Tuesday, January 16, 2018

This Day, January 17, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 17

395: Emperor Theodosius I passed away in Milan.  During his reign he instituted several laws that directly impacted his Jewish subject.  One “dealt with the obligation of Jews and Samaritans to acts as shipmasters over goods being transported.”  A second law “gave the Jewish patriarchs the right to judicial autonomy in their communities…”  A third law enacted in 393 forbade the destruction of synagogues. (As reported by Daniel O. McClellan)

 1287: King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca, making Minorca a part of Spain, a status that has survived into the 21st century, despite a brief period of British rule in 18th century. Judah Bonsenyor, Notary-general of Aragon, whose language skill enabled him to serve as an interpreter, was among those who accompanied the king during the invasion.  Minorca has had a large Jewish population The Letter on the Conversion of the Jews by a fifth century bishop named Severus tells of the conversion of the island's Jewish community in AD 418. A number of Jews, including Theodore, a rich representative Jew who stood high in the estimation of his coreligionists and of Christians alike, underwent baptism. An act of conversion brought about, in fact, within a previously peaceful coexisting community by means of the expulsion of the ruling Jewish elite into the bleak hinterlands, the burning of synagogues, and the gradual reinstatement of certain Jewish families after the coerced acceptance of Christianity and its supremacy and rule in order to allow survival for those who had not already perished. Many Jews remained within the Jewish faith while outwardly professing Christian faith. Some of these Jews form part of the Xueta community. When Minorca became an English possession in 1713, the English willingly proffered an asylum to thousands of Jews from African cities[citation needed]. A synagogue was soon erected in Mahon.

1377: Pope Gregory XI, the prelate who had ordered the burning of Jewish books a year earlier, ended the Avignon Papacy when he moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.

 1449: In Toledo, Spain, 14 Conversos are put on trial and deprived of their offices because it is believed that their conversion to Christianity was not sincere and that they still cling to their Jewish ways. (Editor’s note – This was a common complaint among Christians who were upset that the Jews who adopted Catholicism were successful and in some instances supplanting them.)

1463: Ernest, Elector of Saxony and his wife Elisabeth gave birth to Frederick ii, the Elector of Saxony who protected Luther during that period from approximately 1514 to 1523 during which the Christian Reformer spoke positively of the Jews as can be seen from condemnation of the doctrine of “Servitude of the Jews and the essay “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew.”

1466: King John of Sicily gave formal permission to Benjamin Romano to establish a Jewish University in medicine and law at Syracuse. The idea was not acted upon and 1492 the Jews were expelled by order of the Spanish crown including the 5000 Jews of Syracuse which was approximately 40% of the town’s population.

1504: Birthdate of Antonio Ghislieri, who as Pope Pius V expelled the Jews from Imola, Italy including its most famous citizen, Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph. Born in 1526, Gedaliah, studied under Jacob Finzi, Israel Rovigo and Abraham Rovigo, the noted Kabbalist and wandered around Italy after his expulsion until finally settling in Alexandria where he died in 1587.

1565: “Æquum reputamus” (We consider it equal) was issued by Pius V, the Pope who restored all of the anti-Semitic bulls of his predecessors, persecuted the Jews throughout the Christian world under his influence and eventually banished them from the dominions under his direct control.

1622: Fifty-two year old Ernst of Schaumburg the German count who “granted the first permanent residence permits to Ashkenazic Jews so that they could settle in Altona starting in 1611” passed away today.

1658: Birthdate of Samson Wertheimer the native of Worms the chief rabbi of Hungary and Moravia, and rabbi of Eisenstadt who also gained fame as an Austrian financier, court Jew and Shtadlan to Austrian Emperor Leopold I. He passed away in Vienna in 1724.

1670 In Metz, Burghers of the city decided that it was financially beneficial to expel the Jews, and so concocted a ritual murder libel. Raphael Levy, a respected member of the community, was arrested, tortured and burned alive. The Royal Council later called it "Judicial Murder" and the Jews were not expelled.

 1706: Birthdate of Benjamin Franklin who wanted the great seal to of the United States to depict the Israelites crossing the Red Sea and who responded to a fundraising request from Mikveh Israel with a contribution of £5.  Like many of his contemporaries Franklin was a Deist who had his doubts about all organized religions but covered his bases by responding to charitable requests from various Philadelphia religious organizations.

1711: Birthdate of Vienna native Blumele Oppenheimer.

1747: Birthdate of Marcus Herz, the native of Berlin who was a pupil of philosopher Emmanuel Kant before becoming a prominent German physician and lecturer who was appointed physician at the Jewish Hospital shortly after earning his MD in 1774.

 1763: Birthdate of John Jacob Astor, fur trader and one of early America’s most successful businessmen.  There is some question as to whether or not Astor was Jewish or just of "Jewish stock." 

1766: Birthdate of Amsterdam native Bele Salomon Kalman Asser Shochet,

1789: At Göttingen, Emmanuel Mendel and his wife gave birth to David Mendel who converted and gained fame as “German theologian and church historian August Neander.”

 1797: Birthdate of “Austrian physician and writer” Gideon Brecher, “the uncle, by marriage, to Austrian bibliographer and Orientalist Moritz Steinschneider” known for commentary on the "Cuzari" of Judah ha-Levi. 

1812: Isaac Isaac who was born in Amsterdam in the 1740’s took the family name of Pampel and became Isaac Isaac Pampel.

1815(6th of Shevat, 5575): Sixty year old Isaac Simon passed away in Jamaica was interred a Jewish cemetery “located at Hunts Bay, across the harbor from Port Royal and midway between Kingston and Spanish Town.”  The cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery on the island. (As reported by Irwin M. Berg)

 1816: Charles Davis married Elizabeth Harris at the Western Synagogue.

1818: Jacob ben Nathan Breslau married Rachel bat Mordecai bat Samuel at the Western Synagogue today.

1841: Birthdate of German banker and member of the Hamburg Parliament Siegmund Hinrichsen

1842: West London Synagogue of British Jews, the U.K.’s oldest Reform congregation, was opened today.

1843: In Barcelona, Venezuela, Abraham Baiz and Sarah Naar gave birth to Jacob Baiz, the New Jersey educated businessman and diplomat who was appointed Consul-General of the Government of Honduras by President Marco Aureilo Soto, served as “a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Produce Exchange and the Coffee Exchanged in New York City and was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel and Vice President of the Hebrew Sheltering and Guardian Society.

1847: The board of Congregation Shangarai Chasset met at the Conti Hotel Street in New Orleans under the Presidency of L. A. Gunst. The board unanimously chose Dr. Hermann Kohlmeyer to serve as the congregation’s rabbi. Kohlmeyer would later give up his pulpit for a career in education, becoming professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature at the University of Louisiana (now Tulane University). The congregation was founded in 1827 as an Orthodox synagogue.  In 1881 it merged with Nefutzot Yehudah to form Touro Synagogue, one of the Crescent City’s leading Reform Congregations.

1851: In Cayuga County, NY, where Albert Baham is on trial for the murder of Nathan Adler, a popular Jewish peddler, the prosecution completed its summation.  The judge delivered the charge to the jury which then adjourned to begin its deliberation. By six o’clock the jury had found the defendant guilty as charged.

1852: The New York Times reviewed Disraeli's Life of George Bentick.  "It is amusing to see that Disraeli does not forget to do homage to the Hebrew race in his new book, albeit nobody can tell what it has to do with the biography...He still affirms...that the greatest men, past and present are and were Jews.  To do him justice, he tries hard to prove it by living examples --whether they are valid or not let the readers of the book determine."

1853(8th of Shevat, 5613): Samuel Jesi, the Milan born engraver whose first work was “The Abandonment of Hagar” completed in 1821 passed away today in Florence.

1859: Birthdate of Minna Luise Ascher the wife of Dr. Hugo Ascher and the mother of artist Fritz Ascher.

1863: Birthdate of Constantin Stanislavski, the Russian creator of “method acting” who assisted Nahum Zemach in the creation of Habima Theatre.

1863:  Birthdate of David Lloyd George.  Lloyd George was the British Prime Minister from 1916 through 1922.  This meant that he led Britain to victory during World War I and was the leader of the peace negotiations.  In this latter role he signed the Treaty of San Remo that officially ended the war with Turkey.  Under the terms of the treaty “Palestine was declared a mandated territory” to be administered by Great Britain under the terms of the Balfour Declaration.  Lloyd George agreed to this despite a great deal of anti-Zionist pressure some of which was generated by American missionary educators with interests in the Middle East.

1867: Birthdate of Minna Luise Ascher (nee Schneider) the wife of dental surgeon Dr. Hugo Ascher and mother of German artist Fritz Ascher who was a protégé of Max Lieberman.

1867: Birthdate of Karl Lämmle, the native of Württemberg who gained fame as Carl Laemmle one of the creators of the American cinema industry and the founder of Universal Studios.

1871: A Jewish peddler named Frank who has been plying his ware throughout Queens County was shot this evening while driving from Flushing to his home in Columbusville. The wounded Frank arrived at his home but nothing is known as to who might of shot him.

1876: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities, “an organization which embraces all the Hebrew charitable associations…and which cares exclusively for Hebrews” is the fifth leading charity in New York City.  The association, with a central office at 238 East 5th, provides money, medicines, medical treatment, clothing, shoes and coal to needy Jews.

1882: Aletta Jacobs the first Dutch female physician opened her office.  Yes, Jacobs, who was also a champion for the rights of women, was Jewish.

1882(26th of Tevet, 5642): Sixty –two year old Hungarian born Austrian journalist Simon Szanto who was the co-founder and editor of the weekly journal "Die Neuzeit," passed away today.

1883: John G. M’Kendrick delivered a paper today to the Philosophical Society of Glasgow in which he described the Lippmann electrometer “a device for detecting small rushes of electric current and was invented by Gabriel Lippmann in 1873.” (Lippmann was Jewish; M’Kendrick was not)

1885: Alphonzo Taft wrote to Secretary of State Frelinghuysen from the U.S. Legation at St Petersburg regarding reports that the Russian Minister of the Interior had ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Odessa and other cities “holding foreign passports” unless they had “permits of residence” which the government readily gives to non-Jews but rarely give to Jews.

1889(15th of Shevat, 5649): Tu B’Shevat

1890: (20th of Tevet, 5650): Salomon Sulzer passed away at the age of 85.  While his name is known to few today, in his time he was a famous cantor and composer.  “Born in 1804 in Hohenems, Austria, to a family of rich manufacturers, he was appointed cantor at the main synagogue in his hometown when only 16. He studied music in Vienna where he was chief cantor of the new synagogue from 1825 to 1881. His baritone voice attracted non-Jewish as well as Jewish admirers, among them Schubert, Schumann, and Liszt. In 1868 he was appointed knight of the order of Franz Josef. Sulzer's synagogue compositions became the models upon which congregations based their services throughout the year. His Schir Zion appeared in two volumes and while his music and innovations won only limited acceptance in Eastern Europe, they became standard in central Europe.”

1891: In Eichstetten, Leopold and Klara Bock gave birth to Siegfried Bloch.

1892: “Ancient Beliefs in Immortality” published today provides a summary of Reverend T.K. Chenye’s Rebuttal to former Prime Minister Gladstone’s contention that the Psalms which he says were written by David offer proof that the ancient Israelites believed in an afterlife.  Chenye counters that the Psalms were probably written during the Babylonian exile and that the verses Gladstone attributes to a promise of heaven are actually a promise of a return to the homeland. (Editor’s note – This entry is fascinating for many reasons.  First, that a Prime Minister would be engaged in a scholarly debate on such a topic and second the respect with which both of these Protestant leaders show for Jewish faith and traditions)

1892: It was reported today that the police still do not know the whereabouts or fate of David Blumenthal a wealthy Jewish businessman who disappeared in April, 1891.  Before his disappearance, Blumenthal had been an inmate at the insane asylum at Amityville. At that time, his older son Henry took him from the asylum, went to the banks where his money was deposited and withdrew it all.  The two men then boarded a steamer bound for Bremen where they appear to have disappeared.

1893: A.E. Greenwald and Chapman Raphiel visited President Grover Cleveland at the White House and invited him to attend the charity that was being hosted by the Jews of Philadelphia on the last day of January.  Cleveland responded that he would “make a special effort to be present.”

1893: President Rutherford B. Hayes passed away.  Born in 1822, Rutherford Hays was the first President to designate a Jewish ambassador for the purpose of fighting anti-Semitism. In 1870, he named Benjamin Peixotto Consul-General to Rumania. President Hays also was the first Chief Executive to assure a civil service employee her right to work for the Federal government and yet observe the Sabbath. (Not working on Friday nights and Saturday?)

1894: Birthdate of Hugo Chaim Adler the native of Belgium who became a successful German cantor and composer whose service in the Kaiser’s Army did not save him from being imprisoned by the Nazis for a year after which he fled to the United States.

1895: Dreyfus began his “trip” to French Guiana tonight when he “was taken from the prison of La Sante and was transferred by rail to La Rochelle where he was then moved to the military prison on the Island of Re. 

1895: Edward Lauerbach represented “the Hebrew Charities” at a conference in New York City prior to the announcement of what payments would be made to various charities by the city government.

1896: The Jewish Chronicle published Herzl's first article "A Solution to the Jewish Problem," which appeared a month before Der Judenstaat, and with its editorial, "A Dream of a Jewish State" opened the readers' columns to a discussion of Herzl's plan.

1896: Birthdate of Hugo Chaim Adler the Belgian-born American composer, cantor, and choir conductor who was the father of composer and conductor Samuel Adler.

1897: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities has had so many applications for assistance that it will run out of money by the end of the month if it does not receive additional contributions.

1897: Rabbi Kaufman Kohler officiated at the funeral of Leon Sternberger, the cantor emeritus of Temple Beth-El. Following the services which were held at Temple Beth El, interment took place at Machpelah Cemetery on Long Island.

1898: At Marseilles, France a crowd paraded through the streets crying “Death to the Jews” and “Shame upon Zola.

1898: During an anti-Dreyfus meeting being held at the Tivoli Vauxhall, “the members of the anti-Semite Committee displayed banners bearing the inscription “Death to the Jews…”

1898: As the “Dreyfus Affair” continued to enflame the French, it was reported that Louise Michel and Sebastian addressed a meeting sponsored by the Socialists during which they denounced the secrecy surrounding the recent trial of Count Esterhazy. (He, not Dreyfus, was the French spy who betrayed secrets to the Germans.)

1898: It was reported today that during 1897, 699 children ranging in age from 9 to 17 have been admitted to the Sabbath School operated by the Hebrew Technical School for Girls.

1898: It was reported today that William Lloyd Garrison has sent a letter to the President of the Immigration Restriction League criticizing a bill that has been introduced by Senator Lodge that would sharply limit immigration to the United States. (This was one of several attempts to put an end to immigration that would be introduced over the next twenty years.  These proposals struck a sensitive chord among the Jewish community which was split on the issue.)

1898: Funeral services were held this morning for Lazarus Straus, a New York merchant and philanthropist at Temple Beth-El.  Dr. Kaufman Kohler delivered the eulogy, and Dr. Silverman served as the cantor.

1899: After a ten day trip from Honolulu aboard the USS Bennington, Commander Edward D. Taussig arrived at Wake Island where oversaw the formal ceremony transferring the island from Spanish to U.S. control after he set sail that evening for Guam aboard the Bennington, a gunboat that had been under his command since August of 1898.

1899: Birthdate of Robert Maynard Hutchins no nonsense educator and civil libertarian.  When asked about the role big time athletics on the college campus, Hutchins is reported to have replied, athletics is to a college education what bull fighting is to agriculture.  Hutchins was not Jewish.  But as a major intellectual figure of his time, he presents an interesting paradox in understanding Jewish relations with the non-Jewish world.  On the one hand, Hutchins was praised in an article in the Chicago Jewish Historical Society’s publication “Chicago Jewish History” for his willingness to sponsor and hire German Jewish intellectuals fleeing Hitler in the 1930’s.  At the same time he was an active member of the anti-war and anti-Semitic America First Movement. As a leader of America First, Hutchins was one of those who dismissed testimony about the savagery of the Germans as lies and Jewish propaganda.

1901: Birthdate of Frieda Hajekova who was deported from Prague to Ujazdow in 1942 where she was murdered by Nazis.

 1904: Herzl leaves for Italy where his travels will take him to Venice, Florence and Rome.

1906: In New Orleans, attorney Edgar M. Cahn and his wife gave birth to Edmond Nathaniel Cohen, the Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Tulane who lived in New York where he pursued a career as a legal scholar and author.

1906: It was reported today that as the Senate debates whether or not to send for copies of the instructions given to the delegates attending what is now known as the Algeciras Conference, Secretary of State Root is already sharing them with the pubic including “a special supplementary letter of instructions” concerning the Jews of Morocco” in which he “calls attention to the numerous and harsh discriminations imposed in Morocco against the Jews” and instructs the delegates “to devote their best efforts to obtain the removal of such discriminations.”

1909: Dr. Stephen S. Wise the Rabbi of the Free Synagogue, delivered a speech this morning advocating the acceptant of the million dollar bequest by the late Louis Heinsheimer.  The bequest was conditional on the formation of a federation of Jewish charities, a move that Wise supported because he thought that it would improve the quality and quantity of services provided to those in need.

1909: New York State Supreme Court Justice Irving Lehman addressed the annual meeting of the New York Hebrew Infant Asylum at Tuxedo Hall.  Lehman called for additional support of the asylum which is caring for 153 Jewish orphans.  Due to a lack of an adequate facility this means that 450 Jewish orphans under the age of 5 are being cared for by Catholic and Protestant institutions. Charles Dittman was re-elected as the President.

 1911: Birthdate of Moshe Carmel, the native Minsk who made Aliyah in 1924, helped to establish Kibbutz Na’an and commanded the Carmeli Brigade during the War of Independence before pursuing a political career.

1913: Today’s meeting of the directors of the Baron Hirsch Woman’s Club at the Auditorium was preceded by luncheon hosted “Mesdames Herman Lesserman, Henry Lewis, Johannah Loeb, Samuel Lorsch, Edward Levy and Max Mildenberg.”

1915: The National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives which was organized in 1899 with offices in Denver, CO, held its fifteenth annual meeting in Chicago under the leadership of President Samuel Grabfelder.

1915(2nd of Shevat, 5675): Seventy-two year Bavarian born American Jurist Louis Sulzbacher, “the first continental American appointed as Associate Justice of the newly created Supreme Court of Puerto Rico by President McKinley” passed away today.

1915: “The Jewish Race” published today provides Joseph Jacobs’ review of Jewish Life in Modern Times by Israel Cohen.

1916: “The American Jewish Relief Committee received a cablegram through the” U.S. State Department “a cablegram from Ambassador Gerard at Berlin announcing that there was great distress in the sections of the war zone inhabited by Jewish communities.”

1916: The information office at new branch office of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society at the Sackman Street Synagogue which was established to help Jews send aid to relatives in the war zone as well as helping them connect with those who have gone “missing” is scheduled to open at 10 A.M. today.

1917: In Hoxter, Germany, “Dr. Leo Pins a veterinarian and his wife Ida Lipper” both of whom would be murdered at the Riga Ghetto in 1944, gave birth to Israeli woodcut artist and art collector Jacob Pins who was a protégé of Jacob Steinhardt another German born artist forced to flee from the Nazis.

 1917: “Following an appeal by Adolph S. Ochs, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means” 57 Jews attending the convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in Baltimore pledged over $140,000 “to meet the expenses of the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati” and other “school extension work.

 1917: Birthdate of Czech-born Canadian composer Oskar Morawetz.

1918: The general staff of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies considered extending the drive for another week even though it had met its goal of raising funds and enlisting new members which has led to the democratization of philanthropy in New York.

1920: Birthdate of Nora Koreff, the Brooklyn born ballerina known as Nora Kay who married violinist Isaac Stern in 1948.

1921: This evening, the New York branch of the United Synagogue of America hosted a banquet for the out-of-town delegates attending the 9th annual convention of the United Synagogue of America and the fourth annual convention of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue.

1921: T.E. Lawrence (known as Lawrence of Arabia) told Winston Churchill that Emir Feisal ‘agreed to abandon all claims of his father to Palestine’ since the British had agreed to Arab sovereignty in Baghdad, Amman and Damascus. 

1922: Birthdate of Lillian Schuman who at the age of 19 married Sol Goldman and became Lillian Goldman, the benefactress of Yale University Law School.

 1923(29th of Tevet, 5683): Seventy-one year old Carrie Bernheimer, the daughter of Samuel Bernheimer and Henrietta Cahn passed away today.

1925: Today, “in order to resolve socio-economic difficulties of the Russian Jews and promote agricultural labor among them, the CPSU formally created a government committee, the Komzet, and a complementary public society, the OZET.”

1926: Birthdate of Yitzhak Moda'I, the native of Tel Aviv who graduated from the Technicion before starting a long political career.

1926: Nine year old violinist Yehudi Menuhin appeared in a recital in New York

1927(14th of Shevat, 5687): Seventy-six year old Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted the founder of Shell Transport and Trading Company which later became Royal Dutch Shell, the husband of Fanny Elizabeth Benjamin Samuel and the father of Nellie Samuel Ionides passed away today. passed away today.

1928:  In Hammersmith, London, Sephardi Jews Betty and Jack Sassoon gave birth to Vidal Sassoon, who to most people was the noted hairdresser and businessman.  But for Jews he is also the 20 year old who in 1948 went to Palestine, joined the Haganah and fought during the War for Independence. “He describes the year he spent training with the Israelis as ‘the best year of my life. When you think of 2,000 years of being put down and suddenly you are a nation rising, it was a wonderful feeling. There were only 600,000 people defending the country against five armies, so everyone had something to do.’ Sassoon's dark brown eyes are on fire when he talks of his war memories. ‘We took a hill and attacked at four in the morning, took them by surprise. It was a hill overlooking a main road where the Egyptian heads of the army were heading. If they had passed this spot they would have been in Tel Aviv in a few hours but we took them.’” (As reported by Chirssy Iley)

 1930: Judah Bergman, the English born boxer who fought under the name Jackie “Kid” Berg won “a 10 round decision in a highly publicized non-title bout in New York City.

1930: “The Caviar Princess” a silent comedy film directed by Carl Lamac with a script co-authored by Walter Wassermann was released in Germany today.

1932: In Brooklyn, celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association

1933: Media mogul and right-wing political leader Alfred Hugenberg who thought he could use the Nazi Party to his own advantage met with Hitler today.

1934(1st of Shevat, 5694): Rosh Chodesh Shevat 

1934:  Birthdate of Shari Lewis.  Lewis would gain fame as a ventriloquist and puppeteer who created Lamb Chop.

1934: In Clinton, MA, grocery store own Louis Schanberg and the former Freda Feinberg gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winning Times correspondent Sydney H. Schanberg whose successful career proves that History Majors can amount to something.

1935: The American committee responsible for the selection of the United States teams that will compete in the Second Maccabiah announced the schedule for the trials which will be held in New York City and Newark, NJ next month.  Pincus Sober chairs the committee selecting the track and field team.  Charlotte Epstein chairs the committee selecting the swimming team.  Ernest Koslan chairs the committee selecting the tennis team. Ben Levine chairs the committee selecting the boxing team.  Nat Osk chairs the committee selecting the wrestling team.

1936: In a letter made public today, President Roosevelt expressed his support for the third annual observance of Brotherhood Day sponsored by the National Conference of Jews and Christians which is to be held next month.

1936: “Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel of Antwerp was today formally inducted as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and Jaffa in the presence of an assemblage of about 100 rabbis of this all Jewish city and vicinity.” (JTA)

1936: Dr. Joseph Goebbels delivered a “fiery address” which was greeted by thunderous applause in which he “declared uncompromisingly that the time was coming when Germany must demand colonies” and took issue with “those American who criticize the Nazi Jewish Policy” especially “the American newspapers that are continually deploring the fate of the poor Jews in Germany…”

1937: The second in a series of lectures being given as part of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s 50th anniversary which “was devoted to a discussion of the spiritual and cultural aspects of Judaism” was given this evening at the seminary.

1937: Eugene B. Strassburger of Pittsburgh presided over today’s session of the joint convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Affiliated National Temple Sisterhoods and Brotherhoods in New Orleans where Dr. Henry Barnston of Houston delivered the invocation and Dr. Samuel M. Blumenfield of Chicago told delegates that the “director ion of the intellectual and spiritual growth of youth is the most neglected phase of Jewish education.”

1937: In Germany, loyal Catholics “were warned against marriage with Protestants” which contravenes the National Socialist contention that the only forbidden marriages are those between Aryans and Jews.

 1938(15th of Shevat, 5698): Tu B’Shevat

1938: In Bucharest, Alexander Cuza who along with Premiere Octavian Goga is the co-leader of the National Christian Party declared that “solution of the Jewish problem ‘demands complete elimination of Jews.’” (Editor’s note – Because of the Holocaust we tend to overlook the virulent anti-Semitism which was part of the landscape in so many parts of Europe.)

1938: “The Mayor of Bucharest banned kosher slaughtering at municipal slaughter houses.”

1938: The Palestine Post reported that a passerby was injured when a missile was hurled at the Workers' Cooperative restaurant on Jaffa Road, shattering all windows.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that the Soviet government ordered the immediate closing of the Meyerhold State Theater in Moscow as being an institution "alien to Soviet art." Vsevolod Meyerhold, the director, was accused of showing "alien mentality." Meyerhold’s family origins were German Jewish although Meyerhold himself was a Lutheran.  In the world of Stalin, Meyerhold could have fallen out of favor because he was “German,” “Jewish” or “both.”

1939: Felix Frankfurter was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by a voice vote of the U.S. Senate today.

1939: In Boston, Ely Chayet, “a judge in Norfolk County, MA” and “the former Blanche Poretsky” gave birth to Harvard Law School graduate Neil Lewis Chayet, the creator of WBZ’s “Looking at the Law” who was the husband of Susan Chayet with whom he had three children, and Martha M. Chayet

1939: The Nazi government issued a decree regarding the expiration of permits for Jewish dentists, veterinarians and pharmacists.

 1940: “A strong desire for economic cooperation between the Arabs and Jews of Palestine to overcome common difficulties was demonstrated today when Arab and Jewish citrus farmers and traders met in Petach Tikvaah. The meeting was the first of its kind since the start of the Arab uprising in 1936.  The Jewish Farmers Federation sponsored the meeting which was attended by 700 Jews and over 100 Arabs “who represented orange-growing belt of Palestine.”  The Arabs included a wide range of political views who were united in a willingness to work with the Jews in “presenting the citrus growers’ grievances to the” British government.  “The conference elected a delegation of nine Jews and nine Arabs to meet the High Commissioner. The delegation will go to London if the local government meetings do not bring about meaningful improvement.

 1941: Konrad von Preysing, Bishop of Berlin “wrote to Pius XII, noting that "Your Holiness is certainly informed about the situation of the Jews in Germany and the neighboring countries. I wish to mention that I have been asked both from the Catholic and Protestant side if the Holy See could not do something on this subject, issue an appeal in favor of these unfortunates.”

1941: When German planes were bombing Tel Aviv tonight, they dropped “a large projectile in an orange grove behind Tel Aviv where it caused a deep crater and other damage.”

1943: Berlin Bishop Konrad Graf von Preysing, the only top German Catholic prelate who consistently opposes the German government's Jewish policies, threatens Pope Pius XII, saying he will resign unless the collaborative behavior of the other German bishops comes to an end.

1943: In Italy, the Battle of Monte Cassino, which was filmed by a Polish military unit that included Michał Waszyński, began today.

1944: Fifty-six year old anti-Nazi Max Sievers who had been forced to leave the United States because he was not granted visa in 1939 was be-headed today at Brandenburg Prison.

1945: The Red Army entered Budapest and the remaining 120,000 of the original 470,000 Jews would now be safe from any further disaster.

1945: Final roll call is taken at Auschwitz: 11,102 Jews remain at Birkenau; 10,381 women in the Birkenau women's camp; 10,030 at the Auschwitz main camp; 10,233 at the Monowitz satellite camp; and about 22,800 in the remaining factories in the surrounding region;

1945: The Soviets arrest Raoul Wallenberg, whom they cynically suspect is using his humanitarian efforts for the Jews to cover his collaboration with the Germans or the Western Allies (the War Refugee Board was sponsoring him)

1945: The SS Dornau which became known as the "slave ship" after the SS and Gestapo transported 540 Jews from Norway to Stettin, from where they were taken by train to Auschwitz, set sail from Oslo today bound for Drøbak – a journey that she did not complete because she was blown up by explosives planted on the ship by saboteurs.

1945: SS guards at the Chelmno, Poland, death camp play "William Tell" by shooting at bottles placed on the heads of Jewish inmates who have been engaged in demolishing the camp's crematoria. In the evening, the remaining Jews are led from their barracks in groups of five and shot. One of the prisoners, Mordechai Zurawski, stabs an SS guard and escapes despite suffering a gunshot wound to the foot. A second inmate, Shimon Srebnik, also survives after being shot through the neck and mouth and left for dead. Forty-seven other Jewish prisoners at Chelmno, aware that the SS will shoot them before fleeing west ahead of the Soviets, take refuge in a building that is then set afire by the SS. Jews who run from the blaze are machine-gunned; only one of the original 47 survives. The SS abandons the Chelmno camp later in the day.

1945: The Soviet Army entered Warsaw. Only 200 Jews of more than a half a million had survived

 1945: SS began killing the special Commando group of Jews at Chelmno that was used to help dismantle the camp over the past three months. Forcing them to wear bottles on their heads, the SS took target practice.

1945: Birthdate of David Pleat “an English football player turned manager and sports commentator.”

1945: The Nazis began the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces approached.  Elie Weisel describes this event in his first book Night

1946: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, a joint British and American committee composed of six Americans and six Englishmen that was charged with examining the “political, economic and social conditions in Mandatory Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein” completed its deliberations in Washington, DC today which had begun on January 4.

1947(25th of Tevet, 5707): Seventy-year old Wilhelm Levison, the “German medievalist” who moved to England after the Nuremberg Laws ended his career passed away today at Durham where had been teaching since 1939.

1948: The British brought the mutilated bodies of the 35 Jews to the Etzion bloc where they were to be buried in a common grave.  The dead were the members of a platoon of volunteers that had been sent from Jerusalem to reinforce the beleaguered Etzion fighters. 

1949: The Goldbergs, starring Gertrude Beg as Molly Goldberg, moves from radio to television as it premiers on the CBS television network.

 1949: Birthdate of Halifax native and lawyer whose political career began with his election to the Halifax City Council in 1994 after which he “was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for the New Democratic Party representing the provincial riding of Halifax Chebucto”

1949: Birthdate of Andy Kaufman, actor and comedian, many would come to know him as Latka Gravas in the sitcom Taxi.

1950(28th of Tevet, 5710): Mrs. Aaron (Annie) Goldberg, the paternal grandmother of Sir Martin Gilbert passed away at the age of 78.  Born in Poland when it was part of the Russian Empire, she arrived in Great Britain in the last decade of the 19th century.

1951 (10th of Shevat, 5711): At a gathering of Chassidim marking the first anniversary of the passing of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, the late Rebbe's son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, delivered a Chassidic discourse (maamar) entitled Basi L'Gani ("I Came into My Garden"), signifying his formal acceptance of the leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

 1951: “Storm Warning” a thriller produced by Jerry Wald and written by Richard Brooks and Daniel Fuchs was released today in Miami Beach.

1952: While serving his second term as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress during which he proudly reminds those in attendance of his long support of the Zionist cause and the creation of a Jewish state.

1955: Submarine USS Nautilus began the first nuclear-powered test voyage.  This marked a major milestone in Admiral Hyman Rickover’s vision of a nuclear-powered Navy.

 1955: Chicago born author Frederick Raphael married Sylvia Glatt today after which they had three children -- Paul Simon, a film producer, Sarah Natasha, a painter, and Stephen Matthew Joshua, a screenwriter.

1957(15th of Shevat, 5717): Tu B’Shevat

1959: Birthdate of Susanna Hoffs lead singer with “The Bangles.”   

1962: Dancer Melissa Hayden premiered the role of Titania in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a part created especially for her.

1963(14th of Shevat, 5725): Esta Henry, the Jewish antique shop owner “sometimes called ‘Mrs.Scotland” died today in plane crash with her husband Paul (Pinchas Haimovici).

1963: It was reported today that “a Soviet newspaper has confirmed that Solomon Mikhoels, noted Yiddish actor and director was murdered by Soviet Secret Police.  At the time of his death, it the Communist regime claimed that he had been killed in an automobile accident.  In fact, his death was the precursor to a Stalinist ant-Jewish purge that claimed the life of several hundred Jewish writers including David Bergelson. At the time of his murder, Mikhoels was working on a production of “Prince Reubeini” a play by Bergelson that depicted the expulsion of the Jews by the Ferdinand and Isabella.

1965: His Eminence Pierre-Marie Paul Gerlier, Cardinal Archbishop of Lyon who was named a Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1981 passed away today.

 1966:  Simon and Garfunkel release their second album, Sounds of Silence, on Columbia Records.

 1966: Zvi Dinstein begins serving as Deputy Minister of Defense.

1966: After a B-52 crashed off the coast of Spain, U.S.Navy scientists used information gained from a lecture by mathematician Howard Raiffa in their attempt to recover four missing hydrogen bombs.

1970 (9th of Shevat, 5730): The writing of the "Sefer Torah for the Greeting of Moshiach," initiated at the behest of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, in 1942, was concluded 28 years later at a special gathering convened by the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Friday afternoon, the 9th of Shevat, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's passing.

1974(23rd of Tevet, 5734): Retired department store executive Ernest E. Ellman, the wife of Adele Heiman a leader of the Arkansas Jewish community and  the widow of Jesse Heiman, passed away today.

 1978: “The offices of the Federation of Jewish Societies, an association of small social and cultural organizations, were damaged by an explosion” today in Paris.

 1978: Janet Maslin reviewed “Operation Thunderbolt” a film about the Entebbe Raid.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who arrived in Jerusalem to participate in the deliberations of the Egyptian-Israeli political committee, had brought with him a jointly agreed agenda which included the declaration of principles which would govern the negotiations for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East. The agenda was to provide a guide for negotiations relating to the issues of the West Bank and Gaza (the Hebrew version read "Judea, Samaria and Gaza") and included the elements of peace treaties arrived at by Israel and its neighbors, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242. Vance had also proposed a plan for a transitional period which would eventually lead to something more close to the "self-determination" of the Arabs in Palestine.

1979: “Nosferatu the Vampyre” a horror film produced by Michael Gruskoff who began his career in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency, was released in France today.

1979: After ten years, Marvin Mandel completed his service as the 56th Governor of Maryland.

1980: “Suite of Dances” (from Dybbuk Variations), a ballet made by New York City Ballet balletmaster Jerome Robbins from his 1974 Dybbuk ' premiered at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center;

 1980: The Olympic Committee of the Presidium of the Second Brussels Conference on Soviet Jewry met in London today.

1981(12th of Shevat, 5741): Parashat Beshalach

1981(12th of Shevat, 5741): Eighty-seven year old Rabbi Solomon Levy, “the former Grand Rabbi of Hust, Czechoslovakia died today while conducting Shabbat services in Boro Park.”

1982(22nd of Tevet, 5742): Ninety-three year old “Yetta Zwerling, an actress and comedian of the Yiddish theater” passed away today.

1982(22nd of Tevet, 5742): Ninety-three year old “Yetta Zwerling, an actress and comedian of the Yiddish theater” passed away today.

1985: Canada made Raoul Wallenberg its first Honorary Citizen today.

 1985: Canada designated this date as Raoul Wallenberg Day.

1986: After a limited release in December, “Runaway Train” produced by Menahem and Yoram Globus was released in the rest of the United States today.

1986: Samuel Hadas was named as Israel’s Ambassador to Spain as Israel and Spain establish diplomatic relations today.

 1987: Two Israeli helicopter gunships strafed Lebanese guerrillas today who had just overrun a position of the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army, the police said. Israeli gunners then showered the newly occupied post with about 70 mortar bombs, they said. A South Lebanon Army source in Tel Aviv said the army had repelled an attack by dozens of Party of God fighters near Taibe, which is close to Alman. But it was unclear if the militia source was referring to the same fighting. The reported capture of the post was the latest in a series of attacks by Shiite guerrillas against Israeli and Lebanese troops in Lebanon

1988: Birthdate of actress Nikki Reed.

1988: “Retracing Jewish History In Austria,” by Paul Hoffman was published on the 330th anniversary of the birth of Samson Wertheimer.

1990: Simon & Garfunkel were inducted into Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

1990: The United States criticized Yitzchak Shamir today for his call for a ''big Israel'' to absorb a flood of immigrants from the Soviet Union.

 1991: Israel declared a state of emergency early this morning, minutes after word reached here of the American attack on Iraq. The authorities advised all Israelis to stay in their homes, open their chemical warfare kits and make their gas masks ready for immediate use. Iraq has said that it would retaliate against Israel for any allied attack on Iraq.

1991: Iraq fired 8 SCUD missiles on Israel.  Israel had agreed that it would not respond and leave the destruction of the SCUD launchers to the Coalition Forces fighting Iraq.  This marked the first time in Israel’s history that it relied on others for its defense. 

1992: In a “Festival of New Voices From A Changing Israel,” published today, Jennifer Dunning waxes poetic over “Israel: The Next Generation” which she describes as “a festival with a difference.”

 1993: FOX broadcast the last episode of the “Ben Stiller Show.”

1993: The Dance Library of Israel will present its annual Documents of Dance Award to Dame Alicia Markova, the English prima ballerina, today at Tavern on the Green. The late Gower Champion will also be honored, with his son Gregg accepting the award. The event, including a reception, followed by a dinner and entertainment, will benefit archival and educational projects of the library in Tel Aviv.

1997: Israel handed over its military headquarters in Hebron to the Palestinians as part of the peace process that began with the Oslo Accords.  The entire Jewish population had been forced to abandon its homes in Hebron in 1936 because of Arab violence.  In 1968, the Jews returned to this ancestral city.  While the Israeli government may have surrendered sovereignty, the Jewish settlers remained.

1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Language and Solitude: Wittgenstein, Malinowski and the Habsburg Dilemma by Ernest Gellner, Ben Shan: An Artist's Life by Howard Greenfeld, The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-first Century by David Fromkin and Snow written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz.

2000: Syrian-Israeli negotiations that had been scheduled to resume on Wednesday, January 19, in the United States were canceled today. Apparently the cancellation was the result of conflict between Syrian President Asad and PLO leader Yassar Arafat.

2001(22nd of Tevet, 5761): After being “seduced” by a 24 year old Palestinian female who lured him to a remote area, terrorists murdered 16 year old Israeli high school student Ofir Rahum.

2001: In “Forced to Leave Homes, Cuban Jews Thrive in Miami” published today Betty Heisler-Samuels described the growth of the Cuban Jewish community in Florida following the rise of Castro.

2002(4th of Shevat, 5762): A Palestinian gunman burst into a bat mitzvah celebration in a banquet hall in Hadera, opening fire on the 180 guests with an M-16 assault rifle, killing 6 people and injuring 35 people following which the Fatah Al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

 2003: According to reports published today the Toronto Raptors terminated the contract of the rookie center Nate Huffman, saying he had failed to inform the team of a history of knee problems. The 7-foot-1 Huffman signed a three-year, $5.1 million contract with the Raptors over the summer after playing for the Israeli League champion Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv last season.

 2003: Two Palestinian gunmen attacked an isolated Jewish settlement near the embattled city of Hebron tonight, killing one Israeli and wounding three others. One of the attackers was killed while the other escaped. In the attack tonight, the two gunmen knocked on the door of what was described by Israeli radio as a trailer home on an isolated hilltop in the Givat Harsina settlement just north of the settlement of Qiryat Arba, known for its strongly Zionist views. An Israeli military spokesman said nine people were inside at their Sabbath dinner around 7:30 p.m. The man who answered the door shot and killed one of the the assailants, but fell dead in the exchange of gunfire. The family's 4-year-old daughter and two other people were wounded. The army said a second assailant escaped and apparently managed to flee into the nearby Palestinian city of Hebron.

2004: “Employee of the Month” a comedy co-produced by Iranian born Bob Yari premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

2004: “This Day In Jewish History” which was started as a supplement to the Jewish History Class at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, first appeared on this date with this single, solitary, entry.   “1945: Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody on January 17, 1945.  As we will learn when we study about the Jews and World War II, nobody really knows what the Soviets did with Wallenberg or why they did it.  What we do know that he was a Righteous Gentile.  We know that he was a Swedish diplomat who went to Hungary during the closing months of World War II who used everything from bribes, to threats, to old fashioned Chutzpah to keep boxcar after boxcar filled with Jews from reaching Auschwitz.  It is ironic that he should have survived the Nazis and their Hungarian allies only to perish at the hands of the Soviets who were part of the Anti-Nazi coalition.  Regardless of why he did what he did and the fate he suffered, he is living that people could have at least slowed down the German killing machine.  He is also living proof that one person can make a difference.  Because of what he did for the Jews, we must do as he did and stand up for those whom known one else will stand up for.  As we will see, studying Jewish history is not just about the dead past, it can be call to action for present and future generations”

2005: In London, survivors of the Lodz Ghetto gathered in London to view the unpublished photographs that Henry Ross had taken of the ghetto.  Ross was the official of the photographer of the Jewish Council. Ross hid over three thousand negatives when the Germans liquidated the ghetto and shipped the survivors to Auschwitz.  Ross survived the war and moved to Israel where he died in 1991.  His son gave the collection of photos to the Archive of Modern conflict in London in 1997.  One hundred of the images were published in 2004 in the Lodz Ghetto Album

 2005: Today “thirteen cantors in conjunction with the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America (the Chazzanim Farband), performed in a cantorial concert for the first time in the history” of the Great Synagogue of Rome.

2006: Haaretz reported that this year will mark the first time in history that there will be as many Jews living in Israel as in the United States, according to statistics presented at a Jewish Policy Planning Institute conference.

2007: Actor Evan Handler, “the son of New York City secular Jews” and his wife Elisa Attia gave birth to their daughter Sofia Clementina Handler.

2007: Dan Halutz announced his resignation as IDF Chief of Staff.

2007: New Jersey native, Yale lacrosse player and University of Virginia Law School graduate Douglas F. “Doug” Gansler began his services as the 45th Attorney General for the State of Maryland.

2007: As part of its “Jewish Season” The Theater for a New Audience in New York City presents The Jew of Malta.

2008(10th of Shevat, 5768): One hundred and five year old actress, director and producer Madeleine Milhaud, the wife of Jewish composer Darious Milhaud, passed away today in her native Paris.

2008: In Jerusalem at Sergey`s Courtyard in the Metunah Auditorium, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) presents a World Music concert, a combination of original elements with the traditions of different cultures.

 2008: Today, the mayor of Berlin and the head of Germany's Jewish Council denounced an attack on five Jewish teenagers by a group of punks.  

2008: Today, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 40 Qassam rockets and two mortar shells at southern Israel, wounding four people.  

2008: “November” a play about a sitting president by Jewish playwright David Mamet opened at the Barrymore Theater in Manhattan.

2009: “500 Days of Summer,” a comedy written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt premiered today at the Sundance Film Festival.

 2009: Initial screening of “Zion and His Brother,” a family drama set in Tel Aviv, at the Sundance Film Festival. 

2009(21st of Tevet, 5769): Jews all over the world begin reading Shemot, the second book of the Torah.

 2009: Fifth Anniversary of what would become known as “This Day In…Jewish History.”

 2010: A memorial service is held for Sylvia Kalnitsky, of blessed memory, at Agudas Achim in Iowa, City. Sylvia Kalnitsky, of blessed memory, is the mother Kathe Goldstein a pillar the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.  

2010: Robert M. Edsel discusses "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" (written with Bret Witter) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

 2010: The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and the Department of Scandinavian Studies at Augustana College is scheduled to host a screening of “Good Evening, Herr Wallenberg” in Rock Island, Il. January 17th marks the 65th anniversary of the arrest and disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg, who is credited with saving as many as 100,000 Jews during a remarkable mission to Budapest near the end of World War II.

2010: Sixth Anniversary of what would become known as “This Day In…Jewish History.”

2010(2nd of Shevat, 5770): Elementary school teacher Beatrice “Bea” Kaplan Nasaw, the wife of attorney Joshua J. Nasaw  and the mother of biographer and historian David Nasaw, mystery writer Jonathan Lewis Nasaw and poet Elizabeth Perl Nasaw passed away today.

2010: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime co-authored by Mark Halperin.

 2010: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including '36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction' by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein.

 2010: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime co-authored by Mark Halperin.

2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “The Wedding Song,” a film about “two teenage girlfriends, a Muslim and a Jew, who bond intensely during the Nazi occupation of the North African nation of Tunis.”

2010: The 139h annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York premiere of “The Axe of Wandsbek,” a film that was “adapted from the 1947 novel by Arnold Zweig.” Set in 1934, the movie “follows a man who is paid by the Nazis to serve as a public executioner and goes on to be rejected by his community” and forces the viewer to consider “the role that common citizens played in Nazi crimes.”

2010: Pope Benedict XVI said church authorities played an active role in saving Jews during the Holocaust, though "often hidden and discreet." Today, Italian Jewish leaders welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Rome's main synagogue for a visit they said would help strengthen relations between Jews and Catholics

2011: Limmud NY which has been meeting at Hudson Valley Resort, Kerhonkson, NY is scheduled to come to a close.

2011: “Strangers No More”, a documentary about students at an “exceptional school” in Tel Aviv is scheduled to have its New York Premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2011: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly announced today that he was leaving the Labor Party — dividing the movement that dominated Israeli politics for decades and setting off a chain reaction that cast new doubts over already troubled peace efforts with the Palestinians

2011: Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog and Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman all submitted their resignation letters to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today, ending speculation about whether any of the eight remaining Labor MKs would remain in the coalition.

2011(12th of Shevat, 5771) Seventy-six year old “Don Kirshner, the music publisher of Brill Building hits like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’ ” who later served as a deadpan Ed Sullivan for Kiss, the Ramones and others with his 1970s television show, “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert,” died today in Boca Raton, Fla., where he lived. (As reported by Ben Sisario)

2011: András Schiff joined 7 other Hungarian intellectuals and artists “

2011: Primary Stages, an Off Broadway theatre company announced today that its 2011-2012 season will open with “Olive and the Bitter Herbs,” a work by Charles Busch in which “the title character, Olive, finds herself reluctantly hosting a seder for the neighbors in her apartment building while contending with what she thinks is a ghost that she sees in her mirror.”

2011: Seventh anniversary of what is now known as This Day…In Jewish History

2012: Martin Menelsohn, the former counsel to Simon Wiesenthal and the Counsel to Holocaust Survivors in the Trial of John Demjanjuk is scheduled to deliver a noon-time address entitled “Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals in 21st Century Germany” in Washington, D.C.

2012: “Three Promises,” a documentary that uses the family photographs of sisters Breda and Matilda Kalef take viewers into the world of Sephardic pre-World War II Serbia and the dramatic story of their flight to safety is scheduled to have its world premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Frank Lautenberg & Thane Rosenbaum as scheduled to appear “In Conversation” at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan

2012: Eighth Anniversary of what is now known as “This Day…In Jewish History” which began with one item about the Soviets arresting Raoul Wallenberg in 1945. 

2012: A recent string of cyber-attacks against Israeli credit card companies, banks, and government websites was aided by thousands of Israeli computers operated by remote assailants, a top Israeli software security expert said today.

2012: A nuclear-armed Iran could deter Israel from going to war against Tehran's guerrilla allies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli general said today.

2013: “Killing Them Softly” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The Chicago Bears introduced Marc Trestman as their new head coach, making him the only Jew to hold such a position in the NFL.

2013: Southern Jewish Historian Janice Rothschild Blumberg is scheduled to deliver an address entitled “Prophet in a Time of Priests: Rabbi ‘Alphabet’ Browne”

2013: The Red Sea Jazz Festival is scheduled to open at Eilat.

2013: Canada is scheduled to release a postage stamp today honoring Raoul Wallenberg. (As reported by JTA)

2013: The JCCNV is scheduled to host “The Insider’s Briefing” which will prepare attendees for the trip to the state legislature in Virginia known as Jewish Advocacy Day. Currently the most powerful politician in Virginia is Eric Cantor, the lone Republican Jewish member of the House of Representatives who is House Majority Leader and a driving force in the Tea Party.

2013: “Skokie Invaded, But Not Conquered,” a film that “examines the personalities and issues connected to the attempted neo-Nazi March in Skokie in the late 1970s” is scheduled to be shown for the first time at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

2013: Ninth Anniversary of what is now known as “This Day…In Jewish History” which began with one item about the Soviets arresting Raoul Wallenberg in 1945 and has continued to grow on a daily basis year in and year out.  It originally was created to meet the needs of an Adult Education Program at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The current format is the creation of Deb Levin who is a one-woman tech support group for this endeavor. I really do appreciate all of the comments, questions and suggestions that you have sent over the years. And now it is time to get to work on the start of year ten.

2013: “A rare journal written by an unknown Jew in the Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising there was unveiled this morning at a ceremony at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum in the presence of President Shimon Peres. In the diary, the writer, a 37-year-old Jewish lawyer, describes life in the ghetto, the Jewish underground fighters who were active there and his march to deportation.”

2013(6th of Shevat, 5773):  Ethel Dimont, the wife of historian Max Dimont who edited the second edition of her husband’s book Jews, God and History passed away today.

 2013(6th of Shevat, 5773): Ninety-four year old Pauline Phillips, known as the creator of the advice column “Dear Abby” passed away today. (As reported my Margarlit Fox

2014: The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Hadassah is scheduled to sponsor their annual Tu B’Shevat Seder prior to Shabbat Evening Services at Temple Judah.

2014: “White Panther,” a film about the rebellion of Russian immigrant boys when their father dies while serving in the Israeli Arm, is scheduled to be shown in Jerusalem today.

2014(16th of Shevat): Yarhrzeit of century Hebrew novelist Perez Smolenskin and century Reform leader Aaron Bernstein two 19th century intellectuals with diametrically opposite views on how to solve “the Jewish problem”

2014: Students in the southern city of Ashdod whose schools are unprotected from rockets will stay home today, in light of fears of continued rocket fire out of Gaza. The decision was made following a second straight night of rocket attacks. The closure will affect approximately 3,500 students. (As reported by Joshua Davidovich)

2014: Tenth Anniversary of what is now known as “This Day…In Jewish History” which began with one item about the Soviets arresting Raoul Wallenberg in 1945 and has continued to grow on a daily basis year in and year out.  It originally was created to meet the needs of an Adult Education Program at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The current format is the creation of Deb Levin who is a one-woman tech support group for this endeavor. I really do appreciate all of the comments, questions and suggestions that you have sent over the years. And now it is time to get to work on the start the second decade.

2014: Professor and scientist Daniel Schectman, who teaches at The Israel Institute of Technology, announced that he is running for president of Israel today on Channel 1 news.


2015: The Moroccan-Israeli superstar Emil Zrihan is scheduled to perform at Symphony Space.

2015: “The Mystery of Happiness” and “Paris is Burning” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2015: “Nearly 200 people gathered in Stockholm today to light candles and mark the 70th anniversary of the disappearance of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.” (As reported by Justin Jalil)

2015: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host a performance of “Rabbi Sam” about a cleric “who wants to reinvent American Judaism.

2015: In “Why Hitchcock’s Film on the Holocaust Was Never Shown” published today Abigail Jones described the fate of the documentary that the great director made at the end of the Holocaust.

2015:  Eleventh Anniversary of what is now known as “This Day…In Jewish History” which began with one item about the Soviets arresting Raoul Wallenberg in 1945 and has continued to grow on a daily basis year in and year out.  It originally was created to meet the needs of an Adult Education Program at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The current format is the creation of Deb Levin who is a one-woman tech support group for this endeavor. I really do appreciate all of the comments, questions and suggestions that you have sent over the years as well as all of the sites that carry this blog and the editors at SEGULA who have provided a monthly format for highlights from the daily publication.

2016: Twelfth Anniversary of “This Day…In Jewish History”

2016(7th of Shevat, 5776): Thirty-eight year old Dfana Meir “a nurse in the neurosurgery department of Soroka Medical Center in Beesheba and the mother of four was stabbed to death today by a terrorist while she was trying to protect her family when he invaded their home.

2016: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest toe Jewish readers including Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War by Ian Buruma.

2016: The Koresh Dance Company, led by Israeli choreographer Ronen Koresh is scheduled to perform at City Center Studios in New York.

2016: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia Performing Arts Series is scheduled to host “the Washington Balalaika Society which “will perform a concert of Russian, Ukrainian and Eastern European Jewish music” today.

2016: Pope Francis is scheduled to “make his first pontifical visit to Rome’s Great Synagogue” today making him the third pontiff, after Benedict and John Paul II, to go to the Jewish house of worship on the banks of the Tiber River.

2016: “Esther Bubley Up Front” is scheduled to come to an end at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

2017: Registration is scheduled to open for “Demons and the Evil Eye: Folklore of Ashkenaz” a four week course taught by Professor Itizik Gottesman

2017: “The Patriarch’s Room” and “Hummus! The Movie” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2017: “This Day In…Jewish History” starts its fourteenth year.
2018: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to host “The AMIA Bombing and the Murder of Alberto Nisman: Is Justice in Sight?”

2018: In London, the JW3 is scheduled to host a workshop on “How to Conquer Age Barriers in the Search for Work.”

2018: David Fishman is scheduled to teach the final session of “The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto: Jewish Cultural Resistance to Nazi and Soviet Oppression” at the YIVO Institute.

2018: The Breman is scheduled to host another event in its “Historic Jewish Atlanta Tours” with a visit to Congregation Shearith Israel which was founded in 1904 and was led by Rabbi Tobias Geffen who “Koshered Coca-Cola.”

2018(1st Day of Shevat, 5778): Rosh Chodesh Shevat; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2018: “This Day In Jewish History” which was started as a supplement to the Jewish History Class at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, with one single entry begins its 15th year. (Editor’s Note – I had no idea what I was getting into and I owe whatever success I might have enjoyed in large measure to Deb Levin who created the architecture that took it from history handout to an inter-net creation found at multiple sources. The informality of the startup helps to explain why I cannot always respond to requests for original sources.  Feel free to keep sending questions and comments and I will do the best I can.)


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