Sunday, August 6, 2017

This Day, August 7, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


August 7

117:  The Roman Emperor Trajan passed away.  Trajan came to think of himself as another Alexander the Great and moved east towards Babylonia with the intent of extending the boundaries of the Roman Empire.  One of Trajan’s first moves was to conquer Parthia and then continue his eastward march towards to the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.  Unfortunately for him Parthia refused to remain conquered.  They rebelled against Trajan forcing him turn back and try and subdue them a second time.  The Jews of Parthia, many of whose families had fled the Roman Legions fifty years earlier when Rome sacked Jerusalem, were active in the revolt since they had no desire to live under Trajan or any other emperor.  If this were not enough reason for Trajan to have no love for the children of Israel, the Diaspora Revolts centered, primarily in the Jewish communities of Egypt and Cyprus broke out in 115, and last until the year of Trajan’s death. These revolts further drew down on the empire’s military might helping to end Trajan’s dreams of glory.

317: Birthdate of Constantius II, Roman emperor who, unfortunately for the Jewish people, followed in the footsteps of his father, Emperor Constantine. “Judaism faced some severe restrictions under Constantius, who seems to have followed an anti-Jewish policy in line with that of his father]. Early in his reign, Constantius issued a double edict in concert with his brothers limiting the ownership of slaves by Jewish people and banning marriages between Jews and Christian women. A later edict (issued by Constantius after becoming sole Emperor) decreed that a person who was proven to have converted from Christianity to Judaism would have their entire property confiscated by the state. However, it should be noted that Constantius' actions in this regard may not have been so much to do with Jewish religion as Jewish business; apparently, it was often the case that privately-owned Jewish businesses were in competition with state-owned businesses. As such, Constantius may have sought to provide as much of an advantage to the state-owned businesses as possible by limiting the skilled workers and the slaves available to the Jewish businesses.”

1106: Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, passed away.  During the period of the First Crusade acted to protect his Jewish subjects giving rise to the notion that rulers of the Holy Roman Empire saw themselves as “guardians” of their Jewish subjects.  Henry protected the rights of German Jews to pursue commercial activities.  In opposition to the Pope, Henry allowed any Jews who had been forcibly converted to return to Judaism.  Anyone who harmed “their Jews” was liable to be charged with treason.  The price of this protection was the acceptance of the role as “servi camerae,” i.e. “serfs of the imperial chamber.”

1316: John XXII is elected Pope.  During his reign, John the second of Avignon Popes would take the unpapal role of opposing a crusade, in this one proposed by King Philip V.  He did banish the Jews from all “Roman territory after his sister Sangisa conspired with “several priests to give testimony that the Jews had ridiculed by words and actions a crucifix which was carried through the street in a procession.”

1610: Paul V, issued “Exponi nobis nuper fecistis,” a papal bull concerning the dowries of Jewish women.

1634(13th of Av, 5394): Sara Abigail da Silva, daughter of Semuel da Silva passed away which led her husband Benjamin ben Immanuel Musaphia, the Spanish doctor and kabbalist  to dedicate “Zekher Rav, an adaptation of the creation myth in which all Hebrew word roots are used exactly once, to her.”

1705: Rabbi Zvi Ashkenazi sent a letter, co-signed by two other rabbinic judges, “exonerating David Nieto of all charges and the taint of Spinozian heresy.”

1713: A commission in Amsterdam declared that Nehemiah Hayyun was not guilty of heresy and he was returned to the community at public ceremony held at that city’s great synagogue.

1772: In a letter from Jacob ben Abraham Benider to the Earl of Rochford (Britain), Jacob tells how he was appointed by the Emperor of Morocco to be the Moroccan Minister to the English Court of King George III.  

1782: General George Washington created the Purple Heart, a medal given for acts of military valor which was later given to those wounded in battle including  Samuel Sobel, the Jewish Chaplain serving with the First Marine Division during the Korean War and Eric Greitens, a decorated Navy Seal who went on to be elected the first Jewish Governor of the state of Missouri.

1789: The United States War Department which would be renamed the U.S. Defense Department by President Truman, is established. The first Jew to hold the title of Secretary of War is Judah P. Benjamin.  But he held the job with Confederates, not the United States.  James Schlesinger, was the first person who was born Jewish to serve as U.S. Secretary of Defense.  However, he had converted to Christianity.  Harold Brown, who served under President Carter, was the first Jewish person to ever hold the top civilian military job.

1791: King Louis XVI of France signed into law a bill passed by the Assembly “that the Jew taxes should be remitted without an indemnification and that every tribute, under whatever name – protection money, residence tax, or tolerance money – should cease.”

1812: Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, who supported and aided the Czar's army during the Napoleonic wars, was forced to flee his hometown from Napoleon's forces which were advancing through White Russia in their push toward Moscow. After five months of wandering he finally found refuge in Pyena.

1820: Jacob De La Motta, the Georgia native who served as a surgeon in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 wrote a letter to President James Madison which he attached to a copy of the remarks he had made at the dedication of the new synagogue in Savannah.  It read in part, “Believing that you have ever been, and still continue to be, liberal in your views of a once oppressed people, and confident that you would cheerfully receive any information appertaining to the history of the Jews in this country, have induced me to solicit your acceptance of a Discourse pronounced on the occasion of the Consecration of the new Synagogue recently erected in our city.” (This stands in stark contrast to anti-Semitic environment Jews were dealing with in post-Napoleonic Europe.  As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

1830: Following the July Revoltuion, Jean-Pons-Guillaume Viennet a French deputy, proposed that recognition of a state religion should be removed from the constitution.  The proposal met with general approval and was another step towards Jews becoming fully integrated into French society.

1833: Isaac ben Raphael married Krendel bat Aaron at the Western Synagogue today.

1834: Isaac ben Asher married Nennela bat Nathan at the Western Synagogue today.

1835: Birthdate of Governor Roswell Flowers who appointed Edward Jacobs a lawyer and leader of the Jewish community to serve as Loan Commissioner

1839(27th of Av, 5599): Eighty-six year old Baron Bernhard von Eskeles the co-founder of banking-house of Arnstein and Eskeles  and the founder of the Austrian National Bank who was also a patron of the arts passed away today near Vienna.

1840: As Europeans – Jews and non-Jews – attempted to deal with the Blood Libel in Damascus, a delegation head by Adolf Cremieux and Moses Montefiore arrived in Egypt.

1840: Birthdate of Edward Henry Palmer who 1869 took part in the survey of the Palestine Exploration Fund’s survey of the Sinai and the author of The Desert of the Exodus: Journeys On Foot In The Wilderness of the Forty Years’ Wandering.

1842(1st of Elul, 5602): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1844: Birthdate of French geologist Auguste Michel-Lévy

1846: Beginning of the dedication of the Eagle Street Synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio.

1846: Samuel Costa married Sarah Levy at the Bevis Marks Synagogue today.

1850: In Laupheim, Klara Adler and Elkan Henle gave birth to composer and cantor Mortiz Henle.

1853: Birthdate of Shalom Bapuji Israel (AKA Shalom Ezekiel) the native of Belgaum, India the husband of Elisheba (Bathshebabai) Wargharkar and father of Moses Shalom Bapuji Israel Wargharkar who was a member of the civil service serving in Bombay who was “an active promoter of native female education.”

1862: "From Central Europe: A Scheme for Paying the National Debt " published today reports from Hanover Germany, that “a leading Jewish banker in Hamburg” has a plan “for defraying the expenses of war in America, raising a revenue, and paying the national debt” which he plans to present to the Secretary of the Treasury.  He proposes to use a lottery based system similar to that used by the Austrians and the Russians to save the credit of the United States. He proposes, on a semi-annual loan of $200,000,000, to issue eighty thousand representative shares at $2,500, which shares are to be subdivided into certificates, twenty-five in number for every share, and bearing the uniform value of $100, to which shall be attached a promissory coupon for two and a half per cent semi-annual interest. Every certificate, numbered for each share successively from one to twenty-five, is to be made payable semi-annually two months after the interest therefore becomes due, and to be taken up each in its regular order. In addition to this, he proposes the distribution of prizes, to be drawn after the manner of lotteries, and allotted to the holders of the drawn and fortunate shares -- every certificate representing a ticket or chance in the semi-annual drawing. These prizes, ranging variously from $200,000 down, are to be one hundred in number, and make a total of $490,000 every, half year. The loans, upon this basis, it is calculated, would cost the Government six per cent.

1862: “A Scheme for Paying the National Debt” described a plan that “a leading Jewish banker in Hamburg” plans on presenting the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury that will employ the same system of loans and lotteries used in Europe to wipe out America’s debt.

1862: An article published today entitled “Speculators Proscribed” quotes the following telegram from General Grant:

“To Brif.-Gen. J.T. Quimby, Columbus, Ky.:

GENERAL: Examine the baggage of all speculators coming South, and, when they have specie, turn them back. If medicine and other contraband articles, arrest them and confiscate the contraband article. Jews should receive special attention.

(Signed) U.S.GRANT. Major-General

1863: Philadelphian, Benjamin B Goodman who had begun his military career as a Sergeant in Company of the 27th Regiment completed his service in the Union Army as First Lieutenant in Company G of the same regiment.

1865: Birthdate of Micha Josef Berdyczewski, the Ukrainian native and son of a rabbi who wrote in Hebrew, Yiddish and German.

1865: The Sixty-Fifth Regiment a twelve-hundred man cavalry unit consisting of ten companies from Philadelphia and two companies from Pittsburgh which was organized by Colonel Max Friedman and which had a large number of Jews was mustered out of service today at Richmond after four years of service with the Union Army.

1865: After more than four years of service, Leopold Goldstrom, who had risen from the ran if Private to Quartermaster Sergeant of Company E in the Fifth Cavalry completed his service with the Union Army today.

1865: Two days short of having served a full four years with the Fifth Cavalry, Sergeant Jacob Trautman completed his service with the Union Army

1865: Philadelphian Henry Schloos, a Corporal with Company E who had been wounded near Richmond, VA in December of 1864 completed his service with the Union Army.

1865: The New York Times published the following letter from one of its readers who took exception to the use of the term “Jew” in a previous day’s publication along with an “apology from the paper.

To the Editor of the New-York Times:

Being one of a large number of the "Jewish" subscribers and supporters of your journal, I this morning noticed in your paper an extraordinary fact that a "Jew" was in trouble for selling cigars to make a living, without a license. May 1, as a Jew, ask you why this dreadful crime should call forth from you the fact that the perpetrator was a "Jew?" Was it because you so seldom hear of a Jew being in trouble or committing crime, that it deserved your special mention of the fact that the man was a Jew and not a Catholic, Protestant or of any other denomination? By informing me through your columns, you will much oblige MANY JEWISH SUBSCRIBERS.

We do not know that there is any propriety in giving prominence in a report to the religious persuasion of any delinquent before the courts. Nor do we believe the practice to be a common one. It was done in the instance above complained of, inadvertently. Unless a journal is in the habit of making such insidious distinctions in matters of religion, nationality, and so-forth there is probably little gained by parading a casual grievance of this kind. We don't suppose one in ten thousand readers of the TIMES will have noticed the slip (if such it must be called,) in our report until they read this. Certainly, there is no daily newspaper in the world less chargeable with sectarianism than the TIMES, and no class of our citizens know this better than those in whose behalf our correspondent professes to write. -- [ED, TIMES.]

1873: Birthdate of Alice Lillie Seligsberg, social worker and Zionist who helped to found Hadassah.

1873: In a letter dated with today’s date. John T. Leonard, sent a letter to the Sherriff of Placer County California, in which he claimed to have information as to who had murdered the late Benjamin Nathan of New York City.  The letter was actually addressed to the Superintendent of the New York City Police Department

1873: B.D. Dunman, the Sheriff of Placer County California wrote to Superintendent Matsell of the New York City Police Department that he had a letter from John T. Leonard in which Leonard claimed to have vital information about the unsolved murder of Benjamin Nathan. Dunman said he was enclosing a copy of the letter and would await instructions from Matsell as to what should be done next.  (The Nathan Murder was a major scandal in New York in which suspicion was cast on several people including Nathan’s sons.  The murder has never been solved.)

1874: Late this afternoon, Simon Meyer, a Jew from Poland, entered a saloon at Port Jefferson, New York.  For some unknown reason, Captain Simpson, skipper of the schooner James Owen, “committed a brutal and…unprovoked assault” on the Jewish Peddler.  The crowd of citizens separated the two and Simpson ran off.  But a little while later, he went into a store and attacked Meyer again.  This time Simpson was arrested and made to stand trial for these assaults.

1875: Julius Myers was the first President of The Hebrew Benevolent Society was organized today in Alpena, Michigan. (As reported by Rabbi Robert Layman)

1876: “Sodom and Gomorrah,” an article published today contains a description of Selah Morrel’s archeological expedition in Palestine that include visits to a series of “tel’s”  (mounds) that correspond to various sites mentioned in the Bible.

1877: A reprint of an article by Alfred Austin that had appeared in The National Review in which the British poet examined the life of Benjamin Disraeli including allusions to the prejudices he faced was published today in the United States.  In the end Austin concludes that in terms of Disraeli, “the English people blamed what was blameworthy, distrusted what was untrustworthy, and admired what was admirable. Had not wit ripened into wisdom, had not duty burned ambition pure, he never would have become Prime Minister of England.”

1878(8th of Av, 5638): Erev Tish'a B'Av

1879: The London Truth featured an article that described the relationship between the ancient Temple in Jerusalem and such biblical figures as Haggai, Joshua and Zerubbabel with the Fraternal Order of Masons.

1880: William Daly, the attorney for Gustave Hauser gave notice of his intention to appeal the jury’s decision that B.N. Crane did not have to repay the money his client had paid for the burial of person whom the undertaker had identified as being Jewish.  Hauser contended that Crane knew the deceased was not Jewish and misled the Jewish community so that the burial expenses would be covered.

1881: “A Cemetery for Strangers” published today described an upcoming concert that will be held to raise funds for a Jewish cemetery in Long Branch, NJ.  The concert is the second such fund-raiser held by a group under the leadership of Joseph Seligman.

1882: By nine o’clock this morning a crowd of more than three hundred Jews had gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society.  The destitute immigrants were seeking aid from the society.

1882: In New York, the eight-week long freight handlers strike came to an end when the workers capitulated even though the Italians and Jews who had been filling in for them appeared to be willing to join their ranks. (Businessmen would successfully pit members of different ethnic groups against each as a way to break a strikes; a tactic that would lose its effectiveness in the 1890’s)

1882: It was reported today that the British Museum has just bought the Judaeo-Persian manuscripts that had been acquired by Dr. Adolf Neubauer

1882: “Literary Notes” published today described the purchase by the British Museum of “The Judaeo-Persian manuscripts” recently acquired by Dr. Neubauer.

1882: Shortly before noon, a crowd of desperate Jews rushed up the stairs of the offices of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society.  The situation deteriorated and the police were called to quell the commotion.  Mr. Heilprin, the Superintendent of the Society, said the action was understandable because they had been misled by so many agencies in Europe that they no longer trust promises of future help

1883: It was reported today 100 people have been killed or wounded during anti-Semitic riots in Ekaterinoslav, Russia.  The mob has destroyed many of the homes and businesses belonging to the Jews including the liquor stores.

1883: “An Important Discovery” published today reported that the owner of a newly discovered manuscript has offered to sell it to the British Museum for five million dollars. The manuscript, which is nearly 3,000 years old contains a version of the Ten Commandments that differs from the one found in the Book of Exodus. 

1883: Mrs. Ivan M. Lotowski, a Jewess from Estellville, NJ lies near death after her cabin burned under mysterious circumstances which she has refused to describe to authorities.

1884: In Leadville, Colorado, the board of directors of Temple Israel approved a contract for the building of a sanctuary at 201 West 4th Street.

1886: “Charitable Work Criticized” published today described a turf war between Jewish agencies.  The President of the Jewish Immigrants’ Protective Society wrote a letter to the President of the United Hebrew Charities asking him to withdraw his organization’s representative from Castle Garden.  The Society was supposed to be taking care of the “resident poor” and most of the arriving immigrants were heading for the American West, thus bringing them under the purview of the Protective Society.

1886:”On The Watch For Paupers” published described the scheme of some of the subagents of English shipping lines to transport poor Romanian and Polish Jews to the United States for the highly discounted price of 38 marks of $10 per person.

1887: It was reported today the next excursion sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children will be paid for by “a friend.”  This anonymous donor is a woman who has been sponsoring the cruises for the last three years.

1888(30th of Av, 5648): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1890: As of today the managers of the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children “have received…$6,983” which will be used to provide free excursions for the children and their mother.

1890: Talmudic scholar Shalom Albeck and his wife gave birth to Hanoch Albeck who would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Professor of Talmud at Hebrew University.

1891: In St, Louis, Missouri, Joseph Lazarus Kranson and Caroline Kranson gave birth to Nathan Newton Kranson

1892: It was reported today the newly opened St. Vincent Hospital offers many services but unlike Mt. Sinai Hospital, it does not an “out-patient department” nor does it provide service for “convalescents that no longer require medical or surgical treatment.”

1893: “Education and the Family” published today provides a review of Talks by Twilight by Abbott Kinney who writes that Jews and Catholics in the United States enjoying the “happiest…family life.”

1894: Dr. James Drew, a professor of Biblical Literature who had written a Hebrew grammar book passed away.  He was a member of the Palestine Exploration Committee, the leading organization for modern archaeological exploration of 19th century Eretz Israel.

1894: Elias Ganse, the Jew who rented the ground floor at 236 Broome Street which he used as a saloon and liquor store stands accused of setting fire to the building so that he could collect on a $2,500 insurance policy.  The  smell of kerosene and the discovery that the fire had four points of origins was the Fire Marshall’s first clue that the fire was not one of those accidental conflagrations that was common to the Lower East Side.

1895: Henry Marks was elected to represent the constituency consisting of St. George, Tower Hamlets in the general elections that end today in the United Kingdom.

1895: “Gifts to Hebrew Charities” published today lists the bequests to Jewish organizations made by the late Eugene Kelly that total $9,500 which are to be distributed by Joseph Seligman.

1898(19th of Av, 5658): Sixty-one year old German Jewish Egyptologist Georg Moritz Ebers who discovered the Ebers Papyrus, a collection of medical writing from approximately 1550 BCE.

1899(1st of Elul, 5659): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1899: Captain Dreyfus today “refused to see the last set of photographs of children” that his brother had brought from Paris to Rennes where the French officer was about to go on trial for a second time.

1899: At Rennes, France, “the second trial by court-martial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus of the Fourteenth Regiment of Artillery” who had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 1894 “after having been convicted of delivering to the agents of a foreign power documents connected with the defense of France” began at 7:10 this morning

1899: “Jews Talk of Buying Cyprus” published today described the decision of Jews meeting in Berlin to gather more information about the American plan to purchase the Mediterranean island as site for Jewish colonization “before proceeding in the matter.”

1903: Herzl arrives in St. Petersburg, where he seeks Russian intervention with Turkey on behalf of his Zionist proposals to secure Jewish settlement in Palestine, and to permit open Zionist activity in Russia. He is received twice by Count Wenzel von Plehve, Russian minister of the interior, who is believed to be responsible for the Kishinev pogrom. Herzl's most important achievement is Wenzel von Plehve’s acquisition as a supporter of Zionism. Von Plehve would do anything to rid Russia of her Jews.

1904: Birthdate of Ralph J Bunche. Bunche was an African-American who hand an unusual career with the United States government before going to work with the United Nations shortly after its founding. a founder & UN diplomat (Nobel 1950) Beginning in 1947, he was involved with the Arab-Israeli conflict. He served as assistant to the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine, and thereafter as the principal secretary of the U.N. Palestine Commission. In 1948 he traveled to the Middle East as the chief aide to Count Folke Bernadotte, who had been appointed by the U.N. to attempt to mediate the conflict. In September, members of the Stern Gang assassinated Bernadotte. Bunche became the U.N.'s chief mediator and concluded the task with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements. This was a Herculean task that began with negotiations on the island or Rhodes. Bunche had to conclude separate agreements between each of the combatants and Israel. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in 1950 

1904: Birthdate of anti-Nazi activist Hanna Melzer.

1904: An attorney living in Solomonville, a town in the southeastern Arizona Territory founded by Anna and I.E. Solomon wrote a letter describing the Solomon family’s preparations for the upcoming wedding of their daughter Lillian. In the same letter, the lawyer lamented the fact that another local attorney and Lillian had been in love with each other but Anna Solomon “raised a big hullabaloo” because “he was not one of the chosen people” and the relationship came to an end.

1905: “Petticoat Lane” by James Douglas published today described a place where he says “the Jew barters and the Gentile buys.”

1906: Birthdate of American philosopher Nelson Goodman.

1911: Representative Seaborn A. Roddenbery of Georgia introduced a bill “providing for exclusion of aliens over 14 years of age unable to read and write, those not possessing one hundred dollars in cash, those not having certificates of good moral character, those not passing physical test equal to that of that of the United States Army, those judged to be physical, mentally or morally unfit to be American citizens and a head-tax of $50.”

1911: Senator William P. Dillingham of Vermont introduced a bill “providing an educational test for immigrants, the exclusion of those not eligible for naturalization, the consolidation of the Chinese exclusion law with the general immigration statues, the procuring by each immigrant of a certificate of admission and identity and other restrictive features.”

1914: Ludwig Wittgenstein, the 25 year old Austrian philosopher volunteered as a gunner in the Austrian army. Wittgenstein’s story was all too common. His paternal grandparents were Jewish.  His father, a well-to-do industrialist was raised as a Christian and young Wittgenstein followed in the faith of his father, not his grandfather.

1914: As the conflict widens, the first contingents of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) began arriving in France thinking they would “be home by Christmas” and having no idea that they would in France for four years.

1915: In Brixton, south London, “Arnold Mishcon, a rabbi who emigrated from Russian Poland, and his wife Queenie” gave birth to Victor Mischon, the future Baron Mischon, “a leading British solicitor” and Laborite who firm represented Princess Diana in her divorce proceedings.

1915(27th of Av, 5675): Lt Leo Edwin Davis, Manchester Regiment, was killed at Gallipoli. Of him one of his soldiers wrote. 'I was his orderly and all the men used to say what a nice officer we had got. He was as cool a man as I ever saw and never troubled'

1915: On Shabbat, Samuel Pochansky, the eldest son Eli Pochansky, an Orthodox Jew, entered his father’s home on Cherry and Grand Streets where he tormented his father by blowing cigarette smoke on him and taunted him which so enraged the Shabbat observant father that he struck his son and then struck his wife and daughter because they defended Samuel

1915: As the Gallipoli Campaign in which the Zion Mule Corps distinguished itself continued to stall, the Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade suffered severe losses during a failed attack at the Nek.

1915: During the Gallipoli Campaign, a brigade under the command of Sir John Monash led the ill-fated attack on Hill 971.

1915: In a heavily-bombed trench at Gallipoli, Lieutenant Leonard Keysor caught Turkish explosives and threw them back at the enemy for 50 hours straight. He was wounded twice but refused medical attention. He was awarded a Victoria Cross for his bravery.

1915: According to reports reaching Berlin tonight from Warsaw, the Polish capital has fallen to Germans following an attack on August 5 that was led by a Prussian reserve division which means that a significant Jewish population that has been ruled by Russians since the partitions in the 18th century will now be governed by the Germans who claim to be so much more enlightened.

1916(8th of Av, 5676): Erev Tish’a B’Av

1916: “An impressive Black Night service, commemorative of the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem 1,847 years ago was conducted” tonight by Dr. H. Pereira Mendes, the rabbi at Shearith Israel where “the auditorium of the synagogue was draped in black and the only light was from the individual candles which those in attendance held.”

1916: During WW I, the Ottoman and Germany forces that had launched an attack intended to take the Suez from the British continued their retreat which tonight reached Bir el Abd, the supply base established three weeks ago.

1917: During WW I, forty-two women and children, the families of American Jews arrived” in Berne “today in Jerusalem.”

1918: The Central Committee began publishing Der Emes (“The Truth”) today in Moscow.  It was the continuation of a short lived publication Di Varhayt 

1918: Following the Aisne-Marne Offensive which ended yesterday, future Medal of Honor Winner William Shemin began fighting along the Vesle River, near Bazoches.

1920: In Vienna, popular singer Lifshe Schaechter and her husband gave birth to Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman who married Jonas (Yoyne) Gottesman and after surviving the Holocaust  came to the United States where she raised three children – Taube, Hyam and Itik – and gained fame as a “Yiddish poet and playwright.

1920: “Adolf Hitler gives a speech in Salzburg in which he asserts the importance of eliminating the Versailles Treaty and furthermore blames the Jews — not just for the treaty, but for all of the problems afflicting Germany.” (As reported Austin Cline)

1923: Birthdate of Liane Berkowitz a member of the German resistance movement who was executed in 1943

1925: Nahum Shtif established YIVO (Yiddish Scientific Institute - Yidisher Visenshaftlikher Institut) as a Yiddish academic institute with its center in Vilna. Its goal was to promote scholarly research in Yiddish, especially on Jewish life and history in Eastern Europe. In addition, it standardized Yiddish spelling and gathered thousands of documents on Jewish culture and folklore from over much of Europe.

1926: “The Three Mannequins” a silent film written by Max Glass, starring Paul Graetz and with sets “designed by the art director Hans Jacoby” was released in Germany today.

1926: On Long Island Marcus and Anna (Low) Kaufman gave birth to author Sue Kaufman whose works included Diary of a Mad Housewife.

1926: Birthdate of English “political activist and journalist” Maurice Ludmer, the son of  “a Salford hairdress and a Hebrew teacher, whose life was unalterably changed when he visited Blesen while serving with the British Army during WW II.

1927: The Maccabee soccer team of Palestine defeated the Brooklyn Wand-erers by a score of 2 goals to 1 at Hawthorne Feld in Brooklyn today, thus completing their tour of the United States with an even break of five victories, five losses and one tie.

1927: The Zitenfeld twins, Bernice and Phyllis have arrived in Boulogne France, with the plans for swimming the English Channel.

1929(1st of Av, 5689): Rosh Chodesh Av

1929(1st of Av, 5689): Victor Luitpold Berger, a founding member of the Socialist Party of America and the first member of the Socialist Party to serve in the United States House of Representatives, died today from injuries sustained in a streetcar accident. Berger's views on World War I were complicated by the Socialist view and the difficulties surrounding his German heritage. However, he did support his party's stance against the war. When the United States entered the war and passed the Espionage Act in 1917, Berger's continued opposition made him a target. He and four other Socialists were indicted under the Espionage Act in February 1918; the trial followed on December 9 of that year, and on February 20, 1919, Berger was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. The trial was presided over by Judge Kenesaw Landis, who later became the first commissioner of Major League Baseball. His conviction was appealed, and ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court on January 31, 1921, which found that Judge Landis had improperly presided over the case after the filing of an affidavit of prejudice.[12]In spite of his being under indictment at the time, the voters of Milwaukee elected Berger to the House of Representatives in 1918. When he arrived in Washington to claim his seat, Congress formed a special committee to determine whether a convicted felon and war opponent should be seated as a member of Congress. On November 10, 1919 they concluded that he should not, and declared the seat vacant. Wisconsin promptly held a special election to fill the vacant seat, and on December 19, 1919, elected Berger a second time. On January 10, 1920, the House again refused to seat him, and the seat remained vacant until 1921, when Republican William H. Stafford claimed the seat after defeating Berger in the 1920 general election.Berger defeated Stafford in 1922 and was reelected in 1924 and 1926. In those terms, he dealt with Constitutional changes, a proposed old-age pension, unemployment insurance, and public housing. He also supported the diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union and the revision of the Treaty of Versailles. After his defeat by Stafford in 1928, he returned to Milwaukee and resumed his career as a newspaper editor.On July 16, 1929 Berger was struck by a streetcar at the corner of 3rd and Clarke Streets in Milwaukee. The accident fractured his skull, and he died of his injuries on August 7, 1929. Prior to burial at Forest Home Cemetery his body lay in state at City Hall and was viewed by 75,000 residents of the city.

1931: “Huckleberry Finn” a movie version of the Mark Twain novel directed by Norman Taurog and produced by Adolph Zuckor and Jesse Lasky was released in the United States today by Paramount Pictures.

1931: “The Miracle Woman” a movie based on “Bless You Sister” a play co-authored by Robert Riskin produced by Harry Cohn with a screenplay by Jo Swerling was released in the United States today by Columbia Pictures.

1932: Eighteen year old Holocaust survivor wrote a description of his trip to “the beer garden in Hausenheimer “ in his diary today.

1933: Birthdate of Elinor Clair Awan, the daughter of a Jewish father and a Protestant mother who gained fame as Elinor Ostrom, the award winning political economist.

1933: In Springfield, New Jersey, for the second day in a row, an undetified plane flies over an open-air meeting of United Singers Society and scatters German language pamphlets protesting against the decision of the Society to prohibit representatives of the Friends of New Germany from attending its meetings. The Friends of the New Germany was a pro-Nazi organization formed at the behest of Berlin that would morph into the German-American Bund. The United Singers Society was a German organization made up conservatives who are not sympathetic to the Friends of New Germany.  Attendees complained that the noise of the plane interrupted the community sing-along taking place below.

1933: In Germany, an order is issued forbidding Jews to remain in the towns near Nuremberg

1933: The municipality of Nuremberg forbids Jews to use municipal swimming pools and baths.

1933: The Baden Government issued new citizenship regulations declaring that no Jew, no Jewish descendants, and no one married to a person of Jewish blood will be permitted to obtain citizenship; non-Jews applying for citizenship must prove their pure "Aryanism."

1933: The Leipzig Fair Management announces that non-Aryans will be admitted to the exposition; and though there will be a "Brown display" of goods limited to Germans only, Jews will not altogether "be eliminated from the bazaar."

1933: In an interview with Herschel Farbstein, of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, President Ignacy Moscicki of Poland expressesd his satisfaction with the share Polish Jewry has played in the rebuilding of Palestine.

1933(15th of Av, 5693): The Nazis murdered Felix Fechnebach, a Jewish Editor in Dachau.

1935: In Chicago, 40,000 fans watched Joe Louis knocked out King Levinsky after only 2 minutes and 21 seconds of the first round.

1936: In Geneva, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, the president of the World Jewish Congress  “told newspaperman at a reception today” said that the first meeting of the Congress which will open tomorrow will be attended by ;250 delegates and would be the “most representative meeting of its kind in Jewish history.”

1937: “Blonde Trouble” a romantic comedy based on the George S. Kaufman musical “June Moon” was released today in the United States by Paramount Pictures.

1937: “A Yiddish newspaper called Der Freihaits Kempfer or Fighters for Liberty appeared at the Front” during the Spanish Civil War today.

1937: Menachem Ussishkin was unanimously elected president of the 20th Zionist Congress, held in Zurich.

1937: The debate over the recommendations of the Peel Commission raged on among and between Jews, Arabs and various third parties. Opening the deliberations, Chaim Weizmann, on behalf of the Zionist Organization, proposed to accept the Royal (Peel) Commission's partition plan in principle, but simultaneously declared the present scheme unacceptable. He complained that world Jewry failed to make a massive aliya in the early 1920s. Weizmann urged that the current challenges demand an undivided Jewish front and thought that the eventual emergence of a Jewish state would facilitate the Jewish-Arab understanding. Dr. Moshe Kleinbaum (Sneh) also urged the congress to accept the Jewish state, but sought to empower the Zionist Executive to negotiate different frontiers.  

1938(10th of Av, 5698):Tish'a B'Av

1938: In Danzig, a second night of Gestapo raids aimed at Jews frequenting local hostelries and dining establishments.  Several British Jews who vacationing along the Baltic were victimized along with the local Jewish population.”

1938: As Malcolm McDonald, the British Colonial Secretary, visited Palestine he got a firsthand taste of Arab violence when “a settlement near Tel Aviv” was subject to an attack by Arabs armed with heavy weapons including machine guns while another band of Arabs broke into a Jewish mosaic factory near Petah Tikvah and burned it.

1938: Seventy-five year old Constantin Stanislavski, found of the Moscow Art Theatre whose relationship with “Yiddish actress Stella Adler” is the subject of “Stella in the Bois de Bologne” passed away today.

1939: Birthdate of Lynn, MA, native Verna Bloom, the actress who has played roles as varied as Mary, the mother of Jesus and Marion Wormer, the promiscuous dean’s wife in “Animal House..”

1939(22nd of Av, 5699): Leonard Merrick, born Leonard Miller in London, an overseer in the Kimberly Diamond mine and solicitor who worked in the theatre before becoming, in his day, a popular novelist, passed away today.

1940: The Jews of Algeria lose their French citizenship with the abrogation of the Cremieux Decree.

1941(14th of Av, 5701): In Zhitomir, Russia  402 Jews were gathered and brought to the town square, where they were forced to watch the public hanging of the two Jewish judges, Wolf Kieper and Moshe Kagen.  After the hanging, “A large crowd of locals had gathered to watch the event, and participated in the public abuse, beating and murder of the 402 Jews gathered in the town square.”

 1941(24th of Av, 5702): Four hundred and two Jews were forced to watch the pubic hanging of two Jewish judges – Wolf Kieper and Moshe Kagan- in Zhitomir, Ukraine.

1942(24th of Av, 5702): Janusz Korczak, a Polish-Jewish educator, children's author, and pediatrician known as Pan Doktor ("Mr. Doctor") or Stary Doktor ("Old Doctor") who wrote under the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit died with the orphans he had been caring for at Treblinka

1942: During World War II the Battle of Guadalcanal begins as U.S. Marines initiate the first American offensive of the war with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.  Jewish boxer Barney Ross (he was lightweight, welterweight and junior welterweight champion in the 1930s) had enlisted right after Pearl Harbor even though at age 32 he was well passed draft age.  During the battle of Guadalcanal, he was seriously wounded while rescuing injured comrades from a Japanese ambush. His heroism under fire earned him a Silver Star. Other Jewish Marines who served on Guadalcanal included Lou Diamond and LeRoy Diamond, model for the film Pride of the Marines

1942: A photograph, a copy of which survived the war, was taken today of Jewish policeman and Germans during an aktion in the Warsaw Ghetto.

1944: Approximately 68,000 Jews remained in the Lodz Ghetto.. This was the largest gathering of Jews outside of the camps left in all of Europe. Of this remnant, 67,000 of were told they were to be resettled. Instead they are sent to Birkenau. The shipment of Jews that began today lasted 23 days, finally ending on August 30. Once there, most of the Jews meet the usual horrific fate - selection, death by gas, and then the cremation of their bodies. Some of the crippled were specially selected by Dr. Mengele. He still had plenty of subjects to use for his medical "studies" and experiments

1945(28th of Av, 5705): Forty-six year old Carl Pack, the native of Worcester, MA and graduate of Brooklyn Law who served as a member of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate passed away today.

1945: It is reported that there are eight Rabbis left in Salonica.

1947: Fourteen members of the SS, 4 kapos and 1 civilian faced charges of war crimes “committed in the operation of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp on the first day of the “Dora Trial.”

1948: Birthdate of Dan Halutz who served as Commander of the Israeli Air Force and Chief of Staff of the IDF.

1948: In Brooklyn, NYIrving and Celia Appel gave birth to sports management executive and author Martin E. “Marty” Appel the author of Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss and husband of Lourdes Appel.

1949: In New York the former Beverly Behrman and her husband Norman Bertram Coleman, Sr. gave birth to Norman Bertram “Norm” Coleman, Jr. the future U.S. Senator from Minnesota.

1951: The New York Times reports from Tel Aviv that many prominent United States Zionists who are gathering here for the opening next week of the World Zionist Congress are trying to use their influence to bring about an Israeli coalition government of the Socialist Mapai party and the General Zionists.

1952: In its on-going war against Arab terror Israeli police and soldiers caught 37 infiltrators trying to enter the country in the week just ended. 

1953: “The Band Wagon,” a musical comedy co-produced by Arthur Freed, written by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Alan Jay Lerner and co-starring Oscar Levant was released today in the United States by MGM.

1954: Birthdate of Jonathan Jay Pollard

1954: “King Richard and the Crusaders” a medieval costume drama co-starring Laurence Harvey and with music by Max Steiner was released in the United States today.

1955: Birthdate of comedian and television producer Marc Weiner.

1955: Bar Ilan University was founded. Since its founding, Bar Ilan has grown to become one of Israel’s largest universities. The main campus is located outside of Tel Aviv and currently has 32,000 students with a faculty of over 1,600. For more about the school see its English language website http://www.biu.ac.il/index_eng.shtml.  

1958: Filming of “The Geisha Boy” starring Jerry Lewis came to an end.

1960: In New York Margaret "Meg" Duchovny and Amram "Ami" Ducovny a writer and publicist who worked for the American Jewish Committee gave birth today David Duchovny, award winning star of the X-Files.

1960: “It Started in Naples” a romantic comedy directed Melville Shavelson was released in the United States today.

1961: Twenty-eight year old Moshe Carmeli married Elisheva Cohen while working on his doctorate at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa

1963: A month after its premiere screening “Beach Party” the first in a series of teen summer movies directed by William Asher under the guidance of Executive Producer Samuel Z. Arkoff was released in the rest of the United States today.

1964: In an act that proved to prophetic, Ernest Gruening of Alaska was only one of two U.S. Senators to vote against the Gul of Tonkin Resolution

1968: “With Six You Get Eggroll” a comedy directed by Howard Morris and produced by Martin Melcher was released today in the United States by National General Pictures.

1968: Actress Barbara Bach (born Barbara Goldbach) and her husband gave birth to “singer-songwriter Francesca Gregorini.”

1969(23rd of Av, 5729): Sixty-three year Budapest born French composer Joseph Kosma passed away today.

1969: Birthdate of American journalist Scott Stossel author of My Age of Anxiety.

1969: One soldier was killed and 12 more injured in bus bombing near El Hamma.

1970(5th of Av, 5730): Seventy-three year old Benjamin “Bennie” Zeidman, also known as B.F. Zeidman whose lengthy career in the movie industry began in 1911 at Lublin Studios passed away today in Philadelphia.

1970: A cease fire was declared between Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon on the one hand and Israel on the other.  

1970: A cease-fire agreement was reached, forbidding either side from changing "the military status quo within zones extending 50 kilometers to the east and west of the cease-fire line." Minutes after the cease-fire, Egypt begins moving SAM batteries into the zone even though the agreement explicitly forbids new military installations and by October there are approximately one-hundred SAM sites in the zone.

1971(16th of Av, 5731): Rabbi Yitzhak-Meir Levin, a Haredi (ultra-orthodox Jewish) politician passed away. “He had political roles in Poland and Israel. One of 37 people to sign the Israeli declaration of independence, he served in several Israeli cabinets, and was a longtime leader and Knesset minster for Agudath Israel and related parties. Born in Góra Kalwaria (known as Ger in Yiddish) in the Russian Empire (today in Poland), Levin studied at yeshivas, before being certified as a rabbi. A founder of Agudath Israel in Poland, he was elected to Warsaw Community Council as a representative of the organisation in 1924, and five years later was elected to the World Agudath Israel presidium. In 1937 he was elected as one of the two co-chairmen of the organisation's executive committee. Between 1937 and 1939 he was a member of the Sejm, the Polish parliament, representing Agudath Israel. In 1940 became the sole chairman. He was also involved in founding the Beis Yaakov school system for religious Jewish girls. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Levin helped refugees in Warsaw, before immigrating to Mandate Palestine in 1940, where he became head of the local branch of Agudath Israel. After signing the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948, Levin joined David Ben-Gurion's provisional government as Minister of Welfare. He was elected to the first Knesset in 1949 as a member of the United Religious Front, an alliance of the four major religious parties, and was reappointed to his ministerial role in the first and second governments. After retaining his seat in the 1951 elections Levin rejoined Ben-Gurion's government as Minister of Welfare, but resigned in 1952 in protest at the National Service Law for Women. He remained a member of the Knesset until his death in 1971, but not a member of the cabinet; in his remaining terms, he represented Religious Torah Front -- an alliance of Agudath Israel and its laborer's branch Poalei Agudath Israel.”

1972: Sandy Koufax is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York

1973(9th of Av, 5733): As the Egyptian Army engages in training exercises that will lead to the Yom Kippur War, Jews observed Tish’a B’Av

1974: Premiere of “California Split” starring George Segal and Elliott Gould.

1976: President Amin of Uganda is reportedly asking President Kenyata of Kenya to act “as a go-between with Britain in efforts to normalize relations” between the two nations.  Uganda had broken diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom in the wake of the Entebbe Rescue Mission.

1977: Wayne L. Horvitz, who President Jimmy Carter had named director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in April 1977 played a behind-the-scenes role in the negotiations between the Communications Workers of America and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company that averted a nationwide strike just before tonight’s  midnight deadline

1977: After 1.050 performances, the curtain came down on “Shenandoah,” a musical with a book co-written by the producer Philip Rose and featuring Robert Rosen as “Henry.”

1978: “Israeli, Jewish Leaders Express Sorrow at the Death of Pope Paul VI” published today described the saddened reaction of everybody from Yitzhak Navon to Menachem Began to Rabbi Shlomo Goren to the death of the pontiff of whom Goren said, “He tried to remove the chronic hatred between Christianity and Judaism.” (JTA)

1983: After 199 performances, the curtain came down on the Broadway production “Merlin” a musical co-authored by Richard Levinson with music by Elmer Bernstein and lyrics by Don Black which had been playing at the Mark Hellinger Theater.

1986:  “Ex-Aides Charge Brooklyn College Violated Rules” published today described allegations made against basketball coach and former NYU standout Mark Reiner. (As reported by Michael Goodwin)

1987: “Masters of the Universe” a sci-fi fantasy film produced by Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan was released in the United States today.

1988: “Safe Men” a comedy directed and written by John Hamburg costarring Michael Lerner was released in the United States today by October Films.

1992: After premiering in Los Angeles, “The Unforgiven” a very dark Western with music by Lennie Niehuas and featuring Saul Rubinek as W. W. Beauchamp was in the rest of the United States today by Warner Bros.

1992: “3 Ninjas” a comedy directed by Jon Turteltaub was released in the United States today.

1996: Rabbi Eli Suissa, the native of Morocco whose family moved to Israel in 1956 became Minister of Religious Affairs a position he held for only five days until replaced by Netanyahu. 

1998: “Safe Men” a comedy written and directed by John Hamburg and co-starring Michael Lerner was relased today in the United States.

1998: Publication of paperback edition of The Picador Book of Contemporary Scottish Fiction by Peter Kravitz the native of London who has spent “most of his life in Edinburgh where among other things, he served as the editor of Polygon for ten years.

2001(18th of Av, 5761): Wael Ghanem, 32, an Arab Israeli resident of Taibeh, was shot and killed by Palestinian assailants on the road near Kalkilya. Police believe he was murdered because of suspected collaboration with Israeli authorities.

2001(18th of Av, 5761): Zohar Shurgi, 40, of Moshav Yafit in the Jordan Valley, was shot and killed by terrorists while driving home at night on the Trans-Samaria Highway.

2003: During an interview on the "Sean Hannity Radio Show," Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore says that he may ignore the federal court order to remove the 5,280-pound granite Ten Commandments monument which he installed at the state's judicial building.  For those who object to the display, this is a matter of separation of church and state.  Moore claims that the Biblical commandments are a cornerstone of the American legal system.  One problem that he and those of his ilk never address is which version of the commandments should be shown – Hebrew, Latin or English; Exodus or Deuteronomy; Jewish, Catholic or Protestant.

2004: “The Nautch Girl” a two-act comic opera with music by Edward Solomon was performed for the first time by the Royal English Opera Company of Rockford, Illinois.

2005:  Quarterback Bennie Friedman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In the following article entitled Benny Friedman: Considered NFL’s First True Passer” Seymour “Sy” Brody described the prowess of one the early stars of the NFL.

Benny Friedman was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame today.
After many years of being overlooked, while friends and sports figures campaigned for his induction, it became a reality.
Friedman was considered as football’s first great passer. He changed the running game into one of running and passing and, as a result, revolutionized college and professional football. Benny Friedman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1905, to orthodox Jewish parents. He went to high school in Cleveland. Upon graduation, he went to Michigan University where he was a quarterback on the football team. The first three games of the 1924 season found Benny Friedman sitting on the bench. Michigan’s legendary coach, Fielding Yost retired before the season. He convinced Coach George Little that he should start Benny Friedman against Wisconsin. Friedman became an instant star by throwing a 62 yard touchdown pass and running 26 yards for a touchdown. Benny Friedman and Bennie Oosterbaan were college football’s greatest passing combinations. Friedman was twice named All-American as a quarterback and as a halfback.. After graduating in 1927, he turned pro and joined the Cleveland Bulldogs of the National Football League. Professional football at this time didn’t enjoy the same attention that it has today. Red Grange and Benny Friedman were the stars of that era. They attracted large crowds for their games. Benny Friedman was named All-Pro for four years and he led the league in passing and passing touchdowns. The Cleveland Bulldogs folded and he moved to the Detroit Wolverines. The New York Giants wanted Benny Friedman so much that they bought the entire Detroit Wolverines franchise so that they could have him. The Giants finished the 1929 season with a 13-1-1 and for the first time made a profit. In 1934, Friedman retired from professional football and became the head coach at City College of New York (CCNY). In 1949, he became the Athletic Director of Brandeis University and was the head coach of the football team. It was his hope to make the Brandeis football team the “Jewish Notre Dame.” Benny Friedman was named one of the 300 Greatest Players of All-Time by Total Sports, the Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. He was elected to the College Hall of Fame, the University of Michigan Hall of Honor, the State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Paul Gallico, a top football expert and sports writer of his day, said, ”The things a perfect football player must do are kick, pass, run the ends, plunge the line, block, tackle, weave his way through broken fields, drop and place kick, interfere, diagnose plays, spot enemy weaknesses, direct an offensive and not get hurt. I have just been describing Benny Friedman’s repertoire to you.” Forty-two years after Football Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in Canton, Ohio, Benny Friedman got his spot there. David Friedman, a nephew, gave the speech for the family at the induction ceremony. He said, “despite being denied for so long, his uncle would have been very respectful of the honor.”

2005:  Bibi Netanyahu resigned from the Israeli cabinet in protest over the withdrawal from Gaza.  While his followers and those in the settler movement praised him, others saw the resignation at this time as a form of political grandstanding designed to help Netanyahu wrest control of Likud from Sharon

2005: Showtime broadcast the first episode of “Weeds” a “dark comedy drama created by Jenji Kohan” co-starring Alexander Gould.

2006(13th of Av, 5766): John Livingston Weinberg the American banker and businessman who ran Goldman Sachs from 1976 to 1990 passed away. 

2006(13th of Av, 5766): Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed and four others wounded in fierce fighting with Hezbollah militants today in southern Lebanon. Two of them were identified as Major Yotam Lotan, 33 of Kibbut Beit Hashita and Staff Sergeant Malk Moasha Ambao, 22, from Lod.

2007:  The Jerusalem Post reported that swastikas and other Nazi symbols had been painted on at least 100 gravestones the large Jewish cemetery in Czestochowa, Poland and that officials of the Israeli government expressed their anger over the failure of the Polish government to publicly condemn the continuing anti-Semitic rhetoric of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, founder of Poland's Catholic, nationalist Radio Maryja whose audience is estimated at between 1.5 million and 2.5 million daily.

2007: Today, Poland's chief rabbi and the mayor of a Polish town joined efforts to clean gravestones at a Jewish cemetery that vandals had desecrated with Nazi symbols. Rabbi Michael Schudrich said that he and Tadeusz Wrona, mayor of the southern city of Czestochowa, joined about 20 Polish art students who spent a couple of hours scrubbing black paint off some of 100 gravestones at the city's Jewish cemetery.

2007: Britain declared the New West End Synagogue in London a national monument putting it in the same category as Buckingham Palace and Stonehenge. The decision means the British government will henceforth be responsible for the synagogue's upkeep, and the Jewish community can request state funding for any necessary renovations. Only one other synagogue has been declared a British national monument - Bevis Marks in East London, the country's first synagogue, which was built in 1701. New West End was built in 1879. "We're happy and excited," said the synagogue's rabbi, Geoffrey Shisler. "Above all, the decision proves that the British government recognizes the Jewish contribution to the kingdom's history." Shisler noted that both Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president, and Herbert Samuel, who was the first British high commissioner for Palestine, were members of New West End, and plaques mark both of their former seats. The synagogue's first rabbi, Simeon Singer, translated and edited the Authorized Daily Prayer Book, an edition of the siddur (Jewish prayer book) that is still commonly used in Orthodox synagogues throughout the British Commonwealth. Today, the congregation numbers some 400 families, and "because of the synagogue's beauty, we are also the most popular place in Britain for [Jewish] weddings," Shisler said. Altogether, Britain has some 15,000 national monuments and about half a million lower-level historic preservation sites. New West End had previously been a historic site, but the Jewish community had asked the relevant government agency, English Heritage, to upgrade its status, and after inspecting the building three months ago, the agency approved the request this week. In its decision, English Heritage wrote that the upgrade was justified by both the synagogue's exceptional architecture and its historic importance. "The New West End Synagogue is the architectural high-water mark of Anglo-Jewish architecture," said Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage. Hannah Parham, the agency's protection adviser, added that "a lot of early 19th-century synagogues tried to follow the styles of their Christian counterparts, but the New West End synagogue celebrated the cultural heritage of the people it served." The synagogue was designed by George Audsley of Scotland.

2008: In Washington, D.C.  Kenneth M. Pollack, director of research at the Brooking Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, discusses and signs his new book, A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East, at Politics and Prose Bookstore

2008: Rep. Steve Cohen was all smiles after resoundingly winning his primary today in Tennessee, but it was hardly a pleasant campaign for the freshman Democrat. A white Jewish incumbent representing a predominantly black Christian constituency, Cohen defeated Nikki Tinker by a 4-to-1 margin, despite efforts by his black opponent to insert race and religion into the primary.

2009: In New York, Yoed Nir performs at a Bargemusic Concert in a program entitled “World of Cello” The Six Bach Suites for Solo Cello and Beyond, Part 2.

2010: “Amos Oz: The Nature of Dreams” is scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2010(7th of Tammuz, 5770): Ninety-one year old chemist Jacob Bigeleisn  who worked on the Manhattan Project, passed away. (As reported by Kenneth Chang)

2010: “Imagining Madoff” written by Deboarah Margolin is scheduled to have the final performance of its first run at Stageworks/Hudson, a theater company in this town, about 30 miles south of Albany. Elie Wiesel had used legal threats to shut down the original version of the play which was to have premiered in Washington, D.C. Apparently Mr. Wiesel was offended by the fact the  Ms Margolin had used a characterization of him for her drama.

2010: Michael Leventhal, son of Shelley Arenson and Bruce Leventhal is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.

2010: Chief Justice John Roberts swore in Elena Kagan as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  Justice Kagan is a “third” twice over.  She joins two other women serving on the court making it the first time that three women have served at the same time.  She joins two other Jews making it the first time that three Jews have served on the Court at the same time.  Being Jewish did not prevent Justice Kagan from being sworn in on Shabbat.

 2011: The final performance of “13: The Musical” starring Temple Judah’s very own Bentlee Birchansky is scheduled to take place tonight.

2011: “In Another Lifetime,” a film about a group of Hungarian Jews who “begin staging a Strauss operetta” for those living in an Austrian village in an attempt to avoid the Final Solution, is scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2011: Wikimania, the annual international conference of the Wikimedia community which is being held in Haifa is scheduled to end today.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Paradise Lust:  Searching for the Garden of Eden by Brook Wilensky-Lanford

2011: Israel's finance minister says the government will take swift action to reduce the soaring cost of living, looking to ease tensions a day after 300,000 people demonstrated across the country. Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio today that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to announce the formation of a special committee of government ministers and experts to address the demands of protesters angered over housing costs and a growing wealth disparity.

2011: The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange opened to major losses today, as indices plunged by more than 6 percent, immediately prompting a series of brief suspensions in trading.
 
2011: An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale was felt for several seconds across Israel today, shortly before midday.

2011(7th of Av, 5771): Ralf Pinto, who founded the Algarve Jewish community in western Portugal and was instrumental in the restoration of the Faro Jewish Cemetery there, passed away today. He would become the first person to be buried there since 1923.

2011(7th of Av, 5771): Eighty-three year old educational innovator Stanley Bosworth passed away today (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2012: San Francisco’s Congregation Sha’ar Zahav is scheduled to host a special yizkor or remembrance today to raise awareness about suicides and bullying

2012: Jared Loughner, the man accused of killing six people and wounding then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, is scheduled to plead guilty in a Tucson court today (As reported by Reuters and The Forward)

2012: An Israeli American man escaped from his captors today after being kidnapped while hiking in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador.Mickey Grossman, 64, a 1973 Yom Kippur War veteran, was captured August 5 by approximately 20 gunmen whose affiliation is unclear, as well as several members of the Huaorani Tribe, near Yasuni National Park, which reportedly is an unfriendly area to foreigners

2012: Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman won a gold medal in the floor exercise as well as a bronze on the balance beam at the London Olympics. Raisman, 18, of Needham, Mass., took the gold today with a score of 15.6 to edge Catalina Ponor of Romania and Aliya Mustafina of Russia, the silver and bronze medalists.

2012: Romanian Jews expressed outrage today after a politician who made comments denying the Holocaust in the country was appointed to a ministerial position.

2012(10th of Av, 5772): Ninety-year old Judith Crist, one of American’s most noted film critics, passed away today.

2013: The 2013 Summer Author Talk Series is scheduled to come today with “Fay Moskowitz, And the Bridge of Love.”

2013: “Before the Revolution” a story about the Iranian Jewish Community is scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2013(1st of Elul, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Elul

2013(1st of Elul, 5773): Ninety-two year old Elisabeth Maxwell, the widow of media tycoon Robert Maxwell passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2013(1st of Elul): Purim de los Christianios observed commemorating the defeat of Portuguese King Sebastian at the “Battle of the Kings.”

2013: Barred once again from entering the women’s section of the Western Wall, some 300 activists from the Women of the Wall prayer group held their monthly Rosh Hodesh (new moon) prayer service at the back of the Western Wall compound this morning, raising their voices in song against the jeers and whistles of a large gathering of ultra-Orthodox protesters. (As reported by Debra Kamin)

2013: As peace negotiations began in Washington, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed overnight in an open field in the Eshkol region of southern Israel. No injuries or damage were reported (As reported by Yoel Goldman)

2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host “Artist Panel: Creating A Legacy” where attendees can “meet Chicago Holocaust survivor artists Gerda Meyer Bernstein, Vera Klement and Ava Kadishson Schieber and view their stunning artwork.”

2014: Hamas officials said that if its demands are not met on ending the blockade the true will end tomorrow.

2014: “Israel will have to host its Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Argentina abroad after the ITF ruled today that it can't be held in Tel Aviv due to the security situation.” (As reported by Allon Sinai)

2014: Hamas said today that it had executed several Palestinians “on suspicion of helping Israeli forces during the recent” fighting in conflict and that it had executed its spokesman Ayman Taha “on suspicion of spying for an Arab country and financial corruption.” (As reported by Khaled Abu Toameh)

2015: The Historic Sixth & I Synagogue is scheduled to a Shabbat dinner and “a low-energy service with Rabbi Shira and Chazzar Aaron Shneyer.

2015: Oriental Lab, a Jerusalem instrumental group, is scheduled to give a live pre-Shabbat performance at the Tower of David.

2015: Following the firing of three rockets from Gaza last night “Terrorists in Hamas run Gaza fired a rocket into Israel this afternoon, where it struck the Eshkol region.”

2015: “The Trauma of World War II Might Outlast Its Survivors” published today described the efforts of “a Scottish group called Never Again Ever” to start “a campaign to help support the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.”

2015: “Yuval Diskin, a former head of the Shin Bet security service” warned today “that societal divides have led to the creation of a hardline Jewish settler state along Israel”

2015: “Employees at Ben Gurion International Airport are scheduled to strike this evening, shutting down the airport for 24 hours.” (As reported by Times of Israel)

2016: “Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History” the Jewish Museum’s “first exhibition” focusing on the American fashion designer” is scheduled to come to an end today in New York.

2016: The second “weeklong exploration of literature and culture for high school students where they will “read, discuss, argue about and fall in love with modern Jewish literature” sponsored by the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016: In California, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 36 is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016: The IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is scheduled to begin today in Seattle, Washington.

2016: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, The Inseparables by Stuart Nadler. Siracusa by Delia Ephron, Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers by Michael Gross and I’m Supposed To Protect You From All This: A Memoir by Nadja Spiegelman, the daughter of Art Spiegelman, the author of Maus.

2017(15th of Av): Tu B’Av – Jewish Valentine’s Day

2017: This year's New York City TUBAV Party is scheduled to take place starting at 7:00 PM at the BOAT BASIN Cafe at 79th street and Riverside Park) MUST WEAR WHITE!

2017: In New York City, the Stone Creek Bar is scheduled to a Tu B’Av event “Jewcy Presents: Love Bites.”

2017: Yiddish Summer Weimar is scheduled to host a Yiddish Dance Orchestra Workshop today.

 

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