Thursday, April 20, 2017

This Day, April 21, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


April 21

753 BCE: According to tradition, on this date Romulus and Remus founded Rome.  Considering the impact that Rome would have on the Jewish people this date is worth noting. 

586: Ricard I became King the Visigoth King of Hispania.  “A year later converted from Arianism to Catholicism, which changed the nature of life in Iberia in the same way that Constantine's conversion had changed things in the Roman Empire. Recared approved the Third Council of Toledo's move in 589 to forcibly baptize the children of mixed marriages between Jews and Christians. Toledo III also forbade Jews from holding public office, from having intercourse with Christian women, and from performing circumcisions on slaves or Christians. Still, Recared was not entirely successful in his campaigns: not all Visigoth Arians had converted to Catholicism; the unconverted were true allies of the Jews, oppressed like themselves, and Jews received some protection from Arian bishops and the independent Visigothic nobility.”

629: Emperor Heraclius marched into Jerusalem at the head of his army. Heraclius was head of the Eastern Roman Empire.  During the fifth and sixth centuries the Christian rulers tried to make life for Jews in Palestine as difficult as possible.  Heraclius was defeated by the Persians and the Jews sided with the Persians who were viewed as liberators.  The joy was short lived as the Christians re-took the land from the Persians and punished the Jews severely.  Ultimately all of this matter very little since the Arabs would soon appear in Palestine and Islam would become the dominate force.

1073: Pope Alexander II passed away. In 1063, Pope Alexander II had given his blessing to Iberian Christians in their wars against the Muslims, granting both a papal standard and an indulgence to those who were killed in battle. This was another act in the battle between Moslems and Christians for control of Spain.  The Jews were caught in the middle and their fortunes fluctuated over the centuries.  In hindsight, this was really just one more step in the long path that led to the expulsion in 1492.

1481(13th of Iyar, 5241): Jews of Seville burned at the stake

1499: The New Christians, including those who had been forcibly baptized, are forbidden to leave Portugal.

1506: Three days of anti-Semitic rioting ends in Lisbon, Portugal where two thousand Jews were killed by the mobs.

1509: Henry VII, King of England passed away.  Henry negotiated the marriage between his son, the Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain (the monarchs who had expelled the Jews from Spain).  One of the terms of the marriage was that the Jews would never be allowed to return to England.  If Henry had not agreed to this term, the marriage would not have taken place. 

1574: Fifty-four year old Cosimo de’ Medici whose record regarding the Jews was a mixed bag passed away today. On the one hand in “1551 he had issued an invitation to merchants from the Levant, including Jews, to settle in Tuscany and do business there and in 1557 he gave asylum to Jewish refugees from the Papal States while refusing to implement the anti-Jewish restrictions issued by Pope Paul IV “or to hand over the Jews to the Inquisition.  On the other hand, “he yielded to Papal pressure” ordering the burning of the Talmud and “rigorously applying the requirement the Jews wear the distinctive ‘Jews Badge.’” (Jewish Virtual Library)

1585(22nd of Nisan, 5345): Sixteenth century Salonica born Rabbi Moses ben Joseph di Trani (Mabit) passed away in Safed.

1619: Shlomo Ephraim ben Aaron Luntschitz, who was born at Lenczyk in 1550 and who studied with Solomon Luria in Lublin before being appointed rabbi of Prague in 1604 passed away today

1649: The Toleration Act was passed by the Maryland Assembly. It protected Roman Catholics within the American colony against Protestant harassment, which had been rising as Oliver Cromwell's power in England increased.  Maryland had been founded under the Catholic Calvert family.  They were trying to create a refuge for English Catholics.  The Jews benefited from what was a clash between different branches of Christianity.

1729: Birthdate of Catherine the Great, Tsarina of Russia from 1762 to 1796.   Under Catherine, Russia took part in the three-way partition of Poland which gave Russia its large Jewish population.  At first, her treatment of her new Jewish subjects was fairly tolerant.  She saw them as an economic asset.  But in her later years she succumbed to the demands of Christian merchants and began to tighten the noose around the neck of the Jews.  In the end, she laid the groundwork for the creation of what came to be known as The Pale of Settlement.

1805: Birthdate of Sir Culling Eardley Eardley, 3rd baronet, a Christian evangelical who was, on his mother’s side of the family, the great-grandson of Jewish financier Sampson Gideon and a financial support of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway.

1808: The name of Raphael Bischoffsheim was included on a list dated today that “included…the twenty-five foremost Jews” in the city of Mayence. The authorities were to chose the representatives for Napoleon’s Sanhedrin from the names on that list.  Born in 1773, at Bischofsheim-on-the-Tauber, he went to Mayence during the French Revolution, and from a small merchant became a purveyor to the army. Bischoffsheim was president of the Jewish community of Mayence prior to his death in 1814.

1818(15th of Nisan, 5578): Pesach

1822(30th of Nisan, 5582): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1833: In London James Graham Lewis and his wife gave birth to George Lewis who would become a successful lawyer known to posterity as Sir George Henry Lewis, 1st Baronet

1836: Texans under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto which resulted in Mexican recognition of the Republic of Texas. Among the Jews who served with Houston was Dr. Albert Moses Levy, the Surgeon in Chief for this fledgling force.  Adolphus Sterne was a friend of Houston from their days in Tennessee and he helped raise funds for the Texans.

1840: Birthdate of Asher (Arthurd) Simhah Weissmann, the native of Galicia who served as director of two different Jewish schools before settling in Vienna where he pursued a literary career that included workds on “cremation according to the Bible and Talmud” and “the canonization of the of the Books of the TaNach.”

1843: Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III (the one who lost the 13 colonies) who “became a Patron of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to become the charity known as Norwood” and who supported legislation to remove “the civil liabilities of Jews” passed away toda

1846: Formation of the United Order of True Sisters

1858: As of this date, records show that the Association for the Free Distribution of Matzos to the Poor had spent a grand total of $691.87 to ensure that indigent Jews would have unleavened bread to celebrate the recently completed Passover holiday.

1860: An article entitled “From Southern Africa” published today reported that “The Jews of the Cape had subscribed £183 for the benefit of their suffering brethren in Morocco. Where is the place in the wide world to which the Jew does not penetrate?”

1860: A letter to the editor published today from a former prizefighter recounts the history of pugilism in England and the United. It included the following positive description of Jewish skill in the ring. ‘”In spite of their muscle, their undoubted courage, and admitted pugnacity, no Irishman has ever long held a distinguished place in the Ring. The Jews, on the other hand, not famous for any of these qualities, have always, from the days of Menodoza and Aby Belasco, had a good position, and like their great countryman, Judas Maccabeus, have "made battles and been renowned in the uttermost part of the earth." [Mendoza is the 18th century British fighter Daniel Mendoza.  Belasco was a well known fighter in “the post Mendoza era.”]

1861: It was reported today that in his study of the synchronisms of ancient Assyrian and Egyptian History, Sir Henry Rawlinson has discovered “the first clear account of a conflict between the Egyptians and the Assyrians occurs in the reign of Sargon, (B.C. 721- 702,) who was, as we know from the Bible, the King who carried away the Jews captives from Samaria.”

1864(15th of Nisan, 5624); First day of Pesach

1864: Isaac J. Levy, a Confederate Soldier serving with the 46th Virginia Infantry participated in a Seder at Adams Run South Carolina.  Levy would later admit that he was confused as to the date of the start of the holiday.  (As an example of the confusion that can take place in reporting events, Abraham Bloch described Levy as being a Union soldier)

1864: Birthdate of Max Weber.  Born in Germany, Weber was one of the fathers of modern sociology.  He was also a noted economist and historian. "Weber was among those who believed that modern capitalism was the product of religious notions, variously termed the Protestant work ethic and the Calvinist salvation panic...He also believed that Jewish businessmen, like Calvinist ones, tended to operate most successfully when they had left their traditional religious environment."   Obviously, some of his ideas are open to debate based on historical evidence.  But he was an intellectual giant regardless of whether or not you agree with his theories.  He passed away in 1920.

1865(21st of Nisan, 5625): Seventh Day of Pesach

1865: In Albany, NY, the Argus published an account of Rabbi Max Schlesinger’s talk at Temple Anshe Emeth expressing his feelings about the assassination of President Lincoln and the decision of Congregation to hold services three times on the day of Lincoln’s funeral, “first at 6 a.m. for morning prayers, at 10 a.m. for a sermon by Rabbi Gotthold and at 6 p.m. for evening prayers.”

1865(21st of Nisan, 5625): Twenty-five year old Victorine Kann, the first wife of Sir George Lewis died today shortly after having given birth to their daughter Alice Victorine Lewis.

1870(20th of Nisan, 5630): Sixth day of Pesach

1871(30th of Nisan, 5631): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1871: In New York, Bernard Werner and his wife gave birth to lithographer Simon Werner, the Paris trained artist whose “drawings and illustrations” appeared in many popular magazines including Harper’s and Ladies’ Home Journal and whose paintings were “exhibited at the National Academy of Design.”

1880: In New York, Matilde (de Perkiewicz) and Max Liebling gave birth to soprano Estelle Liebling, one of the most influential teachers of singing in America

1880: In Prague, Barbara / Babette Bondy and Jakob Bondy gave birth to Bertha Fried

1880: Benjamin Disraeli completed his second and final term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1881(22nd of Nisan, 5641): 8th day of Pesach

1881(22nd of Nisan, 5641): “Jurist, publicist and scholar, Wolfgang Wessely who had been born in Moravia in 1801 passed away today in Vienna

1882: Based on information first published in The Allegemeine Zeitung, it was reported today that troops in the Russian city of Balte joined in the plundering of the Jewish population instead of protecting it. Forty Jews were injured in the riots, an unknown number of which later died.  A thousand homes were destroyed and damage is estimated to be in excess of 4,500,000 rubles.

1883(14th of Nisan, 5643): Shabbat HaGadol; Erev Pesach

1884: Three men were arrested tonight in Nashville, TN on charges that they took part in the assault that left a Jewish citizen named Meyer Friedman beaten to death.

1884: The Board of Estimate and Apportionment met today and awarded funds to a variety of charitable institutions including the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York ($8,500),   Mount Sinai Hospital and Dispensary (4,250) and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews (1,820).

1884: The New York Times reported on the plans being developed by the Jewish community to celebrate the 100th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore which will take place in October.  Leaders of the community are calling for the establishment of Home for Chronic Invalids named in the philanthropist’s honor.  In addition to raising funds to construct the building, the community will have to raise $20,000 a year to operate the home.

1886: It was reported today that oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller has gone to New York to meet with those holding the mortgage on the University of Chicago.  Rockefeller has taken an interest in creating a course that will lead to solvency for the school provided that Professor H.L. Harper would be named President of the school. Harper’s area of academic expertise is the Hebrew language of which he is a professor.  At this point in America, the only people interested in Hebrew were a handful of Jews and academics teaching Biblical topics at Protestant dominated colleges.

1886(16th of Nisan, 5646): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

1889: A report published today described the transformation of a German Jewish intellectual named Emin Bey into Emin Pasha a Moslem leader ruling over a large swath of central Africa.  Much of the information was supplied by Henry Stanley, the same man who “found” Dr. Livingston.

1890(1st of Iyar, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1890: Lucie Hadamard, married Alfred Dreyfus.

1890: Alfred Dreyfus is accepted at the Ecole Superiore de Guerre (Superior War College), the prestigious French military school designed to train the elite members of the French officer corps.  Dreyfus will graduate 9th in his class but his final evaluation will be marred by the entries of an anti-Semitic French general.

1891: Rosa Gombesky a young Russian Jewish immigrant who jumped from a fires-escape to the street when the tenement at 194 Henry Street caught fire is being treated at Gouverneur Hospital for the serious injuries she has suffered.

1892: “A Moorish Jew, Joseph MIzrachee” was sentenced to 10 years for shooting Henry Pereira Mendes, the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel.

1892: “Typhus Among the Russian Jews” published today described efforts by the Germans from preventing infected Russians from crossing the border.

1893: The Austrian Premier has informed the American government that it will not grant diplomatic recognition to Max Judd, the St. Louis Jew, whom President Grover Cleveland appointed as Counsel General for the United States at Vienna.

1893: “Jewish Ministers Aroused” published today described the action being taken by Christian organizations to convert Jews and the response of the Jewish community including that of Temple Beth Israel’s Rabbi Lustiwig who said “The trouble is that we have provided sufficient instruction for our people in the Jewish faith. The introduction of Friday night and Sunday night lectures to take the pace of Saturday services has done no good to Judaism.  While it may be well enough to have lectures at other times than Saturdays, we should above all other things observe Saturday and all of our synagogues should be supplied with minsters who will impress upon the people the importance of Bible subjects.” (Editor’s note – This was from a reform rabbi at a Reform Temple) 

1894(15th of Nisan, 5654): Pesach

1895: Professor Felix Adler delivered a lecture on “The Ten Commandments: at Carnegie Hall” this morning

1895: “The Trustees of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, which is controlled by the Hebrew Benevolent Society, held their annual meeting” this morning.

1895: “Care of Hebrew Orphans” published today described the origins and growth of Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum which opened its doors fifteen years ago.

1896(7th of Iyar, 5656): Baron Maurice de Hirsch passed away at his estate in Pressburg, Hungary.  While the name of Baron Hirsch may be unfamiliar to many living in the 21st century, he was one of the great philanthropists his time.  The Baron (and he really was a Baron) was part of an established, extremely wealthy family.  The Baron funded a variety of charities many of which were designed to provide relief for the sufferings Jews of Russia and Eastern Europe.  He donated great sums to establish agricultural communities in North and South America including Argentina, Canada and rural areas of the United States. 

1896: Oscar S. Straus, who had served as U.S. Minister to Turkey told a reporter from the New York Times that “It was my good fortune to enjoy the personal acquaintance of Baron de Hirsch and my recollections of him, while tinged with sorrow at his sudden death, are of the pleasantest kind.

1896: Léon Say, who had worked on the on the Northern Railway Company which was owned by his friend Alphonse de Rothschild and who had supported Rothschild’s fight to maintain bimetallism while serving as Minister of Finance passed away today.

  1898: As the United States and Spain drifted into war after the sinking of the Maine, “Spain severed diplomatic relations with the United States and the U.S. Navy began a blockade of Cuba.” Fifteen of the sailors who died on the Battleship Maine were Jewish.  Approximately 5,000 Jews served as volunteers in the military during the war.  A sixteen year old Jewish trooper was the first casualty among Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders

1899: “Dreyfus Case Evidence” published today summarized the 24 columns of coverage The Figaro devoted to the coverage of “testimony offered before the Court of Cassation in the Dreyfus revision inquiry” including the statement by Major Forzinetti who was the Director of the Chereche-Midi Prison in 1894 that “Dreyfus consistently and persistently protested his innocence” and declared “that his only crime was in having been born a Jew.”

1903: Herzl arrived in London as he continued to his quest to get support from leading British political leaders and prominent English Jews for a Jewish homeland.

1905(18th of Nisan, 5665): Meyer Kayserling a German-born rabbi who held pulpits in Switzerland and Hungary passed away in Budapest. Born in 1829, Kayersling was a noted historian and prolific author.

1909(30th of Nisan, 5669): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1909(30th of Nisan, 5669): Eighty year old Edward Salomon, the 8th governor of the state of Wisconsin passed away today.

1912: Rabbi Stephen Wise, assisted by Rabbi Emil Hirsch of Chicago, is scheduled to lead a memorial service at Carnegie Hall this morning honoring those who lost their lives when the Titanic sank.

1912: In speaking about the sinking of the Titanic, Rabbi Joseph Silverman says, “"Not God was responsible for this great disaster but the imperfection of human knowledge and judgment."

1913: Tonight Reverend Thomas M. Chalmers of the Jewish Evangelical Society refused to comment on his application “for a license to preach for the conversion of Jews to Christianity” on street corners in the sections of Manhattan, Brownsville and Brooklyn that have large Jewish populations or on tMayor William J. Gaynor’s letter rejecting his request.  In his letter rejecting the petition Gaynor wrote, “Do you not think the Jews have a good religion?  Have not the Christians appropriated the entire Jewish sacred scriptures?  Was not the New Testament also written entirely written by Jews?  Was not Jesus also born of the Jewish race, if I may speak of it with due reverence?  Did not we Christians get much or the most of what we have from the Jews?  Why should anyone work so hard to proselytize the Jew?  His pure belief in the one true living God …is one of the unbroken lineages and traditions of the world.  I do not think I should give you a license to preach for the conversion of the Jews in the streets in the thickly settled Jewish neighborhoods which you designate.  Would you not annoy them and do more harm than good?” Gaynor had studied in a seminary as a young man.  He was a pillar of the community who surprised everybody by standing up to the corruption of Tammany Hall. 

 1913(14th of Nisan, 5673): “Feast of Passover Begins This Evening” published in the New York Times reports that at sunset this evening, the celebration of Pesach, the Feast of the Passover, will begin in the Jewish households throughout the world. Pesach is the Spring festival of the Jews, and was specially ordained to commemorate the providential deliverance of the children of Israel from the bondage in which they had been held for many years under the Pharaohs of Egypt.”

1913(14th of Nisan, 5673):The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will be holding a seder tonight beginning at 7 o’clock which will be attended by many of the soldiers and sailors stationed at nearby forts and naval yards.

1913(14th of Nisan, 5673): Sixty-nine year old Isaac Aronwitz was the youngest person and 109 year old Ettel Polansky was the oldest person at the seder held at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob on East Broadway.

1915(7th of Iyar, 5675): Eighty-one year old Abraham Berliner who served as professor of Jewish history and literature at Israel Hildesheimer’s Yeshiva in Berlin while publishing an acclaimed edition of Rashi’s commentary on the Pentateuch and bringing new life to the Mikitze Nirdamin, “a society for the publication of old Hebrew books and manuscripts that were either never published or long out of print” passed away today. 

1915: In London, Sarah and Abraham Goodman Jacobs gave birth to Henry Jacobs

1915: Seventy Jews from Palestine arrived in Alexandria. They described the conditions in Jerusalem as terrible, with many people dying from starvation. An eyewitness account from the village of Mea She’arim in Jerusalem tells of the conditions:

"My God…I never imagined that such wretched poverty really exists and that there really are such dark and filthy corners…. old men and women bloated with hunger. Children with an expression of horror, the devastation of hunger written on their faces…" This is an example of how the fate of the Jewish homeland was tied up in the game of international power politics.  Palestine was part of the Turkish Empire.  The Turks were at war with the Allies including the British who sought to take Palestine as a way to defend the Suez Canal; the French who wanted colonies in that part of the Turkish Empire that is now Syria and Lebanon; and the Russians who wanted to take control of the Dardanelles and the Black Sea away from the Turks. A large percentage of the Jewish population in Palestine had Russian origins.  While many of the Jews in Palestine were willing to fight on the side of the Turks, the Turks viewed the Jews as Russians or English sympathizers.  There was more than a little truth to the Turkish view of things.  At any rate, as the war dragged on, the Turks worked to make life miserable for the Jews and the Jews became more sympathetic to the Allied cause.

1916(18th of Nisan, 5676): Fourth Day of Pesach

1916: Dr. S. M. Melamed said today that The American Jewish Chronicle, a soon to published new publication, said today it “would not in any sense be pro-German, but that it would give all the news of Jewry without reference to race or religious differences.”

1916: It was reported today that one women in Kansas City have each pledged “to donate a dollar a month to the Women’s Division of the Central Jewish Relief Committee” for as longs the World War lasts.

1916: Today, in New York, “County Clerk Schneider received a letter from Louis Schaffer, manager of the Naturalization Aid League” in which he wrote “Permit us to thank you for the very splendid arrangements your office made for the Passover week in order to accommodate the hundreds of Jews in this city who applied for naturalization papers.”

1917(29th of Nisan, 5677): Parashat Shmini

1917: Rabbi M.H. Harris is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Work That Is Blessed” at Temple of Israel Harlem.

1917: Dr. Enelow is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “God’s Dwelling Place” at Temple Emanu-El

1917: Birthdate of Emanuel Vardi.  Born in Jerusalem Israel, Vardi became a world-class violist who was featured with the San Diego Symphony from 1978 to 1982.

1917: A report published today from the Central Committee of the Bund in St. Petersburg concluded by saying “With one blow the Russian revolution has conquered Czarism, abolished all restrictions and opened a new page in Jewish history.  The liberation of the Jewish nation is in the faithful hands of the revolutionary Russian nation.”

1918(9th of Iyar, 5678): Lt. Frederick Adolphus Arron who had attended Uppingham and then Cambridge before enlisting died today while serving with the Royal Field Artillery.

1918: World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as "The Red Baron", is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France. Despite rumors to the contrary, the Red Baron was not Jewish.  According to film based on his life, one of his close friends was a Jewish pilot named Friedrich Sternberg who was shot down and killed during the war.  This would have made Sternberg one of over a hundred pilots who flew for the Kaiser during the Great War. Ironically, Richtofen’s death would result in Herman Goering, the future Nazi Number Two and head of the Luftwaffe, taking command of what was left of the famed Flying Circus.

1918: Dr. Schulman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The War and American Ideals” at Temple Bethel.

1918:Dr. Isaac Alcalay, the Chief Rabbi of Serbia, is scheduled to deliver a talk on “The Jews of Serbia and of the Allied Countries” at Temple Emanu-El.

1918: At the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall, Dr. Wise is scheduled to speak on “Why the World’s Woe, Where the World’s Comfort? The Answer of Job.”

1918: Dr. Lissman is scheduled to serve as the Master of Ceremonies at the installation ceremony of Maxwell Sacks as Rabbi at Temple Israel of Washington Heights

1918: Birthdate of Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandchild of Theodore Herzl.

1919(21st of Nisan, 5679): Seventh Day of Pesach

1919: In New York, the East Side is expected “secure $100,000,000 in subscriptions during the Victory Liberty Loan campaign opening today.

1920(3rd of Iyar, 5680): Seventy-eight year old Silesian born American artist Henry Mosler best known for his illustrations and the paintings of the Civil War passed away today in New York City.

1922: Final publication of The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger.

1924: Birthdate of MGM executive Daniel Melnick, who was producer of the television comedy hit, Get Smart

1925: In Little Rock, AR, Jesse Heiman and his wife gave birth to Max Adolph Heiman, the brother of Rose Heiman and Robert Jesse Heiman.

1926: Zeta Beta Tau fraternity announced today that “Rabbi Stephen S. Wise has been awarded the Gottheil medal ‘for distinguished service to the cause of Judaism.

1926: In Manhattan, Laurence Mayer and the former Mildred Miller gave birth to Roger Laurance Mayer a film executive who was instrumental in preserving and restoring countless classic movies and who owed his career, in a strange twist to anti-Semitism since he turned to movie production work only after having been turned down by several L.A. law firms because he was Jewish.

1927: In Manhattan, Isidor Brokaw, a lawyer who was wiped out in the Great Depression and the former Marie Hyde gave birth to Norman Robert Brokaw, the head of William Morris and driving force in the entertainment industry.

1927: Birthdate of Robert Brustein, Dean of the Yale School of Drama.

1928: “The Passion of Joan of Arc” a silent biopic based on the Joan’s trial filmed by cinematographer Rudolph Maté was released in Denmark today.

1930: Hank Greenberg made his major league baseball debut.

1931: Brooklyn outfielder Max Rosenfeld made his major league baseball debut.

1932: In Philadelphia, PA, “theater director/actor Jack Berlin and actress Ida (Aaron) Berlin” gave birth to Elaine Iva Berlin who gained fame as writer, director and comedian Elaine May.

1932: Birthdate of “Daniel Melnick, a producer and studio executive who brought an innovative and often unconventional sensibility to films that included “Straw Dogs,” “All That Jazz” and “Altered States.”

1932(15th of Nisan, 5692): On the first day of Pesach Rabbi Rosenbaum of Temple Israel and Rabbi Katz of Montefiore Hebrew Congregation tied the current economic crisis to the themes of Passover.  Katz said that today, the entire social and economic structure is falling and that a return to the Mosaic system offers a source of salvation.  After gaining their freedom, the Jews were taught that periodically “they must emancipate those elements in the population who, because of lack of foresight or ability lose their status as self-supporting and self-respecting men, who, in other words relinquish their freedom because of economic compulsion.”  We must adopt a modern version of the Mosaic codes which in ancient times called for periodic redistribution of the land and those who sold themselves because of debt were freed.

1933: The slaughter of animals according to the rules of Kashrut was banned by the Nazis in Germany.  Nazi propaganda portrayed Jewish slaughtering customs as treating animals in an inhumane way.  Yes, the people who would butcher six million of our co-religionists actually hid behind the animal rights’ movement.  There were many Jewish butchers who defied the law as long as possible and continued to supply kosher meat to their observant customers.

1933: King Christian X of Denmark attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Crystal Synagogue in Copenhagen to demonstrate his sympathy for the Jews. This is the same King Christian who is the hero of a famous "urban legend."  According to the story he wore a Yellow Star during the war in support of his Jewish subjects.  While Christian showed great fortitude by staying with his people during the war and while the Danes protected their Jewish fellow citizens, the story of the star is a myth.  In fact, most of the Jews were not required to wear the star.  The important thing is the lengths to which the Danes went to protect the Jews.  If others had done as much, the Shoah would not have happened.

1933:  “According to a cable message received today by The Jewish Morning Journal” in New York, “Baruch Schwartz, noted Jewish educator passed away at the age of 72 in Tel Aviv.  Born in the Ukraine, Schwartz was an early member of the Zionist movement.  His greatest contribution was his work to modernize the Hebrew language and the development of simplified methods of teaching what had been considered to be a “dead language.”  Schwartz made Aliyah in 1923 and had completed three volumes of his memoirs before he passed away. 

1934: In Vienna, Emmanuel and Lilly (Hillel) gave birth to Michael Shinagel who “grew up to be the longest-serving dean in Harvard’s 380-year history.

1934:  Moe Berg, catcher for the Washington Senators, played his 117th consecutive game without an error, setting a record for his position.  Moe Berg is one of the strangest and most fascinating of all baseball players.  Born to Russian immigrant parents on the Lower East Side in 1902, Berg graduated from Princeton magna cum laude with the ability to speak seven languages.  He also played shortstop for the Tigers.  Berg played for five teams during a fifteen year career.  He was labeled good field, no hit and was considered a good journeyman player.  What made him unique were his intellectual feats and the legends that surrounded them. He bought numerous papers each day which insisted on being the first to read.  If you grabbed a section of one of his papers before he had read it, he cast the paper aside because it was dead.  In the 1930's, Berg joined an All Star baseball team that made a barnstorming trip to Japan.  Berg was a strange choice since he certainly was not a star.  Beg did not join in the carousing and went off to be by himself.  It was only later, during World War II that people found out what Beg had been doing.  He spoke Japanese.  He wondered around taking pictures of Japan and some of these photographs were used by the Doolittle Raiders in 1942 to help them find their targets when America bombed Japan for the first time.  And this is only the tip of the ice berg or should I say Moe Berg.

1935: It was reported today that New York Governor Lehman has issued an appeal for contribution “to a fund for the relief and rehabilitation of European Jewry” which collecting $3,250,000 nationwide “to help the Jews from Germany and other lands to settle in Palestine.”

1935: In Pittsburgh, PA, “Lena (née Singer), who worked in the family store and volunteered for disabled veterans, and Theodore I. Grodin, who sold wholesale supplies” gave birth to actor and talk show host Charles Grodin.

1936: In Tel Aviv and Jaffa, Arabs riot to protest Jewish immigration to Palestine.  This was the beginning of two years of violence that would not end until 1939. Contrary to popular misconception, these riots were not a spontaneous expression of Arab feelings.  Arab leaders called for a general strike and a rebellion against the Mandate and in an effort to prevent Jewish immigration. Initially 80 Jews were murdered and 308 wounded.  By fall of 1939, over one hundred Jews had been killed in Arab attacks. The official Zionist policy at the time was “Havlagah” (self-restraint). In other words, the Jewish forces acted in self-defense.  They did not go out after their attackers nor did they stage attacks on Arab villages or centers of population.  The Arabs would succeed in their efforts.  In 1939, just prior to the start of World War II, the British government violated the terms of the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration by all but putting an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine and ending the purchase of land by Jews.  The British zealously enforced the ban on immigration which played a helpful role in the success of the Final Solution.

1936:  The funeral for six Jews who were murdered by Arab rioters in Tel Aviv yesterday was held at 6 o’clock this morning at the end of which all were buried in a common grave including one of the victims who was never identified.

1936: “The newspaper the Journal said in an editorial today that the disordered in Palestine between Jews and Arabs were Great Britain’s penalty ‘for supporting the Ethiopians against Italy.’”

1936: “Former Governor Alfred E. Smith, Postmaster General James A. Farley and Senator Royal S. Copeland joined today in an appeal for support for the drive of the Greater New York campaign of the Joint Distribution Committee which is seeking $1,500,000 as this New York City’s share of a $3,500,000 nation-wide fund for the aid of Jews in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe.

1936: Five Arab leaders who met with the British High Commissioner today said, “the rioting had been caused by the government’s refusal to forbid Jewish immigration and by the sale of land to Jews.”

1936: The Jews of Hebron who lived through the riots of 1929 when sixty-two Jews were murdered are now “safely sheltered in the Hadassah Hospital.”

1937: “Rabbi William F. Rosenblum of New York urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject” President Roosevelt’s court program saying “that the supreme judiciary is the rock of ages against which demagoguery and dictatorship alike will be dashed to pieces.”

1937: In Chicago, costume jeweler Sidney Kass and the former Celia Gorman gave birth to Jerome Kass, the author best known for the Emmy nominated “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.”

1938: Germany issued a decree that effectively eliminated Jews from the nation's economy and provides for the seizure of Jewish assets.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that five Arab terrorists were killed when they attacked the Tel Amal police post and the neighboring Jewish settlement. One Arab constable was killed during the attack.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Switzerland demanded that all foreign nationals and in particular Austrian refugees leave the country. The acquisition of land, or even a substantial financial investment could not any more serve as a reason to obtain a permit to remain on the Swiss soil. (This was aimed at Jewish refugees who sought safe haven in supposedly neutral Switzerland.  It is only one example of how the Swiss betrayed the much touted moral high ground of neutrality to ingratiate themselves with the Nazis at the expense of the Jews of Europe.)

1939: In a letter written from Germany to Max Marx in Palestine, Jenny Marx described the family’s desperate condition including Siegmund Mayer’s internment in a concentration, while thanking him for sending a picture of his new fiancée – a measure that seemed to fill her with hope for the future.

1941 (24th of Nisan, 5701):  A mentally ill woman was forced by the sentries to dance by the barbed entrance to the Lodz Ghetto. When she was done they shot her dead. This unfortunate soul perished with no record of her name.  By mentioning the episode, she may remain nameless, but not unremembered. 

1945: In St. Louis, MO, Nathan and Bluma (Rubin) Schwartz gave birth author Howard Schwartz whose efforts have him the Koret Jewish Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award.

1945: In Montreal, Abe Wainberg, a glassware company employee and his wife Fay gave birth to Mark Arnold Wainberg, the microbiologist who played a key role in developing treatment for AID’s patients.

1945: Robert Limpert who had been brutally hung in the Bavarian town of Ansbach for courageously trying to sabotage the Nazis in the waning days of WW II was buried today.

1946 (20th of Nisan, 5706): On the 6th Day of Pesach, five Jews, each of them a concentration-camp survivor, motoring near Nowy Targ, Poland, were stopped at a mock police checkpoint and shot to death. The oldest victim was 35, one was 25, and the remaining three were 22.

1946: The Palestine civil service strike gained new support when “municipal workers in Nazareth and employees of the Trans-Jordan railways walked out in sympathy with the other strikers.”

1948: In “Big Convoy Fights Way To Jerusalem” Dana Adams Schmidt described the attack by the Arabs at Deir Ayoub on the 260 vehicles bring food and other supplies to the besieged Jewish community which last for a full day claiming the lives of five members of the Haganah leaving another twenty four wounded.”

1948: It was reported today “Trans-Jordan’s Arab Legion and other Arab regular armies would soon invade Palestine” and that “the Arab League’s Political Committee had decided to set up a government claiming sovereignty over all of Palestine.”

1948: The British government in Palestine denied that any promises had been made guaranteeing “Jews access to the Wailing Wall…during the” upcoming “Passover festival” – a claim disputed by the Zionists.

1949(22nd of Nisan, 5709): 8th day of Pesach

1951(15th of Nisan, 5711): As UN Forces fight the Chinese and the North Korean forces trying to conquer South Korea, the Jews observe Pesach.

1953: Roy Cohn and G. David Schine, two of Senator Joseph McCarthy's chief aides, recommend the removal of 30,000 books from the libraries of the United States Information Service posts in Europe, including works by Dashiell Hammett, W. E. B. Du Bois, Herman Melville, John Steinbeck and Henry David Thoreau, calling them "pro-Communist.”  Not all Jews, even ones who were New York born lawyers, were liberals.  This also puts the lie to the notion that all Jews were Communists.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that on the occasion of Israel's sixth birthday, the President, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, ordered the release of eight prisoners and reduced the sentences of about a hundred others. Nazareth and Arab villages in Galilee were richly decorated with flags of the State. Arab and Druze notables participated in the Haifa march-past army parade and other celebrations.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that diplomatic steps were taken in an urgent effort to improve the deteriorating conditions on Israeli borders, troubled by a continued infiltration, murder, theft and sabotage.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel accused Egypt of an act of piracy when three Israeli fishing smacks were stopped and searched, in international waters, by an Egyptian corvette.

1954: Danny Kaye was appointed UNICEF's Ambassador at Large, and made a 40,000 mile good-will trip, which resulted in the short, Assignment Children.

1956(10th of Iyar, 5716): Samuel Gottesman, the “Hungarian-born, American pulp-paper merchant, financier and philanthropist” who best known for “the donation of the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls to the State of Israel, where they are housed in the Shrine of the Book” passed away today.1958(1st of Iyar, 5718): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1961: “Israel: The Man in the Cage, an article published” by Time magazine described the events at the Eichmann Trial

1964: Houston Third Baseman Steve Hertz appeared in his first major league baseball game.

1964: “Funeral services” are scheduled “to be held at Temple Rodeph Sholom” today “for Ben Hecht, American-Jewish author, journalist, playwright, and stormy petrel in the Zionist movement, who died suddenly at the age of 70.” (As reported by JTA)

1968: Bernard Gersten, a man who served in many theatrical capacities married a dancer named Cora Cahan.

1969: “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” co-authored by Jerome Lawrence (born Jerome Lawrence Schwartz) opened today for the first time at Ohio State University.

1974: After 538 performances and “two previews” the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” produced by Emanuel Azenberg, directed by Alan Arkin and co-starring Sam Levene as “Lewis” and Jack Albertson as “Clark.”

1976(21st of Nisan, 5736): Seventh Day of Pesach

1976(21st of Nisan, 5736): Seventy-six year old “French director and screenwriter” the native of St. Petersburg, Russia, passed away today in Paris.

1977(3rd of Iyar, 5737): Yom HaAtzma'ut

1977(3rd of Iyar, 5737): Eighty-four year old Gummo [Milton] Marx passed away fifth son Minnie and Sam Marx. Born in either October 1892 or 18993, he is the Marx brother most people do not remember.  Although he and Groucho were the original performers in the family, Gummo left show business to join the Army.  He was replaced by Zeppo.  After the war, Gummo sold dresses and cloth.  He came back to show business, but not as a performer.  He was the agent for his famous brothers. 

1977: The original Broadway production of “Annie” with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charmin opened at the Alvin Theatre today.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Government and the Histadrut reached a mini-package anti-inflation deal, providing for a six-month freeze on taxes, prices and service charges, with an option to be extended for another six months.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli authorities had recently been looking into the possibility of curbing what was termed as an increased partisan activity by the too inquisitive foreign diplomats in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

1979(24th of Nisan, 5739): On Shabbat, in Nahariya, terrorists attacked an apartment building killing four people including two children and injuring four others.

1983: “The Anti-Zionist Committed of the Soviet Public was formed in Moscow to combat Jewish cultural and emigration activities.”

1984(19th of Iyar, 5744): Marcel Janco, Romanian and Israeli visual artist, architect, art theorist and cultural promoter, known as the co-inventor of Dadaism and a leading exponent of Constructivism in Eastern Europe passed away.

1985(30th of Nisan, 5745):  Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1985(30th of Nisan, 5745):  Songwriter and music scout Irving Mills passed away.

1985(30th of Nisan, 5745):  Fashion designer Rudi Gernreich passed away.

1985: The Normal Heart,a largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer” premiered at The Public Theatre in New York City.

1986: “Act of Vengance” an HBO film featuring Ellen Barkin as “Annette Gilly” and Maury Chaykin as “Claude Vealey” was broadcast for the first time.

1987: In today’s “Postscript” German historian Joachim Fest wrote "In its substance, the dispute was initiated by Ernst Nolte's question whether Hitler's monstrous will to annihilate the Jews, judging from its origin, came from early Viennese impressions or, what is more likely, from later Munich experiences, that is, whether Hitler was an originator or simply being reactive. Despite all the consequences that arouse from his answer, Nolte's question was in fact a purely academic exercise. The conclusions would probably not have caused as much controversy if they had been accompanied by special circumstances"

1988(4th of Iyar, 5748) Yom HaAtzma’ut

1988(4th of Iyar, 5748): Sixty-seven year old I.A.L. Diamond screenwriter whose work included “The Apartment” and “Some Like It Hot” passed away today.

1989(16th of Nisan, 5749): Second Day of Pesach; First Day of the Omer

1989: The Price Center, named for Sol Price, the founder of COSTCO who “donated two million dollars for the construction of this student center” at the University of California, San Diego, opened today.

1993: Yiddish theater producer and advocate Dora Wasserman received the Order of Canada, the highest honor bestowed on civilians by the Canadian government. Born in Ukraine in 1920 [some sources say 1919], Wasserman studied at Moscow's Yiddish Art Theatre and acted with the Kiev State Theatre and Kazakhstan State Theatre before Stalinist repression closed down most Yiddish theatres in the Soviet Union. In 1950, she fled the U.S.S.R. with her husband and two young daughters. After stints in Poland and a displaced persons camp in Vienna, Austria, Wasserman and her family arrived in Montreal where she would spend the rest of her life. In Montreal, Wasserman at first taught drama to Jewish schoolchildren, many of them Yiddish-speaking refugees like her, and performed as a singer, pianist, and guitarist. After six years, she formed the Yiddish Drama Group, an adult amateur ensemble that later became the Yiddish Theatre and then was renamed the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre. The Group's first production, The Innkeeper, was staged in 1957. Although her troupe was not made up of professional actors, Wasserman insisted on a high level of both performance and dedication and was rewarded with the loyalty of her actors and the high praise of critics and fans. The more than 70 plays she directed over four decades earned her the title of grande dame of the Yiddish theatre. Among the Yiddish Theatre's productions were classics by well-known Yiddish writers like Sholom Aleichem and Sholem Asch; modern works translated into Yiddish for her company, like Montreal playwright Michel Tremblay's classic Les Belles Soeurs (the Sisters-in-Law); and new works written especially for her troupe. The most successful of these was A Bintel Brief, based on immigrants' letters to the advice column of the Jewish Daily Forward. Tremblay called her production of Les Belles Soeurs the best interpretation in any foreign language. Wasserman's theatre reached an audience beyond the population of native Yiddish-speakers, which grew smaller with each passing decade. She believed that, "if [a play] is good, you will feel it. You don't need to understand the language on the stage." Still by providing supertitles in English and French, the Theatre's works became accessible to a wide audience in Quebec, and on tours in Israel, the United States, Austria, and Russia. In addition, Wasserman traveled frequently to Jewish schools to lead extracurricular programs designed to instill a love of both theatre and Yiddish. These programs reached some 3,000 students each year. In 1973, the troupe moved to the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal, where it is now the only permanent resident Yiddish theatre in North America. It is also one of only four Yiddish theatres in the world – the others are in New York, Warsaw, and Tel Aviv. Wasserman passed leadership of the theatre to her daughter, Bryna Wasserman, in 1996, after a disabling stroke. The elder Wasserman died in 2003. Her headstone in a Montreal cemetery reads, "with love and magic, Dora founded the miracle of Yiddish Theatre in Montreal, a bridge to the Jewish people's continuity."

1994(10th of Iyar, 5754): Officer cadet Shahar Simani , age 20, of Ashkelon, was found stabbed to death near the roadside at the village of Beit Hanina , north of Jerusalem . He had been kidnapped while hitchhiking in the south.

1995(21st of Nisan, 5755): Seventh Day of Pesach

1995: “While You Were Sleeping” a comedy directed by Jon Turteltaub, produced by Roger Birnbaum and Joe Roth and with music by Randy Edelman was released today in the United States.

1996: The New York Times published an article entitled “Modern Holocaust Memorial: Thesis of Victim on Internet” that tells the story of Esther Hautzig’s very personal, very innovative efforts to insure that the life of her Uncle Ela-Chaim Cuzner will be remembered.

1997(14th of Nisan, 5757): Ta’anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

1997(14th of Nisan, 5757)): Ninety-two year old Herbert Zipper, the composer and conductor who survived Dachau and co-composed “the Dachau Song” passed away today.

1998: “We’ve Never Heard of You, Either” the first major album for Evan and Jaron was released today.

1999(5th of Iyar, 5759): Final Yom HaAtzma’ut celebration of the 20th century.

2001(28th of Nisan, 5761): Dr. Mario Goldin, 53, of Kfar Sava, was killed when a terrorist detonated a powerful bomb he was carrying near a group of people waiting at a bus stop on the corner of Weizman and Tchernichovsky streets. About 60 people were injured in the blast. Hamas claimed responsibility.

2001(28th of Nisan, 5761): Thirty-eight year old Stanislav Sandomirsky was murdered by an unknown terrorist north of Ramallah today following which his body was “mutilated.”

2001: The 2001 NFL Draft in which Sage Rosenfels was drafted by  the Washington Redskins began today.

2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently published paperback edition of “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” by Rick “The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount” by Gershom Gorenberg in which the “ senior editor and columnist for The Jerusalem Post examines the incendiary mix of religious groups -- Arab, Jewish and fundamentalist Christians -- that view the destiny of the sacred Temple Mount as crucial to their apocalyptic faith.”

2002: Official end of Operation Defensive Shield, the Israeli response to Arab terrorism that culminated with the murder of 30 people during a Seder.

2003: Seventy year old singer/song stylists and civil rights activist Nina Simone,who brought her own unique style to the singing of “Eretz Zavat Halav” and who recorded “Strange Fruit” written by a Jewish songwriter about lynchings in the South on her 1965 album Pastel Blues” passed away today

2003: An Israeli intelligence officer identified only as “Colonel K” gave a lecture today predicting that Hezbollah had shore-to-sea missiles in its possession.

2003: In the United Kingdom, “Rififi” directed by Jules Dassin was released on DVD by Arrow Films

2005: Ivri Lider performed in Tel Aviv where he was joined by Rita, Berry Sakharof, and Assaf Amdursky.

2005(12th of Nisan, 5765):  Fast of the Firstborn.

2005: Premiere of “Fathers and Sons” featuring Linda Edelstein and Mordecai Finley.

2006(23rd of Nisan, 5766): The Brit of Joshua Larry Rosenstein, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Rosenstein and the grandson of Larry and Judy Rosenstein (of blessed memory) takes place in New York City.

2006: President Bush proclaims May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

2007: Sara Paretsky, creator of the V.I. Warshawski novels, takes part in a book reading and book signing in Forest Park, Illinois.  Ms. Paretsky is an outspoken critic of the powers the Patriot Act.  Despite threats from a variety of sources, she reported that she found the courage to speak out because of her Jewish heritage.  Silence had enabled those who made the Holocaust and she was not going to be threatened into silence.   

2007:  An exhibition entitled “Otot” featuring the works of Yosef Halevi opens at the Meirov Municipal Art Gallery in Holon. Halevi won the then-coveted Diezengoff Prize in 1962.

2008(16th of Nisan, 5768): Second Day of Pesach, First Day of the Omer – 5768.

2009(27th of Nisan, 5769): Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

2009: In Cedar Rapids, Holocaust Survivor Irene Furst speaks at Mt. Mercy College. Irene Furst, at 87, still travels the country to tell her story because it’s one she doesn’t want to be forgotten. Furst is a Holocaust survivor. She fears that as the survivors die, so, too, will their stories.
 “I don’t know what will happen when all the survivors will be gone,” Furst said. “My children’s generation would still probably remember and talk about it, but I don’t know what will happen after that. The Jewish people will not forget, but I don’t know about everyone else.”   Furst, a native of Poland, spent six years in three locations during the Holocaust. These included the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp. She celebrated her 18th birthday shortly after being detained in the first ghetto, in 1939, and wasn’t liberated until May 1945. After the war, she met her future husband, who had been imprisoned in Latvia. They came to the United States in 1947. Furst tells her story not only to keep the memories going but to help ensure the event won’t be repeated.
 “It should never happen again,” she said. “Germans wanted a final solution to the number of Jews. They wanted to kill all the Jews. “It’s important to know that one race can hate another so badly that they wanted to kill them,” she said.  Her visit to Cedar Rapids is funded through the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund.

2009:  A Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) ceremony takes place this evening at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. The ceremony involves participants of different faiths and backgrounds, and includes a candle-lighting to pay tribute to the victims, liberators and rescuers of the Holocaust, as well as victims of other genocides. The event was organized in collaboration with the Sons of Jacob Synagogue of Waterloo.

2009: Today, for the first time, Israel Kasztner, the man, who organized a train that saved 1,682 Hungarian Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis will be honored in a ceremony near the scene of the murder. Among those present will be the children and grandchildren of those he saved. A little over 52 years ago, Israel Kasztner was murdered on his doorstep on Emanuel Haromi Street in Tel Aviv. The trial for libel of journalist Malkiel Gruenwald, who accused Kasztner of collaborating with the Nazis to organize the train for a select few Jews, and Kasztner's subsequent murder, wracked Israel in the 1950s. Kasztner was posthumously exonerated by the High Court of Justice, but the controversy persists. The ceremony was organized by Itamar Sagi, whose mother and grandmother were on the Kasztner train. "I don't want to fight with angry people. But I think that after 60 years we must give respect to a person who saved hundreds of people," Sagi said. Sagi's grandmother did not talk about the affair for years, and his mother was too young to remember. "A few years ago I went to look for the report that Kasztner himself wrote. You can see that at a time when people were being murdered in the street, a man used his political talents to save as many as he could, all the while in danger himself. Some people think only the rich and influential were on the train. I don't think that's true."

2009: Saleh Bahman, a Kuwaiti journalist who will be running for parliament in next month's general election today called on the Gulf state to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel. "Israel is a reality and has international influence... Kuwait would benefit from Israel's influence if we establish relations with them."

2009: In a statement issued in the House of Commons today, Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced that “in light of Operation Cast Lead and in line with” the British governments “obligations after a conflict” there would be “a review of extant export licenses for Israel” 

2009: “The government filed a motion with the Sixth Circuit asking for the stay against deportation to be lifted, arguing that accused war criminal John Demjanjuk had sought the stay in order to provide an opportunity for the BIA to rule upon his motion to reopen the deportation order. Since the BIA denied the motion, the government argued, the basis for the Sixth Circuit's stay was no longer valid, and the stay should accordingly be dismissed

2009: After over 14 years Leonard Hoffman, Baron Hoffman completed his service as Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, a senior position in the British judiciary.

2010: Centro Primo Levi and the Center for Jewish History are scheduled to present a Panel Discussion with Moshe Idel about his Book Old Worlds, New Mirrors: On Jewish Mysticism and 20th-Century Thought

2010: Israeli authors Assaf Gavron and Eshkol Nevo are scheduled to read from their newest novels at Cornell University as part of a program entitled “Israeli Literature Today.”

2010: Whitney Harris, one of the last of the prosecutors who brought high-ranking Nazi war criminals to justice at the Nuremberg trials and who, a half-century later, was a significant voice in the creation of the International Criminal Court, died today at the age of  97. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2011: “Rabies” an Israeli film about a psychotic serial killer, is scheduled to be shown today at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

2011: Ten thousand Jewish worshipers gathered at the Western Wall Plaza today take part in the bi-annual Priestly Blessing, which usually occurs on the second intermediate days of Sukkot and Pessah. The blessing, known in Hebrew as the Birkat Hakohanim, is a public gathering in which the Kohanim – the priestly class – bestow upon the Jewish people a three-fold blessing that originated with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Massive police presence ensured that the prayers passed peacefully and without incident.

2011: Joining the likes of US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was named by Time Magazine today as one of the 100 most influential people of 2011.

2011: The Haggadah Fair sponsored by the Kol HaOt organization and the Inbal Hotel featuring “the magnificent Haggadot of such internationally renowned artists as Avner Moriah, Maty Grünberg, David Moss, Eliyahu Sidi, Matt Berkowitz, Ya’akov Daniel and Ilya Gefter” came to an end today.

2012: Former Ambassador Richard Schifter is scheduled to speak about Israel's relations with the international community, the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and the American Rabbinate at Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. 

2012: “Jewish Luck” is scheduled to be shown at the Columbia Jewish Congregation’s (CJC) 2012 - Twentieth Season of Movies.

2012: “Retoration” and “Mabul” (The Flood) are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival. 

 2012:  “Avigdor Arikha: Works from the Estate” an exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer  and the recently released paperback edition of Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany by Frederick Taylor.

2013: “Microcosms: Ruth Abrams, Abstract Expressionist” which opened in August, 2012 is scheduled to come to an end at Yeshiva University Museum.

2013: Consultation on Conscience, Reform Judaism’s flagship social justice conference, is scheduled to open in Washington, D.C.

2013: International conference “Being witness to the Holocaust. 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” is scheduled to open in Warsaw.

2013: An exhibition of the work of Holocaust survivor Israel Bernbaum at the George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: Tiftereth Israel in Des Moines is scheduled to host a giant Israel Festival called “A Taste of Israel.”

2013: Today the cabinet approved an Open Skies Agreement with the European Union, even as Israeli carriers grounded their fleets and hundreds of airline workers gathered outside the meeting in protest.

2013: U.S. Secretary of Defense of Chuck Hegel arrived in Israel today vowing to provide Israel “with advanced weapons that will enhance its abilities to strike at Israel.

2014(21st of Nisan, 5774): Seventh Day of Pesach

2014 (21st of Nisan, 5774): Eighty-two year old Herb Gray who “represented Windsor West for almost 40 years” and was “Canada’s first Jewish federal cabinet minister” passed away today.

2014: In Marionville, MO, a special meeting of the Board of Alderman is scheduled to be held to accepting the resignation of Jessica Wilson, an alderwoman who is giving up her position in response to the endorsement of Mayor Daniel Clevenger’s endorsement of the views of Frazier Glen Miller, the anti-Semitic gunman who murdered three people when he attacked a Jewish community center and assisted living facility in Kansas City.

2015: SS guard Oskar Groening is scheduled to go trial for his role in the murder of Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz.

2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to sponsor Simon Anglim’s lecture on “Major General Orde Wingate: Unconventional Warrior.”

2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host a bilingual poetry reading from the works Russian born poet Boris Slutsky followed by a Q & A session with
“Marat Grinberg, Associate Professor of Russian and Humanities at Reed College, and Judith Pulman, poet and translator, who have been collaborating to translate a selection of Slutsky’s unpublished poetry.”

Whether I grow wiser or I grow older—

I grasp myself clearly to be a Jew.

 I thought that I had made it.

 And I thought I’d broken through—

I didn’t make it, I unmade myself,

 I didn’t break through, I broke down,

 I am not to be read from left to right,

 but in Jewish, from right to left.

            -Boris Slutsky, translated by Judith Pulman and Marat Grinberg

2015: Israel is scheduled to “come to a standstill this evening at 8 p.m. for a minute long memorial sired to commemorate the country’s  fallen soldiers and terror victims…followed by the lighting of a memorial flame for the fall at the Western Wall, the site of the official state commemoration ceremony.” (As reported by Times of Israel)

2015: The Consulate General of Israel in New York is scheduled to host The Official Memorial Day Service “honoring the soldiers who gave their lives in defense of the State of Israel and the victims of terrorist attacks” at the 92nd Street Y.

2015: Flight 2521 to Prague by El Al’s budget carrier UP! “made an emergency landing at Ben Gurion Airport shortly after having taken off amid fears that one of its tires had been been damaged durin take-off. (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2015(2nd of Iyar, 5775: One-hundred two year old literary critic M.H. Abrams passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2015: Today “Abu Khdeir’s name showed up on the government’s online database of terror victims, next to an Israeli flag overlaid with a picture of the Blood of the Maccabees flower, which has come to symbolize the country’s fallen.” (As reported by Judah Ari Gross)

2016: As part of The Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to present a lecture by Dr. Heather Ohaneson on “The Syrian Crisis in Terms of the Trauma of the Armenian Genocide.”

2017: In Iowa City, the University Of Iowa Chapter Of AEPhi Sorority in act of “gemilut chasadim” so appropriate to this time of the year, is scheduled to sponsor “Jazz on the Rocks” – a fund raiser of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

2017: In the United Kingdom, after Kabbalat Shabbat The Oxford Jewish Society is scheduled to host “Oth Week” Friday Night Dinner

 

 

 

 

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