1096(1st of Sivan): The Crusaders massacred the Jews of Neuss, Germany
1135: Alfonso VII of León and Castile was crowned in the Cathedral of Leon as Imperator totius Hispaniae, "Emperor of all of Spain". At the start of his reign he curtailed “the rights and liberties which his father had granted the Jews. He ordered that neither a Jew nor a convert might exercise legal authority over Christians, and he held the Jews responsible for the collection of the royal taxes.” After a few years, he adopted a more positive policy towards his Jewish subject. He restored the rights granted by his father and then granted new ones including the granting of a special fuero (charter) in 1136 that permitted the Jews of Guadalajara to outfit themselves like the Christian Knights of his kingdom. Judah ben Joseph ibn Ezra (Nasi) was one of the King’s most influential advisors. After the conquest of Calatrava in 1147, the king placed Judah in command of the fortress, later making him his court chamberlain. The king held Judah ben Joseph stood in such high esteem that he granted Judah’s request to let the Jews who had fled from the Almohades to settle in Toledo. The reigns of Alfonso and his father are proof that Jews prospered, and suffered, under both Catholic and Moslem rule, depending upon the ruler and the time period.
1171: The first ritual murder accusation in Europe occurred in Blois, France. Fifty-one Jews were burned, seventeen of them women. As they were burning, they chanted the hymn 'Aleinu' (composed in Talmudic times). Rabbenu Tam declared a day of fasting and prayer in England, France and the Rhineland. One of those killed was Pulcinella (Puncelina), a favorite of Count Theobald, who tried to use her position to convince the count to release the Jews. The count decided to expel all the Jews left in his county but "allowed" himself to be persuaded to change his mind by a payment of 2000 pounds.
1232: Pope Gregory IX began the Inquisition in Aragon
1352: After Jewish leaders promised the City Council in Nuremberg that if they were allowed to return to the city as citizens, “they would remit all debts the citizens owed them, would sell all houses held in pawn; agreed to settle only where the citizens permitted, asking merely to be protected against the nobility” an imperial edict was issued permitting the Jews to settle in the city.
1512: Bayezid II, the Ottoman Sultan who welcomed the Jews to his realm after the expulsion from Spain passed away. He not only sent a fleet under the command of Admiral Kemal Reis to evacuate the Jews, he sent a firman to all provinces telling the leaders to welcome the Jews. When you consider the large swath of territory he controlled (including much of southeastern Europe) this was quite gift. His Jewish subjects included Mordecai Comtino, Solomon ben Elijah Sharbit ha-Zahab, Shabbbethai ben Malkiel Cohen and poet Menahem Tamar.
1552: Sixty-four year old “Christian Hebraist” Sebastian Münster, “a disciple of Elias Levita “who edited the Hebrew Bible accompanied by a Latin translated” and who “in 1537 published a Hebrew Gospel of Matthew which he had obtained from Spanish Jews he had converted” passed away today.
1566: Birthdate of Sultan Mehmed III. During the reign of Sultan Mehmed III, Gabriel Buonaventura was appointed ambassador and established contacts with Spain. Solomon Eskenazi, Doctor Benveniste and Doctor Moshe Korina held positions at the palace. In 1597 Solomon Abenyaes (Marrano Name: Alvaro Mendez) prepared a treaty that was intended to ally the Ottoman Empire with England in the fight against king Philip of Spain.
1615(27th of Iyar): Abraham Samuel Bacharach, a leading Rabbi in Worms, passed away. Born in the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1575, he had married Eva Bacharach, the daughter of Isaac ben Simson ha-Kohen and the granddaughter of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel. She was the mother of Rabbi Moses Samson Bacharach and the grandmother of Rabbi Yair Bacharach, author of “Hawwot Yair.”
1648: As the Cossack uprising continued to gain momentum a force of Cossacks and Crimean Tatars attacked and defeated Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces at the Battle of Korsun. The defeat of the Polish-Lithuanian forces followed the pattern seen at the battle at Zhovti Vody. The Poles retreated and the Cossacks continued moving westward gaining support as they went The slaughter of the Jews was about to begin in earnest.
1697: The British colony of South Carolina issued naturalization papers to Simon Valentine.
1712: The leaders of the Dutch Jewish community decided to dismiss Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi as the Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazi congregation of Amsterdam at the end of the three year term described in the letter of appointment he had been given in January of 1710. Ashkenazi vowed to fight the dismissal which apparently had been orchestrated by Aaron Polak Gokkes.
1724: Beginning of the papacy of Benedict XIII, the pope who issued “Emanavit nuper,” a Papal Bull, dealing with “the necessary conditions for imposing Baptism on a Jew.”
1744(15th of Sivan, 5504): Moses Abraham passed away today after he which he was buried at the “Hoxton Old Jewish Burial Ground” where the tombstone shows the Hebrew calendar date.
1751(2nd of Sivan, 5511): Lob Minden ben Moses the chazzan at Minden-on-the Weser who was the author of Shire Yehuda, a collection of “Hebrew songs with Germans translations” passed away today.
1753: In Zhitomir, the castle court under the influence of Bishop Solik of Kiev sentenced 33 Jews to death for the "ritual murder" of a Christian child. The entire evidence was based on the "confessions" of the innkeeper and his wife which had been made after being tortured, although they later retracted their statements. Thirteen of them were released upon converting. Many others, including the local Rabbi, were quartered alive. One couple converted on the spot and was granted a beheading.
1757(7th of Sivan): Rabbi Jacob Daniel of Ferrara author of “Eden Arukh” passed away.
1775(26th of Iyar, 5535): Veitel-Heine Ephraim, the husband of Elke Fraenkel who had passed away in 1769, the “Jeweler to the Prussian Court and Mint Master under the Prussian Kings Frederick William I and Frederick the Great” passed away today in Berlin
1799: Friedrich Wilhelm Grantzow, a tailor's apprentice in Berlin and great-grandfather of Oswald Spangler “married a Jewish woman named Bräunchen Moses whose parents, Abraham and Reile Moses, were both deceased by that time and who was baptized shortly before the wedding ceremony”
1820: Birthdate of Dr. Samuel Kristeller, the native of Posen who graduated from the University of Berlin in 1844.
1822(6th of Sivan, 5582): Shavuot
1841(6th of Sivan, 5601): Shavuot
1847: Hyam Hyams married Amelia Abrahams at the Great Synagogue in London.
1848: As part of its policy to force the Jews to assimilate, the Russian government issued a decree providing for the establishment of a rabbinical committee to be attached to the Ministry of Interior who “was one of the founders of the Medical and Gynecological Society of Berlin.”
1850: In Cleveland, Ohio, founding of Tifereth Israel, a reform congregation created after Rabbi Isidor Kalisch and 47 families left Anshe Chesed, the city’s orthodox synagogue and whose most famous leader was Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver who played a major role in gain U.S. support for the creation of Israel.
1853: George Joel Marks married Elizabeth Samuels at the Hambro Synagogue.
1854: Birthdate of Samuel Morais Hyneman a Philadelphia born lawyer who “was a member of the board of managers of Mikve Israel congregation, a member of the board of trustees the Jewish Theological Seminary at New York, and of the board of trustees of Gratz College, Philadelphia. He also served as president of the Young Men's Hebrew Association in Philadelphia, and served as an officer of The Hebrew Education Society in Philadelphia
1865(1st of Sivan, 5625): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1867: In Hoboken, NJ, Edward Stieglitz and the former Hedwig Ann Werner gave birth to Leopold Stieglitz who “was attracted to medicine” and his twin brother chemist Julius Stieglitz who were the younger brothers of photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
1869: Mark and Priscilla Collins were married today at Maiden Lane Synagogue.
1869: Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. BU was founded by three Methodist businessmen who had been active in the abolitionist movement. “From the day of its opening, Boston University has admitted students of both sexes and every race and religion.” According to one source, BU has the second largest enrollment (by percentage) of any private university in the United States. According to the Hillel Foundation, which has a chapter on campus, three thousand of the school’s twenty thousand undergrads are Jewish and five hundred of the ten thousand grad students are Jewish. The school offers approximately thirty Jewish studies courses. The school offers both a major and a minor in Jewish Studies.
1871(6th of Sivan, 5631): First Day of Shavuot
1871: “The Pentecost Festival” published today gives an amazingly detailed description of the Jewish festival of Shavuot.
1871: The New York Times reported that “the feast of Pentecost, in Jewish parlance,” Shavuot, “or, as the German Jews call it” Shavuos, “began last evening and will be observed in all Jewish houses of prayer today.
1877: In New York City, David and Sarah Brickner gave birth Bienvenida Solis Davis, the wife of Goodman Richard Davis and the mother of Walter Alan Davis and Goodman Richard Davis, Jr.
1874: Judge P.J. Joachimsen presided over the annual meeting of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which was being held tonight at New York’s Temple Shaaray Tefillah. The Executive Committee recommended sending funds to aid the Jews of Romania and to support an agricultural school in Jaffa. (The funds for Romania reflected the concern of western Jewry for the worsening conditions of their co-religionists in that newly independent eastern European country. Funding for the school in Jaffa is one of the earliest examples of American Jewish support for what became the Zionist movement).
1876: It was reported today that at a recently adjourned meeting of delegates representing Hebrew congregations from various U.S. cities the possibility was discussed of establishing a seminary that would teach Jewish theology and the Hebrew language while preparing students to become Rabbis.
1878(23rd of Iyar, 5638): One day before his 67th birthday Dutch jurist Abraham de Pinto who had been president of the Sephardic congregation passed away at the Hague
1881(27th of Iyar, 5641): Jakob Bernays a German philologist and philosophical writer passed away. The native of Hamburg German was born in 1824. His father, Isaac Bernays the first orthodox German rabbi to preach in the vernacular (German) his brother, Michael Bernays, was also a distinguished scholar. “Jakob studied from 1844 to 1848 at the University of Bonn, whose philological school, under Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker and Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl was the best in Germany. In 1853 he accepted the chair of classical philology at the newly founded Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, where he formed a close friendship with Theodor Mommsen. In 1866, when Ritschl left Bonn for Leipzig, Bernays returned to his old university as extraordinary professor and chief librarian. He remained at Bonn until his death.”
1881: Birthdate of Sophie Munk, who gained fame as Austrian-American therapist and write Sophie Lazarsfeld, the wife of attorney Robert Lazarsfeld and the mother of Paul Lazarsfeld.
1886: Birthdate of Asa Yoelson, better known as Al Jolson. Jolson's father was a cantor at B'nai Israel Synagogue at Fifth and Eye Street in Washington, D.C. Instead of following in his father's footsteps, Jolson ran away to New York where he began his career in show business. His greatest claim to fame was his starring role in The Jazz Singer, the first talking motion picture. Although Jolson never served in the Army (he was turned down when he tried to enlist during the Spanish American War for being too young) Jolson was an active participant in Bond Drives during subsequent wars. He also entertained the troops during World War I and Korea. In fact, he died after a trip to Korea in 1950.
1889: Birthdate of Warsaw native Jacques Maliniac, the American plastic surgeon..
1890(7th of Sivan, 5650): Second Day of Shavuot
1890: Founding of the Samuel Kristeller Fund which aimed “to assist young Jews who wish to learn a trade and to help Jewish mechanics” trying to establish themselves. It was named for the Berlin physician who “was a member of the executive committee also of the Society for Propagation of Handicrafts Among the Jews
1890: In New York City, “Dr. Abram Brothers, a well-known surgeon who was also a writer, an actor, and a violinist” and Minnie Epstein Brothers gave birth to Viola Brothers who gained fame as writer Viola Brothers Shore.
1890(7th of Sivan, 5650): Hirschel Eliazer Kann, one of the co-founders of the Dutch banking house Lissa & Kann passed away today.
1890: “New Publications” published today included a detailed review of Jeremiah and His Times by Dr. T.K. Chenye a Professor at Oxford. He divided his work into two parts: “Judah’s Tragedy Down to the Death of Josiah” and “The Close of Judah’s Tragedy”
1890: It was reported today that Rabbi Kaufman Kohler will be officiating at the upcoming confirmation services for the students at the Hebrew Free School.
1890: At a dinner held this evening by the Grand Army of the Republic in Lowell, MA, General Benjamin Butler delivered a speech in which he claimed that during the Civil War the soldiers had been paid “in depreciated currency while Jew bankers were paid in gold with interest.” During the Civil War, Lincoln had tolerated Butler as a general because he needed his political support. He was a politician, not a general as could be seen by his inept performance in the field.
1891: In Budapest, “Mária (née Zilahy) and János Lukács, an advertising executive” gave birth to Pál Lukács” who gained fame as Paul Lukas who an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in WW II film “Watch on the Rhine.”
1891: “Russia Home Policy” published today described the various aspects of the Czar’s anti-Semitic policies. Police are being sent throughout St. Petersburg with orders to arrest an Jews they find and ship them back to the Pale. Conditions are so bad in Kiev that even Jews who have a legal right to live there are allowing themselves to be expelled. The governor of Kiev has said “I will make Kiev too hot for the whole brood of rascals, rights or no rights.”
1892: Opposition was expressed today in the House of Representatives to an appropriation for the upcoming World’s Fair since exhibits would be open on Sunday in violation of the Christian Sabbath. No such concern was expressed for being open on Saturday.
1892: “Rome and the Hebrews” published today described the recent meeting that Jesse Seligman and Dr. O’Connell rector of the American College had with Cardinal Rampolla, Papal Secretary of State. In response to a request for protection of the Jews by the Catholic Church, Rampolla said that “the Popes…had always been the protectors of the Jews.” (Considering the behavior of the Popes following the revolts of 1848, this statement can best be described as, at best, “disingenuous”
1893: According to Israel Schwartz, a 13 year old boy who has been living at the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery for the last 9 years, he made up his mind to run away after having been called into Superintendent Engel’s office where he was beaten after having refused to write to his father and tell him about his “bad conduct” which ad consisted of talking to other boys in class which is against the rules.
1893: “Paulus Meyer Arrested” published today described the arrest of Paulus Meyer a Jewish convert and ex-Russian Talmudist “who asserted that he was an eye witness to a terrible massacre of Jews in Russia. He was arrested at the request of the German Supreme Tribunal at Leipzig.
1894: Emanuel Lasker became a World Champion chess player. Born in Germany, Lasker’s father was a cantor who feared that his son’s love of chess would take him away from his studies. Lasker won the championship when he was 26 which made him the youngest champion of his time.
1894: Theodore Seligman who is one of the executors of the will of his father, the late Jesse Seligman, filed “a statement of the condition of the estate” and “an itemized list of the bequests to the family and charitable societies in the Surrogate’s Office.
1895: Esther Walenstein delivered the opening remarks at the dedication of Hebrew Infant Asylum on Mott Avenue and 149th Street in the Bronx after which the board presented with a portrait of herself which she could see every day for the next 8 years during which ran the institution.
1895: “In The World Of Art” published today acknowledgement is made of the generosity of the men who arranged the East Side Art Exhibition in the auditorium of the Hebrew Institute which attracted a large throng of the less fortunate for whom this was the first opportunity to see such works.
1895: Birthdate of Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron, the author of a sweeping multivolume history of the Jews who “was undoubtedly the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century…” (As reported by Peter Steinfels)
1895: Rabbi Joseph Silverman will deliver the opening prayer at today’s ceremony dedicating the new Hebrew Infant Asylum. Following remarks by New York City Mayor Strong, Rabbi Kaufman Kohler and N.S. Rosenau will address the attendees. Cecilia Goldsmith is among those responsible for providing refreshments at the end of the event.
1896: Eben Israel Cemetery, the Jewish Cemetery in Cedar Rapids that served both the Orthodox Beth Jacob and Reform Temple Judah congregations opened. Max Oshman was one of the founders of the cemetery which is still in use at the start of the 21st century.
1896: Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia. Nicholas was the last of the Tsars. He was a weak man who lacked the skill to rule. He was also totally out of touch with what was going on in his country. The fact that he had three rabbis at his coronation did not mean that his views about Jews were any different from those of his predecessors. There were Pogroms both before and after the first uprising against the Tsar in 1905. The Tsar spent a great deal of money on anti-Semitic literature including mass distribution of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He also supported the trumped up charges in the Bellis Case, the scandalous trumped charges in one of the last “Ritual Murder” of the 20th century. During his reign, the Tsar declared,” During my reign Jews in Russia will not enjoy equal rights.”
1898: The Chicago Jewish Courier opened a drive to help defray the expenses of a newly formed Jewish military organization that is volunteering to serve in an Illinois Regiment that will probably join the fight against Spain.
1898: During the Spanish American War Sergeant George M. Klein and Corporal Isaac Bradfield of Company A of the 1st Mississippi Volunteer Infantry were among those mustered into federal service in Jackson, Mississippi.
1899: The Hebrew Union Veterans’ Association held its annual memorial service tonight at Temple Emanu-El. The event, which was well attended, began with the veterans marching en masse to house of worship by a drum and bugle corps.
1899: A list published today of the institutions receiving aid from the state of New York and the amount they are getting included: Sanitarium for Hebrew Children - $5,080; Hebrew Benevolent Society - $100,000; Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society - $99,500;
1899: Isaac Wallach, the President of the Mt. Sinai Hospital Association said today that “the land on which the hospital will be built consists of thirty city lots situated between one Hundred and One Hundred and First Streets and Madison and Fifth Avenues” which cost about $400,000 and that buildings will cost one million dollars of which $750,000 “has already been subscribed.”
1899: As of today the officers of the Judaens are Dr. Henry M. Leipziger, President; Professor Gottheil, Vice President; Philip Cowen, Secretary; Albert Ulmann, Treasurer; and Samuel Greenbaum, Samson Lachman and Cyrus L. Sulzberger, Directors.
1901(8th of Sivan, 5661): Eighty year old Ludwig Lewysohn, the native of Posen who served as the rabbi Frankfort-on-Oder, Worms and Stockholm passed away today in the Swedish city.
1902: The Nożyk Synagogue which “would be the only surviving prewar Jewish house of prayer in Warsaw” “was officially opened to the public” today.
1902: After having graduated from NYU Law School in 1901, future Congressman Isaac Siegel, “was admitted to the bar” today.
1902: “Russia’s Treatment of American Jews” published today described a speech Unitarian minister Thomas R. Slicer in which he declared that he “would not have been a Christian but for the teachings of the Hebrews” and that while “the Russians are nominally Christians with a strong prejudice against the Jews and it is impossible to reason against prejudice.”
1903: Herzl meets the Portuguese ambassador in Vienna to ask for a territory habitable and cultivable by Europeans.
1903: In Newport News, VA, Charles Friedlander and Blanche Peyser gave birth to Mark Peyser Friedlander who would be buried in Washington, D.C’s Hebrew Cemetery.
1905(21st of Iyar, 5665): French banker Mayer Alphonse de Rothschild passed away. Born in 1827, Alphonse was the son of James, the founder of the French branch of the House of Rothschild. He succeeded his father just before the Franco-Prussian War. After the French were defeated, Alphonse arranged the financing to pay for the indemnity the Germans extracted from the French as part of the peace settlement. The loan was a key to the re-emergence of France as a major European power. Rothschild also served as head of the French Jewish Community and was famed for his generous philanthropy. As a patron of the arts, he donated major works of art to over two hundred museums and galleries throughout France.
1905: A pogrom broke out in Minsk, Russia.
1908: At Masjid-al-Salaman in southwest Persia (Iran), the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the United Kingdom. The connection between the oil strike the quest to establish a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel is too obvious to have to explain.
1909(6th of Sivan, 5669): Shavuot
1909: Birthdate of Richard Maibum, the New York City native, who came to the University of Iowa in 1930 where he studied in the Speech and Dramatic Arts Department, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1931, earning a Master’s in 1931 and who gained fame “for his screenplay adaptations of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.”
1910: Birthdate of Adolph Ignatievich Rosner, the native of Berlin who gained fame as jazz musician Eddie Rosner.
1910: Political trailblazer Belle Moskowitz wins passage of bill regulating New York dance halls
1911: In the Bronx, Gittle “Gussie” Weinstein and Yithak Asher “Isaac” Ephron gave birth to Henry Ephron. While he was a noted playwright , screenwriter and producer, his greatest claim to may be that he was the father of four daughter – Nora, Dilia, Hallie and Amy – who became famous writers in their own right.
1911: In Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jacob and Bessie Kushner gave birth to Aid Kushner, the Oak Park, Michigan, resident “who for many years…constructed models of famous synagogues from around the world including the state of Michigan as well as a model of President Truman’s home in Independence and an early British fort built at Detroit before it became part of the United States.
1912: The annual meeting of the Jewish Publication Society of America was held this evening at Keneseth Israel Temple in Philadelphia, PA. Edwin Wolfe, the president of the society, called the meeting to order. Oscar Solomon was the only member from Cedar Rapids, IA.
1913: The annual meeting of the Home for Jewish Friendless and Working Girls of which Jennie Mandel is the secretary is scheduled to take place this evening at the Standard Club.
1914: Anglo-Jewish art dealer said today “that dispatches from New York were his first intimation that a syndicate of dealers heady by Duveens would hold a sale of the Morgan art treasures in London.” He said that in his opinion, “the story is false.
1915: Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel, began serving as Postmaster-General under Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith.
1915: It was reported today that former Governor Richard Yates was among the thousands of people who had attended a mass meeting in Springfield, Illinois where speeches were delivered calling for clemency for Leo M. Frank.
1915: Former Congressman W. M. Howard who is in charge of Leo Frank’s appeal to the State Prison Commission announced today that Leo Frank’s wife, who was not allowed to testify at his trial under Georgia law, will submit an affidavit at the hearing and that Frank himself appear in person.
1915: In Boston, Mayor James M. Curley, ex-Governor Eugene N. Foss, Dr. John W. Coughlin, a member of the Democratic National Committee and Dr. Samuel Goodman of Atlanta were among the speakers at tonight’s meeting in Faneuil Hall protesting against the execution of Leo M. Frank.
1915: Today, the American Jewish Relief Committee of New York received word from Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan that “American Ambassador at Constantinople cables as follows” There are approximately 1,500 Jews from Gallipolis and Dardanelles who have been obliged to leave their homes. They are cattered at Pauderma, Rodosto and Constantinople and they are in absolute want. The Grand Rabbi and committee beg for prompt assistance for them and for indigent Jews in Constantinople who number about 5,000.”
1915: The text of a letter from “the Board of Governors, the Georgia Society of the State of New York, Inc., an association in New York City whose membership is composed exclusively of Georgians, the descendants of Georgians and person who have been educated in Georgia or have married a Georgian” to the Prison Commission of Georgia calling for the commutation to Leo M. Frank’s sentence, was published today.
1915: “Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee received a letter from the State Department in regard to the numerous inquiries from men in this country as to the unfortunate condition of their wives and children who were caught in Galicia when the war broke out and have been unable to come to this country.”
1916: The Zion Mule Corps was disbanded after the end of the Gallipoli Campaign. The disbanding of this Jewish group did not represent a failure. The British were impressed with the bravery and diligence of the Jews and this led to the formation of a Jewish combat force in the British Army later in World War I. This was one more of the halting steps that would lead to the creation of the modern IDF.
1916: It was reported today that Adjutant General Louis Stotesbury who opened a public investigation in charges made by Maurice Simmons, Chairman of the Kehillah Committee for the Protection of the Good Name of Immigrant Peoples, that anti-Semitism exists in the New York National” said that now is the time for “any evidence of the exclusion of any man physical and morally qualified for sever in the National Guard on account his religious belief” to be presented.
1916(Iyar 23): Judah Leib Kantor, editor of Ha-Yom, passed away.
1917(5th of Sivan, 5677): Parashat Bamidbar; erev Shavuot
1917: “Shabuoth Festival Today” published today provides a secular newspapers description of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
1917: “A Word About Our Schools” published today provides a sketch of various Jewish institutions of higher education including Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary, The Rabbinical College of America, The Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning and The Gratz College
1917: It was reported today that Tulane University has a total enrollment of 2,708 students of whom 54 or 2% are Jewish.
1918: The Georgian Republic declared its independence. With independence came freedom of speech, press, and organization, which improved the economic situation of the Jews of Georgia.
1918: Following the Russian Revolution, “the Georgian Republic declared its independence” today which led to “improved economic conditions for the Jews of Georgia” – a situation that would come to an end when the Red Army invaded Georgia in 1921 “prompting a mass exodus” of between 1,500 and 2,000 Georgian Jews.
1918: The New York Chapter of Hadassah which “is preparing to a send a complete medical unit to Palestine” sent out a public appeal for an additional $1,000 to pay for a truck which is the only piece of equipment that has not been acquired.
1918: Henry Morgenthau, the former Ambassador to Turkey; “Dr. Boris Bogen of the Joint Distribution Committee of the Jewish War Relief Funds; Jacob Billikopf, Executive Chairman of the American Jewish Relief Fund and Rabbi Nathan Krass were the featured speakers this “afternoon at a luncheon at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ,” “where 150 prominent Jews from all parts of New Jersey” gathered to express their support for the 1918 campaign that was raising “funds for the relief of Jews in the war-stricken countries of Europe.”
1919: The Conference of Jewish Women’s Organizations is scheduled to this afternoon at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.
1920: Dr. H. Pereira Mendes resigns as Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York after 43 years.
1920: Birthdate of Jan Wiener, a Czech Jew who fought in the British air force during World War II after fleeing Nazis in Germany and Czechoslovakia.
1920(9th of Sivan, 5680): Julius J. Lyons, the son of the late Rabbi Jacques J Lyons, who had served as Director and legal counsel to the State Bank passed away at San Diego, CA. He was born in New York in 1843 and was active in several Jewish institutions including the Montefiore Home, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Technical Institute. He had gone to California a year ago to stay at the ranch of his son Edwin where he had hoped to regain his health.
1921(18th of Iyar, 5681): Lag B'Omer
1921: Birthdate of Walter Ze'ev Laqueur the American historian who escaped his native Prussia for Palestine but whose parents were trapped and died in the Holocaust.
1923(11th of Sivan, 5683): Dr. Hugh L. Wintner, the native of Kortvelyek, Hungary who came to the United States in 1863 and “officiated at various congregations in the western and southern United States” before coming to “Brooklyn in 1878 to serve as the Rabbi at Temple Beth Ehlohim,” “the oldest synagogue in Brooklyn which celebrated its golden jubilee in 1901,” passed away today.
1924(22nd of Iyar, 5684): Eighty-four year old Rosa Bloom, the daughter of Lob and Bina Oppenhimer and husband of Simon Marx and Isidor Bloom passed away in New York City.
1924: The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act which was “vigorously opposed” by Congressman Emanuel Cellar and severely limited the number of Jews who could enter the United States was enacted today.
1925: In Bayonne, NJ, Isaac and Lillian Goodman Cohen gave birth to Robert B. Cohen whose chain of Hudson News shops at airports, bus terminals and railroad stations across the country offered untold numbers of people a respite from the tedium of travel…(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
1925: The Camden, NJ, Section of the Council of Jewish under the leadership of Mrs. Philip Wendkos held a banquet this even in the Beth-El auditorium which will mark the end of the organization’s business year.
1926: “Ten students received their degrees tonight at the first graduation exercises of the Jewish Institute of Religion founded four years ago by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise as the only liberal Jewish theological seminary in New York.” Honorary degrees were conferred on Calude G. Montefiore, nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore and Chaim Nachman Bialik.
1926: Shalom Schwarzbard traveled from the Ukraine to Paris to avenge his parents' death at the hands of S. V. Petlura. He was responsible for the Ukrainian anti-Jewish riots of 1919-1920. After days of stalking, Shalom confronted Petlura, shot him and surrendered to the police. He was acquitted by the court of Assizes on all charges. The court may have been influenced by the fact that S.V. Petlura, and his followers were responsible for 493 pogroms in which 50,000 Jews lost their lives.
1928(7th of Sivan, 5688): Second Day of Shavuot including recitation of Yizkor for the last time during the Presidency of Calvin Coolidge.
1931: Elections began today in forty-five countries in Europe to selected delegates for the World Zionist Congress to be held in June.
1932(20th of Iyar, 5692): Five days after celebrating his 82nd birthday German-Jewish banker Hermann Frankel passed away. Ironically he owned the Wannsee Villa, which ten years later would be the site of the conference that would establish the metrics for the final act of the Final Solution.
1933(1st of Sivan, 5693): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
1934: In Tel Aviv, the third biennial Levant Fair comes to an end.
1935: Egyptian Chief Rabbi Haim Nahum officiated at services in the Ashkenazi Synagogue of Cairo. He was there to lead a memorial service for the Polish Jews of Egypt, who were honoring Marshal Josef Piludski. The respected Russian revolutionist and Polish nationalistic military leader had died
1935: In Tel Aviv a group of Yiddish authors sponsored a lecture in observance of the 70th birthday of Dr. Chaim Zhitlowski, social critic, political activist and author who was a “Yiddishist.” Members of Betarim, “a young military Revisionist-Zionist group” were responded violently to the fact that the lecture was conducted in Yiddish instead of Hebrew. They cut off the electricity, pelted members of the audience with stones and were so disorderly that police had to break up the meeting.
1936: For the first time ever, the Mandatory government in Palestine today mobilized Jewish settlers for self-defense as an open Arab revolt swept the country. Settlers at Rehoboth were armed and prepared to repel further assaults by Arabs after two days' of their marauding had resulted in the destruction of various “agricultural enterprises.”
1936: In London, “Emanuel List, a naturalized American singer who is now appearing at Covent Garden has…declined an invitation to attend a function at the German Embassy” saying “I left after the Nazi regime came in. My mother is a Jewess. I could not there remain in a country where not only Jews members of other religions are so cruelly treated.
1936: “The first mass attack on a Jewish settlement took place” today “at Kfar Tabor at the foot of Mount Tabor in the Galilee district” when “a band of hundreds of Bedouins began firing at” the Jews “but police supported by the young Jewish farmers, repelled the attackers without casualties.
1936: After a lumber yard was set on fire and nine bombs were tossed by Arab attackers in Nevei Shalom, Jewish settlers fled to Tel Aviv.
1936(5th of Sivan, 5696): Erev Shavuot; in Jerusalem, the British relaxed the curfew in the Jewish section of the city delaying its start from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. so that the Jews could gather to observe the start of the festival.
1936: British women and children were evacuated tonight from the troubled town of Nablus in an atmosphere made increasingly tense by bold Arab terrorists. They were sent to Jerusalem where it was thought they would be safe from Arab attacks.
1936: “Malcom MacDonald, Secretary for the Dominions announced in the House of Commons tonight that order had been restored at Gaza and that in addition to other measures the High Commission for Palestine had taken steps to restrict the movements of agitators and strike leaders.”
1937: Birthdate of composer Yehuda Yannay
1938: The House Un-American Activities Committee met for the first time. HUAC would become the tool of right-wing political leaders who would use it attack “the Communist Conspiracy,” something that many of them equated with a Jewish conspiracy.
1939(8th of Sivan, 5699): Rabbi Ya'akov Meir, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, passed away. Jacob Meir was born in Jerusalem in 1856 when it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Born to a notable merchant of the community, Mercad Meir, young Jacob grew to be a merchant who worked in Yaffa. He worked as a merchant for over ten years, then in his thirties wealthy Jew he knew talked him into going into the rabbinate. After becoming a rav he traveled to countries raising funds for those in Jerusalem. From the mountains of Bokhara to the deserts of Tunis and Algeria he collected charity funds, and in Jerusalem acted as civil assessor to the Bet Din. On the death in 1906 of his friend and advisor Chief Rabbi Saul Eliasher, Rav Jacob Meir, age 50, was unanimously chosen to fill his place. Soon after a dispute arose, and resigned to accept a "call" to the large Jewish community at Salonica. In years later when the Sultan of Turkey visited Salonica, he presented Meir with a gold watch emblazoned with the royal arms as a mark of esteem. In 1920 Meir was appointed by Sir Herbert (later Lord) Samuel to be head of the Spanish Jewish Community of Palestine and soon after received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire award for service to the British. Herbert Samuel was appointed as the first British High Commissioner of Palestine in 1920. He was Jewish and also a Zionist. Under his direction, thousands of Jewish immigrants settled in the land. In each of the years between 1920 and 1923, about 8,000 Jews entered Palestine. In 1924 the number jumped to 13,000 and the following year to more than 33,000. Sadly, many Jewish people came to Palestine because they could go nowhere else. America closed its doors to mass immigration in 1924. After he died, over 10,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem, representing all sections of the population took part in his funeral. The Blue and white colors hung from half-mast from the offices of all Sephardic associations and other Jewish public institutions. His body was brought to the large synagogue at the Sephardic orphanage on Yaffa Road. Around his coffin which stood on the stage gathered members of the Chief Rabbinical Council, other rabbis, and groups of youths in the uniforms of their organizations, acting as honor guards.
1940(18th of Iyar, 5700): On the same day that “Anthony Eden told General Lord Gort, Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the BEF, that he might need to "fight back to the west", and ordered him to prepare plans for the evacuation” in what would become known as “Dunkirk,” Jews observed Lag B’Omer
1942: Belgian Jews were required by Nazis to wear a Jewish star.
1943: Jews rioted against Germany in Amsterdam.
1944: In Bogota, Columbia, Polish refugees Rifka and Israel Joseph Lederman gave birth to David Mordechai Lederman, the doctor “who led the team of scientists that developed the first fully implantable artificial heart.” (As reported by David Hevesi)
1944: Mordechai and Yehuda Eldar arrived at Auschwitz. Mordechai Adler was slated to die in October but through a fluke received a reprieve when he was one of 50 prisoners chosen to work in “Canada,” the warehouse operation where the Nazis greedily stored the belongings of their Jewish victims. In 1947, Eldar and two of his sisters (the only surviving members of his extended family) sailed to Palestine on the SS Exodus. Sent back to Hamburg by the British, he returned to Tel Aviv in June of 1948. He joined the IDF and served for 30 years before retiring as a colonel in 1978.
1944: Birthdate of Jan Schakowsky, Congresswoman representing the 9th District of Illinois.
1946: “Demands that governmental and intergovernmental agencies assume full responsibility for basic assistance to Jewish survivors abroad and permit voluntary agencies to concentrate on supplementary aid and rehabilitation were made” in Atlantic City, NJ “tonight at the opening session of the four-day National Conference of Jewish Social Welfare.”
1948: At the United Nations, the Arabs “indicated a willingness to stop the fighting on condition that the Jews would regard the proclamation of statehood as null and void and that no further Jewish immigration would be accepted. Abba Eban responds publicly; “If the Arab states want peace with Israel, they can have it. If they want war, they have that, too. But whether they want peace or war, they could have only with the sovereign independent state of Israel.”
1947: Gershon Hirshon, a spokesman for the Jewish Agency that “there has been no split in the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine” when David Ben-Gurion “had said that a Jewish state in the areas populated principally by Jews, in addition to the barren desert, might be acceptable in lieu of a Jewish state in all Palestine” because the Chairman was merely expressing his personal views.
1948: Esther Cailingold, the British born daughter of Jews from Poland who had gone to Jerusalem to teach in 1946 who stayed to fight in defense of the city in 1948 had her spine severed when the building she was in collapsed following an explosion.
1948: The position of Jewish forces in the Old City was beyond desperate. "There was nothing to eat; nothing to shoot with..." One hundred Haganah troopers had been killed with even more wounded as the Arab Legion pressed its attack on all sides.
1950: The United States, Great Britain and France announced a plan to regulate arms sales in the Middle East which would equalize sales between the Arab states and Israel. The three western powers also promised to see to it that the frontiers or armistice lines dividing the states would not be violated.
1950: The Israeli government announced that Aubrey S. Eban has been appointed as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. [Yes, Aubrey Eban is the man whom we know as Abba Eban.]
1952: President Harry S. Truman addressed a dinner sponsored by the Jewish National fund.
1952: Emil Sachs, the Secretary of the Garment Workers’ Union of South Africa, and opponent of Apartheid appeared in court today following his arrest at mass meeting “on the steps of the Johannesburg City Hall.”
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Dr. Dov Joseph, the Acting Minister of Finance, introduced in the Knesset a Bill on "Income Tax Advances for Relief Works" and described the scheme which was expected to provide 2,650,000 work days for the country's unemployed for the next six months.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the rationing of potatoes came to an end and potatoes were put on the free market sale for the first time in four years. Over 250 immigrants were expected to arrive from Iran.
1954: Meir Har-Zion was part of ten-man squad “from the newly formed 890th Paratroop Battalion led by Ariel Sharon which carried out a raid near Khirbet Jinba” today.
1955: New York City premiere “Love Me or Leave Me” directed by Charles Vidor, Produced by Joe Pasternak with a script by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart.
1956: In London, “Jonathan Charkham, an adviser to The Bank of England and economist, and Moira Elizabeth Frances Salmon, daughter of Barnett Alfred and Molly Salmon” gave birth to Fiona Sara Charkham who gained fame English Solicitor Fiona Sara Shackleton, Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia known as the Steel Magnolia.”
1957: “In the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago…Edward Wasserman, a psychoanalyst, and the former Eileen Kronberg, a homemaker” gave birth to “historian and filmmaker Suzanne Wasserman.” (As reported by Richard Sandomir)
1958(7th of Sivan, 5718): Second Day of Shavuot, Yizkor
1958(7th of Sivan, 5718): “Four Israeli police officers were killed in a Jordanian attack on Mount Scopus, in Jerusalem.”
1958: “At 1654 Local time Lieutenant-Colonel Flint of the Mixed Armistice Commission was killed apparently by a single sniper round while trying to evacuate the dead and wounded Israelis from an Israeli police patrol.”
1959(18th of Iyar, 5719): Lag B’Omer
1964 The third AFC Asian Cup football (what Americans call soccer) tournament opened in Israel today.
1964: Birthdate of musician Lenny Kravitz
1964: Sylvia Rothschild’s novel “Sunshine and Salt” was released today
1965(24th of Iyar, 5725): Eighty-three year old Dr. Solomon Ullman, the native of Hungary who became the Belgian Chief Rabbi and Chief Jewish Chaplain of the Belgian Army passed away today in Brussels. (As reported by JTA)
1965: “Mirage” a thriller based on a novel by Howard Fast co-starring Walter Matthau was released today in the United States.
1967: As the crisis that would result in the Six Day War intensified, President Nasser of Egypt declared, “the battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.” While President Johnson worked to develop an international response that would open the Straits of Tiran, the Soviet Union let the members of the Security Council know that Moscow would veto any proposal that was not in accord with the wishes of Syria and Egypt.
1967: As the crisis that will lead to the Six Days War worsens, Military intelligence chief Aharon Yariv tells the Israeli cabinet that “the roots of the current situation are connected to the active Soviet regional initiative” that began “over a year ago.”
1968(28th of Iyar, 5728): Yom Yerushalayim
1968: Eighty-two year old “Austrian ethnologist, ancient historian, and archaeologist, and a grandnephew of poet Heinrich Heine” Robert von Heine-Geldern passed away today
1969: Abdel el Rahman el Latifi, a 65-year-old Jerusalem Arab who stabbed a soldier outside the Damascus gate last year, was sentenced today to 10 years' imprisonment by the district court here. There was no apparent reason for the act, but the court rejected the defense plea of insanity.
1970: In Manhattan, Joan and Morton I. Hamburg gave birth to screenwriter and director John Hamburg
1971: In Huston, “economics professor Gerald Whitney Stone and Sheila Lois Belasco” who was Jewish gave birth to cartoonist Matt Stone co-creator of South Park
1971: “Man From La Mancha” with music by Mitch Leigh moved to the Mark Hellinger Theater (named in honor of the Jewish theatre critic) for the last month of its original Broadway run of 2,329 performances.
1973: The BBC broadcast the first episode of “That’s Life!” a mixture of news and satire featuring Esther Rantzen as Presenter.
1973: The IDF announced a state of emergency today “and reserve troops were called up in response to a movement of Egyptian troops. The state of emergency was cancelled when it became clear that this was only an exercise. This event had a major impact on the General Staff, as it led them to believe that the Egyptian forces were not preparing for war, later that year, on Yom Kippur. After the war however, it became apparent that these frequent maneuvers carried out by the Egyptians were part of an elaborate ruse meant to induce complacency in the Israelis regarding the true intentions of Egyptian troop movements at the time the actual attack took place.”
1975: Lisa Selesner, the model and actress known as Lisa S, was born in Monaco to a French father and a Jewish American mother today.
1976: “Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood” directed by Michael Winner, written by Arnold Schulman and co-starring Madeline Kahn, Phil Silvers and Ron Leibman was released in the United States today.
1976: German philosopher Martin Heidegger passed away. Although considered a major force in the world of philosophy by some, Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party and remained in Germany during the war. Strangely enough, Heidegger had several extramarital affairs, including two very important ones with Jewish women who were his students, Hannah Arendt and Elisabeth Blochmann. Apparently Arendt knew more about Nazis than she let on when she was writing about “the banality of evil.”
1977: The fourth of the Nixon Interviews which were arranged by Swifty Lazar and produced by Bob Zelnick was broadcast today.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported how John Henry Weidner, 65, a Dutchman now living in U.S. led so many groups of Jews, allied pilots and other victims of the Nazi persecution across the border of the German-occupied France into Switzerland that he knew the way "blindfolded." He was awarded the Righteous Gentile Medal by the Yad Va'shem Chairman, Gideon Hausner, who told him: "You are a soldier of humanity in the world's darkest years."
1980: An Israeli police officer was injured in a stabbing attack at Hebron.
1980: In Monaco, Gary and Peggy Selesner gave birth to Lisa Selesner, the international model known as “Lisa S.” Her mother was Jewish, her father was not.
1981: After receiving a knighthood in 1980, Max Beloff “was created a life peer, taking the title Baron Beloff, of Wolvercote in the County of Oxfordshire” today
1983: Amnon Rubenstein completed his term as Communications Minister in Israel.
1985(6th of Sivan, 5745); Shavuot
1985(6th of Sivan, 5745): Seventy-seven year old Oscar award winning producer Harold Hecht passed away today.
1987(27th of Iyar, 5747): Seventy-three year old psychiatrist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Arthur Sackler passed away. (As reported by Grace Glueck)
1987: Amnon Rubinstein completed his service as Communications Minister.
1990: After three years, Fox network broadcast the last episode of “The Tracey Ullman Show” whose creators included James L. Brooks, Jerry Belson and Heide Perlman.
1991: In “Fund Guides Jobless Soviet Immigrants,” published today Kathleen Teltsch describes the challenges facing the Baron de Hirsch Fund in helping the latest wave of Jewish immigrants from Russia “make new lives in America.” “The fund was created in 1891 by Baron Maurice De Hirsch, a prosperous German Jewish financier who wanted to help Jewish families fleeing Czarist Russia make a fresh start by becoming farmers. Thousands came to the United States at the turn of the century and became poultry farmers, mainly in southern New Jersey.” This latest influx of refugees from the Soviet Union will be looking for help in fitting into the urban environment including jobs in the health care and construction industries.
1993(6th of Sivan, 5753): Shavuot is observed for the first time during the Presidency of Bill Clinton
1994: “A streamlined Off-Broadway revival” of “Merrily We Roll Along,” a Stephen Sondheim musical “based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart” opened today “at the York Theatre in St. Peter’s Church where it ran for 54 perfromaces.
1995(26th of Iyar, 5755): Eighty seven year old Mordechai Surkis, the veterans of the Haganah and the Jewish Brigade who was the first mayor of Kfar Saba passed away today.
1995(26th of Iyar, 5755): Eighty-nine year animator Friz Freleng, the man behind such icons as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Yosemite Sam to name but a few, passed away today
1996(8th of Sivan, 5756): Resistance fighter and politician Halka Grossman passed away at the age of 76.
1998(1st of Sivan, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
2001: In Latest Disaster Tests Resiliency of Jerusalem's Residents,” published tody Deborah Sontag describes how the residents of Israel’s capital city are coping with the latest wave of Arab terror. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/26/world/latest-disaster-tests-resiliency-of-jerusalem-s-residents.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm
2002: 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 “O’Neill: Life With Monte Cristo” by Arthur and Barbara Gelb.
2002: An exhibition of the work of 18th century New York silversmith Myer Myers came to a close at the Skirball Cultural Center.
2003: According to “Battle of Brooklyn” article published today Ari Taub has received the Best New Director award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival for his new film “Letter from the Dead” which “focuses on a doomed unit of German and Italian soldiers” fighting in Italy in 1944.
2004(6th of Sivan, 5764): First Day of Shavuot
2004: What is believed to be the largest cheesecake in the world has been baked in Haifa for Shavuot. The cake measured more than three yards in diameter and was more than one yard high.
2004: As the controversy surrounding Judith Miller’s coverage of the Iraq war continues to grow “a New York Times editorial acknowledged that some of the paper's coverage in the run-up to the war had relied too heavily on Ahmed Chalabi and other Iraqi exiles, who were bent on regime change” and “expressed "regret" that "information that was controversial [was] allowed to stand unchallenged."
2005: Closing session of Biotech-Israel 2005
2005(17th of Iyar, 5765): Ninety year old journalist and political activist Israel Epstein passed away in Beijing, China (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2005: In his, joint press conference welcoming Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, President Bush said “The imminent Israeli disengagement from Gaza, parts of the West Bank, presents an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a return to the road map.... To help ensure that the Gaza disengagement is a success, the United States will provide to the Palestinian Authority $50 million to be used for new housing and infrastructure projects in the Gaza.” But he also said, “Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity of the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today, it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations.”
2005: Percussionist, composer and Grammy nominee Roberto Rodriguez, brings his signature blend of Latin rhythms and Jewish melodies to the Skirball Cultural Center’s World Mosaic series. In 2002 Rodriguez recorded his first album “El Danzon de Moies” or “The Dances of Moses.” The cover of the album combines Latin and Jewish images. It is the red, white and blue of Cuba but the Star of David replaces the star usually found on the Cuban flag.
2006(28th of Iyar, 5766): Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Reunification Day
2006: In Congress today, Representative Rahm Emanuel delivered a speech in recognition of the contributions of Joel M. Capr who is retiring “from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago after almost thirty years of service.”
2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that Holocaust victims' names may remain in Mormon database. Jewish leaders in a dispute with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over its practice of posthumous baptisms say there is new evidence that the names of Jewish Holocaust victims continue to show up in the church's vast genealogical database. "We've been dealing with it for 11 years, since 1995, and we continue to deal with it," said Ernest Michel, a Holocaust survivor and founding member of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. A cross-referencing of more than 1,500 Dutch Jews whose names should have been deleted from the church's International Genealogical Index remain in the database, Michel said. Over the past three months, the entries were matched by Salt Lake City researcher Helen Radkey against a 1995 list of deleted names provided by church leaders to Michel's organization, which has contracted with Radkey for research services since 1999. Michel, whose parents were posthumously baptized, said he is in talks with church leaders and is working on setting up a July meeting to discuss the latest findings. Mormon Church spokesman Mike Otterson said that no meeting had been scheduled, but that Michel is encouraged to bring his concerns before a working group of church staff and Jews set up in April 2005 to continue to work out database issues. "One of the benefits of previous meetings is that we established an ongoing joint working group that would address what would appear to be any anomalies, or anything that appears to be slipping through our screening process," Otterson said. "That committee continues to meet and continues to be the best place for addressing these concerns." Posthumous baptism is a sacred rite practiced in Mormon Church temples for the purpose of offering membership in the church to the deceased. Church members are encouraged to conduct family genealogy research and forward their ancestors' names for baptism. Church President Gordon B. Hinckley has said the baptismal rite is only an offer of membership that can be rejected in the afterlife by individuals. "So, there's no injury done to anybody," Hinckley told the AP in an interview last November. But Jews are offended by the practice and in 1995 signed an agreement with Mormon leaders that should have prevented the names of Holocaust victims from being added to the genealogical index. The agreement would also have limited entries of other Jewish names to those persons who are direct ancestors of current Mormons. Also that year, church family history officials gave Michel a compact disc, which they said contained 380,000 Holocaust victims' names which had been removed from church records. An analysis of the CD by New Jersey-based Jewish genealogy expert Gary Mokotoff, however, showed the CD contained only 247,479 names, of which 31,688 were duplicates. Since then Radkey has documented thousands of database entries that indicate the practice of adding names has not stopped.In April 2005 five boxes of Radkey's research - more than 5,700 entries - were given to Mormon leaders during a meeting with Michel and others from his organization in Salt Lake City. Afterward, D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the church's leadership group called the Presidency of the Seventy, said the two groups would work toward an arrangement that would not "compromise our core beliefs and practices," while "still addressing the concerns of Jewish leaders." The most recent 1,500 names of Dutch Jews are only a sampling, Radkey said. But the numbers are sufficient to raise questions about whether Jewish names were ever removed from the index, or have been re-entered into the system, which has an estimated 400 million records, she said. She also believes the church is ignoring the "direct ancestor" portion of the agreement. "The sheer volume of entries in the
of Jewish, Yiddish names is overwhelming," said Radkey, who also noted
nearly 1,000 marriage records that raise similar questions. "You can't
have that number of obvious Jewish Holocaust victims and say that all of them
are related to Mormons." Michel said he has a good personal relationship
with Mormon leaders and appreciates that they continue to discuss the issue.
"But they did sign (the agreement) and I think they've regretted it ever
since," Michel said.
2007: Ryan Braun hit his first major league home run with the Milwaukee Brewers.
2007: As part of an escalating wave of violence, a Border Policeman and an Israeli security guard were moderately to seriously wounded this evening when two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli roadblock near the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Saad. The security forces - two security guards and two Border Policemen - were manning the roadblock on the Jerusalem bypass road when they were ambushed by militants. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
2007(9th of Sivan, 5767):: British foreign correspondent Edward Behr, the Parisian native who was the son of Russian Jewish refugees passed away at the age of 81. His wide travels and reporting experiences inspired a number of books, including The Algerian Problem(1961), The Last Emperor (1987), Hirohito: Behind the Myth (1989) and Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite (1991) about the now-fallen Romanian dictator and his wife .He provided a telling look at his own trade with Anyone Here Been Raped and Speaks English? (1981), a query reportedly called out by a British reporter looking for sources during a crisis in Congo.
2008: Today, Texas Rangers All Star second baseman Ian Kinsler knocked one out of the ballpark in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, in the process slugging the 2,500th home run by a Jewish player in the game’s history, according to Jewish Major Leaguers, Inc. The statistic, announced just recently, might seem slightly obscure to those who don’t follow America’s favorite pastime, but true baseball fans appreciate the value of such things. “It took a while to comb through all of Baseball-Reference.com’s box scores,” said JML president Martin Abramowitz in a press release, explaining the three month lag time in publicizing the feat. According to Abramowitz, Jewish players have hit roughly 1% of all home runs in the game’s history, while having a slightly less than 1% representation of all athletes who have played the game. “We’ve clearly held our own,” Abramowitz noted. Hank Greenberg is the Jewish home run king, with 331 dingers. Shawn Green comes in a close second, hitting 328 in his career. It was unclear if Kinsler, who hit the 2,499th Jewish home run a day earlier, was aware of his achievement.
2008(21st of Iyar, 5768): Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like "The Way We Were," "Tootsie" and "Out of Africa" were among the most successful of the 1970s and '80s, passed away today at the age of 73.
2008: Tensions rose between Egypt and Israel when 45 elderly Jews, most of whom were born in Egypt, were forced to cancel their four-day trip to Egypt
2008: Memorial Day observed. The National Museum of American Jewish Military featured a Memorial Day tribute to those Jewish servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. http://www.nmajmh.org/docs/jahm08/May%2026%20Memorial%20Day.pdf
2009: The 92nd Street Y presents “Women’s Prominence, Women’s Femininity: From Biblical Times to Today” during which Israeli novelist Eva Etzioni-Halevy, the author of the novels “The Song of Hannah,” “The Garden of Ruth” and “The Triumph of Deborah,” and Maggie Anton, the author of the Rashi’s Daughters series, engage in a spirited conversation about Biblical women who broke through the glass ceiling and the lessons we can learn from them today. Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of “Rashi’s Daughters, Book I: Joheved,” “Rashi’s Daughters, Book II: Miriam,” and for younger readers, “Rashi’s Daughter: Secret Scholar.”
2009: For the first time since its founding, the Knesset is officially marking today as Yiddish Language and Culture Day. A Yiddish-Hebrew Knesset lexicon was released for the occasion. The date for the parliamentary nod to Yiddish, a language once spoken by more than 12 million Jews, was selected to mark 150 years since the birth of the Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem. This past week was also the 20th anniversary of the founding of Yiddishshpiel, Tel Aviv's all-Yiddish theater. The day's events include a joint meeting of the Knesset's Absorption, Immigration and Diaspora Committee and the Education and Culture Committee to discuss Yiddish culture. The Knesset is also holding a special session to discuss the place of Yiddish in modern Israeli society. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Minister of Pensioners Affairs Leah Ness are delivering the main speeches of the session. Ahead of the unique Knesset session, a lexicon of the Yiddish translations of several key phrases often used by Israeli parliamentarians was distributed to all Knesset members. A few key phrases from the lexicon that veteran MKs may find useful include:
Ich hob eich nisht geshtert, toshter nisht mir! - "I didn't interrupt you, don't interrupt me!"
Ich ruf eich tzum seder dus ershte mol.... - "I am calling you to order for the first time...."
Ordners, derveitert im fun zal! - "Ushers, remove him from the hall!"
Vehr siz far, zol veilen 'far'. Vehr siz keigen, zol veilen 'keigen'. - "Whoever is in favor, vote 'in
favor'. Whoever is opposed, vote 'opposed'."
2010: Zemer Chai, Washington, DC’s premier Jewish Choir is scheduled to present a concert entitled “Psalm Enchanted Evening” at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
2011: “The Great Kugel Throwdown” is scheduled to take placed at the Washington State Historical Society in Seattle, Washington.
2011: Congress decided tonight that a memorial commemorating US Jewish chaplains who died in battle will be erected at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia,. “This memorial will be a fitting commemoration of 13 chaplains who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation,” bill sponsor Sen. Charles Schumer said.
2011: "Jews, Slavery, and the Civil War" is scheduled to have its final sessions in Charleston, South Carolina.
2011: The JCC in Manhattan is scheduled to present an evening with Eran Zur& Korin Alal, two of the freshest musical voices in Israeli culture.
2011: Gail Barnum, daughter of Joel and Amy Barnum, Natalee Birchansky, daughter of Lee and Cyndie Birchansky and Marissa Carson, daughter of Bill and Laura Carson, each of whom is part the Temple Judah “family” are scheduled to graduate from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, IA this evening.
2011: Benjamin Levin, son of David R. Levin graduated from Harvard Law School making him the third generation of Levin Lawyers!
2011(22nd of Iyar, 5771): Eighty-nine year old dental expert Irwin D. Mandel passed away. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
2011: The New York Mets announced that David Einhorn had agreed to buy a minority share of the baseball team for $200 million
2011: David Einhorn called for Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, to step down after Microsoft had been passed by both IBM and Apple in market value
2011: Elaine’s the restaurant that the late Elaine Kaufman turned into a New York icon will close tonight.
2011: Vermont Governor Peter Elliot Shumlin “signed a bill to establish a state health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act and to develop future universal insurance coverage for all residents, making Vermont the first state to initiate a plan for single-payer health care.”
2012(5th of Sivan, 5772): Erev of Shavuot
2012(5th of Sivan, 5772): “Award-winning author, teacher, mentor and fierce fighter for social justice, Ellen Levine” passed away today.
2012: The Chabad Center of Rechavia, 8 Ramban Street is scheduled to host a traditional all-night learning session as part of the Shavuot celebration.
2012: Can Bonomo “placed seventh” singing “Love Me Back” as Turkey’s representative in the Eurovision Song Contest of 2012.
2012: The Carlebach Minyan of the Old City is scheduled to offer an all-night Shavout learning session.
2012(5th of Sivan): Tessa Cohen, Curtis Litow and Sarah Maikon were confirmed tonight at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2012(5th of Sivan, 5772): Eighty-six year old educator Irving I. Lipskind passed away today.
2013: “Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue” is scheduled to come to an end at the Walters Museum in Baltimore, MD.
2013: The final performance of “Sherlock Holmes” by the late Greg Kramer is scheduled to come to an at The Segal Centre for the Performing Arts.
2013: The IPO is scheduled to perform a special concert with violinist Itshak Perlman
2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Hollywood and Hitler: 1933-1939 by Thomas Doherty, The Guns At Last Light” The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson and ‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America by Naomi Schaefer Riley
2013: Hundreds gathered at Ammunition Hill in the capital this evening to witness the swearing-in of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, the only haredi (ultra-Orthodox) unit in the IDF. The battalion, currently numbering close to 1,000, is responsible for military operations in and around Jenin
2013: A rocket was fired from south Lebanon towards Israel today, Lebanese residents and security sources said, but it was not clear where the rocket landed and there were no immediate reports of damage inside Israel.
2014: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 12 days of performance at the Joyce Theatre, which included two programs that feature Three to Max, a work by Ohad Naharin, the Artistic Director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, and Too Beaucoup by choreographer Sharon Eyal, a former company dancer” is scheduled to come to an end.
2014(26th of Iyar, 5774): Ninety-one year old actress Anna Berger passed away today. (As reported by Daniel E. Slotnik)
2014: A “500-page report authored by historians Martin Kukowski and Rudolf Boch and published today, revealed that German car giant Audi’s predecessor company used slave labourers from concentration camps during World War II on a massive scale, a new report has found.”
2014: Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Grand Mufti, the Dome of the rock, the Western Wall, Mount Herzl Cemetery, Yad Vashem, Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several priests and Christian leaders before departing for Rome this evening.
2014: “The Palestinians will demand that Israel be suspended from soccer’s international association unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognizes the status of the Palestinian Football Association, PFA Chairman Jibril Rajoub threatened today.” (As reported by Avi Isaacharoff)
2014: Pope Francis spent today in Israel visiting the Temple Mount, Yad Vashem, a terror victims’ memorial and other sites, as well as holding meetings with Israeli leaders and others. Throughout the day the pontiff prayed and urged for peace in the region.
2015: “The world premiere of the 30 minute musical history of Jews in Rock and Roll by Ben Sidran, musician and author of There was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream” is scheduled to take place at City Winery in New York
2015: “Air raid sirens sounded in towns across southern Israel this evening at 9:02 p.m, as the IDF confirmed that at least one Grad rocket fired from Gaza struck near the community of Gan Yavneh, near Ashdod.” (As reported by Ari Soffer)
2015: “Journeys” is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum in London.
2015: Ruth Porat, the former chief financial officer of Morgan Stanely is scheduled to begin serving as Google’s CFO today.
2018: This evening the 14th St Y is scheduled to host the penultimate performance of Hanoch Levin’s “The Labor of Life.”