Monday, May 15, 2017

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


 
May 16

 0942(21st of Iyar, 4702): Saadia Gaon passed away. Born in 882, Saadia Gaon was the head of the Talmudic Academy of Sura (Babylonia). He was a recognized authority on the Talmud, and a profound student of philosophy and philology. Saadia was forced to deal with the challenge of assimilation of the upper-class Jews of Babylonia who were attracted to the Greek philosophers whose works had been translated into Arabic. Saadia wrote a philosophic work, The Book of Beliefs and Opinions, in magnificent flowing Arabic. In it, he defended the rational underpinnings of Judaism and showed logically that every rational Jew could believe in the Torah as well as Aristotle and Plato. He wrote the first Hebrew grammar book which explained how the holy language worked. He provided a Hebrew dictionary plus a compendium of rhyming words for Hebrew poets. He was the first to write an Arabic translation of the Bible. He included commentaries, explanations, and grammatical notes as well. His translation continues to be the authoritative Bible for Jews in Arab lands. He also led a successful fight against the Kararites, a sect which rejected Rabbinic commentary as law.

1165: Maimonides and his family arrived at Acre, Palestine. Having been forced to leave Spain because he would not convert to Islam, Maimonides and his family settled in Fez, Morocco. His work with Jews who had been forced to convert to Islam attracted attention of the local authorities and the family moved on to Palestine. Do to the poverty of the land and the uncertain conditions there, Maimonides finally settled in Egypt where he served both as a physician and leader of the Jewish Community.
1474: Minister Pacheco of Spain used an attack he organized against "new Christians" as a diversion in order to enable him to capture the citadel of Segovia (and maybe the King). Although the plot was discovered in time, the Marranos were attacked by the organized mob, and men, women and children were murdered.
1477: Abraham dei Tintori produced the first printed edition of the book of Job with a commentary by Levi ben Gerson was published today in Ferrara, Italy
1487: Joseph Solomon Sonciino produced the first printed edition of Seder Tahanunim at Soncino, Italy

1527: Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and re-established a republic The recreation of the Republic led to the expulsion of the Jews. This event took place in the Jewish year 5300 (a year with Jewish mystical connotations), fueling messianic hopes helping to layer the ground for the rise of Solomon Molcho.

1573: Today Polish nobles elected Henry, as the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, the Lithuanian nobles boycotted this election, and it was the Lithuanian ducal council who confirmed his election. Poland elected Henry, rather than Habsburg candidates, partly in order to be more agreeable to the Ottoman Empire (a traditional ally of France through the Franco-Ottoman alliance), with which a Polish-Ottoman alliance was also in effect.. He owed his election to Solomon Ashkenazi, a “Rabbi” who was an advisor to the Sultan.  He was in effect the Sultan’s foreign minister.  In an unusually blunt statement, Ashkenazi wrote Henry “I have rendered you majesty most important service in securing your election; I have effected all that was done here.” The last statement refers to his behind the scenes work at the Sultans Palace.  See Volume 4  p 605 0f Graetz
1611: Birthdate of Pope Innocent XI. During his papacy, “Innocent showed a degree of sensitivity in his dealings with the Jews within the Italian States. He compelled the city of Venice to release the Jewish prisoners taken by Francesco Morisini in 1685. He also discouraged compulsory baptisms which accordingly became less frequent under his pontificate; but he could not abolish the old practice altogether. More controversially in 1682 he issued an edict by which all the money-lending activities carried out by the Roman Jews were to cease. However ultimately convinced that such a measure would cause much misery in destroying livelihoods, the enforcement of the edict was twice delayed.”
1648: During the great Cossack uprising which brought death and destruction to hundreds of thousands of Jews, Bohdan Khmelnytsky's forces overwhelmed and defeated Commonwealth forces under the command of Stefan Potocki at the Battle of Zhovti Vody.
1667: Sixty-eight year old Samuel Bochart, “a French Protestant biblical scholar” whose “two-volume Geographia Sacra seu Phaleg et Canaan exerted a profound influence on seventeenth-century Biblical exegesis” passed away today.
1669: Birthdate of “Dutch Christian Hebraist Campegius Vitringa author of a Commentary on Isaiah and De Synagoga Vetere Libri Tres.
1746(26th of Iyar, 5506): Moshe Chaim Luzzatto passed away. Born in 1707, this Italian rabbi known by the Hebrew acronym RaMChal was noted philosopher and student of kabbalah.
1754: Fire ravaged the Ghetto in Prague.
1756: Abigail Franks, the daughter of Moses Levy, who had been married to Jacob Franks for 44 years and who had had two children by 1719 passed away today.
1775(16th of Iyar, 5535): Veitel-Heine Ephraim who served as “Jeweller to the Prussian Court and Mint Mast under the Prussian Kings Frederick William I and Frederick the Great for whom he played a critical role in financing the Seven Years War passed away today.
1785(7th of Sivan): Rabbi Chaim Abraham ben Moses Israel of Ancona, author of “Bet Avraham” passed away.
1789: Birthdate of Michael Creizenach, the native of Mainz who edited the Hebrew periodical “Zion” with I.M. Jost and who was the father of Theodor Creizenach who followed in his literary footsteps
1790: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Warsaw.
1799: Birthdate of Alexander McCaul the Dublin born Christian missionary who spent a decade in Poland trying to convert the Jews but who was no anti-Semite since he opposed the accusations of the “blood libel.”  He returned to England where “he became professor of Hebrew and rabbinical literature at King’s College.”
1801: Birthdate of William H. Seward who served as Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson (1861-1869).  Shortly after he assumed office, Seward met with Henry I. Hart, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites and assured him that he would continue the push to end the discrimination practiced by the Swiss against American Jews. In 1863, Seward instructed American diplomats to do all that they could to stop the attacks on the Jews of Morocco.
1807(8th of Iyar): Joseph Abraham Stelicki, Ger Zedek of Nikolai passed the son a butcher who had been raised Catholic but who converted to Judaism in 1785 passed away today.
1815: “The Jewish community of the Aachen, Germany offered an homage in its synagogue to the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm the third.”
1816: Birthdate of Adam Gimbel, the native of Bavaria who came to the United States in 1834 and parlayed a trading post he opened in Vincennes in to the chain of Gimbel’s Department Stores which would become the fabled rival of Macy’s.
1820(3rd of Sivan, 5580): Nathan Salomon the Rabbi at Hombourg who was one of those attending The Grand Sanhedrin of Napoleon that took place at the Town Hall of Paris in February, 1807 and whose parents were Reitz and Marx Salomon passed away today.
1823: Birthdate of Heymann Steinthal the brother-in-law of Mortiz Lazarus who taught at The Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, or Higher Institute for Jewish Studies.
1826: Birthdate of Danish banker and Member of Parliament David Baruch Adler.
1828: In Frankfurt, Baron Carl Mayer von Rothschild of Naples and Adelheid Hertz gave birth to Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild, who would become head of the Frankfurt branch of the Rothschild banking empire.
1828: Birthdate of Marcus Kalisch, the native of Pomerania who was “one of the pioneers of the critical study of the Old Testament in England, a secretary to the Chief Rabbi  and a tutor in the Rothschild family” which gave him “the leisure to produce his commentaries and other works.”
1829: Abraham Alexander Wolff “assumed office as chief rabbi of Denmark” today.
1838: In Bavaria, Jacob Rice and Augusta Mannstein gave birth to Ignatius Rice, the husband of Cornelia Diana Stern, President of the Home for Aged Infirm, Trustee of the National Hospital for Consumptives at Denver, Colorado who resided at 122 East 79th Street in New York,
1838: Augusta and Lewis Feuchtwanger gave birth to Rebecca Feuchtwanger
1845: Birthdate of Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, also known as Eli Metchnikoff. Born in the Ukraine, he was a Russian microbiologist best remembered for his pioneering research into the immune system. Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, for his work on phagocytosis. He passed away in Paris in 1916.
1853: The New York Times provided more information about outbreaks of violence that had occurred in Jerusalem during Holy Week (Palm Sunday thru Easter). A group of English missionaries were forced to leave the Church of the Holy Sepulcher because “they behaved in an unseemly manner when the Procession of the Host passed on Good Friday.”  One of the missionaries delivered a sermon outside of a synagogue while the Jews were attending services in which he used “invectives” in talking about the Talmud.  One of the Jews reportedly threw a dead cat at the missionary and a fight broke between the rest of the missionaries and the Jews who sought to defend their religious beliefs.   
1853: The New York Times reported that the recent defeat of the Jewish Disabilities bill in the House of Lords had bitterly disappointed supporters of the measure since they had anticipated that the Lords would follow their usual path and approve legislation that had been approved by the House of Commons. The action of the Lords, according to the Times, shows the great gulf between the aristocracy and the rest of the citizenry.  Despite the prominence of such families as the Rothschilds, “the Jew in England is no better off than he was in the days of King John.”
1853: The New York Times reported that thousands of Prussians including Alexander Von Humboldt have petitioned the Second Chamber (one of the two houses of their bi-cameral legislature) demanding that Jews be allowed to hold government jobs and allowing for full freedom of religious opinion.  The petitions were in response to vote by the First Chamber to exclude Jews from public employment.
1854(18th of Iyyar, 5614): Lag B’Omer
1854: It was reported today that  the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews reported that there are 17 synagogues in New York City that show a membership totaling 25,000. The last census shows that there are 46,000 Jews in the entire United States.  The society believes that the census figure is a case of underreporting because it only records people as being Jewish if they self-report. “It is a well-known fact that one-half or more of the Jews in this country call themselves Frenchman, German, Poles, Hungarians and Englishman and never make themselves known as Jews in governmental connections.”
1859: In London, “the first meeting of the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish Poor was held at the Great Synagogue Chambers
1863(27th of Iyar, 5623): Jonas Ennery passed away. Born in 1801 at Nancy he became head of the Jewish school at Strasbourg. He served as a Deputy in the French Parliament and compiled a Dictionnaire Général de Géographie Universelle, He was the brother of Marchand Ennery, the chief rabbi of Paris.
1864: In Vienna, Menachem Mendel Birnbaum, a merchant, from Ropshitz, Galicia, and  Miriam Birnbaum (née Seelenfreund), who was born in northern Hungary (in a region sometimes called the Carpathian Rus), of a family with illustrious rabbinic lineage gave birth to Nathan Birnbaum the Austrian journalist, Jewish philosopher and founder of a Jewish nationalist organization "Kadimah."  Kadimah was formed ten years before Theodor Herzl became the leading spokesman of the Zionist movement. Birnbaum is credited for coining the term "Zionism". He died in 1937.
1864: In New York, the "Open Board of Stock-Brokers" adopted its constitution.  Among the signatories was Mendez Nathan, the son of Seixas Nathan.
1868: President Andrew Johnson was acquitted in his impeachment trial in the United States Senate. According to one source, Johnson made several virulent anti-Semitic statements during his political career prior to becoming President. Considering the fact that the “Tarheel Tailor” was illiterate until adulthood, his anti-Semitic statements may be more a case of ignorance than anything else.
1869(6th of Sivan, 5629): Shavuot is celebrated for the first time during the Presidency of U.S. Grant.
1875: The Board of Trustees of B’nai Jeshurun met today in New York City and approved a proposal to allow members of the opposite sex to sit together in the same pews during services.  This put an end to the separate seating that had been the rule at the synagogue since its founding.  The decision would be contested by Israel J. Solomon a member of the congregation who brought a suit in the Court of Common Pleas to over-turn the decision. His suit would fail.
1876: Ida Kuhn married Eduard Cohen and became Ida Cohen
1877: As the constitutional crisis in France came to a head, 363 parliamentary deputies passed a vote of no confidence in the new government championed by Royalist President Patrice MacMahon. The leaders of the opposition would be defended by Raphael Basch a liberal French Jewish political leader and journalist.  Basch was the father of Victor-Guillaume Basch who would be murdered by the Vichy French in 1944.
1880(6th of Sivan, 5640): Shavuot
1880: Birthdate of Julius Tannen the New York born comedian and monologist whose career included vaudeville, Broadway and Hollywood where he his most famous performance was in “Singing In the Rain.”
1881: Birthdate of Amy Loveman, a founding editor of the Saturday Review.
1881: “A comic melodrama entitled “Sam’l of Posen, or The Commercial Drummer” premiered at Haverly’s Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York.

1885: Birthdate of David de Sola Pool, the native of London whose family roots go back to the Sephardim of Medieval Spain who came to New York City in 1907 to begin as 63 year career as the leader of Congregation Sheaerith Israel, also known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue
1888(6th of Sivan, 5648): Shavuot
1890: It was reported today that former President Grover Cleveland, Oscar Straus and Joseph Blumenthal will be among those who have purchased boxes for the upcoming Strawberry Festival, a fund raiser sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.
1891: It was reported today that among the bequests made by the late Nathan Littauer were$1,500 to Mt. Sinai Hospital for the permanent endowment of a bed in memory of his daughter Louise; $1,000 each to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews; $500 to the Board of Relief of the United Hebrew Charities.
1892: Justice George C. Barrett officiated at the wedding of Albert Kohn and Sophie Kupfer. The nuptials which were one of the most fashionable events in the Jewish community, took place at the home of Henry Kupfer on east 78th Street.
1893(1st of Sivan, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1893: In Great Britain, the Board of Guardians is scheduled to meet today where Sir Julian Goldsmith will talk about the expulsions of the Jews from Poland – a matter that heretofore has been denied or kept secret.
1893: George Kennan, the explorer and newspaper man who has become a critic of the Czar and advocate for Russian democracy stated his belief that Polish and Russian Jews will be coming to the United States as a result of the edicts of expulsion issued by the Russian government.
1893: “Myer S. Isaacs, Chairman of the Trustees of the Baron Hirsh Fund for the aid of Russian Jews” in the United States said today that he and his associates “had not considered the question of an influx of Polish Jews” because they did not except any abnormal increase in immigration from that region. (Editor’s note – Based on contemporary reports there was a great deal of disagreement about Russian edicts of expulsion and the potential major influx of Jews from Poland and Russia)
1894: It was reported today that while Herman Rosenblatt stood in the smoldering ruins of his crockery store, a local ruffian pointed at the Jew and shouted “There is the man who set the fire” causing a mob yelling “Lynch him” to chase after Rosenblatt.  Rosenblatt outran the mob and found sanctuary in the 47th Street Police Station.
1896: In a cable from London, Harold Frederic provided a scoop for the New York Times when he broke the news about Baron Hirsch’s grandchild, who is the daughter of the Baron’s son Lucienne and a French governess. As confirmed by a copy of the Baron’s will, the child will inherit a large portion of the Hirsch millions.

1896: In Birmingham, England Laura (née Greenberg) and Louis Balcon gave birth to English movie producer Sir Michael Elias Balcon.

1898: The Daughters of Jacob are hosting a Strawberry Festival at Terrace Garden for the benefit of a Home for Aged Hebrews of the down-town east side. They have already sold 3,000 tickets at fifty cents each, and have received presents of large quantities of goods that will be sold at the festival.

1898: Joseph J. Corn, the Vice President Temple Culture Society spoke yesterday about the purpose of the society. He said “that in these days of cheap philosophy and what has come to be known as ethical culture there is a need for Jewish culture.  In an effort to combat the notion that religious education ended with confirmation, the society is holding weekly meetings devoted to the study of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy.  Among other things, the programs should help Jews answer the question “Why are you Jews in this Christian world and yet not of it?”

1898: During the Spanish American War the 4th Missouri Volunteer Infantry whose members included Captain Max Mannheim (St. Joseph), Sergeants Lewis F. Stein (Carrollton) and Herman Weil (St. Joseph) and Privates Fred E. Wise, Lloyd F. Houseman and Abraham J. Friedman and Artificer Arthur Newsbaum was mustered into federal service today.

1899: Second Lieutenant George M. Appel of the 2nd U.S. Volunteer Engineers was mustered out of service today.

1899(7th of Sivan): Eighty-six year Jacob Ezekiel, the husband of Catherine Myers Castro, author of The Jews of Richmond and Persecutions of the Jews in 1840 and the secretary of the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College from 1876 to 1896 passed away today

1903: At a meeting held under the auspices of the English Zionist Federal a resolution was adopted “declaring that the establishment of a home in Palestine was the only practical solution of the Jewish question.”  Israel Zangwill had given an impassioned speech in support of the motion during which he invoked the bloody images of the atrocities committed against the Jews of Romania and Kishineff.

1904: Herzl's diary breaks off with a report to Jacob Schiff. Schiff was a successful banker and financer. He was one of the leaders of the Jewish community in the 19th and early 20th century. He actively intervened on behalf of the Jews suffering in Tsarist Russia. Although he had reservations about Zionism, he was increasingly drawn to Herzl’s concept of a Jewish homeland in Palestine as a practical way of lessening the suffering of Russia’s Jews.

1907: A day after pleading guilty to charges of bribery Abe Ruef “testified before a grand jury incriminating the Mayor of San Francisco which led to his conviction and removal from office.

1909: Birthdate of  Yehiel Feiner whom the world would come to know as Yehiel De-Nur or Dinur, a survivor of Auschwitz who used his experience as the basis for several books including “The House of Dolls.”
1911: Masliach Effendi of the Turkish government ridicules the idea that Jews could become a menace to Turkey. He suggests appointment of committee to examine the whole question of Zionism.
1912: Birthdate of Rita Kanarek. In her senior year at N.Y.U. she married Alex Hillman founder and President of Hillman Periodicals. Mrs. Hillman became president of the Alex Hillman Family Foundation where she pursued her passions as an art collector and philanthropist. Among the beneficiaries of her largesse was the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in Manhattan. She passed away at the age of 95 in November, 2007.

1912: Birthdate of author, historian and broadcaster, Studs Terkel. “My family was Jewish but not religious. My mother went through the rituals; my father didn't. He was a freethinker.” He passed away at the age of 93.
1913(9th of Iyar 5673): Ninety-one year old banker William Scholle passed away today in New York.
1913: Rabbi Tobias Schaafarber is scheduled to deliver the Friday night sermon at the Chicago Hebrew Institute.
1914 20th of Iyar): Isaac Halevy (Rabinowitz) author of “Dorot ha-Rishonim” passed away.
1914: “The preliminary paper of Dr. Harry Plotz of Mount Sinai Hospital in which he tells for the time of his isolation of the germ of typhus fever and Brill’s disease, appeared in the of The Journal of the American Medical Association published” today.
1915: In Chicago, on Leo M. Frank Day, famous attorney Clarence Darrow will address “a big mass meeting” scheduled to be held today “at which it is expected 100,000 signatures will be obtained on petitions appealing to Governor J.M. Slation and the Prison Board of Georgia to commute Frank’s death sentence.
1915: “Prominent speakers will tell of the trial of Leo Frank and the many injustices to which it is alleged he was subjected because of the high racial feeling in the South” at a mass meeting scheduled to be held in Minneapolis, MN in an attempt “to ask the Governor of Georgia to commute Leo M. Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment.”

1915: Today “the Kosher Butchers’ Union opened co-operative butcher shops at 149 Orchard Street, 214 East 102nd Street and 501 Wilkins Avenue in the Bronx” the proceeds from which will be used to finance the plan strike by the Union.
1915: Felix Warburg was presented a silver trowel today when the cornerstone was laid for the new building of the Yorkville Jewish Institute and Talmud Torah at 123 East 85th Street where the attendees heard speeches by several notable including Professor Mordecai M. Kaplan of JTS and Borough President Marcus M. Marks
1915: Professor Max L. Margolis and Horace Stern are scheduled to speak at the annual meeting of the Jewish Publication Society of America which is being held at Dropsie College in Philadelphia, PA.
1916: Birthdate of Ephraim Katzir, former President of Israel. Born Katchalski in Kiev, Katzir came to Palestine in 1925. A biophysicist, Katzir taught at Hebrew University and served as department hair at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. One result of his research was the creation of a synthetic fiber for internal surgery that can be dissolved by body enzymes. He served as Israel's fourth President (a largely ceremonial position) from 1973 to 1978
1916: As French and British negotiated the post-war disposition of Ottoman Empire, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey sent a letter to Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador to the Court of St. James ratifying Cambon’s version of the partition that would eventually be known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
1916: The will of Shalom Aleichem was published in the New York Times and read into the Congressional Record of the United States.

1917: The Chess Club is scheduled to play an exhibition game at the Sinai Social Center before which Edward Lasker, the leading Chess champion will deliver an introductory speck on “Chess, an Aid in the Struggle of Life.
1917: The Annual meeting of the Jewish Training School of Chicago is scheduled to be held this evening at the Standard Club.
1917: Today, President Wilson told Judge Aaron J. Levy of New York that “at present” the government is “unable to do anything further to relieve the situation of the Jews in Palestine” which has been pictured “as very serious.”
1917: Dr. A. B. Yudelson and Nathan D. Kaplan are scheduled to speak about the issues facing the American Jewish Congress at this evening’s meeting The South Side Jewish Men’s Club at the Jewish Educational Center.
1918: Two Jewish French journalists – Landau and Goldsky—expressed their desire to address the court today after having been sentenced to prison on charges of treason yesterday.
1918: Rabbi H.S. Margolies, Rabbi Philip Klein, Rabbi S.E. Jaffe and Rabbi M.L. Preil were among those who signed a letter issued today by the Rabbinical Association “urging the Jews of America to subscribe generously to the Red Cross fund.”
1919: Sir Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson “was created 1st Viscount Burnham of Hall Barn in the County of Buckingham.”
1919: The first Estonian Congress of Jewish congregations which had been convened on May 11 to discuss the new circumstances Jewish life was confronting came to a close today. This is where the ideas of cultural autonomy and a Jewish Gymnasium (secondary school) in Tallinn were born. Jewish societies and associations began to grow in numbers. The largest of these new societies was the H. N. Bjalik Literature and Drama Society in Tallinn founded in 1918. Societies and clubs were established in Viljandi, Narva, and elsewhere. In 1920, the Maccabi Sports Society was founded and became well-known for its endeavors to encourage sports among Jews. Jews also took an active part in sporting events in Estonia and abroad. Sara Teitelbaum was a 17-time champion in Estonian athletics and established no less than 28 records. In the 1930s there were about 100 Jews studying at the University of Tartu. In 1934, a chair was established in the School of Philosophy for the study of Judaica. There were five Jewish student societies in Tartu Academic Society, the Women’s Student Society Hazfiro, the Corporation Limuvia, the Society Hasmonea and the Endowment for Jewish Students. All of these had their own libraries and played important roles in Jewish culture and social life. Political organizations such as Hasomer Hazair and Beitar were also established. Many Jewish youth traveled to Palestine to establish the Jewish State. The renowned kibbutzim of Kfar Blum and Ein Gev were set up in part by Jews from Estonia.

1920: The funeral for sixty year old Yiddish actor and theatre manager David Kessler was scheduled to be held this morning “under the auspices of the Jewish Actors’ Club.”
1923: Birthdate of economist Merton Miller, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Economics.
1923: Birthdate of Manuel D. Plotkin, the native of Chita, Russia who was appointed Director of the Census Bureau by President Carter in 1977.
1923 In New Canaan, CT, Jewish immigrants Morris Yudain and Berta Jaffe gave birth to their seventh child, Sidney Lawrence Yudain the journalist who created “Roll Call.”
1923: The first aerial display in Palestine took place at Ramleh today, a squadron of 14 aeroplanes of the British Royal Air Force participating. The exhibition program included flying, air races, a baloon hunt, mimic air fighting and a bombing demonstration. The aerial derby was over the circuit of Ramleh, Raselain, Jaffa, Ramle... Lieut. Martyn, flying a Vickers Vimy biplane, won the air race covering a distance of twenty-seven miles.

1924: “Having been convicted of conspiracy to carry stolen securities into the District of Columbia, Nicky Arnstein” the husband of Fanny Brice “entered Leavenworth prison, where he remained for three years.”

1924: In Manhattan, Herman and Sara Aaronson Mankiewicz gave birth to Frank Fabian Mankiewicz “a writer and Democratic political strategist who was Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s press secretary, directed Senator George S. McGovern’s losing 1972 presidential campaign and for six years was the president of National Public Radio.”

1924: Birthdate of Joseph Zalman Margolis, the native of Newark, NJ, who “has held the Laura H. Carnell Chair of Philosophy at Temple University” since 1991.
1926: In Brooklyn, businessman Harold A LIfton and Ciel (Roth) Lifton gave birth to Dr. Robert Jay LIfton the psychiatrist whose works include Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism; Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima; and The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide

1926: Dr. James Simon will preside over today’s celebration marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, a “German Jewish organization founded in 1901 to improve social and political conditions of Jews in Eastern Europe and Orient.”

1927: It was reported today that four thousand six hundred and twenty-eight persons are now living in 41 settlements in Palestine created by the Keren Hayesod, according to the latest figures given out by the Department of Agricultural Colonization of the Palestine Zionist Executive. Sixty-five per cent of this population are workers, and the remainder children. (JTA)
1928: Three Jews, who are reported to be Communists, were scheduled to be deported from Palestine.  One of the deportees “was found guilty in Jerusalem of belonging to an illegal organization” while the other two were being deported after having served short jail terms for participating in “May Day riots in Tel Aviv.”
1929: In Baltimore, MD, Arnold Rice Rich and Helen Gravely Jones Rich gave birth to Adrienne Rich, a poet of towering reputation and towering rage, whose work — distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity — brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse and kept it there for nearly a half-century. Her father was Jewish.  Her mother was not. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1929: The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honoring the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place today at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, in Los Angeles, California. The awards, popularly known as Oscars, were created by Jewish movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation.

1932: The Nazis are demanding the removal of Bernhard Weiss from his post as the Vice-President of the Berlin Police Force.  Their objections are two-fold: Weiss is Jewish and he ordered the arrest of four Nazis for their role in attacking a former Nazi named Schotz who had left the party.

1932(10th of Iyar, 5692): Eighty year old Edward Lawrence Levy the London born winner of the first World Weightlifting Competition in 1891 and “member of the International Weightlifting Jury at the first modern Olympics at Athens in 1896 passed away today while working as an agent of the Midland District of the National Trade Defence Association.

1935: “A convention of delegates from national Jewish youth organizations will meet tonight in room 327 of the Chanin Building, 122 East Forty-Second Street, to consider the syllabi which will be presented to the seminars to be held on June 9 at the Metropolitan Conference of Jewish Youth Organizations. The meeting, under the auspices of the youth division of the American Jewish Congress, will consider such problems as anti-Semitism, boycott of the 1936 Olympics, Zionism, Jewish youth and economic discrimination and Jewish education.” (JTA)

1936: Tonight “the Icor, the association for Jewish colonization in Soviet Russia, celebrated the second jubilee of the Jewish autonomy in Biro-Bidjan, U.S.S.R. where a Jewish Soviet Republic is being built, with a concert at Town Hall.”

1936(24th of Iyar, 5696): A bomb thrown by Arabs kills three Jews at the Edison cinema in Jerusalem. The Haganah demands permission to retaliate, but Ben Gurion refuses. The Edison Cinema was not just a movie theatre. It was a “citadel of secular European culture in Jerusalem. It opened in 1932 with a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” sung in Hebrew. The Edison was the third largest cinema in the city and popular sport for British soldiers and officials.

1936: “Steel helmeted police maintained comparative quiet in the Holy Land today following” demonstrations that had broken out yesterday when the Arab campaign of civil disobedience officially began.

1936: At Shabbat morning services Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon at Rodeph Sholom on “Do Christians Understand Jews? – A comment on the Christian Century Articles”

1936: At Shabbat morning services Rabbi Nathan A. Perilman is scheduled to deliver a sermon this morning at Temple Emanu-El on “The Pitfalls of Self-righteousness

1937(6th of Sivan, 5697): Shavuot

1937: Birthdate of Dr. Anthony Saidy, the physician and Internal Master of Chess who was a mentor to Bobby Fisher.

1937: The Polish government launched two investigations into the attacks on Jews that took place last week in Brzesc, which was known as Brest-Litovsk, the site of the peace negotiations between the Germans and the Russians that resulted with the latter surrendering to the former.

1937: Dr. Bernhard Kahn and David J. Schweitzer, European director and vice-president, respectively, of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee issued a report today that described “the role of the cooperative credit system established by the American Jewish Joint Reconstruction Foundation in aiding some 500,000 Jews in eleven European countries by facilitating issuance of $28,000,000 in credits in nine months

1937: In Romania, “The first motion to exclude Jews from professional associations came today when the Confederation of the Associations of Professional Intellectuals (Confederația Asociațiilor de Profesioniști Intelectuali din România) voted to exclude all Jewish members from its affiliated bodies, calling for the state to withdraw their licenses and reassess their citizenship.”

1938: The Palestine Post reported on the continued fighting between the police and British army units in the Acre District. At least 23 terrorists were killed there and numerous arrests were made. Jewish settlements repulsed numerous terrorist attacks, but complained that they were supplied with insufficient arms and too small a number of supernumerary constables for a successful defense. The Iraq Petroleum Co. pipeline was again set on fire.

1938: After two and half weeks of touring the country, Britain’s Palestine Partition Commission began its first official session.  Because of the continued Arab violence, the meeting was held “in camera under heavy guard.’  While Arab leaders continued to boycott the commission, Jewish leaders Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok and Dr. Bernard Joseph met with the British to discuss possible implementation of partition proposals.

1940(8th of Iyar, 5700): Forty-two year old Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker died tonight while fleeing from the Nazis in a freak accident when he feel through an open hatch aboard the SS Bodegraven in the English Channel and broke his neck.

1940: In New Canaan, CT, “Asher Margolies, a Macy’s executive, and the former Ethel Polacheck, a painter” gave birth to John Samuel Margolies, Americas “foremost photographer of vernacular architecture.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1942: “Sobibór became fully operational and began mass gassing operations.

1943: The famous Tolmatsky Synagogue of Warsaw was dynamited by order of General Jurgen Stroop. It marked the last German "major operation" in the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

1943: SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop reports the final liquidation of the Jewish ghetto at Warsaw, although some Jews remain in hiding. The Germans reportedly lost 300 troops. Amazingly the Jewish resistance had proved fierce, by comparison than that of the French Army in 1940. The number of Jewish dead does not matter, since they would have perished in the showers and ovens any way. Death was not the question; the manner of death was the matter of choice. There were a few survivors of the Ghetto, one of them being the mother of Marsha Fensin, the former Cantor of Temple Judah.
1943(11th of Iyar 11): Yiddish author Chaim Zhitlowsky passed away
1944: The first of more than 180,000 Hungarian Jews reached Auschwitz.
1944: Seventy year old Berlin native Olga Lehmann who had been deported to Terezin in 1942 was shipped to Auschwitz today.
1948: In New York City, the American Zionist Emergency Council sponsored a celebration of the creation of the Jewish state at Madison Square Garden that was so well attended 75,000 people had to be turned away.
1948: Based on a telegram from David Ben Gurion and Moshe Sharett, Abba Eban and not Mordechai Elisah, is to be Israel’s chief spokesman at the the United Nations.
1948: Israel issued its first postage stamps.
1948: At the Landsberg DP Camp, survivors of the Holocaust held a celebratory parade in honor the creation of the state of Israel

1948: Tonight, “after driving away the enemy” “company of the third battalion of the Yiftach Brigade occupied the Tegart fort called Metzudat Koach by the Israelis which overlooked the Hula Valley.
1948: Chaim Weizmann was chosen Chairman of the Provisional State Council of Israel which effectively made him the first president of the State of Israel.
1948: The Egyptian army suffered its first defeat at Nirim, in the Negev.
1948: The Egyptians entered Gaza. They would not “leave’ until 1967.
1948: At approximately one o’clock in the morning Syrian artillery began shelling Kibbutz Ein Gev.  At dawn, Syrian aircraft attacked the Kinarot valley villages.  Later in the day “Syrian aircraft made bombing runs on Masada, Sha'ar HaGolan, Degania Bet and Afikim.” This was the opening round in the Syrian attempt to sweep the Jews from the Galilee. To any one observing events of that day, it would appear that the victory would go to the Syrians with their tanks, artillery and combat aircraft.
1948: Christopher Mayhew, the future Lord Mayhew, an anti-Zionist ally of British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, writes in his diary, “I must make a note about Ernest’s anti-Semitism, which has come out increasingly sharply these past few weeks with the appalling crisis in Palestine. There is no doubt to my mind that that Ernest detests Jews. He makes the odd wise-crack about the ‘chosen people’ and declares that the Old Testament is the most immoral book ever written…” This view of Bevin is fascinating when his role in enforcing the White Paper and his opposition to a Jewish homeland is being considered.
1948: “JEWS IN GRAVE DANGER IN ALL MOSLEM LANDS; Nine Hundred Thousand in Africa and Asia Face Wrath of Their Foes” published today described the precarious position of the 900,000 Jews living “Arab and Moslem countries stretching from Morocco to India.”  “There is a tendency” in some Moslem states “such as Syria and Lebanon” “to regard all Jews as Zionist agents and fifth columnists.  There are indications that that the stage is being set for a tragedy of incalculable proportions” which the United Nations has done nothing to prevent.  These fears are based in part on Arab League announcements that at some unspecified date, “all Jews except citizens of non-Arab states, would be considered ‘members of the Jewish minority state of Palestine.’ Their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to ‘Zionist ambitions in Palestine.’  Jews believed to active Zionists would be interned and their assets confiscated.”  In Syria, “virtually all” Jewish civil servants have already been fired and in Iraq Jews are not allowed to leave the country without posting a $20,000 bond to guarantee their return.  However bad conditions are now, it is predicted that in the event of an all-out war in Palestine, “the repercussions will be grave for Jews all the way from Casablanca to Karachi.”
1949:  Milton Berle appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.
1950: Out of a large collection of 120 styles of knit fashions brought to this country from Israel, for merchandising, forty were shown this afternoon at the Plaza Hotel to buyers. The presentation, under the auspices of Service for Palestine, Inc., 2 Park Avenue, was its first show to promote Israel-made products in the American market.

1950: “The Jackie Robinson” a biopic about the integration of baseball for which Ross Hunter served as the dialogue coach was released in the United States today.

1952: “New Faces of 1952” a revue that included music by Sheldon Harnick and Arthur Siegel as well as “Of Fathers and Sons” a parody of Clifford Odets “Golden Boy” written by Mel Brooks opened on Broadway today at the Royale Theatre.

1954: In Elizabeth, NJ, Joseph Kushner, “a construction worker, builder and real estate investor” and Rae Kushner, both of whom were Holocaust survivors, gave birth to “real estate developer Charles Kushner”, the founder of Kushner Companies, brother of  Murray Kushner and Esther Schulder and father of Jared Kushner.

1955: Birthdate of actress Debra Winger, the star of Officer and a Gentleman.”

1955: Birthdate of Edgar Bronfman Jr., CEO of Seagram and Warner Music

1956(6th of Sivan, 5716): Shavuot

1956: U.S. premiere of “While the City Sleeps” a film based on The Bloody Spur, a novel by Charles Einstein and directed by Fritz Lang.

1959(8th of Iyar, 5719): Seventy year old Hall of Fame Bowler Mort Lindsey passed away today.

1960: Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.

1961: Birthdate of Jean Hanff Korelitz the author of Admission which “was adapted for the 2013 film of the same name”

1965: Eightieth birthday of Rabbi de Sola Pool who had retired from the active leadership of Congregation Shearith Israel – the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in 1957 after serving as Rabbi for fifty years.

1965: In Canada, Dr. Victor Goldbloom was the first guest to appear on “Cross Country Check-up,” a Sunday afternoon radio show whose hosts have included Moses Znaimer.
1966: Two people were killed today during a “landmine attack between Sea of Galilee and Almagor.”
1967: General Fawzi, the Egyptian chief of staff, sent a message to the commander of the UN Emergency Force, General Rikhye of the Indian Army requesting the withdrawal of the UNEF from Egypt. The Egyptian Foreign Minister sent a cable to U Thant, UN Secretary General tell him that the Egyptian government had decided to immediately terminate the presence of UNEF in Egypt and the Gaza strip.
1968(18th of Iyar, 5728); Lag B'Omer
1969(28th of Iyar, 5729): Yom Yerushalayim
1969: Barbra Streisand appeared at a Friars Club Tribute
1969: In the Soviet Union, Boris Kochubievesky, a “refusnik” is scheduled to “3 yards hard labor” at the end of sham trial where he was accused of slandering the Soviet regieme.
1973: Birthdate of actress Tori Spelling.
1973(14th of Iyar, 5733): Famed Cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz passed away. His body was flown to Jerusalem for burial.
1974: Birthdate of Adam Richman who earned an undergrad degree from Emory and a Master’s from Yale before pursuing a career as an actor and television personality.
1974: Despite a terrorist attack the previous day on a school at Ma’alot, Prime Minister Golda Meir tells Secretary of State Kissinger that talks with the Syrians will continue. After a one day hiatus, she says, “We had all better back to peacemaking.

1974: “Dybbuk,” a ballet based on the Ansky’s play created by Jerome Robbins using the music of Leonard Bernstein debuted at the New York State Theatre, Lincoln Center.
1975(6th of Sivan, 5735): Shavuot
1975:  In “Before the Founders and Sons” published today Richard F. Shepard provided a review of Amos Elon’s latest work Herzl, a biography of “the man acknowledged as the founder of the Jewish state.”
1975: U.S. premiere of “Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York” the movie version of the novel by Gail Parent starring Jeannie Berlin and featuring Sam Melton as “Mannie.”
1977: "Boulevard Montmartre, in the Afternoon Rain," by Camille Pissarro the son of Frederick Pissarro, a Sephardic Jew, was sold today, at Christie's in New York for $275,000
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that in his 28th Annual State Comptroller's Report Dr. Yitzhak Nebenzahl called for a "Ministry of Administration." He said that while there are many links that tie people to its government, in Israel the administration is the weakest link in this chain. "A government," he explained, "is like an automobile. No matter how fine the car is, it will not ride well unless all four wheels are intact." The Report claimed a massive maladministration, and was specifically highly critical of the Treasury.
1982: Final broadcast of the 7th season of “One Day At A Time,” starring Bonnie Franklin.
1984(14th of Iyar, 5744): Comedian Andy Kaufman passed away. Born in 1949, Kaufman is best remembered for his many appearances on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and for his portrayal of Latka on the television hit “Taxi.” He was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer and was 35 at the time of his death.

1984(14th of Iyar, 5744): Irwin Shaw passed away at the age of 71. Born Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in 1913 in the Bronx, his Jewish immigrants from Russia changed the family to Shaw and moved to Brooklyn. After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1934, Shaw wrote scripts for radio shows including Dick Tracey. After serving in the Army during World War II, Shaw produced his "great American war novel" The Young Lions, which became the basis for a successful film of the same name. Among other works by this highly prolific writer was Rich Man, Poor Man which became a hit t.v. mini-series.

1985: American painter, editor, and book artist, Susan Bee and poet Charles Bernstein gave birth to their first child Emma Bee Bernstein.
1986: David Pleat left Luton Town Football  Club to become manager of Tottenham Hotspur “one of the biggest football clubs in England” (Editor’s Note – Football in England is what Americans call soccer)
1986(7th of Iyar, 5746): Sixty-five year old Yehuda Hellman passed away today. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/05/18/obituaries/yehuda-hellman-dies-headed-jewish-groups.html?pagewanted=print

1987: For the third and final night Leonard Bernstein conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the IPO’s 50th anniversary celebration
1987: Birthdate of Can Bonomo, the Turkish born Jewish singer who “represented Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 at Baku.
1988: CBS broadcast the final episode of “Cagney and Lacey” produced by Barney Rosenzwieg and Joseph Stern and co-starring Al Waxman as the title characters supervisor “Lt. Bert Samuels.
1990(21st of Iyar, 5750):  Multi-talented entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. passed away at the age of 64. Born in Harlem in 1925, began his show business career at the age of four. Davis was the son of a popular vaudeville entertainer. He learned how to dance from the legendary BoJangles. He began dancing with the Will Mastin Trio and moved on to a singing career that included opening for Frank Sinatra. Davis was part of the Rat Pack and starred with them in the cult classic “Ocean’s Eleven.” During the 1950's Davis was in an automobile accident in which he lost his eye. It was during this period of his life than he converted to Judaism. He will be remembered not just for his talent but for his support of the Civil Rights Movement as well. (As reported by Peter Flin

1991: The Los Angeles Times featured a review of Wartime Lies,” the first novel written by Louis Begley. "Wartime Lies is the story of a ‘lucky’ little boy. Lucky goes in quotation marks; the child went through terror and degradation. On the other hand, no one in his small family of well-to-do Polish Jews went to a concentration camp. Only two--his grandfather and grandmother--were killed; he, his father and his aunt survived and were able to prosper after the war, even before emigrating.”

1993: A third revival of “3 Men on a Horse” featuring Jewish thespians Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Jerry Stiller and Ellen Green closed today in New York City
1994(6th of Sivan, 5754) First Day of Shavuot
1994(6th of Sivan, 5754): Shaul Ben-Tzvi, the second commander of the Israeli Navy passed away today.  Born Paul Hamah Schulman in Connecticut in 1922 he graduated from the U.S. Navy Academy and served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during WW II.  Following his discharge he worked to bring Jews to Palestine during the mandate and then helped to establish a naval arm for the infant Jewish State.

1995: “Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs,” Michael Nymans 25th Album was released to by Argo Records.

1996: NBC broadcasts the final episode of season 7 of ‘Seinfeld.”

1999: Angela Warnick Buchdahl was invested as the first Asian American cantor. Two years later, she became the first Asian American rabbi.

1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Return of Depression Economics by Paul Krugman and recently released paperback editions Aharon Appelfeld’s “The Iron Tacks,” the “Israseli novelabout a concentration camp survivor who wanders through Austria buying sacred books and other remnants of the Jewish culture that once flourshed there while searing for the Nazi officer who murdered his parents” and “Bronstein’s Children by Jurek Becker, “a novel about the psychic aftershocks of the Holocaust in which an 18 year old German Jew stumbles on his father and two other camp survivors as they torture a former Nazi Guard.”

2002(5th of Sivan, 5762): Erev Shavuot

2002: U.S premiere of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones with Natalie Portman as “Senator Padme Amidala” and Frank Oz doing the voice of “Yoda.”

2002: The “severed head and decomposed body” of Danny Pearl “were found cut into ten pieces, and buried—along with the jacket of a tracksuit Pearl was wearing when photographed by his kidnappers—in a shallow grave at Gadap, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Karachi.”

2004(25th of Iyar, 5764): Eight-six year old singer and lyricist June Carroll passed away today.

2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Part of Our Time: Some Ruin and Monuments of the Thirties” in which Murray Kempton re-evaluate “the radical movements and personalities of the 1930’s focusing on such ‘ruins and monuments’ as Paul Robeson, Whittaker Chambers, Algers Hiss and Walter Reuther.”

2005: A revival production of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s “The Apple Tree” by the Encores came to an end today.

2005: “A History of Violence” a movie version of the novel by the same name directed by David Cronenberg premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

2005: Funeral services for Elaine Terner Cooper, the mother of future Secretary of the Treasury Steven Munchin are scheduled to take place at Park East Synagogue followed by interment at “Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY.”

2006: Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard received the prestigious B'nai B'rith international Presidential Gold Medal for his "outstanding" support of Israel and the Jewish people at a ceremony in Washington.

2006: A French politician and his sister sued France's state-run SNCF railway for transporting their father and three relatives to a wartime transit camp that sent Jews off to Nazi concentration camps. Alain Lipietz, a Greens European Parliament deputy, and his sister Helene accused the SNCF of organizing the transport of French Jews to the Drancy transit camp near Paris and billing the wartime government for its services. Of the 330,000 Jews living in France in 1940, 75,721 were deported to death camps and only about 2,500 returned alive. Alain and Helene Lipietz told the court their father Georges had been sent by train in mid-1944 from Toulouse in southwestern France to Drancy, usually the last stop for French Jews before they were put on trains to the death camps. He was freed from Drancy on August 18, only days before Paris was liberated by Allied forces. The SNCF billed the state for that transport which came two months after Allied forced had landed in Normandy, the two plaintiffs said. "The SNCF charged for third class tickets for people who were crammed 200 at a time in freight cars meant to transport 60 horses," Helene Lipietz said. "These were cars without water, food or toilets and they were able to pass through Allied lines even as French territory was being liberated and someone could have stopped these convoys," Alain Lipietz added. The SNCF's lawyer, Yves Baudelot, said the railway could not be held responsible for the transports because it had no choice but to cooperate with German occupying forces during the war.

2007: Thomas Cole, Rose Dobrof, Marc Kaminsky, Penninah Schram, Mark Weiss, and Steve Zeitlin present “Stories as Equipment for Living: Last Talks and Tales of Barbara Myerhoff” at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. “Stories As Equipment For Living” is a compilation of Barbara Myerhoff's unpublished talks on the meaning of stories, the tales she collected and the searching field notes that document her struggle to discover and maintain her personal and cultural identity - all that survive of the work she had undertaken in Los Angeles' orthodox Fairfax community. It is a true sequel to her groundbreaking best seller Number Our Days.”

2007: (28 Iyar, 5767) Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Reunification Day; Celebrating forty years of the return of Jerusalem to its rightful place as, one, undivided city serving as the capital of the Jewish state. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.”(Psalms 137:5-6)

2007(28th of Iyar, 5767): Rabbi Mordecai Simon, chief administrator of the Chicago Board of Rabbis for thirty two years and host of the Sunday morning television show “What’s Nu?” passed away in Highland Park, Il, at the age of 81.

2007: Richard J. Pratt was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Medal for Corporate Citizenship. This is given to is executives who, “...by their examples and their business practices, have shown a deep concern for the common good beyond the bottom line. They are at the forefront of the idea that private firms should be good citizens in their own neighborhoods and in the world at large”

2008: At the Channel Inn in Washington, D.C., as part of the monthly meeting/luncheon of the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia, 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) co-sponsored by the Embassy of Israel and the B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum.

2008(11th of Iyar, 5768): Ninety-three year Middle East scholar J. C. Hurewitz, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

 
2008: "Furo" is being performed for the first time in Israel, in a special temporary pavilion designed by Giora Porter on the Tel Aviv Port boardwalk.

2009: The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division  struck down a lawsuit that sought to prevent the state of New York from using eminent domain to seize the property where Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project is being built.

2009: Ronald Radosh and his wife, Allis Radosh, discuss and sign their new book, “A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel” at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

2009: At the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum in Bethesda, Md. Rabbi Shefa Gold, a leader in Aleph: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and a composer of six albums of Jewish liturgical music, reads from and discusses her new book, “In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs” (with illustrations by Phillip Ratner) followed by a Havdalah Service.

2009(22nd of Iyar, 5769): Mordechai Limon, the first commander of the Israel Navy, passed away today at the age of 85. “During World War II, he volunteered for the British Merchant Marine, where he learned the art of naval commanding, and after the war he commanded ships that brought clandestine immigrants to the Land of Israel in defiance of the British mandatory authorities. Limon is best remembered for his role in the Cherbourg Affair, directing the operation that brought five warships from France to Israel that French President Charles de Gaulle sought to prevent Israel from receiving, even though they had been paid for. Limon was subsequently expelled from France and retired from the Navy, becoming a private businessman.”

2009: An Israeli entrepreneur who has started what is believed to be the world's first tuition-free on-line university said today “he hopes the effort will expand education to less fortunate people around the world. Shai Reshef said University of the People has about 150 students from 35 countries who have enrolled since the school began two weeks ago. He hopes to expand the program to include 15,000 students in four years. "It's a simple idea. Take social networking and apply it to academia," said Reshef, who helped develop several other Internet-based education businesses in Europe.  "There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who graduated high school and couldn't make it to university, either because they didn't have money, or there aren't universities where they live or they couldn't relocate," said Reshef, the university's founder and president. He spoke on the sidelines of an international economic meeting in Jordan sponsored by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum.  Reshef said he funded the Pasadena, California-based institution with an initial $1 million and was hoping to raise another $5m. from private donors. He said some of the professors are volunteering their time. Students must pay a nominal application fee up to $50 and examination fees up to $100, he said. Students in poorer countries pay less than those in more developed countries. The university, which is seeking accreditation in the United States, offers two undergraduate programs in business administration and computer science in English.” (Jerusalem Post)

2009: “A heart in Jerusalem, a head in Crumlin” published today described he life and times of Leopold Bloom.

2009:Editor and writer who dedicated his life to promoting Irish literature” published today describes the life Irish author David Marcus.

2010: Linda Levi, Director of Global Archives for The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is scheduled deliver a talk entitled “The JDC Archives: Resources for Genealogists” in New York City.

2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz and Innocent by Scott Turow.

2011: “2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey,” a two day symposium focusing on the Jews of Morocco, sponsored by The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to come to an end.

 
2011: Rabbi Matthew Kraus, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Cincinnati is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The Nature of Jewish Life in America” in which he explores “the impact of the move to the suburbs on Jewish spiritual life--how Jews pray, how Jews practice, and how Jews relate to the Almighty”

 
2011: Rabbi Matthew Kraus, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Cincinnati is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “History of the JQC (Jewish Queen City)” which traces the history of Cincinnati’s Jewish community “from its humble origins to the glory days of Plum Street Temple and the Manischewitz Baking Company to the start of the Big Brothers organization at the turn of the century and so much more!”

 
2011: Tonight, the Great White Way of Broadway will light up as stars, including Dudu Fisher and Tovah Feldshuh, perform in “Broadway Sensation,” a benefit celebrating Israel’s future. The event, which will raise proceeds for the Jewish National Fund, the OR Movement and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, will be broadcast live in Times Square, and feature over 100 performers from popular shows including Wicked, The Scottsboro Boys and Next to Normal.

2011: Rahm Emanuel took the oath of office today to become Chicago’s 46th mayor and the first mayor of The Windy City.

 
2011: “Vidal Sassoon Interview” published today.

2012: A screening of “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio.

2012: Professor Steven Bowman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled Italian Hebrew Renaissance of the 10th-11th Centuries at Cedar Village in Mason, Ohio

2012: Movie critic Carrie Rickey is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled Untold Stories:The Films of Aviva Kempner Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.

2012: Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer is scheduled to perform at the Washington DCJCC.

2012: During an interview today, Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress said that his organization is urging European governments to quickly adopt measures to tackle anti-Semitism and the threat of right-wing extremist.

2012: David Levin beams with joy as Elizabeth Levin graduates from Columbia Medical School after which this accomplished young woman will begin a vascular surgery residency at UCLA.

2012: Pierre Moscovici began serving as Minister of Finance in France.

2013: The Weiner Library is scheduled to host Ray Farr’s film “A Different World” which “concentrates on the vibrant lives of Polish Jews before their arrival at the Third Reich’s killing centers.”

2013: As part of the Books That Shaped America Series, Professor Pamela Nadell, the recipient of the American Jewish Historical Society’s Lee Max Friedman Award will lead a discussion of Jacob Riis’ How the Other Lives which among other thing presented an accurate picture of the Lower East Side, home to tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

2013: The Poetry Festival at Metulla, Israel’s most northern town is scheduled to come to an end today.

2013: The annual Indigo Festival, a huge dance fest on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is scheduled to begin today.

2013(7th of Sivan, 5730): Second Day of Shavuot/ Yizkor

2013: A demonstration staged by the radical Eda Haredit organization turned violent tonight, with haredi protestors throwing rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police, injuring at least eight officers, two of whom were taken to hospital in moderate condition.

2013: Michelangelo had it right. Most synagogues around the world have it wrong. The two tablets of stone, divinely inscribed with the 10 Commandments and bestowed upon Moses at Mount Sinai, did not have the rounded tops familiar from their depictions in most houses of worship and popular art since the Middle Ages. And the Chabad (Lubavitch) Hassidic movement is encouraging synagogues to correct the misrepresentation. Rabbi Menachem Brod, Chabad’s spokesman in Israel, noted today that the late Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, accurately depicted the two tablets as perfect squares as early as the 1940s, in writings for Chabad youth, and said many Chabad synagogues now feature the accurate artistic representations of the tablets. He said the image of the tablets had been skewed over the centuries in Christian tradition, and it was time for the Jews to reclaim the true representation of the two stones.

2014: A Shabbat Weekend Retreat in memory of Rabbi Betzalel Jacobson OMB 1st Yarhrzeit is scheduled to begin in West Des Moines, Iowa.

2014: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled a talk by John Izbicki, author of Life Between the Lines: A Memoir during which  he will talk about the horrors of Kristallnacht that he experienced at age 8 and his family’s escape to the U.K. in 1939.

2014: “Israel’s UN mission launched a campaign to get official UN recognition for Yom Kippur, the most sacred Jewish holiday, alleging “discrimination.” The United Nations has decreed 10 official holidays, including Christmas and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, but there is no corresponding Jewish holiday recognized on the body’s official calendar, said Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor in a letter to his colleagues

2014: “Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv won a place tonight in the Euroleague Final after a thrilling victory over CSKA Moscow.”

2014: Today, local officials are scheduled to gather at the 113 year old B’Nai Yisroel Synagogue in South Bend, Indiana and “dedicate a plaque denoting that the building” which “has been renovated and incorporated in the city’s Found Winds Field minor league baseball complex” as a historic landmark.  (As reported by JTA)

2015 Rocking throwing Palestinians attacked firefighters trying to reach two burning synagogues in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev today which was Shabbat.

2015: Kentucky Derby winner “American Pharaoh” owned by Ahmed Zayat is scheduled to run in the Preakness today in an attempt to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host “The best of Chamber Music Cello and Piano” featuring Kirill Mihanovsky on cello and Arnon Erez on piano

2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Bergen P.A.C. in Englewood, NJ.

2015: The 17th Docaviv International Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end today at Tel Aviv.

2016: “Today’s Generational Sea Change” is scheduled to be the opening session at the JCCs of North America Biennial at Baltimore.

2016: In Philadelphia, PA, PlayPenn is scheduled to present a reading of “Schlueterstrasse 27” a play that “follows a woman's search to better understand her family from the initial discovery of her grandfather's diary at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum all the way to Berlin, Germany.”

2016: “Taste of Israel: A Discussion About Israel through Food” an interactive discussion and cooking demonstration focusing on Israel with a Middle Eastern Food Historian from Tel Aviv is scheduled to be held at the Durgin Pavilion on Lake Todd as part of fund raiser for Camp Courageous.

2016: “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” a film adaptation of “an autobiographical novel by Amos Oz” that marked the directorial debut of Natalie Portman had its “gala festival screening” at Cannes today.

2016:  “In Celebration of Jewish-American Heritage Month, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington and The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division, The Library of Congress are scheduled present a lecture by Dr. Janette Silverman on “The Blumenthals of the upper-Lower Peninsula of Michigan”

2016: The Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are scheduled to host “A Forgotten Genocide: The Pogroms in Ukraine, 1918-1919, and their Impact on Memory and Politics.”

2017: The Eden Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host an evening of “Pre-War Warsaw Tangos in Yiddish and Polish” featuring the singing of Olga Avigail.

2017: Oxford University is scheduled to host an “Interfaith Formal” followed by “a talk led by the chaplains of the Abrahamic faiths.”

2017: BOOKlynites is scheduled to host Jewish Mindfulness leader and author Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg who will discuss her recently released book God Loves the Stranger.

2017: Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion is scheduled to host its fourth annual benefit “Honoring Women’s Leadership of the West.”

2017: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to host “New Frontiers:
Technology and the Preservation and Presentation of Memory” moderated by Michael Haley Goldman, Director, Future Projects, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2017: In Des Moines, IA, at a meeting of educators and clergy, Dr. Stephen Gaies, the Director of the UNI Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to speak on "Is there a benefit to teaching about the Holocaust and genocide concurrently? If so, why and how?" 

 

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