Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This Day, June 15, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


JUNE 15

1215:  King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.  The Great Charter which is supposed to be one of the cornerstones of English and American rights contains the following reference to the Jews: “If anyone who borrowed from the Jews any amount, large or small, dies before the debt is repaid, it shall not carry interest as long s the heir is under age, of whomsoever he holds; and if that debt falls in our hands [i.e., the king’s hands, following the Jewish creditor’s own demise], we will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.” King John and the Barons both saw the Jews as a source of revenue to be used and abused.\

1226: Twelve Jews of Cologne martyred.

1363: Coronation of Wenceslaus IV, who as Emperor failed to continue the Imperial protection of the Jews of Luxembourg led to their expulsion in 1391 as King of Bohemia today.

1389: Murad I, the Ottoman Sultan whose reign began in 1362, allowed Jews fleeing from persecution in Hungary to settle in Thrace and Anatolia which were part of his empire. On the same day, the forces of Murad fought the Serbs in the Battle of Kosovo, a battle that would be a rallying point for Serbs in the Balkan battles of the 1990’s

1520: Leo X issued the papal encyclical 'Exsurge Domine,' which condemned German Reformer Martin Luther as a heretic on 41 counts and branded him an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church.  This moved heightened the tensions between Rome and those whom they saw as rebels.  This event was one of the steps in the division of Europe into Protestant and Roman Catholic states.  This conflict would lead to the Hundred Years War.  Too often, the Jews would be innocent bystanders in this Christian conflict that would turn them into victims.  Much of the treatment of the Jews in Christian Europe can only be understood if it is seen against the backdrop of this theocratic conflict.

1567: Jews of Genoa were expelled. Jews had been living in Genoa since the 6th century.  They had been expelled from the city in 1515, readmitted in 1516 and expelled again in 1550.  This expulsion would be short-lived since “permission to engage in moneylending and to open shops” was again granted to the Jews in 1570. (As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library)

1580: Phillip II of Spain declares William I, Prince of Orange, to be an outlaw. William led the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that started the Eighty Years War, which ended in 1648 with recognition of the independence of the United Provinces (aka The Netherlands). The Netherlands were Protestant and they provided a refuge for the Jews of Europe including those fleeing the Spanish Inquisition begun by Phillip’s predecessors and continued by his successors.

1623: Cornelis de Witt was killed by an angry mob from the monarchist, Orangist-Calvinist faction. De Witt and his brother had admired the works of Spinoza.  News of his death was quite disturbing for Spinoza since it could presage the rise of a conservative faction that would not be tolerant of unconventional thinkers like himself.

1722(30th of Sivan, 5482): Zebi ben Saul Landau, a member of the Polish Landau Family, who was the rabbi at Zmigrod passed away today in Lemberg.

1779(1st of Tammuz, 5539): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

1779(1st of Tammuz, 5539): Beila bat Michael Benjamin zl passed away today in the United Kingdom.

1798(1st of Tammuz, 5558): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

1799: Birthdate of Sophie Barbanelle Bernhard who was buried in Denmark when she passed away in 1881

1826: Sultan Mahmud II destroyed the Janissary soldiers as part of his reforms for his empire. This was said to be a "great boon" for the Jews, who were often harassed by these soldiers.

1815: In Frankfurt am Main Malchen Schloss and David Philipp (Feist) Schloss gave birth to Salomon David Schloss

1815: Birthdate of Rudolph Carl Hertzog, the father of Louis Rudolph Hertzog and the grandfather Rudolph Hertzog who in 1839 founded the famous Berlin department store that bore his name - Rudolph Hertzog

1833: Birthdate of Theodor Hermann Meynert, the non-Jewish psychiatrist whose students included Josef Breuer and Sigmund Frued.

1834: In what will be the first of three days of violence, “members of the local Arab population gathered to attack Tzfat’s Jewish community. Jewish property was plundered, as Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues were burnt to the ground. Jewish women were tortured and raped. Many Jews were murdered or maimed.”  Tzfat is the town in Israel famous for its connection with Jewish mystics.  It is "the home of Lecha Dodi" the hymn used to welcome the Sabbath Queen. [This was not an isolated episode. Ever since the 16th century the town which is also called Safed, became a major Jewish center it was subject to

1835: James and Eliza Davis were married today at the Great Synagouge.

1835: Birthdate of Adah Isaacs Menken, American actress and poet. Adah Menken’s true religious origins are controversial. Born in Louisiana in 1835 to Auguste and Marie Theodore, some historians believe that she was raised a Catholic, an assertion that Menken herself denied. In response to a journalist who called her a convert, Menken replied, "I was born in [Judaism], and have adhered to it through all of my erratic career. Through that pure and simple religion I have found greatest comfort and blessing.” In 1857, Adah and Alexander, (the first of her four husbands) moved from New Orleans to Cincinnati, then the center of Reform Judaism in America. Adah learned to read Hebrew fluently and studied classical Jewish texts. It was at this time that Adah’s other artistic and intellectual talents emerged. An aspiring writer, she contributed poems and essays on Judaism to Isaac Mayer Wise’s weekly newspaper, The Israelite. Menken saw herself as a latter-day Deborah, advocating for Jewish communities around the world.  In the 1860’s, Menken earned world fame in an equestrian melodrama, "Mazeppa." She daringly appeared on stage playing the role of a man, wearing nothing but a flesh-colored body stocking, riding a horse on a ramp that extended into the audience. Menken’s costume scandalized "respectable" critics—even as it attracted huge and enthusiastic audiences that included such notables as Walt Whitman and the great Shakespearean actor, Edwin Booth. She died of t.b. at the age of 33 while living in Paris.  To give you an idea of how famous she was, Napoleon III sent his personal physician to care for her.  Yet today, she is a less than a footnote in history. She passed away at the age of 33 in 1868.

1836: “Two days after her 17th birthday, Charlotte von Rothschild who was a member of the Naples branch of the banking family married Lionel de Rothschild her first cousin from the English branch of the family.”

1836: Arkansas is admitted as the 25th state to join the Union. There were only a handful of Jews living in the land of the Razorbacks.  Probably the first Jew to live in the state was Captain Abraham Block who moved there in the 1820’s with his family of seven and became a prominent merchant who proudly maintained his Jewish identity.  For more about the small, but vibrant Arkansas Jewish community see A Corner of the Tapestry: A History of the Jewish Experience in Arkansas, 1820s-1990s by Carolyn Gray LeMaster.

1847: In a discussing the matter of Jewish emancipation Otto Von Bismarck said today that Prussia was indeed a Christian state and that Jews could not expect equality within it. They could only hold a subordinate position. That might not be perfectly Christian, but admitting the Jews into Prussia would not make Prussia itself more Christian. What the Jews most wanted, he said was to become military and civilian officers of the state and that was quite out of the question.

1850: Today, during the reign of Napoleon III, changes were made in the laws that had been adopted by Napoleon I concerning the method of choosing delegates the Jewish consistories in France.

1850: “The application for Simon Lodge No. 4 of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel which had been formed in 1849 was received today.

1853: Nehemiah Joseph Alexander married Rosa Bachrach at the Great Synagogue in London today.

1864: A portion of the lands surrounding the Custis-Lee Mansion across the Potomac River from Washington become Arlington National Cemetery.  Over 2,000 Jewish veterans are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Over six thousand Jews fought for the Union and about half that number fought on the side of the Confederacy.  Five Union Civil War Veterans are buried in Section Thirteen.  Two Rabbis who served as chaplains buried at Arlington are Captain Joshua Goldberg and Admiral Betram W. Korn.  Other famous Jews buried at Arlington are Arthur Goldberg, an Air Force Colonel better known for his service as Secretary of Labor, Associate Supreme Court Justice and U.N. Ambassador, The “Atomic Admiral”, Hyman Rickover, Astronaut Judith Resnick, Ambassadors Robert Guggenheim and Samuel D. Berger and Colonel Rae Landy, a veteran of both World Wars, who helped open Hadassah Hospital in 1913.  Orde Wingate, a British Major General who died in Burma during World War II is also buried at Arlington.  Wingate was not Jewish, but he played a significant role in Jewish history.  During the 1930’s, he was stationed in Palestine.  He was one of the few British officers who were sympathetic to the Zionist cause.  Among other things, he helped train the Jewish self-defense forces teaching them the arts of small unit combat and night fighting.  Two of his most famous students were Moshe Dayan and Yigal Allon.

1865: In France, Jonas Bernard and Douce Noémie Rouget gave birth to the eldest of their four sons, Lazare Marcus Manassé Bernard whose “family had introduced the Jacquard Loom to Toulouse” and who gained fame a journalist Bernard Lazare, one of “the first of the Dreyfusards.”

1870: It was reported today that the review of Disraeli’s latest novel Lothair that appeared in Blackwood goes beyond the bounds of a literary critique and takes on the tone of polemic that attacks the British statesman personally taking special pains to mockingly refer to his Jewish origins.

1870: Today's "European Mail News" column reported that a petition is being circulated in Paris asking that the Grand Rabbi Isidore should be nominated to serve as a Senator.  No Jew has ever held such a position.

1871: While visiting “the Holy Land” former Secretary of State William Seward spent part of today at the Huvra Synagogue.

1873(20th of Sivan, 5633): Twenty-five year old Zadok, “Oskar” Waldstein, the son of Ephraim and Lea Koppel Waldstein passed away in Bavaria.

 

1874: Seventy-two year old German Orientalist Emil Roediger who revised Wilhelm Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar passed away today.

 

1875: In Patterson New Jersey, James A. Morrissee married Rachel Blumenthal, the daughter of a Jewish merchant from Montreal.  Blumenthal left his bride and told her he was going to Chicago on business for his wife. (These facts would be revealed in a subsequent, messy divorce proceding).

 

1876: According to a report published today the United Hebrew Charities raised $72,115.60 and the Hebrew Orphan Society raised $70,115.35 during the 1875-76 fiscal year.

 

1877: “To Jew” published today provides a summary of Richard Grant White’s wide-ranging linguistic history on the use of that term and concludes with the wish that the Jews “who have outlived the Pharaohs may outlive philology. Certainly they will lived down prejudice and obloquy of which this ver is evidence reproachful only of its users.

1877: “Where Boccaccio Gave Offense” published today provide a critical summary of the third novel of the first day entitled “Melchisedech a Jew, by recounting a Tale of three Rings”

1878: According to reports published today "The English, French, German and Eastern branches of the Israelite Alliance have sent a delegate to" the meeting of European leaders at Berlin (Congress of Berlin) to describe "the deplorable conditions" of the Jews living in Romania and Bulgaria with the hope of gaining some relief for their co-religionists.

1878: As "The Season" opened today at Saratoga, The Grand Union Hotel announced that will continue its policy of refusing to accept Jews as guest at the hotel.

1879: “Why clergyman should study Hebrew” published today stresses the necessity for Christian clergymen to learn this ancient Semitic tongue. “Without such knowledge they can neither understand the Old Testament, nor the new, nor explain the relationship of the two.”

1879: "Murder That Do Not Out" published today explores the history of unsolved New York City murders including that of Benjamin Nathan, a wealthy New York Jew who was killed in 1870.

Nathan had had his skull crushed during what appeared to be a robbery at his home.  Despite a sizeable reward and the best efforts of the police department the crime remains unsolved.

1880: It was reported that conditions in Palestine have greatly improved over the last few years.  In Jerusalem several houses have been restored or rebuilt.  The streets are now lit and, for an Oriental city, kept clean.  Water now flows to the city through the aqueduct connected to the Pools of Solomon.  The tanneries and slaughterhouses have been outside the city walls.  Bethlehem and Nazareth are emulating many of these improvements and windows are now being placed in many buildings in these cities. These and other improvements may lead to Europeans “wintering” here. [As we know, modern Israel has become a popular tourist destination for many Europeans seeking to escape the winter.]

1880: It was reported that “there is a fixed resolution on the part of thousands in Prussia to make that country as hot as possible for Jews” and this might force a large number of German Jews to move to Palestine. [The rise of Jews in German society coincided with a rise in anti-Semitism. In one sense this report is a prophecy of what happened in the 1930’s when German Jews left for Palestine.]\

1880: It was reported today that while a conference in Madrid concerning conditions in Morocco was at an impasse, the British government was considering joint action by all the powers in favor of religious liberty in Morocco.  At the conference, the Austrian and American governments were ready to “energetically” plead the cause of the Jews but the French and the Moroccons halted deliberations before they could do so.\

1880:It was reported today the Maurice Heineltrop, left a note for his wife before taking his own life which was written in Hebrew and begged to take care of their four children and to pay off his workers.

1881(18th of Sivan, 5641): Fifty-three year old Rachel Seixas Phillips, the wife of Adolphus Simson Solomons and the mother of Aline Esther Solomons passed away today in the District of Columbia.

1882(28th of Sivan, 5642): Julius Porges, the Principal of Hebrew Free School Number 8 passed away today by his own hand.

1883: In Dukora, a small village in Minsk Governorate, Zev Volf and Brokhe Tsharni (née Hurwitz) gave birth to Shmuel Ṭsharni who gained fame as Shmuel Niger as a leading Yiddish literary figure in Russia and then the United States.  

1886: In a sign of an ecumenical spirit that was rare for this time in history it was reported that Dr. B.M. Palmer, a Presbyterian minister delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Rabbi James K. Gutheim of Temple Sinai.  Other signs of the esteem in which he was held by the non-Jewish community was a floral offering from Christ Episcopal Church and attendance at the funeral by several minister including the Father Hubert who was a Jesuit.

1887: “Wanted by Two Wives” published today described a strange case of bigamy involving Abraham Bernstein who deserted his wife and family in Port Chester, NY and then married a woman in nearby Glenville, Conn.  The two women have become aware of the situation and have sworn out a warrant for his arrest.  The “husband” has disappeared. [It can’t all be about Nobel Prize winners and great scholars]

1887: A fire swept through Botosani, Romania destroying over a thousand buildings most of which were occupied by Jews and leaving 8,000 people homeless and on the verge of starvation. Jews made up a large part of the population of this city in Northeast Romania.  By the first decade of the 20th century 72% of the city’s population would be Jewish, “the highest percentage of any large city in the world at that time.”

1888:  Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II. Ten years after coming to the throne, the Kaiser would visit Jerusalem in 1898 where Herzl tried, and failed, to interest him creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Kaiser’s reign was a mixed bag for Jews. As they became more successful a new virulent form of anti-Semitism grew apace.  During the War the Jews rushed to the colors, but the accusations of malingering were so strong that a special commission was established to look into these pernicious falsehood.  The true measure of the Kaiser can be seen when he was forced to abdicate he blamed it on the Jews.  The myth of the “stab in the back” so popular with the Nazis was first the lament of “Wailing Willie.”

1888: It was reported today that Newton Harrison was the top performing student in the First Class at the Hebrew Technical Institute while Samuel Schneider was the top student in the Second Class and Max Lowenthal was the top student in the third school.  The institute was created to provide free vocational training for young Jewish boys.

1889: In Sudlekov (Zhidachov), Ukraine, Rose Schwartz and grain dealer Isaac Schwartz gave birth to Avram Moishe Schwartz who gained fame as Maurice Schwartz the theatre and film actor who founded the Yiddish Art Theatre at New York in 1918.

1890(27th of Sivan, 5650): Harry Waldstein, the native of Weisendorf, Germany, who was the son of Zadok and Esther Waldstein and the husband of Sophie Schriesheimer Waldstein passed away today in NY.

1890: “Talmudic Quibbles” published today provides a commentary on the verse from Genesis “The Lord said, ‘Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great.’” (What makes this worth noting is that it was published in a leading American secular daily paper and not some obscure Yiddish or Hebrew language journal.)

1890: A review of The Montefiores: Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore an illustrated two volume work edited by Dr. L. Lowe and his sons, based on the actual diaries of these two notables in which they recorded the events from 1812 through 1883 was published today.

1890: “The closing exercises of the Sabbath school of Temple Ahawath Chesed took place this afternoon at the 55th Street and Lexington Avenue

1891: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil presided over the opening session of the Jewish Ministers’ of America thirteenth convention which was being held at the Gates of Heaven Temple on 15th Street.

1891: This evening, the twenty-five rabbis attending the convention of the Jewish Ministers’ Association of America hearing addresses on “The Evil of Skepticism and Its Remedy” and Does Knowledge Lessen Crime?”

1891: “Judge Andrews, in Supreme Court Chambers reserved his decision on a motion to have transferred to Montgomery County for trial a suit brought by Gustave A. Epstein against David Straus of Amsterdam, NY to recover $10,000 malicious prosecution.”  Epstein and Straus were Jewish businessman.  Andrews was not Jewish.

1891 In Philadelphia, PA, hundreds of Jewish and Russian tailors went on strike this morning.

1893: The Senatorial Committee chaired by Senator David B. Hill which has been looking into immigration practices at Ellis Island, including the treatment of Jewish immigrants will leave New York to continue its work in Oklahoma, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

1893: In “Russians Fear the Jews” published today Colonel Weber, the former U.S. Immigration Commissioner takes issue with the claim by the Secretary of the Russian Legation that the laws limiting the rights of Jews are a matter of religion and are a matter of economic survival citing his observation that Jews who convert to the Orthodox religion are still discriminated against.

1894: It was reported today that Joseph Herman Hertz who has a PhD from Columbia has been ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Henry M. Speaker and David Wittenberg have earned diplomas as teachers of Hebrew from JTS.

1895: Birthdate of Richmond, KY, Reuben C. Pearlman, a graduate Johns Hopkins Medical School who became a surgeon in Louisville, KY.

1895: “The announcement that Mrs. Maud Craig Burke Davis is being held by police in San Francisco on charges of forgery has caused “a great sensation” among her friends and family in Rochester, NY.  Mrs. Davis comes from a prominent and wealthy family in Rochester.  Her recent marriage to J.C. Davis came as a surprise because her family was Catholic and Davis was Jewish.

1896: Based on information that first appeared in The Fishing Gazette, it was reported today that “no one in New York except the Jews eat the buffalo carp, a fish found in the Illinois River “which does not feed on anything except vegetable matter” which is “exceedingly sweet to the taste.”  The carp was probably used by the Jews in the making of Gefilte Fish.

1896: Herzl and Newlinski travel to Constantinople. Herzl succeeds in visiting a number of highly placed individuals, including the vizier

1896: “Lauterbach Taunted As A Jew” published today described an episode at the Republican National Convention where Edward Lauterbach of New York was taunted by an opponent who “made a coarse remark when he coupled with an illusion to Mr. Lauterbach’s race.”

1897: In Berlin the former Else Lieberman and Doctor of Jurisprudence Hugo Preußto gave birth to Gerhard Preuß

1897: A fire of unknown origin which began last night, possibly caused by faulty wiring, turned the wooden structures on Ellis Island into ashes. No loss of life was reported, but most of the immigration records dating back to 1855 were destroyed. About 1.5 million immigrants had been processed at the first building during its five years of use. Plans were immediately made to build a new, fireproof immigration station on Ellis Island.

1897: The Barge Office which had been the immigrant processing center from April 19, 1890 to December 31, 1891 began to fill that function again today due to the fire that had destroyed Ellis Island.

1897: “Topics of the Times” published today included a summary of The Chicago Israelite’s opposition to plans to settle Jews in Palestine.  A Jewish return to the Palestine “without a Messiah or even the remote exception of one is an extremely odd conception.”  (The opposition to Zionism by the weekly paper should come as no surprise the editor was Leo Wise the son Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise.  But it is odd to have a pillar of Reform Judaism invoke the Messiah since Rabbi Wise and Reform Judaism had rejected the concept.)

1897:  Starting today, the Barge Office was used as New York’s immigrant processing center as a result of the fire at Ellis Island.  This was the second time that the Barge Office was used in this capacity.

1898: “Anti-Jew Riots in Austria” published today relies on information that first appeared in the Neue Freie Presse to described the outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence that has taken place throughout Galicia.

1899: As of today the United Hebrew Charities has collected $80.50 following a special appeal to meeting the needs of destitute family consisting of husband and wife who have ruined their health working and their four children.  Donations have included one for $20 and one for fifty cents.

1899: Second Lieutenant Gustave Hirsch who had served as a signal officer was honorably discharged today from the United States Army.

1899: Captain Dreyfus is expected to disembark from the French cruiser Sfax at Brest which he had boarded at French Guiana on June 10.

1900(18th of Sivan, 5660): Eighty year old. Samuel Kristeller the Polish born German physician who also was a leader of the Jewish community serving as an active member of the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeindebund and the Society for Propagation of Handicrafts, passed away today in Berlin. (As reported by Isidor Singer and Frederick T. Haneman)

1901: Birthdate of Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, who became Mayor of Auckland City, New Zealand.

1902: Birthdate of Max Rudolf. Born in Frankfurt Germany he was conductor Gutenberg Symphony Orchestra.

1906: Day 2 of the Bialystok Pogrom.

1907: In his capacity as Minister of War, Major General Georges Picquarttold Dreyfus that it would be impossible to reconstitute his career, which led to Dreyfus's retirement.”  This must have been difficult for Picquart since he “became a Dreyfusard after having identified Esterhazy as the author of the bordereau.”

1910:  Birthdate of David Rose, the British-born American composer and conductor who won four Emmys and whose compositions include The Stripper, Calypso Melody, and the themes for two television hits – Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza.

1910: Moss DaCosta Woollley married Hannah Levy at “New Synagogue St. Helens London” today.

1911: Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) is incorporated. For the role of IBM during the Shoah see IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black. “IBM Germany, known in those days as Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, or Dehomag, did not simply sell the Reich machines and then walk away. IBM's subsidiary, with the knowledge of its New York headquarters, enthusiastically custom-designed the complex devices and specialized applications as an official corporate undertaking. Dehomag's top management was comprised of openly rabid Nazis who were arrested after the war for their Party affiliation. IBM NY always understood-from the outset in 1933 that it was courting and doing business with the upper echelon of the Nazi Party. The company leveraged its Nazi Party connections to continuously enhance its business relationship with Hitler's Reich, in Germany and throughout Nazi-dominated Europe.”

1912(30th of Sivan, 5672): Parashat Korach; Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

1913(30th of Sivan, 5672): Izer Perlstein, a rabbi in Rockland, Maine, passed away today.

1913: In Baltimore, MD, the Jewish Educational Alliance dedicated the Michael S. Levy Memorial Building.

1913: In South Bend, Indiana, at Temple Beth El Rabbi Abraham Cronbach officiated at Confirmation Services this morning.

1913: At the Chicago Hebrew Institute Mrs. M.L. Purvin is scheduled to address the children at today’s Sabbath School Graduation Exercises

1914: Hammerstein’s Roof Garden will host an amateur dance contest tonight in connection with “Dancing by Moonlight.”

1914: Birthdate of cartoonist and illustrator Saul Steinberg. Born in Romania he moved to Italy to study and work. In 1940, the anti-Jewish racial laws in Fascist Italy forced him to flee to America. While in Santo Domingo in 1941 awaiting an entry visa, he started publishing regularly in The New Yorker. He was a major figure in the art world until his death in 1999.

1915: Birthdate of Oscar Westreich, the native of Vienna who made Aliyah in 1933 and as Yehoshua Bar-Hillel became a noted mathematician and linguist.

1915: A summary of the remarks of Dr. C.B. Wilmer, the rector of St. Luke’s Protestant Episcopal Church made during the clemency hearing for Leo Frank, published today included the statement that “the appeal was not based on mercy.” “We appeal on moral grounds for justice.  We appeal against the provincial prejudice which has been evident against outside interference and against the prejudice of Gentiles against Jews.”

1915: The Clemency hearing for Leo Frank was postponed for the day so that the governor, who had taken the time to visit the pencil factory where the murder had taken place, could deliver the commencement address at the University of Georgia in Athens. “Governor Slaton is putting every spare moment on the Athens trip studying the Frank trial record and the briefs submitted by Solicitor Dorsey and the attorneys for the defense.

1915: “The speech of ex-Governor Joseph M. Brown in opposition to commutation has caused much criticism including today’s communication to the press from “C. Ross Wall, a prominent Georgia which says, “I have read the outrageous and wicked diatribe of ex-Governor Brown against the long-maligned, persecuted and innocent Leo M. Frank. There is no man on earth that has more respect for the Bible than I have, but when Mr. Brown quoted from it in an effort to have an innocent man hanged in order to satiate the blood thirst of a mob which menaced the court during the trial of the Frank case and which continues its efforts to bulldoze officials of Georgia in an effort to present them from do their plain sworn duty, his conduct should and will be condemned by all Christian men and women…”

1915: Today, the New York Times published a letter Professor William R. Shepherd “sympathetic” to “the idea that the Jews should once more take up residence in Spain.”

1915: As of this date “approximately 600,000 Jews had been uprooted from the Pale of Settlement, by far the largest proportionate transplantation among the various populations of the Russian empire’s western provinces.

1916: “The Jewish Daily News announced” today, “that Dr. Harry Freidenwald of Baltimore, a member of the American Jewish Committee” who favors “the Congress movement of the American Jewry which called for a convention of American Jews to seek a settlement of right of Jews in foreign countries” “has sent a letter of resignation to that body on the ground that he did not consider the committee sufficiently representative of popular Jewish opinion.”

1916: Elma Ehrlich, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Ehrlich married future rabbi Lee J. Levinger making her Elma Ehrlich Levinger the name under which she pursued an active career that included writing over thirty children’s books. (Jewish Women’s Archives)

1916: Today Maurice Simmons issued a copy of a letter he sent to Adjutant General Louis W. Sotesbury and a statement in which he said that the National Guard” is not taking the investigation of alleged discrimination against Jews in the National Guard seriously.

1916: “New persecutions of the Jews in Russia” were described in the edition of the American Hebrew being sold today by it European correspondent who is simply identified as “A.I.”

1916: Birthdate of developer and businessman Lois Lesser.

1917: Vilmos Vázsonyi began serving as Minister of Justice of Hungary.

1917: President Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act of 1917 into law. Among those who have been charged under the act are Victor Berger, Daniel Ellsberg, Jonathan Pollard and the Rosenbergs.

1917: Birthdate of Lillian Violet Bassman, the Brooklyn born daughter of Russian Jews who became famous as “Lillian Bassman, a magazine art director and fashion photographer who achieved renown in the 1940s and ’50s with high-contrast, dreamy portraits of sylphlike models, then re-emerged in the ’90s as a fine-art photographer after a cache of lost negatives resurfaced…” (As reported by William Grimes)

1917: “The Royal Navy yacht Managam returned two Palestinian Jewish agents to Athlit after they had been trained in the use of explosives in Cyprus. Their task was to blow up a section of the Haifa to Damascus railway, between Afula and Dera’a.” 

1918: Jeroham El-Yachar, the chief rabbi of Baghdad sent a protest, through the Swiss Government, in which he complained about “the cruel treatment of the Jews in the Turkish Empire” which included “various forms of oppression and robbery” and the strangling of young imprisoned Jews whose bodies are then thrown into the Tigris River.”

1919: After the street battle in the Hörlgasse today, when police shot eight of his unarmed party comrades, Karl Popper became disillusioned by what he saw to be the "pseudo-scientific" historical materialism of Marx, abandoned the ideology, and remained a supporter of social liberalism throughout his life.”

1919: “The Confirmants Club of the Bronx Free Synagogue” performed “The Jew” a comedy by Richard Cumberland that had first been performed in 1794 and was unique because it was the first play to show the Jewish moneylender as a hero and which was so well received that Louis I. Newman wrote a book about the playwright -- Richard Cumberland: Critic and Friend of the Jews.

1920: The Haganah, the pre-Israel Self Defense Force was formed during a meeting of the Ahdut Avodah party. It was designed to take the place of the Ha-Shomer movement, and was dedicated to "havlagah" or pure self-defense. The Haganah was formed in response to a wave of Arab violence from which the British were unable or willing to protect the Jewish community.  The Haganah was forced to operate underground during the 1930's and 1940's as the British took an increasingly pro-Arab stance and the Arabs engaged in periodic waves of violence.  The Haganah also was active in bringing immigrants into the country despite the White Paper.

1920: The operation to widen the Jaffa to Jerusalem Railway to “standard gauge” was completed today.

1921: Birthdate of Gavril Abramovich Ilizarov, the “Soviet physician, known for inventing the Ilizarov apparatus for lengthening limb bones and for his eponymous surgery.”

1920: All funds collected by volunteers working for The Greater New York Non-Sectarian Appeal for Jewish War Sufferers Abroad must be turned in today.

1923: The first financing by means of a bond issue for a city in Palestine was completed today when a loan 75,000 pounds was obtained for the city of Tel Aviv through the sale in New York of six and half percent municipal bonds.  Tel Aviv is described as atypical American city in point of construction and improvements planted in the heart of Asia Minor. 

1924: In Tel Aviv, agronomist Yecheil Weizmann and his wife Ida gave birth to Ezer Weizmann the colorful RAF veteran who was one of the first to fly combat mission for the newly minted IAF in 1948 and capped off a career of public service by following in his Uncle Chaim Weismann’s footsteps by serving as President of Israel.

1925: Sir Herbert Samuel the first Jewish British High Commissioner in Palestine attended a farewell reception in his honor at Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. Colonel Fredrick H. Kish of the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff expressed their regret over his departure.  They also expressed gratitude for the efforts of Lady Samuel’s efforts.

1926: Birthdate of Pittsburgh native Herschell Gordon Lewis, the movie producer known as “the Godfather of Gore.”

1928: The Zionist Executive in Jerusalem intervened to prevent the deportation of four Jewish immigrants. Unfortunately, they were not able to keep the British from deporting their family members. The National Council of Palestine Jews sent a letter to Lord Plumer, the High Commissioner, protesting the deportations. The council reminded the High Commissioner that only 54 Jewish immigrants had been admitted into the country during all of April, 1928.

1928: During an investigation of cemeteries and cemetery boards being conducted by the Attorney General for the State of New York, representatives of the Baron Hirsch Cemetery on Staten Island rebutted allegations of misconduct and abuse that had been previously presented by representatives of the Hebrew Religious Protective Association of Greater New York.

1929(7th of Sivan, 5689): For the last time before The Great Depression, Jews observe Shavuot.

1929: The sound version of “Noah’s Ark” directed by Michael Curtiz was released in the United States today.

1929: Birthdate of Orthopedic surgeon Leon Root, the author of No More Aching Back.

1930(20th of Sivan, 5690): Sixty-two year old Louis-Lucien Koltz, the founder of Vie Franco-Russe, an illustrated paper and the French Minister of Finance at the end of World War I who negotiated the reparation payments from Germany following the war.

1930: “Flag Day…” published today described the Jewish origin of this American holiday.

1931(30th of Sivan, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

1931: Italian Rabbi Riccardo Reuven Pacifici and his wife Wanda Abenaim, both of whom would be murdered at Auschwitz in 1943 gave birth to their oldest child Emanuele in Rome.

1933: Governor Herbert H. Lehman and Dr. John H. Finley received the first honorary degrees to be conferred by Yeshiva College. Each was made a Doctor of Humane Letters at the institution’s second commencement exercise.

1933: Having earned her bachelor’s degree from Vassar in 1932, and master’s degree from Columbia in 1933, today Harriet Fleischl married “social service executive Robert C. Pilpel” and became Harriet Pilpel the name under which she earned her J.D. from Columbia and became a leading American lawyer who “participated in 27 cases that came before the United States Supreme Court.”

1935: In Budapest, Dr. Georg M. Hübsch and Magda Hübsch (née Klug) gave birth to “Canadian writer, poet and journalist” George Jonas author of Vengeance which inspired the movies “Sword of Gideon” and “Munich.”

1936: As Arab violence escalated, The Palestine Post reported that heavy firing marked an Arab attack on Ekron. Since there were only four Jewish defenders they sent up rockets to ask for assistance, but ultimately repulsed the marauders. There were also Arab attacks on Migdal, Geshur, Kfar Saba, Gan Yavne, Kfar Azor, Tel Mond, Tzofit and Givat Ada, Over 500 three-year-old vines were uprooted at Rehovot and Givat Brenner. The Jewish National Fund planned to replace some 40,000 trees that have been burned so far. Marine insurance premiums went up and some insurance companies refused to cover riot risks. Five Jews were injured in separate attacks on Egged buses.

1936: “Opposition to a World Jewish Congress” to be held “in Geneva in August” was “expressed in a statement issued” today “by a group of leading Jews” including Professor Morris R. Cohen, Abram I. Elkus, attorney James N. Rosenberg, Rabbi Abram Simon of Washington, Rabbi Morris Newfield of Birmingham, Rabbi David Philipson of Cincinnati and advertising executive Albert D. Lasker of Chicago.

1937: In the wake of anti-Jewish violence, “Welwel Szcezerbowski, a young Jew, went on trial today” in Poland “on a charge of murdering a policeman.”

1937: “President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull were asked today to used their good offices with Great Britain for the purpose of maintain Palestine as a refuge and a home for Jews by a delegation of the Pro-Palestine Federal of America.”

1938: Throughout Germany, any Jew "previously convicted" of a crime (even a traffic offense) was arrested.

1938: “Holiday,” a romantic comedy directed by George Cukor, with a screenplay co-authored by Sidney Buchman and featuring Binnie Barnes, was released in the United States today.

1939: Malcolm MacDonald, British Colonial Secretary, today outlined before the League of Nations Mandates Commission the proposals for the future government of Palestine contained in the recent British White Paper.

1939: At a meeting of the women's division of the American Jewish Congress in the Temple of Religion at the World's Fair Rabbi Louis I. Newman of Temple Rodeph Sholom called upon the Jews to stand forth courageously against counsels of defeat in a time of persecution. Rabbi Newman made his appeal for courage in the face of the tragedy of the liner St. Louis whose passengers had been turned away from Cuba and who would not find refuge in any western nation including the United States. 

1939: A secret directive issued to the German High Command stated that deployment for "Operation White" (invasion of Poland) would be put into operation on August 20. Hitler invaded Poland in September, 1939.  The conventional wisdom is that the invasion was made possible by the signing of the non-aggression pact between the Nazis and the Soviets in the last week of August.  Apparently Hitler planned to invade Poland at a time when such an agreement was thought to be impossible.

1939: “World premiere” of “Land of Liberty” – a documentary written by Jesse Laseky, Jr. with music by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II – “premiered at the New York World's Fair & Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco

1940: Today, New York Giants catcher Harry Danning “hit for the cycle in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

1940: “An official of the German Foreign Ministry, and SS Sturmbannführer Karl Bömelburg arrived in Paris today with orders to find Hershel Feibel Grynszpan.”

1940: Mordechai Rumkowski, Chairman of the Judenrat in Lodz, Poland, spoke to a large crowd today in the Lodz Ghetto.

1942(30th of Sivan, 5702): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

1942: Deportations of Jews from the Netherlands to Poland and Germany began today. Over the next 15 months, more than 100,000 Jews would be transported from Westerbork to the various death camps in the East.

1942: Authorities in Riga, Latvia, request a second gassing van.

1943: At the Janówska death pits at Lvov, Ukraine, hundreds of Jewish slave laborers are forced to exhume corpses of Jews, plunder them for jewelry and gold dental work, and then burn the corpses to destroy evidence of the killings.

1943: Jaworzno concentration camp opens in the Auschwitz region. It contained two crematoriums.

1944:  A photo was taken today of a group of Jews from Dunaszerdahely, Hungary, boarding the cattle car that will take them to Auschwitz

1944: U.S. premiere of “Man from Frisco,” a wartime spy film written by Arnold Manoff who later be on the infamous Hollywood Blacklist

1944: The 1,684 “exempted Jews” selected by Reszoe (Rudolf) Kasztner, head of the Aid and Rescue Committee known as Va’adah leave Hungry by a special train that takes them safely to Switzerland.

1945: Weizmann writes to Churchill expressing his sense of shock and betrayal over the Prime Minister’s decision to continue to restrict Jewish entrance to Palestine based on the White Paper of 1939.  Weizmann expresses his sense of betrayal since he Churchill had always conveyed the impression that as soon as the war was over, he would abrogate the terms of the White Paper. 

1948: Erwin Hiller, a “German born actor” who survived the Holocaust despite his Jewish ancestry unlike his older brother who was shipped to Theresienstdat “emigrated to the United States today where he eventually resumed his acting career under the name of Marcel Hillaire.

1949: In New York City, Hinda (née Gould) and entrepreneur Richard L. Rosenthal, Sr gave birth to Richard L. “Rick” Rosenthal, Jr. director of “Bad Boys.”

1950: In Jerusalem, Israel turned over the British pilot of a Jordanian airliner that had been forced down when it flew across the Negev to members of the Arab Legion.  Four Arab passengers from the plane that was flying from Amman to Cairo were also released.  Charles Clinton Cloud, Jr., an American passenger flew to Cyprus.

1950: “With These Hands” an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature “produced by the International Ladies Union” that recreates the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire featuring Sam Levene and Joseph Wiseman was released today in the United States.

1951: “White Corridors” hospital movie produced by Joseph Janni was released today in the United Kingdom.

1951: The Jerusalem Post reported that Food Control Commission took care of the sale and distribution of ice for domestic use in Jerusalem.

1951: After forty performances at the Broadhurst Theatre, the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Flahooley, a musical with a book by E. Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg, and music by Sammy Fain.”

1951: “Three Steps North” directed and produced by W. Lee Wilder was released in the United States today.

1951: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel had demanded that the UN Security Council should consider Egypt's refusal to allow ships engaged in trade with Israel to pass through the Suez Canal

1951: The Israeli government announced today that an Israeli soldier had been killed when he encountered Jordanian forces that had crossed the border.

1952: Today, the Israeli Foreign Ministry published the text of a note it addressed to the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister on June 11 concerning the arrest of Mordechai Oren, an Israeli citizen who is a leading member of the Mapam Party.  The Israelis demanded that a member of the Israeli Legations be allowed to visit Oren and be with him as he worked his way through the Czech justice system.  The Israelis believe that Oren was arrested as part of a plot to portray Rudolf Slansky, the former Deputy Premier, who is being held in prison as being a Zionist, something which was an anathema in Communist Czechoslovakia.

1952: “The first housing project specifically for immigrants from the United States and Canada was launched today when ground was broken for ten houses a Kfar Haroeh, a village midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa…The village which is being built on land donated by the JNF is only twenty minutes, by car from Natanya and Hadera two towns where the immigrants can go for jobs and western style entertainment.

1952(22nd of Sivan, 5712): Forty-four year old Christine Granville, the Polish born daughter of a Catholic Count and an assimilated Jewish mother who worked for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in occupied Poland and France passed away today.

1953: It was reported today that Senator Paul Douglas, Democrat from Illinois who had taught at the University of Chicago before WW II, was the keynote speaker at the commencement exercises of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.

1954: Ruth Ann and Daniel Edelman gave birth to Richard Edelman who would become President and CEO of the public relations firm Edelman that was founded by his father.

1960: “The Apartment” a Billy Wilder production that was co-written by I.A.L. Diamond was released for showing to the movie going public today.

1961: Rabbi David J. Bleich married Professor Judith Ochs today.

1961: In performances that were hailed as "good quality directed with great intelligence," "admirable for subtle expressiveness and intelligent composure," and "exceptional," the off-Broadway Living Theatre troupe made its European debut in Rome. By the time of the Living Theatre's European tour, co-directors Judith Malina and Julian Beck had been directing off-Broadway plays for over a decade.

1963: After 1,443 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of Roger and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music.”

1964: U.S. premiere of Rod Serling’s “The Yellow Canary” featuring Jack Klugman as “Lt. Bonner,” Harold Gould as “Ponelli” and Milton Selzer as “Vecchio.”

1967: Argentine born Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim married British cellist Jacqueline du Pré who had converted to Judaism at a Western Wall ceremony. 

1967: After “608 performances and 10 previews” the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Sweet Chairty,” with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and the book by Neil Simon.

1967: “The Dirty Dozen” a WW II classic film based on a novel of the same name by Erwin “Mick” Nathanson was released in the United States toda.

1968: After “220 performances and 19 previews” the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “How Now Dow Jones” with music by Elmer Bernstein, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and the book by Max Shulman.

1970: Eleven Soviet citizens, nine of them Jews, tried to hijack a Soviet airplane so they could be flown out of the country.  The plot was foiled before the plane took off and two of the Jews were sentenced to death for their part in the attempt.  Due in no small part to protests from Jewish communities around the world, the sentences were commuted to 15 years at hard labor.  The hijacking focused attention on the plight of Soviet Jews seeking to escape from the U.S.S.R.  This was a major step forward in what became the campaign to “Free Soviet Jews.”

1970: “The Strawberry Statement” produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and with a script co-authored by Israel Horovitz was released in the United States today.

1971: U.S. premiere of “Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?” a comedy directed by Ulu Grosband who also co-produced and co-authored the scripts, starring Dustin Hoffman with music by Shel Silverstein

1974: “On the 4th anniversary of the Leningrad hijack attempt 34 Leningrad activists launch a 48 hour hunger strike in solidarity with Jewish Prisoners of Conscience. Jewish prisoners in Potma and Perm labor camps also stage hunger strike on this anniversary.”

1975(6th of Tammuz, 5735): At Kfar Yuval, “terrorists seize farmhouse, killing 1 person, injuring 6, and taking family hostage; Israeli soldiers storm farmhouse and kill all four terrorists plus 1 hostage.”

1975(6th of Tammuz, 5735): Three were killed and another five were injured when terrorists fired three rockets into Nahariya.

1975: In the Soviet Union, Refusniks and Activists in several cities held a hunger strike to protest the sixth anniversary of the beginning of mass arrests in 1970

1976: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz concurred that Syria's growing military involvement in Lebanon posed no immediate threat to Israel. The Syrian forces in Lebanon were seen as holding back instead of trying to crush the PLO and its leftist allies.

1976: The Jerusalem Post reported that ore Lebanese had been given Israeli first aid at Metulla.

1977: Fifty-two year old former Dutch journalist Willem Poalk whose parents were murdered by the Nazis during the “German occupation of the Netherlands” became mayor of Amsterdam today.

1977: U.S. premiere of “A Bridge Too Far” produced by Joseph E Levine and Richard P. Levine with a screenplay by William Goldman and cameo appearance by Elliot Gould.

1978: A Broadway revival of “Once in a Lifetime” the first play on which Moss Hartman and George S. Kaufman collaborated opened at the Circle Theatre.

1979: “The In-Laws” a comedy directed and co-produced by Arthur Hiller, written by Arthur Bergman and co-starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin was released in the United States today.

1979:”Butch and Sundance: The Early Days” a western about two outlaws produced by William Goldman and featuring Elya Baskin was released in the United States today.

1982: “The Soldier” an action film directed, produced and written by James Glickenhaus was released in the United States today.

1983: During season five, NBC broadcast the final episode of “Taxi” a sit com created by James Brooks, Stan Daniels and Ed. Weinberger starring Judd Hirsch.

1984(15th of Sivan, 5744): Seventy-eight year old character actor Ned Glass, born Nusyn Glass in Poland, passed away today.

1987: An exhibition entitled ''Daughters of the Pale,'' documenting in words and photographs the experiences of daughters of Jewish immigrant opened in London.

1987: An exhibition entitled ''East End Synagogues: From the Shtiebel to Duke's Place’’ opened at the Heritage Center in London.

1990: After five years in office, Abraham David Sofaer completed his servce as Legal Adviser of the Department of State.

1992: The Fifth International Convention of Studies of “Italia Judaica” opened in Palermo.

1992: Best-selling instrumental musician Kenny G (Kenneth Bruce Gorelick) married Lyndie – a union that would produce two sons before ending in divorce in 2012

1993: In Baghdad, Iraq, Eiahu and Naima Carmel gave birth to Moshe Carmelia the Albert Einstein Professor of Theoretical Physics at Ben Gurion University and the Preside of the Israel Physical Society.

1994: Israel and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations.

1994: “The Lion King” with music for which Hans Zimmer would receive two Grammy Awards and which was directed by Rob Minkoff was released in the United States today.

1996: Judge Burkhardt Stein from Tübingen County Court ordered the confiscation and incineration of all books Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte and the destruction of all means for manufacturing them. The book was written by holocaust denier and anti-Semite Ernst Gauss.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick, Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride and Steven Spielberg: The Unauthorized Biography by John Baxter

2006: Yakov Kreizberg made his “last appearance with the” London Symphony Orchestra “at the Barbican … when he performed Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 with Stephen Hough, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony no. 11

2007: The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam opens an exhibition on the life and work of famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt who was the first international superstar.

2007: The 46th Hebrew Book Week comes to a close. 

2007(29th of Sivan, 5767): Claudia Cohen, a high-profile gossip reporter for television and newspapers who was a frequent subject of the gossip columns herself, partly because of her marriage to, and remunerative divorce from, the billionaire businessman Ronald O. Perelman, died today in Manhattan. She was 56 and had homes in Manhattan and Easthampton, N.Y. The cause was ovarian cancer, said Chris Taylor, a spokeswoman for Mr. Perelman. Ms. Cohen was known for her aggressive pursuit of celebrity news and her ability to handicap the Academy Awards. She first came to public attention in the late 1970s as a reporter and editor for Page Six, the well-thumbed column of The New York Post. In the early ’80s, she wrote a gossip column, “I, Claudia,” for The Daily News of New York. In recent years, Ms. Cohen was a regular correspondent, covering entertainment, for the syndicated talk show “Live With Regis and Kelly” and its predecessor, “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.” She was previously an entertainment reporter for “The Morning Show” on WABC-TV. Claudia Lynn Cohen was born in Englewood, N.J. Her father, Robert, was president of the Hudson County News Company, a major distributor of newspapers and magazines. Ms. Cohen earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and afterward was on the staff of More, a progressive journalism review. She joined Page Six as a reporter in 1977, serving as its editor from 1978 to 1980.

 In 1985, with her marriage to Mr. Perelman, now the chairman of Revlon, Ms. Cohen became a boldface name herself. (Their union was Ms. Cohen’s only marriage; she was Mr. Perelman’s second wife of four.) The couple were frequent guests at glittering parties and charity events in New York and the Hamptons, and Ms. Cohen was considered a crucial person to know if anybody who was somebody wanted to become even more of a somebody. The public scrutiny of Ms. Cohen’s private life only intensified with her divorce from Mr. Perelman in 1994. As was widely reported, she received an out-of-court settlement of $80 million. After her divorce from Mr. Perelman, Ms. Cohen, a Democrat, was romantically involved for about a year with Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, Republican of New York. In early 1995, at the start of the relationship, Senator D’Amato called a press conference to announce that he was in love. He was, according to news reports at the time, the first senator in the history of the United States to do so. (As reported by Margalit Fox.)

2008: The Sunday New York Times book sections features reviews of Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art by Simon Louvish and Audition: A Memoir, the autobiography of Barbara Walters. How “Jewish” is the movie maker whose father is lay leader in the Episcopal Church and whose mother is a Sephardic Jew who converted?  How Jewish is a television personality whose parents were both Jewish but who observed no Jewish ritual growing up and loves having a Christmas tree in her home?

2008: The Washington Post features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis by Roger Lowenstein

2008: Stephan Grayek, one of the last survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising who passed away at the age of 92 was buried at the Herzliya Cemetery today. He is survived by his daughter, Ora, his son, Yitzhak, grandchildren and a great granddaughter. During the Nazi era Grayek took advantage of his Aryan features to move with relative ease in and out of the ghetto, fighting against the Nazis with both Jews and Poles. Grayek's wartime exploits were recorded in his book, “Shelosha Yemin Krav” (“Three Days of Battle”).  Eli Zborowski, chairman of the American and International Societies for Yad Vashem and vice president of the World Federation of Polish Jews, wrote in a condolence notice in the Hebrew press that he had lost his mentor and close friend. He referred to Grayek as the "commander and hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and worldwide leader of Holocaust survivors." Grayek, who was the founder of the World Organization of Partisans, Underground Fighters, Ghetto Rebels and Camp Inmates - the first body to focus public attention on the needs of Holocaust survivors - swore in 1943 to fight anti-Semitism for as long as he lived. He frequently led groups of Holocaust survivors accompanied by the children and grandchildren of survivors on journeys of memory in Poland. For many years he lobbied tirelessly for a Jewish museum pavilion in Auschwitz and against the establishment of a Catholic convent there. He declared in 1989 that no convent would go up in the largest Jewish graveyard in the world. In a Jerusalem Post interview 20 years ago, Grayek was asked why he had not experienced the trauma so common among many Holocaust survivors. He answered: "Perhaps, because like other people in the resistance, I fought back."

2008: The Jewish Film Festival in Croatia comes to an end having screened more than 20 films for 2,500 attendees.

2009: Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly told French officials in Paris today that the Israel has “a secret accord” with the United States to maintain “natural growth” of settlements in the West Bank.

2009: Israeli artist Irit Zohar, whose work has been exhibited at the Tel-Aviv Museum (Meirovich section) and countless other galleries, debuts in America at the Historic Sixth and “I” Street Synagogue with Painting in Action, a series of large, powerful, energetic works deeply influenced by her spirituality.

2010: Mark Russ Federman (Herring Maven Emeritus) is scheduled to his share herring tales at the Russ & Daughters Herring Pairing at New York’s Astor, an event designed to celebrate the New Catch Holland Herring and the wonders of many different herrings

2010 “The Biennial Scholars' Conference on American Jewish History,” a meeting organized by the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, which will examine the notion of American Jewish "exceptionalism," or uniqueness, the  has shaped conceptions of American Jewish history from its beginning is scheduled to open in New York City.

2010(3rd of Tammuz, 5770): Ninety-two year old Ida Weiner the widow of Manfred Swarsensky who served as Rabbi Temple Beth El in Madison, Wisconsin for thirty-six years, passed away two.

2011: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present a program entitled “Mahler & Radical Departures”, featuring the works of Mahler, Korngold and Schoenberg, three composers who are a representative of “German and Austrian musicians of Jewish descent who arrived in this country and transformed the American musical landscape.” The works of German-Jewish composer Mauricio Kagel are also scheduled to be performed.

2011: THE BIG JEWCY, sponsored by Jewcy.com, is scheduled to take place in Brooklyn, New York.

2011: At the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee, archivist Jay Hyland is scheduled to present a program entitled ‘Archival Exploration: WWII Edition' that will provide a first hand look at artifacts and documents from the JMM's collection connected with WWII. This program is a 'teaser' for the 'WWII Historical Encampment Reenactment' scheduled to be later this month.

2011: A Used Book Sale is scheduled to begin today in San Diego, CA, to benefit the Samuel & Rebecca Astor Judaica Library.

2011: The new Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, started work today, taking over for Meron Reuben, who had held the post on an interim basis since last year’s departure of Gabriella Shalev.
Prosor will be the 16th Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations.

2011: A rare total lunar eclipse will occur tonight in Israel's skies from a little after 8:00 p.m. local time until 2:00 a.m. early Thursday morning.

2012: In Washington, DC, The Hadassah Attorney’s Council is scheduled to host a luncheon event where Judith Barnet “will speak with us about her decades of experience assisting companies to grow their business in the Middle Eastern and North African marketplace.”

2012: Funeral services are scheduled to take place this morning for Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz who was the spiritual leader of Adas Israel for over a quarter of a century.  While much has been written about his stature as a “Washington Rabbi” for us he was simply the Rabbi.  Rabbi Rabinowitz arrived in the summer of 1960.  My father had been on the search committee that brought him from Minneapolis.  My brother was his first Bar Mitzvah.  That Shabbat Nachamu service may have been Rabbi Rabinoiwtiz’s first Saturday morning service.  I was in the first newly instituted post-Confirmation class which he taught.  I remember him trying to explain to a group of adolescents what a Reconstructionist Jew was.  It wasn’t about ritual; he wanted us to see that it was about the poetry of the soul.  [Excuse the personal comments, but history is a story and even for the great and near-great it is still a story about individual persons.] 

2012: Rabbi Ariel Stone the spiritual leader of Portland, Oregon’s Shir Tikvah, author of Because All Is One and the daughter-in-law of Cedar Rapids community leader Joan Thaler, is scheduled to deliver the sermon at Temple Judah this evening.

2012: Uzi Arad, who served as the head of the National Security Council during the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government for carrying out "sloppy work" in preparation for the flotilla to Gaza. Arad, speaking during a panel discussion in Tel Aviv today, made the comments two days after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss criticized the government's decision-making process in dealing with the flotilla in his report on the incident.

2012: In Los Angeles, Langer’s Deli began a celebration of its 65th anniversary by giving away its signature pastrami sandwich which normally sells for $15.20 for free.

2012: In an interview given today Irving Stern gave “his perspective as mayor of Saint Louis Park and Minnesota state senator on local politics, commercial and residential development, and Jewish issues during his years in public service.”

2012: “That’s My Boy” a comedy produced by Adam Sander who co-starred along with Andy Samberg was released today in the United States.

2013: The Jerusalem Piano Duo – Shir Semel and Dror Semel – is scheduled to perform at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

2013: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim is scheduled to honor outgoing religious school principal Kineret Zabnert with a special Kiddush Luncheon following Shabbat Moring Services led by Rabbi Jeff Portman.

2013: “Ameer Got His Gun” and “Dr. Pomerantz” are among the films scheduled to be shown today at “Seret 2013” – The London Israeli Film & Television Festival.

2013: Worshipers who came to a Bat Yam synagogue for Shabbat services this morning were stunned to see crosses spray-painted on the doors of the prayer house. Police were investigating the incident.

2013:Unidentified assailants broke into an IDF base in northern Israel this morning, injuring a soldier and stealing his rifle. The assailants managed to enter the Naftali base, near Golani Junction, after tying up the soldier on guard duty. They then ran away with his rifle.”

2013: MIT’s Shafi Goldwasser was a co-winner of the Alan M. Turning Award.

2013(7th of Tammuz, 5773): Eighty-seven year old Paul Soros, the brother of George Soros passed away today. (As reported by Robert D. Hershey, Jr)

2014: A release today from Gaylen Ross announced that “for the first time the critically acclaimed documentary Killing Kasztner will be available as a special 2 DVD Edition as of June 30th which will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the departure of Kasztner’s dramatic rescue train from wartime Budapest.

2014: Jean-François Copé is scheduled to complete his term of office as President of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP)

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Centuries of Surnames: What Names Can Tell Us,” a presentation by Jeffrey S. Malka who is an authority on Sephardic last names.

2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman, The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik and The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting by Alfie Kohn

2014: IDF and security forces continue to search for the 3 kidnapped Israeli boys; a search which has included the arrest of several Hamas leaders.

2014: Arabs pelted Jews who returning from a prayer service at the Kotal with rocks which only stopped when authorities arrived.

2014(17th of Sivan, 5774): Eighty year old Moise Yacoub Safra the Beirut native who “co-founded Banco Safra with his brothers Edmond Safra and Joseph Safra” passed away today at São Paulo, Brazil.

2014: “Four rockets were fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip at the southern city of Ashkelon.”

2014: “Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli security personnel at a military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, tonight.

2015: The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at the University of Northern Iowa in cooperation with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to present “Teaching the Holocaust Today Why and How” at Grandview University in Des Moines, IA.

2015: “The Kishka Monologues” and “When Blood Ran Red” are scheduled to be seen at the Kulturfest, the first-ever international festival of Jewish performing arts, celebrating the global impact of Jewish culture. Presented by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

2015: “Righteous Rebel: Rabbi Avi Weiss” and “A Tale of a Woman and a Robe” are scheduled to be shown at the JCC Manhattan.

2016: For the first time ever, “Russ & Daughters” is scheduled to “have kosher New Catch Holland Herring for sale at the Jewish Museum” in New York City.

2016: The 17th annual Washington Jewish Music Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2016: The Eden-Tamir Music center is scheduled to host the Achinoam Keisar Piano Recital.

2016: “Midnight Orchestra” is scheduled to be shown on the opening night of the 24th Portland, Oregon, Jewish Film Festival.

2016: As part of its exploration of Gravity, the Chelsea Music Festival is scheduled to present a program celebrating Albert Einstein’s contributions to science as well as his lifelong love for his violin and chamber music.

2016: The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and Museum of Jewish Heritage are scheduled to present Yiddish Soul at Central Park Summer Stage starring The Maccabeats, Benny Friedman, Netanel Hershtik, Yanky Lemmer, Joseph Malovany, Lipa Shmeltzer, and Zusha

2017: The CHYE Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs is scheduled to sponsor an evening of “Sushi and Study.”

2017: “Brad Sabin Hill, former Fellow in Hebrew Bibliography, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies” is scheduled to speak on “Oxford and the Printing of Judeo-Arabic” which is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition 500 Years of Treasures from Oxford.”

 

 

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