Saturday, January 6, 2018

This Day, January 7, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 7

1256: Berechiah De Nicole, the Chief Rabbi of Lincoln was released after having been imprisoned in London on charges related to the death of “Little Hugh of Lincoln.”  The son of Rabbi Moses ben Yom Tov of London, Reb Berechiah was an English Tosafist who was considered an authority on ritual matters. “He decided that the evening prayer might be said an hour and a quarter before the legal time of night…and declared that nuts prepared by Gentiles might not be eaten by Jews.” In August, 1255, the body of gentile boy named Hugh was found in Lincoln (a town called Nicole in Norman-French). This discovery gave rise to charges of ritual murder for which all the Jews of Lincoln were seized and imprisoned in Lincoln. Berechiah reportedly some time during 1256, but the exact date and cause are unknown.

1325: King Dinis I of Portugal who resisted pressure from the clergy to apply the anti-Semitic restrictions of the Fourth Council of the Lateran and “maintained a conciliatory position” regarding his Jewish subjects passed away today. During the reign of King Dinis, Alfonso’s father, the clergy invoked the restrictions of the Fourth Lateran Council in an attempt to get the monarch to restrict the role of Jews in Portuguese society.  .  The clergy, however, invoking the restrictions of the Fourth Council of the Lateran, brought considerable pressure to bear against the Jews during the reign of King Dinis I of Portugal, but the monarch maintained a conciliatory position. Alfonso remained faithful to his father’s policies

1325:  Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal.  During the early 14th century, more than 200,000 Jews lived in Portugal, which was about 20 percent of the total population. This period was part of what is known as “Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery, in which Jews made a major contribution to Portugal’s success.” The position of the Jews of Portugal did not begin to deteriorate until the last decades of the 14th century as can be seen by the decree of King Joao I forcing Jews to wear special clothing and obey a special curfew.

1328: Before Louis the Bavarian entered Rome today the citizens had to pay a levy of 30,000 gold florins of which the Jews paid one third.

1502: Birthdate of Pope Gregory VIII, famed for the creation of the Gregorian calendar, a method of tracking time has had a unique impact on Jewish historians trying to match events that occurred before 1752 (5512) on the Jewish calendar with the civil calendar.

1516: Representatives of several towns including Frankfort and Worms attended a Diet at Frankfort to discuss how the Jews might be banished and never allowed to return.

1536: Catherine of Aragon, the wife of King Henry VIII of England, passed away.  She was the daughter of the two monarchs who created the Spanish Inquisition and drove the Jews out of Spain. The Spanish monarchs would consent to their daughter’s marriage if Henry’s father would promise that no Jews would ever live in England.  Ironically, it was Catherine’s inability to provide a male heir that led to the England’s break with the Catholic Church which would play in an indirect positive role in the return of the Jews to England.

1566: Pius V. the Pope, who expelled the Jews from Imola, began his papacy today.  Among those expelled was Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph the Talmudist and author of the Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah, also known as Sefer Yaḥya

1601: An entry made today into the Stationer’s Register assigns Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus” a play which oddly enough contains a posthumous reference to Rodrigo Lopez the Marrano physician who was hung after being convicted of treason, to the bookseller and publisher Thomas Bushnell

1625: Ferdinand II issued decree of general expulsion that the Jews of Vienna were able to prevent from being carried out.

1768: Birthdate of Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.  As King of Spain, he abolished the Inquisition. 

1775: For the second time in two months, Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia.

1789: In the first true test of the workability of the Constitution “voters cast ballots to choose state electors” in the first presidential election which would bring George Washington, who expressed his support for Jews as citizens to the position of the U.S.’s first Chief Executive.

1792: Birthdate of Enrico Marconi, the non-Jewish Italian architect who designed the Great Synagogue in Lomza, Poland which “was built on the initiative of Rabbi Eliezer-Simcha Rabinowicz “and destroyed by the Nazis.

1800: Birthdate of Mortiz Daniel Oppenheim whose paintings included portraits of  several notables including Moses Mendelssohn and “The Return of the Jewish Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to His Family Still Living According to Old Customs”

1800:  Birthdate of President Millard Fillmore.  In 1850, the American Minister to Switzerland signed a treaty with the Swiss Confederation establishing the rights of the citizens of each country to travel and sojourn in the other.  However, the Swiss wished to limit the privileges to Christians. In a message to the Senate, Fillmore opposed the treaty because the U.S. government could not sanction an agreement that treated its citizens differently based on religion.  This episode serves to underscore the difference between the Jewish experience in America and other parts of the world in which they had previously settled.  Fillmore is living proof that the least of men can do the greatest of things. 

1824: Aaron ben Yehuda married Rechela bat Naphtali Hirtz today at the New Synagogue.

1835: Levy Jacobs married Caroline Davis at the Great Synagogue today.

1841: Birthdate of Israel Levy, the German-Jewish scholar whose first publication was Ueber Einige Fragmente aus der Mischna des Abba Saul

1842: Today, in London, “there was a lively report of the first meeting of the friend of ‘Hebrew College’ including a long quotation from Mr. Joseph Mitchell who would one day emerge as” the proprietor of the Jewish Chronicle.

1843: The first Jewish service was held at the Wellington Hebrew Congregation in Wellington, New Zealand under the leadership of Abraham Ort. There had been Jewish people in New Zealand from the beginnings of European settlement in the north.  Jewish traders from England, including John Montefiore, Joel Polack and David Nathan, were active starting in the 1830’s. Jews were on the first ships to arrive in Wellington. A Jewish community was founded in 1843 with the arrival from London of Abraham Hort after he and his family arrived aboard the Prince of Wales.

1848: The Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association was formed today.  A fraternal and benevolent order formed by German Jews “who had fled to” the United States “during the German revolution,” it was first led my Mordecai Noah, a former Sheriff of New York.

1857(11th of Tevet, 5617): Seventy-five year Sampson Simson, Jr. the native of Danbury CT who was partners in the firm on Simon’s in Stone Street which “imported beaver coating and other articles” passed away today.

1858: Birthdate of Eliëzer Ben-Yehuda.  Born Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman, in what is now Lithuania; Ben-Yehuda was the father of Modern Hebrew.  Ben-Yehuda adopted several plans of action to accomplish his goal. The main ones were three-fold, and they can be summarized as “Hebrew in the Home,” “Hebrew in the School,” and “Words, Words, Words.”  By the time he died in 1922, Ben-Yehuda had almost singled-handedly transformed a “dead Biblical language” into a modern language that embodied the spirit of Zionism and the modern Jewish world.

1860: Solomon F. Joseph of the Portuguese Hebrew Society was chosen as one of the Directors of the Board of Deputies of Benevolent and Emigrant Societies at the organizations meeting held tonight at Cooper Institute in New York City.

1863: Ohio Congressman George H. Pendleton introduced a resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives condemning General Order No. 11.  Pendleton was “a Peace Democrat” so his resolution was more a reflection of his anti-war sentiments than of any great concern about the well-being of the Jews.

1865(9th of Tevet, 5625): Lazarus Simon Magnus Esq the beloved and only son of Simon Magnus of Chatham passed away today at the age of 40.  He was buried at the Chatham (Kent) Jewish Cemetery

1865: Lazarus Magnus “developed a toothache. Despite an invitation from his brother-in-law to stay with him and his family Lazarus went back to his offices in London Bridge. He exchanged greetings with the housekeeper and asked her about the best remedy to the problem. The housekeeper suggested some laudanum on a piece of lint, but Magnus replied: “That is no use. I will try chloroform.” Unfortunately, this was a fatal mistake, that cost him his life - he died from inhaling too much of it.” Born in Chatham in 1826, he was a successful British businessman, leader of the Jewish community and Mayor of Queenborough.

1868: Birthdate of Abraham M "Mark" Lidzbarski.  Born in Russia, he moved to Germany.  A linguist and Orientalist, he was also known by the name Avraam-Mordekhay He passed away in 1928.

1873: Birthdate of Charles Pierre Péguy a Roman Catholic, a socialist and journalist who was a Dreyfusard (supporter of Dreyfus)

1873: Birthdate of Adolph Zukor, the American entrepreneur who built the Paramount movie empire.

1875: Birthdate of Prussian native Gustav Felix Flatow the gymnast who “who competed at the 1896 and 1900 Summer Olympics and who starved to death at Theresienstadt.

1876(10th of Tevet, 5636): Asara B'Tevet observed for the last time during the Presidency of U.S. Grant.

1877: It was reported today that Bishop Claughton presided over a meeting of several prominent English clergyman where they discussed the difficulty they were having in converting Jews to Christianity.
1878(3rd of Shevat, 5638): Karl Ritter von Weil, a lawyer by training who pursued a career as journalist at the Allgemeine Zeitung and “a member of the executive board of the Israelitische Allianz” passed away today.

1878: It was reported today that the United States Consul at Florence had sent the State Department a report describing the government loan institutions (Monte di Pieta) of Italy first introduced by Bernasdoda Feltried toward the close of the 15th century which led to Jewish money-lenders being banish from Florence.

1879: Superintendent Lewis was in charge of the orphanage for Jewish children in Brooklyn that opened today with 4 children residing at the facility.

1879: Birthdate of architect Gustave Albert Lansburgh who designed Oakland’s Temple Sinai in 1914 and whose personal favorite “was said to have been the Al Hirschfield Theatre.”

1881: Birthdate of Henrik Galeen, the native of Lemberg whose extensive career as a screenwriter and movie director began in 1915 with “The Golem.”

1881: Herr Strassman who is Jewish received 97 out of 120 votes to gain re-election as President of the Berlin Municipal Council

1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute, a vocational High School in New York City was founded on today. The school was founded after three Hebrew charity organizations formed a committee to promote technical education for the many Jewish immigrants arriving in New York at the time. The school closed in 1939

1884(9th of Tevet, 5644): Julius Hallgarten, the wealthy American banker, passed away today in Davos Switzerland.1885: Alois Hitler (born Alois Schicklgruber) married Klara Pölzl whose fourth child would be the author of the Holocaust.

1887(11th of Tevet, 5647): Anna "Nettie" Rosenbaum Grossmann, wife of Ignatz Grossmann and the mother of Julius, Adolph, Louis and Rudolph who had been born in Hungary in 1835  passed away today in Detroit Michigan.

1888: A telegram arrived in Leadville, CO, stating that the “defendant in the case of the United States vs. Jacob Schloss and others had achieved final victory before Judge D. J. Brew of the United States Supreme Court

1889(5th of Shevat, 5649): Asher Asher passed away in London.  Born at Glasgow in 1837, “was the first Scottish Jew to enter the medical profession” In 1873, he published The Jewish Rite of Circumcision. “Since 1910, the University of Glasgow awards the Asher Asher Memorial Medal and Prize, annually for its Ear, Nose and Throat course.”

1890: State Senator Jacob Cantor was among those who were present when the 113th New York State Legislature was convened today.

1890: Birthdate of Frieda Ulricke “Henny”  Porten  the German silent film actress from Magednberg who “refused to divorce her Jewish husband when the Nazis came to power” even though it meant the end of her career.

1891: It was reported today that Captain A.F. Wild of the U.S. Secret service has arrested Antono Ruggiero, an Italian-Jew who used the alias Anthony Rogers on charges of having been involved with a ring that counterfeited two dollar bills.

1892: The Brooklyn Institute is scheduled to host a program entitled “The Policy of the Czar in the Expulsion of the Jews and the War of Movement in Europe” this evening.

1893: It was reported today that the meeting organized by the right-wing anti-Semitic journal Libre Parole was addressed by the Marquis de Mores.  He opened his speech “with a general onslaught on the Hews as the corrupters of French honesty and the haters of French honor.”

1895: General Horace Porter, the President of the Union Club and his predecessor Chauncey M. Depew, refused to discuss the resignation of Edward Einstein from their organization.  They did not dispute Einstein’s claim that he had left because a Jewish candidate had been blackballed because of his religion.

1895(11th of Tevet, 5655): London born physician Lewis Oppenheim who worked with Florence Nightingale during the Crimea War and served as ship’s surgeon on board the SS Kent before opening a practice in the UK where he passed away today.

1895: Adolph Sutro began serving as the 24th mayor of San Francisco, CA making him the first Jew to be elected to this position

1895: “Edwin Einstein Resigns” published today described the impact of Edward Einstein’s resignation from the Union Club which resulted from the blackballing of the son of Jesse Seligman because of his religion and which now leaves the social organization without a Jewish member; a situation which will not soon change since there are no Jews on the list of perspective members.

1895: “The Crusaders and Their Work” provides a detailed review of The Crusaders: The Story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by T.A. Archer and Charles L. Kingsford which attributes the practice of making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to the Jews in a period the pre-dates Christianity.

1896: Herzl's article "Die Lösung der Judenfrage" - "The Solution of the Jewish Question" appears in "The Jewish Chronicle" in London.

1896: Nine year old Rachel Silverman and three year old Sarah Silverman, the daughters of Freda Silverman “were committed to the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery” today following a hearing at the Essex Market Police Court.”

1896: Levi Freiburg, a fifty-year old Jew was being held on charges of child endangerment at the Lee Avenue Police Station.

1896(21st of Tevet, 5656): Fifty-seven year old Sir Julian Goldsmid, 3rd Baronet “a British lawyer, businessman and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1866 and 1896” passed away today at Brighton.

1897: The annual meeting of the Educational Alliance which included addresses by Isidor Straus and Dr. Henry Leipzierg was held tonight Temple Emanu-El in New York City

1897: Birthdate of Hennessey, OK, native Arthur J. “Dutch” Strauss the Phillips College football player who went on to play professional for the Toledo Maroons.

1898: The Brooklyn Hebrew Hospital Society applied to the State Board of Charities for a certificate of incorporation.

1898(13th of Tevet, 5658): Sixty-two year old Ernest Abraham Hart who “was appointed ophthalmic surgeon at St Mary's hospital at the age of 28” and who was the long time editor of the British Medical Journal passed away today.

1898: Three men were hung today at Hahnville in St. Charles Parish, LA for their part in murdering a Jewish peddler name Ziegler after they had robbed him while he was at the Ellington Plantation.

1898: “Charity in the Holy Land” published today described the indignation expressed by representatives of the Auxiliary Relief Branch of the Russian and Polish Jewish Central Committee at Jerusalem over charges “made of misuse of the money collected in the United States for the relief of poor American Jews in Jerusalem and Palestine.”

1899: “Scotts Novels” published today contained a description of the English authors novels including Ivanhoe which features “such quotable characters” as Rebecca and her uncle, Isaac the Jew.

1900: A charge of “ritual murder” was made “against the Jews of Nachod, Bohemia.

1900: It was announced today that “at the monthly meeting of the Council of the Anglo-Jewish Association that Baron Edmond de Rothschild” has ceded “his Palestine colonies to the Jewish Colonization Association.”

1901: Joseph K. Toole who laid the cornerstone when construction began on Temple Emanu-El in Helena Montana began his second, non-consecutive term as Governor of Montana.

1902(28th of Tevet, 5662): Sixty-one year old Adolph Moses, the native of Poland who fought with Garibaldi and in the Polish revolt against Russia before he came to the United States where he served as a rabbi in Mobile, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky passed away today.

1902: Birthdate of German Jewish educator Fritz Bamberger who after coming to the United States to escape the Nazis left the world of academics to become the editor of Coronet Magazine.

1902: At the Almorah Cemetery in Jersey, Rabbi J.L. Hanau officiated at the funder of Solomon Lyons who was a “gunner” in the British Army and the son of Henry Lyons of Birmingham

1903: In Paris, Herzl discusses the reply to the British government with Nordau, Leopold Greenberg and Alexander Marmorek and to take counsel on subsequent action.

1905(1st of Shevat, 5665): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1905(1st of Shevat, 5665): Sixty-year old Jette Einstein passed away today.

1906: “Passing of Zadoc Kahn --- Career of France’s Late Grand Rabbi
published today described “the funeral of Zadoc Kahn, the Grand Rabbi of France “a unique position” that “dates back to the time of the First Empire” under Napoleon.

1910:  Birthdate of Baron Alain de Rothschild.  He was part of the French banking family

1911: In Witkovitz, Jakob and Laura Lichtenstern gave birth to Margit Lichtenstern Wolf.

1912: At a time when Reform congregations were trying to shift “Sabbath Services” from Saturday to Sunday, today “Mr. Sigmund Zeisler is scheduled to speak on the ‘Oberammergau Passion Play’ at Chicago Sinai Congregation where services began at 10:30 a.m.

1912: The musical program at this morning’s service at Temple Sinai in Chicago is scheduled to include “the opening anthem ‘Behold God is Great’” and will be led by Cantor Albert Boroff.

1915: It was reported today that Harry Alexander and Leonard Haas, counsel for Leo Frank would probably not oppose a motion by the state of Georgia to advance the hearing of their client’s case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1915: A meeting was held at Radcliff College today where “the purposes of the Menorah Society were outlined to the members by Mr. Henry Hurwitz and Mr. Ralph a Newman, President of the Harvard Menorah Society, extended greetings of welcome.”

1915: During WW I, Alexander Helphand a Ukrainian born Jew who was also known as Israel Lazarevich Gelfand and who had risen to prominence in the Bolshevik movement, approached the German Ambassador in Constantinople.  He contended that the Germans and the Bolsheviks should make common cause because they had similar goals, the overthrow of the Czar and the dismemberment of the Russian Empire into smaller entities.  This intitial overture would ultimately lead to the Germans shipping Lenin and his supporters back to Russia during the Russian Revolution to ensure that Russia would make a separate peace with the Kaiser. 

1916: In “Rabbi Silver Will Talk on General Subjects,” published today, The Wheeling Register reports on a series of upcoming Sunday lectures to be delivered at the Eoff Street Temple. "The general subject for the series will be Aspects of American Life. The lectures will touch on topics related to business, home, the stage, politics, school and the press and will be given in Rabbi Silver's characteristic manner."

1916: One of the contributions received today at the New York office of the American Jewish Relief Committee came from the Treasurer of the Sunday school of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Corinth, Mississippi in the amount of $34.02 which represented the total found in the collection plate last Sunday.

1916: The Knights of Zion Convention is scheduled to continue its meetings in Chicago this evening.

1917: “A meeting of the Jewish Lecturers’ League,” which “was organized two years ago for the purpose of creating a closer relations among Jewish lecturers throughout the” United States and “to make the cultural platform more popular” took place today in Newark, NJ “when colleagues from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland “met to discusses “possibilities of extending the work of the league.

1917: “Speaking in place of Dr. Henry R. Rose” who had fallen ill, “Rabbi Solomon Foster of B’nai Jeshurun” spoke at the Church of the Redeemer this evening in Newark, NU, where he “expressed the belief that after the war religion will be stronger than ever.”

1917: Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered an address this morning at Temple Emanu-El in which he “argued in favor of Government supervision of the many relief agencies in connection with the war and the rebuilding of homes and shops after the war.”

1917: Among the contributions reported today the Joint Distribution Committee of the Funds for Jewish War Sufferers were $50,000 from Felix Warburg, $10,000 from Paul Warburg, $5,000 from Temple Emanu-El and $5,000 from Lamport Mfg. Co.,  the largest company in the world “dealing in remnants which was founding by Samuel Charles Lamport the Polish born graduate of CCNY who attended Brown University who was very active in the Jewish community as can be seen by his support of the Home of the Daughters of Jacob which his mother-in-law, Mrs. A.J. Dworsky is president..

1917: Birthdate of Alfred Mordecai Freedman, a psychiatrist and social reformer who led the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 when, overturning a century-old policy, it declared that homosexuality was not a mental illness.

1917: “Isidore Montefiore Levy of the Board of Education” is scheduled “to address the Harlem Forum at the Wadleigh High School.

1917: “Notable speakers” including Henry Morgenthau and Dr. J. L. Magnes are scheduled to “discuss the conditions of Jews in the war territories” this evening at the Waldorf Astoria at a meeting of the Judeans.

1917: “The annual meeting of the Education Alliance and its Women’s Auxiliary” are scheduled to hold a meeting this evening at the Young People’s Branch.

1918: The “Parliamentary Committee of the British Trade Union Congress and Executive Committee of the British Trade Union Congress and Executive Committee” issued a memorandum today recommending “that Jews in all countries enjoy the common elementary of tolerance, freedom of residence and trade and equal citizenship, and that Palestine be set free from the oppressive government of the Turk and formed in a free State, under international guarantee, to which such of the Jewish people as desire to do so may return.”

1918: On New York’s east side, hundreds of Jews closed their shops to attend the funeral of Dr. Paul S. Kaplan who cared for the city’s poorest citizens and was eulogized by a wide array of speakers including Lillian D. Wald, Abraham Cahan of the Jewish Daily Forward, Professor Isaac Hourwich, Rabbi J.L. Magnes, Joseph Barondness, Nicolas Aleinikoff, and Max Pine.

1918: Seventy-three year old German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen who “is credit with being one of the originators of the ‘documentary hypothesis’” passed away today.

1919(6th of Shevat, 5679): Sixty-seven year old Anglo Jewish banker and philanthropist Herbert Stern, 1st Baron Michelham, the son of Herman de Stern and Julia Goldsmid and the first cousin of Sydney James Stern and Sir Edward Stern passed away today in Paris.

1920: “The Count of Cagliostro” a “silent horror film directed by and co-starring Reinhold Schünzel who co-authored the script along with Robert Liebmann was released in Austria today.

1920: Louis Waldman and Charles Solomon were among the five members of the Socialist Party that the New York State Assembly refused to seat as Assemblymen.

1921: Publication of the  first edition of the resurrected Yiddish language newspaper Der Emmes (The Truth) published by Yevsektsiya, the Jewish section of the Communist Party.  An earlier version of the paper had been published in 1918 in Moscow.  The paper would cease publication in 1939 when it fell victim to an anti-Yiddish campaign in the Soviet Union.

1921: A Commission in Jerusalem reports that at present there is no way to secure an appointment of a Hahambashi for Palestine that would satisfy all sections of the community. They recommend the formation of a supreme religious council that will represent both Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities.

1921: Birthdate of Chester Kallman, a poet, librettist and translator whose  greatest professional claim to fame may rest on his work with Igor Stavinsky but who may be equally famous for the fact that for thirty-five years he was the companion of poet W.H. Auden with whom he also collaborated professionally.  Kallman passed away in 1975.

1922: The partners of Edgar Speyer published a letter supporting their business partner and rejected rthe implications of his correspondence with his German relatives, stating that he was "incapable of any act of treachery against the country of his adoption"

1923(19th of Tevet, 5683): Emil Gustav Hirsch “a major Reform movement rabbi in the United States” passed away. Born on May 22, 1852 in Luxembourg, he was “a son of the rabbi and philosopher Samuel Hirsch. He later married the daughter of Rabbi David Einhorn. For forty-two years (1880-1922), Hirsch served as the rabbi of Chicago Sinai Congregation, one of the oldest synagogues in the midwest. At this post, he became well-known for an emphasis on social justice. From Chicago Sinai's pulpit, he delivered rousing sermons on the social ills of the day and many Chicagoans, Jew and gentile alike, were in attendance. Appointed professor of rabbinical literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1892, Hirsch also served on the Chicago Public Library board from 1885 to 1897. He was an influential exponent of advanced thought and Reform Judaism. He edited Der Zeitgeist (Milwaukee) (1880–82) and the Reform Advocate (1891–1923). He also edited the Department of the Bible of the Jewish Encyclopedia. Hirsch is the namesake of the Emil G. Hirsch Metropolitan High School of Communications (Hirsch Metro), located in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. In keeping with his interest in education, Hirsch advised a wealthy congregant, Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck & Co., to use part of his wealth to help build public schools which black students could attend in the segregated south. The school building program was one of the largest programs, but not the only, administered by the Rosenwald Fund.

1924: George Gershwin began working on “American Rhapsody” which his brother would re-name “Rhapsody in Blue.”

1925: Musical "Big Boy" with Al Jolson premiered in New York City.

1926: George Burns married Gracie Allen. He was Jewish.  She wasn’t.

1927: Abe Saperstein’s Harlem Globetrotters play their first game in Hinckley, Illinois.

1927: A memorial service was held for the late Zionist poet Achad Ha’Am at New York’s Cooper Union.

1929: Henry Arthur Jones, the English dramatist whose works include “Judah” which was first performed in 1890 passed away.

1930: Birthdate of Elliot Kastner, the native of New York who was raised in Harlem after his father died and went to become a leading movie producer whose work included WW II espionage thriller “Where Eagles Dare.”

1931: The first session of the 154th New York State Legislature in which Carl Pack served as a member representing the 3rd District, Bronx County opened today in Albany.

1931: Doar Hayom, the newspaper of the Revisionists, published a demand that the election for the Jewish-elected Assembly be declared null and void and that new elections should be held.

1932: Chaim Arlosoroff, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, wrote a letter to High Commissioner Viscount Ord Plumer proposing that the municipal region of Jerusalem should be divided into two boroughs: West Jerusalem, which was mostly Jewish and the Old City which was largely Arab.  A United Municipal Council would oversee these to two sub-entities.  The British rejected the proposal lest it anger the Arabs.

1932: Birthdate of Allen Richard Grossman the native of Minneapolis “an award-winning poet whose work bridged the Romantic and Modernist traditions, claiming nobility and power for poetry as a tool for both engaging the world and burrowing into the self.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1934: The New York Times reported on the recent announcement that 200 Jewish families, drawn from the ranks of jobless needle trade workers in New York, are to be settled in an industrial-agrarian community on a 1,000-acre tract of land bought for the purpose in New Jersey. This move calls attention to the new back-to-the-land movement among the Jews of the United States

1934: Non-Aryans were banned from adopting Aryan children in Germany which meant that Jews and people who had had Jewish ancestors but not know it and thought of themselves as Christians could not adopt.

1934: Birthdate of George Zames, the Polish born Canadian “control theorist and professor at McGill University.

1935: Birthdate of Noam Sheriff, one of Israel’s most versatile and world renowned musicians who studied composition and conducting in Tel-Aviv (Paul Ben-Chaim), Berlin (Boris Blacher) and Salzburg (Igor Markevitch) and philosophy at the Jerusalem University. Since the premiere of his work, Festival Prelude, by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein at the opening of the Mann Auditorium in Tel-Aviv in 1957, his works are regularly performed in Israel and all over the world. In his music one finds an original solution to the fusion between East and West, between the musical elements of the ancient Mediterranean countries and the musical culture of the West. Among his most significant works are the three vocal big scale works which form a trilogy. Mechaye Hamethim (Revival of the Dead) which was premiered in 1987 in Amsterdam by the IPO and is based on the Jewish East-European traditional music as well as the ancient Jewish oriental themes of the Samaritans. Sephardic Passion which was premiered in 1992 in Toledo, Spain, by the IPO, Zubin Mehta and Placido Domingo is based on the Music of the Sephardic Jewry and Psalms of Jerusalem which was premiered in 1995 in Jerusalem to open the 3000 years celebrations to the City with its four choirs around the hall singing in Hebrew and Latin.His newest vocal work, “Genesis”, was commissioned and premiered by the Israel Philharmonic and Maestro Zubin Mehta at the festive concerts of Israel’s 50th Independence day. His "Mechaye Hamethim" was performed by the IPO under Mehta in a unique concert for Israel's 50th anniversary at “Yad Vashem" Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Noam Sheriff conducts regularly his works and other works of the orchestral repertory all over the world. From 1989 until 1995, he was the music director of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le-Zion which had, under his leadership, a success unprecedented in Israeli musical history. Since 1963 Noam Sheriff has been teaching composition and conducting. He taught in institutes as the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Universities as well as the Musikhochschule in Cologne and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. During those years he was directing many music festivals in Israel as well as various television and radio programs. Since 1990 Noam Sheriff has been Professor for composition and conducting at the Tel-Aviv University's Rubin Academy of Music. Since January 2002 he has been the music director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra, under his leadership has won the praise of the critics and audiences in the season 2002-3, his first season as its music director. Since April 2004 he has been nominated as Music Director of the New Haifa Symphony Orchestra. Noam Sheriff is the winner of the prestigious Emet Prize for the year 2003, the highest prize given in Israel for excellence in Sciences and culture.”

1935(3rd of Shevat, 5695):  Rabbi Yosef ben Rabbi Menachem Kalisch zt"l, the Amshinover Rebbe, passed away.

1935: Benito Mussolini and French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval sign the Franco–Italian Agreement.  The Italians were looking for a free hand in their conquest of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia).  The French were looking for support in dealing with Hitler.  The irony of this is that Pierre Laval would become the Prime Minister of Vichy France a role which enable him to ship thousands of French Jews to Drancy and then on to the death camps in the East.  Mussolini, who had support of some Italian Jews and a Jewish mistress, would become Hitler’s ally.

1935: Birthdate of Joe Wizan the head of 20th Century Fox's motion picture division and an independent producer of films such as "Jeremiah Johnson" and "… And Justice for All” (As reported by Dennis McLellan)

1936: Speaking a luncheon given in her honor by the Survey Associates as part of the celebration of her 75th birthday, Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold “told a large group of leaders in social work that Youth Aliyah already had brought 950 German-Jewish children to Palestine and placed them in cooperative settlement camps” where it will cost $360 per child to provide for them over the next two years.

1937: “The Eternal Road” a four act opera-oratorio “conceived by Zionist activist Meyer Weisgal to alert the then-ignorant public to Hitler's persecution of the Jews in 1937 Germany” opened today at the Manhattan Opera House.

1937: Chairman of the Board of Directors Bernard Flexner announced today that “the Palestine Economic Corporation, with its predecessors, the Palestine Cooperative Company and the Reconstruction Committee, has since 1922 issued loans through subsidiaries aggregating $17,500,000 to helpd urband and rural groups in Palestine to become self-supporting.”

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Romania started re-examining the naturalization of all "foreigners" who had settled there since 1913, in order to deprive them of their citizenship. The first victims of the new policy were Jewish doctors who lost their right to practice medicine. Jewish innkeepers were declared to be "dangerous". All Jews were divided into citizens and non-citizens, and the latter became the subject of a compulsory expulsion. A timely British note reminded Romania of her obligations under the Minorities Treaty, signed in Paris in 1910. 

1938(7th of Shevat, 5698): Sixty-five year old Washington, DC native Philip King, the All-American quarterback at Princeton University who went on to compile a record of 73-14-1 as the head coach at Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin passed away today in his home town.

1938: Arnold Bernstein, the 49 year old decorated German artillery officer and Jewish shipping magnate was sentenced today in Hamburg to two and a half years in the penitentiary and a fine of one million marks on charges of having violated the exchange laws – a sentence that will insure the forced sail the Red Star Shipping Lines which is already under the control of a Nazi government trustee.

1939:  Official founding of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

1939: “A brief conference today between United States Ambassador William Phillips and Foreign Minster Count Galeazzo Ciano increased hopes that President Roosevelt’s memorandum to Premier Benito Mussolini on the Jewish question would results”

1940(26th of Tevet, 5700): State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler passed away tonight at the age of 58. Born in 1881, he attended City College, where he developed a life-long friendship with Felix Frankfurter and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1903.  Frankenthaler was active in Democratic Party Politics, numerous civic and professional organizations and Jewish charitable activities.

1941: In Chicago, twenty-one year old Irving Abitz, the son of Michael and Rose Abitz, enlisted in the U.S. Army where he trained as a medic which led to him serving with Patton’s Third Army from its activation in 1944 until the end of the war.

1941: Members of the Woman’s League for Palestine are using tonight performance of “Meet the People,” the new topical, musical revue at the Mansfield Theatre as a benefit for the Overseas Refugee Relief fund.  The net proceeds will augment the $25,000 Emergency Refugee Relief Fund for young women refugees sheltered in the two home of the league in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

1942: A major Arctic blast hit the Levant. The thermometer in Alexandria was six degrees below zero, five people were killed because of the snow in Lebanon, Jerusalem suffered damage when buildings in the Old City were cracked from ice buildup, and in Istanbul the city suffered deaths and was stifled with three feet of snow, twelve degrees below zero temperatures and "hungry wolves" in the neighborhood.

1942: Throughout the day at the Chelmno, Poland, death camp, Jewish deportees from nearby villages are systematically gassed in vans; German and Ukrainian workers pull gold teeth and fillings from the corpses' mouths. Germans undertake van gassings of 5000 Gypsies from Lódz, Poland.

 1943: British Colonial Secretary Oliver Stanley informs the British War Cabinet that Germany's Eastern European allies have turned to a policy of expulsion of Jews as an alternative to exterminating them. He concludes that this change in policy makes it "all the more necessary" to limit the number of Jewish children accepted into Palestine.

1943: As the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the great turning points of WWII, reached its climactic month, the Soviets “sent three envoys” to offer General Paulus terms for surrender.

1943: Over the next three weeks, twenty thousand Jews from Germany, Belgium, Holland, and Poland are gassed at Auschwitz.

1944: “Anne Frank confessed her love for” Peter Schiff “a boy she had been smitten with for years.”

1944: Word reached those living in New York City that Rabbi Louis Werfel, the 27-year-old chaplain serving with the 12th Air Force Service Command was killed in a plane crash in Algeria on Christmas Eve, 1943. Werfel was the fourth Jewish chaplain be killed in line of duty during World War II.  Werfel was known as “the flying rabbi” because of his willingness to use aircraft to reach Jewish soldiers serving in far-flung outposts throughout the Mediterranean Theatre

1945: Birthdate of Shulamith Bath Shmuel Ben Ari Feuerstein, author of The Dialectic of Sex

1946(5th of Shevat, 5706): Eighty year old Toledo native Edward Nathan Calisch who at the age of 26 became the Rabbi at Richmond’s Congregation Beth Ahabah which he led from Orthodox to Reform and who was the husband of Gisela “Gussie” Woolner Calisch with whom he had three children passed away today.

1948: With Jerusalem under siege, members of the Irgun planted a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in an attempt to get food supplies into the Jewish quarter. The bomb killed fourteen Arabs.  Three members of the Irgun were killed by British police in the aftermath of the explosion.  Apparently the British were unable to keep the Arabs from trying to starve out the Jews but they were strong enough to kill the Jews where were trying to feed their co-religionists.

1948(25th of Tevet, 5708): Fifty-six year old Berlin born physician and WW I German Army veteran Max Pinner who began practicing medicine in the United States in 1924, the year he married Berna Rudovic passed away today.

1949: During Israel’s War of Independence Operation Horev came to an end.

1949: At two o’clock in the afternoon, Israel accepts a ceasefire on the Egyptian front based on Egypt’s publicly announced willingness to negotiate an armistice.  Egypt is left in control of Gaza, but Israel has driven the Egyptians from the Negev.

1949: During the War for Independence Israeli pilots including Ezer Weizamn shot down 5 British planes that flew over the battlefront with Egypt. The British government was hardly a disinterested party during the war.  The Jordanian Army, known as the Arab Legion, drew its leadership from the British Army.  The British supplied and trained the force as well.  The actions of the RAF at this point, further debunk the notion that the British were neutrals and that the West was responsible for the creation and survival of the infant state of Israel.

1950: The "ten greatest Jews of the last fifty years" were named today by Rabbi Israel Goldstein in a sermon at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, in New York City.

1950: “The Andrews Sisters version” of "I Can Dream, Can't I?," “a popular song written by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Irving Kahal that was published in 1937” reached the top spot on Cash Box Best Sellers chart.

1951: As it starts its first post-independence tour in the United States, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) has its first performance at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

1953: The eightieth anniversary of American Reform Judaism, founded in Cincinnati by the late Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise "to adapt Judaism to the American way of life," was marked tonight with special ceremonies and a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. More than 300 American Jewish leaders from various sections of the country attended.

 1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset debated the proposed State Archives' and Public Accountants' Bills. Israel seized an Egyptian ship with a cargo of 65 tons of arms, bound for Syria. The ship was reported to have run aground in Israel's territorial waters.

1953: President Harry Truman announces that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.  The bomb had been successfully tested at Eniwetok atoll in 1952.  The creation of the H-bomb had pitted Edward Teller against Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the Atomic Bomb.”  The two Jewish physicists became the poles around which the proponents and opponents rallied during this major Cold War debate.

1955(13th of Tevet, 5715): Seventy-six years ago Professor of Mathematics Edward Kasner, “the first Jew appointed to faculty position in the sciences at Columbia University” passed away today.

1955: A month after premiering in New York, “Animal Farm” an animated version of the book by the same name with music by Mátyás Seiber was released in London today.

1958: A week after Ben Gurion resigned as Prime Minister “over the leaking of information from ministerial meetings” he formed the 8th government “with the same coalition partners.”

1958: As Israel transitioned from its 7th government to its 8th government, Golda Meir continued to serve as Foreign Minister.

1958: As of today, chess master Samuel Reshevsky “was eclipsed by the 14-year-old Bobby Fischer.”

1959(27th of Tevet, 5719): Jean Lerman, the daughter of Dora and the late Philip Rosenbuam and the wife of Dr. Jacob Lerman of Chestnut Hill, MA, passed away today.

1959: As the Castro Revolution became a reality, Meyer Lanksy fled Cuba today headed for the Bahamas in an admission that the Mobs Cuban Casino days were about to become a thing of the past.

1962: Lev Landau’s was in automobile accident today which left him so severely injured that he was unable to accept the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physics in person.

1967(25th of Tevet, 5727): American author and screen writer David Goodis, passed away.

1969: Marvin Mandel began serving as the 56th Governor of Maryland.

1969: Birthdate of Israeli comedian and television performer Eyal Kitzis.

1969(17th of Tevet, 5729): Eighty-four year old Martha Schallek Wallenstein the wife of Joseph S. Wallenstein passed away today after which she was buried at Beth El Cemetery in Ridgewood, NY.

1970: In response to cross canal attacks by Egyptian forces, Israeli planes begin an in-depth bombing campaign against Egyptian military bases. 

1971(10th of Tevet, 5731): Asara B'Tevet

1972: Howard Hughes “arranged a telephone conversation with seven journalist” which was intended to debunk Clifford Irving’s claim that he had written an authorized biography of the reclusive, eccentric millionaire.

1973: After 14 performances at the Billy Rose Theatre, the curtain came down on “Purlie,” a musical comedy with lyrics by Peter Udell and music by Gary Geld.

1975: NBC broadcast “The Dream Makers” a made for television movie directed and produced by Boris Sagal and co-starring Katey Sagal today.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's announcement that after the signing of the peace agreement he would not accept the presence of even a single Israeli soldier or civilian who would like to remain on Egyptian soil.

1978: Isaiah Sheffer and “his artistic partner…put on a marathon concert of Bach “at a grimy, derelict movie theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side” that would become Symphony Space.

1979: The New York Times book section features the following Walter Kerr’s essay on Anne Frank entitled 'Anne Frank' Shouldn't Be Anne's Play

1980(18th of Tevet, 5740): Eighty-year old Dov Joseph who served as the military governor of Jerusalem during the 1948 War of Independence and served as MK and cabinet minister passed away today.

1980(18th of Tevet, 5740): Israeli poet Yocheved Bat-Miriam who stopped writing poetry when her son Nahum (Zuik) Hazaz was killed in the Israeli War of Independence passed away today.

1982: NBC broadcast the first episode of “Fame” a television series based on the movie of the same name co-starring Valerie Landsburg.

1984: Birthdate of Ran Danker an Israeli actor, singer, and model who “is the son of Israeli actor Eli Danker. He has sung such songs as "אני אש" ("I am Fire"). He has also starred in the hit Israeli series HaShir Shelanu.”

1984(4th of Shevat, 5744): Eighty-four year old Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Moroccan born Sephardic Rabbi known as the Baba Slali or Praying father passed away in Jerusalem.

1990(10th of Tevet, 5750): Asara B’Tevet

1990(10th of Tevet, 5750):  Sixty year old journalist Rose Rehert Kushner lost her battle with the cancer, the disease against which she had waged a decades long professional and personal battle.

1990: In “The Russians Are Coming In Droves,” published today Barrymore L. Scherer described the “torrent of music that has pouring our way” in a variety of recordings including a live recording Shostakovich's weirdly disturbing Violin Concerto No. 1 (coupled with the Glazunov Concerto), both performed at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium in July 1988 by Itzhak Perlman with the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta (EMI CDC 49814; CD and cassette).

1993: Showing some flexibility in the crisis over 415 deported Palestinians, Israel agreed today to allow two Red Cross officials, including a doctor, to visit the exiles at their tent camp in southern Lebanon.

1995(6th of Shevat, 5755): Harry Golombek passed away. Born in 1911, Harry Golombek, was a British chess player and honorary grandmaster.

1995(6th of Shevat, 5755): Sixty-eight year old Economist Murray Newton Rothbard the co-founder of the Cato Institute passed away today. (As reported by David Stout)

1995: Bruce Sundlun completed his term in office as Governor of Rhode Island.

1996: Debbie Friedman gave a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall, commemorating twenty-five years as one of the world's most well-known contemporary Jewish musicians.

2001 (12th of Tevet, 5761): Seventy-two year old “Rabbi Yitzchok Singer, whose leadership of the historic Bialystoker Synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan helped it thrive despite four decades of community change, passed away today at Beth Israel Medical Center.” (As reported by Nadine Brozan)

2001: Giving its stalled Middle Eastern peace effort one final push, the Clinton administration said today that it would send its top negotiator to the region this week for direct talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Dennis Ross, the State Department's envoy to the Middle East, will try to lay the groundwork for what Israeli and Palestinian officials describe as anything from a joint declaration of general principles for making peace to an ambitious framework accord for a final settlement to the half-century-old conflict.

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount by Gershom Gorenberg, To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World:The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann By Gail A. Hornstein and Future Success by Robert B. Reich

2001: Among the 28 recipients of the Presidential Citizens Medals were

Jack Greenberg

In the courtroom and the classroom, Jack Greenberg has been a crusader for freedom and equality for more than half a century. Arguing 40 civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the historic Brown v. Board of Education, he helped break down the legal underpinnings of desegregation in America, and as a professor of law, an advocate for international human rights, and head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, he has helped shape a more just society.

Anthony Lewis

Revered by colleagues and readers alike for his Pulitzer prize-winning reporting, profound insight, and broad understanding of constitutional law, Anthony Lewis has set the highest standard of journalistic ethics and excellence. A staunch defender of freedom of speech, individual rights, and the rule of law, he has been a clear and courageous voice for democracy and justice.

Robert Rubin

Leaving a brilliant career on Wall Street to serve as Director of the National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin played a pivotal role in creating America's longest economic expansion. He forged a new team approach that produced an economic framework based on fiscal discipline, investment in opportunity, and expanded trade, while exhibiting exceptional leadership in ensuring global financial stability. His efforts helped countless Americans share in an era of unprecedented prosperity.

Elizabeth Taylor

A screen legend, Elizabeth Taylor has captured the hearts of audiences around the world, portraying some of the most memorable characters in film history. A dedicated leader in the fight against AIDS, she has focused national attention on this devastating disease. With grace, style, and compassion, she has reminded us of our responsibility to reach out to those in need.

Marion Wiesel

Convinced that our greatest hope for a just society is to teach tolerance and mutual respect, Marion Wiesel has worked with creativity and compassion to combat hatred and injustice. Whether writing a haunting documentary about the children of the Holocaust, translating her husband’s work, or helping young Ethiopians in Israel to thrive and succeed in a new land, she is replacing despair with dignity and overcoming ignorance with understanding

Rabbi Arthur Schneier

A Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has devoted a lifetime to overcoming the forces of hatred and intolerance. As an international envoy, Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, and founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, he has set an inspiring example of spiritual leadership by encouraging interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding and promoting the cause of religious freedom around the world.

Eli J. Segal

As founder of AmeriCorps and the first Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Eli Segal has galvanized the American spirit of community and helped us realize the dream of a vital civilian service corps. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, he has brought businesses and communities together to create opportunity for welfare recipients, enabling them to experience the power, dignity, and independence of work. Juan Andrade, Jr.

2002(23rd of Tevet, 5762): Actor and comedian Avery Schreiber passed away.  Born in 1935 he was half of the comedy team of Burns and Schreiber.

2002: The captain of a ship seized last week by Israel as it smuggled tons of weapons said in jail-house interviews today that he had taken his orders from a weapons agent of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority and that his deadly cargo was meant to arm Palestinians. The Israeli government contends that Mr. Arafat himself was behind the smuggling mission. The captain, Omar Akawi, said that as he sailed north toward the Suez Canal, he was in regular radio contact with Adel Awadallah, who he knew was working for the Palestinian Authority. A senior Israeli military official said tonight that the name was an alias for Adel Mughrabi, a weapons buyer for the Palestinian body.

2003: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff delivered the benediction for the Bipartisan Congressional Prayer Service that welcomed the members of the 108th congress before the ceremony to swear them in.

2003: Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian gunmen today in a raid on a Gaza Strip refugee camp. A spokesman for the Israeli Army said soldiers shot the Palestinians during an operation aimed at rooting out weapons factories in Al Muazi refugee camp. The spokesman said the soldiers fired only after they had been fired on.

2004: Israeli and Libyan officials held a secret meeting in December and discussed the possibility of ties between the longstanding enemies, Israeli officials said today. The officials cautioned that the contacts were tentative and played down the chances of any formal relationship

2007: Teapacks or Tipex, an Israeli band formed in 1988 in Sdeort was ”selected by IBA's Eurovision Committee to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Helsinki, Finland”

2007: The Washington Post Sunday book section featured a review of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter D. Kramer.

2007: The Sunday Times (of London) reported that “Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources. The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.”

2007: Under the title “Operation Screwball” about 350 Jews staged a noisy protest  against Neturei Karta an anti-Israel religious group whose members - among them a Monsey rabbi - attended an Iranian conference that questioned the Holocaust.

2007: Two rabbis, two rabbinic pastors and one cantor were ordained by the Jewish Renewal Movement at the annual Ohalah convention in Boulder, Colorado.

2008: Sidney Blumenthal a former aide to President of the United States Bill Clinton and an advisor to Hillary Clinton during her Presidential campaign was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Nashua, New Hampshire. Later, he would plead guilty to a charge of misdemeanor DWI.

2008(29th of Shevat, 5768): Eighty-three year old Boris Lurie “who survived the Holocaust and then depicted its horrors while leading a confrontational movement called No! Art,” passed away today. (As reported by Colin Moynihan)

2008: In New York, The 92nd Street Y presents “Protection from Terrorism: What America Can Learn from Israel,” a lecture by Leonard Cole and Irwin Redlener, part of the Y’s Israel at 60 celebration.

2008: In Brooklyn tens of thousands of mourners turned out for the funeral of Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum the 87 year old head of the Mir Yehsiva who had passed away the day before. Berenbaum's body was to be flown to Israel for burial in Jerusalem.

2009: The Wall Street Journal reported that Cass Sunstein would be named to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

2009: At the Wise Auditorium on the campus of Hebrew University, The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance presents the latest in a series of concerts titled “The Titan,” that honors Ludwig van Beethoven with a series aptly titled, The Titan. Five concerts in The Titan series have already taken place with all proving to be an immense success, filling the Academy's 550 seats.  The series takes its name from a comment by Wagner who proclaimed that of intensity of Beethoven’s compositions reminded him of "Titan, wrestling with the gods."

2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, members of Temple Judah meet to form an Israel Advocacy Task Force

2009(11th of Tevet, 5769): Eighty-eight year old Yaakov Bania, a commander with Lehi who served with the IDF during the War for Independence and later wrote Hayalim Almonim (Anonymous Soldiers) passed away today.

2009: Israel suspended fighting today for three hours to permit humanitarian relief goods to reach civilians living at Gaza while Hamas declared that the group would not talk about a cease fire so long as Israel continued its “occupation.”  In the Hamas lexicon, “occupation” is synonymous with the existence of the state of Israel.

2009: As the Madoff Scandal widens in scope, The New York Times reported that Sonja Kohn , leaving the firm she founded, Bank Medici, in the hands of Austrian regulators, who took it over last week. Embarrassment from investing heavily with Mr. Madoff could explain wanting to disappear from public view. But another theory widely repeated by those who know Mrs. Kohn is that she may be afraid of some particularly displeased investors: Russian oligarchs whose money made up a chunk of the $2.1 billion that Bank Medici invested with Mr. Madoff. It is a stunning reversal for the 60-year-old Mrs. Kohn. The daughter of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe who moved to Vienna after World War II, Mrs. Kohn came to New York in the 1980s and was one of the rare women to found and head a small brokerage firm. At that time, she started a decades-long friendship with Mr. Madoff. Once known here as “Austria’s woman on Wall Street,” she became one of Mr. Madoff’s international conduits for securing billions of dollars from the global rich. With her husband, Erwin, a former banker, Mrs. Kohn was able to draw interest from wealthy Russians, Ukrainians and Israelis. And though she migrated from a more traditional Jewish background to ultra-Orthodox practice — which is why she covered her hair with the wig — Mrs. Kohn and her husband even managed to secure meetings with deep-pocketed Arab investors.“He was the door opener, she was the go-getter,” said the Viennese acquaintance of the Kohns who insisted on anonymity because of the publicity surrounding the Madoff case, both in Europe and the United States. “

2010 (21 Tevet, 5770): The Israeli Government marks today a National Hebrew Day in honor of the 152nd birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew.

2010: At the 14th Street Y opening night of “Laba’s Guests." LABA is the National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture, an innovative arts and culture initiative of the 14th Street Y

2010: At least 10 mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel.

2010: A breakthrough in the research of the Hebrew scriptures has shed new light on the period in which the Bible was written, testifying to Hebrew writing abilities as early as the 10th century BCE, the University of Haifa announced today. Prof. Gershon Galil of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa recently deciphered an inscription dating from the 10th century BCE, and showed that it was a Hebrew inscription, making it the earliest known Hebrew writing. The significance of this breakthrough relates to the fact that at least some of the biblical scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates presented today in research and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at that time. The inscription itself, which was written in ink on a 15 cm X 16.5 cm trapezoid pottery shard, was discovered a year and a half ago at excavations that were carried out by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley. The inscription was dated back to the 10th century BCE, which was the period of King David's reign, but the question of the language used in this inscription remained unanswered, making it impossible to prove whether it was in fact Hebrew or another local language. Prof. Galil's deciphering of the ancient writing testifies to its being Hebrew, based on the use of verbs particular to the Hebrew language, and content specific to Hebrew culture and not adopted by any other cultures in the region. "This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ("did") and avad ("worked"), which were rarely used in other regional languages. Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ("widow") are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages," Prof. Galil explained.

The deciphered text:

1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].

2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]

3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]

4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.

5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

Once this deciphering is received, Prof. Galil added, the inscription will become the earliest Hebrew inscription to be found, testifying to Hebrew writing abilities as early as the 10th century BCE. This stands opposed to the dating of the composition of the Bible in current research, which would not have recognized the possibility that the Bible or parts of it could have been written during this ancient period.

2011: Gold Medals are scheduled to be given to Israeli illustrators Asaf Hanuka and Koren Shadmi at The first of the three-part “Annual Exhibition: Illustrators 53,” the Sequential/Series and Uncommissioned Exhibit features works by leading contemporary illustrators worldwide.

2011: Rabbi Shira Stutman and musician Sheldon Low are scheduled to host 6th in The City Shabbat at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2011: The first Musical Shabbat of 2011 is scheduled to take place at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.

2011(2nd of Shevat, 5771): Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Nadav Rotenberg, 20, was killed today and four were wounded in a violent encounter with Palestinian militants near the border between Israel and Gaza. The wounded soldiers were treated on the spot and then evacuated by helicopter to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva. An IDF paratroopers patrol noticed a group of people armed and approaching the barrier separating Gaza from Israel, under cover or darkness and fog this evening, close to the Kibbutz Be'eri, according to the IDF.  It is presumed that the armed group was planning to lay explosives at the foot of the barrier.  IDF soldiers were taken by surprise and four of them were wounded, one of them mortally. The soldiers shot in the direction of the shooters, but it has not yet been ascertained whether the militants were hit by the IDF fire. The family of Rotenberg, 20, of Moshav Ramot Hashavim was informed of his death. One of the soldiers was seriously wounded. The other three soldiers were lightly wounded. A preliminary IDF investigation concluded that friendly-fire was responsible for the death of Sgt. Rotenberg and for the wounding of the other IDF soldiers. The IDF had apparently launched the mortars at the militants who were observed on the border, but for some unknown reason one of the mortars strayed and struck the soldiers.

2011: Israel’s departing intelligence chief said he believes Iran will not be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 at the earliest, Israeli news media reported today, in a revised and surprisingly upbeat assessment of Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

2011: After premiering at the Telluride Film Festival, “The King’s Speech” a film about King George VI for which David Seidler won the Oscar for best original screenplay was released in London today.

2012 The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture at the 14th Street Y is scheduled to present the premiere of the musical theater adaptation of the famous Israeli children's book "Hanna's Shabbat Dress," by Itzchak Damiel.

2012: The Impossible Spy is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Kerem Shalom in Concord, MA

2012: Shlomi Koriat is scheduled to perform at the Jerusalem Theatre where he will give a stand-up performance in which he tells about his childhood, his Moroccan family, coming to the big city, marriage, and more.

2012(12 of Tevet, 5772): Jews all over the world complete Bereshit – Chazak, Chazak,

2012: Approximately 200 protesters clashed with police in south Tel Aviv tonight during a protest against the municipality’s attempt dismantle a tent city for homeless families

2012: Israel said today the online publication of thousands of its citizens' credit card details by a hacker claiming to be Saudi was comparable to terrorism, and vowed to hit back.

2013: The New Yorker published “The Lost Order,” a short story by award winning author Rivka Galcen the daughter of Israeli born Professor of Metrology Tzvi Gal-Chen.

2013: The Center for Jewish History with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance is scheduled to present: “A Vanishing Sound: Jewish Musical Resonance in Traditional Moldavian Dance--ca. 1800-1950”

2013: “The Great Book Robbery” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013(25th of Tevet, 5773): Sixty-two year old Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Ben Cramer passed away today. (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)

 2013(25th of Tevet, 5773): Eighty-eight year old poet and New York Times editor Harvey Shapiro passed away today (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2013(25th of Tevet, 5773):  Eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor and Israeli historian Zvi Yavetz whose life you can read about in his autobiography My Czernowitz, passed away today.

2013(25th of Tevet, 5773): Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable passed away today at the age of 91. (As reported by David Dunlap)

2013: “Life in Stills” is scheduled to be shown at the Washington Film Festival under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

2013: December 2012 witnessed a 400% spike in the number of terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem compared to August, according to statistics published by the Shin Bet security service today.

2013: As lights flickered and falling tree branches batted down power lines across the country today, Israelis continued to brace themselves for a week of torrential rains and thunderous winds.

2014: “License to Live” and “The Grandmaster” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014(6th of Shevat, 5774): Ninety-one year old advertising executive Judy Protas whose career was tied to Levy’s Real Jewish Rye passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2014: Two former employees of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty - Former Executive Director David Cohen and Chief Financial Officer Herbert Friedman - were charged in the multimillion-dollar scam at the New York charity.”

2014: “JPMorgan Chase & Co., already beset by costly legal woes, will pay more than $2.5 billion for ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, authorities said today.”

2014: “The US ambassador to Israel said today that a framework proposal on all issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be presented to both sides soon.”

2015: The Pears Institute for the study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to host a lecture by Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann entitled “After Liberation – Legacies of the Nazi Concentration Camps”

2015: A preview screening of “Next to Her” is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem.

2015: A major snowstorm was scheduled to hit Jerusalem today.

2015(16th of Tevet, 5775): Eighty year old French cartoonist George David Wiliniski was among those murdered today when Moslem terrorists attacked Charlie Hedbo’s offices

2015: “Republican Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill today that would immediately halt US aid to the Palestinians until they halt their effort to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.”

2015: As “heavy rains and winds swept through Israel today, hail and snow were reported” in the northern part of the country this mornings with Jerusalem bracing for worse weather in the overnight hours.”

2016: “Orphans of the Revolution” and “Bridge of Spies” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.

2016: “The remains of a 3,400-year-old Canaanite citadel, which were recently unearthed in the middle of the coastal city Nahariya, are to be preserved and incorporated in an apartment high-rise” are scheduled to be “presented today at a joint archaeological conference by the Northern Region of the IAA together with the University of Haifa.”

2016: Kobi Peretz, “one of Israel's most popular stars in the Mizrahi genre” is scheduled to appear at BB King Blues Club in NYC.

2017(9th of Tevet, 5777): Parashat Vayigash

2017: In Pendleton, Oregon, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master,” an exhibition that explores “the history of the early 20th-century international eugenics movement and the complicity of physicians and scientists in Nazi racial policies” is scheduled to come to a close today.

2017: After a month of performances “at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin” the curtain is scheduled to come down on “Big The Musical” with music by David Shire

2017: A rally “sponsored by the Love Not Hate organization” “was held today in Whitefish, Montana to show solidarity with the Jewish community which has been targeted by a neo-Nazi website.”

2017: “Zionist Union MK Shelly Yachimovich criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today for taking gifts from a “sugar daddy,” after police questioned the Israeli leader for allegedly accepting expensive cigars for years from Hollywood producer and businessman Arnon Milchan, as well as more goods from a second businessman.”

2017: This evening “Lt. Gen (res.) Benny Gantz, Lt. Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, Lt. Gen (res.) Dan Halutz, Lt. Gen (res.) Moshe Ya'alon and Lt. Gen (res.) Shaul Mofaz came together at Yedioth Ahronoth's Rishon Lezion offices to express their firm and unequivocal support of the IDF, its chief Eisenkot, and the military judicial system.

2018: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jewish in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 by Ian Black, Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead by Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Three Floors Up by Eshkol Nevo

2018: The Winter Break Promotion which has allowed Kids and Students to visit for free is scheduled tom come to an end at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center today.

2018: The exhibition “Generation Wealth by Laruen Greenfield” featuring the works of photographer Lauren Greenfield, is scheduled to come to a close at New York’s ICP Museum.





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