682: Visigoth King Erwig pressed for the "utter extirpation of the pest of the Jews," and made it illegal to practice any Jewish rites in an area that corresponds to much of modern-day Spain. This put further pressure on the Jews to convert or emigrate
1119: Callixtus II began his papacy. In 1120, Calixtus II issued the first of the bulls called “Sicut Judaeis” (As the Jews) which in his case was intended to protect Jews from the consequences of the First Crusade “during which over five thousand Jews were slaughtered in Europe.”
1225: Today “a papal order was issued granting certain commercial privileges to a Jewish merchant named Sabbatinus Museus Salaman, who is mentioned as the business associate of several Romans in the Papal States and in Sicily.”
1327: Coronation of English King Edward III who borrowed 140,000 florins “on the eve of the Hundred Years’ War” from a consortium led by Vivelin of Strasbourg, “an Alsatian Jewish financier” who was thought to be “one of the richest people living in the Holy Roman Empire.”
1552: Birthdate of Sir Edward Coke, who in a case that involved whether Jews were protected by English law, ruled that “All infidels are in law…perpetual enemies (for law presumes not that they will be converted, that being a remote possibility, for between them, as with the devils, whose subjects they be, and the Christian there is a perpetual hostility and can be no peace.”
1605: Birthdate of Aboab de Fonseca, the Portuguese born Dutch Rabbi and Mystic. In 1642, when Brazil was under Dutch control the 600 Jews of Recife established a synagogue where they could worship in public. They recruited de Fonseca, who was living in Amsterdam, to come to Brazil and serve as their Hocham or spiritual leader. This means that Aboab de Fonseca was the first congregational rabbi in the New World. In 1654, when the Portuguese defeated the Dutch and seized Recife, he joined a group of Jews returning to the Netherlands and successfully said back to Amsterdam. Aboab was held in high esteem by his former Amsterdam congregants, that he was reappointed as hocham in the synagogue and made teacher in the city’s Talmud Torah, principal of its yeshiva and member of the city’s bet din, or rabbinic court. He died in 1693 at the age of 88, having served the Jewish community of Amsterdam for 50 years after his return from Recife. While Aboab spent his final years as a man of letters, engaged in teaching and spiritual contemplation, “the adventuresome Isaac Aboab de Fonseca had been, from 1642 to 1654, America’s first rabbi, first Hebrew poet and a man who risked his life for Jewish religious freedom.” (One can only wonder what would have happened if Aboab had joined the group of Jews who left Recife in 1654 and ended up in New Amsterdam. Would he have been the first rabbi in New York?)
1627: Rodrigo de Castro, the Lisbon born physician who escaped the Inquisition by moving to Antwerp with his family and the moving on to Hamburg when the Spanish re-took the Netherlands passed away today after which he was “buried in the cemetery of the Jewish-Portuguese congregation of Altona.”
1682(3rd of Adar I, er5442): Asser Levy, the "founding father" of North American Jewry passed away. He was survived by his wife Miriam (aka Maria). Though Levy and the "Levy" family of New York are thought of as Sephardic with roots in Holland and even further roots in Spain, he might have been the son of Benjamin Levy, an Ashkenazi shochet from Recife, Brazil.
1733: King Augustus II of Poland passed away. Born in 1670, Augustus II was the Elector of Saxony (Germany) before gaining Augustus gained the Polish throne. His rise to power was facilitated by his “court Jew” and financier Issachar Berend Lehmann. August II was a contemporary of the Besht who was making his public personna known at about the same time as the Polish King passed away.
1746: Sarah Simosn and Raphael Jacobs gave birth to Joseph Jacobs, the husband Bilhah Polock and the father of American born Abigail, Raphael, Isaac, Frances and Benjamin Jacobs.
1764: Jacob Jacobs, the husband of Caty Hays arrived in Savannah, GA today.
1765(10th of Shevat, 5525): Rebecca Mendez Furtado, the first wife of Benjamin D’Israeli, the grandfather of his more famous namesake, passed away today.
1779(15th of Shevat, 5539): Tu B’Shevat
1790: The U.S. Supreme Court, which would not have its first Jewish Justice until 1916 when Woodrow Wilson appointed Louis Brandeis, “convened for the first time today.
1791: In Darmstadt, Germany, Guetel and Huna Mormelstein gave birth to Salomon Mormelstein, the husband of Giedel Rodsenbaum and the father of Aron, Michael and Jentel Mormelstein.
1796: The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York. Jews did not settle in Canada until the British defeated the French in 1760, at which time the French ban on Jewish settlement in the area became null and void. By the time of this move, the Jews had already built their first synagogue, The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal also known as Shearith Israel which was established in 1768.
1798(15th of Shevat, 5558): Tu B’Shevat
1799: In Denmark, Isaac Levy and his wife gave birth to Zacharias Levy, the husband of Bolette Salomonsen with whom he had three children – Isaac, Arnold and Herman.
1799: The French army under Napoleon left for Palestine to forestall a Turco-British invasion through the Palestinian land-bridge.
1800(6th of Shevat, 5560): Parashat Bo
1804: Philadelphia nave Mary Levy married Judah Eleazar Lyons today in New York City.
1809(15th of Shevat, 5569): Tu B’Shevat
1809: Moshe ben Michael Kopf married Sarah bat Yehuda Leib HaLevi at the Great Synagogue.
1809: This evening, in Charleston, SC, Mary Joseph married Levi Moses.
1810(27 Shevat 5570): Rabbi Mechel Scheuer passed away. He was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1739. His father was Rabbi David Tebele Scheuer, and he led his father's Yeshiva in Mainz as its Rosh Yeshiva during the years 1776 and 1777. In 1778 he became rabbi of Worms and in 1782 was appointed rabbi of Manheim. At the time of his death, he was the rabbi of Coblence.
1813The Common Council of New York City passed an ordinance restricting the right to sell kosher meat to butchers licenses by Congregation Shearith Israel.
1818: In Reading, Abigail Lindo and Moses Mocatta gave birth to Isaac Lindo Mocatta, the husband of Abigail Mocatta and the father of Grace Mocatta.
1823: Birthdate date of Simon Bacher, a descendant of Jair Hayyim Bacharach the 17th century rabbi at worms and the Maharal of Prague, the “Hungarian Neo-Hebraic Poet” who served as treasurer of the Jewish community of Budapest from 1876 until his death in 1891.
1823: Keila and Michael Myers gave birth to Joseph Myers.
1826: Philadelphian Joseph Cohen began serving as a Midshipman today.
1827: Two days after he had passed away, Simon Levy, the husband of Hannah Levy, was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”
1827: In Paris James Mayer de Rothschild and Betty de Rothschild, the daughter of Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (Austrian Branch) gave birth to Alphonse de Rothschild, French banker, philanthropist and member of the French branch of the fabled Rothschild family whose wife Leonora was from the English House of Rothschild.
1828: In Lengnau, Switzerland, Simon Meyer Guggenheim and Schafeli (née Levinger) Guggenheim gave birth to Meyer Guggenheim the patriarch of the Guggenheim family who came to the United States in 1847.
1832: David Haes married Sarah Samuel at the Hambro Synagogue today.
1833: In London, Frances Cohen and Joel Benjamin gave birth to Priscilla Benjamin.
1834: Kitty Etting and Richmond native Benjamin I. Cohen gave birth to Georgiana Cohen.
1836: Birthdate of Francis Lewis Cardozo, the Charleston, SC native who was the son of Lydia Weston, a free black woman and Isaac a Sephardic (Portuguese) Jews.
1839: Birthdate of James A. Herne who staged the first American production of Israel Zangwill’s “The Children of the Ghetto.
1839: Sarah Ann Hays and Warrenton, NC native Alfred Mordecai, the West Point graduate and the commander of the arsenal at Washington, DC during the war with Mexico, gave birth to Rosa Mordecai, the sister of General Alfred Mordecai, Jr.
1840: In what would be the opening of the Damascus Blood Libel, “Father Thomas, a Roman Catholic priest and a” long-time resident of Damascus “suddenly disappeared today.
1842: In Bavaria, Rav Yitzchak Dov Halevi Bamberger ZT"L the Würzburger Rav and Kela Bamberger gave birth to Rabbi Nathan Bamberger of Würzburg
1844: Birthdate of Ernst Immanuel Cohen Brandes, the Danish economist.
1847(15th of Shevat, 5607): Tu B’Shevat
1848: Birthdate of British author Arnold Henry White who went from blaming the Jews for the problems in East End from a “virulent anti-Semite” who opposed Jewish immigration to the United Kingdom.
1852: “The Hebrew Benevolent Society of the City of Richmond was organized today” and “its officers were: President, Isaac Schriver; Vice President, Ellis Morris; Treasurer, Augustus Mailert; Secretary, Max Wilzinski’ Trustees, Jacob Ezekiel, Henry J. Calisher and Abraham Levy, Jr.”
1854: In Posen, Prussia, Dr. Marcus Mosse, a German born physician and his wife Ulrike Mosse gave birth to Emil Mosse
1856: Auburn University is chartered as the East Alabama Male College. Today Auburn has 60 Jewish students out of an undergraduate population of 19,000 students. Auburn does not offer Jewish studies classes but does have a Hillel Chapter.
1859: In Cleveland, OH, Hannah and Benjamin Franklin Peixotto gave birth to George da Madouro Peixotto.
1860: Rabbi Morris Raphall becomes the first Jewish clergyman to opena session of the House of Representatives. Raphall’s son-in-law would serve in the Union Army and after he had committed some unspecified infraction, Lincoln pardoned him. Raphall’s letter thanking Lincoln is still in existence today.
1861: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise published an article in The Israelite entitled “No Political Preaching” in which he explained why he had refrained from preaching a sermon on January 4, 1861. President James Buchanan had designated that date “‘as a day of feasting and prayer, that God might have mercy upon us and save this Union.’” [This was just about the only action that Buchanan took to preserve the Union!]
1862(1st of Adar I, 5622): Rosh Chodesh Adar I
1862: The will of Samuel Samuels was admitted to probate today. According to the terms of the will, Samuels left $100 to the Jewish congregation, "Bnai Jeshurun," on Greene-street, and $100 for the benefit of the Orphan Asylum under the charge of the Hebrew Benevolent Society.
1863: Birthdate of Ida Rothschild, the husband of Bernhard Rothschild, who was buried in Ft. Wayne, IN, after she passed away.
1863: The first issue of Le Peit Journal” a Parisian daily owned and published by Moise Polydore Millaud “appeared today with a printing of 83,000 copies.
1864: Quartermaster Sergeant Alan Weinbach began his service with Company A of the 113th Regiment that served as the 12th Cavalry.
1864: Philadelphian Aaron de Hann who had been born in February of 1844 began a two year enlistment with the 112 Regiment – 2nd Artillery.
1865: “A new law abolished the compulsion for Jews to enroll with one of Hamburg's two statutory Jewish congregations, so the members of the New Israelite Temple Society were free to found their own Jewish congregation.
1865: In Newark, NJ, founding of Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society whose members included Bernard Strauss, Reuben Trier, Joseph Goetz and G. J. Kempe which held its meetings on the first Thursday of each month.
1866: Birthdate of Columbia trained attorney Abram C. Bernheim of the firm of Shekan & Bernheim who was a member of Temple Emanu-El.
1868(8th of Shevat, 5628): Isaac Leeser passed away. Born in 1806, he “was an American Jewish minister of religion, author, translator, editor, and publisher; pioneer of the Jewish pulpit in the United States, and founder of the Jewish press of America. He produced the first Jewish translation of the Bible into English to be published in the United States. He is considered one of the most important American Jewish personalities of the nineteenth century America.”
1872(22nd of Shevat, 5632): Fifty-three-year-old Polish born German actor Bogumil Dawison whose signature roles included Mark Antony, Hamlet, Richard III and King Lear, passed away in Dresden.
1873: Birthdate of historian Israel Zinberg “best known for his nine-volume History of the Literature of the Jews which was published in Vilnus starting in 1929.
1874: In Vienna Anna Maria Josefa Fohleutner and an Austrian–Italian bank manager, Hugo August Peter Hofmann, Edler von Hofmannsthal gave birth to Austrian “man of letters” Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann von Hofmannsthal, the great-grandson of Isaak Löw Hofmann, Edler von Hofmannsthal, “a Jewish merchant ennobled by the Austrian emperor.”
1874: In Camden, SC, Dr. Simon Baruch and Isabelle Barcuh gave birth Sailing Wolfe Baruch the husband of Leonora M. Baruch, the brother of famous financier and advisor to Presidents, Bernard Barcuh.
1875: In Kiev, John and Asna (Drubitsky) Levitt gave birth to Russian-America artist Joel J. Levitt, who studied at the School of Fine Arts in Petrograd whose works included the 1904 painting “Kishinev Pogrom.”
1875: In California, Isaac Spiro and his wife gave birth to pharmacist and Stanford Medical School graduate Harry Sprio, the husband of Ada Joel Cofee who who served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at his alma mater and as Captain in the U.S. Army during WW I.
1878: George Cruikshank the British illustrator who created “Fagan” in his cell passed away.
1879: It was reported today that the Purim Association of New York will resume hosting a masked ball after a hiatus of 10 years. The ball is scheduled to be held on Purim night.
1879: Wilhelm Marr, the man who popularized the term “anti-Semitism” published his pamphlet “Der Weg zum Siege des Germanenthums über das Judenthum” (The Way to Victory of Germanicism over Judaism. Toward the end of his life he would publish “Testament of an Antisemite” in which he would renounce the view that the Jews were the corrupters of German and European civilization.
1880: In St. Louis, the Young Men's Hebrew Association was organized.
1880: Jorge Isaacs Ferrer, the son of “George Henry Isaacs, an English Jew originally from Jamaica” and whom Isaac Goldberg described as “a half-Jew” “who is “Spanish America’s most famous novelist” became President of the “Sovereign State of Antioquia.”
1882: “The French Catholic Newspaper La Croix publishes an article by Father Francois Picard, head of the Assumptionist order behind the journal, declaring that Jewish bankers and that they are behind all of Europe’s problems,”
1882: “Early in the course of the Russian persecutions a mass-meeting of New York's most representative citizens was held at Chickering Hall” today.
1882: In London, a meeting was held at Mansion House which resulted in the creation of a fund of more than “£108,000 for the relief of Russo-Jewish refugees” in the United Kingdom
1883: In London, Solomon Marks, the London born son of Elizabeth and George Joel Marks and his wife Benvenida Marks gave birth to Moss Albert Marks
1883: Theodore Hoffman was arrested this evening and charged with the murder of Zife Marks, a Jewish peddler whose body had been on the road outside of Port Chester, NY. (Hoffman would eventually be found guilty and executed for the murder.)
1885(16th of Shevat, 5645): Peretz Smolenskin, the Russian born Jewish novelist whose works in Hebrew including A Wander on the Path of Life (Ha-toeh be-darkhe ha-Hayyim, התועה בדרכי החיים) passed away today.
1886: Dr. Solomon Eppinger retired from Hebrew Union College and was succeeded by David Davidson.
1886: H.U.C. conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity on Aaron Hahn.
1887: In Montreal, Katherine Harris and Jacob Scherman gave birth to Harry Scherman, American economist, author and co-founder of the Book of the Month Club.
1887: Claude Marks married Caroline “Carrie) Hoffnung today at the West London Synagogue.
1890: Birthdate of Sadie Plutzik, the wife of Samuel Plutzik, both of whom are buried under a common headstoe at the Old Montefiore Cemetry
1890: Mrs. Moses Gersohnfeldt and her four young children ranging in age from two to eleven continue to languish in the custody of the immigration authorities because the Immigration Commissioner has decided that they might become public charges despite the fact that her husband and oldest son have come forth and shown that they are employed and earning enough money to see to it that they are properly cared for.
1890: In Toledo, OH, Mosses and Bluma (Arndt) Srere gave birth to Detroit College of Law trained attorney and Acme Mills executive Abraham Spere, the husband of Anna Katz and life-Zionist who was president of the ZOA in Detroit and the chairman of the Detroit Keren Hyesod campaign and leader in the local Jewish community as could be seen by his serving as a director of the United Hebrew Schools and the United Jewish Charities and President of Shaarey Zedek where he chanted “Jonah” on Yom Kippur.
1890: “Castle Garden’s Autocrat” published today described Commissioner Edmund Stephenson’s capricious and semi-dictatorial control over the lives of immigrants, including Jews escaping the Czar’s tyranny, to whom he showed distinct hostility.
1891: Jacob A. Brenner, the son of an Orthodox Rabbi and William J.G. Bearns “opened their own law offices on Court Street under the name of Bearns & Brenner, specializing in civil and real estate law” today.
1891: Birthdate of Kishinev native and CCNY educated reporter Milton S. Harris who was the advertising director worth Fox and Lowes theatres.
1891: In Brooklyn, Philip Schmalheiser and the former Rose Lewin gave birth to Edward Schmalheiser who as Edward Small carved out a fifty-year career producing movies and television shows that ranged in quality from such classics as “The Count of Monte Cristo” to the highly forgettable “Ramar of the Jungle.”
1891: It was reported today that Mr. Rheinherz an agent of the United Hebrew Charities was among those who testified before the Congressional Committee investigating the operation of the Barge Office which was the main immigrant processing center in New York City.
1892: It was reported today that Moritz Cohn, Morris Hertz, Max Jacob, Ignatz Boskowitz, Henry Rice and Simon L. Duetsch had served as pall bearers at the funeral of Benjamin Russak.
1893(15th of Shevat, 5653): Tu B’Shevat
1893: “Theatrical Gossip” published today described the success of “The Girl I Left Behind Me” which is being produced by Charles Frohman at the Standard Theatre.
1895: It was reported today that the Federation of East Side Workers “consisting of the pastors, priests and rabbis of the churches and congregations in New York south of 14th Street and east of Broadax…expresses its grateful appreciation to the chairman and members of the Tenement House Committee…” (Compare the active, positive role played by Rabbis in the United States with the anti-Semitism found at the same time in Russia, Germany and France).
1896: Forty-six-year-old Paul Lazarus, the Wittenberg born son of Nathan Lazarus and Rebecca Ruben and husband of Bertha Levy began serving as Superintendent of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum today.
1897: “The Future of Palestine” published today provided the views of Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil’s views on the Jewish settlement in this part of the Ottoman Empire. Gottheil contended the Jews could again become “agriculturists” and that Palestine could “support a large agricultural and industrial population.”
1897: As of this date, the officers of the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York say they will no longer be able to respond to all of the demands of the needy without additional funds. They received 250 applications a day, many of which come from people who have never applied before and they need at least $15,000 just to provide minimal aid.
1897: “Harm Done By Alarmists” published today includes the views of Rabbi Gustav Gottheil who expressed his sympathy for the working man, opposition to Socialism and defense of the expendiures of the wealthy as exemplified by the upcoming Bradley Martin-Ball
1897: It was reported today that Dr. Emil G. Hirsch said the work of the Jewish charities in Chicago has been complicated by the problems created by the influx of Jews flee the Czar who have taken “refuge in the larger cities of America.”
1897: It was reported today the delegates attending the Jewish Socialists Convention had voted to start a newspaper of their own after the managers of the Abendblatt, a Jewish socialist paper that had been founded in 1894, had made known their decision to not relinquish control of the paper.
1898: Twenty-eight year old Joseph Gutman, the German born son of Hirsch and Jette (Schloss) Gutman who in 1884 arrived in New York where he founded the Pacific Novelty Company in 1891 married Emma A. Haas today in San Francisco.
1899: The USS Bennington commanded by Edward Tausig fired a 21-gun salute as the United States flag was raised over Guam marking the end of almost 300 years of Spanish rule and Commander Tausig becoming the first American to control the islands “governmental and administrative affairs.”
1899: It was reported today that Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil of Columbia University read a “paper by Albert Ulmann on the Jews in New York during the Dutch colonial period. Mr. Ulmann gave as the earliest date when Jews this city as 1652, when some Jewish farmers were sent over from Holland to serve a year’s time a soldiers…” He also “described the fight the Jews had to make against the religious bigotry of Stuyvesant.”
1899: “Dr. Gottheil’s Successor” published today relied on information that first appeared in the New York Tribune to report that Dr. Gustav Gottheil is preparing to retire after serving as Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El for the past 25 years and that went to provide a brief history of the Reform movement in the United States.
1900(2nd of Adar I, 5660): Bavarian born Abraham Michelbacher, “the last surviving charter member of Temple Emanu-El who in 1839 came to New York where he went into the dry goods business and was “a patron of every Jewish organization” In New York including the Zion Lodge of B’nai B’rith of which he was a charter member passed away today.
1900: Twenty-one year old Bernard Semel, the Galicia born son of Abraham L. and Goldie (Horowitz) Semel, the Comptroller of the Federation of Galician and Bucovinean Jews of America and a co-founder of The Jewish Day married Sadie Miller today in New York
1900: In Austria, Fannie and Morris Rothenberg gave birth to Bronx resident Joseph “Jack” Rothenberg, who married Ann Bodner Rothenberg after the death of Bertha “Betty” Drube Rothenberg
1901: A Memorial Service for Queen Victoria was held at the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Samuel Salant officiated at the service which was so well attended that local police were called to control the crowd.
1902: Birthdate of Polish native Benjamin Zemach, the graduate of Moscow’s Institute of Engineering who came to the United States in 1927 where he blazed new trails in choreography and modern dance.
1902(24th of Shevat, 5662): Seventy-year-old Salomon Jadassohn, the German pianist and composer whose career suffered because he would not convert which meant he could not get many church related commissions and because of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the second half of the 19th century passed away[ML1] today.
1903: It was reported today that Moritz Kaufman, Moremo Haravor and Minschen Aleas was among the three Spanish speaking families who arrived at Ellis Island and claimed that they were descendants of Jews who had successively living in Turkey, Bulgaria and Roumania after have been expelled from Spain in 1492 and who claimed that they have been speaking only Spanish and following Spanish customs for the last five hundred years.
1903: It was reported today that the Grand, “the first theatre in New York ever erected expressly and exclusively for the foreign speaking Jewish patronage of the better class, that has three balconies seating 1,700 people is scheduled to open on February 5th.
1904(15th of Shevat, 5664): Tu B’Shevat
1904: Birthdate of Sidney Joseph Perelman. Better known as S. J. Perelman, he was a humorist, author, and screenwriter. He is primarily known for his humorous short pieces written over many years for The New Yorker magazine. His most famous cinematic venture was writing the script for the Academy Award-winning screenplay Around the World in Eighty Days starring David Niven.
1905: In Tivoli, Italy, Giuseppe Segrè, a businessman who owned a paper mill, and Amelia Susanna Treves, Emilio Segre, the Italian born physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1959.
1906: It was reported today that five persons have been executed in the Citadel at Warsaw, “bringing the number shot in the past fortnight to sixteen” fifteen of whom “were Jews.”
1906: Stella Bowman the Richmond, VA born daughter of Jacob and Louise Olshofsky and her husband gave birth to Louis O. Bowman
1907: Today there was a run on the Mechanics’ Trusty Company in Bayonne, many of whose depositors are Jewish immigrants following yesterday’s “baseless rumors” about the solvency of the bank “that has resources of $4,500,000.
1908(29th of Shevat, 5668): Parashat Mishpatim
1908: “Joseph Barondess, for many years a leader and organizer of labor among the Jews on the east side, announced today that he may now be counted as unalterably opposed to Socialism, which he considers is a dwindling cause.”
1909: It was reported today that the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Trenton has decline to be chairman of a meeting at which the friends of organized labor will protest against the sentences imposed on Samuel Gompers and other officers of the American Federation of Labor” because while “these sentenced gentlemen have the sympathy of every true friend of labor, they have not lost their case” because “the Court Appeals” has not rendered its decision.
1910(22nd of Shevat, 5670): Schlome Katz passed away today after which he was buried in the Liepaja Jewish Cemetery.
1910: Birthdate of Michael Kanin, the native of Rochester, NY who shared an Oscar with Ring Lardner Jr for writing the script for Woman of the Year” and was nominated along with his wife Fay for an Oscar for the script for “Teacher’s Pet.”
1911: Today, in a response to a question as to whether the settlement houses “could persuade girls to leave poorly paid factory work and go into well-paid housework,” Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House told members of the Women’s University Club that present immigration is now largely Italian, Jewish and Greeks” and that Jewish girls, if they are orthodox, wish to stay with their own people” meaning they are not candidates for “household service.”
1912: Peter H. James of Jersey City, NJ, was “promoted to the staff of the Quartermaster General of the State of New Jersey with the rank of Major.”
1913(24th of Shevat, 5673): Parashat Mishpatim
1913: In New Leipzig, ND, Louis and Rebecca Katz Katcher gave birth to Irving Simon Katcher, the husband of Nettie Kathcer.
1913(24th of Shevat, 5673): Sixty-two-year-old newspaper correspondent Leon Strauss passed away at Turin, Italy.
1913: It was reported today the “two trained nurse who have been to Palestine by” New York “women Zionists” are “the vanguard of an entire corps of nurses” who “will work among the women and children of the Holy Land.
1913: This evening, Armand J. Lande and Miss Jessie Plotke are scheduled to lead the grand march at the Informal Dancing Party sponsored by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Temple Sholom in the Lincoln Park Casino
1913: “According to information received by the Federation of American Zionist, Nachum Sokolow should have arrived today to begin a two-month tour of the United States
1914(5th of Shevat, 5674): Mrs. H. Bertha Myers, the widow of “49er” Harris Meyers, who was “vice President of the Oregon Chapter of the Council for Jewish Women and President of the Judith Montefiore Society passed away today in Portland, Oregon.
1915: British soldiers braced for an attack from an Ottoman force that was determined to seize the Suez Canal – a seizure that would have short-circuited the later British campaign that led them to Jerusalem with all that that would mean for the Jewish people.
1915: A dispatch from the London Daily News datelined Cairo, based, in part on reports from “Vladimir Jabotinsky, a well-known Moscow journalist” describes the deteriorating conditions faced by the Jews living under Ottoman rule in Eretz Israel. Mr. Jabotinksy “entertains the graves fears for the safety of the 15,000 colonists in Galilee, Judea and Samaria should the Turkish army in Syria” suffer a defeat since the Turkish government will blame it on the Jews. The government “is doing its utmost to stir up feelings against the Zionists. The Turks have declared Zionism to be a revolutionary, anti-Turkish movement “which must be stamped out.” The Anglo-Palestine bank has been liquidated which will lead to ruin for many of the Jewish settlers. A large number of Jewish refugees have fled to Alexandria among them “1,000 young men who have have declared their eagerness to join the British army.” The report closes with expression of concern for the 5,000 Jews and 12,000 Christians living in Jerusalem who are trying to survive on American relief supplies described as “insufficient to maintain life.”
1915: William Fox (born Wilhelm Fuchs) found the Fox Film Corporation today.
1915: In response to a petition from the counsel of Leo M Frank who is under sentence of death for the murder of a factory girl in Atlanta, in 1913, The United States Supreme Court advanced the on his case to February 23; an action to which the state of Georgia has assented.
1915: “Plan to Pursue Frank” published today described the plans of the prosecution to indict Leo Frank on one or two other unspecified charges if he his appeal to the Supreme Court overturn the murder conviction thus granting him his freedom.”
1916: As of today, the American Jewish Relief” is reported to nearing its goal of two million dollars having collected $1,815,737.33 in cash and pledges.
1916: Dotty Hammer who had “volunteered her services for Jewish Relief Day” wrote from Newark, NJ today to express her “heartfelt respect as well as admiration for all those who gave because they felt that in a time of grief and dire need religion was no barrier.”
1917: Supreme Court Justice Cohalan granted the “right of incorporation” “o the Association for the Promotion of Sabbath Observance which works “to develop among its members and others a clear conception and understanding of Orthodox Jewry” including observing the Sabbath on Saturday. (Editor’s Note: This came at a time when the Reform movement was trying to shift observance of Shabbat to Sunday)
1917: Today “Karl Klein, a Jewish accountant from Vienna was recruited to serve in the Austro-Hungarian Army.
1917: In the wake of Germany’s announcement of unrestricted submarine Felix Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee expressed the concern that worsening relations with Germany would impede the war relief work in eastern Europe which is under the control of Germany and that contributions to aid those suffering from the war would fall off just when the need was greatest.
1917: “At Warren Street, in the Portobello area of Dublin, Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe Henry Levitas and Leah Rick who had been married in the Camden Street Synagogue gave birth to Maurice “Morry” Leviatis the political activist who took part in the “Battle of Cable Street” and who “became a senior lecturer in the sociology of education at Durham University.
1918: The Jewish Congress decided to “raise money to repatriate Galician Jews stranded in or around the city” of Berdichev.
1918: Russia adopted the Gregorian Calendar. Russia’s comparatively late adoption of the calendar used by most of the western world makes precise dating of certain events all the more difficult.
1918: “The Jewish National Fund received a check for 250,000 crowns from an anonymous woman” which was “to be cashed after peace” ended the World War.
1918: “As a result of a series of conferences, Dutch Jewish leaders formulate” a list of demands “to be presented at the peace conference including emancipation of the Jews; recognition of national rights in nation states; national concentration of Jewish people in Palestine; the cessation of contemptuous and oppressive treatment of Jews.”
1918: Today, French Foreign Minister Pichon is a statement to the press in which the government “gave its endorsement to the British declaration” on Palestine.
1918: In Edinburgh, Sarah Elizabeth Maud (née Uezzell) and Bernard Camberg, an engineer gave birth to Muriel Sarah Camberg who gained as award-winning Scottish novelist Dame Muriel Spark.
1918(19th of Shevat, 5678): Gaston Lelouch, the recipient of the War Cross died today.
1918(19th of Shevat, 5678)
1918: In Berdichev, “the Jewish Congress decided to raise money to repatriate Galician Jews stranded in or around the city.
1919: Harvey E. Wessel completed a seven-month assignment with the Jewish Welfare Board during which time he performed the services usually done by a Jewish chaplain and a social worker while being stationed at the Naval Training Camp at Pelham Bay Park in New York City.
1919: The First Congress of the Muslim-Christian Association began its deliberations in Jerusalem.
1920: Thirty-nine “Turkish elders of the Sephardi Community formed the Sephardic Community of Los Angeles” today which became known as the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel.
1920: Adolphe Danziger De Castro “was one of the thirty-nine founders of the Sephardic Community of Los Angeles (La Comunidad Sefardi) and was elected the first president of the congregation.”
1920: It was reported today that “the American Zionist Medical Unit at Jerusalem” will be establishing a school for chauffeurs in Palestine that aims “to rain men as capable motor drivers and mechanics in an effort to eliminate the acute shortage of chauffeurs” which has been brought about by the lack of railroads thus necessitating an increase in the use of automobiles.
1920: Thirty-six-year-old Illinois College of Law trained attorney Henry S. Blum, the Hungary born son of Morris and Fannie (Roth) Blum, who specialized in “corporate and commercial law” and was a member of both Temple Shalom and B’nai B’rith married Dorothy Herman today in Chicago.
1921: Birthdate of Brooklyn College graduate Joseph Dames, “the director of special gifts of the American Jewish Committee’s Appeal for Human Relations and the husband of Lucille Dames with whom he had two children – Tamar and Lisa.
1921: Felix M. Warburg, the President of the Federation for Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies is scheduled to deliver a report describing the “critical conditions that face organized Jewish philanthropy in the coming year” this evening at annual meeting of the Federation being held at the Hotel Pennsylvania.
1921 First German translation of The International Jew
1922: Westmorland Davis, who in 1919 had urged “citizens, irrespective of race or creed, to contribute liberally” to the Jewish relief campaign” completed his four year term of service as Governor of Virginia today.
1923: Forty year old Hebrew Union College trained Rabbi David Rosenbaum, the Bialystok born son of Jacob and Guthe Rosenbaum and holder of a Ph.D from the University of Chicago who served congregations in Waco, Austin, Amsterdam and Chicago married Ida Adelman.
1923: Birthdate of Canadian businessman Benjamin Weider who “was the co-founder of the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness (IFBB).”
1923: “A Glass of Water,” a “German silent historical film” with a script co-authored by Adolf Lantz was released today.
1924: “Nanon,” silent film based on the operetta of the same name directed by Hanns Schwartz was released today in Germany
1924: Automobile magnet Henry Ford who bankrolled the anti-Semitic Dearborn Independent which published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion entertained Nazi Kurt Ludecke at his Michigan home.
1924: Frederick Salomon van Nierop, the son of A.S. Nierop and Rachel Salvador, who was a director of the Amsterdam Bank and was a member of both the Amsterdam City Council and the Provincial Council of North Holland was buried today in the Jewish cemetery in Muiderberg.
1925: Today, Sophie Udin and six other women who had been active in the labor Zionist organization Poale Zion, created the Pioneer Women’s Organization of America which was renamed Pioneer Women in 1947 and Na'amat (a Hebrew acronym for "Movement of Working Women and Volunteers") USA in 1981.
1925: WMCA which Peter Straus took over in the late 1950’s began regular transmissions today.
1926: In New York City, Maria Jaussaud Justin, and Charles Maier gave birth to photographer Vivian Maier.
1926: “The Mill at Sanssouci,” produced by Karel Freund premiered today in Germany.
1927(29th of Shevat, 5687): Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (Nathan Zevi Finkel) the native of Lithuania known as the Alter of Slabodka passed away in Jerusalem
1928: Birthdate of Representative Tom Lantos, the California Democrat who took his seat in Congress in 1981 and is the only survivor of the Holocaust serving in Congress.
1928: “The Prince of Rogues,” a silent film directed by Curtis Bernhardt who co-authored the script was released today in Germany.
1928: Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Mitchell May, a Jewish Democratic Party leader and friend of movie mogul Harry Cohn officiated at the wedding of movie director Frank Capra and Lucille Warner, the daughter of Myron Warner.
1929: “The Broadway Melody,” “the first sound film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture produced by Irving Thalberg and Lawrence Weingarten premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
1930(3rd of Shevat, 5690): Parashat Vaera
1930(3rd of Shevat, 5690): Forty-nine-year-old Police informant Julius Rosenheim was gunned down today allegedly by members of the “Capone Gang.”
1930: Birthdate of Ping Pong or Table Tennis Champion, Marty Reisman.
1932(24th of Shevat, 5692): Twenty-three-year-old Hyman Hirsch, Jr, the son of Hyman and Miriam Phillips Hirsch passed today after which he was buried at the Dispersed of Judah Cemetery, “the second oldest Jewish cemetery to be built in New Orleans” which was located on land “donated by Judah P. Touro.”
1932: Birthdate of Batsheva Esther Eliashiv, the Jerusalem native who was the daughter of Rabbi Shalom Elisahiv and who became Rebbetzin Batsheva Esther Kanievskey when she married Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.
1934: “The Official Gazette of the government of Baden today announced that pensions granted to rabbis had been withdrawn” but said nothing about the pensions given to other retired clergymen.
1934: In Cairo, “the Chief Rabbi, a representative of King Faud, the Premier, members of the cabinet, two ex-Premiers, ten former cabinet members, the Italian Ambassador and leading Egyptian banks and industrialists” were among those who attended the funeral services today for sixty-four-year-old banker Joseph /bey Mosseri, “a member of one of the oldest Egyptian Jewish families.”
1934: Hyman G. Enelow became rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El on New York.
1935: At the annual convention of the Palestine Jewish Farmers Federation, Moshe Smilansky, veteran farmer economist, poet, writer and journalist, shocked the assembled gathering when in his opening address as president he announced that in the present circumstances in Palestine Jewish farmers and colonists should employ only Jewish labor.
1936(8th of Shevat, 5695): Parashat Bo
1936: In Washington, DC, “celebration of the 75th of the anniversary of the birth philanthropist Isaac Gans” at which “time representatives of the Protestant, Episcopal, Catholic and Jewish faiths outdid themselves in paying tribute” to him including Episcopal Bishop James E. Freeman who said to him “When sunset comes you well may know you have left behind a reputation and record which will be your just reward.”
1936: Rabbi Jacob Tarshish is scheduled to deliver a sermon “How Can We Find Happiness?” at Temple B’nai Jeshurun
1936: English historian Dr. Cecil Roth is scheduled to lecture on “Will Hitlerism Spread?” this morning at Temple Rodeph Sholom.
1936: Rabbi Milton Sternberg is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Does Morality Require Religion?” at Park Avenue Synagogue.
1936: “Rudolf Saudek, a well-known Leipzig Jewish sculptor and a Czechoslovak citizen protested through the Czechoslovak Legation in Berlin against a ruling by the Reich Chamber of Culture forbidding him to make tombstone for Jewish graves” – a business he went into after the Reich government had ended his career sculpting busts, many of which had been placed in the local university and libraries.
1937: In Washington, DC Secretary of State Cordell Hull met with a delegation representing the Arab National League which expressed the hope that the United States “will turn a sympathetic ear to the voice of the Arabs of Palestine.”
1937: It was reported that the junior division of the United Palestine Appeal has adopted a resolution urging Great Britain to permit Jews from Germany, Poland and other parts to Europe to immigrate to Palestine without any interruption.
1937: “Many luncheons” are scheduled to be given today “at the Pierre after the lecture on ‘Democracy and Irresponsibility’ which Louis K. Anspacher will give in the ballroom.”
1938: U.S. premiere of “Mad About Music” directed by Norman Rae Taurog and produced by Joe Pasternak.
1938: In Rumania, the Finance Ministry’s Alcohol Department has demanded that the licenses of Jewish innkeepers be restored following an investigation into the unfounded claims of Prime Minster Goga that the Jewish innkeepers were “poisoning the nation.”
1938: In Berlin, the Ministry of the Interior published a new law today empowering “German courts to revoke previous rulings permitting Jews to changes their names” which means that “a Jew who changed his name years ago can be compelled to resume his original names.
1938: The German government published a decree officially notifying banks “that any company that has one Jewish director” or in which Jews have a 25 per cent ownership stake “must be classified as a Jewish concern.”
1938: A court in Westphalia issued a decision “denying a license to sell intoxicating liquor to a café proprietor whose family had social relations with a Jewish family.”
1938: The funeral for “Eugene H. Paul who was for forty-eight years connected with Kuhn, Loeb” and “a leader in Jewish philanthropic circles” in New York City is scheduled to “be held at Temple Home” this morning followed by burial in Mount Neboh City.
1939: In Hamilton, Bermuda tonight, the Governor, General Sir Reginald Hildyard told the English-Speaking Union that Hitler “has drawn America and Great Britain even closer than they were before” in part because “our hatred of what he has done our hatred of the way he has treated the Jews, has made us very close.”
1940: “A group of 2,300 Jewish immigrants from Austria and Czechoslovakia including “lawyers, artists, actors and doctors” set sail from Rumania today “aboard the Turkish freighter Vakaria” bound for Palestine even though they lacked “entry permits.”
1940: “A delegation of Jewish leaders” has asked for a meeting with the Interior Minister following the announcement of his ban on all Zionists activities and organizations.
1941: Prime Minister Churchill instructed his Foreign Minister, Anthony Eden, to send a warning to Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu telling him “that we will hold him and his immediate circle personally responsible in life and limb” if the Iron Cross did not stop their murderous attacks on the Jews.
1942: Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian whose last name become a synonym for traitor “took office as Minister President of Norway,” much of whose comparatively small Jewish population would be literally “shipped” off to the death camps.
1943: Most of the 1,500 Jews remaining in Buczacz who had not been sent to Belzac were murdered. One survivor, Netka Goldberg, lost three sisters, two brothers and her mother. Her father would be killed seven months later.
1944: Today, the Irgun proclaimed a revolt against the British mandatory government.
1945: “Germans responsible for crimes within the Reich, including those against Jews and others, beyond any question will be punished, Joseph C. Grew, acting Secretary of State, announced today.”
1946: Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations. Lie was head of the U.N. when Israel was created and was supportive of creating the Jewish state.
1947(11th of Shevat, 5707): Parashat Beshalach
1947(11th of Shevat, 5707): Sixty-two-year-old Russian born American attorney David Louis Podell, the husband of “the former Sarah Falk of Savannah and father of Margaret Ann and David L. Podell, Jr. whose clients included Eddie Cantor and who drafted major New Deal legislation whose clients included Eddie Cantor and who drafted major New Deal legislation while also serving as vice president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and a trustee of the Education Alliance, passed away today.
1947: In Kennett Square, PA, “Florence Goldberger, a navy nurse and David Savitch , who ran a clothing store gave birth to American television journalist Jessica Savitch.
1947: In Nicosia, Cyprus Bronia Rosenberg, originally from Łódź, and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and Fishel Brand, from Biłgoraj, who had been a resistance fighter during World War II gave birth to Moshé Michaël Brand who gained fame as Israeli “pop star” Mike Brant.
1948: The Arabs bombed the Palestine Post (a.k.a. Jerusalem Post) building in Jerusalem.
1949: “An exhibition of radios, machine tools, clothing, jewelry and artwork -- all produced by Jewish war victims in twenty-six countries -- was opened tonight at 318 West Fifty-seventh Street to an invited audience by the Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training.”
1950(14th of Shevat, 5710): French sociologist. Marcel Mauss passed away.
1951: During the Presidency of Harry Truman, Monnett B. Davis was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
1951(25th of Shevat, 5711): Seventy-four-year-old Annie Morris, the wife of Hyman Morris, the first Jewis Lord May of Leeds, passed away today.
1952: Three years after being released in the United Kingdom, “The Small Room” which Emeric Pressburger co-directed, co-produced and co-wrote opened in New York City today.
1952: “Invitation” based on “the short story ‘R.S.V.P.’ by Jerome Weidman, directed by Gottfried Reinhardt, produced by Lawrence Weingarten and featuring Ruth Roman and Michael Checkhov was released in the United States today.
1952: The day after he had passed away funeral services were held for seventy-eight-year-old Herbert Loeb, Sr., “the son of Rosa and Adolph Loeb” and husband of Rose Regenstein Loeb.
(Samuel Nathaniel) Behrman's "Jane" premiered in New York City.
was a popular and prolific dramatist who tackled a number of topics in his
works including what it was like to grow up Jewish in a small town as the 19th
gave way to the 20th century.
1953: CBS broadcast the first television episode of “You Are There” which had originally been created for radio by Goodman Ace and whose directors included Sidney Lumet.
1953: Today, The Three Pillars was inaugurated as the official organ of the Junior Sisterhod after which “it quickly became the official bulletin of the Heights Jews Center” in Cleveland.
1955: Lord Rothschild wrote to Churchill “thanking him for the fact that in Jerusalem in 1921 ‘you laid the foundation of the Jewish State by separating Abdullah’s Kingdom from the rest of Palestine. Without this much-opposed prophetic foresight there would not have been an Israel today.’”
1955: “Abdullah the Great,” a comedy directed and produced by Gregory Ratoff and co-starring Gregory Rafotff was released in France today.
1956: In the UK, ITV broadcast the first episode of “Colonel March of Scotland Yard” produced by Hannah Weinstein.
1958: Egypt and Syria announced plans to merge into United Arab Republic. This was one of those failed attempts at pan-Arabism that was really a military alliance designed to destroy Israel. The U.A.R. was neither united or a real republic. The Syrians pulled out in 1961, but the name lingered on for many years after.
1959(23rd of Shevat, 5719): Rabbi Jonah Bondi Wise passed away. He “was an American Rabbi and leader of the Reform Judaism movement, who served for over thirty years as rabbi of the Central Synagogue in Manhattan and was a founder of the United Jewish Appeal, serving as its chairman from its creation in 1939 until 1958.”
1959(23rd of Shevat, 5719): “Three civilians were killed by a landmine near Moshav Zavdiel”
1961(15th of Shevat, 5721): Tu B’Shevat
1961: “The Misfits,” “based on an original screenplay by Arthur Miller” and co-starring Marilyn Monroe and Eli Wallach, among others, opened today at the Capitol Theatre in Manhattan.
1961: Director Otto Preminger, who will make the film version of Advise and Consent in September, “has agreed to make unspecified films for Columbia in addition to “Bunny Lake Is Miss” and “The Other Side of the Coin.”
1963: Publication of the first issue of The New York Review which Barbara Epstein helped to found with the encouragement of her husband, “Jason Epstein, a vice president at Random House.”
1964: Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics won his “800th game as an NBA coach” today. (As reported by Bob Wechsler)
1964: Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” Climbs Billboard Charts
1965: Birthdate of Israeli actor Sharone Meir best known for his work on Whiplash (2014), Coach Carter (2005) and Mean Creek (2004).
1965: “Kelly” a musical with songs by Mark Charlap “began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre today.
1966(11th of Shevat, 5726): Seventy-six year old Louisville, KY, native Louis Leopold Mann the HUC ordained Rabbi with a Ph.D. from Yale who was an active member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Chautauqua Society and the Central Conference of American Rabbis passed a way today in Chicago.
1966: In “The Trefa Banquet” published today John J. Appel described the 19th century Cincinnati affair where shellfish were part of the menu.
1966(11th of Shevat, 5726): Eighty-eight-year-old Philadelphia born and NYU trained attorney Herbert Louis May, the former counsel to the High Commissioner for Refugees from Germany passed away today.
1968: In Hollywood, CA, Mitzi Shore (née Saidel), who founded The Comedy Store, and Sammy Shore, a comedian gave birth to Paul Montgomery Shore who gained fame as comedic actor Pauly Shore best known for his role in “Encino Man.”
1969: Birthdate of jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman son of a legendary jazz musician and Jewish dancer from Russia.
1969: Birthdate of publisher Andrew Breitbart, the adopted “of son of Gerald and Arlene Breitbart, a restaurant owner and banker respectively” whose Jewish upbringing included a Bar Mitzvah and a life-long identity with the Jewish people.
1967: In New York, as part of their confrontation with the unionized bagel bakers, owners shut the doors to their bakeries claiming “that they did not have enough work.”
1970: Elie Abel, who has most recently been working as a correspondent for NBC, is scheduled to become the new Dean of Journalism at Columbia University effective today.
1970(25th of Shevat, 5730): Dorothy Horowitz Germber, the wife of the late Newcomb Gerber passed away today in Clifton, NJ.
1970: Oil was pumped for the first time in the newly completed 42-inch Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline
1970: The New York Times includes a review of Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow.
1971(6th of Shevat, 5731): Fifty-three-year-old New York born lyricist Bob Hillard who gave us the words to such well-known hits as “Our Day Will Come,” “My Little Corner of the World” and “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” passed away today.
1974: For the third time “University College, Oxford, elected Professor Venyamin Levich, the eminent Soviet Jewish scientist, as a visiting fellow.
1974(9th of Shevat, 5734): Ninety-three year old Dr. Lazar Schonfeld, the husband of “the former Helen Samish” who served as “chief rabbi of Hungary before coming to the United States in 1925” where he served “as the rabbi of Beth David Agudath Achim Synagogue in the Bronx” and as a “broadcaster for the Voice of America” passed away today.
1976(30th of Shevat, 5736): Rosh Chodesh Adar I
1976: Four days after he had passed away, funeral services are scheduled to be held this afternoon for seventy-one-year-old Shreveport native and Harvard School trained attorney, Joseph Harrison, the former lecturer at Rutgers University Law School and Republican political leader who served as a “judge of the Essex County Court” and who married “former Francis Boehm Ginsberg” after the death of his first wife “the former Amy Harvey.”
1976: "Rich Man, Poor Man" mini-series based on the work of Irwin Shaw, premieres on ABC TV.
1977(13th of Shevat, 5737): Seventy-four-year-old Warsaw native Samuel Arthur “Sammy” Weiss the first Jew to be named captain of the Duquesne University football team who went on “to represent Pennsylvania's 30th, 31st, and 33rd Districts in the United States House of Representatives” before serving as a Common Pleas Court Judge passed away today after which he was buried at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Pittsburgh.
1978: Director Roman Polanski skipped bail and fled to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl. The father of the Polish born director was Jewish. His mother died in a concentration camp. Polanski avoided being trapped in the ghetto and spent the war wandering the woods of Poland.
1979: The first staging of “Fugue in a Nursery” by Harvey Fierstein opened at LaMama today.
1979: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile. This marked a major turning point in the Islamic world as religious fundamentalists began coming to power. There are those who would say that there is a direct line between the success of Khomeini and the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections in 2006. After 28 years, Iran boasts a leader who denies the Holocaust happened and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.
1980: “Fatso” a comedy featuring Estelle Reiner as “Mrs. Goodman” was released in the United States today.
1980: NBC broadcast “Animalympics” written by and directed by Steven Lisberger and featuring the voices of Gilda Radner, Billy Crystal and Harry Shearer.
1980: The last public interview given by Sir Cecil Beaton, who had been fired by Conde Nast in the 1930’s for slipping an anti-Semitic message into one of his drawings, was broadcast by the BBC today.
1984: In Wayne, PA, “Susan Komm, an artist, and Alan Jacobson, a graphic designer” gave birth to Abbi Jacobson, the “co-creator and co-star of the Comedy Central series ‘Broad City.’
1983: Today, Soviet authorities put Refusnik Iosif Begun “on a punishment regimen” that involved “a reduced food ration of 900 calories a day and further restrictions on mail and visits.”
1984: Daniel Stern became NBA commissioner. Jews seem to gravitate to the position since at one point the commissioners of most major sports were Jewish: Commissioner of Major League Baseball: Bud Selig, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association: David Stern and Commissioner of the National Hockey League: Gary Bettman. According to one Urban Legend, there was a move to get Commissioner of the National Football League: Paul Tagliabue to convert to Judaism so that it would be four for four!
1985: Morton I. Abramowitz began serving as President Reagan’s Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
1985: In Leadville, CO, The Harvey/Martin Construction Company convey the Temple Israel property to William H. Copper whose family trust would convey it to the Temple Israel Foundation
1987(2nd of Shevat, 5747): Sixty-one-year-old Sala Burton, the widow of Congressman Philip Burton and a “member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 5th district” passed away today.
1988: Two Palestinians were shot dead today near Anabta in a confrontation on the Nablus road north of Jerusalem that involved demonstrators and settlers. Military authorities said settlers were trapped at roadblocks by stone throwers and drew their guns and opened fire. Soldiers also shot at the demonstrators. Another account said a convoy of 75 settlers returned when the trouble subsided and vandalized a score of Arab cars.
1989(26th of Shevat,5749): Eighty-nine-year-old Marie Syrkin, an author, editor and teacher who was active in the Zionist cause for many decades, died of cancer today at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. (As reported by Glenn Fowler)
1991(17th of Shevat, 5751): Eighty-two-year-old Herzl Rosenblum who served as editor of Yedioth Ahronoth for 35 years and who signed Israel’s declaration of independence as Herzl Vardi passed away today.
1991: “Vandals attacked the Lomita, CA home of Dr. Shlomo Elspas, the executive governor of Chabad South Bay today “spray-painting a swastika and the slogan ‘white power’ on it.”
1992(27th of Shevat, 5752): U.S. District Court Judge Irving R Kaufman, who presided at the Rosenberg Spy Case, passed away at the age of 81.
1993: Gary Bettman becomes the NHL's first commissioner.
1995: Today, the 175th anniversary of issue of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences featured a 1908 article by Leo Buerger, the Austrian born American “pathologist, surgeon and urologist who passed away in 1943.
1996: “A Fair County” written by Jon Robin Baitz “premiered Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater” today.
1998: “A Daughter Seeks Her Olympian Father” published today described the tortured relationship between clinical psychologist Julie Jaffe Nagel and her father Irving Jaffee, the Gold Medal Olympian speed-skating champion.
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including On the Possibility of Jewish Mysticism in Our Time by Gershom Scholem and Selected Poems by Harvey Shapiro
1999(15th of Shevat, 5759): Last celebration of Tu B’Shevat in the 20th century.
1999(15th of Shevat, 5759): Eight-four-year-old Benjamin Elazari Volcani the native of Ben-Shamen, who discovered life in the Dead Sea and pioneered biological silicon research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego” passed away today.
2000: It was reported today that Israel had responded to attacks by Iranian-back guerillas that killed three soldiers “with artillery attacks and air strikes on Hezbollah guerrilla targets in Lebanon.”
2001: “The deadline for political parties to change candidates expired quietly at midnight today, and Prime Minister Ehud Barak finally put to rest the speculation that he would step aside and let former Prime Minister Shimon Peres run in his place in” in next week’s election.
2002(19th of Shevat, 5762): Daniel Pearl, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal was beheaded today.
2002: After having premiered in London two months ago “Gosford Park,” a clever who-done-it that was the brain-child of Bob Balaban who co-produced and co-starred in the film was released in the rest of the UK today.
2003(25th of Tevet, 5771): The Space Shuttle Columbia burned up on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere killing the crew of six including Israel’s first man in space, Ilan Ramon. Ilan Ramon was born in 1954. He was a combat pilot in the Israeli Air Force. He was a graduate of Tel Aviv University and held the rank of Colonel at the time of his death. Ramon was a veteran of the Yom Kippur War, one of the first Israeli pilots to fly the then new F-16 jet and was part of the group that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor before it could go on line.
2004: Jonathan Andrew Kaye won the FBR Open
2004: The New England Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, the Jewish philanthropist defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII
2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Liberated Bride by A.B. Yehoshua; translated by Hillel Halkin and The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill by Ron Suskind.
2005: At Madison Square Garden this evening, “a handful of the 25,000 people there taking part in the 11th Siyum HaShas Daf Yomi celebration recalled some of the more unusual settings in which they have demonstrated their commitment to the daily study of Talmud, which was completed — and renewed for a new seven-and-a-half-year cycle — this week. Daf Yomi, or daily page, was introduced in 1923 at the First International Congress of Agudath Israel in Vienna by a young Polish rabbi, Meir Shapiro, as a way to bring uniformity to the worldwide study of Shas, an acronym for the names of the six orders of the Mishna, on which the Talmudic sages recorded their commentaries around 200 C.E. Agudah said 120,000 North American Jews were taking part in the celebration this year.”
2006: Despite violent protests, Israel successfully completed the evacuation of the West Bank outpost of Amona. This is in line with the policy of the Sharon government provide security for the state of Israel and ensuring that Israel remains both a democratic nation and a Jewish homeland. The withdrawal policy has the support of the majority of Israelis.
2007: The Sarah Silverman Program premiered on Comedy Central
2007: The first exhibition of female architects in the history of Israeli architecture entitled "The feminine presence in Israeli architecture," opened at the gallery of the Union of Architects in Jaffa. Twenty-two female architects participated and displayed works they have planned in the past few years and which have since been built.
2007: As part of a kosher cooking contest, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a proclamation naming this date as Simply Manischewitz Cook-off Day. Candace McMenamin, a non-Jew from Lexington, S.C. won with her sweet potato encrusted chicken. Only in America
2008(25th of Shevat, 5768): Eighty-eight-year-old Holocaust survivor Rubin Partel, the father-in-law of New York born neurologist Leonard S. Schleifer, “the founder and chief executive of the biotechnology company Regeneron.,
2008: In New Jersey, Barnet Hospital which had been founded in 1908 by Nathan Barnet announced that it would closing due to a lack of funding
2008: “Things We Lost In The Fire” directed by Susanne Bier with a script by Allan Loeb was released today in the United Kingdom.
2008: Six gunmen opened fire on the Israeli Embassy in Mauritania early this morning, trading fire with guards before fleeing screaming "Allah Akbar," witnesses said. The six men arrived by car and regrouped in front of a discotheque that is just beside the embassy, said Hamza Ould Bilal, a taxi driver who was parked outside the club, called the VIP. He saw them pull out their automatic weapons and scream "God is Great!" in Arabic, before assailing the embassy, he said.
2008: After having premiered at Cannes last May, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” directed by Julian Schnabel was released today in the United States.
2008: “Praying With Lior,” a new documentary about a Philadelphia boy with Down syndrome preparing for his bar mitzvah opens at the Cinema Village in New York.
2009: At Yale University, CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America presents “Palestinian Issues in Israeli Journalism: A conversation with Khalid Abu Toameh, a journalist who writes for the Jerusalem Post”
2009: The New York Times and the Washington Post each featured a review of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East by Martin Indyk, the assistant secretary of state for near east affairs during the Clinton Administration and the first Jewish American to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
2010: The Center for Jewish History and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation is scheduled to present “Diplomacy and Genocide: Challenges for the Future” during which a distinguished panel of policy makers, diplomats, and scholars discuss the issues and opportunities in diplomatic approaches to the prevention of genocide in the contemporary international community.
2010: Yehuda Weinstein replaced Menachem Mazuz as Attorney General of Israel.
2010: Two barrels of explosives were discovered on Israeli beaches today, which were dispatched into the sea as part of a large-scale Palestinian terror attack against Israeli navy ships.
2010: Seven American and European scientists were named winners of Israel's prestigious $100,000 Wolf Prize today. The Wolf Foundation said its prize in medicine went to Axel Ullrich of Germany for groundbreaking cancer research that has led to development of new drugs. Sir David Baulcombe of Cambridge University was awarded Wolf Prize for agriculture research in defending plants against viruses. The physics prize was shared by US professor John F. Clauser, Alain Aspect of France and Anton Zeilinger of Austria for their work in quantum physics. The mathematics prize was shared by two US-based professors: Shing-Tung Yau for geometric analysis, and Dennis Sullivan for contributions to algebraic topology and conformal dynamics. The Wolf Foundation was founded by the late German-born Dr. Ricardo Wolf, an inventor, philanthropist and former Cuban ambassador to Israel. The private nonprofit foundation's council is chaired by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
2010(17th of Shevat): Ninety-two year old Selma G. Hirsh, a humanitarian and an author who was associated with the American Jewish Committee for many years, passed away today at her home in Stamford, Conn. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/nyregion/25hirsh.html?pagewanted=print
2011: Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day is scheduled to take placed in Richmond, VA.
2011: The Leo Baeck Institute and American Council on Germany are scheduled to present a lecture by Joschka Fischer and Norbert Frei entitled "The German Foreign Office and the Nazi Past"
2011: At Tulane University, Dean Carole Haber announced that Prof. Ronna Burger, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, has been appointed at the Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Chair in Judeo-Christian Studies. This chair was endowed through of generous gift of Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman..
2011: Six Senate Democrats rejected a deficit-driven proposal by a new Republican senator to cut United States aid to Israel. In a letter sent today to the top House Republicans on the Appropriations and Budget committees, the Democrats said aid to Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East, is imperative. They backed the $3 billion in foreign military assistance that the U.S. provides annually to Israel. Republican Sen. Rand Paul said last week that the nation faces a fiscal crisis and argued that the U.S. cannot give money away, even to allies, as the debt grows.
2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak informed Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant today that they have cancelled his upcoming appointment to the post of Israel Defense Forces chief. The announcement comes after months of scandal surrounding his appointment due to allegations that he had seized public lands near his home in Moshav Amikam in northern Israel. Galant was designated to succeed current IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi this month.
2011: A Tunisian Jewish leader said today that the burning of a building that served as a synagogue in the South of the country was not an attack on the local Jewish community. Roger Bismuth, the president of the Jewish community in Tunisia, told The Jerusalem Post that the fire that broke out at a makeshift Jewish place of worship in the town of Ghabes was probably not an act of anti-Semitism, but one of vandalism
2011(27th of Shevat, 5771): Seventeen-year-old Mitchell Perlmeter, the son of rabbi Rex Perlmeter and Rabbi Rachel Hertzman, passed away today in his home at Montclair, NJ.
2012: “Mamele” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Etz Chaim in Toledo, Ohio.
2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Illinois.
2012: Liel Leibovitz is scheduled to moderate a presentation by New York Times columnist David Brooks at the 92nd Street Y.
2012: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told President Shimon Peres today he was worried about the possible military aspects of Iran's nuclear program, laid out in a recent IAEA report, and called on Iran to prove that the program is peaceful. "
2012: Israelis are in danger of waking up one morning to a different Israel, Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni said at the Herzliya Conference today. Livni asserted that Israelis today are not debating the true issue - that the state's relgious minority will impose its will on the Zionist majority.
2012(8th of Shevat, 5772): Eighty-six-year-old Robert B. Cohen, the president of the Hudson County News Company passed away today. (As reported by Denis Hevesi)
2013: Students and members of the Jewish community are scheduled to present poems by Jewish poets including works by Yehuda Acmichai following a Friday night Shabbat dinner at the Hillel at the University of Iowa.
2013: Tenth anniversary of the Columbia Shuttle disaster which claimed the lives of all on board including Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon. The event is the subject of a special documentary entitled "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" which is scheduled to be aired today on Iowa Public Television.
2013: “Not By Bread Alone” is scheduled to be performed at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
2013: On the secular calendar, 11th anniversary of the beheading of Daniel Pearl.
2013(22nd of Shevat, 2013): Eighty-eight-year-old Edward Koch, three-time mayor of New York passed away today on the same day that a documentary of his life opened in New York City theatres.(As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
2013: “The Gatekeepers” opened in U.S. movie theatres
2014: In Rockville, MD, Tikvat Israel is scheduled to show “Lost Islands” as part of its Israeli Film Festival.
2014: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila, is scheduled to host its Third Annual Comedy night of “Sweet Laughter.”
2014(1st of Adar 1, 5774): Rosh Chodesh Adar I
2014(1st of Adar 1, 5774): Eighty-year-old Gordon Zacks, the Ohio businessman who was active in the Republican Party and “served as an adviser to President George H.W. Bush (Bush I) passed away today.
2014: An Egyptian jihadist group said today that it fired a rocket at the Red Sea resort of Eilat which was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, its second in a fortnight
2014: Finance Minister Yair Lapid ordered a halt on all money transfers to the settlements pending the clarification regarding their specific use, a statement on his behalf said this evening.
2014: “Three Molotov cocktails were thrown this evening towards a private home in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood. No injuries were reported and light damage was caused to furniture in the house.”
2014: At the Writers Guild of America Awards ceremony, Mel Brooks presented Pau Mazursky with the Screen Laurel Award, which is the lifetime achievement award of the WGA.
2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Girl From Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family by Roger Cohen and the recently published paperback edition of A Replacement of Life, Boris Fishman’s first novel about the forgery of Holocaust restitution claims.
2015: In London, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host an exhibition “From Generation to Generation” featuring the word of Gideon Summerfield.
2015: The New England Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, the Jewish philanthropist defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
2015: Gary Bettman is scheduled to “mark his 22nd year as National Hockey League Commissioner” today.
2015(12th of Shevat, 5775): Eighty-nine-year-old M.I.T. professor Irving Singer passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)
2015: “Renewal,” film that “profiles a group of dancers—the Vertigo Dance Company—in their pioneering eco-arts village on the outskirts of Jerusalem” is scheduled to be shown at Lincoln Center in New York.
2015: In New Orleans, funeral services are scheduled to held at the Old Beth Israel Cemetery on Frenchmen Street for Irvin Samuel Smith “who was a member of the CCJN’s close-knit family.”
2016: Some of the 6,000 Jews in Iowa are scheduled to join their fellow Hawkeyes in the first-in-the nation caucuses where the candidates include Bernie Sanders, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Hillary Clinton whose son-in-law is Jewish and Donald Trump whose daughter Ivanka is Jewish.
2016: The award-winning exhibition, “Voices of the Vigil” is scheduled to move from Rockville, MD. to Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA.
2016(22nd of Shevat): On the Jewish calendar “yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, wife of the Rebbe.”
2017: Physicist Persis S. Drell, the daughter of Sidney Drell, who has been serving as Dean of the Stanford University School of Engineering since 2014 is scheduled to begin serving the Provost of Stanford University today.
2017: Today the Senate Finance Committee approved Steven Mnuchin’s nomination to serve as Treasury Secretary by a vote of 11-0 with all Democrats boycotting the vote, sending the nomination to the Senate floor
2017: David Shulkin testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs during hearings on his nomination to serve as U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
2017 (5th of Shevat, 5777): On the Jewish calendar Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Alter, “the leader of the Ger Chassidic dynasty, author of Sfas Emes.
2017: In Memphis, TN, Temple Israel Cantorial Soloist Abbie Strauss is scheduled to lead “Musically Speaking” with sessions for both youngsters and adults.
2017: In New York, the Batsheva Dance Company is scheduled to perform Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “Last Work.”
2017: The Yeshiva Museum is scheduled to host a special tour focused on the work of Hugh Mesibov.
2018: On a day when it is offering students a meal of “sweet chili beef and chicken noodles”,The Oxford University Society is scheduled to host a Gemara Shiur.
2018: Comedian Judy Gold is scheduled to perform at the West Hollywood Library.
2018: The Quad Cinema is scheduled to host the final screening of Amos Gitai’s “West of the Jordan River.”
2018: In London, JW3 is scheduled to host the final screening of “An Act of Defiance.”
2018: In Des Moines, IA, the grand opening of the Hillel House at Drake University is scheduled to take place.
2019(26th of Shevat, 5779): On the Jewish calendar Yahrzeit of Rabbi David HaLevi Segal
2019: In Jerusalem, Nirit Loftus, senior guide at the Bible Lands Museum, is scheduled to host a tour of “the museum’s exhibits that tell stories of the ingenuity, shrewdness and daring of queens, goddesses, and ordinary women who once lived and worked in the ancient Near East.
2019: In a rare musical treat, Cantor Joel Caplan, the son of Dick and Ellen Caplan, pillars of the “corridor Jewish community” and the father of another sweet singer of Jewish Song, Ilan Caplan, is scheduled to lead Friday evening services at Agudas Achim in Coralville, IA.
2020(6th of Shevat, 5780): Parashat Bo.
2020: In Sand Leandro, CA, Temple Beth Sholom is scheduled to host a screening of “Leaving Memel – Refugees from the Reich” for by a question-and-answer session with producer and director Fred Finkelstein.
2020: Terrace painted by Israeli artist David Reeb was sold at auction today.
2020: In Boston, “A Far Cry” the Grammy nominated self-conducted chamber orchestra is scheduled to present “Berlin” which highlights the music of three composers whose music “would be considered as degenerate by the Nazis.”
2020: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a Saturday Lunch and Seudah that “will begin an hour before Shabbat ends.”
2021: Ninety-three year old Holocaust survivor Cornelia Vertenstein “gave her last piano lesson” today “at 6:30 a.m.” after which “she arranged a ride to the hospital” because “she was not feeling well.” (As reported by John Branch)
2021: As part of “This Is What Jewish Looks Like series”, the Streicker Center is scheduled to host a conversation Rebecca Walker, the author of Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, her account of growing up as the only child of Jewish civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal and Black writer Alice Walker.
2021: In Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Temple Judea Book Club is scheduled to discuss The Song of the Jade Lily “a gripping historical novel that tells the little-known story of Jewish refugees in Shanghai by Kristy Manning that will include a screening of “Harbor from the Holocaust,” a documentary that examines the Pittsburgh connections to the Jews who found in Shanghai during the Holocaust.
2022: After having been forced to close because of near record snowfall, the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, NJ is scheduled to re-open today.
2022: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present Dr. Shira Klein, lecturing on “The Jews of Italy and the African Empire.”
2022: The Illinois Holocaust Museum is scheduled to host a live virtual discussion with Dan Grunfeld, former two-time Academic All American as a member of Stanford University’s men’s basketball team and 8-year professional basketball player, as he presents his debut novel, By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, a Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream.
2022: Rabbi Sharon Marcus is scheduled to offer a talk on “Torah Study Through a Woman’s Lens” virtually as part of Park Synagogue’s sisterhood programming.
2022: Ohio University Chabad is scheduled to host “An Oasis in Time: The Gift of Shabbat,” the fourth in the Sinai Scholars series.
2022: Deadline for submitting manuscripts that might be published in “The Paper Brigade,” “the Jewish Book Council’s Annual Literary Journal” “named in honor of the group of writers and intellectuals in the Vilna Ghetto who rescued thousands of Jewish books and documents from destruction by the Nazis.”
2022: JW3 is scheduled to host the first screening of Argentinian comedy drama 'Shalom Taiwan’
2022(30th of Shevat, 5782): Celebration of Yom HaMishpacha or Family Day which is observed on the day on the Hebrew calendar marking the death of Henrietta Szold.
2022(30th of Shevat, 5782)): Rosh Chodesh Adar I