Wednesday, January 24, 2018

This Day, January 25, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 25

41: Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate. “Claudius rescinded Caligula’s provocative decrees affecting Judean and reaffirmed Jewish rights throughout the rest of the Roman world.”  Claudius supported the cause of the Jews when they were attacked in separate incidents by the Greeks of Alexandria and the Samaritans.  He maintained a life-long friendship with the Agrippa the last Jewish king in Eretz Israel.

681: The Twelfth Council of Toledo which approved several canons aimed at punishing the Jews including on that prohibited conversos from returning to Judaism and allowed for the confiscation of Jewish owned goods came to a close.

749: Birthdate Leo IV (the Khazar), the Byzantine emperor from 775 through 780 who was known as “the Khazar” because his mother was a Khazar Princess.  If the Khazars were Jewish, does this mean that at least one Byzantine emperor was Jewish?

750: Caliph Marwan II, whose subjects included “self-proclaimed prophet” and Messianic figure known variously as Abu Isa or Isaac ibn Jacob al-Isfahani , passed away today.

1138: Anacletus II passed away. Known as Pietro Pierleone before his elevation to the Papacy in 1130, Anacletus II was referred to as the Jewish anti-pope because he came from a family that had converted from Judaism to Christianity. “One of his great-great grandparents, Benedictus, maybe Baruch in Hebrew, was a Jew who converted into Christianity.” The appellation of anti-pope is one that is hung on several popes who were elected under controversial circumstances.

1327: Edward III who would re-apply the Edict of Expulsion of 1290 because there were reports of “secret Jews” or conversos who had remained in England and were practicing “the faith of their fathers” became King of England today.

1494: Alfonso II became King of Naples. Alfonso continued to rely on the services of Don Isaac Abravanal the refugee from the Spanish expulsion who had acted as an advisor to his predecessor on the throne, King Ferdinand. Alfonso also continued the policy of his predecessor of allowing Jews fleeing the Inquisition to settle in his kingdom.

1515: Coronation of King Francis I of France who strangely enough for a French monarch showed an interest in the Hebrew language. After all, no Jew had legally lived in France for over a century.  But this King invited August Justiniani, the Bishop of Corsica who was reputed to be a serious student of Hebrew literature to move to France.  He also invited Elias Levita, the renowned Hebrew grammarian and poet, to move to France and accept a professorship in the Hebrew language. Levita declined the offer for obvious reasons.

1533: Henry VIII of England secretly marries his second wife Anne Boleyn. Henry had failed in his attempt to enlist the support of Italian rabbis in his futile attempt to get the Pope to annul his first marriage.  His marriage to Anne helped move England into the Protestant camp which proved to be beneficial in the Jews’ attempt to return to the British Isles.

1554: Founding of São Paulo, Brazil.  As was the case in so many other parts of Latin America, the first Jews to inhabit Sao Paulo were New Christians or Conversos. The first openly Jewish residents of the city arrived from Alsace-Lorraine in the 19th century. Today São Paulo is home to the largest Jewish community in Brazil with about 130,000 people,

1569: Phillip II of Spain issued the order to set up an inquisition in the New World. Mexico would be the first five years later.

1648: The Khmelnytsky or Chmielnicki Rebellion against the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania began in earnest when Bohdan Khmelnytsky brought a contingent of 300-500 Cossacks to the Zaporizhian Sich and quickly dispatched the guards assigned by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth to protect the entrance. His defeat of the counterattacking Commonwealth forces coupled with is oratorical skills brought thousands of rebels including the Ruthenians to join his uprising.  Jews, who served as the middle-man and administrators for the absentee Polish landlords were an easy target for the rebels. The bloody uprising will mark the long, slow disintegration of the Polish state.  The slaughter of the Jews was so great that it would not be surpassed until the time of the Nazis. 

1782(10th of Shevat): Rabbi Shalom Sharabi Kabbalist, author of Emet ve-Shalom passed away today.

1784: Having passed away on Shabbat. Lezer ben Zelig Rachmonus was buried today at the Alderney Road (Globe Road) Jewish Cemetery.

1804: Phineas Moses Samuel married Catherine Jacobs at the Great Synagogue today.


1826: In Norfolk, Rabbi Seixas officiated at the wedding of Philip I. Cohen to Augusta Myers, the daughter of Moses Myers.

1841: In Bridgetown, Barbados, the committee governing the Kaal, agreed to place £ 10 sterling “at the disposal of the London Committee led by Sir Moses Montefiore that is working to alleviate “the suffering of the Jews in the east.”

1844: Congregation Shaarai Shomayim u-Maskil el Dol was chartered today in Mobile, Alabama. “Israel I. Jones (1810–1877), a London Jew who arrived early in the 1830s, was president of the congregation for most of his life; one of his daughters married the well-known New Orleans rabbi, James Koppel Gutheim (1817–1886). An auctioneer and tobacco merchant, Jones was active in politics, served as an alderman, was president of the Mobile Musical Association, and introduced streetcars to Mobile”

1847: In Kirvany, Comitat Saros, Hungary, Herman Miller and Rachel Friedman gave birth to Morris Miller, the husband of Annie Rich, who came to the United States in 1865, lived in Cleveland, Ohio, Meadville, PA and Kalamazoo, Michigan before moving to Milwaukee in 1881 where he served as the Director of the Milwaukee Agriculture Association and trustee, treasurer, vice-president and president of the Hebrew Relief Association.

1849: The West End Synagogue of British which had been formed by Jews who left Bevis Marks in 1841 dedicated its new facility in Upper Berkeley Street.

1851(22nd of Shevat, 5611): Sixty nine year old Lewis Wolfe Levy, the son of Martha and Benjamin Wolfe Levy and the husband of Julia Levy passed away today in Rockwood, New South Wales, Australia.

1852: Achille Fould resigned as the French Minister of Finance.

1852: French political leader Achille Fould was appointed as a Senator and later rejoined the government as a Minister of State.

1854(25th of Tevet, 5614): Filosseno Luzzatto passed away. Born at Trieste in 1829; he was an Italian Jewish scholar; son of Samuel David Luzzatto. His name is the Italian equivalent of the title of one of his father's principal works, "Oheb Ger," which was written at the time of Filosseno's birth. “He showed from childhood linguistic aptitude, and having mastered several European languages, he devoted himself to the study of Semitic languages and Sanskrit.” At the age of thirteen he deciphered some old inscriptions on the tombstones of Padua which had puzzled older scholars. Two years later, happening to read D'Abbadie's narrative of his travels in Abyssinia, he resolved to write a history of the Falashas. In addition to writing several original works, he “translated into Italian eighteen chapters of the Book of Ezekiel, adding a Hebrew commentary. Luzzatto contributed to many periodicals, mostly on philological or exegetical subjects.”

1854: “The Will of Judah Touro,”published today described the terms of the late philanthropist and businessman’s final testamentary document.  The will was dated January 6, 1854, 7 days before his death.   The will appointed four executors, three of whom were to receive $10,000 and a four, R.D. Shepperd who is the “residuary legatee.  Touro bequeathed approximately $450,000 to different Jewish and non-Jewish institutions and charities.  Among them were  $20,000 left to the Jew’s Hospital Society of New York; $10,000 left to the New York Relief Society for Indigent Jews in Palestine; $50,000 left for the agent of “a society dedicated to ameliorating the condition of the Jews in the Holy Land and the securing the enjoyment of their religion”  as well as bequests left to Jewish congregations throughout the United States including, but not limited to $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Boston, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in  Hartford, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in  New Haven, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in New York, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Charleston and $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Savannah

1854: Sir Henry Rawlinson wrote to from Baghdad today that “a number of clay cylinders taken from the ruins of what is ‘Ur of the Chaldees’ of Genesis disclosed the fact that a few years” prior “to the fall of Babylon, Nabonnedus had associated his son Bilsharuzur, the ‘Belshazzar’ of Scripture with him in the government” “thus showing the harmony between the Biblical narrative and secular history.”

1858: The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn becomes a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia. Felix Mendelssohn is the grandson of Moses Mendelssohn.  Felix Mendelssohn was born to Jewish parents in 1809, Felix’s father, Abraham, had the famous composer baptized as a Lutheran in 1816.

1861: Charles Dyte laid the foundation stone for the historic Ballarat Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue on the Australian mainland.


1861: In a letter that an unidentified resident of New Orleans, LA, wrote to a friend in Boston, he described the voting patterns of various groups in the recent election. If you believe his description, most groups voted for one of the Unionist or Compromise candidates. Only "The Jews voted for secession."

1865: Dr. William H. Thomson read a paper entitled "What we have to learn in the East" at tonight’s

meeting of the American Ethnological Society.  A longtime resident of Syria, who traveled extensively in throughout the Middle East, Dr. Thomson reported on “the importance of extensive investigations among the innumerable mounds” found in the area.  Examination of similar mounds has provided information about early inhabitants including the Hebrews, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans.  [Ed. Note – What the doctor was describing are the innumerable “tels” that would become the focal point of archaeological interest in modern day Israel.] 

1864: Philadelphian Samuel Rothschild began serving with Company I, Seventy-fourth

1868(1st of Shevat, 5628): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1870: The New York Times published an editorial defending itself against charges by “a Jewish newspaper” that the paper is paying too much attention to the “Reform party within the ancient sect.” The editorial cites the creation of Temple Israel in Brooklyn as proof of that there is a significant segment of the Jews that “are anxious to make great and fundamental changes in their doctrines and faith.”  The editorial finished by saying that it would publish information about any sect within Judaism that are based on “facts.” [Editor’s note: It is significant that a leading metropolitan daily was publishing stories about Jewish culture and religion that were generally informative at a time when the Jewish population was a rather infinitesimal part of the general population

1870: In Chicago, Cecilie and Alexander Pam gave birth to Hugo Pam who earned his law degree at the University of Michigan in 1892 who served as member of the Superior court “for more than eighteen years” who served as Vice President of the Zionist Organization of American and “headed the Platine Restoration Fund in Chicago.”

1872: The United States confirmed M.A. Shaffenburg as U.S. Marshall for the Territory of Colorado.

1874: “The second constitutional convention of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith” opened today in Chicago, Illinois at the Kingsbury Music Hall. Simon Wolf of Washington, D.C. was elected President.  During the afternoon session, a massive gold medal was presented in memory of A.E. Frankland, the Memphis, TN, Jew who worked to ameliorate the suffering in that city’s Yellow Fever Epidemic.

1874: Reverend Samuel Alman was installed today as the pastor of the Second Mission Baptist Church. Before converting, Alman had been a member of the Stanton Street Jewish Congregation

1879(1st of Shevat, 5639): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1879(1st of Shevat, 5639): In Berlin, Harry and Caroline Bresslau gave  gave birth to Hélène Mariane Schweitzer

1879: The Pioneers, a St. Louis literary club for Jewish women, meet for the first time today.

1881: Birthdate of Emil Cohn the native of Breslau who gained fame as journalist and author Emil Ludwig who specialized in writing biographies and who re-identified as a Jew when Walther Rathenau was murdered in 1922.

1882 (5th of Shevat): Bilu was founded at Kharkov

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

1885: Herman Ahlwardt wrote a letter today in he said, "Antisemitism is illogical; I have always condemned it, and shall continue to condemn religious intolerance until my last breath." (Ahlwardt would change his views when he failed to find political success among the Conservatives and become notorious anti-Semitic pamphleteer, agitator and member of the Reichstag.

1886(19th of Shevat, 5646): Ninety–one year old Elias Mayer, the French born husband of Abby Mayer with whom he had 13 children passed away today in Philadelphia.

1887: Birthdate of Berl Katznelson the Russian native who “ was one the intellectual founders of Labor Zionism, instrumental to the establishment of the modern State of Israel, and the editor of Davar, the first daily newspaper of the workers' movement.”

1891: Rabbi Gustav Gustav Gottheil delivered an address entitled “An Earnest Word To Christians” at Temple Emanu-El in New York.

1891: Based on information that first appeared in the London Daily Telegraph it was reported today that Baron Hirsch has donated £500,000 for education of “indigent Jews” in various parts of Austria, including Lemberg and Czernowitz.  Although intended to provide education for Jewish children, “the Hirsch school open to Christian children” as well.

1891: Birthdate of Lazarus Joseph, the native of the Lower East Side and grandson of Rabbi Jacob Joseph, who served as State Senator and New York City Comptroller.

1891: In Berlin, Albert Mosse, the of Dr. Marcus Mosse and Ulrike Mosse and Caroline (Lina) Mosse gave birth to Eric Peter Mosse

1892: It was reported today that the delegates from the Hebrew Trades Union would join with others in calling for all labor organizations in the United States “to send delegates to an international labor congress” scheduled “to be held in Chicago in 1893.” 

1893:  In Arras (Pas-de-Calais) Protestant mining engineer Paul-Louis Weiss and Jeanne Javal a member of an Alsatian Jewish family gave birth to “Louise Weiss was an influential voice in French and international affairs from the 1920s until her death in 1983.”

1894: Isaac Bergman, a 30 year old homeless tailor was arrested and imprisoned after he attempted to commit suicide today at the offices of the United Hebrew Charities because he had been told “that there was no work” available for tailors.

1895: The Young Ladies and Gentlemen's League of the Montefiore Home hosted a ball at the Carnegie Music Hall to raise fund for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids. 

1895: The Monte Relief Society, a charitable and social organization founded by a small group of Jewish women under the leadership of Mrs. Sofia Monte-Loebinger two years ago, is scheduled to host a party at the Terrace Garden designed to raise funds to relieve “distress among the Hebrew poor.”

1896: A sub-committee of Board of Alderman in New York met today to discuss whether or not to accept a fountain dedicated to the memory of Heinrich Heine.

1897: Aloe Alfred, began his military today as a Private in the United States Army.

1897: Starting today, and lasting for the rest of the week Civil Service examinations were administered in New York for the position of Court Interpreter.  Hebrew was one of the six languages in which applicants could be tested. (The test for Hebrew would seem to have been a misguided attempt to cope with the large surge of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.  In reality, most of these immigrants spoke Yiddish, not Hebrew.)

1898: Birthdate of Polish native Henry Earl J. Wojciechowski, the Chicago mobster whose moniker of Earl “Hymie’ Weiss led people to think that this Catholic whose burial site is topped by a large cross was Jewish.

1898: Cleveland, Ohio, liquor dealer Saul Jacobs was convicted of larceny in the first degree for his part in a scheme to swindle Max Bernstein.

1898: It was reported today that troops were called out to help the police respond to anti-Jewish riots in St. Malo. (This was part of the on-going anti-Dreyfus violence sweeping France)

1898: It was reported today that in Algiers, “the Governor General narrowly escaped a chair which was thrown at him” as he tried to disperse anti-Jewish mobs.  The mob now included “a number of natives” whose only interest was looting and pillaging.

1898: At least one hundred people went trial today for their part in the anti-Jewish riots in Algiers, the capital of Algeria which was a French colony. “Eighty of the rioters were condemned to terms of imprisonment varying from three months to year…One who was caught in the act of pillaging was sentenced to five years in prison.”

1899(14th of Shevat, 5659): Eighty-seven year old Adolphe d'Ennery the French dramatist who converted some of his plays into successful novels passed away today in Paris.

1899: Birthdate of Carl Pack, the native of Worcester who graduated from law school in Brooklyn before becoming a state legislator who was active in Jewish communal affairs as can be my by his leadership role in the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies

1899:  Birthdate of Goodman Ace. Born Goodman Aiskowitz, Kansas City, Missouri, he was a writer and comedian who created Easy Aces.  The scripts for this long running radio hit would be the source for television shows in the 1970’s.  He also created the “You Are There,” the pseudo-news show that helped to launch the career of Walter Cronkite.

1900(24th of Shevat, 5660): Seventy-year old Piedmont native, patriot and financer Senator Isaac Artom who took part in the battles of Curtatone and Montanara and served as secretary to Italian leader Count Camillo Cavour, passed away today in Rome.

1901(5th of Shevat, 5661): Seventy-two year old Baron Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild the son of Baron Carl Mayer von Rothschild of Naples and the husband of Mathilde Hannah von Rothschild, the second oldest daughter of Anselm von Rothschild, a chief of the Vienna House of Rothschilds passed away today in Frankfurt where he was head of the Frankfurt House of Rothschild.

1902: Herzl proposes to Franz Oppenheimer the creation of a model cooperative colony in El Arish.

1904: Herzl met Pope Pius X and tried to convince him to support the vision of Zionism without any success. The pope totally rejected the idea that Jerusalem would be in Jewish hands.  (The papacy still clings to this notion.) Herzl is received by Pope Pius X, who declares, he cannot support the return of the infidel Jews to the Holy Land. ("If you come to Palestine and settle your people there, we want to have churches and priests ready to baptize all of you.")

1904: Birthdate of Morris Ploscowe, the native of Libachin, Russia, who came to the United States in  1907 after which he earned a law degree from Harvard and pursued a career that included serving as executive director of the American Bar Association Commission on Organized Crime and an “active member of the American Jewish Commission.

1906: Jews in the United States were absorbing reports coming from Bucharest through Berlin that “massacres of Jews have taken place in Kishinev and various parts of Bessarabia” for which “details are lacking.”

1909(3rd of Shevat, 5669): Idudowitz Schore-Riewe drowned today.

1909: In Sioux City, IA, Kate Sandwina and her husband brith to heavyweight boxer Theodore “Teddy” Sandwina.

1909: German composer Richard Strauss' opera “Elektra” receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera. Strauss was born in 1864 and passed away in 1949 which means that his last years as an active composer coincided with the rise and fall of Hitler and the Nazis.  Many have been critical of his close association with the Third Reich.  His defenders claim that Strauss’ behavior was determined by his need to protect his son and daughter-in-law who was Jewish, In fact, the couple was arrested in Vienna during the war and it took all of Strauss’ best efforts to save them.

1910(15th of Shevat, 5670): Tu B’Shevat

1910(15th of Shevat, 5670): Sixty-seven year old Sarah Lazarus, the daughter of Moses and Esther Lazarus passed away today in New York City.

1912: The Savannah Section withdraws from the Council of Jewish Women.

1913: It was reported today that, “in a dispatch from Jerusalem” The London Daily has said “that the Palestine Exploration Fund workers, Mckenzie and McAllister have unearthed Bethe Sehmesh” the town mentioned in the Sixth Chapter of the First Book of Samuel “in the ruins thirty miles from Jerusalem

1913(17th of Shevat, 5673): Parashat Yitro

1913(17th of Shevat, 5673): Wilhelm Bacher, a Hungarian rabbi and scholar passed away in Budapest.  Born in 1850, he was “a major contributor” to the “Jewish Encyclopedia” as well as close friend of many Jewish intellectuals notably Chaim Nachman Bialik

1913: Birthdate of Chicago native Armand Deutsch, the son Adele Deutsch Levy, the grandson of Sears CEO Julius Rosenwald and the stepson of Dr. David M. Levy whose friendship with the Reagans led  to his appointment as a member of the “Presidential Task Force on the Arts and Humanities.”

1913: “Yiddish star Boris Thomashefsky and his all-star company” are scheduled give two performances one of which will be a matinee of the new play “Breach of Promise” at the Haymarket Theatre.

1913: In Camden, NJ, J.F. Kantor, the head of the of Young Men’s Hebrew Association presided over a meeting attended by more than a thousand at the Broadway Theatre where he delivered a speech designed to impress the audience with ‘the importance and necessity of a Jewish communal building”

1913: Birthdate of Harlem native Moe Frankel who played basketball for the Harlem Hebrew Institute, DeWitt Clinton High School and New York University before playing professional for ABL teams from 1936 through 1947.

1914: “More than a thousand persons crowded into the Broadway Theatre” in Camden, NJ, this afternoon and heard Isaac Hassler of Philadelphia tell them of the importance of constructing the “Jewish communal building” which was being championed by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Camden.

1915: A list of contributors to the Hebrew Free Loan Society provide President Julius J. Dukas published today included Jacob Schiff, $1,000; Mortimer L. Schiff, $1,000; Felix M. Warburg, $1,500; Adolph Lewisohn, $500 and Maxwell Guggenheim $100.

1915: “Fulton Brylawski, of counsel of Leo M. Frank, under sentence of death for murder in Atlanta, today moved in the Supreme Court of the United States for the advancement of argument in Frank’s appeal for a writ of habeas corpus.”

1915: The trial of Dan H. Leon, the southern representative of the W.J. Burns Detective Agency, C.C. Tedder and Arthur Thurman who have been indicted for subordination of perjury that resulted in false testimony being given in the case of Leo Franks is scheduled to begin in Atlanta, GA.

1916: “The various committees having a hand in the collections of money for the relief of the Jews perfected arrangements” today for the upcoming “observance of he days especially set apart by the Presidential Proclamation when all may assist Jews in distress in war-stricken countries”

1916: Mayor Mitchel did not last night attend last night’s meeting of the American Jewish Congress but was reported today to have a sent a message of regret “in which he said: ‘The Christian peoples of Europe and America ought to be as one in demanding for Jews equality for the law, no more, no less.”

1916: In Boston, Massachusetts Governor McCall issued a proclamation “asking the people of the State to contribute on January 27 to the aid of Jews stricken by the European war in accordance with the recent proclamation by President Wilson?

1917: As Americans debate the wisdom of entering the war (with all that will come to mean for the Jewish people) conflicting reports were published today about the deportation of Belgian civilians by the Germans who have been occupying the country since 1914.

1918: As the day turns into evening and Jews begin to observe Shabbat Bo, ‘in synagogue throughout” the United States” rabbis are scheduled to “devote their sermons to the impending re-establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine to donate the offering to the Palestine Restoration Fund, the first one million dollars of which is now being raised in the United States.

 1918: In New London, Annie Rifkin and Barnett Lubow gave birth to Sylvia Lubow who became Sylvia Lubow Rindskopf when she married future Admiral and decorated war hero Maurice Rindskopf.

1918: Vilmos Vázsonyi, the Hungarian leader who fought to gain “official recognition for the Jewish religion” began serving his second term as Minister of Justice.

1918: In Bendery, Bessarabia, the municipality intervened “in favor Jewish students enrolled by the heads of local Railway Institute where refused admittance by the other students.

1918: In Warsaw, the Jewish Socialist Labor Party (Paole-Zion) held its fifth conference adopted “resolutions respecting Jewish municipal life.”

1919: In New York City, Myron Newman, a credit manager and and Rose (née Parker) Newman gave birth to NBC newsman Edwin Harold “Ed” Newman, the brother of reporter M.W. Newman and the husband of Rigel Grell.

1919: Awni Abdul Hadi and Ahmad Qadri met with an unnamed Zionist representative at the Hotel Meurice

1919: The League of Nations was founded.  British control over Palestine would take its legal form from a Mandate by the League of Nations.  The failure of the League to halt the aggression of Japan in China, Italy in Abyssinia and the fascists in Spain is listed as one of the causes of World War II and therefore the Shoah.  The League failed as a peace keeper, in part, because the United States refused to join, a mistake it would not repeat at the end of WW II when it joined the United Nations.

1920: In Brooklyn, produce merchant Milton Mollen and Esther Mollen gave birth to Milton Mollen, the WW II veteran and head of the Mollen Commission which investigated charges of police corruption in the 1990’s.

1921: In Brooklyn, Lazarus and Jenny Cohen gave birth to Samuel Theodore Cohen, the Father of the Neutron Bomb.

1922: A committee chaired by Rabbi Louis Feinberg of Cincinnati, Ohio, will deliver a report to Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) on the acceptability of using unfermented grape juice for sacramental purposes.

1922: Temple Beth El held its 10th Annual Ball at the Elmwood Music Hall in Buffalo, New York.

1924: The Hebrew Standard Review of Israel reported that “the combined sports meeting held at the Love Cove” on January 20th was a “success” which established “the new spirit and ideal of Sydney’s Jewish youth…”

1925: The former Hahambashi of Turkey, Rabbi Haim Nahoum was elected Chief Rabbi of Cairo, Egypt.

1925: Birthdate of John Livingston Weinberg, American banker and businessman.

1926: “Tartuff” a film version of the French play photographed by Karl Freund with a script by Carl Mayer was released in Germany today.

1927(22nd of Shevat, 5687): Forty-three year old, Dr. Julius Lawrence “Mortimer” Mogulesko, a graduate of Columbia University School of Medicine and specialized in the field of Bacteriology passed away today.

1927: Birthdate of Yitzhak Hofi, the native of Tel Aviv who began his career as a member of the Palmach, reached the rank of General in the IDF before serving as the head of Mossad.

 1928: Birthdate of Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder the Birmingham Temple in suburban Detroit in 1963. He also was the driving force behind the creation of the Society for Humanistic Judaism in 1969.  He died in auto accident at the age of 79 in 2007.

1929: Birthdate of Robert Faurisson who denies the suffering of Elie Weisel, the Diary of Anne Frank and the reality of the Final Solution.

1930: Pinky Silverberg lost a non-title bout to the reigning NBA World Bantamweight Champion in Havana, Cuba.

1931: In Brooklyn, attorney and some-times Broadway producer Emil Katzka and his wife gave birth to Gabriel Katzka whose production included the anti-war and very humorous “Kelly’s Heroes” and the original version of “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.”

1932: “Warburg a Leader in Banking Reform” published today provided a detailed account of the financier’s life and accomplishment including his criticism of “the present orgies of unrestrained speculation” months before the Crash of 1929 and his role as trustee of Tuskegee College, the “all black college” which was an educational beacon of hope to African-Americans in the days of Segregation.

1932: Degrees were awarded to 13 graduates at the first commencement exercises of Hebrew University which was opened in 1925.

1934: In Tarnow, Galicia, Israel Mendel Keller and his wife gave birth to Naphtali Keller the short-lived author who wrote in Hebrew.

1936: “New anti-Jewish rioting broke out today in Krakow, Wilno and Warsaw universities…”

1936: “A plan to get as many Jews out of Germany as possible was outlined publicly” tonight in St. Louis “by Sir Herbert Samuel, the first British High Commissioner for Palestine and Felix M. Warburg, a partner in Kuhn, Loeb and Co.”

1936: Twenty-five year old Ben Kramer, lead LIU to victory today over St. John’s.

1937: In another attack on the economic well-being Jews, “the Reich University of Agriculture issued a decree tonight enable it to revoke the licenses of horse or cattle dealers who are to be ‘personally unfitted’ for their business.

1937: As of today, “no evidence has been discovered of any incident or development to account for the suspension” by the secret police of a majority of  Jewish organizations in Germany including “the Jewish League of World War Veterans, Jewish sport groups, Jewish cultural groups and various occupational schools organized to help Jews prepare for emigration.”

1938:  Conde Nast, the published of Vogue, “announced today that he had accepted the resignation of of Cecil Beaton, British photographer and artist from the staff of the magazine” because he had submitted a drawing for the February 1 issue that Nast said appeared to contain “comments that were critical of the Jews race” and that he “was particularly distressed that these slurring comments should have been printed in Vogue, especially during these days of cruel, vicious and unreasoning persecution of Jews.

1938: In “Miami’s Anti-Semitic Jews” published today Robert Gessner describes a resort where “eighty-percent of all its hotels are owned and operated by Jews” and where “it’s almost impossible for a Jewish boy to get a job.”

1940: Birthdate of Lt. Col. Avraham "Avi" Lanir one of the most accomplished and bravest pilots in the IAF.  On the first day of the Yom Kippur War, Lanir joined with Colonel Oded Marom flew their Mirage jets to the Golan where they engaged four MiGs, shooting down one a piece.  Tragically, Colonel Lanir would be shot down by the Syrians who tortured him to death.

1940: The Nazi decreed the establishment of Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland

1942: Hungarian military units under the command of General Feketehalmi-Zeisler, General Bajor-Bayer and Captain Zoldi completed “cleaning up the southern region captured from the Yugoslavs” which included the murder of 1,500 Jews in Novisad.

1944: Hans Frank, governor-general of Occupied Poland, notes in his diary that approximately 100,000 Jews remain in the region under his control, down by 3,400,000 from the end of 1941.

1945: U.S. premiere of “The Thin Man Goes Home” with a story by Harry Kurnitz and Robert Ruskin who also co-authored the screenplay.

1945: U.S. premiere of “I Love A Mystery” directed by Henry Levin.

1945(11th of Shevat, 5705): Eighty-five year old Bert H. Prinz, who came to the United States in 1864 with is parents Abraham and Rose Wohlgemuth Prinz where he owned several clothing stores the mos success of which was Printz Company Men’s Clothing and Furnishing with headquarters in Youngstown Ohio, passed away today.

1945: Labor camp prisoners from Blechhammer began their five day march to Bergen-Belsen during which about 20% of them died.

1945: The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Stutthof concentration camp. In yet another Death March prisoners are sent westward in the middle of driving snow storm. Many would die from freezing. Others were shot or thrown into the icy Baltic Sea.

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. met for a third day in London.

1946: “My Reputation” a love story directed by Curtis Bernhardt, co-produced by Jack L. Warner and with music by Max Steiner was released in the United States today.

1946: “Whistle Stop” a crime film directed by Léonide Moguy, with a script by Philip Yordan was released in the United States today

1948: Mishmar, a paper first published by Hashomer Hatzair in 1943, changed its named to Al HaMishmar (On Guard) today.

1948: In Vancouver, British Columbia, Congregation Schara Tzedeck which had been founded in 1907 as “Benei Yehuda” dedicated its new facility which had been completed in September of 1947.

1949: Nathan Yellin-Mor and Matityahu Shmuelevitch both of whom were members of Lehi were found guilty of having been leaders of a terrorist organization today.

1949: On the same day that he was found guilty Lehi leader Nathan Yellin-Mor, the founder of the Fighters List, was elected to the first Knesset

1949: Ben-Gurion's Mapai party was the top vote getter in Israel’s first election after the creation of the Jewish state. However, the party only gained 35.7% of the vote which translated into 46 seats in the Knesset leaving Ben-Gurion 15 seats short of the majority he would need in the parliament that has 120 seats.  This would necessitate the formation of a coalition. This would set the stage for a joining of strange bedfellows which some see as detrimental to the long term stability of the Jewish state.

1954: In Jerusalem, Michaella and Yitzhak Grossman gave birth to Israeli author David Grossman whose work included Her Body Knows, a collection of two novellas.

1956: The West End production of “Plain and Fancy” a musical comedy with a book by Joseph Stein opened at the Theatre Royal in London.

1958: In New York City, actress, director, and writer, Lee Grant (née Lyova Rosenthal), and screenwriter Arnold Manoff gave birth to actress Dinah Manoff

1959:  Pope John XXIII proclaims Second Vatican Council. This would lead to the greatest improvement in relations between the Church and the Jewish People since the days of Constantine.

1959: Contributions of $132 were received by the annual appeal of the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund from the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.

1960: Yitzhak Rabin flew to IDF Southern Headquarters to ascertain the military situation as Egyptian forces stood on the border with Israel.  The crisis would pass since neither side was prepared for war.  But the crisis of 1960 did help to set the stage for Israel’s response to Egypt’s next foray into the Sinai in 1967.

1960: David Susskind produced and Henry Kaplan directed two plays by August Strindberg – “Miss Julie” and “The Stronger” – as part of the Play of the Week.

1961 (8 Shevat 5721):  Bar Mitzvah of Yissachar Dov Rokeach. Born in 1948 he is the fifth and present Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Belz. He has led Belz since 1966.

1962: In London, June Flewett and Sir Clement Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud gave birth to UK broadcaster and social commentator Emma Vallency Freud.

1963: The recording sessions that would eventually produce “The Barbra Streisand Album” next month came to an end today.

1965: Sheldon Cohen began serving as Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

1965(22nd of Shevat, 5725): Ninety-one year old Frankfurt born economist Moritz Julius Born, the descendant of a family started in the sixteenth century by Aaron Jacob Bonn, who was distinguished academic as well as an advisor to the Weimar government passed away today.

1966(4th of Shevat, 5726):  Seventy-seven year old Dr. Saul Adler, the expert on parasites who translated Darwin’s The Origin of Species into Hebrew, passed away today in Jerusalem.

1966(4th of Shevat, 5726): Sixty-three year old University of California Professor of Physiology Dr. Israel Lyon Chaikoff passed away today in Berkeley, CA.;NAAN=13030&doc.view=frames&

1967: After having premiered in the United Kingdom, “Prehistoric Women” co-starring Steven Berkoff was released in the United States today.

1967: “The Reluctant Astronaut,” a comedy written by Everett Greenbaum premiered in Houston, TX today.

1968: Last transmission is received from the Israeli submarine, Dakar

1971: Idi Amin led a coup deposing Milton Obote and became Uganda's president. In his younger days, Amin was favorably disposed towards the Israelis who trained him as a paratrooper.  However, in 1976, he would prove himself to be a strong supporter of the PLO as he gave refuge to the terrorists who landed their high jacked aircraft at Entebbe.

1974: “KGB stopped Moscow UPI correspondent G.P. Joseloff on a Moscow street after his interview with a group of Jewish activists and seized written replies to questions he posed to them. “

1975: Birthdate of Canadian actress Mia Kirshner, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and the daughter of a Canadian Jewish journalist.

1976(23rd of Shevat, 5736): Eighty-four year old German-born English historian Victor Ehrenberg, the brother of Hans Ehrenberg and the nephew of Victor Ehrenberg passed away in London.

1977(6th of Shevat, 5737): Eighty five year old motion picture actor, agent and producer Edward Small passed away today.

1978: As part of its “Great Performances series,” PBS broadcast “Verna: USO Girl” co-starring Howard Da Silva and featuring theme music by Jerome Kern and George Gershwin.

1978: Thirty-three year old David Pleat began managing Luton Town.

1981: In New Orleans, LA, Al Davis’ Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV.

1981: In “Words of a Fallen Soldier,” Hillel Halkin reviewed Self-Portrait of a Hero: The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu (1963-1976).

1983: Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia

1985: Release date for “The Falco and the Snowman” directed by John Schlesinger, the product of a middle-class Anglo-Jewish family.

1986(15th of Shevat, 5746): Parashat Beshalach and Tu B’Shevat

1986(15th of Shevat, 5756): The curtain came down on the fifty year acting career of Lilli Palmer who passed away today at the age of 71.

1987: Neil Diamond sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXI.

1987: Seventy-four year old composer and conductor Henry Krips whose “father was a Jewish convert to Catholicism” which made him Jewish under Nazi racial laws and thus gave him reason to flee his native Austria after the Anschluss, passed away in Australia his haven from the Holocaust.

1988: As the latest round of Arab terrorism escalates, Yehuda Genyan, a tailor, seems to be expressing the frustration of many Israelis when he said today of the terrorists, “They walk around here like kings, but a Jew goes to pray at the wall and he gets stabbed.'' In the wake of international criticism over Israel’s response to Palestine protesters, Prime Minister Shamir seems to echoing Genyan when he states, ''We are not allowed to kill, we are not allowed to expel, we are not allowed to beat,'' Prime Minister Shamir said. What are Jews allowed to do - Only to be killed, only to be wounded, only to be defeated.''

1992: Singer Ofra Haza and the Amka Oshrat Yeminite Dance Troupe appear in concert as part of “Israel: The Next Generation.”

1993: Robert Rubin began serving as the 1st Director of the National Economic Council under President Clinton.

1993: The New York Times reported that a United States Senator from Hawaii, the Brooklyn-born chief rabbi of an Israeli West Bank community, and an organization of disabled Israeli war veterans will receive the 10th annual Defender of Jerusalem Awards. The $100,000 prize that will be divided among the recipients will be presented by the Jabotinsky Foundation Thursday at the Plaza Hotel. The foundation is named for Vladimir Jabotinsky, a Zionist, philosopher and mentor of many Israeli leaders. Being honored this year are Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, founder of the settlement of Efrat on the West Bank, where he is described as a peace-keeper and arbitrator between Jews and Palestinians, and the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, which operates two sports, rehabilitation and social centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa and is building a facility in Jerusalem. The purpose of the prize, said Eryk Spektor, founder and chairman of the Jabotinsky Foundation, "is to honor people who have stood up in the defense of Jewish rights."

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Hitler’s Banker: Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht by John Weitz and Shadows on the Hudson by Isaac Bashevis Singer; translated by Joseph Sherman.

1999: Yitzhak Mordechai completed his service as Minister of Defense.

2000: U.S. premiere of “The Songcatcher” a fascinating movie about the Hill people of North Carolina and their music co-starring Emmy Rossum as “Deladis Slocumb.”

2001: Israel's state-owned power utility said today that it planned to buy more than half of its $3 billion supply of natural gas over the next decade from Egypt, after receiving an offer that was 20 to 30 percent lower than domestic prices.

2001: In Toronto, the Al Waxman Fan Club, which had over a thousand members, held a wake for their hero complete with “a New Orleans-style funeral march including a jazz band.

2001: After a 48-hour hiatus, Israelis and Palestinians resumed their peace talks today still hoping for a diplomatic breakthrough, though increasingly dubious about a full-fledged agreement before the Feb. 6 election in Israel.

2002: A Palestinian suicide bomber wounded more than two dozen people when he blew himself up today in a pedestrian mall in a Tel Aviv neighborhood of populated largely by immigrant workers.

2002: In response to today’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, “an Israeli F-16 attacked the Palestinian security headquarters in Gaza located near Yasser Arafat's compound.”

2003: On the first day of his trial, an Israeli Arab student denied that he had tried to hijack an El Al jetliner and force it to slam into a skyscraper in Tel Aviv. Tawfiq Foqara, 23, told the court that during the November 17 flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul he had a dispute with a flight attendant who yelled at him.

2003: The Guardian published an article entitled “Solzhenitsyn breaks last taboo of the revolution; Nobel laureate under fire for new book on the role of Jews in Soviet-era,” in which Nick Paton reviews Two Hundred Years Together by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

  [Ed. Note: The article is reproduced in its entirety to provide a sense of what one of the most acclaimed writers of the 20th century had to say about Jews. He seemed to comprehend the fact that Communists like Trotsky had rejected Judaism and to remind us that for Jews, Russia is a good place “to be from” regardless of who is in charge]

 “Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who first exposed the horrors of the Stalinist gulag, is now attempting to tackle one of the most sensitive topics of his writing career - the role of the Jews in the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet purges. In his latest book Solzhenitsyn, 84, deals with one of the last taboos of the communist revolution: that Jews were as much perpetrators of the repression as its victims. Two Hundred Years Together -a reference to the 1772 partial annexation of Poland and Russia which greatly increased the Russian Jewish population - contains three chapters discussing the Jewish role in the revolutionary genocide and secret police purges of Soviet Russia. But Jewish leaders and some historians have reacted furiously to the book, and questioned Solzhenitsyn's motives in writing it, accusing him of factual inaccuracies and of fanning the flames of anti-Semitism in Russia. Solzhenitsyn argues that some Jewish satire of the revolutionary period” consciously or unconsciously descends on the Russians" as being behind the genocide. But he states that all the nation's ethnic groups must share the blame, and that people shy away from speaking the truth about the Jewish experience. In one remark which infuriated Russian Jews, he wrote: "If I would care to generalize, and to say that the life of the Jews in the camps was especially hard, I could, and would not face reproach for an unjust national generalization. But in the camps where I was kept, it was different. The Jews whose experience I saw - their life was softer than that of others.” Yet he added: "But it is impossible to find the answer to the eternal question: who is to be blamed, who led us to our death? To explain the actions of the Kiev cheka [secret police] only by the fact that two thirds were Jews, is certainly incorrect.” Solzhenitsyn, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, spent much of his life in Soviet prison camps, enduring persecution when he wrote about is experiences. He is currently in frail health, but in an interview given last month he said that Russia must come to terms with the Stalinist and evolutionary genocides - and that its Jewish population should be as offended at their own role in the purges as they are at the Soviet power that also persecuted them.” My book was directed to empathize with the thoughts, feelings and the psychology of the Jews - their spiritual component," he said. "I have never made general conclusions about a people. I will always differentiate between layers of Jews. One layer rushed headfirst to the revolution. Another, to the contrary, was trying to stand back. The Jewish subject for a long time was considered prohibited. Zhabotinsky [a Jewish writer] once said that the best service our Russian friends give to us is never to speak aloud about us.” But Solzhenitsyn's book has caused controversy in Russia, where one Jewish leader said it was "not of any merit". "This is a mistake, but even geniuses make mistakes," said Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Russian Jewish Congress. "Richard Wagner did not like the Jews, but was a great composer. Dostoyevsky was a great Russian writer, but had a very skeptical attitude towards the Jews. "This is not a book about how the Jews and Russians lived together for 200 years, but one about how they lived apart after finding themselves on the same territory. This book is a weak one professionally. Factually, it is so bad as to be beyond criticism. As literature, it is not of any merit." But DM Thomas, one of Solzhenitsyn's biographers, said that he did not think the book was fuelled by anti-Semitism. "I would not doubt his sincerity. He says that he firmly supports the state of Israel. In his fiction and factual writing there are Jewish characters that he writes about who are bright, decent, anti-Stalinist people." Professor Robert Service of Oxford University, an expert on 20th century Russian history, said that from what he had read about the book, Solzhenitsyn was "absolutely right”. Researching a book on Lenin, Prof Service came across details of how Trotsky, who was of Jewish origin, asked the politburo in 1919 to ensure that Jews were enrolled in the Red army. Trotsky said that Jews were disproportionately represented in the Soviet civil bureaucracy, including the cheka. "Trotsky's idea was that the spread of anti-Semitism was [partly down to] objections about their entrance into the civil service. There is something in this; that they were not just passive spectators of the revolution. They were part-victims and part-perpetrators.

"It is not a question that anyone can write about without a huge amount of bravery, and [it] needs doing in Russia because the Jews are quite often written about by fanatics. Mr Solzhenitsyn's book seems much more measured than that." Yet others failed to see the need for Solzhenitsyn's pursuit of this particular subject at present. Vassili Berezhkov, a retired KGB colonel and historian of the secret services and the NKVD (the precursor of the KGB), said: "The question of ethnicity did not have any importance either in the revolution or the story of the NKVD. This was a social revolution and those who served in the NKVD and cheka were serving ideas of social change "If Solzhenitsyn writes that there were many Jews in the NKVD, it will increase the passions of anti-Semitism, which has deep roots in Russian history.”

2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power by George Soros, Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates, Collect Poems by Paul Auster and a newly released paperback edition of A Saint, More or Less by Henry Grunwald.

2004: Today Israel's high court suspended for 30 days the state's efforts to expel the Palestinian father of an Israeli soldier, pending a hearing on granting him the right to remain in Israel.

2004: Elyakim Rubinstein completed his service as Israel’s Attorney General.

2005(15th of Shevat, 5765): Tu B'Shevat

2015: A year after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival “Metallica” a documentary co-directed and co-produced by Bruce Sniofsky was re-released in the United States.

2005: As plans are made for a Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Sweet Charity” today, “the show went into production at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.”

2005: In the U.S. of Representatives Congressman Pete Session rose today “to pay tribute to Mr. Joel David Brooks” who is retiring as the Executive Director of the Southwest Region for the American Jewish Congress after forty years of service.

2005: French debut of “To Take a Wife” (VeLakahta Lekha Isha) co-directed by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz who also co-authored the script

2006: The Tenafly Jewish community has won a six-year battle with local officials over the right to place symbolic plastic strips on utility poles to create an enclosure that would allow them to perform certain restricted activities on the Sabbath.  

2007(6th of Shevat, 5767): Sydney Simon Shulemson, DFC, died today in Florida. Born in 1915, he “was a Canadian fighter pilot, and Canada's highest decorated Jewish soldier, during World War II .Growing up in Montreal, Shulemson attended McGill University. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on September 10, 1939, and graduated from flight school in 1942. He joined RCAF 404 Squadron in Wick in Scotland, flying a Bristol Beaufighter. Shulemson downed a German flying boat on his first sortie. He pioneered techniques for rocket attacks on Axis ships in the North Atlantic. After the war, Shulemson located aircraft and recruited pilots for Israel's growing Israeli Air Force.”

2007: In Derby, UK, Holocaust Memorial Day Service

2007: Speaker of the Knesset Dalia Itzik became acting President of Israel when President Moshe Katzav took a three month long leave of absence.

2008: In Iowa City the funeral is held for orthopedic surgeon Dr. Webster B. Gelman, recipient of the 1985 University of Iowa Alumnae Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award who passed away at the age of 89.

2008: First Musical Shabbat Service at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2008: Rami Zuari, a 20 year old Border Police officer killed during a terrorist attack at an East Jerusalem checkpoint was buried in the military cemetery at Be’er Sheva, his home town.

2008: In Great Britain at Friday Prayers the community of Ahmadi Muslims in the UK say the following prayer in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. "Sunday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day in UK. We pray that people learn to recognize, accept and respect their differences. People of all races and faiths are God’s people. May everyone accept this truth so that the world can look forward to a peaceful future. May God enable people to remain close to their Creator, follow His teachings of peace, and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Amen."

2009: Politics and Prose Bookstore hosts a reading from Words that Burn Within Me: Faith, Values, Survival, a collection of notebooks by Hilda Stern Cohen containing poetry and recollections of life in 1930s Germany, which was discovered by her husband, Werner Cohen, after her death in 1997.

2009: Canadian Sharon Fichman defeated her American opponent in a clay court match at Lutz, Florida

2009: The 5th annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival closes this evening with a showing of “Children of the Sun,” written and directed by Ran Tal and the winner of Israel's Academy Award for Best Documentary.

2009: The New York Times includes reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Benjamin Disraeli by Adam Kirsch and Ballet’s Magic: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925 by Akim Volynsky; edited and translated by Stanley J. Rabinowitz. Akim Volynsky was the pen name of Chaim Leib Flekser who was born in 1861 into an Orthodox Jewish family of booksellers in Ukraine.

2009: The New York Times reports that the kosher symbol, intended to show consumers that the contents adhere to Jewish dietary laws, was mistakenly left off 14 million boxes of Thin Mints, the variety that accounts for roughly 25 percent of Girl Scout cookie sales, said Raymond Baxter, president and chief executive of Interbake Foods, the parent company of ABC Bakers of Richmond, Va., one of two approved manufacturers of the cookies. Proofreaders missed the mistake. But a customer noticed in November that the symbol — a circled U accompanied by a D for dairy — was missing, said Brian Crawford, an executive at the Scouts’ New York headquarters. (Some troops sell cookies in the fall, though most sales are held January through March.) ABC Bakers quickly sent letters explaining the oversight (and showing proof of kosher certification from the Orthodox Union) to Scout councils. Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein of the Orthodox Union, who has fielded perhaps a half-dozen calls about the cookies, said he hoped the letters would “obviate any concerns.” Thin Mints, the rabbi said, are his favorite Girl Scout cookie.

2009 (29 Tevet 5769): Rabbi Leon Klenicki, a pioneer in interfaith relations passed away today according to an announcement from the Anti-Defamation League, where he served as director emeritus of interfaith affairs. A leading figure in efforts to promote Jewish-Christian understanding, Klenicki was made a Papal Knight by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 in recognition of his historic contributions to improving relations between Catholics and Jews. He worked for the ADL for 28 years before his retirement in 2001. Klenicki, a renowned scholar and theologian, wrote numerous books and articles on Catholic-Jewish issues. A native of Argentina, Klenicki was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati. He was a member of an Argentine government commission to investigate Nazi activities in Argentina from 1933 to 1945.  

2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York premiere “Leap of Faith,” a documentary about the difficulties that four families face when they abandons their traditions and embrace Judaism.

2010: The Brooklyn Israel Film Festival is scheduled to close this evening with a screening of the 2008 Israel Academy Award for Best Documentary, ‘Children of the Sun.”

2010 (10th of Tevet): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok Schneersohn, sixth Rebbe of the Chabad Lubavitch movement who was also known as the Friediker Rebbe or "Previous Rebbe."

One year later, to the day, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe assumed the leadership position of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

2010: At the Sundance Festival the first screening of “A Film Unfinished.”

2010: The week after Miep Gies, passed away, Elie Wiesel wrote the following about her in Time magazine.

 Miep Gies entered history without wanting to. She did what many others were too afraid to do: she risked her freedom, her life, in her determination to save Jews from deportation and death.From 1942 to '44, Gies, who died Jan. 11 at 100, helped shelter and feed Anne Frank and her family in an attic in Amsterdam, where at that time Jews were being branded, humiliated and condemned just because they were Jews. Her life remains a moral example for millions to follow. I met Gies much later and was impressed by her sincerity, the simplicity of her comments and the moving quality of her smile. Calm, soft and reserved, she radiated nobility and strength of character. She talked little and quietly, reflecting on the significance of every word. When speaking of the past, she seemed to relive it. Naturally, I knew much about her life. Anne's immortal diary, which Gies found and gave to Otto Frank after the war, was filled with praise for her devotion and sacrifice.I asked her where she had found the courage to defy the Gestapo during the dark days of the occupation, and she protested. "I did nothing heroic or extraordinary," she said. "Human beings were in peril, and I had to care for them." But for the Franks, she represented all that is good and generous. She was the incarnation of hope.

2011: The New York Premiere of Black Bus, which “tells story of two young women who chose to leave their close-knit Haredi communities in Israel and are, as a consequence, estranged from their families” is scheduled to take place at The New York Jewish Film Festival.

2011: David Makovsky and Ghaith al-Omari with Jane Eisner are scheduled to lead a discussion entitled “Israelis and Palestinians: Poised Between Crisis and Opportunity” at the 92nd Street Y.  

2011: To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2011, the Wiener Library is scheduled to hold a special lecture by Prof Clare Ungerson on The Kitchener Camp, a largely forgotten camp established in 1939 for 4000 male Jewish refugees situated near Sandwich in East Kent.

2011: Police Commissioner David Cohen said today that he was concerned by the possibility of ideology-based murders against public officials in Israel.

2011: The international department of the prosecution services failed to obtain the extradition from Peru of former judge Dan Cohen, wanted in Israel on charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice, the government informed the department today.

 2011: After a preliminary hearing today determined that the issue should be handled in the courts, the Jerusalem Labor Court will be deciding over the next few months whether rabbinic ordination should be recognized as equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, vis-à-vis the Civil Service Commission’s prerequisites for the position of a supervisor in the haredi educational system.

2011: Nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards, announced this morning, were good for the Jews. Shoo-ins Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) and Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) got Best Actress and Actor nods, respectively. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, also scored a Best Actor nod for his role in “127 Hours.” “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky earned a Best Director nomination, along with “True Grit” helmers Joel and Ethan Coen. “The Fighter” director David O. Russell, son of a Jewish father and Italian-American mother, also got a Best Director nomination. Jews also ruled the screenwriting categories. Debra Granik scored a nod in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for the brutal “Winter’s Bone,” while Hollywood vet Aaron Sorkin earned his for Facebook docudrama “The Social Network,” as did fellow A-lister Scott Silver for scrappy Boston epic “The Fighter.” In the same category, the Coen Brothers won the Academy’s attention for their highly acclaimed adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel “True Grit.” British improv-drama icon Mike Leigh was nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category for “Another Year,” his sobering look at happiness — and the lack thereof — among the British chattering classes. And British-born, Long Island-raised David Seidler got his first Oscar nomination — in the Original Screenplay slot — for “The King’s Speech”. Semites didn’t fare as well in the Best Supporting Actor or Actress categories, though 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld — reportedly the daughter of a Jewish dad and black/Filipino mom — got a nod for her widely lauded turn as vengeful tween Mattie Ross in “True Grit.”

2011: Misaskim reported that Nazi-era RIF soap was handed over to the organization for burial.

2011: Twenty-three year old Jason Bailey, a Jewish hockey player, has sued the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks for religious discrimination and harassment based on religion. Jason Bailey, 23, in a lawsuit filed today in California's Orange County Superior Court, accused the coaches of one of the Ducks' affiliate teams of making anti-Semitic remarks and harassment. Bailey said he was subjected to "a barrage of anti-Semitic, offensive and degrading verbal attacks regarding his Jewish faith" by Martin Raymond, head coach of the Bakersfield Condors. The suit says assistant head coach Mark Pederson also made anti-Semitic remarks about Bailey.The suit claims that Bailey was the victim of religious discrimination, harassment based on religion, intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation. It asserts that he lost income, benefits and suffered humiliation, according to CNN. Bailey was drafted by the Ducks in 2005, but has not played in the NHL. He was traded last year and now plays right wing for the Binghamton Senators, a farm team for the Ottawa Senators. (As reported by JTA)

2011(20th of Shevat, 5771): Ninety-one year old Daniel Bell, the writer, editor, sociologist and teacher who over seven decades came to epitomize the engaged intellectual as he struggled to reveal the past, comprehend the present and anticipate the future, died today at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 91. (As reported by Michael T. Kaufman) 

2012: The David Harris Comedy and Variety Show with Special Guests, The Chosen Few are scheduled to appear at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.

2012: At the New York Jewish Film Festival “The Silent Historian” is scheduled to have its U.S. Premiere and “Joann Sfar Draws From Memory” is scheduled to have its World Premiere.

2012(1st of Shevat, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

2012: Palestinian Authority officials said today that a fifth meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman scheduled for later in the day would be the final meeting

2012: Hackers attacked the websites of two Israeli hospitals today, managing to bring down the sites for several hours in the latest round of the ongoing cyber war between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian hackers

2012: Representative “Gabby” Giffords officially resigned from the House of Representatives.

2013: The Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm officially announced that Jeffrey Jacob “J.J.”Abrams would be the director and producer of Star Wars Episode VII, the latest entry in the Star Wars film saga

2013: “Yossi,” a sequel to Eytan Fox’s “Yossi and Jagger” is scheduled to open in New York City.

2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform at Old Town Hall in Fairfax, VA.

2013: As an indication of the vitality of Yiddishkeit in the Heartland, the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Hadassah Chapter is scheduled to sponsor a Tu B’Shevat Seder and Soup Supper preceding Shabbat Services at Temple Judah

2013(14th of Shevat, 5573): Ninety-two year old American diplomat Max Kampelman passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

2013: Austrian parliamentarians and invited guests gathered today to watch the premiere of an opera depicting how Nazis methodically killed mentally or physically deficient children at a Vienna hospital during World War II.

2013: Rabbis in Winnipeg have criticized a decision by the Jewish community center in the Canadian city to open earlier on Shabbat.

2013: “Jobs” a biopic co-starring Jose Gad as “Steve Wozniak” and featuring Brett Gelman and Lesley Ann Warren premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

2014: The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston is scheduled to host the Houston Choreographers X6 Concert.

2014: In Rockville, MD, Congregation Tikvat Israel is scheduled to show “Hunting Elephants” as part of its Israeli Film Festival.

2014: Dozens of residents of the city of Lod protested today against the slashing of some 15 car tires in a religious neighborhood in the city over the weekend.

2014: Boxes containing pigs’ heads were sent to the Israeli embassy in Rome and the city’s synagogue, Italian media reported today

2014: “According to two Israeli researchers” – Dr. Eran Elhaik and Professor Dan Grauer – “the first human walked on earth 209,000 years ago; 9,000 years earlier than what scientists previously thought.”,7340,L-4480857,00.html

2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel by Anita Shapira and Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud.

2015: “Judy G. Russell, well-known as The Legal Genealogist, is scheduled to speak about the ethical considerations underlying genealogy, from privacy issues-how to handle family secrets, what to say about living people - to the courtesies we should extend to other researchers.”

2015: “The Green Prince” is scheduled to be shown at Brooklyn Israel Film Festival.

2015: “Cry of the City” and “Forbidden Films” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2015: “To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camps and Holocaust Memorial Day, the Jewish Museum of London” is scheduled to host Zdenka Fantlova who will speak about her experiences after the Nazis invaded her native Czechoslovakia in 1939.

2015: In Atlanta, GA, the Breman Museum is scheduled to host a workshop that explores “the work and techniques of Maurice Sendak.”

2016: At Tempe Solel, in Cardiff, CA, Dr. Claudia Tornsäufer is scheduled to lecture on “Mendelssohn, Music and the Jews.”

2016: The family and friends of Sir Martin Gilbert, led by Lady Esther Gilbert are scheduled to attend the stone setting at Eretz Hachaim Cemetery, Beit Shemesh which is part of the memorialization of Sir Martin Gilbert, of blessed memory.

2016: Weather permitting Matan Porat is scheduled to perform “Variations on a Theme by Scharlatti” at Butenwieser Hall.

2016(15th of Shevat, 5776): Tu B’Shevat

2016(15th of Shevat, 5776): Ninety-one year old “Howard Kaslow, apainter and illustrator who for more than four decades designed many of the most recognizable stamps issued by the United States Postal Service, including a 1994 series depicting famous blues and jazz musicians and 30 stamps depicting coastal lighthouses” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2016: Today, “US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro responded to criticism of his charge last week that Israel appears to institute “two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians” in the West Bank.”

2017: Today “German authorities carried out dawn raids against far-right suspects accused of plotting attacks on Jews, refugees and police, federal prosecutors said.”

2017(27th of Shevat, 5777): On the Jewish calendar Yahrtzeit of 19th century German Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch.

2017(27th of Shevat, 5777): Seventy-one year old Canadian born professor Stephen P. Cohen “who secretly brokered peace talks between Arab and Israeli officials for three decades” passed away today.

2017: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that the 2,500 new West Bank settlement homes approved a day earlier were just a “taste” of things to come now that Barack Obama is no longer in the White House, and said he would discuss the issue with US President Donald Trump.”

2017: Following a screening of “Cloudy Sunday” today “film critic Bergson is scheduled to join JKJF Film Programmer Ni Cohen” in a discussion of the film.

2017: “Experience History at its Source” a tour exploring the permanent collection of the High Museum ranging from biblical themes to featured Jewish artists” is scheduled to take place in Atlanta, GA.

2018: The Young Professional Committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to a “live performance by singer/songwriter and actor Tyler Hilton.”

2018: Peter G. Weintraub is scheduled to present another session of “Introduction to Judaism
 at the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center.

2018: Comedian Judy Gold, best known for “The Judy Gold Show: My Life as a Sitcom” is scheduled to appear at the Buckhill Brewery in Blairstown, NJ.

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “the Gemara shiur which will be on mesechet Megillah.”

2018: Stephanie Halpern is scheduled to teach the final class of “The American Jewish Family Drama” at the YIVO Institute.



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