1203: The Knights of the Fourth Crusade capture Constantinople forcing the Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus to flee from his capital into exile. Unlike other Crusades, the focus of the Fourth Crusade was the Byzantine Empire and its capital Constantinople rather than Jerusalem. The Fourth Crusade was really a clash between two different groups of Christians and a fight over commercial interests. Unlike the other crusades, the Fourth did not produce any great overt anti-Semitic activities. But it did keep the crusading spirit alive and subsequent crusades did result in more harm to various Jewish communities. The most significant lesson of the Fourth Crusade was that it was a classic example of religion being manipulated for reasons that had nothing to do with God or His teachings; something that haunts the Jews of the world down to modern times.
1245: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II who refuted the concept of Jewish ritual murders was found guilty of sacrilege at the First Council of Lyons.
1272: Pope Gregory X issued a bull prohibiting accusations of blood-ritual killings
1287: Forty Jews - men, women and children - were killed by a mob in Oberwesel (Germany) after a ritual murder accusation. The rioting spread down the Rhineland.
1392: King Pedro I (1357–67) of Portugal ordered the compliance of the bull of Pope Boniface IX protecting Jews from forced baptism. He also extended it to Spanish Jewish Refugees.
1402: Start of the reign of Chinese Ming Emperor Yongle who bestowed “honors on Jewish physician, Y’en Ch’eng
1414: A new edict was issued by the regent in the name of her infant son Don Ferdinand that offered some slight improvement to the conditions of the Jews of Castile.
1537: Just before their marriage, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited the estate now known as Mote Park which Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted would buy in 1895 and expand and improve in the years prior to WW I and which his son Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted would sell to the Borough Council in 1929.
1555: Pope Paul IV issued, Cum Nimis Absurdum (, "Since it is absurd") the papal bull that ordered the creation of a Jewish ghetto in Rome, setting its borders near the Rione Sant'Angelo, an area where large numbers of Jews already resided, and ordering it walled off from the rest of the city with a single gate, locked every day at sundown, as the only means of reaching the rest of the city.
1555: 1555, Paul IV issued one of the most famous papal bulls in Church history. The bull, Cum Nimis Absurdum (the title stemmed from its opening phrase, "Since it is absurd") ordered the creation of a Jewish ghetto in Rome. The pope set its borders near the Rione Sant'Angelo, an area where large numbers of Jews already resided, and ordered it walled off from the rest of the city. A single gate, locked every day at sundown, was the only means of reaching the rest of the city. The Jews themselves were forced to pay all design and construction costs related to the project, which came to a total of roughly 300 scudi. The bull restricted Jews in other ways as well. They were forbidden to have more than one synagogue per city—leading, in Rome alone, to the destruction of seven "excess" places of worship. All Jews were forced to wear distinctive yellow hats, especially outside the ghetto, and they were forbidden to trade in everything but food and secondhand clothes. Christians of all ages were encouraged to treat the Jews as second-class citizens; for a Jew to defy a Christian in any way was to invite severe punishment, often at the hands of a mob. By the end of Paul IV's five-year reign the number of Roman Jews had dropped by half. Yet his anti-Semitic legacy endured for over 300 years: the ghetto he established ceased to exist only with the dissolution of the Papal States in 1870. Its walls were torn down in 1888
1588: Mimar Sinan, the chief architect and leading civil engineer under Suleiman the Magnificent passed away today. Suleiman had ordered that fortress-like walls be built around Jerusalem, walls that can be seen today when one enters “the Old City.”
1549: All Jews and Marranos were expelled from Ghent, Belgium.
1676: In the village of De Rijip, Holland Johannes Reland, a Protestant minister, and Aagje Prins gave birth to Adriaan Reland one of the first of the modern historic geographers of Palestine whose works included Antiquitates Sacrae veterum Hebraeorum and Palaestina ex monumentis Veteris illustrata
1724(26th of Tammuz, 5484): Sara Wertheimer the daughter of Samson Wertheimer and Frumet Brülle who married Moses L. I. zur Kann, the son of Rabbi Löb Isaak zur Kann passed away today
1762: Catherine II becomes Tsarina of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia. Known to history as Catherine the Great, Russia’s ruler participated in the partition of Poland along with Prussia and Austria. In acquiring her section of Poland, Catherine acquired a large Jewish population. Although her first reaction to these new Jewish subjects was restrained but comparatively enlightened, in the last years of her reign, Catherine took the first measures which would lead to what became known as the Pale of Settlement.
1763: Birthdate of John Jacob Astor. Born in Germany he parlayed his role in the fur trade into one of America’s early fortunes. There is a great deal of debate surrounding Astor’s ethnic origins. In this case, we will give him the benefit of the doubt.
1786: Birthdate of Henri Castro, a native of Bayonne, France who brought hundreds of families to Texas where they settled in an area of west of San Antonio. The town of Castroville, Texas and Castro County are named after him which attests to his importance.
1794: Birthdate of (Asher) Lehman Meyer Gluckstein, the native of Oldenberg, Germany and husband of Helena Horn with whom he had nine children
1789: Sir Sampson Gideon, the son of Sampson Gideon, “a Jewish banker in the City of London during the 1740’s and 1750’s” who had married Maria Wilmot in 1768, “legally changed his surname to that of Eardley” following which “he was created an Irish peer, with the title of Baron Eardley, of Spalding in the County of Lincoln.”
1793: Second of the three partitions of Poland takes place as Russia, Prussia and Austria divide this once proud kingdom home to one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities. As a result of the partitions, Russia, which had worked to remain Jew-free, would find itself home to millions of Jews.
1799: Emanuel Joseph married Sarah Solomon Wilks at the Great Synagogue today.
1800: Birthdate of Abraham Basch, the native of Posen who served as the secretary to the Mayor of Landsberg and was a Hebrew teach at Weyl’s seminary.
1806: The last auto-de-fe ordered by the Inquisition of Peru was held today.
1810: Reform Judaism was born in the town of Seesen in central Germany with a stated mission to modernize Judaism and create a bridge between Jewish life and the surrounding culture.
1815: In France, Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime to British forces. Napoleon’s final defeat would lead him to permanent exile on St. Helena. His final defeat brought a wave of reaction as the remnants of the old régime in France and Europe sought to regain their old power and undo the changes wrought by the French Revolution. This reactionary wave would have a negative effect on the Jewish people and would be one of the driving forces that led to next wave of Jewish immigration to the United States.
1838: In London, Nathaniel and Sarah Lindo gave birth to Gabriel Lindo the solicitor whose many communal activities included serving as Vice President of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Synagogue and the Jewish Board of Guardians and who was the husband of Miriam Da Costa, the daughter of Charles M. Da Costa.
1840(16th of Tammuz, 5600): Isaac Leonini Azulay, author of the Spanish comedy "El Delinquente Honrado," who “married Bella Friedlaender, a cousin of Chief Rabbi Herschell” passed away today.
1841(28th of Tammuz, 5601): On the secular calendar, Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum of Ujhel, known as the Yismach Moshe, founder of the Satmar sect, passed away.
1854: An excerpt published today from Little’s Living Age described Doctor Wolff as being the real Wandering Jew, who is not the melancholy figure “of the poet and novelist” “but a “fat, jolly Jew for ‘whom the law having a shadow of good things to come.’”
1859: Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, a Lithuanian born Jew was ordained today at St. George’s Church in New York City.
1861: Union forces that would come to include the Cameron Dragoons (officially the 65th Regiment led by Colonel Max Friedman and which contained a large segment of Philadelphia Jews) skirmished at Vienna, Virginia, for a second time, as they made their way to Manassas where they would fight the First Battle of Bull Run.
1862: Legislation abolishing discrimination against the service of chaplains in the United States army became a law. In other words, Rabbis could now serve as Chaplains.
1862: Congress changed the wording in the law to include the words "religious denomination" instead of "Christian denomination," and legal discrimination against Jews ended in the military which led to Rabbi Fischel finally being commissioned to serve as the chaplain of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry.” (As described by Seymour “Sy” Brody)
1862: At the request of the Lincoln administration, the chaplain act was amended to provide for the appointment of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish chaplains.
1863(1st of Av, 5623): Rosh Chodesh Av
1865: In Darmstadt in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, “publisher and politician Friedrich Dernburg,” a member of a distinguished Jewish family who converted to Lutheranism and his wife Luise Stahl gave birth to banker and political leader Berhard Dernburg who died in 1937 thus avoiding the effect of the Nuremberg Laws that would have classified him as a Jew.
1868: Birthdate of Henri Nathansen, “a Danish writer and stage director, today best known for the play Inside the Walls (Danish: Indenfor Murene” who passed away in 1944.
1871(28th of Tammuz, 5631): Twenty-nine year old Polish born musical prodigy Carl Tausig passed away today.
1871: Hungarian born German actor Ludwig Barnay convened “the stage-congress at Weimar” today.
1873(22nd of Tammuz, 5633): Fifty two year old Babette Stettheimer, a sister of Joseph Seligman passed away today.
1873(22nd of Tammuz, 5638): Fifty-seven year old Moritz Ritter von Todesco, the son of “Austrian financier and philanthropist Hermann Todesco” who was “an association of the banking firm of Hermann Todesco’s Sons” passed away today.
1874: Adelaide Neilson, an actress admired by David Belasco, performed for the last time at the Baldwin Theatre where Belasco was filling several capacities including “acting as an assistant to the prompter.”
1874: Professor C. H. Brigham of Ann Arbor, Michigan, read a paper on the “Falacha Language of Abyssinia” at a convention of linguists meeting in Hartford, Conn. According to Professor Brigham, who based his paper on the work of Dr. Joseph Haling, “the Flachas are descendants of a tribe of Jews which settled in Abyssinia…” who have lost their knowledge of Hebrew as both a written and spoken language. Their literature is based on the translation of the book of Jonah and “four short prayers.
1876: In Bialystok, Anna and Moses Wallach, members of “a wealthy Jewish banking family” gave birth to their second son Max Wallach who gained fame as “Russian revolutionary and Soviet diplomat Maxim Litvinov.”
1877: During the Russo-Turkish War, the first Battle of the Shipka where Jewish soldiers displayed “dauntless courage began today.
1878: Schedules showing the liabilities and assets of Barnet L. Solomon, Solomon B. Solomon Judah H. Solomon and Simon Solomon, the owners of B.L Solomon’s Sons, the major upholstery dealers who recently filed for bankruptcy, were filed in the Court of Common Pleas. Their assets totaled $224. 799/31 and their liabilities totaled $1,144,753.88. The firm’s demise was caused by a combination of poor business conditions and a down turn in the real estate market.
1879: Birthdate of Leo I. Samuelson, the native of Illinois who was appointed to West point in 1888 and who in 1903, as a Second Lieutenant transferred from the 2nd Infantry Regiment to the 7th Infantry Regiment.
1879: Birthdate of Seumas O’Sullivan, the Irish poet and author who married Estella Francis Solomons, a leading Irish artist who was a member of one of Ireland’s oldest and most renowned Jewish families.
1879: A concert and festival sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Union is scheduled to take place at the Terrace Garden
1879(26th of Tammuz, 5639): Maurycy Gottlieb, Jewish painter who came from a family of Polish-speaking Galician Jews passed away. Two of his more famous paintings are “Shylock and Jessica” and “Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur.”
1880: Harper’s Weekly published illustrations depicting scenes from the Seawanhaka tragedy among whose victims was former 12th District Assemblyman Joseph I. Stein.
1881: An English quarterly publication, The Contemporary Review examined the life of the late Ferdinand Lassalle. Based on the way he lived his life the epitaph etched on his tomb “Ferdinand Lassalle, thinker and fighter” was deemed to be quite appropriate. Lassalle was a rare combination of philosophical think, political agitator and oddly enough fashion dandy “noted for his dress for dinners and his addiction for pleasures.”
1882(1st of Av, 5642): Rosh Chodesh Av
1882: As the Freight Handler’s Strike entered its fifth week, the workers took steps to keep “scabs” away from the piers and docks. The Russian Jews have gathered at Standard Hall on East Broadway where they are being three meals a day: bread and coffee in the morning; meat and soup at noon; tea and bread in the evening. The strikers are also providing them with lodging in a tenement to keep these destitute people from being “scabs.” Similar efforts are being made with other immigrant groups.
1882: A report published today attributed “the incapacity” of Russian Jews to perform manual labor when compared to their “muscular Irish and German” counterparts to diet. “A single piece of black bread soaked in water and a banana or tow constitute a full meal…Occasionally their bill of fare embraces beer and cheese and crackers but it is seldom that any of them eat meat or potatoes. The effect of this light diet is plainly visible in the shrunken forms, the listless actions and lack of endurance that so plainly distinguish the Russian Jews…from other working men.”
1883: In Vienna, Camilla Wertheim, the daughter of Dr. Gustav Carl Wertheim and Wilhelmine Wertheim became Camilla Jellinek when she married thirty-two year old Prof. Dr. Georg Jellinek today,
1884: It was reported today that Lazarus Lemisch, his wife and five children who had just arrived in the United States were being sent back to Europe because, by his own admission, he was destitute with no prospects for financial assistance.
1884: Wolf Finkelstein, a Russian Jewish immigrant arrived in New York on the SS Bohemia and was immediately sent to Ward’s Island.
1884: It was reported today that many of the Russian Jews who fled to Cyprus during the recent anti-Semitic violence have returned to Odessa. They were not able to support themselves on the Mediterranean Island which is a British possession. This means that the returning Jews are now British subject which means the British Consul General in the Russian port city has to provide them with some sort of assistance.
1885: It was reported today that in Great Britain, juror was excluded from hearing the case of De Worms versus Hughes because he was Jewish
1886: “Art To Be Seen At Rouen” published today described the “stain glass pottery and relics of old wars” that can be seen at the Museum of Antiquities including a series of five stain glassed windows that depicts the history of the rich Jew who bribes a poor woman to bring him a consecrated wafer which he then stabs with a dagger.” (The myth of Host Desecration ranked with the Blood Libel as cause for slaughter of Jews during the Middle Ages)
1887: Birthdate of Beatrice Fox Auerbach, the longtime proprietor of the G. Fox & Company department store in Hartford, Connecticut.[some sources say July 7, 1887]. Auerbach was raised in Hartford, where her father ran the department store originally founded by and named after his father, Gerson Fox. In 1911, Auerbach moved to Salt Lake City to help her new husband run his family's department store there. The couple returned to Connecticut six years later when the G. Fox & Company building burned. Beatrice Auerbach's husband became secretary and treasurer of the rebuilt store, which occupied a twelve-story Art Deco building that dominated Hartford's Main Street. When her husband died in 1927, Auerbach stepped into his business roles. She proved so good at running the business that when her father died in 1938, she became president of G. Fox & Company. Over the next three decades, Auerbach built G. Fox into the largest privately-held department store in the United States. Under Auerbach's leadership, the store was known for excellent service, but it was also remarkable for the benefits extended to employees. Auerbach was among the first employers to introduce paid vacations and sick leave, and also among the first to hire African-Americans in meaningful positions. Auerbach sold G. Fox & Company to the May Company, owner of Macy's, in 1965, although she remained involved in the day-to-day operations of the store. The sale allowed Auerbach to increase the charitable contributions for which she was already well-known in Connecticut. The Service Bureau for Women's Organizations that she had established in 1945 taught leadership skills to members of women's groups. She also collaborated with Connecticut College for Women for over twenty years (1938-1959) in a retailing program that allowed participants to try out theories in the G. Fox store. Among the other beneficiaries of Auerbach's philanthropy were Trinity College, Wesleyan University, the University of Connecticut, and several Hartford-area cultural organizations. Auerbach died on November 29, 1968. G. Fox & Company closed permanently in 1992. The building, still a Hartford landmark, was later converted for use as a community college and retail shops.
1888(9th of Av, 5648): Tish’a B’Av
1888: In the Ukraine, Shalom Mordechai Czaczkes and Esther Czaczkes gave birth to Israeli novelist, Shmuel Agnon. Author of numerous books, including the Day Before Yesterday, Agnon won the Nobel Prize in 1966.
1889: “Here is Comfort for Cantor” published today offered reassurance to State Senator Jacob Cantor that he should not be bothered by the fact that the Harlem Club is rejecting him because he was Jewish. “In the face of this foolish and un-Christian prejudice” he should remember that the “Blessed Redeemer would be rejected on the same grounds.”
1890: Almost all of the striking cloak cutters, the vast majority of whom were Jewish, returned to work this morning with only one outstanding point of contention – the strikers demanded that all of the replacement workers or “scabs” must be terminated.
1891: Thirty-one Jewish immigrants from Russia were not allowed to land at the Barge Office in New York “on the ground that they were like to become public charges.
1891: As of today the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children has received $2,777.12 to help fund its summer programs.
1892: “Preparations for the Cholera” published today described the outbreak of the disease which now has foothold in Odessa and Moscow. The effort to combat Cholera has been hampered because “throughout Russia a large proportion of the capable physicians have been driven away because they were Jewish.”
1892: “Summer Study of Ethics” published today previewed the lectures to be offered The School of Applied Ethics including a series on the religious ideas of the Hebrews: “The Prophets” by George Moore that beings with the religion of Israel before the prophets; “The Religion of Ancient Persia and its Relations to Judaism by Professor A.V. Williams Jacksons; “The Ritual and Law by Professor Morris Jastrow; :The Psalter” by Professor John P. Peters; “The Wisdom Books” by Professor Crawford H. Toy and “The Talmud” by Dr. Emil G. Hirsch.
1892: Arthur Richard of New York arrived in New London, CT on his way to inspect the Jewish colony at Chesterfield which is being supported by contributions by the Baron Hirsch Fund.
1893: Register Levy, a leader of the Jewish community on New York’s Lower East Side, expressed his surprise when asked about the derogatory, stereotypically anti-Semitic remarks attributed to Police Justice John J. Ryan who complained about that the Hebrews flouted the law, had no fear of policemen and would claim that they were the victims of religious persecution when they were charged with crimes. “I have never known him to bear any malice or prejudice against any co-religionists.”
1893: Police Justice John J. Ryan claimed today that he had been misquoted and that he had “ no desire to denounce Hebrews” and had in fact “always been their friends.” Ryan said that all he had meant to say, and all that he had really said, was that he enforce the law against all “wrongdoers” including Hebrews regardless of their connections or pressure from local citizenry. Ryan’s contention that he had been “misquoted” and that the remarks of others were wrongly attributed to him, was supported by Mark Alter, the attorney for the Hebrew Protective Association. [Ed. Note: When taken together, these comments read like modern day “damage control.” What is fascinating is that as early as the last decade of the 19th century, the Jewish population was of a size that New York politicians had to be cognizant of their feelings and views. This must have come as a shock to those who arrived in the last ten years from Romania and Russia where the governments did not even know that Jews had opinions let alone political rights.]
1893: “The Jews Fought Desperately” published today described last week’s attack by an anti-Semitic mob at Yalta during which the Jews fought back even though the mob “dragged” “dozens of the into the streets” where they were beaten.
1894: Thirty-one year old London born painter and lithographer Albert Edward Stener who had moved to the United States in 1881 got married today.
1895(25th of Tammuz, 5655): Forty-three year old Simon M. Ehrlich, the Chief Just of the City Court in New York, passed away today after battling typhoid fever for the last three weeks at his summer home in Throgg’s Neck, Long Island. Born in Boston, at the age of five he moved to New York where he graduated from City College and Columbia Law School. After passing the bar in 1872, he was elected to a variety of judicial positions with the support of Tammany Hall.
1897: Alexander Grossman provided over tonight’s meeting of the Russian-American Citizens’ League where the candidacy of Seth Low for Mayor of New York was endorsed by the attendees.
1898: According to a summary of the tenth annual report of the Jewish Publication Society of America published today the society has grown from 600 members to 4,790 members 808 of whom live in Pennsylvania and 797 of whom live in New York state.
1902: Herzl finishes a journey to London where he had been seeking support for his plans for a Jewish homeland.
1903: Birthdate of Hiram "Harry" Bingham IV, a member of distinguished old New England family who saved the lives of thousands of Jews while serving as Vice-Consul in Marseille, France.
1903: Birthdate of Josef Moll a member of the Ehrenfeld Group, was hanged in Cologne for his anti-Nazi resistance activities.
1903: The Jewish quarter of Ofran, Morocco was pillaged.
1904: Eight-four year old Wilhelm Marr, one of the leaders of the 19th anti-Semitism of movement passed away today.
1905(14th of Tammuz, 5665): Forty-two year old Dr. Gabriel Engelsman, the 1880 graduate of CCNY who “took post graduate courses at Yale, Harvard “and the Leipsic and Vienna Universities” and became “an authority on the Comparative Grammar of Semitic languages respected by “such scholars as Professor Ignaz Goldziher and Professor Theodor Holdeke passed away today while serving as an instructor at CCNY and a teacher in the Temple Emanuel Religious School.
1906: Birthdate of Yitzhak Ben Aharon who when he died in 2006 was the last living icon of the left-wing of the Israeli Labor Party.
1906: Carlos Pellegrini who was supportive of the idea settling Russian Jews in Argentina while serving as its President passed away today.
1907(7th of Av, 5667): Fifty-four year old geologist, paleontologist and explore Angelo Heilprin passed away
1908: Joseph Horwitz and Bayla Rutsteein gave birth to Dr. Israel Horwitz
1910: Smallpox epidemic breaks out in Jerusalem.
1911: The Glasgow Jewish Shopkeepers adopted a resolution today protesting “against Sunday clauses of Shop Hours Bill” copies of which forwarded to the Home Secretary, the members of Parliament from Glasgow and the President of the Board of Deputies for British Jews.
1911(21st of Tammuz, 5671): Eighty-four year old Jewish author Joshua Levenson passed away to in Riga.
1913: Birthdate of American born architect Bertrand Goldberg who is best known for the Marina City complex in Chicago, Illinois, the tallest residential concrete buildings in the world at the time of completion.
1914: In Salonica a campaign against the Jews continued in the newspapers. The dispute was over Greeks and Jews who worked in a Jewish owned tannery. The dispute became a violent political discussion all throughout Macedonia. It originated over Jews wearing the Turkish Fez, which was a symbol of their fondness for the previous Turkish administration.
1915: William Green, an inmate at Milledgeville State Penitentiary, tried to kill Leo Frank by slashing his throat with a butcher knife.
1916(16th of Tammuz, 5676): During WW I, Lt. Ernest Emanuel Polack of the 4th Gloucestershire was killed today.
1916: In “a desire to restore harmony among the Jews in the United States” who are campaigning “to demand full political, civil and religious rights for Jews in all lands where those rights are not enjoyed by them” “a committee of five members of the Conference of American National Jewish Organizations met with the Executive Committee of the Jewish Congress Organization” tonight in New York’s Aeolian Hall.
1917: John Henry Patterson was made commander of the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, one of three battalions of the Jewish Legion, recruited from British and foreign Jews. Patterson was promoted to full Colonel. In February of 1918, Patterson proudly led soldiers of the 38th Fusiliers Battalion, one of the components of the Legion, in a parade in the Whitechapel Road, before they were shipped off to Palestine. They met a tumultuous and joyous reception among the Jews of London, as well as generating amazement among other bystanders, as related in this article about the parade of the Jewish Legion in London. [Unlike many British officers, not only was Patterson not anti-Semitic, he was philo-Semitic numbering many Jews among his friends throughout the rest of his life and pushing for the creation of the Jewish Brigade during World War II.]
1917: In Chicago, the alumni of the Cregler School are scheduled to hold a meeting in the Social Hall of the Chicago Hebrew Institute.
1917: In Lima, Ohio Frances Ada (née Romshe) and Perry Marcus Driver gave birth to Phyllis Ada Driver who gained fame as comic Phyllis Diller.
1917: It was reported today that “the Central Committee of the All-Russian Council of Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Deputies has sent fifteen representatives” throughout Russia “to conduct a widespread campaign against the “pogrom propagandists” who are spreading “anti-Semitic propaganda.”
1917: It was reported today that “a few Jews were wounded in disorders” following “false charges that Jewish merchants in Kiev were concealing food supplies” that “nearly cause a pogrom.”
1917: Birthdate of all-star shortstop and Cleveland Indian manager, Lou Boudreau. Boudreau’s mother was Jewish. But he was adopted by a Roman Catholic family who raised him in their faith.
1917: In Hartsdale, New York, advertising executive Harry Lasker and his wife Peggy gave birth to Edward Morris Lasker, the nephew of Albert and Mary Lasker, who would be raised by his stepfather, attorney Issac Levy, and who gained famed as Morris Edward Lasker a federal judge in New York and Massachusetts for four decades. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
1917: At today’s meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee, Chairman Felix M. Warburg “expressed the regret of the committee over the death of Samuel I. Hyman who had been selected by the committee to visit Russia to supervise the relief work in that country.”
1917: Abram L. Elkus said today that “the reports received in” the United States “of wholesale massacres and maltreatment of the Jews in Turkey and Palestine were entirely unfounded” and that “their situation was as favorable as could be expected.”
1917: In San Antonio, Texas, David and Riva Rapoport, Jewish immigrants who had fled Russia after participating in an anti-czarist uprising, gave birth to Bernard Rapoport, the Jewish businessman “who built an insurance empire and spent his last decades giving his wealth away to universities, Democratic campaigns and charitable causes in Israel and his adopted hometown of Waco…” (As reported by J.B. Smith)
1918: By order of Lenin, Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed at Yekaterinburg marking the end of the Romanov dynasty and a turning point in the history of Russia, Europe and the World.
1918: “Jews To Broaden Work For Fighters” published today described a meeting of the Reorganization Committee of the Local Board for Jewish Welfare Work” at New York’s Hotel Biltmore where it decided to create “a concrete plan” for centralizing all efforts to aid Jewish soldiers that would include “the establishment in New York City of a central hospitality house with numerous branches in different parts of the where enlisted men from all over the country may stay while on furlough or while passing through the city” which will be modeled after similar efforts by the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus.
1919: During the war with the Russian Bolsheviks, Jewish leaders met with Symon Petlura and pledged their support for him and the creation of an independent country of Ukraine.
1920: Birthdate of physicist Gordon Gould who was among those who claimed credit for inventing the laser.
1920: Birthdate of Rabbi Louis Jacobs, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom.
1921(11th of Tammuz, 5681): Sixty-two year old Joseph H. Polak Esquire who had served as “one of the justices for the county of London and a member of the Chamber of Commerce passed away today in London.
1921: Birthdate of Alick Isaacs, the native of Glasgow, Scotland who earned “his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Glasgow” and was one of “the co-discoverers of interferon.”
1921: In Hungary, journalist and playwright Béla Szenes and his wife gave birth to Hannah Szenes the poet who would be murdered while serving behind enemy lines while serving with the British lines. Her most famous work is probably Eli Eli (My God, My God”) the poem set to music by David Zahavi.
1923: In Chomutov, Czech Republic, Irma (Kahn) Seligman and Emil Seligman both of whom were killed during the Holocaust, gave birth to Chanoch (Hans) Seligman)
1935: Joseph "Yosky" Toblinsky, a member of the “Yiddish Black Hand,” a Jewish criminal band active in the first decades of the 20th century was taken into custody on charges of hijacking a truck filled with pharmaceutical drugs.
1936: The Palestine Post reported that there was heavy firing on the Hatikva Quarter in Tel Aviv and the Bayit Vegan Quarter of Jerusalem. A bomb was found hidden in a shipment of Norwegian cheese. It was believed that it was inserted while transported from Haifa to Jerusalem. Jacob Gerzon, victim of a sniper's bullet, succumbed to his wounds. He was the 32nd Jewish victim of the Arab disturbances which began on April 19. Three new battalions of British troops arrived in Haifa from Malta. The government ordered the demolition of the old Jaffa slums and for the construction of two new roads for the benefit of that quarter and of the town as a whole.
1936: The Spanish Civil War began as the armed forces, eventually to be led by Francisco Franco rose up against the recently elected Popular Front Government. Franco’s rebellious army was a fascist force and the received active help from both Mussolini and Hitler. Anti-fascist forces rallied to the support of the French Republicans. For reasons of their own, the French, British and U.S. governments provided no support to balance that being provided by Germany and Italy. While thousands of volunteers from these western countries took up the cause of the Republic, the Soviet Union was the only government to provide aide. And that aide helped to what had begun as a broad left-wing coalition into Communist dominated fighting force. The Left saw Spain as a place to stop the march of fascism. The Fascists saw Spain as an easy victory and testing ground for the weapons that they would later employ in World War II. One of the most famous volunteer groups supporting the Spanish Republicans was the Lincoln Brigade, a fighting force that had a disproportionately large Jewish Population. For a vivid, yet fictional picture of Jewish involvement in the Lincoln Brigade and left-wing causes in the 1930’s, read Davida’s Harp by Chaim Potok. The fascist victory in Spain, including the failure of the Western allies to act, emboldened Hitler and Mussolini while frightening Stalin. All three felt the West would never stand against the Germans and Italians. For Stalin, this meant signing a non-aggression with Hitler. For Hitler, this meant he had a green line to do as he pleased in Europe. For the Jews it meant that the Final Solution was one step closer to reality. Numerous historians consider the Spanish Civil War that broke out in July 1936 a prelude to World War II. Spain, with a population of 28 million, became a bloody battleground of conflicting forces, testing their arsenals in preparation for the battle of the giants that was to emerge shortly. Jews did not sit on the sidelines in this crucial contest. Jewish participation, as a matter of fact, was stunningly extensive. In 1987, at a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, Chaim Herzog, then president of Israel, stated: "There were people who realized just what a fascist victory in Spain would mean. Courageous men from many nations volunteered to help the Republicans. Among them were democrats, socialists, communists... Typically there was a relatively high number of Jews among the volunteers - the highest proportion of any other group... I salute them as comrades in arms in the war against the Nazis." Jewish participation in the Spanish Civil War offers a fascinating, relatively unknown, chapter of Jewish resistance to Nazi and fascist tyranny. Up to 25 percent of the fighters in the International Brigades were Jewish, whereas the total global Jewish population at the time did not exceed 4%. It is ironic that Jews even formed their own Jewish Brigade in Spain, which fought heroically in crucial battles 70 years ago for the freedom of the Spanish people that had expelled them from its midst. The Spanish Civil War attracted volunteers from about 55 countries who knew the dangers they were facing in that bloody conflict. Nevertheless, they came in substantial numbers to join the ranks of the Popular Front. Figures of participants differ. Ernest Hemingway claimed that "over 40,000 volunteers from 52 countries flocked to Spain between 1936 and 1939 to take part in the historic struggle between democracy and fascism known as the Spanish Civil War." The lowest estimate speaks of about 32,000, but one estimate is as high as 59,380. The largest contingents came from France (7,000), Poland (5,000), the US (3,000), Britain (between 2,000 and 4,000) and Russia (in the thousands). Despite the conspicuous presence of Jews in International Brigades, Jewish participation in the fighting has generally not been acknowledged. There could be various reasons for that. Firstly, Jews were usually registered under the name of the country they came from. Secondly, in some cases the Jews used aliases, concerned that their being Jewish might expose them to greater than usual dangers in a war against fascist elements. Lastly, Jewish community organizations that would eagerly underwrite research on Jews fighting against fascists and Nazis were hesitant to do so in the instance of the Spanish Civil War, since those joining would be counted as communists and fellow travelers. While it is true that two-thirds of the American Abraham Lincoln Brigade were communists, many Jews were not. One volunteer wrote: "I am as good an anti-fascist as any communist. I have reason to be. I am a Jew and that is the reason I came to Spain. I know what it means to my people if Fascism should win." Hyman Katz from New York did not tell his mother that he was determined to leave for Spain. When wounded, he decided to explain why he enlisted against her wishes. He wrote: "Don't you realize that we Jews will be the first to suffer if fascism comes?" Samuel Levinger from Columbus, Ohio, son of Rabbi Lee J. Levinger, was killed in battle at Brunette. Throughout the war, the father remained a loyal friend of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. In-depth research, especially in the last 10 years, has proven that the extent of Jewish presence in that crucial war was truly impressive. Though Jews were only 10% of the Polish population, 45% of the Polish volunteers - 2,250 out of 5,000 - were Jewish. Jews, 4% of the US population, formed 38% of its volunteers. In France, 0.5% of the population and 15% of the volunteers were Jews. Britain, with a Jewish population of 0.5%, had 11% to 22% Jewish volunteers. Palestine had a Jewish contingent of 500, 498 Jews and two Arabs. For some reason, Jews from Palestine were distributed among diverse national units. There were Palestinian Jews in the Hungarian "Rakosi" Battalion, in the French "Six Fevrier" Battalion and others. The most conspicuous Jewish presence in the Spanish Civil War emerged from a group called the "Naftali Botwin Company." Naftali Botwin, a 24-year-old Jewish radical, was executed in Poland in 1925 for assassinating a Polish Secret Service agent. The special Jewish company was formed in the Palafox Battalion of the Polish Dombrowsky Brigade in December 1937. The company issued a Yiddish newspaper. The orders were written in Yiddish. It had a distinct Jewish banner, and the last stanza of the company's hymn proudly proclaimed "...how Jewish Botwin soldiers drove out the fascist plague!" The Botwin group was the only one in which Jews fought as a distinct group. Hence it became the major symbol of Jewish presence in Spain. In general, the International Brigades were utilized by the Popular Front as shock troops in the most dangerous places that drew the heaviest casualties. The Botwin Company was no exception - 120 of its men were thrown into an assault at the battle of Estramadura, in the defense of Madrid; only 18 survived. The company's courage earned it the "Medalla de Valor" from the Spanish government. Whatever motives brought volunteers of the International Brigades to Spain, with the Jews the ideological motive was dominant. Many of them may have been socialists or communists, but they clearly perceived that simultaneously they were fighting a sworn enemy of the Jewish people. The Jewish-Zionist angle was no less significant than the socialist-communist. It is no coincidence that the first casualty of the International Brigades was Leon Baum from Paris, and the last casualty was Haskel Honigstern, who was given a state funeral in Barcelona. The Spanish poet Jose Herrera wrote of him: "Haskel Honigstern, Polish worker of the Jewish race, son of an obscure land, killed in the light of my homeland." It is also no coincidence that when Juan Negrin, head of the Republican government, announced in September 1938 the unilateral withdrawal of the International Brigades from Spain for diplomatic reasons, the Botwin Company formed the rear guard of the troops as they withdraw across the border into France. Jewish participation in the Spanish Civil War put to a lie the assertion that Jews are by nature "timid and non-combative... that Jews did not resist the Nazi murderers because... submission is in their national character." When the first shots of World War II were fired, in the prologue of that ghastly war, Jews were not only present in overwhelming numbers, but they incontrovertibly proved their heroism.
1936: “The Final Hours” a drama featuring Marc Lawrence as “Mike Magellon” was released in the United States today.
1936: In a rare degree of solidarity a group of 40,000 demonstrators including Socialists, Fascists, gentiles and Jews gathered in Warsaw to express opposition to “granting the demands of the Danzig Nazis.”
1937: Speaking “on the second day of the art festival inaugurating Munich as ‘the Capital of German’ as decreed by Chancellor Hitler, Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels “blamed Jewish art critics for causing art to decline and degenerate” in the post-war era – a trend he said was reversed by National Socialism “which arose to banish these false molders of artistic taste.”
1938(18th of Tammuz, 5698): Tzom Tammuz
1938(18th of Tammuz, 5698): Three more Jews were killed today – two of them were watchmen at an orange grove and one was a workman from Tel Aviv. At the same time, “the Jewish owner of watch factory in Acre was seriously wounded” by Arab attackers.
1938: Credible reports are circulating in Palestine that some of the attacks on Arabs are “merely part of Nazi intrigue to gain Arab sympathy and impair British prestige in the Near East.”
1939(1st of Av, 5699): Rosh Chodesh Av
1939(1st of Av, 5699): Seventy-four year old Julius Schnitzler, the Viennese surgeon who was the laryngologist Johann Schnitzler passed away today.
1940(10th of Tammuz, 5700): Hauptscharführer Blank murdered Werner Scholem at Buchenwald. A Jew and a Communist, he was arrested in 1933 by the Nazis who shipped him to Buchenwald when it was opened in 1938. He was held there until he was shot by the Nazi officer. He was the brother of Gerhard Scholem who gained fame as Gershom Scholem first Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
1940: The Vichy French government issued orders prohibiting employment of aliens (Jews) not born in France. This is one more example of how eager those at Vichy were to serve their new Nazi comrades.
1941(22nd of Tammuz, 5701): Twelve hundred Jews are murdered at Slonim, Belorussia
1941: “The German occupational authority, the Reichskommissariat Ostland, was created” today.
1941 Alfred Rosenberg is appointed Reich minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories to administer lands seized from the Soviet Union.
1941(22nd of Tammuz, 5701): This marks the first day of the a fourteen day slaughter of the Jews at Kishinev in the Soviet Union; During those 14 days over 10,000 Jews would be slaughtered by the Nazis and their local collaborators
1942: The 2,000 Jews from Holland reached Auschwitz. All but 449 were given their numbered tattoos. The 449 were gassed.
1942: A Nazi delegation headed by SS chief Heinrich Himmler tours the death camp at Auschwitz, where Himmler observes a mass gassing of inmates.
1943: Birthdate of Shlomo Ben-Ami, the native of Tangiers who made Aliyah in 1955 and earned a doctorate from Oxford. After serving as head of the School of History at Tel Aviv University, he served as Israel’s Ambassador to Spain before pursuing a career in politics.
1943(14th of Tammuz, 5703): Parashat Balak
1943(14th of Tammuz, 5703): Yitzhak Wittenberg, a partisan leader who had surrendered to the Gestapo to prevent the razing of the Vilna (Lithuania) Ghetto yesterday was murdered today.
1943: Birthdate of Athalya Brenner the native of Haifa who is “Professor Emerita of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the University of Amsterdam and Professor in Biblical Studies at Tel Aviv University
1943: Sid Caesar and Florence Levy were married today.
1943: “Falcon In Danger” one of a series of “Falcon mysteries” featuring Felix Basch as “Morley” was released in the United States today.
1944(26th of Tammuz, 5704): Forty-six year old child prodigy William James Sidis passed away today.
1945: For the first time bombers from the US 7th Air Force which had been attacking Japanese forces in Shanghai since 1944, struck the Hongkou Quarter which was the de factor Jewish Ghetto in the city.
1945: Today “Leo Szilard and 69 co-signers at the Manhattan Project "Metallurgical Laboratory" in Chicago petitioned the President of the United States” asking “that the United States not resort to the use of atomic bombs in this war unless the terms which will be imposed upon Japan have been made public in detail and Japan knowing these terms has refused to surrender; second, that in such an event the question whether or not to use atomic bombs be decided by you in light of the considerations presented in this petition as well as all the other moral responsibilities which are involved.”
1945: The Potsdam Conference opens in Potsdam, Germany. The leaders of the Big Three, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin with the aim of settling outstanding issues related to the end of World War II in Europe including the fate of conquered German and liberated Poland. It was the first meeting between the U.S. President and the Soviet leader. It was the last meeting with Churchill who would be replaced during the conference the new Laborite Prime Minister Clement Atlee. For public consumption, it appeared that the war time Allies were committed to punishing Germany for its Nazi atrocities. The relations between Truman and Stalin soured from this time forward into what became the Cold War. An argument can be made that Truman’s decision to recognize Israel was a product of this Cold War environment.
1947: Mordechai (Motke) Eldar and his sister arrived at Haifa today but were forced to return to Hamburg by the British. A year later he returned aboard the Kedmah and began a thirty year career with the IDF where he reached the rank of Colonel before retiring.
1947: Supposedly Raoul Wallenberg died in a Soviet prison on this date. An air of mystery still surrounds the death of one of the few people who came to the aid of the Jews during the Holocaust. Since nothing was done to establish the fate of Ambassador Wallenberg after he was last seen going to the headquarters of the Red Army in Budapest, nobody really knows if he was shot in Moscow, died in prison, or lived out a long anguished life in the Gulag.
1948(11th of Tammuz, 5708): A week before his 75th birthday, Dr. Isador E. Philo, a native of Cardiff, Wales, the retired rabbi of Rodef Sholom temple, Youngstown, Ohio, and a former resident of Altoona, PA, who also served the Temple Beth Israel congregation during several of the World war II years, passed away today at his home in Youngstown.
1948: Re-release today of “Dick Tracy Returns” a film based on the comic strip cop featuring Ned Glass as “Kid Stark”
1948: A two-pronged attack by Israeli forces designed to drive Arab Legion forces from the eastern section of Jerusalem failed. The Old City would remain under Jordanian occupation until 1967. During this time, Jews were barred from the Old City and no Arabs demanded that the Old City be made the capital of a Palestinian state.
1948: On the second day of Operation Death to the Invader, an Israeli military operation designed to connect settlements in the Negev with the rest of Israel, a series of Israeli assaults failed in their attempt to take their objectives.
1948: During Operation Dekel, Israeli forces took the villages of Hittin and Nimrin.
1950: Valerian Trifa, the Romanian Cleric who hid his role in the fascist, anti-Semitic Iron Guard, took advantage of the Displace Persons Immigration Law to move to the United States today. His lies and his role in the Holocaust would eventually be exposed by Israeli author Zev Goland
1951: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Ministry of Finance denied charges that the Custodian of Enemy Property had transferred valuable land in Tel Aviv to high government officials and Mapai and Histadrut leaders, at prices far below the prevailing market valuations. Minister of Finance Eliezer Kaplan, vigorously denied such charges and intended to take legal actions against the editor of Haboker, the General Zionist daily, and the mayor of Tel Aviv, Israel Rokach, for having spread such allegations. The Knesset Finance Committee asked the State Comptroller to investigate the whole affair.
1956(9th of Av, 5716): Tish'a B'Av
1956: U.S. premiere of “High Society” produced by Sol C. Siegel.
1957: U.S. premiere of “Hatful of Rain” directed by Fred Zinnemann with music by Bernard Herrmann.
1959(11th of Tammuz, 5719): Eugene Meyer publisher and owner of the Washington Post passed away. Meyer is the father of Katherine Graham. While Graham has earned a reputation for making the Washington Post into one of the nation’s leading papers, the process was actually begun by her father who took over the bankrupt paper and proceeded to vanquish several stout competitors including the now defunct Times Herald and Evening Star.
1959: “American jazz singer and songwriter” Billie Holiday, a lady with a most unmistakable voice in style who stepped out of her comfort zone when she record “My Yiddish Mamme” passed away today.
1960: Binyamin Mintz, a member of Agudat Israel Workers, was appointed Minister of Postal Services by David Ben-Gurion today, serving until his death the following May.
1966: After 129 performances, the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman,” a musical composed by Charles Strouse “based on the comic book character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics.”
1968: “For Love of Ivy” comedy directed by Daniel Mann and produced by Edgar J. Scherick and Jay Weston was released by Cinerama Releasing Corporation in the United States today.
1968: “Every Bastard a King” (Kol Mamzer Melech) a drama directed by Uri Zohar, produced by Chaim Topol, and starring Yehoram Gaon was released today in Israel.
1968: Birthdate of actress Elizabeth Natalie “Bitty” Schram whose acting multi-media acting skills included two years in the original Broadway production of “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” two years as “Sharona Flemng” in the off-beat television crime show “Monk” and a supporting role in the baseball/feminist film “A League of their Own.”
1969: Israeli trucks drive through the Sinai heading for the east bank of the Gulf of Suez. They are carrying the equipment for the commandos who will be attacking the Green Island, the Egyptian for in the middle of the Gulf of Suez.
1972: Avner Shaki left the cabinet today where he had been serving as Deputy Minister of Education and Culture.
1974: Hillel Butman, who was “convicted in the 2nd Leningrad Trial in May of 1971 and who is serving a 10 year sentence in a Perm labor camp, got 5 months solitary confinement for going on hunger strike on eve of President Nixon’s visit.”
1974: Five children of Soviet Jewish activists ended a 3 week campaign for the release of their parents.
1975: Birthdate of Israeli actor and comedian Eli Finish.
1976: In Montreal, opening of the Olympics where Natalia Kushnir led the Soviet Volleyball Team to a Silver Medal.
1979: Simone Veil began serving as the 12th President of the European Parliament.
1979: Birthdate of Nathan B. “Nate” Bruckenthal, the Petty Officer 3rd Class who became the first Coast Guardsman to be killed in action since the Viet Nam war when he was killed by suicide bombers during a waterborne assault on the Khawr Al Amaya oil terminal
1981: In response to a major rocket attack on northern Israel by the PLO from southern Lebanon, the AIF launched a massive attack on PLO headquarters in downtown Beirut. Civilian casualties were inevitable given the Palestinian military for hiding among non-combatants. The AIF also attacked PLO positions in southern Lebanon from where the rocket attacks were launched.
1981: Two girls were wounded in Katyusha bombardments on the Galilee.
1982: A six month North American tour of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Sweeny Todd” that began in Wilmington came to an end in Toronto, Canada.
1984: Final broadcast of “Second City Television” (SCTV) the comedy sketch series that helped to launch the career of Rick Mornais.
1991: The Brown Building, the top three floors of which were at one time occupied by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, which was the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 garment workers on March 25, 1911 was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places today.
1991: “Man Trouble” a comedy directed by Bob Rafelson, co-starring Ellen Barkin and featuring Saul Rubinek and Paul Mazursky was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States today.
1992: U.S. premiere of “Stranger Among Us” directed by Sidney Lumet and co-produced by Howard Rosenman.
1992: U.S. premiere of “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” starring Rick Moranis.
1993(28th of Tammuz, 5753): Parashat Matot-Maesei – completion of the Book of Numbers or Bamidbard
1993(28th of Tammuz, 5753): Seventy-eight year old British journalist and publisher Harold Harris, the WW II Captain who tracked and arrested Joachim von Ribbentrop and was the editor for Arthur Kosetler passed away today.
1994(9th of Av, 5754): Tish’a B’Av
1994: Pitcher Andrew Lorraine made his major league debut with the California Angels.
1996: Eighty-one year old French collaborator Paul Claude Marie Touvier and enthusiastic member of the “Milice” who was convicted of “crimes against humanity” after having been granted a pardon thanks to the efforts of Catholic Church leaders died today.
1996: “Walking and Talking” co-starring Live Schreiber was released today in the United States.
1997: “Go Milk a Fruit a Fruit Bat!” published today provided a review of Jared Diamond’s Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality
2001(26th of Tammuz, 5761): Eighty-four year old publisher Katharine Meyer Graham who led the Washington Post during the “Watergate Days” passed away today.
2001(26th of Tammuz, 5761): Yehiel De-Nur, a Polish born Israeli author whose writings often employed themes based on his time at Auschwitz, passed away.
2001: As the 16th Maccabiah games entered their second day, the Palestinian Authority condemned yesterday’s suicide attack near a train station in the northern Israeli town of Binyamina today, which killed two soldiers, critically wounded a third, and injured several other people while “the Islamic War” claimed credit for the attack and threatened Israel with more of the same. (As reported by Joel Greenberg)
2003(17th of Tammuz, 5763): Tzom Tammuz
2003: New York Review of Books features a review Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948–1953 y Jonathan Brent and Vladimir P. Naumov
2005: Haaretz reported that The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing whether two United States citizens arrested recently planned to carry out an attack on the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles and a synagogue in the area. The two suspects who had recently converted to Islam had been arrested for taking part in at least ten robberies. Evidence of their involvement in a possible attack against Jewish institutions came to light after their arrest.
2006: In accordance with instructions of the Home Front Command, the Carmiel Festival, scheduled to begin on July 18, 2006 will be postponed until October because of the Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel.
2007: An exhibition of manuscripts of scientist Sir Isaac Newton – never before revealed to the public which opened on June 18, 2007, at the Jewish National and University Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at an exhibition opening comes to an end today. The manuscripts include details of Newton's alchemy experiments, his interest in ancient history and apocalyptic prophecies. Furthermore, they reveal his deciphering of what he considered to be ''secret knowledge'' – knowledge encoded in the sacred texts of ancient cultures and other historical records – including his attempts to extract scientific information from the biblical and Talmudic descriptions of the Tabernacle and the Temple. Newton's writings on Judeo-Christian prophecy reveal that he thought of himself as a kind of prophet. These manuscripts back up speculations that Sir Isaac Newton was a Grand Master of the Priory of Sion secret society (1691-1727), a post also said to have been held by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli and Victor Hugo, and which inspired Dan Brown's bestseller, 'The Da Vinci Code. Of special interest in this exhibition are manuscripts and illustrations relating to the Temple as well as a passage copied by Newton from Maimonides' writings; manuscripts containing Newton's comments on Hebrew expressions, and excerpts from the Shema prayer; Newton's calculations of the end of the world, which he estimated to be in 2060; and Newton's rejection of the Trinity. For further details about the exhibition, please visit the following site: 2008: In Kensington, Maryland, Robert Wexler, a six-term U.S. congressman from Florida, discusses and signs Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress (written with David Fisher) at Borders Books
2008: The military funerals for Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser the two Israeli soldiers abducted in 2006 by Hezbollah, whose bodies were returned yesterday as part of a prisoner swap take place today in their respective hometowns. Ehud Goldwasser is laid to rest at 10 A.M. in the military cemetery in Nahariya and Eldad Regev is buried at 2 P.M. in Haifa
2008: Robert Magnus, who served as the 30th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from September 8, 2005 to July 2, 2008 retired today after more than 39 years of service.
2009: At the18th Maccabiah Games round five in the Chess Competition.
2009: The Jerusalem Film Festival features a screening “Bar Mitzvah” in which Boris Thomashefsky plays Israel, a widower whose wife Leah was lost at sea ten years earlier en route to America. Israel, his new wife Rosalie, his daughter Birdie, and son Yudele return to Poland for Yudele’s Bar Mitzvah. Unbeknownst to Israel, Rosalie and her lover are planning to run off with his money. Leah (played by Thomashefsky’s second wife Regina Zuckerberg), has miraculously survived and having regained her memory, returns to Poland, only to discover through her in-laws that Israel has remarried. Leah grasps the situation, but attends the Bar Mitzvah ceremony in secret. She is revealed by her tears when Yudele chants the Kaddish for his dead mother. Subsequently, Israel discovers Rosalie’s treacheries and when he threatens to call the police, her partner pulls a gun. All is set right, however, when Israel is saved by his daughter’s happy-go-lucky American suitor. In the end, the con artists are arrested and the family is reunited. Bar Mitzvah features several songs, including its hit song “Erlekh Zayn” (“Be Virtuous”), sung by Thomashefsky. New restoration and new English subtitles by the National Center for Jewish Film.
2009(25th of Tammuz, 5769): General Meir Amit passed away at the age of 88. A soldier during the War for Independence, Amit was commander of the famed Golani Brigade, a graduate of Columbia and a major general in the IDF. His greatest claim to fame was his service as head of Mossad during which he managed the activities of Eli Cohen and provided the intelligence estimates that were helpful in during the Six Day War. When word of the death of this popular general reached Israeli President Shimon Peres he said, “Generations of Israelis, entire generations of children, owe Meir Amit a debt of gratitude for his immense contribution - a large part which remains secret - in building the strength and deterrence of Israel...He was a natural leader, whom people trusted, and at the same time he was a visionary for the state.” Amit’s autobiography, A Life in Israel's Intelligence Service: An Autobiography, was published a month after he died.
2010: Israeli artist Shahar Marcus is scheduled to be the Homecoming Artist as part of The Art Omi International Artists Residency.
2010: Senior Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan announced today that the Palestinian Authority will not hold direct negotiations with Israel at this time. The announcement followed a meeting between PA leaders and United States envoy George Mitchell.
2010: Nir Bergman’s Intimate Grammar won the Haggiag Award for Best Full-Length Feature Film at the 27th Jerusalem Film Festival, which ended tonight. The prize carries a cash award of NIS 110,000. The film, based on a novel by David Grossman, tells the story of a Jerusalem boy ambivalent about growing up. Bergman’s first feature, Broken Wings, took the top prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival in 2002. This year’s award came as no surprise, as Bergman’s film quickly emerged as the clear frontrunner, a favorite with audiences and critics. The Van Leer Award for Best First/Second Feature went to Avishai Sivan’s The Wanderer. The film, which was at the Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of an alienated ultra-Orthodox young man.
2011: The first annual NYC Schlep is scheduled to begin today at 9 a.m. in Battery Park. Organized by the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, the 5K run/walk seeks to raise funds for breast cancer research in Israel and the United States. It is expected to draw several hundred people to lower Manhattan, according to Joshua Plaut, the group’s executive director. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Davidoff Cancer Center at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center, and will be used to fund fellows from Israel and the United States who are researching breast cancer cures and treatments. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Jewish women in Israel and the U.S., according to the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center. The center’s figures indicate that one in eight Jewish women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.
2011: The New York Times includes a review of Lipman Pike: America’s First Home Run King by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Zachary Pullen, “a short biography of Lip Pike, credited with being the first paid professional as well as the first Jewish ball player (a combination that did not always please fans).”
2011: The IDF denied reports that their planes had struck at Gaza today despite the fact that falling three Qassam rockets had been fired into southern Israel during the night.
2011(15th of Tammuz, 5771): Ninety-four year old Alex Steinweiss passed away. You may not know his name, but if you have ever bought an LP or long-playing record you know his work since he was the designer of the modern LP album cover. (As reported by Steven Heller)
2012: “The Flat” is scheduled to be shown as part of the Mizel Summer Film Series in Denver, Colorado.
2012: The national unity government formed in Israel two months ago unraveled on today, when the head of the centrist Kadima Party, Shaul Mofaz, announced that he was withdrawing because of intractable differences with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party over a proposed universal national service law.
2012: The remains of a 2,300-year-old naval pier have been uncovered in Acre, adding to the coastal city’s long and varied history by showing it was a substantial port in the Hellenistic period.
The remains, unveiled at the site by the Israel Antiquities Authority today, were uncovered by marine archaeologists this month during restoration work on Acre’s southern seawall.
2013: Layla Lavan, “an epic night of Israeli food, drinks and music” is scheduled to take place at Hudson Station in Manhattan.
2013: In Cedar Rapids, the Hadassah Book Club is scheduled to discuss The Girl in the Green Sweater by Chrystyna Chiger.
2013: State Comptroller Joseph Shapira blasted the absence of criminal investigations into illegal settler building and the loss of millions of shekels in uncollected property fees in the West Bank, in a section of the 63rd annual report he submitted to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein this morning. (As reported by Tovah Lazaroff
2013: Bulgaria's interior minister said today that his country has received additional evidence implicating Hezbollah in the 2012 bus bombing in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver, Sofia News Agency reported.
2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and AJC Chicago’s Latin American Task Force are scheduled to host “a special program recognizing the 20th Anniversary of the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured hundreds.”
2014: The Historic 6th & I Synagogue is scheduled to host “Jewish Daughter Diaries – Book Club” facilitated by author Rachel Ament.
2014: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to deliver the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Lecture.
2015(1st of Av, 5775): Rosh Chodesh Av
2015: Two months after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, “Irrational Man,” film written and directed by Woody Allen, co-produced by sister Letty Aronson and featuring Ben Rosenfield was released today in the United States today.
2015: In “Abraham Foxman to Retire After 28 Years of Fighting Anti-Semitism” published today, Joseph Bergman provides a portrait of the retiring head of the Anti-Defamation League.
2015: “Egyptian show that’s flattering to Jews is a surprise hit among Palestinians” published today described the impact of Haret al-Yahud,” or “The Jewish Quarter,” “the steamy Egyptian soap that tells a Romeo and Juliet tale of a beautiful daughter of a well-to-do Jewish merchant and a dashing Muslim army commander falling in and out and in love again in old Cairo during the earth-shaking 1948 Arab-Israeli war and its aftermath.”
2015: “When Marnie Was There” and “Under Electric Clouds” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
2015: Rachel Cohen a member of Women of the Wall was arrested while holding her Torah, interrogated and later released today. (Historically, what have we called it when police arrest Jews trying to pray?)
2015: The Yiddish Art Trio - clarinetist Michael Winograd, double-bassist and singer Benjy Fox-Rosen, and accordionist Patrick Farrell – a rising new star in the firmament of Klezmer music is scheduled to perform before at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA.
2015: In Atlanta, Timothy Frilingos, the Breman Museum’s Director of Exhibitions is scheduled to lead a special tour of the museum’s latest Southern Jewish History Exhibition Eighteen Artifacts: A Story of Jewish Atlanta.
2016: “A War” and “The Death of Louis XIV” are scheduled to be shown on the final night of the Jerusalem Film Festival.
2016(11th of Tammuz, 5776): “Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow, 20, and Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh, 24, of the 601st Combat Engineering Battalion were killed when a grenade Tafesh had been “playing with” detonated at an army post on the Golan Heights, according to a military official.” where three others were also wounded.
2016: In Israel today, “the cabinet approved a proposal to all the treasury, for the first time, to advance a two-year budget” which Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel, who called “economic terror attack”
2016: In Coralville, Iowa, as a testament to the ongoing vitality of small town Judaism, the Sisterhood at Agudas Achim is scheduled to host the Annual Mitzvah Fund Brunch.
2016: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host “Role Camera…Music,” a performance by Dr. Marvin Berman of the sounds we think of when we see such classics as “Sophie’s Choice” and Schindler’s List.”
2016: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Collected Poems: 1950-2012 by Adrienne Rich, the editor of Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends, The Way To The Spring: Life and Death in Palestine in Ben Ehrenreich, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics and Other Literary Essays by Cynthia Ozick, A None’s Story: Searching for Meaning Inside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam by Corinna Nicolaou and Putting God Second: How to Save Religion by Donniel Hartman.
2016: “With Passion” an exhibition curated by Naomi Lev is scheduled to close at the SLAG Gallery.
2016: The final performance of “Another Way Home” presented by Theatre J is scheduled to take place today in Washington, DC.
2017: A ceremony is scheduled to take place this evening at Latrun celebrating the accomplishments of all the athletes at the Maccabiah.
2017: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” in London.
2017: “Becoming Cary Grant” and “The Cakemaker” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival.