Thursday, January 18, 2018

This Day, January 19, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 19

570: Birthdate of Mohammed. Mohammed thought the Jews of Arabia would join his new religion.  When they did not, he turned on them in much the same way Luther would when the Jews rejected his overtures.

639: Dagobert I, the first of the French kings to be buried in the royal tombs at Saint Denis Basilica passed away. During his reign, he proposed driving all Jews who would not accept Christianity from his domain. 

973: Benedict VI began his Papacy approximately three years after the death of Hasdai ibn Shaprut while Jews were still enjoying what has since been referent to as the “Golden Age in Spain.” 

1180: In France, Phillip August seized all of the Jews living on his estates and imprisoned them.  He freed them in exchange for a ransom of fifteen hundred silver marks. 

1419: During the Hundred Years' War, Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy. This entry would appear to be loaded with irony from both a secular and Jewish point of view.  The successful re-conquest of Normandy brought both the English Kings and the Jewish people back to a common point of departure that had begun in 1066.  From the secular point of view, this is called a re-conquest because Henry traced his right to the throne of England on the conquest of William the Conqueror who ruled Normandy in 1066.From the Jewish point of view there is a whole lot more. While reportedly Jews had lived in the British Isles since the time of the Romans, the first written records of Jewish settlement in England date from the time of the Norman Conquest, mentioning Jews who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066. Jews lived in England from the Norman Conquest until they were expelled in 1290 by King Edward.  Many of these Jews found refuge in what is modern day France which would have included Normandy.  At this period in history Normandy was a separate kingdom. While we can only speculate as to when the first Jew arrived in Normandy, we know Jews were living there in the 11th century there are written records concerning the persecution of Jews in Normandy in 1007.  “At that time a Jewish notable from Rouen, Jacob bar Jeqouthiel, who had initially been imprisoned by Duke Richard II, received authorization to visit the Pope, leaving behind one of his sons as a hostage in the hands of Richard. Pope John XVIII listened to his complaint and sent a message to France requiring that the persecution should be ended. Jacob was not to return to Normandy however. Instead he went to join his family in Lorraine, and died a few years later in Arras. The reign of (Wiiliam) the Conqueror was a period in which the Normandy Jews flourished; they were treated with respect by the Duke, and after 1066, they were encouraged to settle in England and especially in London. But the preparations for the 1st Crusade (1096) in Rouen, as in many regions of Western Europe, were accompanied by veritable pogroms which were violent, but also brief. William Rufus, who reigned in England from 1087 and administered Normandy in the absence of his elder brother Robert Curthose, did not approve of the excesses involved, and was able, fairly quickly, to put a stop to them. The members of the Jewish community of Rouen and their property had, however, suffered cruelly. The construction of the house in Rouen identified as a yeshiva (Talmudic academy) was, without doubt, part of the programme of restoration of this community and its buildings in the year 1100. Under the Plantagenets, the status of Jews in Normandy and in England was on many occasions defined in favorable terms by Henry II, and subsequently by King John. From before the end of the 12th century, written sources of Hebrew origin give the names of many Doctors of Law who taught in Rouen. The importance of Rouen as a centre of Jewish culture is also attested by the fact that a doctor as eminent as Abraham ibn Ezra, at the height of his career, went there to work from 1149 onwards and this is where he wrote, amongst other things, his great commentary of Exodus, the very important text known by its name of Anciennes Règles, (Ancient Rules) which pronounces on the teaching of the Torah. It could have been composed, in its original version, on the occasion of a regional synod that met in Rouen in the 11th century. At the beginning of the 13th century, economic prosperity and cultural activity in the Jewish community had reached a high level; this is the explanation for the effectiveness with which the Jews of Rouen were able to stand up to the trials that were to beset them during this century.” For more on this subject including how the Jews of Normandy fared under rulers who had expelled the Jews from England, see The Jews in Medieval Normandy: A Social and Intellectual History by Norman Golb

 1567: Pope Pius V issued “Cum nos nuper,” a bull that forbids Jews from owning real estate. This would not be the last of the anti-Semitic Bulls issued by Pius V.

1616: In Worms, under orders of the Bishop of Speyer and with the backing of Frederick's troops, the Jews were readmitted to the city. 1616: The Jews were readmitted by order of the elector palatine and bishop of Speyer.

 1629: The reign of Shah Abbas I who in his final years followed the demands of the Shi’a clergy and required “Jews to wear a distinctive badge on clothing and headgear” came to an end today.

1657:  Thanks to the influence of Abraham Teixeira de Mattos who had lent Frederick III “to fight his wars”, the Danish monarch permitted “the Portuguese professing the Hebrew religion"  “to travel everywhere within the kingdom and to trade and traffic within the limit of the law.

1733:  Rabbi Isaac Ben Zalman Ben Moses Schulhof, the Prague native who was the “rabbi of a small congregation in Ofen, whose wife was murdered and whose “son died in prison at Raab” passed away today.

1795: The Batavian Republic was proclaimed in the Netherlands bringing to an end the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The Batavian Republic was a genuine expression of Dutch nationalism but it was also a product of the French Revolution. Following in the path of that revolution, the creation of the Batavian Republic brought total emancipation for the Jews of the Netherlands.

 1798: Birthdate of Auguste Comte, the man who “coined the term sociology” a field that Jews have populated from “A” (Raymond Aron) to “Z” (Eviatar Zerubavel) 

1803(25th of Tevet, 5563): Marcus (Markus) Herz a Jewish German physician and lecturer on philosophy, passed away.

1805: Wolf Breidenbach succeeded in having the “Leibzoll” abolished in Raisbon and Darmstadt.  The Liebzoll was a “toll which Jews had to pay on entering towns where they did not dwell or had no special privileges.”

1808: Birthdate of Moritz Rappaport, the native of Lemberg, a leading physician and poet who wrote an epic lyric poem, “Moses” in 1842.

1808(19th of Tevet, 5568): Eighty-three year old Bohemian born Austrian tobacco-manufacturer Israel von Honigsberg, the first Austrian Jew to be “ennobled” passed away today in Vienna. 

1809(2nd of Shevat, 5569): Austrian tobacco-manufacturer Israel Honig whose firm held a contract to provision the Austrian Army during the Seven Years War, who found favor with Empress Maria Theresa and who became the first Austrian to be ennobled when in in 1789 Emperor Joseph II conferred upon him the patent of hereditary nobility with the title "Edler von Hönigsberg" passed away today in Vienna.

1813: Araon Solomon married Ann Lazarus at the Hambro Synagogue.

1817: In Hamburg, businessman Meyer Wolffson and his wife gave birth to Isaac Wolffson the German Lawyer who was a member of the Hamburg Constituent Assembly, a leader of the Jewish community and the father of Albert Wolffson.

1829: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust premieres.  According to one critic, Goethe may have disparaged Jews in “Faust,” but he also had no problem ridiculing his fellow Christians.  Goethe attributed his anti-Semitism to the prevailing beliefs in the society in which he was raised.  His view of Jews changed for the better when he actually may and got to know some.  From that time forward he found it difficult to view the creators of the Bible and the Song of Songs as some sort of sub-human race.

1839: The British East India Company captures Aden. Jews had been living in Aden since the third century. By the time the British arrived, the Jewish population must have numbered in the thousand since 20 years later, they completed the Grand Synagogue of Aden (the Shield of Avraham) which seated 2,000 and was one of seven synagogues in the colony.

1839: Birthdate of French post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne.  Relax; Cezanne was not Jewish.  But he did enjoy a connection to the Jewish people which is illustrative of the state of French society in Pre-World War I France. Cezanne grew up in Aix-en-Provence, where he was a childhood friend of Emile Zola, the novelist who wrote “J’Accuse,” the widely read expose on the framing of Alfred Dreyfus, the French Jewish army officer falsely convicted of espionage. Cezanne was an ardent Dreyfusard and exulted, along with other intellectuals and the French Jewish community, when Dreyfus was finally exonerated. Later in life Cezanne Judaism developed a relationship with Camille Pissarro, a Sephardic Jew and fellow Impressionist with whom he painted side by side in Paris and in Aix-en-Provence.

1848(14th of Shevat, 5608): Eighty-one year old Isaac D’Israeli passed away in Buckinghamshire.  A leading literary figure of his time, D’Israeli’s real claim to fame is that he was the father of Benjamin Disraeli.  As a result of a dispute with Bevis Marks Synagogue, the elder D’Israeli took the advice of a friend and had his children baptized.  Thanks to this, “Dizzy” ultimately became Prime Minister.

1851: In Philadelphia, PA, Samuel Fernberger and Lotta Lowenberg gave birth to Henry Fernberger, the husband of Julia Weiller who was a Treasurer of the Jewish Publication Society, a member of the Board of Directors of Congregation Rodeph Shalom and vice President of the Mercantile Club.

1859: Lewis Levy married Isabella Levin at the Great Synagogue today.

1859: The “Personal” column published described the presentation by “the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston a handsome testimonial to Mrs. Elizabeth Bonnell, for unobtrusive, but signally useful charity bestowed upon a poor Jewish family heavily visited with the fever last summer.  The Society also remembered the action of John Drummond, Esq., the father of Mrs. Bonnell, who was intimately associated with her in alleviating the sufferings of the afflicted family.”

1865: In St. Petersburg, Russia, Alexander Serov and Valentina Bergman gave birth to Valentin Alexandrovich Serov one of the leading portrait artists of the last half of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century.

1867: Achille Fould, the son of a successful Jewish banker, was replaced by Émile Ollivier as the chief advisor to Emperor Napoleon III.

1874(1st of Shevat, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1878(15th of Shevat, 5638): Tu B’Shevat

1880: Baron Gustave de Rothschild and his wife Cecilie Anspach gave birth to their son Robert who became a civil and mining engineer.

1881: Birthdate of John Nathan “Dutch” Levine the Polish born American football player who starred at Phillips Andover Academy, Colby College and Yale before coaching at Davidson College, Auburn University and Transylvania College.

1882: Charles VI, a French grand opera in five acts with music composed by Fromental Halevy was performed for the first time today in Mexico.

1888: Birthdate of Irving Wexler, who became known as the gangster Waxey Gordon

1888(6th of Shevat, 5648): Rabbi Adolf Ehrentheil passed away today in Bohemia.

1890: It was reported today that of the 360 youths admitted to the House of Refuge on Randall’s House this year, eleven of them were Jewish.

1890: It was reported today that the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was one of the organizations that received a yellow silk banner for its participation in the Washington Centennial Parade last spring.

1890: The Trustees of the Hebrew Technical Institute are scheduled to meet at 11 A.M. at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association to elect officers to serve for the rest of the year.

1890: “New Publications” published today includes a review of The Unknown God: Or Inspiration Among Pre-Christian Races by C. Loring Brace in which the author expresses admiration for the fact “that so few evidences of Egyptian influence are found in the Hebrew faith.  The thinks and teachers of the Jews ‘were visited by those higher and purer inspirations which made them the greatest benefactors of mankind in ancient history.’”  Even though they lived among tribes “of far greater wealth and refinement…the Hebrew leaders preserved themselves from the contamination of polytheism and handed down the faith in a pure religion.’  “The Jews of modern days ought to be forever honored for such progenitors; a race which could produce such men deserves the lasting respect of mankind.”  (Brace was a 19th Protestant minister whose work with downtrodden included the famous “Orphan Train” that relocated parentless children from urban slums to the Midwest)

1891: Birthdate of Albertina Rasch, the Viennese born American dancer and choreographer who was also the wife of composer Dimitri Tiomkin.

1892: Augustus Meyer, a Jew from St. Paul, MN, tried to kill himself this morning in New York City.

1892: Birthdate of Benjamin Percival Schulberg the pioneer film producer and movies studio executive.  B.P. Schulberg, as he was known, was the father of Bud and Stuart Schulberg.

1892: Birthdate of Isaac Don Levine, the Russian born American newspaper man who provided testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the case against Alger Hiss.

1893(2nd of Shevat, 5653): Mrs. Charles Harris, a member of prominent Jewish family from Cleveland, apparently took her own life at the Marlborough Hotel in New York City.

1894: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Societies is one of three charities that will benefit from an upcoming band competition at the Madison Square Garden.

1894: It was reported today that in Macon, GA, Rabbi Farher has created “the greatest sensation. By forging documents, he has stolen between from one and two thousand dollars from several prominent people including Sam Waxelbaum and Simon Josephson.  A recent he widower, he is now engaged to four women, two of whom have acquired trousseaus in anticipation of marrying this father of two children.

1895: Of the Four hundred thousand “notices containing instructions to householders about disposing ashes and garbage” that have been printed and are being distributed in New York City, 10,000 are in Hebrew and none are in Yiddish.

1895: It was reported today that representatives of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society and the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children were among the charitable organizations who met to discuss ways to obtain public funds under the new rules adopted in New York.

1895: It was reported today that Robert Olyphant is President of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society which is currently caring for 800 children referred to the organization by the state.

1896: Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture entitled “Social Ostracism” at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

1896: The Russian American Hebrew Association held its regular meeting today at the Hebrew Institute 

1897: N.S. Rosenau, a manager of the United Hebrew Charities, was among those attending the second monthly conference of charity organizations being held today at the United Charities Building.

1898: It was reported today that in Nantes, the shops belonging to the Jews have been stoned as violence sparked by the Dreyfus Affair and anti-Semitism sweep the country. 

1898: At the home of the bride’s mother in Savannah, GA, Rabbi I.P. Mendes officiated at the wedding of Jennie Einstein and Jacob Pinkussohn of Charleston, SC.

1898: Extra policemen were guarding the homes of Emile Zola and Mathieu Dreyfus tonight as anti-Semitic mobs ranged through Paris.  Zola was the editor who had come to Alfred Dreyfus’ defense and Mathieu was the French officer’s brother who worked to free him.

1898: Copies of Aurore, the newspaper published by Georges Clemenceau, a non-Jewish supporter of Dreyfus and a critic of the military, were burned by the mob in Bordeaux.

1898: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society sponsored its 15th annual charity ball at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

1898: A series of violent anti-Jewish demonstrations took place this evening in Algiers.

1898: Isaac Greenblatt, the owner of a shoemaker’s shop who is president of an Orthodox congregation on East Broadway said that the matter concerning the expulsion of Isaac Rabinowitz for being a gambler in violation of the organizations seventy laws of governance has been referred to their lawyer after papers were served by Louis A. Jaffter the attorney for Rabinowitz who is seeking $2,000 in damages.

1898(25th of Tevet, 5658): Seventy-five year old Abraham Schlesinger passed away today.  A native of Cassel, he came to the United States in 1848.  “Three years later he began” manufacturing “uniforms for the Police Department and has been supplying the members of the force ever since as head of …A. Schlesinger & Sons. He supported numerous Jewish organizations including Mt Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Montefiore Home.  A widower, he leaves behind six sons to recite kaddish.

1899: Based on reports published today on the number of tickets sold, approximately 1,500 attended the Hebrew Orphan Asylum’s annual charity ball. 

1899: Simon Wolf, the former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey now living in Washington, DC, gave a speech to the Jewish Alliance in New York on the future of the Jews in America.

1900(19th of Shevat, 5660): Eighty year old Rabbi Moses Ehrenreich or Rome passed away today in the same year (5660) that saw the death of “Rabbi Elie Benamozheg of Leghorn,” known as “the Jewish Plato,” Senator Isaac Artom and 49 year old journalist Attilio Luzzatto

1906: “Mohammed el Torres has informed the delegates” to the Algeciras Conference “that the Sultan is prepared to abolish the laws requiring Jews to prostrate themselves before the mosques and engage in other humiliating practices but the delegates doubt the wisdom of their abolition as it is said the non-performance of the traditional obeisances by Jews would excite an anti-Jewish outbreak.”

1906: In Rochester, NY, Rabbi Isaac Kaplin of Congregation B’nai David opened a package he received this morning and “found it contained dynamite and gunpowder” which was intended to be a bomb.

1906: The Allgemeine Zeitung Judt reported that the Board of the Berlin congregation had discussed the question of admitting proselytes

1906: In St. Petersburg, at today’s meeting of the Constitutional Democratic Congress during which the question of party participation in the Duma, “a Jewish delegate from Vilna pleaded for participation” saying that “as regards the Jews…it was a question of life and death to have a representative in Duma who should” be able to “convey to the nation a presentment of the horrors of persecution the Jews were enduring.

1909: Twenty year old Sam Melitzer, the son of Austrian Jewish immigrants scored 20 points “to lead Columbia to…victory over Princeton.”

1911: Following its premiere at Vienna in 1908, Die geschiedene Frau (The Divorcée),  an operetta in three acts by Leo Fall, was performed in Rome for the first time today.

1912: Birthdate of Russian economist Leonid Kantorovich. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1975 and passed away in 1986.

1912: In New York City publication of the first issue of the Yiddish weekly Die Yiddische Wochenschrift,

1913: At a time when there was a concerted effort to replace Saturday with Sunday for Sabbath services, Dr. Gerson Levi of the People’s Synagogue Association is scheduled to preach at a service this afternoon at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Chicago.

1913: The fourteenth Sinai Orchestral Concert under the direction of conductor Arthur Dunham and featuring tenor William Barlow Ross as the soloist is scheduled to take place this evening at Sinai Temple in Chicago.

1914: Francis de Pressensé a leading French journalist and politician who came from a prominent Protestant family passed away.  During the Dreyfus Affair, he sided with the Jewish officer, supporting General Picquart and losing his position in the “Legion of Honour” because he sided with Emile Zola.  

1915: During WW I, first German zeppelin attack on England.

1915: In Chicago, during today’s joint session of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods. Dr. Emil G. Hirsch “assailed the low interest in religious affairs of the congregations today,” advocated “extension of the Jewish faith into every community in the United States where Jewish people reside” and appealed “for a return to the sterner morality taught in the lessons of the prophets.

1916: It was understood that most of the aliens who benefited from the bribery scheme for which James Dallas of the Department the Home Office and Noi Yoachim Altans were indicted today in London were “Turko-Spanish Jews” trying to escape from Turkey by pretending to go to Holland but really planning on getting to Great Britain.

1916: It was reported today that “Mrs. Solomon Schechter,” the widow of the late President of the Jewish Theological Seminary “has written to Louis Marshall, Chairman of the Board of Directors, to offer, on behalf of herself and children, the Jewish books and manuscripts, including a number Genizah texts, which the library of the late Dr. Schechter, as well as a number of his own manuscripts” along with the academic robes Doctor Schechter was as a member of the University at Cambridge.

1917: Bernard M. Baruch, Daniel Guggenheim, Murry Guggenheim, Isaac Guggenheim, Sol Guggenheim, Simon Guggenheim, Adolph Lewisohn and David Hyman were each listed as having contributed $5,000 to the fund for the support of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, while Adolph S. Ochs was shown to have contributed $10,000.

1917: In two speeches delivered today in Washington, DC at the National Geographical Society, former President William Howard Taft “said that after the war, with the financial burdens of the belligerent countries bound to be heave than ever in the history of world, the Jewish banker would have be called in to help solve the fiscal problems involved” while at the same, “one of the blessings that would grow out of the American participation in a League to Enforce World Peace would a constant influence for the betterment of the condition of the Jews”  -- “the only people who, for 1,800 years have had no country…yet have retained their religion, their cohesion, their intellectual capacity, their loyalty to ther race and have, whenever there was any pretense of equality of opportunity for them, forged their way ahead into portions of prominence, influence and power in business, in professions, in philosophy, in art, in literature and in government.’

1917: The Zimmerman Telegram, proposing a German-Mexican alliance against the United States, was received by the German Ambassador to Mexico today. This ill-considered electronic missive helped pave the road for the U.S. to enter World War I on the side of the Allies. The Zimmermann Telegram by Jewish historian Barbara Tuchman provides a very readable account of this little known piece history where the policies of Germany, Mexico, Great Britain and the United States came together on the world stage.

1917: The new officers of the Temple Sisterhoods listed today were Mrs. Abram Simon, President; Mrs. J. Walter Freiberg, Vice President; Mrs. Benjamin Lowenstein, Secretary.

 1917: It was reported today that Rabbi Max Heller of New Orleans and Rabbi Martin Zielonka of El Paso, TX are among the rabbis who have signed a resolution asking that action be taken to obtain religious services for Jews in the United States Army and Navy, including a request to appoint Jewish chaplains or if that is not possible, “to place rabbis at points where soldiers are stationed in the greatest numbers.”

1918: This afternoon in Baltimore, Felix M. Warburg announced that it appeared the drive for “membership in the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies had netted 36,400 new members bring the societies total membership to 56,400.

1919: At today’s final session of the First Jewish Labor Congress which has been meeting at the Yorkville Casino, “the delegates, representing 500,000 members of organized labor throughout the country, adopted a resolution favoring a free republic in Palestine where the Jews will have no more right than any other people until, by immigration or otherwise, they become the majority.”

1920: The US Senate voted against membership in League of Nations.  With the rejection of the Versailles Treaty and membership in the League of Nations, America withdrew from the affairs of Europe.  This withdrawal is seen by many historians as one of the causes of World War II, with all the destruction and tragedy that that meant for the Jewish people.

1920: In Providence, RI, Walter Irving Sundlun and Jennette "Jan" Zelda (Colitz) Sundlun gave birth to Bruce Sundlun, the decorated war hero and attorney who served as the 71st governor of Rhode Island, making him the second Jew to hold this position.

1923: Gregory Ratoff, the Russian Jew who became a successful American actor and director married actress Eugenie Leontovich in the United States today.

1923: Birthdate of Markus Wolf the German born son of Jewish writer and physician Friedrich Wolf who was regarded as one the “great spymasters of the Cold War” for his leadership in Stasi.

1924: While visiting New York, Dr. Osias Thon, chief rabbi of Cracow and a member of the World Zionist Organization, said today that “I am most hopeful for Jews in Poland and for Poland as a nation.” Despite the continued manifestation of long standing national friction and “internal discords” Thon expressed the hope “that the time is not too far distant when the leading Polish statesmen will recognize the justice of our demands and there will be a Polish-Jewish peace founded on the basis of full rights for the Jews of Poland.

1929: The New York Times today “paid tribute to the late Dr. Joseph Goldberger, Jewish martyr to science who died in Washington, stricken during his research work.” (JTA)

1930: The Palestine Court of Appeals continues to be inundated by cases stemming from the riots that took place in August, 1929.  Appellants are seeking to have their convictions over turned and/or have their sentences commuted.

1931: In a Jewish triple-header, “You Said It, a musical by Harold Arlen (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics) that uses a musical book by Yellen and Sid Silvers “opened at the Cahnin’s 46th Street Theatre in New York city where it ran for 192 performances.

1931: “Command Performance,” featuring Mischa Auer as “Duke Charles” was released in the United States today.

1932: Birthdate of Richard Lester Liebman, the native of Philadelphia who gained fame as movie director Richard Lester whose work include “Superman II.”

1935: Eight days before his 19th birthday, Ed Kweller scored ten points to lead Duquesne to victory over West Virginia.

1936: Birthdate of composer Elliot Schwartz creator of "Tapestry," for violin, cello and piano, emotionally charged piece of music. The work commemorates the courageous efforts of Danes in saving Danish Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Here, Schwartz works with melodic fragments paraphrased or borrowed from Jewish composers who were imprisoned at Theresienstadt, and also draws on a well-known Danish folk song that speaks of innocence and serenity.

1936: “The educators division of ORT met” today “at the Hotel Pennsylvania to draw up plans for its participation in the organization’s drive to raise $500,000 in this country to finance the work of rehabilitating and training Jews of Central and Eastern Europe.”

1936: It was reported today that approximately 100 rabbis attended the ceremony in which “Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel of Antwerp was…formally inducted as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and Jaffa.”

1936: Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Cry of the Synagogue” at the Jewish Science Society.

1936: Rabbi Milton Steinberg is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Fuehrers, Duces, Prophets – What Makes the Great Human Leader?” at the Park Avenue Synagogue.

1936: James Waterman Wise, the associate editor of “The People’s Press” and founder of “Opinion” is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “May Jews Be Communist?” at the Free Synagogue meeting in Carnegie Hall.

1936: Anna Louise Strong is scheduled to deliver an address on “Woman and the Family” at Temple B’nai Jeshurun.

1936: Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Health and Wealth: Can Christian Science Bring Them to Jews?” at Temple Rodeph Sholom.

1937: Joseph C. Hyman, the secretary and executive director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced today that “needy Jews in Berlin received 77,757 free meal and 21,806 food packages in 1936 from six kitchens” operated by the committee.

1937: Speaking at a membership tea of the Manhattan Chapter of the women’s division of the American Jewish Congress “held at the Essex House in honor of Mrs. Sol Rosenbloom” Rabbi Stephen S. Wise cited “the appeal last week of Foreign Minister Josef Beck of Poland for he emigration of Jews and attacks on Jews in the Polish Parliament” as “just reasons for all Americans to unite to help the oppressed.”

1937: In Berlin, the Central National Health Office issued a new appeal to all Germans to boycott Jewish physicians in order “to prevent any slackening in the anti-Jewish boycott.

1938: Dr. Bernard Joseph, legal adviser to the Jewish Agency for Palestine arrived today in New York today aboard the Cunard White Star liner Berengaria. He has come from Jerusalem to attend the upcoming National Conference for Palestine to be held in Washington, D.C.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Jewish truck drivers repelled an Arab attack on the Palestine Potash convoy, which was on its way to the Dead Sea, 10 km. east of Jerusalem. One driver was severely wounded, but the convoy finally reached its destination. The Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline was again set on fire.

1940: U.S. premiere of “The Blue Bird” an American fantasy film with music by Alfred Newman and featuring Al Shean as Grandpa Tyl.

1940: Senator Ellison “Cotton Ed” Smith of South Carolina, who had opposed measures to ease immigration restrictions for Russian Jews during WW I, became “dean of the United States Senate” meaning he was the longest serving member of the Upper Chamber.

1940: “You Natzy Spy,” a film starring the Three Stooges premiered. Nine months before the appearance of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” Moe (the Stooge whose name was Moses Howard), portrayed a “Hitler –like dictator” in the fictional country of Moronica.

1941 (20th of Tevet, 5701): Six thousand Jews were killed in Bucharest riots.

1941(20th of Tevet, 5701): Ber Goldberg passed away today and was buried in the Agudath Achim nonagenarianCemetery in Woburn, MA.

1942: Soviet forces recapture Mozhaisk, the closest that German troops had come to Moscow. With this, the Soviet capital is saved from occupation.

1942: “An escaped inmate from the Chelmno extermination camp, Jacob Grojanowski, reached the Warsaw Ghetto, where he gave detailed information about the camp to the Oneg Shabbat group,” “which became known as the Grojanowski Report that was smuggled out of the ghetto through the channels of the Polish underground, reached London and was published by June

1942: Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite priest was arrested by German occupiers in Holland for speaking out against Nazism as a "lie" and "pagan."  Brandsma had been speaking out against the Nazis since the mid 1930’s.  After his arrest, he was shipped to Dachau in where he was the subject of medical experiments.  He died of a lethal injection in July, 1942. Brandsma was declared “Blessed” by Pope John Paul, II in 1985.  Since then, the promotion of his cause for sainthood has been in progress.

1943: As Nazis raid the Warsaw Ghetto for the second consecutive day, a crying child is accidentally suffocated by his terrified mother. 

1943: Over the next three day six thousand Jews from Warsaw are murdered at the Treblinka death camp.

 1944: Two weeks after its NYC premiere, “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek’ featuring Julius Tannen as “Mr. Rafferty” was released throughout the United States today.

1945: The Death Marches began for the surviving Jews and Poles who were evacuated from Labor Camps and Concentration Camps. Those who were too weak to march were shot by the thousands. As they marched through the severity of winter to new locations, tens of thousands more were shot for any infraction.

1945: Soviet forces liberate ghetto of Łódź. Out of 230,000 inhabitants in 1940, less than 900 had survived Nazi occupation.

1948: A company of the 1st Battalion commanded by Assaf Simchoni unsuccessfully attacked a building used by Arab gang in Shefaram.

 1947: Birthdate of David Bankier, the German born “Holocaust historian and head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem”

 1948(8th of Shevat, 5708): Morris Eisenman, president and one of the founders of the Metropolitan News Company and a leader in Jewish philanthropic and cultural organizations passed away at the age of 74.  A native of Bialystock, Poland, Eisenman was brought to the United States in 1888 where he would go to work as a newsboy on the Lower East Side.  “In the 1890’s, he was co-found of the Abendblatt, a Yiddish newspapers and in 1897 assisted in organizing the Jewish Daily Forward.”  He was an active Zionist and a close personal friend of Chaim Weizmann.  “He helped organize and finance the Dvir Publishing Company in Eretz Israel which was headed by Chaim Nachman Bilak and Dr. Schmarya Levin and was formed to publish original and translated works in Hebrew.”

1949:  Cuba recognized Israel.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the East German police searched Jewish homes and offices, looking for "spies and saboteurs" in a move that placed 2,800 Jews in danger of an immediate arrest. Many East German Jews were trekking to West Berlin fearing the oncoming persecution. In New York the American Jewish Committee charged that in the Soviet Union some half a million Jews, out of the community of two million, faced arrests, deportations and Gulag concentration camps.

1954(15th of Shevat, 5714): Tu B'Shevat

1954: Birthdate of actress Katey Sagal, daughter of Boris Sagal, the Russian-Jewish immigrant whose directorial credits included episodes of “The Twilight Zone.” Sagal is best known for her role as Peg Bundy.

1960: As the crisis on the Golan heightens, President Nasser of Egypt sends troops across the Suez Canal, into the Sinai Peninsula in direct violation of the agreements reached at the end of fighting in 1956. 

1961(2nd of Shevat, 5721): Sixty-three year old Oscar Straus Caplan, the native of Kovno who came to the United States in 1900 after which he became a lawyer, municipal judge and member of such Jewish organizations as ZOA and the Federation of Polish Jews.

 1962: “A View From The Bridge” based on the Arthur Miller play of the same name directed by Sidney Lumet featuring Harvey Lembeck was released today in France.

1963: Birthdate of John Simon Bercow, the first Jew to serve as Speaker of the House of Commons

1965: In Chicago Sue (née Sandel) and Donald Pritzker gave birth to billionaire businessman Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker.

1966: The Neil Simon, Coleman & Fields' musical "Sweet Charity" premiered

1972 (3rd of Shevat, 5732): Thirty-five year old American violinist Michael Rabin passes away.

1977: Jack Albertson is scheduled to co-host Inauguration eve entertainment gala at the Kennedy Center which will include performances by Beverly Sills and Paul Simon.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egypt had broken off the Jerusalem talks and that President Anwar Sadat threatened to recall his delegation. He was, however, persuaded by US President Jimmy Carter to keep the door open. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, at an emergency cabinet meeting, announced at midnight that "As the proposal that the negotiations of the joint military committee continue in Cairo, despite the suspension of the negotiations in Jerusalem, the government will consider this proposal."

1979: Four people were injured when terrorists shelled Qiriyat Shemona and Nahariya.

1980 (1st of Shevat, 5740): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1980 (1st of Shevat, 5740): Composer and band leader Richard Franko Goldman composer passed away at the age of 69. Goldman had succeeded his father Edwin Franko Goldman as conductor of the Goldman Band of New York City. He took a break from his musical career during World War II when he served as a member of the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA.

1980: Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas who ‘wrote that the nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court had “frightened the Establishment” because he was a “militant crusader for social justice” passed away

1982 (24th of Tevet, 5742): Leopold Trepper, famed World War II spy, passed away in Israel at the age of 77.  Born in Poland in 1904, Trepper supported the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution.    A committed Communist, Trepper moved to Palestine after World War I, where he worked against British occupation until he was expelled in 1928.  With the outbreak of World War II, Trepper organized the Red Orchestra, one of the of most storied and successful spy networks in occupied Europe.  The Red Orchestra operated in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.  One of its greatest accomplishments was tapping the phone lines of the German military intelligence units in occupied France. The Nazis broke the Red Orchestra in 1942 and Trepper hid in Paris until liberation in 1944.  Trepper made his way to Moscow where Stalin had him arrested.  He was finally freed from a Russian prison in 1955.  Trepper worked with the Jewish community in Poland before finally getting permission to move to Israel. You can read more about this Jewish James Bond in his autobiography, The Great Game.

1982: “Venom,” a horror film produced by Martin Bregman with music by Michael Kamen was released today in the United Kingdom.

1983: Acclaimed author Cynthia Ozick received the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Carrying a stipend of $35,000 per year for five years, the awards were among the largest available to American writers. Though Ozick's first published work was a novel, Trust, published in 1966, the Strauss award was primarily in recognition of her achievement in the art of the short story. At the time of the award, her story collections included The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories (1971), Bloodshed and Three Novellas (1976), and Levitation: Five Fictions (1982). In 1984, the editors of the annual Best American Short Stories called her one of the three greatest living American short-story writers. Ozick's most well-known story is probably The Shawl, published in 1989 and made into a play in 1996. The Shawl depicts the Holocaust in horrific detail. Like most of Ozick's work, The Shawl, deals directly with Jewish themes. In other works, Ozick draws on Jewish texts and the Jewish-American experience to write about Holocaust denial, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yiddish, and the tension between nature and civilization, among other themes. Ozick has been repeatedly recognized as a master fiction writer. In addition to three O. Henry awards, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Ozick won the first Michael Rea Award for lifetime achievement in short fiction in 1986. Her work is frequently published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review. Her latest book is Heir to the Glimmering World: A Novel.

 1983:  Klaus Barbie, SS chief of Lyon in Nazi-France, was arrested in Bolivia. 

1984(15th of Shevat, 5744): Tu B'Shevat 

1986: Birthdate of Loren Galler-Rabinowitz, the Harvard graduate who won a Bronze Medal for Ice Dancing in 2004 and competed for the title of Miss America in 2011 as Miss Massachusetts.  

1986: Israeli premier Simon Peres visits Netherlands.

1986:  Spain recognizes Israel.

1987: The police said four Israeli gunboats rocketed Palestinian guerrilla positions in hills overlooking the southern Lebanese port of Sidon today, wounding at least four guerrillas. The police said the gunboat attack on guerrilla positions around Maghdusheh was believed to be in retaliation for the stabbings of two Israeli Jews in the Arab sector of Jerusalem Saturday. The Israelis were hospitalized. In Tel Aviv, an Israeli military spokeswoman said, ''In response to several questions regarding these reports from Lebanon, we deny any shelling took place today.''

1987 (18th of Tevet, 5747): Dr. Benjamin G. Levich, an internationally prominent physical chemist who won a six-year effort to emigrate from the Soviet Union, died of cardiac arrest today at Englewood (N.J.) Hospital at the age of 69. (As reported by Thomas W. Ennis)

1988: The Soviet Union said today that it had agreed to allow an official Israeli delegation to visit Moscow. Western diplomats said the visit, for which no date has been set, would be the first since the Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The move seemed to be in reciprocity for a prolonged visit to Israel by Soviet consular officials and would allow both sides to have official representatives in each other's capital, although at levels short of formal diplomatic relations.

1988: An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ehud Gol, said in response to the Soviet announcement, ''Israel welcomes the statement of the Government of the Soviet Union by which it will permit an Israeli diplomatic delegation to visit Moscow.'' The spokesman expressed regret that the announcement ''again sets conditions on the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries.'' The top political adviser to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Nimrod Novick, was in Helsinki today to meet with Vladimir Terassov, deputy head of the Middle East section in the Soviet Foreign Ministry, Israeli officials said.

 1990(22nd of Tevet, 5750): Eighty-six author and scriptwriter Viña Delmar whose works included the 1928 novel Bad Girl and the Academy Awarded nominated script for “The Awful Truth” passed away today.

1991: Abner J. Mikva began serving as the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

1991: Iraq launched a second missile attack against Tel Aviv this morning, military officials said. The Israeli authorities said the missiles carried conventional explosives, like the missiles that hit Tel Aviv and Haifa early yesterday. The Mayor of Tel Aviv was reported on radio and television to have said that two missiles landed in the city in the latest attack and that a few people were slightly wounded.

1991: As Iraqi missiles land in Israel, Topol, who stars as Tevye the milkman in the Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof," left today for his home in Tel Aviv.

1991: Western European governments have strongly condemned Iraq for attacking Israel with missiles. But fearful that retaliation by Israel could weaken the anti-Iraqi alliance, they also urged its Government to show restraint in its response. Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd of Britain called the initial Iraqi attack yesterday "a reckless ploy" to widen the conflict. "Israel has a right to self-defense and no one can take that decision from them," he said. "But we believe restraint at this time would be interpreted as strength, not weakness." France also condemned yesterday's attack, but suggested that Israel would be playing into Iraq's hands if it responded to the provocation. Underlining the "overall goal" of driving Iraq from Kuwait, a Government spokesman said Israeli reprisals would "not necessarily be opportune" at this stage. The foreign spokesmen made their comments before a second round of Iraqi missiles struck Israel about 7:30 this morning. Israeli spokesmen said that at least two landed in Tel Aviv.

1992: In Beverly Hills, Lisa (née Goldman) and Larry Lerman gave birth to actor Larry Wade Lerman.

1992: "Israel: The Next Generation," a festival of performing arts opens tonight at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with a "Salute to Freedom" concert.

1992:  “Three bulky goons” came to the home of Richard Penzer allegedly to collect a debt owed to Morris Talansky for the loss he suffered in a real estate deal.

1993:  Israel recognized PLO as no longer criminal.

1996: Mark Twain’s granddaughter Nine, the daughter of Clara Clemens and Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Jewish pianist and conductor, passed away.  She was the last known lineal descendant of the great American humorist.

1997: Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron after more than 30 years and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli controlled West Bank city.

1997: The New York Times includes a review of Love Invents Us by Jewish author Amy Bloom and The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles by Hillel Schwartz.

2000(12th of Shevat, 5760): Hedy Lamarr, the raven-haired Jewish-Viennese beauty who became one of the reigning temptresses in Hollywood films in the 1930's and 40's, especially as Delilah vamping Victor Mature's Samson, was found dead in her home in Orlando, Fla., today. She was 86.

2001: Jack Lew completed his service as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position to which he had been appointed by President Bill Clinton.

2001: “Green Dragon” a Vietnam War drama filed by cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau was released today in the United States.

2001: Marshall Hall was rededicated to Louis Marshall and his son, Bob, by SUNY-ESF President

2001(24th of Tevet, 5761): Sixty-eight year old real estate tycoon Alfred Koeppel passed away today.

2003: In an article in The Observer, columnist Jay Rayner reported that the quintessential British dish, Fish and Chips, was a Jewish creation.  In 1860, Joseph Malin opened the first business in London’s East End selling fried fish alongside chipped potatoes.  The National Federation of Fish Fryers presented a commemorative plaque to Malin’s of Bow in 1968 which attests to the accuracy of this story.  

2003(16th of Shevat, 5763): Françoise Giroud, the Swiss born French journalist who co-founded the political weekly L’Express passed away today at the age of 86. . She served as France's first minister of women's affairs. (As reported by Alan Riding)

2004: Today, Israel's prison chief said today that he would not permit Yigal Amir’s request to get married. Amir, who is serving a life sentence for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, is seeking to marry a divorced mother of four.

2005 (9th of Shevat, 5765): Jacob L. Trobe, who directed the care and resettlement of thousands of Holocaust survivors left adrift after World War II, at his home in Haverford, Pa. at the age of 93. (As reported by Jennifer Bayot)

2006: A bomber blew himself up near the old central bus station in southern Tel Aviv at around 3:45 P.M. this afternoon.  Thirty-one people were injured or wounded.  The bomber came from the town of Nablus.  Islamic Jihad took credit for the terrorist attack.  Some Israeli leaders said there was evidence that Iran had been involved in planning or financing the attack.

 2007: JTA reported that The Anti-Defamation League had honored an Albanian Muslim family that saved 26 Jews from the Nazis. The ADL posthumously awarded its Courage to Care award to Mefail and Njazi Bicaku, who sheltered Jews in the mountains of central Albania while the Nazis searched the area. The Bicakus already have been recognized by Israel and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, which awarded them its highest honor, the Righteous Among the Nations Award. “In the moral void that engulfed the world in those nightmare days when the cruelty of the Nazis ran rampant, the Bicaku family was among those few shining stars,” said Michael Salberg, the ADL’s director of international affairs. Also on hand for the ceremony was the Albanian ambassador to the United Nations and the president of the Albanian American Women’s Organization. The Anti-Defamation League honored an Albanian Muslim family that saved 26 Jews from the Nazis.

2007: Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera in two acts composed by Philip Glass premiered in America today at the Austin Lyric Opera in Austin, TX.

2007: Dr. Bob and Laurie Silber, pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community, celebrate the birth of their first grandchild - Lewis Isaac Silber. 

2007: “An American Crime” co-starring Ari Graynor was released in the United States today.

2007: “In Private,” the first major solo exhibition in the United States of photographer J-F Levy opens at Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, PA.

2007: The Washington Post published “Goodbye, My Friends” the last column of Art Buchwald who passed away yesterday.

 2008: In Washington, D.C. bookstore Jacob Heilbrunn discusses and signs They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons.

 2008: In Nevada, Republicans and Democrat hold caucuses to choose presidential delegates for their respective national conventions.  Since the caucuses are held on Saturday, observant Jews and others who observe the Sabbath on Saturday such as Seven Day Adventists are excluded from the process.  There are somewhere between 65,000 and 80,000 Jews living in Nevada, most in the Las Vegas area.  South Carolina holds its presidential primary but observant Jews do not have to worry about being excluded since they can vote by absentee ballot.

2009: An exhibition of the works of Afula native Yael Bartana on display at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York comes to an end.

2009: In Alexandria, VA, this is the second day of the Beth El Hebrew Congregation annual book sale which also features a wide array of CDs, DVDs and tapes

2009: Lewis Silber, the brilliant grandson of Dr. Bob and Laurie Silber who are pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community, is now only 11 years from his bar mitzvah as he celebrates his second birthday.

2009: “Why Israel Can’t Win” is the cover story for Time magazine.

 2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the United States premiere of “Leon Blum: For All Mankind,” the powerful documentary that tells the story of a prominent French leader—a Jew who at different times was prime minister of France and a prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Blum devoted his life to improving the well-being of French workers and was an early champion of women’s rights. In 1936, he became prime minister; during his time in office, he led the Popular Front. In 1940, his socialist views and Jewish heritage placed him in jeopardy. The Vichy government sentenced him to five years in Buchenwald. After the war, Blum was welcomed home by the French people and was reelected prime minister.”

2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of ”Zrubavel,” the first feature-length film ever created by Ethiopian Israelis” that tells the story of a family of Ethiopian émigrés is torn between love for homeland and assimilation with Israel.”

2010: In Herndon, VA, Rabbi Steven Glazer is scheduled to discuss business ethics at a meeting of The Hazak Active Retirees Chapter of Congregation Beth Emeth.

2010(4th of Shevat, 5770):: Ernst Cramer, a German Jewish journalist and chairman of the Axel Springer Foundation who explored his country's relations to Israel and the US, died today in Berlin, 10 days before his 97th birthday. Shortly before his death from a heart attack, he established a German-Israeli journalism scholarship program. A week before his death Cramer informed the Jerusalem Foundation that Axel Springer was sponsoring a 10-year scholarship program for German and Israeli journalists. "Such an exchange helps carry forward the German-Israeli friendship into the next generation. That is first and foremost of importance," Cramer wrote in his letter to the Jerusalem Foundation. Cramer, a prolific journalist, played a decisive role in the journalistic history of post-Nazi Germany. In 1938, the Nazis deported him to the Buchenwald concentration camp. While his brother and parents were murdered in the camps, Cramer was able to seek refuge in the United States. In 1944, he returned as an American soldier and helped to rebuild a democratic press in West Germany.

2011: “8 Stories That Haven’t Changed the World” a documentary on the childhood memories of eight Polish Jews born before WWII, is scheduled to have its U.S. Premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival. 

2011: “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” a film that follows one year in the life of legendary actress/comedienne/ writer, Joan Rivers is scheduled to be shown at the 2011 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival

 2011: Gabe’s in Iowa City is scheduled to show “Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad,” a “refreshing mix of comedy, music, spoken-word and show-stopping burlesque, featuring the gals who learned to smoke at Hebrew School, got drunk at their Bat-Mitzvahs and would rather have more schtuppa than the chupah”

2011: Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham and Rabbi Elliot L. Stevens of Temple Beth Or in Montgomery met with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley two days after his inauguration. Bentley met with the two Rabbis to try and heal the damage done by his statement that "Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother " made while speaking at a service honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at King's first church, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.  One of the Jewish leaders who met with Bentley, Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, called the new governor's remarks "a difficult misstep" at the beginning of his administration. But he said he was pleased with the governor's apology and said "I hope and pray we can come together in the next four years."  Another rabbi, Elliot L. Stevens of Temple Beth Or in Montgomery, called the meeting with Bentley a positive step.  "We are all gathered here at the table in the first days of his administration and we are talking about inter-religious dialogue," Stevens said.

2011: In Massachusetts, Steven Grossman was sworn in today as the state’s 59th treasurer. He recommitted himself to promises made on the campaign trail last fall as he pledged to put the state’s “checkbook” online and move state money out of large banks into smaller local and community banks willing to loan to small businesses.

2011(14th of Shevat, 5771): Nathan Batt, owner of a Jewish restaurant located in Al Capone’s home in Chicago which counted celebrities and politicians among its clientele for decades, died today at 93. "He had a great restaurant, but he was a great man," said James "Jimmy" Lemons, a cook for Batt who now owns Lem’s, a legendary barbecue restaurant on Chicago’s South Side. "Me being black, and him being Jewish and white, made no difference. He hired me for my skills - for what I could do and how I could cook. Got to the point he'd say I cooked Jewish food better than most Jewish people!" According to the Chicago Tribune the menu at Mama Batt's restaurant, which closed in the late 1970s, included classic foods such as matzo balls, blintzes, fried kreplach and kasha. Celebrities - including Jerry Lewis, Perry Como, and Danny Thomas – reportedly stopped by, and the late Mayor Richard J. Daley was a regular as well. "If the mayor got a cold, we'd send a big bowl of chicken soup to his office - the Jewish penicillin," said Batt’s son, Harry. Batt was born in Omaha, Neb., and his family opened a diner following a move to Chicago. After graduating from high school in 1935, Batt worked at his father's restaurant. Two years later, he married his childhood sweetheart, Rebecca, who died in 2005 after 68 years of marriage. The location of Batt’s was itself a part of the restaurant’s appeal. It was located in a crumbling hotel that Capone had used as a headquarters, and in its later years was the subject of many attempts at renovation, which eventually failed. Sports Illustrated featured Batt’s in a 1969 feature article on the popularity of tabletop sports games such as Strat-O-Matic Baseball in the era before video and computer games. (As reported by the Eulogize

2011(14th of Shevat, 5771): Joseph W. Samuels, publisher of Houston’s Jewish newspaper, the Herald-Voice, and a major supporter of the city’s Holocaust museum, died today at 95. Samuels bought the Jewish Herald-Voice in 1973, when he was 57, fulfilling his father’s dream, his wife, Jeanne, said. "It's a very cohesive community, and we like to contribute to that fact," she said. Samuels was “the epitome of what is good and honorable about journalism." Indeed, the newspaper’s website was full of tributes from past and former journalistic colleagues, as well as friends and family members: “Joe and Jeanne, and now their children and grandchildren, have been the community’s partners in conveying the news and interests of our organizations and institutions,” said Lee Wunsch, president & CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. Samuels was born in Dallas, and was raised in the Jewish Children's Home in New Orleans, after his father died. He attended Isidore Newman School, which had been established to educate children in the home, and which continues today as a college prep school. He worked several jobs as he pursued a degree in communications at the University of Houston, where he met his wife, Jeanne Franklin, whom he married in 1943. Samuels served in Italy and Southwest Africa with the Army Air Corps during World War II. (As reported by Eulogizer)

2011: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced at the start of today's cabinet meeting at the Knesset that a new Homeland Security Ministry would be created to be headed by Independence faction MK Matan Vilna'i. Netanyahu said that such ministries are prevalent around the world, including in the United States

2011: The estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Anthony Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled The House of Silk.

2011: As violence continues to erupt across Tunisia it was reported today that Roger Bismuth and Khlifa Atoun, the leaders of the Tunisian Jewish community have left the country

2012: In “He Made Blood and Guts Familiar and Fabulous” published today Roberta Smith described the exhibition of the works and the impact of Arthur Fellig, the photographer known as Wegee.

2012: Israeli hackers operating under the name of 'IDF Team' brought down the website of the Arab Bank of Palestine this morning in retaliation for a web attack on Israel's Anti-Drug Authority website

2012: Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz called on religious high school seniors to enlist with the army today, saying that loyalty to the Jewish state must be unconditional. Peretz's remarks came in response to a petition that was put forth by yeshiva students urging the army to abandon policies of "secular coercion."

2012: A dialogue between Dr. David Ellenson and Dr. Daniel Gordis on the subject of “The Jewish Core: What does it mean to be a Jew after modernity?” is scheduled to take place at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El

2012: “Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Ner Tamid of South Bay in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

2012: The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans is scheduled to hold the Goldring-Woldenberg Major Donor Dinner. 2013

2012:” 100 Voices: A Journey Home,” a documentary that looks at Jewish culture in Poland, past and present, through a unique focus—100 cantors from around the world who came together for concerts at the Warsaw Opera House and the Nozyk Synagogue is scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The JCCNV Performing Arts series is scheduled to present “Can I Really Date A Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke?”

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

2013: In “The Jekyll and Hyde Life of the Man Who Wrote ‘Saturday Night Fever’” published today, Erica Wexler described her tumultuous relationship with her father Norman Wexler.

2013: The third annual winter version of the Red Sea Festival being held at Eilat is scheduled to come to a close.

2013: The Ensemble Millennium is scheduled to perform a string quintet by Mendelssohn and a piano quintet by Schumann at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

2014: Twelve year old Montrealer Lea Glubochansky is scheduled to perform Fritz Kreisler’s Rondo in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a first-place winner of a Crescendo International Music Competition. (As reported by David Lazarus)

2014: “Exodus” and “For a Woman” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2014: “The Afterlives of Edgar G. Ulmer,” a film roundtable featuring Arianné Ulmer Cipes, the director’s daughter, Viennese film critic Stefan Grissemann, and New School Professor and author Noah Isenberg is scheduled to take place at the Center for Jewish History.

2014: In Alexandria, VA, Beth El Hebrew Congregation is scheduled to begin its 12th annual “Gigantic Used Book Sale.”

2014: Zaytoun a “story of survival, reconciliation and friendship between an imprisoned Israeli pilot and a 10-year-old Palestinian” is scheduled to be shown City Playhouse under the auspices of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Painting Beyond Belief II” in which David Jselit and Thomas Eggerer will explore “issues in contemporary painting since the death of Marc Chagall in 1985.”

2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti by Amy Wilenz and Simon Winder’s Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe “where all Habsburg legislation in relation to the Jews was carried out effectively without reference to their needs or any real knowledge of their ideas” as well as a “conversation” with E.L. Doctorow

2014: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Israel this afternoon, marking his first official trip to the Middle East and the first visit to the region by a sitting prime minister from the North American country in over a decade

2014: Tonight Israel began transferring the remains of 36 Palestinian terrorists, who were previously buried in a special cemetery for enemy casualties. The bodies were transferred to the Palestinian Authority, which was to forward them to the relatives.

2014: “Israel plans to deploy a new missile shield known as "Iron Beam" next year which would use a laser to blow up short-range rockets and mortar bombs, a defense industry official said today. (As reported by NesMax)

2015: “Fires on the Plain” and “I Was Nineteen” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a “sneak preview” of “The Jewish Frontier” which “explores the history of Oregon's Jewish pioneers who helped to build the businesses and civic organizations that shaped the state.”

2016: “The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, which brings together European foreign ministers is” scheduled “to approve” today “a proposal that is liable to levy new sanctions against Israeli settlements and undermine their international legitimacy.” (As reported by Itamar Eichner)

 2016: The Jewish Historical Society is scheduled “to co-present the documentary Rosenwald” this evening.

2017(21st Tevet, 5777): Ninety-two year old Hungarian born Holocaust survivor Paul Ornstein who was reunited with his wife Anna with whom he joined in promoting the theory of self-psychology  passed away today.

2017: The UKJW is scheduled to sponsor the final screening of “Time to Say Goodbye” at JW3.

2017: “The Producers” and “Past Life” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2017: Downtown Jewish Life and the AJHS are scheduled to sponsor “What Do Jewish Look Like To You U?”, “an evening of monologues highlighting Jewish racial and ethnic diversity.”

2017: “Members of the Women of the Wall were denied entry to the Western Wall” this “morning after refusing to submit to body searches as a condition for entering the site – searches that were conducted in violation of “a recent High Court Justice ruling that prohibits them.”

2018: Annie Polland is scheduled to present the final session of “Under the Tenement Rooftops: Immigrant and Migrant Families in New York” at the YIVO Institute.

2018: The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation are scheduled to host a screening of “Rosenwald: the Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities” at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.




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