Sunday, April 14, 2019

This Day, April 15, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

April 15

1191: Coronation of Henry VI as Holy Roman Emperor during whose reign anti-Semitic riots took place stretching from the districts along the Rhine all the way to Vienna.  Ephraim Ben Jacob of Bonn was one of the leading Talmudist during this period.

1250:  Pope Innocent III refused the Jews of Cordova permission to build a synagogue.

1402:  Pope Boniface IX granted "liberal privileges" to the Jews of Rome – “reducing their taxes, ordering their Sabbath to be protected, placing them under the jurisdiction of the Curia, protecting them from oppression by officials; all Jews and Jewesses dwelling in the city to be regarded and treated as Roman citizens.”

1452:  Birthdate of Leonardo Di Vinci who painted what, according to some, was the most famous Seder ever held - The Last Supper.

1642: Birthdate Suleiman II, Ottoman Sultan.  His short reign would prove to be uneventful for his Jewish subjects, which included two doctors, one named Levi and the other named Hayati Zade, who served as court physicians.

1677: Today The City Council of Lubeck decreed that no Jew should be permitted to stay in the city overnight without the express permission of the senate, which was rarely given.

1698(4th of Iyar, 5458): Jacob ben Aaron Sasportas, the native Oran, the father of Isaac ben Jacob Sasportas, the rabbi of the Portuguese at Amsterdam who had known Sarah, the girl with whom Sabbateai had contracted his third marriage described her “as a witless girl who used to deliver, to the general amusement, dement speeches about she was going to married to the King Messiah passed away today

1714(30th of Nisan, 5474): Esther Liebmann (née Schulhoff) a German Jewish financier who served as Court Jew to King Friedrich I of Prussia, inheriting the title and also the Münzregal from her second husband, Jost Liebmann” passed away today.

1715: The Yamasee War, a two year conflict in which Native Americans tried to drive the colonial settlers out of South Carolina, began today. At the outbreak of the war Jews had already begun settling in the colony. The original constitution of South Carolina which had been written by John Locke in 1669 granted liberty to “Jews, Heathens and Dissenters.”  Simon Valentine is the first Jewish settler whose presence can be officially confirmed.  A resident of Charleston, he served as an interpreter for Governor Archdale.  There must have been more Jews living there since “as early as 1703 protest was raised against "Jew strangers" voting in the election of members to the Common House of Assembly.”

1777: In Saarlouis, Marx Levy Mordechai, “the rabbi of Trier” and Eva Lwow gave birth to Herschel Mordechai who gained fame as Heinrich Marx the lawyer and convert to the Lutheran Church who was the father of Karl Marx, the Christian born author of the Communist Manifesto.

1783: Today the Continental Congress of the United States officially ratifies the preliminary peace treaty with Great Britain that was signed in November 1782. The congressional move brings the nascent nation one step closer to the conclusion of the Revolutionary War.

Five months later, on September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed by representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France, officially bringing an end to the Revolutionary War. It also formalized Great Britain’s recognition of America’s independence.

1788(8th of Nisan, 5548): Joseph Levy, the first Jew to be buried in Australia, passed away. Apparently his burial was not marked by any special Jewish ceremony. 

1802: William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. According to N.I. Matar, “Wordsworth” described the Wandering Jew without considering  that Jews had been established in England for decades, and that Jews were ‘eagerly’ trying to change their ‘homeless’ image.”

1802: In New York, Solomon Levy and Rebecca Eve (Hendricks) Levy gave birth to Juliet Levy who became Juliet Moss when she married Joseph Lyons Moss.

1805(16th of Nisan, 5565): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1805: One day after he had passed away, “Naphtali Hirts bar Yehuda Leib” was buried today at the “Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.”




1806(27th of Nisan): Rabbi Isaac Ashkenazi of Lemberg, author of “Taharot ha-Kodesh” passed away.

1808(18th of Nisan 5568):  Benjamin Goldsmid, a leading English financer, passed away.  Born in Holland in 1755, he was the eldest son of Aaron Goldsmid and the brother of Abraham Goldsmid who was also his business partner.  Goldsmid married Jessie Salmons making him the son-in-law of Israel Levin Salomons which benefited him financially and socially.  He was a friend of Pitt the Younger and the founder of the Naval Asylum.

1813(15th of Nisan, 5573): As the second year of the War of 1812 grinds on, Jews in the United States and the United Kingdom are united in their observance of Pesach.

1815: Birthdate of Lazar Zweifel the native of Moghilef who defended the Chasidim saying that “persecutions which they were forced to endure at the hands of their opponents were as unjust as the oppression of Jews by Christians.”

1819(20th of Nisan, 5579): Sixth day of Pesach

1819(20th of Nisan, 5579): David Maurtiz, the nephew of Rabbi Samuel Marx whose other more famous nephew was Karl Marx, passed away today.

1819: Birthdate of Ludwig Lewysohn, the native of Posen who served as a rabbi in Frankfort-on-Order, Worms and Stockholm.

1824: Birthdate of Gustav Cohn, the husband of Friederike Rechnitz and father of Josef and Rosa Cohn

1828: Jacob Levy married Elizabeth Solomon today at the Great Synagogue.

1830: Following William Huskisson’s presentation of a petition signed by 2,000 people from Liverpool calling for the removal of the civil disabilities facing the Jews of the United Kingdom, Robert Grant introduced a bill in Parliament seeking to accomplish that goal.

1832(15th of Nisan, 5592): As Andrew Jackson seeks a second term as President, Jews observe Pesach.

1833: Birthdate of Viennese born French astronomer Maurice Loewy.

1834: Birthdate of Joseph Kohen Moline, the Brussels born poet.

1834: Birthdate of Emma Simon, the native of Kolberg who married Louis Bernheim with whom she gave birth to historian Ernst Bernheim

1837: Birthdate of Horace Porter, the American Civil War hero who served as U.S. Ambassador to France during the Dreyfus Affair, which Poerwe was falsely accused of attributing to an English plot to weaken the French.

1840:  In London, a split took place between the liberal Reform Jews and the Orthodox

1840: The West London Synagogue of British Jews, a Reform Jewish congregation of London was established today.

1840: Birthdate of Giuseppe Foa “the Rabbino Maggiore (Grand Rabbi) of Turino who married Annetta Luzzati Foa with whom he had two children – Ida Dolce Foa Ghiron and Ernesto Foa.

1841: Karl Marx received his Doctorate from the University of Jena

1841: In Philadelphia, PA, Clarissa and Joseph M. Asch gave birth to Mitchell J. Asch, the “husband of Manuella Asch” and “father of Irina Clara Culver.”

1843: Birthdate of American author Henry James. For an interesting insight into this great American authors view of the Jewish people see The Jewish East Side by Milton Hindus, specifically the entry entitled “Henry James – The American Scene” pages 65-78

1847: In Warsaw, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter and his wife gave birth to Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, the author of Sfas Emes and the Rebbe of the Gerrer Hasidim.

1848(12th of Nisan, 5608): Shabbat HaGadol

1848:  Now that the church on Chrysitie Street between Walker and Hester streets has been successfully re-modeled to meet the needs of its new Jewish owner the building of what would become Congregation Temple Emanu-El was dedicated today.

1849: In Trieste, Elisa Morpurgo and Giuseppe/Joseph Baron von Morpurgo gave birth to Irène Renée Cahen d'Anvers (de Morpurgo)

1853: In New York, Henry and Sophie Waldstein gave birth to Louis Waldstein the New York trained physician who moved to London in 1898 to continue his practice and who wrote “The Sub-Conscious Self in its Relation to Education and Health.”

1858: Birthdate of Emile Durkheim French the sociologist who is regarded as one of the most important founders of the modern field of sociology. One of his most significant contributions is his development of the term and concept of "social facts," what Durkheim believed should be the primary focus of the scientific study of society. Durkheim grew up in a Jewish family and it was assumed by his relatives that he would eventually become a rabbi. However, he displayed impressive intellectual capabilities and earned a position at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the most prestigious teachers' college in France. Around this time he also generally lost his religious faith, although he retained a strong desire for moral reform and moral studies. Instead of religion, he hoped that science - and in particular the scientific study of society - would help bring about moral reformation. As a Jew, even if he wasn't very religious, he experienced the bitter anti-Semitism of France of that era. The end of the century saw the advent of the Dreyfuss Affair, when a Jewish army officer was falsely accused and convicted of espionage. This led to an increase in anti-Semitism, especially towards those like Durkheim who worked to have Dreyfuss exonerated. For example, Durkheim's record indicates that he almost certainly should have been elected to the Institut de France, but he was passed over entirely. During World War I he was also accused of disloyalty and preference for the German enemies, something perhaps motivated not only by his Jewish heritage but also his German name and his origins in the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region. Durkheim died in 1917 a year after his son died during World War I, fighting for the French.

1858: In New York City, Moses Richman and Rosa Mellis gave birth to Isabel R. Wallach, the wife of Joseph G. Wallach who was vice president for the New York State Council of Jewish Women and President of the Shaaray Tefila Sisterhood.

1861 “From the West Indies” published today provides a potpourri of information about Santa Domingo and Cuba including the fact that there is one Jew among the 15 or 20 slave-traders working the markets in Havana.

1861: Following the attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln issues a call for 75,000 volunteers to serve for three months.  This would turn out to a mere down payment in terms of the number of soldiers it would take to save the Union.  Among them would be thousands of Jews including Frederick Knefler, an immigrant from Hungary who would rise to the rank of Major General under William Tecumseh Sherman, Brigadier General Blumenberg who had previously escaped the wrath of Secessionist mob in Baltimore, and General Max Einstein whose troops covered the retreat of the Union Army following the First Battle of Bull Run.

1861: As President Lincoln issues a call for volunteers to fight the Confederates, Major Alfred Mordecai makes a last ditch effort to stay in the U.S. Army without having to fight against his southern kinsman. He sends a letter to his superiors asking that he be relieved of duty at the Watervliet Arsenal so he would not be making munitions to fire against family and friends from North Carolina and Virginal.  He requested that he be transferred to California or some other such distant posting where he felt he could stay in the Army, serve his country and still avoid fighting his fellow Southerners.

1862(15th of Nisan, 5622): First Day of Pesach

1862(15th of Nisan, 5622): The first Jewish services were held in Dubuque, Iowa during Pesach

1862: Business was off today at the New York Cattle Market because “the Jewish dealers” were absent today “being their Passover.”

1863: Birthdate of Isaac Levy, the husband of Lena Levy.

1864: “In Varzan, Lithuania, Joseph and Shata (Zachs) Lurie” gave birth to Rabbi Benjamin Aronowitz the husband of Shifera Leibowitz, founder of a Yeshiva at Telisha where he also served as an “arbitrator on Torah jurisprudence” before coming to the United States in 1906 to lead a congregation in Lowell, Massachusetts and then becoming a “teacher of Law and Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.”

1865: “In Krosinewitz, Poland, Aaron and Bessie Marion (Feidel) Werner” gave birth to Lodz and Thorn, Germany educated “branch manager of MGM Film Corporation Charles Wernes, the husband of Edna Korn who settled in St. Louis, MO.

1865(19th of Nisan, 5625): Fifth Day of Pesach and Shabbat Shel Pesach

1865: President Abraham Lincoln dies after having been shot the night before at Ford’s Theatre. For more see Lincoln and the Jews by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell  OR

1867: “New York Jewish merchants met at Congregation Shearith Israel to consider action against insurance companies which refused to insure Jewish business establishments.” (As reported by Abraham P. Bloch).

1870(14th of Nisan, 5630): Erev of Pesach

1870: Birthdate of Palukno, Vilna, native Jacob Ginsburg, who in 1892 came to the United States where he was “one of the founders of the American Jewish Congress, founded The Jewish World and served as published of the Philadelphia Jewish World while raising his son Norman with his wife Annie Ginsburg.

1871: An article published today provided “further details of religious disturbances at Odessa” (Russia) during which “the Hebrews’ gave been the victims “religious intolerance.”  According to the article, The Standard, a paper published in London “has a dispatch from Vienna stating that a religious riot has occurred at Odessa.  The Jews were despoiled” and have suffered “great devastation.”  According to the dispatch, the “authorities were powerless” to quell the riot.

1872: On the eve of Greek Easter Sunday, Greeks attacked Jews in a bloody riot. "The Christians were set loose, and beat, massacred, and demolished the houses of Jews…" It was reported one Jews was stabbed to death, and others were injured. It was only after Turkish soldiers guarded the Jews that the violence ended.

1874: Two days after he had passed away, Edward Green, son of Levy Ephraim Green and Emilia Hyams and the husband of Amelia Hart with whom he had had six children was buried today in the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1874: Birthdate of Johannes Stark.  A Nobel Prize winning physicist, he is known for the Stark Effect. Stark attacked Einstein and other Jewish scientists because they were Jewish.  He also disparaged their scientific accomplishments.  He joined the Nazi party.  After the war, he was sentenced to four years in prison by a De-Nazifcation Court.  He died in 1957.  Just because you win the Nobel Prize does not mean you are "smart."

1875: The "Jewish Exponent" was first issued for the first time. R. Charles Hoffman, Ephraim Lederer, and Felix Gerson served as the editors.

1877: Birthdate of Rosalie Moses, the native of Horn, Austria-Hungary who as Rosalie Moser was a passenger on the S.S. St. Louis and died during the Holocaust sometime after having been disembarked in France, her last known place of residence.

1880:  In New York, the District Attorney delivered a lecture entitled “Some Phases of Crime” at tonight’s meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Associations.

1878: Birthdate of Dr. Felix Kornfeld, the native of Bohemia who was the husband of Paul Mandl

1880: In Heldesheim, Rabbi Jakob Guttmann and his wife gave birth to Rabbi Julius Guttman who became Professor of Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University in 1934.

1881: During the four day observance of Russian Orthodox Easter, a Pogrom begins in Elizavetgrad, Russia.

1883: Pauline Moses and David Holtz were married today in New York City.

1883: “In Wilno, Abraham and Stsia (Lechovitzky) Abramson gave birth to Maurice Abramson and husband of Anna Mattline, who served as the rabbi for several American congregations including Beth Israel in Evansville, Indiana and Tifereth Israel in Des, Moines, Iowa while authoring several volumes including The Bible in Questions and Answers and Berchos Moshe.

1884: Birthdate of Lithuanian born, University of London trained “Hebraist and Arabist” Ben Zion Halper, a Professor at Dropsie College and an editor for the Jewish Publication Society.

1886: A group of Sephardic Jews formed a corporation for a congregation named in honor of Moses Montefiore.

1886(10th of Nisan, 5646): Eighty-five year old German jurist Moritz Warburg the native of Altona who was elected to the Schleswig -Holstein constituent assembly in 1848 passed away today.

1887: Herzl is installed as an editor of the "Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung" but holds the post only a short time.

1887: The Jewish Exponent, a weekly publication servicing the Philadelphia Jewish community was published for the first time today.

1889(14th of Nisan, 5649): Ta'anit Bechorot

1890: Representatives of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association and the Emma Lazarus Club were among those attending the opening session of the convention of the Association of Working Girls’ Societies being held at the Metropolitan Opera House.

1892: Birthdate of Corrie ten Boom, Dutch devotional author whose family was arrested by the Gestapo during WWII for hiding Jewish refugees in their home. Corrie's experience with the Nazis was depicted in the 1971 film, "The Hiding Place." 1892 Birth of Corrie ten Boom, Dutch devotional author whose family was arrested by the Gestapo during WWII for hiding Jewish refugees in their home (Corrie's experience with the Nazis was depicted in the 1971 film, "The Hiding Place").

1892(18th of Nisan, 5652): Fourth day of Pesach

1892(18th of Nisan, 5652): Sixty-six year old New York City builder Marc Eidlitz, the brother of architect Leopold Eidlitz and the father of Cyrus. L.W Eidlitz whose construction projects included the Temple Emanu-El sanctuary located at 5th Avenue and 43rd Street, passed away today.

1893: “Ahlwardt’s Promise Not Kept” published today described the rejection by the President of the Reichstag of Hermann Ahlwardt’s written statement that purported to prove that high government officials were guilty of “corrupt conduct.” Ahlwardt is a notorious anti-Semite who contends that the Jews are behind plots to bribe German leaders.

1893: Birthdate of Kiev native Herman Morris Pomrenze, who came to Chicago in 1913 where he earned an MD from Loyola and went on to a career as a surgeon and a member of the faculty of Northwestern while being an active member of the city’s Jewish community.

1893(29th of Nisan, 5653): Parashat Shimini

1893: In his sermon today, Rabbi Gottheil “used vigorous language” in criticizing “the vigorous efforts which are being made by the various Protestant denominations to secure proselytes from” the Jews of New York

1894: Jacob Green, the four year old son of a Jewish peddler, accidently fell from the fifth floor fire escape at a 19 Allen Street on the lower east side.

1895: “The certificate of incorporation of the Hebrew Infant Asylum of the City of New York was filed” today in the office of the country clerk.

1896: Birthdate of Pesach Burstein, the Polish born American entertainer who among other things was a director in the Yiddish theatre.  (At least two sites attribute his first name to the fact that he was born on Pesach but he the 15th of April corresponds to the 2nd of Iyar 5656.  To have been born on Pesach, 1896, his birthdate would have been March 29)

1896: In, Worcester, MA, Fannie E. and Jacob Meyer Talamo gave birth to Clark College grad and Harvard trained pediatrician Haskell Talamo

1897:  The date on which Oscar Altman and Rosie Wachtel were to be married in New York City.

1898(23rd of Nisan, 5658): Fifty-five year old Italian lawyer and Senator Cesare Parenzo passed away today.

1898: Birthdate of Isaac Palacci who was deported from Istanbul to France in 1942.

1899: Birthdate of Karl Bernhardt, the native of Worms who gained fame as director Kurt Bernhardt who fled Germany in 1933 and pursued his career in France and Great Britain before settling the United States where his last picture was “Kisses for My President” – a film that Hilary Clinton should appreciate since it is comedic look at the first female President.

1899: In a cable sent to the Navy Department in Washington, DC today Admiral Dewey notes that the “native government established by Edward Taussig on Guam was working well.

1900: The head of nineteen year old Ernst winter was recovered from a pool in Konitz, West Prussia. Other parts of his dismembered body had been recovered at various times since his disappearance in early March. Local anti-Semites began to accuse the Jews in what would become a 20th century blood libel.

1901: Birthdate of Lithuania native Julius Maller who in 1921 came to the United States where he earned a B.A. from Washington University, and M.A. and Ph.D from Columbia and “a Doctor of Hebrew Literature degree from JTS” before following a career path that led to serving “director of Research and Statistics in the State Department of Audit” while raising three children – Julie, Jeanne and Michael – with his wife Rose Ruth Araonwitz Maller.


1902: In New York City, at a meeting of the Board of Alderman, Alderman Devlin introduced a resolution asking the Mayor to instruct Commissioner Partridge not to interfere with Jewish peddlers selling their wares on the east side next Sunday because that day was the day before Passover.  The resolution was denounced by Aldermen Walkley and Oatman because it was asking the mayor to sanction a violation of the city’s “blue laws. The Council adopted the resolution.

1902: Birthdate Warsaw native Samuel Arthur “Sammy” Weiss the first Jew to be named captain of the Duquesne University football team who went on “to represent Pennsylvania's 30th, 31st, and 33rd Districts in the United States House of Representatives” before serving as a Common Pleas Court Judge

1903(18th of Nisan, 5663): Gustav Gottheil, one of the leading Reform Rabbis of his time passed away. Born in Prussia, in 1827, he was trained in Berlin before holding pulpits in Great Britain and the United States where he was the Senior Rabbi at New York’s Temple Emanu-El.  While this brief entry cannot do justice to his many accomplishments it must be noted that he was unique among Reform rabbis for his early support of the Zionist movement.  In fact, he was a delegate to the First Zionist Congress.

1903: Herzl arrives in Paris and confers with Lord Rothschild, Zadoc Kahn and other members of the ICA on ways to further the project of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine with the British government.

1905: Thousands of dollars in money and great quantities of matzoth were distributed tonight among the poor Jews of the lower east side, as is the custom every year before the feast of the Passover, which opens on Wednesday and will be observed by all Jews throughout the world for the next eight days.

1905: Birthdate of Herman Steiner the native of Slovakia who became “a United States chess player, organizer, and columnist.

1907:  Birthdate of chess master Gerald Abrahams. Born in Liverpool, Abrahams wrote “Teach Yourself Chess.”

1907: Dr. Stephen Samuel Wise “so inspired those who heard his message that today more than a hundred of his followers met at the Hotel Savoy to establish a free synagogue. Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who would become the congregation’s first president, declared that day, "The Free Synagogue is to be free and democratic in its organization; it is to be pewless and dueless." A religious school opened that October, and six months later had an enrollment of 150 students. Dr. Wise’s Sunday morning services, held at the Universalist Church of Eternal Hope on West 81st Street, drew more than 1,000 people.

1907: Birthdate of Esther Gottlieb the wife of abstract expressionist painter Adolph Gottlieb and the founder and president of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

1908: In Bavaria, Max Neuberger and his wife Bertha Hiller gave birth to Albert Neuberger, the British Professor of Chemical Pathology the University of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital.

1908 (14th of Nisan, 5668): A Seder is scheduled to be held this evening on Ellis Island for Jews who have not been able to enter the United States.  The Acting Commissioner of Immigration has given permission for the service to be held in the dining room of the facility’s main building. 

1910(6th of Nisan, 5670): Seventy-seven year old Jacob Fleischner, the husband of Fanny Fleischner and father of Isaac N. Fleischner passed away today after which he was buried at Beth Israel Cemetery in Portland, OR.

1911: Birthdate of Murray Bernthal, the Brooklyn born violin prodigy and “Syracuse University basketball player.

1911: Birthdate of Odessa native Charles Robert Goldenberg, who grew up in Milwaukee and played for the University of Wisconsin before embarking on 13 year career with the Green Bay Packers that included playing as a lineman on three NFL championship teams.

1911: Birthdate of Warsaw native Seymour Zambrosky who in 1924 came to the United States where in 1936 he was “ordained at Cleveland’s short-lived Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary of America.”

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): H.M.S. Titanic sank.  According to some, there were enough Jews on board that kosher meals were served.  The Jewish passengers represented a cross section of Jewish society.  Two unusual women on board were Edith Louise Rosenbaum and Mrs. Henry B. Harris.  Mrs. Rosenbaum was a writer for Women’s Wear Daily. During World War I, she would become the first female war correspondent.  Mrs. Harris went on to become a famous New York theatrical producer.  Three of the most famous passengers were Benjamin Guggenheim and Isidor and Ida Straus.  Guggenheim was a ne’er do-well from a famous New York family.  His most famous accomplishment was to give the world his daughter Peggy Guggenheim the famous patron of the arts.  Isidor Straus was part of a fabled New York family that had ownership interests in Macy’s and Abraham & Straus.  He was mourned as one of New York’s greatest philanthropists.

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): Sixty-three year old Ida Straus, born Rosalie Ida Blun, the German born daughter of Nathan Blun and Wilhelmine Freudenberg and the husband of department store own Isidor Straus with whom she had seven children passed away today when the RMS Titanic sank.

1912: Eight tombstones in the Jewish cemetery at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia marking the burial site of 8 unnamed Jews who perished aboard the Titanic.

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): New York City theatrical manager Henry B. Harris died aboard the Titanic today.

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): Forty-eight year old Emil Brandeis of Omaha, Nebraska died aboard the Titanic today.

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): Forty-eight year old Spanish American War veteran Adolph Bauer of Mobile, Alabama passed away today.

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): Mrs. Max Landsburg of Rochester, NY, passed away today.

1912(28th of Nisan, 5672): Forty-six year old Benjamin Guggenheim died aboard the Titanic today.

1912: “The Times of London” reported today the “discovery of a papyrus volume containing text of the greater part of the Book of Deuteronomy,” and all of the Book of Jonah as well as text from the New Testament.

1912: Albert Einstein refers to time as “the fourth dimension.”

1912: M.J. I. Judelsohn was “appointed to the United States Consular Service today.

1913: The Southern Education which Rabbi Max Raisin of Meridian, Mississippi attended as a delegate opened today in Richmond, Va.

1913(8th of Nisan, 5673): Seventy-nine year old New York merchant Adolph Silberstein passed away today.

1915: “Relief Work Wins Praise” published today described the words of approval that the New York City investigators had for the work of the United Hebrew Charities.

1915: It was reported today that there eleven thousand Jews serving in the British army and navy” which Lord Reading, the Lord Chief Justice of England described as “a good number for so comparatively small a community.”

1915: Louis Gutman, the Jewish officer who recommended Hitler for his Iron Cross First Class in 1918, “was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and appointed as both a company commander and acting adjutant for the Regiment’s artillery Battalion. “

1916: Birthdate of Helene Hanff, the Philadelphia born screenwriter and author who most famous work was 84, Charing Cross Road.

1916(12th of Nisan, 5676): Shabbat HaGadol

1916: In New York City Hiram Bloomingdale and Rosalind Schiffer gave birth to Alfred S. Bloomingdale, the grandson of Lyman Bloomingdale, who along with his brother Joseph founded Bloomingdale’s Department Store.

1916: George Kroll of Paris, who was staying at the Ritz Carlton today described the sacrifices that Russian Jews living in France have made for their adopted country saying that “the Jews have disproved the assertions that they cannot fight” and that “none have fought more bravely” than these refugees thousands of whom volunteered as soon as the war began.

1917: F.L. Fagley, Secretary of the Cincinnati Federation of Churches said that of the $14,000 collected to provide relief of the Armenians and Syrians, $4,000 was contributed by Jews.

1917: “A group who styled themselves ‘revolutionary socialists;” which included members claiming to be Jews met today to protest the Canadian government’s detention of Leon Trotsky whom authorities at Halifax said was trying to return to Russia so that he could “provoke another revolution which would nullify the stand of the” new Russian government which had overthrown the Czar.

1917: “A cable message praising the provisional Government of Russia for having emancipated the Jews was sent to the Foreign Minister” today “by all of the delegates” attending the annual convention of the Federation of Rumanian Jews being held at the Hebrew Technical School for Girls in New York.

1917: Two hundred Jewish leaders are scheduled to hold a conference today at the Astor Hotel this morning where “they will choose the most effective means of putting Jewish loyalty at the service of America” as it enters into WW I.

1917: Today, at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee a resolution was adopted “expressing a willingness to co-operate with the Board and favoring the passage by Congress of a bill providing for twenty chaplains-at-large in the Army” several of whom “will be Jewish ministers.”

1917:  The Problem of Space in Jewish Medieval Philosophy by I.I. Efros was one of the books listed as a selection on “Three Hundred Books of Spring” published today.

1918: The Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities Campaign to raise $500,000 ended tonight “with the announcement that $300,000 had been raised” and “that the campaign would re-opened after the present Liberty Bond campaign” has been concluded.

1918: It was reported today that in the last few weeks, the Jews of New York City have “formed 18 district organizations” or Kehillahs “throughout the city to bring a cooperative effort to the solution of various social problems to the New York City Jewish population.

1919(15th of Nisan, 5679): Pesach

1919: Today, in Great Britain, “a week after the Morning Post had informed its readers that the Russian Jews were purveyors of Bolshevism, Major E. H. Coumbe…to the first step toward committing the” London “Council to a policy of not employing aliens” which was the first step in his plan to get the Council to bar all aliens, naturalized or otherwise, from employment

1919: At Le Mans, France, Rabbi Lee J. Levinger held a Seder on the second night of Passover for members of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) who had been issued furloughs so they could observe the holiday

1920: Birthdate of Hank Kaplan, noted boxing historian and writer.

1920: In Stuttgart, Marianne (von Graevenitz) von Weizsäcker and Ernst von Weizsäcker gave birth to Richard von Weizsäcker the President of West Germany.

1920: In what would become the “first act” of the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, two security guards are murdered during a robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Among those who would rally to Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti would be convicted of and executed for the crime, amid much controversy. Among their defenders were several prominent Jews including Professor (and later Supreme Court Justice) Felix Frankfurter, Judge Julian Mack and Harold Laski.

1921: It was reported today that Rabbi Leo M. Franklin’s message given at this week’s meeting of Reform Congregations included a request “that the conference ask great Church organizations of other denominations to protest against any movement for world-wide anti-Semitic congress such as was recently stimulated in Budapest” and a reminder “that while immigration laws should bar criminals, anarchists and undesirables, they should not should shut out the oppressed.”

1921: “Baby Born At Sea Mother Dies Here” published today

1922: In Flushing, NY, Nathan Schacther and the former Anna Fruchter, both of whom were Romanian Jewish immigrants gave birth to Dr. Stanley Schacter, the Columbia University professor who “was one of the few social psychologists to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.” (As reported by Karen Freeman)

1922: Birthdate of Michael Ansara who played “Haman” in the television miniseries entitled “The Greatest Heroes of the Bible.”

1922(17th of Nisan, 5682): Third day of Pesach

1922(17th of Nisan, 5682): Fifty-five year old Isaac David Broydé who served as librarian to the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1895 to 1900 and then “joined the editorial staff of the Jewish Encyclopedia” passed away today.

1923: Insulin first became generally available for use by diabetics. Sir Frederick Banting, one of the two men who won a Nobel Prize for their work with Insulin based his work on the 1889 discoveries of the Jewish Polish-German physician Oscar Minkowski.

1923: Dr. Spiegel, the representative of the German Red Cross who was working on the transmigration of 300 Jewish refugees who had been expelled from Poland arrived in Warsaw.  The refuges must leave Poland by September 1 and they are seeking to stay in German until they have obtained visas to enter the United States. (As reported by JTA)

1923: Preparations have been made along the White Russian border to provide food and shelter for Jewish refugees from Poland who are being forced to return to their former homes in the Soviet Union. (As reported by JTA)

1923: Hugo Riesenfeld “co-presented a show at the Rivoli Theater in New York City of 18 short films made in the Phonofilm sound-on-film process.”

1923: Birthdate of Naomi Bronheim Levine, the first woman to become executive director of the American Jewish Congress.

1923: “A Few Minutes With Eddie Cantor” opened “at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City.

1923: Birthdate of Harvey Lembeck, the Brooklyn native whose career as character actor included originating the role of “Sam Insigna” in the Broadway production of Mr. Roberts, appearing as “Harry Shapiro” in the WW II classic “Stalag 17” and serving as one of the underlings and sidekicks for Phil Silvers in the television sitcom portraying the antics of con-man Sergeant Ernie Bilko.

1926: “Nanette Makes Everything” a silent film starring Fritz Spira was released today in Germany/

1926: According to Professor of Mathematics Julian Coolidge there “has been a marked slump in religion at Harvard” since the end of the World War but that among Jews who made up about one fifth of the class of 1922 there was an increase of those who described themselves as “believers” with about “one half of the Jews” being classified as “religiously inclined.”

1927: In Izbica, a largely Jewish shtetl in the Lublin district of Poland, Leon and Masha Felicia Blatt gave birth to Tomasz Toivi Blatt who survived the 1943 revolt at Sobibor.

1927: It was reported today that in two weeks members of Temple Emanu-El and Temple Beth-El, two of the  oldest Reform Congregations in New York will vote on plan for consolidation already approved by the trustees under which the “combine organization will be known as Temple Emanu-El the chapel will called Chapel Beth-El  and that after using Temple Beth-El as its home for the next two years, the new congregation will move into the new Temple Emanu-El being built at Fifth Avenue and 65th Street “on the site of the Vincent Astor Residence

1931: Brooklyn Outfielder Alta Cohen played in his first major league game.

1931: Birthdate of Yitzhak Zamir,  the native of Warsaw who made Aliyah at the age of 3 and enjoyed a successful career in the law including serving as Attorney General of Israel and as a member of the Supreme Court.

1932: “Girls to Marry, a romantic comedy starring Fritz Grünbaum who would be murdered at Dachau in 1941 and S.Z Sakall who escaped from Hungary in 1940 and madolee his way to Hollywood where his memorable performances included “Carl” the head waiter in the classic “Casablanca” was released in Germany today.

1934: “The Jews of America must bury all differences of opinion and untied to stem the disaster that has befallen the Jews of German and which also seriously effect Jews everywhere, Felix M. Warburg…declared” today “in a statement setting forth the reason which moved him to accept the chairmanship of the three million dollar United Jewish Appeal.” (JTA)

1935: It was reported today that in London, Leonard G. Montefiore has informed “a joint foreign committee to the Jewish Board of Deputies” that “the position of the Jews in Germany seem to have become worse since” this past winter.

1936(23rd if Nisan, 5696): Harvard alum Simon J. Lubin the Sacramento, CA born son of David Lubin and the nephew of Harris Weinstock who founded Lubin and Weinstock “the largest department store” in that city and the husband of Rebecca Cohen with whom he had three children – David, Ruth and Miriam, passed away today in San Francisco.


1936(23rd of Nisan, 5696): On the day after Pesach, Arabs in Palestine renewed their riots which quickly grew into a full-scale uprising. The uprising began with an attack today on a convoy of trucks on the Nablus to Tulkarm road during which the assailants shot and murdered two Jewish drivers, Israel Khazan, who was killed instantly, and Zvi Dannenberg, who died five days later

1936: “Arab brigands” “told their victims they were robbing” them so they could “carry on the work of the ‘Holy Martyrs’ started Izzedin El-Kassam who aimed to kill Jews and Britons in Palestine.

1936: Eustace Seligman was named chairman of the lawyer’s division of the New York campaign of the Joint Distribution Committee which was formed during a luncheon at the Lawyer’s Club with the goal of raising $125,000 to go toward the nationwide fund being raised to aid the Jews of Germany and Central and Eastern Europe.

1936: Dr. Daniel A. Poling, the editor of the Christian Herald who has just returned from 10 months in Europe told those attending a luncheon at the Town Hall Club about conditions in Italy and Germany where he said “opposition is solidifying” against the government because of “the persecution of Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Masons and war veterans.”

1936: Tonight, members of the United Palestine Appeal honored Judge Julian W. Mack for his twenty-five years spent on the Federal bench as well as his work on behalf of the movement to settle Jews in Palestine.

1937: It was reported today that German Government is protesting the screening of “Modern German Christian Martyrs” at the Riverside Church in New York characterizing “the film as ‘a new method of brazen Jewish propaganda in America.”

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorist gangs, searching for money and valuables, killed four Arabs in the vicinity of Nazareth.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that for the first time in many years, the annual Nebi Musa procession failed to take place in Jerusalem.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that new regulations warned that wearing any uniforms of His Majesty Forces, or attire resembling such uniforms, was punishable by life imprisonment.

1938: The Palestine Post commented on the tragedy of a new immigrant, imprisoned for carrying an allegedly false passport, who committed suicide. The message from his relatives, promising assistance and legal defense, failed to reach him in time due to the lack of an interpreter.

1938(14th of Nisan, 5698) Fast of the firstborn; erev Pesach

1938: In Vienna, Jewish houses of worship that have been closed since March 15 were permitted to reopen today in time for Passover.

1938(14th of Nisan, 5698): Jews are killed and injured during an anti-Semitic pogrom at Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland.

1938: In Budapest, the police arrested 24 Jews who are suspected “of being responsible for issuing leaflets “urging Budapest Jews to oppose the government’s numerus clausus bill.

1939: In Turin, Italy, Natalia Ginzburg and Leone Ginzburg gave birth to historian Carlo Ginzburg author of The Cheese and the Worms and The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

1940: Birthdate of Yossef Romano a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany where he was murdered by Black September terrorists.

1941: Birthdate of Howard Berman, Congressman from California’s 28th District.

1941:  In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attack Belfast, Northern Ireland killing one thousand people. During World War II, a number of Jewish children escaping from the Nazis, via the Kindertransport, reached and were housed in Millisle. The Millisle Refugee Farm (Magill’s farm, on the Woburn Road) and was founded by teenage pioneers from the Bachad movement. It took refugees from May 1938 until its closure in 1948.

1942: “49th Parallel,” a British war movie based on an original story by Emeric Pressburger who wrote the screenplay and starring Leslie Howard which had premiered in New York as “The Invaders” was released in the rest of the United States today.

1943: In Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver delivered the eulogy at the memorial service for Zvi Hirsch Masliansky which “was held …in the Straus Auditorium of The Educational Alliance at 197 East Broadway. This was the place to honor his memory, for it was the hall where he had spoken so often to a generation of Jewish immigrants.

1943: “The Gentle Sex” directed by Leslie Howard who also narrated the film and starring Lilli Palmer was released today in the United States.

1944: Prime Minister Churchill “pondered the question of who should succeed Sir Harold MacMichael, whose term as British High Commissioner was coming to an end.”  Churchill put forth two possibilities, Lord Melchett, a British Jew and the son of the distinguished industrialist Sir Alfred Mond and Chaim Weizmann.  Of course, Weizmann did not get the post and within a year’s time Churchill would betray his Jewish friend and ally by holding firm against Jewish immigration to Palestine and postponing the creation of a Jewish state.

1944:  Seventy Jews and ten Russians attempted to escape from the forests surrounding the two of Ponary. Lithuania. From July 1941 until July 1944, approximately 100,000 people (mainly Jews) were murdered in the forests surrounding Ponary a resort town in Lithuania. As the Red Army approached a group of 70 Jews and 10 Russians were given the task of burning all the bodies to cover up the mass murder. Realizing that at the end of their work they too would be killed they (over a period of three months) dug a tunnel 30 meters long with spoons. On the night of April 15 they escaped. Only 13 reached safety alive.

1945:  British forces liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp. The British soldiers were horror-stricken at the spectacle that greeted them. They found some 60,000 human beings alive under appalling conditions. Most of them were seriously ill. Alongside them were thousands of unburied corpses, strewn in every direction, and vast numbers of emaciated bodies in mass graves and piles. Because the British Army was not geared to treat everyone who needed assistance, 14,000 additional prisoners died in the first few days and a similar number perished in the following weeks. The British forces began to treat and rehabilitate the rest of the survivors.

1945: Esti Reichman and some of her fellow prisoners including a woman named Dora encountered one “disappointment” following the liberation of Bergen-Belsen when they discover that they have missed celebrating Passover.  The women had thought it was a leap year and had been hoarding their meager rations to make a Seder.  At the time of their liberation they discovered that this was not a leap year.  There was no Adar and Pesach had begun on March 29.  [Hopefully somebody told them about Pesach Sheini.]

1945: Leonard Mlodinow’s father was liberated by forces under the command of General Patton. At the time, he weighed 80 pounds.

1945(2nd of Iyar, 5705): The mother of Holocaust survivor Zoltan Zinn-Collis died in Belsen on the same day the Red Cross had come to rescue her. He brother Aladar died earlier in the year in the same camp and his father Adolf is believed to have died in Ravensbruck in 1944.  Zoltan and his Edit were brought to Ireland after the war where he was able to rebuild his life.

1945: Special services were held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem honoring the later President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1946(14th of Nisan, 5706):Ta'anit Bechorot/Erev Pesach

1946: First Seders were held in Germany following WW II.

1946: Rabbi Balfour Brickner conducted the Seder at the Euclid Avenue Temple in Cleveland, Oho with the help of Erwin Jospe and Sam Levine who provided the music for an event that included an Afikomon Treasure Hunt for the Children.

1946: Golda Meir is joined by her children for a Seder.

1946: As the hunger strike in Palestine designed to show support for the Jews from Spezia who being detained in Italy entered the third day, “thousands of people carrying flowers came to Jerusalem to show their support.  The chief rabbis, who” had join the “fast preside over an unusual Seder.”  Everyone “would eat a single piece of matzah, no bigger than an olive.”  As they went through the Haggadah, those fasting consumed cups of teas instead of cups of wine.

1946: In Germany, a group of children was photographed at the Foehrenwald D.P. Camp

1947: Eighty-six year old Theodor Lewlad the Christian civil servant and nephew of Jewish novelist Fanny Lewald who was removed from his position on the International Olympic Committee because “his paternal grandmother was Jewish,’ passed away today.

1947: Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, breaking that sport's color line. Hank Greenberg reportedly gave moral support and guidance to Robinson based on his experiences.  Brooklyn was a heavily Jewish borough where winning the pennant and beating the hated Yankees was more important than issues of pigmentation.

1948: Birthdate of American composer Michael Kamen whose work included “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

1948:  Arabs attacked a convoy of armored buses on their way to the Hadassah hospital enclave on Mt. Scopus.  Seventy-seven Jewish doctors, nurses and patients were killed in the ambush.

1948:  The National Opera (Israel) held its first performance in Tel Aviv.  The opera was the creation of Edis de Philippe from Brooklyn and Mordechai Galinkin from Leningrad.  The debut was an act of supreme optimism since the Arabs were busy trying to destroy the state before it had even been created.  As one observer wrote at the time, "Noisy accompaniment was supplied by the gunfire from nearby skirmishes between Tel Aviv and Jaffa."

1948: This evening, “a company composed of Golani, Palmach and irregulars” traveling “in two armed cars and two Egged buses made an unsuccessful attack on the Nabi Yusha police fortress which cost the lives of four Jewish fighters.

1948: Jewish forces seized Meggido, the sight of the Biblical Battle of Armageddon and one of Lord Allenby’s great victories during World War I.

1948: Jewish forces defeated Arab fighters at Tel Litvinsky, six miles from Tel Aviv.  The camp had served as a base for the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II.

1948: The Harel Brigade captured the village of Saris the “strategic hilltop position” “overlooking the highway to Jerusalem” which the Arabs had used to fire on Jewish vehicles thus helping to blockade the city.

1948: The Haganah won a costly victory at Mishmar Ha-Emek fighting against overwhelming odds.  This was part of the famous "battle for the Jerusalem Road."

1948: Soldiers from Iraq and Jews fought for control of the Wadi Sara camp fifteen miles south of Tel Aviv.  Iraqi forces were reported have reached the camp first but after encountering attacking Jewish forces fled because they feared encirclement and capture.

1949: In Miami, Murray and Naomi Zadan gave birth to Craig Zadan, whose accomplishments including producing three successive Academy Awards ceremonies and bringing several Broadway musical to television. (As reported by Richard Sandomir)

1952(20th of Nisan, 5712): Sixth day of Pesach

1952(20th of Nisan, 5712): Seventy-one year old Issac Lowi passed away today following which he was buried in the Beth Israel Cemetery in Gadsden, Alabama.

1952: Birthdate of author Avital Ronell the daughter of Israeli stationed in Prague and the “chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at NYU” who “was found responsible for sexually harassing a male former male graduate student.”

1953(30th of Nisan, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the strange ruling of the chairman of the UN Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission who claimed that civilians were allowed to shoot at each other across the border. The Israeli delegation took exception to this "astonishing stand."

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that an Israeli patrol captured a boat and a terrorist who tried to infiltrate by sea from Lebanon. The second boat escaped.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that "Yemin Orde," a Youth Aliya village at Nir Etzion on the Carmel Hills was opened by Lorna Wingate in memory of her husband, Capt. Charles Orde Wingate, who formed the Jewish "night squads" and helped settlers to defend themselves.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Jerusalem YMCA was crowded with well-wishers who came to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the building, a landmark and a significant cultural center in the Capital.

1954(12th of Nisan, 5714) Fast of the First Born

1955: Birthdate of Anthony Horowitz, an English novelist and screenwriter

1956(4th of Iyar, 5714): Yom HaZikaron

1957: After almost seven years of Ruth Roman to Mortimer Hall with whom she had one child, Richard, Ruth Roman’s divorce decree was granted today.

1958(25th of Nisan, 5718): Seventy-six featherweight boxer Benny Yanger whose record included fitty wins (30 by Kos) and eight losses (4 by Kos) passed away today.

1958: Birthdate of Canadian poet and novelist Anne Michaels the author of Fugitive Pieces and Winter Vault.

1958: “The Camp on Blood Island” a WW II movie featuring Lee Montague was released in the United Kingdom today.

1959: US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigned.  Dulles was viewed as the architect of the Eisenhower Administration’s foreign policy.   He was Cold Warrior in the truest sense of that term seeing everything in terms of Communists versus Anti-Communists.  The one time he broke with this view was during the Suez Crisis of 1956.  There he sided with the Soviets against the Israelis, the British and the French.  Eisenhower and Dulles saved the Egyptian dictator Nasser by allowing the Soviets to threaten the British with atomic weapons and threatening Israel with economic destruction if she did not withdraw from the Sinai.  Israel did withdraw and the disastrous policy of Dulles led to war in 1967 and the volatile situation that exists on the West Bank to this day.

1959: In New York City, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Brayer and his wife gave birth to Nachum Dov Brayer the grandson of the former Boyaner Rebbe of New York, Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo Friedman and the husband of Shoshana Bluma Reizel Heschel, who became the Rebbe of the Boyan Hasidic dynasty in 1984.

1959(7th of Nisan, 5719): A guard was killed at kibbutz Ramat Rachel.

1960: In Copenhagen, Hennie Jonas and Rudolf Salomon Bier gave birth to Susanne Bier who won “the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film for ‘In a Better World.’”

1960: Ed Wynn and Maxie Rosenbloom played themselves in “The Man in the Funny Suit” broadcast for the first time today.

1962(111th of Nisan, 5722): Forty-five year old Harold Ashe (Harold D. Ashkenazy) who played guard for the Bowdoin College “Polar Bears” for three seasons starting in 1935 passed away today.

1962: Catcher Joe Ginsberg played in his last major league baseball game as a member of the expansion New York Mets.

1964(3rd of Iyar, 5724): Yom HaZikaron

1965(13th of Nisan, 5725): Syd Chaplin, actor and half-brother of Charlie Chaplin passed away at the age of 80.

1965: Paddy Chayefsky’s “The Americanization of Emily” directed by Arthur Hiller, co-starring Melvyn Douglas and with music by Johnny Mandel premiered in the United Kingdom today.

1966(25th of Nisan, 5726): Sixty year old University of Chicago alum Alvin Handmacher, the president of Handmacher-Vogel Inc and founder of the Handmacher Foundation who raised three daughters with his wife “the former Margaret Murdock” passed away today.

1968: Future Anglo-Jewish author Anthony Horowitz received a human skill from his mother on his 13th birthday.

1972: Barbra Streisand joined other recording industry stars performing at a benefit for George McGovern for President. 

1974: “Fifty prisoners, including eleven Jews in Perm camps 35 and 36 began a hunger strike demanding improved conditions of detention, changes in starvation diet of prisoners in punishment cells and the transfer to hospital of Russian dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky.

1975(4th of Iyar, 5735): Yom HaZikaron

1975: “A Chorus Line” with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban “opened Off Broadway at the Public Theatre.

1976(15th of Nisan, 5736): Pesach is observed for the last time under President Ford.

1977: The Yale Center for British Art “designed by Louis I. Kahn” which was “located across the street from the Yale University Art Gallery” Kahn’s first major commission was opened to the public today.


1979(18th of Nisan, 5739) Fourth Day of Pesach

1979: Four terrorists were killed to day crossing from Jordan near Tirat Zir.

1980: The Nobel Prize winning existentialist author and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre passed away at the age of 74.  Sartre was not Jewish.  But he did write about the Jewish people.

In 1946, immediately after World War II, Sartre published his brilliant dissection of anti-Semitism and the Jewish condition, “Reflections sur la Question Juive.”  “The little booklet has gone through a number of editions, has been widely reviewed, and is still undoubtedly among Sartre's most famous works. As one would expect in the case of a controversial writer, a number of reviewers had important criticisms. If Sartre's analysis had striking insights, some of his assertions were remarkably naive. He thought that "socialism" would do away with anti-Semitism. He was preoccupied-occupied with rabid anti-Semitism but gave little thought to the perhaps more prevalent genteel hatred of Jews. Many Jewish reviewers felt that he short-changed "Jewish self-consciousness" by asserting that anti-Semitism is the only basis for it. We now know, from Sartre's own words a few weeks before his death that at the time of writing his book he had been incredibly ignorant, and willfully so, of all things Jewish. Nevertheless, Sartre was a man much listened to, as he is still today after his death, and his writings were given close attention.”  Frenchmen would do well to heed the words of one of their most famous citizens, “The cause of the Jews would already be half won if only their friends found in their defense a little of the passion and the perseverance that their enemies devote to their destruction. To awaken this passion, it is useless to appeal to the generosity of the Aryans because even among the best of these this virtue is disappearing. But it may well be pointed out to each of them that the fate of the Jew is his own fate. No Frenchman will be secure as long as a Jew, in France or elsewhere in the world, has reason to fear for his life.”

1981: In Hamilton, Ontario, Dr. Mark Levy and his wife Lisa gave birth actress and singer Caissie Shira Levy, the younger sister of Robi and Josh Levy.

1982: Five Muslim extremists who murdered Egyptian President Sadat were executed.

1982: In Vancouver, the former Sandy Belogus, “a social worker” and Mark Rogen “an assistant director of the Workmen's Circle Jewish fraternal organization” who “met o kibbutz Beitt Alfa,”gave birth to actor Seth Rogen

1983: During a burglary at the L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art “200 items, including paintings and dozens of rare clocks and watches, were stolen.”

1984(13th of Nisan, 5744): Eighty-four year old German born “mathematician and philosopher” Grete Hermann passed away today in her home town of Bremen.

1986: Edwin R. Theile, who is “best known for his chronological studies of the pre-exilic Jewish kingdoms and the author The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings passed away today.

1988: Anglo-Jewish author Anthony Horowitz married Jill Green in Hong Kong.

1989: “Brenda Starr,” a film based on the comic strip character of the same name with script co-authored by Delia Ephron and with music by Johnny Mandel premiered in the United States today.

1992: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were inducted into National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Yes the number one and number two leaders crossing space, the last frontier, were Members of the Tribe.  For those of you wondering who is Jewish, when Shatner's wife passed away her "mourned her in the Jewish fashion" and was reported to be working on a script called "Shiva" based on his mourning experiences.

1992: Billionaire Leona Helmsley was sent to jail for tax evasion.

1993(24th of Nisan, 5753): Eighty-six year old Chicago trial lawyer Leo H. Arnstein whose clients included Whirlpool and Sears passed away today at Glencoe, Illinois.

1993: In a last-minute letter apparently intended to defuse the controversy on the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Pope John Paul II told Roman Catholic nuns today to move from their convent at the Auschwitz death camp.

1994: In “No New Arab Attack, but Israelis Celebrate Independence Tensely,” published today Clyde Haberman described how the Jewish state celebrated its independence day despite threats by Arab terrorists to turn it into a day from hell.

1995(15th of Nisan, 5755): First Day of Pesach coincides with Shabbat.

1996(26th of Nisan, 5756): Eight-three year old Arthur J. Leylveld, a leading Reform Rabbi, passed away today. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

1997(8th of Nisan, 5757): Sam Moskowitz, author, critic and the teacher of the first college level course on Science Fiction passed away at the age of 76.

1999: A symposium entitled The History of American Jewish Political Conservatism opens at American University in Washington, D.C.

2001(22nd of Nisan, 5761): Eighth and final day of Pesach.

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Paintings of Our Lives” by Grace Schulman and “Maurve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World” by Simon Garfield.

2002: Following the Battle of Jenin, Palestinian Red Crescent Society and International Committee of the Red Cross staff entered the camp, accompanied by the IDF.

2002: A pro-Israel rally in Washington, organized in less than a week, attracted a crowd estimated at 100,000 people from across the spectrum of American Jewry.

2003(13th of Nisan, 5763): Eighty-year old Dartmouth alum and second generation movie maker Maurice Rapf, “a founder of the Writers Guild of America” passed away today.

2005: “Or” the Israeli film starring Dana Ivgy in the title role premiered in Sweden today.

2005: An exhibition entitled “Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak” opens at the Jewish Museum in New York.

2005: David Baddiel discusses “The Secret Purposes” at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival

2006: The inauguration of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ein Kerem is postponed. Construction of the church began in the first decade of the 20th century but was never completed because of the Russian Revolution. The dedication of the recently completed church was postponed at the request of Russian President Putin. Putin wanted the inauguration delayed until Prime Minister Sharon had sufficiently recovered from his stroke to attend the ceremonies.

2007: At the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an exhibition styled “From Shtetl to the Sooner State Celebrating Oklahoma's Jewish History In conjunction with the Centennial Celebration of Oklahoma Statehood” comes to a close.

2007: Major League Baseball and the Israel Baseball League (IBL) hold a tryout in California for players who did not make major or minor league rosters.

2007: “The Last Jew In Europe” is performed at the Triad Theatre.

2007: As Jews all over the world begin the observance of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Haaretz reported that the first comprehensive study of the incidence of cancer among Holocaust survivors has shown that Holocaust survivors were found to be 2.4 times more likely to have cancer than their peers who had not been through the Holocaust.

2007: As reported in Haaretz Israel fell silent as a two-minute siren wailed across the country this morning in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. The siren followed memorials at the Knesset and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. Holocaust victims' names were read aloud at ceremonies held at both locations. At the Knesset, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert read the names of the members of the Richter family, relatives of his wife Aliza, who were killed in the Holocaust and opposition chair Benjamin Netanyahu read the names of his wife Sara's relatives. Vice Premier Shimon Peres told of parting from his grandfather, Rabbi Zvi Melzer, at the railway station. Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog told of his father's cousin who was caught trying to cross the French border and was sent to her death in Auschwitz. The ceremonies began after Israelis stood silently for two minutes to remember the victims of the Holocaust on yesterday morning. Pedestrians froze in their tracks, buses stopped on busy streets, and cars on highways pulled over as the country paused to pay respect to the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis.

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of All Whom I Have Loved by Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld. In his new novel set on the eve of the Holocaust, the Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld tells the story of Paul Rosenfeld, a 9-year-old Jewish boy in Czernowitz, Romania (now Chernovtsy, Ukraine).

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured reviews of Jurgen Neffe's Einstein: A Biography, Walter Isaacson”s Einstein: His Life and Universe and Once Upon a Country by Sari Nusseibeh, who joined Ami Ayalon, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, in unveiling a “courageous peace plan” in 2002.

2008(10th of Nisan, 5768): Hendrik Samuel "Hank" Houthakker a Dutch Jewish American economist passed away. Houthakker was born in Amsterdam. In 1924. His father was a prominent art dealer. As a teenager he lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and, according to an interview he gave to the Valley News, was once arrested by the Gestapo but escaped and was sheltered for some months by a Roman Catholic family. He completed his graduate work at the University of Amsterdam in 1949. He taught at Stanford University from 1954 to 1960 and then completed the rest of his career at Harvard University. Houthakker served on President Nixon's Council of Economic Advisers from 1969 to 1971. Houthakker's contributions to economic theory have been summarized by Pollak (1990). He is particularly well known for the Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference, to which his name is often attached (see Houthakker 1950). This paper reconciles Paul Samuelson's revealed preference approach to demand theory with the earlier ordinal utility approach of Eugene Slutsky and Sir John Hicks, by showing that demand functions satisfy his Strong Axiom if and only if they can be generated by maximising a set of preferences that are "well-behaved" in the sense that they satisfy the axioms of choice theory, that is, they are reflexive, transitive, complete, montononic, convex and continuous—essentially the conditions required for a Hicksian approach to demand theory.”

2008: In Cedar Rapids, Hedy Epstein, whose parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust speaks at Kirkwood Community College and at Xavier High School.

2008: The Washington Post reviews The Much Too Promised LandAmerica's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace by Aaron David Miller

2008: Today the Jewish prayer for the dead echoed across what was once the heart of the Warsaw ghetto as Israeli and Polish leaders marked the 65th anniversary of the doomed battle by young Jews against Nazi troops.

2008: Poking into crevices between the ancient stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, today a senior rabbi and his helpers removed thousands of handwritten notes placed there by visitors who believe their requests will find a shortcut to God by being deposited at Judaism's holiest site. The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival which begins this weekend and at the Jewish New Year in the fall.

2008: “Behind the Velvet Curtain: Songs from the Motion Picture Redbelt” by Rebecca Pidgeon, the wife of David Mamet was released today on the Great American Music label.

2008: “History Awaits the Pope and the Rabbi” published today described Rabbi Arthur Schneier’s preparations for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.


2009(21st of Nisan, 5769): Seventh Day of Pesach; Reform recite Yizkor

2009: “The first reading of ‘What Strong Fences Make’ by Israel Horovitz was staged by New York's Barefoot Theater Company” today.

2009: Roseanne Barr made an appearance on Bravo's 2nd Annual A-List Awards in the opening scenes.

2010: A showing of “War Against The Weak” is scheduled at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2010:  Prof. Jerome Copulsky, Director of Jewish Studies at Goucher College, is scheduled to present a talk entitled “Zionism: Past, Present & Future” at George Mason University sponsored by the GMU Religion Department and GMU Hillel.

2010: The Sarah Silverman Program had its final showing on Comedy Central.

2010: Israeli customs officials said today that they have already confiscated at least 10 iPads in response to Israel’s ban on the importation of Apple’s newest product.  The Israelis are concerned that the powerful gadget’s wireless signals could disrupt other devices.   Israelis have every reason to believe that the problem will be solved prior to the date of the international release of the iPad.

2011: After having pleaded guilty to charges of corruption, former New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was sentenced to a term of 1 to 4 years in the state penitentiary.

2011: The Jerusalem Fair, the Annual Fundraising Bazaar for the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center is scheduled to take place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque

2011: Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation in Ashburn, VA is scheduled to host a Chocolate Passover Seder where attendees can “learn about and taste the symbols of Passover” by sampling a “variety of chocolate items including chocolate covered matzah, chocolate eggs, bitter chocolate, chocolate for dipping” and an Elijah's cup filled with chocolate milk.

2011: The works of Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin are scheduled to be featured at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

2011: Following nearly a week of quiet for the residents of the South, warning sirens were heard in the Ashdod area this afternoon after two Grad rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip.

2011: U.S. President Barack Obama extended a warm greeting today to all those celebrating Passover and likened the holiday's story to the revolutions sweeping the Middle East

2011: Defense Minister Ehud Barak welcomed today a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to approve a budget which includes $205 million intended for continuing development of the Iron Dome anti-missile system.  Barak said the decision is a "significant reinforcement of Israel's defense capabilities against missiles." The U.S. Congress also voted to continue aiding Israel to fund defense projects such as Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and Magic Wand. U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the budget on this evening.

2012: Filmmaker Judy Lieff and poets Aneta Brodski and Tahani Salah are scheduled to appear at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012: In Fairfax, VA, Congregation Olam Tikvah is scheduled to sponsor a silent auction combined with a post Passover Pizza Party.

2012: Mitzvah Day, sponsored by Agudas Achim, is scheduled to take place in Iowa City, Iowa

2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Crisis of Zionism” by Peter Beinart and ‘Schmidt Steps Back’ by Louis Begley. 

2012: Jacob Ostreicher, a 53-year-old Chasidic Jew from New York who is in a jail in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, launched a hunger strike following 10 months of appeals to the U.S. State Department.

2013: The Hartford Jewish Film Fest is scheduled to close with a screening of “Hava Nagila – The Movie.”

2013: “A Work-In-Progress Screening: On Becoming A Soldier” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Dr. David Kraemer is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures – All of Rabbinic Literature in Seven Sessions – at the Skirball Center.

2013(5th of Iyar, 5773: Yom Hazikaron – All places of entertainment are closed. Twice during the day, at the sound of a siren throughout the country, everything—and everyone— stops completely for two minutes.

2013: The head of the security network for US Jewish organizations said the community is "standing vigilant" following bombings at the Boston Marathon today.

2013: The annual torch-lighting ceremony at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl marked the end of Remembrance Day this evening and touched off Israel's 65th Independence Day celebrations.

2013: Bret Stephens, a former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for The Wall Street Journal, the prize committee announced today.

2013: Ceremonies, festivities and general revelry around the country marked Israel’s 65th Independence Day anniversary today.

2013: Israel must prepare for the possibility of striking Iran’s nuclear program on its own, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned today, during an Independence Day speech he delivered in Herzliya

2014(15th of Nisan, 5774): Pesach

2014: Yuli Kosharovsky best known for his work as an active leader of the Jewish refusenik movement passed away today. (As reported by Laura Bialis)

2014: In the evening Chuck Friedman is scheduled to lead the Agudas Achim Community Seder catered by the Motley Cow Café.

2014: After having been released by the Chicago Bears, today punter Adam Podesh signed a one year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2014; In “Golda Meir, late Israeli prime minister, vitally revealed in ‘Golda’s Balcony’” published today Peter Marks reviews the performance of Tova Feldshuh.

2015: The Oregon Board of Rabbis is scheduled to present Yom HaShoah: The Holocaust, Memory and the Future Congregation Beth Israel in Portland.

2015: Speaking today at the museum’s National Tribute dinner in Washington, “FBI director James Comey called the Holocaust the most significant event in history and said that’s why a US Holocaust Memorial Museum program on its lessons is mandatory for new agents.

2015: Peter Appelbaum is scheduled to discuss “Loyal Sons: Jewish Soldiers in the German Army in the Great War” at the Center for Jewish History.

2015: Professor of History and the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies from Wesleyan University are scheduled to present “Connected Histories: Sephardic and Ashkenazi Responses to Blood Libels in Pre-modern Europe” at the University of Connecticut.

2015: “Jews, Judaism and American Law” with Rabbi Lance J. Sussman is scheduled to open at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

2015: Just in time for the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, Marshal Weiss provides us with “Kosher deli in England a Titanic survivor’s legacy.”

2016: The graduate student council of the City University of New York is scheduled to “vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.”

2016(7th of Nisan, 5776): Ninety-four year old Frederick Mayer, the teenage refugee from Nazi Germany who ended up being captured and tortured by Nazi captors while taking part in operation “Greenup” passed away today. (As reported by Eric Lichtblaum)

2016: In Cedar Rapids, Shir Yehudah is scheduled to lead Temple Judah a “musical Shabbat.”

2016: Steven Gimbel, the professor of philosophy at Gettysburg College and author of Einstein: The Man is scheduled to lecture at the Suffolk Y JCC on Long Island, NY.

2016: “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah” and “I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2017(19th of Nisan, 5777): Shabbat shel Pesach

2017(19th of Nisan, 5777): Ninety-two year old psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Lifschutz passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2017(19th of Nisan, 5777): Sixty-four year old Mendel Deitsch, a Chabad Rabbi who was severely beaten six months ago in the western Ukrainian city of Zhytomir during a robbery died today in Jerusalem as a result of the wounds he had sustained.

2017: “Speaking to an Israel Radio reporter on the sidelines of a conference on the civil war in Yemen in Paris, Yemen’s Information Minister Moammer al-Iryani said today that the Houthis view the tiny remaining Jewish population as an enemy and are engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that includes ridding Yemen of its Jewish community.”

2017: All decent people mourn the death of 20 year old Hannah Bladon, a British student stabbed in Jerusalem “by a Palestinian man” on Good Friday in an attack that also left a fitty year old man and a 30 year old pregnant woman with undisclosed injuries.

2017: Courtesy of Bank Hapoalim, 35 Israeli museums and national sites offer free entry today.

2018(30th of Nisan, 5778): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2018: The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington are two of the organizations scheduled to host the “Blacks and Jews Unity Poetry Slam.”

2018: “A new exhibition revealing the impact of the Jewish émigrés behind some of Britain’s most iconic designs” at the Jewish Museum in London is scheduled to come to an end today.

2018: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Italian Teacher, a novel by Tom Rachman, In the Enemy’s House: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies by Howard Blum, The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk and How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

2018: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host a lecture by Adrienne G. Alexanian, the author of Forced into Genocide, as part of the commemoration of the 103rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

2018: “Holocaust survivor Irene Miller, author of Into No Man’s Land: A Historical Memoir, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Yom Ha’Shoah Community-wide Holocaust Memorial Program, held this evening,  April 15  at the Uptown JCC in New Orleans, LA.

2018: The Schultz Campus for Jewish Life is scheduled to host “Remember the Holocaust Yom Hashoah Commemoration with Ingrid Kennedy” this evening.

2018: The Center for Jewish History and the YIVO Institute are scheduled to present “Jews in Space” featuring Rob Schwimmer, Vickie L. Kloeris and Anna Martin.

2018: Auschwitz survivor Helen Weingarten is scheduled to be the featured speaker at the 53rd Annual Community Wide Holocaust Commemoration hosted by The Breman Museum in Atlanta, GA.

2018: The Governor of Georgia proclaims today as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

2019: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “From Macy’s to the Titanic – The Straus Family Legacy” during which “department store historian Michael Lisicky discusses how the Straus family rose from German-Jewish peddlers to merchant princes and major philanthropists before Isidor Straus's untimely death on the RMS Titanic.”

2019:  The Streicker Center is scheduled to host “an evening with Nathan Englander” during which the prize-winning author discusses his newest novel

2019: Luigi Toscano’s “Lest We Forget” series of large-format portraits of Holocaust survivors, which has already “appeared in public space all over the world” is scheduled to open at the San Francisco Civic Center today.

2019: “Biographer Robert Caro Pauses as He Prepares His Final Lyndon B. Johnson Volume” published in the April 15th issued of Time magazine provides interesting insights on the working habits and intellectual drive of the “Tall Texan’s” Jewish biographer.

2019: The running of the 123rd Boston Marathon is scheduled to take place today to mark Patriot’s Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

2019: In the United States, deadline for filing Federal Income Tax Returns

2019: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “Holy Lands,” a film set in Israel in London.

2019: The Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation is scheduled to host an appearance by Holocaust survivor Rachel Miller at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, IA.







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