Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This Day, April 4, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

April 4

188: Birthdate of Cracalla, the Roman Emperor who allowed all free Jews within the empire to become full Roman citizens.

397: Aurelius Ambrosius, (Saint Ambrose) a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the fourth century passed away. He lived during a period when the Christian Church was still trying to establish its identity. He was no stranger to Jews as we can see from the following three examples. In “De Abrahamo” Ambrose warned Christians against intermarrying with Jews.  His strong opposition can be seen in the following conflict he had with the Roman Emperor, Theodosius over the rebuilding of synagogue. “It appears that in 388 a mob, led by the local bishop and many monks, destroyed the synagogue at Callinicum. The emperor Theodosius the Great ordered the rebuilding of the synagogue at the expense of the rioters, including the bishop. Ambrose immediately issued a fiery protest to the emperor. He wrote to Theodosius that "the glory of God" is concerned in this matter, and that therefore he cannot be silent. "Shall the bishop be compelled to re-erect a synagogue? Can he religiously do this thing? If he obey the emperor, he will become a traitor to his faith; if he disobey him, a martyr. What real wrong is there, after all, in destroying a synagogue, a 'home of perfidy, a home of impiety,' in which Christ is daily blasphemed? Indeed, he must consider himself no less guilty than this poor bishop; at least to the extent that he made no concealment of his wish that all synagogues should be destroyed, that no such places of blasphemy be further allowed to exist." At the end, he succeeded in obtaining from Theodosius a promise that the sentence should be completely revoked, with the very natural consequence that thereafter the prospect of immunity thus afforded occasioned spoliations of synagogues all over the empire. That Ambrose could nevertheless occasionally say a good word for the Jews is shown by a passage in his "Enarratio in Psalmos" in which he remarks, "Some Jews exhibit purity of life and much diligence and love of study."

1081: Alexios I Komnenos is crowned Byzantine emperor at Constantinople, beginning the Komnenian dynasty. Most Byzantine Emperors of this period “expressed little interest in combating…religious pluralism.  Alexios was the exception to the rule.  He took “an unusual interest in presenting himself as a defender” of the dominant Christian Orthodox faith. During his reign, St. Nikon agreed to go to Sparta if the Jews were expelled from the community. The town was enduring a wave of unusual illness and Nikon said that cause was the contaminating effect of “abominable” Jewish customs and the polluting effect of their worship.

1284: The reign of Alfonso X as King of Castile and Leon who “employed Jewish, Christian and Muslim Scholars…primarily for the purposed of translating books from Arabic and Hebrew into Latin and Castilian” and who relied on Yehuda ben Moshe to translate selected works of magic, came to an end today.

1284: Sancho IV of Castile, who treated the story of the affair between Rahel la Fermosa, a Jewish woman from Toledo, and King Alfonso VIII as fact and not fable, began his reign today.

1285: Philip the Fair, King of France, began his policy of using Jews solely for his financial benefit.  He was called the Fair because of his complexion, not his behavior.  The Jews were caught up in the conflict called the Albigensians Heresy, a conflict within the Catholic Church.  Philip was always looking for ways to enrich himself.  Ultimately he expelled the Jews from his kingdom, abrogating the debts he owed them and confiscating all personal and communal property.

1292: Pope Nicholas IV who had issued “Orat Mater Ecclesla,” a bull designed “to protect the Roman Jews from oppression, passed away today.

1588: Christian IV, “the first Danish king to establish connections with Jews” which became a reality when he appointed Albert Dionis, a Sephardi Jew “to run the mint in the newly planned town of Gluckstadt on the Elbe.”

1609: English navigator Henry Hudson set sail from Amsterdam harbor under direction from his “employer,” the Duct East India Company to sail east in the quest for a shorter water passage to the Indies.  Fortunately for the Jewish people, Hudson ignored these instructions and sailed west seeking the fabled Northwest Passage to the Orient.  As part of this quest, Hudson sailed past what is now New York on his way up what we know as the Hudson River claiming all of the surrounding for the Dutch.  This meant that the 23 Jews who arrived in New Amsterdam landed in a territory controlled by the religiously tolerant Dutch as opposed to a colony controlled Catholic Spain or Catholic France neither of whom would have allowed the Jews to settle.

1660: King Charles II of England publishes the terms under which he will return to the throne in a document known as the Declaration of Breda. The restoration under Charles II bodes well for the Jews of England since it was Charles II who was the first to declare that the Jewish community could remain in England without suffering harassment.   

1687: King James II issued The Declaration of Indulgence, one of the major steps towards the granting of full religious liberty in Great Britain.  Jews had returned to in 1655 and the next major step in the fight for full religious rights would come with the passage of the short-lived Jewish Naturalization Act of 1753.

1693(27th of Adar II, 5453): Eighty-eight year old Rabbi Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, a kabbalist, scholar and leader of the Dutch Jewish community passed away.


1718: Birthdate of Benjamin Kennicott, English churchman and Hebrew scholar who spent most of his life exploring and collating various Hebrew texts.  Unfortunately, the final printing of his work rendered much of it nearly useless.  One of the most positive outcomes was the recognition of the antiquity and common origins of the text of the Hebrew Bible.

1733: Today in Saxony, “August II revived the decrees of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, ordering in addition that the body-tax be paid thenceforth by all Jews, regardless of sex or age, though Elijah Behrend succeeded in securing the exemption of children under ten years of age. Behrend furthermore obtained permission for all Bohemian, Moravian, and Hungarian Jews to travel on any road through Saxony and secured the repeal of the edict forbidding them to remain in any place longer than one day.”

1739: “Israel in Egypt,” “an oratorio by George Frideric Handel that “it is composed entirely of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible, mainly from Exodus and the Psalms premiered at London's King's Theatre in the Haymarket”

1754(12th of Nisan, 5514): Fast of the First Born held on Thursday because Pesach begins on Saturday night.

1762(11th of Nisan, 5522): David Frankel, the chief rabbi of Berlin whose students included Moses Mendelssohn, passed away today.

1772(1st of Nisan, 5532): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1772(1st of Nisan, 5532): In Medzhybizh, Simcha, the son of Rabbi Nachman of Horodenka and his wife Feiga gave birth to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov who was “the founder of the Breslov Hasidic Movement.

1775: Birthdate of Samuel Elias, the native of Whitechapel, London who gained fame as the boxer Dutch Sam, a name that might be attributed to the fact that his parents had come to England from Holland.

1776: Celebration of the first Pesach after the firing of the Shot Heard Round the World.

1795(15th of Nisan, 5555): Pesach

1795: Birthdate of violinist Joseph Böhm, the native of Pest who became a director of the Vienna Conservatory.

1799: Birthdate of Mordecai ben Shumel, the grocer known as Marcus Samuel who passed away in 1870.

1801: Twenty-year old Carel Asser married eighteen year old Rosa Levin Amsterdam.

1818: Birthdate of Moritz Kohner, the native of Neuern, Bohemia, the merchants who was “elected president of the Leipzig Jewish community in 1868 and founded the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeindebund in 1869.

1830: Birthdate of Albert (Aaron) Siegfried Bettelheim, Hungarian born Rabbi and Hebraist.

1838: Birthdate of Lawrence Barrett the Shakespearian actor who “portrays the character” of Shylock “with force, sincerity and at times with splendid effect”

1838: Albert Moses Levy married Claudinia Olivia Gervais.  Levy was a Virginia born doctor who moved to Texas where he played a prominent role in the revolt against Mexico.  Levy’s father, a Dutch born Jew married an Episcopalian after coming to the United States.  Levy was raised in the faith of his mother and his wife, with whom he had five children, was also an Episcopalian. While stories like this were not uncommon among 18th and 19th American Jewry, it is amazing that there were not more such cases given the fluidity of the American frontier.

1841: In Augusta, GA, Gustavus V. Anker of Richmond, VA married Abigail Rebecca Sampson, the daughter of the late Joseph Sampson, who had lived in Charleston, SC.

1841: Birthdate of Ancona (Italy) native Frederico Consolo, the violinist who “composed the arrangement for the national anthem of San Marino, based on a 10th-century chorale” which “was adopted in 1894.”

1850:  Los Angeles is incorporated as a city. Jews were active in Los Angeles from its earliest days as an American city. Jacob Frankfort is reported to the first Jew to live in Los Angeles.  He arrived in the city in December, 1841, when it was still part of Mexico.  In the early 1850’s seven prominent, unmarried Jewish merchants occupied space at the Corner of Aliso and Los Angeles streets on what was called Bell’s row.  Two were from Poland and five were from Germany.  They ranged in age from 19 to 28.  For the trivia buffs, their names were Abraham Jacobi, Morris Michaels, Morris Goodman, Phillip Sichel, Augustine Waserman, Felix Bachan and Joseph Plumer

1859: Dinorah, originally Le pardon de Ploërmel ("The Pilgrimage of Ploërmel"), a French opéra comique in three acts with music by Giacomo Meyerbeer was first performed at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart), in Paris.

1859: It was reported today that “the number of Jews in Oregon, most of whom are engaged in commercial pursuits, is quite large. In Portland, they have a synagogue recently incorporated by the legislature under the name of ‘Congregation Beth Israel’ where religious worship is conducted after the manner of German Israelites.  A large portion of them are, however, free-thinkers.”

1861: It was reported today that M. Guranda, the Viennese Jewish editor of the Ost Deutsche Post was elected to serve in the Provincial Diet.

1862: Birthdate of Leonid Pasternak, the native of Odessa who became a noted post-impressionist painter and was the father of Boris Pasternak.


1863(15th of Nisan, 5623): Pesach

1865: Private Henry Strauss was discharged from the 10th Mississippi Infantry today.

1866(19th of Nisan, 5626): Sixth Day of Pesach

1866(19th of Nisan, 5626): Twenty-two year old Heinrich Oppenheimer, the son of Marx and Sarah Oppenheimer, passed away today.

1866: Birthdate of Adolph Joachim Sabath, the native of Zabori who came to the United States at the age of 15 and served in the U.S. House of  Representatives from 1907 to 1952.


1871: “Matzoth Again: The Feast of Passover Unleavened Bread How They Make Passover Cakes,” published today describes the process of making Matzah. [Ed. Note: Given the comparatively small Jewish population, this article is remarkable for several reasons.] http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D0CE5DC103EEE34BC4C53DFB266838A669FDE

1872: Johann Jacoby joined the Social Democrat Party in Prussia today.

1872: The Grand Lodge of the Sons of Israel received a report today that 2,176 names were on the rolls of the Endowment Fund which had been established to provide for widows and orphans and that the fund was now capitalized at $69,604.40.

1877(21st of Nisan, 5637): Seventh Day of Pesach

1877: The third of the annual special services for the Jews “held in Christ Church Spitafields” which were part of the on-going attempts to convert Jews and which in the past had provoked demonstrations by Jews of the area was led by Reverend A.I. McCaul an included a sermon by Reverend Samuel Bardsley

1877: Birthdate of Yiddish poet and songwriter Mordechai Gebirtig.

1878: In Chicago, Adolph Loeb, the son of Jakob and Ester Loeb, and his wife Johanna Loeb gave birth to Ludwig Mannheimer Loeb

1878: In Singapore, the new Maghain Aboth Synagogue on Waterloo Street which had been financed in part by Menasseh Meyer, “supposedly the richest Jew in Asia,” was consecrated today.

1879: Birthdate of Ignacz Trebitsh the son of Paks, Hungary merchant, who left his native land in 1896, converted to Christianity and led a life as Lincoln Trebitsch whose remarkable life included serving three years in a British jail for being a German spy and as an MP from Darlington.


1879: A correspondent for the Neue Zilricher Zeitgung described a massacre of Jews in Satschcheri in the Caucuses. At the beginning of April the body of a child was found in the woods. Seven Jews were accused by the Christian villagers of having killed the child and then having hid the body as part of their Easter Sacrifice.  The accused were taken before a local Judge who dismissed the charges after “a medical witness” testified that the child had died of natural causes and that the wounds on the body “were the work of wild animals.  The Jews celebrated their deliverance with a party which was interrupted by a an axe wielding Christian mob.  The mob, which had been incited by an Orthodox Priest broke into the house killing six of the Jews and injuring many more.

1879: A correspondent for the Neue Zilricher Zeitgung described a massacre of Jews that had taken place in Satschcheri, a town in the Caucasus region.  The massacre was the result of a blood libel based on claims by Christian villagers that seven Jews had killed a child whose body was found in the woods.

1880: In Marienpol, Poland, Nathan and Sarah Lamport gave birth to Samuel Charles Lamport, a graduate of high school in Burlington, VT, City College and Brown University, who is the owner of Lamport Manufacturing and Supply Company and a leader of the Jewish community as can be seen by his service as a trustee of the Jewish Publication Society and a director of the JTS and the Home of the Daughters of Jacob.

1882(15th of Nisan, 5642): First Day of Pesach

1882: As the Jews of Tisza-Eszlar, Hungary, observe Pesach rumors are circulating that Esther Solymosi, a 14 year old Christian peasant girl who disappeared on the first of the month has been killed by the Jews so her blood could be used in baking matzah.

1883(26th of Adar II): Menahem Cattawi Bey, known as the "Egyptian Rothschild” passed away today

1884: In Pest, The Supreme Tribunal has confirmed the acquittal of all the Jews who were charged with murdering Esther Salomossy. It was alleged that they had killed her to obtain blood to mix with “Passover Bread”

1885: In Mantua, Lodovico Mortara and his wife gave birth to “economist, demographer and statistician” Giorgio Mortara, the grandson of Rabbi Marco Mortara.

1886(28th of Adar II, 5646): Moritz Warburg, who was born in 1810 who represented his native Altona in the Reichstag passed away today.  He was survived by his first son Albert who was born in 1843 but was pre-deceased by his second son Jacob who was born in 1848 and was killed during the Franco-Prussian War.

1887(10th of Nisan, 5647): Isais Morgenstern passed away.

1889: Clarence Charles Minzesheimer, “who had entered the banking and brokerage business of his father Charles Minzesheimer became a member of the New York Stock Exchange today.

1890(14th of Nisan, 5650): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach and Erev Shabbat

1890: “The Jewish Feast of Pesach” published today continues a tradition of the New York Times of writing about the holiday stretching back to the earliest days of the paper’s founding before the Civil War.

1890: “Meat Given To The Poor” published today descried the distribution Passover provisions the needy.  While most of those in line were Polish Jews, “there was also a number of poor Gentiles.”  They were given coupons to take to local butchers since those distributing the food felt that there should be no distinction to helping the poor regardless of religion.

1890(14th of Nisan, 5650): As Jews begin the celebration of Passover this evening, the less fortunate Jews living in New York will enjoy a happier holiday thanks to the efforts of the Passover Relief Association which distributed 9,830 pounds of Matzah, 1,000 pounds of sugar, 480 pounds of coffee and 50 pounds of tea at Goodfellow Hall prior to the start of the holiday.

1890(14th of Nisan, 5650): Felix Albert Bettelheim passed away in Baltimore, Maryland. Born in Hungary in 1861 he was the son of the rabbi Aaron Siegfried Bettelheim. He immigrated to the United States in the sixties. In his seventeenth year he was graduated from the University of California with high honors, and three years later from the Medical College in San Francisco. From 1880 to 1881 he was resident physician of the San Quentin state prison; from 1881 to 1883, ship's surgeon of the Pacific Mail steamship "Colima"; 1883-89, surgeon-general of the Panama Railroad and CanalCompany. Through his efforts the first hospital in Panama was built; and he became one of its staff of physicians. He held several high offices and received a number of medals and testimonials from the government in recognition of his services. Bettelheim was the discoverer of a new germ peculiar to tropical countries, an account of which is given in medical records. In 1889 he studied clinical methods in the great European cities. On his return to America he died from a tropical liver complaint which was held by American authorities to be unique and was described by Professor Osler, of Johns Hopkins University, in a London medical journal. He was a frequent contributor to the "Lancet" and other periodicals, and left a posthumous work, "On the Contagious Diseases of Tropical Countries," still unpublished. A text-book by Dr. Thorington of Philadelphia, on the diseases of the eye, is dedicated to Bettelheim's memory.

1890 (14th of Nisan, 5650): The Jewish Messenger reports that “despite the undeniable tendency to change in every direction, the festival of Passover, which begins this evening survives with all its old time strength and picturesqueness.  Our Passover “is over three thousand years old and likely to survive three thousand more.”

1890: Erev Pesach, the American Hebrew publishes a special Passover edition including an article entitled “Prejudice Against the Jews; its Causes and Remedies.”

1892: It was reported today that newly elected officers of the Purim Association are M.H. Moses, President; Simon Schafer, Vice President; and Sol E. Solomon, Treasurer.   The $16,000 that the association raised at its last charity ball has been donated to the United Hebrew Charities.

1892: It was reported today that “fever and diphtheria” are ravaging Jewish communities on “both sides of the Russian-German border.”

1894(27th of Adar II, 5654): Sixty-eight year old Rabbi Abraham Pereira Mendes passed away in New York.  A native of Kingston, he was educated in England where he served congregations in Birmingham and London and served as the Dayan for the Sephardic community.  He came to the United States in 1883 to serve as Rabbi at the historic Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI.  He and his wife Eliza who was the daughter of Rabbi D.A. de Sola had two sons Frederick de Sola Mendes and Henry Pereira Mendes each of whom became rabbis.

1894: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that in Camden, NJ, “the Hebrew Independent Political Club has endorsed Isaac H. Weaver for Council and Harry Wolfe for Freeholder in the Fifth Ward.”

1895: In Galicia, Sarah and Abraham Teichman gave birth to Moses Teichman who came to the United States with his mother in 1897 aboard the S.S. Friesland who gained fames as Arthur Murray the man who danced his way into a financial empire of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios.  He began teaching dance while attending Georgia Tech as a way to pay for his college expenses. 

1895: The will of Bernhard Bernhard who had passed away last week we filed for probate today.

1896:  Birthdate of poet Tristan Tzara [Samuel or Sami Rosenfeld].  Born in Romania, he began publishing in 1912.  In 1916 he moved to Switzerland where he a founder of Dadaism.  Tzara named this nihilistic movement by opening the dictionary and choosing the first meaningless word.  Tzara moved to Paris and was a member of the Communist wing of the Resistance.  He died in 1963.

1896: Birthdate of Wolfgang Fürstner, the Wehrmacht officer who was in charge of the Olympic Village in 1936 and who committed suicide after he was reclassified as non-Aryan when it was discovered that his grandfather was a Jew who had converted to Christianity.

1897: “Dr. Grossman on the Talmud” published today included the view Dr. Rudolph Grossman of Temple Beth-El “that while there were many who knew what the Talmud was they failed to thoroughly comprehend the many and interesting truths contained in the book.”

1897: “A new Sefer Torah will be dedicated this afternoon Congregation Adath Israel of West Harlem.”

1897: “Kosher Cooking School” published today described the opening of “school for instruction in the art of kosher cooking;” kosher meaning prepared “in accordance with the Jewish dietary laws.”

1897: It was reported today that Ancient History of the Peoples of the East by the French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero has been translated into Hebrew by a publisher in Warsaw.

1897: “In The Public Eye” published today described the phenomena of Hebrew “spring up again as  living literary language in Eastern Europe” as can be seen by, among other things, the publication of monthly Hebrew language review now being published in Berlin.

1897: It was reported today that Israel Zangwill, author of Children of the Ghetto will be speaking in Jerusalem later this month.

1897: Birthdate of Sir Francis Edward Evans, the Belfast native who served as the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Israel from 1951 to 1954.

1899: Rabbi B. A. Elzas officiated at the wedding of Israel D. Hart of Beaufort, SC and Rosalie Cecile Levy at the Charleston home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Levy

1899: In Berlin, sociologist and economist Franz Oppenheimer and his wife gave birth to Hillel Oppenheimer, the Israeli botany professor who helped to found the “Faculties of Natural Science and Agriculture” at Hebrew University and passed away in 1971.

1899: In Albany, NY, the state Assembly passed a bill “exempting the real estate of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of New York City from taxation.”

1899: In New York City, the trustees of the United Hebrew Charities offered Dr. Lee K. Frankel of Philadelphia the position of manager of the organization.

1899: Birthdate of Carmel Myers, the San Francisco native whose Australian rabbi father used his connections with D.W. Griffith, to help her launch a movie career that began with “Intolerance” in 1916.

1900: Birthdate of St. Louis native Ernest E. Ellman.

1901(15th of Nisan, 5661): At Temple Israel in New York City,  more than $100 was raised after Rabbi Harris delivered a Passover sermon in which he called for funds to be raised to alleviate those suffering through the horrific famine in Bessarabia.

1901(15th of Nisan, 5661): Pesach

1901(15th of Nisan, 5661): R. J. de Cordova passed away in London today at the age of 79.   De Cordova, whose parents were English, was born in the West Indies. He came to the United States in 1849 where he enjoyed a successful business career until the Panic of 1857.  At that time he began a career as humorist, author and journalist who wrote for the New York Express and the New York Times.  Mr. de Cordova was a regular speaker at Temple Emanu-El where he had a contract at one time to give a lecture on every third Saturday of the month.  He moved to London in 1885.

1904(19th of Nisan, 5664): Fifth Day of Pesach

1905: In a speech delivered at a Zionist banquet in London, “Israel Zangwill declared that in the whole history of the world the Jews never had a better friend than President Theodore Roosevelt.”  In the same speech, Zangwill rejected Britain’s offer of territory in East Africa (often referred to as the Uganda Plan) saying that the land might be useful “for rearing goats” but that it “was doubtful if a settlement 500 miles from the sea offered sufficient bais for a prosperous Jewish colony.”

1906: It was reported today that the police authorities in Berlin are “conferring with the local Jewish Auxiliary Society” as to how to deal with the 7,000 impoverished Russian refugees most of whom are alleged to be their co-religionists.

1908: In Great Britain, the conflict between those who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible and those who believe in a more liberal interpretation heated up today when Sir Samuel Montagu, head of the banking firm of Samuel Montague & Co threatened to withdraw his financial support from the Jewish Religious Education Board unless it severed any further relationship with two of its more “liberal members” – Calude Joseph Goldsmid-Montefiore and Israel Abrahams. Montefiore and Abrahams are noted scholars.  The former is the author of The Origin and Development of the Religon of the Ancient Hebrews and the latter is a reader at Cambridge who is also editor of The Jewish Quarterly Review. Montague, who is officially known as Lord Swaythling, is an active leader and famed philanthropist in the Jewish community.  He is referred to as King of the East End because of his generous support of the less fortunate and is second only Lord Rothschild as its benefactor.  The Jewish Religious Education Board is a major communal organization that “looks after the material welfare and religious education of more than 10,000 Jewish children in the great East End of London.  According to some accounts, the whole matter reached a boiling point over whether or not one really believes that Balaam’s ass actually spoke to its master as described in the book of Numbers.  Montefiore accepts the text literally.  The two biblical scholars apparently think there is room for interpretation.  

1909: Hashomer, the first Jewish self-defense organization was founded to protect Jewish settlements in what was Palestine, a part of the Ottoman Empire.  Until then, local Arab militias had been paid to protect farmers and others from marauding bands.  The early Zionists had already begun providing their own farm labor.  Now they decided to provide their own protection as well.  Needless to say, this did not sit well with the local population.  This is one more example of how the Zionists were resented not for being Jewish, but for failing to conform to the behavior acceptable to the local power structure.  From the Jewish perspective, Hashomer represented yet another break with the European experience.  Jews would no longer be at the mercy of others.  They would provide their own protection.  Having just experienced of wave of Pogroms in Russia, this had an extra special meaning for the early members of Hashomer, many of whose members were recent arrivals from Russia who had organized self-defense organizations in Russia during the pogroms five years earlier. Its founders included Itzhak ben Zvi, Israel Giladi, Israel Shohat and Alexander Zeid. It was eventually absorbed into the Hagannah the Jewish defense force formed in the 1920's that became the foundation for the modern IDF.

1911: Marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Schwartz, members of the Euclid Avenue Temple in Cleveland, Ohio.

1913: Hannah Roth, “widow of the late Samuel Roth” was lead to rest today at the Waldheim Cemetery.

1913: Sixty-nine year old Edward Dowden, the Irish author who claimed that “in the original Persian” version of the Shylock story, “the Jew is not impelled to cruelty because the money is not returned to him but for the reason that he in love with his debtor’s wife” and whose daughter Hester “claimed to communicate via various spirit guides including ‘Johannes,’ an ancient Jewish Neo-Platonist who lived 200 years before Jesus, passed away today.

1913:  Birthdate of Jerome Weidman “revered New York novelist and playwright who first made a splash with his novel I Can Get It for You Wholesale and later won a Pulitzer Prize with George Abbott for their Broadway collaboration Fiorello!  He died in 1998 at the age of 85.

1913(26th of Adar II, 5673): Sixty-five year old Frankfort banker “B. Oppenheimer” passed away today.

1915(20th of Nisan, 5675): Sixth Day of Pesach

1915: “Twenty thousand Jewish children held simultaneous Passover celebrations” this “morning in nine theatres in New York under the auspices of Young Judea.”

1916: A bazar and fair designed to raise funds for “the Jewish war sufferers” which had begun on March came to an end at the Grand Central Palace in New York.

1917: The Russian revolutionary government headed by Kerensky granted equality to all Russian Jews for the first time in Russian history. Since about 18 percent of the world's Jews were living in areas controlled by the Russian government, this decree would appear to have had a major impact on the fate of the world's Jews.  Unfortunately, such was not the case.  Within the year, the democratic Kerensky government was replaced by Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  That regime spelled the end of real freedom for everybody although Stalin would later have some special twists of evil for the Jewish population.

1917: Dr. Avram Coralnik, who has been in the United States since last October representing “an influential publication at Petrograd said today it “is well known all over the world, the Jews were the most persecuted people in Russia.”

1918(22nd of Nisan, 5678): 8th Day of Pesach

1918(22 Nisan, 5678): Seventy-five year old German Jewish-philosopher Hermann Cohen, whose works included Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism passed away in Berlin.

1920(16th of Nisan, 5680): Second Day of Pesach

1920: Arab orators in Palestine roused crowds into a fiery mob which attacked and killed Jews in three days of violent rioting that began today. At least five Jews were killed and hundreds more were injured during the Arab riots in Jerusalem.  The riots were fomented to protest Jewish immigration.  In a portent of the future, the British arrested the Jewish leaders, including Vladimir Jabotinsky and others for organizing a self-defense league.  The origins of the Arab rioting stemmed from intra-Arab conflicts – those who favored and opposed Feisal’s rule in Palestine.  Chaim Weizmann, who witnessed the riots, wrote to British Prime Minister Lloyd George that British authorities had done little to protect the Jews, a view that was supported by a later commission of investigation.

1921: A Jewish battalion and an Arab battalion are founded by the British.

1922:  Birthdate of composer Elmer Bernstein.  He wrote the theme songs or other music for more than 200 films and TV shows, including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Ten Commandments, The Man with the Golden Arm, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the fanfare used in the National Geographic television specials. He received 14 Academy Award nominations, but his only win was for Thoroughly Modern Millie. Along with many in Hollywood, Bernstein faced censure during the McCarthy era of the 1950s. He was "gray-listed"—not banned, but kept off major projects—due to sympathy with left-wing causes, and had to work on a series of low budget films.

1922: The Jewish industrial chemist and Liberal politician, Sir Alfred Mond, who was then Minister of Health, wrote to Sir Herbert Samuel warning him that the Arab delegation currently visiting London to express its opposition to the principles of the Balfour Declaration had become ‘a focus and a tool of the general anti-Semitic movement.’

1923(18th of Nisan, 5683): Forty-nine year old Yuily Osipovch Martov, the Russian Revolutionary who led the Mensheviks – one of the many parties to be outlawed by Lenin and his Bolsheviks – passed away as an exile living in Germany.

1923: Today “1923, following the success of the studio's film “The Gold Diggers,” Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. was officially established, with. Harry Warner as president, Albert Warner as treasurer and Jack Warner and Sam Warner as co-heads of production.

1924: The British and French end their dispute over the northern border of Palestine. Metula and its environs are included in the territory of the British Mandate.
1924: The first issue of the periodical "Kiryat Sefer" appears. It is published by the National Library in Jerusalem.

1924: In Hajdunanas, Hungary, Abraham Ornstein, an accountant, and the former Frieda Sziment gave birth to Holocaust survivor and psychoanalyst Paul Hermann Ornstein. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1926: Louis Lipsky, the Chairman of the Zionist Organization of America announced today “the beginning of a nation-wide movement for the promotion of Jewish education” that will be designed in cooperation with the “more than 2,000 Jewish schools in the United States.

1926: In Berlin, real estate investor Oskar Rohr and Perla Gelbard Rohr gave birth to Sami Rohr who would survive the Holocaust to become a real estate mogul and philanthropist.

1927: William H. Gallagher, the attorney representing Aaron Shapiro in his suit against Henry Ford “served notice that he will call Mr. as the next witness” to which Ford’s attorney responded that the anti-Semitic automaker would not be available because of medical reasons.

1927: Samuel Untermyer is scheduled to return to Cairo from Jerusalem this morning.

1927: Birthdate of Sam Adams, the native of Chicago who became a leading literary and Hollywood agent.

1928(14th of Nisan, 5688): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1928: In London’s East End, Annie Berlin and Abraham Noserovitch gave birth to Monty Noserovitch, who gained fame as composer Monty Norman, the creator of “The James Bond Theme.”

1928: “Eve’s Daughters” a drama starring Wolfgang Zilzer and filmed by cinematographer Otto Keller was released today in Germany and Czechoslovakia

1931: U.S. premiere the action film “Dirigible” produced by Harry Cohn with a script co-authored by Jo Swerling.

1931: U.S. premiere of “Front Page” for which director Lewis Milestone received an Oscar nomination.

1931: In New York City, premiere of “Cracked Nuts” with music by Max Steiner.

1932: In Brooklyn Herman and Florence Davies gave birth to Clive Davis.

1932: “Zion, Ten Years Later” published today described the fundraising efforts of the Jewish Agency to raise $2,500,000 “of which hone million is to be raised in New York City” to go toward rebuilding the Jewish National Home in Palestine.

1933: In Germany, a Civil Service Law prohibiting Jews from holding public service jobs was adopted.

1933: A front-page article in the German-Jewish newspaper Jüdische Rundschau exhorted Jews to wear the identifying Yellow Star with the headline, Tragt ihn mit Stolz, den Gelben Fleck! (Wear it with Pride, the Yellow Badge!). The article was one of a series written a German Jew, Robert Weltsch, all of which were based on the same theme:"Say 'yes' to our Jewishness." The original article was written in response to the to the April 1, 1933 Nazi-led boycott of Jewish shops, which was the first meaningful anti-Jewish action of the newly-empowered Nazis,

1935: Sixty-eight year old Bettino Levi, “an intimate friend of Theodor Herzl” who has working to provide relief for Jewish refugees from Germany passed away today.  (As reported by JTA)

1935: American competitors at the 2nd Maccabiah in Tel Aviv came in first in their respective events.  Sybil Koff continued her winning ways in the 400 yard hurdles while “Abe Rosenkrantz captured the 1,500-meter run.”  Julius Finkelstein took the top spot in the shot put and James Sandler tied the Maccabiah record as he claimed first place in the high jump.  Lilian Copeland, who had done so well at the 1932 Olympics, won “both the javelin and discuss throws in the women’s division.”

1936(12th of Nisan, 5695): Shabbat HaGadol

1936(12th of Nisan, 5695): Forty-three year old Budapest born American “violinist, conductor and composer, best known for his song "Bluebird of Happiness" written in 1934 for Jan Peerce” passed away in Flemington, NJ toda.

1936: “The United Palestine Appeal issued a statistical analysis showing that 36,372 Jews from Germany entered Palestine from January, 1933 to December, 1935.”

1936: “The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced” today “that $10,000 had been sent to Jews in Poland and Germany for Passover relief and the purchase of kosher meat.”

1936: “At a dinner given his honor by a committee head by Stephen S. Wise and attended by 900 persons” “Eddie Cantor announced tonight at the Hotel Astor that he intended to go ‘from one end of the country to the other’ in an effort to raise funds to take as many German Jewish children out of Germany as possible.”

1936: One of the letters meant to reply to a political whispering campaign aimed at Secretary of Labor Perkins released tonight said that “there were no Jews in her ancestry” and that “If I were a Jew I would not secret of it” and “would be proud to acknowledge it.”

1936: It was reported today that “even under present restrictions the flight of Jewish capital is so serious a factor that any Jewish capitalist wishing to emigrate from Germany now is being visited by the Gestapo.” (Talk about gross rationalization for anti-Semitism)

1937(23rd of Nisan, 5697): Seventy-nine year old Henry Goldman the only member of Goldman-Sachs to support Germany during World War I and who moved to Germany in the early 1930’s only to barely escape back to the U.S. in 1936, passed away today.

1937: Twelve organizations participated in a meeting organized by the American Ort Federation to honor the memory New York civic leader Henry Moskowitz during which Mayor La Guardia testified to “his public service and intellectual honesty” and Governor Lehman said that “his sympathies knew no limits of race, color, creed or nationality.”

1937: The Palestine Post commented on the text of the 300-page memorandum submitted by the Jewish Agency to the Royal (Peel) Commission on Palestine. The agency pointed out that the duty of the Mandatory government was to establish the Jewish National Home in Palestine, to encourage Jews to immigrate, to help them to settle down and to develop self-governing institutions. The Crown Colonist, published in London, advocated Jewish settlement in Transjordan, as a means of getting that country out of its economic plight.

1938:Todayduring a heated House of Commons debate in which he had been criticizing the government's foreign policy, Manny Shinwell slapped the face of the Conservative MP Commander Robert Tatton Bower after Bower told him to "go back to Poland" because “Shinwell said he had taken this to be an anti-Semitic remark.”

1938: Arthur Sweetser, a director of the secretariat of the League of Nations met with President Roosevelt to discuss the fate of the Jews of Europe and proposal for a “rescue plan.  According to Mr. Sweetser, during the meeting, Roosevelt took credit for this latest proposal to deal with the problem. “Then Roosevelt turned more expansive and said ‘Suddenly it struck me: why not get all the democracies to unite to share the burden? After all, they own most of the free land of the world, and there only…what would you say, 14, 16, million Jews in the whole world of whom about half are already in the United States.  If we could divide up the remainder in groups of 8 or 10, there wouldn’t be any Jewish problem in three or four generations.’”

1939: Four year old Faisal II becomes King of Iraq. Faisal is the King of Iraq during the Israel War for Independence.  Iraq was the largest Arab state without a border with Israel that sent a major contingent “to drive the Jews into the sea.”  More importantly, Faisal was the last king of Iraq.  He was overthrown and murdered in a brutal revolt in 1958 when the Ba’ath Party (the party that would give us Saddam Hussein) came to power. 

1939: The Institut zur Erforschung des jüdischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben (Institute for the Study of Jewish Influence on German Church Life) was founded.

1940: FDR met in the White House today Michigan Senator Prentis M. Brown, the future senior partner of Brown, Lund and Levin.

1940: “I Love a Mystery” sponsored by Fleischmann’s Yeast and featuring Tony Randall (Aryeh Leonard Rosenberg) expanded to a 30 minute broadcast format today on NBC.

1942: Birthdate of New York native Elizabeth Levy, the author of over “eighty children’s books.”

1943: In the Bronx, Jack Espstein, a Toronto born salesman and his wife Evelyn gave birth to Michael Peter Epstein, the product of Fairfax High in Los Angeles and U.C., Berkeley who gained game as Major Leaguer first baseman Mike “SuperJew” Epstein.

1944: An Allied spy plane flying over Poland happened to photograph Auschwitz while documenting construction of a synthetic-fuels plant providing photographic proof of the existence of the death camp.

1944: German Holocaust victim Anne Frank, 14, wrote in her diary: 'I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift...of expressing all that is in me.'

1944(11th of Nisan, 5704): “Miss Irene Lewisohn, founder and co-director of the Neighborhood Playhouse School” passed away tonight.

1945: The 4th Armored Division and the 89th Infantry Division liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp.  It was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by the U.S. Army. General George S. Patton, Old Blood and Guts, described it as "one of the most appalling sights that I have ever seen."

1945: Birthdate of Daniel Marc Cohn-Bendit who gained famed as student protester in France known as "Danny the Red". Like many other radicals, this son of refugees from Hitler’s Germany later sought political respectability.  In his case, he became a lead of the European Greens and a member of the European Parliament.

1946: As international postal service is begun after a six year hiatus, large numbers of letters and postcards are sent to numerous locations including Tel Aviv.

1946: Eitan Livini was arrested today on charges that he had participated in the “Night of the Trains,” an Irgun led sabotage operation aimed bringing the British transportation infrastructure to a halt.

1947: After premiering in Miami, “The Sin of Harold Diddlebock,” a comedy featuring Lionel Stander and Julius Tannen was released in the United States today.

1948: Birthdate of Michael Kleiner, the native of Munich who made Aliyah in 1951 and whose career in politics led him to be elected President of the Supreme Court of Likud, “the party's highest judicial body in all matters pertaining to its constitution, and party members and divisions are subject to its decisions.”

1948: Following an attack in the Northern Negev,a Palmach Unit destroyed "nine Bedouin lay-bys and one mud hut."

1948: The Arab Liberation Army opened an attack on kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek with a barrage from 7 artillery pieces supplied by the Syrian Army which elicited a successful counter-attack by the Haganah.

1948: “As National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans, Julius Klein organized an enormous show of strength for the establishment of the State of Israel in the form of a JWV parade down New York's Fifth Avenue.”

1949: “Gabriel Haritos, as the Mayor of Rhodes, was the local partner for the proceedings for the initial talks between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, under the auspices of United Nations, at the Grande Albergo delle Rose (Hotel of Roses) in Rhodes” which had begun in January and came to an end today.

1949: French Labor Leader Leon Jouhaux, who is visiting Israel as a guest of the General Federation of Jewish Labor, was pelted with tomatoes and oranges by Communist hecklers tonight when he made a public address in Tel Aviv Museum.

1949: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion addressed the Knesset on the impact of the armistice signed yesterday with Trans-Jordan.

1950: Birthdate of “American poet, essayist, editor and literary scholar Charles Bernstein who is the husband of artist Susan Bee.

1951: U.S. premiere “I Can Get It for You Wholesale” a film adaptation of Jerome Weidman’s 1937 novel directed by Michael Gordon, produced by Sol C. Siegel, with a script by Abraham Polonsky and Vera Caspary and music by Sol Kaplan.

1951: In what was the first outbreak of anti-Semitism in postwar Austria, 26 Jews were wounded in Salzburg.  The first outbreaks of anti-Semitism in postwar Europe actually began in Poland.  This episode reinforces the notion that the Nazis were so successful because they had willing help from the local populations.

1951: Seven soldering were killed today in what is known as the “el-Hamma incident.”

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from The Hague that a critical stage had been reached in the reparations talks held there, after the German delegation, upon its return from Bonn, claimed that it had been denied any authority by the West German Federal Government.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that four Israeli passengers aboard a Cyprus Airways ended up in the Beirut airport. They were flying from Nicosia when heavy fog forced the emergency landing. The four Jewish passengers were allowed to proceed to Lod unharmed.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that on the eve of rather frugal Pesach holidays, Dr. Dov Joseph, minister of commerce and industry, promised a richer menu, better organization and more supplies for the forthcoming summer.

1953: Birthdate of Simcha Jacobovici the Israeli born “Canadian film director, producer, free-lance journalist, and writer.”

1953: Birthdate of Laurie Hope Beecham the Philadelphia native whose short career on Broadway included appearances in “Annie” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

1953: Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of FDR, met with Lazarus Joseph “to advocate for the preservation of social welfare projects.”

1954: Paddy Chayefsky’s teleplay “Mother” was broadcast by The Philco Televison Playhouse.

1960: Seventy-six year old German historian Wilhelm Herzog the author of Die Affäre Dreyfus (The Dreyfus Affair) which “was adapted as the British film “Dreyfus” in 1931 and as the 1937 play “I Accuse!” passed away today.

1960: “A Palm Tree in a Rose Guardian produced by David Susskind was broadcast as “The Play of the Week”

1960: Actress Shelley Winters (Shirley Schrift) won her first Academy Award for her performance as Mrs. Van Daan in the film version of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

1962: “A Thousand Clowns” featuring Gene Sakes as “Leo Harman” had a “preview” Broadway performance today.

1964: Anyone Can Whistle, a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim” opened on Broadway today at the Majestic Theatre.

1966 (14th of Nisan, 5726): Rabbi Alan Greenspan, a Chaplain in the United States Army, leads a Seder for 135 Americans in Saigon.  This simple statement does not do justice to the efforts of Rabbi Greenspan who overcame a wide-range of obstacles to pull off this fete.

1966 (14th of Nisan, 5726): General William Westmorland issued a Passover greeting to Jewish soldiers in which he compared the Freedom theme of the holiday with the American effort to provide freedom and security for the people of Viet Nam.

1967(23rd of Adar II, 5727): Mischa Elman passed away at the age of 76.  Another in a long list of world-class violinists who were Jewish, Elman was born in Kiev.  The child prodigy eventually made his way to the United States where he spent the bulk of his adult life.

1967(23rd of Adar II, 5727): Lyricist Al Lewis whose most famous work was “Blueberry Hill” passed away. Written in 1940, it gained everlasting fame when it was recorded by Fats Domino in 1956.

1967: Dr. Martin Luther King opened his “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in New York City by welcoming Rabbi Abraham Heschel.

1968: Larry Rosen, the owner of Smith’s Pharmacy at 14th and Clifton Streets, N.W. in Washington spent his last day at his business which would be burned down in the rioting that began tonight after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1968: The riots that erupted in several cities today led to the writing of Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960 in which historian Arnold R. Hirsch analyzed the impact of “institutional forces during World War II and the decades that followed, when millions of African Americans migrated to cities outside of the South, high-rise towers sprouted up in predominantly black neighborhoods and policymakers announced a cheery-sounding doctrine known as “urban renewal” — what writer James Baldwin would later dub “Negro removal.”

1971(9th of Nisan, 5731): Seventy year old Shlomo Yisrael Ben-Meir the native of Warsaw who arrived in Israel in 1950 after having worked as a lawyer in the United States and then served as an MK from 1952 until his death, passed away today.

1971: “Follies” “a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim,a book by James Goldman” and scenic designs by Boris Aronson opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater

1972(20th of Nisan, 5732): Sixty-nine year old German born, American composer Stefan Wolpe, passed away.

1972: Le Monde described Charles Bettelheim as "the most visible Marxists… in France as well as in Spain, Italy, Latin America, and India.”

1973: Attacks by four Arabs “on the Israeli Ambassador’s residence in Nicosia” and an Arkia plane at the Nicosia airport was thwarted today.

1973:  Birthdate of Magician David Blaine “the son of Patrice White, who may or may not have been a gypsy, but was certainly a Russian Jew living in Brooklyn” and is sometimes called a modern day Harry Houdini. 

1976(4th of Nisan, 5736): Sixty-seven year old Chicago native Louis James “Lou” Gordon who played tackle for Illinois from 1927 through 1929 so well that “football historian Dr. L.H. Baker to the All-Time Illini Team” and whose nine year NFL career including playing for the Green Bay Packers when they defeated the Boston Redskins for the Championship, passed away today.

1977: CBS broadcast the final episode of season five of “Maude” starring Bea Arthur in the title role

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat ended talks with French and German leaders by saying that he saw encouraging signs for the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference and the establishment of a permanent peace in the Middle East.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that El Al planes took off for overseas flights without cabin crews who had absented themselves to protest against El Al's refusal to compensate them for duty on holidays.

1978: Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue was added to the National Register of Historic Places

1979: Birthdate of actress Natasha Lyonne who appeared in Slums of Beverly Hills and FreewayII

1979: Joseph Stephen Stanford began serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

1980(18th of Nisan, 5740): Fourth Day of Pesach

1980(18th of Nisan, 5740): Seventy-one year old movie director Aleksander Ford who was born Mosze Lifszyc in Kiev, passed away today.


1981(29th of Adar II, 5741): Icko Wakmann, retired president of the Relide Clock Company in Manhattan and founder of the Wakmann Watch Company and father of Tel Aviv resident Margalit Zwiebel passed away at the age of 86.

1982: The New York Times publishes a review of “Kibbutz Makom Report From an Israeli Kibbutz” by Amia Lieblich.

1982: In recognition of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's 80th birthday, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled have issued House Joint Resolution 447 to set aside today as a "National Day of Reflection."

1983: Responding to Iraqi charges that Israel was guilty of ''mass poisoning'' of Palestinian schoolgirls in the West Bank, the Security Council tonight called on Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to investigate ''the causes and effects of the serious problem of the reported cases of poisoning.'' The ambiguous language, necessary to win the approval of all 15 Council members, left open the question of whether the schoolgirls had actually been poisoned and left up to the Secretary General to decide whether the outside medical teams summoned by Israel meet the demand for ''independent inquiries.'' The Council issued its statement through this month's president, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick of the United States. A presidential statement has less political force than a resolution, but the arrangement spared the Council an open meeting. Some Arab diplomats said they would not welcome inflammatory speeches, particularly if the inquiries disclose no poisoning has taken place. Mrs. Kirkpatrick had arranged the outlines of this solution in meetings last Friday with Riyadh al-Qaysi of Iraq, chairman of the Arab group, and Abdullah el-Salah of Jordan, the Council's Arab member. In his letter convoking the Council, Mr. Qaysi charged that ''mass poisoning'' had struck ''more than 1,000 Palestinian schoolgirls.'' He said the poisoning was ''caused by a yellow substance containing sulfur concentrates which emitted poisonous gases with dangerous physical and psychological consequences.'' Yehuda Z. Blum, the Israeli delegate, who termed the charges ''irresponsible and unfounded,'' rejected the Council statement and said references in it to poisoning were ''completely unwarranted.''

1984: NBC broadcast the first episode of “Double Trouble” a sitcom starring Jean and Liz Sagal whose executive producers including Saul Turteltaub.

1985: Birthdate of Israeli tennis player Dudi Sela

1987(5th of Nisan, 5747): Michael Redstone, the media mogul whose companies included CBS and Viacom, passed away.

1987: Annette Greenfield Strauss won a plurality of the vote for Mayor of Dallas. Winning a run-off election on April 18, she became the city's first elected woman mayor.

1988: Publication of “Chasing a Chameleon - Trebitsch Lincoln” in the 38th Volume of History Today.


1992(1st of Nisan, 5752): Rosh Chodesh Nisan/Shabbat Ha-Chodesh

1992(1st of Nisan, 5752): Samuel "Sammy" Herman Reshevsky, a chess prodigy and grand chess master passed away.  Reshevsky was an Orthodox Jew who did not play on Shabbat.

1993: Israeli tennis star Amos Mansdorf was the runner-up at today’s tournament in Osaka, Japan.

1996(15th of Nisan, 5756): Pesach

1997: Today’s edition of The Jewish Press “quoted from ‘A Historic Declaration’, issued by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis on March 31” which began “Reform and Conservative are not Judaism at all.”

1998: Shabbat Hagadol

1999: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including “Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story” by Michael Isikoff and “The Rise and Fall of the House of Barneys: A Family Tale of Chutzpah, Glory and Greed” by Joshua Levine.

1999: In an article by Bill Kent published today, John Mulloy, president of Ginsburg's bread bakery laments the fate of his company’s sales during Pesach.

'What happens to our bread business during Passover?'' sighed John Mulloy, president of Ginsburg's bread bakery here. ''It dies!'' During the eight days of Passover, Jews refrain from eating all foods made from grains except matzah, a flat, cracker-like wheat bread that Mr. Mulloy does not make. ''In the old days the Ginsburgs would just close up and take a vacation when Passover came around,'' Mr. Mulloy went on. ''We never close.'' What started as a family-run business on Atlantic Avenue in 1903 that made bread and cakes for Boardwalk hotels now employs 120 and occupies an entire city block at Mediterranean and New York Avenues. All of the casino hotels use Ginsburg's baked goods. The bread is also sold in six supermarket chains in the area. And eight regional distributors put the bread on grocery shelves as far away as Flordia and California. In the 20 years Mr. Mulloy has owned the bakery, Ginsburg's three Israeli-made, natural gas-fired Thermatron ovens have never grown cold. ''There were some bad years when the business went up and down,'' said Mr. Mulloy, who owned a delicatessen in Philadelphia and ''raised four sons on corned beef specials.'' He bought the bakery from the Ginsburgs with a partner in 1979 partly because of its Jewish rye bread. ''Even in Philadelphia, where you could get all the good Jewish rye you wanted, my customers would rave about the Ginsburg rye. For some of them, before the casinos opened up, it was the only reason to go to Atlantic City.'' Two years later, after moving to the area, Mr. Mulloy bought out his partner and turned over the management of the bakery to his sons -- John, 33; Michael, 32; Dan, 30; and Chris, 29 -- who learned the peculiar difficulties of doing business with a casino industry whose buyers can be notoriously fickle and take four months to pay their bills. An attempt to sell the bread through a retail storefront failed, he said, when ''tourists just couldn't find us.'' ''There were other times when we didn't think we'd make it,'' Mr. Mulloy said. ''But, as locations go, this one has been very good to us.'' The plant uses no milk ingredients in its dough and is inspected yearly by a panel of local rabbis who assure that its preparation techniques and products are in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. Beyond saying that his plant uses about 75 tons of flour each week, Mr. Mulloy would not disclose how much bread his bakery produces, or how much sales decrease during Passover. ''But there is enough of a downturn for us to use the holiday to make improvements to the plant,'' he said. Ginsburg's has just begun a $1.5 million renovation ''that will just make us a little bit more efficient'' -- in time for September, when the demand for chalah peaks at Rosh Hashanah.

2000: Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary delivered the first public lecture sponsored by the John Cardinal O'Connor Distinguished Chair in Hebrew and Sacred Scripture at St. Joseph's Seminary.

2002(22nd of Nisan, 5762): 8th day of Pesach and 7th day of the Omer

2002(22nd of Nisan, 5762): During Operation Defensive Shield a member of the Israel Border Police was killed by terrorists when they went to arrest a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade at Hebron.

2002(22nd of Nisan, 5762): “Rachel Charhi, 36, of Bat-Yam, critically injured in a suicide bombing in a cafe on the corner of Allenby and Bialik streets in Tel-Aviv on March 30, died of her wounds. Some 30 others were injured in the attack. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility.”

2002(22nd of Nisan, 5762): During Operation Defensive Shield Border Police Supt. Patrick Pereg, 30, of Rosh Ha'ayin, head of operations in an undercover unit, was killed Thursday while attempting to arrest a wanted member of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

2002(22nd of Nisan, 5762): During Operation Defensive Shield Sgt.-Maj.(res.) Einan Sharabi, 32, of Rehovot; Lt. Nissim Ben-David, 22, of Ashdod; and St.-Sgt. Gad Ezra, 23, of Bat-Yam were killed today.

2003: After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival six months ago “Phone Booth” an urban terror film directed by Joel Schumacher, produced by David Zucker and written by Larry Cohen was released in the United States today.

2005(24th of Adar II, 5765):  Edward Bronfman, Canadian financier and philanthropist passed away at the age of 77.  Part of “the other Bronfmans” to distinguish him and his brother from the more famous Edgar Bronfman family, Edward Bronfman amassed business holdings valued at $80 million.  His generosity and in recognition of his other contributions to the civic good earned Bronfman  the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

2006: Eightieth birthday of Sami Rohr.

2006: “While turning the pages of The Miami Herald” Sami Rohr “was surprised by a large advertisement announcing a new literary award” – The Sami Rohr Prize – that his three children had created without his knowledge to honor him. “It’s the largest prize of its kind in North America, in terms of the amount,” and gives “authors an opportunity to take time off to pursue their craft’” which furthered Rohr’s desire “to make sure that Jewish literature would thrive for generations.”

2006: Paula Abdul filed a report at a Hollywood police station claiming she had been a victim of battery at a private party…"According to Abdul, the man at the party argued with her, grabbed her by the arm and threw her against a wall," L.A.P.D. Lt. Paul Vernon said. "She said she had sustained a concussion and spinal injuries

2006: The Justice Ministry confirmed that Yona Metzger would not be able to continue as chief rabbi if the dayanim Appointment Committee disqualifies him from serving as a judge in the High Rabbinic Court

2006: In “With Yoga, Comedy and Parties, Synagogues Entice Newcomers,”  published today Michel Luo reports on the development of Jewish outreach programs

2007: New Mexico’s Bosque Redondo State Monument, a site commemorating “The Long Walk” hosts the traveling exhibition “Anne Frank: A History for Today.”

2007: “A little over three weeks after Robert “Bob” Levinson was arrested, an article today by Iranian state-run PressTV stated that he "has been in the hands of Iranian security forces since the early hours of March 9" and "authorities are well on the way to finishing the procedural arrangements that could see him freed in a matter of days". The same article explained that it was established that Levinson's trip to Kish "was purely that of a private businessman looking to make contact with persons who could help him make representations to official Iranian bodies responsible for suppressing trade in pirated products which is a major concern of his company.”

2007: An exhibition styled “Landmarks” presented by students of the Jewelry and Fashion department at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design comes to a close.

2007916th of Nisan, 5767): Second Day of Pesach.

2007: Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehinten, the ranking Republican on the House (of Representatives) Foreign Affairs Committee “stated at a Congressional Hearing” that “‘Jews who were born in Arab countries have lost their resources, their homes, their heritage, and their heritage sites.’” During these same hearings, Irwin Cotler, a member of the Canadian Parliament and a former Justice minister argued that “’the rights for Jewish refugees from Arab countries have to a party of any peace process if tht peace process is to have any integrity.’”

2007: Today “a little over three weeks after Robert Levinson was arrested, an article by Iranian state-run PressTV stated that he "has been in the hands of Iranian security forces since the early hours of March 9" and "authorities are well on the way to finishing the procedural arrangements that could see him freed in a matter of days

2008: The Youth Department of Congregation Beth Judea holds a special Friday Evening Shabbat Service led by the Kadinkers, the Kadima and the members of USY.  The service is preceded by a traditional kosher dinner.  Founded in 1969, the synagogue is in Long Grove, Il and serves families located in nearby Wheeling and Buffalo Grove.  Its website provides an on-line entry into the world of synagogue music. http://www.bethjudea.org/

2008: Army radio reported that Palestinian militants had opened fire on farmers working in the fields of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, near Gaza. Thirty of the fieldworkers being shot at were volunteers from kibbutzim from different parts of Israel who had come to aid their counterparts at Ein Hashlosha, which has been the target of repeated sniper attacks

2008: Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida announced today that sniper fire from Hamas' military wing, which wounded Public Security Minister Avi Dichter's bureau chief near Gaza, was in fact aimed at the minister himself. Dichter's senior aide Mati Gil sustained moderate wounds in the attack, but the minister himself was not hurt.

2008: The city of Montreal stated it planned to allow demolition of the building that housed Bens De Luxe Delicatessen and Restaurant originally opened by Ben and Fanny Kravitz in 1908.

2009(10th of Nisan, 5769): In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at Temple Judah, the Traditional Saturday morning minyan celebrates Shabbat Hagadol

2009: Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv hosts the city's Centennial Opening Gala. A showcase for top Israeli and International artists, the event includes an impressive 360-degree audiovisual display and performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Israeli Opera.

2009: Retired American soccer play Daniel Jacob "Dan" Calichman “was honored by the Galaxy in a pre-game match ceremony.”

2009: Several hours after IDF soldiers killed two Palestinian terrorists who were trying to plant a bomb along the Gaza border fence, Border Police forces killed a terrorist who tried to carry out a shooting attack at their base in the Negev this afternoon.

2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently published paperback edition of One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict by Benny Morris, “the father of Israel’s ‘new historians’” who “was convinced by the failed 2000 Camp David summit that Israel could do nothing to make Arab Muslims agree to its existence as a Jewish state” and “ now sees the two-state solution as a fantasy” while rejecting  “the so-called one-state solution as a call for Israel’s elimination.”

2010: “Tulane University President Scott Cowen received the Times-Picayune Loving.”

2011: Larry Page “officially became chief executive of Google.”

2011: A revival production of “The House of Blue Leaves” starring Ben Stiller began its preview performances at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

2011: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Leo Baeck Institute are scheduled to present a rare interview with Nobel Laureate Elfriede Jelinek as part of a program entitled “Rechnitz: Austria's Dirty Little Secret.”

2011: SheshBesh - The Arab-Jewish Ensemble of the IPO – is scheduled to perform in New York City.

2011:La Rafle,” a film described as “a European Schindler’s List” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2011(29th of Adar II, 5711): Actor Juliano Mer-Kham was gunned down in Jenin.

2011(29th of Adar II, 5711): Fifty-one year old John Adler who “was a U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011” passed away today.

2011(29th of Adar II, 5711): Ninety year old William Prussoff  “a pharmacologist at the Yale School of Medicine who, with a colleague, developed an effective component in the first generation of drug cocktails used to treat AIDS” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2011(29th of Adar II): Anniversary of the giving of the first commandment to the Jewish people. “Shortly before sundown on the 29th of Adar, G-d commanded Moses regarding the mitzvah of sanctifying the crescent new moon and establishing a lunar calendar. This is the first mitzvah the Jews were given as a nation.”

2011: Dirar Abu Sisi was Hamas's leading missile developer according to an indictment filed today at the Beersheba District Court. Abu Sisi was reportedly abducted by Israel over a month ago as he was traveling on a train in Ukraine and brought to Israel for interrogation. According to the indictment, Abu Sisi received his doctorate in engineering in Ukraine in the 1990s and studied with some of the leading Ukrainian military engineers. After returning to the Gaza Strip, he was recruited into Hamas by the military commander of the terrorist organization at the time, Salah Shehada, and began working as one of their leading engineers for short- and long-range missiles.

2011: The Lehi considered killing Winston Churchill, The Telegraph reported today, citing declassified MI5 files. Eliyahu Bet-Zuri, a member of the underground group during the time of the British mandate, reportedly suggested in November 1944 that Lehi, or Stern Gang, members fly to London to kill the prime minister and force the British out of Mandatory Palestine, sparking concern in MI5 that Jewish extremists might try to assassinate foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, as well. "As soon as [Bet-Zuri] returned to Stern Group headquarters, he proposed to suggest a plan for the assassination of highly placed British political personalities, including Mr. Churchill, for which purpose emissaries should be sent to London," a sources within the Lehi told Major James Robertson from MI5's Middle East section. Four months later, Bet-Zuri was executed in Cairo for assassinating Lord Moyne, the British Minister in the Middle East.

2011: Requests from charities around the country for food aid packages to help feed the country’s growing needy population have nearly doubled this year compared to last year, Israel’s largest food bank, Leket, reported today. (As reported by Ruth Eglash)

2012: “The Kid With a Bike” is one of the films scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012: The Yuval Ron Ensemble is scheduled to present a program that explores music of the ancient biblical Hebrew, Yemenite and Babylonian musical traditions, in Manhattan, Kansas.

2012(12th of Nisan, 5772): On the 12th of Nissan, 3412, Ezra departed from the river of Ahava, for Eretz Israel. This was part of the return from the Babylonian Exile that would lead to the building of the Second Temple and the regular, public reading of the Torah.

2012: Ruth Goodman and Gabi Gabay are scheduled to lead a program of Israeli Dancing at the 92nd Street Y.

2013: A renewal contract for the “Judge Judy” television show with Judith Sheindlin in the title role extended the show through the 2016-2017 season.

2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “At the Edge of the Jewish World: Central Asia’s Bukharan Jews.

2013: As part of the lecture series 'FilmTalk: The Jewish Villian', the Wiener Library is scheduled to present “Reviewing Fagin, 1948-2005”

 2013: The Jewish Theological Seminary is scheduled to host “a concert starring the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble” that “will feature the music of prominent Jewish and African American jazz composers” and “will explore the singular connections between the compositions and the cultures.”

2013: The White House will not hold a Jewish History Month event this year because of the sequester. The White House will not hold a Jewish History Month event this year because of the sequester. A White House official confirmed to JTA that the reception, which usually takes place toward the end of May, would not take place this year because of the congressionally mandated across-the-board budget cuts that kicked in last month.

2013: More than 100 U.S. Jewish leaders urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make clear "Israel’s readiness to make painful territorial sacrifices for the sake of peace."

2013: Women who recite the Mourner's Kaddish at the Western Wall will not be arrested, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said he has been assured, despite a police vow to enforce a ban.

2014: Congregants at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa are scheduled to take a trip down memory lane with “Retro-Reform” Shabbat Evening Services featuring Gates of Prayer, the prayerbook which was considered ground-breaking when introduced just a few decades ago.

2014: The 12th annual Austin Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end today.

2014: “The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers” and “Aya with Wherever You Go” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Cedar Rapids Gazette is scheduled to publish a feature story about Cesare Frustaci the survivor of the Nazi ghetto in Budapest who will be the featured speaker at the upcoming Yom Hashoah Service sponsored by The Thaler Holocaust Remembrance Fund.

2014: In Spain, a Family Reunion, Centuries Later

2014: “A Legendary Mossad Commander Steps from the Shadows” published today explores the life and times of Mike Harari.

2015: Francis J. Pruitt, the author of Faith and Courage in a Time of Trouble, “a memoir of a Belgian-Jewish girl and her family who were saved during the Nazi occupation of France through the compassion and heroism of French peasants from the southern part of the country” is scheduled to appear at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2015(15th of Nisan, 5775): Eighty-two year old actor and playwright Ira Lewis passed away today.

2015(15th of Nisan, 5775): First day of Pesach coincides with observance of Shabbat.

2016: “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” and “Are You Joking?/ The Plagues” are scheduled to be shown at the Hartford, CT, Jewish Film Fest.

2016: Today, Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago Bulls “was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor.

2016: “Aliyah Dada” and “The Prime Ministers II: Soldiers and Peacemakers” are scheduled to be shown today at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2017: Publication of Survivor: A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust by Harry Borden

2017: In Des Moines, The Iowa Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host a luncheon featuring three Israelis – Sandee Illouz, the founder and director of EREZ College Shlomi; Noa Kali of the Kadar Center for Innovative Learning Approches and Yoram Poslinsky, the director of the community Center Network in Akko and the found of the Rosh Pinnna Music School and Orchestra.

2018(19th of Nisan, 5778): Fifth Day of Pesach

2018: In Memphis, TN, Rabbi Feivel Strauss is scheduled to focus on Jesus as part of the Great Jewish Renegades series.

2018: In Jerusalem, The Tower of David is scheduled to host a public reading of “Young David and the Pitcher.

2018: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host the NYC premiere screen of “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II,” a documentary ‘Directed by Lisa Ades, Produced by Amanda Bonavita, and Written by Maia Harris” that tells the story of the more than half a million Jewish Americans “who served in WW II.”

2018: “Remember Baghdad,” “an exploration of the rich Jewish life and culture that had flourished in Iraq before the events of the 20th and early 21st centuries dramatically changed the course of the country – and the fate of its Jews” and “The Outer Circle,” “a portrait of four generations of the Fattals as they gather for their annual feast in Mama’s house on Rosh Hashanah” are scheduled to be shown at the CCA Glasgow, in Glasgow, Scotland.









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