Saturday, April 21, 2018

This Day, April 22, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

April 22

404: Emperors Arcadius and Honorius limit the opportunities of Jews to serve the Empire when they issue the following:  "We decree that the Jews and Samaritans who flatter themselves with the privilege of being in the secret service will be deprived of all employment with imperial service." [CTh 16.8.16]

1073: Pope Gregory VII begins his twelve year reign.  While history may remember him for his role as a reformer and for his “battles” with the Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, others may also remember him as “The Jewish Pope” since he was reportedly “descended from an Italian Jew named Baruch” who started a bank in Rome and converted to Christianity in 1030.

1213: Pope Innocent III issued the papal bull Quia maior, calling all of Christendom to join what became the Fifth Crusade. The Crusades were a period of intermittent disaster for the Jews of Europe and Palestine.

1391: King Wenceslaus issued an edict affording protection to the Jews of Worms.

1451: Birthdate of Isabella I of Castile, the queen who played a key role in the destruction of a seven century old civilization when she cruelly expelled the Jews from Spain 

1488(11th of Iyar, 5248): Almost a year after publishing Perush Rashi al ha-Torah (Rashi’s commentary on the Torah, Joshua Soncino finished printing “a complete Biblia Hebraica” (Hebrew Bible.

1490(1st of Iyar): Leo, Jewish court physician to Grand Duke Ivan II, was executed today.

1500: Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, accompanied by Gaspar da Gama, a Polish born Jew whose slave name had been Yusuf ‘Adil before being forcibly converted to Christianity, sighted the mainland of Brazil for the first time today.

1509: Henry VIII ascended the English throne following the death of his father, Henry VII.  While Jews were officially banned from living in England, evidence exists that a small congregation of Marranos had settled in London by 1540.  Henry’s contact with Jews and Judaism was indirect but somewhat pivotal in the events surrounding his various wives.  Henry’s older brother had married Catherine of Aragon in a state marriage designed to guarantee peaceful relations between England and Spain.  When Henry’s older brother died, the English sought to keep the amicable relations alive by arranging a marriage between Henry and Catherine.  The English got the Pope to approve of the marriage by invoking the Biblical law concerning the Levirate Marriage.  Years later, Henry sought to have the marriage annulled so that he could marry Anne Boleyn.  He claimed that the marriage was a nullity because he had coveted his late brother’s wife and their marriage was a product of sin.  Henry sought support from those most learned in these matters, a group of Italian rabbis.  Regardless of the Halacha involved, the Italian rabbis were loath to anger the Pope who was their “neighbor” in a clash with a monarch living in a distant land in which Jews were forbidden to live.

1585(23rd of Nisan): Rabbi Moses (Trani) of Safed, author of “Kiryat Sefer” passed away today.

1593:  The first group of Marranos led by Jacob Tirado arrived in Amsterdam, Holland. This group was the first Jews to settle in Amsterdam after the Spanish Expulsion. Moses Uri Halevi soon joined them and helped arrange for prayer services.

1610: Birthdate Alexander VIII.  During his papacy, Alexander was confronted with an unusual request.  Instead of demanding that Jews be banished from their town, the priors of Perugia appealed to Alexander to overrule Pope Innocent X and allow Jews to return to their city. The absence of Jews from the city’s fairs was a having a negative impact on the area’s economy.

1625: Urban VIII issued “Sedes apostolica,” a papal bull concerning “heretical Portuguese Jews.”

1724:  Birthdate of German philosopher Immanuel Kant.  Kant may have been one of the giants of the Enlightenment, but from a Jewish point of view, he was an intellectual pygmy. As Michael Mack of Hebrew University wrote, “Kant consistently equated Jewish identity with a host of undesirable traits, including superstition, dishonesty, worldliness and even cowardliness. ‘Every coward is a liar; Jews for example, not only in business, but also in common life,’ Kant noted in a lecture on practical philosophy… All the positive traits of Kantian philosophy (freedom, autonomy, reason) are formed by being contrasted with a negative image of unenlightened humanity, usually taking the form of an anti-Semitic or some other racist caricature. For Kant, motives could only be good if they were not aimed at any material benefit. He saw Judaism as an inherently materialist religion, based upon a quid pro quo between God and His chosen people .In order to fully define the formal structures of his philosophy (autonomy, reason, morality and freedom), Kant almost unconsciously fantasized about the Jews as it’s opposite. He posited Judaism as an abstract principle that does nothing else but, paradoxically, desire the consumption of material goods."

1762: In Prague, Jonas Jeiteles and his wife gave birth to Talmudist Baruch Ben Jacob Benedict Jeitles, the father of Ignaz Jeiteles.

1770(17th of Nisan): Israel Ben Moses Zamsoc of Brody, author of “Nezah Yisrael” passed away today.

1777(15th of Nisan, 5537): Celebration begins of the first Pesach in the recently declared independent United States of America.

1783: The Jews sent a petition to Emperor Joseph II which “expressed their gratitude…for his favors and reminding him of his principle that religion should not be interfered with, asked permission to wear beards.

1792: Birthdate of Uriah Phillips Levy, Commodore of the United States Navy. Born in Philadelphia, his mother was a descendant from the Nunez family that arrived in Charleston in 1733.

1796: In Charleston, SC, Kingston, Jamaica native Hannah de Pass, the daughter of Ralph de Pass married Benjamin, Milhado today.

1822(1st of Iyar, 5582): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1822: Shmuel ben Azreal married Fegele bat Yehuda at the Great Synagogue today.

1834: Dr. Albert Moses Levy and his wife moved back to Virginia after he had completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania. After his wife’s death. Levy would make his way to Texas where he participate in the rebellion against Mexico and become a leading member of the new republic

1841: Birthdate of Versailles native and French jurist Edgar Demange, who served as co-counsel during the two trials of Alfred Dreyfus.

1842: Birthdate of Alexander Kohut the Hungarian born American rabbi and orientalist.

1845(15th of Nisan, 5606): Pesach

1845: Birthdate of Rabbi Jakob Guttmann the native of Beuthen who became the Chief Rabbi at Hildesheim who was the father of Rabbi Julius Guttmann.

1847: “Charles VI,” a grand opera with music composed by Fromental Halevy was performed in New Orleans for the first time.

1850: Birthdate of anatomist and embryologist Gustav Born who was the father of Max Born.

1851: Birthdate of Gustav Jacob Born “the German histologist and author whose first wife was Gretchen Kauffman, with whom he had one son – Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born.

1853: In the House of Commons, following a third reading, the bill removing Jewish disabilities was carried by a majority of 58.

1860: Dr. George B. Cheever delivered an anti-slavery speech tonight at The Church of the Puritans in which he compared slaveholders to the anti-Semitic King John of England who “who, to extort money from a Jew, pulled a tooth every day from out the Hebrew's head until he complied with his demands.”

1861: Philadelphian Abraham who would rise to the rank of Corporal began serving in Company H of the 35th Regiment.

1863(3rd of Iyar, 5623): Fifty-seven year old Gabriel Riesser the first Jewish judge in Germany and an advocate of the emancipation of the Jews in Germany passed away today.

1863(3rd of Iyyar, 5623: Soro Chano Szatan, the mother of Chanokh Heynekh Lewin (Rebbe Reb Heynekh of Aleksander) passed away.  Born in 1779, her husband was Pinchas Lewin who passed away in 1837.

1864(16th of Nisan, 5624): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1864: Captain Ezekiel Levy, his brother Isaac J. Levy and other Jews serving with the 46th Virginia Infantry observed Pesach at their camp in Adams Run, South Carolina, outside of Charleston. On the first day of the holiday they feasted on a “fine vegetable soup” which contained “new onions, parsley, carrots turnips and a young cauliflower … a pound and a half of fresh [kosher] beef, the latter article sells for four dollars per pound in Charleston.”

1865: In Philadelphia, 16 German boys reportedly beat a Jewish named Bernadotte Glischman.  Following the beating, the boys took Glischman to his room where they stuck him with pins.  Glischman said the boys did this to him because he was Jewish and they said that the Jews had killed Christ.

1868: Birthdate of Friedrich Münzer the “German classical scholar” known “for his demonstrations of how family relationships in ancient Rome connected to political struggles.”

1868: Birthdate of Miles Poindexter, the Senator from Tennessee who was one of only three Republicans to vote for the confirmation of Louis Brandeis as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Coutr.

1868: Woolf Elias of Camden, SC, married Emily Weinberg of Charleston, SC.

1870: Birthdate of Vladimir Lenin, who led the Bolshevik Revolution.  Contrary to popular misconception, Lenin was not Jewish. Also, Lenin and the Communists did bring down the Czar.  They overthrew the Kerensky government, the democratic socialists, who had actually ended the three hundred years of Romanov rule. Many people who were born Jews were followers of Lenin.  The most famous was Trotsky.  But Lenin’s impact on the Jewish people far transcended the presence of these individuals. History would prove that Communist Russia was no more hospitable for those who wanted to practice their Judaism than Czarist Russia had been. 

1871(1st of Iyar, 5631): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1871: Bavaria grants equal rights to its Jewish citizens completing the process of emancipation in the German Empire.

1872(14th of Nisan, 5632): Ta'anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1872(14th of Nisan, 5632): “The Feast of Passover: Celebration of Israel’s Delivery From Bondage – Jewish Traditions and Observances” published today states that “At sundown today the people of Israel, wheresoever dispersed over the fact of the earth will begin the celebration of the feast of Pesach or the Passover, one of the most important festivals in the Jewish Calendar.”

1880: In Leadville, CO, the Bush-Trimble Building collapsed.  The building Kaskel & Co, clothing business co-owned by Caesar J. Kaskel and Jacob Michaelis of New York City and managed by Julius W. Kaskel one of the first Jews to settle in Leadville.

1881: It was reported today that an anonymous Jewish donor had sent a basket of flowers to Reverend William A. Barltett of Indianapolis’ Second Presbyterian Church as a token of appreciation for the speech he gave on “the Jewish question.”

1881: Birthdate of Alexander Kerensky, the most prominent leader of the Provisional Government that replaced the government of the Czars.  Kerensky was not Jewish but the failure of the democratic forces that he led certainly had a major impact on the Jews of what would become the Soviet Union.  This short guide does not provide the space for further comment on this major episode in Jewish History.

1881: Visitors at the Hebrew Cemetery at Cypress Hills on Long Island heard shots emanating from the house of the groundskeeper, Max Blecker.  Further investigation led to the discovery of Blocker’s body which had a large wound on the right side of his head and a revolver grasped tightly in his hand.  Reportedly, he had been in ill health and he “told his friends that he would be better off dead.”

1881: It was reported today that Tunisia with a population of about 2 million is of little financial value to the French who seem determined to annex the territory.  The little commercial activity that does exist is primarily in the hands of the 25,000 Jews who make up about a fifth of the population of Tunis.

1882: It was reported today, that in Berlin, a committee composed of leading citizens belonging to all religious denominations has raised 100,000 marks to provided assistance for Jews seeking to leave Russia.

1882: It was reported today that reports have reached Vienna confirming the attacks on Jews in towns near Odessa.  In Balta, the riots lasted for two days leaving at least 2,000 Jewish families in ruin.  “The riots almost assumed the character of a struggle for the annihilation of the Jews…”

1883(15th of Nisan, 5643): On the first day of Pesach an article entitled “The Feast of the Passover” reported that “the morning services at” the Jewish “places of worship…will be peculiarly interesting.”

1884: In Nashville, TN, John Schoffner made a full confession to police concerning the murder of Meyer Friedman, a Jew living in Nashville.  According to Schoffner, Meyer Morris organized the killing and that Mrs. Friedman wanted her husband dead because “she did not love him” and he “treated her badly.”1884: Birthdate of Austrian-born psychoanalyst, Otto Rank. He wrote the first psychoanalytic book by a disciple of Freud. Rank moved to the United States in the 1930’s.  He died at the age of 55, one month after Freud passed away.

1884: New York dentist and founding member of B’nai Israel Dr. Lyon Berhard was laid to rest at Cypress Hill this morning.

1885:  Ninety-six year old Reverend Leonard Withington, the oldest Congregational Clergyman in the United States passed away today.  Withington was a scholar well versed in Hebrew who had written a book entitled “Solomon Songs.”  He was a prime example of the reality that in 19th century America some of the people who were the most knowledgeable about Hebrew as a language were Protestant ministers.

1886: Jess Seligman presided over tonight’s celebration of the second anniversary of the Hebrew Technical Institute which was held at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Among the dignitaries attending the event was Carl Schurz, the famous German-American journalist and social reformer who gave the evening’s main address. (The school would remain open until 1939)

1887: It was reported today that two Englishman carrying an American flag recently imprisoned a Jewish merchant from Alcazar Morocco on charges of not paying a debt.  The prisoner was paraded through various towns in chains as hje was taken to Tangier.  The event, which took place during Passover, has been condemned by the leading Jews of Tangier who have sought the aid of the local British, French and Portuguese Consuls

1889: The Literary Notes column reported that “The Jew in English Fiction” by Rabbi David Philipson will soon be issued by Robert Clarke & Co of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Among the characters discussed are Marlowe’s Jew of Malta, Shakespeare’s Shylock, Cumberland’s Jew, Scott’s Jew in “Ivanhoe”, Dickens’ Jew in “Oliver Twist’ and “Our Mutual Friend”, Disraeli’s in “Coningsby” and “Tancred and George Eliot’s “Daniel Deronda”.  (At the time, Philipson was a young Reform rabbi from Wabash, Indiana)

1889: At high noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000. ‘Jewish settlers began coming to Oklahoma and Indian Territory as early as 1875. The Jewish population grew as Oklahoma blossomed into a boom area, after the famous Land Run of 1889 and statehood in 1907. The early settlers came as peddlers and salesmen and later became shopkeepers and retail merchants. According to the American Jewish Year Book, there were 1,000 Jews in Oklahoma Territory in 1901.” (courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City)

1891(14th of Nisan, 5651): “The Festival of Pesach: It will begin at Sunset To-Night and Last For A Week” published today reported that “all the reform temples and orthodox synagogues will be open for services this evening…and appropriate sermons will be delivered by the spiritual heads of the communities.

1892: In Brooklyn, Adolph and Deborah (Spaine) Dannenberg gave birth to Oscar Asahel Halevy Dannenberg, the Yale alum and lawyer who served as a Sheriff in Bridgeport, CT.

1893(6th of Iyar, 5653): Chaim Aronson passed away at the age of 77. Born in Lithuania in 1825 when it was part of Russia, Aaronson was a gifted linguist (Hebrew, German, and Russian) with a penchant for invention who went from being a clockmaker to developing a variety of machines including one for making cigarettes and one that was a prototype for a movie camera.  Aronson was a better scholar and engineer than he was a businessman since none of his work brought him commercial success.  His most long lasting contribution was a literary work entitled A Jewish Life under the Tsars: The Autobiography of Chaim Aronson, 1825-1888 that provides a picture of life in the final century of Czarist Russia.

1893: Rabbi Raphael Benjamin delivered a sermon this morning on the subject of the recent blackballing of Theodore Seligman by the Union League.

1893: “Max Judd Objected To” published today described the reasons that the government of Austria provided for refusing to recognize the appointment of Max Judd as Consul General for the United States at Vienna.  The Austrians claim that the refusal is based on that fact the Judd had been born in Austria and “is engaged in the emigration business.” The Austrians claim that the objection has nothing to do with Judd’s religion which is just as well because the U.S. government has said that Mr. Judd’s replacement will not be of Austrian descent, but he will be Jewish.

1894: Hyman Blumenthal was arrested on charges that he had deliberately tried to burn down the tenement at 28 East Broadway.

1894: Birthdate of Max Weinreich, the Russian born American linguist and a founder of the Yiddish Institue (YIVO) and author who was “the father of the linguist Uriel Weinreich, who edited the Modern Yiddish-English English-Yiddish Dictionary.”

1894: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture at Temple Emanu-El in New York entitled “The Jewish Passover and Its Modern Message to Jews and Christians” in which he described that observing Passover was “the celebration of the anniversary of the Jewish Independence Day.”

1894: “The Babylonian Element” published today included Professor Archibald Sayce’s comparison of the narratives found on Babylonian Tablets and those found in Genesis which “assume an entirely different complexion in the hands of the Biblical writers” who strip them of their polytheism, accommodate them to the Hebrew point of view and “make them the vehicle of profound religious truths.

1895: It was reported today that the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is providing housing for 700 children at its building at 137th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.  Trustees Theodore Seligman, Edward Lauterbach and Emanuel Leyman are considering a proposal to raise $250,000 to expand the facility in order to meet increased demand for its services.

1895: “Object To The McCall Bill” published today described the “vigorous protest” of “the American Anti-Semite Association” to the passage of the McCall Educational Test bill and “recommends the passage of the Stone Consular Certificate bill” that “considers as desirable immigrants only those who for five years previous have been actively engaged in agricultural pursuits with their own manual labor.”

1896 (9th of Iyar, 5656): Gustave May passed away today in New York City.  Born in Paris in 1845, he served as Quartermaster General with the forces fighting to protect the Commune at the end of the Fanco-Prussian War.  When the Commune forces were defeated he fled  to America with his brother where they started May Brothers, a firm of commission merchants that “was the first to import cigarette papers into the United States. Although born Jewish May saw himself as a “Freethinker” and was active in the French Exile community.  His brother Elie had served as a General in the forces of the Commune.

1896: Herzl began a two day journey to Karlsruhe where he was received in audience by Grossherzog (Grand Duke) Friedrich of Baden.  Herzl was heartened by the meeting saying ("Jedenfalls nahm der Grossherzog meine Staatbildung von Anfang an vollkommen ernst." - "In any case, the Grand Duke took my proposed formation of a state quite seriously from the beginning.")

1896: Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria, cut short his state visit to Russia and left St. Petersburg for Paris so he could attend the funeral of his friend Baron Hirsch.

1896: “Strong Tribute To His Memory” published today provided reminiscences by Oscar S. Straus about the late Baron de Hirsh saying that “it was my good fortune to enjoy the personal acquaintance of Baron de Hirsch” whom he said gave away $25,000,000 to provide relief for Russian Jews which the Baron considered to be the most oppressed people in the world.

1897(20th of Nisan, 5657): Sixty-seven year old Simon Alexander passed away today having lost his 9 month long battle with asthma and heart sickness.  He was an editorial writer for The Hebrew Journal and member of Temple Emanu-El

1897:  In New York City, the world's largest Jewish daily newspaper, "The Forward," was first published. Abraham Cahan, 43, one of its founders, became editor of the paper in 1903, remaining until his death in 1951.  The Forward began as a Yiddish paper.  By the 1930's it was one of the nation's leading dailies with a readership of 275,000 supplemented by a radio audience listening to WVED.  One of its most famous features was the Bintel Briefs, a Yiddish Dear Abby.  The paper shifted its formant and became English weekly in the 1980's.  Later it added a Russian language edition for the new wave of Jewish immigrants. 

1898(30th of Nisan, 5658): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1898(30th of Nisan, 5658): Simon Kayserling passed away. Kayserling was a German born teacher and author.  He was the brother of Meyer Kayserling.  Both brothers were historians.  But Meyer also pursued career in the Rabbinate while Simon followed a more secular career serving on the faculty of the Jewish Free School while writing or translating books about the history of Poland and the history of the Jews living in Spain and Portugal.

1898: N.S. Roenau of the United Hebrew Charities was one of the speakers who addressed a group Yale University students studying Sociology under the direction of Professor William T. Blackman who visited New York City today.

1899: The sixth annual reunion banquet of the Hebrew Technical Institute Alumni Association was held this evening at the Broadway Central Hotel.

1899: Minnie Jacobs and her lawyer Joseph Moss appeared before William J. Youngs, Secretary to the Governor of New York to plead for a pardon for her father, Saul Jacobs.

1900(23rd of Nisan): Author Louis Bein passed away.

1900: District Grand Lodge No. 7 of B’nai Birth which includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas with over 1,700 members opened its 27 convention today in New Orleans.

1900: Twenty four year old Jacob Mack married 22 year old Bertha “Birdie” Ronsheim, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.

1902(15th of Nisan, 5662): On the first day of Passover The New York Times took exception to a letter that Mayor Seth Low had sent to Police Commissioner John N. Partridge advising him not to enforce “blue laws” on Sunday April 20 because Jews needed to shop and conduct such activities as killing chickens as they prepared for their holiday which would begin on Monday evening, April 21.  The Times said that the Mayor’s ruling “was uncalled for” and “was wrong in principle and conclusion. [Editor’s Note: Those of us living in the 21st century with its 24/7 schedule probably have difficulty that power of Sunday closing laws; laws that were enforced well into the closing decades of the 20th century.”

1903: Herzl meets Lord Rothschild who tells him that Edmond de Rothschild is delighted with his plan.

1903: Birthdate of Marcus Polak, the native of Goor who would be murdered at Bergen Belsen.

1904: Birthdate of Robert J. Oppenheimer.  Born in New York, Oppenheimer was the son of a prosperous German-Jewish textile importer and an artistic Baltimore Jewess who died when Oppenheimer was a child.  A renowned physicist, Oppenheimer bordered on the brilliant and enjoyed a wide range of intellectual pursuits.  His claim to fame is the Manhattan Project.  He was the scientific overlord of the American race to develop and build the Atomic Bomb.  After the war, Oppenheimer had reservations about additional military uses of science.  He opposed the building of the Hydrogen Bomb, a project that was brought to a successful conclusion by yet another Jewish scientist, Edward Teller.  Oppenheimer fell victim to the post-War Red Scare and lost his security clearance. Oppenheimer's security clearance was regained during the Kennedy years and his reputation was publicly rehabilitated.  He passed in 1967 at the age of 62.  As to the Jewish influence in his life, consider the following. Prior to the 1930's, Oppenheimer had led the cloistered life of the privileged and the scientist in his ivory tower.  During the 1930's Oppenheimer became involved in liberal and social justice causes.  According to him, the change came about, in part became, "I had had a continuing smoldering fury about the treatment of Jews in Germany,  I had relatives there, and was later to help in extricating them and bringing them to this country...I began to participate more fully in the life of the community." 

1906: In Montreal, Shlomo Chaim Caplan and Chaya Bluma Routtenberg gave birth to Jonah Ephraim Caplan the Yeshiva University graduate who had come to the United States in 1924 served as the rabbi at several congregations including one Astoria, NY and was “active in the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

1908: Birthdate of Leonard Schapiro, the native of Glasgow, Scotland “who spend in his childhood in Riga and St. Petersburg but returned to Britain with his parents in 1920 where he carved out a career in economics and political studies that led to his being named Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics.

1909: In Turin, Italy, Adamo Levi, an engineer, and Adele Montalcini, a painter, both Italian Jews who traced their roots to the Roman Empire gave birth to Rita Levi-Montalcini, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. (As reported by Benedict Carey)

1910: Today Rabbi Haim (Henry) Pereira Méndez, President of the Union of Orthodox Congregations wrote a letter to New York Mayor William Gaynor on behalf of the Orthodox congregations in the United States and Canada thanking him for his letter rejecting the request of Rev. Thomas M Chalmers for a license to “preach for the conversion Jews” on street corners in some of the city’s most heavily “Jewish” communities.  Mendez expressed his appreciation for the tone of the letter which was sympathetic to the Jewish people and said that he would work with the Christian ministers to lift the level of modern society to a level closer to that expressed by Judaism and Christianity.

1910: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow completed his service as The Temple “Louisville, Kentucky Jewish weekly that firs appeared in July of 1909.

1912: The Wage Earner's League for Woman Suffrage held a major rally at New York's Cooper Union. Clara Lemlich, Rose Schneiderman, and three others founded the League which sought to encourage working women to join the political process as well as to agitate for the right to vote. Lemlich, a shirtwaist maker, became the League's vice president. Drawing on their background in the Socialist movement, the founders of the Wage Earners' League emphasized the special concerns of working women. They argued in speeches and pamphlets that women needed the vote in order to secure basic human rights like safe working conditions. In doing so, League leaders came into conflict with both Socialist men and middle-class women. The men who counted on female allies in Socialist causes bluntly suggested that suffrage activists return to their kitchens. Middle-class women showed their class bias in suggesting that their wealth and education made them more capable activists than these working women. Wary of having their specific concerns sidestepped, League members agreed that any woman could join their group, but that only workers could vote, ensuring that working women would remain in control of the League's agenda and tactics. Today’s rally at Cooper Union brought together thousands of cheering women to listen to arguments for women's suffrage. The location was symbolic; Cooper Union was the site of the rally that had kicked off the "Uprising of the 20,000," one of the first and most influential strikes of industrial garment workers, just three years before. Despite a large and enthusiastic turnout at the rally, the League dissolved soon afterward. Lacking a full-time organizer and a steady source of funding, the League ceased to be active. Schneiderman went on a speaking tour for another suffrage organization; her colleagues likewise turned their energies to other groups. Ultimately, the fight for suffrage would depend on alliances across class and gender lines.

1912: In London, those attending a “meeting of the East End Jewish shopkeepers” passed a “resolution petitioning the local Borough Council to grant Jewish East End traders an exemption under the Shops Act.”

1913(15th of Nisan, 5673): Pesach

1913(15th of Nisan, 5673): Seventy-four year old “manufacturer” Gabriel Hirsch passed away today in Philadelphia.

1913: Rabbi Tobias Schanfarber is scheduled to lead Passover services this morning at K.A.M. Temple in Chicago, Illionis

1913: Founding of Beth Aaron Synagogue in Minneapolis, MN.

1913: Jacob Adler and Sara Adler are scheduled to begin a week long run at the Haymarket Theatre where he will perform “Style” by Abraham Shomer.

1914: In the Netherlands, Professor Arnold Hendrik and Lucretia de Hartog gave birth to author Jan de Hartog who wrote “Skipper Next to God” in which Wolfe Barzell’s performance provided the inspiration for his nephew Emanuel “Manny” Azenberg to become interested in theatre; an interest that would lead to a thirty-three relationship with playwright Neil Simon.

1915:”An application for a commutation of Leo Frank's death sentence was submitted to a three-person Prison Commission in Georgia.”

1915: During WW I, at Ypres, the Germans used gas for the first time on the battlefield.

1915(8th of Iyar, 5675): David S. Lehman, the native of Portsmouth, Ohio, the husband of the former Alma Schlesinger, the son-in-law or Rabbi Max Schlesinger of Albany, NY and the Vice President of the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives died in Denver today “form intestinal trouble after several months’ of illness.

1915: “Seventy Jews” who are seeking to emigrate to America or Australia arrived in Alexandria today from Jerusalem and described the “terrible economic situation” with flour costing fifteen dollars a sack, potatoes being sold for “six times the ordinary cost” and the appearance of huge swarms of locusts.

1916(19th of Nisan, 5676): Fifth day of Pesach; Shabbat

1916: It was reported today that Dr. Straus a native of Germany now living in New York provided the $25,000 to start the Alpha and Omega Publishing Company which will published The American Jewish Chronicle, a weekly publication that will serve as an advocate for the rights of European Jews after the World War comes to an end.  

1916:  Birthdate of Yehudi Menuhin famed violin virtuoso and conductor. He passed away in March, 1999 at the age of 83.

1917(30th of Nisan, 5677) Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1917: Rabbi Samuel Schulman is scheduled deliver a talk on “The War and Religion” at Temple Beth-El.

1917: At Carnegie Hall, the Free Synagogue is scheduled to host “Tenth Anniversary Exercise” that will include a sermon by Rabbi Wise on “Is the Free Synagogue Worthwhile?”

1917: Dr. Silverman is scheduled to deliver a talk on “What the Jews Have Done for the World” at Temple Emanu-El.

1917: “Students from Adelphi College, College of the City of New York, Columbia Univesity, Hunter College and New York University” attended “the second annual dinner of the Menorah Society in Greater New York” which was held this evening at the Hotel Netherland in New York City

1917: In Cardiff, Wales, “solicitor and cinema owner” Rudolf Abse gave birth to Leo Abse, the husband of Marjorie Davis with whom he had two children – Tobias and Bathsheba – who was a lawyer and a 30 Welsh Labour Member of Parliament who promoted laws to liberalize divorce and decriminalize homosexual behavior.

1917: Professor Philip Boas of Whitman University delivered a speech entitled “Youth and Judaism” at the Spring Assembly of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis at Temple Emanu-El this evening in which he “said that he did not believe that Jewish youths were deserting the synagogue.”  “He asserted there signs of greater consciousness of Judaism among the young than there were ten years ago, but the youth wanted to see resulted and wanted to see how religion was benefiting the world.”

1917: “The American Jewish Historical Society began its 25th convention today at the Hotel Ansonia.

1917: Max J. Kohler, the son of the President the Hebrew Union College, presented a paper on “Jewish Rights at the Congress of Vienna” today.

1917: Dr. Cyrus Adler, Oscar S. Straus, Dr. Jacob H. Hollander and Daniel P. Hayes spoke at this evening’s reception hosted by the Judean Society under the leadership of its President, Dr. Henry M. Leipziger for members of the American Jewish Historical Society.

1917: Jacob H. Schiff, a long-time opponent of creating a “Jewish nation in Palestine” delivered a speech at a meeting of the League of the Jewish Youth of America at the Century Theatre in which expressed his support for the creation of a “center for Jewish culture” in Palestine because he believed “in the Jewish people, in the mission of the Jewish people” and in the need for a place where “Jewish culture might be further and developed, unhampered by the materialism of the world.”

1918: Austrian native Nettie Kinsbruner, the daughter of Shmuel Meyer Stettner and Rachel Stettner and her husband David (Aubie) Kinsbruner gave birth to Beatrice, the sister of American college basketball star Mac Kinsbrunner.

1918: Birthdate of Solomon Aaron Berson, the New York born physician who worked with Rosalyn Yallow on “major advances in clinical biochemistry.”

1919(22nd of Nisan, 5679): Eighth Day of Pesach

1919: I. Edwin Goldwasser, the executive director of the Federation for the support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies is scheduled to lecture on “Co-ordination in Jewish Philanthropy” at this evening’s meeting of the Council of Jewish Women at the Sinai Center in Chicago.

1919: Jacob H. Schiff, Abram I.Elkus and Dr. Stephen S. are scheduled to speak at the reception for the Earl of Reading sponsored by the Judaeans which will be presided over by President Samson Lachman

1920: During the San Remo Conference, Chaim Weizmann has a private meeting with Lloyd George and Lord Balfour during which he presses the British leaders “for a civil administration in Palestine, run by the British under a League of Nations mandate.  This stood in stark contrast with the French leaders who did not want the Balfour Declaration to be part of the peace treaty with the Ottomans. 

1920: In Washington, the Tacoma News Tribune reported that Leach Cross (born Louis Charles Wallach” whose boxing nickname was “The Fighting Dentist” “had signed with Universal Pictures in Los Angeles to appear in an 18-episode serial entitle “The Vanishing Dagger.”

1921(14th of Nisan, 5681):Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1921: Today, as Englishman who “believed in the Jewish origin of the British Royal Family” considered Saeki Yoshiro’s theory of the Jewish origins of the Japanese people, Israel’s Messenger carried a letter from former lady-in-waiting Elizabeth A. Gordon

1922: The national board of Hadassah voted "no confidence" in the leadership of ZOA President Louis Lipsky.

1923: In Manhattan, novelist Paul Hervey Fox and “the former Elsie de Sola” gave birth to novelist Paula Fox.

1925: In Sosnowiec, Poland, Herschel Krysztal, an accountant and the former Dora Grossman gave birth to Henyek Krysztal who gained famed as psychiatrist Dr. Henry Krystal. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

 1926: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “Russian Jewish immigrants Esther (née Ottenstein), who was a childhood friend of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and Meyer Lubotsky, a retail tire business owner gave birth to Charlotte Rae Lubotsky who gained fame as Emmy nominated actress Charlotte Rae and the mother of Larry Straus who co-authored her autobiography The Facts of My Life.

1928:  Birthdate of Aaron Spelling, TV executive producer who gave us “Charlie's Angels.”

1928: Following Hadassah President Irma Levy Lindheim’s recent declaration that the administration of the ZOA was "not an effective instrument for the achievement of world Zionist aims for the up-building of Palestine" today the National Board of Hadassah registered a vote of no confidence in the leadership of ZOA President Louis Lipsky.

1930: Release date for the all-star revue “Paramount on Parade” written by Joseph Mankiewicz and co-produced by Jesse Lasky, Adolph Zucker, Albert S. Kaufman and B.P. Schulberg.

1930: In Manhattan, The Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre which was later re-named The Mark Hellinger Theatre, opened today.

1931: JBI International was founded as the Jewish Braille Institute of America

1932(16th of Nisan, 5692): Second Day of Pesach; first day of the Omer is observed for the last time during the Presidency of Herbert Hoover, who without fanfare or controversy, appointed the second Jewish Supreme Court Associate Justice.

1933(26th of Nisan, 5693):  A Jewish merchant, Salomon Rosenstrauch was shot dead in Wiesbaden, Germany.

1933: In Nazi Germany, the government adopted measures excluding Jewish students from school.

1935: In Los Angeles, the premier of “Bride of Frankenstein,” the sci-fi thriller” produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr and filmed by cinematographer Franz Waxman.

1936(30th of Nisan, 5696): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1936: “As the racial rioting stormed in its third week, a communique issued by the (British) police declared that masses of Arabs were still attacking Jewish settlements” including at “Hatikvah Settlemet” and “Shechunath Areyh, midway between Tel Aviv and Petach Tikvah” were “Jews successfully defended the settlement until police arrived and beat off the invaders.”

1936: “At Jenin, on the main highway to Jerusalem, a large crowd of Arab villagers help up and stone Jewish buses, wounding two passengers.”

1936: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal announced today that the Palestine Foundation Fund and the Jewish National Fund had sent $100,000 to Palestine” from funds that were being collecting in the United States for the settlement of Jews from German, Poland and countries in Palestine.

1936: “At 5 o’clock this morning a Jewish-owned cardboard factory near Tel Aviv was burned by Arabs.”

1936: “A Jewish merchant in the old city of Jerusalem who tried to open his shop was beaten by young Arab agitators and forced to close.”

1937(11th of Iyar, 5697): Ninety-four year old Albany, NY native Simon Wolfe Rosendale the New York State Attorney General who was the first Jew elected to a state-wide office in “the Empire State” and who was active in Jewish communal affairs even though he was an anti-Zionist passed away today.

1937(11th of Iyar, 5697): Sixty-seven year old Mrs. Marcus M. Marks, the “widow of the Borough President of Manhattan” who was also called by some “the father of day-light saving plans” passed away today.

1938(21st of Nisan, 5698): Seventh Day of Pesach.

1938: It was reported today that a “lawyer’s group” to raise funds for the American Ort Foundation “was formed at meeting in the office former Judge Grossman” and a “dentists group” was formed at offices on offices at 212 Fifth Avenue where “Dr. John L. Kaufman was elected chairman.”

1939: Birthdate of Uri Orr, the native of Kfar Haim who rose to the rank of general in the IDF before pursuing a political career that included serving as an MK and Deputy Minister of Defence.

1939: “The Greek cattle boat Assimi which attempted to land 263 illegal Jewish immigrants” in Palestine “twelve days ago was ordered to leave Haifa tonight.”    When the police announced the decision, “the passengers tore off their clothing and screamed that they would rather be killed than be sent back to sea. Some prayed and recited psalms. When the Jewish residents of Haifa heard the screams and prayers aboard the Assimi” they spontaneously proclaimed a strike that took hold throughout the city.  Protesters carried signs reading ‘Open the gates to the Jewish illegals’ and ‘Down with the barbaric attitude toward illegals. The captain had been fined and imprisoned for his role in bringing the Jews to Palestine. To add insult to injury the captain had been fined and imprisoned for his role in bringing the Jews to Palestine.

1940(14th of Nisan, 5700): The Sommer family sits down to their first Seder in Liechtenstein.  How this family of German Jewish refugees from Munich came to be there was chronicled by Susi Pugatsch-Sommer in an article entitled “A Pesach Miracle in Nazi Germany.”


My family - my parents Binyamin and Friedl Sommer, myself (13) my sister Ella (10), my brother Alfred (7), and my grandmother, Rachel - lived in temporary quarters in Munich, after our home had been confiscated by the Nazi daily newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter in 1939. My father had been arrested and incarcerated in the Dachau Camp in 1938 for a short time. Once he was released, he realized that he and the family had to leave Germany as quickly as possible, but he could not find a way to get out. In November 1939, my father left home for a few days, and hid the forest near Munich, since he was informed that the Nazis would arrest all male Jews again and send them to a concentration camp. By chance, he met a man in the forest who identified himself only as an engineer. This man told him that he could arrange an entry permit into neutral Liechtenstein only if he had enough money to open a building materials factory and pay salaries to 100 workers, since unemployment was high in Liechtenstein. My father agreed immediately, since he had no other option to save our lives. Miraculously, we received visas for Liechtenstein in the beginning of April 1940, in the middle of World War II, our passes to relative safety. We had 14 days to leave Germany, and each person was allowed to take one suitcase and 10 reichmarks. We boarded the train in Munich three days before Pessah. We were frisked at the German border and after the Nazis didn't find anything forbidden, were allowed to cross the border to Liechtenstein on foot. We were completely exhausted when we arrived in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and went to sleep in a simple hotel. We did not know if there were any Jewish families in Liechtenstein, and we had no idea how we would keep Pessah properly and buy matzot. Then our next miracle happened. The following morning, as we wandered around town, a young girl stopped us and asked if we were Jewish and if she could help us. Immediately, she introduced us to her parents and some other Jewish families. The Schönwalder family invited us into their home, to their Seder and we continued to have all our meals and prayers there during the week of Pessah. We continued to reside in Liechtenstein for 10 years. At this time, only 40 to 50 Jews lived there. I met with the Schönwalders' daughter, Edith, almost every day, and she is still a very good friend of mine. Today, we both live in Israel. I'll never forget the miracle that happened to us - my father's chance meeting with the engineer, an emigration visa in the midst of the war, and the wonderful families who helped us celebrate Pessah as religious Jews.


1940:  SS official Odilo Globocnik announced a plan to increase the use of Jewish forced labor and to establish separate work camps for Jewish men and women.

1940: Detroit Tigers Pitcher Dick Conger appeared in his first major league baseball game.

1940: Ten members of the staff of Ben Shemen Youth village, including the director are sentenced to serve prison terms of up to seven years. The British had raided Ben Shemen in January and found weapons belonging to the Haganah. The prison sentences were for their role in hiding the weapons.

1941: Birthdate of Israeli Amir Pnueli an Israeli scientist who developed a “critical technique for verifying the reliability of computers.”

1942: U.S. premiere of “Saboteur,” a WW II spy thriller with a screenplay co-authored by Peter Viertel and Dorothy Parker.

1943: “We Will Never Die” was performed in Philadelphia's Convention Hall, with guest stars Claude Rains and Edward G. Arnold in the lead roles. More than 15,000 people attended--it was the largest Jewish public event in the city in many years — and it received extensive coverage in the local press.

(As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

1943:  The Nazis deported the Jews of Amersfoort, Holland.

1943: Day four of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

1943:  In New York City, Daniel Gluck, the inventor, along with is brother-in-law Sundel Doniger, of the X-Acto Knife and his wife gave birth to Louise Elisabeth Gluck the American Pulitzer Prize winning poet who “was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003, after serving as a Special Bicentennial Consultant three years prior in 2000.”

 1945: The Big Red One, whose members included Samuel Fuller, “finished clearing the Harz Mountains” before turning south to join up with the U.S. Third Army.

1945:  Six hundred of the remaining inmates at Jasenovac Concentration Camp rose up against their Croatian killers.  The Croatians killed over five hundred of them.  This camp was located in a breakaway republic from Yugoslavia called Coratia.  The Croatians ran the camp for their Axis allies and were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews.  For those of you who remember the fighting in the 1990's in Yugoslavia, you will now understand that genocide is no stranger to the Balkans. Only a thousand Jews and Serbs remained. Tens of thousands of them were killed over the past five years. Six hundred rose in revolt. The Germans killed 520 of them.

1945:  The Soviet Army liberated the Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen in Germany.  The camp was about 35 kilometers from Berlin and was established in 1938.  Approximately thirty to thirty-five thousands people including Jews perished in the camp.

1945: Birthdate of Donald E. Graham, the grandson of Eugene Meyer and the son of Katherine Graham

1946: Opening of Kibbutz Beitar in Bruna.

1946: Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter joined the Chief Justice and another Associate Justice in dissenting in Girouard v. United States – a case involving a the application of a pacifist for naturalization.

1946:  Composer Ezra Laderman was discharged from the U.S. Army today. He then studied composition under Stefan Wolpe of New York and Miriam Gideon of Brooklyn College where he earned his 1950. He then went on to study under Otto Luening of Columbia University where he earned his M.A. in 1952.

1947(2nd of Iyar, 5707): In Jerusalem’s central prison, Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein beat the hangman when they used a grenade smuggled into death row to blow themselves up. The two had planned to detonate the device when they were on the scaffold thus taking the British appointed executioner with them.  But when the Rabbi who visited them earlier in the day said he would return to be with them at the moment of execution, the two decide to act earlier so as to kill the Jewish cleric. 

1947: Another 769 illegal Jewish immigrants arriving on board the Galata in Eretz Israel were trans-shipped to Cyprus.

1948: Operation Misparayim (scissors) was launched by the Haganah as part of the Yishuv’s attempt to assume control of Haifa after British withdrawal and attacks had been made by Arab forces to control this port city.  By the end of the day, Haifa was in the hand of the mainline Zionist forces.

1949: Writing in Haaretz, Arye Gelblum described immigrants from North Africa as dirty, disease ridden and prone to drunkenness and prostitution.

1949: The NBC Television Network broadcast the final episode of the panel show “Stop Me If You’ve Hear this One” on which Morey Amsterdam, Lew Lehr and Benny Rubin appeared as regular panelists.

1949: Hebrew University reopened in temporary quarters in west Jerusalem

1950: Tonight, after the end of Shabbat, Israel began the celebration of her second year of independence.  In his address to the nation, President Weizmann called upon Israelis “to celebrate in joy and happiness the great salvation wrought to our people after centuries of exile and affliction.”  In Jerusalem, Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Knesset, lit a torch on Mt. Herzl which lit from fire provided by veterans of the Masada Battalion which had defended Jerusalem from attacks by Egyptians and Arab Irregulars during the dark days of the siege of the City of David. Similar festivities took place throughout the country including open air performances, torch light parades and the sounding of sirens by ships of many nations docked in Israel’s major ports.

1950: In Germany, Holocaust survivors Joseph and Elizabeth Wilf gave birth to real estate developer Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf who bought the Minnesota Vikings football team in 2005.

1951: Philadelphia Athletics first baseman Lou Limmer played in his first major league baseball game. 

1952(27th of Nisan, 5712): Yom HaShoah

1952(27th of Nisan, 5712): Forty-nine year old Jakob Rosenfeld the Lemberg born Jewish doctor who survived Dachau and Buchenwald and gained fame as General Luo, the Minister of Health under Chairman Mao, passed away today. (Editor’s note – an exciting life like is certainly worthy of a biography and a NETFLIX series)

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the "past seven days was the bloodiest week along Israeli borders for a long time." Two Israelis were murdered at Mevuot Betar, the marauders were active in the South, in Galilee and Jerusalem. There was a general outcry when General Bennet L. de Ridder, the U.N. Chairman of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission refused to comply with the Israeli request to call an emergency meeting of the Commission to discuss the latest developments and, in particular, the murder of Zvi Genauer and his niece, Dvora, in Jerusalem. This incomprehensible U.N. decision was taken despite the fact that the tracks of the three marauders, responsible for this murder, were discovered by an U.N. observer and an Israeli officer who noted that they led to the Jordanian-occupied village of Beit Iksa. The General claimed that it was not the duty of his Commission to deal with incidents "of this type."


1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's three-years-long land survey, conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, had almost been completed.

1953: Herman Pekarsky, the director of the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, NJ, was among the speakers at the 25th birthday celebration held at the Park Sheraton, honoring The Welcome Wagon organization.

1953: Birthdate of Steve Bond, the native of Haifa who gained fame while appearing in the soap opera General Hospital.

1953: “It Happens Every Thursday” a comedy directed by Joseph Pevney, produced by Leonard Goldstein and with music by Herman Stein was released today in the United States.

1954: Leo Lerman, the Jewish editor and writer for such glossy fashion magazines as Vogue, Mademoiselle and Vanity Fair met famed American author William Faulkner for the first time.

1954:  The so-called Army-McCarthy Hearings began. These hearings, which helped bring an end to McCarthy’s abuse of power was triggered by two of his Jewish supporters.  One was the powerful Roy Cohn, the McCarthy Committee’s chief counsel.  The other was Cohn’s close friend, G. David Schine.  :

1955: ABC broadcast the final episode of “Where’s Raymond,” the sit-com produced by Stanley Shapiro.

1958: “Jordanian soldiers shot and kill two fishermen near Aqaba.”

1960: In Quebec, Dr. Harry J. Stern led the services dedicating the new home of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, the oldest Reform or Liberal congregation in Canada.

1961: Lucille Ball collapsed while performing in “Wildcast” the musical with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and music by Cy Coleman.

1963(28th of Nisan, 5723): Yom HaShoah

1970: Arthur Krock “was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.”

1971(27th of Nisan, 5731): Yom HaShoah

1971(27th of Nisan, 5731): Seventy-two year old Joseph Ginsburg the father of French entertainer Serge Gainsbourg passed away today.

1973: Birthdate of Ofer Talker, the native of Ashdod who gained fame playing football for several teams the last of which was Hapoel Kfar Saba from which he retired in 2009.

1973: Birthdate of Delmar, NY native Anita Lynn Kaplan, the 6’5” center on the Stanford University Basketball team who played professionally for the San Jose Laser and Chicago Condors and was released by the WNBA Cleveland Rockers before league play began.

 1974: Israeli political leader Amir Peretz was severely injured in accident at the Mitla Pass.

1975:  Barbara Walters signed a five-year $5 million contract with the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), becoming the highest paid television newsperson.

1975: Eighty-two year old Sir Godfrey Rolles Driver the Old Testament scholar who was a Professor of Semitic Philology at Oxford whose expertise included a knowledge of the Semitic languages of the Biblical period passed away today.

1976(22nd of Nisan, 5736): Eighth Day of Pesach observed for the last time under President Ford.

1977:  Shimon Peres became premier of Israel.

1977: “The Late Show,” a mystery co-starring Bill Macy was released today in the United States.

1978:  In Paris, France, Izhar Cohen & Alphabeta won the twenty-third Eurovision Song Contest for Israel by singing "A-ba-ni-bi".

1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that an agreement was reached to end the 18-days-long El Al lockout which had already cost the national airline more than IL100m, and the tourist industry hundreds of millions more.

1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time with an entry called "A-Ba-Ni-Bi". Israel scored 157 points, Belgium 121 and France 119.

1978: After six seasons, CBS broadcast the final episode of “Maude” a sitcom created by Norman Lear and starring Beatrice Arthur in the title role.

1979(25th of Nisan, 5739): Shamir Kuntar was part of a cell that raided the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, fatally shooting a civilian, Danny Haran, while his daughter Einat, 4, watched, then smashing the girl’s head, killing her as well. Mr. Haran’s wife, Smadar, hid with their 2-year-old daughter, accidentally suffocating her in an effort to stop her from crying out.

1982(29th of Nisan, 5742): Eighty-two year old Irish film director and actor Harold Goldblatt passed away today.

1982: “Six refuseniks in Odessa joined the hunger strike begun by Kiev refuseniks on March 15th.”

1984: In Israel Al HaMishmar published the first report of allegations that the hijackers of Bus 300 had been shot after being captured.

1985: According to Israeli businessman Yaacov Nimrodi, today was the day when a chartered merchant ship, the Westline, was scheduled to leave Eilat filled with weaponry for Iran as part of a deal that Americans would come to know as Iran-Contra.

1985: The United States Trade Representative and the Israeli Minister of Industry and Trade signed a Free Trade Agreement today that “eliminated all duties and virtually all other restrictions on trade in goods between” their two respective countries.

1988: U. S. premiere of “White Mischief” directed by Michael Radford who co-authored the screenplay.

1988: “Permanent Record,” the highly praised drama directed by Marisa Silver was released today in the United States.

1989(17th of Nisan, 5749): Third Day of Pesach

1989(17th of Nisan, 5749): Eighty-four year old Emilio Gino Segrè the Italian refugee who was part of the Manhattan Project and who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1989 passed away today.

1990: At the Royale Theatre, after 476 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway of “Lend Me a Tenor" produced by Jerry Zaks and featuring Tova Feldshuh and Victor Garber

1991(8th of Iyar, 5751): Eighty-one year old Judah Bergman, the London born boxer known was Jack Kid Berg “who became the World Light Welterweight Champion in 1930” passed away today in his hometown.


1991:  Shalom America (Jewish cable network) was launched in Brooklyn & Queens.

1993:  The Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, D.C.  There is no way to do this justice.  For more information see

1993: Miles Lerhman served as chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Museum from its opening today until 2000, eight years before his death in 2008 at the age of 88.

1994: “Chasers” a comedy featuring Betty Schram as “Flo” was released in the United States today.

1994: “The Inkwell,” a romantic comedy produced by Irving Azoff was released today in the United States

1994: Dr. Lewis Barth, Professor of Midrash and Related Literature at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles delivered the 1994 Rabbi Max Nussbaum Memorial Lecture.

1994:  Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States passed away.  Nixon's relations with Jews and the Jewish community ranged from uneven to stormy.  In his first campaign for the U.S. Senate, Nixon supporters smeared his opponent with the tar brush of anti-Semitism.  Nixon did have Jews working on White House Staff.  He  was frustrated by is inability to gain support among Jewish voters and some of his comments on the White House tapes about Jews are, to be charitable, less than complimentary.  At the same time, in 1973, he came through for Israel.  Thanks to Nixon, the Americans conducted a mammoth airlift of supplies that enabled the IDF to turn the tide after the Arab sneak attack and gain a military victory in the Yom Kippur War.

1995:  Yagil Amir, who had sworn to kill Prime Minister Rabin, unsuccessfully tried to enter a hall in Jerusalem where Rabin was present as the guest of honor.

1995(22nd of Nisan, 5755): 8th Day of Pesach

1995(22nd of Nisan, 5755): Ninety-two year old Sir Horace Kadoorie, scion of the Kdoorie family that migrated from Baghdad to Mumbai to Hong Kong passed away today.

1997(15th of Nisan, 5757): Pesach

1997: ‘Déjà Vu,” an “American dramatic romance film directed by Henry Jaglom” was released in the United States today.

1998: Five days after premiering in the United States, “Paulie” a fantasy film co-starring Hallie Eisenberg was released in Germany today.


1999: In Manhattan, jurors awarded a patient of Dr. Pamela Lipkin, an East Side plastic surgeon $600,000 in damages.

2000(17th of Nisan, 5760): Third day of Pesach

2000(17th of Nisan, 5760): Seventy-nine year old theatrical producer Alexander H. Cohen passed away today. (As reported by Alex Witchel)

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Country Matters: The Pleasures and Tribulations of Moving From a Big City to an Old Country Farmhouse by Michael Korda, Teacha!: Stories From a Yeshiva by Gerry Albarelli and Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra by
Shareen Blair Brysac.

2001(29th of Nisan, 5761): Dr. Mario Goldin, 53, of Kfar Sava, was killed when a terrorist detonated a powerful bomb he was carrying near a group of people waiting at a bus stop on the corner of Weizman and Tchernichovsky streets. About 60 people were injured in the blast. Hamas claimed responsibility.]

2001: The National Football League Draft ended today with Iowa State University Quarterback Sage Rosenthal becoming a Washington Redskin.

2002 “Mideast Turmoil: American Jews; Unusually Unified in Solidarity With Israel, but Also Unusually Unnerved” published today describes the feelings an action of the Jewish community in the wake of attacks on Israel and anti-Semitism in the United States.

2002(10th of Iyar, 5762): Ninety-three year old Victor Frederick Weisskopf’ an Austrian-born Jewish American theoretical physicist, passed away today.

2002(10th of Iyar, 5762): Twenty-two year old Sgt. Mag. Nir Kirchmann of Hadera was killed when the IDF entered a village north of Nablus to arrest Hamas terrorists.

2003: Charles “Krauthammer predicted that the President would have a "credibility problem" if weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq within the next five months.”

2004: In North Korea, a freight train exploded killing technicians from Syria who had come the country to take possession of fissionable material which they were to take home as part of nuclear program that could lead to the creation of warheads for the Assad regime

2004: The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins”   opened today

2005: “The Interpreter” a complex mystery set at the UN directed by Sydney Pollack who also made a cameo appearance was released in the United State today.

2005: Jews of Omaha, Nebraska celebrated Israel’s 59th year of Independence as the Jewish Community Center hosts the Jewish Arts Festival and Yom Ha’Atzmaut activities designed for the whole family. This year’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration is a unique and exciting compilation of an Arts Festival with more than 25 vendors, plus the usual exciting assortment of carnival games, first-class entertainment, and delicious foods from a variety of Omaha restaurants.

2006: On Shabbat, thousands of police were positioned around the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in east Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, hoping to prevent confrontations between various groups of worshippers making their way to the church on Saturday afternoon.

2007: At the Yeshiva University Museum the exhibition entitled “Reuben Kadish’s Holocaust Sculpture” comes to an end.

2007: Yom Hazikaron begins tonight in Israel with a special memorial ceremony at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

2007: The Sunday New York Times Book Section featured reviews of The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman, edited by Stephen Pascal, Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time by Chuck Schumer (the Jewish Senator from New York) with Daniel Squadron, Black and White a novel by Jewish author Dani Shapiro and The Lady Upstairs: Dorothy Schiff and The New York Post by Marilyn Nissenson. Schiff was the granddaughter of the German Jewish banking magnate Jacob H. Schiff.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post Book Section featured a review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein by Martin Duberman. This “rich and revelatory biography of one of the crucial cultural figures of the twentieth century” provides another example of an American Jew who has had a major impact on our culture.

2008: Earth Day; Third Day of Pesach – suggested date for Street Seders designed to address the Global Climate Crisis.

2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque presents “Refusenik” 

2009: At Yale Hagai El-Ad, Israeli civil rights activist, founding director of Jerusalem Open House and director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, delivers a talk entitled “Civil Rights in Israel.”

2009: The Tribeca Film Festival opens with the world premiere of Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works.”

2009: Holocaust Survivor Irene Furst speaks at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2009: In Cedar Falls, Iowa, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum presents “The Holocaust and Contemporary Ethics: Legal, Religious, Political and Medical Ethical Implications of the Holocaust,” the inaugural address for the Norman Cohn Family Holocaust Remembrance and Education Lecture Series at the University of Northern Iowa. Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the historical development of films. He has written more than a dozen books, scores of scholarly articles and hundreds of journalistic pieces. His most recent books include “A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors” and “After the Passion Has Passed: American Religious Con sequences.” He also has received numerous awards for his work in film and journalism. Berenbaum was the former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Research Institute and president of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

2009: “Author Jared Diamond Sued for Libel” published today described the litigation face by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author.

2009: Rome’s city hall was the site for the Nobel Laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini’s 100th birthday party.

2009: Five hundred Jews who were making their monthly visit to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus arrived at the shrine this evening and found that it had been subjected to anti-Semitic vandalism including being painted with swastikas.  According to the Oslo Accords, the tomb is under Israeli control, but that has been rendered as nothing more than a legal fiction since the outbreak of Arab violence in 2000.

2010: Professor Jason Rosenblatt, author of Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden is scheduled to speak at the Washington DCJCC as part of the

Distinguished Scholar Series

2010: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host the reception marking the opening of the Annual NoVa International Jewish Film Festival.

2011: On the 41st annual Earth Day and the first anniversary of the BP oil spill Reform congregations and their rabbis are scheduled to implement “tried-and-true Earth Day ideas, innovative programs in education and advocacy, and ways to continue our service and commitment to the Gulf Coast” some of which had been presented in a workshop that featured Margo Wolfson of Temple Shalom, Aberdeen, NJ (a GreenFaith Pilot Program congregation), Stephen Fox of Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, CA, Rabbi Andy Koren, Temple Emanuel, Greensboro and Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Temple Hesed, Scranton, PA.”

2011: The Maccabee Queen is scheduled to be performed 12 noon at Beit Avi Chai in Jerusalem. “Written and directed by Lauri Donahue, the play chronicles the rule of the last queen of Judea.”

2011: The Beit Yisrael synagogue in Netanya has been pelted with rocks, allegedly by ultra-Orthodox youths waging a battle to scare the congregants into leaving.

2012: Amy Irving, star of “Crossing Delancey” is scheduled to take part in a Q&A following a showing of this Jewish romantic comedy featuring “Sam, the pickleman” at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012: The Iowa Jewish Historical Society and the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines are scheduled to host a special event to recognize and honor Iowa’s Jewish men and women who serve and have served in all branches of the United States military, during times of both war and peace.

2012: Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Northern Virginia’s 2012 Holocaust Observance at Gesher Jewish Day School2012(30th of Nisan, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2013: Fifty-three years after its founding the Canadian Jewish News “issued termination notices to its 50 staff and announced that it will cease printing with its June 20 edition due to financial constraints.”

2013: The American Jewish Historical Society and Yeshiva University Museum are scheduled to present a performance by The Momenta Quartet featuring the music of Stefan Wolpe, Aaron Copland and Darius Milhaud.

2013: “Portrait of Wally” and “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” are scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.

2013:” Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Daniel Mendelsohn, author of the international bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, is scheduled to join award- winning journalist Leslie Maitland, author of Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Love Story of War, Exile and Love Reclaimed in a discussion of their true stories of lives and loves lost in the Holocaust at the Washington DCJCC.

2013: Twentieth anniversary of the dedication of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

2013: The Histadrut labor federation today threatened to shut down Ben-Gurion International Airport as a show of solidarity with Israeli airline employees, who are striking against Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz's Open Skies agreement with the European Union that was approved by the cabinet yesterday

2013: Jordan has allowed Israel to fly military drones over the country en route to Syria in order to monitor the situation there and, should the need arise, target chemical weapons caches in the civil war-torn country, the French daily Le Figaro reported today.

2014: In New York, Temple Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to host the Yom HaShoah Screening of “No Place On Earth.”

2014(22nd of Nisan, 5774): 8th day of Pesach – Yizkor

2014: In Serbia, Holocaust Remembrance Day

2014(22nd of Nisan): Circumcision of Isaac (Rosh Ha-Shannah 10b)

2015: Shoah survivor Marcel Drimer is scheduled to speak at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2015: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to host a tour “Modeling the Synagogue – From Dura to Touro.”

2015: “Belle and Sebastian” and “Famous Nathan” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015(3rd of Iyar, 5775):  Seventy-eight year old performer Lois Lilienstein passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2015: Rabbi Lance J. Sussman is scheduled to teach the second session “Jews, Judaism and American Law” in Philadelphia, PA.

2015: Today, another official memorial ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem and will be attended by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, as well as senior Israel Defense Forces officers and politicians followed by a separate commemoration for Israel’s terror victims will take place at Mount Herzl.(As reported by Times of Israel)

2015: Memorial Day is scheduled to end at sundown today with the start of Independence Day, traditionally ushered in with fireworks and street celebrations nationwide. (As reported by Times of Israel)

2016(14th of Nisan, 5776): Ta’anit Berchorot; Erev Pesach and Erev Shabbat

2016(14th of Nisan): Yahrzeit for the thirty people murdered by terrorists at a Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya in 2002 and this does not include the 140 who were wounded.

2016(14th of Nisan, 5776): 99th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I.  As Jews were fasting for the first born, searching for chametz and getting ready for their first Seder, Congress was declaring war on Germany.  This would usher in a three year period of dynamic change and growth for the American Jewish community. 

2017(26th of Nisan, 5777): Parashat Shemini; Start of Pirke Avot Cycle – Read Chapter One;

2017(26th of Nisan, 5777): Eighty-seven year old Professor of Philosophy Hubert Lederer Dreyfus passed away today in Berkeley.

2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to provide a full day of events including lunch following Shachrit and Mussaf capped off by a Seduah an before the end of Shabbat

2017:  The Jerusalem Opera Festival is scheduled to continue its opening week events with another concert dedicated to Enrico Caruso.

2018: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present the final performance of “Cyrano De Bergerac” starring David Serero in the title role.

2018: “The entire Twin Cities Jewish Community” is scheduled to celebrate “Israel@70” at the Minneapolis Event Center this evening in an event featuring the singing of Abbie Strauss.

2018: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a presentation by “Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University Professor of Jewish Studies, which will examine the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive as a major project of public memory situated in a series of contexts: Jewish ethnographies, public memory projects at the turn of the millennium, and the different media used to document the Holocaust.”

2018: In Coralville, IA, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host the “8th Annual Concert of Commemoration.”

2018: The New York Times published reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Bible of Dirty Jokes by Eileen Pollack and Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich




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