As reported by William Dicke)
2010: Before Shabbat morning services start at Temple Emanuel in Denver, Rabbi Steven Foster is scheduled to discuss "Reform Responsa: Applying Jewish Text to Modern Day Questions."
2010(2nd of Sivan, 5770): Moshe Greenberg, one of the most influential Jewish biblical scholars of the 20th century, died today at his home in Jerusalem at the age of 81. As reported by Dennis Hevesi
2011: Joel and Ethan Coen, the Oscar award-winning producer-director team that created films like The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man are expected to attend the ceremony in Israel today at which they will be formally awarded The Dan David Prize “for their contribution in film making.” The committee that made the selection “called the duo a unique example in cinematic history for their abilities to tell a simple story in a complex manner.” “The Dan David Prize is named for the businessman and philanthropist and is administered by a board of directors headed by Tel Aviv University President Professor Yoseph Klafter. Ten percent of the recipients' prize money is donated on their behalf to doctorate and post-doctorate student grants.” Each recipient receives a million dollars. The other million-dollar prize winners for 2011 are University of California at San Francisco Professor Cynthia Kenyon and Harvard Medical School Professor Gary Ruvkun for their work in gerontology, and Stanford University Medical School Professor Marcus Feldman for his work in the evolutionary sciences. President Shimon Peres and 2010 prize winner Italian President Giorgio Napolitano are expected to attend the award ceremony, the tenth year that the prizes will be awarded.
2011: A Brazilian production of the musical “Baby” with music by David Shire opened today.
2011: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present a symposium entitled: “2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey.”
2011: In what would prove to be a case of “rush to judgment” the New York Police Department arrested Dominique Strauss-Kahn at 2:15 a.m. today “on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a 32-year-old chambermaid in the luxury suite of a Midtown Manhattan hotel yesterday” about 1 p.m., Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said. (As reported by Al Baker and Steven Erlanger)
2011: Young Jewish Professionals are scheduled to take part in The Lox, Stock & Bagel Scavenger Hunter where they will “explore the heart of the Lower East Side that is changing right before your eyes. Highlights include Russ & Daughters, Katz's Deli, the birthplace of B'nai B'rith, Economy Candy, and much more.”
2011: Avraham Granted was fired today as Manager of West Ham United “after the club was relegated to the Football League Championship
2011: In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Mizel Museum will open its doors free of charge” today “for visitors to tour its new permanent exhibit 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks,” which offers “a dynamic journey through art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and celebrates Jewish culture and history.”
2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Wizards of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust” by Diana B. Henriques and the recently released paperback edition of “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” by Judith Shulevitz
2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including 'Say Her Name' by Francisco Goldman.
2011: Four people were reportedly shot dead by Israel Defense Forces troops today as they opened fire on large numbers of infiltrators trying to breach Syria's southern border with Israel. Another four people were said to have been killed on the Lebanese side of its shared frontier with Israel, as Palestinian protests for the annual Nakba Day, which mourns the creation of the State of Israel, took hold across the region.
2011: Cedar Rapids native, John Lipsky, brother of Temple Judah congregant Ann Lipsky is named as acting managing director of the IMF.
2011: Dozens of Im Tirtzu activists gathered outside the offices of UNRWA in Jerusalem holding signs and chanting, "They expelled, they attacked, they lost.” Im Tirtzu takes its name from the saying of Theodor Herzl "If you will it, it is no dream."
2012: The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Book by Matti Friedman went on sale today.
2012: Basya Schecter is scheduled to perform “Songs of Wonder” which sets the Yiddish poetry of the civil rights activist and Jewish philosopher Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to music at the Washington DCJCC.
2012: Cellist Yoed NIr is scheduled to join Regina Spektor in tonight’s performance at the United Palace Theatre.
2012: Ellen Cassedy is scheduled to read from and sign her new book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History
2012: Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times will receive an honorary degree to at Farleigh Dickinson University’s 69th commencement exercises.
2012: Arab terrorists attacked southern Israel with a Kassam rocket early today and attacked Jews in the Hevron area with two firebombs overnight as “Nakba Day” began
2012: Twenty-four year old Majid Jamali Fashi was hung today by Iran after having been “convicted for Israel and assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist.”
2012: “Sisters Joined by Tumult, Grown Apart in Time” published today provides a details review of I Am Forbidden, a noble by Anouk Markovits.
2012(23rd of Iyar, 5772): Eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor and scholar Arno Lustiger passed away today.
2013(6th of Sivan, 5773): First Day of Shavuot
2013: Scheduled opening of the Ein Gev Shavuot Festival
2013: “Pedro Hernandez, Charged With Murder Of Etan Patz, To Face Trial”
2013: For the first time since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, two mortar shells exploded in the Mount Hermon area this morning. There were no reported injuries or casualties. The area in the Hermon, the mountain range that straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights, was promptly closed to hikers for several hours on the Shavuot holiday.
2013: Israel will continue to take military action to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry to Syria, The New York Times quoted a senior Israeli official as saying today, a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to discuss the troubled situation.
2014: The Israel Action Center at the JCRC is scheduled to present “Israel at 66: Spies and Defenders” with CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv and Israeli journalist Yossi Melman.
2014: Today, “in the wake of outcry from the public, gay rights organizations and politicians, Yaakov Ariel, the rabbi of Ramat Gan who “advised a landlord not to rent…an apartment to a lesbian couple” was “summoned by Ramat Gan Mayro Israel Singer to explain his remarks.”(As reported by Gavriel Fiske)
2014: “A Jewish woman was attacked at a bus stop in Paris’ Montmartre district by a man who shook her baby carriage and said, “Dirty Jewess, enough with your children already, you Jews have too many children, screw you.” (Tablet)
2014: “Two IDF soldiers from the 50th Battalion of the Nahal Brigade have been dismissed from their unit for campaigning on Facebook against orders to evict Jewish settlers on the West Bank, the army said today”
2014: Tatiana Maslany was cast in a principal role as the younger version of Helen Mirren's character, “Maria Altmann” in the upcoming film “Woman in Gold.”
2014: The Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism is scheduled to host a lecture by Professor Maud Mandel of Brown University entitled “Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict.”
2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, VA.
2015: “The Kindergarten Teacher” is scheduled to be shown on the final day of the 18th Annual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Film’s.
2015: Centenarian Elisabeth Bing, whose parents fled Nazi Germany because they had been Jewish before converting to Christianity and was leader in the natural childbirth movement, passed away today.
2015: Today “at an art storage facility in southern Germany. “more than 70 years after its disappearance and after a year and a half of hard-nosed negotiations,” "Femme Assise," was handed over to Christopher A. Marinello, an attorney representing the descendants of Paul Rosenberg, “one of the world’s leading dealers in Modern art…whose collection was looted by the Nazis.”
2015: In “Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s New Justice Minister, Shrugs Off Critics in Her Path” Jodi Rudoren provided a profile of a rising political star.
2015: Rabbi Barry Fruendal is scheduled to be sentenced to after “pleading guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism for installing secret cameras in the shower room of the mikvah adjacent to Kesher Israel, the prominent Washington Orthodox synagogue he led for some 25 years”
2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Little Labors by Rivka Galchen, The Secret War: Spies, Cyphers and Guerrillas 1939-1945 by Max Hastings, A Self-Made Man” The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1849 by Sidney Blumenthal and We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to Covergirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by Andi Zeisler
2016: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host the first annual city-wide 5K Race for Humanity.
2016: The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines is scheduled to sponsor an Israel Independence Day Celebration Lunch featuring Israeli falafel followed by a screening of the Mickey Marcus biopic “Cast a Giant Shadow” starring Kirk Douglas.
2016: In New York, B’nai Jeshurun is scheduled to host “an interactive performance of Lea Goldberg’s Israeli children’s book “Dira Lehaskir -Apartment to Let”! narrated by actress Shira Averbuch”
2016: Ari Shavit, author of A Promised Land , Georgetown Hillel Rabbi Rachel Gartner, and emerging leader Harry Reis are scheduled to participate in “Israel Forum: Zionism and Liberalism for a New Generation” at JCC Manhattan.
2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “Gala 2016.”
2016: At the Jewish Women’s Circle in Malta, NY, the Chabads of Saratoga County is scheduled to “Finding Your Small Miracles” featuring, Yitta Halberstam Co-author of the Small Miracles Series: Heartwarming stories of Extraordinary Coincidences from everyday Life
2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to co-sponsor a weekly interfaith discussion, this week's topic TBC, from the perspectives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, looked at in a variety of texts and scriptures “at the Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College.”
2017: (19th of Iyar, 5777): In Los Angeles, graduation ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion
2017: As part of the lecture series “Israel: The Land and its People” Henry Abramson is scheduled to lecture on “Theodore Herzl: Father of Zionism” at the Avenue J campus of Touro College
2017: MJE is scheduled to host “Conversations Remix” with Rabbi Mark Wildes.
2017: Joan Nathan is scheduled to talk about her new book King Solomon’s Table which “explores Jewish cooking from around the world.”
2017: The Association for Jewish Studies and Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a lecture by Yael Landman on “Is There a Biblical "Law"? Law in the World of the Bible.”
2017: The exhibit “Menorah: Worship, History, Legend” is scheduled to open simultaneously at both the Jewish Museum and the Braccio de Carlo Magno Museum in the Vatican.
2017: Obituary writer Margalit Fox is among those scheduled to speak at a symposium describing how the Times Obituary Team “captures a life in 500 words.” (Editor’s note- this is one time I wish I lived in New York. The Times obits are not only literary gems, they are an invaluable tool for historical research. In addition to which, the writers are very patent people who take their time to respond to inquiries even when they come from an “am ha’aretz in eastern Iowa.)