1141: As he journeyed towards Jerusalem, Yehuda Halevi set sail for Palestine today from Alexandria, Egypt. According to legend, Halevi was killed by an Arab horseman when as he reached his ultimate destination.
1288: Thirteen Jews in Troyes, France were burned at the stake by the inquisition
1316: Birthdate of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Charles viewed his Jewish subjects as “servi camerae” and issued numerous letters ordering that they not be harmed. The title of Holy Roman Emperor sounded grand but had very limited power so these letters went unheeded for the most part. However, when the Jewish community of Breslau was attacked, Charles ordered the killers to be arrested and punished for their crimes.
1482: As the Christians continued their push to take control all of the Iberian Peninsula King Ferdinand took command at Alhama during the Granada War.
1483: Coronation of Charles VIII of France ("Charles l'Affable"). In the second year of his reign, following accusations of usury, the inhabitants of Marseilles, the port city of the recently acquired territory of Provence, attacked the Jewish neighborhoods pillaging them and killing numbers of Jews in 1484 and again in the early months of 1485, leading to an exodus of Jews from the city, especially to Sardinia which became home to about 200 Jewish families of Marseilles. However, King Charles VIII was not inclined to conform to the popular demand of expelling the Jews from Provence. He decreed that all Jews wishing to leave should be allowed to leave Marseilles unharmed on condition they had fulfilled all their engagements with the Christians. The city authorities, on the other hand, were not prepared to let the Jews leave Marseilles with their property and took various measures in order to reduce their emigration, among others they organized an inventory of the Jewish property in Marseilles in 1486. The resulting protests of the Jews assured the royal intervention and a few additional years of protection. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 brought new Jewish inhabitants to Marseilles. In 1492 the Jewish community of Marseilles ransomed 118 Jews of Aragon captured by the pirate Bartholemei Janfredi, having paid the sum of 1,500 écus, which it borrowed from a Christian. Renewed anti-Jewish attacks in 1493 eventually led to the general expulsion of the Jews from Marseilles three years after Charles passed away in 1498.
1507: Hernando de Talavera, the archbishop of Granada and Confessor of Queen Isabela who came from a family of “Conversos” passed away today. (Editor’s note – he is but one example of how those with “Jewish Blood” held positions of power and responsibility much to the consternation of Old Christians in Spain.)
1572: Gregory XIII begins his papacy. “Gregory's policy toward the Jews cannot be distinctly characterized, since it swayed between relative favor and severity. Soon after his election, he protected the Jews in the ghetto of Rome who were in danger of being attacked by the soldiers. Further, an order issued by his notary threatened with hanging any non-Jew found in the ghetto or its vicinity without a valid reason. Gregory authorized once more moneylending with a maximum interest rate of 24%. He guaranteed the safe-conduct of Jews coming into Italy or passing through the country. Although Marranos were also able to benefit from this concession, Gregory nevertheless allowed the Marrano Joseph Saralbo, who had returned to Judaism in Ferrara, to be condemned to the stake in 1583. Gregory was also responsible for organizing regular compulsory missionary sermons, often with the collaboration of apostate preachers The Jewish community was compelled to defray the costs of this institution, as well as the expenses of the House of *Catechumens. The new prohibitions against Jewish physicians treating Christian patients contributed to the decline of medical science among Italian Jews. However, shortly before his death, Gregory intervened with the Knights of Malta to obtain the release of Jewish prisoners in their hands, even though the ransom he offered was lower than the sum demanded.” (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)
1590: On this date the Sumptuary Laws were enacted aimed at the Jews of Casale (Italy). These were laws regulating what Jews may wear, how they may marry, what they may serve at a wedding, and all manner of what might be called social intercourse. These laws were commonplace in Europe and designed to humiliate and punish the Jews in the name of Christ
1637: The Jews of Venice were denied the right to practice law
1643: Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. Louis reigned until his death in 1715. His record of dealing with the Jews was uneven, based primarily on financial needs and attempts by Catholic French merchants to use religion to oust their Jewish competitors. Five years before his death, he issued a final ban against Jews living in France, a ban that was not fully enforced.
1726(13th of Iyar, 5486): Rabbi Moshe Darshan, author of Torat Ahsam, passes away.
1803: Birthdate of Salomon Munk, the German-born French Orientalist. In his formative years he was a trained in Torah and Talmud before moving on to Berlin where he became well versed in the classical languages and cultures. He moved to France, because as a Jew, he could not be hired to work in his chosen profession. In France, he developed an expertise in the works of Aristotle and Maimonides.
1807: The newly created grand duchy of Baden recognizes “Judaism as an officially tolerated religion” mean they are “emancipated.” At the same time Jews are still exclude from being employed in the civil service.
1808: Birthdate of Leon Hyneman, a native of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania who settled in Philadelphia where he was a leading Mason and the father of eight children including Leona Moss who gained fame as an actress using the stage name of Leona Moss and Alice Hyneman, a noted author.
1817: Birthdate of Moses Polock “a well-known and somewhat eccentric antiquarian bookseller” who was the maternal uncle of Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach.
1820: Birthdate of Morris Rosenbach, the husband of Isabella H. Polock and father of Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach, his eighth and youngest child who became one of America’s leading collector of rare books and manuscripts.
1824: The Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, meeting in Lancaster, a city that for one day in September, 1777 was capital of the nascent United States of America, "carefully perused and examined" the Constitution of the Jewish congregation known as Kaal Kadosh Mickve Israel (The Holy Congregation Hope of Israel) in Philadelphia which decrees that services in the Philadelphia synagogue shall always be according to the custom of the Portuguese Jews. The finding of Justices Tilghman, Gibson and Duncan was that this, and everything else in their proposed constitution, was lawful. It was a beautiful example of the novus ordo seclorum "the new order of the times" promised on the Great Seal of the United States. Let us strive to remember this in our day when this new order is under constant attack, both at home and abroad.
1828: Lewis Raphael married Rachel Mocatta today.
1832: Birthdate of Rudolf Lipschitz, the German mathematician who gave “his name to the Lipschitz continuity condition.”
1832: The premiere of “L'elisir d'amor” which would later be produced by Max Maretzek took place at the Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan
1846: Birthdate of Ernst Herter, the German sculptor who created the Lorelie Fountain, a memorial to Heinrich Heine that was unveiled in the Bronx because the city of his birth, Dusseldorf, rejected it due the prevailing anti-Semitic views in the “Fatherland.”
1847: Composer Fanny Mendelssohn passed away. She was the granddaughter of Moses Mendelssohn. Her grandfather was one of the founders of what would become Reform Judaism. Unfortunately, Fanny was not Jewish.
1853: Word reached the United States today, as reported in the New York Times, that Holy Week had seen outbreaks of violence in Jerusalem. Greeks and Armenians fought with each in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher while 24 “missionaries of the London Protestant Association” had “a scuffle with the Jews in the streets of Jerusalem.”
1853: According to reports published today, J. Lewis Levy Esq., who is Jewish, has been returned as guardian of the Cathedral City of Rochester (U.K.)
1853: The New York Times reported that the Earl of Aberdeen has told the House of Lords that he had changed his mind about the Jewish Disabilities Bill. Two years ago he had voted against the bill. Now he was prepared to vote for it because “he regarded the exclusion of the Jews from civil privileges as a remnant of the spirit of persecution which prevailed in former times throughout Christendom.”
1854: The American Society for Meliorating the Conditions of the Jews celebrated its sixth anniversary with a meeting tonight at the Reformed Dutch Church in New York City. The organization is dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity. The Society is convinced that the Jews of the United States are ripe for conversion. However according to its own figures there are more than 40,000 Jews living in the United States and the society has successfully converted 79 of them.
1855(26th of Iyar, 5615): Eighty-eight year old French banker Beer Léon Fould the son of Jacob Bernard Fould and the father of Achille Fould, the French Finance Minister for Napoleon III passed away today in Paris.
1858: In Andover, CT, Susan and Joel Foote Bingham gave birth to Theodore Alfred Bingham who while serving as “Police Commissioner of New York published an article in North American Review on "Foreign Criminals" in which he asserted that half the criminals in the city were Jews” – an assertion he retracted after creating this controversy.
1859: Isaias W. Hellman and his brother Herman W. Hellman arrived in Los Angles from Bavaria and went subsequently went to work in a dry goods store owed by their cousins.
1859: Mr. R. J. de Cordova, a well-known humorist is scheduled to give a lecture this morning at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. Mr. de Cordova is scheduled to give a lecture every third Saturday for the rest of the year.
1861: Birthdate of Alfred J. Cohen, the native of Birmingham, England who moved to the United States in 1887 and as Alan Dale became a leading and often “despised” theatre critic.
1861: A copy of the War Department order announcing Major Mordecai's resignation reached the arsenal at Watervliet, NY which forced Mordecai to relinquish command to his subordinate before his unnamed replacement had arrived.
1864(8th of Iyar, 5624): Baron Salomon de Rothschild died in Paris today at the age of 29, only two years after his marriage and less than a year after the birth of his daughter, Helene. He was buried at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the family vault. Of his death, the Goncourt brothers wrote "Cabarrus, the Rothschild's doctor, told Saint-Victor that the young Rothschild who died the other day really died of the excitement of gambling on the stock exchange."
1864: Emma Mordecai had a dispute with her sister-in-law Rosina over reports of a victory by the Confederates under General Lee. Rosina, who was not Jewish, doubted the report. Emma, who was Jewish and was an ardent Southern patriot, insisted that the report must be true. Mordecai's outburst was intemperate since she was a refugee staying at her sister-in-law's Virginia farm
1865(18th of Iyar, 5625): Lag B’Omer
1865: In Galicia, Marcus Langbank and Rachel Langbank gave birth to Dr. Lucian Mayer Langbank.
1867: Birthdate of Kurt Eisner, author and critic turned politician. Eisner opposed the Kaiser during World War I and became the first democratically elected leader of Bavaria after the war. He was assassinated in 1919.
1869(4th of Sivan, 5629): Sixty-five year old “Talmudist and bibliographer” Gabriel Jacob Polak, whose works include “Dibre Kodesh, a Dutch-Hebrew dictionary passed away in Amsterdam today.
1872: In response to a U.S. Senate resolution of March 28, today, President Grant sent to the Senate copies of all correspondence regarding “the persecution and oppression of the Israelites of Romania.” The correspondence consisted of a series of letters from Benjamin F. Peixotto, the American Consul at Bucharest and Hamilton Fish, the U.S. Secretary of State. In the correspondence, Peixotto described the attacks on the Jews and the failure of the government to punish the attackers. He also described the efforts made by the representatives of several European governments, except for the Russians, who attempted to intercede with the government of Prince Michael on behalf of the Jews. For his part, Secretary Fish wrote to Peixotto expressing his support for any action that might “avert or mitigate further harshness toward” toward the Jews living in Romania. [Editor Note – The Grant Administration’s support of the Jews of Romania is but one of several actions that would tend to show that Grant was not an anti-Semite and that the order of expulsion he issued during the Civil War was an aberration and a mistake he regretted rather than a sign of deep character flaw.]
1873(17th of Iyar, 5633): Seventy-six year old Gideon Brach the Austrian physician and surgeon who was the nephew of Moritz Steinschneider passed away today.
1873: The New York Times reviewed Sketches of Jewish Life and History by Henry Gersoni which was published by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Printing Establishment.
1875(9th of Iyar, 5635): Seventy-five year old linguist and literary historian Gottfried Bernhardy passed away today.
1876: Birthdate of Etta Karesh Levin, the wife of Julius Levin and the mother of Sidney Levin who after her death in 1952 was buried in KKBI Cemetery in Charleston
1879: “Frenchmen of Foreign Origin: Distinguished Instances of Aliens Attaining Position in France” published today provides background information on several non-native Frenchmen who rose to prominence in France and who played key role in the life of the country. Of the Jews who fit into this category, the article mentions “the ancestor of the bankers Pereire [who] was a Portuguese Jew who introduced into France the teaching of the deaf and dumb; Bisschoffsheim, another banker is a self-made Jew…Bauer a Hungarian convert from Judaism [who] was court preacher to Napoleon III…Salomon Munk, another orientalist was a German Jew. So too was Jules Oppert, whose religion obliged him to seek a professorship in France.” [Editor’s Note – The references to Munk and Oppert are self-explanatory, although the column makes one mistake. It was Munk, not Oppert, who came to France because his religion precluded him from being hired in his native Germany. Bauer probably refers to Abbe Bauer who reportedly trained as a Rabbi before converting to Roman Catholicism. Bisschoffsheim is probably Raphael Louis Bischoffsheim, the banker whose philanthropy included the founding of the Nice Observatory. Pierre probably refers to Emile and Isaac Pierre the 19th century bankers of Sephardic origin, who were the sons of Jacob Rodrigues Pereira, who was “one of the inventors of a manual language for the deaf.”
1879: Mary Nolhes swore out a complaint in the Essex Market Police Court today “charging her husband, Joseph, a Polish Jew with abandonment.” The complaint was dismissed after the court determined that Joseph was “a henpecked husband” who had been abandoned by his wife. Gustav Diner, a “young and muscular man” who was the complainant’s brother, left the court with the couple. Once outside of the building, Diner, who apparently thought he could not be seen by anybody from the court “began to pound his brother-in-law unmercifully.” A police officer named Ryan “collared Ryan” and took him back to Court where he was jailed on charges of assault and battery.
1882: In Bloomington, Illinois several members of the Jewish community met at the B’nai B’rith hall to discuss the organization of congregation which would be founded later in the year as Moses Montefiore Congregation with Aaron Livingston as President.
1884(19th of Iyar, 5644): Forty year old Karel Abraham Wertheim, the son of Johannes Jonas Wertheim and Marie Rosenick and the husband of Henriette van Heukelom passed away today in the Netherlands.
1884: Max Shloss and Rosa Sheuerman were married today in Des Moines Iowa.
1885: Birthdate of conductor and composer Otto Klemperer. Born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) Klemperer was a child prodigy taking his first music lessons at the age of four. Like so many of his generation, Klemperer had two lives. The first was in Germany, the second in the United States. His musical contributions to his native land were recognized by President Hindenburg who gave him the Goethe Medal "for his contributions to the advancement of German Culture." A few years later, in 1933, the Nazis confiscated his property and issued a warrant for his arrest. Klemperer came to the Klemperer came to the United States in 1934 with the reputation as a world-famous conductor. Over the years he led orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and was director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for six years. He also continued his distinguished career as a composer. He died in 1973 at the age of 88.
1886: Birthdate of Polish born Dutch businessman Abraham Icek Tuschinski who built several movie theatres in the Netherlands and was murdered at Auschwitz in 1942.
1889(13th of Iyar, 5649): Thirty-five year old Sophie Walter, the wife of Mortiz Walter and the daughter of Joseph and Babette Seligman passed away today.
1889(13th of Iyar, 5649): Samuel Hirsch, a major Reform religious philosopher and rabbi, passed away in Chicago, Illinois. Born in 1815 at “Thalfang, (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (formerly part of Prussia), he received his training at Metz. He attended the University of Bonn, the University of Berlin, and the University of Leipzig. He first became rabbi at Dessau in 1838 but was forced to resign in 1841 because he promoted a radically liberal form of Judaism, later to become known as classic German Reform Judaism. In 1843 he published his "Die Messias-Lehre der Juden in Kanzelvorträgen" and "Religionsphilosophie der Juden." In 1843 he was appointed chief rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by King William II of the Netherlands. During this period he published his "Die Humanität als Religion." He took an active part in the annual rabbinical conferences held at Brunswick (1844), Frankfurt am Main (1845), and Breslau (1846). In 1844 he published his "Reform im Judenthum." Having received a call from the Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1866, he resigned his post in Europe and moved to the United States. There he succeeded Dr. David Einhorn. From his arrival onward he became closely identified with, and an open advocate of, radical Reform. In 1869 he was elected president of the rabbinical conference held in Philadelphia, at which the principles of Reform Judaism were formulated. In that year he engaged also in numerous ritual and doctrinal controversies. Hirsch remained officiating rabbi of the Philadelphia congregation for twenty-two years, resigning in 1888, after having spent fifty years of his life in the ministry. Moving to Chicago, he took up his abode there with his son, Emil G. Hirsch. During his rabbinate in Philadelphia Hirsch organized the Orphans' Guardian Society, and was the founder of the first branch in the United States of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Hirsch is best known as the author of the "Religionsphilosophie," a work written from the Hegelian point of view, but for the purpose of vindicating the claim of Judaism to the rank denied it by Hegel, the rank of an "absolute religion." In this book he proved himself to be an original thinker (see "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1895, pp. 126 et seq.). His "Katechismus der Israelitischen Religion" was also constructed on original lines; he considered the Biblical legends to be psychological and typical allegories, and the ceremonies of Judaism to be symbols of underlying ideas. From this attitude his Reform principles are derived. He denied that Judaism is a law; it is Lehre ("teaching" or "lore") but is expressed in symbolic ceremonies that may be changed in accordance with historic development. He was the first to propose holding Jewish services on Sunday instead of the traditional Jewish Sabbath Shabbat. He contributed to the early volumes of The Jewish Times (1869-1878). His principal works were first issued in Germany, among them What is Judaism? (1838), sermons (1841), and Religious Philosophy of the Jews (1843).”
1891: Claims have were filed by many of the unsecured creditors of Levy Brothers & Co with the Sheriff today
1891: Solomon Crizar, a Polish Jew was still in custody today facing charges for setting fired to a tenement on Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn, NY
1891: A detachment of troops has been sent from Athens to Corfu to restore order after an outbreak of violence that has resulted in the death of 2 Jews and all businesses owned by the Jews closed. At the same time the Prefect of Corfu has been summoned to Athens to explain the outbreak of violence
1892: In Germany, the liberal newspapers express the hope that the libel action brought by Loewe & Co against Rector Ahlwardt, the well-known Jew-baiter will put an end to his false claim that this Jewish firm supplied defective rifles to the army.
1892: Mrs. Schloss purchased a picture embroidered by a little girl from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on the last night Actors’ Fund Fair.
1892(17th of Iyar, 5652): Fifty-two year Asher Simchah Weissmann, who in 1889 founded a German periodical, "Monatsschrift für die Litteratur und Wissenschaft des Judenthum," which was issued with a Hebrew supplement passed away today in Vienna.
1892: “Columbia Likely to Get More Books” published today described the successful efforts of Professor Richard Gottheil and E.R.A. Seligman to secure the books in the library of Temple Emnau-El for Columbia College. The school already has a Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages.
1893: Harold Frederic sent a cable from London “announcing that the exodus of Jews from Poland had actually begun and that the refugees were already arriving in America.”
1893: It was learned today that many of the Jews arriving at Ellis Island from Hamburg were not German Jews, but Polish Jews who had spent the winter the German port.
1893: “New Jersey Religious Bodies” published today provides a picture of denominational membership in the Garden State. There are 19 Orthodox congregations with 2,521 members and 5 Reform congregations with 1,755 members scattered through the state. The total number of Jews in the state is thought to be closer to 15,000 than the published 4,276. The discrepancy is created by the fact that most congregations tend to just count the head of the family instead of all family members.
1893: It was reported today that in Germany “the ultimate result of the elections will be a Reichstag considerably more reactionary than the last which will vote for the army bill in return for legislation” advancing the cause of anti-Semitism.
1894: In Denver, CO, Council No. 6 of the National Council of Jewish Women was organized today with a membership of 98 led by Mrs. C.S. Benjamin as President
1894: Birthdate of Jacob Meyer Levy, the native of the Ukraine who immigrated to Palestine at the age of 19, the Israeli educator and author whose works included five volumes of history textbooks “and the translation of four of French-Jewish philosopher Henri Bergson's books into Hebrew.”
1894: The London correspondent of the New York Times reported today that the Jewish immigrants being forced to leave Russia face an additional challenge – an outbreak of Cholera which has spread from southwestern Russia to areas near Hamburg and Riga which are the ports of embarkation used by these emigrants
1894: A summary of the statistics that first appeared in the “new journal, the Rundschau” published by “the Jew-baiter” Herman Ahlwardt that the Jewish population in Berlin has gone from 6,500 in 1840, to 30,000 in 1870 to 75,000 in 1890 and that “46 per cent of all the houses in Berlin belong to Jews.” (This compares to a total population of 322,626 in 1840, 826,341 in 1871 and 1,578, 794 in 1890)
1895: Based on a review published today, “Oliver Twist” is no longer popular with New York theatre goers. Among other things, “the audience refused to take Fagin seriously” even though H. G. Carleton played the part with great skill. Apparently, a play featuring an evil Jew no longer has the allure it did when Dickens wrote the novel on which the play is based.
1895: In Paris, Gaston Michel Calmann-Lévy married Hélène Calmann-Lévy
1895: Birthdate of Lew Lehr, the native of Philadelphia, PA comedian and writer in the pioneering days of film and radio whose works included Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One
1896: Birthdate of Martin Riesenburger, the Berlin born dentist who survived the Shoah to help rebuild the Jewish community in post-war Germany.
1897(12th of Iyar, 5657): Seventy-five year old opera impresario Max Maretzek passed away at Pleasant Plains, New York
1898: “Stories of the Ghetto” published today provides a review of The Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan.
1898: The Rabbi of Temple Israel in Harlem Dr. M. H. Harris presided over today’s events marking “the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Temple Israel of Harlem and the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the present edifice” which included an address by Dr. Emil G. Hirsh, the Chairman of the Semitic Literature Department at the University of Chicago on “Eternal Judaism.”
1898: At Jefferson Barracks, MO, during the Spanish-American War, among those who were mustered into the 3rd Missouri Volunteer Infantry Privates Morris Franklin, Samuel P. Bachar, Hugh L. Herzberg, Mark Bidez, Robert Samuels, Max Cohen, Joseph D. Meyers, William Levin, Harry Heller and Corporal David A. Goodman, all from Kansas City, MO was as Privates Clarence Leftwich and Edgar W. Marks of Independence, MO.
1898: During the Spanish-American War, the United States acquired the USS Celtic, “a stores ship” on which Lt. Jr. Grade Stanford Moses served during the Philippine-American War.
1899: Reverend Madison C. Peters of the Bloomingdale Reformed Church gave the second lecture in his series “Justice to the Jew” in which he is trying to correct many of the inaccurate conceptions about this “race that has been maligned.”
1899: In Krefeld, chemist Friedrich Auerbach, the son of Leopold Auerbach and his wife gave birth to zoologist and geneticist Charlotte “Lottie” Auerbach.
1899: “Russian Plans Against Jews” published today described various anti-Semitic policies being pursued by the Czar’s government, the first of which was the prohibition of Jews being in St. Petersburg, the nation’s capital. The ban applies to foreign Jews including those from France, Russia’s primary military ally.
1899: “Opposed to Zionism” published today provided a summary of the views on Rabbi Samuel Schulman that first appeared in the Menorah in which the Reform cleric “the movement as an outgrowth of Jewish despair” which is an “interruption of the work of education and Americanization of the Russian Jews” in the New York City.
1902: Italian General Giuesppe Ottolenghi, a native of Lombardy was appointed Minister of War today.
1904: In Bern, Switzerland Albert Einstein and Mileva Marić gave birth to their second child and first son Hans Albert Einstein.
1904: Herzl writes to the Austrian Foreign Ministry. He reports on this audience with Agenor Goluchowsky, the Austrian Foreign Minister.
1908(13th of Iyar, 5668): Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach, a New York gangster was gunned down.
1910: A pogrom was perpetrated by a nationalist organization against the cultural institutions of the Russian Jews in Buenos Aires.
1911: Eighteen year old Morris Kolsky who gained fame as cinematographer Richard Freyer arrived in New York “on board the steamship Majestic.”
1912: The Tomb of Samuel Manasseh Ben Israel was restored at the Middleburg Portuguese Cemetery in Holland.
1912: In London an exhibition of the work of pupils from the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts and Jerusalem’s Evelina de Rothschild School came to a close today
1913: New York Governor William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller. Governor Sulzer enjoyed support among the Jewish community of New York City and signed The 1913 New York State Civil Rights Act into law.
1913: Mrs. B.M. Engelhard is scheduled to be installed as President of the Baron Hirsch Woman’s Club this afternoon in the Banquet Hall of the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago.
1913: Birthdate of Chelsea, Massachusetts native Ben “Red” Kramer, the standout guard and forward for Long Island University in the 1930 who went on to play professional ball from 1938 to 1945.
1915: During WWI, the Alliance Israelite Universelle announced that it would continue all activities in its institutions in the Ottoman Empire.
1915: In expressing his support for President Wilson, “A.L. Shiplikoff, Secretary of the United Hebrew Trades said…’The 300,000 Jews represented by the United Hebrew Trades in this city are in favor of he abolition of war and the permanent establishment of international peace.”
1915: Plans were announced today for a public mass meeting in Minneapolis “to ask the Governor of Georgia to commute Leo M. Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment.
1915: “The Zionist Association and its affiliated organizations in America and England” are appeals “to obtain the State Department…to obtain the release from the detention camp at Ruhbleben near Berlin of Israel Cohen, Secretary of the International of Zionist Organization” who is the author of Jewish Life in Modern Times and was interned at the beginning of the war” because he was a British subject.
1916: As of today the American Jewish Relief Committee of which Felix M. Warburg is the treasurer had received additional contributions including $24 from the Menorah Society of Penn State University, $25 from the Cairo Thread Works and $100 from Zeta Beta Tau.
1916: “After Henry Morgenthau” who had just resigned as the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey “told of the pitiable plight of the outlawed Armenians at a mass meeting in Carnegie Hall this afternoon” those in the audience “started a $5,000,000 relief fund, with contributions of more than $30,000.”
1916: “At a meeting of the members of the American Jewish Committee held today at the Hotel Astor…a resolution was adopted to authorize the committee to unite with other Jewish societies for the calling of a congress of Jewish societies in June for he purposed of obtaining full rights for the Jews of all lands and the abrogation of all laws discriminating against them.”
1916: In Philadelphia, PA, the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War held a national conference where it was reported that the organization had raised $1, 074, 386.
1917: The Columbia Menorah Society sponsored a concert of Jewish music this evening at the Horace Mann Auditorium at Columbia University with the proceeds going to Jewish War Relief.
1917: The Cantor’s Association of American which had been founded in 1908 held its 8th annual meeting under the leadership of President Solomon Baum.
1917: Dr. J.L. Magnus is scheduled to attend today’s meeting of the Chicago Rabbinical Association at the Stratford Hotel.
1918: “To Pray for Victory” published today described the call sent out by the Union the Orthodox Rabbis signed by Rabbis Moses S. Margolies, Solomon E. Jaffe and Israel Rosenberg among announcing that in accord with President Wilson request for a day of prayer and fasting on May 30 all synagogues would remain open for worship on that day and the fast would be treated in the same manner as official fast days on the Jewish Calendar.
1920(26th of Iyar, 5680): Sixty year old “David Kessler, one of the leading Yiddish actors in the United States and the manager of Kessler’s Second Avenue Theatre” passed away this afternoon at Beth Israel Hospital.
1923: A check for $10,000 was handed by Mr. Felix Warburg to Dr. Chaim Weizmann just before the former sailed for Europe.
1923: “Until its reorganization today, the Oberat” the supreme council that directed the affairs of the Jewish community “was under state control
1923: It was reported today that The Committee on Higher Degrees of Columbia University has accepted the dissertation of Dr. Mordecai Saltes entitled “The Yiddish Press As A Force in America.” (JTA)
1923: A radical change in money raising methods for National Jewish philanthropies was proposed at the National Conference of the Jewish Social Service which began its sessions this afternoon here at the Hotel Washington. The proposal, made by Mr. Samuel A. Goldsmith of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, New York, on behalf of the Committee of Nine appointed last year was that instead of these institutions obtaining their maintenance and other funds by direct, personal solicitation, a national budget be established based on the requirements of these institutions. (As reported by JTA)
1924: In Berlin, Alfred Schuman, a German Christian who converted to Judaism and his wife Hedwig née Rothholz Schuman gave birth to jazz musician Hein Jakob “Coco” Schumann who at 19 was shipped to Theresienstadt “where he became a member of the Ghetto Swingers” before being shipped to Auschwitz where he beat death a lived until liberation despite having contracted the deadly spotted fever.
1924: The first conference of the General Zionist movement concluded its meeting in Jerusalem. It decided to establish a General Zionist Federation to amalgamate all centrist factions in Palestine.
1924: Establishment of the city of Bnei Brak. Bnei Brak is mentioned in the Bible as one of the cities of the tribe Dan. Later it was famous as the site of Rabbi Akiva’s academy. The city is mentioned in the Haggadah as the place where the all-night Seder of the Rabbinic sages took place. The modern city was founded by charedi Jews from Poland and is famous for its yeshivot and Chassidic communities. Bnei Brak is northwest of Tel Aviv.
1925: Birthdate of Hungarian born historian Tibor Szamuely who served with the Red Army during World War II, served 18 months in a labor camp on espionage charges and produced a “major study of Soviet history, The Russian Tradition.
1925: Birthdate of Yuval Ne’eman founder of Israel’s space program and a key figure in Israel’s nuclear program. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/may/15/obituaries.guardianobituaries
1926: Birthdate of Allen Mandelbaum, whose fluid, sensitive English version of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” stamped his reputation as one of the world’s premier translators of Italian and classical poetry (As reported by William Grimes)
1927: In Brussels, Max Stuckgold, an engineer and his wife Marsha who “were Jewish immigrants from Poland” gave birth to Julien Joseph Stuckgold who became a major New York real estate developer.
1927: Birthdate of Detroit native Seymour Austen Lipkin, the grandson of a professional violinist and the son of a doctor who played with the Doctors’ Symphony Orchestra who became a leading conductor and pianist.
1928(24th of Iyar): Novelist Mordecai David Brandstaetter passed away today
1929: In Winnipeg, Canada, Rebecca and John Weidman gave birth to Barbara Weideman, who as Barbara Branden, the wife of Larry Branden “helped popularize Ayn Rand’s philosophy” but then upset her acolytes with an unauthorized biography of the “queen of self-interest.”
1929: Birthdate of William Jay Adler, Brooklyn born author and editor whose works included What to Name Your Jewish Baby. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1930: In Norwalk, CT, Henry Abrahams and “the former Minnie Koffman” gave birth to Elizabeth Abrahams who gained fame as “ceramic artist Elizabeth Woodman” and the husband of artist George Woodman.
1930: In New York, Ruth and Sol Peterman gave birth to famed opera singer Roberta Peters http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/peters-roberta
1930: Dr. Leon Pazi, who has just returned from Palestine, cheered delegates to the Argentine Zionist Congress which opened here today, with an optimistic report of the work of the Jewish colonies in Palestine. Zionists from all parts of Argentine are in attendance. Assurance of the support and sympathy of the people of Argentine for Zionism was given the congress by Senator Molinari while reports on the work of the Buenos Aires Zionist Federation during the riots in Palestine last Summer and on the aid being given Zionism by Zionists in Argentine were read to the delegates by the president of the Buenos Aires Zionist Federation. (As reported by JTA)
1931: In New York City, Eugene Picker, “a film pioneer and movie theatre executive of Loew’s Theaters” and his wife gave birth to David Picker, the Dartmouth graduate who “served as President and Chief Executive Officer for United Artists, Paramount, Lorimar and Columbia Pictures.”
1931(27th of Iyar, 5691): Playwright and stage producer David Belasco passed away.
1933(18th of Iyar, 5693): Lag B’Omer
1933: Indignation against the Hitler regime in Germany is not confined to British Jewry but is shared by the British public of all classes and opinions, Leonard Montefiore, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, told members of the Board of Jewish Deputies today
"We also enjoy the sympathy of the British Government, but the Government has other problems like disarmament and the World Economic Conference," he pointed out. "Nevertheless, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg realized the universal condemnation of British opinion."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to speak at a public meeting in London if it is arranged as really representative of the country, Mr. Montefiore announced.
He declared the statement that Jewish soldiers in the war and Jews whose sons were killed in battle were exempt from dismissal from their positions in Germany was "pure camouflage. I met men possessing the Iron Cross debarred from the courts by administrative chicanery," he said.
The Joint Foreign Committee, which was organized by the Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association to conduct foreign affairs, was urged by Simon Marks, who has been prominent in Zionist fund-raising activities, to ask the aid of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, "in conducting the wider political work ahead." In reply, Nathan Laski declared that the Joint Foreign Committee had consulted Dr. Weizmann several times but that the organization cannot hand him the leadership, which, he said, would be abdication. He said the committee has also been in contact with Lord Reading and Sir Herbert Samuel (As reported by JTA)
1933: Boxer (and future mob boss) Mickey Cohen fought his last bout today in Tijuana.
1934: A natural disaster occurs in Tiberius when cloudbursts cause flooding and rockfalls. Homes are swept into Lake Kinneret.
1935: A court in Bern, Switzerland, pronounces the German edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a forgery.
1936: Viscount Edmund Allenby passed away. As General Allenby, he led the Allied forces that liberated Eretz Israel, including Jerusalem, from the Ottoman Turks. Allenby’s victory gave practical meaning to the Balfour Declaration by creating facts on the ground. Furthermore, a Jewish Legion fought under Allenby’s command and played a central role in some of the fighting with the Turks.
1936: A large Jewish delegation met with the British High Commissioner and discussed the worsening conditions in the country brought on by continued Arab attacks and violence. The Mayor of Tel Aviv questioned the ability of the British to deal with the situations and leaders from Hederah said they could mobilize 150,000 men to protect the Jews and their interests. The High Commissioner praised the “exemplary Jewish behavior and self-control…He requested the Jews to fortify themselves with more patience.”
1937: Today’s March of Time included an “episode” describing pressure being brought by the Worker’s Alliance led by David Lesser on U.S. legislators to combat unemployment.”
1937: The Government today rushed police reinforcements into the Polesia province as anti-Semitic rioting in the town of Brzesc (formerly known as Brest-Litovsk), which caused injuries to 50 Jews and an estimated $400,000 damage, gave signs of spreading to neighboring villages.
Windows were broken, shops looted and Jews attacked in the streets in the rioting which occurred after a policeman had been fatally wounded, according to an official statement, by a Jewish butcher who resisted arrest for operating an unlicensed slaughterhouse. The butcher was wounded in the foot by a bullet.
The excesses raged all day and into the evening before the police, aided by reinforcements from Warsaw, got control. Three Jews were seriously injured. Most of the Jewish shops in the town were demolished and others closed their doors.
Many peasants attending market day in Brzesc participated in the rioting, dragging Jews from hansoms and beating them in the streets. Main trading streets suffered most from vandalism and looting. Market, May, Dluga and Dombrowska streets were thickly carpeted with glass from broken windows and destroyed merchandise.
Gazeta Polska and other Government newspapers said the anti-Semitic mob did not pillage the Jewish shops but only "threw Jewish goods out into the street where they were destroyed, while meat and bread taken from Jews were distributed gratis to poor Christians."
Polish newspapers said the pillaging began after a Jewish mob attacked police who arrived to confiscate illegally-slaughtered kosher meat (outside the strict Government quota for kosher meat) of the Jewish butcher Isaac Szczerbowski.
The policeman, Stefan Kedziora, was stabbed and later died in the hospital. The Union of Christian Tradesmen of Brzesc announced that shops of its members would be closed during his funeral.
Panic was still great today among the 25,000 Jews of the city. Deputy Emil Sommerstein left for Brzesc this morning while Senator Moses Schorr obtained assurances from the Interior Ministry that a special police force had been sent to prevent further outbreaks. The city known to Jews as Brisk, has a population of over 50,000.
Stringent restrictions on kosher slaughtering which went into effect Jan. 1 under a law enacted by Parliament, empowering the authorities to set monthly quotas of cattle to be slaughtered for Jewish consumption, have, in some cases, resulted in "bootleg" slaughterhouses being established.
Meanwhile, peasants in Zaista, near Malkin, attacked a group of anti-Semitic National Radicals who had rioted against Jews. The terrorists, known as Naras, called on the peasants to join in breaking windows of Jewish shops, but the peasants drove the rioters from the village.
The peasants later rebuked the Jews for closing their shops during the disturbances, declaring "the action is likely to incite further attacks." The peasants asked the Jews to reopen their shops, promising them protection. (As reported by JTA)
1937: Jews were forbidden today to give performances of Beethoven, Mozart and Goethe on the ostensible grounds that they must be allowed "to develop their own spiritual and creative genius."
Explanation of the ban was offered by Hans Hinkel, Nazi Commissar for Jewish Cultural Affairs, who said:
"Jews must be allowed to develop their own spiritual and creative genius. If they are unable to or show themselves so poor in spiritual endowments that they cannot develop their own culture, it is all the more necessary to show the world that we cannot allow them to become the masters of our cultural life." (As reported by JTA)
1938: Jean Martin Freud, Sigmund Freud’s son who was known as “Martin” left Austria for London today.
1938: Classic swashbuckler adventure film “The Adventures of Robin Hood” co-directed by Michael Crutiz (Manó Kaminer), co-produced by Hal B. Wallis and with music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold was released today in the United States.
1940(4th of Iyar, 5700): Anarchist and feminist, Emma Goldman passed away. Born in Russia in 1869, she fled Russia in 1885 during a period of intense anti-Semitism. Over the years she became active in anarchist causes. Her anti-war political activities cost her U.S. citizenship and deportation back to Russia to experience the Communist takeover in that country. Goldman was anti-Communist and ended up escaping to Britain. For the rest of her life she devoted herself to trying to save the world through anarchy and feminism. She died in Toronto but the American government allowed her body to be buried in Chicago, the city that had so influenced her life.
1940: Three hours after the German’s delivered an ultimate “ordering the Dutch commander of Rotterdam” to begin a cease fire, German bombers killed over 30,000 of the city’s inhabitants when they fire bombed Rotterdam.
1940: As the Blitzkreig replaced the “Phony War” the Nazis crossed the Meuse at Sedan and began chasing a French Army that “was running for its life” – a run that would end in Nazi victory, Vichy collaboration and the slaughter of French Jews.
1940: “Shortly before Brussels was occupied,” Hugo Gutman who served in the same regiment as Hitler during World War I and his family “escaped only with small suitcases taking the last train to France.”
1940: As of today, the Kindertransport which had started in December, 1938, had brought 7,500 Jewish children to Britain.
1940: One very last transport left on the freighter Bodegraven from Ymuiden on May 14, 1940 – the day Rotterdam was bombed, one day before Holland surrendered – raked by gunfire from German warplanes. The eighty children on deck had been brought by earlier transports to imagined safety in Holland. Altogether, though exact figures are unknown, the Kindertransports saved around 10,000 children, most of them Jewish, from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. None were accompanied by their parents; a few were babies carried by children.
1940: Abraham Icek Tuschinski lost all of his movie houses in Rotterdam today “when the city was bombed by the Germans.”
1941: The Nazis arrested more than 3,600 Parisian Jews and sent to them concentration camps. This marked the start of the roundup of Jews in the Occupied Zone of France (the area directly controlled by the Nazis as opposed to Vichy France. The roundup began with Polish Jews who had become naturalized French citizens but it did not stop here.
1941: Approximately 4000 Jews are deported from Paris, most to a camp at Pithiviers, France. “Pithiviers, near Orleans, was one of the infamous concentration camps where children were separated from their parents and imprisoned, while the adults were processed and departed to camps further away, usually Auschwitz.” This camp, like the one at Drancy, was operated by the Vichy French and their collaborators. Contrary to the image that the French have concocted about their behavior during World War II, French fascists, led by Petain and Laval, were active participants in the Nazi New World Order. As to the Jews, the French were already handing them over even before the Germans asked for them.
1941: The decision was made in Tel Aviv to establish the Palmach (Plugot Mahatz or ‘striking companies’ of the Haganah. “The Palmach had two primary aims: the defense of the Yishuv against the Arab bands which would inevitably harass the Jewish towns and settlements and engage in local rioting as soon as the British retreated from Palestine; and the defense of the country against the Axis invaders.” Yitshaq Sadeh, a Jew born in Russia in 1890, was the found and first commander of the Palmach. He passed away in 1952.
1941: The Nazis interned 3,600 naturalized Jews of Russian origin.
1941: Today, Jan Peerce “made his stage debut as the Duke in ''Rigoletto'' in Philadelphia.”
1942(27th of Iyar, 5702): Noted Jewish Viennese pianist Leopold Birkenfeld is murdered at the Chelmno death camp.
1943(9th of Iyar, 5703): Seventy-four year old Dutch citizen Johanna v. Engel-Gruenewald was murdered today at Sobibor.
1944: In Hungary, all hospital patients “newly-born babies, blind and deaf, all mental cases and prison inmates of Jewish origin were transferred to the ghettos.”
1944: In Long Branch, NJ, Howard Martin Lawn, “the president of Parkmobile Inc., and the Equity and Capital Company and Pearl H. Bergman a chemist and homemaker both of whom were staunch Democrats” gave birth to journalist Constance Ellen “Connie” Lawn who “at the time of her death was the longest-serving White House correspondent.”
1945: The HMS Springer a British submarine that would be sold to the Israeli in 1958 and be renamed the “Tanin” was launched today
1946: “Actor, director, producer and television panelist” Martin Gabel married Arlene Francis
1946: The SS Max Nordau, a Haganah ship containing 1,750 men women and children (300 of whom were orphans) was intercepted by the British off the coast of Palestine. The refugees were shipped off for detention at Atlit while the crew was arrested and the ship confiscated by the British. The vessel joined other such ships, including the Enzo Sereni, the Tel Hai and the Orde Wingate at a dock in Haifa. The Palmach responded by simultaneously, blowing up eleven bridges that connected Palestine with surrounding countries. This spectacular event came at the cost of 14 Palmach lives.
1947: Birthdate of Brandies graduate and music critic Jon Landau.
1947: Much to everyone’s surprise Andrei Gromyko, the permanent representative of the Soviet Union to the United Nations gave a speech before the General Assembly in which he said that “the Soviet Union would still prefer a ‘single Arab-Jewish state with equal rights for the Jews and the Arabs,’ but if the UN commission found the this ‘impossible to implement’ there was a ‘justifiable alternative: the partition of Palestine into two independent single states, one Jewish and one Arab.’” (Editor’s note – ironically, while the world including the United States dithered on the issues, the Soviet Union, for whatever reasons shifted the balance by declaring support for a Jewish state in Palestine now.)
1948(5th of Iyar, 5708): In one of the most stirring moments in Jewish history David Ben-Gurion led the ceremony establishing the State of Israel. The British Mandate actually ended on
15, 1948. But that was a Saturday and the Jewish State would
not be declared on Shabbat, so it was done the afternoon before. Herzl's
prediction was off by one year.
1948: Rebecca Affachiner “the Betsy Ross Of Israel” unfurled her homemade flag which she had made from a cut-up bed sheet on which she had sewn a six-pointed blue star and two stripes colored with a blue crayon.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)
1948: Three resolutions were defeated at the United Nations by the Arabs and their allies to insure that Jerusalem would be an international city governed by the U.N. The Arabs insisted that Jerusalem must be an “Arab city” even though it had a Jewish majority. This lack of will on the part of the U.N. and Arab intransigence are the animating force by the refusal of Israeli governments to ever give up the city.
1948: Egyptian planes bomb Tel Aviv, the first time the city had been bombed since the Italians flew over in 1940
1948: The first broadcasts by Kol Yisrael, Israel's radio station. Kol Yisrael is Hebrew for the Voice of Israel.
1948:”River Lady” a western film photographed by cinematographer Irving Glassberg was released today in the United States.
1948: Jordan’s Arab Legion captured the Jewish settlement of Atarot
1948: In violation of the U.N. resolutions, Jordan's Arab Legion captured Atarot, north of Jerusalem. This was part of the Arab plan to cut off Jerusalem from the rest of the state of Israel.
1948: The United States became the first country to recognize the state of Israel.
1948: "The Egyptian Prime Minister, al-Nukrashi Pasha, decided to proclaim a state of emergency and arrest all Communists declaring that all Jews were potential Zionists and that all Zionists were in fact Communists." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)
1948: Sir Alan Cunningham drove out of Jerusalem, bordered a plane and flew to Haifa.
1948: When the Israeli flag was unfurled outside the Jewish Agency building in New York City, “throngs of Jewish youngster danced the hora outside and traffic on East 68th Street came to a halt.”
1948: The bitter battle to keep the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem took a positive turn for Jewish forces as they occupied Beit Dagan the British police fortress. At the same time, the Arabs were poised to seize the vital airport at Lydda.
1948: Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, was appointed Minister of Police, a position he held until a month before his death in January 1967. He served in fourteen governments and making him the country's longest continually serving minister.
1948: David Ben-Gurion begins serving as Israel’s first Minister of Defense.
1948: As the battle for Kfar Darom that pitted the Palmach against the Egyptian Army and the units of the Muslim brotherhood went into its second night Jewish units began an attack on the “Bedouin locality of Khirbat Ma’in.
1948: David Remez was appointed Minister of Transportation in David Ben-Gurion's provisional government.
1948: Yehuda Leib Maimon was appointed at Israel’s first Minister of Religious Services.
1948: Maury Atkin, who had been employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, opened the first Israeli embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts, Avenue. Atkin served as executive officer and agricultural consultant to the new Israeli Embassy until April 1950
1948: Following yesterday’s massacre of the Jews at Kfar Etzion, the rest of villages at Gush Etzion surrendered following which the Jews were taken prisoner and their homes “plunder and burned.”
1948: As of today Milt Rubenfeld, Modi Alon, Ezer Weizman, Lou Lenart, and Eddie Cohen and four S-199's “constituted the entire Israeli Air Force.
1949: After 252 performances the curtain came down on the last Broadway performance of “Love Life,” “a musical written by Kurt Weill (music) and Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics).”
1951: The Broadway production of “Flahooley” with lyrics and book by E.Y. Harburg and a score by Sammy Fain opened today at the Broadhurst Theatre,
1951: Today, in Israel the Shabak arrested Mordechai Eliyahu and othermembers of the Brit Hakanim “a radical religious Jewish underground organization which operated against the widespread tread of secularization” by torching cars of people who on drove on Shabbat and butcher shops where non-kosher meet was sold.”
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the first visit to Israel of the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles, who arrived, accompanied by a large entourage "for a frank exchange of views." Israeli leaders asked U.S. for a loan to meet their foreign currency debts which reached $70m., while another $40m. were due shortly. Dulles "was happy to be in Israel" and was certain that the talks will be "mutually beneficial."
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel received from West Germany $75m. on account of reparations.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that 102 new immigrants arrived from Iran.
1953: “The first railway line built by the State of Israel – 28 and a half miles of track running parallel to the coast between Hadera and Tel Aviv – was dedicated by Mrs. David Remez, widow of Israel’s first Minister of Communications who conceived the line in 1948.” The opening of the rail connection will shorten the time it takes to travel between Haifa, Israel’s major port and Tel Aviv.
1955: On the seventh anniversary of Israel’s independence, a public memorial service is held at Carnegie Hall in honor of the late Albert Einstein.
1957(13th of Iyar, 5717): Seventy-two year old Sir Sidney Solomon Abrahams, the older brother of Harold Abrahams (“Chariots of Fire”) and the 26th Chief Justice of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) passed away today.
1957(13th of Iyar, 5717): Seventy-two year old Sidney “Solly” Abrahams, the older brother of Harold Abrahams of “Chariots of Fire fame” who competed in the Olympics in the long-jump before pursuing a career that including “serving as Chief Justice of Ceylon and President of the London Athletic Club” passed away today.
1958(24th of Iyar, 5718): Sixty-seven year old New York native Barnett Robert Brickner who served as the rabbi at Anshe Chesed for 33 years passed away today.
1958: “I Married A Woman” directed by Hal Kanter and written by Goodman Ace premiered in Los Angeles.
1961(28th of Iyar, 5721): Sixty-five year old Max Perlman, the City Deputy Commissioner of Markets who was a member of the Masons, B’Nai Brith and the Ancient Order of Hiberians and the husband of Rose Perlman and father of Joel and Gail Perlman passed away at his home in Brooklyn
1962(10th of Iyar, 5722): Prize winning architect Dov Karmi, the son of Hannah and Sholom Weingarten who designed the Culture Palace and Max—Liebling House in Tel Aviv passed away today.
1963: The sequel to “It’s My Party”, “Judy’s Turn to Cry” was recorded today by Lelsely Gore.
1966(24th of Iyar, 5726): Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
1966(24th of Iyar, 5726): Fifty-nine year old C. Irving “Irv” Constantine the Syracuse running back played one season in the NFL in 1931.
1967(4th of Iyar, 5727): Yom HaZikaron
1967: Alfred Kazan and Nissim Ezekiel of the Bombay University were among the speakers at the six-day celebration of Henry David Thoreau sponsored by the Nassau Community College that came to an end today.
1967: According to statements made by Nasser in justifying the blockade of the Straits of Tiran, this is the day on which he discussed the Soviet report of the Israel’s planned invasion of Syria with the government in Damascus and formulated their military response.
1967: Israeli newspapers carried interviews with General Rabin, IDF chief of staff warning “Damascus” of the consequences that would arise from continued terrorist attacks.
1968(16th of Iyar, 5728): Seventy year old Dr. Theodore Werner, the Viennese born English Zionist was the godson of Theodor Herzl passed away today. (As reported by JTA)?
1969: Today marked the end of Abe Fortas’ tenure as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
1970: Birthdate of mathematician and founder of Akamai Technologies Daniel “Danny” Mark Levin the native of Denver and raised in Israel who was stabbed to death on American Airline Flight 11 reportedly making him the first person to die on “9/11.”
1970: After 13 preview performances, a revival of George S. Kaufman’s “Beggar on Horseback” opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.
1970: The Court of Appeals of the State of New York decided the “Matter of Palitz” today.
1973: Frontiero v. Richardson, in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented Frontiero was decided by the Supreme Court today.
1974(22nd of Iyar, 5734): First Lieutenant Rami Zusman and Sergeant Reuven Brinenberg were killed just two weeks before Henry Kissinger negotiated a separation of forces agreement between the Syrians and Israelis.
1977: The first official images of the Merkava were released to the American periodical Armed Forces Journal
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported on the changed mood in the Cairo media which claimed that the deadlock in the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations moved the whole Middle East to the situation which preceded the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The Egyptian press warned that President Sadat's pledge of "no more war" would not be fulfilled, unless Israel dropped its refusal to relinquish all the territories it captured in the 1967 war.
1979: “The Rebels” a television mini-series featuring Tom Bosley as “Ben Franklin” was broadcast for the first time tonight.
1980(28th of Iyar, 5740): Yom Yerushalayim
1980: The full orchestral version of “Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards” an orchestral piece composed in 1979 by Steve Reich was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony at the War Memorial Auditorium in San Francisco
1981(10th of Iyar, 5741): Fifty-four year old journalist,ant-fascist and founder of Searchlight Maurice Julian Ludmer, whose mother was a Hebrew teacher and whose life was transformed when while serving in the British Army during WW II he visited Belsen Concentration camp
1982: U.S. premiere of “Wrong is Right” a “thriller” directed and produced by Richard Brooks who also wrote the script.
1982: The Moscow refusenik and Hebrew teacher Pavel Abramovich was summoned to the KGB for the first of what would be four times in the next thirty days.
1982: Richard F. Shepard reviewed Max and Helen by Simon Wiesenthal
1983: It was reported today that Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger delivered a speech to the American Jewish Committee in which he said the Soviet government was “making a profound and dangerous mistake if it thought it could force the United States to abandon its commitment to Israel’s security.”
1983: A new advertising campaign created by Needham, Harper & Steers/Issues and Images, which will promote a friendliness and warmth of the Israeli people toward travelers with the new theme line: ''Come to Israel, come stay with friends'' premieres today with two new 30-second television and radio commercials.
1984: Birthdate of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame.
1986(5th of Iyar, 5746): Yom HaAtzma'ut
1986: The Institute for War documents published Anne Frank’s complete diary.
1987: As the IPO celebrates its 50th anniversary, Leonard Bernstein conducts the symphony for a second night.
1989: NBC broadcast the final episode of “War and Remembrance, an American miniseries based on the novel of the same name written by Herman Wouk” co-starring Jane Seymour, Polly Bergen, Sami Frey, Steven Berkoff and Topol.
1989: “Chu Chem,” billed as “the 1st Chinese-Jewish Musical” with Molly Picon comes to a close today after 68 performances on Broadway.
1989: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Family Ties” the sitcom created by Gary David Goldberg.
1990: In Los Angeles, director Steven Spielberg and actress Kate Capshaw gave birth to American actress Sasha Rebecca Spielberg.
1993: In the U.K. premiere of Cup final an Israeli film written by Eyal Halfon and directed by Eran Riklis.
1993: CBS broadcast the final episode of “The Golden Palace” a sitcom co-starrubg Estelle Getty featuring theme music by Andrew Gold.
1996(25th of Iyar, 5756): Seventeen year old Yeshiva student David Bum was murdered by a terrorist who fired on students “as a hitchhiking post at Beit El.”
1998: The Sixth Annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival came to an end today.
1998: Performance of the last episode of Seinfeld on NBC with commercials selling at $2 million for a 30 second slot.
2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Working Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II”
by Joshua B. Freeman and the recently released paperback edition of “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times columnist deploys a torrent of anecdotes and vignettes to probe the causes and effects of globalization and the transforming power of technology.
by Joshua B. Freeman and the recently released paperback edition of “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times columnist deploys a torrent of anecdotes and vignettes to probe the causes and effects of globalization and the transforming power of technology.
2000: “Requiem for a Dream,” an American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky premiered at Cannes today.
2000: Karl Jay Shapiro, a native of Baltimore who was appointed the fifth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1946 passed away in New York.
2001: The 54th Cannes Film Festival where Dover Kosashvili’s “Late Marriage was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section” opened today
2003: Allan Kornblum was appointed as a federal magistrate for the northern district of Florida.
2003: Dorrit Moussaieff an Israeli-born British jewelry designer, editor and businesswoman married the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson,
2004: Peace Now led the 'Mate ha-Rov' ("majority camp") demonstration today in Tel Aviv, in order to pressure the Israeli government to adopt the Disengagement Plan
2004: Mayyim Hayyim, a community mikveh [ritual bath] and education center in Newton, Massachusetts, opened its doors.
2005(5th of Iyar, 5765): Parashat Emor
2005(5th of Iyar, 5765): “v”ice president of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's international directors council, and director of the Byrd Hoffman Foundation Elaine Terner Cooper, the first wife of art dealer and banker Robert E. Mnuchin and the mother of Goldman Sachs bankers Alan and Steven Mnuchin the latter of whom became Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury.
2005: U.S. premiere of “The Fallen Ones” featuring Tom Bosley
2006(16th of Iyar, 5766): One hundred year old American poet and two time Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz passed away.
2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer" by David Cesarani and the recently released paperback edition of “Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop” by Joseph Lelyveld which is a memoir of his “often painful Midwestern childhood” featuring his “warring parents: a literary mother and a political father, who was a Reform rabbi and a committed civil-rights activist.”
2006: On NPR's Weekend Edition, Daniel Schorr mentioned a meeting at the White House that took place with colleague A. M. Rosenthal and president Gerald Ford. Ford mentioned that the Rockefeller Commission had access to various CIA documents, including those referring to political assassinations. Although scolded at first for his television report by former CIA director Richard Helms, Schorr was vindicated by the text of the Pike Committee, which he obtained from an undisclosed source and leaked to The Village Voice. [Editor’s Note – Schorr and Rosenthal were Jewish. Ford and Helms were not.]
2006: The following tours were scheduled as part of the 15th annual Historic Site Preservation Week, an initiative of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS: "Bauhaus on Bialik Street" - a tour of this street will mark the designation of "the White City" as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Free guided tours of the old city of Be'er Sheva and other historic sites in the capital of the Negev; a free guided tour of The National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa which was formerly the site of the historic Technion Israel Institute of Technology Building.
JCC in Manhattan presents a film screening “Be Fruitful and Multiply: What’s A Mother to
Do?” followed by a panel discussion.
2008: “The World Stamp Championship Israel 2008” opens under F.I.P patronage in Tel Aviv. “
WSC Israel 2008” is organized by the Israel Philatelic Federation in
cooperation with the Israel Post Ltd. and its Philatelic Service. Over 70
countries will be present with a variety of 2,500 exhibition frames of the
world's finest philatelic collections at the weeklong event.
2008: As US President George W. Bush lands in Israel for a three-day visit the IDF starts reducing its operations throughout the West Bank. The orders were delivered earlier this week to the IDF's Central Command by the political echelon.
2008: A shopping mall in Ashkelon was hit this afternoon by a long-range rocket fired from the Gaza Strip injuring around 90 people, four of them seriously. Two militant groups, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, claimed responsibility. Among those seriously hurt are a 24-year-old mother and her infant daughter, both of whom were flown to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, for treatment. They suffered head injuries. Two others sustaining serious injuries were rushed to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for emergency surgery. Most other injuries were light.
2008(9th of Iyar, 5768): Eighty-six year old cartoonist and satirist Will Elder passed away today (As reported by William Grimes)
2009: The Foundation for Jewish Studies presents a free lecture with Dr. Robert Alter speaking on “The Challenge of Translating the Bible” at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center.
2009: The 92nd Street Y presents a lecture by Susanne Vromen entitled “Sanctuary from Hell: Belgian Nuns Who Saved Holocaust Children” in which this Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Bard College author of “Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis” shares the “riveting stories” of the Belgian Jewish children who were hidden in Roman Catholic convicts and orphanages starting in 1942. Vromen is in a unique position to tell the story since she “was living in Belgium when the Germans invaded the country in 1940 and lived under the Nazi occupation before she and her family were able to escape and find refuge in the Belgian Congo.
2009: Today Jordan's king pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as the monarch pursued a sweeping resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel. King Abdullah II made the comments during a meeting in the Red Sea city of Aqaba with Netanyahu
2009(20th of Iyar, 5769): Beatrice Israel Muhlendorf, passed away today at the age 93 in Sheffield, Alabama. Mrs. Muhlendorf was a native of Worcester, Mass., and a member of Temple B'Nai Israel. She attended Florence State Teachers College and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1936.She was the co-founder of the Rho chapter of Sigma Delta Tau sorority at the University of Alabama and served as president in 1935. a lifelong sustaining member of the Muscle Shoals District Service League, past board member of the YMCA of the Shoals and Northwest Alabama Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club and was past president of the Temple B'Nai Israel Sisterhood. She worked for the Navy department during World War II, where she met her husband, Jack, and married in 1942. She, along with her father and husband, co-founded Paper and Chemical Supply Co. in 1949, where she served as a chairman of the board until her passing. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Muhlendorf
2009: Sholom Rubashkin, the man who ran Agriprocessors, has been named in a new 142 count indictment that adds 70 new charges that include criminal acts related to bank fraud, money laundering and document fraud.
2010(1 Sivan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
2010: “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” a sequel to “Wall Street” in which Eli Wallach played the part of “Julius Steinhardt” in what was the last film in his long and storied career premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
2010: Forty-six year old Jennifer Gorvotiz was named CEO of the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation today making her “the first woman to head on the North American’s 20 largest Jewish Federations.” (As reported by Jweekly.com)
2010: Rabbi Shira Stutman and musician Sheldon Low are scheduled to lead a musical and interactive Shabbat at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
2011: Liliana Schulder is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest synagogue which was founded in 1867.
2011: The Cincinnati Art Museum is scheduled to present “A Jewish View of Cincinnati” will “explore art from ancient times that relates to Jewish history; paintings of biblical stories and themes, and works by Jewish artists.
2011: Pianist Menahem Pressler is scheduled to appear with the Jupiter Quartet as part of the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts in New York City.
2011: “Footnote” a film about the mistaken award of the Israel Prize premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the award for best screenplay.
2011: The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport minutes before it was to depart for Paris on today, in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said.
2011(10th of Iyar, 5771): Ninety-year old Joseph Wershaba, the colleague of Edward R. Murrow who helped to expose Senator McCarthy, passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
2011(10th of Iyar, 5771): Eighty-nine year old Murray Handwerker, the man who turned Brooklyn based Nathan’s hot dog stand into a nationally known institution passed away today. (As reported by Reed Abelsson)
2012: At the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, Dr. Pamela S. Nadell, Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University is scheduled to survey 350 years of the American Jewish experience through the prism of National Museum of American Jewish located on Philadelphia's Independence Mall.
2012: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music is scheduled to present an evening of performances celebrating its Israeli alumni, students, and international collaborators
2012: Todd Hasak-Lowy author of Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction is scheduled to participate in A Dalkey Archive Translators Night as the McNally Jackson Bookstore in New York City.
2012: Roberto Rodriguez and the Cuban Jewish All Stars are scheduled to perform at the Washington DCJCC.
2012: Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present “Bay mayn mames shtibele: The Women's Art of Yiddish Folksong.”
2012: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to hold a workshop for new recruits and experienced veterans of the Wiener Library’s Volunteer Translation Program. The program began with one translator in 2009.
2012: Offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz, a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, signed a four-year, $5.17 million contract with the team. Schwartz, a tackle from the University of California, Berkeley, was selected 37th overall in April’s draft. The Jewish player was among eight draft picks signed by the team today. His older brother Geoff is in his fourth season as an NFL player ( As reported by Mary Oster)
2012(22nd of Iyar, 5772): Nine-four year old “David M. Helpern, the business side of the husband-and-wife apparel design team known as Joan & David, who popularized elegant, comfortable — and non-high-heeled — shoes for working women in the 1960s before expanding their line internationally to include clothing,” passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
2012: Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times did not address the graduating class at Barnard College because she was pre-empted by President Obama.
2013: The refurbished Jerusalem Train Station is scheduled to host its first major event today.
2013: The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox, the doyenne of New York Times obituary writers goes on sale today.
2013: “Fire In My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh” is scheduled to open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
2013(5th of Sivan, 5773): Erev Shavuot
2013: The DVD of “The Round Up” a French movie “based on the true story of a young Jewish boy that depicts the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv) -- the mass arrest of Jews by French police who were Nazi accomplices in Paris in July 1942—“was released on the American iTunes Store” today.
2013: As part of the observance of Shavuot, Bentlee Birchansky and Noah Thalblum will celebrate their Confirmation at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Editor’s Note – I had the pleasure of teaching both of these youngsters. They are two of the brightest, nicest, most diligent students I ever worked with in the last fifty years. They have much to be proud of and even more to look forward to.)
2013: On the secular calendar, 65th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel!
2013: The Jerusalem Post ranks Yair Lapid, the founder of Yesh Atid at the top of its list of most influential Jews followed by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew in second place.
2014(14th of Iyar, 5774): Pesach Sheini
2014: Nick Kotz, whose recent book, The Harness Maker's Dream, tells the story of his Jewish Ukrainian grandfather's journey to the United States and ensuing life in Texas is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion “A Nation of Immigrants: How They Have Shaped America.”
2014: In Danville, CA, the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living is scheduled to host a special screening “American Jerusalem,” a “documentary that tells the story of San Francisco Jews became Jews.”
2014: The New York Times fires Jill Abramson as Executive Editor.
2014: A senior FSA official said that the Free Syrian Army (FAS) “could tactically collaborate with Israel in toppling the Assad regieme as long as such cooperation is carried out in utter secrecy.”
2014: US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Amos Gilad of the Defense Ministry met U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the airport this evening as he prepared to begin a two day visit to Israel.
2015: Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is scheduled to lecture on “Letter from an Unknown Woman: Joseph’s Dream” at the Skirball Center
2015: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition was formally sworn in tonight after a raucous Knesset session that saw constant heckling, along with accusations by opposition leader Isaac Herzog that the freshly inaugurated government was “a circus.”
2015: Violinist and composer Ittai Shapira is scheduled to premiere his newest composition, “Ethics” at a the Concert Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp
2015: “Raise the Roof” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th Annual Film Festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Films.
2015: Steve Richards is scheduled to his book Sitting on Top of the World at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
2016(6th of Iyar, 5776): Shabbat Kedoshim
2016: In Baltimore, the JCCs of North America continue their Biennial Convention for a second day.
2016: Rabbi David Golinkin, the President of the Schechter Institutes, Inc. and a Professor of Jewish Law is scheduled to lecture on “What can do about the state of Judaism in the Jewish State?” as part of Shaary Tefillah’s Scholar in Residence program.
2016: “As an extension of Yom Hashoah 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the New Orleans Opera, in a special collaboration with The National WWII Museum and assisted by Temple Sinai are the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, are scheduled present the celebrated children's opera, Brundibar”
2017(18th of Iyar, 5777): Lag B’Omer
2017: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Dorre Shafrir’s debut novel Startup, A Man and His Presidents: the Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley, Jr. by Alvin S. Felzenberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy co-authored by Sheryl Sandberg and Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family by Syma Solovitch and Bruce D. Haynes who is currently “contracted with New York University Press for a book entitled Hear O' Israel: Voices of African American Jews about Black Jews in America and Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond by Gideon Rachman
2017: The exhibition “500 Years of Treasures from Oxford” that “will showcase in America for the first time an extraordinary array of ancient manuscripts, books, and silver, including what has been called “the most important collection of Anglo-Jewish manuscripts in the world” is scheduled to open at Yeshiva University Museum today.
2017: LIMMUDFSU NY is scheduled to come to an end today
2017: Oxford students are scheduled to check “out JSoc's and Chaplaincy's stalls at the Lag B'Omer fair on Broad Street this afternoon!
2017: Today, Tunisia’s culture minister said that this North African country “plans to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for the island of Djerba, site of Africa’s oldest synagogue and an annual Jewish pilgrimage”
2017: Mother’s Day - all women are considered to be mothers in the House of Israel and we honor them all for their contributions without which we would not have survived for the last four thousand years – from the Matriarchs to Deborah to Golda Meir and all of the women of valor in between.
2017: Continuing a tradition begun in the 1990’s when lamplighter Rabbi Ciment first settled in Little Rock, Chabad is scheduled to host an elaborate Lag B’Omer Celebration that has, like so much of his efforts gone from strength to strength.
2017(18th of Iyar, 5777): In Los Angeles, ordination ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion,
2018: More than 100,000 people from Gaza are scheduled to take part in the “March of Return” an attempt to breach the anti-terrorist fence on the border with the Israel which in reality is an attempt by those committed to destroying Israel to invade the country.
2018: President Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are among the dignitaries expected to attend events marking today’s move of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
2018: Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri is scheduled to go on trial in St. Louis on a charge of invasion-of-privacy stemming from an affair he had “with his former hairdresser.”
2018: In New Orleans, “Sabena Hijacking: My Version” is scheduled to shown at the JCC as part of the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series.