Friday, May 4, 2018

This Day, May 5, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

May 5

1028:  King Alfonso V of Castile passed away. In 1020, Alfonso had presided over the Council of Leon which adopted laws that created a certain amount of equality between Christians and Jews. The legislation was in response to the threat of Moslem forces that were in control of much of the Iberian Peninsula. Alfonso was the King of Castile when Solomon ibn Gabriol was born in 1021.

1109: The Moors recaptured Valencia from the Christians. “During the period of Muslim rule… the Jewish quarter was situated on the eastern side of the Rahbat el-qadi and in its vicinity, on the site where the Santa Catalina church stands at present” (Jewish Virtual Library)

1210: Birthdate of King Alfonso III of Portugal whose reign was a period of comparative benevolence for his Jewish subjects. Jews were “exempt from the canonical decrees which compelled the wearing of a distinctive sign and the payment of tithes to the Church.”  Also, Jews were appointed to positions of governmental responsibility.  These policies were continued by his successor, King Diniz who appointed Judah, the Chief Rabbi of Portugal to serve as finance minister.

1260: Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire. “Arab and European travelers, including Marco Polo in the 13th century, spoke of meeting Jews or hearing about them during their travels in China (then called the Middle Kingdom). Polo recorded that Kublai Khan himself celebrated the festivals of the Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, indicating a large enough number of Jews in the country to warrant attention by its rulers. Historical sources also describe Jewish communities at various trade ports, including Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Ningbo, and Yangzhou. Only the community in Kaifeng survived.”

1400: The privilege of the city of Worms to extend protection to the Jews in return for the payment of 20,000 gulden was renewed today by King Wenceslaus

1435: Jewish residents of Speyer, Germany, were expelled.

1588: The Council of Hanover ordered the severance of all business connections between Jews and Christians.

1624(16th of Iyar): Elias Lipiner was sentenced to death at an auto-de-fe by the Portuguese Inquisition. He was accused of committing the crime of using Jewish names and writing in Hebrew. On this same day Dr. Antonio Honem was sentenced to death for observing Jewish ceremonies.

1646:  King Charles I surrendered to the Presbyterian forces paving the way for the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell.  Cromwell would play a critical role in the return of the Jewish community to the British Isles.

1664(10th of Iyar): Rabbi Zebi Hirsch ben Abraham Katz murdered in Lemberg

1719: Fifty-three year old Samuel Zanvil Levy, the third child of Beila and Isaac Levy passed away today in New York City.

1705: After succeeding his father as Holy Roman Emperor today, Joseph I confirmed Samuel Wertheimer’s title and privileges.

1731(29th of Nisan, 5491): The grandmother of Moses Sofer, Reizchen, a daughter of the Gaon of Frankfurt Rabbi Shmuel Schotten, known as the Marsheishoch passed away.

1735: Birthdate of Jonas Mischel Jeittles, the native of Prague who studied medicine in Leipzig and Halle, became the public health officer of the Jewish community, was nominated chief supervisor of the guild of Jewish healers in Prague and in 1784 obtained from the emperor Joseph in Vienna permission that not only he himself but also other Jewish doctors could pursue unrestricted medical practice.(U.S. National Library of Medicine)

1759: Twenty-eight year old Vienna native Liebman Liepman Elieser Arnsteiner, the son of Aron Isak Arnstein and Ella Elsa Eleonora Arnsteiner and husband of Machteld Mathilda Michela Jochem Mozes Hannover passed away today in Frankfurt am Main

1764: The "Jews' decree" issued today permitted any Jew to live in Vienna “who could prove that he possessed a certain sum of ready money and "acceptable" papers, or that he had established a factory. According to this decree no Jew could buy a house; a married Jew had to let his beard grow, that he might be readily distinguished; and no synagogue or other place for common worship was permitted.

1766: Eighty-two year old Professor of Medicine Jean Austric the Protestant convert to Catholicism who family was reported to have been Jewish during the Middle Ages and who “was the first to try to demonstrate, by using the techniques of textual analysis that were commonplace in studying the secular classics, the theory that Genesis was composed based on several sources or manuscript traditions, an approach now called the documentary hypothesis” passed away today.

1767(Iyar 6): Rabbi Isaac Ha-Levi Horowitz of Brody passed away

1777(28th of Nisan, 5537): Forty-three year old Raphael Hayyim Isaac Carregal passed away today at Barbados. Born in Hebron and ordained at 17, Carregal travels eventually took him to the American Colonies just before the start of the American Revolution.  He struck up a friendship with Edgar Stiles, the future President of Yale University.  Stiles benefited from this chance to improve his Hebrew and study scripture with a Rabbi.

1789:  In France, the Estates General convenes for the first time in 150 years.  This is the first act in what would become the French Revolution; a revolution that would result in Jews being granted full citizenship in any European continental political entity.

1809: Right of citizenship was denied to Jews of the canton of Aargau, Switzerland. Emancipation was delayed until 1879.

1809(19th of Iyar, 5669): “Berek Yoselovich, founder and commander of a Jewish light cavalry regiment, was killed in action in the war between the Duchy of Warsaw and Austria

1813: Birthdate of Søren Kierkegaard

1818: Birthdate of Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital.  Only the ignorant and the anti-Semitic insist that Marx was a Jew.

1821: Napoleon Bonaparte passed away.  There is not enough space in this brief guide to discuss the impact of Napoleon, both pro and con, on the Jewish people.

1837: A dedication of new synagogue in Surinam took place.

1839: Forty-two year old jurist Eduard Ganz who like so many of his contemporaries found his way to the Baptismal font as he climbed the ladder of German society passed away today.

1839: In the small town of Unsleben, Bavaria, “a group of 19 emigrants led by Moses Alsbacher departed for America, seeking escape from political unrest and economic and personal discrimination. They chose Cleveland as their final destination because a fellow townsman, Simson Thorman, had two years earlier made this thriving village on Lake Erie the base for his fur trading business. Arriving in late 1839, they found their first homes in the Terminal Tower-Central Market area. A Torah scroll was among the belongings of this group of settlers, and soon after they arrived, they formed the Israelitic Society for worship.”

1843: Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III (the one who lost the 13 colonies) who “became a Patron of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to become the charity known as Norwood” and who supported legislation to remove “the civil liabilities of Jews” was buried today at Kensal Green Cemetery without the pomp of state funeral per his request.

1848: In Vienna, Moritz Moses Jacob von Goldschmidt and Nanette von Goldschmidt gave birth to Jacob Adalbert von Goldschmidt.

1859: Birthdate of lyric poet Mordecai Zebi Mane who was part of the Haskalah movement in Russia.

1859: “Another Mrtara Case with a More Honorable Termination” published today tells the story of Alice Levy, a Jewish orphan living in New Orleans.  Before her death, the mother had left instructions that Alice should be “educated in the Jewish faith.” Somehow the child ended up in the custody “of a charitable lady in New Orleans” who was going to raise her as a Catholic.  Alice’s grandmother appealed to the French Consul in New Orleans for help.  After determining that attempts to have the child returned had been thwarted, he interceded on her behalf and the child was tunred over to a Jewish orphanage.  

1860: In his lecture on the "Lost Arts," Wendell Phillips states that the earliest mention of precious stones is in the Bible, and that "the Hebrews borrowed the names of their gems from the Egyptians."

1861: In Washington, DC, Colonel Ripley, the Chief of Ordinance received Major Alfred Mordecai’s letter of resignation and a personal letter from Mordecai in which he thanked Colonel Ripley and assured him that he had no need to doubt the Major’s continued loyalty to the nation.

1861: Hermann Mayer Salomon Goldschmidt discovered his fortieth and final Asteroid, 70 Panopaea.

1861: The members of the 27th Regiment, originally a part of the ‘Washington Brigade,’” which was commanded by Max Einstein “were enrolled” for service in the United States military during the Civil War.

1862: Mexican forces loyal to Juarez defeat the French Army loyal to the Emperor Maximilian. Because of the heavy hand of the Catholic Church only a handful of Jews were living in Mexico at the start of the 19th century.  The Jewish population actually grew during the rule by the Austrian usurper as he “imported many Jews from Belgium, France, Austria and Alsatia.”  In one of those quirks of history the Jewish population actually benefited when Benito Juarez overthrew Maximilian in 1867. Under Juarez, the Church lost much of its authority and Jews found a secularized Mexico a hospitable place to settle.


1863: Birthdate of Alexander Harkavy the native of Minsk and husband of Bella Segalowski, who came to the United States in 1882 after pogroms in Russia who later went to Canada where published that country’s first Yiddish newspaper before return to the United States where he published the Jewish Progress in Baltimore before working on translations of several books of the Bible including “The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text.”

1864: During the U.S. Civil War, start of the Battle of the Wilderness during which Sergeant Leopold Karpleles and Private Abraham Cohen served with such distinction that they each earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1864: During the Battle of the Wilderness, Private Louis Leon (CSA) was taken prisoner and shipped to Point Lookout.

1864: Baroness Fannie de Worms and Baron Henry de Worms were married in Vienna. The marriage would end in 1886 in notorious divorce case with the Baron proving she had committed adultery with Moritz von Leon.

1865: Major Raphael Moses, “the chief supply officer for General James Longstreet, attended the last meeting of the Confederate government, at the Bank of the State of Georgia (later the Heard House), in Washington in Wilkes County where he was ordered by Confederate president Jefferson Davis to take possession of $40,000 in gold and silver bullion from the Confederate treasury and deliver it to help feed and supply the defeated soldiers straggling home after the war—weary, hungry, often sick, shoeless, and in tattered uniforms. With a small group of determined armed guards, Moses successfully carried out his duty, despite repeated attempts by mobs to take the bullion forcibly.”

1865(9th of Iyar, 5625): French Rabbi Salomon Ulmann passed away. Born at Saverne, Bas-Rhin in 1806 he began his rabbinical studies at Strasburg under Moïse Bloch (better known as Rabbi Mosche Utenheim), and was the first pupil enrolled at the initial competitive examination of candidates for the Ecole Centrale Rabbinique, inaugurated in July, 1830. He was also the first in his class at this institution to receive the diploma of chief rabbi. In 1834 he was appointed rabbi of Lauterbourg, Alsace; in 1844 he became chief rabbi of Nancy, in Lorraine; and in 1853 he succeeded Marchand Ennery as chief rabbi of the Central Consistory of the Israelites of France. Ulmann published a limited number of sermons and pastoral letters, and was the author also of "Catéchisme, ou Eléments d'Instruction Religieuse et Morale à l'Usage des Jeunes Israélites" which is considered a classic.” The most important act in Ulmann's rabbinical career was the organization of the Central Conference of the Chief Rabbis of France, over whose deliberations he presided at Paris in May, 1856. In that year Ulmann addressed a "Pastoral Letter to the Faithful of the Jewish Religion," in which he set forth the result of the deliberations of the conference, which were as follows: (1) revision and abbreviation of the piyyutim; (2) the introduction of a regular system of preaching; (3) the introduction of the organ into synagogues; (4) the organization of religious instruction; (5) the institution of the rite of confirmation for the Jewish youth of both sexes; (6) a resolution for the transfer of the Ecole Centrale Rabbinique from Metz to Paris.

1866: In Lida, Russia, Isaiah Blaustein and Sarah Natzkowsky gavie to David Blaustein, who was educated in Germany and came to the United States where his varied activities and career included three years at Harvard, serving as a rabbi in Providence, RI for three years before eventually becoming Superintendent of the Educational Alliance of New York.

1866: In Berdychiv, Ukraine, Wolf and Sura Beile Kaminka gave birth to Dr. Armand Ahron Noach Kaminka  “the renowned rabbi, Hebrew scholar and secretary of Alliance Israelite Universelle in Vienna” who was arrested by the Nazis in 1938 and eventually settled in Israel and the husband of Klara Kaminka.

1869(24th of Iyar): Joseph Jonas, who arrived in Cincinnati in 1817 possibly making him the first Jew to settle in that part of Ohio passed away today

1878: “Murder of an American Lady” published today described how the sister of the American Vice Consul in Bucharest, Dr. Stern, was stabbed by a suitor her family had rejected three years earlier. The young woman was 20 years old and had only been married for four months.

1878: “A Mean Thief Punished” published today described how “Philip Leon, a well-dressed Hebrew” was tried and found guilty of having stolen a pawn ticket and a dollar from Julia McLoughlin.  Leon was sentenced to pay a fine of $50 and to serve a sentence of one month in the New York’s city jail.

1879:  According to the Rochester Express, J.B. Hoyt and J.B. Trevor are donating the funds to endow Chair of Hebrew Language and Literature at the Rochester Theological Seminary.

1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Kiev, Russia. The Russian pogroms of 1881 led to the spread of Zionist ideas in Eastern Europe and the formation, in 1882, of Hovevei Zion, the first organized modern Zionist movement in the world.

1881: Following the assassination a month earlier of Tzar Alexander II of Russia, and the subsequent rumors that the Jews were behind the assassination, anti-Jewish riots broke out today. The riots and pogroms lasted for four years, during which time thousands of Jewish homes and synagogues were destroyed, and countless Jews were injured and impoverished. The unrest started out in Southern Russia, and quickly spread throughout the entire country. Tzar Alexander III actually blamed the riots on the Jews(!) and punished them by enacting new laws which further restricted their freedoms. Among these devastating laws were legislation which restricted Jews from residing in towns with fewer than 10,000 citizens, and limiting their professional employment and education opportunities. These oppressive laws, known as the "May Laws," compelled many Jews to emigrate. They are said to have caused more than two million Jews to leave Russia, many of them opting

1881: In St. Louis, founding of the Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites on 1132 Washington Avenue whose leadership including S.A. Rider and Mrs. Lissette Baum.

1883: In Colchester, Essex, General Archibald Graham Wavell and Lillie(nee Percival) Wavell gave birth to Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell, who “in August, 1937, was transferred to Palestine, during the Arab Revolt to be General Officer Commanding (GOC) British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan”

1886: Birthdate of Russian native Edward S. Siskin, “the first known Jew to participate in athletics at Fordham, a Jesuit university” where he played end from 1905 to 1908 before serving as the head coach in 1918. In the United Kingdom, several Brethren who were also Secret Monitors met at the home of Dr. Issachar Zacaharie where it was resolved to from the Alfred Meadows Conclave with Dr. Zacharie as its first Supreme Ruler. Secret Monitors refers to The Order of the Secret Monitor and Brethren refers to Freemasons. Zacharie was born in Kent (England) in 1827.  As a small boy he moved to the United States where he became a foot doctor describes variously as an orthopedist or a chiropodist. During the Civil War he became President Lincoln’s foot doctor.  Their relationship transcended that which normally existed between doctor and patient.  Lincoln used him as an unofficial advisor and source of information. At one point he went to New Orleans to assess the situation there for the President.  ‘Due in part to Zacharie's influence, Lincoln became an early proponent of establishing a Jewish state in the Holy Land. ‘I myself have regard for the Jews,’ the president is reported to have once said. ‘My chiropodist is a Jew, and he has so many times 'put me on my feet' that I would have no objection to giving his countrymen 'a leg up.' "  Zacharie returned to England “from America in 1875 and built up a thriving orthopedic practice in Brook Street, London. He became a member of a Bon Accord Mark Lodge in 1882 where he met other Brethren who were also Secret Monitors, having received their degree in various places. These Brethren were also members of Alfred Meadows Lodge named after a distinguished surgeon.”

1891: “Jewish Prisoners” published today described the work of Rabbi Adolph M. Radin with Jewish prisoners in New York jails and prisons.  New York City’s association of rabbis had designated him as “the visiting Chaplain” to fill this need.

1892: William Ambrose Shedd, a Persian received the George S. Green Fellowship in Hebrew at Princeton University. The theology student’s efforts gained him $600. Ivy League schools had an interest in the language of the Jews but no desire to have them on their campuses.

1892: Emanuel Lehman, the Treasurer of Transportation Fund for the Relief of Russian (Jewish) Refugees acknowledged the following contributions: Sigmund Robertson - $2,000; Lazarus Levy - $100; Seligman Solomon Society - $25; Mrs. G.M. Raphael - $10. This brings the total contributions to $97, 545.49.

1892: In Oxford, UK, Sir Archibald Garrod and Laura Elizabeth Smith gave birth to British archaeologist Dorothy Garrod who in 1929 led an all-female team to a dig in Israeli’s Carmel mountain range where they discovered the skeleton of a Neanderthal woman – “the first-ever to be discovered outside of Europe.”

1892: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band will supply the music this afternoon at the Actors’ Fund Fair in Madison Square Garden.

1893: “More Affidavits By Jews” published today described the aggressive attempts by some Christian denominations to convert Jews.

1895: Police will begin an investigation into a tale told by Bernard Zuckerman, a self-confessed thief, that he had been led into his life of crime by an unnamed Polish Jewish woman.  She came to the United States about four years ago, and behaving like a female Fagan, teaches young Jewish Polish boys how to steal and then disposes of their goods.

1895: “Art Notes” published today described the paintings with a Jewish Biblical theme that John S. Sargent has done to decorate the New Public Library in Boston. The wall space over the door depicts the delivery of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Below this “are a series of panels” that depict the “growth of the Hebrew religion”  “In the center, immediately over the door, is a colored bas-relief of Moses.”  

1895: Robert College in Constantinople which was created with an endowment by Christopher R. Robert of New York currently provides a western style education to a multi-ethnic student body of 200, five of whom are Jews.

1896: In New York, Matilda (Metzger) and Dr. Herman J. Schiff gave birth to Esther Schiff who gained fame as anthropologist Esther Schiff Goldfrank the wife of  Walter S. Goldfrank and the author the 1927 tome The Social and Ceremonial Organization of Cochiti

1896: Dreyfus wrote in his diary, "I have no longer anything to say; everything is alike in its horrible cruelty."

1898: “A Jewish Warship” published today described plans by Jews in Ohio to raise the money to pay for a warship to be used in the war against giving as their reasons “The Jews all over the world have a grudge against Spain” (remember the expulsion of 1492) and the fact that Jews “have had trials and tribulations in every country in the world except in America.”

1889: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs is scheduled to deliver an address to the adult members of B’nai Jeshurun on the significant role of George Washington as part of the events celebrating the centennial of his first inauguration which took place in New York City on April 30, 1789.

1899:  Birthdate of Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro, a partner of Louis “Lepke” Buchalter who helped establish Murder Incorporated.

1899: “Some interesting facts concerning the lot of the average physician working on the east side,” a predominately “Hebrew District” “were brought out at a meeting of the New York County Medico-Pharmaceutical League” tonight as part of an attempt to improve “the condition of the physicians and druggists.”

1899: Today, Rabbi De Sola Mendes said, “The condition of the Jewish populations west of Eighth Avenue and east of the Bowery in this city is not understood even by old New Yorker” and the Union of Jewish Congregations was formed to improve the welfare of the Jews living in this area.

1900: David Wolffsohn offers to resign his position with the Colonial Bank, also known as the Jewish Colonial Trust.  The Bank was established to buy land for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel.

1900: Birthdate of Nacha Rivkin, the founder of Shulamith School for Girls, the first girl's yeshiva in the U.S.

1901: President Percival S. Menken presided over the annual meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.  Attendees listened to the group’s 27th annual report, elected a board of directors and listened to a brief speech by the organization’s major benefactor, Jacob Schiff.

1901: President Simon Borg presided over the annual meeting of the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews.  Based on the report of the Finance Committee, the Home’s financial condition was quite solid.  Jacob Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home for Chronicle Invalids addressed the group, congratulating the group for the quality of management at the Home.

1905: Maurice Arnold de Forest, who had been adopted by the millionaire Baroness Clara de Hirsch, née Bischoffsheim, wife of Jewish banker and philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch de Gereuth, and given the surname de Forest-Bischoffsheim, resigned this commission on 5 May 1906, by which time he was also an Honorary Second Lieutenant in the Army

1906: Count Sergei Yulyevich Witte, whose career had suffered because his second wife, Matilda Ivanovna (Isaakovna) Lisanevich, was a converted Jew, completed his service as 1st Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire

1908: Akron, Ohio, department store owner Bert A. Polsky and his wife the former Hazel Steiner gave birth to the oldest child and only son Thomas E. Polsky,

1909: Birthdate of Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti, whose life was shaped by the fact that his mother and his twin brother died during his birth

1909: Henri Daniel Mayrargue and Eveline Bethsabée Lattès, the daughter of Israël-Vita Lattès and Marie Lattès gave birth to Jean Mayrargue.

1910: Birthdate of Josef Karlenboim who made Aliyah in 1930 and gained fame as Yosef Almogi, Israeli military, labor and political leaders.

1910: Birthdate of Leo Lionni who along with David Wiesner was one of the two most “influential children’s book illustrators of the twentieth century.” The Amsterdam native’s father was a Sephardic Jewish who worked in the diamond business.  His mother was a Christian.

1911: Birthdate of “Andor Lilienthal, the last of the original 27 chess grandmasters, who played 10 world champions and beat 6 of them…”

1912:  The Summer Olympics in which Abel Kiviat “won a silver medal in the 1500 meter race” opened today in Stockholm.

1913: Miss Ella Hartman was elected President of the Junior Auxilliary of the Mother’s Aid of the Chicago Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary which met at Temple Isaiah.

1913: The Chicago Association of Jewish Women is scheduled to meet in the Sinai Social Center where Mrs. Israel Cowen will be elected President.

1914: “There were strong indications today that Detective Will J. Burns will be detained under heavy bond as a material witness before the Grand Jury in its investigation of bribery charged made by the prosecution in the Leo Frank case against the defense whose method of obtaining affidavits to exonerate Frank of the murder of Mary Phagan and to convict Jim Conley of the crime have been called into question.”

1915: Today, Isidore Hershfield, the Director of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of America declared that “every Jew, man, woman and child in the Province of Kovno was expelled on twenty-four hours’ notice” with all of them fleeing west toward the battle front controlled by the Germans

1915: Birthdate of Emanuel Litvinoff, an English-born Jewish poet known for his scathing verse indictment of T. S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism — and for reading it before an audience that happened to include Eliot. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1915:  H.A. Alexander, Leo Frank’s local attorney said Louis Marshall’s decision to ask “the United States Supreme court to hand down without further delay the mandate in the Leo M. Frank case” was “a surprise” to him.

1915: During the Gallipoli campaign, during the fighting at Kritihia, Private Groushkowksy of the Zion Mule Corps “prevented his mules from stampeding under heavy bombardment and despite being wounded in both arms, delivered his load of ammunition for which he was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal.

1915: It was reported today from Constantinople, that “the most curious feature is the attitude of the Jews” in Turkey “who are in many ways the intellectuals.  Jewish influence has been enormous in Turkey and it has been said their Zionist aims had seriously undermined the loyalty of the Arabs.  Apparently however, Enver Pasha has decided Arab support is worth a great deal more than that of the Jews and various steps have been taken to force the Jews into a Turkish mold.  Jewish disaffection is no slight matter and it is more significant as Jewish influence had hitherto worked powerfully for Germany.”

1916: It was announced today “that $900 had been contributed by Bronx businessman towards that borough’s campaign to raise funds for the aid of “Jewish war sufferers”

1916: President Wilson appointed Jacob Jerome Steinfelder to serve as a lieutenant in the United States Army Medical Reserve Corps.

1917: At a mass meeting of Zionists held this evening, “Nathan Straus offered to defray the traveling expenses of all wishing to move to Palestine” but lack “means to do so.”

1917: At Cooper Union, during the first of a series of meetings “planned for the principal cities” in the United States “to crystalize Jewish sentiment on the subject of Zionism” Rabbi Stephen S. Wise declared that “the Jewish problem could be solved only Jews in a Jewish way, by the Jewish soul on Jewish soil.”

1917: “Jews in Palestine are threatened with a massacre, according to a cablegram received” in Chicago today “by Adolph Kraus, International President of the Order of B’nai B’rith from President Gilbert of the London” B’nai B’rith Lodge who appealed to Kraus to intervene with the American government.

1918: “The Bride’s Awakening” a silent drama directed by Robert Z. Leonard and produced by Carl Laemmle was released in the United States today.

1918: Jacob Schiff and Julius Rosenwald were among the speakers at the Belvedere in Baltimore where that city’s Jews were “launching a drive to raise its quote of $350,000 which was part of the $15,000,000 general war relief fund.”

1919: Birthdate of Samuel Abraham Goldblith, “an American food scientist” who studied malnutrition during World War II “and later was involved in food research important for space exploration.”  He died in 2001.

1919: Mrs. Joseph Hevesh is scheduled to read the prize winning story “My Father and I” at the annual meeting of the Council of Jewish Women at the Sinai Center in Chicago.

1920: Birthdate of Charles Hirsch Schneer, a native of Norfolk, Virginia who gained fame as a film producer most widely known for working with special effects pioneer, Ray Harryhausen. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1921: Birthdate of Poet and liturgist Ruth Brin

1921:  Birthdate of Arthur Leonard Schawlow winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics.

1921 (27th of Nisan, 5681): Fifty-six year old Austrian born  Alfred Hermann Fried  a leading pacifist, author, co-founder of the German peace movement one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911 passed away today

1921: Demobilized Jewish soldiers under the command of a Jewish officer were assigned to patrol duty in Tel Aviv as part of today’s efforts by General Deeds and Judge Norman Bentwich to restore order in Palestine.  Arabs, including Arab policemen, began rioting on May 1.  So far 27 Jews have been killed during the violence and another 150 have been wounded.

1926: Funeral rites are held at Temple Beth-El for businessman, philanthropist and diplomat Oscar Straus.

1927: In Manhattan, Anita Gerber and Irwin Rosen gave birth to Charles Welles Rosen “the pianist, polymath and author whose National Book Award-winning volume “The Classical Style” illuminated the enduring language of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1930: Birthdate of Barry M. Farber, the native of Baltimore who grew up in Greensboro, NC, attended the University of North Carolina before beginning a career as a conservative radio talk show “who Talkers magazine ranked as the 9th greatest radio talk show host of all time.”

1930: In St. Paul, MN, Belle and Albert Shaw gave birth to Stanford J. Shaw whose works include The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic and Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey's role in rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi persecution, 1933-1945

1933: In Budapest, Donald and Ilona Sass gave birth to Evelyn Erika Sass who as Evelyn Handler gained gamed as a cell biologist and the first women to serve as President of Brandeis University. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1933: In New York, Abraham Schneider, the President of Columbia Pictures, and his wife gave birth to Berton “Bert” Schneider the movie executive who “in 1975, received an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for producing Hearts and Minds, a documentary film about the Vietnam War.”

1933: Ludwig Kaas, who was in Rome at the behest of Cardinal Pacelli to negotiate a Concordat between Hitler and the Vatican, resigned his post as Chairman of the Centre Party one of the last political institution standing in the way of the Nazi’s complete control of Germany.

1934: In Cologne, Germany, Friedrich Carol von Oppenheim, a Righteous Among the Nations and his wife gave birth to Alfred Paul Ernst Freiherr von Oppenheim the “German billionaire and banker” “known in Americas Alfred Oppenheim, the husband of Jeanne von Oppenheim “with whom he had three children Victoria, Alexander and Christopher.”

1936: “A big fire” which was presumably started by arsonists “broke out today in Balfour Forest in northern Palestine destroying more than a thousand trees planted by the Jews.

1936: “The British High Commissioner, Sir Arthur G. Wauchope today met the Arab High Council and told them he was ‘confident none of you gentlemen associate yourself with…any illegal act” and advised them “that they immediately make it known that there not connected with” the violence surrounding the strike.

1936: Birthdate of Sanford Irving Beresofsky the native of Brooklyn who gained fame as comedian Sandy Baron.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish farmer, Haim Sober, 40, was attacked by Arabs while on his way home to Karkur and beaten with sticks to death.

1938: As Sigmund Freud's family members continued their departure from Vienna, his “sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, left for London” today a week before Martin Freud left for the British capital.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that an Arab watchmen employed by the Iraqi Petroleum Company was shot and killed in a Tiberias cafe, apparently because he was to serve as a witness in the court case against the Izza ed Din el Kassam Arab terrorist gang which murdered a Jew at Nahalal.

1939: U.S. premiere of “Lucky Night” a comedy directed by Norman Taurog.

1939: Birthdate of photographer Ryszard Horowitz, the native of Krakow who was shipped to a Nazi concentration at the age of four months, and at the age of five was one of the survivors of Auschwitz liberated by the Soviets.

1939: “Lucky Night,” a comedy directed by Norman Taurog was released in the United States today.

1939: “Rose of Washington” a musical “inspired by” the lives and marriage of Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein” directed by Gregory Ratoff featuring Al Jolson was released in the United States today.

1939: Sara Kucikowicz, the author of “The Cruel Winter” gave her tutor Shlomo Achituv “a photograph of herself, and on the back inscribed the following: “Shlomka, so you’ll remember me. Sara.” The portrait was made at the M. Glouberman photo studio at 12 Pilsudskiego St.” (As reported by JTA)

1939: The Nuremberg anti-Jewish laws went into effect in Hungary 

1939: Under newly enacted legislation first presented by ex-Prime Minister Bella Imredy two thirds of Hungary's Jews were denaturalized because they became citizens after 1914. Jews had to leave all government-related positions before the end of the year.

1940: “Dead Man’s Shoes” a British drama featuring Ludwig Stössel as “Doctor Breithaut” was released in the United Kingdom today.

1941: Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia after a five year exile brought about the Italian conquest of his kingdom.  This marked one of the early victories of the Allies over the fascists and thus was a turning point in World War II. The Emperor had spent part of his exile in Palestine where he was greeted warmly by the Jewish population

1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Lag B’Omer

1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Jewish teachers and educators in the Warsaw Ghetto created a special day for children, during which they were treated to games, plays, and special rations of sweets.

1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Prof. Jakob Edmund Speyer, a Jew from Frankfurt, Germany, who invented an important painkiller called Eukodal, died of exhaustion in the ghetto at Lodz, Poland

1943: The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto continued to hold out against the Nazis.

1943: Himmler visited the Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Soon thereafter 1,400 Jews were deported

1944: Birthdate of journalist and author Richard Bernstein

1944: Bruce Sundlun whose B-17 had been shot down on its 13th mission entered Switzerland after having made his way across France where he worked with the Maquis and where he would be recruited by spymaster Allen Dulles to work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) the forerunner of the CIA.

1944: Jacob Shapiro was sentenced to serve a sentence of 15 years to life after having been convicted of conspiracy and extortion.  He only served three years of the sentence since he died of a heart attack while in prison in 1947.

1944: The Jewish Exponent “was purchased by the Allied Jewish Appeal, a precursor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.


1945: Seventy-nine year old oriental language professor and amateur archeologist who climbed Mount Ararat “in search of Noah’s Ark” and who sold the clay tablet that became known as Plimpton 322 which provided a window into the world of Babylonian mathematics and linguistics passed away today.

1945: The presiding bishop of the German-Catholic bishops' conference instructs his priests to say a mass in Hitler's memory

1945:  After the commander of the bunker at Ebensee (prison) murdered all prisoners who had worked at the crematorium and the bunker, prisoners transported from Mauthausen, Austria, and Warsaw revolted at the labor camp at Ebensee, Austria. When they were ordered into a tunnel packed with explosives, they refused to budge, confusing the SS and Volksdeutsche guards, all of whom were mindful of the advancing Allies and the likelihood of war-crimes trials. The prisoners' defiance was successful and they were left unharmed. In the face of this defiance and out of fear for what might happen when the Allies arrive the Germans fled. As U.S. troops entered the camp, a brutal German Kapo (foreman) pleaded with inmates not to turn him over to the Americans as a war criminal. He was attacked by three Jewish boys and killed. Other Germans at Ebensee met similar fates.

1945: Victor Kugler, “one of the people who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family” came out hiding today after the Netherlands were liberated today.

1945: At 11:30 a.m. two American armored vehicles approached the camp gate Mauthansan and were admitted by the prisoners. The troops were from the U.S. 11th Armored Division the force that had liberated the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Austria. 110,000 survivors were found, including 28,000 Jews. Bodies of 10,000 inmates were discovered in a mass grave. In the days following liberation, more than 3000 inmates will die. The Americans did not have enough supplies to offer a fraction of these numbers. Foods such as candy, chocolate, milk and jams were too rich for the starving who still died as a result of malnutrition. One survivor, Sidney Fahn, weighed 80 pounds.

1945: Hollywood producer George Stevens who was working for the United States Army, filmed the first Jewish service at Dachau which was conducted Rabbi David Max Eichhorn, who was a chaplain with the United States Army.

1945: Louise Lawrence-Israëls was three years old when “Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam” today.

1945: Private Hershel Wright of the US Army gave oranges to starving survivors of the Wöbbelin concentration camp which had been liberated by the GI’s on May 2nd.

1945: The camp at Gusen, Austria, near Mauthausen, is liberated by the U.S. Army; 2000 inmates remain alive.

1945: The U.S. 71st Infantry Division liberates the camp at Gunskirchen, Austria, where 18,000 inmates remain alive. Hungarian author and journalist Geza Havas, force-marched to the camp from Mauthausen, died a few hours before the Americans arrive.

1945: “After a total of 12 months of imprisonment, including two months in the Melk an der Donau camp, Miklós Nyiszli and his fellow prisoners were liberated” today

1946: Birthdate of Chicago radio personality Eddie Schwartz.

1947: Members of Kibbutz Yakum (He Shall Rise) met to consider a name change.  They decided to keep the name

1948: A group of Jewish immigrant from Egypt founded Bror Hayil (selection of soldiers) a kibbuz in southern Israel near Sderot.

1949(6th of Iyar, 5709): Fifty year old Samuel Pesin, “an assistant corporation counsel” in Jersey City for the past 11 years, “a member of the John Marshall Law College,” a former President of Congregation Mount Sinai in Jersey City Heights and husband of Libby Pesin with whom he had two children – Edward and Ada – passed away today in Christ Hospital.

1950: “The Reformer and the Redhead” a comedy co-directed and co-produced by Melvin Frank who also co-authored the screenplay, featuring Marvin Kaplan and with music by David Raskin was released in the United States today.

1952: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Herman Wouk for the Caine Mutiny. Herman Wouk was born in New York City in 1915 into a Jewish family that had emigrated from Russia, and received an A.B. from Columbia University. During World War II, then joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater.  This experience would provide the background material for The Caine Mutiny.  If you ever see the film version of the book, there is a scene at the end where the officers of the U.S.S. Caine are celebrating during which one of the characters gives a speech that show real villain of the piece was an author who spent his time on the ship writing the great American War novel while it is a Jewish lawyer who champions the cause of the unsuspecting dupe who is being court-martialed  From a Jewish perspective, two of his most important works were This is My God: The Jewish Way of Life published in 1959 and The Will to Live on: The Resurgence of Jewish Heritage published in 2000.  According to at least one source Wouk decided that he would be an Observant Jew when he joined the Navy.  Reportedly, while he was in the service, Wouk donned tefillin daily before he davened on a daily basis.  The crew members thought that Mr. Wouk’s little black boxes gave them the edge during enemy attacks.  After the war, Wouk was something of an anomaly among Jewish intellectuals – a successful Jewish author who did not turn his back on being Jewish.

1952: Aba Houshy, Mayor of Haifa, leaves Israel to fly to New York City to makes speeches as part of the annual Israel Bond Drive.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Treasury expressed satisfaction at the public response to the compulsory property loan which could be converted into a tax. Out of 10,500 property owners, 7,700 choose to pay the tax.

1953: “The Juggler” a movie based on Michael Blankfort’s novel about a Holocaust who comes to Israel where it was filmed, produced by Stanley Kramer and starring Kirk Douglas was released in the United States today.

1954: Birthdate of David Azulai, the native of Morocco who made Aliyah in 1963 and developed a career in Israeli politics that climax with service as an MK. Azulai is an “alumnus” Zion Blumenthal Orphanage which founded near the Bukharim Quarter in 1900 by Rabbi Yochanan Blumenthal

1954: Birthdate of Dave Spector.  The Chicago native is one of the more visible foreign personalities (gaijin tarento) in Japan.

1955: In a move which frightened many of those who remembered the atrocities of Nazi German, “the full authority of a sovereign state was granted to the Federal Republic of Germany” which lead to the rebuilding of the Germany Army as a part of NATO.

1955: U.S. premiere of “Daddy Long-Legs” with a script by Henry and Phoebe Ephron.

1956(24th of Iyar, 5716): Fifty-four year old Miklós Nyiszli, the Jewish physician forced to work at Auschwitz passed away today in Romania.

1957: “He’s the Dean of Southern Rabbi’s “by William Hammack published in today’s Atlanta Constitution recounts the life of Rabbi Tobia Geffen, “the Coca Cola Rabbi.”

1958: Birthdate of “Lieutenant Colonel Ron Arad…an IAF fighter pilot and an Israeli Air Force weapon systems officer (WSO) who is officially classified as missing in action since October 1986, but widely presumed dead. Hezbollah claimed that Arad died during an escape attempt in May 1988. An Israeli secret military commission report claimed that Arad died of illness in 1995, and was buried in the Beqaa Valley.”

1959(27th of Nisan, 5719): Yom HaShoah

1964: In Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine Professor Roland Copé, a surgeon of Romanian Jewish origin, and Monique Ghanassia, of Algerian Jewish origin gave birth to French political leader Jean-François Copé

1965: In Washington, DC, “Jennifer Cafritz (née Stats) and real estate developer, Conrad Cafritz gave birth to punk rocker Julia Cafrtiz.

1967: In Sweden, Karin Tegmark and mathematician Harold Shaprio gave birth to cosmologist Max Erk Tegmark.

1969: Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for Armies of the Night, a recollection of his own experiences at the Washington peace rallies of 1968, during which he was jailed.

1970: Due to the ill health of the accused, the trial of Helmut Bischoff, the chief of security for the Nazi V-Weapons Program was suspended today and would not resume until 1974.

1972(21st of Iyar, 5732): Ninety-year old archaeologist Hetty Goldman passed away today.

1973: “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon,” “the third studio album by Paul Simon was released today.

1973: "Something So Right" a song by the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon was released today.

1975: In “Responsa: The Law as Seen by Rabbis for 1,000 years” Israel Shenker describes the role of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein whom he describes as “a court of last resort” for Orthodox Jews.

1976(5th of Iyar, 5736): Yom HaAtzma’ut

1976: “Baby Blue Marine” a WW II movie produced by Leonard Goldberg and Aaron Spelling was released in the United States.

1978: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today in Brooklyn for Solomon Berman, a C.P.A. who was the husband of Florence Berman with whom he had two children – Glenda and Robert.

1978: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for Bertha Hamada, the widow of the late Sam Hamada and the mother of Miriam Skolnik and Irving Hamada.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan said that Israeli Defense Forces must remain permanently in Judea and Samaria; Israelis should reserve the right to buy land and to settle in these territories, and should reserve the right of an unrestricted movement in the whole area.

1983: Chaim Herzog began serving as President of Israel, a position he would hold until the election of Ezer Weizman in 1993.

1984: Billy Cyrstal  hosted Saturday Night Live’s ninth season finale tonight prior to joining “the regular cast for the 1984-85 season.”

1985: Following a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Belsen, President Ronald Regan visits the Bitburg cemetery which contains the graves of 49 SS soldiers.  The visit had touch off a storm of controversy and protest.

1985: An additional 2,000-foot section of the ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem gained modern lighting. The segment may now be walked at night, in a leisurely half-hour, starting at the Zion Gate and ending at the Citadel of David. There, a small amphitheater has been constructed for a sound-and-light display.

1987: Henry Heinz Schwarz, the longtime opponent of apartheid and member of the opposition completed his service Shadow Minister of Finance.

1990: Eighty-nine year old screenwriter and producer Endre Bohem passed away today.

1990: NBC broadcast the final episode of season 5 of Golden Girls a sitcom created by Susan Harris, starring Beatrice Arthur and Estelle Getty, with music by Andrew Gold.

1991(21st of Iyar, 5751): Yuval Glick and Moshe Leshem were killed when their F-4 Phantom Jet crashed into Lake Tiberius.

1991(21st of Iyar, 5751): Eighty-seven year old Chaim Gross an Austrian born American sculptor passed away. (As reported by John T. McQuiston)

1994(24th of Iyar, 5754): Dutch architect Hein Salomonson architect passes away at the age of 83.

1994(24th of Iyar, 5754): Sixty-four year old Joe Layton, the dancer turned Choreographer and Director passed away today.

1995(5th of Iyar, 5755): Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik passed away.  Born in 1911, this Russian Jew was an International Chess Grandmaster and a long time World Champion.

1995: NBC broadcast the final episode for season number three of “Homicide: Life on the Street” co-starring Richard Belzer and Yaphet Kotto directed by Barry Levinson.

1996(16th of Iyar 5756): Ninety-four year old David Lasser, a socialist activist and driving force behind the drive to create rockets passed away today in Clafifornia.

1997(28th of Nisan, 5757): Yom HaShoah

1997(28th of Nisan, 5757): Eighty-one year old photojournalist David Scherman passed away today.  (As reported by Holcomb b. Noble)


1998: This 1960 production of Peter Pan, a musical created by Mark "Moose" Charlap, Jule Styne, Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green was released on VHS home video

1999: The National Science Board (NSB) has named Maxine Frank Singer, Ph.D., president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. to receive the 1999 Vannevar Bush Award for lifetime contributions to science and engineering. Singer will receive the Bush Award on May 5 in Washington, D.C. at a National Science Board awards ceremony.

2000: The Times of London features a review of Righteous Victims: A history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, 1881-1999 by Benny Morris and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab world since 1948 by Avi Shlaim.

2000: ABC broadcast the final episode of “Boy meets World” a sitcom starring Ben Savage.

2000: “Gladiator” a Roman Empire epic co-starring Joaquin Phoenix with music by Hans Zimmer was released in the United States today.

2002(23rd of Iyar, 5762): Eighty-five year old child actor turned movie director George Sidney passed away today.

2002: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth: Funerals for the Old World and the recently released paperback edition of Paradise Park by Allegra Goodman.

2002: Jack Lang completed his service as Education Minister of France.

2004: In “That Old Feeling: Hail, Harvey!” Richard Corliss remembers Harvey Kurtzman of Mad magazine fame who died in 1993.

2005: British Laborite Barbara Maureen Roche lost her seat as a Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green

2005: David Wright Miliband, the son of Jewish immigrants, is named Minister of State for Communities and Local Government by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

2006: “Hoot” a comedy based on a book of the same name starring Logan Lerman as “Roy A. Eberhardt” was released today in the United States.

2006: David Wright Miliband, the son of Jewish immigrants, named Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

2006: The New-York Historical Society named Doris Kearns Goodwin its American history laureate and  presented her with its inaugural $50,000 Book Prize for American history for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln a biography of the 16th president and his cabinet.

2006:  In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah celebrates the Confirmation of Vanessa Levi, daughter of Elizabeth and Shlomo Levi and Daniel DeClue, son of Carolyn and Rick DeClue.  These two bright, intelligent youngsters are living proof of the resiliency of the Jewish spirit in communities both large and small.  But more important than their intellectual accomplishments is the fact that these two are decent, caring human beings. It is fitting that their ceremony falls on the Shabbat when the Torah portion is Kedoshim since it reminds us that in the world of Jewish values “nice guys finish first.” 

2007: “The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend” opened at the Jewish Museum in New York City.

2007: As part of Jewish Heritage Month, The National Archives in Washington, D.C. presented a screening of An American Tail. The film is the story of the Mousekewitz family’s journey to America and of their young son, Fievel, who gets lost along the way. Landing in a bottle, Fievel washes ashore in New York Harbor where, determined to find his family, he comes face to face with the perils and opportunities of the New World. The film features the voices of Dom DeLuise, Christopher Plummer, and Madeline Kahn and is directed by Don Bluth.

2007: Running of the Kentucky Derby.  While it's not a well-known part of our Western mythology, the Jewish Hart brothers of Kentucky formed the Transylvania Company, bartering ten thousand pounds of merchandise with the Cherokee nation, in exchange for 20 million acres of land in Kentucky, according to Howard M. Sachar's "A History of the Jews in America." Yes, the Jews did give America most of Kentucky, with the help of their hired explorers Daniel Boone and his adopted Jewish son, Samuel Sanders. Another oddity is that in 1936 the Kentucky Derby was, in effect, a Jewish "sweep." Bold Venture was the winner, owned by Morton Schwartz, trained by Max Hirsch and ridden by Ira Hanford. All the human beings involved in this horse racing victory were Jews. Sometimes we suspect that Bold Venture was Jewish that day, too

2007(17th of Iyar, 5767): Seventy-nine year old Theodore Maimen, who demonstrated the first laser in 1960, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2008(30th of Nisan, 5768): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2008: “At approximately 2 a.m. Arizona time, the Hersh family’s original documents” which included documentation of the role that Hungarian immigrant and grocery store owner Joseph Abraham Hersh had in the creation of the Kosher Wine Industry, were destroyed and lost forever

2008(30th of Nisan, 5768): Irv Robbins, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, passed away. Robbins reportedly cashed in a $6,000 insurance policy given him for his bar Mitzvah in 1945 to start his first ice cream store.

2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “Growing Up Jewish in Baghdad” in which acclaimed novelist, essayist and critic Naim Kattan shares his personal history of growing up Jewish in Baghdad in the 1940s. Kattan draws a portrait of a cosmopolitan place where the Jewish community had flourished for more than 2,500 years, alongside Christians and Muslims—a sharp contrast to the present-day city whose uncertain future is now intricately tied to our own.

2008: Time magazine published excerpts from the diary of Rutka Laskier in article entitled “Poland’s Anne Frank.” Rutka Laskier lived in Bedzin, Poland, with her parents, grandmother and brother. Her journal, covering four months in 1943, provides a rare glimpse of the daily life of Jews under Nazi rule. The diary was found after World War II by a friend--who kept it to herself for 60 years before allowing it to be published, initially in Polish, in 2006.  The English language version of the diary is being published under the title Rutka’s Notebook: A Voice from the Holocaust.

2008: Israel's Reform Jews dedicated the first non-Orthodox synagogue to receive state funding on Monday, after a long court battle that accented the rift among streams of Judaism in Israel. The Reform Yozma congregation fought for the better part of a decade for state funding equivalent to what Orthodox congregations receive. After arguing their case twice before the Supreme Court, they got what they wanted: a prefabricated, two-room building on a plot of land in the center of Modiin, a new town between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. "This is a substantial step in recognizing different streams of Judaism in the state of Israel," said Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, who leads the 240-family congregation.

2008: The Jerusalem Center for Ethics hosts a conference on The Limits of the Autonomy of a Patient at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem.

2009: Leora Tanenbaum, author of “Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality,” takes part in an interfaith dialogue at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

2009: As part of his first U.S. tour in 15 years, famed Canadian Jewish singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen performs in Chicago.

2009: Just in time for today’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations Martin Silver, a New York businessman, is launching Agave 99 the new kosher tequila. Silver, president of Long Island-based Star Industries, says he wants to satisfy the craze for high-end tequila with one that observant Jews can drink. Silver says a half million cases of the 99-proof kosher tequila are being produced at a Mexican plant using methods certified by a rabbi. It will retail for $41.95 a bottle. Although the official product launch - with Mexican songs sung in both Yiddish and Spanish - is set for May 5, it was already on sale at Passover time.

2009: The Annual AIPAC Policy Conference comes to an end in Washington, D.C.

2009: Today, the Transportation Ministry sent a letter to British airline BMI’s chief executive officer in Britain demanding an explanation as to why the only reference to Israel on the map is the Arabic word for Haifa.

2009: During his visit to the United States, President Peres is scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House.

2010: Nathan J. Brown, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled The Impact of the Breakup of the Ottoman Empire and Future Middle East Politics at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of the Capitol Area and Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Center.

2010: A documentary entitled “9 Years Later” is scheduled to be shown at the Sheba Festival at the JCC in Manhattan.

2010: The Limmud FSU Nobel 2010 festival this week honored 26 Jewish scientists and political leaders who originated in Israel, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union and who were awarded the Nobel Prize.

2010: The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies dedicated its Legacy Heritage Building in south Tel Aviv’s picturesque Neveh Zedek neighborhood. The Schechter Institute is a non-profit organization of the Conservative Movement dedicated to the advancement of pluralistic Jewish education in Israel.

2011: The Leo Baeck Institute and the recently founded Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College are scheduled to present a panel on German-Jewish immigration to New York City.

2011: “Barbara Dobkin, Jewish feminist philanthropist and the Founding Chair of the Jewish Women’s Archive, received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Graduation at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York”.

2011: American actor Liev Schreiber will be honored with the Achievement in Film Award, at the 25th Israel Film Festival (IFF) which begins tonight in New York City


2011: B’nai B’rith will award its first accolade honoring Jews who risked their lives to save their brethren during World War II today. Alan Schneider, director of B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, said the newly created Citation of Jewish Rescue was aimed at recognizing the heroism of Jews, often unappreciated in historical research.“It’s an award that is going to Jews who went beyond the call of duty to rescue other Jews during the Holocaust,” he said. “It’s part of an activity we’ve been doing for 10 years to study the phenomenon of Jews saving Jews, an issue not researched enough or at all, especially in relation to the research done on the murder of Jews and, of course, righteous gentiles which have been recognized in the tens of thousands. But often they could not have saved Jews without the help of other Jews.” In its inaugural year, the Citation of Jewish Rescue will be awarded to the descendants of the late Yehoshua and Henny Birenbaum, a Jewish couple who took care of dozens of orphans during and after the war. The Birenbaums survived being interned at Bergen-Belsen, where the father of the family was put in charge of looking after 50 young children. After the war the couple made aliya together with their children and orphans they had adopted. The citation will be given to the deceased couple’s family at a joint ceremony with the Jewish National Fund held at Martyrs Forest outside Jerusalem.

2011: Today is the deadline for the world’s first green-certified synagogue, Congregation Beth David in San Luis Obispo, Calif., to raise $1.3 million if it is to avoid foreclosure by the bank to which it owes the money.

2011: Seth Front is scheduled to present “A Culinary History of the Jews in America” a “45-minute interactive presentation that tells the history of the Jewish deli in America, from its origins on the Lower East Side to the turn of the 20th century, its adaptation to American tastes, its assimilation into mainstream American culture and finally to the challenges facing delis for survival in the 21st century’” at the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati, Ohio.

2011; Editor and author Benjamin Taylor is scheduled to offer a first-hand perspective on "Saul Bellows: Letters" (Viking, 2010), a never-before published collection of letters by the Nobel Prize in Literature winner, that spans eight decades and has been called "magnificent" by the New York Times at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.

2011: As part of the Jewish Perspectives on Social Justice Seminar Dr. Claire Katz is scheduled to facilitate a program entitled "...for they know precisely what they do...": Memory, Forgiveness and the Stranger” at the University of Denver in Denver, CO.

2011(1st of Iyar, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

2011: The Nazi war crimes trial of a 97-year-old man began in Hungary today. Sandor Kepiro, listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as the world's most wanted Nazi, was charged with taking part in raids on the Serbian town of Novi Sad in 1942, in which 1,200 Jews, Serbs and Roma were killed. Kepiro is also suspected of involvement in the deaths of 36 others who were rounded up and shot on the Danube River's banks. Kepiro said he is "completely innocent" and called the trial a "circus" as her arrived at court, BBC reported. The Simon Wiesenthal Center tracked Kepiro down in Budapest in 2006. He had been convicted of Nazi war crimes in Hungary in 1944, but fled to Argentina. The Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, attended the trial.

2011: All flights leaving Ben Gurion Airport were stopped today, due to a problem with the airport's gas supply. The gas was found to be contaminated. The airports authority said: "We have instructed the manager of Ben Gurion airport to stop filling gas in the airport's planes." Some incoming flights from foreign airlines stopped in airports in Cyrus and Greece.

2011(1st of Iyar 5771): Arthur Laurents, the director, playwright and screenwriter who wrote such enduring stage musicals as “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” as well as the movie classics “Rope” and “The Way We Were,” died today from complications of pneumonia at the age of 93.

2012: Israeli author Etgar Keret is scheduled to appear at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature

2012: Temple Judah continues a weekend long celebration of its 90th Anniversary with a congregation-wide gala dinner-dance.

2012: “In Movies, specifically Hollywood movies, are the greatest machinery of propaganda the world has ever known” published today Emmy award winning Yeshiva graduate Robert J. Avrech provided his view of the role of cinema in American society.

2013: The curtain came down on “Big Fish,” Andrew Lippa’s “newest musical” which had premiered in April at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago the month before.

2013: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present the Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series: Spring Concert 2013

2013: Hadassah sponsors “Walks To Defeat Neuromuscular Diseases” in Wheaton, Maryland.

2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host a Walking Tour of Arlington National Cemetery that will include a visit to the new Jewish Chaplains Memorial.

2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Vera Gran: The Accused by Agata Tusznska and Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East by David Rohde.

2013: Israel decided this afternoon to close its airspace in the North to civilian air traffic following alleged Israeli air strikes on Syria in the past 48 hours.

2013: Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon's Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying today

2013: Israel is working on joining an anti-Iran defense alliance with a number of moderate Arab states that would involve sharing Jerusalem’s newly developed anti-missile technologies, a British newspaper reported today.

2014(5th of Iyar) Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day)

2014: Forty-eight year old Jeremy Nemerov, the son of “former poet laureate Howard Nemerov” and brother of David and Alexander Nemerov, died today at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO.

2014 “The Ceremony” and “No Place on Earth” are scheduled to be shown at the 16th annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival

2014: “The Garden of Eden / Gan Eden” is scheduled to be shown at the 22nd Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Jewish Woman’s Archives is scheduled to celebrate its 18th anniversary by honoring Gail Twersky Reimer and other Jewish Troublemakers.

2014: In Rotterdam, “an exhibit called ‘The Second World War in 100 Objects’ which marbles that Anne Frank had given to her friend Toosje Kupers in 1942, is scheduled to come to a close at the Kunsthal Art Gallery.

2014: The 2014 Open Jewish Houses initiative in the Netherlands is scheduled to come to an end today.

2014: Outfielder and future major leaguer Kevin Pillar “was named International Player of the Week” today.

2014: “Millions of Israelis stood still in solemn silence this morning as sirens wailed throughout the country for two full minutes to mark Memorial Day and to commemorate the 23,169 fallen soldiers and 2,495 terror victims who have fallen throughout the history of the State of Israel and the Zionist movement. (As reported by Adiv Sterman)

2014; “Hadas Ragolsky, an executive producer at Channel 2 news, spends Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) where many of her fellow Israelis do: at the cemetery.

2014: A U.S. Congressional delegation that includes US Reps. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Sam Farr and Barbara Lee of California and Gregory Meeks of New York met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez after having met with Alan Gross a Jewish- American government subcontractor who is serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba.

2014: “Israel crossed over from mourning to celebration tonight, as Memorial Day came to a close at sundown and Israel’s 66th Independence Day began.

2015: Dr. Lee R. Mandel is scheduled to present “The Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Wrath of God Campaign” at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.

2015: A memorial service for David Goldberg, the founder of Survey Monkey and husband of Sheryl Sandberg, “was held at Stanford Memorial Auditorium on the campus of Stanford University.

2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a panel of historians including the daughter of James G. McDonald are scheduled to discuss the materials found in To the Gates of Jerusalem: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, “a member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, charged with finding solutions to both the problems of Jewish refugees at the end of World War II and to the resolution of British Mandate Palestine.”

2015: The exhibition “Three Years, Eight Months, and Twenty Days: The Cambodian Atrocities and the Search for Justice” co-sponsored by The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to open today.

2015: “The body of Or Asraf, the Israeli backpacker killed in the earthquake in Nepal last month, landed in Israel today after being discovered in the Langtang district of the Himalayas.

2015: Today “the James Beard Foundation awarded Israeli-born chef Alon Shaya with America’s top food prize, naming him Best Chef in the southern region for 2015, following three consecutive years he had been nominated as a finalist in the category but ultimately failed to win the prestigious award.”

2015: The Jewish Children’s Regional Service is scheduled to take part in today’s Greater New Orleans Foundation’s 2015 GiveNOLA Day

2015: Professor Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon is scheduled to present “It’s a Family Affari – Yours, Mine, Ours!” at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

2015: “Baghdad Twist,” a documentary about the disappearance of the Iraq Jewish Community, is scheduled to be shown at the Library of Congress as part of Jewish American Heritage Month.

2016(27th of Nisan, 5776): Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah; "Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day.

2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education and the Intergroup Outreach Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland are scheduled to sponsor s special program at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland where leaders from throughout the region will read from a list of names provided by Yad Vashem of Israel’s Holocaust Research Center

2016: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host a Yom HaShoah commemoration program that “will include a candle lighting by Survivors and their descendants, Kaddish, and El Malei Rachamim chanted by cantorial soloist Adam Davis of Congregation Sukkat Shalom.”

2016: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to host a conversation between Marion Kaplan and Peter Schrag about the latter’s last work, When Europe Was a Prison Camp – Father and Son Memoirs, 1940-1941.

2017: In a cross cultural experience, the 92nd Street is scheduled to host a Cico de Mayo celebration.

2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a Shabbat dinner follow Kabbalat Shabbat.

2018: The publication of The East End in Color 1960 by David Granick is scheduled to coincide with the end of “an exhibition of previously unseen photographs by David Granick which depict Stepney, Mile End, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Limehouse and the Thames riverside in the warm hues of Kodachrome film.”

2018: Shlomo Bar and HaBreira HaTivit are scheduled to perform at the Noctorno Café in Jerusalem this aevening.

2018: “Promise at Dawn” and “Simon and Theodore” are scheduled to be shown at the 26th Toronto Jewish Film Festival this evening.

2018: “Itzhak” a biopic about the world famous violinist is scheduled to open at the Avon Cinema in Stamford, CT.

2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled Shacrit followed by Lunch and Seudah.

2018(20th of Iyar, 5778): Parashat Emor; for more see




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