Tuesday, April 30, 2024

This Day, May 1, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z'L

May 1

305:  Due to age and ill health and a desire to provide stability for the Roman Empire Diocletian resigned as Emperor of Rome.  Relatively speaking, Diocletian’s reign was a positive period for the Jews.  Diocletian was not overly concerned with his Jewish subjects since he was much concerned about controlling the Christians whom he regarded as a source of major instability in the Empire. From his point of view their contempt for Roman state religion and zealous proselytizing made them enemies of the empire. The Jews posed no such threat.  Therefore, he exempted them from the requirement to include national sacrifices in their services. The decrees of Diocletian are actually recorded in the Talmud.  According to some Diocletian lived in Palestine as a youth and was a swineherd.  As Emperor he visited Palestine at which time enemies of the Jews told him that he was mocked by the Jews for working with pigs.  When confronted with this, the Jewish leaders allegedly told him that while they may have made jokes about swineherds (something they regretted) they never made jokes about an Emperor.  This must have assuaged Diocletian’s anger because no reprisals were taken against the Jews.  It should be noted that Palestine suffered economically during this time, but that was as a result of the general impoverishment of the region and not as a result of anti-Jewish policies.  Diocletian looks especially good when you remember that the reign of Constantine is just over the horizon.

408: Theodosius II or Theodosius the Younger under whom Jews were from barred the civil service, the military and the holding of public office, began his reign as Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

680: Muawiyah the founder of the Umayyad Dynasty,who “was crowned as caliph at a ceremony in Jerusalem in 661” was reported to treated Jews and other minorities “well” “passed away today.

1160: Bishop William of Beziers, France, who was appalled by the custom of beating of Jews during Palm Sunday, issued an order excommunicating Priests who did so. Beziers was the home to many Albigensians and was one of the more liberal, open cities in France. The Albigensians would be labeled heretics by the Roman Catholic Church.  Sometimes during the Middle Ages, areas that were hospitable to those quarreling with Rome provided some sort of comfort for Jews who might have otherwise been subject to persecution.

1218: Birthdate of King Rudolf I whose subjects included Meir of Rothenburg who was born three years before the monarch and who bring additional persecution to the Jews of his realm.

1218:  In Luxembourg, Bouchard d'Avesnes and Marguerite II de Hainault gave birth to Jean Ier d'Avesnes comte de Hainaut who was treated by Elias of London, an English Jew who was given special permission to go abroad to treat him.  Jews of England 78

1338: Louis the Bavarian “informed the council of Worms that the Jews of that city were bound by agreement to pay the sum of 2,000 gulden toward the king's contemplated expedition against France, and that, if necessary, force might be employed in collecting this sum.”

1339: A party that included John of Marignola, who would report on his conversations with Jews in China, stopped in Constantinople before going on to The Middle Kingdom.”

1576: Coronation of Stephen Bathory, “who proved to be both a tolerant rule and friend of the Jews” as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

1572: Pius V, the Pope who expelled Talmudist Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph and the rest of the Jews from Imola, Italy passed away.  The expulsion cost him 10,000 gold pieces but he overcame the hardship to write the Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah before dying in Alexandria in 1587.

1591: Thomas Lorkin, the father-in-law of Edward Lively, the Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge and considered “the greatest of Hebraist passed away today.

1663: Phillipe Mendes Da Costa is scheduled “to take a house in Rouen” today and then go on “to fetch the people from Bayonne.”

1642: Today the Jews of Mauritsstad wrote a petition “offering an annual present of 3,000 florins to Count Maurice if he would be induced to remain as their Governor in Brazil.

1647: William Prynne, the English jurist and political leader who opposed allowing the Jews to return to England was appointed one of the commissioners for the Visitation of the University of Oxford.

1672: Pius V, the Pope who expelled Talmudist Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph and the rest of the Jews from Imola, Italy passed away was beatified today.

1707: The Act of Union joins the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. While Jews had been expelled from England in 1290 and readmitted under Cromwell in the middle of the 17th century, Jews had been living in Scotland without interruption, possibly since Roman Times, but certainly since the 12th century. According Jewish-Scottish scholar David Daiches ,“there are grounds for saying that Scotland is the only European country which has no history of state persecution of Jews.”  By the time that the Act of Union became law, Jews were attending and teaching at Edinburg University.  Within a decade and a half after the Act of Union, there were 20,000 Jews living in Glassgow.


1718(11th of Iyar, 5478): Birthdate of Hirsh Ashkenazi

1720(6th of Iyar, 5780): Hewle Meise, the wife of Salomon Nathan Maas and mother of Nathan Salomon Maas and Meir Salomon Maas passed away today.

1769: Birthdate of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.  Wellington’s claim to fame is his victory over the French. It was in this role that he found the Jews most helpful since Nathan Rothschild had provided the financial backing for the Iron Duke’s campaign against the French in Spain at a time when nobody else would risk the funds. Few people remember that the Duke, like other war heroes entered politics, serving as Prime Minister in the 1820’s and 1830’s.  It was here that betrayed those Jews who had supported him by defeating the attempts at Jewish emancipation first when he served in the House of Commons and then, even more viciously when he served in the House of Lords. The Duke had been able to support a bill emancipating seven million English Roman Catholics, but he could not bring himself to do the same for thirty thousand English Jews.

1732: George Frideric Handel’s “Esther” which was based on the Biblical heroine and was the first English oratorio premiered at King’s Theatre in London.  Handel drew on Biblical tales for many of his oratorios.

1762: Birthdate of Isaac Lopez, the son of Moses Lopez, who would die in infancy at the age of six months.

1768(14th of Iyar, 5528): Pesach Sheni

1775(1st of Iyar, 5535): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1775(1st of Iyar, 5535): Thirty-six-year-old mathematician and botanist Israel Lyons the Younger, the Cambridge born son of Israel Lyons, the elder and husband of Phoebe Person passed away from measles today “while preparing a complete edition of Edmond Halley's works sponsored by the Royal Society.”

1790: The citizens of Pesth had set today as the day to expel all of the Jews from the town – a decision which was overturned by the Diet but did not prevent the citizens from making life as unpleasant for the Jews as possible.

1799: In Prussia, Alexander Wolff and his wife gave birth to their second son, Michael, who would become Michael Solomon Alexander, the convert who became the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.

1805: Birthdate of Kindenheim, Germany native and Philadelphia resident Rosina Seligmann Kahnweiler, the wife of Benedict Kahnweiler, mother of Fridoline Kahanweiler Gimbel and the mother-in-law of Adam Gimble founder of Gimbel’s Department Store.

1805: Königsberg merchant, Gerson Jacoby, and his wife, Lea Jonas gave birth to Prussian socialist leader Johann Jacoby.


1807: Birthdate of Sir Henry Francis Goldsmid, who "after receiving careful instruction, was called to the Bar in Hilary term, 1833 making him the first Jew who ever obtained that distinction in Great Britain.”

1808(4th of Iyar, 5568): Two-year-old Joshua Hendricks, the son of Frances Isaacs, the Lancaster, PA born daughter of Joshua Isaacs and Harmon Hendricks the “prominent manufacturer of copper and grandson of Uriah Hendricks one of the founders of Congregation Shearith Israel, passed away today.

1810(27th of Nisan, 5570):  Buchau born Jacob Raphael Kaulla, the “German court banker” upon whom King Frederick of Wurttemberg confirmed full citizenship, a grant of rights which extended to “a number of his immediate relatives,” including his sister Madame Kaulla, passed away today.

1812: Birthdate of Ignaz Kuranda, the Prague born son and grandson of “second-hand book dealers” who became an author, newspaper published and member of the Reichsrate.

1814: In Strasbourg, Alsace, “Auguste Ratisbonne and his wife, Adelaide Cerfbeer,[ members of the famed family of Jewish bankers” gave birth to Marie-Alphonse Raisbone a convert to Catholicism who became a Jesuit priest and “a co-founder of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, a religious congregation dedicated to the conversion of Jews to the Catholic faith.”

1817: Birthdate of Karl Isidor Beck the native of Baja, Hungary, the son of Jewish parents raised as Protestant who became a noted Austrian poet.

1812: Birthdate of Ignaz Kuranda, the native of Prague who ended his career in journalism to concentrate on a political career that included serving in the Reichsrate for 20 years.

1822: Friedrich von Gentz, the German diplomat, wrote in his diary, “Rothschild and Baruch excite me with an account of the deplorable Frankfort Jewish matter.”

1823: Birthdate of German native Julius Freiberg who lived in Cincinnati, Ohio where he established a distillery and was the husband of Duffie Freiberg.

1825: In London, Adeline (Adelaide) Helbert the daughter of  Levi Barent Cohen and Lydia Barent-Cohen (Diamantschleifer) and her husband John Israel Helbert gave birth to Adeline Matilda Weisweiller, the wife of Wife of Daniel Bernhard, baron de Weisweiller and mother of Adela Ettling - Capron; Mathilde Betty Porgès and Isabella Weisweiller

Sister of Lionel Helbert; Lydia Helbert

1833: In Mathews, VA, Henry Benjamin Nones, the Philadelphia born son “of Abraham Benjamin Nones and Miriam Marks de Nones” and his wife Anna M. Nones gave birth Anna Virginia Nones who tragically passed away two weeks after her birth.

1834(22nd of Nisan, 5594): Eighth Day of Pesach

1835: In Bavaria, Kela Bamberger and Seligman Baer (Dov) Bamberger gave birth to Salomon Shlomo Zalman Bamberger

1838: In Prague, Simon and Rachel Ausch gave birth to Pauline Ausch who became Pauline Hirschfeld when she married Dr. Jacob Jacques Heinrich Hirschfeld.

1841: Birthdate of German native and Chicago Heights resident These Schoenemann Eisendrath, the wife of Benjamin Eisendrath with whom she had four children – Bertha, Samson, Frieda and Oscar.

1848: Birthdate of Ohio native and Missouri resident Rose Harsch Fraley, the wife of Moses Fraley with whom she had three children – Sadie, Jessie and Edward – before passing away in 1949 and being buried in the New Mount Sinai Cemetery.

1849(9th of Iyar, 5609): Isaac Bernays, Chief Rabbi in Hamburg, passed away. Born in 1792 at Mayence he completed his studies at the University of Würzburg, where he had been also a disciple of the well-known Talmudist R. Abraham Bing. Then he went to Munich as private tutor in the house of Herr von Hirsch, and afterward lived at Mayence as a private scholar. In 1821 he was elected chief rabbi of the German-Jewish community in Hamburg, to fill a position where a man of strictly Orthodox views but of modern education was wanted as head of the congregation. After personal negotiations with Lazarus Riesser (father of Gabriel Riesser), who went to see him in Mayence, Bernays accepted the office on characteristic terms; namely, that all the religious and educational institutions of the community were to be placed under his personal direction; he wanted to be responsible to the government only. Besides this he required a fixed salary, independent of incidental revenues, and wished to be called "clerical functionary" or "ḥakam," as the usual titles, "moreh ẓedeḳ" or "rabbi" did not seem to him highly esteemed at that time. (Based on an article in the Jewish Encyclopedia)

1851: During the reign of Queen Victoria, whose friendship with members of the Jewish community began when “Sir Moses Montefiore, lent the Queen a key to his estates in Ramsgate Kent, The Great Exhibition opened in Crystal Palace which was conceived by Prince Albert  in London today.


1852: In Great Britain, the Court Exchequer fined Mr. Salomons, the elected Member of Parliament from Greenwich, was fined for voting against the law that excluded the Jews from sitting in the House of Commons.  Apparently, he was found guilty of three separate violations since the court imposed three separate fines, of 500 pounds each.

1853: Birthdate of Jacob Michailovitch Gordin “a Russian-born American playwright active in the early years of Yiddish theater” who was “known for introducing realism and naturalism into Yiddish theater.”

1854(3rd of Iyar, 5614): Seventy-year-old Frances Isaacs Hendricks, the Lancaster, PA born daughter of Joshua and Brandy Isaacs and the wife of Harmon Hendricks the “prominent manufacturer of copper whose father was one of the founders of Congregation Shearith Israel, whom she had married in 1800, passed away today in New York.

1855: The New York Times reported that the American Hebrew Christian Association had issued a public invitation to all converted Jews to attend a meeting at the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in Manhattan on the evening of May 10th.

1855: Students at the Union Theological Seminary began taking their final exams today.  One of the subjects in which they will be tested during the next week is the Hebrew Language.

1858: According to reports published today the Jews of Philadelphia have established a Permanent Hebrew Relief Association.

1860: Today’s “City Intelligence” column reported that Giacomo Meyerbeer is a favorite of New York opera goers.  His principal works have been received with enthusiasm, and although inordinately expensive to produce -- when compared with others of the Italian repertoire equally celebrated -- have never failed to pay a handsome dividend to the enterprising manager who produced them.” Meyerbeer was German-Jewish opera composer.

1860: Today’s “City Intelligence” column described the performance of Fromental Halévy’s “La Juive” (The Jewess) at the Winter Garden Theatre. After providing a detailed description of each act the reviewer concluded “It is seldom that a work of such pretension receives fair treatment on a first night, and we do not assert unqualifiedly that even in this instance it did so, but there cannot be a doubt that in all the essentials of good management and liberal desire to praise, there was successful effort, and a most cordial response. If incessant applause means anything, it surely guarantees a long run for the "Jewess." A triumph more complete, in all that makes a triumph pleasing, has never been put on record.”

1861: Caesar Hartog Gerson married Julia Jonassohn at the Synagogue on Margaret Street.

1863: The Battle of Chancellorsville, during which Henry Heller earned the Medal of honor began today.

1863(12th of Iyar, 5623): Ninety-year-old Rachel Judah, the New York born daughter of Hillel Judah who married Zalma Rehine, the Prussian born merchant who settled in Richmond before moving on to Baltimore where he helped to lead what may have been the city’s first high holiday services , passed away today.


1863: In common with the rest of their fellow-citizens, the Israelites assembled in their respective places of worship and carried out the precepts of the President's Proclamation. Most of the Synagogues were opened and he Psalms appointed to be read on penitential days, read on the occasion.

A very eloquent address was delivered by Rabbi Morris J. Raphal, at the Greene-street Synagogue. He remarked that it was a curious coincidence that on this, a fast day appointed by their own religious observances, they met in compliance with the Proclamation of the President of the United States, to fast and pray. He had been in this country fourteen years. During the first ten years no public proclamation had ever directed their thoughts and feelings to humiliation and fasting. Once in every year the highest functionary in every State proclaimed a day of general thanksgiving, and with that the debt of national gratitude was supposed to be paid. But now the rulers of the nation come year after year and call upon the people to weary Heaven with fruitless professions of a penitence they did not feel, and of a humility they did not practice. These proclamations fast days, on which no one fasts, are but the repetition of those so strongly reproved by the prophet Isaiah; and, though the people dare not put his questions, "Wherefore do we fast and Thou seest it not? Afflict our souls and Thou will not notice it!" -- since in reality the people do neither -- still the answer would stand good. "Because while you profess humiliation, you persist in your arrogance and your extortions do not cease." If ever a people needed to humble itself before God -- if ever fasting and prayer, sack cloth and ashes were to be worn -- it was by the people of these United States. Like our fathers, the Israelites of old, for whom pious Nekeiniah made such fervent supplication, the people of this country are justly amenable to his confession made for Israel: "In their dominions, in all the great prosperity Thou didst bestow upon them, and throughout the large and rich land which Thou gavest unto them, they did not serve Thee, neither turned they from their evil deeds." The preacher then drew a parallel between the sins of the Israelites, which called forth the reproof of the preacher, and the past conduct of this nation, which was equally amenable to the words of the inspired prophet.

What were they to say for the citizens of the United States who already and so long possess the two greatest earthly blessings, Education and Freedom, and yet make so bad a use of both. Education should be the guardian of freedom and of virtue, it was the birthright of every American, bestowed on all and withheld from none. But what principles did it actually inculcate -what virtues did it really teach? Did it inculcate respect for free institutions? Answer, ye place-hunters, ye ballot-box stuffers, ye shoulder-hitters, who reduce self-government to a disgusting farce. Did it teach patriotism? Answer, ye spoils-men, ye office-teekers and holders, who cement party lines with the cohesive force of public plunder. Did it teach common honesty? Answer, ye peculators and speculators, who fatten on the blood of the hard-worked masses, and who dignify roguery by the name of smartness. His heart ached as he spoke to them of the effects of perverted education; it would ache still more were he to direct attention to the bitter fruits of abused freedom. He need not remind them that while the best men North and South had long been driven aloof from the affairs of the country, demagogues, fanatics and a party Press had so managed matters that they found themselves in the third year of a destructive but needless sectional war, which has armed brother against brother, consigned hundreds of thousands to an untimely grave, and to ruin and devastation tens of thousands of square miles of flourishing and happy land; and what was worse than all this, while humanity weeps we must suppress our sympathy. However, our hearts may yearn for peace and brotherly love, our reason convinces us that the present is not the time to expect, or even to hope for the cessation of blood. On the contrary, though we may detest the cause and course of events, it is our duty loyally to stand by our section of the country, to maintain her quarrel and defend her rights, while we have the consolation to know that our side did not begin the fray, and that the cause of Union was the worthiest in the field.

"The preacher concluded his address with a fervent prayer.

1864: Joseph Seligman and his brothers founded J & W Seligman & Co.

1864: In, “The City Cars and General Goods Delivery,” published today the author complains about the crowded, smelly conditions on the city’s public include the statement that “immediate contact with a huge pile of superannuated Hebrew clothing stock is not desirable at any time: it is most undesirable in overheated and overcrowded cars.”  The author then goes on to compare the aroma with that found in packages of partially dried codfish and, strangely enough, joints of half cured pork.

1866: “The Galveston Hebrew Benevolent Society was established” today.

1867: In Poughkeepsie, NY, Jacob and Rachel Harris gave birth to composer and music publisher Charles Kissel Harris, the husband of Cora Lehrberg, whose many works include the ever popular “After the Ball.” (Editor’s Note: At least one source shows his birthdate as 1866.


1868: In Santa Fe, N.M., Jacob and Minna (Loewenbein) Amberg gave birth to German trained physician and “otologist”, Emil Amberg, the husband of Cecile Siegel with whom he raised two children – Robert and Adele - while practicing in Detroit where he was a member of Temple Beth-El.

1868: In Minsk, Isaiah and Deborah (Leibowich Sissman, gave birth to Lake Forest University College of Law trained attorney Peter Sissman who in 1886 came to the United States where he married the former Rose I. Goldberg, served as Secretary of the Chicago Clockmaker’s” Union and was a law partner of the famous Clarence Darrow while being a member of B’nai B’rith in Chicago, Il.

1869: Today’s issue of the French Jewish review “Archives Israélites,” published by Isidore Cahen, announced the marriage of Alphonse Hirsch, the painter of chief rabbi Lazar Isidor, to Henriette Perugia. The notice adds that Perugia’s sister was married to Arthur Sassoon of the wealthy Sassoon family. (Based on reports from the Forward)

1869: In Kalvaria, Poland, “Fischel and Feiga (Edelstein) Eron gave birth to Joseph E. Eron who in 1882 came to the United States where he earned a BA and MA from Columbia, married Frances Haas, worked with Abraham Cahan and spent more than 25 in various projects aimed at educating and “Americanizing” immigrants including the founding of the Workmen’s School and the Educational League with Jacob Gordin.

1869: In a classic American success story, J & W Seligman & Co was admitted to the New York Stock Exchange. Joseph Seligman, the founder of the firm had arrived from Bavaria in 1837 “with $100 dollars in the lining of his trousers. By 1860, he and his brothers, who started as itinerant peddlers” had entered the investment banking business.  During the Civil War, they played a leading role in selling United States Government securities to Europeans which helped to finance the Union victory.  By the end of the decade, the Seligman’s had branches in London, Paris, Frankfort, New Orleans and San Francisco.  The brothers would take a leading role in financing the boom in railroads and in supporting Jewish charitable endeavors.

1870: It was reported today that the late Dr. George Frick, a resident of Baltimore, bequeathed $1,000.00 to the Hebrew Society of Baltimore.

1870: According to a report published today, Michael Isaacs and Isaac Goldstein, two Jewish pack peddlers who had been indicted on charges of rape were found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison by the Suffolk County court in New York.

Marguerite II de Hainault, Marguerite II de Hainault,

1872: Adolph Marx Oppenheimer, the son of Sarah and Marx Oppenheimer and his wife Julie Oppenheimer gave birth to Laura Oppenheimer

1873: Birthdate of Vienna native Zelman Morris, who gained famed talent agent Willliam Morris, the founder of the William Morris Agency and the husband of Emma Berlinghoff with whom he had two children—William, Jr and Ruth.


1873: In Vienna, opening of the World’s Fair where the Illés Relief is a 1:500 scale model of Jerusalem by Stephen Illés “two wooden models of the Temple Mount” built by Conrad Schick were displayed.

1874(14th of Iyar,5634): Pesach Sheni

1874: Ludwig Chronegk began his 26-year career as stage-manager with the Meininger troupe “when they first appeared at the Friedrich-Wilhelm Theatre in Berlin.

1874: In Ukraine, Isaac Cutler, who “was murdered during the 1882 pogrom in Elizabethgad” and Mrs. Ethel “Etta” Yaroshev Cutler gave birth to Colonel Harry Cutler, the resident of Providence, Rhodes Island who was the chairman of the Jewish Welfare Board of the United States.


1874: Birthdate of Samuel Aaron Tannenbaum the native of Hungary who came to the U.S. in 1886 where in 1898 “he began practicing psychotherapy in New York City” and became a “widely recognized scholar of Shakespeare and his times.


1876: Establishment of Children of Israel Synagogue in the eastern part of Des Moines, Iowa.

1876: During the fiscal year that ended today the United Hebrew Charities “gave away 754 tons of coal, 716 pairs of shoes and 1,625 women’s and children’s garments”

1877(18th of Iyar, 5637): Lag B’Omer

1877(18th of Iyar, 5637): Just weeks before her 81st birthday, eighty-year-old Miriam Marks, the Osining, NY born daughter of Jochabed Isaacks and Michael Marks who were married in 1786 and the wife of Andrew Abner Jones whom she married in 1821 after the death of her first husband Jonas Barnett passed away today in Philadelphia, PA.

1879: Julius and Sarah Rothenberg Bressler, gave birth to David M. Bressler, who attended City College, JTS and the New York Law School, was widely known for his activities in Jewish, State and municipal relief and in charity organizations and for his work with the Removal Office which was aimed at diverting the flow of Jewish immigrants from eastern cities to areas in the South and the Mid-West and providing them funds and training to acclimate them to their new homes

1879: In Bartfa, Hungary, Benjamin and Esther (Schoenfeld) Waldman gave birth to Morris David Waldman the graduate of NYU, JTS and Columbia University who went from the rabbinate to “the field of social and welfare work.”


1880(20th of Iyar, 5640): Sixty-three-year-old French composer Samuel Naumbourg who was the chazzan and reader at Besançon and directed the choir at the synagogue Strasburg before moving to Paris in 1845 where he officiated at the synagogue of the Rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth at Paris and became professor of liturgical music at the Séminaire Israélite passed away today.

1880: During the fiscal year ending today, the United Hebrew Charities had raised over $58, 00 of which almost $47,000 was spent in meeting the needs of 27,915 applicants for service.

1880: While visiting Freiburg, Germany, Texas banker Morris Lasker and Nettie Davis Lasker gave birth to Albert Davis Lasker who would leave his mark on the world of advertising as a partner of Lord & Thomas.



1880: According to a report from a Berlin correspondent, “all the Jews of foreign birth” have been given six hours to leave St. Petersburg, the Russian capital.


1881: It was reported today that the “Alliance Israelite Universelle” is extending its work among the Jews of the Orient.  In the past six months, Alliance has opened 9 schools in the Ottoman Empire.  All told the Alliance is supporting 33 schools serving a total of 6,300 pupils.  Sixty-eight thousand francs have been raised towards the establishment of primary and professional schools in Palestine.

1881: In Odessa, Michael Pofcher and Rose Nizel Pofcher gave proof to Dr. Elias Harrry Pofcher, the husband of Fanny G. Pofcher.

1881: In New York city, Levi and Amelia (Garfunkel) Bilder gave birth to Chicago-Kent College of Law trained attorney Nathaniel Bilder, a member of the New Jersey law firm of Bilder and Bilder who was a member of the board of directors  of Y.M. & Y.W.H.A. and the husband of Zerlina Hirsh with whom he belong to Congregation B’nai Jeshrurun in Newark, NJ.

1881: The funeral of Isaac Hendricks, a member of the prominent Hendricks family, is scheduled to take place today at the New York home of his brother-in-law, H.S. Henry.

1882: “Beaconsfield’s Birthday” published today described British reaction to the anniversary of the birth of Lord Beaconsfield who passed away last year.  Admirers wore the primrose, the favorite flower of the late Benjamin Disraeli.

1882: It was reported today that General Nicholai Ignatief has issued a denial of claims that the anti-Jewish violence is the result of a lack of action by the government.  Furthermore, the violence has been limited to Balta and was started by the Jews who were seeking “revenge for an insult to a Jew by a Christian child.”

1882: Amid reports that Jews are living Vilna en mass, two hundred families are to leave for America today.

1882(12th of Iyar, 5642): Seventy-six-year-old retired architect David Alfred Mocatta, the son Abigail Lindo and Moses Mocatta, members of large, distinguished Anglo-Jewish Sephardi family, the husband of Ann Goldsmid passed away today.

1883: Israel Lewy who had succeeded David Joël as "Seminarrabbiner" began serving as chair of Talmudic Literature at Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau

1883: In Lask, Poland, Henrietta LaFrantz and Herman Weiner gave birth  to Hunter College graduate, NYU trained attorney and Democratic Party activist, Anna Weiner Hochfelder, the wife of patent attorney Julius Hochfelder  with whom she practiced while they lived in New York, the mother of Julian with whom she practiced law and Lt. Colonel Richard Hochfelder  and who among other things founded the American Alliance of Civil Service Women, Hochfelder, was a member of the American Jewish Congress and Hadassah and began a whole new career when she moved to California in 1940 where she was admitted to the bar and practiced law with Nadia Williams.


1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute moved from 206 East Broadway to 129 Crosby Street.  The Institute had occupied the Broadway facility since January of 1884 when it opened with 24 pupils.

1885: It was reported today that the late Isaac Vogel had made bequests of $1,000 each to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, the United Hebrew Charities, the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Hebrew Free School Association.

1885: Birthdate of Israel George “Izzy” Levene “the All-American end at the University of Pennsylvania who went on to coach at the University of Tennessee and Wake Forest.

1885: Birthdate of Jacob Paley, the native of Kiev who came to the United States and with his brother Samuel Paley Congress Cigar Company which would provide the funds for his nephew William to buy the radio station that because the Columbia Broadcasting System.

1886:  The Moses Montefiore Congregation bought property at 160 East One Hundred and Sixteenth Street which was the site of a Baptist Church.  Plans to use the structure for a synagogue came to naught when it was determined that the building was unsuitable for that purpose and that it would be too small for the number of congregants who would be using the synagogue.

1886: “In Lozdzieje, Russian Empire (now Lazdijai, Lithuania),” Bertha and Julian Achron, “an amateur violinist gave birth violinist and composer “Joseph Yulyevich Achron” who emigrated to the United States in 1925 where he spent the rest of her life and who was the brother of Isidor Achron, “Jascha Heifetz’s accompanist.”



1886: The American Federation of Labor, led by it’s newly elected President, Samuel Gompers, strikes on a nationwide basis in an attempt to secure an eight hour day.

1886: Birthdate of Leipzig native businessman Walter Cramer who “took part in the civilian resistance against the Nazis” and was hanged for his part in the attempt to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944.

1887: Birthdate of Felix Rosenblüth, who as Pinchas Rosen was Israel’s first Minister of Justice.

1887: Birthdate of NYU Law School graduate Isaac Allen who in 1891 came to the United States where he “was a founder of the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress” and wrote regularly for the Yiddish Tageblatt.”


1887: In New York City, William B. and Annie (Goldberg) Roth gave birth Bellevue Hospital Medical College trained surgeon and author Aaron Roth, the attending ear, nose and throat surgeon at the Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn who served as Lieutenant in the Medical Corps during WW I before being promoted to the rank of Captain in the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States Army and who was a member of the Jewish Center in Brooklyn.

1888: In Germany, Samuel Fleischer, the Mulbach born son of Aron and Pauline Fleischer and his wife Emilie Fleischer gave birth to Arthur Fleischer.

1889(30th of Nisan, 5649): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1889: In Galveston, TX, at 5:00 pm “more than fifty children assembled” at the home of Morris and Nettie Lasker to celebrate the 9th birthday of future advertising great Albert Lasker starting with an hour of “supervised games” followed by a May Pole dance.

1890: The United Hebrew Trades Union is one of several organizations taking part in today’s march sponsored by the American Federation of Labor in support of an 8 hour work day.

1890: Following a fortnight of attacks on Jewish shops in outlying provinces, Austrian authorities fear that there will be a May Day attacks on Jews throughout the empire including Vienna.

1890: An unnamed anarchist has called for May Day attacks in Paris including the assassination of the Rothschilds.

1890: The old Hebrew Orphan Asylum building on 77th street is going to converted into a public school that should accommodate 1,200 children.

1890: Members of the American Federation of Labor, the union organization headed by Samuel Gompers will be taking part in a large demonstration this evening in support of the eight workday.

1891: As of today, 142 people were residing at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews.

1891: The International Cloak Makers Union of America was founded today.  Among the delegates attending the meeting was Benjamin Schlesinger, a delegate from Chicago who would become the business manager of Local 5 in Chicago.

1891: Oscar Hammerstein held a reception for newspaper men in which he discussed his plans to build a new opera house in New York.

1891: Approximately 4,000 Jewish who work in the clothing trades held a pro-union parade on the east side of New York.

1891: Alexander Becce, a Russian Jew “a native of the town of Byzlik  received a notice from the government that he must either leave the country within thirty days or be exiled together with his family to Siberia for life on his account of his religion.”

1892(4th of Iyar, 5652): Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveichik passed away

1892(4th of Iyar, 5652): Abraham L. Grabfelder who was born in Bavaria 53 years ago and was the General Southern Agent of the Manhattan Life Insurance Company for twenty wand who was a Director of the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children passed away today.

1892: “Young Hebrew Gymnasts” published today described a demonstration of physical skills by members of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Young Woman’s Hebrew Association, the latter of whom showed their skills with dumbbells.  The youngsters were coached by Professor Herman Weber.

1892 :When the fiscal year of the Home for Aged and Infirm Homes ended today the charity had receipts of $66,113.01 while having made expenditures of $37, 783.80 leaving a balance of $28,329.21.

1892: “Art and Literature Abroad” published today included the note that “the result of Mr. Joseph Pennell’s visit to Russia will be published under the title The Jew At Home: Impression of a Summer and Winter Spent With Him.

1892: “For A New Clubhouse” published today described the plans of the Columbia Club, the lead Jewish social organization in Harlem to build a new facility on 127th Street and 5th Avenue. The club paid $50,000 for this new location.

1893: “As A German Knows Bismarck” published today verified “Prince Bismarck’s statement that he was never a friend of the Jews” and that as Junker, he was “an enemy of everything that was liberal” which meant that he “disliked Catholics and workmen.”

1893: Among the books that will be published Putnam and Sons is The Jews of Angevin England by Joseph Jacobs

1893: According to “Literary Notes” published today A Study of the Jews in Medieval England compiles by Joseph Jacobs is “among the book on the announcement list of the Putnams.

1893: “A New Rabbi for Baith Israel” published today described the changes at the synagogue at Street and Boerum Place where Rabbi Marcus Friedlander who moved to Oakland to take the pulpit at Temple Sinai has been replaced by Rabbi Joseph Taubenhaus who is the brother of chess champion of Jacob Taubenhaus and the brother of the rabbi at Congregation Beth Elhoim

1894: Council No. 3 of the Council of Jewish Women was formed in Baltimore, MD with a membership of 115 led by Mrs. Bertha Rayner Frank as President and Miss Rose Summerfield as Secretary.

1894: It was announced today that Baron Arthur de Rothschild is one of the six member of the Sailing Committee which will oversee the Nice Regatta to be held in April of 1895 and that Rothschild has also donated a cup valued at 200 English pounds for the second place finisher in the competition for sailing yachts weighing over twenty tons.

1894: The funeral of Jesse Seligman who passed away in San Diego, CA, on April 23 is scheduled to take place at Temple Emanu-El starting at 10 o’clock.

1894: At today’s May Day Parade the contingent of United Hebrew Trades that included “400 young women” led by Dora Levine” were greeted by cheers

1895:  A lease was signed for a building at Mott Avenue and 149th Street which was to the home for the Hebrew Infant Asylum.

1895: In Watertown, NY founding of the Congregation of the Standard Of Israel.

1895: A letter was dropped in the mailbox of Samuel Zuckerman today in which their son twenty-year-old Bernard Zuckerman acknowledged “that he had robbed their flat” and in which he enclosed a pawn ticket representing the candlesticks which he had pledged with a pawnbroker for $15

1895: The contingent from the United Hebrew Trades marching in today’s Labor Day Parade were life “by fifty members of the Mineral and Soda Water Makers’ Union on horseback wearing white jackets and red sashes.”  (For “2 cents-plain made by Jewish union workers?)

1895: This evening Isidor Bader of 208 Madison Street in New York City received “a letter written Hebrew” saying that the mother of the little mute boy whom an unknown couple had left with Bader earlier in the day, was dead and that his father was unable to provide for him.

1895: “Nathaniel S. Rosnau, Superintendent of the United Hebrew Charities gave a talk on practical philanthropy to the Council of Jewish Women at Temple Emanu-El.”

1896(18th of Iyar,5656): Lag Baomer

1896: Sixty-four-year-old Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar during whose reign Dr. Jacob Eduard Polak was brought to Persia to teach medicine and surgery to a whole generation of Persian physicians as part of an attempt to modernize the kingdom, was assassinated today.

1896: In Bellaire, Ohio, founding of the Congregation Sons of Israel whose members included Julius Weill, Joseph Sonneborn, Max L. Herzberg and Simon Behr which held Friday night and Saturday morning services and was supported by a Ladies’ Auxiliary Society.

1897: “Turks Still Advancing” published today described the Ottoman capture of Larissa from the Greeks.  The Jews had remained at Larissa since they expected to be protected by the Turks.

1897: “Home For Working Girls” published today described the establishment of the Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls.  The home is the first manifestation of aid for Russian Jews in America by possible by the $2,000,000 bequest from the Hirsch family.

1898: “Rabbi Grossman Approves the War” published described the views on the Spanish-American War of the leader of Temple Rudolph Sholom who “said that if a war was waged for a holy cause, it was this one.”

1898: Birthdate of Dave “Pep” Tobey, “the first Jew to be elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.


1898: Joseph Baroness, the socialist leader and the Grand Marshall of last night’s proposed parade surprised authorities by agreeing to call of the parade to avoid the threat of violence.  He also said that he never intended to criticize the United States for the war with Spain.  He said that it was “a just war and if there is anyone who sympathizes with Spain we don’t want him in our parade.

1898: “Russian Jews Will Enlist” published today described the Jewish response to the Spanish-American War including seventy Jewish Russian from the east side of New York who have signed enlistment, the papers, the carpentry class from the Jewish trade school that has volunteered and the Jewish farmers from the Hirsch Colony of Woodbine, NJ, many of whom served in the Russian Army, who have enlisted.

1898: The first battle of the Spanish American War took placed at Manila Bay where Commodore George Dewey, commanding the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron aboard USS Olympia, in a matter of hours defeated a Spanish squadron, an event later described by Dr. Joseph M. Heller who arrived in the Philippines in 1899.

1899: Myer S. Isaacs, President of the Hirsch Fund has read about the bequest of the late Baroness Hirsch in the newspapers but has received no official communication on this matter.

1899: Dr. Lee K. Frankel of Philadelphia, PA, is scheduled to officially assume his duties as the manager of the United Hebrew Charities in New York. A native of Philadelphia who holds both a B.S. and a Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Frankel is secretary of Rodef Shalom, Vice President of the Baron de Hirsch Committee and Director of the Jewish Chautauqua Society.

1899: After twenty-three years of service, Dr. Herman Baar will be stepping down as superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum effective June, 1.

1899: “Hirsch Memorial Services” published today described plans the several New York Jewish charitable institutions are making to honor the memory of the late Baroness Hirsch.

1899(21st of Iyar, 5659): Joel Deutsch who had been principal of school for deaf-mutes established in Nikolsburg and moved to Vienna in 1852 passed away today.

1900: In Konitz, a county in the province of Prussia, Germany, a blood accusation occurred after the death of a local student. Wolf Israelski was accused and arrested, while Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews. After Israelski was proven innocent, two others, Adolf Levy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal was acquitted and Lewy sentenced on a perjury charge to four years.

1900: Dutch Zionist leader Jacobus Kann resigned as director of the Bank designed to finance the purchase of land in Eretz Israel and help settlers make Aliyah.

1900: In what was then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, “Avrum Kletter, a carpenter and cabinet maker and his wife gave birth to Max Keletter, musician, composer of operettas, and actor on the Yiddish stage in the United States who was the husband of Sylvia Feder.  (Editor’s note: According to one source he was born in 1901 but we are using the dob on his tombstone.)


1901: Birthdate of Endre Bohem, the native of Arad who became a successful American screenwriter and producer.


1901: In Mayesville, SC, Emanuel and Bertha Strauss Sternberger gave birth to Blanche Sternberger who became Blanche Sternberger Benjamin when she married New Orleans native and Harvard graudate Edward Bernard Benjamin, the father of Edward Bernard Benjamin, Jr.

1902: It was reported today that House of Representatives has adopted “the Goldfogle Resultion which calls on the Secretary for information as o whether the Russian Government had barred or excluded American citizens of the Jewish faith who desired to visit Russia.”

1903: In his poem "Tale of the Slaughter," the famous Jewish poet Chiam Nachman Bialik chastised the Jews for not defending themselves in the Pogrom at Kishinev that had taken place in April, 1903. Herzl was also affected by the massacre and he decided to visit Russia and give consideration to the Uganda Plan. The Uganda plan would be rejected but it would cause a painful split in the infant Zionist movement. The massacre also provided the impetus in America to lay the groundwork for the American Jewish Committee, casting American Jewry into international prominence. There would be another pogrom in Kishinev in 1905 with more loss of life.

1904: It was reported today that a car belonging to Jefferson Seligman had taken place in recent  parade “held under the auspices of the American Automobile Club of America” whose clubhouse is located at 5th Avenue and 58th Street.

1905: Bernard “Zuckerman was elected a delegate to the founding convention of Poale Zionof America that took place” today.

1905: Birthdate of Hermann Kosterlitz, the native of Berlin who gained fame as movie director Henry Koster, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who is best remembered as the man who discovered Abbott & Costello.  He saw their comedy act and convinced Universal Studios to sign them to a contract.  He directed their first film in which all of America heard the “Who’s On First” routine for the first time.

1906: “For the Hebrew Children’s Sanitarium” published today described the progress made in raising funds for the Jewish institution  to which Jacob H. Schiff has contributed $10,000 and Mortimer L. Schiff and Adolph Lewisohn have each contributed $2,500.

1907: Today, twenty –three year old Saul Dushman, the Rostov born son of Samuel and Olga Dushman, holder of Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and one of the “most valuable researchers” at the General Electric Labs in Schenectady, NY., married his first wife Amelia Gurofksy who pre-deceased him leading to his marriage to Anna Leff in 1914.

1908: Yiddishe Tegliche Presse, the forerunner of “Die YIDDISHE VELT (Jewish World) was Cleveland's principal Yiddish-language newspaper for over 40 years’ was founded today by Samuel Rocker, Adolph Hass and Jonas Gross.”

1908: In Warsaw Poland, Count Jerzy Skarbek, a Catholic, and Stefania née Goldfeder, the daughter of a wealthy assimilated Jewish family gave birth to their second child and first daughter Krystna who served with bravery and distinction as an agent who operated in occupied Europe for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE)

1908: Heinrich Conried “retired from the Metropolitan Opera House due to his poor health.”

1909: “During a worker’s demonstration in Buenos Aires, a Jewish anarchist murdered a local police chief.  Rioters responded by attacking and sacking the city’s predominately Jewish small retail business quarter.”

1909: Birthdate of Philadelphia, PA, native David “Cy” Kaselman the outstanding player for the Philadelphia Sphas from 1928 to 1940.

1909: The Jewish anarchist, Simon Radowitzki, attempted to assassinate Ramon Falcon, the Argentinean chief of police.

1909 A Workers’ Day rally in Buenos Aires, led in part by Simon Radowitzky, turns violent .Ukrainian-Jewish anarchist Simon Radowitzky emigrated to Argentina when he was 17 years old. In 1909, he[More] participated in the Labor Day demonstration in Plaza Lorea that was suppressed by the police — between eight and 12 individuals 8 died and dozens were wounded. Out of revenge, Radowitzky allegedly threw a bomb at chief of police Ramon Falcon. In the following week, Falcon pursued the workers. The police began to fan an anti-Semitic campaign against Russian Jewish instigators. Radowitzky was sentenced to death, but it was commuted to life imprisonment because he was barely 18, and he was ultimately released in 1930. He then took part in the Spanish Civil War and ultimately managed to escape from a French internment camp to Mexico. [Less]

1910(22nd of Nisan, 5670): Eighth Day of Pesach
1910: Birthdate of Henryk Ross “who was employed as a photographer by the Department of Statistics for the Jewish Council within the Łódź Ghetto,” survived the Holocaust and testified at the Eichmann trial before passing away 1991.



1910: The Sunday New York Times published “‘Icy Italy As Seen: by Israel Zangwill’ the fourth in a series of ‘Italian Fantasies’ written by this well-known author.”

1910: As part of the “Annual Jewish-Christian Union Services in Pittsburg,” “Rabbi J. Leonard Levy of the Rodeph Shalom Congregation” is scheduled to “again preach in St. Mark’s Reformed Church” today where “his topic will be ‘A New Gospel.’”

1911: “Here in Behalf of Abyssinian Jews” published today described the arrival of Dr. Jacques Faitlovich in New York where he plans on establishing a branch of a society designed to unite the black Jews of Abyssinia with the rest of the Jews’ of the world.

1911: In Pennsylvania, Louis Lazarus, the Romanian born son of Morris and Rebecca Lazarus and his wife Rose Lazarus gave birth Anna Lazarus who became Anna Weiner when she married Myer Weiner.

1912(14th of Iyar, 5672): Pesach Sheni combines with celebration of May Day

1912: Five days after he had passed away, 38 year old Henry Baumann, the Glasgow born son of German immigrants William and Rosalie Baumann was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1913: In Hartford, CT, Joseph Neistat and Jennie Sherman gave birth to Louis Neistat who gained fame Louis Nye one of a stable of comedians who first gained national notice on the “Steve Allen Show.”

1913: Birthdate of Czech born British conductor Jay Walter Susskind.

1913: As the investigation into the death of Mary Phagan continues, E.F. Holloway, the pencil factory’s day watchman saw Jim Conley, the pencil factory’s janitor washing a dirty shirt which led to Conley’s arrest that day.  At first Conley tried to hide the shirt and then claimed the stains were rust from the overhead pipe on which he had hung the shirt. Detectives examined it for blood, found none and returned it. [Conley would later testify against Leo Frank. Decades later, Conley would be exposed as the person who had murder Mary Phagan.]

1914: Nissim Mazliach is appointed to the Turkish Chamber for Smyrna.

1914: In Cincinnati, Ohio, founding of the Mizrachi Organization of America

1915: Four days after the Zion Mule Corps had landed at Helelles the 29th Indian Infantry landed at Sari Bair securing the area beyond the landing beaches.

1915: Schiff Has Fears For British Jews” published today contains the expression of the concerns by Jacob H. Schiff  “that England has become ‘contaminated’ by her alliance with Russia in so far as the Jewish question is concerned and that conditions will be harder for Jews in England after the war, while they will be better in Germany.”’

1915: Abraham Shiplikeff of the United Hebrew Trades is scheduled to preside over an assemblage those delivering speeches demanding equal rights for Jews the world over…in a dozen different languages.”

1915: “A May Day demonstration in favor of peace in Europe, equal rights for Jews after the war, socialism and women suffragists brought 25,000 labor unionists and Socialist to Union Square” in New York today.

1915: The Federation of Rumanian Jews of America’s home “at Grand View-on-the Hudson” which has accommodations for 180 patients is scheduled to open today thanks in no small measure to the work of Dr. Julius Weiss and Morris D. Reiss.

1915: Abraham Cahan, edtor of The Jewish Dail Forward, was the speaker at a meeting a Carnegie Hall” tonight “given in his honor by the United Hebrew Trades and the East Side branches of the Socialist party in order to get the story of his investigation in the war zone from which he had returned last week.”

1915: In the U.K. poet Jon Rodker and dancer Sonia Cohen gave birth to “political activist and television producer” Joan Rodker.


1916: Labor activist Bessie Abramowitz and Amalgamated president Sidney Hillman announced their engagement while marching at the head of the clothing workers' contingent of the Chicago May Day Parade.

1916: An anti-war demonstration which had a formative effect on 12-year-old Hans Achim Litten took place in Berlin today.

1916: The Ninth Semi-Annual Assembly of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis which had been meeting at Temple Emanuel during which Rabbi Stephen S. Wise said “Louis D. Brandeis, whom power and privilege seek to prevent from ascending the Supreme Court bench of the United States, is the single Jew in America who is standing our as the prophet of social justice and Jewish righteousness” came to an end.

1916: It was announced today that Jacob Schiff will deliver a major address at the meeting of the Jewish Publication Society of America later this month in Philadelphia, PA.

1916: It was reported today that the first volume of Simon Dubnow’s History of the Jews of Russia and Poland will be sent to JPS members later this month.

1917: Preacher Billie Sunday said today that “many prophecies are coming true” as can be seen by the fact that “the Jews are going back to Palestine and are to have nation of their own for the first times since the days of the sweet singer of Israel.”

1917: It was announced at the headquarters of the Young Judea Club in Manhattan, “that 5,000 young Jews have enlisted to work on garden farm in” New York state” and are “ready to serve under the Mayor’s committee.

1917: U.S. Secretary of State Lansing “received a cablegram from the Joodsch Correspondentie Bureau at the Hague asserting that it has been established by Jewish intellectuals for the purpose of keeping the press of the world informed regarding the Jewish situation and asking the attitude of the United States Government toward the national renaissance of the Jewish people.”

1917: Jacob Schiff and Louis Marshall held “an informal consultation today” and decided that as soon as they had had received a text of a telegram from the State Department that had been sent from leaders of the Jews of Russia saying that they were supporting “a new public loan for freedom issued by the Provisional Government” they would begin soliciting public support for the measure.

1917: The first national meeting of the American Jewish Congress did not take place today as scheduled due to differences among several Jewish organizations as to the power of the Executive Committee and the allocation of delegates.

1917: Abraham Elkus, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey who had contracted spotted typhus in April which made it impossible for him to leave Constantinople after the U.S declared war on Germany “was pronounced out of danger today” but still was not well enough to travel.

1918: Today, a special nurse was added “to the regular staff of nurse maintained by” The Irene Kaufmann Settlement in Pittsburgh who will deal with “prenatal and post-natal nursing” which marked the inauguration of “this kind of district nursing service in Pittsburgh.

1918: Sixteen-year-old Yitzak Jacov Liss, the father of Victoria Shalvah Liss Herzberg, an art teacher in Vermont, and Houston physician, Dr. Shelly E. Liss, began serving as enlisted man today “in the British Jewish Legion 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.”

1918: Nineteen-year-old Toronto, Canada, native Alexander Solomon enlisted in the Jewish Legion which led to his serving in Palestine during World War after which he returned home to practice law for 27 yers and serve as the National Director of the Canadian March of Dimes from 1950 to 1963.

1918: It was reported today “Palestine has lost a large proportion of its Jewish people since the war began, with some in Egypt, some in Turkish prisons and some in exile” while “Jerusalem has lost two-third of its Jewish population because of exile, typhus and starvation.”

1919: Today’s May issue of Jewish Charities will be the last since it will start appearing under the masthead of “Jewish Social Service” in June.

1919: The rabbis of Palestine hold a first conference. Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook is asked to serve as chief rabbi.

1919: In Chicago, Professor George L. Scherger is scheduled to lead a discussion of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace at the Literary Study Circle.

1919: Two days after she had passed away, 28-year-old Rachel Manning, the daughter of Ada and Lewis Freedman and the wife of Richard Manning was buried today at the “East Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1920: Young anarchist Mollie Steimer began a 15-year prison term for distributing leaflets opposing American intervention in the Russian Revolution. She was later deported.

1920: Final Broadway performance of “Martinique,” produced by Walter Hast at the Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre.

1921: University of Pennsylvania trained surgeon Frank Benton Block, the Philadelphia born son of Reada A. Mayer and Louis B. Block and instructor in gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania who served as a first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Medical Corps in WW I married Etta N. Stauffer today in Leighton, PA.

1921: Not for the first or last time, Arabs resort to violence to try and stop the growth of the Jewish community.  In this case riots began in Jaffe resulting in the death of forty Jews and the wounding two hundred others. The riots soon spread to Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Kfar Saba, Hadera and Rehovot. Though casualties were relatively light, the British decided to appease the Arabs and "redefined" the borders of the Balfour Declaration.   This was neither the first time nor the last time that the British would violation the terms of the Mandate.  It was also one of the many examples in which the British sought to curry favor with the Arabs, even if it meant betraying the Jews.

1922: Today “the Free Trades Unions of Munich commissioned a monument dedicated to ‘the Dead of the Revolution’” after which the urn containing Kurt Eisner’s ashes was walled into its pedestal.

1923: On Coney Island in Brooklyn, Russian immigrants Lena and Isaac Donald Heller gave birth to author Joseph Heller who created Catch-22, the literary masterpiece that gained additional fame as a film.


1923: “British Chief Rabbi Defends Schechita In The Times” published today by the Jewish Correspondence Bureau described the strongly expressed opposition of Joseph Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom proposed legislation that would end “the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for food” which he says “according to the testimony of competent experts including Lord Lister, Sir Michael Foster, Dr. Leonard Hill and Dr. T.H. Openshaw” is “the most human method” for doing this.

1924: In Baltimore, MD, Abraham Benjamin Cohn, native of Pottsville, PA and his wife Hattie Rose Cohn gave birth to Malcolm Randolph Cone

1925: In the UK, Marie Bader and Louis Balmuth gave birth to Helen Balmuth who gained fame as Helen Rae Bamber who among other things “worked with Holocaust survivors after the liberation of the concentration camps


1926: In Bochum Germany, Hans Ehrenberg “a German Jewish philosopher and theologian” who was “one of the co-founders of the Confessing Church” and was forced to emigrate to England because of his Jewish ancestry and his opposition to Nazism” and his wife Else Zimmerman gave birth to statistician and marketing scientist Andrew Ehrenberg. http://www.marketingscience.info/name-and-founders

1926: “The all-Jewish football (soccer) club, SC Hakoah Wien, led by Béla Guttmann played before a crowd of 46,000 people at the Polo Grounds in New York City.

1927: It was reported today that “what was said to be the first open-air concert in Eretz-Israel since the time of the Roman occupation took place on April 13 in the stadium of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus.”

1927: “The election of Adolph S. Ochs as President of the recently organized Association of Reform Congregations, was announced today by Ludwig Vogelstein, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.”

1928: A large number of workers in Palestine heeded the call of the Worker’s Councils for a general strike.  In other May Day activities, Arab and Jewish workers held mass meetings in several towns including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where police dispersed the gatherings after arresting several demonstrators some of whom would later be labeled as “communists.”

1928: Mrs. Richard Gottheil, president of the Women’s League for Palestine is scheduled to preside over todays luncheon which is being held to raise funds to build communal centers for pioneer working girls in Palestine.

1928(11th of Iyar, 5688): Fifty-eight year old Joseph Solomon Wallenstein, the son of Solomon and Esther Wallenstein, passed away today.

1928: In London, variety store proprietors Victor and Leah Cohen gave birth to art pioneer Harold Cohen.



1929: Mr. and Mrs. Stuart J. Lebach of Park Central announced the engagement of their daughter Lenore Block Lebach, the Columbia University student and granddaughter of Leo Bloch to Edmond Nathaniel Cahn the graduate of Tulane University, member of ZBT and Phi Beta Kappa and son of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar M. Cahn of New Orleans, LA.

1929(21st of Nisan, 5689): Seventh Day of Pesach

1929: For the first time since their inception in 1889, the annul May Day rally in Berlin turned violent and when “the workers were charged with severe breach of the peace and sedition” Hans Litten stepped in to defend them.

1930: In Siófok, Hungary, József and Ilona Hirsch, both of whom perished in The Holocaust, gave birth to theatre director John Hirsch was brought to Canada “in 1947 through the War Orphans Project of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

1931(14th of Iyar, 5691): Pesach Shein

1932: In Lithuania, Leah Benjamin and Shmuel Kagan gave birth to American educated historian Donald Kagan, the husband of Myrna Kagan and father of authors Robert and Frederick Kagan.  (This blog cannot do justice to his career or his works.)



1932: According to reports by John Martin published today, famed ballerina Belle Didjah has set sail from New York to begin her European Tour which will include performances in Tel Aviv and other communities in Palestine.  The performances are being sponsored by the Cultural Committee of Histadruth.

1933: With the fortunes of Adidas on the rise and Hitler having just assumed power in Germany, the Dassler brothers formally joined the Nazi party, according to journalist Barbara Smit’s book “Sneaker Wars,” a history of Adidas.


1933: “Crowd Assaults Fascist Who Insult London Jews” published today described how “an after theatre crowd of about 7,000 persons surrounded and assaulted a band of young Fascists who had hurled insults at groups of Jews in Piccadilly Circus.”

1934: Julius Streicher's Nazi periodical, Der Stürmer--one of Germany's most popular periodicals and a favorite of Hitler--reminded its readers that during the Middle Ages, the Jews were accused of committing ritual murder of Christian children and of using their blood for religious ritual purposes

1934(16th of Iyar, 5694): Seventy year old Polish born manufacturer and Jewish philanthropist Israel Unterberg who came to the United States in 1873 at approximately ten years of age passed away today.



1934: The Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP (Racial Policy Office of the National Socialist German Workers Party) was established by Hitler's friend and secretary, Rudolph Hess.

1935: It was reported today that a riot at a lecture in Munich celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of Hebrew University in Jerusalem was averted by Jewish restraint in the face of threats from Nazi students some of whom were dress in the Brown Shirt uniform.

1935: In Manhattan, German born tent manufacturer Walter Stern and bookkeeper Jean (Friedlander) Stern gave birth CCNY and Harvard Law School graduate Henry Jordan Stern, the long-time and forceful commissioner of parks and recreation in New York City who was the husband of Dr. Margaret Ewing, father of Jaren and Kenan Stern and the brother of Susanne Kenneth and Jerome Stern. (As reported Robert D. McFadden)


1936: Despite have arrested 106 Communists, British authorities braced for more violence today which is both the Muslim Sabbat and May Day.

1936: During his May Day speech today, when Hitler asked who was spreading the lies that “Germany will invade Austria or Czechoslovakia” the crowd respond with “cries of the Jews” which was the same response he got when he asked “who are the elements which want no peace?”

1936: “Several Jewish-owned shops were destroyed by a bomb explosion at Ovwock, Poland.”

1936: In explaining the University of Michigan’s decision to send representatives to an anniversary at the Heidelberg University despite Nazi involvement, President Alexander G. Ruthven was quoted today as saying “he believed that Germany’s persecuting of the Jews and Catholics had been no worse than Italy’s treatment of the Ethiopians.”

1937(20th of Iyar, 5697): Parashat Emor

1937: A five-year-old Jewish boy was killed today while his mother and six Jews men wounded today in Warsaw when “fascists threw bombs and fired shots at the tail-end of a May Parade sponsored by the Jewish Socialist party.”

1937(20th of Iyar, 5697): Sixty-nine-year-old Broadway and silent screen star Snitz Edwards, born into Jewish home in Budapest as Edwad Neuman, the husband of Eleanor Taylor with whom he had three daughters -  Cricket, Evelyn and Marian – who “often appeared in the first decade of the 20th century on Broadway in productions for such prominent stage directors as Arthur Hammerstein and Charles Frohman” and performed with such silent screen stars as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Ramon Navarro passed away today in Los Angeles.

1938: Big band singer Beatrice Ruth Wain married French born American radio personality Andre Baruch.

1938: Following the Anschluss, Austrians forced Jewish men and women to scrub the streets with small brushes and with the women's fur coats.

1939: “An Associated Press photograph shows some of over 132,000 members of the Hitler youth assumed at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin” today


1939: Alexander “Burnstein informed Cyrus Adler that he had successfully relocated 33 rabbis to the United States including Rabbi Emil Schorsch of Hanover, the father Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, the former chancellor of JTS.

1939: In Hungary, discriminatory laws were passed against Jews engaged in law and medicine. Jewish participation in the economy was restricted to six percent.

1939: Following a decision “made in the secretariat of Hashomer Hatzair, Kibbutz BaMa'ale and Kibbutz BaMifne “were settled in Menashe Heights” and eventually be called Kibbutz Dalia.

1940: In France, premiere of “Sarajevo,” directed by Max Ophüls and filmed by cinematographer Otto Heller.

1940: Birthdate of Colette Avital, the Bucharest native who made Aliyah in 1950 and developed a career as a diplomat and political leader.

1940: Polish and Baltic-area Jews began to escape across the Soviet Union to Japan, the Dutch East Indies, Australia, Canada, the United States and, in a few instances to Eretz Israel. In all, only a few thousand Jews from the region manage to escape.

1940: The Lodz Ghetto is closed.  At the outbreak of the war, Lodz was the second largest Jewish community in Europe, Warsaw being the largest.  When the Ghetto was sealed, it imprisoned over 230,000.  Those who did not die of starvation, pestilence, etc. ended up being transported to the Chelmno death camp.  There were less than 900 Jews left alive when the Soviets liberated the ghetto in January, 1945.

1940(23rd of Nisan, 5700): One hundred forty Palestinian Jews died as German planes bombed their ship

1940: Rudolf Höss, adjutant at the Sachsenhausen, Germany, concentration camp, was ordered to turn the former Polish army barracks at Auschwitz, Poland, into an extermination camp.

1940: From today through December 1940 thousands of Polish Jews are sent eastward as forced laborers to construct fortifications along the new Soviet frontier.

1941: New York City premiere of “Citizen Kane” with a screenplay co-authored by Herman J. Mankiewicz and a score by Bernard Hermann.

1941: Thousands of Jews who had fought in the French Foreign Legion against Germany in 1940 were deported to slave-labor camps in the Sahara to build railroads.

1941(4th of Iyar, 5701): In Bucharest, Romania 120 Jews are slain in the streets during anti-Semitic violence

1941: Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and businesses in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, are destroyed

1941: A concentration camp is established at Natzweiler, Alsace, Germany.

1941: Gross-Rosen, formerly a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen, Germany, becomes an independent camp.

1942(14th of Iyar, 5702): Pesach Sheni

1942: From today through the 31st of the month, more than 3600 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto die of starvation. Nazis force their way into Jewish apartments in Warsaw, shoot and club the residents, and throw the bodies from windows.

1942: During May a slave-labor camp opens near Minsk, Belorussia.

1942: During May small groups of Jewish youths manage to escape into the woods outside Lida and Stolpce, towns in Belorussia.

1942: During May, in the Eastern Galicia region of Poland, Jews aged 14 to 60 are driven to isolated spots and killed by hand grenades and machine guns after being forced to dig their own graves. Other victims of this Aktion include orphans, residents of old-age homes, and women in the streets.

1942: During May, inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau are put to work as slave laborers at the camp itself and at a synthetic-oil and rubber plant at nearby Monowitz.

1942: During May, Jewish women at Auschwitz-Birkenau are selected for medical experiments. A Jewish inmate at a labor camp at Schwenningen, Germany, is buried in earth up to his shoulders as punishment for having an attack of diarrhea outside a barracks; after more than ten hours in the ground, the man dies.

1942: During May, a slave-labor camp opens at Maly Trostinets, Byelorussia

1942: During May in Holland, a collaborationist auxiliary police unit, Vrijwillige Hulp-Politie (Volunteer Auxiliary Police), is established. It is charged with the roundup of Dutch Jews for deportation to the East.

1942: During May, Communist Jews in Paris initiate organized armed resistance to the Nazi occupiers.

1942: During May, The Bund (Jewish Labor Organization of Poland) appeals to the Polish government-in-exile in London to persuade the Allied governments to warn the German government about the consequences of the murder of the Polish Jews. The Bund's appeal contains detailed information concerning the systematic mass murder of Jews. It reports that 700,000 Polish Jews have already been executed.

1942: In early May, 260 Luxembourg Jews, some of whom who had converted to Christianity, are sent to Chelmno.

1942: In early May, Jewish Council members at Bilgoraj, Poland, are executed after refusing to compile a list of candidates for deportation.

1942:  More than 1750 Jews are deported from Tripoli, Libya, to forced-labor sites at the Libyan cities of Benghazi, Homs, and Derna. Hundreds perish from heat and hunger, and others die during Allied bombings after being forbidden to use air-raid shelters

1942: In that part of North Africa occupied by the Axis Powers (Germany and Italy), 2600 Libyan Jews are deported to a forced-labor camp at Giado, Libya, to build roads for the military.

1942(14th of Iyar, 5702): Approximately 1000 Jews are murdered at Dvinsk, Latvia. Only about 450 Jews are left in Dvinsk, down from 16,000 from the previous year.

1942: In its daily broadcast, Radio Orange issued a call to defy the order to wear the "Jewish star." During World War II, Radio Orange was the name given to the broadcasts by the Dutch government-in- exile which were carried by the B.B.C.

1942: Trucks began transporting the Jews out of the Dvinsk ghetto. Dvinsk was a town in the Baltic state of Latvia.  Before the war, there were 16,000 Jews living in Dvinks.  At the end of the war, only 500 had survived.

1943: “Lady of Burlesque” featuring J. Edward Bromberg and Pinky Lee was released today in the United States.

1943: SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop completes his official written chronicle of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto which is entitled “The Stroop Report.”

1943: The first of four trains carrying nearly 11,000 Jews arrive at Auschwitz from Salonika, Greece. This would mark the next step in the end of this ancient Jewish community that lives on in their unique music including that which is used in chanting Psalm 118.

1943: The Axis send the first of what would total 5000 Sephardic Jews from Occupied Tunisia to labor camps near North African battle zones.

1943: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising had lasted eleven days.  By now, the Jews knew that the Polish Underground would not come to their aid.  The Jews fought on even as they awaited the inevitable. Among the those who died at this time were Abrasha Blum, an organizer of armed resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto and a member of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations> He was  shot by Germans after enduring confinement and torture

1943:  German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, reacting to the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto revolt, notes in his diary: "Heavy engagements are being fought there which led even to the Jewish Supreme Command's issuing daily communiqués. Of course, this fun won't last very long. But it shows what is to be expected of the Jews when they are in possession of arms."

1943: Jewish writers and artists, inspired by the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, gather in the Vilna (Lithuania) Ghetto for an evening of poetry, with the hopeful theme "Spring in Yiddish Literature."

1943(26th of Nisan, 5703): Many members of the Jewish community in Brody, Ukraine, are killed at the Majdanek death camp.

1944: An internal memo from the United States Government War Refugee Board states that as of late March:  "All registered Jews in Athens are said to have been placed in a concentration camp; registered Jews from the provinces were subsequently added."

1944: An internal memo of this week from the United States Government War Refugee Board states that a small group of Jews in Greece claimed to be Portuguese nationals.

1944: Christian Wirth, SS-Sturmbannführer and commandant of the Belzec, Poland, death camp, is assassinated by partisans in Fiume, Yugoslavia.

1944: Starting today the Nazis begin the liquidation of the Lodz (Poland) Ghetto. 

1944(8th of Iyar, 5704): Itzhak Katzenelson and his son Zvi were murdered at Auschwitz. Born in 1886, he was a teacher, poet and dramatist.  His wife and two of his other sons had already been murdered at Treblinka.  Katznelson participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and was one of the few survivors.  While being held at a detention in Vittel, France, he wrote the Yiddish epic poem “Song of the Murdered Jewish People” which he buried in bottles before being shipped to the death camp.  The Ghetto Fighters' House Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel, is named in his memory. For more about his epic work see http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=ivKVLcMVIsG&b=476157

1944(8th of Iyar, 5704): As mass deportations of Jews from Hungary to death camps begin, hundreds of Hungarian Jews at Sátoraljaújhely and Miskolc are shot after refusing to board trains destined for Auschwitz.

1944: Birthdate of Bronx native Robert “Bob” Mankoff the cartoon editor of The New Yorker magazine.



1944: Between today and the 31st of May, 33,000 Jews from Munkács, Hungary, are killed at Auschwitz.

1945:  After 68 months of war, just one of every ten of Poland's prewar Jewish population of 3.3 million is alive

1945(18th of Iyar, 5705): Lag B’Omer 

1945(18th of Iyar, 5705):  When a Jew in a group of laborers from the camp at Sonneberg, Germany, chanted and danced with joy upon word of Hitler's death, a “German guard calmly shot the man dead.”

1945: The concentration camp at Stutthof, Poland, is liberated by the Red Army. Just 120 inmates remain alive.

1945: Henry Krasucki, a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald “celebrates” his May Day in Paris.

1945: The Death Marches to Mauthausen continued even as the U.S. Army approached, and even though Hitler committed suicide the prior day. The Jews were being marched to Mauthasan in Austria from the various death camps and concentration camps that had fallen in the wake of Allied and Soviet advances.  Hundred more Jews would die during the marches from exhaustion. Approximately 200,000 people were imprisoned at Mauthausen.  Not until May 3, would the Nazi guards give up and slip away trying to hide among the general mass of refugees.

1946(30th of Nisan, 5706: Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

1946(30th of Nisan, 5706): Former Jewish partisan leader and Red Army officer Eliyahu Lipszowicz is murdered by an anti-Semitic Pole at Legnica, Poland.

1946: In a draft of a letter to British Prime Minster Clement Atlee, Winston Churchill reiterated his belief in Partition as the only realistic was for settling the conflict in Palestine.

1946: The English-American Commission on the Jewish Refugee Problem in Europe recommended the immediate entry of 100,000 Jews into Eretz Israel. The British continued to maintain the blockade keeping the Jews out of Palestine.  It was at this time that Golda "proposed a hunger strike by fifteen Zionist leaders" as means of forcing the British to change their policy.  When the Mrs. Meir asked the head of the British government in Palestine if the hunger strike would make a difference he ask asked her,"...do you think for a moment that His Majesty's government will change its policy because you are not going to.  She replied, "No, I have no such illusions.  If the death of six million didn't change government policy, I don't expect that my not eating will do so.  But it at least it will be a mark of solidarity" with those Jews being turned away by the British military. 

1947: Last day of Bercovici v. Chaplain in which Louis Nizer represented the plaintiff in case charging plagiarism by Chaplain and which was settled with Chaplain paying the plaintiff $95,000.


1947: In Mexico City, Joseph Bekenstein, a carpenter, and the former Esther Vladaslavotsky, a homemaker, two Jewish immigrants from Poland who had met in Mexico during World War II gave birth to Jacob David Beckstein, the Michael Polak professor emeritus of theoretical physics at Hebrew University who “revolutionized the theory of Black Holes.”

1947: Leonard Bernstein introduces his "Jeremiah" symphony in the Edison Cinema in Jerusalem.

1948(22nd of Nisan, 5708): Eighth Day of Pesach and Shabbat

1948: “The Arabs opened a large-scale attack on Ramot Naphtali in the northern hills near Lebanon.”  The settlement was the key to a Jewish victory in the Galilee.  If the Arabs could take the settlement, they would be able to keep the Palmach from sending reinforcements Safed.  In the end, the settlers held and Jewish forces were able to take control of Safed after an extremely difficult battle later in the month.

1948: Abba Eban makes his maiden speech in the U.N. General Assembly.

1948 (22 Nissan 5708): Israeli forces liberate the Qatamon neighborhood of Jerusalem.

1949: An article published in “Harefuah”, a medical journal published by the Israel Medical Association, described how Aaron Valero first observed the outbreak of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Palestine.

1950(14th of Iyar, 5710): Pesach Sheni

1950: In Tel Aviv, Israel Eldad and his wife gave birth to Professor Aryeh Eldad who combined medicine with a career in politics.

1950: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s attempts to form a new government suffered a setback tonight when the executive committee of the General Zionist Party decided not to join the coalition.  The party, which is more conservative than those represented by the labor movement, had been offered the Commerce and Industry ministries as an enticement to join the new government but the leadership felt that Ben Gurion had not made a strong enough commitment to adopt some of their economic and educational reform policies.

1950: “South Pacific,” the famous musical by Rogers and Hammerstein won the Pulitzer Prize as the best original American Play.

1950: “Double Confession” a crime film co-starring Peter Lorre and with music by Benjamin Frankel was released today in the United Kingdom.

1951: The bond drive of United Jewish Appeal is scheduled to begin today.

1951: In “Hungary’s and Rumania’s Nazis-in-Red” Hitler’s Graduates Staff Stalin’s New Order” published today Bela Fabian described the emergence in Eastern Europe of former Nazis now enforcing the teachings of Karl Marx.


1952: Funeral services are scheduled to be held for 79-year-old “lawyer banker and civic worker whose “philanthropes, particularly to Jewish charities ran up into the millions of dollars” and who married Mrs. Elizabeth Rebstein in 1943 after his first wife Selda passed away in 1938” is scheduled to buried today.


1953: Today, “£650 of the "Hungarian crown jewels collection" was stolen from” the antique shop belong to Esta or Esther Henry, who had been born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1883 and passed away at Edinburgh in 1963

1954: U.S. premiere of “Flame and Flesh” directed by Richard Brooks, produced by Jose Pasternak with a screenplay by Helen Deutsch and with music by Nicholas Brodszky.

1954: “A practical application of the ideals of brotherhood will be put into operation” in Newburgh, NY starting today when local Methodist congregation whose church is being torn down to construct a new house of worship is scheduled to begin worshipping at Temple Beth Jacob in an arrangement worked out with Rabbi Maurice J. Bloom during Brotherhood Week. (JTA)

1954: J & W Seligman & Company celebrated two anniversaries today – the 90th anniversary of its founding and the 85th anniversary of its being listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1955: Birthdate of Julien Mark Wiener “a former Australian cricketer who played in six Tests and seven one-day internationals from 1979 to 1980. A right-handed opening batsman and a very occasional off spin bowler, he is the only known Jewish Australian to represent his country at cricket…Wiener's mother and father, Vella and Sasha, were Polish and Austrian Jews respectively, and both escaped the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. The surname Wiener came from Vienna, the home of Sasha. His parents married in 1947 in Paris, before coming to Australia as refugees on the famous Dunera ship in 1947. Wiener's father ran a successful textile business, which allowed him to send Wiener to the private Brighton Grammar School. Wiener's father had early sporting success in table tennis, which Wiener applied to his cricket, playing for Prahran in Melbourne grade cricket. He subsequently completed his university education at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in business management, before moving to England to pursue his cricket career.”

1955: A revival of “Guys and Dolls” starring Walter Matthau as “Nathan Detroit” came to an end at the New York City Center.

1956: The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.  For all those who like to talk about greedy Jews, considering the following.  Salk refused to take out a patent on his vaccine.  Some things, he said, were more important than making money.

1956: “Bhowani Junction” a film version of the novel by the same name directed by George Cukor, produced by Pandro S. Berman, with a script co-authored by Sonya Levien and featuring Abraham Sofaer was released in the United States.

1956: Moshe Dayan, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, made a speech at the funeral of a young settler, Ro'i Roitberg, killed in a clash with Palestinian infiltrators from the Gaza Strip

1957: “Desk Set” a comedic look at the installation of a computer in a major corporation produced by Henry Ephron who co-authored the script with Phoebe Ephron was released in the United States.

1957: Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, who gained fame as Larry King, began his broadcast career today at WAHR in Miami Beach by working as the disc jockey from nine to noon.

1958: “Fort Massacre” an “oater” produced by Walter Mirisch was released in the United States today.

1958: Birthdate of Ronen Shilo, the native of Nes Ziona, IDF veteran and Technion graduated who became the CEO of Conduit which in 2013 was Israel’s largest Internet company.


1959: Birthdate of Lawrence Seeff the Johannesburg native who was a South African First-class cricketer. “He played with Western Province and Transvaal and was one of the South African Cricket Annual's Cricketers of the Year in 1981. He opened the batting for Western Province with his brother Jonathan Seeff.”

1959: “The Young Land” with music by Dimitri Tiomkin who earned a nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Strange Are the Ways of Love" – the picture’s theme song – was released today.

1960(4th of Iyar, 5720): Yom HaZikaron

1961: In the U.K., premiere of “The Curse of the Werewolf” with music by Benjamin Frankel

1962:  Birthdate of actress Maia Morgenstern. A native of Bucharest, Morgenstern played the Virgin Mary in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ.

1963(7th of Iyar, 5723): Seventy-four-year-old Elkan Cohn Voorsagner the Reform Rabbi who during WW I served in France with the American Expeditionary Force as the Senior Chaplain for the 77th Division earning a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross during the Battles of the Agonne, the Marne and Chateau Thierry passed away today

1964: The Center for Jewish History marked today as the beginning of the public movement for freeing Soviet Jewry.

1964(19th of Iyar, 5724): Seventy-one-year-old Anna Kampner David, the widow of Abe J. David, the former Union County, NJ prosecutor with whom she had three children – Jane, Betty and Anne – passed away today.

1964(19th of Iyar, 5724): Sixty-six year old Aaron Nissenson, who came to United States from his native Russia in 1911, earned “a degree in pharmacy from Fordham” which he did not use turning instead to a life as “a poet, essayist, novelist and journalist working for The Jewish Morning Journal while being married “the former Kate Heller” with whom he had “a son, Herschel” passed away today.



1965(29th of Nisan, 5725): Shabbat Mevarchim and Parashat Achrei Mot

1965: “The New York Board of Rabbis representing some 850 members of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches of American Judaism asked its member to dedicated their services today to the founding of the State of Israel.”

1965: Sharp criticism of what he said was the failure of American rabbis to impart "meaningful interpretations of Judaism to American Jews," was voiced here today by Rabbi Elmer Berger, the executive head of the American Council for Judaism.

1966(11th of Iyar, 5726): Eighty-eight-year-old Hyman Pearlston, the Buffalo, TX born son of Barney and Lena Catosk Pearlston, and the husband of Claire and Mable Roxanne Pearlstone who was a businessman in Waco, Palestine, and Dallas passed away today In Dallas, TX where he was buried.

1967:  Birthdate of Yael Arad Israel, an Israeli judoka who won a silver medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

1967:” Welcome to Hard Times,” a film based on a novel by E. L. Doctorow” produced by Max E. Youngstein was released today in the United States.

1967(21st of Nisan, 5727): Seventh Day of Pesach

1967: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Bernard Malamud for his novel, The Fixer.  Born in 1914, Malamud wanted to be thought of as great writer, not just a great Jewish writer.  In other words, even though he often used Jewish themes and motifs, he was writing about the human condition.  The success of The Natural, a book about a baseball player was an example of that desire. "Malamud explicated the tragic role of the Jew in many of his stories, including The Fixer (1966), which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and later was adapted into a motion picture. That novel was based on the true story of Mendel Beilis, victim of the Kiev Blood Libel of 1913."  He passed away in 1986.

1968(3rd of Iyar, 5728): Yom HaZikaron

1968: “Indians,” a play written by Arthur Kopit had its US premiere today at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

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

1969: Nasser repudiated the cease fire agreement with Israel

1969: “A number of France’s outstanding intellectuals, writer and artist will attend a conference” scheduled to open today “on the plight of Jews in Russia.”

1969: Fifty-seven-year-old theatrical lighting Jean Rosenthal who was responsible for “lighting up” such hits as Cabaret and Fiddler on the Roof passed away today.



1970(25th of Nisan, 5730): Seventy-nine year old Maurice Sanditen,
the founder and board chairman of OTASCO passed away today in Tulsa, OK.


1971(6th of Iyar, 5731): Parashat Metzora

1971(6th of Iyar, 5731): Sixty-eight-year-old Dr. Maurice Levine, the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at his undergraduate alma mater the University of Cincinnati passed away today.



1972: Julie and Adolph Marx Oppenheimer gave birth Laura Oppenheimer

1973(29th of Nisan, 5733): Ninety-four-year-old Goodman Lipkind, the London rabbi who served several American congregations in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Schenectady, NY passed away today at Long Beach, NY.

1974(9th of Iyar, 5734): George Backer, the former editor of the New York Post and Democrat Party leader passed away today.


1975(20th of Iyar, 5735): Sixty-nine-year-old Philadelphia born attorney turned bridge who with his wife Margery Golder formed “The Top Married Bridge Team” passed away today.


1978(24th of Nisan, 5738): Seventy-five-year-old New York City born and St. Lawrence College trained labor lawyer Robert Abelow, a partner in the firm of Weil, Gosthael and Magnes and the editor of “The Employee Relations Law Journal” who was the husband of “the former Miriam Steinbrink” and a son-in-law of New York State Supreme Court Justice Meyer Steinbrink” passed away today.


1979(4th of Iyar, 5739): Yom HaZikaron

1979: Elton John became the first pop star to perform in Israel.

1981(27th of Nisan, 5741): Yom HaShoah

1981: President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation today declaring the week starting on May 3, 1981 as Jewish Heritage Week. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=43771#axzz1Kxu92zHU

1983: “Past That Stay Present” includes a review of Points of Departure by Israeli Poet and Holocaust Survivor Dan Pagis.


1983: George and Ira Gershwin’s “My One and Only” opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre” today.

1983(18th of Iyar, 5743): Lag B’Omer

1983(18th of Iyar, 5743): Eighty-two-year-old Manhattan native and NYU trained historian, Dr. Minna R. Falk, the first woman to become a full professor of history at New York University, passed away today at Mount Sinai Hospital.



1984(29th of Nisan, 5744)

1985: Today, the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) was established in Boston when Larry Phillips and Larry Simon, together with a group of rabbis, Jewish communal leaders, activists, businesspeople, scholars and others came together to create the first American Jewish organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among people across the globe.

1985: Showtune which was originally titled Tune the Grand Up, and premiered today as a cabaret production at The 1177 Club in the Gramercy Towers on Nob Hill in San Francisco. “Showtune is an internationally popular Off Broadway musical revue celebrating the words and music of Broadway composer Jerry Herman. Its title was inspired by Herman's autobiography of the same name.”

1987: Birthdate of Shahar Pe'er, Israeli female professional tennis player.

1987: “Rosa Luxemburg, “ a biopic about the famous Jewish revolutionary, known as “Red Rosa” who was murdered at the age of 49 opened today at the Lincoln Plaza 3 in NYC.


1987: Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.  Born Edith Stein, she became a Carmelite nun.  She was arrested by the Nazis in Holland when the Germans were rounding up Jews who converted to Catholicism.  She was gassed at Auschwitz.  For those who question the role of the Pope during the Holocaust, the fate of Edith Stein, and others who had converted to Catholicism before World War II, raises an interesting dilemma.  There are those who can understand why the Pope did not move to save the Jews but wonder why he did not move to save Jews who had become Catholics.  In the end, did he not consider them real Catholics?  This is something for use to ponder at this season of the year which often coincides with Yom Hashoah.

1987: It was reported today that Israel’s governing coalition “was under strain” as deal with proposals for an international peace conference and “the Israeli investigation in the Jonathan Jay Pollard spy case.”

1988(14th of Iyar, 5748): Pesach Sheni

1988: Final broadcast of season six Family Ties the sitcom created by Gary David Goldberg.

1989(26th of Nisan, 5749): Eight-nine year old New York native and CCNY graduate Max Gewirtz, the holder of a Masters from Teachers College at Columbia and Doctorate from NYU who retired as an assistant superintended “of a district in Queens in 1961 and became “head of a religious school at Temple Israel in Lawrence, L.I. passed away today.


1990: At an Arab summit meeting held in Baghdad, President Saddam Hussein of Iraq threatens to use "weapons of total destruction" in response to an Israeli attack against Arabs. The main item on the summit agenda is immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel, which is denounced as a grave threat to Arab security. Syria and four other Arab states do not attend the meeting.

1990: Greece establishes full diplomatic relations with Israel.

1990: Opening night of the Israel Film Festival attended by two of the most famous mayors in Jewish history - Teddy Kollek and Ed Koch

1991: A production of “King Lear” directed by Nicholas Hytner opened at the Barbican Theatre.

1994: Israeli and PLO delegates opened a final round of talks in Cairo leading to an agreement on PLO self-rule.  The resulting entity, the Palestine Authority would sink under the weight of Arafat’s corruption and unwillingness to do the things necessary to create a viable, responsible government. 

1996(12th of Iyar, 5756): Asher Wallfish journalist for the Jerusalem Post passed away at the age of 67

1996: In “Moises Ville Journal: Sun Has Set on Jewish Gauchos, but Legacy Lives,” Calvin Sims describes the fate of Argentina’s rural Jews.


1996: During today’s playoff game, The New York Knicks “observed a moment of silence” in memory of  Dora Sudarsky, broadcaster Bill Mazer’s  wife of 50 years who had passed away on April 28.

1997: The Jerusalem Post reported that the sentenced American spy, Jonathan Pollard, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice to order the Prime Minister to declare that he had been an agent of Israel. Pollard also requested a temporary injunction ordering the Government of Israel to reveal who had been in charge of his case and what steps had been taken to secure his release from the American prison. The petition queried the official Israeli position, according to which Pollard had been part of a rogue operation. It called for a temporary injunction outlining what he was paid for his services. The High Court issued a temporary injunction, apparently at the request of the security services, forbidding the publication of Pollard's petition. This ban was lifted following an appeal by the "Yediot Aharonot" newspaper.

1997: The Jerusalem Post reported that Mr. Norman Spector assumed the post of the President and Publisher of The Jerusalem Post.

1997: The transfer of the ownership of The Chattanooga Times from the four grandchildren of Adolph S. Ochs, who bought the paper in 1878 and remained its publisher until 1935, to his 13 great-grandchildren is scheduled to be completed today.

1997: “The Return of Tobias” oil on canvas by Benjamin Ulmann was sold today. A French Alsatian Jew born in 1829 he was a pupil of Michel Martin Drolling and of François-Édouard Picot.  He passed away in 1884.

1997: Laborite Greville Wan Janner completed his service as a Member of Parliament for Leicester West.

1998: In the U.K., premiere of “Sliding Doors” produced by Sydney Pollack and starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

1999: Three Ring, a filly owned by Barry K. Schwartz, finished ran out of the money in today’s Kentucky Derby.

2000: Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails begin a hunger strike to draw attention to their poor conditions.

2000: In Los Angeles, premiere of “Gladiator” a film about the decline of the Roman Empire with music by Hans Zimmer

2000: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for ninety-five year old Abraham “Goldie” Goldberg, the husband Rose Goldberg, the father of Muriel Ginsberg and the founder of the “Fraser-Gold Carpet Corporation in Manhattan.”

2000: After almost seventeen months in prison, the trial of the 13 Jews opened in the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz. Hearings were held every Monday and Wednesday until May 29. The thirteen defendants were brought to the courtroom in shifts over the five-week trial.

2001(8th of Iyar, 5671): Eighty-six-year-old Theodore Wilentz, the co-founder with his brother of iconic Eighth Street Bookshop passed away today.


2001: The annual meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee opened today in New York.

2001: Former government intern Chandra Levy disappears.

2002: Doubleday published Man Walks Into a Room, “the first novel by American author Nicole Krauss.”

2002: Yasser Arafat's five-month imprisonment in his Ramallah headquarters draws to an end as the Palestinians hand over six high-profile prisoners to Anglo-American custody.

2003: “Schools closed, airports shut down, and practically all public services ground to a halt today as 700,000 workers began an open-ended strike to protest spending cuts and mass firings proposed by Israel's finance minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.” (As reported by Greg Myre)

2004: Noa (Achinoam Nini) and Gil Dor, together with the noted Israeli rhythm and dance troupe Mayumana, gave a joint performance between the two final games of the Euroleague basketball championship, broadcast to thousands of television viewers around the world.

2004: Maccabi Tel Aviv crushes Italy's Skipper Bologna 118-74 to become European champions for the fourth time in the club’s history.

2004: Rabbi Sir Jonathan Henry Sacks begins serving as Rabbi and Spiritual Leader, Western Marble Arch Synagogue London.

2005 22nd of Nisan, 5765): 8th day of Pesach

2005: Stanley Fisher began serving as Governor of the Bank of Israel.

2005: A Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Glengarry Glen Ross” opened today at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre with Liev Schreiber in the role of “Roma.”

2005 22nd of Nisan, 5765): Rene Rivkin an Australian entrepreneur, investor, investment adviser, and stockbroker passed away. He was a well-known stockbroker in Australia for many years until his conviction for insider trading.

2005: The New York Observer features a review of “The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom From My Father on How to Live, Love, and See” by Naomi Wolfe

2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble by Roger Cohen, Given Up For Dead: American GI's in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga by Flint Whitlock and the recently released paperback editions of Conspirator by Michael Andre Bernstein and Madame Secretary by Madeline Albright with Bill Woodward, an “insightful memoir that focuses as much on Albright’s voyage of personal discovery (she belatedly learned of her Jewish heritage) as on her years as President Clinton's secretary of state.”

2006: First episode of “The Perfect Home” a television series based on The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, the scion of a prominent Egyptian Jewish family that was forced to flee to Switzerland.

2007: Hilary Koprowski was awarded the Albert Sabin Gold Medal by the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Baltimore.  Koprowski was one of three Jews (the others being Salk and Sabin) who played a key role in developing a vaccine against polio.)

2007(13th of Iyar, 5767): Eighty-eight year old Dr. Clemens E. Prokesch passed away today.


2007: “Secretary-General of Labor Party, Minister Eitan Cabel announced today that he was resigning from the government, following the conclusions of the Winograd Commissions.”
2007:  May is celebrated as Jewish Heritage Month by proclamation of the President of the United States.

2008: Judge Robert D. Sack “was awarded the Federal Bar Council's Learned Hand Medal for excellence in federal jurisprudence” oday.

2008: “Brothers: Rahm Emanuel and His Family” published today looks at the lives and accomplishments of Rahm, Zeke and Ari.


2008: In New York City, PEN World Voices, a festival of international literature presentsConversations Between A. B. Yehoshua and Leon Wieseltier” an event during which “Yehoshua discusses a lifetime in literature, fact in fiction, writing politics and atonement with Leon Wieseltier, Literary Editor of The New Republic and author of Kaddish.”

2008: Local elections are held in Great Britain. Community organizations have come together to encourage the British Jewish community to vote in these local elections being held across the country because of a fear of gains that could be made by for the ultra-nationalist British National Party (BNP). The Board of Deputies of British Jews - working with the London Jewish Forum and Community Security Trust - had launched a new campaign, with the slogan, "Your Voice or Theirs," to raise awareness of the importance of first registering to vote and then voting in the May 1 local elections. The BNP has enjoyed some electoral success which alarms the Jewish community as well as ant-fascists organizations and other minority groups.  BNP literature is described as anti-Semitic and the party is viewed by some as latter day Nazis.

2008 (26th of Nisan): Yom Hashoah – Eastern Iowa observes Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Cedar Rapids The Holocaust Memorial Fund (created and endowed by Dr. David and Joan Thaler) and the Jewish-Christian Dialogue are sponsoring Yom Hashoah Service at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 7:00 pm. Rabbi Stephanie Alexander will be the speaker. In Iowa City, in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Timofeyev Ensemble will be celebrating the achievements of Eastern European Jewry by putting on a free Klezmer concert at the Art Building West. Nearly lost, the music was rediscovered in the seventies and is now thriving in Europe and America. The UI student band, Kosher Tom, will also be performing.

2009: In Alexandria, Va., Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrator Jules Feiffer reads and discusses “Which Puppy” a children’s picture book he recently co-authored with his daughter Kate.

2009: The American Society for Jewish Music and the American Jewish Historical Society present a lecture by Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit of Tufts University entitled “The Participating Observer: Fieldwork in Jewish Settings.”

2009: After having first been released in Sydney, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” with a screenplay co-authored y David Benioff and co-starring Liev Schreiber was released today in the United States.

2009: Mike Brown, one of the few Jews in the NHL “was ejected from Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-finals after a questionable hit on then-Detroit Red Wings forward Jiří Hudler, who was left dazed and bloodied on the ice.”

2009: In “Roosevelt and the Jews: A Debate Rekindled,” published today, Patricia Cohen reviewed Refugees and Rescue: The Diaries’ and papers of James G. McDonald, 1935-1945.

2009(12th of Iyar, 5769): Sam Cohn, whose nearly endless client roster of top actors, writers and directors and imaginative engineering of deals for them made him the most powerful talent broker in theater and film during the 1970s and 1980s and a progenitor of the Hollywood superagent passed away today at the age of 79. (As reported by Bruce Weber)


2010: Jewish American Heritage began today as proclaimed by President Barak Obama. The proclamation read as follows:

In 1883, the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus composed a sonnet, entitled “The New Colossus,” to help raise funds for erecting the Statue of Liberty.  Twenty years later, a plaque was affixed to the completed statue, inscribed with her words:  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”  These poignant words still speak to us today, reminding us of our Nation’s promise as a beacon to all who are denied freedom and opportunity in their native lands. Our Nation has always been both a haven and a home for Jewish Americans.  Countless Jewish immigrants have come to our shores seeking better lives and opportunities, from those who arrived in New Amsterdam long before America’s birth, to those of the past century who sought refuge from the horrors of pogroms and the Holocaust.  As they have immeasurably enriched our national culture, Jewish Americans have also maintained their own unique identity.  During Jewish American Heritage Month we celebrate this proud history and honor the invaluable contributions Jewish Americans have made to our Nation. The Jewish American story is an essential chapter of the American narrative.  It is one of refuge from persecution; of commitment to service, faith, democracy, and peace; and of tireless work to achieve success.  As leaders in every facet of American life—from athletics, entertainment, and the arts to academia, business, government, and our Armed Forces—Jewish Americans have shaped our Nation and helped steer the course of our history.  We are a stronger and more hopeful country because so many Jews from around the world have made America their home. Today, Jewish Americans carry on their culture’s tradition of “tikkun olam”—or “to repair the world”—through good deeds and service.  As they honor and maintain their ancient heritage, they set a positive example for all Americans and continue to strengthen our Nation. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2010 as Jewish American Heritage Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies to celebrate the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

[Editor’s Note: … President Obama has made a subtle, symbolic gesture that some would say demonstrates uncommon sensitivity to the Jewish community. Thanks to the New Jersey Jewish News for this story, which reports that President Obama removed the standard phrase “in the year of our Lord” from a proclamation welcoming May as Jewish Heritage Month. As the newspaper reports, previous similar proclamations — by Obama, George Bush, and Bill Clinton — all included the standard line affixed at the end, pegging the missive’s date to the birth of Jesus Christ … Obama, in praising Jews for their unique contributions to American culture, took the extra step of taking it out this time. This may not sit well with “the our-country-is-a-Christian-nation crowd” and it may seem like a small thing, but it shows a certain level of sensitivity if not outright political courage. There are those who think that Jewish community should be more outspoken in acknowledging this, and in voicing appreciation.”]

2010: At The Library of Congress an exhibition entitled “Herblock!" highlighting the life and works of the great political cartoonist is scheduled to come to a close.

2010 A Secret, a film adapted from the award-winning autobiographical novel by Philippe Grimbert, is scheduled to be shown tonight at the Northern Virginia International Jewish Film Festival.

2010: In “Death on the Baltic” published today, Jeremy Elias described an eyewitness account of the sinking of the Cape Arcona.


2010: Achinoam Nini, the world famous Israeli performer known as Noa, is scheduled to appear in concert tonight at East Brunswick (NJ) Performing Arts Center.

2011: The Cedar Rapids community is scheduled to mark Yom Hashoah with “”Lest We Forget,” A Service in Memory of the Victims of the Shoah sponsored by  The Jewish Christian Dialogue Group and The Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation. (See The Story of History which provides background information on the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund which was co-founded by David and Joan Tahler)

2011: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present “Growing Up Jewish in Montreal” a panel discussion during which “four distinguished scholars reflect on their formative years in one of North America's most vibrant Jewish communities.”

2011: “Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival” by June Feiss Hersh  is scheduled to go on sale today at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2011: A memorial service for Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate, who trained members of the Haganah, is scheduled to take place today at the Arlington National Cemetery.  The ceremony is being held under the auspices of the Jewish War Veterans Association of the United States of America.

2011: Reform Judaism’s flagship social justice conference, the Religious Action Center’s Consultation on Conscience is scheduled to open in Washington, DC.

2011: Start of Jewish American Heritage Month

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of book by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World”  by William D. Cohan, “Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial” by Janet Malcolm that is set against a backdrop of the “Bukharin Jewish immigrant community in Queens” and  the recently released paperback edition of  “Crossing Mandelbaum Gate Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978” by Kai Bird

2011: The March of the Living participants are scheduled to visit Auschwitz on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on May 1, to commemorate the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews and to pledge to fight intolerance and prejudice in the future.

2011(27th of Nisan): Yom Hashoah – observance of the holiday will take place in many places tomorrow “to avoid adjacency with Shabbat).

2011(27th of Nisan, 5771): Moshe Landau, the fifth president of the Supreme Court and an Israel Prize laureate, died on today, only two days after his 99th birthday, and 50 years after presiding at the trial of Adolf Eichmann.



2011: The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust will be honored at ceremonies held across Israel this evening, the start of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and other dignitaries will attend the official state ceremony at Yad Vashem. This year, the central theme of the ceremony will be Fragments of Memory: The Faces Behind the Documents, Artifacts and Photographs, a campaign launched by the Holocaust museum aimed at collecting and preserving documents so that future generations may learn about the genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis from first-hand sources. During the ceremony, six Holocaust survivors will light torches in memory of those who suffered under Nazi persecution before and during World War II. Yona Fuchs, whose nickname is Janek, will be among the honorees at the event. In 1942 he escaped from a concentration camp and found work as a translator for a German company in Kiev. In that capacity he managed to save over a dozen Jews by recruiting them as workers for his employers. Later, he evaded arrest by posing as a German soldier. He arrived in British-controlled Palestine in 1944, fought in the War of Independence and settled in Haifa. He has 14 grandchildren.

2011: After 443 performances a revival of  Jerry Herman’s “La Cage aux Folles” came to a close.

2011: Israel's new Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino was sworn in today, replacing David Cohen, who served in the post for four years.  Danino was formerly the head of the Israel Police investigations and intelligence branch, and comes to the commissioner's chair from his last posting as the commander of the Southern District Police.

2011: Distinguished composer Gilbert Levine, whose grandparents emigrated from Poland and whose mother-in-law was a survivor of Auschwitz, will be among the hundreds of thousands of people converging on the Vatican for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. (As reported by Ruth Ellen Gerber)

2011: Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

2011: As part of its Yom HaShoah observance,  in Hollywood, Temple Israel’s newly established arts council invited community members to join the jury at a mock trial of Rudolph Kastner (As reported by Johan Lowenfeld.

2012: Israeli photographer Gil Cohen-Magen is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Hassidic Courtyards: A Photographic Study of the Ultra-Orthodox Community in Israel” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.

2012: Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power, the award winning fourth volume in his multi-volume biography about Lyndon Johnson was released today.

2012: “Kafka’s Last Story” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2012:  Rabbi Ed Cohn and Canto Joel Colman officiated at the graveside services for Inge Elsas, holocaust survivor, Temple Sinai Sunday School teacher and pillar of the New Orleans Jewish community.

2012: Start of Jewish American Heritage Month

2012: Thirty-one-year-old Daniel Timerman, the son of Jacobo Timerman “was sentenced today to 35 days in jail for refusing to serve with the Israeli Army in Lebanon.”

2013: The 36th International Convention of the World Union for Progressive Judaism is scheduled to open in Jerusalem.

2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to presents “The Quest for Justice in the Postwar Jewish Community - Function and Role of Honor Courts in the Displaced Persons Camps.”

2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to co-host “Guernica – Bravery and Gender in Confessional Writing.

2013: Today “Scholastic published Gorgeous, Paul Rudnick's first young adult novel” which “Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, said that the book included "writing that's hilarious, profane and profound (often within a single sentence.)"

2013: In a case of “the East” meets the Jews, Iron Man 3, based on a creation of Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow opened in China today.

2013: Gravestones and bones from an ancient Turkish Jewish cemetery were unearthed during construction work.The remains in the Turkish city of Izmir were found more than 20 feet below the ground, during construction work on an underground tunnel, the Hurriyet Daily News reported today.

2013: Israel needs to reach peace with the Palestinians to prevent becoming a bi-national state, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said today, stressing – however – that the core of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is not territory, but a Palestinian unwillingness to recognize Israel's legitimacy within any boundaries.


2013: Start of Jewish American Heritage Month


2014(1st of Iyar, 5774): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2014: “The White Rose Exhibit” which commemorates the work of one of the few genuine resistance movements in Nazi Germany is scheduled to open at the College of Public of Health of the University of Iowa.

2014: Washington Hebrew Congregation is scheduled to host Adam Mendelsohn of the College of Charleston, whose book Jews and the Civil War: A Reader (co-edited with Jonathan D. Sarna) was published in 2010 speaking on “Beyond the Battlefield: The Legacy of the Civil War for America’s Jews.”

2014: “The Prime Minister: The Pioneers” is scheduled to be shown at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

2014: American Jewish Heritage Month opens with a special tribute to the American Joint Distribution Committee that is celebrating its centennial anniversary.

2014:  “According to figures released today by the Central Bureau of Statistics” the population of Israel now “stands at 8.18 million people.”

2014: “The news website actualitte.com reported today a 15th century printed book of the Torah fetched a record 3.87 million dollars at an auction in Paris.”


2014(1st of Iyar, 5774): Assi Dayan passed away today.


2015: Fred Spiegel author of Once the Acacias Bloomed: Memories of a Childhood Lost is scheduled to speak at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2015: Following riots in Maryland’s largest city, “fourteen rabbis in the Baltimore region joined a rally and march for ‘police reform and justice for Freddie Gray.’”

2015: The second performance of the Israel Story is scheduled to place UnionDocs in Brooklyn.

2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform in Atlanta, GA.

2015: “Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait,” is scheduled to come to a close at Beit Hatfutsot.


2015: In an attempt to placate its Arab allies, it was reported today that the United States was considering selling F-35 to the United Arab Emirates which would threaten Israel’s qualitative edge in any future war with Arab states.

2015: Opening of Jewish American Heritage Month


2016(23rd of Nisan, 5776): Eighty-three year old Johns Hopkins and Harvard mathematician Solomon W. Golomb whose wide ranging intellect led to create new games while helping to usher in “the digital age” passed away today in Los Angeles. (I will not even pretend to understand what he accomplished so I offer the following.)



2016: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Continental Divide: A History of American Mountaineering by Maurice Isserman and A Rage for Order: The Middle East In Turmoil From Tahrir Square to ISIS by Robert F. Worth.



2017(5th of Iyar, 5777): Yom HaZikaron – Remembering the “23,544 members of Israel’s security forces who died while in active service”


2017(5th of Iyar, 5777): Eighty-four Stan Weston “the Godfather of G.I. Joe” passed away today (As reported by Richard Sandomir)


2017: Ninety year old defense lawyer Gustave Newman passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)


2017: At Touro College in Brooklyn Henry Abramson is scheduled to lecture on “Nahmanides: The Ramban.”

2017: As part of its celebration of Israeli Independence Day, Rabbi Shalom Hammer, who served in the Chaplaincy of the IDF is scheduled to lecture on “What are we Fighting For” at the Greenpoint Shul.

2017: FFI-LEHI is scheduled to hold its annual Memorial Day ceremonies today.


2018: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “a discussion based Jewish Women’s Aid’s new ‘Safer Dating’ initiative.”

2018; The Temple Emanu-El Steicker Center is scheduled to host “Making Peace in the Kitchen.”

2018: In the United States, May is officially Jewish Heritage Month

2018: “Previously unseen Dead Sea Scroll fragments, which had been stored in cigar boxes since archaeologists unearthed them in the 1950s, were identified and unveiled at an international conference today in honor of the 70th anniversary of the scrolls’ discovery in Jerusalem. (As reported by Amanda Borschel-Dan

2019: Following yesterday’s swearing in ceremony that marked the start of the new session of the Knesset, MK’s will get down to business and see how much power smaller parties have “to impose their will, even if it means going against the popular opinion on certain issues.”

2019: Just two days after the funeral of Lori Gilbert Kaye, Jewish American Heritage Month is scheduled to begin today.


2019: In Iowa, this evening Rabbis Barton, Jacobson and Kaufman are scheduled to officiate at the Community Yom Hashoah event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines,

2019: In the evening, start of observance of Yom Hashoah


2019: Rabbi Deborah Silver is scheduled to officiate at the funeral of 84 year old Rosalyn Nina Allison, the New Yorker who made New Orleans her adopted home where she was a member of Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation.

2020: Temple Emanu-El and Temple Israel of the City of New York are scheduled to host “A special virtual Shabbat service celebrating Israel’s 72nd Independence Day” including greetings by Ambassador Dani Dayan, “renowned singer Shulamit “Shuli” Natan performing Jerusalem of Gold, Aibi Levi, a paratrooper who helped liberate the Western Wall in 1967 and Fanny Kirsch, the first Jew born in the Old City after its liberation from Jordan.”

2020: The Vilna Shul, “Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture” is scheduled to host “The Sarajevo Haggadah and People of the Book” an interactive discussion of Geraldine Brooks’ 2008 historical novel led by “author and historian Carol Cohen.”

2020: Jewish American Heritage Month is scheduled to begin today.


2020: Low-cost European carrier Wizz Air is scheduled to resume some flights from Luton Airport today including those to Tel Aviv, Israel.

2020: The Streicker Center is scheduled to host “You Don’t Look Your Age and Other Fairy Tales” a virtual presentation by Sheila Nevins.

2021: The Eden Tamar Music Center in Jerusalem is scheduled to host the Israel String Quarter with Tali Kravitz.

2021: “In the face of the worst civilian tragedy in Israeli history, citizens from all sectors – Jews and Arabs, religious and secular – continue to rally to support the victims of the stampede that claimed 45 lives at a Lag BaOmer celebration on Mount Meron attended mainly by the ultra-Orthodox community.”

2021: Michael Kransy, The recently retired host of KQED radio’s “Forum,” and Sherith Israel congregant, is scheduled to be interviewed by Sherith Israel Rabbi Emeritus Martin Weiner.

2021(19th of Iyar, 5781): Parashat Emor; Pirkei Avot- Chapter Four;

2021: Jewish American Heritage is scheduled to begin today in the United States.


2022: In commemoration of Jewish American Heritage Month, the 16th annual of celebration of which is scheduled to begin today,  the “NMAJH is launching a new exhibit that will focus on the rise of anti-Semitic violence by highlighting the January 2022 hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.”



2022: The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to celebrate its opening with a gala honoring Wolf Blitzer.

2022: Michael Ian Grade, Baron Grade of Yarmouth assumed the chairmanship of Ofcom (the office of communication in the  UK)

2022: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Atomic Anna, a novel b Rachel Barnbaum and the recently released paperback edition of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race by walter Isaacson.


2022: The Streicker Center is scheduled to present Billy Crystal in a new musical comedy “Mr. Saturday Night.”

2022: The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County is scheduled to host an even as part of “Weekend in Old Monmouth.”

2022: The National Library of Israel is scheduled to host Dr. Yechiel Weizman lecturing “Living Next to Poland’s Material Jewish Traces After the Holocaust in which he “explores what happened to the thousands of abandoned Jewish cemeteries and places of worship that remained in Poland after the Holocaust, asking how postwar society in small, provincial towns perceived, experienced, and interacted with the physical traces of former Jewish neighbors.”

2022: In London, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a lecture by Mike Levy the author of Get The Children Out: Unsung Heroes of the Indertransport.

2022: In Cleveland the Maltz Performing Arts Center is scheduled to present “An Evening with Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody.


2023: The Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Center is scheduled to host a lecture by Professor Geneviève Zubrzycki on Resurrecting the Jew:

Nationalism, Philosemitism, and Poland's Jewish Revival.

2023: Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy is scheduled to address the Knesset today.

2023: The first episode of the min-series “A Small Light” which will focus on the life of Miep Gies, the girl who hid Anne Frank and her family is scheduled to be broadcast today.

2023: Tikvah's 2023 Leadership Mission trip to Israel is scheduled to begin today.

2023: Jewish American Heritage Month is scheduled to begin today.


2024: In Cedar Rapids, the Haddasah Book Club under the leadership of Nancy Margulis is scheduled to discuss The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schiltz

2024: The Streicker Center is scheduled to host “Frank Bruni in Conversation with Katie Couric.”

2024: The Eden Tamir Center is scheduled to host a Special Holocaust Memorial Day Concert: Musical Testimony - Holocaust Trauma and Memory in the Music of Mieczysław Weinberg


2024: Lockdown University is scheduled to host lectures by Trudy Gold on “Expulsion from Spain and Bayezid II” and Jeremy Rosen on “Making Sense of the Bible: Can its Ancient Text Be Relevant Today? Numbers 22, Balaam the Sorcerer.”

2024: Today opening of the “Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center’s new groundbreaking Spagat Family Voices of Genocide Exhibition that explores how and why genocide continues to occur across geography and time. Learn from survivors and descendants of genocides in Armenia, Guatemala, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and Burma about the common conditions that can lead to genocide and how recognizing these factors helps determine efforts toward intervention and prevention.”

2024: The ADL is scheduled to host a webinar on “Campus Antisemitism Crisis.”

2024: In one of those ironic moments in history as a wave of anti-Semitism sweeps the country, “"By Congressional resolution and Presidential proclamation, MAY is Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM)."

2024: The Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Sarah Birnbach in conversation with Meghan Riordan Jarvis, grief therapist and author, as they discuss Birnbach's book, A Daughter's Kaddish: My Year of Grief, Devotion, and Healing.”

2024: Since Pesach ended on April 30, Jews can plan on eating toast, or pancakes, or waffles or whatever.

2024: As May 1st begins in Israel, an unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism sweeps the United States and the Hamas held hostages begin day 208 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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