Monday, April 16, 2018

This Day, April 17, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

April 17

69: After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor. The year 69 was called “The Year of the Four Emperors” because four different claimants held the position in this brief period of time.  According to Rome and Jerusalem, the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple were byproducts of this violent year and grew out of a need by Vitellius’ successor, Vespasian, to prove his power and legitimacy.

392: The Roman Emperors issued a new law “stating that Jewish leaders who have been expelled by their community cannot be forced back on the” Jewish community by Roman judges.  While this may seem like a gain for the Jews, the decree refers to them as “belonging to the Jewish superstition” – language that does not bode well for the long-term well-being of the Jews in the Roman Empire.

1222:  Deacon Robert of Reading (England) was burned for converting to Judaism, setting the precedent for the burning of heretics.

1397: Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as when the book's pilgrimage to Canterbury starts. There should be no connection between the Jewish people and Chaucer since the Jews had been expelled from England a century before he told his “tales.”  But Chaucer is proof that you do not need Jews to have anti-Semitism.  The “Prioress’s Tale,” one of the the twenty-three stories contains the following plot line,  “While wandering through the Jewish section of town singing hymns of his faith an eight-year old Christian child is murdered…The frantic mother uncovers the crime when she hears her newly buried son singing Alma Redemptoris.  Justice is sternly served when the Jewish community is wiped out in retaliation.” 

1506(Nisan, 5266): In Lisbon, several Conversos were discovered who had in their possession "some lambs and poultry prepared according to Jewish custom.”  They also had “unleavened bread and bitter herbs” needed “according to the regulations for the Passover, which festival they celebrated far into the night." Several of them were seized, but were released after a few days. Angered by the release, mobs would riot and attack conversos living in the Portuguese capital.

1525(Nisan, 5285): Isaac ben Jacob Margolioth, the son of Nuremberg Rabbi Jacob Margolioth, who served as a rabbi at Prague and wrote a preface to one of his father’s works passed away today.

1528: First Jews settle legally in Fuerth, Bavaria

1559:  At Cremona, Italy, Sixtus Senesis, an apostate Jew, who had become a Dominican, tried to convince the local Spanish governor to burn the Talmud. The governor demanded witnesses before he would give the order. Vitttorio Eliano the converted grandson of Elias Levita and one Joshua dei Cantori bore witness that the Talmud was full of lies about Christianity. A few days later approximately 10,000 books were burned. The Zohar was not touched since the Pope and the Catholic Church was interested in its publication believing that it would supplant the Talmud and make it easier to convert the Jews. Ironically it was Eliano himself who wrote the preface to the Cremora Zohar.

1579: The seaside town of Youghal in County Cork, Ireland was damaged during the which was badly damaged today during the Second Desmond Rebellion had had the unique distinction in 1555 of being the first Irish town to have a Jewish mayor – William Moses Annyas Eanes, the grandson of Gil Eanes of Belmonte, Portugal.  Francis Eanes served as the town’s mayor on three different occasions coinciding with the rebellion but the relation between the two men has yet to be determined.

1581: King Phillip, who commanded the governor of Milan to expel the Jews from Alessandra, began his reign as King of Portugal and Algarves.

1671: In Amsterdam, construction began on a synagogue under the direction of the architect, Elias Bouman. The Sephardic community had bought the land in December of 1670.

1682(9th of Nisan, 5441): Today a riot broke out in Carpentras which “French liturgical poet” Saul ben Joseph of Monteux memorialized in a piyyut.

1731: Yeshivah Minhat Arab became the first Jewish day school in North American when it was founded today in the colony of New York. “The hazzan who taught the classes was instructed to teach the students ‘the Hebrew Spanish and English writing and arithmetick.’Eventually its name was changed to the Polonies Talmud Torah.”

1748(19th of Nisan, 5508): Raphael Meldola passed away at Leghorn. Born at Leghorn in 1685, he was the son of Eleazar Meldola and Reina Senior.  He served as rabbi in Pisa, Bayonne and St. Esprit.

1750:  Frederick II issued a general patent to the Jews limiting their role in the Prussian economy to activities involving commerce and industry. Jews were no longer viewed as dependents of the monarch but as citizens of the state even though they were not first class citizens. On the one hand, Jews were encouraged to be part of the state and its economy. On the other hand they were still second class citizens and divided into two classes - privileged and protected. Considered by some to be an "enlightened monarch," King Frederick wrote his “Political Testament” that was published in 1752 in which he described Jews as dangerous, superstitious and backward.

1765: Jews of Arnhem were given permission to build a synagogue.

1770: Charleston (SC) merchant, Moses Lindo responded to an appeal from Hezekiah Smith and contributed five pounds to Rhode Island College which is now known as Brown University. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)  “Moses Lindo was the inspector-general and surveyor of indigo, drugs, and dyes for South Carolina.”

1775: As “Paul Revere clattered through ‘every Middlesex village and farm’ there were approximately 3,000 Jews living in the thirteen colonies to respond to his call to arms. 

1782(3rd of Iyar, 5542): Chaim Samuel Jacob Falk, known as the “Baal Shem of London” passed away. Reportedly born in 1708, possibly in Furth, Germany, Falk escaped to England in 1742 after authorities in Westphalia had sentenced the Kabbalist and Mystic to death on charges of sorcery.    “Falk left a diary, now in the library of the bet ha-midrash of the United Synagogue, which is a quaint medley of dreams, records of charitable gifts, booklists, cabalistic names of angels, lists of pledges, and cooking-recipes.”

1790: American Patriot, Scientist, Printer and liver of the good life Benjamin Franklin passed away at the age of 84.  As with so many of those of his time, Franklin espoused moral values but mistrusted organize religion.  He used the Exodus from Egypt as a metaphor for the colonists clash with King George, a modern day Pharaoh.  He wanted to have a depiction of the Israelites crossing the Sea of Reeds as part of the Great Seal of the United States.  At a more practical level, his name was at the top of the list of prominent Philadelphians who contributed funds to Congregation Mikveh Israel at the time of its financial need.

1790(3rd of Iyar, 5550):  A major pogrom took place in the Jewish community of Tetouan, Morocco. On this day the Muslim ruler Mawlay Yazid entered the city, rounded up all of the Jews, men women and children, and violently stripped them of their clothing. They were left with no dignity, naked for three days in prison. Some of the Jews fearing for their lives escaped to the graves Moorish saints where they would pray for their lives. The Muslim leader had some Jews beheaded to make a statement.

1797: “The status of the Jews of Posen was now determined by the "General-Juden-Reglement" of this date which aimed to make them, as mechanics and trades-men, useful members of the state.

1797:  In Eastern Poland, after falling to Prussia in the third partition of Poland in 1793, the government enacted "The Regulation" which removed a number of regulations regarding occupations and domicile restrictions for Jews. This still left many of the old regulations in place, including that of not being able to marry under the age of 25 and then only upon proof of a fixed income.

1798: Jews were given permission to “settle within the old city walls of Cologne.”

1801(4th of Iyar, 5561): Fifty-one year old Ruben Moses Rubino the husband of Minkel Rubino passed away today.

1802:  Birthdate of Joseph Salomons, the third son of Levi Salomons. In 1824, he married  a daughter of Joseph Monteflore. He had three daughters, one of whom became the wife of Aaron Goldsmid of London; another the wife, of Lionel Benjamin Cohen; and the third became the wife of Prof. Jacob Waley. Salomons passed away in January, 1829. (As reported by Sir David Salomons)

1801(4th of Iyar, 5561): Fifty-one year old Robert Moses Rubino passed away in Fritzlar, Germany

1817(1st of Iyar, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1818: In Mainz, Germany, Michael Creizenach and his wife gave birth to poet and historian Theodor Creizenach.

1829: The consecration of the Maiden Lane Synagogue that had originally been established in 1810 in Soho “as a result of a rupture with the Westminster Congregation (the future Western Synagogue) took place today in Londo.

1833: Thomas Babington Macaulay delivered his speech “on the disabilities of the Jews” in the House of Commons.

1837: Albert Moses Levy's ship, the Independence, was captured by two Mexican brigs-of-war. After three months he escaped and walked back to Texas, where he set up medical practice in Matagorda. The next year he received an appointment to a medical board established by both houses of the Congress of the republic.

1840: In Frankfurt, Clementine Oppenheim and her husband Adolphe de Reinach the Belgian consul in Frankfurt gave birth to French banker Baron Jacob Adolphe Reinach

1840: Birthdate of Hippolyte Bernheim the French born physician whose work with hypnotherapy attracted the attention of Sigmund Freud.

1844: A cabinet order issued today allowed Meno Burg “to replace his black epaulettes with the red shoulder pieces” that were indicative of his role in the Prussian Artillery and which he had been denied to the right to wear because he was Jewish

1848(14th of Nisan, 5608): Fast of the First Born; erev Pesach

1848: The gates of the Rome Ghetto were pulled down during the Revolutions of 1848 that swept much of Europe in general and Italy in particular. Ciceruacchio, a popular Italian Catholic leader, led a group who tore down the gates Passover eve. The Jews in the ghetto at first thought they were being attacked and hid in their houses.

1851(15th of Nisan, 5611): Pesach

1853: Birthdate of German mathematician Arthur Moritz Schoenflies, the great-uncle of Walter Benjamin.

1854: A French-language version of “Margherita d'Anjou an operatic melodramma semiseria in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer was performed in New Orleans today.

1856(12th of Nisan, 5616): Fast of the First Born.

1858: Birthdate of Leonard L. Cohen, the President of the Board of Guardians.

1865(21st of Nisan, 5625): Seventh Day of Pesach

1865: In North Carolina, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman met with Confederate General Johnston to discuss the surrender of the Rebels on the same day he learned about the assassination of President Lincoln.

1866: Bryants Minstrels acting as Ethiopian Fun Makers will perform “The Challenge Dance of Shylock” or “The Jew of Chatham Street” tonight in New York City.  [Most Jews are aware of Shylock as a figure of anti-Semitism.  In 19th century American references to Chatham Street were equally anti-Semitic.  Chatham Street was the local of the 2nd hand clothing business in New York.  Supposedly the trade was dominated by Jews were who always exploiting the Christians who frequented their shops]

1869: The Mercantile Club, a Jewish social club established in Philadelphia in 1853, was incorporated today. Louis Bomeisler and Clarence Wolf have served as Presidents of the club. Other Jewish clubs included The Garrick, the Progress, and the Franklin.

1870(16th of Nisan, 5630): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1875: “Die Maccabäer” (The Maccabees) an opera in three acts by Anton Rubinstein and Salomon Hermann Mosenthal which is itself based on the biblical story of the Maccabees was first performed today at the Hofoper, Berlin.

1878(14th of Nisan, 5638): “The Deliverance of Israel” published today noted that some Jews are no longer substituting bread for Matzoth during Passover especially thosr who are members of the congregations led by Rabbi David Einhorn and Rabbi Gustave Gottheil two Reform rabbis who led Congregation Adath Israel and Temple Emanu-el respectively.

1880: Birthdate of Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, the British archeologist whose work at Ur (the Biblical city) led him to “finding ties between ancient Aegean and Mesopotamian civilizations” which led to greater understanding to some of the references in the Bible and who also found substantiation for Noah’s flood.

1881: Nathan Blesenthal, a prominent Buffalo, NY, Jew became a Presbyterian today. His conversion was a condition set by Gertrude Deming if the couple was going to be wed.  Blesenthal’s mother had opposed the conversion and young Nathan only left the “faith of his fathers” after his mother passed away.

1881: The property occupied by the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum was purchased today for $12,500.

1881: It was reported today that the Jews are talking about erecting a national synagogue in Washington, DC.”

1882: Birthdate of Polish pianist and classical composer Artur Schnabel. Like so many others, he left Europe to escape Nazi persecution. The pianist was famous for his performances of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. He passed away in 1951.

1882(28th of Nisan, 5642): Joel Samuel Polack passed away.  Born in 1807, he was the first Jewish settler in New Zealand, arriving there in 1831.

1884(22nd of Nisan, 5644): 8th day of Pesach

1884: In Cuero, Texas, Rudolph Frank and Rachel Rae Jacobs gave birth to Leo Frank who moved to New York when he was three months which would lead some to characterize him as “a New York Jew” when he was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan – a crime of which he was innocent but thanks to a wave of anti-Semitism led to his lynching in 1915 – an event that seems to be part of an unusual “amnesia” for much of the American Jewish community.

1884: Theodore Hoffman who will be hanged tomorrow after having been found guilty of murdering a Jewish peddler named Zife Marks, ate a breakfast of fried oysters this morning in his cell at White Plains, NY

1887: President Levy presided over tonight’s meeting of the Jewish Immigrants’ Protective Society which was held at the synagogue on Rivington Street in New York.  In its first year of operation the society has given $1,600 to “newly arrived immigrants.

1888(6th of Iyar, 5648): Businessman and philanthropist Abraham Warshawski passed away in St. Petersburgn.

1889(16th of Nisan, 5649): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1891: Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, a Union veteran of the Civil War resigned as 1st Lieutenant Veteran Corps of the First Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard

1892(20th of Nisan, 5652): Sixth Day of Pesach

1892: “Jews Who Speak Spanish” published today provided a review of Biblioteca Espanola-Portugueza Judaica: Jewish Authors-Titles of their Works in Spanish and Portuguese with a notice on Spanish Jews and a Collection of Spanish Proverbs by Meir Kayserling.

1892: In Brooklyn, NY, Temple Israel dedicated its new building a the corner of Bedford and Lafayette Avenues.

1892: Based on reports published today the personal efforts of Emperor William bring peace between the Government and the Conservatives have been hampered by Pastor Stoecker and his anti-Jewish policies which are growing ever more popular.

1892: “Clerical Control of Education Their Ultimatum” published today included a description of a libel trial in Berlin during which the President of the Berlin Municipal School Bard testified “that out of the twenty-four members composing the board thirteen, or a majority, were Jews and the rest agnostics and that all of them cooperated against religious teaching in the schools.”

1892: An article entitled “Given A Breathing Spell” attributes the sluggishness in the New York real estate market to the celebration of Easter and Passover.  As the author says, “It is a good thing for the real estate market that such holidays as the Passover and Easter do not come too often.”

1893(1st of Iyar, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1893: The will of Mrs. Babet Karl, the widow of Abraham Karl was executed today and Benjamin Blumenthal, Simon Goldsmith and Theodore Hirsch were named as executors.

1893: It was reported today that the leading Jews of Bulgaria have ordered from Budapest “an album inlaid with diamonds, rubies and emeralds to be given to Prince Ferdinand and his bridge on their wedding day.”

1893: As the New York Jewish community responded to aggressive attempts by Protestants to convert Jews, Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El embellished on his sermon give yesterday by saying “I am not ready to be drawn into a public discussion on this subject but the charges which I make against the Christians I can prove, and if the Protestant organizations which are devoting themselves to this work of so-called convention will come forward and deny my general charges I will produce the facts on which my allegations rest specifically and in detail.”

1894(11th of Nisan, 5654): Seventy-five year old Fanny Neuda passed away.

1895: As beef prices continue to rise, Jewish butchers on the lower East Side express their gloom about any chance of improvement.

1895(23rd of Nisan, 5655): Fifty-two year old Moritz Dessauer, the son of Gabriel L. Dessauer, who was the district rabbi at Meiningen and author of several works including one on Spinoza and Hobbes passed away today.

1895(23rd of Nisan, 5655): Seventy-seven year old Hermann “Hirschel” Bodenheimer, the son of Emanuel and Johanna Bodenheimer passed away today after which he was buried in the Durbach Jewish Cemetery.

1895(23rd of Nisan, 5655): Fifty-eight year old Jorge Isaacs Ferrer, the son of “George Henry Isaacs, an English Jew originally from Jamaica” and whom Isaac Goldberg described as “a half-Jew” “who is “Spanish America’s most famous novelist” passed away today.

1895: Thanks to the efforts of New York state senator Joseph C. Wolff, the Hebrew Infant Asylum received its charter today.

1895: In South Carolina, Mary Beatrice Levy married Miguel Bofill

1896: The will of the late Leonard Friedman will filed for probate today in the Surrogate’s office.

1897(15th of Nisan, 5657): Pesach

1897: A list of the bequest’s made by the late Frances Danzig, the widow of Frances Danzig, whose estate was valued at $40,000 included “$500 to each of the following instiutions: The Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, the Mounts Sinai Hospital and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews” as well as “the income of the sum of $1,000 to be applied by Temple Emanu-El to the care of the Danzig family plot in the Salem Fields Cemetery.”

1897: Art and Artists published today described recently published books including A Handful of Exotics: Scenes and Incidents Chiefly of Russo-Jewish Life by Samuel Gordon

1898: “Comic Opera for Charity” published today described the performance given by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum of “The Little Tycoon” in which Silas Musliner directed the members including Henry D. Kleinman Emanuel Cohen, Celia Baumann, Clara Weinstein and J.S. Kornicker, in an event designed to raise fund for the orphans.

1900: Herzl began a two week journey that would take him from Karlsruhe, to Paris and finally to London. Like so many of his trips, Herzl was again seeking support from the rich and famous for the creation of a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel.

1902: The Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, who was a member of Lord Milner's High or Advisory Committee in South Africa, and Chaplain of the Rand Rifles, was among the passengers who arrived on the White Star liner Teutonic today.  Yes, the Rabbi Hertz who gave us the “Hertz Chumash” and the “Hertz Siddur” served as the chaplain for a military unit that helped protect Johannesburg during the Boer War

1903: Birthdate of Russian born, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.  This musical prodigy escaped Lenin’s Russia, made his way to the United States where he made a name for himself as a performer and academic.  He passed away in 1976.

1903(20th of Nisan, 5663): Seventy year old Abraham Printz,, the native of Kashau  and husband of Rosa Printz with whom he had seven children passed today in Youngstown, Ohio.

1904: Birthdate of New York native and playwright Edward Chodorov.

1905: The First American Rumanian Congregation was scheduled to continue distributing matzoth to poor Jews living on the Lower East Side today.

1909(26th of Nisan, 5669): Sixty year old Andrew Rosewater, the native of Bohemia who came to the United States in 1854 and pursued a career where he pursued a career as a civil engineer passed away after which he was buried in Omaha, Nebraska.

1910: In Warsaw, Zelig and Henia (nee Lieberman) Vilenski gave birth to Israeli composer Moshe Vilenski who “was voted the 187th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.” He collaborated with lyricist Nathan Alterman and singer Shoshana Damari to create the Israeli classic “Kalaniyot.”

1910: By four o’clock this afternoon, at least 3,000 persons had been given supplies for Passover by the United Hebrew Community at their offices on East Broadway. Distribution of the supplies is schedule to continue throughout the week or until they run out, whichever comes first.

1910: Louis Diamond, Secretary of the United Hebrew Community called for additional contributions to help defray the costs of the increased demand for Passover supplies to help out the city’s needy Jews.

1911: According to statements made tonight, a Kheillah is meeting to consider what steps to take in the case of Esther Yachnin, the sixteen year old girl who converted to Christianity last year at the age of 15.  Esther had come to United States at the age of 13 and had enrolled in an English language class offered by the Young Women’s Christian Association which eventually led to her conversion.  The parents had no prior knowledge of the plans for the conversion.  Given the Esther’s youth and the estrangement from her family and community, Jews living on the Lower East Side question the validity of the conversion.  They may also be concerned that their unsuspecting children will become candidates for similar such conversions. The Kheillah is considering legal action if such recourse to law can be effective.

1911: Birthdate of George Stenius who grew up to be director George Seaton. According to Hello, I Must Be Going: Groucho and His Friends by Charlotte Chandler, Seaton “grew upon in a Jewish neighborhood in Detroit where he was the “Shabbas goy for his friends” learned enough Hebrew to be “bar mitzvahed” receiving the fabled fountain pen as a gift.

1912: Birthdate of British lawyer and patron of the arts Isador Caplan.

1912: “Mountain Ridge Country Club, located in West Caldwell, New Jersey, was officially formed today, when 25 charter members filed a Document of Incorporation with the State of New Jersey. Among its founders were Louis Bamberger, whose Newark department store, Bamberger’s, was among the largest in the Unites States, and Felix Fuld, Bamberger’s brother-in-law who was the first Parks Commissioner of New Jersey. The prominent membership has also included Joseph Weintraub, former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, and A.J. Dimond.

1913: Seventy-eight year old German-born British shipbuilder and politician Gustav Wilhelm Wolff passed away. He was raised as a Lutheran because his father had converted before his birth.  This was one of many examples of Jews who were “lost” in the wake of those who thought a trip to the baptismal font was the price of economic success and/or social acceptance.  The racial policies of the Nazis would prove them wrong.

1914: Original date set for the execution of Leo Frank.

1915: The Zion Mule Corps left for Gallipoli. Commanded by Colonel Henry Patterson and organized by Trumpeldor and Jabotinsky, they were a Jewish auxiliary unit of the British Army. The British were not interested in giving them the ability to fight, so they were assigned to provide provisions to the front lines.  Gallipoli was part of the Ottoman Empire.  With the stalemate on the Western Front, Churchill convinced other Allied leaders to attack at Gallipoli in an attempt to outflank the Central Powers. Churchill thought the Allies would easily defeat the Turks, open up the water route to Russia and end the war.  Unfortunately, the plan and the Allied Forces, including the Zion Mule Corps were forced to withdraw.  The Jewish troops performed with distinction and later became the nucleus for the Jewish Legion that was formed in 1917.  This was part of the on-going process of the creation of creating what would eventually become the IDF.  While the original Zionist dream had been a peaceful, almost pacifist comments, the realities of the neighborhood forced the Jews to become adept warriors.

1915: “The following additional appropriations for the relief of the war sufferers” were reported today” to have been made by the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Relief Committee: “$15,000 to Russian Poland; $15000 to German Poland; $50,000 to those parts of Galicia now occupied by Russia; $3,000 to Monastir, Serbia and $2,500 to Aleppo, Syria.”

1916(14th of Nisan, 5676):Ta'anit Bechorot;  Erev Pesach

1916: Harold Rich “was the master of ceremonies” at a Seder held tonight in Sing Sing Prison conducted by the Jewish member of the Mutual Welfare League which included a sermon by Dr. Abraham Cronbach of the Free Synagogue of New York City “on the religious significance of the event” and a violin solo by Dachin Jacobson.

1916: Approximately “175 Jewish soldiers and sailors from forts and battleships near” New York City joined “with 200 others” for “a Seder at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association building at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Ninety-second Street.

1916: Rabbi Stephen Wise officiated at the marriage of Elinor Fatman and Henry Morgenthau, Jr; a marriage that was unusual for its time because the bride had proposed to the groom.

1916: Isadore Hershfield of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of New York returned to Berlin from Vienna and a trip through Galicia and the Austrian-occupied sections of Poland where he “completed arrangements for forwarding letters and appeals for assistance from distressed Jews and other inhabitant to relatives in the United States.

1916: It was learned today that David R. Francis, the new American Ambassador to Russia who has just left for his new post is carrying with him a draft for a new treaty of commerce which is intended to replace the old treaty which was allowed to lapse a few years ago “because of the refusal of the Russian Government to honor proper passports issued to American Jews, particularly to American Jewish citizens of Russian birth.”

1916: “Herman Bernstein” became “editor of the American Hebrew today.”

1917(25th of Nisan, 5677): During WW I, Lieutenant-colonel Rene Cahen was killed today.

1917(25th of Nisan, 5677): Gustavus I. Peavy, of Peavy Brothers who was a director of the National Association of Clothiers passed away today.

1917: In Russia, “the first congress of the Jewish Social Democratic Party known as ‘the Bund’ opened today” and the leading item on the agenda was the condition of the Jews in Finland.

1917: French President Raymond Poincare bemoaned the fact that “in London our agreements are now considered null and void.”  He was upset by the fact that the British were now calling for a larger role in the post-World War Middle East including acknowledgement of Zionist plans for Palestine.

1917: During World War I, the British army employs tanks for one of the first times in the Middle East in an attempt to defeat the Turks at Gaza.  The so-called Second Battle of Gaza will prove to be a costly defeat for His Majesty’s Forces who will suffer over six thousand casualties.

1918: “Jews Protest To Baker” published today described the formal complaint being lodged by Louis Marshall the prominent New York lawyer and chair of the American Jewish Committee with Secretary of War Newton Baker concerning discrimination against Jewish soldiers that also contends a demand that the discrimination be stopped and the officers responsible for it be punished.

1919(17th of Nisan, 5679): Third day of Pesach

1919: Bernhard Dernburg, whose father publisher Friedrich Dernburg had converted to the Lutheran religion began serving today as “Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Canceller” during the early days of the Weimar Republic.

1919: In Chicago, the funeral was today for Jacob Joel, the husband of Elise Joel

1919: As part of an episode that would have far-reaching implications for the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, the French prepared a declaration today that was presented to Prince Feisal.  Feisal expected the document to be a written affirmation of Clemenceau’s promise of total Arab independence for Syria – a Syria to be ruled by Feisal.  But according to the French document, the French army would occupy Damascus, and the new Arab nation would actually exist as a mere federation of local autonomous states in which all the government advisers, including the governors and heads of major government bureaus, as well as the judiciary, would be French, under Paris's control as they were in Lebanon. What's more, Faisal himself would be compelled to publicly declare the importance of France's historic relationship with the Maronite Christians. Other than that, said the French, Syria would be completely "independent."  Faisal quickly refused, encouraged by Lawrence of Arabia, who advised him to demand total independence "without conditions or reservations." Clemenceau, however, would not tolerate what he considered Arab impudence. Faisal summarily left Paris for Syria to claim his nation. Faisal, who had signed a letter welcoming the Zionists to Palestine, would fail.  The perfidy of the French would lead to an unstable Syria that would become an implacable enemy of Israel. Faisal would settle for throne of another British creation, Iraq. 

1920: The Twelfth Conference of the Bund continued its meeting Gomel.

1923(1st of Iyar, 5683): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1924: Today, the ownership of “The Dewey House, also referred to as Building 29, North Chicago VA Medical Center,” which was designed by David Adler “was transferred to the United States Department of Veterans Affair.”

1924: In Brooklyn, Joseph Geller, an artist who earned a living painting signs, and his wife, Olga gave birth to ” Andrew Geller, an architect who embodied postwar ingenuity and optimism in a series of inexpensive beach houses in whimsical shapes, many of them in the Hamptons, and who helped bring modernism to the masses with prefabricated cottages sold at Macy’s.” (As reported by Fred A. Bernstein)

1924: Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures & Louis B Mayer Company merged to form MGM. Many of the early motion picture studios were dominated, if not owned outright, by Jews.  Many of them were immigrants who made movies idealizing America since that was what sold at the box office.  The film industry may have been run by Jews, but you sure would not have known from the content.

1925: “The Golden Calf” a silent drama filmed by cinematographer Mutz Grennbaum was released in Germany today.

1925: “Father Voss” a silent comedy written by Robert Liebman was released in Germany today.

1926: Birthdate of Aharon Yadlin, the sabra from Ben Shemen who served with Palmach and as an MK and Education Minster from 1974 through 1977.

1926: Birthdate of British composer Ronald Senator.

1927(15th of Nisan, 5687): Pesach

1927: At Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Rabbi Israel Goldstein is scheduled to deliver a Passover sermon “The Messiah – A Universal Hope.”

1928: According to an interview sent out by the Jewish Telegraph Agency, Emil Vandervelde, a member of the Belgian Cabinet, is “greatly impressed” with the work being done by the Jewish settlers in Palestine. He said that it was only through personal observation that he “had he been able to understand the difficulties and appreciate their achievements in transforming deserts and swamps into flourishing” settlements.  He “cited the municipality of Tel Aviv as a marvelous expression” of the Jewish ability to build and improve the land.  Furthermore, in a speech at Hebrew University, the Belgian leader cited Zionism’s “fraternal tendencies toward the Arabs which was an important factor toward international peace.

1928: A conference of Communist youth being held in Tel Aviv was broken up by police.  Fourteen boys, including one Arab, and six girls were detained by the authorities.

1928: Birthdate of Cynthia Ozick, author of the “Puttermesser Papers”. Born in New York City to Jewish immigrants from Russia, who both worked as pharmacists, Ozick grew up in the care of her grandmother, who was always telling her stories. She grew up to write several more novels full of Jewish mysticism and history, including “The Messiah of Stockholm” and “The Puttermesser Papers” but she's perhaps best known for her essays, collected in  Art and Ardor, Metaphor and Memory and Quarrel and Quandary (2000).  Ozick said, "I believe a writer can weave in and out of genres—do it all. It is a gluttonous point of view, to be sure. Then again, when it comes to writing, that is what I truly am and nothing less: a glutton."

1929: As of today, the Jews of Cincinnati have contributed $107,000 to the Cleveland Jewish Orphan Home Fund for a New Building chaired by Herbert R. Bloch.

1931(30th of Nisan, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1931: In South Central Los Angeles, Morris George Axelrod, “an organizer for the radical Industrial Workers of the World union” and “the former Pearl Plaskoff” gave birth to “producer, arranger and composer” David Axelrod.

1931: Birthdate of Harold Martin Feinstein, whose black and white pictorial record of his native Coney Island marked him as yet “another Jew with a camera.”

1931: The Post Office in England is planning to broadcast “from Jerusalem” today “as part of the celebration of the seventh anniversary of the Hebrew University.” (JTA)

1933(21st of Nisan, 5693): Seventh Day of Pesach

1934(2nd of Iyar, 5694): Fifty-three year old Harry Krensky, a merchant in Waterloo, Iowa, passed away today.

1934(2nd of Iyar, 5694): Maria Isaak the wife of Abraham Isaak with whom she “founded the anarchist-inspired Aurora Colony near Lincoln, California” in 1909 passed away today.

1934: Birthdate of Don Kirshner who was “known as The Man With the Golden Ear.” He was an American song publisher and rock producer who is best known for managing songwriting talent as well as successful pop groups such as The Monkees and The Archies. He passed away in 2011.

1935(14th of Nisan, 5695): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1935: Ben Heiineman married Natalie Goldstein who as Natalie Goldstein Heineman became a pioneering national champion for children’s welfare and respected community and national leader, who changed the lives of thousands of children through her innovative and thoughtful leadership.” (As reported by Pastora San Juan Cafferty)

1935: In a sermon delivered this evening “at the Downtown Branch of the Institutional Synagogue” Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein said that “the world has come to realize that Hitler is not only the enemy of the Jew but also the enemy of God” and that “Hitlerism could have and would have been nipped in the bud” it had not been deemed a Jewish problem “but a humanitarian problem.”

1936: Eighty-one year old German orientalist Fritz Hommel author of Ancient Hebrew Tradition passed away today.

1936: In Tel Aviv, the funeral for 61 year old Israel Hazan who had been killed during a robbery two days ago by Arab who said they were stealing money “to buy arms to carry on the work of the ‘Holy Martyrs’” turned into demonstration which turned violent when “police prohibited eulogies” and attempted to divert the funeral procession.

1936: At a funeral held this morning in Tel Aviv for a Jewish victim of Arab violence, a clash broke out between Jewish protesters and police.

1936: Mrs. Amy G. Wyle, the chairman of the Women’s Division of the Greater New York Campaign of the Joint Distribution Committee which seeking to raise $1,500,000 as the city’s share of the national fund for the aide of Jews of Germany and Central and Eastern Europe hosted a dinner at Park Avenue home tonight.

1936: At today’s hearings being conducted by the Senate Lobby Committee correspondence was produced between W. Cleveland Runyon of Plainfield, NJ and Alexander Lincoln, an investment bank from Boston and the President of the Sentinels of the Republic in which Mr. Lincoln “declared the ‘Jewish threat’ to the United States was a ‘real one’” to which Mr. Runyon replied, “old-line Americans…want a Hitler.”

1937: Rabbi William Rosneblum is scheduled to lead services this morning at Temple Israel.

1937: Today, “The Committee for Special Jewish Interests” “which represents 120,000 Jews living in the Netherlands” “issued a protest against the prohibition by Germany of all Jewish meetings for sixty days in retaliation for Mayor Fiorello La Guardia’s speeches in New York.”

1938(16th of Nisan, 5698): Second Day of Pesach

1938: “Attacking ‘totalitarian religion’ Rabbi Stephen S. Wise declared in” his Sunday morning sermon at the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall “that Jews cannot believe in ‘the Christ of dogma’ in order ‘to be saved or to be safe.” The sermon was in response to two books Where Now, Little Jew”? by Magnus Hermansson and An Open Letter to Jews and Christians by John Cournos that “attempt to prove that the answer to the Jewish problem lies in the acceptance of Jesus Christ.”

1938: Arturo Toscanini conducts the Palestine Orchestra in a second performance in Tel Aviv.  Unlike last night’s performance which was given to a packed house filled with officials and those who could afford high priced tickets, tonight’s performance was for workers who paid greatly reduced prices for their tickets.

1940: In Brooklyn, “George Stein, a stockbroker, and the former Anne Shuchman, who taught history and civics at Erasmus Hall High School” to award winning author Professor Judith Stein. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1940: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt went to dinner this evening at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. at the Washington residence of the Secretary of the Treasury.

1941(20th of Nisan, 5701): Sixth day of Pesach

1941: In the Warsaw Ghetto, “Michał Klepfisz, a member of the Jewish Labour Bund (Yiddish: der algemeyner yidisher arbeter bund), and his wife, Rose Klepfisz (née Shoshana Perczykow)” gave birth to “Yiddishist” Irena Klepfisz, the co-editor of The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women’s Anthology.

1941: Following a coup staged by “four anti-British army colonels” who called themselves “The Gold Square” staged a coup which was supported by the Nazis, “British troops landed unopposed in Basra” and following military successes forced the Germans, Italians and their Arab Allies, including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, to flee.

1941: Yugoslavia surrenders to the Nazis. Nearly 60,000 Jews were murdered by the German army.   Gold teeth from the murdered victims were later found in the palace of the Catholic Bishop of Zagreb (Croatia).

1941(20th of Nisan, 5701):  In Warsaw, a Jewish policeman named Ginsberg was bayoneted and shot by German soldiers after asking a soldier to return a sack of potatoes taken from a Jewish woman.

1941: Photojournalist David E. Scherman was among the 201 passengers aboard the Egyptian liner Zamzam when it was sunk by the German “surface raider” Atlantis which the British would find and sink thanks to the photographs he took from a lifeboat.

1942: French General Henri Giraud escapes from his castle prison in Festung Königstein where he was a German POW.  Giraud joined the Free French in North Africa. In 1943, while serving as High Commissioner he said that Vichy's anti-Jewish laws "no longer exist," promised to hold municipal elections in North Africa. He also revoked the Cremieux Decree of 1870, which granted French citizenship en bloc to Jews in Algeria, but excluded the Arabs. Henceforth, Moslems and Jews must complement each other economically, "the latter working in his shop, the former in the desert, without either having advantage over the other, France assuring both security and tranquility." This even-handed sounding speech is a bit disingenuous.  Many of the Vichy restrictions against Jews continued during this period in an attempt by the Allies to placate the Arabs.

1942(30th of Nisan, 5702):  The Gestapo entered the Warsaw ghetto and shot 52 people on Rosh Chodesh Iyar.

1943: Birthdate of journalist, writer and member of the Brandeis faculty, Robert Kuttner.

1943: In a meeting at Klessheim Castle near Salzburg, Hitler met with the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Horthy, to urge the Hungarians to deport their Jewish population. Hitler explained, ". . . they are just pure parasites . . . they had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli which in a healthy body may become infected." Horthy and Hungary continued to hold out against Hitler's demands.  Things would change in 1944 and most of Hungary's Jews became victims of the Final Solution.

[Editor’s Note:Holocaust Deniers might want to consider the findings of British author Gerald Reitlinger.  He claimed to have found conclusive proof of a Hitlerian liquidation policy in the protocol of a conversation between Hitler and Hungarian Regent Horthy on April 17, 1943. Hitler complained about the black market and subversive activities of Hungarian Jews and then made the following comment: "They have thoroughly put an end to these conditions in Poland. If the Jews don't wish to work there, they will be shot. If they cannot work, at least they won't thrive"]

1944: Mordechai (Motke) Eldar was among the Jews from Transylvanian taken to the Sltina Ghetto where he would be held until May when he was shipped to Auschwitz.

1944: Seventy-three year old German actor Eugen Burg who had converted to Christianity to Judaism but was banned from the film industry when the Nazis came to power died today at Theresienstadt concentration camp today.

1944: The Lady and the Monster” based on a novel by Curt Siodmak with a script by Frederick Kohner co-starring Erich von Stroheim was released in the United States today.

1945: Surviving inmates of Sachsenhausen and Ravenbruck were forced to march deeper into Germany. With the war coming to an end, the Germans continued to force evacuees including 17,000 women and 46,000 men to move away from the Allied armies.  Those who once boasted of their effort to make Europe "Jew Free" now worked feverishly to cover up what would come to be called "Crimes Against Humanity."

1945: Lieutenant Al Ungerleider approached Nordhausen with orders to take and hold part of an industrial complex there. “His detachment had to fight its way through the gates and the barbed wire, dodging machine-gun fire from enemy soldiers hiding in towers near the entrance. After his men took out the enemy, the camp inmates began to appear. They were so emaciated that only a few could stand upright. Some fell over, he recalled. Still others were lying in bed, covered in lice and sores. Lt. Ungerleider sent his men to check the grounds for remaining Nazi soldiers. They captured 44 SS troopers, all of whom surrendered. Billy Millhander, one of” his “soldiers, Ungerlider entered a large building at the center of the camp and discovered 10 huge ovens — crematoriums.” At the time, he did not know what they were. According to Ungerleider, “The ovens were cold, and the doors were closed.” he said. He began opening the doors of the oven expecting to find German troops in hiding. “The first four contained ashes. But when the lieutenant opened the fifth, Millhander immediately fired several rounds, killing an armed German guard.” They returned to the main yard, and Lt. Ungerleider spoke a mixture of Yiddish, English and German to the camp inmates. He asked how many were still alive. The reply came: maybe 250 out of thousands. He asked what they were making at the plant. Someone said V-2 rockets, missiles that were launched against England. “And that’s when the enormity of the evil that the Germans were doing to these people hit me,” Ungerleider said later. “And this was a slave labor camp, not a death camp. They were making a product for the war effort. The first thought that came into my mind is how the Germans could take [thousands of people] and put them to work. How could they not feed them, take care of their medical needs, not clothe them?” He led the survivors in the mourner’s kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. Al Ungerleider enjoyed a successful career in the U.S. Army rising to the rank of General.  At the same time, he remained an active member of the Jewish community wherever he was stationed.

1945: Robert Limpert, the head of a genuine anti-Nazi underground group, sought to get the leaders of the Bavarian city of Ansbach to defy Wermacht fanatics and to surrender to the approaching American Army.

1945: William Scott of the 183rd Combat Engineers, an all-African-American unit took pictures of Leon Bass and other members of the unit at Buchenwald six days after its liberation by the U.S. Army.

1947: General Lucius D. Clay, the United States Military Governor, announced today the closing of displaced camps in Germany “to further Jewish refugees infiltrating from Poland.”

1947: “Top representative of the American-Jewish Joint Committee were scheduled to meet in Paris in response to General Clay’s announcement.

1947: “Pan Ruczaj, described as the organizer of last July’s anti-Semitic riot in Kielce, where forty-two Jews were killed, surrendered to Polish security officers in Waldenberg, Silesia” but even though he “made a full confession, “under the terms of the Polish amnesty, he will not be punished.” (Editor’s note – This report was carried in the New York Times which means that the world had a contemporaneous account of this Pogrom and recent attempts by the Polish government to change the narrative about Jewish history in Poland is, to put it mildly, based on pure fabrication.

1948(8th of Nisan, 5708): On Shabbat Hagadol news came that a convoy bringing in needed supplies to Jerusalem had broken through by night. Crowds came down to the Romema road block to greet the convoy. Over 250 lorries bringing a thousand tons of food and arms and ammunition came streaming into the entrance to the city. Written on the first lorry were the words: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning".

1948: As Jewish soldiers fight to open the road to Jerusalem and break the blockade that was strangling the city reports circulate through the City of David that five Arab villages had been taken and as many as 350 Arab fighters had been killed.

1948: In his report on the massacre of the staff going to the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, Robert Watson, the American Consul in Jerusalem wrote " . . . queried as to whether convoy included armoured cars, Haganah guards, arms and ammunition in addition to doctors, nurses and patients, Kohn [of the Jewish Agency] replied in affirmative saying it was necessary to protect convoy."

1949(18th of Nisan, 5709): Meir Bar-llan, an Orthodox Rabbi from Lithuania who was a leader of the Mizrachi movement passed away today in Jerusalem. Bar-Illan University was named in his memory.

1950: The New York Times reported that the obsolete conditions at the port of Tel Aviv pose a threat to the continued economic growth of the infant Jewish state.  According to Jose Ensuade, President of Flomarcy Company, “Israel’s maritime position and the continued growth of her foreign comer, which has had an almost phenomenal growth may be impaired unless harbor facilities are improved.”  He marveled at the fact that the port which is the nation’s entry point for 25,000 immigrants arriving each month and which has seen a remarkable growth in trade “is virtually without modern docking facilities.”

1951: Birthdate of Yaky Yosha, the Tel Aviv born award winning film director.

1952(22nd of Nisan, 5712): 8th day of Pesach

1954(14th of Nisan, 5714): Shabbat Ha-Gadol; Erev Pesach

1954: Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger who was born as into an Ashkenazi Jewish family was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest today.

1954: In Tel Aviv, the family of Emanuel Shoam celebrates the first Seder with three friends of his brother Joe, who had been held as a prisoner of war by the Jordanians during the War of Independence.  The three were a young Canadian Jew named Martin and two gentile deserters from the British army named Paddy and Harry who had stolen tanks from the British in 1948 and brought them to the Haganah.

1955: Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Hy Cohen played in his first major league baseball game.

1957: George Pirkis Kidd, Canada’s first Ambassador to Israel, completed his term of service.

1957: Margaret Blanche Meagher began serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel, making her the first Canadian woman to hold an ambassadorial place.

1958(27th of Nisan, 5718): Yom HaShoah

1958: Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Larry Sherry appears in his first major league baseball game.  Sherry would lead the Dodgers to a World Series Championship in 1959.

1959: U.S. premiere of “Imitation of Life” the cinematic treatment of Fannie Hurt’s novel produced by Ross Hunter with a musical score co-authored by Sammy Fain.

1961: In London, Bernardine Coverley and artist Lucian Freud gave birth fashion designer Bella Freud, the great granddaughter of the inventor of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.

1964: Birthdate of Ofer Hugi, the Shas MK who ended up going to prison for two years after being convicted of numerous illegal acts.

1965(15th of Nisan, 5725): 1st day of Pesach

1965: Cincinnati Reds outfielder Art Shamsky appears in his first major league baseball game.

1967: CBS broadcast the final episode of “Gilligan’s Island” a sitcom created by Sherwood Schwartz and co-starring Natalie Schafer as “Lovey Wentworth Howell.”

1967:  Egypt, Syria and Iraq signed a treaty of alliance that placed their military forces under a unified command with the stated purpose of “liberating Palestine” i.e. destroying the state of Israel.

1968(19th of Nisan, 5728): Fifth Day of Pesach

1968(19th of Nisan, 5728): Seventy-five year old Birmingham born Pathologist Arnold Rice Rich, the husband of “pianist and composer Helen Jones and the father of Adrienne and Cynthia Rich, whose scientific work led to the discovery of Rich Focus, passed away today.

1969: Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian terrorist, was convicted of murdering Senator Robert Kennedy, the leading nominee for the Democratic nominee for the Presidential nomination, thus single handedly changing the course of history.

1970: The Auditorium Building in Chicago “one of the best known designs of Dankmar Adler” and his partner “was added to the National Register of Historic Places” today.,_2012-92.jpg

1971(22nd of Nisan, 5731): Eighth Day of Pesach and Shabbat Shel Pesach

1971: Susan Brownmiller organized today’s New York Radical Feminist Conference on Rape

1973(15th of Nisan, 5733): Pesach

1973(15th of Nisan, 5733): Ninety-one year old Clara Ferrin-Bloom the native of Tucson, AZ who was a school teacher when she married merchant David Bloom with whom she had three children, one of whom David A. “established the Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives at the University of Arizona passed away today.

1974: “Professor David Azbel and his family were granted permission to emigrate to Israel” today.

1977: The Broadway production of “I Love My Wife” with a book and lyrics by Michael Steward, music by Cy Coleman and directed by Gene Sakes opened today at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

1978: NBC broadcast “The Road to Babi Yar” the second part he miniseries “Holocaust.”

1979(20th of Nisan, 5739): Sixth Day of Pesach

1979(20th of Nisan, 5739): Terrorists who had crossed the border from Lebanon killed one Israeli soldier today and injured six others.

1980: The Presidium of the Brussels World Conference on Soviet Jewry had its final meeting today in Paris.

1983(4th of Iyar, 5743): Yom HaZikaron

1984(15th of Nisan, 5744): Pesach

1986: Authorities foiled an attempted bombing at Heathrow Airport. Israeli airline security guards at Heathrow Airport in London took a hard look at Anne-Marie Murphy and her luggage as she was about to board an El Al flight for Tel Aviv. Beneath a false bottom in her bag they found 10 pounds of plastic explosive rolled paper-thin -enough, the police said, to destroy the El Al Boeing 747 and its 340 passengers. The police said Miss Murphy told them that the bag, which had passed unnoticed through Heathrow security checks, had been handed to her by Nazar Hindawi, a Jordanian who had several passports. The woman's father said Mr. Hindawi had given Miss Murphy, who is pregnant, $300 to buy a wedding dress and promised that they would be married yesterday in Israel. At the airport, according to the police, Mr. Hindawi told his fiancee he had second thoughts about flying on an Israeli plane and would take a different airline. He hurried off but was arrested later at a London hotel. A sophisticated microchip timer was set to ignite the bomb after a stopover in Munich, the police said. It was possible that Miss Murphy, who had been working as a hotel maid in the London Hilton, intended to disembark at Munich, the police said, but more likely she was an innocent victim of the plot.

1986(8th of Nisan, 5746): Ninety-four year old French aircraft builder Marcel Dassault who as Marcel Bloch was imprisoned in Buchenwald for his refusal to collaborate with the Nazis passed and who became a Catholic after the war passed away today

1987(18th of Nisan, 5747): Comedian Dick Shawn, born Richard Schulefand, died on stage from a heart attack at age 63

1987: “Wild Thing,” a murder mystery featuring Maury Chaykin and Shawn Levy was released today in the United States.

1987: In the UK, premiere of “Prick Up Your Ears” directed by Stephen Frears based on the by John Lahr.

1988(30th of Nisan, 5748): Eighty-eight year old Russian born American sculptor Louis Nevelson passed away today.

1991(3rd of Iyar, 5751): Yom HaZikaron

1991(3rd of Iyar, 5751): Ninety-seven year old songwriter Jack Yellen whose most famous ditty was FDR’s campaign song, “Happy Days Are Here Again” passed away today.

1997: The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut under the direction of Jewish conductor Yakov Kreizberg

1997: Joyce Shepard of the Citizens Action Committee for Change met with Alan G. Hevesi and Mayor Giuliani at City Hall where they promised her that more facilities would be provided for the victims of domestic abuse.

1997(10th of Nisan, 5757): Chaim Herzog passed away.  Born in Ireland in 1918, Herzog was the son of the distinguished Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. Herzog moved to Palestine in 1935 and served in the Haganah during the Arab Uprising that started in 1936.  During World War II, Herzog served in the British Army where he worked with intelligence units liberating concentration camps.  During the War for Independence, Herzog was a leader in the fighting at Latrun, part of the heroic campaign to keep the road to Jerusalem open thus ensuring that the ancient city would be part of modern Israel.  Herzog had a distinguished career in the IDF and retired in 1962 with the rank of Major General.  In civilian life he pursued a career in business and the law while also serving as a media commentator on military matters.  In the middle seventies, he returned to public service as Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. and then as a Member of the Knesset for the Labor Party.  He served two terms as Israel's President (1983-1993). His historical writings include The Arab-Israeli Wars, War of Atonement: The Inside Story of the Yom Kippur War, Who Stands Accused? and Israel's Finest Hour.

1998(17th of Nisan, 5758): Third day of Pesach

1998(7th of Nisan, 5758): Fifty-six year old Linda McCartney the wife of Beatle Paul McCartney, the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Russia passed away today.

1998: In “Putting the Inquisition on Trial” published today, Richard Boudreaux reports on newly published records from the Vatican that shed light on the ancient practices of the church.

1998:Six months after it opened in the U.S., ”Deconstructing Harry” a Woody Allen comedy co-starring Bob Balaban, Richard Benjamin and Billy Crystal was released in the United Kingdom today.

1998:  Marek Edelman one of the last surviving leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was awarded with Poland's highest decoration, the Order of the White Eagle.

1998: U.S. premiere of “The Object Of My Affection” directed by Nicholas Hytner, with a script by Wendy Wasserstein and co-starring Paul Rudd.

1999: In Australia, a production of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” closed today at the Sydney Theatre Company.

2002(5th of Iyar, 5762):  Yom Ha’atzmaut.

2002: “shortly after calling a game between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers on TNT,” Marv Albert was injured in a car crash in which he “sustained facial lacerations, a concussion, and a sprained ankle” leaving him unable to call the opening game of the NBA playoffs.

2003(15th of Nisan, 5763): Pesach

2004: For the fifth time terrorists, in this case Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Bridge, stage an attack at the Erez Crossing.

2004:  An Israeli missile strike killed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.  In the words of the Associated Press, "Rantisi was Hamas' top leader in Gaza and one of the most hard-line members of the militant movement who rejects all compromise with Israel and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state."

2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Outlaw Bible of American Literature” Edited by Alan Kaufman, Neil Ortenberg and Barney Rosset and the recently released paperback edition of “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow.

2005:  A Jewish Museum of Belmonte (Museu Judaico de Belmonte) opened today. Marranos living in Belmonte are sometimes referred to as the "Belmonte Jews." They are a community that has survived in secrecy for hundreds of years by maintaining a tradition of endogamy and by hiding all the external signs of their faith. The community in the municipality of Belmonte, Cova da Beira subregion, Portugal, goes back to the 12th century and they were only discovered in 1917 by a Polish Jewish mining engineer named Samuel Schwarz. Some of them returned to Judaism in the 1970s, and opened a synagogue in 1996. In 2003, the Belmonte Project was founded under the auspices of the American Sephardi Federation, in order to raise funds to acquire Judaic educational material and services for the community which now numbers 300. William Annyas (or Anes) - a descendant of a Marrano family from Belmonte who immigrated to Ireland - became the Mayor of Youghal in County Cork in 1555, the first person of the Jewish religion to hold such an elected position in Ireland or Britain. William Annyas was the grandson of Gil Anes. Many of the first Jewish people to come to Ireland were Marrano merchants from the Iberian Peninsula. His daughter married Yacov Kassin (Shamus Ciosain) daughter of Yehuda Kassin (Juan Cassin) a Marrano merchant who had moved to Galway in Ireland.

2006: At precisely 4:00 P.M., President Moshe Katsav calls the 17th Knesset to order in its maiden session with three blows of the gavel.   MK Shimon Peres (Kadima) is invited to conduct the session. As the most senior MK, Peres will be acting speaker of the Knesset until a permanent speaker is selected.

2006(19th of Nisan, 5766): Nine people were killed and at least 40 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. The blast ripped through Falafel Rosh Ha'ir, the same restaurant that was hit by an attack on January 19. The Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades both claimed responsibility for the attack. The Hamas led PA government defended the suicide bombing, calling it an act of "self-defense." Hamas official spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the attack "a natural result of the continued Israeli crimes against our people".

2006(19th of Nisan, 5766): Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a leading Jewish scholar and civil rights advocate known for his provocative, often contrarian views, has passed away at the age of 84.  The cause of death was heart complications. Hertzberg was president of the American Jewish Congress from 1972 to 1978, and vice president of the World Jewish Congress from 1975 to 1991. He also wrote a dozen of books on Jewish thought and history. Dedicated to the creation of Israel, he angered many Jews by also calling for a Palestinian state. An early advocate of civil rights for blacks, Hertzberg was among the prominent participants in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington. Nine years later, he headed the first Jewish delegation to meet formally with the Vatican about the Roman Catholic Church's silence during the Holocaust. Born in southeastern Poland, Hertzberg's family emigrated to the U.S. when he was five. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and met his wife while serving as an air force chaplain in Britain. After returning to the U.S., he became a congregational rabbi at the conservative Temple Emanu-el in New Jersey, where he served until 1985.

2006: Today “to mark the centennial of the birth of the playwright Clifford Odets, Lincoln Center Theatre will open a new production of “Awake and Sing!,” Odets’s first full-length play and the one that made him a literary superstar in 1935, at the age of twenty-eight.”

2006: In today’s issue of The New Yorker Seymour “Seymour Hersh reported on the Bush administration's purported plans for an air strike on Iran” that would include “the possible use of B61-11 bunker-buster nuclear weapon to eliminate underground Iranian uranium enrichment facilities.”

2007: The Israel Project and The Hebrew University's Truman Institute sponsors a one day conference entitled “IRAN, HIZBALLAH and HAMAS: Money, Martyrdom and the Mahdi.” The Israel Project describes itself as “an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. It provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.”

2007: The New York Times reviewed Shimon Peres: The Biography by Michael Bar-Zohar.

2008: Famed author Cynthia Ozick celebrates her 80th birthday. "Ozick is the most high-browed of all the Jewish-American writers, completely lacking well-read Saul Bellow's interest in the demimonde and the low-life. And yet her prose is always alive and crackling, flashy and sensuous, and as distinctive as the markings on a hoopoe." - Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement (3/11/2006)

2008: In Cedar Rapids, Hedy Epstein, whose parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust speaks at Coe College and at Kennedy High School.

2008: In Iowa City, Iowa. Agudas Achim and Hillel hold a siyyum for the Fast of the Firstborn. For the siyyum, Professor Steven Green leads a presentation on the Talmudic section called “Yadyim,” which discusses the laws of Levitical cleanliness or un-cleanliness of the hands.

2008:  UNITE HERE, a union of textile workers and hospitality workers, organized a rally outside the offices of Goldman Sachs in downtown Manhattan to advocate higher wages for the company’s cafeteria workers. Though few of the cafeteria workers are Jewish, the rally will feature a mock Seder along with Passover songs.

2008: “A Catered Affair” starring Harvey Fierstein who also wrote the book for the musical opened on Broadway today.

2009: A.B. Yehoshua, the award-winning Israeli writer, presents a lecture, "From Mythology to History," as well as discusses his latest novel, “Friendly Fire.” This event is part of the University of Maryland’s (College Park),"George Wasserman Family Israeli Cultural Event" series.

2009: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah hosts the final Musical Shabbat in this the second season of this popular celebration of the start of the “Day of Rest.”

2010: The Westchester Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to show “Rafting to Bombay,” a documentary about three generations of a family who recollect their history among the European Jews who found safe haven in Bombay after fleeing the Nazis and “Forgotten Transports: To Estonia,” the third in Lukas Pribyl’s seminal series of documentaries on Czech Jews in WWII which in this case, chronicles girls who were transported together through the Nazi archipelago of camps in Estonia.

2010: Jonathan Biss, American-Jewish pianist is schedule to perform at the Kaufman Concert Hall in New York City.

2010: As part of its pre-festival screening The Northern Virginia 10th International Jewish Film Festival showed of "No. 4 Street of Our Lady" a film tells the story of a Polish-Catholic woman who rescues 16 of her Jewish neighbors during the war.

2011: The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a workshop entitled Women’s World War II Resistance at Beth El Hebrew Congregation is Alexandria, VA.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag” by Sigrid Nunez.

 2011: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World” by James Carroll.

2011(13th of Nisan. 5771): “The teenager who was critically wounded after Gaza militants launched an anti-aircraft missile at a school bus in southern Israel earlier this month succumbed to his wounds today. 16-year-old Daniel Viflic died in the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva after his condition seriously deteriorated last week. The missile hit the bus traveling near Kibbutz Sa'ad just moments after it had dropped off the rest of the school children, wounding Viflic and the bus driver, who was moderately wounded by shrapnel wounds in his leg.

2011 Israeli security forces have arrested two teenage residents of the West Bank Arab village of Awarta for allegedly carrying out last month's murder of five family members in the settlement of Itamar, the lifting of a gag order revealed today.

2011(13th of Nisan. 5771): Ninety-four year old Dr. Alfred M. Freedman, a psychiatrist and social reformer who led the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 when, overturning a century-old policy, it declared that homosexuality was not a mental illness” passed away today.

2012: Dr. Neil Gillman is scheduled to begin teaching “The Prophets: An Anthology” at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.

2012: “On the run from the Nazis. A Boynton man remembers” published today.

2012: “Paul Goodman Changed My Life is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Jonathan Lee.

2013: Dr. Diane M. Sharon is scheduled to begin teaching “Reading the Hebrew Bible in One Year’ at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.

2013: The Center for Jewish History, Leo Baeck Institute and Taschen Books are scheduled to present “The Hanover Esther Scroll, 1746 – a Masterpiece of Jewish Scribal Art Rediscovered.

2013: “Let My People Go and “Simon and the Oaks” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Renee Firestone, the native of Hungary who survived Auschwitz is scheduled to address students at Washington High School, Xavier High School and Coe College.  Mrs. Firestone’s “is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation. Dr. David Thaler was a native of Lvov who graduated from the Medical School at the University of Paris and came to the United States before WW II. He served in the United States Army where, ironically, he treated German POWs.  He settled in Cedar Rapids in 1946 where he practiced until he passed away. Dr. Thaler’s father and sister perished in the Lvov Ghetto. Dr. Thaler established the foundation as an educational tool that brings Holocaust survivors and their children to Cedar Rapids each year to provide a human face to what for some is an imaginable event.  Joan Thaler has graciously carried on the work started by her late husband to ensure that this vital effort continues.

2013: The Helly Nahmad Gallery remained closed today following the arrest of Hillel Nahmad for his alleged role in an international money laundering and gambling conspiracy. Nahmad is the scion of a prominent family that traces its roots to the famous Jewish community of Aleppo where it was led by the patriarch who was also named Hillel Nahmad

2013: Two Grad rockets were fired on the southern city of Eilat this morning. One landed in a residential neighborhood and the other in an open area in the outskirts of the city

2014: Alexander Fiterstein, Ian David Rosenbaum and Arnaud Sussman are scheduled to perform at the Kaplan Penthouse.

2014: “The Jewish Cardinal” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival.

2014: "Zero Motivation” a zany, dark comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young female Israeli soldiers is scheduled to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

2015(28th of Nisan, 5775): Ninety-one year old real estate tycoon A. Alfred Taubman passed away today.

2015: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett today and later with Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman as well, as an initial deadline for the formation of a new governing coalition approached with no deals yet made.”

2015: “Woman in Gold” is scheduled to open in Israeli theatres today.

2015: “Rue Mandar” and “The Art Dealer” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015: “Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam” which has been on display at the Goethe Institute in San Francisco is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016(9th of Nisan, 5776): Eight-four year old broadcaster Elton Spitzer, the driving force behind WLIR, passed away today.
2016: Under the leadership of Dr. Brian Horowitz, the chair of the Jewish Studies Department, Tulane University is scheduled to host “Kol Minei Dvarim: All Different Things” - The Inaugural Jewish Studies Colloquium
2016: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa The Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund under the leadership of Dr. Robert Silber and the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County are scheduled to host the annual Yom HaShoah Service where “the speaker will be Magda Brown, who was 17 years old in 1944 when she and her family were deported on one of the final transports to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In March 1945, Ms. Brown was sent on a 3-day death march from Birkenau Concentration Camp. Magda and several other prisoners in her group escaped and hid in a barn. A few days later they were discovered and liberated by two American Armed Forces. Only Magda and her brother survived from her immediate family and only six cousins survived from her extended family of 70.

2016: In Northern Virginia, the Olam Tikvah Men’s Club is scheduled to host its Survivors Tribute Brunch where Irene Fogel Weiss, “a survivor of Auschwitz who has made many presentations of her story and testified recently at the trial of a Nazi Auschwitz official in Germany” will be honored.

2016: “Raise the Roof” is among the pictures to be shown on the final day of the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.  
2016: In Atlanta, GA, the Breman Museum is scheduled to host Hershel Greenblat who spent the first two years of life hiding with other Jews in a dark cave in Ukraine and the next five years in a DP camp before coming to the United States in 1950.
2016: “Rock in the Red Zone” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2016: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including America’s War for the Greater Middle East by Andrew J. Bacevich and the recently released paperback editions of Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin, Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes and Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir by Gail Goodwin

2017(21st of Nisan, 5777):  Seventh Day of Pesach

2017(21st of Nisan, 5777): Eighty-one year old forensic psychiatrist Dr. Robert L. Sadoff passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2017: In Jerusalem, the Hebrew Music Museum is scheduled to host several “interactive exhibits and activities” as part of their Passover program to acquaint visitors with “the rich traditions of Jewish and Israeli music.”

2017: While hundreds of Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike, Israelis used “life fire” to control the mobs who joined in supporting the prisoners, many of whom were convicted terrorists.

2018: The Jewish Federation of Cleveland Yom Hazikaron ceremony is scheduled to take place today at the Mandel JCC Stonehill Auditorium in Beachwood.

2018: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to host a talk by Rudolf Klein a professor of modern architectural history at Szent István University” “on his new book, Synagogues in Hungary, 1867–1918 “which “is the first comprehensive study that systematically covers all synagogues in Hungary from the Edict of Tolerance by Joseph II to the end of World War I.”

2018: Holocaust survivor Michael Bornstein who was only four years old when liberated and his daughter Debbie Bornstein Holinstat are scheduled to speak at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon as part of the Yom HoShoah memorial which is being sponsored by The Thaler Holocaust Education Programming Committee chaired Dr. Robert Silber.

2018: Today in Jerusalem, Beit Avi Chais is scheduled to host a Yom HaZikaron event that will include “animated films from the Panim project” as well as music and personal stories.


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