Monday, April 23, 2018

This Day, April 24, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

April 24

70: During the Jewish rebellion against Rome, Roman legions break through Jerusalem’s middle wall, but are driven back by the Jewish defenders. 

396: As conditions for the Jews in the Roman Empire worsen, the Roman Emperors adopt a law that appears to be an anomaly. They issue a decree punishing anyone who insults Jewish leaders. "If any one dare publicly insult the Illustrious Patriarchs, he shall be subject to a sentence of punishment."  (Editor’s Note – I can find no explanation for this)

858: Start of the papacy of Nicholas I. During his papacy he issued “a very obscure order which is contained in a letter Bishop Arsenius of Orta, to whom he prohibits the use of Jewish garments.”

1342: Pope Benedict XII passed away. In 1337 Benedict’s effort to protect the Jews when Christian mobs in Germany Bavaria, Bohemia, Moravia and Austria attacked them because of false accusations of “host desecration,” proved futile. Benedict’s intervention on behalf of the Jews marks him as unusual.  His failure is a testament to the strong power of these false allocations.

 1288:  A Christian body was placed in the house of the richest Jew of Troyes, France. The resulting tribunal condemned fourteen of the city's wealthiest men and women to be burned at the stake. This was part of a blood libel which the Dominicans and Franciscans used to “provoke a massacre of the local Jews.

1439(30th of Nisan, 5199): Rabbi, Kabbalist and poet Avigdor Ben Isaac Kara passed away today.

1547:  Elector of Saxony John Frederick, the patron and protector of Martin Luther, who in 1536, “issued a mandate that prohibited Jews from inhabiting, engaging in business in, or passing through his realm” completed his reign as Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Thuringia today

1547: Maurice, the Duke of Saxony, who expelled the Jews from Zwickau, became the Elector of Saxony today.

1575: Thomas Wakefeld, “the first Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge was buried today at Chesterton.

1731: Daniel Defoe passed away.  Apparently the author of “Robinson Crusoe had a rather low opinion of the Jews since he “depicted Jews as vicious and corrupt” according to “Britain in the Hanoverian Age.” For reasons yet not understood, Defoe’s “An Essay Upon Literature” was published in the same pamphlet with Toland’s “The Agreement of the Customs of the East Indians With Those of the Jews.”

1744: The Revenge, a British privateer commanded by Captain James Allen, intercepted the sloop Fortune, one of whose passengers was an English Jewish merchant named Isaac Mendez.  When Captain Allen brought the Fortune to Newport, he filed papers claiming the cargo of the Fortune as his pirze.  Mendez took exception with the claim and this would lead to tortuous litigation. [Editor’s note: There will be more to the story in THDIJH in May.]

1772: Empress Marie Theresa issued an order allowing Jews to “engage in jeweler’s work but not to employ apprentices in the business.

1776: During the American Revolution The Pennsylvania Journal published a letter from Thomas Paine in which the famous pamphleteer uses quotes from the Bible including the books of Samuel and Hosea to show that a monarchy is a sinful form of government condemned by God. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)  While most of the American revolutionaries had never met a Jew, they identified with the ancient Israelites through the lens of the Old Testament.  They saw King George as a modern Pharaoh and compared their fight for independence with the Exodus from Egypt.  Benjamin Franklin wanted a depiction of the Jews crossing the Red Sea to appear on the Great Seal of the United States.

1783: Emperor Joseph II granted the request of his Jewish subjects that they be able to continue to wear beards. At the same time he reaffirmed all of the other parts of the “Systematica gentis Judaicae regulation”

1788: In Frankfurt am Main, Guttle and Mayer Amschel Rothschild gave birth to “"Carl Mayer von Rothschild the founder of the Rothschild banking family of Naples."

1790(10th of Iyar, 5550): Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Meir Margalioth passed away in Ostrog

1800: The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 USD to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress". “The Hebraic Section … Israel, the Hebrew language, biblical studies, and the ancient Near East. began operation in 1914 as part of the Division of Semitic and Oriental Literature, and it concentrates on Jewish culture, Israel, the Hebrew language, biblical studies, and the ancient Near East.”

1809: Birthdate of Joseph Addision Alexander, a Protestant biblical scholar and student of the Hebrew language whose works included two volumes on the prophecies of Isaiah.

1811: Today thirty year old London native Jacob da Silva Solis who arrived in the United States in 1803 married Charity Hayes with whom he had seven children and still found time to found “Congregation Shanarai Chasset in New Orleans” and later be active in Congregation Shearith Israel in Mt. Pleasant, NY.

1818: “The Jew of Malta” by Christopher Marlow which was billed as “The Famous Tragedy of The Rich Jew of Malta” “was revived by Edmund Kean at Drury Lane.”

1824: Birthdate of Sabato Morais, the native of Leghorn, Italy who rose to become one of the earliest and most prominent Rabbis to serve the American Jewish Community. [This is based on an article published at the time of his death.  Other sources show April 13, 1824.]

1836: Birthdate of Rabbi Moses Samuel Zuckermandl, the native of Breslau who studied under Samson Raphael Hirsch

1838: Birthdate of Jules Levy, the native of London who was perhaps “the most celebrated” person to play the coronet during the 19th century

1839: Mr. Eugene Esdra of Bordeaux married Miss Esther Rodrigues Monsanto in her native city of Charleston, SC.

1842: In Neisse, Germany, Julius Schindler and Bertha Algasi gave birth to Solomon Schindler, the husband of Henrietta Schutz, who came to the United States in 1870 where he served as rabbi at Adath Emuno in Hoboken, NJ and Adath Israel in Boston before becoming Superintendent of the Leopold Morse Home for Infirm Hebrews and Orphans at Mattapan, MA and a published author whose works included Dissolving Views in the History of Judaism.

1842: In Cincinnati, a group of Jewish women met and established a Sunday School under the direction of Mrs. Louisa Symonds who would later resign her post due to the heavy work load.  She would be replaced by Mr. Joseph Jonas.


1846: The Voice of Jacob contained a short article describing that described the two public Jewish schools at Kingston, Jamaica as “languid and unsatisfactory,” due the paucity of trained and qualified teachers.

1851: Charles Sumner began his twenty three year career as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.  In 1864, he introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution that would define the United States as a “Christian government.”  Congress rejected the proposal. (For more see A New Promised Land by Hasia R Diner, et al.)

1853: In Paris, Louis-Adolphe Bertillon and his wife gave birth to Alphonse Bertillon who was not a handwriting expert but who testified against Alfred Dreyfus claiming that the Jewish French officer was the author of “the incriminating document” known as the “bordereau” – the treasonous document that supposedly proved he was selling French military secrets to the Germans.

1854: In New York, Ahawath Chesed began worshiping at their synagogue at Number 27 Columbia Street which would be there home for the next ten year when the growing congregation moved to a facility on the corner of 4th Street and Avenue C.

1856:  Birthdate of Henri-Phillipe Petain.  In World War I, General Petain was a hero - the leader in the victory at Verdun.  In World War II, he was head of the Vichy Government. The Vichy Government was allied with the Nazis and was an active participant in the deportation and death of thousands of Jews.  Some of these were part of the very old French Jewish community.  Others were relative new-comers who had sought refuge in France during the 1930's as the Nazi scourge began to sweep across Europe.  Petain was not prosecuted for collaborating because of his previous military contribution and advanced age.  Pierre Laval, the Prime Minister of the Vichy government did not escape punishment. Petain passed away at in 1951at the age of 95.

1859: The First Hebrew Benevolent Association was founded today in Portland, Oregon.

1861: "When the Richmond Blues left...for war" today, fifteen of its ninety-nine members were Jewish including Ezekiel J. ("Zeke") Levy, it fourth sergeant. 

1864: Isaac Levy, a Virginian serving the Confederate Army wrote his mother from his post in South Carolina describing the Seder that he and his fellow soldiers had celebrated a few days earlier.

1866: Seventy year old Protestant Biblical commentator Hermann Upfield who specialized in studies on the “Old Testament” and whose works included a “treatise on the early history of Hebrew grammar among the Jews” published in 1846 passed away today.

1867: Michael Rudelsheim married Rebecca Hirsch today in Amsterdam.

1869: Mlle. Janauschek is scheduled to appear in a benefit performance of "Deborah," the proceeds of which will go to the Hebrew Free School in New York City.

1871: “Synagouge Consecreation” published today described the ceremony led by Rabbi S.M. Issacs as Derech Emunoh took over its new home in what had been the chapel of New York University.

1872(16th of Nisan, 5632): Second day of Pesach; first day of the Omer

1878: Birthdate of Hyman Pearlstone, the native of Buffalo, TX who was a businessman in Waco, Palestine and Dallas, TX where he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce. (His brother was born exactly ten years later)

1879(1st of Iyar, 5639): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1880:  Because of his “reputation of a public-spirited man…and because of his many gifts to charitable and scientific institution which won Raphael Louis Bischoffsheim the exceptional honor of "grande naturalization," by which, today he became a citizen of the French republic.”1881: The Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, the only Jewish “institution for advanced study in America” is dedicating a new building today.  As a testament to the school’s strength, the administration was able to spend $25,000 to purchase one of the city’s old mansions and then spend additional funds to remodel it.  The school began as a dream of community leaders in 1872 and opened its doors in 1875 to 17 pupils who used rooms at the Plum Street Temple for their classes.

1881: It was erroneously reported today that King Charles I, the new King of Romania “has removed the disabilities of the Jews who comprise the largest foreign element of his population.”

1881: “Disraeli, Novelist and Orator” published today examines the career of the author turned politician.  It concedes that nobody could have imagined the political heights he was to scale when his first novel came out.  At the same time, throughout his 40 year career, he was victimized by the press as can be seen by the issues of Punch in which he was “assailed…with ridicule, sneer and caricature.”

1883: Birthdate of German actress Lotte Spira who was forced by the Nazis to divorced her Jewish husband Fritz Spira because he was Jewish and then forced to sign a statement that her daughter Camila was his daughter.

1885: Birthdate of Romana Manczyk, the Warsaw native who became famous as Zionist activist Romana Goodman.

1885: According to today’s Boston Post, there is a colony of Jews living in China who came to that country two hundred years before the Christian era.

1887(30th of Nisan, 5647): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1887(30th of Nisan, 5647): Grand Rabbi Joseph Emmanuel Levi of Italy who had previously served as rabbi of Mondovi and Cuneo before taking the pulpit at Corfu passed away today.

1887: When the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society held its 64th annual meeting this morning, Jesse Seligman was chosen to serve as President and Henry Rice was chosen to serve as Vice President.  Currently, there are 482 orphans in the asylum, 277 of whom are boys. According to Myer Stern, the society’s secretary, 16 of the boys have recently “been provided with good positions.”

1888: Birthdate of Julius Hart Pearlstone, a native of Buffalo, TX who became a merchant in Palestine, TX and a leader of the Jewish Federation for Social Service in Dallas, TX.

1888: Eduard Glaser completed his third journey from Sanaa to Ma’rib

1889(23rd of Nisan, 5649): Salomon or Solomon Formstecher, a German rabbi and student of Jewish theology passed away. Born at Offenbach am Main in 1808 he earned a Ph.D from the Giessen University, he settled in his native city as preacher, succeeding Rabbi Metz in 1842 a position he held until his death. “During his long ministry he strove to harmonize the religious and social life of the Jews with the requirements of modern civilization. His aims were expressed at the Rabbinical Conference of Brunswick, Frankfurt, Breslau, and Kassel in the conferences of the German rabbis. The most important of his works is Religion des Geistes ("Religion of the Spirit," Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1841). It contains a systematic analysis of the principles of Judaism. The author endeavors to demonstrate that Judaism was a necessary manifestation, and that its evolution tends in the direction of a universal religion for civilized mankind. Judaism, in contrast with paganism, considers the Divinity to be a Being separate from nature, and allows no doubt of God's existence. Consequently any theogony, any emanation, any dualism must be rejected. Formstecher concludes his work with a history of Judaism which is a valuable contribution to Jewish religious philosophy.”

1889: Birthdate of Yakov Naumovich Reizen the “Ukrainian-born Bolshevik” who gained famed Jacob Golos, a member of the Communist Party in the United States and a Soviet espionage agent during WW II.

1889: It was reported today that some brokers at the NYSE who are not Jewish are accusing Isidore Wormser of leading a cabal of Jewish financiers in stock manipulation especially where the Reading Railroad is concerned.  The charge is not anchored in reality since some of his cohorts are said to include the notorious Jay Gould and the very gentile James R. Keene.

1890: Sylvester Pennoyer was nominated for Governor today at the Democratic State Convention in Portland, Oregon, with the expectation that he could be able to carry the Jewish vote in the upcoming general elections.

1890: Judge Max Mayeyhardt of Rome, GA, the son of David J. and Esther (Marks) Mayerhardt today married Nettie Watson, a native of Tuskegee, Alabama.

1890: “A Mighty Power” by Frank Rothschild, Jr. had a pre-Broadway matinee performance at the Fifth Avenue Theatre.  The play is a melodrama set in Czarist Russia that portrays the suffering of a Jewish brother and sister at the ends of “a fierce, malignant, autocrat, General Mickrakoff. The play was poorly received particularly by the Jews in the audience who do not care for this sort of “buncombe.”

1891: Henry Blumenthal took his father David Blumenthal out an insane asylum in Amityville, Long Island, today. He then took his father who had been a wealthy Jewish dry goods businessmen before his confinement to all of the banks where he had deposits, withdrew the funds that totaled over $30, 000 and then boarded a ship bound for Bremen, Germany

1893: “On The Watch For Converts” published today described the aggressive attempts by various Christian churches to convert Jews in response to which “a considerable number” of the Jews in New York “have formulated a plan for checkmating the vigorous efforts…to proselytize them from their ancient faith.”

1894: In New York, “Russian Jewish immigrants Frederick and Yetta Pitler gave birth to Jacob Albert “Jake” Pitler the husband of Henrietta L. Pitler whose two year career with Pittsburgh Pirates was followed by lengthy career as a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers that included being on the 1955 team that won Brooklyn’s only World Championship.

1894: “Mr. Seligman’s Career” published today glowingly described the career of the recently deceased Jewish businessman and philanthropist Jesse Seligman who “came to New York in steerage” and was worth over $20,000,000 when he passed away.

1895: “Mr. Hutton’s Book On Jerusalem” published today provides a detailed review of Literary Landmarks of Jerusalem by Laurence Hutton.

1895: “Saved From Starvation” published today described the work of the Monte Relief Society led by Mrs. Sofia Monte Loebinger whose five hundred members provide immediate relief in the form of money and clothing to the needy immigrants of the Lower East Side and who also help them find jobs which will provide long term improvement in their condition.

1896: A new synagogue is scheduled to be dedicated this evening in Lancaster, PA.

1896: “Does Not Favor Intermarriage” published today described the meeting of the New York Section of the National Council of Jewish Women at Temple Beth-El presided over by Mrs. Alexander Kohut at which included the reading of papers on “Intermarriage” and “A Practical View of Philanthropy”

1897: It was reported today that during March the United Hebrew Charities dealt with 3,326 applications for relief that affected 11,086 peoples.  One thousand people received clothes, shoes and furniture while 319 people were taken to the doctor.  Of the 950 people who registered for work, 589 were found jobs.

1898: On its 76th anniversary, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society met at the asylum’s building on 136th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

1898: It was reported today that among those who attended the 5th annual reunion banquet of the Hebrew Technical Institute were Meyer Cushner, Maximilian Zipkes, James Hoffman, Joseph L. Gensler, Dr. Henry M. Leipziger, A. Lincoln Saruya and Edgar S. Barnay

1898:  Congress today declared that a state of war between the U.S. and Spain had existed since April 21, the day the blockade of Cuba had begun. Fifteen Jews serving on the battleship were killed. Five thousand Jews served in the American Army, a ratio of 20% more than the general population. The first person of Colonel Roosevelt's Rough Riders to reach the top of San Juan Hill was reportedly a Jew named Irving Peixotto.

1898: The Adath Israel Fair which is a fundraiser for their new building in West Harlem is scheduled to come to an end.

1899: In Kobrin, Russia, Bazel Zaritsky and Hanna Tennenbaum gave birth to Oscher Zaritsky who gained fame as award winning American mathematician Oscar Zariski.

1900: The Twenty-Seventh Convention of District No 7 of the B’nai B’rith continued for a third day in New Orleans.

1902: The first step toward the creation of a permanent endowment fund for the United Hebrew Charities was taken today by William Guggenheim, a member of the Board of Directors, when he sent” Henry Rice, “the President of the organization…a check for $50,000 for that purpose and a promise of $50,000 more…”

1902: Birthdate of Moshe Ziffer the native of  Przemyśl, the Austro-Hungarian city that was the scene of great Jewish suffering during WWI, who made Aliyah in 191 and became a leading Israeli artist and sculptor whose works included busts of Einstein, Ben-Gurion and Weizman.

1905(19th of Nisan): Anti-Semitic riots began in Zhitomir, Russia

1905: In New York, Gladys Seligman the daughter of David and Adelaide Seligman became Gladys Wertheim when she married Henri Hendrik Pieter Wertheim van Heukelom today,

1906: In Barley, Hertfordshire, England, Redcliffe Nathan Salaman, the son of Myer and Sarah Salaman, and Nina Ruth Salaman gave birth to Raphael Arthur Salaman

1910(15th of Nisan, 5670): Pesach

1911:  Birthdate of comedian Jack E Leonard.  Born Leonard Lebitsky in Chicago, Illinois, Leonard was a heavy-set, cigar-smoking practitioner of an aggressive form of humor.  His movie credits included the “Disorderly Orderly,” “The Fat Spy,” and “Target: Harry.” He passed away on May 9, 1973.

1913(17th of Nisan, 5673): Third Day of Pesach

1913: In Chicago, Rabbi Schanfarber officiated at the funeral of 44 year old Oscar Grant Lehman, the son of Louis and Barbara Lehman.

1913: In Chicago, Rabbi Schanfarbert officiated at the funeral of Rena Levi, the wife of Julius Levi and the “mother of Sigbit and Fannie L. Rothschild.”

1914: Birthdate of Jan Karski, a liaison officer of the Polish underground who infiltrated both the Warsaw Ghetto and a German concentration camp and then carried the first eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to a mostly disbelieving audience of Western leaders.

1914: Birthdate of actress and political activist Roberta "Robbie" Seidman Garfield Cohn, the wife of actor John Garfield.

1915: “Betty” a musical comedy with lyrics and music by Paul Rubens opened at Daly’s Theatre in London where it ran for 391 performances.

1915: Nearly 1,000 people “representing every synagogue and Jewish society in” New York City met tonight “at the Concert Hall for the opening session of the annual convention of the Kehillah or Jewish Community” which is led by “Dr. J. L. Magnes, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Kehillah” who said “the fate of the Jewish people is hanging in the balance” and wondered if “the great war will bring political, religious and national freedom to the Jews?”

1915: The Armenian Genocide began when the Young Turks undertook the systematic annihilation of Armenian intellectuals and entrepreneurs within the city of Constantinople and later the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire.  The Jewish population of Palestine was aware of this slaughter.  The leaders of its nascent military force, Hashomer, were especially cognizant of what had happened.  They were determined that the Jews would not suffer a similar fate.

1916:  Birthdate of movie critic Stanley Kauffmann the husband of Laura Kauffman.

1916(21st of Nisan, 5676): 7th day of Pesach

1916(21st of Nisan, 5676):  During WW I, Captain Wilfrid Langdon, a graduate of Rugby, was killed today.

1916: In New Orleans, Ted “Kid” Lewis lost a bout which cost him his title as World Welterweight Champion.

1916: The Easter Rising began in Dublin.  Many Jews were attracted to the cause of Irish Republicanism including Estella Solomons and Michael Noyk an Irish solicitor who joined Sinn Fein shortly after the Rising and defended several of the I.R.A. prisoners.

1917(2nd of Iyar, 5677): Sixty-five year old Berlin born Oscar Blumenthal playwright and critic passed away today in his hometown.

1917: The final session of the “assembly of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis” which had split over the issues of voicing support for women’s suffrage and Zionism was held today.

1917: Jacob de Hass, Secretary of the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs said” today “that the consideration by the envoys in Washington of the problem of a Jewish nation in Palestine was the result of a carefully planned movement by the Zionist organizations in the United States, England, France and Russia.”

1918: It was reported today that “The Jewish Administration Commission for Palestine has established bureaus in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and is engaged in the actual work of laying the foundation for the Jewish state.  Of immediate concern was the need for “large sums of money designed to save orange growers from ruin owing to their inability to market their crops due to the World War.  Long term loans to the orange growers are imperative necessity.”

1918: Author Thomas Mann and his wife Katia, who would later convert to Christianity gave birth to their fifth child Elisabeth today.

1918: “Violent pogroms” took place in Cracow today.

1919: Hungarian Jewish immigrant Mary Teitelbaum and her husband gave birth to Sara Teitelbaum who gained fame as Clinton confidant Sarah Ehrman.

1919(24th Nisan, 5679): A month before his 56th birthday Parisian born opera composer Camille Erlanger passed away.

1919: “The Chicago Mendelssohn Club” is scheduled to give the final concert of this season this evening.

1921(16th of Nisan, 5681): Second Day of Pesach

1921:  Vladimir Jabotinsky was sentenced by the British mandatory government of Palestine to 15 years of imprisonment for his participation in the Jewish self-defense corps. During Passover in 1920, Jabotinsky stood at the head of the Haganah in Jerusalem against Arab riots and was condemned by the British Mandatory Government to 15 years hard labor. Following the public outcry against the verdict, he received amnesty and was released from Acre prison. 

1921: Birthdate of Layos Lenovitz, the native of Hungary who as Lou Lenhart served as pilot with the U.S. Marines during WW II before volunteering for “Sherut Avir, the precursor of the IAF,” taking part in IAF’s first attack on Egyptian forces driving on Tel Aviv and helping to airlift immigrants to the nascent Jewish State.

1924: Birthdate of Detroit native Isadore Manuel Singer, a Professor of Mathematics at MIT who “is noted for his work with Michael Atiyah proving the Atiyah–Singer index theorem in 1962, which paved the way for new interactions between pure mathematics and theoretical physics.” (This breakthrough was accomplished by an American Jew and a native of the Sudan, raised in Egypt who now lives in Great Britain.  Yes, peaceful collaboration is possible.)

1924: Birthdate of Ruth Maxine Kahn, the native of Des Moines, IA, who gained fame opera and Broadway musical star Ruth Kobart.

 1924:  Birthdate of composer and pianist Yehoshua Lakner.  Born in Bratislava, Lakner moved to what is now Israel in 1941. During his early years in Palestine, Lakner studied and played in small jazz band. Yehoshua Lakner's work has received numerous awards, including the Engel Prize of Tel-Aviv for his "Toccata for Orchestra" (1958). He was honored by the Zurich City Council for his theatre music (1969) and was awarded the Salomon David Steinberg Foundation's Music Prize, as well as a composer-in-residency from the City of Zurich (1987/88).  Lakner taught at the Rubin Academy for Music in Tel Aviv and later used the computer to create multi-sensory musical experiences.

1925: At Carnegie Hall, “Variations for Piano on a Theme by Dvorak,” and “Suite for Two Pianos,” which had been composed by Leopold Damrosch Mannes was performed for the first time

1929(14th of Nisan, 5689): Fast of the First Born; erev Pesach

1929: The Ezra Society  for Nervous Diseases arranged the Passover celebration “held tonight for several hundred Jewish patients at the Manhattan State Hospital on Ward’s Island.

1929: Thanks to the efforts of the Jewish Social Service Association “said to be the oldest Jewish relief and family welfare society in America” “flour, food and funds” have been distributed to those in need so they can “observe the traditions of the holiday” this evening.

1929: Louis Singer led the Seder at the Home of Old Israel on Jefferson Street which was attended by 112 residents.

1932: Detroit Tigers Pitcher Izzy Goldstein, a native or Odessa, Russia, appeared in his first major league baseball game.

1932: Benny Rothman, the Jewish political activist, led the Mass trespass of Kinder Scout, leading to substantial legal reforms in the United Kingdom.

1933: Soviet Union Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov appears on the cover of Time and is the subject of the magazine’s feature article. Litvinov was the son of a wealthy Jewish banking family who became an ardent Bolshevik. Stalin will remove Litvinov, the Jew, when he decides to negotiate the non-aggression pact with Germany in 1939. Americans would come to know Litvinov during World War II when he served as the Soviet ambassador to the United States where he played a key role in lend-lease negotiations.  Litvinov was unique among the original Jews Bolshevik leaders because he was one of the few to escape Stalin’s wrath and die of natural causes.

1933(28th of Nisan, 5693): Eighty-one year old Felix Adler passed away.

1933: After meeting with President Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull wrote to Norman Davis, the American representative to the Geneva Disarmament Conference that FDR would regard adjournment of the conference as a failure that might give Hitler an excuse to start a war.  (In the first months of his Presidency, FDR saw that Hitler posed an undetermined threat to peace.  He wanted to keep him at bay because he was dealing with the worst crisis in American history.  What most people fail to understand with their twenty-twenty hindsight was that the United States was tottering on the brink of disaster and there was no guarantee that she could not followed the fascist model of Germany and Italy or the Communist model of the Soviet Union.)

1934: In the Bronx, Harry Rosen and the former Ruth Jacobson gave birth to Walter Rosen who made Junior’s Restaurant and its cheesecake into a New York cultural icon.

1934: It was reported today that Abraham Stavsky, Zvi Rosenblatt and Abba Achimeyer have gone trial for the murder last month of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff.  “Achicmeyer is charged with inciting the alleged murderers by speeches and newspaper articles.”  The other two defendants are charged with the actual murder with Rosenblatt having been named as the “trigger man.”

1935: Birthdate of Pottsville, PA native Allan Jaffe, “the entrepreneur who developed Preservation Hall into a New Orleans jazz tradition” and father of Ben Jaffe who followed in his father’s footsteps.

1935: The New Republic published “The Funeral of R.A.A.P.” by Jewish author Robert Gessner.

1935: “Today, the Angriff, the official afternoon” Nazi newspaper “in Berlin appeared with black banner headlines above a story asserting that half the apartment house in” Berlin “were still owned by Jews.”

1936: “Reports that eight Arabs had been killed yesterday during disorders were described as ‘false and baseless’ by the Jewish Agency in Palestine.”

1936: Today David Ben Gurion was reported to have “urged that exaggeration of the disturbances” in Palestine “be avoided” no doubt because the Arabs were using their attacks to pressure the British to end Jewish immigration and land purchases.

1936: “Assurance has been given to Jews in America by the High Commissioner of Palestine that he would not ‘put a premium upon violence’ by yielding to any unjust demands of the Arabs, Dr. Stephen S. Wise said today and that furthermore “continued admittance of immigrants to Palestine was guaranteed.”

1936: At a luncheon held in the Hotel Astor, “Luis Posner, Mortgage Commissioner of the State of New York said the Jewish settlers” in Palestine “had always pursed a policy of peaceful cooperation and mutual understanding with the Arabs.

1936: In Zagreb, Yugoslavia, Dr. Vladimir Matchek denied today that anti-Semitic pamphlets recently published under the name of the Croat Peasant party had been approved or circulated by the party.”

1936: While contrary to expectations there was no violence in Jerusalem today “rifle shots were fired at Hakoresh, a Jewish settlement in northern Palestine” and “fires in crops, houses, shops and timber yards” owned by Jews continue to break out in different parts of the countries.

1937:  Pastor Martin Niemöller, one of the foremost leaders of the German opposition forces to Hitler, preached that it is unfortunate that God permitted Jesus to be born a Jew.

1938: In Vienna, Marrianne and Hubert Joachim Adler gave birth to San Diego, CA “civil rights and criminal defense attorney” Tom Adler.

1938: In one of those uniquely American cross-cultural events, the orchestra led by African-American Duke Ellington recorded “a live performance” “On the Sunny Side of the Street” with lyrics by Dorothy Fields at Harlem’s iconic Cotton Club.

1938: All sessions of the religious school resumed at Temple Emanu-El following the Passover recess.

1938: At the Free Synagogue meeting in Carnegie Hall, Dr. Ludwig Lewisohn is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “My Unwritten Books: A Preview.”

1938: At Temple Rodeph Sholom, Dudley Digges and Rabbi Louis I. Newman are scheduled to deliver an address on “The Ethical Message of Paul Osborn’s play ‘On Borrowed Time.’”

1939: Birthdate of Ernst Zündel, the German-born Canadian Holocaust denier who also published neo-Nazi pamphlets such as “The Hitler We Loved and Why.”

1939: In apparent response to pressure from the British government the Greek government announced that a law prohibiting Greek vessels from carrying any more Jewish refugees unless their papers are strictly in order would be enforced.  The move will strike a blow against the Greek economy since Greek ship owners and “brokers” had been able to make “exorbitant profits” from trafficking in Jewish misery.

1940(16th of Nisan, 5700): Second Day of Pesach

1940(16th of Nisan, 5700): Forty-three year old Joe “Yussel the Muscle” Jacobs fight manager passed away today.

1941: Birthdate of Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke “a top-ranking American diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker. He was the only person to have held the position of Assistant Secretary of State position for two different regions of the world (Asia from 1977 to 1981 and Europe from 1994 to 1996). Later, was the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Obama administration. Holbrooke was born in New York City, to Dan Holbrooke and Trudi Moos (née Kearl). Holbrooke’s mother, whose Jewish family fled Hamburg in 1933 for Buenos Aires before coming to New York, took him to Quaker meetings on Sundays. “I was an atheist, his father was an atheist,” says his mother, a potter now married to a sculptor. “We never thought of giving Richard a Jewish upbringing. The Quaker meetings seemed interesting.” Holbrooke’s father, a doctor born of Russian Jewish parents in Warsaw, died of cancer. His father changed his name to Holbrooke when he arrived in the United States in the 1930s. Such, however, is the family’s loss of contact with its roots that his original name is unknown. After Scarsdale High School Holbrooke received his A.B. from Brown University in 1962 and completed a post-graduate fellowship at Princeton University in 1970. He married Kati Marton in 1995. His marriage to Marton has led him to look more closely at his past. She was born into a family of Hungarian Jews but raised a Roman Catholic. In researching a book about Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat in Budapest who saved Jews during World War II, Marton traveled to her native Hungary whence she and her parents had fled the Communists in the 1950s. It was there that an old friend of her mother’s told her that Wallenberg had come too late for Marton’s grandparents. It was the first she had heard about her Jewish roots. Like Madeleine Albright’s parents, Marton’s family hid their Jewish identity when they came to the United States. She learned that one of her maternal grandparents had died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He passed away in 2010.

1941:  The Nazis “closed” the Lublin Ghetto.  The Lublin (Poland) Ghetto was established in March, 1941 and contained about 34,000 Jews.  As of this date Jews could only leave if they had a special permit or were part of a labor group. The Lublin Ghetto was the first ghetto in the General Government to be liquidated, and the Nazis gained much experience, for future deportation actions. Jews from Lublin were the first victims of the newly constructed death camp at Belzec. Only 200-300 of formerly 40,000 Lublin Jews survived in hiding or were finally liberated in several concentration camps. About 1000 Jews survived the war in Soviet areas.

1942: The liquidation of the WloclawekGhetto began today.

1942:  Jews throughout Greater Germany were prohibited from taking public transport.

1942:  Birthdate of singer and film star Barbra Streisand.

1943: Oliver Harvey, Anthony Eden’s Private Secretary described the British Foreign Minister’s attitude toward the Jews with an entry in his diary stating “Unfortunately AE is immovable on the subject of Palestine.  He loves Arabs and hates Jews.”  This entry explains why the British Foreign office did nothing to save the Jews of Europe from the Holocaust and gives some example of the type of society in which Churchill was forced to make his decisions.

1943: A twelve day joint Anglo-American conference designed to deal with the issue of refugees (and in reality Jewish refugees) comes to an end without taking any action to save the Jews of Europe including the opening of Palestine to settlement by Jewish refugees.

1943(19th of Nissan 5703): Rabbi Menachem Ziemba a distinguished pre-World War II Rabbi who had been born in 1883, known as a Talmudic genius and prodigy was gunned down by the Nazis during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. “Rabbi Menachem Zemba was born in a suburb of Warsaw, Poland in 1883. A follower of the Gerrer chassidic dynasty, he was a great genius and Torah scholar. He joined the Warsaw rabbinate in 1935, and was recognized as a leading rabbinic figure in pre-war Eastern Europe.

Rabbi Zemba was a moral force in the Warsaw Ghetto, always striving to infuse the community with optimism and hope. He arranged clandestine locations in cellars and bomb shelters where girls and boys would study Torah. Although afforded opportunities to escape the ghetto, he refused to do so, insisting that his presence was needed by the Jews in the ghetto. Rabbi Zemba was a strong supporter of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, donating personal funds for ammunition and giving his whole-hearted blessing for the endeavor (see Jewish History for the 27th of Nissan). Five days after the fighting begun, on Shabbat the 19th of Nissan, the house were Rabbi Zemba was hiding was set afire by the SS. When attempting to escape, Rabbi Zemba was shot dead by the Nazis. May G-d avenge his blood. The rabbi was buried in the Ghetto, and in 1958 his body was flown to Israel where he was buried in Jerusalem amid a great funeral procession. Rabbi Zemba was a prolific writer. Unfortunately, most of his scholarly manuscripts were burnt in the Warsaw Ghetto. His few works which were authored before the war are still studied by Torah scholars world-wide. (As reported by Chabad)

1944: Two escapees from Auschwitz, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler reached Zilina, in northern Slovakia, where they worked with Jewish leaders on their report. The two men provided separate but consistent accounts. Factual assertions were checked against records whenever possible. The 32-page report was sent to the British and United States governments, the Vatican and the International Red Cross. Most important, it went to the leadership of Hungary's Jews, next on Hitler's list.

1945: When Soviet troops entered the German capital, they found 800 Jews alive at Berlin’s Jewish Hospital.1945: Forty-three year old Karl Ludwig von Guttenberg who had been arrested after the failure of the plot to assassinate Hitler in July, 1944 and who refused to name names despite being tortured by was murdered in the early hours of this morning by order of “Gestapo chief Heinrich Muller.”

1945: Holocaust survivor Dr. Hadassah Bimko Rosensaft, gave one of the first eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust on a Movietone News newsreel that was filmed at the recently liberated Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen. "It is difficult for me to describe," she said, "all that we inmates experienced here in the camps. As a small, very small example I can relate that we inmates were thrown onto the earth of a filthy, lice-filled camp, without blankets, without bags of hay, without beds. We were given a 12th of a piece of bread daily and one liter of turnip soup so that almost 75 percent of the inmates were swollen from hunger. A severe typhus epidemic broke out, and the hunger and the typhus devoured us." Through the camera she told the world how the Germans had refused to give starving inmates food shipments sent by the Red Cross until shortly before the arrival of British troops, and how the camp's SS commandant had stolen large quantities of chocolate intended for Jewish children to enrich himself on the black market.

1946:  Five thousand Jews attending a funeral for five Jews murdered by Poles at Nowy Targ, Poland, three days earlier were abused from rooftops and windows by anti-Semitic taunts.

1947: Birthdate of Roger David Kornberg an American biochemist and professor of structural biology at Stanford University School of Medicine who “was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies of the process by which genetic information from DNA is copied to RNA, "the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription."

1947: The trial of Hans Biebow “the chief of German Nazi administration of the Łódź Ghetto in occupied Poland” continued for a second day.

1948(15th of Nisan, 5708): Pesach

1948: During the siege of Jerusalem, on the first day of Pesach, Zipporah Porath “feasted on an omelet made from our special Pesach ration, which included Matzah and one egg each.”

1949: Birthdate of Peter Friedman, the New York native who “played the role of Jewish immigrant ‘Tateh’ in Ragtime” for which he “was nominated for the 1998 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.”

 1950: King Abdullah of Jordan annexed all of the land west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea seized by his troop.  The state of Jordan was formed by the union of Jordanian-occupied Palestine and the Kingdom of Transjordan. In the view of some, the creation of the original state of Trans-Jordan by the British after World War I was an illegal act since amounted to a partition of the Palestine Mandate.  That is why there are those that contend that if the Arabs want a state in Palestine, they already have it.  It is called Jordan.  The creation of Jordan in 1950 was another act of illegality.  The land west of the Jordan River including the eastern part of Jerusalem had been seized by the Jordanian Army during the Israeli War for Independence.  Since the Arabs held what is now called the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza in 1950, you would have expected that the Arab State of Palestine would have been created.  The demand for an Arab state of Palestine in these areas only began after June, 1967.

1950: The government of Israel announced that it would not accept the annexation of eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank by Jordan.  Israel said that it had accepted the occupation as part of the truce agreement subject to final peace negotiations.  Israel expressed its displeasure at the possibility of British military installations being installed on her frontiers. 

1953: Drummer Buddy Rich, the son of Jewish-American vaudevillians, married “dance and showgirl” Marie Allison today with whom he had one child – Cathy – and to whom he remained married “until his death in 1987.”

1955: The Bandung Conference came to an end. At the height of the Cold War, twenty-nine self-described non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa finish a meeting that condemned colonialism, racism, and the Cold War. One of the prime movers behind the conference was Prime Minister Nehru of India.  The Israelis had wanted to attend.  They saw themselves as a socialist country who had thrown the British out and was not officially aligned with either the Eastern or Western Blocs.  However, Nehru did not want the Israelis there because it would upset the Arabs and the Moslems. 

1958(4th of Iyar, 5718): Yom HaAtzma'ut

1958: Thirteen months after being released in the United Kingdom, “Ill Met by Moonlight” on which Emeric Pressburger served as co-writer, co-director and co-producer was released today in New York City.

1958: Chaim Laskov, the recently appointed Chief of General Staff, “presided over a huge military parade in Jerusalem to mark the tenth anniversary of Israel's independence. This took place despite warnings by Jordan that such a parade would be considered an act of aggression. During the parade, Laskov displayed Israel's latest military hardware, including weapons captured from Egypt in the Sinai and from Syria during clashes in the Hula Valley.”

1958: Brooks Atkinson reviewed the first production of JB, a play based on the Book of Job for the New York Times.

1961, Professor Salo Baron testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Baron explained the historical context of the Nazi genocide against the Jews. He further explained that in his birthplace, Tarnow, there had been 20,000 Jews before the war but, after Hitler, there were no more than 20. His parents and a sister were killed there1961, Professor Baron testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Baron explained the historical context of the Nazi genocide against the Jews. He further explained that in his birthplace, Tarnow, there had been 20,000 Jews before the war but, after Hitler, there were no more than 20. His parents and a sister were killed there

1962:  Dodger Legend Sandy Koufax pitched his second 18-strikeout game.

1963: The will of Samuel Paley, the father of William S. Paley, the Chairman of the Board of the Columbia Broadcasting System, was filed for probate today showing that that his estate “was valued at $27,000,000.

1963: Oskar Schindler wrote a letter from Frankfurt am Main today “to his close friend confidante Itzhak Stern” in which he “discusses his financial hardship,” speaks of the “optimism towards the future” he felt a year ago” and expresses his despair by asking himself “if it’s even worth lving.

1965(22nd of Nisan, 5725): 8th day of Pesach

1966(8th of Iyar, 5726): Yom HaZikaron

1968: The original West End London production of Man of La Mancha with music by Mitch Leigh opened at the Piccadilly Theatre.

1968: Mauritius becomes a member state of the United Nations. During World War II, the British used Mauritius as detention camp for Jews fleeing Hitler’s Europe who were trying to enter Palestine despite the White Paper.

1969: “If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium”  a comedy directed by Mel Stuart, produced by Stan Margulies and David Wolper, with music by Walter Scharf and featuring Sandy Baron, Normal Fell and Marty Ingels was released today in the United States.

1974: “Refusenik and war hero Yefim Davidovich suffered a heart attack”

1976: Birthdate of Nathan Rabin, an American film and music critic

1976: At The Town Hall in New York City, world premiere of Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians.

1977: A terrorist bus bombing injured 28 people at Hebron today.

1977: NBC broadcast the fourth and final episode “Lanigan’s Rabbi” which was based on a series of novels by Harry Kemelman co-starring Bruce Solomon in the role of “Rabbi David Small.”

1979(27th of Nisan, 5739) Yom HaShoah

1979(27th of Nisan, 5739): Seventy-six year old British Labour Party leader Maurice Orbach, the father of author Susie Orbach and Laurence Obach, the former history teacher and CEO of the Quarto Publishing Group passed away today.

1980: A seminar on Soviet Jewry sponsored by The European Union of Jewish Students opened today in Amsterdam.

1980: Barbara Tuchman delivers the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. The announcement contains the following:


Barbara Tuchman, who was born in 1912, never earned a graduate degree in history, but her best-selling books made history come alive for millions of readers and earned two Pulitzer Prizes for their author. Raised in a privileged New York family, Tuchman traveled extensively with her parents before attending Radcliffe College, where she studied history and literature. After her graduation, she wrote about the Spanish Civil War for The Nation, and then worked at the Office of War Information during World War II, traveling in Asia. These reporting stints sparked Tuchman's interest in the history of war. Tuchman’s first book, Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour (1956), expressed strong sympathy for Zionism. She is best known, however, for two books that won Pulitzer Prizes: The Guns of August (1962), about the First World War, and Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945 (1972). The Guns of August was later made into a movie of the same name. Although her relationships with professional historians were sometimes strained, Tuchman did garner recognition, serving as the president of the Society of American Historians (1970-1973), and as president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1979).Tuchman was the first woman invited to deliver the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities. An invitation to give the Jefferson Lecture is the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. In her lecture, presented on April 24, 1980, Tuchman took "Mankind's Better Moments" as her title and theme, reflecting her general optimism about the human condition. Tuchman repeated the lecture in London a week later, the first time that a Jefferson Lecture had been repeated abroad, marking her international renown as a writer. Tuchman published her last book, The First Salute, just a year before her death in 1989.


1983: In article entitled “Discovering Herod’s Israel,” Nitza Rosovsky describes the various building projects of the cruel king including those at Caeseria, Massada and Jerusalem remnants of which can be seen today as well as the opportunities for students to take part in archaeological digs during the summer.

1984(22nd of Nisan, 5744): Eighth Day of Pesah

1984: David Shipler, the New York Times correspondent in Israel “was summoned to the office of the director of the Government press office, Mordechai Dolinsky, and was ‘severely reprimanded’” for his reporting on the so called “Bus 300 Affair.”

1985: According to Israeli businessman Yaacov Nimrodi, today he canceled the sailing of the merchant ship, the Westline which had been scheduled to leave Eilat filled with weaponry for Iran as part of a deal that Americans would come to know as Iran-Contra.

1986(15th of Nisan, 5746): Pesach

1987:  Howard Stern held a free speech rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza New York City.

1990: In an example of meaningless political posturing, the House of Representatives adopted H.R. 290 “expressing support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

1990:  Securities law violator Michael Milken pled guilty to 6 felonies.

1991(10th of Iyar, 5751): Eighty-five year old English and Yiddish Poet Menke Katz who “won two Stephen Vincent Benet Narrative Poetry Awards, in 1970 and 1974”  whose English version of his two-volume Yiddish epic poem, "Burning Village," had been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize” passed away today.

1992: Catcher Jesse Levis appeared in his first major league baseball game wearing the uniform of the Cleveland Indians.

1992:  George Steinbrenner dropped his lawsuits against major league baseball.

1992: U.S. premiere of “White Sands” produced by Scott Rudin

1992: “Passed Away” a comedy produced by Larry Brezner and co-starring Peter Riegert was released today in the United States.

1992: U.S. premiere of “A Midnight Clear” a WW II movie starring Peter Berg.

1993:  ABC news analyst Jeff Greenfield married Karen Gannett.

1994: After having made it world premiere at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass opened at the Booth Theater.

1994: “Acting Against Type: The Self-Hating Jew” published today provides an interview with actor Ron Rifkin who plays the role of Phillip Glellburg in Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass.”

1996(5th of Iyar, 5756): Yom HaAtzma’ut – Israel Independence Day

1996(5th of Iyar, 5756): Seventy five year old Los Angeles native Melvin Wallace “Mel” Bleeker the USC quarterback who played for four years in the NFL – first with the Eagles and then with the Giants.

1997(17th of Nisan 5757): Third Day of Pesach

1997: A special Seder was held in Washington D.C. today and attended by the Dalai Lama, as well as by numerous U.S. dignitaries and celebrities, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys

1998: U.S. premiere of “Sliding Doors” a comedy starring Gwnyeth Paltrow and produced by Sydney Pollack.

1999: “Woman Wins 600G From Face-Lift Doc” published today described the outcome of a suit brought against Dr. Pamela Lipkin.

2000(19th of Nisan, 5760): Pearl Padamsee, the Indian stage actress, director and producer whose mother was Jewish passed away today.

2001: The Criterion Collection released a DVD version of Jules Dassin’s “Rififi.”

2002: Erich Bloch has named Erich Bloch as the recipient of the Vannevar Bush Award, “it highest award for scientific achievement and statesmanship.”

2003(22nd of Nisan, 5763): 8th Day of Pesach

2003(22nd of Nisan, 5763): Outside the train station in Kfar Saba which had only been open for eleven days,  Security guard Alexander Kostyuk was murered and 13 were wounded in a suicide bombing for which groups  related to the Fatah Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility.

2004(3rd of Iyar, 5764):  Estée Lauder, found of a cosmetics company bearing her name passed away.  Lauder was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Queens, New York in 1906.  She was the daughter of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. She married Joseph Lauter in 1930, divorced him in 1939, and re-married him in 1942. The Lauter family changed their surname to "Lauder" in the late 1930s.They remained married until his death in 1982. Lauder died in her Manhattan home of cardiopulmonary failure at the age of 97.She was the only woman on Time magazine's 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. She was also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

2004(3rd of Iyar, 5764): Twenty-four year old Nathan Bruckenthal was killed today in a suicide attack in the Northern Persian Gulf. “Nathan Bruckenthal was a fun-loving child. “He was all good things, everything every father would love,” recalled his father, Eric Bruckenthal. His parents separated when Bruckenthal was 6 years old and then respectively remarried, but the two families remained close. Bruckenthal grew up in Stony Brook, N.Y., in a home where a sense of purpose was drilled into him. His father has been on the police force for 35 years, and his stepfather was in the Army. So when Bruckenthal approached his father about enlisting in the Coast Guard, Eric Bruckenthal was not surprised. Later, after joining the specialized Tactical Law Enforcement Team, Bruckenthal was deployed to Iraq.  He had just found out that his wife was three months pregnant with their first child when he was killed. That child, a daughter, recently turned 6 years old. As the only Coast Guard officer to be killed in action since the Vietnam War, Bruckenthal left a legacy that has been embraced by the Coast Guard, which has invited his father to speak at its events. “Though I lost a son, I gained 40,000 surrogate sons and daughters in the Coast Guard,” his father said. Though Bruckenthal did not have a bar mitzvah, he began identifying with Judaism toward the end of his life and decided that when he returned home, he would become a bar mitzvah. “He was laid in his coffin, draped in a tallis and the Star of David. For our family, he received his last rites as a Jewish man,” his father said.      

2005(15th of Nisan, 5765):  First day of Pesach.  In the evening, count the omer for the first time.

2005(15th of Nisan, 5765):  Ezer Weizman passed away. If you did not know that such a person had really lived, you would have thought his life was the creation of Walter Scott style novelist.  

2005: The New York Times reviewed The End of Poverty by Jeffrey D. Sachs, in which the author argues that if the wealthy countries of the world were to increase their combined foreign aid budgets to between $135 billion and $195 billion for the next decade, and properly allocate that money, extreme global poverty -- defined by the World Bank as an income of less than a dollar a day -- could be eliminated by 2025.

2006: This evening, the State of Israel will take time out to remember the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, marking the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The annual state ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. The hour-long event, which will be broadcast live on television and radio, will be attended by President Moshe Katsav, Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and scores of dignitaries and ambassadors from around the world.

2007: The New York Times reported that “David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and tireless author of books on topics as varied as America’s military failings in Vietnam, the deaths of firefighters at the World Trade Center and the high-pressure world of professional basketball, was killed yesterday in a car crash south of San Francisco. He was 73.” Strangely enough the prolific author who wrote on from Apartheid to the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry never wrote about Israel, the Middle East, or any topic related to Jews or Judaism.

2007: The military wing of Hamas fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip into Israel for the first time since Hamas committed to a cease-fire in November. A spokesman for the Hamas military wing in Gaza declared the truce there over.” The rockets fired by Hamas are not to be confused with rockets fired by other terrorists during this period.  

2007: The long awaited second novel by Nathan Englander, The Ministry of Special Cases, was released.

2007: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the Brooklyn Jewish Heritage Committee co-hosted Jewish Heritage Night. The annual event, which is open to the public, recognizes the myriad achievements of Jewish Brooklynites and celebrates Israeli independence.


2007 (6th of Iyar, 5767): Yom HaAtzma'ut

2007: Irwin Hansen, the creator of the comic strip Dondi suffered a stroke today.

2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque features a screening of Adma \ אדמה. The film looks at the legendary Moshav Nahalal, an agricultural settlement, and focuses on the veteran farmers who are now forced to deal with the generation gap conflict: the continuation of the traditional family based farms, and difficult personal questions.

2008: The Washington Post reported that author Cynthia Ozick has won 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards this week - the $5,000 PEN/Malamud prize for short fiction, and the $20,000 PEN/Nabokov award for "enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship."

2008(19th of Nisan, 5768): Two Israeli security guards were shot dead in a night time attack at the Nitzanei Shalom industrial zone, near the West Bank city of Tul Karm. A third guard managed to flee after the gunman opened fire. The victims were named as Shimon Mizrahi, 53, of Beit Hefer, and Eli Wasserman, 50, of Alfei Menashe.

2009(30th of Nisan, 5769): Irving D. Chais, who in his 45 years as the owner and chief surgeon of the New York Doll Hospital in Manhattan reattached thousands of heads, arms and legs; reimplanted fake hair shorn by scissor-wielding toddlers; and soothed the feelings of countless doll lovers, young and old, passed away today at the age of 83.

2009: At Agudas Achim in Iowa City, annual Sisterhood Shabbat.

2009: Harvard Law School professor Cass Suunstein and Samantha Power gave birth to their first child Declain Power Sunstein

2009: In Columbus, Ohio, last day for nominations JCC's Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

2009:  At the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., Amy Bloom, author of the novels “Come to Me” (a National Book Award finalist) and “Away,” joins novelist Susan Choi, author of “The Foreign Student and American Woman,” for a joint reading presented by PEN/Faulkner.

2009: Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5769 (first day of two day Rosh Chodesh)

2010: “A Tiny Piece of Land” is scheduled to have its final performance at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles California.

2010:Father’s Footsteps,” a movie about a Tunisian-Israeli family that settles in Paris and  “For My Father,” a movie about a Palestinian terrorist who comes to know Israelis first-hand when forced to spend a weekend in Tel Aviv are scheduled to be shown at the 2010 NoVA International Jewish Film Festival.

2011: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to present “Russian Piano School: A Conversation with Vladimir Feltsman” the Russian born Jewish classical pianist.

2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish president and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother” by Simon Schama, “Come On All You Ghosts” by Matthew Zapruder and “Silver Roses” by Rachel Wetzsteon.

2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish president and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Trillin on Texas” by Calvin Trillin.

2011(20th of Nisan, 5771): A group of 15 Jewish worshipers were hit by gunfire from Palestinian security forces as they Joseph’s Tomb. A 30-year-old male was pronounced dead at the scene. A 20-year-old man was injured in serious condition, suffering of an abdominal wound. He was airlifted to Bellinson Hospital in Petah Tikva where he underwent surgery. A 17-year-old youth was evacuated by a Magen David Adom Yarkon crew in moderate condition, suffering a wound to his shoulder. Another youth was injured and evacuated for medical treatment after he was questioned by authorities. Another two were in light condition and were treated on scene.

2011(20th of Nisan, 5771): Ben Yosef Livnat, 25, was killed this morning after praying at Joseph's Tomb where his father, Noam once sat and learned more than a decade ago.


2011(20th of Nisan, 5771): One hundred year old Hudesa Gora, a Holocaust survivor who ran a fur business in the Cleveland area for many years passed away today. According to published reports, “She belonged to Kol Israel Foundation, a Cleveland-area group of Holocaust survivors, and to ORT.Gora was born in Krasnik, Poland, a town of 5,000 at the time, half of which was Jewish. After the Nazi occupation at the beginning of World War II, Gora obtained false gentile identity papers so she could work outside the ghetto. According to a story in the Cleveland Jewish News, Gora raised the suspicions of the Catholic family for whom she worked when she “baked a loaf of bread and did not put a cross on the bottom of it per their custom. She left that job quickly.” The Gestapo once rounded up a group that included Gora, her sister and her sister’s two children, almost all of whom had false identity papers. She was not able to get them for her nephew. “When an officer discovered this and asked who the boy belonged to, Mrs. Gora prevented her sister from claiming him because she realized the Nazis would know she was Jewish and kill her. The boy was taken away and killed,” the Cleveland paper reported. Gora lost the majority of her family in the Holocaust. She met her husband, Charles, and married him in Germany, came to the United States in 1949 and settled in Cleveland the next year.”

2011: Tamir Cohen, of the Bolton Wanderers, and the son Avi Cohen paid a tribute to his late father after scoring the winner against Arsenal and celebrating with a printed T-shirt with his father's face on it.

2012: “Looking for Lenny,” a film about the late Lenny Bruce, is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Film Festival.

2012: The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, a project initiated by pianist Elena Bashkirova, is scheduled to begin today in the Glass Courtyard.

2013: “Kinderblock 66” and “Hitler’s Children” are scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Wa'al al-Arjeh “was convicted of intentional murder and sentenced to two life terms and an additional 58 years” for his role in the deaths of Asher and Yonatan Palmer.”

2013: Representatives from the Virginia Jewish Community are scheduled to participate in “Mission to Washington” which include briefings from State Department Officials about the Arab Spring and meetings with Senators Warner and Kaine.

2013: “Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photographs of Jewish Partisan Faye Schulman” is scheduled to close at the Oregon Jewish Museum in Portland.

2013: Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) denounced the haredim as "parasites" during an interview on haredi radio this morning. He almost immediately retracted the comment, explaining that it was said "in a moment of anger."

2013: Histadrut Labor Federation Chairman Ofer Eini threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid with a general strike over expected budget cuts that could cut workers’ pay.

2014: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host “Rwanda in the Aftermath of Genocide: A Twenty Year Perspective.”

2014: In Washington, D.C., Georgetown University is hosting “a full-day centenary tribute” in honor of Jan Karski.

2014(24th of Nisan, 5774): Supercentenarian Arturo Licata passed away today leaving Alexander Imich “who escaped Nazi persecution and the Soviet gulag” “as the world’s oldest living man.” (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)

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

2014: In New York, Temple Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to host a “Klezmer Jam” where attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments and join in the dancing.

2015: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Temple Judah is scheduled to host “Retro Reform” Shabbat services using Gates of Prayer.

2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to appear at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

2015: “The Go-Go Boys” and “While We’re Young” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015: Thanks to the efforts of Ben Jaffe, the son of Allan Jaffe of blessed memory and Alan Samson “the Preservation Hall Jazz Band headlined this year’s 24th annual Touro Synagogue Jazz Fest Shabbat held as part of the Friday night service. (The event took place on the 80th anniversary of Allan Jaffe’s birth)

2015: Shoah survivor Louise Lawrence Israels is scheduled to speak the US Holocaust Memorial Museum today.

2015: The main, Midtown Manhattan branch of Carnegie Deli was closed temporarily due to the discovery of an illegal gas line in the restaurant.

2015: Ninety-three year old Auschwitz survivor Wladyslaw Bartoszewski passed away today.

2015: The meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition is scheduled to open today in Las Vegas.

2016(16th of Nisan, 6776): Second Day of Pesach

2016: “Two Indian-born Jewish brothers” David and Simon Reuben” were named today as the
richest people in Britain according to the UK Sunday Times.
2016: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide by Michael Kinsley, Disraeli: The Novel Politician by David Cesarani and The Houseguest by Kim Brooks.

2017(28th of Nisan, 5777): Yom Ha’Shoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

2017: Holocaust Survivor Jacob Eisenbach is scheduled to speak this afternoon at the Sinclair Auditorium at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA thanks to the efforts of the David and Joan Thaler Holocaust Remembrance Committee chaired by Dr. Robert Silber.

2017: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present “When We Remembered Zion” during which “the Grammy-nominated New Budapest Orpheum Society, under the direction of Philip V. Bohlman and Ilya Levinson, bears witness to those murdered, those who resisted, and those who must not be forgotten. 2017: The Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present Liel Leibovitz lecturing on “Inbound Exile: Jerusalem As Viewed From Tel Aviv.”

2017: The Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to host a poetry reading and discussion led by Lee Sharkey who “will read from her new poetry collection Walking Backwards.”

2017: With “Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day” coming just a week after the end of Passover, “Yad Vashem created an online photo exhibit commemorating the celebration of the significant spring holiday before, during and after the Holocaust.”

2017: The Seder Plates belong to the late Joan Rivers, “made in the 1980s by Spode Judaica in the United Kingdom” is scheduled to be auctioned today J. Greenstein and Co. in Cedarhurst, NY.

2018: Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, an event discussed in Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and was an event that helped Polish Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin to “coin the concept of Genocide as a crime against humanity.”

2018: The Steicker Center is scheduled to hold a reception prior to tomorrow’s opening to the general public of the exhibit “Home: Lens on Israel” which is “a photographic tour celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday, explore the multitude of communities—and worlds—that dwell side by side within Israel’s meager 8,000 square miles, just the size of New Jersey.”

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a new version of “Dine and Discuss” where attendees will watch and discuss an episode of “Shitsel.”




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