Monday, January 8, 2018

This Day, January 9, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 9


638: As a result of the Sixth Council of Toledo that began today “King Chintilla decreed that only Catholics were permitted to live in Visigothic Spain.”

681: Erwig, the Visigoth King of what is now Spain convened the 12th Council of Toledo which would enact a variety of measures detrimental to the Jews living in Iberia.

1144: Pope Celestine II ordered the clergy to support the Knights Templar who seemed “to have had a complex relationship with the Jews” meaning “they certainly were not anti-Semitic – or no more than most people of the time” and were landlords to many Jewish merchants, fellow money lenders (though operating differently) to kings and princes and in England which meant they were responsible for holding the taxes levied specifically on Jews” – a reality that “could have created some antagonism between the Jews and Templars.” (As described by Tony McMahon)

1180:  Philip Augustus (the new king of France) arrested large numbers of Jews while his father, Louis VII, who tried to protect the Jews (though not always successfully) was still alive. All the Jews found in synagogue on the Sabbath were arrested. Philip agreed to free them for 15,000 silver marks.

1317: Coronation of Phillip V (Phillip the Tall) during whose reign thousands of Jews were killed in what is called “the Shepherd’s Crusade”

1324:  Explorer Marco Polo passed away. Marco Polo told of meeting Chinese Jews in his 1286 journey to China 

1349: On an island in the Rhine River, seven hundred Jews of Basel Switzerland were burned alive in houses especially constructed for that purpose. Their children were spared from the burning but were forcibly baptized instead. The first Swiss persecution of the Jews took place in Bern, where the Jewish community was accused of having murdered a Christian boy named Rudolf (Ruff). They were expelled from Bern but then allowed to return shortly after.

1522: Adrian VI, who as Adrian of Utrecht, headed the Inquisition from 1517 to 1522, was elected Pope today.

1554: Birthdate of Pope Gregory XV. Gregory strongly supported the censorship of Hebrew books by the Catholic Church. During his papacy, the Roman Inquisition appointed three different men to serve as “expurgators of Hebrew books.

1570: The Inquisition was established in Peru.

1779: During the American Revolution, Lewis Bush, a Jewish Philadelphia, became a 1st Lieutenant of the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion.

1788: Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Jews have been a part of Connecticut since colonial times.  The Pinto family was one of the most prominent during the Revolutionary War.  Solomon Pinto was one of four brothers who fought in the war. The wounded veteran was one of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati, a Revolutionary War veterans’ organization.  Today Jews make up about 3 per cent of the state’s population and is home to the Hebrew High School of New England. Many people know the name of Joe Lieberman, the first Jew to run for Vice President on the ticket of a major national party.  To an earlier generation, the name Abe Ribbicoff was of equal importance.  At a time when Jewish national political leaders were still rare, Ribbicoff was by turn, governor, Senator and Secretary of H.E.W. under John Kennedy.

1796: In London, Jacob Abraham Mocatta and Rebecca Daniel Lousada gave birth to Esther Mocatta.

1810 (4th of Shevat, 5570): Rabbi Abraham of Kalisk passed away. Born in 1741, he was a controversial figure in the 3rd generation of Chassidic leaders. In his youth, he was a study partner of Rabbi Elijah "the Gaon of Vilna", who led the initial opposition against Chassidism; but later Rabbi Abraham himself joined the forbidden kat ("sect", as the Chassidic movement was derisively called by its opponents) and became a disciple of Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezeritch, the successor to Chassidism's founder, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. After Rabbi DovBer's passing in 1772, much of the opposition to Chassidism was directed against Rabbi Abraham's disciples, who, more than any other group within the movement, mocked the intellectual elitism of the establishment's scholars and communal leaders; even Rabbi Abraham's own colleagues were dismayed by the "antics" of some of his disciples. In 1777, Rabbi Abraham joined the first Chassidic "aliyah", in which a group of more than 300 Chassidim led by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk immigrated to the Holy Land. Rabbi Abraham passed away in Tiberias on the 4th of Shevat of the year 5570 from creation (1810 CE).


1812 Birthdate of Liebmann Adler the German born rabbi who began serving as the leader of Chicago’s Ḳehillath Anshe Ma'arabh ("Congregation of the Men of the West") in 1861.

1818: Birthdate of French sculptor and photographer Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon.

1821: Birthdate of Senator William Sharon who left $5,000 to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in San Francisco when he passed away.

1826: Heinrich Heine wrote today, "I am hated alike by Jew and Christian," "I regret very deeply that I had myself baptized. I do not see that I have been the better for it since. On the contrary, I have known nothing but misfortunes and mischances."

1827(10th of Tevet, 5587):Asara B’Tevet

1843: Birthdate of Elizabeth Rose Cohen, oldest sister of famed musician Frederic Hymen Cowen.

1851: In Cayuga County, New York, District Attorney Theodore M. Pomeroy began presenting the state’s case in the trial of John Baham who is accused of murdering Nathan Adler, a Jewish peddler from Syracuse.

1856: Myer Jacobs married Matilda Nathan today.

1861: Mississippi which had significant Jewish communities in Natchez and Vicksburg became the second state to adopt an official declaration for secession which provided defense of slavery as one of the reason for this action.

1862: Philadelphian Leopold Hoffman began a three year enlistment with Company C of the 113th Regiment of the Twelfth Cavalry where he rose from the rank of Private to Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant.

1863: Lazarus Powell, the Senator from Kentucky who opposed Lincoln’s policies, delivered “a major speech on the Senate floor” calling for a resolution condemning General Grant, even though the General Order No. 11 had already been withdrawn and no Jews had actually been expelled as a result of it.

1863(18th of Tevet, 5623): Julius Lettman, died today of wounds fighting for the Union at the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro. He was buried at the Temple Cemetery in Nashville, TN the nine acres of which remain the primary place of interment for the Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom—the city’s oldest.

1869: La Périchole, “an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach” was performed in New York City for the first time today.

1870: Birthdate of Joseph Strauss.  The Cincinnati born and educated engineer was the Chief Engineer for the construction of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

1870: It was reported today that The Jewish Messenger is now in its fourteenth year of publication.

1873: Emperor Napoleon III of France passed away. Jews played an open role in French society during the time dominated by Napoleon. Achille Fould served as minister and political advisor to the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte.  During the debate about the nature of the monetary system that took place during Napoleon’s reign the Pireire brothers (Sephardic Jews) favored paper money while Alphonse de Rothschild defended preservation of France's bimetallism system. In 1870, Napoleon’s French government granted the Jews of Algeria French citizenship. Among his mistresses was Elisa Rachel Felix, better known as Mademoiselle Rachel, the young Jewess who was one of the most prominent performers of her time. But Napoleon’s greatest impact on the Jewish people would be indirect.  His foolish war with Prussia resulted in the emergence of the German Empire, created the anger that would lead to World War I that then led to World War II.

1873: At the request of the Grant Administration, Abraham de Sola delivered opening prayer at the House of Representatives.  [For some strange reason we remember Grant’s unfortunate Order #10 while overlooking items like this.]

1873: Birthdate of Chaim Nachman Bialik.  Born in a Ukrainian village, fatherless at the age of seven, raised by a strict Orthodox grandfather, Bialik became the father of Modern Hebrew poetry.  While Herzl, Ben-Gurion and others were busy creating Zionism in the political sphere, Bialik was one of those giving birth to the Zionist dream in the field of culture.  When he began writing his poetry in Hebrew, it was still a language of the Bible - the holy tongue not to be used in modern parlance.  Bialik used Hebrew to express modern feelings and emotions, yet always tied back to his Jewish roots. He is variously described as the "poet laureate of the Jewish national movement" and "Israel's National Poet."   He gained early fame for his two poems written after the Kishinev Pogrom in 1903 - The City of Slaughter and On the Slaughter.  In his poems he attacked the mobs who had slaughtered the Jews.  But he also called upon the Jews to resist future attackers.  So powerful were his words, that they helped the modern Zionist movement develop its ethic of self-defense. According to some critics, two of his greatest poems are "Metei Midbar" (Dead of the Desert) and "Megillat Ha'esh" (Scroll of Fire). He passed away in 1934 and his home in Tel Aviv was converted into a museum named in his honor.  

Bialik in his own words:


"Reading a poem in translation is like kissing a woman through a veil." 


"Each people has as much heaven over its head as it has land under its feet." 


"Say this when you mourn for me:

There was man -- and look, he is no more.

He died before his time.

The music of his life suddenly stopped.

A pity!  There was another song in him.

Now it is lost forever." 


1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute “was incorporated today by Leo Schlesinger, Gustavus A. Goldsmith, James H. Hoffman, Solomon Woolf, Jacob Korn, Otto Moses and Manuel A. Kursheedt.”

1886: Birthdate of Ida Kaganovich the native of Russia who as Ida Cohen Rosenthal became a co-founder of Maiden Form, the first company to make modern bras.

1878: During the Russo-Turkish War, the fourth and final stage of the Battle of Shipka Pass ended with a Russian victory.  According to three Russian Generals the Jewish soldiers demonstrated “dauntless courage…at the Shipka Pass. According to them, “in one instance, a call for twenty-five men to engage in a forlorn hope was answered by thirteen Jewish soldiers.”

1878: Ephraim Engelander married Fanny Harris today at the Great Synagogue.

1879: In Paris, American circus performer Edward de Forest and his wife, the former Juliette Arnold gavie birth to Maurice Arnold de Forest, who along with his younger brother Raymond would be adopted “by the millionaire Baroness Clara de Hirsch, née Bischoffsheim, wife of Jewish banker and philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch de Gereuth, and given the surname de Forest-Bischoffsheim.”

1887: President Hoffman presided over the annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute which was held today at Temple Emanuel.

1889: Approximately 300 children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum are scheduled to see a performance of “Little Lord Fauntleroy” thanks to the generosity of Mr. Sanger who manages the Broadway Theatre.

1890: Birthdate of Berlin native Kurt Tucholsky, the German Jewish author who converted to Christianity.

1891: It was reported today that annual meeting of those supporting the Hebrew Technical Institute will be held in New York City next week.

1891: Birthdate of Joe Welling, the Chicago lightweight with a record of 26-18-5.

1893: It was reported today that 88.61% of the 3,159 patients who were admitted to Mt. Sinai Hospital last year were “treated gratuitously” meaning that only 11.39% were “pay patients.”  The hospital has treated 43,674 patients since its founding.

1893: It was reported that the Boy’s Yorkville Charitable Society, an organization started by a group of Jewish boys ranging in age from 11 to 15 had raised $160 through their various activities in 1892 which they had divided among various groups dedicated to helping the needy.

1894: Secretary Nathanial S. Rosenau was quoted today as saying that the work of the United Hebrew Charities “has a multiplicity of ends.”  To meet these ends requires having “a corps of mid-wives,” “25 physicians who give free treatment and free medicines” and seven clerks for an employment bureau that is “constantly busy” having found for employment for “500 persons in November and December.”

1894: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities is one of the agencies that will share in the proceeds from an upcoming benefit concert to be held at the Metropolitan Opera House.

1895: It was reported today that claims that the Pale has been abolished are “premature.”

1896: It was reported today that the Young Folk’s League of the Hebrew Asylum will hold its first social activity of the season next week.

1898: At the conclusion of the 14th annual meeting of the Hebrew Technical Institute  which was held on the top floor of the Tuxedo Building at 59th and Madison, “it was announced that Mrs. Esther Herman” had given the school an unconditional gift of $10,000.

1898: “The dedication of the new home for the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at 861 Lexington Avenue which was a gift of Jacob H. Schiff took place this afternoon.”

1898: It was reported today that a corner lot on First Avenue in New York has been purchased for the use of an unidentified Jewish charitable institution.

1898: The band from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is scheduled to perform at ball sponsored by the Ladies Aid Society at Congregation Ansche Chesed.

1898: It was reported today that J. Earnest G. Yalden, the Superintendent of the Bard de Hirsch Trade School in New York City presented diplomas to forty graduates of the school

1899: It was reported today that “the Court of Cassation” which is the court of last resort in France, “is convinced that Dreyfus was justly condemned.”

1899: Mrs. Esther Wallenstein, President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum filed a complaint at the Morrisania Police Court charging John Buchanan and Paul Beneson with trespass and disorderly conduct at the asylum’s building one 162nd Street and Eagle Avenue

1899: It was reported today Professor Richard Gottheil of Columbia University delivered a lecture entitled “Palestine” at a recent function hosted by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society

1899: It was reported today that supporters of the Hebrew Technical Institute had raised $50,501.87 during the past year to support the institution.  Jacob H. Schiff made a special contribution of $5,000 which will help to meet the needs of boys who would have had to leave the school because of their impoverished circumstances.

1901(18th of Tevet, 5661): Eighty-four year old “German-French statistician and economist” Maurice Block passed away today.

1902: Birthdate of Rudolph Bing manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

1903(10th of Tevet, 5663): Asara B'Tevet

1903(10th of Tevet, 5663): Baron Henry de Worms (Lord Pirbright) passed away today.  Born in London in 1840, he was “third son of Solomon Benedict de Worms, a baron of the Austrian empire. He was educated at King's College, London, and became a barrister in 1863. As Baron Henry de Worms he sat in the House of Commons as Conservative member for Greenwich from 1880 to 1885, and for the East Toxteth division of Liverpool from 1885 to 1895, when he was created a peer. He was parliamentary secretary to the Board of Trade in 1885 and 1886 and from 1886 to 1888, and under-secretary of state for the colonies from 1888 to 1892. In 1888 he was president of the International Conference on Sugar Bounties, and as plenipotentiary signed the abolition treaty for Great Britain. He became a member of the Privy Council in the same year. He was a royal commissioner of the Patriotic Fund, and one of the royal commissioners of the French Exhibition of 1900. His works include: "England's Policy in the East" (London, 1876), "Handbook to the Eastern Question" (5th ed., London, 1877), "The Austro-Hungarian Empire" (2d ed., London, 1877), "Memoirs of Count Beust" (ib. 1887).In 1864 he married Fanny, daughter of Baron von Tedesco of Vienna, and in 1887, after her death, Sarah, daughter of Sir Benjamin Samuel Phillips.” (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)

1904: The New York Times featured a review of Zionism and Anti-Semitism by Max Nordau, Officer d' Academie, France, and Gustav Gotthell, Ph.D.

1906: It was reported today that public meeting in London had adopted two resolutions one of which was “proposed by the Bishop of Ripon” which expressed “the judgment that the outrages in Russia were an offense to civilization and a disgrace to humanity” and the other of which was “offered by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster” expressing “the hope that the Russian Jews might have rights in their country equal with their Christian fellow-subjects.”

1906: It was reported today that during his maiden speech in the U.S. Senate which was devoted to the policy concerning Santo Domingo, Senator Isidor Rayner digressed to express his support for “granting aid to the persecuted Jews in Russia” for which he “received applause and congratulations of Senators from both sides of the chamber.”


1907: Birthdate of Chicago native Harry Eugene Richman who played Guard for Central High School, the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears.

1908(5th of Shevat, 5668): Abraham Goldfaden died at the age of 67. Born in 1840 in what was then part of the Russian Empire, Golfaden was a driving force in the Yiddish theatre during its golden period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He was an author, composer (yes, there were musicals), director and producer.  He worked in several countries in Europe before settling in the United States for the last time in 1903.  He was the author of sixty theatrical works, some of which are enjoying renewed interest with the current renaissance of Yiddish Literature.  One of his early comedies was called Shmendrik "whose title-hero was the proverbial gullible, good-natured schlemiel.  The play was so popular, that the word Shmendrik became part of the Yiddish language and survives today in American slang.  The music for the famous Yiddish lullaby "Rozhinkes mit Mandlen," (Raisin and Almonds) is a product of one of Goldfaden's musicals. Goldfaden was so famous at the time of his death that he rated an obituary in the New York Times that referred to him as "the Yiddish Shakespeare," who was "both a poet and prophet."  Furthermore, wrote the Times, "…there is more evidence of genuine sympathy with and admiration for the man and his work than is likely to be manifested at the funeral of any poet now writing in the English language in this country."  We may not recognize his name today, but 75,000 people "attended his funeral procession that went from the People's Theater in the Bowery to Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn."

1908: In Little Rock, Arkansas, for the sum of $8,000 the Orthodox congregation purchased their own building at the corner of 8th and Louisiana. This was the first official home of Agudath Achim Synagogue. 

1909: CCNY’s basketball team led by Ira Streusand and Jacob Goldman defeated Lehigh. (As reported by Bob Wechsler.

1912: Rabbi Silber of Congregation Ahave Sholom is scheduled to address this year’s first meeting of the Ladies’ Society of the Maimonides Kosher Hospital at the Palace Theatre on Blue Island Avenue.

1913: Birthdate of Richard M. Nixon.  As the leader of the Right Wing of the Republican Party, Nixon was not popular with most Jewish voters.  While he did have Jews working for him (William Safire, Leonard Garment and Henry Kissinger) Nixon’s anti-Semitic comments are a matter of public record.  From the point of view of many of his Jewish opponents Nixon’s saving grace came when he came to the aid of Israel during the darkest days of the Yom Kippur War.  Without his efforts, the IDF would not have received the material and supplies that were critical in defeating the Egyptian and Syrian sneak attack. (“No man is all good or all bad.  But sometimes you have to look real hard.”)

1913: Birthdate of Peter Hüppeler a member of the anti-Nazi resistance organization known as the Ehrenfeld Group who was hung for his efforts at the age of 31.

1915: “Concession To Poor Jews” published today described reports from the Ottoman Empire, that the government will temporarily waive the fees usually paid by those seeking citizenship to make it easier for foreign Jews to become Turkish citizens.”

1915: A cable sent from Alexandria, Egypt today by Kaplan, Levontin and Gluskin stated “United States battleship Tennessee and Italian steams have brought 1,500 more expelled destitute Jews from Palestine, also a number of American Jewish refugees.  More help urgently required, also funds to repatriate Americans.”

1915: “Jews In Russia Oppressed” published today provides a summary the statement from the Foreign Committee of the General Jewish Workmen’s Society in Russia “denying that conditions” for Russian Jews “have improved” charging “that conditions continue as before the war, and that no relief whatever has been given even to those the Jews who are fighting in the armies of the Czar.”

1916: Eighty-two year old Edward Levy-Lawson, 1st Baron Burnham, a British press lord whose power stemmed from his ownership of the Daily Telegraph, a paper bought by his father Joseph Moses Levy, passed away today.

1916: It was reported today that President Wilson has decided to accept the proposal by Congressman Adolph J. Sabath of Illinois and Congressman Henry M. Goldfogle to designate a day in January “as the date for collecting funds for the relief of suffering Jews in Europe.”

1916: In Chicago, the Knights of Zion Convention is scheduled to host a meeting of “junior organizations” that will contain “features” of interest “to the juniors and to the adults.”

1916: It was reported today that “the remarkable collection of works relating to Hebrew and Rabbinic literature that was gathered to by the late Dr. Alexander Kohut has been donated to Yale University by his son George Alexander Kohut, as a memorial to the famous preacher, author, scholar and Orientalist.”

1917: Today, in anticipation of the Jacob Schiff’s 70th birthday celebration which will take place tomorrow “the Executive Committee of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School…sent a message to congratulations to Mr. Schiff in the name of the 5,000 members and 700 pupils” signed by the President, Julius J. Dukas.

1917: British forces defeated the Turks at the Battle of Rafa on the border between Egypt and Ottoman Palestine.  The British victory was a prelude to the move of British forces into Palestine and other parts of the Ottoman Empire.  The British forces fighting in Palestine would include Jewish regiments.  The British victories would be critical to eventual implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the realization of Herzl’s dream.

1917: J. Walter Freiberg, Max B. May and Lipman submitted an “Amended Report of Committee on Revision Laws” to the “Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.”

1918: “Colonels who are to work under the direction of Felix M. Warburg, the President of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies in the campaign for 50,000 members and a fund of $4,500,000 which starts” on January 14th met their  with their captains today and provided them with “instructions regarding their part in the drive.”

1918: “Behind Walls” by Henri Nathansen had its first performance in the United States at the German Irving Place Theatre in New York City.  The drama which was originally walled “Hinter Mauren” revolves around the marriage between a Jew and a Gentile.  Nathansen is a Dane.

1919: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow who served “as a member of the Overseas Commission of the Jewish Welfare Board, which went to France in July, 1918” wrote today that “aside from his J.W.B. work, I am interested in a new effort knowns as the Comrades-In-Service” which “is an effort to capitalize the sense of fellowship the war has created” for which he was “preparing a syllabus of lectures on ‘Comradeship in American Life.’”

1920: The Federation of Jewish Philanthropic Society, the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of the Montefiore Home and the Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Shaaray Tefila are among the organizations scheduled to participate in a “Joint Memorial Service in memory of the late Frances A. Cohen at the West End Synaoguge.?

1921: “With the approval pf the Secretary for Foreign Affairs” and at the invitation of Field Marshall Allenby, Herbert Samuel “proceeded to Palestine with a view to advising on questions of administration and finance.”

1921: Birthdate of Holocaust survivor and leading gymnast Agnes Keleti who “won 10 Olympic medals in gymnastics, including five golds, for Hungary in the 1950s before defecting and emigrating to Israel.”

1921: In Chicago, Samuel Barab and Leah Yablunky gave birth to composer, pianist and cellist Seymour Barab, the younger brother of Oscar Barab.

1922: Birthdate of Hans-Josef Gumperz, the native of Hattingen, Germany who fled the Nazis and gained fame as linguist John Joseph Gumperz.

1922: Sir Edgar Speyer issued a statement responding to the report and rebutting the Home Office's Certificates of Naturalization (Revocation) Committee’s interpretation of the facts. He stated that he had been advised of the committee's investigation in 1919 and, after considerable delay by the Home Office, had persuaded it to carry out an investigation in America into allegations made against his conduct there. These investigations, he stated, had demonstrated that the allegations were false, but, after he returned to Britain for the formal hearing in 1921, a further series of allegations were presented regarding his business transactions. Speyer stated that the issues involved were of a trivial nature and were similar to those encountered by other British banks which had traded without censure. He stated that "the whole thing is neither more nor less than the culmination of years of political persecution. The Home Secretary simply dared not give me the vindication to which I was entitled." He challenged the government to publish the evidence presented, and "to point to a strip of material evidence that would induce any fair-minded man to support the monstrous conclusions of this report. 

1925: Birthdate of Gurion Joseph Hyman, a “Canadian Jewish Anthropologist, Linguist, Pharmacist, Composer, Artist, and Translator. Primary contributions have been (a) liturgical compositions for the Passover Haggadah and Sabbath prayer service, (b) translations into English as well as the setting to music of several internationally acclaimed Yiddish poets, (c) an (ongoing) project to write an etymological dictionary of Yiddish, and (d) proprietor of the second branch of Hyman's Book and Art Shoppe.”

1925: In Sulzburg, Germany, businessman Joseph Block and the former Toni Baum, both of whom died in concentration camps gave birth to “Erich Bloch, who helped develop the IBM mainframe computer that, more than any other machine, propelled the world into the digital age, and who then shepherded the internet into broader use as director of the National Science Foundation…” (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1926: Birthdate of Steven H. Scheuer, the native of New York who became a note “film and television historian and critic” and whose talented siblings included New York Congressman James H. Scheuer, Walter Scheuer, an investor and film producer,  Richard Scheuer, a scholar and philanthropist and Amy Scheuer Cohen

1927: “The Sunday Symphonic Society, founded and directed by Josiah Zuro gave the first of its free Sunday noon concerts of this season at the Hampden Theatre” today.

1927:  Houston S. Chamberlain passed away.  Born in Britain in 1855, Chamberlain eventually settled in Germany where his writings were quite popular.  Chamberlain was noted for his works about the Aryan Race and the superiority of German culture.  Chamberlain was popular with Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolph Hitler.  Hitler called him “The Prophet of the Third Reich.”

1928: Birthdate of Judith Krantz.  Born in New York, she is the author of Scruples, I'll Take Manhattan, Princess Daisy and Dazzle.

1929: In Antwerp, diamond merchant Morris Grosbard and the former Rose Tenenbaum gave birth to Tony Award nominated director and producer Israel “Ulu” Grosbard

1931: Premiere of “Her Majesty the Barmaid,” a German comedy directed and produced by Joe May with Otto Walburg playing the role of “Othmar von Wellington.”

1931: It was reported that jury trying to answer the questions as to “whether or not Horowitz Brothers and Margareten, Inc., of New York City and B. Manishewitz Company of Ohio constituted a combination in restraint of trade as charge by Rabbi Moses Weinberger, Inc.” was deadlocked with seven votes for the plaintiff and four for the respondent.

1932: Hyman Ginsberg led the Geneva basketball team to victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

1933: Henry Horner became the 28th Governor of Illinois today and the first Jewish Governor the state known as “the land of Lincoln.”

1933: It was reported today that “the creation of a special educational fund for the benefit of Jewish educational institutions by a small levy on religions articles such as candles and matzoth” could offset the effect of “the diminution of voluntary contributions.”

1934: Berlin lawyer and WW I veteran “Max Naumann, the “founder of Verband nationaldeutscher Juden (League of National German Jews),” today “argued for  “drawing a sharp distinction between "good" Jews like him and "bad" Jews like those immigrating from Eastern Europe.”

1936: The list of newly elected officers of the Jewish Conciliation Court of America published today included Dr. Israel Goldstein, President; Mrs. Rebeckah Hohut, Jacob Panken and Rabbi Moses H. Hyam, Vice Presidents; Louis Richman, Executive Secretary and Simon Bergman, Mark Eisner, Geroge Frankenthaler, Judge Jonah J. Goldstein, Samuel Levy, Judge Jacob Panken, Isidor S. Schweitzer, Julius Schwarz, Max D. Steuer and Sol Tekulsky, Directors.

1936: It was reported today that more than 61,000 Jews from Europe “were absorbed in Palestine in 1935.”

1936: Sir Herbert Samuel and Simon Marks who are sailing on “special mission to the United States in connection with the increasing difficulties of the Jews in Germany” next week authorized a statement saying that “the object of the mission to the United States is exploratory” and that “the delegation will seek to take counsel with all sections of those interested in America with a view to the preparation of a scheme to promote the emigration of Jews from Germany” which includes assisting the emigrants in starting new enterprises and finding occupations “in their new homes.”

1936: As part of the ongoing celebration of her 75th birthday, Henrietta Szold “received New York’s official greeting” today “from Mayor La Guardia” who addressed her as “a distinguished citizen of the world” who “was a pioneer in the movement of educating immigrants” which has led to them “holding places of responsibility in the business, industrial, financial, scientific and governmental worlds.”

1937(26th of Tevet, 5697): Parashat Vaera

1937: On Shabbat, Rabbi Samuel Goldenson is scheduled to give the sermon this morning at Temple Emanu-El

1937: At the West End Synagogue, Rabbi Hyman Schachtel is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Place of Youth in the Synagogue.

1937: Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to deliver the sermon this morning at Temple Israel.

1937: On Shabbat, Rabbi Jonah B. Wise is scheduled to deliver the sermon at the Central Synagogue.

1937: Birthdate of Handball Champion Paul Haber.

1937: “The Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Rights, Inc.” today opened “its active campaign to boycott the proposed heavyweight championship bout between James J. Braddock and Max Schmeling” the leading boxer in Nazi Germany.

1938: In Rochester, NY, at a meeting of up-state New York Jews, Leon Gellman, the national president of Mizrachi “announced ‘a fight to the bitter end’ against the partition proposal, declaring that world Jewry” holds Great Britain to honor the promises made in the Balfour Declaratio.

1938: The Palestine Post reported on various shooting incidents in Jerusalem, Kalkilya and Nablus. A delegation of Polish Jews met the British ambassador in Warsaw and expressed their anxiety over the reports that a permanent minority status for the Jews in Palestine was under consideration. Similar fears were expressed in a telegram sent by the French section of the Jewish Agency to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

1938: This morning at Temple Rodeph Sholom, Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin, the former national president of Hadassah, said “Al of German Jewry knows that whether Hitler stays or not they are doomed as a group in Germany

1938: In “Palestine Modernized” published today George Brandt describes Tel Aviv as being the “most spectacular of the modern achievements in Palestine.” With a population of well over 100,000 “the world’s newest city is also its most modern.”  As Brandt “rode through Tel Aviv’s well-paved streets” he “felt as though” he “were in the world of Well’s ‘Things To Come.’”  He concludes that “the greatest enemy of young reborn Palestine is the desert.  Will be be pushed back by the new forces or will it in years to come be the eventual victor.

1939: As of today, “many Jews who have lost their jobs as a result of the Nazi campaign have turned to snow sweeping in Vienna” have “asked for night-hour assignments because they did not wish their former non-Jewish colleagues to see them working on the streets.”

1936: Associate Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the 82 year old member of the Supreme Court who has been serving on the bench since 1916, “was absent from the bench today and confined to his home with the grippe.”

1939: Sergio Spadoni of Libero, Italy was expelled by the Fascist Party in Italy “for giving through untimely expressions obvious signs of exaggerated sympathy for Jews” and “Mario Schivi, one of the leaders of the” Fascists in Trieste “was expelled from the party for “connection with an affair involving a Jew.  (Editor’s note: So much for claims that Mussolini and his Fascists were not anti-Semites)

1940: A throng of 2,500 people attended the funeral of State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Fankenthaler which was held this afternoon at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson and Cantor Moshe Rudinow officiated at the service.  Senator Robert Wagener delivered the eulogy. New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and former Governor Al Smith, who were honorary pallbearers, were among the many dignitaries who attended the service.

1940: At a luncheon hosted by the American Booksellers Association, Lillian Hellman said, “I am a writer and I am also a Jew. I want to be quite sure that I can continue to be a writer and if I want to say that greed is bad or persecution is worse, I can do so without being branded by the malice of people who make a living by that malice. I also want to be able to go on saying that I am a Jew without being afraid of being called names or end in a prison camp or be forbidden to walk the street at night.”

1941(10th of Tevet, 5701): Asara B'Tevet

1941: The Jews of Warsaw were forbidden to greet a German in public. 1941:  Six thousand Jews exterminated in a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania1941: Nazi police break into a house in the Warsaw Ghetto, force the women inside to undress, and prod their breasts and genitals with pistols.

1941: Adolf Hitler officially abandoned the planned invasion of Great Britain.  This meant that the Jews of Great Britain would be spared the horrors of the Holocaust.  Unfortunately for the Jews of the Soviet Union, this meant that the Nazis would turn their time and attention to the invasion of that country which would take place in June of 1941. 

1942: The Nazis deported 1,000 Jews from Theresienstadt and sent them to Riga. Only 102 would survive the war.

1942:  The Nazis took 1,000 Jews from Klodaw to Chelmno and gassed them to death.

1943: Jews in the Netherlands are no longer allowed to have bank accounts. Instead, all Jewish money is put into a central account.

1943: Germans apprehend, torture, and kill 20-year-old Jewish partisan Emma Radova.

1943: The British magazine New Statesman urges that Jewish refugees be allowed at least temporarily into all nations, including 40,000 more into Palestine.

1943: In Germany, clothing taken off of the dead Jews were given to the German People's Winter Aid Campaign. The group complained that the clothes were soiled and stained with blood. Furthermore, the Jewish stars had not been removed.

1945: “Welterweight Maxi Berger of Montreal” gained his 14th consecutive victory at the Broadway Arena in Brooklyn. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)

1947: “Street Scene” an opera based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name by Elmer Rice with music by Kurt Weill opened at the Adelphi Theatre.

1948: As the siege of Jerusalem continues, a British police driver was killed when his armored car hit an Irgun roadblock.

1950: The government of Israel recognized the People's Republic of China

1951 In the Negev, founding of Kfar Yeruham which became the modern town of Yerhum in 1962. “Yeruham is the site of Tel Rahma, dating back to the 10th century BCE. On the outskirts of Yeruham is an ancient well, Be'er Rahma (באר רחמה). Some archeologists have identified it as the well where the biblical Hagar drew water for her son Ishmael.”

1951: Shlomo Zalaman Shragai, a member of the National Religious Party was chosen as Mayor of Jerusalem.  This marked the end of the public career of Daniel Auster, “who was known as the ‘first Hebrew mayor of Jerusalem.’”

1953: Lavrentiy Beria, the Chief of the NKVD pushed to have the “Doctors’ Plot” an imaginary conspiracy of Jewish doctors to murder Soviet leaders made public to cover his own political problems.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported extensively on the bitter dispute raging between the Mapai and Mapam factions at Kibbutz Ein Harod. Members of the respective parties came to blows and only police arrival saved the kibbutz, already suffering from economic demise, from extensive damage. Henry Byroade, of the U.S. State Department, invited all Arab states to join the newly created Anglo-American Mediterranean Defense Alliance.

1954: In Canada, Richard David Messing, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Messing, is scheduled to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah at Adath Israel Synagogue.

1956:  Abigail Van Buren's "Dear Abby" column appeared for the first time

1957: Jacob K. Javits completed his term as New York State Attorney General.

1957: In case of Jew follows Jew, Jacob K. Javits begins serving as U.S. Senator filling the seat that had been held by Herbert H. Lehman.  Javits was a Republican. Lehman was a Democrat.

1957: British Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigned, citing health reasons.  The real reason Eden resigned was because of the failure of his policy in the Middle East.  He had sought to unseat President Nasser of Egypt by joining with the French and Israelis in the Suez Campaign of 1956.  During the 1930’s, Eden had been one of the few English politicians who saw the threat that Hitler posed to the peace of Europe.  At the same time, according to some, Eden was one of those who opposed any attempts to rescue the Jews of Europe once the war had begun.

1959(29th of 5719): Eighty-one year old Dr. Adler Fleisher, “one of the most influential and important musical philanthropists of the 20th century” who established the Symphony Club in 1909” passed away today.

1961: Emily Greene Balch passed away.  Balch was the first Quaker to win the Noble Prize for Peace.  She won in 1946.  One of those who nominated her was Judah Magnes of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  “During the 1930s she aided Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. Initially she opposed WWII because she opposed all war in general, but she supported US entry into the war in 1941. Balch saw Nazism as the personification of evil and a threat to humanity that had to be stopped.”

1963: Art Modell, the Jewish owner of the Cleveland Browns, fired coaching legend Paul Brown today.

1965(6th of Shevat, 5725): Parshat Bo

1965(6th of Shevat, 5725): Fifty-three year old Harry C. Friedman passed away today.

1965: The version of  “This Diamond Ring” a song written by Al Kooper and Irwin Levine recorded by Jerry Lewis and the Playboys was ranked #101 by Billboard while the Sammy Ambrose version ranked #117 in an unusual dual listing on the pop charts.

1966: “The Mad Show” a musical revue based on Mad Magazine with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Stephen Sondheim opened off-Broadway at the New Theatre with a cast that included Linda Lavin.

1970: Terrorists hijacked a TWA plane traveling from Paris to Beirut

1970: Birthdate of Jeff Kent who “played center at the University of Rhode Island from 1988 to 1992” before playing with “Maccabi Netanya and Maccabi Rishon Le Zion as well as the Israeli National Team.

1972(22nd of Tevet, 5732): Eighty-one year old Hanoch Albeck, the son of Shalom Albeck, the father of Professors Michael Albeck and Shalom Albeck and the father in law of Yoseph Aryeh Bachach z”l, who was “one of the foremost scholars of the Mishna”, a professor of Talmud at Hebrew University in Jerusalem passed away today.

1972: Herb Klein began serving as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 35th Legislative District.

1973: Four Arab terrorists were arrested in Cyprus thwarting a planned attack on ships scheduled to arrive in Haifa.

1974: The National Council of Jewish Women pledged to work to help Syrian Jewry, calling Syria's acts against the Jews as "…degradation and inhuman restrictions."

1975: Birthdate of Konstantin Gessen the native of Moscow who moved to the United States in with his in 1981 who gained fame of novelist and journalist Keith A. Gessen whose first novel All the Sad Young Literary Men was published in 2008.

1976: Eight people were injured in a bombing at supermarket in Jerusalem.

1976: Herb Klein completed his service as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 35th Legislative District.

1977: NBC is scheduled to broadcast a three-hour long made for television movie based on the Raid-on-Entebbe starting at approximately 8 pm eastern time following the completion of the Super Bowl.  Peter Finch will play Prime Minister Rabin and Yaphet Kotto will play President Amin.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin warned Egypt that Israel might rescind the peace proposals giving all the Sinai back to Egypt if Cairo did not permit Israeli settlements to remain there. In that case, Begin added, Israel could demand territorial changes in 1967 borders. The cabinet, however, declared that there would be no more any new settlement activity in Sinai.

1979: The Supreme Court rendered a decision in Duren v. Missouri, the last case which Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued before the High Court.

1989: Baron MIshcon (Victor Mishcon) began serving as Shadow Lord Chancellor

1990 (12th of Tevet, 5750): Shlomo Pines passed away. Born in 1908, he was a scholar of Jewish and Islamic philosophy, best known for his English translation of Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed.

1991: Egyptian newspapers reported today that President Hosni Mubarak warned Israel this week to stay out of the conflict, saying he would revise his policies on the crisis if Israel became embroiled. Mr. Mubarak's comments reflected worries in many Arab countries that Israeli military involvement could transform the crisis into an Arab-Israeli dispute, splintering the anti-Iraqi Arab coalition. Egypt is the only Arab country formally at peace with Israel. "We will not permit an Israeli involvement, or a military involvement in the gulf crisis," the Egyptian leader told a gathering of writers and intellectuals, according to newspaper reports and people at the gathering. "I do not think Israel would get involved, but if it did, Egypt would take a different position."

1991: Stephen M. Saland began serving as “a member of the New York State Senate” today.

1992: The French weekly Paris Match reported today that the second and final autopsy on the body of Robert Maxwell showed numerous bruises, indicating that the British publisher was probably beaten before his death. But that conclusion was disputed by one of the pathologists who conducted the autopsy in Israel. The magazine published photographs and conversations taken from a videotape made during the autopsy on Nov. 9, the eve of Mr. Maxwell's burial in Jerusalem. This post-mortem, which had been requested by the Maxwell family and British insurance companies, was performed in Tel Aviv by three Israeli and two British pathologists. Since Mr. Maxwell was found floating in the sea off the Canary Islands on Nov. 5 after disappearing from his yacht, there have been widespread rumors that he committed suicide or was killed. About a month after his death, the Maxwell publishing empire began to crumble amid disclosures that Mr. Maxwell had siphoned off at least $1.4 billion from his public companies and employee pension funds to prop up his debt-laden private holding companies. Dr. Iain West, one of the British pathologists, dismissed any suggestion that Mr. Maxwell's body showed evidence of foul play. He said the "snatches" of conversation published in the French magazine article included "considerable inaccuracies." The magazine shows pictures of the body lying on a medical table, as well as close-ups of a head and face that are clearly Mr. Maxwell's. The text quotes the doctors as they methodically describe skin lesions on the nose and bruises and blood stains under the skin of the face, shoulders, back, stomach and legs. At one point, a doctor is quoted as saying: "Why is there so much blood in someone who drowned? This man didn't drown." Dr. West said, however, that the pathologists had agreed that the blood stains and skin discoloration were a result of the first autopsy, performed in Spain. "We were saying that some of the injuries could have been caused after death," Dr. West said, "and some could have been caused during recovery of the body." Dr. West has given British insurers a preliminary report on the mysterious death of Mr. Maxwell. Both sides have so far refused to disclose the contents of the report, but by all accounts it excludes a violent death. John Fisher, a claims manager at Lloyd's of London who is dealing with the Maxwell insurance claim, said today that Dr. West "told me of no signs of violence whatsoever." "I'm sure he would have mentioned them to me if there were any," Mr. Fisher said. The videotape images and text published by Paris Match today caused considerable stir in Paris and London. The magazine quotes several French forensic specialists who examined the videotape as saying that Mr. Maxwell had clearly received numerous blows before his death. 'Totally Misrepresented' But Dr. Peter Vanezis, director of forensic medicine at Charing Cross Hospital in London, who also viewed the tape today, said Paris Match had "totally misrepresented" the autopsy conclusions. "The only real bruise I saw was on the back of the left shoulder, which is typical of falling," he said. Editors at Paris Match declined to say how they had obtained a copy of the recording made in the forensic institute in Tel Aviv.

1992: In “For Young Readers, Picasso Not Bunnies” published today, Trish Hall describes the wacky, wonderful world of Maira Kalman, the Tel Aviv native who has become a popular  children's book author and illustrator whose fans include a growing number of adults.

1992: Conservative columnist William Safire’s wrote a column entitled “Strongly Condemn” in which he took issue with the increasingly hostile policy the Bush is administration is pursuing towards the state of Israel.

1993: After 76 performances, the curtain came down on the London production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” which had opened at the Donmar Warehouse in October of 1992.

1995: Gonen Segev replaced Moshe Shahal as Minister for Energy and Water Resources.

1995(8th of Shevat, 5655): Fifty-nine year old Monte H. Goldman “a real estate developer, civic leader and philanthropist from Oklahoma City passed away today in Aspen, Colorado.

1996: “The first Truman Capote Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Criticism, worth $100,000 and given by the author's estate, was awarded today to Alfred Kazin” who “helped make American literature a subject of serious study with his first book, On Native Grounds, published in 1942…”

1996: Tony Bullimore, who was clinging to “a rigid-hulled inflatable boat” from the capsized Exide Challenger, was rescued by crew members of the HMAS Adelaide. Bullimore was a Sephardic-Jewish yachtsman born at Bristol before the start of WW II.

1997: Opening day of the Red Sea International Music Festival.  In what the sponsors call a move to foster peace in the Middle East, the Festival, for the first time will take place, in both Israel and Jordan. The orchestra and chorus of the Kirov Opera of St. Petersburg under Valery Gergiev will take part, playing in Eilat, the southernmost city of Israel, and in Aqaba, Jordan, which is within walking distance of Eilat at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. In Eilat, on the first day of the four day festival, the orchestra and chorus will offer the Verdi Requiem with Sharon Sweet, soprano; Marina Tarasova, mezzo-soprano, and Sergei Alexashkin, bass, as soloists.

1999: NFL referee Jerry Markbreit “worked his final game today” when the San Francisco 49ers came to Atlanta to play the Falcons. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)

2001: Richard “Lewis visited The Howard Stern Show to promote his book The Other Great Depression, which described his recovery from alcoholism.”

2001: “A previously undisclosed letter mailed from New York” today “to the west Los Angeles Police Station titled ‘Possible motive for Susan Berman murder’ said Berman suspected Robert Durst was involved in his wife’s disappearance and specified that Durst was planning to visit Berman in late December’ of 2000,” the month and year in which the daughter of the Jewish mobster David Berman was murdered.

2002:Susie Orbach: Why fat is still a feminist issue” published today provides a review of On Eating

2003: Amid reports of illegal activity by Prime Minister Sharon coming on the eve of Israeli election Haaretz is scheduled to publish a report today stating that Likud, which had once been projected to win 40 of the 120 seats in the election for Parliament on Jan. 28, now seems likely to win only 27, while the Labor Party could get 24. 

2003: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel has rebuffed Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal appeal to reconsider Israel's decision to keep Palestinian negotiators from attending a British-sponsored conference in London next week, officials said today. The Israeli decision was the result of terrorists attack in Tel Aviv that has claimed the life of at least 22 Israelis.  Groups allied with Chairman Arafat have taken credit for the attack.

2003: Tonight Prime Minister Sharon held a nationally televised news conference to assert that he was a victim of an ''attempt to seize power through lies.'' About 10 minutes into his speech, the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Mishael Cheshin, ordered Israel's three television channels and two radio stations to halt their broadcasts. Seventy-nine year old

2004(15th of Tevet, 5764): Seventy-nine year old Nissim Ezekiel, an Indian born “Jewish poet, playwright, editor and art critic” who was a major cultural force in post-colonial India passed away today.

2004: In “Survival Strategy” published today Tibor Fischer reviews Nine Suitcases by Béla Zsolt, “Hungary’s finest contribution to Holocaust writing” which “is not a book for the squeamish.”

2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank by Steve Oney.

2006:  The Wolf Foundation announced today that an American, an Israeli and an Italian will receive prestigious Wolf Prizes this year. The prize which is to be awarded in a Jerusalem ceremony in May will be shared by Ada Yonath, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, and George Feher, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, the foundation said in a statement. Also, Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto will receive the 2007 Wolf Prize in the arts. Each prize is worth $100,000.

2006 (9 Tevet): Yahrzeit of Ezra Hasofer and Nechemia.

2006 (9 Tevet): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Ezra HaNavi, Tosafist, Kabbalist, Teacher of the Ramban.

2007: An 18 month long U.S. tour of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot began today.

2008: George W. Bush made his first trip to Israel as President of the United States.  Arabs responded with a series of rocket attacks from Gaza.

2008: The first episode “The Jewish Americans” airs on PBS.  The three episode series traces the history of the Jews in America starts with the arrival of the first 23 Sephardic Jews in New Amsterdam in 1654 and “ends with Maisyahu, the Chasidic hip-hop star, one of about six million Jews in America today.” 

2009: Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” opens at the Shattered Globe Theatre.

2009: Dutch Jews are scheduled to hold a rally at The Hague in support of Israel.

2009: After a relatively quiet night, Palestinians in Gaza resumed rocket fire on the western Negev this morning. Four Palestinian rockets struck the city of Ashkelon, according to Israel Radio. Three Israelis were injured lightly, and 19 were treated for shock

2010(23rd of Tevet, 5770): Jews all over the world begin reading Shemot, the Book of Exodus.

2010(23rd of Tevet, 5770): Sixty-four year old Israeli filmmaker Nadav Levitan and the husband of singer Chava Alberstein passed away today at Petah Tikva

2010: Adas Israel hosts the Winter Swing Dance featuring Swing Speak and a free dance lesson with Tom and Debra of, Washington, DC's most popular swing dance instruction & Promotion Company.

2010: “The Kosher Cheerleader” starring Sandy Wolshin, the former Oakland Raider Cheerleader who converted to Orthodox Judaism, in an autobiographical one woman show opens in Phoenix, AZ.

2011: The Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues is scheduled to present a program entitled “Arab Citizens of Israel -- Challenges and Opportunities: A Community Education Day” at the Washington DCJCC.

2011: In Iowa City, the Sisterhood of Agudas Achim is scheduled to host a Wine and Tapas Party complete with an auction and door prize.

2011: Israeli choreographer Deganit Shemy is scheduled to bring together a group of colleagues for an afternoon of solos and an excerpt of Shemy's recent work at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

2011(4th of Shevat, 5771): Fifty-nine year old “Debbie Friedman, a singer and songwriter whose work — which married traditional Jewish texts to contemporary folk-infused melodies — is credited with helping give ancient liturgy broad appeal to late-20th-century worshippers, died on today in Mission Viejo, Calif.”(As reported by Margalit Fox)

2011: Israeli bulldozers demolished the Shepherd Hotel today. It had originally been built in the 1930s as a villa for Haj Amin al-Husseini, then the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who notoriously aligned himself with Hitler. The building, which has sentimental value to some Arabs, was removed as plans were being carried out to building a new housing project in the eastern section of Jerusalem.

2011: According to reports published today,Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, who in 2007 officiated at the wedding of Ms. Giffords and Capt. Mark E. Kelly and who leads Congregation Chaverim in Tucson, said the congresswoman had never expressed any concern about her safety.”

2011: Prosecutors accused Jared Lee Loughner…of five serious federal charges today including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, for his role in a shooting incident that left 20 people wounded, six of them fatally, yesterday morning.  According to court documents filed in the United States District Court in Phoenix, the authorities seized evidence from Mr. Loughner’s home showing that he had planned to kill Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona’s only Jewish member of the House of Representatives. Ms. Giffords, a Democrat, remained in critical condition at University Medical Center in Tucson today. Her doctors said she was able to respond to simple commands, and they described themselves as “cautiously optimistic.”

2011: More than 100 people crowded into a special healing service Sunday morning for Representative Gabrielle Giffords at Congregation Chaverim, where she was married three years ago, for a tearful ceremony. Ms. Giffords’s rabbi, friends and admirers gathered to pray for a swift recovery and to honor a woman many described as an inspiration.

2011: A US Department of Homeland Security memorandum reportedly notes the fact that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a Jew may have a factor in the motives of the Arizona congresswoman's alleged assailant. FOX News, reporting on the memorandum it obtained tonight, said that “strong suspicion is being directed (sic) at American Renaissance,” an organization the shooter Jared Loughner referenced on the Internet, and said that federal law enforcement authorities are investigating Loughner’s possible links to American Renaissance.

2011(4th of Shevat, 5771): Benny Hesse, 67, director of a chevra kadisha (communal burial society) in Haifa for more than 20 years, was shot to death outside his home today by several attackers in a killing that some have speculated may have been related to internal disputes among burial groups over allocation of burial plots.

2011: “Episodes” “a British/American sitcom created by David Crane” who also wrote the scripts premiered today on Showtime in the United States.

 2012: The Ronen Shmueli Jazz Quintet is scheduled to perform at Beit Avi Chai.

2012: Cecile Kuznitz is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The History of YIVO” that “will consider YIVO’s educational initiatives such as the Aspirantur, Pro-aspirantur, and teacher training courses in Vilna, as well as efforts to transplant them to New York in the wake of the Holocaust.”

2012: MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) poured a cup of water on her colleague MK Raleb Majadele (Labor) during an argument at a heated Knesset Education Committee debate this morning. The argument erupted after MK Danny Danon (Likud) called for the dismissal of the principal of a school in the Negev town of Arara, who took students on a human rights march held in Tel Aviv last month. The Knesset discussion was held following a Haaretz report that the Education Ministry reprimanded the Israeli-Arab high school.

2012: Jack Lew, an Orthodox Jew who currently serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget has been named White House Chief of Staff by President Obama, replacing William Daley. 

2012: In “The Songs Remain the Same but Broadway Heirs Call the Shots” published today, Patrick Healy described the controversy surrounding a revival of “Porgy and Bess.”

2013: In Los Angeles, Temple Beth Am is scheduled to host “Israel Elections 2013”  which will examine the “parties and the players” as well as the “issues and opinions” surrounding Israel’s general upcoming Knesset elections.

2013: Opening night of the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2013: A signing ceremony creating a brain research center under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Max Planck Society is scheduled to take place today the Giva Ram campus in Jerusalem.

2013: “Lies in the Closet” is scheduled to shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Festival.

2013: At long last, the much-anticipated snow arrived in Jerusalem today after days of heavy rains and fierce winds that caused power outages and widespread flooding.

2014: “When Jews Were Funny” and “Lonely Planet” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2014: In a statement made today, Bond rating agency Moody’s “announced it was dropping Yeshiva University’s rating to B1 from Baa2, saying that it might fall farther in the future.” (As reported by Josh Nathan-Kazis.

2014: It was announced that Jewish American fashion designer, Marc Jacobs's new Spring-Summer collection would feature actress/singer Miley Cyrus photographed by David Sims.

2014: “Blancanieves” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host the opening of “Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights,” an exhibition that highlights her career as an opponent of apartheid and her “enduring friendship with the late Nelson Mandela.”

2014: The 129 Modern Language Association Annual Convention is scheduled to open today in Chicago where it will discuss moves to enforce BDS aimed at Israel (Editor’s Note -Boycott, sanctions, divestiture is considered by some to be pure anti-Semitism since similar moves have not been made against Russia, China or Turkey which has occupied a portion of Cyprus since its invasion in 1974.)

2014: Today Haaretz and The Times of Israel reported that Archaeologists from Ariel University and the Israel Antiquities Authority have begun excavating “Tel Rumeida, a site believed to be the location of biblical Hebron which lies in the heart of the modern-day divided city.” (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)

2014: Today, “a Tel Aviv-based civil rights organization warned the American Studies Association against boycotting Israeli professors and academic institutions, threatening to sue the association if it adopted the “unlawful” boycott resolution.” (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)

2014: “In today’s unsurprising news, it turns out that the 350,000 Jewish 18-26- year-olds who have come on free ten-day Birthright trips to Israel have spent a lot of money in Israel. Now thanks to a report from the accounting firm Ernst & Young, we know just how much: $825 million. If you subtract Israeli government contributions to the program, the net economic benefit is still a whopping $635 million.” (As reported by Ben Sales)

2015: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host “Fridays at Noon: Out of Israel – Israeli Choreographers.”

2015: The OHALAH Shabbaton is scheduled to begin at Broomfield, CO.

2015: “Farewell Herr Schwarz” is scheduled to open at the Quad Theater in New York City.

2015: In New York, the Caffe Vivaldi is scheduled to host Israeli Jazz Showcase Night featuring four Israeli bands.

2015: The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip said today that the coastal enclave will be allowed to import citrus fruits from Israel starting January 11, 2015.

2015: “Some 30 terrified shoppers at the kosher supermarket Hypercacher Alimentation Générale in Paris’s Porte-de-Vinnences hid in a freezing cold storage room underground for hours today as a gunman and his wife-accomplice stormed the grocery store amid a hail of gunfire. The terrorists killed two people in the initial attack, then two more, according to witnesses, and held several more people captive including women and children

2015: Twenty-four year old Lassana Bathily, a Muslim from Mali and an employee of a kosher market in Paris “may have saved have save the lives of 15 customer” when he told the customers to hide in the store’s basement freezer, and after closing the freezer’s door served as a lookout until the police had killed the gunman.

2015: Tony Blinken completed his service as Deputy National Security Advisor and began serving United States Deputy Secretary of State.

2015: Snow continues to blanket Israel.

2015(18th of Tevet, 5775): “Amedy Coulibaly, the Islamist gunman who allegedly killed four people and held others hostage before he was killed by French security forces at a kosher store in Paris today, reportedly told a French journalist at the height of the siege that he had deliberately chosen to target Jews.”  The four Jews killed today were Yohan Cohen 22, Yoav Hattab 21, Philipe Barham, in his 40’s and Francois-Michel Saada in his 60’s.

2015(18th of Tevet, 5775): Eighty-eight year old movie producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. passed away today. (As reported by Brooks Barnes)

2016: Idan Sharabi's new piece, “Til 120, Again,” is scheduled to be performed by Belinda McGuire Dance Projects at The Actor’s Fund Arts Center.

2016: Those attending the Texas Jewish Historical Society Winter Board Meeting in Galveston are scheduled to visit the Scottish Rite Temple, the site of the first Temple B’nai Israel

2016(28th of Tevet, 5776): Shabbat Va-ayrah

2016(28th of Tevet, 5776): On the Jewish calendar yahrzeit of Rabbi David Nieto.

 2017: An exhibition “New Children’s Exhibition: We All Need Peace” is scheduled to come to a close at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

2017(11th of Tevet, 5777): Ninety-one year old Zygmunt Bauman, Holocaust survivor, WW II veteran author of Modernity and the Holocaust  and husband of Janine (Lewinson) Bauman with whom he had three daughters, passed away today

2017: Former Navy Seal and Republican Eric Robert Greitens assumed office today as the 56th Governor of Missouri.

2017: “Bomb threats were called in at no fewer than 16 Jewish community centers in at least seven US states today, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of students and staff.”

2017: Hundreds of people, but “not a single government minister” attend today’s funerals for Lt. Yael Yekutiel, Lt. Shir Hajaj, 2nd Lt. Erez Orbach and 2nd Lt. Shira Tzur  who killed by a truck driven by a Palestinian terrorist.

2017: “Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate was lit with the Israeli flag tonight in a show of solidarity following a terror attack in Jerusalem yesterday in which four IDF soldiers were killed.”

2017: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a tour of “Odessa: Babel, Ladyzhensky and the Soul of City” a new exhibition that “explore the vital creative character and dramatic social context of pre- and post-revolutionary Odessa, Ukraine (formerly Russia) through the work of two of the city's most important artists - the writer Isaac Babel and the painter Yefim Ladyzhensky.”

2018: The YIVO Institute is scheduled to host lecture on Jewish food by Michael Wex, author of Rhapsody in Schmaltz on “Schmaltz: Jewish Cooking Past, Present and Future.”

2018: In New Orleans, Francine Klagsbrun, author of more than a dozen books is scheduled to talk about her newest work, Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel as part of The Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series

2018: “Canvey: The Promised Land,” a BBC documentary that shows “how strictly Orthodox pioneer Jews from north London have relocated to Canvey Island, one of five most pro-Brexit wards in Britain” is scheduled to be broadcast tonight.


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