Monday, July 30, 2018

This Day, July 31, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

July 31

904: Thessaloniki, which is also known as Salonica, is sacked and looted by Saracens (an Arab group).  The Jewish population of Thessaloniki dates back at least to the first century of the Common Era.  By the time Benjamin of Tudela visited the city in the 11th century the Jewish population numbered a significant “hundred souls.”  Salonica’s Jewish population would grow when the Ottomans made it a refuge for Sephardic Jews following their expulsion in 1492.

1009:  Pope Sergius IV becomes the 142nd pope, succeeding Pope John XVIII. During the Papacy of Sergius, the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. There was a two-fold response in the West. Sergius issued a papal bull calling for Islam to be driven from the Holy Land and the Jews were attacked because rumors were circulated blaming them for inciting the Caliph to destroy the church.

1255: An English boy who would become known as Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln disappeared setting the stage for the one of the more notorious blood libels in English history.

1305: In Barcelona it is decreed that anybody who reads works of science and metaphysics before the age of 25 or who adheres to allegorical interpretations which rject the notion of revelation will be excommunicated.

1390: Solomon Halevi converts and takes the name of Pablo de Santa Maria.  He became the Bishop of Burgos and Chancellor to the King of Castille.

1391: Joshua Loki wrote to Pablo de Santa Maria, known as Solomon Halevi before he converted, rejecting Pablo’s interpretation of the messianic role of Jesus.  Lorki would convert ten years later and become a leading tormentor of the Jewish people.

1492: The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.

1527: Birthdate of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor. “In his diary entries, Maximilien described the Jews as a quarrelsome and deceitful people who denounced one another, gave usurious loans to miners and artisans and traded in inferior medals.  Between 1567 and 1573 the emperor repeatedly issued mandates to expel Jews” from Lower Austria.

1556:  Ignatius Loyola, Spanish priest and founder of the Jesuits passed away. When accused of being crypto-Jew or having Jewish ancestry he replied If only I did! What could be more glorious than to be of the same blood as the Apostles, the Blessed Virgin, and our Lord Himself?" Robert Maryks, “an expert on the history of early Jesuits details the significant role of “conversos’’ — Jews and their descendants who were pressured to convert to Catholicism before and during the Spanish Inquisition in his recently published book, The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews: Jesuits of Jewish Ancestry and Purity-of-Blood Laws in the Early Society of Jesus  

1571: The ghetto in Florence, Italy was established.

1610: Paul V issued “Apostolicae Servitutis ,” a papal bull concerning the need for monks to learn Hebrew.

1725: During the reign of Charles VI, an imperial order fixed the number of registered Jewish families in Moravia at 5,106 and threatened any locality which accepted Jews where they had not been previously settled with a fine of 1,000 ducats. (As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library)

1743(10th of Av, 5503: In Jerusalem, Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar,Talmudist and Kabbalist passed away. He was buried on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. Born at Mequenez, Morocco in 1696 he was one of the most prominent rabbis in Morocco. In 1733 he decided to leave his native country and settle in the Land of Israel, then under the Ottoman Empire. En route he was detained in Livorno by the rich members of the Jewish community who established a yeshiva for him. Many of his pupils later became prominent and furnished him with funds to print his “Ohr ha-Chaim” or “The Light of Life,” a commentary on the Pentateuch. He was received with great honor wherever he traveled. This was due to his extensive knowledge, keen intellect and extraordinary piety. In the middle of 1742 he arrived in Jerusalem where he presided at the Beit Midrash Knesset Yisrael. One of his disciples there was Rabbi Chaim Joseph David Azulai, who wrote of his master's greatness: "Attar's heart pulsated with Talmud; he uprooted mountains like a resistless torrent; his holiness was that of an angel of the Lord ... having severed all connection with the affairs of this world. A prolific author, two of his other published works were “Hefetz Hashem or “God’s Desire,” consisting of dissertations on four Talmudic treatises and “Peri Toar” or “Beautiful Fruit,” a novella based on the Shulchan Aruch.

1776(15th of Av, 5536): Francis Salvador, one of the most prominent Jews of the American Revolutionary period, , was shot and scalped by Indians after riding 28 miles to raise a militia after attacks occurred on settlers. His father (also named Francis Salvador) was a wealthy London Jew who financed the earliest Jewish settlers of Savannah, Georgia

1781(9th of Av, 5541): Tish’a B’Av

1800(9th of Av, 5560): Tish’a B’av observed for the first time in the 19th century.

1806: In Baltimore, MD, Jacob Myers of Georgetown, SC, married Miriam Etting the daughter of prominent Jewish merchant Solomon Etting.

1821: Lazarus Magnus, the son of Simon Magnus and the husband of Sarah Moses, passed away today in Chatham, Kent, England.

1838(9th of Av, 5598): Tish’a B’Av

1840(1st of Av, 5600): Rosh Chodesh Av

1840(1st of Av, 5600): Nachman Kohen Krochmal, one of “the first Jewish historians to treat Jewish history as an integral part of all human history” passed away.  A native of Brody, Galicia, one of his most famous works was Moreh Nebuke ha-Zeman (Guide for the Perplexed of the Time).

1841; The Ouse Valley Viaduct which had been designed in part by David Mocatta, was opened and in use.

1845: In Great Britain, Parliament passes the Act for the relief of Persons of the Jewish Religion elected to Municipal Offices.

1854: Birthdate of Fritz Hommel author of Ancient Hebrew Tradition in which “he attacked the Graf Wellhausen hypothesis” and “controverts the method deployed by the higher critics of the Old Testament.”

1856:  Christchurch New Zealand is chartered as a city. According to Robert Case, the first Jews settled in Christchurch during the 1850’s. By 1860, there were fewer than four hundred Jews living in all of New Zealand.    Although the Jewish Community of Christchurch has always been a small one, it built a synagogue in 1890.  Today the Christchurch’s Canterburgy Hebrew Congregation consists of a synagogue, Temple Beth-El that offers regular Shabbat services as well as cheder classes, Bar and Bat Mitzvah training, conversion support, holiday services and a variety of social activities. It is also home to the South Island chapter of Habonim Dror and the Christchurch Council of Jewish Women. The community also has a Chevra Kedisha and Chabad House.

1859(29th of Tammuz, 5619): Eighty-six year old Isaac Katzenelnbogen, the husband of Fanny Neuburg, passed away at Furth today.

1861: Philadelphian David A. Barnett began serving with the 99th Regiment who reached the rank Corporal in Company B before dying in 1863 from wounds he suffered earlier at the Battle of Kelly’s Ford in Virginia.

1863(15th Av, 5623): In the wake of a month that saw the bloodies battle of the Civil War and the horror of the Draft Riots, Jews mark a moment dedicated to love.

1870: In the wake of the reported massacre of Jews in Romania, letters have been received in Washington, DC that states that Article 21 of the new constitution guarantees freedom of conscience to all.  These letters claim that the 400,000 Jews in Romania have 176 synagogues in which they “worship in the manner prescribed by their religion.”   The letters conclude by asking if religious persecution really existed why would the Jews be allowed to have so many synagogues which they are free to use

1876: “Jonathan Manly Emanuel,” a son of English born physician Manly Emanuel, who had joined the U.S. Navy in 1862 during the Civil War began serving Tuscarora which was “running a line of sounds for a submarine cable from San Francisco to Yokomama.”

1878(1st of Av, 5638): Rosh Chodesh Av

1878(1st of Av, 5638): Abraham Benisch, the native of Bohemia who was editor of The Jewish Chronicle and helped to form the Anglo-Jewish Association who was a “Zionist” before Herzl, passed away.

1878: In Paris, Siegfried Propper and Bertha Propper, the daughter of Kalmus and Pauline Levy gave birth to Michel Propper, the brother of Georges Propper.

1878: Birthdate of philanthropist and child-welfare activist Madeleine Borg. Borg, who lived her whole life in New York City, was educated at Columbia University, where she studied the causes of juvenile delinquency. Subsequently, she held leadership positions in more than a dozen major child welfare organizations. Her roles included chair of the executive committee of the Jewish Board of Guardians of New York, director of the Child Welfare League, member of the executive committee of the Girls' Service League of America, and trustee of the Training School for Jewish Social Work. She also served on the executive boards of the American Jewish Committee and the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York. Borg's largest contribution to child welfare was probably her role in founding the Big Sister movement, beginning in 1912. Modeled on earlier Big Brother programs targeted at troubled boys, Big Sister programs provide young girls with role models and companions. In 1914, Borg was among the founders of the Jewish Big Sisters, which sought to help poor and troubled girls by providing them with role models from a similar ethnic and cultural background. Today, Jewish Big Brothers/Big Sisters programs also match adults with disabilities with non-disabled friends. Always interested in child welfare, Borg was also active in promoting psychiatric clinics as part of the study of child behavior. In 1954, the Jewish Board of Guardians renamed its Child Guidance Institute in Borg's honor. Borg's public roles also extended beyond child welfare and beyond the Jewish community. In 1929, then-Governor Franklin Roosevelt appointed her to the New York State Old Age Pensions Committee; she also served on the executive committee of the New York City Crime Prevention Bureau. In 1939, she became a trustee of the New York World's Fair. Also in 1939, she became president of the New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the first woman to hold that post. Borg died on January 9, 1956.

1881: It was reported today that the English publishers of the late Lord Beaconsfield’s works are about to issue a new edition of his works called the “Hughenden Edition.”  Surprise has also been expressed that so many of the Disraeli’s possessions have been sold instead of being preserved as family mementoes.

1881: It was reported today after receiving payments from “wealthy Jewish capitalists,” the Sultan has agreed to allow a Jewish colony to be established on 1,500 acre tract in the districts of Gilead and Moab.

1881: “Jews In Russia” published today said that Jews in Russia were not hated because they are richer than their Christian counterparts.  The Jews are hated because they do not practice the vices of the gentile counterparts.  “If the Jews would only get drunk and spend their money recklessly, there would be very little temptation to persecute them.”

1882: “Russian Persecutions” published today, relying on information that first appeared in the London Telegraph described the conditions of the Jews in Kiev where the “persecution by the population” has been replaced by “legal proceedings” that are “less noisy” but even crueler and more effective in persecuting the Jews.

1882: Rishon Lezion or First For Zion was founded by a group of 10 families in Eretz Israel. The settlement marked the beginning of the first Aliyah (going up) to Eretz- Israel, and the beginning of Rothschild’s deep involvement with settlement activities. Later that year, Baron Edmund De Rothschild in response to the Russian pogroms and a plea by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever agreed to help the new Moshava

1882: Eliezer Ben-Yedhuda, the “father of modern Hebrew” and his wife gave birth to Ben-Zion Ben-Yehuda

1882: Today’s review of National Religions and Universal Religions, a collection of lectures by Dr. Abraham Kuenen the Dutch theologian teaching at the University of Lyden, states that “the finest part of the lectures is the analysis of early Jewish religion under the prophets.”

1883: Jewish leaders met in Baltimore, MD, tonight in response to a request for funds to support an agricultural colony of approximately 60 Russian Jewish immigrants at Middlesex, Va.  They were being asked to raise $200 per month to meet the pressing needs of the colonists.  (The settlement at Middlesex was part of an effort to settle Jews away from the major eastern cities in the United States.  These colonies would be found in South America and Canada as well as in the rural United States.)

1884: Samuel Barnett, a Polish Jew, was arraigned before Justice Welde on multiple charges of theft and burglary.  Barnett immediately pleaded guilty to at least one of the charges.  His wife, who had been arrested as an accomplice, was released.  Many of the victims of Barnett’s criminal activities came to the police station looking for their possessions among the many items that had been seized at Barnett’s home at 136 Orchard Street.  This would have put him in close proximity to 97 Orchard Street, the tenement made famous by Jane Ziegleman in her book by that name.

1885: Memorial services were held this evening B’nai Jeshurun in New York City to mark the passing of Sir Moses Motefiore who had died in England on July 28.  Rabbis Henry S. Jacobs and Alexander Kohut delivered the eulogies.  At the end of his remarks, Rabbi Jacobs said, “He conquered prejudice not by yielding to it, but by rising far superior to its pettiness, like the other hero whose loss America is mourning today.” (This closing comment was in reference to President U.S. Grant who had passed away on July 23.  This positive comparison between this larger than life Jewish leader and Grant is further evidence that the Jews of his time did not consider him an anti-Semite.)

1887(10th of Av, 5647): Tish’a B’Av observed since the 9th fell on Shabbat.

1887: “Diamonds and Vulgarity” published today describes the increasing presence of Jewish families and their friends at the New Jersey resort city of Long Branch.

1888: Birthdate of Baltimore native C. Irving Latz, “the president of the Wolf-Dessauer Department Store in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1889: The Sanitarium for Hebrew Children’s fifth free excursion which was paid for entirely by Isaac Stern is will from a pier at the foot of the 5th Street and the East River.

1889: During today’s session of the House Commons, Sir James Fergusson responded to reports that the Russian government intends to enforce the anti-Jewish edicts of 1882. According to the British Charge de Affaires at St. Petersburg, the government is not considering any “fresh measures” aimed at denying the Jews “any of the privileges they now enjoy.” (This begged the question since enforcing edicts from 1882 might not be considered as “fresh measures)

1890: “Persecuting the Jews” published today provided a summary of the edicts  now being enforced which state  that prohibit Jews from owning mining stocks or working in mines; allow Jews to live in only 16 provinces; debar Jews from government posts and serving as officers in the military; prohibits Jews from practicing law, medicine or engineering and “entering any other professions.

1890: It was reported today that Russian government hopes that enforcing the anti-Jewish edicts promulgated in 1882 will force one million Jews to leave the country. (This is a contemporary reference to the Czar’s “one third; one third; one third” policy under which one third of the Jews would convert, one third would leave and one third would die)

1891: “Persecution of Jews” published today provided “harrowing stories…of the extremely unjust laws in force against the Jews” and “the general atrocities practiced upon” them “by the Russian soldiers.” “Any Russian Christian…, who wishes to possess himself of the property of a Jewish neighbor, can obtain it by paying one-tenth of its value to the Mayor or government representative.”

1891: In Washington, DC, Acting Secretary of State William F. Wharton asserted that the Department of State does not have any information regarding any new edicts issued by the Russian government aimed at depriving the Jews of their rights.

1891: A private letter received in Washington “from Moscow asserts that things are worse than ever in Russia” for the Jews.

1891: “A dispatch was received in Wall Street from London” today stating that  Messrs. C. J. Hambro & Son of that City” has “been appointed bankers to the Russian Government” replacing the Rothschilds who have been their bankers for years.

1892: “Still Persecuting The Jews In Russia” published today described the fate the Jews who have been expelled from Moscow.  Many of these families “had resided in Moscow a long time” and had been given a year to get out.  In the end, they were not able to sell their homes and businesses and they were “unable to get a penny of compensation for their splendid synagogue…which while they were to sell at once.”

1892: In the period starting with June 28 and ending today, 93 mothers and children were admitted for treatment at the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children. The sanitarium cannot keep up with demand since “more applications for admission are being received than can be accommodated.”

1893: During the Panic of 1893, there was a run on several New York financial institutions including the Dry Dock Savings Bank on the Bowery, most of whose depositors are Russian Jews.  Today $41,000 was withdrawn and only $14,000 was deposited.

1893: Birthdate of Ali Levin, the native of Russia who migrated to the United States in 1911, joined the Jewish Legion in Toronto, served with 38th Royal Fusiliers in Palestine and eventually made Aliyah in 1955 joining his two daughters – one who lived at Gesher Haziv and the other who lived at Urim.

1893: During a stop in New York, Dionysius Latas, a leading Greek archbishop told reporters “he intends to oppose the persecution of Jews” in his homeland.

1894: Abraham Levy is the lawyer for Jeremiah J. Levy, the Jewish policeman whose case is being heard by a jury, some of whose members are also Jewish.

1894: “Seventy-five little sewing school children held their closing celebration at the roof garden of the Hebrew Institute at East Broadway and Jefferson Street where they enjoyed a generous supply of ice cream.

1895: Colonel George Waring, Jr. a leading sanitary engineer and civic reformer met with 2,000 children at the Hebrew Institute, most of whom were poor and spoke little English.  Waring “told them what children had done and could do for the cleanliness of the city.

1895: In Brownsville, the striking tailors issued a manifesto countering the one issued by the contractors written in Hebrew asking the landlords “to have no mercy on the strikers” who cannot pay their rent.

1895: Tobacco magnate, Sir Albert Levy, the founder of Adrath Tobacco Co. “registered the trademark Adrath in Ireland” today.

1897: “Rabbinical Excommunication” published today relied on information that first appeared in The American Hebrew described a response by rabbis in Jerusalem to aggressive Christian attempts to gain converts among the city’s Jews.  Any Jew supplying their institutions with Kosher meat will have to deal with the threat of “cherem.”

1897: Victor Joze has dedicated “his new book entitled La Tribu d’Isidore,  “the first volume of a series of historical novels about a Jewish family to Emile Zola, the defender of Dreyfus.

1898(12th of Av, 5658): Fifty-three year old New York realtor and clothing merchant who came to the United States from Germany at the age of 22 passed away at his country home in Forest, PA.

1898(12th of Av, 5658): Fifty-five year old Samuel Firuski, who had spent 22 years as an auctioneer in Brooklyn and was a member of Temple Israel in Brooklyn, passed away today at Pavilion Hotel in Sharon Spring

1898: Samuel Gompers arrived in Springfield, Illinois where he planned to attend the upcoming state convention of the American Federation of Labor.  Mr. Gompers spoke out against the condition of workers in the territories recently annexed after the Spanish American War; specifically he demanded that slave labor be stamped out there in and in Hawaii.

1899: Birthdate of New York native and “advertising executive Lawrence Valenstein” who on the day after his 18th birthday founded Grey Advertising Agency and who married Alice Starr with whom he had two children – John and Linda.

1899:”What Paris Talks About” published today described the French reaction “to the sudden death from apoplexy of Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild…the sister of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild, head of the French branch of the family and the first cousin of…Lord Rothschild,” head of the English branch of the family. The loss was felt even more by the artistic community than the financial community.  In her younger days she “showed real talent as a watercolorist.”  Later in life she bought the paintings of many “modern painters” before they gained fame as an act of generosity.

1900: Herzl leaves Altaussee and travels to Luzern, Paris and London.  The trip will take a toll on his health and he will be ill by the he gets to London on August 7.

1902: “Riot Mars Funeral of Rabbi Joseph” published today descried the outbreak of violence that occurred when the procession of mourners for the Grand Rabbi passed by the R. Hoe & Co. The workers who were at lunch began jeering,  threw buckets of water and finally bombarded the Jews with “paper saturated with oil, bits of iron, small blocks of wood and other missiles” which caused a violent reaction.

1902: It was reported today Julius Weber had not been clubbed to death by police as originally claimed but was in fact being cared for by friends living on Suffolk Street after having been seriously injured during the near riot that had broken out during the funeral procession carrying Rabbi Joseph to his final resting place.

1902(26th of Tammuz, 5662): Seventy-two year old Benjamin Szold passed away.  Born in Hungary in 1829, he came to the United States in 1859 to serve as the first rabbi at Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore.  While he accomplished a great deal serving in this capacity, his greatest claim to fame may be that he was the father of Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah.

1904: The Assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua Society is scheduled to end today in Atlantic City, NJ.

1905: Sir Herbert Stern was created a Baronet, of Strawberry Hill in the Parish of Twickenham and County of Middlesex, in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom today.

1906(9th of Av, 5666):Tish'a B'Av

1906: In Austria, thirty-eight year old Siegfried Reginald Wolf and his wife Ida gave birth to Franz Karl Wolf.

1908: Birthdate of New York City native Jack H. Fields, the “President of Garden State Prints” and the “founder of the Free Sons of Israel’s scholarship fund.”

1910: In New Jersey, the first issue of the Newark Wochenblatt, a Yiddish weekly, was published today.

1912: Birthdate of newspaper and Chicago literary institution Irv Kupcinet.

1912: “The Jewish Socialist Federation came into formal existence” today.

1912(17th of Av, 5672): Fifty-one year old Alphonse Weiner who had been appointed a school commissioner in 1910 passed away today in New York

1912: In Brooklyn, “Sára Ethel (née Landau) and Jenő Saul Friedman,Jewish immigrants from Beregszász in Carpathian Ruthenia, Kingdom of Hungary (now Berehove in Ukraine)” who “worked as dry goods merchants gave birth to Nobel Prize winning economist and Federal Reserve Chairman Milton Friedman.

1914: Fifty-four year old Jean Jaurès who was “one of the most energetic defenders of Alfred Dreyfus” was assassinated today by a French nationalist today.

1914: In Vesoul, Haute-Saône, France Albert Samuel and Hélène Falk gave birth to Raymond Samuel who would gain fame as French Resistance leader Raymond Aubrac.

1914: German Jewish industrialist Walter Rathenau published an article in the Berliner Tageblatt protesting Germany’s blind loyalty to Austria; a loyalty which he felt was leading to a great European war.  

1915: In Brooklyn, Benjamin Aptheker, a successful manufacturer of women's underwear, and Rebecca Komar Aptheker gave birth to their fifth and youngest child Herbert Aptheker the Marxist historian and husband “Fay Philippa Aptheker, his first cousin.”  (As reported by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt)

1916: In Hackney, London, Eva (née Kosky) and Mark Tafler gave birth to character actor Sydney Tafler best known may for his performances in “The Lavendar Hill Mob” and the James Bond thrill “The Spy Who Loved Me” who was the husband of actress Joy Shelton with whom he had three children – Jeremy, Jonathan and Jennifer.

1917: The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres where Monty Moss, a buyer for Moss Bros. which had been founded by his grandfather Moses and was now being run by his father George was killed and Canadian Myer Tutzer Cohen, “a lieutenant in the Black Watch” would win the Military Cross for Bravery, began today.

1917: “A large party of American Consuls and missionaries from Turkey, Asia Minor and Palestine” arrived in Berne, Switzerland including H.H. Dick and Ottis A. Glazebook, the Counsel at Jerusalem who said “that about sixty American missionaries and ninety American Jews started for the West” at the same time he had and were “well treated by the Turkish and Austrian authorities during the journey.”

1917: “The East Side Business Men’s Association gave a dinner” tonight in honor of “Borough President Marcus Marks…which was attended by 500 members and their guests” among whom Rabbi Alexander Lyons of Brooklyn and Samuel Goldstein, President of the Federation of Rumanian Jews – both of whom addressed the attendees.

1918: Joseph Schlossberg, General Secretary Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and Abraham Epstein, President Workmen's Circle were among the leaders of a meeting of a Conference of Trade Unions, Branches of the Workmen's Circle, and other Progressive Labor Organizations of Greater New York scheduled to be held be held in Webster Hall, 119 East 11th Street, for the purpose of organizing the workers into a permanent central body for aiding all persons prosecuted who are in need of help, and of arousing public opinion against the further suppression of constitutional rights and liberties.  The Conference will be held under the auspices of the Liberty Defense Union, and has been endorsed by the United Hebrews Trades and the National Executive Committee of the Workmen's Circle.

1918: A Russian wireless message received in London today announced that “the Soviet Government at Moscow has issued a decree against anti-Semitism.”

1919: Birthdate of the Italian-Jewish writer and chemist Primo Levi. Levi spent time fighting with Partisans during the war and survived Auschwitz. These experiences provided much of the material for his writings. He passed away in 1987. (We do not have the space to do his work justice and you are urged to read any of his several works which are available in English.)

1921: In London, “British-born Harold Solomon and Russian-born Flora Beneson gave birth to Peter James Henry Solomon who gained fame as Peter Benenson the found of Amnesty International.

1923: Birthdate of Boston native Maurice Cerier who rose to serve as the “United Jewish Appeal’s assistant vice president for major gifts” before his death in 1985 at the age of 62.

1923: Birthdate of Richard Schifter, a native of Vienna who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs from 1985 to 1992.  Schifter was a member of unique WW II intelligence unit known as the Ritchie Boys.

1923: In Montreal, Alton Goldbloom and Annie Ballon gave birth to Victor Charles Goldbloom who served as Minster of the Environment and CEO of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews.

1923: A Hebrew version of Verdi’s “Traviata” was performed in Jerusalem this evening.  The performance was described as “brilliant.”  The Hebrew version of the opera had previously been performed in Tel Aviv.

1924: In Jerusalem, Benaya Abba Shaul and Iranian born shoemaker and Torah scholar Eliyahu Shaul gave birth to Ben Zion Abba Shaul, “the rosh yeshiva of Porat Yosef Yeshiva.”

1926: Birthdate of Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, the self-described Jewish atheist who converted to Roman Catholicism.  Nathanson was “a campaigner for abortion rights who, after experiencing a change of heart in the 1970s became a prominent opponent of abortion and the on-screen narrator of the anti-abortion film “The Silent Scream.” (As reported by William Grimes)

1926: In Strasbourg, journalist Bernard Klieger and his wife gave birth to Noah Klieger, the Auschwitz survivor, agent for Mossad LeAliyah Bet and “the doyen of Israeli sports journalism” who also used his literary skills to tell the tale of the Shoah.

1928: When MGM introduces its first “talkie,” “White Shadows on the South Seas” the famed Lion Logo makes its first appearance.  With so many Jews involved in MGM, including Harry Rapf, Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer and Nicholas Schenck one might wonder if the choice of the Lion was subtle reference to the Lion of Judah. 

1928: Bobbie Rosenfeld won the silver medal in the 100-meter race, though many spectators thought she had actually finished first.

1931(18th of Av, 5683): “Israel Alexander Symmons,” the son of Samuel Symmons, “who was appointed a Metropolitan Police Magistrate in 1911” making him “the first and only Jewish magistrate in London” passed away today.

1932: National elections were held in Germany and the Nazi Party won 230 seats in the Reichstag.

1933: By now, approximately 30,000 people are interned in Nazi concentration camps.

1933: In the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester Alexander Bluestein, “a kitchen equipment salesman” and his wife Edith Gropman Bluestein gave birth to Janice Bluestein who after graduating from college “married her childhood sweetheart, Daniel T. (Dan) Longone” and became Jan Langone the 2000 winner of the “Food Arts Silver Spoon Award for her work in uncovering and preserving American culinary history.”

1934 Today,: Jesse I. Straus, who had already given one fourth of his Macy’s stock because of the increase in federal estate taxes, “revised his 1933 will to remove list of gifs to 18 educational and charitable institutions because “the present Federal and State estate tax laws impose substantially increased tax burdens upon the estates of decedents and may under certain conditions cause undue hardship and financial sacrifice and loss resulting from untimely sale and liquidation of assets of estates to provide for the payment of such taxes.”

1934: Birthdate of Stanley Edwin “Stan” Daniels, the native of Toronto who “won eight Emmy Awards for his work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Taxi.”

1936: Birthdate of Uzi Yari, the Ramat Gan native who rose to be a “brigade commander during the Yom Kippur War” and was killed while leading “the elite Israeli army commando unit Sayeret Matkal” as freed hostages taken by terrorists at Tel Aviv’s Savoy Hotel.

1936(12th of Av, 5696): Rabbi Moses Simon Sivitz, renowned Jewish historian died in Montefiore Hospital ... He also wrote five books on Moses after years of research.

1936: “An abortive plot to put typhoid germs in milk delivered to Jews was charged to the Black Legion today” in Detroit, Michigan.

1936: The Palestine Post reported from London that the newly-appointed Royal Commission was expected to arrive in Palestine in October. Meanwhile a new wave of Arab rioting spread towards Tiberias where many Jews were compelled to leave the Old City. There were assaults, arson, and stone-throwing. The Arab police and the British authorities dealt with the rioters in a diffident and condoning manner.

1937: A fight broke out between Gentiles and Jews on the beach at Coney Island “when an unidentified man wearing a lumber-jacket began parading along the beach carry a placed in red which read: ‘No Jews or Dogs Allowed on Beach.’”

1938(3rd of Av, 5698): Seventy year old Vilna native Leon Zolotkoff, the “former editor of the Jewish Daily News of New York, one time assistant district of Cook County and founder of the Chicago Jewish Courier” who was an early and ardent Zionist and the husband of the late Fannie Zolotkoff with whom he had four children, “Julia, Sydney, Hyman and Albert – passed away today in Amityville, L.I.


1938: “There were 120 civil marriages at Vienna City Hall” today including many brides “who have had to leave their Jewish employment with a compulsory gratuity” consisting of at least a month’s wages, “which with their savings make for an attractive dowry” but will not do anything to find them new jobs.

1938: Joseph Buerckel, the Commissioner for Austria, issued an order today stating “that the principles of the Nuremberg laws are to exclusively be applied to all dealings with Jews…”

1939: Isadore Breslau, the Zionist leadership's chief representative in Washington, wrote a letter showing  that former Associate Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis actively supported Aliyah in defiance of British policy as outlined in the May 1939 White Paper that severely limited the immigration of Jews to then British-run Palestine. The letter reveals that the widely respected jurist, who had just retired after nearly a quarter century on the court, held views on Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel that were in direct opposition to those of the British government, the Roosevelt administration and mainstream American Jewish groups and leaders."Speaking on the question of the immigration he [Brandeis] said that Jews would continue to immigrate regardless of the White Paper," the letter written by Isadore Breslau reads. "When someone suggested that it was illegal, he said that the Jewish people considered it legal in view of the fact that any attempt to curtail immigration was in violation of the terms of the Mandate; that it may be considered illegal by Great Britain, but that we Jews considered it to be legal."

1940: According to The Olkusz Memorial book “a German police unit arrived in Olkusz” today and gathered all the Jewish men in the main square. There the Jews were forced to lie on the ground while the policemen and members of the SD “registered them”. During this process, the Germans brutally beat the Jews, shooting one of them. In order to further humiliate them, Rabbi Moshe Yitzhak Hagerman was forced to don his tallith (prayer shawl) and tefillin (phylacteries) that had been defiled, and to stand barefoot and pray next to the prostrate men of the Jewish community. At the end of the day, the Jews were permitted to return home, and the Germans left. Due to the beatings suffered by the Jews, the event was subsequently referred to as ‘Bloody Wednesday’”. (For a photo see  )

1941: The Nazis officially undertook The Final Solution. Hermann Goring instructs SS Reich Security Service chief Reinhardt Heydrich by letter "to carry out all the necessary preparations with regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence." - That influence now covered a dozen countries. - "I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan... for the execution of the intended FINAL SOLUTION of the Jewish question."

1942:  Governor Wilhelm Kube reports to Hinrich Lohse, Reichskommissar of the Baltic regions and Belorussia, that "Jewry has been completely eliminated" in the Minsk area.  According to Kube ‘16,000 Jews were liquidated in Lida, 8,000 in Slonim.’  In the previous ten weeks, 55,000 Jews have been liquidated.

1942 (17th of Av, 5702):  Bluma Rozenfeld, 19, leaps to her death from a fifth-floor window in the Lódz (Poland) Ghetto.

1942: Israel Lichtenstein writes from the Warsaw Ghetto: "At present, together with me, both of us get ready to meet and receive death. I wish my little daughter to be remembered. Margalith, twenty months old today....I don't lament my own life nor that of my wife. I pity only the so little, nice and talented girl. She deserves to be remembered."

1942 (17th of Av, 5702):  German SS troops gassed 1,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia

1942: In what was the first reference to Dan Schoor in FBI files, on this date FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover "asked the chief of the Special War Policies Unit for more information on Schoor's status as a 'representative of a foreign principal' because he was employed as a correspondent for the Netherland Indies News Agency.  During the Red Scare of the 1950's "Hoover told the CIA director that the bureau had looked over Schoor's background and had kept information on this travels to 'Iron Curtain Countries.'"  Is it possible that Hoover did not know that Schoor was the Moscow correspondent for CBS news which would have meant he traveled for Iron Curtain countries?  Ironically, the Soviets expelled him because they did not approve of his news gathering work.

1944: The hull of the Liberty ship "Benjamin Peixotto" was laid down today.  The ship is named for the 19th century Jewish leader.

1944(11th of Av, 5704): Eighteen year old Leendert Kleerekoper died at Auschwitz today.  He was the son of Gerrit Kleerekoper, the coach of the of the Dutch ladies’ gymnastics team, which won the Olympic title in Amsterdam in 1928.  The coach, his wife and his 14 year old daughter had already been gassed.

On the exact same day at the exact same place, Kleerekoper, born February 15, 1897, also died together with his wife, Kaatje, and their 14-year-old daughter Elisabeth. His 18-year-old son Leendert died at Auschwitz on July 31, 1944.

1944: Among 1300 Jews deported from Drancy, France (northwest of Paris), to Auschwitz are 258 Jewish orphans seized in and around Paris on July 24. Upon arrival at the camp, all 500 children and 300 adults are gassed. This is the last transport of Jews from the Drancy camp to Auschwitz. In total, 73,853 Jews have been shipped from Drancy to their deaths at Auschwitz and Sobibór.

1944: As Western troops moved forward to Paris, a last train departed with over 300 deported Jewish children.

 1944: After have been transferred to the Special Operations Branch of the OSS, today, Aaron E. Bank “led the Jedburgh Team PACKARD, parachuting into Lozère Department of France and linking up with French Resistance.”

1944: Three thousand Jews were transported from the labor camp at Blizyn to Birkenau where over 500 are gassed to death upon their arrival

1944: By the end of July, French Jew Maurice Löwenberg, founder of the National Liberation Movement resistance group, is tortured to death by the Gestapo.

1944: By the end of July 46,000 Jewish inmates are gassed and cremated at Auschwitz.

1944: Ships carrying the Jewish population of Rhodes arrived at the port of Piraeus and the Jews were immediately shipped to the concentration camp at Haidari in suburban Athens where the Red Cross would not be allowed to supply them food and water.  

1944: By the end of July SS General Richard Baer had become the new Auschwitz commandant.

1945: French collaborationist politician Pierre Laval is arrested in Austria.  Laval was the driving force behind the Vichy Government which was so supportive of the Final Solution that it often delivered Jews “ahead of schedule.”


1945: Birthdate of Rabbi Michael Berenbaum, the native of Newark, NJ, who has served as Deputy Director of the President's Commission on the Holocaust, Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Director of the USHMM's Holocaust Research Institute and whose books included The World Must Know, Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp

1946: An Anglo-American committee jointly chaired by Henry Grady, an assistant secretary of state and Herbert Morrison, a British Labor Party leader published the Morrison-Grady plan which proposed a British dominated trusteeship that would “supervise separate Jewish and Arab provinces.”  The British loved it because it kept them in power.  The Arabs and the Jews rejected it for the same reason.

1946: In Los Angeles, CA, Patti Lewis (née Esther Calonico) and Jerry Lewis gave birth to Gary Harold Lee Levitch who was the leader of a pop/rock band “Gary Lewis and the Playboys” and who appeared in a couple of his father’s films.

1947: In reprisal for the execution of Avshalom Haviv, Yaakov Weisss and Meir Nakar, the Irgun killed two British sergeants whom they were holding captive.  “Following the death of the two sergeants and the publicity surrounding it, the British public demanded that the troops be brought home.  In Palestine, several Jews were murdered by British soldiers as a counter-reprisal.

1947(14th of Ave, 5707): Sixty-seven year old art historian and collector Léonce Rosenberg who was a leading figure in the world of Modern Art before WW II passed away today.

1948: Harry Dexter White, “the youngest child of Jewish Lithuanian immigrants” was accused today before the House Committee on Un-American Activities of having “been involved in espionage activities on behalf of the Soviet Union during World War II and had passed sensitive Treasury documents to Soviet agents.”

1948: Leo Nomis reported to Modi Alon at Herzliya preparatory to flying with 101 Squadron.

1950: In New Rochelle, NY, Sydney Mitchell, the chief executive officer and partial owner of a furniture manufacturing company in Manhattan and for forty years the president of Beth El Synagogue in New Rochelle” and Cecile Mitchell, “an administrator at the New York Institute of Technology gave birth to Arthur Mitchell a “Canadian politician, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Yukon” and brother of newscaster Andrea Mitchell.

1951:  The Jerusalem Post reported on most orderly elections to the Second Knesset. According to this newspaper's fifth successive edition which appeared at 6 a.m. Mapai won 42.23 per cent of the vote, Mapam 19.18, General Zionists 13.47, Hapoel Hamizrahi 7.37, Progressives 5.33, Herut 4.22, Poalei Aguda 1.49, Communists 1.36, Mizrahi 1.11, Aguda 1.07. The rest was split among smaller parties, which couldn't get even 1 percent of the vote to be eligible for a Knesset seat. [Editor's note: The Israelis use a system of proportional representation which works a strong two-party electoral system.  This system encourages all kinds of splintering, factionalism and gives disproportionate power to minor, but cohesive, groups.  This concept was so entrenched the Israeli psyche that not even David Ben Gurion could overcome it.]

1952: Birthdate of Faye Kellerman the St. Louis native who trained to be a dentist but fortunately for us became one of the finest mystery writers of the 20th century.

1952: It was reported today that Yiddish actress Weintraub, the widow of Sigmund Weintraub, is survived by her son Milton Weintraub and her daughters Pearl Weintraub and Mrs. Frances Weintraub Lax.

1952: “Ivanhoe” a cinematic treatment of the novel that includes the tale of Isaac York and his daughter Rebecca produced by Pandro S. Berman was released in the United States today by MGM.

1953: Today, the Jewish Chronicle “said there were 4,000 Jewish servicemen and women serving in the Allied Forces in Korea,” most of whom were Americans.

1954: Mary Clawson, an American living in Jerusalem, watches as Arabs began “shooting over to this (the Jewish) side and after waiting a brief time to investigate to be sure the shooting was not just a trigger-happy Legionnaire, the Jewish side returned the fire.”

1954: A raid led by Meir Har-Zion that takes the unit to the area around Jenin begins.

1956: “Storm Center” a film that took on the twin topics of Communism and censorship at the height of the McCarthy period directed by Daniel Taradash who wrote the script and with film tile sequences created by Saul Bass was released in the United States today.

1960(7th of Av, 5720): Seventy-year old Philip B. Perlman who “became the first Jewish U.S Solicitor General” when Harry Truman appointed him to the position in 1947 passed away today.

1960(7th of Av, 5720):Fifty-three year old Helen Misener the Greenwich (UK) daughter of a Polish born Jew whose acting career included appearing in “A Night to Remember” and starring in a 1939 staging of “Night Must Fall” which produced “for the benefit of deportees on the German-Polish border” passed away today.

1960(7th of Av, 5720): Seventy-two year old Ette Levy passed away today after which she was buried in the “cemetery donated by Samuel Myers Hyams to the Society of Israelites in Natchitoches, LA.”

1960: Gary Lewis, the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, turned fourteen today and received a set of drums which would be his instrument of choice when he formed his band “Gary Lewis & the Playboys.”

1961(18th of Av, 5721): Forty-nine year old Croatian opera star and Holocaust survivor Zdenka Rubinstein, the wife of Bartold Rubinstein died today succumbing to the effects of Parkinson disease.

1961: The one millionth Oleh since the establishment of the Jewish State arrived in Israel.

1963: United Kingdom premiere of “Cleopatra,” co-starring Elizabeth Taylor and Martin Landau, produced by Walter Wagner, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and with a screenplay co-authored by Ben Hecht and Joseph L. Mankeiwicz.

1968: “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” starring Alan Arkin was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1968(6th of Av, 5728): Eighty-two year old retired furniture company president Isidor Teitlebaum, “an honorary vice president of the American Jewish Congress” and “former trustee of Temple Adath Israel in the Bronx” who was married to “the former Seiler” with whom he had one son – J. Lloyd Teitelbam  -- passed away today.

1968: “5 Card Stud” a western film featuring Yaphet Kotto as Little George was released in the United States today Paramount Pictures.

1970: In Finland, premiere of “Getting Straight” a comedy starring Elliot Gould, featuring Jeannie Berlin and John Rubinstein, the son of concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein.

1970: Norwegian General Odd Bull completes his term as Chief of Staff United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).  His thirteen year term included the Six Day War.

1970: “Move” a comedy directed by Stuart Rosenberg, produced by Pandro S. Berman, starring Elliot Gould, with music by Marvin Hamlisch was released today in the United States by 20th Century Fox.

1971(9th of Av, 5731): Parashat Devarim; Shabbat Chazon; No fast because it is Shabbat.

1972: Premiere of “Greaser’s Palace,” starring Allan Arbus

1981: The New York Times reported that Israelis were stunned and startled by U.S. anger following an Israeli air attack on Beirut.  Government officials in Jerusalem are hoping that their adherence to the Lebanon cease-fire arrangement will be seen in Washington as a gesture of good will to American interests.

1981: Morton I. Abramowitz completed this three years of service as U.S. Ambassador to Thailand

1983: Jewish golfer Corey Pavin won the Lufthansa German Open.

1985: Three people were injured in a terrorist bombing at Haifa.

1986: Eighty-six year old Chiune Sugihara passed away.  While servicing as Vice Council for Japan in Lithuania he defied his government and issued transit visas to thousands of Jews allowing them to escape the clutches of the Holocaust.

1987: ''Portraits of an Era: Photographs by Irv Kline,'' an exhibition that is part of the Jewish East End Celebration is scheduled to come to a close today.

1987: “The Lost Boys” a comedic horror film directed by Joel Schumacher, produced by Harvey Bernhard and starring Corey Feldman, Jami Getz and Corey Haim was released today in the United States.

1987(5th of Av, 5747): Eighty-four year old Justine Wise Polier, the Portland, OR, daughter of Rabbi Stephen Wise a co-founder of the American Jewish Congress and the NAACP, the graduate of Radcliffe and Yale Law School who served as Judge on New York’s family Court, passed away today.

1987(5th of Av, 5747): Eighty-one year old movie producer Joseph E. Levine who had a hand in bringing over 500 films to the American screen passed away today. (As reported by Nan Robertson)

1987: The third congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies organized by Professor Peter Schafter under the Presidency of Professor Arnold Goldberg came to an end at Scholoss Glienicke, Germany.

1988: Dr. Joanna Lisa Fine, a child psychiatrist, and Stephen Michael Harnik, a lawyer, who graduated together from the Dalton School in 1971 were married today at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. Jerome Raik, the president of Ansche Chesed Congregation in Manhattan, officiated.

1990(9th of Av, 5750):Tish'a B'Av

1991: “Hot Shots” a comedy directed by Jim Abrahams who co-authored the script was released in the United States today.

1992(1st of Av, 5752): Rosh Chodesh Av

1994(23rd of Av, 5754): Ninety-four year old Karola Bloch, the anti-Stalinist communist and wife Ernst Bloch passed away today.

1996(15th of Av, 5756): Tu B’Av

1998: One person was injured today when a terrorist threw a bomb at a truck in North Jerusalem.

1998: BASEketball a comedy directed by David Zucker who co-produced and co-wrote the script and co-starring Matt Stone and featuring Al Michaels was released today in the United States by Universal Pictures.

2000: In a vote of 63 to 57, the Knesset chose Moshe Katsav to serve as President of Israel in a race against the favorite, Shimon Peres.

2001: David G. Littman “organized a Parallel NGO Conference during the 53rd session of the UN Sub-Commission (Sponsor: AWE) on the subject of: Racism: Antisemitism / anti-Zionism and Genocidal Hate” which stood in stark contact to the anti-Semitic Conference in Durban.

2002(22nd of Av, 5762): A bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans.

2003: The Israeli Knesset enacted the Nationality and Entry Into Israel Law, prohibiting any residency or citizenship status to Palestinians who live in the territories and are married to Israeli citizens.  The law was initiated in the midst of the second intifada by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as an anti-terrorist measure.  The law would become the subject matter of 2008 documentary "Just Married."

2006: As of today Kenny G (Kenneth Bruce Gorelick) had sold 48 million albums in the United States.

2006: Funeral services are held at Temple B’nai Torah for Pamela Waechter, 58, who was killed in Friday's shooting at the Seattle offices of the Jewish Federation by an American Muslim.

2007: In Jerusalem, the Israeli Wine-Tasting Festival, a celebration of wine tasting from the best vineyards in Israel takes place at the Israel Museum.

2007(16th of Av, 5767): Ninety-two year old British historian Norman Cohn whose works included Warrant for Genocide  and who was the husband of Verio Broido, the daughter of Russian Jews and the father of writer Nik Cohn passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2007: Today, Jack Lebewohl announced that the Second Avenue Deli, home of the world’s greatest kosher meat knishes and tongue sandwiches, would reopen at a new location in the fall of 2007.

2008(28th of Tammuz, 5768): Eighty-nine year old Harold Rosen, the graduate of University College in London, U.S. Army veteran and “academic” at London University’s Institute of Education who was the husband of Connie Isakofsky with whom he had three children – Brian, Alan and Michael – passed away today.

2008: Solomon "Momy" Levy began serving as Mayor of Gibraltar.

2008: At the Boston Public Library, the photographic exhibit, “Kids with Cameras: Beyond the Walls” sponsored by the Zionist House/Israel Cultural Central and the Consulate General of Israel to New England, comes to a close.

2009: Opening of The National Parks and Nature Authority’s fifth annual Outdoor Acoustic Music Festival in Ein Hemed, a beautiful nature reserve just 10 minutes from Jerusalem. Each performer at this year’s festival will dedicate at least one song to the Earth, in order to promote environmental awareness.

 2009: In Jerusalem, Ohad Chitman takes the stage at Hama'abada, playing an acoustic show featuring the best hits from his two albums and from the third album on the way.

2009: In Brooklyn, as part of Bargemusic at Fulton’s Landing Yoed Nir is the featured performer in “World of Cello” The Six Bach Suites for Solo Cello and Beyond, Part 1

2009: U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to extend sanctions against Syria, despite positive signs of progress in the relationship between the two nations, a White House statement said today

2009: Two brothers were arrested early this morning in connection with the shooting attack on disgraced soccer star Felix Halfon, who was seriously wounded when he was shot outside a Tel Aviv night club hours earlier.

2009: Mark Polansky, “the commander of the STS-127 mission” “returned to Earth with his crew” today.

2010: A screening of Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story is scheduled to take place at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2010: Ryan “Kalish was promoted to the Red Sox from the minor league team in Pawtucket.”

2010: This morning the IDF confirmed that the Air Force hit several Hamas-linked targets in Gaza overnight.

2010: The ninth congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies under the presidency of Professor Mauro Perania came to a close at Ravenna.

2010(20th of Av, 5770): Ninety-nine year old Mitch Miller, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who played a major role in the world of popular music and was best known for his “Sing A Long With Mitch” television show, passed away today. (As reported by Richard Severo)

2011: Standing Silent and An Encounter with Simone Weil ,Julia Haslett’s documentary that looks at  the life of French philosopher Simone Weil, one of the great thinkers of the 20th century, who was raised by a secular Jewish family and lived during the rise of Fascism in Europe,  are scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2011: Members of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community are scheduled to celebrate “Faith and Family Day At The Ballpark” as they watch the Cedar Rapids Kernels play the Beloit Snappers

2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Are You Serious? How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of Silly by Lee Siegel and Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany by Frederick Taylor.

2011: The government will absorb the higher cost of gasoline in August, after Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz bowed to pressure from National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau today and signed a directive cutting the excise tax by an amount equal to the price rise. The price of self-service 95 octane gasoline was due to rise at midnight by NIS 0.31 per liter to NIS 7.53, just short of the record of NIS 7.62 set in May. Instead, it will remain at NIS 7.22, effective until the end of August.

2011: Both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US ambassador designate Dan Shapiro tried their hands at outreach today, with Netanyahu broadcasting a Ramadan message to Israeli Arabs and Muslims around the world, and Shapiro launching a Facebook page to interact with the Israeli public.  

2012: “Mazel Tov! A Celebration of Jewish Weddings” is scheduled to come to a close at the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee.

2012: As it prepares to move to its new location, Agudas Achim is scheduled to officially vacate its downtown Iowa City location.

2012” “God’s Fiddler” is scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Robin B. Jacobson, Director of Library Services, Adas Israel Congregation is scheduled to lead a discussion of Nemesis by Philip Roth sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

2012: Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi sent a missive to President Shimon Peres, wishing stability and security for all of the region's nations, including Israel.  

2012: Israel's Alice Schlesinger lost in the finals of the under 63kg Judo competition at the London Olympics today, falling to France's Gevrise Emane after losing to Slovenia's Urska Zolnir in the quarterfinals. Earlier on today, Schlesinger had defeated Austria's Hilde Drexler to advance to the quarterfinals.

2012: Aly Raisman, a Jewish American, won the floor exercise in helping the U.S. women's team to the gold medal in the gymnastics competition at the London Olympics. The Americans today won their first team gold medal in women's gymnastics since the Atlanta Games in 1996, finishing with 183.596 points to defeat Russia (178.530) and Romania (176.414).

2013: “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco” is scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The President of the United States “formally nominated Noah Mamet” a Spanish speaking member of the National Jewish Democratic Council to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina.

2013: “When Comedy Went To School” is scheduled to open at the JCC in Manhattan.

2013: Leslie Cohen Berlowitz is scheduled to resign as President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences today after she was accused of embellishing her resume with a spurious doctoral degree.(As reported by Todd Wallack in the Boston Globe)

2013: Two controversial bills aimed at enabling the government to function better cleared a hurdle when they passed their first reading tonight in a stormy session of the parliament.(As reported by Gil Hoffman)

2013: HUC announced the decision to have Rabbi Aaron Panken succed Rabbi David Ellison as president of The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform movement’s rabbinical school. Read more:

2014: The Washington Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to host “Coen Brothers Trivia Night.”

2014; “Ten days after her husband was killed in battle by Hamas gunmen inside the Israeli border with Gaza, Galaitu Kshaun, the widow of Warrant Officer Bayhesain Kshaun, 39, gave birth to a baby girl early today. (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)

2014: As Ilia Salita became tne new CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group Michael Fridman, co-founder of Genesis Philanthropy Group released a statement today that said “We are confident that Genesis Philanthropy Group’s management team under the leadership of Ilia Salita will expand and deepen the organization’s impact on Russian-speaking Jewish communities around the world,” (As reported by JTA and Times of Israel)

2014: As anti-Semitic tensions mount a demonstration called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions took place in front of synagogue in Lyon, France.

2014: This evening U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry jointly announced that an unconditional 72 hour cease fire between Israel and Hamas is scheduled to go into effect tomorrow morning. (As reported by JTA)

2015: Michael Slive is scheduled to retire as Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

2015: Today, the Associated Press “published a follow-up story reporting that Germany had ‘shelved’ their Nazi war crimes investigation citing that” “a former Nazi commander named Michael Karkoc who led SS units that had been at the scene of “burning villages filled with men and women” as well as “the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, in which the Nazis brutally suppressed a Polish rebellion against German occupation” was not fit for trial.”

2015(15th of Av, 5775): Seventy-five year old author and critic Alan Cheuse passed away today in San Jose, CA.  (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2015(15th of Av, 5775): The 15th Day of Av, is both an ancient and modern holiday. Originally a post-biblical day of joy, it served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women in the second Temple period (before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.). Tu B'Av was almost unnoticed in the Jewish calendar for many centuries but it has been rejuvenated in recent decades, especially in the modern state of Israel. In its modern incarnation it is gradually becoming a Hebrew-Jewish Day of Love, slightly resembling Valentine's Day in English-speaking countries. There is no way to know exactly how early Tu B'Av began. The first mention of this date is in the Mishnah (compiled and edited in the end of the second century), where Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is quoted saying, "There were no better (i.e. happier) days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Israel/Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What were they saying: Young man, consider whom you choose (to be your wife)…"( Taanit, Chapter 4). The Gemara (the later, interpretive layer of the Talmud) attempts to find the origin of this date as a special joyous day, and offers several explanations. One of them is that on this day the Biblical "tribes of Israel were permitted to mingle with each other," namely: to marry women from other tribes (Talmud, Taanit 30b). This explanation is somewhat surprising, since nowhere in the Bible is there a prohibition on "intermarriage" among the 12 tribes of Israel. This Talmudic source probably is alluding to a story in the book of Judges (chapter 21): After a civil war between the tribe of Benjamin and other Israelite tribes, the tribes vowed not to intermarry with men of the tribe of Benjamin. It should be noted that Tu B'Av, like several Jewish holidays (Passover, Sukkot, Tu Bishvat) begins on the night between the 14th and 15th day of the Hebrew month, since this is the night of a full moon in our lunar calendar. Linking the night of a full moon with romance, love, and fertility is not uncommon in ancient cultures. For almost 19 centuries--between the destruction of Jerusalem and the re-establishment of Jewish independence in the state of Israel in 1948--the only commemoration of Tu B'Av was that the Morning Prayer service did not include the penitence prayer (Tahanun). In recent decades Israeli civil culture promotes festivals of singing and dancing on the night of Tu B'Av. The entertainment and beauty industries work overtime on this date. It has no formal legal status as a holiday-- it is a regular workday--nor has the Israeli rabbinate initiated any addition to the liturgy or called for the introduction of any ancient religious practices. The cultural gap between Israeli secular society and the Orthodox rabbinate makes it unlikely that these two will find a common denominator in the celebration of this ancient/modern holiday in the foreseeable future.

2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, VT.

2015: The Museum of Jewish Heritage are scheduled to host SLOW/DOWN/TOWN, “a pre-Shabbat party.”

2016: “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” a pop-up exhibition from Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) “that weaves together America’s favorite pastime and national identity with the story of American Jewish immigration and integration” is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Save Israel by Uri Bar-Joseph and City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan, “a thriller set in Post-World War II Jerusalem.
2016: An exhibition which is a companion to New York’s Yiddish Theatre: From Bowery to Broadway by Professor Edna Nahshon at the Museum of the City of New York presented by “the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the National Yiddish Book Center and the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene, in association with the Museum of Jewish Heritage” is scheduled to come to a close today.

2016: The final performance of “Redder Blood” co-produced by The Hub Theatre and the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginias billed as the “Best New Jewish Play of 2016” is scheduled to take place tonight

2016: “IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot landed in the United States today to meet with members of the American military and Department of Defense, as Jerusalem and Washington hammer out the final details of an aid package for the coming years.”

2016: The second “weeklong exploration of literature and culture for high school students where they will “read, discuss, argue about and fall in love with modern Jewish literature” sponsored by the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA is scheduled to begin today. (As reported by Judah Ari Gross)

2017: At a meeting in Milwaukee, WI, in a testament to ensuring Jewish survival through sharing resources, the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago is scheduled to provide information about the MA in Jewish Professional Studies, a Milwaukee-area cohort of which is scheduled to being early next year.

2017: In Fox Point, Wisconsin, Rabbi Ronald M. Shapiro is scheduled to present “Great and Esteemed Jews Who Contributed Beauty to the World.”

2017: “Marc Chagall, Flowers and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams” is scheduled to come a close today in Sarasota, FL.

2018: “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and a biopic “Mademoiselle Pardis” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

2018: “Ziggy Marley, the son of legendary Bob Marley” is scheduled to perform at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv.

2018: Zachary Truboff’s resignation as senior rabbi of Oheb-Zedek-Cedar Sinai Congregation in Lyndhurst is effective today following which he will “return to Jerusalem.”

2018: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “Tracking Edith” in London.


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