915: Birthdate of Al-Hakam II, the second Caliph of Cordoba from 961 to 976 whose subjects included Hasdai ibn Shaprut and Enoch Ben Moses both of whom were leaders of the Jewish community in Andalusia.
1151: Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis who in 1122 was granted five houses belonging to Jews in Tours by King Louis VI, during whose “reign jurisdiction over the Jews (and their revenues) gradually passed from royal control to the hands of the Church” passed away today.
1334: Birthdate of King Henry II of Castile who “was arguably the first ruler since the Visigothic King Ergica to utilise opposition to Jewish activities in Iberian Peninsula as part of his policy.”
1435: Pope Eugene IV, who would issue an edict prohibiting: building of synagogues, money-lending for interest, holding public office, testifying against Christians, issued “Sicut Dubum,” a bull banning the enslavement of inhabitants of the Canary Islands who had converted to Christianity. Both measures had the same purpose – the growth of Christianity at all costs.
1505: Birthdate of Joachim II Hector the Elector of Brandenburg who allowed the Jews to return to his realm after he was told that the charges of host desecration that had led to their expulsion were false.
1546(10th of Shevat): The responsa of Rabbi Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi were printed for the first time in Rome
1614: Jacob Israel Belmonte, the native of “the island of Madeira” arrived today in Amsterdam where he joined with others including Jacob Tirado and Solomon Palache in founding that city’s “Portuguese-Jewish Community.
1625: John Milton, author of “Paradise Lost” is admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge at the age of 16. During Milton’s lifetime, Jews were still officially not allowed to settle in the British Isles. Like many Puritans living in the England of Oliver Cromwell, Milton saw a connection between his brand of Christianity and the Israelites. Until his eyes weakened, he read the Hebrew Bible on a daily basis and expressed a positive view of Mosaic Law. Milton was a politician as well as a poet. He served as a secretary to Oliver Cromwell and, according to one of his biographers, was part of the group who negotiated for the return of the Jewish community to England.
1635: Birthdate of German Protestant theologian Philipp Jakob Spencer who differed with Lutherans on two major points one of which was their belief that the conversion of the Jews was a required prelude to “the triumph of the church.”
1691: George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who probably never met a Jew but who believed that “the Jews were descendants of the Pharisees and caused the death of Jews” passed away today.
1726: Meyer Löw Schomberg German born physician who moved to London and had been admitted to the Royal College of Physicians in 1722 today became a fellow of the Royal Society, which would lead to him being admitted to the freemasons' lodge of the Premier Grand Lodge of England at the Swan and Rummer, Finch Lane in 1730/
1733: James Oglethorpe and 130 colonists arrive in Charleston, South Carolina on their way to found the colony of Georgia. The first Jews would arrive in Georgia with the second boatload of colonists who will arrive in July of 1733.
1754(19th of Tevet, 5514): Jacob Ḥayyim de Fonseca, the Hamburg born son of Joseph de Fonseca, who earned a medical degree from Leyden University passed away today.
1773: In Mackinac, Marie Elizabeth Louise Dubois and Ezekiel Solomons gave birth to Sophie Solomons
1777: During the American Revolution, Lewis Bush, a Jew from Philadelphia, was transferred from the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion to Colonel Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment.
1778: In London, Rachel Kijser and Asher Aron Goldsmid gave birth to Sir Isaac Goldsmid, a Sephardic Jew, who was a prominent London banker, a founder of the University of London and the husband of Isabel Goldsmid with whom he had eleven children.
1781(16th of Tevet, 5541): Parashat Vayechi
1781(16th of Tevet, 5541): Treinela bat Mose, the wife of Lipman ben Joseph passed away today in the United Kingdom.
1791: In Baden, Chaya Hirschburger and Isaac Kaufmann gave birth to Abraham Kaufman who was married to Lea Gutkind with whom he had four children and Regina Sinsheimer with whom he had ten children.
1797: Birthdate of Emanuel Schwab the native of Roedelheim, Germany who married Sophie Hirsch in 1862 and served as a rabbi for congregations in Schenectady, New York and Bridgeport, CT.
1799(7th of Shevat, 5559): Shlomin Moshe Jacob passed away today in the United Kingdom.
1800: Birthdate of English native Mary A. Levy, the wife of Amsterdam native Lewis A. Levy who eventually settled in Texas.
1803: Birthdate of Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire and one of the most prominent Jewish clerics of the 19th century.
1807 (4th of Shevat, 5567): Reb Moshe Leib of Sassov passed away. Born in 1745, Rav Moshe Leib was a disciple of Rabbi Shmelke of Nikolsburg, who was in turn a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch. As the many stories about his life demonstrate, Rav Moshe was committed to all three forms of love as enumerated by the Baal Shem Tov: love of God, love of Torah and love of Israel.
1809: “The Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Baden. who recognized the Jews of his country as a denomination and equated them with the Christian denominations in religious matters, but not in terms of civic rights” issued an edict today creating “the Oberrat of the Isaeliten” which was to be the governing body for Jews of his realm in religious matters.
1810: Birthdate of Ernestine Louise Polowsky, the daughter of a wealthy Polish rabbi who gained fame as Ernestine Louise Rose, the American feminist and abolitionist.
1814: Birthdate of Michael H. Godefroi, the native of Amsterdam and Dutch minister of justice who was the first of his people “to fill a cabinet position in Holland.”
1818: Birthdate of Abraham Stein, the Prussian born rabbi who became the leader of the Meisel Synagogue at Prague when in 1864 “it was changed to a modern temple with choir, organ and sermon.”
1818(6th of Shevat, 5578): Johanna bas Abram Grunebaum, the wife of David Jacob Felsenthal and he mother of Beier, Benjamin, Jacob, Jeannette, Abraham and Emanual Felsenthal passed away today.
1821: In London, an unnamed visitor came to the Exchange and reported to Mr. Rothschild that he was the intended victim of an assassination plot, one possibly being hatched in Austria. Rothschild gave no credence to the threat and was prepared to let the man depart. Others insisted that he be held. He was taken into custody, questioned by authorities and then released. The name of the informant has not been made public.
1825: Prior to his death Czar Alexander I expelled all the Jews from Mohilev and Vitebsk.
1830: When the Great Fire began in New Orleans today, the Jewish community numbered little more than thirty members but had already formed a congregation, Shaarai Chesed (Gates of Mercy), under the direction of Jacob Solis.
1836: Judah Lyons married Rosetta Hart today at the Great Synagogue.
1839: Jacob Hyam Nathan married Charlotte Benett today at the Great Synagogue.
1842: Birthdate of Odessa native and Russian Jurist Karl Ilyich Bernstein.
1844: Birthdate of “French journalist, writer and stage author Albert Millaud” who wrote “under the pseudonym Oronte and who “was the son of the banker Moïse Millaud, the founder of Le Petit Journal.”
1847: Birthdate of Morris Rich, founder of Atlanta’s Rich’s Department Store.
1853: Birthdate of Kingston, Jamaica native and Northwick College (London) educated Rabbi I.P. Mendes who had served the Portuguese in Richmond, VA for four years before becoming the spiritual leader of Mickva Israel in Savannah, GA.
1854(13th of Tevet, 5614): Judah Touro passed away. A native of Newport, RI, born in the same year as Lexington & Concord, Touro spent most of his adult life in New Orleans where he was a successful businessman and real estate investor. Touro also took part in the city’s signature event serving as a volunteer with Andrew Jackson’s forces that defeated the British in 1815. Touro was one of the great philanthropists of his time. Beneficiaries of his generosity included Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, The Bunker Hill (MA) Monument Fund and a residential settlement and almshouse in Jerusalem.
1858: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Henry Jacobs officiated at the marriage of Joseph Heilbrun of Baltimore to Lizzie L. Sommers.
1861: Fifty-eight-year-old Benjamin Kisch, the son of Simon Kisch and Julia Cohen and the husband of Julia Kisch was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”
1863: In Poland, Louis and Rebecca Goldstein Rosenthal gave birth to Isaac Rosenthal, the oldest of their nine children.
1865: In Washington, D.C., Annie Graff and Sol Kahn gave birth to Hattie Kahn who became Hattie Kahn Carb when she married realtor Isadore Carb and who lived and died in Fort Worth, TX where she raised Gladys, Meredith and David Carb.
1866: Birthdate of Rebecca Rosenthal Judah, the founder, in 1895, of the Louisville branch of the National Council of Jewish Women “and vice president and treasurer of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association.”
1866: Former U.S. Senator and Confederate cabinet member Judah P. Benjamin, who had fled the United States after the Civil War “enrolled at Lincoln’s Inn and soon thereafter was admitted to read law.
1867(7th of Shevat, 5627): Eighty-four-year-old Rebecca Judah, the Newport, RI born daughter of Hillel Judah and the wife of Isaac B. Seixas passed away today in New York.
1872: Birthdate of Horki native Israel Joseph Zevin who gained fame as “a humorist and pioneer of the Yiddish press in America” using the pseudonym “Tashrak.”
1873: It was reported today that the London Jewish Chronicle has published a story about the murder of a Russian Jewish family. Two laborers ordered brandy from Jewish innkeeper and then refused to pay for their drinks. They became abusive and eventually were forced to leave the tavern. Later that night, he innkeeper, his wife, his children and his brother were awakened by cries of “fire.” When they ran outside they were attacked by a mob of eight people including the two laborers. The mob ransacked the inn, set fire to the building and then threw the Jews in. They all burned to death except for a 12 year old boy who escaped into the woods.
1873: It was reported today that President Grant has instructed all United States ministers to inform the governments to which they are accredited that the U.S. has taken a “deep interest” in the Jews of Romania and would expect these governments to do what they can to intervene on behalf of this persecuted minority. Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the American-Jew who is the U.S. Consul at Bucharest expressed his pleasure with the American government’s intervention. [This would be another example of proof that President Grant was an anti-Semite was bogus]
1874: In Russia, today enactment of a lawing governing “universal military service” in which “no special regulations concerning the Jews are mentioned” which would lead to further modifications aimed specifically at the drafting of Jews and the subsequent service in the Czar’s army.
1876(16th of Tevet, 5636): Ḥayyim Löb ben Hirsch Katzenellenbogen who followed in his father’s footsteps as the head of the rabbinical school in Vilna which closed in 1873 leaving him destitute passed away today.1876: In Poland, Sarah and “Srul Itzhak Gallante gave birth to Abraham Naphtali Gallant, the husband of Etta Gallant with whom he had four children and who “was ordained by R. Johnah Zlotnick of Plock, Poland before coming to the United States where he served as President of the Board of Rabbis in the Bronx and was “active in Agudath Haraonim.1877: Rustic Wedding Symphony, Op. 26 (Ländliche Hochzeit) a symphony in E flat major by Karl Goldmark was performed for the first time in the United States “at a New York Philharmonic Society concert.”
1877: It was reported today that Lord Beaconsfield who celebrated his 71st birthday on December 27 “is now utterly enfeebled and exhausted and reduced to a condition of intellectual decrepitude by the strains of office.”
1878: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Newark, NJ, held its first meeting this afternoon. The 172 members elected the following officers: President – Frank Marx; Vice President – Leopold Harzfeld; Recording Secretary – Oscar Wiener; Financial Secretary – Edward Hirschler; Treasurer – Joseph Goetz. The members voted to raise $2,000 by issuing 400 shares of stock at $5 a share.
1878: It was reported today that David Rosenberg of Columbus, Ohio whom it is assumed is a Jew “has issued a call for a national convention of all Israelites who are now willing to accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah of the world.” The Jews promptly repudiated the man and his scheme.
1878: It was reported today that The Jewish Messenger sees the “present tendency to break down the barriers of synagognism” and replace it with a “brotherhood of synagogues” as one of the most promising features of the Jewish-American landscape.
1879: In Amsterdam, Isaac Jacob Gans, the Dutch born son of Jacob and Rebecca Mozes Gans, and his wife Vogeltje Dooseman gave birth to Jacob Gans
1879: In Kiev, Herman Panken and Feiga Berman Panken, gave birth to Jacob Panken who after moving to New York in 1890 eventually became an organizer of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, a member of the Socialist Party and a municipal judge.
1879: It was reported today that Thomas D. Conygham, the forger who swindled the people of Wilkes-Barre, PA out of $250,000 before fleeing the country was in turn the victim of a swindle perpetrated by Lazarus, a Sephardic Jew who conned him out of $70,000 in Haiti.
1882: The second of two articles by Joseph Jacobs which provided “an account of the persecution of the Jews in Russia” appeared in The Times of London.
1882: In Paris, Adolphe and Noémie Bloch gave birth to Darius Paul Bloch dit Dassault.
1882: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, whose members included Israel Cohen, Jacob Rosenthal, Moses Scheinfeldt and Mark Wolf was founded today in Boston, MA.
1882: The Louisville Courier published an account of the final disposition “of the Confederate bullion” in which Captain M.H. Clark that “before reaching Washington, Georgia,” he “was halted by Major Raphael J. Moses,” the member of an old Southern Jewish family to whom he turned over all of the wagons filled with silver bullion as order by President Davis so that it might be used “to feed the paroled soldiers” to keep them from stripping the area of supplies.”
1883: De Witt J. (David) Seligman and Addie Seligman gave birth to Alma Seligman who became Alma Hochstadter when she married Walter Hoschstadter.
1884: In Cleveland, OH William W. and Marie Lederer Pollak gave birth to Robert M. Pollak, the President of Pollak Brothers, Inc. a clothing manufacturing company in Fort Wayne, IN who was the husband of Louise M. Lehman Pollak and father of Helen Pollack
1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute elected the following as its first slate of officers: President- James Hoffman; Vice President – Leo Schlesinger; Treasurer – David L. Einhorn; Secretary – M.A. Kursheedt.
1885: In Philadelphia, PA, Moses and Carrie (Kaufman) Stern gave birth to University of Pennsylvania and Columbia educated author Arthur K. Stern, the husband of Henrietta Berkowitz and the President of the Jewish Chautauqua Society from 1920 to 1925.
1886: In a small village near Minsk, Brokhe Tsharni (née Hurwitz) and Zev Volf, “a fervent Lubavitcher” gave birth to Baruch Charney Vladeck who gained famed as Baruch Nachman Charney, an American Jewish Labor Leader and manager of the Jewish Daily Forward
1887: In the Ukraine, Charles Polteil Abuza and Jennie Lenz Abuza gave birth to Sofya “Sonya” Kalish, who gained fame as multi-talented Sophie Tucker, “the last of the Red Hot Mommas.”
1890: It was reported today that the Hebrew Technical Institute is currently 120 pupils who are supported by the efforts of 557 patrons and members.
1890: It was reported today that Harmony Club, a Jewish social club, suffered 3,000 in damages as a result of the cyclone that recently struck St. Louis, MO.
1891(4th of Shevat, 5651): Ninety-year-old Anton Ree the son of a Jewish banker who served as director at the Jewish Free School who was elected to the Hamburg Constituent Assembly where he worked as an advocate for Jewish Emancipation passed away today.
1891: A ship carrying five hundred Jewish men, women and children who were all from Russia, arrived at Dover, UK
1891: It was reported today that the Hebrew Benevolent Society and the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children were among the charities named to receive bequests in the will of the late Emma Abbot Wetherwall who was not Jewish.
1891: “Objects To Working Saturday” described the objections that Judge Joseph E. Newberger, an Orthodox Jew has raised to hearing matters on Saturday morning. While at least one of his colleagues has agreed to cover for him, Chief Justice Ehrlich responded by saying that Newberger should have considered this before running for election.”
1892: Second day of a three-day celebration marking opening of the Jewish Maternity Association's
Facility in Philadelphia, PA
1892: Charles Spurgeon, a leading British Baptist minister was quoted today as expressing his displeasure with the Russian treatment of her Jewish citizens. “If I had all the health and strength that could fall to the lot of man, I should be quite unable to express my feelings on reading of Russia’ intolerance of the Jews…The Czar is greatly injuring his own country by driving out God’s ancient people. No country can trample upon Israel with impunity…
1892: It was reported today that the annual expenses for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for the fiscal year ending October 1, 1891 were in excess of $92,000,000. The expenditures included part of the payment for the society’s new building.
1892: In London, Esther Goddard and Morris Solomon Corre gave birth to Henry Morris Corre.
1893: Birthdate of Chaim Sutin, the native of Belarus who gained fame as French painter Cahim Soutine. He owed part of his success to the support of Paul Guilluam, the French art dealer who championed the works of another Jewish artist, Amedeo Modigliani.
1893(25th of Tevet, 5653): Russian biographer Israel Tobiah Eisenstadt a descendant of Tobiah Bacharach and Israel ben Shalom, who were executed in 1659 on charges of “ritual murder” passed away today in St. Petersburg.
1893(25th of Tevet, 5653): Eighty-eight-year-old Alice Aarons, the daughter of Aron Aarons who died at the age of 78 in 1849, passed away today in the United Kingdom.
1894: Sixty-two-year-old Nadezhda von Meck, the widow of Karl von Meck, who joined with Dubrovnik native Samuel Polyakov, the Jew known as “the railroad king” to create Russia’s modern railway system, passed away today.
1894: Sixty-seven-year-old William Waddington who as French Foreign minister in 1879 supported Laurence Oliphant’s plan for “large scale Jewish settlement in Palestine” passed away today.
1894: Adolph L. Sanger lost in his bid to be elected President of the Board of Education in New York City.
1895: English author and historian Sir John Robert Seely, author of Ecce Homo and Natural Religion passed away. He believed that “the Hebrew Scriptures express in poetic for…the spirit of modern science”
1896: It was reported that a course in Hebrew will be offered by New York University as one of its summer school offerings starting this July.
1896(27th of Tevet, 5656): Sixty-seven-year-old businessman, philanthropist and “patron of the arts” Seilg Meier Goldschmidt passed away today in Frankfurt, Germany. *When his children urged Selig Goldschmidt to retire from business, he replied "This is impossible for me. There may well be enough to live on, both for you and myself, but I must certainly continue to work for my poor people, because for them I need a great deal of Maaser."
1896: “Dr. Cohen On ‘Judaism A Force’” published today includes Dr. Cohen’s message that “the wealthy Jewish merchants of Philadelphia…built large temples, patronized the arts and sciences and were charitable…but was there one among them who paid his employees liberally? In Philadelphia, as in other cities he knew of clothing fortunes that had been built from the blood of the poor Russian Jews…”
1897(10th of Shevat, 5657): Forty-six-year-old Croatian-Hungarian timber merchant who was a pioneer in the creation of the kind of airship that came to be known as a Zeppelin passed away today today.
1898: Emile Zola published "J'Accuse." This famous letter appeared in Clemenceau's paper L'Aurore. Zola was a supporter of Alfred Dreyfus and the letter condemned the French establishment for wrongly convicting Dreyfus. (The Clemenceau mentioned above is the same Clemenceau who led France to victory in World War I.)
1898: Seventy-eight-year-old Benjamin Victor Abraham the son of Victor Abraham and Rebecca Levy was buried today at the “Le Repentir Cemetery in Georgetown, British Guyana.”
1898: Auguste Scheurer-Kestner failed to convince his colleagues in the Senate to join with him in the battle for rehabilitation of Captain Dreyfus
1898(19th of Tevet, 5658): Eighty-one-year-old Talmudist and Biblical commentator Yehoshua Yehudah Leib Diskin also known as the Maharil Diskin, who established the Diskin Orphanage in Jerusalem and the Ohel Moshe (Tent of Moses) Yeishiva passed away today.
1899: Magistrate Sims is scheduled to hear a case in which Mrs. Esther Wallenstein, President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum, has brought charges of trespass against the builders working on the asylum’s building. She is represented by Maurice Untermyer.
1899: It was reported today that Liebler & Company are committed to producing a dramatization of Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto which will be produced at the Herald Square Theatre starting in October. The theatrical company has accepted the scenario he presented and the Jewish author is now working on a multi-act treatment.
1900(13th of Shevat, 5660) Parashat Beshalach
1900: It was reported today that “during his recent lecture tour here, Mr. Zangwill told the following story of himself: ‘He was walking along the beach one day, when he decided to rest on a bench beside a wall. On the other side of the wall were two ladies talking. He listened because ‘he couldn’t help it’ and because they were talking about him. One said it wonderful how Mr. Zangwill could write as well as he did about the Ghetto. The other replied, ‘Oh not at all! Whey shouldn’t he write well about the Jews? He is one and has lived among tham all his life, and ought to know them. Look at Walter Besant: he is more wonderful to my mind. He doesn’t know anything at all of them and yet he writes about them.”
1902: In Chicago, “wealthy shoe manufacturer Emmanual Rosenbaum” and his wife gave birth to bronze medal winning shot putter Maud Rosenbaum who married Baron Giacomo Giorgio Levi in 1927 and after getting a divorce married H. Walter Blumenthal in 1935 which led to her gaining further fame under the name Maud Blumenthal, the champion tennis player.
1903: Herzl begins the preparations for the meetings with the Foreign Ministry and with Lord Rothschild.
1904: In Baltimore, MD, “Jacob L. Zetzer and Fannie B. Zetzer gave birth to Rose Sylvan Zeter, the University of Maryland trained attorney and reformer who was the first woman to be admitted to the Maryland State Bar Association and the founder of “the first all-female law firm” in the state of Maryland.
1904(25th of Tevet, 5664): Leo Napoleon Levi, a lawyer and one of the first Jews from Texas to gain national recognition, died of a heart attack. He was born in 1856 in Victoria, TX. “At age sixteen he enrolled at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he received the medal for being the best university debater and at age twenty received his law degree. He married Ray Bachrach, and they had six children. He settled in Galveston and became associated with the law firm Flournoy and Scott in 1876; later he became a partner in Scott, Levi, and Smith. Levi was a well-known orator, and officials at the University of Texas invited him to give the commencement address in June 1899. The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith published this speech and others by Levi in a book in 1905. In 1887 Levi was elected president of Temple B'nai Israel, and the next year he brought Rabbi Henry Cohen to Texas. Levi retained the presidency for twelve years. In Galveston he joined the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, a Jewish fraternal organization, and was elected president of District Seven, which comprised seven Southern states. In 1900 Levi was elected national president of the IOBB. That same year he moved to New York City to pursue his work with B'nai B'rith. As president of B'nai B'rith, Levi he sent a petition to Czar Nicholas II, after the massacre at Kishinev, that demanded Russians stop abusing Jews. Secretary of State John Hay signed the Kishinev petition, and President Theodore Roosevelt endorsed it.
1904(N.S): Birthdate of Nathan Mironovich Milstein) a Russian-born American virtuoso violinist.
1904: In New York City, Augusta and Barnett Goodman gave birth to architect Percival Goodman the Columbia University Professor who “designed over 50 synagogues and religious buildings including the stone-clad Fifth Avenue Synagogue at 5 East 62d Street in Manhattan; Congregation Adath Israel in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, a strongly sculptural mass of concrete and red brick, and Shaarey Zedek in Detroit, a building with a stark prowlike concrete roof cutting into the sky.”
1905: In Grand Rapids, MI, Norman and Iva (Bates) Taylor gave birth to Ruth Alice Taylor the wife of General Paul Zuckerman and the other of Henry Zukerman who gained famed award winning actor, producer, director and very funny guy Buck Henry
1906(16th of Tevet, 5666): Parashat Vayehci
1906: “The Russian Revolution” published today includes a review of The Truth About the Tsar by Carol Joubert, the author of Russia as It Really Is which included a large amount of information relating “to the persecution of the Jews.
1907: A new building, which resulted from the remodeling of two townhouses opened today for the use of Congregation Orach Chaim.
1907: Fifty-five-year-old Joseph Simmons, the husband of Annie Simmons, was buried today at the “Plashet Jewish Cemetery” in London.
1908: In Manhattan, paleontologist Simon Flexner, the Kentucky born son of European-Jewish immigrants and Helen Thomas gave birth to award winning historian James Thomas Flexner. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
1908: The Times of London published the obituary for Major General Sir Frederic John Goldsmid who passed away yesterday without mentioning the fact that his family was Jewish.
1909: “Rights For Jews In Finland” published today reported that a committee of the Senate is considering two laws to improve the conditions of the Jews of Finland but that a allowing for “full equality for Hebrews is not contemplated.”
1910: Birthdate of Fay Gulack “a judge at the World Gymnastics Championships at Moscow in 1958, a manager of the 1964 Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team and the wife of George Gulak who won a Gold Medal at the 1932 Olympics.
1911: The first issue of the Yiddishe Baker, a Yiddish weekly appeared in New York City today.
1912: “The Psalms and Their Applications to Life” a tableau presented “arranged and directed by Mrs. Amie Stern” was the highlight of “the fourth regular meeting of the Chicago Association of Jewish Women held” today “at Sinai Temple” in Chicago under the leadership of its President, Mrs. Israel Cowen.
1912: Eduard Bernstein, a leading German social democrat whose “Jewish parents, who were active in the Reform Temple on the Johannistrasse where services were performed on Sunday” began serving as a “Member of the Imperial Reichstag from Silesia.”
1912: Centenary celebration of the birth of Dr. Liebman Adler who began his career in Germany as a public-school teacher and cantor at a local synagogue before moving to Detroit, Michigan in 1854 where he served as rabbi and cantor at Congregation Bethel. Adler was the father of famed architect Dankmar Adler. The younger Adler’s mother died in childbirth, so the father named him “Dank” (thanks), Mar (bitter). Liebman Adler moved to Chicago in 1861 when he was named rabbi of Kehilath Anshe Ma'ariv Synagogue. Dankmar would build a new synagogue before his father passed away in 1891.
1913: It was reported today that Professor Felix Weil of the City College was chose as the representative of the Alliance Israelite Universellte to the Jews of Many Lands Exposition being held in Cincinnati next week” and which “will include” a variety of artifacts “depicting the lives of Jews in different countries.”
1914: “The Great Powers Courting Rumania” published reported that Henry Green is planning on postponing the international conference “on the Jewish Question” due to the unsettled situation in Europe; a decision which he reached in part on “the advice of eminent European Jews such as Dr. Max Nordeau.”
1915: Winston Churchill presented plans for an assault on the Dardanelles. This plan would come to be known as the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign. If the campaign had succeeded, Turkey would have been knocked out World War I. Russia would have been re-supplied meaning no Russian Revolution. The stalemate on the Western Front would have ended and World War I would have ended without the United States joining the fray. But the campaign failed which ironically had a positive effect on one small aspect of Jewish history. Gallipoli consumed a great deal of Allied manpower. In desperation, the British were even willing to use an-all Jewish unit called the “Zion Mule Corps.” The corps acquitted itself with valor and honor, making it possible for the British to create an all-Jewish combat unit that saw service under Allenby in the fight against the Turks in Palestine.
1915: The London Chronicle “editorially” suggested today “that America may eventually be called upon to exercise a sort of suzerainty over Palestine.”
1915: Hyman G. Enelow, Louis Marshall, the Chairman of the American Jewish Relief Committee and Meyer London, “the only Socialist elected to Congress last November” are scheduled to address a mass meeting this evening a Temple Emanu-El where “they will tell the consequences of the war upon 7,000,000 Jews of Europe and Palestine.
1915: Louis Marshall, the Chairman of the American Jewish Relief Committee today “deplored what he termed the failure of the Jews of America, particularly in New York, t realize the terrible calamity that has overtaken the millions of Jews whose home are in the eastern theatre of the European war.”
1916: Birthdate of Bella Lewitzky, founder of the internationally acclaimed Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. When she appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Lewitzky declined to testify saying, “I am a dancer, not a singer.”
1916: The note that accompanied violinist Mischa Elman’s check in the amount of $5,869.94 for the Jews of Europe which was published today read “Inclosed please find check for the receipts from the benefit concert which I had the pleasure of giving for the Jewish war sufferers. I cannot tell you what pleasure it gives me to able to donate this amount to this cause.”
1916: It was reported today that President Wilson’s proclamation concerning a day set aside for raising funds for the Jews of Europe included the announcement that “Contributions” for that purpose “may be addressed to the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. which will take care of their proper distribution.”
1917: Birthdate of New York native Morris R. “Moe” Becker the All-American Duquesne University basketball star who played college ball from 1939 through 1941 before turning with pro staring with the Philadelphia Sphas and finishing with NBA teams including the Boston Celtics.
1917: An early step towards the founding of UFA, the German film production company whose original owners included Hermann Frenkel, was taken today with the creation of the Bild- und Filmamt (Bufa) by Germany's Supreme Army Command.
1917: The Directors of the Montefiore Home gave a private dinner this evening at Sherry’s in honor of banker Jacob H. Schiff who had just turned seventy during which Samuel Sachs presented the guest of honor “with a three-quarter length oil painting of himself” which “will hang in his home until his death, after which it wll be hung in the Montefiore Home of which he is the President.”
1917: “The midwinter dance of the junior workers of the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind” is scheduled to “be held at the Plaza Hotel” this evening.
1917: In Manhattan, The First Hungarian Congregation Ohab`Zedak offered a special thanksgiving prayer composed by Rabbis Bernhard Drachman and Philip Klein for the life and works of Jacob Schiff who had just turned seventy at a service “conducted by Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt and the full choir.”
1917: During services at Temple Israel in Harlem, Rabbi M.H. Harris “paid tribute to” Jacob Schiff.
1917: Leonard Keysor who had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the 42nd Battalion of the 1st Australian Brigade while fighting in France in December was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant today which would lead to his promotion to 1st Lieutenant in July of 1917.
1918: Final preparations were made by those participating in the campaign of the Jewish Philanthropic Societies to raise four million dollars or more for the year’s maintenance of Jewish welfare, relief and sociologic activities” which is scheduled to start tomorrow under the leadership of Felix M. Warburg.
1918(29th of Tevet, 5678): Forty-nine-year-old Albert Aschaffenburg, “a prominent New Orleans Capitalist and Real Estate Developer who had planned to build the Pontchartrain Hotel next door to the Orpheum Theater, who was the husband of Elivine Schaefer Aschaffenburg and the father of Eugene Albert Aschaffenburg passed away today, before he could begin the construction project which was “resurrected by his son.
1918: “Three large halls were required” tonight “to hold the outpouring of Jewish men and women who met to lay the foundation for the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies which enter upon its campaign for 50,000 members.”
1919: Rebecca Henriques, the daughter of Sigismund Stiebel and Eliza Jacob Mocatta and the wife of Frederick Henriques was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”
1920: Polish Russian Jews are fleeing at the approach of Bolshevist bands of plunderers between Kiev and Woloczys according to adviced received today by the State from Warsaw” which has led to 15,000 Jewish refugees gathering “at Amerinka” living in “deplorable conditions.
1920: The ZOA announced today “that London and Copenhagen had been selected as centers through which the mass migration of Jews to Palestine will be directed.”
1922: Today, Nahum Sokolow, President of the Executive Committee of the World Zionist organization, who is visiting the United States as the head of a European delegation of Zionist leaders, met with U.S. President Warren G. Harding.
1923(25th of Tevet, 5683): Parashat Shemot
1923: As of today, there are reportedly 83, 794 Jews living in Palestine.
1924: In Philadelphia, Sol and Rae Breslow gave birth to Lillian Breslow who gained fame as Lillian B. Rubin, a sociologist and psychotherapist who wrote a series of popular books about the crippling effects of gender and class norms on human potential.” (As reported by Paul Vitello)
1925: Today, Ha’Koach, the Vienesse Jewish football (soccer) team defeated a team of English players in Jerusalem by a score of 4 to 2.
1926: Birthdate of author and feminist Carolyn Gold Heilbrun.
1926: “Arthur M. Lamport was officially installed as Chariman of the West Side for the United Palestine Appeal” today based “based on the recommendation of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise who is leading the drive to raise five million dollars “for the restoration of Palestine.”
1927: “In Germiston, a small town near Johannesburg,” Morris Brenner, a cobbler from Lithuania and Leach (Blecher) Breener gave birth biologist Sydney Brenner who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with H. Robert Horvitz and John Sulston. (As reported by Nicholas Wade)
1928: “Sapiro Reviews Ford Suit” published described an address given by attorney Aaron Sapiro entitled “Our Day In Court” during which he reviewed the suit brought against Henry Ford and his Dearborn Independent
1929: Birthdate of Cleveland native Morris “Moe” Savransky the southpaw who pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 1954.
1929: Wyatt Earp, Western legend, passed away. Earp was not Jewish. But his wife was and she conspired to have him buried in a Jewish cemetery. This gave rise to erroneous rumor that Earp had converted before his death. 1930: Birthdate of Sidney Cole the jockey killed in 1961 “after being thrown from the saddle of a 2-year-old filly and into a guard rail at Aqueduct.”
1931: It was reported today that “the Jewish papers of Germany and the adjoining countries have proclaimed tomorrow” to be “a Jewish festival” in honor of Felix M. Warburg’s sixtieth birthday.
1931: “Allie Schukman scored eight points” and Max Posnack scored another seven “as St. John’s beat L.I.U. for the fourth year in a row.” (As reported by Wechsler)
1935: Germany regains control of a valuable resource as the Saar rejoins the Reich following a plebiscite conducted by the League of Nations.
1935: “The eighty-eight anniversary of the birth of the late Jacob H. Schiff, banker and philanthropist, and the tenth anniversary of the dedication of the Jacob H. Schiff Center is scheduled to be observed with special services at the center” in the Bronx, this morning which will include “introductory remarks by Rabbi Alexander Basel” followed by “an address by Dr. Israel Goldstein, the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun”
1936(18th of Tevet, 5696): Seventy-nine old educator Sir Meyer Spielman, the son of Adam Spielmann and the brother of Isador and Aarib Spielmann, the president of the Keren Hayesod Committee and author of “The Romance of Child” who was knighted in 1928 passed away today.
1936: During today’s celebration of the first anniversary of the Saar Plebiscite that led to Nazi Germany taking control of this valuable territory, District Leader Joseph Buerckel responded to questions by foreign correspondents by insisting “that all Jews in the Saar still enjoyed double protection under the Rome agreement – namely a Jews and as status quo voters” but also announced that this protection would end on March 1 when the Jews would come under the Nuremberg laws…”
1936(18th of Tevet, 5696): Samuel Lionel "Roxy" Rothafel passed away. Born in 1882 at Stillwater, Minnesota “was a showman of the 1920s silent film era and the impresario for many of the great New York movie palaces that he managed such as the Strand, Rialto, Rivoli, Capitol, and his eponymous Roxy Theatre in New York City He also opened Radio City Music Hall in 1932, which featured the precision dance troupe, the "Roxyettes", later renamed the Rockettes.” Roxy also made a name for himself on radio, where he began broadcasting in mid-November 1922, and throughout the 1920s, his live broadcasts from the Capitol Theatre became increasingly popular. One estimate from 1924 placed his typical radio audience at about five million listeners, and he was said to receive thousands of pieces of fan mail weekly. (His weekly variety show, "Roxy and His Gang," was later heard on the NBC Blue network, by that time broadcasting from the Roxy Theatre. Rothafel has been credited with many movie presentation innovations, including synchronizing orchestral music to movies (in the silent film era) and having multiple projectors to effect seamless reel changes. The book The Best Remaining Seats by Ben Hall (1961), gives a good overview of the movie palaces of the 1920s and, specifically, of Roxy himself. Rothafel is buried in Linden Hill Jewish Cemetery in Queens, New York.”
1936: It was announced today that the annual donor luncheon of the Women’s League will be held at the Waldorf Astoria on January 15, 1936. Proceeds from the event will be used to pay for the completion of a facility being built in Tel Aviv for female refugees fleeing Hitler’s Germany.
1936: The Ministry of Public Instruction announced the closing of the University of Vilna for the rest of the school term because of “continued anti-Semitic demonstrations by Polish Nationalist students” who began to riot after their demands that they be separated from the Jewish students were not met.
1937: Speaking on behalf of the Arab High Committee, Jerusalem lawyer Auni Bey Abdulhadi told the Peel Commission that “the Arabs will not compromise” and “they will negotiate only with the British government, not the Jews and they will never agree to cantonization.” (Editor’s Note – Cantonization was the pre-war term for Partition, which is the key to the “two state solution”.)
1937: Brooklyn Republican Assemblyman introduced “a bill to shift the date of the primary election this year from September 14, which “is the eve of the Jewish Day of Atonement” to September 16.
1937: “Joseph C. Hyman, executive director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced” today “that late in 1936” the committee made “a $1,000 contribution for school and cultural work among the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia” which “has been acknowledge by Professor Taamarat Emanuel, the director of the Jewish School in Addis Ababa.
1937: “Crooked Cross” Sally Carson’s play about “a Bavarian girl’s love for a Jewish doctor in the early days of the Nazi revolution” opened tonight at the Westminster Theatre in London.
1938: The Palestine Post reported on the opening of the Rockefeller archeological museum in Jerusalem, founded by John Rockefeller and named in his honor. The museum's permanent exhibition revealed the history of mankind as recorded in local archeological finds. No festive opening ceremony took place, due to the tragic murder of archeologist John Starkey.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that Jewish buses were shot at in Haifa and there were various shooting incidents in Jerusalem.
1938: “The fifth anniversary of Hitler’s ascension to power in Germany was made the occasion of anti-Nazi meeting” tonight “in the Manhattan Opera House” which was sponsored by the Joint Boycott Council of the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee and where “the principal speaker, William E. Dodd, the former United States Ambassador to Germany said the situation for the Jews in Germany was worse than at any time in the last hundred years.”
1938: An article in The Palestine Post quoted extensively from the London's Financial Times, which reviewed the hopeless position of over five million Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, denied the means of existence or possible emigration. The report concluded that "it seemed too much to hope in the present state of the world that a political and economic effort will be made to stop this tragedy."
1938(11th of Shevat, 5698): Albert Ottinger, the former New York State Attorney General who was the Republican candidate for governor defeated by FDR in 1928 passed away today at the age of 59. He used his governmental positions to fight corruption and prosecuted those responsible for perpetrating frauds in the financial services industry. He was responsible for the introduction of voting machines. Ottinger was also active in Jewish communal affairs. [Many younger readers may be surprised to find out that the Republican Party in New York had a history of using government to protect the citizens from abuses by rapacious and/or crooked “capitalists.]
1939: “Negotiations regarding the evacuation of Jews from Germany were resumed today when Geroge Rublee, chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees and his aides conferred for one hour with Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, the president of the Reichsbank” in Berlin. (Editor’s note - this has to qualify as one of the most farcical meeting in an era marked by meetings that were pure farce.)
1939(22nd of Tevet, 5699): Seventy-four-year-old Rabbi Isaac Alpert, the father of Sarah Alpert and father-in-law of Nathan Kolko passed away today in Rochester, NY.
1940(3rd of Shevat, 5700): Parashat Bo
1940: In his sermon today at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue Rabbi David de Sola Pool said, “However much of evil and disaster the passing generation has bequeathed to the world, religion has an unshakable faith in the power of youthful idealism to refashion human society for the better. “
1940: In his sermon today at the Mount Nebo Congregation, Rabbi Samuel Segal “declared that to go forward is not a command for an attack on life but rather an order for the civilization to advance.”
1941: James Joyce passed away. His most famous novel, Ulysses, featured a Jewish protagonist, Leopold Bloom.
1941: Governor Herbert H. Lehman appointed Philip M. Kleinfeld to the New York Supreme Court.
1942: The deportation of 10,000 Jews from Lodz began at the rate of 700 a day. They are all sent to Chelmno to be gassed. Nine transports of about 90 people each were buried in Chelmno. Five of the nine men unloading the corpses were shot when the day was done.
1943: The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, warned Italians that they would permit Jews to live in areas under German rule until March 31. After that time, "the Government won't be able to make any exceptions." In other words, Italian Jews would now become candidates for the Final Solution.
1943: Fifteen hundred Jews are deported from Radom, Poland, to Treblinka.
1943: Birthdate of Brooklyn native and Brandeis alum Eli Jay Segal the businessman and political activist who worked in campaigns from McGovern to Clinton and who married his “college-sweetheart” Phyllis.
1944: Two United States Treasury Department officials--Josiah DuBois and Randolph Paul--threaten to resign and make public the report on their investigation into the State Department's scandalous activities in regard to the Jews. The report is originally entitled "Report to the Secretary [of the Treasury] on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews." The report indicts officials of the State Department for their "willful attempts to prevent action from being taken to rescue Jews from Hitler." "They have not only failed to use the governmental machinery at their disposal to rescue Jews from Hitler but have even gone so far as to use this governmental machinery to prevent rescue of the Jews.
1944: “The Sosnowiec labor camp, which had been established on the site of the Srodula ghetto was liquidated today and its prisoners sent to Auschwitz.”
1945(28th of Tevet, 5705): Parashat Vaera
1945: Today “The State Prosecutor demanded today that the Egyptian military court hand down the death penalty for the two young Palestinian Jews being tried for the political assassination of Lord Moyne, British Resident Minister in the Middle East.”
1946: Two days after he had passed away funeral services are scheduled to be held today for songwriter and published Harry Von Tilzer
1947: Tonight, economist Robert R. Nathan “told a conference of the United Palestine Appeal” that “the best solution of to the Palestine problem is a joint Anglo-American trusteeship” which if properly administered “could permit the absorption of 600,000 to 1,000,000 Jewish immigrants in the next ten years.”
1948 (2nd of Shevat, 5708): Solomon Mikhoels was killed by the secret police under Stalin's orders, as part of a campaign to eradicate Jewish intellectualism and culture. Born in 1890, Mikhoels was a leading Russian and Yiddish actor famed for his roles as Tevye and King Lear. During the war he had tried to win support for the Russian war effort by touring England and the United States.
1948: In attempt to secure the road to Mt. Scopus, site of Hadassah Hospital, the Haganah launched an attack on Sheikh Jarrah. Having dislodged the Arab gunmen from the area, the Jews were forced to hand it over to the British who promised not to permit armed Arabs into the area. Within forty eight hours, the British gave it back to the Arabs.
1948: Twenty-four hours after several members of the “Pan York” escaped from their British captivity on Cyprus arrived aboard a fishing boat at Caesarea.
1949: Birthdate of television executive, Brandon Tartikoff.
1949: Following the War for Independence, several of the former members of the human blockade runner “Pan York” including Avi Livney settled at Sasa, a village “situated at a strategic crossroad between the Western and Upper Galilee, near the Lebanese border.”
1949: Boris Abramovich Shimelivoich the Russian poet and revolutionary who was part of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was arrested during one of Stalin’s purges which would lead to his execution in 1952.
1950(25th of Tevet, 5710): Parashat Shemot
1950(25th of Tevet, 5710): Seventy-one-year-old Rabbi David Alexander, the graduate of the University of Cincinnati and HUC and the husband of the former Irene Schwab with whom he raised two children – Ruth and James – passed away today in Akron Ohio.
1950: Los Angeles premiere of “Samson and Deliah” with a script co-authored by Jesse Lasky, Jr. based on a work by Vladimir Jabotinsky starring Hedy Lamar as the Biblical temptress.
1950: “Whirlpool” the film version of Guy Endore’s Methinks the Lady, directed and produced by Otto Preminger, with music by David Raskin and with a screenplay co-written by Ben Hecht whose name was removed from the version shown in Great Britain due to his militant Zionism, was released today in the United States.
1953: An article published today in Pravda touched off a wave of virulent anti-Semitism throughout Russia.
1953: As the “Doctors Plot” campaign which accussed Jewish medical professionals of planning to kill Stalin and other officials, as well as being “agents” of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an international social welfare agency” began Pravda published “Dastardly Spies and Assassins in the Guise of Professors and Doctors.”
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the losses due to drought in the Negev topped $3 million. The heavy rain came too late, and not a drop fell in the Migdal-Ashkelon-Safieh region, where the loss was over IL 10m.
In Johannesburg, Joy and Godfrey Rabinowitz gave birth to Trevor Rabinowitz,
the South African native best known as a writer and guitarist for the band “Yes”
who changed his name from Rabinowitz to Rabin and was raised in a Reform
household. He grew up observing Shabbat and singing in his synagogue choir, and
despite the name change, he has never really left Judaism. In 2004, he told the
San Diego Jewish journal that it helps to be a Jew in the world of rock and
roll, because so many other musicians are also
1956: Eighty-four-year-old “caricaturist, comic strip artists” and “expressionist painter” Lyonel Charles Feininger who left Germany after the Nazis came to power because his work was declared “degenerate” and because his wife was Jewish under their racial laws passed away today.
1958(21st of Tevet, 5718): Seventy-seven-year-old motion picture pioneer Jesse L. Laskey, the co-founder of Paramount Pictures, the father of three children including screenwriter Jesse L. Lasky Jr. and the brother-in-law of fellow movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, passed away today.
1958: Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir began serving Deputy Minister of Welfare.
1961: William Louis-Dreyfus and Julia Bowles gave birth to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the actress who played Elaine on the television hit “Seinfeld.”
1961(25th of Tevet, 5721): Sixty-two-year-old “foreign securities broker” Carl Marks “the founder of Carl Marks & Co and husband of Edith Marks with whom he had two children and generous donor to several charities including the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies passed away today.
1962: After 400 performances, the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of Jule Styne’s musical “Do Re Mi” starring Phil Silvers and featuring Al Lewis.
1965(10th of Shevat, 5725): Arthur “Art” Gottlieb the Rutgers University quarterback who threw the touchdown pass in a game against in-state rival Princeton which gave the Scarlet Knights their first victory over the Tigers since they had met for the first time in 1869 in what was the first “modern” intercollegiate football game.
1965: In Philadelphia, PA, “small businessman” Robert Rosenstein and his wife Gerri who worked as “a bookkeeper and school board gave birth to Rod Jay Rosenstein, the Harvard Law School graduate who in April of 2017 “was the nation’s longest-serving U.S. Attorney” at which time he became the 37th United States Deputy Attorney General serving under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump.
1966: In Tel Aviv, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and his wife gave birth to Rabbi David Baruch Lau.
1966: Abba Eban became the third Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel.
1967: In Moscow, Alexander and Yelena Gessen gave birth Maria Alexandrovna Gessen who gained fame as award winning journalist and LGBT activist Masha Gessen,
1968: At the Martin Beck Theatre after 293 performances and 22 previews the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Hallelujah, Baby!, a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden, and a book by Arthur Laurents
1969: Samuel H. Shapiro, who was the second Jewish governor of the State of Illinois completed his term of office today, having gained the job when his predecessor resigned to take a federal judgeship and he moved up from being Lt. Gov.
1971: “Lupo.!”, a comedy with a script by Ken Globus and Menahem Golan who also served as director and co-producer was released today in Israel.
1972(26th of Tevet, 5732): Seventy-four-year-old Chicago native and University of Chicago trained attorney Edwin Louis Weisl, a company commander United States Navy, World War I and husband of “the former Alice Todriff” who “was one President Johnson’s closest friends and a Democratic National committeeman” from California passed away today.
1972: After having premiered in New York City in December of 1971, Stanley Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange” was released today in the United Kingdom.
1972: “The Cowboys” directed and produced by Mark Rydell with a screenplay co-authored by Irving Ravetch was released today in the United States by Warner Bros. (Editor’s Note: Based on decades of experience, in my humble opinion, this is one of the best western movies ever made – a must see film.)
1974(19th of Tevet, 5734): Sholom Secunda passed away. Born in 1894 at Oleksandriia, he “was a Jewish composer, born in Ukraine and educated in the United States. He wrote the melody for the popular song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" in 1932. Together with Aaron Zeitlin he wrote the famous Yiddish song "Dos kelbl (The Calf)" (also known as "Donna Donna") which was covered by many musicians, including Donovan and Joan Baez. Along with Abraham Ellstein, Joseph Rumshinsky, and Alexander Olshanetsky, he was one of the "big four" composers of his era in New York City's Second Avenue Yiddish theatre scene
1974: A Gallup poll on religious worship showed that fewer Protestants and Roman Catholics were attending weekly services than ten years earlier, but that attendance at Jewish worship services had increased over the same period.
1975(1st of Shevat, 5735): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1975(1st of Shevat, 5735): Seventy-four-year-old Alexander Falk, “a former State Senator and president of the State Civil Service Commission” passed away today.
1978: The Jerusalem Post published an exclusive interview with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, who agreed that Israel needed security, but could not keep Arab land. Sadat proposed mutual security measures for the West Bank and Sinai. He promised to build a "triple shrine" a mosque, a synagogue and a church at the top of Jebel Musa, Mount Sinai, where according to tradition Moses received the Ten Commandments.
1978: Former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey passed away in Waverly, Minnesota, at age 66. As mayor of Minneapolis and Senator from Minnesota was champion of the underdog and fighter for civil rights. These policies made him popular with Jewish voters. During the 1950’s visitors to Humphrey’s office in the Senate Office Building were greeted by the sight of a prominently displayed JNF Tree Certificate.
1979(14th of Tevet, 5739): Parashat Vayechi
1979(14th of Tevet, 5739): One person died and five more were injured when Palestinian terrorists tried and failed to seize a hotel in Maalot.
1980: "King of Schnorrers" closes at the Playhouse Theater in New York City after 63 performances. “King of Schnorrers” was a musical based on work of the same name by Israel Zangwill.
1981: In response to Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir’s request the Knesset voted to remove the “parliamentary immunity” of Aharon Abuhatzira “so that he could be charged with bribery.”
1981: Yigal Hurvitz, who had been serving as the Minister of Finance, left the cabinet.
1982(18th of Tevet, 5742): Sixty-seven L.I.U basketball great Jules “Julie” Bender passed away today in Boca Raton, FL
1982(18th of Tevet, 5742): Just weeks before his 60th birthday, Harold William Chase, the Worcester born son of Louis Chase and Bessie Lubin and husband of Bernice Chase with whom he had two son -- Bryce and Eric – who was the Princeton trained political science and decorated Marine Corps veteran who rose to the rank of Major General passed away today.
1984(9th of Shevat, 5744): Seventy-five-year-old Alfred Gilman, “founding chairman of the department of pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, in the Bronx” passed away today.
1989: “Gleaming the Cube” a murder mystery written by Michael Tolkin was released today in the United States.
1989: “Unsettled Land” an Israeli drama directed by Uri Barbash was released in the United States today.
1993(20th of Tevet, 5753): Seventy-three University of Chicago trained archeologist and art historian Helene J. Kantor, the daughter of Dr. Jacob Robert Kantor, who worked at Choga Mish with Israeli archaeologist Pierre Pinchas Deloguaz passed away today.
1994(1st of Shevat, 5754): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1994(1st of Shevat, 5764: Eighty-year-old “art collector, dealer and philanthropist” “the widow of Lester Avnet, founder of Avnet, Inc., a major distributor of electronic components” who along with her husband assembled a collection of over 900 works,” 180 of which they donated to MOMA passed away today.
1994: Edward P. Djerejian, a Clinton appointee, presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
1998: Daniel Charles Kurtzer presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. (Yes an American Jew represented the United States in Cairo. Jewish diplomats representing the United States in Moslem countries is nothing new. It dates back to the days of the Ottoman Empire.]
1999(25th of Tevet, 5759): Terrorists killed an Israeli soldier near Hebrwon
2000: Steve Balmer “was officially named CEO of Microsoft” today.
2001(18th of Tevet, 5761): Parashat Vayechi
2001: “Early this morning, the Palestinian official, Yasir Abed Rabbo, took back his call for Mr. Barak's indictment after the Israelis promised that they did not have an assassination hit list of 500 Palestinians.”
2002(29th of Tevet, 5762): Canadian born comedian Frank Shuster, who gained fame as part of the comedy duo of Wayne and Shuster passed away.
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline by Richard A. Posner, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate by Neil Baldwin, two books of Al Hirschfield’s drawings - Hirschfeld's New York and 'Hirschfeld's Hollywood and Be My Knife by David Grossman “an Israeli, widely known not just for his four previous novels but for two seminal books about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and for his -- as the Israelis say -- dovish'' articles and editorials in major newspapers around the world. With the exception of his first novel, however, the horrific political life of Israel -- the real world of intifada and reprisal -- plays virtually no role in the universe of Grossman's fiction.”
2003(10th of Shevat, 5763): Fifty-eight-year-old Rabbi Steven Dworken, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, a professional body serving over 1,100 Orthodox rabbis, died suddenly at his home in Teaneck, N.J., of a heart attack
2004: “Prime Minister Ariel Sharon raised the possibility today that the Israeli military could one day withdraw from the Gaza Strip…’
2005: “At least three Palestinians detonated a truck bomb and then attacked Israelis late tonight at a busy crossing point in the Gaza Strip, in an attack coordinated with other militants who fired mortars and automatic weapons at Israeli soldiers,
2006: Jeffrey Pollack was appointed Commissioner of the World Series of Poker.
2006: After premiering at Los Angeles in 2005, “Hoodwinked” a computer animated comedy film produced by Maurice Kanbar was released in the United States today.
2006: An exhibit of works by ceramicist Daisy Brand sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Northern Clay Center opened today. https://jwa.org/thisweek/jan/13/2006/daisy-brand
2007: Mathew Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud and Elisabeth Murdoch gave birth to their second child Samson Murdoch Freud.
2007: Senior archaeologists have come out in harsh criticism against the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) for authorizing plans for a bridge to connect the Dung Gate in Jerusalem's Old City to the Mugrabi Gate, located next to the Western Wall and leading to the Temple Mount.
2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky who grew up in a small eastern Kansas town, where she and her brothers were the only Jewish kids in school and is best known as the creator of the fictional female detective V. I. Warshawski, Vienna Blood by Dr. Frank Tallis in which the author returns to his previous literary landscape - fin de siècle Vienna complete with Sigmund Freud and Austrian anti- Semitism and Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by Jacob Heilbrunn. As can be seen from one typical review, the book emphasizes the Jewish nature of the Neo-Con movement. “The story of the neocons is a saga of immigrant assimilation, whose seeds lie in the Jewish intellectual circles of the 1930s, when communists loyal to Stalin clashed with Trotskyites over communist theory and its applications in the real world. In tracing the evolution of neo-conservatism (including a look at the influence of the mysterious Leo Strauss), Heilbrunn shows how generations of Jews moved from the margins of political and intellectual life to replace the old WASP elite and now play a central role in determining U.S. policy in the Middle East.”
2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky and a biography about Mstislav Rostropovich the renowned Baku born Jewish musician entitled Rostropovich: The Musical Life of the Great Cellist, Teacher, and Legend by Elizabeth Wilson
2008: An exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, "Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005 " comes to a close in Washington, D.C.
2008: The UK's Mail on
Sunday issued a free
2008:” New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch
De Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam
2008: Leonard Cohen announced today that he would make his first concert tour in 15 years starting in May of 2008 at New Brunswick.
2008: “They Called Me Mayer July”, the first major exhibition of Mayer Kirshenblatt’s work in the United States has its final showing at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkley, California. The exhibition 65 paintings is a tribute to the 91 year old Mayer Kirshenblatt’s distinctive imagination and sharp recollection of his Polish Jewish home town before World War II, with images such as: the pregnant hunchback, who stood under the wedding canopy just hours before giving birth; the khayder teacher caught in bed with the drummer's wife; the corpse that was shaved; and the "black wedding" in the cemetery during a cholera epidemic.
2009: The 92nd St Y presents an evening with newly minted Nobel Laureate, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
2009: The Governor of New York nominated Jonathan Lippman to serve as the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
2009: U.S. Senator Bill Nelson revealed during Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing that he believes Robert Levinson is being held in a secret prison in Iran. "The door has been closed at every turn", Nelson said during Clinton's confirmation hearing. "We think he is being held by the government of Iran in a secret prison. (Levinson is the only Jew in this item)
2009: Hadassah began instituting a massive reduction in force today when it laid off 80 employees across the country, roughly a quarter of its national staff. The cuts are coming at all levels of the organization. Hadassah recently announced that it had in total $40 million invested in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scam, as well as another $50 million the organization thought it had made in the scam. It was a significant hit to its endowment, which now stands at $412 million.
2010: Miriam Levinson, an expert on Jewish Cuban History is scheduled to present a lecture entitled “The Jews of Cuba: The Road to Paradise and the Land We Called Home” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.
2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival opens with a showing of “Saviors in the Night.” 2010: In “For Some, ‘Kosher; Equals Pure,” Kim Severson reported that “this year, for the first time, glatt kosher food will be sold at the Super Bowl.” She then explained why “kosher” has become so popular among the food-eating public.
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival opens with a showing of “Berlin ’36.”
2010: Israel’s deputy foreign minister issued a formal apology to the Turkish ambassador today after ostentatiously humiliating him earlier in the week and aggravating strains in a complex and increasingly troubled relationship between Israel and Turkey, its closest Muslim ally. 2010: According to a report made public today, the past three years have seen a huge jump in the number and variety of courses about Israel taught in America's top universities.
2010: According to a report entitled "Searching for the Study of Israel" that was released today, "the past three years have seen a huge jump in the number and variety of courses about Israel taught in America's top universities."
2011: “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” is scheduled to have its world premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.2011: “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitx “opened off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre with a cast that included Linda Lavin
2011: “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground” is scheduled to have its New York premier at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2011: Andrea Meislin Gallery is scheduled to host a reception in honor Naomi Leshem to mark the opening of Between Zones, an exhibition of the work of this acclaimed Israeli photographer.
2011: A group of national religious youth, known as “Ra'ananim” [waking up], plans to launch a campaign today against buying fruits, especially figs, from Turkey for the upcoming Tu B'Shvat holiday.
2011: In an unprecedented step, some twenty senior Israeli ambassadors sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, asking him to intervene in the Foreign Ministry workers' strike "in order to save Israel's foreign service."
2012: “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground” – a documentary about one of the premier klezmer music groups – is scheduled to be shown at The Boston Jewish Film Festival.
2012: Avram Grant was named the new manager of Partizan Belgrade
2012: “The Last Jews of Libya” is scheduled to be shown at Temple Sinai in Springfield, MA
2012: Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau warned Israeli citizens today to stay away from Thailand's capital, following the arrest of a Hezbollah militant suspected of planning a terrorist attack in the city.
2013: Gary Gilson is scheduled to perform “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish…But It Couldn’t Hurt” at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival
2013: Jonathan-Simon Sellem gave a speech at the National Convention of the CRIF on “from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism.
2013: “Israel’s Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar has announced that Prof. Chava Turniansky from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will receive the 2013 Israel Prize. Prof. Turniansky, the Spitz Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies (Yiddish) in the university’s Department of Yiddish, will receive the award for her work on the Jewish language and literature.”
2013: The New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “An Evening with the Safdie Brothers” featuring an in-person appearance by directors Josh and Benny Safdei.
2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson, The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond and She Matters: A Life in Friendships by Susanna Sonnenberg.
2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to co-sponsor the presentation of “Life in Stills” and “Hava Nagila” as part of the Washington Film Festival
2013: Israeli forces evacuated a Palestinian outpost built on a controversial strip of land in the West Bank early this morning, less than a day after the High Court stayed the demolition of the small tent village.
2013: Cabinet ministers voted in favor of approving an upgrade in status for the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center, making it a recognized institute of higher education, and allowing it to open a program that has been widely touted as Israel’s “first liberal arts college.”
2014: Following “a formal mourning ceremony” which is scheduled to be held at the Knesset and attended by national leaders, Ariel Sharon is scheduled to be laid to rest at Shikmim Farm in the Negev next to his second wife Lily. (As reported by Times of Israel)
2014: “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Bethlehem” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival
2014: Professor Joel Dimsdale is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Anatomy of Malice: Rorschach Records of the Nuremberg War Criminals” at the Lawrence Family JCC.
2014: Just after the funeral services for Ariel Sharon were completed Palestinians fired rockets from Gaza into the area near Sycamore Ranch where the service had taken place. A third rocket blew up on its launcher. (As reported by Yaakov Lappin)
2014: Top Israeli tennis player Dudi Sela was eliminated from the Australian Open by Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen today.
2014: The Cedar Rapids Gazette “Homer” feature highlighting things that have gone right in the last week includes WE’RE WITH YOU: University of Iowa President Sally Mason is among academic leaders who oppose the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, of which the American Studies Association is part. Cheers to Mason. This is a misguided initiative that suppresses academic freedom and the exchange of information and ideas. - See more at: http://thegazette.com/2014/01/13/homers-whats-going-right-215/#sthash.nEmiRreq.dpuf
2015: Per the request of their families, “the victims of the terrorist attack at the Kosher supermarket in Paris -- Yoav Hattab, 22; Yohan Cohen, 22; Philippe Braham, 45; and François-Michel Saada, 55 --- were buried in Israel today.
2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a lunch to mark the upcoming opening of the exhibition “Anne Frank: A History for Today.”
2015: In an example of “picture is worth a thousand words” “Newspaper in Israel Scrubs Women From a Photo of Paris Unity Rally” published today graphically illustrated how “the ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper HaMevaser removed the images of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and other female leaders” who were part of the march against terrorism in the French capital.
2015: “Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) ushered in the new Congressional session by proposing legislation today to force the Obama administration to change longstanding US policy and move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
2015: Stephanie Pollack was appointed Secretary of Transportation for the State of Massachusetts today.
2016: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present a preview matinee of “The Merchant of Venice.”
2016(3rd of Shevat, 5776): Ninety-year-old George Washington University graduate and magazine editor Deborah Needleman, the wife of political journalist and former editor of Slate Jacob Weisberg, the sister-in-law of Joe Weisberg and the daughter-in-law of Judge Bernard Weisberg and Lois Weisberg, “the first Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chicago” passed away today.
2016: The New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to begin today.
2017(15th of Tevet, 5777): Just a week after his 92nd birthday veteran journalist and Jerusalem Post editor Ari Rath passed away today
2017: Should Jews take notice of the fact that today is Friday the 13th or should they ignore it because it is Friday, the 15th of Tevet?
2017: An episode of “The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” entitled “Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?” in which “Rebecca Bunch (show creator and star Rachel Bloom) has to go to Westchester for a family Bar Mitzvah” which also includes the reappearance of Tovah Feldshuh as “Rebecca’s mother” is scheduled to be broadcast tonight.
2017(15th of Tevet, 5777): Today,105-year-old Hilde Metzger Prins, the daughter of Louis and Clara Metger who moved to Palestine in 1933 to escape the Nazis at the same time she sought refuge in Amsterdam after which she moved to New York and married Benajamin Prins in 1940 with whom she moved to Washington 1948 where she raised their daughter Judith, the wife of Larry Lorber passed away
2017: In the United Kingdom, the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a Friday Night Dinner featuring “Joanne’s chicken soup.”
2017: “The Anti-Defamation League called on the Huffington Post’s Arabic-language edition to remove a blog post claiming a Jewish woman poisoned the Prophet Muhammad with arsenic.”
2018(26th of Tevet, 5778): Parashat Va-ayrah;
2018: The Preservation Virginia and Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation is scheduled to host a free screening of “Rosenwald.”
2018: In Tinton Falls, NJ, the Monmouth Reform Temple is scheduled to host two screenings of “Rosenwald.
2019: Seventy-nine year old Yom Kippur War veteran Motti Ashkenazi, “ whose 1973 post-war public campaign is thought to have been instrumental in bring down the government at that time” announced today that he was going to be one of the leaders of the Social Justice party which will be taking part in the upcoming election campaign.
2019: “Israel’s Air Force attacked an Iranian arms warehouse at Syria’s international airport in Damascus over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed” today at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
2019: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation adapted by Ari Folman and illustrated by David Polonsky, A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein and the recently released paperback edition of King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich.
2019: As part of the “Bearing Witness” series Bebe Forehand who “like Anne Frank was hidden away from the Nazis in an attic” is scheduled to speak at the Breman Museum in Atlanta.
2019: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a concert featuring the “Flute Musice of New York Jewish Composers” introduced by Professor Tina Frühauf
2019: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “The Interpreter” that tells the tale of “80-year-old Ali, a Slovakian-Jewish interpreter, who arrives in Vienna with the intention of tracking down – and killing – the SS officer who shot his parents.”
2019: The exhibition “Stories of Survival” “that showcases more than 60 never-before-seen personal items brought to America by Survivors of the Holocaust and genocide” is scheduled to come to a close today at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
2020: San Francisco based Jewish LearningWorks is scheduled to host ““Elevate: Inspiring New Paths In Jewish Education” a “summit devoted to elevating Jewish education, with leaders and innovators from across the country.”
2020: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to host the 1st Sephardi Voice Town Hall where attendees will have a chance to “share their ideas and show their solidarity for an inclusive, united Jewish future.”
2021: In Columbus, OH, Tifireth Israel is scheduled to host The Rabbi’s Study Circle which will include examining “essays on the weekly parasha” as well as a lunch and learn on “Holy Hypocrisy: The case for Religious Inconsistency with Rabbi Rami Schwartzer.”
2021: As part of its “New Works Wednesdays” program which is an exploration of new works of fiction the American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present Edith Scott Saavedra as she discusses her new work, The Lamps of Albarracin.
2021: “The Jewish Museum and Film at Lincoln Center are scheduled to present the 2021 New York Jewish Film Festival virtually starting today.
2021: In Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Temple Judea is scheduled host via Zoom “a Noon Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Yaron Kapitulnik: who will present “The best of the Apocrypha – A glimpse into the books that did not make the Bible’s final cut.”
2021: The Illinois Holocaust Museum is scheduled to host “Second Generation Speaker Helen Hoffenberg as she “describe how her parents were reunited after being sent to different camps.”
2021: “Israel's world-leading COVID-19 inoculation drive will expand to include citizens aged 50 and over starting today after a large shipment of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine arrived in the country, the Health Ministry announced yesterday.” (As reported by Adir Yanko and Sivan Hillaie)