Thursday, October 27, 2016

This Day, October 28, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


97: Emperor Nerva is forced by the Praetorian Guard, to adopt general Marcus Ulpius Trajanus as his heir and successor. Trajan would not become Emperor until Nerva died in January of the following year. Trajan will be remembered as the ruler who was on the throne during the revolt in the diaspora referred to as “The Revolt Against Trajan” that took place between 115 CE and 117 CE.  It was the second of three Jewish revolts against Rome – the first being the Great Revolt that ended with the destruction of the Second Temple and the third being Bar Kochba’s revolt

312: Roman emperor Constantine, 32, defeated the army of Maxentius, a contender to the throne, at Milvian Bridge, after trusting in a vision he had seen of the cross, inscribed with the words, "In this sign conquer." Constantine was converted soon after and became the first Roman emperor to embrace the Christian faith.  This was the turning point for Christianity in Europe.  With the support of the imperial government, Christianity was able to establish itself THE religion in Europe.  It marked a downhill slide for the Jews of Europe

1216: At Gloucester, the first coronation of Henry III who “exacted” from Elias of London also known as Elijah ben Moses “no less a sum than £10,000, besides £100 a year for a period of four years.

1138: Fifty-two year old Bolesław III Wrymouth who “recognized the utility of the Jewish in the development of the commercial interests of” Poland and whose “tolerant regime” encourage them to settle as far east as Kiev passed away today.

1348: As the Black Death made its way across France, the authorities began arresting “the Jews of the bailiwick of Amont (Haute-Saôte)” and confiscating their property to arrest the Jews of the bailiwick of Amont (Haute-Saôte) 

1516: Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mameluks near Gaza at the Battle of Yaunis Khan. Jews fared poorly under the rule of the Mameluks. Without going into details about the conflicts within Islam in general, and the role of the Mameluks in particular, suffice it to say that what was “bad news for them” was “good for the Jews.

1600: James Roberts the copyright he had obtained for “The Merchant of Venice” (also known as The Jew of Venice) to stationer Thomas Hayes “who published the first quarto before the end of” 1600.

1636: Harvard University is established in colonial Massachusetts. Harvard certainly has had it share of Jewish students, graduates and faculty members.  But the Jewish relationship with Harvard has had its darker moments. “During and after World War I, American Jewry became the target of anti-Semitism by a variety of social groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and various immigration restriction advocates. Ivy League universities were no exception, and several of these venerable schools moved to restrict Jewish enrollment during the 1920s. Some Jewish students at Harvard, the bellwether in American education, did not take admission restrictions lying down. Nativism and intolerance among segments of the white Protestant population were aimed at both Eastern European Jews and Southern European Catholics. In higher education, Jews were particularly resented. By 1919, about 80% of the students at New York's Hunter and City colleges were Jews and 40% at Columbia. Jews at Harvard tripled to 21% of the freshman class in 1922 from about 7% in 1900. Ivy League Jews won a disproportionate share of academic prizes and election to Phi Beta Kappa but were widely regarded as competitive, eager to excel academically and less interested in extra-curricular activities such as organized sports. Non-Jews accused them of being clannish, socially unskilled and either unwilling or unable to “fit in.” In 1922, Harvard's president, A. Lawrence Lowell, proposed a quota on the number of Jews gaining admission to the university. Lowell was convinced that Harvard could only survive if the majority of its students came from old American stock. Lowell argued that cutting the number of Jews at Harvard to a maximum of 15% would be good for the Jews.  He contended that limits would prevent further anti-Semitism. Lowell reasoned, “The anti-Semitic feeling among the students is increasing, and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews. If their number should become 40% of the student body, the race feeling would become intense.” The fight against Jewish quotas at Harvard was led by Harry Starr, an undergraduate and the son of a Russian immigrant who established the first kosher butcher shop in Gloversville, New York. As president of the Menorah Society, Harvard's major Jewish student organization, Starr organized a series of meetings between Jewish and non-Jewish students, faculty and administrators to discuss Lowell's proposed quota. The meetings were frequently heated and painful. As Starr recalled in an account published in 1985, which can be found at the American Jewish Historical Society, “We learned that it was numbers that mattered; bad or good, too many Jews were not liked. Rich or poor, brilliant or dull, polished or crude - [the problem was] too many Jews.” Starr insisted that there could be no “Jewish problem” at Harvard or in America. Starr observed, “The Jew cannot look on himself as a problem.... Born or naturalized in this country, he is a full American.” If admitting all qualified Jews to Harvard meant a change in the traditional social composition of the student body, so be it. Starr refused to hear any hokum about 'pure' American stock as a way to limit Jewish admissions to Harvard. “Tolerance,” he wrote in the Menorah Journal, “is not to be administered like castor oil, with eyes closed and jaws clenched.” Lowell received a great deal of public criticism, particularly in the Boston press. Harvard's overseers appointed a 13-member committee, which included three Jews, to study the university's “Jewish problem.” The committee rejected a Jewish quota but agreed that “geographic diversity” in the student body was desirable. Harvard had been using a competitive exam to determine who was admitted, and urban Jewish students were scoring highly on the exam. Urban public schools such as Boston Latin Academy intensely prepared their students, many of whom were Jewish, to pass Harvard's admissions test. The special committee recommended that the competitive exam be replaced by an admissions policy that accepted top-ranking students from around the nation, regardless of exam scores. By 1931, because students from urban states were replaced by students from Wyoming and North Dakota who ranked in the top of their high school classes, Harvard's Jewish ranks were cut back to 15% of the student body. In the late 1930s, James Bryant Conant, Lowell's successor as president, eased the geographic distribution requirements, and Jewish students were once again admitted primarily on the basis of merit. Harry Starr, who lived until 1992, became a national Jewish communal leader, including a term of service as a trustee of the American Jewish Historical Society. Professionally, he became the director of the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, which was established by a Jewish congressman from Gloversville and which over the years has given many generous gifts to Harvard. Harry Starr held no grudges against the university which in 1922 he lovingly battled on behalf of his fellow Jews.

1700: In the same year that he published his second tract which he hoped would cause Jews to convert to Christianity, Cotton Mather wrote in his diary today about the conversion of Shalom Ben Shalomoh who had joined a Congregational Church in London. Cotton Mather differed from other Christian leaders.  He believed that the Jews practice a theological incorrect religion which is why sought to convince them to convert.  But reason rather than the lash or the burning stake was his method.  "As a humanitarian...he demanded that Jews should be free from religious persecution."

1704: John Locke, the English political theorist who in 1689 “Letter Concerning Toleration” wrote that “Neither Pagan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion” passed away today.

1718: Alexander Felix (David Penso), Jacob Do Porto, and David Machado Do Sequeira, on behalf of the Ashkenazim, leased from Captain Chichester Phillips of Drumcondra Castle (an MP in the Irish Parliament) a plot of land on which the Ballybough Cemetery, Dublin’s oldest Jewish burial ground, was subsequently built.

1778: Rabbi Chaim Joseph David Azulai ben Isaac Zerachia, the Jerusalem native married his second wife, Rachel while studying in Pisa.  His first wife, Sarah had died five years earlier.

1784:  Birthdate of Sir Moses Montefiore. Born in Leghorn (Italy) Montefiore was raised in London where he became a successful merchant and married into the House of Rothschild.  In 1824, he "retired" from business and devoted his life to public office and philanthropy.  He was the first to hold numerous political and civic positions in Great Britain.  He was a leader of the Jewish Community in England and throughout Europe.  He was an early supporter of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel.  Montefiore’s Windmill is a famous landmark in Jerusalem.  His 100th birthday was celebrated as a holiday in Jewish communities in the British Isles and the Continent.  He passed away in 1885.

1805: Birthdate of dramatist and lawyer, Jonas B. Phillips.  The son of Benjamin J. Phillips, this native of Philadelphia, PA produced plays including “Cold Stricken,” “Camillus,” and “The Evil Eye.”  After studying law, he became the assistant district attorney for New York County.

1807(26th of Tishrei, 5568): Gutchen Sheyer, the wife of Moses Joseph Schiff passed away today.

1820: In Ruzhyn, Ukraine, Rabbi Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhyn, the founder of the Ruzhiner dynasty, and his wife, Sarah gave birth to Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, the first Rebbe of the Sadigura Hasidic dynasty.

1828: In Hamburg, Jacob Magner and Ulrika Hahn gave birth to Jacob Magner who was one of the founders of several institutions in New Orleans including the Association for the Relief of Jewish Widows and Orphans (1855), Touro Infirmary (1868), Temple Sinai (1870) and the Harmony Club.

1829: Birthdate of Emanuel Oscar Menahem Deutsch, the native of Silesia who worked on Semitic studies at the British Museum where his writings on the Talmud kindled interest among English Christians and who “acted as special correspondent to The Times during the Ecumenical Council which met at the Vatican in 1869 and 1870.

1836: In Ireland, John Chapel and his wife gave birth to Monsignor Thomas John Capel, the controversial Catholic cleric who in a show of ecumenism that was unusual in the 19th century addressed the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Chickering Hall on November 12, 1884.

1840: Sir Moses Montefiore had an audience with the Sultan. Among the topics discussed were the blood libel accusations on the island of Rhodes and in Damascus. The Sultan later issued a public firman exonerating Jews from anything to do with ritual murder accusations.  

1844: Birthdate of Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the native of Richmond, VA who was the first Jew to attend Virginia Military Institute and who, after serving with the Confederate Army, became a renowned sculptor.

1844: In New York City, for the first time, Mordecai M. Noah presented “his plan for the restoration of a Jewish state in Palestine to a Christian audience” at the Broadway Tabernacle.

1849: In Albany, NY, Rabbi Isaac M. Wise and Therese Bloch gave birth to Leo Wise, the husband of Pauline Goodman, who earned an LL.B from the University of Michigan and served with the River Flotilla of the U.S. Navy during the Civil War before becoming the publisher of several Jewish publications including “Die Deborah” and the “American Israelite.”

1853: “Russia.; Delivered before the Hebrew Young Men's Literary Association” published today described Rabbi Raphall’s appearance before the Hebrew Young Men's Literary Association at Academy Hall, No. 663 Broadway, at which time he delivered a lecture enititled “Russia” The speaker was introduced by Isaac Seligman, the who was serving as chairman. Raphall described the gains in power that Russia has made in the last 150 years and the territorial aspirations of the current rulers.  He also described the history and the plight of the Jews living in that land.  Mr. Mosely Lyon followed Rabbi Raphall to the lectern where he delivered an address on the purpose of the Hebrew Young Men’s Literary Association.

1857: "Defaulting Farmers" published today takes issue with the notion that the farmer is not only possessed of "sturdy virtues that enoble humanity" but also the backbone of the national economy. In fact, the "western farmer has no more nobleness of soul than a Wall Street stock gambler or a Chatham street Jew." The term "Chatham Street Jew" was extremely derisive.  It referred to the fact that the lucrative trade in used clothes on Chatham Street on the Lower East was dominated by Jews where Christians were sure that they were being victimized by the sharp business practices of "the Tribe of Judah."

1858: At a thousand people attended tonight’s banquet and ball which was a fundraiser for the Jew’s Hospital. Benjamin Nathan, the President of Hospital Board provided over the event which was attended by Mayor Tilman.  Rabbi J.J. Lyon recited the blessings before the meal began and Rabbi Kramer chanted the Grace After Meal. Mr. Nathan told the attendees that the hospital had treated 747 patients since its opening, all but 73 at no charge and that the treasury was now empty. Lionel Goldberg read the list of donations which totaled $12,000.

1860: Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky who had converted in 1855 “was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Boone in the mission school chapel, later known as the Church of our Savior in Hongkew”

1864: The Council of the Academy decided to award Russian-Jewish sculptor Mark Antokolski with the Small Silver Medal for the "Tailor" also known as “The Jewish Tailor.”

1867: Maimonides College “the first Jewish theological seminary in America” opened today in Philadelphia, PA.  Isaac Lesser, Sabato Morais, Marcus Jastrow, Aaron S. Bettelheim, L. Buttenwieser and William H. Williams were the members of the faculty with Lesser doubling as the school’s provost. The school closed in December of 1873, reportedly due to lack of financial support which may be explained by the economic hard times that the country was suffering a the time.

1870: President Jacob Pisa presided over tonight’s meeting of the Young Democratic Jews’ Association of the Second Assembly District in New York.  During the meeting which was held on Mott Street, the Jewish political organization endorsed the local and state candidates supported by “the Young Democracy, but did not make any endorsement of Congressional candidates.

1873(7th of Cheshvan, 5634): Immanuel Oscar Menahem Deutsch, a German oriental scholar, passed away today.  Born in 1829 at Neisse, Prussian Silesia (now Nysa, Poland) he studied theology and Talmud at the University of Berlin. “In 1855 Deutsch was appointed assistant in the library of the British Museum. He worked intensely on the Talmud and contributed no less than 190 papers to Chambers' Encyclopaedia, in addition to essays in Kittos and Smiths' Biblical Dictionaries, and articles in periodicals. In October 1867 his article on The Talmud, published in the Quarterly Review, made him known. It was translated into French, German, Russian, Swedish, Dutch and Danish. He died at Alexandria on 12 May 1873.His Literary Remains, edited by Lady Strangford, were published in 1874, consisting of nineteen papers on such subjects as The Talmud, Islam, Semitic Culture, Egypt, Ancient and Modern, Semitic Languages, The Targums, The Samaritan Pentateuch, and Arabic Poetry

1874: Rabbi Benjamin Artom officiated at the wedding of Mr. Isaac Abecassis of Lisbon and Miss Helena Ben Saude of the Azores.  Among the many guests were J.O. Bradford, Paymaster General of the U.S. Navy and his wife.

1877: “Early Christian Greek Story” published today provide a summary of Abraham the Jew and the Merchant Theodore printed by Combefisius  from a manuscript, copies of which are in the National Library at Paris and the library in Turin.

1881: It was reported today that “the question of Jewish emigration to America is still a subject of concern to the Russian government.” To that end the government will make another attempt “to turn the Jews into peasant farms and settle them in the provinces of Kherson and Ekaterinoslav.”

1881: John A. Goldberg appeared in Essex Market Court where he denied the charges of Mrs. Amelia Goldberg that she was his wife and that he had deserted her.  He presented evidence that he had obtained a divorce from her from a Rabbi while they were living in England because she had been unfaithful.  He also produced evidence that he had provided her with financial assistance when she came to the United States even though he was under no obligation to do so.

1882: Harris Udovitch is out on bail after having been arrested for assaulting Mrs. Louis Cohen during his thwarted attempt to buy Louis Cohen’s “credit with heaven” for $150.

1883: The 9th annual meeting of the Board of Relief of the United Hebrew Charities was held this morning at a house on St. Mark’s Place.

1884: It was reported today that a reception was held at Ramsgate yesterday to honor Sir Moses Montefiore on his 100th birthday; “an anniversary that was celebrated throughout Europe.”

1885: It was reported today that Jonas Loeb, a prominent Jewish merchant in Georgia is insolvent since he has liabilities of $64,000 and assets of $10,000.  Litigation has already been threatened by his creditors.

1886: The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland. The Jewish poetess Emma Lazarus wrote "The New Colossus" in 1883 for an art auction "In Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund." While France had provided the statue itself, American fundraising efforts like these paid for the Statue of Liberty's pedestal. In 1903, sixteen years after her death, Lazarus' sonnet was engraved on a plaque and placed in the pedestal as a memorial.

          “The New Colossus”

 Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

1886: Social reformer and future Presidential candidate addressed the United Hebrew George Club.

1888: Joseph Navon the driving force behind the Jaffa-Jerusalem  railway “received a 71-year concession from the Ottoman authorities that also gave him permission to extend the line to Gaza and Nablus

1888: Rabbi Leon Harrison delivered an address entitled “Is it a Misfortune to be a Jew?” at Temple Israel on Greene Avenue in Brooklyn.

1888: The New York Times reviewed Life of Lord Beaconsfield by T.E. Kebble.

1888: “The Jewish-Americans” published today cites information that originally appeared in the Jewish Messenger to question why New York City has not produced a “distinctly American-Jewish congregation.  The city has all manner of synagogues for Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, etc. Jews but none that is uniquely American.

1889: President Henry Rice presided over the 15th annual meeting of The United Hebrew Charities held its at Temple Emanu-El in New York City where he said that “in the las ten years the disbursements of the society have more than doubled” noting that “in 1879 the total relief distributed amounted to a little more than $35,000 and that during the past year the Treasurer has expended more than $72,000.”

1889: Edwin Booth, the great Shakespearian actor played Shylock and Helena Modjeska played his daughter Portia in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Broadway Theatre.

1890: Dr. Robert Collyer, Dr. Maurice H. Harris, Oscar Straus, Joseph Blumenthal and Seth Low, the President of Columbia are scheduled to address those attending the a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Chickering Hall.

1894: “No Man Controls The Hebrew Vote” published today provides the view of Dr. Joseph Silverman the rabbi at Temple Emanu-El that the “Hebrew vote” does not exist and that it is the “child of the politician’s active brain.  Jews do as they please in politics.”  The Jew “is a Jew in the synagogue but elsewhere he is an American citizen, and most of all at the ballot box.”(Silverman was decrying the trivializing of the electoral process with politicians seeking to divide voters by ethnic and religious lines)

1896: The funeral of Moses Kind is scheduled to be held at his home at 49 West 96th Street in Manhattan this morning.

1896: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the wedding of Sam Feinstein and Carrie Rce.

 1897: Birthdate of Edith Claire Posener, the daughter of Max Posener and Anna E. Levy, the Searchlight, Nevada who would gain fame as award winning fashion designer Edith Heath. During her long career in Hollywood, Head’s costumes won her 35 Oscar nominations.  She won 8 of the bronze statuettes.  She died in October of 1981.

1898: Theodor Herzl “docked at the port of Jaffa today and traveled by train to Jersualem.”!prettyPhoto[horizontal]/0/

1898: Philip S. Golderman, a Color Sergeant with the 203rd NY Infantry was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

1898: During the Spanish-American War, Sam Steinberg of Texas who had been serving with Co. C, 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Jake Waixel of Texas who had been serving with Co. J, 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Gus G. Nussbaum of Texas who had been serving with Co. L, 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Joseph Levy of Texas who had been serving with the Regimental Ban, Co. M 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Charles C. Jacobs of Texas who had been serving with Co. M 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898:, H.S. Hyneman of Texas who had been serving with Co. F 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Harry Ferlman of Texas who had been serving Co. D 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Herman H. Blum of Texas who had been serving Co. M 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Max Blumberg of Texas who had been serving with Co. C 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service at Galveston

1898: Gus L. Berkman of Texas who had been serving with the Hospital Corps of Co. M 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Harry Friedman of Texas who had been serving with Co. E 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Charles Fischl of Texas who had been serving with the Hospital Corps of Co. M 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: Sam Steinberg of Texas who had been serving with Co. C, 1st U.S. Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service.

1898: “At today’s session of the Court of Cassation in the Palace of Justice, Alphonse Bard concluded his report of the Dreyfus case” and “said that the Court should make every investigation necessary to enlighten its members and place the whole truth in evidence.”

1902: Opening of the Zionist Annual Conference at which The Anglo-Palestine Company is sanctioned. It will begin operations in summer 1903.

1903: The engagement of Israel Zangwill to Edith Aryton was made public.  Edith Aryton’s father is one of the best known electrical engineers in England. Her mother is a noted scientist in her own right and the daughter of Levi and Alice Marks, a Jewish family from Portsea.

1908: Birthdate of playwright and screen writer Albert Malz whose fame as one of the Hollywood Ten overshadowed his accomplishment including writing the Oscar nominated script for the super-patriotic “Pride of the Marines.”

1912:  As the election campaign of 1912 comes to an end, Oscar Straus sends a telegram denying that he had ever been connected with R. H. Macy or Abraham and Straus.

1913: Mendel Beilis was acquitted. The Beilis Trial (Russia) took place after a Christian boy was found dead near a brick factory in which Mendel Beilis worked. On June 22, 1911 he was accused of ritual murder by the government. The only evidence was the word of a drunken couple who claimed they saw a man with a black beard walking with the child. The Russian government actively took up the case after the assassination of Stolypin by a Jewish revolutionist. Professor Sikowsky, a neurologist, "proved" that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes. Beilis's lawyers, Margolin and Grusenberg, fought the government for two years until diplomatic pressure forced the Russians to drop the charges. Beilis then settled in the United States, where he died after a long illness in 1934.

1914: In New York City, Daniel and Dora (Press) Salk gave birth to the first son, Dr. Jonas Edward Salk, the American medical researcher who developed the first vaccine against polio.  In one of those ironic twists of fate, both the first and the second polio vaccines were developed by Jewish Doctors.

1914: “Governor Names Mercy Committee” published today provided a list of those named by Martin Glyn to take the lead in providing aid to those who have been made destitute by the war including Adolph S. Ochs, Samuel Lewisohn and Oscar S. Straus.

1914: Ileana Schapira, the daughter of Mihail Schapira, a prominent Jewish industrialist was born in Bucharest, Romania.  As Ileana Sonnabend, she became a legendary gallery owner who had an eye for the art that nobody else wanted.  She died in 2007 at the age of 92.

1914: In New York City, with Governor Martin Glynn at his side Jacob H. Schiff delivered a speech at the National Theatre in support of the Governor’s re-election

1914: In New York, Mayor Mitchell expressed his displeasure with the recommendation that Charities Department should be placed under a board whose members would be nominated by the Jewish, Protestant and Catholic charitable institutions that receive some $5,000,000 from the city through this very department.

1915: “Dr. De Sola Pool, rabbi of the Portuguese Synagogue” addressed “a gathering of students of the Menorah Society” today where he “described the conditions of the Jews in Palestine as affected by the European war.”

1915: Henry M. Toch presided over tonight’s dinner at the Ritz-Carlton given by the Directors of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in honor of Felix M. Warburg who is beginning his 8th year as president of the organization.

1916: In the Bronx, Louis and Libby Galenson gave birth to Dr. Eleanor Galenson, “a psychoanalyst whose research demonstrated that children are aware of sexual identity in infancy, even earlier than Freud had propounded…” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1916: A letter was written today from a soldier at Camp Wilson, Texas serving with Battery “F” of the Field Artillery asking for help from Simon Wolf so he could be furloughed to the Reserves.  When he enlisted in 1913, he said that nobody was look to him for “support” but now he has found out about the desperate condition of his family in Kalios, Russia and he needs to be able to send them money.

1916: In his sermon today at Temple Rodolph Sholem at Lexington and 63rd, Rabbi Rudolph Grossman severely criticized “the resolution urging the conversion of Jews to the Christian faith as adopted by last week by the Episcopal General Convention at St. Louis.

1917: During the New York City Mayoral election in which Morris Hillquit was a candidate, the New York Times published a “sarcastically title” article “Rich Mr. Hillquit, Poor Man’s Candidate” “tried to play up ‘the capitalistic corporation lawyer living in luxury’; point out that the rent for Hillquit’s apartment was two thousand dollars a year; that he owned a big seven passenger automobile.”

1917: A National Special Assembly of the Jews of the United States which had been called for by Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, is scheduled to be held in New York today “for the purposed of devising means to reach the $10,000,000 goal for Jewish war relief set for 1917.”

1917: It was reported today that in those part of Russia which are now under the control of the German Army “Jews are fined or arrested for forgetting to bow to German officers or not getting out of their way on the pavements,” are not allowed to walk on the pavement “when they see a German officer on it,” and are “abducted for forced State labor” and “to assist officers in hunting or in other pleasures and games.”

1917: It was reported today that the Jewish Board for Welfare Work in the United States of Army of which Colonel Harry Cutler of Providence is the Chairman has issued an appeal to the Jews of United States “to raise a fund of $1,000,000 within the next few weeks to be used in the welfare work among the soldiers, both at home and abroad.”

1917: It was reported today that there are more than fifty thousand Jews serving in the U.S. Army with Jews making up 40% of the men at Camp Upton, 16% of the mean at Camp Meade and 7% of the mean at Camp Dix.

1917: Nearly one thousand Jews representing their co-religionist throughout the United States met at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue where, among other things they adopted “a resolution whereby a committee of ten prominent Jews was appointed to urge President Wilson to extend the work of the Belgian Relief Commission to Poland, Lithuania and similar war stricken countries.”

1918: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow who was touring the Western Front as a member of the Overseas Commission of the Jewish Welfare Board wrote today that “it is a real privilege to move about among the men.  “They are all glad to see me” because “it means to them that they are not forgotten by the Jewish community and that they get a chance to talk over their difficulties nand problems.

1918(22nd of Cheshvan, 5679): During the Post-World War Influenza Pandemic, fifty-nine year old Leopold S. Kahn, the “dwarf performer known as Admiral Dot when he was with P.T. Barnum, passed away. Before he would marry Lottie Naomi Swartwood, a fellow performer, she had to convert to Judaism so that they marriage could be performed by a rabbi.

1918:  Czechoslovakia gains its independence. There were almost four hundred thousand Jews living in the part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that became Czechoslovakia.  This meant Jews were about 2.5% of the new republics population.  The Jewish population in that part of Czechoslovakia known as Bohemia traced its roots back to the tenth century.  Most of the Jews of the Central European nation would perish in the Holocaust.

1919: The Congress voted to override President Wilson’s of the Volstead Act, the law which would give the United States “Prohibition.”  One of the families to profit from this was the Bronfmans, the Canadian liquor barons.

1921: Birthdate of Frederick Mayer, the native of Freiburg and son of a recipient of the Iron Cross who enlisted in the U.S. Army the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked and parachuted back into Germany as an agent for the O.S.S. (As reported by Eric Lichtblau)

1921: The Tuschinski Theatre, the “crowning achievement” in the career of Dutch businessman Abraham Icek Tuschinski “opened its doors in Amsterdam today.”

1922:  Birthdate of Gershon Kingsley a Jewish German-American composer, most famous for composing the early electronic pop song Popcorn. He led the First Moog Quartet and was the first person to use the Moog synthesizer in live performance.

1922: March on Rome Italian fascists led by Benito Mussolini march on Rome and take over the Italian government with the assistance of the Catholic Church; pope Pius XI declares that "Mussolini is a man sent by divine providence." According to Michele Sarfatti’s new book, The Jews in Mussolini’s Italy as reviewed in The Forwards Jews were so well integrated into Italian society that by 1922 when Mussolini took power, they were in every branch of government, including the military, and were represented all across the political spectrum. There were Jews who at first adhered enthusiastically to Mussolini’s program, others were among the first to organize antifascist activities, as well as many who hoped to remain neutral. The range of activities of Italian Jews extended from academics and professionals all the way to shop keepers and panhandlers. What emerges is a heterogeneous population that professed varying degrees of religious identity and many different levels of assimilation. But anti-Semitic sentiment in Italy, as Sarfatti shows, can be traced far back. As he argues, the leftovers of the medieval Catholic anti-Judaism provided fertile grounds for anti-Jewish nationalism, which in turn fed Fascist anti-Semitism. In 1934, Benito Mussolini famously declared that “there has never been anti-Semitism in Italy.” A mere four years later, after abandoning his Jewish mistress of 27 years, he passed his infamous racial laws. The rise of an anti-Semitic ideology escalated with Italy’s colonial war in Abyssinia of 1935. The Fascists first developed the concept of “Difesa della razza” (“defense of the race”) in dominating the black population of the African colony. At this early stage, this doctrine had parallels only in Nazi Germany and was completely absent in the rhetoric of Fascist movements, from Spain to Hungry, Romania and Poland. Based on newly discovered documents and an abundance of statistical data, the book demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, Mussolini’s policies toward the Jews were independently conceived and implemented, and not — as some have argued — a late concession to Hitler’s war against the Jews. Despite Il Duce’s alliance with Hitler, “only” about 7,000 Italian Jews (16.3% of the Jewish population) died in Nazi death camps. Moreover, documented instances of Italians risking their lives to save Jews abound—a fact that reinforced the perception of Italians as “brava gente” (“good people,” the kind who helped preserve Jewish lives). Sarfatti maintains that the seeds of anti-Semitism were present in the Fascist regime since its inception, though anti-Semitism was not yet official policy. With a multitude of documented examples, the book follows the anti-Semitic crescendo in both official political discourse and practice. As early as 1934, the office of the Interior Ministry pressed for the replacement of Ferrara’s mayor: “It has been brought to our attention that the local citizenry feels displeasure to have a mayor of the Israelite religion at the head of the city’s administration. Therefore, it is desirable that he be replaced with a Catholic mayor.” In 1938, the Italian dictator passed and enforced the racial laws, in many respects even more restrictive than anti-Jewish legislation in Nazi Germany, and Italy became an officially anti-Semitic country. Sarfatti stresses that Mussolini was never pressured by Hitler regarding racial policies. Italians on the whole did not protest the laws until their lethal consequences became clear. By 1943, the Fascists began confiscating Jewish property and rounding up Jews for deportation, and abruptly many of those who had not protested against anti-Jewish laws rushed to save Jews.

1923: Birthdate of David Aronson a native of Lithuania who became “a leading Boston Expressionoist.”

1927: “Fabulous Lola” a silent comedy with music by Artur Guttmann was released by Parufamet in Gernmany today.

1928(14th of Cheshvan, 5689): “Theodore Rieanch, famous French Jewish lawyer, historian and archaeologist, one of the foremost authorities on comparative religion and Hellenic literature” died at today in Paris at the age of 68. “He was a brother of Solomon Reinach, President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. Among his many literary works were “a history of the Jews from the Dispersion to our times,” Short History of Christianity and a French translation of the works of the Josephus, the Jewish first century Jewish historian.

1932: “Lord Camber’s Ladies” a British murder mystery directed by Benn W. Levy who co-authored the screenplay was released today.

1933: “The Kennel Murder Case” directed by Michael Curtiz was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1936(12th of Cheshvan, 5697): Ninety-year old Moses Hirsch Landau, the father of Jacob Landaun, the founder and managing director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, passed away today in New York. (As reported by JTA)

1936: “The third annual Night of the Stars benefit presentation to raise funds for Jewish emergency needs abroad was held in Madison Square Garden tonight” and according to Chairman Harold Jacob had raised $75,000.

1936 It was reported today that Rabbi Leo M. Franklin of Detroit protested the appeal by Joseph Lewis an Alabama born Jew who became head of the Freethinkers Association to denounce Yom Kippur as “the most degrading and humiliating day in all the superstitious annals of religion.

1937, The Palestine Post reported that some 50,000 out of the 400,000 trees in the Balfour Forest were burnt by Arab arsonists who used cotton-waste bombs, soaked in paraffin.  From a historic point of view, this was no mere act of arson.  By the end of the 19th centuries vast swaths of Eretz Israel were treeless waste or swamps.  The JNF made reforestation a major part of its plan.  In burning these trees, the terrorists were not just starting a forest fire.  They were showing a determination to reject improvement and modernization.

1937:  The Palestine Post reported that the two chief rabbis, Dr. Isaac Herzog and Rabbi Jacob Meir, issued a manifesto asking for a national moderation and discipline on the part of Jews in responding to the intensified Arab terror campaign.  The manifesto was issued in response to reports of Jews attacking Arabs during this attempted “reign of terror.”

1937: As Arab violence continued, 12 shots were fired a police patrol car in Lydda shattering the windshield wounding three Arab policemen.

1938: “Suez,” a biopic about the building of the canal featuring J. Edward Bromberg, Joseph Schildkraut, and Maurice Moscovitch was released in the United States today by 20th Century Fox.

1938: Germany expels “some 18,000” Jews with Polish citizenship to the Polish border. Poles refuse to admit them; Germans refuse to allow them back into Germany. Seventeen thousand are stranded in the frontier town of Zbaszyn, Poland.

1938: “All male Polish Jews living in Karlsruhe were deported to Poland.”

1938: Birthdate of Aharon Abuhatzira the native of Morocco who moved to Israel in 1949 where he pursued a career in politics that included serving in the Knesset and as Mayor of Ramla.

1940: Birthdate of television writer and producer Susan Harris (née Spivak) who created a raft of sitcoms the most famous of which may be “Golden Girls.”

1940: Mussolini’s Italian army cross Albania and invades Greece. The Greek army included 12,000 Greek Jews which fought fiercely and stopped the Italian advance. Between 510 and 615 Greek Jewish soldiers from Salonica were killed.

1940: Following the German occupation of France, the Vichy regime no longer offered a safe haven to Jeanne Mandello the German Jewish photographer living in Paris and her husband Arno Grünebaum.

1940: German occupiers in Belgium pass anti-Semitic legislation.

1941: Today, Warrant Officer Jozef Gabčík (Slovak) and Staff Sergeant Karel Svoboda (Czech) were chosen to carry out the British operation code-named Anthropoid aimed at the “assassination of Schutzstaffel (SS)-Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office, RSHA), the combined security services of Nazi Germany, and acting Reichsprotektor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.”

1941: In Kovno, Lithuania, 27,000 Jews who were assembled in Democracy Square must pass before an SS officer named Rauca, who signals life or death for each. 9200 of the Jews - 4300 of them children - are sent to their deaths at pits at the nearby Ninth Fort. (Friedlander, in The Years of Extermination puts the number at 10,000)

1941: Eichmann noted "in view of the approaching final solution of the European Jewry problem, one has to prevent the immigration of Jews into the unoccupied area of France."

1942: Two thousand elderly and sick Jews were deported from Plonsk to Auschwitz. Three more transports, each carrying 2,000 Jews, left from Plonsk for Auschwitz in the next six weeks

1942: Jewish Warsaw Ghetto leaders ask Jan Karski, a Polish Catholic working for the underground, to tell the Polish and Allied governments: "We are helpless in the face of the German criminals....The Germans are not trying to enslave us as they have other people; we are being systematically murdered....Our entire people will be destroyed...."

1942: The SS issues a secret directive that mittens and stockings confiscated from Jewish children at death camps be gathered and sent to SS families.

1942: The Nazis deported 2,000 children and 6,000 adults from Cracow for shipment to Belzec.

1942: SS directive orders all children's mittens and stockings to be sent from the death camps to the SS families.

1942: Sixteen thousand Jews are murdered at Pinsk, Poland.

1942: Mieczyslaw Gruber, a Jewish former soldier in the Polish Army, escapes with 17 others from a Nazi POW camp on Lipowa Street in Lublin. The group will later establish a partisan group in the forest northwest of the city.

1943: “More than 1,200 friends and admirers of Ben Bernie, orchestra leader and radio favorite” attended the funeral of “the Old Maestro” at Temple Rodeph Sholom where Rabbi Louis I. Newman “who conducted the service praised Bernie for his “generosity and selfness” after which he recited “When I Am Dead” written by Chaim Nachman Bialik.

1944: Thirty nine year old Czech journalist Josef Taussig “was transported today with his parents one other relative to Auschwitz on the last train from Theresienstadt.”

1944: Thirty-four year old German author H.G. Adler “was deported to Niederoschel, a subdivision of Buchenwald” two weeks after his wife who was a doctor and his mother-in-law were gassed at Auschwitz.

1944: An article entitled “Hippopotamus: Profile of a Great Custodian by Nathan Ausubel described as “the true story” of the late Abraham Solomon Freidus, “the man who built up the Jewish Room of the New York Public Library” was published in today’s Morning Freiheit Magazine Section.

1944: The last transport train from Theresienstadt arrived at Birkenau with 2,038 Jews. Of them 1,589 would find their fates in the gas chambers. Also 164 Jews from Bolzano arrived at the same time and 137 of them would be gassed immediately.

1944(11th of Cheshvan, 5705): A train from Bolzano, Italy, reaches Auschwitz with 301 prisoners. Of these, 137 are immediately gassed.

1944(11th of Cheshvan, 5705): Forty-seven year old actor and director Kurt Gerron was gassed today along with his wife upon their arrival at Auschwitz.

1944: Hannah Senesh, a member of the British Army was tried for treason in Budapest today by her Facist captors in direct violation of the Geneva Convention.

1944:  Birthdate of actor Dennis Franz, known best for his role as Detective Sipowicz on NYPD Blue

1945:  Birthdate of Sandy Berger, National Security Advisor to President Clinton

1945: With only eight days left before voters go to the polls to elect the Mayor of New York, Judge Johna H. Goldstein, the Republican-Liberal-Fusion nominee trails the favored candidate, William F. O’Dwyer. Goldstein had been a lifelong Democrat and according to some, his candidacy was based on the belief that he could draw Jewish votes away from O’Dwyer, the Democrat Party candidate and thus improve the chances of the third candidate, Newbold Morris. (Hey it can’t all be Talmud and Torah)

1946: More than two thirds of the 300,000 eligible voters participated in today’s election in Palestine for the 79 delegates to the 22nd World Zionist Congress scheduled to open on December 9 in Basle, Switzerland.

1947: English solicitor Sir David Napley and his wife the former Leah Rose Saturley gave birth to their second daughter Penelope Susan

1947: During an interview in New York, Moshe Pomrok, a member of the Palestine Maritime League, described the steps taken to establish a maritime industry in Palestine in the eleven years since the Arabs closed the harbor of Jaffa as part of their “down to the sea” movement.  Accomplishments have included the building of a harbor at Tel Aviv, establishment of a maritime training school at Haifa, and attempts to develop interest among Jewish youth in being part of the fishing industry.  The league is now trying to gain support for a New York to Haifa shipping line based on a potential annual booking of 50,000 to 80,000 passenger a year plus a large import trade

1947: Dalton Trumbo, who write the screenplay for “Exodus” was held in contempt by the HUAC

1948: Dr. David De Sola Pool, the rabbi at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue and Dr. Louis Finkelstein, the President of JTS will officiate at the funeral for Rabbi Judah Magnes

1948: In the evening, Operation Hiram, which was designed to secure the Upper Galilee began. Named after the biblical King Hiram of Tyre, the goal was to secure the Upper Galilee as far as the northern boundary of the Palestine Mandate.   The IDF is facing a Palestinian military force that does not consider itself bound UN Truce Agreements as well as regular Arab troops including units of the Syrian Army. The sixty hour operation was successful in securing part of Israel’s border

1948: Israeli forces clear the Egyptians from the Mediterranean coastal plain to an area south of Yad Mordechai. 

1948: Following their failed attempt to destroy the state of Israel, Egyptian forces retreated “southward from the Israeli city of Ashdod.”

1948: The flag of Israel was adopted by the government, five months after the country’s establishment. However, the flag, which depicts a blue Star of David on a white background between two horizontal blue stripes, first appeared some 50 years before becoming a national symbol.,At the core of the flag is the Star of David, which can be traced back to the medieval era where it was used for decorations, ornaments and protective amulets. Not until the 17th century did the hexagram begin to represent the Jewish community as a whole. In fact, the Jewish quarter of Vienna was formally distinguished from the rest of the city by a boundary stone having the Star of David on one side and the Christian cross on the other.,In the 18th century, the Star of David represented the Jewish people in both religious and political contexts. It was only a century later that it became an international symbol when in 1891, the Zionist Movement used the Star of David to create a flag almost identical to the one we are familiar with today. During the first Zionist congress in 1897, which discussed the establishment a homeland for Jews in Palestine, several flags were considered to represent the Jewish people internationally. One of them was Theodor Herzl’s design which had seven gold stars and represented the 7-hour work quota. Another design was put forward by Morris Harris, a member of the Zionist group Hovevei Zion, who used his awning shop to design a suitable banner and decorations for the reception. His mother Lena Harris sewed the flag. It was made with two blue stripes and a large blue Star of David in the center. Ultimately, Herzl’s design failed to garner support and the latter was adopted instead as the official Zionist flag during the second international Zionist congress in 1898. Regarding the design of the flag, at the time, the Star of David seemed to be the obvious choice. However, the blue stripes were inspired by those of the Talit, the Jewish prayer shawl. Some controversy has surrounded the meaning of these stripes with certain people arguing that they secretly represent the Nile and the Euphrates rivers, the borders of the Promised Land as described in the Bible. However, all relevant sources indicate that the Talit was the sole inspiration behind the “stripes.” In a turn of events, the flag with the symbol that was once used to identify Jews during the Nazi era at its core, has recently become the largest national symbol in the world.  In 2007, a flag measuring 660 by 100 meters and weighing 5.2 tons, was unfurled near the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, breaking the world record for the largest flag. (As reported by Daniel Bensadolin)

1950: The Jack Benny Show starring Jack Benny aired for the first time on television.   The show ran for 15 years which is an exceptionally long run in the world of television.  Thus the Jewish comedian Jack Benny proved to be a star in all entertainment medium – radio, film and t.v.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that John Blandford of UNRWA admitted that 881,600 Palestine refugees were eating out of the relief money planned for development and there was little progress in resettlement. The US, Britain, France and Turkey asked the UN for additional funds to be added to the sums already allocated. The Arab states worked diligently to create the “Arab Refugee” problem.  While Israel was busy absorbing refugees from all over the world (including Arab states), the Arabs kept the brethren penned up in camps in Gaza and other border areas.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that a well with a capacity of 88,800 gallons of water per hour was discovered near Beersheba. This is the same Beersheba where wells were dug in Biblical times.  The discovery of an additional water source in the Negev was big news.

1953: Anna Malin conveyed title to the Temple Israel property in Leadville, CO, to Steve J. and Anna Malin

1954: “Justice Douglas Compares Israel and U.S. Immigrant Absorption” published today described a speech in which the Supreme Court Justice  “linked Israel’s problem in absorbing immigrants from many lands with the traditional “melting pot” role of the United States in assimilating people of many races and cultures.” (As reported by JTA)

1954: “The Rainmaker” a play by N. Richard Nash (born Nathan Richard Nusbaum) opened on Broadway at the Cort Theatre.

1954: “Carmen Jones” the film version of the 1943 stage production directed and produced by Otto Preminger and based on a libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II was released today in the United States.

1955: “After a border incident with Egypt around the Auja al-Hafir demilitarized zone, Golani was tasked with leading Operation Volcano, an attack on the Egyptian army in the area and the largest military operation at the time since the 1948 war”

1955: In response to a raid by Egyptian forces on “a small Israeli outpost at Be’erotayim” two-hundred paratroopers commanded by Ariel Sharon attacked the Kuntilla outpost.

1956: The curtain came down an Off-Broadway production of a Kurt Weill musical “Johnny Johnson” directed by Stella Adler.

1956: The University of Miami Orchestra performed New England Triptych” a symphonic composition by William Schuman for the first time.

1956: Having exhausted all other options, the Israeli Cabinet agrees that IDF forces will cross the Egyptian border and attack in the Sinai Peninsula.

1956: Units of the 202nd Paratroopers Brigade moved “in a long column to the Israeli-Egyptian border.”

1957(3rd of Cheshvan, 5718): Ernst Gräfenberg a German-born physician and scientist who is known for developing the intrauterine device (IUD), and for his studies of the role of the woman's urethra in orgasm, passed away today in New York City.  Born in 1881 at Adelebsen, Germany, he studied medicine at Göttingen and Munich. “He began working as a doctor of ophthalmology at the university of Würzburg, but then moved to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Kiel, where he published papers on cancer metastasis (the "Gräfenberg theory"), and the physiology of egg implantation. In 1910 Gräfenberg worked as a gynaecologist in Berlin, and by 1920 was most successful, with an office on the Kurfurstendamm. He was chief gynecologist of a municipal hospital in Britz, a working class Berlin district, and was beginning scientific studies of the physiology of human reproduction at Berlin University.
During the First World War, he was a medical officer, and continued publishing papers, mostly on human female physiology. In 1929 he published his studies of the "Gräfenberg ring", the first IUD for which there are usage records. When Nazism assumed power in Germany, Gräfenberg, a Jew, was forced in 1933 to resign as head of the department of gynaecology and obstetrics in the Berlin-Britz municipal hospital. In 1934, Hans Lehfeldt attempted to persuade him to leave Nazi Germany; he refused, believing that since his practice included wives of high Nazi officials, he would be safe. He was wrong, and was arrested in 1937 for having smuggled out a valuable stamp from Germany. Margaret Sanger ransomed him from Nazi prison, and he was finally allowed to leave in 1940, whereupon he went to the US and opened a practice in New York City.

1958: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli becomes Pope and takes the name Pope John XXIII. John XXIII had worked to save Jews during the Holocaust.  As Pope he worked to improve relations with the Jewish People. 

1958: Edgar D'Arcy McGreer completed his service as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

1961: After 795 performances on Broadway the curtain came down on “Fiorello!” the Pulitzer Prize musical with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, music by Jerry Bock and a book co-authored by Jerome Weidman.

1962: Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich got married today “and shortly afterwards decided to write songs exclusively with each other — a decision that disappointed Barry's main writing partner, Artie Resnick.”

1964: Over 10,000 people attend a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden, the earliest large scale public demonstration for Soviet Jews.

1965: In Chicago, Sharyn and Walter Gertz gave birth to Jami Gertz, the sister of Michael and Scott Gertz, who was raised in Glenview and plays Muff on Square Pegs.

1965: Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, was promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of the alleged killing of Jesus, reversing Innocent III’s declaration from 760 years ago. In short, Pope Paul VI announces that ecumenical council has decided that Jews are not collectively responsible for the killing of Christ.

1970: “The Twelve Chairs” a comedy directed and written by Mel Brooks was released in the United States today.

1972: In St. Paul, MN, Marvin Levine, a CPA and Harriet Levine, a high school guidance counselor gave birth to Anthony Michael “Tony” Levine, a three year starter for Minnesota at wide receiver and member of the Minnesota Fighting Pike in the Arena Football who went on to pursue a career in coaching that included 4 seasons as the head coach at the University of Houston.

1973: During the Yom Kippur “most of the heavy fighting ended” today although intermittent fighting on a small scale would continue into January of the following year.

1973: Rabbi Max Hausen officiated at the wedding of Rachela Lea Subel and Joseph Saul Solomon at the Main Line Reform Temple.

1974: In San Juan, Puerto Rico, John Lee Bottom “a lapsed Catholic” and his wife Arlyn the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary gave birth to actor Joaquin Phoenix.

1974: In Detroit, MI, Meg (née Goldman), a writer, and writer-director Lawrence Kasdan gave birth to director Jacob "Jake" Kasdan, the brother of Jon Kasdan and the husband of Inara George

1975: “The 37th issue of the samizdat “Chronicle of Current Events” was circulated in the USSR” today.

1976: Maria Slepak appealed to Senator Kennedy on behalf of Boris Chernobilsky and Iosif Ahs.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the US had bluntly told the Arab States that Israel had demonstrated significant flexibility on procedures for the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference that it is now up to the Arabs to respond in kind.

1981: “A front-page article in the Washington Post falsely reported that Leon Bass “liberated Buchenwald with an all-black unit.”

1982: In the following article entitled “Operetta: ‘Shulamth’ by Goldfaden” the author notes that “it is just 100 years ago this year that Yiddish theater opened in America, according to its historians, and that the one Yiddish theater that is celebrating it is doing so most appropriately with a performance of Abraham Goldfaden's operetta ''Shulamith,'' first performed here in 1882, with Boris Thomashevsky.

1987: Today, the Russian government of Mikhail Gorachev exonerated poet and essayist Osip Mandelstam of charges made in the 1930’s that he was guilty of “counter-revolutionary activities”; a charge that led to his imprisonment and mysterious death in the Gulag in 1938.

1988(17th of Cheshvan, 5749): Eighty-four year old Andrew Howard “Andy” Cohen the New York Giant second baseman who in 1928 provided the inspiration for “Cohen At the Bat” – a parody of “Casey at the Bat that ended with “Then from the stands and bleachers the fans in triumph roared, And Andy raced to second and the other runner scored; Soon they took him home in triumph, midst the blare of auto honks, There may be no joy in Mudville, but there’s plenty in the Bronx” – passed away today

1990(9th of Cheshvan, 5751): Ninety-nine year old Maurice B. Hexter, the native of Cincinnati, Ohio and former executive vice president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies who first went to Jerusalem in 1929 to help with the rebuilding following destructive Arab riots passed away today. (As reported by Glenn Fowler)

1991(20th of Cheshvan, 5752): Seventy-eight year old Sylvia Fine, the widow of Danny Kaye and a noted producer, lyricist and composer in her own right, passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

1995: During an opposition rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, a photographic montage was circulated showing Rabin in a Nazi uniform.

1997: Eighty-two year old Paul Jarrico (born Israel Shapiro) the blacklisted screenwriter passed away today.

1997: In a letter with today’s date, Holocaust denier David “Irving threatened to sue John Lukacs for libel if he published his book, The Hitler of History without removing certain passages highly critical of Irving's work” – a threat that delayed the publication of the book in the United Kingdom.

1998(8th of Cheshvan, 5759): Seventy-one  year old James Goldman the screenwriter and playwright whose most noted work may have been “The Lion in Winter” and who was the brother of William Goldman, passed away today in New York.

2000: The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act introduced by Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky became law. This act works to assist immigrants who are victims of domestic violence by providing legal protections that can aid them in escaping violent situations and securing court protection. Immigrant women are particularly vulnerable because they often must rely on the legal residence status of their abusers. The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act helps immigrant victims of domestic violence take control of their lives without fear of deportation. Jan Schakowsky was elected to represent the 9th Congressional District of Illinois in 1998 after eight years of service in the Illinois State Assembly. Throughout her political career, Schakowsky has worked for economic and social justice, sought an end to violence against women, and worked for a national investment in healthcare, public education and housing needs.

2001: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interesting including The Death of Comedy by Erich Segal and The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair by Sam Roberts.

2001(11th of Cheshvan, 5762): St.-Sgt. Yaniv Levy, 22, of Zichron Yaakov was killed by Palestinian terrorists in a drive-by machine-gun ambush near Kibbutz Metzer in northern Israel. The Tanzim wing of Arafat's Fatah faction claimed responsibility for the murder.

2001(11th of Cheshvan, 5762): Ayala Levy, 39, of Elyachin; Smadar Levy, 23, of Hadera; Lydia Marko, 63, of Givat Ada; and Sima Menahem, 30, of Zichron Yaakov were killed when two Palestinian terrorists, members of the Palestinian police, armed with assault rifles and expanding bullets, opened fire from a vehicle on Israeli pedestrians at a crowded bus-stop in downtown Hadera. About 40 were wounded, three critically. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsiblity for the attack.

2001(11th of Cheshvan, 5762): Listening to the horror unfold over his cellphone, Asher Kilgor heard the staccato fire of Palestinian gunmen cutting down his fiancée, Sima Menachem, on her way home from work today.

2001: “Delivering Milo” starring Anton Yelchin in the title role was released to by Hanover House in the United States.

2001: “Donnie Darko” a sci-fi film that premiered at Sundance ten months ago starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal and featuring Seth Rogen was released in the United States today.

2003: At the “Visas For Life” Reception at the U.S. State Department, Colin Powell met with Abigail Endicott and Robert Kim Bingham to honor their father Hiram Bingham IV who as U.S. Vice Consul defied government orders and saved a large number of refugees from the Nazis and the Holocuast.

2003: Illinois attorney Stuart Levine is the guest of honor at a lavish reception hosted by the “Friends of Israel Defense Force.”  In 2008, Levine will plead guilty to a variety of charges and became a key witness in a major political bribery trial.

2003: The incumbent mayors of most cities and towns were voted back into office in today's municipal elections, but the Likud lost control of several important cities, including Bat Yam, Rosh Ha'ayin, Dimona, Hod Hasharon, Eilat and Kiryat Malachi. 

2003: The BBC Reports that an organization in Israel has gained rabbinical approval to train pigs to guard Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

2003: Colin Powell meets Abigail Endicott and Robert Kim Bingham to honor their father Hiram Bingham IV, who did so much to rescue people from Hitler’s Europe, at the "Visas For Life" Reception, State Department

2004: The World Jewish Film Festival, the first of its kind in Israel and the Jewish world opens in Tel Aviv.

2005: Newspapers reported that response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" has been uniformly negative.  The Secretary General of the United Nations, the European Union, the British Prime Minister, an Austrian Catholic action organization and many more have come to Israel’s defense.  Even some of Israel’s harshest critics have said that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is no excuse for destroying Israel or for this kind of rhetoric.  While talk may be cheap, it certainly has a different sound than was heard twenty-five years ago when the international community was condemning Zionism as racism and applauding Yassar Arafat when he spoke at the U.N.

2005: As part of the Plame Affair Lewis Libby vice president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, is indicted by federal prosecutors. Libby resigns later that day. Valerie Palme and Lewis Libby are both Jewish.

2005: “The Weatherman” a mid-life crisis dark comedy produced by Steve Tisch with music by Hans Zimmer was released in the United States by Paramount Pictures.

2006: An exhibition in Abbot Hall Art Gallery in England, “David Bomberg: Spirit in Mass” came to an end.

2006: Bettye Ackerman who played Dr. Maggie Graham in the medical television series “Ben Casey” and who was the wide of Sam Jaffe suffered a stroke today.

2006(6th of Cheshvan, 5767): Red Auerbach, the man many believe was the greatest professional basketball coach of all times, passed away. (As reported by Matt Schudel)

2007: Premiere performance of Jay "Bluejay" Greenberg's Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall.
2007: New York’s Erez Safar celebrates the launch of his new website called Shemspeed ( with a gala event in Los Angeles.

2007: The Sunday New York Times features reviews of the following books by Jewish authors and/or that featured Jewish topics including The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks who was dubbed "the poet laureate of medicine" by the New York Times,  a biography of Ervin Nyiregyhazi entitled Lost Genius: The Curious and Tragic Story of an Extraordinary Musical Prodigy by Kevin Bazzana, Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon author of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union  one of the dumbest books ever written at least by a Jewish author on a Jewish topic.

2007: The Washington Post features reviews of the following books by Jewish authors and/or that featured Jewish topics including Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Dr. Oliver Sacks, The Museum of Dr. Moses by Joyce Carol Oates, In Among the Righteous: Lost Stories From the Holocaust's Long Reach Into Arab Lands, Robert Satloff’s search throughout the Middle East for evidence that Arabs helped Jews during World War II. "Satloff's efforts to tell the story of Arab behavior -- both complicity and heroism -- during the Holocaust are important."

2007: The Chicago Tribune reports on the controversy surrounding the introduction of Mishkan T’filah, the new prayer book for the Reform Movement in an article entitled “Prayer book ignites debate” featuring an interview with Rabbi Peter Knobel , the Evanston, Illinois rabbi who heads the rabbinical group that publishes the movement’s liturgy.

2007: In New Orleans sees resurgence of Jewish life in Hurricane Katrina Aftermath,” published today Anshel Pfeffer describes conditions in the Crescent City two years after if endured the worst aquatic disaster since the days of Noah:

2008: In Little Rock, Arkansas, Bat Mitzvah of Rochel, daughter of Rabbi Pinchus and Estie Ciment.  The Lamplighters provide yet another spark – Mazel Tov.

2008: Rabbi Yehuda Amital retired as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion

2008: Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, the son of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein officially assumed the position as Co-Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion

2009: Morris Dickstein discusses and signs Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

2009: The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival comes to a close on, with the presentation of the annual Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture, "Current Israeli Myths and Realities: The Way to Peace," by Howard M. Sachar, author of A History of Jews in the Modern World.

2009: Astronomers said today that a race halfway across the universe had ended in a virtual tie. And so the champion is still Albert Einstein — for now. The race was between gamma rays of differing energies and wavelengths spit in a burst from an exploding star when the universe was half its present age. After a journey of 7.3 billion light-years, they all arrived within nine-tenths of a second of one another in a detector on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, at 8:22 p.m., Eastern time, on May 9.Astronomers said the gamma-ray race was one of the most stringent tests yet of a bedrock principle of modern physics: Einstein’s proclamation in his 1905 theory of relativity that the speed of light is constant and independent of its color, or energy; its direction; or how you yourself are moving. “I take it as a confirmation that Einstein is still right,” Peter F. Michelson of Stanford, principal investigator for Fermi’s Large Area Telescope and one of 206 authors of a paper published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, said in an interview. There is no evidence so far that the energy or wavelength of light affects its speed through space. That is important because of what it could say about the structure of space-time. Some theorists have suggested that space on very small scales has a granular structure that would speed some light waves faster than others — in short, that relativity could break down on the smallest scales .Dr. Michelson and others emphasize that while the new Fermi results do not yet eliminate the prospect, further observations with more gamma-ray bursts could eventually verify or refute the hypothesis. That would have a major effect on physicists’ efforts to unify the Einsteinian gravity that governs outer space with the weird quantum laws that govern the inner space of the atom. Mario Livio, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, called the Fermi results an interesting effect but not revolutionary by any stretch. “The beauty of the experiment is not as much in what it achieves,” Dr. Livio said, “as in the fact that you can use astronomical observations to place some interesting limits on very fundamental physics.” Quantum theory, as Einstein discovered to his chagrin, reduces life on subatomic scales to a game of chance in which elementary particles can be here or there but not in between. One consequence is that space-time itself should become discontinuous and chaotic when viewed at very close distances, the way an ocean that looks smooth from an airplane appears choppy and foamy up close. This, the story goes, could have an effect on the propagation of light — or photons, as they are called in quantum-speak — slowing light with short wavelengths relative to light with longer wavelengths. The higher the energy of a photon, the shorter is its wavelength. One way to think about it is to envision the photons as boats on this choppy sea. The small ones, like tugboats, have to climb up and down the waves to get anywhere, while the bigger ones can slice through the waves and bumps like ocean liners, and thus go a little faster. Until now such quantum gravity theories have been untestable. Ordinarily you would have to see details as small as 10-33 centimeters — the so-called Planck length, which is vastly smaller than an atom — to test these theories in order to discern the bumpiness of space. Getting that kind of information is far beyond the wildest imaginations of the builders of even the most modern particle accelerators, and that has left quantum gravity theorists with little empirical guidance. “What’s really lacking,” Dr. Michelson explained, “is a laboratory experiment that tells us anything. So we have to use cosmology: we use the universe as the lab.” The photons from GRB 090510, detected on May 9, ranged from 10,000 electron volts — the energy unit of choice in physics — to 31 billion electron volts, a factor of more than a million, in seven brief bursts over about two seconds. The spread in travel time of 0.9 second between the highest- and lowest-energy gamma rays, if attributed to quantum effects rather than the dynamics of the explosion itself, suggested that any quantum effects in which the slowing of light is proportional to its energy do not show up until you get down to sizes about eight-tenths of the Planck length, according to the Nature paper, whose lead author was Sylvain Guiriec of the University of Alabama. But Dr. Livio emphasized that this was only one of many classes of models. “It would be amazing that in effect we don’t need a quantum theory of gravity,” he said. “This only tells us where there are the dead ends.” Indeed, other physicists said that even this model would not be ruled out until the size limit had been set much below the Planck size. The good news, astronomers said, is that more data expected from Fermi could decide the question. As Lee Smolin, a quantum gravity theorist from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, said, “So a genuine experimental test of a hypothesized quantum gravity effect is in progress.” In the meantime, the last word belongs to Einstein, Robert P. Kirshner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics wrote in an e-mail message paraphrasing a 1919 headline in The New York Times about observations that confirmed Einstein’s general relativity. “But the Nature story,” Dr. Kirshner wrote, “is ‘Einstein found right again. Heavens not askew! Savants not agog!’ ”

2009(10th of Cheshvan, 5770): Just months before celebrating his 100th birthday British epidemiologist Jeremy N. Morris passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2010(20th of Cheshvan, 5771): Seventy six year old Ehud Netzer, “one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died today after being injured in a fall at the site.(As reported by Ethan Bronner)

2010(20th of Cheshvan, 5771): Eighty-seven year old actor Robert “Bob” Ellenstein the son of two-time Mayor of Newark Meyer Ellenstein, passed away today in Los Angeles.

2010: Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present: Chamber Music of Mozart, Brahms and Schubert that will include a web-based essay on the lives of Jews in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries with material drawn from the archives of the Leo Baeck Institute.

2010: Jonathan D. Sarna is scheduled to deliver an address entitled Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews: A New Look at Tulane University sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program.

2010: A team from The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID) will leave Israel today to assess the progress of IsraAID's programs in Haiti, as well as present its work in an exhibit using the IDF hospital tent in the upcoming Jewish Federation General Assembly in New Orleans.  The team is going despite the current cholera outbreak.

2010: Debbie Rosenbloom and her husband David Levin are among those taking part in the first Israeli version of the Susan G. Koman Walk for the Cure.

2011(30th of Tishrei, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

2011: Wendy Perron, the Editor in Chief of Dance Magazine, is scheduled to lead a panel delving into the Diaspora of Israeli Dance as part of Fall for Dance DanceTalk, a free pre-performance panel discussion series. Panelists include Zvi Gotheiner, Saar Harari, Neta Pulvermacher, and Noa Wertheim. The panel will explore the many ways that the Israeli aesthetic is influencing dance internationally and how it has impacted these choreographers.

2011: Louis B. James is scheduled to present “Poison,” Deville Cohen’s first solo exhibition in New York City.

2011: Israel prepared to send emergency aid to Thailand today, in response to violent flooding that has killed 377 since July.

2011: Hundreds of Palestinians clashed with the IDF and security forces in a number of locations in the West Bank. Around 250 Palestinians demonstrated in the Beit Omar region, throwing stones at security forces. Soldiers and police responded with riot dispersal means, including stun grenades and teargas. Similar incidents occurred in several other locations. Around 80 Palestinians gathered next to Nabi

2012: The Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to sponsor a symposium titled “The Mystery and History of the Eruv.”

2012(12th of Cheshvan 5773): Fifty-nine year old Larry Bloch “who built the Wetlands Preserve in TriBeCa into an influential rock club and a hub of environmental activism” passed away today. (As reported by James C. McKinley, Jr)

2012: Erika Dreifus reviewed The Curse of Gurs by Werner L. Frank.

2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host The Ruth Spector Memorial Mah Jongg Tournament.

20212 “Forty Years on the Bimah,” a retreat organized by Leah Novick “the oldest woman rabbi” opened today at Mount Madonna Center.

2012: The Kobi Arad Band is scheduled to present “a jazz tribute show as part of the City Winery's 'Klezmer Brunch' series to the legendary Jewish-Moroccan mystic Baba Sali.”

2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Louis D. Brandeis: A Life by Melvin I. Urofsky

2012: The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana is scheduled to present The Tzedakah Award to the Bart Family at a brunch in New Orleans, LA.

2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the murder of Yitzhak Rabin “one of the worst crimes of the new age,” during his opening remarks to the weekly Cabinet meeting today.

2012: The government unanimously approved a plan to bolster fortifications for all Israeli localities between 4.5 km and 7 km of the Gaza Strip, according to Israel Radio, as ongoing rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave once again forced southern residents into bomb shelters.

2012: In anticipation of superstorm Sandy the 14th Street Y closed today at 4 pm.

2012: Egyptian authorities confiscated some 1.7 million documents reportedly proving Jewish ownership of land and assets in Cairo. The documents were reportedly about to be shipped out of the country to Israel, in what the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram is calling “the most dangerous case of security breach in history.” The documents were found in 13 large cases, ready to be transported to Jordan and from there to Israel, Egyptian media reported today

2013: In the UK, The Wiener Library an evening with Thomas Harding, author of Hans and Rudolf: The German Jews and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz.

2013: The Jewish National Fund National Conference being held in Denver, CO, is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman is among those scheduled to perform at Good Shepherd Church in NYC.

2013: The “Red Alert” siren was heard early this morning in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council and in communities in the Gaza belt. Residents reported hearing several explosions, as the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted at least two rockets that were fired by Gaza terrorists towards southern Israel.

2013: Gaza-based terrorists fired four rockets at southern Israel early this morning. The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted one of the rockets, and the other three exploded in open areas. There were no physical injuries or damages.

2013: Women of the Wall presented a list of 16 conditions today under which it would move its monthly prayer service to a third, egalitarian section of the Western Wall’s plaza

2014: The “core exhibition of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews” is scheduled to open today.

2014: The reconstructed ceiling of the destroyed wooden Gwozdziec Synagogue is scheduled to be unveiled today.

2014: The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival is scheduled to host The Bernard Wexler Lecture on Jewish History featuring Martin Goldsmith, author of Alex’s Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance

2014: The University of Connecticut is scheduled to host the Louis J. Kuriansky Annual Conference: The Dangerous Neighborhood of the Middle East, with Dr. Bruce Hoffman and Dr. Michael Rubin

2014: Jeffrey Burds, associate professor of history at Northeastern University is scheduled to deliver The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture speaking on “Communist Collaborators and German Occupation in the Soviet Union during the Holocaust, 1941-43.”

2014: “Support for Hamas and for armed struggle against Israel is gaining popularity in the Palestinian territories, a new survey showed today, despite languishing rehabilitation efforts in the war-battered Gaza Strip. (As reported by Avi Issacharoff)

2014: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today lashed out at international condemnation of plans to build new housing in East Jerusalem, voicing his own unique view that “the criticism, and not the building, was pushing peace further away.” (Based on reports by Joshua Davidovich)

2015: Due to have heavy storms, 15,000 homes in Israel without power and the traffic light system in parts of Tel Aviv have cease function. (As reported by Raanan Ben Zur and Gilad Morag)

2015: The funeral was held today for Richard Larkin, the American who had made Aliyah and worked to improve relations between Moslems and Jews but ironically was murdered by a terrorist while traveling on a bus in Jerusalem.

2015: In Atlanta, GA, The Breman Museum is scheduled to host a tour of “Historic Oakland Cemetery’ which will included an exploration of “the history, burial customs, and symbolism found throughout the Jewish Grounds of this powerful city landmark.”

2015: “Besa: The Promise” is scheduled to be shown tonight at the Jewish Arts & Film Festival of Fairfield County, Ct.

2015: In Little Rock, Lubavitch of Arkansas is scheduled to host the first session “Journey of the Soul – exploring its journey through life, death and beyond.”
2015: The 16th Annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to begin tonight.”

2015: An opening night gala is scheduled to be held this evening marking the opening of the 29th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles.

2015: The portrait of radio host Joan Hamburg was unveiled tonight at Sardi’s.

2015: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present “Dennis Shasha one of the editors of Iraq’s Last Jews, who will present recollections from this remarkable collection of first-person accounts.”

2016: “Jew Vs. Malta” a play inspired by Marlowe’s “The Jew of Malta: is scheduled to open at The Club at LaMaMa.

2016: “Finding Babel” is scheduled to open in New York.

2016: Homecoming weekend is scheduled to begin at Tulane University, home of the Jewish Studies Department chaired by Dr. Brian Horowitz whose newest book is Vladmir Jabotinsky: Story of My Life

2016: Tulane Hillel is scheduled to host a Homecoming reception at its Broadway facility while Tulane Chabad is scheduled to host a four course Shabbat dinner.