Thursday, April 26, 2018

This Day, April 27, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

April 27

399 BCE: Socrates drank hemlock as he carried out the death penalty that had been imposed on him by the government. For centuries to come some Jews would study Socrates and other Greeks, in many cases trying to find a harmony between Judaism and Greek philosophy.  Other Jews would view Socrates and the other Greeks as the mortal enemies of Judaism and go so far as to attempt to officially ban the study of their works.

711: Tarik, a Moslem general attacked southern Spain from a place known as Jebel Tarik or Gibraltar. He soon defeated Roderic, last of the Visigoth kings, at the Battle of Xeres. Tarik was helped by both the Jews and the rebel Prince Witiza. After each city was conquered - Cordova, Granada, and Malaga - the Jews were often given positions of safeguarding Moslem interests.

1296: During the First War of Scottish Independence, King Edward I defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar. The first written evidence of their presence dates from the last decade of the 12th century. However, nobody is sure when Jews first arrived in the land of Kilts and Pipes.  King Edward had already issued his edict of expulsion six years before the battle and it is thought that some of the Jews fleeing his realm went north to Scotland.

1495: Birthdate Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire one of the most philo-Semitic rulers in history.  He built the walls around Jerusalem that impress tourists to this day.  He intervened with Pope to protect the Jews of Ancona.  He provided a haven for the Sephardim and Marranos fleeing the Inquisition.  He intervened on behalf of Dona Garcia and her nephew Joseph Nassi, bringing them to his capital from a Venetian captivity.  Nassi became a close advisor to the Sultan.  In 1564, the aging Ottoman leader gave Nassi the city of Tiberias so that Jewish refugees from Europe would have a place to settle. And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

1509: As part of what was really a temporal and not a religious dispute with the Doge, Pope Julius II places the Italian state of Venice under interdict. Fortunately for the Jews of his days, Julius was more concerned about art (he was the one who Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel) and power politics as can be seen with his on-going political and military confrontation with the Doge of Venice, among others. His lack of theology concerns meant that the Jews enjoyed a period of benign Papal neglect.  Furthermore, Julius II employed a Jew named Samuel Sarfatti as his personal physician. Life for the Jews living in Venice at this time was becoming increasingly precarious. Three years before this, several Jews died in violence brought on by a “blood libel” and seven years at this, the Jews would be confined to Ghetto Nuova an island containing a foundry (geto in Italian) which made it the original Ghetto.

1584: Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to explore the area of the Atlanta Coast around Roanoke Island that probably included Joachim Gans, which made “Gans the first recorded Jew in Colonial America.”

1607: As the Inquisition took action against “Jorge de Almedia, a Portuguese residing in Mexico, the prosecuting attorney renewed the motion that he be adjudged in contumaciam (in contempt)

1667: The blind and impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of “Paradise Lost” for £10. According to Elliot Rosenberg, “Milton wrote as Puritan in the England of Cromwell’s heritage, and from a Jewish perspective he was a good man.  He respected the Hebrew Bible, read it each morning until his vision failed, and as he aged, turned more and more to the precepts of Mosaic law.  In his more worldly capacity as Cromwell’s’ Latin secretary, he may had had a hand in the negations that led to the return of Jews to England.”

1694: August II, the ruler whom Naphtali Cohen would go to in an attempt “to secure reinstatement in his former rabbinate at Posen” began his reign as Elector of Saxony. His rise to power was facilitated by his “court Jew” and financier Issachar Berend Lehmann. August II was a contemporary of the Besht who was making his public personna known at about the same time as the Polish King passed away.

1701(19th of Nisan, 5461): Moses Germanus passed away.

1727: Empress Catherine I ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the Ukraine.

1737:  Birthdate of English historian Edward Gibbon, author of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.  In an attempt to blame Jews for anti-Semitism at least one writer has claimed that  Gibbon wrote “ that, while Jews were populous in Rome and suspected and resented by the Romans, Nero’s Jewish wife, the beautiful Poppaea Sabina, probably incited him, as a convert to her Judaism, against a relatively obscure sect, the Christians. Nero’s accusation that they had set the fires that ravaged Rome began centuries of Roman persecution of Christians.”  However, in Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion. -- Part II of Gibbon’s classic, the historian seems to paint a picture of a Christianity’s efforts to distance itself from “Mosaic” doctrine when convenient and adopting its own version when it felt it would advance its cause.   

1796(19th of Nisan 5556): The Jewish community of Fossano, Italy was miraculously saved from the hands of a murderous mob by a French bomb which landed just in time to scare away the attackers. This day was established as "Purim Fossano" in commemoration of the miraculous salvation.

For the complete story, see Purim Fossano

1803(5th of Iyar, 5563):  London born jeweler’s apprentice Abraham Wagg, the hold of “a seat in the Great Synagogue who because a successful grocer and chocolate manufacturer in New York where he married Rachel Gomez, a member of the wealthy, prominent Sephardi family with whom he had ten children passed away today in the United Kingdom to which he had returned because he was a Loyalist during the American Revolution

1815: In Charleston, SC, David Nunes Carvalho and Judith Henriques Carvalho gave birth to Emanuel Nunes Carvalho.

1820: Birthdate of Herbert Spencer, the English biologist who coined the term “Survival of the Fittest” which he took from the world of biology and applied it to world of human social development.  This concept stands in stark contrast with the Jewish concept of creating a society that calls for us to protect “the widow, the orphan and the stranger in our midst” i.e. the weakest
1821: When the Greek Patriarch Gregory, head of the Greek Orthodox Church had been publicly executed, the Turkish Grand Vizier Benderli Ali Pasha was reportedly to have said to the Jews present, "Here hangs your enemy and ours."

1821(25th of Nisan, 5581): Hungarian historian and poet Solomon Löwisohn passed away today.

1822:  Birthdate of U.S. Grant, “savior of the Union” and President of the United States.  Grant did issue the infamous Order #10.  But at the same time, he had Jewish political allies, was a voluntary contributor to the building for Adas Israel, the famous congregation in Washington, D.C. the dedication of which he attended. A majority of Jews supported Grant’s election as President and this eulogy by Felix Adler adds additional proof to the fact that Grant’s Jewish contemporaries did not view him as an anti-Semite.

1826(20th of Nisan, 5586): Sixth Day of Pesach

1826(20th of Nisan, 5586): Seventy-one year old Austrian rabbi and author Eleazar ben David Fleckeles, author of “Olat Hodesh” passed away today in his hometown of Prague.

1827: This evening in Charleston, SC, Rabbi S.C. Peixotto officiated at the wedding of Rosina Florance, the daughter of Dr. Florance to Dr. Audler of Augusta, GA.

1829: In Baden, Germany, Max Oppenheimer and his second wife Sarah gave birth to Zacharias Oppenheimer who was named in honor of Max’s father.

1832: Benjamin Disraeli met his future wife “Mary Anne Wyndham Lewis at a soiree at Bulwer Lytton’s house today;” a meeting which he described : 'I was introduced by particular desire to Mrs Wyndham Lewis, a pretty little woman, a flirt and a rattle, indeed gifted with volubility I should think unequalled and of which I can convey no idea. She told me she liked silent, melancholy men. I answered that I had no doubt of it.'

1835: Founding of the 11th Regiment of the New York State Militia which was commanded by Colonel Joachim Maidhof when it went off to fight in the Civil War
1837(22nd of Nisan, 5597): Eighth Day and final day of Pesach observed for the first time in the Presidency of Martin Van Buren.

1838: A huge fire destroyed the synagogue in Charleston, S.C. Moses C. Levy, who had been worshipping there for forty years, rushed to synagogue in an attempt to save the Torah scrolls. According to an eyewitness account, he was overcome by inconsolable grief at the sight of the conflagration.

1843: In Bratislava, David and Karoline Wottitz gave birth to Moritz Wottitz.

1845(20th of Nisan): Rabbi Ezekiel Panet, author of “Mareh Yehezkel” passed away today

1856(22nd of Nisan, 5616): Eighth Day and final day of Pesach observed on the birth day of the Tongzhi Emperor, “the tenth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty.

1857:  Establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria prohibited.

1857: It was reported today that Baron Rothschild attended an auction on Rue Druot where he expressed a dismissive view of the items being offered.

1859(23rd of Nisan, 5619): Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, English financier and the first Jewish baronet passed away. “Born in London on Jan. 13, 1778 “he was the son of Asher Goldsmid, and nephew of Benjamin and Abraham Goldsmid, the financiers. Educated at an English school in Finsbury square, he received a sound financial training in the technicalities of his father's business of bullion-broking. At a later period his association with Ricardo made him familiar with the leading questions of political science. He became in due course a partner in the firm of Mocatta & Goldsmid, bullion-brokers to the Bank of England and to the East India Company. His early ventures on the Stock Exchange were unfortunate, and, after losing on one occasion £16,000, he abandoned speculation and contented himself with steady business as a jobber. Goldsmid gradually rose to eminence as a financier, and ultimately amassed a large fortune. His most extensive financial operations were connected with Portugal, Brazil, and Turkey; and for his services in settling an intricate monetary dispute between Portugal and Brazil he was, in 1846, created Baron de Palmeira by the Portuguese government. Goldsmid was one of the founders of the London Docks. The main effort of his life was made in the cause of Jewish emancipation. He was the first English Jew who took up the question, and he enlisted in its advocacy the leading Whig statesmen of the time. Soon after the passing of the Act of 1829, which removed the civil disabilities of the Roman Catholics, he secured the powerful aid of Lord Holland, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Sussex, and other eminent members of the Liberal party, and then induced Robert Grant to introduce in the House of Commons a similar measure for the Jews. During more than two years from the time when Jewish emancipation was first debated in Parliament, Goldsmid gave little heed to his ordinary business, devoting himself almost exclusively to the advancement of the cause. He was one of the chief agents in the establishment of University College, London, purchasing at his own risk the site of the university. Goldsmid was a liberal supporter of the Reform synagogue and of all Jewish institutions (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)

1860: In Vilna, Lithuania, Aaron Hourwich, a well-educated bank employee and his wife Rebecca Shevelevich gave birth to Isaac Aaronvich Hourwich the lawyer, economist and statistician who fought for social reform in both the United States in Russia and who was the husband of Louise Joffe.

 1862: Birthdate of Rudolph Schildkraut, the son of Constantinople hotel owners who grew up on Romania before moving to Austria where he pursued a career as an actor before moving to United States in the 1920’s.

1865: In San Bernardino, CA, Isaac H. Levy and Johanna Gans gave birth to Meyer H. Levy, a member of numerous Jewish communal organizations including the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Home Society, the husband of Rose Anita Harris and the author of “numerous reports and articles pertaining to the Jewish charities of San Francisco.”

1865: The New York State Senate creates Cornell University as the state’s land grant university. According to recent figures, Cornell has 13,800 undergrads, 5000 of whom are a Jewish.  It has 3000 graduate students of whom approximately 500 are Jewish.  The school offers sixteen courses in Jewish Studies.  Students may major or minor in the subject.

1865: “April 27, 1865” by Emma Lazarus

1866: As another sign of how it has changed from a medical facility for indigent Jews to a community hospital, Officer Milcahy sent Herman Deutch to the Jews' Hospital after he had been stabbed with a carpenters chisel during a drunken brawl with Rudolph Schriever.

 1866: In New York City, Levi Morris was arrested today on charges that he had attempted to leave the store of David Valentine &Co with three pieces of silk, valued at more than sixty dollars, for which he had not paid.

1866: Fromental Halevy’s grand opera, “Charles VI” was performed for the first time in Batavia, Indonesia.

1867: At the Crystal Palace in London, first performance of Julius Benedict’s Piano Concerto [No.2] in E flat, Op.89.

1868: Mlle. Janauschek gave a performance of "Deborah" tonight at the Academy in New York City where "she presented her enthusiastic conception of the ideal Hebrew maiden."

1875: Birthdate of Louisville, KY, native and architect William G. Tachau who as partner in the firm of Pilcher and Tachau designed Mikveh Israel, Gratz College and Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning all of which were located in Philadelphia.

1880: Obituary of Joseph Seligman expressed surprise at his sudden death and recounted his distinguished career.

1881: A Pogrom began in Elisabethgrad

1881: Yesterday and todays attacks on the Jews of Kiev “were encouraged by the authorities” and “the promoters of the persecution of the Jews” acted with “impunity.” (As described by the Vienna correspondent for the London Telegraph)

1882: “More Room for Patients” published today described the remodeling project at Mount Sinai Hospital.

1884: Jesse Seligman, the President of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, gave his report at today’s annual meeting.  According to Seligman, the asylum served 361 boys and that the institution had total assets of almost three hundred thousand dollars.

1885: In New York, a jury was chosen to hear the case in which Ferdinand Mayer, a Jewish businessman is charged with having committed perjury and is represented by Albert Cardozo.

1886(22nd of Nisan, 5646): 8th day of Pesach

1887: Certificates of incorporation for a Talmud Torah in Brooklyn were filed in the County Clerk’s office.

1890: “Mr. Delaney’s Little Scheme” published today described efforts by of one of the incumbent Tax Commissioners to thwart the plans of Mayor Nathan Barnett, the city’s first Jewish mayor, to appoint a new person to the position.

1890: Based on testimony given to the sub-committee of the Joint Congressional Committee on Immigration it was reported today of the 25,000 Jewish immigrants who have come to the United States, 17,000 were Russians and Poles.  There are approximately 500,000 Jews living in the United States of whom 130,000 reside in New York City.

1890: The Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society held its annual meeting today.

1890: Henry Seligman was re-elected President at today’s annual meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society.  Seligman delivered the society’s 67th annual report which included the information that the Asylum had cared for 559 youngsters in the past year.

1891(19th of Nisan, 5651): Fifty-eight year old Rabbi Joachim Oppenheim, the husband of Helen Pund and the father of Berthold Oppenheim passed away today in Berlin.

1894: A circular describing the dangers of consumption and providing about ways to avoid contracting is being printed in several different languages, including Hebrew, in an attempt to reach New York’s large immigrant population

1896: “A Large Betrothal Reception” published today described the engagement party held for Lucien Bonehur and Ameila Simon.  Bonehour is the President of the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home, Vice President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and Manager of the Educational Fair.  He is also the nephew of Rosa Bonheur, the famous painter. Miss Simon is the Secretary of the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home.

1897: Birthdate of New York native Noel Nathaniel Moscovitch who gained fame as movie actor Noel Madison.

1897: “Jews Barred from Romania” published today described a reported given to the U.S. State Department “that the government of Romania has prohibited the entry of Jews into that country.”

1898: B. Albert Lieberman was commissioned as 2nd Lt. in the 3rd Missouri Infantry.

1899: Eleven months after being mustered into U.S. Service, the 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry whose members included Corporal William D Kahn from Phoebus, Private Julius T. Lansberg from Norfolk and Captain Bernard W Solomonsky from Norfolk was mustered out of U.S. Service.

1899: Reverend Madison C. Peters, the author of Justice to the Jews, The Wit and Wisdom of the Talmud and The Jew as a Patriot defended himself against the accusations leveled against him Lionel de R. Cohen of London

1899: In “Dr. Peters Advised to Study” published today Frances Freda praises Lionel de R. Cohen’s negative comments about the views of Reverend Madison Peters

1901: On Shabbat, Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes delivered a sermon at Shearith Israel in which he described the work of the Alliance Israelite Universelle.

1902: Henry Rice and other officers of the United Hebrew Charities expressed their confidence that members of the Jewish community would raise the $50,000 necessary to match the $50,000 gift from William Guggenheim.  Guggenheim’s contribution is contingent on the UHC raising a similar amount.

1902: The New York Times reports that macaroons, an Italian delicacy, have become quite popular during the Passover holiday with Jews living on the Lower East Side

1903(1st of Iyar, 5663): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1903: Samuel Dort, Grand Master of the Order of Brith Abraham presided over a mass held this evening in the synagogue at 316 East Fourth Street in New York “to protest against the massacre of the Jews in Kishinev Russia last week.”

1904:  Birthdate of Arthur F. Burns, economist and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

1904: Mr. and Mrs. Rogers Pinner gave birth to Karl Pinner

1905(22nd of Nisan, 5665): Eighth and final day of Pesach

1907: On the day after the dissolution of Klauber, Horn and Company, Samuel David Klauber formed Klauber Brothers and Company which made no profits in its first six months of operation at which time Kaluber passed away.

1908(26th of Nisan, 5668): Fifty-five year old Jacob Voorsanger, the native of the Netherlands who has been serving as the rabbi at San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El since 1889 passed away today.

1908: Freud's early followers met together formally for the first time at the Hotel Bristol, Salzburg

1909: Sultan of Turkey Abdul Hamid II is overthrown, and is succeeded by his brother - Mehemed V. Sultan Abdul Hamid II is famous for his refusal to allow Dr. Theodore Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, to settle Palestine with Jewish colonists.  But this does not mean that he was unsympathetic to his Jewish subjects or that Jews were kept from settling in other parts of Turkey. Abdul Hamid II was born in 1842 and died in 1918. During his reign, Turkey was defeated in a war with the Russians.  As a result of the Treaty of Berlin, the Turks lost a substantial amount of their holdings in the Balkans.  This triggered a migration of Turks and Jews into the remaining lands of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid made plans for an influx 200,000 Jewish immigrants from Russia. Jews played an ever more active role in Turkish affairs.  Several Jewish leaders played prominent roles in the Parliament. Turkish Jews participated in special festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of their arrival from Spain. After the Alfred Dreyfus case, Herzl made three visits to Turkey (1898, 1901 and 1903) in attempt to see the Sultan.  It was on his third voyage that he was finally granted one through the intervention of the Chief Rabbi, Moshe Levy. The Sultan received him and Herzl tried to obtain a Jewish homeland under the protection of the Sultan under the same statutes as the Island of Crete.

1909(6th of Iyar, 5669): Heinrich Conried, the Austrian born theatrical manager who became director of the Metropolitan Opera passed away today.

1909: It was reported today that “The executors of the estate of the late Louis A. Heinsheimer of the banking house of Kuhn, Loeb Co., 52 William Street, will hold a conference in the near future to discuss whether it is possible to make available the $1,000,000 that Mr. Heinsheimer willed to six Jewish benevolent institutions on the condition that those institutions shall form a confederation.”

1913(20th of Nisan, 5673): Sixth of Pesach         

1913: At 3:00 a.m. the police received a call from the factory's night watchman, Newt Lee, reporting the discovery of a dead girl who was in fact Mary Phagan

1913: In Chicago, at Sinai Temple Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch will oversee Pesach and Confirmation Services which will be led by the students.

1913: In Manhattan, Marcus and Celia Adler, two Jewish immigrants from Poland, gave birth to “Irving Adler, a former New York City teacher who became a prolific writer of books on math and science for young people after being forced from the classroom during the Red Scare of the early 1950s…” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1913: Dr. Samuel Schulman delivered his last lecture for the season today at the Temple Beth-El in New York. It was on the “Song of Songs.” He talked combined the themes of Passover and the ideal woman as presented in this book of the Bible.  “The love of nature, the love of woman, the love country and the love of god – that is what the book, the Songs of songs teach us.  That is every Passover the book Song of Songs is read.”

1913: Rabbi Joseph Stolz is scheduled to deliver a sermon “An Old Love Song” at the Isaiah Temple in Chicago.

1914: During the second day of the Fifth Assembly of the Eastern Council of Reformed Rabbis a luncheon was given in honor of Adolph Lewisohn, the founder of the Lewisohn Lectureship.

1915: During the Gallipoli Campaign, the 300 men serving under Colonel John H .Patterson in the Zion Mule Corps landed off the Dundernoon.  Despite having had only three weeks of training, the Mule Corps served with distinction.

1915: Birthdate of Abraham Judah Klausner the native of Memphis, TN who was one of five children of Rabbi Joseph Klausner and Tillie Binstalk Klausner. After graduating from Hebrew Union College in 1941 he served as “a Jewish chaplain in the United States Army who arrived at the Dachau concentration camp a few days after its liberation in 1945 and a strong voice for thousands of Holocaust survivors who remained in displaced persons camps for years after the war…(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1916: “Joseph Barondess, Chairman of the Jewish Congress Organization Committee sent word to the newspapers tonight that news had been received by the committee that a massacre of Jews had been arranged by reactionaries in Russia, to begin with the Easter holiday, which under the Greek calendar will be in about two weeks.”

1916: In an example of Jews versus Jews, the efforts of the Mayor of New “to avert a lockout of more than 60,000 workers in the cloak and suit industry by offering their services as mediator came to naught” tonight “when the Executive committee of the Cloak and Suit Manufacturers’ Protective Association decided the that they close shop immediately” in what is called a lockout” and “fight the union.” (A number of the clothing manufacturers were Jewish and a large number of the workers in the garment industry were also Jewish.)

1916: As a threat of a work stoppage in New York’s garment industry seem to become a reality, Dr. Felix Adler, a member of the Council Conciliation could not be reached.

1916: “Benjamin Schlesinger, President of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union said that if the manufacturers carried out their threat of a lockout the entire (garment) industry would be tied up next week.”

1917: U.S. Ambassador Francis sent a cable today from Petrograd to the United States Department in response to a message “sent by Louis Marshall, Henry Morgenthau, Jacob H. Schiff, Oscar Straus and Julius Rosenwald of the American Jewish Committee to the Russian Foreign Minister” which said that “the Russian Provisional Government is very appreciative of the sympathy of American Jews,” realizes the threat posed by German militarism and will not make a separate peace with Germany.

1917: “A.B. Leah & Co., investment bankers, who had made a specialty of Russian securities received today from A. Oppenheim, their Petrograd representative, a cable message which said that conditions in Russia were ‘very satisfactory’ and announcing that the new Government loan was a ‘complete success’ with Jews participating largely in the purchase of the bonds.”

1917: “It was announced today that a Poale-Zion ‘tag day’ would be held in May to raise funds for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1917: Dr. M.H. Harris is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Our Duty to America” at Tempe Israel of Harlem.

1917: Adolph Lewisohn who has previously not been a supporter of the Zionist movement “authoritzed the Provision Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs to issue a statement tonight beginning “I think favorably of the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine and hope that the League to Enforce Peace will include the Jewish nation among those small nationalities which ought to be liberated and protected.”

1917: Albert Lucas, the Executive Secretary of the Joint Distribution Committee, was quoted today as having said that “in Constantinople there a 60,000 destitute Jews” of whom thanks to “the efforts of the American Jewry” 20,000 “are enabled to get one meal – only a bowl of soup of some kind – every other day.”

1918: A cable was received today by the Provisional Zionist Committee of New York City describing “the reception accorded to the Jewish Administrative Commission when it arrived at Jerusalem where it was greeted by several dignitaries including the Orthodox rabbis representing the Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews and the Colonel Storrs, the British Military Governor.

1919: Else Lasker-Schüler’s her first and most important play, Die Wupper, was performed for the first time at the Deutsche Theatre in Berlin.

1920: In Vienna, violence aimed at Jews continued with German students attacking Jewish students with swords and canes and a riot broke out when Monarchist students barred Jews, socialists and several eminent professors from entering.

1921(19th of Nisan, 5681): Fifth Day of Pesach


1921: As part of the peace settlement ending World War I, Germany is ordered to pay 132 billion gold marks in reparations.  The economic dislocations that would be caused by these reparation payments are given as one of the underlying causes for the disintegration of the inter-war German economy and society and the rise of Hitler.


1921: In The Bronx, Alfred C. Nietzel and Ruth Laence gave birth Alfred B. Nietzel who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest in November, 1944.  The citation for the award read in part “"That afternoon, Sergeant Nietzel fought tenaciously to repel a vicious enemy attack against his unit. Sergeant Nietzel employed accurate, intense fire from his machine gun and successfully slowed the hostile advance. However, the overwhelming enemy force continued to press forward. Realizing he desperately needed reinforcements, Sergeant Nietzel ordered the three remaining members of his squad to return to the company command post and secure aid. He immediately turned his attention to covering their movement with his fire. After expending all his machine gun ammunition, Sergeant Nietzel began firing his rifle into the attacking ranks until he was killed by the explosion of an enemy grenade.”

1922(29th of Nisan, 5682): Rabbi Simon Zaretsky passed away today in New York City.

1922: Birthdate of Manfred Gans. When he was 16 when his parents sent him to England, fearing for his life as a Jew in Nazi Germany, and when war broke out he clamored to join the British armed forces. Finally he was accepted, his fluency in German earning him a spot with a secret commando unit.”  As a Captain in the British Army, he helped free his hometown, the ancient walled city of Borken His house, on the outskirts of town, had been used as a Nazi headquarters; the wine cellar was a torture chamber. His parents, Moritz and Else Fraenkel Gans, had been taken away. Eventually Ganz was able to trace them Theresienstadt where they were re-united.

1922:  Birthdate of Jack Klugman.  Born in Philadelphia, Klugman had a very successful career on the stage, film and television.  Like all good Jewish boys, he was a doctor - in this case Quincy, the Medical Examiner.  Many of you remember him as Oscar Madison in the Odd Couple.  The oddest thing about this television version The Odd Couple is that Tony Randall (born Leonard Rosenberg) was Jewish giving a whole new dimension to the term popularized by the Jewish playwright Neil Simon.

1927: Austrian born American composer Maximilian Raoul "Max" Steiner married Audree van Lieu today.

1928: In the Bronx, “Meier Weintraub, who owned a toy and baby-carriage business, and the former Anna Bogatz” gave birth to Fred Robert Tucker, the Bar Mitzvah student of Metropolitan Opera star Richard Tucker, the driving force behind the Bitter End, a cultural force that reached far beyond Greenwich Village.

1931: “The Budapest Rabbinate has proclaimed” today a “fast day in commemoration “ of the shooting earlier this month at the Great Synagogue in the Tabek Gasse during Emil Zatloka shot four Jews -- Tauglich, Ignatz Pinter, Leo Kera, and Eugen Roth (As reported by JTA)

1931: It was reported today that the speakers at the testimonial dinner for Herbert D. Perlman included Solomon Schelinsky, Leon Sanders, Mrs. David de Sola Pool, Max Silverstein, Samuel Koenig, Albert Ottinger and Magistrate Adolph Stern.

1931: Birthdate of refusenik and Israeli economist Ida Nuel.

1932: The New Republic published “The Supreme Court and a Balanced Budget” by Felix Frankfurter.

1932(21st of Nisan, 5692): Seventh Day of Pesach

1932(21st of Nisan, 5692): Forty-two year old Sutter, CA native Otto Oscar Dannenberg, “the youngest child of Charles and Mary Amanda Dannenberg and husband Iceophine Elsie Zimmerman passed away today after which he was buried in Dixon, CA.

1933: The American Jewish Congress and other organizations continued preparations for a march to be held on May 10 in New York to protest Germany’s treatment of her Jewish population. At the same, the American Jewish Committee and its allies issued a statement opposing the upcoming event as “futile.”  “They serve only as an ineffectual channel for the release of emotion.”

1933:  The German government prohibited the practice of ritual Jewish slaughter of animals for meat.

1933: Denouncing the persecutions and discriminations practiced against Jews in Germany by the Hitler government, the American Jewish committee, acting in conjunction with the B'nai B'rith, Jewish fraternal organization, issued a statement today disapproving boycotts, parades and mass meetings as measures for bringing relief to the sufferers.

1933: Otto Blumenthal, a German mathematician who converted to Christianity as young student,was arrested and detained. He had been denounced as a communist by the Aachen Student Association, certainly a false accusation, and after two weeks he was released but he was suspended from his teaching duties at the university. The official reasons were not racial, but rather cited his involvement with the German League for Human Rights and the Society of Friends of the New Russia.”  In other words he was not arrested because under German racial laws, he was a Jew because his parents were Jews.  

1934: Premiere of “Liliom,” a “French fantasy film” directed by Fritz Lang whose Jewish converted to Catholicism with music by Franz Waxman.

1935: In Syria, Beirut banker Jacob Sifra who founded Banco Safra in São Paulo and his wife gave birth Moise Y. Safra who followed in his father’s Brazilian Banking footsteps.

1936: It was reported that Rabbi Stephen S. Wise told a meeting of 1,500 at the Hotel Astor that an additional $150,000 was being raised in addition to the $3,500,000 already being raised by the United Palestine Appeal Campaign in response to the recent outbreak of violence in Palestine.

1936: In Berlin, “the Official Gazette announced today that two scholarships of the Felix Mendelsohnn-Bartholdi Foundation would be awarded in October this year to talented and diligent music students” who can present data proving that they are not Jews” which based on Nazi race laws Mendelssohn was and his music has been officially banned for that reason.

1938:  The Palestine Post reported from Warsaw that the Polish Vice-Prime Minister, Professor Kwiatkowski, declared that his Government intends to pursue a vigorous policy of Polonization of cities and trade and will further the emigration of all non-Polish elements. This statement was seen as a call for a further intensification of the economic boycott and a direct threat to the existence of the three-and-a half million strong Jewish Polish community.

1938: Lev Landau, the head of the Theoretical Division at the Institute for Physical Problems, was arrested by the NKVD and sent to Lubyanka prison for comparing “the Stalinist dictatorship to Hitler.”

1940:  British Foreign Office official H. F. Downie argued that the Jews are "enemies just as the Germans are, but in a more insidious way," and that "our two sets of enemies [Nazis and Jews] are linked together by secret and evil bonds."

1940:  Himmler ordered the establishment of Auschwitz Concentration Camp

1941:  German troops occupied Athens Greece.  This would be the opening act in a tragic drama that would lead to the demise of the very old, Greek Jewish Community, including the Jews of Salonika.
1942:  Jews living in Belgium were forced to wear stars.

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

1942:  One thousand Jews were deported from the Theresienstadt Ghetto to Izbica Lubelska, Poland; only one person survived - a woman who escaped after arrival. Other Theresienstadt deportees were sent to their deaths at the Sobibór and Belzec extermination camps.

1942(10th of Iyar, 5702): The Nazis executed 60 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Among the victims were people suspected of being involved with the ghetto's underground newspaper.

1942: The deportations continued as a thousand Jews were sent from so called show case ghetto of Theresienstadt to Izbica. Eventually these unfortunate souls would up Sobibor or Belzec.

1942: After three days, the liquidation of the Wloclawek Ghetto was completed when the remaining Jews were sent to Chelmno.

1943(22nd of Nisan, 5703): Cantor Gershon Yitzchak Sirota”was murdered with his entire family during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto on the last day of Passover.” Gershon Sirota was born in Podolia Guberne in 1874. When just a young child, he was already helping his father, a noted cantor, to conduct services in the local synagogue. Soon his parents moved to Odessa and Gershon's wonderful voice began to become well known. Yakovkin, cantor Yankel Seroka's choir director at the Shalashner Shul immediately offered the young Sirota a position in his choir. Shortly afterwards, Sirota was introduced to Baron Kalbos, the director of a Music Conservatory, and admitted on a scholarship. Gershon quickly made great stridges in his musical education and, as a result, was assigned larger solos in Yakovkin's choir. One Shabbat morning Sirota was asked to sing in the Shalashner Shul. After his magnificent performance he was appointed Assistant Cantor, with the salary of 100 rubels a month. It was not long before Yankel Seroka came complaining to Gershon's father that his young son ws trying to take away his position. Sirota resigned and accepted the Cantorial post at the Prikashtchikes Shul in Odessa.

In 1896 Sirota became Cantor of the famous Vilna Shtat Synagogue, where he remained for nine years. There is choir directors were Yitzchak Schlossberg, Nathan Abramson and later Leo Loew. When Leo Loew became choir director, he arranged for a special concert, in which Cantor Sirota sang with the accompaniment of a large, newly founded choir. This concert was a tremendous success and the newspapers wrote enthusiastic reviews. He and Leo Loew began to receive invitations from Bialystok, Grodno, Minsk and other Russian cities to make new concerts. Sirota's appearances were so well received and praised that Svatopolk-Mirsky, the Russian Gubernator General decided to visit the Vilna Shtat Synagogue to hear Sirota. A few days later, the General sent a letter to the Czar's wife, Maria Feodorovna, highly praising the young cantor's talent. She requested that he perform at a concert sponsored for the benefit for the Vilna Institution for the Blind. Shortly arfterwards, Gershon Sirota was called to St. Petersburg to give a series of concerts before Czar Nicholas II. He was then asked to give yearly concerts in St. Petersburg, and Moscow by Imperial Command. The publicity of Sirota's name soon came to the attention of the major recording companies in Europe. In 1903, twelve records of Sirota's liturgical selections were released. This event achieved for him the great honor of being the first Cantor to record his voice of phonograph records. His recordings were distributed throughout Europe and later appeared in America. The medium of these records soon made Sirota's name world famous, even though he had not yet appeared in many of the countries which his records had already reached. Meanwhile, in Warsaw, the directors of the Tlomackie Synagogue were looking for a new Cantor. Gretzhandler, who had held the Cantorial post, was now old and the Synagogue needed a fitting successor to take his place. They offered Sirota the position because of his great popularity and Cantorial ability. He was thirty-one years old when he accepted the position, which he held for nineteen years. In February 1912, Cantor Sirota made the first of what was to be many concert tours of America. He appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Hippodrome, and the Academy of Music in New York before making tours to the other large cities.

During 1913 he returned again on another concert tour, appearing at Kessler's Theatre, The New Star Casino, The Palace Garden, and Carnegie Hall.  His third American visit in 1921 began with an appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House, accompanied by Meyer Machtenberg's hundred voice choir. Arturo Toscanini and the famous Opera Star Joseph Schwartz were among the prominent celebrities who attended the concert. He then conducted services in many famous Synagogues, singing for the High Holy Days at the Kalvariah Shul in Harlem. During the seasons of 1924, 1925, and 1927, he also officiated in New York for the Yamim Noraim. When he returned to Europe (after conducting services at the Bronx Winter Garden for the Benefit of the Beit HaMidrash HaGadol of Harlem in 1927), the Tlomackie Synagogue had already chosen a Cantor to replace him. They took this action, because they were very disturbed about his constantly leaving them to daven elsewhere in America for the High Holy Days.In 1935, Sirota became Cantor of the Norzick Shul. That year, a concert was held in his honor at the Warsaw Coliseum and he also made a trip to Israel. There he conducted services for the High Holy Days at Magrabi Theatre.His last trip to America was made in 1938, when he davened for the Yamim Noraim in Chicago and during Succot in Milwaukee. He then returned to Europe, after receiving a telegram that his wife was critically ill in Warsaw. With the outbreak of the war, Sirota was imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto with his family and the other Jews of the city. He conducted High Holy Day Services in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1941


1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising continued into its third week.  This is amazing when you consider that France with a modern Army surrendered to the Nazis after six weeks. By now thousands of Jews were being rounded up and marched away. But the Jews continued their counter attacks from rooftops above, doorways and windows. Jewish women and children huddled in buildings, staying with their armed protectors fleeing only when those structures were set on fire by the advancing Nazis.

1943: Eminent American poet Ezra Pound continued his anti-Semitic broadcasts from Italy. He called the Jews "rats," "bedbugs," "vermin," "worms," "bacilli," and "parasites" who constitute an overwhelming "power of putrefaction."

1943: During WW II, G.I. (and future New York Mayor) Ed Koch wrote “I’m tired but not dismayed. The chow (chili con carne) was terrible but I scraped the plate. It will be a long time before I’ll get used to the open latrine. The fellows in the bunk are pretty good. Mother acted fine in the station. I think that I’ll get along fine. . . . The beer stinks, it leaves a taste in my mouth.

1943: "The United States Vice Counsel in Casablanca reported that 'it seems indubitable that there is a systematic persecution of the Jews by the Pasha of Beni-Mella.'  Jews had been expelled from their homes and shops for up to a week and 'arbitrary economic measures had been directed against them, including a ban on any Jewish trade in vegetables or poultry.  There had also been random arrests and beatings...David Cohen, who half-blind, was sentenced to six weeks in prison for not saluting a Muslim official." [For more on this see Gilbert's "In Ishmael's House" and Statloff's "Among the Righteous"]

1944: Psychoanalyst Helene Deutsch published the first of two volumes of The Psychology of Women.

1945:  Mussolini and his mistress were caught while trying to escape outside of Lake Como. They were executed and their bodies were brought to Milan where the next day they were hung up by their heels from lampposts, then cut down, and mutilated.  When Hitler heard of this, supposedly, he made his decision to take his own life and have his body burned.  He was afraid of being captured by the Russians and/or having his corpse savaged by those upon whom he had unleashed so much misery.

1945: The British Parliamentary Delegation organized at the request of Churchill in order that they would have first hand, visual proof German atrocities reached Buchenwald where they saw a “half-naked skeleton tottering painfully along the passage as though on stilts” who “drew himself …smiled and saluted” as the delegates approached.

1945: An original typescript of the Nuremberg Laws signed by Hitler was found today by the 203rd Detachment of the U.S. Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC), commanded by Martin Dannenberg, in Eichstätt, Bavaria.

1945: 2nd Lt. William Robertson (U.S. Army) and Lt. Alexander Silvashko (Red Army) pose for a formal picture signifying the final link up of the two armies at the Elbe River.

1946: In separate speeches the Premier of Iraq and Ahmed bey Shukairy head of the Arab Office in Palestine threatened unspecified action that “will not be word” should the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry recommend the admission of any additional Jewish immigrants to Palestine. The Iraqi premier promised action, not just on the part of his country, but on the part of the Arab League as well.

1946: After 657 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Bloomer Girl,” a musical with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and a score by Harold Arlen

1946: U.S. premiere of “The Glass Alibi” directed and produced by W. Lee Wilder.

1947: “Representatives of member states of the Arab League met for four hours” tonight “to pan strategy to force inclusion of their demands for the immediate independence of Palestine on the agenda of the special session of the United Nations General Assembly.”

1948(18th of Nisan, 5708): Fourth Day of Pesach

1948: During the Israeli War for Independence, the British landed a tank battalion and an artillery regiment at Jaffa.  Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Minister, informed the British commanders that they must prevent the capture of Jaffa by the Jews ‘at all costs’.”  The British artillery shelled Haganah units and British aircraft attacked Jewish settlements in the area.  This is an example of the “even handed” policy pursued by the British during this period.

1948:  The Arab Legion crossed the Jordan River on the “road bridge” near the town of Gesher, a Jewish settlement.  The Arab Legion was the name given to the army of what is now the Kingdom of Jordan.  It was trained, equipped and officered by the British.  It was the most effective fighting force in the Middle East.  The Jordanians crossed the river with intention of seizing a police fort and the town of Gesher.  The Jewish settlers were told evacuate within an hour and to turn the fort over to the Arab Legion.  The Jews refused to leave and the Legion attacked.  So confident were they of success that the heir to the Jordanian throne had come to watch what was sure to be a victorious battle.  However, when the smoke cleared, the Jews had held on and the Legion retreated back from whence they had come.

1950: The modern state of Israel was officially recognized by the British government.

1950: Britain recognized the annexation by King Abdullah of Jordan of all land west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea seized by his troops during the fighting that followed the partition vote of November, 1947.

1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Jerusalem suffered a severe shortage of water because the Jerusalem Electric Corporation had withdrawn power from the water pumping stations until the municipality settles a debt of IL60,000.

1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel expressed regret at the resignation of General William D. Riley, as the Chief of Staff of the U.N. Truce Supervisory Organization. A further deterioration of the border situation was expected, as the appointment of General Riley's expected successor, General de Ridder, known for his one-sided decisions, was completely unacceptable.

1953: Maud Gonne, the Irish born actress and revolutionary who was on “good terms with Marcel Habert” a known French anti-Semite, passed away today.

1954:  The film White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, premiered.  Once again a signature piece of Americana bears a Jewish imprint.

1954(24th of Nisan): Underground fighter and Yiddish poet Shmerke Katcherginsky died in a plane crash today

1955(5th of Iyar, 5715): Yom HaAtzma’ut

1956: U.S. premiere of “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” produced by Joseph Levine.

1958: During an interview with Mike Wallach. Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr discussed several topics including anti-Semitism.

1962: Connie Francis recorded “Button and Bows” a popular song created by the Jewish team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

1962: “Chips With Everything” by Sir Arnold Wesker opened “in the West End at the Royal Court Theatre” today.

1963: Rabbis used the upcoming 15th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel as a theme for their sermons. At New York’s Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Julius Mark said that “for a small nation to have achieved and maintained its independence for a decade and a half in these turbulent times is in itself no mean accomplishment…Of one thing we may be certain, Israel is here to stay.  While her constant plea is for peace, she will not shrink from war – may God forefend it – if her sovereignty is threatened.  Her citizens are determined not to be exterminated as were their fellow Jews in Hitler’s hell holes.  If Israel goes down, she will go down fighting.” At Congregation Tifereth Israel, Rabbi Kurt Klappholz said that “The successful experiment of the state of Israel will, in the words of Isaiah, be a ‘light unto the nations.’” He went on to praise Israel for her willingness “to share her scientific and technical edge as her educational know-how with the new emerging republics of the African continents.” 

1963: Ambassador Katriel Katz, Consul General of Israel, spoke at Congregation B’nai Jershurun where he paid tribute to the late Izkhak Ben-Zvi, Israel’s second President and reviewed the accomplishments of the state of Israel over the past fifteen years.

1964: Birthdate of Jennifer Burstain, physician par excellence, mother of four really neat sons and an asset for the Temple Judah Jewish community.

1964: German born Jacob (Yaakov) Birnbaum whose family had escaped the Holocaust convened a meeting today at Columbia University that planned what would become the first public demonstration demanding freedom for the Jews of the Soviet Union.

1965: Birthdate of Dr. Jennifer Burtstain, the wife of Dr. Todd Burstain and the mother of four of the neatest sons who are the pride of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community.

1965:  Famed Broadcast Journalist Edward R Murrow passed away at the age of 57 after fighting a losing battle with lung cancer. Murrow gained fame for his coverage of World War II.  One of his most famous broadcasts came on April 15, 1945 when he described the Liberation of Buchenwald to the American listening public. Murrow was a staunch supporter of Israel.  When Teddy Kollek visited him in 1964, Murrow told him that once he had licked cancer he wanted to be the United States Ambassador to Israel.

1966: After having served as head of the Air Department in the General Staff since 1961, Mordechai "Mottie" Hod became Commander of the IAF.  Hod led the Israeli Air Force through its most brilliant moment, the strikes that opened the Six Day. Hod served as the air commander until 1973, leaving office six months before the Yom Kippur War.

1967: The 20th Cannes Film Festival where “Three Days and a Child” was nominated for Best Film opened today.

1967: Birthdate of Rhehovot, Israel Yitzhak Avni, the “actor entertainer and television” known as Aki Avni whom American audiences saw in “Free Zone” starring Natalie Portman.

1968: Birthdate of Todd Thalblum who would become the Rabbi of Temple Judah in 2010.

1973: An Italian clerk was killed when Palestinian terrorists attacked the El Al office in Rome.

1973: A terrorist plot was foiled today when 3 Arabs carrying explosive were arrested before they could board a plane bounced for Nice, France. (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

1976(27th of Nisan, 5736): Yom HaShoah

1976: “So Long, 174th Street,” “a musical with a book by Joseph Stein and lyrics and music by Stan Daniels” opened on Broadway today at the Harkness Theatre.

1976: Sophie Masloff began serviing as a member of the Pittsburgh City Council

1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that two German volunteers were killed when Arab terrorists threw a bomb into a tourist bus parked in the center of Nablus.

1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan, and the U.S. Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, were reported to be unable to reach an agreement in their quest for peace in the Middle East, and awaited the arrival of the Prime Minister, Menachem Begin.

1979: Soviet dissidents and Jewish activists, including Mark Dymshitz and Edward Kuznetsov who were exchanged by America for two Soviet spies, arrived in New York City today.

1980: One hundred thousand “people attended the ninth annual Solidarity Day rally of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry.”

1981: Actress Barbara Bach (born Barbara Goldbach) married Ringo Starr

1981: “The Floating Light Bulb” written by Woody Allen and directed by Ulu Grosbard and starring Beatrice Arthur as “Enid”  “opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center today.”

1982(4th of Iyar, 5742) Yom HaZikaron

1983(14th of Iyar, 5743): Pesach Sheni

1983: In Boston, Jewish parenting expert Joani Geltman and her non-Jewish husband Greg Graynor gave birth to actress Ariel Geltman “Ari” Grayenor

1984(25th of Nisan, 5744): Sixty-one year old Hans Arthur Aalsmeer, the son of Charles Aalsmeer and Margaretha Schwarz [ass away today.

1984: A revival of “Hello Dolly” starring female impersonator Danny La Rue as Dolly came to a close at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London.

1984: The daily Israeli newspaper Hadeshot “was ordered to stop publishing for four days” for having reported that Minister of Defence Arens had set up a committee of inquiry, headed by Reserve General Meir Zorea to investigate facts surrounding what became known as the Bus 300 Affiar.

1987:  The Justice Department barred Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States, saying he aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.  Yes, Secretary General of the United Nations was soldier an officer in Hitler's army. 

1989(22nd of Nisan, 5749): Eighth Day of Pesach

1989: “Ghetto” a play set in the Vilna Ghetto written by Joshua Sobol opened in the Olivier Theatre today under the direction of Sir Nicholas Hytner.

1993: In “Museum Opens With Firm Grip On the Emotions,” published today Diana Jean Schemo described the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

1995(27th of Nisan, 5755): Yom HaShoah

1996:  Operations Grapes of Wrath, the Israeli military incursion into Lebanon brought on by terrorist attacks and the inability of the Lebanese government to control its own borders, came to an end.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Irving Berlin: Songs From the Melting Pot: The Formative Years, 1907-1914 by Charles Hamm, Streisand: A Biography by Anne Edwards and Locked in the Cabinet by Robert B. Reich.

1997: Memorial services are scheduled to be held this after at the UCLA Faculty Center for Judge Jerry Pacht.

1998(1st of Iyar, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Iyar.

1998: “Hacker Case Taps Into Fame, Fury” provides a description of the activities of 18 year old computer hacker Ehud Tenenbaum whose skills were praised by Prime Minister Netanyahu admiringly as “damn good.”

2000: Jack Lang completed his second terms as a member of the French National Assembly for Loir-et-Cher.

2002(15th of Iyar, 5762): Seventy-seven year old Jakub Goldberg the Polish film maker who “was co-writer and assistant director of Polanski's feature debut Knife in the Water” passed away today in Denmar,

 2002(15th of Iyar, 5762): Ruth Handler passed away at the age of 85, having provided America with a revered icon and piece of popular culture. Born in 1916, Handler was the youngest of 10 children in a Polish-Jewish immigrant family that settled in Denver.  In 1945, Handler's husband and a partner started what would become the Mattel Toy Company.  During the 1950's Handler invented the "Barbie Doll" which took its name if not its anatomy from her daughter, Barbara.  Barbie was joined by the "Ken Doll" named for Handler's son, Kenneth.  

2002(15th of Iyar, 5762): Danielle Shefi, 5; Arik Becker, 22; Katrina (Katya) Greenberg, 45; and Ya'acov Katz, 51, all of Adora, were killed when terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms and combat gear cut through the settlement's defensive perimeter fence and entered Adora, west of Hebron. Seven other people were injured, one seriously. The terrorists entered several homes, firing on people in their bedrooms. Both Hamas and the PFLP claimed responsibility for the attack. (As described by theJewish Virtual Library)

2003: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including recently released paperback versions of Elvis In Jerusalem: Post-Zionism and the Americanization of Israel by Tom Segev in which “the author maintains that Israel's connection to the United States is driving a transformation in the nation's cultural life, weakening social solidarity while boosting the role of the individual.”

2003: In Champaign-Urbana, The fifth annual Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival closes.

2004(6th of Iyar, 5764): Yom HaAtzma’ut

2005(18th of Nisan, 5765): Fourth Day of Pesach

2006:Rabbi Yona Metzger filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Israel to protest Mazuz's public declaration alleging that his image had been destroyed without a chance to tell his side of the story, and accusing Menachem Mazuz of engaging in "child-like" tactics.[38] Metzger's lawyer charged that Mazuz's report on Metzger contained unverifiable information and that it constituted a personal attack on the rabbi without giving him the benefit of a defense or hearing. The petition requested that the second half of Mazuz's 30-page report, in which he harshly attacked Metzger's conduct and recommended his removal, be stricken from the record.”

2007: Dr. Jonathan Karp and Dr. Jonathan Schorsch present "Blacks and Jews in American Popular Music-The Business of Cultural Mediation" at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

2007: New York Mets star Shawn Green (currently sixth in National League hitting), along with teammates David Newhan, Scott Schoeneweis and Aaron Sele, reportedly paid a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Green, who called the visit “intense” and “educational,” found himself particularly moved by a display of victims’ shoes. Newhan, whose great-grandmother was killed during the purge of the Warsaw Ghetto, was also deeply moved. “It was pretty heavy,” he told the Journal News, “but something definitely worthwhile.” He said he planned to take his 2-year-old son when the time was right. Newhan, though bar mitzvahed at a Conservative synagogue, today considers himself to be a messianic Jew. Green and Schoeneweis are both Jewish; Sele is not. The Mets’ chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, who serves on the museum’s board, arranged the outing.

2008: Eighth Day of Pesach, 5768 – Traditional (Orthodox, Conservative, et al) Jews recite Yizkor

(Here is a suggestion for what do with the all the leftover Matzoth Butterfinger Comedy Network on Yahoo! Video.

2008: The Ramle Conference 'Between Israel and the Nations' takes place. The Ramle Conference which deals with the relationship between the Jewish people and the non-Jewish minorities living in Israel is the first of its kind.

2008: Annie Leibovitz’s topless photo of a 15 year old entertainer “was published with an accompanying story on The New York Times' website” today.

2009(3rd of Iyar, 5769): Phillip Stein, the musician who created the mural on the back wall of the Village Vanguard, passed away today at the age of 90.

2009: At the JCC in Columbus, Ohio, Israel Memorial Commemoration features a remembrance ceremony with former IDF soldiers and screen the documentary film "A Hero in Heaven" about the life of Michael Levin (Z"L)

2009: The Leo Baeck Institute presents multi-media event featuring a book and film both which are entitled “The Kissinger Saga, Two Brothers from Fürth.” “Evi Kurz, a journalist from Fürth where the Kissingers were born, has forged a family portrait of a Nobel laureate and a successful CEO. Through years of diligent research and respectful encounters, Ms. Kurz was able to earn the trust of both Walter and Henry, who rewarded her with a personal look into the family life of a German-Jewish family. The result is an award winning documentary film and a book.  As we accompany the Kissingers on visits to places of their childhood and youth, it becomes very clear how these formative years provide the context for much that comes later.

2009: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the former (now emeritus) president of George Washington University, discusses and signs Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education at Reiter's Scientific & Professional Books in Washington, D.C.

2009(3rd of Iyar, 5769): Yom Hazikaron events begin this afternoon with a ceremony at the Ammunition Hill battlefield in Jerusalem in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Later in the day, President Shimon Peres will light a memorial flame at the Western Wall plaza. According to the Defense Ministry, 133 soldiers and civilians died during the past year either in the course of military service or as civilian casualties of hostile activity.

2009: “The Confession of Eliot Spitzer” is the cover story for Newsweek magazine.

2009: Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist “signed legislation removing the word ‘shylock’ from Florida’s criminal money-lending laws.”

2010: "My Father's Microcosm, Tel Aviv", a photographic installation by Israeli photographer Yossi Guttmann is scheduled to have its final showing at the Williams Club of New York.

2010: Dr. Ori Z. Soltes, Goldman Lecturer in Theology at Georgetown University, is scheduled to discuss “Famous Jewish Trials: From Jesus to Eichmann” at Northern Virginia focusing on the cases of Jesus of Nazareth, the “Blood Libel" cases during the Spanish Inquisition, the early twentieth century trials of Jews in Czarist Russian, the U.S. trial in the 1920's of Leo Frank, the Rosenberg trial in the 1950's, and the1961 Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann.

2010(13th of Iyar, 5770): Doctor Stanley I. Greenspan, a psychiatrist who invented an influential approach to teaching children with autism and other developmental problems by folding his lanky six-foot frame onto the floor and following their lead in vigorous play, died today at a hospital in Bethesda, MD at the age of 68.

2010: The Jewish Federation communities of the Commonwealth of Virginia “have written a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell asking him to reconsider this decision that lifted a ban on Virginia State Police troopers referring to Jesus Christ in public prayer

2011: Kinky “ Friedman launched his Springtime For Kinky Tour (cf. "Springtime For Hitler") in Kansas City, Missouri at Knuckleheads Saloon] which includes dates in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky before heading towards the east coast.

2011: In preparation of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Detroit’s Congregation Beth Ahm is scheduled to screen “Hidden Poland”, a one-hour documentary film recounting the experiences of four people who were hidden children in Poland during the Shoah.

2011: Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian movements, announced an agreement in principle today to end a years-long internal Palestinian schism.

2011: Moroccan Jews who suffered under the Nazis and their allies during World War II will for the first time ever receive compensation from Germany, a Jewish group announced today. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, better known as the Claims Conference, said Berlin has agreed to provide a single payment of 2,556 euro to Jews whose freedom of movement was curtailed by the Axis powers. “Restricting the freedom of movement to the domestic area or a specific region was an effective means to the goal of seizing the Jewish population in Germany and the regions under German influence,” said Julius Berman, Claims Conference Chairman. “By clarifying this element of persecution, we obtained recognition for the persecution suffered by those who lived under these restrictions. Some 7,000 Jews who lived under regimes in Romania, Bulgaria and North Africa who were aligned with Nazi Germany are expected to be eligible for the payment. In the past Germany has compensated Tunisian and Libyan Jews who were interned at Nazi labor camps. However, Moroccan Jews who were subjected to a series of discriminatory laws called Résidence force by the collaborationist government of General Phillipe Petain were not included. The Claims Conference, which is the body in charge of negotiating compensation for Holocaust survivors, recently negotiated an increase by 15 percent, from 110 million euros in 2011 to 126.7 million euros in 2012. On Wednesday it called on would-be recipients of the payment to read more about the terms of payment on its Website at “To qualify for a payment, applicants need to meet all other criteria of the Hardship Fund,” it added. “Nazi victims who received certain payments from a German source, such as a pension from the Israeli Ministry of Finance under the Disabled of Nazi Persecutions law 5717-1957, cannot receive a one-time payment from the Hardship Fund." Full criteria for the Hardship Fund are on the Claims Conference's Website.

2011(23rd of Nisan, 5771): Sixty-year old Dr Stanley I. Greenspan, a psychiatrist who documented the developmental milestones of early childhood and developed the widely used "Floor Time" method for teaching children with autism and other developmental disorders, passed away today.

2011: In Mitzvah Tanks Roll Again,” Gabe Johnson and Tamir Elterman describe the reappearance of this unique Chabad invention.

2012: “Love During Wartime,” a film about an Israeli Jewish woman in love with a Palestinian Moslem man, is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Shabbaton Shira v’Kehilah, a Shabbat of Song and Community is scheduled to begin at the Kane Street Synagogue.

2012: David Samson, the owner of the Miami Marlins baseball team “completed a 52.4 mile run to honor the workers who built the new ballpark and which raised over $550,000 to be split among 10 charities

2013: The recently retired chief of Israel’s internal security agency said tonight that he had “no faith” in the ability of the current leadership to handle the Iranian nuclear threat, ratcheting up the criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak from the defense and intelligence communities. (As reported by Jodi Rudoren)

2013: “Dancing In Jaffa” is scheduled to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

2013: In Livonia, Michigan, “Bookstock,” co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council is scheduled to come to an end

2013: The National Park Service and the United States Military Academy are scheduled to host the official government ceremony commemorating the 191st anniversary of President Grant’s birth. While there are those who would paint Grant as an anti-Semite his Jewish contemporaries did not view him as can be seen by the fact that Jews overwhelming supported him when he ran for President and by this eulogy by Professor Felix Adler

2013: A heat wave hit Israel today and caused several fires across Israel, ahead of Jewish holiday Lag Ba'Omer (bonfire night). Army Radio reported that one man was lightly injured today in a fire started from burning embers left by hikers.

2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including I Pity the Poor Immigrant, Zachary Lazar’s “novel of spiritual discovery featuring Meyer Lansky, an American journalist and the murder of an Israeli poet,” Mount Terminus, David Grand’s novel about the early days of the movie industry featuring half-brothers Simon Reuben and Bloom Rosenbloom and In Paradise, “Peter Matthiessen’s novel about a Zen retreat at Auschwitz.”

2014: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host “Downtown Washington,” a “tour of the historic 7th Street, NW neighborhood” that “includes four former synagogues.

2014(27th of Nisan, 5774)): In the evening start of Yom Hashoah.  While the 27th of Iyar is the official date for Yom Hashoah, when the 27th of Nisan falls on a Sunday, the observance takes place on the 28th of Nisan (Monday) “to avoid adjacency with Shabbat.”

2014: “Light and Shadows: The Story of the Iranian Jews” an “exhibition that tell the rich and complex history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities” is scheduled to come to an end at Yeshiva University Museum.

2014: “The March of Life” under the title “Remembering, Reconciling and Shaping the Future in Friendship” is scheduled to come to an end in Hungary.

2014: Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are being declared saints of the Roman Catholic Church today, the day that is also the eve of Yom Hashoah

2014: In New Orleans, the keynote speaker at the Holocaust Memorial Program is scheduled to be eighty-eight year old Philip Bialowitz, one of only seven survivors of the Sobribor revolt at the Nazi death camp who was 17 at the time of the revolt, joined with his brother and others to overwhelm the guards and helped free 200 of the 600 prisoners housed there” whose memoir is A Promise at Sobribor: A Jewish Boy’s Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland. (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)

2014: “Golda’s Balcony” a one-woman show starring Tova Feldshuh as the Israeli Prime Minister is scheduled to be performed for the last time this evening at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

2014: In Coralville, Iowa, Rabbi Jeff Portman has organized a memorable and meaningful series of Yom HaShoah events that are scheduled to include the Fourth Annual Music of Commemoration at Agudas Achim and a reading by Professor Lud Gutmann, MD from his book Richard Road: Fleeing the Holocaust and Growing Up In Rural America.

2014: Holocaust Remembrance Week is scheduled to begin today.

2015: “The Last Sentence” and “Let’s Go” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015(8th of Iyar, 5776): Ninety year old Dr. Alexander Rich who provided the visual proof of the DNA’s Double Helix passed away today.  (As reported by Denise Gellene)

2015: Dana Kalishov is scheduled to discuss the important role of the IDF in providing invaluable educational and leadership opportunities, fostering the growth of pluralism, encouraging respect and equal rights for women, members of the LGBT community, and other minorities at the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center.

2015: “In the Community: Touchdown Israel” is scheduled to be shown at the Gershman Y as part of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival.

2015: Michele Gold author of Memories that Won't Go Away:A Tribute to the Children of the Kindertransport is scheduled to speak at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2015: Mark Gelber and Birger Vanwesenbeck Mark Gelber and Birger Vanwesenbeck Mark Gelber and Birger Vanwesenbeck are scheduled to discuss “Stefan Zweig and World Literature: 21st Century Perspectives” at the Center for Jewish History.

2015: In Baltimore looters carried away over a million dollars in merchandize as they vandalized the Sports Mart a business started in 1980 by 89 year old Leon Levy and his sons Harvey, Marc and Brian.

2015: Congregants Challenge Sale of Bulwark of Judaism on Lower East Side published today described the dispute surrounding the sale of the Home of Sages “a Manhattan nursing home in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.”

2016(19th of Nisan, 5776): Fifth Day of Pesach

2016(19th of Nisan, 5776): Eighty-seven year old abstract artist Harold Cohen passed away today in California.

2016: “Common Ground” written by Israel Yael Ronen is scheduled to be performed at the Segal Theatre tonight.

2016; “The first Jewish film festival of Casablanca, which was organized in the Moroccan city by a Sephardic Jewish woman from Atlanta” and which was attended by nearly 300 people came to an end today.

2016: “Two Palestinian terrorists this morning attempted to stab Border Policemen at Qalandiya checkpost north of Jerusalem before being shot and killed by security forces.”

2017(1st of Iyar, 5777): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2017(1st of Iyar, 5777): Ninety-six year old Julius Young “the last surviving member of Jonas Salk’s original research team” passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2017(1st of Iyar, 5777: Eighty-nine year old Holocaust survivor and “award winning author and illustrator Peter Spier” passed away today. (As reported by Richard Sandomir)

2017: Dan Margulies is scheduled to lead an early Talmud study session on Tractate Sukkah at the Streicker Center

2017: The National Museum of American Jewish Military History and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington are scheduled to host a tour of the exhibition “Jews in the American Military” followed by a presentation by JHS curator Christiane Bauer, who will share treasures from our collection related to the involvement of Jewish Washingtonians in "The Great War."

2017: The UKJF is scheduled to host a screening of “Photo Farag” which tells “the story of the photography studio in Israel” as the Phoenix Cinema.

2017: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present “A Vanished People: Jewish Heritage in the Greater Middle East.”

2017: 195th Anniversary of the birth of U.S. Grant, the underrated general who understood modern warfare which led to the Union victory and who offered the position of Secretary of the Treasury to his friend Jesse Seligman who declined the offer which would have made him the first Jewish member of the Cabinet.

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host Friday night services followed by a Shabbat dinner.

2018: “The Love Letter “directed by Atara Frish is scheduled to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

2018: “The National Park Service and the United States Military Academy at West Points” are scheduled to “host the official government commemorating the 196th anniversary of the birth of President U.S. Grant, the first sitting President to contribute to a synagogue building fun and to attend synagogue services – in this case Adas Israel in Washington, D.C.





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