250: Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Decius reign came during a fifty year period (235-285) that was marked by “crisis, confusion and deterioration throughout the Roman Empire. In what appears to have been an attempt to assert imperial authority, Decius “ordered the entire population of the empire to report to authorities and prove its loyalty by sacrifice, a libation or some similar sign of participation in the cult of the emperor.” Apparently the early Christians would not participate as a matter of religious scruple and suffered accordingly. For reasons that are unclear, Jews were exempt from the decree. This could have been because the Jews were not seen as posing any threat since they had been defeated in three uprisings by Roman forces, the last of which had taken place more than a century ago in what had become a backwater of the imperial domain.
1191: Even though his army was only 12 miles from Jerusalem, Richard the Lionheart decided not to lay siege to the city due to bad weather and fear that his army might be trapped by another force of Muslims coming to relieve the siege. This timidity cost Richard his best shot at capturing the Holy City and sealed the fate of the Third Crusade as another Christian defeat.
1205: Joseph ibn Shoshan who had succeeded his father as Nasi of the Jewish Community in Toledo passed away today.
1265: In Westminster, the first English parliament conducts its first meeting held by Simon de Montfort in the Palace of Westminster. He is also remembered as the anti-Semite who expelled the Jews from Leister.
1320: Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek becomes king of Poland. During his reign the Jews continued to be governed under the terms of The General Charter of Jewish Liberties known as the Statute of Kalisz issued by the Duke of Greater Poland Boleslaus the Pious in 1264. “The statute granted exclusive jurisdiction over Jewish matters to Jewish courts and established a separate tribunal for matters involving Christians and Jews. Additionally, it guaranteed safety and personal liberties for Jews such as freedom of religion, trade, and travel.” The statute was ratified by several Polish kings whose reigns lasted until the middle of the 16th century. While many people who only know about “modern Polish history” see Poland as a land of anti-Semitism, at one time it was a home governed by those with a benign attitude toward the Jewish people.
1466 (3rd of Shevat): Leon ben Joshua completed the manuscript of Sefer ha-Tadir, a work that included Aramaic and Hebrew texts of the Scroll of Antiochus.
1488: In Ingelheim, near Mainz, Andreas Münster and his wife gave birth to German mapmaker and “Christian Hebraist” Sebastian Münster, “a disciple of Elias Levita “who edited the Hebrew Bible accompanied by a Latin translated” and who “in 1537 published a Hebrew Gospel of Matthew which he had obtained from Spanish Jews he had converted.”
1569: Myles Coverdale, who produced the first completed printed translation of the Bible into English passed away. The accuracy of the translation might be called into question since he did not know Hebrew or Greek which meant he relied on translations of translations to produce what for Englishmen was a work of major importance.
1667: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth cedes Kiev, Smolensk, and “the left bank” of the Ukraine to Imperial Russia in the treaty of Andrusovo. This marked an end to fighting that had begun in 1654 and included the Chmielnicki Uprising which was so devastating to the Jews of Poland. This treaty marks the decline of Poland that will ultimately end at the end of the 18th century with the final partition of Poland. The quality of life for the Jewish people would also slide downward until it ended in the morass of the Pale of Settlement.
1702: Thirty-eight year old “court Jew” Jehuda Jost "Judah Berlin" Liebmann, the son of Eliezer Liebman and Merle Lippman Ashker and the husband of Malké Hameln and Esther Samuel Liebmann passed away today in Berlin
1707: Seventy-five year old Cardinal Leopold Karl von Kollonitsch who advised the King to repopulate Hungary with Catholic Jews from Germany and who “held that the Jews could not be exterminated at once but must be weeded out by degrees as bad coin is gradually withdrawn from circulation passed away today. To that end he called for the enforcement of the decree by the Diet of Pressburg, “imposing double taxation on the Jews” and deny them right to “engage in agriculture” or “to own any real estate.”
1782: Birthdate of Archduke John of Austria who helped Moses Sachs submit his “program for the settling of Jews as farmers in the land of Israel under Austrian protection” to the Austrian government which in turn submitted it the Ottomans who rejected it.
1790(5th of Shevat, 5550): At Reggio, Italy, Israel Benjamin Bassani, the local Rabbi whose poetic talents found expression in both Hebrew and Italian and who was the son of Isaiah Bassani passed away today.
1812: In Charleston, SC, Deborah Cohen and Israel Moses gave birth to Raphael J. Moses, a “fifth generation South Carolinian.
1795: Hirsh ben Benjamin Manhausssen, the father of five children was buried today in the United Kingdom.
1813: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi E.N. Carvahlo officiated at the wedding of Hannah Hart and Joseph Depass.
1834: Birthdate of Adolph Frank, the native of Klotze who in 1862 “received his doctorate in chemistry from the university in Göttingen” whose many scientific contributions led to him being award “The John Scott Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1893.”
1848(15th of Shevat, 5608): Tu B’Shevat
1850: Nathaniel Magnus married Dinah Levy in the United Kingdom today.
1853(11th of Shevat, 5613): Forty-eight year old pharmacologist Jonathan Pereira, author of Elements of Materia Medica, passed away today in London.
1857: Birthdate of Andre Crémieu-Foa, the Paris born French cavalry officer who fought a series of duels in 1892 after the Libre Parole published a series of articles “on the preponderance of the Jewish element in the French Army.” Among those whom fought (and wounded) was Edoard Drumont, the notorious anti-Semite and editor of the paper.
1857: Birthdate of “journalist and Anglo-Jewish historian” Lucien Wolf.
1859(15th of Shevat, 5619) Tu B’Shevat
1859: Birthdate of Lucius Nathan Lattauer, the native of Gloversville, NY who after graduating from Harvard became the Crimson’s first head football coach and then went to become a successful businessman and member of Congress
1860: In Arnhem, Liepman Phillip Prins and his first wife Henrietta Prins-Jacobson gave birth to their third child, artist Benjamin Liepman Prin
1863: Two and half year after Jews in Sweden were given the right to buy “real estate in rural areas”, an ordinance was adopted that allowed “intermarriage between Jews and Christians.
1865: According to a report written today German and English Jews have a monopoly on the cotton trade in New Orleans because they are men without "any country or local attachment" or conscience.
1865: As Sherman’s Army marched north to join forces with General Grant, the 27th Ohio Infantry Division including Private Jacob C. Cohen took part in a reconnaissance that led to the Salkehatchie River, S.C.,
1866(4th of Shevat): Rabbi Asher of Tiktin, author of Birkat Rosh, passed away today.
1868: Birthdate of Louis-Lucien Koltz the native of Paris who was a nephew of wealthy silk dealer Victor Kloz and who was the “French Minister of France during World War I.”
1876: It was reported today that when Mme. Rothschild’s physician told her that despite all of his skill, he could not make her young again, she replied, “No doctor, I don’t ask to me made young again; I only ask to continue to grow old.”
1877: Captain Levy of the Third Brooklyn Precinct arrested James L. Manker tonight after he tried to spend a two dollar bill that had been altered to make it appear that it was a ten dollar bill. According to police Mr. Manker has done this to other merchants prior to tonight. Mr. Manker professes to be a devout Methodist who writes sermons for M.L. Rossvally “a converted Jew who publishes a weekly paper called The Hebrew Evangelist and Converted Jew.”
1878: In Cairo, Egypt, Moise Cattaui and Ida Rossi gave birth to Edgar Cattaui
1878: In a case of Jew versus Jew, Mark Arnsteat was arraigned at the Essex Market Police Court on charges of keeping a disorderly house. The charge was based on a complaint filed by his neighbor David Rosenbaum.
1879: According to a an article published today “the project proposed some time” ago “in Great Britain by leading Jews of the country to by Palestine is said to have been completed. The Rothschilds, Motefiores and other prominent and wealthy financiers have entire confidence, it is reported, in the success of the undertaking, are moving energetically towards its early achievement.” The article continues with a description of the country of which it says “Those familiar with Palestine will not regard it as specially desirable, for its main features are not very attractive.” The article concludes with “So much has been said for generation of the Jews regaining possession of Jerusalem, that it is agreeable to think that they are like to do so at last. They certainly deserve Jerusalem.” [Editor’s note – I cannot find any other reference to this project. If anybody with an expertise in Anglo-Jewish history has information to share, please do so.]
1879: The Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations began meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, today. Fifteen congregations have joined the union of Reform Congregations in the last 6 months. A resolution was adopted instructing the Board of Delegates on Civil and Religious Rights the feasibility of working with Jewish organizations in Europe that are encouraging their co-religionists to take up agrarian pursuits which they follow if they settle in the American West and South. [This was part of a plan to encourage Jews to settle in places other than the large cities of the Northeast.]
1883: In Plattsmouth, Nebraska, Julius and Alice Pepperberg gave birth to University of Nebraska graduate and geologist Leon J. Pepperberg, the husband of Rachel F. Carns and the father of Leon E. Pepperberg.
1883: Sixty-eight year old John William Colenso, the native of Cornwall who while serving as Bishop of Natal translated three books of the TaNaCh into Zulu and was convicted of heresy for publicly denying “the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch” and declaring “that Jeremiah was the author of the Book of Deuteronomy.”
1886: The Prince of Wales formally opened the Mersey Tunnel which had been built under the direction of Samuel Isaac.
1891: Birthdate Ukrainian native Moishe Elman who gained fame as violinist Mischa Elman.
1891: A meeting of clergymen that included Rabbis Gottheil, de Sola Mendez, Perira Mendez and Jacobs, Rabbi A. M. Radin was pointed Visiting Chaplain making him the first Rabbi chosen to minister to the needs of Jews incarcerated in the reformatories of New York City.
1891(28th of Tevet, 5650): Seventy-three year old Lazarus Rosenfeld, a long-time leader of Temple Emanu-El and the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphans Asylum passed away today in New York.
1892: It was reported today that a mob at Kasehan, Hungary, attacked a Jewish school “and completely wrecked it.”
1892: It was reported today that representatives of the Jewish Colonization Society, headed by Baron Hirsch are being sent to Mexico and Brazil for “the purpose of selecting land” that would be suitable “for establishing large colonies of Russian Jews.” These two countries have shown themselves to be receptive to such a venture which is fortuitous since Argentina, which had been the site for such settlements, has development an “anti-Semitic sentiment.”
1892: At the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first official basketball game is played. Basketball proved to be extremely popular with Jews living in large urban eastern areas. There was such an abundance of Jewish participants that it was referred to as the “Jewish sport.” On commentator observed that “no other sport so required ‘the characteristics inherent in the Jew…mental agility, perception…imagination and subtlety…If he Jew had set out deliberately to invent a game which incorporates those traits indigenous in him…he could not have had a happier inspiration than basketball.’ Describing the Jewish domination, this commentator concluded ‘ever since Dr. James A. Naismith came up with a soccer ball, two peach baskets and a bfright idea…basketball players have been chasing Jewish athletes and never quite catching up with them.’”
1893: It was reported today that the body of the late Mrs. Charles Harris is being prepared for shipment to Cleveland. The twenty four year old Jewess was a part of a prominent Jewish Cleveland family, named Fieldheim.
1893: As of today, Henry W. Curtis of Hoenninghaus & Curtis, wholesale milliners said that Moses and Julia Levy who owned a millinery store on Broadway owed his firm $6,783.52
1895: The Sultan is credited with having issued an order to the Governors of Jerusalem and Beirut ordering them to remove all of the restrictions that had been placed on Jews trading in Syria. The Sultan also has declared that the Jews “shall enjoy the same rights, religious and otherwise, as any of the people in the empire.”
1895: It was reported today that the Minuet a la Coeur will be danced for the first time in New York City at the upcoming ball sponsored by the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home.
1895: It was reported today that Deputy Boeckel, “the blatant Jew baiter” addressed a meeting of Social Democrats in Berlin which is seen as a sign that the anti-Semites and the Social Democrats are joining forces.
1896: Birthdate of George Burns. Born Nathan Birnbaum, Burns was part of the first wave of American Jews who found success in making us laugh. The sound of laughter has been with us since the outset of Jewish history. Remember, Sarah laughed when she heard that she was going to give birth to a son.
1896: It was reported that Dr. Joseph Silverman believes that the Jew is a victim of “Social Ostracism.” While “the hand of fellowship is extended to the Mohammedan, the Buddhist and others…there seems to be a universal bar against the Jew.”
1897: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum hosted its 14th annual charity ball at the Academy of Music in Brooklyn.
1897: At 304 Meeting Street in Charleston, SC, Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the wedding of Dora Rice and Theodore Solomons.
1898: It was reported today that a thousand students gathered at the Panetheon shouting anti-Zola and anti-Jewish slogans. The police broke up the demonstrations, but they re-grouped in various parts of the Latin Quarter.
1898: It was reported today that Emile Zola has already begun preparing his defense which will include calling a handwriting expert among his 250 witnesses.
1898: It was reported today that students tried to burn an effigy of Emile Zola in Algiers. The police arrested five students whose friends then attacked the police in an effort to free them.
1898: It was reported today that there have been anti-Jewish demonstrations in Toulouse, Marseilles, Nantes and Rouen.
1898: It was reported today that the 15th annual ball of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society was a financial success that will provide funds for a technical school to be built at the asylum’s facility.
1898: During today’s Cabinet meeting in Paris, the Minister of the Interior described the measures that have been taken to prevent further street demonstrations by anti-Dreyfus and anti-Zola forces.
1898: It was reported today that Isaac Greenblatt who owns a shoemaker’s shop is the President of an orthodox synagogue on East Broadway which also serves as a burial and mutual aid society and has assets of thousands of dollars
1898: “Penuchle And Orthodoxy” published today described a dispute between Isaac Rabinowitz and his co-religionists over his failure to attend religious services and his penchant for playing a card game when gambling was strictly forbidden.
1899: It was reported today that Simon Wolfe, the former U.S. Minister to Turkey believes that the future of the Jews in America is a bright one. “Never in the history of Judaism in ancient or modern times has the outlook for the Jewish people been more flattering than in these United States.”
1901: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Max Zilzer, “a Hungarian-born German stage and film actor who died in 1943 while being interrogated by the Gestapo and his wife gave birth actor Wolfgang Zilzer “who often appeared under the stage name Paul Andro.”
1902: Herzl writes to Israel Zangwill and Joseph Cowen and describes the financial plans regarding Turkey.
1902: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi J. J. Simenhoff officiated at the marriage of Morris Kramer and Etta Bernstein.
1904: The Jewish Museum was established when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection.
1905: Birthdate of Isaac “Ike” Danning, the native of Los Angeles who played catcher for the 1928 St. Louis Browns and was the younger brother of Harry Danning who played catcher for the New York Giants.
1906: It was reported today that the delegates to the Algeciras Conference have agreed to exclude matters related to “religious subjects” – an agreement that will not exclude the “Jewish Question” since it “can come up not as a religious issue” but as one pertaining to the “protection of the subjects of the Sultan.”
1906: It was reported today that Rabbi Isaac Kaplin of Congregation B’nai David of Rochester who had received a package filled with dynamite and gunpowder yesterday had “received an anonymous letter a month ago” saying he must curb his expressions of “sympathy for the persecuted Jews in Russia.”
1906: The Women Workers for the Self Protection of the Jews in Russia are scheduled to give a bazar and ball in the Grand Central Palace tonight with proceeds going “to the fund for the assistance of the Jews of Russia.”
1906: “Home Life in the Ghetto” published today provided a review of the Contrite Hearts by Herman Bernstein a tale by an author “whose short stories of Jewish life have already attracted attention” which provides a certain credibility to this longer effort that “deals with the tragedy of a simple Jewish family led by Reb Israel an “honest and God-fearing man of highs standing in the synagogue.”
1907: Birthdate of Polish native Herman Meyer Pekarsky, who came to the United States in 1921, earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan eventually settling in Newark in 1945 where he served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Council in Essex County.
1908: Rabbi Chaim Fishel Epstein and his wife gave birth to Ephraim Epstein, the husband of Louise Gorodinsky who was the Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Zedek in St. Louis for thirty-five years.
1909: Founding of the Jewish Farmers of America
1911: Michael Newman, “a produce dealer” and his wife Luba whose “father had been a cantor in Russia” gave birth to Oscar nominated conductor and director Emil Newman, the brother of composers Alfred Newman and Lionel Newman, the father of composers Maria, David and Thomas Newman and the uncle of songwriter Randy Newman.
1912: Writing in The Outlook, a periodical that reflected his efforts toward social reform, Dr. Lyman Abbott, a celebrated liberal theologian who supported the progressive policies of Theodore Roosevelt, advises an inquirer that he is under no moral obligation to admit Jewish pupils to his school.
1913: Austrian steel tycoon Karl Wittgenstein passed away. He was the grandson of Moses Meyer-Wittgenstein, a successful Jewish businessman and the son of Herman Wittgenstein who converted before Karl’s birth. This was an all too common tale in 19th century Europe.
1913: Among those expected to attend the 23rd Biennial Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in Cincinnati are J. Walter Freiberg, Jacob H. Schiff, Julius Rosenwald, I.W. Bernheim, Adolph S. Ochs and Harry Cutler.
1913: The next regular meeting of the Junior Auxiliary of the Mother’s Aid of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and Dispensary is scheduled to be held in the vestry rooms of the Isaiah Temple/
1914: German born composer and pianist Emil Liebling passed at away at the age of 62. Liebling settled in Chicago in the 1870’s and he spent the rest of his career performing and composing the United States.
1914: “The Yellow Ticket” a play that tells the story of Russian Jewess who is trying to get see her dying father when Jews are restricted to their homes” opened at the Empire Theatre.
1915: In Chicago, a resolution is scheduled to be introduced at a joint session of the American Hebrew Congregations and the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods praising “President Wilson’s neutral attitude toward the war.”
1915: Johanna Kohler, the wife of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, daughter of Rabb David Einhorn, the sister of Mathilde Hirsch and the sister-in-law of Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch is scheduled to speak today the at the national meeting of the American Hebrew Congregations in Chicago.
1915: Birthdate of English journalist and publisher Harold M. Harris.
1915: Martin Grove Brumbaugh who in 1916 “issued a proclamation to the people of Pennsylvania call up them to set aside January 27 as a day on which to make donations for the relief of the Jewish people in the various countries at war” began serving as the 26th Governor of Pennsylvania
1916: At Clinton Hall, the Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Suffers hosted a meeting “to celebrate” Mayor Mitchell’s “recovery from his recent illness and return to public duties” at the end of which the may expressed his appreciation saying of the Jewish population, “Of all the races that come from Europe, the Jews stand out for their response to civic duty and responsibility.”
1917(26th of Tevet, 5677): Parashat Vaera
1917(26th of Tevet, 5677): Avshalom Feinberg passed away. He was one of the leaders of Nili, a Jewish spy network in Ottoman Palestine helping the British fight the Ottoman Empire during World War I passed away today. Born in 1889 at Gedera, Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire Feinberg studied in France. He returned to work with Aaron Aaronsohn at the agronomy research station in Atlit. Soon after the beginning of war, Aaronson founded the Nili underground along with his sister Sarah Aaronsohn, Feinberg and Yosef Lishansky. In 1915 Feinberg travelled to Egypt and made contact with British Naval Intelligence. In 1917, Feinberg again journeyed to Egypt, on foot. He was apparently killed by a Bedouin near the British front in Sinai, close to Rafah. His fate was unknown until after the 1967 Six-Day War when his remains were found under a palm tree that had grown from date seeds in his pocket to mark the spot where he lay. In 1979 a new Israeli settlement in the Sinai Peninsula, Avshalom was named after him. Although it was abandoned following the Camp David Accords, a new village by the same name was founded in Israel in 1990.
1917: At Temple Israel in Harlem, Rabbi M.H. Harris is scheduled to deliver a Shabbat morning sermon on “Miracles.”
1917: Rabbi Samuel Schulman will deliver the sermon at Temple Beth-El on Fifth Avenue at Sabbath Services which are scheduled to begin at 10:30.
1917: Rabbi Silverman is scheduled to deliver a sermon this morning at Temple Emanu-El on “Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy.”
1918: This afternoon at the first session of the United Synagogue Conference meeting at the Jewish Theological Seminary Dr. Jacob Kohn, Dr. Cyrus Adler, Rabbi Elias Solomon and Rabbi Samuel Kohn were among the speakers who discussed “The Jews in the Small Community,” “What Jewish Womandhood Can Do to Strengthen Traditional Judaism” and “The Synagogical Problems of New York.”
1918: Among the contributions listed today by The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War were $121 from Green Bay, Wisconsin, $200 from Sedalia, MO, and $143 from Freemont, Nebraska. (Editor’s note: These contributions from distant and small communities show the connection that Jews felt for their suffering brethren all across the country)
1919(19th of Shevat, 5679): Seventy year old French Deputy who championed laws that provided for extending public education passed away today in Paris.
1920: In New York, Esther (Solomon) Landau and Max Landau gave birth to film producer and production executive Ely A. Landau who won a Peabody Award for “Play of the Week.” (As reported by Eric Pace)
1920(29th of Tevet, 5680): General Alfred Mordecai, Jr. passed away.
1920 (29th of Tevet, 5680): Italian sculptor and painter Amedeo Modigliani passed away.
1920: The American Civil Liberties Union was founded today. The ACLU's stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." The ACLU is not a Jewish organization but Jews have been associated with it since its founding. For example, Louis Brandies was a mentor to co-founder Roger Baldwin and Felix Frankfurter was among its founding members. As a defender of the rights of minorities, the ACLU has continued to attract Jewish support.
1922: In Berlin, the former Sarah Aaronson and Herman Mankiewicz gave birth to screenwriter Dan Mankiewicz whose works included the scripts for the popular television series “Ironsides” “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby,”
1923: Birthdate of David M. Lee, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1996.
1924: In Brooklyn, Joseph and Ethel Price Pockriss gave birth to Lee Julian Pockriss who wrote the music for midcentury pop hits like “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” “Catch a Falling Star” and “Johnny Angel.” (As reported by Anita Gates)
1924: Bernard Semel, Reuben Branin, Philip Wattenberg, Sigmund Thau and William Edlin headed a committee that is hosting a public reception in honor of Dr. Osias Thon, the chief Rabbi of Cracow, who is visiting New York City.
1924: In Sydney, Australia, “the Jewish sporting community” is scheduled to host “a combined sports picnic at Lane Cove” today which is the first of its kind in the country’s history.
1927: Featherweight Harry Blitman fought and won his twelfth bout leaving him with a record of 12 – 0 to date.
1928: Birthdate of Martin Landau. The Brooklyn born actor first gained fame in the television hit Mission Impossible before carving out a career on the Big Screen as a character actor.
1929: This afternoon at the Free Synagogue, Dr. Stephen S. Wise officiated at the funeral services for “late Sophie Irene Loeb, noted author and leader in child welfare work” after which she was interred at the congregation’s Westchester Hills Cemetery. (As reported by JTA)
1929: In Brooklyn, Schapiro, an investment broker, and the former Julia Neshick gave birth to Hebert Elliot Schapiro “a writer and teacher whose idea to create a stage play from the collected essays of poor city kids resulted in a hit musical, “The Me Nobody Knows.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)
1931: “1914” a film “that focuses on the leadership of the Great Powers in the days leading up to” WW I directed and produced by Richard Oswald and filmed by cinematographer Mutz Greenbaum premiered in Berlin “at the Tauentzien-Palast” today.
1932: In a Letter-To-The- Editor published in the New York Times, Frank P. Chisholm wrote that “Negroes lost a friend” with the passing of Julius Rosenwald. “No group of people feels more keenly the death of Julius Rosenwald than the Negro. Since 1910, when Booker T. Washington became his friend, some of Mr. Rosenwald's most notable gifts were made to raise the status of the American Negro.”
1932: Mayor Jimmy Walker (who wasn’t Jewish) appoints Maurice Deisches (who was Jewish) to the Board of Higher Education.
1932: “You Don’t Forget Such a Girl” a romantic comedy directed by Fritz Kortner and written by Hans Wilhelm was released today in Austria and Germany.
1933: Birthdate of U.S. diplomat Morton Isaac Abramowitz.
1933: “Ecstasy” a drama starring Hedy Kiesler, who would later be known as Hedy Lammar” was released in Czechoslovakia today.
1934: “Cy Kaselman scored 17 points to lead the Philadelphia Sphas to victory over the Newark Bears in the American Basketball League.” (As reported by Bob Wechsler)
1935: Today was designated as Palestine Day by the Zionist Organization of America. Over 400 cities and towns throughout the United States planned on observing the event with a series of meetings and dinners.
1935(16th of Shevat, 5695): Seventy-year old Zemach Shabad, the native of Vilnius who combined a medical career with political and communal activities that including helping to found YIVO, the Institue for Jewish Research.
1935: Governor James Allred proclaimed today as Palestine Day in Texas in recognition of the progress “that has been recorded in the modern reconstruction of the holy land.”
1936: It was reported today that the educators division of ORT under the leadership of B. Charney Valdeck has made plans to raise $500,000 “to finance the work of rehabilitating and training Jews of Central and Eastern Europe.”
1936: It was reported today that police in Munich “have proceeded systematically to invalidate the passports of Jews living in the city” by going from house to house and seizing the documents and the stamping them “invalid for foreign countries.”
1937: Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for his second term as President of the United States. He is the first the first president to be inaugurated on January 20. During his second term FDR would continue with many of his New Deal policies which were popular with a majority of Jewish voters. Also during his second term, he would nominate Felix Frankfurter to serve on the Supreme Court to replace Justice Cardozo. FDR’s second term would also see the continuing rise of the Nazis and the outbreak of WW II in Europe. While he opposed the Nazis, he had to move cautiously given the strong isolationist sentiment in the United States. He has been strongly criticized for his failure not to allow more Jews to enter the United States. During the St. Louis Affair, Roosevelt’s government gave strict orders that the ship should not be allowed to dock in the United States.
1938: In New York City. Mildred Rickman and Leroy Solomon gave birth to Michael Jay Solomon, “the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the Truli Media Group, Inc., which he founded in 2010.”
1938: The Palestine Post reported that David Bialo, a Jewish employee of the Public Works Department, displayed great presence of mind and averted serious injury to himself and his four colleagues when he seized a bomb thrown into their car and hurled it into the roadway. The assailant was later recognized and arrested. Two Arabs were sentenced to death for carrying arms and ammunition and firing at police. The Post's leading article reminded the authorities of the many shooting outrages in Jerusalem's Rehavia, Talpiot and other quarters and asked for greater vigilance.
1939: Hitler proclaimed to the German parliament his commitment to exterminate all European Jews
1940: In Philadelphia, PA, the former Beatrice Rubin and Benson Schambelan gave birth theatre director to Isaac Hillel “Ike” Shmabelan (As reported by Bruce Weber)
1941 (21st of Tevet, 5701): Three Jews, Icek Brona, Ita Kinster and Abram Szmulewicz, died from hunger and cold in the Lodz Ghetto
1941: Two thousand more Jews died of hunger in the Warsaw Ghetto.
1942: In Berlin a meeting took place at the Wannsee Villa to discuss the implementation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” – the annihilation of European Jewry which became known as the Wannsee Conference.
1943: The father of Henri Krascuki “was arrested on charges of sabotage” today and interned at Drancy internment camp” which would be his last stop in France before being shipped to Birkenau where he was gassed
1943: A train from Theresienstadt arrived at Auschwitz. Of the passengers, 160 women and 80 men were sent to the barracks. The remaining 1,760 Jews were sent to the gas chambers. Of those from the barracks, only 2 would survive beyond the next six weeks of labor. These were all Jews who were already deported to Theresienstadt in 1941 from their homes throughout Austria and Czechoslovakia.
1943: In a letter to the Reich minister of transport, SS chief Heinrich Himmler requests additional trains so that the "removal of Jews" from across Europe can be speeded up. “If I am to wind things up quickly, I must have more trains.”
1944: The 80,000 Jews still living within the Lodz ghetto were faced with the catastrophe of inevitable starvation.
1944: The Nazis deported 1,155 Jews from the transit camp at Drancy, France, to Auschwitz.
1944: Today Otto Blumenthal was sent, at his own request, to the "old people's ghetto" Theresienstadt since he had heard that his sister had been sent there in July 1942. When he arrived at Theresienstadt he found that, although his sister had been there, she had died six months earlier. Blumenthal himself died at Theresienstadt after suffering from pneumonia, dysentery and tuberculosis.
1944: Hélène Falk and Albert Samuel the parents of resistance leader “Raymond Aubrac's whom he had tried unsuccessfully to convince to leave for Switzerland, were arrested in France, deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp by convoy No. 66 today and died there.
1944: The former Erzsebet Salomon, the wife of Hungarian photographer André Kertész became a naturalized American citizen weeks before her husband reach the same status.
1945 (6th of Shevat, 5705): The Germans shot 4200 Jews at Auschwitz.
1946: In Tel Aviv, Abraham and Zipora Hirschfeld gave birth to Yeshiva University graduated and animal rights advocate Rachel Hirschfeld.
1948(9th of Shevat, 5708): Sixty-eight year old archaeologist Ernst Emil Herzfeld whose work included excavation and analysis of what is believed to “Esther’s Tomb” and was forced to leave Germany because of his “Jewish ancestry” passed away today
1948: A memorandum written today from State Department’s policy staff led by George F. Kennan forecast that “Ultimately the U.S. might have to support the Jewish authorities by use of naval units and military forces...It is improbable that the Jewish state could survive over any considerable period time in the face of the combined assistance which be forthcoming for the Arabs in Palestine from the Arab States and in lesser measure from their Moslem neighbors."
1949: Harry S. Truman, the man who was so proud of his role in the creation of the state of Israel was inaugurated as President of the United States.
1949: In the midst of the Jewish state’s fight for birth and survival we find the struggle between the secular and religious members of the government came to a head over the question of the importation of non-kosher meat. The cabinet voted to place the importation of meat under the joint control of the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Religion. This effectively meant that only kosher meat would be brought into Israel. More importantly, this “compromise” showed the disproportionate strength of the religious parties in Israel’s fractured political structure.
1949: U.S. premiere “A Letter to Three Wives” directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, produced by Sol C. Siegel, written by Vera Caspery, with music by Alfred Newman and co-starring Kirk Douglas.
1950(2nd of Shevat): Philologist Judah Gur passed away today.
1950: Birthdate of Edward Hrisch, the Chicago native who nine books of poems including The Living Fire:
New and Selected Poems published in 2010.
1951: Birthdate of Shelley Berkley, member of the House of Representatives from the first district of Nevada. Born Rochelle Levine, Berkley is the first Jewish woman and the second Jew elected to the House of Representatives from Nevada.
1951: Birthdate of Hungarian born conductor Ivan Fischer.
1952: Birthdate of Paul Stanley lead singer “Kiss.”
1953: Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated for his first term as President of the United. Eisenhower would be confronted with one of the greatest challenges of his presidency during the Suez Crisis of 1956.
1953(4th of Shevat, 5713): Aaron Goldberg, the paternal grandfather of famed historian Sir Martin Gilbert passed away at the age of 93. Born in Poland when it was part of the Russian Empire, he came to Great Britain in the last decade of the 19th century. He was preceded in death by his wife, Annie (of blessed in memory) who passed away in 1950 at the age of 78.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset condemned Soviet anti-Semitism by a vote of 89 to six. The government warned Israeli Communists and their press against backing the current Soviet anti-Jewish campaign. Over 300 Jews were reported to be fleeing East Germany to Western Berlin. The arrest of Dr. Lajos Stoeckler, leader of the Hungarian Jewish community, spread fears among the local Jews. The newly organized Hadassah cardio-surgical department carried out the first two completely successful delicate heart operations.
1955: In France, the first government headed by Pierre Mendès France “fell”
1955: In the revolving door politics of the French Fourth Republic Pierre Mendès France formed a second government.
1955: An exhibit at the Boston Public Library includes ceremonial objects, photographs and mementos of early Boston Jews.
1956: Birthdate of Bill Maher, American actor, comedian, and political analyst. His mother was Jewish but his father was Catholic.
1957: Jewish composer Morton Gould's "Declaration" premieres in Washington DC
1961: John F. Kennedy was inaugurated President of the United States. The first Roman Catholic U.S. President, Kennedy had received overwhelming support from Jewish voters. He appointed Abraham Ribicoff as Secretary of H.E.W. and Arthur Goldberg as Secretary of Labor. His administration provided support for the still fledgling state of Israel.
1961: As the “official photographer for Kennedy’s presidential inaugural gala” Philip Stern, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, raced “around Washington to five white-tie balls” snapping “memorable images, including Sinatra’s lighting the triumphant president’s cigarette.”
1962(15th of Shevat, 5722): Tu B’Shevat
1962(15th of Shevat, 5722): Ninety-nine year old Stella Heinsheimer Freiberg who was equally devoted to the cause of Reform Judaism and to raising the level of culture in Cincinnati, Ohio passed away today.
1963: 83-Year-old Rosina Lhevinne performed with the New York Philharmonic
1963: Birthdate of Yishay Levi, the native of Rosh HaAyin and brother of Nati Levi, whose first album “Hafla with Ben Mohes” helped to make him “a superstar in clubs all over Israel”
1965; Francisco Franco met with Jewish representatives to discuss the legal status of the Jewish community in Spain. It was the first such meeting since 1492.
1965: Rabbi Judah Schachtel of Houston's Congregation Beth Israel delivered the inaugural prayer for President Lyndon B. Johnson in Washington, D.C.
1969: David Dubinsky received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1969: Sheldon Cohen completed his term as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
1972: “To Find a Man” a comedy produced by Mort Abrahams, Irving PIncus and Peter L. Skolnik, written by Arnold Schulman and with music by David Shire was released in the United States today.
1973: An “attack on a transit camp in Austria for Jewish immigrants from Russia” was thwarted today and three Arab terrorist were arrested in Vienna.
1974(26th of Tevet, 5734): Eighty-two year old author and founding editor of Broom Harold Albert Loeb, the son of Albert Loeb and Rose Loeb/Goldsmith passed away today in Marrakesh after which he was buried in New York City.
1975: At Westminster Hospital in London Sir James Goldsmith and “his third wife Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest Steward gave birth to their middle child Frank Zacharias Robin “Zac” Goldsmith, the Conservative MP who lost in his bid to be elected Mayor of London.
1975: Michael Ovitz started Creative Artist Agency.
1975: Birthdate of Shortstop David Eckstein. Eckstein is not Jewish but for some reason he was selected to the Jewish All-American team.
1975: In “One of a Golden Dozen,” published today, Time remembers the career of the late Richard Tucker who passed away last week at the age of 60 on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
1977(1st of Shevat, 5737): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1977: “Soviet television premieres an hour long anti-Zionist documentary Traders of Souls, which specifies the names and addresses of Vladimir Slepak, Yosef Begun, Anatoly Sharansky and Yuli Kosharovsky.”
1977: Inauguration of Jimmy Carter, the President who would broker the Camp David Peace Accords.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that after Egypt broke off the political negotiations held in Jerusalem, US President Jimmy Carter warned that the Middle East might have lost 'a precious opportunity for the historic settlement of the long-standing conflict an opportunity which may not come again in our lifetime.' He asked both Israel and Egypt to maintain the momentum for peace. In Jerusalem Premier Menachem Begin said that the future of negotiations depended on the expected meeting of the US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
1979: Birthdate of Rob Bourdon drummer with Linkin Park.
1980: Tight end Randy Grossman earns his final championship ring as the Steelers win Super Bowl XIV.
1981(15th of Shevat, 5741): Tu B’Shevat
1981: At his inauguration Ronald Reagan chose to use his mother’s worn Bible when taking the oath of office. He placed his hand on one of her favorite verses, II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Reagan had received 39% of the Jewish vote which was unusually high for a Republican candidate.
1983: In New York, Michael Bloomberg and Susan Brown gave birth to Georgina Leigh Bloomberg
1984: “Scandalous” a comedy based on play by Larry Cohen who wrote the script along with Rob Cohen who was also the director was released today in the United States and the United Kingdom.
1988(1st of Shevat, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1988(1st of Shevat, 5748): Eighty-five year old Baron Philippe de Rothschild whose exciting life that included being a Grand-Prix race-car driver, movie producer, war hero and wine grower reads more like fiction passed away today with only one flaw – his money and power almost did save him and his daughter from the Shoah and proved unable to save his first wife from being murdered at Ravensbruck concentration camp.
1988: The Minister of Police said today that he had no immediate plans to use emergency powers to impose curfews in Arab East Jerusalem or order striking shops there to open.
1989: Inauguration of George H.W. Bush as President of the United States. During the Gulf War, Bush convinced the Israelis not take military action against Iraq. For the first time in its history, the Israelis entrusted their security to forces other than the IDF when they allowed Patriot Batteries to respond to attacks by Scud Missiles. At the end of his Presidency, Bush granted pardons to all of those involved in the Iran-Contra Affair including Elliot Abrams.
1991: Like Israelis, today Palestinians used the first quiet moment after Iraqi missile attacks on Friday and Saturday to stockpile for further siege. But unlike the Jews, the Palestinians say they welcome the missiles, because they believe Israel deserves to be attacked, and because, one way or another, they think war will help create a Palestinian state.
1991(5th of Shevat, 5751): Eighty-three year old German born, British physiotherapist who created a method of rehabilitation and therapy known as the Bobath concept in 1948 and her husband and colleague ninety year old Karel Bobath passed away today.
1991: Mike Burstyn, who portrays Mayer Rothschild in the Off Broadway revival of "The Rothschilds," left today so that he could be in Israel as the war with Iraq continues to take its toll on the Jewish state.
1992(15th of Shevat, 5752): Tu B’Shevat
1992: “On the fiftieth anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the site was finally opened as a Holocaust memorial and museum.”
1993: Sandy Berger began serving as United States Deputy National Security Advisor.
1993: In an unusual break with international practice, the mostly Muslim republic of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia has decided to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said today. The announcement came during a three-day visit here by Askar Akayev, President of the former Soviet republic, and was praised by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. "I believe this is what has to be done by all countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel," Mr. Rabin said after meeting Mr. Akayev. Most nations, including the United States, do not recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital on the grounds that its status should be determined in an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. Only El Salvador and Costa Rica maintain embassies in Jerusalem, with other nations preferring Tel Aviv.
1995: A memorial service is scheduled to be held at the Aspen Chapel in Aspen, CO to honor the late Oklahoma City real estate developer and civic leader Monte H. Goldman.
1997: William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton is inaugurated for his second term as President of the United States. Clinton’s second term would be dominated by his affair with a young Jewess named Monica Lewinsky. Towards the end of his term he would attempt to broker a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis by holding a series of meetings with Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat. The efforts failed because Arafat would accept the deal because he said he would be signing his death warrant. At the end of the term, Clinton would cause another minor scandal with his pardon of Marc Rich.
1998 (22nd of Tevet, 5758): Zevulun Hammer, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel passed away. A Sabra, Hammer was born in Haifa in 1936. He studied at Bar Ilan University. He began his parliamentary career in 1969. He chaired several different Knesset committees and was head of the National Religious party.
1998 (22nd of Tevet, 5758: Seventy-four year old statistician and psychologist Jacob Cohen passed away today.
1999: Shaul Amo was made Minister without Portfolio today.
2001: In a move that “stunned law enforcement officials,” President Clinton granted a last-minute pardon to Marc Rich, the commodities trader who had evaded prosecution for 18 years and his former partner, Pincus Green, who have lived in Europe since they fled the United States during an investigation into their oil-trading activities that led to a 1983 indictment on 51 counts of tax evasion, racketeering and violating sanctions against trading with Iran. An amazing number of Jews sent letters urging this action or attesting to Rich’s great qualities including a former head of Mossad.
2001: Sandy Berger completed his service as the 19th United States National Security Advisor.
2001: Richard J. Danzig completed his service as United States Secretary of the Navy.
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Kafka Americana by Jonathan Lethem and Carter Scholz and Home Lands: Portraits of the New Jewish Diaspora by Larry Tye
2002: Today, a senior Israeli military official said Palestinian officials considered to be close to Chairman Yassar Arafat had begun to talk among themselves about replacing him. But he said it was unlikely that they would act as long as Mr. Arafat had some international support and continued receiving financial backing from the European Union and Arab states. ''They won't move until they know they are going to be successful,'' he said. ''It's like Julius Caesar and Brutus.'' Top Palestinian officials insist that loyalty to Mr. Arafat has not wavered.
2002: During a visit to Israel, today, former President Bill Clinton called on the Palestinians and Israelis to keep working for peace. When talking about attempts by his administration bring peace to the two parties, Clinton but placed “the blame for his peace initiative's failure squarely on Mr. Arafat, the Palestinian leader.’ ''’Chairman Arafat missed a golden opportunity,’'' Mr. Clinton said in a speech here tonight, ruing Mr. Arafat's rejection of a peace proposal made at Camp David in 2000.”
2003: The seven crewmembers of the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia woke up to the song, Hatishma Koli (Will you hear my voice?)
2003 (17th of Shevat, 5763): Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld passed away in New York at age 99.
2004(26th of Tevet, 5764): Eighty-nine year old political activist Roberta Garfield Cohn, the widow of John Garfield, passed away today.
2005 (10th of Shevat, 5765): Israeli civilian Gabriel Dwait, a 27 year old immigrant from Ethiopia drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Hezbollah would use his corpse as a bargaining chip in an exchange with Israeli authorities in 2007.
2005 (10 Shevat 5765): The Hon. Dame Miriam Louisa Rothschild, British zoologist, entomologist and author passed away at the age of 96. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2005: George Bush is sworn in for his second term as President of the United States. Bush saw himself as an unabashed foe of anti-Semitism and a supporter of Israel’s security needs.
2006: Larry Franklin, the Pentagon analyst who admitted conveying classified information to staffers of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC) and to Israeli officials, was sentenced to 12 years of prison and a $10,000 fine at the US District Court in Alexandria Virginia. Larry Franklin, a mid-level civilian employee in the Iran desk at the Pentagon, passed on classified information to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman who were on the staff of Aipac as well as to Naor Gilon, the former political officer at the Israeli embassy in Washington.
2007(1st of Shevat, 5767): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured reviews of Mark Scroggins’ The Poem of a Life a biography of poet Louis Zukofsky who as “a child of immigrant Jewish parents on the Lower East Side recited Yehoash’s Yiddish translation of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” on street corners to gangs of Italian boys.”; Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book, a novel based on “the centuries-old Hebrew codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah”; Fred Wander’s The Seventh Well “a novel about the camps by a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald”; Into The Tunnel: The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943 by Götz Aly; The Jew of Home Depot And Other Stories by Max Apple; Revolution in the Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis by George Makari; as well as an essay entitled “The Story of The Night” that answers the question “How did a Holocaust memoir rejected by 15 publishers and largely ignored by readers go on to sell 10 million copies?” and a retrospective look at The Best and the Brightest by the late Jewish author David Halberstam which thirty-five years ago this week, in January of 1973, was the No. 1 nonfiction title on the best sellers list.
2008: The cover story of The New York Times Magazine features Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of whom the author writes “grew up in the small town of Dillon, S.C., at the tail end of the segregation era (in high school he wrote a schoolboy’s novel about whites and blacks coming together on the basketball team). His father and his uncle ran a local drug store. Folks trustingly called them Dr. Phil and Dr. Mort. Ben, who skipped first grade, was obviously smart from the get-go. He played the saxophone, just as Greenspan did, and waited tables two summers and worked construction another. The Bernankes were observant Jews, and Ben’s folks fretted when he got into Harvard that if he strayed from home he might wander from his religious teachings. It was never a risk. Judaism is important to Bernanke, though, as with other personal subjects, he does not discuss it.” Bernanke succeeded Arthur Greenspan who was also Jewish as head of the Federal Reserve. In addition to which “Bernanke’s first exposure to monetary policy was reading the works of Milton Friedman, the Nobel laureate,” who was also Jewish.
2008: In “Abandoned Torah, Adopted, Is Revived,” published today Julius Charkes describes the amazing story of how a Torah that had survived the Holocaust, was rescued by a group of American students who saw it in the window of Polish pawn shop and brought to the United States to be restored by a Jerusalem-based sofer.
2009: Jack Markell completed ten years of service the Treasurer of Delaware.
2009: Jack Markell was sworn in as the 73rd Governor of Delaware.
2009: Tony Blinken began serving as the National Security Advisor to the Vice President, Joe Biden.
2009: Eric Edelman completed his term as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
2009: The Yeshiva University Museum presents “From Black Death to AIDS: Epidemics and Their Impact on Culture,” an Exhibition Tour and Panel Discussion that examines the impact of disease in shaping culture featuring Doctors Ruth Oratz and Liis-anne Pirofski medical practitioners with backgrounds in the history of science and art history who will facilitate this enlightening discussion blending arts, literature, science and history.
2009: Barak Obama is sworn in as President of the United States with several Jewish leaders in attendance including his political confidant and senior adviser, David Axelrod and newly appointed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.
2009: IAF planes struck a Kassam rocket launcher in the Gaza Strip this evening; hours after two incidents of gunfire and mortar shell fire were reported against IDF troops in the area.
2009: “Topol in 'Fiddler on the Roof': The Farewell Tour” with Chaim Topol playing Tevye opened today in Wilmington, Delaware.
2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness’ that centers around the work of the late Melville J. Herskovits,a Jewish anthropologist, who traced Black cultural roots directly back to Africa. His work instilled pride in many African Americans and helped to fuel the Black Power movement.
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “The Seven Days.” A follow-up to the acclaimed 2004 drama To Take a Wife, “The Seven Days” takes place as missiles threaten to rain down on Israel during the Gulf War and “revisits a large Moroccan Jewish family rubbed raw by the unexpected death of the eldest brother.”
2010: Bar-Ilan University hosts "Unforgettable Hebrew Women,” a conference that features a presentation of Ruti Glick’s research into the life of Hannah Szenes.
2010(5th of Shevat, 5770): Avrom Sutzkever, died today at the age of 96. He was not only a great Yiddish poet but is acknowledged as being one of the great poets of the 20th century.
2011: The New York Premiere of “Vera Klement: Blunt Edge” is scheduled to take place today at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2011: Alison Vodnoy is scheduled to appear in a woman show “In Rehearsal” at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2011: The European Division of the Library of Congress is scheduled to present a book talk by author Anna Porter entitled “The Ghosts of Europe: Journey through Central Europe’s Troubled Past and Uncertain Future
2011(15th of Shevat, 5771): Tu B’Shevat
2011: The 14th Street Y invites everybody to wear something green “as we all go green together.” The 14th Street Y is using Tu B’Shevat to focus on issues of greening and sustainability. Several other Jewish organizations have turned what is The New Year of the Trees into a holiday focusing on what in the 70’s was called ecology and now is called the green movement.
2011: The New York Times featured reviews of The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman and A Stranger On The Planet by Adam Schwartz
2011(15th of Shevat, 5771): Sonia Peres, or Sonia Gal as she preferred to be called in recent years, passed away in her sleep on today at age 87.
2011: The findings of a three-year investigation were published today in an expansive report, titled "The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl." Using "vein matching" technique the investigators were able to verify that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was, in fact, the man who beheaded Pearl.
2011: A new monument was unveiled today in eastern Canada marking the country's decision to turn away a steamship carrying Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939. The luxury liner MS St. Louis was first turned away by Cuba, then the United States and finally Canada before returning to Europe just before the outbreak of war. Of the 900 German Jews aboard, almost a third died in the Holocaust. The sculpture by Daniel Libeskind, called the Wheel of Conscience and unveiled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the centerpiece of a $476,000 national project aimed at educating Canadians. "It tells the story of a tragedy, a dark period of Canadian history, where anti-Semitism and anti-immigration policies led to the murder of hundreds of people and the suffering of hundreds of others," said Libeskind. The large memorial is a steel cylinder tipped on its side, with four spinning gears on its face. The words hatred, racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism appear on each gear. A map showing the voyage of the ship is etched on the edge of the cylinder. The Halifax sculpture was commissioned by the Canadian Jewish Congress. "We are here to speak for those whose voices were lost, and for those thousands of survivors who came to Canada after the war ... who wore their agony as undergarments beneath their everyday attire and helped to build this country," said Bernie Farber, head of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Both Libeskind and Farber are children of Holocaust survivors.
2011: A film about a Briton, Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized mass evacuations of children to save them from being sent to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps had its world premiere today in Prague, the Czech capital.
2011: The Talmud will be translated for the first time into Italian thanks to an official collaboration between the Italian government and the Italian Jewish community. A protocol launching "Project Talmud" was signed today in Rome by cabinet ministers, the president of Italy's National Research Council, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) and Rome's chief rabbi
2012: In New Orleans, LA, Congregation Gates of Prayer is scheduled to celebrate Brotherhood/Sisterhood Shabbat.
2012: “Minyan in Kaifeng: A Modern Journey to an Ancient Chinese Jewish Community” is scheduled to be shown at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, MA.
2012: “Making Trouble,” a documentary that tells the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century—Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and Wendy Wasserstein – is scheduled to be shown this morning as part of the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2012: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present “Topography of Terror: A New Documentation Center on a Historic Site” featuring Dr. Andreas Nachama, director of the “Topography of Terror” documentation center.
2012: The Premier Screening of “Wilfrid Israel – The Savior From Berlin” film took place at the auditorium of Kibbutz Hazorea, Israel
2012: The chief of the U.S. military held closed talks with the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli army’s chief of staff today in an effort to coordinate responses to Iran’s nuclear program. (As reported by The Washington Post)
2012: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” an American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin who co-authored the script and helped write the music was shown for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival.
2013: Ariel mayor and former MK Ron Nachman who passed away at the age of 70 is scheduled to be buried today.
2013(9th of Shevat, 5773): Seventy year old Larry Selman passed away today.
2013: An exhibition entitled “Sh’ma/Listen: The Art of David Gelernter” is scheduled to come to an at the Yeshiva University Museum
2013: At the Tricycle, UKJF Members are scheduled to see an exclusive, one-off opportunity preview of the award-winning new Israeli feature drama, Policeman
2013: The Minneapolis Jewish Humor Fest is scheduled to present “Laughter Yoga Workshop” with Esther Ouray and “The History of Ha!” with David Misch
2013: Erica Strauss is scheduled to perform the role of Mimi in the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre production “La Boheme.”
2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including POEMS 1962-2012 by Louise Glück, Black Dahlia and White Rose by Joyce Carol Oates and Goldberg Variations by Susan Isaacs as well as an interview with author Jared Diamond.
2013: President Barak Obama is scheduled to be officially sworn in as President of the United States. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, President Obama has shown his support for the state of Israel by continuing to fully fund all defense commitments most important of which the money that goes to the Iron Dome.
2013: Tony Blinken completed his service as National Security Advisor to the Vice President and began serving as Deputy National Security Advisor.
2013: Graveside services are scheduled to held be held at Mt. Sinai Cemetery for Ethel Dimot the author of The Hidden Injury and the widow of Max Dimot for whom she edited the second edition of his Jews God and History
2013: The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. The Patriots are owned by Robert Kraft, the owner who once got the NFL to change a game time so that it would not conflict with Yom Kippur. The Ravens wore a patch honoring the memory of the late Art Modell. Modell was the first owner of the Ravens as well as being a Jewish philanthropist.
2013: Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi faced new charges of extremism today after a religious Zionist website revealed that one of the party’s candidates called for returning Gush Katif evacuees to the Gaza Strip and rebuilding dismantled West Bank settlements.
2013: Shin Bet security agency operatives and Negev police arrested two brothers from a Bedouin village on suspicion of planning to carry out terror attacks on Israeli cities, the agency reported today. Two Jewish Israelis, one of them an IDF soldier, were also arrested on suspicion of providing the brothers with stolen IDF weapons in exchange for drugs.
2014: Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom is scheduled to begin a visit to the United Arab Emirates s head the Israeli delegation to the World Future Energy Summit that in Abu Dhabi.
2014: The 12th annual Gigantic Used Book Sale at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA is scheduled to come to an end.
2014: “The Jewish Cardinal” and “Ana Arabia” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2014: "People, Book, Land — The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” will not open today in Paris as scheduled because UNESCO cravenly gave into objections voiced by the Arab League. “Abdulla al Neaimi, President of the Arab group in UNESCO, had sent a letter to Irina Bokova, president of UNESCO, saying that there was "deep worry and great disapproval" about the exhibit because it showed that Israel and the Jewish people have an ancient connection.”
2014: Police and IDF soldiers were combing the city of Eilat, searching for evidence of rocket explosions in the city, after many residents called police saying that had heard two loud explosions. The explosions occurred at about 7 PM local time. Police suspect that rockets were fired at the city, possibly from Sinai, and were searching for the exploded rockets (As reported by David Lev)
2014: Canada supports Israel for strategic reasons but also because it is the correct thing to do, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today, delivering an overwhelmingly pro-Israel speech to the Knesset. (As reported by Lazar Berman)
2015: “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” and “The King of Nerac” are scheduled to shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: Lassana Bathily, a native of Mali and practicing Moslem who has lived in France since 2006, was made a citizen of France today as a reward for being the “hero” who “helped hostages at a Jewish supermarket hide during last week’s Paris attacks.”
2015: In “Say It Like It Is” published today, Thomas L. Friedman takes the Obama administration to task for characterizing the current of attacks as being “Violent Extremism” and refusing to connect to Radical Islam.
2015: Diana Cohen Altman, Executive Director of the Karabakh Foundation; and Rauf Mammadov, MBA, head of US operations for the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) are scheduled to present “ALI-Azerbaijan: From 5th Century Jewish Migration to a Strong Modern Day Partnership with Israel” is scheduled to be presented at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, VA.
2016(10th of Shevat, 5776): Ninety-five year old “Dr. Herbert L. Abrams, a radiologist at Stanford and Harvard universities and a founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its work in publicizing the health consequences of atomic warfare” passed away today.
2016: The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center is scheduled to host a question and answer center featuring Karl Rove and David Axelrod moderated by Jeff Zucker.
2016(10th of Shevat, 5776): Seventy-three year old sports lawyer Michael H. Goldberg passed away today.
2016(10th of Shevat, 5776): Ninety year old “British publishing giant Lord George Weidenfeld” passed away today.
2016: “Ben Zaken” and “Tomorrow We Move” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival and Bennry Safdie premiered today at the Sundance
2017: “Person to Person” starring Tavi Gevinson and Abbi Jacobson and featuring Ben Rosenfield and Benny Safdie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival today.
2017: Rabbi David Saperstein completed his services as United States Ambassador-at –Large for International Religious Freedom – a post which he was the first Jew to occupy.
2017(22nd of Tevet): On the Jewish Calendar, the day was designated as holiday following the miracle of 5558 (1798) an unexpected rain that put out fire when a mobs tried to burn down the Roman Ghetto.
2017: Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, is scheduled to offer a prayer at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration today.
2017: Eighty-nine year old Washingtonian Charles Brotman, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants is scheduled to participate in NBC’s coverage of the inauguration after having received an e-mail “from the Trump team that after having” served as the announcer for 11 presidents staring with Dwight Eisenhower, he was being replaced.
In the footsteps of the piyyutim of Rav Avraham Ibn Ezrav.”
2018: In London, JW3 is scheduled to host the final screening of “The Women’s Balcony,” an Israeli comedy.