Monday, May 28, 2018

This Day, May 29, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

May 29

363: A good day for the Romans and bad day for the Jews. Roman Emperor Julian defeats the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but is impossible to conquer it. But Julian is killed at the end of the battle, some claiming that he was assassinated by a Christian Arab.  Julian was the nephew and successor of Constantine.  Julian repealed his Uncle’s pro-Christian promulgations allowing the old pagan cults to reappear.  This earned him the title Julian the Apostate.  Julian also repealed the special taxes that had been levied on the Jews.  He announced that the Jews would be allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.  Jews actually built a synagogue near the Temple Mount in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Temple.  Unfortunately, the favorable treatment of the Jews died with Julian’s demise.  Rome returned to path of Constantine and the Jews returned to the road of exile and expulsion.

1096: The Jews of Bacharach, Germany, were massacred by the Crusaders.

1108: The forces of the Muslim Almoravids under Tamim ibn-Yusuf defeated the Christian forces of Castile and León under Alfonso VI at the Battle of Uclésv.  The battle was a disaster for the Christians who lost 30,000 men including seven high-ranking nobles and the heir-apparent, Sancho Alfónsez. The Muslims were not able to capitalize on the victory and conquer the city of Toledo.  The Christians of Toledo “celebrated” their deliverance by murderously attacking the Jews and burning their homes and synagogues.  Alfonso died before he could punish the murderers. Following his death, the people of Carrion followed the example of their co-religionists in Toledo and attacked the Jews in an orgy of murderous pillaging.

1167:  A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III is defeated at the Battle of Monte Porzio by the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the local princes of Tusculum and Albano. Jehiel Anav reportedly “supervised the finances of Pope Alexander.” Jeheil Anva would appear to be one in the same with Jehiel ben Jekutheil Anav who is believed to be the author of Tanya Rabbati which discusses Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays. He was related to the Italian born scholar and linguist Nathan ben Jehiel. Frederick Barbarossa would be one of the three kings to lead the Third Crusades.  Unlike other Crusaders, the German Barbarossa was protective of his Jewish subjects causing “a Jewish chronicler, Ephraim be-Jacob of Bonna to write ‘Frederick defended us with all his might and enabled us to live among our enemies, so that no harmed the Jews.’”

1453: The Ottomans under Sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople marking the end of Byzantine (or the Eastern Roman) Empire.  (The shift from Christian to Moslem control reverberates into the 21st century)(According to at least one source, the Jews were spared when the Moslems slaughtered the inhabitants – Jewish Virtual Library)

1453: Sultan Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, granted equal rights to Jews and other non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire. The oppressed Jews were relieved to see him occupy the city. He allowed Jews from today's Greek Islands and Crete to settle in Istanbul. The Sultan’s declaration contained the following words: "Listen sons of the Hebrew who live in my country...May all of you who desire come to Constantinople and may the rest of your people find here a shelter".

1507: The third of four fires broke out in Pilsen today burning down more of the houses belonging to the Jews.

1554: Pope Paul IV issued a bull ordering Jews to surrender all books containing alleged anti-Christian blasphemies.  The sweeping terms of the bull covered all rabbinic work relating to the Talmud.  In effect, Paul IV nullified a bull issued by Pope X in 1518 which permitted the publication of codes of Jewish law upon the approval of church censors.

1647: “Poet and translator” Moses Belmonte, the eighth child of Jacob Belmont, who works included a Spanish translation of the “Song of Songs” passed away today in Amsterdam.

1686: Jews of New Amsterdam were allowed to openly practice their religion.

1724: Beginning of the Papacy Benedict XIII, a papal leader who issued a series of anti-Semitic bulls and writings that reached a level of literary or theological compulsion. In 1727, Benedict wrote Emanavit numer, which stated the conditions under which Jews could be forcibly baptized. In Alias emanarunt, “Benedict forbade selling of goods by Jews.  In 1749 he issued Singulari noblis consoldtioni which dealt with the issue of Christians and Jews getting married.  In 1751, he issued Elapso proxime anno which dealt with Jewish heresy and Probe te meinisse which laid down the rules for baptizing Jewish children.  Finally, in 1755, he issued Beatus Andres which beatified Andreas von Ronn who had alledgedly been by Jews in 1462 as part of their religious ritual.  “The pope declared that such ritual murders were fact and were part of Jewish practice, not exceptions.”

1781(5th of Sivan, 5541): Erev Shavuot

1781: As Jews on both sides of the American Revolution prepare to observe Shavuot, word was sent to Comte de Rochambeau, the commander of French forces that the French fleet under Comte De Grasse had scored a rare victory over the British fleet off the coast of Martinique.

1790: Rhode Island becomes the last of the original United States colonies to ratify the Constitution and is admitted as the 13th U.S. state. According to Rufus Learsi, at the outbreak of the American Revolution Rhode Island was one of only five the original thirteen colonies to have had an organized Jewish community. Newport reportedly had 1,200 Jewish habits, half the Jews living in all of the thirteen colonies at that time. Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Salvation of Israel) had erected its own synagogue and Rabbi Isaac Touro was so well known that he was visited by rabbis from Europe and Eretz Israel including Raphael Cahim Isaac Corregal from Hebron who formed a lasting friendship with Pastor Ezra Stiles, President of Yale.  Newport may be best remembered for the famous letter that President Washington wrote to the Jews of Newport in 1790 in which he endorsed the full participation of the Jewish people in all aspects of American life.  Unfortunately, the Newport Jewish community had already lost its dominant role.  The British occupation during the American Revolution had marked the beginning of the end of the commercial primacy of Newport and many of the Jews who had fled during the occupation simply did not return.  The loss of prominence of the Jewish community is highlighted by the fact that the state of Rhode Island did not get around to removing religious tests for office until 1842.  For more about this see

1794(29th of Iyar, 5554): Samuel Yoal passed away today in London after which he was buried at the Alderney Road Jewish Cemetery.

1805(1st of Sivan, 5565): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

1810: In London, Hanna Barnet Cohen and Anthony de Rothschild gave birth to Sir Anthony de Rothschild

1815(19th of Iyar, 5575): Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, the native of Neustadat who was “one of the five principal disciples of Elimelech of Lizhensk” who was a major Polish Chasidic Rebbe passed away today.

1819: In Paris, “Élie, duc Decazes and his second wife, Wilhelmine de Beaupoil de Saint-Aulaire” gave birth to Louis, duc Decazes who while serving as Foreign Minister in 1875 “informed Henri Blowitz, the Bohemian Jew who was the Paris correspondent of The Times of a confidential dispatch from the French ambassador to Berlin, discussing German plans to attack France” which he asked Blowitz to publish a part of an effective plan to prevent the Germans from carrying out their plans.

1820: Sixty-eight year “German historian and political” Christian Wilhelm von Dohm, the son of a Lutheran minister, “staunch advocate for Jewish emancipation” and personal friend of Moses Mendelssohn passed away at his estate “near Nordhausen.”

1825: Coronation of French King Charles X whose consul in Algiers was Jacob Cohen Bakri,

1826(22nd of Iyar): Rabbi Judah Leib, author of “Likkutei Maharil” passed away.

1836: Birthdate of Emil Breslaur or Breslauer, the native of Cottbus who studied at the Julius Stern Conservatory which led him to a career as a musician and writer.

1839: Joshua Hands and Hannah Mitchell were married today at the New Synagogue.

1842: Lewis Collins and Julie Isaacs were married today in the United Kingdom.

1848:  Wisconsin admitted to the Union.  According to Rufus Learsi, “there was no Jewish community in Wisconsin when it became a state, but not long afterwards the Forty-eighters began to arrive and a congregation was organized in Milwaukee.”  The forty-eighters were Jews who left Germany and Bohemia after losing faith in the possibility meaningful emancipation and democratic reform following the unsuccessful revolutions of 1848.

1854:Solomon Nunes Carvalho  “wrote in his log that he and his party had ‘camped on a narrow stream of deliciously cool water, which distrubtes itself about half a mile further down in a verdant meadow bott, covered with good grass.  This camp ground is called by the Mexicans, Las Vegas.’” This meant that Carvalho was the first Jews to visit what is now Las Vegas, Neveda.  A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Carvalho was a Sephard who had had joined the expedition led by John C. Fremont as a photographer and artist. Reportedly, Carvalho refused to eat porcupine because “it looked like pork” even though this meant he went hungry.  It would take a century for Las Vegas to open an establishment that sold kosher food.

1855: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise of Cincinnati was reported today to have begun a tour of the United States to gain support for the creation of for the establishment of “a Collegiate Institute for the education of Jewish theologians and other scholastic attainments.

1857(6th of Sivan, 5617): Shavuot

1858:  In Paducah, KY, two “Jewish immigrants from Germany” gave birth to Marcus  “Marc” Alonzo Klaw, the 1879 graduate of Louisville Law School who moved to NYC and went from serving as the legal advisor for theatre executive Gustave Frohman to being a partner of A.L. “Abe” Erlanger in Klaw and Erlanger, the leading theatrical booking agency.

1861:  Rabbi David Einhorn, a leading abolitionist, rejected the request of his former Congregation, Har Sinai, to return to Baltimore because he would have been required to remain silent on the subjects of slavery and preserving the union.

1867: Following the defeat of the Austrian Empire by the Prussians, Emperor Franz Josef authorizes an agreement called Ausgleich ("the Compromise"), which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The document extended the rights of full citizenship to all those living in the Hapsburg Empire including the Jews.  With the stroke of a pen, 350,000 Jews were freed to live wherever they please and follow whatever occupation or trade they so desired.  The Empire would benefit from a burst of Jewish creativity from its Hungarian and Austrian Jewish subjects as well as loyalty and devotion beyond compare.

1870: In the Turkish province of Rumania, thousands of Jews were killed and injured when they were attacked by Christians in cities throughout this section of Southern Europe.

1872: The inauguration services of the new Mount Sinai Hospital building were held this afternoon. The hospital is located on Lexington Avenue between 66th and 67th Avenues. Appropriate prayers were offered by the Jewish clergy and E.B. Hart delivered an address during which he traced the history of Mount Sinai which goes back to January, 1852.  Governor Hoffman also addressed the throng.

1873: Adolph Marx Oppenheimer and Julie Oppenheimer gave birth to Henry Oppenheimer.

1876: A can-can dancer named Katie Forrest sued a Jew named Solomon Care in the Marine Court over jewelry which she said he stole from her.  Care claimed that he had given her the jewelry and had pawned some of it to pay for her hotel bills. Both sides rested today but no decision was rendered by the end of the day.

1876: The New York Times reported that “the Jewish feast of ‘Shevuoth,’ or the Pentecost, the Spring-tide festival of the Hebraic calendar was inaugurated last evening with the joyous ceremonies incident to the occasion.  This festival also called the Feast of Weeks because it occurs seven weeks after the Passover, under the Mosaic dispensation was one of the three imporantant festivals on which it was customary for the Jews in Palestine to assemble at Jerusalem and bring up to the Temple as offerings the first fruits of the seasons.”

1876(6th of Sivan, 5636): Shavuot

1876: On Shavuot, Confirmation Services were held at Temple Emanu-El conducted by Rabbi Gottheil, at Temple Beth-El conducted by Rabbi Einhorn at Temple Ahavat Chesed by Rabbi Huebsch and at Bnai Jeshurun by Rabbi Jacobs.

1877: The New York Times published a report from its London correspondent describing “the influence of the Jewish race in European politics” especially as it pertains to the clash between the Turks and the Russians.  Regardless of his nationality, “the Jew is…pro-Turkish” “for perfectly intelligible reasons.” The Jews feel that they are less oppressed in Moslem lands than they are in Christian countries.  Furthermore, the Serbian and Rumanian “Christians have in very recent times, persecuted the Jew with a fanatical fury worthy of the Middle Ages.”  Finally, any advance of “Holy Russia” means an enlargement of the area where the Jews will suffer from the government’s “intolerance.” 

1877: It was reported today that a Jew named Solomons who owned the general store at Union Bridges, SC testified that he had listed the names of the various armed people he had seen and that he had written their names phonetically in Hebrew because he did not know how to spell them in English. The trial was racially charged as it involved gangs of whites and African-Americans.

1877:  At Temple Emanuel, in New York City Myer S. Isaacs presided over the annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites which came to a close this evening.

1877:”The Jews and the War in Europe,” a column published today described the contentions of famed historian Edward A. Freeman that the Jews are responsible for the British support being given to the Ottomans in their war with Russia.  Freeman sees this as a failure to support Christian values (Russia) in the war against Islam. “He is under the impression that the policy of England and the welfare of Europe may be sacrificed to Hebrew sentiment. “If money is the key that opens all locks, the Jew is the master of Europe for he is our principal banker.”  “Mr. Freeman points out that the union of the Jew and the Turk against the Christian” was strengthened “when Sultan Mahmoud gave the body of the martyred Patriarch to be by the Jews through the streets of Constantinople.” Freeman blames the Jews for the outbreak of the war.  He contends that throughout Europe, the part of the press that is pro-Turkish is controlled by Jews.  He does differentiate between “the degraded Jews of the East and the cultivated and honorable Jews of the East” but in the hand “blood is stronger than water” and “Hebrew rule is sure to lead to Hebrew policy.”

1878: The annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites which was being held in New York at Temple Emanuel with William B. Hockenberg of Philadelphia presiding came to a close today. The Executive Committee recommended that “immediate action” be taken to alleviate the suffering of the Jews living in Jerusalem and that steps should be taken to develop “a system of higher education among the Hebrews” living in the United States. The Committee on Statistics reported that “there were 223 Hebrews congregations in this country, with 12,030 members, having property valued at $4,607,110. A proposal was put forward to hold a conference in Paris that would completed “the work of the International Jewish Conference of 1876.  The officers elected to serve in the upcoming year included: Myer S. Isaacs, President; Simon Wolf of Washington, Vice President; William B. Hockenburg of Philadelphia

1879(7th of Sivan, 5639): Second Day of Shavuot

1879: Benjamin Mayer, a member of the firm of Hirsch and Mayer, who had been found guilty of swindling numerous New York merchants, was sentenced today to serve two years and six months of hard labor in the State Penitentiary.  He was also fined $6,000, a sum which must be paid before he can be released.

1880(19th of Sivan, 5640): Forty-year old Maximilian Steiner the “Austrian actor and theatre manager” who was the father of Franz and Gabor Steiner who also worked as theatre manager and the grandfather of composer Max Steiner passed away today.

1880: In Blankenburg which was part of the German Empire Bernhard and Pauline Spengler gave birth to their second child Oswald Spengler, the historian and author of The Decline of the West who on his mother’s side was a descendant of “a Jewish woman named Bräunchen Moses, the daughter of Abraham and Riele Moses who was baptized shortly before her marriage.

1881(1st of Sivan, 5641): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

1882: In New York, Bernhard and Gertrude Ulamann gave birth to American photographer Doris Ulmann

1882: Thomas Timayenis a professor of languages at the University of Athens passed away. He was the father of Telemachus Timayenis, the founder of Minerva Publishing Company in New York City, “the first company in America to published books critical of Jews.” These included The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé, ‎The American Jew: An Expose of His Career‎, and Judas Iscariot: An Old Type in a New Form.  The works were intended to expose “the real Jew.”  There is no evidence to show that the father was responsible for the son’s anti-Semitism.

1883: Birthdate of Waldemar Holberg, the native of Copenhagen, “who competed in the 1908 Olympics for Denmark as a lightweight” and who “was world welterweight champion for 23 days in 1914.”

1883: Based on certification of two doctors 20 year old Pauline (Moses) Holz, the wife of David Holz  was committed to an asylum “as a suffer from chronic mania.”  Only after his wife had been committed did Holz find out that her father, whom he had been told had passed away, had been in an asylum since 1872.

1883: As an example of his communal good works, Dr. Wolfgang Strassman joined the Society of Friends, a Jewish organization founded in 1792 to help the less fortunate members of the community that would survived until the Nazis shut it down in 1935.

1884: In Berlin, Albert Mosse, a Doctor of Jurisprudence and Caroline (Lina) Mosse gave birth to Martha Mosse, who followed in her father’s footsteps and became a lawyer.

1887(6th of Sivan, 5647): Shavuot

1888: In New York the General Term of the Supreme Court delivered a decision that meant the North American Relief Society for Indigent Jews In Jerusalem, Palestine, will receive $50,000 and the interest thereon for 30 years as directed by the will of the last Samson Sampson.

1890: Twenty-nine year old Jacob Epstein, a Russian Jew shot his wife Flora today and then turned the gun on himself.

1890: Mayor Grant appointed Isidor Straus “a member of the firm of R.H. Macy & Co” who is a anti-Tammany Hall Democrat and the brother of Oscar Straus to serve as “an additional commission to locate the proposed bridged across the North River, somewhere between Tenth and One Hundred and Eighty-first Street.”

1892: It was reported today that the Honorary Staff of the Veteran Zouaves’ Association have made plans to present a flag to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1892: Eva Cohen and Theodore Keppler each delivered a prayer during this afternoon’s confirmation exercises of the Hebrew Free Schools. Augusta Cohen and Sarah Rabinowitch sang “I Will Praise Thee, O Lord” and Miss Lilie Levy won the fifty dollar Schiff Prize which went to the student who was most distinguished in “all studies and deportment.”

1894: At a meeting of the Temple Emanu-El’s council of women, Mrs. Esther Ruskay read a paper who is an “an Orthodox Jewess” read a paper that declared “that among the Jews of America there was no family life because parents had allowed themselves to drift away from the time-honored observances of their faith…Jewish young people were become indifferent to teachings of the Hebrew faith and that Christmas and Easter had practically taken the place of the Hebrew Festivals.”  She concluded her remarks which Rabbi Gottheil contested but which were greeted by applause with a stated desire to see a reawakening of the old spirit of Judaism.

1894: In Vienna Moses (Morris) Sternberg and his wife gave birth to Jonas Sternberg who gained fame as Austrian-American film writer and director Josef Von Sternberg whose most famous work was actually two versions of the same movie, The Blue Angel. One was in German, the other in English. Von Sternberg made his way to the United States where he lived and worked until his death at the age of 75.

1894: At today’s session of the New York State Constitutional Convention Mr. Jacobs from Brooklyn submitted a proposal that would provide for a State Senate of 19 that would be elected at large by all New Yorkers.

1895(6th of Sivan, 5655): Shavuot

1895: Dr. Joseph Silverman, the junior rabbi at Temple Emuanu-El, purported to America’s oldest reform congregation, gave today’s holiday sermon. Among those attending today’s services were the members of the confirmation class.

1897(27th of Iyar, 5657): Sixty-four year old German botanist Julius von Sachs passed away today.

1897: Birthdate of Oscar winning composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold the native of Brunn, Moravia who “along with Max Steiner and Alfred Newman is considered  on the founders of film music.

1898: At today’s opening session of the League of Zionist Societies of the United States, Dr. Michael Singer delivered an address on “What Zionism Means” and Davis Trietsch delivered an address on “The First Congress At Basle.”

1898: Mrs. M.D. Louis, President of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls presided over the institutions graduation ceremonies that were held today at Temple Emanu-El

1898: Rabbi De Sola Mendes presided over the first annual confirmation ceremonies held at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum.

1898: As the patriotic fervor the Spanish-American grips the United States, the Benjamin Harrison Lodge of the Order Birth Abraham will waive the membership dues for any of its members serving in the military.  Families of members serving as soldiers will be given $5 a week and the beneficiaries of any members who die in battle will be given an endowment of $500.

1898: It was reported today that Oscar S. Straus has agreed to accept reappointment as the United States Minister to Turkey.  Straus had been appointed to the position in 1887 by President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat.  Straus’s success and the high esteem in which he has held can be seen the fact this time he is being appointed by President McKinley, a Republican.

1898: It was reported today that the demands on the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children of the City of New York have been so great that the institution has purchased additional land at Rockaway, Long Island.  It is an ocean front piece of real estate which should help provide meaningful summer excursions for underprivileged children and their mothers.

1899: Seattle (Washington’s “liberal Jews” formed Temple de Hirsch, a Reform congregation founded when Ohaveth Shaolum disbanded due to financial hardships.

1899: “The Semitic Question of Algiers In The French Chamber” published today described the debate that has taken place on the treatment of Jews in the North African colony.  The Algerian anti-Semites claim they attack the Jews because they are wealthy, but their attacks strike at the many poor Jews living there.  The “battle cry” of the anti-Semites is  “La France aux Francais” (France for the French) which is odd since most of the Algerian anti-Semites are Spaniards.

1899: At this morning’s session of the “13th convention of the United States Grand Lodge, Independent Sons of Benjamin which was being held at the Murray Hill Lyceum D.J. Zinner was elected Deputy Grand Marshall following a contentious race between four candidates and Grand Marshal Ferdiand Levy delivered a speech on the Dreyfus affair.

1899: Nearly 400 people attended this evening’s banquet sponsored by the Independent Sons of Benjamin including Isaac Abrams, the former chief of Police in Quincy, Illinois and Rabbis J.B. Solomon who listened to Rabbi S. S. Wise speaking on “The Future of Judaism.”

1900(1st of Sivan, 5660): Rosh Chodesh Sivan   

1901: The English Zionist Federation congratulates Herzl and assures him loyalty.

1902: The Judeans, an organization composed of representative Jews of New York, gave a reception, followed by a dinner, this evening at the Tuxedo, Fifty-ninth Street and Madison Avenue, in honor of Prof. Solomon Schechter, the eminent Hebrew scholar, who was induced to leave Cambridge University in England to become the Dean of the new Jewish theological seminary which is to be established on Morningside Heights through the munificence of Jacob H. Schiff and others.

1902: In Vienna, movie director Joe May and his wife Mia May gave birth to actress Eva May.

1902: In Teplitz-Schönau, Austria-Hungary, “Julius "Kino" Kohner, who managed the local movie theater and published a film industry newspaper and his wife was Helene Kohner (née Beamt)” gave birth to Paul Kohner, “an Austrian-American talent agent and producer” who was the brother of novelist Frederick Kohner and father of actress Susan Kohner and “who managed the careers of many stars” including Bill Wilder.

1902: Samuel Marks, a Russian born Jew, used his relationships with Boer and English leaders - President Krüger, Generals Botha, De Wett, and Delarey; Earl Roberts, Lord Kitchener, and Lord Milner – to help set up the negotiations for the end of Anglo-Boer War which took place today at Vereeniging.

1903: Thee S.S. Deutschalnd arrived in the United States carrying Rabbi Tobias Geffen, who would gain fame as the Coca Cola Rabbi, Mrs. Gefen and their two oldest children.

1903: A delegation from Camden, NJ visited Dr. Aaron Brav today in Philadelphia to assure him that the citizens from that New Jersey city, including non-Jews would be attending the upcoming meeting being held “to protest against the Russian atrocities.”

1905: Pogroms began in Brisk, Lithuania.  At this time Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire.  The pogrom was one of a series that was sweeping the land of the Tsars

1906: Sidney Sonnino, the son of Isacco Saul Sonnino who converted from Judaism to Anglicanism, completed his first term as Prime Minister of Italy.

1907: Riva (Rebecca) Hillesum-Bernstein’s brother, Jacob, a diamond cutter moved in with the Montagnu family in Amsterdam.  Like his sister, he was fleeing his village in Russia where there had been pogrom.  Jacob was the uncle of diarist Esther "Etty" Hillesum

1908: In Seattle, Washington Temple de Hirsch dedicated its new facility at the corner of Union Street and 15th Avenue.

1908(28th of Iyar, 5668): Rosa Kaufman, the first wife of Russian born Judah Aaron Kaufaman, and mother of their daughters Tillie and Sophie passed away unexpectedly in Dover, NJ and was buried at Mt. Sinai Cemetery

1911: Birthdate of a Leah Goldberg, a “prolific Hebrew poet, author, playwright, literary translator and researcher of Literature”

1911: Birthdate of South African chess champion Wolfgang Heidenfeld who was forced to move from his native Germany because he was Jewish.

1912: In New York Arnold Levitas and author Anzia Yeziersk gave birth to her only child Louise.

1913: "Bijou Theatre Foreclosure" published today reported that proceedings have been instituted in the Supreme Court by Felix M. Warburg, Isaac N. Seligman, Paul Warburg and Mortimer L. Schiff, as trustees of Alfred M. Heinsheimer, against the Bijou Real State company and other to foreclose a mortgage of $420,000 on the old Bijou Theatre in New York City. 

1913: Jim Conley was interviewed again today concerning the murder of Mary Phagan. Thefour hour interviews produced yet a different version of the facts. In this version Conley said that Frank had confessed to him that he had killed the girl and that the two of them hid the corpse in the basement of the pencil factory.

1913: The Independent Order Sons of Israel whose members included Henry H. Levenson, Hyman J. Danzig and Isadore Kronstein with offices in Boston, MA, was organized today.

1913: In Philadelphia, activities related to the dedication of the Philmont Country Club which was founded by department store owner and philanthropist Ellis Gimbel came to an end.

1915: “Bearing a petition signed by 600,000 persons and resolutions passed by numerous societies protesting against the execution of Leo M. Frank, the Chicago Committee departed tonight for Atlanta, GA” where they plan to present their prayer for commutation to life imprisonment to Governor John M. Slaton.

1915: According to a report made public today Georgia Governor Frank M. Slaton and handwriting expert Albert S. Osborn, Osborn has concluded “that the murder notes which played an important part in the conviction of Leo M. Frank for the slaying of Mary Phagan were not dictated by Frank and written by Jim Conley, as Conley testified, but were written by Conley on his own initiative for the purpose of shielding himself.”

1915: The delegation headed by Eugene N. Foss, the former Governor of Massachusetts, that will appeal to the Governor of Georgia to commute Leo Frank’s sentence is scheduled to leave from Boston today.

1916: Tonight, Mrs. Mary Watkin of Borough Park who has spent most of the past year in the eastern war zone in Russian Poland told the members of the Kalvarian Synagogue about “the suffering and desolation of the little town of Kalwarya” after which almost $1,000 was collected to aid the suffering Jews.

1916:  At today’s session of the thirteenth annual convention of the Federation of Galician and Bukovinian Jews of America being held at Tammany Hall “a resolution was passed providing for the sending of a commissioner to Europe to look after the interests of the Jewish was sufferers in Galicia and Bukovira.”

1916: As Simon Wolf and leaders of the U.S. government exchanged letters concerning protecting the Jews of Europe at any peace conference that will end the World War, Woodrow Wilson wrote to him, “I hope that it is not necessary for me to state again my determination to do the right and possible thing at the right and feasible time with regard to the great interests you so eloquently allude to in your letter.

1917: Birthdate of John F. Kennedy. “Kennedy named two Jews to his cabinet - Abraham Ribicoff as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Arthur Goldberg as Secretary of Labor. Kennedy was the only President for whom a national Jewish Award was named. The annual peace award of the Synagogue Council of America was re-named the John F. Kennedy Peace Award after his assassination in 1963.”

1917(8th of Sivan, 5677): Seventy-one year old banker and thoroughbred horse breeder Leopold de Rothschild, “the third son and youngest of the five children of Lionel de Rothschild and Charlotte von Rothschild” whose married to Marie Perugia at London’s Central Synagogue was attended by his friend the Prince of Wales, the son of Queen Victoria and the future King Edward VII.

1917: According to reports published today from Petrograd, “several hundred Jews who had been converted to Christianity under the old regime have returned to Judaism.”

1918: It was reported today that “the Hebrew Association for Blind” is raising a fund of $25,000 “to be used in opening new fields of usefulness for civilians and soldiers blinded in the war” including Jews as well as non-Jews.

1918: It was reported today that “in the opinion of Viscount Bryce, Palestine, which now has a population of somewhat less than 650,000 can support by agriculture and additional population of 300,000 under present conditions and a second addition of 300,000 after irrigation dams and other construction works have been built.”

1919: In Atlantic City, NJ, at the National Conference of Jewish Charities, Felix M. Warburg is scheduled to deliver a report on the work of the Joint Distribution Committee and Dr. Alexander M. Dushkin is scheduled to deliver a report on the “Survey of Jewish Education in America.”

1919: Arthur Eddington confirmed Einstein's light-bending prediction

1921: Samuel Marcus Gup who served as rabbi at Temple Beth El in Providence, RI and Temple Israel in Columbus, OH and his wife Ruth Gup gave birth to Jean Gup who became Jean Monett when she married Harold Lee Monett

1921: Birthdate of Dancer and choreographer Pearl Lang.

1923: At a meeting in Town Hall tonight, it was announced that the Jews of New York City had raised $1,800,000 for Keren Hayesod of which $600,000 was in donations of cash, the rest being pledges.  Bernard Rosenblatt, who chaired the fund drive, also announced that thanks to the successful activities in other cities, Dr. Chaim Weizmann would be returning to Palestine with $1,500,000 in actual cash payments in addition to pledges from Jews across America.  The evening was also marked by a speech given by Samuel Untermeyer expressed Jewish appreciation to Great Britain for accepting the Palestine Mandate since the British had expressed sympathy for the goal of creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1924: Birthdate Philadelphia native Irv Homer who gained fame as a local of radio talk show host.

1924: Leopold and Loeb “were summoned for questioning” today during the investigation into the murder of Bobby Franks and “asserted that on the night of the murder, they had picked up two women, Edna and May, in Chicago, using Leopold's car, then dropped them off sometime later near a golf course without learning their last names.”

1924: Albert Loeb who was bedridden due to a heart condition “saw his son” Richard “for the last time” today “when detectives came to his home” to arrest him.

1925(6th of Sivan, 5685): Shavuot

1928: In Vienna, “Alexander and Edith (Knoll) Rohatyn gave birth to American financer and public servant Felix Rohatyn.

1929: In Paterson, NJ, Morris Taub, “a junk dealer” and “the former Sylvia Sievitz” gave birth to Joseph Albert Taub, one of the driving forces behind payroll processor ADP and a part owner of the NBA New Jersey Nets. (As reported by Richard Sandomir)

1930(2nd of Sivan, 5690): Sixty year old Judge Hugo Pam the University of Michigan alum who had been a member of the Superior Court in Chicago for than 18 years and who had served as vice president of the Zionist Organization of America and headed the Palestine Restoration Fund in Chicago passed away today while visiting New York City.

1930: In Manhattan, Luise and Arthur Schulte who was a partner at Lehman Brothers, gave birth to Anthony Martin Schulte, “a publishing executive who was an early proponent of audiobooks and among the first to tap the ready-made audience for books written by trusted television personalities like Alistair Cooke, Carl Sagan and Walter Cronkite.” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1931: Manasseh Miller, President of the Trustees of Congregation Beth Elohim, announced today that “Rabbi Isaac Landman, editor of The American Hebrew and editor-in-chief of the Standard Jewish Encyclopedia” will return to the position of rabbi of the Congregation in September.

1931: Manasseh Miller, President of the Trustees of Congregation Beth Elohim, announced today that Dr. Alexander Lyons will begin serving as the congregation’s associate rabbi in September.

1933: Birthdate of historian Norman Pollack the Harvard PhD and Michigan State University history professor who campaigned for Adlai Stevenson and was the husband of Nancy Pollack with whom he had a son, Peter, the husband of Sallie Pollack.

1933 (4th of Sivan, 5693): Willi Aron a lawyer was murdered in Dachau.

1933: Louis T. McFadden, congressman from Pennsylvania, attacked the Jews in Congress. [Editor’s Note – McFadden was an outspoken foe the Federal Reserve Board.  He blamed the board for the Great Depression and saw it as part of a Jewish conspiracy to control the economy.  McFadden also wanted to impeach President Hoover.]

1933: Discussion of the petition of Franz Bernheim on the violation of Jewish rights in Upper Silesia, which was to have been on the agenda of the League of Nations Council last week, is scheduled to take place today. Joseph Paul-Boncour, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of some of the smaller powers are expected to take a leading role in the discussion of Jewish rights. Sir John Simon, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will also take part in the debated if he can return here in time to do so.

1934: Today, “the Schwarze Korps, the official organ of the SS carried an article criticizing the fact that in Berlin a woman’s team representing an Aryan sport club had competed with a team of Jewish women.”

1936: Birthdate of Ephraim Isaac, the native of Ethiopia who became “a scholar of ancient Semitic Language & Civilization and African/Ethiopian Languages and Religion.”

1936: “Squads of Syrian youths destroyed 5,400 eggs en route to Jews in Palestine” after which Jewish produce dealers asked for police protection.

1936: In Hamburg, “Julius Hollander, a 64-year old Jew, was sentenced tonight to two years’ penal servitude on charges of ‘race defilement’’ after having been “accused of intimacy with a German maid employed in his household.”

1936: “Hans Hirschfeld,  a 42 year old baptized Jew was sentenced today to one year’s imprisonment on charges of ‘race defilement’ after the court rejected his argument that he was a Christian and not subject to the Nuremberg “ghetto laws.”

1936: As Arab violence continued today, a Jewish policeman as stabbed and Jewish crops were burned.”

1938: As the Arab uprising continued, the British began construction of the Taggart Wall along the border with Syria and Lebanon. The wall was barbed wire fence interspersed with small forts.  The wall was an attempt to stop Arab terrorists from crossing into Palestine from Syria and Lebanon. 

1938: As Arab violence continued to escalate, The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorist gangs, searching for money and valuables, murdered eight Arab villagers, including three women, in the Tulkarm district. One woman who refused to pay was badly injured. Shots were fired at the Jewish quarters in Jerusalem, Haifa and Safed. "The Times" of London deplored the continued Arab terror in Palestine, "which led to some Jewish reprisals."

1938: The Palestine Post reported that the Tel Aviv Port celebrated its second anniversary by a swimming meet and a sailing review.

1939: “Five Arabs were killed by a mine detonated at the Rex Cinema in Jerusalem.

1939: “Twenty-five members of the Irgun led by Moshe Moldovsky attacked Biyar 'Adas.”

1941: Birthdate of Bronx native Robert David Simon who gained fame as CBS correspondent Bob Simon. (As reported by Ashley Southall)

1938: Hungary restricted the proportion of Jews who could hold jobs in commerce, industry, the liberal professions, and the Hungarian government to 20 percent.

1941: Fearing capture by the British, Rashid Ali, leader of the pro-Nazi forces in Iraq and the Grand Mufti of Palestine, fled to Iran under the cover of darkness.

1942: In France, the family of Helene Berr began wearing yellow stars as the government implemented an edict ordering all Jews to wear this “Jew badge” on their clothing.

1942: Vichy France forbids Jews access to all restaurants and cafes, libraries, sports grounds, squares, and other public places.

1942: At Radziwillow, Ukraine, the Germans rounded up three thousand Jews with the intention of slaughtering them. Asher Czerkaski led the resistance against the Germans. While 1500 were killed another 1,500 found temporary safety in the forests.

1942 (13th of Sivan, 5702):  In Warsaw, a Jew named Wilner, too weak to move from his chair was thrown out of the window and shot at as he fell.

1942: Bing Crosby’s recording of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” was released by Decca Records.  The biggest selling single of all times is still one of the most popular Christmas songs ever written.  Okay, so now we know of at least two Jews who responsible for Christmas as we know it.

1943(24th of Iyar, 5703): Parashat Bechukotai

1943(24th of Iyar, 5703): Seventy-six year old Morris Aaron passed away today after which he was buried at the Jewish Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA.

1944(7th of Sivan, 5704): Last Shavuot during the Shoah

1944(7th of Sivan, 5704): Seventy-seven year old Hiram J. Halle, the Cleveland born son of Joseph and Regina Schwab Hall who was “president of the Universal Oil Products” and a “philanthropist” and “a patriot” who funded a program to bring “167 scholars and their families” to the United States during the rise of Hitler passed away tonight “at his country home” in Poundridge, NY.

1944: The weekly internal report of the War Refugee Board stated that Turkey had not refused admission to any Jews from Greece or any of the Greek Islands. "On the contrary, thus far Turkish authorities have promptly provided transportation from Izmir to Palestine for those refugees who have reached Turkish soil."

1944: Birthdate of Robert Herman Benmosche, the Brooklyn native and grandson of a Lithuanian rabbi, who chaired MetLife and saved AIG. (As reported by Jonathan Kandell)

1944: After a three and a half day journey in cattle cars, the doors were opened for the first time for a train of thousands of packed Hungarian Jews. Fifty five of them were found dead.

1945:  Theodore Hardeen who “billed himself as the ‘brother of Houdini’” performed his final show in Ridgeway, Queens today.

1945: Today’s meeting of the World Conference of Polish Jewry “opened with a memorial ceremony for the Jews of Europe who had died under Nazism” that included the recitation of the Kaddish by “Grand Rabbi Dr. Isaac Alicalay, the chief rabbi of Yugoslavia.”

1945: In a letter to the World Conference of Polish Jewry meeting at the Hotel Roosevelt “made public tonight at a special panel ‘Nazi War Crimes and Their Punishment’” “Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, United States chairman on the Allied Crimes Commission called for” the rounding up of “every scrap of documentary evidence against German war criminals for presentation to him.

1946: SS-Obersturmführer, Dr. Fritz Hintermayer was executed by the Allies for his work at Dachau.

1947: At a meeting of the Mapai Party secretariat, Ben Gurion declared “It has become clear to me that we had very important achievements: I do not know whether any nation other than ours could have had such achievements.  But if you think we have the power to defend the Yishuv, you are deceiving yourself.  We had a public that is devoted to the Haganah and that is prepared to give up its life to defend Zionism, but we do have a talented public that is trained and equipped for that.”

1947: “Dear Murder,” a British murder mystery with music by Benjamin Frankel was released today in the United Kingdom.

1948: The Israeli army crossed into Lebanon, and scattered the Arab forces on the border.

1948: As a result of Jewish forces capturing Acre, Nahariya was reunited with the rest of the Jewish State.  Under the terms of the partition, Nahariya had been excluded from what would become the nation of Israel. 

1948:  Israeli settlers established Shomrat, a new Kibbutz just north of Acre.  Shomrat is variation of the Hebrew word Shomer, meaning “to watch” or “one who watches.”  Given Shomrat's proximity to the Northern border and Mediterranean Sea, the name has more than a poetic significance.

1948:  During the War of Independence, the Israeli Air Force went into action as a combat force for the first time.  The force was made up of four Messerschmitts (ME-109’s).  The planes had been bought in Czechoslovakia and shipped to Israel by sea.  There was no time test the hastily assembled aircraft before sending them into combat.  The Israelis did allow themselves the luxury of painting the Star of David on the planes before they took flight.  The four planes were sent to attack the Egyptian armored column at Ashdod, which was only twenty miles from Tel Aviv.  One of the four planes was flown by Ezer Weizman, the father of the Israeli Air Force and later President of Israel.  Following a series of bombing and strafing runs, the Egyptian forces broke off their advance.  But as with all “successes” the Israelis paid a heavy price.  One of the four planes was shot down reducing the Air Force by 25%.  Eddie Cohen, a volunteer from South Africa was the first combat pilot to give his life defending the Jewish state.  In one of the minor ironies, the ME-109, the first combat aircraft of the Israeli Air Force, had been the pride of the German Air Force during World War II. The other two pilots were Lou Lenart and Mordechai “Modi” Alon.

1948(20th of Iyar, 5708): Twenty-two year old British-born school teacher Esther Cailingold who had been one of the last defenders of the Old City during the War for Independence passed away today after having been shot in the spine three days ago.
1948(20th of Iyar, 5708): Eddie Cohen was killed in combat flying for the IAF today.

1948: The IAF had five pilots and only four combat aircraft which meant that Milton Rubenfield did not fly and fight today.

1948: The commander of the Egyptian armored column advancing toward Tel Aviv “was apparently so shaken by the IAF’s unexpected attack” that “he order his troops to hold their positions” which, although not known at the time, marked the end of the Egyptian advance on Tel Aviv.

1948: The British halted Jewish immigration from the DP camps on Cyprus to Israel.  Under the terms of the UN cease fire agreement then being negotiated, no person of military age was to be allowed to immigrate to Palestine.  This presented no problem for the Arabs, since their attacking armies were not immigrants.  Once again, the even-handedness of the international community turned out to be a fist punching the Jews.

1948: In an article published in the British Medical Journal Aaron Valero was the first to recognize and describe the outbreak of Bubonic Plague in Palestine

1948: Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet representative to the U.N. attacks the five Arab nations that have invaded Israel expressing his dismay that the invading Arab armies are “carrying out military operations aimed at the suppression of the National Liberation Movement in Palestine.”

1948: Lehi, the Irgun and the Palmach were dissolved with most of these groups members joining the IDF. 

1948: The Choir Hazamir under the direction of Hymen Riegelhaupt is scheduled to present a program of Yiddish, Hebrew and English music at the Royal Ontario Museum Theatre.

1949(1st of Sivan, 5709): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

1949(1st of Sivan, 5706): Sixty-one year old Dutch pianist Rosy Wertheim who ‘gave secret concerts in Amsterdam cellars” during the German occupation passed away today in Laren, the Netherlands.

1949: Today,upon his arrival in New York aboard the liner General Henry Taylor, “Dr. Hans Erich Fabian, a member of the Supreme Court of Western Berlin and concentration camp survivor” who was accompanied by 180 Jews including his wife and three children Joel 9, Judith 7 and Reha 5” said that “the Germans are still Nazis at heart and they have not learned anything nor have they forgotten the Hitler ideology.”

1950: Jacob Rosenheim, president and founder of Agudath Israel World Organization arrived in Israel today so that he can take up residence in Tel Aviv.  Many of the activities of the organization which has 200,000 followers are now being directed from Israel.

1950: It was announced today that Israeli actress Nechama Davidit will come to New York during June to study at the summer school of the Neighborhood Playhouse. 

1951(13th of Sivan, 5710): Sixty-sixty year old Comintern agent Mikhail Borodin who had been arrested in 1949 during a post-war Russian wave of anti-Semitism  died in Lefortovo Prison today after another round of torture.

1951(13th of Sivan, 5710): Fifty-nine year old Fanny Brice, American singer, comedienne, and actress passed away.  Born Fania Borach, in New York in 1891, Brice gained fame playing in the Ziegfeld Follies and later as the radio character Baby Snooks.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that two Israeli soldiers were wounded in another confrontation with Jordanians in the Hebron area. A large number of month-old locusts were destroyed in the Negev. The hoppers came from the Sinai Desert where they laid their eggs.

1953: U.K. premiere of “Stalag 17” one of the best movies ever made directed and produced by Billy Wilder who co-authored the screenplay, co-starring Otto Preminger with music by Franz Waxman.

1953:  Birthdate of composer Danny Elfman, best known for his collaboration with director Tim Burton for whom he has composed most of the scores for Burton’s many hits including Bettlejuice.

1956: In New York, Joshua J. Nasaw and Beatrice “Bea” Kaplan Nasaw gave birth to Elizabeth Perl Nasaw  “who as "Elizabeth Was" (later "Lys Was" and finally "Lyx Ish") was a poet and publisher of avant-garde magazines, and the cofounder of Xexoxial Editions and Dreamtime Village in West Lima, Wisconsin.”

1957(28th of Iyar, 5717): “A tractor driver was killed and two others wounded, when the vehicle struck a landmine, next to kibbutz Kissufim”

1957(28th of Iyar, 5717): Seventy year old U. of Pennsylvania alum and State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Bruce Perskie who was active in the B’nai B’rith, Joint Distribution Committee and the Federation of Jewish Charities passed away today.

1957: In Japan, premiere of “Godzilla, King of Monsters!” produced by Joseph E. Levine.

1958: Winston Churchill’s daughter, Sarah, represents the former Prime Minister at the opening ceremony unveiling the Churchill Auditorium of the Technion in Haifa.

1958: Birthdate of Juliano Mer-Khamis “an Israeli actor, director, filmmaker and political activist of Jewish and Christian Arab parentage.”

1959: “I Married A Woman” directed by Hal Kanter and written Goodman Ace premiered in Finland.

1959: U.S premiere of “Pork Chop Hill” a Korean War moved directed by Lewis Milestone, produced by Sy Barlett with music by Leonard Rosenman and featuring Martin Landau as “Lt. Marshall and Norman Fell as “Sergeant Coleman.”

1961: Release date of “Raisin in the Sun” a groundbreaking film produced by Philip Rose with a score by Laurence Rosenthal

1963(6th of Sivan, 5723): Shavuot

1963: “The List of Adrian Messenger” a slick mystery co-starring Kirk Douglas and with music by Jerrgy Goldsmith was released in the United States today.

1963: In Munich, Buddy Bregman, the American born Jewish “musical arranger, record producer and composer” and Canadian actress Suzanne Lloyd gave birth to actress Tracy Elizabeth Bregman

1964: A meeting of The Arab League in east Jerusalem to discuss the Palestinian situation leads to the formation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The eastern portion of Jerusalem had been annexed by the conquering Jordanian army and there was no talk of turning that over to the Palestinians.  Also, since the meeting took place in 1964 (three years before the June War) it is obvious that the Palestine that was to be liberated is what is called the state of Israel.

1967: Israel began the period known as the “Hamtana” or “Waiting.”  At the time, this period of waiting increased the anxieties and fears of many Israelis as they saw the Arabs forging an ever more threatening military vice around their country.  But as Rabin wrote later, it was this Waiting that gave Israel the political leverage it needed with the international community during and after the war that would come in June of 1967.

1967: CBS broadcast the first episode of “Coronet Blue” created by Larry Cohen.

1967:  In a speech to the Egyptian National Assembly, President Nasser exacerbated the crisis by declaring, “’The issue is not the question of Akaba, the Straits of Tiran or the United Nations Emergency Force.’”  He continued that the issue was the existence of Israel and that the he was not afraid of the United States, Great Britain or “’the entire Western World.’”

1968: “Wild in the Streets,” a counter-culture “cult classic, co-produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff, starring Shelly Winters and featuring a “cameo appearance” by Walter Winchell was released today in the United States.

1971(5th of Sivan, 5731): Parashat Bamidbar; erev Shavuot

1971(5th of Sivan, 5731): Seventy one year old director, producer and screenwriter Herbert Joseph Biberman, one those blacklisted as a member of the “Hollywood Ten” passed away today.

1972: “Morag, the southernmost settlement in Gush Katif was established” today “as a non-religious pioneer Nahal military outpost, and demilitarized when turned over to residential purposes in 1982.”

1973: The West End production of “Gypsy” with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents opened at the Piccadilly Theatre today.

1974: A disengagement agreement was reached between Israel and Syria.

1974: Michael Stern, a doctor from Vinnista was arrested today on “official charges of bribery” but in reality “because he did not condemn the desire of his children to leave for Israel.”

1974: In an attempt to break the stalemate following the Yom Kippur War, Syrian and Israeli officers meet in Geneva under the chairmanship of the UN Chief of Staff, Ensio Siilasvuo

1978: Yitzhak Navon assumed office today as the fifth President of Israel and “the first president with small children to move into Beit HaNassi” where he will lived with his wife Ofira.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, warned Israel that the Sinai disengagement agreement with Israel will expire next October, and "only God knows what will happen then." But he added that he still stood by his promise that the 1973 war should be the last.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization warned from Lebanon that it will soon operate from the Golan Heights, Jordan, as well as from Sinai.

1978(22nd of Iyar, 5738): Seventy-seven year old screenwriter and producer Sy Bartlett who co-authored the novel Twelve O’Clock High which was turned into one of the most famous movies about WW II.

1979(3rd of Sivan, 5739):  Habib Elghanian, President of the Council of federations of Iranian Jewish communities, who he had been arrested and convicted for Zionist spying was summarily executed by the new Iranian government.

1979: In New York, “Stephen A. Schwarzman, the founder, chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, and Ellen Katz (née Philips), a trustee of Northwestern University and the Mount Sinai Medical Center” gave birth to Edward Frank “Teddy Schwarzman, the graduate of Penn and Duke Law School and “the founder, president and chief executive of Black Bear Pictures” who married fellow Blue Devil Ellen Marie Zajac, the New York lawyer and mother of his three children.

1981: Israeli jets attacked “Libyan antiaircraft missile batteries guarding Palestinian guerrilla positions south of Beirut” after an IAF reconnaissance plane had been attacked by enemy missiles.

1981: U.S. premiere of “Polyester” a comedy co-starring Tab Hunter (Andrew Arthur Klem) with music by Michael Kamen and Christ Stein.

1982(7th of Sivan, 5742): Second Day of Shavuot

1982: Leonard Maltin began working as “the movie reviewer on the syndicated television series Entertainment Tonight.”

1983: The audience stood and joined more than 200 singers from 7 Jewish choruses from Washington, Philadelphia, Connecticut, New York, Long Island and Boston in singing ''Hatikva'' at the end of the American Jewish Choral Festival concert in Merkin Hall

1987: Daniel Barenboim is scheduled to conduct the IPO in an anniversary program that will include concertos by Mozart.

1987(1st of Sivan, 5747): Rosh Chodesh Sivan

1989: In an article entitled “Unmeeting Minds In Zion,” Karl Meyer defended Secretary of State James Baker’s call for “Israelis to abandon grandiose claims to a greater Israel” because it balances previous American demands that Yasser Arafat give up his claims to all of Israel which is part of the PLO’s charter document.

1990(5th of Sivan, 5750): Erev of Shavuot

1992: “The Finest Hour,” a movie about U.S. Navy Seals directed by Shimon Dotan whose five years as Seal in the Israeli Navy may have helped him write the script for this film and produced by Menahem Golan was released today in Portugal after premiering in the United States.

1992(15th of Sivan, 5751): Just weeks before his 79th birthday Henry David Leonard George Walston, Baron Walston the only son of Florence (nee Einstein) and Anglo-American archaeologist Sir Charles Waldstein who was agricultural researcher and failed candidate for the House of Commons passed away today.  His mother was the widow of Theodore Seligman and his father was the one who changed the family from Waldstein to Walston.

1994(19th of Sivan, 5754): Literary scholar Harry Levin passes away at the age of 81. Levin (pronounced luh-VINN), was considered to be the first Jew to receive tenure in Harvard's English Department. Harry Levin's father had been Jewish, but his mother was not and he married a Russian Orthodox writer named Elena, who translated Trotsky.

1994(19th of Sivan, 5754): Seventy-eight year old Joseph Janni, the Italian born Jewish movie producer who moved to England in 1939 where he spent the rest of his life passed away today.

1996: Israeli voters confirmed their country's yawning divisions in elections today by splitting their ballots almost evenly between the candidates for Prime Minister and, in the separate balloting for Parliament, abandoning the two major parties in droves for small religious, ethnic and other groupings.

1997(22nd of Iyar, 5757): Seventy-four year old Russian born American expert on the Byzantine Empire Alexander Petrovich Kazhdan passed away today in Washington, DC having on completed the first volume of his History of Byzantine Literature.

1999: In Jerusalem, Israel, Charlotte Nilsson won the forty-fourth Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden singing "Take Me To Your Heaven".

1998: A group of American rabbis and educators belonging to the three main streams of Judaism issued a call for there to be no violent opposition if mixed prayer groups appear at the Western Wall during the Shavuot holiday. Last year, there were violent confrontations between fervently Orthodox Jews and liberal Jews seeking to pray at the Western Wall on Shavuot and Tisha B'Av.

1998: Barry M. Goldwater passes away. Born in 1909, Goldwater was a U.S. Senator from Arizona and unsuccessful Republican Presidential candidate in 1964.  Goldwater's father was Jewish.  Goldwater was raised as an Episcopalian.  This did not keep bigots from disparaging the Republican ticket as "The Arizona Israelite and his fellow traveler from the Vatican."  His running mate Congressman William Miller of New York really was a Roman Catholic.

2000: An Israeli court postpones a decision on whether to release two Lebanese guerrillas held without trial for years.

2000: Settlers warn Prime Minister Ehud Barak he could be killed if he uproots settlements.

2001(7th of Sivan, 5761: Second Day Shavuot

2001: The BBC broadcast “The Wrong Empire” the 11th episode of “A History of Britain a documentary series written and presented by Simon Schama” which began its second season tonight.

2001(7th of Sivan, 5761): Fifty-three year old Sara Blaustein and 20 year old Esther Alvan were murdered by a Tanzim terrorist.

2001: Forty-one year old Gilad Zar was shot by a Tanzim terrorist as he traveled between Kedumim and Yitzhar.

2002(18th of Sivan, 5762): Seventy-year old novelist Lois Gould, author of Such Good Friends lost her battle with cancer today and passed away at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2002: A program is launched to integrate Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society. The National Ethiopian Absorption Project is initiated by the Jewish Agency for Israel and is planned to last nine years.

2003: Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day Rabbi Tobias and Mrs. Geffen, along with their two eldest children arrived in America. The family arrived on board the Deutschland which departed from Cuxhaven, Hamburg, Germany.  Geffen is the Coca Cola Rabbi, having been responsible for seeing to it that formula was both kosher and kosher for Passover.

2004(9th of Sivan, 5764): Twenty-five year old Major Shachar Ben-Yishai, 25, of Menahemia was killed by Palestinian gunfire near Nablus today

2004 (9th of Sivan, 5764): Seventy-two year old Jack Morris Rosenthal passed away. Born in 1931, he was an English playwright, who wrote 129 early episodes of the ITV soap opera Coronation Street and over 150 screenplays, including original TV plays, feature films, and adaptations

2004 (9th of Sivan, 5764): Sam Dash passed away. Born in 1925, Dash was a long time Professor at the Georgetown University Law School.  He gained fame as the Chi

2005: The Cedar Rapids Jewish Community remembers Dr. Robert Handler, husband of Diane Handler and father of Nathan, Daniel and Benjamin Handler Memorial Stone and Unveiling Ceremony.  A righteous man will always be missed and will always be remembered.

2005(20th of Iyar, 5765): Composer George Rochberg passed away at the age of 86.

2005(20th of Iyar, 5765): Gershon Jacobson passed away. Born in 1934, Jacobson was a veteran journalist and commentator for some of the most eminent newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune, the Yiddish Day Jewish Journal and Israel's largest daily Yediot Acharonot, “Gershon used his powerful writing and analytical skills to faithfully document the destruction, rebirth and renaissance of Jews and Judaism.”

2005: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Matter of Opinion by Victor S. Navasky and the recently released paperback editions of Birth of the Chess Queen: A History by Marilyn Yalom and Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America in which Laura Shapiro “revisits a dark decade in culinary history, when the food industry elbowed its way into the kitchen promoting Nescafé, Bisquick and Jell-O.”

2006(2nd of Sivan, 5766): Ninety-two year old men’s clothing merchant and co-owner of Witty Brothers passed away today.

2006: In Jerusalem, Opening session of “Biomed Israel – 2006” a conference focusing on Respiratory disorders, Central Nervous System disorders, metabolic disorders and Cancer

2007: As reported in Haaretz, Ami Ayalon surged ahead of his main rival for the leadership of the Labor Party with 46 percent of the votes counted early today, winning 37.3 percent to Ehud Barak's 30.3 percent.

2007:  In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took the unusual stance of reading a dissent from the bench, a usually rare practice that she has now employed twice in the past six weeks to criticize the majority for opinions that she said undermine women's rights. Justice Ginsburg’s dissent which was supported by Justice Souter, showed them to stand in the best tradition of the first Jewish Supreme Court jurist, Louis D. Brandeis.

2008: Klara Silverstein (Mrs. Larry Silverstein) and her daughter Lisa, received the Philanthropy Award at today’s UJA-Federation of New York’s Women’s Philanthropy inaugural luncheon.

2008: In Chicago, Spertus Museum and Lawndale Community Academy (LCA) celebrate the launch of Poetic Integrity and Truth: Youth Culture and Leadership in North Lawndale. Marking the third year of a Spertus/Lawndale partnership highlighting the Jewish and African American impact on the North Lawndale community, the book was written and illustrated by LCA students and explores their lives, interests, and aspirations.

2008: Klara Silverstein, the wife of real estate mogul Larry Silverstein and his daughter Lisa received the Philanthropy Award at the UJA-Federation of New York’s Women’s Philanthropy inaugural luncheon.

2008(24th of Iyar, 5768): Comedian Harvey Korman, comedic sidekick to Carol Burnett and winner of four Emmys, passed away.

2008: In “Cuba’s Jewish community enjoys remarkable rebirth” published today the Chicago Tribune provided a description of life on Castro’s island,0,648731.story

2009(6th of Sivan, 5769): First Day Shavuot

2010: Paula Valstein, singer/songwriter/pianist, an Israeli army veteran and a graduate of the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music near Tel Aviv is scheduled to perform tonight at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.

2010: Gaza-based terrorists continued to attack Israel firing two rockets to night one of which exploded in an open area south of Ashkelon. “More than 50 rockets have exploded in the Negev since the beginning of 2010, and more than 350 rockets were fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza into Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead last year,.”’

2011: In the borough of Queens several Jewish Bukharin an Uzbek artist performed at concert honoring the late Ilyas Malayev who would have been 75 years old this year.

2011: Two days after his death, in Bozman, MD, a private service was held at the home of philanthropist Louis S. Sachs.

2011: The leadership of the Maccabi World Union is scheduled to hold the opening session of its annual three day conference today.

2011: “A Motorcycle Ride for Gilad Shalit” designed to advance the freeing of this Israeli soldier by his Arab captors is scheduled to begin today at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.

2011: Playwright and actor David Greenspan is scheduled to present his one-man show Plays, a word-for-word performance of the Gertrude Stein essay of the same name at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco

2011: The New York Times features reviews books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including ‘Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza’ by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole, “Reckless Endagerment” by Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner and “Alfred Kazin’s Journals,” selected and edited by Richard M. Cook.

2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including 'On China' by Henry Kissinger.

2011: Giora Eiland “said on Kol Yisrael Radio that in his view it would be better for Israel to let the next flotilla - expected to set out in late June 2011 - get through to Gaza, provided that the Government of Turkey would be willing to take responsibility for the flotilla, inspect all ships and make sure they were not carrying arms.” Born in 1952 at moshav Kfar Hess, Eiland is a former national security advisor who reited from the IDF with the rank of Major General.

2011: Israel’s efforts to alleviate poverty and develop local economies in Africa is noble yet it needs to do more, Irish singer-activist Bob Geldof said at a conference on Israel and Africa held in Herzliya today.

2011: Opening day of Field of Dreams, “JNF’s hardball mission to the holy land.”

2011(25th of Iyar, 5771): Ninety-six year old antique maven Albert M. Sack passed away today in Durham, NC. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

2012: “What We Saw From the Cheap Seats, Regina Spektor’s” latest album is due out today.

2012: Dennis Ross and David Makovsky are scheduled to “offer their perspective on recent events in the Middle East, the peace process and the future of Israel” at the 92nd Street Y.

2012: Among those President Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to were  Shimon Peres – President of Israel; Madeleine Albright – the first woman to serve as Secretary of State; Bob Dylan – the American musical icon who began life as Robert Allen Zimmerman ; and Jan Karski - a resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II. He carried the first eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust to the world. As a courier to the Warsaw ghetto and the Izbica transit camp, he saw the atrocities first-hand. He became a U.S. citizen in 1954 and died in 2000.

2012: The Attorney-General’s Office announced today that in accordance with a recommendation from the High Court of Justice, the state has agreed to pay the wages of non-Orthodox rabbis serving in regional councils, just as it does for Orthodox rabbis.

2013: In Milwaukee, WI, Tikkun Ha-Air’s Glean Machine which collects spring and summer clothing, household items, toiletries, books, toys, art supplies, and nonperishable food, is scheduled to begin today.

2013: The Peri Committee’s approval of the draft version of a new military conscription law was a “historic moment,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid said hours after ministers cast their final vote today. The Israeli public needs the ultra-Orthodox, “with gun in hand, alongside us,” he said.

 2013: Swastikas were painted onto the walls of a synagogue in the coastal city of Bat Yam in the latest in a series of attacks on synagogues across the country. The warden of the Ha’Ohel synagogue, Miki Moshkovitz, found the offensive symbols today morning and immediately called the police. (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2013(20th of Sivan, 5773): Ninety year old Auschwitz survivor and controversial Canadian physician Henry Morgentaler passed away today.  (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

2013:  The Argentinian prosecutor in charge of investigating the bombing at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, has accused Iran of infiltrating several South American countries and building intelligence stations from which terrorist attacks could be planned and carried out. Alberto Nisman issued a 502-page indictment today placing responsibility for the bombing, which killed 85 people, on the highest authorities in the Islamic Republic.

2014: Magen David Sephardic Congregation is scheduled the Maryland premiere of “The J Street Challenge: The Seductive Allure of Peace in our Time.”

2014: Marv “Albert stepped down from calling The NFL on CBS and focus on basketball duties for TNT and CBS.”

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host Norway’s  Ullern Kammerkor presenting  music dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust—“Bøner for medfangar” (“Prayers for Fellow Prisoners”) by Kristian Hernes with a text by Dietrich Bonhoeffer—and music by Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann, composers active during imprisonment in Theresienstadt

2014: “Donald Sterling is prepared to sue the NBA if it goes ahead with action to strip him of his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, his attorney said today.”

2014(29th of Iyar, 5774): In the evening, erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan. According to the 17th century sage Isaiah Horovitz “the eve of the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan is the most auspicious time to pray for the physical and spiritual welfare of one's children and grandchildren, since Sivan was the month that the Torah was given to the Jewish people” and this belief insipired him to compose a special prayer for the occasion “known as the Tefillat HaShlah.”

2014: “Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed” today that “Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will join Pope Francis in a prayer for peace at the Vatican” on June 8.

2014: Katie Holmes joined the cast of “Woman in Gold” where she will play the role of “Pam Schoenberg.”

2014: “Thousands of Jewish Red Sox fans packed America’s oldest ballpark tonight for the legendary franchise’s first Jewish Heritage Night.”

2014: The cornerstone for a new Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, which would replace the centuries old structure that had been deliberately destroyed by Arab armies in 1948, was laid today.

2015(11th of Sivan, 5775): Sixty-five year old Moses Samuel, the “long-time leader” of Myanmar’s Jewish community passed away today in Yangon.

2015: Palestine is scheduled to “seek Israel’s expulsion from world soccer’s governing body at today’s meeting of the FIFA Congress.

2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort at Riverside, IA.

205: Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor are scheduled to “return to Abrons” with a performance “Ship of Fools.”

2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a concert as part of the Israel Festival.

2016(21st of  Iyar, 5776): Ninety-three year old Mordechai Gazit, the native of Istanbul, older brother of Shlomo Gait, Haganah veteran and “an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir., ambassador to France, and as Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry” passed away today.

2016: UK Jewish Film is scheduled to host a screening of “Remember”

2016: Today, “The Israel Police concluded its investigation into financial impropriety at the Prime Minister’s Residence and recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara Netanyahu stand trial on graft allegations.”

2016: “Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett today threatened to quit the coalition over his demands for greater intelligence-sharing in the high-level security cabinet, as Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein urged the Likud and Jewish Home parties to cut a deal quickly to avoid new elections.”

2016: “Israeli security forces arrested six alleged members of a Hamas terror cell accused of planning and carrying out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem last month, the Shin Bet security service announced today.”

2016: The “Roman Vishniac Rediscovered” exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, California is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering by David A. Kessler East West Street: On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against Humanity by Philippe Sands and Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals by Joel E. Dimsdale.

2017: In the United States Memorial Day, which really is May 30 is observed today.

2017: The Manhattan Jewish Experience is scheduled to host a dinner and discussion of the weekly Torah portion followed by a presented by Rabbi Mark Wildes, founder and director of MJE

2017: In honor of Memorial Day, the Illinois Holocaust Museum is scheduled to offer free admission to all military personnel and their families

2018: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present “Travels in Jewish History” during which Irene Shaland, an internationally-published art and travel writer, educator, and lecturer, talks about her travels through Jewish history in Burma, India, China, Cuba, and Cambodia.”

2018: Following tonight’s weekday dinner, the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a discussion led by Rabbi Mark Goldsmith in which “tough questions” will be raised about how Jews, based on their laws and tradition “should behave as buyers and sellers, employers and employees and owners and customers.” (Editor’s note – Could there be a more timely topic to discuss?  Makes you wish you were in Oxford tonight)


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