Friday, February 2, 2018

This Day, February 3, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


 February 3

19(12th of Adar, 3779): Dedication of the Temple built by King Herod the Great at Jerusalem

1112: Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence marry, uniting the fortunes of those two states.  According to archaeological evidence, Jews had been living in both Barcelona and Provence since the first century of the Common Era. “The earliest documentary evidence for the presence of Jews living in Provence dates from the middle of the fifth century in Arles. They were to be found in large numbers in Marseilles at the close of the sixth century.”  The Jewish population in certain parts of Provence would grow in the 14th century when the Jews who had been expelled from France found refuge in Provence which at that time was independent from France.  A group of these refugees would be referred to as the Pope’s Jews. Berenguer would pass away in 1131 the same year that Sheshet Benveniste, the “philosopher, physician, diplomatist, Talmudist and poet” who become the leader of the Barcelona Jewish community until his death in 1210 was born.

1451: Sultan Mehmed II inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire. He conquered Constantinople in 1453. The oppressed Jews were relieved to see him occupy the city. He allowed Jews from today's Greek Islands and Crete to settle in Istanbul. Mehmed II’s declaration read as follows: "Listen sons of the Hebrew who live in my country...May all of you who desire come to Constantinople and may the rest of your people find here a shelter".  Mehmed II invited the Ashkenazi Jews of Transylvania and Slovakia to settle in the Ottoman Empire. The synagogues Ahrida, Karaferya, Yanbol and Cuhadji which were damaged due to a fire were repaired on his order. Based on surviving documents, the Sultan employed at least five Jewish doctors as palace physicians.

1468: Johannes Gutenberg, father of modern printing, passed away.  Gutenberg was not Jewish.  But the invention of the printing press was a boon to Jewish study and culture.  The people of the book had much easier access to the World of Books.

1679. Birthdate of Isaac Lampronti, the native of Ferrara and the great-grandson of Constantinople native Samuel Lampronti who became a rabbi and physician “best known as author of the rabbinic encyclopedia Paħad Yitzħak.

1740: Charles de Bourbon, King of Naples, invited the Jews to return to Sicily in hopes that this would restore flagging trade and commerce industries. Approximately 20 families heeded the call but due in part to an inhospitable welcome by the local community, most soon left.

1747: A deed dated with today’s date conveyed a half-acre of land in the Township of Lancaster, Pennsylvania from Thomas Cookson to Isaac Nunus Ricus and Joseph Simons "in trust for the society of Jews settled in and about Lancaster, to have and use the same as a burying-ground." “At this time there were about ten Jewish families at Lancaster, including Joseph Simon, Joseph Solomon, and Isaac Cohen, a physician.” The deed is the earliest record of Jewish settlement in Lancaster which was an early and important settlement during the Colonial and post-Revolutionary period of American history

1749:  Sicily, invited Jews to return to the island ending a three hundred year ban.  The Sicilians believed that the Jews would restore trade to the island and improve its diminished economic conditions.

1760(16th of Shevat): Rabbi Jonah Nabon, the son of Hanun Nabon part of a distinguished Turkish and Jerusalemite  family that included Rabbi Ephraim ben Aron Nabon who died at Constinople in 1735 and Rabbi Isaac Nabon son of Judah Nabon and the author of Nepah ba-Kessef passed away today

1761(29th of Shevat): Eliezer ben Samuel Avila, the nephew of  Talmudist Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar and the rabbi at Rabat Morocco who authored Ozen Shemuel passed away.

1770(8th of Shevat, 5530): Abraham ben Uri Shraga passed away today in London. (However, his tombstone says he died on Sunday, 9th of Shevat which would have been February 4)

1780: Jacob Pinto, the son of Abraham and Sarah Pinto and Abigail Pinto, his second wife, gave birth to Sarah Pinto

1781: During the American Revolution British Admiral George Bridges Rodney seized St. Eustatius which would set the stage for the worst outbreak of anti-Semitism during the war.

Instead, Rodney assigned a sizable part of his naval force to protecting the convoy. Rodney's occupation of Statia began on February 3rd, 1781. Already, in a report of March 5, 1781, General Vaughan advised Rodney against attempting to keep the island. Rodney did not follow Vaughan's advice. Professing to be ailing, but evidently swayed more by consolidating the riches gained than with geopolitics, he departed for England, leaving a garrison of 670 men behind on decimated Statia, and assigned a naval contingent to protect them.

1786: Birthdate of Whilhelm Gesenius author of two books “of particular interest to English-speaking students of Hebrew – “a Latin work, the Lexicon Manuale Hebraicum et Chaldaicum in Veteris Testamenti Libros, and a corresponding issue of the German work, Hebräisches und Chaldäisches Handwörterbuch über das Alte Testament” – which were the forerunner of the Brown Driver Biggs lexicon

1802(1st of Adar I, 5562): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

1802(1st of Adar 1, 5562): Seventy-five year old the third child of Isaac and Beila Levy passed away today in Baltimore, MD.

1807(25th of Shevat): Meir Posner of Danzig, the rabbi of the Schottland Congregation in Danzig and the author of Bet Meir a commentary on the Shulchan Aruk  passed away

 1809:  In Hamburg, Germany the banker Abraham Mendelssohn, the son of the German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and Lea Salomon, a member of the Itzig family and a sister of Jakob Salomon Bartholdy gave birth to Felix Mendelssohn the famous composer who was not Jewish and that is what makes him significant in terms of Jewish History.  His grandfather was Moses Mendelssohn, the founder of Reform Judaism.  Felix was baptized and raised as a Protestant. His detractors point out that he wrote oratorios for the Church instead of music for the synagogue.  Others see him clinging to a vestige of his Jewish roots in choosing to write an oratorio called Elijah and setting Psalm 100 to music.  Ironically, the German composer Richard Wagner cited Mendelssohn when he attacked the Jewish influence on German music.  Hitler and the Nazis were not the first Germans to see the Jews as a race for whom conversion to Christianity was not a solution to "the Jewish Problem."  Regardless of any sentimental attachments Moses Mendelssohn may have felt for the faith of his grandfather, he died in 1847 as a Protestant.  The Jewish line of Mendelssohn had disappeared.

1810: In Chrast, Leopold and Theresia Frankl gave birth to Ludwig August von Frankl, the Bohemian born Austrian author and poet.

1816(4th of Shevat): Rabbi David ben Mordecai of Brody, author of Yefe Einayim passed away today.

1821: The government of the grand duchy of Baden asked Aron Chorin, a Hungarian rabbi who was an advocate for Reform “for his opinion about the duties of a rabbi, and about the reforms in the Austrian states. Chorin answered by writing Iggeret Elasaf, or Letter of an African Rabbi to His Colleagues in Europe, which was published by M. I. Landau (Prague, 1826). In it he stated that the Torah comprised religious truths and religious laws, the latter partly applicable only in Palestine, partly obligatory everywhere. These may be temporarily suspended, but not entirely abolished, by a competent authority, such as a synod. Only ordinances and precautionary laws which are of human origin may be abrogated in conformity with the circumstances of the time. As for mere customs and usages (minhagim), the government, after having consulted Jewish men of knowledge, may modify or abolish them; but in no other way may it interfere with religious affairs. Chorin also pleaded for the establishment of consistories, schools, a theological seminary, and for the promotion of agriculture and professions among the Jews. Some of these ideas he carried out in his own congregation, which included a great number of mechanics. He succeeded in founding a school, and introducing liturgical reforms into the synagogue; even an organ was installed at his instance. He permitted the eating of rice and pulse during the days of Passover. To his theory of a synod regulating and modifying Jewish laws and customs, Chorin always adhered. In his Treue Bote (Prague, 1831) he declared himself against the transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, but expressed the opinion that, considering the requirements of our time, synods might mitigate the severity of the Sabbatical laws, especially in regard to traveling and writing.

1826: In Mikuloc, Moses Spitzer and his wife gave birth to Viennese mathematician Simon Spitzer.

1830:  The sovereignty of Greece was confirmed in a London Protocol marking the end of the Greek War of Independence which had raged from 1821 until 1829. “By supporting the Ottoman Empire, the Jews curried disfavor with the Christian Orthodox Greeks. Thousands of Jews were massacred alongside the Ottoman Turks. The Jewish communities of Mistras, Tripolis, Kalamata and Patras were completely destroyed. A few survivors moved north to areas still under Ottoman rule.”  The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki dated from the 17th century and would become one of the largest Jewish communities as Greece developed its national identity during the rest of the 19th century.

1830: Birthdate of Lord Salisbury, who became an ally of Benjamin Disraeli and who as Foreign Secretary represented the UK at the Congress of Berlin where he worked to make sure that Romania honored its commitment to give equal rights of citizenship to the newly created kingdom.

1833: In Posen, Prussia, Dr. Siegmund Zabulon Dembitz and Francesca Whele gave birth to Lewis N. Dembitz the Louisville, KY, lawyer and husband of Wilhelmina Wehle who helped to nominate Abraham Lincoln at the 1860 Republican National Convention who may be best known for being the uncle of Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the first Jewish Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1834: In London, England Dr. Many and Hannah Emanuel  gave birth to Louis Manly Emanuel, the 1860 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School who served with the 88th Regiment of the Union Army from the Peninsula Campaign to the surrender at Appomattox and died prematurely after the war due to the deterioration of his health brought on by his military service.

1834: The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina establishes the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, today known as Wake Forest University. Based on recent statistics, there are 80 Jewish students among the 4,000 undergraduate student body.  The school offers 21 Jewish studies courses.  Jewish students use the Hillel at UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

1836: Edward Levy Green married Amelia Hart at the Great Synagogue today.

1841(12th of Shevat, 5601): M.H. Landauer, the son of Cantor Elias Landauer, who served as the Rabbi of Braunsbach and who wrote several works on the Kabala and Zohar passed away today.

1842(23rd of Shevat): Abraham Stern an inventor of mechanical calculators and one of the few it not the only Jewish member of the Warsaw Society of Friends passed away. He is buried at the Bródno Jewish Cemetery which “was opened in 1780 by Szmul Zbytkower, a Polish Jewish merchant and financier, who donated the land for that purpose.”

1843: Today’s edition of The Voice of Jacob provided information about London financier Levi Salomons who had passed away in January of 1843.

1846: Philadelphian Jefferson H. Nones, who would serve “gallantly” at the Siege of Puebla during the war with Mexico, completed his training as a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy.

1848: The German version of “Elijah” “an oratorio written by Felix Mendelssohn” that depicts events described in the Book of Kings about the Israelite Prophet which had “premiered in 1846 at the Birmingham Festival” premiered today in Leipzig “a few months at the composer’s death.

1849: Birthdate of Nahida Ruth (nee Sturmhofel) Lazarus the Berlin born author of The Jewish Woman who converted to Judaism after the death of her first husband Max Remy and who then married Professor Mortiz Lazarus.

1851: Brigadier General James Totten and his wife gave birth to Charles A.L. Totten the graduate of West Point and Yale University professor who “engaged in a genealogical exercise, attempting to prove the Davidic ancestry of the British royal family” and who supported “the project of restoring Palestine to the Jews…through the medium of an international conference.”

1853: Today, Hyam Joseph, one of the earliest Jewish settlers of the Sandwich Islands, sent a letter with a business order to San Francisco, CA

1854: In "American Slavery" published today, Henry Ward Beecher draws a distinction between slavery as practiced among Abraham and the Jews and American Slavery. "Hebrew slavery admitted that a slave was a man with all appropriate human responsibilities and made ample provision for his civil and religious instruction."  American slavery stands upon the fundamental idea that a slave is chattel, not a man; and it makes teaching him to read a penitentiary offense."  Beecher was the father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Slave owners and their supporters used the Bible as one of their defenses for that "peculiar institution" saying that if slavery was acceptable in the Bible it was acceptable today.  People like Beecher, who knew their Bible and something of ancient Israelite culture quickly challenged this bogus comparison.

1858: "The Last Moments of Rachel"  published today quotes a letter from French author Mario Uchard to dramatist Victorien Sardou in which he described the final days and death of Rachel Félix the Alsatian born Jewess better known as Mademoiselle Rachel, the famous  French actress.

1860: Today's review of "Oliver Twist," the dramatic version of Charles Dickens novel of the same name reported that "the most salient triumph of the play, however, it must be said, is won by" Mr. J.W. Wallack, Jr., "who makes Fagin the Jew the fearful, odious and miserable creature that Dickens, working then in the May-time of his genius, summoned into being. The scene in which the wretched Fagin's driveling despair at the advance of death is painted by Mr. Wallack rises far above the level of melodrama. It is eloquent with the results of close and sincere study, vivified by the intense light of a quick and vigorous imagination." [Dickens' "Fagan" is seen by some of being symptomatic of 19th century British anti-Semitism.]

1860: It was reported that today that “The Vienna Gazette has published an Imperial decree, enacting that the testimony of Jews, in future shall be regarded of the same value as that of Christians. The measure is considered preliminary to according them full civil and political rights. "

1862: During the Civil War, Captain Leopold Meyer of Philadelphia began his service with Company C of the 113th Regiment of the 12th Cavalry of the Union Army.

1863: During the Civil War,” a fishing smack, containing three Jews,” was seized tonight on Lake Pontchartrain as it made its way to Ponchatoula, a Louisiana town still held by the Confederates. The boat contained “a large quantity of medicines for the rebels” and letters from forty or fifty leading citizens in New-Orleans which were addressed to persons of authority in the Confederate Government.

1865: In Amsterdam, Jozef Israëls, “one of the most respected painters of the Hague School, and Aleida Schaap,” gave brith to Dutch painter  Isaac Israëls who was also a popular and award winning painter whose subjects included  Magaretha Gertrud Zelle, better known as the German spy Mata Hari

1865: During the Civil War, the 27th Ohio Infantry including Jacob C. Cohen arrived at Salkehatchie Swamp, SC, as Sherman’s Army pursued the Rebels under Johnston trying to reach Robert E. Lee.

1866(18th of Shevat, 5626): Joseph Bach passed away in Budapest. Born in 1784, he was a Hungarian rabbi. After I. N. Mannheimer, he was the first German preacher of a Jewish congregation in Austria-Hungary.mIn Alt-Ofen, his birthplace, he began to ground himself early in life in the study of the Talmud. Without the aid of a teacher he studied several foreign languages; after which he attended the University of Prague, remaining there 12 years. Then he returned to his home town, where he married the daughter of a wealthy family, and settled down as a merchant. It was not long, however, before he lost his entire fortune and was left penniless. Destitute of the means of subsistence, he was constrained to accept a situation as teacher. In 1827, despite having never studied homiletics, and had never heard or read a sermon, he was appointed first preacher at the newly organized synagogue of Pest, where he officiated for over thirty years. Many of his sermons have been published. An autobiography, with a preface by Kayserling, was published by his son in Budapest.

1869: Birthdate of Ludwig Lesser, the Berlin native who’s fame as an award winning landscape did not keep him from having to flee to Sweden with his son Richard in 1939 after the Nazis came to power.

1871: In Pilsen, Rabbi Heinemann Vogelstein, a leader of the Reform movement in Germany and his wife gave birth to Ludwig Vogelstein an industrialist who served as Vice President of the World Union Progressive Judaism, and in keeping with his leadership in the Reform movement, an opponent of Zionism.

1872: Salomon Jacobs, a Jewish peddler, was sentenced to six months in the penitentiary for picking the pocket of sewing girl in New York City.

1874: In Allegheny, PA, Daniel and Amellia Stein gave birth to American modernist writer Gertrude Stein.

1875: It was reported today that the committee that has been investigating the management of the Hebrew Benevolent Asylum has concluded that Mr. Meyer Stern and his colleagues were guilty of the charges made against them. While the committee has no legal standing, its investigation has resulted in putting an end to the practices of which they were accused.

1876: The trial of Pesach N. Rubenstein, a Polish Jew charged with the murder of his cousin Sara Alexander, was scheduled to resume today.

1876: In New York, 21 year old Therese Schiff (Loeb) and Jacob Henry Schiff gave birth to Frieda Fanny Warburg.

1878: “Ceremonies of Judaism: Their Meaning and Observance,” a lengthy article that described the ceremonial practices of the Jewish people including their Biblical origins was published in the New York Times. [One could hardly imagine an article like this appearing in a major European daily.]

1879: In New York, the Controller appeared at today’s meeting of the Board of Apportionment and reported that the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Association was one of the charities that had made application to receive a portion of the excise moneys collected in 1878.

1879: Birthdate of Guy Gillette, the United States Senator from Iowa who became an outspoken supporter of the Zionist cause and served as President of the American League for a Free Palestine. [In those days, references to Palestine were Jewish, not Arab.  I am still researching the path that led a person from the small northwest Iowa town of Cherokee to support the creation of the state of Israel especially when you consider that in Iowa, unlike some of other states,  there was no “Jewish vote” of any major importance.]

1885: In Modena, Italian merchant Salvatore Donati whose family traces its origins to back to the 16th century and his wife gave birth to banker, philanthropist and diplomat Angelo Donati who played a key role in rescuing Jews during WW II.

1887: Famed explorer Henry M. Stanley, the man who “found” Dr. Livingston, left Cairo to day so that he could join the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition and assume his role as active leader. Emin Pasah had been into a German family who named him Isaak Eduard Schnitzer.

1880: It was reported today that the Russian government is planning to change the law so that Jews have the same rights of other citizens as part of measures to be enacted as part of the Silver Anniversary of the Czar’s coming to the throne.

1880: The German Women’s Society for Aiding Poor and Sick Widows and Orphans held their annual meeting this afternoon at Steinway Hall.  Originally, the organization had been limited to Lutheran members. By the time of this meeting membership had been opened to include Jews as well as members of other Christian denominations.

1885: Birthdate of Modena, Italy native Angeolo Donati, the banker, philanthropist and diplomat who saved “Jews from Nazi persecution in Italian-occupied France.”

1890: “The Jews of France” published today cites claims in Fiagro and Gaulois that anti-Semitism in France  is based on a belief that Republican Government favors the Jews and that the Rothschids were responsible for the “ruin of the Union General.” 

1891: In Paris, France, Albert Lazard and Camille Lazard gave birth to Jacques Michel Adolphe Lazard the husband of Georgette Lazard.

1891: It was reported today that 160 Jewish families from Russia are scheduled to arrive in the Twin Cities this week.  They are planning on forming an agricultural colony that has the financial backing of Baron Hirsch.

1891: Sarah Bernhardt and her company are scheduled to open their four week long “American season at the Garden Theatre” this evening with a performance of “La Tosca” which “will be followed by performances of “Cleopatra,” “Theodora,” “Fedora” and “Jeanne d’Arc.”

1892: Russia closed down Yeshiva of Volozhin.

1893: The will of the late Simon Davidson, a retired Jewish merchant whose home had been on East 56th Street in Manhattan was filed for probate today.

1894(27th of Shevat, 5654): Parashat Mishpatim

1894(27th of Shevat, 5654): “The Belzer Rabbi, Yehoshua Rokeach, the eldest son of Rabbi Sholem Rokeach, the founder of the Belzer Dynasty,” who “after his father’s death in 1855 maintained the Belz Dynasty for forty years” passed away today. (As reported by Joseph Margoshes)

1894: Birthdate of Gertrud "Trude" Kiesler (née Lichtwitz) the mother of actress Hedy Lamarr.

1894: A group of unemployed Jews clashed with police outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London today.

1895: “Russia’s Jewish Problem” published today provides a detailed review of The Russian Jews; Extermination or Emancipation by Leo Errera. (He was a Belgian born Jewish botanist who works on anti-Semitism “under the pseudonym "Un vieux juif” which is German for "an old Jew"

1896: In Berlin, movie producer Jules Greenbaum and Emma Karstein gave birth to cinematographer Mutz Greenbaum.

1898: It was reported today that a decision will not be made for at least week in “the libel suit brought by Joseph Reinach against Henri Rochefort who charged Mousier Reinach with intending to prove Alfred Dreyfus’s innocence by means of forged documents.” The judicial proceedings took place for spectators who quickly turned into a mob of jeering anti-Semites.

1899: It was reported today Israel Zangwell is expected to speak at the opening session of the Hebrew Fair which will be held at the Tuxedo.

1899: In New York, founding the Yiddish daily the Jewish Abend-Post.

1900(4th of Adar I, 5660): Parashat Terumah

1900(4th of Adar I, 5660): Forty-seven year old Paul Aaron Calmann-Lévy, the son of Kalmus Calmann Lévy and Pauline Levy and the husband of Dorothée Calmann-Levy passed away today in Paris.

1901: Herzl sets out on a journey to London and Paris that will last until the 15th of the month.

1901: The Huvra Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter was the scene of a standing room only memorial service for Queen Victoria led by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Samuel Salant.

1902: In London Suzannah and Herbert Bentwich gave birth to Joseph Bentwich who made Aliyah in 1924 when he began teaching the Herzilya Hebrew Gymnasium.  He spent almost three decades at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa as a teacher and principal. He passed away in 1982.

1904: Herzl telegraphs back that he can take up the British proposal of new territory in Nandi only after the most careful investigation.

1906: “Letters from Gomel appearing in the newspapers declare unanimously that the anti-Jewish outrages in that town were perpetrated with the open connivance of the authorities” and cited “numerous instances…of soldiers blackmailing unfortunate Jews who were seeking to save the remnants of their movable property.”

1906: The American Jewish Committee was formed. It was headed by Judge Mayer Sulzberger, a leader in the fight for liberal immigration laws. Its aims included the protection of civil and religious rights of Jews all over the world. Among its founders were Dr. Cyrus Adler, Louis Marshall and Jacob H. Shiff.

1907: Birthdate of author James Michener.  Michener was not Jewish.  But his novel, The Source, is one of the least painful ways to gain an overview of Jewish History

1909: In Paris, two Alsatian Jews – Saolomea and Dr. Bernard Weil gave birth to French mystic and Resistance fighter Simone Weil.

1910(24th of Shevat, 5670): Sixty-three year old Josephine Lazarus, author of The Spirit of Judaism passed away.

1912(15th of Shevat, 5672): As the Jews celebrate the New Year of the Trees, American politicians begin to gear up for a New Political Year – the presidential elections of 1912.

1913: Birthdate of Milton Lipson, a lawyer and investigator who, as a Secret Service agent from 1938 to 1946, was a personal bodyguard for Presidents Roosevelt and Truman.

1913: The two day “annual convention of District Grand Lodge No. 1 of the B’nai B’rith” which included a dinner at Delmonico’s where Jacob Furth of St. Louis addressed the attendees, a ball at Sherry’s and the election of Dr. Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El as the President came to an end in New York.

1913: The New Jersey Conference of Charities and Corrections of which Newark, NJ Rabbi Solomon Foster served as a member of the Executive Committee continued meeting for a second day in Plainfield, NJ today.

1913: The Junior Auxiliary of the Mothers’ Aid of the Chicago Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary is scheduled to be held in the Vestry of Rooms of Isaiah Temple this afternoon.

1914: It was reported today that “all restrictions on the length of sojourn to be permitted in Russia to Jewish physicians who wish to attend the Twelfth International Ophthalmological Congress in St. Petersburg” that will run from July 28 to August 2, 1914.

1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee were the Ladies Benevolent Society, Albany, GA; Temple De Hirsch, Seattle, Washington; the House of Israel, Hot Springs, AR; Adath Moshe, Athens, GA; Temple Israel Ladies, Wilmington, NC and the Hebrew Drama Club, Columbus, Ohio.

1915: Ottoman forces attempt to cross the Suez Canal but are repelled by the British. The Turks then turn towards Beersheba in Palestine after suffering near 2000 casualties.

1915:  In what would prove to be one of the opening rounds in the battle for the control of Palestine, Turkish troops arrive at the Suez Canal after having marched 130 miles through the Sinai Peninsula.

1916: The American Jewish Relief Committee announced today that it has received “to date” contributions in cash and pledges totaling $2,112,048.71.

1916: “In an interview” today the “President of the American Tariff Reform League stated that the organization…was entirely in accord with the sentiments expressed by Jacob Schiff in a speech before the Reform Club” in which he declared “war will never cease until we have worldwide free trade and the only way to render preparedness unnecessary is to the Custom Houses and the tariff walls and have international free trade.:

1916: It was reported today that the American Jewish Relief Committee had received the following contributions from committees throughout the United States and Canada including $305 from the Calgary Committee and $1,000 from the Des Moines Committee as well as $250 from the Staunton Christian Churches.

1917: The response of Felix Warburg, the chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, to Germany’s announcement of a return to unrestricted submarine warfare published today, read, in part “Germanys note to the United States announcing a ruthless submarine warfare against neutral and other ships has stopped negotiations begun by the Joint Distribution Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers and which had for its object the sending of the German liners interned here to Syria and Belgium”

1917: During the second to the last year of World War I, British troops occupied Baghdad. After suffering heavily by forced conscription, torture and extortion by the Turkish ruled government, local Jews celebrated their freedom by declaring it a holiday (Yom Ness). Their freedom lasted until 1929 when the British granted independence to Iraq and all Zionist activities were prohibited.

1917: Birthdate of William Frankel, the son of Isaac Franekl, the beadle of an Orthodox London Synagogue, who became editor of the “Jewish Chronicle,” a British weekly newspaper.

1918: The Jewish Press Bureau reported from Stockholm “that the Dutch Zionist Federation has published a protest against the non-participation of a Jewish representative in the Brest-Litvosk peace negotiations” despite the fact that “the rights of millions of Jews as a national minority are being decided there.”

1918:  In the Bronx, Jacob Gottlieb, a bicycle repairman and Anna Siegel Gottlieb gave birth to Joseph Abraham Gottlieb who gained fame as Joey Bishop whose career spans the entire spectrum of a Jewish comic's life - Vaudeville, Burlesque, the Catskills, Las Vegas, Movies, and Television.  Many remember him as one of ABC's attempts to imitate the popular Johnny Carson Show.  The shows only lasting contribution was introducing Regis Philburn to America.  His other claim to fame was being part of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack which included another famous Jewish entertainer, Sammie Davis, Jr.

1918: Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, a Member of Parliament visiting the United States on Government business today “urged that no obstacles be put in the path of the Palestine restoration movement” saying that “the Jewish State should include all of the territory of twelve tribes ”stretching from Dan to Beersheba

1919: Today, Chaim Weizmann, the leader of the Zionist delegation, presented the case for a Jewish homeland together with a map of the proposed entity. The statement supported the creation of a mandate entrusted to Britain and described the Jewish historical connection with the area. It also declared that the proposed borders and resources were “essential for the necessary economic foundation of the country” including “the control of its rivers and their headwaters”.

1919: It was reported today that Herman Bernstein, “who has just returned from Siberia” is no longer editor of the American Hebrew having been replaced by Isaac Landman.

1920(14th of Shevat, 5680): In New York, Rabbi Isaac C. Noot passed away at the age of 80.

1920(14th of Shevat, 5680): In her 57th year, Lena Reich, the wife of Bernard Rech and the mother of Mrs. Louis E. Beiber passed away today in New Rochelle, NY.

1920(14th of Shevat, 5680): Mae Reichman, the wife of Samuel Reichman and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Goldberger passed away today in New York.

1921: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise officiated at the marriage of Arthur M. Schwartz and Rosaline Steifel at St. Regis Hotel “followed by a wedding breakfast for about 40 guests.”

1921: Dr. Bernard Drachman officiated at the wedding of William Freiber and Regine Weiss, “the niece of Charles M. and Henrietta H. Fergess” at the Hotel McAlpin.

1921: In Washington, DC, Samuel Zallman Alpher and Rose Raise Alher gave birth to Ralph Ahser Alpher the physics professor at Union College, mathematician and provider of the model for the Big Bang Theory which was the subject of his 1948 Ph.D. dissertation.

1921: In the Bronx, jewelry salesman Milton Kalish and his wife, the former Helen Rosenfeld gave birth to Austin Kalish script writer today. (As reported by Anita Gates)

1922: Residents of Bridgeport, CT heard a broadcast carried by WDY and KDKA that included the singing of Eddie Cantor in one of his first, if not his first venture, into the world of Radio.

1922: “Masters of the Sea” a “silent adventure film directed by Alexander Korda” and co-starring his wife Maria was released in Austria today.

1924: Birthdate of famed timpanist and baton maker Richard Samuel Horowitz, the Bronx native who was the son of “a cellist in silent-picture orchestras and movie theatre projectionist “and a “violin and piano teacher.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1924: “The Marriage Circle” a silent film directed and produced by Ernst Lubitsch was released today in the United States.

1924: In the back of their dress shop in East Harlem, Daniel and Fanny Gelb gave birth to “Timesman” Arthur Neal Gelb. (As reported by Sam Roberts.

1925: In Chicago, Irene (née Marks) and Nathan Berman gave birth Sheldon Berman who gained fame as comedian Shelly Berman who was part of a group of early monologists who along with Mort Sahl and Bob Newhart, created a golden age of stand-up comedy.  Berman's specialties included a "series of neurotic schlemiels" and "benign Lenny Bruce characters." He also appeared in a few short-lived comedy series.

1926: Birthdate of Vivien Wax Nearing, the New York attorney who dethroned Charles Van Doren as champion on “Twenty-One” the popular quiz show on NBC.  She survived as champion for four weeks.  Ms Nearing was one of fourteen contestants who were exposed for cheating during subsequent investigations into the quiz show scandal.

1928: When Albert D. “Dolly” Stark was “added to the National League umpiring staff” today, he became the first Jew to serve as an umpire in the Major Leagues in modern times.

1931: In Brooklyn, Arthur Levitt, Sr. and his wife gave birth to Arthur Levitt, Jr. who served as Chairman of the S.E.C. from 1993 to 2001.

1931: It was reported today that the Zionist Executive Committee has sent a message of condolence to the family of the Reverend William H. Hechler who has just passed away at the age of 86.  Hechler was a Protestant minister who was an early supporter of Zionism and the work of Theodor Herzl.

1932: Birthdate of Maria Itkina, the native of Roslavl the track star who competed in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics.

1933: Influential art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen, “was raised to the peerage as Baron Duveen.”  He was the oldest child of Sir Joseph Joel Duveen, the Dutch born Jew who had settled in England where established a firm that dealt in the trading of antiquities. 

1934: “The anti-Semitic ‘Prophecy’ attributed to Benjamin Franklin” that has been distributed in Germany was actually first published today in Liberation, “the organ of the Silver Shirts, a secret Fascist body headed by William Dudley Pelley” founded in Asheville, NC

1934: Jesuit Father M. Barbera reviewed Alfred Rosenberg's Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (The Myth of the Twentieth Century) for La Civiltà Cattolica. The book, published in Germany in 1930, had strongly endorsed Article 24 of the Nazi Party Program of 1920, which said that the party "stands for a new `positive Christianity.'" This new cult would abolish the "Jewish" Old Testament, purge the New Testament of humanitarian and pacifist themes, and create a German church anchored in blood, race, and soil. The party program and the book itself constituted a direct challenge to Catholics and Protestants alike, and Father Barbera was not delicate in his response. Because of the book's emphasis on the superiority of the pure "Aryan" race and its distortions of Christian history and teachings, he unequivocally rejected it as a "subversion of the very foundations of Religion and the Christian State." He did not mention Rosenberg's anti-Semitism.

1935(30th of Shevat, 5695): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

1936: The Federal Council of Churches of Christ hosted a luncheon at the Aldine Club at which Sir Herbert Samuel and Viscount Bearsted made a plea to Catholic, Protestant and Jewish clergyman for support in financing the emigration of young Jews from Germany.

1936: The English-Speaking Union hosted a reception for Sir Herbert Samuel, the former British Home Secretary, during which he urged cooperation between the United States and Great Britain “to promote world peace and liberty.”

1937: It was reported today the Richard Walter Darre, the Reich Minister of Agriculture has written The Pig Murder, a book that “deals with the killing of 9,000,000 pigs in 1915” which he says was part of a Jewish plot to destroy the basis of the German self-nourishment system” and to aid in the allied blockade that was so harmful to the German war effort.

1938: In Bucharest, “Foreign Minister Istrate Micescu told the cabinet council that he had scored a success over the Jews in Geneva” where the League of Nations had given Rumania “a free hand to carry out revision of Jews’ citizenship” and said that it will not consider any complaints brought by Jews against that government until Rumania has “put forth its explanations.

1938: It was reported today that while Great Britain is broadcasting messages in Arabic designed to counteract “Mussolini’s persistent anti-British propaganda and to bring about peace in Palestine between Arabs and Jews” Sir Oswald Mosley, the English fascist leader is among those sending anti-Jewish literature to Arabs and to British officials in Palestine with intention of exacerbating tensions in the Holy Land.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that the third British soldier was killed in the battle near Jenin. While more than 50 Arab terrorists were killed, the number of their wounded could not be estimated. In Safed Arabs refused to attend the funeral of an Arab policeman branded as a traitor and murdered by Arab terrorists. The Palestine government approved the Post's suggestion that both Arab and Jewish buses should be of the same color, to make them indistinguishable and less prone to Arab terrorist snipers.

1939: “The British Government accepted an offer by President Roosevelt’s Advisory Committee on Refugees to send an expert commission to investigate the possibilities” settling Jewish refugees in British Guiana

1939: “A large number of prominent Finish citizens of all parties started a nation-wide collection” to raise funds to support the destitute refugees from Central Europe, most of whom are Jews from Germany “who have sought temporary refuge in Finland.

1939: In Budapest, The Dohány Street Synagogue “was bombed by the Hungarian pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party” today after which it was “used as base for German Radio and a stable during WW II.”

1940(24th of Shevat, 5700): Eighty-two year old librettist Viktor Léon whose best known work was the operetta “The Merry Widow” passed away today

1941: Esther "Etty" Hillesum, young Jewish women whose diaries about life in Holland under Nazi occupation were published posthumously, went to serve as "model" to the psycho-chirologist Julius Spier, at the Courbetstraat 27 in Amsterdam.

1941: Birthdate of Toronto native and “Canadian historian of the Holocaust” Michel Robert Marrus the author of such works as Vichy France and the Jews and “one of three Jewish scholars appointed to the International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission to investigate the role of the Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.”

1943: U.S. premiere of “Air Force,” a film based on a real event that took place in WW II produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack Warner and staring John Garfield and featuring George Tobias, playing a role for which he was born – a Jew from Brooklyn serving in the crew of a B-17

1943: Leon Blum “wrote to a friend, one Madame Camel: “I received your package from Noch. The ham hock was wonderful. I haven’t yet eaten the prunes, but I know the species and look forward to eating them. … The household routine remains the same, except that occasionally new guards appear from outside.”

1943: After visits from René Bousquet, the secretary-general of the Vichy police and the man responsible for the July 1942 roundup of French Jews, and the no less redoubtable Colonel Helmut Knochen of the SS, representing Himmler, today Leon Blum was removed from Bourrassol by German troops.

1943: Eva-Marie Buch, who “worked for the Schutze-Boysen-Harnack resistance group (The Red Orchestra)” “was sentenced to death by the People’s Court.”

1943(28th of Shevat, 5703):  The Allied troopship S.S. Dorchester was torpedoed by a German sub and went down with a loss of 600 lives. As it sank, four chaplains calmly ministered to the needs of their comrades-in-arms and gave up their lifejackets to shipmates, thereby perishing in the icy waters. The bravery of Rabbi Alexander Goode, Father John Washington, Rev. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed), and Rev. George Lansing Fox (Methodist) led Congress afterward to mark February 3rd as "Four Chaplains Day."

1944: The 67th train in eighteen months left Drancy for Birkenau. Upon their arrival 985 of the 1,214 deportees were gassed; of them 184 where children under 18 year of age.

1944: Two weeks after his wife Elizabeth had become a United States citizen, Hungarian born photographer André Kertész became a U.S. citizen today.

1944: Sydney Shumelson, a 29-year-old junior officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), was part of a Buffalo Beaufighter Squadron that successfully attacked a Nazi convoy off the coast of Norway. On the way back, Shumelson engaged in a running dogfight with a Messerschmitt for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. “Six months later, Sydney participated in another sortie in which he and his comrades sunk two heavily defended warships in the Bay of Biscay. As a result of his service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and became the highest decorated Canadian Jewish serviceman in World War II.”

1944: “The Fighting Sullivans” a WW II biopic about five brothers from Waterloo, IA, produced by Sam Jaffe was released in the United States today.

1945: Colonel Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal led the entire Third Division, an armada of 1,000 B-17’s, on a raid on Berlin.

1946: The Royal Air Force reported that “six uniformed men held up an RAF medical rehabilitation unit in Tel Aviv tonight and stole eighteen weapons.”

1946: Seventy-nine year old English novelist Edward Phillips Oppenheim who was incorrectly “widely perceived as Jewish and was termed ‘the greatest Jewish writer since Isaiah’” passed away today.

1946: In Jerusalem, “police and military authorities announced today that the curfew that had barred pedestrians from streets in Jewish quarters would be lifted tomorrow.  The curfew has been in effect for sixteen nights.

1946: Among the 12,000 Canadian military personnel who arrived at Pier 90 in New York aboard The Big Bess was comedian Lou Herman of Toronto who performed in Italy and Northern Europe “with his rifle on the alert, never sure when an enemy attack might be made.”

1949: The Provisional State Council which acted as the legislature for the state of Israel until the election of the first Knesset held its last meeting today.

1949: “The Bribe,” an American crime film directed by Robert Z. Leonard, produced by Pandro S. Berman and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was released in the United States today.

1950: Morton Gould and his wife gave birth to their third child and first daughter Abby.

1951: In Philadelphia, President Harry S. Truman dedicated a chapel in the honor of “The Four Chaplains” in Philadelphia.  The chapel was moved to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in 2001 and after being repaired in 2004 was renamed “The Chapel of the Four Chaplains.”

1952: In Mt. Vernon, NY, Lillian Vernon and Samuel Hochberg gave birth to their first son LGBT activist Fred Philip Hochberg, who in a very Jewish pattern was named for an uncle who died at Normandy and who served as “president and CEO of the Lillian Vernon Corporation” before serving in several government positions including Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank under President Obama.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the Ministry of Labor plans to develop communications and queries, expand irrigation and agriculture and move people from towns to villages all of which should help in lowering the unemployment rate and hasten the closing of the transit camps for recent immigrants.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Arab states had dropped their plans for a boycott of Germany after the Bonn government has ratified the Israeli Reparations Treaty.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Czechoslovakia and Hungary joined the Soviet Union in spreading false anti-Semitic accusations and started identifying and purging their Jewish officials.

1954: The IDF officially began employing “a new doctrine of combining armored and motorized infantry units” developed by Yitzhak Pundak who was promoted the rank of Brigadier General.

1958(13th of Shevat): Benzion Katz passed away

1959(25th of Shevat): Joseph Pearlman passed away

1960: “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond” a crime biopic that “marked the film debut of Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen), produced by Milton Sperling, with music by Leonard Rosenman was released today in the United States by Warner Brothers

1965(1st of Adar I, 5725):  Rosh Chodesh Adar I

1965(1st of Adar, 1, 5725): Ninety-two year old Giuseppe Levi “an Italian anatomist and histologist” who “was a pioneer of in vitro studies of cultured cells” passed away today.

1970: The funeral for Bella Bergoffen, the widow of Samuel Bergoffen is scheduled to take place this afternoon at Riverside Chapel

1970: The funeral for Dorothy Horowitz Gerber, the widow of Newcomb Germer is scheduled to take placed at the Higgins Home for Funerals followed by internment at the Children of Israel Cemetery in South Plainfield, NJ

1971: Birthdate of Tobias Jacob "Toby" Moskowitz “an American financial economist and a professor at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business. He was the winner of the 2007 American Finance Association (AFA) Fischer Black Prize, which is awarded biennially to the top finance scholar under the age of 40 in years when one is deemed deserving.”

1973: Judge Justine Wise Polier retired from the New York Family Court after 38 years spent trying to use the bench to assist children and redress discrimination.

1974: After only 65 performances a Broadway revival Adler and Ross’ “The Pajama Game” co-starring Hal Linden, closed today.

1974: The Syrian Foreign Minister announced that his country was carrying out a ‘continued and real war of attrition’ that aim of which was to keep ‘Israel’s reserves on active duty and paralyzing its economy.’

1975(22nd of Shevat, 5735): Eighty-eight year old Russian born American character actor Michael Mark whose career spanned almost 40 years passed away today.

1976: In Oman, Elspeth Reid and Brian Fisher gave birth to actress Isla Lang Fisher who converted to Judaism before marrying Sacha Baron Cohen.

1977: Birthdate of American born sprint canoer Rami Zur, who “competed for Israel at the 2000 Summer Olympics.”

1978: “The One and Only” a “comedy starring Henry Winkler, directed by Carl Reiner, produced by David V. Picker, starring Henry Winkler and Gene Saks and filmed by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper was released in the United States today.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that mercury was found in Spanish oranges as a poisoning scare cut into sales of Israeli citrus in Europe. In the third week of their almost total strike, Israeli seamen threatened to wreck their ships to prevent their sale, as threatened by the Zim management. The US was contemplating a package deal: a joint sale of American jet fighters to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 1985: Physicist Frank Oppenheimer, younger brother of Robert Oppenheimer, and veteran of the Manhattan Project, passed away.

1986: In Harrisburg, PA, the large plant owned by TRW (the R stands for Simon Ramo) burned to the ground in an eight alarm fire.

1988: In Yorkton, Saskatchewan Rick and Carol Schwartz gave birth to Mandi Jocelyn Schwartz the Yale hockey player whose struggle with leukemia would inspire thousands of people to volunteer to be bone marrow donors.”  (As reported by Thomas Kaplan)

1988: Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited Nablus today and found the streets deserted except for his own soldiers. He chatted with them in the narrow twisting streets. Some residents could be seen peeking at the minister through the slats of their closed shutters as he walked with bodyguards, a squad of soldiers and an entourage of journalists. ''I more than believe that we are going to put an end to it,'' he said of the protests. ''When, I don't know.''

1989(28th of Shevat, 5749): Seventy-three year old Academy Award winning American movie music orchestra leader, composer and arranger Lionel Newman, passed away.

1991: After a long and angry debate, the Israeli Cabinet today voted to accept as a new member of the Government a small right-wing party that advocates expelling all the Palestinians from the occupied territories. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir pushed through the appointment of the Moledet Party -- the Hebrew name means homeland -- over the opposition of senior members of his Government to expand his coalition to 66 seats in the 120-seat Parliament. That is considered a safe governing majority. No longer will any but the very largest of the minor parties have the power to bring the Government down. Several of the most senior members of the Government -- the Ministers of Justice, Health, Finance, Defense and Foreign Affairs -- voted against the new coalition agreement or abstained, participants at the meeting said. Vote totals from the closed meeting were not disclosed. In several cases, dissenting ministers said they considered the Moledet Party to be racist. And they openly worried that the move would jeopardize Israel's new-found international standing as a result of its military restraint in the face of Iraqi missile attacks.

1991:  The army announced that it had decided to begin large-scale distribution of gas masks to Palestinians in the West Bank.

1991: Mayor David N. Dinkins arrived in Tel Aviv “today from New York City for a lightning visit to show solidarity with Israel. His Israeli hosts wasted no time pressing a gas mask kit into his hands, and then whisked him away for a discussion on chemical weapons with Israel's Foreign Minister. Israeli officials who greeted Mr. Dinkins in the first rush of meetings during his 24-hour visit had nothing but praise for the Mayor. From the President down, Israelis were pleased with Mr. Dinkins's decision to come here at a time when air-raid sirens are wailing almost every night. But that was in direct contrast to the feelings of some of Mr. Dinkins's black constituents. In New York, some black leaders have accused him of using the trip to bolster his popularity among Jewish voters while neglecting the problems of his black supporters. While Mr. Dinkins's visit to Israel has been praised by Jewish leaders in New York, some blacks have objected to the trip because they believe it may align the Mayor too closely with supporters of the Persian Gulf war and could make him appear too hawkish, particularly among blacks who in some opinion polls have been shown to lag considerably behind whites in support of the war. Since the hastily arranged trip was announced 10 days ago, Mr. Dinkins has repeatedly tried to deflect the criticism by characterizing the visit as a humanitarian gesture of support for Israel at a time of great adversity. But aides who came with Mr. Dinkins acknowledged that, along with the show of solidarity, the Mayor's visit was intended as a modest, if early, pitch for Jewish votes in the 1993 election. This appears to be at least part of the reason that Mr. Dinkins has not scheduled any meetings with Palestinians during his trip, though virtually all visiting American politicians make a point of meeting with prominent Arabs. The Mayor's aides said Mr. Dinkins wanted only to express sympathy for Israel and not to take on larger political issues. Such visible support for Israel could be useful if Andrew J. Stein, the City Council President, who could be expected to have wide Jewish support, decides to run against Mr. Dinkins. After being fitted for a gas mask in the airport arrival lounge, Mr. Dinkins, looking weary from his long flight, said: "Wisdom and prudence dictate that we learn how to put on a gas mask. But I'm not afraid. I'm 63, and God has been good to me and taken care of me over the years."

1992: Ezer Weizman, the former Israeli Defense Minister and air force commander who became an ardent advocate of peace with the Arabs, announced his retirement from politics today, warning that the Government was leading the country toward war. An architect of the 1978 Camp David peace accords with Egypt and an outspoken supporter of talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mr. Weizman said he was leaving public life because he could no longer influence national policy. Addressing Parliament, Mr. Weizman, who is 67 years old, said he was resigning as a member of Parliament from the Labor Party. "After serious consideration I have decided to resign my post in the Knesset and to leave political life," he said. "I leave concerned for the fate and image of the State of Israel in the years ahead. I am troubled by the grave feeling that the path we are taking does not lead to peace, but to an impasse behind which is the horror of war." Farewell May Not Be Final Mr. Weizman said later that he felt he could "no longer contribute" to peace efforts. Acquaintances said he had become disillusioned by the Government's conduct of Arab-Israeli negotiations and by what he saw as the inability of his own party to present credible policy alternatives. While he insisted that he was abandoning parliamentary politics, Mr. Weizman did not rule out a proposal by some legislators that he serve as President, a mostly ceremonial post. His uncle, Chaim Weizman, became Israel's first President in 1948.

1992(29th of Shevat, 5752: Eighty –five year old “Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar” Theodore H. Gaster passed away today.

1993: U.S. premiere of “The Century Club” the cinematic treatment of the play by the same name about three Jewish widows in Pittsburgh produced by Philip Rose, with music by Elmer Bernstein and co-starring Lanie Kazan.

1995: “In the Month of Madness” a horror film featuring David Warner and Frances Bay was released in the United States today.

1995(3rd of Adar I, 5755): Seventy-one year old author Jack Sendak, the brother of Maurice Sendak and the son of Philip Sendak passed away today. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

1997: Newly installed U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced the uncovering of her Jewish origins.

1997: During fiscal 1997 which ended today women's apparel accounted for 32 percent of Younkers's sales, men's apparel for 16 percent, home furnishings for 16 percent, and cosmetics for 11 percent. In an example of oft repeated tale, Younker’s traced its origins to a general store started by Lipman, Samuel and Marcus Younker at Keokuk, IA, from which the brothers put the merchandize on backpacks and walked the roads selling to local farms.  Herman Younker “joined them in 1874 and opened a 1,320-square-foot dry goods store in Des Moines on their behalf with a $6,000 grubstake.”

 1999(17th of Shevat, 5759): Eighty five year old Ben “Red” Kramer the Long Island University basketball all-star who won the Haggarty Award  which “is given to the best men’s basketball player in the New York City metropolitan area” passed away today.

2000: The U.S. Senate voted 89-4 to confirm Alan Greenspan for a fourth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age by Alan M. Dershowitz

2002: Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans.

2003: Today actress Lana Clarkson was found in the Pyrenees Castle, the Alhambra, CA, mansion of musician Phil Spector whose immigrant Jewish grandfather arrived in the United States “with the surname Spekter.”

2006(5th of Shevat, 5766): Actor Al Lewis, best known for his role as Grandpa on the television show “The Munsters” passed away.

2007: ט"ו בשבט or Tu B’Shevat and Shabbat Shirah.  In Cedar Rapids a special Tu B’Shevat and Tailgating Kiddush celebrating the New Year of the Tree’s and Sunday’s Super Bowl.

2008: “Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country” closes at the Jewish Museum of New York.

2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of Artists in Exile: How Refugees From Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts by Joseph Horowitz, Swimming in a Sea of Death David Rieff’s account of his mother’s (Susan Sontag) final illness and Eli Gottlieb’s second novel, Now You See Him.

2008: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by Jacob Heilbrunn and Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg.

2008: Super Bowl Sunday: In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots who are owned by Jewish businessman and philanthropist Robert Kraft.

2009: Dr. Avi Bitzur, Israel's Director General of the Ministry, "gave details of the new Israeli campaign for compensation of seized property and assists as at a panel entitled 'A Matter of Historic Justice: Jewish Refugees From Arab Countries,' held at the Ninth Annual Herzliya Conference.

2009: The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism presents the second annual Professor William Prusoff Honorary Lecture, "1948 as Jihad" featuring Professor Benny Morris of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

2009: German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a stern rebuke today to Pope Benedict XVI, accusing the Vatican of giving "the impression that Holocaust denial might be tolerated" by welcoming a disgraced bishop back into the church.

2009: Palestinian militants fired a long-range rocket from Gaza into the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon today and Israel retaliated with airstrikes against smuggling tunnels and a Hamas outpost in southern Gaza, as Egyptian-brokered talks for a sustainable cease-fire continued in Cairo with no obvious progress. No injuries were reported on the Palestinian or Israeli side.But the rocket that fell near a clinic in central Ashkelon was an imported Katyusha, the first of that more powerful type since a tenuous calm took hold more than two weeks ago. It presented a new challenge to Israeli leaders ahead of elections next Tuesday and raised the possibility of a military escalation should the Egyptian initiative fail.“We promised peace and safety to those living in southern Israel, and we will deliver,” the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, vowed Tuesday. Israel pulled its troops out of Gaza on Jan. 18, ending a devastating three-week offensive that Israel said had been primarily meant to deter such rocket attacks. Israel and Hamas, the Islamic group that rules Gaza, declared separate cease-fires. But tit-for-tat attacks have increased since Jan. 27, when Palestinian militants detonated a bomb that killed an Israeli soldier patrolling the border. Until today, the trickle of mostly homemade rockets fired into Israel had landed primarily in open areas close to the Gaza border. Ashkelon is a city of 120,000 people about 10 miles north of Gaza, on the Mediterranean coast. Hamas denies that it has been firing the rockets. The Gaza branch of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militia nominally affiliated with Hamas’s main rival, Fatah has claimed responsibility for some of the launchings. Others have been claimed by smaller groups, or have gone unclaimed.

2010: The 10th Annual Herzliya Conference is scheduled to come to a close.

2010: Maggie Anton, author of the trilogy about Rashi’s Daughters is scheduled to speak at Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park, Michigan.

2010: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is schedule to present “Taste of Israel: Ethnic Cooking at its Best” featuring six Israeli women from the Partnership Community of Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda who will be at the JCCNV to cook foods from different origins including Morocco, Iraq, India, Kurdistan, Persia and Egypt.

2010: Elie Wiesel told Haaretz today that he is using his ties with world leaders and heads of state and appearing at international conferences to warn of Ahmadinejad's intentions. More than 40 Nobel Prize winners from various countries have added their signatures to a full-page ad denouncing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that is due to be published in The New York Times and International Herald Tribune in the next few days. The ad, initiated by 1986 Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, condemns Iran's severe human rights violations and warns that Iran's nuclear program is a danger to humanity. The ad is part of Wiesel's worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the threat he says Ahmadinejad poses to world peace. "Governments must stop Ahmadinejad and put him on trial at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on charges of open incitement for genocide," he said. Wiesel blasted Judge Richard Goldstone, saying his report on the Israeli offensive in Gaza was "a crime against the Jewish people." Wiesel, who was deported from his hometown of Sighet in Transylvania to Auschwitz, is demanding Hungary open its Nazi-occupation era archives. This would expose the extent of the Hungarian police and army's persecution of the Jews, he said.

2010: The daily Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace reported today that Vandals have defiled a Jewish cemetery in the city of Strasbourg with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans.  The swastikas were smeared on about 20 tombstones, while the German phrase 'Juden Raus' (Jews, get out) was scrawled elsewhere in the cemetery. Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, which reported the incident, told France Info radio that the vandalism appeared related to the ceremonies being held Wednesday in Europe to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp at the end of World War II.

2011: The Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present: “Chamber Music of Schubert, Bach, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff and Zaretsky” performed by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

2011: Professor Jean Seaton is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Reporting the Holocaust - As it was Happening” at the Wiener Library in London, UK. 

2011: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a bullet shot into her brain, will not be attending this year’s National Prayer Breakfast which is scheduled to take place today. Congresswoman Giffords had invited her rabbi, Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim, to attend the event with her.

2011: Police officers stumbled on a large stash of jugs and coins dating back from the Second Temple era in the Galilee village of Mazara today, during an arms raid.

2011: Rabbi Steven Kushner officiated at the funeral of Mitchell Reuben Perlmeter  at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, N.J. Perlmeter who passed away two days ago at the age of 17 was the son of two rabbis.

2012: IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz ordered a full inquiry into the incident that saw a soldier with the 188th Armored Brigade accidently left behind in the Palestinian village of Budrus.

2012: "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumour and it will be removed," Teheran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today. Khamenei addressed thousands of worshipers attending a Tehran University prayer service marking the Fajr celebration. The crowd met the statement by chanting "Death to Israel."

2012: Rabbi Alexander Goode, Reverend George Fox (Methodist), Reverend Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed) and Father John Washington (Roman Catholic) are remembered on Four Chaplain Day.

2012: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host another of its fabulously popular Friday Night Musical Shabbats

2012: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff is scheduled to speak at Friday night services at Washington Hebrew Congregation as part of the commemoration of Four Chaplains Day.

2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of The Lion Is In by Delia Ephron

2013: As part of the Temple Judah 90th anniversary celebration, historian Mark Hunter is scheduled to deliver an illustrated talk on the history of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

2013: Rebekka Helford and Bruce Bierman are scheduled to lead the music and dancing at the Klezmer Jam Session and Dance hosted by The Talking Stick in Venice, CA.

2013: Final performance of “Not By Bread Alone” is scheduled to take place at the Skirball.

2013: Today marks the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester, a U.S. Army transport ship, torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II. During the sinking 4 chaplains, including Rabbi Alexander Goode sacrificed their lives to save others answering in the affirmative to the age old question of “Am I my brother’s keeper.” (Special thanks to the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington for assembling so much valuable information about this event)

2013: Today, Israel’s army chief landed in the United States for talks with his American counterpart, amid tension with Syria following a reported Israel airstrike there last week. He arrived as Israel’s defense minister insisted that Israel “means what it says” about preventing advanced weaponry being moved into Lebanon as Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus loses control. (As reported by Michal Shmulovich)

2013: As Americans watch the Super Bowl, this is the story of the commercial you will not see.

2014: An exhibit at La Galeria at Boricua College in Washington Heights featuring works from “Intermarriage” is scheduled to close today.

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a panel discussion on “Iranian Jewish Identity.”

2014: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to “Lea and Daria,” a film about two Croatian “Shirley Temples

2014: According to reports first published today by Haaretz “Israel has offered Turkey twenty million dollars in compensation to the families of those killed and wounded in its 21o raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.”

2014(3rd of Adar I, 5774): Eighty-seven year old Arthur Ortenberg, the husband and business partner of Liz Claiborne passed away today, (As reported by Doulas Martin)

2014(3rd of Adar I, 5774): Sixty-four year old American born Professor Barry Rubin who was a “columnist and well-known expert on terrorism and the Middle East passed away today.(As reported by Stuart Winer)

2014(3rd of Adar I, 5774): Ninety-two year old Professor Ezra Zohar, the physician who helped to found the School of Medicine at Tel Ave University passed away today.

2014(3rd of Adar I, 5774): Twenty-one year old Captain Tal Nahman was “killed today due to friendly fire near Gaza.”2015: “Ze’eva Cohen: Creating a Life in Dance” is scheduled to be shown at the Lincoln Center.

2015(14th of Shevat, 5775): Seventy-eight year old Sir Martin Gilbert,  the official biographer of Winston Churchill and author of 80 books who wrote meaningful history with the style of a novelist passed away today after an extended illness during which he was lovingly cared for by his wife, Lady Esther Gilbert.

2015(14th of Shevat, 5774): Seventy-five year old theatre director Ike Schambelan, who created opportunities for “challenged” actors and actresses passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2015: In Washington, DC, the Historic 6th & I Synagogue is scheduled to host a Tu B’Shvat Seder “featuring local soured snacks and dessert.”

2015: French-Israeli journalist Jonathan-Simon Sellem today “was invited at The Algemeiner Gala in New-York City, to receive a prize as one of the 2014 Top-100 people influencing positively Jewish life.

2015: At the Center for Jewish History Gina B. Nahal is scheduled to discuss her new novel, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S., about the experience of the Iranian Jewish community in the United States.

2016(24th of Shevat, 5776): Three terrorists murdered 19 year old Hadar Cohen, an Israeli security officer who was “interfering” with their apparent attempt to launch an attack on shoppers in and around the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.

2016: Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, the Chabad-Lubavitch from Anchorage, Alaska invoked the seven Noahide Commandments when he 19offered the opening prayer at the United States Senate in which he “prayed for the United States to lead in the fight against terrorism worldwide.”

2016: Professor Michael Walzer is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Secular Revolutions and Religious Counter-Revolutions: The Case of Zionism” at Kol Shalom Congregation.

2016: “Pinchas Zukerman and the Zukerman Trio” are scheduled to appear the Kaufman Concert Hall.

 2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust is scheduled to host an “Artist Talk Anika Smulovitz” in conjunction with “Pointing the Way” an “exhibit about ceremonial Torah pointers.

2017: Funeral services are scheduled to today at Chicago’s Emanuel Congregation for Rabbi Herman Schaalman.

2016: In “Gay Congregation Celebrates Its Identity With New Home in Manhattan” published today David W. Dunlap described the growth of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

2017: This afternoon, UKJF is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “Through the Wall,” Rama Burshtein’s comedic look at love in the Hasidic community of Tel Aviv.

2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host Friday night services and a Shabbat dinner followed by Rabbi Michael Rosenfeld-Schueler’s chavruta session.

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to continue Parent’s Shabbat that includes a Pirke Avot study session following Shabbat Luncheon.

2018: Yiddishkayt is scheduled to host the “West Coast premiere of ‘Art Is My Weapon,’ the inspiring cabaret showcasing the life and work of Dutch-Jewish anti-fascist performer Lin Jaldati at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles.

2018(18th of Shevat, 5778): Parashat Yitro – including the revelation at Sinai, one of the most universally known of all Biblical stories; for more see






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