Wednesday, May 9, 2018

This Day, May 10, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

May 10

70: During the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus, the commander of the Roman legions and the son of Emperor Vespasian, opens a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city's Third Wall to the northwest.

1013: After three long years of fighting which destroyed the cities of Jaen, Algecrias, Malaga and Valencia, the Muslim Berber tribesmen from North Africa took over the city of Cordoba, replacing the Umayyad Arabs. This shift in power did not have a negative impact on the Jewish population of Moorish Spain as they continued to play a similar role in the more decentralized world of the Berbers.

1267: A Church synod, meeting in Vienna, ordered Jews to wear distinctive garb.

 1427: All Jews were ordered expelled from Berne, Switzerland. Expulsions of Jewish communities continued unabated throughout the 15th century: Treves, 1419; duchy of Austria, 1421; Cologne, 1424; Zurich, 1436; archbishopric of Hildesheim, 1457; Schaffhausen, 1472; Mayence, 1473; Warsaw, 1483; Geneva, 1490; Thurgau, 1491; Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, Lithuania, 1492; Mecklenburg and Arles, 1493; Portugal, 1497; Nuremberg 1499; Provence, 1500. 

1484(15th of Iyar): First auto-da-fe was held in Saragosa, Spain.

1484: The Inquisitor at Saragossa, General Gaspar Juglar was found dead, possibly the victim of a poisoning. This happened shortly after the first auto-de-fe took place in the city.

1529: Suleiman the Magnificent launched his campaign to secure control of Hungary.  The campaign would lead to the unsuccessful siege of Vienna in the fall which would mark the high-water mark of Turkish attempts to take control of Europe with all that that would mean for Christians, Moslems and especially Jews.

1634: William Prynne, an opponent Jews settling in England was pilloried for a second time as part of his punishment for opposing the production of plays.

1655: The British capture Jamaica from Spanish opening the door for Jews to settle in the island colony.

1682(2nd of Iyar, 5442): The largest auto da fe was held in Lisbon: One hundred and seventeen persons were judged within three days, including a ninety-one year old woman.

1682(2nd of Iyar, 5442): Abraham Lopez Pereira and Isaac da Fonseca were burned at the stake.

1772: Birthdate of Mathias Bush, the native of Prague who came to “New York in the 1740’s” before moving on to Philadelphia where he became a naturalized citizen in 1749, married into the Gratz family, became a leading merchant, a supporter of the American Revolution and the patriarch of the Bush clan that included Solomon Bush who rose to the rank of Lt. Col. In the Continental Army.

1774: Abraham Solomon married Elizabeth Low at Marblehead, Massachusetts.  Solomon was Jewish, a fact reinforced by the fact that he signed his name in Hebrew on the muster roll so that he could receive his pay while serving in the Continental Army. 

1774:  Louis XVI begins his reign as King of France.  Basically, Louis followed the policy of his predecessors when it came to the Jews of France.  “The established, finance ally comfortable Sephardim of Bordeaux, Bayonne and Marseilles” enjoyed the privileges granted by Louis XV.  “These privileges had been purchased with a ll0, 000-livres payment in honor of his coronation.”

The Ashkenazi community of Alsace suffered the abuse and taxation that had been their lot since the days of Louis XIV.  Of course part of this difference in treatment may have been caused by the fact that Alsace was Germanic province that France had taken as a spoil of war.  The French were always suspicious of those living in this border province, Jew and non-Jew alike.

1789: Birthdate of Jared Sparks, the American historian, Unitarian Minister and President of Harvard who “became interested in Haym Solomon’s career and validated the importance of the Jewish businessman to the American revolution when he wrote “that Salomon’s associations with Robert Morris ‘were very close and intimate and that a great part of the success that Mr. Morris attained in his financial schemes was to the skill and ability of Haym Solomon.’”

1792(18th of Iyar, 5552): Lag B’omer

1792: Asher Jacobs married Esther Israel at the Great Synagogue today.

1799: French troops under Napoleon make one last assault in their futile attempt to conquer Acre.  If the assault had succeeded would history have been changed?  Would Bonaparte have honored the grandiose statements about making Palestine a home for the Jews?  Given his “inconsistency” in other areas, it would probably have depended on his needs at the time.  

1801: Birthdate of Paul Tulane the businessman whose endowment paved the way for the renaming of the university which was originally known as the Medical College of Louisiana to Tulane University whose many Jewish graduates include Professor Stephen Whitfield.  As of 2009, Tulane’s Jewish population ranked number 9 in a list of 30 private universities. Tulane is home to a Jewish Studies program that has been led by the distinguished author and educator Professor Brian Horowitz.

1801: American involvement in the Middle East would begin when the Barbary Pirates of Tripoli (North Africa, not Lebanon) declares war against the United States in what became known as the First Barbary War.  American Jews first became involved in the area when Colonel David Franks negotiated a treaty with Morocco back in 1786.  Jewish involvement would continue when President Madison sent Mordecai Manuel Noah to negotiate with Tunisia based Barbary Pirates for the release of imprisoned American sailors in 1813.  The appointment of Noah “helped establish a tradition of appointing American Jews to Middle Eastern diplomatic posts.  (For more about this fascinating intersection of American and Jewish history see Power, Faith and Fantasy by Michael B. Oren.)

1808: The Westphalian chief of police, a French official named Savagner, entered “The Green Shield.”  The Green Shield was both the home and the business center for Rothschild in Frankfurt.  Savagner and the troopers, who accompanied him, searched the premises looking for proof that Rothschild was plotting with Whilhelm.

1810(6th of Iyar): Rabbi Joshua Ha-Kohen Perahyah, author of Vayikra Yehoshua passed away today

1813: Birthdate of Gustav Christian Schwabe a German-born British “merchant and financier who funded companies such as John Bibby & Sons, Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line.”  At the age of six, Schwabe and his family “were forced to convert to Lutheranism.”

1815: Gabriel Oppenheim married Elizabeth Davis at the Great Synagogue today.

1815: Samuel Solomons married Sophia Davis at the Hambro Synagogue today.

1816: Birthdate of Joseph Mayer Montefiore, the native of London who was a nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore

1837: As the Panic of 1837 (a 19th century version of the 20th century Great Depression) worsens banks in New York fail and unemployment reaches record levels. Some Jews prospered during this period while others struggled. Isaiah Moses, a South Carolina merchant and planter was forced to borrow money from Beth Elohim’s charity fund, Karen Kayemet to help maintain his lifestyle. On the other hand August Belmont, representing the Rothschilds, arrived in New York during the Panic. He used his newly created August Belmont & Company to reform and improve the business interests of the House of Rothschild over the next five years.

1838: Sixty-one year old Heinrich Marx, the father of Karl Marx, who unlike his was Prussian patriot and monarchist and who became a Lutheran because the law forbade Jews to hold positions in the legal system passed away today.

1839: Ernestine Jaffé and Schiee Jaffé gave birth to Alwine Waldenburg

1842: In  Rhenish Palatinate, Jacob Sulzbacher and Regine Schwartz gave birth to Louis Sulzbacher, the husband of Pauline Flersheim and the United States for the Western District of Indian Territory and “first continental American appointed as Associate Justice of the newly created Supreme Court of Puerto Rico in 1900.”

1843: Birthdate of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, leader of the Reform Movement in the United States.  Born and educated in Germany, Kohler came to the United States in 1869 to serve as Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Detroit.  The following year he married the daughter of Dr. David Einhorn, the Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in New York and the leading Reform rabbi of his day.  Kohler followed his father-in-law in that position and supported his views when he helped write the 1885 Reform Platform.  He was elected President of Hebrew Union College and died in 1926.

1849(18th of Iyar, 5609): Lag B'Omer

1849: Bernard Sondheim served with the Tenth Regiment of New York State Militia when it quelled the Astor Place Riot, also known as the Forrest-Maready Riots, a unique outbreak of public violence caused by competing fans of two different thespians.

1855: A group of Jews who have converted to Christianity are scheduled to meet tonight at the

Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in Manhattan under the auspices of the American Hebrew Christian Association.

1860: Lewis Collins married Martha Cohen today

1861: Secretary of War Cameron and President Lincoln officially accepted Major Mordecai's resignation thus ending a 38 year military career of what was at that time, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the U.S. Army.

1864: Alfred A. Rinehard, a Captain serving with Company of the 148th Regiment was wounded at Po River, Viriginia.

1865: As the Confederacy crumbled at the end of the Civil War, Judah P. Benjamin completed his terms as the third and last Secretary of State of the CSA.

1866: In Vilna, Boruch M. Friederman and his wife gave birth to Solomon Jacob Friederman who was ordained by Rabbi Isaac Eichanan Spector in Kovno before serving as the rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Jerusalem and Congregation Kol Israel in New York City.

1866:  Birthdate of Leon Bakst.  Born Lev Rosenberg in what is now Belarus, Bakst “was a Russian painter and scene- and costume- designer who revolutionized the arts he worked in.” In 1893 he produced a self-portrait that hung in the Sate Russian Museum in, St. Petersburg.

He passed away in 1924.

1868: “Mr. Disraeli and Judaism” published today summarized the view expressed by The Jewish Chronicle that Benjamin Disraeli has been a Christian since he was either five or six years old at which time a friend of Disraeli’s father took young Benjamin to a church in Hackney where he was baptized.

1868: Abraham Nathan married Katherine Lyons today at the Great Synagogue.

1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah (not Promontory Point, Utah) with the golden spike. When the Union Pacific, one of the two companies building the railroad, entered Utah the Auberach brothers (Fred, Sam and Theodore) opened tent stores in Bryan, Wyoming and Promontory, Utah to meet the needs of the burgeoning population  The Auberachs were so successful that they opened a permanent store in Ogden, Utah in 1869 and Salt Lake City in 1873.

1872:  Birthdate of Marcel Mauss, “a French sociologist best known for his role in elaborating on and securing the legacy of his uncle, Émile Durkheim and the Annee Sociologique and the author of The Gift. He passed away in 1950.

1873: Myer Stern the President of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society and a trustee of Temple Emanu-El was among the mayor’s nominees for Commissioners of Charities and Correction in New York City. Born in 1824, Stern came to the United States at the age of 16 and has lived in New York since 1847.  “A large, robust vigorous-looking man with a rather pleasant expression,” Stern is a Reform Democrat who had the support of the Republicans when he ran for the State Senate.          

1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a patent for their unique manner of manufacturing jeans.

1874: Birthdate of Moses Schorr, a Polish Rabbi, Polish historian, politician, Bible scholar, Assyriologist and orientalist who died in Soviet prison camp in 1941.

1877:  Romania declares itself independent from Turkey.  Under the Treaty of Berlin signed in 1878, the Jews of Romania were to receive full citizenship. 

1877: The will of Henry Grass, a New York clothier who died in April, was filed in Surrogate’s Court today.  The estate was valued at $75,000. The will opened with an invocation “In the name of the God of Israel, Amen.”  Grass left $300 to his niece Jetha and a thousand dollars to the daughters of his brother Abraham “on condition that they ‘marry according to the Jewish law.’”  He left $100 bequests to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew congregation on 57th street between 1st and 2nd avenues.  He left one third of the residue of the estate to his wife Rebecca and the remainder was to be divided equally among his six children.

1879: Today’s “Foreign News” column reported that there had been 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(17th of Iyar, 5639): Seventy-five year old Russian Hebrew scholar Benzion Berkowitz known for his study of the Targum Onkelos passed away today at Wilna.

1879: Based on information provided by a correspondent for the Neue Zilricher Zeitgung it was reported today that in the first week of April the Jews of Satschcheri had been massacred after the body of a Christian child had been found in the woods. Seven Jews were accused by the Christian villagers of having killed the child and hidden the body to be used in a holiday sacrifice. The district judge dismissed the charges because the medical witness said the child had died of natural causes and the wounds on the body had been inflicted by wild enemies. Ax-wielding Christian villagers attacked the Jews who were celebrating their deliverance, killing at least six and wounding several more.  The correspondent claimed that the local Greek Orthodox priest had incited the attack
1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Wasilkow and Konotop, Russia.

1882: Alliance, a Jewish agricultural settlement, was founded in New Jersey. Alliance was financed by Alliance Israelite Universelle headquartered in Paris. It was part of a movement to have Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe settle away from major metropolitan areas in the United States and Great Britain. 

1883: Birthdate of Eugen Leviné, the Russian born, German educated communist revolutionary.

1883: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Craiova, Rumania.

1883: Josephine and 27 year old Henry Morgenthau, Sr. were wed today in New York City

1885(25th of Iyar, 5645): Seventy-three year old composer and conductor Ferdinand Hiller whose star pupil was Max Bruch the non-Jew who composed the cello elegy for Kol Nidrei passed away today.

1885(25th of Iyar, 5645): Sixty year old Russian author Grigori Isaacovich Bogrov whose first work, Memoirs of a Jew, “portrayed the vicissitudes of his life and surroundings’”

1885: “Welcoming a New Rabbi” published today described the first service conducted by Rabbi Alexander Kohut at Temple Ahavath Chesed.  The Hungarian native had replaced another Hungarian native, Adolph Huebsch who passed away last October. In his opening sermon, Kohut paid tribute to his new home, promised to be an apostle of peace and spoke so movingly of his predecessors that some of the congregants were moved to tears.

1888(29th of Iyar, 5648): Sixty-five year old Michael Heilprin passed away.

1888: In Vienna, Gábor Steiner, “a Viennese impresario, carnival exposition manager, and inventor, responsible for building the Wiener Riesenrad” and his wife gave birth to Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner who gained fame as Max Steiner was born in Vienna and supposedly studied under Mahler.  He came to the United States in the 1930's, a composer for films who  produced musical themes for such films as “Casablanca,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “The Summer Place” and most famous of all “Tara’s Theme,” the award winning score  “Gone With the Wind.”

1890: It was reported today “the upper house of the Prussian Diet has adopted a resolution calling upon the government to remedy the evils arising from the large number of Jews in the public schools”  by excluding “the juvenile Jews while still taxing the adult Jews for the cost of public education.

1890: “Complaining of the Jews” published today described the reaction of Her von Gosler, the Minister of Public Instruction in Prussia to proposals that Jewish children be excluded from public schools.  He said that “such an attempt would force the nation in a position leading to disruption instead of union.”  To him, this is a matter of educational policy and not subject to “political demand.”

1891: “Tories Not So Happy Now” published today described the rising fortunes of the Liberal Party which is due in part to a return of the Jews to this political party.  “Under the glamour of Disraeli’s example it became quite the fashion for” Jews to join the Conservative Party. Now, as Jews are confronted with “outside persecution” they recall the debt they owe to the Liberal Party.  Among those leading the change are Baron de Stern and H.S. Leon, the son of clockmaker who has reportedly amassed a fortune of 15 million dollars and has sought to be a leader of the Anglo-Jewish community.

1891: The increase of this week’s issue of The Hebrew Standard from 16 to 24 pages is reported to be permanent.  The Hebrew Standard “is now the largest Jewish paper published in the United State. “It is intended to be a Jewish family paper” without any congregational affiliation.

1891: Nearly three hundred Jewish children were vaccinated today the Bureau of Contagious Diseases.

1892: “Strikes Turn Into Riots” published today described the violent attacks on the Jews of Lodz by workers who have been on strike since May Day. After attacking the mills where they had worked the strikers turned their wrath on the Jewish community which actively defended itself.  Local authorities could not quell the disturbance, but the military units called in showed their sympathy with the rioters and did not defend the Jews.

1893: Three people escaped being asphyxiated today at a tenement on Eldridge Street which is occupied by Jewish immigrants from Russia.

1893: In can only be described as a “starting” development, it was reported today that the Russian government to hold a meeting of Rabbis in the Autumn to discuss “the Jewish question.” This comes in the wake of the governments announced plan for expelling a million and half Jews living in the Polish part of the Russian Empire. 

1895: “Meeting of Jewish Woman’s Council” published today described the groups plans for holding a fundraising fair in December and a request from London to assist in establishing schools for Russian Jews who have moved to Jerusalem.

1895: Birthdate of Oskar Klein who was murdered at Jajdanek in 1942

1895: Birthdate of Laura Maria Buntenbach-Kugler, the wife of Victor Kugller who was one of those who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family.

1896(27th of Iyar, 5656): Lea "Lisette" Koppel Waldstein, the wife of Ephraim Walstein and the mother of Sophie and Zadok Waldsein, passed away today in Munich.

1897: In New Orleans, Prague native Reform Rabbi Maximilian Heller, the son of Simon Heller and Mathilde Kassanowitz and Ida Annie Heller gave birth to Ruth Heller who was the wife of George Lion Cohen and Albert Steiner.

1898(18th of Iyar, 5658): Lag B’Omer

1898: First Sergeant Frank Wolf of Lincoln, Sergeant Henry Jacob of Bellwood and Privates William Assenheimer, William J. Koopman, Eugene Meyer and Guy D. Solomon, of Omaha, were among those who joined the United States military when the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry was mustered into the Army.

1898: In London Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett and his wife Violet Goetze gave birth “to their only son Henry Ludwig Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett” who “having been brought up in the Church of England” “reverted in the 1930s to his family’s original Judaism and became a champion of Zionism.”

1898: Privates James W. Rosenberger and Tylor H. Rosenberger both of Winchester were among those who joined the U.S. Military when federal government began the process of mustering the 2nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry in the service of the United States.

1898: Birthdate of Bialystok native Jacob Perlman who came to the United States in 1912, earned all three of his college degrees at the University of Wisconsin and went to become a world class economist.

1899: Memorial services honoring the late Baroness Hirsch are scheduled to be held at the Hebrew Institute and Temple Emanu-El

1899: Birthdate of composer Dimitri Tiomkin.  Born in Russia, Tiomkin worked in lived in Western Europe before coming to the United States in the 1930's where enjoyed an almost unparalleled career writing scores for film productions. His credits include everything from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, to Giant, to The High and The Mighty and the Guns of Navaronne.  One of his classic was the theme for the 1952 classic western, High Noon.  He won an Oscar for that one and Tex Ritter gained musical immortality for singing it.  His biggest contribution to television was theme for Rawhide.  He passed away in 1979, yet another Jew who helped create popular American culture.

1900: Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber delivered his “Language Bill” Speech which was entirely different than the one he had asked Herzl to write for him.  Herzl responded to this apparent slight by asking if the Prime Minister only valued his “secretarial services" or that he thought that Herzl wants “a decoration or something like that?” In fact, Herzl only wrote the speech as way of getting the Prime Minister to help him arrange a meeting with the Sultan of Turkey so that he could make a presentation on the benefits of creating a Jewish home in Palestine

1902: Birthdate of Joachim Prinz, the Prussian born Rabbi who came to the United States in 1937 where he became a leader of the Zionist and Civil Rights movements.

 1902: In Pittsburgh, of silent film director Lewis J. Selznick and his wife gave birth to producer David O. Selznick, the son-in-law of MGM's Louis B. Mayer who worked for MGM for years before setting up his own production company which produced Academy Award winner, Gone With the Wind.  Selznick died in 1965.

1902: Birthdate of Antaole Litvak director of the film Anastasia

1903: Birthdate of philosopher Hans Jonas. Born and educated in Germany, Jonas would move to Eretz Israel 1933, join the British Army, serving as a combat soldier for five years, return to Israel to fight at the age of 45 as soldier in the War for Independence before moving to Canada and the United States where he wrote and taught until his death in 1993.

1904: In Amsterdam, Aron Belinfante and Georgine Antoinette Hesse gave birth to Frieda Belinfante the Dutch-American cellist and conductor who was a member of the Dutch resistance during WW II.

1906: Birthdate of New York mobster Abe "Kid Twist" Reles

1907: Birthdate of James Joseph Packman, the native of Biala, Poland who came to the United States in 1910 and served as he managing editor of The Milwaukee Sentinel, the Newark Star Ledger and the San Francisco Call-Bulletin.

1909: It was reported today that there is still a possibility that the million dollar bequest by the late Louis A. Heinsheimer may be given to six New York City Charities on condition that they form a federation.  Alfred M. Heinsheimer, the residuary legatee under the will, is trying to find a way to accomplish the descendant’s desires desipted the fact that Louis Stern, President of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum has expressed his continued opposition to the creation of such a federation.

1911: In Berlin, medical student Michael Kaufman and his wife Lala Rabinowitz Kaufman, a daughter of Sholem Aleichem gave birth to New York school teacher Bel Kaufman best known for writing Up the Down Staircase.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

1913(3rd of Iyar, 5673): On Shabbat, Samuel Straus who had served as an “Indian agent” passed away in Chattanooga, TN.

1913: Seventieth birthday of Dr. Kaufmann Kohler who for twenty-four years was Rabbi of Temple Beth-El, at Fifth Avenue and Seventy-sixth Street and is now Honorary Rabbi of that congregation.

1914(14th of Iyar, 5674): Pesach Sheni

1914(14th of Iyar, 5674): Sixty-three year old Israel Dov Frumkin who move to Palestine at the age of 9 and was an earlier developer of modern Jewish culture including the revival of Hebrew as a modern language as can be seen by his work the newspaper Havatzelet passed away today in Jerusalem.

1914: Benjamin “Benny” Snyder murdered Philip “Pinchy” Paul “at the behest of ‘Joe the Greaser,’ and east side rival of ‘Dopey Benny’ Fein.  (All of these colorfully named characters are Jewish gangsters)

1915: “Dramatically asserting his innocence of the murder of Mary Phagan and with impassioned declaration that ‘he was to die for the crime of another,’ Leo M. Frank was today sentenced by Judge Ben H. Hill in the General Court to hang on June 22.”

1915: After weeping silently, the wife of Leo Frank “screamed, collapsed and sank limp in her chair” after he husband was resentenced to death in an Atlanta courtroom “for a crime of which a great majority of his countrymen believe him to be innocent and for which he was never fairly tried.”

1915: It was reported today that “Warsaw has 60,000 refugees, a third of them Jews.”

1915: The International Congress of Women at which “Rosika Schwimmer’s proposal for a Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediate between the belligerents was adopted” came to a close today in The Hague.

1915: It was reported today that “a Warsaw rabbi” has “assured” Robert Crozier Long, “an author and special correspondent for the Associated Press” who has toured “the war-devastated districts of Poland” “that 100,000 Jews from the towns of Lodz, Piotrkow and Lowicz were without homes” with “many thousands huddled in the tottering fragments of cottages while 10,000 are shivering in the abandoned trenches and terraced Russian dugouts at Skaryszom.”

1915: According to reports “just received by Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs” in New York City, “an international loan” to which American Jews were major contributors has “saved the large orange-raising industry of the Jewish colonies in Palestine” which “represents an investment of $3,000,000” and twenty years of hard work.”

1915: A summary of the manifesto recently issued by distinguished Russians protesting again persecution of the Jews of Russia during the war” the full text of which had been published in the Jewish Chronicle of London was published in the United States today ending with a declaration by “members of the Duma, members of the Imperial Council, Princes and distinguished professors and letterateurs” that “we are sure that the disappearance of all kinds of persecution of the Jews and their complete emancipation so as to be our equal in all rights of citizenship will form one of the conditions of a really constructive imperial policy.”

1916: It was reported today that Isador Herschfield who is returning from Europe where he has been investigating “the distribution of Jewish relief funds” raised in the United States will be “able to give valuable advice as to the best use to be made of money raised in the future” and well as provide comfort to many living in New York since he has several thousands of letters from those living in the war zones addressed to friends and family in the United States.

1916: According Max J. Klein, when he applied for membership in the Second Field Artillery tonight, “he was told that there no vacancies in the regiment and he and the other 12 Jewish applicants were not sent for medical examinations while several other applicants all of whom were Jewish were sent for the medical examinations which were the next step in joining the unit.

1917: Rabbi Nathan Krass, a member of the American Jewish War Relief Commission “announced that he had raise $100,000 for Jewish war relief work” during his recent lecture tour.

1917: “Ex-President Taft applauded vigorously” tonight” at a dinner sponsored by the American Jewish Friends of Free Russia “when Jacob H. Schiff…praised Theodore Roosevelt for his efforts, while President, to bring the Russian autocracy to a realization of the wrong committed against their Jewish subjects.”

1917: The Jews of Amsterdam held a meeting today where “a resolution was passed hailing the American Jewish Congress and similar movements in Russia and other countries as the beginning of an organization comprising the entire Jewish people for the formation of legitimate representation at the peace conference.

1917: On the last day of the British War Mission’s visit to Washington A.J. Balfour, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affiars, spoke with Justice Brandeis this afternoon, possibly about the establishment of “a Zionist Republic in Palestine” – a subject “that the British do not desire to discuss too fully in the present disturbed situation.” (That “disturbed situation is also called World War I)

1917: “Jacob Biliikopf, Executive Director of the $10,000,000 campaign of the American Jewish Relief committee in Behalf of the Jewish War Sufferers in Europe announced” tonight that $1,000,000 has already been pledged.

1917(18th of Iyar, 5677): Lag B’Omer

1917(18th of Iyar, 5677): In Philadelphia, PA, “communal worker” L.G. Pape passed away today.

1918: It was reported today that “the Kehillah has just published the Jewish Communal Register” which “provides some interesting facts regarding the Jews in New York.”

1919: Birthdate of Daniel Bolotsky, who gained fame as  “Daniel Bell, the writer, editor, sociologist and teacher who over seven decades came to epitomize the engaged intellectual as he struggled to reveal the past, comprehend the present and anticipate the future.” (As reported by Michael T. Kaufman)

1920(22nd of Iyar, 5680): Sixty-one year old Clarence Isaac de Sola, the “son of Cantor Abraham de Sola and Esther de Sola and husband of Belle Maud de Sola with whom he had four children passed away today passed away today in Boston after which he was buried in his native Montreal.

1921: Eugen Schiffer began serving at the Minster of Justice for the second time.

1922: Birthdate of David Joshua Azrieli, CM, CQ the “Canadian builder, designer, architect, developer and philanthropist.”

1924: Dr. Kaufmann Kohler, President Emeritus of Hebrew Union College at Cincinnati, Honorary President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and known as one of the greatest Jewish scholars of America, celebrated his eighty-first birthday at his home at 2 West Eighty-Eighth Street among a gathering of relatives, friends and scholarly disciples.

1926: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to receive Zeta Beta Tau’s Gottheil Medal “for distinguished service to the cause of Judaism” this evening at the Hotel McAlpin.

1926: “Jew and Gentile” published in today in Time magazine provided the following portrait of the American Jewish Community in the middle of the Roaring 20’s which had come to include a genteel form of anti-Semitism at America’s leading universities


On the upper end of Manhattan Island there are arising some gorgeous, massive buildings in an Americanized Byzantine manner— rigid facades; a squatty dome; ornate yet severe decoration. They represent the first independent stand on education ever taken by Jewry in the 2,000 years of its exile. Out of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary has grown the Yitzchok Elchanan Yeshivah, in which there will be the first Jewish college ever established in the U. S., equipped to grant "the same academic degrees as other American colleges in a background thoroughly Jewish and thoroughly American in spirit." Such an institution has become more and more inevitable, for a reason implicit in remarks made last week by Gustavus A. Rogers, Manhattan lawyer, who addressed 60 prominent Jews at the Bankers' Club: "We will cater ... to the Jews who have been barred from Christian schools for non-scholastic reasons."  There was simple fact in Mr. Rogers' assertion that U. S. universities— he named Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown and Princeton — discriminate against Jews in accepting matriculants. Polite evasion by those institutions notwithstanding—except in Columbia's case — Jewish undergraduates form an element in the undergraduate bodies which, if it has not occasioned official discrimination, is a subject for much restless discussion and action among Gentile undergraduates, and this constitutes, for the Jews, discrimination of a most definite sort—exclusion from clubs, preference in athletics, elections, etc. It has seemed to many Gentiles high time that the Jews, with their plentiful resources, relieve themselves of embarrassment by building their own colleges, just as they have their own churches, dwelling colonies (e. g., Long Beach, L. I.), and even hotels (e.g., the Hotel Libby, at Delancey and Chrystie Streets, Manhattan, which opened formally last week for Jews only). Another speaker at the Bankers' Club gathering—met to discuss a music festival to be held this month in Madison Square Garden to raise a fifth of the five millions needed to build the Yeshivah— was Adolph Lewisohn, one of the most intelligent and effective workers on human relationships in the U. S. He referred to the Yeshivah as "the salvation of Judaism," where Jews could acquire a college education in Jewish surroundings and without breaking the Sabbath and other holy days. He said that his own grandsons had been excluded "by one of the East's largest universities." There was a tinge of irony in Mr. Lewisohn's position, whether the grandsons had been excluded for social or for academic reasons. He came to this country from Germany as a lad of 16, in 1865. His brother Leonard was already here and the two built up a big mercantile business, Lewisohn Bros. In 1868 they began specializing in metals, particularly copper, and soon led in world markets. Leonard died in 1902. Adolph, now 77, is one of the world's greatest mining and industrial potentates. He sent his son, Sam Adolph, to Princeton ('04) and to Columbia Law School ('07), then took him into the firm, now Adolph Lewisohn & Sons. As wealth accumulated he entered philanthropy in the educational and artistic fields. He housed the Columbia School of Mines with a gift of $300,000. He assisted the College of the City of New York to form a German library, to build an athletic stadium. He collected paintings—Blakelock, Bellows and other moderns as well as Rembrandt, Titian, Dürer—and put them where they could be enjoyed by the people as well as himself. Now his grandsons, because of the pressure of an affluent Jewish population, are uncomfortable in surroundings to whose peace and prosperity he has contributed much. He hears of requests from the colleges to the heads of preparatory schools to "leave the Jews out" when they fill their quotas of certificate scholars. But Adolph Lewisohn understands the nature of social irony, and instead of berating the Gentiles, he has simply noted their frame of mind and thrown his weight behind a movement to supply the people of his race and creed with an institution which, without in turn discriminating against other creeds, will put the children of Israel on an equal educational footing with their Gentile countrymen.

1925(16th of Iyar, 5685): Seventy-year old Sir Isidore Newman passed away today in England



1926: Large contributions towards the campaign to save the Franc by voluntary subscriptions are being made by French Jews. Louis Dreyfus contributed the amount of 500,000 Francs today. The Union of Presidents of Jewish Societies in Paris has announced its first contribution of 6,335 Francs.

1926: New light upon the life, achievements and opinions of Walter Rathenau, late German Jewish statesman who was killed by anti-Semites, is contained in two volumes of the writings of Rathenau and documents pertaining to his life, released here today. The volumes contain about eight hundred letters of Rathenau and cover a period of forty years. The volumes contain material hitherto unknown in which Rathenau emphasized his loyalty to Germany and Judaism.

1927: In Berlin, Sali and Alex Friedlander gave birth to Rabbi Friedlander.

1927: “The Bordellos of Algiers” with music by Artur Guttmann was released in Germany today.

1928: Birthdate of Alfred Gilbert Aronowitz, an American rock journalist best known for introducing Bob Dylan and The Beatles in 1964.

1929: A joint memorandum to the Mandatory Government by the chief rabbis, the National Council and Agudat Israel demands a halt of all construction work carried out by Muslims near the Western Wall.

1933(14th of Iyar, 5693): Pesach Sheni

1933(14th of Iyar, 5693): Fifty-eight year old operatic soprano Selma Kurz lost her battle with cancer and passed away today in Vienna.

1933: Ezriel Carlebach “attended as an observer the central book-burning on Opernplatz in Berlin, where his books were thrown into the fires

1933: Books deemed of "un-German spirit," most of them Jewish, are burned on Unter den Linden, opposite the University of Berlin, and throughout Germany. More than 20,000 volumes are destroyed, including works by John Dos Passos, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Émile Zola, H. G. Wells, André Gide, Sigmund Freud, Maxim Gorky, Helen Keller, Friedrich Forster, Marcel Proust, Jack London, and Erich Maria Remarque. Among those who witnessed the burnings were Sinclair Lewis, Eve Curie and Bella Fromm.

1933: Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife had already moved to Southern France when his works were burned during today’s book burnings in Germany. The famous novelist had been forced to flee because he was Jewish, because he was an out-spoken critic of the Nazis and because he was friend with such decadents as Bertol Brecht.

1933(14th of Iyar, 5693): Seventy-three year old Samuel “Frenchie” Marx the French born tailor who was the husband of Minnie Marx and the father of The Marx Brothers passed away today in Los Angeles, CA.

1935: After premiering in Los Angeles last month “Bride of Frankenstein” produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr with music by Franz Waxman opened in New York City.

1936(18th of Iyar, 5696): Lag B’Omer

1936(18th of Iyar, 5696): Seventy-two year old Emilie Eisler, the daughter of Catherine and Samuel D. Klauber and the wife of Juris Doctor Alois Eisler passed away today in Moravia.

1936: Today is Mother’s Day which is being observed “by thousands of Jews in the United States by purchasing trees to be planted in Palestine in honor of Jewish mothers” – a plan that was promoted by Hadassah.

1936: The 80th anniversary of the founding of Congregation Beth Israel Anshei Emes in Brooklyn “was celebrated at dinner” tonight “at the Hotel St. George attended by more than 100 members and guests” including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Justice Edward Lazansky of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and Harold L. Turk, president of the Congregation.

1938(9th of Iyar): Author and Zionist leader Alter Druyanow passed away today.

1939: In Glasgow, thirty-three French featherweight Maurice Holtzer ended his fifteen year pugilist career with a loss on points today.

1940: During World War II, British forces occupied Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, as part of Operation Fork.  The British took the action to forestall seizure of the neutral island-nation by the Nazis.  The Anglo-Jewish sailors and marines who were part of the occupation force found that city contained a small Jewish population but no synagogue.  By Yom Kippur the disparate groups of Jews had coalesced into a semblance of a community. About twenty five Jewish soldiers from England, Scotland and Canada gathered with eight Jewish refugees and Hendrik Ottósson to observe the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar.

1940: Birthdate of Parisan Dora Frydenzon (née Skurnik) the daughter of Polish Jews who had fled to France in 1936 and who would survive the war thanks to the efforts of Alfred Le Guellec.

1940: The Germans invaded the Low Countries and France putting an end to the so called Phony War.  The Blitzkrieg would bring the Holocaust to the existing Jewish populations of these nations as well as to the untold thousands of Jews who had sought refuge in the West since the rise of Hitler during the 1930's.

1940: The Nazi bombing of Antwerp meant that Leo Bretholtz’s hernia operation was canceled leading to his discharge from the hospital and arrest and imprisonment at St Cyprien.

1940: Author and illustrator Hans Rey was at his desk in Avranches touching up a page of “Fifi” as the Nazis were invading France and the Benelux countries.  Unbeknownst to Rey, this major military catastrophe would trigger events that would send him and his wife on race against death that would lead them through southern France and ultimately to the United States.

1941: In London, “the Great Synagogue” was destroyed today.

1941: As Axis forces drive into Egypt, Churchill receives secret word of a new threat to the Jews of Palestine.  Hitler is pressuring Turkey to allow German troops to cross their borders threatening Palestine from the North.  Churchill reminds his new Colonial Secretary, Viscount Cranborne of his previous support of arming the Jews for self-defense and urges him to get done all that he can.  Realizing the danger of a pincer attack, the British now encourage the Jews to build fortifications on the crest of Mount Carmel so that they can respond to attacks from the north and the south.

1941 (12th of Iyar, 5701) In Suresnes, France, Aaron Beckermann was the first Jew in France to be shot for resistance.

1941: Raymond Raoul Lambert wrote in his diary: "In view of the persecutions being initiated by the new order in France, against foreigners in general and foreign Jews in particular, in light of what has happened elsewhere, in view of the racist laws and the 'Commission on Jewish Affairs' being run in Vichy from Berlin, I wonder whether this collaboration won't bring about a yet more rigorous Statut [the anti-Jewish laws of October 7, 1940]... There are days when I don't dare listen to official bulletins on the radio; they wound me, because I still feel French and call myself a Frenchman. If I didn't have my wife and my three sons, I should be sorry not to have died honorably in action... or sorry to have survived my mother..." As a staunch supporter of pan-Europeanism, Paul Lambet had repeatedly censured nationalistic writers and opposed the more militant French attitudes toward Germany. He believed that "Germany and France, after having been combatants, have to collaborate or decline," a prophetic thought, but expressed too early. Lambert's strong identification with France and its interests did not prevent him from taking a deep interest in Jewish affairs. A prolific writer for various French and Jewish publications, he had even published a collection of poems on Jewish themes and had assisted in the founding of the French Jewish Literary Review. He strove to bring French Jewish youth to a better understanding of the need to build "a new notion of a universal order." He was pleased to see the Zionist achievements in Palestine, but his very deep sentiment for liberal France prevented him from showing any special interest in the Zionist movement. Lambert's diary offers us a very interesting description of his service in the defeated French army in World War II, the creation of Vichy and the unprecedented rise of French anti-Semitism.

1941: Tonight during the Blitz, the Luftwaffe destroyed the boardroom of the Bayswater Synagogue and completely destroyed London’s “Great Synagogue” and the “1870 Central Synagogue.”

1941: Following tonight’s Blitz that destroyed the Great Synagogue of London, “Sandys Row Synagogue” which had been founded in the 1850’s “by workingmen of Dutch Ashkenazi background, employed as cigar makers, diamond cutters and fruit traders” became the oldest surviving Ashkenazi synagogue in London

1943: “A Bundist member of the Polish government in exile, Szmul Zygielbojm, committed suicide in London to protest the lack of reaction from the Allied governments. In his farewell note, he wrote:


"I cannot continue to live and to be silent while the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose representative I am, are being murdered. My comrades in the Warsaw ghetto fell with arms in their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not permitted to fall like them, together with them, but I belong with them, to their mass grave. By my death, I wish to give expression to my most profound protest against the inaction in which the world watches and permits the destruction of the Jewish people."


1943: Famous actor Ralph Bellamy read from “They Burned the Books” by Stephen Vincent Benet to a thousand people who gathered in front of the New York Public Library “as part of the nation’s observance of the tenth anniversary of the burning of books in Germany.

1943: This afternoon, in cooperation with the Council on Books in Wartime, New York radio station WQXR will broadcast “Books Never Die” to mark the 10th anniversary of the first mass Nazi book burning. The broadcast will include a message from Republican Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie and addresses by Sinclair Lewis, Eve Curie and Bella Fromm who were in Germany at that time.

1943: Two Jews were successfully smuggled out of Dobele, Latvia, and hidden in a haystack

1945: At Theresienstad, Herman Rosenblat “was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 A.M.  But at 8: A.M. he “heard shouts, and saw people running in every which way” because the Russians had liberated the camp.  Rosenblat went to find his brothers who had also survived the last Nazi attempt at genocide. (Herman Rosenblat wrote the “fictitious memoir” Angel at the Fence.)

1945: Theresienstadt was liberated by the Soviet Army.  Located in the Czech town of Terezin (Theresienstadt was its German name), the ghetto gained some measure of fame as a show place where the Nazis brought representatives of the International Red Cross to show how well the Jews were being treated in the Third Reich.  Eventually most of the Jews of Theresienstadt met the same fate as others in the various Death Camps.  Sadly, after the liberation there was an outbreak of typhus which raged until August, claiming even more victims.  There is a collection of children's art and from this strange ghetto entitled I Thought I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

1946: “A Night in Casablanca” starring Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx, with music by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby and a script co-authored by Joseph Fields was released today in the United States.

1946: “In Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, Maurice Julius Lipman, a tailor and Zelma Pearlman gave birth to award winning British actress, writer and supporter of Israel, Maureen Diane Lippman the wife of dramatist Jack Rosenthal an the mother of  Amy and Adam Rosenthal.

1948: “In an attempt to see if war with Transjordan could be averted, the Jewish Agency sent one of its most formidable negotiators, Golda Meir, on a second secret mission to King Abdullah of Transjordan.  In a mission that would credit to James Bond, Mrs. Meir traveled at night disguised in the robes of an Arab woman.  Mrs. Meir offered a plan along the lines of the U.N. approved partition plan.  Abdullah wanted the Jews to drop their demand for free immigration and give up their aspirations for a state.  Instead, the Jews could have autonomy under Jordanian rule with Jewish representation in a Jordanian parliament. Considering the lack of democracy in Jordan, this offer was a rather a hollow one in terms of power sharing.  As to the substitution of autonomy instead of sovereignty; this would be consistent with the traditional Moslem view of Arab-Jewish relationships.  The Jews would be accepted as long as they would always accept a second class position.   

1948: Tzfat (Safed) was secured by the Haganah. Located in the northern Galilee, Tzfat is one of the four holiest cities for Jews in Israel.  It has been the home to Jewish mystics for centuries; a center for the study of Kabbalah and the place where Lecha Dodi was created.  Tzfat was the scene of fighting in April and May 1948 as the Arabs sought to destroy the Jewish community before the end of the Mandate.  Tzfat had a small Jewish population and matters were not helped by the departing British commander who turned the keys of the police station (with its arms) which was the local citadel to the Arab insurgents.  The Palmach and the Hagana prevailed despite being outnumbered and outgunned.  Most of the Arab population fled when Jewish victory seemed imminent.  According to the Churchill's biographer Martin Gilbert, "With the invasion of Palestine by regular Arab armies believed to be imminent...many Arabs felt prudence dictated their departure until the Jews had been defeated and they could return to their homes."  And thus began the "Palestinian Refugee Problem" that is with us to this day.

1948: Since she could not reach Ramot Naphtali, Lorna Wingate, the widow of Order Wingate flew over the settlement in a Piper Cub and dropped a Bible into the compound.  The note attached to it read, "This bible accompanied Wingate on all his campaigns and inspired him.  Let represent a covenant between us - in victory or defeat, now and forever.

1948: Units of the Moslem Brotherhood were driven back after they had attacked Kefar Darom

1950: The Mediterranean coastal district of Israel is reported to be fighting an outbreak of polio.

1951(4th of Iyar, 5711): Despite being surrounded by enemies on all sides, dealing with the challenge of absorbing tens of thousands refugees and host of other problems, Israel celebrates Yom HaAtzmaut

1951: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, escorted by high ranking Israeli officials, journeyed to West Point this morning and placed a wreath on the grave of Col. David (Mickey) Marcus, who was killed in 1948 while serving with the Israeli forces during the war in the Holy Land.

1952: Temple Israel in Akron, Ohio lays the cornerstone for its new addition.

1953: Birthdate of John Diamond, the native of Hackney, London, who became a bio-chemist and fashion designer who was the husband of television personality and author Nigella Lawson.

1953(10th of Iyar, 5713): Seventy year old Belfast born, American composer and orchestra leader Harry Rosenthal passed away today in Beverly Hills.

1955(18th of Iyar, 5715): Lag B’Omer

1955: Birthdate of Christopher James "Chris" Berman, “also known by the nickname Boomer, (born May 10, 1955 in Greenwich, Connecticut) is an American sportscaster. He anchors SportsCenter, Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown, Baseball Tonight, U.S. Open golf, the Stanley Cup Finals and other programming on ESPN and ABC Sports.”

1960: Following the closure of the Broadway production of Flower Drum Song the eighth musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II “a U.S. national tour began today in Detorit.

1960(13th of Iyar, 5720): Seventy-year old Maurice Schwartz, the Russian born American actor who founded the Yiddish Art Theatre passed away today.

1964: “Treblinka was declared a national monument of martyrology today during an official ceremony attended by 30,000 people.”

1966: In an example of how the Arab-Israel conflict was entwined in the Cold War, Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin arrives in Cairo where he will convince Nasser “that a mutual defense pact between Cairo and Damascus (guaranteed by Moscow) would be in the best interest of all concerned. Israel enjoyed no such reciprocal relationship with the United States or her western allies which reinforced the Israeli notion that in any crisis, Israel would be facing millions of armed Arabs backed by the military might of the Soviet Union.

1968(12th of Iyar, 5728): Eighty-one year old George Frankenthaler, a former State Supreme Court Justice and New York County Surrogate passed away today.  An accomplished lawyer, Frankenthaler was so highly respected that both President Franklin Roosevelt and Governor Thomas Dewey urged to seek election to the State Supreme Court.   In 1948, Frankenthaler who was a Republican became the first non-Democrat to be elected to the Surrogate’s Court in over half a century. Active in several Jewish charities, he had served as President of the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association.

1968(12th of Iyar, 5728): Ninety-four year old Samuel Bloomingdale, the son of Lyman Bloomingdale and Hattie Collenberger passed away today.

1970(4th of Iyar, 5730): Yom HaZikaron

1972(26th of Iyar, 5732): Edward Henry Pinto, the London born son of a cigar merchant and WW I veteran who was the Joint Managing Director of Compaction Ltd and author of Treen and Other Wooden Objects passed away today.

1973: At Ramat Gan, writer and poet Yehonatan Geffen and Nurit Makover gave birth to rock start Aviv Geffen.

1977: Final broadcast of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” Norman Lear’s hugely popular spoof of that uniquely American mainstay of daytime broadcasting – the Soap Opera.

1978(3rd of Iyar, 5738): Yom HaZikaron

1981: In “From Genesis to Jesus Christ Superstar, published today, Paul Kresh described the veritable explosion of recent recordings of Biblical literature that have been recorded for the mass market including, Abba Eban reading Psalms and Ecclesiastes, Theodore Bikel reading ''Poetry and Prophecy of the Old Testament''   Claire Bloom’s reading “Ruth,” Claude Rains and Claire Bloom reading “The Song of Songs,”  supply Howard Sackler's clever condensation and direction of the Book of Job, with Herbert Marshall suffering beautifully as the severely tested servant of God, surrounded by a large cast including Martin Balsam as Elihu, Clarence Derwent as Eliphaz (one of Job's non-comforting comforters), and Joseph Holland awesomely cosmic as the Voice Out of the Whirlwind. (Editor’s note –You have to be of a certain age to appreciate the star quality of the performers.  Also in an age of downloading, i-pods, etc., it is difficult to appreciate the technological and social significance of these works.)

1981: Final broadcast of Season 6 of “One Day At A Time” starring Bonnie Franklin

1981: In “The Final Solution in Argentina,” Anthony Lewis reviews Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without a Number by Jacobo Timerman

1983: Eighty-five year old Herbert Benjamin, Communist Party leader turned small businessman, passed away today in Rockville, MD.

1983:  Birthdate of Tiberias native Moshe Peretz, the popular singer and composer married to Yarden Gozland and father of Michaela, Noam and Guy who fell afoul of Israeli tax laws.

1984: NBC broadcast the final episode of season two of “Family Ties,” a sit com created by Gary David Goldberg.

1986(1st of Iyar, 5746): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1989(5th of Iyar, 5749): Yom HaAtzma’ut

1991: U.S. premiere of “The Switch” based on a George Axelrod play, starring Ellen Barkin under the management of Executive Producer Arnon Milchan.

1992(7th of Iyar, 5752): At New York City's Algonquin Hotel, Sylvia Syms finished singing her last song, raised her right arm to acknowledge the audience's standing ovation, and collapsed of a heart attack.  (As reported by Stephen Holden)

1992: In Israel Commemorates Start of the Holocaust,” published today Jed Stevenson describes the surprising choice for the commemorative medal that the Israelis have made this year. 

1995: “A Little Princess,” a World War I drama co-produced by Dalisa Cohen and Amy Ephron, filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki at Barry Levinson’s Baltimore Studios and co-starring Eleanor Bron was released today.

1995(10th of Iyar, 5755): Eighty-six year old Steffie Spira, the German actress and Communist whose Jewish father Fritz Spira died today in Berlin.

1996(21st of Iyar, 5756): Seventy-seven year old architect  Zelma Wilson who moved to Paris after her husband screenwriter Michael Wilson was blacklisted passed away today.

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Time of Our Time” by Norman Mailer and the recently released paperback edition of “The Memory of All That: The Life of George Gershwin” by Joan Peyser.

1999(24th of Iyar, 5759): Sheldon Allan "Shel" Silverstein passed away. Born in Chicago in 1930, Shel Silverstein gained fame as a poet, songwriter and author.  He wrote the lyrics to the Johnny Cash hit, “A Boy Named Sue.” The Grammy Winning song was written in response to a bet that Silverstein couldn’t write a country and western hit during a bus ride back to Los Angeles, or so goes the legend.   He authored several books including “The Missing Piece,”A Light in the Attic,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends”  “Falling Up” and “The Giving Tree.”  These works are often referred to as children’s literature, but anybody who has read them knows that they transcend that genre and speak to readers of all ages.

2000(5th of Iyar, 5760): Yom HaAtzmaut

2001: Having obtained a search warrant, D.C. police search Chandra Levy’s Washington apartment looking for clues as to her whereabouts.

2001: Publication of a review of William G. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?” a must read tome.

2002(28th of Iyar, 5762): Yom Yerushalayim

2002(28th of Iyar, 5762): Ninety-two year old sociologist and author The Lonely Crowd David Riesman passed away today

2002: Operation Defensive Shield which had been launched following the “Passover Massacre” came to an end.

2003(8th of Iyar, 5763): Dr. Leonard Michaels, author and professor of English at the University of California at Berkley, passed away.

2006(12th of Iyar, 5766):  Eighty-four year old Abraham Michael "A.M." Rosenthal passed away.  The Canadian native began his career with the New York Times in 1943.  He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in 1960 and served as executive editor from 1977 until age requirements forced him to leave the post in 1988.  (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

2006: Results show that Elliot Yamin, was among three people who named as the top three finalists for American Idol

2007: “Less than two months before his death, Joel Siegel spoke before the C.E.O. Roundtable on Cancer, an association of corporate executives that was formed when former President George H. W. Bush asked corporate America to do something "bold and venturesome" about cancer. Bush and his wife Barbara were in the audience when Joel spoke at the Essex House in New York City. He began and ended his presentation by saying, "I want to thank you for what you are doing for cancer patients."

2007: An exhibit of works by local artists Paula Christie and A.D. Lane at the Etz Chaim Synagogue. Crete’s only Synagogue, comes to an end. Etz Chaim was rededicated in 1999.

2007: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s retrospective entitled “The Magic of Paul Mazursky” comes to an end.  He is probably best remembered for directing the 1969 sexual spoof, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.”

2008: Early this morning the IDF confirmed air strikes on Hamas police stations in the Gaza Strip, killing five Hamas operatives hours after a fatal barrage of mortar shells fired by Palestinian gunmen killed one man in a Kibbutz in the western Negev. Jimmy Kedushim, a 48-year-old father of four, was killed when a mortar shell landed in the front yard of his house in Kibbutz Kfar Aza Three others were wounded in the attack, one moderately and two lightly. Magen David Adom teams at the kibbutz treated a number of people for shock, Israel Radio reported. A number of buildings in the kibbutz were damaged in the barrage.

2008: At the Jerusalem Cinematheque, a screening of “Faithful City” \ קריה נאמנה. Made in 1952, the film deals with children survivors of the Holocaust who came to Israel on the eve of the war of independence full of fears and problems.

2008: As part of its Israel at 60 Celebration, the 92nd Street Y hosts a Yom Ha'Atzmaut Spring Dance Marathon.

2008: Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said during a parliamentary conference that he "would burn Israeli books myself if found in Egyptian libraries."

2009: Mark Strauss, a Holocaust survivor, signs copies of his new novel, Four Plus Five” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Bookstore.2009:  As part of the LABA Festival The 14th Street Y, a Jewish Community Center in the East Village, presents a screening of “Water Marks,” a documentary film by Yaron Zilberman, produced by Yonatan Israel. “’Watermarks’ is the story of the champion women swimmers of the legendary Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna. Hakoah (“The Strength" in Hebrew) was founded in 1909 in response to the notorious Aryan Paragraph, which forbade Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes. Its founders were eager to popularize sport among a community renowned for such great minds as Freud, Mahler and Zweig, but traditionally alien to physical recreation. Hakoah rapidly grew into one of Europe's biggest athletic clubs, while achieving astonishing success in many diverse sports. In the 1930s Hakoah's best-known triumphs came from its women swimmers, who dominated national competitions in Austria. After the Anschluss, the political unification of Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938, the Nazis shut down the club, but the swimmers managed to flee the country before the war broke out, thanks to an escape operation organized by Hakoah’s functionaries. Sixty-five years later, director Yaron Zilberman meets the members of the women’s swim team in their homes around the world, and arranges for them to have a reunion in their old swimming pool in Vienna, a journey that evokes memories of youth, femininity, and strengthens lifelong bonds. Told by the swimmers, now in their eighties, Watermarks is about a group of young girls with a passion to be the best. It is the saga of seven outstanding athletes who still swim daily as they age with grace.”

2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Third Reich at War” by Richard J. Evans and “Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy by Leslie H. Gelb

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace” by Ayelet Waldman “Conversations with Frank Gehry” by Barbara Isenberg and three books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal – “Little Oink,” “Spoon” and “Yes Day.”

2010: An exhibition entitled “The Works of Mordechai Rosenstein” is scheduled to open at the Fine Family Art Gallery and the Katz Family Mainstreet Gallery of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA).

2010: “Forward 50,” a panel discussion featuring recent Forward 50 Honorees is scheduled to take place at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

2010: President Barack Obama announced at the White House that he is nominating U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. If Kagan is confirmed, it would be the first time that the nine-member Supreme Court would have three Jews and three women on the bench.

2010: “The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) invited Israel to become a member of the organization.”

2010: Israel Air Force planes bombed two targets in the southern Gaza in the early hours today warning in retaliation for a rocket attack on Saturday night, the army said.

2011: Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story is scheduled to be shown at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

2011: Professor Brian Horowitz is scheduled to give a talk at a conference entitled, In the Mirror’s Reflection: The Encounter between Jewish and Slavic Cultures in Modernity at U.C.L A.

2011: Rabbi Eliezer Diamond is scheduled to present a lecture “Do We Mean What We Pray, Do We Pray What We Mean?” at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD.

2011: In “An Insider Views China, Past and Future,” Michiko Kakutani reviewed On China by Henry Kissinger, the first Jew to serve as U.S. Secretary of State.

2011(6th of Iyar, 5711): Ninety-one year old broadcast executive Burt Reinhardt, who served as President of CNN in those early years when it was changing the face of television news, passed away today in Marietta, GA. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2011(6th of Iyar, 5711): Yom Ha’atzmaut, , יום העצמאות, Israel Independence Day, is observed.  Yom Ha’atzmaut is normally celebrated on the 5th of Iyar, the anniversary of the day on which Israel declared its independence.  Since 2004, if the 5th of Iyar falls on a Monday, which it did in 2011, the festival is postponed until Tuesday.

2011: On Independence Day, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported that Israel had a population of 7,746,000, 75% of which is Jewish.  In the past year 178,000 babies were born and 24,500 immigrants made aliyah

2012: The Jewish American Heritage Parade is scheduled to take place this morning in Albany, NY.

2012: “The Jewish Woman In America: 1654-2012,” a course that will study the vital contributions that Jewish women have made to American Jewish life, from the time of the first Sephardic arrivals to New Amsterdam in 1654, down to the present sponsored by the Board of Jewish Education of Atlantic and Cape May Counties is scheduled to begin tonight in Margate, NJ.

2012: Chabad of Iowa City is scheduled to sponsor a Lag Ba'Omer BBQ in West Branch, Iowa, which is the home of the Herbert Hoover Memorial Library. Jews will remember Hoover as the President who appointed Justice Benjamin Cardozo to the Supreme Court giving the U.S. two Jewish Supreme Court Justices at a time of rising anti-Semitism.

2012: At the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Howard Reich, jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune and son of Holocaust survivors, is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion where American and foreign born Jewish GIs reflect on their wartime experiences, and the impact their religious affiliation had on their time in the service

2012: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present the Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series Spring Concert including the great masterpiece of Jewish music, “Shlomo”, a Hebrew rhapsody for cello by Ernest Bloch

2012: Jazzrael - a Festival of Israeli Jazz and World Music featuring the Avi Avital Trio is scheduled to take place at Joe’s Pub in New York City.

2012: At the Wiener Library in London, Professor Carrier Tarr is scheduled to present a lecture on Secularism, difference and the family as portrayed in Roschdy  Zem’s film “ Mauuvaise foi” which “s a comedy that revolves around the consequences of the secular Jewish heroine’s discovery that she is pregnant, and the increasingly problematic decision she and her equally secular Arab-Muslim boyfriend take to keep the baby and tell their not-so-secular families.”

2012: New York's kosher law, which regulates the labeling and marketing of kosher food, does not violate the Constitution's First Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled. The three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today in a constitutional challenge to the New York State Kosher Law Protection Act of 2004. Previously, kosher was defined legally as “according to orthodox Hebrew religious requirements.” Several butchers challenged the law in a 1996 suit. (As reported by JTA)

2013: The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide and the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism are scheduled to present “Sanctioned Laughter: Humour, War and Dictatorship in Twentieth Century Europe.

2013: “No Place On Earth” is scheduled to open at the Catamount Film and Arts Center in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

 2013(1st of Sivan, 5733): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

2013(1st of Sivan, 5733): Eighty-eight year old author Morris Renek passed away today. (As reported by Daniel Slotnik)

2013(1st of Sivan, 5773): Sixty-one year social activist Barbara Brenner passed away today. (As reported by Denise Grady)

2013::At more than 100 Jewish day schools in 38 cities around the world, parents and children are gathering across six continents to study Torah together as part of a joint initiative of global Jewish unity, called Generation Sinai.Tens of thousands of parents and children will be studying the same section of the Torah on the same day in their individual schools as part of one integrated international campaign which began in South Africa.

2013: Clashes erupted at Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza early this morning, as thousands of ultra-Orthodox teenagers attempted to prevent the Women of the Wall from holding their monthly egalitarian prayer session at the site.

2014: Sarah Cohen is scheduled to be called the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at Agudas Achim in Coralville, Iowa.

2014: “Zeitgeist” is scheduled to be shown at the 22nd annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

2014: “Kidon” is scheduled to be shown at the National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th annual Film Festival.

2014: In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the New World Symphony is scheduled to present an evening of music by celebrated Jewish American composers at Miami Beach, FL.

2014: Thousands marched in Afula tonight in commemoration of 19 year old Shelly Dadon whose body was found earlier this month “in what is believed to be a nationalistically motivated killing.”

2014: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his wife and two sons left for a week-long state visit to Japan tonight 

2015: “Mr. Kaplan,” “The Kindergarten Teacher” and “His Wife’s Lover” are scheduled to be shown on Mother’s Day at the 18th Annual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Film’s.

2015: ZUSHA, a “folk/world-soul band of ‘neo-Hasidic hipsters’” is scheduled to make its DC-area debut today.

2015: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to conduct an “in-depth tour of sites related to Jewish history and military heroes, including the Confederate Memorial by Sir Moses Ezekiel (seen here) and the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Memorials.”

2015: As part of the Krum Concert Series, young artists are scheduled to perform works by Mieczyslav Weinberg, a Jewish composer whom Shostakovich considered exceptional but who was ignored by the Soviet musical establishment.

2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Timur Vermes’ Look Who’s Back, a novel about Hitler in which “the first mention of the Jews doesn’t arrive until after Page 50” and Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword by David K. Shipler who won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1987 for Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land.

2016: The Consulate General of Israel and the 92nd Street Y is scheduled to a host a Yom Hazikaron or Memorial Day Serving “honoring the soldiers who have their lives in defense of the State of Israel and the victims of terrorist attacks.”

2016: In Philadelphia, PA, The National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to host an evening with “filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky who will share excerpts from his upcoming documentary, Two Who Defied the Nazis, about Martha and Waitstill Sharp, an American social worker and Unitarian minister who provided aid to refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.”

2016: In New York, the Upper West Side’s annual five day celebration of Israel is scheduled to begin with “Sharim Vezochrim: Songs and Remembrance for Yom Hazikaron with Moshe Bonen” at JCC Manhattan.

2016: Effective today, the archives of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington are scheduled to be closed until September, 2016 while historic synagogue museum moves locations.

2017: New York Times columnist Samuel G. Freedman and historian Jenna Weissman Joselit, the author of  Set in Stone: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments are scheduled “to explore the impact of the ancient biblical code on American culture.”

2017: Donniel Hartman is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Jewish Identity, Belonging and Community” sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and B’nai Jeshurun.

2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “hotdog and movie night” that will also include veggie burgers.

2017: “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue” is scheduled to have its premiere showing at the 2017 East Bay International Jewish Film Festival.

2017: “Between Myth and Reality,” an exhibition of the works of Anglo-Israeli sculptor and artist Chaim Stephenson is scheduled to come to an end today.

2018: “An Act of God” is scheduled to open at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans

2018: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to host a presentation by Holocaust survivior Albert Garih.

2018: “Saving Neta” and “Assumed Identity” are scheduled to be shown at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2018: “Falling Backward” and “The Invisibles” are scheduled to be shown at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

2018: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present ‘20th Century American Jewish Stardom: Between Eddie Cantor and Sophie Tucker”




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