Thursday, May 10, 2018

This Day, May 11, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

May 11

330: Roman Emperor Constantine I changes the name of the ancient city of Byzantium to Nova Roma (New Rome) as it becomes the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.  The city will be known as Constantinople (the city of Constantine). The move is indicative of the growing power of Constantine, the emperor who redefined relations between Jews and Christains that exists into modern times.  The name New Rome also helped to the schism between the Western (Catholic) Christians and their Eastern (Orthodox) co-religionists since the Christian leader of New Rome thought his powers should be equal to the Christian leader (the Pope) at old Rome. 

1175: Thirteen assassins were foiled in their attempt to murder Saladin. Thirteen years later Saladin would drive the Crusaders from Jerusalem and allow the Jews to return. Maimonides provided medial services to the great Muslim leader.

1189: Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor set off on the Third Crusade.  He would drown before he reached the Holy Land.  On balance, Barbarossa’s reign was a positive one for the Jews since he viewed the Jews as his special subjects, which means he afforded them protection because they were a source of financial benefit to the monarch.

1415:  Edict of Benedict XIII: Benedict XIII was enraged by the lack of voluntary conversions after the Christian "victory" at the Tortosa disputation. As a result, he banned the study of the Talmud in any form, instituted forced Christian sermons, and tried to restrict Jewish life completely.

1415: Today, “in the hope of mass-conversions, Benedict issued a bull consisting of twelve articles, which, in the main, corresponded with the decree ("Pragmática") issued by Catalina, and which had been placed on the statutes of Aragon by Fernando. By this bull Jews and neophytes were forbidden to study the Talmud, to read anti-Catholic writings, in particular the work "Macellum" ("Mar Jesu"), to pronounce the names of Jesus, Maria, or the saints, to manufacture communion-cups or other church vessels or accept such as pledges, or to build new synagogues or ornament old ones. Each community might have only one synagogue. Jews were denied all rights of selfjurisdiction, nor might they proceed against "malsines" (accusers). They might hold no public offices, nor might they follow any handicrafts, or act as brokers, matrimonial agents, physicians, apothecaries, or druggists. They were forbidden to bake or sell matzot, or to give them away; neither might they dispose of meat which they were prohibited from eating. They might have no intercourse (sex) with Catholics, nor might they disinherit their baptized children. They should wear the badge at all times, and thrice a year all Jews over twelve, of both sexes, were required to listen to a Catholic sermon.”

1421:  At Styria, Austria, a large number of Jews were burned. Those who were not killed were expelled from the country.

1572(18th of Iyar, 5332): Moses Isserles, “the Rema” passed away today in Cracow, Poland. Moses Isserles, also spelled Moshe Isserlis, who had been born at Cracow in 1520, “was an eminent Ashkenazic rabbi, Talmudist, and posek, renowned for his fundamental work of Halachah (entitled ha-Mapah (lit., "the tablecloth"), an inline commentary on the Shulkhan Aruch ( "the set table"). His work opened up this Sephardic work to the Ashkenazim. “He is also well known for his Darkhei Moshe commentary on the Tur. Isserles is also referred to as the Rema, (or Remo, Rama) (רמ״א), the Hebrew acronym for Rabbi Moses Isserle.”  [This brief entry cannot do justice to the life and work of this sage.]

1610: Fifty-seven year old Father Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary living in China whose manuscripts described the existence of ten or twelve Jewish families in Kaifeng that may have been living there for five or six hundred years, passed away today.

1647: Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City. Seven years later, Stuyvesant will be the governor of New Amsterdam when the first Jews arrive in 1654. He will do everything in his power to keep the Jews from settling there and enjoying the full rights of citizenship.

1685: Isaac Benjamin Wolf Liebmann began serving as rabbi for the Jews of Berlin although he reportedly lived at Landsberg-on-the-Warthe.

1764: A letter written today from Empress Catherine II opened the way for limited settlement of Jews in Riga

1784: Birthdate of G.B. Depping, the German born French historian author of Les Juifs dans le moyen âge, essai historique sur leur état civil, commercial et littéraire  a history of the Jews he wrote in response to a competition sponsored by the Royal Academy in 1821 to write a history describing the life of the Jews living in France during the Middle Ages.

1766: In Enfield, Middlesex, England Benjamin D’Israeli, “a Jewish merchant who had emigrated from Cento in 1784 and his second wife, Sarah Syprut de Gabay Villa Real” gave birth to author and “man of letters” Isaac D’Israeli, the father of the future Prime Minister Benjamin D’Israeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield.

1795(22nd of Iyar, 5555) Seventy-two year old Austrian banker Joachim Edler von Popper who was “Court Jew” to the Habsburgs and who was the second Jew to be “ennobled” by the Emperor passed away today.

1800(16th of Iyar, 5560): Asher Anshel  Weiner, the “son of Shimon Wiener and Mrs. Simon Winer and the husband of Slava Viener with whom he had four children passed away today after which he was buried in “Miskolc, Hungary.

1814: Birthdate of Wolf Pascheles, the native of Prague who went from selling Jewish books to printing them in a publishing house that he began and which produced everything from prayerbooks for women to popular annotated calendars.

1836: Alexander Levi advertised in today’s issue of the Dubuque Visitor, one of Iowa’s first newspapers. Levi may have been the first Jew to settle Iowa.  He settled in Dubuque, shortly after its founding, and played an active role in its commercial, civic and Jewish life until his death in 1893.

1838: Birthdate of Walter Goodman, British painter, illustrator and author who followed in the footsteps of his mother, Julia (nee Salaman) Goodman, who was a famed painter in her own right.

1846: “In Shossmaken, Courland, Russia, Jekuthiel Gerson Deinard and Leah Cohn” gave birth to Ephraim Deinard , a bookseller and bibliographer, the husband of Margolia Jaffe and the driving force to established a failed “Jewish agricultural colony in Nevada in 1897.”

1847:  Adolphus Simeon Solomons received a certificate of discharge from Third Regiment of the Washington Grays, which was part of the New York State Militia. Born in 1826, he had joined the Grays when he was 14 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant five years later. After leaving the military, he would pursue a successful career in business and politics including playing an active role in the inaugurations of all the Presidents from Lincoln to McKinley. He would also serve in a number of important roles in Jewish communal affairs including serving as acting President of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association.

1852: In the House of Lords, the first reading of a bill designed to remove the disabilities imposed upon persons refusing to take the “oaths of abjuration.” Lord Lyndhurst cited the recent case of David Salomons, the Jew who had refused to take the standard oath and sought to be seated in the House of Commons nonetheless.

1853(Iyar 3): Rabbi Isaac Farhi, author of Marpe la-Ezem, passed away today.

1853: A theatre critic for the New York Times pained the performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at Wallack’s Theatre saying that “there is no delineation of internal passion; no metaphysical reading of the Jew’s revengeful soul…”

1857: In the Catherine Palace, Czar Alexander II and his wife Maria Alexandrovna gave birth to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia the influential, reactionary advisor to his brother Alexander III and his nephew Nicholas II and Governor of Moscow who zealously oversaw the violent expulsion of that city’s Jewish population starting in 1891.

1858:  Minnesota is to the Union as the 32nd state in the United States.  The establishment of the Mount Sinai Hebrew Association of St. Paul, in 1857 means that the first synagogue was established before Minnesota achieved statehood. The founding of Har Tzion (Mt. Zion) marks the start of the Jewish community in Minnesota.

1859: Seventy-seven year old Archduke John of Austria who helped Moses Sachs submit his “program for the settling of Jews as farmers in the land of Israel under Austrian protection” to the Austrian government which in turn submitted it the Ottomans who rejected it passed away today.

1859: Wolf Alois Meisel who had been serving as the rabbi at Stettin since 1848 moved to Budapest where he took up a similar position today.

1859: At Wien, Professor Dr. Simon Spitzer and Marie Spitzer gave birth to Dr. of Jurisprudence Leopold Spitzer

1860: Sir George Jessel, and Amelia Moses gave birth to British barrister and businessman Sir Charles James Jessel, 1st Baronet, Ladham House.

1863: Otto von Bismarck, Minister President of Prussia, initiated written correspondence with socialist and reform leader Ferdinand Lassalle. (Lassalle was Jewish; Bismarck was not)

1864: In San Francisco, Leopold Seligmann and Julia Levi gave birth to David Emil Seligman

1865: General Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan resigned from the Union Army.  In 1862, Sullivan was serving under General Grant in Tennessee.  He “refused to execute Grant’s Order 11 on the grounds that he thought he was an officer of the army and not of a church.” Sarna 20

1867: The independence of Luxembourg which was originally granted in 1839 is finally recognized by all of the European great powers including Prussia and France. The Grand Duchy’s first rabbi had served from 1843 until 1866 when Luxembourg had just one synagogue.  By 1880, there were approximately 140 Jewish families throughout the Grand Duchy and there were three synagogues in Luxembourg by the end of the 19th century.

1869(1st of Sivan, 5629): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

1869: In Charleston, SC, J.D. Harby of Galveston, TX, married Leah Cohen, “the fourth daughter of Marx E. Cohen.

1869: In New York City, Shaaray Tefila (Gates of Prayer) dedicated its new sanctuary located on 44th Street, between Broadway and 6th Avenue.  During the ceremony Leopold Cohn, chairman of the Building Committee gave the keys for the building to Barnet Solomon, the President of the Congregation.  Rabbi Samuel Isaacs officiated at the impressive ceremony. The building, which cost $125,000 is smaller than Temple Emanu-El but compares favorably to it in terms of richness and architectural quality.

1869: Birthdate of Henrich Lowe, a German born Zionist who was known as a journalist, linguist and student of folklore.

1871: In Natchez, Mississippi, Samuel Ullman, the author of the poem “Youth” and his wife gave birth to Sidney Ullman who worked as an architect in Birmingham, Alabama from 1899 until 1916 after which he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to practice as an architect from 1917 until 1922 when he began working as a set designer.

1872: In Allegheny City, PA, Daniel and Amelia Stein gave birth to “American art collector, critic and brother of Gertrude Stein” today

1873(14th of Iyar, 5633): Pesach Sheni

1873(14th of Iyar, 5633): Seventy-four old Marx Oppenheimer, the son of Zacharias Oppenheimer and Fratel Oppenheimer passed away today.

1877: In Kozlov, Czech Republic, Adolf Neubauer, the son of Karl and Theresia Neubauer, and his wife Klara Neubauer gave birth to Emilie Hoffer

1878: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association met for the first time in their new facility at 110 West 42nd Street in New York City.  Most of the members were in attendance at this all male affair. Mayor Ely was the guest of honor.  I.S. Isaacs, the association’s president, opening remarks included a brief history of the association.  The association, which was formed in 1874, has almost a thousand members and boasts a healthy back account.  Rabbis Gottheil, Henry Jacobs and H.B. Mendez all addressed the group briefly.

1879: “The Old Pessimists” published today notes that while there was a strongly pessimistic tone in a few books of the Bible – Job and Ecclesiastes - the “national religion of the Hebrews was optimistic in a high degree.” This stands in stark contrast to the deeply pessimistic religious utterances and literature of the ancient of the Greeks and the Romans While the Jews said “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” they were declaring that “the land and the sea are full of evils”

1879: “Assyrian and Biblical History” published today described unresolved conflicts in the dating used by these two ancient civilizations. While both seem to agree as to the date of the eclipse that took place in the 8th century BCE, there is disagreement for the dates of subsequent events.  For example, the Assyrians say that the invasion of Judea took place in 701 BCE while the Jewish version would have set the date at 713 BCE. Some researches indicate that the discrepancies are the result of a propensity among Assyrian monarchs who had a propensity for not reporting defeats and unsuccessful campaigns.  This was left to their successors.

1879: Samuel Gobat, who had been serving as the Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem since 1846, passed away.  Unlike his predecessor, Gobat refrained from trying to convert Jews and Moslems and worked among Christians.  He and his wife who had also died while living in Jerusalem are buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.

1879(18th of Iyar, 5639): Lag B'Omer

1879(18th of Iyar, 5639): Seventy-five year old Benzion Judah Ben Eliahu Berkowitz who devoted much of his literary efforts to works related to Targum Onkelos passed away today in Wilna.

1879(18th of Iyar, 5639): Bernhard Wolff the editor of the Vossische Zeitung, founder of the National Zeitung and founder of Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau one of the first press agencies in Europe and one of the three great European telegraph monopolies until the World War II-era, the other two being the English Reuters and the French Havas, passed away today in his native Berlin. (Editor’s note -  All three of these famous wire-services had a Jewish connection.)

1879: Eighty-year old Samuel Gobat, the Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem who ended his predecessor’s policy of trying to convert Jews, passed away today and following his funeral was buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem.

1881: In Budapest, “Helen Kohn, who was from a leading Bohemian family, and Mór Kármán who was a leading professor of philosophy and education” gave birth to Theodore von Kármán the Hungarian-American engineer and physicist who was a descendant of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel and who responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization.



1881: Herzl fights his only duel in the fraternity Albia.

1881: As a wave of pogroms race across Russia Czar Alexander III receives a delegation of Jews led by Baron Horace de Gunzburg.  He assures them that the government is opposed to the violence which he blames on socialists and elements following the anti-Christ.

1884: In Bucharest, Zara and Leon Feinsohn gave birth to Reba Fesinsohn who gained fame as the American soprano and recording artist, Alma Gluck.

1884: Birthdate of Samuel B. Peiper, the native of Philadelphia who was ordained at JTS and served as a rabbi in Brooklyn.

1885(26th of Iyar, 5645): Seventy-three year old “composer, conductor and writer” Ferdinand von Hiller who students included Max Bruch the non-Jewish “composer of the cello elegy Kol Nidrei, based on the synagogue hymn sung at Yom Kippur” passed away today.,_Ferdinand

1886(6 Iyar, 5646): Sixty-nine year old Isidor Kalish the German educated Reform Rabbi who came to the United States where he led several Reform congregations starting with Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and was a driving force behind creating the Reform Movement in his adopted country passed away


1886(6 Iyar, 5646): Rabbi James Koppel Gutheim passed away today in New Orleans.  Born in Westphalia, Germany, he came to the United States in 1843 and became active in the Cincinnati (Ohio) Jewish community, the home of Reform Judaism in the United States.  Guttheim moved to New Orleans where he served as Rabbi at Shangarai Chesed.  He left the Crescent City after a dispute about a memorial to the late Judah Touro and his refusal to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Union during the Civil War.  After serving as rabbi to congregations in Montgomery, Alabama and Columbus, GA, he returned to New Orleans where he served as rabbi at Temple Sinai until his death.

1887: Birthdate of Paul Wittgenstein.  The Austrian-born pianist lost his right arm fighting for Austria during World War I.  After the war he gained fame for arranging and playing numerous pieces with his left hand.  After fleeing the Nazis during the 1930’s he came to the United States where he became a citizen and continued his career.

1888:  Birthdate of Irving Berlin.  Born Isadore Balin in Temum Siberia, Berlin was the composer of a wide variety of All American Music.  His White Christmas is reported to be the all-time leader in the holiday music category.

1889: Zadoc Kahn the Chief Rabbi of France who helped to found  Société des Études Juives  in 1879 delivered an address to entitled "La Révolution Française et le Judaïsme" to help mark the centenary of the French Revolution.


1890: It was reported today that former President Grover Cleveland and his wife have accepted an invitation to attend the upcoming Strawberry Festival, a fund-raiser sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1890: Charles Bernheim was re-elected as President during the annual meeting of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which began at 10 o’clock this morning.

1890: “Barons Alphonse and Nathaniel Rothschild have warned Emperor Franz Joseph and …the Minister of the Interior, that if oppression of the Jews is continued at Vienna, they will be forced to transfer their business” to Budapest.  They claim that the leadings banks will follow them in moving their business.

1891: A fire, which was allegedly set by a Jewish immigrant from Poland name Solomon Crizar, broke out at 222 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn.

1891:  Birthdate of Henry Morgenthau Jr.  Morgenthau was a neighbor of FDR.  It was this friendship rather than his financial wizardry that led to his appointment as US Secretary of the Treasury in 1934.   He held that post until 1945, when Harry Truman took office.  Morgenthau was the author of the so-called Morgenthau Plan which, according to critics, sought to turn Germany into one large farm after World War II.  After two world wars in less than fifty years, Morgenthau was not alone in thinking that the only way to avoid another German Reich was to demilitarize and de-industrialize the country.  The realities of the looming Cold War, among other concerns, derailed any such notions.

1892(14th of Iyar, 5652): Pesach Sheini

1892(14th of Iyar, 5652): Yosef Dov Soloveitchik the great-grandson of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin and author of Beis Halevi passed away today.

1892: Leaders of several congregations met tonight to discuss the possibility of establishing a school that would train men and women to serve as teachers at Jewish Sunday Schools.

1892: “Vaccination Day” published today described the annual springtime program designed to provide vaccination for hundreds of Jewish, Polish and Italian children that takes place at the Health Office on Mulberry Street.

1892: In “Turov, Polyesy, Ayzik-Ber Goldin, author of the religious work, Otiyot maḥkimot (Enlightening letters)” and his wife gave birth to Osher-Arye Goldin who worked as an author and translator before moving to the United States in 1913 where he gained fame a Yiddishist Leon Goldin.

1893: There were a dozen Polish Jews aboard the Majestic when it arrived today in England.

1893: Acting at the behest of Josef Deckert, an anti-Semitic Austrian priest, Paulus Meyer, a baptized Jew, declared in the Vaterland “that a number of Russian rabbis from Lentschna had performed a ritual murder in his presence.”

1895: Sir Matthew Nathan began serving as secretary to the Colonial Defense Committee today.

1895: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted a strawberry festival to mark the end of this season’s programs of study and entertainment.

1895: Several Polish Jews were arrested in Kingston, NY on charges of being counterfeiters.

1897: Birthdate of Kurt Gerson the native of Berlin whose medical studies ended with his service in WW I and who gained fame as actor and director Kurt Gerron – none of which kept him from being killed at Auschwitz.

1898: Rabbi Leucht of Newark, NJ, officiated at the wedding of Moses Schloss and Miss Minnie Krieger of Philadelphia.  Schloss is the manager of S. Scheurer & Co of Plainfield, NJ.

1899: “De Hirsch  Memorial Service” published today described the services held at Temple Emanu-El in honor of the late Baroness Clara de-Hirsch-Gereuth, the widow of the late Baron Hirsch. Among those who address the packed sanctuary were Myer S Isaacs, President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and William Rhinelander Stewart, President of the State Board of Charities. The service began with Mendelssohn’s Funeral March and ended with a recitation of the Kaddish led by Rabbi William Sparger and a benediction by Rabbi De Sola Menes

1901: Birthdate of Rosalie Beatrice Scherzer who gained fame as the poet Rose Auslander.

1902(4th of Iyar, 5662): Asher Isaac Myer, the managing editor of the Jewish Chronicle passed away today. (This is the date supplied by the Jewish Encylopedia)

1902: Birthdate of Louis K. Diamond, the native of Kishinev who graduated from Harvard Medical School and is known as “the father of pediatric hematology.’

1903: Birthdate of Victor Candell, the native of the Budapest “the award-winning painter” “who works included a mural on the outside of the Iraqi pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.”

1903: The El-Arish project fails. Herzl writes in his diary: "I thought the Sinai plan was such a sure thing that I no longer wanted to buy a family vault in the Döbling cemetery, where my father is provisionally laid to rest. Now I consider the affair so wrecked that I have already been to the district court and am acquiring vault No. 28."

1911: Conservative Young Turks blame Zionists for desecration of the Mosque of Omar.

1912: In London, engineer Mortiz Kahn and his wife gave birth to journalist and photographer Albert Eugene Kahn.

1912: “The original production” of “Princess Caprice, a musical theatre work described as a "comedy with music", in three acts, with music by Leo Fall,” the son of Mortiz Fall opened today “at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.”

1912(24th of Iyar, 5672): Seventy-eight year old Rabbi Samuel Baeck, the father of Rabbi Leo Baeck, the son of Rabbi Nathan Baeck, the grandson of Rabbi Abraham Baeck who was the husband of Eva Placzek, the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Placzek passed away today in Lissa.

1912: In Brooklyn, “Russian immigrants Saul and Sarah (nee Handler) Silver gave to the their eighth and youngest child Philip Silver who gained famed Phil Silvers” the comedian who appeared in vaudeville and films but whose real fame rests on his portrayal of Sgt. Ernie Bilko, the All-American military con artists with the heart of gold, in the popular sit-com called the Phil Silvers Show.

 1913: It has been reported that “after having promised” for several years “the telephone system has at last been installed at Jerusalem.”

1913: It has been reported that “he Nationalist have introduced a bill into the Duma which contains a clause to the effect that Jews should only be allowed to edit newspapers in the Pale” the purposed of which “is to banish Jewish influence from the most influential organs in St. Petersburg and Moscow.”

1914(15th of Iyar, 5674): Sixty-one year old Daniel De Leon, the native of Curacao who became a champion of the rights of the working man and leader of the Socialist Labor Party of America passed away today.

1915: In “Jews With Wilson, Says the Warheit” published today the American Yiddish language newspaper took issue with a statement in the Frankfurter Zeitung saying “that the United States cannot declare war” on Germany “because of the millions of German, Irish and Jews being in the way” saying that “the Jews should very much like the” German newspaper “and other to refrain from mentioning them in their discussions of a war between the United States and Germany. If mentioned they must be, then let it be said in their name: ‘The Jews of the United States will all, to the last man, stand behind President Wilson and the United States Government.” (Editor’s note: While many Jews were Socialists and wanted to stay out of the war because of their pacifism, and others did not want to fight on the side of the Russians whom they saw as oppressor of Jews, there was a handful of Jews from Germany who did not want to take up arms against what they saw as their enlightened fatherland.  In the end, the Germans overplayed their hand and misread American Jewry as badly as they did other others and American Jews flocked to support their new found home in what they saw as an American fight for freedom)

1915: “Dr. Perry M. Lichtenstein, a physician at the Tombs prison,’ is scheduled to “speak tonight before the Harlem Jewish League at the Belvedere on the “Dope Fiend.”  (Yes, 100 years ago there was “the war on drugs” debate)

1915:  “In his sermon at the Tabernacle tonight, the Reverend Billy Sunday expressed himself strongly in favor “of freeing Leo M. Frank.

1915: “With the death date for Leo M. Frank fixed for June 22” “fifteen thousand petitions for clemency for Frank were brought to the Capitol “at Atlanta “today which are to be delivered to Governor Staton.”

1916: Isador Herschfield, an agent of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society is currently on board the steamship New Amsterdam which left Rotterdam and is making its way to New York.

1917: Birthdate of Irving Jay Cohen “who was known as King Cupid of the Catskills for his canny ability to seat just the right nice Jewish boy next to just the right nice Jewish girl during his half-century as the maître d’ of the Concord Hotel…” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1917: It was reported today from Amsterdam that “an appeal” has been “made to Jews to participate in the struggle aiming at national autonomy and the securing of Palestine for the Jews.”

1917(19th of Iyar, 5677): Seventy year old L.G Pape, a native of Philadelphia who most recently has been working with the Memphis Agency of the Equitable Life Assurance Society in Memphis and who has been President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the driving force behind the construction of the new Temple at Popular Avenue and Montgomery Street passed away today at Memphis leaving behind a wife the former Miss Florie Bloom of Memphis.

1917: It was reported today that Julius Rosenwald of Chicago has promised to contribute ten percent of the total contributions made by those in Illinois to the Jewish Relief Committee in Behalf of the Jewish War Sufferers in Europe which is trying to raise a total of four million dollars.

1918: It was reported today that the Jewish Welfare Board, “is cooperating with British and French organizations in Paris and back of the western front to care for the” Jewish soldiers and sailors serving abroad.

1919: The first Estonian Congress of Jewish congregations held its opening session today.  The organization was going to have deal with the new realities of living in an independent Estonia that was no longer part of the old Czarist Russian Empire or its Bolshevik successor.

1919: Birthdate of Polish native Rubin Partel, the Holocaust survivor who began a new life in the United States in 1947.

1921:  Tel Aviv became the first all-Jewish municipality under the Mandatory Government.

1922: Birthdate of Tawfik Toubi a Christian Arab politician and who was elected to the Knesset in 1949 when Israel held its first parliamentary elections.  Toubi would serve until he retired in 1991.  His death in 2011 marked the end of an era since he was the last surviving member of Israel’s First Knesset.

1924: The first conference of the General Zionist movement begins in Jerusalem. It decides to establish a General Zionist Federation to amalgamate all centrist factions in Palestine.

1924: Birthdate of Leonard Garment who served as White House Counsel during the Watergate Scandal.

1924: Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merge their companies to form Mercedes-Benz.  The “Mercedes” in Mercedes Benz comes from the daughter of Jewish businessman Emil Jellinek who was known as Mercedes.

1925: In Cleveland, Ohio, Betty and Ben Glasser gave birth to William Glasser, the psychiatrist who was also a successful author on books about mental health.

1926: According to figures released today, 1,650 Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine during the month of April

1926: The list of the newly elected members of the Executive Committee District No. 1, Independent Order B’nai Brith published today included “Maurice Bloch of New York, first vice-president; David Ruslander of Buffalo, second vice-president; Joshua Kantrowitz of New York, president of the Home; Joseph Rosenzweig of New York, treasurer; Max Levy of New York, Secretary; Louis Lorence of New York, chairman of the Committee on Finance; Judge Albert Cohen of New York, chairman of the Committee on Law; Isidore H. Fox of Boston, Chairman of the Committee on Religious Activities; Wilfred B. Feiga of Worcester, chairman of the Committee on Intellectual Advancement; Ely Rosenberg of New York, chairman of the Committee on Endowment Reserve Fund; Herbert T. Rosenfeld of New York, chairman of the Committee on Social Service; Max L. Pinansky of Portland, Maine, Chief Justice of District Court; Morris B. Moskowitz of New York, chairman on Committee on Membership; Nestor Dreyfus of New London, Conn., chairman of Committee on General Fund and Charitable Objects, Abraham K. Cohen of Boston, chairman on Committee on Anti-Defamation; Henry Lasker of Springfield, Mass., chairman of Committee on Women’s Auxiliaries; Leo J. Lyons of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Exemplification of Degree; Nathan H. Friedman of Taunton, Mass., chairman of Committee on Publicity; Nathan E. Goldstein of Springfield, Mass., Chairman of Committee on District Deputies; and Louis M. Singer of Toronto, Can., chairman of Committee on Canadian Activities.” (As reported by JTA)

1927:  Birthdate of Mort Sahl.  Born in Montréal Canada, Sahl was one of a new breed of comedians that appeared in the late 1950's.  Many of them were more cerebral than slapstick; more likely to have started in coffee houses like the Hungry Eye in San Francisco than burlesque theatres. Sahl would come on stage in his trade mark orange sweater, newspaper under his arm and sitting on a stool, begin to take potshots at the political and social leaders of the day. 

1927: A cross section of thirty six leaders in the infant movie industry founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy is responsible for honoring the accomplishments of the film industry through the annual Oscar ceremonies.  Many of the original 36 were Jewish including Cecil B. DeMille, Louis Mayer, Joseph Schenk, Jake Lasky, Irving Thalberg, George Cohen, Edwin Loeb, Jack Warner and Harry Warner Yes, do the math.  The Jewish representation is definitely statistically disproportional.

1928: Morris “Moshe” Baran and his family arrived in the United States.  Amongst the three children in the family was Paul Baran, who as an engineer working at RAND Corporation “outlined the basic idea for what has become the Internet.

1928: Birthdate of Joe Schlesinger the Austrian born refugee from Nazi Europe who gained fame as a Canadian television journalist and author.

1928:  Birthdate Yaacov Agam. Israeli-born Yaacov Agam was educated at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem and the Atelier d'Art Abstrait in Paris. Agam has had exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum, the Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His work is in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Joseph Hirshhorn Collection in Washington, D.C. (editorial comment - I am no art critic or student of art so I will not even pretend to fake it on this subject.  But I happened to have seen some of his work and there is something really interesting about.  There are several websites where you can see his work.)

1929: Birthdate of Samuel Charles Cohn.  This native of Altoona, PA, would gain fame as Sam Cohn “the powerful talent broker” who founded International Creative Management (ICM) and represented a panoply of top talent including Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Arthur Miller, E.L. Doctorow and Whoopi Goldberg to name but a few.  He died in May of 2009 at the age of 79. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1929: “Eternal Love” a silent romantic film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and produced by Joseph Schenck was released in the United States today.

1930: A Zionist youth group gathered in Berehovo, Carpatho-Russia, Czechoslovakia today.

1931: The Creditanstalt which was founded in 1855 by Salomon Mayer von Rothschild's son Anselm declared bankruptcy today after having been forced by the Austrian government to assume the debts of another institution in 1929 “making it one of the first major bank failures that initiated the Great Depression.”

1932: During today’s session of the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the assembly’s President, Rabbi Israel Levinthal of Brooklyn, delivered his annual address in which he said many members were suffering financially and serious thought needed to be given to establishing a permanent relief fund.  As further proof of the impact of the Great Depression on Jews and Jewish organization, the seminary is expanding its placement service to help its graduates find work.

1932: Professor Louis Finkelstein, President of JTS, Sol M. Stroock, Chairman of the JTS Board of Directors, Professor Louis Ginzberg, and Rabbi Israel Goldstein of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, were among those who spoke at tonight’s dinner at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

1933: “Zeppo Marz and his wife left” Los Angeles “by train tonight to his father’s body back to New York for burial” where their arrival is awaited by Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx.

1934(26th of Iyar, 5694): Seventy-five year old Lazăr Şăineanu “a Romanian-born philologist, linguist, folklorist and cultural historian: who was “a specialist in Oriental and Romance studies, as well as a Hebraist and a Germanist, known for his contribution to Yiddish and Romanian philology” passed away today in Paris.

1934: Birthdate of Guinter Kahn, the native of Trier who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and development a “remedy for baldness.”

1936(19th of Iyar, 5696): Sixty-two year old Judge Otto Rosalsky, “the dean of the General Sessions bench passed away this morning at Mount Sinai Hospital where his family including his wife Mamie Rosalsky, his brothers Justice Joseph S. Rosalsky, Dr. Harry W. Rosalsky and Alexander Rosalsky and his sisters Mrs. Joseph Morrison and Mrs. Bella Shapira were at his bedside.

1938:  The Palestine Post reported that Hanita beat off another heavy terrorist attack. Arab terrorist gangs continued to enter Arab villages demanding ransom money and valuables. Those villagers who refused such demands were usually kidnapped and their bodies were later found in the neighboring fields. A forest neighboring the Tiberias Hot Springs was set on fire. The Dutch border was closed to refugees after about 2,000 Austrian and 15,000 German Jews succeeded to get in. Holland claimed that despite the fact that it suffered from a heavy unemployment, it had offered residence to over 26,000 refugees.  During the 1930’s the Jews were caught in two pronged anti-Semitic orgy.  In Europe they were condemned because they were permanent outsiders even though they desperately tried to fit into the social fabric of the various nations in which they lived.  In Palestine, the Jews were under attack because they were trying to establish a national home where Jews could live as Jews.  The point of this is that anti-Semitism is irrational and those who hate Jews will grab any excuse and those looking for a scapegoat will grab any Jew.

1939: Jews are prohibited from working in travel agencies by Nazi Germany

1939: Premiere of crime drama “Blind Alley” directed by Charles Vidor.

1941:  In the Warsaw ghetto, children are seen playing with a corpse in a courtyard. In each of the prior two months, 500 - 600 more Jews died of starvation.

1941: During the Blitz, The Great Synagogue on Dukes Place in London is destroyed in an air raid.

1942:  Alter Dworetsky, a member of the Jewish Council at Diatlovo, Belorussia, escapes to a nearby forest, only to be shot to death by Soviet partisans after refusing to hand over his pistol.

1942: “Native Land” a documentary about the trade union movement directed and produced by Leo Hurwitz who also co-authored the script and with music by Marc Blitzstein was released in the United States today.

1942: Damon Runyon published “Sam Dreben’s Spirit Marches On” a column that uses the career of this Jewish career soldier who won the Distinguished Service Cross to dispel notions of Jewish cowardliness and lack of patriotism.  The column was written “on the occasion of the posthumous conferring of the DSC on Lt. Henry D. Mark of Los Angeles. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

1942: The Biltmore Program is adopted in an emergency meeting (at the Biltmore Hotel in New York) of the Conference of American Zionists. The program proposed by Ben Gurion and Abba Hillel Silver totally rejected the British White paper and called for the establishment of a Jewish state. There was opposition to the proposal by the "non- Zionists" and those who believed in a bi-national state (HaShomer HaZair).

1942: “Go Down Moses,” the collection of short stories by William Faulkner is published today.  The title is based on the spiritual that compares the slavery experience of African-Americans in the United States with the enslavement of the Jews by Pharaoh.

1943: Birthdate of Thomas Buergenthal, the native of Ľubochňa, Czechoslovakia, who survived Aushwitz and Sachsenhausen to become an American attorney and a Judge serving on the International Court of Justice.

1944: HMCS Beauharnois, a Canadian corvette, was launched today.  She would be acquired by the Israelis and was renamed Josiah Wedgwood, in honor of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, the British M.P. who wanted to remove the obstacles to Jewish immigration to Palestine and opposed the British appeasement of Hitler during the 1930’s.

1944: Anne Frank writes in her diary, "I'd like to publish a book called 'The Secret Annex.' It remains to be seen whether I'll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis

1944: Dr. Salomon Gluck, a French Army veteran who had been honored with the Croix de Guerre for bravery in facing the Nazis on the Maginot Line and a member of the Resistance was deported from Drancy aboard convoy 73.  He was number 21530 and the convoy was unusual in that all of the almost 900 prisoners were men. The men did not know that they would meet an ignominious end.

1944: Allied forces begin their final assault on the German lines at Monte Casino, the seizure of which will open the Road to Rome with the concomitant saving of the lives of Italian Jews hiding in and around the eternal city.

1946: Fifty-eight of the 61 defendants in “The Mauthausen Camp Trials” were found sentenced to death today.

1948: “In an interview” given today “in his apartment at the Ansonia Hotel Al Shean of the famous comedy team of Gallagher and Shean “said he had nothing special planned to mark” his eightieth birthday which falls on May 12.

1948:  Haganah took control of the port of Haifa. Haifa is Israel's northern port.  In 1948, it had enough of a Jewish majority to have elected the town's mayor.  But the city also had a considerable Arab population.  The fighting during April to control the city was fierce.  However, the three major Arab leaders left the city when they realized they were not going to any more help from the King of Jordan.  This demoralized the local Arab population.  Despite being urged by the Jews to stay and remain calm, the majority left by sea for Lebanon and by land for Nazareth.  Matters were not helped by the Arab Higher Committee which urged the Arabs to leave, in part, because the committee was sure that Haifa would be bombed by Arab air forces thus ending the Jewish presence in Haifa.

1949:  Israel is admitted as the 59th member of the U.N., this, on the anniversary of Turkey's declaration, in 1917, of its intention to free Eretz Israel of the entire Jewish population.

1949:  Today, Zero Mostel appeared on “Toast of the Town” hosted by Ed Sullivan.

1950: In a speech given tonight at Madison Square Garden, Governor Dewey declared that Israel must be armed to defend its frontiers against aggression because a strong Israel "is the surest guarantee to peace in the Near East."

1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that restitution negotiations were expected to begin shortly between the Austrian government and various Jewish Community representatives. The Israeli Cabinet decided to impose a "special unemployment relief tax" after the number of jobless reached 16,000. The Jerusalem Labor Exchange which had been closed for a week, following an attack by a mob of unemployed, reopened and offered forestation jobs to 30 workers. Over 550 workers were already employed in forestation projects carried out by Keren Kayemet, the Jewish National Fun.  In the first decade of the 21st century people see Israel as a place of lush vegetation with a vibrant western style economy.  It is quickly forgotten that in the early days of Israel’s existence the economy was quite shaky with high unemployment, large numbers of immigrants with limited skills and a land that had been denuded and neglected for centuries.

1955:  Israel attacked Gaza.  In 1955, Gaza was under control of Egypt.  It was a base for fedayeen (from Israel's point of view, terrorists) who would cross into Israel planting roadside bombs and shooting up passing vehicles.  Israel's move into Gaza was temporary, lasting only long enough to destroy the bases from which these people operated.  David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, was always adamant that Israel should never want to hold on to Gaza.

1959: The original production of “Once Upon a Mattress” “a musical comedy with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer” “opened at the off-Broadway Phoenix Theatre” today.

1960:  Adolf Eichmann, charged with the implementation of the "final solution", was captured in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eichmann was in charge of all transportation required for the shipment of Jews to the extermination camps. The height of his career was reached in Hungary in 1944, when he managed to transport 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks.  Eichmann was found guilty and is the only person who ever executed by the Israeli the government.

1961: President John F. Kennedy appointed Walworth Barbour as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

1963: Lesley Gore’s recording of “It’s My Party” “entered the Billboard Hot 100” today.

1963(17th of Iyar, 5723): Seventy-four year old Dr. Herbert S. Gasser, winner of the 1944 Nobel Prize for Medicine passed away tonight in New York City.

1966(21st of Iyar, 5726): Sixty year old “Monument Man” James Joseph Rorimer, a Jew from Cleveland who was a director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he helped create the Cloisters passed away today after suffering a heart attack.  (For more see Survival: The Salvage and Protection of Art in War by James Joseph Rorimer

1966: In New York City, “Ronnie I. (née Posner) and Lawrence David Ackman, the chairman of a New York real estate financing firm, Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group” gave birth to “William Albert "Bill" Ackman an American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist who was the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund management company.”

1967: Abba Eban and his wife tour Israel’s northern border area with General David Elazar, commander of the region.

1968: Rolling Stone magazine featured a photograph of Eric Clapton taken by Linda McCartney today making it the first time that a photograph by a woman “was featured on a front cover.”

1968: It was reported today that Max Perlman who has been “absent from the Second Avenue scene for two seasons” is scheduled to return to New York from Tel Aviv “to star in the perennial fall production at of Jacob Jacobs at the Anderson Yiddish Theatre.”

1969: In “Jean Rosenthal 1912-1969” published today Leo Lerman provided a portrait of the lighting genius who “lit up” the Broadway productions of “Hello Dolly,” “Plaza Suite,” “Cabaret” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

1969: Sir Harry Charles Luke who served as assistant Governor of Jerusalem in 1921 and was a member of the Haycraft Commission that investigated the May riots in Jaffa and who served as acting High Commissioner to the Government of Palestine for six months during 1928 passed away today

1969: “Singapore officially recognized the State of Israel and diplomatic relations were established between the two countries.” (As reported by JewishVirtualLibrary)

1970(5th of Iyar, 5730): Yom HaAtzma’ut

1970: “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” a comedy directed and produced by Otto Preminger and filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman was released in the United States today.

1970: “Leo the Last,” a British drama produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and starring George Tabori whose “father Cornelius died at Auschwtiz in 1944, was released today in the United Kingdom.

1971: “The Second Leningrad trial, with “Hillel Butman, Mikhail Korenblit, Lassal Kaminsky, Lev Yagman, Vladimir Mogilever, Solomon Dreisner, Lev Korenblit, Viktor Boguslavsky, Victor Shtilbans” as defendants began today

1973:  Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg has his charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times dismissed.  Contrary to a popular misconception, Ellsberg was not Jewish.  His parents had been Jewish but they raised their son as a Christian Scientist.  However, the following list of people involved with the Pentagon Papers reads like a who’s-who of Jews during the 1970’s.  How many of these names ring a bell? “To name just a few, we have Leslie Gelb, the chief author of the Pentagon Papers; Henry Kissinger, Nixon's national security advisor and Ellsberg's former Harvard colleague; Leonard Weinglass and William Kunstler, two of Ellsberg's attorneys; Max Frankel and Arthur O. Sulzberger of The New York Times which first published the secret papers; Sidney Zion, the maverick reporter who named Ellsberg as the leaker; Seymour Hirsh, the investigative journalist and one of Ellsberg's few close friends; Barbra Streisand, who sang to raise money for Ellsberg's legal defense fund; Louis Marx, the toy tycoon and Ellsberg's father-in- law; Bernard Barker, the Watergate burglar; Noam Chomsky, the hard-Left Ellsberg defender; and Ellsberg's countless Jewish colleagues and acquaintances at Harvard, at the RAND Corporation, in the government and in the anti-Vietnam War movement.”

1975: Israel signed an agreement with European Economic Market.  This helped the Israelis to increase their involvement in what was then a new and burgeoning market for its products including fresh flowers and fresh produce.  At a time when Israel was being isolated in the U.N., this agreement served as a tonic for the besieged state.

1975: Saboteurs derailed a freight train near Jerusalem.

1976: Three people were injured when terrorist set off a bomb in a Tel Aviv movie theatre.

1978(4th of Iyar, 5738): Yom HaAtzma'ut

1981: ABC broadcast “Best Little Girl In the World” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh as “Casey Powell” for the first time.

1982(18th of Iyar, 5742): Lag B’Omer

1982: Birthdate of Evan Goldberg, the native of Vancouver, who has collaborated with his fellow Canadian Jewish boyhood friend Seth Rogen to produce several films “including Superbad.”

1982: The High Court of Australia decided Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen in which barrister Aaron Ronald "Ron" Castan “played a leading role.”

1982: The initial one-hour installment of ‘‘Oppenheimer,'' a seven-part dramatized biography of the American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer; it stars Sam Waterston as ''the father of the atomic bomb'' will be broadcast tonight as part of the ''American Playhouse'' series. (As reported by Michael Billington)

1983(28th of Iyar, 5743: Yom Yerushalayim

1983: In Miami, Arthur and Shirley Sotfloff gave birth to Steven Joel Sotloff the journalist beheaded by ISIS.

1984: “The Natural,” the feel-good cinematic treatment of Bernard Malamud’s 1952 novel of the same name directed by Berry Levinson with music by Randy Newman was released today in the United States.

1985: Amy Eilberg was ordained today by the Jewish Theological Seminary making her the first female rabbi in the Conservative Movement.

1986: Anatoly B. Shcharansky was the featured “speaker at the annual Solidarity Sunday for Soviet Jewry, a rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan.”  Sharansky, who has taken the Hebrew name of Natan was released from a Soviet prison in February thanks to a massive, long-term campaign led by his wife Avital.  ''My K.G.B. interrogators, my prison guards, they tried to convince me that I was alone, powerless in their hands,'' Mr. Shcharansky told the crowd, some of whom had marched to the plaza near the United Nations along a parade route that began at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. The police estimated the audience at 300,000. 'All of You Were With Me'  ''But I knew I was never alone,'' he added. ''I knew my wife, my people and all of you were with me. They tried their best to find a place where I was isolated. But all the resources of a superpower cannot isolate a man who hears the voice of freedom, a voice I heard from the very chamber of my soul.'' (As reported by Jane Gross)

1987:  Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.  In 1941, Barbie was posted to the Bureau of Jewish Affairs and sent to Amsterdam and later, in May 1942, to Lyon - there, he earned the sobriquet "Butcher of Lyon" as head of the local Gestapo. He was accused of a number of crimes, including the capture and deportation of forty-four Jewish children hidden in the village of Izieu and the torturing to death of Jean Moulin, the highest ranking member of the French Resistance ever captured. All told, the deportation of 7,500 people, 4,342 murders, and the arrest and torture of 14,311 resistance fighters were in some way attributed to his actions or commands.  For several years after the war, Barbie was protected by British and American intelligence agencies because they thought he could provide information to help fight the Cold War.  In the end, Barbie would be found guilty and die in prison from cancer of the pancreas.

1987: Time magazine published “Essay: Was He Normal? Human? Poor Humanity” by Elie Wiesel.

1989: NBC broadcast the final episode of season five of the “Cosby Show,” a sitcom co-developed by Ed Weinberger.

1991: “Amen,” a sitcom created by Ed Weinberger and included a two years of Elsa Raven playing “Inga” was broadcast on NBC for the last time.

1993: Yithak Rabin replaced Aryeh Deri as Minister of Internal Affairs.

1994(1st of Sivan, 5754): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

1994(1st of Sivan, 5754): Violinist Leonard Friedman passed away. Friedman was born in London's East End, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants.  He was the father of another generation of performers, Sonia, Maria and Richard Friedman.  Richard Friedman is the second generation of violinists in the family. 

1995: NBC broadcast the final episode of season 6 of “Seinfeld” which was the number 1 rated show according to Nielsen.

1997(4th of Iyar, 5757): Yom HaZikaron

1997: IBM's Deep Blue chess-playing supercomputer defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player. Kasparov claims to be half Armenian and half Jewish.  Regardless of his chess playing skills, Kasparov literally embodies the victims of the two most famous cases of genocide in the 20th century.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interst to Jewish readers including “The American Century” by Norman F. Cantor.

1998: In his column for the Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer wrote:

"Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store."

2001(18th of Iyar, 5761): Lag B’Omer

2001: The Austin Chronicle reviews “Silent Heritage: The Sephardim and the Colonization of the Spanish North American Frontier, 1492-1600” by Richard Santos

2002: “The city of Rochester” declared today “Hyam Plutzik Day in recognition of his contributions to the community.”

2002: Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots open their brand new stadium, Gillette Stadium.

2003: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The God of Old: Recovering Theological Imaginings” by James Kugel

2004: Today, “friends and family of Nicholas Berg, who was killed by his captors in Iraq as generous, remembered him as outgoing and funny.

2004: The Village Voice publishes “The Jesus Landing Pad” in which author Rick Perlstein describes the here-to-for undocumented role of certain Christian groups in forming the Bush Administration’s Middle East Policy. According to Perlstein, the American people “we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.”

2005: Observance of יום הזכרון לחללי מערכות ישראל - ד' באייר Yom Hazikaron - Israel Remembrance Day or Israel Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day.  This is a day to remember all those who have fallen in the defense of the Jewish homeland including those who have died at the hand of terrorist.  This national day of remembrance always comes one day before Israel Independence Day, which is the fifth of Iyar.  However, according to Israeli law, when the fifth of Iyar falls on a Friday or Saturday, as is the case in 2005, the observance of Independence Day is always moved to Thursday.  This means that Yom Hazikaron is moved to Wednesday.

2006: At The 92nd Street Y Joseph Telushkin delivers a lecture on his book "A Code of Jewish Ethics", followed by a book signing.

2006: According to “Hevesi's Advice Stirs Questions On the Coast” published in the New York Sun, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi “faced a conflict of interest allegation in relation to a private capital fund named ‘Markstone’".

2006(13th of Iyar, 5766): Writer, actor and singer Yossi Banai, one of Israel's most beloved and admired artists passed away at the age of 74 after a serious illness. He is survived by his wife and three children, one of whom is Mashina soloist Yuval Banai. The winner of the 1998 Israel Prize, Banai was celebrated as an extraordinarily talented actor, singer and writer. In addition to performing on stage and screen, Banai wrote and staged numerous performances, including skits for five productions of the Hagashash Hahiver entertainment group, of which his brother, Gavri Banai, was a member. Banai started out his career as an actor at Habima, where he continued to perform for over 50 years. Over time, he performed in every major Israeli theater as well as in numerous other venues. He was also well known for his renditions of French songs by Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, and other French singers, adapted into Hebrew by Naomi Shemer.  Banai was born in the Mahaneh Yehuda neighborhood of Jerusalem, and grew up in an observant home. Last year, he issued a CD on which he read verses from Psalms, accompanied by music composed by Yonatan Bar-Giora. "At an older age, as an actor and also offstage, I began to realize how much poetry this enchanted text contained," he said in an interview following the release of the CD. "The Hebrew language, as it appears in Psalms, is simply sublime - so that even nonbelievers who do not treat the verses as a love song to divinity can read them as pure poetry."


2007: Jennifer Bleyer is the featured speaker at the Shabbat dinner sponsored by the JCC of Manhattan. “Jennifer is a journalist who founded Heeb Magazine, and became its first editor and publisher. She is currently writing for the City section of The New York Times, and has written about her own personal Jewish journey in Yentl's Revenge and The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt.

2007: In Postville, Iowa, 200 workers walked off the job at Agriprocessors, the largest kosher slaughtering operation in the United States.

2007(23rd of Iyar, 5767): The attempt to bury Joseph Chuckrow who had passed away today touched off a legal dispute between the Chuckrow family and Temple Beth El in Troy, NY.

2007(23rd of Iyar, 5767): Robert Gordon, the blacklisted writer who was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia passed away.  One of his best known quality screen efforts was 55 Days at Peking. During his “black list” period, Gordon served as one of the writers on “Hellcats of the Navy” starring Ronald Reagan and his future wife, Nancy Davis

2008: Leonard Cohen began his first tour in 15 years at Fredericton, New Brunswick.

2008: As part of Israel Independence Celebrations, The First International Writers Festival opens in Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem. The festival, which is the first of its type here, provides a common meeting ground for Israeli writers and prominent international colleagues. The festival is the site of roundtable discussions and encounters with readers, in a variety of languages, as well as a number of events for children. Among the guests at the first festival are Jewish-American writers Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander.

2008: “One of a Kind,” a play that Yossi Vassa co-wrote with Shai Ben Attar about his family’s flight from Ethiopia in the mid-1980s ends its week long run at The New Victory Theater in New York City.  “One of a Kind,” which deals with conflicts in Vassa’s family around the decision to leave Ethiopia, is dedicated to the playwright’s grandmother, who died in Sudan before the rest of the family emigrated via Operation Moses, the covert effort in which thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel. The play has already had a three-year run in Israel, where it won multiple theater awards. It was recently translated into English, and the original cast members, all of whom were born in Ethiopia, are taking it to America and Canada.

2008: The Sunday New York Times section features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of Jewish interest including How I Learned Geography, a children’s book written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz, Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene by Masha Gessen, Nixonland by Rick Perlstein, The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel and Peace by Richard Bausch of which the reviewer writes, “ One senses some inherited autobiography here. Robert Marson, the novel’s central character is the grandson of German immigrants; his comrade, Asch, is the grandson of a German Jew who fought for the Kaiser in World War I. Bausch has dedicated the book to a father who “served bravely in Africa, Sicily and Italy.”

2008: The Washington Post book section features reviews of Reflections of a Wine Merchant by Neal I. Rosenthal and Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters.

2009: Rabbi Denise Eger assumes the leadership of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.  She is the first woman and the firs lesbian to head this organization.

2009: The Pope arrives in Israel for a four-day stay, which will include visits to the Palestinian Authority and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as well as meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, who will be his official host.

2009: Sports Illustrated reports on the recent death of Salamo Arouch, the Greek born Jewish boxer who survived Auschwitz by winning fights staged by the camp guards.  After the war, he moved to Palestine where he fought in the War of Independence.  He was 86 when he died.

2009: Final performance of “The Man That Got Away: After Ira George” at the 92nd Street Y in New York.2010: Andy Christie's The Liar Show featuring Ophira Eisenberg, Mark Katz, Michaela Murphy and Andy Christie is scheduled to appear at the DCJCC

2010: Yom Yerushalayim, “For the sake of Jerusalem I will not be silent,” a night of activism on behalf of Israel is scheduled to take place at the Mt. Kisco Hebrew Congregation.

2010: A Prague court has recognized an artist's right to the image he designed of the Golem. Today the Prague Municipal court recognized the right of the daughter of the late sculptor Jaroslav Horejc, who created an image of a burly clay giant for the Czech film "The Emperor's Baker/The Baker's Emperor," to the image of the character, according to Radio Prague. According to legend, the Prague Golem was created by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, to defend the Prague ghetto from pogroms. Horejc's image was the first time that the Golem was shown as a giant, inhuman figure and not a human figure, according to the report.

2010: David Miliband completed his term of office as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under Prime Minster Gordon Brown.

2010: Peter Mandelson completed his service as First Secretary of State and Lord President of the Council in Great Britain.

2011: Rachel Gordan is scheduled to lead a conversation, entitled “Post-World War II American Judaism: How Judaism Became an American Religion,” at the Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture in Boston, MA.

2011: The Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio, is scheduled to  hold an informal 10-minute conversation on “Jozef Israëls, The Sewing School at Katwijk which provide more information about this masterpiece painted by the Jewish artist dubbed the 19th-century Rembrandt.

2011: Katherine Scharhon is scheduled to lead the first part of a two part series “A Taste of Sephardic Foods” in which participants will learn to make (and eat) borekas, those divine filled pies and biscochos, the lovely simple cookies that can be sweet or savory and shaped for a variety of occasions in Seattle, Washington, home to the third largest Sephardic community in the United States.

2011: Hundreds of Jewish World War II veterans marched in the streets of Jerusalem today on the 66th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. Most of the participants in the VE Day parade were immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as the parade is a tradition originating in Russia, where tanks rumble through the streets on, crossing Moscow's Red Square on VE Day each year. Jewish partisans, wounded soldiers from the war against the Nazis, underground fighters, volunteers from the Yishuv who fought in the British forces and veterans of the Jewish Brigade also participated in the event. Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver and opposition leader Tzipi Livni marched with the veterans.  Following the event, Livni posted a photograph of herself standing with the veterans and wrote a message of support. "Today I attended the Jerusalem march not only as Opposition Leader but on behalf of the entire people of Israel, to tell them thank you," she wrote. "We know the struggle for the existence of Israel did not begin in 1948, but much before ... You and they were partners in this struggle."

2011: Following the attack on Moshe Cohen, director of Heichal Hatora, in Buenos Aires, Dr. Angel Schindel, vice president of the DAIA Jewish political umbrella organization, plans to file a lawsuit today in the federal justice department based on a violation of Argentina’s anti-discrimination law, which penalizes with jail time attacks motivated by racial or religious hatred. (As reported by JTA)

2011(7th of Iyar, 5771): Ninety-four year old Leo Kahn, the founder of Staples, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin

2011: In “At 100, Still a Teacher and Quite a Character,” published today Joseph Berger describes the remarkable life of Bel Kaufman, the granddaughter of Shalom Aleichem who gained fame as an author in her own right.

2011(7th of Iyar, 5771): Centenarian Maurice Goldhaber, the physicist who as Director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory oversaw experiments that led to 3 Nobel Prizes passed away today. (As reported by Kenneth Chang)

2012: Amos Kollek’s “Chronicles of a Chrisis” a documentary that includes an examination between the writer/director and his father who was Jerusalem’s most famous mayor finishes its opening week debut at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

2012: In “Holocaust documents reveal story behind Obama’s tailor” published today Ned Martel tells the story of Washington tailor and Shoah survivor Martin Greenfield.

2012: In the Western Galilee the Matte Asher and Maale Yosef regional councils are scheduled to host a jeep trip from Lake Monfort to the Tzuriel Crater, Alkosh Forest and Goren Park

 2012: Israeli President Shimon underwent surgery for a hernia at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

2013: Israeli born pianist Shai Wosner is scheduled to perform at the Kenned Center Terrace Theatre as the Washington Jewish Music Festival comes to an end. 

2013: Several thousand people marched around central Tel Aviv tonight to protest the budget plan presented earlier this week by Finance Minister Yair Lapid. (As reported by Ben Hartman)

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced heavy criticism today after it was revealed he spent $127,000 (over 450,000 shekels) of taxpayers’ money having an El Al plane fitted out with a double-bed in an enclosed bedroom for his five-hour flight to London last month to attend the funeral of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Exodus: A Memoir by Deborah Feldman and Daughter of the King by Sandra Lansky (daughter of Myer Lansky) and William Stadiem.

2014:  The 22nd annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2014: The National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th annual film festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2014: “Twenty IDF reservist commanders sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, in which they stressed that over 100 soldiers under their command hadn't undergone any training exercises for three-and-a-half years, and therefore were unprepared for any military conflict the country may face.”

2014: “A settlers’ group filed a police complaint against iconic Israeli author Amos Oz today, even as the writer doubled down on widely publicized weekend statements in which he called the perpetrators of the recent wave of so-called “price tag” hate crimes throughout the country neo-Nazis, and accused the country’s leadership of being cowed by “settler rabbis.”

2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to host Yanky Franchler delivering a lecture on “1000 Years of Jewish Blood Libels.”

2015: Michael Walzer, author of The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions and Paul Berman are scheduled to explore India and its Hindu militants, the ultra-Orthodox and messianic Zionists of Israel, and Algerian Islamic radicals” at the Center for Jewish History.

2015: “Felix & Meira” and “A la Vie” are scheduled to be shown at the 18th annual Jewish Film Festival.

2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to host Saul Sapir delivering a lecture on “The Heritage of the Jews of Mumbai (Bombay).”

2015: In Tel Aviv, at The Israel Museum birthday which is scheduled to take place today, “There will be no charge to enter the museum and anyone turning 50 on the same day will received a free lifetime membership to the museum.”

2016(3rd of Iyar, 5776): Yom Hazikaron – The Day of Remembrance

(Yom Hazikaron l'Chalalei Ma'arachot Yisrael ul'Nifge'ei Pe'ulot. "The Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism" is on the 4th of Iyar, but is observed this year on the 3rd to avoid a conflict with Shabbat)

2016: “Teens and adults from Hashomer Hatzair Youth Group and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue Religious School are scheduled to participate in “Mizikaron Le'atzmaut: From Remembrance to Independence” – a commemoration of the memory of Israeli soldiers followed by “a concert Israeli songs by the a\ Afro-Hebrew band Milk and Honeys.”

2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education and the Portland Symphonic Choir are scheduled to present “A Child of Our Time” – Michael Tippett’s work written in response to Kristallnacht and performed for the first time in 1944.

2017: Alesssio Assontis and Gabriele Mancuso are scheduled to lecture on “Like the Medici: Jewish Dynasties in Renaissance Florence” at the Streicker Center.

2017: Authors Matti Friedman and Nicole Strauss are scheduled to present “Writing Between Two Jewish Worlds” at the Central Synagogue.

2017: In “Songs of the Nation” Maskilic Readings of the Psalms After Moses Mendelssohn” Dr. Yael Sela-Teichler is scheduled to discuss “the 1791 edition of Moses Mendelssohn’s German translation of Psalms, The Book of the Songs of Israel, exploring maskilic renderings of the music of the Hebrews that reclaim biblical poetry as Jewish musical heritage and challenge traditional notions of exile.”

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host and interfaith Friday night with its “Baha’I friends.”

2018: “The Live Feed Creative residency program” at the New York Live Art Studios is scheduled to present Netta Yerushalmy’s “Paradmodernites.”

2018: The UK Jewish Film is scheduled to sponsor two screenings today in London of “Entebbe.”



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