Friday, August 9, 2019

This Day, August 10, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

August 10

612 BCE: Sinsharishkun, King of the Assyrian Empire was killed and his capital city of Nineveh was destroyed.  This is the same Assyria that destroyed the Northern Kingdom and laid siege to Jerusalem.  This is also the same Nineveh to which God had sent Jonah.

70: According to sources, this is the date on the secular calendar when the Second Temple was destroyed.

117: Start of the reign of Hadrian as Roman Emperor.   At first Hadrian seemed to be a friend of the Jews.  He executed the anti-Jewish governor of Judea and promised to rebuild Jerusalem as a Jewish city.  For some unknown reason, he turned against the Jews banning circumcision throughout the Empire and announcing the decision to build a major temple to Jupiter in Jerusalem.  The Jews responded with what has become known as Bar Kochba's Rebellion.  The fighting was intense on both sides and resulted in the complete desolation of the land by the Romans.  Hadrian banned Jews from Jerusalem and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina.  He even had a copy of the Torah burned on the Temple Mount.  Antonius Pius, Hadrian's successor repealed many of Hadrian's anti-Jewish decrees including the bans on Torah study and circumcision.  But it was too late to save the Jewish community of the Promised Land.

1002: “Shortly after gain the support of the Saxons” Henry II, the Holy Roman Emperor whose expulsion of the Jews from Mayence was lamented in dirges composed by the poet Simon ben Isaac and of which Gershom ben Yehuda said, “Thou hast made those who despise They Law to have dominion over Thy people…” “arranged for Archbishop Willigist to crown his wife…as Queen of Germany” today “in Paderborn.”

1267: Birthdate of King James II of Aragon. James would prove to show greater toleration towards his Jewish subjects than his grandfather James I had.  . He permitted Jewish refugees from France to settle in Barcelona. In recognition of Jewish financial support for his equipping his fleet, the King released many Jewish communities from paying their taxes for a period of several years.  James also protected the Jews from popular anti-Semitic uprisings. In Barcelona in 1285, Berenguer Oller, announced that he planned to kill the local nobles and the Jews following which he would plunder their homes.  The King intervened to prevent the violence.  Whether he was more concerned about the well-being of the nobility or the Jews is unknown.

1391: The anti-Semitic rioting came to an end with Barcelona with an untold number of Jews converting at the point of the proverbial sword.

 1391: Massacre of the Jews in Gerona, Spain.

1397: Birthdate of Albert II, who as Holy Roman Emperor Agreed to accept 900 gulden from the city of Augsburg in return for allowing them to expel their Jews.

1492: A large group of Jews from Spain, thousands strong, arrived in the Port of Naples. Jews from Sardinia soon joined them. 

1675: The Portuguese-Jewish synagogue opens in Amsterdam.

1762: Birthdate of Joshua Montefiore, an English lawyer, soldier, and journalist who would eventually move to the United States where he “edited Men and Measures, a weekly political journal” before finally settling in St. Albans, Vt.

1778: Gotthold Lessing, while having trouble sleeping, comes up with the inspiration for his play, “Nathan the Wise.”

1792: As the French Revolution, which would eventually bring the rights of citizenship to French Jews, intensified, Louis XVI was imprisoned today.

1793: On the first anniversary of the end of the Louvre, which among other things contains “4,000 engravings, 3,000 drawings, and 500 illustrated books” donated by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in 1935, was opened to the public for the first time as a museum.

1793(2nd of Elul, 5553): Thirty-four year old Jacob Aaron (Kopel ben Aaron Berstat) passed away today in London.

1794: In Detmold, Germany, ‘Talmud scholar Immanuel Menachem Zunz and Hendel Behrens, the daughter of Dov Beer,] an assistant cantor of the Detmold community” gave birth tobLeopold Zunz  also known as Yom Tov Lipmann Tzuntz, "the German Reform rabbi and writer who was the founder of what has been termed the "Science of Judaism" (Wissenschaft des Judentums), the critical investigation of Jewish literature, hymnology and ritual.

1807: In Fürth, Marcus and Jeannette Königswarter gave birth to Jonas Königswarter, the husband of Josephine Königswarter who was a leading member of the financial community in Vienna whom Emperor Francis Joseph “decorated with the Order of the Iron Crown of the third class, elevated to the knighthood, and raised to the baronetage.

1808: Emanuel Lazarus married Sophia Simmons today at the Great Synagogue.

1808: Isaac ben Uri married Reizecha bat Judah Leib today at the Western Synagogue.

1810: Birthdate of Count Camillo di Cavour, the Italian statesman who was part of the triumvirate that created the modern Italian state.  Cavour worked with Baron James de Rothschild who secretly provided the funds with which the Piedmont nobleman was able to fight the Austrian.  Cavour enjoyed good working relations with members of the Jewish community, including “Isaac Arton, his confidential secretary and ‘faithful lieutenant’.”

1815: In an attempt to attract non-Hispanic Europeans to Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Spanish government issued the Royal Decree of Graces which allowed non-Spaniards to own land on the islands.  While Jews did settle in the islands, the decree really did not work to their advantage since only Catholics were allowed to own land. 

1818: In Bavaria, Suesel Schloss and his wife gave birth to Moses Schloss who would move to New and become a successful dry goods merchant.

1819: Anti-Semitic riots continue for a second day in Frankfort.

1819: Birthdate of Julius Landsberger, the native of Upper Silesia who was the rabbi at Darmstadt for thirty year and who with his wife Pauline gave birth to Richard Landsberger, a pioneer in the field “biological desntistry.”

1821: Missouri becomes the 24th state to join the Union.  Jewish immigrants, many from Germany, had settled in the area since its territorial days.  The first known Jew settled in St. Louis in 1807.  The first Jewish lawyer settled in St. Louis in 1817.
1824: Under Czar Alexander I, all foreign Jews were prohibited from settling in Russia. Alexander I, after an initial period of liberalism, reverted to the anti-Jewish proclamations of his predecessors. It began with forbidding Jews to have Christian servants. After that came the prohibition of settlement. The culmination of his policies came just before when all Jews were banished from the larger villages in the Mohilev and Vitbesk districts.

1832: Philip Minis, a Savannah physician and the son of Judge Isaac Minis shot and killed James Stark after the latter had called him a “damn Jew,” “a coward” and had pulled a gun on him in the City Hotel at Savannah.

1835(15th of Av, 5595): Tu B’Av

1835: Frederick David Goldsmid, MP and his wife gave birth to their oldest daughter Helen who as the wife of Lionel Lucas whom she married in 1855 was active in the Anglo-Jewish community as can be seen by her service as the President of the Workrooms Committee of the Jewish Board of Guardians, Treasurer of the Jewish Ladies’ West End Charity and Patroness of the City of London Benevolent Society for Assisting Widows of the Jewish Faith.

1837(9th of Av, 5597): Tish’a B’Av observed for the first time under President Martin Van Buren.

1843: Sixty-nine year old anti-Semite Jakob Friedrich Fries passed away. “ In 1816 he wrote Über die Gefährdung des Wohlstandes und des Charakters der Deutschen durch die Juden ("On the Danger Posed by the Jews to German Well-Being and Character"), advocating among other things a distinct sign on the dress of Jews to distinguish them from the general population, and encouraging their emigration from German lands. He blamed the Jews for the ascendant role of money in society and called for Judaism to be "extirpated root and branch" from German society.”

1844: Jeanetta Mallan and Joseph Davis gave birth to Lionel Cartwright Davis

1845: Two days after he had passed away, Lambert Ellis, the husband of Sarah Ellis with whom he had six children – Asher, Abraham, Esther, Jonas, Anna and Moses – was buried today at the Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.

1845: Birthdate of German physician Mortiz Litten, the son-in-law of pathologist Ludwig Traube who was the son of a Jewish wine merchant.

1846: President James K. Polk signed the Smithsonian Institution Act into law” which created the museum known as the Smithsonian Institution of which the National Museum of American Jewish History would eventually become an affiliate institution. 

1851: Eighty-nine year old German theologian Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus, the anti-Semite who authored "The Jewish National Separation: Its Origin, Consequences, and the Means of its Correction" passed away today.

1854: The Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau opened today.

1856: In Stuttgart, Dr. Friedrich Heimerdinger and his wife gave birth to General Erwin von Heimerdinger the father of Gertrude von Heimerdinger who “was employed in the German Foreign Office as assistant Chief of the Diplomatic Courier Section. An anti-Nazi, she secretly arranged for special passes to enable diplomat Fritz Kolbe (the main Allied source of intelligence) to make frequent trips to Switzerland to pass on information to Allen Dulles, head of American O.S.S.” (Jewish Virtual Library)

1858(30th of Av, 5618): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1859: The New York Times reported that “there has recently arrived in this City an eminent Jewish traveler, a Mr. Benjamin, the object of whose life hitherto has been to explore the interior of the Asiatic and African continents for the purpose of ascertaining the condition, occupations, hopes,  of his Hebrew brethren.”

1861(4th of Elul, 5621): Parashat Shoftim

1861: Fifty-nine year old Frederick Julius Stahl, the German lawyer and political leader who converted to Christianity when he was baptized as a Lutheran at the age of 17 passed away today.

1861: The New York Times reported that “The past week Mr. J.J. Benjamin, a Moldavian traveler and Jew, has been in this city from California. This gentleman's ruling passion appears to be to find out the "Ten Lost Tribes," to accomplish which purpose, he states that he has already traveled over a great portion of the civilized and the uncivilized world. He thinks he has discovered a clue to those missing tribes in Northern Africa and in Asia. Whether or not any such clue exists in this Great Basin, the world will, perhaps, be informed of in due time.”

[Editor’s Note: Mr. Benjamin and J.J. Benjamin are the same person.  J.J. Benjamin was a Rumanian born Jewish businessman who became historian.  Reportedly he modeled himself as modern day version of Benjamin of Tudela, the famous twelfth century Jewish traveler. He signed many of his writing as Benjamin II.]

1861: Forty-year old Samuel (Isaac) Henry Gluckstein a cigar maker from Dusseldorf became a naturalized citizen of the United Kingdom today.

1861: Philadelphian Nathan Rosenfelt who was later wounded at the Battle of Antietam, began serving with company A of the 72nd Regiment.

1861: Henry Isaacs “enlisted with Company M” of the 72nd Regiment today.

1861: Joshua Pickering enlisted in the Cameron Dragoons a “largely Jewish regiment” that was “the first completed regiment of cavalry ever enlisted in the United States during” the Civil War.

1861: Philadelphian James Comelien began serving in the 5th Cavalry where he reached the rank of Lieutenant.

1862: In a letter written to President Lincoln today, August Belmont persisted in his advocacy of a negotiated peace with the Confederates.

1868(22nd of Av, 5628): Approximately three months after her last performance, Adah Isaacs Menken passed away while living in Paris. The cause of death was most likely peritonitis, tuberculosis, or the combined ravages of both. She was buried in the Jewish section of the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

1868: Birthdate of Paul M Warburg, the scion of a German banking family, who came to  New York and became a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Company and an advocate of a “central bank” that took form as the Federal Reserve Board.

1873: A group of Jewish teachers met at #142 East 40th Street in New York today and formed a committee to develop an organizational plan for a Jewish Teacher’s Association.  The plan will be submitted at a future meeting the time of which has not been established.

1873:  It was reported today that Anshey Chesed has decided to hire Dr. Isaac M. Wise of Cincinnati to serve as it rabbi.  The congregation has just completed the building of sanctuary on the corner of Lexington and 63rd at cost of $250,000.

1873: In Cleveland, Ohio, William Hocking and Julia Pratt gave birth to William Ernest Hocking the Harvard professor who in 1936 expressed his opposition to Jewish settlement in Palestine because it “lacks rainfall” and it is “the immediate” cause “for turbulence on the part of the Arabs” while attacking the Pro-Palestine Federation led by its President, Charles Edward Russell.

1874:  Herbert Hoover, future President of the United States, was born in West Branch, Iowa. Hoover is best remembered by Jews as the President who nominated Benjamin Cardozo to the Supreme Court in 1932.  In his memoirs, Hoover makes only a brief reference to the appointment.  There is no mention about the fact that he was Jewish.  Hoover was concerned that there might be opposition because appointing Cardozo would mean that there would be two New Yorkers sitting on the High Court.  His Congressional supporters advised him that this would not be a problem.  So, thanks to a Quaker from Iowa, the Supreme Court found itself with two Jewish Justices (Frankfurter being the other) at a time when anti-Semitism was on the rise in the United States and Europe.

1874: Queen Victoria allowed Solomon Benedict de Worms to use his Austrian title of Baron in Great Britain.

1874: Sherrif Honscheidt of McClean County, Illinois, wrote a letter today addressed to George Walling, the Superintendent of the Police in New York City containing information about the murder Benjamin Nathan.  According to the Sherriff, a German Jew named Levy came to his house and confessed that he had killed Nathan.  He gave the address of the crime; described the murder weapon; and claimed that the motive was robbery.  Levy says he had an accomplice whose name he will only reveal once he is back in New York.  He claims that he has confessed because “he has had no rest nor peace of mind since he committed the crime.”  The Sheriff is not sure if Levy is telling the truth if he is just some “humbug” looking for a free trip to New York. (Nathan was a prominent Jewish member of the business community.  His shocking murder provided a great deal of scandal, but never produced a perpetrator)

1875(9th of Av, 5635): Tish'a B'Av

1875: In Cincinnati, Ohio, William Jacob Mack and Rebecca M. Mack gave birth to Jacob William Mack

 “the executive board of Hebrew Union College, president of Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio, and president of the International Association of Garment Manufacturers and Chairman of the Mack Shirt Corporation.

1875: The New York Times reported that “the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem will be celebrated throughout the world to-day by the conservative Jews, as a day of mourning.”

1877(1st of Elul, 5637): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1878: Birthdate of San Francisco native and U.C. Berkley undergrad, Saul Epsteen, noted mathematician and author.

1878: In Stettin master tailor Max Döblin and his wife Sophie gave birth to prolific author Bruno Alfred Döblin who would convert to Catholicism while living the life of a refugee in Los Angeles during WW II.

1879: In Dresden, “Gustav and Amalie Pinthus” gave birth to Dora Pinthus who married Oskar Michael Blumenthal and became Dora Blumenthal the name under which she was murdered at Theresiendstadt Ghetto.

1879: Two days after she had passed away, Catherine (Elisa) Levy, the wife of Lewis Levy with whom she had had seven children – Esther, Jane, Abraham, Amelia, Frances, Samuel and Philip – was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.

1879: According to reports published today, there were eight societies in Great Britain devoted to converting Jews to Christianity and a dozen more in continental Europe devoted to the same purpose.  Together, these organizations have a half million dollars to spend and employ 250 in this work.  The London Society for the Propagation of Christianity Among the Jews is the oldest and most prominent of these groups headquartered in London.  The society has 34 offices encompassing those cities in Europe, along the Mediterranean and in Abyssinia that have large Jewish populations. [These societies had little success.  Based on anecdotal evidence, most conversions took place in Western Europe and Britain for purposes of social and economic progress.]

1879:  It was reported today that the Jews play an activity role in the philanthropic activities in London since the synagogues of that city have given $3,460 to the hospital fund which is supported by donations from all denominations, “except perhaps the Catholics.”

1879: As various hotels and resorts began excluding Jews one merchant published an ad today designed to further their inclusion. “Although the Jews have been excluded from Manhattan Beach, they are not prohibited on account of their religious principles from buying Humphrey’s Parisian Diamonds.  They are for sale only at Humphrey’s Jewelry Store…Price list sent free.”

1880: In Romania, Abraham and Vera Landesco gave birth to Alexander A. Landesco, the graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and director of “relief work in East Europe for the Joint Distribution Committee” after World War I who spent 25 years with Lazard Freres and Company was the husband of Olga Spiegel Landesco.

1881: Over 2,500 people attended the corner-stone laying ceremony for the Home for the Aged and Infirmed in Yonkers.  Joseph E. Newberger gave the opening remarks on behalf of the B’Nai Brith and was followed by Norton Otis, the May of Yonkers.

1883: “The Outrages in Hungary” published today described the violent anti-Semitic reaction to the acquittal of Jews who have been standing trial at Nyireghyhaza on charges of ritual murder i.e. killing a young Christian girl.  Joseph Scharf, the father of Moritz Scharf, has been attacked several times because his son’s testimony during the trial.  There have been several outbreaks of arson aimed at the Jewish population of the town in which the dead girl lived.

1883: August Rholing, notorious slanderer of Jews and the Talmud brought charges of defamation against Rabbi Joseph Samuel Bloch of Vienna

1883: The escape by Theodore Hoffman, who was convicted of murdering Zife Marks, a Jewish peddler, was thwarted today.

1884: It was reported today that Jews in England are seeking to have their government intervene on behalf of their co-religionists in Romania who have been harmed by “the new hawking law.”

1884: It was reported today that Novoje Vremya, “the chief Jew-baiting organ in Russia” has received a warning from the authorities to cease its attacks on Jews.

1884 During today’s Earthquake in New York City, Jews living on Ludlow Street threw their furniture out of their windows and fearfully ran out of their houses carrying trunks, valises and mattresses.

1885: Birthdate of Cincinnati native and Harvard Law School graduate who was a WW I veteran and a director of Big Brothers in Chicago.

1886(9th of Av, 5646): Tish’a B’Av

1886: “The Fast of AB” published today described “the fast of Ab or ‘black fast,’ as it is it is sometimes called among the Jews”  which “is one of the most solemn occasions in the Hebrew worship and scrupulously observed by orthodox Jews” because “it commemorates the destruction of the two temples of Judea.”

1887: Abe Furst and Dr. Charles H. Rosenthal both of Cincinnati, Ohio, each donated $10 to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

1887: The Sanitarium for Hebrew Children are providing another free excursion today for the poor children of the Lower East Side.

1888: The Immigration Committee chaired by Congressman Ford met today at the Westminster Hotel. While Ford and Congressman Guenther tried to paint a picture of an invasion of immigrant paupers, they were stymied by testimony of at least one Jewish witness.  When Ford asked, “Do all the immigrants have the means of subsistence when they reach here?” the response was “If they have not, they are cared for by relatives and friends here.  Certainly they do not become a charge upon the public.  The records of the state Board of Charities will not show that a single Jew has been cared for by public charity.” (This sounds painfully familiar to those who have been listening to the current debate about immigration in the United States)

1889: “Bernard and Anna (Levy) Bloom” gave birth to Columbia graduate Irving Mortimer Bloom the HUC trained Reform Rabbi who led the “Hebrew Tabernacle in New York City” and used “radio talks, articles, sermons and lecturers” to advocate for closer relations “between Liberal Jews and Liberal non-Jews.”

1889: In Brooklyn, “Mary (Miriam) Natelson and Samson Nateslon” gave birth to Ethiel Weiner who married Dr. Meyer Weiner and gained fame as Ethel Weiner, the Brooklyn school teacher, “vice president of the Jewish Teachers Association” and “a sister of the Rachel Natelson… who collaborated with Henrietta Szold in founding Hadassah.”

1890; “Dr. Cyrus Adler” delivered the sixth in a series of lectures sponsored by the Jewish Theological Seminary at Cooper Union entitled “The Bible and Modern Discoveries with Special Reference to the Geography of Egypt and Palestine” which was attended by a large number of people including several ladies.

1890: “Waiting for A,B,C” published today relied on information that first appeared in the Edinburgh to traces the history of written alphabets including a listing of ancient inscriptions, one of which is “the Hebrew text…known as the Siloam inscription” which  “is very clearly of the age of Hezekiah” approximately 700 BCE.

1890: Birthdate of Solomon Rosenthal, the native of Vilnius who became a chess master.

1890 It has been determined that the Polish Jews who fell ill yesterday were not victims of food poisoning.  They had all drank coffee deliberately poisoned by Mrs. Levy, the wife of a second-hand clothing proprietor.  No reason has been given for her action. As to the victims, Jacob Schmidt and Jacob Levenson will recover but two of the mothers and their daughters are still in danger. The mass poisoning was made possible by the fact these Jews cook and eat a communal meal at the Sabbath.

1891: “A Rabbi At Chautauqua” published today described the incredulity of some Christians that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil is scheduled to speak before this organization.

1891: “Caring For Jewish Immigrants” published today described plans that leaders of the Jewish Alliance of America  have to help their co-religionists arriving in this country including helping them to settle in several states, find work for those “who are skilled mechanics or laborers” and “to purchase cheap arable lands for those” who want to farm.

1892: The SS Kehrwider sailed from Hamburg today bound for New York carrying a significant number of passengers who were poor Jews fleeing Poland and Russia.

1893: James O’Mara and William Davison sole the pack of a Jewish peddler went he entered Patrick Devitt’s saloon in Brooklyn.  Two policemen arrived and arrested the thieves.

1893(28th of Av, 5653): Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin passed away today in Warsaw. Born in Mir, Russia, in 1816, he “was also known as Reb Hirsch Leib Berlin, and commonly known by the acronym Netziv.” Berlin “was…dean of the Volozhin Yeshiva and author of several works of rabbinic literature in Lithuania.”

1895: “A score of charitable” people from Brooklyn who are spending the summer at Tannersville, NY, hosted a fund raiser for the benefit of the Hebrew Sanitarium.

1895: Lucian Sanial spoke first tonight at the mass meeting in Union Square sponsored by several Jewish organizations held “express sympathy with the locked-out hat and cap makers.”

1895: During the mass meeting at Walhalla Hall on Orchard Street, it was announced that the strike by the tailors, most of whom are Jewish has come to an end.

1895: Birthdate of Harold Reichman, the native of Cincinnati, Ohio who at the age of 18 changed his name to Harry Richman – the name under which he carved out a career as “a singer, actor, dancer, comedian, pianist, songwriter, bandleader, and night club performer” who began his film career in the classic “Putting on the Ritz.”

1896(1st of Elul, 5656): Rosh Chodesh Elul 

1896: Birthdate Pediatrician Dorothy Wilkes Weiss, the wife of Charles Wilkes who was active in Hadassah while living in San Francisco.

1896: In New Haven, CT, “Jacob and Sonya (Secoll) Sobol gave birth to WW I veteran Louis Sobol, the “Broadway Columnist” who married Pearl Antman Sobol after the death of his first wife Leah Helen Cantor Sobol with whom he had had one child – Natalie Muriel Sobol Spritzler.

 1896: “Education in Germany” published today provided a statistical analysis by religion of the Germans “attending the universities and other higher educational institutions.  For every 10,000 Protestants, 50 of them are students; for every 10,000 Roman Catholics, 32 are students: for every 10,000 Jews, 333 are students. “These figures testify to the extreme value set on a university education by Jews in Germany and explain how it is that young Hebrews are pressing into all the learned professions in far greater proportion than their ratio to the entire population of the country would warrant.” (While the Jews may have been elated about this, many Germans thought the progress of the Jews had to be part of some evil plot which, however irrationally, fueled the flames of anti-Semitism)

1897(12th of Av, 5657): Moses Schloss, a native of Bavaria who has been a successful merchant in New York for the past 50 years passed away today which was his 79th birthday.

1898: In Wellington, Nevada, the sheriff is about to close down the Occidental Colony Company which was organized and operated by Jewish immigrants from Russia.

1898: One day after she had passed away. Phoebe Winkel, the “wife of Israel J. Winkel” with she had five children – Joseph, Solomon, Kate, Sarah and Leah – was buried today at the Plashet Jewish Cemetery in London.

1900: Birthdate of Philip Levine, the Russian born American pioneer in the research “of serums and antibodies who discovered the Rh factor in human blood.” (As reported by Peter B. Flint)

1902: Birthdate of Canadian Oscar winning actress Norma Shearer who converted to Judaism in 1927 when she married movie mogul Irving Thalberg.

1902: in Podgorze, Kraków's Jewish quarter, Rosa Philippine (née Blum) and Ignatz Siodmak, a devout Hasidic scholar gave birth to Kurt Siodmak who gained fame as “novelist and screenwriter” Curt Siodmak.

1903: The New York Times features a review of a compendium of the writings of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler entitled Studies in Jewish Literature.

1905(9th of Av, 5665): Tish’a B’Av

1905:  The Russians and the Japanese begin peace talks at Portsmouth under the watchful eye of President Theodore Roosevelt.  The talks would bring an end to the Russo-Japanese War.  The Russians were humiliated by the defeat.  The Czar did make some half-hearted attempts at democratic reform which was encouraging to the Jews in the emerging Russian middle class.  At the same time, the Slavophiles, extreme Russian nationalists also sought power; trying to convince Nicholas II that Russia would only find greatness when it had rid itself of all Western and foreign (i.e. Jewish) influences.  In the end, nothing changed for the better and the Communists would come to power thirteen years later. Russian anti-Semitism gave the Japanese an edge in fighting the war.  The Russian government had refused to take responsibility for pogrom. It had blocked American attempts to investigate the treatment of the Russian Jews. When war broke between the Russians and the Japanese, several American Jewish financiers were instrumental in insuring that Japanese war underwritten which meant that the Japanese would have money to fight the war. 

1906: Birthdate of Abie Bain, the native of St. Petersburg, Russia who reportedly began his boxing career in the United States at the age of 12 as a flyweight but boxed as middleweight for most of his career except when he stepped up to Light Heavyweight class to fight Maxie Rosenbloom.

1907: At Cowes, Lord Rothschild is one of the notable guests aboard the famed yacht Margaritta one of only two vessels of interest at this fabled nautical event.

1910: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that two valuable silver cups had been stolen from the Sons of Israel Synagogue in Camden, NJ.

1910: Birthdate of Veit Klein, who in 1942 was transported from Prague to Ujazdow where he was murdered.

1910(5th of A, 5670): Portland, OR, banker Benjamin Cohen passed away today.

1911: Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, headed a delegation of men interested in labor publications who appeared before the Congressional commission on second-class mail matter to protest against the raise in the rates.

1911: Birthdate of American playwright Jerome Chodorov, the New York native who is the brother of playwright Edward Chodorov.

1912(27th of Av, 5672): Parashat Re’eh

1912: Approximately 75 people attended services at the Social Hall of the Forest House in Kennebunkport, Maine, led by Rabbi Bernard. G. Ehrenreich of Montgomery, Alabama.

1912: Pitcher Barney Pely “known as ‘the Yiddish Curver’” appeared in his last major league as a member of the Washington Senators of the American League.

1913: The Second Balkan War comes to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest. As a result of the war, the final boundaries for the modern Greek state were finally established.  This led to an end of the “protected status” many Balkan Jews had enjoyed under Ottoman rule as they became citizens of Greece.

1913: One day after he had passed away, Myer Friedland, the husband of Eva Friedland with whom he had two children – Martha and Annie – was buried today at “the Belfast Jewish Cemetery in Northern Ireland.”

1913: The treaty ending the Second Balkan War signed today gave the town of Monastir, which had been home to a Jewish community since Roman times became part of Serbia and was renamed Bitola although the local Jews continued to refer to it by its Ottoman name.

1914: During WW on the Eastern Front, the Russian Army reached Tilsit.

1914: Samuel Prince, a former Assemblyman from the east side and a labor agitator passed away and includes a bequest of fifty dollars to Samuel Gompers for use in supporting strikers in Colorado.

1915: During the Gallipoli campaign, which saw the appearance of the Zion Mule Corps, forces under Mustfa Kemal (who would gain fame as Ataturk)) defeated the Allies during the Battle of Sari Bair.

1916: Oscar S. Straus and Henry Morgenthau, the two previous U.S. Ambassadors to Turkey were sitting at the speakers table with Abram I. Elkus, the latest appointee to the position at a dinner at the Fruendschaft Society where the attendees expressed “satisfaction and pride in the service rendered to the nation by the Jews.”

1916: Chief Rabbi of Salonica received a telegram from the Minister of Interior stating the government has taken steps to ensure tranquility for the Jews on Corfu, after a blood libel accusation arose. 

1916: It was reported today that in Warsaw which is now under German rule “death from starvation” is so prevalent among the Jews, “that Jewish mothers feel happy to see their nursing babies die” because it puts an end to their suffering and that even the “wealthiest” Jews “cut off their daughters’ hair and sell it to be able to buy indispensable thing like bread for their dying children.”

1916: It was reported today that a commission has been to Switzerland to seek help in maintaining the soup kitchens for the Jews in Warsaw, but that the real hope is that American Jews will send aid because “should America not aid” them, the Jews of Warsaw “will be lost.”

1917: Dr. Reuben Blank sent a telegram today from Petrograd to Lucien Wolf in London that “in the press and proclamations” the “extreme Russian reactionaries, the extreme revolutionaries and the Black Hundreds” “go so far as to throw upon the Jews the entire responsibility for the war and for the obstacles in the way of a peace with Germany”

1917: The Central Committee of Council of Workmen and Soldiers” having learned “of the revival of anti-Semitic activity in the northwestern and southwestern provinces” dispatched “fifteen delegates to the affect districts to counteract the agitation.”

1917: “Professor Felix Frankfurter of Harvard, the assistant to the Secretary of War, who went abroad recently as a member of a semi-official commission” that sought to determine “the condition of the Jews of Palestine” returned to Washington, D.C.

1917: In Berlin, “five orthodox representative of the Jewish community resigned because of the appointment of a radical reformer, Dr. Benzion Kellerman, as a rabbi of the synagogue of the South-eastern district.
1918: During the Battle of Amiens which General John Monash was the commanding field officer, the French re-took the town of Montdidier.

1919(14th of Av, 5679): The Ukrainian National Army massacres 25 Jews in Podolia Ukraine

1919: Today, twenty year old New York native Barnett Robert Brickner who would served  the rabbi at Anshe Chesed for 33 years, “married Rebbeca Ena Aronson, a co-worker at the Bureau of Jewish Education” with whom he had two children – “Joy Marion and Arthur James Balfour Brickner.”

1920: The Turkish government renounced its sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael and recognized the British mandate.

1920: “Dr. Otis A Glazebrook, the United States Consul in Jerusalem,” who arrived in the United States today on a leave of absence “said that the British Government had a difficult problem to handle in its mandate over Palestine and the restoration of the country to the Jews.”

1920:  Birthdate of Basketball coach William Red Holzman When he retired, Red Holzman was the second winningest coach in NBA history with 696 victories in regular season play, mostly with the New York Knickerbockers. His Knick teams won NBA championships in l970 and l973. Red was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 1986. Incidentally, the only man ahead of Holzman on the all-time win list was another Jew, Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics.

1920: In London “Eight year old Jewish chess wonder” Samuel Rzeschewski “played simultaneous games against twenty strong amateur player at the Gambit Chess rooms” his evening and won 18 of he games and having two end in a draw.

1920(26th of Av, 5680): Eighty-four year old pioneer physician Adam Politzer and a founder of otology passed away today.

1921: Eight days she had passed away, Rebecca Linneweil, the wife of Salomon Linneweil and the mother of Henriette Linneweil was buried today at London’s Edmonton Adath Yisroel Jewish Cemetery.

1923: In Carslbad, Dr. Glickson, a delegate to the Thirteenth Zionist Congress denounced the policy of the British administration in Palestine toward the Jews of the country and toward the Zionist movement. He declared that "the Government hinders the upbuilding of the Jewish national home."

1923: The American delegation to the Thirteenth Zionist Congress cabled the newly installed U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge, “a message of greeting” including wishes for  a “successful administration.  The Zionists…recalled that the President has on various occasions expressed his admiration of the effort to re-establish Palestine as the Jewish homeland.

1923: JTA does not publish its daily news bulletin today because it is the National Day of Mourning in memory of President Warren G. Harding.

1925: More 30,000 members of the ILGWU held a rally today at Yankee Stadium.  The Union was dominated by Jewish members and leaders including Morris Sigman the president from 1923 to 1928 who battled communists and bosses to improve the lot the working men and women of America.

1926(30th of Av, 5686): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1928: In Brooklyn, “businessman” Herman Sabin and pharmacist turned homemaker “Rachel (Davidson) Sabin” gave birth to drummer Ira Sabin, the founder of JazzTimes magazine. (As reported by Richard Sandomir)

1928: In Philadelphia, PA, Gitte (later Katherine "Katie" Winokur; 1) and Joseph Tisch gave birth to Edwin John Fisher who gained fame as Eddie Fisher, the  “crooner” and teen-age heartthrob in the 1950’s who dumped Debbie Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor who in turn dumped him to marry Richard Burton.

1929(4th of Av, 5689): Parashat Devarim; Shabbat Chazon

1929(4th of Av, 5689): Seventy-five year old Aletta Jacobs, the female trailblazer who followed in her father’s footsteps and became a physician and was an active suffragette passed away today.

1929(4th of Ave, 5689): Seventy-five year old Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs “the first woman to attend a Dutch University officially and the first female physician in the Netherlands” passed away today.

1929: Two days before his 17th birthday, historian Max Dimont who had sailed to the United States in steerage aboard the SS Berengaria was discharged from the hospital on Ellis Island and begin the trip to his new home in Cleveland, Ohio with the rest of his family.


1929: “The Awful Truth” a comedy filmed by cinematographer David Abel was released today in the United States.

1930: The fourth world congress of the Zionist Revisionists opened in Prague today under the presidency of Vladimir Jabotinsky. The Revisionists constitute the Opposition in the World Zionist Organization.

1932: In today’s diary entry, 18 year old Hermann Pressman, who would survive the Holocaust” described spending his Sunday evening with friends at a Berlin café.

1932: In Berlin “conductor and composer Walter Goehr” and wife gave birth to “British composer and Professor Peter Alexander Goehr.

1933: In Amsterdam, 225 German-Jewish children, chiefly from the Rhine region, arrived to stay with Dutch Jewish families.

1933: Eighteen year old Heddy Lamarr married “Austrian military arms merchant and munitions manufacturer” Friedrich Mandl who “was reputed to be the third richest man in Austria.

1933: Der Ernes, the Yiddish language newspaper published in the Soviet Unon, reported that a farmer named Leiser Kabakoff, had been expelled from his collective in the Crimea for his efforts to get other farmers to refrain from working on the Sabbath.

1935(11th of Av, 5695): Shabbat Nachamu

1936: At Geneva, “the Polish delegation to the World Jewish Congress charged early today in a statement present at the third day’s session that Poland’s 3,500,000 Jews were being terrorized and made paupers. (Editor’s note – the rising tide of Polish anti-Semitism during the 1930’s might help to explain the ease with which her Jewish population was all but wiped in the Shoah)

1936: It was reported today that economist Jacob Lesthiesky estimated that “Nazism has reduced 20 to 22 per cent of All Germans to dependence on relief and 20 per cent of the Jews have already liquidated their affairs in preparation for emigration” and that Polish economist Dr. Arjeh Tartakower estimated that 200,000 Jews in world are being compelled to emigrate due to “economic or political pressure.”

1937: At the historic plenary session of the 20th Zionist Congress, held in Zurich under the chairmanship of Dr. Stephen Wise, a last desperate attempt was made by Menahem Ussishkin to prevent the adoption of a resolution that was tantamount to the Jewish acceptance of the Peel Report’s principle of Palestine’s partition. The acceptance of this proposal, said Ussishkin, means the end of our historic hope... it will mean that a great misfortune must befell us. Ussishkin criticized Moshe Shertok.

1937: The Weizmann policy on the partition of Palestine took textual form today in the draft of a resolution submitted to the political resolutions committee of the World Zionist Congress here. This body, elected today, started what promises to be an all-night secret debate on this resolution, particularly on the last two and most crucial points.

1937(3rd of Elul, 5697): Seventy-four year old Sarah Nathan, the Philadelphia born daughter of “Elvira S. and David Hays Solis,” the wife of Edgar Joshua Nathan and mother of Edgar Jr., Rosalie and Emily Nathan passed away today in Mamaroneck, NY.

1938: A group of Arabs carried out a daring day time robbery of the Barclays Bank at Nablus.  The proceeds of the action are thought to be a source of funding for the on-going wave of Arab terror and violence which claimed more Jewish victims today when a car filled with Jewish workers approaching an orange grove near Hadera struck a land mine and a Jewish cart driver was wounded by sniper fire as he drove along the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

1938: Three Hebrew language dailies, including Davar, published editorials condemning violence that was traced back to the Revisionists wing of the Zionist movement.

1938: Nuremberg Synagogue is burnt down.

1939: Bernhard Maissner (also known as Bejrich Bernhard Majzner) was forced to move to Bentschen, Poland before being shipped to Treblinka where “later he was declared to have perished.”

1940(6th of Av, 5700) Shabbat Chazon

1940: The government of Rumania passed anti-Jewish racial laws.

1941: The Red Army counterattacked invading Nazi forces near Yelnya, a city in which almost three hundred Jews were living in 1939.

1942(27th of Av, 5702): Twenty-seven year old Berta Samuel who had been shipped to Auschwitz from Drancy died at the Nazi death camp today.. 
1942: This was the first of thirteen days when over 40,000 Jews were shipped from Lvov to the death camp at Belzec.  By the end of the month, another 36,000 Jews from Lvov and its surrounding area would be shipped to Belzec where they would meet a similar fate.

1943(9th of Av, 5703): Tish'a B'Av

1943(9th of Av, 5703): Twenty-seven more Jews were found in the ‘Aryan' portion of the ghetto in Warsaw and were shot.

1944: In Manhattan, “Dr. Abraham Leff, a psychiatrist, and the former Rose Levy, a pharmacist” gave birth to Eugene Joel Leff, the lawyer who got justice for the victims of Love Canal.  (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1945(1st of Elul, 5705): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1945: A day after the United States dropped the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, the Japanese government sent word through diplomatic channels that it would accept the terms of the Potsdam Conference which meant that WW II was close to coming a close.

1945(1st of Elul, 5705): Staff Sargent Jack Winer, he “only son of a Jewish immigrant mother from Russia” and “a navigator for the 345th Bombardment Group, was killed during an air raid today days before the surrender of Japan” after which he was reinterred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in 1949 and erroneously “ended up with a cross on his headstone instead of the Star of David.”

1946: Kitty “Carlisle married playwright and theatrical producer Moss Hart today.

1948(5th of Av, 5708): Sixty-five year old Viennese native Nathan Eibschutz, the “son of Rabbi Rahmiel Eibschutz,” “a founder of Israel Zion Hospital,” the President and Treasurer of the Night and Day Press printing house and the husband of Ceclia Friedman Eibschutz, of blessed memory and the former Monya W. Tepperman, passed away today in Manhattan.

1948: In another example of how a Jew helped to create American pop culture, Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" TV debuted on ABC.  Long before “reality t.v.” hit it big, Funt showed the world how to laugh with ordinary people doing ordinary things while the whole world (which was much smaller then) watched.

1948: A concert was held in Tel Aviv attended by Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett.

1949(15th of Av, 5709): Tu B’Av

1949(15th of Av, 5709): Yiddish author and Belarus native, Yosef or Joseph Tunkel who used “he pen name Der Tunkler” passed away today and was then “buried in the New Mount Carmel Cemetery.

1950: “Sunset Boulevard” a film noir set in Hollywood directed by Billy Wilder who also co-authored the script, with music by Franz Waxman and co-starring Erich von Stroheim was released in the United States by Paramount Pictures.

1953: “The Caddy” a Martin and Lewis comedy directed by Norman Taurog and a script co-authored by Danny Arnold was released in the United States today.

1954: Today, Dr. Joseph Alexander, “a specialist in the study  and treatment of lung diseases” who played college football at Syracuse and who in 1925 “ was the first player to sign with the New York Giants football team when it was awarded an NFL franchise “was elected to the National Football Hall of Fame…”

1957: “The Rising of the Moon,” an Irish anthology film featuring Harold Golblatt in “A Minute’s Wait” was released in Ireland today by Warner Bros.

1957: Birthdate of Vienna native Danielle Spera, the journalist who brought new life to the Jewish Museum of Vienna when she began serving as director Vienna in 2010 and who had converted to Judaism (her father was Jewish but her mother was Catholic), married “psychoanalyst Martin Gilbert” with whom she is raising “three children – Samuel, Rachel and Deborah – in a traditional Jewish home.

1959:  In New York City, Brenda Olivia “Mardi” Nowak and Lewis Arquette gave birth Emmy nominated actress Rosanna Lisa Arquette who proved she could work “behind” the camera when directed the documentary “Searching of Debra Winger

1959: Today, the World Jewish Congress was told that “Premiere Nikita S. Khrushchev has indicated a willingness to discuss the condition of Jews in the Soviet Union when visits the United States next month.”

1960: In East Bergholt, Suffolk, “screenwriter, novelist and journalist” Frederic Raphael gave birth to English artist Sarah Natasha Raphael.

1960: The original “Ocean’s 11” directed and produced by Lewis Milestone, co-staring Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop and featuring Norman Fell was released in the United States today.

1962: President Kennedy's Secretary of State Dean Rusk criticized Daniel Schorr's actions in a diplomatic cable today for a checkbook journalism story in which, “Schorr involved himself in a matter which was far beyond his private or journalistic responsibilities and proceeded amateurishly in a matter filled with greatest danger for all concerned.” (This was neither the first time nor the last time that Schorr would draw the ire of a government official including those in Washington and Moscow. 

1964: Alaska Democrat Ernest Gruening was one of only two Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.  The two senators saw the resolution as “unconstitutional because it was ‘a pre-dated declaration of war power’ reserved to Congress. This vote cost Gruening his seat in the Senate; a fate that many of the johnny-come-lately opponents such as the anti-Semite J. William Fulbright were spared.

1965(12th of Av, 5725): Eighty-eight year old “specialist in criminal law and a founder of the doctrine of international criminal law” Emil Stanisław Rappaport passed away today.

1969(26th of Av, 5729): Seventy-two year old Arthur J  “Art” Strauss also known as Dutch Strauss the fullback and running back for Phillips College before turning pro with the Toledo Marrons and the Kansas City Blues passed away today.

1970: “Diary of a Mad Housewife,” the film version of the novel by Sue Kaufman, starring Richard Benjamin was released in the United States today by Universal Pictures.

1972(30th of Av, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1973: It was reported today that the “national commander of the Jewish War Veterans” has described “the Watergate episode as the culmination of a decade of moral delinquency in the United States.” (JTA)

1976: In Toronto, the Paralympic Games in which volleyball player Hagai Zamier earned a Gold Medal, came to a closes.

1977: “The Kentucky Fried Movie,” a comedy written by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker was released in the United States today.

1979: “Americathon” a comedy produced by Joe Roth and starring Harvey Korman and Peter Riegert was released today in the United States today.

1981(10th of Av, 5741): Seventy-five year old Yeruham Cohen, an Arabic-speaker of Yemeni origin who was “an early Israeli undercover soldier” passed away today. He was a top aide to the commander of Israel's underground forces during the country's war for independence in 1948 and also belonged to a unit whose members disguised themselves as Arabs to infiltrate enemy lines.  Mr. Cohen is most famous for his acquaintance with Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, whom he met in 1948 during the Israeli war for independence while Israeli forces encircled Egyptian troops the southern Negev. According to historical accounts, Mr. Cohen saw the future President while watching the Egyptians retreat, shouted and ran toward him, and they shook hands warmly.

1980(28th of Av, 5740): Seventy-four year old Karl Wolf, a native of Austria who was the husband of Margit Wolf passed away today in Haifa.

1981: Pitcher Bob Tufts made his major league debut with the San Francisco Giants.

1982: Today President Ronald Reagan nominated UCLA trained attorney Alex, Kozinski, the Bucharest born son of Holocaust survivors to serve on the United States Claims Court.

1983(1st of Elul, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1986: A Broadway revival of “Me and My Girl” featuring George S. Irving in “his Tony nominated performance as Sir John” opened today at the Marquis Theatre.

1988:  After opening in Australia, “Crimes of the Future,” “a Canadian sci-fi film” directed by, produced by, written by, filmed by and edited by David Conenberg was release today in the United States.

1989(9th of Av, 5749): Tish’a B’Av

1989: Birthdate of Ben Sahar, Israeli born football (soccer) star.

1990: “Flaterliners” a sci-fi thriller directed by Joel Schumacher, the son of Swedish Jewess, was released throughout the United States today by Columbia Pictures.

1990: Eighty-two year old Martha Dodd Stern, the daughter of William Dodd, FDR’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, who became an anti-Nazi, passed away today.  (As reported by Glenn Fowler)

1991(30th of Av, 5751): Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh Elul

1991(30th of Av, 5751): Eighty-five year old Hans Jacob Polostky, the native of Zurich and German educated orientalist who made Aliyah in 1935 to escape the Nazis and became an award winning Professor at Hebrew University passed away today.

1993: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme court. Thus she became the second woman, and the first Jewish woman, to serve on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg replaced retiring justice Byron R. White. “Born in Brooklyn on March 15, 1933, Ginsburg was the first in her immediate family to attend college. She earned her B.A. from Cornell, with High Honors in Government, in 1954. Admitted to Harvard Law School, she delayed her studies to move with her husband to Oklahoma, where she worked for the Social Security Administration. Returning east, Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard in 1956, but switched to Columbia Law School for her final year when her husband accepted a job offer from a prestigious New York law firm. At both Harvard and Columbia, Ginsburg was accepted to the Law Review; at Columbia, she tied for first in her class. Despite this record of achievement, Ginsburg found it difficult to work as a lawyer upon graduation. Few judges and no law firms were willing to accept a woman as clerk or staff member. Finally, she won a clerkship with Judge Edmund L. Palmieri of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Palmieri accepted her only on the promise from a male lawyer that if Ginsburg did not work out, the man would leave a law firm job to become a law clerk. That proved unnecessary. After her clerkship, Ginsburg worked for the Columbia Project on International Civil Procedure, which did basic research on foreign systems of civil procedure and recommended changes in the U.S. system of transnational litigation. With the completion of the Columbia Project, Ginsburg embarked on an academic career, first at Rutgers University (1963-1972) (where she was paid less than her male colleagues), and then at Columbia (1972-1980), where she was the first tenured woman on the law faculty. Just before her move to Columbia, Ginsburg also became co-director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project.

Dividing her time between Columbia and the ACLU, Ginsburg worked extensively on sex-discrimination cases, especially those relating to employment. In this work, Ginsburg filed briefs in nine major sex discrimination cases that were decided by the Supreme Court, personally arguing six of them. Ginsburg argued that protections granted to persons under the constitution should apply to women and, thus, successfully established that differential treatment based on gender was unconstitutional. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served there for thirteen years, until her nomination and confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. In nominating Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, President Clinton described her as "one of our nation's best judges, progressive in outlook, wise in judgment, balanced and fair in her opinions." He also said that "Ruth Bader Ginsburg cannot be called a liberal or a conservative. She has proved herself too thoughtful for such labels." Ginsburg's record as a centrist likely helped to ease her confirmation; the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously endorsed her nomination, and the full Senate voted 96-3 in her favor.

On the Court, Ginsburg's work has been characterized by cool logic and reason, and a pragmatism that takes into account the real-life implications of Court decisions. In her written decisions she has continued to establish the constitutional basis for prohibiting discrimination based on gender. Justice Ginsburg has actively participated in this year's 350th anniversary celebrations of Jewish life in North America, pointing proudly to Judaism's eternal pursuit of justice, the promise of America, and the accomplishments of Jewish women who have preceded her. The resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor makes Justice Ginsburg the only woman on the Supreme Court.”

1994(3rd of Elul, 5754): Paul Grossman, who had been married to Shirley Gorssman and was a member of Larchmont Temple in Larmchont, NY passed away today

1997: The New York Times book section featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Secret Channels: The Inside Story of Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations by Mohamed Heikal and Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America by Elliott Abrams

1997(7th of Av, 5757): Sixty-three year old Professor George Zames “known for his fundamental contributions to the theory of robust control” and who was one of the Jews saved by Japanese Consul Senpo Sugihara passed away today.

2000(9th of Av, 5760): Tish’a B’Av

2000: At the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dara Torres swam the 100-meter butterfly in a time of 57.86. Jenny Thompson was ahead of her by eight one-hundredths of a second, but Torres's time was good enough to qualify her for the Olympics in Sydney. It would be her fourth Olympic Games.

2001: “American Pie 2” a sequel to “American Pie” with a story by David H. Steinberg and Adam Herz who also wrote the screenplay and co-starring Eugene Levy was released in the United States today by Universal Studios.

2002(2nd of Elul, 5762): Parashat Shoftim

2002: Thirty-one year old Yafit Herenstein was shot in her home by members of the Al-Aqsa Brigades

2003: “Shattered Glass” a biopic based on the fraudulent journalistic career of Stephen Glass premiered today at the Toronto International Film Festival today.

2003: The Sunday New York Times book section includes reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including  When the Chickens Went on Strike: A Rosh Hashanah Tale, Erica Silverman’s adaption of a story by Sholom Aleichem illustrated by Matthew Trueman,  Lay Back the Darkness, a collection of poems by Edward Hirsch a Midwestern man with a Jewish heritage and  Ronit Matalon's novel Bliss translated by Jessica Cohen that “focuses on Israel's two pains: the kind it suffers and the kind it inflicts”

2003(12th of Av, 5763): Sixteen year old Haviv Dadon was “killed by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft shell fired from Lebanon.”

2005: “Escape: Human Cargo,” co-starring Sasson Gabai was broadcast for the first time in Hungary.

2005: “In his first speech before the Knesset following his resignation, Netanyahu spoke of the necessity for Knesset members to oppose the proposed disengagement” from Gaza.

2006(16th of Av, 5766): IDF Staff Sergeant Kobi Idan, 26, from Eilat was killed and at least 16 other soldiers were wounded, nine of them seriously, in the clashes with Hezbollah.

2006: In “Party No. 3” published today David Brooks “imagined a moderate McCain-Lieberman Party in opposition to both major parties, which he perceived as polarized and beholden to special interests.

2006: Twenty-four year old Angelo Frammartino, from Monte Rotondo, Italy was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist in Jerusalem.

2006: During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Israeli authors, David Grossman, Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua spoke at a press conference calling upon the government to agree to a ceasefire as a basis for talks toward a negotiated solution, describing further military action as "dangerous and counterproductive" and expressing particular concern for the Lebanese government. [Editor’s note - Two days later, Grossman’s 20-year-old son Uri, a staff sergeant in an armored unit, was killed by an anti-tank missile during an IDF operation in southern Lebanon shortly before the ceasefire.]

2007: The Indianapolis Colts placed tight end Mike Seidman on the injured reserve list

2007: Colonel Giora "Hawkeye" Epstein “was the primary subject of the "Desert Aces" episode of The History Channel series Dogfights that aired for the first time tonight.”

2007 (26th of Av): On the secular calendar commemoration of  Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s, the third Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty, popularly known as the "Tzemach Tzedek," departure from Petersburg after having successfully prevented the government's disruption of traditional Jewish life.2008(9th of Av, 5768): Tish'a B'Av

2008: The New York Times book section featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power by Jonathan Mahler, My Sister, My Love by Joyce Carol Oates, American Priestess: The Extraordinary Story of Anna Spafford and the American Colony in Jerusalem by Jane Fletcher Geniesse and Kingmakers:The Invention of the Modern Middle East by Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac.

2008: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Jewish Agency has released a statement that some 200 Jews living near the town Gori, on the South Ossetia border, were advised to evacuate to the Georgian capital after the outbreak of hostilities with Russia two days ago.

2008(9th of Av, 5768): Howard G. Minsky, a former Hollywood talent agent and the producer of the movie “Love Story,” passed away today at the age of 94. Mr. Minsky began his career during the silent-film era and sold reels of film door to door before breaking into the Hollywood scene. He worked as an executive for 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures and as a talent agent for the William Morris Agency. In the 1960s he left the agency to produce the romantic drama “Love Story,” written by one of his clients, Erich Segal. Released in 1970, it became a blockbuster, winning five Golden Globes, including best picture, and an Academy Award for music.

2009: The exhibit, Bagels & Barbeque: The Jewish Experience in Tennessee which documents the history of Jewish immigration to Tennessee opened at Chattanooga State, the College on the River.

2009: Opening of the Tzfat [Safed] Klezmer Festival

2009 (20th of Av): On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, father of the seventh and last Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. A brave and educated soul, he after being imprisoned by the Soviets for thwarting the Communists attempts to wipe out Jewish civilization.

2009: Israeli aircraft bombed tunnels early today along the Gaza Strip border with Egypt, Hamas officials and witnesses said.

2010(30th of Av, 5770): David L. Wolper, an award-winning movie and television producer best known for the groundbreaking mini-series “Roots,” passed away today at the age of 82.  Mr. Wolper produced hundreds of films and television shows, including the hit 1983 mini-series “The Thorn Birds,” a romantic drama set in Australia, with Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward. But the work with which he was most closely associated was “Roots,” shown in eight parts on ABC in 1977. The saga of an African-American family’s journey from Africa to slavery and emancipation, based on the best-selling book by Alex Haley, “Roots,” with a cast including LeVar Burton, Ben Vereen and many others, was not the first mini-series, but it was the first to have a major influence not just in the ratings but in American culture. One of the highest-rated entertainment programs in television history, it went on to win nine Emmy Awards and ignited a lively national discussion about race.  Another of Mr. Wolper’s productions, “The Hellstrom Chronicle” (1971), a film concerned with mankind’s real and imagined difficulties with insects, won an Academy Award.  Mr. Wolper was also a tireless showman and a flamboyant organizer of major events. He oversaw the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, replete with sky divers, break dancers and 84 pianists playing music by George Gershwin. He again dazzled an international television audience when he choreographed a celebration in New York Harbor on July 4, 1986, to observe the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, in which several thousand rockets were set off amid a backdrop of hundreds of tall ships gracing the harbor around the statue. Mr. Wolper initially made his mark as a producer of documentaries and later focused on fictionalized accounts of historical events. He drew his share of criticism: it was sometimes suggested that his documentaries were not sufficiently probing, that his so-called docudramas took too many liberties with the facts, that he was more showman than historian. In 1966 Jack Gould, the television critic of The New York Times, noted that some financiers and government officials had been permitted an advance look at Mr. Wolper’s CBS documentary “Wall Street: Where the Money Is.” “Wolper is incredibly naïve if he fails to understand the consequences of allowing participants in a controversial news story to have the right of advance approval,” Mr. Gould wrote. Mr. Wolper admitted that he had let the officials see the film or read his script before it was broadcast, but insisted he had made no deletions and was not asked to make any. Critics were also cool to many of his big-screen productions, which included “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” (1969), “I Love My Wife” (1970) and “One Is a Lonely Number” (1972), although he received good reviews for some, notably “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971) and “L.A. Confidential” (1997), which won two Oscars. “The Bridge at Remagen” (1969), about a World War II battle in Germany, was probably the Wolper movie that attracted the most attention — not for what was on the screen, but because his production company was run out of Czechoslovakia when the Soviet Army invaded. Mr. Wolper scored an early success in 1963 with the television documentary “The Making of the President 1960,” based on Theodore H. White’s best-selling book about John F. Kennedy’s quest for the White House. It won four Emmys, including program of the year. Other noteworthy television projects in the 1960s included the series “Biography,” “Hollywood and the Stars” and “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.” In the 1970s he branched out into sitcoms, producing “Chico and the Man” and “Welcome Back, Kotter” with James Komack. David Wolper (he had no middle name, but used the middle initial L to distinguish himself from an uncle also named David Wolper) was born on the East Side of Manhattan on Jan. 11, 1928, the only child of Irving S. Wolper, a businessman, and the former Anna Fass. As a teenager he spent a lot of time watching movies, and people noticed that he had a knack for selling things. Upon graduation from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, he entered Drake University in Des Moines, remained there a year, then transferred to the University of Southern California for two more years. He left the university at the end of his junior year because he thought he could make money by purchasing old movies and selling them to television stations all over the country. He was right.

In 1958, sensing that the footage shot of the Soviet satellite Sputnik would be worth something, he purchased 6,000 feet of it from Artkino, the official Soviet distributor, and used it as the basis for a documentary, “The Race for Space,” which he sold to more than 100 stations in the United States after all three networks turned it down. Making documentaries for television, he soon learned, was not easy. The networks had large news and public affairs departments staffed by seasoned journalists, and network executives tended to be wary of documentaries produced by outsiders. Undaunted, Mr. Wolper began Wolper Productions on a shoestring. The company’s early projects included “The Rafer Johnson Story” (1961), “Hollywood: The Golden Years” (1961) and “D-Day” (1962). Reviews were mixed, but viewers were receptive. By the mid-1970s Wolper Productions had grown from two people in a one-room office to more than 200 employees using 40 cutting rooms. In 1971 Mr. Wolper produced “Appointment With Destiny,” a series that mixed historical footage with dramatic re-enactments. John J. O’Connor, writing in The Times, criticized it as “pure fiction cleverly masquerading as reality.” Mr. Wolper responded in a letter to the editor: “How else can we approach the past? Shall we leave it, defeated and ignorant, because we cannot fully reconstruct it any more than we can relive it?” Mr. Wolper remained active as a producer of mini-series and documentaries well into the 1990s. Besides “The Thorn Birds,” his noteworthy later productions included “North and South” (1985). In 2002 he revisited his most famous production with the television special “Roots: Celebrating 25 Years.” Mr. Wolper was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2003 he published his autobiography, written with David Fisher. Its title was “Producer.”  (As reported by Richard Severo)

2010(30th of Av, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Elul

2010(30th of Av, 5770): Ninety year old author Nancy Freedman passed away.

2010(30th of Av, 5770): Eighty-two year old David L. Wolper, who changed America’s view of race and slavery with “Roots”, passed away today. (As reported by Richard Severo)

2010: Paul Hunt began serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

2010: The first public screening of “A Film Unfinished” is scheduled to take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

2010: While testifying before the Turkel Committee today, Defense Minister Ehud Barak “placed the blame” for the botched flotilla raid “on the IDF, which he said was responsible for warning the government if ‘the mission cannot be carried out.’ In the case of the flotilla the IDF did not warn, Barak said.

2010: “The Human Resources Manager” the movie version of the A.B. Yehoshua novel by the same name directed by Eran Riklis and starring Mark Ivanir was released today in Israel.

2011: The International Master Course for Violinists which has been taking place amid the scenic mountains of the western Galilee at Kibbutz Eilon is scheduled to come to an end today.

2011: The DC Premiere “Maya” is scheduled to take place at this evening’s WJFF (Washington Jewish Film Festival) Friend-raiser Screener and Party

2011: Philip Levine was named tody as the new poet laureate of the United States. Levine has an MFA through the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. His works include a "continuous examination of his Jewish immigrant inheritance.

2011The Romanian Academy said today that it will change its definition of an anti-Semitic slur in a dictionary to make it clear the word is pejorative.

2011: The International Master Course for Violinists which is taking place at Kibbutz Eilon is scheduled to come to an end.

2012: Rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is scheduled to start in the Detroit Lions’ first exhibition pro-football game.

2012: The Russian Olympic basketball team coached by Israeli-American David Blatt is scheduled to play Spain today in the semifinals.

2012: Victor Lieberman is scheduled to lead Shabbat eve services at B’nai Israel in Grand Forks, ND

2012: Ben Sarasin will help lead Shabbat eve services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of his “Bar Mitzvah Weekend.”

2012: Shai Wosner is scheduled to perform at Lincoln Center

2012: New Zealand Jewish sailor Jo Aleh and her partner Polly Powrie won the gold medal in the women’s 470 regatta. Aleh, 26, whose parents are dual Israeli-New Zealand citizens, skippered the pair into the lead from the start of the gold medal race today at the London Olympic Games

2012: Israeli rhythmic gymnast Neta Rivkin leapt to the finals after her ribbon routine in the individual qualifiers today at the London Games.

2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have “almost finally” decided on an Israeli strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities this fall, and a final decision will be taken “soon,” Israel’s main TV news broadcast reported this evening.

2013: “Dancing in Jaffa” and “Gideon’s Army” are scheduled to be shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Kol HaOt is scheduled to sponsor “The Sounds of Elul” featuring Yehuda Katz.

2013: An al-Qaeda-linked group active in the Sinai Peninsula said today that its fighters were the target of a reported Israeli drone strike into Egyptian territory, a rare operation that could indicate increased Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation against militants in the lawless border zone. (As reported by Maamoun Youssef)

2013: “Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe'er won her first tournament in four years today, defeating unseeded Zheng Saisai 6:2, 2:6, 6:3 in the final of the Suzhou Ladies Open in Suzhou China.”

2014:  The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel written and illustrated by Anya Ulinich, Becoming Freud:

The Making of a Psychoanalyst by Adam Phillips, Lucky Us by Amy Bloom and Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh.

2014: Congregation HarTzeon – Agudath Achim is scheduled to host a trip to NYC see the off-Broadway musical “Atomic” about the Manhattan Project.

2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host a “conversation with Holocaust survivor Steen Metz.”

2014: “Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip continued today, with over nine rockets being shot at Israel throughout the day. Six hit the Eshkol Regional Council in the early hours, while two others slammed into Sderot, starting a small fire. Two more rockets were intercepted about the city.” (As reported by Ilana Curiel)

2014:” Air raid sirens sounded in Ashdod at 10 pm, two hours before the start of an Egyptian-brokered temporary truce.”(As reported by Matan Tzuri)

2014: The Miami Herald reported today that “the Jewish community of Miami is offering $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the two suspects in the death of Rabbi Joseph Raksin” who was murdered while walking to services on Shabbat.

2014: Rabbi Joseph Raskin who was murdered in Florida yesterday as he walked to Shabbat services is scheduled to be buried today.

2014: For King and Country? a major new exhibition exploring the Jewish experience of the First World War is scheduled to come to a close today at the Jewish Museum in London.

2015: YIVO and the Congress for Jewish Culture are scheduled to present “Night of the Murdered Poets” during which Ala Zuskin Perelman, daughter of Soviet Yiddish actor, Benjamin Zuskin will discuss her recent biography, The Travels of Benjamin Zuskin about her father’s tragic life and work as an actor and artistic director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater.

2015: Thanks to the efforts of New York State Assembly member Todd Kaminsky, the nephew of Mel Brooks, the emergency room at the Long Beach Community Center that had been closed since Hurricane Sandy reopened today.

2015: The 2015 AIPAC Iowa Annual Event is scheduled to take place this evening in Des Moines.

2015: “I’m convinced that Fiamma Nirenstein” whose appointment as Israel’s ambassador to Rome has rattled the Italian Jewish community “will bring with her to the position lots of diplomatic and political experience, and will succeed in deepening the relationship between Israel and Italy, our close friends, and act for diplomatic, economic, cultural and security cooperation,” Netanyahu said in a statement today

2015: “A disaster at Ben Gurion International Airport was narrowly averted today when a drone came dangerously close to an incoming plane, forcing the aircraft to adjust its course.”

2015: Just days before his death, Kate Edgar, “the longtime personal assistant” of Dr. Oliver Sacks “who described herself as his ‘collaborator, friend, researcher and editor’ wrote in an email ‘He is still writing with great clarity.  We are pretty sure he will go with fountain pen in hand.’”

2015: “The Obama administration, citing the potential for economic and political harm to the Palestinian Authority and the broader peace process, asked a judge today to “carefully consider” the size of the bond he requires for the authority to appeal a huge damages award for its role in six terrorist attacks in Israel that killed and injured Americans.

2016: William Korn is scheduled to lecture on “Pioneer Jews of Leadville, Colorado, 1878-1914” and David McDonald is scheduled to lecture on “A Gentile in the Tribe: Using Christian Church Records” at the 36th IAJGCS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Seattle.

2016: Today Luciana Berger was not selected by the “Labor Party candidate for the position of Metro Mayor of Liverpool.”

2016: “Deli Man” a film that paints a portrait of the rapidly disappearing delicatessens in the United States” is scheduled to be shown in London tonight. 

2017: In Weimar, YSW is scheduled to host both a Dance Orchestra Workshop and Dance Workshop followed in the evening by a series of Yiddish music jam sessions.

2017: “Ballet Pécs, the first contemporary ballet company of Hungary,” is scheduled to present “Carmen” as part of the dance festival in Tel Aviv.

2017: In light of terrorist tunnel attacks, an Israeli military official said “that the army does not believe Hamas has any justification to prevent Israeli from building a protective barrier” and “therefore it will tolerate an attempts by the terror group to interfere with its construction.”

2018: Seventy years and one day after fifty year old Chaim Soutine died in Paris while trying to avoid capture by the Gestapo, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a tour of the exhibition “Chaim Soutine: Flesh” featuring thirty of picture painted by the French expressionist.

2018: “Classical Bridge, an international music festival, academy and conference designed to build bridges through the music” featuring violinist Pinchas Zuckerman and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is scheduled to continue today in New York.

2018: As Israelis awaken, the question on everybody’s mind is will the truce with Hamas that was supposed to go into effect last night hold or will the rockets and flammable kites return.

2019: In Pittsburgh, PA, the Manor Theatre is scheduled to host a screening of “The Spy Behind Home Plate” that “among the dedications at the end of the Film is the Tree of Life Congregation” which was attacked by a gunman in October of 2018.

2019: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center are scheduled to host a book signing with Steve Schapiro, “the photojournalist behind” the museum’s “Activists and Icons” exhibit.

2019(9th of Av, 5779): Parashat Devarim; Shabbat Chazon; Erev Tish’a B’Av; for more see

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