Monday, February 12, 2018

This Day, February 13, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

February 13

515 BCE (3rd of Adar, 3245): Completion of the construction of the Second Temple at Jerusalem.

996: Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim who “ordered…Jews to wear wooden calves around their necks” began his reign today.

1130: The Papacy of Honorius II came to an end. Honorius took no action that directly affected the Jewish people.  However, he did take an active role in the affairs of Eretz Israel as the ultimate leader of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Crusader-established entity that the Christians used to control the homeland of the Jews.

1195: This day marked the Speyer (German) ritual-murder libel.  Although there was no proof of any wrongdoing, the Rabbi's daughter was dismembered and her body was hung in the market place for a few days. The rabbi, along with many others, was killed and their houses burned.

1349: Jews were expelled from Burgsordf, Switzerland.

1349: During the Black Plague, the newly chosen Town Council of Strasbourg, gave orders to arrest all the Jews in the city so that they could be put to death.

1469: Birthdate of Elia Levita, early Hebrew grammarian and Yiddish author.

1633: Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome so he can stand trial before the Inquisition for heresy. According to at least one source this episode highlighted a basic difference between Judaism and the Roman Catholic Church “There is no scientific fact regarding the natural world that in itself stands against any of the principles of Judaism.” (As reported by

1681: In England, “the Old Artillery Ground,” the future site of the Sandys Row Synagogue, “was granted in perpetuity to George Bradbury and Edward Noell for £5,700, with license to build new houses on the same.”

1689: William and Mary are proclaimed joint sovereigns of Great Britain following the Glorious Revolution. By now, Jews had officially returned to Great Britain. According to some sources, Jewish financiers provided support for the cause that brought the new monarchs to the throne.  Eleven years after they began their reign, the Act for Suppressing Blasphemy which made practicing Judaism legal, was enacted.  King William would knight Solomon de Medina making him the first Jewish peer of the realm.

1728: Cotton Mather passed away.  Like many Puritans, he saw his people as the modern day Israelites.  For more on this see Cotton Mather and the Jews by Lee Friedman and “The Three Jewish Children At Berlin: Cotton Mather’s Obsession” by Linda Munk

1770: Joseph Abrahams, the son of Abraham Abrahams of Aldgate, was admitted as a solicitor in Chancery today.

1776: A decree was issued forcing Jews who had moved out of the Ghetto of Frankfort to return

1794: Dr. Levi Meyers of Georgetown, SC married Francis Minis, “second daughter of the late Philip Minis” in Savannah, Ga.

1810: Birthdate of Naphtali Frankfurter, the native of Oberdorf who was the rabbi at the Reform temple in Hamburg and who was a member of the Hamburg Parliament.

1815: Birthday of critic and anthologist Rufus Wilmot Griswold whose marriage to South Carolina Jewess Charlotte Myers in 1845 was either unusual or scandalous depending on which version one chooses to believe.  In a day before the term “cougar” was in use, the 33 anthologist’s marriage to the 42 year well-to-do matron raised eyebrows.

1824: The will of Samuel Simons, a Jew living in Charleston, SC, was "proved today."  He left most of his estate "to relatives and institutions in London."  The one exception was “a bequest to his 'House Keeper Maria Chapman, a free woman of Colour" in the amount of "fourteen hundred dollars, two Negroes...with the issue and increase of the females and also two bedsteads bedding and chairs."  According to Sarna and Mendelssohn, a bequest of this size and nature would indicate that she was his mistress and not just a servant.

1824: In London, Mr. and Mrs. Zakok Aaron Jessel, gave birth to Sir George Jessel an influential jurist who was the first Jew to serve as the Master of Rolls, the most senior judge in England and Wales with the exception of the Lord Chief Justice

1829: Birthdate of Edmund Burke Wood the Canadian lawyer  who made a famous summation after presiding over the case of Kieva Barsky, one of a large group of Jewish refugees who had settled in Winnipeg in 1881 and 1882 after fleeing persecution in Russia. Barsky had been the victim of a vicious anti-Semitic attack while working on the Canadian Pacific Railway, narrowly escaping death when a certain Charles Wicks attacked him with an iron bar. Wood spoke of the contribution of the Jewish people to human history and said that it “...was wholly out of keeping with Canadian justice and surely not in keeping with the asylum that should be offered to persecuted Jewry” that this sort of act should be tolerated

1833(24th of Shevat): Rabbi Ezekeiel Feivel be Ze’ev Wolf, the Maggid of Vilno author of Musar Haskel passed away

1841: Birthdate of Heinemann Vogelstein a German rabbi who was a leader of the Reform Movement and the father of Hermann, Ludwig and Theodor Vogelstein and of Julie Braun-Vogelstein.

1842: At Budapest, “the son of the secretary of the Jewish congregation” and his wife gave birth to German actor Ludwig Barnay.

1847: Sharon Turner the English historian and friend of Isaac D’Israeli passed away today.  It was Turner who provided the advice to the Anglo-Jewish intellectual that led to the baptism of his children including the future Earl of Beaconsfield.

1847(27th of Shevat): Rabbi Zundel, author Kenaf Rananim passed away

1849: Birthdate of Lord Randolph Churchill, the father of Sir Winston Churchill.  Unlike many of his class, according to the great historian Martin Gilbert, Churchill “was noted for his friendship with individual Jews.” Lord Randolph had so many Jewish friends that he was the butt of jokes at his clubs. Of course the Jews with whom Churchill associated were men of his economic and social class such as the Rothschilds and Sir Ernest Cassel, a close personal friend of the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward). According to Gilbert who was Sir Winston’s official biographer, the younger Churchill’s Jewish friendships were originally an attempt to show support for his father and gain the paternal approval he so longed for.

1851: Charles VI “an 1843 French grand opera in five acts with music composed by Fromental Halevy” was performed for the first time in German in Hamburg.

1854(15th of Shevat, 5614): Tu B’Shevat

1854(15th of Shevat, 5614: Ninety-three year old Philadelphia native Leah Nathan Hart, the wife of Jacob Naphtali Hart and mother of Zipporah Hart passed away today in New York City

1860(20th of Shevat, 5620): Seventy-one year old Isaac Baer Levinsohn “a notable Russian-Hebrew scholar, satirist, writer and Haskalah leader who was called ‘the Russian Mendelssohn’” passed away today.

1862: Birthdate of musician Karel Weis who composed “The Polish Jew.”

1864: Union General Benjamin Butler responded to a second letter from N.S. Isaacs in which he had complained about the General’s negative characterization of Jews, stating that they were smuggling supplies to Confederates in Louisiana and then describing them in classic anti-Semitic terms. In defending himself, the General wrote, “I admit that my experience with men of the Jewish faith or nation has been an unfortunate one. Living in an inland town in Massachusetts before the war, I had met but few…”

1865: Chaim (Henry) Abrams married Sophia Joel in Edinburgh, Scotland today.

1865: Private Abraham Greenawalkt, Company G, 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, U.S. Army was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courageous service at the Battle of Franklin in November, 1864.

1866: Birthdate of Lev Isaakovich Schwarzmann, the Russian born philosopher who gained fame as Lev Isaakovich Shestov.  He was forced to flee after the October Revolution and found refuge in France where he died in 1938.

1870: In a town near Wilno, Anna and Maciej Godowsky, gave birth to pianist and composer Leopold Godowsky.

1871: In Kovno, Lazar Stein and Rosalia Leinson gave birth to illustrator Modest Stein who after a short stay in Paris came to the United States in 1888, married Marcia Mishkin and worked for numerous publications including the New York Press, New York Herald, Philadelphia North American and the New York World.

1871: In Omaha, Nebraska, Leah and Edward Rosewater gave birth to Victor S. Rosewater who followed in his father’s footsteps as editor and publisher of the Omaha Bee and a leader in Republican Party politics.

1874: It was reported today that Glad Tidings, a Jewish journal is being printed every Friday in Calcutta using “the Arabic language and Hebrews characters.”

1875(7th of Adar I, 5635): Rabbi Zacharias Frankel passed away.  The scion of a rabbinic family from Prague, Frankel “was the founder, in Germany, of Historical Judaism, the forerunner of Conservative Judaism in America. A member of the first generation of modern rabbis, Frankel fashioned a multifaceted career as pulpit rabbi, spokesman for political emancipation, critic of radical religious reform, editor, head of the first modern rabbinical seminary, and historian of Jewish law.”

1876: An article published today tracing the history of cremation from ancient times to the present reported that “the early Christians followed the custom of the Jews, which was bury, not to burn the dead.  The Rabbis gave the text, ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return’ as a reason for burial and refused to burn the deceased members of the community.”  The great historian Tacitus was apparently well acquainted with Jews and their customs since he noted that among the Jews, “it is their practice – ‘corpora condere quam cremare’---‘to bury rather than to burn.’ (Tacitus, History, Volume 5)

1876: In a testament to futility, it was reported today that Abraham Joseph Levy who is currently in Cincinnati, Ohio working to convert Jews to Christianity visited approximately 600 hundred Jewish families in 1875 and succeeded in converting one family of six to Christianity.

1876: Martha May Cohen and Louis Samuel Cohen gave birth to Stanley Samuel Gilbert Cohen

1879: Birthdate of Ernest Albert Rosehnheim the native of Liverpool who gained fame as Ernest Rose, the race car driver who rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while serving in the British Expeditionary Force during WW I.

1880: 1st of Adar, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Adar

 1880: The funeral of Asher Bijur, a prominent New York tobacco merchant and leader of the Jewish community is scheduled to take place at his home on West 53rd Street followed by burial at Cypress Hill.

1881: The synagogue in Neustettin burned down today, a few days after Ernst Henrici had delivered an “anti-Semitic diatribe.” While the Jews thought it was anti-Semitic inspired arson the authorities thought differently and five members of the Jewish community convicted on charges of arson so they could get the insurance money.  The verdict was overturned on appeal.

1881(14th of Adar): Rabbi Gershon Tanhum of Minsk author of Elano d’Hayei passed away

1881: Rabbi E.B.M. Browne of Atlanta, GA, delivered a lecture at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City on the subject of “The Talmud” during which he explained the origins and history of this compendium of Jewish law while dispelling many of the myths surrounding it.  Browne wore many hats and served several pulpits.  Browne was the founder and editor of The Jewish South, “a weekly edited first in Atlanta and later in New Orleans” which he described as “the only Jewish Journal this side of the Mason and Dixon Line.”

1882: It was reported today that the annual masquerade ball of the Purim Association will taking place on the evening of March 2nd.

1882 In London, Anglo-Jewish author Benjamin Farjeon and his wife Maggie who was not Jewish gave birth to award-winning author Eleanor Farjeon.

1883: Seventy-nine year old composer Richard Wagner passed away.

1884(17th of Shevat, 5644): Seventy-one year old Aaron David Bernstein “a German Jewish author, reformer and scientist” whose “translation of the “Song of Songs” and “his publication of Young Germany established his reputation among the literary critics of Berlin.”

1885: In the UK, the Mersey Tunnel, which was built under the leadership of Samuel Isaac, opened today.

1885(28th of Shevat, 5645): Seligman Solomon passed away.

1887: Birthdate of Guy Zinn, the native of Holbrook, West Virginia who played for all three “major leagues” –  American, National and Federal – from 1911 until 1915.

1887: Rabbi Alexander Kohut of Ahawath Chesed left for Baltimore this afternoon where he is scheduled to marry Rebekah Bettleheim.

1889: Birthdate of Leontine Schlesinger, the Austrian born actress and director the world would know as Leontine Sagan.

1890: The Russian Jews, who arrived in New York yesterday from Hamburg on board the SS Rugia, will probably be placed in quarantine at a building on Clinton Street which the Board of Health uses for emergency purposes.  The Jews are suspected of having contracted typhus fever which has an incubation period of from 18 to 21 days.

1890: It was reported today that the brass band from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum under the direction of Mr. Wiegand will perform “Philadelphia March” in its premiere performance at the upcoming reception hosted by the Seligman Solomon Society.

1891: The will of Philadelphian Ellen M. Philips who had passed away on February 2 was admitted to probate today.

1892(15th of Shevat, 5652): Tu B’Shevat

1892: American Socialist leader Julius Gerber married Lena Sacht today in New York.

1893: Charles Frohman’s comedic performers are appearing at the Standard Theatre in New York in “The Girl I Left Behind Me.”

1893: The committee formed by the Central Conference of American Rabbis “to arrange the seconding part of the Union Prayer book containing the services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur” met for the second time today in Chicago.

1894: The Independent Western Star Order whose members included N.T. Brenner, Eugene Weinberger and Sam Cohen was organized today in Chicago, Illinois.

1895: The Hebrew Institute hosted a meeting where the issues of tenement house improvements and “the single tax” were discussed.

1895: It was reported today that an autopsy will need to be held to determine the cause of death for Mrs. Hannah Steinberger whose friends claim she took he own life.  They blamed her action on the cumulative mistreatment of her by her husband who was arrested last October for assaulting his wife.

1895: In Atlanta, GA, a grand ball will be held this evening in Concordia Hall, for the delegates attending the district convention of B’nai Brith. (Editor’s Note – The Concordia Association was formed by Hungarian and German Jews in 1867 and was the site of Atlanta’s first Jewish wedding.  The Association morphed into the Standard Club in the 1900’s)

1897: It was reported that Theodore Roosevelt, President of the Board of Police Commissioners delivered the main address at the dedication Hebrew Technical Institute’s new facility which had been held on Lincoln’s Birthday even though the building was actually ready for use on January 4.  Other speakers included Max Lowenthal who “delivered an address for the alumni of the institute and …Professor Morris Loeb, Chairman of the Instruction Committee.”

1897: Dr. E.G. Hirsch of Chicago conducted Shabbat morning services today at Temple Beth-El in New York; the congregation served by Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler.

1898: “The Dawn of Literature” published today summarized the views of Harvard Professor C.H.Toy’s regarding the relationship between Egyptian and Babylonian literature and Hebrew literature. He contends that the account of the flood was “engraved on clay tables about 2000 B.C,, long before the Hebraic account was written and…the Biblical account was founded on the Babylonian.”  He also said that he Jews took the stories of Ruth, Jonah and Esther from the literature of the Egyptians.

1899: The Union of Judæo-German Congregations which had been founded in 1869 was officially incorporated today.

1901: In Vienna, Sophie and Robert Lazarsfeld gave birth to sociologist Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, the founder of Columbia University's Bureau for Applied Social Research.

1901:  Constantin C. Arion, who had said that his “Government would grant rights to the Jews in accordance with the peace treat” and that the Government “would completely abolish Article 7 of the Rumanian Constitution” which states that “Jews in Rumania are aliens and that naturalization is only possible for them individually” completed his service as Minister of Religion and Public Instruction today. (Editor’s Note – Going back to the Congress of Berlin, Rumanian government were always promising to emancipate the Jews living in the country and always failing to do so.)

1902: Birthdate of Louis R. Oshins who “was City College of New York (CCNY) first team captain when the school resumed football in 1922 and later became head coach at Brooklyn College where his most famous player was Allie Sherman, future coach of the New York Giants.

1906: Another Jewish massacre was reported to have taken place in Bessarabia.

1909: In Newcastle, New South Wales, “Sir Samuel Cohen and his wife Elma (née Hart)” gave birth to Major General Paul Alfred Cullen, who served with distinction during WW II in both North Africa and the Pacific campaigns against Japan.

1910(4th of Adar): Rabbi Eliezer Gordon, founder of the Yeshiva in Telz Lithuania passed away today.

1911: Despite his continued involvement with Friede Kunke, “at the urging of his family” novelist Bruno Alfred Döblin “was reluctantly engaged” to his future wife Erna Reiss.

1912: “W. Seligman Kills Himself In A Hotel” published today described the events surrounding the suicide of Washington Seligman, the son of banker James Seligman, who had made an unsuccessful attempt to take his life in May of 1903 by slashing his throat with a razor.

1913: Birthdate of Brooklynite Devery Freeman, the writer and U.S Navy veteran who helped to establish the Writers Guild Of Ameirca.

1913: The Council of Jewish Women in Los Angeles, California opened a day nursery for children of working mothers of all nationalities.

1913: “The Other” a cinema version of a play of the same name directed by Max Mack and produced by Jules Greenbaum was released today in Germany.

1913(6th of Adar): Author Yehiel Michael Pines passed away

1914: Sixty year old Alphonse Bertillon who testified as a “handwriting expert” which he was not that “Alfred Dreyfus had written the incriminating document (known as the "bordereau") which resulted in condemning an innocent man to a disgraceful discharge and life sentence at the French penal colony of Devil’s Island.

1915: It was reported today that a group of porters and drivers, many of whom were Jews were forced to leave the fortress at Przemysl and sought refuge in the Russian lines where they said the garrison’s only meat ration was horseflesh

1915: U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniel today wrote to Herman Bernstein, editor of The Day, that he had discussed the request of the Jewish Relief Committee with President Wilson and that he would be willing to naval vessels, (in this case the U.S.S. North Carolina and the U.S.S. Scorpion, carry “food and medicines for the sick and starving in the Holy Land” as long as the quantities were limited to the space available and the supplies were loaded without delaying the sailing of the vessels.

1915: It was reported today that “the Committee on Unemployment among Jewish Girls of which Mrs. Alexander Kohurt is Chairman has arranged with the War Relief Committee to sell milk at a cent a glass to the 600 girls in the 7 workrooms that to the generosity of Mrs. Charles Oppenheim who has made up the deficit in the cost of the milk.

1916: “Julius Kahn, the Republican Congressman from California” told a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association that 50,000 Jews were fighting in the British Army, 175,000 Jews in the German Army and 350,000 Jews in the Russian Army and that “the Jew has always fought well for whatever country he might living in and for his God” which gave him good reason that Jews would serve in the Army being expanded to meet the possible threat of involvement in the war now raging in Europe.

1916: As Americans debated whether nor to take part in the World War, “Isaac Siegel, the Republican Congressman for the Twentieth District of New York said that the country was passing through a critical period, that it was time to adopt a policy that meant something and that the home industries and American lives on the high seas must be protected.”

1916: In Nuremberg, Marianne Rath and Julius Heydecker gave birth to Joe J. Heydecker whose secretly made photographic record of the Warsaw Ghetto provide a record of the Nazi atrocities.

1916: As of today, the fund of the Jewish Relief Committee of which Felix M. Warburg is the treasurer has collected $2,763,764.14 which means it has almost reached its goal of three million dollars.

1916: As part of Justice Samuel Greenbaum’s appeal to New Yorkers to support the Educational Alliance, the public was invited “to visit the alliance at 137 East Broadway and see what is being done to make the young people good Americans and place them under good influences” while keeping them off of the streets.

1917: In Hudson, NY, Russian Jewish refugees Isaac and Ella Miler Slutzky gave birth to Orville Andrew Slutzky “who with his brother founded the Hunter Mountain ski resort in upstate New York, known in the 1960s for its celebrity clientele and in the 1970s.” (Paul Vitello)

1918:  The Kaiser told “a War Council…that there was a world-wide conspiracy against Germany, the participants in which included…’international Jewry’…He made no mention of the fact that as many as ten thousand Jews…had already been killed fighting in the ranks of the German Army..”

1919: German lawyer and politician Eugene Schiffer began serving as the Minister of Finance today.

1920: “The Jewish Chronicle” published an article taking exception to Winston Churchill’s characterization of a Jewish relationship to Bolshevism in an article he had published in the “Illustrated Sunday Herald.” 

1921: Today marked the end of the three day celebration marking the incorporation of Congregation Shaaray Tefila.

1923: Birthdate of Yifrah Neaman, the Lebanese born British violinist.

1926: “ ‘Reminiscences of My Father’ was the topic chosen by Maxa Nordau, daughter of the late philosopher, author and Zionist, Max Nordau for her first lecture” tonight at the Town Hall in New York City.

1928: Birthdate of Bronx native Gerald Fried, “the son of Ukrainian and Polish Jewish immigrants whose high school friends included filmmaker Stanley Kurbrick and who, after mastering the Oboe became the composer of  music for films and television.

1928: After an absence of six months, former State Senator Nathan Straus delivered an address tonight a meeting of the United Palestine Appeal at Temple B’nai Israel of Washington where he drew “a comparison between the national ideals of the Polish, Irish and Jewish peoples.

1930(15th of Shevat, 5690): First Tu B’Shevat of the Great Depression

1931: “A huge flood…burst” the “Zero Canal” devastating the first power plant “to create electricity for the entire north of Palestine.” (As reported by Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am)

1931: In the wake of a British white paper aimed at limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine, today Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald wrote the famous “Macdonald Letter” to Chiam Weizmann. The limitation on immigration had been brought on by violent Arab riots in 1929. , 

1932: “A Tremendously Rich Man” a comedy directed by Steve Sekely and produced by Joe Pasternak was released in Germany today.

1934: In Great Neck, NY Fannie Blanche Segal (née Bodkin) and George Segal, Sr., a malt and hop agent gave birth to actor and some-time banjo player George Segal.

1936: Today, “Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal announced” today “the formation of a physicians committee to raise funds for the settlement in Palestine of a maximum number of Jews of Germany and other countries.”

1936: Approximately 2,000 people attended an anniversary party in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria which was a “celebration of Mrs. Felix Warburg’s sixtieth birthday anniversary” and a tribute “to her dynamic leadership in Jewish philanthropy”

1936: According to the annual report issued today by Gabriel Davidson, the general manager of the Jewish Agricultural Society, “Jewish farmers in the United States have weather the economic difficulties of the last few years and are no making steady progress in agriculture.”

1937: George Backer, the chairman of the Greater New York campaign announced today that “the city’s quota in the $4,650,000 national drive of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, now under way, has been set at $1,860,000” which “will be used for the aid of persecuted European Jews, chiefly in Poland and Germany.”

1937: While various branches of Christianity tried to decide how to deal with the Nazis, “The Minister of Church Affairs” told a group of churchmen, that “Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle's Creed .... [but] is represented by the Party .... the German people are now called ... by the Führer to a real Christianity .... The Führer is the herald of a new revelation.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that two Arab brothers were shot and killed by Arab terrorists near Nablus. The Haifa-Kantara-Cairo train was delayed by sabotage attributed to Arabs taking part in the uprising.

1938: Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana delivered a speech to two thousand members of the Brooklyn Conference of the United Palestine Appeal at the Hotel St. George which was broadcast over Station WHEN in which he declared “that anti-Semitic regimes like those in German and Rumania were inimical not only to Jews but to Christians” and “that the United States, by virtue of a resolution passed by Congress in 1922 in support of the Balfour Declaration should ‘exert its influence in favor of allowing maximum Jewish immigration into Palestine.’”

1938: “A nationwide investigation of the status of all foreign immigrants living in Mexico” which is really aimed at Jews who have settled in the country since the 1920’s “has been ordered by the Secretary of the Interior according to an official state made by the President today.”

1938: It was announced today that author I.J. Singer will be the speaker at the upcoming tea sponsored by The Women’s American Ort which is part of its effort “to increase membership and facilitate its work in the rehabilitation of the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe.

1938: While an official communique published to said that “Cino Olivetti had resigned the vice presidency of the Corporation of Textile Products, the presidency of the Italian Cotton Institute and the commissionership of the National Fascist Corporation of Cotton Industrialists “ “for personal reasons” this action was seen as “the first move toward outing Jews from prominent positions in Italian life.”

 1939:  Gone with the Wind director George Cukor was fired by Producer David O. Selznick. Selznick objected to the slow pace of filming, and star Clark Gable had personal conflicts with Cukor. Cukor was replaced the next day with Victor Fleming, who won that year's Academy Award for Best Director for the film. If you have trouble going to sleep, instead of counting sheep, try counting the Jews involved in the making of “Gone With the Wind.”

1939: In “German: Reactions to Hitler” Time magazine reported that Every time Fiihrer Adolf Hitler gets ready to make a speech the world gets scared. Every time he gets through making a speech the world is relieved that he has not immediately plunged it into war. Much the same sense of relief was evident last week after the Dictator finished his annual Reichstag address. Because he announced no troop movements, made no mention of forthcoming invasions and delivered his address in rather more subdued tones than usual, many correspondents, editorial writers, even statesmen called the speech "mild." Those who took the trouble to wade through the long, formless address, however, discovered that it was actually one of the most sensational and threatening talks ever made by the head of a State. Excerpts:

> "Surely no one can seriously assume that, as in the case of Germany, a mass of 80,000,000 intelligent persons, can be permanently condemned as pariahs or be forced to remain passive forever by having some ridiculous legal title [to colonies], based solely on former acts of force, held up before them."

> "In time of crisis one single energetic man outweighs ten feeble intellectuals."

> "Europe cannot settle down until the Jewish question is cleared up."

> "If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

> "We shall protect the German clergy in their capacities as God's ministers, but we shall destroy clergy who are enemies of the German Reich."

> "Let us thank Almighty God that He has granted to our generation and to us the great blessing of experiencing this period of history and this hour."

Remarks like these gave Neville Chamberlain "the impression that it was not the speech of a man who was preparing to throw Europe into another crisis." Not a few other popular spokesmen on both sides of the Atlantic failed to share this view. Said Commentator Dorothy Thompson of the New York Herald Tribune: "Hitler never delivered a more ominous speech or one more cunningly calculated to befuddle his opponents and create dissension in democracies. The speech boils down to a declaration of intention to reapportion the distribution of the world's wealth among nations." James G. McDonald, chairman of President Roosevelt's Committee for Refugees, thought the speech was a threat to peace, that it heralded the Nazis' use of the Jews for expansion purposes. Osservatore Romano, semi-official organ of the Roman Catholic Church, challenging the Fiihrer's statement that no religious persecution exists in Germany, declared that "liberty has lost all meaning in the ecclesiastical and religious fields in the Third Reich."

1939: “The German Government’s proposals toward helping the orderly emigration of refuges from the Reich were submitted today to the delegates of thirty-two counties” which some think “foreshadows a checking, if not a reversing of the increasingly ruthless pressure applied to Jews…in the past six years.”

1940: Captain Paul Cohen, commanding B Company of the 2/2nd Battalion, 16th Brigade arrived in North Africa.

1941: Nazi leaders attacked the Dutch Jewish Council.

1942(25th of Shevat, 5702): In the Minsk Ghetto, Germans killed the leaders of the Jews deported from Hamburg.

1943: The father of Henri Krasucki, Izaak Krasucki who had been arrested on charges of sabotage was deported from Drancy today and sent to Birkenau “where he was gassed upon his arrival.”

1943: Twelve young Jews who had escaped from the Bialystok ghetto deportations attacked a German police unit at Lobpowy Most.

1943: Jews in Salonica were prohibited from walking on the street at night, nor using any telephone, private or public.

1943: Pianist Władysław Szpilman was able to escape from the Warsaw Ghetto.

1944: Birthdate of Sheldon Silver the graduate of Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School and Yeshiva University who began serving as Speaker of the New York State Assembly in 1994.

1944:  Birthdate of sometime politician and disreputable television host, Jerry Springer

1945(30th of Shevat, 5705): Henrietta Szold, American-Jewish women's leader and the founder of Hadassah, who had been seriously ill in Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus since December, died today at the age of 84.

1945: On the day before the night bombing of Dresden, Victor Klemper assisted in delivering notices of deportation to some of the last remaining members of the Jewish community in Dresden. Fearful that he too would soon be sent to his death he used the confusion created by Allied bombings that night to remove his yellow star, join a refugee column, and escape into American-controlled territory.”

1945: During World War II, the Red Army takes Budapest, Hungary from Wehrmacht forces. Reportedly 100,000 Jews were still alive when the Soviets freed the city from Nazi control. 

1945: In Marylebone, London, Gertie (née Steinberg), and Arthur Schama gave birth to historian Simon Schama.

1946: Birthdate of Richard Blumenthal, an American lawyer and Democratic politician who has served Attorney General of Connecticut.

1950: Dr. Serge Koussevitzky, the 75 year old conduct emeritus conduct of the Boston Symphony arrived in Israel where he will be giving 16 concerts between now and March 27.

1952: Birthdate Irene Dische, an American writer born and raised in New York's Washington Heights district. Her parents were Viennese Jews, and the neighborhood was home to so many German Jews that it was known as "the Fourth Reich." That German Jews would refer to their new surroundings in this way explains, in part, Dische's unusual world view, which sees isolated individuals living in a shadow realm of confounded cultural identities. Her works include Strange Traffic and The Empress of Weehawken.

1952(17th of Shevat, 5712): German born musicologist Alfred Einstein passes away at the age of 71.  Einstein is one of a long list of intellectuals who fled Hitler’s Germany and made their home in the world of American Academia.

1954: Birthdate of sportscaster Howard “Howie” Rose the “voice” of the Mets and the Islanders.

1955 Israel acquired four of the seven Dead Sea scrolls. Between 1947 and 1956 thousands of fragments of biblical and early Jewish documents were discovered in eleven caves near the site of Khirbet Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea. These important texts have revolutionized our understanding of the way the Bible was transmitted, and have illuminated the general cultural and religious background of ancient Palestine.

1955: NBC broadcast the first episode of “Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion” produced by Herschel “Harry” Saltzman.

1955: “The Big Combo” film noire written by Philip Yordan was released today in the United States.

1959: Mattel began selling the Barbie doll.  Ruth Handler, President of Mattel, was the major force behind the creation and marketing of this American cultural icon.

1960(15th of Shevat, 5720): Tu B’Shevat 

1965: The United States Figure Skating Championships, in which Taffy Pergament placed seventh, came to an end today.

1965: The Italian government prevented a private theatre in Rome from staging a production of Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” which deals with Pope Pius XII’s response to the murder of the Jews.

1969: Joseph Rosenstock closed out his 8 year career at the Met today when he conducted “Die Meistersinger.

1975(2nd of Adar, 5735): Seventy-seven year old silent screen actress Dagmar Godowsky passed away on the 105th anniversary of the birth of her father Leopold Godowsky.

1975: CBS broadcast the first screening of “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom” with a script by Jerome Kass.

1983: “Merline” a musical written by Richard Levinson, with music by Elmer Bernstein and lyrics by Don Black opened today on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.

1987: “84 Charring Cross Road” produced by Mel Brooks was released in the United States today

1991(29th of Shevat, 5751): Bernard Sauer Yiddish actor suffers a fatal heart attack at the age of 67. “He appeared on Broadway in 1966 in "Let's Sing Yiddish," starring Ben Bonus. He also performed in "Light, Lively and Yiddish" and in "Sing Israel Sing." He was also part of a Yiddish repertory company that performed in 1971 at the Anderson Theater in Manhattan. He was the president of the Hebrew Actors Union for the last five years and a board member of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance. He was born in Buenos Aires and attended drama school there. His first theatrical appearance was in 1945 in Joseph Buloff's "Yoshke, the Musician."”

1994 (2nd of Adar, 5754):Noam Cohen, age 28, a member of the General Security Service, was shot and killed in an ambush on his car. Two of his colleagues who were also in the vehicle suffered moderate injuries. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.

1994: The New York Times announces the reissuing of two classics: the intriguing, elegantly narrated Freud’s Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi in which the author, a historian, analyzes Sigmund Freud's book Moses and Monotheism, arguing that despite its unorthodox approach, the work can still be read as a celebration of Judaism and , in paperback, A History of the Jews in America by Howard M. Sachar

1996(22nd of Shevat, 5756):  Actor Martin Balsam passed away at the age of 76.

1997:  In what some might see as Jewish musical chairs Janet Yellin was confirmed to replace Joseph Stiglitz as Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

1998: “Sphere” a sci-fi thriller directed and produced Barry Levinson, starring Dustin Hoffman and Live Schreiber, with music by Elliot Goldenthal whose father is Jewish and filmed by cinematographer Adam Greenberg was released in the United States today.

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Empires of the Sand The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923 by Efraim Karsh and Inari Karsh and The Mysteries Within: A Surgeon Reflects on Medical Myths by Sherwin B. Nuland.

2001: Michael Jay Solomon began serving a three year term as Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Team Communications Group, Inc.

2003(10th of Adar I, 5763): Walt Whitman Rostow, U.S. economist, and one of the famous Rostow brothers who served as foreign policy advisors to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, passed away. (As reported by Todd S. Purdum

2004: Grace Brothers stores were rebranded as Myer. Myer, the largest department store chain in Australia, was started by Sidney Myer a Russian Jew who came to Melbourne in 1899.

2005: A revival production of Arthur Laurents’ “Hallelujah Baby” is scheduled to come to a close at the Arena Theatre.

 2005: The Chicago Tribune reported that the descendants of the Frieder Brothers and those saved from the Holocaust through their efforts related the stories of survival during a public program at the Plum Street Temple in downtown Cincinnati. The Frieder Brothers were Cincinnati Jews who ran a family-owned cigar factory in the Philippines where they helped Jews from Hitler's Germany and Austria take refuge.  They enlisted the help of the first Philippine President Manuel Quezon and the U.S. High Commissioner of the Philippines Paul McNutt in their efforts to save thousands of Jews.  Quezon and McNutt were also being honored for their efforts.  Details of this self-less act of courage can be in found in Ephraim's Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror, a book that chronicles their rescue efforts. The Frieder family was very modest.  My sister, Judy Levin Rosenstein (of blessed memory) went to college with Judy Frieder where they began a life-long friendship.  “Frieder” nor any of her family members ever mentioned this episode. 

 2005:  The Chicago Tribune reviewed The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life by Tom Reiss, a biography of Lev Nussimbaum, one of those fascinating, colorful characters who populate the periphery of history.

 2005:  The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Right Turns: Unconventional Lessons From a Controversial Life by Michael Medved and My Guardian Angel by Sylvie Weil.  Written for children, this historical novel describes the events that surrounded the arrival of the Crusaders at the town of Troyes, France in 1096.  The tale is told through the eyes of a twelve year old girl named Elvina who is the granddaughter Rashi.  We all know about Rashi's daughters and grandsons.  Here is a chance to learn about his granddaughter and the fate of the Jews of France and Germany during the time of the First Crusade.

2006(15th of Shevat, 5766): Tu B’Shvat

2006: “The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.”

2006: Naomi Blumenthal, a Likud MK, was convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 8 months in prison, a ten month suspended sentence and was fined 75,000 shekels.

2007: Stephen Allen Schwarzman, the CEO of the Blackstone celebrated his 60th birthday a day ahead of time with at the Armory on Park Avenue with a guest that included everybody from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to real estate mogul and future President of the United States, Donald Trump.

2007: Gabi Ashkenazi became the Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Born in Hagor in 1954, he joined the army in 1972 as a member of the famous Golani Brigade and saw his first combat in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

2007: “In the Loop” published today described the comings and goings in the federal government including the hiring of Dan Shapiro by Timmons and Company.

2007: Richard Pearlstone, a member of the prominent philanthropic Meyerhoff family, has been nominated to a possible eight-year term as chair of the Jewish Agency's board of governors, beginning in June. The Meyerhoff family of Baltimore donates millions of dollars a year to various charitable institutions in the U.S. and Israel. Pearlstone himself is affiliated with dozens of institutions and is former national chair of the UJA. He is also former chair of the Agency's budget and finance committee. The Meyerhoff family owned Monumental Life Insurance Company was bought by the AEGON, a Dutch insurance conglomerate. 

2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival continues with showings of “The Last Jews of Libya,” the U.S. Premiere “Leaving Paradise: The Jews of Jamaica,“ the New York premiere of “Ladino – Five Hundred Years Young,” and the North American premiere of “Goodbye Mothers” (Adieu Mères).

2008: Israeli author Amos Oz and former U.S. vice president Al Gore are among the recipients of this year's Dan David Prize for influential scientific, technological, cultural or social achievements, the prize administrators announced in Tel Aviv.

2008: In a dinner speech given at a meeting of members of France’s Jewish community President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that beginning next fall, every fifth grader will have to learn the life story of one of the 11,000 French children killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust

2009: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center today, a week after surgery to remove a tumor on her pancreas, the court announced.

2009: IAF aircraft struck in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis this afternoon after two Kassam rockets were earlier fired at southern Israel.

2009: Amy Siegel won first place at the third annual Manischewitz Cook-Off with her Marvelous Mediterranean Sliders. At the Third Annual Simply Manischewitz Cook-Off six finalists, amateur cooks whose recipes were selected from among thousands of submissions whipped up their easy-to-make dishes at the Marriot Marquis in New York as they competed for the $25,000 grand prize

2010: The JCC On the Palisades is scheduled to host an evening with Nachum Heiman, recipient of the 2009 Israel Prize for Music.

2010: Dan Naturman, Tommy Savitt, Gregg Rogell, Sunda Croonquist and Joe Marks are scheduled to appear in The Raging Jews of Comedy at the Historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

2010: "Zubin and I" is scheduled to broadcast this evening, as part of the Cultural Heroes series. “Zubin” is Zubin Mehta. “I” is producer Uri Sivan. It is Israeli. But it is not about war, or Yiddishkeit or any of the other mundane items that seem to grab the headlines and mistakenly define what it means to be Jewish.

2010: In an article describing how  people coped with the record snowstorms in the Washington metropolitan area entitled “Churches, worshipers also feel storms'” Michelle Boorstein writes about Tamara Miller, 62, who was expecting to go to synagogue on Wednesday, the third anniversary of her father's death, to say the mandatory annual prayer for the dead. Miller knew the synagogue would have the quorum of 10 Jews required under Jewish law for certain obligations, including the reciting of the mourner's prayer. When she saw the blizzard, however, she thought of the 1990s TV show "Northern Exposure," about a Jewish doctor living in Alaska, and the episode in which residents of the mostly American-Indian community scatter across a vast area to help him get the quota -- called a "minyan" -- so he could pray for his dead uncle. Miller, who has lived in her Northwest Washington neighborhood for a couple years, sent a plea via the listserv of her 300-unit condo building. Within minutes, she had a few replies. One was from a neighbor who was in Philadelphia, saying he was also in mourning and offering to recite the prayer on her behalf at a synagogue there. By sundown, she had 11 people in her living room-- the 10 required Jews and one non-Jewish neighbor with a cheesecake. "Perhaps our paths will never cross again. Maybe, just maybe, we shared a moment of faith on the worst blizzard in a hundred years," Miller, a rabbi and spiritual counselor, wrote in a letter of thanks. "The act of giving is an act of faith."

2010: A bomb that was detonated this evening in a crowded café in Pune, India, killed nine people and injured 57 was likely meant for the nearby Chabad House, Indian authorities said. The bakery is located several dozen yards from the city's Chabad house. Pune is 125 miles southeast of Mumbai, where in November 2008 a major terrorist attack in the city at several sites simultaneously, including the Chabad house, killed 179 people, with them six Jewish victims at the Jewish center.

2010(29th of Shevat, 5770): Robert J. Myers, an actuary who helped to create the Social Security program and to set America’s official retirement age at 65, died today at his home in Silver Spring, MD at the age of 97. (As reported by Mary Williams Walsh)

 2011:  Among the films scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival are “Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray,” “Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny” and “100 Voices: A Journey Home.”

2011: “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story” is one of several movies scheduled to shown today at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski and In the Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief by James L. Kugel.

2011: Ninety-year old “Raymond D’Addario, an Army photographer whose images of Hitler’s top henchmen during the Nuremberg war crimes trials put their faces before the world as it became increasingly aware of Nazi atrocities passed way today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

.2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz as the Israel Defense Forces' 20th chief of staff.

2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): General Al Ungerleider passed away today at the age of 89

2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): Alan F. Segal “a leading scholar known for his comparative studies of how religions view the afterlife” who had retired as the Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies at Barnard College in December of 2012, passed away today at the age of 65.

2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): Irving Schlossenberg, the oldest living Marine Corps combat correspondent at the time of his death, and a newspaper photographer who once goaded President Franklin Roosevelt at a baseball Opening Day, died today at 92 in Overland Park, Kansas. Schlossenberg rejected his initial 4F classification, underwent foot surgery, and made it into the Marines as a combat correspondent in World War II. He took part in five major campaigns, four of which were first wave landings, was awarded four bronze stars and became a Master Sergeant. Schlossenberg never received some of the medals he earned for his service, including a Presidential Unit Citation presented to his division for operations in the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943. Last November, his son and nephew obtained the medals, which were delivered two days before Schlossenberg's death. Prior to the war, he was a photographer at the Washington Post. On Opening Day of the 1940 baseball season, Schlossenberg convinced FDR to throw out the Opening Pitch a second time, so he could get a better shot. The resulting wild pitch smashed Schlossenberg’s camera. Schlossenberg was born in Baltimore and raised in Washington. He became a copy boy at the Washington Post and then a photographer. After the war he sold Encyclopedia Britannica and eventually became executive assistant to the company president. He was a founder of Temple Kol Ami in Prairie Village, Kansas.

2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): Herschel W. Leibowitz, a Penn State University psychologist who was among the first scientists to explore how the mind can misinterpret what the eye sees at night, a phenomenon that contributes to traffic accidents passed away today in State College, PA at the age of 85 (As reported by Benedict Carey)

2011: In “Jews in U.S. Are Wary In Happiness For Egypt” Laurie Goodstein described the mixed feelings that American Jewish leaders have concerning the current political upheaval in the Land of the Pharaoh

2012: Nathan Englander, author “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” a work of fiction that reportedly has nothing to do with the life of one of the Holocaust’s most famous victims, is scheduled to appear at the Historic 6th & Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2012(20th of Shevat, 5772): Ninety-four year old “Lillian Bassman, a magazine art director and fashion photographer who achieved renown in the 1940s and ’50s with high-contrast, dreamy portraits of sylphlike models, then re-emerged in the ’90s as a fine-art photographer after a cache of lost negatives resurfaced” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2012: “The Cantor’s Son” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in Atlanta, GA

2012: At 34 Ben Yehuda, David Kilimnick’s Off the Wall Comedy Club is scheduled to host Open Women’s Open Mic Night

2012: People of faith throughout the world have been asked to recite psalms and prayers for the recovery of Yisrael be Chana Tzirel

2012: The wife of an Israeli diplomat was moderately wounded today when a car bomb exploded outside of Israel's embassy in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Also today, a Georgian worker employed by the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi alerted police after noticing a strange object attached to a car assigned to the Israeli envoy to the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran and its client Hezbollah were behind both attacks as well as other recent thwarted attacks on Israeli officials working abroad.

2013: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present: “It's a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York and Beyond.”

2013: American Jewish Historical Society to present “The Sixties and Jewish Celebrity”

2013: Leon Wieseltier, noted writer and literary editor of The New Republic, is one of five recipients of the 2013 Dan David Prize, the foundation committee announced.

2013: The exposure in the Australian media this week of alleged former Mossad agent Ben Zygier, who reportedly committed suicide in Ramle’s Ayalon Prison two years ago, could have very dramatic repercussions for ongoing Mossad operations, Israeli media reported tonight.

2013: Today Israel’s state prosecution asked the Jerusalem District Court to sentence a man dubbed the “Jewish terrorist” to two back-to-back life sentences plus 70 years’ imprisonment for his crime of double murder, saying society should to take away Jacob (Jack) Tytell’s freedom “until the end of his days.”

Tytell, an American-born Israeli Jew who was convicted in January of murdering two Palestinians and wounding two Israelis in a series of violent acts, “trampled, in his actions, every possible value human society is founded upon,” prosecutor Sagi Ofir explained during the sentencing hearing

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Loyalty Betrayed: Jewish Chaplains in the German Army during the First World War” during which Peter Applebaum will discuss the role of the 30 Jewish chaplains who ministered to the 100,000 Jewish soldiers fighting for the Kaiser.

2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Hard Talks: Is Psychoanalysis a Hoax?” moderated by author and communications scholar Liel Leibovitz, featuring Daphne Merkin, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and Tablet Magazine and Ben Kafka, Associate Professor of Media Theory and History at New York University.

2014: In “Anchorman” published today Rob Lowe reviewed Mad As Hell by Dave Itzkoff.

2014:  In “Israel: Life on the Kibbutz – Past, Present & Future,” Ido Rakovsky is scheduled to talk about his life on Kibbutz Ein Hashoftet” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians after the Holocaust,” a roundtable discussion about the challenges facing Litvaks in the 21st century.

2014: The IDF fired on two Palestinians who had entered a restricted zone near the Gaza border and attempted to sabotage the Israeli security fence, killing one and injuring the other. (As reported by Adiv Sterman)

2014: “A technical problem caused the credit card payment system in Israel to fail this morning for five hours, with hundreds of companies and stores reporting that they were unable to accept credit payments, and tens of thousands of Israelis affected. “ (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2014: “Prospect of Spanish Citizenship Appeals to Descendants of Jews Expelled in 1942

2015: “For Richer For Poorer: Weddings Unveiled,” an exhibition that tells “story of Jewish weddings in Britain” is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum of London.

2015: “A federal prosecutor in Argentina today revived the explosive accusations leveled by Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor whose mysterious death has gripped the country, by seeking to charge President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with shielding Iranians from responsibility over a 1994 bombing” attack on a Jewish community center.

2015: “Anti-Semitic and racial slurs and swastikas were spray-painted on several homes tonight in Madison, Wisconsin.

2015: In preparation for Valentine’s Day, the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “Shidduch Friday Night” with the disclaimer that they “do not guarantee that you will find your future spouse.

2016(4th of Adar I, 5776): Parashat Terumah;

2016(4th of Adar I, 5776): Eighty year old Avigdor Ben-Gal, the native of Poland whose outstanding military career shown brightest when he defended the Golan against great odds in the Yom Kippur War.

2016(4th of Adar I, 5776): Eighty-six year old who led ABC Carpet, the family business found by his grandfather Samuel to new heights passed away today. (As reported by Michael Corkery)

2016: “French-Israeli singer Yael Naim was declared France’s singer of the year today in the 31st Victoires de la Musique, the country’s equivalent of the Grammys.”

2016: “Mountain,” a film depicting the life of “a religious Jewish woman living with her family in the Jewish cemetery on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives” and “The Last Cyclist” a film “about a childless Jewish couple who a adopt an Aryan baby girl prior to WW II” are scheduled to be shown today at the 26th annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

2016: Moshe Vardi, an Israeli professor teaching at Rice University “told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science” that “robots could take over most human jobs within the next thirty years” and “that the society’s major challenge in the coming decades will be to find meaning in a mostly automated life.”

2016: The Debut Album Release show for “Till the Sun Comes” by Shira Averbuch is scheduled to take place this evening at Rockwood Music Hall.

2017(17th of Shevat, 5777): On the Jewish calendar, yahrzeit of Haim Palachi, the chief rabbi of Smyrna who authored texts in Ladino and Hebrew which helped to earn him the designation of Hakham Bashi and Gazon

2017: The Streicker Center is scheduled to host an evening with Jill Kargman as she wittily examines life in New York as seen by a native who has hit big in the world of television comedy.

2017: David Shulkin completed his service as Under Secretary of the Veterans Affairs for Health.

2017: Steve Mnuchin was confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury by a vote of 53–47 today.

2017: In honor of “the publication of Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism, the first in-depth study of the meaning and experience of chanting Torah among contemporary American Jews, the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a discussion led by Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit who will described “how this ritual is shaped by such forces as digital technology, feminism and contemporary views of spirituality.”

2017: “The Radical Jew” is scheduled to be shown at the San Diego Jewish Film Fest.

2018: The Yeshiva University Museum is schedule to host a live performance by Elad Kabilio and an ensemble of musicians from MusicTalks who will help attendees to “experience the music of Naomi Shemer, the “First Lady” of Israeli song and poetry.”

2018: Chicago Sinai Congregation is scheduled to host a screening of “Rosenwald” this evening followed by a panel discussion

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a “dine and discuss with Nechama Goldman Barash” where attendees will examine “the Halachic Legal Structure which uses the Binary of Male/Female to Develop Traditional Roles in Jewish Society.”

2018: Einstein’s Bros. celebration of National Bagel Day which had included a week-long free bagel with purchase for all Shmear Society loyalty club members is scheduled to come to an end today.

2018: In New Orleans, Mardi Gras. For more see The Crescent City Jewish News, the Jewish voice in Cajun Country and

(Editor’s Note: This marks the 55th anniversary of my first Mardi Gras – truly memorable event in my Jewish History)



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