Tuesday, January 23, 2018

This Day, January 24, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 24
 41: Roman Emperor Caligula is murdered by the Praetorian Guard. Caligula’s treatment of the Jews does not qualify him as an anti-Semite since he was “a certifiable nut case” who murdered several of his family members, reportedly had incestuous relationships with at least of on his sisters and planned to name his favorite horse as a Counsel of Rome. Caligula believed he was a divinity who was to be publicly worshipped. A delegation of Jews from Alexandria, including the famous Philo, went to Rome to plead the Jewish case before Caligula. At first Caligula was hostile to the Jews, but in the end he reportedly dismissed the delegation saying, the Jews are “just a poor, stupid people unable to believe in my divinity.” The real threat came when Caligula took steps to install a statute of himself in Jerusalem that was to be worshipped. Agrippa, King of Judea and Petronious Publius, the Roman governor of Syria were able to stall the Emperor whose subsequent assassination rendered the point moot.

76: Birthdate of Publius A Hadrianus 14th Roman Emperor. Hadrian reigned from 117 through 138. Hadrian banned Torah study, Synagogue worships and led the Romans in the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt.

1076: Holy Roman Emperor IV, who had issued an order prohibiting anybody from following in the footsteps of Godfrey of Bouillon who swore to on crusade “only after avenging the blood of the crucified one by shedding Jewish blood and completely eradicating any trace of those bearing the name 'Jew,' thus assuaging his own burning wrath” wrote a letter today “condemning Pope Gregory VII as a usurper.”

1059: Nicholas II who “condemned the persecution of the Jews and who…expressed” his opposition to “compulsory baptism” began his Papacy.

1436: In Aix-en-Provence, a riot ensued after a crowd felt that a Jew who insulted the Virgin Mary received too light a sentence

1517: Selim I defeated the Mamluks at the Battle of Ridaniya giving the Ottomans control over Egypt leading to “radical changes in the affairs of” Egyptian Jewry including the abolition of the office of nagid, the creation of independent Jewish communities including the one in Cairo head by David ibn Abi Zimra and the appointment of Abraham de Castro as the master of the mint..

1656: Dr. Jacob Lumbrozo, the first Jewish physician in what would be the United States arrived in Maryland

1678(1st of Shevat): Rabbi Solomon Lichtenstein of Bialystok, author of Kokhmat Shelomo, passed away

1704: In Metz, France Abraham Schwab found a yeshivah that became the Seminaire Israelite de France
1712: Birthdate of Frederick II, King of Prussia from 1740 until 86. Known as Frederick the Great, the Prussian king’s treatment of Jews was, to say the least, uneven. He did grant special rights to some, including Mendelssohn. However for the most part, he treated them as an exploitable economic commodity. But what can you expect from a man who wished to be buried with his greyhounds, the only living creatures he really loved.

1729: Frederick William I ordered the elders of the community to appoint Moses Ben Aaron as the chief rabbi of Berlin, a move which upset the Jewish community because they felt he was too young.

1781: Birthdate of Louis-Mathieu Molé who “served as Napoleon’s advisor on Jewish affairs” including the calling of the Grand Sanhedrin in 1807 and “moderated” his original opposition to the Emancipation of the Jews.

1803(1st of Shevat, 5563): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1804: Presbyterian minister and poet Joseph Fawcett passed away. In 1785, he began a series of Sunday evening lectures at the Old Jewry meeting house the popular meeting house for a Presbyterians that took its name from the fact that the area had been the Jewish quarter or ghetto in the days before Edward expelled them at the end of the 14th century.  There is no record of how these Christians felt about occupying the territory used by the people they had been persecuting and to whom they still denied the full rights of British citizens.

1814: Birthdate of 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.”

1821: Elizabeth Mayers, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Mayers was married today in the United Kingdom.

1823: In Frankfurt am Main, Zerline Beyfus (Worms) and Meyer (Mayer) Levin Beyfus gave birth to Sigismund Beyfus.

1828: Birthdate of Ferdinand J Cohn, German botanist. He is considered a founder of the science of bacteriology. From his early studies of microscopic life he developed theories of the bacterial causes of infectious disease and recognized bacteria as plants. He aided Robert Koch in preparing Koch's famous work on anthrax. Cohn's writings cover such diverse subjects as fungi, algae, insect epidemics, and plant diseases.

1828(8th of Shevat, 5588): Seventy-three year old Abraham Flesch, “the Rabbi at Rausntiz, Moravia, who was the father of Joseph Flesch passed away today.

1830: Birthdate of Jules Worms, the Paris born physician served the French Army as a surgeon during the Crimean War and was on the staff at Rothschild Hospital from 1865 to 1875>

1844: The Second Annual Benevolent Ball of the Israelites of Philadelphia raised $489.79 today.

 1848: James Marshall finds gold at mill that is being built for John Sutter near San Francisco, CA. According to historian Hubert Howe Bancroft this event brought “a medley of races and nationalities, including the ubiquitous Hebrews." According to Stephen Mark Dobbs there were thirty Jews at a Rosh Hashanah services in San Francisco and the number grew to fifty for Yom Kippur. Jews mined for gold but they mined the commercial opportunities and by 1853 their number had grown to 3,000 in San Francisco alone.
1850: “The House of Rothschild made a fifty million franc loan to Pope Pius IX on condition that” the walls of Rome’s Ghetto would be taken down. Not only did the Pope fail to remove the walls, he “re-imposed restrictions on Jews living in the Papal States…brought pressure against other rulers to revoke Jewish rights granted in 1848” and ruled that the kidnapped Jewish  Edgar Mortara should be raised as a Catholic.

1851: In Cayuga County, NY, Albert Baham was hung for his role in the murder of the Jewish peddler Nathan Adler. After the execution, Albert’s brother John confessed his role which resulted in his death sentence being commuted to life in prison.  In point of fact, he was pardoned by the governor after having served 8 years in prison for his part in the crime.

1855: At Columbia, SC, Jacob M. Wolf of Winnsboro, SC married Ellen Graetz of New York.

1856 (17th of Shevat, 5616): Rabbi Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Polish Hasidic leader passed away. (Ed. Note: This comparatively lengthy note is intended to provide those with limited background an introduction to the richly textured, multi-dimensional world of Chassidic Jewry.) Born in 1755, he was the founder of the) Modzitz or Modzhitz Chassidim. This is the name of a Chassidic group that derives its name from Modzice, one of the boroughs of the town of Dęblin, Poland, located on the Vistula River. Followers of this group are known as Modzitzer Chasidim and they are now based mainly in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem in Israel where their Rebbe lives. They also have a smaller following in Brooklyn, New York. The rabbis who lead them have come from a family by the name of "Taub". Rabbi Yechezkel Taub of Kuzmir established yeshivas and a type of Hasidic teaching that was similar to that of the Seer of Lublin, and distinct from the Hasidism of Ger and Kotzk. Upon his death, his son, Rabbi Eliyahu Taub of Zvolin, Poland succeeded him. He excelled in Torah scholarship and creating Hasidic songs. He was called Menagen mafli pla'os Hebrew for "a wondrous musical talent". His first son Rabbi Moshe Aaron succeeded him as Rabbi of Zvolin. His second son Yisrael went on to found the actual Modzitz Hasidic dynasty. Rabbi Yisrael Taub was born in 1849 and in 1891 founded the Modzitzer Hasidic movement in Modzitz, Poland. He created many melodies that are still sung by Hasidim today. When he passed away on November 24, 1920, he was succeeded by his son Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazar Taub. Shaul Yedidya Elazar Taub was born on October 20, 1886. He guided his Hasidim until 1938 when he fled Poland due to Nazi persecution. He made his way to Lithuania, then to Russia, then to China, and then to Japan. Eventually, with the help of some Modzitzer Chassidim, he and some family members reached the shores of San Francisco and then moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1940. It was during his stay in Brooklyn that Rabbi Shaul became popular and helped rebuild Modzitz. He was a gifted songwriter and wrote over 1000 Hasidic melodies. He constantly talked about the coming of the State of Israel. He was unable to see his prediction come true and he passed away on November 29, 1947, the day the UN voted to create the state of Israel. He was succeded by his son Rabbi Samuel Eliyahu Taub. Rabbi Samuel Eliyahu was born in Lublin, Poland on February 9, 1905. Rabbi Shaul and his son Rabbi Samuel were on a trip to the then British Mandate of Palestine in 1935. While they were there Samuel fell in love with Palestine and asked his father if he could stay there. His father agreed and within a year Rabbi Samuel's wife and their child came over to Israel. In 1947 he succeeded his father and became the Modzitzer Rebbe to be known as the Imre Aish ("Words of Fire") as Samuel Eliyahu is called, and continued the traditions of Modzitz both as a composer and Torah scholar. He passed away on May 6, 1984, when he was succeeded by his son Rabbi Dan Israel Taub. Rabbi Israel Dan was born in 1928 in Warsaw, Poland. He came with his mother to Palestine in 1936 to meet up with his father Rabbi Samuel. For a number of years he headed the Modzitz Chasidim in the city of Tel-Aviv where his father had lived. He moved to a new building in Bnei Brak, Israel on Lag Ba'omer 5755 (May 18. 1995). Like his predecessors he also composes Hasidic melodies and many of them have are sung regularly in Hasidic synagogues. His opinion is highly regarded. The Modzitz Hasidim are well-known for their uniquely inspiring melodies and their devotion to serious learning of Torah and Talmud.

1862: In New York City George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander gave birth to Edith Newbold Jones who gained fame as Pulitzer Prize winning author Edith Wharton whose display of anti-Semitism in The House of Mirth which included the depiction Jewish financier name Simon Rosedale has proved to a problem for her at least some of her Jewish fans.”

1862:  Bucharest was proclaimed capital of Romania. The Jewish population of Bucharest had grown from 127 families in 1820 to 5,934 persons in 1860. By the turn of the century, the Jewish population would exceed 40,000 people making them almost 15% of the city’s total population.

1874: Nathan W. Lyman appeared at the Jefferson Market Police Court today and withdrew his complaint that he had been swindled out of $7,000 by a Hungarian born Jew, Dr. Gabor Naphegyi.

1876: Leaders of several New York congregations met at Temple Emanu-El met tonight to discuss the possibility of establishing a college for Jewish students. A committee was established to contact congregations throughout the United States to gain support for the endeavor. Louis May, President of Temple Emanu-El was selected as chairman and Meyer S. Isaacs was selected as Secretary.

1879: Rosa Sonneschein founded "The Pioneers," a Jewish women's literary club in St. Louis, Missouri. “The club, which met in Sonneschein's home, was modeled after similar Christian women's clubs and was devoted to general literary subjects rather than specifically Jewish literature. Perhaps inspired by this literary circle, in the 1880s Sonneschein began publishing stories in Jewish magazines. She also worked as a correspondent for the German-language press in the U.S., a position for which she was prepared by both her German upbringing and her social status as the wife of a prominent St. Louis rabbi. In 1895, after divorcing her husband, Sonneschein moved to Chicago and founded a magazine specifically addressed to American Jewish women, the American Jewess. Though the magazine ran only until 1899, it was the first English periodical specifically addressed to Jewish women. It sought to document and inspire the activism of an emerging network of Jewish women's organizations that expanded upon the model established by the Pioneers.”

1880: Birthdate of New York political leader and Congressman Meyer Jacobstein.

1882: The Hearts of Oak Company featuring David Belasco as “Mr. Ellingham” performed for the thies time at Leubrie’s Theatre in St. Paul, MN.

1887: Birthdate of Alexander Portnoff, the native of the Ukraine who came to America in 1907 where he became a leading painter and sculptor whose models included Sholem Aleichem.

1888: President Moritz Loth chaired a special meeting of the Executive Board at 1:30 p.m. where resolutions were adopted praising Max Hoffheimer, the board member who passed away unexpectedly yesterday.

1888: In Vienna, Mathide (née Donath) and Hermann Baum gave birth to Austrian writer, Hedwig (Vicki) Baum who is considered one of the first modern bestselling authors, and her books are reputed to be among the first examples of contemporary mainstream literature. She attended Vienna Conservatory to study the harp, later playing the harp professionally and teaching music for several years in Darmstadt. After a number of novels in German, a breakthrough novel, Menschen im Hotel, was turned into a play and then at the instigation of producer Irving Thalberg into the highly successful film Grand Hotel directed by Edmund Goulding. The story details one weekend in a posh hotel in minute detail -- Baum had taken a job as maid to yield realism. The film won Best Picture Oscar. Her time in the United States made her realize it was time to leave Germany, emigrating in 1932. From that point Baum wrote many of her novels in English and took citizenship in 1938. Residing in California, she lived in Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, and then Hollywood, where she died of leukemia in 1960. Among two of her most pithy sayings are, "Pity is the deadliest feeling that can be offered to a woman" and "To be a Jew is a destiny.”  (Jewish Women’s Archives)

1888: In New York City, over a thousand people attended a benefit performance of "King Solomon" at the Roumania Opera House.  The event was organized by Mrs. M. Rosendorff who will use the funds to buy meat for needy Jews at Passover time.  This is not Mrs. Rosendorff's first foray into fund raising.  In 1887, she hosted a ball at the the Webster Hall that paid for meat Passover time.

1891(15th of Shevat, 5651): Tu B’Shevat

1891: Sarah Bernhardt is scheduled to sail from Harve today so that they can begin performing at the Garden Theatre in New York at the beginning of February.

1891(15th of Shevat, 5651): Dutch born “Belgian engraver and sculptor” Leopold Wiener, the Royal Engraver whose interest in music led to his serving as “vice president of the Conservatoire at Brussels” passed away today.
1892: It was reported today that as the famine worsens in Russia Czar Nicholas II has decided to devote all of his energies to dealing with the crisis which means he has “indefinitely postponed” all of the measures aimed against his Jewish subjects.

1892: It was reported today that the upcoming Hebrew Charity Ball is the last major festivity of the social season in Philadelphia, PA.

1892: It was reported today that in addition to persecuting the Jews, the Czar is now persecuting the Stundists, a Christian sect founded in the 1850’s.

1893(7th of Shevat, 5653): Russian author and Hebraist Isaac Mayer Dick passed away today.

1895: “A Dance For Charity” published today described the dances sponsored by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore home which have replaced the annual Purim Ball as the leading social event “in Jewish social circles.”  The change took place two years ago but has not had any effect on the ability to raise funds for the charities that benefit from these social events. (more for 2015)

1895: In Portland, Oregon, Ezras Achim which meets on the second Sunday of each month and whose members included Leon Goldenberg and Himan Gertzman was incorporated today.

1895: The officers of the Montefiore Home were today reported to be: President – Jacob H. Schiff; Vice President – Louse Gans; Treasurer – Isidor Straus; and Honorary Secretary – Raphael Ettinger.

1896: It was reported that while giving President Kreuger was giving a sermon during the ceremonies dedicating a synagogue in Johannesburg, he said “And so I consecrate this building to the worship of the Triune God.”  While some Jews minimized this reference to the Trinity,  “others maintain that the building has been desecrated and they have built another synagogue…”

1896: It was reported today that in Jersey City, forty or fifty Jews who were sitting in the audience during a speech being given by Herman Ahlwardt, the German anti-Semite “threatened to kill him and burn the hall” when he “made some particularly bitter references to them.”  The Jews “were ejected by the police and order was restored.”

1897: Berlin Zionists Willy Bambus and Theodor Zlocisti address a letter to Herzl.

1897: Dr. Lyman Abbott delivered a sermon today on the books of Esther, Daniel and Jonah “all of which he said were fictitious although the book of Esther was based on historical facts and was derived from court records.”

1898: It was reported today that for the year ending November 30, 1897, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York treated 2,996 patients with a mortality rate of 9.04 percent. (More for 2014)

1898: It was reported today that leaders of the Jewish community in Algiers have advised their co-religionists to remain indoors and stay away from their businesses following attacks by anti-Dreyfus/ant-Semitic mobs. 

1898: A mob of approximately 3,000 people surged through the streets of Algiers shouting “Down With the Jews.” 

1898: An anti-Jewish riot took place today in St. Malo, a town in Brittany.

1898: “A dispatch received from Algiers late tonight says that at 11 o’clock perfect tranquility prevailed” with the troops having cleared the street of anti-Semitic rioters including 300 of whom have been arrested.

1899: “The Zionist Movement” published today provided a summary of the report prepared by the U.S. Consul at Beirut that concluded by “saying that the prospects are brighter than ever before for the Jews in Palestine and for the country itself.” 

1899: Sarah Ullmann, the wife of Solomon Ullmann, was buried today at the Edmonton Western Jewish Cemetery

1899: It was reported today that Henry Herzberg believes “that there never was a period in the world’s history when more potent reasons existed why the essential teachings of Judaism should be faithfully observed. Amid the forces of modern civilization…there is vital need for constructive thought which feeds the moral springs of action.”

1899: It was reported today that the population of Palestine is 200,000 of which 40,000 are Jews.  This is an increase of 26,000 Jews in the last twenty years.  There are 22,000 Jews living in Jerusalem “half of whom” have come from Europe.

1899: Birthdate of Robert Leon “Bob” Berman the New York and Fordham University graduate whose major league as a catch and pinch runner consisted of two appearance for the Washington Senators in 1918.

1900(24th of Shevat, 5660): Seventy-year old Isaac Artom “Italian patriot, diplomat, financier and author” passed away today at Rome.”

1900: Harry Greenblatt married Fanny Gottliffe at “New Synagogue, Chapeltown Road, Leeds.”

1901: The Industrial Removal Office was formally created as part of the Jewish Agricultural Society at the Society's Executive Committee meeting. The Society rented a store at 34 Stanton Street in New York and named it "The Industrial Removal Office." The philosophy behind the IRO was to assimilate the immigrants into American Society, both economically and culturally. In 1901, following anti-Semitic decrees by the Romanian government, a large wave of Romanian Jews fled to New York. The Rumanian Committee was quickly formed in New York to distribute the immigrants to other towns where they might find employment. B'nai B'rith lodges in these towns and cities assisted the refugees upon their arrival. The Romanian Committee rapidly evolved into the Industrial Removal Office, which took over the work on a much larger scale and opened its availability to any unemployed Jewish immigrant, regardless of their origin. The process of procuring work for immigrants was done through traveling agents, who also obtained the cooperation of local Jewish organizations. Local committees, organized primarily by B'nai B'rith, obtained orders for workers and assisted the immigrants on their arrival. The New York bureau noted requests received from the traveling agents and local committees and matched up opportunities from their applicant lists. In the first year of the Industrial Removal Office's existence, nearly 2000 individuals were sent to 250 places throughout the United States.

1902: Birthdate of economist Oskar Morgenstern. Morgenstern enjoyed a successful career in Europe until the coming of the Nazis forced him to flee to the United States, where he pursued his career.  

1903: The New York Times reports on the growth and development of the Jewish Theological Seminary including the securing of a $500,000 endowment and the election of Justice Greenbaum, the New York state jurist, to the Board of Directors. 

1905(18th of Shevat, 5665): Sixty-two year old Edward Einstein, the native of Cincinnati, Ohio who “was elected a Republican from New York’s  7th Congressional District and who ran unsuccessfully for Mayor passed away today.

 1905: Henry S. Morais, journalist, educator and rabbi, writes a letter praising Benjamin Disraeli to the New York Times entitled “Why the People of the United States Should Cherish His Memory” in which he reviews Disraeli’s support for the Union during the Civil War when other English leaders including Gladstone “were known to be in sympathy” with the Confederates and which concludes with the statement that this “scion of the famous Israelis of Jewish history…the offspring of a people as old as the ages, will live in the minds and in the hearts  not alone of his own, but in those of a liberty loving humanity.”

1906: There are reports from Bucharest published today that “massacres of the Jews have taken place in Kishinev and various parts of Bessarabia” and that there are no further details available at this time. 

1907(9th of Shevat, 5667): Ninety year old Moritz Steinschneider passed away in Berlin.

 1908(21st of Shevat, 5668): Leopold Wallach a distinguished New York lawyer who is the father-in-law of Max Morgenthau, Jr. passed away today.

 1908: In Leipzig, Hans von Halban Sr. a professor of physical chemistry and his wife gave birth French physicist Hans Heinrich von Halban.
1911: Founding of Merchaviya the first Jewish settlement in Emek Yizra'el (Jezreel Valley). Ten years after its founding, Merchaviya would be joined by its most famous member, Golda Meir. The future Prime Minister of Israel would tend chickens

1913: Franz Kafka stopped working on "Amerika"; it will never be finished

1914: Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of Dropsie College Isaac Hassler, president of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and Charles Ellis, the Mayor of Camden, NJ were reported today to be the speakers who address an upcoming meeting designed to launch a fund raising drive to build a communal building for that Camden’s Jewish population.

1915: “Jacob H. Schiff while speaking today at the annual meeting of the Hebrew Free Loan Society to which he and members of his family have been among the largest contributors said he believed there was no other institution who work among Jews was so far reaching and urged that steps be taken to broaden its scope and capital

 1915: A mass meeting sponsored by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society to express opposition to the Smith-Burnett Immigration Bill is scheduled to be held this evening at Cooper Union.

 1915: David I. Seiffer will serve as Chairman of the mass meeting scheduled to be held at Adas Jeshurun this afternoon for the purpose of raising funds for the “war suffers in Kalisch, Russian-Polan which has been laid waste and is now in the hands of the Germans.”

1916: A group of “prominent Jewish women” met at the Hotel Astor this afternoon and chose Mrs. Samuel Elkeles, the President of the Federation of the Sisterhoods to serve as the chairwoman of a newly formed organization to raise funds for the relief of Jewish war sufferers whose members also include Mrs. Harry Kraft, Mrs. David Kass and Mrs. L.W. Zwisohn

1916: Chinka Chana Zaid and Yosef Yechiel Zaid, HaKohen gave birth to their daughter Miriam Meir.

1916: “The Jewish Congress Organization Committee is scheduled to hold a mass meeting in Carnegie Hall this evening as a demonstration for the rights of the oppressed Jews in Europe” and which “is intended to emphasize the need of Jewish organization as well as to arouse general public sentiment in favor of the move for the attainments of the rights of Jewish people.”

1916: “Enthusiastic endorsement of the movement for a Jewish Congress to demand equal rights for the Jewish people, particularly in European countries after the war, was expressed” tonight “by more than 3,000 persons who attended a mass meeting in Carnegie Hall under the auspices of the Jewish Congress Organization Committee” an organization that “includes seventeen national Jewish organizations with a membership exceeding 500,000.”

1917(1st of Shevat, 5677): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1917: Abraham Isaac “Abe” Shiplacoff, the Socialist New York assemblyman “introduced New York's first birth control bill, which would have allowed ‘the dissemination of printed articles describing means of birth control’” today.

1918: The SS Tuscania a luxury liner that had been converted into a troop ship, departed Hoboken, New Jersey, with 384 crew members and 2,013 United States Army personnel aboard of whom at least six were Jewish.

1918: Birthdate of Newark, NJ, native Bernard Morris “Bernie” Weiner who was an offensive lineman for Kansas State University before playing two years of professional football with the Brooklyn Dogers.

1918: The Gregorian calendar introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective from February 14(NS). This change is one of the impediments to pinpoint accuracy in dating events in Russian history.  Events are marked in different places by Old Style and New Style dates.  Unfortunately, some sources do not tell which they are which leads to added confusion. (Yes, this is an excuse for some of the inaccuracies in this document.)

 1920 (29th of Tevet, 5680): Amedeo Clemente Modigliani passed away at the age of 35. http://www.isabel.com/gallery/reproduction/m/modiglia/record.html.
1922: Eskimo Pie patented by Christian K Nelson of Iowa. (Nelson was not an Eskimo and he was not Jewish. But those of who live in Iowa don’t get to brag very often, so just laugh and move on. There is a Jewish connection between Iowa and Ice Cream. Many of the products manufactured by Blue Bunny Ice Cream which is located in La Mars, Iowa, are kosher and delicious)

 1922: Professor Louis Ginzberg presented a paper on “The Question of Fermented Wines in Jewish Religious Observances” to members of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary who meeting in an executive session today.  Following a lengthy and lively discussion the consensus of opinion was that unfermented grape juice may be used for sacramental purposes.  This decision will be forwarded to the American Jewish Committee which is collecting information on the acceptability of using grape juice instead of wine when reciting Kiddush, etc. Ginzberg’s belief that the use of unfermented grape juice could be used put him at odds with the writings of Rabi Abraham Klausner.  Currently, nobody produces grape juice that meets the standards of Kashrut so adoption of Ginzberg’s view would require the start of a new business venture. [For those of you unacquainted with American History, this issue arose with the start of Prohibition and its attempt to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the U.S.]

1924: Birthdate of Chaim David ha-Levi, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv.
1924: In the Bronx, Jacob Raiffa, who sold wool products, and the former Hilda Kaplan gave birth to Howard Raiffa “an economics professor whose mathematical formulas for decision making were applied to the search for a missing nuclear bomb and the siting of a Mexico City airport, and were even suggested as a way to resolve a strike by professional hockey players.” (As reported by Sam Roberts)


1924: Birthdate of character actor Marvin Kaplan.

1924: Max L. Pine, Secretary of the United Hebrew Trades was the opening speaker at meeting attended by representatives of 136 Jewish labor organizations where plans were made to oppose the Johnson Immigration Bill which Congressman Fiorello LaGuardia said was not an “immigration program” but an “immigration pogrom” (JTA)

 1924(18th of Shevat): “Z’ev Jawotz, founder of the Mizrachi movement passed away.

1925(28th of Tevet, 5685): Parashat Vaera

1925(28th of Tevet, 5685): Adele Bloch-Bauer the wife of Ferdinand Bloch Bauer, the subject of Gustav Klimts’ “Woman in Gold” passed away today.

1926: In New York City, Louis and Rose Tishman gave birth to John Louis Tishman “a master builder of the 20th century whose Tishman Realty and Construction Company transformed the skylines of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York.” (As reported by David W. Dunlap)

1929: Eighty-four year old Adelaide Brewster Taylor the husband Selah Miller, the American consul in Jerusalem who opposed Jewish settlement in Palestine and was vocal anti-Semite, passed away today.

1931(6th of Shevat, 5691): Parsashat Bo

1931(6th of Shevat, 5691): Ninety-two year old Judith Adler the daughter of of Rav Yitzchak Dov Halevi Bamberger, The Würzburger Rav. and Kela Bamberger, the wife of Rabbi Immanuel Menachem Adler and the mother of PInchas Adler passed away today in Bavaria.

1932(16th of Shevat, 5692):  Sixty-four year old Paul M. Warburg, the brother of Felix Warburg, passed away at 6:30 this evening at his home in Manhattan. At the time of his death he was chairman of the boards of the International Acceptance Bank of New York and the Manhattan Company. A native of Hamburg, and a member of one of the most prominent banking family, he was instrumental in providing many of the ideas that culminated in the creation of the Federal Reserve. He was married to Nina Loeb, the daughter of the late Solomon Loeb of the famed financial firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co. 

1932: Celebration of the 70th anniversary of the birth of author Sigmund Dische in Czernowitz, Romania.

 1932: Dr. Abraham Schwardon’s gift to Hebrew University was described today as being “A Great Collection of Autographs and Portraits Assembled by the Labors of a Galician Chemist.”

1933: In New Haven, CT, Thelma (Wisan) Frankenberger and Bertram Frankenberger, who as a Lt. Colonel in the Army was the commander of Camp Blanding in Florida, gave birth to University of Connecticut graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran Bertam Frankenberger who pursued a career in the financial services the financial services including six years with Deloitte Haskin and Sells.

 1933 Jüdisches Museum zu Berlin (1933–1938, opened on Oranienburger Straße a street in central Berlin that was the in the heart of Berlin’s Jewish community before the rise of the Nazis 

1933(26th of Tevet, 5693): Charles "King" Solomon a Boston racketeer born in 1884 who controlled New England's bootlegging, narcotics and illegal gambling during Prohibition was killed in Boston's Cotton Club by rival gunmen. http://www.onewal.com/w-solomo.html

 1934: Ghazi bin Faisal, the King of Iraq who became pro-Nazi “as the tide of pubic feeling began turning against Iraq’s Jews” “married his first cousin, Princess Aliya bint Ali” today.
1934: A Lutheran minister (name unknown) opposed to the Reich Church is beaten by Nazi thugs.

1935: In Haifa Matilda and Yehuda HaCohen gave birth to Nisim Cohen, a crewman on the ill-fated INS Dakar.

1936: Representatives of all three major faiths including Dr. Samuel H. Goldenson, the rabbi at Temple Emanu-El “issued statements endorsing the aims of Brotherhood Day” which will be observed next month.

1936: Speaking at luncheon today at the Waldorf-Astoria, Ogden L. Mills, the former Secretary of the Treasury “called upon American Jews and Christians to support the one million dollar rehabilitation fund being raised by the Federation of Polish Jews in America” because “we cannot view the starvation of 2,000,000 human beings anywhere on this earth with equanimity.”

1936: Jewish band leader Benny Goodman and his orchestra record "Stompin' at the Savoy" on Victor Records

1937: Dr. Stephen S. Wise “praised Roosevelt’s declaration in his inaugural messages that ‘no group in this county will be regarded as superfluous’” while also telling those at the Free Synagogue service that “the President stands ‘almost alone’ in his rebuke to Poland where it was said recently that 3,000,000 Jews were ‘superfluous’ and must be emigrated.”

1938: Birthdate of author Yoram Taharlev

1938: The Palestine Post reported that a meeting of the General Council (Va'ad Leumi) of Palestine Jews published a manifesto calling for the immediate opening of the gates of the country to the millions of suffering Diaspora Jews.  

1938: The Palestine Post reported that one Jew was severely wounded when Arabs shot at a group of workers returning from the Givat Shaul quarry to Jerusalem.

 1938: The Palestine Post reported that according to the new Romanian law, all Jews had to appear before the courts in order to prove their citizenship rights.

 1939: Hermann Goring, Hitler’s #2, formally appointed Reinhard Heydrich as head of Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration and ordered him to speed up the process

 1940: Final day of an Aktion begun on January 18 during which 255 Jews were arrested in Warsaw and then murdered in the Palmiry Forest.

1940: In Brooklyn, Arthur Kaminsky, “a furrier” and May Kaminsky, “a homemaker” gave birth to published Howard Kaminsky.

1940: As the Nazi plunder of Poland continues, General Gouvernment ordered registration of all Jewish property.

 1941: Birthdate of Dan Schecthman, the Tel Aviv native who is a professor at the Technion and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

 . 1943: During the past three weeks, fifteen trains reached the Auschwitz from Belgium, Holland, Berlin, Grodno and Bialystok. Of the new arrivals, 4,000 were sent to the barracks and 20,000 were killed before their luggage could be sorted. To accommodate the rate of killing, four new crematoriums were constructed.

1943 One thousand Jews from Jasionowka were rounded up and deported to Treblinka.

 1943: The Nazis incinerated Jewish patients, nurses and doctors at Auschwitz-Birkenau

 1943: Hitler ordered Nazi troops at Stalingrad to fight to death. This militarily stupid command helped seal the fate of the German army and marked the beginning of the end for the Nazi juggernaut.

 1944: The SS Meyer London was launched today.  This “liberty ship” was named for the American Jewish leader who was one of only two Socialist Party members to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  She was sunk by a torpedo off the cost of Lybia.
1944: Birthdate of singer Neil Diamond

1944: Birthdate of David Gerrold [Jerrold David Friedman] author of the World of Star Trek. There has always been a strange affinity between Jewish writers and science fiction. Maybe it comes from those Biblical chariots of Elijah, Ezekiel and Isaiah.

1946: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, a joint British and American committee composed of six Americans and six Englishmen that was charged with examining the “political, economic and social conditions in Mandatory Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein” which had been meeting in Washington, D.C. continued its meetings for a second day in London.

1947: Birthdate of Warren William Zevon, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant and a Scottish/Welsh Mormon who became a noted singer, song writer and musician

1948: Julius Ochs Adler was promoted to Major General in the United States Army.

1948: Birthdate Elliott Abrams, Assistant Secretary of State and foreign policy expert.

 1949: France recognized Israel.

 1951: Birthdate of Soviet-born American comedian Yakov Smirfnoff

 1952: Twenty-three year old Montreal native Larry Zeidel scored “the winning goal as the Indianapolis Capitals defeated Buffalo in the American Hockey League. (As reported by Wechsler)

1956: German born American composer Stefan Wolpe “was appointed to the faculty at the C.W. Post College” today.

1959(15th of Shevat, 5719): Tu B'Shvat

1959: "Party with Comden and Green" closes at John Golden New York City

1962: Brian Epstein signed a contract to manage The Beatles

 1963: Birthdate of Michael Gorlovsky, the native of Dzerzhinsk, who made in ailyah in 1988 following which he joined Likud and was elected to the Knesset from 2003 to 2006.

1964: Bob Hope hosted an hour-long TV version of “The Seven Little Foys” which had been written by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson.

 1965: In Damascus, Syrian police arrested Kamel Amin Th’abet on charges of being an Israeli spy.  After being tortured he was hung in a pubic execution.  Th’abet was Eli Cohen who successfully penetrated the highest level of the Syrian government and provided intelligence of immeasurable value.

 1965: Winston Churchill died in London at age 90. Churchill supported the Balfour Declaration. He led the fight against Hitler. At the same time, he stood by and did virtually nothing to rescue the Jews of Europe. And he continued to enforce the White Paper after there was no military reason to do so. Martin Gilbert, his biographer, is Jewish and has written a slim, fascinating volume entitled Churchill and the Jews.

1971: Ninety year old Martha Grassmann, the woman who risked her life to hide artist Fritz Ascher during WW II passed away today.

1971: Author Susan Brownmiller “helped to organize the New York Radical Feminists Speak-Out on Rape” which took place today.

1973: Hussein Al Bashir, he Fatah representative on Cyprus was killed tonight when a bomb “plant under his bed was remotely detonated.’

 1974(1st of Shevat, 5734): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

 1975: Larry Fine, actor, comedian and member of the Three Stooges passed away

 1976(22nd of Shevat, 5736): Seventy-one year old Pinchas Lavon passed away

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin told the Knesset that he might reconsider his previous decision, and would send a delegation to the Cairo-held military talks, but warned that this would not happen if Egypt continued to issue statements offensive to Jewish dignity. Begin explained that Egypt broke off the political talks held in Jerusalem despite the fact that President Anwar Sadat was well aware, in advance, of Israel's stand on the Rafiah Sinai salient and on the future of Palestine's Arab people. In Cairo Egypt confirmed that the political peace talks had been frozen, but not terminated. The US insisted that both Egypt and Israel should embark on a useful process that should resume whenever possible.

1979(25th of Tevet, 5739): Eighty-five old sculptor Bashka Paeff passed away today in Cambridge.

1983(10th of Shevat, 5743): Director George Cukor passed away at the age of 83 after a stroke and a heart attack.

1984: Birthdate of Tel Aviv native Yotam Halperin, the 6’4” guard for Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israeli Basketball Super League.
1986: In Eilat Laura (née Ehrenkranz), a teacher, and Brian Ullman, a printer gave birth to Ricky Ullman who moved to the United States after his first birthday and became a successful actor and musician.

 1988: After the Israeli Cabinet met today Police Minister Haim Bar-Lev told reporters that reports to contrary, there is no policy to beat Palestinians to stop protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  He said that the using the word beatings “is an unfortunate term.”

1988: Eighty-six year old London born Biblical scholar Hugh Joseph Schonfield whose works included A New Hebrew Typography and host of controversial books about Judaism and early Christianity including The Passover Plot and Jesus: A Biography passed away today.

 1990: An Israeli court jailed for life plus 40 years a Palestinian known as the ''Tel Aviv Strangler,'' who claimed to have killed seven people to prove he was not a collaborator with the Israelis. Four of his victims were Jews and three were Arabs. Mohammed Halabi, 32 years old, was sentenced today for the murders in October of five women and two men. The Tel Aviv District Court jailed him for 40 additional years for two attempted murders. The police said Mr. Halabi confessed to all the charges. 

1991: Israel said it would not carry out an immediate retaliatory strike against Iraq despite the missile attack on Tel Aviv that killed three people. After that decision, another Iraqi missile was destroyed by one of the American Patriot missiles stationed in Israel over the weekend. And it was disclosed that a Patriot had clipped the missile that hit Tel Aviv.

 1991: Mayor David N. Dinkins, who has repeatedly criticized the American effort in the Persian Gulf, said today that he would travel to Israel next week in a symbolic gesture of support for Israelis and for American troops. In the tender world of the city's ethnic politics, the visit could prove awkward. It would appeal to Jewish supporters and strengthen his pro-Israel stance, but it might appear too hawkish to some of his anti-war constituents, including many blacks, who still form the base of his support.

 1991: In the currency market, the dollar's recovery today, which was partly technical, followed comments by Israel's Ambassador to the United States, who said Tel Aviv would be ready to join in regional arms control efforts and possible peace talks with the Palestinians once the Persian Gulf War ended. 

1992: In “A Physical Approach For an Israeli 'Hamlet'” Mel Gussow reviews Rina Yerushalmi's provocative adaptation of "Hamlet" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

 1993: A “travel advisory” issued to reported that the American Jewish Congress will be sponsoring 4 “family tours of Israel” this year ‘that include the opportunity to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and at the Zealot's Synagogue in Masada”

1995: “Following an official state visit to Israel by Austrian President Thomas Klestil in 1994, which included a side tour of Kiryat Mattersdorf, Klestil hosted Rabbi Akiva Ehrenfeld at an official reception at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna” today.

1996(3rd of Shevat, 5756): In the UK, eighty-one year old Bernard Philips, founder of Bernard Phillips and Company, passed away today.

1996: HBO broadcast the first episode of “Tracey Takes On” starring Tracey Ullman.

1997: After premiering on Christmas Day, “Mother” a comedy directed by Albert Brooks who co-authored the script with music by Marc Shaiman and co-starring Albert Brooks, Rob Morrow and Lisa Kudrow was released today in the United States.

 1999: “Get Bruce!” a documentary that included appearances by Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Roseanne Barr and Paul Reiser was released in the United States today.

1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or topics of special interest to Jewish readers including Primo Levi: Tragedy of an Optimist by Myriam Anissimov, The Conversion by Aharon Appelfeld and Reporting Live by Leslie Stahl.

 2000: RADWARE Ltd., of Tel Aviv is prepared to make an equity offering 2.5 million shares this week.

2000:  “Urbania” starring Dan Futterman premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

2001: As the controversy surrounding the pardon of Marc Rich continues to grow, Jack Quinn, former White House counsel under President Clinton, who is now Mr. Rich's lawyer said in an interview today that the president had given every indication in their conversations on January 19th that he had read the petition and piles of testimonials that had been sent the previous month and that he was eager to discuss the case on its merits. Their conversation was strictly about the “legal merits.”  There were no questions about party affiliations or the role of Denis Rich, Mr. Rich's former wife, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser and close friend of the Clintons. But now with the pardon drawing so much criticism, Mr. Quinn acknowledged making mistakes and said that President Clinton had every right to be angry with him. ''He should be upset,'' Mr. Quinn said. ''I'm upset.'' Mr. Quinn faulted himself for failing to go public sooner with the rationale for the pardon. Mr. Clinton has been widely criticized for pardoning Mr. Rich, a financier who lived a wealthy exile life in Switzerland for the last 17 years instead of returning to face charges of tax fraud and trading with Iran in violation of sanctions. ''I didn't anticipate well enough the reaction to this,'' Mr. Quinn said. Beyond his kindling a firestorm of criticism more searing than that surrounding any of Mr. Clinton's other last-minute pardons, Mr. Quinn said he was distressed by the perception that he had used connections gained in the years when he was chief of staff to Al Gore and White House counsel to Mr. Clinton to obliterate much of the case against Mr. Rich.

 2001: Today, Mr. Bush appeared to be directing attention away from the Israeli-Palestinian talks and toward major Arab countries by placing telephone calls to four leaders: King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan.

The White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, described the calls as an effort to ''underscore the strong relations the United States has with these nations.'' He said they were ''introductory'' in nature and declined to be specific about substance.

 2001: In France, premiere of Origine Contrôlée a French comedy starring Ronit Elkabetz the Israeli actress in her first French film. 

2001: The cabinet decided tonight Israel will return to peace talks with the Palestinians here on Thursday, after a nearly two-day suspension prompted by the killing of two Israeli civilians in the West Bank.

 2001: Peter Mandelson completed his term as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

 2002: In New York, the 11th annual New York Jewish Film Festival comes to a close.

2002: Professor Schmuel Noah Eisenstadt of Jerusalem delivered the “2nd Simon Dubnow Lecture” at the Old Exchange in Leipzig.

2002: “An Israeli helicopter assassinated Bakr Hamdan in the Gaza Strip, the leader of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which Israeli security official said was responsible for "dozens of terrorist attacks carried out against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the Gaza Strip.”

2003(21st of Shevat, 5763): Seventy-eight year old Auschwitz survivor and French labor leader Henri Krasucki passed away today.

2004(1st of Shevat, 5764): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

2004: “A who's who of LA's entertainment world are expected to join Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters in honoring respected entertainment industry executive and producer Mark Canton with the Sydney J. Rosenberg Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th Annual Dinner & Auction Gala tonight at the Century Plaza Hotel.”

2004: “Metallica” a documentary co-directed and co-produced by Bruce Sniofsky premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

2004: An exhibition entitled “What Does It Mean To Be Jewish?” opens at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam.

 2005: In “A Bright Diaspora Star Fails to Dazzle Israel,” published today Steven Erlanger describes the Israeli reaction to American economist and banker Stanley Fischer becoming Governor of the Bank of Israel. 

 2005: At Columbia University, the Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim “compared Herzl’s ideas to Wagner’s; criticized Palestinian terrorist attacks but also justified them; and said Israeli actions contributed to the rise of international anti-Semitism.” (JTA)

 2005: Daniel Barenboim discusses music as a bridge for peace in the Middle East.

 2006: During the Presidency of Robert A. Iger, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock transaction

 2006: The Los Angeles Times published a column by Joel Stein under the headline "Warriors and Wusses" in which he wrote that it is a cop-out to oppose a war and yet claim to support the soldiers fighting it. "I don’t support our troops....When you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism..."

2006: Ehud Olmert, in his first major policy address since becoming Israel's acting prime minister, said at the Herzliya Conference that he backed the creation of a Palestinian state, and that Israel would have to relinquish parts of the West Bank to maintain its Jewish majority. 

2006: The Antiquities Authority recommended the Meggido Prison be transferred to a new location, after the remains of an ancient church were discovered on the facility's grounds four months ago

2007: In what some considered as a major breakthrough in the history of the Holocaust, Haaretz reported that Khaled Abd al-Wahab, a well-to-do Tunisian farmer who died in 1997, was the first Arab to be named as a candidate for a Righteous Gentile award from Yad Vashem. The nomination was based on testimony of Anny Boukris, a 73-year-old Jewish woman from Los Angeles who survived the Axis occupation of North Africa. In a letter sent to the authorities at Yad Vashaem, she described how Abd al-Wahab rescued her and 24 relatives from their hiding place and hid them on his farm until the end of the German occupation. Boukris, who was 11 at the time, related that al-Wahab risked his life when he stopped a German officer from raping her mother.

 2007, Moshe Katsav held a press conference at which he accused journalists of persecuting him and judging him before all the evidence was in.  

2007: In a talk scheduled minutes after Katsav's speech, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called on him to resign from the presidency.
2007: At the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, an exhibition entitled “Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited” comes to a close. By 1966, kingmaker-critics had anointed Morris Louis, the great Washington abstractionist, the greatest painter since Jackson Pollock.

2008: The New York Jewish Film Festival comes to an end with showings of Orthodox Stance a documentary about “Dmitry Salita a twenty-something Russian immigrant equally devoted to the seemingly disparate worlds of professional boxing and Orthodox Judaism”; Villa Jasmin, a film about “Serge, a Tunisian-born Jew living in Paris, who takes his wife to see the country he remembers fondly from his childhood. It is based on a novel by Serge Moati, also explores Serge’s parents’ courtship and his father’s activities with the anti-fascist movement in the 1930s”; The Film Fanatic and The Unkosher Truth a short documentary, in which the filmmaker must muster the courage to tell her father, an Orthodox rabbi and U.S. Army general, that her boyfriend is German and gentile.”

 2008(17th of Shevat, 5768): : Rami Zoari, 20, from Beersheba, a border police officer, was killed and another female officer was seriously wounded after terrorists approached the entrance to Shuafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem and opened fire on a group of Israelis. The Battalions of Struggle and Return, a previously anonymous offshoot of Fatah's Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.

2008:Two terrorists entered the Mekor Hayim High School Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, south of Jerusalem, and stabbed two students. The terrorists were killed by two of the counselors in the room. The Izaddin al-Kassam's Martyrs Brigades, the Hamas military wing, claimed responsibility for the attack.

2009: The 5th annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival continues with Noodle, a comic drama about an El Al flight attendant and a 5-year-old Chinese boy left behind when his illegal immigrant mother is deported. Though they have no language in common, the two build a bond as they search for his mother.

2010: Final performance of the The Kosher Cheerleader by Sandy Wolshin at the Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.

2010: “From Verse to Universe: Reading the People’s Torah” is scheduled to open at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum. 

2010: An exhibition entitled: “Hyman Bloom: A Spiritual Embrace at the Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to come a close.”

 2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the United States premiere of the restored print of Bar Mitzvah, a classic of Yiddish cinema, in which a mother miraculously survives a shipwreck and shocks the family by appearing at her son’s bar mitzvah. The film features “the legendary Boris Thomashefsky in his only film performance.”

 2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present the East Coast Premiere of “The Yankles,” which tells the story of ex-con who is forced to coach an “upstart Orthodox baseball team” as part of the community service sentence imposed by the Judge for a drunk driving conviction.

 2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Listener by Shira Nayman

 2010: 2010: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom.

2011: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to present a program entitled “2011: Challenges and Opportunities for American and World Jewry” during which Malcolm Hoenlein and John Batchelor are scheduled to lead “a candid discussion of the dangers and issues facing the Jewish community in the coming year, from delegitimization to the peace process to Iran globalization.”

 2011: The U.S. Premiere of “Convoys of Shame” / “Les Convois de la honte” is scheduled to take place at the New York Jewish Film Festival. “This incisive documentary examines how the SNCF (the French national rail company) used its trains and its extensive infrastructure to transport tens of thousands of Jews, Roma, and members of the resistance from France to Nazi concentration camps from 1940 to 1944.

 2011: Today, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar defended his decision to approve the military conversions which are undertaken according to orthodox Jewish law.

 2011: Rahm Emanuel should not appear on the Feb. 22 mayoral ballot because he does not meet the residency standard, according to a ruling issued by a state appellate court today. Emanuel told a news conference he would appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court and would ask for an injunction so his name will appear on the mayoral ballot.

 2011(19th of Shevat, 5771): David Frye, whose wicked send-ups of political figures like Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey and, above all, Richard M. Nixon, made him one of the most popular comedians in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died today in Las Vegas (As reported by William Grimes)

 2012: “Dressing America: Tales From The Garment Center” – a documentary that explores the post-World War II heyday of the garment district in Manhattan” and “pays tribute to the Jewish immigrant roots of the garment industry” – is scheduled to have its New York Premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2012: “Footnote” a Hebrew language films about a father, a son, Talmudic studies and the Israel Prize “was nominated” today “for an Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film.”

 2012: YIVO is scheduled to present a lecture by Cur Leviant entitled “The Works of Chaim Grade” one of the 20th century’s leading Yiddish authors.

 2012: In Mt. Vernon, Iowa, Holocaust survivor and education Irving Roth is scheduled to speak at Cornell College as part of “Standing With Israel Event.” 

2012: Israel carried out four airstrikes on the Gaza Strip overnight after Palestinian militants fired about six rockets and mortars over the border over the past week, an Israeli military spokesman said today 

2012: Conflicting reports emerged tonight about an alleged Iranian plot against Israeli and Jewish targets in Azerbaijan 

2013(13th of Shevat, 5773): Eighty-four year old Richard G. Stern, “the best American author of whom you have never heard” passed away today.  (As reported by Bruce Weber)

 2013: Professor Dan Michman is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Jewish ‘Headships’ and Nazi Anti-Jewish Policies” at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London.

 2013: Leo Baeck Institute and Center for Jewish History are scheduled to present a screening of  “Kinderbloch 66:  Return to Buchenwald”

 2013: Gerhard Loewenberg, University of Iowa professor emeritus and former dean, is scheduled to read from his new memoir, Moved by Politics, at Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City.

 2013: The Wicked Wit of the West featuring Hank Rosenfield on the subject of Irving Brecher is schedule for performance at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival

 2013: Four former Border Policemen, accused of abusing a petrified Palestinian man who appeared to be mentally challenged, were in court today to hear the legal arguments over whether or not their actions constituted abuse, Channel 2 reported.(As reported by Stuart Winer)

2013: The nationalist Jewish Home party has risen to become the fourth-largest Knesset faction, with 12 seats, after officials finished counting the votes of soldiers and others this afternoon. The party had been predicted to take 11 seats before the last votes were counted.

2014 Harris J. Weingarten Tennis Weekend is scheduled to begin at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston, TX.

2014: Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is scheduled to host its first Musical Shabbat of 2014.

2014: “Tatiana (Tanya) Edelstein, wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was brought to rest this afternoon at the Gush Etzion Cemetery.”

2014: Sixty-three year old Tatiana (Tania) Edelstein, wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein who passed away last night was laid to rest this afternoon in the Gush Etzion cemetery

2014(23rd of Shevat, 5774): Eighty-five year old Shulamit Aloni passed away today.

 2015(4th of Shevat, 5775): Seventy-four year old historian Robert Herzstein passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2015: “The Naked City” and “A Child of the Ghetto” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2015: “Hannah’s Journey” is scheduled to be shown at the Brooklyn Israel Film Festival.

2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present “The Essence of Schubert” featuring Eliyahu Schulmann, Shmuel Magen and Shlomi Shem Tov.

2016(14th of Shevat, 5776): Eighty-year old Turing Award winner Marvin Minsky the Princeton Ph.D. who co-founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and husband of pediatrician Gloria Rudisch passed away today.

2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “Yad Day” which will feature an exhibit of the museum’s Torah pointers and chance for children to make their own Yads.

2016: “Sirens sounded in communities in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, as a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip”

2016: The Atlanta Opera is scheduled to present “Pure vs. Degenerate: The Nazi War on Music” a concert that “will feature cabaret, popular and folk songs, opera, and concert hall music by Jewish composers whose works were declared '"degenerate" by the Nazi propaganda machine.”

2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History by Saul David, Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence by Lee Siegel and Ronald Regan by Jacob Weisberg.

2017: The Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute are scheduled to present a lecture by Esther Wrtschko on “The Viennese Café in New York Exile” where she will explore “the history of Jewish Austrian émigrés who transplanted the music of Viennese cafes to New York City.”

2017(26th of Tevet, 5777): Seventy year old Allan H. Steinfeld who helped to “modernize the New York City” and followed Fred Lebow as head of the Marathon passed away today.


2017: Dr. Steve Feller is scheduled to present a one hour “overview of his upcoming Coe College Thursday forum on the novels of Chaim Potok with special emphasis on The Chosen, The Promise, My Name is Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev.

2017: “Israel approved the construction of approximately 2,500 homes in the West Bank, most of them in existing settlement blocs it hopes to keep in any peace deal, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced” today.

2017: “Marie Curie, The Courage of Knowledge” and “Stefan Zweig, Farewell to Europe” are scheduled to be shown on the final night of the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2018: The Center for Jewish History and the Jewish Book Council are scheduled to host the “series premiere” of “First Person: Jewish Stories, Jewish Lives” featuring Tova Mirvis, the author of The Book of Separation.

2018: JCC Manhattan is scheduled to a live recording of “Unorthodox” Tablet magazines flagship podcast featuring comedian Judy Gold and Father James Martin.

2018: In Little Rock, AR, the Upshernish of Mendel Kramer, the son of Rabbi Yosef and Mushka Kramer and the grandson of Esther Hadassah Ciment, and Rabbi Pinchas Ciment, the leader of  Lubavitch of Arkansas and the personification of the term “Lamplighter.”


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