Monday, March 19, 2018

This Day, March 20, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

March 20

43BCE: Birthdate of the Roman poet, Ovid. In “The Art of Love, Part One” Ovid wrote "And do not miss the festival of Adonis, mourned of Venus, and the rites celebrated every seventh day by the Syrian Jews." Apparently Ovid knew about Jewish customs and, at least when it came to love, thought well of them (the Jews and the customs)

1191: The papacy of Clement III “who reissued the bull Sicut Judaeis, protecting the Jews at the time of the Third Crusade” came to an end today.

1488(28th of Adar, 5248): Celebration of the first “Cairo Purim”

1602: The Dutch East India Company is established. “By the middle of the seventeenth century, Jewish diamond merchants helped finance the Dutch East India Company, which organized its own trade route to India. So Amsterdam then replaced Lisbon as the port of entry in Europe for India's diamonds.”

1619: Sixty-two year old Matthias, the Holy Roman Emperor who as Archduke had acceded to the wishes of the Dutch and “established religious peace” in their provinces which helped to turn the Netherlands into a place of refuge for the Jews fleeing Spain and Portugal, passed away today.

1693: Talmudist Gerhson Ashkenazi, whose many followers including David Oppenheimer passed away today in Metz.

1705: In Great Britain, Hambro Synagogue founded (there are other claims that this now defunct synagogue was found variously in 1702 or 1707)

1764(16th Adar II, 5524): Salomon Nathan Maas, the husband of Hewle Meise and the father of Nathan and Salomon Maas passed away today and was buried in Frankfurt am Main.

1725: Birthdate of Abdul Hamid I, the Ottoman Sultan who employed two Jews from Salonica, Doctor Joseph and Doctor Cohen.

1799(13th of Adar II, 5559):Ta'anit Esther


1799: French forces under the command of Napoleon began the siege of Acre. This was part of Napoleon’s campaign that stretched from Egypt through Palestine. Napoleon’s campaign in the eastern Mediterranean marked the start of serious Western involvement in the land that would eventually become the modern state of Israel.
1800: Birthdate of Gottfried Bernhardy, who was “professor and director the philological seminary at Halle.
1806(1st of Nisan): Rabbi Joseph Harif of Zamosc, author of Mishnat Hakhamim passed away today
1810(14th of Adar II, 5570): Purim
1815: After escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule. In a 1930’s movie about the Rothschilds, Nathan Rothschild agrees to pledge his entire fortune to defeat Napoleon. In exchange for his generosity, he demands that the Austrians and Prussian remove their restrictions against the Jews. “There is a legend told that on the day of the Battle of Waterloo, Nathan Mayer Rothschild came to the floor of the London Stock Exchange, leaned against a pillar, and started selling. It was well known that the Rothschilds had their own independent sources of information and intelligence, and nobody knew the results of the battle, so when he began to sell, everyone thought that England had lost, and they began selling, too. That forced a panic in the market. As much as 15%-20% of the value of the stocks fell in about three hours. And after they had fallen so low, Rothschild turned around and began buying. It is said that he knew all along that the Duke of Wellington had defeated Napoleon and that the British market would go up. And when the official news came the next day that the British had won, the market went up 1000 points, making Rothschild even wealthier. It is reputed that on that coup alone, a substantial amount of the Rothschild fortune was made.”

1816: Miriam Marks, a native of Sing Sing, NY and the daughter of Michael Marks married her first husband Jonas Barnett today.
1816:  Montague Marks married Hannah Moses at the Great Synagogue.
1825(1st of Nisan, 5585): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1826: Jacob Tenachem ben Yedediah Shmuel married Beila bat Asher at the Hambro Synagogue today.
1836: Birthdate of Sir Edward John Poynter, the English painter who drew on the Bible as topics for his works as can be seen by his paintings “King Solomon,” King Solomon’s Temple,”  “The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon” and “Israel in Egypt.”
1837(13th of Adar II, 5597): Ta’anit Esther; erev Purim
1843(18th of Adar II, 5603): Solomon Titkin, the son of Abraham Titkin, the chief rabbi at Breslau and an opponent of the Reform movement, passed away today.

1848(15th of Adar II, 5608): Shushan Purim

1848(15th of Adar II, 5608): Twenty Jews were killed in riots and street fighting that took place in Berlin. Anti-Jewish riots also spread to Bavaria, Baden, Hamburg and many other cities. This marked the start of the Revolution of 1848 that swept the states of Germany. In the end the liberals would lose, sparking a large migration of Germans including many German Jews to the United States. These freedom loving liberals would arrive in the United States just in time to support the infant Republican Party and provide a major element in the coalition that saved the Union during the Civil War.

1857: The New York Times reported today that "Jews are always scrupulously careful about the solemnization of marriages. Two witnesses, two men of character and unconnected with the parties by relationship have to sign the marriage document and ten adult males must be present to participate in the" ceremonies.

1854(20th of Adar, 5614): Sixty-three year Moses Montefiore Ancona, the London born of Moses Ancona and the former Hannah Montefiore, who lived in Barbados and Jamaica before settling in Pennsylvania where he used the first name of Moses, married Mary Ann Knapp, and practiced medicine passed away today.after contracting pneumonia.

1859(14th of Adar II, 5619): Purim

1863: Nathan and Regina Ullman Stern brought their fourteen year old son Leopold Stern, who would become “known as the dean of diamond importers in American” and “three time Republican Presidential elector in New York” to the United States today.

1865: Birthdate of Charlottenbrug, Prussia native Hermann Picha, the German-Jewish actor whose career spanned two decades starting in 1914 and ending in 1935.

1870: “The Board of Directresses” of "B'nai Jeshurun Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society," met today in the 34th Street Synagogue. Mrs. Leo Henry, the President and one of the founders of the society, “presented a report calling attention to the number of destitute aged and infirm Hebrews in the city, who were constantly making application for relief which the society was unable to confer; also urging the ladies to devise some practical measure which, when adopted, might furnish permanent relief to these distressed and suffering co-religionists, without interfering with the original objects of the organization.” The society had been formed in 1848 to provide relief for “indigent females.”

1871: In The Hague, Johanna and Maurice Kann gave birth to Emma Louise Kann

1878(15th of Adar II, 5638): Shushan Purim

1878:  Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli “gave away the bride” when Hannah Rothschild married Philip Archibald Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery.  The Prince of Wales attended the ceremony that made her the Countess of Rosebery.

1879: It was reported today that Dr. Henry S. Jacobs will deliver a lecture this weekend at the Norfolk Street Synagogue sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Union.

1880: J W Seligman & Company are parties to a suit to be heard this morning by Judge Thayer concerning creating a receivership for financially troubled Memphis, Carthage and Northwestern Railroad Company. Jesse Seligman is one the trustees for the railroad’s bond holder

1880: Tonight, the Concord Society is sponsoring a charity for the benefit of the Young Ladies’ Charitable Union which is part of the United Hebrew Charities. This first annual event is being held at New York’s Lexington Avenue Opera House.

1881: Birthdate of Parisian Eugene Paul Louis Schueller, the founder of the cosmetic and beauty company L’Oreal and employer of Efrayim Khahneman, whom he rescued from the Nazis which meant that Efrayim and his wife Rachel could give birth to Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.

1883: In Warsaw, Siegmund Simon Epstein and Sarah Sophia (Lurie) Epstein gave birth to Russian-American mathematical physicist Paul Sophus Epstein.

1885: The Yiddish theater season opened in New York with an operetta by Abraham Goldfaden

1886(13th of Adar II, 5646): Parashat Tzav; Shabbat Zachor; Erev Purim

1886: Birthdate of Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, the native of Galicia whose life of crime included time with Al Capone on the south side of Chicago.

1886: In Philadelphia, Emily Grace Solis and Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen gave birth to “prize-winning poet, author, translator, historian, and communal leader Emily Solis-Cohen.” (As reported by Arthur Kiron)
1887: Birthdate of Hartog Hamburger the Amsterdam diamond polisher and baseball who died after being hit in the head with a line drive.

1890(28th of Adar, 5650): A Hebrew school teacher named Nathan Wisskerz “committed suicide” this evening “by turning on the gas in his room” at 51 Henry Street.

1890: in Gelsenkirchen, Julius Hess, an attorney and his wife Elisabeth gave birth to Ernst Mortiz Hess, “ the baptized German Jew who “commanded the company of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 in which Adolf Hitler served during WW I.”

1890: Leo von Caprivi began who was an opponent of the anti-Semitic parties, began serving as Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of Prussia

1891: Fifty-two year old American actor Lawrence Barrett who portrayed the character of Shylock “with force, sincerity and at times splendid effect” but was still not on the level of Edwin “Eddy” Booth whose portrayal of Shakespeare’s Jew was considered to be the best of them all.

1892: Birthdate of Newcastle-on-Tyne native Irving J. Caplan who came to the United States in 1902 at the age of ten, became a successful businessman in Troy, NY, married Marie Caplan and served as a director of the United Jewish Services.

1892: “Ivory in the Past” discussed the two sources of this item in ancient times.  While the exploits of Hannibal and others points to an African source the fact that the ancient Hebrews and those living on the Indian coast and in Ceylon use the same word for Elephant (habba) and the similarity between the Hebrew word for Monkey (koph) and Sanskrit word for monkey (kapi) are two of the indications that India which was home to elephants was the other source for ivory along with the proven fact that Solomon conducted trade with the orient.

1893: “Errors About Intermarriage” published today provided the views of Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu El on this subject.  According to Silverman, the Bible only prohibits marriage to seven Canaanite tribes and as can be seen from the examples of Moses and Solomon allows for marriage to non-Jews.

1893: William F. Wharton completed his services Assistant Secretary of State during which he had asserted “that the Department of State is without an information respecting the alleged suspension of the Russian edict against the Jews.”

1894: As the Board of Health struggles to combat the dangers of tuberculosis, it is having 15,000 copies of instructions on how to deal with consumptives printed in a variety of languages including Hebrew. (Apparently, the city officials did not know that Yiddish would have been a better choice for the immigrants from Eastern Europe)

1894: The Ladies’ Bikur Cholim Society hosted a Purim celebration for youngsters at their industrial school.

1895: In Brooklyn, Louis Grunhurt and his sister Mrs. Mary Ballowa appeared in surrogate court to contest the will of the their brother, the late Dr. Bernhard Grunhurt who was reportedly lost at sea last August.

1895: The German Societies in New York asked that the fountain in memory of the poet Heinrich Heine be placed at 59th street and 5th Avenue entrance to Central Park.

1896: The list published today of those institutions that the Board of Estimate and Apportionment has given money to from the theatrical and concert license fund includes Beth Israel ($100); United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York ($1,000) and Montefiore Home ($500)

1896: “The Hebrew Infant Asylum Benefit” published today described the successful auction conducted by Maurice Barrymore and Cyril Scott for boxes and seats at the upcoming performance of The Heart of Maryland, the proceeds of which will go to the Jewish charity.

1896: Speaking of the Jubilee Celebration being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Shaaray Tefila, Rabbi De Sola Menes who has led the congregation for 18 years, said today. “The congregation Shaaray Tefila in the half century of its existence has occupied a unique position among the Jewish congregations of this city” because “it has held the mean between the radical reform and the ultra-orthodox” making “haste slowly” while moving “sedately with the times.”

1896: Dr. M.H. Harris delivered his second and final lecture today on the Inquisition at Temple Israel in Brooklyn, NY tonight.  During the lecture he defended himself against charges of “ignorance, prejudice and falsifying history” made by Revered Brann of St. Agnes’s Roman Catholic Church made after the first lecture. “The Catholic Church would like to rid itself of this blog upon its annals.  The fact is the Inquistion was a religious institution, but was mixed up with civil affairs…The fact that the Inquisition was instituted to investigate heresy is the best proof of its religious character.”  (Holocaust deniers were preceded by Inquisition deniers)

1897: Yeshiva Rabbi Isaac Elhanan opened in New York as an Orthodox rabbinical seminary. It later expanded into Yeshiva University, with both Jewish and secular studies, a medical (Einstein) and a graduate school (Ferkauf).

1897: Oscar S. Straus, formerly the United States Minister to Turkey, returned to New York from Europe today.

1897: It was reported today that Mrs. Joseph B. Bloomingdale and Mrs. Edward Fridenberg had been responsible for the recent party given for those staying at the Amsterdam Street facility of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Mrs. Bloomingdale is the wife of the founder of Bloomingdales Department Store.

1897(16th of Adar II, 5657): Seventy-four year old Dr. Ignatz Grossman the native of Hungary who was ordained as a rabbi forty years ago passed away today in New York City.

1898: Yetta Firber took the three children of David Bogin, who were her grandchildren home from the police station after it appeared they had been abandoned their father. It turned out that they their mother had died in Denver and they had gotten lost on their way to join their father in East Hartford where he had gone for work.  (Such was the chaotic life of the children of the “immigrant generations.”)

1899: Herzl established the Jewish Colonial Trust as the financial arm of the World Zionist Organization. Its goal was to encourage Jewish settlement and projects which would “advance the Zionist cause.” One of its subsidiaries, the Anglo-Palestine Company, later became Bank Leumi. Other investment helped create the Israel Electric Cooperation and Bank Hapoalim.
1899: Private Joseph Weinstein, Joseph Polskey, George C. Hahn, Phillip Isaacs, Julius C. Meyer and Harry Newburg were among those who completed their military service with the Third Regiment of the Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of the U.S. Army at Savannah, GA.
1900: Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan, a play in one act by David Belasco premiered today at the Herald Square Theatre in New York City.

1901: Russian bank director Levontin presents his plan to buy up the shares of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railroad. Levontin will become the assistant manager of the Bank in London.
1902: Birthdate of Baltimore native David Lasser, the science fiction writer and social activist. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

1903: Lady Sybil Grant the daughter of the 5th Earl of Rosebery and Hannah de Rothschild, the only child of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild and a granddaughter of Nathan Mayer Rothschild married Charles John Cecil Grant.

1903: American author and humorist Charles Godfrey Leland passed way.  In his memoir, Leland recounted the following exchange with George Eliot concerning her one novel about Jews.  “One day she told me that, in order to write Daniel Deronda she had read through 200 b00s.  I longed to tell her she had better have learned Yiddish and talked with 200 Jews and been taught as I was by my friend Solomon the Sadducee the art of distinguishing Fraulein Lowenthal of the Ashkenazim from Senorita Arguado of the Sephardim  by the corners of their eyes.
1905: The Constitution Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith continued to meet for a second day New Orleans.
1906: Almost two years after the death of Herzl, Sir Edward Gray wrote to Leopold Greenberg rejecting the proposal for a Jewish settlement in Sinai for the third and last time.

1906(23rd of Adar, 5666): Fifty-five year old Isaac Gellis the successful businessman and Jewish community leader who came to the United States thirty-five years ago who has served as a trustee of the Hebrew Sheltering Arms Society and the Montefiore Home passed away today at his residence on Henry Street.

1906: Birthdate of Abraham Beame, first Jewish Mayor of New York City.
1907: Southern African financier Solomon Barnato Joel, the son of Joel and Catherine Joel, Ellen (Nellie) Ridley, gave birth to their daughter Eileen who married John Rogerson and became Eileen Daphne Solvia Rogerson.
1907 (6th of Adar, 5667): Birthdate of Moshe Aharon, the sixth child of Shoshe and Rabbi Avraham Halevi Shapiro, whom the sainted Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt"l, pronounced to be an ilui (child prodigy)
1909: Birthdate of Cincinnati native and San Francisco physiatrist Meyer Aaron Zeli

1911: In Berlin, “Austrian theater director Max Reinhardt manager of the Deutsches Theater, and his first wife Else Heims” gave birth to Gottfried Goldman, who gained fame as producer-director Gottfried Reihnardt.

1911: Birthdate of Milo Sperber, the “Polish born English actor, director and writer” who was the brother of Manès Sperber.

1911: “The body of a thirteen year old boy, Andrei Yustschinksi was discovered near a brick factory on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.” This simple statement describes the first event in what will eventually become The Case of Mendel Bellis, one of the most infamous episodes of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia.
1913(11th of Adar II, 5673): Ta’anit Esther

1913(11th of Adar II, 5673): Sixty-nine year old Confederate Army veteran Henry Lazarus passed away today in Camden, Arkansas.
1915: American Jewish Relief Committee apportions $30,000 for Jews in Palestine, $1000 per month (for 6 months) for Palestinian soup kitchens, and $3000 per month (for 10 months) to Turkish Jews outside of Palestine.

1916(15th of Adar II, 5676): Shushan Purim

1916: Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity in a journal called Annalen der Physik. (And that is much as I know about it except to refer you to Dr. Joe Rosen, the only person I know who understands it.)

1916: As of today “gifts valued at close to $100,000 and ranging all the way from a sticks of candy, to a grand piano, a seven passenger touring car and even building sites in the Bronx and Staten Islands have been received by the People’s Relief Committee which is organizing the bazaar and fair for Jewish suffers to be held at the Grand Central Palace” starting in the last week of March and continuing into April.

1916: Today, it is estimated that the gold and jewels given by the Jews of Baltimore at a mass meeting held “under the auspices of the American Jewish Relief Committee” are worth at least $3,500.00.

1917: In what must have seemed like a momentous occasion at the time for all Russians, including her Jewish citizens a manifesto issued by the new Russian Provisional Government published today began “Citizens: The great work has been accomplished.  By a powerful stroke the Russian people have overthrown the old regime.  A new Russia is born.  This coup d’etat has set the keystone upon long years of struggle.” (In less than a year, the Bolsheviks would sweep the forces of democratic reform aside and create a dictatorship every bit as vile as the Czars.)

1917: Tonight’s mass meeting in Madison Square Garden which “has been arranged with the co-operation of the Forward Association, the Bund, the Russian Social Democrats, the Jewish Socialist Federation of America, the Workingmen’s Circle, the United Hebrew Trades and the New York local of the Socialist Party” and for which 8,000 tickets have been sold, will mark “the first time in the history of” the city of New York that “thousands of Jewish refugees will assemble to cheer a Russian government.”

1917: In an exclusive interview given to the Associate Press today the new Foreign Minister of Russia said that “there now appear to be no obstacles” to “a new commercial treaty between Russia and the United States” since “all the disabilities governing Jews” from America coming to Russia “have been removed.”

1917: Following the sinking of several U.S. ships by German submarines, President Wilson met with his cabinet who voted unanimously in favor of going to war four days before Rosh Chodesh Nisan.

1918(7th of Nisan, 5678): Fifty year old Richmond, VA native Mitchell H. Mark who moved to Buffalo where he opened a hat store and then with his brother Moe “founded the Vitascope Theatre…one of the first permanent movie theatres” built anywhere in the world.

1918: Birthdate of comedian and television game show host, Jack Berry. Jack Barry met and teamed up with Dan Enright in Borscht Belt clubs. They started Winky Dink and You, a children's show known for the special transparent covers children had to put over the TV screen so they could draw the "hidden pictures" during Winky's adventures. Barry and Enright were also instrumental in producing and hosting early game shows, such as Concentration and Tic Tac Dough. Barry is best remembered as the host on the game show “21” which went from sensational television hit to be the symbol for corruption in the communications industry.

1918: It was reported today that based on information supplied by the Jewish Welfare Board, “Jewish families in the vicinity of army and navy cantonments” are scheduled to act as hosts for Jewish soldiers and sailors” who will have leaves so they may observe Passover.
1921; In Vienna, Béla Schwimmer and Marie Karp gave birth to Vilma Mitzi Schimmer who came to the United States in 1935 and married Edward James in 1944 in Brooklyn.


1921: In New York City, two hundred delegates at a preliminary meeting of the Provisional Committee for an American Jewish Congress adopted resolutions that were intended to make this a permanent organization.
1922: Birthdate of actor Werner Klemper. The German born refugee from Hitler’s Germany was the son of Otto Klemper. Ironically, Werner gained his greatest fame as the bumbling Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Hero” the sitcom set in a German POW Camp.

1922: In the Bronx, Jewish immigrants Bessie (née Mathias) and Irving Reiner gave birth to comedian and writer Carl Reiner who first gained fame as “the second banana” on the Sid Caesar comedy show “Your Show of Shows” and is also remembered for his work with the 2000 Year Old man and the Dick Van Dyke Show.

1924(14th of Adar II, 5648) Purim

1924: Birthdate of British Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby, the grandson of Rabbi Chaim Maccoby and the librarian of Leo Baeck College whose area of expertise was the relationship between early Christianity and first century Judaism including the contention that the last two thousand years of western anti-Semitism had its origins in the drive of early Christian leaders to separate their religion and followers from the Jews.


1925: The new Hebrew University is scheduled to be dedicated on Mt. Scopus with Lord Balfour and Dr. Chaim Weizmann in attendance.


1925: Charley Phil Rosenberg (Charles Green) won the World Bantamweight Championship today.


1926: In New Orleans, the former Anna Leibof gave birth to Tulane University engineering graduate Harold Allen Rosen, “a driving force in the invention of modern communication satellite technology.


1926: “The Fiddler of Florence” a comedy written and directed by Paul Czinner and co-starring Grete Moseheim was released today in Germany.
1927(16th of Adar II, 5687): Shushan Purim observed because the 15th falls on Shabbat


1927: “More than 3,000 children attended the first rally of the New York Jewish Religious Schools which had been organized by Rabbi Jonah B. Wise of the Central Synagogue.”

1927: Birthdate of Manhattan native Lawrence Seymour “Larry” Phillips the Princeton University History major who became a top executive in the family owned Phillips-Van Heusen clothing business and a leading Jewish philanthropist.

1928: Birthdate of Anthony Bernard Blond “a British publisher and author” who was a cousin of Harold Laski. He passed away in 2008. You can learn more about Blond by reading his autobiography Jew Made in England, which was published in 2004

1930: Birthdate of Arthur Schneir, the native of Austria who survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest who has been Senior Rabbi at Park East Synagogue since 1962 and who founded the Appeal of Conscience in 1965.

1931: Birthdate of actor Hal Linden. Born Harold Lipshitz, the Bronx native gained his greatest fame in the title role of the police comedy “Barney Miller.”

1933: “German Fugitives Tell of Atrocities at Hands of Nazis” published today provided readers of the New York Times with accounts from Americans arriving in Paris from Germany of “outrages and cruelties in racial purging” and “Jews fleeing persecution.”

1933: At the initiative of the Jews of Vilna, an anti-Nazi boycott began. It eventually spread all over Poland and to many countries in Europe. Yet within 6 months Poland itself signed a non-aggression treaty with Hitler which called for the cessation of all boycott activities.

1933: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that “the hoisting of Nazi swastika banners over the German consulates at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv has greatly disturbed the feelings of the Jewish public.” Fearing hostile demonstrations, British police and detectives are guarding the German buildings.

1933: The Nazis completed building Dachau, the first of the infamous concentration camps.

1933: Darius Paul Dassault born Darius Paul Bloch reached the rank of Brigade General in the French Army today.

1936: Founding of Kol Israel (Voice of Israel).


1936: “Chancellor Adolf Hitler has assumed himself a 100 per cent majority of all the valid votes cast in the” upcoming “Reichstag election” in which Jews will not be allowed to vote “by creating a ballot that leaves the voter only choice of voting for him or invalidating the ballot.”

1936: “In Palestine, establishment of a legislative council continued to occupy the minds of both Arab and Jewish leaders” with the “latter being adamant in their refusal to participate in the council on the basis of representation in proportion to population which would make the Jews a permanent minority.”

1936: “Polish Jews have strongly criticized” a government bill to ban ritual slaughtering “which they said would eliminate their method of kosher slaughtering.”

1936: The daughter of a Viennese rabbi who was employed in Berlin “as a religious instructor by a Jewish community center” has been released after six months of imprisonment and “ordered to leave Germany as an undesirable alien.”

1937(1st of Nisan, 5697): Parashat Vayikra; Rosh Chodesh Nisan; Shabbat HaChodesh

1937: Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Religion of the Psalms” at Temple Emanu-El this morning.

1937: Rabbi Hyman J. Schachtel is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Eternal Road” today.

1937: Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon “Benjamin Franklin and the Jews” this morning at Rodeph Sholom.

1937: The Luncheon of the Women’s Division of the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Birobidjan (Soviet Union) is scheduled to take place this afternoon at the Hotel Astor.

1938: In his sermon today at the North Baptist Church in New York, Rev. Francis K. Shepherd said “God will save the Jews from Hitler as He saved them from Haman.”

1939: Seven thousand Jews fled German occupied Memel, Lithuania.

1939: A 24 hour strike was scheduled to begin a 5 A.M. in Palestine to protest Great Britain’s latest plan that would, according to The National Council Of Palestine Jews, would lead to the “liquidation of the Newish national home” and strangle Jewish settlement in Palestine.
1939: Rabbi Milton of Steinberg of the Park Avenue Synagogue spoke to the Brooklyn Chapter of Hadassah at the Waldorf-Astoria where 2,000 women heard chapter president Mrs. Joseph L. Horowitz announced that “$60,000 has been raised since last October” to help to support projects in Palestine.
1939: Approximately 5000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, including many done by Jewish artists, deemed "degenerate" by the Nazis were burned on an enormous pyre in Berlin.

1940: Birthdate of Mary Ellen Mark, the Philadelphia native who became “one of the premier documentary photographers of her generation.”

1941: At Baumann and Berson Children's Hospital in the Warsaw Ghetto, nurse D. Wagman writes that she is helpless to prevent death.

1942: After having been turned over to the Nazis today George Politzer, the Marxist philosopher was tortured – treatment that would last until his execution in May

1943(13th of Adar II, 5703): Parashat Vayikra; Shabbat Zachor; Erev Purim

1943: On Purim Eve in Czestochowa, Poland, over 100 Jewish doctors and their families were taken away and shot. The meaning behind the factor-of-ten chosen was revenge for the ten sons of the Jew hater Haman who were hanged in Biblical times. Victims include 56-year-old gynecologist Dr. Kruza Gruenwald, 30-year-old general practitioner Dr. Irena Horowicz, and 44-year-old neurologist Dr. Bernard Epstein. Czestochowa is the home of the “Black Madonna.”

1943: “Bulgarian military police, assisted by German soldiers, took Jews from Komotini and Kavala off the passenger steamship Karageorge, massacred them, and sunk the vessel.”

1944: One day after the Nazis took control of the Hungarian capital, the SS seized control of The Budapest University of Jewish Studies and turned it into a prison

1944: “Cover Girl” a musical directed by Charles Vidor with songs by Jerome Kern, Ira Gershwin and E.Y. Harburg was released today in the United States.

1945: Erhard Auer, the Socialist political leader who was physically attacked by the Nazis in the 1930’s and who was imprisoned at Dachau for his alleged role to kill Hitler in 1944 died today.

1945(6th of Nisan, 5705): An Allied air raid killed Jewish women in a camp at Tiefstack, Germany, near Hamburg.
1948: “David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, speaking in Tel Aviv today, stigmatized United States abandonment of partition as "surrender" and rejected a United Nations Palestine trusteeship "even for the shortest time."
1948: Laura Z. Hobson’s “Gentleman’s Agreement” wins the Oscar

1949: Israeli forces took control of Ein Gedi on the western shore of the Dead Sea. This move helped to secure the western border of the newly created Jewish state and to protect Israeli interests in an area that would be beneficial to the chemical and tourist industries.

1950: Moshe Sharett, Israel’s Foregin Minister, “called upon the seven member nationas of the Arab League today to make peace with Israel by direct negations.” He said that Israel only wished “to consolidate its present position…There will be no further war if the Arab world does not will it.”

1952(23rd of Adar, 5712): Rabbi Armand Bloch passed away.

1952(23rd of Adar, 5712): Seventy-nine year old Racie Adler passed away.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Executive Branch of the US government made it known that experience in Israel suggested that technical cooperation could succeed there in specific objectives: "Namely to aid in reducing the present economic crisis, to contribute significantly to the development and to increase productivity." The Presidium of the Conference of Jewish Claims Against Germany announced that Moses A. Levitt, executive of the American Joint Distribution Committee, would lead the delegation to The Hague Conference on Jewish Claims and Reparations. In the House of Commons Selwyn Lloyd, Minister of State, announced that Britain was contributing £4,452,440 for the first year of the three-year international program (the Blandford Plan) to resettle 800,000 Arab refugees from Palestine in various parts of the Middle East. In addition Britain announced that it was proposing an interest-free loan of £1,500,000 to Jordan to contribute indirectly to the same purpose.

1953: “Destination Gobi” an off-beat WW II movie produced by Stanley Rubin with music by Sol Kaplan was released in the United States today.

1954(15th of Adar II, 5714): Joe Levin, a founder of B’nai Abraham in Brenham, Texas and the father of Jewish Texan historian, Rosa Levin Toubin passed away

1954: In Madison, Wisconsin, Morton Wagner and Bernice Maletz gave birth to author and screenplay writer Bruce Alan Wagner whose work includes “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.”

1956: Under the leadership of Habib Bourghiba, Tunisia gained its independence from France. Bourghiba was well disposed to the 100,000 strong Jewish community, appointing a Jew to his first cabinet. But he was not able to stem the tide of "Islamic extremism" that would take hold in subsequent years.

1956: In Lambeth, South London Sally Oppenheim-Barnes, Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes and her husband gave birth to Phillip Oppenheim, who when he became an MP became part of what have been the only Parliamentary Mother-Son duo in English history

1958: “Merry Andrew,” a musical starring Danny Kaye, directed by Michael Kidd, produced by Sol C. Siegel and written by Isobel Lennart and I.A.L. Diamond, was released for showing to the movie going public.

1962(14th of Adar II, 5722): Purim

1964: Ernest Lehman completed his final draft of the script for “The Sound of Music” today.

1965: Rabbi Heschel flew to Selma from New York tonight as civil rights leaders planned to try another march from Selma to Montgomery. Previous attempts had been stopped by violence so the aged sage was literally risking his physical well-being to help "the widow, the orphan and the stranger in our midst." The march was part of the fight to gain passage of what became known as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the second most important piece of Civil Rights legislation ever adopted in the United States.
1968: In New York City, Attorney Arnold Jacobs Sr. and Ellen Kheel gave birth to journalist and author Arnold Stephen “A.J.” Jacobs, Jr. the husband of Julie Schoenberg with whom he had three sons – Jasper, Zane and Lucas – and cousin of legal scholar and fellow author Cass Sunstein.
1970: The funeral services for Isadore H. Prinzmetal, the motion picture industry attorney and a leader in Jewish community service, were conducted today at Hillside Memorial Park.

1970: In New York, June Brody and David Rapaport gave birth to “actor, director and comedian” Michael David Rapaport.

1974: “The Super Cops” based on a book of the same name starring Ron Leibman was released in the United States today.

1975: Aharon Uzan replaced Yitzhak Rabin as Communications Minister

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the French Foreign Minister, Louis de Guiringaud, said that Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist was a prerequisite of any Middle Eastern settlement. Israel, he continued, would have to withdraw from occupied areas, but this did not mean a complete withdrawal from all territories captured in 1967. In Cairo the mainstream and hard-liners of the members of the Palestine National Council struggled over the wording of a declaration of a political stance of the PLO. In Haifa the president of the Technion, Amos Horev, deplored the lack of a long-term industrial planning in Israel.

1978(11th of Adar II, 5738): Dr. Meyer Aaron Zeligs, whose defense of Alger Hiss, Friendship and Fratricide, stirred controversy when it was published in 1967 with the conclusion that Whittaker Chambers was a psychopathic personality died today on his 69th birthday at his home in Sari Francisco.”

1981: In California, Actor Dustin Hoffman and Lisa Hoffman gave birth to Jacob Edward "Jake" Hoffman who has gone on to develop an acting career of his own.

1981(14th of Adar II, 5741): Purim

1981(14th of Adar II, 5741: Seventy-four year old Olympic Gold Medal winning speed skater Irving Jaffee passed away today.


1981: “Omen III: The Final Conflict” based on characters created by David Seltzer with music by Jerry Goldsmith and featuring Mason Adams was released today in the United States.


1987: “Stripped to Kill” co-starring Norman Fell was released in the United States today.

1993: 27th of Adar, 5753): Shabbat HaChodesh

1993: 27th of Adar, 5753): In separate incidents, two Israeli soldiers – Sergeant Gitai Avisor and Sergeant Yossi Shabtai – were killed.

1993: “Barbarians at the Gate” a movie version of the book by the same name that described Henry Kravis’ efforts to buy RJR Nabisco with a script by Larry Gelbart was broadcast today by HBO
1993: A third meeting between Arabs and Israelis began in Oslo, Norway.

1996: UPN broadcast the first episode of “The Sentinel” a Canadian television series created and written by Danny Bilson.

1998(22nd of Adar, 5758): Yemina Avidar-Tchernovitz, the native of Vilna who arrived in Palestine as a twelve year old in 1921 and went on to become an author of children’s books written in modern Hebrew passed away today.

2001: President Bush welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the White House.

2002(7th of Nisan, 5762): Seven Israelis died when an Islamic terrorist blew himself up in a packed bus.

2002: Seven people were killed and about 30 injured, several seriously, in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus #823 traveling from Tel Aviv to Nazareth at the Musmus junction on Highway 65 (Wadi Ara) near Afula. The victims: Sgt. Michael Altfiro, 19, of Pardes Hanna; St.-Sgt. Shimon Edri, 20, of Pardes Hanna; SWO Meir Fahima, 40, of Hadera; Cpl. Aharon Revivo, 19, of Afula; Alon Goldenberg, 28, of Tel Aviv; Mogus Mahento, 75, of Holon; and Bella Schneider, 53, of Hadera. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

2004: The treasure hunt, David Blaine's $100,000 Challenge, devised by game designer Cliff Johnson, creator of The Fool's Errand, was solved today.

2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of topics of special interest to Jewish readers including "Dark Hero of the Information Age: In Search of Norbert Wiener, the Father of Cybernetics" by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, "Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System" by Sharon Waxman and "The Angel of Forgetfulness" by Steve Stern.

2005(9th of Adar II, 5765): Eighty-four year old “businessman and philanthropist Sir Leslie Porter passed away today.

2006: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Jonathan Pollard’s appeal “to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that denied his attorneys access to classified information used in his trial” that they claim “are needed to make Pollard’s case for clemency.”
2006: “The Valet” starring Gad Elmaleh and directed by Francis Verber, whose father Pierre-Gilles Verber and grand-uncle Tristan were Jewish but who was baptized at birth was released in France today.
2006: The WB broadcast the final episode of “Related” created by Marta Kauffman and starring Lizzy Caplan.

2006(20th of Adar, 5766): Ninety-six year old “Sophie Gerson, a legendary figure in the history of textile union organizing in the South and a lifelong fighter for peace, justice and socialism” passed away today. (As reported by Deborah Gerson and Tim Wheeler)

2006: Haaretz reported that Archaeologists have uncovered underground chambers and tunnels constructed in northern Israel by Jews for hiding from the Romans during their revolt in 66-70 CE.

2007: An exhibition featuring documents from the Otto Frank as well as other material from the YIVO archives pertaining to the Holocaust in the Netherlands, which has been on display on the Batkin Mezzanine level, at the Center for Jewish History comes to an end.

2007: The Association for Jewish Theatre in conjunction with the Jewish Theatre of Austria hosts a three day international conference for Jewish theater professionals, artists, and aficionados.

2007: Avraham “Hirchson was investigated for seven hours by Israeli police regarding an alleged embezzlement at a non-profit organization while serving as the chairman of the National Workers Labor Federation.”

2007(1st of Nisan, 5667): Rosh Chodesh Nissan

2007(1st of Nisan, 5667): Eighty-four year old music executive Hyman Y. “Hy” Weiss passed away today. (As reported by Ben Sisario)

2008 (II Adar 13 5768): Feast of Nicanor – “Judah Maccabee’s defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor was originally celebrated as a minor festival on 13 Adar (I Macc.7:49), this ‘Day of Nicanor’ being specifically mentioned in the Apocrypha as occurring immediately before Purim, ‘the day of Mordecai (II Macc. 15:36). In time, the Feast of Nicanor gave way to the Fast of Esther.” [Editor’s note: In another of the many oddities connected with the Purim celebration, a joyful celebration of a real historic event gave way to a fast connected to what is at best a piece of historic fiction.]

2008 (II Adar 13 5768): Fast of Esther,

2008: In Washington, veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr discusses his new book, "Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium."

2008: The state of Iowa issued Agriprocessors Inc. of Postville 39 citations with proposed penalties of $182,000 for allegedly violating state workplace safety and health standards

2009: On Friday night, members of Mount Kisco’s Jewish community gather at Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation in an unparalleled display of Jewish revitalization and Jewish unity as they take part in the 13th Shabbat Across America Program.

2009: “I Love You Man,” a comedy directed by John Hamburg and starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segal and Andy Samberg was released today in the United States.

2009: Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu met with President Shimon Peres at 10:30 this morning to ask for more time in which to form a coalition. Peres agreed to the request, and gave Netanyahu an additional two weeks.

2010: The Washington Post features a review of "The Irresistible Henry House" by Lisa Grunwald, the daughter of the late Henry Grunwald.

2010: Meeskeit and A Matter of Size are scheduled to be shown at 14th Annual Mandell JC Hartford Jewish Film Festival.

2010: Today two rockets were launched at the Ashkelon district, north of Gaza, another landed in Shaar HaNegev, northeast of Gaza and fourth rocket was fired at Shaar HaNegev.

2010: A weak earthquake was felt in northern Israel tonight; no injuries or damage was reported. The Seismological Institute reported that the quake measured 3.6 on the Richter scale. It occurred just north of the Kinneret Sea (Sea of Galilee), near the Arik Bridge, at 8:45 PM, for about ten seconds. Residents reported feeling it. The Arik Bridge is named for Aryeh Shamir, an IDF a paratroopers officer who fell in the line of duty. It was built in 1976. Just ten days ago, a 3.4 earthquake was felt in northern Israel. Its epicenter was off southern Lebanon, in the Mediterranean Sea. Just a day before that, a level-6 quake hit Turkey, north of Lebanon, killing dozens.The Kinneret currently stands at 212.81 meters below sea level, 19 centimeters above the recommended red line. Israel's rainy season is nearing its end.

2010: The color version of “Forbidden Zone” which had marked Danny Elfman’s debut as a director when it was released in black and white in 1980 was shown for the first time today at the Museum of Modern Art.

2010: For the first time in 62 years, hundreds gathered for emotional Sabbath prayers at the renewed, majestic Hurva synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem.

2011: Ilana Cravitz is scheduled to appear at Klezmer Workshop in Cambridge, UK.

2011: Israeli vocalist Yasmin Levy is scheduled to appear at the SF Jazz Spring Session where this daughter of “a revered Turkish cantor” will explore a forgotten treasure trove of songs dating back to 16th century Spain.”

2011(14th of Adar II): Purim]

2011(14th of Adar II): Fifty-four year old Robert Spiegelman, who accompanied the high school band he directed to the 2011 Rose Bowl Parade despite a serious illness, passed away today. Speigelman grew up and lived in the St. Louis area. The school’s jazz ensemble, under his direction, traveled to Paris in 1997 to play in the 50th anniversary of the school's namesake’s renowned flight from New York to Paris. (As reported by the Eulogizer)

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Modigliani: A Life” by Meryle Secrest and "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" by James Carroll.

2011: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “New and Selected Stories” by E.L. Doctorow and “Lee Krasner: A Biography” by Gail Levin. In describing herself, Krasner said, "I happen to be Mrs. Jackson Pollock, and that's a mouthful. The only thing I haven't had against me was being black. I was a woman, Jewish, a widow, a damn good painter, thank you, and a little too independent."

2011: 22-year-old IDF Armored Corps officer was stabbed during an attempt to steal his weapon in Jaffa this morning. An unknown masked assailant stabbed the soldier in his chest and made off with his weapon.

2012: “Underdogs: A War Movie” is scheduled to be shown at the Gainesville Jewish Film Festival in Gainesville, FL.

2012(28th of Adar, 5772): One-hundred-one year Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg passed away today.

2012: In Philadelphia, PA, Congregation Mikveh Israel's 3rd Annual Sephardic Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2012: “400 Miles to Freedom” is scheduled to be shown this afternoon at the 16th Annual New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. 

2013(9th of Nisan, 5773): Ninety-nine year old mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens who Jewish mother, “the former Sadie Mechanic, recognized Risë’s vocal talent early and was an enthusiastic steward of her youthful career” passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2013: Ruth Thomson, author of Terezín, A Story of the Holocaust is scheduled to deliver a lecture at The Wiener Library in London. 

2013: “Jailed Unjust in the Death of a Rabbi, Man Nears Freedom” published today described events the events surrounding the two decades old murder of Rabbi Chaskel Werzberg

2013: Israeli soldiers provided medical care to four wounded Syrians on the Golan Heights border

2013: A special screening of “The Flat” is scheduled to be hosted UKJF

2013: President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed broad consensus on Israel’s top security priorities in a statements following a meeting in Jerusalem.

2013: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to presents “Louis Marshall and the Founding of Modern American Judaism”

2013: Barak Obama is scheduled to begin his first trip to Israel as U.S. President.  He had previously visited while serving as a U.S. Senator.

2014: Violinist Pinchas Zuckerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth are scheduled to join the IPO conducted by Zubin Mehta in a Benefit Concert held in honor of the late Marvin Hamlisch.

2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host its 2014 Humanitarian Awards Dinner.

2014: “Wagner’s Jews” is scheduled to be shown at the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The 17th Annual New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2014: The Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open with a screening of “When Comedy Went to School.”

2014: A Jewish teacher is attacked leaving a kosher restaurant in Paris. After breaking his nose, the assailants drew a swastika on his chest

2014: “The Israel Air Force showed off its new cutting-edge training aircraft, the M-346” today. (As reported by Marissa Newman)

2014: Meir Kin, who has refused to give his wife Lonna Kin a get married Daniela Barbosa tonight in Las Vegas in what was a very public reminder of the inequity in Jewish divorce law.

2014: Eight of 11 families of Iranian Jews missing since the 90s were told this evening at the Center for Intelligence Heritage that their relatives were murdered on their way to Israel. (As reported by Orli Harari)

2014: “A German panel ruled against the heirs of four Jewish art dealers today in a complicated case of a monumental collection of medieval religious art known as the Welfenschatz, or Geulph Treasure.” (As reported by Amanda Borschel-Dan)

2015: The exhibition “Lincoln and the Jews” which was inspired by the publication of Lincoln and the Jews by Jonathan Sarna sponsored by the New York Historical Society is scheduled to open today.

2015: “The Green Prince” directed by Nadav Schirman is scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.
2015: Today “Empty Mirrors Press published Howard Epstein's political memoir Rise Again: Nova Scotia's NDP on the Rocks an account of his 15 years in provincial politics, the history of the New Democratic Party in Nova Scotia, and his analysis of the successes and failures of the Dexter NDP government during its term in office.
2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Music Box in Atlantic, City.

2016: In Atlanta, the Breman is scheduled to host Henry Birnbery, the German born American G.I. who will describe his experiences as one of the “first American eyewitnesses to the devastation of the Nazi concentration camps.”

2016: “Wedding Doll” and “A Night at the Opera” are scheduled to be shown on the final day of the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

2016: “A Tale of Love and Darkness” which marked the directorial debut of Natalie Portman “in this adaptation of the autobiographical novel by Amos” is scheduled to be shown at the Israeli Film Festival in Philadelphia, PA.

2016: LimmudFest New Orleans 2016 is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016: Hadassah of Greater Washington is scheduled to host High Tea and Harmony, a fundraiser offering attendees a multi-dimensional musical experience along with a traditional “High Tea.”

2016: As part of “Jews in the American South” Rhetta Mendelsohn is scheduled to lead a walking tour of Old Charleston “with special emphasis on significant architecture, garden culture and sites of Jewish interest” followed by dinner with Eli Hyman, the “great-grandson of W.M. Karesh, a Jewish immigrant from eastern Europe who started a wholesale dry-goods business in the city in 1890.”
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2016: The annual AIPAC Policy Conference is scheduled to open in Washington, DC.

2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen, Carry Me by Peter

2017: “Israel’s David’s Sling anti-missile battery will go operational within the next two weeks, providing the finishing touch of the Jewish state’s multi-tiered missile defense array, a senior Israeli Air Force officer said today.” (As reported by Judah Ari Gross)

2017(22nd of Adar, 5777): Eighty-seven years old Robert B. Silvers, the son of James J. Silvers a salesman, sometime farmer and small business owner, and Rose Roden Silvers a music critic for The New York Globe and one of the first female radio hosts for RCA, who founded The New York Review of Books passed away today.

2017: A surprise drill began today in which “2,000 reserve soldiers were called up…to simulate war in the Gaza Strip.”

2017(22nd of Adar, 5777): Eighty-seven year old psychotherapist George Weinberg passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2017: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of The Second Time Around, an improbable tale of love involving Isaac Shapiro, “a grumpy Polish tailor

2018: “The 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism” is scheduled to continue for a second day in Jerusalem.

2018: The Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Houston is scheduled to host “Get Cultured: Short Film Night” at the Axelrad Beer Garden.

2018: “End Game” and “Keep the Change” are scheduled to be shown at the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival.

2018: In Jerusalem, Mercaz Hatarbuyot is scheduled to host concert pianist Eliahou Zabaly.

2018: Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host “The Unlikely Nazi Hunters: A Rare Conversation with Serge and Beate Klarsfeld




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