Saturday, April 13, 2024

This Day, April 14, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z"L

April 14

69: Vitellius defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum and seized the throne and becomes the third Emperor in what is known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Vitellius’ rise to power made the Roman populace very uneasy because it seemed as if the Empire was tottering on the brink of a destructive Civil War.  Following the death of Nero in 68, four men served as Emperor during 69 including. First came Galba, who was followed by Galba who was followed by Vitellius who was followed by Vespasian, the general who had been sent to Judea to put an end to the Jewish Revolt. Vespasian was the first of the Flavian Emperors.  When Vespasian replaced Vitellius it was with the understanding that he and his son Titus would bring stability to the Empire.  Jerusalem was destroyed as a demonstration of the Flavian’s ability to end civil strife in the Empire and bring a return to the Pax Rommana.  [Editor’s Note: According to this, the leaders who had seized control in Jerusalem completely failed to understand the new reality of Roman power, even as they had confused their victory of Roman Cohorts as being the same as victory over a Roman Legion. If they had spent more time considering the realities of the situation and less time killing their Jewish “enemies” they might have been able to negotiate some kind of settlement that would have avoided the destruction of the Temple and the massive deportation of the Jewish population that marked the beginning of the Diaspora.]

70: The Siege of Jerusalem begins in earnest as Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, surrounds the Jewish capital, with four Roman legions.

73(19th of Nissan, 3833):  According to the Jewish historian Josephus, 967 Jewish zealots committed mass suicide within the fortress of Masada on this last night before the walls were breached by the attacking Roman Tenth Legion. (Two women and five children survived by hiding in a cistern and were later released unharmed by the Romans.  Technically it was not a mass suicide.  According to the story a group of the leaders killed most the population who had agreed to die this way rather than become prisoners of the Romans.  The leaders committed suicide.  This way of dealing with the Romans contrasted with Yochanan Ben Zakai who negotiated with the Romans.  He ended up saving many scholars and establishing the Academy at Yavneh.  While the Legend of Masada has taken on a life of its own, the cold reality is that if the rest of the Jewish population had followed their example, the Jews of Israel would have disappeared. 

193: Septimius Severus began his reign as Roman Emperor. In 194, Severus defeated Pescennnius Niger at the Battle of Issus.  Niger had competed with Severus for throne and made his headquarters in Antioch where “he displayed especial harshness to the Jews.”  When the Jews came to complain about their heavy tax burned Niger replied, “You asked me to relieve your lands of their taxes; would that I were able to tax the very air that you breathe!” Severus spent a short period in Palestine (200) following his semi-successful war with the Parthia. He promulgated laws forbidding conversion to either Christianity or Judaism. He allowed Jews to serve in public positions, but they were not to receive any pay for their work.  The people continued to suffer from attacks at the hands of marauding bands that had been active since the war with Niger. Eleazar, the son of Simon ben Jochai and Ishmael, the son of Jose the Prudent were the leading sages of this time.

1118: As the Crusaders continue their hold over the “Holy Land” Baldwin II is crowned King of Jerusalem, a title that should not be confused with that held by those who ruled from the days of Saul until 586 BCE.

1205: Bulgarians under Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria soundly defeated the Crusaders under Baldwin I at the Battle of Adrianople.  The victory cemented the rule of Kaloyan and his family.  This would prove to be beneficial for Jews since Kaloyan’s nephew opened the kingdom to Jewish traders from Italy.  This also would have proved beneficial to Jewish community already living in Bulgaria which probably dated back to the second century of the common era.

1341: In the Piedmont Region, Italian-Angevine troops sack the city of Saluzzo.  Although Jews have been living in the Piedmont since the middle ages, the first synagogue was not built until the 16th century.  A synagogue was built in Saluzzo in the early 18th century.  For more see

1484: The Cortes at Tarazona approved the formation of Inquisitional Tribunals at Valencia and Saragossa. The Inquisitors wasted no time in beginning their investigations for signs of Jewishness in the communities of the New Christians.

1578: Birthdate of Phillip III, who supported the policy of making his realm Jew free and gave a free hand to the murderous Inquisition

1660: Seven Jews were burned at the stake in Seville.

1712(7th of Nisan): Rabbi Elijah Shapira of Prague, author of Eilyahu Rabba, passed away.

1753(10th of Nisan, 5513): Parashat Metzora; Shabbat HaGadol was observed two days before the House of Lord passed The Jewish Naturalization Act which permitted “Jewish immigrants to England to become naturalized citizens "without receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper".

1754(18th of Nisan, 5513):  In one of those calendar coincidences, Easter is observed on the same day that last day of Pesach is observed

1755: In today’s journal entry “John Wesley refers to the excellent relations” the Jews in Liverpool “enjoyed with their Christian neighbors.”

1759: Composer George Frederic Handel passed away. Among Handel’s Oratorios that used Jewish characters and/or themes were “Esther,” Saul,” “Joseph and His Brethren,” “Athalia,” “Israel In Egypt,” “Samson,” “Joshua,” “Judas Maccabaeus,” “Jephtha” and “Deborah.” For more about Handel and the Jewish people see “George Frederic Handel and the Jews: Fact, Fiction and Tolerances of Scholarship by David Hunter.

1762(21st of Nian, 5522): Seventh Day of Pesach observed as the people living along the Bay of Bengal recover from last week’s earthquake and tsunami that claimed at least 200 lives.

1764(12th of Nisan, 5524): Parashat Achrei Mot; Shabbat HaGadol is observed two days after Massachusetts observed “a Day of Feasting and Prayer” during a smallpox outbreak.

1767(15 of Nisan, 5527): First Day of Pesach observed on the same day that founding father Benjami Franklin wrote from London to Joseph Galloway concerning actions taken by the House including a measure to allow for circuit judges in Pennsylvania

1775(14th of Nisan, 5535): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1775: Massachusetts Governor Gage is secretly ordered by the British to enforce the Coercive Acts and suppress "open rebellion" among colonists by using all necessary force. From this simple statement flowed all of the events that would lead to the battles of Lexington & Concord and the American Revolution. During the American Revolution the Jewish population was so small that it could only support five synagogues which were located in, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, and Savannah. All five followed the Sephardic Minchag. Most of the Jews supported the Revolutionaries. 

1778(17th of Nisan, 5538): Third Day of Pesach observed on the same day that the Continental Congress adopted a resolution empowering “the commissary general of purchases have full power to appoint and remove every officer in his department. …” and that General George issue a series of “general orders” from his headquarters at Valley Forge pertaining to camp sanitation” the lack of which often claimed more lives than any one battle.

1783: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise” which the church refused to be allowed to be produced during the author’s lifetime was performed for the first time today in Berlin.

1789(18th of Nisan, 5549): Fourth Day of Pesach observed on the same day that Charles Thomson arrived at Mt. Vernon and told George Washing that he had been unanimously elected President of the United States.

1792(22nd of Nisan, 5552): Eight Day of Pesach and Shabbat Shel Pesach observed on the same day that President George Washington signed into law “The Appointment Act of 1792” which “set the number of members of the United States House of Representatives at 105, effective with the 3rd Congress on March 4, 1793, and established that a number of representatives would be allotted to each state based on the population enumeration provided by the 1790 Census.”

1794: In Kuhlsheim, Germany, Nanna Schmay and Mannases Held gave birth to Jakob Held, the husband Chanet Hahn with whom he had nine children.

1797(14th of Nisan, 5557): Fourth Day of Pesach

1797: Today, as Jews munch on their Matzah, newly sworn-in President John Adams wrote to his wife asking, her among other things, about the possibility of her joining him in our nation’ capitol.

1799:  Napoleon called for establishing Jerusalem for the Jews.

1799: An Ottoman Army of 35,000 infantry and horseman continues to advance towards Acre where Napoleon is besieging the city as part of his Palestine campaign.

1802: Birthdate of Jacob Liebermann, the son of the Chief Rabbi of Saverne who converted to Catholicism and gained fame as Francis Mary Paul Libermann “The Second Founder of the Holy Ghost Fathers.”

1804: Fanni Fradele Hajim and Immanuel Einstein gave birth to Therese Einstein, the wife of Jakob Hirsh Lindauer and the mother of Babette, Manasse, Rebekka, David and Joseph Lindauer.

1804: In Saverne, France, the town’s Chief Rabbi and his wife gave birth to Jacob Libermann  who converted to Catholicism and as Marie-Paul Liebrmann founded the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

1805(15th of Nisan, 5565): Pesach observed as Lewis and Clark continue on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

1807: In Philadelphia, Rachel Gratz and Solomon Moses gave birth to Isaac Moses who died at Mobile, AL, eleven days before his fortieth birthday.

1808(17th of Nisan, 5568): Third Day of Pesach

1808: In London, Moses de Mattos Mocatta, the London born son of Abraham Lumbroso de Mattos and Esther Isaac Lumbroso de Mattos Mocatta and his wife Abigail Mocatta gave birth to Samuel Mocatta part of a distinguished Anglo-Sephardi clan whose brother David became a leading architect who was the first Jew in England to design a synagogue.

1808: Birthdate of Laupheim, Germany native Alexander Hofheimer, the husband of Henriette Wallersteiner and the mother of Juliana and Hermann Hofheimer

1809:  Three Royal Dukes visit the Great Synagogue.

1811(20th of Nisan, 5571): Sixth Day of Pesach observed on the same day 3,000 Anglo-Allied soldiers led by Generals Sir Alexander Campbell, 1st Baronet and Sir William Erskine, 2nd Baronet began the blockade of French forces at Almeida during the Peninsular War which was a part of the combat of the wars that would not end until Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo

1813(14th of Nisan, 5573): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach observed as American forces prepare to attack York during the War of 1812 which was important because the British would burn Washington in 1814 because the Americans had sacked York when they finally seized the Canadian town.

1814: Birthdate of Bohemian native Rabbi Bernard “Yissachar Dov” Illowy who came to the United States after the failed Revolutions of 1848 where he served several congregations including United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis, Shaare Zedek in New York, Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia and Congregation Kneset Shalom in Baltimore

1814: In Liverpool, Hannah Woolf and Myer Tobias gave birth to Augusta Tobias.

1815: Birthdate of Chaim Zebi Lerner, the native of Dubno whose “reputation among Hebrew grammarians was founded on his More ha-Lashon” first published in 1859, thirty years before he passed away in 1889.

1817: Birthdate of Herschberg, Germany native Baruch Weis.

1819: Birthdate of Fredericia, Denmark native Frederikke Cohn, the daughter of Abraham Cohn, who passed away two days before her seventy-sixth birthday.

1824(16th of Nisan, 5584): Second Day of Pesach; First Day of the Omer

1824: In Bavaria, Fanny and David Isaac Seligman gave birth to James (Jacob) Seligman the husband of Rosa Seligman and father of Dewitt James Seligman; Samuel Jefferson Seligman; Washington Seligman; Eugene Seligman; Jefferson Seligman; Frances (Fanny) Nathan; Angeline Gross and Fleurette Guggenheim who with his brother Joseph found the investment bank of J&W Seligman

1830(21st of Nisan, 5590): Seventh Day of Pesach

1830: In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Henry and Sophia Schatz Ullman gave birth to Peoria, Il, merchant Aaron Ullman, the husband of Mina Rothschild Ullman and the father of Clarence Aaron Ullman.

1831: In Finsbury, Esther and Joseph Moses Levy gave birth to Angelina Levy, the wife of Frankfurt am Main native Edward Ludwig Goetz and mother of Lucy, Jessie, Alice, Evelyn, Ludovic and Charles Goetz.

1831: Lewis Solomons married Ann Levy today at the Hambro Synagogue.

1832(14th of Nisan, 5592): Shabbat HaGadol; erev Pesah observed on the same day that the terms of the Treaty of Cusetta which requires the Creeks to “relinquish all claims to land east of the Mississippi River including the territory of Alabama” were published.

1835(15th of Nisan, 5595): Pesach observed after Robert Peel left office of Prime Minster of the UK and four days before Lord Melbourne assumed the office,

1836: On Kent Road, Cornwall, Amelia Jacobs and Daniel Levy gave birth to Ernest Braham Levy, the husband of future New Yorker Isabella Levy.

1836: At Zemum, Serbia Simon Loeb Herzl and Rivka Bliz Herzl gave birth to Jacob Herzl, the husband of Jeanette Nanette Diamant Herzl and the father of Pauline and Theodore Herzl.

1837(9th of Nisan, 5597): Benjamin Zeeb Wolf ben Isaac ha-Kohen Rapoport passed away today at Papa, Hungary. Born at Nikolsburg, Morvia in 1754, his views set him at odds with Mordecai Benet, the chief rabbi of Moravia and Moses Schreiber, rabbi of Presburg.  Their enmity was such that they denounced him to the civil authorities.  He published several works including Simlat Binyamin u-Bigde Kehunnah a “novellæ on that part of the Shulḥan 'Aruk (Yoreh De'ah) which deals with vows and oaths.”

1838(19th of Nisan, 5598): Shabbat shel Pesach

1839: Louis Haghe and David Roberts create a lithograph of the “Gate of Damacus” in Jerusalem.

1843(14th of Nisan, 5603): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1843: Birthdate of Chalons-en-Champagne native Sophie Neymarck the wife of Elie Camille Espir and the mother of Daniel and Ferdinand Espir.

1846(18th of Nisan,5606): Fourth day of Pesach observed on the same day that the families of brothers George and Jacob Donner and local businessman James Reed, who would go down in history as the infamous “Donner Party, left Springfield today/

1847: Founding of B’nai Israel, a New York City congregation whose membership was “composed exclusively of natives of Holland.”

1848: In Hungary, Rose and Joseph Desberg gave birth to Deborah Klein, the wife of Julis Klein and mother of Emma Klein; Samuel L. Klein; Edward Klein; Joseph Desberg Klein; Josephine (Pepi) Borgos; and Ethel Apple

1849(22nd of Nisan, 5609): Eight Day of Pesach; Shabbat Shel Pesach

1849: Hungary declares itself independent of Austria with Louis Kossuth as its leader. Kossuth was sympathetic to Jewish hopes for emancipation and the right to become full-fledged citizens of the newly independent Hungry.  Based on Kossuth’s commitment to these values Jews contributed 80,000 florins to the cause.  Thirty thousand Jews enlisted in Kossuth’s army, making them 11% of the force.  Unfortunately, the Magyar leadership and the rural peasants did not share Kossuth’s values. Anti-Semitic outbreaks in the countryside combined with the efforts of these political leaders blocked attempts to grant the Jews full rights of citizenship.  All this would become a moot point, since Kossuth and the independent Hungarian movement would be defeated by the imperial forces and Kossuth would be forced to flee for his life.  Ironically, the returning Imperial government saved their harshest punishment for the Jews.

1850: In Germany Mary Pretzfedler and Moses Aufesser gave birth to Ferdinand Aufesser, a resident of the First Ward in Albany, NY and the husband of Amalia Barnet.

1852: In New Orleans, Joseph Hart Marks, the New York born Alexander and Esther Hetty Marks and his wife Cecilia Marks gave birth to Henrietta Jaffe, the husband of Ludwig Salomon Jaffe and the mother of Paul, Vera, Georg Jaffe.

1852: Birthdate of Amsterdam native and painter Meijer Isaac de Haan also known by his French name Meyer de Haan whose works included a painting of the excommunication of Portuguese philosopher Uriel a Costa and his pupils included Dutch painter Baruch Lopes Leão de Laguna who along with his wife was murdered at Auschwitz.

1856: In Wattenheim, Germany Sarah Hartman and Jacob Kastor gave birth to Adolph Kastor, the husband of Minnie Denzer and manufacturer of cutlery who in 1870 came to the United States where he became President of the Camillus Cutlery Company in Camillus, NY, a senior member of Adolph Kaster and Brothers, chairman of the hardware section of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropic Societies and a member of Temple Emanu-El in New York.

1858: Herman Wulfson married Leah Hart today.

1859:  In Galatz, Rumania, Jews were accused of taking blood from a Christian child (for the baking of matzos) though not of killing him. Fifteen "culprits" were arrested. The next day a mob broke into the synagogue, killing some of the worshippers, destroying some fifty scrolls and demolishing the synagogue. The fifteen were soon released with no convictions, yet the government refused to allow the synagogue to be rebuilt for nearly twenty years.

1859: In Lubova, Poland, Hannah and Moses Meyer Denebeim gave birth to future Kansas City resident Louis Denebeim the husband of Jennie Denebeim

1860(22nd of Nisan, 5620): Eighth Day of Pesach; with war clouds looming over the horizons, Yizkor is recited for the last time in a United States where the states are united.

1861: Birthdate of Belarusian native Israel Belkind a founder of the Bilu and a leader of the Fist Aliyah

1861: Today, the Isabel, a ship belonging to Moses Cohen Mordecai, the owner of the Mordecai Steamship Line, which was name for his wife was used to evacuate Major Robert Anderson from Fort Sumter following the bombardment of that installation which marked the start of the Civil War.

1862 (14th of Nisan, 5622): Fast of the First Born.

1862: With over 1500 cows having been sold today the Jewish cattle dealers were active in the market at New York today since they would be absent tomorrow due to the fact tomorrow is “their Passover.”

1862: Private Louis Leon enlisted in Company B of the 53rd North Carolina (CSA). He was one of five Jews to serve in this infantry company that had been mustered at Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County, in the western part of the state of North Carolina.

1862(14th of Nisan, 5622): In the evening, during the Civil War, Pesach begins with 21 Union soldiers of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Regiment celebrating with a Seder in Fayette, West Virginia.

1862: Birthdate of Dr. Martin Grove Brumbaugh who as Governor of Pennsylvania in 1916 issued a proclamation calling upon the citizens of that state “to set aside January 27 as a day on which to make donations for the relief of the Jewish people in various countries at war” which President Wilson had named as “Relief Day.”

1862: In Pittsburgh, PA, Henry and Babette (Frank) Silverman gave birth to Isaac H. Silverman the husband of Ida Silverman  who had a thirty year partnership with William Stern “in the electric light and street railway business while also serving as the president of various railroads including the Philadelphia Railways Company and the Atlantic City and Shore R.R. Company and maintaining a membership at Keneseth Israel.

1864: Fifty-seven-year-old Ridley Haim Herschell, the “Anglo-Polish minister who converted from Judaism to evangelical Christianity and was a founder of the British Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Jews and of the Evangelical Alliance.

1865(18th of Nisan, 5625): Fourth Day of Pesach; erev Shabbat

1865: Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending at play at Ford Theatre.  In the late 1850’s, Lincoln expressed his disgust with the “Known Nothing Party” and its platform of bigotry and ant-Semitism.  Lincoln enjoyed electoral support among Jews.  In 1860, Louis Dembitz of Kentucky was a staunch supporter of Lincoln at the Republican Convention in 1860.  (Dembitz was an ancestor of Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis.) Sigmund Kaufman a German-Jewish newspaper publisher in New York worked furiously and successfully to deliver the German immigrant vote to Lincoln.  The philanthropist Moses Dropsie, founder of Dropsie College was another of Lincoln’s famous Jewish supporters.  Lincoln appointed a Jew to serve as U.S. Counsel in Zurich, the first time a Jew had been appointed to such a high diplomatic post.  But Lincoln’s most famous moment in dealing with the Jews came when he countermanded Grant’s infamous Order #11.  Lincoln was the first president to approve of the appointment of Jewish Chaplains in the U.S. Army. April the 14th was the fourth day of Pesach.  But Lincoln was killed on Friday night, so a case can be made that he was actually killed on the fifth day of the Jewish holiday of freedom that provided so much of the liberation motif for the work of the Great Emancipator.

1867: In San Francisco, Leopold Seligmann, the son of David Isaac Seligmann and Fanny Seligmann and his wife Julia Levi gave birth to Edgar Seligman

1867: Dr. Simon Abrahams, a well-known New York physician passed away today at the age of 57.

1868(22nd of Nisan, 5628): Eighth Day of Pesach observed for the last time during the Presidency of Andrew Johnson.

1870:  In London, Nathan Adler and Lionel Cahn established the United Synagogue. It united the Ashkenazi synagogues of London for charities and civic affairs.

1870: In New York Banker Isaias Wolf Hellman, one of the founders of the University of Southern California married Esther Newgass whose sister, Babette, was married to Mayer Lehman, one of the founders of Lehman Brothers and with whom he had three children - Isaias William Hellman, Jr., Clara, and Florence

1872: Birthdate of Vilna native David Podolsky, the pioneer Zionist leader David Podolsky who came to the United States in 1896 where he combined work as a realtor with support of such organization of Yeshiva College and HIAS while raising three daughters and a son with his wife Fannie

1872: In Breidenbach, Germany, Levi Sonneborn and Amalie Bacharach gave birth to Siegmund B. Sonneburn a graduate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the husband of Camille K. Goldschmid who was the “managing member of Henry Sonneborn and Company which employed three thousand workers, about 60 per cent of whom were Jewish” and who was active in the Baltimore Jewish community as can be seen by his service as treasurer of the Baltimore Branch of JTS.

1873(17th of Nisan, 5633): Third Day of Pesach

1873: “The Wandering Jew” by Leopold Davis Lewis, who was the author of “The Bells”, opened at the Adelphi Theatre.

1873: Two days after she had passed away at the age of 7 months and 12 days, Amy Martha Raphael, the daughter of Charles Raphael and Beatrice Rosalie was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1874: In Coldwater, Michigan, Ross Jud and Jacob Friedman gave birth to Harvard education medical doctor Leo Victor Friedman, the husband of Anna McCall who taught at both Harvard and Tufts medical schools ad served as a staff surgeon at Boston City Hospital and Boston Lying-In-Hospital.

1877(1st of Iyar, 5637): Rosh Chodesh Iyar; 16th day of the Ome

1878: In Kishinev, “Eva Geller and Joseph Fishbein gave birth to Rhode Island resident Louis Fishbein, the husband of Sarah Miller Fishbein and the father of Morris, Jay, Nathan, Ralph, Matthew, Joseph, Samuel and Arthur Fishbein.

1879(21st of Nisan, 5639): Seventh Day of Pesach

1879: “A Railroad Test Case” published today described litigation filed against Joseph Seligman & Co in which if he plaintiffs are successful could ruin the “eminent bankers from New York City.”

1880: “Became A Hebrew For Love” published today described the path that led to the marriage of Baltimore merchant Emanuel Strauss and Lillie Williams.  Miss Williams met and fell in love with Mr. Straus while working at Strauss Brothers, a large wholesale dry goods store in Baltimore.  Since young Mr. Strauss came from a prominent Orthodox family she studied for six months and then went through a conversion ceremony that included immersion in the mikvah at which time she changed her name from Lillie to Rachel.  The couple wed secretly and took a trip to Chicago from which they hope to return with the blessings of his family.

1880: The New York Times featured a review of a book about Palestine entitled “The Land and the Book: Or Biblical Illustrations drawn from manners and customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land” by William M. Thompson.

1881(15th of Nisan, 5641): American Jews observe the first and only Pesach of newly inaugurated President James Garfield who would be die from an assassin’s bullet in September of 1881.

1881: In Hungary, Katherine Cline and Maxwell Grossman gave birth to Cornell University and Fordham University medical schools trained neurologist Moris Grossman the husband of Edith Sachs whose career included serving as the associate attending neurologist at Montefiore Hospital for Chronic Diseases and associate consulting neurologist at Monmouth Memorial Hospital.

1882: In Frankfurt am Main, Stella Rothschild, the German born daughter of Leopold Schott and Sara Randegger and her husband of Wilhelm Benjamin Rothschild gave birth to Karoline Carola Schwarz, the wife Gustavo Schwarz.

1882(25th of Nisan, 5642): Dr. Ludwig Waldenburg passed away in Berlin.

1882: Birthdate of Paris native and phenomenally wealthy banker Jacques Stern who served as the Minister of Merchant Marin and Minister of the Colonies during the 1930’s before finding refuge in the United States during WW II teaching at Princeton University.

1882: Observance of the first feast day for Justin Martyr, the second century Church leader whose most famous polemic against the Jews was “Dialogue with Trypho.”

1883: In Bialystok, Hyman and Esther Halpert gave birth to “skirt manufacturer” Isidor Halpert, the husband of the former Tillie Epstein and the father of Naomi and Juliet Halpert who in 1888 came to the United States where after working as a stock clerk and salesman founded the skirt manufacturing concern Halpert Brothers with his brother Max and became a member of the Federation of Jewish Charities in New York.

1884(19th of Nisan, 5644): Fifth Day of Pesach

1885: Birthdate of Russian native Harry Lefrak, prominent Jewish real estate executive and philanthropist, who was “a pioneer in apartment construction in New York City and who was the founder of one of the largest construction firms in the United States.

1885: In Minsk, Vladimir and Sophie Bernstein gave birth to Rachel Bernstein, who, as Rachel Wishnitzer gained fame as “a pioneer in the fields of Jewish art history and synagogue architecture.” (As reported by Shulamith Z. Berger)

1885: Birthdate of Bobroisk, Russia native Harry Lefrak, “the chairman of the Lefrak Organization, one of the largest building companies” in the United States and the founder the Lefrak Foundation who came to the United States at the turn of the century where he worked at shoveling snow and carpentry and raised a family with his wife, “the former Sara Schwartz.”

1886: A major story, possibly the first of its kind, was published in today’s Atlanta Constituion, Georgia’s leading daily newspaper.  “The main headline read: ‘Passover Preparations for Celebrating the Festival.’ The writer stated, “The Jewish citizens of Atlanta are getting ready for the Feast of Passover. Unleavened bread will be eaten. The interesting facts about observance will be given plus an explanation of the plagues of Egypt.”

1887(20th of Nisan, 5647): Sixth Day of Pesach

1887: One day after he had passed away, Michael Cohen was buried today at the “Belfast Jewish Cemetery” in Northern Ireland.

1887: In a part of Germany that is now modern-day Poland, Abraham and Fanny Lippman gave birth to Leo Lippman, the brother of Else, Emma and Hanns Lipman, who was murdered at Auschwitz.

1887: In Labischin, Fanny and Abraham Lippmann gave birth to Leo Pippman who died at Auschwitz in 1943 and the husband of Kate Lippmann who also died in Auschwitz in February of 1943.

1888: Birthdate of Russian native and Cooper Union trained civil engineer Lazarus Trommer, the husband of the former Sarah Sussman with whom he raised three children – Joseph, Alice and Rachel – who wrote under the pen name of Elbert Aidline and served as an editor with the American Hebrew and The Jewish Tribune.

1888: In Kansas City, MO, “Joseph C. and Mollie (Hays) Manheimer gave birth to University of Chicago alum and Harvard Law School trained attorney Arthur E. Manheimer who rose to the rank of 1st Lt. while serving overseas with the USA Signal Corps and returned to Chicago to practice law while serving as the a director for the Young Men’s Jewish Charities and being an active member of Sinai Congregation on Chicago’s South Side.

1889: In London, Harry Valpy Toynbee, the secretary of the Charity Organization Society, and his wife Sarah Edith Marshal gave birth to Oxford educated historian Arnold Toynbee whose view Jews much more complicated than his view that the Jews were a “fossil civilization since during WW I he was sympathetic to the Zionism, a view which shifted to a more pro-Arab stance in the 1940’s which culminated in a debate with Ambassador Yaakov Herzog. (Editor’s note – Toynbee’s views of Jews and Jewish civilization is too complex for one entry on this blog and you are urged to read more on your own to form your own views.  At the same time, for many Toynbee’s works are really irrelevant and are of interest to only a very small number of people.

1890(24th of Nisan, 5650): Hanover native and University of Halle graduate Marcus (Meir) Lehmann, the prolific author who served as the rabbi of a “private religious society” in Mainz which was really a congregation passed away today at the age of 58.

1891: In delivering his response to the claims of Reverend Howard MacQueary “the alleged heretic who has been expelled from the Protestant Episcopal Church” Rabbi Gustav Gottheil denied claims made about the crucifixion of Jesus by the Jews” stating that “Jesus of Nazareth was never persecuted by the Jews.”

1891: Birthdate of Portage, PA native Hyman “Goldie” Goldstein the Dickinson College football player described by legendary coach Pop Warner as “being a star kicker, passer and ball carrier” possessing “the rare quality of fine judgment and generalship” who went on to serve in the Navy during WW I and pursue a legal career in Carlisle, PA.

1892(17th of Nisan, 5652): Third Day of Pesach

1892: “Russia’s Warlike Measures” published today described the major moves by Czar to strengthen his military position on the western frontier including a demand by General Iosif Gurko that he be given permission to expel the Jewish people from the frontier and move them sixty verts (approx. 40 miles) inland. (Having forced the Jews to live in the Pale, now the Russians want to dispose them for military reasons – think of the scene at the end of Fiddler on the Roof for context)

1892: It was reported today that the Jewish Emigration Committee has decided to only send Russian Jews to the United States and Argentina who are “suitable for colonization” and to limit the immigrants to batches of a hundred.  At this rate, it will take twenty years to settle all of the land bought under Baron Hirsch’s auspices for agricultural settlements.

1893: As the Reichstag opened today in Berlin, members waited for Hermann Ahlwardt , “the Jew baiter” to produce documents proving German officials of corrupt conduct.

1893: “A Frenzied Mob In Bohemia” described an outbreak of anti-Semitic violence in Kolin, a town 35 miles from Prague which was nothing more than another blood libel.  The body of a servant girl name Marie Panlik was found floating in the Elbe and the citizenry decided that she had been killed by the Jews as part of their religious customs.  Before the military could quell the riot the homes of the Jews had been sacked, the population “assaulted” and the synagogue had been wrecked.

1894: The former Leah Barntett, the wife of Michael Israel with whom she had had ten children was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1894: Birthdate of Antopol Russia native and U.S, World War veteran Emanuel Applebaum the Columbia trained physician and bacteriologist who in 1906 came to the United States where he served on the faculty of NYU and worked for the NYC Health Department.

1894: Birthdate of Brooklyn native Robert Adler, the former journalist and public relations man who served as deputy sanitation commissioner in New York.

1894: “Shaaray Tefila’s New Home” published today described the consecration of the new home for Gates of Prayer located on West 82nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

1895: Lt. Colonel Jean Sandherr who was head of the Statistical Section, the French army’s counter-espionage unit who “gathered a secret commission of inquiry that hastily decided on Captain Alfred Dreyfus as being the author of handwritten notes found in the wastepaper basked of the German ambassador in Paris, was promoted to Colonel today.

1895: In Russia, Hannah and Max Jaffe gave birth to Adeline Jaffe who gained fame as Adeline Schulberg the talent and literary agent who married B.P. Schulberg.

1895: It was reported today that “last winter, Lord Rothschild had assured his co-religionist…that he and his associates would not have touched the new Russian loan” without a promise from St. Petersburg that “the persecution of their people would be stopped.”  Not only have the Russians not kept their promises, in the last fortnight, they have revived all the edicts against the Jews that had been cancelled meaning that “this is to be year of peculiarly evil memory to Israel in Holy Russia,”

1895: The highlight of the third and final day marking the celebration of Temple Emanu-El’s fiftieth anniversary was “the festival arranged by the children of the religious school.”

1896: Janet Simons Haris, the Titusville, PA born daughter Helen Esther Katz and Abraham Hirsch Simons and Bradford High School teacher who served as vice president and then president of the National Council of Jewish Women married Nathanial Harris today in Bradford, PA.

1897: Two days after he had passed away, 36-year-old Reuben Harris was buried today at the “Plashet Jewish Cemetery” in London.

1897: It was reported today that Jewish children from Russia have a disproportionately high rate of Trachoma or “granulated eyelid.”

1897(12th of Nisan): Seventy-eight-year-old French rabbi and author Lazar Wogue “best known for his translation of the Pentateuch…and for his history of Bible exegesis” passed away today in Paris.

1898(22nd of Nisan, 5658): Eighth and final day of Pesach

1899: Among the bills passed today by the New York State Assembly was one providing “for the consolidation of the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Free School Association of New York…”

1900(15th of Nisan, 5660): First Day of Pesach and Shabbat.

1900: Observance of the first Pesach since the death of “Silver Dollar” Smith whose saloon on Essex Street provided piles of Matzoth for the underprivileged Jews of the Lower East Side.

1900: It was reported today that the fact that Erev Pesach coincided with Good Friday “had accounted for some of the extraordinary suspension of business and absence of traffic on the streets” of New York.

1901: In Cardiff, Wales, Sarah Stone and Asher Epstein, gave birth to Phoebe Epstein the wife of Leonard Cooklin and the mother of Shirley Barbar and Alan Cooklin who during the First World War “served as an Auxiliary Nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)” and during the Second World War served in “the Mechanized Transport Corp, driving soldiers up and down the country” while raising three children and keeping “her home open to any Canadian, Free French and American Soldiers in need of a place to stay” and whose brother Isadore “Izzy” Epstein who died in 1922 after suffering from a mustard gas attack in World War I.

1901: Henri Daniel Mayrargue and Eveline Bethsabée Lattès, the daughter Eveline Bethsabée Lattès gave birth to Albert Mayrargue

1902(NS): Birthdate of Lithuanian native and “deputy head of the Soviet Air Forces Yakov Vladimirovich Smushkevich, the first Jew to be named “Hero of the Soviet Union” and “the only person to receive the Hero of the Soviet Union twice and then be executed” after being arrested on what later proved to be falsified charge that he was part of anti-Soviet conspiracy.”

1902: “Religious Auction Sale” described cornerstone laying ceremonies for the “new Home for Aged Orthodox Jews” in Chicago where “Samuel Sdartz of Waukegan gave $1,000 for the privilege of laying the cornerstone.”

1902: “Opportunity of Judaism” published today described a lecture by Dr. William S. Friedman, the rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Denver in which he addressed “the miracle of the preservation of the Jew” which has baffled the explanations of the Church and the theories of materialists” while saying that “anti-Semitism is a striking demonstration that the boasted brotherhood of man is as yet merely a beautiful metaphor…”

1903(17th of Nisan,5663): Third Day of Pesach

1903: Birthdate of West Hoboken, NJ native and NYU Law School trained attorney Walter Leichter, a president of the New Jersey Bar Association and president of the North Hudson Jewish Community Center who was the husband of “the former Irma Cohen.”

1904: Birthdate of Essen, Germany native and Holocaust victim Margaret Dornbush

1904: Birthdate of Lithuanian “choreographer and dance teacher” Sonia Gaskell who in 1939 move to her husband’s home in the Netherlands where she survived the war and continued teaching until she passed away in Paris.

1905: In Dublin, Philip Bradlaw and his wife gave birth to dentist Sir Robert Vivian Bradlaw who was “the chair of dental surgery at the Dental School of Newcastle upon Tyne, the Dean and Director of Studies at the Institute of Dental Surgery, Director of the Eastman Dental Hospital and Professor of Oral Medicine at the University of London, posts which he held until his retirement.

1906(19th of Nisan, 5666): Fifth Day of Pesach; Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach

1906: As Jews munched on their Matzah, word was received of an explosion that killed at least five sailors serving aboard the Kersarge, a U.S Navy battleship.

1907(30th of Nisan, 5667) Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1907: The project led by Mrs. Solomon Schechter to “re-establish congregational singing” and to reintroduce in the services many of the beautiful old Hebrew melodies which had fallen into disuse” bore fruit tonight during a concert attended by people from the Lower East Side as well as such uptown Jews as Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Schiff and Mr. and Mrs. Felix M. Warburg heard The Choral Sciety ofr Ancient Hebrew Melodies organized by Isaac Rosenblatt sang Psalms 24 and 118 and the Downtown Cantors Association sang Kol Nidre.

1908: “The Redemption Produced” published today described the first performance in Philadelphia of “The Redemption,” a sociological drama dealing with the Jews in Russia by Rabbi Isaac Landman” who “advanced the theory that the only way the Jews could be safe was to publicly join the Greek Church” while living “as Jews in private.”

1909: The engagement was announced today of Charles Waldstein, the Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge University whose books include The Jewish Question and the Mission of the Jews and Mrs. Theodore Seligman, the widow of the late Theodore Seligman who was “formerly Miss Florence Einstein, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D.L Einstein.”

1910: “J. Walter Freiberg, Rabbi Louis Grossman, Joseph Lazarus, Rabbi Jacob Mailziner, Meyer Oetting and Rabbi David Philipson” issued “an appeal to the Jewish people of the United States for funds for the publication of the news translation of the Bible” which they will provide $100,000 for this project.

1911(16th of Nisan, 5671): Second Day of Pesach

1911(16th of Nisan, 5671): Sixty-one-year-old August Iganaz Einstein, the brother of Hermann Einstein and an uncle of Albert Einstein passed away today.

1912: The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg at approximately 11:45 pm. Among those who were not aboard was Nathan Strauss, the brother of Isador Strauss, and his wife “In 1912, the brothers and their wives were touring Europe, when Nathan, the more ardent Zionist of the two, impulsively said one day:- “Hey, why don’t we hop over to Palestine?”

Israel wasn’t the tourist hotspot then that it is today. Its population was ravaged by disease, famine, and poverty; but the two had a strong sense of solidarity with their less fortunate brethren, and they also wanted to see the health and welfare centers they had endowed with their millions.

However, after a week spent touring, Isidor Straus had enough.- “How many camels, hovels, and yeshivas can you see?  It’s time to go,” Isidor decreed with edgy impatience in his voice.  But Nathan refused to heed his brother’s imperious command.  It wasn’t that he was oblivious to the hardships around him; it was precisely because of them that he wanted to stay. As he absorbed firsthand the vastness of the challenges his fellow Jews were coping with, he felt the burden of responsibility.- “We can’t leave now,” he protested.  “Look how much work has to be done here. We have to help. We have the means to help. We can’t turn our backs on our people.”- “So we’ll send more money,” his brother snapped back. “I just want to get out of here.”

But Nathan felt that money simply wasn’t enough.  He felt that the Jews who lived under such dire circumstances in Palestine needed the brothers’ very presence among them: their initiative, their leadership, and their ideas. Isidor disagreed. The two argued back and forth, and finally Isidor said,- “If you insist, stay here. Ida and I are going back to America where we belong.” The two separated. Isidor and his wife returned to Europe, while Nathan and his spouse stayed in Palestine, traveling the country and contributing huge sums of money to the establishment of education, health, and social welfare programs to benefit the needy. Nathan also financed the creation of a brand-new city on the shores of the Mediterranean.  And since his name in Hebrew was Natan, and he was the city’s chief donor, the founders named it after him and called it…Natanya. Meanwhile, back in Europe, Isidor Straus was preparing to sail home to America aboard an ocean liner for which he had also made reservations for his brother, Nathan, and his wife. - “You must leave Palestine NOW!”  he cabled his brother in an urgent telegram.   “I have made reservations for you and if you don’t get here soon, you’ll miss the boat.”

But Nathan delayed. There was so much work to be done that he waited until the last possible moment to make the connection. By the time he reached London, it was April 12 and the liner had already left port in Southampton with Isidor and Ida Straus aboard. Nathan felt disconsolate that he had, as his brother had warned, “missed the boat.” For this was no ordinary expedition, no common, everyday cruise that he had forfeited, but the much-ballyhooed maiden voyage of the most famous ship of the century. This was the Titanic. Nathan Straus, grief-stricken and deeply mourning his brother and sister-in-law could not shake off his sense that he had had a rendezvous with history The knowledge that he had avoided death permeated his consciousness for the rest of his life, and until his death in l931, he pursued his philanthropic activities with an intensity that was unrivaled in his time. Today, Natanya is a scenic resort city of 200,000 and headquarters to Israel’s thriving diamond trade – one of the most important industries in the country. And in almost every part of the city, there is some small reminder of Nathan Straus’s largesse, his humanity, and love for his people.”

1912: Just before midnight, Archibald Gracie IV, who had spent much of the voyage talking about the Civil War with his friend Isdiore Straus was jolted awake as the Titanic struck an iceberg.  Gracie is the source for the story of the last moments of the Mr. and Mrs. Straus who died together on the ship.

1912: Mary Antin's The Promised Land, an autobiography recounting her life in the Russian Pale of Settlement and as an immigrant in Boston, was reviewed in the New York Times.

1913(7th of Nisan, 5673): Seventy-six-year-old “communal worker” M.D. Levy passed away today in Springfield, Ohio.

1913(7th of Nisan, 5673): Nathan Kahn passed away in Selma, Alabama.

1913(7th of Nisan, 5673): Eighty-five-year-old Baltimore merchant Solomon Preiss passed away today.

1913: It was reported today that “the late Joseph Liebermann who left an estate of upward of half a million dollars, bequeathed the sum of $7,000 to the leading Jewish charities in” New York and Brooklyn.

1914: “Potash and Perlmutter,” a three-act play featuring the characters Abe Potash and Mawruss Perlmutter, who are business partners in the garment industry opened today at the Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End.

1914: Tulane graduate and Columbia trained attorney, Ralph J. Schwartz, the Galveston, TX born son of Mathilde Seligman and David Schwartz and Tulane Law School Professor married Irma Sale today in St. Louis.

1915(30th of Nisan, 5675): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1915(30th of Nisan, 5675): Sixty-seven-year-old Hungarian native and humorist Carl Hauser, a resident of the United States for over forty years who was “editor of Puck when it was a German publication, author of Fun for the Millions, published and known as the “German Mark Twain” passed away today.

1915: In London, Lord Reading, the Lord Chief Justice of England spoke at meeting today aimed at recruiting Jews to serve in the military where he acknowledged the comparatively high rate of Jewish enlistment but called for more because Jews in England have enjoyed “the security and freedom not always known elsewhere.

1915: “The next regular meeting of the Baron Hirsch Woman’s Club is scheduled to” take place this afternoon at the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago.

1916: Birthdate of Suleiman (Solomon) Alexandrovich Yudakov , the native of Kokand who became a leading Bukharian composer whose work included “Surudi Milli,” the modern-day national anthem of Tajikistan. After surviving a lifetime under Soviet rule, he passed away in 1990. 

1917(22nd of Nisan, 5677): Eighth Day of Pesach and Shabbat Shel Pesach

1917(22nd of Nisan, 5677): Fifty-seven-year-old L.L. (Leyzer Leyvi) Zamenhoff, the Jewish doctor and linguist who created Esperanto passed away in Warsaw.  His youngest daughter Lidia was murdered by the Nazis at Treblinka in 1942.

1917: Those attending the tenth annual convention of the Federation of Rumanian Jews of America which began tonight at the Hebrew Technical School applauded Dr. Julius Weiss, the organization’s president “when he said that the Jews of the federation were ready to offer their lives this country now that it was at war” with Germany.


1917: In the Bronx, elementary school teacher Gertrude Wald Miller and clothing salesman Alexander Miller gave birth to Marvin Miller, the Brooklyn Dodgers fan who changed the face of Major League Baseball while service as executive director of the player’s union.According to The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum “Marvin Miller never played the game, but he may have had more influence on baseball than anyone else in this half of the century. Hired by the players in 1966, he brought a wealth of experience garnered in the tough steelworkers' union to bear on baseball labor relations, and his knowledge, organizational ability, and resolve completely overmatched the owners and their representatives, particularly Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Spike Eckert. In a time of baseball prosperity which saw manifold increase in the value of franchises, his tough tactics finally got the players not only a "bigger piece of the pie" but also greater, if grudging, respect for their wishes in regard to trades and other matters. Executive director of Players' Assn. from 1966-82; increased average salary from $19,000 to over $240,000; led 13-day strike in 1972 and 50-day walkout in '81.”

1918: The “3rd Indian Division” which had arrived in Palestine today from Mesopotamia to reinforce Allenby’s forces as they continued their drive against the Ottomans.

1918: William Edlin, the President of the Jewish Socialist League of America and the editor of The Day presided over a meeting at Beethoven Hall the aim of which to bring “all Jewish Socialist and labor organizations into hearty co-operation with the Government in a vigorous prosecution of the war” where he told the attendees they must “be prepared to stand by the United States in this crisis if they help their comrades in Russia and maintain their own self-respect.”

1918: Sixty-nine-year-old William J. Stone, the U.S. Senator from Missouri who as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee had held hearings on the resolution to create Jewish Relief Day in 1916 – a proposal which he supported – and who was one of only six senators to vote against the U.S. declaration of war on Germany passed away today.

1919(14th of Nisan, 5679): Fast of the First Born

1919(14th of Nisan, 5679): Jewish Soldiers serving with His Majesty’s forces held a Seder in Jerusalem

1920: Birthdate of Sheldon Douglas Moldoff who “drew covers for the first appearances of the characters Flash and Green Lantern in 1940”, created “some of the earliest renderings of Hawkman: and who “contributed to the first issue of Action Comics, in which Superman was introduced (though he did not draw the Man of Steel).”

1920: The National Conference of Jewish Service which had been meeting at the Hotel Grunewald in New Orleans came to an end today.

1920(26th of Nisan, 5680): Eighty-five-year-old Hungarian-Austrian neurologist Mortiz Benedikt passed away today.

1920: In Gomel, the Twelfth Conference of the Bund continued to meet for a third day.

1921: Joseph Barondess went to Ellis Island today where he was united with the infant child of Elka Lerner, a refugee from pogroms in Ukraine who had died last night and who was a cousin of Barondess.

1921: Pinchus Ruttenberg “announced today that within a few days his plan for electrification of Jaffa, Tel-Aviv and Petach-Tikvah will be completed.”

1921: A delegation of about 200 rabbis, who were attending their annual convention in Washington, DC visited the White House this afternoon where they met with the President Harding who “said he was especially goad to meet the rabbis because, while not of their religious faith, he recognized the value of their work in raising the moral standards of the community at large as any religious movement was bound to do” and Mrs. Harding who exchanged pleasantries with the clergy men from the home state of Ohio.

1921: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that “Tel-Aviv has been officially recognized as an independent township.”

1921: The adoption of Hebrew names by Jewish immigrants has resulted in the adoption of government policy “permitting any change of name provided the change is duly advertised in the Official Gazette.

1922(16th of Pesach, 5682): Second Day of Pesach; observed on the same day that “The Teapot Dome scandal broke when The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall had secretly leased the government-owned Teapot Dome oil reserves in Wyoming to a subsidiary of Sinclair Consolidated Oil Corporation,”

1923(28th of Nisan 5683): Mevarchim Chodesh Iyar observed on the same day that “The National League of Women Voters voted against an endorsement of the League of Nations as presently constituted but urged that the United States "associate itself with other nations" in order to prevent war. A dance marathon in Baltimore was stopped by police after 53 hours.”

1924: “Five hundred delegates from reformed congregations throughout the United States” including Charles Shohl, Julius Frieberg, Maurice D. Rosenberg, Herman Wile and Isaac M. Ullman are scheduled to hold their final meeting today Chicago where “they will discuss methods of raising funds” to support the “various activities of Union of American Hebrew Congregations.”

1924: In The Bronx, Maurice Schulweis and his wife gave birth to Harold Maurice Schulweis “an influential rabbi and theologian who focused his sermons, books and social activism on connecting the Jewish community with the wider world — and vice versa —.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1925(20th of Nisan, 5685) Sixth Day of Pesach

1925: “Delegates to the National Association of Jewish Bakers' Convention will vote today, at the Broadway Central Hotel, upon a recommendation to insist that the Bakery Workers' International Union grant collective bargaining to the employers.”

1925: In Manhattan Sam and Bea Traub gave birth to Marvin Stuart Traub, “the retailing impresario who transformed Bloomingdale’s from a stodgy Upper East Side family department store into a trendsetting international showcase of style and showmanship in the 1970s and ’80s.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

1926: In address given today to the students of the religious schools of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, “Rabbi Michael Aaronsohn the sightless chaplain of the National Association of Disabled War Veterans predicted a revival of religious interest among Jews” and “said that in a recent tour of the country he found a great revival of Jewish consciousness and an awakened interest in the establishment of religious schools and seminaries.”

1926: In Kokomo, Indiana, Samuel and Bessie Kopelov gave birth to Connie Kopelov, one of the partners in New York’s first same-sex marriage.

1926: “Lady, Be Good” a George and Ira Gershwin musical “opened in the West End at the Empire Theatre’ today.

1927(12th of Nisan, 5687): Fast of the First born is held on a Thursday since the first seder falls on Saturday night.

1927: A campaign to raise a half million dollar to support the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver led by a committee whose members include Judge Samuel D. Levy, Mrs. Willard Parker, Ben Altheimer, Patrick Cardinal Hayes and Bishop William T. Manning began today.

1928(24th of Nisan, 5688): Parashat Shimini; Mevarchim Chodesh Iyar

1928: James Rosenberg, the Chairman of the Agro-Joint, the agency of the American Joint Distribution Committee for its agricultural activities in Russian announced today that Louis Marshall had made “a subscription of $100,000” which is “the first donation toward the fund which the Jews of” the United States “are rising to match the five million dollars subscribed by Julius Rosenwald of Chicago.”

1929: It was reported today that despite denials from the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury has cancelled his visit to the Holy land “in deference to the inferred wishes of the Vatican” which was acting on a complaint from Monseigneur Barlissina, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem that he was disturbed by the proposed visit because of the close relations between the Anglican Church and “various Eastern Orthodox churches.” (Editor’s note: Problems of religion in Eretz Israel often had nothing to do with the Jews.)

1929: Dedication services led by Rabbi B.A. Tintner are scheduled to continue this afternoon “at the new Unity Synagogue at 140 West 79th Street.”

1929: It was reported today that Rabbi Samuel Rosinger of Beaumont TX has been elected president of the Kallah organization of Texas rabbis.

1930: Six-year-old Beatrice Edith Berch Factor, the Seattle born daughter of Rose Chmeinitsky and Samuel Harry Berch, the Russian born Los Angeles dairy company executive was living at 1001 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

1930 “Indian independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru” who was opposed to the creation of the Jewish state of Israel” was arrested and charged with violating the salt law.”

1931: In Atlantic City, NJ, “David and Fanny (Hapern) Bayless” gave birth to Theodore Morris Bayless the University of Chicago trained physician who made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of dairy intolerance while raising three sons with his wife the former Janet “Jaye” Nides.

1931: Count Juno Klebelberg, the Minister of Education is scheduled to represent the government at today’s funeral for Eugen Both, the boy who was fatally shot by Emil Zatloka who fired eight revolver shots during an anti-Semitic attack at the “chief synagogue” in Budapest.

1932: U.S. premiere of “Symphony of Six Million,” “based on the story “Night Bell” by Fannie Hurst, the movie concerns the rise of a Jewish physician from humble roots to the top of his profession and the social costs of losing his connection with his community, his family and with the craft of healing” produced by Pandro S. Berman and David O. Selznick, co-starring Gregory Ratoff and with music by Max Steiner.

1933: Today photographer Lou Bernstein “received a diploma…from The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City New York” upon his completion of a course in “iron drafting” which enabled him to earn a living working in the shipyards of Brooklyn.

1933:  The Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten (National Political Educational Institutes) were established as training schools for Nazi Party cadets.

1934(29th of Nisan, 5694): Parashat Shmini

1934: An anti-Semitic organization in Poland, Ob<ó>z Narodowo-Radykalny (National Radical Camp), was established.  Anti-Semitism was part of the Polish social fabric before and after World War II.

1934: In the second of such outbreaks in Tangier, "Arabs responded to a march by Jewish boy scouts by mounting public demonstrations against Jews."  As Martin Gilbert points out, April the 14th was Shabbat, and the demonstrations took place when most Jews were in their homes.

1935(11th of Nisan, 5695): Fifty-three-year-old German born American mathematician and physicist Emmy Noether passed away in Bryn Mawr, PA.

1935: “Joseph Greenfield an executive member of the Young Men’s Tammany Club of the First Assembly District” is scheduled to “distributed 1,500 packages of matzoth to the poor families” living on the lower East Side” this afternoon.

1935: Publication today of “The Life and Genius of Maimonides,” a review of Maimonides: The Story of His Life and Genius by Dr. J. Muenz.

1936(22nd of Nisan, 5696): 8th day of Pesach

1936: It was reported today “for the last several months the lives of over 3,000,000 Jews in the Republic of Poland have in constant jeopardy” as a result of the “persecution of the Jews” by Poland which “is openly and willfully violating the minorities clause of the League Nations.”

1936: Dr. Everett R. Clinchy, a Presbyterian minister and the director of the National Conference of Jews and Christians was quoted today as saying the aim of the cross country trip he is making with Reverend Michael J. Ahern and Rabbi Morris Lazaron “is to consolidate the recent gains in inter-faith amity as a result of Brotherhood Day and President Roosevelt’s emphasis upon cooperation among those of different faiths for the common good.”

1937: “Babes in Arms”, a Rodgers and Hart musical opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre today.

1937: Dr. Emanuel Libman and Dr. Nathan Ratnoff are co-chairman of the physicians’ division of the Greater New York drive of the United Palestine Appeal which it was reported today has agreed to raise $25,000.

1938: The Palestine Post reported from London that the Palestine Police Force had been supplemented and would continue to be increased - new men were being trained and sent to Palestine.

1938: After viewing it in March, today, the New York Board of regents disapproved a request by Arthur Maye and Joseph Burstyn to grant a license for the screening of “the French film ‘Remous.’”

1938: The Palestine Post reported that 35 families from Rexigen in south Germany were settled, together with a number of other families in a new village, south of Nahariya. Work went on erecting buildings, the defense stockade and a search-light tower.

1939(25th of Nisan, 5699): In Tel Aviv, Samuel Solow past away at the age of 90.  Born in Russia, he moved to the United States in 1893 where he became a successful shirt manufacturer.  He retired in 1927 and moved to Palestine.  In 1935 he gave $15,000 for the construction of a students’ club at Hebrew University.

1940(6th of Nisan, 5700): Sixty-four-year-old New York City native and CCNY graduate Moses Beckhardt, a forty-year veteran of the city school system and the rabbi at Bath Israel Congregation of Kingsbridge in the Bronx passed away today.

1940: Birthdate of Yossef Romano ( יוסף רומנו) “a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists during that Olympics. He was the Israeli weight-lifting champion in the light and middle-weight divisions for nine years.”

1941: Adolf Hitler appeared on the cover of Time magazine

1941: Time magazine published its cover story – “World War, Strategy: A Dictator’s Hour.”,8816,932213,00.html

1941: Time magazine featured a review of “Blood, Sweat and Tears,” a collection of Churchill’s public pronouncements from May 1938 to February 1941.

Read more:,9171,932268,00.html#ixzz1rxaUgmdv'

1941: The Ustashe, a Croatian far-right organization that pursued Nazi and fascist policies, is put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis Powers.  The Ustashe would be responsible for the murder of at least 30,000 Croatian Jews.

1941:  Hungarian troops occupied portions of northern Yugoslavia. About 500 Jews and Serbs were shot.

1941: “After watching the German propaganda film Der Ewige Jude, Flemish paramilitaries from the Volksverwering, VNV and Algemeene-SS Vlaanderen began a pogrom in the city of Antwerp” in which “the mob, armed with iron bars, attacked and burned two synagogues in the city and threw the Torah scrolls onto the street” after which “they then attacked the home of Marcus Rottenburg, the town's chief rabbi.”

1941: Two hundred Flemish supporters of the Nazis burned two synagogues in the Oosten straat as part of what is called the “Antwerp Pogrom.”  By the end of WW II, the Jewish population had been decreased from a pre-war total of 35,000 to 15,000.  The Jewish community traced its origins back to the 13th century although its modern configuration did not begin until the end of the 18th century with reforms forced by the French Revolution.

1942: “Word was received” in New York today “of that 69 year old Professor Jacob Zallel Lauterbach, the Professor Emeritus of Rabbinics at the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati had passed away on March 21st.

1943:  The slave-labor camp at Siedlce, Poland, was dissolved.

1943:  A paper, Program for the Rescue of Jews from Nazi Occupied Europe, was submitted to the Bermuda Conference by the Joint Emergency Committee for European Jewish Affairs.

1943: Gerhart Riegner, World Jewish Congress representative in Geneva, suggested that money be deposited in a Swiss account to be paid after the war to enable the 70,000 Romanian Jews previously offered to the Allies to immigrate to Palestine. This comes to be known as the Riegner Plan.

1944: Henk Drogt, a 24 year old Dutch policeman who had refused orders to round up the remaining local Jews in Grootegast, Holland and deserted the police force and joined one of the Dutch resistance groups, where he took part in the smuggling of downed Allied pilots to the Belgian border as well as helping to keep Jews out of the hands of the Nazis was executed after having been caputed and sentenced to death by the Germans.

1944: Henk Drogt, a 24-year-old Dutch military policeman, was executed by the Nazis eight months after having been arrested by the Nazis for his refusal to arrest Jews and then joining the Resistance. After the war, Drogt was posthumously decorated by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Dutch Government for his actions in the resistance movement. He has also been honored as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem

1944: “While an agreement was arrived at between Wesenmayer, German Minister and a representative of Sauckel on the other hand, and Prime Minister Sztojay, on the other, that Hungary would place 300,000 Jewish workers at the disposal of the Reich (who were to be selected by a mixed Hungarian-German committee), total deportation was decided by Endre, Baky, and Eichmann at a meeting in the Ministry of the Interior” today.

1944:  The first transport of Athenian Jews left Greece for Auschwitz.

1944(21st of Nisan): Rabbi Benjamin Menasseh Levin, author of “Ozar ha-Geonim” passed away today

1945: U.S. Soldiers of the 84th Division of the Ninth Army liberated Salzwedel Labor Camp.  Frank J. Cmelik of Iowa was on the liberators.  Lea Fuchs Chayen was one of those who were liberated. 

1945: Private H. Miller took a picture of “slave laborers in the Buchenwald concentration camp near Jena.”

1945: U.S. Army Sgt. E.R. Allen took this picture of “one of 150 prisoners savagely burned to death by Nazi SS troops.”

1945: Pfc. W. Chichersky took this picture of “a truck load of bodies of prisoners of the Nazis, in the Buchenwald concentration camp at Weimar, Germany.”

1945: Pfc. W. Chichersky took this picture of the “bones of women that were still in the crematoriums in he concentration camp at Weimar, Germany.

1945:  Soldiers of the United States Army reached Gardelegen Camp. They found smoldering logs strewn with the bodies of the recently cremated victims.

1945: Ellen Geller was among the 60,000 people who were liberated by British troops at Bergen-Belsen.Geller and her family were taken captive by the Nazis in Poland when she was only 4 years old and she spent time in concentration camps until the age of 8. Most of her time was spent in Bergen-Belsen.”

1945: British units reach the Elbe, joining American forces who had reached the river two days earlier where they would not wait to be joined by Soviet Forces thus making the encirclement and defeat of the remaining German forces a reality.

1946: The New York Times reported that Bronislaw Huberman the Polish born violinist who is President and founder of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra has begun a tenth month concert tour that will take him to Europe and Egypt before he returns to Palestine in December.

1947: “Norman S. Goetz was re-elected to a third term as president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York at a meeting of the organization’s board of trustees held today”

1947: Two thousand five hundred fifty-two illegal immigrants reached Haifa on board the Guardian.  Three of them had been killed while unsuccessfully resisting a Royal Navy boarding party which was in the process of transporting them to Cyprus.

1948: The British withdrew from Safed.  Before leaving, they gave the Arabs the city's police station, the fortress like police station on Mount Canaan and the ancient citadel in the heart of the town.

1948: Surrounded by armed Arabs, the Jews of Safed awaited the final onslaught and their death when a Palmach platoon that was the spearhead of Operation Yiftach entered the city after marching through the mountains.  They brought food, weapons and hope.

1948: “Design for Death” an Academy Award winning documentary directed by Richard Fleischer was released today in the United States.

1949(15th of Nisan, 5709): First Day of Pesach in the newly created state of Israel.

1949(15th of Nisan, 5709): In one of the great ironies of history the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg's last judgment takes place on the first day of Pesach.  The Nuremberg Tribunal was an attempt to punish those responsible for Crimes Against Humanity (among other charges) in a judicial setting.  The alternatives were to just line people up against the wall and shoot them or let them go.  For all of its imperfections, the Tribunal was an expression of faith in the rule of law and it did punish some of the leading survivors of the Third Reich. For a full account of the work of the Tribunal on line, try this website

1952(19th of Nisan, 5712): Fifth Day of Nisan

1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the tenants of the houses administered by the Custodian for Abandoned Property had from then on been allowed to sell or transfer their flats or rooms for an agreed sum. However one-third of the price would have to be paid to the custodian.

1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission met for the first time in two years.

1953: Israelis intercepted a boatload of terrorists who were trying, for the first time, to infiltrate the state from the sea.

1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, hundreds of singing and dancing men celebrated the conclusion of the fourth complete reading of Gemara.

1954: “Knock On Wood,” a comedy directed, produced and written by Melvin Franks, starring Danny Kaye and featuring Leon Askin was released in the United States today.

1954: Birthdate of Shari Ellin Redstone who would serve as president of National Amusements, vice-chairman of CBS Corporation and Viacom, and chairman of Midway Games. It probably did not hurt her career that she is the daughter of Sumner Redstone and the granddaughter of Michael Redstone.

1956(3rd of Iyar, 5716): Parashat Tazaria-Metzora

1956: Twenty-year old Larry Boardman defeated the current featherweight champion “in a unanimous decision in 10 rounds and moved up to # 7” in the rankings.

1956: A memorial service was held today at Garnethill Synagogue for Cantor and composer Isaac Hirshow, (aka Yitzak Gershov, the Russian born son of Simon Gershov ) “the first person to obtain a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Glasgow and of  the cantor at the Chevra Kadisha synagogue in the Gorbals area of Glasgow” before moving to Garnethill Synagogue in 1925, where he served for the next thirty years.

1957: In Pikesville, MD, the former Sue Ellen Sezzin, who taught school and Howard Platt gave birth to University of Pennsylvania graduate and NYU trained attorney Marc E. Platt,  the Emmy award winning and Oscar nominated producer and husband of the former Julie Been who began his career with the 1987 comedy “Campus Man” and has collaborated on musicals as “Mary Poppins Returns” and “The Little Mermaid” and who is the father of Ben Platt, the star the Broadway musical “Parade” which tells the story of Leo Frank.

1959: Final broadcast of “The George Burns Show,” a one season attempt by George Burns to keep alive the sitcom known as” the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” without Gracie Allen who had retired due to health problems.

1960(17th of Nisan, 5720): Third Day of Pesach

1960: Birthdate of actor Brad Garrett, Robert on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

1961: Birthdate of cartoonist David Clowes creator of Eightball and Ghost World.

1962: On Shabbat Hagadol Rabbi Maurice J. Bloom delivered a sermon at Termont Temple in the Bronx condemning the “Soviet Union’s restrictions on Matzah baking.”

1962: In a sermon delivered at Congregation and Talmud Torah Tifereth Israel, Rabbi Kurt Klappholz decried the hypocrisy being shown during the current teachers strike while ‘we stoutly maintain that the teaching profession must be on of dignity we do not provide for a decent livelihood for those who are entrusted with the molding of the characters of our children.”

1962: Rabbi Julius Mark of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Joseph Zeitlin of Whitestone Hebrew Center devoted their sermons to condemnations of the U.N.’s recent resolution that censured Israel for its attacks on its neighbors with censuring the Syrians for the provocations and for the world organizations failure to deal with the root cause of the problems in the Middle East.

1963: Tito, the leader Yugoslavia, rebuffed Ben Gurion’s request for help in improving relations with Egypt.  The Yugoslav leader appeared to be pandering to leaders of the so-called “Third World” by saying that he would concentrate his efforts at the United Nations instead of on bi-lateral talks. 

1963: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Car 54 Where Are You?” created by Nate Hiken who also served as director, producer and wrote the theme music for the police themed sitcom.

1964:  Sandy Koufax threw his 9th complete game without allowing a walk.

1964: Today’s studio tour sponsored by the National Council of Women in the United States is scheduled to at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Saul Schary.

1967: “Mischa Elman, the Russian born violin virtuoso left an estate of about $1 million, according to his will, which, was filed for probate today in Surrogate's Court in Manhattan.”

1968(16th of Nisan, 5728): Second Day of Pesach

1968(16th of Nisan, 5728): Seventy-three-year-old New York born, and Columbia trained physician Dr. Jonas Jay Unger, the husband of the former Nettie Avedon with whom he had two children and “a captain in the Army Medical during WW I” passed away today at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.

1968: “The Vengeance of She” filmed by cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky was released today in the United States.

1969: Barbra Streisand shared the Best Actress Oscar with Katherine Hepburn

1969: In New Haven, CT, Linda Susan (née Dronsick) who is Jewish and Professor Harry Jack Ausumus gave birth to Bradley David "Brad" Ausmus who followed his career as a major league baseball player by becoming a manager with the Detroit Tigers.

1969: Bernard J. Lasker, 58-year-old senior partner of E. H. Stern Co., was nominated today “for a one-year term as chairman of the New York Stock Exchange's board of governors.”
1973: Birthdate of actor Adrien Brody star of the film, “The Pianist.”

1974(22nd of Nisan, 5734): Eighth Day of Pesach

1974: ABC broadcast “Thursday’s Game,” written by James L. Brooks, with Gene Wilder, Valier Harper, Rob Reiner and Norman Fell.

1974: Several Jews from Kiev laid wreaths and flowers at Babi Yar, “in memory of the Kiryat Shmona victims and Warsaw ghetto heroes.”

1977: The President Jimmy Carter nominated Manuel D. Plotkin, of Chicago, Ill., to be Director of the Census. Plotkin is associate director of corporate planning and research for Sears, Roebuck and Co., in Chicago. (Plotkin was Jewish; Jimmy was not)

1977: NBC broadcasts “Say It Ain’t So, Chief,” the third episode in the crime drama series “Lanigan’s Rabbi” co-starring Bruce Solomon as David Small, the crime-busting rabbi,

1978: “The Medusa Touch” the movie version of the novel by the same name directed by Jack Gold and produced by Arnon Milchan was released today in the United States.

1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the prime minister, Menachem Begin, and his foreign minister, Moshe Dayan, had softened their policy regarding the applicability of the UN Security Council's Resolution 242 on the West Bank - hitherto the most serious area of disagreement with the US. This move was expected to bring about a renewal of the American mediation efforts in the stalled Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations.

1979(17th of Nisan, 5739): Third Day of Pesach; Shabbat

1979: CBS broadcast the final episode of the 4th season of “One Day At A Time” the sitcom developed by Norman Lear starring Bonnie Franklin.

1980(28th of Nisan, 5740): Yom HaShoah

1980(28th of Nisan, 5740: Fifty-eight-year-old New York born and holder of a Ph.D. from Columbia “Herbert L. Lashinksy, the research professor of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland passed away today in Fairfax, VA.

1980:  Dustin Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring role in 'Kramer vs. Kramer.”

1980(28th of Nisan, 5740): Jewish comedian Shimon Dzigan who along with Israel Shumacher formed “the most famous Yiddish comic duo of ‘Dzigan and Schumacher’” passed away today.

1980:  The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Norman Mailer for The Executioner's Song.

1981(10th of Nisan, 5741): Ninety-five Demopolis, AL born producer and distributor Arthur L. Mayer, the business partner of Joseph Burstyn passed away today in New York.

1982: Birthdate of Rochester, NY native and classical cellist Alisa Weilerstein, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow.

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

1984(12th of Nisan, 5744): Shabbat HaGadol

1984(12th of Nisan, 5744): Mayer Rosen, the husband of Shirley Rosen who was the Baltimore born daughter of Shlomo Silverblatt and Rachel Silverman, and the father of Eli Rosen and Iris Levy passed away today after which he was buried in Baltimore, MD.

1984: The IDF began blowing up the houses of the terrorists who had seized Bus 300.

1987(15th of Nisan, 5747): Pesach

1987(15th of Nisan, 5747): Seventy-seven-year-old Boston University alum and WW II veteran, Julius Sumner Wells the son of Latvian and Lithuanian Jews whose wife Alice Brown Millers sought to perpetuate his name through the Julius Sumner Miller Foundation passe a way today.

1988:  It was reported today that plans to organize independent events to mark the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising have provoked bitter Government charges that the political opposition is exploiting the ghetto memory for ''petty, shallow and ad hoc political games.''

1990(19th of Nisan, 5750): Shabbat Shel Pesach

1990: Emma Freud appeared on the game show “Just A Minute” “playing against her father Sir Clement Freud who was a regular on the show.

1990: Detroit Tigers pitcher Steve Wapnick appeared in his first major league baseball game.

1992: A revival of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls” opened at the Martin Beck Theatre.

1994: Avi Perlmuter, a nineteen-year-old soldier killed in the latest round of terror attacks, who lived in the Negev town of Ir Ovot was buried today.

1994: Prime Minister Rabin accused Jordan today of helping the Islamic militant group whose suicide bombers have killed 12 Israelis in two weeks. "Israel cannot tolerate the situation of Amman being a paradise for the activities of the Hamas," Mr. Rabin said at a hastily called late-night news conference. With Foreign Minister Peres at his side, Mr. Rabin said that Israel had been in direct contact with Jordan in the last few days and that he had also discussed the issue with Secretary of State Warren Christopher. "There's a direct contact and connection between the Hamas and Jordan, the offices of the Hamas and its activists and those who carry out its activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza," Mr. Rabin said, using the Israelis' name for the West Bank. He said, "We view very severely the fact that Jordan and its Government are not taking any steps to prevent the freedom of activity and the freedom of representation of the Hamas and its murderous activities."

1995(14th of Nisan, 5755): Fast of the First Born; Erev Pesach

1996(25th of Nisan, 5756): Eighty-two-year-old artist, author, friend of the famous and WW II veteran Mervyn Levy passed away today.

1997: NBC broadcast the final episode of “The Single Guy,” a sitcom starring Jonathan Silverman, the son of a sabra and the grandson of Rabbi Morris Silverman and Jessica Hecht.

1999(28th of Nisan, 5759): Sixty-seven-year-old multi-talented British showman Anthony Newley passed away today.

2000: U.S. release of “Keeping the Faith” with a script by Stuart Blumberg, with Rena Sofer as Rachel Rose, Lisa Edelstein as Ali Decker, Bodhi Elfman as Howard the Casanova, Susie Essman as Ellen Friedman,Ben Stiller as Rabbi Jacob "Jake" Schram, Miloš Forman as Father Havel and Eli Wallach as Rabbi Ben Lewis and with music by Elmer Bernstein.

2000: Today, The Times of London wrote about Deborah Lipstadt’s victory over David Irving saying “History has had its day in court and scored a crushing victory.”

2000: The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California reports on the reissuance of a “D.P. camp Haggadah.” "A Survivors' Haggadah" which was written by a Holocaust survivor in Germany in 1945 and 1946 was published again this year. Yosef Dov Sheinson, a Holocaust survivor from Kovno, Lithuania, created the Haggadah. Sheinson, a Hebrew teacher before the war, survived the war in slave labor camps, including a subcamp of Dachau. After a short stint in the Landsberg D.P. camp, Sheinson moved to a private house in Munich, where he worked on a Jewish newspaper. There he complied this Haggadah, which was printed by a German publishing house in return for cigarettes and food rations. Saul Touster, a retired law professor at Brandeis University, discovered the Haggadah in 1996, when he was cleaning out his late father's papers. The book was inscribed to his father, a longtime executive with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, who received it when he visited the camps in 1952. Touster decided to publish the Haggadah - he had it translated from Hebrew and Yiddish and compiled his own commentary - in part to honor his father. "It's not about do-goodism. You go away feeling the experience. And it tempers your spirit," Touster says, recommending that it be used as a supplement to a more traditional Haggadah.With the help of 16 woodcuts created during the war by Hungarian survivor Miklos Adler, the Haggadah brings the burden of the Holocaust onto the relatively joyous Passover story. What comes through most clearly is Sheinson's struggle to find an answer to the questions of the existence of God and of Jewish survival in the wake of the Holocaust. In 1948, Sheinson moved to Montreal, where he worked in Hebrew education until he died in the mid-1990s.

2000(9th of Nisan, 5760):  Phil Katz passed away. He was the creator of "PKZIP" and the ZIP archive format, which replaced ARC as the standard mechanism for distributing files on IBM PC compatible systems.

2001(21st of Nisan, 5761): Seventh Day of Pesach and Shabbat Shel Pesach

2002(2nd of Iyar, 5762): Eighty-one-year-old British jurist and author Sir Michael Robert Emanuel Kerr passed away today.

2002: In Skokie, Illinois, Gary Elkins collected $50,000 for the IDF today at a rally for Russian Jews.

2002: IN the aftermath of Operation Defensive Shield, IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz told the media that “the army intended to bury the bodies” of the terrorists killed during the Battle of Jenin “in a special cemetery.”

2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently published paperback edition of “Collected Poems In English” by Joseph Brodsky; edited by Ann Kjellberg, a large volume containing all the verse that appeared in English during Brodsky's lifetime.

2003: U.S. troops captured Abul Abbas in Baghdad.  Abbas was the leader of the Palestinian terrorists who high jacked the Achille Laura in 1985.  They threw Leon Klinghoffer a wheel-chair bound Jewish passenger overboard.  According to some accounts, Abbas was "allowed to escape" by Italian authorities. 

2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formally announced his plan for withdrawing from Gaza today in a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush, stating that "there exists no Palestinian partner with whom to advance peacefully toward a settlement."

2005: After having premiered in Greece last week, “The Interpreter” directed by Sydney Pollack who also made a cameo appearance was released today in the United Kingdom.

2005: Chrisitie’s was scheduled to sell “The Red Tree” a canvas painted and signed by Abram Anshelovich Manevich also known as Abraham Manievich who passed away in 1942.

2006: Following Ariel Sharon’s second stroke, Ehud Olmert officially became acting Prime Minister.

2007: Calling the decision by the Vatican ambassador to Israel to boycott the Holocaust memorial services at Yad Vashem "inappropriate and insulting," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today repeated its longstanding call for the Vatican to open its wartime archives so that the facts concerning the wartime actions of Pope Pius XII may finally be brought to light. Archbishop Antonio Franco, the Vatican's ambassador to Israel, has made the unprecedented announcement that he will boycott the April 16 memorial events at Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the Holocaust, in protest of a photo caption in an exhibit that seemingly charges Pope Pius XII with failing to save Jews during the Holocaust.

2008: In Seattle, Washington, Naveed Haq is scheduled to go on trial for a shooting rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Haq, 32, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder for storming into the Jewish charity in July 2006, killing one woman and injuring five others. He railed against the Iraq war and Israel during the rampage.

2008: State Department veteran Aaron David Miller, discusses his new book, The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace, at the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.

2008: Time magazine features a profile of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell “Hillary’s Point Man” during the state Democratic Primary.  The article mentions Rendell’s New York origins but says nothing about his Jewish heritage.

2009(20th of Nisan, 5769) Sixth Day of Pesach

2009(20th of Nisan, 5769): Just nine days before his 91st birthday Maurice Druon, a hero of the French Resistance of and the author of “The Accursed Kings” – seven novels about the 14th century French monarch – passed away today.

2009: Publication date for Rhyming Life and Death a new book written by Amos Oz and translated by Nicholas de Lange

2010: PBS is scheduled to show “Worse Than War” which is based on Daniel Goldhagen’s book of the same title. The program offers an exploration of the nature of genocide, ethnic cleansing and large-scale mass murder in our time during which Goldhagen speaks with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, religious leaders, politicians, diplomats, historians, humanitarian aid workers and journalists.  

2010: The new on-line Chabad Talmud Course for Beginners is scheduled to begin today.

2011: The Center for Jewish History, The Jewish Week and Nextbook are scheduled to present “Revisiting Eichmann: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Trial That Shook the World.”

2011: Elie Wiesel is scheduled to give a lecture entitled “The Rebbe of Ger: A Tragedy in Hasidism” which will include information of “Rabbi Yitzhak Meir, founder of the rebbes who lead the movement and the profound effects of his life and work.”   

2011: Teenage heartthrob Justin Beiber has invited children from Sderot to attend his concert that is scheduled to take place today in Tel Aviv.

2011: The second annual Festigalgal happening, a colorful joyous occasion which offers funky entertainment, informative workshops, outdoor education and an opportunity to boost Jerusalemites’ awareness of the existence of, and need for, cycling in the capital is scheduled to take place today.

2011: IDF pensioners demonstrated outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv today, complaining that their pensions were being eaten up by inflation. The Ministry has promised numerous times to adjust a cost of living increase for the pensions, but so far has not moved on the matter, the protesters said. In recent years, they said, the value of their pensions has gone down by nearly a third.

2011: Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of the Reform Movement in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post today that the nighttime attack on The Kehilat Ra’anan synagogue in Ra’anana by vandals was the third such attack of its kind. Unknown persons shattered six windows – covering two sides of the synagogue – with stones and spray-painted a black Star of David below the words “It has begun” on one of the exterior walls.

2011: President Shimon Peres paid a surprise visit to Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where he met with children who were on school bus before it was hit by an anti-tank missile last week. Nahal Oz, which was founded in 1951 as the first Nahal settlement – one begun by soldiers from the IDF’s Nahal Brigade – became a civilian settlement in 1953 and has always been vulnerable to attack. One of its members, Ro’i Rutenberg, was killed in April 1956, when the kibbutz was attacked by Sudanese serving in the Egyptian Army. Moshe Dayan, who was then the chief of General Staff, attended Rutenberg’s funeral and delivered a stirring eulogy. Peres, who was a great friend of Dayan’s recalled the event and was saddened that despite the passing of years, Nahal Oz remains in the eye of the storm. “Nahal Oz is the Tel Hai of the South,” he said, referencing the settlement in the Galilee panhandle that Yosef Trumpeldor and seven comrades died defending against a much larger Arab force in 1920.

2012(22nd of Nisan, 5772): 8th day of Pesach with services to include Hallel, Yizkor and Shir HaShrim

2012: “Free Men,” a film based on actual events that took place during the Nazi occupation of Paris, is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Hillel “Slovak was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers today with his brother accepting on his behalf.”

2013: “Iron Man 3” based on a character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Favreau was shown publicly for the first time in Paris at the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival

2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich and Mary Coin by Marisa Silver.

2013: Historian Daniel Goldhagen is scheduled premieres his book and documentary feature "Worse Than War" on PBS.

2013: The week-long “National Days of Remembrance” sponsored by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to end today.

2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Jewish Community Center of Paramus (NJ) this afternoon.

2013: The State of Israel Memorial Day Service marking Yom Hazikaron, sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel in New York is scheduled to take place at the 92nd Street Y.

2013: PBS is scheduled to broadcast “Orchestra of Exiles” that describes the creation of whatis now the Israel Philharmonic in the darks days just before WW II.

2013: In the evening, Israel is scheduled to begin the observance of Memorial Day for servicemen and women and terror victims.

2013: Israel’s population at its 65th Independence Day stands at 8,018,000 people, three-fourths of whom are Jewish, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics today.

2014(14 of Nisan): Fast of the first born- Erev Pesach

2014: “Nearly 100 members of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, attended a first-of-its-kind traditional Passover Seder” tonight.

2014: The International Jewish Vegetarian Society is scheduled to host a Vegan and Kosher Seder at 8 Balfour Street in Jerusalem

2014: The Tel Aviv Municipality is scheduled to host a Seder in the community center in Beit Dani, in Hatikva Quarter

2014: White City Shabbat in partnership with Hineni is scheduled to host “a massive international community Seder in Tel Aviv.”

2015: Zohar Weiman-Kelman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Libe and Linguistics: Towards an Archive of Yiddish Sexuality” at the Center for Jewish History.

2015: Maggie Anton is scheduled to discuss her latest work Enchantress at the Skirball Center

2015: “Zero Motivation” and “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to sponsor Paul Anticoni’s lecture “My Jewish Humanitarian Journey around the World.”

2015(25th of Nisan, 5775): Eighty-four-year-old senior Israeli diplomat Meir Rosenne passed away today.

2016(6th of Nisan, 5776): Eighty-one-year-old Brooklyn restaurateur Walter Rosen passed away today. (As reported by Rick Rojas)

 2016: Bernie Sanders took part in the Presidential debate known as the Battle In Brooklyn.

2016: The Leo Baeck Institute and American Sephardi Federation are scheduled to present “German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic” in which John M. Efron “explains how German Jews depicted the Sephardim as worldly, moral, and beautiful—products of a tolerant Muslim environment.”

2016: “Mikey and Nicky, the great gangster movie of the 1970s” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2016: In San Francisco, an exhibition of the paintings of Rabbi Lawrence Kushner at Congregation Emanu-El is scheduled to come to an end.

 2016: Israeli rocker Tamar Eisenman is scheduled to perform at Joe’s Pub in NYC.

2017(18th of Nisan, 5777): Fourth Day of Pesach

2017(18th of Nisan, 5777): Twenty-one-year-old Hannah Bladon, a British exchange student at the Hebrew University was stabbed to death and two more were injured by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem. (As reported by Judah Ari Gross)

2017: In Tel Aviv, Abraham Hostel is scheduled to host “Exodus, a day of world music performances, dance, worships and vegan food.

2017: Israel’s Legion Run is scheduled to take place “along the beach at Kiryat Yam.”

2017: The Israeli Opera is scheduled to perform “The Magic Flute” at 9:30 a.m.

2017: With today chosen as National Beer Day, Jews must be wondering if there is Beer Day Sheni just as there is a Pesach Sheni.

2018 (29th of Nisan, 5778): Parashat Shemini and start of the Pirke Avot Study Cycle

2018(29th of Nisan, 5778): “Sgt. Eliyahu Drori, 22 from Beit Shemesh, a combat soldier from the 188th "Barak" Armored Brigade, was killed today in a tank accident during operational activity on the Israel-Sinai border” and three of his injured “tank teammates” were sent to Soroka Medical Center.

2018: Ronit Schachart is scheduled to perform songs from “her latest album Lirdof Acharei HaRuach (Chasing After the Wind) at Noctorno Café this evening in Jerusalem.

2019: “Rendered Void, an exhibition of recent photographs and porcelain sculptures by Fellowship Artist Gabriela Vainsencher, in her first solo show in New York is scheduled to come to an end at A.I.R. Gallery III.

2019: The Illinois Holocaust Museum is scheduled to host an afternoon with Ernest K. “Ernie” Heimann as part of the Survivor Speaker series.

2019: In Atlanta, the Breman Museum is scheduled to host the opening of the exhibition “The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini.”

2019: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Community Yom HaShoah Service is scheduled to take place this evening at Coe College.

2019: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including, Hate: The Rise Tide of Anti-Semitism in France (and What It Means for Us) by Marc Weitzman, Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichel, The Lion’s Den: Zionism and the Left From Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky by Susie Linfield and Charged: The Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration by Emily Bazelon

2020(20th of Nisan, 5780): Sixth Day of Pesach; 5th day of Omer;

2020(20th of Nisan, 5780): Yahrzeit Rabbi Ezekiel Panet; for more see

2020: In Israel, a second Passover lockdown during which Israelis will not be allowed to leave their cities and communities, is scheduled to begin at 5pm today and last until Thursday at 5pm, covering the end of Passover on Wednesday and the Mimouna celebration traditionally held by Jews of North African origin after the final day of the holiday. (As reported by Itamar Eichner)

2020: The Streicker Center is scheduled an on-line presentation by Neshama Carlebach, “Believe: Choosing Joy.”

2021(2nd of Iyar, 5781): Yom HaZikaron observed.

2021: Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, the Senior Rabbi Temple Emanu-El is scheduled to  the Yom HaZikaron observance “where members of three bereaved families – Niza Shamah, the sister of Yigal Erez Z”L; Eli Haliva, the son of Moseh Haliva Z”L and Michael Solomonov, brother of David Solomonov Z”L – will share their personal stories of those who fell in defense of the state of Israel.

2021: In Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Temple Judea is scheduled to host, online, a Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Yaron Kapitulnik will present “Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut through the eyes of Israeli poets, songwriters, and artists.”

2021: The East Bay International Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to host a virtual screening of “Here We Are.”

2021(2nd of Iyar, 5781): Eighty-two year old Bernie Madoff who confessed to  swindling thousands of clients out of billions of dollars in investments over decades, in the largest private Ponzi scheme in history died today at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, NC.

2021: In Virginia, the Manassas Museum is scheduled to host a screening of “Rosenwald.”

2022: Lockdown University is scheduled to host a webinar on “Hidden Islamic Sects of Jerusalem” with Julian Barnett.

2022: Beginning this evening the New York Jewish Week is scheduled to partner with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan for their first-ever Virtual Passover Film Festival.

2022: In Jerusalem, the Taste of the World Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2022: AJTis scheduled to host  20 Newish and Jewish Plays you Should Know”

led by Adam Immerwahr & Johanna Gruenhut

2022: Yiddishkayt's founder Aaron Paley and acclaimed choreographer and filmmaker Tamar Rogoff are scheduled to discuss her career and her work, The IVYE Project, which inspired the founding of Yiddishkayt as an organization.

2023: As Israel’s currency continues its downward trend, thanks in no small part to terror attacks, rocket barrage and “the government’s efforts to radically overhaul the country’s judiciary “Moody’s rating agency is set to publish its updated credit score for” Israel today.

2023: Kan Kol Hamusika is scheduled to broadcast live Singers of "Meitar" Opera Studio of the Israel Opera

2023: Mimouna “a traditional Maghrebi Jewish celebration dinner, that currently takes place in Morocco, Israel, France, Canada, and other places around the world where Jews of Maghrebi heritage live is scheduled to end this evening.

2023: After services. Temple Judea is scheduled to host a Shabbat Diner that includes Israeli Salad, Chicken Shawarma, Mediterranean Fish, Rice, Roasted Vegetables, Dips & Pita.

2024: Bruce Levy Memorial Fund at the Jewish Endowment Foundation is scheduled to sponsor the Jewish Family Service Passover Food Basket community distribution.

2024: The Museum at Eldridge Steet is scheduled to host a performance of the Eyal Vilner Big Band in its “Historic Main Sanctuary.”

2024: The exhibition "I'll Have What She's Having": The Jewish Deli” is scheduled to close at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

2024: The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County is scheduled to host the reception marking the opening of “Albert Einstein: Champion of Racial Justice and Equality” “which explores Einstein’s contributions to civil rights and his deep friendships with African Americans in Princeton and beyond and which explains how Einstein worked to help the African American community and his relationship with some of the 20th century’s civil rights leaders, including Paul Robeson.”

2024: “The Cleveland Jewish News and Rock the House is scheduled to present the Mitzvah Showcase at Adrenaline Monkey” today.

The Cleveland Jewish News and Rock the House present Mitzvah Showcase at Adrenaline Monkey

2024: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present “Socrates, Moses, and the Long Fight Against Idolatry.’

2024: As April 14th begins in Israel, the Hamas held hostages begin day 191 in captivity.  (Editor’s note: this situation is too fluid for this blog to cover so we are just providing a snapshot as of the posting at midnight Israeli time.)









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