Sunday, February 10, 2019

This Day, February 11, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

February 11

55: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome clearing the way for Nero to become Emperor Would things have been better or worse if Britannicus had ruled instead of Nero?  Nobody can say for sure since there is no record of his views on the Jewish people, Judea or Jerusalem. . Nero’s record regarding the Jews is a mixed bag (at least he did blame them for burning down Rome), he did appoint four inept governors to rule over Judea and appointed Vespasian to put down the Jewish Revolt when it began in 66. Given the rest of Nero’s behavior, the world (including the Jewish world) would have been better off with Britannicus.

1147 (24 Adar): The Jews of Wurzburg were attacked without warning by a band of Crusaders.  “More than twenty among them met a martyrs death including Rabbi Isaac ben Eliakim…The humane Bishop of Wurzburg assigned a burial place in his own private garden for the bodies of the martyrs and sent the survivors to a castle near Wurzburg.”

1201: In Worms, the Jews took up arms to fight alongside the city's non-Jewish residents against an attack by Otto. At that time, Jews were still permitted to bear arms in various cities in Germany, although this privilege was soon to be abolished

1250: During the Seventh Crusade, the three day Battle of Al Mansurah comes to an end with the French forces under the command of the anti-Semitic King Louis IX suffering a crushing defeat.

1349: Jews of Uberlingen, Switzerland were massacred.

1482: By a Papal order, seven new Inquisitors were nominated, among them Tomas de Torquemada who led the Spanish Inquisition that brought an end to the fabled Spanish Jewish community.

1490: In Spain it was declared that no Jew or convert ever be allowed to rule over any Muslims. This was part of Spanish/Muslim negotiations leading up to the eventual surrender of Granada, the last Muslim territory in Iberia.

1491: Isaac ben Judah ibn Katorzi produced the first printed copy of at Naples the Sefer ha-Shorashim a lexicon by Rabbi David Kimhi, known as RADAK.

1531: King Henry VIII is recognized as head of the Church of England, thus helping to unravel papal control of the British Isles, weaken the control of the Catholic Church and help the forces of what might be loosely called Protestant Christianity.  Over the long haul, this was beneficial to the Jews since the rise of Protestants in the Netherlands and England would prove to be beneficial to their acceptance and provide escape from the Church approved Inquistion that had driven them out of Iberia and kept them from New World Settlements in Latin America and French controlled Canada.

1535: Birthdate of Niccolò Sfondrati who as Pope Gregory XIV followed the comparatively benevolent policies of his predecessor Sixtus V.

1632: Nicolas Antoine, “a French Protestant theologian and pastor who attempted to convert to Judaism, although he was never officially admitted to Judaism, due to fears by the Jewish community that persecutions would happen if it became known that he was an apostate of Christianity” “was placed in an asylum for the insane” in an attempt by his fellow Christians to get him to recant his declarations that he was a Jew.

1673: In England, According to the Conventicle Act of 1664 any prayer meeting of more than five persons not according to the Book of Common Prayer would be considered seditious. The act had been originally designed as a device against the Puritans but soon Jews were prosecuted as well. The Jews requested from the King to either allowed freedom of worship or be allowed to leave the country with their possessions. Charles II ordered the Attorney General to desist from prosecuting the “offenders”.

1689(21st of Shevat): Rabbi Moses ben Galante of Jerusalem, author of Zevah ha-Shelamim passed away

1720: German born Moses Raphael Levy and the former Grace Mears of Jamaica gave birth to their fourth child Miriam Levy

1772: Birthdate of Lewis Way, the English clergyman who in 1808 found he London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews  and who “traveled at his own expense through Holland, Germany, and Russia, in order to study the condition of the Jews, ameliorate their social and political status, and urge the Christians to missionary work among them”

1789: Solomon Sodicky won a bareknuckle fight today in Herts, England. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)

1795: “Sheva, the Benevolent,” an adaptation of English playwright Richard Cumberland's “The Jew; or the Benevolent Hebrew”, the first English language play to feature a Jewish moneylender as the benevolent hero of a stage comedy had its American premiere in Philadelphia, PA.

1802(9th of Adar I, 5562): Joel Löwe the Biblical commentator “who was a follower of Moses Menedlssohn” and “biurists” – that group of commentators who helped to lay “the foundation of a critical historical study of the TaNaCh” passed away today.

1807: Marcus Hyams married Rachel Davis today at the Great Synagogue

1811: Birthdate of French banker and booklover Aaron Euryate Felix Solar.

1812(28th of Shevat, 5572): Rabbi Joseph David Sinzheim passed away.  According to The Jewish Encyclopedia, Sinzheim was born in 1745.  He was the son of R. Isaac Sinzheim of Treves and brother-in-law of Herz Cerfbeer and the first rabbi of Strasburg. He was the most learned and prominent member of the Assembly of Notables convened by Napoleon I. He was entrusted with task of answering the questions laid before the assembly by the imperial commissioner; a task which he accomplished in such an admirable fashion that he won the approval of the Emperor himself.

1814: Norway's independence is proclaimed, marking the ultimate end of the Kalmar Union, the union of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  As part of its declaration of independence, Norway acquired its first constitution. “This document was relatively liberal, but in §2 it stated that the official state religion was Lutheran Protestantism and that Jews and Jesuits were forbidden from entering the kingdom. The lobbying to change this paragraph was led by the national poet, Henrik Wergeland. In 1851 the ban was indeed reversed, six years after the Wergeland's death.”

1826: University College London is founded under the name University of London. As the first university to open its doors to Women, Roman Catholics and Dissenters, UCL was also the first to admit Jewish students. This traditional link of the College with the Anglo-Jewish community is very much alive today. University College London houses the largest department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Europe. The department is the only one in the UK to offer a full degree course and research supervision in Jewish Studies at the BA Honours, MA, MPhil and PhD levels in every subject of Hebrew and Jewish Studies - philology, history, and literature - covering virtually the entire chronological and geographical span of the Hebrew and Jewish civilization from antiquity through the Middle Ages to the modern period. Degrees can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

1827: Benjamin Farmer married Isabella Myers today at the Great Synagogue.

1833: Birthdate of Auguste Scheurer-Kestner he became an ardent defender of Dreyfus going so far as to take up the case with Minister of War Jean-Baptiste Billot and President Felix Faure.

1837: Eliezer Eduard Hirschel Kann and Hyacintha Kann gave birth to Dorothea Jacobson.

1841: Hannah Weil and Benjamin Bloomingdale gave birth to Lyman Gustavus Bloomingdale the co-founder of Bloomingdale’s Department Store.

1842: Birthdate of Ludwig Barnay, “the son of the secretary of the Jewish congregation in Budapest who went on to become a leading German actor.

1846(15th of Shevat, 5606): Tu B’Shevat

1851: In Sarrebourg, Lorraine, France thirty-one year old Kalmus Calmann Levy (Calmann Levy) married Paulin Levy.

1852: One day after he had passed away, Moses Phillips, the husband of Esther Jacobs with whom he had had seven children was buried today at the “Brady Street Jewish Cemtery.”

1851: George Leverson married Henrietta Jonassohn today at Chester-le-Street, a town in County Durham, England

1859: It was reported today that Jews of San Francisco were scheduled to hold a meeting to express their feelings over the kidnapping of “the Mortara child” and the refusal of the papal authorities to return him to his parents. [The Mortara Affair had a galvanizing effect on Jewish communities throughout the world, especially in Western Europe and the United States.  The public displays and attempts to get governments to act on behalf of Jewish victims, which is commonplace today, was almost unheard of one hundred and fifty years ago.]

1859: Heidenheimer, TX, which was named in honor Sampson Heidenheimer who along with his brother  Isaac owned grocery stores in Galveston was located along the Santa Fe railway which was chartered today to join Atchison and Topeka, Kansas, with Santa Fe, New Mexico 

1861: Edwin Booth appeared as Shylock for the first time at The Winter Garden in New York City. According to the reviewer, “first to last, Mr. Booth preserved with thorough faithfulness the varying passions which from time to time usurped the heart of the Jew.”  In playing Shylock, Booth was following in the footsteps of his father Junius Brutus Booth who had previously this creation of Shakespeare’s pen.  

1865(15th of Sh'vat, 5625) Tu B'Shvat is observed for the last time during the Civil War.

1866: Ion Ghica who “was a valuable ally for Yiddish theater in Bucharest” and “on several occasions expressed his favorable view of the quality of acting, and even more of the technical aspects of the Yiddish theater” began serving as Prime Minister of Romania today.

1868: Birthdate of Nachman Syrkin, the Russian-born American Zionist leader.  He may have been the only American to have attended the First Zionist Congress and the Versailles Peace Conference. He was an early advocate of what became the Kibbutz Movement.

1868: In Savannah, GA, Mikveh Israel, a synagogue that had followed the Sephardic Minchag began its shift from the Orthodox to Reform Judaism today “with the addition of a musically-accompanied choir and the elimination of observance of the second day of festivals.”

1869: Jeannette and Aaron Schüler gave birth to Jewish German poet and playwright Else Lasker-Schüler

1874: Birthdate of George Alexander Kohut an Hungarian-born American writer and bibliographer. He was educated at the gymnasium in Grosswardein, at the public schools in New York, at Columbia University (1893–1895), Berlin University, and the Berlin Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums (1895–97). In the year 1897 he became rabbi of the Congregation Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas, a post which he occupied for three years. In 1902 he became superintendent of the religious school of Temple Emanu-El in New York, and was assistant librarian of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Kohut was the author of: The Index to the Italian words in the "Aruch," "Early Jewish Literature in America," "Sketches of Jewish Loyalty, Bravery, and Patriotism in the South American Colonies and the West Indies," "Martyrs of the Inquisition in South America," and “A Memoir of Dr. Alexander Kohut's Literary Activity," and many other monographs on historical subjects and on folklore. He also edited "Semitic Studies in Memory of Dr. Alexander Kohut". Kohut established a library of Judaica at Yale in 1915, an important collection made by his father, Alexander Kohut, and the "Kohut Endowment" to maintain and improve the "Alexander Kohut Memorial Collection". He passed away in 1933.

1874(24th of Shevat, 5634): Eleanor Ezekiel passed away in Philadelphia, PA

1874: Dr. Jacob Da Silva Solis Cohen a Sephardic Jew who served with Union forces during the Civil War before returning to Philadelphia signed the death certificate of Eleanor Ezekiel.

1875: Abraham H. Keinski, a Polish Jew, was arraigned at the Yorkville Police Court on charges that he was responsible for burning down a hat store that he owned which was located on Third Avenue. The prisoner was released after posting $5,000 in bail.

1878(8th of Adar I, 5638): Fifty-two year old Bavarian born Pennsylvania lawyer Myer Strouse, who was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses and who later represented the “Molly Maguires,” a secret organization of Irish coal miners seeking to improve their working conditions, passed way today.


1879: Birthdate of Philadelphia native and NYU Law School graduate Israel J.P. Alderman, the City Court Justice and husband of Saide Adlerman with whom he had three daughters – Marion, Leona and Elaine.

1880(29th of Shevat, 5640): Asher Bijur passed at 4 o’clock this afternoon at his home on West 53rd Street at the age of 54.  He was born at Posen in 1825 and came to the United States when he was 20 years old.  He began his business career by manufacturing cigars and then moved into the leaf tobacco trade. He leaves behind a widow and two sons.

1881: Mr. Arbuckle, a pianist who had been engaged to play a benefit performance at the Park Theatre for the benefit of synagogue in Brooklyn explained his side of the conflict with another pianist named Joseffy.

1881: Birthdate of Louis Ginsberg.  Born in Russia, he came to the United States at the age of 22.  After working in West Virginia and Illinois, he settled in Marietta, Ohio, where he established the Producers’ Supply and Tool Company and became a pillar of the community serving as Secretary of B’Nai Israel, President of the Local Jewish War Suffers’ Society, Director of the Hebrew Immigration Society and a generous supporter of the Red Cross.

1882: Birthdate of Cincinnati, OH, native Carl J. Fechheimer, the Purdue trained engineer who settled in Milwaukee the husband of Carla Wilhemine Rich Fechheimer who left “a $150,000 bequest…to establish a chair in electrical engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.”

1884(15th of Shevat, 5644): Tu B’Shevat

1885: In Birmingham, England,  Polish born English financer Isaac Abrahams and “his Welsh Jewish wife, Esther Isaacs gave birth Olympic competitor Sir Sidney “Solly” Solomon Abrahams, the brother of  Harold Abrahams of “Chariots of Fire” who served as the 26th Chief Justice of Ceylon.

1886: A charity ball sponsored by the Purim Association will be held this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House.

1888: Birthdate of Kiev native Gdal Salesski the cellist and composer who settled in the United States after World War I after which he was chosen to be “a member of the original N.B.C. Symphony Orchestra.


1889(10th of Adar I, 5649): Simon Mussina, merchant, newspaper editor, and attorney passed away. [This lengthy entry is intended to provide a sense of what American Jewish life was like for those who lived outside of a few major metropolitan areas.] Born in 1805, to Zachariah and Nancy Mussina in Philadelphia, PA, Simon learned the mercantile business from his father. In 1821 Simon and his father took a business trip to Mobile and Clark County, Alabama, where Zachariah drowned while crossing a swollen creek. The family fortune of gold disappeared in the drowning, and Simon was left to support his mother and several younger brothers and sisters. He set up a mercantile store in Clark County, then moved to Mobile, where he developed one of the largest mercantile businesses in the South. Before 1836 a fire burned his savings, and that year he moved to Matagorda, Texas, with his family. He bought the Matagorda Bulletin and edited it until 1840, when he moved to Galveston, where he edited the National Banner to advertise his vast holdings of West Texas lands. When Austin became the state capital, Simon sold the Banner and returned to Matagorda to assume editorship of the Bulletin. He subsequently moved to Galveston, where he established a large drugstore. When the Mexican War started he went to Matamoros, bought land at Point Isabel on the Rio Grande, acquired controlling interest in a Matamoros newspaper, the American Flag, and developed it into one of the most popular newspapers of the time. At the end of the war he served as one of the surveyors who laid out the town of Brownsville. Mussina became a close friend of Sam Houston, who encouraged him to become the chief plaintiff against Judge John C. Watrous, charged with corrupt decisions on land claims in and about Brownsville. The litigation lasted most of Mussina's life. In 1868 he moved to Austin and began proceedings for the La Vega land grant, an eleven-league grant that embraced a part of eastern Waco. This case, too, stayed in litigation. In his sixties Mussina became a member of the State Bar of Texas and established himself as one of the most astute land attorneys in the state. From 1870 to 1873 he served as president of the board of trustees for the state blind and insane asylums and in 1871 he served as alderman for the city of Austin. Mussina never married, but he reared his father's family.” His sister, who had married a Presbyterian minister of Galveston, buried him from that church in Galveston.

1890: Isaac Jacobs was fired from his job as a janitor at Etz Chaim (The Tree of Life), a Hebrew School of which Isaac LIbermann and Hermann Rothstein are the trustees.

1890: A meeting took place at Temple Beth El this evening during which the young people discussed ways of helping the city’s poor Jews many of whom “live on the east side between 42nd and 86th streets from 5th Avenue to the River.”

1890: Among the recipients of the theatrical license fund which was distributed today was the United Hebrew Charities which received $1,500 out of total of $38,200.

1890(21st of Shevat, 5650): Solomon Eppinger passed away today.

1890: Henry Zirndorf retired from the Hebrew Union College and “was given he honorary title of D.D.”

1890: This and final day of the annular meeting of Grand Lodge, No.1 of the Independent Order of Free Sons Israel. The Jewish fraternal order’s newly elected officers are: Grand Mater – Louis B. Franklin; First Deputy Grand Master – Joseph Steiner; Grand Treasurer – Raphael Lehman; Grand Secretary – H.I. Goldsmith.

1891: Two days after he had passed away, 80 year old Adolphus Italiener, the husband of the former Anna Catherina Embden and father of Frances Emily Italiener was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1892: In New York, the authorities expressed their concern today “over the worst outbreak of typhus…that has occurred since the organization of the Health Department.”  The outbreak was most severe among recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Russia.

1893: In his lecture on the history of Morocco and Gibraltar delivered today, Professor Albert S. Bickmore reported that the population of Tangier totaled about 15,000 people of whom 4,000 were Jews.

1894: Birthdate of Isaac M Kolthoff, the Dutch born chemist who was considered by some to be the “Father of Analytical Chemistry” and who passed away in Minnesota in 1993 a month after his 99th birthday.

1894: In Russia, Judel Harkavy gave birth Fordham University trained attorney Julian Harkevy who in 1913 came to the United States where he practiced law and married Fannie Gottlieb with whom he had two children – Judith and Louise.

1894: It was reported today that the fifth and final volume or Ernest Renan’s History of the Jews “has had a unique reception in Paris.  “In an interview, Pere Henri Didon speaks tenderly of Renan, and almost approvingly of this closing work” which was published posthumously.

1894: “Diminutive Bride and Groom” published today described the nuptials of Maurice Bear and Bertha Levy, a leading member of the Birmingham, Alabama, Jewish community, both of whom are no more than four feet tall.

1894: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a talk on “The Mistakes of Ingersoll About Moses” at Temple Emanu-El.

1895(17th of Shevat, 5655): Mrs. Hannah Steinberger, the wife of William Steinberger who teaches Hebrew and German, was found dead “in the miserable quarters” she occupied with her three children in a tenement on the Lower East Side.

1898:  Birthdate of Physicist Leo Szilard.  Born in Hungary, Szilard was a refugee from Hitler’s Europe who first sounded the alarm about the need to build an Atomic Bomb.  He worked with Einstein on the letter that Einstein would take to FDR in 1939.  This effort led to the Manhattan Project.

1898: During the trial of Emile Zola, Lt. Col George Picquart “described his mission to Tunis” which he made under the orders of General Leclerc “when the Dreyfus began afresh.

1899: In Richmond, VA, the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Association which had been founded in 1862 and whose members included Mrs. Milton E. Marcuse, Mrs. William Reinheimer and Mrs. Moses May was “chartered” today.

1900: The Thirty-Fourth Annual Convention of District Grand Lodge No. 1 of the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel took place today in New York City.

1900: Four days after he had passed away, James Joseph Schloss, the son of Adel and Joseph Schloss, was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1902: Birthdate of Arne Jacobsen, Danish architect and designer.

1903: In a letter to the Grand Vizir, Herzl summarizes his proposal – the Ottomans will allow Jewish colonization in Palestine in exchange for a loan of 2 million Turkish pounds.

1903: The Zionist Commission led by Leopold Kessler and including Selig Soskin, Dr. Hillel Yaffe, and Colonel Albert Goldsmid began its tour of the area around El Arish.

1904: Birthdate of Koppel Shub Pinson the native of Postaway who came to the United States in 1907 who in 1945 “was appointed Director of Education and Culture for Jewish Displaced Persons in Germany and Austria by the Joint Distribution Committee” which enabled him continue his work of providing aide for Holocaust survivors.

1904: One day after she had passed away, 55 year old Rachel (Meyer) Davis, the wife of Woolf Davis and the mother of Abraham, Esther, Nancy and Lazarus Davis was buried today at the “Plashed Jewish Cemetery” in London.

1904: Florence Lowenstein, the daughter of Sophia Mendelsohn Lowenstein and Benedict Lowenstein and Louis Marshall gave birth to economist George Marshall whose interest in conservation led him to be
an early leader of both The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club. His role in the civil rights movement led to him serving three months in prison after having been cited for Contempt for Congress when being investigated by the infamous and inappropriately named House Committee on Un-American Activities.

1905: Jewish actress Katharina Hedwig Pringsheim married author Thomas Mann today.

1905: Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer nos. Vehementer Nos was a papal encyclical by the French law of 1905 providing for the separation of church and state, it denounced the proposition that the state should be separated from the church as "a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error". It is safe to assume that what Pius really meant was that there could be no separation of state from the Catholic Church since he only recognized the validity of the Catholic Church. His view towards Jews can be seen in his response to Herzl’s 1904 request for Papal support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine Pius X responded: We are unable to favor this movement …. The Jews have not recognized our Lord; therefore, we cannot recognize the Jewish people.”

1906: “Israel’s Lost Tribes Again Found” published today examined the question of whether or not “the Japanese the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel”

1906: It was reported today that Jewish refugees were among the 7,000 men being employed to shovel snow today in New York City following yesterday’s storm.

1907: One day after he had passed away, 7 year old Myer Doff, the son of Abraham Doff and Leah Goldstein was buried today at the “Plashet Jewish Cemetery” in London.

1907: Birthdate of Fred Saidy the Los Angeles born scriptwriter and father of “chess master Anthony Saidy.”

1907: The Federation of American Zionists is scheduled to host a banquet this evening at the Vienna Hall in honor of Dr. Shmaryahu Lewin.

1909: In Wilkes-Barre, PA, Franz Mankiewicz and Johanna Blumeau gave birth to Oscar winning director and screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the brother of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and the uncle of Kenney campaign manager Frank Mankiewicz.

1909: Birthdate of Leslie Lazarus Paisner the London born solicitor who founded Paisner & Co a forerunner of the international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner and whose Jewish communal activities included serving “on the Board of Governors of the Central Synagogue and a member of the Coucnil of the United Synagogue.”

1909: Birthdate of Max Baer, the heavyweight fighter who knocked out Max Schmeling, the German champion and symbol of Hitler's Germany, in 1933.  Baer had a Mogen David sown on his shorts.  However, he may really not have been Jewish.  According to some, his mother was a Christian and his father was only "a nominal Jew."  For more on the subject of Max Baer, and Jews in sports, you might want to read Ellis Island to Ebbets Field.

1910: The Turkish Council of State approves statutes, which will allow a Jewish bank to be opened in Salonica.

1910 (2nd of Adar I, 5670): Moshe Leib Lilienblum, Russian born scholar, teacher and philosopher passed away. Following the pogroms that began in 1881, Lilienblum took the unusual stance, for an Orthodox rabbi, of supporting the settlement of Palestine by the Jewish people as the only realistic course of action if Jews were ever to be safe.  This is yet another example of Zionism that pre-dated Herzl.

1911(13th of Shevat, 5671): Baron Albert von Rothschild of the Austrian branch of the House of Rothschild passed away at age 66.

1912(23rd of Shevat, 5672): Fifty-six year old Washington Seligman, the “son of James Seligman who founded the banking firm of J&W Seligiman & Co and brother of Mrs. Benjamin Guggenhieim and Jefferson and De Witt Seligman” took his own life today.  He left a note saying “I am tired of being sick all my life” – a reference to the illnesses that he has confronted over the last quarter of a century.

1912: Two days after he had passed away funeral services are scheduled to be held today in New York for “impresario” Theodore David “Ted” Marks, the grandson of New Orleans merchant and philanthropist Isadore Newman after which his body will be taken to his native Louisiana for burial.

1914(15th of Shevat, 5674): Tu B’Shevat celebrated for the last time before the start of World War I which opened a four decades of world-wide cataclysm

1914: Menucha and R’Shneur Zalman gave birth to Rabbi Yisroel Shimon Kalmanson.

1914: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel completed his first term as Post-Master General in the cabinet of Prime Minister Asquith.

1914: Twenty-three year old Barney Sedran led the Utica Indians in the championship game of the New York State (basketball) League.

1914: In Swansea, Louis Levy and Have Levy (née Rubenstein) gave birth to writer, critic and art teacher Mervyn Levy.

1915: In New York, Edward Cahn and Martha Esther Cahn, the daughter of Rachel and Moses Isaac Binion, gave birth to Joshua Binion Cahn

1915: As of today the American Jewish Relief Committee has collected $468,792.05

1915: “The prediction that the present war will do away with anti-Semitism altogether in Germany and the assurance that by ‘lessening the power of the nobility and democratizing the people’ it already has removed most of the anti-Semitic prejudices are expressed in a statement given by the German Ambassador, Count von Bernstorff, to Dr. S. Melamed of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung published in that paper” today.

1915: The Red Cross Fund of which Jacob H. Schiff is the treasurer received an additional $162.50 today bringing the total collections to $457,583.86.

1915: “The Jews in Serbia” published today contains the assessment by Mabel Grouitch, the American born wife of Serbian diplomat Dr. Slavo Grouitch of the Jewish condition in Serbia which she says “is the one country in the world next to England and America where people of the Hebrew race enjoy the fullest of religious and civil rights.

1916: Emma Goldman was arrested for lecturing on birth control

1916: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel completed his second term as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.  His replacement would be Edwin Samuel Montagu, another prominent member of the Anglo-Jewish community.

1916: In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bernard Wetzler set aside “fifty thousand crowns ($10,000) to erect an institute for the study of the technical aspects of problems related to food based on scientific discoveries in chemistry, biology and physiology.”

1917: Four hundred and fifty three delegates attended The Workman’s Convention on Jewish rights meeting at the Forwards Building voted 141 to 127 in favor of a resolution reaffirming their loyalty to the United States but expressing opposition to the United States “becoming involved in the European War.”

1917: Today, Chaim Weizman was elected president of the English Zionist Federation (EZF) and Joseph Cowen and Leopold Kessler began serving on the executive committee.

1917: In Chicago, Natalie Marcus and Ascher “Otto” Schechtel, a jewelry store manager gave birth to Sidney Schechtel who gained fame as author Sidney Shelton wjp won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in1947 for writing The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, a Tony Award in1959 for his musical Redhead, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on I Dream of Jeannie, an NBC sitcom. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 89.

1917: At the Halkett Hotel, Jersey, Catherine Jacobs and W.A.R. Hill gave birth to their daughter Elizabeth Annette.

1918: Ronald Storrs, the British governor of Jerusalem, approved a plan put forth by British army engineers designed to alleviate the water shortage in Jerusalem.

1918: Abraham “Shiplacoff and his 9 socialist colleagues in the New York State Assembl refused to support a resolution of admiration for Abraham Lincoln because it included language expressing gratitude for American soldiers fighting in France.

1918: The Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers met today in the home of its chairman Felix M. Warburg where Dr. Boris D. Bogen and Max Senior, the committee’s representatives who had just returned from a mission to Europe told the committee members “of the arrangements which have been made for the distribution of funds raised in the United for the relief” of Jews in Europe – a task that has been complicated by the fact the United States has gone from the status of neutral to a belligerent on the side of the Allies.

1918: It was reported today that “the Maskel-el-Dol” a relief society on the east side of New York City, “intends to distribute about 75,000 pounds of the mutton to the poor” prior to Passover “including shipments which the society will make to various” camps where Jewish soldiers are stationed.

1919: Clarence Eiseman of Washington, DC, married Jennie Ruth Rice, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Rice of Chicago, Illinois.

1919: Frank Meyer, the husband of the late Helen Meyer, and father of Mrs. Ruth K. Marks and Will, Flora, Sam and Frank Meyer is scheduled to be laid to rest this morning at Shomar Hadash Cemetery.

1920: Birthdate of King Farouk I, the last king of Egypt, who led Egypt into its ill-fated war with Israel in 1948.  There are those who say that if Egypt had refused to join the other Arab states, there would never have been a war in 1948.  When Farouk was ousted in 1952, the Israelis thought the new reform government would want to end hostilities.  Unfortunately, the leader of the “Colonel’s Revolt,” Nasser, made destroying Israel the rallying cry for his Pan-Arab Movement.

1921: On Friday evening. Congregation Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to begin a celebration of the 75th anniversary of its incorporation

1925: The White Star liner Olympic with Chiam Weizmann and Bernard Rosenblatt on board, arrived today from Southampton and Cherbourg twenty-four hours late because of the fog off the American coast.

1926: It was reported today that nearly a thousand people had been turned away from a speech given by Chairm Nachman Bialik, because all four thousand seats at the Mecca Temple had been sold at event designed to raise funds for the United Palestine Appeal.

1927(10th of Adar): Fifty-eight year old Composer Joel Engel passed away. Born at Berdyansk in 1868 he moved from Berlin to Palestine where he became “"the true founding father of the modern renascence of Jewish music."

1928: The II Olympic Winter Games where skater Irving Jaffee “had the best time in the Olympic 10,000 before the ice softened” opened today at St. Mortiz.

1929: Dedication of the Nathan and Lina Straus Health and Welfare Center in Jerusalem.

1929: “Pope Pius XI signs a Concordat and Lateran Treaty with fascist Italian leader Benito Mussolini. The pope agrees to discriminate against Jews and Protestants while gaining the assurance that Catholicism would remain the sole and official religion of Italy.”  (Pious was, if anything, not consistent in this matter.  Later he would condemn fascism and racism and support efforts to rescue Jews.)

 1929: Sixty-six year old Frank Putnam Flint, the California Senator who has represented “a committee which petitioned for the commutation of Leo M. Frank’s death sentence” passed away today.

1932: Birthdate of pianist Jerome Lowenthal.

1933(15th of Shevat, 5693): Parashat Beshalach; Tu B’Shevat

1933(15th of Shevat, 5693):  Conductor and composer Gabriel Hines, the 1914 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and “musical director at Swarthmore College” passed away today in Philadelphia.

 1933: The national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP) together with the Stahlhelm and the Agricultural League today once again formed a united Kampffront Schwarz-Weiß-Rot ("Struggle Front Black-White-Red" named after the colours of the German Empire) in an attempt to counter the Nazis which had outsmarted them during their march to power.

1935: Birthdate of Emanuel Zisman the native of Bulgaria who made Aliyah in 1949 and returned to his native land as Israel’s Ambassador to Bulgaria in 2000.

1936: Eighty-four year old William “Coin” Harvey author of the novel A Tale of Two Nations, “the most notable example of Populist anti-Semitism” passed away today.

1936: In Washington, DC, Aaron Jacobson and Victoria Peyser gave birth to William Peyser “Bill” Jacobson the husband of Barbara Johnson and the father of Michael Peyser Jacobson and Stacy Ann Jacobson.

1936: Richard Tucker married Sarah Perelmuth, the only daughter of Levi and Perelmuth who were also the parents of Yakob Perelemtuh who would gain fame as Jan Peerce.

1936: “According to well-informed” sources at least 150 Catholics “including priests and layman” were arrested today by the secret police in “long-simmering conflict between the National Socialist State and the Catholic Church” over who will have control over nation’s youth and young people.

1936: Today, “at noon, Adolf Hitler assembled 25,000 of his oldest stormtroop comrades in the Lustgarten in Berlin” as part of national celebration marking “the third anniversary of National Socialism’s accession to power in 1933.”

1936: “Charles David Isaacson, the writer on music, director of thousands of free concerts in the metropolitan area and former opera impresario and radio director” who has been ill for several weeks “as a result of complications arising from an affection was transferred from Park West Hospital” to Bellevue thanks to the intervention of Mayor La Guardia – an intervention would not save his life since he passed away four days later.

1937: “Anti-Semitic rioting broke out anew in Warsaw and Vilna Universities today, causing numerous casualties among Jewish students.”

1937: A month before his 18th birthday, Bernard Abramofsky, a resident of Brooklyn who wanted to go to Spain to fight with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, received his passport today.

1937: George Gershwin performed his Piano Concerto in F in a special concert of his music with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of French maestro Pierre Monteux” during which he “suffered coordination problems and blackouts during the performance” which were symptomatic of the brain tumor that would claim his life a few months later in June of 1937.

1938: As the German government “denied…that there had been disorders or disturbances of a civilian or military nature in Germany,” Dr. Joseph Goebbels had a meeting of foreign journalist at the Propaganda Ministry where he described these reports as “a grotesque atrocity campaign organized by Jewish circles in Poland.”

1938: “Rumania’s new dictatorship” led by Patriarch Miron Cristea, the Premier who is anti-Semitic “lost no time in getting into its stride with measures of absolutism.”

1938: In Danzig, “the police confiscated copies of fourteen newspapers” including “four Polish-Jewish newspapers” “for spreading the most nonsensical reports about Germany.”

1938: The Palestine Post reported that an agreement was signed in Geneva providing for the status of German refugees who were to be furnished with travel documents, resembling Nansen passports, allowing them to work in the countries where they had been living for more than five years.

1938: The Palestine Post published a special Reporter's Report, a reproduction of a broadcast made on the Palestine Radio by Gershon Agron, the founder and editor of this newspaper, on the tragic situation of Jews in Romania where an authoritarian, anti-Semitic regime was deeply entrenched and had the solid backing of the king.

1939: Birthdate of Gerald “Gerry” Goffin the American lyricist and husband of Carole King.

1939:  Physicist Lise Meitner and her nephew Otto Fritisch published a paper on nuclear fission in the hour “Nature.”  Her work contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. Meitner was the daughter of a Viennese Jewish family.

1940: Norma Shapiro, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shapiro of the Bronx married Dr. Samuel Slovak today.

1940: Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Schoenfeld of New York City announced the marriage of their daughter Lillian “to Dr. Aron Horn, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Horn of Tel Aviv.

1940: Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Religion of Abraham Lincoln” at Temple Emanu-El

1940: James Waterman Wise, a research consultant of the Council Against Intolerance in America is scheduled to deliver an address at the Free Synagogue worshipping at Carnegie Hall on “Coughlin or Lincoln – America Must Choose.”

1941: Birthdate of Avraham Hirchson, an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud and Kadima between 1981 and 1984, and again from 1992 until 2009. “He also held the posts of Minister of Communications, Minister of Finance and Minister of Tourism. He resigned following allegations of corruption, and was ultimately convicted of stealing close to 2 million shekels from the National Workers Labor Federation while he was its chairman.”

1941: A pitched-street battle took placed between the NSB, a pro-Nazi Dutch movement and Jewish self-defense groups on the Waterloopein, a square in the center of Amsterdam.

1942 (24th of Shevat, 5702): Flight Lieutenant Michael Weizmann of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, the 25 year old son of Chaim Weizmann, was shot down over the Bay of Biscay.  His body was never found.

1943(6th of Adar I, 5703): Sixty-seven year old Bess Houdini, the widow of Harry Houdini suffered a heart attack and passed away today in Needles, CA while aboard an eastbound train traveling from Los Angeles to New York City.

1943: The Nazis deported 123 children under the age of twelve without their parents from Paris to the chambers of Birkenau.

1944(17th of Shevat, 5704): Thirty eight year old German national Leo Speyer, the son of Flora and Isaac Alfred Speier, the husband of Elize Nanette “Nanny” Speyer and the father of Isaac Alfred Speyer was murdered at Auschwitz today.

1944: “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” the movie version of the novel by the same name featuring an Academy Award Nominated original score by Dimitri Tiomkin was released in the United States today.

1947: Following the insistence of The American League for a Free Palestine, today “for the first time in the history of the State of Maryland negroes were permitted to attend the legitimate theatre without discrimination…when the Maryland Theatre sold orchestra and box seats to ‘A Flag is Born’ to anyone who asked for them without reference to race or color.”

1947: Birthdate of Derek Victor Shulman, the native of Glasgow, the lead vocalist for the band Gentile Giant which included his brothers Phil and Ray, who became a Scottish musician and singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record executive.

1947: Birthdate of Toronto native Abigail Hoffman, the medal winning track and field star who was Canada's flag-bearer at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal

1948: Birthdate of Dr. Arthur Gould Schatzkin, “an epidemiologist whose investigations into the connections between diet and cancer yielded new analytic tools and led to the discovery that eating fiber did not prevent the recurrence of polyps in the colon.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1948(1st of Adar I, 5708): Fifty year old Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein whose family had joined the Russian Orthodox Church passed away.


1948(1st of Adar I, 5708): Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs GCB GCMG QC passed away, Born in 1855, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, he was an “Australian judge and politician, the third Chief Justice of Australia, ninth Governor-General of Australia and the first born in Australia to occupy that post. He is the only person ever to have held both positions of Chief Justice of Australia and Governor-General of Australia. He also was an anti-Zionist.

1948: Oral arguments in the case of U.S. v Paramount Pictures, Inc, which had begun on February 9 came to a close.

1950: After more than a month, “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” written by Sammy Fain and with lyrics by Irving Kahal was still the number on song on the Cash Box Best Sellers List.

1952(15th of Shevat, 5712): Tu B’Shevat is observed for the last time under the Presidency of Harry S. Truman.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that 19 persons were detained in Tel Aviv in an intense hunt for culprits responsible for the bombing of the Soviet Legation.

1953: The Soviet Union broke diplomatic relations with Israel.  The Soviet Union competed with the United States to be the first to recognize the fledgling state of Israel in 1948.  Stalin hoped the new Jewish state would help to undermine the power of the British Empire in particular and Western democracy in general.  Also, there were some in the Soviet Union who thought that Israel's socialists would lead the new nation into the Eastern Bloc.  Since nobody really can say with total certainty what propelled Stalin and his associates behavior, we can only assume that the decision to break relations in 1953 was a combination of the anti-Semitism which was running rampant in the Soviet Union and/or the realization that the Arabs and not the Israelis would be a better foil to foster Soviet imperialism in the Middle East.

1953:  President Eisenhower refused clemency appeal for convicted spies, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

1954: Simon Attali, is a self-educated person who achieved success in perfumery in Algiers and his wife Fernande Abécassis gave birth to Jacques Attali’s sister, Fabienne

1958: Seventy-year old Alfred Ernest Jones a British neurologist who was the first the first English-speaking practitioner of psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud’s biographer passed away. In 1919 he found marital bliss when he wed Katherine Jokl “a Jewish economics graduate from Moravia” who had been a classmate of Freud’s daughters.

1958(21st of Shevat, 5718): Terrorists killed a resident of moshav Yanov who was on his way to Kfar Yona, in the Sharon area.

1959: Three days after he had passed away, funeral services are schedule to be held for sixty year old Pulitzer Prize winning “New York Timesman” Meyer Berger, the husband of “Mrs. Mae Gamsu Berger.”

1960: “Once More, with Feeling!” a comedy directed and produced by Stanley Donen, written by Harvey Kurnitz and co-starring Gregory Ratoff was released today in the United Kingdom.

1960(13th of Shevat, 5720): Victor Klemperer passed away.  Born in 1881, he “was a businessman, journalist and eventually a Professor of Literature, specializing in the French Enlightenment at the Technische Universität Dresden. His diaries detailing his life, successively, in the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and in the German Democratic Republic were published in 1995.”

1961: The trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem.

1962: In Madison, WI, the former Pamela Green and Joseph Edward Baldwin gave birth Senator Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin whose maternal grandfather was Jewish biochemist David E. Green.

1963: “Hot Spot,” a Stephen Sondheim musical began tryouts today at the National Theatre in Washington, DC.

1964: “The Passion of Josef D” a play written and directed by Paddy Chayefsky starring Luther Adler and Peter Falk and featuring Milt Kamen in his Broadway debut opened in New York today.

1968: Border fighting broke out between Israeli and Jordanian forces.

1968: “Charlie Bubbles” a British comedy filmed by cinematographer Peter Suschitzky was released in the United States today.

1968: “Funeral services were held today” in New York for 75 year old Dr. William F. Rosenblum who had served Temple Israel for the thirty years and was active in interfaith efforts designed to improve relations between Christians in the years following WW II.

1970: In a sign of how the “poor food of eastern European Jewish immigrants” has become chic and trendy, bagels, seedless light rye and “a new marbled bread combining twists of black and regular pumpernickels  are among 113 different varieties of breads, from nine Old-World-Style bakers, at Bloomingdale's Bread Basket, which opens today in the delicacies department.

1975: “Shampoo” a comedy co-starring Goldie Hawn and Lee Grant with music by Paul Simon was released in the United States today.

1975: When asked in Parliament by a National Party MP if he supported Enthoven's liberal positions, Harry Schwarz replied "I make no secret of it. I am my brother's keeper".

1976: “Gable and Lombard” a biopic featuring Allen Garfield, Red Buttons and Melanie Mayron was released today in New York City.

1976 (10th of Adar I, 5736): Actor Lee J Cobb passed away at the age of 64.  Some of Cobb’s most famous roles were in 12 Angry Men, On the Waterfront and Death of a Salesman.

1976: Adlene Harrison became the first Jewish female mayor of a major American city when she was appointed mayor of Dallas.

1978: “Lemon Popsicle” a comedy “co-written and directed by Boaz Davidson” was released in Israel today.

1979: Under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi is swept from power with the success of the Islamic Revolution. Khomeini. When Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi held power, Iran was the world's biggest buyer of Israeli arms. The Islamic fundamentalist government which succeeded the Shah militantly damned Zionism up and down and hung a prominent Iranian Jew for "spying for Israel." In 1980, however, when the Iraq-Iran war began, Iranian representatives met in Paris with Israel's deputy defense minister and worked out a "Jews for arms" deal. Iran permitted Jews to emigrate and Israel sold Iran ammunition and spare parts for Chieftain Tanks and US-made F-4 Phantom aircraft. Channeled through a private Israeli arms dealer, this particular agreement appropriately ended in 1984, when Iran was slow in paying its bills.  At the same time, under the Ayatollah and his successors, Iran would arm and train Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.  Nothing is ever straight forward in the swirl of the Middle East.

1979: “They're Playing Our Song,’ “a musical with a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and music by Marvin Hamlisch’ opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre.

1980: Moisei Tonkonogy, who had been “denied an exit visa due to previous service in the Red Army as a private” was arrested today and later “sentenced to a year in custody ‘for parasitism.’”

1981: Birthdate of Michael Andrew “Mike” Seidman who played tight end for UCLA, the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

1982: After a premiere in San Francisco, and a preview in New York City, “One from the Heart” featuring Allen Garfield was released in the United States today.

1982: “Several Moscow activists were summoned to the KGB, police, or CPSU Central Committee and warned that they must halt Hebrew studies.”

1983: “Music From Tin Pan Alley” published today reviews the 92nd Street Y’s “Lyrics and Lyricists” presentation which includes a look at some “unknown” composers including Albert von Tilzer.

1986:  Having been released from imprisonment by the USSR, Anatoly Sharansky leaves the country and begins his journey to Israel.

1988(22nd of Shevat, 5748): Rabbi Israel Raphael Margolies, “who spoke out on a variety of social issues and was a longtime civil rights advocate, died of complications from hypoglycemia” at his home in Teaneck, N.J. at the age of 72. Rabbi Margolies grew up in the Williamsburg and Crown Heights sections of Brooklyn and graduated from the Jewish Institute of Religion in Manhattan, a seminary for the education of conservative and reform rabbis He served at Temple Emanu-el in Engelwood, N.J., from 1937 until 1953 and at Beth Am The People's Temple in Manhattan, from 1953 to 1981 From his pulpit, Rabbi Margolies frequently called for equality for minority group members and for women. He was a supporter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and once marched alongside him in a civil rights parade in Englewood Rabbi Margolies was often quoted for his opposition to the Vietnam War and for his belief in peaceful protest, and he was a founding member of the New Jersey chapter of SANE, a Washington-based organization that opposes nuclear weapons.”

1989 (6 Adar I): Rabbi Shmaryahu Gurary ("Rashag") passed away. He was born in 1898. His father, a wealthy businessman and erudite scholar, was a leading Chassid of the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn . In 1921, Rabbi Shmaryahu wed Chanah Schneersohn, the oldest daughter of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. When Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak passed away in 1950, there were those who saw Rabbi Shmaryahu -- an accomplished Chassidic scholar and the elder of the Rebbe's two surviving sons-in-law -- as the natural candidate to head of the movement; but when the younger son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, was chosen as Rebbe, Rabbi Shmaryahu became his devoted Chassid. Rabbi Shmaryahu served as the executive director of Tomchei Temimim, the world-wide Lubavitch yeshiva system -- a task entrusted to him by his father-in-law -- until his passing on the 6th of Adar I in 1989.

1990: In Mobile, Alabama, members of Ahava Chesed dedicated their new synagogue on Regents Way. (Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life)

1991: Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Arens, in a hastily arranged one-day visit to Washington, told President Bush today that Israel was suffering heavy "destruction" from Iraqi missile attacks and that its willingness to refrain from retaliating was wearing thin.

1991: This evening Iraq fired a scud aimed at Tel Aviv. It was the 12th attack against Israel since the start of the Persian Gulf War.  Debris from the attack appeared to fall harmlessly in an unpopulated area causing no injuries or property damage.

1993: The Oslo Talks, which were being conducted in strictest secrecy, were resumed for another two days.  Yossi Beilin sent Dr. Ron Pundak and Dr. Yair Hirschfeld  “to a second round of talks at Sarpsbourg, Norway.

1994(30th of Shevat, 5754): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1994: Sheldon Silver assumed office as the 119th Speaker of the New York State Assembly.

1995(11th of Adar I, 5755): Eighty-eight year old Irving Loeb Goldberg, the U.T. and Harvard Law School grad who was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by Lyndon Johnson passed away today.

2000: “The End of the Affair” the movie version of the novel by the same name featuring Jason Isaacs and with music by Michael Nyman was released in the United Kingdom today two days after premiering in the United States.

2001(17th of Shevat, 5761): Screenwriter, author and producer Sy Gomberg passed away at the age of 82. Born in New York City, he received an Oscar Nomination in 1951 for the script he wrote for “When Willie Comes Marching Home.” He also wrote and produced “The Law and Mr. Jones,” a legal sit-com in the 1960’s. Gomberg organized a Hollywood contingent to march with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights protests. 

2001: The Chicago Tribune published “Holocaust Suit, Book Claim IBM Aided Nazis.”

2001: In “IBM Technology Aided Holocaust, Author Alleges” published today Michael Dobbs describes the efforts of Edwin Black to connect IBM to the Final Solution in IBM and the Holocaust

2002: Israel attacked Palestinian security headquarters in Gaza City in response to unprecedented Palestinian rocket fire and a shooting attack on Israeli civilians.

2002: French premiere of The Heidi Chronicles a made-for-television film by Wendy Wasserstein based on her play of the same name.

2004: In what may be an explanation for the poverty suffered by Palestinians, “French prosecutors reveal that they had opened a money-laundering probe into the transfers of millions of dollars to accounts held by Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. It had been discovered that nearly $1.27 million had been transferred with some regularity from Switzerland to Mrs. Arafat's accounts in Paris.”

2005:  The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that playwright Arthur Miller had passed away on February 10 at the age of 89.  The Gazette, along with several other newspapers, was able to report on the life of this famous dramatist without once mentioning that he was Jewish.  This despite the fact that one of Miller's first dramatic works dealt with the topic of anti-Semitism and that Marilyn Monroe converted to Judaism when she married Miller.  (They always mention the Monroe part.)

2005: “The Merchant of Venice” directed by Michael Radford who “believed that Shylock was Shakespeare's first great tragic hero” and which “begins with text and a montage of how the Jewish community is abused by the Christian population” was released today in the Italy weeks after opening in the United Kingdom and the United States.

2005: Founding of Autism Speaks an “advocacy group that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activites” whose “national celebrity spokesperson is Didi Cohn whose son “was diagnosed with autism.”

2006(13th of Shevat, 5766): Parashat Beshalach

2006: Seventy-seven year old Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who “has been in a comma since suffering a major stroke” in January “underwent emergency surgery on his large intestine today at Ein Kerem Hospital and emerged in stable condition2007: The synagogue of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva “the first to be entirely renovated by the Jewish community of Poland since World War II, was reopened” today.

2007: Woodwind player Ned Rothenberg, whose newest release is “Inner Diaspora,” on the Tzadik label, performs at the New Art Center in Newtonville, Massachusetts.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section features a review of Arianna Franklin’s A Mistress of the Art of Death, a novel set in Medieval Cambridge where the Jews are accused of killing Christian children and an Italian female doctor must discover the truth.

2007: “Wonder Wheel” recorded by the Klexmatics competed for a Grammy for best world of music album.

2007: “Flawless” a crime movie directed by Michael Radford premiered in Germany today.

2007: The Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism is scheduled to convene today with an address by the Foreign Minister in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

2008 (5th of Adar I, 5768): Eighty-year old Tom Lantos the only Holocaust Survivor to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives passed away. (As reported by David Herszenhorn)

2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival continues with showings of “Mortgage” (Mashkanta) followed by the New York premiere of “Black Over White.”

2009: Tel Aviv born magician Uri Geller “purchased the uninhabited 100-meter-by-50-meter Lamb Island off the eastern coast of Scotland, previously known for its witch trials, and beaches that Robert Louis Stevenson is said to have described in his novel Treasure Island”

2009: The Department of Academic Affairs offers an exclusive seminar with Dr. Asher Susser, past director and senior researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University.

2009: Gaza terrorists fired three mortar shells at the Eshkol region

 2009: Jewish students at York University in Toronto were forced to take refuge in the Hillel office tonight as anti-Israel protesters banged on the glass doors, chanting, "Die, bitch, go back to Israel," and "Die, Jew, get the hell off campus."

2010: The first class of the David Project which is designed to educate and equip people with knowledge about the Arab/Israeli conflict is scheduled to begin at Beit Shalom Synagogue, the Jewish Congregation of Maui.

2010: An exhibition entitled “Our Struggle: Responding to Mein Kampf” opened today at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco.

2010: The 14th New York Jewish Sephardic Festival is scheduled to come to an end with New York premiere of “Children of the Bible,” a film about the “complex situations facing Ethiopian-Israeli youth.”

2010: Ihad Khatib, the IDF officer who was stabbed to death yesterday by a member of the Palestinian Authority, was laid to rest in his Druze community of Maghar today. Khatib, 28, a non-commissioned logistics officer in the elite Kfir Brigade, was attacked at Tapuach Junction, south of Nablus. Hundreds of people attended the funereal, including Major Tomer Levi, Khatib's direct commander, as well as the commander of the Kfir Brigade, Colonel Oren Abman.

2010: After a media blackout was lifted today, the defense establishment revealed that the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) had foiled a Hamas attempt to kidnap an IDF soldier in December, 2009 when five Hamas men were arrested while trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, carrying explosives, a gun, a silencer and $15,000 in counterfeit bills, according to the announcement. 

2011(7th of Adar I, 5771): Ninety-two year old Roy Gussow, an abstract sculptor whose polished stainless-steel works with swooping contours gleam in public squares and corporate spaces, died today in Queens. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi

2011: Release date for “Just Go with It” with a screenplay co-authored by Allan Loeb starring Alan Sandler who also co-produced this remake I.A.L. Diamond’s “Cactus Flower.”

2011: “Surviving Hitler: A Love Story” and “Ingelore” are two documentaries scheduled to be shown at The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

2011: “Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment” is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

2011: Temple Judah is scheduled to host a Musical Shabbat in Cedar Rapids, IA.

2011: “It was announced today that Michael Rosenbaum would return to ‘Smallville’ for the two hour-series finale which” was broadcast later in the year.

2011: In initial statements, Jewish groups congratulated Egyptians on ousting Hosni Mubarak today and expressed hope for continued peace with Israel.

 2011: “Never Let Me Go” a movie based on the novel of the same name co-starring Andrew Garfield was released in the United Kingdom today.

2011: The last in a series of three concerts featuring the works of John Cage and Morton Feldman took place at Carnegie Hall. They were a unique duo – a Jew from New York a California transplant who dabbled in all sorts of eastern religions.

2011: U.S. premiere of ‘Just Go With It” a comedy produced by and starring Adam Sandler based on I.A.L. Diamond and Abe Burrows’ “Cactus Flower” with a script by Allan Loeb.

2012: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila Congregation is scheduled to host a Community Erev Shira in Celebration of Tu B’Shevat.

2012: The Anat Cohen Quartet, featuring works by Israeli woodwind virtuoso Anat Cohen, is scheduled to make its debut performance at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre in New York City.

2012: IAF aircraft struck four terror targets in the Gaza Strip tonight, in response to a Kassam rocket that was fired from Gaza a few hours earlier at the Eskol Council area.

 2012(18th of Shevat, 5772): Medal of Courage winner Aharon Davidi a sabra who began fighting for Israel in IDF and after retiring as a General in 1970 held several different positions including serving as the first director of Sar-El (Service for Israel) passed away today.

2012: More than fifty years after premiering at Cannes, “The Connection,” the film version of the play written by Jack Gelber opened in Berlin.

2012: As the body count rises in Syria, a group of activists held a candlelight vigil tonight outside the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv to protest Moscow’s defense of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

2013: Temple Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to host “The Feminine Face of Spirituality” which will explore essays and poetry that will help to “reveal the feminine voice (bat kol) embedded in Jewish traction.” 

2013: Speaking in the Knesset for the first time since becoming an MK, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid lambasted the ultra-Orthodox community, saying the country’s Haredi minority can’t hold the rest of the country hostage.

2013(1st of Adar, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Adar

2013: Four veterans of the battle for Jerusalem ensured a monthly female prayer service, complete with prayer shawls, went ahead undisturbed at the Western Wall for the first time in 24 years. Then the former fighters departed, and the women were arrested (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

2014: The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El is scheduled another lecture by Dr. Daniel Rynhold on “Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy.

2014: “Aftermath” and “Brave Miss World” are scheduled to be shown at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture’s 24th annual Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Masterpieces & Curiosities: A Medieval Aquamanile.

2014: Today Natalie Portman was in Jerusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood directed a scene from “A Tale of Love and Darkness” which is an adaptation of “an autobiographical novel by Amos Oz.”

2014: “The president of the largest Reform Jewish organization in the world welcomed MK David Rotem’s full apology for reportedly saying the movement is “not Jewish.”

2014: “The filming of “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” based on the book by Israeli author Amos Oz, began today in the Nahalot neighborhood. Portman, who appears as Oz’s mother, is making her debut as a director.” (As reported by JTA)

2014: “The Jerusalem District Court granted Hadassah hospitals’ request for a stay of proceedings today, temporarily protecting them from creditors, and appointed two trustees to formulate a rehabilitation plan for the hospitals, which are currently struggling with a deficit of NIS 1.7 billion ($482 million.” (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2014: “Scientists from the Technion and Hebrew University are this year’s winners of the Rappaport Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research, given out by the Technion’s Rappaport Institute. Prof. Yair Reisner of the Weizmann Institute of Science will be recognized for his work in bone marrow transplant therapy, while Dr. Yaakov Nahmias of Hebrew University will receive the award for identifying a grapefruit molecule that can block viruses.” (As reported by David Shamah)

2014: “The Israeli Air Force attacked targets in the Gaza Strip overnight after two rockets launched from the Hamas-controlled territory landed in the southern part of the country earlier in the day.”

2015(22nd of Shevat, 5775): Seventy-three year old CBS newsman Robert David “Bob” Simon died today as the result of a car crash.

2015: Gail Sherman, Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College, is scheduled to lead a discussion about Nathan Englander's powerful short story, What We Talk About when We Talk About Anne Frank at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

2015: Today, in an interview with JTA, Sammy Ghozlan, founder of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, and a former police commissioner, spoke out against President Obama’s assertion that the attack on a Kosher market in Paris was “random” rather than “anti-Semitic.”

2015: Lucinda Franks, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and the widow of Robert Morgenthau, is scheduled to speak about TIMELESS: Love, Morgenthau and Me

2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Joseph Bau; From Schindler’s List to Syria.”

2015: In London, Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King's College, London, is scheduled to speak about Love in the context of the current exhibition “Your Jewish Museum: Love.”

2016: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host an Adult Studio Workshop where attendees will “explore a range of avant-garde aesthetics and photographic techniques inspired by the exhibition ‘The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film.’”

2016: The world of astronomy was electrified today when scientist said “they have finally glimpsed the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, which Albert Einstein predicted a century ago.”

2016: Police in Columbus, Ohio shot and killed a man who stormed into an Israeli-owned restaurant wielding a machete and randomly attacking people as they sat unsuspectingly at their dinner tables this evening

2016: “U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might meet in Washington next month and complete a deal on future defense aid to Israel that has been dogged by disagreement, the U.S. ambassador to Israel said today.”

2016: “The Law” a film that “chronicles the 1974-1975 efforts of Simone Veil, French Minister of Health appointed by President Valéry Giscard d’Estang, to legalize abortion in France” is scheduled to be shown for the first time in San Diego today at the 26th Annual Jewish Film Festival.

2017(15th of Shevat, 5777): Shabbat Shirah and Tu B’Shevat; Parashat Beshalach

2017(15th of Shevat, 5777): Eight-seven year old Harvey Lichtenstein who devoted much of his life to making the Brooklyn Academy of Music into a major cultural force passed away today.

2017(15th of Shevat, 5777): Ninety-three year old Warsaw native Abba Tour, the Technion engineering student who helped start the IDF and was the “engineer of choice” for such architectural giants as Leo Kahn, passed away today.

2017: Today, The Wall Street Journal described Gary Cohn as an "economic-policy powerhouse" and The New York Times “called him Trump's "go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth".

2017: Following Shabbat morning services and a luncheon, the chaplains of the Oxford University Jewish Society are scheduled to lead a Walking Tour of Jewish Oxford and a “short learning session on Tu B’Shevat” as part of Parents’ Shabbat.

2017: “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage,” “a joyous and moving celebration of Kurt Weill, a cantor's son and one of the most extraordinary composers of the twentieth century” is scheduled to open in New York.

2018:”The Jewish Silk, a tour of the Bukharin Community in Rego Park that will provide an opportunity to “learn about the Jewish community that lived for over 2000 years on the Silk Road in cities such as Samarkand, Dunshabe and Tashkent” and that now has “resettled in large diasporic enclaves in Queens and Israel, where  community members continue to preserve unique Central Asian traditions while creating one of New York's most vibrant contemporary Jewish communities is scheduled to begin this morning at the Bukharin Jewish Community Center.

2018: JW3 is scheduled to present the initial London screening of the award winning film “Scaffolding” today

2018: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host a screening of “Besa: The Promise” which “tells the story of the Muslim men and women of Albania who saved the lives of nearly 2,000 Jews during World War II.”

2018: “Rosenwald: The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities, is scheduled to be screened at the Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, VA.

2019: A free trip to Israel paid for by PJ Library and PJ Our Way for “published authors interested in bring Israel and Jewish ideas into their writing” is scheduled to begin today.

2019: The Streicker Center is scheduled to host “Jewish Oscars,” the second in the Jewish American Hit Parade series where attendees can hear “the works of Alfred Newman, Randy Newman, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Alan Menken, Marvin Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand and Stephen Sondheim performed by Broadway and nightclub singers.”

2019: Sixty-nine year old Gonen Segev who served as energy minister in “Yitzhak Rabin’s cabinet in the 1990’s” and who “will spend 11 years behind bars for telling Iranian agents about sensitive Israeli sites and personnel” is scheduled to appear is scheduled to appear before a judge today before “being put behind bars.”


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