This Day in Jewish History

This Day, March 18, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

Monday March 18th, 2019 04:24:11 AM

March 18


37: The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula emperor. Caligula ruled from 37 until his death in 41. From the Jewish perspective he was not so much an anti-Semite as a lunatic whose crazy behavior affected the Jews. The biggest problems rose from his belief that he was a god and his insistence that the Jews, along with the rest of the Empire worship him. The Jews did not which led to a major confrontation. Additionally, Caligula wanted to place a huge statue of himself in Jerusalem. Fortunately he died before this travesty could take place.

1123: Opening of the First Lateran Council.  Unlike later councils, this meeting did not deal directly with issues related to the Jews. However Canon Eleven did give renewed impetus for the Crusades. “For effectively crushing the tyranny of the infidels, we grant to those who go to Jerusalem and also to those who give aid toward the defense of the Christians, the remission of their sins and we take under the protection of St. Peter and the Roman Church their homes, their families, and all their belongings, as was already ordained by Pope Urban II.”  Canon Eleven also equates going to fight in Spain with going to Jerusalem because Spain was under control of the Moors and the Church sought bring an end to this.

1160: Hamza ibn Asad abu Ya’la ibn al-Qalanisi an Arab politician and chronicler passed away in Damascus. His writings provide one of the few contemporary accounts of the First Crusade from the Moslem point of view including a description of the sacking of Jerusalem. The Jews had fought alongside the Muslims to defend the city against the attackers.  At the end, according Ibn al-Qalnisi, “The Jews assembled in their synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads.’ (The Franks was the terms easterners used to describe the Crusaders)

1190: Crusaders killed 750 Jews in Bury St Edmonds England. The logic of the Crusaders was why wait to kill infidels in the Holy Land when you can kill them right here at home. Just because these infidels were Jews and the infidels holding the Holy Land were Moslems did not seem to bother these noble Christian knights and their supporters.

1229: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor declared himself King of Jerusalem during the Sixth Crusade. In what be lesson for modern times, Frederick’s use of diplomacy succeeded where the use of force by others had failed. His sixth crusade was not a military venture; a fact which drew the ire of the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, after landing in Palestine, he negotiated with the Moslems and gained control of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem for a period of ten years.

1389: A priest living in Prague, Czechoslovakia was hit with a few grains of sand by small Jewish boys playing in the street. He became insulted and insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week.

1478: In Spain, a group of Jews and conversos gathered for a Seder on the first night of Passover. “A young cavalier” discovered the group and reported the matter to the authorities. Since it was holy week, the Spanish decided that the Jews had gathered to “to blaspheme the Chrisitian religion.” When Alonso de Hojeda, the prior of the Convent of San Pablo in Seville and enemy of the Jews and New Christians heard of the event he took the news to Ferdinand and Isabella. Supposedly this was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and the two monarchs petitioned the Holy See to issue a Bull authorizing an Inquisition. The Bull would be granted and the road to the expulsion of 1492 opened up like a superhighway.

1540: Today “R. Isaac Porto ha-Kohen obtained from the Duke of Mantua permission to build an Ashkenazic synagogue.”

1580 (2nd of Nisan): Rabbi Benjamin ben Moses of Lemberg, author Tavnit ha-Bayt passed away

1584: Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible passed away. Ivan was terrible for the Jews as well as for everybody else. He did all that he could to bar them from Russia, spreading the calumnies of the day, and, when he had the chance, giving them the choice between conversion or a cruel death.

1607: As the Inquisition prepared to take action against “Jorge de Almedia, a Portuguese residing in Mexico, the husband of Dona Lenor de Andrada who was convicted by the Holy Office having kept observed the dead Law of Moses, document were posted on the door of the Cathedral in the next step to bringing him to “justice.”

1609: At Haderslev in Denmark, Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg gave birth to Frederick III, who said of the Jews, they “have stolen into Denmark contrary to long-standing custom, [since the days of the Reformation, the Lutheran creed had, according to the laws of Denmark, been compulsory throughout the kingdom], and have dared to traffic with jewels and the like” which led him “to order that no Jew should enter Denmark without a special passport (“Geleitsbrief”), and that those who were already in the country should be heavily fined if they did not leave within fourteen days” passed away today. [Editors’ note: A few years later, however, the tables were turned. Frederick III., being in need of funds for his wars, borrowed money from the Jew Abraham (or Diego) Teixeira de Mattos of Hamburg (known through his relations with the Swedish queen Christina), and gave as security crownlands in Jutland. Teixeira thereupon made such good use of his influence with the Danish king that, as early as Jan. 19, 1657, “the Portuguese professing the Hebrew religion” were permitted to travel everywhere within the kingdom, and to trade and traffic within the limit of the law. Teixeira himself gained little by his transaction with the Danish monarch. As his loan was not returned, he took instead the estates he held as security, selling them later at a great loss. The king acted similarly in his dealings with the De Lima family, who were in possession of the Hald estate from 1660 to 1703.”

1655: Dutch Minister Johannes Megapolensis wrote a letter to the Amsterdam Classis, a ruling body in the Reform Church attacking the Jews who had recently arrived in New Amsterdam.

1669: In Halberstadt which had been annexed Brandenburg as part of the Peace of Westphalia, a mob aided by the military demolished a synagogue in the Joeddenstrasse. The people claimed that the Jews had built the synagogue without permission from the government. For some time after, the hammer that was used to break the door of the synagogue was “preserved in the parish house.”

1722(13th of Adar II, 5532):Ta’anit Esther

1723: Birthdate of Daniel Itzig, the native of Berlin, who became the “Court Jew” of Kings Frederick II the Great and Frederick William II of Prussia.

1762(23rd of Adar): Rabbi Judah ben Eliezer passed away

1767: Myer Myers married Joyce Mears, a cousin of his first wife, Elkalah Myers Cohen of blessed memory. Myers first wife bore him five children and his second wife bore him eight children.

1792: One day after he had passed away, Gabriel Samuel was buried today at the “Alderney Road (Globe Rd) Jewish Cemetery.”

1797: In Nancy (France), Gerson-Jacob Goudchaux and his wife gave birth to Michel Goudchaux, “a French banker and politician who was twice Minister of Finance during the French Second Republic and who as a “firm Republican refused to accept the government of Napoleon III.”

1799: Haifa was captured by Napoleon. This marked “high-water mark” in Napoleon’s conquest of Palestine. The next day French forces reached Acre. It was defended both by British warships and local townspeople including the Jewish inhabitants. By June, Napoleon would give up and return to Egypt.

1812: Three days after he had passed away, Jacob Phillips was buried today at the “Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.”

1817(1stof Nisan, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1819: Daniel Joel and Elizabeth Cohen were married today at the New Synagogue.

1824: Two days after he had passed away, 68 year old Joseph Benjamin was buried todayat the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1831: Birthdate of Joshua Glaser, the Postelburg native who trained as a lawyer before converting to Christianity to advance his career.  At that time, he changed his name to Jules Glaser, the name by which he gained renowned as a jurist and statesman.

1836: Forty-one year old Mary (Harris) Jessel, the wife of Zadok Jessel and the mother of Henry, Edward, George and Amelia Jesse was buried today at the “Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.”

1837: Birthdate of Grover Cleveland, the only man to be elected President of the United States, defeated in his bid for re-election and then to be victorious over the man who had beaten him. In 1887, during his first term, Cleveland appointed Oscar Solomon Straus, “the ranking Jew in America,” envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Turkey. In 1897, during his second term, Cleveland vetoed a bill that contained a literacy test for immigrants. The bill was an attempt to halt immigration from southern and Eastern Europe. If it had passed it would have a detrimental impact on the Jews of Russia, Romania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire seeking to come to America. Cleveland spoke out against the treatment of the Jews at Kishinev and work to raise money for them after the Pogrom in 1903.

1844: One day after she had passed away, Phoebe Isaacs, the wife of Isaac Isaacs and the mother of Abraham and Henry Isaacs was buried today at the “Lauriston Road Jewish Cemtery.”

1852: In Paris, Augustus Glossop Harris and his wife gave birth to Sir August Harris British theatrical impresario whom “all of London” called “Gus” and who “was of Hebrew family and properly proud of his race.”

1857: In Pittsburgh, PA, Louis and Henrietta Berkowitz gave birth to Henry Berkowitz the educator and reform rabbi.

1858: Two days after he has passed away, 86 year old Isaiah Jones, the husband of Esther Jones and the mother of Edward A. Jones was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road ) Jewish Cemetery.

1858: Birthdate of Marcus M. Marks, the New York businessman and politician who “was President of the Daylight Savings Association,” the brother of illumination engineer Louis B. Marks and the uncle of Johnny Marks “who wrote ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’”

1859: In Philadelphia, Henry Cohen and Matilda Samuel Cohen gave birth to sculptor Katherine M. Cohen.

1861: The New York Times reported today that the “story floating around the Northern papers” about a rich Jew named Mordecai “declaring himself insolvent, after paying a small per centum to his New-York, Boston and Philadelphia creditors, is a falsehood, cut out of the whole cloth.”

1862: Judah P. Benjamin began serving as Secretary of State for the Confederacy; a position he would hold until the end of the war.

1863: In Opava, Czech Republic, Charlotte and Samuel David Klauber gave birth to Mathilde Bock

1864: Birthdate of Aberdeen, Scotland native “Major Frank Lang Collie, M.D. the second husband of The “Poem A Day Lady,” Ruth Jacob, the “granddaughter of the Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in London.”

1866(2nd of Nisan, 5626): Fifty-four year old Frederick Goldsmid, the MP for Honiton passed away today.

1869: Birthdate of Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who signed the infamous Munich Agreement with Hitler. He returned to England with the words, “I bring you peace in our times.” Instead there was war within the year. At the same time Chamberlain’s government followed a pro-Arab policy in Eretz Israel which resulted in the infamous White Paper that effectively ended Jewish immigration at the time when the Jews needed a homeland more than ever in their entire history.

1870(15thof Adar II, 5630): Shushan Purim

1874: The Germania Theatre Company will perform tonight at New York’s Terrace Garden Theatre for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.

1875(11thof Adar II, 5635): Fast of Esther observed since the 13th of Adar falls on Shabbat.

1877: It was reported today that during 1876, the strength of the British Army averaged 184,669 officers and enlisted men of whom 131 were Moslems, Hindus or Jews. 

1878(13thof Adar, II, 5638): Fast of Esther

1879: “The New Exodus” published today described how the Biblical motif was used in events was used in events leading up to the emancipation of the slaves and how there is the need for “a New Moses” to liberate the former slaves now living under the oppression of what came to be known as Jim Crow.

1879: The defense was scheduled to present its case in attempt to prove that Cohen Davis, an elderly Hebrew glazier, had not committed perjury in the recent trial of Abraham Freeman and Charles Bernstein, two convicted arsonists.

1880: In New York, Dr. J. P. Newman will deliver a lecture at Chickering Hall sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1881: In St. Francisville, Illinois, Samuel and Hannah Morgenstern gave birth to Julian Morgenstern the biblical scholar who was the President of Hebrew Union College.

1881: German born French Orientalist Jules Oppert “was made a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-Lettres, succeeding the Egyptologist Mariette.”

1884(21st of Adar, 5644): Basha Ruchama Twersky, the wife of Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach and the mother of Aharon Rokeach, the fourth Rebbe of the Belz Hasidic dynasty passed away today.

1886(11thof Adar II, 5646): Ta’anit Esther

1886(11th of Adar II, 5646): Leopold Zunz, also known as Yom Tov Lippman, a German-born Jewish intellectual passed away at the age of 91. Born in 1794, Zunz came of age in post-Napoleonic Germany when Reform Judaism was gaining power and many Jews were converting to Christianity to gain acceptance in the New Europe. Zunz was a scholar with a strong Jewish education. He became “the principal of a teacher’s seminary established by the Jews of Berlin.” As can be seen from his teaching and writings including The Religious Discourses of the Jews Zunz emphasized the importance of prayer and instruction while contending that Judaism was a religion that had constantly been reforming itself. Zunz also believed that for the most part, Judaism and Jewish culture had been at a higher level than the societies that surrounded it.

1886: In Radin, Lithuania, Chaim Yehoshua Heshel Poupko and Bluma Abramowitz gave birth to Eliezer Poupko, the Rabbi sentenced to two years in Siberia for “defying the religious policies of the Soviet Union and husband of Pesha Chaya who, thanks to the intervention of American rabbis came to the United States in 1931 where he led to congregations and raised a family that played a prominent role in the world of American Orthodox Judaism.

1886: Birthdate of German-born Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka who moved to the United States

in the 1920’s where he taught at several colleges and universities including Wisconsin and Smith.

1887: Birthdate of Abraham Abelson

1887: Two days after he had passed away, John Coleman Isaac, the husband of Sarah Isaac, was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1890: Louis Levene represented the Shirtmakers’ Union at the arbitration hearing being held today in an attempt to end the strike.  Most of the workers are Jewish as are many of the contractors on the other side.

1891: A five-story tenement building at the corners of Hester and Allen Streets which is located in a neighborhood crowded with Polish Jewish immigrants burned today.  At the time of the fire eleven Jewish families composed of forty-nine persons were asleep in the building.

1891: The Trustees managing the funds sent to the United States by Baron Hirsch for the aid of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Romania are scheduled to meet today in New York.

1892: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise will deliver a lecture entitled “The Jew, Past, Present and Future” this evening at Temple Israel of Harlem.

1892: Jose S.K. Mitrachee, the Syrian Jewish beggar who shot Rabbi Mendes on March 5th, returned to New York from Philadelphia today in the custody of Detective Sergeants Jacobs and Heidelberg.  The prisoner was immediately taken to the rabbi’s home where Dr. and Mrs. Mendes and their 3 servants positively identified as the attacker.

1893(1stof Nisan. 5653: Rosh Chodesh Nisan and Shabbat HaChodesh

1893(1stof Nisan, 5653): Two Russian Jewish immigrant peddlers – Isaac Rosnewig and Harris Blank murdered 18 year old Jacobs marks on Dutch Mountain in Wyoming County, PA. (At the time of their execution for the crime the two were described as “the only people of the Jewish faith ever executed for murder in this country.”)

1895: New York Mayor Strong appointed Jacob W. Mack, the secretary and treasurer of Nathan Manufacturing Company, to serve as a School Commissioner.

1897(14thof Adar, 5657): Purim

1897: Two days after he had passed away, 38 year old Charles Mark Simmons, the son Mark George Simmons and Caroline Lazarus was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1897(14thof Adar, 5657): Seventy one year old Ignatz Grossman, the native of Trencsen, Hungary who arrived at Brooklyn in 1873 where he officiated at Temple Beth Elohim and Congregation B’nai Abraham passed away today.

1897: A.S. Solomons, the manager of the Baron de Hirsch Fund oversaw today’s Purim Celebration for the students which was held in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance Building.

1897: The feast of Purim was celebrated today with “the formal opening of the new wing of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews” which was attended by 200 visitors.

1898: In Queens, Joseph Meltsner and Sarah Bach gave birth to Adele Meltsner, the wife of Charles Pores.

1898: In Albuquerque, NM, Dr. William H. Greenburg of London who had responded to an advertisement “for a rabbi in The American Israelite,” held the first service for fifty members of Congregation Albert today.

1899: In a letter to the editor published today “A.C.” takes issue with the statement that Henry Irving plays the part of the Polish Jew in “The Bells.”  Irving actually plays the part of Mathias, the murder of the Polish Jew which “is not quite the same thing.”

1899: It was reported today that “some of the French journals intimate that anti-Semitism is at the bottom of the new movement, which is that no Jew is to be permitted either to adopt a career in art, or, having painted a picture, to exhibit it.”

1899: “The Colored Race and Illiteracy” published today provides a summary of an article by Wallace C. Hamm in The North American Review that includes the notation that “The Russian and Polish Jews are never illiterates.” (This stands in stark contrast of the portrait painted of the Jews of Eastern Europe being semi-literate disease laden parasites)

1899: Edward Breck, who was not Jewish, expressed his displeasure with the way that United States was complying with Russian laws that discriminated against American Jews and praised Julius Goldschdmidt, the U.S Counsel General in Berlin for his protest over the American government’s behavior in this matter.

1903: Herzl begins a trip to Egypt that lasts until April 9.

1903: Birthdate of Louis Gross, the Chicago native who was an outstanding scholar/athlete when he played tackle for the University of Minnesota “Golden Gophers” from 1922 to 1924.

1905: Birthdate of Mollie Parnis. Although she never had any formal education in design, Mollie Parnis became an influential women’s fashion designer whose prestigious Seventh Avenue firm provided dresses for first ladies Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, and Patricia Nixon. Parnis was raised on New York’s Lower East Side. She started working in fashion at age eighteen, when she was hired as an assistant saleswoman for a wholesale blouse manufacturer. Her ability to tailor and add distinctive finishing touches to blouses for retail customers earned Parnis her first recognition. She moved from the blouse business to a dress house, but in 1933, she opened an independent designer dress firm with her husband, Leon Livingston. Although she could not cut and sew fabric or draw, Parnis’s acute eye for detail and perceptive knowledge of what women wanted allowed her to provide the creative vision for the company. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the Parnis Livingston label was successful. Parnis’s designs were said to combine elegance and beauty with form and function, and they were frequently featured in the style pages of magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Life. After Livingston’s death in 1962, Parnis reshaped her company to cater to a new demand for more informal clothes. New labels targeted working-class women and young professionals. She closed the doors of her business in 1984.Throughout her life, Parnis was as dedicated to humanitarian work as she was to fashion. In 1971, she funded a program to clean up New York neighborhoods and establish small parks throughout the city. A similar program for Jerusalem followed two years later. She also contributed scholarships to fashion schools, and created the Livingston Awards, which honor young journalists in memory of Parnis’s son. Mollie Parnis died in 1992.

1904: Two days after she had passed away, Frances (Salomons) Bergel, the wife of Samuel Bergel and the mother of Charles, William and Herbert Bergel was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1905: Birthdate of Benny Friedman the native of Cleveland, Ohio known as “the Jewish Johnny Unitas” who played quarterback for the University of Michigan before going to a career as a head coach.

1906: As conditions worsened in Bialystok, two policeman named Rubansky and Syrolevich were killed, probably by anarchists. This was part of the unraveling situation that would lead to a pogrom in June of that year.

1906: Birthdate of Isadore Polier, the native of Aiken, SC who gained fame as civil rights lawyer Shad Polier, the husband of Justine Wise Polier, the daughter of Rabbi Stephen Wise.

1906: A dark day in history since it marked the birth of Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo officer who contributed so much to the Final Solution. Eichmann is the only person to ever be executed by the state of Israel.

1907: As the peasants of Romania rose up against the landed gentry, the government declared a state of emergency and began a general mobilization of the army.  The revolt was tainted by anti-Semitism because in some parts of the country the Jews collected the rents from the Christian peasants for the Christian landlords.  The Jews, of course, could not own the land.

1907: As the investigation into the graft and corruption surrounding the rebuilding of San Francisco following the earthquake, “all of the Supervisors confessed before a grand jury to “receiving money from Abe Ruef in connection with the Home Telephone, overhead trolley, prize fight monopoly, and gas rates deals.  In exchange, “they were promised complete immunity and would not be forced to resign their offices. The grand jury then returned 65 indictments against Abraham “Abe” Ruef for bribery of the supervisors.

1910(7th of Adar II, 5670): Adolphus Simeon Solomons passed away in Washington, D.C. Born in 1826 John Solomons, a native of London who emigrated to the United States in 1810, Julia, daughter of Simeon Levy, “Solomons was educated in the University of the City of New York, and entered the employ of a firm of wholesale importers of stationery and fancy goods, becoming within two years its head book-keeper and confidential man. At the age of fourteen he had enlisted as a color-guide in the Third Regiment Washington Greys (New York State National Guard); he was promoted sergeant five years later” “In 1851 Daniel Webster, then secretary of state, appointed him “Special Bearer of Despatches to Berlin.” On his journey he visited for the first time a Jewish ward in a hospital, at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and determined to establish a similar institution in New York. Upon his return home he became a member of a committee of young men who arranged a ball for charity in Niblo’s Garden. The sum of $1,034 realized therefrom was, upon Solomons’ motion, placed in the hands of Simpson Simson of Yonkers, who, with others, had recently taken out a charter for a Jewish hospital in New York, the present Mt. Sinai Hospital. In 1859 Solomons established the publishing-house of Philp & Solomons in Washington, D. C., which held for a number of years the government contracts for printing. Solomons was in 1871 elected a member of the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia, serving as chairman of the committee on ways and means. As a representative of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, Solomons at a public meeting held in New York advocated the establishment of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of Sir Moses Montefiore’s birth. As trustee and, subsequently, as acting president of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association of New York, he was influential in bringing about a successful reorganization of the society’s finances. In 1891 he became general agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and director of its many activities in America; and in 1903, when relieved of active work, he was made honorary general agent. Solomons was an incorporator and for seventeen years an active member of the National Association of the Red Cross, and was also one of its two vice-presidents. President Arthur appointed him and Clara Barton as representatives of the United States government in the International Congress of the Red Cross, held at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1881; and Solomons was elected vice-president of that congress. He was one of the five original members of the New York executive board of the Red Cross Relief Committee, which board was in session during the Spanish-American war and consisted of twenty-five members presided over by Bishop Potter. Solomons has been a member of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, and its treasurer for the United States. He has been for twenty years a director, and for some time treasurer, of the Columbia Hospital and Lying-in Asylum in Washington, D. C.; he is also a charter member of the Garfield Memorial Hospital, acting president of the Provident Aid Society and Associated Charities, founder and president of the Night Lodging-House Association, and trustee of the first training-school for nurses in the District of Columbia; he has been identified also with nearly all the prominent charities in the United States capital. Solomons has taken active part in all inauguration ceremonies” starting with Abraham Lincoln.

1913(9thof Adar II, 5673): Eighty-nine year old merchant Aaron Goodman passed away today in Baltimore, MD.

1913(9thof Adar II, 5673): Bahr Sheideman, a merchant who had resided in Santa Rosa with his wife Sophie and was the Treasurer of the Jewish Alliance of California passed away today in San Francisco.

1913: The King of Greece was assassinated at Salonica. False charges ran in the Greek newspapers that the killer was Jewish. The killer would turn out to be a Greek who was not Jewish but who was reported to be mentally ill.

1913(9th of Adar II, 5673): Seventy-eight year old merchant Bahr Scheideman, the husband of Sophie Scheidman who replaced George Aronson as superintendent of the religious school at Congregation Sherith Israel, passed away today in San Francisco.

1915: Among these listed today as contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee were Zadok Lodge, I.O.B.B., Selma, Alabama;  Ohev Sholem Sisterhood, Harrisburg, PA; Agudath Jacob Ladies Aide Society, Waco, TX; Akron (Ohio) Hebrew Relief Association and the Women’s Aid Society, Fargo, ND. (Editor’s Note – These contributors give an idea of how many different places that Jews were living and that these places all had active Jewish communities.)


1915: The text of ‘what purports to be the text of a Russian military order on the strength of which wholesale massacres of the Jews in Poland were carried out ‘under Government auspices’ which was sent by the Foreign Committee of the General Union of Jewish Workers of Lithuania, Poland and Russia, commonly as the ‘Bund’” was received in New York today.

1915: As the Allies attempted  use their navies to force their way through Dardanelles, three ships were sunk and three more were disabled meaning that troops, including the fabled Zion Mule Corps, would have to be used to accomplish the strategic goals first framed by Winston Churchill.

1915: According to reports published today “the Commander-in-Chief” of the Russian Army has given “orders for the taking of hostages” which provides for their hanging – which will be used as pretext for hanging Jews on the eastern front.

1916(13thof Adar II, 5676): Shabbat and Erev Purim

1916(13thof Adar, II, 5676): Fifty-eight year old Adolph Goldberg, the husband of the former Theresa Pollack passed away today at his home on Iowa Street in Chicago.

1916: A dance is scheduled” to be held at Burland Casino which is a fundraiser for Sinai Congregation of the Bronx which has just dedicated a new Temple.

1917: “Hailing the Russian upheaval as the greatest world event since the French Revolution, Louis Marshall said in an interview tonight that the revolt again autocracy might be expected to Germany and asserted that the emancipation of the Russian Jews would be as great a boon to their country as to themselves.”

1917: A meeting of Jews held today at the Manhattan Opera House “under the auspices of the People’s Relief Committee” adopted resolution calling for a “self-imposed income tax” to raise funds that will be distributed “among the Jews in the war-stricken countries.

1917: Today, in churches and synagogue throughout New York City leaders hailed the Russian revolution “as great blow for the freedom of a race” including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise who said “he regretted that the American people had not done more to help the cause of liberty in Russia.”

1918: Isaac Nachman Steinberg completed his term as People’s Commissar for Justice.

1918: It was reported today that Jacob H. Schiff was one of those who supported the drive to raise $2,500,000 for the war activities fund of the Knights of Columbus, along with Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El who publicly pledged the support of the Jews in help the Catholics reach their goal.

1918: In London, the Jewish community celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Chevra Kadisha.

1919: It was reported today that the provision in the League of Nations covenant dealing with religious discrimination that “was intended to benefit the Jews” may be a casualty of the Japanese proposal for “an amendment guaranteeing racial equality.”

1919: Birthdate of Hempstead, NY, native Milton “Mickey” Rutner the third baseman who played in 12 games for the 1947 Philadelphia Athletics

1920(28th of Adar, 5680): Seventy-year old Moriz Benedikt, the “long time editor of Neue Freie Presse” passed away today.

1922: Birthdate of Brooklyn native Aaron Shikler, the renowned portrait artist whose works included the official portrait of JFK, Senator Mike Mansfield and Lady Bird Johnson in what looks a hymn to the Hill Country, (As reported by William Grimes)

1922: In Cairo, the first meeting was held between a Zionist Delegation and representatives of the “Executive Committee of the Congress of Parties of the Confederation of Arab Countries.”

1922: Judith Kaplan, age 12, became the first American to celebrate a bat mitzvah. Judith was the oldest daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. Believing that girls should have the same religious opportunities as their brothers, Rabbi Kaplan arranged for his daughter to read Torah on a Shabbat morning at his synagogue, the Society for the Advancement of Judaism. The Kaplan bat mitzvah marked a turning point for Conservative Judaism in America. Always torn between tradition and modernity, the movement struggled for many decades with women’s roles in the synagogue. Judith Kaplan herself was not allowed to read from the Torah scroll, as modern bat mitzvah celebrants do; instead, she read a passage in Hebrew and English from a printed Chumash (first five books of the Bible) after the regular Torah service. Still, Rabbi Kaplan’s innovation gained followers, and about a third of Conservative congregations held bat mitzvah ceremonies by 1948. By the 1960s, bat mitzvah was a regular feature of Conservative congregational life; today it is a mainstay in synagogues from Reform to Modern Orthodox. After her ground-breaking bat mitzvah, Kaplan Eisenstein (she married Ira Eisenstein who became Kaplan’s successor in leading the Reconstructionist movement) went on to a successful career in Jewish music. After studying at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Julliard School) in New York, she attended the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) Teachers Institute and Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she earned an M.A. in music education in 1932. She later earned a Ph.D. in the School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Kaplan Eisenstein taught music pedagogy and the history of Jewish music at JTS, HUC-JIR, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for many years. She also created the first Jewish songbook for children, Gateway to Jewish Song (1937). Her other published works include Festival Songs (1943) and Heritage of Music: The Music of the Jewish People (1972). In 1987, she created and broadcast a thirteen-hour radio series on the history of Jewish music. In 1992, at age 82, Kaplan Eisenstein celebrated a second bat mitzvah, surrounded by leaders of the modern Jewish feminist movement. This time, she read from a Torah scroll. Kaplan Eisenstein died on February 14, 1996.

1922: Birthdate of sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset, the co-author of Jews and the New American Scene in 1995.

1924: Birthdate of Irmgard Neumann, the native of Kleinsteinach, who was among the last nine members of the town be shipped to the death camps in 1942.

1925: “Athletes” a silent film with a script by Hans Behrendt was released today in Germany.

1926: Chairman William Fox announced today that cotton goods merchant Samuel C. Lamport and clothing manufacture Joseph Frankel have each contributed $25,00 the United Jewish Campaign of New York.

1927(14thof Adar II, 5686): Purim

1927: Thanks to the effort of New York Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, Purim was celebrated by “Jewish patients in all the city hospitals on Welfare Island.”

1927: In Leipzig, German, Herman Menasche, a lingerie merchant and the former Erna Feiner gave birth to Lilli Menasch who gained fame as Lillian Vernon. Vernon fled with her family first to Amsterdam and then to New York to escape Hitler. In the U.S., her father manufactured leather goods, which would become the base of Vernon’s first foray into mail-order commerce. Married and pregnant, Vernon began the business that would become Lillian Vernon, Inc., in 1951. She took $495 out of her wedding gifts to place an advertisement for personalized belts and handbags in Seventeen magazine. Her father’s company manufactured the belts and bags, and Vernon embossed, packaged, and shipped them. The ad brought in over $32,000 worth of sales, and Vernon’s company was born. She mailed her first catalogue two years later. Taking monogramming as its trademark, and catering mainly to women, Lillian Vernon mail-order grew rapidly, generating $200,000 in sales in 1956, the year Vernon opened her first manufacturing plant. By 1990, sales had risen to $238 million, and the mailing list had grown to 17 million names. After pioneering her successful mail-order business, Vernon continued to keep the company at the forefront of commercial changes. She began opening retail outlets in 1985, and went online a decade later. Hers was also the first woman-owned business to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. The company continues to introduce new catalogs regularly, and now produces special lines of items for children, teens, and gardening, as well as its traditional products for the home. Vernon has used her wealth to support over 500 charities, and has been recognized by, among others, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which awarded her its National Hero Award. She has also received the NAACP Medal of Honor, and has been inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame. In 1997, she was named one of 50 leading women entrepreneurs by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners. Though she no longer embosses items herself, Vernon is still active as the CEO of her company and as its main spokesperson.

1927: “Praises Palestine Idea” published today described a plea made today “to the Christian world” by Colonel Sir Wyndham Deedes, the former Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government “to banish all prejudices against the Jew, to wipe the slates clean and start with clean slates, as Jewish history is being re-written in Palestine.”

1927: In Kansas City, MO, Harold S. Kander and his wife gave birth to Broadway composer and dance arranger John Kander whose credits include “Chicago” and “Cabaret.”

1928: The New York Times described the controversy surrounding the decision of a court in Jaffa to fine a storekeeper for violating local ordinances concerning the observance of the Jewish Sabbath.

1929: In Białystok, Poland, to David and Helaina (née Suchowolski) Pisar gave birth Samuel Pisar American lawyer who survived seven different concentration camps.

1930: In New Orleans, Rabbi Louis Binkstock officiated at the wedding this evening “Miss Lenore Lebach, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart J. Lebach of New York” and Tulane alum  Edmond Nathanial Cahn, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Cahn

1930: Eight one year old Arthur James Balfour, a prominent British politician who served as Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905 passed away today. During World War I, Balfour served as Foreign Minister. It was while serving in this position that he gained his place in Jewish History by giving his name to the Balfour Declaration, which read in part, “His Majesty’s Government view with the favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object…” The Balfour Declaration came to be one of the basic documents in the Jewish diplomatic efforts to establish what would become the modern state of Israel.

1931: “Is Charlie Chaplin Jew?” published today reported that that both of Charlie Chaplain’s parents were Jewish.

1932: Birthdate of Alan Rosenthal the native of Manhattan and Harvard graduate who was director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University from 1974 to 1993. (As reported by Kate Zenike)

1936: “These Three” a drama directed by William Wyler, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with music by Alfred Newman and “a screenplay by Lillian Hellman based on her 1934 play ‘The Children’s Hour.’”

1936: The basic plans for the upcoming meeting of the World Council for German Jewry “which plans to supervise the emirgration of 100,000 Jews from Germany in the next four years” which “will be attended by 300 delegates” including 70 from the United States were published today.

1937: As “the Arab attacks on the Jews in Palestine continued to increase,” “a bomb exploded early this morning in the hands of an Arab near the Jewish quarter in Kerem seriously injuring him and three Arab workmen”

1937: “Pledges Protection to Jews” published today described a visit of Benito Mussolini to Tripoli, Libya where he “openly rejected the policy of anti-Semitism” and assuring the Jews “of his protection.”

1937: The Palestine Post reported that 17 Jews, two policemen and one British soldier were injured by a bomb thrown at the Egged bus terminal on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road. Two Arabs were detained on suspicion. Later four Arabs were injured when bombs were thrown into Arab-frequented cafes on Mamilla Road and in Romema. Police dogs picked an Arab farmer, Mohammed Kamel, as the murderer of Samuel Gottfried, 26, of Rosh Pina.

1938: “Notes of the Advertising World” published today described the appointment of Julien J. Proskauer, the president of William C. Popper and Co. to serve as chairman of the printing and allies trades division of the Joint Distribution Committee which is “raising funds to aid Jews in Germany, Austria and Poland.

1938: “An order issued by Hitler’s representative in Austria “that no changes shall be carried out in the personnel of private businesses” essentially “prohibits reduction of staffs by Jews whose property rights curtailed and whose customers are being frightened away by propaganda and the badge ‘Jewish shop.’”

1939: Just after the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, in Brno, Syme Rysavy “invited her parents and younger brothers, Ned and Michael, over to her house for a special family dinner” during which she told her brothers they must flee immediately – a decision that saved their lives – and she would stay with their aged parents.

1939(27thof Adar, 5699): Parsahat Vayakhel-Pekudi; Shabbat HaChodesh

1939(27thof Adar, 5699): Forty-eight year old Bert Adler, the secretary of the Department of Public Works who “served in the motion picture section of many Red Cross drives and was Chairman of the Stars Committee of the Hoover Central Europe Relief Drive passed away today at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital.

1939: Rabbi Harold Mashioff is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler” at the Temple of the Covenant.

1939: Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel is scheduled to deliver a sermon “The Willing Heart” at West End Synagouge.

1939: Rabbi B. Benedict Glazer is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Static Versus Dynamic Religion” at Temple Emanu-El.

1940: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom. [Editor’s Note – For some strange reason, Italy was never held accountable for its role as Hitler’s willing ally and all that that meant.]

1941: This week, 200 Jews would die from hunger in Warsaw ghetto. The prior week, 400 died of hunger.

1941: In a move that would to a notorious show trial and the execution of the defendant, Leo Katzenberger was arrested today under the so-called Rassenschutzgesetz, or Racial Protection Law, one of the Nuremberg Laws, which made it a criminal offence as Rassenschande (“racial defilement”) which prohibited Aryans from having sexual relations with Jews

1942: Forty-five year old Charles A. Levine who was “the first trans-Atlantic plane passenger” was in front of a federal judge in Los Angeles over a $500 fine that had been levied against him over a violation of immigration law.

1943(11th of Adar II, 5703): Fast of Esther observed since the 13th of Adar is on Shabbat.

1943(11th of Adar II, 5703): The hiding place of Dr. Julian Charin, age 30, of Lapy, Ukraine, was betrayed to the Nazis, and Charin was shot.

1943(11th of Adar II, 5703): At Auschwitz, 26-year-old underground fighter Lonka Kozibrodska died of typhus.

1943: “After Midnight with Boston Blackie,” part of the series of crime movies produced by Sam White was released in the United States today.

1943: “Keeper of the Flame” a movie version of the novel with the same named directed by George Cukor was released today in the United States.

1944(23rdof Adar, 5704): Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei and Shabbat Parah

1944(23rdof Adar, 5704): H.J. Freedman passed away in the service of his country after which he was bured in the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.

1944: Birthdate of Amnon Lipkin-Shahak the 15th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Member of the Knesset and Minister of Transportation and Tourism.

1944: Hitler summons the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Horthy for talks. Horthy guaranteed the delivery of 100,000 Jewish workers for the German war effort. Yet he was still hesitant about a general deportation of the rest of the country’s 750,000 Jews. At 9:30 that evening, German troops begin to enter Hungary.

1945: Birthdate of Eric Norman Woolfson, the native of Glasgow where his family owned a furniture, who became “a Scottish songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, executive producer, pianist, and co-creator of The Alan Parsons Project.”

1946(15thof Adar II, 5706): Purim

1946(15thof Adar II, 5706): Seventy-nine year old Maurice Falk, he Greensberg, PA born son of Charles and Sara Falk and the founder, with his brothers of Weirton Steel who married Selma Wertheimer after his first wife Laura Klinordlinger passed away and who, with his brother “established the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies at Pittsburg in 1912 passed away today.

1946: Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill was “the guest of honor at a dinner given by” Jewish financier and unofficial advisor to numerous Presidents, Bernard Baruch.

1946: Birthdate of Wolf “Willy” Lindwer the native of Amsterdam “best known for his films on the Holocaust, Israel and the Middle East and Judaism.”

1946: In Sweden, premiere of “Deadline at Dawn” directed by Howard Cluman with a script by Clifford Odets.

1947: Birthdate of Steve Schiff the Chicago native who became a Congressman from New Mexico’s First District.

1947: Birthdate of Deborah Esther Lipstadt , the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University who defeated Holocaust denier David Irving in an English court.




1947: Efforts to overturn the death sentences of Dov Rosenbaum, Eliezer Kashani and Mordecai Kashani suffered a setback today when the “Palestine High Court rejected an application for an order for the commissioner of prisons, the British commanding general, the attorney general and the chief secretary to show cause” for why the sentence should not be set aside.

1948(7thof Adar II, 5708): Seventy three year old Gedaliah Bublick, the Grodno born son of Aaron Bublick “the writer and Zionist who drifted from Paris to Argentina to New York where he became editor-in-chief of the Yiddishe Tageblatt passed away suddenly tonight.

Hempstead, NY, native Milton “Mickey” Rutner the third baseman who played in 12 games for the 1947 Philadelphia Athletics passed away today in Georgetown, TX.

1948(7th of Adar II, 5708): Rabbi Chaim Isaac Block, author of Divrei Hibbah passed away.

1948(7thof Adar II, 5708): Sixty-four year old Hungarian native Louis J. Moss, the son of Michael and Jennie Moss, “a lawyer specializing in real estate and trust law” and the President of the United Synagoes of American from 1931 to 1941 who was the husband of the former Bryna Finegold with whom he had three children passed away today.

1948: Today in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion said “that the Jews and Arabs would make peace in the Holy Land if the United Nations implemented the decision on partition.”

1948 President Truman met with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann and assured him of the United States’ support for Jewish statehood. 

1949: After having been released in Germany and the United States in 1948, “Long Is he Road” – “the first German-made film to directly portray the Holocaust.”

1949: James Grover McDonald was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel by President Harry Truman.

1949: Moshe Dayan, Abdullah el-Tell and King Abdullah of Jordan began “a series of meetings today” which would lead to an armistice agreement.

1950: “Dr. George Josephthanal, director of the Absorption Department of the Jewish Agency” announced “that a sea and air operation aimed at moving 90,000 Jews out of Iraq into Israel would be initiated next month at a cost of sixty million dollars.”

1951: Birthdate of Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Empire.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Agriculture Minister Levi Eshkol promised self-sufficiency in animal fodder, increased tobacco production, and intensification of cattle raising for meat, as the immediate policy goals of his ministry. He noted a general improvement in fruit production, although he warned that it could take a couple of years until the full impact of last year¹s planting was felt on the market.

1956(6th of Nisan, 5716): Sixty-eight year old Benjamin Glazer, the Irish born director and Oscar winning writer who “was one of the founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences passed away today.

1961:The New York Times reports that the French government awarded Rabbi Simon Langer the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur for his “…extraordinary contributions to the advancement of better French-American relations before and after the Second World War. He is credited with rescuing many French children from the Nazis.” His tireless work with Bikur Cholim continues.

1962: The Evian Accords put an end to the Algerian War of Independence, which began in 1954. The end of the Algerian War marked the beginning of a change in French policy towards the Arabs, and therefore, towards Israel. While fighting the Arab nationalist in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, the French saw the Israelis as allies. This accounts for French willingness to supply the IDF with military equipment including jet fighter planes and to join in the Suez War of 1956. Once De Gaulle decided to end French fighting with Arab nationalist, he sought to create a French sphere of influence among its former colonies. Supporting Israel was now a detriment to French policy aims. In 1967, De Gaulle would oppose Israel’s right to defend itself in what would become the Six Days War going so far as to deny delivery of naval vessels to the Israelis for which the Jewish state had already paid.

1963(22ndof Adar, 5723): Eighty-two year old Harry Schwartz, the maternal grandfather of Rabbi Fred Davidow and native of Ukraine who settled in Mississippi where he and his wife Fannie Stein ran a dry-goods store and meat market and raised a family that included Fred’s mother Thelma Leah, passed away today.

1964(5th of Nisan, 5724): Sixty-nine year old American mathematician Norbert Wiener passed away. Born in 1894, he was known as the founder of cybernetics. He created the term in his book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948), widely recognized as one of the most important books of contemporary scientific thinking

1965(14thof Adar II, 5725) Purim

1965: “Do I Hear a Waltz?” a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Richard Rodgers, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim opened on Broadway at the 46thStreet Theatre.

1965: Death of King Farouk, former ruler of Egypt. While King of Egypt, Farouk led his country to war against Israel in 1948. The defeat of Egyptian forces along with his total corruption, led to Farouk’s overthrow in 1952 in a coup masterminded by Nasser.

1967: Thirteen year-old Alan Smason became a Bar Mitzvah at New Orleans Congregation Beth Israel. He celebrated the event with a major party at the newly-opened Jewish Community Center that night

1968(18th of Adar, 5728): Sixty year old Harry Kurnitz who wrote over forty movie scripts as well as detective stories and plays passed away today.

1968(18thof Adar, 5728): “Two people were killed and 28 children were in landmine attack on a school bus in the Negev north of Eilat.”

1969(28thof Adar, 5729): Sixty-two year old Zena Maisel Pollack, the administrative director of the Jewish Guild for the Blind for the last 35 years, “known to her associates as Sis” and wife of “retired toy manufacturer Sidney E. Pollack” passed away today at University Hospital.

1969(28thof Adar, 5729: Seventy-two year Harvard alum and Navy Veteran from WW I and WW II Kassel Lewis, the founder of Crown Fabrics and husband of “the former Syliva Surut who is the director the YMHA/YWHA nursery” with whom he raised a daughter and a son – Anthony Lewis of the New York Times.

1973(14thof Adar II, 5733): Purim

1973: “Two People” a dramatic film with music by David Shire was released today in the United States.

1973: The Cy Coleman musical “Seesaw” opened today on Broadway at the Uris Theatre.

1974: In Tucker, GA, “Leslie (Diamond) and Charles Lowenstein gave birth to twin brothers Evan Mitchell Lowenstein and Jaron David Lowenstein, the musical duo who perform as “Evan and Jaron.”

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo that Yasser Arafat made it clear that the PLO had no intention of giving up its aim of creating a “secular state” in Palestine ¬ its roundabout expression for the destruction of Israel. In Washington, despite Israeli repeated requests, the State Department declined to say what President Jimmy Carter had in mind when he called for a Palestinian “homeland.” Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was reportedly worried by Carter¹s statement that there had to be a homeland provided for Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years.

1978: “Straight Time,”  “a crime drama directed by Ulu Grosbard,” produced by Tim Zinnemann and starring Dustin Hoffman was released in the United States today.

1978: “Two London Jewish tourists, who visited Leningrad, reported that after meeting with refuseniks, they were attacked and beaten up by a gang of hooligans.”

1979(19th of Adar, 5739): Seventy year old Sylvan N. Friedman who served in the Louisiana State Legislature from 1944 until 1972,  a long-time member of Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim and the father of Sam Friedman, the attorney who reopened the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, passed away today.

1979: Birthdate of Adam Levine an American singer-songwriter and guitarist who is the frontman for the pop rock band Maroon 5.

1979: “Fast Company” a racing movie directed by David Cronenberg who co-authored the script was released today in Canada.

1980(1stof Nisan, 5740): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1980(1st of Nisan, 5740): Seventy-nine year old Eric Fromm passed away.

1980(1stof Nisan, 5740): Eighty-year old German born “British neurologist” and founder of the Paralympics in the UK passed away today

1982: In Livingston, NJ, Caryn and Steven Pally gave birth to actor and comedian Adam Saul Pally.

1983(4th of Nisan, 5743): Eighty-nine year old New York Republican Party leader Samuel Greenwald, the Hungarian born son of Judah and Marjem Greenwald and husband of Szeri Greenwald pass way today.

1984(14thof Adar II, 5744): Purim

1986(7th of Adar II, 5746): Seventy-one year old author Bernard Malmud passed away. The prolific author may be best known for The Fixer for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and The Natural which was made into a movie starring Robert Redford. The movie and the book have different endings. The film version makes Hollywood happy. The book ends in a manner consistent with Malmud’s view of life. (As reported by Mervyn Rothstein)

1988: “The Milagro Beanfield War” featuring Daniel Stern and with music by Dave Grusin who won an Oscar for Best Original Score was released today in the United States.

1988(29thof Adar, 5748): Eighty-four year old Gerald Abraham, the President of the Royal Musical Association passed away today.

1990(21stof Adar, 5750): Ninety-four year old Manhattan born, Harvard Grad and WW I U.S. Navy Ensign Walter S. Mack who made Pepsi he nation’s number 2 cola, behind number 1, Coke, passed away today. (As reported by Peter B. Flint)

1991: In “Resisting the Vortex By Living a Life of Books and Anger” published today Frank Rich reviewed a new Holocaust play – “The Substance of Fire” by Jon Robin Baitz.”

1992: Leona Helmsley was sentenced to 4 years for tax evasion.

1993: The Sisters Rosensweig a play written by Wendy Wasserstein opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

1994: In Canada, CTV broadcast the first episode of “RoboCop” a series produced by Jay Firestone based on the movie of the same name

1995: “Opening the Fed’s Door From Inside” published today provides an insight to the fiscal and monetary philosophy of Alan S. Binder, the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

1997: It was reported today that President, Chancellor, Boards of Governors and Overseers, faculty, administration and students of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion record with profound sorrow the death in Jerusalem of Dr. S. Zalman Abramov, Chairman of the Board of Overseers of our Jerusalem School.

1997: The Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the proposed designation as a Landmark of the Pike Street Synagogue (Congregation Sons of IsraelKalwarie), and the proposed designation of the related Landmark Site

1999: Marcel Marceau day is established in New York City.

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation by Edwin Black and The Voice of Memory: Interviews 1961-1987 by Primo Levi; edited by Marco Belpoliti and Robert Gordon

2003(14thof Adar II, 5763): Purim

2004: In Israel premiere of “Walk on Water” directed by Eytan Fox.

2004(2ndof Nisan, 5764): Seventy-two year old Tony Award winning Broadway producer Joan Cullman passed away today. (As reported by Ben Sisario)

2006: Shabbat Parah

2006: The family and multitude of friends of Betty Levin gather in Chicago to celebrate her birthday. Wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher, pillar of the Jewish community and so much more – she is the complete package. She redefines the term Ashesh Chayil giving the term a meaning far beyond anything that Solomon could have possibly imagined.

2007: The Jerusalem Circus performs at the Gerard Behar Center as part of the Jerusalem Arts Festival.

2007: At Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y, Zvi Gotheiner and Dancers present the last performance of “Gertrud,” a tribute to Gotheiner’s late teacher, Gertrud Kraus.

2007: The Sunday New York Times features a review of Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein.

2008: Eric Alterman, a professor of English and journalism at the City University of New York, discusses and signs Why We’re Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America at Borders Book Store in Washington, D.C.

2008: German Chancellor Angela Merkel becomes the first foreign head of government to address the Knesset. In the past, the honor has been reserved only for heads of state and monarchs.

2008: A special meeting of the Committee for the Advancement of Women will be convened to mark International Agunah Day, led by the new chairperson of the committee – Knesset member Lia Shemtov.

2008(11th of Adar II, 5768): Henry A. Fischel, a “professor emeritus of Near Eastern languages and cultures at Indiana University,” passed away. “Fischel was an influential figure in founding the Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. Under his direction, the Lilly Endowment gave the university a grant in 1972-73 to develop a Jewish Studies Program.”

2008(11thof Adar II, 5678): Seventy-eight year old the heavyweight literary editor who was a “noted for his distinguished list of authors, tweedy attire and accomplished renditions of Bach preludes and fugues on the piano” passed away today.

2008: “Yael Naim, the self-titled second studio album by Yael Naïm” that features the single “New Soul” was released today in the United States in Canada today.

2008: A 49 year old Israeli rabbi identified as Rabbi Yechezkel Greenwald was stabbed and wounded by an Arab assailant near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

2009: The Leo Baeck Institute hosts “Regina Resnik Presents: Covert or Convert” a film that pays “homage to composers who converted to Christianity but who wrote on Jewish themes, and to composers who did not convert, but wrote on Jewish themes in secret, often at the risk of their lives. Presented and narrated by the legendary mezzo-soprano Regina Resnik, the film shares the proud and often difficult history of such composers as Anton Rubinstein, Otto Klemperer, and Felix Mendelssohn, whose statue outside the Gewandhaus in Leipzig was destroyed by the Nazis.

2009: Book World columnist Michael Dirda discusses and signs his most recent book, Classics for Pleasure, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, Md.

2009: The Orange Prize, given annually to a female fiction writer, announced its list of 20 contenders, including Allegra Goodman author of “Intuition.”The finalists for the Man Booker International Prize, a lifetime achievement award given every other year, have been announced including E. L. Doctorow and Joyce Carol Oates.

2009: “The North American United Jewish Communities, in cooperation with the State Department…set funds aside to absorb 110 Yemenite Jews in to the United – more than a third of all the Jews remaining in Yemen.”

2009(22ndof Adar, 5769): Terry Schwarzfeld died of brain injuries today, two weeks after being airlifted to a hospital in Ottawa from Barbados where she had been brutally by Curtis Joel Foster while on vacation with her daughter-in-law.  At the time of the attack she had just started her term as president of Canadian Hadassah WIZO and was executive director of Ottawa’s largest synagogue, Agudath Israel.

2010: Jacques Pépin, author of more than a dozen cookbooks and host of a trio of celebrated cooking shows, is scheduled to serve as a celebrity judge today during the finals of the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, hosted in New York City by the kosher food giant. The kosher recipe contest will award prizes worth $25,000. Open to contestants from across the country, the competition is limited to original recipes that are kosher, can be prepared in less than an hour and contain no more than 8 ingredients including one of the three varieties of Manischewitz’s new, kosher, all-natural broths. The winner of the fourth annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off will get a trip to New York, a kitchen’s worth of new appliances — at a value of roughly $25,000 — as well as a check for $5,000 and a gift card for groceries.


2010: An auction of several rare early American Jewish books is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in New York. Among the offerings at the sale being conducted by Swann Auction Galleries is an early Jewish-American cookbook and the first Hebrew Bible printed on American soil. A first edition of Esther Levy’s 1871 Jewish Cookery Book is expected bring bids ranging from $10,000 to 15,000. “This first Jewish cookbook published in North America offers a glimpse into late-19th-century Jewish life and food trends, when mutton was popular and husbands expected special Sunday dinners. Also for sale is an extremely rare Liber Psalmorum Hebraice from 1809, the first Hebrew version of the Bible printed in the Americas. No other complete copy has been seen at auction since 1998, according to the auction catalogue. The book is valued at $9,000 to $12,000. Other items of interest include 200 books, manuscripts and other papers from the family archives of Abraham Moses Hershman, who became rabbi of Detroit’s Shaarey Zedek synagogue in 1907, and an early edition of Isaac Leeser’s The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, dating from about 1852.

2010: Itzhak Perlman joins the IPO for a performance in Concert in Jeans Series in Tel Avi.

2010: As part of The Levin/Rosenstein Lecture Series held in Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph B. Levin, Dr. Jacob L. Levin, and Larry and Judy (Levin) Rosenstein, The Jewish Studies Program at Tulane University is scheduled to present “From Berlin to New York: Jewish Culture in Pre-Nazi Germany and Jewish Culture in Post-War America.”

2010: A migrant worker in the northern Negev was killed by a rocket fired by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. The rocket struck Moshav Nativ Ha’asara this morning, killing a 30-year-old Thai man working in a hothouse. It was third rocket fired from Gaza in 24 hours.

2010: Israeli actor and television host Eyal Kitzis and his wife Tali gave birth to their first son.

2011: In Buenos Aires, Argentina Jewish leaders, “Jewish school groups, local and federal government officials met in the square where the embassy once stood, to remember the attack on the Israeli Embassy which took place on March 17, 1992, killing 29 people, and injuring 242. The attack was the work of Iran.

2011: The Five finalists on the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off who have won an all-expense paid trip to Manhattan are scheduled to compete today at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. A panel consisting of food media and other culinary experts will judge the contestants. Chef Jacques Pepin, the celebrity guest of honor, will act as emcee, head judge, and prize awarder. The cooking contest has a $25,000 grand prize package including a GE Profile kitchen appliances and cash.

2011: Lorin Sklamberg with Dublin-born chanteuse Susan McKeown and guitarist Aidan Brennan are scheduled to present Saints and Tzadiks, a program of rare songs from the Yiddish and Irish traditions in Bielefeld, Germany.

2011(12 Adar II, 5771): Sixty-seven year old Knesset Member and educator Ze’ev Boim passed away today.

2011(12 Adar II, 5771): Sixty-seven year old Knesset Member and educator Ze’ev Boim passed away today.

2011(12 Adar II): On the Hebrew calendar, anniversary the “Dedication of Herod’s Renovated Temple” in 11 BCE. For those who know how Herod lived his life the Talmud’s declaration that “He who has not seen Herod’s edifice has not seen a magnificent edifice!” is difficult to understand.

2011: Projectiles land in open areas with no injuries, damaged reported; shots fired at IDF soldiers near southern Gaza border.  

2011: In “In Novels, an Ex-Spy Returns to the Fold,” Jules Bosman describes the upcoming literary efforts of Valery Palme Wilson, the CIA employee who happened to Jewish and who was identity was scandalously exposed by those upset with her husband.

 2012: The annual Jewish Women’s Archive Luncheon is scheduled to take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

2012: The final in a three part lecture series “Agnon’s Eretz Israel” presented by Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is scheduled to take place today.

2012: “The Last Jews of Libya” is scheduled to be shown at the New York Sephardic Film Festival.

2012: The NoVA International Film Festival is scheduled to begin today in Fairfax, VA.

2012(24th of Adar, 5772): Eighty-seven year old real estate developer Melvyn Kaufman passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2013: At Shaaray Tefila, Rabbi Dagan is scheduled to present a “special program where he will share gorgeous melodies that track his personal musical journey from an Israeli Sephardi synagogue to a Reform rabbinate in Haifa.

2013: After almost six years of service, Ehud Barak stepped down as Minister of Defense.

2013: Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present “Beer, Art and Revolution: Jewish Life in Munich, 1806-present”

2013: Gideon Sa’ar replaced Eli Yishai as Minster of the Interior.

2013: Moshe Ya’alon replaced Ehud Barak as Minister of Defense.

2013: Ayoob Kara completed his term as Deputy Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee

2013: The ministers of Israel’s 33rd government were sworn in this evening in the Knesset in Jerusalem.

2013: Israel and a European human rights official criticized Hungary today for presenting an award to a television journalist they accuse of anti-Semitism.

2013: An Israeli was lightly injured in a drive-by attack near the West Bank settlement of Kedumim this morning. A Palestinian shooter opened fire on the man, 71, who was on foot, at the Kedumim Junction, slightly injuring him in the leg. 

2014(16thof Adar II, 5774): Ninety-five year old Doris Kanter, “the widow of comedy writer-produceer-director Hal Kanter passed away today.

2014: The New York Premiere of “Shadow in Baghdad” is scheduled to take place at New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

2014: “Dancing in Jaffa” is scheduled to be shown at the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

2014: Twenty-four Medals of Honor were awarded by President Obama to Army veterans who were denied their honor due to prejudice including Private First Class Leonard Kravitz and Sargent Jack Weinstein who were killed during the Korean War. (As reported by Jim Kunhenn)

2014: The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD by Simon Schama is scheduled to go on sale today. This is the first volume of a two volume study of Jewish history which is the source for the PBS series, “The Story of the Jews which is scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, March 25

2014: Four IDF soldiers wer wouned when an explosive device detonated along Israel’s border fence with Syria this afternoon in the area south of the Druze village of Majdal Shams. (As reported by Yoav Zitun)

2014: Hezbollah sources said today that an explosion on the Golan Heights that injured three IDF soldiers had been an attempt to kidnap soldiers. (As reported by Uzi Baruch)

2014: IAF planes fired on the sites in Syria that terrorists used to attack and wound IDF soldiers earlier in the day.

2014: “Tales From Tel Aviv and Upper West Side” published today provided a review of The Unamericans by Molly Antopol

2015: The Canadian Haggadah Canadienne is scheduled to go sale in Toronto.

2015: Today, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “released a feminist reading of the Passover story” “which focuses on five women at the center of the Exodus narrative” and was put together by…the American Jewish World Service.

2015: World premiere of “God’s Honest Truth” is scheduled to take place this evening as part of Theatre J sponsored by the Washington, DCJCC.

2015: In San Diego, Jacob Goldberg is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Israeli-Palestinian Stalemate: Status Quo, Intifada, or Interim Agreements?”

2015: “Los Angeles Police Department detectives say several handwriting experts link Robert Durst to an anonymous letter tipping authorities to the slaying of writer Susan Berman in 2000, according a search warrant made public today.”

2015: “With some 99 percent of the votes counted by early Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party appeared set to win a resounding victory in the general election, with 30 seats, compared to the Zionist Union’s 24”.

2015: “Jews & Money” and “24 Days” are scheduled to be shown at the 18thNew York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

2016: Approximately 25,000 runners from 61 countries took part in today’s Jerusalem Marathon.

2016: LimmudFest is scheduled to begin in New Orleans, LA.

2016: Seventeen year old “Israeli ice skater Daniel Samohin won first placed in the World Skating Championship held in Hungary today.

2016: “Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum.

2016: The Television Project: Some of My Best Friends is scheduled to open today.

2016: Masterpieces and Curiosities: The Fictional Portrait is scheduled to open today.

2017(20thof Adar, 5777):  Shabbat Parah; for more see

2017: In London, the South Social Film Festival is scheduled to host a tribute to women and Jewish culture as attendees “dive into Jewish culture” in “an immersive experience showcasing indie film, with live Klezmer music with TANTZ trio, and food celebrating Jewish culture.

2017: On the secular calendar, 50th anniversary of the Bar Mitzvah of Renaissance man Alan Smason, the founder of the Crescent City Jewish News.

2018: “Jewish Blind Date,” “Kosher Love” and “The Setup” are scheduled to be shown this afternoon at the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival.

2018(2ndof Nisan, 5778): Ninety-one year old English born, University of London trained physician Dr. Samuel Epstein who articulated the need to deal with the political, economic and social aspects of cancer passed away today.  (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2018: “House of Z” and “Keep the Change” are scheduled to be shown on the final day of the Houston Jewish Film Festival.

2018: LimmudFest is scheduled to come to an end today in New Orleans.

2018: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide by Cass R. Sunstein, Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America by Cass R. Sunstein and the recently released paperback edition of Why?: Explaining the Holocaust by Peter Hayes

2018: The Society for the Advancement of Judaism is scheduled to sponsor “Too Good To Passover” which includes a “cookbook talk, book signing and charoset tasting.

2018: “The Israeli military today announced that it destroyed two attack tunnels, one that entered Israeli territory and another inside the central Gaza Strip, the latest in a series of underground structures have been demolished by Israel in recent months.”

2018: Congregation Shearith Israel is scheduled to host “Passover and the American Imagination.”

2018: Twenty year old Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, 20, from Elyakim in northern Israel, the victim of a terroirst car ramming attack was buried early on today in the cemetery in his hometown, with thousands in attendance, according to Hebrew reports.

2018: Twenty-one year old Captain Ziv Daos, a platton commander from Azor who was killed in a terrorist car ramming attack is scheduled to be buried today at noon today at the military cemetery at Holon.(As reported by TOI)

2019: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host a screening “The Best of Enemies” followed by a discussion moderated by Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson.

2019: Shir Gal Kochavi, the “Magnes museum curator” is scheduled to discuss “the impact of ritual Jewish objects on Polis artist Arthur Szyk’s work.”

2019: After having been “granted an 11th hour reprieve from the auction block, Marc Chagall’s La Tour Eiffel which has been on display at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) in Ottawa” is scheduled to be returned to storage today.

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