This Day in Jewish History

This Day, January 21, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z”L

Tuesday January 21st, 2020 04:27:26 AM

January 21

763: Thirteen years after coming to power, the Abbasids defeated the Alids at the Battle of Bakhamra, ending this challenge to their Caliphate. The Abbasid Dynasty lasted for approximately 500 and ruled an area extending from Central Asia on the east to North Africa on the west which meant they controlled all of the Jewish communities outside of Europe. They built Baghdad and according to some, power in the Jewish world shifted to those living in this new Moslem power center.

1188: After hearing Archbishop of Tyre Josias describe Henry II Plantagenet of England and Philip II of France set aside their differences and agree to “take up the cross”  The monarch impose a “Saladin Tax” (one tenth of earnings over the next 3 years) which can be avoided by those who join the Crusade.  Of course for the Jews, there is no escape so they will be despoiled by the monarchs as well as by the marauding Crusaders.

1189: Philip II, Henry II and Richard Lion-Hearted began gathering the forces for The Third Crusade.  The Third Crusade took an exceptionally harsh toll on the Jews of England.  Although the third crusade became famous in song and fable, it was a failure.  Unfortunately, it did not end the crusading spirit.  More crusades would follow which meant more misery for the Jews of Europe and the Middle East.

1306: Phillip the Fair of France issued secret orders today for his officials to prepare for the expulsion of his Jewish subjects and the confiscation of their property. Phillip found that his treasury had been depleted by his wars with the Flemish and he saw this as a way of replenishing his treasury. Under the terms of the expulsion any Jews found after the July 22, 1306 (10th of Av) were to be executed

1393: The Jews of Majorca were guaranteed protection by the governor who “issued an edict for their protection, providing that a citizen who should injure a Jew should be hanged, and that a knight for the same offense should be subjected to the strappado.”

1495: Isaac ben Judah Abravanel and King Alfonso sailed from Naples to Mazzara near Sicily. The city of Mazzazra was given as a gift from Ferdinand of Spain to Alfonso. While there, news reached both Abravanel and Alfonso that Charles VIII had taken Naples. The French rioted against and looted the Jewish community almost wiping it out. Many Jews were sold as slaves, and many were forced to convert to Christianity. Abravanel later wrote, “My entire enormous wealth was stolen.”

1527: Jakob van Hoogstraten, the Dominican priest who burned Hebrew books belonging to Johannes Reuchlin, a friend of the Jews, passed away today.

1596(21st of Shevat): Rabbi Judah Leib Hanlish author of Vaygash Yehuda, passed away

1609: Sixty-eight year old Joseph Justus Scaliger, “the Hugenot scholar and professor at the University of Leiden” who “argued that it was only possible to establish the true text and meaning of Scripture gaining an understanding of rabbinic sources” and who “maintained Jews should be permitted to return to western Europe simply because of their economic importance but because of their learning” passed away today.

1716: Birthdate “British businessman” and descendant of “Portuguese Sephardic Jews” Joseph Salvador, a supporter of the “1753 Jew bill,’’ the sole Jewish “director of the British East India Company” and active supporter of the colonization of Georgia and South Carolina where a large number of Sephardim settled including his nephew Francis was reputed to have been “the first Jew to be elected public office” what became the United States and the first Jew to die during the American Revolution.

1727(28thof Tevet, 5487): Abraham de Fonseca the native of Hamburg who “graduated in medicine from Leyden University” and was the son of Joseph ben Joshua de Fonseca passed away today.

1749: Birthdate of Chaim Volozhin, a disciple of the Valna Gaon.  Also known as Reb Cahim he was the founder of the Volozhin Yeshiva, which provided the “template” for similar academies throughout much of what was at that time part of Poland and the Russian Empire.

1774: The reign of Mustafa III before who Jewish magician and mystic Jacob Philadelphia performed, passed came to an end today.

1785: Birthdate of Liverpool, England native Henry Solomon, the husband of Amsterdam native Julia Levy and father of rAchel, Simon, Louis and Isaac Solomon.

1793: Prussia and Russia signed a treaty that portioned Poland.  All of a sudden, Russia had a large Jewish population, something which her rulers had not bargained for and did not want. 

1793: Louis XVI, whose reign saw “uneven” treatment of the Jews of Alsac,  was beheaded by guillotine on the Place de la Révolution.

1796: Eighty-two year old Jacob ben Abraham Katz was buried today at the Alderney Road Jewish Cemetery.

1799(15thof Shevat, 5559): Tu B’Shevat

1799: Birthdate of Rachel Mocatta, the native of Stratford who married Lewis Raphael with whom she had five children.

1803: Two days after she had passed away, Judith Levy, the daughter of Moses Hart, the wife of Elias Levy and the mother of Benjamin and Isabella Levy was buried today at the “Alderney Road (Globe Rd) Jewish Cemetery.”

1812: In Bonn, German David (Tebli) Hess and Hindel Flersheim gave birth to Moses Hess an author, socialist and forerunner of the Zionist movement whose book Rome and Jerusalem published in 1862, expressed the belief that German anti-Semitism was based on race and nationhood and advised Jews to accept the fact and revive their own state in Eretz Israel. Hess, a socialist, had worked with Marx and Engels. He grew disillusioned with the idea that a “progressive society would eradicate anti-Semitism.”

1817(4thof Shevat, 5577): Israel Isarel, the husband of Polly Israel and the father of Henrietta Israel passed away today in the United Kingdom.

1826: In Prague Judith and Abraham Eidlitz gave birth to Markus Eidlitz who came to the United States in 1846 with his mother after the death of his father, where, as Marc Eidlitz he “founded the construction firm, Marc Eidlitz & Son Builders N.Y.C. in New York, which built the St. Regis Hotel and many other projects.”

1829: In Prague, Abraham and Judith Eidlitz gave birth to Markus Eidlitz who emigrated to the United States in 1846 where he gained fame as Marc Eidlitz, a leader in the New York construction industry.

1831 (7th of Shevat, 5591): Author Achim von Arnim passed away.  Von Arnim was not Jewish but he incorporated the Golem into his works thus helping this Jewish myth to move into the general European culture.

1841: Birthdate of Edward Rosenwasser, the native of Bohemia, who gained fame as Edward Rosewater the Republican Party leader and editor of the Omaha (Nebraska) Bee. Rosewater played a minor role in one of the great moments of U.S. History – the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. While serving as the telegrapher at the White House, he was the one who actually sent President Lincoln’s words out over the wires to the world.

1842: The Jewish Chronicle “printed a lengthy account of a turbulent debate at the Wester Synagogue in which Charles Salaman proposed a resolution for improving punctuality and decorum during services.”

1846: Edward Benjamin married Flora Alexander in London today.

1846 Joseph Solomon married Abigail Pass at the Great Synagogue today.

1846: Samuel (Shmaie) Bloch and Jeanette Bloch gave birth to Leopold Bloch the husband of Babette Bloch and Klara Bloch.

1847: Birthdate of Lionel Jonas Cohen, oldest brother of famed musician Frederic Hymen Cowen.

1852: In Hartford, CT, Leopold Bamberger and Therese Lithauer gave birth to Columbia Law School trained attorney Ira Leo Bamberger, the member of the board of directors of several companies including the Broadway Trust Company, the Counsel for the Brooklyn Teachers’ Association and President of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum who was the husband of Reba C. May.

1854: Birthdate of architect John Hemenway Duncan, the designer of a mansion for Jewish investment banker Philip Lehman which gained famed as the “Philip Lehman Masion” which was “designated as a New York landmark in 1981.

1858: Birthdate of Joseph Krauskopf, the native of Prussia who came to the United States in 1872 and enrolled in the first class of Hebrew Union College in 1875.

1860: Punchreported that a dispute has broken out between two Jewish businessmen – Lazarus Simon Magnus and Henry Guedalla – over control over the Great Eastern Steamship Company.  In one exchange of letters, Mr. Magnus challenged Mr. Guedalla to a duel.

1861: David Levy Yulee, the first Jew elected to the United States Senate withdrew from that body when Florida seceded and joined the Confederacy.  Yulee, who married a Christian and raised his children in the faith of his wife, then joined the Confederate cause as a Senator.

1862: In Leavenworth, KS, Alfred Benjamin and Sophie Woolf gave birth CCNY educated Eugene S. Benjamin the husband of Miriam Gutman and the “vice president of the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society.”

1863: Union General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck wrote to Grant to explain the rescission of the order #11, stating that “The President has no objection to your expelling traitors and Jew peddlers, which, I suppose was the object of your order; but as it in terms proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it.” Captain Philip Trounstine of the Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, being unable in good conscience to round up and expel his fellow Jews, resigned his army commission, saying he could “no longer bear the Taunts and malice of his fellow officers… brought on by … that order.” The officials responsible for the United States government’s most vicious anti-Jewish actions ever were never dismissed, admonished or, apparently, even officially criticized for the religious persecution they inflicted on innocent citizens.

1864: In London, Ellen Marks and Moses Zangwill gave birth to Israel Zangwill the noted Anglo-Jewish author and Zionist whose literary career in the United States was launched when he wrote “Children of the Ghetto.

1864: Private Jacob Simon, who would be wounded at Cold Harbor, began serving with the Company E of the 183rd Regiment.

1864: Apparently Jews were a significant part of the population of Utah since in a report from Great Salt Lake City, it was noted that “there are two subjects…which Jew and Gentile..consider of more than ordinary importance” when it comes to legislative action – bills concerning mining claims and general corporation.

1867: Trieste, Italy, “Giuseppe (Joseph) Morpurgo” was “baronized” today.

1868: Birthdate of “German poet, writer and publicist” Ludwig Jacobowski.

1869: In Albany, NY, Celia and Simon Illich gave birth to Albany Law School graduate and “former City Court Judge in Albany, Julius Illch, who was “treasurer of the Albany Jewish Social Service, a trustee of Temple Beth Emeth and a past president of the Capital District Court B’nai B’rith.”

1871: In Amsterdam, Karel Abraham Wertheim and Henreitte van Heukelom gave birth to Johanna Sarah Wertheim

1871: It was reported today that a popular Jewish peddler named Frank who sold to customers throughout Queens County, New York, has died of wounds inflicted by an unknown assailant who shot him while traveling to his home in Flushing. Since nothing has been found missing, authorities assume that the motive was not robbery but no suspects are in custody at this time.

1871: Establishment of Emanuel Jewish Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa. The site is adjacent to the northwest corner of Woodland Cemetery at Woodland and Harding, just northwest of downtown Des Moines.

1872: Eighty-one year old Viennese born dramatist Franz Grillparzer the author of “The Jewess of Toledo,” a play “based on the alleged relationship between Alfonso VIII of Castile and his mistress Rahel la Fermosa which although not verified by contemporary documents became the fodder for numerous literary endeavors” passed away today.

1872: Three days after he had passed away, 68 year old Michael Emanuel the son of Joel Emanuel and Julia Lazarus and the husband of the former Hannah Levy with whom he had had four children was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1874(3rdof Shevat, 5634): Daniel Joseph Jaffe died in Nice, France.  Jaffe had settled in Belfast in 1852 where he had become a successful businessman.  He was the father of Otto and Martin Jaffe.  Martin bought a plot Belfast’s City Cemetery for his father’s internment. This plot was the origin of the city’s Jewish Cemetery.

1874: One day after she had passed away, 36 year old Hannah Levy was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1877: The 25thannual meeting of the B’nai Brit of the United States began in Cincinnati, Ohio with 100 delegates in attendance.

1878:Birthdate of Simon Glazer, the native of Lithuania who served as the Rabbi for Congregation Bnai Israel in Des Moines, Iowa from 1902 to 1905 before moving on to congregations in Toledo, Montreal, Seattle, Kansas City and New York City. He passed away in 1938.

1882: The BILU Movement took root in Russia. The Russian students at the University of Khrakov formed their own Zionist group called BILU (initials for House of Jacob Let Us Rise and Go) which called for active settlement of the Eretz Israel by agricultural pioneers. The first group of 14 arrived July 6 the next year, hiring themselves out as agricultural laborers. They believed it was possible to start a worldwide movement to encourage settlement in Eretz Israel.

1883(13th of Shevat, 5643): Rabbi Eliezer Landau, author of Dammesek Eliezer passed away.

1883(13thof Shevat, 5643): Twenty-eight year old Sallie Gimbel Greenewald, the daughter of Adam and Fridoline Gimbel and the wife of Aaron E. Greenewald passed away today in Philadelphia, PA.

1884: Birthdate of Roger Baldwin, the protégé of Louis Brandeis who was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that has been of immeasurable importance to Jews over the decades.

1885: In Eichstetten, Leopold and Klara Bloch gave birth to Rahel Bloch

1885: Rabbi David Levy presided at the marriage of J.S. Pinkussohn and Miss Ray Foot of Newberry, SC.

1886: Birthdate of Jacob Morris Strelitsky, the native of Baku who as John Malcolm Stahl became a director and producer at MGM and “one of the thirty-six founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

1887: Henry M. Stanley left London for Cairo as he prepared to lead “The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.”

1887(25thof Tevet, 5647): Alfred Alvarez Newman, the London born founder of the Old English Smithy whose “collection of Jewish prints and tracts was exhibited at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition and who fought to save the old Bevis Marks synagogue because of its historic significance passed away today.

1887: Birthdate of Wolfgang Kohler. “Kohler was the only non-Jewish psychologist who ever protested against Germany and the Nazis.  He was not afraid to make his thoughts about them very public which could have cost him his life at a very early age. He was lucky that he was not thrown into a prison and killed off for the things he said about Germany and the Nazis”

1890(29th of Tevet, 5650): Rabbi Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler put on his tallit and t’fillin, aided by Joseph Vangelder, his faithful servant for twenty years. He said the Sh’ma with a clear and unhesitating voice and at 8.45 am breathed his last. Born in 1803, he was the Orthodox Chief Rabbi of the British Empire from 1845 until his death and one of the most prominent 19th century rabbi in the English-speaking world. (As reported by Rabbi Raymond Apple)

1890: David Abrahams, the husband of Clara Ann Abrahams, was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1891: It was reported that “there are not many Jews in the prisons or reformatories” of New York City.  But based on the request from a board of local rabbis, a “salaried officer” will be hired to provide for the “spiritual care” the Jews that have been incarcerated.

1891: It was reported that “Abraham Tabber, Treasurer of a Hebrew Lodge and Cemetery Association in Elizabeth, NJ” has disappeared along with the funds in his care.

1891: It was reported today that Sarah Bernhardt and her company will be sailing from the French port of Havre for an upcoming performance in New York City.

1891: Louis May chaired a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of Temple Emanu-El where the death of Lazarus Rosenfeld, its vice president was announced.  Rabbi Gustav Gottheil “was appointed as a special committee of one to draft suitable resolutions expressing the sentiment and sympathy of the board” which will “be published in the American Hebrew, the Jewish Messenger, The New York Times and The New York Herald.

1892: A large number of paintings by Thomas Hicks whose works include copies of two portraits of Jews by Rembrandt hanging in the National Gallery of London are scheduled to be auctioned off this evening at the American Art Galleries on Madison Square. (There were those who mistakenly thought that the great Dutch painter was Jewish)

1892: As the battle over immigration in the United States intensifies, certain unidentified labor leaders said today “that protests of workingman were directed not against the Jews, in particular, but against further immigration” by any group such as the Chinese “as being hurtful to the welfare of the working classes.”

1893: “German-American Reformers” which was published today described the activities of the German American Association, an organization that worked to re-elect President Grover Cleveland which included efforts to attract the support of Russian and Polish Jews.  Translations of letters by Carl Schurz and Grover Cleveland that had been addressed to Jews were printed in Hebrew in a quantity of one hundred thousand.  Additionally, the association sent Jewish, Russian and German speakers to New York’s east side to address the immigrant voters.

1893: Birthdate of Ukraine native Michael Moss Zarchin who came to the United States in 1915, earned a Ph.D from Dropsie College and moved to San Francisco where he worked as a Jewish education and served on the faculty of San Francisco Jr. College.

1894: Based on information that first appeared in The Westminster Gazette, it was reported today that Sydney Grundy’s new play, “The Old Jew” which opened at the Garrick Theatre in London “seems to be a failure and is “one of the author’s worst plays. 

1894: “A Great Education Work” published today described the twice a week evening lecture series inaugurated by the Board of Education in 1889 as an invaluable resource for elevating the known of the working class, especially among recently arrived immigrant’s. When attendance began to fall, the program was placed under the control of Dr. Henry M. Leipziger , the “well known…lecturer, educator and Director of the Hebrew Technical Institute.” “Since then, under his able supervision, the courses of lectures have prospered marvelously in popularity.”

1894: It was reported today that Sarah Bernhardt will perform in New York for six weeks following a six week stint by Eleonora Duse.

1894: It was reported today that the Rothschilds are forming schools to provide primary technical education for Jews immigrating to Palestine.

1895: Solon P. Rothschild represented Annie Winterman on charges that she had defrauded two men who were patrons of her matrimonial bureau.

1896: Oscar S. Straus, the former United States Ambassador to Turkey, delivered a lecture on “Religious Liberty” at a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1897: It was reported that Mr. and Mrs. Moses May led the grand march that opened the 14thannual ball sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.  May, the society’s President, was fiiling in for May Wurster who had been originally expected to fill this role.

1898: Abraham Schlesinger is scheduled to be buried today at Cypress Hills following a funeral at his residence on East 53rd Street.

1898: It was reported today that Russian-American Hebrew Association adopted a resolution expressing support for the “patriots of Cuba” struggling to free themselves from “degrading…corrupt rule of the Spanish Government” while expressing “the opinion…that the United States…should not deviate from its policy of strict neutrality…but should take immediate steps to recognize the Cubans as a belligerent power.” (The Russian American Jews emotionally identified with the Cubans as another oppressed people but were savvy enough to know the dangers of expressing belligerency.  All of this would be resolved two years later with the Spanish American War.)

1898: As ant-Semitic mobs continue to move through the streets of Paris, 500 angry students demonstrated in front of Emile Zola’s house.

1898: In Algiers, the troops have cleared the streets of anti-Jewish rioters and made 300 arrests in an attempt to restore law and order.

1898: Birthdate of Rudolf Mayer, the native of Kraków who gained fame as “cinematographer, director and producer Ralph Maté.

1899: Reports are published that Leopold de Rothschild was hurt when a branch hit his face, breaking his nose and injuring an eye, while the newly elected Member of Parliament was taking part in a hunt.

1899: Opel manufactured its first automobile. In 1931, General Motors acquired 100% ownership of the German automobile company. In 1998 General Motors hired historian Henry Ashby Turner, Jr. to investigate the wartime activities of Opel, its German subsidiary, which a group of Holocaust survivors was suing. His research led to the book General Motors and the Nazis: The Struggle for Control of Opel, Europe’s Biggest Carmaker published in 2005. Mr. Turner concluded that although Opel had made the morally dubious decision to produce engines for the Luftwaffe in 1938, by the time the war began General Motors had lost control of the company and therefore had no say in its production of military vehicles or its use of slave labor.

1899(10thof Shevat, 5659): Seventy-one year old Sarah Joseph Ullman the wife of Solomon Ullmann passed away today in Plymouth, UK.

1899: Sarah Bernhardt opened the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt today “with a revival of Sardou’s La Tosca, which she had first performed in 1887.”

1900: In his sermon today, entitled “Perils of the Modern Family,” Dr. Felix Adler “rebuked his congregation for being too much interested in money getting and for not being sufficiently interested in the higher things in life.”

1901: Legendary American humorist Mark Twain addressed members of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls at their Annual Meeting on the issue of female suffrage. Speaking to a packed audience at Temple Emanu-El, Hebrew Tech’s then-President Nathaniel Myers introduced Twain, starting the ceremony off with an update about the school’s ongoing expansion efforts and an explanation of its unique purpose as the single society in New York City offering a vocational education to Jewish girls. Explaining women’s role in society as vulnerable in comparison to men’s, President Myers declared the work of the school to be vital in a world where girls were too often forgotten. When Twain took center stage, he said that he had been an advocate of women’s rights for many years and that he saw in this school “a hope for the realization of a project [he had] always dreamed of.” Women, he felt, were equally competent to vote. He went on to say that women had been making great progress in their crusade against discriminatory laws, but that what was needed next was for women to be the makers and enforcers of laws.  As he saw it, men’s corruption in party politics was a disgrace to democracy, but he said he believed that if women were given the ballot, they would use their strength to vote down unworthy candidates and restore the morals on which states are built. Optimistic about the movement’s progress, Twain insisted that if he lived long enough that he would surely see women receive their voting rights and use them to enact positive change.” (As reported by the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women)

1903: Harry Houdini escaped from the police station Halvemaansteeg in Amsterdam.

1903: Herzl traveled to Paris.

1904: Birthdate of Latvian Nazi collaborator Boļeslavs Maikovskis who hid out in Mineola, NY for almost forty years after WW II who was “brought to Justice by Israeli historian, author and Director of the Public Policy Center at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies” Zev Golan.

1905(15thof Shevat, 5665): Parashat Beshalach and Tu B’Shevat

1905: Birthdate of Harry David “Dave” Sudkin, who played Guard for the NYU football from 1924 through 1926 and after graduating in 1927 played one season of pro-football for the Staten Island Staepletons.

1906: In Washington, a mass meeting attended by Senators Patterson of Colorado, Overman of North Carolina and Clark of Arkansas and Representatives Sulzer and Bennet of New York, Rainey of Illinois, Hinshaw of Nebraska, Taylor of Alabama Moon of Pennsylvania and Trimble of Kentucky was held tonight at Belasco’s Theatre to protest the treatment of the Jews in Russia.

1906: Birthdate of Isadore Harry Prinzmetal, the Buffalo born lawyer, painter who was also active in Jewish communal affairs.

1906: Birthdate of featherweight Maurice Holtzer, the native of Troyes, France whose record was 114-33-8.

1907(6thof Shevat, 5667): Seventy six year old Italian linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli who in 1860 “was appointed professor of linguistics at the Accademia scientifico-letteraria in Milan and introduced the study of comparative philology, Romance studies, and Sanskrit” passed away today.

1908: Birthdate of Mordechai Surkis, the first mayor of Kfar Saba.

1910: The Angel Island Immigration Station opened today. Prior to the opening of the Immigration Station, immigrants landed directly in San Francisco. Jews immigrated through Angel Island primarily in two waves: in the 1920s from Russia to escape the Bolshevik revolution, and between 1938 and 1940, when German and Austrian Jews crossed Asia to flee the Nazis.  In some ways, Angel Island was the Ellis Island of the West. But because of the politics and laws of its time, unlike Ellis Island, many immigrants were detained on Angel Island for weeks or months at a time, particularly Chinese and other Asian immigrants. According to Judy Yung, a retired professor at U.C. Santa Cruz and co-author of a new book about Angel Island’s history, Jewish immigrants had it better. The average stay for Russians and Jews on Angel Island was two to three days, and less than 2 percent were deported. “Overall, the Russian and Jewish experiences on Angel Island were very similar if not better than those of their counterparts on Ellis Island, where their rejection rate was almost twice as high,” she writes. “For the overwhelming majority who were coming to escape religious or political persecution, Angel Island was truly a gateway to the promised land of freedom and opportunity.” However, it wasn’t an easy gateway to pass through. Many immigrants — including Jews — were detained. In some instances, representatives from Jewish and Hebrew benevolent societies felt compelled to come to Angel Island to testify on behalf of Jewish detainees. In 1915, for example, one such representative spoke to immigration officials, telling them that “we always take steps to see that Jewish boys obtain work and do not become beggars.” After this, officials released eight Jewish detainees, according to Yung’s book. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society also stepped in to help, opening a Pacific Coast branch in San Francisco in May 1915 mainly to advocate for the increased number of Jews coming through Angel Island. In 1916, for example, when 17 Jews refused to eat the food served to them in the Angel Island dining hall during Passover, HIAS provided the immigrants with matzah and kosher-for-Passover food they could eat in their rooms. And in 1933, when a 54-year-old widower traveling with his two sons was detained on the island because officials thought he was “emaciated and frail looking,” HIAS offered a hand. HIAS helped round up $1,000 from other family members, and the father, who spent two months on Angel Island, was finally released. In another instance, a shoe-store owner from Vienna and his wife were held overnight because they were suspected of being an LPC, a “likely public charge,” meaning they would need government support to get by. They had come from Shanghai with just $22 to their name. But because they had the foresight to leave Germany with two fur coats worth over $2,000 — the Nazis allowed them to take goods but not money — they were able to convince the officials of their financial stability. “I was really struck by the resourcefulness of the Jewish immigrants,” Yung said during a phone interview.

1912: Birthdate of Konrad Bloch. The noted biochemist earned a Nobel Prize in 1964 for his studies of cholesterol

1912: Today, at the 38th annual meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in New York, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Greenbaum delivered an address in which he said “there was always a problem of youth – the problem of the boy and the young man” and “that the public should take an interest in, and co-operate with the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and other movements which improve youth and keep the young from temptation and build up character.”

1913: At the request of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 156 women from 52 congregations around the country met in Cincinnati, Ohio, to create the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS). While local women’s groups had been formed in individual synagogues in the 1890s, the NFTS was the first national body to bring these groups together. Though NFTS was initially envisioned as a federation of all synagogue sisterhoods, sisterhoods from Conservative and Orthodox synagogues formed their own national organizations within a decade, leaving the NFTS as a body of Reform Judaism. Differentiating itself from the National Council of Jewish Women and other social service groups, the NFTS focused from the beginning on women’s roles in the synagogue. Early projects included sponsoring children’s Chanukah and Purim parties in synagogues, beautifying synagogues for holidays, and supporting religious schools. The NFTS also raised money for rabbinical school scholarships, and played a leading role in creating the National Federation of Temple Youth. Though the NFTS usually sought to stay out of politics, sisterhood members were concerned from the beginning with the changing role of women in Reform Judaism. Leaders encouraged women to sit on synagogue boards, and instituted Sisterhood Sabbaths, when women could lead the service in some congregations. From an initial membership of 9,000 in 49 local chapters, the NFTS grew to 100,000 members in six hundred affiliates across the U.S., Canada, and twelve other countries by 1995. In recent decades, NFTS extended its earlier mandate beyond the domestic sphere to take a public role in such issues as civil rights, child labor legislation, capital punishment, and abortion rights. In 1993, NFTS was renamed Women of Reform Judaism, reflecting a desire to be seen not only as an auxiliary group, but as an organization that puts its members and their interests at the center of Reform Judaism.

1913: The annual meeting of the United States Chamber of Commerce opened in Washington, DC with S.S. Brill of St. Louis, MO in attendance as a delegate.

1913: “The Board of Directors of the Baron Hirsch Co-Workers met” this “morning at the Stratford Hotel.

1914: Twenty-five year old Alvah Meyer, a member of the Irish American Athletic Club, set “a world indoor record of 6.4 seconds in the sixty yard in Paterson, NJ.”

1914. Birthdate of Myer Samuel Kripke, the Toledo, Ohio native who served as the Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in Omaha, Nebraska, and became friends with Warren Buffet.

1914(23rd of Tevet, 5674): Adolph Krakauer, a pioneer Texas merchant died of a heart attack today in El Paso. Born in Fürth, Bavaria, in 1846, this son of Joel and Babette (Elsasser) Krakauer was educated in the Latin schools and graduated from the Royal Commercial College of Fürth in 1862. He immigrated to New York in 1865 and was employed as a clerk there. In 1869 he moved to San Antonio, Texas, where he went to work for Louis Zork, a leading merchant. He married Zork’s daughter Ada and became a member of the firm. Though he was presumably well established, he chose to move to El Paso in 1875, at a time when the town’s population was listed as seventy-five Mexicans and twenty-five Anglos. There he clerked in the firm of Sam Schutz and Son and became manager when the business was sold; later he became a partner. In 1885 he sold his interest in the firm and organized the firm of Krakauer, Zork, and Moye with his brother-in-law, Gustave Zork. The company became a leading wholesale hardware dealer in the Southwest, with a branch in Chihuahua, Mexico. Krakauer also became president of Two Republic Life Insurance Company, the Krakauer-Zork Investment Company, and the Mountainside Realty Company and director of the First National Bank and the Rio Grande Valley Banking and Trust Company. He also owned extensive real estate in El Paso. He served as county commissioner and alderman and was elected mayor as a Republican after a bitter election campaign in 1889. He never assumed the office, for it was discovered he had not taken out his final citizenship papers. Krakauer was a leader in Jewish community activities and served as president of Temple Mount Sinai. He spoke fluent Spanish.

1915: As of today, the American Jewish Relief Committee for Suffers from the War has collected $320,097.36

1915: “Final arrangements were made today for the public hearing President will host on the Immigration Bill tomorrow in the East Room of the White House where the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Hebrew League of Boston will be among those speaking in opposition to the proposed legislation.

1915: In Chicago, at today’s final session of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Committee on General welfare “reported than 400,000 Jews are serving in the various armies of Europe.”

1915: A delegation of 75 Jewish citizens led by Jacob Magidoff, editor of The Jewish Morning Journal left for Washington today with the intention of presenting “a petition of protest signed by the New York Jews” protesting the proposed immigration bill.

1916: “The American Jewish Relief Committee announced” today “that to date it has received $1,233,841.60” in donations and pledges including $75 from the Ladies Society of Columbia, SC and the $200 from the Jewish Alliance of Hamilton, Ontario which were received today.

1916: In Paris, Jacques Henri Bloch and Suzanne Levi-Strauss gave birth to Denise Madeleine Bloch who worked as agent with the French Resistance and SOE before being captured and murdered by the Nazis at Ravensbruck.

1917: “A warning that the enthronement of race consciousness among the Jew would result disastrously for them was uttered” today “by Rabbi Samuel Schulman in a sermon on “The Jew’s Business” at Temple Beth-El.

1917: Tonight, in Harrisburg, PA, Governor Brumbaugh “issued a proclamation to the people of Pennsylvania calling on them to set aside next Thursday, January, 27 as a day on which to make donations for the relief of Jewish people in the various countries at war.”

1917: Dr. Wise is scheduled to preach on “Marriage and Intermarriage” at the Free Synagogue which is holding its services this morning at Carnegie Hall.

1917: Dr. Martin Meyer of San Francisco is scheduled to preach on “Sins Against the Jewish People” this morning at Temple Emanu-El in New York.

1917: Hadassah issued “an appeal for $75,000 for the equipment and support for one year of a medical unit to be sent to Palestine” which will provide treatment “for Jews, Christians and Mohammedans.”

1918(8thof Shevat, 5678): Sixty-four year old Emil Jellinke, the highly successful Austrian businessman who put the “Mercedes” in Mercedes Benz, passed away today.

1918(8thof Shevat, 5678): Jerome J. Hirschler, a 21 year old New Yorker serving with the armed forces passed away today Newport, Rhode Island.

1918(8thof Shevat, 5678): Forty-eight year old Dr. Albert Kohn, a diagnostician at Mt. Sinai Hospital passed away today in New York City.

1918: Starting today, several hundred volunteers from Hadassah “will canvass the department stores and manufacturing houses to secure contributions of shelf worn garments and materials” as part of the drive by the Palestine Restoration Fund Commission to send several tons of clothing to the natives of Palestine, great numbers of whom now have little but to wear but tattered rags.

1918: Following the lead of Reform Jewish sisterhoods, and at the behest of Solomon Schechter, Conservative synagogue sisterhoods joined together to form the National Women’s League of the United Synagogue. The founding president of the League was Schechter’s wife, Mathilde Roth Schechter. Mathilde Schechter, born in Silesia and educated in Breslau and London, had married Solomon Schechter in 1887 and came to the U.S. in 1902, when Solomon was appointed president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The Women’s League was just one in a line of significant projects for Mathilde Schechter. Before establishing the League, she had helped to establish a Jewish vocational school for girls on the Lower East Side of New York, and had helped to publish a hymn book called Kol Rina — Hebrew Hymnal for School and Home. The Women’s League’s mission was to promote traditional Judaism in homes, synagogues, and communities. In line with that goal, one early project was the establishment of a kosher boarding house for Jewish students in New York City. Other projects included publications providing guidance on domestic religious ritual as well as traditional recipes and music. In addition, the League became involved with social action from an early date, taking an especially active role in the Jewish Braille Institute. The League, now called the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, has grown from an original one hundred women in 26 sisterhoods to 150,000 members in 700 sisterhoods. As it has since the beginning, the League continues to be involved in public policy issues, including women’s health, literacy, and foreign policy. Since 1972, the League has also helped to support sisterhoods in Masorti(Israeli Conservative) congregations.

1919: Submission of the Tentative Report of the Intelligence Section of the American Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference 

1919: Today, during the fund raising drive of the ZOA the Palestine Restoration Fund received $46,000 from San Francisco and $15,000 from Los Angeles.

1919: Two days after he passed away, 81 year old Aaron Green was buried today at the “Plashet Jewish Cemetery” in London.

1919: While speaking “at the dinner of the sales agents of the American chicle Company at the Waldorf” hotel tonight, Captain William D. Harrigan of the 307thInfantry who was in command of the force “which rescued the famous ‘lost battalion’” said he wished “to say a special word for the American Jews as fighter” because he could “testify to the splendid record by the Jewish members of the 77th Division who “were put to as hard a test as could be met with in modern warfare when we made our 35 mile advance through the Argonne Forest…”

1919 In Dublin, “the first meeting of Dáil Éireann” which was supported by Yitzhak HaLevin Herzog who became known as “the Sinn Féin Rabbi” and was the Chief Rabbi of Ireland before become Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi in Palestine took place today at the residence of the Lord Mayor.

1920: Having escaped from the clutches of the “Whites” in Odessa Sholom Schwartzbard arrived back in Paris today.

1921: “President Wilson Heads Christian Protest Against Anti-Semitism” published today contains a public petition signed by Presidents Wilson and Taft that begins with “The undersigned citizens of Gentile birth and Cristian faith, view with profound regret and disapproval the appearance in this country of what is apparently an organized campaign of anti-Semitism conducted in close conformity to, and co-operation with similar campaigns in Europe.”

1921: Fanz Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber was performed for the first time in Frankfurt.

1921: Polish born Nathaniel Phillips, the Jewish lawyer and President of the League of Foreign-born citizens is scheduled to deliver a speech on “The Americanism of Grover Cleveland” this evening “at a meeting of the Cleveland Democracy in New York City.
1921: King Constantine donates 10,000 Drachmae for the relief of Jewish sufferers of the fire in Salonica.

1921: Birthdate of Barney Clark,the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart, an operation that was performed at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

1921: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ida (Fishman) Mikva and Henry Abraham Mikva, “Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine,” gave birth to Congressman Abner Mikvah.

1923: Birthdate of Annemarie Dinah Gottliebova, the native of Brno, Czechoslovakia, who was shipped to Auschwitz with her mother where she bartered her services as a portrait painter for her life and her mother’s life. After the war, as Dina Babbit, she spent the past several decades trying to retrieve her paintings from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1924(15thof Shevat, 5684): Tu B’Shvat

1924:  Birthdate of comedian Benny Hill.  “Roses are reddish, Violets are bluish If it weren’t for Christmas, We’d all be Jewish.”

1924: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin Russian leader died of a stroke at the age of 54.  Lenin’s death brought a power struggle between Stalin and Trotsky to a boil.  Stalin would triumph and anti-Semitism would become as much of a staple for the Commissars as it had been for the Czars.

1925: The biennial convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, where delegates heard about the hardship suffered by at least 15,000 would-be immigrants as a result of the government’s policy fixing new immigration quotas, continued to meet for a second day in St. Louis.

1926: “A record for fund raising for philanthropic purposed was made today when $3,700,000 was raised in less than four days by the Federation of Jewish Charities” led by Chairman Jules E. Mastbaum.

1927: Two funeral services were held today for famed philanthropist Lee Kohns. Bishop Thomas F. Failer of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Tennessee conducted the first service at the family’s Manhattan home.  Dr. Samuel Schulman of Temple Beth-El presided over the grave side service in Beth-El Cemetery at Cypress Hills.

1927: Bernard Baruch is among the members of a delegation representing the Board of Directors of City College’s Alumni Association that is attending today’s funeral of Lee Kohns who graduated in 1884.

1927: At 10:30 this morning, classes were halted for five minutes at City College in memory of Lee Kohns.

1927: The will of Lee Kohns was filed for probate this afternoon after having been read at his funeral. The estate is worth about $3,000,000.  While the will the leaves generous bequests to charity, the bulk of the estate will go to his wife and their children.

1928(28thof Tevet, 5688): Parshat Vaera

1928(28thof Tevet, 5688): Eighty year old Celia Hofheimer Fleisher, the wife of Simon B. Fleisher and the mother of Samuel and Edwin Fleisher passed away today after she was buried at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Philadelphia.

1928: While serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill receives a request from Chaim Weizmann for a loan intended to assist the Jewish population in Palestine in a manner consistent the aims of the Mandate.  The loan would gain the support of Lord Balfour but would be rejected by the Cabinet in a move that had a whiff of anti-Semitism.

1929(10thof Shevat, 5689): Forty year old Ernst Low, the Czech born son of Karl and Rosa Low passed away today.

1930: More than five hundred women attended a reception “in honor of Mrs. Irma Lindheim, former president of Hadassah and Major Daniel Hopkins, a Labor MP’ which was held at New York’s Temple Emanu-El.

1931 (3rd of Shevat, 5691): Composer and pianist Felix Blumenfeld passed away at the age of 67 in the Soviet Union.  Born in 1863 Blumenfeld taught Vladimir Horowitz.  Blumenfeld’s work was  primarily a product of pre-revolutionary Russia.

1931: Isaacs Isaacs, the first Jew to serve as Chief Justice of Australia completed his term of office. He was the third person to fill this position.

1933: Birthdate Itzhak Fuks, the Israeli El Al captain who would die when his plane crashed in Amsterdam 1992.

1934: The New York Times correspondent in Jerusalem suggests that “the division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab canton with each of these peoples living as a separate entity” would be “a solution to the Arab Jewish problem.”  Based on reports from other sources, the Arab canton would include Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa while the Jewish canton would be limited to Tel Aviv, which virtually an all-Jewish city any way, and a narrow strip of land stretching from Betsian to Tiberias to the swamps around Lake Huleh.

1936: “Sir Herbert Samuel and Simon Marks arrived” in New York aboard the Majestic as “a delegtion from the leaders of the Jews ommunity of England to confer with the Jewish leaders of the United States on the situation that has arisen from the intensified persecution of the Jews in Germany.”

1937: Joseph C. Hyman, secretary and executive director of the American Joint Distribution Committee announced today that the committee “spent $1,182,000 last year in Poland for the reconstructive aid to the Jews of that country.’”

1937(9thof Shevat, 5697): Fifty-four year old Lemberg native and University of Vienna trained physician Dorian Feigenbam, the psychoanalyst and pupil of Freud, who in 1924 came to the United States where he became an “instructor in neurology” at Columbia and co-founded the Psychoanalytic Quarterly while raising two children – Daniel and Lou Esther – with his wife Yaffa Feigenbaum passed away today.

1938: In the UK, Dora (Hassid) Phillips and Michael Phillips gave birth to Cambridge educated barrister and Royal Navy veteran Nicholas, Sir Nicholas Addison Phillips who served in a series of increasingly responsible judicial positions including Master of Rolls and Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales whose “Jewish ancestry” first become widely known in 2008 when, during “a speech at the East London Muslim Centre” he stated “that is maternal grandparents were Sephardim from Alexandria.”

1938: The Romanian government strips Romanian Jews of their citizenship.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that an Arab from Hebron, sentenced to death by the Military Court, confessed that he participated, 11 days earlier, in the murder of John Starkey, one of the most distinguished archaeologists working in Palestine.

1938, fifteen of the San Fernando Valley’s 100 Jewish families (15/100 = 15%) met in a private home and, to put together religious services and establish a Sunday school for kids and a social club for adults, founded the Valley Jewish Community Center.

1939: “Off the Record with a script by Saul Elkins was released in the United States today.

1939: The Mischa Elman Non-Sectarian Refugee concert tour, “the proceeds of which will be distributed to organizations in aid of refugee Catholics, Jews and Protestants” is scheduled to begin tonight at “with a Carnegie Hall recital by the eminent violinist.”

1940: In Chicago, Dr. Nahum Goldman “told 1,000 members of the Chicago Division of the American Jewish Congress” that “if the war in Europe goes on for another one million of the two million Jews in Poland will be dead of starvation or be killed by Nazi persecutors.”

1941: Birthdate of  Plácido Domingo the Spanish tenor “who spent three years” in Tel Aviv “in the early 1960’s…where “he learned the basic tenor repertoire before embarking on an international career.

1941: After observing  a three-day anti-Semitic rampage in Bucharest by the SS-supported Iron guard in Romania, the Romanian Jewish writer Mihael Sebastian wrote, “The stunning thing about the Bucharest bloodbath is the quite bestial ferocity to its…the butchered Jews were hanged by the neck on hooks normally used for beef carcasses.  A sheet of paper was stuck to each corpse with the notation “Kosher Meat.”

1941: In Rumania, the Iron Guard raided thousands of Jews, destroyed hundreds of shops, and looted or burned twenty five synagogues. In addition, 120 Jews were cruelly tortured and killed.

1941: Bulgaria enacted its first anti-Jewish measures.

1942: In the Vilna Ghetto, the Jews established the United Partisan Organization (Fareynigte Partizaner Organizatsye, FPO), the only organization in the ghettos that included all the Zionist youth movements.

1942: U.S. premiere of “Nazi Agent” an American spy film directed by Jules Dassin.

1942: After having completely surrounded Novi-Sad, Yugoslavia, Hungarian troops started what would be a three day long killing spree where Jews were dragged from their homes in 20° below zero and in heavy snow slaughtered at the “killing pits” along the banks of the Danube River.

1943: In Warsaw, the Germans opened fire in the ghetto. Resistance was given by Jews seizing weapons and firing from rooftops with only 10 pistols. The Germans retreated after twelve were killed.

1943: “After seizing 5,000-6,500 ghetto residents to be deported, the Germans suspended further deportations.”

1943: Over the next four days, two thousand Jews from  Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, are deported to Auschwitz. Some 1760 are gassed on arrival, including patients from the Jewish mental hospital at Apeldoorn, Holland, as well as about 50 of the hospital’s nurses who accompany the patients to lessen their terror.

1944: Birthdate of Professor Stefan Reif the distinguished academic from Edinburg who was the founding director of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit

1945: Ninety-six Hungarian Jews interned at Auschwitz and working at a quarry at Golleschau, Germany, are sealed inside a pair of cattle cars labeled “Property of the SS.” Half of the prisoners freeze to death as the train travels aimlessly for days. At Zwittau, Germany, the cattle cars are detached from the train and left at the station. Manufacturer Oskar Schindler alters the bill of lading to read “Final Destination–Schindler Factory, Brünnlitz.” After unsealing the cars at his factory, Schindler frees the Jews;

1945: Birthdate of Andrew Stein, President of the New York City Council.

1945(7thof Shevat, 5705): Seventy-four year old Nina Jenny Warburg, the daughter of Solomon and Betty Loeb and the wife of Paul Moritz Warburg.

1945: As Soviet troops approached, Arno Lustiger left Blechhammer, a subcamp of Auschwitz as part of the “death march” that was supposed to end at Gross-Rosen Concentration camp in Lower Silesa.

1946(19th of Shevat, 5706): Eighty-one year old Max H. Aronson, the husband of Rebecca Aronson and the father of Henry, Miriam, Leopold, Sidney, Dorothy, Ruth, Juliette, Lillian and Alberta Aronson passed away today after which he was buried at Har MOria Cemetery in West Roxbury, MA.

1947: Members of the Palestine Arab Higher Executive who are leaving Cairo tomorrow to attend the conference on Palestine being held in London “held two meetings” today “with the Mufti of Jerusalem” who had spent much of WW II in Berlin as a guest of Hitler.

1947: Today, in London Dr. Emanuel Neuman the vice president of the ZOA said that American Zionists “are ready to pour millions of dollars into the financing of ‘illegal’ immigration of Jews to Palestine.”

1948: Golda Meir’s speech to the General Assembly of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds helped raise $50 million for the Haganah at a critical moment in Israel’s fight for independence.

1949: “Israeli representatives in London are showing great wariness today toward the issue of British recognition of Israel, which is expected to be extended soon, concurrently with full United States recognition of Israel and Trans-Jordan and recognition of Israel by Australia, New Zealand and France.”

1949: In Cincinnati, Leo Baeck, president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism delivered a sermon that marked the observance of the 125thanniversary of Congregation B’nai Israel.

1950: After premiering last month in Los Angeles. “My Foolish Heart” a movie based on a short story by J.D. Salinger produced by Samuel Goldwyn and with a script by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein was released across the United States today.

1951: In a case of Jew versus Jew twenty five year old Max “Slats’ Zaslofsky led the New York Knicks to victory over the Rochester Royals for whom Red Holzman scored for 14 points.

1953: “Niagara,” a “film noir thriller” starring Marilyn Monroe with music by Sol Kaplan was released in the United States today.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the worsening security situation along the country’s borders, especially the Jordanian-Israeli no-man’s-land dividing Jerusalem. This security deterioration, infiltration and frequent robberies may have been directly influenced by an intensified anti-Israeli activity of the Arab states at the UN General Assembly. Jordan prevented any cement or building materials from being transported to the Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus, urgently needed there to repair damaged buildings, claiming that Israel wished to fortify the enclave.  The 9,000-ton British cruiser, HMS Kenya, steamed into Haifa Port for a three-day unofficial visit.

1953: During the “Doctor’s Plot” which was intended to be the opening act in Stalin’s plan to murder the Jews in the Soviet Union the “Soviet ukaz awarding Lydia Timashuk the Order of Lenin for “unmasking doctors-killers” was issued today.

1954: Letters of administration were granted to Richard Samuel because his father Bernard Samuel, the former mayor of Philadelphia, passed away without leaving a will.  The estate of the man who served as mayor from 1941 until 1952 is worth approximately $50,000.1954: The U.S.S. Nautilus, America’s first nuclear powered submarine is launched at Groton, Conn.  Admiral Hyman Rickover is considered to be the godfather of the nuclear Navy.

1954: During a cabinet debate over Egypt’s decision to bar ships going to Israel from using the Suez Canal, Foreign Minister Anthony Eden is able to make a case for the Arab state’s behavior.

1955(27thof Tevet, 5715): The former Tola Schwartz died instantly today in an automobile accident in which her husband Dr. William Fernhoff suffered injuries that would prove to be fatal.d which claimed the life of “a friend, 52 year old Fanny Levey of New York.”

1956: In Dallas, “Freda Ann (née Benson), a singer, actor, and business promotions manager, and Jerry Segal, a writer” gave birth to Robin David Segal who gained as “actor, singer, musician, director, producer, writer, composer and educator” Robby Benson who ironically made his Broadway debut in “The Rothschilds.”

1959 (12th of Shevat, 5719): Film pioneer Cecil B. DeMille passed away, His father was an Episcopalian.  His mother, Matilda Beatrice Samuel, was the daughter of parents of “German Jewish heritage.”  For most Jews he is the man who gave the world Moses in the guise of Charlton Heston.

1959: “The Last Mile” a prison film directed by Howard W. Koch and produced by Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky who co-wrote the script was released in the United States today.

1959(12thof Shevat, 5719): Fifty-two year old New York born Alexander, the editor of several science fiction publications passed away today.

1960: “The Dumb Waiter,” a one-act play written by Harold Pinter premiered at the Hampstead Theatre Club in London.

1961: At the Ambassador Theatre in New York, after 102 performances, the curtain came down on “The 49th Cousin” starring Menasha Skulnik as “Isaac Lowe”, Marian Winters as “Tracy Lowe” and Eli Mintz as “Simon Lowe.”

1961: After six years, Abraham Ribicoff completed his service as the 80th Governor of Connecticut.

1961: Abraham Ribicoff began serving as the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President John F. Kennedy.

1962: Entertainment writer Joe Morgenstern married actress Piper Laure (born Rosetta Jacobs)

1964(7th of Shevat, 5724): Austrian born American actor Joseph Schildkraut passes away at the age of 68.  He won an Oscar in 1937 as Best Supporting Actor.  Younger audiences may remember him as the father in “Diary of Anne Frank.”

1964: Birthdate of Staten Island native Allan Silverstein who played baseball for the New York Institute of Technology and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987.

1968: Simon & Garfunkel released the Original Soundtrack to “The Graduate,” which quickly went to #1 on the pop charts and which will bring Paul Simon a Grammy for Best Original Score.

1970: Birthdate of Ramat Gan native and filmmaker Oren Peli the director of “Paranormal Activity.”

1971(24th of Tevet, 5731): Polish born Jewish author Yuli Borisovich Margolin passed away at the age of 70.

1971: Twenty one year old Annie Leibovitz’s photograph of John Lennon appeared on today’s issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

1972: Birthdate of Las Vegas native H. Waldman who played college basketball at UNLV and St. Louis University before going into a career in real estate which was interrupted with a stint of professional ball with Hapoel Jerusalem.

1973: ABC broadcast the first episode of “A Touch of Grace” co-staring Warren Berlinger.

1974(27th of Tevet, 5734): Lewis L Strauss who was a Republican which was unusual at that time and who headed the US Atomic Energy Commission under President Eisenhower from 1953 until 1958 passed away today.

1974: “Equity, British actors’ union, asked the Home Secretary to bar Soviet companies and individual performers from appearing in Britain as long as Panovs are refused right to work or leave USSR.”

1974: “The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly deplored arbitrary arrests, police harassment and persecution of Soviet Jews wishing to emigrate.

1974: “The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called on the USSR to improve East-West detente by granting more exit visas to Jews wishing to leave for Israel and permit those choosing to remain in Russia to practice freely their cultural and religious customs.

1975(9thof Shevat, 5735): Seventy-four year old Sir Aubrey Julian Lewis “the first Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry in London” passed away today.

1976: BBC2 broadcast the first episode of “The Glittering Prizes” – a drama written by Frederic Raphael.

1976(19thof Shevat, 5736): Eighty-four year old Lewis S. Rosentsteil, the founder of Schenley Industries, the giant liquor corporation passed away today. (As reported by Leonard Sloane)

1976: In France, premiere of “Assassination in Davos” film based “on the assassination of the Swiss Nazi Wilhelm Gustloff by David Frankfurter in 1936.”

1979: Final performance of “The Girl From Tel Aviv” starring Israeli singer Mary Soreanu took place at the Hotel Diplomat in New York.  Surprisingly, this Israeli play is written Yiddish with only a few words of Hebrews.  The show was written by Moshe Tamir, with music by Shaul Berzowski

1981: Birthdate of Cem Stamati “the bass guitar player…who graduated from Ulus Özel Musevi Lisesi, the Jewish school at Istanbul in 1999.”

1982(26thof Tevet, 5742): Fifty-three year old Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin, the New York born son of Max and Eva Rebecca Dolnansky and the husband of Tzivia Donin who was the author of To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Organization in Contemporary Life passed away today in Israel.

1982: In one of those reminders of the prominent role Jews have played in the world of the Broadway musical a revival of “Little Me” a musical written by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh opened today at the Eugene O’Neil Theatre.

1983: TheBollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Anthony E Hecht.

1984: Birthdate of Tel Aviv native and filmmaker Romi Aboulafia, the wife of Ben Giladi and daughter-in-law of award winning actress Hana Laszlo best known for her role in “The Debt” and “Family Secrets.”

1985: Ronald Reagan is publicly inaugurated for his second term as U.S. President.  January 20 was a Sunday, so the public ceremony was delayed for twenty-four hours.  During his second term Reagan awarded Elie Weisel with a Medal of Freedom.  Much to the dismay of Weisel and other Jews, during his second term he also visited Bittberg Cemetery where SS Soldiers were buried.  Last but not least, the Iran-Contra Affair which involved Israel in some rather strange arms deals took placed during Dutch’s second term.

1985: ABC broadcast the first showing of “Scandal Sheet produced by Irwin Winkler and Roger Birnbaum and with music by Randy Edelman this evening.

1988(2ndof Shevat, 5748): Ninety-one year old Burmese born American actor Abraham Sofaer passed away today in Los Angeles.

1988: One Israeli soldier was injured when during an attack by three terrorists who were attempting to cross into Israel from Lebanon.

1988: In Moscow, a “non-official Museum of Jewish Culture” opened today.

1989(15thof Shevat, 5749: Tu B’Shevat

1990: Shimon Peres, the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, arrived in Prague today on the first visit to Czechoslovakia by an Israeli minister since ties between the two countries were cut in 1967.

1991: Orders to stay home from work were canceled for the rest of Israel today, but not for Tel Aviv, which appears to be the main Iraqi target. Scud missiles came down here Friday and Saturday with miraculously little effect and no deaths thus far; one hit the only vacant lot for blocks, another an empty bomb shelter.

1991: Topol, who left his starring role as Tevye the milkman in the Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” to return to Israel explained the reasons for his decision today. “Speaking by telephone from his home in Tel Aviv, where his son and daughter were visiting, said: ‘I really felt I should be where my heart is, with my friends and family and all the people I grew up with. I hope I can contribute something to the Israeli morale.’”

1992: Yuval Ne’eman, a Likud MK, completed his terms as Minister of Science and Technology.

1992: Israeli physicist Yuval Ne’eman completed his term as Minister of Energy and Water Resources.

1992: William Caldwell Harrop, who was appointed to his post by President Bush, presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

1992: Michael Dougall Bell completed his service as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

1993: Mervyn Taylor completed his service as Minister for Labour.

1993: In Ireland, Mervyn Taylor began serving as Minister for Equality and Law Reform.

1994: “Intersection,” the re-make of a French film directed and produced by Mark Rydell, written by Marshall Brickman and co-starring Martin Landau was released in the United States today.

1994: The future of the New England Patriots was settled in New England’s favor when Robert Kraft, a Jewish Boston businessman who bought the team’s Foxboro Stadium six years ago, won a bidding war that included a nominally higher bid from a group that hoped to move the team to St. Louis.

1997: Steve Grossman began serving as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

1999 (4th of Shevat, 5759): Actress and author Susan Strasberg passed away at the age of 60.

2000: Maria Paasche, who helped Jews escape from Nazi Germany on the back of her motorcycle and whose father and brothers conspired to kill Hitler, died today in a San Francisco nursing home. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Black, White and Jewish Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker.

2001: One day after leaving the White House, former President Bill Clinton said that Jack Quinn, a former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore and a former counsel to President Clinton, had persuaded him to grant pardons to Marc Rich and Pincus Green, but he did not elaborate and he referred questions to Mr. Quinn. Mr. Quinn referred calls to Robert F. Fink, a partner in the Manhattan law firm Piper, Marbury, Rudnick & Wolfe who said he believed the president had been convinced that the criminal charges against the men had not been justified.

2001(26thof Tevet, 5761): Sixty four year old comic actor Sandy Baron passed away today.

2001(26thof Tevet, 5761): Eighty-six year old photographer Sol Libsohn  passed away today.

2002(8thof Shevat, 5672): Eighty-six year old Irving Achtenberg the Kansas City, MO born son of Minnie and Benjamin Morris Achtenberg  and husband of Gail Anita Achtenberg passed away today.

2002: As Arab violence continued the Associated Press reported that the governor of the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Izzedine Sharif, said today that about 100 tanks and armored personnel carriers took part in a raid on his town making it the largest raid on a Palestinian town in 16 months of fighting. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

2003: Today at Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Philharmonic played with its namesake from Israel for the first time in more than 20 years, and Lorin Maazel conducted Mahler’s First Symphony, with the New York and Tel Aviv musicians sharing desks.

2003: Edward Gene “Ed” Rendell began his first term as Governor of Pennsylvania.

2004: David Appel, a prominent real estate developer with ties to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was indicted today.  He is charged with having tried to bribe Mr. Sharon starting in the 1990’s when Sharon was the Foreign Minister. Specifically, the Israeli court indicted the real estate developer on charges of paying roughly $700,000 to Mr. Sharon’s son, Gilad, in the hope of bribing Mr. Sharon. The indictment raises potentially serious legal and political issues for Mr. Sharon and prompted political opponents to call for his resignation.

2004(27thof Tevet, 5764): Eighty seven year old Hedi Stadlen an “Austrian Jewish philosopher, political activist, and musicologist who was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka” passed away today.

2005: Eighty-seven year old New York Timesman and food critic John L. Hess died today at the Jewish Home and Hospital which was founded by the B’nai Jeshurn Ladies’ Benevolent Society in 1848. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2006: Hundreds of Venezuelan intellectuals expressed “shock and consternation” in a public condemnation of allegedly anti-Semitic remarks made recently by President Hugo Chavez. “These dangerous tendencies must be denounced and combated before our society loses its humanity,” the group of 250 intellectuals, writers, artists, journalists and others said in a full-page letter published in the major Venezuelan daily El Nacional. Chavez in a Christmas Eve speech last month said: “The world has enough for all. But it turned out that some minorities, descendants of those who crucified Christ, descendants of those who threw Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way in Santa Marta, there in Colombia, a minority took the world’s riches for themselves

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section opened with a review of Power, Faith And Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present by Michael Oren.  Oren is a prolific author who received a Ph.D. from Princeton.  He served as Director of Inter-Religious Affairs under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. The Sunday edition of the Washington Post book section also featured “a conversation” with Norman Mailer discussing The Castle in The Forest, excerpts from the late Art Buchwald’s Too Soon To Say Goodbye, the last literary work of the humorist “dictated from his hospice chair” and the latest excerpt from the novel Jezebel’s Tomb by David Hilzenrath.

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of Norman Mailer’s The Castle In The Forest “a remarkable novel about a young Adolph Hitler and his family.” 

2007: The London Sunday Times book section featured a review of Rome & Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman in which the author asks “Was there anything intrinsic in Jewish and Roman society,” he asks, “that made it impossible for Jerusalem and Rome to coexist?”

2007: The Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times featured reviews of Mailer’s The Castle in the Forest and Daniel Hurwitz’s Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics.

2008: In Manhattan, screenings of “His Wife’s Lover” which was billed as the “first Jewish musical comedy talking picture,” staring popular stage comedian Ludwig Satz in his only screen performance and “Santa Fe” a film depicting the plight of exhausted Jewish immigrants desperate to begin a new life who arrive on a ship in New York harbor in 1940.

2008: As part of plans to celebrate the efforts of Sir Nicholas Winton to save Jewish children from Czechoslovakia at the outbreak of WW II, plans for the “Train Prague-London Project” were announced today.

2009: Memorial services are scheduled to be held in Southhampton for eighty year Sherwin “Shy” Raiken the Villanova and NY Knicks basketball player

2009: Michael Bennet completed his service as Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools and began serving as the United States from Colorado.

2009(25th of Tevet, 5769):Charles Hirsh Schneer, a noted film producer who for a quarter-century helped the Oscar-winning special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen lay waste to Washington, San Francisco, Rome and many other places, passed away today in Boca Raton, Florida at the age of 88.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

2009 The Jewish community will be represented in the Prayer Service at National Cathedral by Reform Rabbi David Saperstein, Conservative Rabbi Jerome Epstein and Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York.

2010(6thof Shevat, 5770): Lawrence Garfinkel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who helped design landmark studies that linked smoking to lung cancer, died today in Seattle. He was 88. (As reported by Denise Grady)

2010: The 19thannual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York Premiere of “Human Failure,” a documentary directed by Michael Verhoeven “that reveals the expropriation and sale of Jewish assets that benefited innumerable citizens of the Third Reich.

2010: The 10thannual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “Ultimatum,”

“a tense melodrama adopted from Valérie Zenatti’s 2006 novel” that “authentically recreates the eerie wartime mood that consumed Israeli society in January 1991.”

2010: Authorities say a misunderstanding about a Jewish prayer ritual led to the diversion of a US Airways flight to Philadelphia today. City police Lt. Frank Vanore said a 17-year-old boy on the plane was using tefillin. Tefillin is a set of small black boxes attached to leather straps and containing biblical passages. One box is strapped to the arm; the other box is placed on the head. Vanore said the crew on US Airways Flight 3079 questioned the teen, who explained the ritual. Still, the pilot decided to land in Philadelphia. The flight had left La Guardia airport in New York this morning bound for Louisville, Kentucky. It landed without incident in Philadelphia around 9 a.m. Vanore said the teen has been very cooperative with law enforcement.

2010: The Washington Post features a review of Koeslter: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic by Michael Scammel, a biography of Arthur Kosetler.

2011: At Bloomfield, Michigan, The Jewish Community Center is scheduled to host a concert performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  

2010: Today, “the European Union approved the acquisition of Sun Mircrosystems” by Larry Ellison’s Oracle

2011: The 92ndStreet Y is scheduled to host a Tu B’Shevat Seder Dinner with Karina where attendees can celebrate the birthday of the trees while welcoming Shabbat.

2011: In Washington, DC, Theater J Middle East Festival is scheduled to present “Argentina Reading.” Argentina is a new work by Boaz Gaon in which “the Israeli daughter of a ‘disappeared’ Argentinean Jew visits the former Ambassador to Argentina hoping to discover what became of her father 20 years earlier during the junta’s rise to power.”

2011: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was moved from the University Medical Center in Tucson to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, Texas where she can continue her rehabilitation following her nearly fatal shooting two weeks ago.

2011: The funeral for Sonia Peres is scheduled to be held on today at 11:00 am at the Ben Shemen Youth Village cemetery.

2012: “Daas” – a period drama that explore the influence Jacob Frank, the false messiah — is scheduled to have its U.S. premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Comedian Dave Goldstein is scheduled to appear at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.

2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Baton Rouge (LA) Film Festival and the Polo Grill and Bar/ The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee in Lakewood Ranch, FL.

2012: “Mahler on the Couch” is scheduled to be shown at the Las Vegas (NV) Jewish Film Festival.

2012: IAF aircraft struck a site in the southern Gaza Strip this morning, after three mortar shells were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

2012: A soldier guarding a military post at the Susya settlement in south Mount Hebron fired warning shots in the air after a Jewish resident approached the post without identifying himself.

2012: This afternoon a Palestinian man stabbed a Border Guard officer near the Shufat Refugee Camp in north-east Jerusalem.

2013(10thof Shevat, 5773): Seventy-seven year old director, producer and restaurant critic Robert Michael Winner passed away today.

2013: “The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League” featuring the works Sid Grossman and Sol Libsohn, among others is scheduled to come to a close at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum.

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed former Communications and Welfare Minister Moshe Kahlon as the new chairman of the Israel Land Authority.

2013: “Afternoon Delight” a comedy written and directed by Jill Soloway premiered at Sundance today.

2013: On the eve of the elections in Israel, “Well-Meaning Idiots” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Anthony Russell, Anthony Coleman, & Michael Winograd are scheduled to present a medley of Hebrew, Yiddish, Yemenite, and African-American songs in a Contemporary Jazz Setting at the JCC in Manhattan

2013: In what may seem like some kind of political symbiosis, President Obama takes the office of President publicly as Israel prepares to choose a new government.

2013: When Dan Margalit, the top commentator at the daily free sheet Israel Hayom, opened the newspaper this morning, he was likely surprised to see that the commentary he had written the night before did not appear in its usual spot on the front page. Nor did it appear on the second page or the third. In fact, he had to rifle through the paper quite a bit to find his commentary – on page 37. According to some reports, this was as a result of criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu (As reported by Barak Ravid)

2013: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dangled the prospect of cheaper housing in front of voters in one of his last press conferences before tomorrow’s election.

2014: The Lawrence Family JCC is scheduled to host “The Poetry of Hayyim Nahman Bialik” an evening in which “Gabriella Auspitz Labson will discuss selected poems by Israel’s national poet, Hayyim Nahman Bialik. Eileen Wingard will play some melodies to which Bialik’s poems have been set.”

2014: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to “attend a joint meeting of the Israeli and Canadian governments before accompanying Prime Minister Netanyahu to Yad Vashem

2014: “The Women Pioneers” and “Before the Revolution” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2014: Shael Polakow-Suransky announced that he would depart the New York City Department of Education to become the president of Bank Street College of Education,

2014: In an interview published in the New Yorker magazine, President Obama said that “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as Arab anti-Semitism dog reconciliation between Arab nations and Israel, even in the face of a common threat from Iran.” (As reported by JTA)

2014: Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Labor Party said today that Prime Minister Netanyahu “appreciates the wisdom of making peace with the Palestinians” but does not have the “guts” to seal the deal.

2014: Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has close ties to Egypt’s Salafi movement, claimed that it was behind the rocket attacks that struck Eilat yesterday.

2015(1stof Shevat, 5775): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

2015: “The Battle of Algiers” and “Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2015: Yivo and the Museum of the City of New York are scheduled to present “Behind the Lens: New York Jews between the Wars.”

2015: Douglas D. “Doug” Gansler completed eight years of service as the Attorney General for the state of Maryland.

2015: “The Counterfeiters” which tells the story of Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch” is scheduled to be shown at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA.

2015: In Little Rock, Lubavitch of Arkansas led by Rabbi Pinchas Ciment is scheduled to offer “The Art of Parenting.”

2016: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present the third and final performance of “The Merchant of Venice” which has been adapted “in a Sephardi style” featuring “Jewish Ladino music of the era.”

2016: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host “a special theater performance of Amy and Ken Kaissar’s ‘A Modest Suggestion,’ followed by a panel discussion with the show’s director and actors.”

2017(23rdof Tevet, 5777): Parsahat Shemot. 

2017: As of today, in the last 24 hours, “there have been three separate hate crimes targeting “recognizably Jewish” residents of the Edgware district” of London.

2017: On Shabbat, the Women’s March on Washington, a protest that has been endorsed by the National Council of Jewish Women which is “helping to organize ancillary events with other groups that the partner with the Jewish community” is scheduled to take place on the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

2017: “Shalom Rabin” and “Louis-Ferdinand Celine” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a Friday night dinner sponsored by the Chaplains that includes “2 fabulous guests – Joshua Blachorsky and Yos Tarshish from the World Union of Jewish Students.”

2018(5thof Shevat, 5778): One-hundred five year old Connie Sawyer, the Colorado born daughter of “Russian Jewish immigrants” and the oldest working actress passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2018: Hadassah Lipsius, a “long-time board member of JRI-Poland, as well as Archive Coordinator for the Warsaw and Tomaszow Mazowiecki Archives” is scheduled to address the Jewish Genealogical Society Monthly Meeting at the Center for Jewish History.

2018: In Wyoming, the Jackson Hole Jewish Community is scheduled to host “Israeli Cooking with Judy.”

2018: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of On Turpentine Lineby Elinor Lipman as well as an exclusive interview with Philip Roth a Q and A with Simon Sebag Montefiore

2019((15thof Shevat, 5779): Tu B’Shevat;  (Editor’s Note – In Iowa, the home of this blog, it is zero with eight inches of snow on the ground and more on the way.  So is the celebration of this tree planting holiday, an act of denial (insanity) or an act of the optimism that is part of the Jewish DNA?)

2019: In Atlanta, the Breman Museum is scheduled to be closed in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

2019: “Fig Tree” and “Brussels Transit” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

2019(15thof Shevat, 5779): On the Jewish calendar Yahrzeit of Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill – a marvelous historian who had the writing skills of novelist – but who always had time to answer the questions of the most inconsequential of his readers.  If you have never had the pleasure of reading his work you might want to start with Israel: A History or Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century or In Ishmael’s House or… well the list is almost endless.

2020: “My Polish Honeymoon” and “I Was Not Born a Mistake” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.”

2020: Stanford University is scheduled to host “Travels Through Jewish Latin America” during which Professor-author Ilan Stavans” is scheduled to discuss “Latin American Jewish communities, including Amazon tribes who believe they are descendants of the Lost Tribes and descendants of Crypto-Jews in northern Mexico.”

2020: The Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present “Rembrandt’s Legacy: A Personal Conversation” during which “Rabbi Meir Soloveichik” is scheduled to moderate “a discussion on Rembrandt’s legacy between Thomas Kaplan, philanthropist and private collector, and Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of Northern Baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art.”

2020: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host a lecture by Rabbi David Wolpe on “Mystical Messiahs and Meditators: Shabbatai Zevi and Abraham Abulafia.”

2020: As part of its International Holocaust Remembrance Day events, in San Francisco, Mercy High School’s Farkas Center is scheduled to “welcome the ‘Violins of Hope’ for a celebration of the cultural richness and resilience of music written by and for those targeted for genocide in the Third Reich.”

2020: As Israelis awake today, they are prepared to find out if the Arab terrorists will be launching more incendiary balloons at neighborhoods in and or near Jerusalem.

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