Wednesday, May 16, 2018

This Day, May 17, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


May 17

142 BCE: “Simon the Hasmonean captured the citadel of Jerusalem and expelled its Syrian garrison ad the Hellenized Jews” who had fought with them. Simon was the last surviving Hasmonean brother.  His victories completed the fight begun by the more famous Judah who had taken possession of Jerusalem in 165 BCE but had not been able to take control of the citadel.

1012: Benedict VIII began his papacy. During his reign, “a number of Roman Jews were executed on Cecil Roth has called the ‘improbable charge of mocking a crucifix.’  The accuracy of this is open to debate since a contemporary chronicler, Ademar of Chabannes, “this occurred after an earthquake accompanied by a severe storm erupted on Good Friday, prompting a Roman Jews to inform the papal palace that some of his coreligionist had mocked a crucifix in their synagogue. After those found guilty were beheaded the earthquake ceased.

1220: Second coronation of King Henry III in Westminster Abbey which was ordered by Pope Honorius III who did not consider that the first had been carried out in accordance with church rites. In 1253, King Henry established The Domus Conversorum (House of Conversion) which was a building and institution in London for Jews who had converted to Christianity. It provided a communal home and low wages.

1315: Today, during the reign of Louis X, “an ordinance was issued” concerning the rights and treatment of the Jews when and if they were allowed to return to France.

1338: The Bishop of Strasbourg formed an alliance for the pursuit of the Armleder assassins who were responsible for the massacring of Jews in Alsace.

1594: Today “The Jew of Malta” was entered in the Stationer's Register, a record book maintained by the Stationers' Company of London which a held monopoly over the printing industry in England.

1500: In Mantua, “Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and Isabella d'Este” gave birth to “Federico II of Gonzaga, the ruler of the Italian city of Mantua at the time of the birth of Leone de' Sommi, the first “unapologetically Jewish playwright and poet” and a ruler who enjoyed Jewish comedians enough to hire “Solly and Jacob,” two “ebrei istrioni” (ham actors) for a wedding celebration in 1520.” (As reported by Simon Schama)

1607: Today for the third time the Inquisition took action against “Jorge de Almedia, a Portuguese residing in Mexico, the prosecuting attorney renewed the motion that he be adjudged in contumaciam (in contempt) “but the Inquisitors upon consideration of the antecedents of the case and wising to give the said Jorge de Almeida a further proof of kindness and benignity, decided to grant him sixty days more, during which he may come and appear in obedience to the summons.”

1617(12th of Iyar, 5377): Rabbi Judah Löb Saraval passed away He translated Saadia’s commentary on “Canitcles” into Hebrew. [Canticles is another name for the Song of Songs.] “He is quoted in the ritual work "Mashbit Milḥamot," in connection with a question in regard to the ritual bath. Although he was reported to have died in Venice, Filosseno Luzzato found his tombstone in Padua.

1714: Michael Hasid who had “succeeded to the rabbinate of Frankfort after the death of Aaron Benjamin Wolf” was appointed chief rabbi of Berlin.

1727: Catherine I of Russia passed away. The Catherine was the second wife of Peter the Great. She ruled for two years after Peter’s death. In that time she issued an edict expelling the Jews from the Ukraine and the rest of Russia and denying them the right to ever return.

1779(2nd of Sivan, 5539): Raphael Levi Hannover the native of Franconia who was so skilled in mathematics and astronomy that he served as the secretary for Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz and whose works included "Luḥot ha-'Ibbur,” passed away today. 

1784: The Jewish public school was opened in Hungary

1786(19th of Iyar, 5546): Moses Zarah Eilitz, who taught Talmud without accepting compensation even though he was impoverished himself, passed away today.

1795: Rabbi Isaiah Berlin led a special service in the synagogue at Breslau in honor of the recently signed Peace of Basel that ended the War of the First Coalition.  From a Jewish point of view, the service was unusual because Berlin permitted the use of instrumental music.

1776: During the American revolution the U.S. Congress called on Americans to raise their voices in prayer, and among the verses read by the "anxious" Jews of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of New York was, "…And they shall beat their swords into plow-shares."

1786(19th of Iyar): Moses Eidlitz, author of “Melehet Mah-shevet” passed away.

1792: The New York Stock Exchange is founded when the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by 24 stock brokers outside of 68 Wall Street in New York under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street. Benjamin Seixas, brother of Gershom Seixas, was one of the five Jews included in the list of the twenty-four founders of the New York Stock Exchange

1795: Rabbi Isaiah Berlin officiated at service celebrating the Peace of Basel where he allowed instrumental music to be played in the synagogue.

1799(12th of Iyar, 5559): Isaiah Berlin, the native of Eisenstadt who succeeded Isaac Joseph Te’omim as rabbi at Breslau passed away today.

1799(12th of Iyar, 5559): Seventy-six year old Daniel Itzig, the husband of Miriam Wulff, the grandfather of Lea Solomon, the mother of Felix Mendelson and Fanny Hensel, the father-in-law of David Friedlander who was “court Jew” Frederick II, the Great and Frederick William II of Prussia and one of the very few Jews in Prussia to receive full citizenship privileges, as a "Useful Jew" passed away today.

1805(18th of Iyar, 5565): Lag B'Omer

1814: The Constitution of Norway is signed and the Danish Crown Prince Christian Frederik is elected King of Norway by the Constitutional assembly. The first Jews arrived in what is now Norway in the last decade of the 15th century. They were Sephardim escaping the Inquisition and were referred to as “the Portuguese Jews.” This constitution included in its second paragraph a general ban against Jews and Jesuits entering the country. In principle, Portuguese Jews were exempt from this ban, but it appears that few applied for a letter of free passage. When Norway entered into the personal union of Sweden-Norway, the ban against Jews was upheld, though Sweden at that point had several Jewish communities. In 1844, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice declared: "... it is assumed that the so-called Portuguese Jews are, regardless of the Constitution’s §2, entitled to dwell in this country, which is also, to [our] knowledge, what has hitherto been assumed. “After tireless efforts by the poet Henrik Wergeland, the Norwegian parliament lifted the ban against Jews in 1851 and they were awarded religious rights on par with Christian "dissenters." In 1852, the first Jew landed in Norway to settle, but it wasn't until 1892 that there were enough Jews to form a synagogue in Oslo.

1826: In Nice, Rabbi Abraham Belais and Naomi Belais gave birth to Solomon Belais.

1830: The second reading of bill designed to free the Jews from their “civil disabilities” “was rejected” in the House Commons by a vote of 265 to 228 despite the presentation of “a sizable petition it its favour from 14,000 citizens of London.”

1830: In Kosiv, Rabbi Chaim Hager of Kosiv and his wife, the daughter of Rabbi Israel Friedman of Ruzhyn gave birth to Menachem Mendel Hager who was named as Rebbe at the age of 24.

1835: Lewis Isaacs married Phoebe Davis today at the Great Synagogue.

1835: Samuel Magnus married Rose Cohen today at the Hambro Synagogue.

1836: Birthdate Wilhelm Steinitz. Born in Prague, which was part of the Austrian Empire, Steinitz was the first official World Champion of Chess holding the title from 1886 to 1894. He suffered from a variety of mental problems after losing his championship. At one point he claimed to have played a game of Chess with God. He passed away in 1900 while living in Brooklyn.

1844: Warder Cresson became the first person commissioned to serve as Consul at Jerusalem by the United States State Department. Cresson would convert to Judaism while serving in Jerusalem and take the name Michael Boaz Israel ben Abraham
1844: Birthdate of Julius Wellhausen, the German biblical scholar who, in his 1878 "History of Israel," first advanced the JEDP Hypothesis, claiming that the Torah was a compilation of four earlier, literary sources.
1849: In St, Louis, The Great Fire occurred when at 10 p.m. a fire broke out on the steamboat "White Cloud". Within 30 minutes, 23 steamboats were engulfed in flames. The fire swept up the levee, destroying tons of freight and 15 blocks of residences, warehouses, and stores. Businesses destroyed that were owned in whole or in part by Jews include: Isaac Jacobs, Abraham Jacobs, Lewis M. Levy, Simon Lewis, Raborg & Shaffner, Helfenstein & Co., Charles Roderman, Weil & Bros., L. Newman, Helfenstein, Gore & Co., Levy & Bros., H. Cohen, and Simon Abeles.

1850(6th of Sivan, 5610): Shavuot

1850: Rabbi Jacobs delivered a sermon at the Shavuot service using the text – Deuteronomy XVI 9.

1852: The New York Times reported that the first reading of a bill designed to remove the disabilities imposed upon persons refusing to take the “oaths of abjuration” (known as the Jews Bill) had taken place in the House of Lords. During the debate, 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. In what was seen as a turn for the better, Lord Derby had not offered any opposition to the measure.

1855: In New York ceremonies were held today marking the official opening first hospital building in the United States devoted solely to alleviate the suffering of poor Jews.  The ceremonies featured uniquely Jewish liturgical motifs including a display of Torah Scrolls. In addition to all of the modern conveniences one would expect to find in a new hospital, there is a synagogue on the 2nd floor.  John Hart is president of the board of directors and Benjamin Hart is the vice president.

1855: Over five hundred ladies and gentlemen attended a banquet at Niblo’s Saloon that was intended to raise funds for the newly opened Jew’s Hospital.  The Grace before and after dinner were chanted in Hebrew by Rabbi J.J. Lyons and Anthony Leo. 
1860: Alliance Israelite Universelle was launched by a group of French Jews under the direction of Adolphe Cremieux. It was designed to defend Jewish rights and to establish world-wide Jewish educational facilities. Charles Netter was one of the six founders of the organization which had been formed in response to anti-Semitic incidents such as the abduction of Edgardo Mortara and the Damascus affair. The Franco-Prussian War diminished its universality and separate organizations were formed in Germany and England.

1865: Sergeant Levi Arnold who had begun his service in the Union Army in 1862 and transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps in 1863 completed his military service today.
1866(3rd of Sivan, 5626):  Composer Adolf Bernhard Marx passed away at the age of 70.

1872: Moss Ansell who had been born at London in 1823 to Hyam and Fanny Answell was buried today at West Ham Jewish Cemetery, eight days after he had passed away.

1872: "The Jews in Romania"  published today reported that the Italian government has sent a communication to to the government of Prince Charles of Romania protesting against the persecution and oppression of the Jews in that country.

1873: Birthdate of “French novelist, French Communist Party member” and “lifelong friend of Albert Einstein” who suffered the indignity of having his books burned and blacklisted by the Nazis even though ye was not Jewish.
1874: In Lemberg, Galicia, “Solomon Klakah, a poor brush manufacturer and amateur violinist” and “Babette Halber Kalakh, a seamstress who often made costumes for local theaters” gave birth to Beylke Kalakh who gained famed as Bertha Kalich, star of American Yiddish theatre

1876(23rd of Iyar): Aaron Zevi Friedman, the author of “Tuv Ta’am” passed away

1877: Haemet was published for the first time in Vienna.  Aaron Samuel Liebermann was the publisher

1877: An American Jewish couple living in England were parties to litigation surrounding their marriage.  Benjamin Levy sued his wife Deborah Isaacs Levy and her alleged lover on grounds that the two were partners in an adulterous relationship. After a few minutes of deliberation, the jury found that they had been guilty of adultery but also found that Levy “had conduced to his wife’s misconduct.  Therefore, they declined to assess any damages against either the respondent or the co-respondent.

1879: The third annual meeting of Felix Adler’s Society for Ethical Culture had its final meeting in New York City.

1880(7th of Sivan, 5640): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

1885: In New York City, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Guggenheim gave birth to Meyer Robert Guggenheim, a member of the famous Guggenheim family who served as U.S. Ambassador to Portugal at the beginning of the Eisenhower Administration

1885: Birthdate of Frederic Zelnik, a native of Czernowitz which was part of the Austro-Hungarian at the time who was a leading German movie producer and director until Hitler came to power and he moved to the United Kingdom.

1885: A week after she had passed away, Miriam bat Avraham was buried today at the Brompton Jewish Cemetery.

1888(7th of Sivan, 5648): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

1890: C.J. Schwab is scheduled to conduct a 24-piece orchestra today at the 13th annual Strawberry Festival sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at the Lenox Lyceum a fundraising event for which E.B. Levy is in charge.

1890: In Helena, Montana, founding of the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of Temple Emanu-El.

1891: It was reported today that contrary to official government announcement “Greek troops” in the Ionian Islands, are not “suppressing disturbances and punishing ringleaders” but instead are “openly exhibiting sympathy with the Jew-baiters” and that the condition of the Jews “will be worse before they are better.”

1891: It was reported today that “all the latest news” from Russia regarding the Jews “is of the extension of edicts of expulsion to numerous districts hitherto unmentioned and fresh cruelties and hardships” used “everywhere in the merciless enforcement of these dark-age decrees.”

1893: A delegation from New York led by Oscar S Straus met with Secretary of State Gresham in Washington, D.C. to discuss the situation of the Jews in Russia.  They asked him to intervene on their behalf with Czar with the hope that he would take action mitigating the “severe edicts and penalties” that have been imposed upon them in the last few years.

1893: According to Dr. Joseph Senner, the Superintendent of Immigration at Ellis Island the SS Didam which arrived today “had brought the worst set of men, women and children he had ever seen” and that “many of them were Russian or Polish Jews.

1893: Explorer, journalist and advocate for democratic reform in Russia, George Kennan and his wife are sailing for England today.  Before leaving he expressed his firm belief that an influx of Russian Jews will be coming to the United States; forced to do so because of the Czar’s edicts.  In response to a question about aid for these immigrants he said that the Baron de Hirsch Fund has a definite, major role to play in assisting Russian Jewish immigrants.

1893: It was reported today that Myer S. Isaacs, Chairman of the Trustee of the Baron Hirsh Fund expects that the only Jews who will immigrate to the United States from Russia will come of their own volition , will have money to take them to where they desire to settle “or will have friends who can help them.” “They will not be a burden to anybody and…they will make very good citizens. He said that the fund is still experimenting with its trade schools and industrial farm which all the help they can offer for the foreseeable future. (This is neither the first, nor the last time that Jews in America would underestimate the desperation of their European co-religionist)

1893: “A rich Jewish banker, who desired” to remain anonymous “for the present” was reported to have said that if there should be an unusual increase in Jewish immigration from Poland and Russia, he would be interested in meeting with fellow Jews “to devise ways and means of caring for all refugees that might come.

1893(2nd of Sivan, 5653): Jacob Reinowitz, affectionately known as Reb Yankele, the native of Wilkowisk, Poland who served his home town as rabbi for 30 years before moving to England in 1876 where he became the “Preacher” for a Talmud Torah “established by Eastern European immigrants at Whitechapel and a member of the London Beth Din under the leadership of Chief Rabbi N. M. Adler, passed away today.

1895: “Rubinstein’s Religion” published today discussed the religious beliefs of the late Anton Rubinstein, the Russian pianist, composer and conductor. Although born a Jew, he “was baptized when a mere infant…and was forced…to follow the prescribed” religious “forms once a year.”  “It is worthy of notice and stands greatly to his credit, that in Russia, where it is better to be born a dog than a Jew, Rubinstein, despite his baptism, never sought to deny his Jewish origin.  In a certain way he was proud of it, and always boldly acknowledged it.”

1895(23rd of Iyar, 5655): Sixty-eight year old Wilhelm von Gutman who founded the largest coal company in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and served as President of the Jewish Community of Vienna passed away today.

1895: “W.W. Wilson Becomes a Convert to Judaism” published today described the decision of Brooklyn lawyer Wayne W. Wilson to join the Jewish faith.  The ceremony took place at Temple Israel in Brooklyn. Wilson said that he “joined Temple Israel because the doctrine of the Reformed Jew my views exactly.”

1895: Birthdate of Saul Adler, the Russian born Israeli who helped find a cure for malaria.

1897: Birthdate of Oswald Rothaug, the Nazi Jurist who eagerly “presided over the trial of Leo Katzenberger in March 1942, ordering his execution for "racial defilement" in May 1943.”

1898: During the Spanish American War Jacob Schrob and Bernard Schwarzenberg were mustered into federal service along with the other members of Battery B of the 1st Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Artillery.

1899: Sixty-one year old “Jewish Christian” Joseph Rabinowitz passed away today.

1899: Following his conversion to Christianity earlier in the year German architect Alfred Messel “received the Order of the Red Eagle, 4th Class.”

1899: Private Nathan Levy began serving with Company F, 18th Infantry today following which he would fight in the Philippines for 3 months.

1900: Birthdate of Herberts Cukurs, the Latvian aviator who was never punished for his crimes during the Holocaust.

1901: Temple Beth Elohim, “the oldest synagogue in Brooklyn” began today began the celebration of “its golden jubilee.

1901: Birthdate of Hugh Joseph Schonfied a London born Bible expert and one of the first people to work on the Dead Scrolls who was “a liberal Hebrew Christian” and who “was expelled from the Executive Committee of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance.”

1901: Herzl met with the Sultan of Turkey to discuss the establishment of a Jewish state and the obtaining of a charter. He failed in both attempts. However, The Sultan bestows on Herzl the Grand Cordon of the Mejidiye and authorized Hertzl to declare that the ruling Khalif was a friend and protector of the Jewish people. Herzl believed that a Jewish homeland could be created by getting approval of the venture from the political leaders of the day. That is why he sought out the support of the Kaiser. The state of Israel would eventually be a product of changed realities on the ground – the settling of the land by the Zionists – and political support from various political leaders such as Harry Truman in 1948.

1902: “During Shabbat Torah services women interrupted prayers with a call to support the boycott” of kosher butcher shops on the Lower East Side. “Women left their seats in the balcony to persuade men to back their cause and gain communal support.” (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)

1903: Birthdate of Arthur “Artie” Auerbach, the newspaper photographer “who became famous as ‘Mr. Kitzel’ on the Al Pearce and Jacky Benny radio shows.”

1905: Wolf Perelberg, who gained famed as movie producer William Perlberg, the son of Israel Jakob Perelberg, came to the United States today “with his mother and three siblings.”

1905: The Pall Mall Gazette published “A Street in the East End” today by M.J. Landa

1908: The Jewish American Historical Society held its 16th annual meeting today at the Hotel Astor.  During the morning session, Leon Huelmer presented a paper on “Jewish Privaterring in the Eighteenth Century.”  During the afternoon session Dr. Herbert Friedenwald presented a paper on “Why This Is Not a Christian Country.” At the evening session, the attendees approved a measure championed by Cyrus Adler, the society’s President to amend the constitution allowing the society to study “Jewish history in general instead of limiting it to” the study of American Jewish history.

1908: Charles Towne and Daniel P. Hays were the principle speakers at tonight’s memorial service sponsored by the Hebrew Union Veteran Association and the Hebrew Veterans of the War with Spain to honor the soldiers and sailors who had died in the service of their country.  The service was held at New York’s Rodeph Shalom and guest included Rear Admiral Joseph B. Coghlan and Grand Marshal Isidore Isaacs of the Grand Army of the Republic and his staff.  The Grand Army of the Republic was large national Civil War veterans association that was a forerunner to the American Legion formed after WW I.

1908(16th of Iyar, 5668): Percival Menken the eldest son of Jules and Cornelia Menken and husband of Getrude Davies Menkien, who was born at Philadelphia, PA in 1865, passed away today in New York City where he was a member of the bar, President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and a director of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was laid to rest at Beth Olom Cemetery in Queens, NY.

1908: “Charles Louis-Dreyfus a merchant and ship-owner, and Sarah Germaine Hément” gave birth French Resistance fighter and businessman Pierre Louis-Dreyfus the grandson of Leopold Dreyfus, the founder of the Louis Dreyfus Group.

1910: Sir Charles Walston, the Anglo-American archaeologist married Florcence Walston

1912: “Merchants in southern Russia” protested to the “Premier and Minister of Commerce against the expulsion” of the Jews and the confiscation of their property.

1912: The Governor of Kiev, declared that he “will expel and confiscate the property of every Jewish merchant “who is unable to produce a certificate of uninterrupted payment of the First Guild fee for fifteen years.”

1913: The Annual Meeting of the Associated Jewish Charities of Chicago is scheduled to take place this evening at the Auditorium Hotel where attendees will among other things, vote on those who will serve as directors for the next three years.

1915: In response to a request from Leo Frank’s attorneys “members of the State Prison Commission” is scheduled to “hold a conference” this “morning to decide on the date for hearing arguments on the petition of Leo M. Frank for a commutation of his sentence to life imprisonment.”

1915: A tribute in praise of Woodrow Wilson’s “peaceful policies” offered by the Jews attending the cornerstone laying ceremony for the Yorkville Jewish Institute and Talmud Torah were published today.

1915: The last British government formed by the Liberal Party fell from power. The party of reform, the Liberal Party produced the first openly Jewish Member of Parliament. Lionel Nathan de Rothschild was first elected in 1847. However, Rothschild would not take his seat until 1858 since it took 11 years to pass the Jewish Disabilities Bill that made it possible for Jews to swear an oath that was not Christian. After World War I, the Labour Party would supplant the Liberal Party as the chief opposition to the Conservatives.

1915: Birthdate of Joseph Liegbott who was a Tech Sergeant with the 101st Airborne during WW II.  Although he was the Catholic son of Austrian immigrants many of his comrades assumed he was Jewish because of his name, his appearance and his hatred of Germans.  (What’s worse than being Jewish – not being Jewish but having people think you are.)

1915: Today, following yesterday’s Leo M. Frank Day, petitions will be circulated among the citizens of Chicago calling for the commutation of Frank’s sentence.

1915: “Today’s early mail brought…more than 3,000 letters seeking clemency for Leo Frank” to the office of Georgia Governor Slaton, including ones from Philander C. Knox, ex-Senator and Secretary of State, Myron T. Herrick the former Governor of Ohio and Ambassador to France, Frank Walsh, Chairman of the United States Industrial Relations Commission; Fred A. Delano of the Federal Reserve Board and Senators Borah, Thomas, Reed and Newlands.

1915: It was reported today 5,000 men would go on strike because “at present there is no limit on the hours” which kosher butchers must work and that “many of them had to work ninety-six hours a week

1915: David Ben Gurian and Yitahak Ben Tzvi: arrived in New York today from Egypt and were allowed to enter the U.S. as immigrants even though they lacked the proper papers.

1917: The 1916-1917 academic year for The Teacher’s Institute of the Hebrew Union College is scheduled to come to an end today.

1917: Based on information dispatch sent from Amsterdam, it was reported today that Reichstag Deputy Cohn, an Independent Socialist, said that at the end of March Djemal Pasha, commander of the Turkish forces in in Syria had ordered all Jews removed from Jaffa saying that this was required by “military conditions” even though “his German Chief of Staff said” such a move “was unnecessary.”

1917: Twenty-two year old featherweight box Danny Frush (born David Frush, Jr) made his boxing debut at the Clermont Avenue Rink in Brooklyn, NY.

1918(6th of Sivan, 5678): Last Shavuot of World War I

1918: According to reports published today, the American Jewish Relief Committee for Suffers from the War has raised $2,786,400 for its 1918 fund but that the committee will have to raise an additional fifteen million dollars in the coming year to deal with the increased suffering among the Jews of Poland and Russia.

1918: “While speaking at an official dinner for the Governor of Jerusalem, Dr. Chaim Weizmann said Jewry was returning to Palestine to build up a great moral and intellectual center which would not be a determent to any of the communities already established in Palestine and that Arab fears that they would ousted from their present position were unfounded.

1919: It was reported today that Dr. Joseph Merzbach, the heart and throat specialist at the Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn has passed away – ironically a victim of heart disease.

1919: It was reported today that Dr. Haim I. Davis of Chicago “who is the first American to return to New York with a personal account of conditions” in Poland said Jews “in Warsaw, Pinsk, Brest-Litovsk and other parts of the new Poland” are “dying like flies” having in many cases “neither seen or eaten bread for months.”

1921: Fannie Hurst was among the first to join the Lucy Stone League, an organization that fought for women to preserve their maiden names which had its initial meeting today at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.

1921: In Atlantic City, NJ, Sadie Abrahams and James Arthur Levan gave birth to Henry Robert Merrill Levan who gained fame as songwriter Bob Merrill

1921: Birthdate of Judith Coplon, the native of Brooklyn and former Justice Department employee who became a sensation in 1949 when she was accused of being a Soviet spy.

1922: The USS Celtic, a navy supply ship on which Lt. Jr. Grade Stanford Moses had served during the Spanish American War was “taken out of service today.”

1922(19th of Iyar, 5682): Forty-year old motor car pioneer Dorothy Levitt passed away today.

1923: The Wiener Morgenzeitung (The Vienna Morning Newspaper) was highly critical of The London house of Rothschild and the Paris representatives of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. ‘for what the paper regards as excessive cordiality shown towards the representatives of the Horthy regime, who are negotiating a loan in European capitals. Heinrich Margulies edited the paper before he moved to Palestine in 1925 where he became a Director of the Anglo-Palestine Bank.

1923: Sir Wyndham Deedes, who has just resigned as the Civil Secretary of the Palestine Administration, addressed a meeting at the Grand Central Hotel called by the English Zionist Federation. Declaring that he favored Zionism because by enabling Jews to return to Palestine the world was righting a wrong committed by Christians 2,000 years ago, Sir Wyndham said only lack of money was hampering Zionist progress in all directions. (JTA)

1926(4th of Sivan, 5685) Sixty-four year old Isaac Aaron passed away today after which he was buried at the Scholemoor Jewish Cemetery Bradford.

1926: David M Bressler announced that nearly $6,000,000 was raised in New York toward the $25,000,000 United Jewish Campaign at a rally of 1,500 workers.

1926: Leading Jews of the East Side were guests at dinner tonight of Max Bernstein, proprietor of Libby's Hotel, the first modern Jewish hotel on the East Side, which was opened to the public yesterday. The hotel is at Delancey and Chrystie Streets. The hotel will serve kosher food. It was elected at a cost of $3,000,000. (JTA)

1929: In Manhattan, attorney Frederick Weinberg and the firmer Lillian Hyman gave birth to George Henry Weinberg, the psychotherapist who invented the word “homophobia.” (As reported by William Grimes)

1930: Today Hadassah announced that a new hospital will be opened in Tiberias on May 25.  The hospital will be named in honor of Peter J. Schweitzer and his widow will be going to Palestine to attend the dedication ceremonies

1930)19th of Iyar, 5690): On Shabbat, 73 year old Florence Liveright the daughter Abraham and Rebeccah Kahn and the wife of Simon Liveright passed away today in Philadelphia.

1933: In Norway, Vidkun Quisling establishes the Norwegian Fascist Party as well as the Hirdmen (King's Men), a collaborationist organization that's modeled on the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA). When the Nazis invade Norway during World War II Quisling will become the head of the Norwegian government. Quisling was such a notorious traitor that his name has now become a word in the English language that means “traitor.”

1933(21st of Iyar, 5693): Communal worker George W. Patke passed away today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1933:  A petition is submitted to the League of Nations by representatives of the Comite des Delegations Juives protesting Germany’s anti-Jewish legislation, called the Bernheim Petition, named for imprisoned Silesian Jew Franz Bernheim.

1934:  At New York's Madison Square Garden, thousands attend a pro-Nazi rally sponsored by the German-American Bund. Critics of Roosevelt’s policy towards Jewish refugees often overlook the reality of anti-Semitism in the United States. The Bund rally was merely the most public venue for this reality of the pre-war American landscape.

1935: Birthdate of Avraham Heffner, the native of Haifa who went to be an award winning director and screenwriter

1936(25th of Iyar): Seventy-seven year old Zionist leader Nachum Sokolow passed away

1936: A curfew order, forbidding residents of Jerusalem to leave their homes at night, was issued today by Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the High Commissioner of Palestine, following the killing of three Jews last night at a motion-picture theatre.

1936: This morning in Jerusalem, more than 30,000 Jews marched in the funeral procession for three Jews murdered the night before at a local move theatre.  Isaac Ben Zvi, President of the National Jewish Council, told the mourners that he held the British government responsible for this because it was the duty of the government to protect its citizens.  An editorial published in today’s Palestine Post said that “ if this is a war of extermination declared y the Arabs on Jews, the Arabs had better know that the shooting down of 400,000 Jews will not alter the course of history and will not shake the Jews’ determination to resettle the land of their fathers…This movement of the Arab Supreme Council seeks tnot only to terrorize the Jews.  It aims to throw the land back to the Dark Ages.”

1936: This morning, at the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to deliver a sermon “President Roosevelt’s Leadership of American: Is It Good or Bad?”

1936(25th of Iyar, 5695): Twenty-seven year old Isaac Jalowski who was married six weeks ago, Dr. Svi Spachowski a recent arrival from Poland whose wife is an expectant mother and Alexander Polonski, “a student at the School of Oriental  Studies at Hebrew University” were all killed by Arabs today in Jerusalem.

1936: Oswald Garrison Villar, associate editor of The Nation delivered a speech tonight at a dinner of the American Committee Appeal for the Relief of Jews of Poland at the Hotel Commodore in which he asked the United States “to protest to the Polish Government about the persecution of the Jews in Poland.

1936: This evening, Temple Adath Israel, on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx is scheduled to celebrate its fortieth anniversary with a concert of liturgical music presented by the Cantors’ Association of America.

1936: Two thousand people filled the pews at Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue for the 41st annual memorial services of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States.

1937(7th of Sivan, 5697) Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

1937: Hundreds of Jews were injured during riots at Brest-Litovsk which is now located in Poland

1938: A. H. Skinner, organizer and manager of the “newly organized American Palestine Securities Company which was registered with the SEC last week” and is designed “to deal in securities originating in the Holy Land” descried “the rapid growth of large-scale undertakings in Palestine in the last five years.  In reporting on the economic conditions in Palestine, Skinner said that there were twelve companies with capital of more than $500,000 and that poplation had grown from 40,000 in 1920 to 400,000 in 1938.

1938: Arthur Sweetser, a director of the secretariat of the League of Nations wrote in his diary, “The President’s proposal took a large place in the League’s refugee deliberations this past week.” By the “President’s proposal” Sweetser was referencing Roosevelt’s plan to “get all the democracies to unite” in an effort to settle all of the Jewish refugees from Europe in their respective territories.”

1938(16th of Iyar, 5698): Sixty-year old Jakob Ehrlich, the Viennese Zionist leader who was deported after the Anschluss passed away today at Dachau.

1939: The British government issues a White Paper (commonly called the MacDonald White Paper) that limits Jewish immigration to 10,000 a year for five years. The White Paper allows 75,000 Jewish immigrants (up to 10,000 per year, plus an additional 25,000 if certain conditions are met) to enter Palestine. The White Paper also restricts Jewish land purchases in Palestine. British government policy will succeed in keeping the actual numbers of Jewish immigrants far below the quotas for settlement in England and Palestine. The White Paper was issued after two years of orchestrated Arab violence. Recognizing the White Paper as a death sentence for a Jewish homeland, the leaders of the Yishuv prepare to bring “illegal immigrants” into Palestine. The White Paper also sealed the fate for Europe’s Jews as it closed the last place of refuge. When World War II broke out Jewish leaders were caught on the horns of a dilemma. In true Jewish fashion when confronted with two choices, the Zionists came up with a third solution. “We will fight the war as if there is no White Paper and we will fight the White Paper as if there is no war.” The Arabs had no such problems as the fact that the Grand Mufti spent the war in Berlin proves.

1939: There were only 679 Jews still living in Magdeburg. Eleven years earlier, there were more than three thousand Jews living in this ancient German city in which Jews had been living since the 10th century.

1939: Fighting broke out in Jerusalem as police sought to disperse 5,000 demonstrators who had gathered to protest the White Paper.

1940 “My Favorite Wife” with a script by Samuel and Bella Spewack and filmed by cinematographer Rudolph Mate was released today in the United States.

1940: Today, Portugal's Premier Antonio de Oliveira Salazar issued an order that "Under no circumstances" was any visa to be granted, unless previously authorized by Lisbon on a case-by-case basis which meant he was currying favor with the Axis powers but leaving the Jews trapped north of the Pyrenees with one less hope of escape

1940: In New York, “Composer Eric Zeisl and his wife Dr. Gertrud S Zeisl (Jellinek) gave birth to Barbara Zeisl Schoenberg, the wife of Ronald R. Schoenberg and the mother of E. Randol Schoenberg who “received her PhD in German Language and Literature from University of California, Los Angeles and taught at Pomona College.”

1940: Birthdate of Tama Gottlob, the younger sister of Salomon Gottlob. At age 2 she joined her 7 year old brother on Convoy 25 that left Drancy with 285 children all of whom were going to Auschwitz.

1940: “Waterloo Bridge,” based on 1930 play of the same name directed by Mervin Leory, with a script by S.N. Behrman and George Froseschel and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was released in the United States today.

1941(20th of Iyar, 5701): In cooperation with British Army intelligence, David Raziel, the commander of the I.Z.L. (Irgun Zva-i Leumi) led a group to sabotage the oil depots on the outskirts of Baghdad. Raziels car was bombed and both he and the liaison British officer were killed. Yes, this is Menachem Begin’s Irgun, the same Irgun that will attack the British in Palestine after the war is over; the same Irgun that blew up the British headquarters in the King David Hotel in 1947

1942: “Whispering Ghosts” a mystery produced by Sol Wurtzel, starring Mitlton Berle and with music by Emil Newman was released today in the United States.
1942: Two thousand Jews were deported from Theresienstadt to Sobibor, 500 miles away. Also, 2,000 Jews from Pabianice reached the Lodz Ghetto. All children under 10 were torn away from their parents and sent "elsewhere."

1942: Liane Berkowitz, and Otto Gollnow, two members of the anti-Nazi Resistance were given the task of putting up about 100 posters in the Kurfürstendamm-Uhlandstraße section of west-central Berlin which protested against the Nazi "Soviet Paradise" propaganda exhibition being held in the city. Six months later, Berkowitz would be arrested for the act. Despite attempts to gain clemency for her because she was pregnant, Berkowitz would ultimately be executed.

1943: The United States Army contracted with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the ENIAC. Herman Heine Goldstine who passed away in 2004 at the age of 90 was one of the orginial developers of ENIAC. Adele Goldstine, his wife, wrote the technical description for ENICA.
1943: The Nazis deport 395 Jews from Berlin to the extermination camp at Auschwitz.
1944: Joel Brand was flown in a German courier plane from Budapest to Istanbul where he met with two representatives from the Jewish “agency for Palestine, Wnja Pomeranz and Menahem Bader. Brand was a Hungarian Jew active in Va’adah (Vadat Ezra Vehatzala), the Jewish Resuce Agency in Hungary who was carrying the terms of Eichman’s offer to trade a million European Jews for 10,000 trucks, 1,000 tons of coffee or tea and 1,000 tons of soap. Eichman assured Brand that the trucks would only be used on the Eastern Front. At the same time, he told Brand that the Jews could go anywhere except Palestine because “the furhrer had promised his friend the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini” that he would not permit that. Pomeranz and Bader took the proposal back to Ben Gurion who then informed the British of the proposal. British Foreign Minster Eden and Secretary of State Hull would not persue the offer because they feared that if the Russians go wind of the negotiations, they would become even more suspicious of the western Allies (remember this was before the Second Front had opened) and might still make their own peace with Hitler. To ensure that nobody else heard about the negotiations, the British sent Brand to Syria for “temporary internment.” Of course the Soviets might have already known about the negotiations since Brand had been a Communist agent working in Berlin during the 1930’s.

1945: U.S. Army Corporal Edward Belfer photographed “a German girl who is overcome as she walks past the exhumed bodies of some of the 800 slave workers murdered by SS guards near Namering, Germany, and laid here so that townspeople may view the work of their Nazi leaders."

1947: At the Adelphi Theatre, after 148 performances the curtain cam on “Street Scene” an American by Kurt Weill with choreography by Anna Sokolow.

1948: Egyptian warplanes were strafing and dive-bombing Tel Aviv for the third straight day.  Arab sources were claiming unverified as yet, the surrender of the Jews of Old Jerusalem, with claims and counterclaims flying on both sides on the progress of the invading armies of Egypt, Syria and Transjordan.

1948: During the Battles of the Kanarot Valley, as the Syrians attempted to wipe out Ein Giv, a company attacked the Israeli-held water station with heavy weapons killing all but one of the workers.
1948: At dawn, the Syrians renewed their attack on Tzemah as they attempted to take control of the Jordon River Valley.  In an attempt to limit damage to their tanks, the Syrian infantry without armor to lead them, attacked the village's northern positions. Despite a shortage of ammunition and suffering heavy casualties, the Israelis halted the Syrian advance.

1948: In Tel Aviv, as Battles of the Kinarot Valley rage into their third day.  David Ben Gurion orders Moshe Dayan, the Haganah commander in the area, to ‘Hold the Jordan Valley’ no matter the cost.

1948: Russia recognized Israel. Much to Stalin’s dismay, he lost the recognition race to the United States. Stalin had not fallen in love with the Jews. He saw Israel as a wedge that would lead to the breakup of one his nemesis, the British Empire. With its large population of refugees from Russia, the state of Israel was never in danger of being seduced by Stalin or the Communists.
1948: During the War for Independence, Israeli forces liberated Acre, Nebi Yusha, and Tel el-Kadi, Yes; this is the same Acre where Maimonides and his family landed when they first arrived in Eretz Israel.

1948: A convoy consisting of 12 trucks filled with military supplies arrived in Jerusalem. It would be the last convoy to reach the city. "The siege of Jerusalem was now complete."

1950: The special committee reinvestigating the assassination of Count Bernadotte in 1948 submits its report to the Israeli cabinet today. 

1950:  “Annie Get Your Gun,” the film version of the Broadway musical directed by George Sidney, “with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Shelton” was released today in the United States.

1950: Israeli fighter planes forced down a four-engine Royal Air Force Sunderland that was flying outside ‘the prescribed air corridor.”

1950: In Baltimore, MD, “Shirley Thelma (née Glass) and Raymond Albert Ashman, an ice cream cone manufacturer” gave birth to playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman.

1951: The Tales of Hoffmann “a British Technicolor film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann,” co-directed by Emeric Pressburger was released today in the United Kingdom.

1954(14th of Iyar, 5714): Pesach Sheni

1954: Birthdate of American lyricist David Zippel.

1954(14th of Iyar, 5714): Sixty-three year old Latvian native, WW I Army Chaplain and attorney Maurice Hirsh Gelfand, the son of of Isaac and Ida Gelfand and the husband of Rachel Shapiro Gelfand passed away today in Cleveland.
1956: In Philadelphia, PA supermarket executive Benjamin Saget and his wife Rosalyn “Dolly” Saget gave birth comedian Robert Lane “Bob” Saget.

1956(7th of Sivan, 5716): Second Day of Shavuot

1956(7th of Sivan, 5716): Poet and author Jacob Fichman passed away.

1956(7th of Sivan, 5716): Dr. Judah David Eisenstein, the self-educated Hebrew scholar, writer, editor and publisher passed away today at the age of 101.  In 1891, he published the first Hebrew and Yiddish translations of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  Born in Poland, he came to the U.S. in 1872 where he became a successful businessman by day and a self-taught scholar by night.  “He was the editor and publisher of ‘Otzar Yisrael,’ a ten volume Hebrew Encyclopedia that was last revised in 1951.

1959: The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School was opened in the western section Jerusalem. The original facility had been on Mt. Scopus. When the Jordanian Army illegally captured the eastern section of Jerusalem, the facility on Mt. Scopus became untenable. The Israelis would return in June, 1967.

1960: Today at the request of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and the Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yithak Nissim, Chaim Yosef David Azulai known as “the hida was laid to rest at Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem.”

1961: “Professor Mamlock” a film about a Jewish surgeon living in the last days of the Weimar Republic directed by Konrad Wolf who co-authored the script along with Friedrich Wolf was released today in East (Communist) Germany.

1964(6th of Sivan, 5724): Shavuot is celebrated for the first time during the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson.

1965: In New York City, “Letty Cottin Pogrebin, the co-founder of Ms. magazine, and Bert Pogrebin, a management-side labor lawyer” gave birth to Abigail Pogrebin, “the author of the 2005 book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.”

1965: In New York City, “Letty Cottin Pogrebin, the co-founder of Ms. magazine, and Bert Pogrebin, a management-side labor lawyer” gave birth to Robin Pogrebin, the ABC producer and New York Times reporter who is the twin sister of Abigail Pogrebin.
1967: In what would be a prelude to the Six Day War, President Abdul Nasser of Egypt demands dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt. The UN force had been established as part of the peace agreement following the Suez War of 1956. Much to Nasser’s surprise, U Thant, the UN Secretary General immediately gave into Nasser’s demand an removed the peace keeping force. Israelis viewed the UN as the umbrella that closes when it starts to rain. The departure of the UN force gave the Arabs carte blanche to move large forces into the Sinai threatening the survival of Israel.

1970)11th of Iyar, 5730): Seventy-eight year old Nobel Prize winning poet Nelly Sachs passed away today.

1971:”Godspell” with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz opened at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC.

1973(15th of Iyar, 5733): Sixty-four year old ‘an Austrian-British photographer, communist-sympathiser and spy for the Soviet Union’ passed away today.

1974: “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” a car chase movie co-starring Vic Morrow was released in the United States today.

1975(7th of Sivan, 5735): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor

1975: The anti-Zionist trial of Lev Roitburd began in Odessa today.

1975: Terrorist bombings taking place in Ramallah and El Bira.

1975: “The Man in the Glass Booth” directed by Arthur Hiller and produced by Ely Abraham Landau was released in the United States today.

1975: Twenty people were injured when a bomb hidden in a picnic box went off at Ein Fashkha,

1976: Birthdate of Jeremiah Luber, the grandson of Harvey and Elaine Luber, pillars of the Little Rock Jewish community

1980: In Washington, DC, first release of “The Empire Strikes Back” directed by Irvin Kershner, with a script co-authored by Lawrence Kasdan, filmed by cinematographer Peter Suschitzky featuring Frank Oz as the voice of “Yoda.”

1980: “Union City” a crime film with music by Chris Stein was released today in the United States.

1981: Birthdate of Shiri Maimon, the Sephardic Jewess born at Haifa and raised a Kiryat Haim, who is a popular Israeli singer, actress and television personality.

1981: In “Fiddler Plays at Darien Dinner Theatre,” Haskel Frankel expresses his love for this musical based on the life of Tevye but is less than enthusiastic about the version now on view at the Darien Dinner Theatre in Connecticut.

1983: Representatives of the United States, Lebanon and Israel signed an agreement that was supposed to bring peace to the two warring Middle East nations.  The government of Lebanon was not able to honor the terms of the agreement so the peace was “still born.”

1984: Lia van Leer inaugurated the first Jerusalem Film Festival.
1985(26th of Iyar, 5745): Abe Burrows, (Abram Solman Borowitz) songwriter, composer, and writer passed away. Known in his own right for such hits “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” Burrows was the father of James Burrow the director of the hit sitcom “Cheers.

1985: “Goodbye, New York,” an “Israeli-American comedy-drama produced, directed and written by Amos Kollek, who also co-stars in his directorial debut” was released today in the United States.

1991: Premier of “What About Bob?” a comedy directed by Frank Oz, produced by Laura Ziskin and co-starring Richard Dreyfus

1992(14th of Iyar, 5752): Pesach Sheni

1992(14th of Iyar, 5752): Ninety-one year old Canadian Olympic athlete and journalist Sydney David Pierce who when appointed as Canada’s ambassador to Mexico became the first Canadian Jew to such a diplomatic position passed away today.

1992: NBC broadcast the first episode of Cruel Doubt, a two-part mini-series co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

1993(26th of Iyar, 5753): Eighty-five year old native of Brest-Litovsk, seventy year resident of the Nation’s Capital,WW II Navy Veteran and sports reporter for the Washington Daily News Louis Abraham Litman, the son of Jacob Litman who converted “the family’s grocery store on Wisconsin Avenue” into Luros Carryout Shop & Restaurant passed away today having been pre-deceased by his wife Rose Litman with whom he had four children

1994(7th of Sivan, 5754): Second day of Shavuot

1994(7th of Sivan, 5754: Rafael Yairi (Klumfenbert), age 36, of Kiryat Arba and Margalit Ruth Shohat, age 48, of Ma'ale Levona were killed when their car was fired upon by by terrorists in a passing car near Beit Haggai, south of Hebron.

1996(28th of Iyar, 5756): Yom Yerushalyim

1996: NBC broadcast the final episode of season four of “Homicide: Life on the Street” based on David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets co-starring Richard Belzer and Yaphet Kotto

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Jews: The Essence and Character of a People” by Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheirmer and “Richard Rodgers” by William G. Hyland

1998: Funeral services for Harry Wagreich, the Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at CCNY are scheduled to be held this afternoon in New York City.

1999: Avigdor Kahalani completed his services as an MK.

1999: Labor Party leader Ehud Barak unseated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli elections

1999: CBS broadcast the final episode of season 1 of “The King of Queens” co-starring Jerry Stiller

2000: “Stardom” featuring Benjamin David “Jamie” Elman was released today in Canada and France.

2001: “Late Marriage,” a film directed by Dover Kosashvili” was released today in Israel and France.

2002(6th of Sivan, 5762): First Day of Shavuot

2002: Maria Grullich and Alberto Kusnier participated at a Shavuot celebration today in Buenos Aires' Belgrano neighborhood organized by the local Tzedaka social service organization and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Grullich, 63, lost her drugstore last year after it was robbed and she had no money to restock it.Optician Kusnier, 54, was fired a few months ago from another drugstore and hasn't been able to find a new job. This Shavuot event was meant to bring together an Argentine Jewish community that has been devastated by the country's economic crisis. The organizations sponsored packed Shavuot celebrations in 26 Jewish institutions in Buenos Aires and another 14 elsewhere in the country. But the Argentine crisis was a special guest that no one could avoid. Grullich and Kusnier both were invited to attend the Shavuot celebration in Belgrano, where six institutions -- including synagogues, schools and clubs -- were celebrating together.

2002: Alan Joseph Shatter completed his service as a member of Teachta Dala today after almost eleven years.

2002(6th of Sivan, 5762) Dave Berg passed away. Born in 1920, the cartoonist may be best known for his work in Mad Magazine

2003(15th Iyar, 5736): “A pregnant Israeli woman and her husband were killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself next to them in a public square in Hebron. Hamas claimed responsibility.”
2004(25th of Iyar, 5764) Tony Randall passed away. Born Leonard Rosenbeg in 1920, this native of Tulsa, Oklahoma enjoyed a successful career in film, theatre and television. Most people know him as Felix Unger in the television version of “The Odd Couple.”

2005: As the Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History marked the 50th anniversary, an exhibition entitled “Starting Over: The Experience of German Jews in America, 1830-1945” opened today.  The exhibit includes photos, letters, documents, sketches, paintings, maps, medals and other rare artifacts of German-Jews who settled across the United States, many of which are being viewed by the public for the first time.

2006: Opening of the first Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival

2006(19th of Iyar, 5766): Ninety-five year old Broadway producer Cy Feuer passed away today. (As reported by Richard Severo and Jesse McKinley)

2006: David Blaine was submerged in an 8 feet (2.4 m) diameter, water-filled sphere (isotonic saline, 0.9% salt) in front of the Lincoln Center in New York City for a planned seven days and seven nights, using tubes for air and nutrition.

2006: Eliot Yamin was eliminated from American Idol” today, after the tightest race; each of the three top contestants received an almost exactly equal percentage of the viewer votes necessary for advancement to the remaining two spots

2006: In Congress, Representative Daniel Lipinski rose “today to honor Joel M. Carp of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago for his outstanding contributions to the Federation, as well as to the community at large” who 28 years of outstanding service is retiring.

2007: Bernard Kouchner began serving as French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.

2007: As part of Jewish Heritage Month, the National Archives presents a lecture entitled “Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the South.” Peter M. Ascoli, grandson of Julius Rosenwald, tells the remarkable story of Rosenwald’s lifelong devotion to hard work and success and of his giving back to the nation in which he prospered. The son of German Jewish immigrants, Julius Rosenwald—president and CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Co.—was an exemplary businessman, pioneering philanthropist, and true humanitarian who played an important part in the history of America at the start of the 20th century. Yet few know the story of this immensely talented figure. His commitment to social justice and equality led him to involvement in a wide range of philanthropic projects—among them the building of more than 5,300 schools for African Americans in the rural South and the issuing of an unprecedented $1 million challenge grant to aid Jewish victims of World War I.

2007: Rabbi Simon Jacobson presents “Mysteries of Sinai: Find Revelations in the Everyday “at The Sixth Street Community Synagogue in New York City.

2007: An exhibition opens at the Museum of Modern Art by photographer Barry Frydlender, the first Israeli to have a solo show at the museum

2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque presents “A Sacred Duty \ חובה מקודשת” a major documentary on current environmental threats and how Jewish teachings can be applied in responding to these threats.

2008 (12th of Iyar): Anniversary of the Jews of Rome being granted additional privileges by the head of the Catholic Church. On the 12th of Iyar, 1402, the Jews of Rome were granted "privileges" by Pope Boniface IX. They were given legal right to observe their Shabbat, protection from local oppressive officials, their taxes were reduced and orders were given to treat Jews as full-fledged Roman citizens.

2008: At the JCC in Manhattan the international premiere of new episodes from the Israeli comedy series “Arab Labor (Avoda Aravit)” followed by a conversation with writer and creator Sayed Kashua. “Arab Labor” is a satirical look at the Arab status In Israeli society, the controversy surrounding issues of identity and the sensitivities of both populations. Through humor, the series explores the daily conflicts that Arabs face between the desire to integrate and their own values and traditions.

2009: An exhibition at Williams College Museum of Art entitled “The ABCD’s of Sol LeWitt” that features artist’s drawing and sculptures as well as items from his private art collection comes to an end.

2009: Hadassah meets in the Twin Cities where its members celebrate Jewish Women in the Arts and recognize the Charter Member of the Region Chai Society

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Third Reich At War” by Richard J. Evans, “A Failure of Capitalism” by Richard A. Posner and the recently released paperback editions of “Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century” by Tony Judt and “The Dream: A Memoir” by Harry Bernstein.2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Paul Newman: A Life” by Shawn Levy and “Valkyrie” by Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager   2009: At least five people were arrested today after a clash between anti-Semitic demonstrators and Jews in Argentina. “The fighting broke out when demonstrators waving anti-Semitic signs crashed a Buenos Aires ceremony held by a Jewish group marking Israel's 61st Independence Day, which was celebrated last month. An anti-discrimination police unit had to escort Israeli Ambassador Daniel Gazit away from the scuffle, AFP reported. Argentina's large Jewish community has been targeted by two deadly terror strikes. In 1994, 85 people were killed and 300 were wounded in a car bombing at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, and two years earlier, 22 people were killed and 200 were hurt in an attack on the Israeli embassy.”

2009(23rd of Iyar), 5769:  Daniel Carasso passed away today at the age of 105. The member of a famed Sephardic family, this native of Salonica who was the son of Isaac Carasso created the company that many of us know for one of its most famous products, Dannon Yogurt. (As reported by William Grimes)

2010: Professors Raanan Rein and Jeffrey Lesser are scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled Jewish-Latin American Historiography: The Challenges Ahead Lecture at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

2010: “The Associated Press reported today that the synagogue in Worms had been firebombed.

2010: Elena Kagan completed her service as the 45th United States Solicitor General.

2010: In “Reading to Recall the Father of Tevye”, Clyde Haberman explores the life Bel Kaufman and her grandfather Shalom Aleichem.

2010: A Facebook group called “Comedy Central – I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack game is offensive. Remove it” had more than 1,500 members as of today. The game, “Drawn Together,” which is currently available on Comedy Central’s website is based on the network’s politically incorrect animated series of the same name, depicts “Jew Producer,” a character that has a speaker for a head and is taken to task for failing to kill certain animated characters. A robot called “the Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady” (I.S.R.A.E.L.) is then sent in to do the job, unleashing destruction and murdering children

2011: Jenna Weissman Joselit, Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of History at The George Washington University is scheduled to deliver a lecture at Beth Sholom in Potomac, MD, entitled “Romancing the Stone: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments” during which she will explain “The cultural and historical processes by which a covenant with the ancient Israelites became a covenant with America.”

2011: Sam Brylawski and Karen Lund are scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry” under the auspices of The Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern during which they will discuss the role of Emile Berliner “an unsung hero of recorded sound …Emile who invented the gramophone.”

2011: The building housing the world’s first green-certified synagogue Congregation Beth David in San Luis Obispo, Calif., is scheduled to be up for auction today to satisfy an unpaid loan of 3.3 million dollars.

2011: A course entitled “Oasis in Time: The Gift of Shabbat in a 24/7 World” is scheduled to be held at the Center for Jewish Life, the Chabad center in Little Rock, AR under the leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment. 

2012: DeLeon, a Sephardic Indie Rock Band is scheduled to appear at the Washington Jewish Music Festival.

2012: Premiere of Yossi an Israeli film directed by Eytan Fox starring Ohad Knoller, Oz Zehavi and Lior Ashkenazi.

2012: A production of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” opened in the West End today.

2012: Elio Toaff, the former Chief Rabbi of Rome was awarded the Prize Culturae within the Italian National Festival of Cultures in Pisa today.

2012: The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, The American Jewish Committee and The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists are scheduled to sponsor a lecture by  Irvin B. Nathan entitled “The Challenges of a D.C. Attorney General

2012(25th of Iyar, 5772): Seventy-four year old Israeli politician Gideon Ezra passed away today.

2012(25th of Iyar, 5772): Eighty seven year old publicist and theatrical manager Herbert Breslin passed away today. (As reported by Daniel Wakin)

2013; “No Place On Earth” is scheduled to premiere at theatres in Atlanta, GA and Key West, FL.

2013: The 3rd annual Celebrating India in Israel Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to do whatever it takes to protect Israelis in the unstable Middle East, following a meeting with the German foreign minister in Jerusalem today (As reported by Yoel Goldman)

2013: Multiple clashes broke out across the West Bank today that involved, Palestinians, the IDF, Border Police and settlers.

2013: Today “Frances Ha,” a “comedy –drama” directed, produced and written by Noah Baumbach which had “premiered at the Telluride Film Festival” had a limited release in the United States

2013: Today, “the Washington Post reported that the United States Department of Justice had monitored the activities” of “journalist and television correspondent” James Samuel Rosen “by tracking his visits to the State Department through phone traces, timing of calls and his personal emails.”

2014: Chabad is scheduled to host the second of a three-day retreat in West Des Moines, Iowa.

2014(17th of Iyar, 5774): Eighty-four year old biologist Gerald Edelman 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine passed away today.

2014: According to police estimates, “hundreds of thousands of people were headed to Mount Meron in the Gallilee to celebrate the holiday of Lag B’Omer in a gathering which marks the passing away of Kabbalist sage Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai who is buried at the site.

2014: “A newly revealed NSA document highlights and corroborates allegations carried by Newsweek that Israel aggressively spies on the US, the magazine reported today.”

2014: In Springfield, VA, Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to host “Adat on the Rocks.”

2015: In Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a gala celebrating their one year anniversary as a combined organization.

2015: The 2015 Washington Jewish Music Festival is scheduled to come to an end today.

2015: Dr. Robert Cargill is scheduled to lecture on “From Shalem to Jerusalem: The Etymology and the Historiography of the Name Jerusalem” at Agudas Achim in Coralville, Iowa.

2015: “When Comedy Went to School,” a 2013 documentary about the Borscht Belt’s role as the birthplace of modern stand-up comedy, featuring interviews with top comics who once performed on its stages, including Robert Klein, Jerry Stiller, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, and Dick Gregory – is scheduled to be shown this afternoon at the Borscht Belt Film Festival.

2015: In Dimona, a city-wide strike to show “solidarity with the striking workers of Israel Chemicals and about 60 employees of Meteor, a local producer of agricultural netting that is in danger of shutting down” is scheduled to take place today.

2015: London barrister, Jonathan Arkush was elected today to serve as Presdient of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

2015: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks, Goebbels: A Biography by Peter Longerich and Voices in the Night: Stories by Steven Millhauser

2015: The funeral session for Rabbi Moshe Levinger is scheduled to begin this morning at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and will end “at the city’s ancient cemetery.”

2015(28th of Iyar, 5775): Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day

2016: The National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to host “God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors.”

2016: In New York, the Jewish Book Council and Drisha are schedule to host a lecture and discussion with National Jewish Book Award finalist Dr. Benjamin D. Sommer about his book Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition.

2016: In Seattle, the Washington State Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host an event featuring Cynthia Flash Hemphill author of A Hug from Afar in the new WSJHS exhibit gallery.

2017: As a sign of the vitality of small Jewish communities, in Coralville, Iowa, the Agudas Achim book group is scheduled to discuss Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer.

2017: Holocaust survivor Nat Shaffir is scheduled to speak in Washington as part of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museums “First Person Series.”

2017: “Shabtai Shavit, who led the Mossad in the 1990’s” today “fired off harsh criticism aimed at Donald Trump aying his actions put international information-sharing efforts at risk, in light of reports that the US president divulged classified intelligence to Russia last week.” (As reported by Judah Ari Gross)

2017: The “Made in Jerusalem Festival” is scheduled to open at Beit Avi Chair.

2017: David G. Dalin is scheduled to “introduce his new book Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: From Brandeis to Kagan” at lecture in the Kovno Room of the Center for Jewish History.

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “The Annual Shavuot Cheesecake Bake-Off this evening.

2018: The Center for Jewish History, Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are scheduled to host “Searching for Joseph Heritage with Joseph Berger” in which the “former New York Times reporter and author of Displaced Persons: Growing Up American after the Holocaust shares stories and photos from his trip to his parents’ hometown in Poland.

2018: In Memphis, TN, Rabbi Feivel Straus is scheduled to “lead a discussion on Shavuot: The Holiday about Owning Your Judaism” at Temple Israel.

2018: As part of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a lecture on “Before the Freedom Fighters: The Fight to Integrate Glen Echo Amusement Park.”

2018: Holocaust Survivor Sam Ponczak is scheduled to lecturer at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.













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