Tuesday, September 12, 2017

This Day, September 13, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


September 13

586 BCE (3 Tishrei 3338): On the civil calendar assassination of Gedaliah ben Achikam. He had been appointed Governor of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar in an attempt to revitalize the Jewish community. His assassin, Ishmael ben Natanya, a descendent of the royal house, was convinced by neighboring nations that a revolt against the Babylonians could succeed. In fear of retribution, many of the remaining Jews fled to Egypt destroying what was left of the Judean government. This day is commemorated as a fast day, The Fast of Gedaliah.  Yes, on the Jewish calendar, the first two days of Tishrei are days of Joy - Rosh Hashanah.  This is immediately followed by a minor fast day - the Jew never forgets that life is a mixture of joy and sorrow.

81: The Roman Emperor Titus who gained fame for destroying the Second Temple passed away.

122: The building of Hadrian's Wall begins. The wall was named for Hadrian, the Roman Emperor who had it built as part of plan to set limits on the size of the Roman Empire and to essentially go over to a defensive posture.  For the Jews, Hadrian was no “prince of peace” since he is the suppressed the Bar Kochba Revolt with vehemence and violence.

335: In an example of the Religious Imperialism that afflicts the Jewish people, Emperor Constantine the Great consecrates the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Christians believe that this is the site where Jesus was crucified by the Romans as well as the site of Jesus' tomb.

531:  Kavadh I, the Sassanid King of Persia against who Mar Zuta revolted and established a Jewish state in Babylon that lasted for seven years passed away today. (The History of the Jewish People)

604: Today, Sabinian, a contemporary of Benjamin of Tiberias who was responsible for a revolt that led Jewish forces to take Jerusalem in 614, became Pope today.

1438: King Duarte of Portugal passed away.  During his reign he enacted laws prohibiting Jews from employing Christians. In 1433 Master Guedelha, a rabbi who served as doctor and astrologer for King Duarte prophesied “to King Duarte terrible events if he did not postpone his ascent to the throne of Portugal. A year later, Duarte and his army met with disaster at Tangiers and four years later - 1438 - King Duarte died of the plague - the Black Plague which decimated all of Europe.”

1503: Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David. While the statue may win high marks as Renaissance heart, it gets a big “F” in Halakah since the statue of the Jewish king is of an uncircumcised male.

1597(1st of Tishrei, 5358): Rosh Hashanah

1597: In Amsterdam a hall that had been “secured for worship” that was named "Beth Ya'aḳob," after one of its founders, Jacob Tirado consecrated it today.

1600: The Jews of Klausenburg, Hungary, were massacred.

1610: Bookseller Thomas Bushnell transferred his rights in “The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” which includes a reference to Rodrigo Lopez, the Marrano physician who served Queen Elizabeth, to John Wright.

1625: Rabbi Isaiah Horowith and 15 other rabbis were arrested in Jerusalem by an Arab leader and held for ransom.  Rabbi Isaiah ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz, known as the Shlah after the title of one of his major works Shnei Luchos Ha-Bris, was a renowned Halachist, kabbalist and communal leader.  Born in Prague in 1565, he made aliyah in 1621 after the death of his wife.  Unlike most others, he settled in Jerusalem where he worked to rebuild the community.  After his release he moved to Tiberius where he was buried next to the grave of the Rambam. 

1629: Sixty-four year old Johannes Buxtorf “a professor of Hebrew for thirty-nine years at Basel, known by the title ‘Master of the Rabbis’ whose De Synagoga Judaica documents the customs and society of Germany Jewry” passed away today.

 1635: The Massachusetts General Court banished Separatist preacher Roger Williams, 32, for criticizing the Massachusetts Bay Company charter and for perpetually advocating a separation of church and state. Williams would end up with his own colony, Rhode Island, where rules of religious toleration would become the template for the future United States.  Of course, it was the values and vision of Williams that made the United States such a hospitable place for Jewish migration and development.

1708: “A Massacre of the Jews of Mstislav, Poland was averted by the intervention of Czar Peter the Great of Russia.”

1721(21st of Elul, 5481):  Banker Mendel Menachem Emanuel Oppenheimer, the husband of Judith Gomperz and the son-in-law of Salman Gomperz passed away today in Vienna.

1762: Birthdate of Canadian politician Pierre-Stanislas Bédard the leader of Le Canadien, who argued against granting a seat to Ezekiel Hart in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada claiming that "no Christian nation had granted Jews the rights of citizens, not for unjust reasons, but because they themselves do not wish to be part of any country. They may make a country their residence to pursue their business dealings, but never their home. This state of affairs is a result of the Jewish tradition, which requires Jews to wait for the messiah, their prince; while waiting, they cannot pledge allegiance to any other prince.”

 1768: In Newport Rhode, Island, Aaron Lopez closes his businesses on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah.

1772: Birthdate of Hirschel Eliazer Kann, the Nederland native who was the found of the Lissa & Kann Bank.

1782: The Kahal Kadosh Mickvé Israel, the first Jewish congregation in Philadelphia, PA, dedicated its new building on Cherry near Third Street. Haym Salomon, of Revolutionary War fame, “agreed to pay one fourth of the cost” of the new building which had a price tag of £600. Gershom Mendez Seixas, the New York rabbi who had fled when the British occupied the city, was the spiritual leader of the congregation.  Rabbi Jacob Raphael Cohen replaced Seixas when he returned to New York after the war.

1783: In Prague Baruch (Benedict) Jeiteles gave birth to Ignaz Jeitels “a German writer and philosopher, who studied at the law school of Prague University but dedicated himself to classic languages and literature.”

1785(9th of Tishrei, 5546): In the evening, Kol Nidre

1798(3rd of Tishrei, 5559): Tzom Gedaliah

1800: Birthdate of Max Letteris a leading poet of the Enlightenment (Haskala) in Galacia who in 1852 edited “an edition of the masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible for a Christian missionary organization, the British and Foreign Bible Society.”

1806(1st of Tishrei, 5567): As Jews observe Rosh Hashanah they join their fellow Americans in mourning the death today of William Paterson, the Governor of New Jersey who had the courage to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1766.

1814:  During the War of 1812, the British begin the assaults intended to capture Ft. McHenry, the gateway to Baltimore.  There were at least thirty Jews among the defenders of the famous fort including Privates Jacob, Philip and Mendes Cohen and Second Sergeant Samuel Cohen all of the 1st Regiment Maryland Artillery and Solomon and Samuel Etting, the father & son duo of the Baltimore  Fencibles. (Editor’s Note: At night, the famous Bombardment of Fort McHenry would be observed by Washington attorney Francis Scott Key who was being held aboard a British ship)

1825(1st of Tishrei, 5586): Rosh Hashanah is observed for the first time during the presidency of John Quincy Adams.

1836(2nd of Tishrei, 5596): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah marking the final time that New Year prayers will be uttered during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson.

1837: In Birzi, Kovno, Yehiel Michel Sossnitz and Tony Zive gave birth to Joseph (Jehuda) Loeb Sosnitz, the husband of Freida Luria and Superintendent of the Jewish Asylum Riga who came to the United States where he founded the Uptown Talmud Torah in New York and wrote several articles on religious and secular topics including “On Three Branches of Astronomy.

1837: Isaac Levy married Elizabeth Russell at the Western Synagogue today

1845: Today, “The Gardeners' Chronicle announced: "We stop the Press with very great regret to announce that the potato Murrain has unequivocally declared itself in Ireland” which was the “official notice” that the Potato Blight that would trigger the great famine that would grip Ireland changing the immigration patterns in the United States and providing a challenge to Jewish philanthropists in Great Britain.

1846: Representatives of Rome's Jewish community send a message to Pope Pius IX complaining about the conditions they live in and asking for release from the many onerous restrictions that have been imposed upon them by recent popes.

1847(3rd of Tishrei, 5608): Tzom Gedaliah

1847(3rd of Tishrei, 5608): Rabbi Isaac Lob Wormser, the “Baal Shem of Michelstadt” whose reputation for miracles was so well known that during World War I, Jewish soldiers would stop and pray at his grave, passed away today.

1848: Lewis Jonas married Sara Levin at the Great Synagogue today

1851(16th of Elul, 5611): Fifty-two year old Oskar Ludwig Bernhard Wolff who while serving as a Professor of Literature at the University of Jena where one of his students was Karl Marx and who wrote and published “under the pseudonym "Pliny the youngest” passed away today.

1854: Isaac Levy married Isabella Salomonsen at Kobenhavn, Denmark today

1860(26th of Elul, 5620): In London, 73 year old Nathanial Levy, born Nathan ben Yehuda HaLevi in 1787, passed away today.

1861(9th of Tishrei, 5622):  During the Civil War, Erev Yom Kippur.  Jewish soldiers serving with the Army of Northern Virginia are in the trenches because the Confederate general in command rejected the request of a rabbi in Richmond to allow them to leave to observe the holiday.

1861: Philadelphian William Moss, the son of Joseph L. and Julia Moss began serving as a surgeon with the Seventieth Regiment.

1863(29th of Elul, 5623): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1863: In Van Buren, AR, Samuel and Sarah (Sulzberger) Adler gave birth to their third child Cyrus Adler who would become famous for his role as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., President of the Jewish Theological Society, a key player in the translation of the JPS Bible of 1917 and a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference (to name but a few of his accomplishments.)  The irony is that this giant of Jewish culture was born in Van Buren, Arkansas.

1864: Corporal Isaac Gause distinguished himself today when he captured the colors of the 8th South Carolina Infantry during a reconnaissance mission along the Berryville and Winchester Pike in Virginia.

1874(2nd of Tishrei, 5635) Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

1874: “The Jewish New Year” published today in the secular press described the observance of the holiday by the Jews of New York City as well as a preview of the upcoming holiday of Yom Kippur, “the greatest and most solemn of all the Jewish religious days, it being the only one upon which Jews kneel in their devotions.

1874: It was reported today that there are upward of 100,000 Jews living in New York.

1874:  In the Leopoldstadt district of Vienna, Samuel and Pauline Schoenberg gave birth to composer Arnold Schoenberg who “is particularly remembered as one of the first composers to embrace atonality, and for his twelve tone technique of composition using tone rows.”

1874: “The Hebrew Orphan Asylum” published today describes the results of an investigation of this institution “which has always been regarded with especial pride by the Jewish community.”  The investigation highlights the managerial shortcomings of Meyer Stern, President of this organization.

1874: An article published today questioned Myer Stern’s qualifications to serve as Commissioner of Charities and Correction in New York.  Stern’s supporters had argued that his experience as President of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum qualified him for this public position. However, reports recently published in The  New Era, a Jewish publication cite his failures as evidence by the inability of any of the 173 youngsters at the institution to be able to recite the Ten Commandments in English or Hebrew and the poor quality of the food served “in one of the most liberally endowed institutions in the country.” 

1875: Birthdate of Edith Julia Morley “the daughter of a London dental surgeon” and literary scholar who fought gender discrimination to become a Professor at Reading College, making her “the first woman to be appointed professor at any British university.”

1877: Birthdate of Sophie Ranter, the mother of actor Gregory Ratoff and the wife of Benjamin Ratner.

1878(1st of Tishrei, 5548): As a Yellow Fever Epidemic ravages the Mississippi River Valley claiming the lives of at least 20,000 people, Jews observe Rosh Hashanah

1890: Birthdate of Jesse Louis Lasky, the San Francisco born motion picture industry pioneer who founded Paramount Pictures with Adolph Zukor and was the father of screenwriter Jesse L. Lasky, Jr.

1880(8th of Tishrei, 5641): Eighty-three year old Penina Moise, the Charleston native known for writing hymns and poetry, passed away.

1880:  “Teaching A Boy to Steal – One Blumenthal, Cigar Deal, Assumes the Character of Fagin the Jew” published today presents the unsubstantiated claims of August Jambert, who was caught stealing by his employer, that he was led into this life of crime by William Blumenthal.  The inflammatory and stereotypical headline shows that anti-Semitism was part and parcel of the American scene.

1882(29th of Elul, 5642): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1882: Members of Shearith Israel will attend services in their refurbished synagogue which has been undergoing alterations and repairs for the past three months.

1883(11th of Elul, 5643): Reb Avraham Yaakov Friedman zt’l a son of the Sabba Kadisha who led the Sadigur Chassidim for 30 years, passed away.

1883: Louise Brener, a widow and her child who arrived in New York today aboard the SS Canada told authorities that she had been here by The Hebrew of Society of Paris.

1883: It was reported today that the police in Agram have arrested the leaders of several secret societies which are “endeavoring to direct riots against the Jews.”

1885: Coroner Levy presided over a meeting at Pythagoras Hall that sought to take steps to protect the tens of thousands of newly arrived Jewish immigrants the bulk of whom come from Russia and Poland.

1885: Four year old John Franze, who contracted smallpox from a boy named Neumann who first showed signs while attending the Hebrew School on Pitt Street, was taken to the hospital today.

1889: At its meeting in Buffalo, NY, the Polish Alliance Convention amended its by-laws to exclude “Jews and infidels” from its membership.

1889(17th of Elul, 5649): Hakham Adbdallah Somekh, the merchant turned Torah scholar who took a leading role in promoting the educational level of the Jews of Iraq passed away tonight during a cholera epidemic.

1890: A dozen newly arrived Polish Jews immigrants were placed in the detention pen at the Barge Office because no relatives or other responsible people had arrived to take them into New York.

1890 The surviving son and three daughters of the late Joseph Bossie are contesting the will of their father which “leaves his entire estate,” approximately $10,000, to the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which they claim as a violation of the 1860 law “under which a person cannot leave more than one-half of his estate for charitable purposes.”

1891: As of today, in Montreal, a group of Russian Jewish immigrants is being housed at the Government Immigration Office and fed by the Baron de Hirsch Institute whose advisory board is planning on soliciting public to support to aid their destitute co-religionists.

1891: As an example of the law of unintended consequences, it was reported today that credit is no longer available in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa, in part because “the Jews are calling in very available kopek of assets” as they leave in the country in response to government regulations.

1891:”Forty-two Polish and Russian Jews were arraigned at the Essex Market Police Court” this morning on charges of “having blocked the sidewalk at the corner of Delancy and Ridge Streets.

1891: “Mr. Kipling’s Stories” published today provided a review of Life’s Handicap, a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling that includes the “Jews of Shushan.”

1891: “New Books” published today included a brief review of A King of Tyre: A Tale of the Time of Ezra and Nehemiah by James Ludlow.

1891: Gustav Jacob Born married Bertha Epstein. Born’s first wife, Gretchen Kauffmann had passed away five years earlier.  This earlier union had produced Max Born, the Nobel Prize Laureate. The elder Born was famous in his own write for his work in the field of microscopy and embryology.

1892: “Justice Connelly of the Gates Avenue Court issued thirty warrants for the arrest of” Jews “in the section of the 26th Ward called Brownsville for violating the regulations for the preservation of health and cleanliness.”

1892: “Two letters signed by passengers on board the Scandia…were sent to the office of the Hamburg-American Packet this morning” refuting claims about mistreatment and unsanitary conditions aboard the vessel including claims that “the Polish and Russian Jews…were placed in a compartment by themselves.”

1892: Dr. Alfred R. Gaul’s latest cantata “Israel in the Wilderness” was performed tonight for the first time in New York City under the direction of Alfred Stubbs Baker.

1893: Reverend James J Dougherty, the past of St. Monica’s Church attributed the attendance of six or seven Jewish children in his parochial school to a lack of classroom space in the public schools where there are not enough desks for each of the children.

1894: Birthdate of Julian Tuwim, the Polish born Jewish poet.

1894: “Not The Hebrews Of Fiction” published today describes the difference between “sensational romantic” depiction of Jews as “richly-fed men, extravagantly attired with diamonds…rubbing their hands and computing their tremendous and illicit gains with oily satisfaction” and the reality of life among the Jews living along Orchard and Broome Streets where “none of them have jewelry” and “all of them only too plainly suffer from a perpetual insufficiency of food.”

1895: A fire that is consuming vast amounts of timber and game lands” broke at Reega, NJ, which home is home to colony for Russian Jewish immigrants financed by the Baron Hirsch Fund. The fire appears to be of natural origin, fueled by the drought like conditions.

1895: Henry Budge, a partner in the banking firm of Hallgarten & Co who cut short his European trip when he heard of the tumor being removed from the throat of Bernhard Mainzer is scheduled to arrive in New York where he will learn that his partner passed away yesterday.

1896: In Bunkie, LA, Gisella Elias and Samuel Weiss gave birth to Seymour Weiss the long-time manager of the Roosevelt Hotel and confidant of Huey P. Long.

1896: It was reported today that the Armenian Relief Fund being formed in Hamburg includes the city’s “eminent and public spirited” Jews who have already displayed their “splendid philanthropy in the cause of their own suffering people” who are fleeing from Russia.

1896: Birthdate of Terrence MacDermot the native of Ropley Jamaica who served as Canadian Ambassador to Israel from 1954 to 1957.

1899: A resolution was sent to Secretary of State asking him to obtain “an official copy” of the testimony by a French minister “in which he said that the rigorous treatment of Dreyfus was due in part to the understanding that there was a plan on foot to rescue the prisoner by a party of Americans” so that this “slander” could be refuted.

1899: Robert J. Thompson, Secretary of the Lafayette Memorial Commission says he think the people of the United States are making a rash move in condiment the French nation because of the Dreyfus verdict.”

1899: In Chicago, Dr. Zuhn has been elected President of the Dreyfus Movement Auxiliary Society which is made up of a “100 prominent Jews.”

1899(9th of Tishrei, 5660): In the evening, Kol Nidre is chanted for the last time in the 19th century.

1899: Jacob Wolf led services for 2,000 Jews at Tammany Hall.

1899: Yom Kippur services began at 6:30 pm at Temple Israel on the corner of 125th Street and 5th Avenue.

1899: Shouts of “Fire, fire” filled the air in the Thalia Theatre on the Bowery where Jews were attending Yom Kippur services.  It turned out to be a false alarm and the firemen had no use for their hoses when they arrived.

1899: “The Jewish Year Book” published today provides a “snapshot” of the American Jewish Community at the turn of the century.

1901(29th of Elul, 5661): As Jews prepare to observe Rosh Hashanah, President McKinley who is dying of gangrene brought on by an assassin’s bullet tells those surrounding his bed, “It is useless gentlemen.  I think we ought to have a prayer”

1902: Herzl writes to Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. He encloses a copy of a letter Plehve addressed to Herzl. He expresses the hope that also Austria will support the Zionist undertaking.

1903: Birthdate of Fredric R. Mann, the Russian born Jewish-American industrialist and patron of the arts who helped finance music centers in Philadelphia and Tel Aviv.


1903: In New York, Henry Krensky married Julia Rabinowitz following which they would move to Waterloo, IA in 1908 where he owned a retail grocery store at 1500 Commercial Street.

1905: Birthdate of Zurich native Hans Jakob Polotsky, the Berlin educated son of Russian Jews who “became an Israeli orientalist, linguist, and professor for Semitic languages and Egyptology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.”

1908: Birthdate of György Dobó, the native of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who moved to France after WW I, converted to Catholicism and became Georges Devereux the name under which he is known as a leading ethnologist and psychoanalyst.

1909: Birthdate of British diplomat Sir John Coulson, who during the Exodus Crisis of 1947 “suggested how to spin the Jews’ confinement in the camps to score a publication relations victory.

1909: A total of 12,214 Jewish young men registered as recruits for the Turkish Army.

1909: The first English language version of “The Chocolate Soldier” an operetta composed a year earlier by Oscar Straus was performed for the first time in New York City.

1912(2nd of Tishrei, 5673): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah is observed for the last time during the Presidency of William Howard Taft.

1913: After leaving the Army, Sir John Robert Chancellor, began serving as Governor of Mauritius, the first step on a diplomatic career that would lead to him being named High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine, a post from which he expressed his anti-Jewish views.

1913: Seventy-six year old English composer Alfred Robert Gaul, whose work included “Israel in the Wilderness” passed away today.

1913: Harry Warner and his wife gave birth to their second child and first daughter, Dorise.

1914: Birthdate of American movie producer Max J. Rosenberg.

1914(22nd of Elul, 5674): Moses Hirschberg passed away today,

1914: As the Germans retreated to defensive positions following the Battle of the Marne most of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) crossed the Aisne Rive on pontoon bridges in an attempt to flank the Huns and keep faith with the concept that the troops would be home by Christmas. (Entries about WW I are significant because the prolongation of the war would have traumatic and dramatic impact on the Jews that have lasted into the 21st century)

1915: According to a report published in the Chicago Daily News that was based on a dispatch from Sofia, Bulgaria, “Henry Morgenthau, American Ambassador to Turkey recently made an offer to the Turkish Government to raise $1,000,000 to transport to America the Armenians who thus far have escaped the general massacres.” (Morgenthau was Jewish and the Armenian massacres, according to some presaged the Holocaust.)

1915: An agreement dated today between Morris Israel, the who “stowed” the hats and coasts of the Ritz Restaurant in Brooklyn and the owners stipulated that “Israel bound himself to pay $2,500 for the tip privilege for the first year and $3,000 for the second year

1915: According to a dispatch from Petrograd that first appeared in the Daily Mail, the dispute over the implementation of the reforms demanded by the Duma, including the full emancipation of the Jews, continues between the forces of reform and the Council of Ministers serving the Czar.

1916: It was reported today that “through the courtesy of the Secretary of the Navy permission has been granted for the cruiser Des Moines to take aboard at Jaffa the wives and children of American citizens who desire to leave and come to the United States”

1916: In New York, “Joseph Barondess asked the Board of Education…to excuse with pay those teachers and clerks who would from their duties on the Jewish New and Day of Atonement” because “they could not conscientiously attend” to their work “without violating their religious convictions.”

1917: Tonight, in New York, Harry Cutler, the Chairman of the Jewish Board of Welfare Work in the Army and Navy made public a telegram from Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels that read “I have sent a message to all commanding officers in the navy granting leave to all Jewish sailor on holy days, Sept. 17, 18 and 26 when it can be done without injury to the service.”

1918: Having liberated Pannes yesterday The AEF, including Sergeant Abraham Blaustein of the 165th Regiment left the French town that had been occupied by the Germans since 1914, “captured important coal fields and a rail center” as they drove toward St. Benoit.

1918: “Comment on the letter of Jacob Schiff” that expressed his positive “attitude toward Zionism, Dr. David Philipson, the Rabbi of the Rockdale Avenue Temple” in Cincinnati “said today, “Mr. Schiff’s intense sympathy with our suffering co-religionists in land of oppression causes him to overlook the dangers of Zionism…”

1919: In Peekskill, NY, Louis and Gussie (Yormark) Rubenfeld gave birth to Milton Rubenfeld who flew for the RAF and USAAF before becoming, in 1948, one of the founding pilots of the Israeli Air Force.

1919: In Vienna, Max and Rosa Weidenfeld gave birth to Arthur George Weidenfeld, Baron Weidenfeld, who came to Britain after the Nazis annexed Austria and became a major publisher and philanthropist. He has served as “Chairman of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (1996–2004), Governor of Tel Aviv University, Governor of the Weizmann Institute and Vice-Chairman of the EU-Israel Forum.”


1920(1st of Tishrei, 5681): Rosh Hashanah

1920: In Chicago, Rabbi Abraham Hirschberg is scheduled to lead services at the Medina Temple, the temporary home of Temple Sholom which was formally known as the North Chicago Hebrew Congregation.

1920: Thanks to an order issued by Major General P.C. Harris, the Adjutant General of the Army, Jewish soldiers have a furlough for today so they can observe the Jewish New Year.

1923(3rd of Tishrei, 5684): Tzom Gedaliah

1923: In Newark, NJ, Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Laufer gave birth to Charles Harry Laufer, the high school teacher who created Tiger Beat.  (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1924: Birthdate of Israel Tal, the IDF general who was an expert in Tank Warfare and took the lead in developing the Merkava Tank.

1925: Birthdate of Melvin Howard Tormé, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who gained fame as singer and jazz man Mel Tormé.

1925: The "Cinderella of the Sweatshop," Anzia Yezierska, received a glowing review in the New York Times for her best known novel, Bread Givers. "Bread Givers enables us to see our life more clearly, to test its values, to reckon up what it is that our aims and achievements may mean. It has a raw, uncontrollable poetry and a powerful, sweeping design," the Times wrote. Yezierska, dubbed the "Cinderella of the Sweatshop" by the popular press, wrote Bread Givers about the daughter of an immigrant family who struggles against her Orthodox father's rigid idea of Jewish womanhood. Yezierska immigrated as a young girl with her family to the United States in the early 1890s. Her fiction centered upon the lives of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York City around the turn of the century. Her work featured female protagonists struggling with issues of economic survival, Americanization, and the tension between immigrant parents and their children. In addition to Bread Givers, Yezierska wrote a number of other books. Her first, a collection of short stories entitled Hungry Hearts, was turned into a 1922 silent film. The film's producer, Samuel Goldwyn, offered Yezierska a $100,000 contract to write screenplays. Yezierska moved to Hollywood but was unable to feel at home there and moved back to New York City. Yezierska's first novel, 1923's Salome of Tenements, was also made into a silent film, though it did not become as well known.

1925: Birthdate of Leon Levy, “a hedge fund pioneer who began investing at 13 with $200 and went on to make many millions, enough to make him one of the main individual backers of archaeological research…” “His father, Jerome, a dry goods merchant, amateur economist and successful investor, predicted the stock market crash of 1929 and sold much of his stock before it happened. He taught his son many financial lessons, particularly the importance of corporate profits in charting overall economic directions.”

1926: Birthdate of Helmut Sonnenfeldt, “an expert on Soviet and European affairs who was known as “Kissinger’s Kissinger” for his influence in advising Henry A. Kissinger, the architect of American foreign policy.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1928: “The Woman on the Rack” a German silent film directed by Robert Wiene and produced by Josef Somlo was released today in Germany by Deutsche Fox.

1929: Today Rabbi Moses Blau and several Austrian Jewish refugees who had arrived in Vienna from Palestine gave their impressions of the situation in Eretz Israel. Blau was a leader among the oldest group of Jews who had settled in Palestine.  His family had settled there more than a century ago, long before the birth of the modern Zionist movement.

1931(2nd of Tishrei, 5692): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

1931: Birthdate of Millicent Fogel, the Chicago native who gained famed as actress Barbara Bain best known for her role as “Cinnamon Carter” in the television hit series “Mission Impossible.”

1932: “Dreaming Lips” a film directed by Paul Czinner based on a play by Henri Bernstein was released today by Bavaria Film.

1933: “Lady For A Day” produced by Harry Cohn with script by Robert Riskin was released in the United States today by Columbia Pictures.

1934: Nahum Goldmann met Jozef Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, in Geneva today to try to persuade him not to repudiate the Minorities Treaty. He was not successful in his attempt. 

1934: Poland revoked the minority treaty, fearing that Russia (now a League member) would become involved with her "private" affairs. This move meant more free-reign in the country's discrimination against the Jewish population.

1935: “The Bishop Misbehaves” produced by Lawrence Weingarten was released today in the United States by MGM.

1935: “The Gay Deception” a comedy directed by William Wyler, produced by Jesse Lasky and starring Francis Lederer was released in the United States today.

1936: In “Two Live That Dramatize an Epoch of Power” published today Louis Kronenberger reviewed The Brothers Ashkenazi by I. J. Singer which he compared to Sholem Asch’s Three Cities saying that Asch “has imbued his book with deeper feeling, with greater sense of humanity and with stronger ethical fervor” while “Singer has attacked his theme with a directness and power that Asch nowhere equals.”  “It matters less which is strictly the better book, however, than that the two books taken together picture a way of life and a phase of history beyond the need of any third.”

1936: “British To Apply Force In Palestine” published today described the decision by the British government, “after almost five months of hesitation” to take “the plunge” and “use overwhelming force against the turbulent Arabs in Palestine” which means calling up three thousand reservists and sending “a division of 12,000 men… from England” to end what the Colonial Office has described as “Arabian violence and outrage.”

1936: Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Conquest of Trouble” at the Jewish Science Society this morning.

1936: “Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the High Commissioner” met with the Arab High Committee and “made it clear that it must decide immediately on the cessation of the strike and violence” adding that “unless the Arabs acted at once he would not be responsible for what might happen to them after General John G. Dill takes over the reins of government from him.”

1936: At Nuremberg, “Brown battalions of Storm Troops and regiments of black-clad Schutzstaffen paid homage to their Führer” in “a tribute that began at 8 o’clock in the morning and lasted until well past 4 o’clock this afternoon.”

1936: At Nuremberg,, “in a speech praising the achievements of the National Socialist press, Max Amman, president of the Reich Press Chamber” said today “that National Socialism had created a “true independence of the press by excluding all ‘non-Aryans’ and those related to ‘non-Aryans.’” (Editor’s note :  non-Aryans was a euphemism for Jews)

1936: In “Second Avenue Moves to Broadway” published today William Schack provided a preview of the upcoming New York theatre season “which officially opens as usual on the first day of Rosh Hashanah falling on Thursday, September 17” and which will feature “an unprecedented number of Yiddish playhouses” including “eight in Manhattan, four in Brooklyn and two in the Bronx.”

1936: Plans were published today describing plans for a testimonial luncheon honoring Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman the proceeds of which “will be added to the donations received by the Greater New York Campaign which is seeking to raise $1,500,000 for reconstruction work in behalf of Jews in Germany, Poland and Eastern Europe.

1936: In his laudatory review of The Jews of Germany: A Story of Sixteen Centuries by Marvin Lowenthal , Walter Littlefield included the observation that “as the German Jew sinks from the stage of history, he leaves in the very process of his demise a heritage richer perhaps than anything his genius or days of vigor achieved” and that is lesson for us all “that Jewish rights and universal rights are inseparable.”

1936: It was reported today that under the leadership of Mrs. A. H. Goodman the New York Section of the National Council of Jewish Women is planning to host Erev Rosh Hashanah services on Welfare Island led by “Dr. Leo M. Reichel, the new Rabbi followed by a dinner” as well as services on both days of the holiday and special bedside services for those too infirmed to participate in the communal worship.

1937: “Non-Stop New York” a sci-fi film with a script co-authored by Curt Siodmak and filmed by cinematographer Mutz Greenbaum opened in the United Kingdom today.

1937: Laurence Steinhardt began serving U.S. Ambassador to Peru.

1937: Birthdate of Fred Silverman; one of host of Jews who rose to fame in the broadcasting industry.  In Silverman's case he held top positions at both ABC and NBC.

1937: The Palestine Post's special correspondent, Molly Lyons, described in glowing terms how a group of American pioneers from Hadera established a new settlement on the hill of Jiara, a desolate, uninhabited area, some 22 kilometers away from Mishmar Ha'emek.

1937: In the Palestine Post, Lord Peel described the objective difficulties he and his colleagues faced as members of the Royal Commission, before they reached their unanimous decision recommending the partition of Palestine.

1937: “Mayerling” a quasi-biopic directed by Anatole Litvak, with a screenplay co-authored by Joseph Kessel was released in the United States today.

1938(17th of Elul, 5698): A Jewish policeman was shot dead tonight at Rishonlet Zion.

1938: In Washington, D.C., Jacob Perlman the native of Bialystok who earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin and the former Helen Aronson whom he married in 1935, gave birth to Judith Perlman who as Judith Martin became “Miss Manners” an Emily Post-like arbiter on equity.

1938 (17th of Elul, 5698): Professor Samuel Alexander, O.M., Litt.D., who had served as a  for Professor of Philosophy at Manchester University for over 30 years died at his home in Manchester, at the age of 79.  He was the first Jewish fellow of an Oxbridge college.

1939: Germany occupied Miclec, Poland, and murdered its entire Jewish population. Among those killed 35 Jews were burned alive at the slaughterhouse and 20 more were burned alive in their synagogue.

1939: Eighty year old Eugene Foss, who had employed Leo Frank in 1906 and who used his position as a former Governor of Massachusetts to work a commutation of his sentence passed away today.


1940: Private memorial services are scheduled to be held this afternoon for Bernice Marks Stearns at the residence of Mrs. Henry Dreyfuss.

1940: Congregation Rodeph Sholom announced the death of Rhoda Masius, the wife of Max L. Masius.

1940:  Italian forces begin their ill-fated invasion of Egypt.  The Italian failure will draw Germany into the fighting in North Africa.  Irwin Rommel will lead a drive that takes him figuratively to the gates of Cairo.  These German successes are cheered by the Arabs.  They also lead the British to enlist the aid of Jewish forces in Palestine.  The training and arms that they Jews received would later help in the fight for Israeli independence.

1941: Suspicious that the Allies may be decoding its radio messages, Berlin orders German commanders in the Soviet Union to send future reports of Nazi executions of Jews and other Soviet civilians by courier instead of radio.

1941(21st of Elul, 5701): Eleven members of the Jewish Council of Piotrkow, Poland, who had cooperated with the Jewish underground, are executed following two months of Gestapo torture.

1941: Charles and Anne Lindbergh, members of the America First Committee, attend a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, at which Lindbergh blames the Jews for "agitating for war...for reasons that are not American....Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government." [Ed. Note: Anybody seeking to understand FDR’s response to the plight of Europe’s Jews must factor in the depth of anit-Semitism that existed in the United States.  Echoes of Lindbergh and the America First Movement can be heard today in the writings of Pat Buchanan a former Republican White House Speech writer who regularly appears on MSNBC.]

1942(2nd of Tishrei, 5703): Rosh Hashanah II

1942: The Jewish community at Checiny, Poland, is deported.

1942(2nd of Tishrei, 5703): Forty Rabbis of the ghetto of Lodz were killed by the Nazis.

1942: During the siege at Stalingrad, three days after her arrival at the airfield at Verkhnaia Akhtuba, on the east bank of the Volga rive,r Lydia Litvyak piloted one of  four Yak-1s that attacked “a formation of Junkers Ju 88s escorted by Messerschmitt Bf 109s and she shot down one bomber and one fighter plane.

1943: At Westerbrook, a 65-year old woman in Philip Mechanicus’ barracks “committed suicide” today to keep her daughter from joining her on the death train to Theresienstadat.

1943(13th of Elul, 5703): In the Lodz Ghetto, the Nazis hung Icek Bekerman, 34, for stealing a few pieces of leather with which he had planned to make himself a pair of shoelaces. The Lodz carpentry shop was ordered to build the gallows.

1944: The shipment of Jews from Westerbork, the Dutch concentration camp, to Auschwitz, Sobibor, Begen-Belsen and Thereisendstdat which had begun in 1942 came to an end.  Over 100,000 Jews were shipped to the camps during this period. The Frank Family were among those who were shipped from Westerbrook to the death camps.

1944: Eliane Plewman three other SOE agents - Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment and Noor Inayat Khan)-  were taken from their cell and forced to kneel in pairs before being executed by a single shot to the head by executioner Wilhelm Ruppert (They were not Jewish be we owe it them to hnor t heir lives and their sacrifice.

1944: Thirty-two year old Yolande Beekman, an SOE agent, was shot through the back of the head by her Nazi captors at Dachau.  (She was not Jewish – be we owe it to her to honor her life and sacrifice)

1945: Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa made public a letter that President Truman had written on August 31, 1945, to  Britain's Prime Minister Clement Attlee that the issuance of 100,000 certificates of immigration to Palestine would help to alleviate the refugee situation.

1945: The U.S.S. President Warfield, the ship that would gain fame as the SS Exodus, left active service with the United States Navy.

1945: Affidavit of Dr. Rudolf Kastner, former President of the Hungarian Zionist Organization

1947: Mutual Radio Network broadcast the first episode of a post-war revival of “Stop Me If You’ve Hear This One’ featuring panelist Lew Lehr and Morey Amsterdam.

1947: Mickey Rutner hit his only major league home run. He did it as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics in an 8-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. In the following interview with the NJ Jewish News, Rutner, who has made his retirement home in Georgetown, Tex., describes the big blow as well as providing insights on his diamond career.

“The guy threw me a curve ball, and I hit it quite well, and as I was rounding second I was thinking to myself, ‘Holy cow!’”He also had his first base hit, which had come a few days earlier in Yankee Stadium, against Joe Page. “That’s what you dream about. You always want to play at the Stadium against the Yankees,” said Rutner, who was born in Hempstead, NY, and attended St. John’s University. Actually, retirement is a relative term. Rutner, at 87, the oldest living Jewish ex-major leaguer, has been working for the public relations department of the Round Rock Express, the AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros owned by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. “I work as a greeter in the luxury suites,” he said. “I keep them away from Nolan so they don’t bother him during the game. I enjoy being out there. The people are very nice to me. I do a lot of handshaking.”Rutner played with Lou Limmer — who had been the oldest Jewish ex-major leaguer before passing away last April — in the Puerto Rican winter leagues. Like Limmer, he was a basically a New York kid who was shocked by the anti-Semitism he faced in the Deep South towns of the minor leagues. “It was an experience,” Rutner said. One of his teammates when he first started out was the author Eliot Asinof. “The manager of the team…said, ‘I can’t have two Yids on my team,’ so he released Eliot,” Rutner recalled. It turned out to be a good career move for his friend. “He was a bright man and he went on to play in a different league and then he wrote a few books.” One on those books, Eight Men Out, became the seminal account of the 1919 Black Sox gambling scandal. Rutner himself was the subject of a novel by Asinof, Man on Spikes, the fictional account of Mike Kutner, a good career minor leaguer struggling to break into the bigs. “[Asinof] was visiting us at the house…and he was taking notes and he asked me if it would be all right if he wrote this book about me — but he wouldn’t use my name.”In Memories of Summer: When Baseball Was an Art, and Writing about It a Game, author Roger Kahn cites Man On Spikes as one of his favorite baseball books and offers an insightful observation on the subtleties of discrimination.“Rutner was Jewish; apparently Connie Mack held that against him,” Kahn wrote. “Asinof’s hero is not Jewish. He wears eyeglasses. The techniques of novelists can be every bit as fascinating as the techniques of lefthanded pitchers and center fielders.”Rutner said he hoped the novel, originally published in 1955, will be turned into a movie someday. Although he still enjoys good health and as much as he still loves baseball, Rutner doesn’t know if he’ll return to the Express in 2008; it might interfere too much with his weekly golf game.

1948(9th of Elul, 5708): Four Jews, including two children, were killed in Jerusalem today by shelling from the Arab Legion, the Jordanian army that had invaded Israel and has occupied the Old City.  Another four children were wounded in the shell.

1948: Two unidentified Jewish women died in a Jerusalem hospital today from wounds sustained in last week-end’s Arab shelling.

1948: In a violation of the truce agreement, the Arab legion shelled Jerusalem’s northern residential quarter as well as positions in the southern part of the city held by Israeli troops.

1949: It was reported today that the Jerusalem municipality had “adopted unanimously a resolution reiterating opposition to the internationalization of the city. The resolution stated that “in view of the present efforts to reintroduce plans for the internationalization of Jerusalem the municipality once more declares in the name of the inhabitants that it will accept only full Israel sovereignty. Jerusalemites fought and shed their blood for the city when it was abandoned by all the world and they will continue to defend it so that it will remain the capital of Israel.” (As reported by JTA)

1950: Israeli forces have occupied an area at Naharayim along the border of Jordan because it is Israel's territory under the Rhodes armistice agreement with King Abdullah, an Army spokesman said today.  The territory controls the confluence of the Yarmuk and Jordan Rivers.  “The confluence is about six miles south of the Sea of Galilee and” near the Rutenberg hydroelectric works.  

1951(12th of Elul, 5711): Fifty-seven year old Polish born multi-talented Jewish artist passed away today.

1951: Ely Palmer, chairman of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission meeting in Paris, “handed the Israelis a copy of five proposals that the commission drafted for the Arabs and Israelis in an effort to transform the armistice into a peace treaty.”

1951:  As David Ben Gurion continues to establish a new coalition government six weeks after the last national election, the Mapam Workers party broke off negotiations with the Prime Minister paving the way for a coalition made up of Mapai and the General Zionists.

1957(17th of Elul, 5717): Sixty-year old Sam Mintz, the Minks native who became a successful American screenwriter passed away today.

1960(21st of Elul, 5720): Birthdate of Hungarian composer Leo Weiner.

1961(3rd of Tishrei, 5722): Tzom Gedaliah observed for the first time during the Presidency of John F. Kennedy.

1967: Fifty-nine year old Varian Fry an American journalist who ran a rescue network in Vichy France  that helped approximately 2,000 to 4,000 anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees to escape Nazi occupied Europe and the Holocaust passed away today Among those Fry aided were the following:

  • Hannah Arendt
  • Andre Breton
  • Marc Chagall
  • Max Ernst
  • Lion Feuchtwanger
  • Heinz Jolles
  • Wilfredo Lam
  • Wanda Landowska
  • Jacques Lipchitz
  • Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel
  • Andre Masson
  • Otto Meyerhoff
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Franz Werfel
  • Henrich Mann
  • Ylla

(This blog cannot do justice to the courage shown by Fry and you are urged to read more about him on your own.)

1968: Terrorists attacked a military police headquarters in the Golan Heights.

1969(1st of Tishrei, 5730): Rosh Hashanah

1969: Though the Mets were trying to win a National League, Art Shamsky, with the approval of his manager did not play today.

1969: In her Rosh Hashanah message, Golda Meir “ushered in the year 5730 on the Hebrew calendar with a warning to the Arab nations by saying that "Attacks on the frontiers, sabotage attempts within Israel and attacks of piracy against Israelis abroad have fortified Israel's resolve never to return to the situation of constant peril which prevailed before the Six-Day War."

1970(12th of Elul, 5730): Eighty-two year old Morris Abraham “Two Gun” Cohen who “fought with the Canadian Railway Troops in Europe during World War I” and was “aide-de-camp to Sun Yat-sen and a major-general in the Chinese National Revolutionary Army” passed away peacefully today in England.

1970: Running of the first New York City Marathon which was co-founded by Holocaust survivor Fred Lebow.

1970: Birthdate of Louise Lombard who played the title role in “Esther” a film “that follows the biblical account very closely and featured F. Murray Abraham as Mordecai.

1972: Marcia Leventhal wrote today that she was “appalled and incensed by the tragedy at Munich in which several of my fellow Jews were brutally and senselessly slaughtered by Palestinian terrorists” while denouncing as “barbarism” “the cry voiced by the Jewish Defense League…for the random assassination of Arab diplomats and the indiscriminate shedding of Arab blood…”

1972: “China denounced Israeli air strikes into Syria and Lebanon today but maintained silence on the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists” which had been the cause of the attacks by the IAF.

1973: Syrian and Israeli planes clash over the Mediterranean.  The Israelis shoot down 13 Syrian MIGS while losing only one plane.  The subsequent mobilization of the Syrian armed forces is seen as a response to the Israeli air victory and not what it really was – preparations for all-out war that would being on Yom Kippur, 1973.

1974: Michael Kheifetz, a history teacher and writer was sentenced today “in Leningrad to 4 years strict regime in labor camp plus two years internal exile "for anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation"

1975(8th of Tishrei, 5735): Shabbat Shuva

1975: Pravda and Izvestia published the “complete text of the Helsinki Final Act.”

1977(1st of Tishrei, 5738): Rosh Hashanah

1978: “Days of Heaven” a romantic epic that won an Oscar for Best Cinematography produced by Bert Schneider and Harold Schneider and filmed by cinematographer Haskell Wexler was released in the United States today.

1981: As his ten day trip to the United States was coming to a close Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel spent a busy day in New York seeking approval from sectors of opinion made wary by recent events in the Middle East while at the same time reassuring his followers that nothing had changed.

1982: Joseph Stephen Stanford completed his service as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

1984: Yitzhak Shamir completed his first term as Prime Minister

1984: The 21st government of Israel was formed today with Shimon Peres as Prime Minister.

1984: Haim Bar-Lev began serving as Minister of Public Safety, a ministry that had been abolished in 1977 and renewed in 1984.

1984: Moshe Shahal replaced Yitzhak Moda’I as Minister of Energy and Water Resources.

1984: Gideon Patt replaced Yuval Ne’eman as Minister of Science and Technology

1984: Amnon Rubinstein replaced Mordechai Tzipori as Minister of Communications.

1984: Yitzhak Rabin replaced Moshe Arens as Minister of Defense.

1984: Leonard Bernstein conducts the 40th anniversary concert of Jeremiah Symphony with PSO.

1984: Shimon Peres replaced Yosef Burg as Internal Affairs Mnister.

1985: The original hand-written copy of the lines that have inspired millions and served for generations as a symbol of America - ''Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free'' - are among the highlights of an exhibition opening today at the New-York Historical Society honoring the centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty. Emma Lazarus's famous poem, ''The New Colossus,'' was later inscribed on a bronze tablet on an interior wall of the pedestal, but the original copy will be on view in this exhibition.

1985: Eighty-eight year old Canadian General Edson Louis Millar Burns who served with the UN peace keeping forces during the Suez Crisis and who was author of Between Arab and Israeli passed away today.

1986: Leonard Bernstein led the premiere of Jubilee Games with IPO.

1986: In “The Novel Origins of ‘Gidget’” published today Charles Champlin describes the role that Frederick Kohner played in the creation of what became an American Icon.

1986: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse starring Pee-wee Herman (real name – Paul Rubens) was broadcast for the first time on CBS.

1987: ''Jacob Epstein: Sculpture and Drawings'' an exhibition at the White Chapel Art Gallery which is part of the Jewish East End Celebration was scheduled to close today.

1987: In Toronto, premiere of “Sister, Sister” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh.

1987: NBC broadcast the first episode of season six of “Family Ties” a sit-com created by Gary David Goldberg who wrote many of the scripts.

1989(13th of Elul, 5749): Arye Leon Dulzin, a former Israeli Government official and former chairman of the World Zionist Organization and of Israel's Jewish Agency, died after a prolonged kidney illness today in Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. He was 76 years old and had lived in Tel Aviv. Born in Minsk in 1913, Mr. Dulzin had a lifelong interest in Zionism and in the plight of Russian Jews. He immigrated with his parents to Mexico in 1928 and in time became secretary general of the Zionist Federation of Mexico, serving as president of the organization from 1938 to 1942. He later became chairman of the political committee and president of the Mexican branch of the World Jewish Congress and was a delegate to several sessions of the Zionist Congress in Jerusalem. Mr. Dulzin settled in Israel in 1956 and joined the Jewish Agency, where he headed the economic department and investment bureau until 1965. He then served as head of immigration, absorption and resettlement for the agency and was its treasurer from 1968 to 1978. As a member of the Israeli Liberal Party, Mr. Dulzin joined the Cabinet of Prime Minister Golda Meir as a Minister Without Portfolio in 1969 and was later affiliated with the Likud coalition headed by Prime Minister Menachem Begin. In 1986, he broke with the Liberals, and he and several other leaders formed the Liberal Center Party. Role in Settlements Mr. Dulzin was elected chairman of the World Zionist Federation in 1978 and a short time later became chairman of the Jewish Agency. As head of that organization, he was deeply involved in Jewish emigration to Israel, and as chairman of the World Zionist Organization, he was responsible for furthering the spread of the Hebrew language and Jewish culture and with promoting new Jewish settlements in Israel's occupied Arab territories. He retired in 1987. In 1980, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Yeshiva University in New York for his role in directing immigration and resettling Jews in Israel. Bernice S. Tannenbaum, chairman of the American section of the World Zionist Orgnization, described Mr. Dulzin as a leading force in modern Zionism who had helped draw the major religious streams of Judaism into the Zionist ranks.

1990: Less than 48 hours after the government of Israel was successful in getting a preliminary injunction to stop the sale of By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer, “a nonfiction book by a former katsa (case officer) in the Israeli Mossad, Victor Ostrovsky and Canadian journalist and author Claire Hoy “an appeals court threw it out” enable the book to go one sale.

1991(5th of Tishrei, 5752): Movie producer Joseph Pasternak movie producer at the age of 89, a victim of cancer

1991: U.S. premiere of “Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare” part of the Nightmare on Elm Street series co-starring Yaphet Kotto who has described the difficulty of growing up as “a black Jew.”

1991(5th of Tishrei, 5752): Eighty-nine year old movie producer Joe Pasternak passed away today.

1992(15th of Elul, 5752): Eighty-eight year old Julius Max Meyerhardt, the son of Max and Dora Mayerhardt passed away today after which he was buried in Jefferson City, MO.

1992: The Jerusalem Post reported that US President George Bush proposed legislation to Congress granting Israel a $10 billion loan guarantee for the absorption of Soviet immigrants. He also announced a proposed sale of 72 F-15s to Saudi Arabia with "compensatory steps to ensure Israel's military edge."  For those looking for evidence of Bush and Saudi ties, look no further.  President Bush would use aid to Israel as lever to for that government to take a "more conciliatory" view towards the Arabs.

1993:  Public unveiling of the Oslo Accords, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement initiated by Norway

1993: In a triumph of hope over history, Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yasir Arafat, the chairman of the P.L.O., shook hands today on the White House lawn, sealing the first agreement between Jews and Palestinians to end their conflict and share the holy land along the River Jordan that they both call home.

1993: A photograph was published today in People magazine documenting Alfred Eisenstaedt’s final formal photographic project the subject of which was President Clinton, his wife and his daughter as they spent their first presidential summer at Martha’s Vineyard.

1994(8th of Tishrei, 5755): Seventy-year old songwriter Arthur Siegel passed away today.

1996(29th of Elul, 5756): As Dole seeks to replace Clinton, Jews prepare to celebrate Rosh Hashanah

1997(1st of Tishrei, 5738): Rosh Hashanah

1998: The New York Times book section included reviews by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A History of Palestine From Bonaparte and Muhammad Ali to Ben-Gurion and the Mufti by Thomas A. Idinopulos and The Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up by Andrew Tobias

2000: At a meeting of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab citizens in Israel in Kafar Manda, United Arab List's MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe declared: "We will beat or forcefully attack any policeman and we will break his hands if he comes to demolish an Arab house … we are on the verge of an Intifada among Israel’s Arabs following Alik Ron’s incitement."

2001: Jennifer Jason Leigh began took over the lead role of “Catherine” in the Broadway production of “Prof.

2001: At the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of “The Grey Zone, based on the book Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account written by Dr. Miklós Nyiszli directed by Tim Blake Nelson whose maternal grandparents escaped from the Nazis just before the start of WW II.

2001: At the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of “The Man From Elysian Fields” starring Julianna Margulies.

2002: An exhibition styled “Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York came to a close at the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

2002: “One-Hour Photo” a dark tragedy co-starring Michael Vartan was released in the United States today.

2003: The Tel Aviv – Beit Shemesh section of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway and Beit Shemesh Railway Station were re-opened.

2004: The leadership of the National Religious Party approved the party’s remaining “in the government on condition that the government would not hold a general referendum (משאל עם, Meshal Am) regarding removal of the Israeli settlements, which would require a special majority, before the issue could be brought to a decision in the Knesset. If such a referendum would not be held, or if the government would approve a de-facto removal of Israeli settlements, the party would resign from the government.”

2005:  Despite the desecration and destruction of Synagogues in Gaza by Palestinians, the Jerusalem Post reported that Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar announced he was considering ostracizing any Jew that attacks mosques in retaliation. “I and other rabbis are considering putting a Cherem [ban] on any Jew that desecrates Mosques or other holy places…What right do Jews have to hurt the places of worship of other faiths? It is a good thing that the peoples of the world pray to God."  This is the latest example of Jewish leaders following an ethical path that differentiates the Children of Israel from its antagonists.

2005(9th of Elul, 5765): Sixty-eight year old Cyril Kitchener Harris, the native of Glasgow who served as Chief Rabbi of South Africa from 1987 to 2004 passed away today.

2005: In “How Curious George Escaped the Nazis,” published today, Dinitia Smith recounts the harrowing trip Hans and Margret Rey took to avoid being victims of the Holocaust.


2006:  Today’s offerings of the 2006 OyHoo Festival in New York includes

  • Homage to Lenny Bruce & Free Speech;
  • Jewish Music Showcase featuring some of the best Jewish Music from many great Jewish Labels such as Tzaddik and such performers as Paul Brody, Chana Rothman and Gary Lucas
  • By the Rivers of Babylon featuring Jewish Poetry as Music and Music as Poetry
  • The Big Quiz Thing, NYC's live-trivia spectacular, pitting Jewish bigwigs against each other in a game-show smack down of all things

2006: “The Knesset House Committee approved Moshe Katsav's request for leave of absence.”

2007(1st of Tishrei, 5768): Rosh Hashanah 5768

2007: According to Peter Applebome, Kehillat Lev Shalem, the Jewish congregation in Woodstock, NY, is scheduled to again hold the High Holy Days ceremonies outdoors in their beloved tent. The Rosh Hashanah service is scheduled to begin with the singing of the ’60s anthem “Turn! Turn! Turn!” with the congregation’s leader, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler playing guitar. Mr. Applebome sees this as “a tale of modern Jewish life” in a hippie outpost

2008: An historic event takes place in Vienna when the first festival devoted to Jewish and Israeli music ever held in Austria openedtoday.

2008: Temple Judah hosts it first annual rustic Barbecue and Havdalah Service” at Woodpecker Lodge, Pinicon Ridge Park, in Central City.

2008: “The King and I,” opens at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City featuring Temple Judah’s very own Cyndie and Bentlee Birchansky.

2008: Today, Steve “Stone accepted the job as the color commentator for the White Sox television broadcasts for six years beginning with the 2009 season.”

2008: At ZOA House in Tel Aviv, the curtain comes down on “Setting the Stage,” Beit Lessin's ninth annual revelation of new plays by local playwrights.

2009: Religious School begins at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA

2009: Jack Black led the audience at the MTV Video Music Awards in a Satanic prayer.

2009: The Sisterhood and Men's Club of Olam Tikvah presents historian, world traveler, and lecturer Claire Simmons who leads a discussion of "The Mystery of the Jewish Knapsack: What the Jews Packed for Their Journey into the Diaspora.”

2009: In Teaneck, NJ, a Beshert Moment as Debbie Rosenbloom and David Levin join together under the Chupah to begin a life together that should be marked only by health, happiness and the most sublime sense of joy possible. Mazel tov.

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Why Jews Are Liberals by Norman Podhoretz, Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow and The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

2009: The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times book sections each featured a review of Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein

2009(24th of Elul, 5769): Tragedy struck the family of late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon again today, when his son Captain Asaf Ramon was killed in a crash while flying an Israel Air Force F16-A. Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut was one of seven crew members killed when the U.S. space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry on February 1, 2003. Asaf Ramon's aircraft crashed near the settlement of Bnei Haver, in the rugged terrain of the Hebron Hills. The Israel Defense Forces carried out an aerial and terrestrial search of the area for some 90 minutes before locating the crash site. IAF Blackhawk ("Yanshuf") helicopters carrying soldiers from 669, the Air Force's elite search and rescue unit, were the first to locate the plane, and they retrieved the pilot's body. At a press conference this evening, a grim-faced Brigadier General Yochanan Locker of the Israel Air Force confirmed the circumstances of the crash. "The plane crashed during a routine training flight," Locker said. "Helicopters, rescue forces from [elite unit] 669, grounds troops and rescue personnel were dispatched to the site. "The remains of the plane were found after an extensive search. The Air Force commander has established a committee of inquiry headed by a colonel to investigate the incident," he said. "It is a difficult day for the Air Force [when there is] an accident like this, in which people are killed." Asaf, 21, excelled in the IAF's grueling training course for pilots.  In June he received a presidential honor and was given his pilot's wings by President Shimon Peres. He then joined the squadron in which the course's advanced training program is carried out. The young pilot escaped another plane crash only half a year ago during a routine training flight. The Air Force commander, Major General Ido Nehushtan, called an official inquiry and halted training in Israel's F-16 squadrons until further notice, the military said in a statement. The IAF is investigating a number of possible causes and is looking into whether Ramon was suffering from any physiological problems, such as vertigo or a blackout, at the time of the crash. The young captain had passed a physical exam and was not known to have any medical problems. Ilan Ramon himself was a fighter pilot in the IAF, and the youngest to take part in Israel's 1981 air strike on Iraq's unfinished Osirak nuclear reactor. He was also the son and grandson of Holocaust survivors. People in Israel had tracked Ramon's journey into space as a welcome distraction from the violence of the second intifada; they responded to his death with shock and grief. Today Israeli TV stations screened footage of Ramon floating weightless in the space shuttle, swallowing floating drops of water and speaking about his love for his wife and children. Asaf, was the eldest of Ilan Ramon's four children. He was 15 when his father died; shortly afterward, he promised on a number of occasions that he would follow in his father's footsteps and serve as a pilot and possibly even as an astronaut in the future. He is survived by his mother, and his two brothers and sister. Shortly before receiving his wings, Ramon told the IAF journal that, "It was important to me to mention my father and tell his stories, because I am proud of him and proud to be his son. But I also want people to know me as Asaf and not just as the son of the astronaut Ilan Ramon."

2009: The Cedar Rapids Gazette features a review of Gertruda’s Oath: A child, a Promise and a Heroic Escape During World War II by Ram Oren.

2009: The Israel Antiquities Authority researchers said today that a stretch of road in Jerusalem dating to the Second Temple and thought to be used by pilgrims on their ascent to the temple had been cleared over the past few months.

2010: David Broza who was raised and educated in Israel, Spain and England and is a superstar in his homeland of Israel, as well as a modern troubadour of urban folk-rock is scheduled to appear at the City Winery in New York City.

2010: The 6th Annual Behind the Scenes Gala, sponsored by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre is scheduled to take place in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

2010: Ben Gurion International Airport was shut down for nearly eight hours today due to a strike by Israel Aviation Authority workers over their pensions.

2010(5th of Tishrei, 5771): Eighty-eight year old William Coblenz, prominent San Francisco attorney and civic leader, passed away today. (As reported by Dan Pine)

2010: New York magazine featured a cover story about The Lampshade: A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans by Mark Jacobson in which the author provides documentary proof that the skin of Holocaust victims was indeed used to make lampshades.

2011: The Ariel Quartet and Alisa Weilerstein are scheduled to perform Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, D. 956 at the 14th Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival.

2011: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present the first of a series of brown-bag programs with the theme of “In Search of Jewish Spirituality.”

2011: Turkey's Military Electronic Industry developed a new identification system for its F-16 fighter jets that will allow it to attack Israeli targets, according to report by the Turkish Star Gazette today.

2011: Today MK Amir Peretz attacked his opponent for the leadership of the Labor Party, MK Shelly Yacimovich, saying that she had resorted to the "lowest possible tactics in Israeli politics," during Monday's primary election in which she slightly edged Peretz with 32 percent of the vote to his 31%.

2011: Hamas is weighing a resumption of suicide bomb attacks against Israeli civilians, a senior counter-terrorism expert warned in Herzliya today.

2011: Hakim Awad was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences today for murdering Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their young child-ren, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months old.

2011: Republican Bob Turner and Democratic Assemblyman David I. Weprin are facing each other in a special election being held today to fill the Congressional seat vacated by Representative Anthony D. Weiner.

2012:  The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a lecture by Professor John Lukacs entitled: Anti-Semitism and Judaeophobia: A Critical Analysis of the Development in European Anti-Jewish Sentiment During The Interwar Period.”

2012: At a Rosh Hashanah reception at his residence, today, US Vice President Joe Biden said “there is no daylight” between the United States and Israel when it comes to Iran.

2012: A top Reform rabbi appeared with Libya's U.S. ambassador and Muslim and Christian leaders condemning the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya and the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, along with the anti-Muslim film that allegedly incited the violence.

2013(9th of Tishrei, 5774): In the evening Kol Nidre and the start of Yom Kippur

2013: Kol Nidre services will not take place tonight at the Chabad Synagouge in Boulder due to the unprecedented flooding wreaking havoc across a large swath of Colorado.

2013: Expecting many thousands of Jewish worshipers to gather at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at the start of Yom Kippur this evening, police have preemptively undertaken numerous security measures to safeguard them for the duration of the fast, which ends tomorrow evening. Security crossings into Israel from the West Bank were temporarily closed today and will open again following Yom Kippur in accordance with security assessments adopted by the IDF. (As reported by Daniel K. Eisenbud)

2014: Social Commentator and Comedian Lewis Black is scheduled to appear at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario.

2014: “Syrian rebels are in control of almost the entire Syrian border with Israel, a monitoring group and the Al-Arabiya news network reported today.”

2014: “Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman, television host Bill Maher, Academy Award nominee Minnie Driver and owners of large Hollywood studios such as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal, Chairman and CEO of MGM Gerry Barber” weer among the members of the film industry who posted an additional ad in the New York Times expressing their “commitment to peace and justice” whjich included a condemnation of Hamas and continued support for Israel. (As reported by Yitzhak Benhorin)

2014: Korean Air is scheduled to resume flying to Israel “after shutting down flights to and from Israel at the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in mid-July.” (As reported by Yaakov Levi)

2015: As to today, Israel’s population will reportedly stand at 8.4 million people.

2015: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Marvels, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick and Fear of Dying by Erica Jong.

2015: Jewish fans of the New York Giants are in for a disappointment as the Giants are scheduled to kick off their season at home against arch-rival Dallas at 8:30 this evening, well after the start of Rosh Hashanah.

2015: Unlike baseball great Sandy Koufax, New York Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz is scheduled to play in tonight’s home opening NFL game.

2015(29th of Elul): Seventieth anniversary of the Erev Rosh Hashanah Services led by Martin Reisenberg being held “at a synagogue in the Kreuzberg section of Berlin where 400 members of the capital’s remaining community of Jews gathered for the first such observance since their liberation from a twelve-year campaign of extermination.”

2015: ‘The Palestinian Authority, Jordan and the Arab League slammed the Israeli government for an operation during which police officers found pipe bombs on the Temple Mount in the Old City in Jerusalem’ today.

2015: Police chief Bentzi Sau vowed today that protesters would not be allowed to threaten the security of visitors to the Temple Mount while Public Security Minster Gilad Erdan warned that access to the site could be affected by the discovery of a stash of pipe bombs.

2015(29th of Elul, 5775): In the evening Erev Rosh Hashanah

2016: Israeli cellist Maya Beiser is scheduled to “perform music from her new album TrnaceClassical at Le Poisson Rouge” this evening.

2017(22nd of Elul): Yahrzeit of Joseph B. Levin without whom this blog would not exist.

2017: The Sydney Jewish Museum is scheduled to host Merav Michaeli, MK who will talk about her grandfather “Dr Yisrael Kastner, a Jewish Hungarian journalist and lawyer who lobbied in Budapest and other places to save Jews and who successfully rescued thousands from their deaths during the Holocaust.”

2017: As part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival Year-Round, the Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to co-present a screening of “Zuzana: Music is Life” “The triumphant story told by Zuzana Ruzickova, 90, about how she became a world-famous harpsichordist and interpreter of Bach in Czechoslovakia, despite three years in concentration camps and forty years of communist persecution.

2017: Center for Jewish History, The Berman Center for Jewish Studies at Lehigh University, Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschun, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,American Jewish Historical Society & Leo Baeck Institute are scheduled to present “a talk by Professor Susannah Heschel” on “Political Prophecy versus Liberation Theology.”

2017: The critically acclaimed theatre show “Simon and Garfunkel Story” is scheduled to being its Israeli tour at Ma Sherover in Jerusalem.

 

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