Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This Day, April 8, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z"L

April 8

73(15th of Nisan, 3833): The Great Revolt came to an end today when the defenders of Masada completed their murder/suicide pact

217: Assassination of Roman Emperor Caracalla.  Some Romans may Caracalla who was officially known as Antonius, as a disgrace to his office.  Caracalla extended the right of citizenship to all of those living in the empire as a way of raising additional taxes.  Under the “law of unintended consequences” this improved the status of the Jews.  While Caracalla showed no special affection for his Jewish subjects, he did not single them out for any special disabilities or punishments except for one matter of taxation. This was an improvement over life under some of his predecessors and many of his successors. When it came to taxes, Caracalla took as much as he could.  Since the time of Julius Caesar, the Jews of Palestine had been exempt from paying certain taxes during the Sabbatical Year.  The taxes were paid in produce which was used to feed the army.  Caracalla put an end to the exemption. Caracalla was fighting the Parthians in 216 which was a Sabbatical Year.  Rabbi Janni, a contemporary of Judah haNasi, ruled that it was permissible for the Jews of Palestine to grow crops during the Sabbatical Year so that they could pay these taxes.  He made it clear that this was a special exemption and in no way was intended as an abrogation of the Sabbatical Year.

426: Emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III decree that Jewish parents and grandparents cannot disinherit any children and grandchildren who convert to Christianity.  This was designed to enhance the spread of Christianity since under the decree those who converted to other religions could be disinherited.

1094(19th of Nisan): Mathematician and astronomer Rabbi Isaac ben Baruch Albalia, author of “Kuppat ha-Rochlin, passed away.

1139:  Roger II of Sicily is excommunicated. Roger may have had his problems with Innocent II, but for a monarch of his time, the Jews benefited from his rule.  Roger allowed the Jews to be tried under their own legal system; the same privilege that he had extended to his Greek and Saracen subjects.  One of his close advisors was known to be sympathetic to the Jews going so far as to visit their synagogues and to donate money for the support of the community.  Finally, Roger brought a significant contingent of Greek Jews to Palermo, the capital of Sicily, who were supposed to tend silk-worms in an attempt to develop the silk trade.

1484: Local farmers of Arles, France, led by the town's monks attacked the Jewish section of the town. A number of people were killed and 50 men were forced to accept Christianity.

1559: “Dominican monks distributed inflammatory pamphlets in Cremona, Italy, urging the populace to kill the Jews.” (As reported by Abraham P. Bloch)

1582: Today, Giles Fletcher, the Eton and Cambridge educated “poet, diplomat and MP” who while serving as the English “minister of Musovy claimed to have discovered the Ten Lost Tribes among the Tartars” and his wife Joan had their son Phineas baptized today.

1661: Today, Henrque de Caceres who had been living in England for approximately the last fifteen years and Benjamin de Caceres “petition the king to permit them to live and trade in Barbados and Suriname.

1730: In New York, the (first) Mill Street Synagogue which is known as Shearith Israel was consecrated. It was the first structure designed and built to be a synagogue in continental North America. During the time the congregation was at Mill Street, the Sephardic leadership worried it might become Ashkenazic. The compromise within the Jewish community was they agreed the president of the congregation would be Ashkenazi, while the services would remain under the traditional Spanish and Portuguese rite, under the guise of a Sephardic chazzan. It is now known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.  One of its most famous leaders was Gershom Menes Seixas, a patriot during the Revolution, who had to leave when the British took the city.  A 1744 visitor noted that congregation's women "of whom some were very pretty, stood up in the gallery like a hen coop."

1754(16th of Nisan, 5514): Second Day of Pesach

1754: As Jews munched on their matzah, a, party of French soldiers continued its march to stop the English from building a fort at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers (modern day Pittsburgh) which would lead to the battle in May in which George Washington led the British forces and which is considered by historians to being the start of the French and Indian War.

1768: Haham Moses Cohen d'Azevedo, the Amsterdam born son of Daniel David Cohen d'Azevedo and Sara Cohen d'Azevedo and his wife and Sara de Haham Moses Cohen D'Azevedo gave birth to Abigail Dias and wife of and the wife of Isaac Haim de Abraham de Jacob Dias with whom she had six Children

1769(1st of Nisan, 5529): Parashat Tazria; Rosh Chodesh Nisan; Shabbat HaChodesh

1769: As the Jews greet the month in which they celebrate their freedom from bondage, the Inquisition continues to find fresh ground to grow as two parties of Spaniards continue their march across “Alta Califrona” where they are to build forts and missions.

1772: Ester Alvares and Bordeaux native Daniel Nones gave birth to Leah Nones

1773(15th of Nisan, 5633): Pesach

1773: Raphael Hayyim Isaac Carregal, the native of Palestine who was reported to be the first ordained Rabbi to visit the colonies that would become the United States was described by Ezra Stiles as wearing "a high Fur Cap, exactly like a Woman’s Muff, and about 9 or 10 Inches high, the Aperture atop was closed with green cloth" at Passover services today.

1774: Jitte Glückstadt, an unmarried Jewish woman in Altona, had her last will and testament recorded today.

1775(8th of Nisan, 5535): Parashat Metzora; Shabbat HaGadol

1775: In Savannah, GA, Judith Polock and Philip Minis who were married in 1774 at Newport, RI, gave birth to Abigail Minis.

1779(22nd of Nisan, 5539) Eighth Day of Pesach is observed while the French and Americans are conducting negotiations with Spain that will, in four days, lead to the signing of a secret treaty that will make all three of them allies in the war with Great Britain.

1780(3rd of Nisan, 5540) Parashat Tazria

1780:Today, during the American Revolution, General Schuyler wrote to Alexander Hamilton, who was thought to be Jewish because his mother was Rachel Levine and because he went to a Jewish school since he had never been baptized, about a variety of subjects including the general’s prediction that the war would be over with the year.

1790: According to some sources, birthdate of Ruth Luzzatto, who gained fame as “Rachel Morpurgo: Queen of the Hebrew Sonnet.”

1792(16th of Nisan, 5552): Second Day of Pesach

1797(12th of Nissan, 5557) Parashat Tzav; Shabbat HaGadol

1797: Birthdate of Hesekias Stern, the son of Levy Stern and husband of Guthel Adler with whom he had two children – Jette and Rebecca Stern.

1798: Miriam Levy and London native Samuel Hyams who settled in Louisana gave birth to Moses Kosciusko Hyams who passed away in Pointe Coupee, a Parish near Baton Rouge, LA.

1801:  Soldiers rioted and killed 128 Jews in Bucharest.

1805: Birthdate of London native Mathilda Simmonds, the wife of Jacob Daniel Levy with whom she had the eleven children, the first three of whom were born in London and the last eight of which were born in New York City.

1817(22nd of Nisan, 5577): 8th day of Pesach

1819: A traveler who stopped in Joannina (Yanina), Greece acknowledged the following:
"In going out of the village this morning, soon after the sun rose, we passed a Turk, richly dressed, sitting upon a carpet, under a fig tree just budding…I know of no European habit of life so picturesque, as the Eastern one. Greek, Turk, and Hebrew enjoy nearly an equal protection."

1830(15th of Nisan, 5590): Pesach

1841: In London, Rachel and Joseph Rosinbloom, both of whom were natives of Poland, gave birth to Harriet Rosinbloom.

1843(8th of Nisan, 5603): Parashat Metzora; Shabbat HaGadol

1843: The Great Comet continues, which is now only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, continues to move away from the eart.

1845(1st of Nisan, 5605): Rosh Chodesh

1845(1st of Nisan, 5605): Solomon Rosenthal, the younger son of Naftali Rosenthal -one of the most important leader of Hungarian Jewry- who was “active in Haskalah and Jewish culture life” passed away today in Pest. 

1847(22nd of Nisan, 5607): Eighth Day of Pesach

1847: Birthdate of Karl Wittegenstein, the Austrian steel tycoon who was often compared to his friend Andrew Carnegie.  Like so many 18th European Jews, Wittegenstein converted.  For him Vienna was apparently well worth a Mass.

1848(5th of Nisan, 5608) Parashat Tazria

1851: Abraham Abrahamsohn arrived in San Francisco.  A baker by trade, Abrahamsohn had left his wife and children in Pomerania (Germany) to seek his fortune in America.  On his first day in San Francisco, he “set up a canvas-roofed store” on the Long Wharf” where he made $85 in one day.  After several exciting years, Abrahamson returned to Germany where he published Interesting Accounts of the Travels of Abraham Abrahamsohn to America and Especially to the Gold Mines of California and Australia in 1856.

1853: One day after he had passed away, 9 month old John Hart, the “infant son of Aaron Hart” and Rebecca Crawcour was buried today in the Lauriston Road Jewish Cemetery.

1855: Birthdate of Amsterdam native William Philip de Jongh who settled in London some time before his death three months before his twentieth birthday.

1856: Birthdate of New York native and composer Rudolph Arons.

1857: In New York City, Rabbi Simon Brenner and Caroline Alexander gave birth to Jacob Brenner, the product of the Brooklyn public schools and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Kings County Republican Committee who served as a city magistrate in New York City, Commissioner of Jurors of Kings County, NY and President of Temple Beth-Elhoim and was the husband of Louise Blumeanu, “the daughter of real estate developer of Levi Blumenau.

1860(16th of Nisan, 5620): Second Day of Pesach; First Day of the Omer

1860: Count István Széchenyi who organized the National Casino, which when it reached minority nationalities including Jews which “contributed to national divisions in Hungary’s ethnically diverse population” passed away today.

1863(19th of Nisan, 5623): 5th Day of Pesach

1863: Birthdate of Jules Huret who authored Sarah Bernhardt, a biography of the famous Jewish performer

1867: Rabbi Joseph Perles, the Munich born on of Ethelka and Rabbi Baruch Asher Perles and his wife Rosalie Perles gave birth to Dr. Max Perles.

1868(16th of Nisan, 5628): Second Day of Pesach3

1868: Birthdate of Paul Bornstein, the native of Berlin where he earned his Ph.D. and published and edited numerous works, the most important of which “was an encyclopedic review of achievements in every sphere of activity and thought in Germany during the nineteenth century.”

1869: Jacob Bibo, an orphan who was the brother of Isaac R. Bibo and who had been working for a pawnbroker in the Bowery after leaving the Hebrew Orphan Asylum “went out on the Bowery to meet some other boys of his own aged” tonight “and has never been seen or heard of by any of his friends or relatives since”

1871: In Buffalo, NY, Samuel and Marie Weil Desbecker gave birth to

1873: Sir Julius Vogel begins serving his first term as Prime Minister of New Zealand.  Vogel was the first practicing Jew to hold this position.

1875: In Syracuse, NY, Solomon Silverstein and Esther Shevelson gave birth to Albert Silverstein the Yale graduate, “the assistant professor Orthopedic Surgery at the Denver and Gross College of Medicine” who served in the medical department of the United States Army…during the Spanish-American War and the Filipino Insurrection.”

1876(14th of Nissan, 5636): “Passover: The Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread” published today stated that “this evening will be marked by the peculiar ceremonies incident to the Jewish festival of "Pesach" or Passover. This festival, which is also known as the "feast of unleavened bread," continues for eight days, and, with the exception of the New-Year feast and the Day of Atonement, is more generally observed than any of the very numerous festal days in the Hebraic calendar.”

1876: In Amsterdam, Karel Abraham Wertheim and Henriette van Heikelom gave birth to Gustav Abraham Wertheim van Heukelom

1877: Two days after she had passed away, 84 year old Katherine Van Noorden, the wife of Moses Ezekiel Van Noorden with whom she had had ten children was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1879(15th of Nisan, 5639): Pesach

1879(15th of Nisan, 5639): In New York, Rabbi Frederick De Sola Mendes delivered the sermon at Shaarai Tefilla, Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs delivered the sermon at B’nai Jeshurun and Rabbi H.P. Mendes delivered the sermon at Shearith Israel.

1880: Birthdate of Minsk native Leopold Dubov, “the founder and first executive director of the Jewish Braille Institute of America who was blind since the age of six and raised on son, Mark, with his wife Regina.

1884: The Turkish government is a proclamation today “forbidding the immigration of Jews of any nationality, except for pilgrims who were restricted to a stay of thirty days.”

1884: In New York, German native Marks Arnheim and Fannie Arnheim gave birth to Minnie Z. Arnheim

1887(14th of Nisan, 5647): Rabbi Gustav Gottheill led the well-attended Passover eve services at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

1887: Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria was “among the mourners at Lucien Hirsch’s funeral” which was held today.

1887: Birthdate of Walter Supper, the native of Hamm who refused to divorce his Jewish his wife which ended his successful career as a screenwriter,

1887(14th of Nisan, 5647): “The Feast of the Passover” published today stated that “the celebration of Pesach, or the Passover, will begin at sunset this evening.  The feature of the celebration is the substitution of the matzoth or unleavened cakes for bread…”

1888: The tenth annual meeting of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society of Brooklyn was held today

1888: As of today there were 57 boys and 20 girls living at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn.

1890: Among the victims of a riot by 8,000 unemployed workers in Vienna were the several shops owned by Jews which were plundered by the mob.

1891: In Australia, Sir John Monash, who would lead the Aussies during World War I, married Hannah Victoria Moss. Their only child, Bertha, would be born 2 years later in 1893.  

1891: John Duncan is the architect for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society’s building now being built by Lynd Brothers. The new building will be 66 feet wide and 125 feet and will enable the society to double its capacity from 400 t0 800 orphans.  The $90,000 cost will be covered by raised by board members and prominent supports including Philip J. Joachimsen, the founder of the society and Moses Lauterbach, Chairman of the Advisory Board.

1891: U.S.N. Lt. Jonathan M. Emanuel, the native of England and current resident of Philadelphia retired today having served at sea for 15 years and 3 months.

1891: It was reported today that the self-inflicted gunshot wounds have proven to be fatal in the case of Siegfried Lewisohn, 28 year old German Jewish cheese importer who fired two bullets into his left breast after having grown despondent over the death of his wife.

1892: In the “Persecuted Jew” published today, a writer using the nom de plume “American Girl” expresses her belief that we can do more for the Jews whom she describes as persecuted outcast than answer “their call for bread” and calls upon the press to help right the wrongs done against these people.

1892: In Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Samuel Neutra, the “proprietor of a metal foundry” and Elizabeth “Betty” Glaser Neutra gave birth to “Austrian-American architect Richard Joseph Neutra.

1892: During today’s lecture on Jerusalem and the Holy land, John L. Stoddard displayed a large, rare photographic collection that included views of Jaffa and Jerusalem not seen by most Americans.

1892: Birthdate of Austrian native Michael Blaustein who moved to London sometime before his death in 1918.

1893(22nd of Nisan, 5653): 8th day of Pesach

1893: Birthdate of Ft. Wayne, Indiana native Samuel James Pearlman the graduate of the University of Chicago and Rush Medical College, the ear, nose and throat specialists who practiced in Chicago after serving in the Army during WW I both a Camp Grant and the U.S.A. base hospital at Sarenay, France.


1893: Karl Luger, a deputy in the Austrian parliament addressed an anti-Semitic rally in Vienna tonight “at which the Jews were violently denounced.”

1893: Cardinal Herbert Alfred Vaughn was appointed Archbishop of Westminster. According to Lawrence Jeffrey Epstein, once when Vaughn was having lunch with Dr, Hermann Adler, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, he asked "Now, Dr. Adler, when may I have the pleasure of helping you to some ham?" The rabbi responded: "At Your Eminence's wedding".

1894: In Breslau, Germany, Ida Korach and Markus Lowenberg gave birth to Erich Karl Löwenberg who gained fame as Erik Charell,a German theatre and film director, dancer and actor best known “as the creator of musical revues and operettas, such as The White Horse Inn (Im weißen Rössl) and The Congress Dances (Der Kongress tanzt).”

1895: Birthdate of Barney Gorodetsky who gained fame as comedian Bert Gordon known as “the Mad Russian.”

1895: “A package of clothing addressed to the United Hebrew Charities” was sold for $23 at today unclaimed parcels auction held by the American Express.  It was the highest price paid for any of the unclaimed items.

1895 (14th of Nisan, 5655): “The Feast of the Passover” published today describes the current status of the observance of Pesach.  “The celebration of Pesach…will be begun by the Jewish people throughout the world this evening…Those of the Jewish community who still cling to the orthodox observances of the Hebraic ritual continue the celebration of the festival for eight day, the first two and last two days of that period being observed as strict holy days.  Those who have accepted the modern or reform ritual celebrate only the first and the last day of the festival.”

1896: Lewis May, President of Temple Emanu El has sent “a communication” the Union Veteran Hebrew Association offering the use of the city’s synagogues for memorial services.  Among those planning for the Memorial Day celebration are Isaac Eckstein, Isaac J. Siskin and Otto Lassner.

1896: A committee of the New York State Board of Charities that has been investigating the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child Protectory submitted its report this afternoon.

1896: “Jews In Our Wars” published today provided a detailed review of The American Jew As A Patriot, Soldier and Citizen, a book written to counter the claims of anti-Semites had shirked their role as soldiers in the United States.

1896: “Scenes in the Orient” published a review of A Cruise Under the Crescent a travel book that includes descriptions of visits to Jerusalem, by Charles Warren Stoddard in which the author “tells of that vexation all travelers feel as the authenticity of the shrines in Palestine”

1897(6th of Nisan, 5657): Eighty-two year old Hungarian rabbi and Talmudic scholar Samuel Low Brill passed away.

1897: Birthday of Zhovka native Sir Hersh Lauterpacht, “a member of the United Nations' International Law Commission from 1952 to 1954 and a Judge of the International Court of Justice from 1955 to 1960.”

1897: Karl Lueger, the anti-Semitic politician, began his services as Mayor of Vienna. Historians do not agree as to the depth of Lueger’s anti-Semitism.  Some, including Amos Elon contend it was more of a political ruse designed to garner votes and power. 

1897: Birthdate of Jo Swerling, the native of Berdichev who grew up on the Lower East Side and became a leading lyricist and writer.

1897: In an article describing the Jewish observance of the Blessing of the New Sun, the New York Times reports that synagogue records “show that the new sun service has been conducted by orthodox Hebrews in this country at intervals of twenty-eight years for 180 years.”

1898(16th of Nisan, 5658): Second Day of Pesach

1898:  Birthdate of E Y "Yip" Harburg.  Born Isidore Hochberg, to Orthodox Jewish parents on New York's lower east side, Harburg appears to have enjoyed a reasonably happy childhood with his parents exposing to him art, literature and the Yiddish theatre.  After trying his hand at everything from journalism to selling appliances, Hochberg began a successful career as a lyricist during the depths of the Great Depression.  His first financial and artistic angel was Ira Gershwin.  Harburg wrote the words to the Depression hit "Brother Can You Spare A Dime."  While you may not know his name, anybody who has seen the Wizard of Oz, has heard several Harburg hits.  Harburg's career disintegrated during the Red Scare of the 1950's.  He died in an automobile accident in 1961.


1899: “The Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum” is scheduled to “give its fourth annual amateur performance” this “evening at the Lexington Opera House.”

1899: The approximately 10,000 members of various trade unions who were taking part in the Socialist and Organized Labor Day Parade paused at Greene Street and Washington Place, and stood in front of the ruins of the Asch Building where 145 people many of them young Jews lost their lives in the recent Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

1899: A review published today of The Bible and Its Transmission by Dr. W.A. Coplinger which is an historical and bibliographical view of the Hebrew and Greek texts, notes that it contains illustrations from the first printed portion of the Hebrew Bible which was completed in 1447 in Bologna

1899: Benjamin Weinstein and official of the Hebrew Trades Union was among the speakers who addressed those participating in the Socialist Labor Day Parade.

1900: Birthdate of Gavriel Mullokandov, the native of Samarkand who was regarded by some “as the greatest Bukharian Jewish singer and musician.”

1901(19th of Nisan. 5661): Fifth Day of Pesacch

1901(19th of Nisan, 5661): Forty-nine year old I.H. Goldblatt who resided at 154 Attorney Street passed away today

1902: Birthdate of Josef Alois Krips the Austrian conductor and violinist who left his homeland during the Nazi period because his father’s Jewish would have precluded him from pursuing his career (and might have led to an eventual trip to a concentration camp.)

1903: “A Servian Coup D’Etat published today described King Alexander’s moves to undermine the Serbian Constitution which would lead to his assassination in June of 1903 which would lead to the assassination in 1914 that started the flow of blood, including Jewish blood that did not stop until the end of the Holocuast.

1904(23rd of Nisan, 5664): In Frankfort-on-Main, author Chaim M. Horowitz passed away.

1905(3rd of Nisan, 5665): Parashat Tazria

1905(3rd of Nisan, 5665): Seventy-seven year old Philadelphian Barnett Phillips, the son of London native Isaac Phillips and husband of Sarah Moss who was a banker, member of the Philadelphia City Council and founder of the American Jewish Historical Society passed away today.

1906(11th of Nisan, 5666): Solomon Marks, the London born son of “Elizabeth and George Joel Marks” and the husband of Benvenida “Welcome” Marks passed away today in the United Kingdom.

1907: A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Federation of American Zionist was held this evening in New York where the attendees discussed “the finances of the Federation and the upcoming convention at Tannersville.

1908: Harvard University votes to establish the Harvard Business School. Among its Jewish graduates are Donna Dubinksy, Gabi Ashkenazi, Len Blavatnik, Michael Bloomberg, Stephen Allen Schwarzman and Rober

1908: The Passover Relief Association of Harlem distributed 2,000 pounds of Matzah, 300 pounds of coffee and other items necessary to celebrate the upcoming holiday of Passover to the needy east side Jews today.

1909: “A special dispatch received” in St. Petersburg “from Pyatigorsk, a town in Ciscaucasia said the that he Governor…has issued orders that Jews are to be denied admission to the heal restorts in the Caucasus during the coming season” and that “Jewish musicians are barred from playing in Government Orchestras.

1910: In New York City Saul Henry Ganz, a native of Junction City, KS and Ruth Ganz gave birth to Paul Henry Ganz.

1910: Large Jewish owned mercantile houses in Salonika announce 1% of all cash takings will go toward the cost of new Turkish warships.

1911: In St. Paul, MN, Russian immigrants Elias Calvin and Rose Herwitz gave birth to Nobel Prize Winner Melvin Ellis Calvin.

1911: In the Bronx, Morris Kaplan a candy store owner who worked as a textile cutter and his wife gave birth to Judge Benjamin Kaplan, “who as an Army officer helped craft the indictment of the Nazi war criminals who were tried at Nuremberg, and who later became a Harvard law professor and served nine years on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1912(21st of Nisan, 5672) Seventh Day of Pesach

1912: A Congressman from Missouri introduced a bill today supported by Jewish and other charitable organizations that would create “a special board of inquiry to examine those aliens who have failed to pass the tests imposed by immigration officials.

1913: Twenty-nine-old Rabbi Samuel Buchler, the Budapest born son of Morris and Fanny (Reiner) Buchler and chaplain at Sing Sing Priso who served as deputy attorney general for the State of New York who was disbarred after having been charged with grand larceny for taking money from clients and then not performing the promised services married Ida Frost today.

1913: Today, Dr. David Monash married Edith Mayer, the daughter of Ida Mayer at her home at 3814 Grand Blvd.

1914: In the Bronx, William Popper, the Vienna born son of Johanna and Herman Joseph Popper and his wife “Annie Popper” gave birth to Herman Popper.

1915(24th of Nisan, 5675): Sixty-five year old New York William Gans who had been a partner with fellow attorney Samuel B. Hamburger for 35 years and who was active in numerous Jewish charities and fraternal organizations including the Maimonides Library of which he was President, passed away today.

1916: As of today, The Special Million Dollar Fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee “is nearing the $4,000,000 mark.”

1917(16th of Nisan, 5677): Second Day of Pesach as the United States gears up to fight in World War I.1917: Dr. Felix Adler delivered a talk on “The National Crisis” today in which he expressed his “disagreement with the pacifists and upheld the country’s right to enter the war” as long as American did not lose “their horror of war and fought with a sense of shame that the state of the world was such they had to fight.”

1917: “The Jewish League of American Patriots announced that Samuel Untermyer, head of the league” will be going to Washington, D.C. “to confer with the Secretary of War.”

1917: The Jewish League of American Patriots “sent a request to the Park Department” in New York City, “for the use of Seward Park and Jackson Park for drilling grounds.”

1917: “Ambassador Gerard spoke for a few minutes” today “at a fair and concert at the Star Casino” which was being held  to “raise $5,000 for Jewish war sufferers at Warsaw” and “said he had made arrangements before leaving Switzerland for continuation of the transmission of funds to Jewish victims of the war in Poland.”

1917: Today, Herbert S. Goldstein announced “his resignation as Associate Rabbi Congregation Kehilath Jesharun at 117 East Eighty-Fifth Street.

1917: Sir Mark Sykes wrote to the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, “That the French were hostile to the notion of bringing the United States into Palestine as a patron of Zionism.”

1917: Chaim Weizmann cabled Louis Brandeis, advising that "an expression of opinion coming from yourself and perhaps other gentlemen connected with the Government in favor of a Jewish Palestine under a British protectorate would greatly strengthen our hands."

1918: The Immigration Restriction League was instrumental in getting Congress to consider a legistlation that was designed to reduce the number of immigrants coming from Southern Eastern Europe including the large number of Russian and Romanian Jews whose co-religionists had been finding refuge in the United States since the 1880’s

1918: During World War I, Charlie Chaplin led a group of Hollywood stars in selling war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.

1919: According to a message received in Copenhagen today from the Press Bureau, “the German national government will not recognize the new Soviet Republic of Bavaria” whose leaders included Ernst Toller.

1920(20th of Nisan, 5680): The Sixth Day of Pesach

1920: After days of Arab rioting, Jews in Jerusalem are able to observe a day of the holiday in peace.

1923(22nd of Nisan, 5683): 8th day of Pesach

1926: “Mrs. Abram I. Elkus, Chairman of the Women’s Division in the United Jewish Campaign in New York to raise $500,000 of the city’s $6,000,000 quota fro relief and rehabliation of Jews in Eastern Europe announced” today “that Mrs. Alfred E. Smith, the wife of the Governor and Mrs. James. J. Walker, wife of the Mayor, would in association with Mrs. Jacob H. Schiff as honorary chairman of the Women’s Division in” New York City.

1926: Birthdate of Sheldon Greenfield, the Chicago native who gained fame as comedian Shecky Greene

1927: “Bishop Dunn Praises Work In Palestine” published today described the views of “The Right Reverend John J. Dunn, Bishop Auxiliary of the Diocese of New York who had just returned to the United States who “spoke with enthusiasm of the improvements brought about” in Palestine “by the Zionists” and said “it is impossible to say enough for the work done there” under the leadership of Nathan Straus which will “within ten years” make “Palestine…one of the most thriving sections of the world.

1928: In Manhattan Anna Evelyn (née Gritz) and Harry Ebb the lyricist best known for his work with composer John Kander which gave the world the long-running Broadway musical “Cabaret.”

1929: In Tel Aviv, Sir John Chancellor, the High Commissioner to Palestine, presided over the opening of the fourth Palestine and Near East exhibition.

1930: Mickey Cohen fought his first professional bout in Cleveland, Ohio

1930: During a visit to Palestine where he is gathering material for a novel based on Jacob and Joseph, Nobel Prize winning author Thomas Mann compared Zionism “in its ideals and purposes to the Romantic movement among the Germans in the 19th century.”  Mann was especially impressed by the Jews of Tel Aviv who seemed “freer and happier” than Jews living elsewhere.  “He believes that Tel Aviv has a bright future because of the wide-awakeness and intellectuality of its people.”

1931: Publication of “When Judge Cardozo Writes” by Felix Frankfurter, a case of one future Jewish Supreme Court Justice writing about another future Jewish Supreme Court Justice.

1932: It was reported today that Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler has “reserved decision on the application to have a receiver appointed for the New York State asses of the New York United Hotels, Inc.

1933: Ludwig Kaas met Vice Chancellor Von Papen who was on his to offer a Reichskonkordat to the Vatican met on the train to Rome

1933: The Nazi German Student Association “drafted it twelve ‘theses’ which attacked ‘Jewish intellectualism’” and which claimed they were “a response to a worldwide Jewish smear campaign against Germany.”

1935: Birthdate of Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb.  Along with John Kinder he created numerous musicals including Chicago and Cabaret.

1935: “Sanders of the River” produced by Alexander Korda and directed by Zoltán Korda, who received “the first of his four nominations for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival” for this effort was released today in the United Kingdom.

1935: Congressional legislation created the Works Progress Administration, which developed millions of jobs for the unemployed. WPA agencies placed 8.5 million Americans on the federal payroll, including hundreds of Yiddish actors, writers, scene designers and theater directors hired for the administration’s Federal Theatre Project. Among those directly employed by the WPA was economist Solomon Adler.

1936(16th of Nisan, 5696): 2nd day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1936(16th of Nisan, 5696): Robert Bárány, who won the Noble Prize for Medicine in 1914, passed away.

1936: “A total world Jewish population of 16, 240,000 of whom 5,000,000 or 30 percent live in the Americas was reported to by the Jewish Scientific Institute.”

1936: “A feature of Reich Bishop Ludwig Mueller’s Germanization of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is the elimination of all references to Jerusalem, King Solomon, Pharisees and scribes, laws and prophets and the Ten Commandments as made in the Gospel according to Mathew” because “these references were held to be Jewish and therefore to be rejected.”

1936: It was reported today that effective April 12, Easter Sunday, “all Jewish school children from 6 to 14 years of age must leave public schools.”

1936: For the second day in a row Mr. and Mrs. Joseph L. Buttenweiser opened their home to the public where visitors paid a dollar to view their art collection with the proceeds going to the fund being raised in the United States to settle Jewish refugees from Europe in Palestine.

1937:  Birthdate of Seymour Hersh.  A graduate of the University of Chicago, Hersh is a Pulitzer Award winning reporter for the New York Times.  

1937: The Palestine Post reported from London that there was some concern among members of the House of Commons over rumors of the possibility that the Royal (Peel) Commission on Palestine might propose partition. Col. J.C. Wedgwood, MP, declared that the proposed partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state meant "the scuttling of British responsibilities under the Mandate."

1938: In Laupheim, Germany as the Nazis tightened the economic noose around the neck of the Jews, “the Jewish cattle traders were allocated a separate part on the weekly cattle market

1938: It was reported today that Louis Blaustein, a leader in the oil industry whose estate was valued at $1,500,884 left a half million dollars for “charitable foundation to be known as the Louis and Henrietta Blaustein Foundation” and left the rest of the estate to his wife Henrietta, a son Jacob and two daughters, Ruth and Fanny.

1939: In Philadelphia, PA, Margaret Doris Bruck and Albert H. Schart gave birth to Trina Schart Hyman, artist and book illustrator who won the Caldecott Medal in 1985.

1939: In Hungary, “the First Jewish Bill was tabled today about a month after the annexation of Austria.”

1940:  Soviet troops began the massacre of what would finally total 26,000 Polish officers in Katyn Forest near Smolensk, Russia. Many Jews were among the victims.

1940: Just weeks after the end of the Winter War in which the Soviet Union successfully attacked and defeated Finland in New York, the Consul General of Finland and the President of Manischewitz attended a ceremony where it was announced that the company was donating 5,000 pounds of unleavened bread that is being shipped to the little country’s Jewish population just in time for the observance of Passover.

1940: At 1:00 pm today FDR had lunch with New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman at Hyde Park.

1941: According to some sources the Nazis established Kielce (Poland) ghetto today. Others report that the ghetto was actually established on March 31, 1941.  Regardless, there is no conflict that the ghetto was liquidated in August, 1942 when 21,000 Jews were sent to Treblinka.  A remnant was shipped to Auschwitz in August of 1944.   Kielce's real claim to fame is that on July 4, 1946, the returning Jews were subjected to "an old-fashioned Nazi Pogrom" complete with tales of the blood libel.

1942: Two year old Eldad Davidovics was deported from Brno to Terezin today.

1942: The Crimean Peninsula was declared Juednfrei or Jew Free.  When the Nazis and their allies took the Crimea (part of the Soviet Union) in October of 1941, the Jewish population numbered between fifty and sixty thousand.  The Einsatzgruppen Units (special squads assigned to murder Jews) with the help of the local population took part in what was to date, the worst "ethnic cleansing" of the war.

1942: Nora Kaye's performance as Hagar in the world premiere of "Pillar of Fire" at the Ballet Theatre established her as one of the world's prima ballerinas.

1943(3rd of Nisan, 5703): Itamar Ben-Avi the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who revived Hebrew as a modern language, passed away while working as journalist in New York City. (For more see Itamar Ben-Avi by Frederick P. Miller)

1943(3rd of Nisan, 5703): The Nazis began executing Jews near Ternopol in the Ukraine.  By the time they finish on the following day, one thousand Jews will have been murdered. One thousand Jews are executed near Ternopol, Ukraine.

1943: In Buffalo, NY, Helen Ternoff who was Jewish and her husband Salvatore DiFiglia who was not gave birth to Michael Bennett DiFiglia who gained fame as seven-time Tony Award winning choreographer Michael Bennett.

1944(15th of Nisan, 5704): Pesach

1944: The Jewish Agency telegraphed from Istanbul to Jerusalem that the steamship Maritza carrying 244 Jewish refugees from Romania had arrived that day in the Turkish port and that the passenger would be leaving in two days’ time by train for Palestine.

1945: At Buchenwald at noon Polish engineer Gwidon Damazyn, an inmate since March 1941, and Russian prisoner Konstantin Ivanovich Leonov sent the Morse code message prepared by leaders of the prisoners' underground resistance.

1945: Hans von Dohnányi, who would be recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, was executed today at Sachsenhausen concentration camp for his role in resistance to Hitler.

This included smuggling Jews out of Germany, seeing to it that their funds were transferred to where they could access them and for his role in the plot to kill Hitler.

1945: Betty Warner and Milton Sperling gave birth to their second child Karen who was one of the granddaughters of Harry Warner.

1945: On the night before he was hung by the Nazis, along with General Hans Oster and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris “tapped out a coded message on the wall of his cell on the night before his execution, in which he denied he was a traitor and said he acted out of duty to his country

1946: Golda Meir, a leader of the Jewish Agency received the following telegram.  “We are 1100 Jewish refugees.  We sailed from Spezia for Palestine-our last hope.  Police arrested us on board.   We won’t leave the ship!  We demand permission to continue to Eretz-Israel Be warned:  we will sink with the ship if we are not allowed to continue to Palestine, because we cannot be more desperate.”

1946: Margaret and Hans Rey (the creator of Curious George) became United States Citizens. [Louise Borden has written a cute, fascinating tale about the Rey’s entitled “The Journey That Saved Curious George”.

1947:  Henry Ford, the creator of the Model-T passed away.  Ford may have had his moments as an industrialist, but he proved to be a notorious anti-Semite.  Among other things, he published and disseminated untold numbers of copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  Ford actually believed this notorious fabrication.  His later apology was treated with various degrees of belief and disbelief.  For several decades, there were many Jews who would not by a Ford product.

1948: In New York, about 1,500 large concern in the garment and needle trades industries closed shop at 4 P.M. to per employees to part in” “the special services of prayer and intercession for Palestine” being held in temples and synagogues throughout the city.

1948: “Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the Administrative council of the Zionist Organization of America “denounced the arms embargo that forbids the shipment of weapons to the Jewish people in Palestine” while “speaking at the Congregation Sons of Israel at Woodmere, Long Island. 

1949: “Again” a popular song with music by Lionel Newman which had been recorded by Mel Tormé reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart today and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at #11

1949: Mel Tormé recording of “Blue Moon” by Rogers and Hart reached the Best Seller chart today where it lasted for five weeks.

1950: In Tel Aviv, Australian Jack Harper won the singles title of Israel’s International Open Tennis Tournament.

1950: After 380 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Miss Liberty” directed my Moss Hart and choreographed by Jerome Robbins

1950: As the condition of the Jews in Iraq worsened, today, "the Zionist organization in Iraq call on all Iraqi Jews who wished to do so to register for emigration"  to Israel. The plight of the Jews of this ancient community had become so desperate that within three weeks "47,000 Jews" would present "themselves at registration centers in the main synagogues.  They did so despite the fact that they had to sign a declaration renouncing their Iraqi citizenship forever and effectively surrendering most of their property and goods.

1951(2nd of Nisan, 5711): Sixty-eight year old Chicago native Harry Salinger, the Jenner Medical College trained physician who pursued a career a banking which led him to be Vice President of the First National Bank of Chicago who married Ciel Gruneweald after the death of his first wife Rae Davis passed away today.

1952: It was reported today that Hungarian born author and playwright Ferenc Molnar had died intestate and  that his third wife Lili Darvas Monar and his daughter Martha were seeking to be recognized as the heirs to his estate.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from The Hague that reparations talks were suspended after Germany found only a $750m.justification for the joint Jewish-Israeli claim for $1,000m. Later Germany expressed surprise at the Israeli claim that the talks were suspended. The Israeli delegation reported that it had found the German statement completely unsatisfactory and that it would report fully to the Israeli government for consideration, review and decision.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that The IDF graduated 600 cadets of all services, the largest number ever trained to become officers

1953: Sixteen year old J. David Bleich walked outside of his father’s synagogue in Lewiston, PA where he joined congregants in Birkat Hachmah, Blessing the Sun

1956(27th of Nisan, 5716): Sixty-seven year old Lithuanian native Zee (Wolf) Gold who served as a rabbi for congregations in Chicago, San Francisco and New York passed away today.

1957: Four years after opening on Broadway with the help of Anna Sakolow, “Camino Rea”l opened in London today.

1957(7th of Nisan, 5717): Eighty-eight-year-old NYU and Oskaloosa College (IA) alum Rabbi Adolph Spiegel the Galicia born son of Mathias and Sarah Leah (Fassberg) Spiegel and the husband of Anna Krebs whose quarter of a century of as rabbi included serving as a chaplain during the Spanish American War during which he “started the first Jewish Congregation in Puerto Rico” passed away today.

1959: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward gave birth to Elinor Teresa “Nell” Newman who run’s “Newman’s Own Organics.”

1960: “Wake Me When It’s Over” directed and produced by Mervyn LeRoy and co-starring Dick Shawn was released in the United States today.

1961(22nd of Nisan, 5721): Eighth Day of Pesach and Shabbat

1961: In Sheffield, UK, South African-born psychiatrist Professor Issy Pilowsky and his wife Marl gave birth to Lyn Sara Pilowsky who followed in her father’s footsteps and became a doctor of psychiatry.

1962: Governor Ralph M Paiewonsky of the Virgin Islands expressed gratification today over the message President Kenney sent to Congress recommending that the islands get the right to elect their own Governor.”

1963(14th of Nisan, 5723): Ta’anit Bechorot and Erev Pesach

1964: “The Strangler” produced by Samuel Bischoff was released in the United States today.

1965(6th of Nisan, 5725):Sixty-seven year old Manitoba native and U. CA. trained attorney Henry Joseph Sapper, the social worker with the YMHA and the Jewish Commission for Personal Service passed away today in Oakland, CA.;titlesAZ=h;idT=UCb239063090

1966: Al Davis became Commissioner of the American Football League today.

1966: At a time when theologians such as Richard Rubenstein were questioning the role of God in a post-Holocaust world, Time magazine published its famous “Death of God” issue today.

1967(27th of Adar II 5727): Parashat Tazria; Shabbat HaCodesh

1968(10th of Nisan, 5728): Sixty-nine year old  Bialystok native Jacob Perlman who came to the United States in 1912, earned all three of his college degrees at the University of Wisconsin and went on to become a world class economist while raising two children with “his wife, the former Helen Aronson” passed away today.

1968: In the aftermath of the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Larry Rosen, the owner of Smith’s Pharmacy in Washington, D.C. returned to find his family owned business gutted by looters.

1969: The Montreal Expos Baseball team, which were owned by Charles Bronfman from the team's formation in 1968 until 1990, beat the Mets at Shea Stadium in the team’s first game.

1970: During “The War Of Attrition” while carrying out a bombing mission that struck an “Egyptian military target west of the Suez Canal, the IAF mistakenly hit a school at Bahr el-Baqar killing 46 school children and injuring another fifty.

1970: “Entertaining Mr. Sloane,” a comedy filmed by cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky was released in the United Kingdom today

1970: “Cry for Us All” directed by Albert Marre with music by Mitch Leigh opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre.

1971(12th of Nisan, 5731): Eighty-eight year old Norman Bentwich “a British barrister,” committed Zionist, who “was the British-appointed attorney-general of Mandatory Palestine” passed away today.

1971: San Francisco Giants pitcher Steve Stone appeared in his first major league baseball game.

1974(16th of Nisan, 5734): Second Day of Pesach

1974(16th of Nisan, 5734): Sixty-four year old Chicago born Illinois graduate and Dr. of Ophthalmology passed away today in Palm Springs, CA.

1975(27th of Nisan, 5735): Yom HaShoah

 1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had resigned from his post and said that he would not lead the Labor Party into the May elections. Rabin took this decision in the wake of new revelations concerning the illegal bank account he and his wife Leah held in a US bank. Defense Minister Shimon Peres was expected to be nominated as the Labor Party's candidate for premiership. (.Author’s note:  During the promising days of the Oslo Accords, many forgot that Rabin had been Prime Minister once before.  He was forced out of office over a financial scandal stemming from his days as Ambassador to the United States.  This seemingly minor matter not only sidetracked his career, it opened the way for the first victory of the Likud Party.)

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Tel Aviv Maccabi won the European basketball championship in a thrilling victory, 78-77, over Mobilgirgi of Varese, Italy.

1980(22nd of Nisan, 5740): 8th day of Pesach

1980(22nd of Nisan, 5740): Fifty year old Vanderbilt University Phi Beta Kappa graduate Peter Farb, the linguist and author of such books as Man’s Rise to Civilization and Word Play: What Happens People Talk, the New York City born son of Solomon and Cecilia Farb and the husband of the former Oriole Horch with whom he had two sons – Mark and Thomas – passed away today.

1981: Rabbi J. David Bleich, a professor at Yeshiva University, climbs to the roof a converted brownstone that doubled as a small synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to lead the service Birkat Hachamah.

1982(15th of Nisan, 5742): Pesach

1982: According to his notebook, Daniel Shechtman, made his breakthrough discovery while studying a metal mix of aluminum and manganese. Shechtman, a professor of materials science at Technion went on to win the Noble Prize for Chemistry.

1984: At the Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn, Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg officiated at the wedding of Legal Aid Yale trained attorney Laura Ellen Potter and Morton David Cahn 2d, the New England Conservatory of Music grad turned “computer consultant.”

1984: CBS broadcast the first episode of the miniseries “George Washington” co-starring Stephen Macht as “General Benedict Arnold.”

1985(17th of Nisan, 5745): Third Day of Pesach

1985: “Leader of the Pack,” a musical with lyrics and music by Ellie Greenwich and co-starring Dinah Manoff which New York Times reviewer called “an embarrassment” opened on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre.

1986: The funeral for Yiddish actor Pesach Burstein is scheduled to be held today at Riverside Memorial Chapel.

1988: “18 Again!” a comedy co-starring George Burns and Red Buttons and featuring Pauly Shore was released today in the United States.

1989: After having been diagnosed with liver cancer,  Dahn Ben-Amotzheld a farewell party at the "Hamam" club in Jaffa, to which he invited 150 acquaintances” including “Amos Keinan (a former rival), Amos Oz, Meir Shalev, Gila Almagor, Yaakov Agmon, Shlomo Artzi, Yosef Lapid, Yehudit Ravitz and Nurit Galron” after which “he made a trip to the US, to say goodbye to his children from his first marriage.

1991: Michael Landon announced he has inoperable cancer of the pancreas

1991: “I Hate Hamlet” written by Paul Rudnick premiered at the Walter Kerr Theatre today.

1993: Eli Ben-Menachem became Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction.

1994: Pope John Paul II welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Rome to the Vatican today as guest of honor at a concert to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

1994: “Leprechaun 2” a slasher film directed by Rodman Flender was released in the United States today.

1995: A staged concert of “Anyone Can Whistle, a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim” “was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City as a benefit for the Gay Men's Health Crisis that “was recorded by Columbia Records, preserving for the first time musical passages and numbers not included on the original Broadway cast recording.”

1996(19th of Nisan, 5756): Argentine film director León Klimovsky passed away. “A trained dentist, born in Buenos Aires on October 16, 1906, his real passion was always the cinema. He pioneered Argentine cultural movement known as cineclub and financed the first movie theater to show art movies. He also founded Argentina's first film club in 1929. After participating as scriptwriter and assistant director of 1944's Se abre el abismo he filmed his first movie, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Player. From this first phase, it can be also highlighted the adaptations of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo and Ernesto Sabato's The Tunnel. On the 1950s Klimovsky settled in Spain, where he becomes a "professional" director. He went into spaghetti westerns and so-called exploitation films, filming in Mexico, Italy and Egypt. Perhaps he is best remembered for his contribution to Spain's horror film genre, beginning with La noche de Walpurgis. León Klimovsky confessed to have always dreamt of doing great vanguard movies but ended on filming commercial ones, but without remorse, as doing cinema was a vocational mandate for him. On 1995 he won the "Honor Award" of the Spanish Film Director Association. He died in Madrid of a heart attack. He was brother to the Argentine mathematician and philosopher Gregorio Klimovsky.”

2000: “Israel Plans a Test for Wagner” published today described plans for an upcoming concert by the Israel Orchestra of Rishon Lezion which will include Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll.”

2001(15th of Nisan, 5761): American Jews observe the first Pesach under President George Bush.

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews, 1958-1996” by Allen Ginsberg; edited by David Carter, “Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland” by Jan T. Gross and “After Progress: American Social Reform and European Socialism in the Twentieth Century” by Norman Birnbaum.

2002: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon conveyed the goals to the Knesset as being "to catch and arrest terrorists and, primarily, their dispatchers and those who finance and support them; to confiscate weapons intended to be used against Israeli citizens; to expose and destroy facilities and explosives, laboratories, weapons production factories and secret installations. The orders are clear: target and paralyze anyone who takes up weapons and tries to oppose our troops, resists them or endangers them - and to avoid harming the civilian population."

2002(26th of Nisan, 5762): During Operation Defensive  Shield “St.-Sgt. Matanya Robinson, 21, of Kibbutz Tirat Zvi, and Sgt. Shmuel Weiss, 19, of Kiryat Arba were killed by terrorist in Jenin

2002: Efraim "Effi” Eitam was appointed Minister without Portfolio

2002: “Just after the conclusion of Passover, United Jewish Communities, a national group of 160 Jewish federations, announced a special Israel emergency fund. The organization has already collected $100 million.


2003(6th of Nisan, 5763): Eighty-eight year old Franz Rosenthal, the Sterling professor emeritus of Arabic at Yale, passed away today.

2004: Three days after he had passed away funeral services are scheduled to be held for Abraham Altus, the husband of Lillian AltusZ”L and “esteemed member” of The Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Center at the Boulevard Riverside Chapels.

2005: “Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that Israel should consider not demolishing the evacuated buildings in the Gaza Strip, with the exception of synagogues (due to fears of their potential desecration, which eventually did occur), since it would be more costly and time consuming. This contrasted with the original plan by the Prime Minister to demolish all vacated buildings.”

2005: The alphabetic ordering of leaders during the funeral of Pope John Paul II resulted in Moshe Katsav sitting near Iranian President Mohammad Khatami who, like Katsav, was born in the Iranian city of Yazd

2006: Observance of Shabbat Hagadol.

2006: Harvard grad and Marine Corps veteran Joel David Kaplan began serving was White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy today.

2006: Haaretz reported that Algeria, Israel and Morocco have agreed to join NATO counter-terrorism naval patrols in the Mediterranean, the organization. The announcement was made in Rabat after the NATO group’s first meeting in an Arab country.

2007: At The Jewish Museum of Maryland an exhibition styled “The Other Promised Land: Vacationing, Identity, and the Jewish - American Dream” closes.  This exhibition, the first of its kind in the U.S., evokes the experiences and meanings in Jewish vacationing from the 1880s to the present. The Other Promised Land highlights legendary "Jewish" vacation destinations including Miami Beach, Atlantic City, and the Catskills -- showing how vacations represented the excitement and promise of America while shaping notions of Jewish and American identities. A full-color, book-length catalog accompanies the exhibition.

 2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of The Grand Surprise:
The Journals of Leo Lerman
written by Leo Lerman and edited by Stephen Pascal and My Holocaust by  Tova Reich, “a shocking novel rips those who trivialize the Holocaust.”

2007: The New York Times reviewed books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Polish Woman” by Eva Meker “a meticulous, raw study of the uneasy relationship between Catholic and Jewish Poles. In New York in 1967, Karolina Staszek, a Polish immigrant, becomes consumed with the suspicion that she is a Jew who had been placed with a Catholic family during World War II. The Jewish family in question, the Landaus, find the story seductive but improbable — until Karolina reveals a battery of memories unlikely to be the invention of even the canniest con artist. Told without artifice or irony, Mekler’s story of multigenerational immigration owes more to coolly composed novels like Lore Segal’s “Her First American” than to impressive acts of literary contortion like Nicole Krauss’s “History of Love.” Despite its literary trappings, “The Polish Woman” is also a straightforward mystery, littered with clues, red herrings and narrators who always know less than the reader. When Karolina first confides in Philip Landau, he suddenly recalls the warning of his parents, who escaped Poland: “The Poles were the worst, they’d declared over and over, with the pain and bitterness of personal betrayal, the worst.” When the two eventually travel to Poland to prove Karolina’s claim, they are also chasing these brief flashes of recognition, which tell the story of their shared past better than a tattered birth certificate — and explain why they have both become phantoms in their own lives. By the time the ending veers into John Grisham territory, Mekler has already transcended plot in favor of uncompromising examination.”

2008(3rd of Nisan, 5768): Eighty-five year old Bible scholar David Noel Freedman passed away. (As reported by Barry Jagoda)

2008(3rd of Nisan, 5768): Thirty­-two year old Major Mark Rosenberg was today, in Baghdad when his vehicle was struck by a makeshift bomb. (As reported by Maia Efrem)

Read more:

2008: The Foreign Affairs Symposium at Johns Hopkins University hosts a lecture by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz co-author of “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict”, at the university's Homewood Campus in Baltimore, Md.

2008: Standing up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times by Amy and David Goodman was published today.

2008: Today, schools from kindergarten through 12th grade participate in a nationwide Home Front drill simulating a surprise missile attack during which a warning siren will sound for a minute and a half.

2008: Publication of the paperback edition of A Tragic Legacy by Glenn Greenwald.

2008: “Rothko Kin Sue to Transfer His Remains” published today describes the dispute over attempts to move the body of Mark Rothko, the Jewish abstract expressionist.

2009: In “A Bread Line (Unleavened, Please) for Passover” published today, Alison Cowan described the baking of matzo in 19th century New York as well as the distribution of this Pesach necessity to the city’s Poor.

2009: Birkat Hachamah – Blessing The Sun (once every 28 years)

2009: At 6:22 a.m. this morning the sun will peak over the imposing 800-million-year-old mountains of Edom, bathing the Arava Valley below in light, and triggering one of the rarest and least-known Jewish rituals: Birkat Hahama, the Blessing of the Sun, is celebrated every 28 years in Jewish communities around the world, across the spectrum of Jewish observance.

2009 (14th of Nissan 5769):  Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

2009(14th of Nissan, 5769: Fast of the First Born; In the evening, first Seder

2010: David Remnick appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he promoted “The Bridge,” his biography of Barak Obama.

2010: An exhibition entitled “Painting to Remember: The Destroyed Synagogues of Germany by Alexander Dettmar” sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to open tonight.

2010: A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian militants today hit an open area along the coast of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported. The rocket struck Israel just hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal this week to stop militants in the Gaza Strip from firing rockets against Israel.

2010: Paul Goldberger delivered the keynote address “Preservation: Where Do We Go From Here?” at the Indiana State Preservation Conference.

2010: A month after previews had begun at the Lunt-Fontaine Theater, “The Addams Family” with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman with Bebe Neuwirth as “Morticia” and Jackie Hoffman as “Grandma Addams” officially opened tonight on Broadway.

2011: “The biggest sports event in Israel” is scheduled to take place today with the running of the Tel Aviv Marathon.

2011: Esterika Gourmet Cuisine and Larry & Mindy are scheduled to celebrate the end of winter and coming of spring with a culinary and musical Kabbalat Shabbat in Jerusalem.

2011(14th of Nisan, 2011): Fast of the First Born

2011(14th of Nisan, 2011): Hedda Sterne, “an artist whose association with the Abstract Expressionists became fixed forever when she appeared prominently in a now-famous 1951 Life magazine photograph of the movement’s leading lights” passed away today at the age of 100.  (As reported by William Grimes)

2011(14th of Nisan, 2011):  Sixty-six year old Eddie Phillips, a successful liquor industry entrepreneur and the son of classic advice columnist Dear Abby, (aka Pauline Phillips), died at home in Minneapolis today. Phillips was active as a philanthropist, expanding the Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota started by his grandfather and pouring money into community needs, African-American heritage and medical research, including engineering a $10 million donation for research into Alzheimer’s at the Mayo Clinic after his mother contracted the ailment.

2011(4th of Nisan):  On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit of the 77 civilian doctors, nurses and other medical workers who were murdered by Arab attackers as they drove to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem.

2011: Four additional rockets were fired at Ashkelon today and three were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the IDF announced, adding that it had bombed the terror cell that had fired the rockets, identifying a direct hit.

2011: In an air strike that was executed this afternoon, IAF jets bombed smuggling tunnels in Rafah. Palestinian sources reported that a fire broke out in the area, and postulate that the bomb hit a pipeline through which fuel was being smuggled.  

2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including ‘No Time Like the Present’ by Nadine Gordimer.

2012(16th of Nisan): Second Day of Pesach; first day of the Omer

2013(28th of Nisan, 5773): Yom Hashoah

2013(28th of Nisan, 5773): Fifty-one year old Greg Kramer passed away.

2013: The Yiddishspiel Theater is scheduled to hold a ceremony to mark 70 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the morning of Yom Hashoah, with actors reading and telling about the days prior to the rebellion

2013: The Mediatheque Theater in Holon is scheduled toperform Gila Almagor’s autobiographical play, “Summer of Aviya,” about a summer in the life of child of survivors, during the early days of statehood.

2013: “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus,” is scheduled to be aired this evening. on HBO.

2013: Much of Israel stood still for two minutes this morning in memory of the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust.

2013: IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz led today’s March of the Living ceremonies at Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with Tel Aviv’s Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, himself a child survivor of the camp.

2014: “Israeli superstar” is scheduled to deliver “an intimate piano performance at the Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2014: “An 18-year-old Jewish student in Gothenburg spoke out about anti-Semitic abuse in her high school, reading aloud the slurs she’s received on social media, including “Go gas yourselves, you Jew bastards,” and death threats from classmates. “I have been in hell,” she tells a local TV station. “I feel bad, can’t sleep, and have nightmares.” (As reported by Yair Rosenberg)

2014: “Zaytoun” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival.

2014: “Ida” and “Eagles” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2014: Holocaust Survivor, Cesare Frustaci whose appearance is sponsored by the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund is scheduled to speak at Kirkwood Community College and Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2015: Holocaust survivor Henry Greenbaum is scheduled to speak about his experiences at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2015(19th of Nisan, 5775): Fifth Day of Pesach

2015(19th of Nisan, 5775): Ninety-eight year old Jean-Louis Crémieux-Brilhac the director of Free French propaganda broadcast from Britain during WW II, passed away today.

2015: The Westchester Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

2015: A small plane erupted into flames before takeoff at the Ben Gurion International Airport today. The plane was scheduled to take off for Russia at noon. The six passengers aboard the aircraft escaped without injuries.

2015: “An IDF soldier was stabbed in the neck and seriously injured near the West Bank settlement of Shiloh today, and a second was stabbed and lightly injured.”

2016(10th of Nisan): “According to the Book of Joshua the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land today ending their 40 years of wandering in the desert.”

2016(10th of Nisan, 5776): Israelis are scheduled to observe the first ever Aliyah Day, “an official day of national celebration in which Jewish immigration to Israel is honored and noteworthy immigrants are recognized for their contributions to the nation

2016: “Raise the Roof” and “Bulgarian Rhapsody” are scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.

2016: “Tamar Ettun and The Moving Company” are scheduled to perform in Bryant Park.

2016(29th of Adar II, 5776): Seventy-nine year old Charles S. Hirsch the “September 11 Coroner” passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2016: “Youth” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2017: The first Charlotte Jewish Playwriting Contest is scheduled to take place at the JCC in Charlotte, NC.

2017(12th of Nisan, 5777): Shabbat Hagadol;

2018: The reception marking the official opening of “City of Numinous Light” featuring “the urban impressionism of Lawrence Kushner is scheduled to take place this afternoon in the Isaacs Gallery at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael.

2018: In Des Moines, IA, Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host the “Community-wide Holocaust Remembrance Program” this afternoon

2018: The New York Times published reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Common Good by Robert B. Reich, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Never Remember: Searching for Stalin’s Gulags in Putin’s Russia by Masha Gessen with photographs by Misha Friedman and The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer.

2019: The Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are scheduled to present “literature scholar Ruth Wisse on a Yiddish-language tour of Lost & Found, exploring the remarkable story of a pre-war family photo album that was owned by a woman (Wisse’s aunt) who was deported from the Kovno Ghetto in 1943.”

2019” The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center hosted screening of “Three Identical Strangers.”

2019: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to host “The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught in Between.”

2019: The Skirball Center is scheduled to host the first session of Dr. Diane Sharon’s “Other Gods Before Me: Ancient Near Eastern Myths and the Evolution of the God of Israel.”

2019: The Jerusalem Arts Festival is scheduled to come to a close this evening.

2019: The London School of Jewish Studies is scheduled to host “The Four Daughters of Seder Night” with Rabbi Dr. Raphael Zarum.

2019: In “How Gold’s Horseradish Came to Be a Passover Staple” published today Joan Nathan provides background on the “chrain that on your best table cloth leaves a stain.”

2019: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present an evening of conversation with Robert Alter, author of The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary and The Art of Bible Translation. and

2019: As most Israelis wait to go to the Polls and vote tomorrow, ballots have already been cast by Israeli military personnel thanks to the 643 ballot boxes that were set up for this purposed by the Central Elections Committee.

2020(14th of Nisan, 5780): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach; For more see

2020(14th of Nisan, 5780): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Heller

2020: The Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma, CA is scheduled to host “A Seder Warmup” on Zoom where participants can “set up our Seders together, talk about the Passover story, the four questions, and more.”

2020: Among the many venues offering virtual Seders, Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos, CA is scheduled to host a “Don’t Be Alone Seder Night” during which Rabbi Melanie Aron and Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy will lead a Zoom Seder using the Haggadah “A Different Night.”

2020: Due to the Pandemic, “Israelis will not be permitted to leave their houses this evening, the night of the Passover Seder, from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following day, April 9/ (As reported by Mary Oster.)

2020(26th of Nisan, 5781): Yom Hashoah

2021: In one of those “calendar coincides,” at the same time that Yom Hashoah is being observed, “Two of Germany’s top athletics officials are advocating a joint Berlin-Tel Aviv bid to host the summer Olympics in 2036, so as to send “a strong signal of peace and reconciliation” a full century after the infamous Nazi-hosted Olympic Games in the German capital.”

2021: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Temple Judah is scheduled to host a virtual Yom Hashoah Serving during which attendees will a number of readings in remembrance of the Six Million and will be encouraged to light a Yahrzeit Candle.

2021: JWA is scheduled to host via Zoom a Book Club talking with “Judy Batalion, author of The Light of Days, on women resistance fighters, in commemoration of Yom Hashoah

2021: In Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Temple Judea is scheduled to host a “morning Minyan lead by Abbie Straus honoring Yom HaShoah, followed at noon by Keerryn Lehman, who will share her grandmother’s stories “from life in the Kovno Ghetto and the five concentration camps” to which the Germans shipped her.

2021: The Jewish Heritage Museum is scheduled to co-sponsor Chhange's annual Yom HaShoah Program “Rescuers during the Holocaust featuring Dr. Deborah Dwork, the founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity and author of Saint and Liars.

2021: Holocaust memorial events in Israel will begin today with a two-minute siren that will sound throughout Israel at 10 am.









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