399 BCE: The philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death. No, Socrates was not Jewish and he did not know about what were the “Israelites” of his day. However, Socrates would be one of those Greek philosophers whose teachings would challenge and influence Jewish thinkers and philosophers. For example, Aristobulus, a second century Jewish teacher asserted that the Greek philosophers, including Socrates were influenced by the teachings of Moses. In 1045, Ibn-Gebriol wrote a work on moral philosophy that included sayings from traditional sources such as the TaNaCh and the Talmud, but also contained his quotations from what he described as “the divine Socrates” and Socrates most famous disciple, Plato.
1113: Pope Paschal II recognizes the Knights of Hospitaller as a separate and independent monastic order to provide safety to the Crusaders and pilgrims. After the Moslems drove the Crusaders out of the Holy Land, the knights relocated to Rhodes and finally to Malta where they carried on their battle with the forces of Islam. During the 16th century, under the guise of fighting for Christ, the Knights of Malta turned to what many called piracy, capturing vessels in the Mediterranean Sea and then holding the captives for ransom. This trafficking in humans took an inordinate toll on Jews who were extremely vulnerable as they sailed for commercial reasons or to flee the effects of the Inquisition. The Jews that were not sold were kept as slaves and provided the nucleus of the Jewish population of Malta.
1493: While still at sea on the voyage returning to Spain, Columbus wrote a letter describing the accomplishment of his first trip to what he thought were islands at the edge of Asia but which were really Hispaniola and Cuba. The letter was addressed to Luis de Santángel a convserso (a Jew who had been baptized) who was the finance minister to the Spanish monarch. He was one of those who championed Columbus’ voyage and actually contributed his funds to help pay for the voyage.
1500: Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral who would be accompanied by Gaspar da Gama, a Polish born Jew whose slave name had been Yusuf ‘Adil before being forcibly converted to Christianity, was appointed Capitão-mor (literally Major-Captain, or commander-in-chief) of a fleet sailing for India
1559: Paul IV issued “Cum ex apostolatus officio” a Papal Bull that confirmed that only Catholics can be elected to the position of Pope. According to some, the Bull was aimed at keeping Cardinal Morone who was rumored to be a secret Protestant from being named Pope. But it may also have been aimed at preventing Marranos from serving as Pope. Pope Alexander VI, (the first Borgia Pope) was reputed to be the descendant of Marranos.
1611: A hostile army that had entered Prague was defeated; a fact celebrated by three liturgical poems authored by Ephraim Solomon ben Aaron of Lencziza.
1641(5th of Adar, 5401): Sara Copia Sullam, the daughter of a prominent Venetian family passed away. She was a truly unique figure for her time since she was not only a prolific poetess but a religious philosopher who wrote ”The Manifesto of Sara Copia Sulam” in which she refuted accusations that she had denied the immortality of the soul
1655: The twenty-three Sephardic Jews who arrived in the fall seeking sanctuary from the Inquisition are officially admitted into New Amsterdam over Governor Peter Stuyvesant's objections.
1694: Today, in Lubeck, Nathan Goldschmidt was accused of having received stolen goods. The trial dragged on for at least five years, and its result is not known. Goldschmidt was the son-in-law of a "Schutzjude” named Nathan Siemssens. The charges against Goldschmidt may have stemmed from gentiles who were opposes to him being granted the same protected status enjoyed by his father-in-law.
1748: Birthdate of English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. According to Bhikhu C. Parekh, “what is surprisingly modern in the…philosopher’s toward the Jewsis that he did not consider them only as the mythical people of the Bible, as most thinkers of his age did, but dealt with this problem as the problem of a religious minority; as such, the Jews had to be tolerated in their religious practices…” (For more see Jeremy Bentham: Critical Assessments by Parekh starting on page 323)
1758: Mustard makes its first appearance in what is now the United States, when German immigrants manufacture it in Philadelphia, PA. [This was critical to Jews coming to America. Can you imagine living in a country where you had to a corned beef on rye without mustard?]
1760: Birthdate of German native Rosine Wambacher, the wife of Abraham Hutzler and mother of Moses, David, Isaac and Eve Hutzler.
1764: Founding of the city of St. Louis in what would later be the state of Missouri. The first Jews settled in St. Louis until 1807. Jews worshipped together as a community for Rosh Hashanah, 1836.
1765(24th of Shevat): Rabbi Mordecai Brisk, author of Mayim Ammukim passed away.
1775: Pius VI was elected Pope. He was the author of “Editto sopra gli ebrei,” or "Edict over the Hebrew”
1779: In Scotland, Jean Paton and Thomas Dobson, who in 1814 would publish the first Hebrew Bible printed in the United States at Philadelphia, gave birth to their first daughter Margaret.
1780: In Amsterdam, Moses Salomon Asser and his wife gave birth to “Dutch jurist Carel Asser.”
1781(20th of Shevat, 5541): Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German author and philosopher, passed away. Lessing was a friend of Moses Mendelssohn. According to these two friends, the test of religion is its effect on conduct. This is the moral of Lessing's Nathan the Wise (''Nathan der Weise''), the hero of which is undoubtedly Mendelssohn. One direct result of this pragmatism was unexpected. Having been taught that there is no absolutely true religion, Mendelssohn's own descendants, along with a large number of other German Jews, had a philosophically acceptable rational for converting to Christianity.
1787(27th of Shevat, 5547): Twice married English born Myer Moses, the father of eight children, passed away today in Charleston, SC.
1797: London native John Moss married Lancaster, PA native Rebecca Lyons today in Philadelphia, PA.
1797: In Philadelphia, Miriam Marks and Benjamin Abraham Nones gave birth to Joseph Nones, the husband of Eveline de Leon with whom he had six children.
1798: After the occupation of Rome by General Berthier the local republicans dethroned the Pope. The Jews removed their yellow badges. Two days later a tree of freedom was planted in front of the synagogue.
1800(20th of Shevat, 5660): Parashat Yitro
1803: In Amsterdam, Mozes Koopman Jacob-Hamburger and Sara Magnus (Nachman) Hannover-Jochem-Mozes gave birth to their third child “Jochem (Jochanan) Mozes.
1811: Isaac Drefyus, the Alsace born son of Jacob Dreyfus and the his wife Gertrude “Julie” Dreyfus gave birth to Charlotte Dreyfus
1815: Birthdate of Moses Löb Bloch, native of Bohemia who became a rabbi in Hungary serving as the Rabbinical Seminary of in Budapest. He passed away in 1909.
1818: Joshua Jacobs married Dinah Cohen at the Great Synagogue today.
1825: Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck, the Batavian (Dutch) Ambassador to France delivered a note to the French foreign minister on behalf of the Jews of Germany passed away today.
1827: Birthdate of Bavarian native Emanuel Lehman, who came to the United States with his brothers Henry and Mayer. The three of them settled in Montgomery, Alabama where they prospered as cotton brokers and general commission merchants. Mr. Lehman moved to New York in 1856 where he established a branch of Lehman Brothers which became one of the leading financial firms in the United States. In 1859, he married Pauline Sondheim with whom he had four children before she passed away in 1871.
1830: Beila and John Hart gave birth to Miriam Hart.
1839: Birthdate of Catholic theologian August Rohling whose Der Talmudjude “became a standard work for anti-Semitic authors and journalists” which really became a political force in 1883 with The Tiszaeszlár Affair, a blood libel centered in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1846: In London, Samuel (Isaac) Henry Gluckstein and Hannah Coenradd Gluckstein gave birth to Julie Gluckestein who after marrying Abraham Abrahams became known as Julia Abrahams.
1846: In London, Samuel and Hannah Gluckstein gave birth to Helena Gluckstein, the twin sister of Julie Gluckstein.
1847: Birthdate of Austrian composer, Robert Fuchs. Fuchs was not Jewish. But one of his most famous pupils was. From 1892 until 1900, Fuchs was a mentor and teacher for Franz Schreker one of the leading opera composers of his generation with works such as Der Ferne Klang, Die Gezeichneten, Der Schatzgräber, and Irrelohe. Schreker was born 1874 and died in 1934. His life and works were part of an exhibition mounted at the Jewish Museum in Vienna in 2005.
1850: In Hamburg, Emma Simon and Louis Bernheim gave birth to historian Ernst Bernheim.
1852(25th of Shevat, 5612): Joseph Saphir, the father of Elisabeth, Rosalia, Marie and Markus Saphir, passed away into in the Central Bohemian Region.
1853: Birthdate of “Hamburg native Alried Beit who made his fortune in the gold and diamond fields of South Africa and whose philanthropies included the creation of what is now the “Beit Professor of History of the British Commonwealth” at Oxford passed away today.
1853: Birthdate of Abraham Marcus Pjurko, the native of Lomaza “who devoted himself to modern Hebrew Literature” and with his Chaim, published eleven stories just for children in 1893.
1856: In New Orleans, David and Theresa Kaufman Simon gave birth to Bertha Simon, who became Bertha Simon Dreyfus when she married Isaac Drefyus with whom she raised five children in Pine Bluff, AR.
1856: In Baltimore, MD Jacob Hecht and Amelia Rosewald gave birth to Rosa Hecht who married Moses Goldenberg and as Rosa Goldenberg served as Director of the Hebrew Ladies’ Sewing Society, the Vice President of the Hebrew Orphans’ Aid Society and principal of the Free Sabbath School.
1857: In New York a Jewish jewelry store owner named Ronsenbaum made bail today after being charged in a plot to defraud Samuel Goldbery. He had previously been arrested on charges of "shyterism" for his part in defrauding an an unnamed woman out of an uspecified amont of money.
1858(1st of Adar, 5618): Rosh Chodesh Adar
1858(1st of Adar, 5618): Seventy-two year old Hyam Solomon the Philadelphia born businessman who spent much of his life trying to have the United States government reimburse his father for the money owned to his father, Chaim Solomon for helping to finance the cause of the American Revolution passed away today in New York City.
1865: Isaac Myers who rose to the rank of Corporal began his service in company G of the 74th Regiment today.
1866: One day after she had passed away, Sarah Simeon, the daughter of Woolf and Hannah Rees, the wife Peter Simeon and the mother of James, Michael and David Simeon was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.
1869: Two days after he had passed away, 56 year old John Jacobs, the son of Aaron Jacobs and Leah Solomon, the husband of Rose Jacobs and the father of Julia Jacobs was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”
1870: Founding of Mikveh Yisrael home of the first Jewish agricultural school in Palestine. The Hebrew name Mikveh Yisrael means Hope of Israel. It was one of the earliest attempts to connect a return to Promised Land with the literal re-building of the land through the agrarian life. As we will see, this became a dominant theme personified by the Kibbutz Movement. Mikveh Yisrael was established by a French educator named Charles Netter. The settlement was inland near the Mediterranean town of Jaffa. It would provide employment for many settlers in the days of the First Alyiah, which started during the 1880's. The famous meeting between Theodore Herzl and Kaiser William II took place at the gates of Mikveh Yisrael in 1898. In 1939, some of the graduates of Mikveh Yisrael founded a Moshav form of collective farming community) north of Tel Aviv, which they called Kfar Netter in honor Charles Netter.
1872: “Rabbi Aarons, from Jerusalem, an octogenarian” who is “said to be the oldest Rabbi in the United States met with Assistant District Sullivan for a second time to discuss his “request to carry his case before the Grand Jury for their investigation” that might lead to silencing or punishing those who have libeled him – a request which Mr. Sullivan finally granted.
1874: It was reported today that Prime Minister William Gladstone claimed that the Jews of London had met a couple of days ago and had decided to support his government in the upcoming election. This stands in sharp contrast to claims by others that the Jews have not done this because they have a tendency to avoid participation in party politics.
1875: Birthdate of Romania native Samuel Chilick
1875(10th of Adar I, 5635): Eliakim Carmoly passed away at Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany. Born in 1802, at Soultz-Haut-Rhin, France, Carmoly’s “real name was Goschel David Behr (or Baer); the name Carmoly, borne by his family in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was adopted by him when quite young. He studied Hebrew and Talmud at Colmar; and, because both French and German were spoken in his native town, he became proficient in those languages. Carmoly went to Paris, and there assiduously studied the old Hebrew manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale, where he was employed. Several articles published by him on various subjects in scientific papers made him known; and on the establishment of a Jewish consistory in Belgium, he was appointed rabbi at Brussels in 1832. In this position Carmoly rendered many services to the newly founded congregation, chiefly in providing schools for the poor. Seven years later, having provoked great opposition by his new scheme of reforms, Carmoly resigned the rabbinate and retired to Frankfort, where he devoted himself wholly to Jewish literature and to the collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts, in which he was passionately interested.”
1875: It was reported today that there are 250 Jews on the Managing Committee responsible for the upcoming Purim Association ball.
1876: Birthdate of Traenheim native Isaïe Schwartz who served as rabbi at Marseilles, Bayonne and Bordeaux and as “a chaplain at the American Army based at Bordeaux” during WW I before being elected Grand Rabbi of France in 1939.
1876: In Russia a law enacted today, special regulations were formulated concerning the service of Jews in the Czar’s army.
1877: In Berlin, David and Bertha (Sanger) Zielonka gave birth to Martin Zielonka who came to the United States in 1880 after which he graduated from the University of Cincinnati, ordained as a Reform Rabbi at Hebrew Union College and eventually served as the rabbi at Waco’s Temple Rodef Sholom and El Paso’s Temple Mt. Sinai.
1877: In New York, the Ladies’ Bikur Cholim Society is scheduled to host a fundraiser today at Ferrero’s Assembly Rooms to provide support for the School of Industry
1878: In Americus, GA, Henriette Cohen and Meyer Benjamin Foster gave birth to Solomon Fost,r the graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College who became the Associate Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Newark, NJ.
1878: In Zbąszyń, Nowy Tomyśl County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland, Jacobi Bornstein, the son of Aron and Sara Bornstein and his wife Thelka Bornstein gave birth to Alfred Bornstein
1879: It was reported today that the Young Men’s Hebrew Union has recently acquired a gymnasium and bowling alley. The organization is in its 3rd year and now has 300 members.
1879(22nd of Shevat, 5639): Joseph A. Engelhart, passed away today in Raleigh, NC. A native of Mississippi, he was elected to serve as North Carolina’s Secretary of State in 1876 when he ran on the ticket with Governor Zebulon Baird Vance. Engelhart actually ran ahead of the ticket. He leaves behind a large family that will benefit from $50,000 in life insurance.
1881: In Lithuania, David Shubert and Gittel Helvich Shubert gave birth to Dora Shubert Wolf.
1881: Birthdate of Russian born Englishman Abraham Joseph Hyman, the Titanic survivor and husband of Esther Levy with whom he had five children – Julius, Ann, Lilian, Morris and Ena.
1881: In an attempt to provide information about Jewish practices regarding sacramental wine P.J. Joachimsen wrote from his home on East 69th Street that “the great majority of conforming Jews in this city use wine made from raisins at the Passover Feast. Of course the raisins are fresh. Such raisin-wine is used in all conforming synagogues for the sanctification of Shabbat and holy days; i.e. for Kiddush and also for services at circumcisions and weddings. Some, but not many, people use imported wine --- Italian, Hungarian or German --- which is certified as ‘Perach’ or ‘Kosher Wine.’”
1882: In Philadelphia, Mayor Samuel George King presided over a public meeting in his office this afternoon that was attended by Christians and Jews who were making plans on how to provide for the impending influx of Jews from Russia. According to Moses Dropsie, at least 100,000 Russian Jews have lost all of their possessions and were candidates for immigration to the United States. So far, 2000 have arrived in New York and a total of 10,000 are expected. Philadelphia has agreed to provide support for 10% of the group. Those attending the meeting plan on petitioning the federal government to exert pressure on the Russians to put an end to the persecution of its Jewish citizens.
1882: While defending his government’s foreign policy in the House of Commons this afternoon Sir Charles Dilke, the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs said that Great Britain would not be intervening with the Russian government on behalf of its Jewish subjects. “All the precedents showed that English interference in the internal affairs of a foreign country would meet with a rebuff and do more harm than good.”
1882: In Obeliai, Lithuania, Rabbi Bunim Tzemach and Malka Silver gave birth to Rabbi Eliezer Silver, the President of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis who worked to provide aid for European Jews suffering during World War I and who worked to save thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.
1883: Founding of Congregation Oheb Sholom in Goldsboro, NC which holds services on Friday evening and Saturday morning, operates a religious school, owns a cemetery and whose members included Henry Weil, S.S. Spier, Joseph Isaac, Joseph Schwab, Edward Lehman and Samuel Cohn.
1885(30th of Shevat, 5645): Rosh Chodesh Adar
1885: Fifty-three German born, American violinist and conductor Leopold Damrosch whose father was Jewish and mother was Lutheran and who “was baptized a Lutheran when marrying his wife Helene von Heimberg, passed away today.
1886: Three days after she had passed away Julia Hart, the daughter of Joseph and Hannah Levy, the wife of Lewis Hart and the mother of Sarah, Elizabeth and Fanny Hart was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”
1887: Annie Nathan became Annie Nathan Meyer when she married her second cousin Dr. Alfred Meyer.
1891: The New York Times reported on a gift worth $3,400,000 given by Baron Maurice de Hirsch “to ameliorate” the conditions of recent immigrants from Russia and Romania.
1891: Representatives of Jewish organizations from throughout the United States met in Philadelphia, PA today where they formed the Jewish Alliance of America. The goal of the Alliance is to alleviate the suffering among Russian Jews by helping them to establish and maintain “farm colonies” in the American West.
1891: Rabbis Gottheil, Silverman and Kohut officiated at the service held this afternoon at Temple Emanu-El in memory of the late Lazarus Rosenfeld.
1892: Nine new cases of typhus were found by New York City Health department doctors today all which involved recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Russia. Among the victims was 12 year old Abraham Mermer who was sent from his home on Essex Street to North Brother Island where joined his parents and other family members who were already under quarantine.
1893: It was reported today the Mrs. Falk is the Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements for the upcoming concert that will raise funds for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian and Orphan Asylum.
1894: Birthdate of Bialystok native Samuel Francis Cohn who in 1898 came to the United States where he earned an LLB at Columbia, served in the U.S. Army during WW I and was a member of the faculty of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
1894: Birthdate of Brazilian statesman Osvaldo Aranha the “President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 during the UNGA 181 vote on the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, in which he postponed the vote for three days to ensure its passage” and for which he was nominated for a Noble Prize
1895: Rose Dintenfass, the wife of Alexander Dintenfass and the mother of Joseph and Jenny Dintenfass was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”
1896: Birthdate of Russia native Harry Cooper, the career army officer and WW II veteran.
1896: Police had to be called to 112 Clinton to restore order after fight broke among members of a Jewish society that used the building “as a synagogue on Saturday nights.”
1897: It was reported today that Mayor William Lafayette Strong, the last Mayor of New York elected prior to its consolidation told a meeting of the Free Sons of Israel that “During my term of office I had had many applications for aid, but I don’t think one single application came from a Hebrew. The Jews take care of their own. They are taught to be self-supporting. Speaking as a gentile, I will say that you manage your charities better than we do.”
1897: It was reported today that an unnamed teacher on New York’s Lower East Side told her students that “If you grow up to be good Jews you will be good American citizens. If you are not good American citizens you will not be good Jews.” (This is an example of the binding of the Jews with the American Dream that has helped to differentiate the Jewish experience in the United States from other Diaspora Communities)
1897: The new officers of District Grand Lodge No. 1, Independent Order Free Sons of Israel are: Grand Master – Ralph Rosenberg; First Deputry – M. Samuel Stern; Second Deputy – Julius Hass; Grand Secretary – J. H. Goldman. Two of the committee chairmen were appointed – Isaac Engel and Isaac Niner.
1897: Birthdate of Gerrit Kleerekoper, the coach of the Dutch Ladies’ Gymnastics Team who would be killed by the Nazis at Sobibor.
1897: Emanuel Lehman, one of the original Lehman brothers, celebrated his 70th birthday today. During his birthday celebration this evening, he was presented with loving cup honoring him for all of his support of the Hebrew and Benevolent and Orphan Asylum.
1897: “Every charitable association” in New York City “in which Emanuel Lehman is interested received a handsome check from him” today “with an explanatory note that it was a …present” marking his birthday.
1898: Baron Ludwig Von Erlanger, head of the Frankfurt branch of the banking house of Erlanger and Sons passed away. Erlanger's father, Raphael Erlanger was Jewish but he converted to Christianity at his wife's behest prior to the birth of his sons Ludwig and Baron Emil B. Von Erlanger. The surviving son will now head the banking house which also has major offices in London and Paris. While neither of the Erlanger sons were raised as Jews, critics would describe them as such when it fit their needs. 1898(23rd of Shevat, 5658: The USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing more than 260 including 15 Jewish serving on board the battleship. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.
1898: In Albany, New York state senator Cantor introduced a bill that would exempt “the real estate of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association from taxation, assessment and water rates.”
1898: The Purim Ball will be held tonight at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. This year’s tickets cost more than in the past because a banquet has been added to the event. M.H. Moses, Simon Schafer, Henry Rick, Sol B. Solomon, Jules S. Bache, J.S. Isaacs and Narry are the members of the Purim Association responsible for the event. (Purim actually will not be celebrated until March 8)
1898: The New York state senate is expected to pass a bill introduced by Senator Cantor allowing for the incorporation of “The Hebrew Charities Building” in New York City.
1899: In Brooklyn, “Jewish immigrants Julius and Sarah (née Kasindorf) Josephson” gave birth to journalist and author Matthew Josephson whose works included a biography about Emile Zola, the Frenchman who defended Dreyfus.
1899: In Litchfield, MN, Danish-Americans Hands and Christin (Holm) Sondergaard gave birth to actress Edith Holm Sondergaard whose career suffered irreparable harm when her husband, the American-Jewish screenwriter and film director was blacklisted as “one of the Hollywood Ten,” but who did not turn her back on him or sacrifice their marriage to satisfy the Right Wing Red Hunters.
1899: In New York City “Samuel Sachar, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, and Sarah Abramowitz, a native of Jerusalem” gave birth historian Abram Leon Sachar, the founding President of Brandeis University who was a descendant of Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph, the 16th century Italian Talmudist.
1900: Herzl is received by Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. Herzl writes a memorandum about the Jewish Colonial Bank. The subscriptions to the Bank are prohibited in Austria and Herzl wants to prevent that little people will lose their money.
1902: At a meeting of the Rabbinical Association at Sinai Temple today a committee” “composed of Prof. Gabriel Bamberger, Mrs. Marion Craig Wentworth, and E. P. Rosenthal” “from the Industrial Art League endeavored to interest the members in a proposition to establish a guild in connection with the Jewish Training School on the west side.
1903: Herzl sends a new proposal to the Sultan: Colonization in the Sanjak of Acre in return for a guaranteed annual payment of 100.000 Turkish pounds. In a move that would place him at odds with the “Territorialists” Herzl is already thinking about Jewish colonization in Africa but is willing to make this one last attempt to deal with the rulers of the Ottoman Empire.
1904: Elizabeth Bonnell, a prominent South Carolina society matron who generously helped a poor Jewish family during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1858 passed away.
1904: It was reported today that Simon Wolf, the author The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen, The Biography of M.M. Noah and The Biography of Commodore U.P.Levy, has been chosen to as the head of B’nai B’rith, replacing the late Leo N. Levi whose funeral took place yesterday.
1905: René Worms was “created a chevalier of the Legion of Honor.”
1905: Birthdate of composer Harold Arlen. Born Hyman Arluck in Buffalo, NY, Arlen won an Oscar in 1940 for writing the score for “The Wizard of Oz.”
1906(20th of Shevat): Rabbi David Solomon Slouschz passed away
1906: In “Giving the Czar A Chance” published today Israel Ziony, the Political Editor of the Jewish American criticized Louis Nixon, the Tammany Hall leader, for trusting the promises of the Russians and Czar Nicholas II citing the orders that “were given to massacre Jews all over South Russia and the failure to honor the commitments to open up Manchuria which led to traders from the United States being driven out of the area.
1906: The British Labour Party organized. The Labour Party’s membership was an eclectic amalgam. As one would expect, it included a large bloc of trade unionists. But it is also attracted a cross section of intellectuals and professionals who saw the party as a vehicle that would help reform English society and its political system. Jewish involvement reflected this membership spectrum. For example, one of its early leaders was Manny Shinwell, a member of the trade union councils in Glasgow. On the other hand, Leslie Haden Haden-Guest, 1st Baron Haden-Guest, veteran of the Boer War, author and solicitor was the first Jew to stand for Commons as a Labour Party Candidate.
1909(24th of Shevat, 5669): Boston native Benjamin Cohen, the business manager for the Boston Courier, a newspaper founded in 1842 passed away today in his home town.
1911: President Taft “to-day had an extended conference with a number of prominent Jews on the subject of Russia's refusal to recognize passports issued to Jewish travelers wishing to visit Russia” after which “The President entertained the delegation at luncheon.”
1912: A benefit that had already been planned to be held this evening in honor of the thirty year career of New York for “impresario” Theodore David “Ted” Marks, the grandson of New Orleans merchant and philanthropist Isadore Newman is still scheduled to be held tonight at Cohan’s Theatre despite the fact that he had passed away earlier this week.
1913(8th of Adar I, 5673): (Parashat Tetzaveh
1913: In Chicago, at the Haymarket Yiddish thespians Bernard Young and Clara Young appeared in the matinee and evening performance of “My Wife’s Husband.”
1913: It was reported today that “the Russian cabinet has resolved that unlike all of Russian and Finns, Jews” will not be allowed to vote in Finland
1913: It was reported today that a cable has been received from London stating that “Professor Boris Shatz, the head of the Bezalel Textile School of Jerusalem has postponed the exhibition of the produce of his school” which had been scheduled to take place in October in the United States.
1913: In Prague, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Bergman gave birth to “psychoanalyst, author and educator” Martin Shlomo Bergman (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1913: Twenty year old Abiel Kiviat who had won a Silver Medal at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm “set a 10 lap-track indoor mile record in New York.” (As reported by Bob Wechsler)
1914: This afternoon, Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson told those attending “the 25th annual meeting of H.I.A.S. that the standards of living in this country were higher today than ever before” and therefore immigration from countries where living conditions were not so good” should be limited which led Jacob H. Schiff to express his opposition to the suggestion saying that “every immigrant who came to the United States with strong hands and an honest purposed was bound to succeed and become an asset to the nation.”
1915(1st of Adar, 5675): Rosh Chodesh Adar
1915: In “Danger to Jewish Religion” published today, Dr. Samuel Schulman was quoted as having told congregants at Temple Beth-el that in nationality he was an American, in religion he was a Jew and that “it was the duty of the Jews to teach not nationalism but internationalism.
1915: “Germans My Sell Jewish Institute” published today described the negativereaction of Jewish leaders in the United States to reports that “the German Hilfsverein of Berlin (a Jewish aide society)intends to force the sale of the property of the Jewish Institute of Technology at Haifa and to exclude from the division of the receipts contributors and creditors of the institute” such as those in the Russia, Great Britain and France “who are prevented by the war from being represented in the liquidation.”
1915: The House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill introduced by Congressman A. Mitchell Palmer and supported by the National Child Labor Committee whose first chairman was Felix Adler and whose leading members included Lillian Wald that “would end child labor in most American mines and factories. (Editor’s Note – The bill was died in the Senate but it was one of the many examples of where Jews were driven by the “social justice message” of the Prophets to improve the lives of the weakest in the society. There is a certain irony to Palmer’s championing this measure. He is the same A. Mitchell Palmer who as Attorney General led the “red hunt” after World War One which had a negative impact on so many Jews some of whom were Communists and/or Socialists.)
1916: A U.S. Navy collier is scheduled to set sail from Philadelphia today filled with supplies collected by the American Jewish Relief Committee for those suffering in Palestine.
1917(23rd of Shevat, 5677): Eighty year old Abraham Abelson, the Polish born husband of Rachel Abelson who served as the rabbi of “the Merthyr Tydfil Congregation for over 30 years” passed away today.
1917: Birthdate of George Forman, “a longtime comptroller of the American Civil Liberties Union who brought fiscal discipline to a ramshackle organization near bankruptcy in the late 1970's and later helped it develop into a powerful civil liberties conglomerate.” (As reported by Lily Koppel)
1918: In an interview given today at Berlin today, “Talat Pasha, the grand vizier of Turkey expressed the home that the Ottoman Government” would “maintain its sovereignty in Palestine” despite the current “British occupation” of the area.
1918: Today, Major Lionel de Rothschild lent Gunnersbury Lodge, the resident of the late Leopold de Rothschild, to the government so that it can “be used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.”
1918: In New York City, Rose (née Goldberg) and stockbroker Harry Arbus gave birth to Allan Franklin Arbus, the photographer turned actor best known for his role as the psychiatrist on M*A*S*H.
1919(15th of Adar I, 5679): Parashat Tetzaveh
1919: It was reported today that “word has been received hat Michael Aronson, a student at Hebrew Union College who enlisted immediately after the war began and “who was blinded while serving in the army while serving overseas” “has been cited for the D.S.C.” (Distinguished Service Cross)
1919: “Special services” are scheduled to be held in Orthodox synagogues for the delegates attending the Zionist Convention in Chicago which began yesterday.
1919: Two months after it first appeared in New York, as of today the rest of the country could see “The Heart of Humanity” a silent war propaganda film produced by Carl Laemmle, co-starring Eric Von Stroheim
1919: Joseph Josephson, a Lithuanian born Jew who served with the Anzacs on the Western Front was discharged today.
1920: Birthdate of New York native Harold Michelson “the illustrator and storyboard artist” who with his wife Lillian formed a formidable behind the camera Hollywood power couple immortalized in the biopic “Harold and Lillian.”
1921(7th of Adar I, 5681): Sixty-nine year old Bohemian born Adolph Greenhut who “became a naturalize citizen in 1874” and whose marriage to Eva Greenhut produced one son – Herman – passed away today in Pensacola, FL where he served as Mayor from 1913 to 1915.
1921: In Vienna, Nathan Piernikatz who “operated a clothing business” and his wife gave birth to Arthur Piernkatz who made Aliyah after the Anschluss and gained fame as Asher Ben-Natan “the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense” and Israel’s first Ambassador to Germany.
1921: Elka Lerner, a cousin of Joseph Barondess, gave birth to a baby aboard the SS Chicago two days before it arrived in New York Harbor.
1922: As sign of erosion for support of the Balfour Declaration, “Sir William Joynson-Hicks, a
Conservative Member of Parliament, asked the Prime Minister David Lloyd George, to explain the reason why the Government has promised the Jewish people a national home ‘in a country which is already the national home of the Arabs.’”
1922: Birthdate of Herman Kahn “one of the preeminent futurists” who “predicted the rise of Japan as a major world power.”
1922: In Merv, Turkmenistan, Gevork Alikhanov who was an Armenian and Ruth Bonner who was Jewish gave birth to Elena Georgievna Bonner, the Soviet dissident and human-rights campaigner who endured banishment and exile along with her husband, the dissident nuclear physicist Andrei D. Sakharov. As reported by Alessandra Stanley and Michael Schwiritz)
1923: Ted “Kid” Lewis (born Gershon Mendeloff) was defeated in a bout at the Royal Albert Hall which cost him British Middleweight title and European Middleweight title.
1923: In Manhattan, Helen Sachs Straus and Nathan Straus Jr. who became director of the United States Housing Authority under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a New York State senator, gave birth to Ronald Peter Straus “who took over WMCA in New York in the late 1950s and turned it into one of the nation’s most innovative radio stations, broadcasting what are regarded as the first radio editorials and political endorsements and helping to popularize rock ’n’ roll.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
1924: “Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber Hails Hitler as Intelligent and Sympathetic Leader”
1924: Birthdate of Newark, NJ, native Jerome “Jerry” Yellin, the P-51 fighter pilot who flew the last combat mission of WW II.
1925: In Cologne, Germany, Marcus and Eleanora (Cohn) Prawer gave birth to Siegbert Salomon Prawer whose family fled from Nazi Germany to England where he eventually became Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature at the University of Oxford.
1926: Carlos Israels, Alvin Grauer and Fred Behrens were reported to be members of the Temple Emanu-El League debating team of Temple Emanuel and Edward Levine, David Stein and Milton Levine were reported to be members of the Junior League debating team of Temple Beth-El.
1926: Birthdate of Richard Adolf Bloch who started “the H and R Block tax preparation and personal finance company with his older brother Henry in 1955.”
1926: “Partners Again,” an “ethnic Jewish humor film based on the 1922 Broadway play” produced by Samuel Goldwyn was released today in the United States.
1927: In case of Jew versus Jew bantamweight Herman “Kid” Silvers defeated Milton Cohen at the 102nd Engineers Armory in New York.
1927: In Chicago, Illinois, “Ellen (née Blecher) and Cyril Raymond Korman, a salesman” gave birth to Harvey Herschel Korman the comic actor who gained fame as the second banana on “The Carol Burnett Show.”
1928: Birthdate of Harold Arnold Ackerman, the New Jersey native who served as a federal judge for three decades.
1929: In New York City, Jewish immigrants Julius and Rhea Schlesinger gave birth to James Schlesinger “who became a Lutheran as an adult” according to some to advance his academic career at a time when being Jewish was a limiting factor and served as Secretary of Defense and the first Secretary of Energy. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
1931: Birthdate of Maxine Frank Singer, a leading biochemistry researcher and advocate of science education.
1931(28th of Shevat, 5691): Sixty-five year old New York actor and playwright Louis Mann, the son of Daniel and Carolina Mann, the husband of “actress and playwright Clara Lipman” who had begun his career “on the stage began at the age of three” passed away today.
1931: In London Elizabeth (née Grew) and Edward Max Blume gave birth to Patricia Claire Blume who gained fame as actress Claire Bloom.
1931: “Two orthodox synagogues, The Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association and The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, merged to become Congregation Beth Jacob. Under the leadership of Rabbi Louis Feigonz'l, the members raised funds to build a new synagogue on the site of the old Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association. In the 1970s the congregation joined the Conservative Movement in an attempt to attract more members. Today the congregation is small, but still active in the Galveston Community.”
1932: Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, was nominated by President Hoover today to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
1932: George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on "Guy Lombardo Show”, a hit radio shoe. He was Jewish. She was not.
1932: At Lake Placid, the ceremonies marking the end of the Winter Olympics in which speed skater Irving Jaffee had won two gold medals took place today.
1934: The Conte Di Savoia was scheduled to set sail from New York bound for Palestine on what was billed as the “Purim Cruise.
1935: In Brooklyn Mae and Samuel Warhaftig gave birth to Susan Warhaftig who gained fame as journalist and author Susan Brownmiller.
1935: “A committee created by the U.S. Congress to investigate the distribution of Nazi propaganda in America found that Nazis are targeting millions of Americans of German heritage with pro-Nazi teachings.”
1936(22nd of Shevat, 5695): Parashat Yitro
1936(22nd of Shevat, 5695): Forty-four year old multi-talented musical impresario Charles David Isaacson, the son of violinist Mark N. Isaacson and nephew of Barney Isaacson, the court violinist to Queen Victoria passed away today at Bellevue Hospital.
1936: “Rabbi Israel Mattuck of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London” is scheduled to “preach today at Temple Emanu-El…on the topic of ‘The Present Crisis in Civilization’”.
1936: Dr. Stephen S. Wise, made public a report today showing that $47,888,125 “has been spent in Palestine” from funds collected by the United Palestine Appeal of which he is chairman.
1936: In Poznan, Poland, the “members of the Jewish community protested to the Ministry of Cults and Education that the prohibition against slaughtering animals “which have not been first stunned” “would deprive Jews of meat because it would ban kosher slaughtering which allow stunning before killing.”
1937: It was reported today Emil Ludwig has soured on writing biographies since the Nazis came to power because they “have burned his books, murdered his friends” and “used their power against the Jews not in the manner of “attacking moving fishes” but rather “letting the water out of the basin until the fishes slowly die in the sand.”
1938: The Austrian government declared a general amnesty for Nazis.
1938: It was reported today that among the foreigners who have decided to stay in China despite the invasion by Japan is “a Canadian Episcopal mission established in a synagogue” established “2,000 years ago by a tribe of Jews who settled” in Kaifeng. (Editor’s note – this item is included as a testament to the antiquity of the Jewish settlement in East Asia.)
1939: Lillian Hellman's "Little Foxes" premiered in New York City.
1939: “ “Bela Imredy, the father of the anti-Jewish bill intended to exclude Jews and those Christians with Jewish parentage from the Hungarian civil service and liberal professional while radically curtailing their postion in trade and industry resigned as Premier today” because “he was compelled to admit.. that he was of Jewish descent” since “his mother’s grandfather was born a Jew.”
1940(6th of Adar I, 5700): Fifty eight year old German mathematician Otto Toeplitz who was dismissed from the faculty of Bonn University in 1935 and who emigrated to Palestine in 1939 where he worked at Hebrew University succumbed to tuberculosis today.
1941(18th of Shevat, 5701): Parashat Yitro
1941(18th of Shevat, 5701): Eighty-five Moravian born Austrian musicologist Guido Adler the son of Franciska and Dr. Joachim Adler passed away today in Vienna.
1941: In France, the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children’s Aid Society) installed a medical post and obtained permission to take numerous children away from Gurs concentration camp, who would be housed in private homes throughout France.
1942: In the most crushing blow to date suffered by the British in the Far East Singapore, which had a Jewish population of approximately 1,500 peoplem, fell to the Japanese today.
1943(10th of Adar I, 5703): Four hundred fifty of the Jews remaining in the ghetto at Drohobych were taken out of the ghetto to Bronica Forest where they were murdered.
1943: Rutka Laskier, a fourteen year old living in Bedzin, Poland writes in her diary: “Monday I haven’t written in while and there was nothing to write about. Maybe just the fact that the Germans have retreated from the Eastern front, which may signal the nearing of the end of the war… I'm only afraid that we, the Jews, will be finished before ...But how shrewd am I, I have written already so much about the war and nothing about myself. Janek hasn't been seen since Wednesday. I must admit that I miss him, I mean, not him but his forehead. He has a wonderful white forehead ... I'm curious if Jumek is still in love with Tusia. Actually, he's a good guy. I like him, but not in the same way I like Mietek. With Mulek you can talk and forget about the sex difference, and I like that very much. When you talk to Janek, he is always very polite, reserved, just waiting for the moment he can help me with something and in that way, show me his superiority. Oh, him and his superiority! I can't stand it, that's why I liked Lolek. Actually, I still like him, but I haven't seen him in a while. I plan to go to Lolek in order to get the book "P.P." I heard it's great. It would be a great opportunity also to talk with Tuska about Rozka. I hate those two; I hate Rozka even more than Tuska. I had an argument with Tuska but it was for her own good. I saw how jealous she was (though at that time I didn't understand that). She was afraid to leave me alone in the room with Janek. I made a scene and we fell out. She was basically very pleased with it. And one more thing: I have decided to let Janek kiss me. Eventually, someone will kiss me for the first time, so let it be Janek. I do like him.” In August, the Laskiers were sent to Auschwitz, where Rutka and her mother, grandmother and brother were all killed.
1943: Today Time magazine reported that “The late, great prestidigitator Harry Houdini, famed foe of phony mediums, and his wife Beatrice agreed before his death to try to get in touch with each other afterwards. Gravely ill last week in Hollywood, his widow announced that she had not only given up trying but had her doubts about the existence of a hereafter. She had held séances every year for ten years, unsuccessfully. "Ten years," observed patient Mrs. Houdini last week, "is long enough to wait for any man."
1944(21st of Shevat, 5704): Fifty-nine year old Russian born Nathan Feinerman, who in 1906 came to the United States where he became President of the Workmen’s Circle in 1926 and married Ida Joffe Feinerman passed away today while serving as the “executive secretary of the Yiddish Scientific Insitute.”
1944: Churchill invites Chaim Weismann to dine with him. After the dinner Weizmann reassured his Zionist colleagues that the Prime Minister still had a positive view of the formation of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine after the war ended.
1945: Launch of the HMS Sanguine, the British submarine which was sold to the Israeli Navy in 1958 and later renamed “Rahav.”
1946(14th of Adar I, 5706): Purim Katan
1946: Six months after opening in the United Kingdom, “The Seventh Veil” a “melodrama” with music by Benjamin Frankel was released in the United States today.
1946: Thirteen months after being liberated at Auschwitz followed by an unsuccessful effort to find surviving family members in Poland, Tzipora Shapiro wrote her cousin Rhuze living in Poland, “At long last, I’m hurry to send you a living word from a dead world.” (As reported by Yardena Schwartz)
1946: Birthdate of American actress Marisa Berenson.
1947: Dr. Alfred Meyer and his wife, Annie Nathan Meyer, will celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary this afternoon at a reception in the Women's Faculty Club of Columbia University.
1948: Birthdate of Art Spiegelman. The Swedish born cartoonist is best known for Maus: A Survivor's Tale and Maus: from Mauschwitz to the Catskills. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
1949: Birthdate of Cincinnati, Ohio and Haverford College educated film critic Harlan Marshall Jacobson.
1950: Prime Minister Tawfiq told Ezekiel Shemtob that he would allow the Jews to leave Iraq. He agreed to issue them "laissez-passers" and "full Iraqi passports."
1951: The government led by Prime Minister Ben Gurion resigned “after the Knesset had rejected David Remez’s proposals on the registration of school children” triggering elections that would be held in July.
1951: In Middlesex, England John Benjamin Frankenberg, an obstetrician who father had emigrated to the East End to escape from the Russian Pogrom and Mieke van Tricht, a Dutch Protestant who had been a POW in WW II gave birth to Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg who gained fame as actress Jane Seymour.
1952: “Le Plaisir” a comedy directed by Max Ophüls was released today in Paris.
1956(3rd of Adar, 5715): Tsivye (Sime Tsivie) Zabludofskaya (Hillman) passed away today in Leningrad.
1957(14th of Adar I, 5715): Purim Katan
1958: Birthdate of Sir Michael Lawrence Davis, the native of South Africa and alum of Theodor Herzl School in Port Elizabeth who went from a successful business career to serving as CEO of the British Conservative Party while raising three children – Sarah, Ronit and Eitan – with his wife Barbara.
1960: David Susskind produced Shaw’s “Don Juan in Hell” as the Play of the Week.
1960: In “Top Hand With A Rhyme,” published today Joe Hyams describes the talents of Sylvia Fine, the wife of Danny Kaye.
1962(11th of Adar I, 5722): Seventy-two year old Russian-born American character actor Vladimir Sokoloff two whose most memorable roles were in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Magnificent Seven” passed away today.
1964(2nd of Adar, 5724): Parashat Terumah
1964(2nd of Adar, 5724): Seventy-three year old Rabbi Abraham I. Kalmanowitz, president and dean of the Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute,” and husband of Minna Kalmanowitz with whom he had six children – Moses, Israel, Bezale, Rachel, Dvora and Meta – passed away today.
1965: In London, world premiere “Lord Jim” directed, produced and written by Richards Brooks and co-starring Eli Wallach.
1966: Gertrude Luckner a Christian social worker who ended up in Rabensbruck for aiding Jewish families “was recognised as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.”
1967: ITV broadcast the first episode of “At Last the 1948 Show” co-created by Marty Feldman who also starred in the political satire.
1967: President Lyndon B. Johnson met briefly with his friend Jim Novy, a member of the Agudas Achim Congregation of Austin, Texas, and an important leader in the local Jewish community whose relationship with the President dates back at least as far as LBJ’s time as head of the National Youth Administration in Texas.
1968: A group of 26 Jewish lawyers, doctors and scientists in Vilnius (Vilna) addressed a letter to the Central Committee of Lithuania’s Communist Party describing the widespread discrimination against the Jewish people and demanding the right to immigrate to Israel.
1969: Columbia trained physicist Harold Brown completed his service as 8th United States Secretary of the Air Force..
1971: Birthdate of comic Alex Borstein. Born Alexandra Borstein, this descendant of Sephardic Jews is best known for her work on “MADtv.”
1972(30th of Shevat, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Adar
1974: “Ulysees in Nhighttown” which had opened Off-Broadway in 1958 with Zero Mostel in the lead role opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden starring Obe Award winner Mostel.
1975(3rd of Adar I, 5735): Salvator Cicurel an Egyptian Olympic fencer who competed in the individual and team épée and team foil events at the 1928 Summer Olympics passed away. Born in 1893, he was part of a prominent Egyptian Jewish family that owned The Cicurel stores which were Egypt's largest and most fashionable department store chain
1976: Seventy-seven Maria Corda, the former wife of Alexander Korda with whom she enjoyed a professional and personal relationship and whom she saved from Hungarian fascists passed away today.
1977(27th of Shevat, 5737): Seventy-three year old Hungarian born American abstract painter Victor Candell passed away today.
1978: “Coming Home” critically acclaimed and financially successful Viet Nam themed film produced by Jerome Hellman and filmed by cinematographer Haskell Wexler was released in the United States today.
1980: Saturn 3” a sci-fi film directed and produced by Stanley Donen, starring Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel and with music by Elmer Bernstein was released in the United States today.
1981(11th of Adar I, 5741): American journalist and writer Isaac Don Levine passed away. Born in Mozyr, Russia, in 1892, “Levine came to the United States in 1911. He finished high school in Missouri, and found work with The Kansas City Star and later The New York Herald Tribune, for which he covered the Revolution of 1917. He would return to Russia to cover the Civil War for The Chicago Daily News in the early 1920s.” Levine was a columnist for the Hearst papers during the late 1920s and 1930s. “He edited the anti-communist magazine Plain Talk from 1946 till 1950, but did not join The Freeman, opting for a stint with Radio Free Europe in West Germany instead. In the spring of 1939, Levine collaborated with the Soviet intelligence agency defector, Walter Krivitsky, for a series of articles in the Saturday Evening Post, exposing the horrors of Joseph Stalin's "workers' paradise." In November of that same year, the series was collected into a book entitled In Stalin's Secret Service. Levine's role in the writing was not revealed at the time. In the meantime, Levine arranged a meeting in September 1939 between American Communist Party defector Whittaker Chambers and President Franklin Roosevelt's security chief, Adolf Berle, at which Chambers revealed, with Levine present, a massive spying operation reaching even into the White House that involved, among others, Alger Hiss in the State Department and, according to Levine, Harry Dexter White in the Treasury Department. Levine also provided testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the case against Hiss. Levine wrote the screenplay for the biographical movie “Jack London” (1943) and also appeared as himself as one of the witnesses to the John Reed era in ‘Reds’ (1981). He makes a brief appearance in Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007) as a friend of Einstein, but they fell out over their political differences
1981(11th of Adar I, 5741): Mike Bloomfield, guitarist with Paul Butterfield Blues Band passed away at the age of 37.
1981(11th of Adar I, 5741): Eighty-two year old Dezső Ernster the son of a cantor and a leading Hungarian opera singer who survived Bergen Belsen to continue a career that took him to the leading opera houses of Europe and the United States including the Met where he “sang leading bass roles from 1946 to 1963” passed aay today.
1983 (2nd of Adar, 5743): Dr. Eugene Hevesi, who had served as foreign affairs secretary for the American Jewish Committee, died of lung cancer to at Long Island Jewish Hospital at the age of 87. He was born in Budapest, the son of Simon Hevesi, Chief Rabbi of Budapest, and came to the United States in 1937 as an economic attaché in the Hungarian Embassy. He resigned in protest over the passage of an anti-Semitic law in Hungary and served with the American Jewish Committee for 23 years. For 20 years, Dr. Hevesi was also the United Nations representative for six Jewish nongovernmental organizations, including the Joint Distribution Committee and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. He received a Doctor of Laws degree in Hungary and an advanced degree in economics from the Consular Academy of Vienna. In the 1960's, he served as a liaison official between several American Jewish organizations and the Vatican. He is the father of Assemblyman Alan G. Hevesi.
1984: “Beyond the Walls” a Hebrew language film “directed by Uri Barbash and written by his brother Benny Barbash and Eran Preis which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film” was released in Israel today.
1985(24th of Shevat, 5745): Seventy-six year old award winning scriptwriter and playwright Leonard Spigelgass, the brother-in-law of photographer Sanford Roth and the brother Beulah Roth, a “speechwriter for FDR and Adlai Stevenson” passed away today.
1985: U.S. premiere of “Beyond the Walls,” a 1948 Israeli film that “was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
1987: In “Israel’s Pioneers Return On Film,” published todayThomas Friedman describes the filming of “Dreamers,” a film about the Dreamers Commune set in the 1920’s that captures “the moment when the idealism of the first Jewish settlers who came to this land from Eastern Europe to build a utopian society met the realities of the harsh Palestinian landscape and the Arab people who were already inhabiting it.”
1988(27th of Shevat, 5748): Richard Feynman, Nobel-Prize winning nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan project passed away at the age of 69. Being Jewish presented a problem for Feynman when he was pursuing his academic career. He was probably rejected by Columbia because of the New York’s school’s Jewish quota. He was admitted to MIT where he had a stellar undergraduate career. After graduating from MIT, Feynman applied to the doctorate program at Princeton. Harry Smythe, who oversaw the program at Princeton, was concerned about Feynman’s religious background. “Is Feynman Jewish? We have no definite rule against Jews but have to keep their proportion in our department reasonably small because of the difficulty of placing them.” Despite the prejudice, Feynman was admitted and performed brilliantly.
1989: The Soviet Union announced that its last troops had left Afghanistan, ending the ten year Soviet military operations in that mountainous Moslem nation. From the Jewish perspective, the Soviet invasion and subsequent defeat influenced Jewish history in terms of the law of unexpected consequences. The Soviet debacle in Afghanistan hastened the downfall of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party. This opened the door to a massive movement of Jews from the Soviet republics to Israel. It also provided an opportunity for the rebirth of Jewish culture and the observance of the Jewish religion in the Soviet republics. The foreign fighters who came to the aid of the Moslems in Afghanistan would become a cadre for groups of anti-Western and anti-Semitic terrorist groups that would ultimately pose an even graver, at one level, threat to the West, to the Jewish People and to Israel, than had been seen even in the darkest days of the Cold War.
1990: In Germany, premiere of “The Handmaid’s Tale” with a screenplay by Harold Pinter and featuring Blanche Baker as “Ofglen/”
1992(11th of Adar I, 5752): William Schuman, a composer whose distinctly American style won two Pulitzer Prizes and guided him as the founding president of Lincoln Center and the president of the Juilliard School, passed away today in Manhattan at the age of 81. (As reported by Bruce Lambert)
1995(15th of Adar I, 5755): Ninety year old Baron Jules de Koenigwarter, the former husband Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild, who served as a Colonel with the Free French and held several diplomatic posts after the war, passed away today.
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Founding Myth of Israel: Nationalism, Socialism, and the Making of the Jewish State by Zeev Sternhell and Stalking Elijah: Adventures With Today's Jewish Mystical Masters by Rodger Kamenetz
2000: “Seeking to secure the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in a future Palestinian state, the Vatican signed an agreement today with the Palestine Liberation Organization that would protect freedom of religion and the legal status of Christian churches”
2000: Michiko Kakutani provided an in-depth review of City of God by E.L. Doctorow.
2001: “Ambassador Leaves Israel for Homeland Posting” published today provides a background on the life an care of Emanuel Zisman
2002(3rd of Adar, 5762): “The leader of an elite commando unit was killed today by a falling wall as his troops demolished” the home of Palestinian terrorist living on the West Bank.
2002: Tonight Israeli warplanes struck at the offices of the so-called Palestinian security forces in retaliation for the destruction of an Israeli tank that took the lives of three members of the I.D.F.
2003(13th of Adar I, 5763): Parashat Tetzaveh
2003: “The Vatican will open secret archives today in an effort to allay accusations that Pope Pius XII, whom the Vatican wants to make a saint, did not do enough to save Jews from the Holocaust.”
2004: Various editions of the secular press featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including, An Almost Perfect Moment by Binnie Kirshenbaum, Ten Thousand Lovers by Edeet Ravel, My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughter by Sid Caesar with Eddy Friedfeld, The Eve of Destruction: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War By Howard Blum, War Paint: Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden, Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry by Lindy Woodhead and Language Visible: Unraveling the Alphabet From A to Z by David Sacks, a history of the alphabet from ancient times. Writing as we know it dates from approximately 2000 BCE, the same time when the Jews first appear on the world scene. Is it a coincidence that the "People of the Book" appear at the same time as the alphabet does? As we have said, studying Jewish History means studying the history of the world.
2005: In “True to Her Orthodox Beliefs, if Not to Her Roots” published today, Sarah Bronson examines the life and career of Rachel Factor.
2005: Last time that Stan Lee’s Sunday Comics, that included “Stan’s Soapbox” was updated.
2006: “Foundation for Jewish Youth Gets Founder’s $500 Million” published today described how “the Jim Joseph Foundation is poised to become one of the biggest Jewish philanthropies in the country with the addition of more than $500 million in assets, all directed toward Jewish education and youth programs.
2007: In an article entitled “Anne Frank’s doomed American dream” The Times of London reported on newly discovered letters that reveal the increasingly desperate efforts by Anne Frank’s father to get his family out of Nazi-occupied Amsterdam before they were forced into hiding in the attic where the teenage girl wrote her famous diary.
2007(27th of Shevat, 5767): Robert Adler, 93, who helped invent the device that created a nation of sedentary television viewers forever flummoxed by the question, "Where's the remote?" died, of heart failure in Boise, Idaho, according to Zenith, his longtime employer. Dr. Adler, a Viennese-born physicist with more than 180 U.S. patents in his name, the most famous of which was for the wireless remote control for televisions.
2007: In Mannheim, Germany, Ernst Zündel was convicted of “incitement for Holocaust Denial” and “sentenced to the maximum term of five years in prison.
2008: Eli Alexander Sherman the newborn son of Rabbis Aaron Sherman and Stephanie Alexander attends his first Shabbat service at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 and one half inches in length he is the smallest as well as the newest member of the Jewish community. Calendars are circled for the Bar Mitzvah in 2021.
2008: The Jerusalem Post on line reported that more than 50 Hezbollah terror cells believed to be spread across the globe could be activated and used to strike at Israeli or Jewish targets in retaliation for the assassination of Hezbollah arch-terrorist and operations officer Imad Mughniyeh in Syria, a senior defense official said; this despite disclaimers from the Israelis that did not commit the act
2008: “The Other Boleyn Girl” starring Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn is screened for the first time at the Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival)
2009: Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) Manchester meets at the Manchester Jewish Museum
2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain by Michael Korda, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work by Jimmy Carter and recently released paperback editions of The Spare Wife by Alex Witchel and The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace by Aaron David Miller.
2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Levittown by David Kushner and How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.
2009: A one-of-a-kind, award-winning exhibit of hundreds of pieces of World War II era mail and documents related to the Nazis' attempted extermination of Jews and others will be publicly displayed at Temple Judah. The collection is owned by the Deerfield, Illinois-based Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation, which acquired the extraordinary items to preserve and offer them for public use at Holocaust and genocide educational venues around the world. It includes counterfeit Bank of England paper money created by slave laborers during "Operation Bernhard," the Nazis' failed plot to undermine England's economy and the subject of the recent motion picture, "The Counterfeiters." Steve Feller, who with his daughter Rachel co-authored the book Silent Witness: Civilian Camp Money of World War II, will present an educational program about Holocaust-related money in conjunction with the exhibit. Steve will be speaking at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. The Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation was established in 2006 to support charitable and educational causes. Many of the historic artifacts now can be viewed online at the foundation's Web site, http:// .
2009: Opening day of “The Expanse of Russia in Israel,” an international conference sponsored by Tulane University’s Jewish Studies Program under the Chairmanship of Dr. Brian Horowitz, “The conference is devoted to a long-awaited investigation of Zionism and the influence of secular Russian culture on Israeli life.” Given the rise of Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, the topic of this conference becomes all the more urgent and timely.
2010 (1 Adar, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Adar.
2010: In Israel, observance of Family Day.
2010: Israeli archaeologists said today that they've discovered an unusually shaped 1,400-year-old wine press that was exceptionally large and advanced for its time. The octagonal press measures 21 feet by 54 feet (6.5 by 16.5 meters) and was discovered in southern Israel, about 40 kilometers south of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
2010: The bomb attack on a restaurant in Pune, India, not far from a Chabad Jewish center, was not directed at the Chabad house, an Israeli security official said today. Nitzan Nuriel, head of counterterrorism at Israel's National Security Agency, said that the "attack in India was not directed at Chabad house, even though Chabad houses appear on the potential lists of targets maintained by some of the groups that operate in the area." Indian intelligence services had said that it was highly likely the bomb that tore through a cafe was meant for the local Chabad House, located several dozen meters from the site of the blast.
2010: The first issue of The Jewish Review of Books is scheduled to begin arriving in mailboxes across the United States marking the launch of “a quarterly magazine devoted Jewish literary and political affairs.
2010: The Josephine F. and H. Max Ammerman Study Retreat at the Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center in Reisterstown, Maryland featuring a program entitled “The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: From the Exodus through the Babylonian Exile in Light of New Archaeological Discoveries” is scheduled to come to an end.
2010: Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich and the Jupiter musicians are scheduled to perform Dvorak’s “Dumky” Trio and a Haydn Piano Trio in New York City.
2010: According to reports published today, “a painting by Adolf Hitler, which may have hung in Sigmund Freud's office, will be put up for auction in Britain next month. The starting price is 10,000 pounds. The watercolor depicts a church and mountains, and is signed, "A. Hitler, 1910." "Sigmund Freud, Vienna," is written on the back of the painting, which led its owners to conclude that it may have hung on the wall of Freud's Vienna office, where he lived and worked until he fled to London after Germany took over Austria in 1938. After World War Two, the painting was brought to Italy, where it was taken by an American soldier who later claimed that he was told the painting was hanging in Freud's clinic. If the painting is indeed the work of Hitler and was on the wall of the famous psychiatrist, then the two may have known each other. Both lived in Vienna at the same time (around 1910), when Hitler was trying to make a living as a painter. Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock's Specialist Auctioneers told the Telegraph yesterday, "The possibility that this watercolor once hung on the walls of Freud's consulting rooms in Vienna may seem on the face of it completely bizarre. But both men were in Vienna at the same time and we know Hitler was selling his paintings, so it is quite possible that Freud had one on the wall. "We will never know for certain whether this was Freud's, but it raises the tantalizing prospect that the two men might have met," he said.
2011(11th of Adar I, 5771): Dr. Charles Epstein, a UC San Francisco medical geneticist who studied Down syndrome and pioneered genetic counseling for families with affected children, but whose career was temporarily interrupted by a vicious 1993 attack by the notorious Unabomber, passed away today at his home in Tiburon, CA at the age of 77. (As reported by Thomas H. Maugh II, in the LA Times)
2011: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to offer a program entitled “Purim Class” that is a “journey behind the mask of joyous fun and games of Purim” that explores “the complex story and meaning behind this perplexing Jewish holiday.”
2011: Jeffrey Tambor began playing the role of “Georges” in the Broadway revival of “La Cage aux Folles.”
2011: Harvey Fierstein began playing “Albin/Zara” in the Broadway revival of “La Cage aux Folles today.
2011: An American Synagogue, a documentary that tells “the remarkable story of the building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Temple Beth Sholom in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and “100 Voices: A Journey Home” a documentary that “chronicles a musical voyage to the birthplace of songful prayer known as chazzanut” are scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.
2011: Israeli embassies throughout the world have received several suspected terror threats, the Israel Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. The threats against the embassies are allegedly from Hezbollah to avenge the murder of Imad Mughniyah on the third anniversary of his death
2011: Gerda Weissmann Klein was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States
2012(22nd of Shevat, 5772): Ninety five year old Zelda Kaplan passed away (As reported by Ruth La Ferla)
2012: “Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women” is scheduled to be shown at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton MA.
2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at Anshei Emuna Congregation in Delray Beach, FL.
2012: “For My Father” is scheduled to be shown at The Yeshiva University Ring Family Israel Film Festival
2012: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to celebrate “President’s Day with a noontime program about Isachar Zacharie, a chiropodist whom President Abraham Lincoln trusted not only with his feet but with a peace mission to the Confederacy.
2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that Iran is destabilizing the world and urged the international community to condemn its terror acts against Israeli targets. The prime minister's comments come a day after a botched terror attack in Thailand, which Israeli officials believe was meant to target Israel's ambassador in Bangkok. The bombing followed an attack on Israel's embassy in New Delhi and an attempted attack on Israeli diplomats in Tbilisi. "(As reported by Barak Ravid)
2012: Southern farming regions bordering Gaza were targeted by Palestinian rocket fire tonight. Two rockets exploded in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, two more fell in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, and a fifth fell in the Eshkol Regional Council.
2013: Shaare Tefila in Olney, MD is scheduled to host Shabbat Alive!, an “instrumental Friday night service.”
2013: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to be the site for a special concert “The Big Members of the Violin Family” featuring Inbal Megiddo on cello and Paul Altromari on double bass.
2013: At the Weiner Library in London, Dr. Susan Cohen of the University of Southampton is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Rescue the Perishing: Eleanor Rathbone and the Refugees” which traces the British MP’s effort to rescues Jews from Eastern Europe.
2013: Clarinet and tenor saxophonist Anat Cohen, along with her brothers - trumpeter Avishai and soprano saxophonist Yuval are scheduled to perform tonight at Carnegie Hall.
2013: A synagogue in Siberia was among the buildings damaged when “a meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia” today. (As reported by Anne Cohen)
2013: Jonathan David Leibowitz resigned as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission effective as of today.
2013: A highly unusual maiden Knesset speech delivered by Yesh Atid legislator Dr. Ruth Calderon has become something of a YouTube sensation, garnering over 80,000 views as of this afternoon — compared, for instance, to fewer than 4,000 views for the maiden speech delivered by her party leader, political sensation Yair Lapid, the day before.
2013: Bulgarian security forces today raided the temporary residences of a visiting Hamas delegation in Sofia, and then expelled the officials from the country, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
2014: “Closing Night” and “Bethlehem,” winner of Israel’s best-picture award are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish Film Festival in San Diego, CA
2014: Today “The World Jewish Congress accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government of trying to “falsify” history, adding its voice to concerns about Holocaust commemorations this year.”
2014: In Tel Aviv, three Israelis were arrested in connection with the stabbing of asylum seekers this evening.
2014(15th of Adar I, 5774): Eight-nine year old former hospital administrator Rosalyn “Dolly” Saget, the widow of supermarket executive Benjamin Saget and the mother of comedian Bob Saget passed away today
2015: The New York Times features reviews by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song by Ben Yagoda and Believer: My Forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod.
2015: “The Max Steinberg Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund which was established by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in partnership with the fallen soldier’s parents, Stuart and Evelyn, and his siblings, Paige and Jake…is set to be launched today in New York by American Associates of the Ben-Gurion University.”
2015: The Times of Israel hosted its inaugural Gala in New York tonight “mixed tributes to some of Israel’s fallen wit accolades for some of Israel’s pioneers.”
2015: Deb Mrowka is scheduled to address those attending the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.
2015: In Olney, MD, the Shaare Telia Men’s Club and Sisterhood are scheduled to square off in the “It’s Academic” Trivia Game Competitio.
2015(26th of Shevat, 5775): “Copenhagen Jewish community guard Dan Uzan was murdered early this morning following an attack on synagogue where a bat mitzvah celebration was taking place.
2015: Final performance of “Life Sucks” written and directed Aaron Posner is scheduled to take place at Theatre J in Washington, DC
2015: The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to host a screening of “Shoah” followed by a panel discussion.
2015: The first annual Times of Israel Gala is scheduled to take place at the Waldorf Astoria.
2015: “Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz – the man the prime minister didn’t want at the army’s helm – is scheduled to complete a four-year term of service as the IDF’s top commander today, having shepherded the army through the Arab uprisings, the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the cyclonic civil war in Syria, and the ever deteriorating security situation along Israel’s border lands.” (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)
2015: “German Jews at the Eastern Front in WW I: Modernism Meets Tradition” a “must see” exhibition at the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to come to a close today
2015: Danish police confirmed early this morning that one man was killed after a gunman shot him in the head outside a Copenhagen synagogue and that the shooter also injured two policemen in the arm and leg.
2016: The National Park Service announced today that Philanthropist “David Rubenstein, who has already donated tens of millions of dollars to refurbish the Washington Monument and other icons, is giving $18 million to fix up the Lincoln Memorial.”
2016: Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to begin serving a 19 month sentence at Lod’s Ma’asiyahu Prison today after having been convicted of accepting bribes while serving as May of Jerusalem.
2016: Depending upon a meeting with its staff, The Nazareth Mediterranean Cuisine, a Columbus, Ohio restaurant owned by Israeli Hany Baransi which was the scene of a terrorist attack on Thursday, is scheduled to re-open today.
2016: While speaking in Tel Aviv tonight, Samantha Powers, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations “accused the world body of harboring a bias against Israel.”
2016: President’s Day, officially the third Monday of February, celebrates all U.S. presidents. For more about Jews and American Presidents see and
2017: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to have his first summit meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.
2017: Curator Bonni-Dara Michaels is scheduled to conduct a tour of Yeshiva University Museum’s newest exhibition “Uncommon Threads” which features garments, textiles and jewelry spanning three centuries. including “a gold bracelet that belonged to the wife of the Hatam Sofer, a 19th-century Ottoman velvet bridal dress and the groom’s tallit katan, an embroidered Italian Torah binder from 1602, and an early Ashkenazic wimpel dated 1643.”
2017: “Kapo in Jerusalem” and “Rabin In His Own Words” are scheduled to be shown at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.
2017: In Cedar Rapids, the Hadassah Book Club is scheduled to discuss Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt.
2017: “US President Donald Trump bucked America’s longstanding commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today, standing alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference in the White House.” (As reported by Raphael Ahren and Eric Cortellessa)
2018: “The Central Conference of American Rabbis” announced today the appointment of “Rabbi Hara Person as its first female chief executive” succeeding Rabbi Steven Fox “who is retiring in June” of this year.
2018: Dr. Avivah Zornberg is scheduled to lecture on “Moses Veiled and Unveiled” at the Streicker Center.
2018: “Frtiz Lang” is scheduled to be shown for the first time in San Diego at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.
2018: “Hours after being pink-slipped from ‘Transparent’ Jeffrey Tambor today expressed his disappointment of how Amazon had handled the false accusations” of sexual harassment.
2018: The American Jewish Historical Society and the Leo Baeck Institute are scheduled to present Marion Kreith speaking on “Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels: A Haven in Havana.”
2018: In Facebook posting today, “Abbie Youkilis, the aunt of Jamie Guttenberg” who was murdered yesterday at Parkland High School said she “doesn’t want prayer,” called guns “a national disease and demanded change.” (As reported by Ben Sales)
2018: “Ben-Gurion: Epilogue” a documentary created by Yael Perlov and Yariv Mozer” is scheduled to be shown at Baruch College.
2018(30th of Shevat, 5778): Rosh Chodesh Adar
2019: Rachel Feinstein, “a comedian whose material draws from her Jewish upbringing” is scheduled to appear at the Punch Line Comedy Club in San Francisco.”
2019: “American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in cooperation with The Maryland/Israel Development Center and The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington” are scheduled to host“From the Desert for the World: Israel’s Water Innovations”with Prof. Noam Weisbrod, Director, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research.
2019: The Red Sea jazz festival is scheduled to continue for a second day at Eilat.
2019: Today,Marc Stein, “an American sports reporter for The New York Times, covering the National Basketball Association (NBA) nationally” who had “previously worked for ESPN” “was named the 2019 winner of the Curt Gowdy Media Award for print media by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.”
2019: Starting at 9:00 A.M, visitors in Jerusalem can vist “Flashes of Memory – Photography During the Holocaust” at Yad Vashem.
2020: Temple Israel of Boston is scheduled to host a “Tu Bishvat Seder and Havdalah” this evening.
2020:The San Mateo, CA, Public Library is scheduled to host a “Violins of Hope concert with four violinists playing restored string instruments that were played during the Holocaust” with styles that “include klezmer by Cookie Segelstein, Turkish, South Indian and Americana.”
2020: In Walnut Creek, CA, Congregation B’nai Tikvah is scheduled to host “Exploring Jewish South America,” an evening that includes tasting South American wines while listening to the personal stories of Rabbi Roberto Graetz and Ariel Goldstein.
2020(20th of Shevat, 5780): Parashat Yitro; for more see